Friday, February 17, 2017

Not Our Week

This hasn't been our finest week.
In very saddest of news, our cat died.  Our Christmas kitty.  We found her on our sidewalk.  We don't know what happened to her and there is great sadness at our house.  Abe saw another cat in the neighborhood who appeared to have passed on.  So I fear that there may be a cat killer on the loose.
Faith broke out in hives twice this week.  We don't know why.  The first time her ears got super swollen and hot.  She had hard, fat ears.
Today her hands swelled up.  She couldn't make a tight fist because she had fat sausage fingers.  This picture is her hand between Cannon's and George's.
Her face got hives and her feet and ankles.  She is sleeping peacefully this evening thanks to a generous dose of Benadryl.
What the heck?
I took Greta to the Dr. yesterday where she was promptly diagnosed with double ear infections.  She's had a bad week with the same sickness that Peter had the week before.  I'm not a believer in flu shots, but I think I made the wrong call this year in not getting them for the littles.
On Valentine's day I took Clark in for his mission physical.  All was well, except his red blood cell count was a little high.  They retested it a couple of days later and it was still a little high.  We went to have blood labs done at Primary Children's.  They came back in a normal range.  Just a little elevated.  Why?
I have a theory.  According to my research, chronic exposure to higher than normal carbon monoxide (working in tunnels, driving taxi cab, working parking garage) can raise red blood cell counts.  I suggest that working for hours and weeks, and months on end in the sub-basement of the Leonardo Museum, right by a parking garage, has affected his oxygen levels.
At least build season is almost over (Tuesday is the final day).

Anyway, it's February.  Maybe I've mentioned before that this isn't my favorite month.  More like my least favorite month.  I am struggling.  Weeks of sick kids and poor sleep have taken a toll.
In good news, this little guy is feeling better.
He looks like the Tin-Man, but Faith made this robot costume for George.
I didn't grow up making Valentine's boxes, but it is all the rage here in Utah.  Of course, having homeschooled my children, they haven't grown up making Valentine's boxes.
We had a homeschool gathering the day after Valentine's and this is what George and I came up with for his box.  Not too shabby.
The kid's cousins in Spokane always send a package of Valentines.  This year it contained these most attractive paper glasses.  Work it, girlfriend!

 The week is almost done and I cannot say I'm sad to see it go.  Not our best.  May Greta's antibiotics take effect quickly.  May our cat rest in peace.  May robot season wrap up quickly and Clark and Elinor's exposure to CO be minimal.  May Faith's throat not swell up in another outbreak of hives. AND MAY WE ALL SLEEP WELL TONIGHT! 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Team Infinity Squared Goes to State

I don't like surprises.

What?  Come on, everyone likes surprises.

No, they don't.  I don't like surprises.

In that spirit I will relate the events of yesterday's FIRST Lego League (FLL) Utah North Championship, beginning at the end.  No surprises here!
Team Infinity Squared won the Judges Award!  There were 48 teams at the state competition held at Weber State University.  There were roughly 15 awards given out.  Here is what FIRST says on it's website about the Judges Award.
"During the course of competition the judges may encounter teams whose unique efforts, performance or dynamics merit recognition. Some teams have a story that sets them apart in a noteworthy way. Sometimes a team is so close to winning an award that the judges choose to give special recognition to the team. Judges Awards allow the freedom to recognize remarkable teams that stand out for reasons other than the Core Award categories."

So basically, we won something, but we don't know what we won for.  The judges liked us (or felt sorry for us) and wanted to recognize us as being a great team.
We'll take it!
Going up on stage to receive our Lego trophy.  It now has a place of honor on the bookshelf by Frog and Toad.
Greta held up pretty well all day, but by the afternoon her fever had spiked and she was a sad baby.
George and his intended sharing some screen time while waiting during the last robot round.  Some of you may notice George has rediscovered his love of the one hand, finger-less glove. RIP MJ
Talking to passersby about their project.
The team waiting for their final robot round.  Keeping with my theme of no surprises... this round did not go well.
Don't my three children look darling in this picture taken just before the 2nd robot round.
Let me tell you, moments after this picture was taken, all  #%*!  broke loose.  Faith was holding the jig that helps line up the robot.  She was fiddling with it and several pieces broke off.  They were frantic to put it back together and there were some not so loving sibling feelings.
The second robot round did not go well.  There were tears and this was definitely the low-point of the day.
This picture was taken just after the first robot round and IT DID GO WELL!  It was a 30+ points higher than their top score at regional.
Little Evan, pictured here, had a great idea that earned us extra points on our last mission!
Doing the team cheer!
They are such great kids!
Clark has been such a great coach for them.  We will have a team next year, but it won't be as much fun without Clark.
There was a team called the Lego Foxes.  It was easy to cheer for them!
Walking in the opening ceremonies.
We arrived early and had an awesome location with comfy seats nearby.
Greta was happy for most of the day to be held and cuddled by Mom and Dad all day.
It was a huge treat to have Abe with us all day.
We gathered at 6:00 AM.  The team mentors and Elinor had a late night at FRC robotics.  Abe and I and Camille had terrible nights with sickness and the early morning.  
We were not in the best of spirits and it was a long day.  I know we were all quite relieved when the day was done.  Hopefully, as time passes our memories of the day will improve.  
Even still, I am so grateful to have been involved with such a great program and such wonderful young people.

February Happenings

While Peter was sequestered upstairs with his sickness this week, life continued downstairs.  We hosted our kids book club for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  Not really a kid's book, and most of the group didn't get all the way through it.  I can't really blame them, and if I wasn't hosting the club, I don't know that we would have persevered all the way through.  But we made it.  And today, while we are all convalescing at home, we are watching the old Disney movie.  
It is so marvelous to have book club on a sunny day in February.  
Want to hear good news?  We're almost half way through February.
Shooting at innocent sea creatures for one of our activities.
Cute sisters of a few of the Cub Scouts in our ward at the Blue and Gold banquet this week.  I am a den leader for the Wolves and Abe just got put in as Cub Master.  I guess with three little boys ages 2-8, we're likely going to have a good long run in Cub Scouts.
Since Abe no longer has Young Mens' on Wednesday evenings, he and I and Greta took a little trip downtown to check out the progress on Prototype X's robot for FRC.  It always feels so adventurous going down into the sub-basement of the Leonardo museum.  
The oldest and the youngest.  They quite like each other.
The yellow plastic shield is for eye protection when they are welding.  
Elinor was overcome with joy this week to be invited to be a programming intern for the last couple of weeks of the FRC build season.  The current programmers are both seniors and it will be good for Elinor to start learning what she hopes to be doing next year.  
SHE LOVED IT!  She came home on cloud nine, like she had found her true calling.  
Yesterday was a very long day with the FIRST Lego League State Championship, but Clark's day wasn't done when we got home.  He gussied up and went to the high school sweethearts dance with a gal named Annie.  She looked stunning! and I loved her dress!
Clark said it was a lot of fun and they looked great together.
I think he's due for a nap this afternoon.  Let's all take a nap this afternoon.
My sister's second child, Brigham, was baptized last weekend.  It was nice to be together and especially nice to have my dad and Bev come into town for the event.  They are back up in Washington for a few more weeks helping with my brother's family.  

You Make Me Sick!

Oi Vey!
The sickness afflicting this house the past week is bad business.  Sadly, it wasn't the kind of week we could just cancel everything and stay home.  If you don't hate us yet for infecting you, you probably just haven't spent much time around us!
This is Peter and I visiting the Dr. earlier in the week when he had high fevers.  A solid week of fevers.
He was lethargic.
It was just too hard to do anything.  Along with the daytime sickness came terrible sleeping.  SO TIRED!
The first step of the stairs is his favorite spot to lie down and drink a sippy cup.
There was a fair amount of television watched this week.
Okay, there was a disgusting amount.
So, you get the idea.  Everyone seems to have been afflicted in some degree.  Here is the family listed from sickest to most well.
Peter-- near death
Greta-- very, very sad
George--worrisome cough, bad parent award to take in public
Faith-- sick and napping one minute, flipping on the trampoline the next
Elinor-- typical cold symptoms
Cannon-- cough and sniffles, could avoid detection in public
Abe-- finally succumbed today and severely sleep deprived.
Betsy-- minor sniffles all week, mostly suffering from lack of sleep
Clark-- headache last night
Bethany-- not sure, think she is avoiding the rest of us.
Greta started with the fevers a night before last.  I got up as Greta was fussing and moments later this is the scene I came back too.  Greta asleep holding her daddy's finger.  So sweet.
He is, indeed, a nice daddy, playing Duplos with Peter.
Here's to a healthier week.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Recs Move

George took a long nap on the couch yesterday and the extra sleep must have put his brain into overdrive, because he stayed up late last night creating a new game he called, "Recs Move".
Both Abe and I got a turn to test out the prototype this morning before church. 
It was pretty fun and I will say I was pretty impressed with all the different elements he had thought of.  The funny thing was it was pretty much impossible to beat George at his own game because he could change the rules mid-game to benefit himself. 
And then he'd give us this look of triumph when he'd kill off one of our guys.  He'd say something like, "Well, that's how it goes sometimes!"
I played with George first, but I was clearly too concerned about the rules.  Abe played with him next and he was a lot more fun.  This is not news to me.  Abe is always more fun than me and I'm totally good with it.  It relieves any unnatural pressure I might feel to be more fun. 
I wish I had more insight to share as to the origin of the game title, "Recs Move". 
When I first heard it I thought of "Rex Kwon Do" from Napoleon Dynamite.  Upon further questioning, I do believe that might actually have been the inspiration for the title of the game. 
Oh my, the incessant movie and tv show and comedy sketch quoting in this house has really spiraled out of control.  And I can't entirely blame the children.  I find myself thinking and speaking in "quote". 
We sure do enjoy each of these interesting little people!
I must say, this is markedly better thought through and interesting than the lame Candy Land type games I made as a kid.