Saturday morning we were discussing which drive we should go on to look at autumn leaves. In the past, we’ve driven the Alpine Loop. There have always been a lot of people. Lots of cars squeezing by each other on the mountain roads. But Saturday we decided to drive the Nebo Loop. Here’s a prelude video to a bunch of photos we took:
The morning was gorgeous. The best light shone through the trees; cast a perfect silhouette of the mountains. We’re so glad we went.
See how the text in the top half of the lens is smaller, and in the bottom the text is bigger? My eyeballs need these adjustments. I have contacts that behave like the top half of these lenses, and I’m waiting on my readers to have the correct lenses put in so that I can see up close.
Today is Wednesday, June 16. Which means I’ve distanced by two days when Z got her first cavity filled.
We scheduled the appointment last Wednesday, and I’ve tried not to stress out about it for five days.
When Monday came, we didn’t really know what to expect. Like we thought we’d try the nitrous oxide. And we didn’t know if she’d keep the mask on. Or how she’d react to the gas.
But Z sat down in the big chair. The assistant lay the seat completely flat. She put the little rubber snout thing over Z’s nose, and she didn’t push it away. Reilly got out his phone for her to look at while the dentist was busy.
The first minute was the worst minute.
The rest of it went the best it possibly could. Z relaxed really well and the dentist worked quickly. It seemed like a long time, but after applying sealant to the other molars and then cleaning out the cavity and then putting in the glue then the filling, I guess maybe 20-25 minutes passed? There was also a lot of water and air and suction and that flashy sterilizing light thing. It happened fast and in slow-motion at the same time.
I sat at the foot of her chair and gently squeezed her leg to let her know I was there. Reilly was next to me. That was probably more for our peace of mind than to comfort Z. She seemed completely fine.
I think maybe she was just enjoying the gas the whole time.
She really did terrific. Couldn’t have gone better.
A lot of critical acclaim erupted for this album, which does one of two things for me: makes me wait until the hype dies down, or makes me super excited and listen to it immediately.
I ended up waiting a couple of weeks and listened to it yesterday, back to back. I wanted to listen to it sooner, but I wanted to make sure I had enough time to give it my full attention. And since it’s so fresh on my mind, I didn’t do what I usually like to do when actively listening to an album, which is take notes and jot thoughts that cross my mind as I experience the music.
I will do this, I promise. But for now I’ll post the album here for you listen for yourselves. It seriously blew my mind. I hope you appreciate it as much, or more.
Our girl participated in an end-of-school dance festival today. She danced with the other first graders. She watched the video many times, she was familiar with the moves. But did she do the moves? No. Did she move when the music moved her? Oh, hell yes.
Was she holding a pine cone while she danced? Yes, that, too.
She watched the other first graders perform, and she loved jumping around while the music played. She smiled so big. I caught about half of it on video that I hope to show her soon. She did such a great job.
I couldn’t be prouder.
She loved watching the other grades dance their numbers, too.
I told my brother today that if at the end of every school year she performs in a dance festival, and all she does is jump around and smile, I will go every year to watch just that.
I’m With Her – bluegrass, Americana: Sarah Jarosz, Sara Watkins, Aoife O’Donovan. Because I’m a long time Nickel Creek fan, I happened to come across their individual projects. I’ve seen both Punch Brothers and I’m With Her live, and they are fantastic. The solo pursuits of these ladies here are remarkable, too.
The Highwomen – country, bluegrass, Americana: Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires
I saw Brandi Carlile in concert a month before the pandemic shut everything down. It was a transcendent experience. My mother-in-law was listening to a lot of her music in her last months, and listening to all of Brandi’s stories and songs during her concert sort of took me out of my body and reunited me with Carla. I don’t care how cheesy that sounds.
Our Native Daughters – Black Folk, Americana, bluegrass, sort of unclassifiable? these ladies kick ass at writing about the Black experience: Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, and Allison Russell
I’ve been a fan of Rhiannon Giddens for a while, as well as Allison Russell in her other band, Birds of Chicago.
I need more of this.
If you haven’t already, check all these groups out.
Yesterday Reilly and I attended a video call with Z’s teachers for her yearly IEP. We talked about her goals and progress. Her teachers seemed impressed with how well she’s doing with online school. It’s been almost a whole year. This week last year was when Utah decided to shut down schools for the rest of the school year, and my employer announced that we’d be working from home. This week last year we met with Z’s teachers on a Wednesday, and that following Friday the whole world changed. What a wild ride.
It’s probably easy to imagine a child–even one who has social delays–craving some kind of social contact beyond her parents. Even if we’re out running errands, Z will say, “Hi!” to a random child. To many random children. She will try to make friends. And we have to remind her about social distancing, even if everyone is wearing masks. Z’s teacher has said that her classmates (the ones attending in-person since the beginning of the school year) ask where she is all the time. Her name is on a desk, and it has been empty all year.
I had my weekly check-in meeting with my boss today. I told her about Z getting ready to attend school. I told her I had her practice unpacking her lunch. I told my boss about Z’s desk at school. She said that at the beginning there will probably be some separation anxiety, to which I quickly replied, “For me, probably not so much for her.” And my boss said, “Aww!”
Truth: it’s gonna be hard. After a 9 months of sitting by her and prompting her and waking her up in the mornings to do homework, I will have no easy time sending our baby off to school.
But like every other year she’s attended school in person, she’ll be amazing. And we’ll be proud parents.
Winter is finally starting to retreat, and the warm weather calls to you every day. When you lead us to the door to go outside, we are excited to help you put your clothes on and let you roam the great outdoors. Two years ago, you were a little too comfy in Mama’s tummy, and we coaxed you so to join us in this wonderful and crazy world.
Two years later you’re taking it all in.
Last week we were watching The Good Dinosaur, and one particularly sad part made me cry. You came up to me leaned your forehead toward me. You do this when we want you to give us kisses. We say, “Can I have kisses?” and make a kissy face. But I didn’t do this last week. I was crying quietly and wiping away my tears because the dinosaur was saying goodbye to the human. When you gave me kisses with your forehead, it was hard not to cry even harder.
In the past year while watching movies, you often laughed at sad parts, but now you also get sad, and you scream when the little girl Merida screams. You are developing a sensibility about other people. You are developing empathy.
At the same time, you don’t like being around a lot of people. You’re still unsure of other little kids. You recognize them; you acknowledge their existence, but you’d rather not interact with them. You appreciate the safe place of family and familiar friends. I’m grateful you cherish this, and I hope you continue to do so for as long as you can, because there will be moments when the world seems a little scary, and we won’t be able to hold your hand or pick you up and hold you. We want to teach you how to handle those moments well. We’ll still be there, just not in the same ways we are now. This makes me profoundly sad.
But I am so exquisitely happy that it’s your birthday. It’s hard to believe two years have already passed, because I was just reminiscing about my constant need to pee, which seems was only yesterday. (Which it wasn’t.) You’re saying a few words here and there. You’re getting stronger and faster. More curious. More mischievous.
You love light switches and doorknobs. And bubbles. Climbing to higher heights. Sprinting between rooms. Squealing during sacrament meeting. Reading your books. Singing your favorite songs; chilling out on the floor for a few moments before another burst of pure energy. Basking in the sunshine. Giving Mama and Dadda hugs and kisses. And mastering potty-training all the while.
We couldn’t be prouder. Or happier.
This crazy world sure needs more people like you.
You are a joy and a blessing, dear daughter. Wonderful Z.