I’ve had a head cold lately, so I haven’t really wanted to get out and about. With a toddler, that means we’ve been stir-crazy. Actually, I haven’t. Just John. John has been stir-crazy. So yesterday I texted a neighbor and asked if John could come play. She said yes. We have good neighbors.

I went and dropped John off, then lay down to take a nap. About two minutes later, my phone rang. It was Ethan. He was sick at work and asked me to come pick him up.

Now, my husband does not easily admit that he’s sick. Certainly not to the point of leaving work. And certainly not to the point of asking someone else to come pick him up. And certainly not when that person doesn’t have a car available. I assumed I should hurry. Within a few minutes, I was driving toward Center Street in my upstairs neighbor’s car. (We have good neighbors.)

When I got to the bookstore, there was nobody at the desk. I started for the back office, wondering if he was in there, when I noticed the employees’ closet was open. I found him moaning on the floor in there. He had already lost his lunch in the bathroom once, and he had a garbage can next to him, just in case. I helped a few customers until one of his coworkers arrived to cover his shift, then loaded the mail-out packages into the neighbors’ car, helped Ethan outside, waited while he threw up in the back alley a few times, and drove him home with his sweater over his mouth, just in case he lost it again.

While this was happening, the alarm went off on my phone to go pick up John, so my neighbor could get to her daughter’s appointment. I parked the car in time for her to pass the baton (my child) to me, while Ethan went inside. John and I came in to find Ethan lying on the floor of he bathroom, shivering.

This worried me. The last time I saw Ethan like this, he ended up in the E.R. Which was frustrating, because they basically just gave him some Zofran, a little saline, and sent him on his merry way. (It was Valentine’s Day weekend, which was also frustrating.)

Anyways. Ethan told me to keep John away from him so he wouldn’t get sick, so we took the car keys back to the neighbors, who offered to go pick up our van later on (since Ethan obviously wasn’t in any shape to drive it home.) They also transferred the packages we needed to mail out to the back of our van. We have good neighbors.

We came home, Ethan took some medicine, threw it up, ate some bread, threw it up, and around hell-o-clock in the morning, asked the neighbors to come give him a priesthood blessing. They did. We have good neighbors.

Ethan fell asleep in the wee hours of the morning, lying on the floor, listening to my most soothing voice reading from The Catholic Catechism. It was the most boring book I could find. (Sorry, Catholics.)

With a good night’s sleep, Ethan stopped throwing up, but discovered that every time he stood up and tried to do something, his entire body shouted, “STOP!” So he’s been watching anime most of the day.

This morning, renewed by the realization that my common cold symptoms were way more functional than his flu symptoms, I took John out to run errands. We went to the post office, the bookstore, the Asian market (after he insisted on buying cookies to pay for his behavior at the bookstore), the United Way office, the doctor’s office, the pharmacy, and finally McDonalds—where he ate chicken nuggets, strawberry yogurt (in a tube!), and met the cutest little Samoan girl I have ever seen in my life*, who “helped” us play with his happy meal toy. The kid is lucky that arranged marriages aren’t a thing here. Because I already know who I’d be shipping him with. This girl was The Cutest.

So basically, we’re alright. Ethan’s recovering well, and taking care of himself. I’m recovering well, and about to collapse into bed. And John is recovering well from his flu shot, and collapsed on the way home from McDonald’s. He slept through a diaper change, a change of clothes, and most of the evening. He had a busy day.

*This is poorly written. She was not the cutest Samoan girl I’ve ever seen. She was the cutest girl of any background I have ever seen, and she was also Samoan. At least, I assume she was, because she looked Polynesian, and her very grumpy dad/grandpa/I-couldn’t-really-tell-under-all-that-winter-clothing was wearing a hat that said SAMOA on it in big letters. But I didn’t have a better way to say that without a huge run-on sentence. So here you go. A footnote.


A Tiny Opera

Yesterday, I was sick. When Ethan left for work, I was feeling a little queasy. Five minutes after Ethan left for work, I put the baby down for a nap and went to throw up.

And up. And up and up and up. I threw up everything I could possibly have had in my stomach, and peed my pants just for fun. Apparently, I still haven’t quite gotten my bladder control back since having the baby.

I crawled back into bed with a bucket, got up twice more to retch, and finally texted my upstairs neighbor to see if she would feed Jonathan when he woke up. She readily agreed, and that’s when things got really funny.

Her baby is about two weeks older than Jonathan – and apparently, he’s a sympathetic crier. John woke up to find a strange, not-Mom in his room, and started crying. My neighbor tried to soothe him, and shoveled applesauce into his mouth, hoping it would calm him down. The high-pitched screaming turned into high-pitched gurgling.

Then her baby started up, with his low, grunting yell. Every time my baby stopped to breathe, he contributed his rough baritone, and the two sounded like a duet of tiny desperation. In the middle of the cacophony, my neighbor’s phone rang, and she put her sister on speaker-phone to sing a song to the babies. The crying stopped for a few minutes, then started back up again.

I lay in my bed, laughing weakly as I tried to hold down my cookies and listened to two grown women trying to calm down two crazed babies (one of whom was still gurgling through a mouthful of applesauce.) I think I owe my neighbor some cookies, or something. How in the world do some women handle twins? ♥

Free: Anything on the Yard

Our upstairs neighbors are having a yard sale – or so it would appear, at least. In Provo (as in some other towns, I’m sure), it is common to leave unwanted items on the yard or by the curb to signal that they are free to the public. And while it’s polite to knock and double-check if there isn’t a sign, a sofa left out by the garbage can is usually considered free game.

But the upstairs neighbors are having the floors re-done, so they’ve got a veritable cornucopia of fine furniture out on the lawn, and it’s been there for the past two days. They remembered to turn the sprinkler off, so their sofas weren’t soaked in the wee hours of the morning. This is good.

But they didn’t put a sign out to signal that their stuff was off-limits. And while I can understand their assumption that nobody is going to just take your stuff off the front lawn, it really does look like a yard sale out there. And if there isn’t a price tag on anything, a lot of people will assume it’s free. Several people this afternoon, for instance. One of them drove up and double-checked with my husband, just to make sure he didn’t load up anything that wasn’t up for grabs. The upstairs neighbor yelled through a window, “We’re having the floors done!” … Which still didn’t really answer the question of whether the stuff was free, but they apparently figured it out between them.

About half an hour after that, a middle-aged woman came by and started taking pictures of the furniture. She obviously doesn’t live on this street, because this street is college housing. We were a little torn: tell her it’s not for sale, or wait and see if our neighbors learn the Provo norm the hard way? After a few minutes, she left empty-handed, so we didn’t have to decide. It’s not like we’re hoping they get their stuff stolen. We just don’t want to have to baby-sit their stuff, and they really need to put out a sign. ♦

Does Nobody Carry Keys?

Ethan got up at 5 this morning, preparing for the first day of school. He’s had teacher meetings the past two days, and today is when school officially starts. This is the first day of student teaching that actually involves students.

When he left, I was still in bed, but for some reason, I couldn’t get back to sleep. So I got up a little before 6 (My mother will never believe this), showered, got dressed, ate some cereal, and went grocery shopping. (Note: when I say “groceries,” what I really mean is “Pop-Tarts. Four dozen Pop-Tarts.”) I got a free gallon of milk, because the Pop-Tarts were in the weekly ad, and it was raining and cool and delightful outside. Happy day.

Around 8 o’clock, one of the upstairs neighbors knocked on the front door so lightly I almost dismissed it. He apologized profusely for how early it was, and politely asked if I had a key to the laundry room. Somehow, he got locked out. I apologized, but suggested he contact the manager a few doors down. He thanked me again and walked off through the rain to talk to management.

About four hours later, a guy I didn’t recognize came wandering down to the front door, which I already had open to get some of fresh-rain scent wafting through the house. He was rather irritated, asked if I had a key (I didn’t), and then started muttering, “Who’s locking doors?!” Because this is a college town between-semesters, I can’t assume that he’s a stranger just because I haven’t seen him before – but I was tempted to ask if he had been free-loading, and that’s why he didn’t have a key.

When I was little, we lived in a neighborhood where you locked your doors, or your stuff was free game. (If we wanted to get rid of stuff, we’d just put it on the lawn with a “for sale” sign on it. It vanished in 20 minutes.) So when I moved to Provo, I was confused when people started getting mad at me for locking doors when I left. Or when I went to bed. I occasionally got a phone call at 2 or 3 in the morning from a roommate who was locked out. I just kept thinking, “If you’re going to be out until tomorrow, why would you not bring your keys?” Eventually, I stopped bothering – but I still tucked my laptop away somewhere hidden before I left the apartment. If we were going to get robbed, I didn’t want to be an obvious culprit.

I guess I’m grateful to live somewhere this safe. But I still don’t understand how you can be mad at someone for locking their own apartment door. You have a key, man. This isn’t a crime. ♦

Water Wars

This morning’s melodrama brought to you from the shower:

Hot water. Ahh.

Warm water. Well… good enough.

Hot water again. Ahh. Shampoo… try to wake up. Eyes still closed.

ICE! We’re heading for frigid waters, Captain!

Quickly! We’ve got to turn this thing around!

I can’t do it! We’ll never get to warmer waters as long as the upstairs neighbors are stealing all the water!

Man the cannons! Fire back! Turn off all the cold water! We’ll steal all the hot water and freeze them out!

It’s working, Captain! The water’s getting warmer!

Ahh, good…

And now I’m scalding.

Upstairs neighbors! ♦


The Opera Upstairs

So, one of the students who lives above us is apparently taking music lessons. Or so it would seem, at any rate. Every now and then, we hear a loud, rich baritone voice come singing clearly out of nowhere… for about one or two notes. For reasons known only to him (or possibly his voice teacher), we never actually hear him finish a phrase.

The other day, I was having a really rough, emotional day. Ethan holds the Priesthood, so I asked him to give me a blessing. He put his hands on my head and began a blessing. About a minute in, he paused to consider his words. “Truth is eternal,” he started again, when he paused – and was interrupted by an angelic voice from above, holding one clear, high note.


And then the voice was gone.

A priesthood blessing is a very spiritual experience. That being said, it took us about five minutes to stop laughing and finish the blessing.

Clearly, God has a sense of humor. ♦