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Duty and Honor: Me: Want to go put these clothes in the laundry basket for me?

Sienna: That would be an honor!

101 Picnics: Sienna's favorite thing to do when she gets home from school is have a picnic lunch in the living room while watching a movie. Picnic just means she has to eat on a blanket so she doesn't make a mess. Today she brought home a 101 Dalmatian book from the school library, so we read that, then watched the movie while she had her picnic lunch. She had two bowls of pasta with red sauce and Parmesan, almost an entire package of blueberries, a string cheese, and a package of fruit snacks.

Little Gymnast: Today I took Arthur to open baby gym at the place Sienna and Maggie have gymnastics. I don't think it ever occurred to him that he could have fun there; he's usually stuck in a chair being bored. It took him a while to warm up, but he had fun throwing blocks into the pit, playing with the giant exercise balls, and going down the slide. We had some friends there too, so I had fun too.

Household List: My cousin Alyson came to help me when Maggie was a couple weeks old. She got up in the night with the baby, cooked amazing food from scratch, did laundry, gave me breastfeeding help. When I commented she wasn't getting much of a vacation, she laughed and said something implying it was a whole different kind of break. Her boys were maybe 5 and 7 at the time.

I am fascinated by the invisible mental burden of moms (as homemakers). I've spent hours over the past few weeks coordinating, organizing, cooking, planning, shopping, and preparing to leave my kids. John is more than capable, and they'll be watched by my neighbor, with whom they're probably overly familiar. But I still had to pass on the details of our life, and John still has his day job.

I made a list for my neighbor of when she'll have the kids and a few little things she'll be helping with. Then I made John a detailed schedule of the week, and an even more detailed schedule of things that needed to happen every day.

John: "Drive to gym?" Am I just supposed to know what time?
Me: That's Tressa's. If it was on your list, I would have put the exact time you need to leave and what car seats to take and address and phone number and coaches names...
John: And emergency contacts!

Tressa and I have a bit of a shared mental burden... which makes it easier on both of us!

Play Time: Today for her sharing day, Sienna was supposed to bring something she found on a nature walk. She shared some fluffy grass stuff she and John found at the park. She was very proud of it.

After school she was throwing around words like "pollination" and "harvest" and telling me how the white part of the apple she was eating is called the flesh.

I am loving her TK class and the emphases on playing and learning through play and real life, rather than worksheets.

We've been playing lots of games together. My Little Pony memory and Sophia the First Spot It, etc. I get to witness her learning through play first hand, and it's marvelous.

Seasons of Love: Last night I dreamt I was in a bedroom with five of my cousins, and our relief society president was reading a church announcement from her computer at a desk in the corner. Something we disagreed with. When I turned around, all of my cousins had changed into fandom shirts saying various things of underlying dissent. Jill was wearing a shirt that said "five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes to love."

I See London: For my birthday/kindness points/new auntiness, I got to go to London for 8 days to visit Rachel, Brett and their new baby Theo. It was a very fun and relaxing trip. I pretty much snuggled Theo, did stuff around the flat, and went for long walks with my sister.

We did some organizing and decluttering. I hemmed some curtains. We returned baby gifts and walked back from the mall via the Olympic Park. We wandered in the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park near the flat. We went for a touristy walk up the Victoria Embankment, across Westminster Bridge, back down the south bank, stopping for Greek street food and the view from Tate Modern, and walking back across to St. Paul's. And we walked down the canal to the river and back in the rain. Theo slept a lot while we walked, so we walked a lot.

Rachel and Brett are good parents, and Theo is a good baby. It was a pleasure to hang out on their home, cooking, playing games, and lots of laughing.

I was pretty glad to get back to my own babies, even though they're much more difficult. I'm sure John was glad to have me back, too. It was an exhausting week for him.


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