We went with the chocolate cream pie this year—as did most of the competition. I will say, however, that most of the competition got their pudding from a snack pack whereas ours was (of course) homemade with only the best ingredients. (Cocoa, heavy cream, half and half, milk, chopped chocolate, egg yolks . . . .) Ours had a crust, too, which many of our competitors lacked. (Can we really call it a pie eating contest if there is no crust?)
Elsa likes for me to sing to her when we are on the bike. She went through the “Let It Go” phase along with the rest of the world (and I still sing it to her every night), and she’s had me sing, “On My Own” a bit as well. There were a few days when the song was John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders.” But there were also many days when it was The States Song. That, along with our playing the license plate game (we’ve probably seen every cars from every state as we pedal around Brooklyn—including Hawaii and Alaska) led to this little gem:
Personally, I think she did a phenomenal job, even if in her rendition the states are no longer quite in alphabetical order and some of them disappeared entirely. Fifty states is too many anyway. Who needs Mississippi anyway? Or the Carolinas? Forget about them! 😉
On Wednesday, Simon had a fever of 103 when he got home from school. He seemed tired, but had no other symptoms.
On Thursday, he stayed home from school.
On Friday, he seemed better, so he went to school. A little before 1:00 I got a call from the nurse’s office saying he was there and his temp was 101.9. By the time I got there it was 104 and the nurse was surprised he was even able to stand up and walk down the hallway.
On Saturday he was still hot and tired. And then we noticed he was no longer moving his head. Stiff neck. And a temp of 104. Not good. Especially since today, Sunday, was his big day. He was getting baptized! We had family coming to town! Micah took him to the urgent care down the street and he was diagnosed with strep.
But, like I said, the show must go on. So he stayed home from church, but not from his baptism. The service was small and simple. I had expected someone (the bishop? the primary president?) to offer some help and guidance, but they didn’t so we came up with a program on our own. Micah conducted. Cousin Hilary gave a prayer. Micah spoke on baptism. Oliver did an impromptu solo of The Fourth Article of Faith. I spoke on the Holy Ghost. Simon and I played a duet of “When I am Baptized” (he did the right hand, I did the left) while Micah and Oliver and Elsa sang. Then Micah performed the baptism. The congregation wrote notes and drew pictures for Simon while he got changed. And then Micah and several other men (including my brothers Jon and Chris) performed the confirmation blessing. (During which Elsa needed to use the bathroom. I stalled her as long as I could so I could hear the blessing, and crises and puddles were averted.) And because the next ward needed the room we were in, remarks from the bishop and primary president were nixed. Instead, we went outside for fruit, cookies, and clover hunting.
Simon was in good spirits the entire time, though by the time all was said and done and we rode our bikes away from the church, he was tired. He had a hard time keeping his eyes open on the ride home. His rest was well-earned, I thought, for an excellent performance when it mattered most.
Late birthday presents are the best birthday presents, right? If so, Simon is getting hooked up. Mostly because we weren’t really on the ball enough to do everything all at once. So he got a new bike last weekend. And I took him and Oliver to see Matilda on Broadway last week.
Simon has read the book, of course. And Oliver has read some of it. Two of the four girls that play Matilda go to their school, so I thought it would be fun for them to see it while a school-mate was playing the part. The boys were really thrilled to be going on this special adventure, but when we got to the theatre, they were a little confused. They thought we were going to see a movie. Oops. They seemed slightly disappointed to realize that it was actually a play, but I assured them that this play would be BETTER THAN A MOVIE!
I was right, of course. Even though we were in the second to last row of the balcony and were essentially watching the play from overhead, they agreed that it was better than a movie. They’d been listening to the songs for a couple of months and knew most of the songs, and Simon was excited to see how they executed some of the tricky parts of the story—like the cup falling over and the chalkboard—and it all lived up to expectations. Oliver was entranced by the set changes, which seemed to happen magically half the time.
It seemed like a birthday present worth waiting for.