I just got off a video chat with my Irish cousin, Lucinda (she’s apparently one of the people who reads this site for some reason now and then, so everyone say hi to her!), which is about the most fitting thing I could have done on a St. Patrick’s Day, right? We’ve chatted Facebook Messenger before, but never actually spoke. One of the first things she commented on was how American I sounded. Later in the conversation she put me on the spot and had me do my Irish accent, which is not my strongest. She had me repeat a couple things after her, one meaning “My name is Zach” and the other meaning “Shut the door.” On the latter she said I sounded German. Either way, my Irish is apparently shite. I was told by a Scottish girl I knew back in college that my Scottish was pretty decent though. I learned that by watching Trainspotting. (Don’t put me on the spot for this one, cuz! I’m no good under pressure.)

Lu is thinking of taking a visit to the states to meet her extended family, which is exciting. It was really fun and easy talking to her.

Now that we’ve covered what just happened, let’s back up a little bit before the weekend.

The ACC tournament started this past week. Duke was ranked third behind Virginia and Carolina. They ended up winning the tournament last night, going through Syracuse, UNC (a thrilling one-point win and a bit of sweet revenge for getting swept without Zion Williamson playing more than 30-some seconds during the regular season games), and then Florida State in the championship.

Brackets for the NCAA tournament came out today and Duke earned the top overall one seed, which I think it right and proper. Of the five losses they suffered during the season, three of them were with Zion Williamson out, one was with Tre Jones injured shortly into the first half and Cam Reddish out sick, and the last was to Gonzaga, which was also a one-seed. Beating UNC and a good, ranked Florida State team (who had beat a Virginia team whose only two losses all season had been to Duke until then) along with their season resume earned it.

Virginia and UNC got two of the other one seeds. Pretty crazy that the ACC got three one seeds. Gonzaga got the other.

I feel like Duke’s got a pretty decent path to the Final Four. I have to admit that Carolina has a pretty tough bracket, potentially having to face Auburn and Kentucky or Kansas. The two of them could possibly meet up in a world-shattering all-time bragging rights NCAA championship game.

On Friday I dropped the boys off at Torrie’s and went to Milly’s school to for what they call a publishing party. The kids all worked on a non-fiction report and presented them in class that day. Milly’s topic was twins and her bibliography was me. I told her she should have had more sources, but it was a good report and when she gave it in front of the class (which was voluntary) she delivered it well. She was relaxed and well-spoken.

After that they had the Fun Run, which is a thing where the kids get donations based on how many laps they run around a field. It was actually pretty fun to watch and cheer them on. They had loud music and all. Sometimes Milly held hands with friends and jogged, sometimes she walks, sometimes she put those long, skinny legs to work and ran, and now and then she skipped. At the end of it they let kids stand in a crowd and get colored dust dumped all over them, if they wanted. Milly, of course, wanted to do that.

I checked her out of school after that, since the day was nearly done and her teacher said the kids often had a hard time focusing after the Fun Run and all she’d be missing out on was maybe some extra recess. I took Milly by her mom’s house to let her shower off real quick (I waited outside and, to her credit, she didn’t take long) then we went to see Captain Marvel. I enjoyed it. I didn’t think it was the absolute best Marvel movie, but it was very good and had a strong message for women, though I think it went over Milly’s head until I talked to her about some parts of it. She’s not really old enough to understand or really even have experienced some of the issues women and girls face. As such, my favorite parts of the movie were when Carol Danvers “got back up” and later when she told a guy who told her to prove herself to him that she didn’t have to prove anything to him.

Milly’s favorite character was the cat. Of course.

On Saturday we were going to go downtown to a St. Patrick’s Day street fair, but it was a little chillier than we expected it to be and, on top of that, Phoenix had a fever. He didn’t show any other signs of being sick other than being lethargic and cuddly all day. Fawkes was fine though. At one point Tristen took Fawkes out shopping with her while I stayed home and watched after Phoenix. We mostly watched Baby Einstein videos.

Milly, in that time, played with some of her gang of neighborhood friends who wandered by while she and I were out drawing Captain Marvel in chalk on the driveway, then her buddy Abigail stuck around for a bit.

I made pancakes for the family Sunday morning. We all went out to lunch at Atlanta Bread then went to the library near Mayfaire, as they were having a book sale. We were going to meet Milly’s friend Sophie out there, along with her dad, Byron. We got there just a few minutes after 1:00 and the parking lot was packed. Tristen said to Byron that she thought it opened at 1, but that we must have been mistaken. He said that it actually had opened at 1, but there had been a line at the door. People love some cheap books, I suppose. Milly and Sophie played here at the house for a few hours afterwards.

Tristen, Torrie, and Laura went to a Mumford and Sons concert in Raleigh tonight. I somehow managed to feed all the kids a decent dinner, give the boys a bath, and put them to bed without much incident. In fact, the only issue we had at all was that I had Milly prep the nighttime bottle for me and she missed putting the stem inserts in, which caused some leaking. The boys were, to say the least, a bit upset when I took the bottles away from them to have Milly rectify her oversight. Outside of that, it went pretty smoothly.

After the boys were in bed I decided to let Milly watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (you know, the Kevin Costner one) with me. I’ve thought about showing it to her for a while because, warts and all, I’ve always just loved that movie. When she saw the title she asked if I hadn’t already shown her this movie, but she was thinking of the 1938 Errol Flynn movie, The Adventures of Robin Hood. There were a few parts that were freaked her out a little, but she fell asleep right at her normal bedtime so I didn’t have to skip too many parts. I took her to bed pretty soon after she fell asleep. As I carried her, I wondered how many more times I’d get to carry her to bed like that.

On the Things Fawkes and Phoenix are Doing front, there’s not a ton new. Fawkes is starting to give high fives a little more, starting to catch up to Phoenix. I started working on fist bumps with them a little. They’re both jibber jabbing a bit, and Tristen wondered today if they’re making any sense to each other yet.

They’re starting to figure things out better, like opening things. A few days ago, Fawkes got into some butt cream. I was getting things ready for them to go to Torrie’s, and while I saw some white stuff on their mat, it was out of the corner of my eye and I figured it was powder. Nope. Fawkes got it all over his face, pajamas, the mat, toys… That was fun.