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We moved back in to Alexandria yesterday; my mother-in-law is moving in with us, and we needed a house without stairs. This place is also quite close to the metro, and equal or better in location for almost everything we go to.

The kitchen is gas, which makes Alice very happy. She named the stove "Stove-o-kor", and wants to cook the honored dead on it. Probably mostly honored dead fish and chickens, but we'll see.


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I'm technically furloughed now, but I'm considered mission-essential for the rest of the week. So until next weekend, I still have to come to work, but I won't get paid for that time until the government starts up again.

Sunday morning, my long-awaited transfer to a different (and preferable) office takes effect, but that will render me not mission-essential, so if we're still not governed next week, I won't go to work, and probably won't get paid.


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Birth Clergy

It all started with me understanding birth professionals by analogy with clergy, because I'm that kind of church nerd. A doula is like a deacon, a midwife is like a priest, an OB is like a bishop. For most births, like most services, a midwife/priest is about what you need, but if things get complicated, you might need to call in an OB/bishop.

Then Anna's birth got a little more complicated than expected (not an emergency, just stalled), and we had to have a hierarchical service. Just before she was born, the two subdeacons L&D nurses vested the bishop OB (the hand positions were even similar; Alice was entertained, which did help with the pushing).

Meanwhile, I felt about as useful as a nun in the altar.

We were discussing this later, and came to the conclusion that women have access to a deeper understanding of the Incarnation than men do, just from being at a birth, while the closest men can come to this understanding is the consecration of the Eucharist. In this parallel, the mother and the chalice play the same role.
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Movement

I now live in a townhouse in Woodbridge, Virginia. We moved in this weekend; nearly half of the people moving us, including Alice, are pregnant; for future reference, this is not an optimal demographic for moving assistance.

But the townhouse is big enough for children and us and our literal thousands of books, and outside of rush hour, only adds about ten minutes to our trip to church. It's a little closer to my job, but we have yet to see how that commute goes; I took sore leave today.