Monday, November 24, 2014

Turning Point?

After two solid weeks of croup-induced sleepless nights, Andrew and I were ready for a change. He'd spent most of those two weeks sleeping on the couch while I'd been sharing the bed with Benjamin, waking up every hour or so to help him through a coughing fit or to find his sippy cup or to go to the bathroom. When I wasn't waking up with him I was being kicked at because he's a fitful sleeper like his sister Rachel.

Co-sleeping with those two was never easy.

Co-sleeping with Miriam was a dream. She doesn't climb in bed with us very often anymore but when she does she lays perfectly still and we hardly even notice she's there.

I'm hoping baby #4 will sleep like Miriam.

I could use another infant who sleeps all day and all night, a toddler who takes at least one nap a day until they turn three, and a preschooler who insists on getting at least twelve hours of sleep per night (and will put themselves to bed and/or sleep in, if necessary, to get those twelve hours). It's bliss compared to how the other two were/are. I mean, I love all my children dearly but when I look back on Miriam's babyhood I can actually remember and smile about it. Most of what I remember from Rachel and Benjamin's babyhoods is being desperately exhausted. And a lot of screaming. Oh, the screaming.

Yeah, let's model baby #4 off Miriam.

In Benjamin and Rachel's defense they both had terrible, terrible reflux (which, frankly, I'd be happy to do without this time around) and Miriam didn't. So perhaps those two were justified to be up and screaming all the time.

Anyway, Rachel's fine now but Benjamin's still not a great sleeper. I told Andrew last night that we shouldn't even bother trying to get him back on a schedule until we get back from Utah because our trip is only going to throw him off again. But then he wandered into our bedroom at around midnight last night and I just couldn't even imagine trying to sleep one more night with him in my bed (I'm pretty sure I have bruises from sleeping with that child—and I'm not kidding).

"Oh, Benjamin," I sighed.

"Me seep Mommy bed," he asked, reaching up for me.

"No, Benjamin," Andrew said. "You need to go get into your own bed."

Surprisingly, Benjamin obeyed.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mt. Occoneechee

Benjamin's had a hankering to get into the wild lately. Possibly due to the fact that I've taken him outside like three times since my pregnancy symptoms really kicked into gear, but also because he found a boogie board at Trading Tables last week and it's been kicking around the living room until...yesterday, I think, when...I finally put it in the shed with the rest of the boogie boards.

Every day—every meal, every snack—he mentioned that his favourite "part-a-day" was "Go beach—mine boogie board! Swim beach! Boogie board! Beach!" Or some variation of that.

He's dying to go to the beach. But it's a little cold for boogie boarding, in my opinion. So today we took the kids on a hike instead. Andrew had one of those weeks where he'd be gone from the house before anyone woke up (except for Rachel—who he'd put on the bus (so obviously we're not getting up very early)), then he'd come home, go directly to his office, and work until midnight or so. It was an exhausting week and I think the children had almost forgotten what he looks like. But it was also the last week of the semester—hallelujah!

So, today we took the kids on a hike. And it really couldn't have happened any other way because I probably would have collapsed somewhere along the way. I fell asleep on the way home as it was, so...

Anyway, we headed out to explore the highest mountain in Orange County—Mt. Occoneechee. With a staggering 350 ft. prominence (and overall elevation of 867 feet) you really can't miss it tell that it's a mountain, but the sign says it is, so I guess it is.

Andrew and I grew up in the shadow of Mt. Timpanogos. To give you an idea of why Mt. Occoneechee seems like a hill to us you should know that Mt. Timpanogos has an overall elevation of 11,752 feet and a prominence of 5, 270 feet.

The kids wanted their picnic lunch right when we got there, so that's what we did. All the picnic tables were in the shade and it was "so cold" (50°F (we're really going to freeze to death when we go to Utah)) that the kids were quite fussy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Busy or not busy, that is the question

A few days ago I started a post like this: "Phew! Trading Tables is over! I seem to only be able to manage one..."

But I never finished it because then I got "busy" again.

So today I think I will start my post like this:

Phew! I finally finished my brother's wedding invitation and then it was decided that they'd hold a second reception in Utah County so I had to fiddle around with it again. I seem to only be able to manage one project at a time these days.

It's not even that I'm incredibly busy because I don't think I am. But if you went through every blog post from the past couple of months that uses the word "busy" and replaced it with "exhausted and pregnant" I think that would come pretty close to the actual truth.

I'm pregnant. And anemic. And that is a fabulous combination (just kidding).

So, as you recall, I wrote a post lamenting not being pregnant again in September. The truth was that I had every reason to believe I was not pregnant. And by "every reason" I mean "a whole lot of blood," which is usually a pretty good sign of not being pregnant. So I legitimately thought that I wasn't pregnant; it was a pleasant surprise to find out that I, in fact, was pregnant. It was even more happy when we saw the heartbeat on the ultrasound because bleeding in early pregnancy raises risk of miscarriage up to about 50% but if you see a heartbeat via ultrasound early on your pregnancy is considered "viable" and your risk of miscarriage drops to about 5%. I like those odds a lot better.

I'm a heavy bleeder when I'm not pregnant and I've been anemic through two pregnancies so far so it was no shock to have my doctor tell me that I was already anemic with this pregnancy (I was not anemic with Benjamin and when I got the results I was shocked; "Are you sure?" I asked the doctor incredulously).

I've been trying to plan our meals around iron-rich foods and I'm actually starting to feel a bit better now that I'm nearing the second trimester.

Anyway, Trading Tables was a nice thing to check off my list. My kids are always very excited about going "shopping." The night before Trading Tables we were having dinner and Miriam said, "So, have we decided if I'm going to attend Trading Tables?" When I told her that we didn't exactly have any other option she squealed with excitement.

She found a mermaid Barbie doll, which she was thrilled about, and a pair of boots that she loves.

Benjamin was in heaven. I think he found every car in the place. He kept bringing me things and saying, "Me 'ike 'is car. Me 'ike 'is."

"Do you like that?" I'd ask.

"Es. Me 'ike 'is."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fun times with potty time

Benjamin earned his train set today!

Not only did he fill up his sticker chart, he also finally told someone that he needed to go potty and then managed to hold it until we made it to the bathroom. I was practically bursting with pride...or relief. One or the other.

Andrew and I were in choir practice in the chapel and Benjamin was playing with his sisters in the cultural hall. The curtain was open a crack so that totally counts as supervising them. We were in the middle of rehearsing a song when Miriam rushed through the chapel doors and onto the choir stand.

"Mom!" she whispered. "Benjamin says he needs to go potty!"

I jumped up, ran for the diaper bag (because if he says he has to go that usually means he's already gone), and then rushed out to find him. He wasn't in the cultural hall anymore so I embarrassingly ran around the church calling, "Ben! Benji! Benjamin!" until I ran into my friend's husband, whose name, of course, is Ben.

"Oh, hey, Ben," I said awkwardly. "Have you seen my Ben?"

Friday, November 14, 2014

Telling Siblings

Do you want to know what my idea of torture is?

Calling every single family member to inform them of my pregnancy. Or anything.

I'm simply not a phone talker.

My cousin Elizabeth called me to announce her pregnancy for Bridget. She said she was calling everyone. Everyone?! Do you know how huge our family is?

I don't have that kind of stamina, so we've never announced that way.

For Rachel we made a video of a Santa turning into a pregnant lady. But the video link is broken, so...we'll have to find it. I'm sure it's somewhere? We also wrapped up bibs for our parents as a Christmas gift. We were 10 weeks along.

For Miriam we made a crossword puzzle and posted it on April Fool's day because there's really no better way to announce. I think we emailed it to our families the day before we posted it to the blog. We were 10 weeks along.

For Benjamin we wrote a little riddle. We were 9 weeks along.

For this baby we posted a series of YouTube videos for the public, along with a note saying "3.275 kids and counting" on Facebook. We're 11 weeks along (so it looks like we're getting better at keeping secrets).

We also did up a little something extra for our families since we accidentally offended a few members by not telling them before we told the world at large (we'd already told our parents so we figured our bases were covered). So, this is what we made up and sent out to our families (divided up into Heiss side and Layton side—this is them all jumbled together):

Telling Rachel

It was the night of November 2nd and all through the house
Only two creatures were stirring—me and my spouse.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
Trying to sleep, counting sheep in their heads...

But not all of the children were asleep yet, of course, because my children are notoriously bad at sleeping. I had been working on our Christmas newsletter for this year, which is in poem format, as usual, when I felt the need for a potty break (something I feel the need for quite frequently nowadays). I had been working on a couplet announcing this coming babe and just left my draft sitting on my screen when I went to the bathroom—because the kids were in bed, so...

When I came out of the bathroom, Rachel was staring at the computer with her mouth hanging open.

"Is it true?" she asked.

"Is what true?" I asked.

She pointed at my screen.

"What?" I asked again.

"Are you really having a baby next year?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

And her mouth fell open again. She looked really excited.

Telling Miriam

If there's one thing I will regret in my life it's not having the camera ready to record Miriam's reaction when we told her we were having another baby.

We went public yesterday and so we decided it was probably time to tell the rest of the children. Rachel, sneaky girl that she is, had already found out (read about that in the next post). We were casually, secretively, talking about this at the dinner table when Andrew said, "Huh. I guess we can tell the other kids now since we've told everybody else."

"Rachel," I offered. "Why don't you tell them?"

"Are you...are you sure?" Rachel stammered.

The poor girl has been bursting at the seams with this news and has been dropping hints left and right (read about that in the next post) but has somehow managed to hold it in.

"Sure," Andrew said. "It's public knowledge now so you can tell people. Go ahead and tell your sister, tell your friends, tell whoever."

"Oh, I've already told some friends," Rachel said.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Shoot for the stars

Miriam's bridge (in gymnastics) or wheel (in yoga) is coming right along. Her form isn't quite right but she's only recently figured out how to lift her head off the ground, so I'm sure her form will improve. But look at how flexible she is! I don't think I've ever been that flexible (even when I was five).

Tonight at the dinner table Miriam asked if she could be a pop star when she grew up. I told her that she might if she practiced singing and ukulele and piano a lot. A pop star needs to know how to read music and how to play chords and how to dance and how to write nice poems for song lyrics. It's a lot of work.

"And can I have a microphone?" she asked.

"We'll see," I said.

I don't know that she'll ever become a pop star (or a world-famous gymnast) but if these dreams can get her to practice music now and if it can get her to work on her flexibility now then perhaps she'll grow up to not be an untalented adult.

That's basically my goal as a parent.

Becoming world famous? Not so much. Not being talentless? Definitely.

Oh, and pictures

Before we left the park (after lunch and playing) I made the kids sit still for a picture.

They smiled beautifully.

Especially that one kid in the middle...