Sunday, October 22, 2017

The fun continues...into the sky

Last week (while we were in the hospital), Grandma saw this thing pop up in her Facebook feed about a little lottery for a seat on a small plane at the Spanish Fork airport, hosted by the Springville Flying Club. It was for kids 10–17 and there were only 100 spots available, so she figured she'd go ahead and submit Rachel's name, thinking that she probably wouldn't get chosen, but, as you probably already guessed, she was.

Karen got an email on Friday informing her that Rachel was slated to fly Saturday morning at 9:50 am. They certainly didn't give a lot of advance notice!

My initial reaction was one of trepidation because airplanes—and small planes in particular—make me nervous, but I knew Andrew would be all for it* so I took a deep breath and calmly (I hope; that's what I was going for) told Karen she could accept Rachel's spot on the plane. 

The next morning Andrew took Rachel down to the airport and sent her up in a 1968 Beech, a little six-seater plane. And she had fun. And she didn't die. All good things, all good things...

Look at my wonderful village!

Not that we had any sort of spectacular plans for fall break anyway, but Alexander's arrival meant that I, for one, was completely out of commission—hunkered down, in bed, with a newborn. I admit that I was a little worried that the kids would be bored out of their minds their whole vacation and would go to school with no news other than "newborns are actually quite boring" while their friends were telling tales of camping and road trips and Disneyland and so forth. 

Fortunately, our wonderful village didn't let our children idle away their time. 

On Thursday morning, Grandma bravely took all four kids to a pumpkin patch. It cost $3 to "get in" but then all the "attractions" (except horseback rides) were free, so it ended up being a good deal. My mom was impressed with the idea because all the rides used farm equipment, which, in her opinion, makes the best sort of playground (it's the sort of playground she grew up on). I'll admit that climbing around farm equipment is rather fun (I've done a bit of it myself, though not nearly as much as my mother).

Here they are on the horse-walker-turned-swing-set:


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pumpkin carving

Andrew accompanied the girls to a pumpkin carving activity at the church this evening. Technically Miriam isn't quite old enough for Activity Days but he took her along anyway because it was a Daddy/Daughter date night so he figured he could choose whichever daughters he wanted to take (and her birthday is in, like, one week and then she will be old enough). He probably would have taken Zoë, too, except he knew he'd be walking into a room full of carving tools (which is really no place for a toddler). 

Here they are with their pumpkins that they carved (mostly) all by themselves:


They seemed to have a good time together and I'm glad the girls could get some one-on-one time (two-on-one time...at least some older-kid-on-dad time) with their dad. Having a new baby join the family is difficult for everyone and I think they both needed a night out!

I's more tired than I think I am

Benjamin finished his reading lessons today! His prize of choice was "a boat that doesn't go in the bathtub." We found a little LEGO set of a boat and decided that qualified as not bathtub worthy so we ordered it for him. It's been sitting patiently on Andrew's desk, waiting for Benjamin to finish, which—did I mention—he managed to do today.

Way to go, Benjamin!

Pumping

My milk has come in—with a vengeance (which I should be used to by now)—so I'm rekindling a relationship very best friend, The Breast Pump. Technically speaking, I know that pumping increases my milk supply. Unfortunately, not pumping isn't an option when a raging case of mastitis is on the line (which, for me, seems to always be the case). So I'll be pumping morning and night for the next several months, which can be a pain, but it's so much better (for me) than not pumping.

When I pump I know I am clearing out enough milk that I won't get a plugged duct. I know this because I pumped with Benjamin and Zoë and got mastitis a grand total of zero times. I did not pump with Rachel or Miriam and was constantly warding off mastitis. I was not always successful. Mastitis is miserable.

When I pump my babies get a good, healthy mix of hindmilk and foremilk. I know this because Benjamin and Zoë always had lovely golden-yellow poops. Rachel and Miriam both went through terrible stages of bright green sad poop because they were mostly getting thin, watery, sugary foremilk and not much rich, creamy, thick hindmilk. It made them gassy and miserable and it took me months upon months to cut my supply down enough to satisfy a single baby. We're talking, like, twelve months here...so a long time.

Furthermore, when I pump, I'm able to share my excess (of which there is plenty).

Aside from the time commitment of pumping, it's a win-win-win situation.

Yesterday morning I was dying and decided it was time to pump to comfort because...it was time. I pumped off twenty ounces before I decided to call it quits (though in all honesty I probably could have kept going).


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Alexander's birth story

I had my last prenatal appointment yesterday afternoon (and by yesterday I mean Friday, October 13, because I started writing this on Saturday). Of course, I didn't realize at the time that it was going to be my last prenatal appointment so when I was told to strip everything waist down so my doctor could see how far along I was I asked if we could skip that part. I might be at risk for preterm labour but my cervix is super competent, like A++. I'm locked down at a big, fat zero until labour starts and then I'm a zero-to-sixty (or zero-to-ten, if you will) in no time flat kind of girl.

Later in the afternoon I began to feel...icky. Not terrible, just...irritable...

Andrew texted me that he was leaving his office to go pick up my race packet—because I may or may not have signed up for a 5K at BYU (The Sugar Rush, for diabetes research, and, yes, I was planning on walking it)—and then would be on his way home. I was like, "Perfect. Thanks for doing that for me," but by the time he finally made it home I was like, "Yeah, I dunno if I'm even going to need that anymore," because I'd begun having rhythmic-ish contractions.

Still, rhythic-ish contractions is nothing to get one's hopes up about. So I didn't, though I did admit to Andrew that they were "different" from my other contractions because I could feel them coming in waves, wrapping around my body from the back to the front...which should have been a clue. Honestly though, I always have a lot of contractions and these weren't that painful. The weird thing was that nothing would stop them (sitting, eating, walking, "napping"). They were relentless...but a little tricky to decode.

6:07
6:15 (8 minutes)
6:27 (11 minutes)
6:34 (7 minutes)
6:50 (15 minutes)
6:58 (7 minutes)
7:12 (13 minutes)
7:37 (23 minutes!)
7:51 (13 minutes)

I had been having contractions for two hours, but was still wondering if I was truly in labour at all. Because 15, 7, 13, and 23 minutes apart certainly doesn't scream "longer, stronger, closer together," does it?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

In which Zoë is spooked

The kids love sneaking into Grandpa's office to watch YouTube videos. He's gracious about it and unless he's really tied up will let them hang out for a video or two before kicking them out (he works from home). No matter what I try to convince them not to bug Grandpa, I usually end up dragging them out (sometimes kicking and screaming) at least once a day.

This little tradition really started back when we lived with Reid and Karen before—when there was only Rachel and Miriam. Grandpa had a few videos he liked to show them and, well, those are the same videos he shows to Benjamin and Zoë: The Duck Song (which the kids like to sing behind my back right now, as I tend to "waddle away") and some Sesame Street videos.

When he introduced Feist's Sesame Street appearance to Zoë he told her that it was Mommy singing and she 100% believed him.



So now she calls it the "Mommy Song" and she loves it. She wants to watch it all the time. She wants everyone to sing it to her. And she often can be found singing it to herself.

"2, 3, 4, 4! Mommy 'ong! Whoa-oh-oh! Mommy 'ong! Mommy 'ong! Duh, duh-duh-duh. Duh, duh-duh-duh-duh. Mommy 'ong! 3! 4!"

Monday, October 09, 2017

A couple of random stories

The girls and I are participating in a mother/child book club of sorts. A woman in our ward is on the Beehive Book Award committee and needs to get reviews of books on the long-list so every year she enlists the help of ward members to read and review a bunch of books. It's a little unconventional as far as book clubs go since we're all reading different books, but it's been fun so far—and it's great incentive to read through a book quickly since we meet every week!

Last week while we were walking over, Rachel started telling us a story about how her friend Kenzie had gotten into a kicking war with a boy during recess. She clarified that they were competing to see who could kick a football the furthest (not that they were kicking each other) and said something about how Kenzie was only "a foot away" from the goal.

"What kind of a foot?" Miriam wanted to know. "Like, my foot size away or..."

"Like a foot-foot," Rachel explained, slightly exasperated. "A metric foot."

"Yeah," I chuckled. "There's no such thing as a metric foot."*

"There's not!?" Rachel gasped.

"No. The metric system is like, millimeter, centimeter, decimeter, meter...ya know?"

"So what system is a foot in?"

"The imperial system."

"And that's different from the metric system?"

"Quite a bit, yeah."

It makes no sense, so yeah...it's quite a bit different from the metric system.

There is, apparently, so I stand corrected. But it's 4.8 millimeters shorter than an imperial foot. And it's only a nickname so technically there still isn't.

*****

We watched Indian Jones and the Last Crusade with the kids the other night and when they were talking about how the Holy Grail was used to collect Jesus' blood from the cross, Benjamin snorted and said to the television, "Jesus' blood is made of water, duh!"

It's like transubstantiation...only backwards.

Apparently we need to review both systems of measurement and the sacrament. 

The Thankful Tree goes up

Last week I said I was all out of ideas for FHE, but then I realized that this Monday—today—is Canadian Thanksgiving and we have built-in family night traditions surrounding that so...next week I'll be drawing a blank.

The kids were actually a little disappointed that we didn't have a full on Thanksgiving dinner (as we have in years past), or even an everything-from-a-box Thanksgiving dinner (as we have also done in years past). Instead I made pumpkin soup and no one complained (and Benjamin ate four bowlfuls) until I mentioned that it was Canadian Thanksgiving. Only then did they feel hard done by. 

Sometimes the soups my children like surprise me—like pumpkin and broccoli (soups I probably wouldn't have even considered at their age (soups that I don't think had ever been offered to me at that age)). But, I guess it's nothing to complain about as a parent.

Anyway, the soup was good. And family night was, too. 


Naanii's Race Track

Technically, I suppose it's David's race track and it dates back from the late 1980s to early 1990s. The last time Benjamin played with the race track at my parents' house was literally July 8, 2015—when he was just barely three years old. And he played with it once.

He has been bringing it up quite regularly ever since then, just reminiscing about how amazing it was to play with or asking Naanii why she didn't pack it in her suitcase when she came to visit us out in North Carolina or begging us to take him to Utah so he could play the racetrack again.

You can imagine how thrilled he was when he found out we'd be moving to Utah because living close to Naanii means living close to her racetrack!

He's been pestering Naanii about getting to use that racetrack for weeks now. Unfortunately, it took her some time to find it in the depths of her storage room since no one had used it since Benjamin had, back in 2015.

She pulled it out when we went over for FHE last week, though, and it totally made his evening.

I wish my pictures had turned out but apparently I didn't pay any attention to the settings on my camera and they were all wrong so...you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. The girls (and the grown ups) also got in on the fun, of course.