Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Snow Business

Before Andrew left for work this morning he shovelled the driveway, but it kept on snowing so by the time I was sending the kids to school we had to wade through a couple more inches (Grandpa ended up shovelling again later in the morning). I sent Benjamin waddling along with his sisters, dressed in his entire snowsuit. 

I'm pretty sure I was the only mom in the whole school that made her kids walk to school today (in the snow, both ways). 

When we were walking home from school, Benjamin asked me if I'd help him build a snowman, so I said that I would...after lunch, if I could get Alexander to go down for a nap and squeeze in a nap myself then, yes, we could build a snowman.

Unfortunately, although we had both lunchtime and nap time, by the time we got outside the conditions just weren't right for a snowman. While I could pack a good initial ball of snow, rolling it around did nothing to increase the size of the ball. It just wouldn't pack. So a snowman was out. 

Instead we started building a snow fort. Benjamin, Zoë and I worked together until Miriam came home from school (and then Miriam joined us). It was tough work!

Monday, February 19, 2018


We finally got a decent amount of snow—somewhere between eight and ten inches overnight (depends on where you step)! And, as luck would have it, it's President's Day (or, if you're me, Family Day) so there was no school today, which meant we got to enjoy the day playing in the snow together.

As much as I complained about missing school every stinking time it snowed when we lived in North Carolina, I do think that having a day (a day, mind you, one solitary day; not wait-until-there-is-no-snow-anywhere-before-going-back-to-school number of days (I swear this particular snowfall would have been a good two weeks' worth of snow days in North Carolina)) to frolic in freshly fallen snow is a wonderful thing. It would have been a real shame if the kids had been in school all day, pining to get out into the snow!

So one day off was nice, but I'm super glad they'll be going to school tomorrow.

 Here are the kids playing out on the swing set together:

Sunday, that one day

Emily and Morgan's original plan was to stay overnight on Saturday and Sunday, but then a big winter storm was due to roll in (the most significant storm of the season) so they decided to head home on Sunday afternoon instead, which was a little bit sad for everyone. We had a fun time playing together on Sunday after church, though!

We played Pie Face and had tickle wars and held lots and lots of babies.

Here are some pictures of us together:

Zoë and Grandma got in a bit of a tug-o-war over Logan

Four-month pic

I neglected to take a picture of Alexander on his four-month birthday (is anyone really surprised?) so Zoë and I spent Friday morning trying to get him to smile for a picture. He wasn't really into it, which is weird because he's a pretty smiley guy. This was our best shot:

I have a feeling that Zoë was being a little too enthusiastic about trying to get him to smile and was making him feel nervous...

Grandma's Party

We had a birthday party for Grandma on Saturday. Auntie Emily drove down from Idaho with her family and Auntie Katharine and Uncle Jacob came with their families as well. Grandpa Frank and Grandma Pat, Aunt Nicki and Aunt Becky represented the Heiss clan. Aunt Linda and Uncle Trevor represented the Andersons. Reid also invited a few friends—the Zanders, Roberts, and James & April Gillespie. Oh, and my mom came, too!

It ended up being about 35 people (though we maybe set up enough seats for 54). We made tamales and enchiladas for dinner and had Texas sheet cake and flan for dessert. It was a little chaotic trying to plan and prepare dinner for that many people, especially because we did our best not to involve Karen in the planning and preparation—and she's always the hostess with the mostest. We're just amateurs. 

Here's a little picture of Zoë helping Maren get ready for the party (while watching Olympic figure skating). Zoë loves brushing hair. She always enjoys brushing other people's hair (often that's how we keep her entertained during family scripture study—she'll happily (and quietly) sit while brushing someone's hair) and sometimes even enjoys having her own hair done (though not as much as when she's the hairdresser). Anyway, here she is brushing Maren's hair:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine ground rules

Dear other parents,

Although I still think it slightly cruel, I can tolerate your sending home Fun Dip packs with my eight- and ten-year-olds. I used to enjoy an occasional Fun Dip pack back in the day myself. But can we agree that sending Fun Dip packs home with my kindergartener is just wrong, wrong, wrong?

Fun Dip packs are the kind of candy that you sneak off to the store to buy without your parents' knowledge. They are not the kind of candy that parents purposely give to their children, especially to their five-year-olds.

While we're on the subject—slime. Let's not send my five-year-old home with slime either, okay?

I mean, on the one hand he loved it. It was pink and sparkly and gooey (three of his favourite things).

But on the other hand, he's five years old and his mind is on fire. I haven't met anyone with so many bad ideas in a long time. He has his share of good ideas, it's true, but so many of his ideas leave me wondering, "Whhhhhhaaaaaaat?!"

Alexander at four months

Alexander had his four-month well baby check today, so I know exactly how big he is: 25 inches tall and is 13 lbs. 11 ounces. That's double his birth weight! No wonder he seems huge.

At four months, Alexander is getting to be rather social. He smiles and giggles and coos both when he's given attention and when he wants attention. He initiates play by making eye contact with someone and then cocking his head to one side (repeatedly until they copy him) and grinning. It's super adorable.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A post about depression (don't freak out)

Yesterday wasn't a fabulous momming day for me, or life-ing day, for that matter. Lately I've been feeling like I'm stuck in a hydraulic press or something, like my whole self is being squeezed. I'm positive I'm suffering from a little PPD or PPA, because I've been there before so why not go there again? Depression and anxiety aren't exactly strangers in my life. 

After a week of Zoë being sick, I am ridiculously behind in laundry because I spent the whole week washing sheets and blankets and towels and pyjamas that she threw up on (technically she was only throwing up for three days, but it felt like longer). Andrew was sick over the weekend, which I can't really blame him for but it meant that he wasn't present to co-parent, which felt overwhelming even if it shouldn't have been. Andrew's current contract will be over at the end of the semester and then...who even knows? It feels just a little bit like we're heading full-steam ahead to the edge of a cliff. 

Alexander hasn't been sleeping well lately. He sleeps until I go to bed and then—I don't know if it's because he can smell me or what, but—he wants to smorgasbord all night long, which is fine except, like, I'm the smorgasbord. It's been exhausting. But  then when I can sleep, all I have are nightmares of my children dying. Often it's due to a car accident (which has done wonders for my driving anxiety—ha!) but there are other ways, too. I heard Rachel's bed creaking in the middle of the night; she was probably just switching positions, but I dreamt she had hanged herself from her bed frame (she has a loft bed) and I found her in the morning when she didn't get up for school (she's usually the first one up). Just a reminder that that was a dream. It didn't actually happen. 

Benjamin, though, actual-factually started choking on a piece of meat at dinner the other night, so I went ahead and dreamed that instead of coughing it back up (as he did in real life), he died. And I kept dreaming it over and over again and every time I would try something different to save his life but every time I would end up hovering over his limp, lifeless body on the kitchen floor. 

I can usually chase that kind of thought away during the day (thoughts which I realize aren't entirely normal to be bombarded with), but I can't quite control them in my dreams. 

So sleeping is pretty much...fabulous...right now.

Anyway, yesterday I just felt like far too much was piled on anyway and then...I went to fill out this survey for Alexander's well-child check tomorrow. It's a pretty easy survey and I was flying through it.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

On Campus

On Saturday I took the kids to BYU to meet up with my mom and sister for the Family Concert Series, which how did I not know about until now?!? I think it's such a great idea—a matinee musical performance geared toward children. 

This month's theme was "Pictures in Sound" and we learned about how composers paint a picture with sounds rather than paint. The first song the orchestra played was the Star Wars theme song and the minute they started playing Benjamin went all slack-jawed (and didn't manage to close his mouth until they had finished playing). The first question of the lecture was something about what the music made us see/imagine/think about. The answer, for most (including Benjamin), was Star Wars.

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Benjamin bit into his dinner tonight and his tooth popped out of his mouth. 

"Wow!" he said, and then put his hand up to feel his freshly barren gum. He was quite shocked to see his fingers come away bloody and cried, "Whoa! Blood. Blood. Did not expect blood!"

Soon, though, the bleeding stopped and he was left to revel in the joy of having lost his very first tooth. 

I wanted to take a picture of him with Rachel, who lost a tooth yesterday. They insisted that Alexander be in the picture with them because he is also quite toothless.