Sunday, February 14, 2016


On Wednesday night I was finalizing a limerick writing activity for Rachel's class Valentine celebration. I don't know that they ever got around to finishing their limericks because our party was cut short by the assembly and their morning was cut short by the fire "drill" excitement so they were having a crazy day. Whatever the case, getting ready for this activity sure got me in a limerick-y mood. I started composing limericks in my head throughout the day as I dealt with Benjamin and Zoë and when I had theirs mostly finished I figured I should write poems for everyone else, too. So I did. 

I made little bookmarks out of them and busted out a few books for them to enjoy tomorrow. 

Andrew doesn't get a book. He gets the little set of kitchen gadgets.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentine mail

Getting the mail has been rather exciting the last couple of days. Yesterday there was an envelope in the mail for Rachel and Miriam and today there was an envelope for Benjamin and Zoë, each containing valentine cards and a little bit of spending money. The kids were thrilled to get them and were very excited about the pictures Bumpa drew for them.

Valentine Miracles

On Tuesday Miriam said the dinner prayer.

"And please bless that Zoë will sleep through the night on Thursday," she said.

Andrew and I peeked at each other with one eye to silently communicate that we both thought this a strange—and oddly specific—request.

"...So that Mommy will feel up to coming to my class Valentine party on Friday," she finished.

I made it to her Valentine party today.

Zoë didn't sleep through the night because she certainly woke up every two hours to eat. However, she fell asleep before 10:00 and only woke up to eat, never to party hardy, which in our house is basically sleeping through the night.

Rachel had to be to school early for Science Olympiad, so Andrew drove her to that while I helped Miriam finish getting ready for school. She was beyond excited for Valentine's Day—she handmade cards for everyone in her class, she picked out a 95% pink outfit (her socks were brown with monkeys and hearts on them), and she was praying so hard that everything would run perfectly smoothly the whole day. So I put a little heart braid in her hair for good measure.

A burning in your bottom

There is a scripture in D&C 9:8 that reads, "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right."

This scripture has popularized the phrase "a burning in [one's] bosom" in church parlance, as being a mode of receiving inspiration from the spirit. I believe I have felt many such promptings in my life—akin to knowing "in your heart of hearts" that something is correct, but more like knowing that your very spirit is receiving affirmation that something is right—but several years ago I attended a youth conference where a friend confided in me that she'd never felt a burning in her bosom—not once!—and she was worried that, perhaps, something was wrong with her.

"You're sure you've never felt the spirit?" I asked her.

"Never!" she said. "Well, maybe. Truthfully, I don't really know what a bosom is!"

We were both sixteen at the time, so I was a little shocked that she didn't realize yet what a bosom was but I figured now was as good a time as any. I put my hand over my heart (and, by extension, my bosom). "Right here, Kristin,"* I said with utmost reverence.

Once again to my shock, Kristin burst out laughing.

"What?" I asked.

"I thought!" she gasped for air between fits of laughter. "I thought...! I thought...! I thought that maybe bosom was...was... was your..."

"What?" I asked, giving into laughter myself.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Around the house

Zoë doesn't particularly enjoy crawling on the hardwood floor so she's now doing the bear walk everywhere she goes. Here she is demonstrating her skill:

She recently stumbled upon an open dishwasher for the very first time and found it quite enjoyable. She's gotten to that age where it's easier for her to be getting into the tupperware while I'm cooking, rather than have her wandering around the house. She doesn't take kindly to being penned up so instead of listening to her scream from her high chair or exersaucer I will sometimes just open the cupboard and let her play. She hasn't figured out how to open cupboards on her own yet, though I'm sure that day is coming.

Speaking of not liking being penned up, I left Zoë crying in her exersaucer today while I was figuring out dinner and the kids were playing hide-and-seek. I knew they'd left marbles out and with their game going on I couldn't be sure which doors were staying open or closed so taking away Zoë's mobility seemed like the safest bet. But then she stopped crying so I peeked out of the kitchen to check on her and she was gone, which explains why she was happy. I went on a little hunt for her and found her exploring the bathroom.

Having older children is great when they're helping but not so great when they're not helping. I explained to Rachel that she was in the exersaucer specifically because I needed her to not be underfoot for a few minutes and to keep her safe while I wasn't supervising her. I told her that if she happened to take the baby from a safe-zone that I put her in—the high chair, the exersaucer, her crib, whatever—then she was accepting the responsibility to watch the baby until I came back for her.

"But she was crying!" Rachel said. "She wanted out!"

"But she can't just wander around the house unsupervised," I pointed out, rehashing the choking hazards and other dangers curious babies find.

"Good point," she conceded.

Rachel's always quick to acknowledge when I make a good point, which is just one of many things that I like about her.

Anyway, it annoys Benjamin to no end when Zoë mucks around with things. He's constantly taking things away from her (collecting choking hazards is his favourite past time) and shutting things (and on the flip side giving her things she shouldn't have and taking her places she shouldn't be).

Here's Zoë in the middle of doing a dishwasher happy dance:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Weekend blogger

I seem to have become a weekend blogger lately and I suppose that's because there's not much to tell. We've been passing around a sickness and have been stuck at home doing not much at all. I'm bored out of my mind but until we stop coughing I don't think we'll be going much of anywhere.

Benjamin and Zoë are keeping me plenty busy at home both day and night. It seems like I go to bed frazzled from the day and wake up in the morning frazzled from the night.

Benjamin's been enjoying Sunbeams. He had a timeout in his classroom during sacrament meeting on Sunday (he was misbehaving, apparently) and he wrote his name on the chalkboard in big letters (once he was out of timeout) for Andrew. BEW.

He's never quite sure when to stop writing up-and-down lines for the N. Sometimes his name turns out BEN. Sometimes BEW. And sometimes BEWWWWWWWW.

Sunday, February 07, 2016


Last night my friend Laura emailed to ask if Miriam would wear her dress that matches Carolina's. Carolina had been growing and her days of wearing that particular dress were numbered. I responded saying that I would suggest it to Miriam—and that she'd probably take me up on the suggestion since she's wanted to coordinate dress-wearing with Carolina since she first picked up the dress at Trading Tables (about two years ago) and then saw Carolina wear the same dress a few weeks later.

Every time Carolina wore her dress (and Miriam hadn't) Miriam would whisper to me about how cool it would be if she had worn her dress, too. Evidently the same whisperings were going on in Carolina's pew.

So this morning Miriam put on her dress and, lo! Her days of wearing this particular dress are also numbered. It's a good thing we got them coordinated today because I'm not sure either of them will be found in these dresses ever again!

Miriam (6) and Carolina (9)
Miriam's dress doesn't look too short here, but let's just say it was a very good thing she was wearing thick tights! It was fun for the girls to feel special and be all matchy-matchy at least once!

(Also, apparently Carolina's little sister had pink eye last week, so that's apparently making the rounds which might explain Zoë's eyes this morning).

No church for Zoë

Zoë and I are staying home from church this morning, because reasons.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Swinging, swinging, swinging...

We have a swing set in our backyard but the kids still like to walk to the neighbourhood playground to use the swings and slides there. We've had some lovely weather this week so the little ones and I were able to make it to the park a couple of times this week. Here they are swinging, swinging, swinging...

I'm so pumped up

Now that Zoë is mobile—and therefore getting into everything all the time—I've been cutting back on pumping, working my way down to once a day, then once every few days, and now only when I need to. Andrew took in my last donation to the milk bank this week. By my calculations I've donated 4855 ounces to various milk banks (one in Colorado, one here (and a little bit straight to my friend Annie's little boy)).

4855 ounces is equal to approximately...
  • 38 gallons
  • 143.5 litres
  • 135912 grams
  • 300 pounds
  • and eight months of pumping every morning and night.
In health class (back in high school) my teacher once defined passion as being the first thing you think of doing when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you think of before you fall asleep at night. If that's the case then I've certainly been passionate about pumping the past several months. 

I've pumped at home, in the car, at my mom's house, at my in-law's, at church, at a hotel, and while camping. For the longest time I wasn't able to do anything until I'd pumped in the morning and I wasn't able to fall asleep until I pumped at night—like literally could not—so I'm not sure pumping really falls into the category of passion unless eating and breathing are also included. It was more of a necessity than a passion.

Just yesterday morning I decided I couldn't live one more second without pumping again, so I did. Fifteen ounces later I could put my arms down comfortably. And that was after Zoë had had her fill.

Clearly I'm not free of the pump yet but it's nice to not be so tied down. I don't know what I'm going to do with all my free time now. Oh, wait. Yes, I do. I'll follow this cutie around cleaning up all her little exploration messes...

I've felt at once guilty and liberated by the decision to stop donating milk but, as it says in an article I read about giraffes yesterday, "since milk is costly to produce...a mother is expected to save it for her own offspring." It's time to put my extra milk energy to use elsewhere.


Edited to add that I just got my certificate of appreciation from the WakeMed Milk Bank and they say I've donated 4,379 ounces to them, which means I missed something in my records. My total is probably more like 5560 ounces altogether, which is more like 43 gallons (only 5 gallons biggie, right?).