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.

6:15 (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'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 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 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.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Miriam's baptism pictures

Miriam's eighth birthday is fast-approaching, which means she'll also be getting baptized soon. When Rachel was baptized we were pretty much at liberty to choose whatever date we wanted because she was one of two children from our ward getting baptized that year (and Callin go baptized out in Arizona during summer break, so...she was the only child from our ward to use the font that year). Out here, though, there are so many kids turning eight, not only in our ward but in our stake, that they have to coordinate the use of the baptismal font (and, my little environmentalist heart likes to think, conserve water), so we have an assigned day and time for baptisms.

I finally found out what that will be: November 4th.

Remember, remember, the fourth of November! (Just kidding; that's the fifth).

Miriam keeps saying things like, "I can't wait for October 25th! I can't wait for October 31st! I can't wait for November 4th! I can't wait for Alexander!"

There are a lot of things she can't wait for right now.

Yesterday, while Rachel was at BYU's homecoming spectacular with my mom (seeing Kristin Chenoweth perform live!), we took the children on a little tour de BYU and took enough pictures of Miriam that she was begging us to stop by the end.

She's wearing the very same dress that Rachel wore for her baptism (which still looks brand new because, as my mom pointed out, how often does one (eight-year-old child) actually wear an all-white dress?) and was thrilled to pieces to be able to do so. It's been hanging in her closet since we moved here and she's tried to wear it on multiple occasions but I always make her put it back and change. Because white dress.

Anyway, here are a few several pictures of Miriam in the courtyard of the JFSB:

Saturday, October 07, 2017

A Movie Star

On July 18th, 2012—more than five years ago—I took my three little kids to the park for the very first time. Technically the girls and I had been to the park dozens of times, but it was my first time taking the girls and Benjamin out. It was slightly terrifying because in addition to my fragile little boy, fresh out of the NICU, I was also juggling a canister of oxygen, which I really had no clue how to work.

I took a few pictures of Rachel and Miriam adoring their baby brother. Pictures like this:

Benjamin and Rachel, July 18, 2012

Friday, October 06, 2017

Painting with Auntie Josie

Auntie Josie came over to play with the kids during priesthood session. They've been dying to watercolor with her for whatever reason, so she brought some paint and paintbrushes along. They all happily painted together for quite some time!

Zoë made a couple of toddler creations, Rachel and Miriam each did three or four paintings, and I think Josie managed about 80% of one painting. Benjamin, on the other hand, was churning them out. He kept talking about what a good artist he was because of how many paintings he was doing compared to everyone else.

Earlier in the day he had asked Josie to draw him something, so she started to draw a pyramid, and, really, it wasn't even that complex of a drawing but he grew rather impatient while he waited for her to finish it. "It doesn't have to be good!" he told her.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Monday, Monday...

By Monday I was consumed by the family newsletter I'm in charge of (which I finally sent out today). Ordinarily I send it out by the Sunday morning of General Conference but that didn't work out this year (because the deadline for submissions was the first day of conference and because, as Andrew pointed out, I've spent the last five years' worth of priesthood sessions working on the newsletter because the kids were already in bed, but now we're two hours earlier than we were in North Carolina so priesthood session is no longer after bedtime).

Unfortunately, Mondays are also early release days for the kids so it wasn't an ideal day to be zeroed in on one thing and scatterbrained about everything else.

In my defence, I was walking out the door with plenty of time to pick Benjamin up from school on any other day of the week. I totally thought I was on top of things until my phone rang (we hadn't even reached the end of the driveway yet). I pulled it out and answered it and the voice on the other end gave her introductory spill about being so-and-so from the elementary school and then asked if she could speak with Benjamin's mother.

"This is she," I said, quite embarrassed when I realized why she was calling. "And I just remembered that today is early release day so we're already late. We were just leaving the house though, so we'll be there in a couple of minutes."

Zoë and I hopped in the van and drove to the school (for the very first time) to pick him up. We have walked every other day (and she was not happy about giving up her midday stroll) but I felt like we should probably get to the school relatively quickly. The poor boy was sitting in the office waiting to be picked up.

He looked half-relieved, half-annoyed to see us when we finally burst through the doors.

"I'm so sorry, buddy!" I said. "I didn't forget about you! I just..."

Tuesday, October 03, 2017


We went to my parents' house for FHE tonight. My mom made dinner, Patrick made a cake, we played with David's old hot wheels race track (more on that later), and I gave the lesson.

I've been reading The Bible Tells Me So... by Peter Enns. I've loved his discussion on perspective throughout the book, which helped inspire my lesson for this evening. (And now I'm all out of ideas so expect no brilliance from me for the next little while).

As an opening exercise we chose a common memory to write about for a few minutes. I threw out a few ideas but Rachel and Miriam clung to one—Zoë's birth story—so that's the one we settled on. Everyone got a pen(cil) and paper and wrote down what they remembered, and then I collected them and read them.

Zoë's story was so complicated that we couldn't really understand what she wrote, but she wrote a lot.

Uncle Patrick said: When Zoë was born I remember Facebook posts from Andrew, and my mom telling me she was born.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Rendezvous at BYU

My cousin Eric texted me on Friday afternoon to say that he was in town for the weekend (it's General Conference) and that he and his wife and baby would be in Provo for the next couple of hours, so I hustled the two little ones out the door (leaving Grandpa to meet the girls after school) and headed to Provo. I haven't seen Eric in years—more than five, at least (in fact, this may have been the last time we saw each other). At any rate, it's been long enough that he hasn't met Benjamin or Zoë and I haven't met Jocelyn or Payton. 

Obviously that's been too long for the two of us to go without seeing each other because we kind of grew up together—we're just a couple months apart:

Eric (10 months) and me (1 year)—July 1986