Friday, November 26, 2021

What Phoebe's Thankful For

I wanted to acknowledge Thanksgiving really quick (I'll do a more formal Thanksgiving post later) by sharing some pictures of Phoebe dressed up as a pumpkin. She's wearing the hat and booties I crocheted for Miriam (and I actually still have the nightgown Miriam is wearing in her pictures as well, so I should redo the pictures with Phoebe wearing that as well). 

Rachel and I took these on November 17th, I believe. We had been taking pictures using the actual camera but just as I got Phoebe into this outfit the camera battery died so these are from my cell phone camera.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Phoebe's first few days (in pictures!): part III (plus a figurative tale)

Okay; these pictures are all from my phone over the last 12 days or so. I only know that because Phoebe is twelve days old. I feel simultaneously like I'm taking too many pictures and not enough pictures. But mostly I'm just trying to survive. I think I'll feel a lot better after finals are over (this group project is killing me (figuratively)). 

Last night I broke out in hives! 

Apparently postpartum hives are a thing (I'm assuming my root cause is stress (see: group project, above)).

So that's been a fun little side effect, in addition to some pretty wild afterpains and some wicked engorgement and lack of sleep forth. But all those things should be coming to an end soon (except, I suppose, for the lack of sleep). 

Anyway, I'm not sure how much dialogue I'll share regarding these photos that I snapped. Mostly I just think my children are adorable.

But I will tell you a quick story about Alexander. 

For whatever reason the boys were fighting over a Jedi robe before bed. Alexander wanted to wear it in the morning so that he could be a Jedi Master. Benjamin also wanted to wear it, presumably so that he could be a Jedi Master. 

"But if you wear the cape tomorrow then I can’t be the Jedi Master!" Alexander whined.

"Well, that will be too bad if I get to the cape first," Benjamin said, darting upstairs (presumably to hide the cape/robe).

"I want to KILL you!" Alexander fumed.

"Oh, Alexander!" I gasped. "That’s a pretty strong emotion you’re feeling. You are free to be angry or sad—and sometimes those angry and sad emotions feel very powerful—but surely you don’t want to kill your brother!!"

"FIGURE’tively, Mom!" he reassured me. "FIGURE’tively!"

All the grown ups in the room exchanged looks of disbelief. Did he just say what I thought he said? What was it that he said? 

"Figuratively?" I repeated.

"Figure. Tively," Alexander affirmed. 

And we lost it. Grandpa, Andrew, and I were all just cracking up (while trying to remain serious). How does this sweet little four-year-old baby (who just started talking intelligibly in June) know and use that word correctly?! It was comically shocking.

"Even so," I said, trying desperately to regain my composure. "We don't want to use such strong and hurtful words figuratively."

He really is a sweet little guy even if he uses colourful figurative language sometimes (while other times he wishes for "actulal" swords so he can "defense" himself against his older siblings). Here he is helping Phoebe maintain a good nursing position (look at those innocent blue eyes—who knew they were figuratively capable of so much!?):

Tuesday, November 23, 2021


 I interrupt the Phoebe feed to bring you a story about Zoë. 

We accomplished a lot of things before Phoebe was born. For instance, on Friday the 12th we finished reading the Articles of Faith (by screaming reciting them at top volume), which means we finished with our course of study for Sunday School this year. Unfortunately, while the older kids were able to join in our lively recitation, the younger kids were a bit lost. 

During Christmas we like to have Christmassy devotionals, so we aren't too worried about "what" we'll do for scripture study during December, but we still had the rest of November to go, so we decided that we'd work on helping the younger children memorize the Articles of Faith. 

So we started with the first one because that's the shortest and the easiest and we've been working our way up. But on Sunday I skipped ahead to eleven and twelve because they had to do with the lesson we were on for Sunday School and so that we could "surprise" Daddy with how well they already knew it (he was at church being the organist). 

Number eleven is kind of a fun one because whereas the remaining twelve Articles of Faith begin with "We believe..." number eleven begins with "We claim..."

More specifically it begins, "We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God..."

So I told the children about this anomalous Article of Faith and Zoë leapt out of her seat, stood up on the couch, pointed her finger to the sky and declared, "I CLAIM THE PRIVILEGE OF WATCHING A TV SHOW BEFORE GOING TO BED TONIGHT!"

And, like, she was dead serious. 

She surmised that if she could simply...claim the would be a done deal.

But one does not simply claim privilege. 

I told her that in order to claim a privilege, the privilege had to first be

It worked out for her in the end. Daddy was so charmed by her pronouncement (and the way she memorized the actual Article of Faith) that he's been letting her watch an episode of Maya and the Three every night before bed since Sunday (we're on holiday; it's fine). I'm not sure how we'll ever undo the idea that she can simply claim a privilege, but I'm sure it's fine. 

Also, it reminded us of Michael Scott declaring bankruptcy. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Phoebe's first few days (in pictures!): part II

What I want most in the whole wide world is for finals to be over with. I just want to snuggle my baby and not feel completely stressed out. But, here we are...

Since I only have my digital resources class left and since we discussed memology and since our final is a group project (worth 40% of our grade), I will ask you, "What is the worst kind of assignment and why is it a group project?"

Ugh. I'll get through it, I guess. But what I really want to do is hibernate a little bit. 

I finally took pictures off my phone from the last week, so let's briefly revisit Phoebe's birthday. Here she is all fresh and new:

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Happy One Week!

Phoebe's been here for one entire whirlwind of a week. So far she seems like a pretty chill baby. She's an avid nurser by now (though she got off to a bit of a slow start). She does not appreciate being put down (I know you can't spoil a baby...but it might just be possible that Phoebe's a little on the spoiled side). She likes to be swaddled. She's starting to lift her head a bit when we hold her and that's about what her tummy time is for now because she does not like floor tummy time (Andrew and I tried putting her on the floor this afternoon and she got her legs underneath herself and did a wild donkey kick flip-thing onto her back and then we picked her up because she was really upset about whatever it was she'd just made her body do). I'm sure she'll warm up to tummy time eventually.

Terminology: Phoebe /ˈfiːbi/ FEE-bee Φοίβη Phoíbē

Phoebe was actually a name that Zoë suggested because at the time she was loving the Phoebe and her Unicorn books. There was a little confusion over the name Phoebe, of course. Both Benjamin and Zoë kept wanting to say Fo-ebb. But we're all clear on her name our house...


Poor Grandpa Frank just can't seem to put his finger on it. He called us at the hospital to congratulate us and asked us if we would spell her name for him so he could write it down (unbeknownst to us Reid had already walked him through Phoebe's name before). So we're trying to spell the name P-H-O-E-B-E but it's not going well. 

Why do so many letters of our alphabet rhyme?! P-E-B-E...

So we tried the whole "P as in pizza, H as in horse..." clearly we're not fluent in Alpha Bravo, but eventually Grandpa Frank had the letters down in the right order.

"Now how do you say it?" he asked.






An off-colour tale

To say we're tired over here would merely be stating the obvious. We'd gotten used to a baby-free lifestyle—no diaper bags, no spit up, no middle-of-the-night feedings—and we'd grown soft. So while on the one hand it seems like Phoebe does nothing but sleep, on the other hand we are completely exhausted. 

Catering to someone's every whim, it turns out, is tiring. Especially when you have to guess at what the someone's whims are because they're not an especially great communicator (no offense, Phoebe, but you just cry about everything).

So, it's just about been one week (which is mind-blowing) and we're tired. 

And so much has happened!

Alexander pointed out at bedtime that Phoebe is "more of a sandy-tan" (which is how he likes to describe white people) than she was when she first came home all pink and new, which means her newness is already wearing off! 

Why do these baby stages go by so quickly?!

Anyway, last Sunday Andrew came to the hospital to spend the night since we didn't know what time we'd be discharged on Monday and traffic is unpredictable. He told me that on Saturday night, after having been up all day Friday and then most of the day on Saturday, he was finally getting ready to head to bed (at home) around 10:00 in the evening when he remembered that he needed to make a loaf of bread for the sacrament in the morning. So he went to the kitchen and carefully measured everything into the bread machine. He meant to delay the start time by a several hours so the bread would be ready first thing in the morning but he accidentally hit the "start now" button, a command the bread machine took quite literally by immediately whipping its little paddle around and giving everything a good little stir. 

Now, the secret of bread machines is that you create a little island of flour in your liquid base and right in the middle of the island you drop a scoop of yeast (like a bread volcano of sorts). As long as the yeast stays dry, you can delay the bread making process. But if the yeast gets activates and you become somewhat committed to seeing the process through to the end.

"So once that yeast hit the water, I had no choice but to let it run the whole cycle," Andrew said. 

"I understand that feeling on a very deep level," I said, with a meaningful glance at Phoebe. 

That gave us both a good laugh.

Only in my case (which was technically our case), we ended up with a beautiful baby, while all Andrew got was a soggy loaf of bread because it finished baking in the wee morning hours and he didn't bother waking up to check on it (and I don't blame him one bit) so a bunch of moisture condensed and dripped down onto the bread and...let's just say that Phoebe is a much prettier outcome.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Phoebe's first few days (in pictures!): part I

I think I'll share picture in two or three waves, with no real rhyme or reason to them other than that we had multiple devices to take pictures with and so far I've only downloaded the pictures from one device. 

So, these are the pictures from the camera. 

Months ago when I was still very much pregnant with Phoebe, we were discussing her impending arrival at the dinner table—how we needed her to stay in for so long (and she did exactly that; bare minimum sort of lady, I guess) but also needed her to get out in a timely fashion. And thus it was that my children were introduced to the idea of "induction." 

My due date was December 2, but Phoebe would have been induced on November 25 whether she wanted to be born then or not. For health reasons. The kids needed an explanation of what an induction was and since we tend to get a little...rowdy...around the table sometimes I explained it thusly:

"It's basically when the doctor decides, 'We're gonna yeet this fetus!' And they give the mother some medicines that help kickstart the process."

We thought the phrase "yeet this fetus" was so hilarious that we decided to save it for the birth story. But then I wrote the birth story and completely forgot to title it "Operation: Yeet this Fetus" (the post about our preterm labour scare could have then alternatively been called "Operation: Keep this Fetus"). Anyway, it was particularly funny because we often referred to in-utero Phoebe as "Phoebe the Fetus."

So here are some more details about her "yeeting," hospital stay, and homecoming. 

First of all, here is the single picture Andrew took during the labour and delivery. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Phoebe the fugitive

Well, folks, she's been at it again!

Once more Phoebe set off all the alarms and locked all the doors!

She was on her way to the nursery to visit the pediatrician this time. The nurse had just left my room, which is kitty-corner to the door to The General Hospital (which babies aren't allowed to enter) and was just making her way past the door when another nurse "badged in," which caused the door to fly open while Phoebe and the nurse were standing right there.

Phoebe's ankle monitor did not think this was appropriate so it quickly sounded the alarm and locked everything down. 

Things were resolved much faster this time, however.

There was a bit of a commotion in the hallway, my nurse rushed into the room to tell me about the confusion so I wouldn't panic, and because they had prior authorization they just had to call in to headquarters to let them know what happened.

But that's two escape attempts in less than 48 hours. Phoebe has me concerned for the future. 

Will she be a little escape artist...?

Only time will tell.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Phoebe's Birth: Initial Reflections

For the past several weeks our ongoing motto has been "don't have a baby." Every night Andrew would say to me, "Don't have a baby!" Every time he left the house he would say to me, "Don't have a baby!"'

Last night he said—rather seriously—"Don't have a baby!"

We had both stayed up late working. I was finishing up a final project. He had a book to lay out, some urgent revisions to make on a paper, and a number of other projects. 

"So really don't go into labour tonight," he said. "My Saturday is packed!"

It was 1:30 in the morning. I was not in labour. I hadn't even had very many contractions that evening.

So I said reassuringly, "I don't think this baby is coming for a while."

We stayed up until around 2:00 making plans for the next day. We needed to finish tidying the house to get ready for Grandpa to come. We needed to pick Grandpa up. We needed to finished all the multiple projects we listed previously. We needed to...we needed to...we needed to...

Andrew let me do my verbal nesting (although I had been nesting...and making the children nest along with me (they were great helpers!) all day long) and then we decided that it was late (it was) and we should do no more talking because we really needed to go to sleep (we did) and we turned out the lights.

Then at around 3:00 I awoke to a pop and a gush. So I reached over and...

Did I mention that I got my COVID booster yesterday? I did. My arm was incredibly sore.