Patrick received the Melchizedek priesthood yesterday, so now he's an elder, which means he can help bless Rachel, which will be cool.
He's a good kid. I'm excited to see where he'll get called on his mission, although that won't be for a while yet since he still has about a year before he can go.
Now, why is he so cool, you're asking?
At prom, Patrick broke his foot. Apparently our family just manages pain well because we didn't take him to the doctor for over a week. But that's not what makes him cool.
In his own words:
"Saturday, May 19th...So after we play tag for about 20 minutes we decide to go to a park named "Discovery Park". (Just a side note... Discovery Park is the most amazing park in the world, it is free and has: a rocket ship, a volcano*, a 'bee colony', sound amplifiers, and a whole lot more if you ever come to Utah or if you already are in Utah what are you doing on face book you should be at Discovery Park!!) Now for the fun part, we break off into teams to play capture the flag on the playground but to make it more exciting we add in a grounders rule. No walking on the ground. (we quickly amended this rule to allow us 2 steps) So everything is fine until I get to the volcano. It is enemy territory and just as it so happens they really wanted me in jail. So now i am trapped at the bottom of the slide, there are 3 people trapping me from the sides so the only place i can go is up. I leapt up the slide and made it in one jump over their hands. Then all of a sudden they are there and i have no where to go. So me being the intelligent person I am...jumped. I jumped over a 4 foot wall that was behind the slide so that gap was about 3 feet across and 4 feet high. I cleared that part easy but they barely touched my foot. Now the volcano is multi layered and it has an inner deck which I hit heel first at about a 35 degree angle. It hurt but not as much as i thought it would have so I limped off to jail. (my friends who were there at this exclaimed "wow Patrick you flew" I was more like "ow my bum hurts") I got out and about 15 minutes later we end the game and take our dates home. I get dressed take some Advil and was fine for the rest of that night." [sic]
He danced all night on his broken foot and after driving around to drop all his friends and their dates off, he didn't get home until late.
The next day was Sunday and my mom decided not to wake Patrick up for church. After all, he could just go to the Singles Ward with David since that ward meets in the afternoon. When my mom walked into the kitchen though, there was Patrick already wearing his Sunday best.
"Oh," said my mom in surprise, "I was going to let you sleep in today. You were out so late last night."
"Mom," Patrick chided, "That doesn't matter. I go to church."
He figured out that the easiest way for him to choose the right is to choose early and never waiver. I'm glad that he figured that out because it will help him a lot as difficult choices come his way and he won't have to make them since he already has. That doesn't mean he'll never have to make a difficult choice because it would be impossible to decide everything in advance, but he's definitely made a good start.
***Disclaimer: discussion of bodily fluids follows***
As I mentioned, Rachel is a messy eater. It doesn't help that I have enough milk to feed an army of babies, either.
We have milk drips just about everywhere in our house. When we eat, Rachel uses a bib and a burp cloth and I use about three burp cloths. We usually drench everything. It's not that Rachel spits up, either. She rarely does, actually. It's just that Rachel is a very rich baby, milk wise.
I leak through everything.
I leak so much that I get milk on my pants.
I sleep laying on a burp cloth so that I don't get milk on the bed. It soaks through the cloth and onto the bed anyway.
I could probably feed Rachel continuously all day because even if I think she drains one side completely, it will start leaking everywhere as we are doing the other side.
I was getting ready to give Rachel a bath the other day when she decided she was hungry. I fed her and completely soaked one half of her towel. Her face is all shiny in the picture because it is covered in milk. Apparently milk baths are good for your skin, so I guess neither Rachel or I can really complain.
That's usually how she looks at the end of a feeding. She'll have milk all over her face and dribbling out of her mouth and if mom wasn't prepared with a burp cloth, her clothes will be soaked. She gets milk in her eyelashes and I am constantly worried that she's going to inhale milk through her nose.
I, on the other hand, can usually come away just with sticky hands and milk running down my stomach.
We really need to get a handle on things before trying this in public...
With all the milk we waste, we could probably feed a child or two in Africa. Think, Rachel, of all those mouthfuls of milk you have wasted. Your life is too easy. (And you can sit there until you finish your dinner, or you'll be having it for breakfast!)
We waste so much milk it continues to surprise me that she's actually growing, but she is.
"Andrew..." I moaned. And then moaned it again. And then started kicking him and calling his name at the same time.
Finally he replied sleepily, "What?"
"Will you bring me the baby?"
"Wouldn't you rather have a wallet?" he responded.
Okay, apparently he's still asleep.
"No," I said, "I want the baby."
"But everyone wants a wallet..."
I kicked him again, "Andrew, just get me the baby!"
He stumbled out of bed and brought me the baby. Needless, yes, since she is on my side of the bed...but it was almost time for him to get up for work anyway.
Half an hour later when he actually woke up, he remembered nothing but did point out that taking care of a wallet is a whole lot less work than taking care of a baby.
Rachel takes after her father in this respect--she is a very talented sleeper. She will get hungry in her sleep and start rooting around but won't wake up enough to actually eat, which is very frustrating for her. I have to give her a few minutes of dedicated wake up time before she'll do anything...just like her daddy.
When she's awake though, she's very awake. Just now we were singing...
We started with the Grand Old Duke of York and we worked our way on to the banana fana song. I think I found something that almost rhymes with Rachel: facial. Now she can get a facial at the store, at the store.
Rachel, Rachel bo-bachel Banana fana fo-fachel Mi mai mo-machel Rachel
See, fachel almost sounds like facial which almost rhymes with Rachel. Now we can sing the Quarter Master Store song without anyone feeling left out.
There was wallet, wallet...trying to break and stall it at the store, at the store.
That's a little bit of a stretch since I've never seen a break dancing wallet, but I don't think we'll ever start singing to the wallet so that's okay. Andrew's dad does want me to keep an eye on Andrew to make sure he doesn't start putting the baby in his pocket and feeding his wallet though.
To be fair, I suppose I must confess that I say some pretty silly things when I'm sleepy, too, but usually I say silly things late at night as I'm falling asleep. For example, I was telling Andrew that my mom and I had a discussion about the best practice for gestation. We figure marsupials win.
I mean, carrying the baby around for 10 months and then pushing it out is really no fun at all. Sitting on a pile of eggs doesn't sound like a piece of cake, either.
Yes, marsupials definitely have it made.
Since I had just seen some pictures of Josie feeding some kangaroos, I was thinking about kangaroos. We were wondering how the joeys get in the pouch in the first place. I was drifting off as we were talking about it and mentioned something like, "The koalas do it."
"The koalas?" Andrew asked.
"Yes," I said, "with their hands."
He started laughing, which brought me back to the present. He told me what I said. We laughed about that for a while.
If I could write with an Australian accent, I'd launch into my monologue that went something along the lines of, "Here we are, deep in the outback, trying to catch a symbiotic relationship at its finest. If we're lucky we'll see...oh, there's one now. Up in the tree. A koala. She's been watching that mother kangaroo all day. Now that the kangaroo has fallen asleep she's going to make her move. And there she goes..."
Apparently the joeys just crawl out of the mother and into the pouch themselves. I would definitely rather deliver that way! The downside is that kangaroos are always pregnant and I'm not sure how fun that would be.
David was over the other day, holding Rachel, and I was reading out of the encyclopedia of child-raising that our pediatrician gave to us. I found a section on reflexes and thought one defensive reflex was pretty cool. Apparently if something is flying toward baby and it is going to hit baby, baby will scooch out of the way. However, if it is going to be a near miss, baby won't even flinch.
David threw on a baby voice and said, "Ooh, look at me! I've got an innate sense of...sensing-when-things-are-flying-toward-me...I couldn't think of a word for 'sensing when things are flying toward me.'"
Later he thought of the word "trajectory."
Apparently we lose that ability later on in life because, as Josie found out...she doesn't have it anymore.
It was our first full day at home (Monday) and Aunt Josie and Aunt Emily were over helping to take care of me and Rachel. Things were running smoothly...and then they encountered a diaper change.
No worries. Josie had changed plenty of diapers, so Emily was comfortable letting Josie do the dirty work. Josie was fine with this since it was only a wet diaper.
She was standing right in front of baby at the changing table. She took off the soiled diaper and...
The next thing she knew she was covered in Rachel's excrement.
It was all over her shirt and pants, and all over Rachel's legs, the changing table, etc. etc. etc. Complete baby blow-out.
I reminded Josie that if you slide the fresh diaper under the soiled diaper and then remove the soiled diaper you can close things up a lot quicker than if you have to grab a diaper and put it on her as she's going.
So, Andrew, as I think Josie can attest there are other things you should worry about exploding on a baby besides a bellybutton!
I only hope this experience hasn't turned those two young Aunties off diaper changing for life!
We had our first doctor's appointment yesterday. Rachel is doing great. She's 7 lbs, 4 ounces, so she's almost caught up to her birth weight. Oink, oink. Shes such a messy eater, I'm surprised she gets anything in her tummy at all!
Our pediatrician is pretty cool, and, randomly enough, he knows the Atlanta Heisses, not that we do. Apparently our pediatrician studied under Bro. Heiss--also a pediatrician. Just another odd connection to these mysterious Heisses.
She's not jaundiced at all, so that's one less thing to worry about. And recently she's been sleeping well at night. Four whole hours last night!
The only thing we have to work on is weaning her off the breast shield. I'm at a loss of what to do. She'll latch on to Andrew's nose. She suck on her hands. You would think she'd want to latch on to her food supply... Oh, no, not without that little shield. She totally flips out. And if she does latch on, she'll only suck once or twice before giving me an exasperated look and promptly falling asleep. I think she does it on purpose.
By her two week appointment, the doctor wants her off the shield and on me...this is going to be tricky, I can tell.
We've fallen victim to one of the classic blunders of child-naming. The first is never name your child after a vegetable. The second, and only slightly less well known is this: never name your child something that rhymes with a swear word.
At least we're clear on that front.
Nothing rhymes with Rachel. I suppose that can be the third blunder.
I was trying to sing her a silly song the other day...I think it might have been The Quartermaster's Store, or something like that. Try it:
There was Rachel, Rachel hmmmmmm...
There are a lot of near rhymes: able...cable...satchel...but nothing really works.
After a bit of Google searching, we found the word Anglachel, a word that Tolkien made up. I suppose Rachel will be stuck trying to find Anglachel in the store, in the store.
She'll have to live with that.
She does have a few folks with whom to commiserate though. I think the only rhyme we ever came up for Patrick was "hat-trick:"
There was Patrick, Patrick Trying to score a hat-trick
(Upon further analysis we could have also said he was being spastic).
I, on the other hand, was usually being fancy or dancy.
Andrew's name is kind of difficult, too, but at least he has a good nickname for rhyming: Andy. Dandy. Sandy. Candy. Need I go on?
So, there I was, pushing with all my might when the nurse said, "Oh, wow, look at all that hair!"
Andrew left my side for the first time to go and look at Rachel's hair, which is 1.3 inches or 3.4 cm long, by the way. I stayed where I was marveling that our baby was on her way out and they could see her.
"It's long!" Andrew said and then he said, "I'll be right back!"
He rushed over to the bags we had packed for the hospital and frantically searched them for a few seconds.
"Okay," he said when he found what he was looking for, "I'm ready."
The nurse and I looked over. There was Andrew, brandishing a pair of baby fingernail clippers which, when he saw we were looking, he made some snipping motions with at the air.
"For what?" the nurse asked.
Considering we were just seeing hair, I was wondering what the fingernail clippers were for, myself.
"You mean we don't need these yet?" Andrew asked innocently.
"She won't need those until you go home," the nurse said.
"Oh," said Andrew, and he tactfully closed the clippers and dropped them into his breast pocket and tapped them gently, "Okay, then."
Later I asked him why he did that. He said that I said that the baby could come out "needing her fingernails clipped."
It is true that I may have said something to that effect. Those may indeed have been my exact words. However, what I meant when I said that was that they would come out rather long, not that we should snip them off as I was delivering.
Her fingernails were long. So long, in fact, that they cut them in the nursery...but not until she was a day and a half old.
I guess Andrew was having a literal-minded day. I'm just glad he didn't go out and get a curling iron when one of the nurses cooed, "Her hair is long enough to curl!"
"What can I do for you?" asked the nurse at the desk.
"Well," Andrew said, trying to calm me down, "I think we're in labor."
"Okay, just sit tight for a minute and I'll come out and get you after we get a room ready."
I wasn't really sitting tight anywhere. We went to get a drink from the drinking fountain. I was upset with myself for being such a wimp. We had just gotten home when I became completely inconsolable and unable to handle the contractions. I couldn't figure it out. From everything I had read about labor you're supposed to be excited when you first start real labor. I was far from excited at this point. I was exhausted and I couldn't handle the pain. Furthermore, why were the contractions coming right on top of each other? When you first start labor you're supposed to have rhythmic spread out contractions. And why did I feel like I needed a toilet every time a contraction hit?
I kept telling myself what a wimp I was, but was even more upset when the nurse came out to get us.
"Is this your first baby?" she asked.
"Yes," I panted.
"Well, don't be surprised if we send you home. Most first time mothers come in way too early..."
"But I think I've been in labor for a while," I insisted.
"Really?" she asked, "How long?"
"Since like seven this morning."
"Oh..." she said disbelievingly, but she took me to a room anyway.
Once inside they put me on a triage bed to assess how far the labor had progressed.
I was having a hard time handling contractions. After one bout of saying, "It hurts, it hurts, it hurts!" the nurse said, "Oh, honey, just do some breathing. They'll only get worse as labor progresses."
I tried to do breathing but it was so hard! I was so tired and they hurt so badly.
"On a scale of one to ten, would you rate your pain for me? Ten being highest."
I was trying to put my pain in perspective. I didn't really have much perspective though because I didn't know how much worse it could get, you know, as labor progressed, "A seven, I guess. The contractions are really bad, but I feel just fine in between."
Like I had any idea how to rate my pain.
"How far apart are the contractions?" the nurse asked.
"Ummm...like 1 to 3 minutes apart?" guessed Andrew. We had no idea. We had tried timing them at home but they were coming right on top of each other so that was a little difficult.
The nurse hooked me up to some monitors so that she could measure my contractions.
She was surprised to see, when the first one hit, that it was already off the chart at the peak. She walked me through the contraction telling me when I had peaked and that a few more deep breaths should do it. She turned around to get something and when she turned back around I was already well into another contraction.
"That was not three minutes," she said, "I have no question you're really in labor. How far dilated were you at your last appointment?"
"Nothing," I said.
She checked my dilation and said with a gasp, "Oh, sweetie, you're already at a nine! You need to be ready to push in about 10 minutes, I'd say. Why didn't you come in sooner?"
"I didn't know I was in labor. I was at work. I thought it was false and I was being a wimp," I confessed.
"You are not a wimp at all," the nurse insisted, "You're at a nine! That's not wimpy."
And then I totally lost it. I was not prepared to push at all. And I was so tired. So I did what any rational person would do.
I started crying and hyperventilating while muttering, "I can't do it, I can't do it, I can't do it..."
Luckily the anesthesiologist was on his way to give an epidural to another girl so he was able to stop in our room and give me a spinal tap. It worked instantly. My legs went numb, I couldn't feel the contractions, and I was able to catch my breath and have a little nap before pushing.
Since I couldn't feel the contractions, the nurse had to tell me when to push, which was fine with me because it didn't really hurt...It wasn't exactly comfortable, either, but at least it wasn't horrible. On my first push my water broke. Andrew was very happy he was up holding my hand/head because it popped like a water balloon, spraying the nurse and everything else around. It was kind of shocking.
I was also glad to have the spinal block because while pushing, we had to take the triage mattress off the bed in order to turn the bed into a birthing bed. That meant that I had to move around, which I'm not sure I could have done in a non-medicated state.
The spinal block worked until about 40 minutes of pushing were up. I had an epidural tube in my back, but it wasn't hooked up to anything so it was useless.
The last three sets of pushes were absolutely excruciating, but I didn't scream, and oddly enough, it really was pretty easy to forget about all of that after Rachel was out and crying. It was simply a relief to have her out...and she's such a beautiful baby.
"Congratulations," the nurse said to me as she showed me Rachel, "You're not pregnant anymore!"
After being stitched up for about half an hour, we worked on breast feeding for about two hours until Rachel fell asleep. Then she was whisked off to have a bath.
So, I suppose the contractions I was having at seven o'clock on Friday morning were real ones. Now I know what they feel like.
Next time I won't go into work all day. Nor will I walk from the library on campus down to the Brick Oven for lunch. Nor will I, when my contractions are two minutes apart, tell Andrew that he can go back to work after dropping me off at home for a nap (luckily he clued in that I wasn't okay and didn't go back to work).
No wonder we couldn't do anything to distract me at home. I was going to do some yoga, have a shower, take a nap... We didn't do any of that since we were home for about 15 minutes before I started commanding Andrew to take me to the hospital.
I think I did pretty good with managing my pain though since I was able to calmly tell Susan when my contractions were two minutes apart, "I won't be able to stay to do interviews. I'm having a few contractions."
A few contractions?!? I had the baby 3 hours later.
Next time, I'll have to be a little bit faster to get to the hospital or else we'll have an unplanned home birth on our hands!
Entered hospital - 2:05ish Complete dilation - 4:27 Delivery of Rachel - 5:22 Delivery of placenta - 5:47 All done with bath and everything else - 8:20ish Total labor time, if Nancy started at 7 AM - 9ish hours
Pictures uploaded to Facebook - click here to view
This labor thing went soooo fast, we didn't have time to do anything. I drank a cup of apple juice, Nancy drank 1/4 a cup of water. That's all we had time for. How many people go to the hospital at 9 cm dilated?!)
Rachel is finally asleep, so we can get organized and stuff now. Nancy's doing great! Rachel's doing fantastic!
So, this morning when Nancy woke up, she felt a little contractionny. She went to her last day of work, even getting taken out to lunch at the Brick Oven by her department. At 1:30 she IMed me in a panic, saying she didn't feel very good. At all.
I left work early and we went home. On the car ride there, she was having contractions like every 5 minutes and was in crazy pain. We stayed at home for about 15 minutes until she was crying and cringing with pain.
We got to the hospital at 2 and were immediately admitted.
She was already dilated to 9 cm.
Epidural went in (actually a spinal thing...not the official epidural) at 3:20ish.
Good progress the whole time.
Rachel Anneliese Heiss born at 5:22 PM, July 20th, weighing 7 pounds 7 ounces, 19.5 inches.
I finally mostly finished a new website - TheHeissFamily.org - a portal for all members of the awesome Heiss family.
There are only a few tiny things I need to finish, like the sidebar on the Members page changing to show each members RSS Blog feed every time you choose a different person, but overall it's pretty much done and live, so check it out!
If you are somehow related to us and want an e-mail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) or calendar access (and soon-to-be web space with easy web publishing capabilities), let me know and I'll get you set up. All the feeds are open to anyone, regardless of account holding status or Heiss family affiliation :)
Some friends of ours are here visiting while their son is in EFY. Actually, my friends aren't here--but their mom is. Anyway, when they saw me, Bro. Parret said, "You look like you stuck a basketball up your shirt!" Sis. Parret gasped when she heard I was due this coming Sunday and exclaimed, "That's not a basketball! It's a grapefruit!"
This got us wondering whether or not I really am as big as if I had stuck a basketball up my shirt.
Unfortunately, we don't have a basketball. In fact, we have hardly any sporting equipment at all. I think we have 3 racquetballs, one racquetball racquet, a Frisbee, and a pair of figure skates. Oh, and an exercise ball. That's about the inventory of our sporting equipment, unless you count sidewalk chalk, which I don't.
We went on a walk the other night though and found a basketball laying in someone's yard.
Ordinarily I wouldn't have been tempted to pick it up and play with it, but we just couldn't help ourselves. Besides, being in the Stake Primary Presidency has made me a lot braver in our neighbourhood. I'm constantly having to talk to people I don't know and more people know me than I know, so since we were within our stake boundaries, I pretty much was feeling really comfortable. (The pictures, however, we took at my parents' house because we didn't feel comfortable enough borrowing some random kid's ball and yard for a photo shoot.)
Andrew picked it up and held it next to my stomach. Indeed, my stomach was smaller than the basketball. I'm not sure that I'm entirely grapefruit-sized, but I'm not quite a basketball, either.
Of course, when you measure a basketball against a baby, you have to account for part of the baby that is inside the mother--the part of me that would ordinarily be there if the baby hadn't pushed whatever used to be there into my ribcage. Leaving room for my spine, I suppose my stomach is about as big as a basketball.
Josie was willing enough to stick a basketball up her shirt to model this point further. As you can see, the basketball sticks out a lot further on her for the simple reason that the basketball isn't rude enough to push all of her entrails aside, unlike the baby who has shoved the contents of my abdominal cavity all sorts of places thereby making room for her to fit (very) snugly in my pelvis.
The basketball resides completely outside the pelvis, so it actually makes you look much more pregnant to stick a basketball up your shirt.
So, there you have it, folks: If I was actually walking around with a basketball instead of a baby I would poke out a lot more than I actually do.
I understand that you are starting to feel a little squished.
Believe me, I am feeling a little pressed for space myself. After all, your head is on my bladder, your behind is in my stomach, and your feet are repetitively and not-so-delicately placed on my ribs.
I fear I have no more room to offer you, so your only option is to come out! You are just going to keep getting bigger and I'm already full of you up to my rib cage, so there is no where else to go but out.
The world might seem like a scary place, but it's really not that bad. Besides, your dad really wants to eat cereal with you...that shaking noise you hear every morning? That's him shaking cereal boxes at you. For some reason he thinks it will help you two bond.
I'm pretty anxious to meet you, myself; and you have cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents all waiting to meet you. You'll be like a celebrity...how could you not want to come out?
I know you still have five days left until your due date, and even then you might want to incubate a little longer, so until you come out would you kindly disentangle your foot from my ribs and perhaps grant me a full 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep?
You'll be ruling my schedule for the next few decades so, really, it's the least you could do.
One of the reasons I like Andrew so much is that he attracts all the mosquitoes away from me. We will go for a walk and he'll come home with at least 10 mosquito bites while I will get one, maybe two, if any at all. They just like him so much better than they like me.
I'm not really sure why since our diets are pretty much the same, so either Andrew's blood is just more desirable than mine or I have so much extra blood right now that the mosquitoes can't poke me. Either way, I'm okay with it.
This evening he got five bites, just on one elbow. His total count is nine...for today. My total count is zero.
We first really discovered this phenomenon when my dad brought over his scooter to show us. (I realize that a scooter isn't a motorcycle, but I had to use some alliteration). Dad's car is dying and won't pass the coming inspection. Nor will it run, for that matter. So, they are donating it to the Kidney Foundation and bought a scooter. The gas mileage is amazing on these things!
It made me reflect to Jordan when we were infested with mosquitoes each night. Sometimes we slept with our heads under the sheet to protect them. And we found that Bounce sheets really do ward off mosquitoes. But my biggest protection was probably Andrew.
I remember some mornings when Ezra and Andrew would look like they had chicken pox compared with the rest of us. Way to take one for the team, guys!
While I have been enduring heat and pregnancy at the same time, I guess I really can't complain. My sister, Abra, has been having quite the array of weather in her neck of the woods.
Yesterday they had a huge hailstorm, with huge hailstones!
It even broke one of their windows...
And today they have more tornado warnings.
That's southern Alberta for you.
I remember moving to Alberta and wondering why (because we moved there in December and it was freezing cold) and then getting more confused as we progressed into spring. I remember sitting at the kitchen table coloring one afternoon and every time I looked up it was like a different season outside: rain, hail, snow, sun, wind, cloudy.
Then there was the tornado that went right by our house in High River.
And then all the freak snow storms.
Weather can just be weird.
As for the heat, I woke up at four o'clock this morning and it was so hot. I checked the thermostat: 81 degrees! At 4 am!
Maybe my sister will share some of her refreshing precipitation with us!
You know those letters you get in the mail (or...by email) that say something like:
Congratulations, you've just won the UK lottery! To claim your 1 million dollar prize, please send us your credit card number, social security number, mother's maiden name, and any other private information you'd like to divulge.
When I get those type of things I'm always like, "But wait, I didn't even enter the US lottery, let alone the UK lottery...somethings fishy."
I'm happy to say that I have yet to fall for one of those...and it does make me wary when we get announcements like this, but when they come from BYU on official BYU letterhead in an official BYU envelope with all the same lovely form letter they send out every year, well, we're falling for this one.
Today Andrew got a letter from BYU in the mail announcing his scholarship. He has a 3.94, or something ridiculous like that, so we were pretty confident that he would get another scholarship, but with all the trouble we had earlier this year about him already having over 200 credits and BYU taking away all of our financial aid and us having to petition to get it back, well, I found myself a little nervous.
Or it could be that I'm emotional about everything right now, so why not this, too?
He got this silly grin on his face when he opened the letter--you know, the "I have something really cool to tell you but I'm trying to act like it isn't very cool because I want you to be surprised" face.
"How much is tuition?" he asked, coyly.
"One thousand something," I said.
"Yeah, but how much?" he asked. For being so smart, he sure does turn to me a lot for all his reference questions.
"I don't know," I said. I've graduated. I don't have to pay tuition.
He then read part of his letter, "We are pleased to offer you the Karl G. Maeser Scholarship for the amount of $2300!"
Then he told me that tuition was only $1920, which was wonderful news. The scholarship, I mean, not the tuition.
We looked up the scholarship, having never heard of it before. There isn't a lot of current information on it, unfortunately, but it really does exist, which means that we've just been blessed with an additional $800 for the year!
Truthfully, I've been really worried about quitting my job. There's something powerful and reassuring about earning money, and I've been reluctant to give that up. It's not that I don't trust that Andrew can provide for me and our baby, it's just that the math doesn't quite add up for me all the time.
Recently though, good things have been happening to let me know that staying home with the baby is the right thing: like the fact that I'm going crazy at work and that Andrew keeps finding more ways to get "free" money--like scholarships and grants.
What happens when the Provo, Manti, and Jordan River temples are all closed the same weekend?
Everyone goes to Timpanogos Temple...
Everyone except us, that is. We drive to the Provo Temple, realize that no one is there, and then drive to the Timpanogos Temple.
Yesterday was the longest temple trip I think I've ever taken in Utah. Usually we just drive to the Provo Temple (20 minutes), wait for the next session (max, 20 minutes--sometimes a little longer if it's really full), and then do a 2 hour session. It never takes any longer than 3 hours for us to do a temple trip, if we time things correctly.
However, today it took us twenty minutes to get to the Provo Temple, and then another half hour to get to the Timpanogos Temple. The parking lot was completely full so we had to park on the street. We looked at all the different brides while Andrew commented, "Her dress is very poofy, her dress is not so very poofy...how can she wear something that poofy?" and so forth.
We stood in line to show our recommends.
It took five minutes for one of the workers to help me find an empty locker.
I got dressed and hurried to use the washroom, which was, of course, rather full. It's a good thing I'm pregnant and people give me priority!
Then I headed upstairs to the chapel to wait for Andrew.
As I approached the chapel, Sis. Ostlund, who was working there that day, said, "Standing room only, sweetheart," and she let me in the hallway to see if I could find my husband.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find my husband in the hallway because he had sneaked into the chapel through a door that had been left open. He was left to stand in the back since there really was no room anymore. When one of the workers noticed the open door, they closed it.
The workers in the hallway insisted that my husband wouldn't be in the chapel if I just got there because it had been full for about 20 minutes now and they weren't letting anyone in anymore.
I squirmed my way, as directed, out of the hallway leading to the chapel, and went to line up on the stairs with everyone else while we waited for the chapel to empty.
Twenty minutes later (at 3:00), they finally took the 2:30 session from the chapel and we were allowed to enter.
It was a really good thing that Andrew was there already because he was able to guarantee us a seat close enough to the front, ensuring that we would make it into the next session, which, gratefully we did...another half hour later.
The session was completely full and I think there were probably at least 7 people taking out their endowments--when I did that, it was just me.
Because the session was completely full, it took a little longer than usual...I was in the back row in the back corner so I was the very, very last woman to leave the room. They guys always take a little longer, so even though Andrew wasn't in the very back I still beat him out.
At nearly 6:00, we were finally finished. And famished, having left the house at 1:30!
We stopped off at the Purple Turtle for a milkshake, which was very good. I'd never been to the Purple Turtle, which Andrew just couldn't believe.
We got home around 7:00!
It was nice to see the temple so busy, but I'll sure be glad when the Provo Temple opens again. These all-day temple trips are killers!
Bryan Reagan does this little skit that goes something along the lines of this:
"I'm always putting my foot in my mouth. I don't stop to think. It's just like, 'Oh no, words are coming out!'
"...Like I met this woman the other day and I could have sworn she was pregnant. Let me tell you...
--ooohhs from the audience--
"I know now! I think the rule is don't guess at that ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, evereverevereverever... something like that. I don't have enough 'evers' memorized.
"So I said, 'Hey, when's that baaaby due?'
"You ever feel a word coming out but it's too late to stop it? It's coming out loud: 'Hey when's that BABY due... BAAABBBY!!!'"
"At the zoo! The pandas! I heard they were trying to have one... I just, um, you know, thought we'd talk about it. Thought we'd talk about the fluffy zoo animals. You can go see them....touch them...if you want..."
Since this is the most common question I hear nowadays, I'm just glad that I'm actually pregnant.
We have 9 days left...until our due date. We're finally in the single digits, which is exciting and a little bit scary.
I've been hearing a lot of different feelings from a lot of different women about due dates and counting down. Most of the advice is: don't.
However, this is virtually impossible to do since everyone asks, "Hey, when are you due?"
So, we're due the 22nd of July, which is now just around the corner.
We're pretty much expecting her to come any day now, which gives her room to come whenever she wants.
I'd, of course, prefer sooner--mostly because I feel like I've recently entered one of those contests where you have to hold a balloon between your knees and walk around without dropping the balloon. Later is okay, too, although I do want to meet her, and I know Andrew does, too.
(By the way, Baby, today would be a cool birthday--it's Friday the thirteenth-- so, just in case you were waiting for a cool day to be born on, today would be it).
We were talking about such things at the baby shower my Home/Visiting Teacher threw for me on Tuesday. I mentioned that I would be totally fine with things if the baby happened to be born a week early.
Pam cautioned me, "Oh, don't think about that because the 15th will come and go and you will just get depressed. Trust me, I mean, my baby was born 2 days early, so I was like, 'Cool.' But I had this one friend who decided she wanted her baby a month and a half early and it was a week and a half late--she was really depressed for a long time."
That's good advice except that Pam probably would have been upset had she passed her due date as well, because everyone counts down. Everyone. It's impossible not to. She just doesn't know she would be upset because it didn't happen to her.
Of course, I'm not sure that I really feel quite as pregnant as some other women do this far along. Oh, I feel pregnant enough. I feel huge! I can't move or bend or sit or stand or lie down normally. I feel like I've been pregnant long enough.
However, when people find out that I'm pretty much due, they ask, "What are you having, a puppy?"
(Just for the record, two people asked me that last week).
Another common conversation I have is,
"When's your baby due?"
I answer simply, "The 22nd," since this is July, and I think it's obvious my baby is due soon.
"Of what month?" comes the reply.
"July," I say.
"Really?" they gasp and then add the part about having a puppy or kitten or tumor or perhaps that I'm really due next July. Or, if they are really polite they just say, "Well, you're rather small..."
Perhaps I'm not as uncomfortable as some women are this far along, but I do have my discomforts, and I am pretty big, I think. But then, I'm the one carrying it around all day, everyday.
Truthfully, I think we'd be fine if we had the baby early. After all, I'd be finished being pregnant...but at the same time, I'm not sure that we're really ready yet...and to be a full week early would mean she'd be born in 2 days. That would be just crazy.
If we had her exactly on time, I think we'd be fine because we've had that date in our head for a long time now. That's the day we're ready and waiting for.
And if she comes late, I'm sure I'll be a little frustrated about going "over" due--wondering if she's ever going to come out--but I think that we'd be just fine. No one really wants to go overdue, but (and no offense, Baby) we're kind of scared to enter parenthood, so putting it off for a week or so might not be so bad.
But, as our friend Matt reminded us, "You're next!"
Everyone in the ward who was due before me had their babies--it's my turn. Unless, of course, this baby is so late that she overshoots my friend Heather's due date, in which case Heather will be the next to go...and that just wouldn't be fair at all!
The site isn't all the way done yet, but it's at the top of my ego search! I beat out all those other Andrew Heisses, like the one born in 1902, the one who died in 1873, the one who plays fantasy card games, the student at The College of New Jersey, the rancher webmaster, or Eric Andrew Heiss, former BYU student who has a blog with an address close to ours. Now I just need to keep it up there!
How many other people get this excited over having their name be at the top of the list?
We finally finished the dresser today--after a whole week of it sitting in our breezeway. I'm sure our neighbours will be very pleased to see it gone!
We didn't really have a whole lot of it left to do--we had already given it a second coat of varnish on Monday night--we just had to wash it off and put the knobs back on.
It was a difficult project to finish because, although I did help, I was trying not to help too much. I didn't want to breathe in the fumes from sanding or painting, so this is really mostly Andrew's work. Since he works nights 3 nights a week, it was hard to find the time to get it done.
He finished his American Heritage midterm today and we felt that it would be a good idea to finish up the dresser today and get it in place in the baby's room...before the baby comes home and we still have blankets and clothes strewn all over her bedroom.
We think it turned out rather well, considering we have no prior experience with such projects.
Disclaimer: This is not supposed to be a post to fish for compliments...it's just that when you're going on 39 weeks being pregnant, it is, at times, rather difficult to feel beautiful. Or energetic. Or happy, for that matter.
Andrew's always really nice about it though.
On Sunday we were visiting with a couple in our ward, Matt and Bonnie, who are due with their first child in September. Both Bonnie and I were discussing how we felt that the first trimester went really well for us.
Our husbands both looked at us like we were crazy and then started laughing.
"You survived on juice for like a whole month!" scoffed Andrew.
"You dry heaved all the time!" laughed Matt.
"But I never actually threw up..." Bonnie and I shot back, nearly simultaneously.
So, apparently things didn't go quite as glamorously as we were so fondly remembering them.
I suppose it is true, then. You do lose your mind. Bonnie and I were reflecting on the nice, warm feeling of knowing there is a baby inside, while our husbands were remembering trying to console a sobbing wife.
When we got home, I said to Andrew, "It wasn't that bad. Not compared to other pregnancies!"
He agreed, but I think it was only to placate me because last night he said in passing, "You were really nice to be around every day of this pregnancy...at least one time a day."
Just wait until I get really bad morning sickness. Then he will reflect on this pregnancy with longing.
He is really nice though. He always tells me I'm beautiful and holds me when I'm sobbing for no apparent reason. And is pretty much my personal slave.
But what option does he have? None!
If he said, "Wow, you look completely exhausted, uncomfortable, and huge. Oh, and I think you could stand to lose a little weight in front," he would be a very sad man, indeed. So we see that the only option he has is to tell me that I look stunning, even when my eyes are red and swollen from crying, my face is completely broken out, and I am bulging out of my clothes (because no matter what anyone says, I'm not buying new clothes to wear for the last 2 weeks of pregnancy--it's not in my nature).
The same thing goes for family and friends. They all say that I look cute, no matter what I'm wearing or what kind of day I'm having.
It's not that I don't appreciate people telling me I look good, it is just that sometimes I really can't see where people are coming from. Furthermore, it is almost an obligation of theirs to tell me such things, so sometimes it's a little hard to believe.
That's why I really appreciate it when complete strangers mention that I'm a "cute pregnant lady."
Like today, I was on my way into the restroom and this girl was headed out so we did that weird dance-thing in front of the door. After we decided who was going to go through the doorway first she said, "What a cute pregnant lady you make!"
I was like, "Oh, thanks..." but I was thinking, "Awww...so Andrew meant it this morning."
Or on Sunday when Ruth Peterson asked me where I got my maternity clothes (because I have so many maternity clothes: 5 tops) and, pointing to me, said to her husband, "That's just what I want to look like when I'm pregnant!"
Again, "Awwww...he really meant it today."
Who knows, maybe he does mean it everyday. (Pssst...Andrew, that's your cue!)
As Andrew so aptly put it, "she was the most contented little cat there ever was."
She enjoyed attention but was a little too lazy to get it. If you called her over to you she would get up, walk two or three steps, and then plop back down, rest for a minute, get up, walk a few more paces, and then plop back down. Eventually she'd make it over to you, if she didn't decide that an ear scratch wasn't worth the effort first.
Dukie was 14 years old, which is apparently equivalent to 72 human years. That's pretty old.
Last Tuesday, the Heiss girls took Dukie to be put to sleep. She just wasn't a contented little kitty anymore, having a tumor and all sorts of other icky things happening to her. Old age sure is fun...
It was hard for Emily, especially, who was worried Dukie would die while she was out on orchestra tour. Emily can't remember life pre-Dukie. It was hard for Sarah, for whom Dukie was a best friend. It was hard for...everyone, I guess.
I think I even had a harder time than Andrew, but then again, maybe he's just not so good at expressing his emotions.
It's always nice when friends come to visit and you plan a party for them so they can see everyone and you realize just how long its been since you've seen everyone who lives close by. It doesn't really make sense that you never see anyone--since they live close by, but you just don't seem to do it. Kind of like how families always get together at weddings and funerals and everyone says, "We should get together more often!" but then it never happens.
Well, we had our second Circle of Joy party last night and just as a run down: we haven't seen Amber, Joy, Matt or Cristina since the last Circle of Joy party. We haven't seen Becky since our wedding. I haven't seen Shallee since her wedding. I see Shaun every once in a while in the library. We had dinner with Marquita and Daniel just a while ago... I can't even remember the last time I saw Rebecca. I saw Andrea at her "homecoming." And my brother, well, he's my brother--I see him more often than just at funerals.
I hadn't even met Becky and Rebecca's husbands, or Amber's baby, or Cristina's fiance. Sheesh. It's just been too long.
We had the party at Andrew's parent's house because, well, our house would just be too small. When Karen asked how many people we invited, I said, "About 14."
"You know that many people?" she jabbed.
After giving it a moment's thought, I had to be honest, "No," I said, "It's just that everyone is married now so that doubles our guest list."
Apparently we only have 7 friends. And their spouses. Oh, and then children, too. I think our total count was 23 people.
It helped me realize just how different young members of our church can be. Here we are planning a party and thinking of how to entertain the children, while my non-LDS friends haven't even considered children yet. Just an interesting little difference.
Overall, I think the party was a success. Andrew worked the BBQ without overdosing on propane. Maya didn't succeed in following anyone out of the backyard. And everyone seemed to have a good time.
We had thought about playing some games, but as it turns out we were happy just to chat. After all, everyone had a lot of catching up to do. We had to go over how the newly weds met, discuss the upcoming births of children, as well as plans for after graduation, and many other interesting things that we've all done in the past few years.
Oh, we did break out the duplos for the children to play with. As you can see from the pictures, Maya got some use out of them but the two most interested were Andrew and Becky's husband, Matt. Maya was entertained for about 10 minutes, but Andrew and Matt were kept occupied for a good 45 minutes. They made a beautiful castle-store-thing.
I made this collage last night at the insistence of my husband. It was midnight...so I didn't measure anything... It was midnight...so I lost all sense of color... It was midnight...just keep that in mind.
I certainly hope I am nesting. We didn't accomplish half the things I wanted to today...but I did do the dishes, make lunch, and help refinish the baby's dresser. That means that we didn't do the shelves in the storage closet, nor did we clean up the rest of the house. I didn't take a nap today either, though, so that alone is an accomplishment.
We actually didn't finish the baby's dresser today, either (that will, hopefully, be Saturday).
The dresser really was pretty ugly, but it's a good, solid dresser.
Abra repainted it sometime a long while ago. She used acrylic paints to make pink and white swirls on the dresser, and then used silver permanent marker to decorate the handles and things. She told me it was cool. I thought she was cool, so I thought the dresser was cool long after anyone else did. I kind of inherited it after she moved out of the house, still under the impression that it was cool. I was 13--what can I say?
Well, obviously it isn't that cool (sorry, Abra), so when it was our only dresser we hid it in our closet. We then got a nicer dresser from Aunt Nikki and moved this dresser into what has become the baby's room. There is no where to hide it in there, so we decided that in order to celebrate Independence Day we would be independent and refinish the dresser.
Our first step was to call Andrew's mom and ask her what she thought we ought to do. She lent us some of her power sanders. We borrowed Jacob...and then set out to do everything else all by ourselves. See how independent we are?
We went to Home Depot to find our supplies, with Jacob. That was an adventure. He's a moody teenager with a little bit of hyper activity going on. That makes for an interesting combination.
He was eager to come with us, we think, since he hurried to exit his computer game and follow Andrew out the door...but he complained the whole time. He complained about changing his clothes. He whined about the music we listen to. He griped that he had to leave his friends. He muttered about Andrew's driving. He fussed about getting back home on time.
At Home Depot, Andrew left Jacob and me to choose a finish while he found sandpaper. Jacob was frustrated because I didn't know what we were looking for, and certainly whined about that too. Instead of helping, he pushed a cart around and around and around and asked questions that had nothing to do with choosing varnish. By the time Andrew came back I was going crazy.
"He's driving me crazy!" I said.
"Oh, it's just good practice for when we're parents," said Andrew, who then whistled to Jacob like you would to a dog and said, "Here, Jakey!"
Jacob immediately put the brakes on and started following Andrew around obediently.
I have yet to determine if Jacob started behaving better because he was embarrassed by Andrew or because he's somehow intimidated by him.
Well, we finally found everything that we could think of needing and headed home. The boys went to work sanding the dresser while I started scrubbing the handles. It took us both a little bit of time to work out a system. In the end, they had Jacob doing a rough sand and then Andrew smoothing it over, while I soaked the handles in vinegar and then scrubbed them with a scouring pad. Both systems seemed to work pretty well.
The boys didn't get all the sanding quite done today, although they did get a lot done. Andrew was very glad to have Jacob over because he wasn't sure how he would have gotten this far without him, as I refused to sand in my pregnant-state. Alas, Jacob had to go help out at the Stadium of Fire, so Andrew and I gave up on sanding (for now) and moved on to the varnish.
The drawers were all done so we stained those today. We hope that they end up matching the baby's crib...I'm not sure if they really will, but it doesn't matter because they look a lot better than they used to.
I haven't done a lot of painting in my life, but apparently Andrew has done even less. The first thing he did was dip his brush in to the very bottom of the can, so it went almost all the way up the handle. He then gave me that brush and then broke out another brush for himself. I told him how to dip properly, and he did a lot better.
It took us very little time to put a coat of varnish on the drawers, and soon we found ourselves cleaning up.
I took the brushes inside to rinse them off. Little did I know, varnish acts very differently than paint does and it doesn't wash off in water. After running my brush under the water for a while I noticed that nothing was coming off of it, so I touched it.
Varnish is very, very sticky. I put the brush down, got some soap and scrubbed my hands together...now both my hands were sticky.
I tried to pull off my wedding ring. It wouldn't budge.
"Andrew," I hollered, "I think we have a problem!"
He came inside and I explained my dilemma to him. He had also gotten some varnish on one of his hands, and I warned him not to touch anything with it. It's very sticky.
He got the can and read how to clean it up. It said to use mineral spirits.
"What do we have to do," he asked, "Pray to the minerals to help us?"
We decided that that probably wasn't what the can meant, so we looked up mineral spirits on the internet. Actually, since Andrew was the only one with a varnish-free hand, he looked up mineral spirits on the internet.
"It says it is like turpentine," he said.
"Great," I said, trying to unstick my fingers from the sink, "Go and get some."
"Where?" Andrew asked.
"A hardware store!" I said.
Andrew wasn't quite sure that you could find mineral spirits at a hardware store. He was thinking that he might find them among wines and other spirits and he was not prepared to enter a liquor store, so instead of just heading to the hardware store, he phoned his mom (see, we're independent).
"Where can I get mineral spirits?" he asked.
Thinking about which store was closest to us, she answered, "Lowe's."
"Oh," he said, sheepishly, since I was totally right and he was way off, "Is there anything else we can use? Nancy's kind of stuck to the sink."
After, I'm sure, a good laugh, Karen suggested nail polish remover, but since we didn't have any of that, Andrew headed off to Lowe's and was back with the mineral spirits within 10 minutes.
That stuff works wonders! Just the tiniest drop of it took all the varnish off our hands, and then soap and water took off the mineral spirits. It was a great feeling to be free from the sink, and not have my fingers fused together any longer.
Now that we actually know what we're doing, both with painting and sanding, I'm sure the rest of our project will go a lot smoother. We will be sure to continue to use Jacob's whines and the mineral spirits, as they certainly were helpful today!
Andrew was excited for our prenatal class today--he was sure that we had finished all the yucky parts and were just headed toward administrative issues, such as billing and choosing a pediatrician. Well, we did cover billing and we did talk about pediatricians, but we also covered post-birth mother and baby care.
Andrew did not take this well. He wasn't really interested in hearing about anything gooey today.
I was impressed with him though because even though he was squeezing my hand a little too tight and was squirming in his seat again, he still had the courage to ask questions.
First he asked about the posters showing what a "normal baby" looks like shortly after birth. You know: the swelling, the bruising, the vernix, the milia, etc. He wanted to know, "When the baby stops looking like that?"
Oddly enough, all the other fathers in the room kind of rallied around him, "Here, here! When does that stop--when can I touch the baby without shuddering?" They were all kind of grossed out by all the little quirks a baby can have after coming out.
Andrew's second question centered around the umbilical cord. He was concerned that, after they nurses take off the clip, the umbilical cord would unravel and so asked, "So, like, the baby won't explode or anything, will it?"
After quite a bit of laughter, the nurse responded that, although the baby certainly won't explode, it may ooze a little and then the cord will fall off in a couple of weeks.
Exploding babies? Really.
His third question was really quite good, although had he read our pregnancy books he would have known the answer (he can't stand to read the pregnancy books though because it makes his feet hurt). We were talking about jaundice and how to tell if your baby has jaundice, when to worry about it, and what the doctors do to fix it.
Since the doctors just use a UV lamp, Andrew wondered if you could just lay the baby in the sun if you start to notice any yellowing of the skin. The answer is yes, but it doesn't work as fast as the UV lamp, so if it's really bad you'll still need to go into the hospital.
As I said, the other fathers-to-be were asking questions just as quirky as Andrew's--many of which merited laughter from the women in the room and strange looks from their wives.
One father asked if baby wipes were like Lysol wipes, another how long it would be before his wife could get out of bed at all, and another if he could just buy his wife adult diapers.
So much to learn, so little time to do it in. But let's all remember, there are no stupid questions--except, perhaps, whether or not the baby can explode through their belly button.
Fathers seem to have just a little less instinctual knowledge when it comes to parenting. However, the nurse did caution the mothers not to give too much advice on how to care for the baby--otherwise we'd end up doing all the diapering, feeding, washing, dressing, playing, etc. all by ourselves.
Apparently babies adapt to the way "mothers mother" and the way "fathers father," which means that the baby doesn't care if its diaper is on just so, if its outfit mismatches, or if its hair goes uncombed...so mother shouldn't either.
That means that our brand new baby may very well enjoy Andrew "boogity-woogity"-ing right in her face when she's brand new, although I really, really doubt that...
Please note: Andrew is actually very gentle with brand new babies. I don't think any boogity-woogity-ing will happen for at least a few months.