Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Harry Potter

Somehow tomorrow is February. I'm not really quite sure how that happened.

We finished reading Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's [The Philosopher's] Stone this evening. While we were reading, Miriam fished the Mr. Potato glasses out of the toy box and said, "Look at me! I'm Harry Potter! Me has Harry Potter glasses!"

In sickness and in...more sickness

We had another sick day at our house today and are planning on having another one tomorrow. Rachel's cough has gotten progressively worse over the last few days instead of getting better. She also developed a rash today...on her face and arms and legs and back and stomach...but not like fifth's disease...and not like scarlet fever...and not like chicken pox... I don't know what it is.

Miriam's still coughing as well.

And they're both getting fevers off and on.

They were both incredibly grumpy today. Miriam's sad and she doesn't know why but I think it's because she's sick but keeps trying to act like she's not because she's been sick for so long and just wants to be better. The other night she was up crying and I said, "Why are you crying, baby?"

"'Cuz I'm really, really sad," she sniffed.

"And why are you really, really sad?" I asked.

"'Cuz I'm crying," she told me.

Both of them had multiple fits today and although Miriam took a nap Rachel refused to even though she, too, really could have used one.

For lunch we had soup. Rachel wanted tomato soup (as always) and Miriam didn't (as always) so I brought up tomato soup and what my girls like to call "Tangled Hair Soup." Ordinary people might call it Ramen or Oriental Noodles or Ichiban, but those people are boring and unimaginative because clearly it isn't noodles at all but Rapunzel's hair turned into soup. Miriam didn't see the package of Tangled Hair Soup, though, and only noticed the can of tomato soup.

"What?!" she said angrily. "Not do I like tomato soup!"

"I know," I said, flashing the package of noodles, "I also brought some Tangled Hair Soup for you. I'll make them separately."

Miriam looked at me suspiciously.

"What's separate?" she asked.

"It means not together," I told her.

"Oh! Hey, Rachie—Mommy's making separate soup! We're going to have separate soup! She's making it separately!"

Sew much work

Rachel has been making Valentines like crazy. There are seven of them sitting on my desk—little cards that she folded, and then drew skiwampus (but beautiful) hearts and carefully penned the names of her little friends onto. Today we made a special card for Grandma—and our plan was to add it to the pile on my desk, but Rachel was so proud of it (and Grandma was so available) that Rachel delivered it today. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

British Drama

Sometimes family history work can be rather confusing. For example, I am a descendent of Charles Layton. The Layton line is well documented and goes back for generation upon generation—the problem is that Charles, at least biologically speaking, shouldn't hold the surname Layton. His mother, Bathsheba Layton, was an unwed mother—she was engaged to a sailor by the name of William Martin, who disappeared before the birth of the baby. Some sources presume he died at sea while Bathsheba was expecting Charles (1810-1831). Other sources say he lived to be a ripe old age (1810-1884).

It's somewhat of a mystery to me.

I suppose it doesn't really matter if he ran away from his responsibilities or if he died an untimely death. Either way, he wasn't in the picture by the time Charles came along.

Bathsheba later married Nathaniel Denton (sometime in the 1830s, according to my family tree on family search).

Charles, meanwhile, it seems was raised by his uncle Christopher, who was the founder of Layton, Utah.

I'm not clear when his uncle adopted him, but he's known on several records (and in most family stories that I've heard) as his "adopted child." Christopher joined the church and went to America and later Charles joined him—I found one account of his conversion story here although I think I would like to find a more detailed history of his life, if one exists. I frankly don't know.

Charles and Bathsheba were both sealed to Nathaniel Denton, though on family search, this wasn't completed until 1933 (Charles died in 1901—any parental figure he had died before him so this work was obviously done vicariously...and in Cardston, no of Charles' sons, Samuel, immigrated to Canada and settled in Alberta. I descend from Timothy, who stayed in Utah. Irony would have it that my dad later moved to Alberta where we were good friends with the Laytons who descended from Samuel).

On my family tree, it lists Nathaniel Denton as Charles' father. However, if Charles was born of William Martin and raised by Christopher Layton, I fail to see why this should be. But I can't exactly add William Martin as a husband for Bathsheba because they were never married...and I'm not sure at all how to list adopted parents...but Nathaniel Denton was an adoptive father to Charles at any rate.

So I don't know what to do and I'm terrible at finding documents, though I have found Charles' name on the passenger lists of a couple of ships sailing from Liverpool to New Orleans as well as on a few surveys and things. He's relatively easy to find, actually. It's his parents that are more difficult to document—though Nathaniel Denton came to America in 1874 so I kind of presume Bathsheba came then, too... Many of their children stayed behind in England.

Anyway...the long and the short of it is that I have no idea which line to follow. What I really want to know is all the mystery and drama surrounding William Martin.

Perhaps I've been watching too much Downton Abbey...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rain, rain, go away!

The other night when I went into the girls' room to check on some nighttime problems, I noticed that Rachel's blanket was wet...with droplets of water. She assured me she hadn't wet the bed and I believed her because wetting the bed doesn't usually leave droplets of water on the top of your quilt. Neither of us could think of a good answer, it being the middle of the night and all, so we decided to just ignore it and go back to sleep. Whatever had originally woken Rachel up had been taken care of and the water was a minor wasn't weighing on my mind as much as getting back into bed was.

In the morning, Rachel said, "Mom, I think I know how my blanket got wet last night."

"Oh, really?" I asked.

"Yeah," she said. "It's a pretty easy answer—it's been raining in my room at night."

"You know that it doesn't rain in the house, right?"

"Well, yes, but I have felt it rain in my room at night and come look at this!"

She took me into her bedroom and showed me some condensation on her windows.

"See? It really has been raining in my room. I know it's weird but it's happening."

"That's just condensation," I told her, "Probably from the humidifier."

"It is raining in my room," she insisted. "Just come and stay in my room all night and that way you'll know right when it starts raining. I don't know how it happens but it does!"

A simple...and altogether terrible...solution. I told her I would get to the bottom of it.

So last night before Andrew and I went to bed I went into the girls' room to see if it had started raining yet. The humidifier had already been running for a few hours so I went to feel Rachel's blankets. They were a little wet.

I climbed onto her bed and touched the ceiling. It was also a little wet. Wet enough that little water droplets were forming and dripping onto her.

So it has been raining in her room.

The condensation seems only to gather where the ceiling's already had some moisture damage—along what Rachel used to call the "ghost line" on her ceiling. The girls have been sick and coughing for so long that I think they still need the humidifier in there but we decided we could turn it off before we went to bed instead of having it run until it shuts off automatically (whenever that is). Hopefully that will lessen the frequency of Rachel's nighttime downpours because she refuses to sleep with her door open so the steam just gets trapped in her room...

Sink bath

The last record I have of Miriam having a sink bath was just over two years ago—on January 20th—she was three months old. It was much different than the sink bath she had today!

After dinner Rachel asked if they could have a bath and originally I said no because they should have one on Saturday so they'll be clean for Sunday. And then I realized that today is Saturday (darn it all; I thought it was Friday again) so quickly changed my mind and asked the girls to get ready for a bath. 

Miriam quickly stripped off her clothes and then ran into the kitchen, laughing, "I'm lake-ed!"

I love how she say lake-ed instead of naked.

Grandpa swooped her up and told her she was going to have a shower in the sink. This is a common little game of theirs—he'll dip her head in the sink and sprinkle her with water. She also enjoys asking him for a "sink-rink!" (or "sink-drink," for those of us who can pronounce all our consonant clusters).

Anyway, because she was so fit for a sink shower she ended up having a full on bath in the kitchen sink.

She thought it was both hilarious and enjoyable.

Saturday is a special day

Another weekend's come and gone and we have very little to show for it, though I did spend the morning going through toys and clothes (we ended up ditching two garbage bags full) and Andrew spent three hours working on a single statistics problem (which incidentally ended up being unassigned— he still has to do his homework after spending all that time on that tricky problem).

The girls had Emily over to play and got along nicely, for the most part. Grandma got a package in the mail yesterday and gave the girls the box. It was kind of funny, actually.

Grandma regularly donates blood at the Red Cross and she earns points throughout the year for doing so. At the end of the year she can cash her points in for a prize and this year she chose a Red Cross camping chair, which they said would ship in 8–12 weeks. Grandma gave blood on Thursday and yesterday was showing the girls the rectangle the phlebotomist drew on her arm so that he'd remember where to poke her after sterilizing the area and then Grandma said, "I wonder when my camping chairs going to get here..."

And the doorbell rang.

Rachel ran to answer it and there, instead of a person, stood a tall cardboard box.

It was from the Red Cross and inside was a camping chair.

The timing was impecable.

And the girls have really been enjoying that box. They coloured it with Emily today and were all sitting in it so cute so I ran to get the camera but by the time I came back, something tragic had happened and instead of capturing a beautiful moment I captured Rachel screaming, "YOU RUIN EVERYTHING!" at Emily. Fun times...

Friday, January 27, 2012

I think I broke it in my sleep

A couple of nights ago just as we were turning off the light to go to bed, a child called out in their sleep.


I sucked in some air and held my breath. Neither Andrew nor I moved until we were sure the moaner was really asleep and not actually calling out to me.

"I think they're asleep," Andrew whispered eventually.

"How come whenever they call out it sounds like they're saying mom?" I wondered.

"Because that is what they're saying," Andrew correctly told me.

Sometimes it's hard to have demands be thrown at you all day—and all night—long and sometimes I wish someone else could take a turn. Living in a house with three other adults does allow me more undemanded time than I would get otherwise—for example, the girls are downstairs "helping" Grandma do her morning exercises—but still.

Last night at about four o'clock in the morning I woke up to someone screaming.


Did they just say...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snowy days

It's finally started snowing, which is really alright with me because it's also still fairly warm. Walking home from school, though, is now a half hour venture. We have to stop every few feet to fall in the snow or jump in a puddle or pack a snowball or...

Tuesdays and Thursdays

This semester the Tuesday thru Thursday stretch is a little bit taxing. Andrew comes home after dinner but just in time for bedtime on Tuesday. On Wednesdays he's gone before anyone wakes up and comes home after the girls are (hopefully) asleep. On Thursdays he comes home just in time for dinner. If it wasn't for Tuesday and Thursday mornings I'd probably have gone crazy already.

Andrew doesn't have class until noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester so I convinced him that it should be his job to take Rachel to preschool since those are the days he goes. He seemed reluctant at first—parking is difficult unless you get to school super early so he likes to be there by 8:00 everyday so that he can park in the Tanner building parking garage. Otherwise he has to walk a ways.

I totally get this. It's cold outside. 

But, uh, how exactly do I get Rachel to school? I walk her there. In the cold. Yup. 

I'd rather not have to get up and get ready and get Miriam ready and get Rachel ready and leave the house with enough time to walk in the cold to get Rachel to school on time, especially when I'm pregnant. Getting up is getting easier now that I'm out of the first trimester but's cold in the morning! By noon, when I pick her up from school, it's usually warm.

We went to the Lewises' house for FHE a couple of weeks ago (our friends from Egypt who live here now) and I was talking with Sara (no h) about being pregnant because she was also recently pregnant (but sadly ended up with an angel baby—she is my hero in more than one way: she has handled this so well and she's also overall amazing) and she was assuring Andrew that my energy drain was no joke. Then she told a story about how once when Kevan was doing his master's degree he didn't have class until later in the day and she was pregnant so he let her sleep in every morning while he got all the kids up and ready for the day and off to school. 

Andrew hasn't complained about taking Rachel to preschool since that visit.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rewards of Motherhood

Yesterday morning the girls crawled into bed and cuddled with me, completely ignoring their dad until I pointed out that he might be a little jealous.

"You're the bestest, bestest, bestest mommy ever, ever, ever!" they crooned, stroking my hair and patting my cheeks. I think Rachel said it first and Miriam parroted it.

So far that day I had done nothing to deserve the compliment considering we were all still in bed. Why turn down a compliment though, right?

When I told them they should give some love to their daddy, too, Miriam simply said, "Me jump on you!"

And then she pounced on him.

Tonight I was cuddling Miriam while she was sucking on a cough drop (when she should have been in bed...but she's sick so she wasn't).

"Sweetie Mommy," she said, patting my cheek. "You're the bestest, bestest, bestest mommy ever!"

Sometimes being the mom has it's rewards.

And hearing that is one of them.

Unbecoming the baby

I'm not sure Miriam's ready to give up being the baby but that's alright because she has a few months left of it. My mom asked her once what she was going to do once her mommy had a new baby—at the time, Miriam was cuddled in my arms (as she often is).

"Oh, just keep it in my Mommy's tummy," she said.

A few days later my mom asked her the same question. This time she had a better answer (in my opinion).

"Me share with it!" she said happily.

Miriam's so tiny and cuddly that it's going to be hard giving her up as my baby, but there are a few habits we've been changing and that've been helping her to grow up. One of her most annoying habits (that we've been working on breaking) is her desire to cuddle...cleavage. Her fascination started after I weaned her in...July? August? I can't remember when we finally ended it but once she understood that it was over she decided that just because she no longer got milk it didn't mean that she shouldn't get access.

She'd cuddle on my lap, suck her thumb, and stick her hand down my shirt.

I'd pull her hand out.

She'd stick her hand down.

I'd pull her hand out.

She'd stick her hand down.

It was a constant battle and she had many excuses about why she should be allowed to do it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sometimes I Facebook Instead of Blog

Even with twenty posts under my belt so far this year, I feel like I have been slacking in the blogging department. My girls say so many funny things and I usually jot them down on Facebook simply because it's fast and easy and everyone tells me how great it is (while I usually get no comments here). But I feel like this is where the real record is kept—this is where I someday plan to pull material from for our family annals (not that we've ever succeeded in making a book but we certainly do intend to one day). Without further ado, here are a bunch of random funny things my kids have said that I have failed to blog about because I most often choose napping to fill my spare time over anything else (eventually I'll quit that, I hope)...

The weekend

On Saturday we got our first real snowfall of the season, meaning that it fell and it stuck. It rained all morning and half the afternoon and then suddenly the rain turned into huge, fluffy snowflakes. The girls wanted to go outside to play, even though the snow was mostly slush when they went out. 

Neither of them were feeling great so they only stayed out for a few minutes but long enough to soak through their winter things—snow doesn't take long to soak through when it's already halfway melted.

Valentine "Stained Glass"

A few days ago a friend sent me an invitation to Pintrest. So I joined. I didn't really think I'd like it but lo and behold...I do like it. So far I have made Winger's Sticky Finger Sauce (which was beyond good and way cheaper than actually eating there), popped popcorn in the microwave in a brown paper bag, and today the girls and I made this craft that I found (I think it was originally from Martha Stewart). 

It was really pretty simple but difficult for my girls. We just sharpened some crayons onto a sheet of wax paper, folded the wax paper in half, and ironed it before tracing and cutting out our hearts. 

Friday, January 20, 2012


This morning our neighbours came over to invite the girls to play. Again. They've called on us just about every day this week but for some reason Rachel was loathe to accept the invitation. Today they invited both Rachel and Miriam over to play and the girls were both very excited about that—strength in numbers, I guess. I asked Rachel why she was so against playing with Emily this week when during Christmas break she practically lived at Emily's house.

"I did not!" she said.

"You were over there all the time," I pointed out.

"But I slept here still so this is where I lived."

Good point. Still—it's just silly that she's been refusing to go over to Emily's house since then. I was excited that she was finally excited about going over there.

Unfortunately we were still in our pyjamas eating breakfast—I made a deal with the girls last night that I would read them stories if they wouldn't come bug me in the morning (since it was way past their bedtime by the time we got home from Relief Society) and they totally followed through on their end of the deal. They didn't come into my room until 9:00! It was lovely. But it made for a late morning so we said we'd finish eating breakfast and then get dressed and then walk over.

Rachel thought it would be fun to wear their matching outfits. Grandma got Rachel's outfit a while ago and Auntie Sarah gave Miriam her outfit for Christmas. It was a happy coincidence that they matched.

Miriam wore her outfit on Christmas day but hasn't worn it since.

She's recently become terrified of ladybugs. She keeps having nightmares where ladybugs and/or love bugs eat her. Yesterday when she woke up from her nap she was virtually unconsolable for a half hour—no one had any idea what she was talking about...until I caught "love bug" and "sharp teeth." Ah—another nightmare.

Good evening

I went to Relief Society this evening. It was great because A) it got me out of the house, which meant that I put something other than sweatpants on, and B) it was demonstration of quick and easy meals and dinnertime has been such a rut for me lately that having a whole list of ideas in my hand couldn't be anything but great.

The ideas really were quick and easy. What surprised me was that everyone seemed genuinely excited about them. I kept looking around the room and everyone was nodding their heads and spouting out suggestions and looking really thrilled about each and every recipe.

And I thought to myself, "Self, maybe you can cook."

That's kind of a revelation.

I think of myself as a survival cook, mostly—I eat to live, not the other way around—so my meals are generally quick and easy and perhaps even a little...boring.

But here is this whole room of women getting all excited about recipes that I know I can make. So if they're eating what I'm eating and I think what they're making is good then what I'm making must be good, too, right?

If A=B and B=C then A=C.

That's a thing, right?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Random stories

Miriam loves getting herself dressed. Her outfits may be a little crazy sometimes but at least she usually has clothes on. Rachel was the opposite when she was two and was usually found running around naked instead of running around with three or four dresses on.

A couple of nights ago Miriam was getting herself ready for bed when she confused her pants and shirt. She was very frustrated with how things were going.

All State Honour Choir concert

On Saturday Josie participated in Utah's All State Honour Choir—they performed up in Roy, which is a little over an hour away. Miriam, my mom, and I went to watch. Rachel wanted to come so badly but she's been coughing so hard that she's been throwing up and I couldn't really imagine trying to deal with that in the middle of a concert so she had to stay home. At first she was a little upset by the idea but eventually we were able to bring her around to accepting the idea—she'd get to stay at home with Daddy and he'd let her watch Harry Potter. It wasn't a bad deal.

But then my mom came to pick me and Miriam up and Rachel got upset all over again. My mom had brought a new colouring book as a surprise for Miriam (for entertainment purposes at the concert) but instead decided to leave it with Rachel, who had followed us out to the car in a last ditch effort to convince us to take her with us. She cheered up quite nicely after the colouring book was in her hands.

The drive to Roy was relatively uneventful but I think half the traffic on the freeway was going there. The auditorium was packed but we found some nice seats on the front row. We were hoping we'd be able to see Josie on stage, and we did. But only for a minute.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tonight's bedtime prayer

"Alright, Miriam. It's your turn to pray—go ahead. And remember to say something new," I prompted.

"Dear Father," she began, "Bless a day. Something new. And...Rachel it's not your turn! Stop folding your arms! It's not your turn to pray! Mom! Rachel's praying! It's my turn to pray! Hey! Hey! Hey! Stop that, Rachel!"

We're getting there.


But we're getting there.

Night soil

"Hold your hair back," I called out to Rachel as I ran from the bathroom gasping for breath. It was under the guise of getting a glass of water for her that I left her to throw up on her own.

I'm such a good mom.

I've dealt with enough throw up lately even though, admittedly, we've been given a decent break. I almost can't remember those six-ish weeks my girls took turns throwing up through November and December.

Just kidding. I remember it a whole lot. Worst first trimester ever!

I've yet to throw up due to pregnancy. I've thrown up while pregnant due to stomach flu or food poisoning but I have never thrown up just because I'm pregnant. And while that sounds nice enough it doesn't mean that I don't ever feel nauseated or that I lack a gag reflex (because I sure was gagging this morning while I took care of Rachel).

I was also gagging yesterday while I cleaned out Miriam's little potty. Whether she likes it or not (and she doesn't) I've been transitioning her to the big potty for the simple reason that I can't stand to empty her little potty anymore. The only times she uses it are when she takes herself or when her daddy takes her. And maybe I'll talk to him about being devoted enough to hold Miriam on the big potty because he doesn't like emptying her potty and usually leaves it for me to do and right now it's a chore that I can hardly get through.

We've been discussing human waste a lot lately, anyway.

Recently Andrew found out what projects he'll be helping with when he goes to Ghana. They work with the church every year (last year they did some research for the Perpetual Education Fund) and also help a non-profit organization with a project (last year they did some research on market hierarchies). This year their non-profit organization is SainTerre. They'll be helping to develop marketing strategies for the Soilet, "a simple, innovative and sustainable sanitation solution built in the developing world for the developing world. The Soilet digests human waste in ecosystem."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cookies and eggs

The girls were in the kitchen this morning making cookies with Grandma when Rachel decided she'd better pray over the cookies before eating one. This made Miriam quite upset since we'd already said family prayer and had prayed over our breakfasts but Grandma explained that it's okay to pray anytime about anything—even cookies.

So Miriam said a very thoughtful prayer of her own.

"Dear Father," she said, "Bless a day. Name of Jesus Christ—bless the cookies—amen!"

Usually she only ever thinks to say "bless a day" and we have to coax and prompt her to say anything else so the fact that she thought to add anything "extra" to her prayer at all was special.

Now that Andrew's back in school he misses out on a lot of our cooking endeavors—he isn't home for dinner on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, for example. Yesterday I made lentil soup since Diana said she was making lentil soup and that sounded good. Andrew came home and heated some up and then decided he wanted a little something to go along with it, so he opened the fridge and looked around.

There were three eggs that were sitting in the door, separated from their peers in the egg container, in what he figured was a very conspicuous manner. Obviously, he figured, these eggs were leftover hardboiled eggs from when his mom had made potato salad for the BYU kids. He took out an egg, walked over to the counter, and smacked it to break the shell. Much to his surprise (and disappointment) it was not a hardboiled egg.

Egg went everywhere.

He said, overall, that he's glad he decided to eat that tempting "hardboiled" egg at home because he had thought about throwing it in his nifty Star Wars lunchbox to take to school. And it just so happened that he had eaten lunch in class, which meant that he would have been smacking that egg on his desk to break the shell.

That would have been much more embarrassing and much more difficult to clean up, not to mention disruptive.

Somehow just thinking about it makes me giggle though. 

Sunday, January 08, 2012

I totally jumpstarted a car today

We had to jumpstart our car this morning. It's a good Sabbath morning activity, don't you think? I went into the kitchen with the girls to get breakfast and Karen said, "Did you see the note about the battery?"

"No," I said.

Then she told me that the green car wouldn't start so Reid had taken the van to work. Andrew was the last one to drive the green car and, for some reason, had turned the lights on...even though he had run down to campus for one class on Friday. He drove home at noon. Who turns their lights on at noon?

This is not the first time he's done this.

I went to find him and said, "You're in big trouble. The green car won't start."

So after he'd showered and gotten dressed for church (because—obviously—you should work on your car after you're in your Sunday best) he started to work on the car.

First he verified that the car wouldn't start. It wouldn't. Then he pulled his mom's car alongside the green car.

Meanwhile I researched how to jumpstart a car (because, truthfully, we've never done this successfully before—the last time he killed the battery he killed it good and we had to buy a new one).

Then Andrew looked for the booster cables.

"Where are the booster cables?" he asked.

And then I found the booster cables for him.

Then Andrew stood there holding the cables and looking confused.

So I said, "Red—positive. Black—negative. Go!"

Another laugh

I've actually been feeling incredibly sick today so Andrew's been putting me down for a lot of naps. Seriously. He let me sleep in this morning and then right after he put Miriam down for her nap this afternoon he came into our bedroom, turned off the light on me and shut the door. I came out of the room and said, "Uh, did you just put me down for a nap?"

"Yes, I did," he said.

"Sweet!" I said and went to lie down in our now-dark room.

And then he did homework and Rachel played with Littlest Pet Shops, which my friend Sara once lauded as being the very best toys in the whole world. I'll admit, I was skeptical (probably because when she told me this I only had one child who was still very much into swallowing small, inedible objects like Littlest Pet Shops accessories) but Grandma got some for Rachel for Christmas and they have already provided hours of entertainment. Hours. I don't know why she can sit and play with these little animals for hours without needing anyone to interact with her but she can. It's like magic.

Miriam and I got up from our naps at around 4:30. They were late naps because we went to the baptism and everything. Anyway, then I sat around trying to make a menu of meals for our poor family to eat (which I failed at miserably because I just don't feel good). Then it was dinnertime so I made a measly meal of sweet potato fries and apple slices and a motley assortment of leftovers that no one really touched. It was seriously the most pathetic meal I've "cooked" in a long time.

Grandma and Grandpa came upstairs and rescued my poor children by feeding them bagels with cream cheese. I couldn't bring myself to eat one.

Then I gave the girls a bath and then I let Andrew get them in their pyjamas while I slumped in my chair and did nothing and then we had scriptures and prayer.

I read a few verses and then said, "Okay, Rachel, your turn."

I put my finger under the words she was supposed to read.

"And..." she said. "Ummm...and...and...and...uhhhh..."

Yup. The first word was "and."

And—guess what!—my child can't exactly read yet. Duh.

I burst out laughing. Andrew did, too. And then the girls joined in, even though they had no idea why we were laughing.

"What's so funny?" Rachel squeaked out between giggles.

What's so funny is that Rachel can't read and I've known that for years (because she's my daughter and she's only four years old) and yet I somehow spaced that and expected her to just take her turn without prompting her at all. Usually I run my finger under the words and say them so that she can repeat them.

I don't know what I was thinking.

Probably I wasn't thinking.

But we all enjoyed the moment thoroughly.

And then I read Harry Potter to the girls for a half hour (interspersed with various board books that Miriam decided should be read to break up the monotony of novel-reading, which she's really too young to handle) and then finished up the evening with lullabies.

It was a good day.

And now I'm kind of hungry again because sweet potatoes and apples? Apparently those digest somewhat fast.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


This afternoon we went to my friend Tracy's son's baptism. When I told Rachel we were going to go I thought she'd be excited but instead she said, "You know, I've already been to a baptism—remember, like, when my cousin got baptized?"

I convinced her to go, though, by explaining that her friends would be there.

So we went and the baptism was wonderful and Rachel sat with her friends. And then we were invited to go back to Tracy's house for refreshments. We went outside and had a bit of a snowball fight (Rachel hit me in the face...twice...her aim is killer) because it finally snowed. Then we started loading into the van but, for some reason, our van started panicking. And we couldn't get it to stop.

There we were, in the church parking lot, with our horn beeping wildly.

It was rather embarrassing.

Rachel's door was stuck halfway open and we couldn't close it because it's a cool door that closes at the touch of a button and our car had "locked" it because it was in panic mode. It seemed like the horn was beeping non-stop, even though the manual said it should only beep for thirty seconds. After a few minutes we decided that we had no choice but to drive home, all the while panicking.

I felt inclined to wave like we were in a parade.

Beep, beep!

Why, hello there.

Beep, beep!

Yeah, we're totally famous.

Beep, beep!

Don't sleep. Get dressed!

This morning Miriam climbed in bed with us and asked for breakfast. It's Saturday so I told her to bug her daddy. She began shaking him and chanting, "Don't sleep. Get dressed. Don't sleep. Get dressed. Don't sleep. Get dressed."

"Is that her new mantra or something?" I asked.

"It must be," said Andrew.

It certainly explains her behaviour lately. 

What behaviour? Oh, the behaviour of staying up until all hours of the night trying on various outfits. 

I checked on her at 11:30 last night (after the girls' room had been quiet for a full half hour) and found her wearing a play dress and a pair of Rachel's dress shoes over her footie jammies.

We'd already gone in multiple times through the evening to rescue a screaming Miriam from being tangled in t-shirts and nightgowns and other such things. I guess she finally found the right outfit, though, and was able to go to sleep.

I can almost see her muttering that to herself while she digs through her drawers in the dark—don't sleep, get dressed, don't sleep, get dressed, don't sleep, get dressed...

Friday, January 06, 2012

A busy day

Today was kind of a busy day. I had my first prenatal appointment in the morning—I chose a family physician this time and I think that was a good choice. With Rachel I went to a regular ordinary obstetrician, which was fine—I just couldn't shake the feeling that I was on an assembly line of sorts since delivering babies was virtually all that doctor did, which is fine. His office is across town, though, and there are other perfectly good doctors right here.

Furthermore, the clinic I went to today was pretty awesome. I may have been there forever but first appointments always take forever, don't they? The cool thing was I had an ultrasound (to verify my due date since there was some question as to its veracity) and did some blood work. Right there. I didn't have to take my doctor's orders to another location (technically in another city) for those things. That part was really nice. You'd think an obstetrician's office—especially one that's virtually in a hospital—would be equipped with an ultrasound machine since most pregnant women I know get at least one ultrasound.

But, anyway...there was an ultrasound machine right in my examination room today so I got to see the little jumping bean with my own eyes, which is always a little surreal at this point because I can hardly tell I'm pregnant at all. I will never understand how a stranger can poke my tummy a few times and say, "Yup, I'd say you're measuring right around twelve weeks," and then have the ultrasound prove them right. Granted, those strangers are usually doctors...but no matter how much I poke my own stomach I can hardly tell anything is different at all. I don't get it. And that's just one of many reasons why I'm not a doctor.

So I walked out of my appointment today feeling a bit like a human experiment (urine sample, pap smear, ultrasound, blood work) but completely finished (until next time) and with a new (and slightly closer) due date: July 18th.

That means that I'm just days away from saying goodbye to the first trimester. I hope the second trimester brings back my energy because I didn't get a nap this afternoon and it just about killed me. No joke.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


This week I read a couple of interesting articles on seemingly different topics but somehow reading them in sequence made them make even more sense than if I had read them separately.

The first is Jeff Lindsay's recent blog post about miracles on his blog, Mormanity.

The second is By Common Consent's article on Mental Illness and George Albert Smith, but more specifically the article linked to within the post—a wonderful piece by Mary Jane Woodger called "Cheat the Asylum of a Victim": George Albert Smith's 1909–1912 Breakdown.

George Albert Smith suffered from "nervous frustration" and "nervous problems" his entire life. I think that's pretty important to note—there are some problems that simply never go away. You have to battle them for as long as you live.

yeah thing 96 yo 133

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. The clinic called my phone and left a message to remind me. Google Voice transcribed that message for me.

Nancy Heiss bye. Hello, this is try getting medical clinic. We are calling to remind bye. Yeah, Nancy Heiss bye you up an appointment with us Friday, January 6th at bye. Yeah, I'm 30 AM, yeah. If you are unable to keep this appointment for any reason please call us as soon as possible at 8:01 yeah thing 96 yo 133. 3 you cancel or reschedule.... You look forward to seeing you. Bye.

I listened to the message just to make sure I had the time right in my calendar.

The audio message was much more understandable than the transcribed message but the transcribed message was so fun to read. It made me nostalgic for my doctor appointments in Egypt.

Really. It did.

Winter Break Adventure

Tuesday was our last day of freedom. Although Rachel had preschool in the morning, Andrew didn't start school until Wednesday which meant we had the afternoon off—the last afternoon of winter break. We decided to be adventurous and headed out to BYU campus. Because what's more adventurous than going to school on a day you don't have to go to school?

Our first stop was the Museum of Peoples and Cultures. This was the first time we've ever actually made it to this particular museum and it wasn't actually half bad. They had a display on Guatemala, specifically on modern Mayan people, showcasing various woven materials.

"Wow!" Rachel breathed, "These things are so old. They must be ancient!"

In reality everything in the exhibit was circa 2000...AD. So it wasn't ancient at all, though in her defense everything was older than she was. She was a little disappointed when I told her that the exhibit was actually about people living today instead of ancient people.

Then we came upon a little play corner with a mural of a village and a little child with a felt vest and a board with all sorts of felt shapes to allow children to make their own ikat patterns on the fake child's vest. The girls had fun doing this and then Rachel touched the wall and said, "This wall must be very old."

Monday, January 02, 2012

Nobody did it

One day not too long ago, I woke up to Miriam announcing that she'd wet the bed. I helped her out of her wet jammies and took her to the potty and helped her find some dry clothes and then asked the girls to go out to the kitchen to start getting breakfast things ready while I finished dealing with the wet bed problem.

They can do things like get bowls and spoons and choose cereal. All I have to do is pour their milk. And one of these days they will start doing that themselves. And it will be glorious.

On this particular day, however, they chose to have Pop Tarts. Not that what they chose to have for breakfast is relevant or important to the story. Suffice it to say they both dashed off to the kitchen to get some breakfast.

Thirty seconds later, there was a tremendous crash and Miriam started screaming so I dropped what I was doing and rushed out to the kitchen to see what was the matter.

Thankful Tree 2011

Would you believe I actually took a picture of our Thankful tree on Thanksgiving, fully intending to take it down? Would you believe that I'm only getting around to taking it down today?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year's Eve 2011

Yesterday we went to the BYU basketball game at the Marriott Center. Since I haven't been feeling very well lately I quit being a parent and allowed my children to wander freely among the other adults in our party. Auntie Sarah was happy enough to have Miriam dancing around her, I think, so it worked out alright.