Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Random stories

On Friday during lunch the girls were putting their arms around each other and cuddling their heads together. They asked that I get the camera and take a picture of how much they love each other.

By the time I got back with the camera, though, Miriam was over the idea of cuddling her sister and I instead got a picture of her elbowing Rachel in the face. They love each other so much. Honest.

Fever-free Tuesday

Miriam and I stayed up late last night watching "UP." I forced Miriam to eat freezie (OtterPop) after freezie after freezie. She went to bed around midnight and didn't get up until nearly 10 o'clock this morning. It was wonderful, even if I didn't get to sleep the whole time. I have more than one child to cater to so I rarely sleep through the night but I'm pretty much used to that by now. Rachel's been having trouble sleeping—she's been rather stressed out about everything, too—and woke up crying in the middle of the night and I of course had to get up to use the bathroom a couple of times due to a silly baby bouncing on my bladder.

I gave Miriam some tylenol at around 5:00 AM but she didn't really wake up for that at all. She just drank it right down—she's a very obedient sleeping person.

We had our first fever-free day today, which was almost as wonderful as sleeping through the night, if not more so. Of course, we've been pumping Miriam full of tylenol/ibuprofen every few hours and haven't given her fever a chance to come back. The doctor said it was probably best to do that for a couple of days since she's been going from normal to deathly in no time flat.

I'm not usually one to get nervous about fevers but Miriam's had a fever since Friday. On Saturday when it was just around 100 I wasn't worried but when it started creeping up into 103.5 I started more drastic measures (like actually giving her tylenol and bathing her to get her fever to come down). Watching the numbers flip by on the thermometer makes me nervous—our thermometers have spent the past couple of days zooming up to 104. Today though the numbers were just creeping through the 90s.

98.6 has never looked so beautiful before. It might just be my new favourite number.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Just another day at the hospital

My dear little girls woke up at 8:00 on the dot this morning. Part of me was grateful because it meant that I was able to call the doctor's office first thing this morning. Part of me was wondering how they managed to wake up, considering Rachel was up until 10:00 and was up once in the night and Miriam was up until midnight and was up and down like a yo-yo. 

Miriam seemed fine but I was supposed to get her in for a follow-up appointment. Unfortunately her pediatrician was booked through the day and would only be able to see her at 10:00 in the morning, which was hardly a 24-hour follow up appointment. I finally got through to the nurse who quickly reviewed the paperwork the ER had faxed to our doctor and conferred with our doctor about whether or not a follow-up was really necessary. Our doctor said that since she seemed better and wasn't running a fever he probably didn't need to see her—and we could just remove her IV line by ourselves.

I said that probably wasn't going to happen. 

She hates the IV line and has been carrying on about how painful the "beetle" in her arm is and hasn't been using it at all. We had to hide her arm from her all day so that she wouldn't cry. There is no way I'd be able to get her to let me unwrap her bandage and pull the IV out unless she was unconscious or something. 

Alternatively I suppose I could have peeled the tape off and let her rip the IV out herself. She probably would have done that.

The nurse said I could come in that afternoon and she'd take the IV out for us. 

We got breakfast and then I popped "Snow White" on and we settled in to what was supposed to be a relaxing morning. However, through the course of the movie Miriam got hotter and hotter and hotter and when it was over she wouldn't even stand up. 

"I think your fever's back," I said. "Let's get you some more medicine."

Sick, sick baby

We left Miriam with Grandma while we went to church—Grandma had stake conference and volunteered to stay home with Miriam since she didn't have any obligations to fulfill in her ward today—and when we got home Miriam was napping. She had woken up with a high fever again this morning so we gave her some Motrin and showered her off to cool her down. Grandma said she was still doing alright when she put her to bed, but when she woke up (shortly after we got home from church, before we'd gotten lunch ready or anything) she was not alright.

"Momma! Momma!" she croaked from her bed.

She wouldn't even lift up her head. I picked her up and she went completely limp in my arms, her head and limbs flopped all over the place while I walked her to the rocking chair.

"How do you feel, baby?" I asked.

"Good," she said.

"Liar!" I said. "You can't possibly feel good—you're burning up!"

I took her temperature, under her arm again. Up and up and up it went. 104.1 is where it finally stopped.

"That's it," I said. "We are taking her to the doctor. She's had this fever for days and now it's up far too high."

The only way we've been able to keep it at bay was by bathing and giving her Motrin—but she can only have a dose every six hours and her fever was coming back long before another dose was due.

We abandoned our lunch plans, ran Rachel over to the neighbour's house (where Grandma was visiting teaching) and headed to the InstaCare. I thought we'd be in and out with a prescription in no time.

I was wrong. Instead, when we told the receptionist what was wrong she called a nurse to come see us right away—she actually checked Miriam in the waiting room—and she told us to get to the emergency room right away (she was worried Miriam was dehydrated and there's nothing they could do for us at the clinic for that) so we headed over to Orem Community Hospital.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Miriam's sick...the fun never ends here

All of our Saturdays in February have been incredibly busy—they wear us out because we're not used to it. We're booked solid from noon until bedtime, it seems, which is far too long to be booked solid for a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and their pregnant mother.

Last night Miriam woke up around midnight feeling sick. She just wanted to cuddle and was running a slight fever but couldn't really tell us where she was hurting.

"My head is hurt and my tummy is hurt and my back is hurt and my neck is hurt and..."

Perhaps, we thought, she had one of those full body aches brought on by the flu.

We hadn't gotten ready for bed yet because we'd just finished watching "True Grit" and so I suggested to Miriam that she cuddle with Andrew while I got ready for bed and then I'd cuddle her while Andrew got ready for bed and then we could all fall asleep together. It was a beautiful plan but it fell apart seconds after I started brushing my teeth.

Miriam's tummy was hurt.

"Hold me!" she begged Andrew, cuddling close into his chest.

And then...vomit.

Wild West

Andrew and I watched "True Grit" last night—the 2010 version directed by the Coen Brothers. It was fabulous. I have only seen a few of the films the Coens have directed—"O Brother Where Art Thou," and "Raising Arizona," both of which are fabulous, if not a little quirky. "True Grit" was also quirky and fabulous.

When Karen asked us how it was and if it deserved all the awards/nominations it got, Andrew said that it certainly did. It was "funny."

"Funny?!" I gasped.

It is not funny. It is a drama. But it is a quirky drama.

For example, there was not a single contraction in the entire script, which almost made the language sound stilted, especially when the ruffians were speaking, but somehow it ended up sounding natural. When Tom Chaney declared, "I am not happy," I wanted to die laughing...but because it was such a tense part in the movie I could not.

I'm, you're, and couldn't've were all I am, you are, and could not have.

There was not even an ain't to be heard, however you expand that contraction.

All day long I have been noticing how many contractions I use. I use a lot. I imagine they did back in the days of the Wild West as well. Even when I am typing I like to throw in contractions because it reads smoother to me. But the lack of contractions was a quirk I enjoyed, as unrealistic as it may have been.

The movie helped me to understand where the term "midwest" came from. The story takes place in Arkansas and Oklahoma. At first it was hard for me to think of those states as part of the Wild West...but they were. For some reason I have no problem linking Texas + Wild West in my brain but it took me a while to get over Arkansas. But when Mattie arrives to collect her father's body and you see that the train tracks end right there (but that they have obvious plans of going farther) it hit me that they really were in frontier county.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

No-blood Wednesday

First of all, I'd just like to publicly announce that not a single drop of blood was spilled today. It's an Ash Wednesday miracle! And now we can start one of those cool counter things:

Heissatopia has gone 1 day(s) without a lost-time accident!

Safety first. That's our motto.

To celebrate our accident-free day we went to the playground. It was so warm out when we left the house (54°F/12°C) but then some clouds blew in and covered the sun and it turned blustery and chilly. I don't know how cold it got because instead of checking the temperature when we got home I made some hot chocolate and apple cider to help us warm up. We were only out for about an hour but we were freezing when we got home.

It was worth it though, I suppose. The girls got lots of energy out while doing their laps up to the slide and back down again. That's pretty much all they did. 

Miriam was afraid of the tunnel again. Every time we get to the park after a long spell of not going to the park (this is the first time we've gone down to the this particular park this year) we have to reintroduce her to the tunnel. She cried about it today until I agreed to go up with her.

The second time I made her do it by herself and she got up this far...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tiding lahandingheum

Today Miriam came up to me and said, "Watch this, Mom!" Then she kneeled down on the floor and started clapping her hands and singing what at once sounded familiar and foreign. It took me a minute to realize why—it was because it was both familiar and foreign. She's singing a line from the Tari Saman I'm learning with my sister and mom.

I told Miriam it was very cute and then asked her if she'd do it again for the camera. She agreed to.

She sings, "Tiding lahandingheum!" twice. Then she says, "That is very cute!" before singing "Tiding lahandingheum" once more.

I have no idea what "Tiding lahandingheum" means but neither do the Indonesians in our group—it's in a dialect of Aceh, which is only spoken on the island of Aceh, which is where the Tari Saman comes from. I've been writing a post about Tari Saman but I'm not ready to post it yet. I want to wait until I have a video of our performance because I want it to be a surprise...because I know you're all so excited, right?

*crickets chirping*

Anyway, here is my baby girl performing a segment of a Tari Saman:

Monday and Tuesday

Monday was a holiday. In America, it was President's Day. In Alberta, we adopted President's Day because we wanted a day off in February but since we don't have presidents we called it Family Day and it's just a day when everyone does stuff with their family—lots of places offer good deals on family pricing that day (pools and such). I'm just happy for a day off at all. 

Andrew slept in the longest and Rachel finally went in to wake him up. She bounced on him a bit and then started to get really silly jumping on the bed. Andrew was still more than half asleep—he's impossible to wake up. Then there was a crash and a scream and Rachel ran out of the bedroom and into my arms, still screaming.

She put her hand up to her head, screaming/explaining that she'd fallen off the bed and had hit her head on the dresser. Suddenly she pulled her hand away and stared at it, shaking.

"THERE'S BLOOD!" she screamed.

"Where did you hit your head?" I asked, combing through her hair.

"On the corner! On the corner!" she screamed.

"Not 'Where did you hit your head on the dresser?'—Where did you hit your head on your head?"

"Oh," she sniffed, and showed me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Sunday was a lovely day, for the most part. Teaching Sunbeams is always exhausting, but we expect that. This Sunday Rachel's teacher was sick and couldn't find a substitute so we taught Rachel's class as well—both classes are small so it wasn't overwhelming, especially since Andrew and I team teach.

After church Andrew went home teaching and I watched the girls. Then Miriam and I went down for a nap and Rachel started Prince of Egypt (that's a church movie, right?) and then Andrew went to choir and Grandma came home from her ward and then Miriam woke up and joined Rachel watching the movie. And then I woke up to the sound of Andrew making banana bread.

After dinner the girls got ready for bed and made some silly Harry Potter faces with Andrew. Andrew and the girls and his mom are slightly double jointed and can bend their fingers in really awkward ways. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

While we were at the symphony...

Rachel and Miriam love when we go out—more specifically they love when I go out—because it usually means they get to watch a movie.

Tonight was no different.

During dinner they planned with Grandma and Grandpa to watch Tangled and have a popcorn party after they put on their pyjamas. They were already halfway into their pyjamas by the time we were leaving.

How unfair is that?

I usually have to chase the kids around the house naked (them naked, not me) and pin them down to get them in pyjamas. Okay, so I only have to chase Rachel around occasionally anymore but I think chasing Miriam (clad only in underwear (and sometimes not even that)) is a nightly occurrence.

Anyway, I said, "I'm leaving. Goodbye."

Rachel ran over and gave me a hug and a kiss and promised she'd be good, all without prompting.

Miriam waved and said, "Goodbye!" without offering a hug or kiss at all—she was ready to get her party on. But I made her give me a kiss goodbye, anyway.

I think they had a good time. Miriam's always a little bit in awe when we let her watch a full movie because usually if I let Rachel choose a show to watch it's while Miriam's napping and she knows this so she always looks pleased as punch that she's not being put to bed while everyone else is watching TV (because you know that's all anyone ever does while she's sleeping...or not).

After their movie Grandma and Grandpa were doing the finishing touches on bedtime—potty, teeth brushing, stories, that kind of thing. Miriam decided that she didn't want to wear her footie-jammies anymore so Grandma was helping her into a different pair and while they were busy doing that Grandpa decided that Rachel could use a tickle fight.

So he attacked her, tickling away, while she was climbing into bed.

He tickled her and tickled her and tickled her...and anyone who knows anything about this child's esophagus could tell you right now that this was bad, bad idea.

Valentine's Day...finally

On Valentine's Day eve Andrew invited me to go on a mystery date with him on Saturday, for Valentine's Day. He put "date with the most beautiful woman in the world" on the calendar and he wouldn't tell me what the date was...for about an hour...before he caved and told me because he can't keep secrets.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winter weather, Spanish, and spiders

This winter has been decent, I suppose. It hasn't been terribly cold but it hasn't been wonderfully warm, either. It looks inviting enough outside that I want to go out but once I go out I want to go back in. In a couple of a weeks I have a suspicion (or at least a hope) that we'll officially enter sweater weather and we can return to the park. I hardly know what to do indoors anymore.

We checked a book out of the library a couple of weeks ago called My Mom Hates Me in January (by Judy Delton). I thought it was hilarious and am rather sad that it's out of print (and costs more than $100 to get a used copy on thanks) because I think it's one that needs to be in our permanent collection so that I can read it to my children every year.

Basically, the story is about a mom being driven insane by being cooped up all day and about a boy being driven insane because of it. Popcorn is too messy. No play dough in the living room. That's too noisy. And so forth.

His mother eventually sends him outside and he talks about how he went sledding and built a snowman and made snow angels until he was freezing cold and soaked through to his skin. But when he comes home his mother said, "You're back already?! You just went outside!"

At the very end of the book it starts to turn into spring and his mother gets all excited and calls him to look at the birds and then makes popcorn and breaks out the play dough and they have a wonderful afternoon together. The boy concludes that, perhaps, his mother doesn't hate him after all. Perhaps, he thinks...she just hates January.

And that is just like me, except that as a general rule I also hate November and December and February as well. And sometimes October and March, too. It all depends.

Like I said, this year hasn't been terrible at all but we're still feeling a little cooped up.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Knock, knock. Hoosier?

There are a few things about the States that just I can't keep straight or that I simply don't know:

1) Memorial Day and Labour Day. It's possible this one can be bumped off the list now because I just realized (yes, just now) that Memorial and May start with the same letter. Ta-da! But they're both holidays of... barbecuing? Maybe. I'm not really sure what either of them are for. Don't hate me. I'm just happy for a holiday even if I don't quite get it.

2) Pint. Mint, lint, splint, sprint, tint, hint... Pint doesn't rhyme with any of those words. Apparently.

Additionally, quarts. And gallons. And things like that. Andrew and I just had the revelation (yes, just this year) that a quart is probably a quarter of something. And it is—it's a quarter of a gallon! Who knew? A pint is an eighth of a gallon. Then there are cups and ounces and...come on, people! I do love the metric system. Why do we even talk about pints anymore?

3) The Midwest. We're looking at schools in "the midwest." Apparently. But I've lived so far west for a good chunk of my life that living in Utah still seems like it is midwest while the midwest seems pretty far east to me. Really far east, to be honest. I mean, if you were to draw a line down the middle of the United States I think most of the midwestern states would fall to the east of that line.

4) Yosemite. Not /Yohz-uh-might/. /Yo-sem-ih-tea/. You're welcome.

5) Hoosier. I hadn't really come across this term until I began researching Indiana University—Bloomington. Turns out, you don't pronounce it /hoo-si-er/ or people (like Andrew) will laugh at you. It's pronounced /ho-zure/ (kind of a last-syllable rhyme with seizure). I don't know why but that's okay because nobody else does, either. In fact, nobody even knows what a hoosier is, even though it's the mascot for IUB.

17 weeks and a busy day

Today I'm 17 weeks & 3 days along, I believe, so I figured it was time for a belly shot. My first belly shot with Miriam was around 17 weeks. My first belly shot with Rachel was at 18 weeks and I had nothing to show for it, really...I had nothing to show, really, until late in March and even then it wasn't anything much.

I think my tummy's poking out about as much as it was when I was this far along with Miriam, perhaps a little more so but I was rather exhausted when this picture was taken and my stomach seems to poke out more the more tired I get because I get too tired to pay attention to my posture, I suppose.

I thought about changing into the blue shirt I wore with Miriam's 17 week shot but then I realized that would involve standing up. I am just tired enough that standing up sounds dreadful.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bird games

This morning the girls were looking out the window, watching Daddy drive away, when they noticed some birds in the yard enjoying Grandma's callery pear tree. A few of the birds were robins and one of them flew right up onto the deck, which the girls got really excited about because they'd "never seen a robin that close up before!"

They've since been pretending to be a robin (Rachel) and a duck (respectively), making nests on the living room floor and so forth.

Rachel lamented that she has "two wishes: one, [she] want[s] to be Hermione because [she] love[s] Hermione and two, [she] want[s] to be a robin because they're so cool! But [she] can't be both..."

She drew a beautiful picture of their game—she's the robin, sitting on her nest (all seven of her eggs have already hatched into young robins). Miriam's the little duck in the pond. There's a butterfly and a dragonfly in the sky, some flowers on the ground. It's a beautiful picture. She's very proud of it.

She said I could take a picture of her picture and send the picture of her picture to Uncle Jacob but that he can't have the actual picture because she's keeping it forever.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

FHE fail

For FHE yesterday we had a lesson on gratitude, specifically on gratitude to the Lord. I filled a brown paper bag with items from around the house (toy food, a picture of the scriptures, a toy animal, etc) and then had the girls pull out the items one at a time so we could discuss how it was a blessing in our lives and how we can show the Lord we're thankful for it.

We told them to close their eyes when they reached in the bag, which Miriam took very seriously. She pulled out the toy pear. We talked about how food helps our bodies grow and that we can thank our Heavenly Father for our food by praying before we eat so that we can say thank you but also by eating responsibly—for example, eating good things that actually nourish our bodies and not wasting food, that kind of thing.

I think it was also Miriam who pulled out the toy elephant.

"I am not thankful for elephants!" Rachel said at once—that day at the Cairo Zoo was a little traumatizing for her—"Remember that one time that elephant tried to eat my hair!?"

"What about animals in general?" I asked.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

I'm a pirate!

On Saturday Rachel game with me for the dance practice my mom, sister, and I had. She was asking a lot of questions about it in the car on the way to BYU. We gave her the brief rundown:

It's called Saman. It's a dance from the Indonesian island of Aceh. It's kind of related to Gamelan, which is music from the Indonesian island of Bali. 

Rachel might be one of only a few North American four-year-olds who knows what Gamelan is so she didn't ask for more of an explanation about that. Instead she asked what an island was.

Bookmarks and Arabic

If you look on our bookshelf between Harry Potter 1 and Harry Potter 3, you'll find this:

It's a little booklet that Rachel made so that we know Harry Potter is "checked out" and is in her bedroom instead of on the shelf. She wrote Harry Potter on the front. Or rather, she wrote:


Sunday, February 05, 2012

Pizza night

On Friday night, Daddy proposed we make pizza for dinner. He mixed the dough and got all the toppings out. I shaped the dough in the pans and everyone helped put the toppings on—except for Rachel who was busy learning how to type on Andrew's computer (she can do home row at 2.7 WPM—be amazed).

Miriam was put in charge of cutting the olives in the egg slicer, a job she took very seriously. Usually Rachel slices the olives and Miriam puts them on the pizza so she was quite honoured to have gotten a promotion.

Unfortunately, her arms are so short that she could only put the olives in one place so either someone was going to get a whole lot of olives on their slice of pizza or a parental unit would have to rearrange the toppings. We chose the latter option, which Miriam wasn't exactly pleased about.

 But as my grandpa always said, "Life is hard and then you die."

We made Miriam tough out her disappointment.

And the olives were fairly evenly distributed.

And Miriam survived the whole thing!

Hermione Hair

Last night after the girls had their bath I braided their hair—Miriam got four braids and Rachel got five. In the morning after they had eaten breakfast we undid the braids and they were excited to both transform into Hermione for the day.

Bedtime sillies

The girls were certainly on one before bedtime! It took us half an hour to read through five or six verses of scripture—I'm not even kidding. I'm sure my picture-taking falls in the category of encouraging the incorrigible but so often their silliness fell into the cuteness category (as opposed to the super-annoying category) and I couldn't help but run get the camera...a few times. 

In case you think I'm kidding (or don't want to sift through a dozen pictures of my children) just look at this picture:

What is that—Blue Steel?! Where in the world did she pick that up?

Saturday, February 04, 2012

February so far

Last night Andrew and I used the movie tickets my mom gave to Andrew for his birthday (five months ago). We went out to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which was a terrible idea because I cried the whole time but a wonderful idea because it was such a great story. It follows the life of a little boy who lost his father in the World Trade Center on 9/11 for about a year or so and was absolutely heart wrenching.

My parents watched the girls for us and they got to watch a movie at home. Rachel's always excited when I leave because she thinks other adults will always "definitely say yes" to a movie. She picked out "the all the birds of a feather movie," which the general public refers to as Rio. After that my mom spoiled the girls by reading a full chapter and a half of Harry Potter. Usually one chapter is my limit for a night.

We have a visitor from North Carolina right now—he's visiting his daughter, who is at BYU, on his way home from a business trip. He arrived last night just as we were sitting down to play a game of Ticket to Ride. We never did get our game in but we did get to listen to Reid and Karen and our visitor reminisce about North Carolina. They speak so fondly of it that it nearly makes me nostalgic and I've never lived there—the closest I've been to North Carolina was a short stay in Atlanta, Georgia, with my dad's cousin.

I don't think I would mind if we ended up heading out to Durham for school.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


Back in November, Andrew had his in-person interview for the PMF. They told us they'd let us know by January 24th. At first I wasn't sure how we'd survive until then because waiting is akin to torture. However, with Thanksgiving and Christmas and the New Year (a little something I like to call 'the holidays' so am in no way offended when people wish me 'Happy Holidays,' just as a side note) we were carried quickly through the rest of November and on through December. By the time January rolled around I had so entirely pushed the idea of the PMF out of my mind that it didn't even bother me. At least not much.

I still had that date in the back of my mind, but only in the back.

We were quite surprised, then, when Andrew got an email last Monday telling him that he was one of 628 finalists to have been selected from a pool of 9,100 applicants. Monday was the 23rd—that's a day early!

In reality he got it late at night on the 23rd so I think it was technically the 24th in DC.

Still. For us? It was a day early.