Rat sighting.

As we were pulling in from church (and my calling was great today! I feel bad for making such a stink about it for so long.), I saw a GIANT RAT run into the rock wall by the driveway. It took my breath away. I screamed, and then Abe started asking me if I was sure it was a rat and if I was sure of its size. After I emphatically declared I was absolutely sure, he got really quiet and then said he had a confession to make.

Turns out he found a dead rat that was the size of a cat in our driveway THREE MONTHS AGO and never told me. He thought I’d go off the deep end. Good thing he didn’t! We wouldn’t have ventured into our yard once this summer, and we certainly wouldn’t have ever eaten outside had I any inkling we were but yards away from a rat nest. Anyway, I researched it online, and apparently it’s only a matter of time before they make it into your house. When I read that statement by the Utah Department of Public Health, I nearly had a panic attack.

If Abe saw one three months ago + it’s only a matter of time until they come in the house + I keep my window with a broken screen open all the time + most common point of entry is roofline–where my window is = THERE MUST BE A RAT IN MY HOUSE.

I would honest to goodness trade that for the apocolypse, zombie or otherwise.

I went straight to bed and shook under the covers until Abe gave me a blessing, and then I was able to sort of kind of function again. Did I mention I have a phobia of rats? Recurring nighmares of rats? Once again, Lily is Facing Some of Her Greatest Fears, and all I can say is, there couldn’t have been better timing for our move.

Off of the rats. So after I got it together, we had the Andersons over for dinner. I forgot to blog yesterday, but we have been on a dinner-with-friends marathon. Yesterday Rich and Misty had us over for dinner in a pumpkin (practically my favorite meal ever), today we hung out with our pals, the Andersons, and tomorrow we get to go to dinner at the Sonntags’ house. We sure will miss our friends here, although the Andersons go down to Orem all the time, so we entertain high hopes that we will at least still get to see them regularly.

Here are the day’s pictures.

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More witch nerdiness

I am a little obsessed with witches right now, and since my friend Paige is moving in less than a month, I took it upon myself to sew a costume for Ada. That meant that we went back to the fabric store this morning, and then we went to the library before coming back home.

I didn't get a picture of Ada in the full costume, but I did get Lydia. Picture this with a black t-shirt underneath.

I didn’t get a picture of Ada in the full costume, but I did get Lydia. Picture this with a black t-shirt underneath.

Then I couldn’t wait for Ada to try it on, but my house is still under quarantine for the lice. So Ada came over and had a play date outside with the girls for a little bit, and I got to see (but not take a picture of) her in the outfit.

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Eventually, Ada and Lydia shed their clothing. They prefer to be naked. Lydia at one point started pulling down pants AND undies after announcing she would pee on the grass, which Ada thought was hilarious. Abe and I always offer Lydia the option of peeing on the side of the road during road trips knowing she won't want to, but today she called that bluff.

Eventually, Ada and Lydia shed their clothing. They prefer to be naked. Lydia at one point started pulling down pants AND undies after announcing she would pee on the grass, which Ada thought was hilarious. Abe and I always offer Lydia the option of peeing on the side of the road during road trips knowing she won’t want to and will try really hard to hold it instead, but today she called that bluff.

Lice apocalypse

Oh my goodness, I haven’t blogged since Wednesday! Whoa. I have a lot of pictures from the missing days, but I am so sleep deprived right now that I can’t really recall the details of what happened. On Thursday we found out that Mary had lice, and basically my world ended right then. Since no salon cuts infested hair, I had to cut Mary’s hair off myself.

I given exactly one haircut in my life, and the person went straight to the salon afterward to get what I did fixed. My heart drops a little bit each time I look at my shorn little Mary.

So all I’ve done since The Bad News is comb out everyone’s hair with a nit comb a million times, wash every single piece of clothing, bedding, and any other loose material I can find in the house, and fold a TON of laundry. We listened to General Conference today, which was the bright spot in this sad time. Oh, and I had Abe give me a blessing yesterday, which also helped.

Here are some of the pictures I have (dating back to Thursday):

Lydia and Audrey holding hands on the play ground at preschool (they're the two little girls in white shirts). I spy on them before I pick Lydia up.

Lydia and Audrey holding hands on the play ground at preschool (they’re the two little girls in white shirts). I spy on them before I pick Lydia up.

On the way to the doctor's office, before I found out Mary had lice.

On the way to the doctor’s office, before I found out Mary had lice.

Lydia fell asleep on the way to the doctor's.

Lydia fell asleep on the way to the doctor’s.

Lydia getting her hair cut. She didn't have lice.

Lydia getting her hair cut. She didn’t have lice, but we cut it anyway.

 

Abe took Friday off, which was a HUGE blessing considering all the work we had to do around the house. We took a break in the middle of  the day and took the girls to the park. I have a ton of pictures, but I'm having trouble sending them to my email. This one came through, though.

Abe took Friday off, which was a HUGE blessing considering all the work we had to do around the house. We took a break in the middle of the day and took the girls to the park. 

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I did get my camera fixed, though! Abe went crazy and took pictures during last night’s dinner to celebrate:

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Some of the laundry that we did. All of this is now folded and put away. This wasn't even all of it.

Some of the laundry that we did. All of this is now folded and put away. This wasn’t even all of it.

Mary was so exhausted after everything that she fell asleep like this.

Mary was so exhausted after everything that she fell asleep like this.

The rest of my pictures come from our outing to the park today:

You can see Lydia's new haircut. I actually LOVE Lydia's new hair, so that is a little consolation.

You can see Lydia’s new haircut. I actually LOVE Lydia’s new hair, so that is a little consolation.

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You can see what a terrible job I did on her bangs. No salon will fix it until two weeks after the treatment. :( ...But she's still adorable! Here she is giving me some pretend food she cooked up at the playground.

You can see what a terrible job I did on her bangs. No salon will fix it until two weeks after the treatment. ūüôĀ …But she’s still adorable! Here she is giving me some pretend food she cooked up at the playground.

church, grapes, visits, ice cream social, and tomatoes.

Lydia has been crawling into bed with us in the middle of the night. Growing up, both Abe and I spent many nights cuddled up with our moms, and we love that Lydia can have that experience. I woke up and snapped this photo early in the morning:

You would think, from the massive amount of space on the other side of Abe, that I slept next to him. Wrong! I spent most of the night almost falling off the bed next to Lydia.
You would think, from the massive amount of space on the other side of Abe, that I slept next to him. Wrong! I spent most of the night almost falling off the bed next to Lydia.

Then Abe got up and went to his early morning meetings while I got the girls ready for church.

Yesterday we bought them new toothbrushes and toothpaste to help motivate them to brush on their own. It worked! The power of Disney princesses asserts itself again...
Yesterday we bought them new toothbrushes and toothpaste to help motivate them to brush on their own. It worked! The power of Disney princesses asserts itself again…

At church, Lydia and I left again during sacrament and ate grapes in the church gardens.

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Sev joined us for a little bit.

Sev joined us for a little bit.

I so enjoyed this color combination. It made me feel so lighthearted and happy.

I so enjoyed this color combination. It made me feel so lighthearted and happy.

Inside, Abe kept Mary in the pews by letting her wear his glasses.

Inside, Abe kept Mary in the pews by letting her wear his glasses.

 

After church, Mary played with Ina's new puppy.

After church, Mary played with Ina’s new puppy.

Lydia's scared of dogs, so Ina carried her while Lydia watched the puppy from a safer distance.

Lydia’s scared of dogs, so Ina carried her while Lydia watched the puppy from a safer distance.

After church, we changed them into matching sweaters. They love matching, which makes my heart sooooo happy.

After church, we changed them into matching sweaters. They love matching, which makes my heart sooooo happy.

IMG_9236Then we stopped taking pictures. But the day continued. We had a neighbor, Alan Jorgenson, stop by for a visit. Right after he stopped by, our home teachers visited us. After they left, we took a quick nap (emphasis on quick). Then it was time for a quick (emphasis again on quick) dinner, and we walked a couple blocks to a ward ice cream social. It was a gorgeous night, and we spent a couple hours enjoying treats and friends while the kids played with¬†their¬†friends on the neighbors’ play set.

Afterward, we came home and ate tomatoes from our garden in the twilight. It was a full, fun Sunday. Here’s to another crazy week coming up! Wish us luck!

A train. Some meetings and meat. Disney land gifts.

I am still loving the train, but it puts me on a very early schedule so I will be brief.

My day went super well today.  It included a lot of productivity and a two and a half hour internal meeting followed by another hour long internal meeting.  Yay meetings!

On my way home, Lily said something that made me feel really nostalgic.  She was at school and she said she missed seeing me.  I always used to meet her at school and pick up the kids on my way home from work.  Now that we have babysitters and I take frontrunner, we no longer make the exchange.  I miss it too.  It was so nice to see her, even if just for five minutes.  I realize I will literally go the whole day today without seeing her, sigh.

As far as Lily’s day today, this is what I have been able to piece together:

She thought Mary’s binky was missing, but found it just in the nick of time for her nap. She went to yoga while Isabella babysat. ¬†She spent some time working on things for her calling. ¬†She did all the usual, cooking, cleaning, feeding, and intervening when Lydia and Mary fight etc. ¬†Lily and I have both noticed a huge increase in Mary and Lydia’s engagement with each other. ¬†This goes for both positive and negative interaction. ¬†They are playing much more together and they really engage with each other. ¬†They also fight more and more intensely. ¬†Ahh, the life of siblings ūüôā

After work I went to Costco with the girls to pick up a flank steak Lily requested.  I bought it with a gift card that I redeemed from my Red Lion Hotel points. At Costco, I got a call from my dad who said that Suzanne had some gifts from Disney Land for the girls and he asked the best way for us to meet up.  I said I would stop by and so I did.

Lydia got a sleeping beauty music box, which she loves and Mary got a book, a Sophia the first tambourine and a glow wand.  They both also got boxes of disney cookies.  I was so touched at how they thought specifically to bring things back to the girls. Thanks dad and Suzanne!

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A Nice Saturday

Lily woke up early to go to school where she made chicken and pork sausage, which she thought was disgusting. ¬†She did, however, manage to enjoy being there. ¬†At home, the girls slept-in until 9:00 which was great for me because I’ve been feeling very fatigued with my allergies kicking in. ¬†When they woke up I fed them and then we played around the house and I fed them again. Abou that time Lily came home and we all ate together. ¬†Mary then went down for her nap and Lily and Lydia plugged into their respective Ipads.

Lily has been absolutely hooked to Downton Abbey and Lydia wathes kids’ shows on netflix (Thanks Clark and Swathi!). ¬†I can see why Lily is so hooked because I’ve watched some of it with her and it is really engaging. ¬†I particularly like the character Mr. Bates. ¬†Lily announced this evenening that she has watched a whole season of Downton Abbey in one day, which is true, although each seaon only has about six or seven episodes.

While Mary napped I made great progress on a personal writing project I’m working on and then we all got up and went to Costco. ¬†We’ve wanted to go for months and we finally made it! ¬†My favorite thing we got was our four pound case of strawberries, Yum!

Back at home we ate chicken, blueberries and chips outside for dinner. ¬† Afterwords I took the girls to the park while Lily rested and watched more Downton Abbey. ¬†I’m really glad she got to kick back today. She has so many demands during the week that she didn’t have any chance to recover from being sick. I hope the R&R she got today will help her get over her bug and be ready for the week ahead.

Pictures!

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Lydia has been eating at least three bannanas.  This is the stash we bought to get us through the week!

Lydia has been eating at least three bannanas. This is the stash we bought to get us through the week!

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Fun Friday (and I’m pooped).

I feel like I’m going to jinx myself by saying this, but today was another in what feels like a string of good days. Lydia and I started off by painting our nails (with me doing all of the painting).

Then I fed the girls and practiced piano. The girls played together.

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Lydia had Puss give Mary a kiss!

Lydia had Puss give Mary a kiss!

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After that fun, I dropped them off at Sarah’s house for a play date. Sarah volunteered to watch the girls while I slipped out to go to the temple. She lives about a block away, and it felt so great to get to the temple! I had a very meaningful visit, and I can’t thank Sarah enough. Mary didn’t even cry. I think I found myself the perfect swap buddy today!

Then I came home and rested for a bit while the girls had quiet time/nap time. After a while, I realized I had a ton of leftover tamales and other food from class last night, so I called Misty and invited her family over for dinner. It was the perfect ending to a busy week–and a perfect beginning to the weekend.

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Ambition morphs into a long, long nap

I had big plans when Saturday morning dawned: hiking Ensign Peak! Biking up the canyon!! Using our improved insurance to buy new glasses for Abe!!!

…And one three and a half hour nap later, we did none of that. Well, almost none. We tried to buy Abe new glasses, but insurance only covers $100, and glasses are more expensive than that. So we headed to the grocery store, bought groceries instead, and headed home to hibernate.

Afterward, I went to Women’s Conference. Our stake had a dinner first. I have a lot of social anxiety in big groups, so stuff like that is hard for me. But I powered through, even though I had to fight an active urge to get up and leave about every five minutes. As soon as the closing prayer ended, I grabbed my coat and practically ran to the car.

Abe just said, “Oh my heck.” For the record, he never used to say that, but working in Provo with a bunch of other LDS young dads has changed his linguistic patterns. I asked him to please revert back to his old verbal habits.

On the other hand, one of his coworkers told him that the work he was doing was “BA.” Abe was really confused and asked him if he was talking about “Bachelor of Arts,” and his coworker thought that was hilarious. Now whenever Abe does anything of note, his coworker tells him he’s “Bachelor of Arts.”

What a hodge podge post. Here are the pictures we took today:

Mary loves to dip food. Giving her bowls of sauce/syrup/peanut butter has bought me an extra ten minutes of peace during meals.

Mary loves to dip food. Giving her bowls of sauce/syrup/peanut butter has bought me an extra ten minutes of peace during meals.

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Gesturing for more because she's...not very verbal. But we understand her, so maybe she feels like she doesn't have to talk. I wish she would, though!!!

Gesturing for more because she’s…not very verbal. But we understand her, so maybe she feels like she doesn’t have to talk. I wish she would, though!!!

Lydia did a “trick” for me:

IMG_7177The girls got balloons at the store:

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While I was at Women’s Conference, Abe took the girls to the park:

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Lydia looked at the bars and said, "I know I can do this!" That's probably because of our coaching session at the park two days ago. Alas, these bars surpassed her current abilities.

Lydia looked at the bars and said, “I know I can do this!” That’s probably because of our coaching session at the park two days ago. Alas, these bars surpassed her current abilities.

And during the girls’ last snack of the day, Lydia lost focus and started making funny faces:

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A better day

I neglected to take any pictures today, but basically we stayed home all day and recovered from life. I cleaned some stuff, gave Lydia a piano lesson, cooked with Lydia, spent a ton of time just playing with the girls and read another ton of books to them. We had FHE on the priesthood and talked about priesthood blessings (since we have all been so sick), and we ended by watching songs from Mary Poppins on Youtube.

In some ways, it was a delightful day because I got to spend so much time with the girls. On the other hand, I had the hardest time controlling my temper at Lydia, which makes me so, so sad. I hope she doesn’t grow up confused; one minute I will be hyperventilating trying not to yell (or I’ll just go ahead and yell) and the next I’ll be cuddling her, saying sorry, and asking her if she knows how much I love her. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just crazy or if parenting toddlers always feels this schizophrenic. I’m leaning toward the former, although I really don’t recall experiencing such fast and dramatic emotional swings before parenting. Maybe it was all suppressed before.

She did say some really cute things today which I can’t remember now. Yesterday when Abe came home he ran up the stairs and asked if all of his princesses were there. Lydia responded: “Yes, Daddy, you have¬†lots of princesses here! There’s Mary, Mama, me, Puss and Tabitha (her two cats). We’re all your princesses.”

Mary said “bear” today after she brought me a teddy bear and we played “going on a bear hunt” for the next twenty minutes. Maybe we just need to make games out of everything to get her to talk. She was also in one of her “don’t put me down or pay attention to anything but me” modes for quite a bit of the day. Oh! And she slept in until 11 am this morning!!! I couldn’t believe it. I had to check a couple times to make sure she was alive, as that had never happened before. Usually the girls are up between 7 and 8. Between her cut lip, pink-eyed eyes, and out-of-the-blue-nighttime-wake, she must have been exhausted.

Anyway, I also started The Return of the King today, so I’m going to stop blogging now and go read that.

Outside pics and a happy dinner

We kept Lydia and Mary home for all of church except Sacrament since Lydia was still sick. After church, we came home and napped (and joked about how much our family naps–except Lydia, of course).

I took these after Abe and I got up. We took Lydia outside because it was a beautiful day.

Drawing in the dirt.

Drawing in the dirt.

Lydia spontaneously lay down and soaked up the sun.

Lydia spontaneously lay down and soaked up the sun.

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Checking out deer poop in our yard.

Checking out deer poop in our yard.

Driving Daddy in the car.

Driving Daddy in the car.

Checking out how the sun roof works.

Checking out how the sun roof works.

Then we woke Mary up so we could go to dinner at the Andersons’. Paige made the most delicious meal I have eaten in so. so. so. long. I am still thinking about it. And we enjoyed meeting their friends, Shad and Jenna. Shad told us all about the new fantasy novel he’s writing, and we are excited to read it when it gets published. We had a ton of fun–it made our whole Sunday feel happy.

Then we came home and might try to catch the closing ceremony of the Olympics before going to bed. Abe asked me if I felt rested (after our many naps) and ready for the week. The fact that I don’t want the week to start made him exclaim that I must be slowly dying if I’m not recovered after the excessive amount of rest this weekend offered. The more likely story is that I’m a wimp who’s behind in homework, housework, and piano practice, and I don’t want the consequences of my procrastination to catch up to me this week.

Abe, on the other hand, feels great and ready to work. He gets significantly less sleep than I do, so I don’t understand. But I love his new job for making him so happy, and I’m glad that at least one of us doesn’t dread Monday!