Sewing costumes, more whining, and sequiny pictures

Today was non stop. Abe ran to clean the church while I bathed the girls, made popovers, blew dry Lydia’s hair (a must with her new hairstyle, so said her stylist), and got everyone dressed.

I don't know why every mom in America doesn't make these. They take approximately the same amount of time as instant oatmeal to mix together, they're portable, and they don't make a crumbly mess!

I don’t know why these aren’t at least as normal as pancakes at the American breakfast table. They take approximately the same amount of time as instant oatmeal to mix together, they’re portable, and they don’t make a crumbly mess!

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After I shooed them out the door to Lydia’s dance class, I read scriptures and looked up witch costumes online.

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Then I hurried to the Primary program practice, during which I really struggled to feel like I was contributing.

Honestly, I’ve traced this eczema back and really feel like it was a stress reaction to my calling. I have never had eczema before, and I remember when I got the calling feeling like I was having an allergic reaction. Then all of the sudden: eczema! (without me knowing what it was). Yuck. I daydream every day about asking to be released, and then I feel guilty and decide to keep doing my duty. I heard a talk the other day about the different reasons why we serve (in order worst to best): to show off, duty, hope of eternal reward, and love of God. I do love God, but I am having trouble connecting serving in my calling to that love. I’ll think to myself, “Think of all Jesus did and does for you! This is NOTHING in comparison! Just serve out of gratitude!” and when that doesn’t work, “It could be worse! Think about all the other callings that you would hate even more!” ..but somehow I just can’t get my heart right. Sorry, God! You’ll have to fix up my heart since I just can’t seem to get it in the right place by myself. I’ll give You more time.

Then I picked up Lydia, took her to the Farmer’s market, the fabric store, and Trader Joe’s. After that, I came home and whipped out two little, very poor quality witch costumes. But the girls love them, and you can only see my sewing mistakes if you stand within a foot–or five–of the girls. Anyway, Grandma, what do you think? The girls are going to wear these for the Wee Witches night at Gardner Village this weekend.

I made the necklines waaaay too big on both capes, but I think I can fix it with a safety pin. Also, the skirts are ridiculously unprofessional, but from a (long) distance, you can't tell, right?

I made the necklines waaaay too big on both capes, but I think I can fix it with a safety pin. Also, the skirts are ridiculously unprofessional, but from a (long) distance, you can’t tell, right?

IMG_9657 IMG_9663 IMG_9664Then we went to the library, the park, and two more grocery stores before heading home for dinner.

Outside of the library doing "tricks."

Outside of the library doing “tricks.”

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Some random stranger came up to Abe at the park and raved about Mary's hair. I was in the car reading some cookbooks I'd just checked out from the library, but when Abe came back and told me, I felt so happy! Shallow, I know, but I cut her hair and have felt guilty ever since, especially since my hair cutting skills (HA!) are...searching  for the right word...nonexistent. But yay! Someone likes the cut!!

Some random stranger came up to Abe at the park and raved about Mary’s hair. I was in the car reading some cookbooks I’d just checked out from the library, but when Abe came back and told me, I felt so happy! Shallow, I know, but I cut her hair and have felt guilty ever since, especially since my hair cutting skills (HA!) are…searching for the right word…nonexistent. But yay! Someone likes the cut!!

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. 🙁 …But she’s still adorable! Here she is giving me some pretend food she cooked up at the playground.

Errands–and Clark and Swathi arrive!

Today we mainly ran errands–with my mom! It is so wonderful having her in town. As if that weren’t enough, Clark and Swathi just arrived tonight. The only thing that would make it better is if you were here, Grandma!

Mom and I took a bunch of pictures on her iPhone.

On our way out the door and ready to go drop Lydia off at Challenger for Western Day. I put Mary's 12-18 month size vest on Lydia, threw boots on her, and called it her Western "outfit" (the kids were supposed to dress up as cowgirls).

On our way out the door and ready to go drop Lydia off at Challenger for Western Day. I put Mary’s 12-18 month size vest on Lydia, threw boots on her, and called it her Western “outfit” (the kids were supposed to dress up as cowgirls).

Mom wanted a picture of the two of us in front of Challenger.

Mom wanted a picture of the two of us in front of Challenger.

I'm pretty sure my mom took this picture for you, Grandma, so you could see what Lydia's school looks like.

I’m pretty sure my mom took this picture for you, Grandma, so you could see what Lydia’s school looks like.

While Lydia was in school, Mom and I did errands with Mary.

While Lydia was in school, Mom and I did errands with Mary.

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Mom wanted to get a picture of Mary's curls.

Mom wanted to get a picture of Mary’s curls.

During our afternoon errands, Lydia slept.

During our afternoon errands, Lydia slept.

 But Mary was awake! She showed Nana pictures from the books and kept saying, "Nana, wook at vis! ("Nana, look at this!)"

But Mary was awake! She showed Nana pictures from the books and kept saying, “Nana, wook at vis! (“Nana, look at this!)”

"Nana, wook at vis!"

“Nana, wook at vis!”

I forgot to say a thank-you to Mom for watching the kids while I went to lunch with my visiting teachee, Andrea. We had a really fun lunch, and it was only possible because my mom babysat. Thanks, Mom!

Grandma, we wish you were here. Thanks for lending us Mom!

Post office, picnic, and FHE

Today I got up at 5:20 am, when Abe always gets up. Since I was awake early, I had time to read scriptures, write in my scripture journal, do yoga, make popovers, shower and get the kids ready for the day.

Today Lydia had preschool, so Mary and I spent a lot of time walking around Sugar House. It was a beautiful morning, and the leaves are just barely starting to turn colors. We walked to the post office, Barnes and Noble, and the Sprage branch of the Salt Lake library. We also went to Tony Caputo’s to pick up some Dine O’ Round lunches for a picnic we had in the park with Jen, Natalie, Laddie, and Spencer. Sadly, Tony Caputo’s messed up my order–I discovered when we got to the park that my sandwiches were full of lunch meat. Gross. We skipped the sandwiches and just ate cake instead.

Jen was so fun and inspiring to talk to! She’s planning a bachelorette party for a friend, and she is really trying to make the party fun and appropriate. So tricky, but I was impressed with her efforts to keep the party elevated.

Then we came home and napped. After I woke up, I cooked for three hours. Abe came home and played with the girls while I finished cooking.

sep23pic5 sep23pic1 sep23 sep23pic4Then we had dinner (finally!), FHE and a treat.

For sharing time during FHE, Lydia told us all about her owl.

For sharing time during FHE, Lydia told us all about her owl. Also, we realize she needs a haircut. Hopefully we’ll get around to that soon.

Mary also wanted to share about the owl.

Mary also wanted to share about the owl.

Abe taught the girls about prayer using a sandwich. We frame our prayers with the "bread" of "Dear Heavenly Father" and "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." Afterward, we practiced saying a prayer and filled our "sandwich" with all sorts of thank-yous and blessing requests.

Abe taught the girls about prayer using a sandwich. We frame our prayers with the “bread” of “Dear Heavenly Father” and “in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” Afterward, we practiced saying a prayer and filled our “sandwich” with all sorts of thank-yous and blessing requests.

Post FHE snack of giant toasted marshmallows.

Post FHE snack of giant toasted marshmallows.

And now Abe and I are going to finish The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. We are both tired, so hopefully we can stay awake!

dinner prep

Today I basically spent the whole day preparing for my primary dinner with Judy Jardine, Lira French and her two kids. I decided to do something simple, but it ended up taking the entire day. While Lydia was at preschool, Mary and I shopped almost the whole time, although we managed to squeeze in story time at the library.

Mary loves to say, “Oh, nooooo!” during books, and during story time she went crazy with that expression. The librarians kept looking back at her and smiling because every time something bad happened in story time, she’d say, “Oh, noooo!” in her darling little voice. We were all enchanted.

Then we came home and I fed the girls lunch.  Afterward, Lydia and I made cake together.IMG_9439After Lydia and I made cake, Lydia played in the dining room until she fell asleep on the floor.

IMG_9442Grandma, she was wearing the attire she told you about on the phone the other day. She thinks those teething balls make a really great bracelet.

After dinner, I vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen, sanitized the upstairs bathroom, and polished all the hard floors downstairs.

I came upstairs to find the girls playing sweetly in the closet. Mary looked up, grinned at me and said, “Big mess!” She pulled down a small tower of toys as she said that.

"Big Mess!"

“Big Mess!”

Then Abe played chase with the girls to try to tire them out. They are still awake two hours later, so I kind of think we’ll have to try a more soothing approach in the future…

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Quota celebration…and Clark and Swathi are having a boy!!

First of all, the exciting new of the day: CLARK AND SWATHI ARE HAVING A BOY!!! We are so, so excited for them! I can’t wait to meet my very first nephew!!!! The rest of the day pales in comparison to their news.

Nevertheless…

This morning I took the girls to the library and then to the church nursery while I attended institute. Last week we kicked off institute with Tad Callister, the general Sunday School president of the church, giving a talk on the atonement. That was a tough act to follow, but today I really enjoyed the descendents of J. Reuben Clark (a member of the first presidency through three different prophets) talk about what he was like as a grandfather.

Our ward is kind of unique in that a whole lot of apostles and prophets have lived within the boundaries, and J. Reuben Clark was one of those. His children all lived in homes on the same block, so they had many memories of their grandfather. For example, President Clark’s first granddaughter couldn’t say, “Grandpa,” so she called him “Bum-Bum,” and the name stuck! That anecdote reminded me of Lydia. She couldn’t say “Grandpa” or “Grams” at first, so she just called Tom and Suzanne “Bapa” and “Baps.” That’s what the girls still call them today. I guess these nicknames stick.

Grandma, didn’t you get your nickname, “Tiss” because you couldn’t pronounce “Clarissa” when you were little? It also made me think of you!

Anyway, before we went on our outings, I took a picture of Mary climbing into her pack ‘n play. Since she can only have her binky in there, she often announces she’s tired and wants her nap, binkies, “amiwals”, and pack ‘n play. Then she climbs in, thus:

IMG_9432 IMG_9433She is getting a toddler bed Saturday.

Our babysitter forgot to come today, so I skipped class. It worked out fine because Abe and I decided to take the girls out for ice cream instead of eating dinner. His boss was so kind and personally bought him a gift card to Baskin Robbins to celebrate that Abe has already blown through his quota before the quarter even ended. Abe has worked so hard, and Lucas was so, so nice in demanding that he celebrate.

sep17…And then the ice cream made me think that I was hungry for dinner, so we went and got dinner afterward. Tonight was a little backwards.

Anyway, congratulations, Abe!

Friend-filled Thursday

This morning while Lydia was at preschool, I took Mary to the library.

sep11pic4After reading down some more fines, we attended story time. It was fun watching Mary. I am used to Lydia, who just watches everyone and doesn’t really participate. Mary got really into all the actions the kids were supposed to do, and it was really cute.

Then we spied on Lydia at school. She and her friend, Audrey, were walking around the playground during recess together. I loved watching them making the playground rounds. They were adorable.

After I put the girls down, I got a call. The person on the other end of the line said, “I have tickets to Funville!” Before she could finish, I angrily responded that I wasn’t interested and that it was my kids’ nap time. Bang.

Um, oops. It turns out that person was my dear friend, Maria! She was calling because she and my other dear friend, Lauren, were heading into Salt Lake to visit me. They are staying in Deer Valley for conferences and will head back out to their respective parts of the country this weekend. Time with them is a precious commodity! Thankfully, Maria called me back and explained that she wasn’t a telemarketer…and I felt really embarrassed. For the record, I don’t normally hang up on telemarketers, but I woke up sick this morning, and my patience level was at a flat zero all day. I have officially learned my lesson to be nicer on the phone.

Anyway, seeing them was so, so fun. I loved every minute.

Apparently, I was the only one who didn't figure out where to look.

Apparently, I was the only one who didn’t figure out where to look.

Then I retreated to bed to nurse my cold until Abe came home. After he got home, we raced to get ready to meet the Pe’as for the State Fair.

I have never fully explored the fair, and I have gone every year since we’ve been in Utah. It happens in a giant field right next to my gym, so it’s not far away at all. Anyway, I probably saw more tonight than I ever have. Abe and I also ate our very first funnel cake, which was delicious.

We enjoyed spending time with the Pe’as so much. They are such a fun, kind family.

Lydia wanted a pony ride. This is the first time she stayed on the whole time. She grinned the whole ride long.
Lydia wanted a pony ride. This is the first time she stayed on the whole time. She grinned the whole ride long.
Eldon sweetly bought all of the kids ice cream.

Eldon sweetly bought all of the kids ice cream. In this picture you can see, from left to right, Natalie, Mary, and Spencer. Laddie and Lydia didn’t make it onto camera.

Jen and I!

Jen and I!

And now I am going to retire to bed and feel sorry for my poor, sick self. On the upside, I checked out The Mists of Avalon today and love it. I haven’t read a book since the beginning of summer, and I’m excited to read again!

Surprise visitors!

This morning Mary and I ran errands while Lydia was in preschool.

First we went to Barnes and Noble to read books until all the other stores opened.

First we went to Barnes and Noble to read books until all the other stores opened.

After Barnes and Noble, we explored the Sprague branch of the Salt Lake Library. It was adorable. We went in just to explore, but we left with an armful of books. Inside we bumped into Sarah and Hannah Schulz, which was fun.

After Barnes and Noble, we explored the Sprague branch of the Salt Lake Library. It was adorable. We went in just to explore, but we left with an armful of books. Inside we bumped into Sarah and Hannah Schulz, which was fun.

After preschool, we came home and discovered our neighbor dog in our yard. I didn’t let her inside the house, but the girls loved petting her and then looking at her from inside the door (you can’t see the dog in the photo, but she was there.)

sep9Then I fed them lunch. After lunch, our doorbell rang. It was my friend, Kristin! She and her three kids had to wait for a flight tomorrow morning. They stayed with us the rest of the day, and now they’re sleeping here…until they have to wake up at 2:30 am to catch their super early flight tomorrow. Kristin is an amazing mom.

I had a lot of fun visiting with Kristin, and my girls had a lot of fun with her sweet girls. After my Primary meeting, I came home to discover Kristin had cleaned my kitchen to a degree that it has never been cleaned. It was sparkling clean! I was so delighted and grateful. The girls were all hungry for apples, so we went out and picked a bunch of apples and then ate them together in our clean kitchen.

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Abe and I could technically sneak out on a date since Kristin offered to be the Adult On Duty, but Abe is so exhausted. He had an amazing day at work today, and we feel really blessed, but the fall-out of all that effort is just plain and simple exhaustion. I think tonight we will be boring and stay in. I bet we’ll be happy about that decision in the morning, though!

Saturday: done.

This morning was Lydia’s first day of dance at her new studio. We dropped her off and headed straight to Toys ‘R Us to pick up a birthday present for Espen. While we were there, Mary took a ride on the Tigger boat.

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Mary wanted to buy: wrapping paper and an Elmo book.

Mary wanted to buy: wrapping paper and an Elmo book.

Then we picked up Lydia, raced to the farmer’s market, bought produce, and headed to Espen’s party at the Kangaroo Zoo. The girls had a blast bouncing on everything. Honestly, I get anxiety in places and parties like that, but that notwithstanding, we had a great all around time.

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Then we came home for some naps and quiet time. After that, we headed over to Fleur’s house. Anique is a flight attendant and away this weekend, and her dad is watching Fleur. She called and asked if we could go play with Fleur a little bit since she was having a hard day. I don’t think our presence helped Fleur much, but the girls sure had fun!

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Fleur and her grandpa, Tom. He was such a nice man. I can see where Anique gets it from!

Fleur and her grandpa, Tom. He was such a nice man. I can see where Anique gets it from!

Then we raced to the library to pick out some books and raced to church for stake conference. After church, we hurried to pick up Lalitha and Eden to take them grocery shopping…and then Abe, the girls and I came home and all collapsed. I am ready to be done with this day.

“We’re not at the circus, not at the pool…we’re at SCHOOL!”

Ever since Lydia started preschool, she has started to sing this song: “We’re not at the circus, not at the pool…we’re at SCHOOL!” I really like the song, and it plays through my mind at random times during the day. This morning I was changing Mary’s diaper and singing the song, and then it occurred to me: “…we’re at school…today is Thursday…OH MY GOSH, LYDIA HAS SCHOOL IN FIFTEEN MINUTES!!!”

Twenty five minutes later, I escorted my late preschooler to her class. Oops. Hopefully I’ll get this new schedule straight sooner or later.

While Lydia was at school, Mary and I went to the library to read down our fines.

Then we picked up Lydia and headed home. After I fed the girls, I proceeded to do nothing for the next three hours.

I took Mary to the bakery for a quiche "muffin" since we didn't have time for breakfast. I am on a three day juice cleanse, so it was kind of painful watching her eat. The only cheating today I did was taking one bite of her quiche and one bite of her chewed-up-and-spit-out bread crust (I didn't want it to mess up our newly cleaned van).

I took Mary to the bakery for a quiche “muffin” since we didn’t have time for breakfast. I am on a three day juice cleanse, so it was kind of painful watching her eat. The only cheating today I did was taking one bite of her quiche and one bite of her chewed-up-and-spit-out bread crust (I didn’t want it to mess up our newly cleaned van).

Running to the library

Running to the library

sep4pic2Then I called Paige. I needed help motivating myself to make dinner and clean the house, and we had parents night for Lydia and Ada’s preschool. Paige came over, did my laundry, and made me feel all around better.

Ada was building a pretend fire, which fascinated the other girls.

Ada was building a pretend fire, which fascinated the other girls.

Dinner

Dinner

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We had dinner after the hubbies got done with work and headed over to parents night. Since Paige and Michael so kindly shared their babysitter, it felt like a double date. Abe and I had so much fun, even if we thought some of the tips the school gave us on parenting were unrealistic. 

I am really not looking forward to another two days without food. Ugh. But this experiment will at least tell me some things I want to know, such as whether I have a hormonal imbalance or food allergies. I am excited for that info, so I suppose I can endure another two days without food…yikes! That feels so bleak.