Zion trip and Labor Day

We decided to come back last night since we got everything done that we wanted in a shorter time than we anticipated. Sadly, my camera broke! Well, it’s not completely broken, but it won’t let me zoom in or out to take pictures. I will have to call Canon tomorrow and see if I need to send it in to them.

In the meantime, here’s what we did in Zion.

On the way to Zion we stopped at our favorite fast food place of all time--Dairy Queen!

On the way to Zion we stopped at our favorite fast food place of all time–Dairy Queen!

IMG_9302

While Abe and I were setting up the tent, we locked Mary in the van and let her walk around while Lydia slept. When we finished, we discovered she had piled Lydia's lap high with all sorts of presents.

While Abe and I were setting up the tent, we locked Mary in the van and let her walk around while Lydia slept. When we finished, we discovered she had piled Lydia’s lap high with all sorts of presents.

Hiking to the Narrows the next morning.

Hiking to the Narrows the next morning.

We stopped hiking at the part where you have to hike in the river. You should have special shoes and a walking stick for that part, and we only had one baby carrier. Maybe we'll try again when our kids are older.

We stopped hiking at the part where you have to hike in the river. You should have special shoes and a walking stick for that part, and we only had one baby carrier. Maybe we’ll try again when our kids are older.

IMG_9319

Lydia and Mary spent about an hour building a "castle" out of rocks and playing in the mud by the river.

Lydia and Mary spent about an hour building a “castle” out of rocks and playing in the mud by the river.

IMG_9324

I'm pretty sure those pants are ruined...but Lydia sure had fun ruining them!

I’m pretty sure those pants are ruined…but Lydia sure had fun ruining them!

IMG_9325 IMG_9326 IMG_9328

Abe was trying to fix the camera. I have no idea what I was doing with my arms.

Abe was trying to fix the camera. I have no idea what I was doing with my arms.

Zion is my favorite national park. The pictures don't do it justice, so I didn't really try. I did take a couple though as a futile exercise in trying to capture a bit of the majesty and splendor of the place.

Zion is my favorite national park. The pictures don’t do it justice, so I didn’t really try. I did take a couple though as a futile exercise in trying to capture a bit of the majesty and splendor of the place.

IMG_9338

Someone was tired after playing in the mud.

Someone was tired after playing in the mud.

Then we headed back to our campground, which had a pool. After a quick, cold swim, we packed up an headed home. We arrived just before midnight.

This morning we were so happy to be home and have a full day together. We started off by going for a run around the City Creek Canyon loop.

sep1On the way back home, we visited with Anique, Andrew and Fleur who were out in their beautiful yard.

Then I ran off to yoga while Abe took the girls to the park.

After that, we all had naps and quiet time, and now Abe and Lydia are cleaning out the very dirty van. We have a TON of errands to do, so I’m blogging now in anticipation of not having time tonight. If we do anything else fun or picture worthy, I’ll edit this post and add whatever pictures we take. If not, this is it, I guess! Happy Labor Day!

orientation, princess party, and caterpillars

This morning was orientation for Lydia’s preschool. I got so excited being there and seeing how easily Lydia fit into that new environment. I’m so happy she’ll have a chance to make new friends, learn new things, and thrive. She already has three little friends in her class, and she was so happy to be there that I felt very happy and hopeful about the school year.

After orientation, we came home for naps and quiet time. I watched a little of Lydia’s movie with her before taking my own nap.

After naps, we had a princess party. According to Lydia, everyone dresses up for princess parties. Mary and I were supposed to wave around some pictures she drew and sing words to a song Lydia made up. It was pretty fun.

Mary loved being something other than a prince (the role Lydia usually assigns her. It's gotten to the point where Mary points to herself and says, "Pince!")

Mary loved being something other than a prince (the role Lydia usually assigns her. It’s gotten to the point where Mary points to herself and says, “Pince!”).

We ate magic sandwiches that gave us magic powers. After "eating" them, I could fly, feel happy all the time, AND shoot magic ice from my hands.

We ate magic sandwiches that gave us magic powers. After “eating” them, I could fly, feel happy all the time, AND shoot magic ice from my hands.

Mary assembling a sandwich.

Mary assembling a sandwich.

Mary gave me her sandwich.

Mary gave me her sandwich.

Lydia leading us in song.

Lydia leading us in song.

Mary got tired of her wings, so Lydia assumed them.

Mary got tired of her wings, so Lydia assumed them.

We ended with a puppet show.

We ended with a puppet show.

After that, we ate a snack and I loaded the kids in the car to meet Rose for yoga. Abe met us in front of her condo and took the kids.

While Rose and I sweated it out, Abe met up with his mom for dinner at Cracker Barrel. Karin bought the girls toy caterpillars, and when I called them after yoga, they were ecstatic about them. They named the caterpillars Crusty and Doodle (Lydia did that) and tucked the caterpillars into bed next to their beds when bedtime rolled around.

aug22pic1 aug22

Lydia’s ballet recital and the Ogden temple open house

This morning was Lydia’s ballet recital! Tom and Suzanne joined us, and we all were thoroughly entertained.

IMG_9119 IMG_9120 IMG_9122 IMG_9125 IMG_9131 IMG_9137 IMG_9140Then we went to the market, after which I ran off to yoga. While I was at yoga, Abe took the girls back to the market to have a picnic with Karin and Jay. When I got home, everyone was in the middle of quiet time, which was perfect because I had two hours of homework to do.

Then we all piled in the car to do errands and pick up Tom and Suzanne for the Ogden Temple Open House.

Dinner before the open house.

Dinner before the open house.

 

 

IMG_9166IMG_9165

Suzanne got us tickets, and we were so grateful. It’s a rare opportunity for the girls to see the inside of a temple. Normally only older people with recommends are allowed in. But since the temple has yet to be dedicated, we could bring the kids inside. Mary loved it and gasped delightedly every time she saw a picture of Jesus (frequently). Lydia, on the other hand, slept through it. Abe tried to wake her up in the celestial room, but she was only dimly aware of what was around her.

Afterward, we sat by the fountain and let the girls make wishes with pennies.

aug15IMG_9168

Saturday (and a little bit of Friday)

Mom and Grandma, so sorry for not blogging yesterday! The internet was so slooooooooow last night, and after I finished my homework, it was already late and I was burnt out from dealing with the internet. I’m just going to add categories to today’s blog that apply from yesterday. (Yesterday we went to the mall with Rose, Sev, and Taina, babysat the kids while Rose grocery shopped, and went to Bikram in the afternoon.)

Today I went on a run up City Creek Canyon while Abe took the girls to ballet. Afterward, we went to the library and the market.

Abe waiting patiently with the girls while I ran to pick up some produce and cheese.

Abe waiting patiently with the girls while I ran to pick up some produce and cheese.

Then we used a Groupon at O’Falafel, a Palestinian restaurant in Sugar House. The cousin of the owner came over and ended up chatting with us for a long time, and we loved getting to know him and eating the delicious food.

IMG_9005 IMG_9006 IMG_9010 IMG_9007Then we came home for naps. Mary slept a little in the car, so for much of our nap she was climbing over Abe and me and trying to ride us like horses. (Abe played horsey with the girls at his parents’ house after ballet, and she apparently wanted to revisit the game.)

Abe crafted with the girls for an hour after our naps while I practiced the piano. The girls were so cute–they would run up every couple minutes and bring me gifts that they’d crafted. Sometimes the gifts were just wrinkled papers in an envelope, but it was still sweet. Lydia kept saying, “Mom, I made this for you because I love you.” Mary would give me her gift, blow me a kiss, and run back downstairs to craft some more.

I sang children's songs with the girls before Isabella came, and when she wasn't participating, Mary pretended to clean the table. She wipes it down while muttering, "Keen, keen!" (Clean, clean!)

I sang children’s songs with the girls before Isabella came, and when she wasn’t participating, Mary pretended to clean the table. She wipes it down while muttering, “Keen, keen!” (Clean, clean!)

Then Isabella babysat so Abe and I could go to the temple. We picked up some groceries on the way home, and now we may or may not watch a movie.

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 🙂

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!

Pictures!IMG_8905 IMG_8906 20140730_210305 20140730_210322 20140730_201414 20140730_203437 20140730_203439

 

rough start, smooth ending

Today started a bit rocky. I felt a lot of anxiety and panic in the morning about various random things, but I walked the girls to the park and then went to yoga. After yoga, everything was fine.

At the park:

IMG_8787 IMG_8791IMG_8789IMG_8792

Paige, Mike, Ada and Liv spent the evening with us. After dinner we had a great FHE about the pioneers, and then we made s’mores and ate them outside.

"Twinners!"

“Twinners!”

IMG_8794I am exhausted, and tomorrow feels like it will be a big day, so, as the pajanamals say, I’m ready for “beddy-bye”!

Last minute packing

Playing chase with Isabella. Lydia refused to wear pants all day. To be honest, getting her to wear undies was a huge battle. She just wanted a naked day, I guess.

Playing chase with Isabella. Lydia refused to wear pants all day. To be honest, getting her to wear undies was a huge battle. She just wanted a naked day, I guess.

Pretending to do ballet before ballet. The minute Mary heard Lydia was going to ballet, she started dancing.

Pretending to do ballet before ballet. The minute Mary heard Lydia was going to ballet, she started dancing.

IMG_8750 IMG_8751 IMG_8752 IMG_8764 IMG_8762 IMG_8761 IMG_8759 IMG_8756 IMG_8753

They got free green cupcakes at Smith's.

They got free green cupcakes at Smith’s.

IMG_8768 IMG_8770

S’mores

This morning was pretty low-key: cleaning, reading, lounging, playing with kids, feeding kids, etc.

Isabella came over at 2 pm so I could go to yoga. By the time I came home, it was time to make dinner. I tried my new pressure cooker today and it worked! I read the manual yesterday and couldn’t find it today, so I kept hoping I wouldn’t accidentally blow the house up. When I turned the knob to “release pressure,” the sound was so startling that Mary screamed and we all ran out of the kitchen. That might take some getting used to.

Then we met up with our friends, the Skardas, and headed up to a campground in Big Cottonwood Canyon to make s’mores.

jul8jul8pic1 jul8pic2 jul8pic3 jul8pic4 jul8pic5

I literally ate so many that I still have a stomachache. Carrie had the great idea of sandwiching the marshmallows between chocolate coated cookies. It was delicious.

Once again, the girls were too tired for a proper bed routine. I will tell Lydia to brush her teeth for five straight minutes tomorrow morning…

4th of July recap

Happy belated 4th! We were so exhausted by the time we got home that I am just now blogging.

In the morning while I was at yoga, Abe and the girls had a flag hunt. The girls would hide flags and then go find them, over and over again. In fact, that’s what the three of them are doing now as I type:

Hide and seek with the flags. The flags are hiding and everyone else is counting. Also, the girls are still wearing their 4th of July dresses today because they slept in them last night. We may or may not change them before tomorrow--if they wear these for three straight days, they could wake up on Sunday all dressed for church!

Hide and seek with the flags. The flags are hiding and everyone else is counting. Also, the girls are still wearing their 4th of July dresses today because they slept in them last night. We may or may not change them before tomorrow–if they wear these for three straight days, they could wake up on Sunday all dressed for church!

The flag hunt yesterday morning.

The flag hunt yesterday morning.

Abe fed them breakfast.

Abe fed them breakfast.

Mary pretended to be on the phone a lot (I'm gathering, since Abe took a million photos of her in this pose).

Mary pretended to be on the phone a lot (I’m gathering, since Abe took a million photos of her in this pose).

Abe got the trunk of the car open for the first time since May (it was stuck) and retrieved my anniversary present! We forgot to take a picture of me wearing it yesterday. I'll wear it tomorrow and take a picture.

Abe got the trunk of the car open for the first time since May (it was stuck) and retrieved my anniversary present! We forgot to take a picture of me wearing it yesterday. I’ll wear it tomorrow and take a picture.

After I got home from yoga, I watched How to Train A Dragon with Lydia. Abe and I watched it Thursday night and loved it, and it was fun to watch with Lydia. Afterward, Abe gave me a massage and the girls helped. Mary loves to pound my back with her little fists. It’s really cute.

Then we went to the Darais picnic down in Provo. We picked up Balu on the way there.

On the way to Provo for the picnic.

On the way to Provo for the picnic.

At the Darais picnic, there was a lot of reposing going on.

IMG_8616 IMG_8624 IMG_8632 IMG_8709 IMG_8635 IMG_8641 IMG_8640 IMG_8639 IMG_8647 IMG_8627 IMG_8625 IMG_8693IMG_8628 IMG_8629 IMG_8618 IMG_8626

 

 

There was also a fair amount of rolling down hills.

IMG_8670 IMG_8678 IMG_8677 IMG_8656 IMG_8658 IMG_8653 IMG_8667 IMG_8673 IMG_8708 IMG_8676 IMG_8695 IMG_8684 IMG_8686

Lydia waiting to "catch" mary.

Lydia waiting to “catch” mary.

After the hill-rolling, the girls sat like this for a hile.

After the hill-rolling, the girls sat like this for a while.

IMG_8702 IMG_8706

After the picnic, we headed to Sugar House Park for fireworks. We got a great view, and it was a beautiful night. By the time we got home, Lydia and I were asleep, but Mary was still as excited as could be. She was the first person to wake up this morning. I think yesterday was a happy day for her–and everyone!

July 3

Kate showed up at 8:30 so I could make it to 9 am yoga this morning. I think I might have pushed it too hard in yoga because for the rest of the day I just dragged. For example, at one point I dumped all the laundry on the floor in the girls room with every intention of sorting and folding…and instead, I just sat there playing with and reading to the girls. I finally got around to the laundry at bedtime. Six hours later.

In the interim, Abe came home and we did errands. We had what felt like social hour at the grocery store. We ran into Abe’s old friend, Abe’s first grade teacher, my visiting teacher, and the mother of some of the kids in Primary who gave talks last Sunday.

Blueberries outside of Sprouts.

Blueberries outside of Sprouts.

The girls rode this ancient merry-go-round outside of Rite Aid for a quarter. Might as well have been Disneyland--they loved it.

The girls rode this ancient merry-go-round outside of Rite Aid for a quarter. Might as well have been Disneyland–they loved it.

jul3pic1

Then we came home and had s’mores for dinner, much to Abe’s chagrin. But I pointed out the girls had eaten a ton of raw snap peas before our errands, and they’d had a ton of berries and crackers on our outing. I couldn’t picture them eating much more substantial food, plus I couldn’t wait for s’mores. We were supposed to go camping tonight, and when the reservations didn’t work out, the one thing I was sad about was the prospect of missing out on s’mores. The electric coils on our stove top were a fine–superior, even–substitute.

Lydia was our official s'more smusher. She smushed the graham crackers together after I slid the marshmallows in between.

Lydia was our official s’more smusher. She smushed the graham crackers together after I slid the marshmallows in between.

IMG_8593

Mary wasn't interested in s'mores. She got really excited about her ice water, though.

Mary wasn’t interested in s’mores. She got really excited about her ice water, though.

 

Lydia has had nosebleeds in the middle of the night two nights in a row. Her bed is right over an air conditioning duct, and I wonder if that’s why. At any rate, Abe and I are exhausted and hoping she doesn’t have one tonight. It’s a little hard to drag ourselves out of bed, clean the blood and start a load of laundry at 3 am every night.  I’d love it if we could break the habit tonight.

And a fireworks show just started in the valley. It’s so exciting to be able to watch from my desk–time to wrap this up!