Our last day of packing! (and house closing)

We are packing like crazy because we closed today on the house and the move is TOMORROW, but I just had to throw up some of these pictures from earlier. Ina stopped by with the girls’ Christmas presents. She is so sweet. We will miss her so much!

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Ina even had one for Abe and me. She tolerated my pictures so nicely.

Ina even had one for Abe and me. She tolerated my pictures so nicely.

Mary discovered that we have yet to pack the nail polish. TOYS!!

Mary discovered that we have yet to pack the nail polish. TOYS!!

Lydia was excited (and she wanted to pose for the camera).

Lydia was excited (and she wanted to pose for the camera).

Really quick: I had a conference with Lydia’s preschool teachers and one of the administrators today. My heart sunk as they told me she doesn’t participate unless directed. I’ve observed this trait in Lydia since infancy. In groups, she stands to the side and watches silently, and then she comes alive at home and tells you everything that happened as if she had been involved. But in the moment, she doesn’t participate.

I felt solely responsible for her lack of participation. I drove home feeling so guilty that she inherited my defunct genes that shut down in big group situations. I called Abe and confessed that my genetic contribution had messed up our kid, and he made me feel a lot better about it all.  He pointed out that Lydia’s problem is not lack of focus (which is what the administrator attributed it to), but just shyness. (Hi, Lily’s genes!). He pointed out that Lydia could sit at the piano for forty five minute stretches when she was just two (under her tyrannical mother’s command), and she can focus indefinitely on any given book. She does not, he emphasized, have ADD.

In the moment, I had totally forgotten that about Lydia! I just swallowed everything the teachers told me as Truth and left feeling so horrible and guilty. I thought my genetic contribution + my lack of restrictions on screen time = permanent damage to my three year old’s ability to succeed in school. I still could do better on screen time, but after talking to Abe, I don’t think Lydia has an actual attention problem. At least that is what I’m telling myself now.

Back to packing!

Sabbath rest

Today was our last day in our ward. After church, we hung around the house and just rested from all of the packing commotion from yesterday. We watched some scripture videos, read some books, ate some Trader Joe’s food (our fare until post move because my kitchen is PACKED), and napped.

Abe snapped a picture for the blog.

IMG_0299Also, I found two new death records for my family history today! One if for my paternal grandmother, and the other is for my paternal great-grandfather. It was very exciting!

Veteran’s Day 2014

After preschool and quiet time, we took a trip to the veteran’s section of the Salt Lake Cemetery. We did this last year, and I remember how this activity made me feel more connected and grateful for all the service veterans have given for the country.

Today my heart felt full again as I tried to explain to the girls what it meant to be a veteran and to serve the country. We read the names on as many graves as we could. Actually, Mary gave us lots of opportunities to say names because she would pull flags off of graves and I would say, “Mary! Don’t do that! That’s Thomas Haley’s grave, and he fought in WWI. I’m sure he wants his flag back!” …In this fashion, we got to say a lot of names out loud.

At one point, Mary pulled a balloon off of one man’s grave and I said, “Mary! Someone put that there because they loved Anthony. How sad! Now he doesn’t have his balloon!”

With tears spilling out of the corners of her eyes and her voice wavering, Lydia said, “Mommy, can we go get another balloon so that man can have a bawoon (balloon) on his stone?” My heart was so moved. We headed straight to the car, and as I started to drive to the store to get a replacement balloon, Lydia said (again, with her eyes full of quiet tears and her voice quivering), “Mama, can we say a prayer so that Jesus can help us get the same balloon?” So we said a prayer, got replacement balloons, and returned to the cemetery.

After we replaced the missing balloons, Lydia recited the Pledge of Allegiance among the tombstones. It touched my heart. This day was just full of heart-warming moments.

With replacement balloons.

With replacement balloons.

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! We are sad that this is our last year celebrating with Abe’s family down in Sugar House. We love eating with them and then trick or treating in their Halloween-friendly neighborhood. Tonight was absolutely gorgeous, with weather starting in the 70’s as we trick or treated. Supposedly it will get cold tomorrow, but it sure was pretty tonight.

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I tried to get a picture of the pink clouds.

I tried to get a picture of the pink clouds.

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As the night wore on, both girls' buckets started to literally overflow. Abe and I could not convince them to hand over any of their candy to lighten their loads. Mary carried her full basket for blocks. I guess they have good reason not to trust us--I ate most of their trunk or treat candy!

As the night wore on, both girls’ buckets started to literally overflow. Abe and I could not convince them to hand over any of their candy to lighten their loads. Mary carried her full basket for blocks. I guess they have good reason not to trust us–I ate most of their trunk or treat candy!

Afterward we went and hung out at the Andresons’ new home until it was beyond everyone’s bedtime. So sad that this tradition is ending. I can’t imagine a more enjoyable Halloween than this one, but life is full of surprises. Halloween of 2015, feel free to surprise me.

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!

Industrious, laziness, friend and family-liness

After I steam cleaned and vacuumed all of the floors this morning, I figured I had earned a vacation for the rest of the day, so I finished The Mists of Avalon. I’m glad I got through it, but I’m also glad I’m done! That fictional world was a little too crazy for me, and I’m glad to be firmly back in my own paradigm.

In the late afternoon, Lydia asked me when I was going to “wake up” since I had been reading in bed for hours. I decided I could read just as well outside, so that’s where we spent the rest of the afternoon.

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The Andersons invited us over for dinner, which was wonderful because I was busy reading and hadn’t prepared a thing.

Lydia was tired. When we unloaded her from the car, she curled up on the grass and tried to go to sleep.

Lydia was tired. When we unloaded her from the car, she curled up on the grass and tried to go to sleep.

Paige made delicious pizza. I was carsick from reading in the car and didn't think I was hungry, but this made me want to basically never stop eating.

Paige made delicious pizza. I was carsick from reading in the car and didn’t think I was hungry, but this made me want to basically never stop eating.

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Then we went to Tom and Suzanne’s for FHE. They read to the girls a ton, which the girls loved. Abe did another puppet show–he’s the best at those!

sep15pic1 sep15pic2Then Lydia begged to come home and go to bed. She has preschool tomorrow, so I was very amenable to her pleas.

She was falling asleep on the potty before bed.

She was falling asleep on the potty before bed.

Chatty Sunday

I had to do sharing time for the first time today. Last night I had so many qualms about that and other aspects of my calling that I almost decided to ask to be released, but then I decided to stick with it and endure. Sharing time wasn’t a complete disaster, and the time went by faster than expected.

After church, I got to see Maria again! It was so rejuvenating to visit with her again. I should have taken a picture.

After dropping her off at the airport, I came home and made dinner before Fallon, Audrey, Vera and Eli came over. We only got three pictures today.

A Bon Appetit recipe for tuna melts, tomato salad, and Izze.

A Bon Appetit recipe for tuna melts, tomato salad, and Izze.

I made chocolate chip cookies, and Mary liked hers.

I made chocolate chip cookies, and Mary liked hers.

Eli liked his, too.

Eli liked his, too.

I basically talked to Fallon for hours. She was so fun. I got a lot of friend chatting in today, and it was really, really nice. That kind of keeps me going these days, it seems.

Now I am really excited to get to bed at a reasonable time and start off the week well-rested. Tomorrow my floors need SERIOUS attention, not to mention the mountains of laundry, sheets and other cleaning.

Beautiful September Saturday

This morning, while Lydia was at dance, Mary, Abe and I shared a cup of cocoa and strolled through the lovely neighborhood near Lydia’s studio. We went to a yard sale and walked to a park, although by the time we got to the park, it was time to turn around and go pick up Lydia.

On our walk

On our walk

My ideal house, right in the beautiful neighborhood we explored. Too bad we can't stay in Salt Lake forever...

My ideal house, right in the beautiful neighborhood we explored. Too bad we can’t stay in Salt Lake forever…

Lydia before ballet

Lydia before ballet

 

Lydia during the tap dance part of her class

Lydia during the tap dance part of her class

After dance, we came home and hung out in our yard. Anique came for a visit and to pick some apples.

Fleur and Lydia eating apples.

Fleur and Lydia eating apples.

Then we went to the Avenues Street Fair.

After the fair, we headed down to Provo for a birthday party for Olivia. Elsa was there!
sep12pic7 sep12pic6Then we came home, I planned my Primary lesson, and grocery shopped for the week. Now I can’t wait to get back to The Mists of Avalon.

The Mists of Avalon

I designated today my Get-Well day, and since I couldn’t go back to sleep after Abe left, I started at 5:30 by nestling in a cozy chair and reading…for the next fourteen hours. I did feed the kids a couple times and take care of their basic necessities, but other than that, they were on their own.

I am currently engrossed in The Mists of Avalon. Fourteen hours later, I am only halfway through it (page 446 as I type), but it is fascinating! Since I couldn’t bear to put it down, I didn’t manage to snap pictures until I sat down at the computer to do homework and blog.

Chase with Daddy!

Chase with Daddy!

Trying to escape from Daddy...and, as you can see, the bed isn't made because I was in it with my book all day. Lydia and I never made it out of our pajamas...

Trying to escape from Daddy…and, as you can see, the bed isn’t made because I was in it with my book all day. Lydia and I never made it out of our pajamas…

Naked babies after the bath.

Naked babies after the bath.

The only other thing of note was that Abe had an amazing work week!! He hit his quota early, and it looks like he’ll double it in the next week. Go, Abe, go! We’re so proud of you!!