Play group party

I have been really depressed by the news lately, and I came across this scripture this morning: “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.”

I was also touched today by this article, written by a friendly acquaintance in my home ward.

And now for the day’s play-by-play.

This morning Aria hosted a Halloween party at her house. While I love Aria and everyone who came, I really dislike big groups. However, I decided to go for the children’s sake, so I dressed them up in costumes and headed over to Aria’s.

IMG_9962 IMG_9960But the girls are slightly shy in big groups too, so after I ascertained that none of us were happy, I packed them up and headed back home.

I proceeded to loll around the house for the rest of the day, since both girls ended up napping for quite a while. I started reading Dracula in honor of Halloween. I want to finish that and also reread The Legend of Sleepy Hollow  before October 31st.

I would have pictures from class, but my phone died. We made a ton of cookies and some pita bread. I am skipping tomorrow to take the girls to Red Butte Gardens for their Halloween activities at night.

I’ll take more pictures tomorrow!

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This morning Isabella came over so I could go swimming, and then we all went to Jump Around Utah to celebrate Sophia’s birthday.

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They had more fun on this slide than anything. Oh, the irony.

They had more fun on this slide than anything. Oh, the irony.

Mary headed to rescue her friends from the "hurricane room."

Mary headed to rescue her friends from the “hurricane room.”

Bounce.

Bounce.

Isabella and Mary did this slide over and over again.

Isabella and Mary did this slide over and over again.

Whenever they slid to the bottom, Mary would cry, "GAIN!!!" (Again!).

Whenever they slid to the bottom, Mary would cry, “GAIN!!!” (Again!).

My favorite male one year old.

My favorite male one year old.

After that, I fed the girls and then Kate, another new babysitter, came over while I went to yoga. I have been an absent mom lately. But my unlimited yoga pass expires in a month! I still feel guilty, though. Anyway, after yoga, I came back, showered, and cooked dinner.

Eating dinner.

Eating dinner.

Afterward, the girls played a bit before I headed off to my Primary meeting. They look bedraggled because I haven’t done anything to their hair since yesterday morning.

Lydia exclaiming, "Guys, it's beautiful out here today!" This is after only one day of not doing her hair.

Lydia exclaiming, “Guys, it’s beautiful out here today!” This is after only one day of not doing her hair.

Here’s how clean and tidy they looked yesterday morning:

IMG_8527 IMG_8530 IMG_8529 IMG_8528But tonight I was literally scrubbing grime off of Lydia’s face in her bath. It’s amazing how dirty kids can get is such a short period of time–and we went swimming yesterday, too! That grime basically accumulated all today.

While I was at my meeting, Abe took the girls on a walk to the park.

Lydia's natural expression. Mary's natural expression.

Lydia’s natural expression. Mary’s natural expression.

Natural expressions part 2.

Natural expressions part 2.

Natural expressions part 3.

Natural expressions part 3.

Busy, busy

This morning, after I visit taught Marilyn, we went to play group at Red Butte Gardens.

racing to the three bears' house

racing to the three bears’ house

Lydia and Brooke pushed their sisters, Mary and Annie, all around on their strollers. Annie and Mary are just weeks apart. It was pretty cute.

Lydia and Brooke pushed their sisters, Mary and Annie, all around on their strollers. Annie and Mary are just weeks apart. It was pretty cute.

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feeding the ducks

feeding the ducks

Tinah posing. Doesn't she look like Fancy Nancy?

Tinah posing. Doesn’t she look like Fancy Nancy?

After naps, we spent the afternoon doing errands. I promised my friend, Rose, I would find her a sushi mat–but they were nowhere to be found! I ended up being late to my Primary meeting (I just got called Sunday as first counselor in the Primary) with no sushi mat for Rose. (There was a sushi class in the gym at the same time as my meeting.) It all worked out, though, because the teachers brought sushi mats for everyone. Where they got them, I have no idea. Maybe the bought out all the Salt Lake stores and that’s why I couldn’t find any mats. At any rate, I ended up with a free sushi mat, and the Primary presidency is very laid back. No one cared that I was late–phew!

Also, mom, aren’t you the first counselor in your Primary? I can’t believe I haven’t talked to you since Sunday. We’ll have to chat tomorrow.

Another also: Mary learned how to climb out of her crib today. It’s actually kind of nice, because instead of crying until I come get her, she just climbs out and entertains herself. On the other hand, trying to get her to bed was a nightmare…Lydia came out at one point crying, “Mom, I have an idea! I have an idea! Let’s put a door on top of Mary’s crib! And if she still climbs out, we can put lots of doors!!”

A third “also”: I have pictures from the weekend that I am just posting now:

Cadence and Lydia going to church together.

Cadence and Lydia going to church together.

I am holding the door (and holding Mary like a sack of potatoes).

I am holding the door (and holding Mary like a sack of potatoes).

Here are the pictures Abe took while I was in my meeting:

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A picnic, a final, and some really gross pictures

Lydia begged me to have a play date with Sophia today, and since Misty’s play group was having a picnic at noon, it worked out. Mary loves Sophia too, and after the play date on the way to the library she kept saying, “Mama, Fia!!” (“Mama, I saw Sophia today!”) They had fun.

IMG_0150 IMG_0151 IMG_0153Then I had my final for Garde Manger tonight. It was stressful because I was running late, but I managed to turn everything out, and the chef really liked it!

I made the tuna tartare canapes on the silver tray in front.

I made the tuna tartare canapes on the silver tray in front.

One of my beet salads.

One of my beet salads.

This was my sample plate for the chef. It looks sloppy, but I was running late because I was the only person who had to make forcemeat yesterday (I was gone when everyone else did that), so I got behind in my prep work. That's what my final chicken galantine looked like when sliced. There are also the two tuna tatare toasts, and some breakfast sausage. The sauce is a balsamic vinaigrette that I dipped my beets in.

This was my sample plate for the chef. It looks sloppy, but I was running late because I was the only person who had to make forcemeat yesterday (I was gone when everyone else did that), so I got behind in my prep work. That’s what my final chicken galantine looked like when sliced. There are also the two tuna tatare toasts, and some breakfast sausage. The sauce is a balsamic vinaigrette that I dipped my beets in.

Six of us made this food in an hour and a half. Well, we prepped yesterday, but still--it felt like a ton of work!

Six of us made this food in an hour and a half. Well, we prepped yesterday, but still–it felt like a ton of work!

Finally, I thought I would include pictures I forgot to post Saturday. While I made my practice galantine Saturday, I thought I’d take pictures to show how gross the process is:

This is what sausage looks like before it's cooked. Feel free to swear it off forever. We spread this nastiness on a chicken skin, throw internal garnishes in, roll it up, poach it, and then try to fry the sliminess away.

This is what sausage looks like before it’s cooked. Feel free to swear it off forever. We spread this nastiness on a chicken skin, throw internal garnishes in, roll it up, poach it, and then try to fry the sliminess away.

Chicken Galantine--who knew disgusting could reach such heights?

Chicken Galantine–who knew disgusting could reach such heights?

Easter egg hunt round two

It was a packed day. First, I took the girls to the store to buy some eggs to stuff for their second Easter egg hunt of the season. Misty arranged a wonderful hunt with her play group at Ensign Peak Park. The day was sunny and clear, and the bright eggs hidden green field nestled right underneath the mountain made for a picture perfect hunt. The only down side was that the sun was so bright, I couldn’t see my phone’s screen at all, so I had to take pictures completely blindly and hope that something would come out.

20140415_103114 20140415_104549 20140415_104544 20140415_104029Then we came home and ate lunch. After lunch, I put Mary down for a nap and then dyed Easter eggs with Lydia.

IMG_7346 IMG_7349Then Mary woke up and had a snack.

IMG_7352 IMG_7351Then I went to school and cooked some salads. They looked a total mess because we were in such a rush to plate them.

Pear salad with so many steps it made my head spin. Roasted pears, fanned out. Sliced raw pears. Blue cheese tart. rehydrated cherries. Port wine reduction. Bacon bits. Pear vinaigrette. Aghhhh!

Pear salad with so many steps it made my head spin. Roasted pears, fanned out. Sliced raw pears. Blue cheese tart. rehydrated cherries. Port wine reduction. Bacon bits. Pear vinaigrette. Aghhhh! And that is why I ended up just throwing it all haphazardly on the plate and saying: Done.

Salads should have a liner and a garnish. My liner made my salad look like a butterfly...

Salads should have a liner and a garnish. My liner made my salad look like a butterfly…

Abe had a great day at work and we feel God’s hand operating in that arena of life. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him at all so I’m going to end this post, shower, and go to bed. Maybe if he’s still awake I can actually talk to him for more than thirty seconds!

Fast Fast Fast

Everything in life is fast right now.  On the way to work I listen to 6 chapters in 3 Nephi for my ward’s 40 days of Holiness.  As soon as I walk through the door at work, I juggle prospecting expectations, trainings to attend, product learning, meeting preparation, meetings to attend and general housekeepings.  I leave every day feeling like I’m leaving a mountain for the next day.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my job.  It is very fast.

Lily’s life is fast as she chases around our daughters, prepares for her piano competition, goes to school full time and keeps food on the table.  Today, chasing the kids involved a play-group Easter Egg hunt for the kids.  It looks like they had a lot of fun.

As usual, I met Lily halfway at her school on my way home from work.  It was so nice to see her, if even for a moment.  At home, it was dinner, bathing, night routine and then cleaning.

I will say, there was a moment during the children’s night routine when everything slowed down.  It was right around the time that Lydia was having Puss bark like a seal and I had a moment where I just looked at her and felt pure joy.  There she was. So perfect, innocent, playful and happy, in her own little world.  Watching her be happy brought a flash of my own childhood joy and it was like drinking from a well of youth for my soul.  I love my children.  Lydia also explained to me that she wants Daniel to stay a stuffed animal because tigers are scary, but Puss and Tabitha can grow up and become real in about a year just like the velvatine rabbit.  Meanwhile, Mary has been stacking all of her blankets and stuffed animals into one corner of her crib so she can try to get a let up on capitulating herself out of the crib.  I had to take away everything except three small blankets, a pillow and a tiny stuffed animal for fear that she would actually succeed.

Pics!

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Some big tantrums and FHE at Temple Square

This morning was such a whirlwind that I did not get a single picture in. Sorry, Grandma! As soon as the girls woke up, it was a race to get them dressed and fed so that we could make it to our visiting teaching appointment with Marilyn. Thankfully, Jen was in the same boat so we arrived at about the same time (an hour late). Marilyn, as usual, was a joy to visit, although we are praying for her health. Mom, feel free to include her in your prayers.

Then we went to Jump Around Utah to meet up with our play group. I’m glad I know what it is, but I do not think I will ever go again. It was so packed with screaming kids who just mowed down all the littler kids in their paths. It was incredibly stressful for everyone, and by the end I was sweating and panicky and Lydia had the worst public tantrum she has ever had in her life. For the rest of the day she kept telling me that she was sad because her experience at Jump Around Utah was so frustrating. I was just glad we all left without injury; at one point, Mary got flipped on the big bouncing thing in the middle and landed in a really painful looking position.

I came home, fed the girls, put Mary down, and tried to cheer Lydia up with hot cocoa and a ton of snuggling and reading.

After Abe came home, we headed out to Temple Square with Balu for FHE. We took a tour of the Conference Center. I have a whole new appreciation for the Arnold Friberg Book of Mormon gallery after seeing the Arnold Friber exhibit a couple months ago. The choir was rehearsing while we were there, so we got to sneak in a little observation too. The tour was great preparation for General Conference, and we’re hoping the tour will contextualize conference for the girls. Then we went to the Lion House for dinner. Brother Richardson left us a gift card the last time he was here, and it came in handy tonight! We had a lot of fun, and we left the square with Lydia sitting on Abe’s shoulders making up songs about flowers and Spring. In spite of all the other tantrums and meltdowns today (and they seemed to follow each other in rapid succession without much interruption), FHE was a success.

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Then I did some grocery shopping and by the time we came home, the girls were exhausted. One more giant tantrum issued forth from our eldest daughter, and then she fell asleep. It’s been peaceful ever since. Here’s to a more peaceful tomorrow!

“SOCKS!!!!” “SAUCE!!!” (Lydia’s new swear words)

I took a bunch of happy pictures today, but don’t let that fool you. I’m pretty sure I spent the whole day yelling at Lydia–and occasionally at Mary. While at Sugar House Park this afternoon, I listened to this mom talk sweetly to her children and felt insanely jealous. I thought, “Wow, that woman seems exceptionally cut out for this mom business. I bet she never yells at her kids.” And then I proceeded to feel horrible about myself, even though I fully realize that:

1) I am nice to my kids on the playground too.

2) Who knows how that mom acts when she’s tired and not standing in the sunshine?

Which brings me around to the tired bit. I just don’t have any energy lately! It is so annoying. Today I decided to power through it and try to fold laundry, but I couldn’t even do that. With terrific effort, I managed to bring my kids to play group, the grocery store, Kid to Kid, and another park today, but by the end I couldn’t do anything but sit on the couch while the kids tore up the living room around me.

I think I’m tired because my coughing wakes me up at night. Like I said, it’s annoying, and I’m appropriately annoyed.

In addition, Lydia has invented her own swear words. Obviously, she doesn’t know what a swear word is–and I hope she hasn’t been in earshot when I let stuff slip–but she’s started yelling “SOCKS!” and “SAUCE!!!” when she’s extremely angry. I asked her what those words meant, and she explained that she says those words when she wants to hit. Lately, she’s been combining the words and the action–hence much of my yelling, but I was mildly amused that she essentially invented her own swear words. My dad always used to say that swearing was for people who were creatively stilted in the language department. I think Lydia’s invention would have made him happy.

On to the happy pictures and more happy news–Abe had ANOTHER great day at work. It’s kind of a miracle. When I met Abe, one of the first things I learned about him was that he hated his job, and the whole time he’s worked for Guardsmark, that sentiment has persisted. This switch to Qualtrics has been amazing.

One thing he loves is his coworkers. For example, today he left the flashers on his car, and one of his coworkers noticed and sent a memo out on some company thread that Abe didn’t read. When Abe went to his car after work, the person who noticed (who parked next to him) was ready with cables to jump Abe’s car. He knew the car’s battery would be dead, so he got prepared to help–even though he didn’t know whose car it was. When you work with people like that, it’s hard to dislike your work.

Lindsay Gardens for play group, 11 am:

Liv and Mary swinging

Liv and Mary swinging

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Paige pushed Lydia and Ada on the merry-go-round thing.

Paige pushed Lydia and Ada on the merry-go-round thing.

Sugar House Park, 3:30 pm:

 

I must have read A Snowy Day to Lydia a million times. Watching her hit the tree with a stick made me recall "A stick that was just right for smacking a snow covered tree," only this tree lacked snow.

I must have read A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats to Lydia a million times. Watching her hit the tree with a stick made me recall “A stick that was just right for smacking a snow covered tree,” only this tree lacked snow.

Cimbing this rainbow-monkey-bar contraption. At the top she panicked, but I stood below and she made it over. One thing I LOVE about Lydia is her caution. I know I should be cheering for her ability to surmount an obstacle, but I'm most proud of her sensitivity to her own safety. That's my paranoia right there, thank-you very much.

Cimbing this rainbow-monkey-bar contraption. At the top she panicked, but I stood below and she made it over. One thing I LOVE about Lydia is her caution. I know I should be cheering for her ability to surmount an obstacle, but I’m most proud of her sensitivity to her own safety. That’s my paranoia right there, thank-you very much.

Hey! I just noticed that inadvertently took a picture of the mom who talked soooo sweetly to her kids. Doesn't she even look like a nice mom? I'm still jealous.

Hey! I just noticed that inadvertently took a picture of the mom who talked soooo sweetly to her kids. Doesn’t she even look like a nice mom? I’m still jealous.

Wistfully watching some kids swing.

Wistfully watching some kids swing.

I took these pictures of the girls swinging right before I gave Lydia a push that accidentally knocked her off the swing. We were both traumatized, but thankfully she was fine. I proposed driving home for a cupcake break, and that seemed to solve the problem.

I took these pictures of the girls swinging right before I gave Lydia a push that accidentally knocked her off the swing. We were both traumatized, but thankfully she was fine. I proposed driving home for a cupcake break, and that seemed to solve the problem.

IMG_7084For FHE, Abe built an obstacle course and dressed the girls up in their owl and monkey costumes. They had fun. I was supposed to give a spiritual thought, but I have felt less-than-spiritual (and I forgot), so we skipped that part.

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Mopey Monday

I stayed at preschool this morning. Misty had the kids make “giraffe skin” out of yellow paper, cut sponges and brown paint. Afterward, we took the kids out to the back yard to play.

preschool 3 preschool 1Then we came home and I gave Lydia another piano lesson before lunch. Her technique is really coming along, although I was a little impatient today and our lesson ended in tears and hugs. I had a little bit of an emotionally down day today, and I felt so bad for taking it out on Lydia.

Abe wanted to take me out to Smashburger to celebrate my cooking competition on Saturday, so we met him there before school.

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While I was at school, Abe was home with two very melodramatic girls.

This was after Mary got put in her crib for not behaving, and Lydia was denied a princess puppet show because she refused to clean up. Misery loves company.

This was after Mary got put in her crib for not behaving, and Lydia was denied a princess puppet show because she refused to clean up. Misery loves company.

But they did have a princess hair night again.

But they did have a princess hair night again.

Then Lydia attempted to knock Mary in the head with the iPad. Thankfully she missed. While she was being disciplined, Mary ran around the house naked. When Abe found her, this is what he saw:

She was typing code into his laptop.

She was typing code into his laptop.

Lydia perked up and joined her.

Lydia perked up and joined her.

Guess my night learning about different dry heat/wet heat methods to cook food was pretty tame in comparison. Abe’s downstairs running off the evening’s stresses on the treadmill, and I am just about to try to forget mine by picking up my book.

Oh! Mom and Grandma, I am about to post some pictures from yesterday onto yesterday’s blog. Abe forgot to email me some cute pictures he took from his phone. I’ll just tack them onto the end of yesterday’s blog.

 

Another preschool tour–and the sun!

Yay for the sun! It’s back, it’s beautiful, and it felt gooooood today. After touring another preschool this morning, we went to play group at a nearby park.

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Lydia kept claiming she couldn't climb up this hill and would fall down every two steps. Mary kindly went down to help her up.

Lydia kept claiming she couldn’t climb up this hill and would fall down every two steps. Mary kindly went down to help her up (my interpretation. Lydia said Mary came over to hit her…).

Then we came home and I fed the girls lunch. Then I cooked, cleaned and gave Lydia a piano lesson.

Then Lydia took a nap. When she wakes up from naps at home, she usually is a little…touchy. So I baked chocolate chip cookies while she was asleep, and as soon as she started to wail, I told her there were cookies downstairs for her.

She's had a "winky" eye since she was born. That means, when she takes a big bite of something, her right eye flies wide open. It's pretty cute.

She’s had a “winky” eye (at least, that’s what I call it) since she was born. That means when she takes a big bite of something, her right eye flies wide open. It’s pretty cute.

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After Abe came home, we had dinner and FHE. I mainly sat on the couch in a tired stupor, but Abe taught the girls about Moses, and they drew pictures of Moses parting the Red Sea.

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