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.

IMG_0081 IMG_0083

I tried to get a picture of the pink clouds.

I tried to get a picture of the pink clouds.

IMG_0088 IMG_0089 IMG_0091

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.

obstacle course

First of all, popovers. I would be exaggerating greatly to say I’m obsessed, but I do think about them every morning, and then, most of the time, I make them. This morning I made a couple accidental adjustments to the recipe, and they rose more than two inches higher than they ever have for me before! I was so excited!

They're popping out of the pans!

They’re popping out of the pans!

IMG_9683Anyway, I was half an hour late for church. Not the popover’s fault (they’re super quick), but Abe has morning meetings and I just had trouble organizing myself. Okay, okay…I spent too much time looking up witches costumes online after my scripture study, and by the time I was done, we were running irreversibly late.

Anyway, after church Abe had three more hours of meetings, but the girls were great and napped/rested while I took a nap. After Abe came home, he set up an obstacle course for the girls while I made dinner:

IMG_9687 IMG_9701 IMG_9705After dinner, Abe and his dad fixed our furnace, which started acting up before dinner. Then I read a bunch of books to the girls, and now they’re in bed “reading” to themselves. Mary is going through this phase where she will stay up literally hours after we put her to bed, but she’ll just lie in bed flipping through her books. We’ll peek in at 11pm and find her doing this, and in the morning, same deal. It’s very heartwarming.

IMG_9711

At any rate, the end of the weekend is sad. But the good news is, this week looks like it can’t be anything but better than the last two, so yay!

Lice crazy and Too Much Information (after the pics)

Did I neglect to mention in my last post that after we thought Mary was the only person with lice, Abe discovered a ton of nits in my hair Friday night? Yeah, I thought so. Between that time and now, my hair has undergone: RID (scary, ineffective pesticide treatment), multiple sessions of nit comb-throughs, LiceFree! Spray, three blow-dry treatments (so hot and long that I thought my scalp would burn off), two tea-tree oil shampoo washes, a priesthood blessing, and right now: I have soaked 1/4 cup of pure tea tree oil into my scalp. Tome gave me an 8 ounce bottle, bless his heart. Oh, and I’ve laundered my sheets every day since Thursday.

From Amazon, arriving soon are these three exciting products: A Robi comb (a battery charged comb that zaps lice with electricity so that they die on contact), a Terminator comb (best lice comb on the market!), and a giant VAT of tea-tree oil shampoo.

All of last night’s dreams revolved around picking lice off of my head. Do I sound crazy and obsessed? That’s about how I feel. Poor Abe just wants a break, but every time we have a spare moment, I hand him a comb and order him to get to work on my hair. While he does that I pore over the Amazon reviews of different lice products and read them like it’s therapy. Most people write their terrifying lice stories into their review and send words of encouragement and support to the review reader. The reviews make me feel like I have a global support group.

When I am not actively combating lice, I perform tasks in a distracted state and have several times thought I might be losing my mind. Case in point: Yesterday, after forgetting a bag of groceries at the store, I went out and climbed back into the passenger seat of the car and sat there for a minute before I realized the car wasn’t going to drive itself back to the store.

Okay, enough about lice (even though, honestly, that’s basically all I think about). Today was General Conference! A welcome, uplifting, four hour distraction. One of my favorite talks was Elder Holland’s about caring for the poor. I also liked Elder Bednar’s talk on missionary work. He pointed out that the reason we do missionary work is because we have felt that power of the atonement in our own lives and desire the same blessing for others. That’s kind of how I feel about LiceFree! Spray and tea tree oil–I want to share the info with EVERYONE so no one else has to go through the panic and icky pesticides I used before figuring out which products worked. Oops! I wasn’t going to write more about lice…

I’ll just cut to the pictures:

Lydia and I made this plum cake today. I needed a pick-me-up. I should have taken a picture...but guess what? I have enough plums to make it again tomorrow, so maybe I'll just do that since this one disappeared.

Lydia and I made this plum cake today. I needed a pick-me-up. I should have taken a picture…but guess what? I have enough plums to make it again tomorrow, so maybe I’ll just do that since this one disappeared. Also, doesn’t my hair look like a perfect home for lice? I would chop it all off, but no salon can legally do that for me until this ordeal is over, at which point I will probably reconsider.

IMG_9524

I discovered Mary reading Each Peach, Pear, Plum while the plum cake was baking.

I discovered Mary reading Each Peach, Pear, Plum while the plum cake was baking.

Abe must have taken this one.

Abe must have taken this one.

Tom and Suzanne came over for dinner. Tom gave Abe a blessing afterwards.

Tom and Suzanne came over for dinner. Tom gave Abe a blessing afterwards.

Tom reading to the girls.

Tom reading to the girls.

I love the mountains in the background. Of course, I also find the little girl in the foreground quite endearing as well.

I love the mountains in the background. Of course, I also find the little girl in the foreground quite endearing as well.

IMG_9538 IMG_9540

Also, here’s a daily dose of Too Much Information: After I spent all that time in the hospital with my friend Andrea, who had to deliver her stillborn daughter, I decided I wanted to get pregnant again. Maybe it’s because I wanted the baby to be alive, or maybe it’s because I love spending time in Labor and Delivery (really, I love that floor of the hospital), but I emerged from that experience wanting, for the first time in two years, to be pregnant again. Didn’t happen the first month (which was really about two weeks before my period came), and now I have soaked my hair twice in pesticides, so I think I’ll give my body another couple months to get these chemicals out of its system before trying again. Sad.

On the upside, I have a couple classes left on my Bikram yoga pass, so I can at least use those up now! (I can’t while trying to get pregnant because the heat isn’t good for in-utero babies).

Happy birthday, Mary!

I have thirty something pictures of today, so let’s get to it!

Mary woke up to see her new bicycle in the room. She climbed right out of her crib and went to it.

Mary woke up to see her new bicycle in the room. She climbed right out of her crib and went to it.

sep27pic31 sep27pic32

She couldn't reach the pedals.

She couldn’t reach the pedals.

Abe solved that problem this way.

Abe solved that problem this way.

It was raining, so we went to the aquarium instead of the zoo.

sep27pic2 sep27pic3 sep27pic4 sep27pic1 sep27 sep27pic5 sep27pic6 sep27pic22Then we came home and had pizza for lunch.

Mary finagled her way out of pizza and into a cookie. Funny how that happened, but it's her birthday, so I couldn't say no.

Mary finagled her way out of pizza and into a cookie. Funny how that happened, but it’s her birthday, so I couldn’t say no.

sep27pic8 sep27pic10 sep27pic9After lunch, Mary refused to nap. She didn’t want to miss a minute of her birthday! Instead, she ran around the house in the bugaboo necklace you gave her for Christmas, Grandma!

sep27pic12 sep27pic11

She also played the piano…

sep27pic46 sep27pic45 sep27pic47

...and she played with Abe.

…and she played with Abe.

Abe took the girls outside to jump in puddles in the rain.

sep27pic23 sep27pic24 sep27pic25

Then I made dinner, and we celebrated Mary’s birthday with Tom, Suzanne, Clark, Swathi, Balu, and Mom.

We had Mary's favorite foods: Macaroni and cheese, squash, and salad.

We had Mary’s favorite foods: Macaroni and cheese, squash, and salad.

And cake!

And cake!

Cake!

Cake!

sep27pic43 sep27pic44

The inside was scrumptious but skiwampus.

The inside was scrumptious but skiwampus.

Then, gifts!

A Minnie Mouse dress! Thanks, Nana!!

A Minnie Mouse dress! Thanks, Nana!!

sep27pic40 sep27pic41

sep27pic18

Grandma, the girls adore their new suitcases!

Grandma, the girls adore their new suitcases! Thank-you so much. It meant so much to Lydia to have a gift on Mary’s birthday. Also, thank-you for the garlic case you sent me–I LOVE it!!

sep27pic38

sep27pic29

Mary zipped and unzipped her suitcase for an hour. Thanks, Tom, for assisting patiently that WHOLE time!

Mary zipped and unzipped her suitcase for an hour. Thanks, Tom, for assisting patiently that WHOLE time!

With all of her gifts. Happy birthday, sweet Mary! We adore you!!

With all of her gifts. sep28pic13 sep28pic12 sep28pic11Happy birthday, Mary! We adore you!

 

A tad exhausted

Today was a good day for both me and Lily, but I think it is fair to say we are both exhausted.  There was in incredible thunderstorm at 4 in the morning that was impressive, but also unfortunate as it shaved more time off of our already limited sleep.

Work went well for me.  I’ve already hit my quota for the quarter which is nice, but I’ve already set my sites on next quarter and I’ve been working very hard.  By the time I got home, I was completely pooped.

Lily had a good day, but she had her own mountains to climb.  Lydia was in a particularly difficult mood today and Lily also woke up feeling sick and exhausted.  She basically cleaned every square inch of our home yesterday so I’m not surprised she needed a little recovery today.  The day did start out fun for her by having Rose and her children over for breakfast.

For dinner, we had Tom and Suzanne over for dinner and Lily did a repeat of her wonderful egg-salad sandwiches that she did yesterday.  After dinner, we all went to the park.  Enjoy the pictures!

IMG_9451 IMG_9450 IMG_9449 IMG_9447 IMG_9460 IMG_9457 20140919_193041 IMG_9459 IMG_9458

Dinner with Suzanne

Agh, only one picture today, Grandma! I was going to take a picture of Lydia in the outfit she told you about, but I had to get dinner ready and she changed out of that too soon. I did get a picture of dinner, though:

We had red lentil and lime soup with Greek yogurt, saffron rice, and a tomato/cucumber salad. I made lemon bars for dessert, but, thankfully, they were a disaster. I wasn't even really tempted.

We had red lentil and lime soup with Greek yogurt, saffron rice, and a tomato/cucumber salad. I made lemon bars for dessert, but, thankfully, they were a disaster. I wasn’t even really tempted.

Tom had to do church stuff, but Suzanne came over for dinner. We had a lot of fun with her and discussed one of my favorite topics: The Second Coming. Mom, did you know that President Hinckley announced in the General Conference right after September 2011 that the prophecies of Joel had been fulfilled? Suzanne told us, and I looked it up here. It was very exciting. Abe and I are thinking about postponing our end-of-the-year Disney trip and buying food storage instead…

I was pretty tired today, so other than bathing the girls, taking Lydia to preschool, feeding everyone and cleaning up, I just lay in bed sleeping and reading. I have a ton of laundry to fold and a lot of toys to sort, so maybe tomorrow I will finally get around to that!

Oh, I did one fun thing, though. I was reading All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenting, and the author cited research that said most parents would prefer housework over spending time with their kids. Feeling guilty, I put the book down, rounded up Lydia and had a “cocoa and cookies party” with her. We ate cookies, drank cocoa, and talked. I learned more about preschool during our “party” than I have in all the time I’ve drilled her about it in the car! It was fun.

Mom and Grandma, we loved talking to you today. We love you and miss you so much!

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.

IMG_9431 IMG_9429

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.

sep15pic4

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.

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.

Stake conference, apple picking, and the Sonntags

This morning we had stake conference…in the Conference Center! I love living in Salt Lake. To be honest, though, we were busy trying to keep the kids quiet and chasing them around, so we missed most of conference. They looked cute, though!

IMG_9382 IMG_9389 IMG_9390 IMG_9391Then we came home and picked some apples for an apple crumble (so long, diet!)

IMG_9393 IMG_9394 IMG_9398 IMG_9399Then I spent the next five hours cooking. I used an osso bucco recipe/preparation on some lamb shanks I picked up on sale yesterday, made a corn souffle, a tomato salad, and an apple crumble. I tried to make an apple galette, but I messed up the galette dough and had no time to fix it; dessert quickly became a crumble.

While I was cooking, Lydia spent hours playing Imagination by herself. At one point, she played with the 24 ears of corn she and Abe shucked. She pretended they were characters from Frozen, and then she pretended that a lot of the corn were people who got killed. I was, once again, struck with guilt by how often I mention death in front of her.

While I was cooking, Lydia spent hours playing Imagination by herself. At one point, she played with the 24 ears of corn she and Abe shucked. She pretended they were characters from Frozen, and then she pretended that a lot of the corn were people who got killed. I was, once again, struck with guilt by how often I mention death in front of her.

When Candace and I visited Martha Stewart, she served us lamb shanks. I daydream about them, and I tried to recreate them here, but I didn't capture the flavor she served us. The texture, though, I am happy to report, was the same! (Thank-you, pressure cooker!)

When Candace and I visited Martha Stewart, she served us lamb shanks. I daydream about them, and I tried to recreate them here, but I didn’t capture the flavor she served us. The texture, though, I am happy to report, was the same! (Thank-you, pressure cooker!)

We had Bob and Katheryn Sonntag over for dinner. Abe knows Bob from elementary school, and they just moved into our ward recently. We had fun connecting with them.

Then Paige and Michael called us and invited us to the park with them. We headed over, and Tom and Suzanne joined us. It was a gorgeous night with a beautiful, bright full moon. I kept thinking we were standing under a street light because the moon was so bright. The kids played until it was dark, and then we all headed home. I think this week might be a little less crazy than last week, but I am kind of sad the weekend went by so quickly. Here’s to a slower week!

school clothes, a date, a Miner party, and my new steam cleaner does it all

Mary has been waking up at 4:30am a couple times a week recently. I have conflicted feelings about this. I miss not sleeping through the night, but I absolutely adore cuddling with Mary. Last night after I rocked her, I was so awake I couldn’t fall back asleep. Finally at 7 am I leaped out of bed to get a head start on the day.

I raced to the market and Tony Caputo’s for produce and cheese, then headed home to pick up the girls. Abe had an Elder’s Quorum move this morning, so I took the girls to get Lydia some more school clothes and her new preschool uniform (which she has to wear every Tuesday).

They were best buddies in the car.

They were best buddies in the car. We spent a ton of time driving around, and we talked and bonded the whole time. I sometimes tune Lydia’s talking out, but today I determined not to do that–and it was great! We had a lot of fun.

At the mall. The girls raced around and had a lot of fun together.

At the mall. The girls raced around and had a lot of fun together.

After that outing, we drove home, ate lunch, and took naps.

When we woke up, Suzanne came over to pick the girls up for a Miner family party.

aug23pic7 aug23pic6 aug23pic4 aug23pic3 aug23pic2 aug23pic1 aug23In the meantime, Abe and I went on a date with an Amazon Local deal to one of our favorite restaurants.

aug23pic8

Ichiban Sushi. We love this place.

Ichiban Sushi. We love this place.

Then we bought Lydia more clothes, because honestly, she is growing so fast and I just can’t keep up. Once we’d purchased a whole new wardrobe at Kid-to-Kid, we went grocery shopping.

Suzanne dropped the girls off, and while Abe bathed them, I steam cleaned the carpet in their room. I am in love with the new cleaner! I cleaned the house for the next three hours (with the neighbors’ permission), and our floors and carpets have never looked cleaner. Once midnight was upon us, I stopped steam cleaning and just vacuumed, but still–it looks great, and I can’t wait for Monday because I can steam clean every last inch of the house that I didn’t get to today! Yippee!!