A visit, Lydia’s birthday, and happiness (or in other words, way too much text for a good blog post)

I am happy, happy, happy! The birds are chirping, Lydia and I are almost completely over our weeks-long cold, and Abe has been home for the majority of the last week and will be home until we leave for Chicago. He planned his work schedule so that he will do his April/May travel during the four weeks Lydia, my mom, and I will be in Chicago. Yay!

Also, I get to go see The Hunger Games today. My mom offered to babysit while I go to a matinee with a friend. How lucky am I??? I was so excited about how great this week is going to be that I kept waking up Abe last night as he tried to fall asleep so I could tell him all the things on my to-do list (which, in the case of this week, is really a “to-have-fun” list). He sleepily replied that he intends on having fun too…at work. It really doesn’t seem fair that while my husband slaves away to fund our fun, Lydia and I get to have so many field trips and good-food outings. But then again he gets to go travel and sleep through the night, so I’m hoping it all evens out??? (I kind of suspect it doesn’t, but that is my one solitary justification, so I kind of need for that bubble to remain unpopped.)

Also, I loved this past General Conference (http://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2012/04?lang=eng). My favorite talk was the first one in the Saturday session (I think! maybe it was Sunday?) on the importance of children. While we listened and watched Lydia, my heart was so full of gratitude for my darling little girl and our precious baby-to-be (due Oct 16!!!). I love my family, and even though Lydia still wakes up a LOT during the night and leaves us all bleary-eyed and sleep deprived (as evidenced by the lack of posts on this blog), she brings immeasurable joy to our lives.  She also has turned into the most affectionate child! She used to be completely uninterested in cuddling, but when I found out I was pregnant (for the third time in two years…maybe at some point Abe and I will realize that birth control exists), I decided it was time to teach her the concept of “gentle.” So I pulled out a stuffed cat and cuddled it in front of Lydia, all the while repeating “We are SOFT and GENTLE with our cat. We LOVE our cat. SOFT, SOFT, GENTLE, GENTLE, Meow.” She loved it and immediately started cuddling with her cat, both of us, and really almost any soft object she can get a hold of — even the stuffed rat my lovely friend Candace sent for her birthday!! Yuck.

Speaking of Candace, she and Ben and their gorgeous baby, Cadence, visited us a couple weeks ago. We were the worst hosts ever and set up a blow up bed that deflated the first night onto the floor of the draftiest, coldest room of the house. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I put them in that room! And then I came down with food poisoning (at the time I thought is was a terrible turn in the pregnancy), and spent the whole weekend writhing in bed while they suffered in the cold. I wince just thinking about it! Thankfully, starting in May, we will have actual furniture and I hope, hope, hope that this awful experience won’t deter them from gracing us with their presence in the future. Aren’t they a beautiful family?

Such a great and gorgeous family!

And then the next weekend was Lydia’s birthday! I wasn’t originally going to invite anyone but family because the week before I felt so yucky with food poisoning, but the night before the party I freaked out and felt soooooooooo guilty for not throwing her a proper party. So at 10pm on the night before the party I invited a couple friends over. The party turned out to be just perfect, and Lydia was so excited she didn’t take her afternoon nap that day. Isn’t she just precious in her party dress?

Exccited little Lydia turns ONE!

The next week she went to another family birthday party and learned what balloons are. I was home sick, but Abe called me from the car and told me that she was giggling and playing with her balloons during the drive home. When he opened the car door to bring her in, the gusty wind immediately blew all of her balloons away! She was so sad and bewildered. But God must really love Lydia, because that night at the ward birthday party, there were helium balloons at every table, and Abe collected so many for Lydia that I really hoped no one would notice. I mean, most of the kids were allowed to take one  balloon home, but Abe went around and collected a whole assortment for Lydia. And then he made me stand by the door with them while he got the car ready!! I was so embarrassed. All the ward was passing by looking askance at my giant collection of balloons…but it was all worth it when we saw the look on Lydia’s face the next morning as she saw her new balloons. She loved them so much she would get distracted from eating because she just wanted to hold them. Eventually, we just tied them to her high chair so she could play with them and eat at the same time. I should have taken a picture, but after two weeks of Lydia loving on her balloons, they are not in photographic condition. In fact, they are in the trash somewhere starting their thousand-year process of decomposition…but we won’t tell Lydia that!