Rainy day, but good

This is Abe.  Lily is at yoga right now.  Life has been very good in the Darais house lately, and today is no exception.  Two days ago, Lily and I had a pow-wow about our worsening sleep deprivation and made a plan for gettting more sleep.  Last night, I slept about seven hours and today I felt great!

Today was very much a recovery day for Lily.  Yesterday was a very intense day for her so she caught her breath today as much as she could while still taking care of the children.  She even had a poetry session with Lydia, teaching her multiple poems!  Lily told me that Lydia likes the poem, “Grandeur of God” which pleased Lily because that is one of her all-time favorites.

Work is going really well for me.  Although I was frustrated this morning about my performance, I had a really good lunch-time walk where I prayed a lot and felt like everything was in God’s hands and progressing as it should.  Though my afternoon was only mildly successful, I found joy and satisfaction in my work.  The last work note is that one of my collegues today told me that today was John Steinbeck’s birthday.  My collegue also told me that East of Eden by Steinbeck was one of his all time favorite books.  Whenever someone reports to me their favorite book, it makes me think I should read it.  Maybe I’ll get it on audio book?

At home I had a breif moment with Lily before she left for yoga.  I then put Mary down because she was so exhausted (she was starting to fade in her high-chair) and then I colored downstairs with Lydia before putting her to bed.

Tomorrow I have a regional lunch meeting and there will be a competition for the craziest hair.  I’m determined to participate because I’m interviewing for Region positions on Monday and I want to prove that I know how to have fun…..I have no idea how I am going to do my hair…….I’ll try to have a pic to post tomorrow!

Speaking of pictures!

Today was an incredibly rainy day.  So great for a desert!

Today was an incredibly rainy day. So great for a desert!

 

Mary getting one of her favorite books.

Mary getting one of her favorite books.

Mary asking Lily to read the book.

Mary asking Lily to read the book.

Lydia climbing on a mountain/overturned chair

Lydia climbing on a mountain/overturned chair

A good shot of Lydia's braid.

A good shot of Lydia’s braid.

preschool and Abe’s birthday party

Today I finally enrolled Lydia in preschool. After calling Challenger this morning, I felt so relieved to find a preschool that had a philosophy that fit what I’ve been looking for. Originally, I was going to go down tomorrow to sign Lydia up, but then I got scared the open slots would fill up, so I rearranged my schedule, picked up Lydia’s immunization forms and headed down to sign Lydia up.

From the moment I pulled up to the school, I had a good feeling. I would go into detail, but it’s late and I’m trying to hit my bedtime goal, so basically: we feel good about this decision, and we think Lydia will thrive at Challenger.

Then I took the girls grocery shopping, after which it was nap time and cooking-time. Abe had his birthday celebration a month late because Dan’s in town and staying with us, and so we took advantage of the situation to have Kade, Brittany, and William over too. It was a fun evening. The only way it could have been better is if Preethi, Nat and Kina could have been here too.

IMG_6804Mary napped from 1:30 to 6:15pm today. That made it possible for me to cook dinner, but I felt sorry for her because she woke up feverish and miserable. We think/hope she’s teething, since thus far she only has four teeth.

To bed, to bed.

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.

fhe feb 2 fhe feb

 

Marathon Monday

This morning I whipped the house into shape before preschool.

I found Mary trying to wet her toothbrush while I cleaned the bedroom. The other day Abe found her crying because she got stuck on top of the toilet tank...

I found Mary trying to wet her toothbrush while I cleaned the bedroom. The other day Abe found her crying because she got stuck on top of the toilet tank…

I was supposed to teach about farm animals and the letter “q,” but I never got around to “q.” We got stuck on the making-butter part of my lesson, wherein the kids were all supposed to shake jars of cream into butter. It didn’t work, but they had fun shaking. Thanks to the internet, I found out I could just stick the cream in the food processor and change it into butter that way, so I did that and we all ended by eating bread and butter.

Sarah did most of the shaking. With her arm stamina, she would have been an amazing asset on my midterm!

Sarah did most of the shaking. With her arm stamina, she would have been an amazing asset on my midterm!

We took the buttermilk that separated from the butter downstairs, dipped chalk in it, and drew pictures.

We took the buttermilk that separated from the butter downstairs, dipped chalk in it, and drew pictures.

The little ones had fun watching everyone.

The little ones had fun watching everyone.

Afterwards, we had a play date with Ada while Paige dropped some paintings off at an art gallery in Park City. The girls watched scenes from Frozen for a while before going on to play in the princess tent Clark and Swathi gave them for Christmas.

Afterwards, we had a play date with Ada while Paige dropped some paintings off at an art gallery in Park City. The girls watched scenes from Frozen for a while before going on to play in the princess tent Clark and Swathi gave them for Christmas.

Abe took this picture while I was in class. Apparently, there was some music making while I was gone.

Abe took this picture while I was in class. Apparently, there was some music making while I was gone.

We had a lot of Frozen time today. This is right before bed.

We had a lot of Frozen time today. This is right before bed.

Outside pics and a happy dinner

We kept Lydia and Mary home for all of church except Sacrament since Lydia was still sick. After church, we came home and napped (and joked about how much our family naps–except Lydia, of course).

I took these after Abe and I got up. We took Lydia outside because it was a beautiful day.

Drawing in the dirt.

Drawing in the dirt.

Lydia spontaneously lay down and soaked up the sun.

Lydia spontaneously lay down and soaked up the sun.

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Checking out deer poop in our yard.

Checking out deer poop in our yard.

Driving Daddy in the car.

Driving Daddy in the car.

Checking out how the sun roof works.

Checking out how the sun roof works.

Then we woke Mary up so we could go to dinner at the Andersons’. Paige made the most delicious meal I have eaten in so. so. so. long. I am still thinking about it. And we enjoyed meeting their friends, Shad and Jenna. Shad told us all about the new fantasy novel he’s writing, and we are excited to read it when it gets published. We had a ton of fun–it made our whole Sunday feel happy.

Then we came home and might try to catch the closing ceremony of the Olympics before going to bed. Abe asked me if I felt rested (after our many naps) and ready for the week. The fact that I don’t want the week to start made him exclaim that I must be slowly dying if I’m not recovered after the excessive amount of rest this weekend offered. The more likely story is that I’m a wimp who’s behind in homework, housework, and piano practice, and I don’t want the consequences of my procrastination to catch up to me this week.

Abe, on the other hand, feels great and ready to work. He gets significantly less sleep than I do, so I don’t understand. But I love his new job for making him so happy, and I’m glad that at least one of us doesn’t dread Monday!

The regular rhythm of Saturday

I spent all morning and the early afternoon at school, turning out French toast for a breakfast with the president of the Utah chapter of the American Culinary Federation (turned out she wasn’t hungry and didn’t eat a thing), washing mountains of dishes, and getting briefed on our team’s strategy for this year’s competition.

Next Saturday is my first black box competition, which is a competition where the judges put out surprise ingredients and you have to turn out a meal in an hour (like the show, Chopped). I am so nervous and am sure I will panic and blank, but it will be good experience. At the library today I checked out a ton of cookbooks on dessert because after the Saturday competition our team will have a pow-wow and decide what dessert we will make at the November ACF competition. It has to be an autumn-appropriate dessert that’s traditional but with some kind of modern twist. I saw a recipe for persimmon tea cake with kumquat glaze and thought that looked promising. We’ll see what my teammates think.

When I came home, I found this:

Abe made me pancakes, and Lydia drew a little picture for me. It was so sweet. Also, Abe makes better pancakes than I do. Mine always burn and come out uneven.

Abe made me pancakes, and Lydia scribbled a post-it note for me. It was so sweet. Also, Abe makes better pancakes than I do. Mine always come out so uneven.

Then we all took naps–except for Lydia, who would occasionally pop in our room announcing hunger or a desire to engage in some kind of activity requiring Abe and me to exert energy we simply didn’t have. I wish I were a super high-energy person; I could be such a better mom! Instead, I end up mumbling directions to Lydia from bed on how to procure herself animal crackers and cookies.

After Mary woke up, Abe and I dragged ourselves out of bed and took the girls to the library and on a round of errands.

When we got home, Lydia burst into tears at the prospect of dinner and begged to go “straight to bed” instead. Since she’d snacked  a lot in the car, we obliged. Mary stayed up and ate animatedly with us. She has a new word! When we ask her how her day went, she smiles and says, “guh” for “good.” I am so worried because up until now, her only word has been “bah” for “bye.” Now at least she has a two word repertoire.

Then Abe and I watched the Olympics and I wasted time online. Abe still has to plan his lesson tomorrow, so I’m going to do some homework and then go “straight to bed,” just like Lydia.

House bound

Lydia woke up this morning the sickest I’ve ever seen her (except for when she had an ear infection).  But even though Lydia was the sick one, Mary was the needy child today. I think she gets upset when I’m away at school, and the day after she gets mad when I do anything that doesn’t directly involve her.

The following evidence of that demand indulged:

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And then she tripped over her feet and cried for an hour and a half. I held her for most of that time, and the only thing that stopped her crying was when I took pictures of her tantruming (is that a word?) on my legs and showed her the results.

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Lydia was pretty low-maintenance all day.

lydia sick

 

Abe had another good day at work, and I wasted massive amounts of time online when I wasn’t feeding or attending to children. I really need to start practicing again, since I stopped after cutting myself a month ago in school. Maybe tomorrow…

Too. many. carbs. (in class tonight)

This morning we had a play date with Lalitha and Eden:

Eden danced for us.

Eden danced for us.

We all loved watching Eden dance.

We all loved watching Eden dance.

Mary was so sleepy, but she was mesmerized by the dancing, too.

Mary was so sleepy, but she was mesmerized by the dancing, too.

Then I fed the children, set Lydia up to paint in the basement, and put Mary down for a nap. Then Lydia took a nap.

Representation of what happened during quiet time. I drew pictures for preschool tomorrow, called/researched local preschools for an hour, lesson planned, and did homework.

Representation of what happened during quiet time. I copied pictures off the internet for preschool tomorrow, called/researched local preschools for an hour, lesson planned, and did homework.

Then I went to class. Tonight was carbs night, and in addition to all the carbs we cooked, the chocolates class next door was sending over their midterm projects. I feel so sick right now. Time for a shower and bed.

 

Dona nobis pacem

The girls watched “Let it Go” from Frozen for a little bit this morning.

IMG_6700Then we ate breakfast and read books until it was time for Institute. Today Institute featured some artist who has studied how Joseph Smith looked in life, and so the talk was slide-centric. Unfortunately, Mary was pretty tired and sad, so we ended up leaving early.

Then we came home for naps. I could have done so much during their nap marathon! Instead I wasted massive amounts of time online and just dozing off. But after their naps, Anique and Fleur came over for an impromptu play date. I should have taken a picture since Fleur and Mary are almost the same age, and they were so cute together. Next time.

Abe came home in time for us to head over to the Jewish Community Center for their preschool open house. We love the JCC more than ever, but it seems to be the most expensive preschool around. Gulp. Good thing we saved! The other good news is that we get a student discount since I am in school, so that’s great. And Lydia loved the preschool. She didn’t want to leave and talked the whole way home about how much she wanted to go there.

lydia at preschool girls at jccThen we came home, had FHE, and watched more of the Olympics. The ladies’ short program was tonight, and I am so glad we got to see it.

olympics

mary with carrotOn a different note, we said many prayers for Ukraine today. One of my friends posted an excerpt from the Book of Common Prayer on Facebook, and I had never read anything from that before. It was beautiful and so relevant. A phrase she posted later has been ringing through my mind ever since: “Dona nobis pacem.” That’s what I hope to fall asleep praying tonight.

Loads and loads and loads of laundry (and some other stuff)

This morning I took the girls to the park for our ward play group.

Mary noticed her shoe strap had come undone.

Mary noticed her shoe strap had come undone. Also, the girls LOVE to hold hands whenever we go anywhere.

Lydia helped fix Mary's shoe strap while Mary's negligent mother looked on and took a picture.

Lydia helped fix Mary’s shoe strap while Mary’s negligent mother looked on and took a picture. Also, see Lydia’s hair? That took me approximately forty minutes this morning. I saw a girl with this hair do yesterday and really wanted to try it on Lydia. Next time I will make her hair more wet before I attempt it.

Whee!

Whee!

The rest of the day was spent feeding kids, napping, reading my book, and folding approximately five huge loads of laundry (basically the girls’ entire wardrobe and more than half of our clothes, too).

Anique and I did our soup exchange yesterday, which was the greatest blessing because I had no time to cook tonight.

Then I went to my Relief Society meeting. I’m on the humanitarian division of the committee, and so we picked which organizations we’re going to help this year.

Then it was Smith’s for food, and now bed.