Biologically askew

Abe just informed me that there is something biologically wrong with Mary. Her energy peaks at 10pm and doesn’t fizzle for at least an hour. I have tried cutting her naps down, but she cries and ends up a mess for the rest of the day, so we don’t really know what to do. (She also tries to sneak in extra naps later in the evening, which is truly bad news in terms of bedtime.)

While Abe was teaching a beautiful lesson in Sunday School, I was wrangling a bunch of very energetic toddlers in the nursery. Afterward, I lay on the couch and let my family starve until I decided at the last minute to summon up some compassion and make dinner.

We have some pictures and videos to liven up this tired post.

Mary going nuts at 10:20 pm tonight. Mary is telling us that this hanger "lights her up." That's a phrase from the show, Creative Galaxy.

Mary going nuts at 10:20 pm tonight. Mary is telling us that this hanger “lights her up.” That’s a phrase from the show, Creative Galaxy.

Chelsea made us some eggplant involtini a couple weeks ago that I have been daydreaming about ever since. Finally, I got around to making some today.

Chelsea made us some eggplant involtini a couple weeks ago that I have been daydreaming about ever since. Finally, I got around to making some today.

Skyping with Nana

Skyping with Nana.

And here’s a video of this morning’s dance party:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRKuGk46JVg

Grandma, we hope you feel better! We heard today was kind of rough, and we are praying that you wake up without pain. We love you so much!

Who is my neighbor?

Today I (Abe) started very slowly.  It was all I could do to gradually roll out of bed at 830, but I knew today would be good when I walked outside and the weather was absolutely perfect.  First thing we did today was go to the Toyota dealership and get a spare key for our new car. While we waited, the girls played in a play area which you will see a picture of below. After that Ingrid Baron from our old ward came over with her mentor and they both consulted Lily and me on financial planning.  We learned some great things and we really enjoy Ingrid, who Lily served with back in the Ensign First ward’s primary presidency.

After that, Lily and I went to the temple and performed some sealings for some of her ancestors.  It was a very beautiful experience.  Since our schedules have been so packed, it has been months since I have been to the temple.  Over the past months, I have felt a literal thirst in my soul to be in the temple and feel the special closeness to God that happens there.  It was great to be there today!

Lily and I stopped into Walmart on the way home for a few items (picture of mountains from the Walmart parking lot below) and then we came and relieved Summer (our babysitter).

I got to continue enjoying the nice weather because I took the girls for a run while Lily cooked dinner and then I mowed the lawn.  I’ve been really concerned about our lawn because it is getting super long and we can’t afford a mower until my next commission check comes in.  Today I asked my neighbor, Mike Moran, if I could borrow his, and he graciously agreed.

I took particular note of his generosity today because I’ve been preparing for my Sunday school lesson that I am teaching tomorrow called “who is y neighbor?.” The lesson covers the topic of forgiveness as well as the parable of the good Samaritan.  Mike was my good Samaritan today for lending me a mower for my extremely overgrown lawn.

As I studied for my lesson, I found a cool link on-line for modern-day good Samaritans.  I also re-read one of my favorite talks by Gordon B Hinkley on forgiveness.  My favorite part is at the end of the talk with the story of the lady whose face was smashed by a young boy and how she reacted.

Lately Lily has been reading a book called, There is no me without you which gives us additional food for thought as we contemplate who is our neighbor and how to help those in need. It is a book about the aids crisis in Ethiopa.

The last couple things I’ll mention is that the dinner Lily made was amazing (picture below) and it is almost midnight and Mary is still running around.  I’m starting to get worried about her bedtime……….

 

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Lovely day yields The BoringEST Post.

I can’t think of anything that I could write that would make this day appear even remotely interesting. I spent a lot of time feeling amused by the childrens’ antics, we did errands, and we all went through the rituals of staying alive (eating, sleeping, etc.).

I forgot to take pictures of the girls, but I did take one picture of dinner because I need to be more diligent about that, at least until I turn in my final portfolio in May.

Peanut noodles.

Peanut noodles.

Bean museum synchronicity

We spent all morning at the Bean Museum of Natural History with Jessi and Henry. Even though it’s my second time there, the taxidermy dramas are still thrilling. After Jessi took Henry home to nap, we went to the story time where Lydia had a great time learning about conservation. Mary was more distracted…

Meanwhile, Morgan and Abe got together for lunch at Qualtrics. I didn’t even realize our husbands were going to have a lunch date when I invited Jessi to the Bean Museum, but it was kind of fun to know that synchronicity occurred.

Appreciating taxidermy drama.

Appreciating taxidermy drama.

All together!

All together!

Henry was very taken by the elephant.

Henry was very taken by the elephant.

The kids meeting Topper, the tortoise.

The kids meeting Topper, the tortoise.

Afterward the kids got to touch skeletons, taxidermied animals, elephant tusks, a rhino foot, and Topper again.

Afterward the kids got to touch skeletons, taxidermied animals, elephant tusks, a rhino foot, and Topper again.

After that we had a relaxed, uneventful day at home. It felt really nice. Abe and I are really enjoying the fact that we get to spend every evening together as a family. It’s been a year and a half since we’ve had that!

Half The Sky

I just finished reading Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. It was one of those books that felt very impactful and has left me wondering all day what I can do to help the lives of women around the world. Sex trafficking, maternal morbidity and mortality, and the absurd disparity in opportunity–even for basic things, such as life, are all issues that can’t help but move anyone who reads this book to want to pitch in and help in some way. Did you know there are actually more slaves (most of them captured women and girls who are drugged and brutalized into working in the sex industry) today than there were at the height of the formal slave trade industry??? I actually can’t imagine any more compelling issues of our time.

The book is also full of stories where people stood up and made a difference, and it feels like an empowering read. At the end, they even have an action item list of things you can do in the ten minutes after finishing the book, along with a long list of organizations you can support.

So, aside from my book, what did we do today? Well, Abe had a good day at work. Qualtrics schedules people who are doing well to be observed by others who might need pointers or who are struggling a bit, and today was the second time Abe was scheduled to be observed. He was really nervous and told me beforehand that once everyone saw him on a call, they’d all be nonplussed by what they saw and figure out that he’s just a person of average ability who must work really hard. He figured by the end of today, “the gig would be up” and everyone would stop fussing over him.

Anyway, on the call where people observed Abe, the customer told him immediately that she had decided to go with another company. Abe could have just given up and let everyone observe a ten second interaction that concluded with him losing business, but he managed to somehow turn the call around and convinced her to give Qualtrics another chance. Somehow, I don’t think “the gig is up.”

Anyway, I took a video this morning when the girls came in my bed to snuggle. Mary started singing, and I caught it on video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmRlZzSCBe4

Provo library discovery

Today I felt the most like myself I have in a long time. I folded laundry, took the girls to the library for story time, cleaned the house, played with and cuddled with the girls, read to the girls, cooked dinner, read some new and old books, and got ahead on my online class. I think the fact that I quit my internship has really made a difference.

Oh, I forgot to record on here: I quit my internship. I got a hernia or a torn abdominal muscle on my last shift, and that made me realize I could not continue. Thankfully, if I pass my final in May, I will still graduate from school with the hours I have. So now, my schedule has opened up a lot. The only thing I have left is this online class and preparing for my final!

Pictures:

At the Provo Library story time.

At the Provo Library story time. This was quite the discovery! We stumbled upon it by accident. I was supposed to be at the Toyota dealer getting new keys, but I rescheduled for Saturday and ended up at the Provo library instead. We wandered in just in time for the girls to go to their respective story times. Lydia’s age group was in a closed off room, but we could watch the video outside and see what was going on and how she participated. That was fun. 

During our cuddle session today, Lydia and I realized we had matching blue books!

During our cuddle session today, Lydia and I realized we had matching blue books!

After cuddling, we went on a search through the whole house for a great horned owl. Lydia is consulting her "instructions book" (actually a potty book) on where to find the owl.

After cuddling, we went on a search through the whole house for a great horned owl. Lydia is consulting her “instructions book” (actually a potty book) on where to find the owl.

After dinner, Abe made the girls soup can phones. Lydia and I were reading The Friend the other day and saw instructions on how to make these. Abe executed our grand idea.

After dinner, Abe made the girls soup can phones. Lydia and I were reading The Friend the other day and saw instructions on how to make these. Abe executed our grand idea.

Three P’s: Park, Picnic, and Pictures

There was a day last week I was too tired to dress the girls. Today, Lydia feared the same fate--so she took matters into her own hands and got herself dressed. I was thankful, and I thought she looked great.

There was a day last week I was too tired to dress the girls. Today, Lydia feared the same fate–so she took matters into her own hands and got herself dressed. I was thankful, and I thought she looked great.

Our fun began today when Abe came home from work. We took the girls to the park for a picnic and then came home for FHE. Tonight our lesson was on the Holy Ghost. Thanks, Mom, for sending us the activity idea! We hung pictures of Jesus in the girls’ room, turned off the lights, and had the girls find the pictures with their flashlights. Then we talked about how the Holy Ghost leads us to Jesus. Mary was very focused on her flashlight, but Lydia paid attention.

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Here are two videos we took during our picnic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQry1gNZ0eE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U54LZ1p5hGI

We have a video of Lydia reciting our FHE scripture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qbmL3sCWlU

And then Abe demonstrated his favorite night time game with the girls. It’s called “Nobody Leaves the Room.” The girls get all riled up, and then every time Abe laments how difficult it is to put them to bed afterward.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiNhJCz3wTU

phobia pass-down

At 3 am last night, Lydia woke up screaming hysterically because she thought she was covered in bugs. We took her into bed with us, and she proceeded to break down into hysterical sobs for the next two hours.

I felt terrible because I know she got the tendency towards phobia from me, and Abe felt frustrated because he now has to deal with a wife AND a daughter who have phobias that detach them from reality. Eventually Lydia fell asleep, but we coached her all day on what to do if nightmares or her imagination get the best of her again tonight. Fingers crossed we all sleep through the night!

Abe took a couple pictures today.

Lydia fell asleep on our post-dinner walk. All that middle-of-the-night panic must have worn the poor thing out.

Lydia fell asleep on our post-dinner walk. All that middle-of-the-night panic must have worn the poor thing out.

I was amazing and microwaved cheese on bread for the girls' dinners tonight. Oh, and a pickle. We are all going crazy for pickles around here recently, not that I know why...

I was amazing and microwaved cheese on bread for the girls’ dinners tonight. Oh, and a pickle. We are all going crazy for pickles around here recently, not that I know why…

Bedtime reading.

Bedtime reading.

And here’s a video of Mary doing a somersault. Lydia claims at the end she’s going to do one too, but she’s our careful child and ended up just climbing over onto the bed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZP_W4J-Rac

dinner with the Sonntags

This morning I went to a baby shower while Abe took the girls on a walk. Then in the evening, Bob and Kathryn Sonntag came over for dinner. Kathryn is going to landscape our yard, and we had such a great time talking with them. Abe and I learned a lot about design from our dinner conversation, and we developed a whole new appreciation for “mid-century modern” design.

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3:30 am wake up

I woke up at 3:30 am and since I couldn’t get back to sleep, I decided to get up at 5 am to go the gym. After that, I grocery shopped, cleaned the house, made dinner, fed the kids breakfast, and lost all of my steam around 10:30am.

At that point, I was good for approximately nothing for the rest of the day.  The kids are so used to being neglected by this point that they just play together and entertain themselves all day long after I retreat to rest. If they think I’m sleeping, they just work out things out instead of crying or asking for help. I can’t decide if it’s pathetic (as a reflection on me) or praise-worthy (good job, kids!). Maybe it’s both.

At 4pm I left for a five hour shift at the Pizzeria. It was like going from zero to sixty; all of the sudden I was out of bed and lifting huge things, running around like crazy and doing all sorts of stuff. I came limping home and am now back in my favorite place: bed.

In the meantime, Abe took lovely pictures of the girls.

They had a picnic outside. Before that, they dressed up in their Frozen dresses and watched Frozen with Abe.

They had a picnic outside. Before that, they dressed up in their Frozen dresses and watched Frozen with Abe.

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