dino bites

We had a busy morning between music, the library, errands and preschool…but, of course, I forgot my phone and didn’t capture any cute moments from earlier in the day.

After dinner we played “doctor” because Abe is still feeling the effects of the flu, and all he has to do for this game is lie on the couch. After that we all watched The Land Before Time, and now we’re looking at a two-hour early bedtime. Abe is pooped. Tomorrow is the end of the quarter, he’s still struggling with the flu, and it’s just been a crazy couple months for him.

Pictures:

Dr, Lydia Darais administered medicine for a good hour to all of her family members. We suffered dinosaur bites, triangleitis, tuberculosis, the flu, ear infections, and more dinosaur bites.

Dr, Lydia Darais administered medicine for a good hour to all of her family members. We suffered dinosaur bites, triangleitis, tuberculosis, the flu, ear infections, and more dinosaur bites.

Mary was suffering from a dinosaur bite, so Lydia gave her a shot and helped her feel better. Lydia advised Mary to keep her dinosaur in a cage in the future. She then proceeded to show us all of her imaginary dinosaurs that she keeps in strong cages.

Mary was suffering from a dinosaur bite, so Lydia gave her a shot and helped her feel better. Lydia advised Mary to keep her dinosaur in a cage in the future. She then proceeded to show us all of her imaginary dinosaurs that she keeps in strong cages.

Pretend all day

Aside from my doctor’s appointment, visiting teaching and a late night outdoor flashlight hunt with our neighbors, we stayed inside and played most of the day. I was exhausted for no apparent reason and stayed on the couch. I repeated my new mantra to myself which is “stay accessible.” If I can’t get it together enough to actively engage from an upright position, then at least I can be a reclined resource to my kids.

I took one picture of the girls playing pretend. I figure this represents the way we spent almost the entire day. I also took a video of Lydia singing Mary a belated birthday song she made up. Her lyrics were very penitent about her behavior yesterday.

Playing pretend by the couch. I'm pretty sure we did this until Abe came home.

Playing pretend by the couch. I’m pretty sure we did this until Abe came home.

After FHE Abe and the girls did Mary's newest puzzle.

After FHE Abe and the girls did Mary’s newest puzzle.

Mary’s real birthday

Abe woke up with the flu today. Booooo! Lydia had the same strain of the flu on Friday, so I’m hoping this strain doesn’t make it to Mary or me. In the past two months we have had: lice, a virus (ongoing for Abe and me–we are both still feeling its affects even now), the flu, and the flu (a different strain) AGAIN. It’s a great thing Ammon didn’t come when I wanted because the poor little thing would have been brought into a den of illness.

On a happier note, today was Mary’s birthday! I have lots of pictures.

Anticipating her birthday breakfast plum cake.

Anticipating her birthday breakfast plum cake.

Mary got sang to three times today. We gave her a present after each meal. After breakfast Lydia gave her a slinky. That was a big hit, even though it didn't work on our stairs.

We sang to Mary three times today, and we gave her a present after each meal. After breakfast Lydia gave her a slinky. That was a big hit, even though it didn’t work on our stairs.

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Playing with balloons.

Playing with balloons.

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After lunch Mary opened her second present of Tegu magnetic blocks.

After lunch Mary opened her second present of Tegu magnetic blocks.

After dinner we sang to Mary a third time. We gave her a beautiful Jan Brett floor puzzle of the Easter Bunny.

After dinner we sang to Mary a third time. We gave her a beautiful Jan Brett floor puzzle of the Easter Bunny.

After dinner, we chatted and called Jere and David. Mary loved telling everyone she was the birthday girl today!

After dinner, we chatted and called Jere and David. Mary loved telling everyone she was the birthday girl today!

Mary spent a lot of the day singing, “I’m the birthday girl!” to herself and anyone else who would listen. Lydia started the day sweetly and loved sneaking balloons into Mary’s room and letting Mary have special things…but after hearing Mary announce she was the birthday girl for the umpteenth time, Lydia said, “Mary, I know you’re the birthday girl!! Stop telling me!” It was downhill from there. Lydia had lots of tantrums and I felt sure that I had failed in the parenting department.

From his deathbed, Abe somehow managed to pour two hours of attention onto Lydia and help her turn around. She still struggled to be polite, but at least we didn’t have to endure hours of screaming for the rest of the day.

Lydia’s screaming didn’t affect Mary at all. She was excited and happy all day, and she practically danced her way through the whole day. I am so happy she had a great day, and I hope Abe feels better tomorrow.

dinosaur musuem

Yesterday we didn’t do much except for a fun play date in the morning with Ashley and Peter (Qualtrics friends). I spent the rest of the day on the phone to various relatives and a grad school friend. In the evening, I got a pedicure and went to book club. It felt like a very restful day. I fully intended to make it a NOT restful day because I really wanted to go into labor, but I guess the lazy in me won out (again).

Today we got an early start and went to the Provo farmer’s market.

Before we left for the market, both girls wanted Abe to draw letters on their backs.

Before we left for the market, both girls wanted Abe to draw letters on their backs.

We are excited to have our double stroller back. I lent it out over a year ago, and we'd forgotten how convenient it is to have it around.

We are excited to have our double stroller back. I lent it out over a year ago, and we’d forgotten how convenient it is to have it around.

After the market we met up with Chelsea and her boys at the dinosaur museum. Outside of the museum there was another farmer’s market and a pumpkin contest. As we stood in line looking at pumpkins, Abe started telling me that his coworker participates in pumpkin contests. Little did we know we were looking at one of his coworker’s pumpkins! We didn’t take a picture, but it was next to the ones below.

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Playing in the museum.

Playing in the museum.

Lydia was actually in a pretty rude and ungrateful mood all day. We have no idea why, but today she definitely did not earn a nice sticker. Mary didn't either, but that was more because she didn't listen AT ALL all day long.

Lydia was actually in a pretty rude and ungrateful mood all day. We have no idea why, but today she definitely did not earn a nice sticker. Mary didn’t either, but that was more because she didn’t listen AT ALL all day long.

IMG_3284When we came home, the neighbors came over for a play date.

IMG_3291After the play date, Abe set up a long tunnel for the girls and him to play in.IMG_3293 IMG_3301Then we went to Target and came home. It felt like a big day. Too bad I forgot to get ricotta at Target. That means there’s still work ahead…

found first

This morning I took some photos of the girls doing gymnastics. That’s all I have for today. Other than preschool and getting visit taught, not much happened.

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Mary's hiding spot during the end game of hide-and-seek. I think she wanted to be found first.

Mary’s hiding spot during the end game of hide-and-seek. I think she wanted to be found first.

Cooking class with Qualtrics people

Every morning I try to visualize the day ahead through my children’s eyes. Today that exercise helped me rally. We went to story time, ballet, the candy store, ballet and a splash pad. We also had bath time, reading time, together time–and I even folded all of the laundry!  I am at the point where even walking hurts and intimidates me, and so I was really proud of myself for accomplishing so much today.

And it got better from there because tonight we got to go to a cooking class in Salt Lake at Sur la Table with all of Abe’s work team. I adore everyone on his team. The cooking class was also really fun and tasty. Plus, there are three other almost-due pregnant wives on the team, and it was great to commiserate.

Here are the day’s pictures:

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Lucas and Kim are some of my favorite people. Brooke (almost cut out of the picture) is absolutely lovely as well, and I so enjoyed getting to know her better tonight.

Lucas and Kim are some of my favorite people. Brooke (almost cut out of the picture) is absolutely lovely as well, and I so enjoyed getting to know her better tonight.

Todd and Ashley. We love them.

Todd and Ashley are some of the most spiritual and uplifting people we have ever met. We love them.

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Royal and Jen. We just think these two are the best, and Jen is due one week before me!

Royal and Jen. We just think these two are the best, and Jen is due one week before me!

Sterling and eep!--I forget her name, even though we had a long and fun conversation. Abe mentors Sterling and gets to have him on his pod next quarter. They have four kids under age 5. The oldest is a girl and gets so upset whenever they don't let her change the 11 week old's diaper that they had to buy her a puppy. I could not believe this woman's fortitude--she took on a second dog and a newborn AT THE SAME TIME. When I found out, my jaw might just have hit the floor.

Sterling and eep!–I forget her name, even though we had a couple long and fun conversations. Abe mentors Sterling and gets to have him on his pod next quarter. They have four kids under age 5. The oldest is a girl and gets so upset whenever they don’t let her change the 11 week old’s diaper that they had to buy her a puppy. I could not believe this woman’s fortitude–she took on a second dog and a newborn AT THE SAME TIME. When I found out, my jaw might just have hit the floor.

Cannoli.

Cannoli.

Our collective efforts yielded all of the dishes displayed on this beautiful plate. We all enjoyed eating the fruits of our labors at the end of class.

Our collective efforts yielded all of the dishes displayed on this beautiful plate. We all enjoyed eating the fruits of our labors at the end of class.

The Hidden Hand

Today I didn’t have much strength to do anything. I did some learning time with Mary while Lydia was at music, and then while Lydia was at preschool Mary played quietly by herself the whole time. I spent most of the day reading my book club book, The Hidden Hand.

Abe took took some photos so I would have something to blog about today.

Abe took a picture of dinner. I did manage to take the girls to a greenhouse that also sells delicious, cheap produce. That made dinner really easy tonight.

Abe took a picture of dinner. I did manage to take the girls to a greenhouse that also sells delicious, cheap produce. That made dinner really easy tonight.

Abe took Lydia home teaching and she played in the back yard of his home teachees.

Abe took Lydia home teaching and she played in the back yard of his home teachees.

After dinner the girls and I had a short cuddle fest that Abe captured.

After dinner the girls and I had a short cuddle fest that Abe captured.

feeding the ducks

Lydia woke up practically breathless from excitement about some dinosaur I can’t even pronounce, so I thought another trip to the BYU dinosaur museum was in order. Lydia toted along her new dinosaur book and eagerly looked up each skeleton to see if her book referenced it. I thought her enthusiasm was adorable.

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Mary is telling me that this turtle fossil is a plum pie. Lydia thinks that's amusing.

Mary is telling me that this turtle fossil is a plum pie. Lydia thinks that’s amusing.

 

Lydia is enthused to be reading about a T-Rex while standing next to a T-Rex skull.

Lydia is enthused to be reading about a T-Rex while standing next to a T-Rex skull.

 

Mary is a little wary about sticking her head between these fearsome jaws.

Mary is a little wary about sticking her head between these fearsome jaws.

FullSizeRender (8)Then we went to the library before heading home.

Some Halloween displays are up already at the library.

Some Halloween displays are up already at the library.

After Abe came home from work, we all ate outside before heading to a nearby park to feed the ducks. Abe found this park online, and we loved it. I only regretted not having my phone because most of the time Abe had one girl on each knee with his arms around them both while they fed the ducks. It melted my heart. I had to sit on a bench and watch from afar, but Abe took some selfies and photos of the girls. Here’s a video of feeding the ducks.

IMG_3186 IMG_3191 IMG_3194 IMG_3205 IMG_3209Afterward the girls played in the park next to the pond until dark. It was a delightful evening.

catch-up

On Thursday night I woke up in the middle of the night puking my guts out. Poor Abe spent the whole night cleaning up bowls of vomit and trying to help me feel better. He ended up bringing work home early on Friday because I literally could not get out of bed. The poor children had to completely fend for themselves. I guess they’re kind of used to that though…Lydia said tonight, “Daddy, can we get a golden doodle puppy because you always are at work and Mama’s always sleeping?”

I explained that she could look forward to about a year more of Mama sleeping (assuming Ammon has the non-existent sleep habits of my previous newborns), but after that that I hope to be a more active mama. Mom, I told her we needed to consult with you about the puppy.

Here are pictures and videos from all the days I haven’t been blogging:

Friday night Abe took the girls, still in their pj’s, to Walgreens. While there they encountered some scary figures. He took pictures and videos of their reactions.

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Here’s a video of their reaction to the figure’s movement.

On Saturday I was feeling well enough to get out of bed and walk a bit. That was good because I really wanted to see my friend Betsy’s painting at Chalk the Block. We went to the Riverwoods to look for her, but I checked every section but hers! By the end, I was in so much pain I couldn’t walk any more, so I just settled for enjoying the pictures I did see. We took a picture of this one because we still get excited that people weave religion into everything around here.

Every ray represents an operating temple.

Every ray represents an operating temple.

The girls went to Olivia’s birthday party while I hunted for Betsy. Here is a video of the girls in Olivia’s bounce house.

While they were there I went to the hospital to get checked to make sure I wasn’t in labor. I know that sounds dramatic, but the force of all the vomiting and being dehydrated set of contractions and made the baby drop. I wasn’t in labor, but it was such a lovely day and hospital room that I really wished my time had come! I asked the nurse how early I could elect to have an induction, and sadly that comes at 39 weeks. I am at 36 tomorrow. Can’t wait for this to be done.

It was good I wasn’t in labor, though, because just a few hours later Lydia started puking. I’m glad Ammon is still safe inside while all these germs circulate. We have really been through the ringer with lice, viruses, and flus–all in the past month. So much fun. But I just keep reminding myself that I am grateful to not have these problems as Mormon pioneer or Syrian refugee. I can imagine that at this moment there are pregnant refugees dealing with illnesses and terrified small children who have to deal with land mines, potential drowning at sea, scary border guards, and all sorts of other nightmares that I can’t even imagine. I am sure I haven’t done anything to deserve my position of privilege, and I pray that God can be with these people–especially the pregnant mothers–at this time.

Speaking of privilege, today felt full of it. We spent the whole day resting and together. Abe went to church, but between my recent hospital visit and Lydia’s vomiting, the rest of us stayed home. We spent the whole day enjoying each other’s company, reading, eating, and playing together. This day felt like a gift of recovery for everyone.

After Olivia’s hopscotch party yesterday, Mary made up her own “hopscotch” game this morning.

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Mary doing “hopscotch.”

When Abe came home from church, he gave the girls massages:

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Then we went outside and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon and evening. The girls let me clean out their ears (thank-you, Swathi, for making this possible!!) and earned prize books for letting me do that. We spent the rest of the evening studying their prize books about dinosaurs and human anatomy. Lydia couldn’t get enough. Mary fell asleep.

Setting up for reading time.

Setting up for reading time.

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Playing "what animal am I?" (Lydia is a dinosaur.)

Playing “what animal am I?” (Lydia is a dinosaur.) Mary ran to Abe and cuddled with him in the safe zone every time Lydia roared in her direction. Here’s a video of them playing.

Studying up on the way our bodies work. Mary fell asleep after three pages of this book and is therefore absent from this picture.

Studying up on the way our bodies work. Mary fell asleep after three pages of this book and is therefore absent from this picture.

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A day with the Marshalls

Today I went swimming for the first time in forever. I still have the slightest bit of the nasty virus hanging on, but I figured it was worth the risk of exacerbating that to exercise again. Without exercise, I just fall apart. It fell so nice to swim.

It was bring-a-friend day at the Little Gym, and so we got to see the Marshalls there. Chelsea and I bought each other Groupons, and she is starting her kids in the same class as soon as Liv finishes soccer. It was round one of visiting because we ended up spending the evening together too. That made us happy!

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While Lydia was at preschool, Mary and I went to the mall to find maternity fall clothes that fit. I ran into an old mission friend at the mall who kindly suggested H&M as a place for shopping success. Mary and I trooped to that end of the mall only to discover that all of their maternity clothes were too small. It was very depressing.

Then who should I bump into but Chelsea–again! She took me to the Maternity store, and all my problems were solved. I bought a bunch of clothes after trying them on as fast as I could so we wouldn’t be late for preschool pick-up. Later in the evening Abe and Chelsea reviewed my purchases and approved them all. I thought I’d be taking back at least a couple things, but they were so affirmative that I think I might be (almost) set.

After preschool, we made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. It is the easiest recipe ever, and Lydia practically made these on her own. Once Mary found out she had to wash her hands to help, she decided she’d rather go play than bake.

IMG_1335Abe came home early and worked from home. We loved seeing more of him. Then Chelsea and her kids came over because Derek had a Salt Lake meeting. We ended up visiting for hours and were so, so inspired by Chelsea’s birth stories. Her testimony of faith and fasting was so powerful. She told us the whole story of how she and Derek successfully navigated the in-vitro process, and her story reflected the truth of personal revelation and inspiration. We felt edified.

Abe and the little kids did puzzles at the end because Olivia and Lydia weren't keen on allowing them into their fun.

Abe and the little kids did puzzles at the end because Olivia and Lydia weren’t keen on allowing them into their fun.

Then Abe and I cleaned up the house and had a brief “together time” with the kids before bed. They begged for more. I feel good about this new routine!