reading

While the girls were in ballet today I walked to Williams Sonoma and made poor purchasing decisions. The items shall be returned next Wednesday when the girls have ballet again.

Our only picture is from bedtime reading. I am aghast at the racism in the book, but Lydia is obsessed with the idea of a secret garden. Mary likes that the protagonist is also named Mary.

Also, Abe didn’t hit his quota yesterday. It was disappointing, but he has a great attitude. He also got called to be Elders Quorum President again. I feel like I can write this because no one from our ward reads this blog.

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Lydia’s harp lesson

This morning got off to a slow start because I was absorbed in personal email. The girls snuck Easter candy and watched videos on my phone while I was writing. Lydia is obsessed with Charlie Brown and talks nonstop about how she wishes Lucy were real so she could take her to church and teach her to be nice.

After I got going, Mary went outside to play with bubbles. It started raining and she played in the mud. Afterward I carried her straight to a warm bubble bath.

Then I took a nap and made dinner in record time. I was so proud of myself. Cooking school was sort of worth it after all! We sped through dinner because Lydia had her first harp lesson today. I adore her teacher. She is basically the perfect Suzuki instructor–strict, kind, organized, and technique driven. Lydia announced afterward that she was bored by the lesson. I told her that was the whole point. (A slight exaggeration, but I really think boredom, repetition, and rigor are healthy additions to her otherwise charmed life.)

After that we went to Salt Lake for some blitz errands. I forgot to return some seriously overdue library books yesterday while we were in Salt Lake.  Oops.

Tomorrow is a huge day for Abe. He finds out whether he will hit his quota or not. He has never missed, and but this quarter has been really tough. Then we have an eventful meeting at church in the evening. He has a lot of surprises coming his way tomorrow.

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IMG_5306IMG_5314Abe let Ammon “drive” the car while I did errands.

Easter

Yesterday was Easter. Abe and I were up late the night before pretending to be the Easter Bunny, and so by the time last night rolled around we were so exhausted I didn’t blog. But the girls had a great Easter, so it was all worth it.

I don’t have pictures from the morning’s baskets and egg hunt, but I do have a bunch from after church. We went to the Miners’ and the girls took part in the egg hunt. They also celebrated Lydia’s birthday. She was on cloud nine, although you couldn’t tell it from looking at her. She’s really good at saving her emotional expression until after events like that are over.

Church was incredible. We had a wonderful sacrament that helped me feel so grateful for the resurrection of Christ, and after that Abe taught an amazing Sunday School lesson about the doctrine of Christ. One of the class members shared a wonderful thought about how Nephi calls Christ “my Jesus,” and not “Jesus the Christ” or “the Savior” and we talked about how that personal relationship is key to getting us through life. Then we had a Relief Society all about the atonement and how we can survive our trials through the strength of Christ. It was a great Easter Sunday.

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We have a million videos of the egg hunt, but it appears only one uploaded to Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1lgMyGWQsg

 

dying eggs

Yesterday I paid the Freestone girls to parent my children because I was incapable of doing much. My voice is going and yesterday I could barely get out of bed. But today I forced myself to be an adult because it’s almost as painful to be absent as it is to be present–so much guilt!!

Today I took the kids to the store so we could a) have food in the house and b) dye Easter eggs. This trip enabled me to feed my children well-rounded meals throughout the day and have fun dying eggs with them.

Lydia took this picture yesterday. She came upstairs and said, "Mom, quick! Where's your phone? Mary's all dressed up in her chef outfit and looks so cute! I just have to take her picture!" :)

Lydia took this picture yesterday. She came upstairs and said, “Mom, quick! Where’s your phone? Mary’s all dressed up in her chef outfit and looks so cute! I just have to take her picture!” 🙂

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I took a million pictures of my favorite little guy playing with his toes.

I took a million pictures of my favorite little guy playing with his toes.

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Dinner with the Harmons

Well, we’ve been sick again. I can barely breathe. I had this theory that if we cut out sugar, we would all be healthy. It worked! …And then St. Patrick’s Day came around, the leprechauns came, and it all went downhill. Ugh.

I took Ammon to the dentist this morning, and the good news is that the dentist does not think he will have to cut Ammon’s tongue tie. He says Ammon has enough mobility in his tongue to get him through. If Ammon has speech problems, he will revisit the question in first grade.

I took a picture of the girls in the waiting room of the dentists. Everything is so kid friendly in Utah.

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We had ballet today. I took Ammon to the toy store while the girls were in ballet. He had fun watching the train do circles on a ceiling track.

Then this evening we had dinner at the Harmons’. Blair has decorated their house perfectly and I had fun looking in all of her closets and touring each room. We also love visiting with that family. Blair is the easiest person to unburden myself to, and Steve is really funny and easy going. The girls enjoyed a night nestled up with technology. (Steve and Blair’s little boy is only 10 months, so that means no toys for the girls.)

Now I am about to collapse into a Nyquil induced coma. Can’t wait.

Provo Temple dedication

We had the Provo Temple dedication today, and the Freestone girls were so sweet and babysat so that Abe and I could attend together. I also spent a lot of time visiting teaching today. In the evening the girls played in the dirt while Abe and I ate outside. Our home teachers came over and shared a thought on the porch. It was a lovely Sunday.

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Lydia took this picture of the sunset. She was quite enthused about the colors in the sky.

Lydia took this picture of the sunset. She was quite enthused about the colors in the sky.

work lunch party

We went to Lucas and Kim’s house today for Abe’s team meeting lunch. One of the new wives I met is a competitive bikini model. I liked her so much. Sometimes it’s hard to be a Qualtrics wife because most Qualtrics women (wives or employees) all look like they could have stepped right off a runway. And in today’s case–she actually does! I actually enjoyed learning about her sport and visiting with everyone. Of course we forgot to take pictures.

This evening Lydia and I went on a mommy-daughter date. She blooms into the most delightful child I have ever met when she gets one-on-one attention. We went to the bookstore and picked out books because we finally hit our five hundred book mark on our book project. It took us about three months to read the first four hundred…and then Ammon was born. It’s taken five months to read the most recent one hundred. There are plenty of days that go by where I simply do not read to my kids at all. I figured we should celebrate the fact that we made it this far, so we bought a bunch of new books.

Then we came home and read them before bed. I started reading The Secret Garden to the girls tonight.  I have never read the book before, though, so I really don’t know what to expect. I remember loving the movie, but I can’t remember anything other than that.

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Mary reading before bed.

Mary reading before bed.

Breastmilk Stats (Posterity: this post might be of interest to you)

This morning I went to see a lactation consultant. My friend, Blair, works for the department of public health in Provo and set me up with one of her lactation consultant friends, Amanda. Amanda was wonderful. She confirmed what my friend Ashley had suspected: Ammon does indeed have a tongue tie.

The only way to solve his tongue tie is to either have his tongue cut with scissors or have a pediatric dentist in Lehi do laser surgery on him. We are going the laser surgery route. Three out of our three children will have had surgery. At least Lydia and Mary got some anesthesia for theirs. Poor Ammon. It breaks my heart to think of this procedure, but as Ashley quoted to me, “Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.” I think that to myself every time I visualize my poor baby’s cut tongue.

Amanda also tested my breast milk. Below is a picture of her as she prepared my milk for the centrifuge. The results (recorded here in case my daughters and granddaughters want to see if their milk is genetically similar) are as follows:

9.2% cream, 26.5 cals/oz, 897.4 kcals/liter, 58.4 g of fat/liter, 6.5g fat/100oz

IMG_2653This evening we went out for Chinese food because my book group was discussing Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and that put me in the mood for Chinese. Abe was shocked because I have never wanted Chinese food in the whole time he’s known me.

The girls were having fun calling Ammon a termite. (He was eating the paper placemat.)

The girls were having fun calling Ammon a termite. (He was eating the paper placemat.)

leprechauns, a harp, and the biggest parenting insight I have ever had

The leprechauns came last night. The girls were delighted. Abe, my mom and I all got pinched twice by leprechauns because none of us wore green. The girls went wide-eyed each time one of us yelped (my mom yelped over the phone) that a leprechaun had pinched us. Before dinner I sent the girls out to hunt for four leaf clovers and leprechauns while I pumped. It was a nice break for everyone.

Mary's jaw dropped open when I told her leprechauns had visited us. I live for those moments of pure awe and delight.

Mary’s jaw dropped open when I told her leprechauns had visited us. I live for those moments of pure awe and delight.

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We picked up Lydia’s harp today. Abe and I felt so peaceful and good through the whole experience. It helped that the harp store is in David O. McKay’s old house, which, by the way, is my dream house. I love bungalows because they remind me so much of my grandma’s house–so safe and familiar.

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I also went to my first Power of Moms meeting. Ashely, a friend from Qualtrics, hosted. Ashley is so spiritual that she literally glows, and I was happy to learn from her goodness and hear what insights other moms had into parenting with patience. While listening to what felt like an echo chamber of moms talking about the guilt they felt about parenting “fails,” I had an epiphany.

The idea that I should parent from a place of compassion and empathy 100% of the time is an unrealistic expectation hoisted on me by white Mormon culture. There is no doctrine to back up this false notion. True doctrine is that my children are resilient enough to withstand my basic humanity. We can do a dance of transgression and forgiveness (theirs and mine, mine and theirs) all day long and become refined through that. Having the understanding that we will dance that duo every day will help me have more compassion on myself and more faith in the atonement.

The guilt and shame I feel for “sub-par”parenting is the result of living under the strain of widespread cultural illusion. I feel so liberated. My guilt feels swept away. I hope I can stay in this place of enlightenment the next time I find myself subjecting my kids to an unpretty side of my humanity.

visit with the Keyes

Today I got to see my friend, Ashley Westwood Keyes, TWICE! We haven’t seen each other for over six years. We both got married on the exact same day, and so today we got to meet each other’s kids and husbands. It was so delightful. When we closed the door after they left, Abe turned to me and said, “Wow, they were so lovely.” I agree.

Less than delightful was Lydia’s interview for American Heritage. Abe and I figured we were the ones who were getting interviewed, and so we didn’t tell Lydia beforehand to be on her best behavior. Actually, I didn’t even brush her hair this morning. So she acted feral and looked more than the part. That was sad.

That sad middle part of the day was sandwiched between two lovely meals with the Keyes. We had breakfast and dinner together. The kids had a great time playing with Steven, Ashley’s husband. I wish they were our neighbors, but the good news is they visit again in the summer.

Abe found Mary napping like this.

Abe found Mary napping like this.

Ashley figured out Ammon probably has a tongue tie. That might be why he drools so much and can't nurse. Also, he never sticks out his tongue. I am going to contact a lactation consultant ASAP. I already asked our pediatrician if Ammon has a tongue tie, but Ashley explained that pediatricians are only trained to recognize full-on tongue ties. Partial ones are better recognized by the lactation consultants.

Ashley figured out Ammon probably has a tongue tie. That might be why he drools so much and can’t nurse. Also, he never sticks out his tongue. I am going to contact a lactation consultant ASAP. I already asked our pediatrician if Ammon has a tongue tie, but Ashley explained that pediatricians are only trained to recognize full-on tongue ties. Partial ones are better recognized by the lactation consultants.

Naomi, a beautiful child.

Naomi, a beautiful child.

All the kids had so much fun eating together.

All the kids had so much fun eating together.

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