End of quarter Eve

Today was actually quite peaceful on the home front, although we ended with a three hour harp practice. It took us almost three hours to do six repetitions in Lightly Row. I am fried. Lydia, however, is always in a terrific mood after her meltdowns. I don’t get it, but I’m glad that she’s no longer screaming.

Abe is very, very stressed about the end of his quarter. It ends tomorrow. We won’t know until tomorrow whether he hit or not. We’ll be so glad when it is over.

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Yay, it’s Wednesday!

I recently read a blog post about how to celebrate, among other things, Wednesdays. What a great idea. Actually, Wednesday is a great day for me now that Lydia goes to school on Wednesdays. I can, theoretically, get so much more done with just two kids in the house.

Except…I’m not sure what I actually accomplished today. The laundry remains stubbornly undone, only now it’s distributed all over my floor. I threw it all around during a frantic search for a pair of Lydia’s clean undies. We used to have a ton of undies, and then I put one pair in the emergency prep duffel. Ever since you would think I had stored away all of her undies.

I did some brief lesson review with Mary, and we completed her birthday puzzles together. She was a happy, tired girl today. Last night she was up until 11pm because she could not come down from her happy birthday high. While we went around talking about what we loved about her, she appeared to be short-circuiting from joy. She was grinning, laughing, and undergoing regular full-body spasms of joy. Abe and I couldn’t bear to force her to go to sleep, so we let her stay up.

We were regretting that decision when Lydia wandered in at 2am asking if Mary’s doll house was complete. She was so excited to play with it. Finally she announced that she wanted to cuddle. After all of the attention Mary got, of course we let her cuddle. She tossed and turned for an hour before finally falling asleep.

On the Ammon front, we are in the throes of diaper rash because Ammon has changed his pooping schedule. He has decided to now poop six times a day. On the advice of one of my mom’s friends, I ordered some Penaten from Germany. I love the stuff, except during the second use the expensive container fell face down on the dirty carpet. I didn’t realize how dirty the carpet was until I picked up the Penaten. Darn. I am scooping around the dirt and hoping the Penaten will work anyway.

I visit taught and was visit taught today. I guess I have that to say for myself on the accomplishment front.

Here comes some lovely autumn rain. I love that sound of big, juicy drops hitting dried out leaves. Guess I’ll close up this post and all of the windows after that.

The state of my laundry and my room. The most recent homeschooling book I read suggested that I hire a laundry service. That sounds nice.

The state of my laundry and my room. The most recent homeschooling book I read suggested that I hire a laundry service. That sounds nice.

We did Mary's puzzles today.

We did Mary’s puzzles today.

Mary and her letter cards.

Mary and her letter cards.

Happy 4th Birthday, Mary!

Today was our itty bitty Mary’s birthday. Except–she’s not so itty bitty anymore! Actually, before my mom moved in, she was still pint sized. But my mom actually takes the time to feed Mary her dinner, whereas Abe and I would just put it in front of Mary and remove it an hour later untouched. Turns out if you actually feed them, they grow! Mary shot from still being able to wear 24 month clothing to a legitimate 3T–and sometimes even 4T!!!–in one summer. Wow.

When she woke up in the morning she got to eat the Fruit Loops she picked out a couple days ago for her birthday. Then we all piled in the car and went to the zoo. After the zoo, we did birthday errands and picked up her cake and party favors.

When we arrived home, the neighborhood kids descended on our house. They made it feel like a party from 4pm until 8pm. We had dinner, batted down a piñata, sang to Mary, ate cake and ice cream, and opened presents. It was chaotic and happy. We think Mary had a great time.

My mom made me promise I would include the next bit in the blog. After the zoo and birthday errands, we were driving home in the car. Mary piped up from her carseat and said, “Mom, you’re the best mom ever. I love you.” I was so touched and said, “Thank you, Mary! You made me feel really good.” She said, “That’s what birthday girls do! They make people feel good.”

And she does. We all went around tonight at bedtime and said things we love about Mary. Lydia started and said that Mary is happy and “active,” and she helps Lydia not be afraid at night. Lydia said she always wants Mary close by when she’s falling asleep. I said that I love how cheerful Mary is, and I love how she loves to learn. She can already read because she loves to learn! Abe said that he loves how Mary is so cheerful and says cute things. Nana said that Mary cheers her up by her cute sayings, her cheerfulness, and her dancing. Lydia kept exclaiming that we all love how cheerful Mary is. She charms our socks off every day, multiple times a day. Happy birthday, beautiful little Mary!!

The animals honored Mary's birthday by being visible today! Here are the girls in front of the Lion.

The animals honored Mary’s birthday by being visible today! Here are the girls in front of the Lion.

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I LOVE how Ammon puts his finger on his chin when he is inquisitive and contemplative. He did this yesterday while watching me pound chicken cutlets. It is the cutest.

I LOVE how Ammon puts his finger on his chin when he is inquisitive and contemplative. He did this yesterday while watching me pound chicken cutlets. It is the cutest.

My mom's presence made it possible for me to help the girls onto their animals on the carousel. Every time we passed Ammon I would call and wave. The highlight of the ride occurred when Ammon spotted me back, pointed and grinned. My heart floated.

My mom’s presence made it possible for me to help the girls onto their animals on the carousel. Every time we passed Ammon I would call and wave. The highlight of the ride occurred when Ammon spotted me back, pointed and grinned. My heart floated.

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This seal greeted Lydia for an extended period of time. I have a ton of pictures of this exact same pose from different angles. The girls were thrilled.

This seal greeted Lydia for an extended period of time. I have a ton of pictures of this exact same pose from different angles. The girls were thrilled.

Lydia's hand got eaten by a bear.

Lydia’s hand got eaten by a bear.

Mary sat in the bear's lap.

Mary sat in the bear’s lap.

 

Mary got a new umbrella.

Mary got a new umbrella.

 

Lydia looks like a little grown up here.

Lydia looks like a little grown up here.

 

Mary invited Lydia to join her under her new umbrella. Lydia was thrilled.

Mary invited Lydia to join her under her new umbrella. Lydia was thrilled.

Mary got a long jump mat for her birthday. The neighbor kids had a blast.Mary got a long jump mat for her birthday. The neighbor kids had a blast.

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Setting up for the piñata.

Setting up for the piñata.

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I always forget this baby's name, but isn't he precious? This is the Tahoe's new baby. I adore his hairline.

I always forget this baby’s name, but isn’t he precious? This is the Tahoe’s new baby. I adore his hairline.

Mary opened her new doll house from Nana, and an embarrassing number of rooms from Mom and Dad. We felt guilty about how many presents she had and told her to live it up--this is only going to happen once!

Mary opened her new doll house from Nana, and an embarrassing number of rooms from Mom and Dad. We felt guilty about how many presents she had and told her to live it up–this is only going to happen once!

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Mary’s birthday eve

Yesterday we had a peaceful Sunday. I actually forget what went on other than church. I think I read a lot in some homeschooling books and the girls watched a whole bunch of Veggie Tales. Ammon has been very fussy all of his waking hours. He only takes one shortish nap in the middle of the day, and so it has been very difficult to accomplish much.

Yesterday we had clam chowder, Boston baked cod, garden veggies, grilled corn, and plum cake for dinner and dessert.

Today my mom triumphed in her battle against government bureaucracy. That took up most of our morning. Instead of being responsible and home schooling the kids when we returned, I let the girls play outside while Ammon napped and I read a book. Then I went to yoga and Let’s Play Music with Lydia.

After we came home, I spent the afternoon with Ammon. After several hours of baby watching, I felt worn out. I told Abe we were going to eat cold cereal for dinner. My mom then offered to clean if I would cook. We ended up feeding Hawaiian haystacks to all of the neighbor kids. We had so much fun hosting them all for dinner. They are each interesting and delightful in their own way.

This has been Ammon all of the time lately. Poor baby.

This has been Ammon all of the time lately. Poor baby.

Dinner. Someday I want to take a photography class.

Dinner. Someday I want to take a photography class.

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The kids today.

The kids today.

Dinner tonight.

Dinner tonight.

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Robert cut our ENORMOUS banana squash. He said, "No offense or anything, but you should really research what you plant. These squashes were supposed to grow on planks." We think he is hilarious.

Robert cut our ENORMOUS banana squash. He said, “No offense or anything, but you should really research what you plant. These squashes were supposed to grow on planks.” We think he is hilarious.

One of the squashes was covered in bugs and slugs.

One of the squashes was covered in bugs and slugs.

Domesticity

We had a peaceful day today. My mom spent most of the day at the temple, Abe got some potentially good news at work, and I had a day of domesticity at home with Mary and Ammon. Lydia had a great time at school.

We had spiralized zucchini and bolognese for dinner. I also baked more Mexican chocolate cookies because I have no self control. Abe and I have been running in the mornings, so hopefully that can offset the damage.

Stacked Tuesdays

Tuesdays are stacked for us. We have a harp lesson, Let’s Play Music, and ballet. We also have been sharing a small cold. I have been plying the kids and myself with nano-silver. Since we are on Dave Ramsey, I can’t borrow from next week’s budget to stock up on Vitamin C tablets for the kids, but I plan to remedy that first thing when the new week hits.

I also forgot to take pictures. Since I spent much of the day feeling feverish, I am going to forgive myself for that.

Abe continues to be stressed about his quarter.  There is a lot of pressure because if his pod hits, he gets to be a Team Lead next quarter. We can’t wait for September to be over already.

My mom had her visiting teachers visit. She also spent a lot of time walking, and she was a great help watching Ammon so I could take Mary to Let’s Play Music, and then watching him again so I could make dinner.

We had Middle Eastern tofu-stuffed zucchini for dinner and plum cake for dessert.

After dinner we had an FHE lesson on reverence. The girls practiced being reverent while I played through a hymn and read the introduction to the Book of Mormon out loud. I am hoping some of that practice show this Sunday. I dread sacrament because I always feel like such a parental failure in church. Our ward has very quiet children, and it always seems like mine are the only ones being irreverent.

Playing with the Marshalls

Today we played with the Marshall kids all afternoon. I found them so delightful. The kids decorated me with flowers, and Carter was really sweet and gave Ammon lots of animal crackers while the other kids returned inside to play. I thought Camden was hilarious because he wanted to be decorated with flowers–and he even wanted a flower in his pants! (Picture below.)

My mom is going through some challenges right now with government bureaucracy. We spent the morning with her with no resolution to her problem. We hope that by next Monday it will all be resolved.

We had black bean soup for dinner.

These two are such good pals. Ammon claps and grins whenever he sees Nana--even when he is crying!

These two are such good pals. Ammon claps and grins whenever he sees Nana–even when he is crying!

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Cute Carter.

Cute Carter.

All of the kids.

All of the kids.

This made me laugh.

This made me laugh.

Photobomb.

Photo bomb.

Outside all weekend.

We were outside almost the whole weekend. We had an Elder’s Quorum barbecue yesterday evening and then our kids played with the neighborhood kids all afternoon today. Most of our pictures are from yesterday afternoon before the barbecue.

Also, I taught a Relief Society lesson on integrity today. Preparing for the lesson made me realize I need more of this quality in my life!

Saturday dinner: EQ BBQ

Sunday dinner: Food storage “lasagna.” Our real meal of the day was lunch. Abe had prepared a beautiful black bean burger lunch for our arrival home from church. I felt guilty that I never do that when I get home before everyone else. Maybe I will make the effort this Sunday.

Lydia ran around calling herself, "bad guy butterfly!"

Lydia ran around calling herself, “bad guy butterfly!”

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Mary is exuberant, as always. We wish we could keep her three forever.

Mary is exuberant, as always. We wish we could keep her three forever.

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Abe pulled off some amber from our cherry tree.

Abe pulled off some amber from our cherry tree.

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He presented it to Mary.

He presented it to Mary.

He then showed her how pretty the amber looks when held up to the light.

He then showed her how pretty the amber looks when held up to the light.

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the state fair

Yesterday I took the kids to the Utah State Fair. I bought both girls one treat each at the end. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Lydia drop her spoon on the ground. She conscientiously picked it up, blew on it, rubbed it against her shirt vigorously, and blew on it more before using it. I figured that was fine and made no comment.

Mary, on the other hand, dropped her ice cream on the ground while I wasn’t looking. When I was about to buckle her in back the car, I noticed there was a lot of dirt in her ice cream. I tried to clean off all the parts with dirt, and then I took a bite to make sure there wasn’t any left. That was the worst bite of my life! I tasted fair ground dirt for a good thirty minutes afterward. Mary had been eating fair ground dirt for a solid fifteen minutes without my noticing. Ack! I threw out the offending ice cream.

Mary was not happy that I threw out her ice cream. She communicated her unhappiness with the situation repeatedly. Her communication mounted into a full blown, lie-on-the-ground-and-scream tantrum right as we were entering Trader Joe’s. Some nice ladies walked around her joking, “A child screaming in the store–never seen that before!” I was grateful for them.

After Trader Joe’s we went to Kid-to-Kid, after which it took two hours to drive home–such was the I15 traffic. I felt done in after that.

We were supposed to spend the evening going out to dinner with Abe’s work region. I was dreading the drive to Heber after having spent so much of the day in the car already. As it turned out, Abe’s boss called us and told us they had gotten an earlier start than expected. We were too late to catch dinner with the group, so Abe and I ended up going out to eat together at Oregano in Provo.

I went to bed at 10, and Abe stayed up until 12:30 working on an big RFP that is due Tuesday.

While we were in Provo, my mom had an outing to Salt Lake with the empty nesters. They had dinner and then drove to a Tabernacle concert. She said that it was the best concert she had ever attended.

I have pictures of the fair below:

We were the first ones at the pony rides. The girls got to go all by themselves!

We were the first ones at the pony rides. The girls got to go all by themselves!

 

Every time she would pass, Mary would flash me the most beautiful grins. I thought for sure I had gotten better pictures of this, but it turns out I was so enchanted  (and busy smiling and cooing back) that I only managed these fuzzy shots.

Every time she would pass, Mary would flash me the most beautiful grins. I thought for sure I had gotten better pictures of this, but it turns out I was so enchanted (and busy smiling and cooing back) that I only managed these fuzzy shots.

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Ammon watched them the same way one would watch a movie.

Ammon watched them the same way one would watch a movie.

We started off looking at the chickens. I am seriously thinking of building a chicken coop in the back.

We started off looking at the pigeons and birds. I am seriously thinking of building a chicken coop in the back.

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Looking at a glass beehive. I wanted to spend more time there, but as you can see Ammon was busy dismantling the display table. We hightailed it outta there.

Looking at a glass beehive. I wanted to spend more time there, but as you can see Ammon was busy dismantling the display table. We hightailed it outta there.

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Mary's shy, tentative stance is on full display in this shot. She assumes this posture in situations where she wants to do something but is not quite sure how to do it.

Mary’s shy, tentative stance is on full display in this shot. She assumes this posture in situations where she wants to do something but is not quite sure how to do it.

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The girls got to help spin woolen bracelets.

The girls got to help spin woolen bracelets.

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We watched the suckling piglets for a loooong time. Even though I hate pigs, they were (kind of) cute.

We watched the suckling piglets for a loooong time. Even though I hate pigs, they were (kind of) cute.

Lemonade and soccer

Just some pictures from this afternoon and evening. We bought lemonade from some darling little boys in our ward. It was cute to see them talk to Lydia.

Also, we had butternut squash soup and kale salad for dinner.

IMG_3980 (1) IMG_3981In the evening my mom and I went to Summer’s soccer game. We had the best time talking with Laurie, and I loved all of the time outside in the sunshine.

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