Mary anecdote and Ammon video

Yesterday I forgot to write a funny Mary episode. She was on her way to the potty when she spotted our giant bowl of Trick or Treat candy. Our neighbors counted nine hundred trick or treaters last year, so this is a big bowl. Her eyes grew wide and she stopped dead in her tracks. Abe’s back was turned, and so he didn’t know what she was looking at while the following conversation ensued:

Mary: Daddy, what’s that?

Abe: Mary, just go to the potty and we’ll talk about it afterward.

Mary: But Daddy, this is really important. What’s that?

Abe: Mary, don’t have an accident. Run to the potty and I’ll talk to you after.

Mary: But Daddy, I have something REALLY IMPORTANT to tell you!!!! [She meant “ask.”] WHAT’S THAT???

Abe turned around and saw Mary pointing vigorously to the Halloween candy. He burst out laughing. Oh, the things that are “really important” to a four year old!

We also were amused by this video Abe took of Ammon at church. Sacrament is impossible with him, so Ammon now walks the halls with Abe during that time.

Halloween Eve

I was sick all week and always felt too tired to blog. But I have some random pictures from the week that I’ll post here with captions.

Before those, though, I need to summarize yesterday. Yesterday was my favorite Saturday I have ever had! Saturdays are always a tug between all of the fun we want to do, our desire to rest, and our need to clean the house before Sunday. Balancing those three components perfectly always feels out of reach. But yesterday, we magically got the house tidied, took a long nap, and spent the evening doing fun things.

We ended up eating dinner at the Spaghetti Factory. As we were sitting there with our children, Abe and I realized we haven’t gone out to eat with all three of our children in a looooong time. We had such a happy, peaceful, lovely time. Abe and I could not get over how perfect the day felt.

At Qualtrics.

At Qualtrics.

Mary by the Qualtrics climbing wall.

Mary by the Qualtrics climbing wall.

Qualtrics playroom.

Qualtrics playroom.

On Friday I was in charge of the mummy wrapping activity for Lydia's school's Halloween party. She was the only kid who wanted to be wrapped that didn't have a chance to get wrapped. I promised her that when we got home I would let her play with the neighbors and get wrapped by them.

On Friday I was in charge of the mummy wrapping activity for Lydia’s school’s Halloween party. She was the only kid who wanted to be wrapped that didn’t have a chance to get wrapped. I promised her that when we got home I would let her play with the neighbors and get wrapped by them.

At the ward Halloween party there were two Snow Whites!

At the ward Halloween party there were two Snow Whites!

Random cute baby at the party. I have no idea who these people are, but I loved the costume.

Random cute baby at the party. I have no idea who these people are, but I loved the costume.

My friend Jenny was Dolores Umbridge.

My friend Jenny was Dolores Umbridge.

There was face painting.

There was face painting.

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Lydia was a detective.

Lydia was a detective.

This is the pie eating contest.

This is the pie eating contest.

Abe prepared for the pie eating contest by donning a garbage bag.

Abe prepared for the pie eating contest by donning a garbage bag.

Abe and Ammon took selfies today at church.

Abe and Ammon took selfies today at church.

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We carved pumpkins after church.

We carved pumpkins after church.

Playing puppy

This morning in our devotional Mary prayed to climb on the climbing wall at Qualtrics. I took the kids over to Qualtrics at the end of the day so her prayer could be answered. On the way there Mary fell asleep. Abe reported that she climbed the wall for approximately two seconds.

This evening the girls pretended that Lydia was Mary’s puppy. I remember playing that game with my little brother. I would tie a rope around him and lead him around the house calling him, “Fluffy.” It was fun to see them re-enact that game (minus the rope).

img_4075We had a looooooooong FHE about family preparedness. I am sick and have not been much help with anything. I am dying to get back to my book, North and South. I am six books behind in my Goodreads goal. This fall weather plus illness is great for catch-up.

Sunday leaf piles

Today I have been sick all day, so Abe has been doing all the work. He is my hero. He made leaf piles for the kids after church today and let them play. They even buried him and each other in the piles.

While I was sick, I read a book about the travels of the apostle Paul. I enjoyed it so much. While I was reading outside, my neighbor came and chatted for an hour. I love our neighbors.

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Photography shoot

We have never had our family photos taken. Abe’s cousin, a photographer, was in town this weekend, so she took our pictures. I am excited to see them. The photo shoot was so fun, but afterward we were exhausted. After our afternoon nap, I woke up sick and have been sick every since.

Here are a few photos from Saturday.

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We ran into the Harmons at Qualtrics. This is their sweet little boy, James.

We ran into the Harmons at Qualtrics. This is their sweet little boy, James.

Friday recap

Abe took the day off of work on Friday. We did an abbreviated home school and let the kids play for the rest of the day. It’s fall break here so all of the neighborhood kids were out and about, and ours felt left out.

In the afternoon I went shopping for our family photo shoot. While I stressed about that, Abe took the kids to the park. When I got home, I discovered everyone eating outside in the cold dark. Abe told me that he was burnt out from cleaning after snacks and meals, and even though it was dark and cold, he made everyone eat outside. I totally understand.

I stayed up late talking to Shauna again. We had such a fun time with her.

Ammon's first time in the swing!

Ammon’s first time in the swing!

Eating in the cold dark.

Eating in the cold dark.

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Ammon was bundled for his chilly dinner.

I forget what day we took this. It was recently, I think.

I forget what day we took this. It was recently, I think.

Pumpkin painting day

I’m pretending today is Thursday. It’s overwhelming to try to catch up on the past three days all in one post, so I’m just doing one back-blog at a time.

Good thing I have pictures to remind me what happened on Thursday! We had a good schooling morning, and we ended by studying maple trees and doing a maple leaf craft.

Story time.

Story time.

The girls are showing off their painted nails. Ethelene, our neighbor, painted them. The maple leaf craft consisted of cutting maple leaves off a garland I picked up at Michael's. We then hot glued the leaves to some jars. I dropped a little color changing candle in each jar, and the girls were wowed.

The girls are showing off their painted nails. Ethelene, our neighbor, painted them. The maple leaf craft consisted of cutting maple leaves off a garland I picked up at Michael’s. We then hot glued the leaves to some jars. I dropped a little color changing candle in each jar, and the girls were wowed.

Our neighbor set up a pumpkin painting station for the neighborhood kids in the afternoon.

Our neighbor set up a pumpkin painting station for the neighborhood kids in the afternoon.

The results of the pumpkin painting station.

The results of the pumpkin painting station.

In the evening Shauna, Abe’s cousin, arrived. She is a photographer and came to Utah to do some shots for some of her clients here. I stayed up talking with Shauna until past midnight. She is so creative and wise, and I learned so much from her. I wish she lived in Utah!

“We are tired,” sighs this post.

Today Abe and I were exhausted. I know I report that state of affairs with annoying regularly. In fact, I report it so regularly that I fear I sound like I am complaining. I don’t think I actually am. Mostly, I am aghast at what age and parenthood have done to us. Sadly, we are low-energy people, and we are getting old. We had to haul in a lot of salt for our water softener tonight, and we had to be mindful of Abe’s pulled leg muscle, my bad back, and my bad shoulder. I can’t wait to see what our forties bring.

Even though we’re old and decrepit, our kids are not. Here are pictures of them enjoying their healthy young bodies outside:

This is Ammon watching the girls play with the neighbors. He's showing off his standing skills.

This is Ammon watching the girls play with the neighbors. He’s showing off his standing skills.

I see the girls run around the cul-de-sac obediently all the time. They are not allowed to cross the street, and it warms my heart to see them run all the way around as fast as they can when they could just cross the street in two seconds.

I see the girls run around the cul-de-sac obediently all the time. They are not allowed to cross the street, and it warms my heart to see them run all the way around as fast as they can when they could just cross the street in two seconds.

I accidentally had the zoom on and got this shot. It reminded me of a celebrity paparazzi picture.

I accidentally had the zoom on and got this shot. It reminded me of a celebrity paparazzi picture.

An example of how fatigue shaped today: I went to Old Navy after FHE tonight hoping to find some yoga clothes. I have one yoga outfit that doesn’t require constant adjusting during class. I found exactly nothing at Old Navy that would solve my problem, BUT I was so tired that I walked out of there with a new wardrobe for Mary. She gets Lydia’s hand-me-downs, but I can’t figure out what happened to all of our 4T clothing. We do go through decluttering spurts, so perhaps we accidentally donated all of it? I have no idea. Anyway, that’s my excuse for buying her a new wardrobe. I think the real reason is that my prefrontal cortex, responsible for my executive function, is damaged from fatigue.

Abe has to give a training tomorrow on “creating your own luck.” He is the Qualtrics poster child for the Qualtrics dream of rising bottom to management at lightning speed, and so they asked him to do this training. Did I mention that Abe is very tired? It’s 10:21pm at night, and here’s what his slide deck for his training tomorrow looks like:IMG_0385

Yup. He has one slide. It’s the title slide. Wish him luck!

Here are the pictures from today:

We got flu shots today at Qualtrics.

We got flu shots today at Qualtrics.

Mary was so brave during her shot. She didn't even blink. The nurses said she and Lydia were the bravest kids they'd seen all day, and we were the last family! I wasn't going to post this photo because Abe gets faint at the sight of needles, but he said it would be okay. I hope he doesn't pass out in the bathroom stall at work tomorrow. (That's where he usually reads this.)

Mary was so brave during her shot. She didn’t even blink. The nurses said she and Lydia were the bravest kids they’d seen all day, and we were the last family! I wasn’t going to post this photo because Abe gets faint at the sight of needles, but he said it would be okay. I hope he doesn’t pass out in the bathroom stall at work tomorrow. (That’s where he usually reads this.)

Brave little Lydia. She was thrilled about her pink band-aid and sucker.

Brave little Lydia. She was thrilled about her pink band-aid and sucker.

After our shots, the kids played in the new Qualtrics kids’ room.

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Then we had FHE at Qualtrics in a meeting room.

IMG_0382 IMG_0384…And that’s a wrap! Actually, I wish that were true. Abe still has to research and write his whole presentation. I should read my book club book, and I need to dream feed Ammon. Yikes.

Happy first birthday, Ammon!

Ammon turned one year old on Saturday!! He is the best, the sweetest, the most darling child. We feel blessed, lucky, fortunate, and every other adjective that connotes how undeserving we are to have this incredible child in our family.

As he turns one, Ammon’s personality is still emerging. However, some things are clear. This child is a peacemaker and loves to obey. I have never experienced parenting a baby who doesn’t view the word “no” as a game. Whenever we say “no” to Ammon, he looks at us with an expression of query, redoes his action one time to make sure he understands what is off limits, and then when the “no” is repeated–he crawls away. The first time this happened my jaw dropped open. My girls thought “no” was the greatest game ever. Ammon just wants peace.

He creates peace in our home by balancing everyone out. When people are feeling edgy, a smile or cuddle from Ammon can completely change the atmosphere. I also firmly believe he has played a part in helping Lydia to even out. Even Mary, who jealously guarded her baby status for so long, has come to love Ammon. Her delight is to make him laugh.

Ammon also lights up my mom’s days by clapping and greeting her with smiles whenever he sees her. He is a joy.

As incredible a child as he is, Ammon gets ignored a lot. He has learned to cope with this by playing quietly by himself for embarrassingly long stretches of time. He doesn’t complain about this state of affairs until poop or hunger get the best of him.

To make up for his attention-deprived life, we decided to celebrate his birthday in part by paying loads of attention to him. We all sang to him, clapped for him, and ooh’d and aah’d over everything he did all day long. We also gave him too many presents so that when he is being ignored he will have new things to play with.

In the morning we took Ammon to pick out his birthday balloons, and then we gave him a birthday donut and sang to him.

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Abe gave Lydia and Ammon a towering bubble bath, after which Ammon took a nap.

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When he woke up, we fed him and then gave him his presents.

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Pre-present excitement with Daddy.

Pre-present excitement with Daddy.

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Lydia drew Ammon a card.

Lydia drew Ammon a card.

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This conveys Lydia's love for Ammon.

This conveys Lydia’s love for Ammon.

After presents, we sang again and had cupcakes.

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Nana with cupcake.

Nana with cupcake.

Then we packed everyone into the car and headed to Salt Lake. We met Tom and Suzanne in Sugarhouse Park so they could give Ammon their presents. They gave him lots of cute clothes and a really fun ball popper toy.

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When it got dark, we headed over to the zoo for Boolights. At this point, Ammon’s bedtime was already come and gone, but he was happy and content the whole time. He didn’t make a single peep of complaint until after Boolights when we were almost back to the car.

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We should have gotten more pictures of Boolights, but it was dark. The weather, though, was AMAZING. It was a balmy 73 degrees the whole time. I think I over bundled Ammon.

We should have gotten more pictures of Boolights, but it was dark. The weather, though, was AMAZING. It was a balmy 73 degrees the whole time. I think I over bundled Ammon.

Ammon was so excited about his day that even though we had blown through his bedtime hours before, he stayed awake in the car until almost 10:30.

I can’t believe Ammon is one. It feels like he was born a lifetime ago–life without him feels like an alternate reality that I can’t wrap my mind around. When I think back to the actual day I gave birth to him, I can’t help but marvel: Has it really only been one year? Haven’t we always had Ammon? The great news is, because of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will always have this precious child in our lives.

Happy birthday, sweet baby of mine!

Catch Me if You Can

Yesterday we got back late from the musical, Catch Me if You Can. I fell into bed without blogging. Abe got us tickets to see it at the Hale theater. We enjoyed our date a lot. This coming week our date night is a sports movie night with his team, and Abe knows I’m not exactly thrilled. The play was his conciliatory date. 🙂 When we got home, our darling babysitter, Lexi, had baked us brownies. 

During the day we had homeschooling. I also exercised a lot. Abe and I ran in the morning, I had yoga in the afternoon, and I mowed the whole lawn. Too bad I undid all of that good work with sub-par eating decisions.

The kids spent most of the rest of the day outside. See pictures below.

Bazi has been sleeping in our dead herb gardens. We think it's cute.

Bazi has been sleeping in our dead herb gardens. We think it’s cute.

We fed the neighborhood kids dinner again.

We fed the neighborhood kids dinner again.

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