Happy birthday, Abe!

Yesterday was Abe’s 33rd birthday!!! We are the same age for the next six months. I am so happy he was born. Actually, that’s the understatement of the year. I am THRILLED he was born and feel lucky every day to be his wife. He is kind, hard-working, joyful, creative, intelligent, spiritual, wise, loyal to a fault, and funny. We were all so excited to celebrate his existence yesterday.

We had a fun breakfast at home. It helped that I have insomnia. I got up at 5am and made a soufflé, chocolate waffles and parfaits. I wanted to bring it to him in bed, but Abe has been getting up insanely early to read scriptures and work out, and so he was up before I could carry out my plan. Darn. But we all ate together and he opened presents. I think it was a good start to the day.

For lunch we all went out to sushi, after which we went shopping at Nordstrom Rack for shoes. My mom got Abe shoes for his birthday, and he had fun picking them out.

Then we dropped the girls off at a party, and Abe came home and fulfilled his daydream of knocking out almost all seventeen items on his to-do list. It was his literal dream come true. I was in bed that whole time fulfilling my daily dream come true: Sleeping.

For dinner we drove to meet Abe’s parents and the VandeGriffs in Lehi at Aubergine. Abe had a great time, and then we all came home and went to bed. I am afraid I collapsed and did not wake up for ten hours. I hope and pray Abe enjoyed his birthday. He claims he did!

Also, before the pictures, one cute anecdote from this morning. Abe reprimanded Lydia after she disobeyed my (angry, irrational, much-too-loudly-given) orders. Afterward he asked Lydia if she knew why he was disappointed in her. Lydia replied, “Yes. It’s because you like Mom so much.” [Insert laughing-crying emoticon here.]

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Lydia’s first loose tooth!

I haven’t been blogging because usually by evening I feel too sick. But today was a momentous day. Lydia lost her first tooth yesterday, and the tooth fairy came last night. We all agreed we have never seen her so ecstatic as when she lost her tooth. She kept hearing at school about how the other kids had lost teeth, and she was the only one who never had lost a tooth. She was sure she would never lose a tooth, and now that she has, she could not be happier.

Here are a disorganized assortment of pictures from all of the days I haven’t blogged:

The tooth fairy left Lydia some coins (chocolate and real) in a Chinese box. Lydia loves Chinese designs. They are her favorite, and she was over the moon about her new Chinese box.

The tooth fairy left Lydia some coins (chocolate and real) in a Chinese box. Lydia loves Chinese designs. They are her favorite, and she was over the moon about her new Chinese box.

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Yesterday Eli came over and played with Ammon and the girls.

Yesterday Eli came over and played with Ammon and the girls.

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On one of her sick days, Mary and Abe made a fire truck. She then "set fire" to her doll house (with the stuffed flames you can see in the picture) and rescued her dolls with the fire truck.

On one of her sick days, Mary and Abe made a fire truck. She then “set fire” to her doll house (with the stuffed flames you can see in the picture) and rescued her dolls with the fire truck.

Lydia's first musical theater class was last Friday. She loved it.

Lydia’s first musical theater class was last Friday. She loved it.

Lexi took this picture while she was babysitting. She brought play dough and the girls loved it.

Lexi took this picture while she was babysitting. She brought play dough and the girls loved it.

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Lexi also played dress up with the girls. She is the best.

Lexi also played dress up with the girls. She is the best.

movie day

Under normal circumstances I spend a lot of time each day fighting the entropy around me. Since I have been feeling so yucky and tired, I gave in to entropy today and just watched Harry Potter movies. This slothful behavior was made possible by the following circumstances: Lydia had a field trip with her school, Mary was so sick she slept almost the whole day, and Ammon has started taking almost four hour naps.

After dinner Abe had to run off to an Elder’s Quorum event, and we continued the movie binge by watching Cinderella with my mom. That movie always makes me cry in multiple spots. Actually, I cry more easily when pregnant, so I cried at every movie I watched today.

My mom and Abe have been working so hard while I have been out of commission. I feel really guilty and spoiled by that. I don’t know how women did it in the old days…Can you imagine being a pregnant kitchen wench back in the day? Or a pregnant serf or slave? My soul faints at the thought. I have it soooooo good. I just need to remember that when I am lying on the couch overcome with nausea and fatigue.

Sing date with Lydia

Each day I fall farther behind in blogging, and it feels overwhelming to catch up. So instead of trying, I will just record what happened today.

Harp and reading were like pulling teeth for Lydia, so during Ammon’s nap I took her to the movie, Sing. My Auntie Geri gave me the idea in a phone conversation the other day, but I have had no energy to take her until today. My mom made the date possible by staying home. Mary was so sick and tired that she didn’t want to come to the movie, which ended up working out because there were only two free seats left in the theater.

Lydia and I enjoyed the movie, although I think it wasn’t nearly as much of a hit with Lydia as Moana. The humor was a little above her, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t even catch all of the cultural references.

We went to Five Guys afterward. I had only eaten there once before, and that was during our vegetarian phase. Five Guys is the worst if you are a vegetarian. They don’t have any veggie burgers and charge you over $5 for a bun with lettuce and tomatoes in the middle. I thought today, since I’m no longer a vegetarian, I might discover what the fuss is all about. Again, I left feeling quite confused. My burger was (in my opinion) nothing special at all. Maybe I’m just not a sophisticated enough burger connoisseur to recognize greatness when I taste it. At any rate, that’s what I’m left to conclude.

Here’a a picture of the doll and animal beds the girls set up yesterday. Aside from church, they spent most of the day playing orphanage. They gave all of the animals and dolls their own orphan beds. I’m not sure they know how an orphanage works because they kept trying to sell their “babies” to Abe, and then they kept offering to buy Ammon from him.

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Ice skating round 2

On Thursday the girls ice skated again. They made so much progress! I could not believe it. They actually started skating!! The teacher made Mary skate to her. At first Mary was a little dubious and just stared at her, but then she started skating toward her. I have a video:

I was so proud of both girls:

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We had a laid back Thursday. On Wednesday night we were out looking at a house in North Orem. Abe loved it because it solves a lot of logistical problems for us, but I didn’t like the small windows. It was a steal at $63 dollars per square feet, but there were 9,000 square feet total. We would have to leverage ourselves up to our eyeballs to afford it. I really did not like that.

Abe told me if we didn’t go ahead on this house that we have to cool it on the real estate hunt. I think he’s right about that. It takes up a lot of time and energy, and there are a lot of other things we have going on in life right now.

Pediatrician

On Wednesday Ammon had a pediatrician appointment. He remembered that the doctor’s office meant shots, and when we laid him down for the shots, the poor thing sobbed and screamed his little heart out. I felt so sad for him. 🙁

He had fun before the shots, though! He loved the aquarium.

He had fun before the shots, though! He loved the aquarium.

I actually dislike a lot about our pediatrician situation. I don't like how hot the office is, how the pediatrician still doesn't know my kids' names, and how inconvenient the parking is at the office. But I have prayed about switching and I (so far) have always felt impressed to stay. So we continue going, even if I don't like it that much. I do, however, LOVE the receptionist. She's great! And that has nothing to do with this happy picture of Ammon before his shots.

I actually dislike a lot about our pediatrician situation. I don’t like how hot the office is, how the pediatrician still doesn’t know my kids’ names, and how inconvenient the parking is at the office. They also have a wacky reminder system that told me I had an appointment on Wednesday, but the appointment was actually for a week later. The wonderful receptionist changed it on the spot when I came in. But I have prayed about switching and I (so far) have always felt impressed to stay. So we continue going, even if I don’t like it that much. And that has nothing to do with this happy picture of Ammon before his shots.

wonton soup

Tuesday I finally made the soup that I have been daydreaming about for two days. I saw this SmittenKitchen post and could not get the thought of wonton soup out of my head. Tuesday night I muscled through the tedium of filling wontons while the kids literally tore apart the house around me. At one point Ammon dumped a bag of mini marshmallows on the floor and then sat in the pile and ate fistfuls. I was so fixated on the wontons that I just let him go at it and said a quick prayer that Abe would come home before the kids all spoiled their dinner.

And guess what? Ammon LOVED the wontons! He took over eighteen bites!! We were thrilled out of our minds because feeding him is such a battle. He normally takes one or two bites of anything before rejecting the food as unworthy. I put him in the high chair up to six times a day, and each episode usually ends in despair and junk food (and with me cleaning up a huge mess on the floor).

When Clark and Swathi were here, Clark told Soren that the mole we were eating was “red kaima” (spelling?), which means lamb. He was trying to trick Soren into thinking he was eating a familiar dish. We also watched Clark tempt Soren to eat by telling him he was going to eat cookies or candy, and then he just fed Soren normal food because Soren, who has never had cookies or candy, doesn’t know the difference. (Soren just loves the words, “cookies” and “candy.”)

All that to say that now Abe makes jokes when it comes to feeding Ammon. For example, he’ll call shrimp “pink kaima candy cookies.” We have adopted aural deception as a feeding tactic.

But no such deception was needed last night! I might brave the messes and make this soup again sometime soon. I can’t even say how satisfying it was to watch Ammon actually eat real food.

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Ammon eating!!

Ammon eating!!

Out of the air day

Monday we stayed inside to avoid the bad air. Abe has been talking about taking a short trip so we can all recover from our illnesses. It’s hard to do when the air is basically toxic. That is the only thing I dislike about where we live. We live in a valley that traps bad air, especially in the winter. It’s terrifying when I contemplate all of the bad things this air could do to the baby inside. I try not to think about it.

But we had a very productive day inside the house. Lydia had a full day of homeschooling, I gave Mary two reading lessons, and I read a TON to Ammon. I felt really great about all of that, even though I feel constant guilt for not exercising more. First world problems, right?

During FHE Abe gave all of the kids more airplane rides. We decided Ammon needed his three turns consecutively and first. Otherwise he would just melt in between turns into a giant puddle of tears and screams. He LOVES airplane rides.

Lydia also invented a surfboard ride. She loved placing Ammon on the surfboard and pushing him around.

Lydia gives Ammon a surfboard ride!

Lydia gives Ammon a surfboard ride!

sick Sunday

Yesterday Abe was sick, so he stayed home from church. I felt awful because whenever I am sick, Abe lets me sleep and does everything. I was feeling pretty sick myself, so instead of stepping up, after dinner I just lay down on the couch and stayed there.

But I made up for that last night! Ammon puked, poor thing, and then a couple hours later he woke up in the middle of the night starving. Then Mary and Lydia both managed to fall off of their beds. While they were lying on the floor, Mary pulled Lydia’s hair and Lydia hit Mary in the face. At 2am we were all awakened by Mary’s ensuing blood-curdling screams. I rushed to the scene, put everyone back in their place, and came back to bed.

In bed I discovered that Abe was in a lot of pain. I guess the virus settled in his tongue, and it was excruciating. I scurried to bring him some medicine, and then we all went back to sleep.

He is going to be an hour late for work today, and I have no idea how he is going to do all of his meetings when he can barely talk. We’ll pray for him today.

Airplane rides

img_0052Today we stayed in all day. The air was not great outside and so the kids had a pj day. Lydia and I spent the whole morning having a face-off over harp practice. Because it was Saturday, I realized I could totally disengage, settle down with a book, and let her pout away massive amounts of time between drills. If Abe hadn’t intervened after two and a half hours, we might still be at the harp.

Once Abe came, he encouraged her to keep working away at her drills until she was finished. Bless him. If I had tried that, I would have ended up yelling. I am grateful for a husband with such incredible self-restraint. It’s so ironic because my whole reasoning for music practice is to instill discipline and self-restraint in the kids, but the parent with the most discipline and self-restraint appears to be Abe, who spent his childhood running around outside. Sigh.

I did venture outside in the evening to get fruit and pizza. It took me an hour and a half to drive the twenty minutes to the pizza place in Provo we like. Traffic was going 3 mph. I kept double checking the speedometer to make sure I wasn’t crazy.

When I came home, I discovered that Abe had crafted an airplane with the girls. After dinner, he gave airplane rides to all of the kids. We couldn’t believe Lydia fit in the narrow box. She and Ammon are basically about the same hip width!! Ammon threw himself on the ground sobbing and screaming every time Abe took him out of the airplane. We all thought his tears were such cute evidence of how much fun he has with Abe.

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Ammon crying while Abe caught his breath between airplane flights.

Ammon crying while Abe caught his breath between airplane flights.

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Abe flew Ammon straight to the bath at the end.

Abe flew Ammon straight to the bath at the end.

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The snow fort Abe built the other day. It has separate rooms for the girls on the inside.

The snow fort Abe built the other day. It has separate rooms for the girls on the inside.