Mary’s ovary needs surgery

Over Thanksgiving before Mary’s bath, Swathi noticed a slight bulge by Mary’s pubic bone. It was so slight that I had never noticed it, but Swathi was confident we should get it checked out.

On Thursday I took Mary to the doctor, and he recommended we have a surgeon look at the lump. The doctor thought it was a hernia, but it was behaving oddly so he wanted the surgeon’s recommendation.

Today the surgeon felt the lump and concluded that Mary’s ovary had slipped up into a hernia behind her pubic bone. He recommended surgery this Friday.

We are so, SO grateful to Swathi, without whom we would never have noticed this. Also, it’s Swathi’s birthday today. We are incredibly glad she’s alive and that we are the lucky family who gets to have her in it!!

Also, as an aside, Ammon destroyed the doctor’s office. We were cooped up in it for an hour, during which Ammon went bananas. The nurses kept bringing us snacks and toys, but when the doctor was actually talking to me, Ammon started tearing stuff off of the walls. The doctor commented that I had a troublemaker on my hands and the nurse whisked Ammon out because she feared he would injure himself. I was half crazed trying to control Ammon but make sure I heard everything the doctor was telling me about Mary. It was a crazy appointment.

Ammon eating a snack the nurses brought. Later in approximately two seconds pulled all of the papers out of their bins on the wall and scattered them all over the floor. I rushed over to try to pick them up and before I knew it even more paper was raining down. At that point, the nurse took Ammon to the hall.

An evening with Ammon and Clarissa

On Monday while the girls were at ballet, I sat down to feed Clarissa. To my surprise, Ammon sat down at the table with one of the tree ornaments. He proceeded to spend twenty minutes hacking it to bits. I figure the ornament is decades old and worth maybe a nickel. Would I pay a nickel to keep Ammon sitting where I can see him for twenty minutes? Yes. Yes, I would.

After this he proceeded to carol to me for another twenty minutes. I should have been cleaning and cooking dinner, but I just enjoyed sitting there watching him so much. He would fold his hands in front of him as they do in Sound of Music, and he would sing a carol to me before climbing onto a chair and clapping for himself. It was adorable.

It was also kind of amazing to discover how few words he actually knows. I feel like I communicate with him all day, but his vocabulary gaps were very apparent during this exercise. He only knows one or two words from each song, and the rest he has to hum.

After caroling, Ammon snuggled on the house and asked (with his limited vocabulary) to hold Clarissa. I held her in his lap while he giggled and pointed out all of the different body parts he knows. She kept grabbing his ear and cheek, and he would laugh before telling her “nooo!”. She, of course, didn’t understand, and so she kept at it until Ammon finally asked me to take her back.

It was such a delightful evening.

A Sunday at home

On Sunday in Relief Society we had a lesson on the temple. It made me think I should go more often, but the logistics at this time are kind of complicated. Clarissa attached herself to me all day long, and it’s hard to be apart from her for longer than an hour. But I suppose if Abe and I can figure out a way to go to Mexico, then I can figure out a way to go to the temple.

After church we had a visit from our home teacher, Josh. After his visit we had spaghetti and a tofurkey roast for dinner. I’ve had it in the freezer since last Thanksgiving, and we decided to finally give it a try. It was delicious! I still like real turkey better, but I also love tofurkey. It was fun to eat it as a roast.

For FHE my mom told us stories about my great grandparents on her father’s side. Then she quizzed the girls about the stories. It was good to learn about them because she has their pictures hanging in her room, and the girls see the pictures all the time. Now they know some stories to go with the pictures.

Lydia’s harp recital

On Saturday we had breakfast with Clark and Soren before they left to go home. We were so sad to see them go! It was such a wonderful visit, and I felt it was the first time I got to spend really quality time with Soren. We miss them, but we know they were happy to see Swathi again. Soren said, “I’m going to see my mom, but I’ll be back again soon, okay?” He was so cute.

After breakfast Abe instituted Saturday chores. The girls worked to clean their rooms and the basement while the rest of us worked on the other parts of the house. I folded some more laundry and put it away.

As soon as chores were done, Lydia practiced her harp until it was time to go to her recital. She tends to freeze up in recitals, so she played the piece perfectly many times at home as preparation for the sure-to-come brain freeze.

Then we headed over to Lydia’s recital. She did a wonderful job playing Silent Night and powered through her memory slips. I enjoy harp recitals. They are  beautiful and soothing, and everyone played Christmas pieces in this one. We felt very Christmasy.

After the recital, Mary practiced her piano until it was time for Abe to take Lydia and Mary to Coco. I stayed home and did laundry, which is honestly what I preferred to be doing. It felt so peaceful to have Ammon and Clarissa napping while I got on top of the laundry. Abe and the girls had a wonderful time, too.


Full Friday

On Friday we went to the Museum of Ancient Life in the morning. Ammon basically ran through it until he reached the play area. There he ate a lot of water and germy sand while playing with the toy dinos. It was so wonderful to have Clark there to chase Ammon. Clark noted that the first thing Ammon does in a new setting is look for an exit and make a bolt for it. Soren, on the other hand, sticks close to adults and comes wherever Clark tells him to come. Soren is a Llamzon/Namburi, and Ammon is a Darais, or at least has a LOT of Abe in him.

After the museum, we came home for naps before heading out again to Mary’s Christmas in the Village. It is an open house at her school. They had dinner, over two thousand gorgeous cookies, Santa, a craft, and caroling by the kids every thirty minutes.

After the open house, we headed home only to split up again. Two babysitters came while Lydia and I headed to her school concert, Abe and Mary went on a sushi making date with his Qualtrics friends, and my mom and Clark went to the movies to see Coco.

Lydia was absolutely gorgeous and did a wonderful job singing at her concert. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my phone and didn’t get any pictures. That was really disappointing, but I am hoping to get some from fellow parents and then amend this post. I love getting one-on-one time with Lydia, and I enjoyed every minute of watching her sing.

Abe and Mary had a great time at sushi. Mary gets a little shy around lots of grown-ups because everyone inevitably comments on how cute her glasses are. Afterward she told me that she wishes she didn’t have glasses because all of the comments about them make her feel shy. She also said people laughed at her. I explained that grown-ups laugh when children delight them, and I hope she understood.

My mom and Clark enjoyed Coco. Actually, it is now one of my mom’s most favorite movies ever, and so I think she really really enjoyed it.

It was a full Friday!

House tour

On Tuesday we had a full morning at home. I baked cookies with the boys, practiced with Mary, read to the kids, nursed and changed Clarissa a bunch, and tried to nap with Clarissa. In the afternoon we had the homework rush followed by playing and tacos for dinner.

After the kids were all in bed, Abe, Clarissa and I went to Carolyn Blosil’s first flip and fix house, and we enjoyed the tour. We love the Blosils and always feel uplifted by their wonderful spirits. We are hoping that Jenn is able to nanny our kids in January when Abe and I go to Mexico. Fingers crossed!!!

The Museum of Natural Curiosity

On Monday morning the boys were darling playing chase and running around the house.

Ammon and Soren discovered the little closets in the girls room. They loved playing in it and were absolutely adorable hauling suitcases in and out of the space.
Looking at the garbage truck together

After Mary’s piano, Clark, Soren, Mary, Ammon, Clarissa and I ventured out to The Museum of Natural Curiosity. We all had a great time, and wow, it is SO much easier to do outings with another adult!

Mary got a private lesson on geology.
Soren weighs 31,000 grasshoppers!
The ropes course.



Tree decorating

Sunday was stake conference, and I was still sick so I stayed home with Ammon, Clarissa, Clark and Soren. Ammon and Soren are so adorable playing together. I can’t get enough of watching the two of them interact. I especially love when they play chase or discover new games together. It’s really cute.

Later in the evening the kids all decorated the Christmas tree. Afterward we had pot roast and gluey mashed potatoes for dinner. Everyone was nice about the potatoes, but they were pretty gross.


Tree picking

In the morning Abe took the girls to The Christmas Carol. Chelsea gave us free tickets, which was so sweet of her. Abe and the girls loved the play.

In the afternoon my mom, Clark, and Soren arrived! Right before they came, Abe and the kids got a tree. I was feeling too sick to go with, but they were very sweet and picked out a tree everyone disliked except for me. I like the skinny sparse kind because they don’t feel like hulking clutter. I promised the girls we will get a nice, fat, bushy tree next year since they were so nice and let me have a skinny tree this year.


On Friday after school Abe came home and we packed everyone in the car, picked up our friend, Nick, and headed to Salt Lake for the Christkindlmarkt. It took us two and a half hours to get there because it seemed everyone was headed to Salt Lake.

The ride was a little hard on Clarissa, but Nick kindly kept putting in her binky and playing with the kids in between. Ammon would say, “TOOT!” and Nick would playfully bellow, “No toot, Ammon, no toot!” to which the kids would all break out into gleeful giggles. This happened over and over and over.

When we got to the Christkindlemarkt, we had just enough time to eat dinner from one of the food trucks before turning around and heading home. Nick had to work at 10pm, and we feared that we would make him late to his job. We made it with three minutes to spare!

The Christkindlemarkt was quite magical, but with four hungry, tired kids, I honestly couldn’t appreciate it. Maybe next year we’ll have a better experience. It was nice spending time with Nick, though.

This is the only picture we managed to take at the Christkindlmarkt.