Today was another sick day, sort of. I don’t really feel super duper sick, but sick enough that leaving the house was a non-option. I ended up skipping class, too.
I finished The Two Towers, which left me hungry for the last book in the trilogy. Since I don’t have it on hand, I finally, finally picked up Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling, a book I have moved with me and placed near my bed since 2003. I don’t know why I haven’t reached over and actually read it in these past eleven years, but today I finally started, and I love, love, love it.
The girls napped at different times today (Mary woke up as I was tucking Lydia in), so right now I am ready to go straight to bed. From 2pm until 7:45, I did nothing but cook, clean, and feed and clean up the children over and over and over and over and over and over and over.
This morning I took the girls to the dinosaur play area at City Creek. I told the girls I would bring them yesterday because Misty’s play group was meeting there, but then I started feeling tired and slightly sick that I had to renege on my promise. They had fun today, though.
Then I took them to church and dropped Lydia off at nursery while Mary and I attended a lecture from a BYU professor/Dead Sea Scroll scholar on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I was a little late, but what I heard was fantastic. This wasn’t his most important or emphasized point, but he did point out that a lot of Book of Mormon names which were completely unfamiliar to Joseph Smith and everyone else at the time of the translation of the Book of Mormon (some of which had been used by anti-Mormons to prove the Church was not true) show up in the Dead Sea Scrolls. For example, critics used to say that Alma, the Book of Mormon prophet, had the name of a South American woman; when the Dead Sea Scrolls were interpreted, Alma comes up as the name of a Hebrew prince.
The professor said he was going to give a lecture at 4pm today on the historicity of Job. Every part of me was DYING to drive to Provo and sit in on his lecture–to which he invited all of us–but, alas, that was not practical. So instead, we headed home, ate lunch, took long naps, and cooked food. Specifically, I spent two hours doing simple standard breading and baking to three eggplants. I streamlined the process as much as I could, and yet two full hours later, there I was, still dealing with the eggplant. Perhaps the fact that I was also feeding children had something to do with that, but still. It was ridiculous. I didn’t even make the rest of the dish; instead I told Abe to fend for himself for dinner and plan on having eggplant Parmesan tomorrow.
After dinner, I got my first real burst of energy of the whole day (it happened none too early at 8 pm) and cleaned the downstairs for the arrival of my home teacher from Chicago, Brother Richardson. He is flying in for Roots Tech, which starts tomorrow. While I was cleaning away, Abe was upstairs bathing and playing with the girls. Here is a picture he took:
Abe and I were reminiscing just now about my old dog, Lulu. I got her as a six week old lab puppy four months before I met Abe, and Abe just now remarked what great preparation she was for having kids. During the time I had her, I never once got a full night’s sleep (usually she’d have potty runs around midnight and then again around 4am, and often would not sleep in between), and a bunch of my favorite clothes and personal items were chewed to death. I was constantly sweeping my studio apartment to keep the mess of dog hair at bay. The parallels are there, but then I remembered: I gave Lulu away. I would never, ever give my children away, but I guess the point is, it’s not in my nature to endure messes, chaos, and interrupted sleep without feeling kind of maxed out at times.
Today was a maxed-out day. Basically, I just gave up and spent the whole day reading in bed while my children tore apart the upstairs around me. They seemed to enjoy their activity, and even though now Lydia’s entire bed is colored on and I’m discovering toothpaste all over, it felt like what the doctor ordered. The craziest part is that I just can’t wait to get back to bed.
I did interrupt my self-imposed bed rest to feed the children multiple times, clean the kitchen multiple times, bake cookies with Lydia, and make another sweet potato souffle…but there are thirteen hours between when Lydia wakes up and when she goes to sleep again, and those activities aren’t that long in comparison. Basically, I’m not exaggerating when I say I spent most of today in bed.
Abe and I chatted while he ate dinner after the girls went to bed. It’s been so long since we got to talk over a meal, I’d almost forgotten what it felt like. He loves his new job and is so thankful to have work friends. He gets a whole hour at lunch to play games, socialize, read scriptures, call home, and eat. And he goes in an hour early and stays an hour late (on days when I don’t have cooking school) so that he can get everything done that he wants to. He hasn’t felt this healthy in eleven years. It’s a really thrilling career change for him, and it makes me SO happy to hear my husband effuse over his work situation.
Here are some pictures from this evening, when Lydia decided she wanted to learn how to jump rope:
Mary struggled a bit more to catch on to the concept…but she (clearly) had fun.
I dropped Lydia off at preschool this morning and then did a ton of errands with Mary. I lost my phone a week ago, so I have no way of taking pictures on the go (unless I want to risk taking my big camera and losing it too!). If I could have taken a picture, though, I would have taken one of Mary in Sprouts. The cashier gave her a balloon, and her wide-eyed fixation on it was so cute; her eyes got even bigger when she let go of the balloon and watched it float up to the ceiling. Another cashier felt sorry for her and tied a new balloon to her wrist, and she looked at nothing else until I wriggled it off of her an hour later.
Then at lunch I got curious and asked Lydia what her favorite things in the whole world are. These are her responses, in order: 1) coloring, 2) playing with her cat, 3) cooking with me, 4) playing with the letters on the fridge. Her responses were really quick, so I think that means they must be sincere. I hope they are, at least, since #3 warmed my heart.
I spent the rest of the day slightly irritable–just like yesterday! I was feeling pretty low when Anique called and asked if she could drop off some soup and tortellini. Seeing her made me happy, as did eating her food. But then I started feeling bad again because I had the HARDEST time being patient with Lydia. She ate six meals today, and between meals 3 and 4 she snacked continually. The constant catering and cleaning made me crazy, but I feel like I should feed her when she says she’s hungry because Abe eats all day long, and I figure maybe she inherited a need for continual nourishment from him.
Class tonight was great, though. I learned why food turns brown and about the effect of acid and alkili on different groups of vegetables. We also did a bunch of food safety videos because after this class, we get some sort of food handling permit (if we pass the test).
While I was gone, the girls opened a letter from my mom. She sent Lydia cat stickers and Mary a butterfly card. Apparently, the girls loved their gifts from Nana and spent a lot of time playing with them. (Lydia put cat stickers all over her coloring book, and Mary walked around with her butterfly card.)
Today I was kind of tired and grumpy from yesterday’s over-activity, but here are the high points of today:
Abe went to Jay’s to watch the Super bowl, so the girls and I had all evening to play. We played chase, played catch, read books, and played climb-the-chair and jump-on-Lydia’s-bed a lot.
Tom and Suzanne came by for a quick visit in the middle of the evening:
Then my mom sent me a biography she’s written of my beloved grandmother. I tried to copy and paste it into this blog, but the formatting was all messed up. When I have time to figure that out, I’ll paste it here.
When Abe came home, he brought me chocolate chip cookies his mom made. I had been craving chocolate chip cookies all day, so it kind of made my day to get them.
I was so awake last night that I crawled in bed and talked Abe’s ear off, even though he was already unconscious and couldn’t actually form verbal responses. Then this morning rolled around…and I wished I hadn’t been so talkative last night. Nevertheless, I rolled out of bed and headed to school.
While there, I tried to conquer my fear of frying by making tempura. My fears were realized when I: sliced a knife through one of my finger nails, permanently scarred my arm from bumping a burning hot metal spider, set some towels on fire, and got splattered with hot oil. I swapped in sweet soy sauce for regular and my dipping sauce came out bland (sweet soy sauce doesn’t have the same salt content, fyi), and my tempura was pale and soggy. I was scared of taking the oil temperature, so my oil went from being so hot that the chef lectured me on fireballs that happen when oil that temperature erupts into flames…and so low (because I was appropriately scared out of my mind by that lecture) that my tempura didn’t brown or crisp. Argh. But at least now I’ve tried frying foods, and I know with certainty that I hate it.
Then Abe, Balu, and the girls met me at school so we could go straight to Sundance, where Abe and Balu skied away. Well, actually first we went to Qualtrics so Abe could pick up the ski passes (free at his new job!). I loved seeing his office and how open, friendly, and fun everything felt. It made me happy to think of Abe spending happy, productive time in that positive environment.
THEN we went to Sundance, where we dropped off Abe and Balu.
The girls and I then headed to the BYU museum to see the Sacred Gifts exhibit I learned about on Wednesday. We had to go through the exhibit twice at a fast clip because Mary was antsy and didn’t like it when I stopped in front of a painting. Lydia was quiet, although tired and miserable because she had wet her pants right before and we didn’t have any extra pairs on hand. After viewing the exhibit, I made a quick tour of the rest of the museum before getting back into the car and going to Abe’s grandma’s house five minutes away.
We had a terrific visit full of family history stories. Here are some pictures I took to remind me of the stories:
After we picked up Abe and Balu, we all went to the museum again and took turns going in so that all the adults could absorb the exhibit. Abe and I just love how enthusiastic and joyful Balu is–he appreciates everything, from nature to art to food to awesome Qualtrics prize wheels. We were so happy to spend Saturday with him!
Then we ate pizza in our already trashed car and felt sticky, greasy and gross for the car ride home.
Our water heater turned off in our absence, so I have to wait until tomorrow to shower. Since I didn’t have time this morning or yesterday, it’s starting to feel like I’ve been camping…
Today started off with a wonderful reunion with some old friends, Jan, Chelsea, and Chelsea’s kids: Olivia (3), Carter (1) and Camden (1). Her boys are fraternal twins, and I think this is the first time I’ve met them in person. It was so fun to see them again, and I started to wonder again why we aren’t moving to Provo (Chelsea lives in Orem–right next door to Provo).
After meeting up at the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, we headed home for lunch. Olivia was a doll and listened to Lydia blab on and on about her cat while they pretended to have tea. The twins were so cute and need to be in the same room to sleep. We stuck them in Mary’s closet together and they slept beautifully. It was fun to see their different personalities, too!
I just love Jan and Chelsea, and it honestly felt like a family reunion of sorts. Here are some pictures that Jan took:
And from lunch:
Today was also sort of a soup heavy day. I made chili for lunch, and then I remembered I signed up to bring dinner to a woman in our ward, so I made lentil soup after that. During class tonight we made split pea soup and chicken waterzooi. To be perfectly frank, I am less than enthusiastic my other group member tonight, but I got to exercise…patience. I was sorely, sorely tempted to be less than kind (am giving into temptation now by writing about it on the blog), but I just kept thinking: appearance vs. reality, appearance vs. reality. Who knows what kind of hardships this person has endured? My experience of her is so minute compared to the scope of her life and intentions. That said, I am dreading next week because we have to work together for one more week. I just hope some other group members show up so the experience will be somewhat diluted.
So it was a kind of social high/low day. I loved my reunion with Jan, Chelsea, and the kids, and I kind of hated my life a little bit during class. And I just saw some big fireworks from the window as I typed. I have no idea what they were for, but I guess I’ll take that as a sign to sign off.