International Folk Dance performance

This evening we went to BYU’s International Folk Dance performance. Every number was jaw-dropping. I had no idea when I bought the tickets¬†what was in store. We watched the most incredible dances from India, Haiti, Ireland, Ukraine, Slovakia, the US, Spain, Indonesia, and Mexico. Not to mention the folk band was every bit as incredible as the dancers. We just could not believe our eyes and ears. It was one of the best live performances I have ever attended of any genre of live performance. Quite simply, we were blown away.

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Abe convinced us to bring Mary along, and she did great! Well, she fell asleep and that helped a lot. ūüôā

The girls got their hair cut this afternoon. I have more pictures than this, but I only sent these to my phone. The hairdresser did the craziest thing with Mary’s hair. I asked her to put Mary’s hair in braided pigtails. She did, but one side of her pigtails had a braid that started at the nape of her neck and ended two inches out, and the other side had a french braid that started at the crown of her head. The part was really strange too. I wanted to take a picture, but everything was so chaotic when we got home that I didn’t get a chance. I want to find out if this is some new hairstyle, though. If it is, I have never seen it before. It looked really strange.

Ammon was a whole lot happier since he didn't have to have his hair cut. He had a balloon in one hand, a lollipop in the other, and he was happy as a clam.
Ammon was a whole lot happier since he didn’t have to have his hair cut. He had a balloon in one hand, a lollipop in the other, and he was happy as a clam.

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Sports camp and sewing

Mary had her last little sports camp today. I was a bad parent and dropped both girls off in front of the Rec Center instead of parking acres away and walking them in…and as they were running in, they randomly bumped into Nana! She walked them the rest of the way to the gym, and Lydia returned safely to the car, amazed that she bumped into her Nana.

Then Lydia, Ammon, and I went to Jo-Ann’s to pick out some fabric for some sewing projects. Lydia picked out the most beautiful material for hers, and I will have to get a picture on here of it (maybe later today). It is a beautiful, rich blue fabric with peacocks all over it. The cutter said the fabric was designed in Korea by a company called Two Sisters. It is so, so pretty. I also spied some fun flannels to make into a baby blanket for a friend, so I am excited to get my sewing machine out again.

Sadly, the line was so long at check-out that we had to leave our items at the store, rush to pick up Mary (and this time we all walked in, although I parked illegally!), and return back to Jo-Ann’s together.

Here are some pictures of Mary at sports camp!

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Ammon was wistfully watching someone play basketball on the other side of the gym.
Ammon was wistfully watching someone play basketball on the other side of the gym.

Then we returned some items to Deseret Book and headed to Sushi Burrito for a quick lunch before taking Lydia to school (twenty minutes late–yikes).

When we got home, Mary painted her birdhouse she got from Jo-Ann’s.

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When Lydia came home from school, she had the “best day ever” because after her homework, she got to paint a birdhouse and start sewing her pillow.

In the evening Abe had the first work-free evening in who knows how long. We watched Woman in Gold and loved it.

Ammon with soup on his head

Abe and I are having a pow-wow about Ammon. Ammon is the sweetest child, but he is such a handful. Here are some pictures of him after he dumped his soup on his head.

IMG_4870 IMG_4874He dumps all of his food on his head at the end of every meal. We are trying to figure out how to stop his crazy behavior without scaring the bajeebers out of him. He is a very, very sensitive child and responds to even slight corrections with heartfelt, remorseful sobs.

We spent the morning running errands. The little neighbor boy had his tonsils out, so we brought him some presents, balloons, dinner and dessert. He was doing great and is so cute. The girls just love him and were pretty concerned that he might be in pain.

I also visit taught and was visit taught today. Abe and I got up early to work out, and Abe had almost no sleep at all because he worked so late. We are ready for bed!!

Israeli music FHE dance

For FHE tonight we (as in, everyone but me!–I was the happy photographer.) started with a dance party to an Israeli music CD we checked out from the library. I checked it out a couple months ago and Lydia and I¬†loved¬†it. I checked it out again, and she discovered it tonight and went bananas. She begged for us to play it, and so we did.

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Afterward we had a prayer, played Junior Monopoly, and read scriptures. Now the girls are in their beds playing “cats,” and Abe is typing away on his laptop, hard at work again. It was a really wonderful FHE! Also, our seeds from last week are starting to sprout. We love checking on them and can’t wait to see if we have new sprouts tomorrow.

I should also note that Mary’s piano teacher remarked at her lesson today that she has unusual technique and finger coordination for someone her age. After the blood, sweat and tears we put into those practices (with what feels like NO PROGRESS AT ALL), this was literally music to my ears. I guess we will keep at it.

Lemon meringue pie

Today Ammon, Mary and I woke up with stuffy noses. Mary actually had a fever of 101.8. We did not realize this at first, but when she announced at church that she wanted to go home, I took her home and took her temperature. She proceeded to sleep for the next four hours.

After naps, Abe took Lydia and Ammon on a walk to the park.

IMG_2286Mary stayed and talked with me while I cooked. She sweet talked me into letting her have graham crackers and a maraschino cherry (even though she’s sick and should be avoiding sugar).

We had sloppy joe sliders for dinner, and I made a lemon meringue pie for dessert.

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We did not wait the requisite ten ¬†minutes for the pie to cool down, so when we cut into it (right after its photo shoot), it oozed everywhere. Oh, well. It still tasted good, and there’s half a pie left that has since firmed up.

ode to Abe

I have been drowning during the week from all of our activities. By Saturday, our house was a wreck. Thankfully, unlike last weekend, this weekend was almost totally free. After Abe and I went swimming, the only thing on the docket was a baby shower. After I went to that, I came home to find my wonderful, amazing, kind husband deep in the throes of organizing the house.

He literally worked the entire day on the house, doing everything I should have been doing all week. I pitched in, but let’s be honest. Abe did all of the heavy, hard stuff like hauling boxes of things to and from the garage, and he was about twice as productive as I was. As I tell him often, I could search the whole world and all of its ages, backwards and forwards, and never find his equivalent.

At one point, I naively thought Mormon men were just generally better trained in the husband-dad department because they have so many good role models and sit through so many talks and lessons on being a good husband and father. However, one of my LDS Facebook groups has disillusioned me completely of that belief. Reading through the Facebook threads has convinced me that I basically won the lottery in the husband department.

Abe never, ever complains about anything I don’t do around the house, and he operates from the assumption that I have done my best during the day-even if dinner didn’t get made, the house is a wreck, and all three kids are screaming. He is capable of folding five loads of laundry and then turning to me and sincerely thanking me for sacrificing my body to bring another child into the world.

All of our kids adore him because he is so fun and funny…and because part of him is probably still ten years old. Yesterday while we were swimming, one of the kids in the pool took a jump off the diving board. The next thing I knew, Abe had abandoned our laps and was on the diving board doing flips and, er, one flop, into the water.

Anyway, as I sit blogging in my organized, clean, de-cluttered house, I am feeling very grateful. Abe basically slaved all of yesterday¬†while I only intermittently did my part. My part was punctuated by a baby shower, a sudden need¬†to bake bread, and an evening with my mom attending the General Women’s Session broadcast in our church chapel. I keep telling my girls that they will have to search hard–and possibly long–to find someone who can remotely live up to their dad’s incredible example. We are so blessed to have him.

Abe grows a muscle!

Friday morning is Lydia’s early-out school day, and so Ammon, Mary, and I headed to Qualtrics to play on the indoor playground while she was in school. It was so relaxing and easy–I don’t know why we don’t do that every week!

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Oh, I know why. Usually I go swimming during that time, but Friday Abe and I worked out early in the morning, so I didn’t need to. We have been very diligent about our early morning work-outs, and this morning Abe discovered a lump near the joint of his elbow.

“Wow, a muscle!” he exclaimed. “I’ve seen these on movie stars, but I’ve never had one myself. That is so cool!”

“Are you sure it isn’t a tumor?” I asked, concerned.

“No! Look, it disappears when I’m not flexing.”¬†He demonstrated. Yup! It’s definitely a muscle. Looks like we will keep working out, as it seems to be paying off. ūüôā

Snowplow 2 – check!

Mary did not want to go to ice skating today. Last week I found her sitting in front of a professional wrestling match on the lobby TV during the post-lesson free skate. I think she might do better in another year or so…

Lydia, on the other hand, passed snowplow 2!!! I probably should not have been so shocked, but honestly, I was. And I was also so proud of her! We celebrated by eating Jimmy Johns, going to The Chocolate Shop, and eating our food while listening to a RadioWest debate about the new blood alcohol level for a DUI in the state of Utah. Senator Jim Dabakis enraged me. I kept having to switch the radio off because it was so painful to listen to him speak. During those pauses, Lydia and I had great conversations about the way men should speak to women.

Senator Dabakis is the¬†Democratic¬†equivalent of Donald Trump and kept loudly, rudely, and stupidly cutting off Dr. Bella Dinh-Zarr, the intelligent, articulate chairman of the National Transportation Security Board. Dr. Dinh-Zarr had science and a superior working brain on her side (she supports the new law), and Senator Dabakis kept cutting off her well-researched, calmly stated arguments so that he could loudly say the word “draconian” again and again. I feel like he thought that word made him sound smart, so he said it a lot. Ugh.

But it was nice talking current events with Lydia. We have had to cool it with political talk and even avoid too much NPR because she was getting really scared of Donald Trump. Even though we’ve been on political hiatus, just last night she had nightmares wherein Donald Trump tried to kill her, all of her friends, her Nana, and all of the grandmas in the world. She self-therapized by changing the dream when she woke up. She immediately ran to the schoolroom and drew¬†out all of the superpowers she and her friends used so that he couldn’t hurt them.

With that uplifting image, I will now get ready for bed and great bedtime reading–NDE stories!!

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Kid anecdotes (at the end)

This morning Mary had her first sports camp. We missed the first day (Monday) because I am a disorganized mess these days. But we remembered today! And Mary was so adorable running all over the place chasing her little soccer ball. I forgot my camera, but I will bring it next Monday.

Lydia and Ammon spent her camp in childcare while I swam, and then we did some grocery shopping before dropping Lydia off at school. Then I fed Ammon and Mary, put Ammon down for his nap, and attempted a piano practice with Mary. Afterward I lay in bed exhausted, only to hear Ammon wake up from his nap an hour early. My mom was so sweet and watched him a while so I could sleep.

Then we picked up Lydia, came home, and I made my grandma’s Swiss chicken and some steamed asparagus for dinner. Then we knocked out homework and harp so that Lydia¬†could go outside and play with the neighbors while I finished up by baking yet another chocolate buckwheat cake. I have baked this easy cake so many times that it is starting to be an early spring equivalent of the autumn plum torte¬†(which I bake, no joke, almost daily when Italian plums are in season) or the¬†apple sharlotka¬†¬†(another cake that makes a regular appearance in the Fall).

After dinner the girls had the time of their lives dancing to¬†Moana. My mom even joined in at one point! I had the presence of mind to remember I had no pictures from today and grabbed Abe’s phone to capture their happy dances.

On the Abe front, work just keeps getting crazier and crazier. Today one of his deals from months ago got dug up by another team that wants a cut, and so it will end up in arbitration. On top of that, Ammon completely broke Abe’s glasses today, and contacts irritate and depress Abe. Abe’s allergies are also acting up. Between the work stress, the glasses situation, the allergies, and all of the extra work that he brings home, I am surprised he is as helpful and functional as he continues to be. Right now he is taking care of a Mary tantrum. I should wrap this up and help so he can get back to work!

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Also, I have kid anecdotes for them to look back on when they get older.

Lydia:¬†Today we were practicing harp, and I said, “Lydia, stop talking and wasting precious time!” Lydia looked startled and replied with great sincerity, “Why are you calling it ‘precious time?’ To me, this is, like,¬†horrible!” I laughed so hard when she said that. We have such different perspectives on the value of harp practice.

Mary:¬†Have I mentioned Mary has a lot of energy? Surely I recorded that she did approximately six hundred jumping jacks during one practice session the other week. Anyway, one way this energy manifests is that she rides an imaginary horsey everywhere. For example, for the past several weeks whenever I unbuckle her and turn her loose on a destination, she mounts her pretend horse and yells, “Giddyup, horsey!” She then gallops to the destination, dismounts, and parks her horse before entering our destination. I make mental notes to record this in the blog and forget every time…until now!

Ammon:¬†Ammon’s teensy vocabulary is expanding! He is saying “Mommy” now, and that melts my heart. He also says, “Gagu.” That means, “Thank-you.” We will prompt him by saying, “Ammon, say ‘thank-you,'” to which he will reply in his sweet little voice, “Gagu!” He also can reliably meow at the cat. ūüôā

 

Spring weather

The warmer weather changes our behavioral patterns. Specifically, we spent a LOT of time outside today. After school the girls spent the entire afternoon and evening playing outside with the neighborhood kids. I took Ammon out after his nap so he could join in the fun.

Other than that, it was a pretty low-key day. I finished my book club book, so there’s that. I did not get around to my clothes-sorting projects, so the laundry remains on our bedroom floor. I did get around to booking a hotel for Seattle, so that’s exciting.

Abe is already in bed flattened by stress and pollen. I guess I will wrap this up because my laptop is on his legs.