It’s a…GIRL!!!

On Friday morning my mom and I were just talking about Clark and Swathi’s new baby and wondering about the gender when they called us! We both had said we were hoping for a girl so that they can have one of each, and guess what?? They are having a GIRL!!! We are so happy.

We are so excited. Baby put on a show for the ultrasound–she yawned! I had never seen such a fun ultrasound before.

Also, Clarissa will get a girl cousin her age!!! These two are going to be great friends, just like Ammon and Soren. We can’t wait to meet this new sweet little girl!!

The garden grew– and Abe throws Mary really high

On Thursdays Lydia has her harp lesson at 6am. Technically, this should not be an exceptionally early start because she is supposed to get up at 6am anyway to get her harp done before school, but I let that slide a couple days last week and let her do harp after school. So Thursday was a long day for Lydia.

My mom was so sweet in the morning and let Clarissa cuddle with her while I got ready for the day.

After school I let the girls play with the neighbors. Technically, Mary had lost her privileges by refusing to practice the piano, but I was not consistent about re-enforcing that and just let it slide. Sometimes it’s tiring to be perfectly consistent about everything.

The neighbors wanted to see Clarissa, so I let them hold her. Also, I spent a lot of time admiring the garden! I have barely ventured outside at all these past couple months, and the garden has just exploded. I hadn’t seen these sunflowers until this past week–that is how absentee I have been from my own backyard. They are amazing!! And I love the zinnias because I remember planting zinnias at my grandma’s house. They are such a cheerful flower.

Also, Abe continues to be able to throw Mary soooo high. See here:

Lydia’s limbs are too long for Abe to do this, and Ammon does not enjoy being thrown. But Mary loves it.

Getting back into the swing of things

On Wednesday we all had pretty good days. Mary made it to bed without a single tantrum! We were on the edge quite a few times, but we survived without a full-scale Mary Meltdown. Whew!

I have started driving a little more. My mom is still helping with the drop-offs and pick-ups, but since both girls are in different schools, there are plenty of opportunities for both of us to drive A LOT. It’s a new stage of life, this two-kids-in-school thing. Hopefully by next week I will be able to do their full schedule.

I am going to be listening to a whole lot more of my favorite (only) radio stations: KBYU, KLOVE, and NPR. We spend a ton of time in the car waiting, waiting, waiting in the drop-off and pick-up lines at the girls’ schools. When I am not talking with my children, I can use that time listening to Christian singers sing the praise of Jesus, getting news updates, enjoying classical music, and listening to BYU devotionals. Hopefully it shouldn’t be too painful.

Abe continues to have crazy and good days at work. I was sitting at the piano with Mary when I watched him come home. He looked soooo tired, and I felt so sorry for him. I wish he had more time to himself. We finished the day by watching a little of The Office before going to bed at 9:30pm. We are in desperate need of humor by the end of the day, especially with Mary in the tender stage that she happens to be in.

My mom went to an institute class and had  a great time. She is going to try to go with friends next time so she doesn’t have to be alone after dark. Ever since she was assaulted a couple months ago, we get nervous when she is out alone after dark.

For dinner the Dallas manager sent us dinner. He has ordered dinner for us for FIVE nights. We are so sincerely grateful, even if we don’t have any plans to move to Dallas. (Although if we do, we feel fairly sure Abe would continue his I-have-the-most-amazing-boss streak!!)

My sweet little Clarissa. We all love her.

This is my angel baby. She is SUCH a mellow baby and almost never cries. (Although when she does, she has amazing lung capacity. She is my loudest newborn FOR SURE.) Yesterday the AC went out again so I undressed her during her nap and threw a light blanket over her. Then I realized she looked so pretty that I should take a picture.
Ammon has been SO charming since Clarissa’s birth. This is him dancing to the music from Clarissa’s bassinet. It is the most annoying music, but he loves it.
Ammon is giving up his nap, but he has no problem with a couple hours (sometimes more…eep!) of quiet time in his room. He just contents himself with destroying everything. That means by the time we have to pick up the girls from school, he is one tired little boy! (And he always needs a new outfit because he’s a pathological pooper. It doesn’t matter if I go in and change him halfway through quiet time; by the end, he is always poopy again, and he ALWAYS leaks through. Eeeewwww.)


Lydia’s first day of school

Today was Lydia’s first day of school! We were a disorganized mess and didn’t take pictures before she left. Thankfully my mom took some of her at school.

I: Forgot to take her pictures at home, forgot to pack her lunch, forgot to send her to school with her backpack and getting-to-know-you bag, forgot entirely about school supplies and sent her to school with ZERO, and I forgot to buy her uniform-approved shoes. At least I remembered to pick her up from school.

My mom took her to the pancake breakfast at the start of the day, but because I forgot all of the above, they had to come back home and ended up almost missing the breakfast. Good thing Lydia was in a terrific mood and loved school! A little girl named Grace asked Lydia to be her best friend, and that made her whole day.

After I picked up the girls from their schools, we headed home to grab some climbing clothes for Lydia and then zipped off to Lydia’s first day of base climbing camp. It was a nightmare signing her up because I forgot to pack the stroller, and the parking lot was full. I parked out of the lot and carried Ammon (who is HUGE) and Clarissa across the parking lot and attempted to keep carrying Ammon throughout the sign-up process. That did not work, so I just darted around madly between signing forms to pull Ammon down from high places and rescue various store displays from him. Obviously, taking Lydia’s picture was not in the cards today.

Clarissa’s umbilical cord stump is falling off, and I kind of wonder if it bothers her. She is nursing non stop.

We are ready for bed, but Abe has so much work he will probably be up all night. 🙁

Lily’s DNA testing

I got my Ancestry DNA results in! This, I imagine, will be somewhat interesting to future posterity. Here are the results:

ASIA: 37%

Asia East = 27%

Central Asia = 10% (This was shocking to me. Central Asia is, according to Ancestry: Afghanistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan. I had no idea I had ancestors from this part of the world.


Scandinavia = 18% (This was another shocker! We have never traced any ancestry to Scandinavia before, so wow.)

Ireland = 12%

Great Britain = 9%

Iberian peninsula = 5%

Europe West 4%

Italy Greece = 3%

Finland/Northwest Russia = < 1%

European Jewish = <1% (I KNEW IT!! In my grandma’s wedding picture, there is a menorah on the mantle, she had a star of David ring, and her mother’s maiden name was “Becker” and hailed from Germany.)


CAUCUS = <1% (Caucus is Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Georgia, and Armenia)

Anyway, I believe that these are just summations of how your DNA expresses your ancestry, which is why brothers and sisters have different maps. I really want to see what my brother’s DNA map says. I keep searching to see if it shows a map of the U.S., because my mom’s DNA has a lot of U.S. origins and shows migration patterns to the States. Mine doesn’t show any of that. I’ll have to talk to our neighbor who actually heads the Ancestry DNA program and ask him my questions.

Bassinet dancing

This morning Mary and Ammon danced to the music from Clarissa’s bassinet. I’m glad that bassinet is good for something! We tried to have Clarissa sleep in it for two nights, and each time she woke up every hour all night through. Finally we just brought her into bed with us, and that has been working a lot better. Abe and I can’t figure out why we did not co-sleep more with our other kids. I think they weren’t as bothered by the bassinet since it was always right next to me, but Clarissa definitely prefers to full-on co-sleep.

Abe took these pictures:

Clarissa’s photo shoot

Today we had Clarissa’s newborn pictures taken. I feel eternal regret that we did not have this done for Mary, especially since I was bad about blogging almost the entire first year she was born. I have almost no pictures for her entire first year of life, and she was THE most adorable baby.

Anyway, I feel confident Lindsay Salazar did a great job. We met Lindsay in our Chicago ward, and I have seen her work on Facebook. She was in Seattle for a while, but since she moved to Utah I realized that we could have her take our pictures. That was exciting because she is so talented.

In the morning before Lindsay came, my mom held Clarissa so I could get ready.

Lydia had a harp rehearsal and Clarissa had to get her biliruben checked again, so we had the house to ourselves. We used the time to get ready for Lindsay.We did not know where she would shoot, so we cleaned everything. I have been bleeding heavily ever since, but the house is clean, so it feels worth it.

After the pictures with siblings and Abe, Abe took Mary and Ammon to get the car registered. While it was getting registered, they went to the pet store and then went to Zupas for lunch. Mary and Ammon are buddies these days.

The girls played outside with friends for the entire day (aside from the photo shoot), and so the house stayed clean! Sadly, the girls’ behavior deteriorates markedly after spending time running the neighborhood, so Mary had a MASSIVE meltdown before bed–the biggest of her life, and believe me, that is saying something. She is an expert tantrumer, but this night took the cake.Abe was absolutely incredible and so calm as he managed her. I learn a lot from the way he handles the kids.

Afterward, Abe and I tried to talk about how to handle Mary. We ended up feeling worn out and confused, so we just ended up watching three episodes of The Office instead. It helped us feel positive about life again.

Ammon and his sisters

Friday was a low-key day at home, although Abe is playing catch-up at work. My visiting teachers brought over dinner, and it was really nice not to have to cook.

Friday’s biggest news is that Clarissa finally pooped!! The doctor had just instructed us to by a glycerin suppository, and Abe was just changing Mary’s diaper to put it in when he discovered she had pooped! We were so happy and relieved.

Ammon is terrific with Clarissa. He puts blankets on her when they fall off, and he is so gentle around her. I love watching him love her. He seems to be even more happy and charming since her arrival. Abe, my mom and I spent a lot of the evening watching Ammon dance and run around the house delightedly. He gives us all so much joy.

Also, Mary has had an about-face about Ammon. Up until now, she has had a neutral/antagonistic attitude towards him, but with the arrival of Clarissa, she has experienced a total change of heart. She has started playing with him a LOT, has declared he is her “best buddy,” and says that wherever Ammon goes, she goes. They have been getting along so well. Mary bosses Ammon around while she plays school (of course, she is the teacher) and builds forts in his closet. It is very endearing to see them together too.

My sweet baby.

Back to school open house

Thursday was my first time home alone with all of the kids since Clarissa was born. It went remarkably well! I did a bunch of catch-up blogging because Clarissa was bouncing contentedly away in the Mamaroo while the other three played happily together. It was a great day.

In the evening Lydia had her open house for her new school. She came home so excited for school and has been counting down the days until she starts ever since.

Lydia picked locker #6 because she is six.

With her new teacher, Ms. Essa.

In the evening, we put Mary in a different brand of cloth diapers than the ones we normally use. These are a lot bigger and made Abe and me laugh.

She looks like a pear with that diaper on.



Abe’s last full day at home

Wednesday was Abe’s last full day at home. He again ran around like crazy, returning things through UPS, taking Clarissa in to the hospital for her biliruben check and then later to the doctor, tuning up my mom’s bike, helping with laundry, fixing meals, taking care of kids, and bringing meals up to me. Clarissa continues to be constipated, and we continue to pray for poop.

I folded a couple loads of laundry, made soup, crocheted and fed Clarissa. Feeding Clarissa is really painful because nursing brings on post-birth contractions (and now there’s no epidural…boo-hoo!), and one of my nipples is cracked. Basically, after feeding Clarissa, I sometimes start shaking and have to climb under a million blankets to get warm because I go into a type of shock.

Also, my groin pain is worse because I think I strained it during birth, so I am basically still crippled. It’s very scary. I look at people walking and running and honestly wonder if I will ever be able to do those things again. I was going through my scripture journal and discovered a time when I thought I had permanently damaged my shoulder. Abe gave me a blessing and it completely healed, so that gives me hope that someday I will be able to walk normally again.

My poor mom also has been having a lot of foot pain. Ever since her Michigan trip where she wore flip-flops, she has been dealing with planter’s fasciitis. On Tuesday she drove all the way to Draper for new shoes to help, but then she re-strained her feet delivering emergency preparedness material to the neighbors. Hopefully she will be blessed for her faithfulness and her feet can recover.

My mom drove me to the after hours clinic later in the evening because I was worried about Clarissa’s orange color–and because Clarissa had gone about fifteen hours without peeing or pooping. The doctor calmed me down, and right when we got home, she started wetting her diapers. We’re still praying for poop, though!