Happy Halloween!

Both girls had fun Halloween parties at school, and after school we picked out pumpkins from a local apple farm.

Abe came home from work early to carve with the kids while I made dinner and my mom readied the house for our friends, the Harmons.

After they were done, the Harmons came over to join us for dinner and trick or treating. We love these people a lot, so their presence made us very happy. James, their two year old son, wore the most adorable garbage truck costume you ever saw.

In contrast, Ammon refused to wear his dino costume I hunted up from the basement. He shed each piece before we got to house humber three. Oh, well. At least we had James to charm the neighbors before costume-free Ammon followed up with his grab-ALL-the-candy act. He was very excited about the candy and pretty soon was grinning and yelling “FANK YOOUU!!” to the great open sky in between houses.

I took Clarissa home early and while Abe was trick or treating with Ammon, he made the mistake of opening the candy for Ammon to eat. After that, Ammon would grab each new piece of candy and present it to Abe with the demand, “Open.”

When everything was all over and Abe had to take Ammon to bed, Ammon starting screaming, crying, and clawing for his candy basket yelling, “Mo’ RED! Mo’ GWEEN! Mo’ PINK!!!” He didn’t know the names of the candies, so he called them by their color.

In sum, Ammon grasped the concept of Halloween this year and didn’t want it to end.

Monday business

On Monday morning Abe and I held to our resolution to work out early. We did Insanity together. I only lasted a little while before my groin and plantar fasciitis started bothering me, but it was so fun to be together and great to start the day on time.

The evening got crazy. After the girls came home from dance and tumbling, we all scarfed down some dinner before Mary and I headed to piano while Abe took the rest of the kids to clean the church.

Abe was starting to get sick from over exertion, so we went to bed right after the kids. It was a full day.


Sunday at home

On Sunday I was looking forward to going to Abe’s lesson. He was teaching the combined RS and Priesthood about the #Lighttheworld program this year. Actually, he thought his counselor was going to teach it, but it ended up that at the last minute Abe discovered he was teaching most of it.

Anyway, by the time church was starting Clarissa was sound asleep and I was still bone tired, so I stayed home with Clarissa, intending to go to church when she woke up. Just as I was getting ready, Abe came home with Ammon, who was coughing up a storm. He didn’t feel comfortable taking Ammon to nursery with his hacking cough, so he brought him home. I was admittedly disappointed because I really wanted to attend Abe’s lesson, but I ended up having a peaceful time at home with the two kids.

After church we rested some more, watched Planet Earth for FHE, and talked with Clark, Swathi, and Soren over Facetime. It was a nice Sunday.

Massage from Brenda

On Friday night I celebrated Abe’s return by taking Nyquil and sleeping a lot. Clarissa woke up three times, but Abe was home and brought her to me so I could nurse her without getting up. Then he let me sleep in bed all morning, which was amazing because I was tired.

After being in bed all morning, I got up and we all piled in the car to drive to Draper. Abe’s mom gives me these amazing massage certificates to her masseuse, Brenda, whose office is right next to Karin’s. Abe knew this week was going to be hard, so he used one of those certificates to schedule a ninety minute massage for me with Brenda at 1pm.

While I was with Brenda, Abe, Karin and the kids all went to lunch at Chuck O-Rama’s. They had a great time, and wow, so did I. Brenda is, in Karin’s words, “magical.” I went in there full of all sorts of toxicity, and after Brenda’s massage I felt absolutely amazing. I love talking to Brenda, and she is full of wisdom. Between her wisdom and her hands, I was a different person after that massage.

We took it easy after the massage, and Saturday ended up being very restful and rejuvenating. We cleaned, cooked, ate, and rested a lot. It was a great day.

Abe comes home

On Thursday night Clarissa was up for hours, and Ammon kept waking himself up coughing. My mom even had to go into Ammon at one point because I was stuck nursing Clarissa and Ammon was coughing and crying for help. It was a long night. I was sick and hadn’t slept in who knows how long, and basically by the end of the night I felt kind of suicidal.

I don’t want to overstate the case, but I think thoughts of suicide are actually pretty normal post partum. I don’t think I have depression; I can still function, bond with my baby, take care of myself and kids, and I’m capable of being happy the minute I get some rest. But the more and more people are being open about their mental health, the more I start to think suicidal thoughts are just part of certain parts of life.

So after not sleeping for days, being sick, and caring for sick kids around the clock (a phrase that sounds so innocuous but actually encapsulates a grueling, excruciating experience), all of my free mental space went to how my family would be better off without me. I never once got close to doing anything about these thoughts, but they took up every free second of my time.

I almost didn’t blog about that part of the week, but I think it’s important to be honest about my post-partum state. I’ve read posts from friends who have had the exact same thoughts, and it helps so much to know you’re not alone. I want my kids and grandkids, should they read this, to know they’re not alone if they have similar experiences.

When I wasn’t busy brooding about how the world would be better without me, I took the kids to Mary’s Halloween Haunt. Had I been feeling better, I would have really enjoyed this experience. Her school was absolutely decorated to the hilt, and there were cute, fun activities everywhere. I pulled Lydia out of school so she could enjoy it with Mary. I have pictures which I will have to add later because my phone is backing up right now.

After the Halloween Haunt, we came home for naps, and then I took Lydia to her group harp lesson. After that, I made chili and paid the Freestone girls to take Mary and Lydia to the ward Halloween party. My mom and I were too sick and exhausted to go.

Around 7:30pm Abe came home!!!! When he came home, I felt like I had exited the valley of the shadow of death and stepped into the sun. He is the sunshine in my life. It was so, so good to see him again. There really aren’t words to express how happy I was that he was home. Trust me, I was happy.

Old blogs

Here’s a picture Nana took of a proud Mary who had just made her own bed.

On Thursday Ammon and Clarissa took an unexpectedly long nap. Even though I had barely slept the night before, I did not nap with them because I started going through old blogs.

Going through old blogs opened my eyes to a couple things. First of all, I have a great life! I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that, because it seems like in some blogs, I have trouble comprehending that.

Also, I feel so stupid for going to cooking school. I had such an incredible life and all I wanted to do was…go to cooking school?  I look back at those baby pictures of Lydia and Mary and wish I could just have another second with those two darling little girls.

Ironically, even though I feel stupid for going to cooking school, I wish I took more pictures of what we eat every day. I like being able to see the day’s work, and even if the food isn’t fancy, I want to see it. I’m going to try to take more pictures of food I make.

Finally, Thursday was a no good horrible very bad day, but looking through those blogs helped me think that maybe life wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Also, my mom was a huge help and did all of the driving Thursday so that Ammon and Clarissa could keep sleeping. Abe’s being gone was hard on her too. She helped so much that she got sick and lost her voice.

I was really happy for Thursday to be over.

Nose bleed blame

Gosh, my children are so great but there are so many of them that I really don’t take time to appreciate them during the day. Mostly I think about how great they are after they are in bed and I can lie here and regret all of the unkind things I did during the day.

Lydia has such a pure, honest, completely guileless heart. She is also SO affectionate and loves to receive affection. Sadly, I rarely give her that affection and most of the time I am barking at her to quiet down or do this or stop that. (In my sort of defense, she is also really loud.)

Mary is over-the-top charming and has so many delightful mannerisms, and tonight I was really mean to her. I blamed her for getting a nose bleed. It happened this way: She was throwing a tantrum, I was crazed trying to get all four kids down, and I was yelling at her to stop crying because, I yelled, I couldn’t and wouldn’t care about her problem until she calmed down and told me what the matter was. She, of course, cried harder and ended up with a nose bleed.

At that point, Ammon was in bed crying and coughing –to the point of choking and gagging–because I hadn’t given him long enough “scratchies” (back scratches) to fall asleep, I was holding a wide-awake, hungry and quite-possibly-ill Clarissa, and I was sweating up feverish rivulets all up and down my body. (I have had a fever almost all day.)

So, instead of handling this situation calmly, I took one look at all the blood on the bed and Mary and freaked out. I yelled at Mary and then went to take care of Ammon before putting down Clarissa and returning back to Mary. When I got to the room, Lydia said, “I wish this had never happened. I know not to give myself nosebleeds, but Mary doesn’t have the same life experience as I do, so she just doesn’t know.”

At that point, I laughed and calmed down a little. It was so funny hearing Lydia refer to her “life experience.” I ended up washing all of the blood off, and I hope Mary has enough warmth from her cover to stay well through the night.

On a positive note, Ammon seems to be getting slightly better. He was well enough to only take a short nap, and he pooped twice as much as usual, so maybe he’s pooping out his sickness. I sure hope so.

On another positive note, during the solitary hour that he and Clarissa napped simultaneously, I managed to make a big dent in our book club novel. It’s a murder mystery called Sister. It’s surprisingly well written, though somewhat slow.

It was crazy hair day for Lydia today.
Clarissa taking her nap next to me. I’ve found if she doesn’t sleep next to me, her naps last about ten minutes.


trash heap

Ammon is sick. I am sick. Clarissa appears to be on the brink of getting sick.

Abe left for another work trip today and won’t be back until Friday.

Needless to say, I am relegating this day to the trash heap of life.

My mom was a big help, and I am super grateful for that. She did a TON of work today, and it would have been even crazier without her.

I just hope that tonight I get to sleep a lot and recover so I can function tomorrow.

Goodybye, October 24, 2017. See you again never.

Oh, and my mom took some cute pictures:


Curious George Halloween Boo Fest

On Sunday I stayed home from church with Ammon and Clarissa because Ammon was sick. I spent most of the day trying not to think about the upcoming week. Abe is leaving on Tuesday again and won’t be back until Friday. Ugh. I really hate it when he’s gone.

For FHE we all watched Curious George’s Halloween Boo Fest. I bought it the other day and the kids love it. They really wanted us to see it. The movie was cute, but mostly I liked cuddling with the kids on the couch.

Dream Big

On Saturday the girls did their music practice and then we headed to Salt Lake.

First we went to the farmer’s market.

Clarissa was very curious about the market!

After walking around enjoying all of the stalls, we picked up some raclette sandwiches and empanadas, which we ate en route to the Clark Planetarium. We really hustled as we walked to the planetarium because Mary had to go to the potty, and I had not brought any extra pants. Luckily we made it in time!

At the planetarium we met up with Joe, Camille, and Annie, their six month old daughter. Joe is on Abe’s team and is selling to a client that produced the movie, Dream Big. It was playing in the planetarium’s IMAX, so we all watched it. We absolutely loved the movie! It’s intended to inspire kids to become engineers, and I loved every second. The girls enjoyed it but remain committed to their former career aspirations of being artists, paleontologists, mothers, grandmothers, and, in Mary’s case, a vet.

I actually think Lydia would make a great engineer and hope the movie planted a little seed. It was so inspiring and well done. (Also, Abe and I loved the soundtrack because it had a lot of Matisyahu, practically our favorite singer.)