On Sunday Abe held his first Elder’s Quorum council, and it went incredibly well. The Relief Society council was…lively. I actually enjoyed it a lot, but it definitely was not calm or quiet. There was, at one point, a debate on–of all things!–name tags. I am afraid I was a rather vocal advocate for the use of these, but there were several people adamantly opposed. At the end of the council, we had decided on one action item completely unrelated to name tags, and that was to pray in our visiting teaching companionships for the sisters we visit teach.
For FHE we tried to get the new Living Scriptures app working, but it wouldn’t load onto our TV. I am contemplating rearranging the downstairs so that the TV can be closer to the kitchen. During FHE Ammon attempted to scale a giant bookcase next to the TV. Abe immediately pulled him off and spanked him, which sent Ammon into hyperventilations and lots of exclamations of “SORRY!!”. We both cuddled Ammon immediately and explained that he just can’t climb furniture. Even though the bookcase anchored to the wall, I fear the anchor could come loose. So I am seriously considering a re-arrangement of the downstairs so that I can monitor him even while he’s watching a movie. Also we are seriously going to get the security cameras I ordered two months ago up this week.
Abe instituted Saturday morning chores for the kids a while back, and on Friday night Lydia scrambled to perfectly clean her room. She wanted a free morning on Saturday, and she was also so proud of her hard work. My favorite part of the video is where she proudly proclaims, “nothing but carpet!”
In the evening we tried to go to The Lion King Jr. at the Covey Center, but it turns out that it’s playing next week. I think I have some sort of clinical condition that prevents me from getting dates and times correct. At any rate, it was rainy and cold so we headed to the mall’s play place and let the kids play before going grocery shopping.
I finished my Annie Liebowitz master class, but I didn’t do any of the photo exercises. I did learn concepts, though! I haven’t applied any of them in any of my photos except one. Yesterday as I was nursing it occurred to me that my frame of vision captured the story of my relationship with Clarissa–or at least a major part of it.
It’s too bad we didn’t have more complimentary colors here, especially with that red pillow. Also, I need photoshop and don’t have a great eye for composition. ANYWAY, the point is, I have to start somewhere, right?! And this photo does, at the least, tell a story that means something to me. That’s the sum of what I learned from the class: Learn to SEE, and take photographs that tell stories that mean something to you.
On Tuesday night Clarissa was up every hour until finally at 3:30 am Abe figured out a way to get her to sleep longer. He told me we should let her cry it out, and after a period of time which I shall not document here, he went in, soothed her, and off to sleep she drifted…just in time for us to get up and do Insanity!
Just kidding. We skipped it.
I took her in to the doctor again when she woke up. This time the doctor said it looked like she was starting to get an ear infection, and even though this doctor is usually against anti-biotics, she said that with a baby, we should probably err on the side of treatment. I could not agree more.
Other than that we had a pretty low key day. I eliminated carbs and dairy from my diet, alongside the sugar I kicked to the curb January 1. I would eliminate food altogether for the next two weeks before Mexico if I didn’t have to chase four kids! All the research says fasting is the way to go, right??!!
Since nothing much happened Wednesday, I am going to record some of Ammon’s cute sayings and doings because Abe has been asking me to for weeks.
Opposites. Ever since he learned to talk (and I’m defining “talk” pretty loosely here), Ammon has talked in opposites. For example, when he says “you’re welcome” he actually means, “thank you.” When he says “baby seat” he actually means he wants to sit at a grown-up seat. When he says “black” he means “white,” and visa versa. For the longest time he said “uh-uh” to every.single.question even when he probably meant to say, “uh-huh!”. And when he screams, “LIKE IT!!!!”, what he’s really trying to say is that he doesn’t like it and wants one of his sisters to stop singing/talking/looking at him.
Repeating. This is what put the kibosh on my potty-training dreams. Right now Ammon repeats whatever you say as if he totally understands and is agreeing to what you’re explaining, even when he actually has no idea what you’re talking about and doesn’t agree at all. E.g.: “Ammon, do you want to stop playing here at the park and go home?'” Ammon: “Stop. Park. Go. Home.” Or “Ammon, do you see the pretty bird?” Ammon: “Pretty. bird.” Blank stare ahead. Can you imagine what potty training would be like? I can: “Ammon, do you need to go potty?” Ammon: “Need. go. potty.” And off we would go running to and from the potty all day long, world without end, amen. We need to make a little more progress in the life-comprehension stage before we attempt such a feat as potty training.
Nicknames. Ammon has given everyone a nickname, except for Abe and me. The nicknames are sticking. Mary is Mare, Lydia is Lyddie, Clarissa is Kessa, and Nana is (sometimes) Nina.
Food. When Ammon has a tantrum, I soothe him by reciting what he will eat at his next snack or meal. I am not joking. It works every time. He will literally stop screaming so that he can sputter, “toast, egg, water, meatball” in between hyperventilations. After about four food items we are usually in the clear and the tantrum is over.
Joy. Ammon so far is the most exuberant child I have ever birthed. [The exception might be Lydia at age 6. Up until this year she was a little bit of an emotional train wreck, but this year she is so happy it is almost problematic. Her happiness expresses itself in joyful shouts, stomps, and loudness all around. We are, nevertheless, very relieved to see she has turned this emotional corner.) Ammon’s default mode is joy, and most of the time (when he is not melting down over some two-year-old problem) his eyes literally sparkle with mischief, humor, and glee. He wants to do everything and try everything–especially when it comes to food! We can’t bring a food to the table without Ammon demanding some of it, even if he has some already on his plate. I guess he’s suspicious that we are withholding the good stuff, and he wants to make sure nothing yummy escapes his plate. When he’s not scaring me to death, Ammon makes me happy all day long. I love every inch of him, from his wide, fat feet to his sparkly hair. He is my pudgy little piece of joy.
Clarissa has been sick for several days, and I took her to the doctor today to make sure she wasn’t going to get pneumonia. So far she just has a little infection in her lungs, so the doctor told me to watch her and make sure she doesn’t suddenly get a high fever. In the meantime, I am dousing her nose with saline spray and suctioning out her snot.
She is really stealing my heart with how bravely she is handling this cold. It is a nasty one and half the time I fear she will choke on her mucus. Last night she did just that before vomiting twice. My poor baby. But I love her so much for being so sweet and soldiering through the suffering.
On Sunday evening we walked the girls around the neighborhood to their primary teachers so they could deliver their thank-you cards. When Mary was talking to Lydia’s teacher, Mary informed her that Monday was going to be the “best day every because Daddy is going to be home and is going to play all day with us!”
Abe had promised the girls to play with them because even though he’s been home all week, his quota was taking a lot of his time. The amazing thing is that he met his quota on the very last day of the year!! It felt like a miracle.
Anyway, on Monday Abe took the kids out to breakfast and then came home and played with them until the evening. He played puzzles, “Nobody Leaves the Room!”, held a dance party, and did other games with them. Then he turned around and switched gears to help me completely de-Christmasisfy the house and clean it top to bottom.
When we were done we celebrated by going to bed early so we could get up for Insanity. We skipped staying up until midnight so we could start the new year off at a bracing 5am with an Insanity work out. It’s actually really fun to do together.
This is a random picture that I think I forgot to post earlier. It’s not from Monday, but it’s cute, so here: