Another sick day and the LDS modesty debate

I woke up not feeling well, so for Mary’s morning nap I let Lydia watch Elmo for two hours while I curled up in bed reading and sleeping. For Mary’s afternoon nap, I shut Lydia in her room for quiet time and then returned to my own bed. Poor Lydia. I guess Mommy took the day off today. But I did spend all of Mary’s wake time feeding the girls, reading to the girls, playing piano with the girls, and cuddling the girls. I hope I never forget some of the terrific, long, snuggly hugs and vigorous “ugga mugga’s” Lydia gave me today (right before melting down when I announced I was heading to my bed during her quiet time).

I was also forty minutes late to school today because Abe and I spent too much time debating whether I should go to Instacare instead of school (I thought I had appendicitis, but turns out that’s on the other side) and then we picked up our ongoing Mormon modesty debate while I changed into my chef clothing. I would like to see the modesty issue reframed in terms of conspicuous consumption; that means more preaching about how the plight of the poor should influence our purchasing decisions and less direction on where hemlines should hit. There is way more scriptural precedent for this approach (in my opinion) than any other. Also, have you seen the pictures of the Philippines recently? I do not understand how disciples of Christ could purchase any piece of unnecessary clothing until those victims get food and water.

Abe, on the other hand, feels like modesty promotes virtue, and that current direction from Church leaders is exactly what we need to keep us all acting like team players. He thinks the women who vehemently reject these teachings are selfishly shrugging off social responsibility; at the same time he agrees that men are completely responsible for their thoughts and actions. His point is that disciples act more out of concern for others than for self, and we all can be disciples by helping each other in whatever ways we can.

At the end of the day, Abe and I both interpret modesty to be in issue of discipleship, even if our focus is different. I suppose when my girls are old enough to understand, I will teach them the following: our deportment should reflect our discipleship. Also, I will point them to the scriptures that connect inattentiveness to the poor with excessive consumption.

One more consumption aside: I have been browsing real estate in Orem and Provo (related to Abe’s exciting upcoming news), and I just have to say how disgusting I think McMansions are. Little Parisian cafe spaces adjoined to movie theaters belong in public, not in one’s basement. I know I’m being judgmental (maybe because I’m sick and grouchy?), but there comes a point when extra space crosses the line from pleasant to grotesque.

I’m also probably hypocritical in my judgment, because ideally I would like a house big enough for two to three grand pianos (for duo piano music and so that my children can practice at the same time), enough rooms so my kids (I think I eventually want 4-6) can have their own personal spaces, and enough space for my mom and any visitors who want to come. Also, acres of vegetable and flower gardens would be a plus. That sounds like at least a mini-McMansion to me, so why don’t I stop typing before my hypocrisy becomes any more apparent.

Here are a series of pictures where Lydia is examining and “playing” the piano. I’m sorry, but I just can not get over her beautiful technique. I can barely wait until we start official lessons.IMG_5132 IMG_5130 IMG_5128 IMG_5127And then two of Mary looking cute, as always:

IMG_5134 IMG_5135

categories

So I just now got around to adding categories to my blog. I’m hoping I can cut down on the boring cataloging of daily activities and instead just check boxes. It feels so exciting! I basically created a to-do list with stuff I normally do, and when I check off those boxes, I’ll feel like I accomplished stuff during the day. When I first started this exercise five minutes ago, I was sure I had done nothing today. But holy cow, nothing feels better than making a to-do list of stuff you’ve already done; I feel like a rock star, even though I spent most of the day in bed!!

But I guess this day did have some activity in it. Anique, one of the ladies I visit teach, had a hair appointment this morning and needed a last-minute babysitter, so I watched her daughter for a couple hours. During that time, I had a wonderful spiritual experience. First of all, I was nervous about babysitting since her daughter is about the same age as Mary, and I could not quite visualize how things would play out when I had two crying babies on my hands. (How do mothers of multiples do it?!) However, I prayed hard that God would help me figure out how to get Fleur to sleep (she was yawning and obviously exhausted, and the only way she goes to sleep normally is through nursing–can’t do that–or a ride in the stroller–another non-option), and then I put her in her car seat and rocked her. Within two minutes, the sweet thing was asleep, and I felt like God had directly answered my prayer–especially since minutes later, Mary woke up from her nap. Whew! It felt like a miracle, because until that point, Fleur made it abundantly clear that she preferred her mommy, and all attempts at entertainment were a no-go.

When Anique returned from her hair appointment, we visited until Fleur woke up. She wanted to see the house, so I gave her a quick tour. When we got to my closet, she observed that I have an extremely limited wardrobe. (This fact only bothers me when I get down to a two-shirt rotation, which, since my wardrobe is that limited, happens more often than you’d think.) BUT THEN! Then sweet Anique went on to offer me a bunch of her clothes! Her brother-in-law owns a boutique full of bohemian style clothing, which just happens to be right up my alley. Weather permitting, I would wear hippie skirts every day if I only had enough in the rotation. Comfy, colorful, and the same elastic waistband I get in pj’s, yoga pants, and–it just so happens–my chef pants. Is life a bowl of cherries or what?

Another great thing that happened today: Our piano got tuned! I love our piano tuner. He is a very sweet older gentleman who served a mission in the Philippines and loves Filipinos. Ever since he found out I am half Filipino, He ascribes any display of good behavior on my part to the fact that I am half Filipino. It is very funny and endearing.

After a morning full of such excitement, Abe came home early since he had to leave town tonight. When he came home, I went straight to bed because I could feel myself getting sicker every hour. Right now I have a pretty sore throat, and I’m sure if I don’t wrap up soon and go to bed, it will get worse. I put the kids down half an hour early with the hopes that more sleep for them would translate into more sleep for me.

I don't know if it's inappropriate to post pictures of my toddler on the potty, but I think she is SO cute when she goes. She sits there swinging her legs and singing to herself.
I don’t know if it’s inappropriate to post pictures of my toddler on the potty, but I think she is SO cute when she goes. She sits there swinging her legs and singing to herself.
These two pics were from a couple days ago and I just forgot to post them then. I can't believe I forgot to post them since I LOVE the fact that Lydia wears elf slippers around the house.
These two pics were from a couple days ago and I just forgot to post them then. I can’t believe I forgot to post them since I love the fact that Lydia wears elf slippers around the house.

 

I accidentally switched the camera button to "manual" instead of "auto," and for most of the day I thought my camera was broken. I really need to read the manual. Anyway, Abe took this picture when he was trying to figure out what was wrong with my camera.
I accidentally switched the camera button to “manual” instead of “auto,” and for most of the day I thought my camera was broken. I really need to read the manual. Anyway, Abe took this picture when he was trying to figure out what was wrong with my camera.
Mary and I were bonding.
Mary and I were bonding.
And then Mary crawled up and down the stairs for half an hour while Abe and I made sure she didn't fall.
And then Mary crawled up and down the stairs for half an hour while Abe and I made sure she didn’t fall.
She learned this "trick" from Lydia.
She learned this “trick” from Lydia.
She crawled until she exhausted herself. For twenty minutes it was all smiles and giggles, and then suddenly she was a sobbing mess devoid of any extra energy.
She crawled until she exhausted herself. For twenty minutes it was all smiles and giggles, and then suddenly she was a sobbing mess devoid of any extra energy.

Preschool and cooking school

I think I’m getting sick, so I’ll make it short.

This morning I ran, showered and read before the girls woke up. Lydia had a nightmare at 6am, and so that was my wake-up call. Then I fed the girls breakfast and got them ready for preschool.

Paige, the host mom, was so creative today. She had the kids coloring under the table, navigating string obstacle courses, and playing parachute.
Paige, the host mom, was so creative today. She had the kids coloring under the table, navigating string obstacle courses, and playing parachute.
Getting ready for the obstacle course...
Getting ready for the obstacle course…
Crawling through the strings!
Crawling through the strings!

After preschool, their naps were all messed up, but I did get one hour of practice in before Mary woke up. Then I fed them both several times and played the piano with them.

Then it was time for cooking school. I enjoyed it, and I’ve made a responsible friend to help me through it! Her name is Jessica, and she reminds me so strongly of my friend, Jean, who helped me through grad school. I feel blessed.

Play date and sweet daughters

This morning I blitz cleaned the house, read to Mary, and practiced the piano before our friends, Fallon, Audrey and Eli, showed up for our morning play date. During the play date, Lydia announced she was going to water color and then retired to the bathroom, not to be seen again until after the “play date” was over. So much for that attempt at socialization.

But I had fun socializing, which, let’s be honest here, is the real purpose of any play date. In fact, I feel like I’ve had so many activities centered around my needs lately that my guilt is starting to make me into a more patient mom. I’m so happy about this! Knowing that my kids are giving me space to do what makes me happy helps me feel much, much more willing to be patient with them. It’s about time, because I was about to throw in the towel in the self-improvement department.

During the girls’ afternoon quiet time, I squeezed in the homework for my purchasing class. Speaking of which, I should probably hurry up and post pictures so I can go and do the readings too.

Also, Abe had a great day today. I have to stay vague for the next while, but let’s just say today was exciting, and I am happy for my husband.

Eli at our play date. He is about four months younger than Mary, but he could (Abe always says) eat her for dinner. She's 17 lbs and he's 24. Can you even get over his cheeks? I LOVE them. And I laugh every time I see him next to Fallon, who is teeny tiny--and yet has this sweet, enormous baby.
Eli at our play date. He is about four months younger than Mary, but he could (Abe says) eat her for dinner. She’s 17 lbs and he’s 24. Can you even get over his cheeks? I LOVE them. And I laugh every time I see him next to Fallon, who is teeny tiny–and yet has this sweet, enormous baby.

After the play date, Mary walked around with the phone for a while. That’s a no-no, but she’s so cute with it that I had trouble taking it away from her.

IMG_5079 IMG_5073Lydia has become incredibly affectionate in the past couple months. The other day Abe looked at me and asked, “Did you ever imagine that the train wreck that was our daughter six months ago could morph into this sweet child?” I just shook my head. She still has her melt downs, but she tells us she loves us all the time, and she comes up to us and gives us hugs all day long. It is the sweetest. Here she is hugging Mary in the bath.

IMG_5085 IMG_5082And now time for homework…

Veteran’s Day

Abe informed me it was Veteran’s Day (I never know these things), and that the weather was supposed to be gorgeous today (never know those things either). He then proceeded to suggest that I take the kids on a walk to the veteren’s section of the cemetery and tell them about what it means to be a veteran.

What a brilliant idea.

And so, after a morning of naps, meals, piano practice, and one unsuccessful attempt to extract massive amounts of earwax from Lydia’s ear, I finally (think a 3pm kind of finally) got the kids loaded in the jogger and ready to go. On the way to the cemetary, we passed many flags, and I did manage to talk to the kids about the flag before Lydia passed out.

On the way to the veteran's section, Lydia fell asleep.
On the way to the veteran’s section, Lydia fell asleep.
Mary was whimpering because she was stuck like this. I fixed her after taking this picture, and she really hollered then. (She was expecting me to let her get out an walk, and when that didn't happen, she broke the peaceful silence of the cemetery.)
Mary was whimpering because she was stuck like this. I fixed her after taking this picture, and she really hollered then. (She was expecting me to let her get out and walk, and when that didn’t happen, she broke the peaceful silence of the cemetery.)
When we got to the veteran's section, Mary quieted down. It was a beautiful experience to stand there and reflect on the gruesome sacrifices brave people have made so that I can live a free and happy life.
When we got to the veteran’s section, Mary quieted down. It was a beautiful experience to stand there and reflect on the sacrifices brave people have made so that I can live a free and happy life.
I wandered around and tried to imagine the lives and deaths of the people in this section. I was very happy to find this Jewish man from Utah, and I would love to learn more about him. There aren't a lot of Jews here, and so I figure his story must be intriguing. (Although there are enough Jews that there is a Jewish Community Center, and, fingers crossed, that is where we hope to enroll Lydia in preschool for next year.)
I wandered around praying for the people buried here and their descendents. I also tried to imagine the lives and deaths of the people in this section. I was very happy to find this Jewish man from Utah, and I would love to learn more about him. There aren’t a lot of Jews here, and so I figure his story must be intriguing. (Although there are enough Jews that there is a Jewish Community Center, and, fingers crossed, that is where we hope to enroll Lydia in preschool for next year.)
A beautiful resting place. As I left, a man in army band attire drove up, got up, and played a trumpet salute (taps, maybe? I don't know my army songs.) to the veterans. It was hauntingly beautiful, and I felt lucky to have been the only awake and living soul to hear his beautiful music.
A beautiful resting place. As I left, a man in army band attire drove up, got out, and played a trumpet salute (Taps, maybe? I don’t know my army songs) to the veterans. It was ethereal.
By the time I got back home, the girls were fast asleep, so I went around photographing things that bring me joy. This tree, as I have mentioned before, is one such thing.
By the time I got back home, the girls were fast asleep, so I went around photographing things that bring me joy. This tree, as I have mentioned before, is one such thing.
This magnificent feathery grass plant is another.
This magnificent feathery grass plant is another.
These cattails are another simply because their name endears them to Lydia, who continues to pray that her missing cat will come back to her. She stroked these cattails and called them "so cute!" the other day.
These cattails are another simply because their name endears them to Lydia, who continues to pray that her missing stuffed cat will come back to her. She stroked these cattails and called them “so cute!” the other day.
When the girls woke up, I let them play outside for a bit. Can you tell I didn't bother brushing anyone's hair (including my own) today? Because I didn't.
When the girls woke up, I let them play outside for a bit. Can you tell I didn’t bother brushing anyone’s hair (including my own) today? Because I didn’t.
Experimenting with the person icon on my camera. I assume that means the camera will take better shots of people if it's turned to that icon, but I can't really tell.
Experimenting with the person icon on my camera. I assume that means the camera will take better shots of people if it’s turned to that icon, but I can’t really tell.
Lydia showing me the mint she picked.
Lydia showing me the mint she picked.
She gave some to Mary.
She was telling Mary where the jack-o-lanterns are. They are not where she is pointing.

Then we went to Tony Caputo’s for a pound and a half of Gorgonzola. Since apples and pears abound right now, I go through a LOT of cheese. Also, we had Gorgonzola gnocchi tonight–accompanied by a very fancy can of green beans. I found out yesterday that I love canned green beans!!

I got the girls Happy Hippos at Tony Caputo's. Mary is in a daze from all of the chocolate.
I got the girls Happy Hippos at Tony Caputo’s. Mary is in a daze from all of the chocolate.
Lydia begged to eat hers in the car, so she was a little jealous when Mary got to eat hers at home.
Lydia begged to eat hers in the car, so she was a little jealous when Mary got to eat hers at home.

After dinner, I cleaned the kitchen and practiced for another hour while Abe bathed the girls. Then we had FHE, wherin I taught a lesson on Veteran’s Day, and Abe had us all write letters of appreciation to three veterans (two of them are his grandpas, and the other is the husband of our friend, Jill).

And now I need to do some homework for my purchasing class. I am so excited to have homework! (And also a little dismayed…it’s already late, and if I don’t get it done tonight, there’s almost zero chance of getting it done tomorrow. Abe will be gone at night and we have a play date in the morning.)

Sunday and friends

I came away from church with one resolution: I am going to read a conference talk a day between now and Dec 18. Our Relief Society teacher gave a lesson on putting God above worldliness today, and she suggested that exercise as a way to take an inner inventory and see how our priorities play out in our daily lives. A good challenge, I think.

After church we came home and ate lunch.

Lydia wanted to sit in Abe's chair, so he sat in hers.
Lydia wanted to sit in Abe’s chair, so he sat in hers.

Then  we napped for over an hour. I was so deep asleep that I dreamed Mary could talk! I was having so much fun conversing with her that I was doubly sad when I woke up. But the good news is that I woke up to the phone ringing; our friends Fallon and Morgan invited us over for dessert after dinner. Of course, we never turn down dessert.

With a couple hours yet to kill, we took the kids on a walk to the park.

Lydia wanted me to take a picture of her in her poofy coat. It wasn't that cold out, but she loves her coat.
Lydia wanted me to take a picture of her in her poofy coat. It wasn’t that cold out, but she loves her coat.
These trees have the most beautiful leaves. They're silver and green in the summer, and in the fall, they stay on the trees a long time and make a beautiful sound. We stopped and listened for a while to the percussive rolls the leaves made from  shaking in the wind. Also, please not the moon.
These trees have the most beautiful leaves. They’re silver and green in the summer, and in the fall, they stay on the trees a long time and make a beautiful sound. We stopped and listened for a while to the percussive rolls the leaves made from shaking in the wind. Also, please not the moon.
Lydia fell asleep in the jogger. She used to tuck herself in during quiet time, but now she doesn't do that as often. She's still tired, though, so if you put her in a car seat or stroller she goes out like a light.
Lydia fell asleep in the jogger. She used to tuck herself in during quiet time, but now she doesn’t do that as often. She’s still tired, though, so if you put her in a car seat or stroller she goes out like a light.
Since Lydia was asleep, Mary got all of our attention at the park. She loves the slide and loves going down upside down.
Since Lydia was asleep, Mary got all of our attention at the park. She loves the slide and loves going down upside down.
Walking around.
Walking around.
Wheeeee!
Wheeeee!
Again, again!
Again, again!
Climbing up the stairs.
Climbing up the stairs.
Going down the slide.
Going down the slide.
In the meantime, Lydia face planted on the blanket during her sleep.
In the meantime, Lydia face planted on the blanket during her sleep.

Then we returned home and ate a very sub standard dinner. I had never had spaghetti sauce from a can (not bottle) before, much less canned spaghetti sauce that was almost a year past its expiration date. It tasted like the can. Oh, well. It’s Sunday, and I didn’t want to cook, so I headed down to the basement and hunted down some cans to do the work for me. At least I didn’t have to chop up anything today–and, more importantly, clean-up was quite minimal.

Lydia ate all of her food though. We made a big deal about it and took a picture in front of Mary, in the hopes that Mary will learn what a good thing it is to eat your food. As it stands now, Mary just cries and spits out most of the food we try to feed her.
Lydia ate all of her food though. We made a big deal about it and took a picture in front of Mary, in the hopes that Mary will learn what a good thing it is to eat your food. As it stands now, Mary just cries and spits out most of the food we try to feed her.

Then we headed over to the Simmons’ house for dessert. We had so much fun that we stayed well past Lydia and Mary’s bedtime. We loved chatting with them; Morgan is a pilot, and they had some pretty funny stories about flying stand-by. On their honeymoon, they missed five flights trying to get to their cruise, and finally, they took a circuitous route and caught up with their cruise two days late.

Abe could not get over that story and has been talking about it ever since. “Can you imagine?!” he asked me. “If that had been us, you would have been SO mad and I would have been having panic attacks!” That’s probably true. But hey! It would be a honeymoon! We still haven’t gone on one…maybe when things slow down in ten years? I hope, I hope!

Super Saturday

Today I dragged myself out of bed to run and shower before dashing out with Lydia to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. The minute we got back from our errands, I ran inside for my crock pot and a box for the food drive, loaded the car, and took off for church. Today was “Super Saturday,” which is the day women in the Relief Society get together to do service projects, learn new skills, and eat lunch.

While I was quilting and learning quick-bread tips, Abe was spending quality time with his dad and the girls. Because today was a gorgeous day, they spent hours walking around outside, and when I came home, Abe was just about to take the girls on another walk to one of our neighbor’s play sets. I vacillated between joining them and practicing the piano, but then I thought that if I actually do the May competition, I need to get cracking. So I stayed behind and looked at the pretty day through the window.

Because I am dying to go upstairs and read my scriptures and more of The Paris Wife, here are the pictures from today:

Lydia picked every item of clothing she wore today. Normally I reserve the right to veto her outfit selections, but today I just thought, "why not?" ...and she turned out just fine!
Lydia picked every item of clothing she wore today. Normally I reserve the right to veto her outfit selections, but today I just thought, “why not?” …and she turned out just fine!
This is how piano practice often goes.
This is how piano “practice” often goes.
Karin and Jay came over for a late birthday celebration with Mary.
Karin and Jay came over for a late birthday celebration with Mary. Lydia helped Mary open one of her presents, and Abe was trying to get her to smile for the camera while she did so. This grimace was the best she could manage.
Mary loved her new presents.
Mary loved her new presents.
She loves the monkeys in this book.
She loves the monkeys in this book.
Once again, we had a to-die-for sunset. This photo does not begin to do it justice, but I took it just the same.
Once again, we had a to-die-for sunset. This photo does not begin to do it justice, but I took it just the same.
The girls watching the sunset.
The girls watching the sunset.

busy day, late night

It feels like so much happened in one short day! First I ran on the treadmill and hurried to take a shower before Abe left for work. Then I squeezed in an hour and a half of piano practice, after which we had a wonderful play date with our friends, the Skardas. I was so absorbed in my conversation with Carrie that I completely forgot to take a picture of the kids. That and Lydia declared she was hungry, and her tone implied ominous things to come if we didn’t comply with her wishes and feed her lunch right then and there. So I was a bit distracted trying to cook up lunch, feed the kids, and talk with Carrie…and now all that’s left is this sad little paragraph to document a lovely morning.

After Carrie left, I practiced some more and put the girls down for quiet time and naps. Mary is sleeping for shorter and shorter amounts of time, so I had to work really fast to get through my online class assignments, and I wasn’t even finished before Mary woke up screaming. After the girls woke up, I fed them half a dozen times, made dinner, and then dashed to my first on-campus class when Abe got home.

My class is about purchasing, and even though the math is simple, numbers make me nervous and sweaty, and I sometimes feel like I am having a legitimate allergic reaction in their presence. So that was kind of scary and hard, but the class is small (6 people) and everyone seems friendly. I was the only person who did not know I was supposed to get and wear my chef whites to class, but thankfully no one commented. When I realized I’d neglected this, I felt so discouraged; I’ve always been really spacey about details like that, and if I don’t make a friend in class asap to help me navigate logistics, I am toast.

Then I came home and knocked out the next two weeks of work for my online class. Tomorrow I have to be at church all day because I am on the Relief Society committee, and they’re putting on their bi-annual “Super Saturday” of workshops and quilting for humanitarian aid. I realized half an hour ago that I promised to bring a crock pot of soup, and I am definitely not prepared to do that. So I’ll post these pictures quickly and get to bed so that I can throw some soup together before 10am tomorrow.

The following three pictures are of the girls while I practiced piano. Obviously, I stopped practicing to take these pictures. They were just so cute!

IMG_4958 IMG_4955 IMG_4952

Lydia helping me make dinner. I was about to tell her to stand on the other side of the room because I had to cut things, but she proposed that she be my helper and place the potatoes on the cutting board. She then promised to keep her hands safely at her side while I cut.
Lydia helping me make dinner. I was about to tell her to stand on the other side of the room because I had to cut things, but she proposed that she be my helper and place the potatoes on the cutting board. She then promised to keep her hands safely at her side while I cut.
Mary looking unhappy at meal time. This is everyone's least favorite time of day. She even despises Trader Joe's cat cookies--her old favorite. I am growing more desperate by the day.
Mary looking unhappy at meal time. This is everyone’s least favorite time of day. She even despises Trader Joe’s cat cookies–her old favorite. I am growing more desperate by the day.
Going to school with my new backpack. Abe grabbed a camera to commemorate the moment right before I ran for my car.
Going to school with my new backpack. Abe grabbed a camera to commemorate the moment right before I ran for my car.

another day inside

I was up most of last night with excitement. I couldn’t believe that I am living so many dreams simultaneously!¬† I was tossing and turning until it was almost time to get up…and then I spent the rest of the day paying my dues. Currently, I have a throbbing headache (going on hour twelve) and almost skipped blogging because I just want to go to bed.

But Grandma, I am blogging for you! Mom told me that you read this on your iPad every day, and I want you to have new material tomorrow, so here’s how the day went:

I practiced piano for hours while the kids tore up the living room. I finally figured out a barricade for the stairs, so now the kids play next to me while I practice. Half the time they clamber to get on my lap and “play” the piano themselves, so it’s a little inefficient in terms of practice–but super efficient in transmitting a desire to play the piano. (That transmission is one of my chief goals in life, after all.)

Around 2pm I finally decided to change out of my pj’s (into yoga pants–a very big upgrade!)…and climb back into bed. Mary was taking her very short second nap, so I squeezed in some more of The Paris Wife. It’s a novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, and it’s been a very fun read. The author uses dialogue to terrific effect; I feel like I’m coming to a new understanding of just how fresh the 1920’s were for those who lived then. The closest comparison I can think of is the 1960’s…it was a time full of innovation, art, creativity, rule-breaking, and slang. But the slang seems to encapsulate it all in a wonderfully revealing way.

I also listened to a TON of piano recordings throughout the day, and read a little bit about Chopin’s opinion on wrist movement: For Chopin, the wrist was a vehicle to communicate respiration at the piano. I’m certainly not going to compete with a nocturne, but I did replay the nocturne op.9 no.1 a ton of times with that direction in mind. It was so fun!

And then, of course, we had to have a go at some of the library books we checked out yesterday. I played with the girls and read to them, and then toted them downstairs for a snack. While they were eating, I busied myself making dinner, and my dull knife slipped and sliced open my middle finger on my left hand! I was so thankful the cut wasn’t worse, and for the rest of the evening I just practiced with my right hand.

Here are the pictures I took during the day:

Even though I was half dead with exhaustion, I dragged myself out of bed to take a picture of the sunrise. Abe pointed it out and I just couldn't believe the intensity of the pink sky...it didn't come through as much in the picture, but it was still a great start to the day.
Even though I was half dead with exhaustion, I dragged myself out of bed to take a picture of the sunrise. Abe pointed it out and I just couldn’t believe the intensity of the pink sky…it didn’t come through as much in the picture, but it was still a great start to the day.
Lydia and I played catch a little. Actually, I called it off right after this shot, and I convinced Lydia that what she really wanted to be doing was singing Primary songs and playing the piano with me. We proceeded to do that for the next hour. Oh, and she can tap rhythms now! Maybe just waiting a couple months helped, but getting her to tap rhythms did not end in the Apocalypse, as it did when we tried this exercise approximately six weeks ago.
Lydia and I played catch a little. Actually, I called it off right after this shot, and I convinced Lydia that what she really wanted to be doing was singing Primary songs and playing the piano with me. We proceeded to do that for the next hour. Oh, and she can tap rhythms now! Maybe just waiting a couple months helped, but getting her to tap rhythms did not end in the Apocalypse, as it did when we tried this exercise approximately six weeks ago.
Mary really LOVES books with textures.
Mary really LOVES books with textures.
Here is Lydia trying to convince Mary that Mary should play with her. Mary thinks she would rather be reading her book.
Here is Lydia trying to convince Mary that Mary should play with her. Mary thinks she would rather be reading her book.
My barricade. I also have pictures of Mary trying to figure out a way over this, but so far she has been unsuccessful in her attempts.
My barricade. I also have pictures of Mary trying to figure out a way over this, but so far she has been unsuccessful in her attempts.

school day

Today was the very first day in my life where I forgot to eat a meal. I’ve heard people (like my husband) talk about having forgotten to eat, but I personally have never experienced such a phenomenon…until today! I woke up excited to go to cooking school, and by the time I’d read scriptures, run and showered, it was time to go. I just barely had enough time to hunt down my wallet and run out the door. On the way to school, I realized what a momentous day this was; not only is it the first day of my new program, but it’s also the very first day I’ve forgotten to eat breakfast. Wow.

During orientation, I felt nervous, excited, and anxious to get learning. But since it was just orientation, I mainly got a good talking-to from a variety of directors on the importance of going to class and paying my bills.

I did, however, like the director of the culinary program. She happened to go to Kendell College, which (at the time she attended) was located in Evanston, Illinois–my hometown! I felt a kinship over that.

While I was listening to the financial aid director explain the difference between grants and loans, Abe was home teaching preschool to Lydia’s little co-op. He had a lot of fun, and the house was in surprisingly good shape (considering what had just happened) when I returned.

When I got back, I grabbed a piece of challah and then loaded the girls into the car for Mary’s doctor appointment. Today was her year appointment, so she had to get seven shots. Poor little thing. She charmed everyone by being adorable and easy going…until they jammed her little legs full of needles. After that, she was so sad and tired that she napped at home for the next four hours (she’d skipped her morning nap on account of preschool).

During two of those hours, Lydia played imaginary games with her animals in her room while I practiced the piano. I don’t know if I’ve lost my mind to think I can raise two kids, go to cooking school, and enter a piano competition, but the practicing is soooooo fun. Besides, I am certainly NOT entering the competition to win or even medal; please note previous winners have full-blown international performing careers on the side of their primary occupations. No, I am entering this with the mindset of someone running a marathon; I assume most people consider it a victory simply to finish the race, and I feel the same. If I get my pieces up to a point where I can compete with them, that will be my victory.

With that–and a promise I’d made earlier to Lydia–in mind, after dinner, I drove the girls to the main library. There I checked out a ton of CD’s with various artists playing the pieces I intend to compete with, and then we went down to the children’s section for more books.

By the time we got back home, Lydia was so sound asleep that I just put her straight to bed. Mary was so tired that I skipped her bath too and just read to her until her bedtime. She loves books with textures on the pages, and she can turn pages and feel the different textures for indefinite amounts of time. She snuggled, read, and snuggled some more. What a love.

And then I folded laundry and cleaned the house for the next hour. All that drudgery was eased by the joy of listening to the CD’s I got from the library.

And now I’m going to get a start on The Paris Wife. I didn’t take a single picture today, so I’m done with blogging much earlier than normal. Wow, I have so much time left before bed…maybe I should skip the pictures more often!