Wednesday, June 24, 2015

it's been said

I've been storing these up for quite some time. And I'm throwing in some more random photos from the past few months as well. Get excited. Ready. Set. Go.

The dollhouse had moved upstairs during the Christmas season
(to make room for Christmasy things). When I brought it
back down, it was like a brand new toy all over again.

{just after Annabelle wakes up}
Belle, stretching: Yes!
Me: Did you have a good dream?
Belle, grinning: Yes. Carson was in it. {grins some more}
{Carson is a little friend of the boy sort she made in Hawaii.}
{Jess starts doing the dishes}
Belle: What are you doing?!
Jess: Doing the dishes...
Belle: Why? You never do the dishes!
Lou: This costume ouches me!
Lou: Stop doing my hair! It's ouching me! STOP IT!
{during family night, with the assistance of this book, highly recommend}
Me: And who were the older brothers?
Belle: Laman and Lemuel!
Lou: You mean dem cranky babies?!

Just doing some sudoku. Seriously.

Belle: Boys are different than girls. Girls do dishes and boys don't.
Belle: I'm so tired! I'm more tireder than a big ox!
Belle: row-teen = routine (in tumbling)
{after Lou gets half her mouth numbed for two cavities}
Lou: Mom. I hungry.
Me: How about some yogurt?
Lou: How about a cupcake.
Me: You can't really chew...I think a yog...
Lou: Mom! I can handle it!
{by the way, I went home and ate Cheetos directly after having 
my wisdom teeth's possible her stubborn streak comes from me...}
Lou: I smell a good sound.
{she's advanced - don't hate}
{after getting a new car seat}
Lou: When can we go in the car so I can be in my new car seat again?

Pretty sure she needs glasses. Too cute.

Lou: Where's my black bag?
Me: What black bag?
Lou: That black bag that has all my crap in it...
{describing a scene Big Hero 6}
Lou: And den the guy say, "You take everything from me! I take everything from you!"
Me: Do you think it made him feel better to be mean and yell?
Lou {thinks for a few seconds}: Mom. They just needed to share their feelings, huh.
{while watching Annabelle's tumbling class, with a dozen parents 
in earshot, in a particularly quiet moment, and totally out of the blue}
Lou: Mom? I'm giving up on you.
{Jess had been busy cleaning his side of the room for a few days. 
Belle walked in looking for something...}
Belle: Daddy, where are the special papers I draw for you...{looks around} 
Daddy! Wow! You're learning how to clean!
{I'm. Still. Laughing.}
{in the car, after a road trip}
Belle: Mom, I see Daddy's book between your seat!
Me: What book?
Belle: You know, his diabolical one!
{sudoku - and we'd been complaining about a particularly bad diabolical one, hahahaha}

On her first field trip to the zoo. Her first bus ride ever. Not at all excited.

Me: If you can't clean up these toys, I'll put them in a bag and hide them for a week.
Lou: Well...I'll just sneak them out.
{Lou wakes me up from a first trimester nap}
Lou: Mom! You need to wake up! We don't have a mommy or a daddy!
Me: Hey Lou, who do you love?
Lou: Ugh! I tired of you asking me dat! I not love anybody!
Me: Oh, that's super sad. You don't love anyone?
Lou: Ugggghhh. Fine. I love dad. But dat is all I love.
{after bonking}
Lou: I need to put a bandaid on my soul.
{whilst staring at my dying basil plant}
Annabelle: Mom, that's not looking very good. Are you watering it at all?
{ohmygosh she's her father}

It's like there's a tiny bit of baby holding on it that sleeping face.

{during dinner, which is particularly difficult for her to sit through}
Lou: I really wanna dance. So I am.
{stands up and starts dancing around the kitchen}
Belle: I gotta go poop! {goes running}
Lou: Good luck sugar cake!
{while walking into church}
Lou: Wait Daddy! I wanna be attached to you!
{she wanted to hold his hand}
Belle: Mom, is "stupid" the S word?
Me: I wish.
Belle: Hey Mom, remember Dad's old phone? It was a floppy phone.

{after dressing herself in an all pink ensemble, above}
Belle: Like my outfit? You can get it at pink dot com.
Belle: I think I want some chicken pon pon.
Me: But you didn't eat any last night? Are you sure?
Belle: Well, I was sick last night so maybe I wasn't hungry.
Me: Okay, I'll get you a few pieces to try.
Belle: I think it's because last night I drunk.
{I literally spewed what I was drinking.}
Belle: I want to do a craft Mom. Can I go on the computer and type in C-R-A-F-T? 
Will the computer know what I'm talking about?
Me, to Jess: So if you go to Wheeler Farm at 5 p.m., you can milk the cows.
Belle: Gross! I am not touching those gutters!
{in Yellowstone}
Lou: Look at the water fottle! 
{water fall, but combined with water bottle I would guess}

Snapped just as she was waking up. Pretty girl.

Me: What's your favorite thing about Yellowstone?
Lou: Bison!
Belle: The hotel!
Me: Let's go see a geyser!
Belle: No thanks. I'll just stay here and color.
{and she legitimately would have}
{just after waking up one morning in Yellowstone}
Lou: You know what's a good idea? This is a good idea.
Belle: What?
Lou, whispering: PIZZA!
{when is pizza not a good idea?}
{during her class at church, during which we were discussing feelings}
Me: Lou, have you ever felt scared? What scares you?
Lou, solemnly: When I see ghosts.
{seriously child?}
{after playing play dough - Lou starts cleaning up and Belle runs away}
Me: Thanks for cleaning up Lou!
Belle, from another room: Sorry! Well...maybe I'm not!
{but at least you're honest!}
Belle: I want a tiny pig for a pet! But when it gets big, we can just give it back...or delete it.

She was so proud that she did this by herself. Belly upside down.
Arms and legs swapped. You better believe I saved it.

Monday, June 15, 2015

half baked

I was a barely four weeks pregnant. I was so early pregnant that most people in my shoes wouldn't have even bothered to take a test yet. But I had a feeling. The whole month, I knew. And so even though I was a few days early, I took the test. There it was. That + I'd waited for for two years. Barely four weeks pregnant. A poppyseed, the Google told me. That was the size of our baby.

Lou had a dentist appointment a few days later, and for some reason I thought to ask. I had to talk in code because Annabelle will pick up on any conversation nowadays. "So, if I'm like super early...with the laughing gas a problem for me?" They said that it could be, and to be safe, I should probably leave the room. 

My heart got panicky and I looked at the girls in turn, mentally calculating how to make this work. This was Lou's second visit, and the first one hadn't gone well - she raged and fought and it was almost comical. But at the moment, she was super calm on her kid cocktail drug, so I told her I'd be right back and began to silently pray that this visit would go better than the last. Then Annabelle piped up, "Mom, I'll stay here." My eyes stung. I told her that would be wonderful, and would she sit right here by Lou and hold her hand? "Sure Mom."

I sat outside of the room, down the hall, listening, sending text messages to Jess in California, telling him to pray for our babies taking on the world one cavity at a time - alone - fighting tears and praying that Lou wouldn't come undone. As I sat and I listened, I didn't hear anything but giggles and the dentist's sing songy "Sweetheart don't move your tongue" and "Silly sister!" and "What is that Gru doing?!" and so on. And then Belle came bounding out - "It's done! You can come in Mom." They hadn't had to numb her, and our dentist is a master of speed and fillings, so it took all of seven minutes. Basically it was a miracle.

I think it was in that moment where I had to let go of my babies, let them be big, for the sake of another whose heart hadn't even started beating yet, but whom I believed in with all my heart, that I knew adding one more to this already perfect unit of four was going to be okay. Already they were making room for the sibling they didn't even know had started it's way earthward. Already they were taking care of each other while Mommy took care of the baby.

And now this poppyseed of mine is kicking and fluttering and the miracle of it all is sometimes overwhelming. God's timing is maybe the most magical thing I've ever been a part of. It's brutal. It's so hard to be human and not understand. But I know that it's real and that God's hand in our lives is more present than we can possibly imagine. And that his plan is not only a good one but the best one. I waited for this baby much longer than I anticipated; but even now, I can see that this baby is coming exactly when we needed it to. And although it's not what I planned at all, it seems to be pretty perfect.

P.S. We had our twenty week ultrasound today. We took the big sisters - Annabelle was able to pick out body parts and squeal at the cute baby and Lou basically made noise and touched all the things she wasn't supposed to touch. So all in all, a success.
P.P.S. As with the girls, this baby's gender will remain unknown until it makes its official entrance. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

kindergarten complete

You may remember that we all thought kindergarten was sort of the pits in the beginning. It was the beginning of the end. The end of an era of babies at home, safe from mean kids and naughty words. I really wasn't excited at all for it. 

But I've spent the better part of the last week trying to not cry about the fact that it's over. (Truth: I've cried about it. Thank you pregnant hormones.) We got really really lucky this year, and Annabelle had not only the most wonderful kindergarten teacher in the world (Mrs. Heldt), but her classmates turned out to be pretty great too. Academically she soared, but more important to me, she learned about herself - how to navigate sticky social situations, how to remember that at the end of the day, you go home, and you're safe there. She made friends, she learned to speak up. She had parties and field trips. She had to say sorry and make things right. She made projects upon projects, spending most of her free work time at the art station (sometimes she veered to the math or reading station). She had the best year. When she went to bed tonight, she could barely make it through her prayer before the tears started squeaking their way out. She asked as she sobbed why she couldn't keep going to school. "If Daddy gets to go to work every day and forever, why can't I go to school every day and forever?" 

Next year, Annabelle will be doing a dual immersion program. For half the day she'll spend her time in a regular first grade class. For the other half, she'll spend it with a French-speaking only teacher. It will be a huge adjustment - full day school, plus half the day in a language she doesn't (yet!) understand. But after this lovely year we've had, I just have to believe it will all work out. I'm sure I'll cry when she starts first grade too, and I'm sure she'll cry for the first week(s) of first grade. But then I'm also quite sure that we'll all cry when it's over, just like we are now.

Watching my babies grow up is the most perfect combination of pride and pain. How grateful I am that this first year of growing was so perfectly lovely. Kindergarten, thank you. You weren't half that bad, after all.

And now for some side by sides. The left photo is the first day of school, the right is the last. Some of my favorite things of note:

1. Her hair is darker and shorter.
2. Her smile is bigger and brighter (her dark teeth turned white again, phew).
3. Her backpack is so well-loved - scuffed a bit, zipper broken. She really wants to use it for first grade too.
4. She and that sister are just as goofy as they were all those months ago. I'm so glad. :)
5. And her eyes are still squinty and smiley. I love those squinty smiley eyes on my girls.

Congratulations baby. You did it.

Monday, June 1, 2015


Tap, tap. Is this thing on?

I really wasn't kidding when I said I'd rather nap than almost anything. So I take care of the things that I'm required to (keeping children alive, work, laundry - sort of), and then I take a nap. Oh I love naps.

But I still have so many things that remain undocumented, things I REALLY want documented. So let's do this thing. Just ignore that most of these are SO OLD. And none of them are in any sort of order. Alright then. Onward we go.

Annabelle had her hair chopped off. Per her request. I was a little nervous that she'd freak out when she saw the result of her decision, but good news - she loves it. I do too. Although she looks like an old grandma now. I'm really not into this growing up thing.

We went to the dentist for check ups and then for cavities to be filled (Belle had two, Lou had three - we're awesome). Look at Lou with the laughing gas. She was SO funny. But then she wasn't. Poor Lou. She was so ticked about her numb mouth, and she refused with the fervor of only a Lydia Lou to put the cotton thing in her mouth. So I had perhaps a moment of genius - I rolled up bread and put it in her mouth. That's right. You're welcome for that Pinterest worthy gem.

Annabelle chose one of those popper toy things we used to play with from the dentist's treasure chest. She thought it was hilarious that it would suction to her head. She didn't find it as amusing when she looked in the mirror and saw that she'd totally destroyed her forehead. She looked like an abused child. She was mortified. (So was I. But send her to school I did. CDC never did show up...)

Annabelle won herself a Bobcat Award at school. Each grade has a different list of age-appropriate requirements to check off (e.g., for Belle - all the sounds of the alphabet, her address, how to tie a shoe, etc.). Every year you complete the requirements, you get a special medal and the PTA lets you choose a book. In this child's case, I'm not sure which was better - the medal or the book.

Also, that's the Butler Bobcat. Not some prehistoric cat creature from the depths of the ocean. What the.

Grammy has the most epic treasures in her basement. Time stands still there. Including the MUSICAL Mickey Mouse sweatshirt from the seventies that STILL SINGS. Even after I accidentally washed it. Please note - she wore that sweatshirt for a week straight. 

So my mom write books. Don't you? Anyhow, she gave the girls a little children's book she wrote and illustrated a few years ago for Christmas. And one day after reading my mom's book, Annabelle wanted to know why SHE couldn't write and illustrate a book. And although I am not so crafty with actual scissors and tape and such, if it involves a computer, I can make it happen. We sat down together and she told me what she wanted each page of her book to say. Then I made her a list of illustrations I needed. I uploaded all of her illustrations and made a (cheap) photo book at It turned out mighty cute, and she was mighty proud. :)

So this happened. And when I brought Lou up to talk about it, she said, "But Mom. It's a really good L-O-U!" When she's right, she's right. 

Plant time! We planted in early spring, meaning big tubs of plants lived in my kitchen until it got warm enough for them to go outside. We're hoping for peppers, tomatoes (two varieties), sweet peas, and strawberries this year.

We took the girls to the Utah Symphony's production of Peter and the Wolf. Before the performance began, they were letting the kids try out a myriad of instruments. I carefully steered my kids toward the not spitting instruments. Sanitizer can only do so much, amiright? I chose well - look at those babies. I'm trying not to get ahead of myself here but #musicalprodigies.

Just your every day Lou get up.

And let's go all the way back to snow. During the winter, Jess promised the girls that "next time" it snowed, they'd make a snowman. Well it never snowed again. So when we got that freak snow storm in the spring, the second he got home from work, they ran outside to build that snowman! 

Of course, it melted quickly. But don't you worry - Belle filled the part just fine. And then she made a tiny squatty guy out of the leftovers that I'm pretty sure is the cutest snowman in the history of ever.

And we'll end with this. (Not that I'm out of photos.) These dresses were contenders for my mom's wedding, but we found more tealy options. But still. These sisters. Sisters are just my favorite.


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