Tuesday, May 28
Ok, here's part two of what you've missed since I was procrastinative enough to make you miss the last letter. Again, I apologize.
At first it was hard because Abby kept trying to run to the pool while I got ready to get in the pool. Oh, first, the pool has this giant play thing in it which has a slide and waterfalls, etc. It also has a giant bucket at the top that constantly fills up and when it gets full it tips over and splashes everywhere. So Abby was toddling towards the pool when it suddenly fell and splashed and scared her to death. She stood there, crying, completely immobile. I had to pick her up and hold her for several minutes before she'd calm down. So then we got in the water (where it didn't splash) and I just held her on my lap. Every time the bucket splashed (about every 3-4 minutes) she stared at it wide-eyed, though she never cried over it again. But for the first 15 mins or so, she refused to let go of me. I had to hold her. If I tried to let her stand in the water, she screamed. If I tried to hold her away from me a little, she shook violently, like she was ridiculously cold. I wonder if she was in shock a little.
I didn't want to take Kessa out where it would be more comfortable for me to be mobile, so we stayed in the shallow end where I held Abby and Kessa just played around us. But eventually Abby warmed up and I took Kessa by the wall where she could pull herself along it. Eventually I held Abby in one arm and Kessa in the other (thank goodness for water which makes everything so much lighter and made this acrobatics as easy as could be) and we went around the lazy river a couple of times. By then Damian was there and just stood around the edge of the pool. We talked Lexi into going down the big slide, which terrified her at first, but after she did it, she thought it was the greatest thing ever and just did it over and over again. It ended up being quite fun! (And Kessa was able to go several days accident-free in anticipation of the event! Hooray! Though, that bribery has worn out its welcome. We're looking for new options now.)
Kessa graduated from preschool! I took a video of all of it, but of course you can't watch it. You can watch it when you get home if you really, really want. It wasn't a "real" graduation, though, considering she still has another year of preschool. But, I suppose, she did graduate from that preschool and is moving on to another. But semantics aside, it was cute and fun. They made graduation caps out of card stock for the top, and a plastic bowl for the cap. With a yarn tassel. Adorable. She won the award for "Tortise [sic] and the Hare". Which cracks me up because it's so true! That girl can do things ridiculously fast if she wants, but she can also take her sweet little time about everything. We've been focusing on being "quick to obey" lately. It's a work in progress. I'm glad (and horrified) to know that she doesn't just act that way with me.
Abby adores the panda hat you gave Kessa for Christmas. When she sees it, she'll put it on and wear it around. The other day she went to the store with the panda hat and a pink cloak that Bonnie crocheted Kessa on. It's hilarious. She's such a diva. She adores dressing up. She'll wear any hat she finds. Or yesterday she walked around with a pink headband on. Except it wasn't on top of her head, it was around her forehead, just above her eyes. She is obsessed with shoes. She signs shoes much like the sign for "more". When she gets out of bed, she immediately starts looking for her shoes. As soon as she spots them she starts signing and saying, "Shoes? Shoes?" She'll run and grab them and take them to the closest adult, whimpering and look sadly into your eyes. "Shoes?" Then as soon as you put them on her she is the happiest girl around. Which is funny considering that when I first bought her shoes she wanted nothing to do with them and would rip them off pronto. She's almost outgrown the shoes I bought her. And I still have to buy more because Kessa wasn't even walking this young, so I didn't have shoes for her for several more sizes! She also loves sunglasses. Kessa got a pair of star sunglasses from a birthday party and she loves putting them on and grinning while she makes sure everyone sees her in them. Diva, I'm telling you.
We went camping the Friday before Memorial Day. It was just at a nearby park. I decided that's the way to go. About a mile from home (which made it easy to grab everything I forgot), and with people who are experienced campers, so I'm not responsible for food. But even if we do go again (which we really want to) and need to provide our own food, if camp-cooking doesn't work out for us, there's a Subway close by. Breakfast, lunch and dinner! Haha. We got a new tent and sleeping bags. That's been fun. The tent is super easy to set up and take down. We set it up in less than 3 minutes. The longest part was staking it. We took a pack and play for Abby, but I'm wondering if next time we should put her in our sleeping bag, between us. She was just so cold in the morning (we did give her blankets; they're just not the same as a sleeping bag)! She didn't seem to mind, though, which helped ease my mommy-guilt. Kessa loved it and wants to do it again. We've already started to ask around to see if anyone else wants to camp with us another time. By the time we came home, though, Kessa was exhausted. She slept half the afternoon away on the couch.
In totally random, yet delicious news, Honey Maid now makes graham crackers without high fructose corn syrup! This makes me so happy, because I haven't been able to buy graham crackers for ages since I discovered that there weren't any without it. What kind of children grow up in a house without graham crackers, I ask you? It was a very sad existence for my poor girls. But now the problem has been rectified and Kessa ate her first s'more while we were camping! Well, a few bites. Until she decided it was just too sticky. Then she threw the rest in the fire.
Teresa has been staying with us for a little over a week now. It's not much different than normal life, though. We rarely see her. She leaves early in the morning, usually before I even wake up, and then after school has to go home and do chores, then half the time goes to work, and the other half of the time has concerts, school activities, and is a prank war with friends. She comes home about the time I go to bed, or after some days (I'm trying to go to bed early so I can wake up earlier). So I pretty much only ever see her on Sundays or breakfast on weekends and late-start Fridays. Mostly all it's changed is that I stalk her on Find My Friends a lot more and am always pestering her to know when she'll be home and what she's doing and reminding her of curfew. I'm the nagging step-mother, I'm sure. Haha. I'll bet she'll be glad when she's back to her nice own mother. :D
As your parents were out of town, I decided to host 4th Sunday dinner this month. Teresa was already here, so we just had to get the boys out, which wasn't hard. Oh my gosh, Jessa. Do you know what they did this weekend? It's Nick, so don't think camping in Moab or something normal. Oh no. Not Nick. He hired a company from Orem to go down to Goblin Valley and set up laser tag. … Yup, you heard me right. 50 people playing laser tag, professionally, in Goblin Valley. Hah!
After we ate dinner we headed up to Riverton for Grandpa Goddard's 94th birthday party. There were lots of people there, so that was nice. And lots of yummy treats. I made a chocolate bundt cake that I found on Pinterest (which was rich and delicious) and took it up, along with some cherries (which made me sad that your dad wasn't there). I'm not sure whose idea it was, but Nick and Shawn became the instigators to get a full 94 candles on Grandpa's cake. So they took some white duct tape and placed candles along a strip (the duct tape was cut in half horizontally in order to leave room for the candles' height) with small spaces in between, then rolled it up into a giant roll of candles. It happened to fit perfectly into the hole of the bundt cake.
They lit it, and Jessa, I really wish you could watch videos. Oh my goodness. The look on Grandpa's face when they brought it from the kitchen and around his recliner to where he could see was absolutely priceless. His eyes bulged. His mouth dropped open as wide as it could possibly go. And I can't blame him! Can you fathom what 94 candles all lit together looks like? I'm not kidding when I say the very, very thick flame was at least a foot, if not a foot and a half tall.
Nick carried it and when Grandpa blew out the flames I sincerely feared for the health and well being of Nick's tie. And all of Nick. He had to kind of jump back out of the way, while still holding the cake plate in front of Grandpa. Finally one of the aunts (Jan? I think?) put it out with a pan lid. It was the Best. Thing. Ever. I got the best screen shots I could manage to send you and will post the video on the blog. You have to watch it when you get back.
So, of course, something had to go wrong. Let me teach you something about drip emitters, Jessa. When you are installing them on drip lines, it is very, very important that you don't allow any dirt to get inside them, because there is no way to open them to get the dirt out. It just gets clogged up and won't let the water drip out. In other words, it would be a very bad idea when you install drip emitters to open a package, drop them in the garden bed, and proceed to install from there. Because weeks later when you finally are able to turn on your drip system, half of them won't work because they got clogged with dirt. [sigh] So I had to go buy a bunch more (which means I have three different drip emitters installed. They're all the same, just different brands) and reinstall. But the way the emitters hook into the tubing is by having a dull barbed end. So you push it into the tube and the tube stretches around it, making it nigh impossible to pull out. Which is good in general, because you don't want the pressure of the water to push the head out. So we ended up having to cut them off, then put new ones on. [sigh] What I expected to be an hour project (putting on all the heads for the tender plants that I just planted) turned into an all-day project. In good news, it was a holiday, so BJ was home to help me. But it was an all-day project with BJ's help. Glad I didn't have to do that alone.
The end story, though, is that the pressure is reduced, the drip emitters are all dripping, and my plants are all getting water regularly. Naturally, it's been raining all day.
And now, for Kessa.
- Kessa: Don't look until I say to look. I won't be in trouble.
BJ: But will you be in trouble if we do look?
Kessa: Yes, but just don't look and then there won't be trouble.
- Kessa: Daddy, do you know what a swimming pool is?
- Kessa ate 3 bites of quesadilla then left. When I asked if she was going to eat it or if Mommy could eat it. “Can I eat three more bites because I'm 3?”
- Kessa, talking about the water draining out of the bathtub: “It's saying, 'Go into my brelly! Go into my brelly!'”
Me: What's a brelly?
Kessa: It's a tower with a clock and letters and numbers and [something I forgot]. And a bicycle.
Me: A brelly is a [repeat description]?
Kessa: No, that's a rockie!
- Kessa: Daddy, you're a cutie because everyone loves you.
- Kessa, discussing a craft: Don't do ants. I don't like ants. Because sometimes they eat us. [She then looked at me very seriously and continued with a piercing gaze.] And our clothes. And our eyes and ears and eyebrows.
- Kessa held up the numbers 145 in her foam toys in the bathroom today and insisted I guess what they spelled. When I was wrong (I guessed "one hundred forty-five") she informed me that it spelled “lightbulb”.
- Kessa, eating fried chicken: Daddy, if you forget there's a bone, good news! When you feel it, that's the bone!
- Shawn: You're just jealous that you don't have a Peter Pan Down syndrome.
- Resa: It makes sense if you don't think about it.
- Me to Resa: But you told me to take you literally.
BJ: But that was figurative.