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Sunday, July 28, 2013

I am now again a mother of two

Dear Jessa ~

Kessa finished swimming lessons this week.  She continues to love them.  But, unsurprising to anyone, she's nervous to do things on her own.  One day she came home, super excited, because she got to wear a life jacket and go out to the outside part of the pool.  She said, "My teacher let go of me for just a second, which was cool!  But she grabbed me again really fast because I was so scared."  Part of the requirements to pass her level (preschool level 2) are to do things like "front float for 5 sec unassisted" or "combined arm and leg action on front for 3 body lengths unassisted."  Instead of marking those off, they got stars with a note on the bottom indicating that those are things she can do, but needs assistance."  And her comments at the end were simply "She just needs a little more time to get it unassisted."  Which doesn't surprise me at all.  She's learning fast in several areas.  She doesn't need someone to hold her hand to get in the pool anymore.  She doesn't need me to stand in line with her at the beginning anymore.  She can dunk her own head under the water 10 times!  So she's definitely making progress.  She just needs time to warm up to the idea of doing things alone.  So we'll put her back into swimming lessons again this winter and again next summer and just keep working at it.

Tamra, Kessa, and Kristen on Uncle Travis' hammock
Kristen and Tamra have both been so jealous of Kessa going swimming every day without them.  But they tried very hard not to be wicked little girls about it, so to reward them, we went swimming on Monday for FHE.  They had a great time!  It was the first time we've been where they've had the outdoor pool open. Mostly it just extends the lazy river outside and adds a little splash pad.  Not much, but it's still fun.  I'm pretty sure that's the longest we've ever stayed at the pool without the girls (mostly Abby) just being done.  We ended up leaving before anyone was ready, simply so we could still get dinner and to bed on time.  They kept exclaiming about how our pool was better than theirs, because theirs was just a big pool of water.  But then they asked if we could go swimming again and we told them no, because it cost money to go.  That surprised them.  "But at our pool we don't have to pay.  We just have to write our name on a piece of paper!" After that they decided that their pool might not have as many fun toys, but it's still good, because they can go to their pool a lot more than we can go to ours.  Heh.  Kristen also decided to try the big water slide.  She climbed up by herself and we watched for her to come out at the bottom.  The pool there isn't deep, she could touch, but there's the current of water from the slide, too.  She came out and was immediately thrust under a little.  She quickly kicked herself back up with eyes wide with fright and tried to swim straight to us.  But we were off to the side and the current was trying to push her down the pool.  She fought and fought it, trying to get to us and finally succeeded.  But the poor girl was traumatized, I think, because she refused to go down again.  (Don't worry, she was never in any real danger.  You can tell, because I, Madam Overprotective Mom, found the whole thing humorous and never freaked out.  Not even a little.  Though, I was a little annoyed at the life guard who wasn't even watching her at all, but spent his time yawning and looking utterly bored out of his mind.)

Kristen went down this one
While we were at the zoo I discovered that the girls had no idea what a splash pad is.  This had to be remedied, especially as they're free.  So we got Kessa's friend, Audrey (and her mom, Melanie) and tromped off to the Highland Splash Park.  (Audrey's aunt, Eileen, who lives with them, was a champ and offered to babysit Abby and Audrey's twin baby brothers so we didn't have to worry about them there.  She basically wins.  Her prize?  Abby actually crawled into her lap and fell asleep in her arms!  Awwww!)  It was great.  I really hoped that Kristen and Tamra would help Kessa enjoy it more, as she's never been a fan of splash pads.  But what really helped was that this particular splash pad has an ankle deep lazy river!  No splashing involved!  At first she wouldn't even do that by herself; I had to hold her hand.  But after awhile, when I just stopped and talked to Melanie for too long, she decided to go off by herself.  Woohoo!  We played there about an hour, then I had to hurry home for swimming lessons.

That night I went to my cake decorating class!  When I first signed up for the class I thought it was horrible timing to do it while the girls were here.  But honestly?  It was so nice to have a good excuse to have one night off every week.  Plus, there were extra bodies to help eat all the sugar!  Hooray!  This week was cupcakes.  We learned how to do several different kinds of flowers to put on our cupcakes.  Mine were by no means perfect, but they were fun.  I'm glad to know how to do them and hope to get to practice them more someday.  I also learned how to fill cupcakes.  So I made some cream cheese filling and filled my chocolate cupcakes with that.  If you look in the picture, you can see I cut one in half so I could see what it looked like inside.  I think I should put more in next time.  :D  We ended up taking them up to your parents' house for the 24th of July and let everyone else help us eat them.  :)

That night Kessa woke up sweating and super hot (though didn't feel very feverish.  We later discovered she had a low-grade fever.)  She had to go to the bathroom, so we assumed that was the reason for her waking up crying, and I got her back to sleep. But 5 minutes later she was awake again and BJ ended up bringing her into our room to sleep.  (Ever since BJ went to California, we've kept a blanket on our floor for Kessa to sleep on.)  She woke up again around 3 am, desperately needing to use the bathroom.  She wasn't nearly so hot, but I was still a little worried.

The next morning she acted perfectly happy and fine, though, so for the 24th we woke up and went to our ward's breakfast at a neighbor's house.  It was fun and there were lots of kids to play with.  But before long, Kessa informed me that she really wanted to go home, and crawled into the stroller.  That's unusual.  She's usually complaining about having to leave.  We were going to do the Lehi Resident Appreciation Day, but BJ and I were both tired, so we just lazed about at home and I took a nap until Kessa insisted that we go to Mama Homer's house.  So we went up there and we all had a great time.

While we waited for Nick and Chelsea, Resa took the girls outside and helped them draw on the driveway with chalk.  She even helped Kessa write a message to Chelsea (Resa wrote it and Kessa traced it. Chelsea later said that she felt like she must be coming home from a mission because when she got here she had a whole welcoming committee and signs on the driveway for her.)  Kristen remembered Nick from babysitting her on my birthday and immediately took a fancy to him, much to his surprise.  His response was, "Is this normal for her?!"  According to Jalin, "usually not.  It takes the right person for Kristen to come out of her shell.  But when she does, watch out!"

Before long, though, Kessa became clingy and ended up falling asleep in my arms.  So she slept on the couch in the living room while the rest of us ate.  (We were joined by Grandma Goddard, Aunt Jan, Katie, and Chelsea.  And not by Shawn until later as he had to work.)  She slept all the way through dinner and we were just dishing up dessert when she finally woke up … and definitely had a fever.  So we gave her a little ice cream (she was so sad not to get dessert) and headed home.  She kept a low-grade fever through the night, but then the next day was acting just fine again, so I let her go to swimming lessons.  Where apparently she spent the whole time wanting mommy.  :(  I felt like an awful mother.  We got home and got everything packed up to take the girls home… then found out that Jalin and Co. were delayed due to the need to get all new tires.  Oh, and in great news, while we were at swimming, the freezer guy came and fixed my freezer!  IT WORKS AGAIN!  HOORAY!

Kristen helped make most of our dinner
BJ needed to keep working, so I packed up all four girls and headed up to Tremonton.  Kessa was still feeling sick and Abby needed a nap.  We weren't even to Bangerter Highway when Kessa started asking how far away it was.  Then every 10 minutes or so she'd say, "I don't want it to be a long way away!"  Oh boy.  But we eventually made it to Tremonton (with only one emergency potty stop where I had to truck all of the girls in) where we got Frosties and waited for Jalin to meet us.  We said our good byes, then headed back home.  We brought Tangled to watch on the way home, but ended up just listening to the Little Women audiobook while Abby napped the whole way home.

Don't worry, though, Kessa is feeling great again and all is well in Zion.  :)

So, my calling isn't busy enough, right?  Not only do I have to be ready for baptisms this weekend, and have scouting meetings on Thursday, as well as be planning a primary appreciation dinner for next month and a cub scout training for October… but they asked me to speak in church today, too.  (I'll post the talk so you can read it.  Once I make all the edits I made on my printed paper.)  Yipes.  But I did it, and was 16 minutes exactly.  (Yes, I had my stopwatch on my phone going on the podium to make sure I stayed on task.  Haha)  So my church meetings today basically consisted of two sacraments.  Mine and the ward I spoke in.  But exciting news back in my ward… Abby is in nursery now!  Hip hip, hooray!  BJ stayed in with her as they needed another helper, and she wanted to be held most of the time, but she did love the toys, so we'll see how that goes.  We'll be in Idaho the next two Sundays (which will be interesting as far as blogging to you goes…) so we'll see what affect that has on nursery.

Abby checking out the toys in nursery

The garden is doing spectacularly!  We have 3 cantaloupe.  I discovered two rotting tomatoes hiding in one of our tomato plants (after it was so top heavy that a wind blew it over, so I had to trim it to get it to stand back up again!),  I picked 4 zucchini and 6 yellow squash.  (I made a chocolate zucchini cake with one of the zucchinis and froze 5 more cups of shredded zucchini!  My goal is to shred the rest as well and be well stocked for zucchini bread and cake all winter.)  I've got one more cauliflower head that is huge and ready to be harvested.  The last two I harvested still had the plants there, so I decided to pull them out and compost them.  In pulling them up I discovered that there were new cauliflower starts under the leaves!  I had no idea that cauliflower plants made themselves new starts.  And our broccoli plant that bolted and flowered a month or so ago that I've never gotten around to pulling out seems to have little seed pods that kind of look like a pea pod.  So now I'm going to leave it and see if seeds grow inside!  How exciting!  And holy cow.  We have peppers galore. I really need to start harvesting and freezing so I have them for wintering, which is why I planted so many.  I even have onions ready to harvest!  I didn't expect that.  Guess I don't have to buy onions anymore for awhile.  And my poor carrots are completely hidden by the insane amount of kale (that I rarely eat) and the giant tomato plant growing on either side.  I think I'll have to plant more carrots elsewhere so they have a chance.  These might have to stay in until I pull everything else out and just eat them all winter.  Oh!  And our flowering plum trees out front?  Turns out, they're not just flowers.  They actually grew plums!  They're only cherry-sized plums, but they're delicious.  :)

Top-left: The whole garden, going crazy.
Top-right: The baby cauliflower starts coming out of the old plant.
Bottom-left: The tomato plant fell over and can't get up
Bottom-right: We picked all this in one day.

And as a totally unrelated topic, but I thought you might be interested in hearing, JK Rowling decided to write a mystery novel under a pseudonym, I assume to see how well her books could sell without her name selling them.  But a guy in her law firm (!!!) told his wife's friend who tweeted it.  Of course it went viral and the book became a top seller overnight.  Needless to say, Rowling was Not Pleased at the breach in privacy in her law firm.  Seriously.  I can't believe a lawyer was so unprofessional.  But … now I kind of want to read the book.  Haha.  I'll wait and hear reviews first, though.

Speaking of books, between Audible and Kindle I've been reading a lot more lately.  I'm currently listening to Little Women (which is so much more than the movie and I love the characters so much more!) and reading a book I think I told you about called Wielder's Awakening.  I also have 4/5 books in the Eragon series done.  And I read/listened to A Little Princess.  Which I'm pretty certain should be on the Must Read list for every little girl and I love it oh so much.  Like, so much.  You should read it.

1 comment:

Jessica Dickerson said...

Such good books! A Little Princess has been one of my favorites since I was a child! Also Little Women. Good stuff!