Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm Blue

This morning I went upstairs to get dressed. It was not even a full get ready morning. I didn't even put on makeup or try to look cute. I did just the basics. So I was gone for a whole FIVE minutes.

I left the girls in the kitchen watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and finishing up their breakfast. Sounds innocent. Usually Mickey puts them in a trance. So what could possibly go wrong?!

Maybe Keagan could give Riley a blue marker with no lid on it and Riley could go to town! Maybe Keagan met me at the bottom of the stairs with the giggles saying I had to see Riley. And maybe once Riley saw herself in the mirror she was way too proud if herself! And maybe I used half a package of wipes cleaning her up!

Thank heavens I only buy washable markers!

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Rileys little body really does not always cooperate with her. It is so difficult for her to do simple things that most of us take for granted. One of the reasons for this is that Riley has Cerebral Palsy.

Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder which affects communication between the brain and the muscles. The disorder results in uncoordinated movement and abnormal muscle tone. The consequence is that children with this disorder have difficulty achieving their developmental milestones and performing ADL’s (activities of daily living).
This particular developmental disorder is hard to treat. Cerebral palsy can take different forms, and it affects each child to varying degrees. Riley has spastic tone (muscle stiffness) and it dominates in all the extremities. Children with spastic quadriplegia are often wheelchair bound and Riley is part of this category.

But like Rileys other diagnosis's, she does not let Cerebral Palsy define her. She is SO persistent in pushing her little body past it's limits and accomplishing new things.

Over the past couple of days I have watched with excitement as Riley has taken big steps for her. This week she has done great things like say an "M" repeatedly, take a puzzle piece in and out with her left hand, and stand on her own for 2 seconds!

This is all because Riley has an extraordinary amount of persistence. She continues to push. She continues to try. And eventually it pays off. As her mom, I couldn't be more proud of her for this. It is truly one of her special gifts! And I can sure learn alot from it when faced with my own seemingly tough trials. Thank you Riley!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Band Practice

I've always wanted my own band!

The girls love anything to do with music! And they especially love making it- if you can call it that. We have band practice almost everyday around here. I dont necessarily mind the drums, cymbals, microphones, guitar, maracas, or tambourine. But the 2 recorders just might mysteriously disappear one day!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Diva Moment

Miss Keagan woke up THREE times last night! It's always so fun to be in a dead sleep and get abruptly woken up by a screaming daughter. I always lay there and pretend I'm just dreaming the cries. But soon enough, I have to figure out which monitor is broadcasting the tears- lately it has mostly been Keagans.

So most mothers who get woken up at 11, 2:30 and 5 by an almost 3 year old are dealing with a child who doesn't feel well, one who is scared or needs to be changed. But my Keags just isn't that simple.

Instead the dramatic tears were inspired by an even more important issue...her FINGERNAILS!!! Yes that's right! Through her tears she choked out the words "I wanna paint my fingernails!!!" Through my grogginess, confusion and frustration I promised we would in the morning. I reminded her it's nigh night time and firmly told that girl to go! to! sleep!

This may just be a first..that a tired momma was woken up with pleas for a manicure! Hopefully it was the last!!

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Light

Today at church we talked alot about personal revelation- something that has been on my mind alot lately. We talked about revelation from our loving Heavenly Father being alot like light in our life. Occasionally revelation comes to us like a light switch being flipped on and the insight from God can flood our darkness. There are obvious and immediate answers and blessings in this.

But more often then not, personal revelation is like a beautiful sunrise where we gradually see the light. The Lord often blesses us with line upon line, precept upon precept directions to follow Him in this life. Our job is to make sure we have clear skies so the sunlight can clearly shine down upon us. Hopefully I will be able to continue to successfully clear my cloudy or foggy skies, and enjoy the incredible blessings of personal revelation!

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The girls and I are so incredibly blessed that they have 3 cousins so close. Sammie, Kellie and Addie are somewhere in between sisters and cousins to Keags and Ris. We see them more often then is probably normal, and these 5 are SO close! All of our lives would be incredibly different without each other!

Sammie and Kellie watched the girls last night so that I could actually go out. And Addie had slept over the night before. During the summer I think Kellie slept at our house more then her own house! Her mom had to beg her to come home to the point that she called my house home and occasionally referred to me as mom! She is such a huge help with the girls and loves doing it! She always has been. Even when the girls were younger she was so great and was given her "baby whisperer" nickname.

I am so thankful to have nieces that love my girls so much and do so much to help me! I'm also glad I am here to be apart of their lives and watch and enjoy the highs and be there for the lows. I often miss my other nieces and nephew and really look forward to all of us being together for the holidays.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Poor Thing?!

Yesterday afternoon I went to Target to return something. I was standing in line at customer service with a nice looking woman behind me staring at the girls and I intently. We get stares pretty much everywhere we go. I don't like it, but I'm used to it. I have darling twin girls and one is in a tiny little hot pink wheelchair! I guess I can't blame them for staring. But I can blame them for making not the smartest or nicest of comments.

After she was staring for some time, I gave the woman that slight and polite glance and smile that I normally do. And then she says to me: "You poor thing!!"

Say what?!

She has NO idea what she is talking about! It's actually humorous in a way how off she is! There are other things that have happened in my life that I understand giving sympathy for. But just seeing me push my darling daughter in her wheelchair and answering her cute twin sisters endless questions, does not warrant sympathy by itself.

If this woman could spend more then a couple restless minutes with our little family of 3 she would realize that we don't need the sympathy because we are doing just fine! In fact we are facing all of our little challenges head on and thriving. We learn so much from each other and share more then our fair share of love, joy and fun! So there's no poor thing here! So, random Target woman I politely ask you to keep your sympathy to yourself. But I guess you can continue to stare. I would too!
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Piece of Work

This is Keagan's first real painting! She was so excited to present it to me when I came to pick her up from school! I can't wait to see what she will create in her future years! Whatever it is, she has gotten off to a good start!


Ever since she was a baby, my Keagan has had the funniest reaction to her own giggle. If you get her laughing hard enough, she is sure to give herself the hiccups! It is the funniest thing! I don't know anyone else who does this. Like so many other things about her, this proves she is one of a kind!

When I was trying to get a picture of her in her cute new dress today, this was the pose she gave me! Her modeling made me laugh, which got her going. Throw in a little tickling and soon enough the girl was teeter tottering between giggles and hiccups! Hilarious!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can't Buy Me Love

When I picked up my precious Keagan from school today she ran to me, as always, and gave me the biggest hug and kiss! When we got in the car she wanted to play mailman- she's been playing this alot lately. She gave me my pretend mail and told me it said "I love you so much!" She told me that again when I put her to bed and we showered eachother with kisses. Seriously does it get any better then that?! No amount of money in the world can buy love like that! Priceless!
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Report Card

We are now 2 weeks into Preschool with Miss Keagan and so far everyone is getting an A plus!

Keagan LOVES it! On school days she wakes up early and is ready to go. On non school days she can't wait for "morrow". She has made friends and is excited to see them and loves Miss Connie and Miss Natalie. This past weekend she wanted to go to their house! I'm sure they would just love that!

She is not a big chatter after school about her day, much to my dismay and despite my incessant questions. But they do send a little note home about her day that gives me some info. So far I know she's painted, stamped, molded, dressed up like Belle and Cinderella, read lots of stories, played in the playground, gone to chapel, sang with Miss Musik, learned more about her numbers, and talked all about the world around her. She is now taking a nap at nap time as long as Miss Connie lays and rubs her back for a couple of minutes. The first 2 days she just did summer saults instead if napping! She also loves eating lunch with her friends and gets upset when I haven't included just the right thing in her lunch box!

I'm so glad she is doing so well, and I haven't cried at all after the first day so I think I should get a good grade too!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One of Those Days

Today was a hard day! Really hard! They don't come as often as you might think, but they do come. I'm not talking about the crazy schedule, messy kitchen and kids not listening to anything you say hard. Those come all the time. So that kind of hard is just normal. I'm talking about the soul aching, hard reality facing, worried about the future hard.

Today I received the results of all of Riley's testing for school in one little report. It has alot to say, and some of it is good. But it also gives her "the MR label"- Mentally Retarded. Sometimes what you know and have already accepted is just so hard to see in black and white. Eventhough it's just words to justify services which will result in a great education plan for Riley, they are also words that scar a mothers heart. Today I literally feel the pain of the worry, the what ifs, the sadness.
But then I look at this beautiful face...

And I see what no report could possibly contain!
I see joy and love and possibilities that would shatter any score of any test-if one could be given. Riley is such a bright light in this world that there is no label that could diminish that. So I will let my tears fall on that stupid report and wash away those ugly words and replace them with more accurate ones like amazing, joyful, celestial, divine, and mine! How blessed I am to have a daughter with THOSE labels!

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tasty Tex Mex

One of the many reasons I love living in Texas is the delicious food. We have the best Mexican food in the country- no question!
Riley sure thinks so too! Especially when she's free to dig in on her own!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

More Asian

Lately Keagans favorite lunch is...

SAIMEN. And Riley's favorite lunch is...

MASHED POTATOES. Guess who's more Asian?
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Big and Little

Keagan gracefully and loudly entered the world at 8:58 in the morning and Riley was tugged out a whole lengthy minute later. One minute seperates the two but they have clearly assumed their roles as big and little sister correctly.

Keagan is very protective of Riley but also can be bothered by her at times. She protects her toys from Riley and doesn't particularly love Riley always touching her, but she is concerned when Riley cries and misses her the most when she's at school. On Monday when Keagan and I got home from picking her up at school, she walked in the door asking for Riley. Riley was asleep but Keagan didn't have to wait long for her to wake up and start crying. Keagan took off up the stairs faster then ever before and climbed right into Rileys crib. I entered the room to the most heart warming sight of both girls laying on their tummies, Keagans arm wrapped tightly around her sisters shoulder, and Keagan whispering "it's ok Ryee" to her. I almost cried.

Riley usually relishes in attention from her sister and beams in the morning when Keagan finally wakes up and when she gets home from school. Keagan grabbing her hands is sure to make Riley belly laugh! But Riley can also pester her big sister knowingly and purposely ignore her at times. She has started this great game of trying to wake Keagan up by busting into her room and disrupting her sleep. Riley knows full well the tearful and dramatic reaction she is going to get from her sister and still loves it.

Having a twin sister is such a special gift that I am SO thankful my girls have. There is an endless amount of lessons these two can learn from eachother. And I know they will definitely each need eachother in the future! The Lord knew just what he was doing when he sent them together!


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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bubble Bath

After what has already been a very busy week there is nothing like a warm bubble bath! Especially when your sister pours half the soap bottle in the tub and you will have bubbles for days!

It's the little moments that I cherish most!

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It's been a long hot summer so the girls and I are more then ready for fall!! Bring on the pumpkins and their patches, the fun treats, the birthday, the holidays together with family and most importantly the cooler temps! Can't we got a little jump start by decorating a pumpkin. Keagan named him Todd!
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Lights, Camera, Superstar Riley

Today Riley and I had the most interesting experience. As part of being a "miracle family" for Texas Children's Hospital and the Miracle Network, we sat down today with a production crew to tell our story.

I was basically given an hour long interview of all kinds of different questions and promps like "start from the beginning", "what is your biggest wish", "what is the hardest part", "what do you love most about TCH" and "why should I donate to TCH". While I babbeled away, Miss Riley sat nicely in her wheelchair next to me and flirted with the different camera men, interviewer and production team. They all fell in love with her smile- not at all surprising, and just couldn't stop commenting on how cute she is. One camera man even said she was "like gold in a wheelchair"! Can't say I disagree.

The set up was somewhat intimidating but we got pretty comfortable. We sat in a cave of lights, reflection screens and large mics. Plus we had 3 large cameras and 7 people pointed at us. They even put some anti shine make up on me before we started! It felt so leggit!

It really was a great experience. I am a huge Texas Children's supporter and cheerleader so it's nice to do something for them for a change! They are producing several different informative/promotional videos about cardiology, neurology, preparing special needs parents, and donating to TCH. The team was very happy with our interview and said we would be in all of them. I hope I get to wear a gorgeous gown to the premiers!

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Matchy Matchy

Because they had very different agendas on their schedules today, the girls outfits weren't matching! And I didn't even break out in hives!

They have always matched, and I love it that way! It's actually even a thought to me when Riley has been in the hospital as to if the girls are matching. And yes I fully admit that is crazy! When they were tiny, if one spit up on their jammies I sometimes changed them both. Yes, ridiculous I know!

Now Keagan has jumped on board and notices when she isn't matching her sister. I know this won't last very many more years as Keagan is already not shy about letting me know exactly what she wants. So I have to relish it while I can! Matching outfits is definitely a twin privilege and announces to the world that my girls came 2 by 2. And I love it! Tomorrow they will be back to matching! Don't worry!
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1st Day

My baby went to school today! I am so proud of her because she did so well- maybe a little too well!

This morning we had a little bit of a rough start as I could tell my nervousness and over talking was getting her a little worked up. But once we were dressed and outside taking pictures she was excited and ready to go!

Our excitement resulted in us being a little early so we had to wait outside her classroom door for a few minutes with other anxious kids and parents. After we got all if her gear put away (and this preschooler needs alot of stuff!) she looked up at me and said "mommy I want to go to school already!"

Once inside the classroom she greeted her teachers and found her favorite spot again like yesterday. She pulled up her rocking chair and started playing in the kitchen and smiling at all her new friends coming in.

I knew it was time for me to say goodbye and it was all I could do to not dramatically hug her tight and have a serious farewell! Instead I had to quickly steal a kiss from her and nonchalantly leave the classroom all while feeling I was giving up a piece of myself. But my big girl barely noticed I was leaving. Once I was 15 steps down the hall I had the thought that maybe she had started crying. But when I doubled back to the room I found her happily playing with her teacher and another little girl. She is amazing! And she was obviously so ready for this! I wish I was!

I only cried for a minute or two, and it was privately in my car. Then the rest of my day was spent with Riley as we both were missing her sister and wondering what she was doing.

When I picked Keagan up she was a happy girl with not too many comments on the day. She made it clear that she liked it but I had to piece together from the paint on her clothes, her teachers quick comments and a cute note in her lunch box that they read stories, painted, played on the playground and the tricycles and she ate most her lunch but didn't take a nap. I would say the day was a huge success and she is ready to go back on Friday! Let's just hope I dont cry again!
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Meet the Teacher!

This morning Keagan's "Meet the Teacher" was a success! John Wesley Methodist Preschool is the cutest school ever and she is going to love it! The staff there is incredible and her teachers Miss Connie and Miss Natalie were so warm and excited to see my little girl!

Keagan is in the Panda class and will go MWF from 9-2:30!! That's such a long time to be away from mommy and Riley, but I know she will just thrive! She is going to learn so much and make great friends- one of the other 11 kids is her class is a boy named Teagan!

Today my baby is excited about her first day of school tomorrow! She is excited to dress up like Cinderella and Belle, to play in the kitchen, and to eat lunch with her new friends. But her momma is not as excited. There is some excitement in there, but today it is being over shadowed by the worry and fear,by the idea of missing my girl and by the idea of the girls being apart so much in different schools. I just know that after tomorrow life will never ever be the same! It's just preschool, but now I have a kid in school! And before I know it Riley will be joining her. My babies are growing up!

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Not THIS Week!

This is Riley saying "look how ridiculously stuffy my nose is mom!" Between her babbling, coughing and whimpering I definitely get the message that this baby does not feel good. It's her first cold of the "winter" season, and I'd bet my child support that it won't (even nearly) be the last. Of course she has started wheezing and we have begun breathing treatments.

I really wish this virus could have waited one more week to visit our house! This week is a BIG one! Tomorrow morning Miss Keagan has her "Meet the Teacher" day. And then my baby starts school on wednesday!!!! If that doesn't have me over the edge then let's just throw in that Riley and I are supposed to film at Texas Children's tomorrow for a promotional/informative Cardiology video. Oh and don't forget our usual hectic schedule!

I'm sure like all others this cold and this week will pass us by and we will just keep movin forward. Just wish us luck that our runny noses don't get in the way too much!

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Keagan's Secret

This darling little girl who loves to look pretty with her nails and toes painted and can't stand to wear clothes that get anything spilled on them, has a little secret...

SHE'S a HOARDER!! This is her crib which is full if stuffed animals, a book, a picture frame, a snow globe, a game, a blanket, a towel, her old flip flops, a small bowl with goldfish and pretzels AND a babas of water! I seriously don't even know where she fits her skinny little body! But she insists in sleeping in this madness and since she will do so for 12 hours a night, I oblige!

She hoards things in other ways too! She LOVES to stuff purses and bags full of random things and tote them along. Plus she can't leave our house or even my sisters house without a little treasure in hand. I often have to make her make the painstaking choice of what to bring along so we don't bring the whole house to the grocery store!

She continues to keep me laughing so I thank her! I'm just afraid we won't be able to kick this habit and that she is going to end up on that horrible reality tv show "Hoarders: Buried Alive" Haha. Praying this is something we will outgrow...soon!

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Sunday Funday

Sunday is definitely our favorite day of the week in our house. There were times in my life that Sunday was just a day to get through church and get home to take a Sunday snooze. But those days are long gone!

The reasons I love it continue to stack up. Topping the list is the spiritual recharge and positive boost I get from church each week. Most single moms with wiggly and loud almost 3 year olds just wrestle their kids through church. But I have amazing volunteers who help out so much at church! I feel so spoiled. Nana, Grandma Linda and Coach plus a toddler size backpack full of books, crayons, etc... are the best! And then the girls LOVE going to nursery so much that it's a real treat for them! Sometimes during the week we will pass the chapel and they both let me know they want to go in and see their friends! We have such a great ward here in Klein, with so many amazing friends for the girls and their momma! We are so lucky to find that special mix of being able to talk with those you pray with and pray with those you talk with!

Sunday really is a break from the rest of the week for us and it is the highlight of the last 7 days. I'm so thankful for a day to renew my covenants, learn and study, recharge, and see wonderful friends! And counting this blessing gives me another reminder of why my little family of three is where we are supposed to be, doing what we are supposed to be doing! And I love it!

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