Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Keags

Miss Keagan burst into this world as an amazing, smart, fun, strong and lovable little girl. But she does have my stubborn side, is what could be described as a "vocal child" and is slightly on the demanding side. Her uncle Todd refers to her as a "little high maintenance." She is the cutest high maintenance kid I've ever seen!

But lately she has been blossoming in ways that this momma is really likin'! The past week I've been calling her my "big helper" and praising her for being such a great big sister! I've caught myself soaking in her laughter more and being on the receiving end of more of her cherished and exclusive kisses! I really, really like where this is going!

Not long ago she decided she was going to feed Riley her dinner. It was just as darling as could be! It is not an easy task and one in which many in our family refuse to do. But Keags was patient and sweet as she fed Riley mashed potatoes and chicken. It was one of those moments I wanted to freeze in time! What a fantastic big sister she is growing up to be!

She has also helped more and more with her little sister lately. When Riley is upset she knows just how to make her laugh. And I have even caught her sharing toys with Riley! This picture is her telling Riley all about how she needs to be a good girl! Look how Riley looks up to her, literally and figuratively.

Two days ago Keags pulled me away from the dishes into the playroom. She beamed with pride to show me she had cleaned the entire messy room completely by herself! She even put things where they really do belong. That task was one on a long list for me that morning. I appreciated that service from my darling 4 year old immensely!

Tonight as we laid in her bed and I was scratching her back as part of our nightly routine, I let my fingers trace the outlines of her big scars. While watching her sleep I gave prayers of gratitude for the amazing little miracle she is! And for how far she has come from that very sick and very tiny little baby! I'm so thankful for all the wonderful things she brings into my life! She will face her own challenges, some from being raised by a single mom and some from having a special needs twin sister. But somehow I know she will face them all with her strength, her bright gorgeous eyes and with no problem. I'm just lucky to be her mom, to be able to witness it and hopefully get more kisses along the way!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Power of Christmas

As Christmas Day comes to a close, my heart is so full of gratitude! Most importantly I'm thankful for the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm also thankful the girls had a wonderful day, that we have so many family and friends that love and spoil us, that we were able to see 3/4 of our family today and that we currently have power!! The weather is bad and very windy here, so for almost 4 hours this morning and for about 2 hours tonight we didn't have any electricity. That made things memorable! We had dinner with the Fosters by lantern and candle light, and at times throughout the day it made things a little more quiet and calm. With emphasis on little.

Santa came for the girls and they were so thrilled! And presents also came from me, their daddy, the Fosters, Nana, Auntie Kim and Tyson, both sets of Ginns, Grandma Linda and Grandma Debbie. We are so blessed!

Keags asked Santa for a bike and Slushie Magic. She got that and a helmet, a camera, a waitress outfit, Minnie Mouse Bowtique, a Bouncy Puppy, a Christmas train, an activity box, stompies slippers, new shoes and two full stockings! Riley got a talking rocking horse, Doc McStuffins doctor kit, Minnie Mouse Bowtique, a cash register, tons of crazy socks, bath toys, a Christmas train, stompies slippers, new shoes and two full stockings! Abundantly blessed! I tried so hard not to over do it this year but the girls are just loved by so many people!

I also got things I really was not expecting. One was a very special gift from Santa! And by Santa I mean Nana. And by special gift I mean the iPhone 5! I was beyond shocked and so excited! Add to that a Christmas nap, and I'm one happy girl!

When the girls walked in the family room this morning they were so full of magic! Keagan saw her bike and the baby seat on the back and said "mom there's even a seat for Riley!" She loves her bike so much that we had to take it to the Fosters house when we went there for our traditional Pakka breakfast. Riley is thrilled with her horse and is good at rocking on it! And just like last year, Riley has had to "share" some of her things with Keagan. I'm definitely thinkin Santa should have brought two doctors kits since that was a little bit of a battle. But they had a great time playing all day together and with their cousins of course!

Another Christmas for the Kikuchi Girls history books! One to be very thankful for!

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Monday, December 24, 2012

The Nativity, Cousins & a Lobster

2012 brought us a wonderful Christmas Eve! We spent it with the Sundwalls at their beautiful new house in Katy. Only in Texas could a bunch of cousins have a blast swimming on Christmas Eve.

Then we had a delicious traditional dinner and a beautiful Nativity Story presentation from Ben and Nick which included a powerful video.

Keagan and Collin were in heaven playing together and Riley adores Weston. We all laughed to tears as we told stories and had the most memorable white elephant exchange ever! Kellie unwrapped a LIVE LOBSTER! It was hysterical! Her and Sam screamed loud enough for all of Houston to hear! I really regret not having video rolling because we might have won Americas Funniest Videos!

And then we got the best late night Christmas gift! The Denver Ginn's have a 12 hour lay over tonight here on their way to Panama for Christmas! So great to be able to see and hug them! Miss Campbell helped us put out our cookies for Santa.

Family, fun, good memories and a focus on our Savior Jesus Christ. I don't think any holiday could get much better then that!

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Spirit of Christmas

I am truly relishing in the Christmas spirit tonight. And it's not just the sugar high talking from all the yummy Christmas treats! It has been a powerful sabbath day with wonderful messages of Christ, gorgeous songs from the choir and participating in teaching a nativity lesson to all the Young Women. It was just topped off by our visit tonight from Santa Claus! I'm thankful to be able to know and to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, but also be able to enjoy all the other festive things about this time of year!

Speaking of the spirit of Christmas, we are so blessed to have had a secret Santa this year! They are doing the 12 days of Christmas for us and have surprised us with the most incredible things! We have all loved the excitement of this special Christmas blessing and have felt so loved!

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, I didn't get a great picture of Christmas dresses this year. Riley loved her dress and spent the entire day in it! I had to offer her favorite jammies to her in order to get her out of the purple Sugarplum fairy poof tonight. On the other hand it took some convincing to get Keags in her dress. She actually likes the poof, but hates the sweater. As soon as we got home from church she wants it all off. I love that they are so different!

I could physically see the magic in the girls eyes as Santa came to visit us tonight! We are so lucky that Andi Cook has Santa's number and drives Santa around in her car! And we are blessed that he can fit us into his busy schedule! Santa is full of joy and the Christmas spirit and the girls just gobbled that right up! Keagan was thrilled to hug, kiss and sit on Santa's lap. Riley was happy to wave at Santa from a safe distance.

We also were lucky enough to meet Chippy the Elf on Friday night. Again Keagan is hands on, and Riley stayed in the car to wave. My Keags is catchin on a little two fast and was amazed that, as she said, there was "a girl inside of Chippy." Fourtunately that didn't deter her excitement about meeting the popular Elf on the Shelf.

Each year, as the girls get older, I enjoy the new memories we are making more and more! I love seeing them enjoy this time of year and am excited for the two more great days ahead to celebrate our Saviors birth and enjoy each other! Today I'm so grateful we have already had a very Merry Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Festivities All Around!

Today was Keagans last day of school before Christmas break. That means it was her Christmas party! She woke up this morning telling me she didn't have school today, but would like to go to the party instead. The amount of fun Christmas artwork that she came home with was impressive! Not only did her stash include gifts from her teachers and friends but also a Christmas present for momma, which is even wrapped! I can't wait to see what her little hands made me!

When we left school Mister Kyle was in tears because he wanted Keagan and Matheson to come to his house immediately to play. Sweet boy! Two and a half weeks is such a long time to be separated when you are 4!

Miss Riley isn't done with school til Friday, but today was Polar Express Day at Brill! That meant she got to wear her jammies which created one seriously happy little girl! Happy about her glitter Christmas jammies but still never happy about taking a picture. It is serious work to get this girl to look at the camera. Thankfully it's no effort at all to get that smile though!

Tonight we drove around to look at all the great Christmas lights. I was remembering doing the same thing in Christmas pasts and realizing just how much the girls have grown and changed. Three years ago Keagan would just give ooooh's and aaaah's. And two years ago I repeatedly got "more! More! More!" Now she gives a full critique of the displays and is my GPS telling me where to go. Both of those years Riley spent barely noticing the lights. But now my smart girl knows exactly what to look for and which ones she really likes!

Tonight when we came around one corner, someone had a nativity set up out front just like we do and many others. Upon spotting it Keagan yelled out "Baby Jesus!" as loud as she could with serious excitement! After my initial startle, I laughed and was thankful that in her own way tonight Keagan was focusing on the true meaning of Christmas.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Back to Normal

Today was the first normal day we've had in too long. Well lets be honest, nothing about the three of us is very normal. So I guess we are getting back to OUR normal.

Riley was over the moon excited about going back to school today! When her friends got off the bus Mariya ran straight to her and gave her a big hug and Major was dancing around chanting "Rileys back!", "Rileys back!" Cutest thing ever! Miss Benanti also gave her the most precious art work that the whole class made Riley last week! It was a Christmas get well card with all their hand prints! We will cherish it along with the darling teddy bear Miss B gave Ris when she came to visit her in the hospital. What a fantastic teacher and class!

Keags stayed home with me while I worked all day and kept herself extremely busy as always. I've never had a cuter co-worker in my life!

After dinner at Sa's house (which we are SO blessed to be able to do so often for so many reasons) we had a great Family Home Evening. Nana found the Little People toy nativity sets today. So we played with those and talked about that wonderful night. I was surprised how much Keagan knew thanks to a Christian preschool and Primary!

Normal and average days are such a huge blessing! I love a good vanilla kind of day when you've just had way too much rocky road lately! Today vanilla was delicious and I'm hoping for alot more days like it ahead!

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Keagan's Christmas Program

Wednesday night was Keagan's big Christmas Program at John Wesley Preschool. I didn't anticipate just how much fun it would be! It was a whole bunch of darling 3 and 4 year olds, all dressed up in their red and green, showing off what they have worked so hard on. The program titled "The Stable Where Jesus Was Born" was based off the book by Rhonda Gowler Greene. Keagan and all the 3 year old classes sang "O, Come All Ye Faithful", "There Was Much Rejoicing", "Mary Had a Baby", "Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine" and "A Child's Gift of Love".

Watching my baby up there singing every word and doing every action made my heart swell. She just did so well, never missed a beat, looked beautiful and beamed. When she came in with her class she had folded arms and a big proud smile when she saw me, Nana, Sa, Todd, Kellie and Addie there to cheer her on. And we definitely did all cheer!

YouTube Video

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Home Sweet Home

When Riley was released from the hospital yesterday, I did my very best not to scare all the other patients with my celebratory scream! I was ecstatic to sleep in my own bed, to end all the pokes and prods of Miss Riley and get home to Miss Keagan! But Riley was definitely the happiest in the bunch, and rightfully so! She scooted all around the house this morning in her favorite jammies just giddy to be independently playing and leaving a trail of messes behind her. And for once I'm happy to clean them up! Cause we are home!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Heart's in 2 Places

I'm sitting in Riley's hospital room at midnight, anxiously standing guard over my sweet baby trying to will each of her breaths to be good ones. And I'm just as anxiously missing her darling sister who I'm sure is cuddled up in Nana's bed with a stuffed animal or two. It's an awful feeling to have your heart in two different places at once!

I never take for granted when we are all asleep in our own beds, safely at home and healthy. I'm seriously wishing that were the case tonight! Even more then usual.

Monday morning Riley had a follow up visit with Dr Reed. She looked good and was acting healthy and happy. At the very end of the visit we decided to just check her pulse ox. Both the doctor and I were shocked at the 74 reading and checked that several times. After a breathing treatment we could only get her oxygen level up to 86, so an ambulance was called. My poor Riley was terrified and unhappy in the ambulance. But being the incredible kid she is, she still had a smile for me! Its hiding underneath her mask.

After a much too long ER stay we decided she wasn't sick enough to need TCH. But she needed to be on oxygen so she was admitted to St Luke's in The Woodlands. Last night was rough! No sleep, 4 liters of oxygen and a lot of prayer later, we managed through. Today brought much better news! She worked her way slowly down on the oxygen.

This afternoon Nana came and kicked me out (literally) so I could go home and take a shower and pick up my Keags from school. Of course I was so excited to see Keagan and she looked at me and said "I thought Nana was picking me up!" And her first words once in the car were "Mom Nana forgot my bow today!"

That began a great 3 hour visit of our little family of 3 together in Riley's little room. We played and had so much fun. Bubbles, coloring, stickers and toys from the play room all made both girls happy. Who knew that the medicine Riley really needed was some pure entertainment from her sister! Once her sister had her laughing, Riley didn't need any oxygen at all!

Another visit from Nana to pick up Keags and then Riley got lots of cuddles from Grandma Linda. But once everyone leaves, the place gets quite and Riley's breathing gets worse. That means the oxygen goes back on and we fiddle with it all night to see what she can handle. So now, unfortunately I worry and I pray. I worry about both my girls and what they need from me. One needs me to comfort her through needle sticks and breathing treatments. And the other needs to know I love and miss her and totally still care about her being the line leader today! Equally as important. But in two different places.

Tomorrow I will give the doctor my very best argument as to why we should be able to go home. I will be arguing for Riley and for Keagan. Riley always does better at home. I can do her breathing treatments and monitor her there. And Keagan needs us all home together. Lets hope we get there!
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