Friday, August 28, 2015

The Struggle is Real!

Ups and downs. It's the name of the game of this motherhood business. The first week of school was no exception. 

Let's face it I mentally try my darnedest to block out the downs, but it really was mostly ups. The downs came with going from the summer schedule to the school one. That requires waking up much earlier, trying desperately to get the girls to fall asleep earlier and three very tired girls! Yes I'm included in that. Less sleep led to some seriously whiney nights for poor Miss Riley. Tonight in fact she had more then a meltdown to take off her dirty Brill spirit shirt. I can't say I blame her because they are super cute this year and I love Brill too, but for heaven sakes! 
And then there's Miss Keagan. No self respecting 37 year old mom would engage in a power struggle with a 6 year old, right?! Well guess what is happening in this house? The struggle is real! The power struggle that is. On Wednesday Keagan refused to match Riley and wear what I wanted her to! It was so heartbreaking to me that I photo documented the occasion. THAT day has come, but luckily I have recovered and they matched the rest of the week! Bullet dodged!
Keags has also refused to go to sleep when it's bedtime twice this week. On Tuesday night she sat up for 30 minutes as she yawned and rubbed her eyes in exhaustion. This girl is as stubborn as her momma! I know her will is not going to break and I don't want it to! That determination and strength is going to seriously pay off one day, it's just that day is not today. I need to figure out a better way to work with her and I need to figure that out real fast! Thank heaven for prayer , literally! 

I've used several coping mechanisms this week to avoid my back to school struggle. Wednesday I organized a really fun lunch for Natalie's birthday! Today I went to the Family History library and got tons of work done, and went to the Temple! I also took a small nap one day which never happens! But I'm still always exhausted and now frustrated that the C-PAP I have been wearing solid for a couple of months now isn't making any difference! And I got a whole bunch of stuff checked off my to do list which is always fulfilling!
Brace yourselves...
And besides all the fun they are having at school because they are loving it, I tried to make the girls first week extra fun. I actually gave a yes to a spontaneous run through the sprinklers after school even! 
I'm just happy we survived! Now it's the weekend and we can regroup and get back on our game! Tonight we celebrated the survival with the Frenchs and the Fosters at Fuddruckers! 
I love these kids and I guess I'll take the struggle. I'll just block it out later anyway. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Little Miss Ambassador!

Little Miss Riley has been asked to be one of the three Honorary Ambassador for the Easter Seals "Walk With Me" event coming up next April 9th! Walk With Me is a 5K or shorter Family Fun Walk that helps raise awareness and resources for programs of Easter Seals, which help children and adults living with all types of disabilities. We are really excited for this fun opportunity for all of us, because everyone is invited to join us! Sa (my sister) has decided that we all need Team Riley shirts! That is something I've wanted to do for a long time so I will get that together! So fun! I'm thinking I will have to get Miss Keagan a Team Captain shirt too!

Here is the blurb about Riley on the Easter Seals Website:

"Riley Kikuchi and her twin sister, Keagan, are seven years old and in first grade. Riley loves school, her ballet class, dressing up, being silly and doing anything with her family, especially her cousins! Riley has a total of 23 medical diagnoses including cerebral palsy, polymicrogyria, dilated cardiomyopathy, asthma, epilepsy and many more. But she doesn’t let any of those hold her back from having a full and beautiful life! Riley is also non-verbal but she speaks volumes through her illuminating smile and contagious laugh. The highlight of Riley’s summer was attending Camp Buckaroo for the first time. She and her twin sister will make sure they don’t ever miss it again! Her family has also greatly appreciated Respite Services through Easter Seals. In seven short years Riley has accomplished so much and touched so many lives. She was told she would never walk, but she left her hot pink wheelchair behind when she was 5! With the help of Easter Seals Riley is going to be able to accomplish even more!"

The Website:
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Another First

Second day of school went great! First day of new ballet classes went even better!

These are the two cutest ballerinas I ever did see! Even with a big ole hole in the tights on the first time she wears them!

Monday, August 24, 2015

First Graders!!

The first day of First Grade was a big success! I have two very happy girls! 

Keagan is thrilled to have Mrs Evans who two mom friends told me this morning is the best teacher in the school! I can already tell she is loving, fun and organized! Perfect for my Keags! Her friend Katherine is with her at the blue table and they have fun balance stools to sit on and an iPad station that Mrs Evans raised all the money for last year! She will also switch into Mrs Meeds class in the afternoon for math and science which I think will be refreshing! 

Riley is so excited to be back in Mrs Gilmers class who is actually Mrs Keller now since she got married this summer! Both Miss Bonita and Miss Lee are back as the paras thankfully! This year they are in a bigger room and there is a total of 8 kids in the class! Riley will be surrounded by her good friends and is beyond thrilled! Not only is Avery and Zach back in her class but Jordan, Chloe and Violet are too! 

Brill's yearly theme is "Step up to the plate" and the whole school will be learning and implementing "the 7 habits of highly effective people" by Steven R Covey. Pakka would be so proud! We just love Brill so much and are so thankful for the positive, loving but driving environment there! First grade is going to be a BRILLiant year!!
Could they be any cuter?!
Their backpacks are as big as they are!
Saturday, August 22, 2015

Kikuchi Girls in Utah, Day 5

Super long day! But we are home!

Last minute souvenirs including a very coveted 5 pound bag of cinnamon bears that I left in the rental car, hard goodbyes to my grandma, and a delayed second flight with two exhausted girls, and we still had a good day and ended it with smiles. 

The whole trip Keags and Rys were really such good girls, even with much less sleep then normal, driving all over the place, meeting tons of new people and not doing anything they normally do. I am really so proud of them and it made our trip so much fun! But when we had to sit on our second plane for over and hour on the Tarmac for the first class alcohol to be delivered, after a mechanical failure of one plane that caused a change, Riley had about had it and let me know! But we survived and both girls slept through the entire last flight.

Getting home at 10:45pm was a little rough though. But we are home, we are exhausted and we are SO grateful for a wonderful trip, great memories made, fun experiences and fantastic people! 

Thank you Utah! I will always and forever be a Texas girl but man you are sure fun to visit! Until next time, which hopefully isn't another ten years! 
Friday, August 21, 2015

Kikuchi Girls in Utah, Day 4

More wonderful and priceless memories made today! We are very happy, very happy and very tired girls! 

We had a mellow morning of hanging out and playing with all of the great toys at my Aunt Mary's house. A lot of them were toys that I played with in this very house! Then we did a little shopping and had the most fantastic lunch at Mo Bettah Steaks! I have been dying for some local Hawaiian food and got a really  good fix today!
Then it was off to Provo! We drove around and I pointed out all the sites and marveled at all the things that have changed since my college days. We oohed and ahhed over the new Provo temple that is almost done! On a side note we have seen a total of 8 temples in 3 days on this trip which is just incredible! 

And then I carried out the big part of my  indocterinization of turning my children into serious BYU fans! We walked all around campus as I gushed at how amazing the greatest school on earth is. To seal their love of my school I kind of set them lose in the Bookstore and we went a little crazy! When the cashier told me my total I was a little surprised, but it's worth it for the Cougars! 
And if I didn't get them with the official BYU coloring books and sweatshirts, I for sure got them with the bowling alley in the Wilk! We had a blast and Keags bowled her first strike!

Then it was on to another night from heaven! Most of my Ginn cousins we able to get together at the Simpsons house in Springville for dinner and I'm not sure we could have had more fun! We laughed, chatted and heard great southern stories like the Ginn family does so well! Keagan and Riley had an absolute ball with all my cousins kids! They set up a manicure station, put together several little dances, jumped on the tramp and built friendships. The amazing Aunt Brooke even took all the little kids to get snow cones at one of the Snow Shacks she owns. So they got treats and I got to hug all my family and their kids! It was delightful!!
Some incredible women right here!
All the little kids. The big kids had already dispersed to their real Friday night plans.
All the Ginn twins!
Tomorrow will be 8 years since my dad died. Tonight when I was belly laughing at a table, in the beautiful cool weather with all three of his sisters and my mom, not to mention some of his favorite nieces and nephew, I knew he would be over the moon happy that we were there! I wouldn't have been surprised if he happened to stop by tonight! That sends the night over the edge for me! That and that Keagan got in the car and said "mom I really love all my cousins!"

Great food, BYU and family! I'm not sure it gets much better then this! So incredibly thankful we came!! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Kikuchi Girls in Utah, Day 3

We had another incredible day! But I think I may be tiring these girls out a little too much! Miss Riley in particular is exhausted so we may have to lay low a little in the morning.

This morning started with a trip to The Wonderment to see Auntie Jenn! Good times in such a cool space where the rockstar Jenn runs this global children's non profit!
Then we hit the first of four temples we saw today! It was the gorgeous Draper temple and we also saw Jordan River, Timpanogos and Provo. Keagan is amazed there are so many! 
Next we went to a Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point where we fed horses, chickens and goats, went on a hay ride and LOVED riding the ponies!
Then I was so happy to eat at my childhood friends restaurant! Cubbys Chicago Beef was super yummy! And gave us some downtown after our late lunch. 
After a drive exploring all the many changes in Utah County we headed up the canyon and stopped at Bridal Veil Falls. The girks loved being "inside the mountain" and Keags just had to get in the cold water and collect some rocks! I'm so glad my girls are seeing how beautiful this place is!
Then we made it all the way to Heber to have dinner, play and chat with the incredible Wilton family! What a beautiful family they are and we were so grateful to soak up some of their goodness and joy! A four hour visit goes by so fast when you haven't seen old friends in so long! They were beyond sweet and supportive and my kids had a blast with their darling kids! We are working on an arranged marriage! 
I'm so incredibly thankful for the memories we are creating and all the wonderful people my girls are finally meeting! Tomorrow is our last full day so I should probably get some sleep! Thanks Utah for another fantastic day!