Sunday, September 25, 2016

Another Crazy Week

It was a little bit of a downer week. It was a rough one. So we partied this weekend and loved it! We had definitely earned it! 

Friday night was our 1st Annual Scottie Social at school and the girls had a blast with so many of their friends! And mine too! 

We love the Krenek girls! I get to work with Chantal and Keagan gets to be in class with Lauren.

Audrey and the girls Scottie tattoos. I told Keagan this better be the only tattoo she ever gets! 

The twins picture with the darling Jones girls!

Such cute Scotties! 

Where there is a turkey leg, there is a Keagan! 

Riley LOVED the drum line like her momma! 

Then on Saturday we all had a great time at Carly Kelley's gymnastics birthday party! We love those Kelleys too! 

And I should probably mention the downers as to why we all earned the party time...

On Monday the girls started swim again, which they are extremely happy about! After swim was over I thought I was being a really nice mom by taking them to the splash pad before dinner. Well Riley ended up with huge blisters all over her feet, some of which ripped off! Both of us felt SO terrible and she refused to walk! Miss Taryn came over Monday night with all of her oils and then Tuesday I took her to the doctor. She was inconsolable Tuesday morning that she wasn't going to school! By Wednesday she still wasn't walking and I didn't want her teachers to have to carry her around so she went to school in her wheelchair! It was so weird to see her in there! Thank heavens she started walking by Thursday! 

After school on Wednesday we all got our flu shots! Not fun but I was so proud of Keagan for not crying at all this year! So a little trip to Tutti Frutti was definitely in order! 

And then Wednesday night Keags wasn't feeling good and fell asleep at 5pm at Sa's! By what she described I thought she had gotten my strep so I took her to the urgent care while Riley went toYoung  Women's with Miss Taryn. I was so thankful she only had a sinus infections and that the next day was Thursday when I don't work so she could stay home. Instead of going to school she rested in her self made wind tunnel! 

So the week was rough for all of us. Neither girl felt good and I didn't get much done because the girls were home from school on my two days off. Not to mention the mommy guilt that ate me alive about those blisters!! But the week wasn't all bad of course! 

It was anti bulling week at school and on Monday we took a school wide rainbow picture using a drone with each grade in a different color! All the kids loved it!

And Wednesday was Texans day so both girls were super excited to wear their new JJ Watt jerseys! 

And my favorite part of the week was Tuesday night at Parent Night at Mahaffey. I was able to see even more clearly what incredible teachers both girls have and was particularly amazed at the curriculum in Riley's class! More and more I realize we are so blessed to be Scotties!

My invitation from Keagan

Teacher selfie with some of the parents!

I'm thankful that we survived another crazy week! And that it's a new week, we had an awesome Sunday at church and we have exciting things ahead! I'm not going to say this one won't be just as crazy as the last. That would be pretty naive of me considering our history of almost 8 years full of crazy weeks. But a girl can always dream, can't she?!
Sunday, September 18, 2016

Priceless Riches

I'm not afraid to say that I am not rich when it comes to the worlds standards. But I feel like I had a weekend that really reminded me that my life is so full of riches! Those riches are priceless and I can honestly say I wouldn't trade them for all the gold in the world! 

Today was my favorite Sunday of the year! The Primary Program means all the children take over for the best sacrament meeting ever. Sweet kids, full of innocent faith, singing and testifying of the gospel! The best! 

I just cherished being able to watch my sweet girls up there! Riley was a little bit all over the place and of course she smiled and waved. And Keags sang every word. I loved all the songs especially "Gethsemane" and Keagan and Riley were the last two kids to say their parts before the Bishop spoke. They each bore their testimony of the scriptures! Keagan said perfectly in the microphone "I love to read the Book of Mormon. It teaches me about Jesus Christ and how to return to Heavenly Father. I know that the Book of Mormon is true." For her part, Riley stood at the microphone with a big smile while her sweet teacher Sister Nickle (who Keagan called Sister Quarter) read her part saying ""I'm so thankful for the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. I know they are true. Im so happy that the scriptures will help me get back to my Heavenly Father to live with my family forever." 

I loved every second of the sweet meeting and only cried for half of it! 

I love those pictures and how they show how each girl insists on taking a bag to church each week like mom even if there is nothing relevant in it! And I absolutely love these pictures that Gramas took in primary! Totally priceless! 

Yesterday all the kids had a practice for today and don't tell anyone but I totally broke the rules and videoed the girls saying their parts! Shhh! 

When we were getting ready this morning for church Keagan insisted on blow drying both Riley's hair and her own hair! I'm not sure when she turned into a teenager!

She was incredibly sweet and helpful this past week! Last night we went to her classmates baptism and when I went upstairs to get dressed, Keags completely picked out an outfit for her and for Riley and got them both dressed! I was amazed! Riley even had her purple tutu on underneath her dress! 

The baptism was beautiful and then the three of us went for cheap Mexican food. At one point during dinner Keagan was laughing so hard at me she thought she was going to pee her pants! That was definitely priceless! Meanwhile Miss Riley hit a new low on being willing to eat anything and making a huge mess of it! She insisted on dipping her plain ice cream cone in her refried beans! Yep, she ate the whole thing! 

After dinner we had an impromptu party to attend at Bahama Bucks with the Riesbergers! Sweet Sam called Keagan his best friend during a rousing game of checkers! 

See? All priceless moments this weekend that make my life so rich! Here is a few more...

Keags had so much fun learning how to build a robot in Makerspace with Mrs Kelley on Friday that she was dying to get home and show Riley! 

Riley was SO proud that she got a 100 on her test! And momma is SO happy that she is getting such a great education with teachers that believe in her and push her! 

Jump roping with both girls tonight before bed and watching Keags figure out new things was definitely priceless! 

And I can't leave out watching the BYU game with my Keags as she is just learning the game of football and had a million questions before she fell asleep. Would have been better if we won! 

And nothing makes me feel more rich then serious cuddle time and chats with my girls!! So thankful for quality time doing that this weekend! 

I'm thinkin the Lord knew I needed a weekend like this with nothing out of the ordinary except reminders of all that is priceless that surrounds me! I have the two most incredible daughters who I've built a beautiful life with, family and friends who love and support us, and the gospel of Jesus Christ including a loving Heavenly Father. Yep, there is no question I am richly, richly blessed! 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Loving a Nonverbal Child

Yesterday was a tougher day then I have seen in a while. My strep throat and ear infections totally kicked my butt! I took the girls to school and then slept from 8:30-2:30 when I had to go pick them up. Straight out the gate, after school Keagan asked "mom..really....why did you and dad get in a divorce?" Wowzers. Not my favorite conversation even when I'm feeling fine! 

And then last night it was Riley's turn to hit me with a real doozy. She was overly tired after her bath and ready to go to bed, but she wanted something. She wanted something but she couldn't communicate to me what she wanted. She is nonverbal, and I often speak "Riley," but I failed last night. I jumped into our regular guessing game and couldn't figure out the right answer. Keagan also jumped in to help me try to solve the puzzle once Riley's tears began. It was a heartbreaking 30 minutes for all of us that was only resolved when Riley gave up and decided to take her blanket as a consolation prize and go to bed. The experience was almost devastating and brought me to tears once both girls were asleep. 

Shortly after, I stumbled upon this article that addressed everything written on my heart. I couldn't believe this mother had written my exact thoughts! I found both extreme comfort and pain in her words. The article was "Loving a Child Who Cannot Speak" by Katie at 

"I have a daughter and she is nonverbal. It is one of the most difficult portions of my life. When the tears fall it becomes a guessing game. When we miss the mark of the needs the tears become screams. The frustration that mounts for everyone is intense. That screaming can last for what feels like an eternity. What ends it? Her resignation. She has no choice but to quit. Nobody is answering her need. Because we don't even know what it is.

Imagine all of your needs every single day and now imagine that you can never, not even once, tell one single person what you need. What a horrifying thing. Those dreams where you are being chased and you are scared and you try to scream for help but nothing comes out of your throat? That is her world. And we, as her parents, watch on in sheer pain and frustration. Just sign it!!! Just try to say something. Anything.

And she does. Every single day this brave soul yells out, makes sounds, tries. Not a single day goes by when she doesn't try. And her trying? It shatters me. I am her Mama after all and mamas makes things better. Don't we? Is there anything else that better describes what we do? We kiss bruises and skinned knees. We are the makers of magic and all wounds are healed by our touch.

But Me? I.can't.fix.this. 

I can't wipe away this pain for her. And the sheer terror I face every day at the thought that she can't tell me what is wrong, who hurt her, what makes her happy and that I will get it wrong is something that breaks away pieces of me every single day. 

Am I failing? No. I am not. 

Is she failing? No. Never.

It is what it is.

Imagine sending your child to school or church and hoping and praying that nothing goes wrong. Imagine the stress of knowing that if something is wrong you, as the mom, will never know it. Wrongs could be committed at any moment and you won't know. The immense stress of wondering if you have chosen the right people to trust is never ending. If you are not with your child every waking minute, then that stress is with you. 

And she never quits. This brave one? She owns me heart and soul.

So we try again. We get up and face the day. We encourage the yelling. Speak to us! Try again!! We smile with the laughter. We cringe with the grimace and hold out for that elusive hope. We learn that communication is more than words. And we learn to grant ourselves and those around us grace....And above all we know that love takes many forms. Love requires no words. It is an intangible, nonverbal force. 

And intangible, nonverbal?
That's our playground, ya'll. We own this.
We've got this." 

Her words are a glimpse into my heart. A heart that shatters everyday with what I can't fix in my Riley. But a heart that Riley pieces back together with her incredible love and joy that don't need any words. 

I fell asleep last night, like I do many nights, being thankful for hope. Hope that the next time the Lord can help me figure it out, that Riley will continue to get better on using her communication device as a voice, and even hope that one day I may hear her say "mama." But even if I don't ever hear that word, I know my Riley loves me. And there is no question that she knows I love her! I love her with all the pieces of this fragile heart! And forever I will continue to fight, and guess, and speak "Riley" for 
her. And definitely continue to hope! 

That kind of love and that kind of hope needs no words. I love you Riley! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Keepin It Real

All before 10am today...I was pooped on, vacuumed an insane amount of Life cereal and Funyuns out of my back seat and was diagnosed with Strep throat and a double ear infection! I'm actually not as sick as it sounds. But I'm thinking the day can only get better from there, right? 

Well it was rough! And I do feel like crap! But good things can come from having to wait 62 minutes for the Minute Clinic inside CVS. And those things could be a Star Shower like the one you and Keagan hunted all over for last Christmas! Seriously she squealed and jumped when I gave it to her! Who would have thought that a laser light projector made for lazy people like me who do t want to hang up Christmas lights on the front of their house would have made two little girls SO happy?! I really needed that tonight! 
Sunday, September 11, 2016

Plan B

My entire life is a plan B. None of this is how I had planned things. Actually I think we are on like plan Q by now! That is where one of my life mottos and the title of this blog came from...bloom where you're planted! It's a must when you're livin in plan B...or Q. And it was a must today! 

I was kind of emotional this morning thinking about Seotember 11th and all that this date holds. I was really looking forward to going to church to be spiritually fed. But unfortunately Miss Riley's tummy had other plans. She woke up very grumpy and did not eat a thing for breakfast. She obviously had a tummy ache and had some reflux. By 10:30 she had extra meds and was in bed with Nana right at the time we should be getting ready to head to church. Within minutes Riley was snoring and unfortunateky I knew we couldn't go to church. 

So Keags and I made the best of plan B while Riley napped for over 3 hours! We cuddled on the couch, I got a full run down of the latest in her Mindcraft world, and then we FINALLY made our blanket for our Stake's refugee service project. It was nothing fancy, we just tied the edges of two pieces of fleece. That thing had been on my to do list for more weeks then I care to count! But we finally did it, and had a great time together! 

Once Riley woke up she was a happy rested girl who ate a massive late lunch and then played several Keagan made games with Keagan and I before heading to the Fosters for dinner. I'm proud of our plan B skills today! We don't always do it, but today I'd say we bloomed where we were planted. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Count My Blessings

I am starting to get sick, I'm super grumpy and my Cougars just lost to Utah by one stinkin point after the craziest game ever that almost gave me a heart attack!! I think now is a good time as any to count my blessings! 

That list is unbelievably long so how about we just go with a few that were just recently added to the list? 

Keagan helping Riley say family prayers has got to be the sweetest thing my ears have ever heard! Keagan says a line and then Riley practically yells her best attempt at repeating. I have no doubt those prayers are heard loud and clear in heaven! 

The girls and I have an on going discussion about how important it is to pick good friends and how unbelievably important it is to pick a good husband! The other day in the car, out of the blue, Keagan tells me she has to marry someone who "loves Heavenly Father, will go to the Temple, and loves ice cream!" She is so wise and that makes me happy! 

Both girls have earned several Scottie Shout Outs at school this week! Riley was beyond thrilled with hers from Coach Fox! 

We made a quick video singing happy birthday to Sami the other night and instead of calling her "Hermana Foster" Keagan sang "Harmonica Foster!!" I've chuckled about that all week! 

Riley is getting so much help and practice with "her talker" or her iPad with Proloque on it at school! This is SO exciting! On Thursday she went around the school to tell several people, by pushing the correct buttons "my name is Riley Kikuchi!" I also got an awesome video from Mrs Brown showing Rikey playing a fun game on the computer actually using the mouse! 

Keags is really good at cleaning up after herself and helping me clean up. That really comes in handy after an inside morning of toliet paper wrapping! 

On Wednesday I had so much fun helping our principals pass out Sonic drinks to all our Magaffey family/staff to celebrate a mid week happy hour! 

On days that I work (M/W/F) my favorite time is 3:00 when I go pick up Riley. She is usually SO happy to see me and runs as fast as she can to give me a hug! It about makes my hurt burst every time! 

Reading in bed with Keagan after Riley is asleep is such a special time! I hate that there are too many nights that I skip it because I'm just too tired or grumpy! I'm workin on that! 

We had a blast swimming at the Riesbergers today! I was amazed how much better swimmers both girls were after their summer sessions at FINS! We are hoping to start classes back up soon. Meanwhile, swimming with Sam, Betty and Miss Nikki is the best!  

I definitely have to count Tutti Fritti with these precious girls! 

Riley has the most darling little dance friends this year and we absolutely love having Miss Taylor again! 

We have successfully completed 3 weeks of school and Riley hasn't worn a swimsuit or leotard at all! On Thursday I did let her pick out her own outfit because she wanted to wear her swimsuit so bad. She ended up with black ruffle shorts with big gold polka dots, her Mahaffey shirt of course, a pink ruffle belt over her tShirt, a bright pink drool bib and grey winter gloves! Whatever works! Example of the shorts in a picture she wanted to take on another day...

Since its way past my bed time and I'm still up trying to wind down after that game, I am REALLY hoping tomorrow I can add the fact that we all got to sleep in to this list! Either way when I count my blessings my list is so incredibly long! And that is just another thing to be thankful for!