Sunday, February 26, 2017

My Whole Heart

My sweet friend was doing Valentine's mini sessions and I just couldn't pass them up! Looking at these heart pictures of my precious girls make my heart burst with love for them! In my day to day busyness and frustrations of being a single mom, I sometimes lose sight of what an incredible gift these two little ladies are! Despite my impatience and weaknesses I hope I make my unconditional love for them obvious each day! 

They really are my whole heart!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quite a Day!!

Last night I spent what felt like an hour on my knees in prayer! I had so much running through my heart and mind, especially about my two precious girls! I'm not at all surprised those prayers were heard and we all survived today with flying colors! It was seriously quite a day!! 

Riley had her second round of Botox injections today. We were at Texas Children's by 6am this morning which meant Keagan thankfully slept at Sa's house. By 8 am we had been through all the rounds of paperwork, the vital signs, all the questions and double checks, the meeting with the anesthesiologist and Dr Dy and were ready to go. Through all that I was once again amazed at Riley's smile and positive attitude! She knew exactly what was going on and why we were there. She was scared. But she is so stinkin brave and such a warrior that she smiled through that fear! What an example she is to me!

Unfortunately my sweet girl did really freak out when Dr Dy started to walk her back to the OR. So I was the annoying mom who insisted on breaking the rules and walking her back myself. I stayed with her and helped put the gas mask on her until she fell asleep. After I left they put in an IV for anesthesia and did all the Botox injections in her left arm and hand from each finger all the way to her pectoral muscle. They also did ultrasound guided shots in her salivary glands for her drooling. Dr Dy mentioned that they used enough Botox for 50 adult procedures of cosmetic Botox! 

It all went well except for some cuts on the roof of her mouth from fighting the mask. I met her back in recovery and it took a while to wake her up but she was then happy to have Sprite and go home! In the car she insisted on her favorite cheese roll ups from Taco Bell since she wasn't able to eat before hand and then came home and took a glorious 2.5 hour nap! She is happy and healthy tonight and I couldn't be more thankful for the answered prayers and the beautiful priesthood blessing Todd gave her last night! 

As if that wasn't enough drama and stress on a mommas heart in one day, the party continued. Since I was feeling the power of prayer so strongly today, of course the two things that I have been praying about so hard for Keagan surfaced after school. As we were talking about her day I mentioned to her that I had great news! The great news was that myself, her teacher Mrs Yancey, her reading tutor Mrs Potvin and the literacy specialist Mrs Wilson that she has been meeting with have figured out that she reads a little differently then some kids. We have figured out she has dyslexia and now we know how to help her better! She responded well and remembered that Kellie and Pakka are dyslexic. She has been struggling with her reading and recently has said she hates reading which just broke my heart! This diagnosis has been a long time coming and she has been going through extensive testing to get to this point. Although I have seen it coming for a long time, despite her great grades and hard work, it was a little hard to swallow. But I'm so thankful we found it early and that she is really going to get the wonderful help she needs at school! 

After our chat we decided to go on a walk since it was such a nice day outside. Well wouldn't you know it that 30 mins after one big conversation Miss Keagan asks me where babies come from!! She has been hinting around at this so I knew it was coming and had been praying about how to answer. I kept it casual and elaborated on the fact that it's a gift from God to mommys and daddys. And she said "so what is sex then?" Wow!! My little baby girl said that!! So I gave her a brief, casual explanation of what sex is and then reviewed that she can always ask me anything but that we dont talk about sex with others or ever joke about something so special. She listened and then shrugged her shoulders and said "ok cool!" and literally skipped away! Mind you this was all while Riley was behind the wheel of the pink Cadillac toy and drove across the neighbors grass and almost rammed the fire hydrant! 

Seriously!! What a day!! 

You know almost nightly in my prayers I tell the Lord that I REALLY could not do this without Him! Like any of this! I am SO thankful that He helped me through today and that we are all going to sleep healthy and happy! And thankful that the three things I've been so worried about are all over and taken care of in one day! Hallelujah! Prayers are answered! 

Man I seriously love and adore these girls, but that was quite a day! 

PS, on days like this I let her wear whatever she wants! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Oh Happy Days!

Y'all it really happened! I have heard of this incredible thing happening to other parents but I wasn't sure it would happen to me. But it did!! It happened on Sunday! 

After church and then lunch, I was totally exhausted. And there must have been something in the air (carbon dioxide?) because Riley was feelin the same way. So guess what happened?! 

Wait for it...

We took a Sunday NAP!! It was 90 glorious minutes curled up with my baby in the recliner! And to make it even better, while we were sleeping Keagan took the initiative all on her own and cleaned the kitchen!! Oh happy day!! 

It was heaven! And then wouldn't you know it the girls both slept in on Monday morning til 8:30! That is two hours later then normal and much appreciated for a great start to a day off! Awesome! 

Other things have also been making the Kikuchi girls happy lately. Of course they have! On Wednesday we had a memorable gelato date after school. We sat outside and chatted and giggled together for a special 45 minutes. It was almost magical until a bumble bee crashed the party. Miss Keagan is TERRIFIED of bees so she had quite the freak out! 

Thursday was a very busy day! It was the night of the Mahaffey dedication where the "Founding Scotties" plaque with our names on it was unveiled and the ceremony of dedication took place. It was also Open House and the girls were thrilled to lead me around and show me all the great things they have been working on! Im so proud of them both!

We are on the bottom row, second from the left; "Emily, Keagan and Riley Kikuchi."

Riley's handprint cardinals!

Lots of Keagan's great work! 

Riley's pinch pot she made in art! 

Keagan's art on display!

On Friday we had a really fun play date at our house with Lauren and Audrey. The girls ran, played and giggled for hours! It was so sweet! And then on Saturday we needed to take the French's all the way to Hobby airport so on the way there Keagan asked to make an adventure out of it! I was happy to oblige with such a fun afternoon in Hermann park! We rode the train twice, took a walk, had a picnic with snow cones and snacks and did something we have wanted to do for a long time! For years when we were in the medical center area we have laughed at the sculptures that we called "the pink poop!" On Saturday we got up close and personal with it but we still have NO idea what it is! Riley's cowgirl boots and all three of our super casual wear was proof this was an impromptu date, but it sure was fun! 

On Monday we had a relaxed but productive day off school. I had a 3 hour in home meeting with Riley's case manager for her insurance that I had been dreading so we are all glad that is over! And Keagan proved once again that she is a swimming rockstar! She tested out of the Silver Fins class after only being on that level for several weeks. She is now a Gold Fin and I'm sure will continue to work hard in the water! 

Placing her promotion sticker on the board.

2017 is already moving so fast! This blog mostly documents all the great stuff happening but obviously there is a whole mix of hard, exhausting, stressful things too. Trust me, there is plenty of that!! This life definitely isn't easy and I'm screwing it up all the time but we sure are trying our best and experiencing a whole lot of fun and happiness along the way! 

Oh happy days! 
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Feelin the Love!

The Kikuchi girls are definitely feelin the love on this Valentine's Day! 

We started the day out with mommy giving the girls a small gift and being given good hugs and kisses in return! I must document that Miss Keagan sure liked Riley's hedgehog more then her racoon and it cracked me up! That girl! Then while the girls had a fantastic day at school including fun parties, exchanging Valentine's with their classmates, heart shaped chicken nuggets for lunch, a special cookie and a spirit stick from PTO, and participating in a service project to make Valentine's for seniors in care homes, mommy was at a fun visiting teaching luncheon for a little GALentines. 

After school Keags went to tennis and Riley went to dance. Unfortunately on the way to dance we got stuck behind a car accident and Miss Riley found a stamp and got ink ALL over her arms, face, tights and ballet shoes! After a little time in time out, Sa and Todd made us all a nice dinner including a fantastic RJ Goodies cake and the girls dad kept with their sweet tradition and sent them a heart shaped pizza and brownies that they loved! To keep the love coming, the best home teacher ever, Wayne Allred stopped by with teddy bears for the girls, Kirk and Kari came to say hi, and Gramas brought us her famous sugar cookies! 

After more hugs and kisses all three Kikuchi girls are going to sleep feeling very blessed tonight! We are truly surrounded by wonderful friends and family whom we love and who obviously love us right back! And the greatest part as that the three of us have each other! I'm so thankful for the two cutest Valentine's possible! 

So we were surrounded by so much love today and a love scripture came into my mind several times today. It's probably the most famous bible verse of all time. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Now THAT love is the love I'm most thankful for today and everyday! That love is unconditional and eternal. I don't even fully comprehend that love but I'm forever grateful for it and seek after it! I'm thankful to feel that love today and everyday! 

One things for sure, on this Valentine's Day we were sure feelin the love! 
Monday, February 13, 2017

So Tired!

I am tired! Like so, so tired! I have been for two weeks. Like tired with an itty bitty t that almost looks like an x because it is falling down tired. 

I'm not sure if it's because I've had a headache for 5 days or because I'm still getting over that Riley and I had strep last week. Maybe it's because I missed church 2 weeks in a row or maybe it's the never ending chores and attending to the children. More then likely it's just trying to balance momming/work/church calling/house and life. And I'm not doing it all in a young, fit body and/or with a spouse to share the load. Whatever it is, I'm down right exhausted! 

My babies in the morning when they are still tired and haven't woken up yet...

The good thing is that even when I am tired, life still goes on. And my life has lots and lots of reasons to enjoy my waking hours! Thank heavens, or I would probably fall asleep standing up! And lots has happened in the 2 weeks that I haven't blogged that was definitely worth fighting the tired for! 

We've had play dates and LOTS of playing outside! We gotta get in time outside before it gets hot! On Saturday we even had a picnic and turned the slide into a water slide! 

It was the 100th day of school! 2nd grade is going by too fast! 

Our awesome running club did a food drive for SOUPer bowl. Love those Speedy Scotties! 

Riley and her besties Alessandro, Layne and Noah. I seriously love this beautiful picture SO much! 

More Makerspace fun! 

Keagan is absolutely loving both tennis and tumbling! Oh and she's doing so great in swimming too. She moved up another level to silver fin! I'm so thankful both girls are able to do the activities they are doing and explore their talents! 

And by far my favorite thing that has happened lately is that Miss Riley rode a scooter!!! The girl they said would never walk has been trying to ride a scooter for years! After school one day last week we played outside and she fell off that scooter 7 times. But she got back up 7 times too and then she finally did it!! It was a short and a slow ride, but it was the ride of her life! 

She is such an example to me! Everyday my kids teach me new things and I am so thankful! Hopefully their next lesson will be how not to be tired!