Sunday, April 30, 2017

Don't Forget!

I pulled out the books that I have had this blog printed into last week. It was a completely reassuring experience as to why I take the time to do this because there was so much in there that I had totally forgotten! I love the trips down memory lane that these books/this blog provides! This life with my darling babies is passing by way too fast and just maybe this blog will help me never to forget the highs and lows, the beauty and the ugly, and the joy and pain of it all! 

What I don't want to forget from this past week...

Riley being so adamant about wanting to spend forever in her high chair watching Netflix. It's a weird combination of teenager and toddler. She would seriously sit their for hours if I let her! 

Keagan paying me for new games on her iPad with change. She is always scrounging for change for new games and would also play on her iPad for hours if I let her! 

Riley putting herself in time out because she is mad at me! This happens a lot lately. 

Keagan constantly begging for play dates and wanting to stay late after school to hang with the other staff kids and deliver their mail box contents to all her favorite teachers. 

The DARLING pigeon and princess for the story book parade at school on Friday! Keagan was super insistent on being the pigeon from her favorite book "Don't let the pigeon stay up late" and of course Riley was a Disney princess, Belle. We pieced Keagans costume together and Riley woke up SO excited to be a princess for the day! They both loved it! 


Their friends and especially their teachers were also so cute! Riley's teachers were the absolute best! Another reason why they are SO amazing! 

Sweet Reagan has been in the hospital for an angry liver and we seriously had so much fun taking her and Miss Taryn dinner last night and playing I spy out the hospital window and dancing! And yes Riley is stil wearing her Belle costume!

 All three of us working hard but loving it at school! I seriously love these Scotties!

My girls have and are such sweet friends! Two different teachers sent me these pics they captured that I love! Keagan was taking a friend to the nurse. And there is a kindergarten girl that is seriously jealous that Riley always gets to hold Alessandro's hand!

We had lots of fun at two of Lauren's softball games! I thought we were just supporting her bestie but now Keags really wants to play softball!

Riley being crazy as usual! We were waiting for Todd to bring Keagan back to his house after he picked her up from tennis for me while I was at dance with Riley and before I know it she was loungin in the garage of all places! Another day it was her favorite spot in Sa's blanket basket. Crazy lady!

Keags loved the pizza party outside to say goodbye to Mrs Widenfeller who was their classes student teacher. This picture made me super proud because I saw Keagan go out of her way to make all these girls feel invited to be in the picture too!

I had one REALLY hard day reading 43 pages of Riley's 3 year evaluation for her upcoming ARD at school this week. All the tests in the world will never show how amazing that girl is and I just wanted to scream that from the roof tops! Unfortunately that landed on the same day of her 6 month re-eval for private speech therapy that didn't go to well. I had a pity party and then fell asleep listing all the amazing things my miracle baby can do! 

And if that didn't kick the blues all the way, of course we got in some good cuddle time this weekend and that did my heart good!
Another fantastic week that hopefully I won't forget! Now that it's documented that is much more likely! 
Friday, April 21, 2017

My Besties Kids

For the last three days our house was a little busier and definitely a lot more fun! While Miss Taryn had to go out of town for work you know us single mommy besties have each others back and the village steps in! So we had Hudson and Reagan for the last three days and we absolutely loved it because we love them! We even got to celebrate Hudson's 15th birthday with him! Besides the 5am wake ups and 11:30 bed times, having two teenagers wasn't as bad as I thought! MAYBE one day I could actually be a mom of teenagers. But for now I will DEFINITELY stick to little girls! I should probably start to figure out how to parent them first! 
Thursday, April 20, 2017

She Blooms! Another Honest Post

Oh this sweet, precious girl! My Keagan sure is one of a kind in the most perfect way! She looks so much like her daddy (but much prettier) and has a personality a lot like her cousin Sami and aunt Sa. But I still see a lot of myself in her too. The thing I am most in awe of in her is that she follows one of my personal life mottos SO well! 

Miss Keagan definitely blooms where she is planted! 

She has bloomed at a new school this year, made wonderful friends this year, and conquered new challenges. But there is so much more to her blooming! 

Ok we are about to get real honest real fast here y'all! 

She is being raised by a single mom which is one thing and only sees her dad twice a year. But probably an even bigger challenge, one that builds her tremendously but is still challenging none the less, is being Riley's twin sister. It has been said many times that there is nothing more fulfilling and challenging at the same time as being a special needs parent. Well being a special needs sibling is its own extremely unique life shaper. 

Miss Keagan is so incredibly blessed by Riley! She has learned and will continue to learn so many amazing things as the result of her sisters special needs. And being loved by Riley is something special! But there is also a difficult side to being that sibling and twin. Keagan has to handle quite a bit that most kids her age don't, and she handles it with such grace! Probably the hardest thing that we see everyday is that Riley gets a TON more attention from everyone! And I do mean everyone- from me to strangers at the mall and everyone in between. The same rules and expectations don't always apply to each girl and that's usually unfair on Keagan's end. Unfortunately at times she is passed around because Riley has therapy and doctors appointments. The hospital stays are the worst with that! When Riley has any medical or behavioral issues, Miss Keagan's needs end up taking the back seat. And Keagan often fills in as Riley's interpreter and care taker when she shouldnt have to be. And really the list goes on. 

But the good news is how well Keagan handles it all! She definitely blooms where she is planted! Just like I have no second thought about it, Keagan would never trade her special twin for any of that list to go away! She takes it all in stride most days, helps me tremendously, and although she can be frustrated with Riley or fight with her, she is also Riley's biggest cheerleader, protector and friend! My heart swells when I catch Keagan hugging Riley at school, trying to help her fall asleep when she is upset, making sure Riley has enough Easter eggs in the middle of a hunt, explaining to other kids that Riley's not weird, and getting on me when I'm less then patient with Riley! And those things happen all the time! She truly is a remarkable sister and little girl! 

She has also bloomed after being planted in a field called dyslexia. Once Keagan finally got the dyslexia diagnosis she immediately started to bloom! With an explanation and a name for her reading difficulty, her confidence went way up and she improved her reading dramatically after the beginning DIP (dyslexia intervention program) lessons. She has moved up 3 reading levels in just a few months and I couldn't be more proud of her strength and effort! I'm also SO thankful for her teachers and two reading specialists who have gotten her there! 

Last Thursday I went up to school to have lunch with Keagan on my day off. It had been an extremely rough morning with Riley in particular and without saying a word Keagan told me loud and clear that she needed a little more from me. So I took her Subway and gummy colas, we sat outside in the shade on the cement and talked. We chatted about nothing important but that time was uber important to both of us! After finishing her lunch, she made her way into my lap and insisted we take selfies together. I'm so thankful we documented the moment as it is one I never want to forget! And I'm so thankful that this blooming, strong, funny, smart, determined, stubborn, gorgeous girl is mine forever! And that I've got a front row seat to see just what she is going to bloom into next! 


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Imperfect Easter

I LOVE Easter and all the joy, hope, and family that comes with it. Let's just start with that. 

We had a fantastic morning. The Easter bunny was WAY too generous as always. Combine that with gifts from Grama Linda and great packages from their dad and the Kikuchi girls have been officially Easter spoiled. Church was really wonderful too and the spirit of Easter was so alive and well! 

But, to be completely honest, I wouldnt say our Easter Sunday was blissful. All three of us with allergies/stuffy noses/coughs, drama over just who is actually coming to dinner and the stress for me of feeding what ended up being 25 people just got the best of me! It happens, and at least I'm honest about it. The egg hunt with almost 200 eggs was over before I could really take pictures, Keags was in tears twice, Riley refused to eat because there was too much going on, and the stress before dinner left me with a pounding headache. We even forgot about the 8 dozen confetti eggs I had ready!

But we pulled it off. We were all together, loud, crazy and fun! We had quite the Easter feast and my girls were in cousin heaven! I was so glad the Sundwall's and Aunt Mary and Uncle Gary who are visiting from Utah could be with us and that the table that I stressed about setting was filled with tons and tons of laughter! 

So maybe all of that just represents the perfect of most imperfect Easters. In one of my favorite talks on Easter last year, Jeffery R Holland said "So today we celebrate the gift of victory over every fall we have ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced—to say nothing of our resurrection from death and forgiveness for our sins. That victory is available to us because of events that transpired on a weekend precisely like this nearly two millennia ago in Jerusalem." 

So it's ok that our Easter wasn't perfect, it's not really supposed to be. We are only perfect in Him and with Him. And despite the stress and drama, that is something I can always celebrate! In the midst of all the craziness I can proclaim "I know that my Redeemer lives!" And maybe that was just all the Easter I needed. 

The Easter Bunny left a trail of his half eaten carrots! Keagan said he must have really been in a hurry! 

He brought sleep masks, joke books and Princess Poppy hair styling toys!

He also brought crazy sour Warheads!

Oh man my babies are darling! 

The feast! 

SO many eggs!

All the hunters- the teenagers actually participated because I included money eggs! 

We had the Ginn's, the Fosters, the Frenchs, the Sundwalls, and Aunt Mary and Uncle Gary. Plus Chris and Makayla came with Addie and Miles came with Hudson. 

Keagan giving Riley some extra eggs! So sweet!   

Happy Easter! Despite it not being perfect, because of Him it is always happy for us! Now anyone want some confetti eggs?!
Saturday, April 15, 2017

EGGselent Saturday!

The girls and I had a really EGGcelent Saturday together today! We went to Zube Park this morning to ride the trains. It was gorgeous weather and we really had a blast. Then this afternoon we roped Nana into dying Easter eggs with us. It's a traditional must, cause you know this momma loves traditions, but I'm always happy once it's over and cleaned up. The best part was that Keags insisted they wear their tie dye t shirts in case they spilled anything it would just blend right in! Other then that we cleaned to get ready for tomorrow, watched the movie "hop", had lunch at McDonalds and dinner at Sa's. And the best part is we chatted, joked and laughed together! It really was great! 

It was my goal to talk through out the day about the true meaning of Easter and the hope and joy that this beautiful celebration brings. I am not always good at teaching along the way and have been praying for help with this, and today I feel like those prayers were answered. We had a very powerful moment in the car together as I retold the girls the story they already know of the events of Easter week, the greatest story ever told. I cried as I explained in detail what our Savior went thru to atone and sacrifice for us. The girls were listening so intently and at one point sweet Keagan's voice broke their silence and said "I know mommy, you don't have to finish if it makes you cry." And sweet Riley reached up and put her hand on my shoulder! Oh these sweet girls! 

But I continued to finish the story and express my deep gratitude and joy that I now feel and am reminded of this week. I also got the chance to explain that my tears are not just because of my gratitude but also because I feel the Holy Ghost in my heart testifying of the truth. That led to a great discussion of how we feel the Holy Ghost. So a simple car ride turned into such a teaching, bonding, testimony building conversation that I am much more thankful for then I am for the fun activities we did today! 

We ended the day by getting ready for the Easter Bunny to come with carrots and water, and wondered all about him with two excited little girls! Or maybe I should make that three excited girls! We are ALL ready for Easter!