Thursday, September 30, 2010

Update on Routines

I would just like to say that while Tyler got mutliple time-outs at his joy school, we went to the park afterwards and he was perfectly content just sitting on the blanket and watching and in a much better mood. I had a realization. It is ok to send him to his little joy school with his blanket so he can rest. It is ok that he can't or shouldn't go like other kids.

He has done GREAT GREAT GREAT for so long that I have forgotten about his heart. He has this lingering cough that is either the reason for his tiredness or he is just getting bigger and in need of the Fontan. Do you just know when you kid needs the Fontan heart moms? We were hoping he would make it to Feb before his next Cath, but maybe it will need to be sooner. Kind of scary to even think about that.

Yesterday instead of going to the park, we stayed home as a family and played in the sandbox and sprinklers and it was really nice and enjoyable. The boys played so nicely outside which is why I got to catch up on a months worth of blogging which is the reason for the thousands of posts in one day. It felt so good since this is like a journal for me.

I tried putting Tyler down for a nap but no success. Today, we got home around 1, I layed down with Tyler and while he tried to get away with his blanket, I held his blanket tight until he succomed and slept for 3 hours. Maybe that is the trick. Tie is blanket to the bedpost so he is stuck to the bed.

Simplifying life...I am not doing a cooking club and missed a girls night out for a friends upcoming baby because I just can't do it all. I realize that that is ok for me but I feel bad when I miss out on things for my kids. Tomorrow I am supposed to go to a friends house for a pool party after a morning co-op, but I am going to pass and try to stick to my routine. Yeah for me. I am so proud of myself. This is so unlike me. I feel sad that my kids are going to miss out on such a fun day with their friends, but also realize that they will never know and will be just fine. Right?? I need some words of encouragement that they don't need to go to everything. I don't feel the need to go to everything and am just fine. Actually happier to simplify. I hope the same holds true for them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things of the Spirit

I am in a non-denominational bible study which I LOVE. Christians of all different faiths come together to learn and talk of Christ. I learn so much from the woman. We are studying Isaiah and the latter-days. That is what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is all about. The fulfillment of the restoration in the latter-days that it talks about in Isaiah. The temples, priesthood, missionary work. It is all being fulfilled. One of the questions from Ephesians was to interpret the scripture, "and he gave some apostles, and some prophets and some evangetists and some pastors and teachers: for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ."

I believe in a prophet and apostles and ranks of the priesthood. How else would the church be directed by God? It has always been that way when his church has been on earth. We talked about scriptures that talked about going to the mountain of the Lords house in the Latter-days to be instructed. Everyone interpreted the mountain of the Lords house as the temple, yet everyone thought the temple isn't really the temple, which is why Isaiah is so confusing. If temples were needed in ancient times why not now? It is so amazing how much the spirit can teach and I am so grateful for my testimony and prayer to understand Isaiah. I am so grateful for the study.

So anyway, twice a year we get to hear and learn from our prophet via satellite on TV and it is my very favorite, spiritually uplifting weekend. I learn so much. I strive to be a better person, more full of love and charity. I am so grateful I know that there is a prophet on the earth again.

The week before conference President Monson and the leaders of the womans organization talk to the woman. It was such a great meeting!! My very favorite talk was one on charity. It was sooo good!! Here is my favorite part.

"I consider charity—or “the pure love of Christ”—to be the opposite of criticism and judging...

I have in mind the charity that impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness and affliction and distress but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others.

There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere.

Needed is the charity which refuses to find satisfaction in hearing or in repeating the reports of misfortunes that come to others, unless by so doing, the unfortunate one may be benefited. The American educator and politician Horace Mann once said, “To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is godlike.”11

Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others."

How great is that? I have been thinking about this in my life a lot lately. I have gotten to know two incredible woman who are both struggling with very unique challenges and my heart goes out to them. I feel like God placed us in each others paths so that we could grow in friendship, love and charity and so I could learn some incredible lessons from them. They are dealing with challenges I can't fathom. Challenges that society often judges. I haven't been able to take their trials from them, but I have been able to serve them and by so doing have grown to love and understand how much Christ loves them. I know that they deserve the best life possible and will help them get there in small and simple ways.

My life is busy, yet, as I have found time to serve, the Lord has blessed my life immensely. I have somehow been more productive, gotten everything done I needed to, been filled with more love, patience and the Spirit. Service is amazing!! It truly is the best way to draw closer to the Savior.

Excersaucer Time

This is my first child who LOVES her excersaucer and mommy does too. When we are on the trampoline, Kira is hanging out in her excersaucer. Not only does she sit in it, grabbing and playing with all the toys, but she bounces and bounces and bounces when she is in the mood. Who needs a johnny jumper when you think your excersaucer is also a jumper. Here is a video of her rockin out. She took a little spit up break after all the motion just to jump more. Love it!!

Young Womans

In my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the members each have different callings that we are called and released from. I have been in the Young Woman organization for the past year. I just got released from being the 1st councilor which means I was mostly with the MiaMades, Freshman and Sophomores in High School. It was my first calling in young womans and I really enjoyed it. The girls of course taught me way more than I could ever teach them. It was the perfect calling to have as I welcomed our first girl into our family. We say a young woman theme each Sunday that reminds us that we are daughters of God who loves us and we love him. We are reminded to live the young woman values of faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity and virtue. I did a lot of pondering and thinking about those values this past year because of this calling.

I realized areas of my life where I could improve on all these values. It is amazing how when you teach children or the youth, you realize areas in your life where you can improve. I love it!! The best part about serving is that when you serve, you grow in love for those you serve. I was able to see the amazing qualities and strengths of each of the young woman we serve as well as the leaders I served with. Our President, Sally Anderson, is amazing. She is so organized and gets the job done. Our second councilor was so diligent in all that she was asked. Our teachers were so full of wisdom and insight. It was a calling that was very faith promoting to see young woman chose to live the gospel and hence being young woman full of virtue and integrity in a world that is in many ways teaching them otherwise. I love being a woman. I love being with other woman and being a mom. This was such a good calling for me to recognize that these young woman were so amazing and how great the gospel and cleaving to a testimony of Jesus Christ during the high school years is to shape who and what these young woman will become.

These are a couple of the MM at a clothing swap we did with out stake. Emma just got her wisdom teeth out and would probably kill me if she ever looked at my blog. Luckily I think that nobody in high school looks at blogs. They are all busy on facebook. I actually got two pairs of pants and two shirts out of it and best of all got rid of tons of clothe in my closet. We all cleaned out our closet and went shopping. All the leaders got to shop after the girls and all that was left was sent to a less fortunate ward. Super cute and fun idea for weekly mutual idea.

Parenting Tyler

These pictures sum up Tyler. All in one haircut he can be sweet, cute and lovable, growl like a cheetah, be silly and and think he is the boss. He is a 3 year old creature of his own.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about Tyler, his personality and how to parent him better. For me, those times come when my child is doing something I don't like. Parenting is quite an adventure. The second child is easier because of you are a mommy expert and at the same time harder because all expertise needs to be thrown out the window for #2. Scott and Tyler are similar in so many ways and polar opposites in others.

They are typical, trains and GOGOGO without spaces in the middle. They love each other, have each others backs and of course can be naughty together and get really mad and frustrated when the other isn't cooperating, stealing toys or wrecking trains. Scott is way more emotional. He is a pleaser and wants you to be proud of him. The easiest way to change his behavior is to give him a loving hug and show him kindly how it should be done. If I were to do that with Tyler he would be a little menace. He needs time outs and be reminded he is not the mom. Consistency is the magic key and that is NOT my strongpoint.

Tyler has been especially tired lately which usually leads to being whiny and naughty. No fun for anyone to be around including me or his friends who are just trying to be nice. Here are some conclusions about him and my parenting...

Reason #1...He is missing his left ventricle and needs his next surgery. I need to do better at giving his meds morning and night. Sometimes when he is sleeping or when we are running out the door he doesn't get them. Why is that so hard for me? It has never been easy for me in life. I must learn before he gets a transplant or I will kill my child. I will do better.

Reason #3 and the solution to all....ME. He needs a NAP and I am out playing with my boys and socializing with friends, when I should be driving home, getting my kids lunch, reading to them and down for a nap. So as of right now my goal is to go out early for our fun things and home by 12 for lunchtime and nap and happy child afterwards. Naps work wonders for him. Bedtime on time works wonders.

Me...CONSISTENCY has never been a skill of mine, but that doesn't mean it can't become one. I need to be consistent with his naps and with his discipline. It is hard work to be consistent. When you say no, it means no and following through. I can work on making sure I do that all the time, not most or some of the time.

Me...I need to spend 1-ON-1 TIME with him. Scott gets one on one attention and Tyler needs that just as much. The more attention you give your kids, the better they behave. It is an amazing thing about parenting and helps me be a better parent. Tyler and Scott usually do much better at activities when they are not with each other.

Me...Tyler needs his own FRIEND TIME. He has always hung out with Scott's friends. Those were my first friends and hence he has been the little brother. He knew he was younger and thus shares and plays nicely with kids who are older. With kids his own age he becomes a different person. He wants them to know he is boss, will push, throw toys, be a bully. It is so sad. So I am working on having more things for him to do with kids his own age. You know how when you start nursery or playdates your child has to adjust to being away from you. I feel like I am starting all over with him on learning how to play with kids his own age. So I am working on having Tyler things.

After reflection and prayer I have come up with things that might not solve all the Tyler-isms that need to improve, but I know will help. It is sooo great to think about parenting and each child. It is so amazing how the Lord will guide and help you become a better parent. So this is what we will be working on.

As I write and reflect on my Tyler being naughty, I also remember all the great things about him. He is an independent, funny, social, loving little boy. He gives the sweetest little hugs and kisses....We are just working on those hugs and kisses not being after he growls, hits or throws a toy.

I am grateful for AMAZING friends who I love who understand that kids have their issues and realize that the parenting woes are felt by all at different times for different reasons. A friend from downtown Walnut Creek moved and wrote the saddest blog post. She talked about how a group asked her to leave their playgroup because she or her kids didn't fit in. I don't know what happened, but nothing is too bad to be excluded in that way. It made me cry for her sweet family. Some of us are blessed with relatively easy children, and I know some are probably reading this about Tyler and thinking that this is nothing to what they deal with. There are none of us who have a perfect child all the time and to have friends who understand that is the greatest blessing in the world!! I realize that some kids are easier to get along with than others and easier to do playdates with others, however, all kids need playdates as well as their moms. That is a lesson that I have learned in the past couple of years which I am grateful for. Tyler is in a co-op with three sweet, calm little girls. He is probably the most difficult, yet I never felt that way. I am so blessed for amazing friends. They are the best!We all have things we can work on as parents, strengths and weaknesses. The more we learn from each others strengths, the better all of our children and we will do.

On a faith promoting note I might have been the most difficult child around. I was stressed out, mean, competitive, bit my sister and somehow in the end turned out alright (for the most part). I will keep you updated on our progress.

Grammy and Grampy

Grammy and Grampy came to visit for Tyler's birthday and we went FISHING!! I have never been fishing before and it was actually really fun. We went to three different locations in three days. I realized we live in a pretty good place to fish.

#1 Lafayette Reservoir, 15 minutes from home

Can you believe that we have such a beautiful little resevoir so close to home? I used to walk around this (about 2.5 miles) when Scott was little with other moms. Now we just go to drive RC cars, play on the playground and now fish. Scott caught 2-3 tiny little fish which was so fun for him. Danny, Kira and I like to watch and enjoy the excitement of the boys.

#2 The Delta
We went to visit Danny at work in Antioch and went to a fishing pier afterwards that was about 5 minutes from his home. Scott caught 6 fish small/medium fish in about 1.5 hours. He was loving it and so excited everytime he caught a fish. Tyler loves cars. He is entertained wherever we go because of his cars which is so nice. It was so interesting seeing so many fisherman. I realized that fishing would probably not be my thing because I like to talk. I wanted to go and ask all the fisherman about fishing when they probably wanted to get away from people like me and are hence fishing.

#3 Del Valle Lake
We rented a little boat which was fun but didn't catch anything. A guy who was fishing at the same time caught some huge fish. This was the only day that it got a little too windy and were cold so we decided to come in after an hour. The boys liked the boat ride. We are so excited we have a new hobby for when Grampy comes out and someday I will actually know how to fish to help my boys. I think that Scott knows more than me right now which is typical. He is way more advanced in fixing his car or knowing what is wrong with it than me. That is my little Danny. Thanks Grammy and Grampy for a great weekend!!

I believe Fireside

We went to the Oakland Temple for the "I believe Fireside" which is always awesome. Every month new converts share their stories and testimonies of the gospel which is so uplifting and humbling. A new family in our ward, the Urrutia Family go to share their amazing testimonies of the gospel. I can't believe I spoke at this same fireside 11 years ago. We love them and so excited for them. Elder Campbell, on the right, left our area after 6 months. It is sad and we miss him. He was such a great missionary so full of love for the people he served in our ward and area.

Mini Madrid Mission Reunion

Danny served his Mission in Madrid Spain. His mission president came to the Oakland Temple to speak so President Shallenberger and President Clark (the president after him) came to visit with any missionaries in the area. It is so fun putting a name and personality to stories. I also enjoyed getting to know the Clark family because they were in Madrid the same time I was in Barcelona. Of course we talked about the Bowens (my mission president) whom I LOVE!!! Good time. It is so neat to see the different paths people take after their mission and the good that they are doing. All in different professions, experiences, stages of life, with unique ups and downs. What an incredible group of people. I really want to make it to my mission reunion to see all the elders and sisters who I love. Hopefully next year!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Designer Jeans

Scott's pants developed a hole in the knee. I asked him when it happened and then planned on sewing a patch over it. He said, "Some people pay good money to get pants like that." I laughed and laughed, and Scott said, "Stop it!"

"Scott, we have to tell that to Mommy."

He goes, "No! Don't tell Mommy!"

Ha ha ha, that's my boy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

6 month Kira

I have no idea what happened to the past six months!! Kira has been the easiest addition to our family and we love our little girl so much. She radiates love and joy and is the center of her daddy's world. She has made me a better person in so many ways. I simply couldn't imagine life without Kira. Having boys and girls is so different. Little girls bring a difference spirit into your home. They are sweet and pure. Kira brings calmness into my crazy life. She relaxes me and brings peace into my life. I love her so much. Scott thinks she is, "soooo cute," and asks to hold her. The boys are good brothers. Tyler likes having baby Kira and hangs out around her but not with her.

At six months she screams these high pitched squeals to let people know she is around. She loves when Danny plays the piano or sings. She is our most verbal child. She is also our first child that sucks her thumb. Unlike the boys who loved their pacifiers. She sleeps the short way in her bassinet, smooshing her little head and feet against the side. She is very petite and pretty strong. She is just starting to prop her little bottom up when she is on her tummy. She still likes to pull her head forward when she is on her back. She loves to bounce and stand when you are holding her. She loves being outdoors. She can sit on a blanket or play in her excersaucer for a long time outside when others are around. She lets you know if she is left alone. She loves people. She is happy when anyone holds her. At times I wonder if she knows her own mother. In reality, she does and recognizes me and Danny as her parents who love and adore her. She isn't very good at eating solids mostly because it is not super convenient. It is funny how you are so excited to do new things with your first, a little less with your second and simply forget or don't have the time with your third. Eventually she will learn to eat, right?

I am trying really hard to have more of a routine for my kids, which she loves. She will actually have a real nap in her bassinet in the morning and evening if I am home and put her down. That is something I am always working on. This is what happens when I go to work...