Friday, August 31, 2012

Reading

At the end of kindergarten there are a handful of kids that are pretty good readers.  Really good readers in my opinion for kindergarten.  They love it.  Scott was not one of those.  He really didn't like doing any homework let alone something as hard as reading.  It didn't bother me and was very evident that his mind was just not ready to learn in that way.  All I cared about last year was Scott enjoying school and getting along with kids which he did.  He loved his friends.  He learned social skills and confidence for which I am so grateful for!  In some ways I think the American school curriculum needs to go back to how it was when we were kids.  We push these little kids to do these advanced things at such a young age and half the time half the class is just not ready or mature enough.  I feel like we think the younger we start them, the better they will be when that isn't always the case.  I tell parents with a crying 3 year old that if they wait a year there 4 year old who wants to be there will actually grow to love swimming better and have a much better learning experience.  I am sure the trend with eventually shift again as do all trends.

With that said, I was really hoping that the transition to first grade would go alright since it is so much more academic.  It is a year full of learning.  He begged me to do swimming and soccer which worried me a little bit.  I didn't want to get involved in too much and not have down time, but so far it has worked out really well.

The kids get to either play at the playground or at home for about a half hour before we do homework and piano before we are off to sports.  After sports we usually play with friends at the field or pool, come home and eat and it is bedtime.  So it is school stuff first and playtime after.  So far it is going well!  We have to be pretty routine oriented which I am not used to but is a good thing.

Last night Scott said he is enjoying reading.  It helps that he memorized a ton of sight words that help him read.  What a difference from last year. I can't believe how much he has matured and actually wants to learn compared to last year just doing the minimum and.  Don't get me wrong, if he had the choice he would be outside with friends or watching tv, but that is probably like 95% of kids.

I am grateful for these amazing programs that have been invented to make learning easier and more fun for these kids.  I am grateful for his teacher.  I am enjoying help him learn. It is fun for me.  I feel blessed that I get to be the one that gets to teach him and see him grow at home.  It is awesome!

Last night Scott told me that I wasn't very good at drawing.  I laughed, agreed, explained we are all good at different things and asked him what he thought I was good at. He said I was good at being a mom. It made me feel good.  Lots to work on but at least he thinks I am good enough.  The amazing thing about kids is that they think there parents are the very best mom and dads in the world.  Sadly, that changes in the teenage years.

Coaching

I am coaching very part time.  I have mainly 6-7 year old boys.  Scott is in the group.  It is a smaller group so we really get to work on stroke technique.  I love it!  They are eager to learn and we are having fun and hopefully going to help these kids get proper technique down.  They are 4 days a week for 45 minutes.

My next group is a pre-team and they are so dang cute.  They are mostly 4-5 year olds who can swim a lap but need to work on gaining more confidence and learning straight legs, side breathing, etc.  They are 3 days a week for 30 minutes.  It started out as a really small group but has really grown this week.

Tyler did the group yesterday and had fun. He was a good listener and eager to swim.  After about 20 minutes his classroom friend who is also his swim buddy came over to play with him so he was off to play which is just fine.  I am still unsure how he will fit into the swimming mix.  He loves to play with his friends at the pool and is at the point that he can swim fine with them in the water.  Yeah for him.  It allows him to be independent and social.  In the beginning of the year he would play in the shallow end and as soon as they went to the deeper pool he would get stranded and just wait for their return.  It didn't seem to bother him but I always felt a little bad.  Sometimes he would have me bring him on my back.

Tyler likes to stay close to the edge and jump in and out which is easier for him than laps of swimming or treading. In a swim lesson, I want him to feel he can swim as much as he wants and enjoy the social aspect, but know he might not be able to do the physical laps the other kids do.  I am hoping he will self monitor just like he does with other things.  We shall see how it all unfolds.  For now I am grateful he has friends to play with and is water safe which is  a needed life skill.

It is so great being back to coaching very part time.  I needed the break last year and needed all my energy to focus on Tyler and Danny's surgeries and recoveries.  I couldn't do anything more.  I chose to coach at this pool that has a play center for Blake and Kira and the kids.  It is perfect.  I don't need to stress about finding a babysitter, they love going.  Well, at least Kira loves going.  They do crafts, play-doh and set up little things in the gym.  She says she plays with her friends.  Lovin it!  Grateful I get to do something I love and as a bonus I even get paid a little.

It probably pays for gas that week (which I am grateful for).  We also get a membership and my kids swim dues so I am grateful for the perks.  I am there anyway and enjoy coaching.  I realize how blessed I am that I can do what I want because Danny is able to provide for our family right now.  So many are not in the situation and have to be away from their kids or take a certain job because they need to.  Very blessed that I get to be with my kids right now and do this on the side.  Perfect!

Kindergarten Conference

K Conferences were this week.  Have I mentioned that I LOVE Tyler's teacher.  So far my kids have gotten the best teachers for the

She said he is doing great.  She met with me briefly in the beginning of the year to go over his heart condition.  In that meeting I told her he was somewhat delayed, generally monitors himself on the playground and gets agitated when he is tired.

Well...she said that she is so impressed with how he is doing and none of my concerns have really been noticed. She said socially he is always playing with other kids.  He both initiates playing and other kids come to play with him.  She said he is never alone and kind to his friends.

In the classroom he does his work.  He listens very carefully and wants to do what she asks.  She said he uses his time to do his work and is not a distraction to others.  She did say that towards the end of the day he gets tired.  They do learning tubs toward the end of the day and often after he does one he just wants to sit, read or watch which she said works fine.

He is doing well academically.  There are kids that are still learning their sounds and he knows most of his sounds, which I am convinced kindergarten taught him.  He gets rhyming and all the stuff they are doing. That was surprising to me because I thought he would be on the low end but he is really enjoying learning.  Much more than Scott.  Tyler will come home and get a little notebook out and write his letters in it.

She did say that when he doesn't get something or when something isn't turning out how he wants he gets frustrated.  The other day she said they were drawing something and he chose to draw a shirt and didn't know how so she came over and taught him how to draw a very simple shirt.  She said he is one that just needs to be taught, then left alone and he will do it or not in his timing. He came home that day and ever since has been drawing, coloring and cutting out shirts.  I have a pile of about 30 shirts.  She said it is so great that he is coming home and wanting to work on new skills he learned.

It is amazing how well these teachers get to know these kids in just one month.  I feel like they teach me how to individualize and understand my children.

Tyler couldn't be doing better in school.  He loves going.  He loves playing with his friends.  He really enjoys learning.  The Fontan, school and the gym has transformed Tyler.  He has energy and isn't agitated all the time anymore.  He is so much happier in kindergarten than preschool.  I am not sure what the difference is.  He says he is a big boy.  I think it helps that all the kids started out new where in preschool tyler was the newcomer in the spring.  It also helps that it is so structured.  He seems to really like structure.

This is perhaps one of my greatest blessings of the year!  He is so happy and his schedule allows me to have some down time with Kira and Blake.  Feeling very grateful!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Running and Pondering

Lately, I have been trying to exercise early.  Sometimes I go to the gym for a 530 class or go running in the morning.  I love it if I am not too tired.  If I run I listen to conference talks which is such a great way to start the day. I always come away with two or three wonderful reminders for the day and for life.  Words that inspire me to be a better person.  I need to start a journal with these simple impressions.  For now, the blog will just have to do.

President Eyering spoke about service and acting upon those simple impressions to go and do.  So often I postpone simple acts for a better time.  That time never comes.  He talked about President Kimball coming to the hospital to visit his dad.  He greeted him, sat in a chair an didn't say much but just sat and comforted.  I need to learn that.  I can be a better listener.

President Monson talked about decisions.  He spoke of the decision of someone choosing not to play in a big game on Sunday and how that decision molded his life.  He spoke of the simple decision to click a mouse and enter degrading internet sites.  It is so easily to make poor decisions and as parents we must help strengthen ourselves, children and family to withstand the many worldly temptations.

Great way to start the day!  I love seeing the sun come up and enjoying the beauty of where I live.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

90 Day Challenge

I see facebook posts about the 90 day challenge.  It got me thinking about what my personal challenges should be and all the things that could make a better Heidi.  I decided to set some goals and do my very own challenge. 6 points of focus....

Filling my Spirit.  30 minutes a day of reading, reflecting and living it.

Strengthening my Marriage.  Listen, Love, Lift.

Being a Good Mom.  Love. Patience.

Using my time Wisely. Writing. Genealogy. Planning.

Healthy Living.  Getting up early.  Family Dinners.  Excercise Early.

Strengthening my Relationships. Kindness everyday. Love Languages.

Somehow I need to quantify these points.  Maybe set one goal for each.  Any suggestions!  I will sleep on it and set my goals tomorrow.

Soccer, Swimming and Piano

We have gotten back into the routine of piano now that school has started.  Phew.  I needed to get back into the routine in order to be able to teach scott.  He is way more advanced then me in suzuiki so that is Danny's thing but I can still keep up with him a little in reading.  It is amazing how much he can learn when he is consistent.  Go Scott!

Soccer is going well.  It has been so hot.  Scott has the best buddies on his team.  Such nice kids and great coaches.  Danny is helping out and it makes Scott feel loved and special.  Grateful for such good friends.  Scott wanted to stay and play but I needed to get home because Danny was going out with the missionaries so his good friend brought him and his bike home.  Grateful he has such great friends and parents that help us with this parenting thing.  He was so grateful he got to play and I was grateful for good friends to help.

Had our swim meeting today with the other coaches.  We discussed drill progressions, doing little intersquad meets, evaluations and I am excited to bring some of the things that worked well at Aquabears to Aquaknights.  I am really excited to coach and hopefully help these kids succeed and feel good about themself.  It it nice that the sole reason I am doing it is for the kids.  I am committed until December and then we will see how it goes.  They wanted me to do two hours a day but I told them I can only do one hour.  That way I can spend a little time after with the kids to play or we can finish homework or whatever we need to do.  I am grateful I learned to say no and am able to place my family needs first.  I am grateful that Danny has a good job so that I can do what I love as a hobby instead of needing to do something that isn't as fulfilling or takes me away from my kids.  Excited to make an impact.

3 Weeks of School

The boys have been in school for three weeks and I feel an immense amount of gratitude.

Gratitude for their wonderful teachers.  Both the boys got teachers who are perfect for them and are soo good at what they do!  Teachers are compensated so little for what they do monetarily yet in my opinion have one of the greatest impacts.  I am grateful they chose to be teachers.

Gratitude for good friends!  I am grateful for the friends that my boys have.  Scott has some great friends who he loves to see each day.  They are a great group of kids.  They are kind, loving and helpful.  They have great parents who I have grown to love and consider great friends.  They are helping him become a successful little man.  Tyler enjoys hanging out with friends.  He talks about the kids he plays with.  I don't know if he has any good friends yet at school.  His best friends are doing one more year of pre-school. He is so much more social than he used to be.  I am hesitant to invest time and energy into forming strong friendships knowing he will most likely repeat the year.  Totally the wrong attitude.  I need to live in the now and get over that.  Tyler feels like such a big boy.  I asked him if he like Kindergarten and he said it was soo much better than preschool because he is a big boy.  What a difference compared to a couple of weeks ago when he didn't want to go to school until he was six.  The kids in his class are so nice to him. He is very resilient and doesn't seemed to be bothered by much.  I asked him how PE was today and he said it was great.  He said he went as fast as someone who was five.  He was so proud to tell me that.  I don't know if he did or not but grateful he feels good about himself.  I told him that is awesome and reminded him that he had to work really hard since his heart was made differently and even if he can't go as fast sometimes because of his heart, he was doing the best he could and that was great!  I don't ever want to tell him he can't do something because he can do anything he wants and is blessed to be so healthy right now.  At the same time I want to remind him that at times he can't be like every other kid because he has a special heart.  I feel like we are doing a good job at helping him understand that.  There is no manual and every kid is different.  We don't talk about what he can or can't do but remind him every once in a while he has a different heart and he has to listen to that and understand that.  I am grateful for such nice kids in his class.

Gratitude for the school community.  It is amazing how much time and effort parents put into a school to make it function.  Our community is filled with amazing parents who make it a great school.  Blessed to be a part of it.

Opportunity to Volunteer.  I feel so lucky that I get to volunteer in their classes this year.  My parents are going to come out on Fridays to watch the little ones so I can go into Tyler and Scott's class and volunteer.  I am so excited to be able to do this.  I love being a part of their lives and classes.  I love getting to know who they hang out with, how they are doing and have them feel they are important enough for me to be with and help.  I want to be a part of my kids life and feel so blessed that life has calmed down so much since last year that I can do this.  I don't take it for granted.  Last year we were in and out of the hospital and recovering almost the entire year that I couldn't volunteer.  I recognize many parents have to work or can't be in the classes for one reason or another and feel lucky and blessed that I can do that this year.  So looking forward to it.

Gratitude for the Opportunity to Learn.  Scott and Tyler are learning so much.  I can't believe how much more Scott enjoys learning this year.  Last year he wanted to do minimum learning, which was fine and this year he actually wants to learn.  Of course homework isn't his favorite thing, but he enjoys it and has patience to learn.  I like teaching him.  Tyler is learning how to get along with others, listen and try his best.  He doesn't like doing homework and that is fine.  He is young and it is hard for him, so I just do a little each day and try not to get frustrated.  I just want him to enjoy the experience.

Gratitude for routines!  It is so wonderful having routines everyday.  They go to school, I sometimes get up early to excercise, I get to play with the little kids at the park during drop off, we do bible studies and music time, Kira and Blake get naps at home, we go swimming, we pick up, do homework, have snacks, practice the piano and reading and off to sports.  I love having an organized routine for everyone.  I am grateful school gives that to us.

Gratitude for our neighborhood.  I love where we live.  I love we can ride bikes or scooter to school everyday.  I love Danny can drop the kids off on his bike before biking to work.  It is the best!  I am grateful we live in a beautiful neighborhood where everyone says hello and lets you cross the street without being in a hurry.  I love our town!

Gratitude my kids like school.  I realize it is a HUGE blessing my kids enjoy going to school each day.  What a relief.  Perhaps one of the greatest blessings of our year so far.  Many kids do not have that joy.  I enjoyed learning but remember being such a perfectionist that school (even elementary) was stressful for me.  I hope my kids continue to enjoy the process of learning and have patience with their abilities and capabilities.

Overall, just feel very grateful that the year is going well so far.  Tyler is doing far better than I ever thought.  He loves it and that makes me so happy.  Scott is also doing so well.  Has great friends, is so well liked and learning so much.  Yeah!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Quiche



 I made a quiche for breakfast yesterday.


 Kira liked it.

 Tyler liked it.

 Scott liked it.

Tyler asked for seconds.
 So did Scott.

And here's a shot of the kids with the little didge.

Scott is into photography.  Not too bad for a first grader.  I did the editing, though.

Kira and Blakey rode in the bike trailer to drop off Tyler at school.

And they're chilling in the swings.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Deer Ridge Country Club

We took a stroll through the golf course on Sunday night.  Scott brought his camera and we got this nice photo of Kira, Tyler, and Scott.  Note the conflict of interest on their T-shirt teams.  





Sunday, August 12, 2012

Coaching

This was the first summer I didn't coach since my mission.  It came with mixed emotions. LOVED spending all the time I wanted with my kids and not have a baby in a bjorn all day.  I played at the pool with Tyler and Kira. I got in shape. I was able to be mom which I loved.  I took a needed break from coaching to recognize how much I love it and am ready to go back to it very part time.

Brentwood is a soccer/baseball culture instead of a swimming culture.   I helped a little bit for my parent hours which was fun to be with the kids and took a back seat the rest of the time. 

I am going to help coach (almost volunteer) the fall clinic 2 days a week.  

How I learned to coach is very different than the way the team is coached.  One isn't better than the other, just different.  That makes me excited because blending the best of everyone's background equals success. The team has 300+ swimmers so there is potential for the team to be really good. A lot of families were talking about going to a smaller team that does more stroke work, but I think this team can and will succeed at that. It is a relatively new team and just needs some more time to find that balance.  I am not a big believer of the grass is greener syndrome.  If your kid fits in socially and is uplifted the other stuff can come together.

I grew up and coached for a team that really believed in kids having fun while learning to swim correctly.  It fit my personality perfectly to succeed.  It produced and continues to produce some of the best swimmers in the nation.  I feel I have been blessed with some great mentors who taught me a ton and taught me to coach.  

I'll let you know how coaching in B-Wood goes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Routines

I have always needed to be better at routines and I am improving.  I wake up early and fill my days with productivity.  I read to get a desk and foster independence with homework.  Scott is young to be totally independent but he can do some things on his own and we used a desk today which helped him have quiet space.  I need to actually get a desk in their room.  I have gotten up at 5:30 to workout a couple of days lately and really like it.  Danny is a champ and takes the kids early if I am sleeping or awake so I might as well take advantage of the time.

Having the boys at school gives me time to work with Kira and clean the house.  We started music time again which is soo fun and I started a womens church group tomorrow which I am excited about.  I wasn't involved in a bible study last year so I am excited to do that again.  I pick up the kids, they usually play in the 100 degree heat at school, we come home for down time and snack and it is homework until swimming or soccer and off to bed.  A good busy.  I am starting to get how to keep the house clean, dinner on the table still needs some help, homework done and kids taught.  I am a definite work in progress but at least it is a work in progress.

I have realized it is ok if we can't make it to something because it is too busy.  We missed swimming yesterday because Danny was boating and I was at back 2 school. Originally I was going to have someone bring Scott and it was just too much to do.  It added peace to my life and I hope some peace to his.  We missed soccer the day because we had swimming and it was smart.  There is such a delicate balance between school, play and sports. I recognize having a bigger family comes with doing less things and I don't think that is a bad thing.


I realize I do better when we are balanced with activities.  I was the same way as a kid.  If I had a break from swimming I would get nothing done.  If I had little free time I was productive. We shall see how this goes in the years to come when we get busier.   For now I am really enjoying this stage of life of having little ones home with me and little ones at school.  Life is still so carefree and fun and stressfree for them.  School is simple and primarily filled with friends and fun.  Life at home is filled with kisses and hugs and having buddies that love being with me.  I will treasure this time!

Teachers

Every year I just feel like Scott and Tyler get exactly who they need as teachers.  I don't request teachers but put down their needs and pray that the Lord will place them with the perfect teacher for them.

Scott is somewhat a perfectionist so I always want him to have someone nurturing and positive.  I also really wanted him to have a good reading teacher.  We got a teacher who is so kind and gentle, teaching forever and a great reading teacher.  She does plays and art that reminds me of when we were kids.  I feel so blessed!  I was so impressed at back to school night how organized and great his teacher is at what she does.  It is also incredible the resources these kids have.  They watch these fun animated math clips and have electronic books they get to read at home.  No wonder they are so much smarter than we were at this age (and that parents are pushing their kids to be superkids which don't agree with and hope will eventually shift trends).

Tyler's teacher is perfect for her.  She talked tonight about how she has a child development background and really seems in tune with how unique kids are and what there different needs are.  So far she has been so great with Tyler and communicating his needs.  He has had a great 2nd week.  Thanks to lots of prayers.  On Monday he asked Danny for a blessing which he never does.  I thought he wasn't feeling good and asked why he wanted a blessing and he said, "So I can be happy at school and so I can have some boy friends."  He said he just has girl friends and really wanted to play with boys.  Danny gave him the sweetest blessing.  He was blessed with maturity and the skills necessary to make friends.  He was told how proud Heavenly Father was of him at school.  And so many other great promises.

Sure enough at back to school night moms told me how they all talk about Tyler.  They were girls.  They said Tyler is the only name they can remember and talk about.  I wonder if boys are more active and it is hard to keep up or if it is harder to initiate hanging with the boys. Who knows.  Yesterday the missionaries came over and asked if we needed anything and we told them to pray for Tyler to make a boy friend.  Today he said he made a boy friend.  Can't remember his name but came home one happy kid.  That is the greatest feeling as a parent.  I hope he has a boy friend tomorrow.  If not, I think he is lucky to have girl friends.

I am excited to volunteer this year.  Last year I couldn't and I am excited to be a part of their day at school even if it is just once a week for an hour or so.  Kris always made time to be a part of her kids activities and field trips and that impacted me from afar.  I realized you just have to make the time and it is sooo worth it. Even if it means getting a babysitter.  Luckily Danny has off one morning for Scott's hour and my parents wanted to come out once a week and help with the Kira and Blake for Tyler.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Gospel and Church

Today we had a great lesson today in Relief Society given by Jill.  She talked about the difference between the gospel and the church.  The gospel being the doctrine of Christ.  The atonement, the ordinances and covenants we make (baptism, gift of the holy ghost, temple, sacrament etc), scriptures, etc.  The Church being the Sunday meetings, auxillaries, fellowship, leadership, etc.

There is a distinct difference between the two.  We go to Church to build our testimonies of the gospel. The church is imperfect, run by imperfect humans that help us and act as a vehicle for us to gain a testimony of the perfect gospel and perfect God and Lord whom we worship.

It was a great lesson that helped me recognize the importance of the two in my life.  I am grateful for the Church which I belong, filled with brothers and sisters, that are helping, guiding, teaching and leading me to better live the gospel.  It helps me feel the Spirit to more fully follow Christ and the Gospel in my life.  So often on my mission I saw people forget that the Church was simply a vehicle to help us follow the Lord more closely when they left the Church because it was run by imperfect humans. Or forget that the Church was a great and necessary tool to better follow the Lord (when they stopped coming to Church feeling it was unnecessary to help them live the gospel).

It was a great lesson.  Made me more fully appreciate the gospel and Church in my life!

The First Week of School

These two boys successfully completed the first week of school.  Phew!

Scott has the kindest teacher who is known for fun, creative projects including a play.  None of his besties are in his class but plenty of good friends.  His teacher said Scott is the leader of the class, so kind to others, such a good listener and she is so happy he is in her class.  Scott is a good kid.   I wish he listened to me like his teachers.  I am sure I am not as consistent and patient as his teacher.  I am grateful he enjoys school.  Today in primary, they asked who was excited to go to school tomorrow and Scott and one other person raised hands.  Scott was a minimalist in reading last year so we shall see if a year of maturity gives him the patience to work on things that are hard for him.  He was so well liked last year but was a tid-bit emotional if kids weren't kind or made a poor decision.  He would be much better off if he was able to brush things off and move on.  So we shall see how that goes.  I am really going to work on getting into routines with Scott.  I think eating healthy and on-time, having down time and going to bed on time will really help Scott. He is going to do do soccer and swimming in the fall.  So we will come home, relax, get homework done, have 1 activity and go to sleep.  I think having sports or an activity helps me have a routine.
Tylers first week went better than expected.  You might think having a kid in kindergarten last year makes this second nature but my two boys can't be any more different.  Kids come with there personalities and Scott got Danny's and Tyler got mine with some kick.

His first day went well.  I was expecting some tears when I left, but he walked right in and sat down.  I could tell he was a little nervous.  Day 2 was early day and he had a meltdown.  Tyler said he got upset in a game and was embarrassed to hold his teachers hand.  When he sat by himself he calmed down.  I was proud and surprised Tyler verbalized his feelings.  Just wish he could have done that better in class.  Hopefully next time.   I am going to try to get him to bed earlier so we don't have to wake him up for early day. Sooo grateful he isn't early everyday!  Day 3 went great emotionally, however, I got a phone call that he had an accident which really surprised me.  I woke up Kira and got to school.  He was waiting in the nurses office with the saddest look on his face.  I quickly changed him and he said he tried to get into the bathroom twice but it was always locked and he couldn't hold it anymore.  I explained he needed to find another bathroom when that happens or wait for it to be unlocked because of his meds.

Before school started I explained to his teacher he was on lasix and aldactone (two diuretics) and will be going pee a lot but didn't even think to tell him what to do when the bathroom was locked.  That is something you just don't need to worry about with another kid. Learning moment for me.  I felt bad but graeteful I can give him diuretics right after school so it isn't an issue. He was surprisingly resilient.  He went back to class, some friends greeted him and he was happy again.   Grateful things don't bother Tyler.  Scott is another story.  Scott takes a day to get over things and Tyler takes a couple of minutes....again, Danny and me. Other than that the day went well for him emotionally which was a bigger concern. We can figure out meds, but emotions are much harder.  Friday went well. He seems to enjoy it after he gets over being a little nervous.  He said they took out the fun toys on Friday which made his day.  His teacher is awesome.  Very patient and very good with the kids.  Parents tell me she is really good with boys.

So other than the one meltdown, the week was a success!

We shall see how next week goes.  Hoping Tyler continues to be more comfortable and able to verbalize his emotions to his teacher. It is the best schedule for Tyler and my family.  All the pre-k's start early which is hard.  He is tired and sleeps in.  930-130 gives me some quality time with him after Scott goes to school and doesn't make us rushed or force me to wake him up in the morning.  Wednesday is the only day that starts at  which is rought.  On top of being the perfect start time, I pick up the boys within a half hour of each other which works out great. Kira has been able to nap earlier after I drop of Tyler.  It makes her happier and ready for bed at a decent hour. The convenience and schedule couldn't be better so here's to a successful week 2.

Last year I wasn't able to help with Scott's class because life was crazy.  I was in survival all year with Danny's hip surgery, Tyler's many attempts at surgery and finally his surgeries, our condo flood, the baby and my mom going through chemo and radiation.  I am grateful life has calmed down a little bit so that I can volunteer in the classroom and get a schedule established. 

August haps

Tyler made it through his first week of kindergarten.  It went about how I expected:  two of the four days the teacher had to call us because of "incidents."  Here he is, enjoying a hot dog and watching TV.  I don't let the kids sit on our bed and eat, so this must have been his idea.

Scott's pretty into the movie, too.  The boys got their hair cut but can still make mohawks.

Blakey still wakes up at night and Heidi usually feeds him, but I've been giving him bottles of formula and they seem more satisfying.  Heidi has an emotional battle about whether to stop nursing him.


Kira always seems to be dirty.  We dress her cute and I do her hair and it always ends up in a rat's nest with food on her face and clothes.

Kai and Scott painting their nails blue at the Scottsdale invitational.  Scott got two medals.



Second place in 25 yard fly!

Blakey did pretty good at the meet.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Heart Moms

Perhaps my favorite thing about the blog are the heart moms I have met along the way.  I haven't met most of them in real life or met there kids, but I love them.  I pray for them through there surgeries and rejoice with them in their accomplishments.  There kids are going through the journey of HLHS or another heart condition and I know I am not alone.  They fill me with insight and hope and an assurance that it will be alright. Cici and Andrea are two of those people.  This post was inspired by the comments they just left that made me filled with gratitude for friends who care and encourage and tell me it will be alright.

They are always there to give me advice and assurance.  I always appreciate that advice because it is always meant with such love and encouragement.  It is interesting when you go through a journey like having a heart kid together, you grow in love and empathy for each other.  I feel that love in every comment. I have been tipped on finding super duper expensive special formula on ebay through heartmoms, cool id bracelets, diapers through insurance (which I don't think our insurance covered), the ins and outs of surgery, the emotions involved with being a heart kid and so much more. I have been reminded to enjoy the simple things in life.  I have been buoyed up through prayers and messages.  So to all the heart moms out there keeping a blog or connecting with this virtual world we live in, THANK YOU!!!  You are such a great support.

Small Claims Court

Have you ever been to small claims court?  I hope not, but if so, you are not alone.  I had to go to small claims court today...not a fun process, but super super grateful for the country we live in that allows us such liberty.  On my way I couldn't help but think of the many people who live in countries where they are not given such liberty or whose government and leaders are corrupt.  I was filled with gratitude for America and the freedom that our founders set up for us and that so many men and woman have given there life for.

Long story.  Our condo had a toilet flood in December and we were told that the downstairs tenants didn't want to do recommended dryout in there bathroom for a month.  They claimed they were happy with the bathroom but wanted a kitchen spot on their cabinet fixed which they claimed was mold spreading.  We got someone in to fix the kitchen and lo and behold the spot they swore wasn't there prior to the flood and they could visible see spreading each daily was indeed not a result of anything having to do with water or the flood.  There was no spot on the top of the cabinet or ceiling.  As soon as they realized we didn't have to do the kitchen, they stated they wanted there bathroom redone that had no visible evidence of damage on the walls from the flood but had high moisture readings.  They wripped out walls of the 1960 bathroom, found mold spots and redid the entire bathroom.  Like $8000 remodel for old, gross, small bathroom.  As well as 2000 for fans that this super expensive restoration company brought in that they turned off because they were too loud at night and they couldn't sleep.  Grrrr....can you see the aggravation.  Note to readers...DON'T buy an old, broken down condo with HOA fees that are the price of a house mortgage in some states.

I was given advice by experts and our property manager that I was not responsible for mold abatement and damage due to the delay.  The landlords didn't think that was fair so we went to court to hash it out.  I wanted to do mediation, but they denied it.  I said I would pay for the further dryout but thought we should come to a fair resolution.

This all occured over Christmas and Tyler's surgery which added a TON of stress to my life.  The first real time I had anxiety over something.  They are good people, but in my gut I felt like they were just not being 100% honest about the entire situation.  I don't think they were intentionally being dishonest, just taking advantage of a situation which I feel they had every right to take advantage of just in a more timely manner and got so wrapped up in there cause that convinced themselves of a slightly altered truth.

So we went to small claims court.  We shall see how it goes.  I didn't document everything in writing along the way so it was basically my word against there word.  They claimed it wasn't fixed because I never brought someone in when in reality it wasn't fixed because they said they were happy.  But I trust that the judge will be blessed with discernment. And if not, recognize that all I could do was be truthful and move on.  Small claims court was actually not a bad experience.  I remained calm and felt grateful for the opportunity to defend myself.  It is pretty casual and pretty chill.  I felt our judge was genuinely there to help everyone involved come to a fair resolution.

So here is what I learned in the process....
1. Don't buy a condo.
2. Get out of a condo whose downstairs neighbors have you do something drastic to your condo or there condo every few years.  A couple of years ago they had us redo our floors which we did because of noise,  They claimed we didn't put in the new flooring and made up the invoice because there was no noise reduction...I had to go back and send pictures.
3. It is time to sell the condo.  Huge Blessing.  I don't know if we would have ever made a decision we felt we should be making for a long time without this little kick in the pants to move towards selling our condo.  The Lord works in mysterious ways sometimes.

While that was a huge life lesson, here are the real blessings.  The ones that I needed to learn that made this whole process worth it.

1. Empathy.  I prayed to understand my mom better who is going through cancer and thus anxiety.  People deal with real, full blown anxiety.  I had never had anxiety before.  Sure I had worried about tests or surgeries, finances, if my kids would ever outgrow a naughty stage.  But this was anxiety that kept you up at night worrying and consumed you that made you unable to function.  I relied on the Lord and one day when I felt I learned empathy and the power of anxiety I prayed for the Lord to take it away and He did.  I recognize that the Lord answers prayers.  I recognize that I am soooooo blessed that I usually don't have anxiety.  I have my fair share of trials, but I think anxiety would be a trial I just couldn't deal with.

2. Just Judges. How wonderful it is to have courts.  I read the book of mormon and first hand can appreciate the importance and blessing of having righteous judges.  Judges who will listen to both sides and come up with what they feel is the correct judgement.  Of course the system isn't perfect.  We are all human, some people lie, some people are falsely punished but it is a pretty incredible country we live and profession to be a part of.

3. Eternal Viewpoint.  This has no eternal consequence.  I was worried about money.  Insignificant in the entire scheme of things.  Danny gave me a blessing which said that the outcome is eternally insignificant.  The first case we heard was a woman whose husband left her and spent 10000 on his girlfriend.  It got dismissed to small claims court, but my heart went out to there kids and this poor woman who was dealing with something far more difficult than a flood.  So grateful I have a strong marriage.  So grateful the things that I am blessed with the things of great significant worth; the gospel, my marriage, my temple covenants.

4. Save.  So grateful Danny and I are savers.  This could have been way more stressful if we were not living within our means and saving for a rainy day.

5. Employment.  So grateful Danny has a job that allows him to support our family.  At times it seems unfair that I have friends who have been dealing with unemployment or underemployment for far too long.  It makes me realize how much more I can give to help others.

6. The Lord places people in your path to help you.  A friend gave us legal advice and I am so grateful for her taking the time to listen and give some suggestions.  I am blessed with great friends who are always so willing to help. Reminder to always help a friend in need.  Thanks Dani!

7. Get insurance advice.  We thought we were adequately insured which we weren't.  Great life lesson. Grateful it wasn't worse than it was.

8. Record Notes.  Danny is so good at this because he is a dentist.  I always thought he went a little overboard with his miticulous patient records.  Not that I ever have seent them but he tells me how he makes sure to include the details so that when patients come back and forget what he suggested he can go right to the notes.  I am a relatively naive person who always thinks that everyone is going to be fair and honest.  I lent an ex-boyfriend money a long time ago and just assumed he would pay me back....wrong!  Naive.  I guess I didn't learn my lesson that time since I didn't record conversations or recap conversations in emails.

9 . I found a new favorite conference talk. Mountains to Climb.  I love the words of the apostles. I can;t tell you how many times I read this talk and each time I was filled with peace and a reassurance that everything would be alright.  Here is an experience he shares,


"So one night I prayed for a test to prove my courage. I can remember it vividly. In the evening I knelt in my bedroom with a faith that seemed almost to fill my heart to bursting.

Within a day or two my prayer was answered. The hardest trial of my life surprised and humbled me. It provided me a twofold lesson. First, I had clear proof that God heard and answered my prayer of faith. But second, I began a tutorial that still goes on to learn about why I felt with such confidence that night that a great blessing could come from adversity to more than compensate for any cost.
The adversity that hit me in that faraway day now seems tiny compared to what has come since—to me and to those I love. Many of you are now passing through physical, mental, and emotional trials that could cause you to cry out as did one great and faithful servant of God I knew well. His nurse heard him exclaim from his bed of pain, “When I have tried all my life to be good, why has this happened to me?”
I am not quite ready for another trial right now.  I need some time to recoup, decompress and focus 500% of my energy on my family.  

That is the end of my novel.  I am impressed if you made it this far.  This is like a journal for me.  I hope somewhere along the way you learned something from my experience. If so, it made this entire thing worth it.

I am grateful this is behind me and it is time to move on.  Now we just wait for the judgement and pay what the judge deems fair.  I am not worried about that.  I shared my viewpoints and was honest and the rest is out of our hands.  Grateful to move on.  Grateful for the lessons.  Hopefully I can remember them so I don't have to go through something like this again.  The scary part is I know the trials of life just get harder.  Sometimes I want them to just stop, but then I know that I probably wouldn't be growing as much and relying on the Lord.  If it was just that easy to remember as we are going through them.


Mormon.Org

My in-laws are serving missions in Las Vegas and started a blog which I think is super cool.  I suggested that they should add a mormon.org link to there page for those interested in finding out what we believe.  Then I realized I can't give out advice and not do it myself.  I went here to find a link in case you want to add one for your blog.  For those of you not LDS, mormon.org is a site where mormons talk about what they believe and why.  I think it is super cool to see such unique testimonies and the many ways we come to Christ.


Krey Coyotes

School is back in session.  Scott is in first grade with Mrs. Shirley.  He was a little bummed he didn't have any close friends in his class.  Luckily Scott is good at being a good friend and making friends.  I told him he would know at least one person from last year and it was a great opportunity to make even more friends.  Sure enough Hunter and Elisia are in his class who he was good friends with last year and he is making new friends and gets to play with his buddies at recess.

Mrs. Shirley seems so nice.  She has two older kids and I know will be a great teacher for Scott.  Parents have told me she does a play and a lot of fun, creative projects. and is "old school" whatever that means. Today when I picked up Scott she said he was such a great friend, good listener and such a leader.  Scott is so good in class which I am grateful for.   Most importantly, I just want him to be a good friend and enjoy reading more this year.  He doesn't love to do anything that is hard for him and reading is hard. cFirst grade is a big jump up from Kindergarten.  They go from 8-2 which is a long day.  When I picked up Scott today he was emotionally and physically done.  He melted down because his dad didn't pick him up like planned, which is reason for being upset but not a meltdown.  His teacher asked what was wrong and I explained tired, tired, and in need of some food.  As soon as Scott gets home I need to feed the boy or his blood sugar makes him into an over-emotional 6 year old.

He gets coyote cash (fake money to buy junk with) for being good and has to give it away if he uses the bathroom during class.  Scott is so motivated by any reward so told me yesterday he had to go to the bathroom so bad in class but didn't so he could keep his cash.  I told him to get in the habit to go at lunch so we shall see how that goes.  He has a hard time remembering things.  Last year I can't tell you how many times he went back to his classroom for a hat, sweatshirt, toy, etc.

I am grateful Scott loves school!  Yeah!

Tyler is in Kindergarten with Mrs. Fulgelstrom.  We enrolled him in pre-school this summer and he did surprisingly well.  Big shocker for us.  He was sad the first week or two but once he got comfortable had a great time.  We decided to try out kindergarten with the reality that he would probably repeat it.  A lot of the decision was based on having him conveniently at the same school as Scott, 5 days a week.  If it doesn't work out, I will find an alternate route.  Day 1 went GREAT!  No tears, listened well, had fun.  Day 2 not so great.  He got upset over something and didn't want to participate.  After recouping he did well again.  He likes it and comes home and tells me about all that they do.  He likes the learning part just has a hard time with the social part and controlling his emotions.  We shall see how it goes.  I will keep you updated.

I am grateful he has a great, patient teacher.  I am grateful he enjoys going to class and enjoys what he learns.  I am just praying that he makes one friend to be his buddy.  Yesterday all he wanted was a friend.  He has made some great friends at the pool and it makes me so happy.  Thinking of Anne with an E, "everyone needs a bosom buddy."  Praying super hard he finds a buddy.

Grateful for Krey.  It is a beautiful campus, filled with great people, great teachers, great parents and walking distance from home.  I actually think it is faster to pick up Scott in the car or on a bike then drive through the INSANE car loop to pick up the kids.  Someone should warn us parents that the pick up walking area is not for the claustrophobic either.  Poor Kira gets dragged along during her nap and always gets woken up and instantly becomes a very sad toddler.  Need to figure out schedules a little better.