Saturday, August 31, 2013

Week In Review

I won't do a review every week but since this past one has given us pretty significant changes I thought that several things deserved mentioning:

Megan's first week of school went about 100 times better than I have been fretting and worrying about!  She still doesn't like the whole school assembly part and wants me to stay, but is fine when I don't.  Every day when I pick her up she tells me what they did that day, she asks if she is going back the next day (and is excited when the answer is yes) and has been happy and energetic at home ALL WEEK!  It's kind've a miracle if you ask me.  And she got 5 green check marks (the best mark for behavior) and got to choose a prize from the treasure chest.  She is so jazzed up!

The dynamic at home has certainly changed.  Abby is really really enjoying being Queen of the Castle.  She chooses the movies and what we play.  She interacts with William and doesn't seem to miss Megan at all.  She also doesn't complain about not going to school but does want me to pack a snack for her in her backpack every day.  In the car on Friday we were listening to Disney music, Ursula singing "Poor Unfortunate Souls" and about halfway through the song she informed me that she would sing the Ariel part (losing her voice) and I would sing Ursula's part ("keep singing!") and so we had a little duet.  She loves to dance when we turn on music for kitchen cleaning, pops out of bed in the morning and willingly goes for a nap at 12:30.  It's heaven having no fighting during the day and so much more quiet.  Love it!!

Walking to and from school takes forever (as in 20 minutes versus the actual 5 minutes it should take) because the girls are SLOOOOOOOW (no Gasser genes there) and want to either examine everything or show me random things (do you know how often I turn around to "mommy watch this" only to find Megan standing on one foot?).  They have to stop and taste the dew drops that Silvermist left for them and observe the height of the flowers (same as yesterday), the bumps in the sidewalk (also the same as yesterday) and the other kids walking to school (yes, they are also going to school too.  Everyone is going to school).  It has been 100 degrees plus in the afternoons but we are STILL walking and drinking lots of ice water when we get home.  It should cool down in October.  But this is good time spent with my kids at a fun age honestly.  One day we saw a few rabbits in the road on the way home.  Abby (without stopping for a reply) says to me:  "mommy, look at the bunnies.  Well, we don't like rabbits.  Daddy shoots rabbits.  Well we can eat rabbits when they're cooked and hot."  Not sure where that last part came in.  And yes, her filler of choice is "well" and cracks me up.

Things are just GOOD right now.  I'm starting to feel better (starting -- can't WAIT to be 100%!) but am still pretty tired and sick in the mornings and William is trying to stand and wanting to walk more holding on so our future may get much busier as well.  I'm actually looking forward to it!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

First Day Success!

Wow.  So this is probably rehashing for a moment but being that it was Megan's first day of kindergarten you have to let me be sentimental for a bit!!

It took us 2 and a half years years to get pregnant with Megan and there were times that I despaired of having children.  Now that's not a long time compared to some but it still was hard -- especially being in a young married ward where pregnancies were announced like every other week!  I distinctly remember some friends telling us at their New Year's Eve party and crying all. the. way. home.

And then it happened!  And now it's five years later and she's a kindergartner!!!  Graduating class of 2026.  And I get really emotional thinking about it because our lives have changed.
Last night we begged and BEGGED her to take this picture.  Everyone does cute first day of school pictures but I was not that organized for signs or chalkboards or whatever.  But I did have a brilliant idea to put her in my old gown and Chopper's cap (yeah, it says 2007 on it).  It will be really fun to compare on graduation day.  Ok see that makes me tear up because then she really will be leaving the nest!

On back to school night her teacher gave her some "magic confetti" to help her sleep well and wake up refreshed for her first day of school.  Megan got it in her head that the confetti would wake her up and after spilling it 3 times I finally put it up.  We got it out and put it next to her bed last night and then this morning before I woke her I sprinkled some on her pillow.  When I wake her up she's rolling and rubbing her eyes and does not want to wake up (like me I'm afraid) and I say, "Megan there's magic confetti on your pillow!"  She opens her eyes, sits up and grins.  "Mommy!  It flew onto my pillow!"  It made her morning and we got ready and out the door no problems.  It really was magic!

 First day pictures!!

I was so anxious about Megan being anxious!  Especially because of this: the whole school meets in the gym and she hates crowds!! 
See her head and Hello Kitty backpack?  It was a zoo but she sat in her line (that's her teacher in the blue and green) and just turned around to look at me every now and then.

Abby and William suffered more wanting to be out of the stroller I think. 

Then after the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas Pledge (I am NOT kidding -- that was a surprise to me -- apparently we pledge allegiance to our country, our state, and our school.  That's the independent Texans for you!) they were dismissed and we followed her to her class. 

She went right in and put her backpack in her cubby and found her desk (with playdough!) gave me a hug and a kiss, Abby too, and that was it.  No tears.  No worried looks.  Nothing. 

I called my mom on the way home and cried.
Because it was seriously an awesome first day.

So I just picked her up a little while ago and we had a mix up on pick up spot (which has now been fixed but you should have seen their ridiculous map) and she was crying because she needed to go potty.  So we went back in the school to use the bathroom.  Turns out she's been holding it all day.  I told her to tell the teacher and she said "she was busy!" so we talked about raising your hand when you need to go!  Also, she didn't get all her lunch eaten because "mommy I eat slow and we just had a short time at lunch."  True.  Also like me again (man this poor girl!) so I'll have to figure out what I can pack that doesn't take a while to eat (no more carrots maybe).  But after finding her, going to the bathroom, and then heading home she was happy, wants to go back, learned to use a computer all by herself, will make some new friends another day, had fun, and just walked into the living room and said to Abby "do you want to play kindergarten"?  

I'm counting that as a success.  And that's what makes me more emotional than anything else -- seeing what a fantastic, independent girl she's becoming!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Happiness is 
This one not QUITE walking yet.  Even his crawling is driving me crazy!  But he loves to cuddle.

 A cute short haircut that means no more food in the hair and far less messy mornings.  Ok somewhat less messy mornings.  It's so nice!!

 Good fresh fruit: strawberries, plums, nectarines, AND not throwing it up (William still throws it overboard though).

 Figuring out the sign for milk so that he doesn't have to scream at me for it.  This is his screaming face and his frustrated that he's not getting what he wants face.  Because he still screams for everything else.

Happiness is puppies.  Because Abby ADORES puppies.

A giant box with a door in it!!  It goes away for a while and then comes back out for hours of entertainment.


A good belly shot from Megan.  GOOD NEWS!  My blood test results came back early.  I'm testing "positive" for Downs Syndrome.  Yes this is good news -- the other trisomy disorders are horrible things that usually see the death of a child either before birth or by the first year.  I am actually feeling very grateful for the current prognosis.  Right now the statistics look like this: a woman my age has a 1 in 290 chance of having a child with Downs, my current stats are 1 in 10.  We are going to go to a high risk doctor for further blood testing. If that confirms this diagnosis then we'll do detailed ultrasounds from here on out to try to determine severity and other problems -- heart defects, etc.  But I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Abby took this one and I think it's kind've cool.

Chopper was awarded his Woodbadge neckerchief, band, and beads last night.  Just one more level of achievement in scouting that we are very proud of him for.  Of course it also means that he will never have another calling in church besides scouting. . . 

Dollar store doll houses made the girls' day today especially since I told them we would go to the pool and then was reminded I actually had a meeting today!  This helped ease the disappointment.  It's too bad I didn't get video though.  At one point, instead of just playing out the story, they were singing it.  We do watch a lot of musicals . . . 

Megan is SUPER excited for school.  She keeps asking when the last day of summer is and we go to meet her teacher tonight!  Hooray!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Little Things

Little things that make a big difference in our lives right now:

Chopper and I got iPhones!  They were practically free and we've updated to texting and data.  Already it's enabled me to ooh and ahh over my completely adorable Canadian nephews, text my brothers to annoying levels (at least one anyway) and have Facetime with Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Jeff - twice! and Uncle Danny.  This is a good thing -- until I get the first bill.

William stood up on his own.  As in, with no support to get up and then held it for like a minute and I couldn't figure out the phone camera in time!  It won't be long and he's already into everything so the chaos will only get worse.

Baby #4 is a boy!  I am super excited about it.  We would love it regardless but I was secretly hoping for a baby brother for William -- 2 and 2 is very nice.

But do I say this?  There were some red flags with the ultrasound today.  I don't have a lot of information and in the end, the only way in which it matters is in my personal preparedness.  Plus, the issues may resolve themselves and be nothing in the end.  We had that with Abby and some cysts in her brain that were worrisome but went away.  Maybe this will be the same, maybe not.  I'll be having further testing done and we'll see what it says.  I hesitate to say anything except that prayers are always nice but you have to say something in order for people to know so there it is.  But he's cute and wiggly and looks good!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Work in Progress

Pretty much nothing has been accomplished in the last month because of this particular work in progress:
That baby bump is 10 weeks along.  Even people who don't know I'm pregnant, know I'm pregnant.  And this why I don't (CAN'T) keep it a secret.  I look happier than I've actually been though -- I don't think it's actually been worse (the nausea, the fatigue, the laziness) but I have really REALLY not handled it well this time.

So in between naps, reading on the couch while the kids watch movies, throwing up, and not making dinner, these are a few of our other works in progress:
Getting William to sleep through the night.  Look at the poor, slept-on-a-wadded-up-blanket face!!  He's doing great actually but only takes an hour and a half to 2 hour nap every day.  Apparently I have another Abby-non-sleeper on my hands.

Getting the girls to play nicely together. 
I imagine they're getting sick of each other.  They do best when they're supposed to be sleeping (i.e. bedtime) but have had their moments.  Like this one.  They were cooking a snake.  Where's Grandpa Goodman when you need him . . . 

Or when there's forced sharing involved: 
Abby wanted me to take a picture of her with the skittles Grandma sent her.  Which Megan ate half of.  After eating her own treat.  Because Abby is ALWAYS willing to share.  Megan not so much.

Eating.  Oh boy eating. 
This spaghetti face is quite deceptive as it turns out that William is very picky.  He wants to feed himself but throws most finger foods over board.  I either thicken / sticky up food with rice or oat flakes or have resorted to baby food in the pouches because he'll let me control that feeding.  He is finally completely weaned and loves milk (and has no issues with it -- figures), but still comes up to and puts his head on my chest and does his funny lip thing that leaves wet spots all over my shirt in embarrassing places.  But he only does it if he's hungry.  Or thirsty.  Or tired.  Or hurt.  Or wants to cuddle.  Or bored.  Ok anytime I am within about a foot of whatever he's doing.

We're slowly getting ready for school and trying to keep the house from being a disaster . . . totally a work in progress.
And then this one I'm actually proud of because it is the ONLY thing that I planned that we have (mostly) been consistent with.  
Our scripture study!!
We tried reading sections from this awesome Book of Mormon.  It was ok but too long.  So plan B (ok who am I kidding?  Plan . . . hmmmm . . . maybe Q???) was to print the scripture mastery scriptures on paper and put them in a jar.

Then we had a family home evening lesson where we talked about each book of scriptures and used pictures to give a general idea of what each one contains.  It's hard to see but each one has a symbol (that corresponds to the scripture mastery cards).  Every day at dinner (hopefully mouths are full of food and too busy to talk -- not usually), one of the girls picks a scripture, identifies the book it's from (Abby is fantastic at this -- she has memorized all the symbols) and then we read it and discuss.  We don't do it every night but we've been more consistent with this than we have been with plans A through P so it's been good.

Hopefully I'll start feeling better soon and we can ACCOMPLISH rather than just try to get somewhere.  We'll see how that goes . . .