Tuesday, October 28, 2014

That's Progress!!

Remember the kindergarten concert last year?  Megan cried through pretty much the entire thing.  She ended up on the front row at the very center and I finally had her teacher move her to the end so she could cry without being in the middle of everything.  We rewarded her with ice cream afterwards just for being brave and staying up there.

Tonight was the 1st grade concert.
We're going to play a little game of Where's Megan:
We started the concert nearly front and center but I had talked to her music teacher beforehand and he moved her to the second row.  That's good.  She still started this way and spent maybe 2 songs like this and then little things just started to happen.

A smile:

An action: 

And singing!!!  

It was completely thrilling and all their songs were so so cute.  Their music teacher does a great job!  And Megan is making progress!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

We love to dress up!!

My girls clearly have their own interests and dolls and Barbies have not been on that list but I'm glad to say that they both really love to dress up and since Halloween is pretty much the only time I get to dress up (ok I've started to turn my book club nights into dress up nights honestly), it's one of my favorite times of the year.

Megan's first parent-teacher conference was earlier this week and it left me feeling discouraged.  After talking to her teacher, I almost felt like we were back at square one.  Except maybe at square two.  So even though we still have issues to work on (anxiety mostly with situations and people that she is uncomfortable with), I'm trying to focus on the progress that she has made and continues to make.

Like this:
Catch that?  She's going to the front of the gym to receive her award without hesitation or assistance.  That's huge!

She received awards for perfect attendance and A honor roll!!  Academically she's doing great and really I think that socially she's improved quite a bit.  We're very proud of her! 

Last night was our ward trunk-or-treat and the kids all had great costumes although not so much great pictures!!  They're a challenge! 
William the minion.  My friend Christy crocheted this awesome hat for him and he WORE IT!  He took it off occasionally (since our Halloween party was in 90 degree weather until the sun went down) but was generally really good about wearing it and he was ADORABLE!!

Megan's Toothless costume (from How to Train your Dragon) turned out really well.  Megan painted the dragon skull on the tail herself.

Chopper got this chef's smock for Woodbadge (a Boy Scouts training camp thing that he's helping with -- in the kitchen obviously), sprayed his hair white (it came out a little gray) and went at Guy Fieri -- one of the Food Network chefs.  He really looked the part too!!

Abby -- I can't believe I don't have a picture of her on her own!! -- went as Elsa.  I didn't bother trying to figure out hair but she loves the costume!

I really really wanted to do a couples costume with Chopper but once he set his mind to being Guy my only real option was a kabob.  So at the last minute I bought some fake snakes at the dollar store, wrapped a sheet around myself, and went as Medusa.  I should've gotten a better picture of my hair -- it actually looks really good with the snakes sticking out all over.  I think that I still look pregnant in this picture -- not my favorite.

William LOVES LOVES dogs.  Too bad we'll never get one!!  

A couple of selfies with the cutest boy ever and you can see my hair a little bit better.

We took a few more pictures right before starting the trunk or treat.  Chopper REALLY looks like Guy here!  Megan decided to be in a bad mood once we started.  She and Abby both had meltdowns about halfway through and we left a little early.  I think it's partly the crowds of people that put her on edge even though they're all people we know.  It's also the end of the day and then several cars had carnival type games and she is NOT good at those kinds of physical things (gets it from me).  Abby I think was just tired.  She will still take naps if I can get her to lay down and when she doesn't, she gets emotional and cranky very easily.  Hopefully trick-or-treat next weekend goes better!!

 There were 6 little Elsas at the party so we got a picture with them all.  When William saw that, he just stepped right onto the end of the line and did his "cheese" as well.

Oh well.  Good friends, good chili and fun at the park in costumes!!  I think we can count it as a success!!

Monday, October 20, 2014


Yesterday was our ward Primary program and both girls did great!  Abby was all smiles and said her part well and sang most of the songs.  Megan got up to the podium and said her part too!  You couldn't hear a single word she said and she stared at the microphone the entire time but it is a major accomplishment that she did that in front of the congregation.  Usually the idea of it starts her crying.

We also had a baby blessing in our ward yesterday and those still make me emotional.  Especially since Saturday (Aaron's 8 month birthday), Chopper was able to go visit his grave after a boy scout event and sent me pictures.  It looks really nice.  But one thing I will never be prepared for are the questions from my children.

Megan loves babies -- despite the fact that she and Abby have never taken to dolls, EVER, they both adore babies.  Two weeks ago in church she told me that she wants another baby and then asked me if I had one in my tummy since my tummy was bigger.  I didn't bother to explain to her that emotional eating has the same result!  Yesterday after the baby blessing and oohing and aahhing over the Lion King moment (but how I love those moments!), she turned to me and said -- "is he going to live?"  It's not the first time she's asked me that after a blessing.  Then last night she told Chopper she wants another baby and she wants a baby girl.  Chopper said -- well what if a baby was another little boy.  She responded with -- I don't want another boy, I want Aaron back.

I was unprepared for the navigation of my own children's healing in addition to my own.  I guess I figured that they're young enough that they would bounce back quickly -- and I think they have -- I think that I just forget that they miss him too.  And that Megan particularly has the memory of an elephant.  Which I love.  But it makes some days harder than others.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's the Little Things

I was looking at the number of posts that I've done in the past few months and it's not much!  I think that particularly happens when life gets into a routine and I feel like there's nothing extraordinary to blog about.  Plus, I'm doing more pen-and-paper journaling for my more personal things so there's still plenty of THAT.

But Halloween is about 2 weeks away and I feel like it kind've marks the beginning of the holiday season so things will definitely pick up.  October has already gotten busy for us but we managed to squeeze in a very fun visit to the Arboretum!!  And you thought I could get through October without the requisite pictures of kids and pumpkins?  Ha!!

All through the year as we visit the Arboretum, Abby asks if the pumpkins will be there.  It's so nice to finally be able to say yes!  We had very uncharacteristically cool weather on the weekend that we went and so I had to dig out jackets and pants -- and discovered the girls have no pants!  So Abby wore her cheetah costume and her sparkly boots (that will never die) and Megan wore her tiger costume which is way too short.  I see families there all the time where the kids are all coordinating and the girls especially are in adorable boutique outfits.  I'm sure that their pictures are beautiful and I have to admit I'm a little bit jealous but our pictures are REAL!  

The requisite everyone-take-turns-sitting-on-the-giant-pumpkin pictures.

The pumpkin village was awesome as usual and William just goes and goes.  His favorite part was the bridge and chasing the birds.  He loves birds.  I bought 2 at the dollar store for Halloween decoration and he brings the one that he can reach to me nearly every day and yells.  Yeah, still yelling instead of talking for the most part.  Or yelling the words that he does say! 

Always love the pumpkin carriage of course!

While we're trying to corral William and get Abby out of the carriage, Megan is making faces on the pumpkins with bits of leaves and nature "debris".  

Wandering around the rest of the gardens we found a butterfly in a fountain and it was still alive so Megan grabbed a branch and we lifted it out onto a bush.  The girls were very excited about our butterfly rescue and ate their lunch watching it dry it's wings.

This is Abby asking me if she can pet the butterfly on the head.  The answer is no.

I really wanted to get a family picture so we found a place where we could set the camera up on a timer and took just these too.  I cannot get over the fact that everyone looks happy.  That's pretty much a miracle.  Chopper says he particularly likes this picture because he imagines Aaron sitting right there in between us where we've left a space.  I know he's happy where he's at but I always feel like he's missing out on so much not being here so I hope that he really is taking a few minutes out of his day to get in a picture with us!

I think Abby's showing me something about how cheetahs look and I have no idea who the guy in the background is.

All the kids costumes are DONE which is fabulous because our ward party is in a week.  Chopper and I are still working on ours.  We wanted to go as Lord and Lady Grantham from Downton Abbey but it's proving more difficult than what we have time for.  So now we're stuck.  Chopper will only dress up when he really likes the idea so we're searching for something fun and not embarressing.  He's refusing to go as Mr. Darcy even though I already have an Elizabeth Bennett dress!!  Oh well.

Funny thing -- William's talking IS progressing and he's learned to nod "yes" which is very helpful but I do think it's funny that he's not silent -- he "talks" all the time.  When we go to pick up Abby from preschool he yells her name until she gets in the car.  She climbs in the back and he sits in the middle.  The other day she gets in and we start home and she says, "so William, what did you do today?"  And he responds with some babble and then gets quiet.  She asks him "what else did you do?" and he doesn't say anything so I say, "William, tell Abby about how we watched the garbage truck today."  He starts babbling again and in my mirror I can see him making hand gestures and his intonation sounds like he's actually telling her all about the garbage truck!  I love it!  I wish I had been able to get it on video because it was great.