Monday, March 17, 2014

Parent Teacher Conferences, Orthodontics and Paging

Valentines week was also Parent Teacher Conferences for the kids and those all went very well.
Sterling is doing well in his classes although he apparently likes to talk...a little too much. He's definitely reaching that teenage stage where he needs to test limits and see how far he can go before he gets in trouble (note: He doesn't get far before mom and dad crack down) I hope he gets past this relatively quickly and without too much trouble, but I'm not planning on saving him from his bad choices. He's a good kid though and his teachers all seem to think so despite his momentary lapses in good judgement.  
 Emmy is doing well on her 6th grade math work as well as all her regular work. She is a great student and very motivated. 
Joe...well, his teacher said he reads too much! LOL! She even said, "I'm not sure that as a teacher I'm allowed to say that!" Apparently he prefers reading to paying attention, but he still does awesome on all his work. In fact at times when he's reading (and not supposed to be) while she's talking she'll try to catch him off guard and ask him a question about what she's talking about. And without missing a beat he'll answer correctly. Drives her crazy because she can't prove her point that he should be paying attention. He he he! 
Cori is also doing awesome in all his subjects. Very smart boy, just like his siblings. All three of them are in the top of their classes in everything. Although Cori is still struggling with appropriate behavior at times. I've gotten more calls about that boy than any of my other kids combined! But he's still doing much better than previous years and hopefully he'll outgrow it soon!
And KK and Eddie are doing great in preschool. They both love their classes and their teachers. They are learning so much! They are both pretty quiet at school but do what they are asked. KK tells me that at school she, "sits quietly, listens to the teacher and follows directions". She has a very strong desire to never get in trouble at school. She is learning her letter and sounds and has very good fine motor skills for her age. She reminds me very much of Emmy at that age.
Eddie can count into the 20's and can recognize his numbers. He likes to sing at school and help out with the other kids. He loves to wear his red, zip up hoodie to school 'cause he "looks awesome" as he says. He is not all that interested in coloring and hurries through it as quickly as possible. 
Another (expensive) happening is that Joe and Cori have begun their orthodontic work and will be getting expanders this week. These pictures are from their first appointment. Adorable aren't they?! Rob and I have been concerned that we have too much money so this seemed like the perfect thing to spend a few thousand dollars on...NOT!
And the final event of note was that on February 25th Sterling had the chance to serve as a Page to Senator Vicki Schmidt. His friend's mom set it all up for them to serve together and he had so much fun! Aside from the $5 credit to the snack bar, I think he enjoyed running all over the Capitol building and doing...whatever Pages do. He is, so far, my most politically aware and opinionted child so this was fun for him to see the process up close. And who knows, maybe he'll be the Senator one day with Pages of his own? He did say that Senator Schmidt was "REALLY nice!" and that he'd like to do it again next year, which I think would be great!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Emmy's St. Paddy's Day Race

Emmy participated in her first 2-mile race over St. Patrick's Day weekend. I wasn't there as I stayed home to get Sterling off on a Temple trip that day, but she did send me this picture of her ribbon.

She ran with Rob and managed to come in 8th place in her age group of 10-13 year olds. The other girls who beat her were 13 years old, except one, who was 10. She did really well for her first  race without having trained for it at all.  Her time was 17:35. She finished 148th out of 643 overall and 47th out of 378 females.

Way to go Emmy! We're so proud of you!!

Valentines Day Goodbyes

I don't know why it's so hard for me to keep this thing updated. I could blame it on the 6 kids....or the myriad of meetings I have each month for school (SPMT, DCAC, PTO) and church (Presidency, Scouts)....or the numerous activities like piano lessons, scouts, achievement days, school programs....or I could blame it on there not being enough time in the day...In fact, I think I will. :-) See, not my fault at all! Now in addition to that we will be adding Soccer practices (5 kids, 4 teams, 4 practices) and games (4 games every Saturday). Life gets CRaZy around here!! But it's a good crazy...mostly. 

To cover some previous happenings that got left out we'll start before KK's birthday on valentines weekend when my brother and his family moved. That was a tough time for us.

Well, the kids anyway.

Ok, truthfully, me. 

We have had the privilege of living about 1-2 miles from my brother for the past few years. And having them that close has kind of spoiled us. Aside from the fact that they are family, Clara is one of my two best friends (we have a triangle friendship with our other Bestie, Danna). I have been so blessed to have her as not only my sister in law, but my friend.

How amazing it was to be able to see her and the kids basically whenever we wanted. Meeting at the gym most days, or at the park when it was warm. There were birthday parties, Sunday dinners, summer days spent at the pool. Our kids have pretty much grown up together; Cousins that are friends. So when we found out they'd be moving it was incredibly hard. But, Clara and I handled it like mature adults...and pretended it wasn't happening. 'Cause we all know that if we ignore things we don't like they just won't happen! Only our plan failed and it did happen. We helped them pack up and spent the night at their hotel (THANKS JOHN!!) eating pizza and swimming. The next morning we joined them for breakfast before meeting them at their house and seeing them off.  
That was hard...saying goodbye. The moment when theory becomes reality. Lost of hugs, kisses and even some tears.

 I can't count the number of times people have pointed out that they were only moving a few hours away. And I get that, we're still really lucky to have them that close. But to go from a couple minutes down the road to a few hours away; that's a big change. No more last minute campfires when it's nice. No "Hey can you watch the kids for a bit while I go do_______?" No more cousins growing up with each other. Sure, we'll visit, and hopefully often, but it won't be the same. 

Even harder than saying goodbye was going back alone later that night to the empty house and cleaning. Walking through the rooms and remembering...wishing they were still there. Yeah, cry fest for sure! The whole 3 hours I was there I bawled, like a baby! And I still tear up on occasion. When I drive by their house, or the park we met at after school, or at church. I just miss them. And I know the kids miss them too. KK and Eddie would ask when they were coming back and the big kids just miss having their cousins around and I miss my friend/sister in law and my adorable nieces and nephews! And immediately after saying goodbye to them the kids and I headed our pediatricians office to say another goodbye.
For the past 11 years we have been so blessed to have the most incredible nurse EVER! Jennifer became our nurse when our first pediatrician left to go to Children's Mercy Hospital. Emmy was just a baby and we switched to another doctor in the practice (who we consequently loved as much as our first doctor). When that doctor also moved on, we switched doctors again, but managed to keep Jennifer as our nurse. Now, some crazy hospital administrators may think that nurses don't have patients, that only doctors do, but let me assure you that is simply NOT the case. The nurse is the gateway to my doctor and if I can't work with the nurse, I probably won't stay with the doctor because she is the one that dictates when/if my kids see the doctor and most of my time is spent in conversation and collaboration with her. 

Jennifer was incredible! My kids LOVED her and she genuinely loved my kids (or at least faked it really well!) Seeing Jennifer at the kids' appointments was always a joy for them. Even if she didn't come get us and put us in a room, we were seeking her out afterwards to say hi and get stickers (she knew where the best ones were) or giving her pictures that some kid had drawn (which she had kept and showed us as she was packing her things). 

Due to some changes and other things, Jennifer decided it was time to move on to another practice. So we were there to say goodbye to her on her last day. Ugh! TOTALLY. NOT. FAIR! Two goodbyes in one day and on Valentines day, no less! The kids had picked out some flowers to give her along with cards they had made. And I can honestly say that if I didn't adore our pediatrician as much as I do, we would have followed Jennifer. She is simply that amazing! And if our current pediatrician EVER moves...we'll be switching to where Jennifer went to. (Just a heads up, Jennifer!)

There is nothing like having a nurse who knows you, your kids and your family. Someone that you don't have to justify your reason for calling to or try to go through all the background with her about your child so she understands why something is concerning to you. Someone who knows you're not one of those parents who call for anything and everything and who trusts your instincts and observations. Having someone like that on your side, who is willing to work with you and maybe even squeeze you in last minute....priceless!

Now, we have a whole slew of nurses. We never know who we will get and chances are they don't know us. It's a bit frustrating. And it makes me miss our Jennifer that much more! Goodbyes suck and I'm not a fan of change so it was a rough day!


Robert Allen