Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Grass or Children??

Birch and I have always tried to keep the motto:  We Raise Children, Not Grass.  Basically implying that our yard may not be the best on the block but hopefully our kids will be.  As I have looked over our garden this year I have tried to comfort myself with this same motto.  We are busy raising kids, having a fun summer, and filling our lives with church service...and our garden can wait. 

Meanwhile, it does make me feel a little guilty as the tomatoes rot, cucumbers blow up like yellow cancerous balloons, and weeds fill in the bean plants.

And so I think I will try and convince Birch to just plant pumpkins next year.

Our garden years can wait while we grow our children.
Our amazing six pumpkins!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Princess and the Pea

Once upon a time there was a cute little girl that drove her mom crazy.


I guess there could be a few more paragraphs to the story.  I would go something like this:

Once upon a time there was a family that wanted just one more little princess in their family; but she would have to be a real princess.  The mom and the dad followed all the online tips to having a girl and much to their splendider the ultrasound tech indeed announced that a princess would soon join their family.  Years past and the family tried very hard to not spoil this princess as to not create a brat.  She was sweet and loved her dear parents. 
     Over the years the sweet princess developed some minor sensory quirks...her socks bugged her precious little toes and her shoes had to fit just right.  One fall day a terrible storm came on; there was thunder and lightning, and the rain poured down in torrents. Suddenly hardly anything felt good on the princess and she was besides herself.  The parents opened their bedroom door one morning and wondered what that could be hollering outside their door.
     It was a princess standing out there in front of the door. But, good gracious! what a sight the new school pants, new shirt and the tennis shoes had made her look. The anger in her face and her wild hair made her parents want to climb back in their bed.  And yet she said that she was a real princess.
     Well, we'll soon find that out, thought the old parents. But they said nothing and went into the bedroom, took all the bedding off the bedstead, and laid a pea on the bottom; then she took twenty mattresses and laid them on the pea, and then twenty eider-down beds on top of the mattresses.
     On this the princess had to lie all night. In the morning the parents asked how she had slept.
     "Oh, very badly!" said she. "I have scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in the bed, but I was lying on something hard, so that I am black and blue all over my body. It's horrible!"
     Now they knew that she was a real princess because she had felt the pea right through the twenty mattresses and the twenty eider-down beds.
     Nobody but a real princess could be as sensitive as that.
     So the parents kept her as a daughter and knew that they had a real princess.

     There, that is a true story.

After meeting with a friend that is an occupational therapist and reading and reading about sensory disorders I think Chloe has a mild case of Tactile Defensiveness.  "Tactile defensiveness is the tendency to react negatively and emotionally to touch sensations.  The child is overly sensitive to stimuli that other people would hardly notice.  In a child with tactile defensiveness, the protective response is the default; even in a non-dangerous situation (in other words, a particular sensation ought to be perceived as discriminative), the child perceives what he is experiencing as threatening, and reacts accordingly. The child with tactile defensiveness is always “on guard,” and is unable to perceive regular tactile sensations in an unexaggerated, un-“adrenalined” way."

After taking a short sensory profile about Chloe I am comforted that her issues are minor though they sure feel prominent to me. I've also been reading "Raising Your Spirited Child:  a guide for parents whose child is more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and energetic" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka which I feel has been giving me some great ideas in understanding not only Chloe but others as well.

So as we work on educating ourselves and doing some exercises to relax the protective system we are trying hard to change our expectations and compromise.  I'm biting my lip each morning as Chloe wears the same black leggings and rotates between about 2-3 shirts.  I close my eyes as she wears her silver sandals EVERY day to school even in the 32 degrees.  We compromised with a hair cut if she would not longer let me fix her long locks.

Meanwhile I shop.  I buy shoes and more shoes; socks, coats, dresses, etc...just in case I strike the gold mind and find something that might be comfy for my Princess and the Pea.  And I return 99.8% of what I buy.

And we are learning to live with each other.  And some days I'm not very good at being today.  So I remind myself how much I wanted my princess and vow to love Chloe as little more.

The hair cut debut:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Nate...a season of awesomeness

Fall soccer season just came to a close for Nate.  As a spectator I especially enjoyed this season because we were blessed with wonderful weather for almost all the games.  Nate is intense, passionate, hard working, persistent, and exciting to watch!!!

A winning season for the Avengers (name change from previous years)!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tyler Brings It Home

Tyler went out with a bang at the final District X-Country Meet!

 Isaac Filmore and Tyler were neck and neck the whole season.
 Tyler pushed himself to the max!
Big smiles at receiving a ribbon
The top five seventh grade boys in the district.
Way to go Tyler -- 4th Place!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Raisin' The Roof

After like a million hours of planning our school Jog-a-thon was on October 18th.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous which was a bonus as it would have been held rain or shine.  This is my fifth year putting on the jog-a-thon and I'm hanging up my hat.  It's been a great event to put on and I've learned a lot about fundraising over the years.
The kids solicited donations from neighbors, friends, and family and then jogged for 20 minutes.  I added an online donation site this year and it proved to be a successful addition.  Nate, Coop, and Chloe were great little salesmen!
 We may not be a very big elementary school but we have staff, teachers, and kids that are full of heart!
 This past Friday was the unveiling of how much the kids brought in and also to see if we brought in $10,000 and therefore would send the office staff to the roof for the day.  WE DID IT!!!!!  Each year my brain swarms with ideas as I try to think of high motivational rewards that cost little.  This year our top prize for the top earner was a huge lego set.  The kids all love the in-school movie/popcorn party and other prizes as well.

 What a tremendous amount of work goes into an event like this -- but the return is awesome!!!  I never realized how much the PTA is involved in the school and creating the fun environment that we want our kids to be surrounded by until I became heavily involved several years ago.  I've learned to have confidence on the mic (even when I say dumb things and my words come our all jumbled); I've learned that the community is important to help raise a child, and I've learned that very few people want to put the time into putting on something like this.  Here's to hoping that someone steps up to the plate next year!!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Teen Fairy Strikes Again

EGAD!!!!  Another teen in the house!
Tyler hauled in a lot of fun loot and received some super thoughtful letters from his brothers and sisters.
I'm thinking we are going down hill in the birthday dessert department.  In my defense, Tyler is just about as easy as possible and didn't really care what he had for his dessert.  He actually picked to make homemade ice cream sandwiches and then went ahead and made them for everyone.  I was tuckered out from making birthday lasagna.

Tyler came to our family just when our hearts needed to be healed.  He followed Sara Elizabeth's passing and another miscarriage.  We were SO ready for a baby to join our family.  Tyler was instantly loved by his big brother Alex.  Tyler can be blamed for my "ER" addiction as he was always fussy during the late evening hours and so I found myself watching late night shows.  
Love our super sweet Tyler!!!  Tyler is thoughtful, intelligent, caring, a great priesthood holder, and cares deeply for his family.  He is also a basketball and meat lover!!!


Monday, October 7, 2013

My Galloping Boys

Ever since Alex and Tyler were little they have been excellent runners.  The funny thing is neither really love running but they do it to keep in shape and because they excel at it.
 One perk about being in the junior high this year is the after-school sports.  Cross Country is in full swing now and Tyler just had his second meet.

 Tyler finished in fourth place overall and second place for West Valley!
 1.5 miles finished in 10:40 -- Waa Hoo!!!
 Alex is a funny character for me in regards to x-country.  Each year Alex drags his feet all season (not literally) not really loving x-country but not really hating it either.  This year I reminded him that I wasn't that excited to pay-to-play $100 for something he didn't really have his heart set on.  The first week into practices his coach pulled him over after practice and told him that he thought he could make varsity this year.  Well, that was all that boy needed to hear.  He came home and bought himself a pair of spikes and hasn't looked back once.  He's struggled with shin-splits but has been careful to follow Birch's PT guidance to heal.
The Sunfair Invitational (teams from WA, OR, ID, MT, and British Columbia) is a huge meet held in our hometown.  Alex was so excited that he made the seventh spot in the Varsity run.

 Check out his feet!  Two steps into the race another runner stepped on his foot and his shoe popped off.  Alex competed the whole race in ONE SHOE!  Ironically, the shoeless foot was his injured foot that Birch had taped up that morning.

3 miles in 18:04.17; 23rd place out of 47 athletes in this division
Alex has beat all his personal records so far this season!