Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dear Emma...

Dear Emma,
As your first year of Kindergarten ends I felt compelled to write a letter to you. I have had the extreme pleasure of sharing your first year of kindergarten as your Mom....and your teacher (a combination that I think few get to experience). I cannot even begin to explain how proud I am of you. You have grown so much in every single way. I have been impressed time and time again by the gains that you have made...and continue to make.

What I have loved the most about this year is watching YOU become the teacher. You have taught the other children at our school things that I could never teach them, and you've taught me things that I didn't realize that I didn't know. I now have insight to a whole other world, and I am so excited to be exploring that world with you.

This year has gone better than I ever thought possible. When I have told others along the way that I was going to be your teacher they looked at me like I was crazy!! However, I knew that it was the best thing for you....and little did I know that it was the best thing for me too.

Thank you for sharing your first year with me. As I signed your report card (as your teacher) and circled the word RETAINED I really thought that my heart would drop. As a teacher we are always told that retention is not a good thing, however as I signed the word RETAINED I smiled and I felt free. Again, I know that it is what is best for you. It will give you the best foundation possible for your educational journey to be built on. We're in this together baby girl! You and me and me and you!! Plus, the biggest bonus for you is your best buddy Brindi will be the only other kindergartner in our class next year (we will also have 6 first graders). Life is good for both of us! I can't wait to see how much you blossom next year.

However, for now.....LET'S ENJOY OUR SUMMER!!!

I Love You!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

On Your Marks...Get Set....


That's how playday 2009 began at our little school. Teams were forms, colored bandanas given to identify each team, and there was my little peanut in the midst of it all....just drinking up the enthusiasm flowing through all of the children. When she woke up that morning I said to her, "Are you ready for playday today?". She said, "NO, I want recess", and I said, "Well, it's like recess all day" which she replied, "YYYIIIPPPPEEEEEEE!!!!!!".

It all started with the obstacle coarse, then they went on to the shoe toss, marble toe pick up, softball throw, relay races, and the ever famous


Then, we went on to a SEVERE allergic reaction....that was fun (Ha!). After 2 doses of Benedryl, and a Mama/teacher that was very concerned...this is what Emma looked like

She fell fast asleep right in the middle of the playground and someone placed my jacket over her.

However, when she woke up, thankfully the welts (all.over.her.body) had lessened and she was so very proud of her ribbons. A first and a second place...not bad for a little girls 1st day!!

We are SO very proud of you Emma!!!

Oh, and I just had to share our little prairie girl. A few weeks ago we went to our sister school. Remember that our school only has 34 kids grades Kdg.-5th. Well, our sister school is 70 miles away from us and they have.....are you ready for this??......3 kids in their entire school. Well, every year they have a big event called Valley Days where our school goes up there and they have many different "centers" that the kids can go to throughout the day. It is a blast!! One of the "centers" this time was Old time photos. The kids got to dress in old fashioned clothes and get their picture taken in sepia tone. This picture is the one I took of's in color, but it is so cute...and check out the background. Can you believe that this is the "backyard" for this school? It is breathtakingly beautiful....and so is she:) (just my biased opinion). It was a very sunny day (and Emma doesn't do well with sun....hence the squinting:).

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Hallway Sprint

On your marks...get set....GO!!!! However, instead of a starting gun...there is "the cough". The one that is intensely programmed into my brain. The one that sends me running at top speeds down the hall, into Em's room to pick up the bowl that always sits next to her bed, to help her sleepy little head make it into the bowl....just to have her say, "Nope, I'm OK". PHEW! Crisis averted...this time.

Does anyone else know "the cough"? Is it just me? This cough has been following me for the past 5 1/2 years, and it will NEVER become my friend. It used to be GUARANTEED to be a puke fest by the time I got to the end of the hall. I used to just be happy if we made it in the bowl and escaped having to strip the bed and change pajamas. Lately, more times than not it is a false alarm...but I never know when the vomit beast may rear its ugly head, so I ALWAYS make the sprint.

Hey, I guess that is one way to get exercise. Does it count if I come out and eat an enormous chocolate chip cookie??

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 love

The pendulum swings...and reality hits me from the other side. Each year, my husband and I have spoken at our local high schools about organ donation. This year, he is going to do it by himself because I cannot get the time off:(. He has been working on his presentation. At dinner tonight...this was the conversation:

Dad: "Emma, I'm going to be talking about you at school tomorrow"

Emma: "Why?"

Dad: "I'm going to tell them about you getting a new liver. What do you think I should tell them about you?"

Emma: "That I'm happy"

There it is my friends...and the silent lone tear streamed down my face reality hit me...that IS all that matters. Emma is happy, and that is all that life is really about.

Truthfully, that makes me REALLY REALLY REALLY happy too!

An oldie but a goodie:)

Emma at 2 1/2...Happy then...and Happy NOW!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Sometimes reality hits me in the face, and I begin to realize once again that I am a completely different person than I was 6 years ago. 6 years ago I was a pregnant naive girl who just wanted to hold her baby girl, go on long walks with her, and plan her future with her. I just couldn't wait to see her face. The days inched by as my stomach (Oh, and my rear end) grew larger and larger. I had dreams.....I had a glorious future ahead of me that included my daughter's graduation and wedding and the grand children that she would bless me with. The biggest thing that I had to fear was WAS I going to get this child out? The thought scared me to my very core, BUT after she was was going to be a "piece of cake", right?

Well, fast forward a few months, and we all know the rest of that story. Life has been anything BUT a "piece of cake". Life has been hard and scary, and at times it has just plain sucked! As much as I think that I'm slowly climbing out of the hole that I was thrown in....sometimes I get knocked back down, and the wind is once again completely knocked out of me.

Today is one of those days. I have felt it coming, but I never know what will be the final KICK that will send me flailing back to the ground. You see, I am a thinker...and it always gets me in trouble. I overanalyze EVERYTHING!! I think about life Pre-Emma and think about all of the friends that we had and all of the social gatherings that we were invited to, then I think about now and how alienated I feel. I feel like I have very few close friends right now...and those that I have do not live close to me. That is a lonely feeling. Then, I think about my friend who just lost her dog...not just any dog, but a very special loving companion that has helped her lonely heart over the years...and just like that....she is GONE:(. I worry that I do not know how to help my friend in the way that she has helped me SO many times. Am I not a good enough friend? It hurts my heart to know that she is hurting so much! Then, the one that is weighing heavy on my heart today....this morning I read about a little girl who took her final breath yesterday. She was 11 months old, and had never left the hospital. The family's one wish was to take her home just one didn't happen. As I was reading, they had pictures showing that she was finally able to be held without any wires, and she finally had the wind in her face. And. I. LOST. IT!!! Completely and totally lost it! I should NOT read about those stories. I feel so badly for this family, and I immediately put myself in their shoes. I have this EXTREME fear of losing one of my children. I have planned Emma's funeral so many times in my head. I think of the time when the doctors told us, "her body is weak...we are not sure she will make it through this surgery, but she has to have it done" (the surgery was post transplant 10 days, and she was SOOOO sick). However, she made it....she endured the most difficult pain, and she pulled through. But, my mind can go back to those days in an instant....and I fear what lies ahead.

Why can't I pull through? Why does reality always suck me back down into that hole? Why DO children have to die? Why can't I have a crystal ball to look into my future to see that my babies will always be with me? Why is life so much more difficult today than it was 6 years ago...and why can't I just relax and enjoy today?

Sorry, I know that this post is dark, but it's what's on my heart today. Life was so much easier when I was unaware of all of the heartache in this world. My heart is heavy today for all of those who are hurting.

Friday, May 08, 2009

WOOHOO and some pictures

First of all...the big celebration....Emma has gone a whole week without hitting or pushing ANYONE at school. That, my friends is amazing! I am just so happy. Emma hits to get the attention of others because often her brain works faster than the words can come to her mouth. She so badly wants to show her excitement or ask someone to play with, she just runs up and hits them. Amazingly, the kids in my class understand this. I sat them all down about a month ago and asked them if anyone thought that Emma was being mean when she his, and not one of them raised their hand. I asked them why they thought she did it, and their answers were so insightful. I was amazed. So, while I was relieved that all of her classmates understood her actions...I am even more relieved that she seems to be expressing herself better so the physical acts are going by the wayside (at least I hope they are). Hmmmm, what can I do to celebrate this momentous occasion? Any ideas?

We had our spring program at our little school last week. I always get so nervous before these programs this year because I wonder how Em will do. Each program she has had a really really rough week the week before, but the night of the program she just shines and does great. However, I still had the anxiety going into the week. She actually had a really good week, but then I found out that her aide would not be at the program....ahhhh!! So, the special ed teacher stepped in, and Em did AWESOME! The teacher really didn't have to do a thing. I was so proud of my big girl!!
Here she is doing her thing:). She knew this dance so well, but she always has to put her own spin on it:). I love it!!!

2 days later we had Owen's birthday party. It was so much fun. I had 3 friends that all had babies within 2 months of me, so they were all there. It is so funny to see kids that age together. They really do not even notice that the others are around. I can't wait to see them together next year:).

Owen loved his cake
Owen was so upset when he had to get off the slide:(. He likes to be right in the middle of all of the action

The cupcakes that I made for his birthday. Watch out Betty Crocker:)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!!

My baby boy turned one this week!!! Where has the time gone?? This has been the most amazing year. I never knew that I could smile as big as I do when I watch my 2 children interacting. Life has definitely come full circle, and my life is the most wonderful that I ever knew that it could be.

Everyone that reads this blog knows that Emma is amazing, but I do not write about Owen as much. So, here is a little Owen fun for all. Owen loves music and water. He is mischievous and ornery. He LOVES food, and will probably be eating us out of house and home soon. He loves to play chase with his sister, and loves it when his sister reads to him. He is little Mr. independent, and he gets so upset when his sister is playing with her friends on our fort in the backyard...and it is out of distance for him to crawl to (he seriously wants to be RIGHT in the middle of everything). Owen loves his Mama...and when we come home from daycare no one else will do (not even daddy:)...which makes his Mama smile even bigger. His daycare loves him, and he loves everyone there. Owen loves to ride in the car...and he plays "games" with Emma as we drive along.

Overall, the past year has been one of excitement and wonder. Not a day goes by that I do not realize how much more relaxing and carefree this parenting is verses the first year with Emma. If he had been our first child...we may have had 4 or 5 more (HA)....however, we will be stopping at 2:).

Life is good! Life is really really good! My 2 kiddos are both amazing!!
Here's my little baby boy a year ago

And, here he is today! Wow...what a difference a year makes:)....