Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rees Kids Race

This week at E's school they are having red and green ribbon week. Each day of the week they get to do or wear a different thing, for example, on Monday they received a bracelet they have to wear all week to help them remember to be safe (green ribbon) and stay away from drugs (red ribbon).

On Tuesday, it was hat day, so they were able to wear a hat to school, which is a huge privilege!

Today, Wednesday they had to wear red and/or green and they were able to participate in a 1-mile fun run (with the permission slips signed, of course!). This is right up E's alley. Did I mention that she ran a 1-mile race in July and took 1st place for her age group, finishing in 8 minutes and 22 seconds? We'll get to that another day.

So, the boys and I trekked up to the school and Matthew came a bit later to support and cheer on our little runner. E has been so excited about this race, it seems like she has found her niche with running and she knows it. Even her teacher came and hugged me and told  me she did well. So, of course, being the crazy video-camera toting momma that I am, I made a video.



 Oh, there were so many fun things in June! Here in our town there was a Wild West show, and with T as our little cowboy and 1/2 price tickets, we couldn't pass it up. The show was fun, with Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley characters, and many horses and trick riders. The kids just ate it up! Here is a favorite pic of Matthew with his boys!

J loves his oreos! I couldn't help but snap tons of pictures of this, all from just one cookie. I guess there is a story out there about me eating just one M&M as a baby and getting it all over, something similar to this, so I guess he fits in the family! Just check out those blue eyes!

The kids and I went to Lagoon with Aunt T and Grandma and Grandpa. T was a lot overwhelmed by all the noise and people and rides. He tried a rocket for the first ride and never quite recovered. E and L on the other hand were crazy kids going on every ride! L tried to get on Wicked (she's too short, WAY too short) and sobbed for 30 minutes after she was denied! We had a great time and were exhausted so it was a fabulous day with the Fam. I love these two pictures, the kids holding Aunt T's hand - they sure love her! and L and T sharing a boat - T isn't very impressed still with the boats. He said as we were leaving, "Next year Mom, I won't be scared because I'll be bigger." We'll see . . .

Last but not least for June, we went camping in Grace, Idaho, at my cousins house (their backyard is the canyon, literally!). It was gorgeous weather, and such an amazing place to be. The drive there was long (longer than I-15 Matthew, I agree), but the scenery was awesome! Grace I think is one of those places that has been preserved and is still small town and truly wonderful. Of course we had to roast marshmallows!

June was a good month to be busy. L attended a preschool during the summer that started in late June and is mainstreamed (gasp! No teachers trained for the deaf?!). She did really well, though we could see some gaping holes that still need to be filled before sending her to school with her hearing peers, she loved the school and the kids and everything. It was a great experience for Matthew and I to see her as well, as the classroom had observation booths where you could watch the kids and they wouldn't know!

Also, Matthew began a PhD program this summer. (No, he is not finished writing his thesis for the masters degree yet, but hey, its a journey!) So, busy June was great, and then we moved on to a lazy July!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Family Song

In school L has been learning this super cute song. I love the silly things that each member of the family says (and it is apparent that L's favorite is the sister saying, 'Don't bug me!'). This is a rough video, it was me alone with all four kiddos trying to keep them quiet long enough for her to sing for us.

This video is a good example of how far she has come in just barely two years as a listening/hearing kid! I put subtitles in so you can know what she is saying, but most of it seems to me to be pretty clear. After she sang, we worked some more on the Grandpa saying, "Eh, speak up!" and the Father saying, "Honey, I'm home" and they both improved dramatically. This was just too much for me not to share! Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Soccer and the M.A.D. Marathon

So, E played fall soccer last year, fall basketball, winter basketball and spring soccer. I was lucky enough to be the coach for winter basketball and spring soccer. It was so much fun! Overwhelming, though, for soccer as I know nothing about that sport! She did such a great job and worked really hard to learn and be the very best she could. Below you will see a picture of her soccer team with me as the coach.  The soccer season ended in early May, so we could prepare for the winding up of school!

The finish line is in sight!

E and I at the end of the race - needing water!

All the t-shirts!

In mid-May the whole family traveled to Eastern Idaho for the M.A.D. Marathon which was to raise money and awareness for the Olive Osmond Perpetual Hearing Fund. E and I ran the 5k in 37 or so minutes - she is only 7 years old!!!! She is an amazing girl, with so much motivation and drive, especially when running. That just seems to be her passion, she excels at it and enjoys it. For the event, we made t-shirts for several people in the family, black shirts with the words, "I'm M.A.D. for my _______" with an ASL I love you hand drawn next to it. In the blank, depending on whose shirt it is, it would say daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, me!

It was so weird waiting for the race to start, I was so proud of E and because of L this event was so close to everything we do in our family everyday, it was difficult not to just let the tears flow. What a blessing it was to be part of this great day!

Catch - Up

Oh no, I've done it again and left this completely alone for MONTHS! How could I be so careless (let's call it being the mom of four kids, ages 7, 5, 3, and 1!) Well, I'm back, and will attempt to do a little catch-up for the next few days. Starting with where we left off. . .

Look at those cheeks!

The hat never leaves contact with T's head!

I love this picture! Brothers!!!!
As I looked through the photos from March of this year forward, here are some from April that brought back memories. The boys and I thoroughly enjoyed having time just to go and play while the girls were at school. Especially in April, when everything starts to thaw, and there is the itch to just get out and play, so we were always going to the park (it was still cold just look at those noses!), playing outside in the pile of dirt left behind by the cable guys, and any other excuse to get out of the house!

I love the girls, but it is so fun to have the boys together. Our family couldn't be more perfect with the girls together and the boys together. It is fun to see them all be friends and enjoy one another, although I know that in time there will be the sibling spats.

T is so funny with that red cowboy hat. He calls himself Cowboy T, and even snuck it on into church one day - the Bishop had to remind us to take it off before the meeting started! I guess M and I have just become so accustomed to seeing it on his head we didn't even notice!

J is all over the place. He is so tipsy as he is just learning to walk, that whenever we go outside he is covered in mud. Ah, springtime where everything is always wet outside!

Friday, March 11, 2011

What a Week!!!!!

So, this week was going to be so productive and yet not too busy, but I should know better than to make those kind of plans!  E was sick on Saturday last week, so we went to see the doctor to rule out strep, lucky us it was a virus, but she continued to improve after that. Sunday was uneventful as far as sickness go, all the family seemed to be on the mend from various ailments. All we had to do was wait until Monday . . .

T woke up Monday morning with a cough, nothing serious, but enough I could tell he didn't feel well. He continued to get worse through the day, but wasn't having any trouble breathing or eating, so I just chalked it up to a cold. After dinner, and before bedtime stories, though, things started moving fast. We all read books in the bathroom with the shower going and the door closed to try and help him through a coughing fit, and he seemed to be good to go. He went to bed at about 7:30pm, with the humidifier in the room and fell asleep in record time. Whew, a good night's rest is just what he needed!

Then, at about 9:25pm, he was awake, crying, and struggling, really struggling, to breathe. I called the doctor and drove to Orem to get T checked (thank goodness they are open  until 10pm!). When we arrived, T was in trouble, he couldn't get enough air and was grasping at his throat trying to say, "Mommy, mommy." The doctor called the ambulance and we started the breathing treatments and gave T a steroid shot while we waited. He was no better after the first treatment, and was still struggling, so he got another one. Just as that finished the ambulance arrived and T started to improve, but he wasn't well enough to go home . . .

Here he is, on the stretcher, waiting to go to the ambulance. T was not excited about this, other than the fact he might get to hear the sirens. He was asking, "Where's my ambulance mom?" The two paramedics who were there for him were just wonderful, thank you Brian and Jeff!

Did you know that you can strap a car seat to the stretcher in the ambulance? I didn't, and T chose to use J's car seat (it is a lot nicer than his, I have to admit), so we strapped him into the car seat that was strapped on to the stretcher. Amazing!

And we finally get to go home Tuesday morning just before lunch. T was an angel. The nurses couldn't believe that he wasn't screaming when they came to check his vitals and that he could be trusted to sit in his bed with the sides not all the way up. He was such a brave little man, and so excited to get the Woody doll from the nurse. He watched Toy Story 1 and 2 in the hospital, then went home and Daddy had rented Toy Story 3 for him to watch, so the complete trilogy in one day! Lucky boy. He is doing well now, still improving, still exhausted, but he can breathe, which is huge! Now if only I could catch up on the sleep I lost that night . . .

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Missing in Action

Hello all! I feel like there just isn't enough time in the day, or any of the days, to get to everything that I'd like to do. I guess that is the plight of all people everywhere, especially mothers! I have a few photos of what we've been up to recently that I'm going to share, just because they give me somewhere to start updating!

First, the kiddos and I went to Logan for an appointment for L and then on to Idaho to visit my family. E went with her grandparents to see her cousin be baptized, and L, T and J stayed with me to spend time with "Aunt T." We had a wonderful time, just chilling with my sister and the kids (I missed E terribly though). We went to see Tangled - such a fun  movie! J was super funny though, and I kept finding him eating the dog food! He somehow was able to get the container open and spill it all over and start eating before I could stop him! I guess this is just a rite of passage for kids when there are dogs around, but it still isn't very appetizing! He was so proud of himself though, always finding where I put the container and being able to open it. He doesn't appear to be any worse for wear, so I'm not terribly worried, though I did get really tired of picking up dog food!

Here is J once again, E has taken to calling him "Snuggle Fat" because he is just so round. I mean look at those cheeks! We went on a walk (a regular ritual after dinner) to E's school and the playground. I'm always amazed at how many kick balls, basketballs, footballs, jump ropes, you name it, are left outside the school. Anyway, J found this one and was so excited to chase it, if only he didn't have to touch the grass to do it! This was just too cute not to share, he's such a sweet boy, a very happy content baby (as long as his belly is full). Just a couple weeks ago he went to see the doctor, and he already weighs 21 pounds. He won't be a year old for a couple more weeks. Just last week for lunch one day he ate 2 hot dogs, about 15 grapes, 6 ounces of formula, 1/2 of a banana, 4 crackers and some noodles! We are in big trouble when he becomes a teenager. . .

I painted our pantry this weekend. It just needed an update, and while we waited for the shelves to be completely dry, we left it empty with the door open. T and L found it to be a perfect 'house' for them, and they found a Winnie the Pooh lantern to take in there so it wasn't dark. It was not long after that they discovered that it makes a good 'bunk bed.' Hey, who needs all the hassle of beds and sheets and bedrooms when you can just stack the kids in the pantry! This provided literally hours of fun and entertainment and imaginative fodder for these three yahoos. It is really fun to see them grow and play together everyday.

This is a really fun picture. If you look closely, L has a black cord that is attached to her cochlear implant. She saw E listening to books on her dad's ipod shuffle (the really old white one) and begged and begged to listen to something too, so lucky for us, her implant came with a cord we can attach directly to her processor and an ipod or other listening device. We attached her 'ear' to the ipod and turned on the music. This is her reaction . . . PrIcElEsS!  There are so many cool things about her processor/implant, that she can listen to music, but still hear us talk to her. It senses when she is trying to talk on a cell phone, and she has actually been able to respond to questions from her Grandma's on the cell phone. We are truly blessed with so much, and it is exciting to see all the doors that are opening for our family - though it isn't without a lot of work on our part too!

I have one last photo. This is a favorite we have taken recently. I love my kids. They are my greatest joy (and sometimes my greatest frustration), but seeing them altogether having fun and loving one another is truly worth cherishing. So, here I bid you adieu, with this last snapshot of my life, until next time . . .