Today is a good place to be.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pre-school's out for SUMMER!

Its been a busy month/year/life with Leila. She is the hurricane that entered and rocked my world over 5 1/2 years ago, and the wind just keeps on blowing with her. She is amazing.

She was enrolled in Aloha Christian Pre-school for their pre-K program which is for kids who just miss the cut-off for Kindergarten. She attended five days a week for 2 1/2 hours- just like most kindergartens. I originally wanted to push her into Kindergarten last year. If she had been born just 5 days earlier, she would have gone into kindergarten, and I would not have considered holding her back. But thanks to the cost of the test to put her in(a few hundred dollars), the chances she would pass it(she had to score 98%), and the fact it would still go to an arbitration board and they could pull her out of kindergarten the first three months if it wasn't working, I decided to not go that way. I didn't want to put that kind of pressure on her, or myself for that matter. I didn't want people judging my child. I also didn't want to push her to grow up faster than she already is. Plus, thinking way down the line, I feel much more comfortable sending my 18, almost 19 year old off to college than I would a 17, almost 18. A year does make a big difference in the teen years. And while I am sure I have turbulent teen drama ahead of me, do I really want to kick her out of the house a year earlier by choice? No. Also, her being the oldest in her class she will have added responsibility and actual ability to lead and help others. This is a trait she already has and will naturally develop even more, and I believe it will serve her well.

Here she is on her teachers lap, with the two assistant teachers next to her.

Here she is with the Pre-school director who has helped her a few times when her days were not so great.

Leila had a "Spring Program" where she sang and received a certificate of completion. She was lucky to have several family members besides us in attendance. She was by far the most animated and excited student singing. I will post some video later- I couldn't hold the camera steady I was laughing so much. :o)
I love this school. We put in an application for Nathan to go next year if he doesn't get into the Aloha-Huber Park free pre-school. He is looking forward to having his firsts and lasts just like Leila. In fact, he has been quite emotional because I think he is recognizing his sister is getting a lot of attention right(earrings, school, reading, just being so cute most of the time!). So, we will work on getting our one on one time with him. He can certainly cause a stir like his sister, but I tend to think of him as the constant base, while Leila is wild music with ups and downs.
We have a long summer ahead of us and I sincerely hope I can make it thru alive! I will post my plans to keep us happy and sane and somewhat organized once I figure out how I am going to do that.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Two Holes - what we do for vanity


In the chair:
Being Brave:
Being Brave a second time(holding her breath helped she said):

All Done! All Happy!

My daughter has two holes in her head. She got her ears pierced today, and is thrilled, but not without a little trauma.

When I was a girl I watched my sisters wait until the right age to get their ears pierced. I was #3, so when I decided I wanted mine done, my mom took me to her friends house who had a earring gun and we had them pierced. I think I was around 8-ish- I can't really remember. I have always taken good care of my ears and never had them grow together. I didn't want to put an age limit, rather I decided to let Leila decide when she was ready. I will admit asking her numerous times if she was ready yet, but she always told me no.

This week she decided she wanted her ears pierced before pre-K is let out so she can show her friends. I then tried to talk her into waiting for her birthday- what kind of mother am I? We tried to get a few people to come with us, but it didn't work out, so the four of us(Nate and Kathryn joined us) headed out to Claires.

Leila was so brave. They had a little bear to hold on to, and she did. The first one went in and she looked like she was going to cry and maybe vomit. She immediately tried to get off the chair and I had to remind her they needed to do the second one. She swallowed her fears and held her breath for the second one. Same reaction. She looked tortured, that is until she saw her reflection. She has been all smiles since. My baby girl is growing up! Fun times!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

3 months and forever loved...

Our sweet baby is three months old! Time is a funny thing. It feels like she has been with us and part of our family forever. It feels like these three months have simply flown by. It also feels like these have been a long three months. How does that work?

What is Kathryn up to? She is smiling, and talking, and chuckling(I haven't been able to capture it yet on video- dang!). She is aware of her surroundings, her hands, her brother and sister. She still doesn't like the bath, but doesn't mind being nude and dry. She likes to "clutch" things: my shirt, her blanket, anything she can find(We think it gives her comfort to have something in her hands.) She is pretty close to rolling over. She likes a change of scenery(If she fusses, I change her view point- that will tide her over for a bit). She wakes up once or twice a night. She eats a lot. She knows who her family is. Momma is her best friend.

Three months is significant to me. I left my two older babies and headed back into the workforce at around 3 months. It was not by choice. We had no other alternative when it came to costs of insurance and making ends met. Luckily Jeremy and I were able to work it out so we had the children in day care only a few hours a day, until he finally switched jobs and the kids went to daycare full time for about 6 more months(waiting three months for his benefits to kick in, and my needing to work thru year-end closing).

My heart broke as I headed into work thinking about those little smiles just starting to pop out for me. My heart ached as I sat in the security closet and hooked myself up to a breast pump to give my children the precious breast milk that would help to keep them healthy and keep me in demand as their caretaker. I was saddened with both children that I couldn't continue nursing to the one-year-mark that is claimed to be so important. I felt guilty when I grumbled about all the tasks and things I needed to do once I got home from work, wanting to just love my babies, wanting to just take a nap, not wanting to fulfill all of my responsibilities.

So, this three months is great for me. I get to see what my baby is like full-time after this point in her life. I am so grateful for a husband who understands how important this is to me. I am so grateful for the ability to budget, tighten the belt, and work things out so we can be sure our needs are met. I am grateful for healthy children who love me, despite how much I yell or turn on the TV and park them in front of it for my own selfish needs. I have so much. I hope I am thankful enough.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Frederick Family Pics

I love this shot- all but Conrad and Kathryn of the younger batch of cousins are in it.

We have our very own storm trooper in our family.

Beth is Comfy(Sorry Beth, I can't figure how to turn these pictures in my new picture program)


Vixie and her baby, she is not a sister, but could be.

Another comfy Auntie(With Grandpa in the background)

Dan and his Little Man!

Jacob giving pointers- you need the ball for that, will Nathan share?

Loomis Bunch

Beth and her boys

Grammy and her Baby

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cultivate a Spirit of Happiness

"The way will be lighter, the worries will be fewer, the confrontations will be less difficult if we cultivate a spirit of happiness." Gordon B. Hinckley
I found this quote on a friends page- I am adding it to my page.

It made me think. Its not enough to fake it. Its not enough to just be. Cultivate means to work and spend time preparing, to foster growth, to refine or improve thru labor, care or study, or my favorite definition: to make friends with. Its not necessarily an easy thing to do, but I do agree if we are happy, and feel good in our hearts, life is easier. So, what better thing to cultivate than happiness?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fun times- Mother's Day Edition

Mother's day was a fun day. I felt special and even got an award for being the most amazing mother ever. The award was a sticker I got to wear the rest of the day. Along with chocolate, I was given the most amazing gift that I want every year: A nap alone. :o)

Now this is what a call fun times- A day just for me, as a mom, a day we bless my sweet little baby, a day when all my sisters, a few friends, and their families come over to my house to hang out. I had fun and really enjoyed myself.

Leila was sincerely excited to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. As I was upstairs in my bed with the baby, kids watching a movie, I nursing a headache on Friday afternoon, Leila quietly came into the room with one of my big glasses full of water. She sang "Happy Mother's Day!" to me and told me she brought me some special juice. I smiled and thanked her. She went back downstairs. She came up and checked on me in about 10 minutes and asked me if I liked the "special juice". Yes, I replied, even though I had not had any. I asked her what she put in it. She said this: I put some water in it, and stirred. Then I added some salt. Then some brown sugar. Then I stirred it all up again. And then I put in a straw. I am glad you liked it Mommy!" How sweet-eeer-sweet and salty is that?

Kathryn had a sweet blessing at church, given by my sweet Dad. Afterwards we enjoyed brunch at our place. Thankfully the sun was out and we could make use of our outdoor living area as my house isn't really big enough to accommodate the extended family.
For dinner we had my choice of a yummy spinach salad ala costco. Well, Jeremy and I did. We decided dinner is about socialization no necessarily eating(We tell ourselves this when the kids aren't eating). So, we pulled out the high chair, and Kathryn joined us. She looks so small, but enjoys being with us at eye level.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hilarious Amazon Stuff

The wolf t-shirt is cool- but check out the comments--hilarious! (I just can't stop laughing and want to share it with everyone I know!)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Last Weekend

We had a fun weekend last weekend. Jeremy had one more mandatory day off to take before the end of the month(funny how five years ago, mandatory days off were unheard of?), so we headed down to his parents place. We took a stop off in Woodburn for the Tulip Festival. I have wanted to go for years, and finally did this year. It was fun and a perfect day for it- not too hot, not too cool. The kids seemed to enjoy it too.

Saturday the kids went fishing in Grandpa's Boat. I cuddled with Kathryn all day long.

This is a hand-me-down Carina Dress made by Grandma Conser. Isn't she just a doll?


Language is so interesting for me. I loved French in high school and decided to learn more I needed to live in a french speaking home. My parents obliged and I lived in Brussels Belgium, french speaking section, for my senior year of school. I would never call myself a master of the language, but I did learn enough to get myself around. That year in Belgium made my accelerated 2 years of French in college pretty easy. I was amazed last summer with Wendy's visit how fast it came back to me.

Right now my baby is cooing and making the sweetest sounds. I learned that in no matter the language or culture, all babies start cooing at the same age(a month and half or so). We all start out the same! I think that is wonderful.

I am thinking of this as I placed Kathryn in front of the Baby Einstein DVD Language Nursery and she is listening to songs and poems in several languages. I am also reflecting because we will be applying to have Leila in the two-way Spanish immersion classes at her new school. I plan on taking a few conversation classes in Spanish so I can learn along with her.

Also, what is up with learning the language of a toddler? I think Nathan speaks so well, until we get around people who aren't used to his "l's" be "w's", or the cute words I have yet to correct him on(Like a gun being a boomer, or food being "electable" instead of delectable, and his wanting to watch a woovie.)

Life is but a scream- really.

I have so much on my mind. Life is really crazy. I am holding this sweet wiggly baby who has again surprised me at how much more love my heart is capable of giving. She is growing too fast- but I am enjoying so much of it. We have her blessing scheduled for Sunday. I went against the norm of doing it on the first Sunday of the month and am doing it on Mother's day, mostly so I can have this special day/connection in my mind. I decided to make it all about me. :o) I am touched by how excited my friends and family are for her blessing. A baby is probably the best reason to celebrate and I am thankful for those joining in.

One of my best friends is in the hospital trying not to give birth to her twin girls that aren't due for another 9 weeks. She has to be one of the most amazing people I know. She feels she can not provide them the home they deserve and has decided to place them up for adoption. She is in great spirits and very happy she is giving them such a great start at life. But my heart breaks for her for her loss. I am grateful I can provide her support and love. She will need it.

Leila had her Kindergarten Orientation and "LOVED IT" even though she was very shy at first and Daddy had to walk her the classrooms where they played with the teachers and then went on a bus ride around the block. I was worried about the school we are putting her in. Its huge. k-8- abut 1000 students. But after talking with the principal, both Jeremy and I feel really good about it. We will apply to have Leila enrolled in the Spanish immersion classes. We think she will do really well. And considering she will be going full days, five days a week, I think she can use the extra challenge. This school also offers a pre-K class, so I have Nathan signed up for that. Its based on need and he will be assessed early June. It is free and transportation is provided- so we hope he gets in. That would really help us out a lot.

We had some disappointing news with some of the issues my Dad is dealing with. Much too complicated and personal to blog about. But I appreciate all the love, support and prayers offered on his behalf. I love my Dad. He is just an amazing person and I have been blessed to have him in my life.

There is a lot of good in our lives right now too. Good adds to the craziness, but is still good. I am feeling a lot better about my routines. I am enjoying my relationship with my husband. My children, while challenging, are happy and healthy. My husband is employed. We have a home. We can make ends meet. We are looking forward to a fun and busy summer with another visitor from Belgium(Leila Melignon- my host sister- will be staying with us for a month and a half- we will refer to her as "big Leila" and our Leila as "little Leila"). I have the best friends I could ever ask for. My sister is helping me be a better cook. Life is good.