My Family

"Life will knock you down. You can choose to stand up again."




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Colton and the "D" Word

Yesterday morning I met with Colton's teacher, principal and the school's speech pathologist. There was a lot that was said and a lot of papers that were passed back and forth. I signed them and put them in the pile. We talked about how adorable Colton is and how sweet he is. We talked about how the medicine is helping him to be a bit more focused in class, especially in the morning hours. We talked about how much he loves his mommy. We talked about how important the fourth and fifth grades will be for him because sixth grade now means the first year of junior high school. We talked about how much more patient his brothers are with him and how good they can be with him. I heard all of that. I heard all of the good things that were said about my sweet, adorable boy. I heard it and I agreed with it and I added my own comments about how great this boy of mine is. But, I also heard the "D" word and it brought me to tears. My boy has clinically and legally been diagnosed as having a disability. That is a rotten, horrible, demeaning word. I really dislike that word with all of my being. Why do we have to put the "dis" in front of a such a great word? He has so much ability! Why do we have to add those three letters to the beginning of such a great word? Sure the "D" word gives him some rights which will be very important moving forward... and we WILL move forward... we ALWAYS move forward, but it's still a word that, if I were to allow it, could define my boy. It won't define my boy, just in case you were wondering. That word will allow my boy to go to some special groups during his school week that will empower him and allow him to be aware of his weaknesses in order to make them strengths, and we WILL make them strengths, just in case you were wondering. This word will also allow me to be far more involved with decision making with my boy, including who will be teaching my boy. The teacher who will be entrusted with my boy will make a huge difference. The teacher will either encourage him based on the "ability" part of that word or that teacher will DIScourage him based on the beginning of that word. The teacher will make a big difference, and I will be there to make sure it is a positive fourth grade year for my boy. He will grow and flourish. He will show ability with a capital "A" and he will make a difference just by being him. We all deserve rights. We all deserve the ability to be ABLE. We all deserve the opportunity to be the best that we can be individually. We, as a family, will focus on what Colton's abilities are and we will strengthen them. Then we will focus on our own abilities and our own weaknesses and we will make them stronger so that we can try to keep up with Colton's abilities. Oh the places this kid will go!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pack Meeting

The evening prior to surgery was Pack Meeting. It's sad to think that in August, Colton will be my only one still in cub scouts! Kaydon received a couple of awards and Colton received his Wolf. My kids have been so blessed to have awesome scout leaders who have been persistent and kind and patient. Wednesday night they had a scouting Olympics. The kids had a blast! Papa and Grandma come to as many Pack Meetings as they can. It's good for my boys to have Papa there as an example.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Heart

If you'd like to see a rad picture, go to my Facebook profile picture. Joshua took that while I was unaware... and waiting for my EKG and IV. Joshua!!! Thursday was eventful, although I remember so little of it. I remember Joshua drinking a Pepsi on the way to the hospital. I felt like I hadn't had a drink for days and days. I wanted to drink his Pepsi SO bad! I remember the clerk flirting with Joshua. I thought it was hilarious. And that is about as far as my memory takes me. Joshua tells me that I LOVED my Zophran pill that I was able to let dissolve under my tongue. Apparently I thought it was the best tasting thing EVER. I heard that a flash light was used to get my IV in. Normal. I try to tell them! I heard that I LOVED my doctor. I heard that I was so brave. How could I not be? J was there. I heard that I tried to take my oxygen out of my nose a few times and tried to take off bandages much to early. I heard that I had a breakdown and sobbed loudly OUT LOUD when I couldn't see Joshua. It scared my children. :( I heard that I thought grapes were the best thing ever invented. I heard that I was wishing people Happy Birthday. So what?! The doctors told Josh that everything went really, really well. Besides a lot of soreness in my groin and my neck, physically I feel okay. My heart races now and then and sometimes feels like it's being shocked, but I have had ZERO nausea. I showered today and got more of the surgical tape off of me. I feel exhausted, even more than before surgery, but it's a good exhaustion...an exhaustion that I feel can be treated with rest, not an exhaustion that feels like I might not live another day. It's a much better feeling. I so look forward to being able to go for a walk. I can't wait! For now though, I am immensely grateful. My kids are well. I had health insurance through this ordeal. My mom is amazing. Our ward has brought meals and treats. Flowers are covering our kitchen table and they are stunning. And J. J has been amazing as usual. He is so kind and so gentle and so helpful. For now, I am immensely grateful.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Saturday Night Lights

Saturday night football. That's what we do. We sit in the stands covered in blankets and yelling and screaming... well at least I yell and scream. Loudly. I am really loud. I get really into the games. Under the lights. With the mountains as a back-drop. With the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers. With children (the children of the players) running around pretending to be professional football players. With mom's holding babies and chasing children. Watching the sunset under the lights on Saturday nights. I love it!

Friday, May 17, 2013

God Bless America, With a Side of Square Dancing

This morning I got to go to Braxton's fifth grade program. I rarely (like never) get the opportunity to go see my kid's programs and it kills me. This morning, though, I was there. The theme was this great country that we live in. Each fifth grader had to do a state report. Braxton had Idaho. He had to write a written report, make a 3D model and build a float. He also had to participate in this program which included SQUARE DANCING!! Right on!! I am almost positive that I square danced to the exact same song in my fifth grade program like 30 years ago. It was awesome! I kept trying to catch his eye so that I could embarrass him. It totally worked! That kid makes me smile!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nights with Colton

After Colton has been required to sit through seven hours of school, afternoons are definitely his release. He literally does not have the ability to come home and go right to homework. He has to be able to physically exert all of his energy. This is just something that we have learned and adjusted to. He will come home and kick the soccer ball, shoot basketballs into the hoop, jump on the trampoline, throw the wall ball, play with his animals, take Gunner for a walk, etc. Summer time, or at least cleaner air and nicer weather, are SUPER helpful! He is able to go outside for several hours after school and get rid of all of that built up energy. He doesn't have to focus or pay attention or SIT and LISTEN. He can just be free. Yard work is a favorite of his! He'll mow the lawn a few times a week... just because it seems like a cool idea right at that very moment. Nana and I just smile. At least he is happy. At least he is free. At least he is safe. At least he is able to be at peace.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day Dinner

Joshua grilled some super yummy pork chops and made corn on the cob. It was DELICIOUS! His cute mom was so surprised to hear that he cooks. I started laughing out loud because he cooks every weekend. This mama never has to cook when he is around. Mother's Day was awesome! I love my kids' homemade gifts. I love their cute hand-written cards. I love how they think that because it's a special holiday they should be extra nice to me. I love everything about it!

Spring Semester Finish Line

Spring Semester is over. I crossed the finish line. I won the race! I got a 4.0 GPA this semester. I am so stinking proud of myself and even more proud of my family. Nana and the boys and I celebrated by having a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake! That's how we roll. Sweet Josh is so proud of me. He announced at his mom's house last night at the dinner table that I got a 4.0. It made me feel so good. It's the first time I've ever had straight A's. Before this, my highest GPA ever was the first quarter of seventh grade and it was a 3.4. I'm not such a great student, but I we worked so hard and I am so happy! Summer Semester starts next week.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hogle Zoo 2013

Saturday, we went to Hogle Zoo. It's been several years since I have been there. It was a beautiful day and the perfect activity for Mother's Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Demolition

This is an actual picture of the demolition taking place in our building at work! We are having an area completely remodeled for our Division and I CAN'T WAIT!!! It is going to be a great new area with natural light and some really cool technology. It's supposed to be done by mid-August! I see a party in our future :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Family BBQ

Last night, we went to my dad's house to celebrate my step-mom's birthday. Two of my uncles and three of my aunts were there, along with my sweet cousin Carrie and her family. My step-brother was there with his two kids, my niece and nephew. My brother and sister-in-law were also there. It was a fun night! Josh was the grill master, and such a great one! He grilled for two and a half hours. I held a baby for quite some time, which always makes my heart oh-so-happy! My kids played and played. The food was great and so was the company!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Colton and Siblings

After Colton was diagnosed with ADHD and Pediatric Anxiety, I sat his three older brothers down and explained (as best I could) what his diagnosis meant. I explained that some of the connections in Colton's brain aren't quite right. I explained that he has a very difficult time concentrating, remaining calm, controlling his emotions, making decisions, controlling his emotions while trying to make decisions, following directions the first-second-tenth time, etc. I explained to them that he would be on medication to try to help him do better with those tasks. I explained that the medicine would help him during the time that he was in school (or for about eight hours after he took it). I explained to them that we were all going to need to practice more patience. Truth be told--this Mama has VERY little patience. Tricky! As time as gone on, we have seen days when Colton's brothers are very patient with him. They seem to be able to divert his attention during big blow-ups. They seem to be able to help him do things to expend his energy. They do their best not to raise their voices at him, or call him names or make him feel horrible. There are also days, however, when the brothers have zero tolerance. These are extra hard days at our house. These are days when voices are loud and ugly. These are days when tears are abundant, when anger is boiling over, when confusion and frustration are at their peak. These are tough days. Because we really never know what will help Colton to calm himself, or what he NEEDS at that very moment to help him control his emotions. He, all by himself, is learning strategies to help himself. I will find him downstairs on his bed with his DVD player watching a movie, or out on the trampoline jumping and jumping and jumping, or outside with his wall ball, or shooting hoops, or coloring all by himself. He is learning mechanisms that help HIM when the world around him is just too much. And at the same time we, as his family, are doing our best to learn our own coping mechanisms. We are learning patience and temperance. We are loving better and more genuinely. We are learning that our differences are our strengths. We are learning to be a stronger family.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sunny Saturdays

We love sunny Saturdays! We play and play outside with the basketball and soccer balls and hula hoops and scooters. Everyone loves to be outside. We just play and play and play. Josh had his third football game of the season. He was injured, but don't worry he'll be at the game on Saturday, no doubt. It's totally awesome like that!