Friday, November 12, 2010

It seems as if in the last year all I ever say is that I'll keep up with the blog. But then I fall behind. It seems as if just yesterday I was posting birthday videos of the girls and yet another year has come and gone. Yet here I am posting about their birthdays again. It's that time of year. This week we celebrated Katelyn's 9th birthday. Typically we aren't the party type of family. However since little sister wants to have a party this year, we wanted to do something special for Katelyn as well. How perfect was it that today was a student free day for their school district......

Today Katelyn and I got all prettied up.

Then we picked up 4 of her equally prettied up friends.

We headed to a nail salon where the girls got their nails painted and I got a basic manicure.

Then we drove into downtown Long Beach where we ate cupcakes at a place called Frosted Cupcakery.
It's was a pretty interesting afternoon. If you've ever been around girls of that age you know they are giggly and loud and silly. They say the most hilarious things. Some of the most memorable:

1) While at the nail salon a man came with his wife. He got a pedicure while she got a manicure. The girls noticed this and it had them all giggling. One says something to the effect of "Oh look! A man getting his toe nails done! He must be a girly guy!" One of the other girls says "No he's not. He's with his wife. He's just wupped!" Had the hole place laughing even the couple that came in.

2) In the car they pretended they were zombies taking over my driving. That was a laugh a minute.

3) While at a stop light a couple came jogging towards us. The man had no shirt. All the girls shrieked in horror. "Ewwww!" One hollers "He's coming my way! I'm gonna be blinded!" Another yells "I'm gonna be scarred for life!" A third says "That's just wrong! Put a shirt on man!" The rest of us were just laughing hysterically at the comments flying.

It pretty much went like this the whole day. At the cupcake place quite a few people told me how fun it was to get cupcakes today cause they had fun listening to my group of gals. We had two groups of college aged kids there and a couple of older women as well when we were in and each group said the same thing. Even the workers got a kick out of these girls.

I really enjoyed my time with them. I'm so glad I had the idea to do this for Katelyn.

Happy Birthday my sweet! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Some Friends Are Angels.....

When Katelyn was 4, she began taking speech therapy. At first she was the only one in her time slot but soon another little girl joined the therapy sessions. Katelyn and Allison became fast friends. The mom and I got along great too. We even learned we were both LDS just in different stakes. In 2008 there were boundary line changes and our section of our former ward/stake got transferred over to Cerritos 1st Ward. Our first Sunday, to our delight, was Allison and her family. Katelyn was greeted with a big hug from her old friend even though we hadn't seen her in more than a year. It sure made attending a new ward so much easier for a child who has trouble with adjusting to new things.

Yesterday we got the news no parent wants to hear....even when the child isn't your own....Allison passed away in her sleep Sometime in the wee hours of Thursday night/Friday morning. At this time cause unknown. The first thing I did was hug my daughters tighter as I burst into tears. We were on our way out the door for the Cerritos Stake mother-daughter campout and Katelyn was excited to go and play with friends. She was esp looking forward to seeing Allison. She's the kind of child who would hound me forever asking where her friend was so I had to sit her down and explain to her. Now she's handling it as best as can be for a child on the autism spectrum. She grasps it on some level but her grieving process, I realized after she dealt with the loss of another friend's mother earlier this year, is completely different than normal developed kids. But I can still tell this is tough on her.

I'm struggling with it more. I have so many emotions running through my head. Why them? Not that I want it to be me....but why am I so blessed to still have my two children to hug? What if it were me in the same shoes? And this is just to name a few. As parents we all have the idea at the back of our mind that we will go before our kids. None of us ever expects our kids to go before us. And then in the blink of an eye, one little girl is taken from her earthly parents to return again to her heavenly parents. Right now there is comfort in knowing that Allison had such a desire to do the Lord's will in her short 8 years on this earth...even to having her family leave a local amusement park early so she could go to her baptism interview when the bishop called while they were having a family outing. We weren't able to make it, the aforementionned little girl who lost her mom was also baptized the same day. But I know how excited Allison was and I know it was a special day with family and friends and sharing the day with two cousins who were also baptized that same day. I know there's a greater reason, one none of us can comprehend right now, as to why her time on earth short and why it happened without warning. Thankfully we can rely on the Lord to comfort us and heal our aching hearts.

Katelyn told me on the way home from the campout that she wanted to do something special. She brought up the subject all by herself. She said she wanted to take the picture she has with Allison (the one seen above) and get copies of it made. One photo will be for Allison's family. She's going to write down all her memories of Allison to include with the photo. I told her I'd help her do that and we'll make a scrapbook page out of it. The other photo she wants me to put in a frame and she wants me to write or paint "Some friends are angels, Some angels are friends" on it. With tears rolling down my face I said we could definitely do both of those things together.

If I could pass anything on to my girls so that they'll remember Allison it would this: Always keep a smile on your face. Live life to its fullest. Never be afraid to try anything. (if Allison had fears, I never knew them) Love your sister. (Allison was such a wonderful big sister and you could tell the love her little sisters had for her) And above all to follow the teachings of Heavenly Father.

We love you and miss you Allison.

"Some friends are angels......some angels are friends."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Adventures in Ice Skating

There was a family night ice skating party at a local rink hosted by another troop. For most events I take Katelyn and Clark will stay home with Laura. But I figured since Clark knows how to ice skate that he could go and help with the girls and I and make it a true family experience along with being there with others in our troop. Here are the girls before they got on the ice. I was too shakey in skates so I didn't get any of them actually on the ice. And then I was too shakey after to take any more pictures.
For the record...Laura went out for about 15 minutes with daddy and big sister. Then she fell hard on her butt and decided that was it, no more. Katelyn was off and on the ice all night. She loved it even though she fell a lot. She told me later that she just got right back up and wasn't going to let the ice win. Yeah Katelyn! Clark only ate the ice once........right after he helped me finally get onto the ice. Other than that he skated quite a bit and didn't even need to hug the wall.
And then there's me...the mommy...the writer of this blog. Let's just say I'm kind of glad there are no picture even if they would have provided everyone with a laugh.
I got my skates on, stood up, took two steps and down I went. Yep, before I even got to the ice, before I even left the room where they hand out the skates. Yeah that bad. And then I made it to the doorway and down I went again. I ended up crawling on my knees to a bench and then waited til my family skated a bit. Finally Clark came out (when Laura fell and decided no more) and he and another mom (thank you Stacie!) walked me to the wall of the rink. With Clark's help, I slowly made my way to the ice. Slowly is the key word there.
I got onto the ice, grabbed the wall and hung on for dear life. I started sweating and not just my face. I sweated down to my toes. And I was shaking. I fell twice before getting on the ice, I didn't want to eat the ice...or break it. I slowly pushed myself along. I noticed that I kept getting kids stuck behind me...a regular traffic jam on ice. While laughing, I'd sarcastically say "I'm not letting of the wall. I'll stop, you all can go around me. Feel free to grab onto me as you go around if you need to. But I'm not letting go of the wall!" One, maybe two kids at a time would choose to hold onto me. Braver kids would skate around my big butt before grabbing the wall again and would triumphantly shout, "I did it! I got around you without falling!" Yeah, yeah, smart mouthed kids. haha! Every now and then a girl from our troop would skate past me "Hi miss Kathryn, I'm skating better than you!" I'd say "Cool, now shut up and keep skating you brat." And off they'd go laughing at me. Now I hadn't made it very far compared to most but it was a work out when you are unsteady, scared, and well....fat....and about the time I saw an exit from the ice about 1/4 of the way around I was ready to collapse. I saw some moms and said "!" I guess I looked white as a ghost at this point. The door was open and I literally fell to my knees. I was shaking so hard I could barely get up to sit on the bench to take off my skates. One of the moms in our troop ran over to see if I was okay. I had her go get my wallet and buy me a bottled
Even now I'm still a bit shakey from it. But the important this is that I didn't let my fears take over. I could have given up and not even gotten on the ice after falling twice before even getting on. But I didn't. I got out there and did. I may have only made it a quarter of the way around but I did it! I did it!
And for the record.....Stacie, your sister is still a witch for making it all the way around. hahahaha!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Katelyn's Baptism....January 2010

I'm FINALLY blogging about this. The hold up was computer issues. First my computer died. I was sharing with Katelyn. Then her computer died. So we were both sharing with Laura. I didn't want to load my camera softward on Laura's computer so I waited for my computer techy husband to fix mine. And I waited and waited. He finally got around to it and I kept hoping he'd go to the old one and transfer things over but he still hasn't done that. So I finally decided to load the software again. Then I couldn't find it. Finally found it today. Woohoo! So here is our long over due blog about Katelyn's baptism.

Katelyn turned 8 in November. But due to family member's prior committments we in December we decided to wait til January to have the baptism. What a nice way to ring in the new year!

Katelyn doesn't have a lot of extended family but she knew right away who she wanted to participate in the confirmation circle. Her daddy baptized her. Her papa Rick confirmed her. Participating in the confirmation was her daddy, papa Rick, papa John, Aaron Skinner (who we knew in the Los Al Ward/Long Beach East Stake), Eric Hayhurst (another friend from the Los Al Ward), Thad Marcroft, Robert Magalogo, Brother Hall (drawing a blank on his first name, LOL!), and Brother Jolley (our home teacher). I keep thinking I'm forgetting someone but maybe not. Most came with their families and a few others came to support her as well. The Dyers and Sis. Miller, The Cox family, my mom and grandma, my sister-in-law Kathy, the Rydman's. It was wonderful of everyone to be there and show their support and it really made Katelyn's day.

Here as some pictures for your enjoyment. The dress Katelyn is wearing was made by neighbor for me when I was 8 and ready to be baptized. Even as a young child I knew what I special dress it was because it was made by someone not of our faith but who understood what an important day it was for me and wanted to do something special for me. I have held onto it all these years....with it being worn by my sister but then going right back into my hopes of having a daughter to wear it one day. Interestingly I've been blessed with two daughters. But it was awesome to see my eldest daughter wearing the dress and telling her the story behind it.

Katelyn and Clark

Me, Laura, Katelyn and Clark

Sisters.......I gave up after these two photos....look at their eyes in each, they took turns closing eyes and I figured it was a lost battle at that point, haha!

Katelyn on her special day. I love how glowingly happy she is!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Making Tough Decisions

First, sorry about no photos yet. Still sharing Laura's computer. But mine is almost up and going again so soon I promise.

Second.....I'm pouring my heart out because I'm very hurt, angry, and upset over things I don't know why are happening in recent months. And because nobody in my family is adult enough to tell me why they are doing what they are doing, I am having to make some tough decisions for me and my girls....decisions that will also hurt others indirectly even though they know why I am doing this. I'm sharing these things not because I hope the people who need to read them will see it because chances are they won't. I'm sharing these things so that others can keep me, my girls and my mom in your prayers.

So some of you readers know that I have never had a close relationship with my brother. It stems from childhood and my undiagnosed hormonal imbalances that caused rage and the rage was directed at Richard and I hurt him physically and emotionally. I've said it before and I'll say it again.....I've apologized many times and I won't spend the rest of my life apologizing. It is what it is. Yes I still am quick to anger but the rage is not there and yes there is a difference between rage and anger...a big difference. And I'm not the same person I was during those years. But yet time and time again despite being told by Richard and my parents that he's moved on and forgiven me of that, things happen that prove otherwise. For example, as long as I'm not around his wife has no problem being around the rest of the family. The times we are together she puts on such a fake act of being nice that we all can see it. The rare times we do see them, my brother will say in front of my girls "we'll get together so the kids can play more." Never happens and I'm left with "why didn't he call?" I don't bother calling cause what is the point. The times I have called for trying to plan a Christmas meet up at my place so they didn't have to drive all the way to mom and dad's nobody ever called me back. I even e-mailed and no response. Katelyn recently wanted to call Richard about buying Girl Scout cookies. I was going to call and then turn the phone over to her once I got him on the phone so she could make the sale. Just got voice mail...twice. Both times no call back. Sent an e-mail about it, no response. A few weeks later my troop leader and I are trying to figure out booth sales and one of our choices was down near where my brother lives. After a bad experience with nut sales, we wanted a better area. So I needed to know what the area was like down that way. I called and e-mailed....again no responses. Actions speak louder than words. It's clear he doesn't want me in his life but he's not man enough to come out and tell me and tell me the truth as to why. As far as I know as an adult I've done nothing to him, absolutely nothing. Yet from him I get broken promises to my kids and an 8 yr old daughter who has asked for 4 yrs straight why uncle Richard doesn't call to wish her a happy birthday. So fine, he doesn't want me in his life, I'll accept that.....I'm done trying. From now on I'll be making sure if I go out to mom and dad's that I'm not going out there when my brother's family is. Maybe that way they will actually get to see their other granddaughters more often.

The other decision I just had to make was to cut my sister out of my life. I'm the most hurt by her as I really cannot tell you what I've done to her at all. We are 10 years apart, we do have very different personalities. I don't like the decisions she has made over the years but they are hers and as long as she seems happy I've been happy for her. All I've asked of her is to respect me in the same way. My decisions in how I live my life, how I parent my kids, are mine and my husband's alone and as long as I'm happy she should be happy for me as well. Instead I've had her cross the line when it comes to one of my children on a few occasions....first time I heard she drove my daughter to a friends house where they had drinks and then drove back to my parents house. I don't care if it's one drink, that's my child in that car, not hers. But we cut her some slack cause she was young and stupid. Then she crossed the line again when she told Katelyn her opinions on prop 8, things a 6 year old (at the time) didn't need to know. All we told her was that a yes vote meant a stand for traditional marriages. She's too young to have to explain same sex marriages. Thanks to my sister, who thought she was hilarious when she told our young child, Katelyn suddenly had tons of questions that year about same sex couples. I don't remember what the 3rd thing was but it wasn't long after this particular incident. I was wanting to cut her off then. But Clark said that would just hurt my mom and the girls and I should think about it first. Since Sharla lives in Vegas I decided that maybe he was right, it's not like we see her often anyhow. Just when we did see her we didn't let Katelyn go off for drives or walks with her, we were more guarded.

One hard thing in this is that Laura is always left out. Sharla only has eyes for Katelyn. So often Laura practically has to stand on her head to get aunt Sharla's attention. My mom tried talking to Sharla once about it I hear. Sharla just laughed it off. So we always try and keep Laura happy when she's sad cause she's ignored. Interesting is that just last fall we were on a whirlwind trip to Utah and back and even though we wanted to head straight home, we took the effort to stop in Vegas and go to dinner with Sharla and Paul. Things seemed fine then. She didn't give off any clues that she was trying to cut me out of her life. None whatsoever. Something happened during that visit dinner Sharla had both girls sitting with on one side, one on the other side. Clark and I were across the table. Once again Sharla was completely ignoring Laura. Sharla was playing tic-tac-toe with Katelyn, Laura wanted a turn too. She kept getting put off. Uncle Paul tried playing with her...nope she wanted aunt Sharla. Clark and I tried....nope, she wanted Sharla. I even said "Hey, Katelyn's had enough, it's Laura's turn" and I was told she needs to learn to wait. And before we could stop her, Laura took a crayon and made a line on Sharla's white sweater to get her attention. It was dealt with right away. I handed a tide pen to Sharla to pre-treat it and then headed to the restroom to deal with Laura. Nothing more was said of the incident.

Then one about a month, month and a half after seeing them in Vegas, I get a call from Sharla. I thought it was a friendly call thanking me for the birthday cards we'd sent. Nope, she goes on to make a slew of false accusations about my husband....who has NEVER done a thing to her. He's never been anything but kind to her.....even when she and I got into a verbal argument during the time we lived with mom and dad briefly (the time I was pregnant with Laura) argument which ended in Sharla coming at me swinging and I had to fight back to protect myself and my unborn baby until dad and Clark separated us. Not even then did he say anything bad about her, not even then. And yet here she was saying all this unfounded stuff and even comment she made I told her how off base she was and set her straight on her way of thinking about him.....let's see big example was she thought that he couldn't keep a good paying job and pay our bills when in reality he makes triple what her husband makes. Then she tried saying my kids are growing up in a bad area. Okay so we choose to rent and probably will for a few more years. But we are in a good neighborhood with a good school. She's only been to the house two maybe 3 times and has no idea what the school is like and yet she's making comments like that. Whatever.

The clincher was when she was getting nowhere on supposedly what a horrible husband I have that she decided to attack one of my children instead. I'll never ever forgot the next words "Well at least I don't have a child who is a spoiled brat and gets away with everything." Okay neither of my children are easy. Katelyn we learned the reason for many of her behaviors is her being on the autism spectrum and Laura well she's got many of our bad traits rolled into one....quick witted, independant, stubborn, short fused, and rage at times. And so parenting them can be difficult. But neither one of them is spoiled. They both get dealt with accordingly as needed. Sharla went on to try and say something regarding the sweater and I reminded her that it was dealt with that night so there was no reason bringing that up, it was done and over with. Sharla wanted to keep on the verbal round. I lost my temper and called her a witch with a b....yeah not cool but I was angry at this point...and hung up on her.

Since then I've kept my distance. For a few weeks after I wouldn't even answer her calls...not even when I knew she was calling to wish my girls happy birthday. I was still too angry to deal with her. I did answer the phone when she called to tell me she's having a baby boy. I knew from my mom that the ultrasound was that day and I know what it was like expecting and wanting to share with everyone when we found out what the sex of the baby would be. But I kept the call short and let her tell the girls. Since then we haven't talked, not once. I did notice she was on facebook and tried to add her as a friend but she denied me and then told my mom that the reason was "cause I don't want her stalking Richard." Hello when have I ever done that?! Lame reason not to add me.

I really don't understand her sudden about face when it comes to me and my family. But it has all come to a head. See I did tell my mom about that phone call. My mom even let her know how off base she was and that she should apologize. Well Sharla made some rude comments on something I posted on my mom's facebook wall and let her have it after she was rude to my mom there as well...because mom stood up for me. In the course of the exchanges I said she needed to apologize for those things she said and she says she doesn't that she was not wrong about the things she said. And I said that was it, that is why she's no longer part of our lives and I hope she's happy with how hurt my kids are. She said she was happy that she cut me out of her life but Katelyn will know the truth that I made the final decision.....nothing about Laura. I told her that actually I told her the truth...that aunt Sharla said really mean and hurtful things about Clark and Laura that aren't true and that Sharla can't respect me and because of this should not be part of our lives. If Sharla admits she's in the wrong and apologizes and starts showing my girls equal amounts of attention then and only then will she be allowed in our lives again. Until then no.

Yes I made this decision. In some ways it feels right. I don't want the negativity and anti-religious/Mormon influences around my children. But in other ways it feels so wrong. I'm left feeling confused because nobody can give me a straight answer as to why I'm being treated this usual it's always turned around to me being the evil one and it's all my fault and she did nothing wrong. So I'm left hurt and confused because I don't know what truly led to this, I don't feel this was the real reason she started cutting me off, I feel it is something else and she's not telling me. And I'm left with my mom who is hurt that two of her children want nothing to do with the other and who aren't telling her why while dealing with me who is emotionally upset over all this. And I'm left with having to explain to my kids, esp Katelyn, time and time again why we can't call aunt Sharla and why will never see her again.

Please keep our family in your prayers. In the long run this may all be for the best. But right now there are lots of hurt hearts that need healing.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Long time no blog

Some of you, my faithful readers, may wonder where I've been. Partly Facebook is to blame. I easily get caught up there. I had to stop playing a bunch of games due that very reason. The other reasons...or excuses depending on how you look at it....are as follows:

1) Since November our family has battled 3 bouts of the regular influenza. No oinking here, just lots of sniffling and complaining about not feeling well. The first two rounds just the girls and I got sick. The most recent round all 4 of us got sick. It started with Laura on Christmas Eve, then onto Clark and Katelyn on Christmas no less, and finally I came down with it the day after. We were all pretty much sleeping or just not well enough for the kids to fight. We sat around watching or sleeping through movies we got for Christmas. Then just as we started to feel better, 3 of us had sinus infections. Clark and Katelyn were so sick from those and it was just days away from Katelyn's baptism. So we called our friend and our home teacher for a blessing and they were soon much better.

2) My computer decided to crash a couple of days before Christmas. Lovely. My computer tech husband can't even figure it out. So I'm having to share Katelyn's computer. My pictures and program are on my computer so until I find the disc to load onto hers I can't share any new pics. Grumble, grumble.

3) The holidays are just plain busy for us anyhow.

4) Katelyn was baptized January 2nd. It was a nice day and as soon as I get those pictures loaded onto this computer I'll blog all about her special day. I have one more desk drawer to go through still. Let's all hope it's in that one.

Hopefully I'll be back to blogging about our family again soon. Until then we hope all our friends and family are doing well.