Monthly Archives: November 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

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I haven’t been super motivated to keep up the blog lately, but since Megan is my most faithful reader and since she has been asking me to update, I guess I better get to it.

We spent Thanksgiving in Las Vegas. It was totally fun as usual. I actually forgot my camera in Utah, so here are some pictures from my sister’s camera.

Of course we had a great Thanksgiving feast.  Here are Sarah and I working hard on Thanksgiving Dinner.

Of course we had a great Thanksgiving feast. Here are Sarah and I working hard on Thanksgiving Dinner.

Adam played football with Loren and Sarah's ward.  Quite possibly the highlight of his holiday.

Adam played football with Loren and Sarah’s ward. Quite possibly the highlight of his holiday.

Megan loved all the activities and crafts that Aunt Sarah had planned.  All the children had a great time working on various projects.

Megan loves all the activites and crafts that Aunt Sarah had planned. All the children had a great time working on various projects.

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Loren hosted a "Minute to Win It" activity.  It was a big hit with everyone.

Loren hosted a “Minute to Win It” activity. It was a big hit with everyone.

Megan participating in the Balloon Challenge.

Megan participating in the Balloon Challenge.

I straight up stole this college from Sarah's blog.  Everyone loved the Minute to Win It challenges.

I straight up stole this college from Sarah’s blog. Everyone loved the Minute to Win It challenges.

One day we went out to the Lost City Museum.  The kids loved the Pueblos.

One day we went out to the Lost City Museum. The kids loved the Pueblos.

We also took a hike at Valley of Fire.  Another crowd pleasing activity.

We also took a hike at Valley of Fire. Another crowd pleasing activity.

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We had a talent show for the third year.  Megan LOVES the talent show.  She told some good idea/bad idea jokes.  The other participants had some pretty awesome talents too.

We had a talent show for the third year. Megan LOVES the talent show. She told some good idea/bad idea jokes. The other kid’s had some pretty awesome talents too.

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Jane feigning boredom during the talent show.  She loved it.

Jane feigning boredom during the talent show. She loved it.

We also spent time with Adam’s parents (of course I have no pictures of us there because I didn’t have my camera!) and Megan and Jane always have a great time over there. Megan also brought a few cousins over to her grandparents house this trip, and the girls had a great time running rampant and playing with Grandma’s intercom system! I could write a lot more (we also had a cookie competition, watched the parade, went to the movies, and had game nights) but going through all the pictures is too daunting and wordpress has changed the way you insert photos so it is taking a lot longer. We really had a great holiday and hopefully this post will be enough to appease Megan and remind her of the great holiday we had. I hope you and yours also had a great one as well! Thank you Sarah and Anthony for being delightful hosts, as usual, and Loren for all the planning and preparation that went into such a fun week. We’re already looking forward to NEXT Thanksgiving!!!!

School Thanksgiving Feast

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The week before Thanksgiving, Megan’s school had a “Thanksgiving Feast” at lunchtime. They recommended that all students purchase a school lunch, which would be made up of specific Thanksgiving-y items. Megan told me that she would like to participate and buy a school lunch, but I had an inkling that she wouldn’t be super thrilled with the meal. So, I volunteered to take pictures at the event, and brought her a home lunch…just in case…

Megan wanted to try to be brave and get a school lunch, but she was so relieved when I showed up with a home lunch.

Megan wanted to try to be brave and get a school lunch, but she was so relieved when I showed up with a home lunch.

She had a hard time shaking the anxiety of her first school lunch experience, but having mom there helped

She had a hard time shaking the anxiety of her first “school lunch” experience, but having mom there helped

Megan and all her cute little classmates.  I love it.

Megan and all her cute little classmates.

Megan has made a ton of progress in the lunchroom setting. She is so brave and so strong. I am 100% sure that she is attending school at the right place and with the right teachers. What a wonderful feeling that is.

Disney On Ice

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Last night we took the girls to see Disney on Ice.  I had bought tickets months ago and had been using it as motivation for Megan to try her hardest in school and be on her best behavior.  Well, she definitely earned those tickets!

I don’t know if Megan really knew what to expect, but she loved it.  She was entralled the minute the first skaters hit the floor.

Jane also really enjoyed the show.  She was most excited when the Toy Story characters came out.

Megan’s favorite part was the Chinese representation during “It’s a Small World”, and the story of Mulan.  Mickey and Minnie narrated the story of Mulan, and when they said it was set in China, Megan was upset that they weren’t telling it in Chinese!!! She kept translating what Mickey was saying into Chinese for us!

My favorite part was watching how much the girls enjoyed it, but I also really liked Aladdin and Genie.  Adam liked the story of Beauty and the Beast, but I think it’s mostly because the Beast skater was the best one out there and was throwing Belle around like it was nothing.

We had such a fun time as a family last night.  On the drive home I was thinking how grateful I am to Adam for working hard so that we could do little things like take our girls to Disney on Ice.  Thanks Adam!

An Update on Miss Megan and Little J

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Yay!  All caught up!  Phew.  I got so behind at the beginning of this pregnancy.  I was so sick and it’s hard for me to sit at the computer for any amount of time.  I know that I don’t have too many interested readers anymore, but at least I am caught up for the sake of having things recorded and for Megan to read.

So I am all caught up on what we have been up to, but I think to post about the girls and what’s going on with them these days.

Jane is as sweet and cute as can be.  She has been cutting her two year old molars for weeks now, which hasn’t been the most fun for her, but she is still always in high spirits.  She is talking like crazy!  I love it.  She communicates her wants and needs SO EASILY.  It is such a change.  Adam and I often talk about how different it is to have a child who can communicate at this age.  We had no idea how much easier it makes things.  It is so wonderful.  Seriously.  Looking back now at Megan at this age, I should have known that something was off.  I just didn’t have anything to compare it to.  Now I know.  Wow.  Jane doesn’t throw herself on the ground – sobbing uncontrollably – if I ask her if she wants water when really she wants a cookie.  She just says no to the water and takes me by the hand and leads me to the pantry and shows me what she wants.  Again: wow.

Jane loves Toy Story, Yo Gabba Gabba, Lalaloopsies, animals, candy, hot-wheels, being outside, bikes, music, dancing, ice cream, and cucumbers.  I mean she LOVES cucumbers.  She doesn’t eat a ton of food, but she does love fruits and vegetables, so that’s nice.  Megan will eat bananas and carrots, but Jane will go to town on strawberries and cantaloupe and cucumbers and pears and peaches and watermelon and broccoli…you get the point.  It is super refreshing.  Jane is super refreshing overall. She says “sorry” and “excuse me” and “help me” all the time in the appropriate context.  It is so cute and fun to watch such a little person act like she does.

She doesn’t totally enjoy nursery at church.  I serve in the nursery so I am there with her, but even then she wants to be with Megan or wants to go home.  She does love singing time, and she knows quite a few of the songs and their actions.  Her favorite is definitely “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” She also likes snack time, but only because she likes to throw away the other children’s trash when they are done with their snacks.  First thing during snack time, she takes all her goldfish and fruit snacks off her napkin and throws it straight in the trash.  Then she waits around for other children to finish their snack so she can throw away their napkin.  She’s quirky that way.

She is weighing in at about 24 pounds, and if I remember correctly, I think she was 35 inches tall the last time we measured her.  She is definitely taller than most of the children her age.  I think Megan is only 44 inches.  So there are 4.5 years between them, but only 9 inches.  I’m pretty confident that Jane will pass her sister up in time.

Jane is no longer nursing as of about a month ago.  Even still, she asks to nurse, but she doesn’t get upset.  It’s hard to believe that she will be two years old next month.  She is at such a fun age and she is a pure delight.

Megan is doing SO WELL these days.  She is gaining weight (she’s up to 40 pounds!!!)  She has a healthier appetite, and seems to be shouldering a lot less anxiety.  She is doing REMARKABLY well in school.  Like, it’s unbelievable.  I can’t remember the last time she had a real meltdown.  Week after week have been drama free.  Something has clicked.  Her teachers are excellent and she is thriving.  She still has times of discomfort or confusion.  She still struggles with lunch time.  She is still socially awkward with her classmates and peers, but she is adapting and she is happier.  She is learning how to shake off things that upset her or are out of her control.  I know that any day it could all change.  I know she could become easily overwhelmed by any little thing at any given moment.  I’m still nervous and anxious when I drop her off each morning and I’m still nervous and anxious when I pick her up each afternoon.  Each day after school I ask her what her rose was for the day and what her thorn was.  More often than not, she doesn’t have a thorn.

Don’t misunderstand that there are still not hard times.  We took her to see a movie a couple Saturdays ago.  The last time we took her to a theater was for her fourth birthday.  She does not enjoy watching movies.  She gets tense and nervous during the dramatic conflicts and doesn’t like to watch movies to the end.  She surprised us by expressing interest to see “Wreck-It Ralph.”  She did really well until the climax of the movie, when things were unresolved, scary, and dramatic.  She cried out in the theater (which was PACKED) multiple times and wanted to leave.  She was terrified.  Adam and I kept telling her things would work out and we really wanted her to stay to the end so she would see that everything was okay.  Even though she stuck it through to the end, she has told me that she has no interest in going to a movie in the theater again any time soon.  I think she enjoyed the movie overall, but it just goes to show that she still faces very real and very strong anxiety, in certain situations.  The movie was wonderful, by the way.  Adam and I (and Jane) really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

Still, it is hard to believe that just a couple months ago we were seeking out a psychiatrist and considering medication for her anxiety.  Things have drastically changed and it is wonderful.  We had parent teacher conference last week.  Both her Chinese teacher and her English teacher had only positive things to say about her.  She is kicking tail at Chinese.  And she is the most advanced reader in her English class.  They also did math testing a couple weeks back, and she scored perfectly.  I straight up told her teachers that I didn’t really care about the academics though (I phrased it a little more tactfully) but that I just wanted her to be happy and comfortable at school and with her peers. They agreed and said she is doing really well.

 

Sorry this is so long (Amy.)  Things are going really well with the girls.  I hope we can make it through the Holiday season as smoothly.  This time of year last year was especially hard for Megan.  The busy schedule and the traveling and large gathering of family members has always been pretty overwhelming for her.  Last year there were meltdowns and blowups that motivated us to seek treatment, and eventually led to her diagnosis of Asperger’s.  It will be interesting to see how much difference a year has made.

So I guess I could say that things are going REALLY well for my girls these days.  They are fun and sweet and strong and wonderful.  What more could a mom ask for?