Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Florida

We're here in Florida for the summer and we're finally together after almost 2 months.  I didn't know how much I would love it here!  It's kind of different from what I thought it would be and people honk alot hahah, but I'm getting tough skin and we're settling in.  It's been really rainy for the past couple weeks and it will be for the next two weeks, but those sunshiny days are so good. 

I knew we would be close to the beach and I was really excited but I figured we would spend most of our days at the pool like Houston last year.  I get overwhelmed sometimes packing up the girls with snacks, towels, and all the other beach stuff you need so I kind of mentally planned we'd only go maybe once a week.  Plus, I get grounchy in the heat.  My mom knows this about me I think. (She for sure does)  Before I left she said, "Figure out a system to get to the beach.  This is such an incredible opportunity to spend the summer near some of the world's best beaches, so don't stay inside! Figure out how to make it easy.  Don't pack too much stuff and just go!" I love her. And if my car wasn't currently in a half foot of rainwater in the parking lot right now I'd be keeping my word to her.

The beach is perfect.  Really!  Last time we were in California with the girls we parked 100 yards from beach and then we had to walk 200yards+ to the actual water with all of our stuff and kids. haha Dayton and I looked at eachother and we're like "We're definitely the parents now." Walking in sand is hard too. haha But the parking here on weekday morning is really open and you can usually park front row and you take, I dont know, 50 steps and you're at the water. Ahh and the water.  It's so warm.  You don't even flinch getting in at all. Capri just walks around playing right along the shore line.  She'll walk around listening to her feet barely tap the water and Wins is building sand castles with me and jumping waves.  I look at them and I get a little teary haha.  I hope they will have the best memories spending their childhood summers at the beach.  I keep looking through my phone and I have so few pictures of them at the beach, but I kind of like it that way.  It means we're all too busy being together to remember to grab our phones.

I keep texting Dayton how happy I am.  My mom was right, this really is such a unique opportunity and I'm trying really hard not to take it for granted.  I love the slowness of summers.  Every meal is eaten at home, no home normal home responsibilities, and hours at the pool. We get a little bored sometimes, so I'm forced to think of little charts to make, going to the library, or random activities since we don't have family to hang out with!  

Aside from the beach we go to the pool most of the other days and play with the other babies that are here!





 Capri will be wearing that little boy rashguard and bucket hat all summer.  Just prepare for 80,000 pictures of her in it.




We love Florida. 






Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016

Ah this year is basically over and I'm pretty sad about it.  My heart has been broken this year and at almost the exact same time it's been healed perfectly from the inside out.  There's more room for love and understanding.  I remember the day after we got home from the beach the day we found out about Capri and I was taking a hot shower alone while my mom had Capri in the main house.  I would start to cry and then force myself to stop and just felt so numb and empty.  I'll never forget those feelings and I cry everytime I think about it.  Somehow, though, this year wrapping makes me nostalgic.  I've come out of that dark hole almost completely.  Sometimes I pay it a visit haha but it's never that long.

Gratitude has played a huge part of my life this year.  It's the one of the main reasons my heart has healed.  I have never practiced active gratitude like this in my life.  There would be times I would be waiting for a phone call from a doctor or I was stressed out.  In those situations I would literally run to my room or hide my phone in my lap and start listing the tiniest things I was grateful for.  I would do it just rapid fire bascially before another negative or pessimistic thought could enter my head.  If I let myself even for a second linger on what could possibly happen or what was currently going wrong I would spin into a dark place.  I'm in a better habit of just subconsiously thinking more gratefully, but it's a practice.

I used to think every year that goes on is "my hardest year" and be kind of exhausted at that.  If we're going off the current trend it's probably not going to get easier.  My heart will break another 100 times.  I'm kind of counting on that now haha.  But every single year we learn something new.  We get the opportunity to refine the strengths we have and realize weaknesses we didn't know we had.

I've talked about this a little bit before but I think I tend to be a pretty heavy friend.  I don't really like small talk.  I know it's a natural/necessary way to get to know someone but the faster we move on from the surface topics the better, in my opionion.  I love to get to know someones heart.  What have they been through that makes them think a certain way.  I love talking about parenting, marriage, families, the Gospel, Christ, and past experiences.  I know those can be deep topics for all of us and sometimes I feel like when people are done talking with me they're like "whoa that took everything out of me" (I feel like that too!)  But maybe they also feel like "I learned something about myself by just talking outloud." I know that happens with me every single time I meet up with a friend and converstaion heads that direction.  I have a few goals for next year that I need to get written in my journal but one of them is about being a better friend.  I have so much to learn from other people and other moms.  We have a great ward and I love the women I've talked with.  They have shared their hearts with me so quickly and I want to work on being a better listener.  This year I've had countless people who have spent time listening to my heart, watching our girls, or sending me notes of encouragement.  I would be incredibly ungrateful if I didn't reach out to whoever  might need me to just listen.


I'm really sad to see this year in our past but we leave on a cruise this week so what a way to start 2017! haha

Friday, December 30, 2016

Foundation for Blind Children

Today we went to the Foundation for Blind Children.  Capri's therapist encouraged us to go on a day she was going to be there and our schedule's finally calmed down so we made a point to going!  I've heard nothing but good things about the campus and their programs so we were excited! Their program director has walked me through every step of getting Capri set up with a therapist over the phone and getting evaluated.  There was one time over the summer I called her and kind of let it all out to her and she was just the most loving and encouraging person, so I was super excited to put a face to her name. It was pretty nerve racking deciding to finally go.  I didn't know what the set up would be or if Capri would like it.  It felt like this would kind of make it real.  I was scared to see kids with canes.  That sounds so superficial, I know, but I told Dayton I would have to finally accept that that's what Capri's future would be.  He made a the point that she may not need a cane (he's being optimistic I think ;)) so we don't need to worry about that right this second.

We got to the campus (they have a preschool for blind children attached to the facility) and were greeted by Capri's therapist.  Immediately, I felt at ease seeing a familiar face.  When I walked into the gym and saw all those sweet perfect children and their parents I wasn't scared anymore.  Ok, I was still nervous, but the longer we sat with them I just wanted to squeeze all of those parents and those angel kids.  

We immediately split into groups to focus on different developmental skills.  Sensory, language, and vision.  Capri wanted to put everything in her mouth haha!  They did an activity with mashed potatoes on a sheet and she just ate all of them!  Dayton has so much time off now he's been to alot of doctors appointments and got to come that day! Uh I didn't know what I was missing all this time!  He asks the right questions, he asks a lot of them, and is just so social with everyone!  In situations like being at the foundation I tend to keep to myself.  I try and take it all in and just focus on Capri and I think he can sense the tension.  So he'll ask the mom next to us how old her little boy is (who was having a hard time) and just try and lighten the mood.  



We went to a few stations, met some other parents, and some of the staff.  It was sweet to have something so personal in common with someone who doesn't speak the same language as us or live in the same area.  We could relate on a much deeper level aside from both being parents.

They had a few volunteers helping out with crafts and activities for the siblings while the kids did their rotations. Wins was in heaven!  I don't even think she would have cared if we left.  We tried to explain before we got there that there were going to be special little kids like Capri at the place we were going, but she obviously didn't even notice.  I don't think we'll mention things like that to her again.  I want her to become accustomed to having friends that are different that she just doesn't even think twice if she see's someone like the friends she met today.

After the rotations they assigned a volunteer to Capri to watch her while the parents gathered in a conference room.  The topic for the parent support group was grief.  It was a heavy topic for our first time being there.  We have been in our own little world for the past couple months.  We talk about blindness sometimes. It is still hard for me to categorize Capri as blind.  I usually just say visually impared if it gets brought up at church or in public. We talk about it occasionally when her therapist comes, but mostly we're trying to live as normal lives as possible.  When we sat down everyone went around the room and people started introducing their families.  They would give a little summary of the vision problems their child had and what they hoped to get out of coming to the foundation programs.  It seemed like most people were fairly new in coming so there was a lot of fresh emotion.  It was heartbreaking to hear some of the things these parents and children have gone through and what they will continue to struggle with.  You know there are kids like this around you, but to look their parents in the eye from across the table and listen to them tell their story it just gives you a small insight as to what they deal with every day.  I can't explain it.  I wasn't a complete mess.  Luckily, I didn't go full ugly cry but I did manage to cry just enough to give myself a headache haha. I had Dayton do our introductions because I knew I couldn't talk about Capri without going to that bad blubbering spot.  I'll open up the more we come, but I just couldn't so soon.  It has been a while since I've cried for about Capri so this will definitely help me deal with it.

Everything any parent talked about, I had experienced. There was a lot of nodding going on from the entire room.  I felt really understood and grateful for the road we're on.  One man who spoke spanish had a translator relay his introduction to the rest of the group.  He finished his intro by saying, "I believe and love God and I am so grateful for my beautiful son and that we are his parents."  Maybe that's when I just realized I couldn't say anything more profound and true than what he just did.  It was such a sweet moment.

When the meeting was over, Mary, the program coordinator, gave me a hug and told her to call her anytime.  She could tell I was really struggling.  You know when someone hugs you and it's a real hug?  Or when they ask you how you're doing.  Not like, "Hi, how are you?" like it's a habit, but they really want to know how your heart is doing. Usually mom's know just how to say things like that just right to make me want to burst into tears.  Thats exactly how she said it.  She even handed me her card again as we were leaving the building.  Was it that obvious I was not OK? haha






My angel girl! 

This was written a while ago and we've been another time since I wrote this.  I get gun shy about posting these really personal posts but oh well!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ok so what have we been doing....


We moved into a cute new house in Gilbert in the middle of September.  We're all obsessed with it! We've lived in prettty rough places our whole married life which was no big deal.  It was the stage of our marriage and it worked out just fine, but at this point we were ready to be somewhere where we could let Wins ride her bike down the street and wouldn't worry.  The house has this covered little courtyard Wins will play in while I make breakfast and it's kind of picture perfect and I really have to stop and soak in those moments.  It feels so surreal!! I can't believe this life is mine! The girls are starting to play and read books together and it's pretty cute! It's exactly what I pictured when I found out we were having another girl.  Dayton is also home every single day all day and it's heaven.  I haven't grocery shopped with my kids in a month!!!! The best part!  haha He can run Winsley to pre-school and we get to eat dinner together every single night.  We also moved back closer to our free babysitters! Date nights to the movies or double dates with friends keep us both sane so it's nice to have everything so convenient!

Living in Arizona has so many perks but I get stuck in a rut.  I get in the habit of not reaching out in my ward as much.  Not attending all the extra ward activities or calling random women in the ward to go to the park with our kids.  So I have to cut that out and push myself a little bit! I'm excited, though, our ward seems great and I get a calling Sunday, so we'll see!






I loved having a family day, but this was way too expensive for quality time together. haha I'm cheap and next time we'll take a walk...... 



Capri is always banging on something or sitting at my feet crying while I make dinner.  I think this night I turned on music and we were all dancing.  You should see that girl body roll.




Best helper.  It takes 3x longer to unload the dishwasher when Wins helps me,  but she absolutely loves it.  Gathers each utensil that matches and then she makes me pick her up so she can put them pretty in the drawer.



Wins is in school at Daytons Mom's preschool.  She loves it!  She has been going to preschool classses since maybe 8 months so she's used to the schedule but being an actual student has been a whole new thing!  It's been really good for her to be in a classroom setting.  She has needed some practice sharing and not throwing tantrums.  Thank goodness Dayton's mom is her teacher! :)  Her cousin Tala is in class with her and they're little buddies!







Wins is also in the Why stage.  It drives us nuts.  Let's just say that.  Sometimes I'm in the middle of trying to explain in depth why the carwash is closed at 7pm at night and then I'm thinking WHY am I doing this?  I'm 25, she's 3! It's closed at 7pm and that's it.  Because I said so! haha but then I'll be up at night thinking how sweet and curious she is and I promise to more patient the next day.



Wins also has two surgeries she needs to get done by the end of the year.  We're trying to get every expensive healthcare thing done before the end of the year so hopefully next year will be a little bit more kind to us in that area. haha They both will be pretty long but we're anticipating a smooth recovery.  I'm sure they'll go well, I'm just worried about her getting put out now that she's so aware of what's going on.  When we went to her plastic surgeon to talk about that surgery, she told everyone she saw the rest of the day her "really nice doctor".



Capri has been having a visual therapist come every week and it's been amazing!  The first day we met her therapist they clicked instantly.  Capri has been fussy around strangers lately, but she was drawn towards B right away! We just started really getting into the structured play type visits.  Helping her learn to reach inside something to get an item or learning cause and effect with toys.  All those times Wins would pull out all my tupperware from my cabinets in Washington at this age would drive me nuts.  But now I'm encouraging Capri to do that. I didn't realize how important it is for them to learn to put things in and take them out.  Any time I'm tempted to get frustrated that Capri tries to play in the toilet or pulls all the toys out of a box I'm reminded that this is good she's curious.  It's good she is exploring and getting messy  (obviously we'll work on not playing in the toilet water) and discovering things.  We have a lot to work on and every time B comes we have new things to practice with her for the week!  She's growing so much! She'll be walking in a month or two I think and that will be tricky but I can't wait!





Her cross eyes kill me.  I am so obsessed!  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Capri turns one

Capri is one!! And this year has flown! Based on how fast this year has felt I'm guessing the more kids you have the less time you have to stop and enjoy them.  So even though you feel like you gave birth two minutes ago they're actually one and they'll be in highschool tomorrow.  It's so fun.  

Anyway obviously it's been quite the year!  She arrived in the world fast.  From the time I arrived at the hospital to the time she was born was a swift and painful hour :)  I'm glad I didn't have to wait very long in pain to hold her.  A minute more was too long without her.  I remember talking to her in those middle of the night newborn feedings "What are you going to be?  What are you going to do in the world?"  I instinctively felt she was going to do something big.  I worried after she arrived those first couple weeks about really bonding with her the way I did with Winsley.  It was hard to split my time with two kids.  But two months later we were in the hospital and the familiarity of being there with Winsley so soon after she was born came flooding back.  We bonded.  I ached for her the way I ached or Wins and it's not the traditional way to bond with your baby, but just like any other relationship the more you go through together the more inseperable you become.  She cries a lot and she has been a really hard baby haha I won't deny that part. But she will get a pass any day of the week for everything she has been through.  She has improved and grown so much just in these past couple of weeks and I'm so proud I could die.  Celebrating her first year was a huge milestone of seeing her growth.  This is not how I expected this post to go. ugh haha It was just supposed to be about Costco cake and pictures of her. I can not talk about Capri without talking about how she has changed our family.  I'm sorry! But she is just perfect and has the sweetest spirit about her. 


She's crawling all over the place, Clapping, waving hi/bye (THESE THINGS ARE HUGE for her growth), saying mama--kind of, sharing her food, and giving kisses! Capri We're obsessed with you and can't believe you're ours!








 On her birthday we kind of did nothing. haha We spent all day cleaning the house to get ready for her party and Wins spent the night at Gramma's so she missed most of the day with us! She basically cried all day, but with good reason I guess!  She is finally getting her two bottom teeth!  We grabbed Costco cake (a birthday tradition at this point!) and pizza for everyone.  I have eaten so much cake since her birthday.  Honestly, it's sickening, but I'll probably have it for breakfast tomorrow morning still. It was the perfect night with all our family partying with all of our favorite baby girl!