Kent put our Christmas card together this past Sunday. We are still planning on mailing the actual card but sometimes they don't always make it in the envelope and mail before the season is over. I can't believe this year has gone bye so fast. CRAZY!
Updates: Morgan and Mack are now really walking all the time which means I am going slightly nuts chasing them around. They also have 3 official words. Sucker "gucker", car "ca" and cracker "gacker". Only the essentials. No mom or dad here! Claire had her 4th birthday (pictures to follow) and also we found out that she has caught up with the typical 4 year old speech. That means we get to start to phase out speech. HAPPY DAY!:) Emma is the best big sister! She has been such a great helper the past couple of months and I don't know what I would do without her. She is so mature for her age that I forget she is only 5. I guess that is the curse of being the oldest in the family!
Hope your having a great holiday season with plenty of Nutcrackers, snow, hot chocolate and lights!
This is a picture of the kids meeting Kent at the airport after his race. They were so excited! Claire after she had a successful trip to the potty! Mack taking his first steps! Morgan clapping since Claire and I were freaking out after he just stood up and walked!
We have had big steps happening around here lately!
Mack and Morgan have started to take their first steps. In true twin/boy fashion Mack did it first and it seemed like Morgan was literally a step behind. Mack is such a physical kid who just tries and tries until he finally gets it. Morgan on the other hand seemed to study Mack trying and then just got up and did it. They are so darn cute I can't stand it!
Claire has finally got the hang of using the potty! It has truly been a miracle to watch how easy it has been for her. I am constantly amazed once again at how well her brain and body have worked together. AMAZING!
Emma had her first trip away from mom. This was more of a big step for me than her. She went with Kent last weekend to California to see Kent's brother bless their baby. I was so nervous and sad to think that I was missing out on things with her but the idea of driving to and from California with all the kids in one weekend was enough for me to miss those events in her life! She had a great time though and I am so proud of the girl she is becoming.
Kent had his first race in that he was in charge of in September. It was amazing for me to see how much work really goes into every single race at Ragnar! I had no idea and am happy to say that we survived as a family and he survived as the race director!
Me...well I am doing a first since I had kids which is perform solo in public. This has been a big stretching moment in my life this past year. I have loved reconnecting to performing and practicing. I am performing tonight at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square at 7:30 as part of the Temple Square Concert series. I am looking forward to it and hopefully enjoying the experience! All are welcome that are 8 years old and older!:)
(I am warning you now that this is a slightly long and rambled post. I have so much in my mind and heart at the moment I just can't seem to organize it into a nice short post.But since this is my best form of family journal I feel I need to get it out. Ever feel that way? Sorry!:) )
I am constantly amazed by this little girl. She is teaching me so much about life that I can't even begin to tell you. This past Monday she started her 3rd round of constraint therapy. That is where you cast the strong arm to force the weak arm to work. This time has been a bit rougher for her than other times. She is now pretty independent and I just took away her only form of independence. In short I suck as a mom. She hasn't said that but I think she feels a bit betrayed. Every day she asks me to take her back to Shriner's so that they can take her cast off. I keep telling her that she needs it on for 2 more weeks and she will get big tears in her eyes and say "OK mom. Just 2 more weeks!"
I am amazed at the wise and determined personality that is in this little girl. I feel like I am going to cry every time she falls or can't keep up with the other kids. My heart broke tonight when she started to cry and ask me to read her one more story. You see every night she "reads" to herself books until she falls asleep. Without the use of her right arm she can't hold the book up so she just waits in the dark until she can fall asleep.
I don't know how to be a parent to a child with special needs! I am trying to do what I think is right and trying my best to follow the advice from the professionals but sometimes I want to say to the therapists that work with us, "Can you tell me what I am supposed to say to my little girl when she comes in crying because she can't keep up with the other kids?" or what to say to my 5 year old who the other night told me, "Mom. Tomorrow I think we need to teach Claire how to walk normal. You know. Like not drag her feet anymore." None of them have covered these topics with me. I wish they would.
The thing is that I am learning, as I am stumbling along this road that I don't need someone to tell me how to respond. Because Claire is showing me how to respond. Daily.
This past Sunday was the Primary Program. She had one line and to be honest I didn't know if she was going to say it at all. As her class stood up and took turns to say their parts Claire got right up there and said her part loud and clear. She didn't even hesitate and didn't care that the others could not understand her as well. She was proud to do it and I was proud of her! My mom and I sat in the audience and both just about started to cry. I couldn't believe that my little girl who was not supposed to talk or walk just did both in front of an audience. She had just taught me once again how determined and independent she is and will continue to be. I am so thankful for this little person who continues to teach me daily what I need to be grateful for and what I take for granted. Thanks Claire!
I just had a phone call from my husband. He was taking Emma to school and on the way (the whole 2 min) she told Kent that she was supposed to wear pants today and not her beautiful fluffy pink skirt. Kent then called me and I ran upstairs and got what I thought were pants. Ones she would be thrilled about as well as her Twinkle Toes shoes since the sandals she was wearing were probably not right. (The Twinkle Toes are another story completely. Another blog another day!)
So I am thinking I am being the super mom and run out to meet them with the extremely cute pants and her twinkle toes expecting a huge "Thanks so much mom!" Instead I was greeted with a "Those aren't pants mom. They are leggings! I NEED pants." Stupid mom. What was I thinking?
Since when did my 5 year old become the authority on pants?
Emma with the infamous (at our house at least) Twinkle Toesalt="
Today Emma started Kindergarten. It is a big day for us as she is our first in the school system.
It was fun to see her pick out her clothes, tell me how her hair was to be done decide how to wear her backpack and realize the none of it would be what I would pick. She is our oldest and therefore we have had to learn through her how to parent. She has taught me over and over again that she has her own personality and her way of doing things and they don't coincide with mine most of the time.
With that said I was 100% proud of her this morning. She just stood in line waiting for her class to walk in and get going. Kent and I stood on the sidelines watching her with complete awe. We said good bye and she waved, blew me a kiss and walked away. Kent told me to run up and give her one last hug since in that moment we both realized that she is not a baby or toddler anymore. She is a grown little person who is now in the system. Ready to make friends, learn fun and hard lessons and a little bit out in the world now. Congratulations Emma! Good luck for a great year!
Where did summer go? I can't believe it has come and gone and I didn't really post anything about it.
Here is a quick catchup. June: We went to Jackson Hole and spent the best few days at my Aunt's house. Their hospitality was so kind and the weather and animals we saw were AMAZING. The kids had a great time and the girls most favorite thing was having a sleepover together and being able to watch TV while eating breakfast in bed. Thanks so much Hokes! It was such a great trip!
July: 4th of July was great. Kent and Ragnar were in the Kaysville parade which was so long and hot. Claire and Kent sat on the semi and had fun tossing candy. Emma bailed once she saw me and the boys on the side. She wanted to get the candy not give it.:) We also had harp camp in July. It was such a great week and so much fun to see how much Emma grew in just one week. Thanks to my brother Pete we were able to get great press coverage. The link from the Deseret News was especially fun since it gives those of you not familiar with harp camp an idea of what it was. A lot of work but seriously such a great week!
August: The Watkins Family weekend. This year we did a "staycation" in Kaysville with track and field events at G & G Simmons house. It was so much fun to see the kids race against each other. My favorite moment was when Claire was struggling to finish the lap around the arena all the cousins and family starting to cheer her on. I about started to cry and was reminded once again how much our life is cheered on by our family and friends! We had a lot of fun this summer and I can't believe it is over. Sad but so much fun! Here is onto the school year. Our first!:)
How do you get mad at a face like that? Morgan is definitely the dominate twin of the two. If there is ever anything that he wants he has no problem taking it away from Mack. Take a look at breakfast this morning?:) Twins are so much fun...a lot of work but FUN!
OK, it has seriously been way too long since I updated. I guess that is what May and June bring. I don't even have kids in real school to use as an excuse. It has just been crazy around here and it doesn't look like it will let up anytime soon. In May Kent was out of town for 2 weeks to NY and I feel like we handled it pretty well. He was helping with the Ragnar New York race and worked so hard he came home and broke out into shingles. Lovely! At the same time all the kids seemed to be getting sick at the same time. What a life!:) After that memorable week Emma graduated from Pre-school. I really can't believe she is 5 and going to Kindergarten next year. It seems like we really just had her. She is growing up to be such a beautiful little girl who is sweet, social and sensitive to those around her. There isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't ask for a friend. She loved Apple Tree School House and especially Miss Michelle. Congratulations E! Then I took my harp student to the Utah Symphony for the All Stars Evening. It was so much fun! I gave them each a ticket to the Symphony for Christmas and we did it in May. It was such a great experience to be able to take these girls (most of them for the 1st time) to see Symphony Hall, the stage the lights, the musicians and the 3 harps! Yes, there were 3 harps playing in the concert. It was so much fun I think it just might become a tradition.
Another fun thing we have done the past month was the Dream Night at Hogle Zoo. At the beg. of May Claire's hippotherapist asked if we wanted tickets to the Dream Night. I had no idea what it was but free tickets to the zoo sounded pretty good to me so I accepted them. Well, it was one of the most amazing, fun and humbling experiences I have had in a long time. If you google Dream Night you will see that it is a night that zoo's all over the world sponser. It was started in Amsterdam in 1996 and has grown to 224 zoo's. It is a night where the zoo closes to regular patrons and opens its doors to kids and families with disabilites or sick children. To say that we were inspired was an understatement. As we walked around the zoo with Claire and Emma it was amazing to see the families with kids in wheelchairs and feeding tubes and braces like Claire's and so much more. We came away humbled once again and realizing how lucky we are to have Claire in our lives. Without her and her trials we would not even be aware of this whole new world that so many people are a part of. The girls had fun getting their faces painted and having a night out with mom and dad minus the boys. I hope we have the chance to go again next year. It was truly AMAZING!
Since then life has had swimming lessons, harp lessons, tennis, arts & crafts, Wasatch Back (not running but Kent working) and this week the ballet recital. Yes. This week has been crazy (when is it not?) with Kent working extremely late and hard for Wasatch Back. It has been like he is out of town but just comes home to sleep. Weird to say the least.
So amid all this Emma has been dancing the past couple of days in her recital. To say she has been in heaven might be an understatement. She loves everything about ballet. She has enjoyed getting her hair done, makeup and especially wearing her beautiful costume and pink bow. She is a Music Box Dancer and has a 30 second dance that is sheer joy. The best part for me is seeing her dance with her friends and really start to grow up. The funniest has been watching her in dress rehearsal push the other dancers on stage. When she was done and we were walking out to the car I said "Emma you can't push the other dancers on stage." Her response was " Mom, they just didn't know where they were going and needed a little direction." Thanks for clarifying E. She told me last night at the dress rehearsal she only pushed 1 kids this time rather than 3! :) Mack
Morgan I couldn't do an update without a little M & M action. They are doing great. They are so adorable that I can't stand it. I feel slightly bad that their entire day consists of going from the cribs to the car seats to the high chairs. They don't really have a lot of time on the floor which is probably why they are not walking yet. I am thankful they aren't! I don't think I am going to be able to keep up with them. Morgan is so sweet and inquisitive and active. He keeps me on my toes. Mack is really starting to be either totally happy all day or just miserable and crying all day. It is like he makes up his mind in the morning that he is going to be a delight and joy or totally hard. I love him so much though and am having so much fun watching them really grow into their own personalities. the best part is when they realize the other isn't around and seem to panic. They really love each other and it is like they are both half of one big person. Oh they are so much fun! If you have stuck with me this long in reading this insanely long post I must tell you that it will probably be another long time before I post again. I am going slightly crazy with teaching and Institute that I don't think I will have anything sane to add. I am so grateful for my family though. How boring life would be if it was just Kent and me! Happy summer, swimming and snowcones!
Yesterday was a very exciting day at out house. At least I think so. Emma performed for her first time at the harp festival/federation held at BYU. Her number was #5471 and she played Lavender's Blue (LH) and Lightly Row (RH). Other than forgetting to announce her pieces and number she played them flawlessly!
It is funny though. Growing up having these moments in my life. Performing the exact same pieces, in the same room at the same time of year back in the 80's brings back so many memories for me. The difference though is the way I am looking at them. Through fresh eyes. With a better understanding of how it was for my mom.
My mom was a pro at harp things. She never once let on to me if she was nervous or worried that I wouldn't do a good job. Because of her total confidence in me I never remember being worried that it wouldn't go well. I just always expected it to work out. Man I really hope I can instill the same confidence with my kids. Judging from yesterday and the entire last week it will be a miracle if they get any confidence from me.:) I was a nervous wreck! You would have thought I was performing in Carnegie Hall or something. I had been nervous the entire week and couldn't really sleep the night before. I couldn't eat the whole morning yesterday and just kept saying to Emma "your going to do great! I love you and just want you to have fun!" I hope I can get better at this. I would gladly perform in front of thousands of people and make a fool of myself than have my little girl have a bad experience performing. I can't explain why but perhaps it is just that I totally love her so much and hope that she knows that.
In spite my total heart attack for the brief 2 minutes that she performed she seemed to enjoy it, to not be stressed at all and to own it. Well done Emma! Well done.:)
Do you collect coupons? Does your coupon drawer look like mine? On Wednesday May 12 at 7pm I am going to learn what to do with this mess. If you are interested in coming all are welcome! It will be held at my house in Farmington and will cost $2.00 per person. That is to cover the cost of the coupon guru who is coming to teach all the tricks to the business.
If you are seriously interested please know that all are welcome I just need a small head count if that is OK. Check your schedules and leave a comment for this post. Also, if you need my address you can leave a comment of needing my address and I will get it too you.
I had to post this since I use this as a form of journal keeping for our family. Claire and Emma got haircuts this past week. Emma got a trim and Claire went for the bob and bangs. Kent is out of town right now so I can't post a picture of the new do but tonight Claire had a very sweet prayer. When she prays you can only understand probably 50% of what she is saying. So tonight when I heard her slow down and very clearly say "Thank you for my beautiful bangs from Kia" I couldn't help but smile. She is such a little sweetheart!
Today is the day that one year ago our lives changed. The day was super snowy and cold and unexpected weather for March. Unexpected has been the word to describe these boys.
The boys are such a joy! From the first Dr appointment that was unexpected to their early arrival they have been a pleasant surprise. They have been a joy to have in our house and I wouldn't change a thing.
Happy Birthday Boys!!!
We had a nice day yesterday celebrating their "big #1" as my dad put it. Thanks to family who helped with the food and the fantastic presents.
Do you ever have a day where you feel like you need to list the pros and cons of the day to realize that it really isn't that bad? I had one yesterday. Kent has been out of town since Thursday morning and comes home this Friday and yesterday was the half way mark. That means that it was pretty much a crappy day. I don't really know why it was but the entire day just felt "off". You know what I mean? So in order to combat it by the end of the day and countless moments of losing my patience with my children I listed the pros and cons.
Here is what I came up with in no specific order...please don't judge me!:) Cons: -I am flying solo which means no down time. -Emma is sleeping now officially in my room on the floor which means she goes to bed with me and wakes up with me. I don't know about you but with the down time I need my alone time. Selfish I know but that is the truth! -Claire's fish died and I had to be the one to tell her and dispose of him. She did not take the news well...ask Aunt Hannah. RIP Bobby! -Mack and Morgan both have double ear infections which does not make for pleasant babies. Need I say more? -I had McDonald's for breakfast and dinner. No lunch. (this could be a pro as well I am not really sure!)
Pros: -I have an amazing family on both sides who call and check in to see if I am still sane. -I have a wonderful bed which when I finally crawl into I can't keep my eyes open for more than 2 seconds. Not to mention a home and food and clothes. ALWAYS a bonus! -The girls bought the boys birthday presents with coupons I got in my first Sunday paper. (see it is all ready paying off!) -I am healthy and well. -I have a wonderful mom who came and helped me fold every clean article of clothing that I had in the house! -I have a wonderful husband who is working hard to provide for our family -I have a great job that enables me to work on something besides kids which in essence gives me a few moments of sanity. -I bought "New Moon" the DVD and watched half of it. I plan to finish the other half today. (again please don't judge! It is like candy to my brain. No need to think just sit and veg.)
I found this to be incredibly therapeutic and helpful to my mental state. What are your pros and cons? Do you ever have to do this?
I have a new obsession. Coupons. I have been watching these blogs that people have and am amazed at how much $ they can save. How do they do it?!
I have officially subscribed to the Standard Examiner for the coupon special. 5 Sunday papers every week and one weekly paper for the low price of $19.99 per month. So the way I figure is if I can at least save $120 a year then I have paid for my papers. I think that is feasible. I don't know for sure.
So here is the deal (no pun intended)I need your help. Does anyone know of someone who would teach me a coupon class? Does anyone want to come to a class if I can find someone? I would be willing to host it I just don't know of someone who would teach. I have emailed a couple of people with no response. I would love to learn how to use all my new "specials".
I am also open to ideas or encouragement as this is a whole new world to me!:)
Emma had her 5th birthday last Saturday and it was such a milestone!
She had a date night on Friday with mom and dad and we went and got her birthday present. Kent and I decided that she needed a bike so that is what she got whether or not she wanted it. Lucky for us the store had a princess bike. She died when she saw it and was able to ride it out of the store!
On Saturday she had a beauty shop party. Thanks so AMAZING family (Hannah and Allison) and friends (Allie, Madeline and Abby) we were able to set up a little salon with hair, nails and makeup. The little girls loved it and Emma was in heaven. It is amazing how much personality these kids come with. I would have never thought of the beauty shop idea but Emma was all over it! The other things she wanted to do at her party were a fashion show (which Allison took pictures like real paparazzi!) play go fish off the balcony and break a pinata. It all came and went so fast that I was not sure if it went well but we had no one crying so that is always a success! (We did have one little girl trying to put her shoes on to go home right after the party started but were able to distract her long enough to keep her here.)
Then today we went in for the Kindergarten checkup with Dr. V. It went pretty well and Emma is 100% ready to go to school next fall. I can't believe how big she is getting and am so happy that she is my oldest. I admit that I get a little frustrated sometimes because she is so strong willed but I think she needed to come down first. She has to put up with all my mistakes as a first time parent over and over again and teach me how to be a better person and more have more patience. Thanks Emma for coming to our home! Happy Birthday girl!!! We sure do love you! love, mom, dad, Claire, Mack and Morgan
Kent and I got married in 2002 after meeting in our soph. english class at DHS. We have been living in Utah for the past 9 years and 8 are back in Davis County! You can leave and explore but will always end up back in Farmington!:)
Kent works in the running event industry. He worked for Ragnar Events for 3 years and just this past September started working for The Color Run. He loves the challenge of putting on races for thousands of people trying to just have fun and run. :) He is awesome at it and I am grateful for his hard work to support our family!
We have 4 kids. Emma who is 7 and is such a diva. She is so funny and articulate and a joy to have in the family. Claire is 6 and is a very special spirit in our home. She has her own trials which in turn has taught us so many life lessons. We have our twin boys Mack and Morgan who are 3 and so much fun! We are expecting #5, a boy in June and hope we survive. :)
I am a full time mom and full time harpist. I teach 28 students a week out of our home and somehow try and juggle to joys of being a mom a freelance musician and the joys of being a teacher. I don't do it well but love it all!
We are always up for an adventure and love to travel!