"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

August 31, 2012

August Instagram

More milestones! YAY!

This month has been an amazing month for baby Katea.....she's been progressing and meeting so many milestones!  I'm so so proud of her! 
She rolls from front to back and back to front.....over and over again....I think that's not a learned activity anymore, it's already perfected!  :)
She sat up for the first time by herself, unassisted at the beginning of the month!  I had just given her a bath and I sat her on the bed to dry her off.  I usually lay her down, but when I let my hands go, she didn't fall back, she sat up!  I was so excited, so I called for my boys to come and see.  They were so excited jumping up and down saying "yay, baby....good job" over and over again, that she got excited too and lost her balance.  LOL.  That's huge!
She's holding her bottle now!  She still gets lazy sometimes......ok, most of the time.....LOL.....but she can do it!
And after lots and lots of practice, she's now got the sitting up thing down.  Her core is strengthening and she can even balance and catch herself if she starts to tip over!  I owe this milestone to Ova....he's been working with her everyday, sitting her up and holding on to her thighs, teaching her to use the muscles in her bad to hold herself up!  His working with her helped a ton, now she's stronger and more balanced.....and she can sit unassisted for long periods of time!  And just like I said in one of my earlier posts.....she did it before her 1st birthday!!  You're a miracle baby Katea and you're amazing!  Daddy and I are so so proud of you!  :)

August 24, 2012

All Better

Baby's been doing pretty good at home.  Whenever she gets sick, it sets her back quite a bit and takes her a while to recover.  We left the hospital on August 13th, coming home with increased oxygen levels (1/2 liter) and albuterol/flow vent.  She was pretty dependant on the oxygen for a while.... she'd be able to go without it during the day, but she'd need it when she ate, or when she slept at night.  There were times at night when I'd need to turn her up to 3/4 liter just to keep her sats up.  Her poor little lungs worry me so much.  I've just recently been able to wein her down and now she's completely off it again.  I find myself watching her breathing all the time though, just to make sure.  I don't want to have to depend on the pulse-ox monitor, so I don't use it when she's not on oxygen.  I just watch her closely.  She's amazing!  Her lungs are weak and underdeveloped, and she gets knocked down pretty hard sometimes, but she always gets back up.  So proud of my little fighter!  Hopefully now, I can keep her healthy and out of the hopsital!

Grampa Makai always said taking a bath makes you feel so much better!.......he was right!  :)


August 20, 2012

School's back in session

Wow how time has flown right by.  I can not believe I have a 4th grader....or that my Mone is starting Kindergarten.  I don't feel like I'm old enough to have a 9 year old and an almost 6 year old....dang, LOL.  The crazy thing is that I totally remember when I was Makai's age.  I even remember when I was in the 3rd grade.  My teacher was Mrs. Casperson and I learned how to write in cursive, I loved 3rd grade.....in 4th grade I missed a couple months because my parents took our whole family to Tonga.  We left in December and spent the holidays in Tonga.  I remember saying bye to my friends and telling them I'd see them next year, because I wasn't coming back until January.......and we cried because it sounded so long even though it was only a couple weeks...LOL.  I remember those days so vividly and now I have kids that are that age...so crazy!  I'm a little sad about it because they're growing up way too fast!  I love having them young and at home with me....growing this fast means that before I know it they're going to be in high school, then college and then they'll leave me to go on their missions and get married....and me and Ova will be at home lonely.  LOL.  I know I'm being dramatic, and I just flew through the next 10 years....but I love having my kids young and at home with me.  :)

Makai is starting the 4th grade this year.  He loves school and has a lot of friends.  I switched tracks last year so they could go to NZ with Ova and not miss school, and I switched them back this year.  I'm not a fan of the track system, but if I had to choose a track, I'd choose D.  That's the only track that has somewhat of a summer, they get 6 weeks.  Every other track only gets 3 weeks off for the summer.  Going to a different track this year means he's going to have to find all new friends, but I'm not the least bit worried about that because he's a very friendly kid and I know he'll make friends quickly!

As far as the learning aspect of school goes, he's a smart little kid!  He loves math, it's his favorite subject and he's really good at it.  He does really well with spelling and he has beautiful handwriting.  His teachers always comment on his handwriting because it is so nice.  He especially likes to write in cursive and ever since he learned it, he's been using it!  His reading is his worst subject, and he struggles a lot with it.  He can read, but he's not quite where he should be at, the level the school system says he should be at...or where his classmates are at.  I struggle with accepting that my Makai is behind, I beat myself up about it all the time.....I don't want to accept it, but I have to face the fact that he is.  Ova and I even took him to Sylvan learning center to see if we could get a tutor for him, but their specialized services come with a price...and we just couldn't afford it at the time.  When they tested him, they said that he actually wasn't that behind.....that I needed to take into account that he's pretty much a year younger than anyone in his class.  He doesn't turn a year older until the summer time when everyone else in his class turned a year older during class.  I can see that, and that made me feel a little better, but still.  Ova and I have both tried to help him, but we were not meant to be teachers and we don't have the patience or know-how to help him read better.  I'm sure he'll get there though, he just needs more time and more practice.  I try to push him without making him feel dumb....and that's actually a really hard thing to do.  I volunteered at his school last year and I left there crying.  I didn't agree with or approve of the way they treated him, it made me so mad/sad that I cried for him.  It was reading time and the whole class was reading a book together.  When the teacher announced reading time, she told Makai and two other kids to get some 'easy' reading books from the bin and go to the hall.  I was so appauled at what happened next.  The teacher and the entire class read their book for like a half hour and the 3 kids that were sitting outside were just left alone to read the easy books they chose to read.  How in the world are these 3 that need more attention ever going to learn if the people that are supposed to be teaching them just shew them outside and leave them to themselves.  My heart hurt so bad when that happened and I was so pissed.  Thankfully they were still young and innocent and that rude act didn't ruin them or their views on themselves....because it sure made me feel like a piece of crap!  I made a formal complaint to the principal, who apologized and said she would take care of it....but that was right before the year ended and I never heard back.  My stomach turns right now just thinking of the poor kids that she's going to do it to this year.  She shouldn't be a teacher...aren't they supposed to make kids feel important and smart instead of dumb and like they're nobody.  I tried so many times to blog about this before, but it's such a touchy subject that I couldn't really find the right words....and even now, I'm typing through my tears.  Makai, I love you.  You are smart and important....don't you ever let anyone tell you that you're not!

Filimone started Kindergarten this year....in one sense I can't believe he's that old already...and on the other hand, he's so big and smart that I think it's about time!  Hahaha!  There's no denying that Mone is overgrown.  He was big when he was born and he's big now...he's just a big boned, thick kid!  He has a late birthday, which doesn't help.....he missed the deadline by 6 days....which makes him one of the oldest in his class.  I tried sneaking him into kindergarten last year, because of his size.....but that didn't work out. He was totally ready this year though!  There is a huge difference in being the youngest in your class, and in being the oldest.  Mone definitely has the advantage because he has a whole year on all the other kids in his kindergarten class.  He already knows his ABC's, his numbers....he can write his name....he knows how to rhyme....he's ready!  When I took him to his kindergarten testing, he flew right through all the questions super easy....I was so proud of him!  They don't offer full-day kindergarten in our school district, which sucks, but Mone got the PM class.  That means he goes everyday from 1230-330pm.  It works out good because he gets out the same time that Makai does so they can just walk home together after school! 

I went with him to his first day of kindergarten, which started about a week after Makai started school.  They have all the kindergarteners line up outside the kindergarten building and wait for their teachers to come and get them.  As we were getting to the school on his first day he says to me "mom, I think I'm going to choose to be shy at school"  I kindof laughed at that, because if you know Mone at all, you'd know that he is so far from shy.  He's my most outgoing child and he's definitely an entertainer....he'll probably end up being the class clown.  I just told him he better not be shy, he better go and be himself and make lots of friends.  And he did!  Love you Mone, have fun and learn lots in Kindergarten this year!  :)

Waiting for their teachers to come get them

Mone was table buddies with Bronson....they're a whole year apart....Bronson turned 5 right before school started and Mone turned 6 on the first week of school....yet they're in the same class!  :)

Mone got right to work writing his name and doing his assignment

My goofy kindergartener

Congratulations Filimone!  Today was the first day of the next 13 years of school!  I hope you always stay as excited as you were to start this year!  :)