Wednesday, April 01, 2015

It's hard to be 3

Sometimes you're in the check out line at the grocery store and you think you need a pack of gum more than anything in the whole wide world.  And then, you ask your mom to get it for you and she says the dreaded  N-O.  Even though you ask her ten times so she will know how truly important it is to you... she won't budge.  She does NOT get you AT ALL.

Oh my lordy...

Your heart breaks right open and the tears begin to fall because this day is officially OVER.  There is absolutely nothing good in this whole wide world unless you can have that pack of gum.  So, you have to let everyone in the whole store... and the whole parking lot... and ESPECIALLY your mom... know that your life is ruined.

And then your mom takes this picture and it only makes everything exponentially worse.

Sometimes it's really hard to be 3.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dinner Date with My Little Man

Owen and I had a special date night when Daddy and Emma were both out of town.  The highlight for me was when Owen asked me how my day was and opened the door for me!  What a gentleman!  He has a wonderful example in his Daddy!

"Love You Sign!"

St. Patrick's Day at Connie's

Connie went waaaaay out of her way to make St. Patrick's Day special for the preschool kids.  Not only did they build a leprechaun trap the day before, but she decorated and had really special treats for the kids the next morning which wasn't limited to a special message on the sidewalk, leprechaun green pee in the potty, special Lucky Charms cereal for breakfast and treats left from Lucky the leprechaun.  We're so blessed that Owen gets to spend his day in such a wonderful place!

Graduation Day

This was Owen's last day of speech therapy with his therapist Megan.  This picture brings tears to my eyes as I think about the journey over the last few years.  It started with that pit in our stomachs knowing that Owen's speech wasn't falling in the range of normal, learning and studying to provide at home intervention before the age of 3 where he could get services, going through the doctor's appointments and assessments to qualify for services, the weekly therapy sessions, and of course the day-to-day joy and grind of speech homework/reinforcements/modeling/corrections/etc.

It has taken a total family commitment to the therapy, because although there are weekly speech therapy sessions, the majority of the work and practice happens at home.  Each week after his appointment (some of which where we had Papa Tim join us too), I would report out to Daddy and Emma about what we were working on for the week.  We all really focused on that in our interactions with Owen and having three vigilantes gave him triple the practice!

As Owen began preschool in the fall, he had brand new motivation for speaking clearly so that his friends and classmates could understand him!  His teacher, Connie, was also a wonderful "therapist" as well, listening to the articulation skills we were working on so that she could reinforce them at school.

All of this work and an incredible therapist, led to "graduation" from speech after a year of therapy.  We will continue to check in with Megan to make sure we're on track, but for now, our therapy sessions will end and we'll continue to reinforce his skills at home.

We're so grateful for the journey!

Shamrock Shake-Up

After Senior Champs, Emma competed in the Shamrock Shake-Up Meet to try to drop some more time in events that aren't as much her "specialty".  She had an awesome meet, dropping lots of time, and she enjoyed swimming some other events, especially the breaststroke. Some of the highlights were having her family and friends there to cheer (thanks Gramma Leen, Nana, Papa Tim, Grandma Kris, Greg, and Natalie) and getting to share some fast races with two different relay teams.  These girls bring a lot of energy to the pool and have a huge part to do with Emma loving swimming.  It's her time for sports and socializing!

200 Medley Relay team, practicing again for their race at AGS!
Getting some energy out in between events.  Some chase and sword fighting with Papa.

Chase me!!!

The 200 Free Relay Team

Chronicles from Preschool

It is such an amazing gift to get pictures, videos, and messages from Connie, Owen's preschool teacher each week.  What a treat to get a little glimpse into his day in preschool and be more connected with him, Connie, and what he's working on in preschool.  Here are some of the pictures and messages over the last couple of months.

Working hard. He wanted to color all his fishbowls before gluing the fish in the bowl. -Connie

We love our dinobots. Owen brought his to share again today. -Connie

We work hard and play hard. - Connie
Fishing in the pond for the things that begin with the letter Ff. - Connie
We work hard and play hard. - Connie

We work hard and play hard. - Connie
"I'm using my inch worm finger, Connie". Boy! Owen is tough. I'm pretty sure I was more traumatized than he was.  Brian's mom Daveena (the pediatric ER nurse) brought the glue and fixed him up.  She said you don't have to do anything special. It will eventually peel off like a bandaid. Owen still wanted a superhero bandaid of course. -Connie (Owen tripped into a fence and got a cut on his cheek.)
G is for goat.  Owen wanted to be the bridge! -Connie 
We read an acted out the three billy goats gruff with a little different spin. It was about a troll that was grumpy because he didn't eat healthy food like the goats ate. He learned how to eat healthy food and then he was happy. They all got to take turns leading the group in an exercise. - Connie
The 4's and 5's are learning to graph and tally today. Owen told me he can color all those boxes. - Connie

Owen showed one of his friends how to use their inch worm finger. - Connie

Yesterday, Owen wanted me to explain to him what to do on his paper. I always offer and he so politely says "no thank you" so this a first. I love this boy! - Connie

This is a picture I got when picking up Owen one day.  He and Brian were burying their feet in the gravel with shoes off.  Silly boys!  Love hearing them laugh together. - Mama

Möbius Kids Museum

Owen and I had a wonderful "date" at the Mobius Kids Museum.  It was so fun to get to just play with him and watch how he interacted with all of the fun exhibits and even the other kids there.  I loved being present right along side him and being game for every imaginative adventure that he had in mind.

Owen lights up when I get totally into the scene he creates and join right in with the dress up, dialogue, and occasionally he even allows me to create a plot twist (as long as there are bad guys involved :).  One of my favorites today was when we were both firemen and there were a lot of fires that needed to put out.  We set up cones, pushed all kinds of pretend buttons, called 911 (which was really us), used the pretend fire hoses and fire hydrant, dressed, undressed, dressed again... we created such a fun ruckus that all kinds of other kiddos wanted to join in too.  So fun!

I'm so grateful that Daddy works extra hard so that I can be home with Owen to create and enjoy moments like these.  We are so blessed to have a family that values and sacrifices this special time that flies by way too fast.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Senior Champs

We left for Ellensburg at noon on Friday to make it to warm ups on Friday night.  Not only was it time for Emma to get in the pool, but for us to stake our claim.  This is a process that is totally stressful for our family.  Folks are incredibly territorial (we can't point fingers when we are taping our own towel down these days) and take up vast amounts of space that often remains vacant for long portions of the day.  For us, getting a decent spot is pretty critical with Owen in tow.  He has to have a spot where he can sprawl out a bit and won't get soaked.  The texts I get from Daddy when he is getting our spot secured are pretty priceless... he is NOT a fan of this whole process.

On Friday, Emma swam the 200 IM, dropped time (even with a crazy back to breast turn where her hand got caught in the gutter), and got an Age Group Regional (AGR) time!  We headed back to the hotel for tacos and an early bedtime.  About the time we climbed in bed we realized Owen went from "Does he feel a little warm?" to "He has a fever.  Can you go to the store to get ibuprofen?"  Awesome.  Day 1 of 3.

Day 2 started off with a fun surprise... GRAMMA LEEN! She surprised Emma with a visit and stayed all day for prelims and her first final event.  What a sacrifice of time and a gift of love!  Emma was sooooo excited! 

Emma had an incredible day of swimming where she dropped time in every prelim event and then again in finals.  Their 200 Medley Relay got an AGR time and set a new team record!   Emma herself got another AGR time in the 100 back.  It was Emma's first finals and coming out with music and getting her name announced were both highlights of her day.  So fun to see her smiling extra big out there!  The downside to finals is a LONG day of swimming.  We didn't leave the pool until almost 8pm (that is about 12 hours at the pool).  We were all exhausted.  Emma physically and mentally, everyone else emotionally.

On Sunday, Emma dropped time in every event (got all her regionals times) and qualified for finals in every event she swam.  We were all about COOKED before finals even started (along with the fact that we were all fried from the way-too-high chemical levels in the aquatic center - serious eye burning!), but Emma pushed hard all the way to the end.  She swam her heart out and swam fast... making her parents and coaches so very proud... and of course, I know she was proud of herself too.

These weekends are a huge sacrifice for the whole family, but it is small in comparison to the hard work and everyday sacrifices that Emma makes to get to this point.  It is an incredible honor to be her #1 fans for swimming and for life.  She inspires us to be better everyday.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Hoglund Reunion

What a treat for our families to get together and share a meal! It's been a long time since Owen had seen Jenn or the kids. Owen immediately remembered "the ropes"and the kids were off and playing! So wonderful to hear all of those giggles and shrieks of joy! Not only was it wonderful for Owen, but for the rest of our family too. We so love touching hearts and reconnecting with treasured friends! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Aid n' Owen

I got kind of choked up watching these two play just the other day. Although they have been "friends" to since birth, this title is really becoming reality. Big hugs, sharing toys, and even sharing conversation and stories is hopefully just the beginning of a lifelong friendship for these two!


Our poor little guy tripped and landed with his face into a fence! Ouch! Luckily, he's so darn tough and his preschool friend, Brian's, mom (who is an ER nurse)  was able to glue it up. No stitches needed, just a superhero bandaid!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Celebrating Nana

We were so excited to get together to celebrate Nana's birthday!  She's off the top amazing, so Amy and I coordinated to invite Nana to a brunch that would make her feel special!  We planned the menu,  Lee helped make the fruit salad, Emma set the table, Sihin cleared it, and Roger did all the dishes!  TEAM EFFORT!

The fun actually started before Nana arrived, because we all placed bets on when she would walk through the threshold of the front door with an invitation time of 12:30pm (just getting clear on the requirements was hilarious).  As you can see from our family's predictions, Nana is NEVER late.  It's one of her many fabulous qualities - she's reliable and dependable - always early - you're never waiting on her. Apparently this quality did not get passed through to the Thompson part of the family tree as well...LOL!

The bets are on!
As Nana and Bert drove by our house to turn around in the cul de sac, Roger nearly had a breakdown... or was it when Nana reparked the car... or Boppa picked up a pinecone in the front yard.  LOL!!!  There was lots of howling... so fun.  Lee tries the delay strategy to ask Nana to wipe her feet before coming in the house, but ultimately Emma was the winner!

The biggest gift of all was having quality time together and getting to celebrate such an amazing woman. She blesses us all tremendously with her love, support, and strength and we feel so blessed to get to do life with her.  She continues to inspire us all with her energy and zest for life - boldly reminding us that age is just a number when you're still 29 in your heart (just a whole lot wiser)!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pet Store Fun

One day while we were waiting for Emma to finish swim practice, Owen and I had a special date and went to the pet store.  He LOVED it!  All kinds of lizards, fish, bunnies, rats, snakes, toads, turtles, guinea pigs... little boy heaven.  Still working on our "no tapping on the glass" skills, but overall awesome fun!

Owen Loves Dinobots

Right now, Owen is so obsessed with Switch n' Go "Dinobots" that it's blog post worthy.  He LOVES playing with them and turning them back and forth between dinosaurs and cars/helicopters/airplanes, etc.  We love how durable they are and how his imagination takes off when playing with them.  Win-win.  

He has 7 Dinobots to date and although we may have saved money by canceling our cable, we probably just put our savings into Switch n' Go stock!

One of his favorite things to do is take all 7 of them to Connie's Preschool to play with all of his friends.  He actually SHARES them... WHAAAAAT?!?!?!?!  We walk in the door in the morning and he announces to all of his buddies that he's arrived with Dinobots for everyone to play with.  Doesn't get much better than that. 

Winter Open Swim Meet

Although Ellensburg, WA, home of the Winter Open is pretty much the armpit of Washington State... we still had a blast there cheering Emma on and supporting our #1 swimmer!

Owen is SUCH a trooper during meets.  He snacks and gets caught up on movies for the most part.  He plays with his toys too, but they are looooong days and he rarely ever makes a fuss.

Since we have some crazy food needs, we pack most of what we eat.  We had a sushi picnic in our hotel room the first night we were there.  Our family loves sushi!

Emma had an insanely awesome weekend in racing.  She dropped time in EVERY SINGLE EVENT that she raced.  THAT GIRL WAS ON FIRE!  We were so excited with and for her!

One of the things about Emma though is that she has BIG goals.  She is shooting for qualifying times and personal goals that are not easy to attain.  I admire her so very much for reaching high and then putting in the time, energy, and sacrifice to make the goals happen.  The reality is though, that sometimes they don't... at least not exactly when you want them too.  And that's hard.  Really hard.

And then it goes RIGHT and a goal is reached.  That vulnerability required for big goals makes the JOY deep and real.  It's earned with sweat, blood, and tears.  Although I consider it a privilege to honor her disappointment, I won't lie and say that the moments where I get to honor her accomplishments and share in her elation are flat out incredible.  

Sitting in the bleachers and being Emma's support crew are some of the hardest and most awesome parenting moments I have.  I absolutely love getting to be Emma's mom.

Celebrating with a treat! She gave up all sugar a week before the meet... this girl is determined!

Playing with Papa

Flick the cheerio into the mouth game.  Doesn't really matter what it is... with Papa, it's awesome.


Our house got hit... hard.  First Owen's preschool had 7 of 9 kids with the flu... then two weeks later Emma got it.  Both of them were so darn sick, especially Emma.  I'm not sure I've ever seen her that sick before - so sick she didn't even want to watch TV!  GASP!  Near death obviously ;)