Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Katelee Turns Three

September 10, 2011

Weight 29.8lbs (50th Percentile)

Heights 39 1/2 inches (90th Percentile)

I cannot believe it has been three years since our life did not include Miss Kate in it. I don't even know where to start with our Katelee....

Katelee continues to stay on her tall and skinny trend. This girls legs go on FOREVER. When she wears shorts it is even more evident how long they are. She is wearing 4T pants just to cover her legs all the way. We have to get the pants with the adjustable waist so they will stay on her. This girl keeps us all on our toes and you just never know what you are going to get with her. She is a girlie girl and loves anything that resembles a baby, princesses or something her brother wants. Katelee cannot be called the peacemaker when it comes to her siblings. She will stand firm in her decision not to share, play with Ethan or be nice. Yet she sometimes is the first to let Ethan have the toy she is playing with, you just never know which Katelee you are gonna get!

In Nursery at church she is still the "golden" child. They never have anything bad to say about her and continually tell us how they wish all the kids were like her. This makes me very happy and I just wish she would act like that at home as well. Katelee still gives some pretty good stares and they just make me laugh. She constantly has her fingers in her mouth and especially when she is feeling nervous, scared or shy. Because of this her fingers are always broken out with her eczema. Then she picks at the eczema and has sores ALL the time. She loves to have her nails painted and loves to do other people's hair. She could sit and brush my hair all day long. Many times when she is sitting on my lap she will push all my hair back and keep doing that as if it's her job to make sure it's not in my way.

Katelee continues to be a horrible sleeper. She falls to sleep just fine but it doesn't last all night. Katelee has Night Terrors. These are very rough on me as I'm up a lot during the night. But there will be more on this later. Katelee is still a very early riser. Most of the time when she wakes up in the morning she will wake up Ethan and they will play in their room for a while. Sometimes she will come into our room and wake us up, if I pull her into bed with us she mostly just messes around, but once in a while she will fall back to sleep. Those times are like small miracles that I absolutely LOVE!

Katelee is a little mother to Ashlee, sometimes paying more attention to Ashlee than I do. The other day it was just Ethan, me and Ashlee awake. We were hanging out and Ethan was really enjoying playing with Ashlee. He said to me, "I really do love my baby sister, but Katelee loves her more than I do." I asked him why he said that and he said, "Because Katelee is ALWAYS around her and touching her, I never get to spend time with her when Katelee is awake!" I smiled and said well that doesn't mean she loves her more... But secretly I think Katelee loves Ashlee more than anyone else! In Katelee's eyes she is there to take care of Ashlee! This girl was born to be a nurturer.

Kate is smart. She knows her shapes and colors and we are starting her letters now too! She loves to sing and will belt out any song, anytime! She knows and loves Praise to the Man and busted it out during the sacrament on Sunday. It was so cute I didn't want to ask her to whisper! She can throw fits with the best of them. When she starts a fit it usually ends with her being carried up the stairs, kicking and screaming/crying, to her bed where she will continue to cry/scream for another 10-15 minutes! Then she calms down and starts thinking reasonable again. The girl is stubborn and can be ornery and I can't help but see myself in her more and more each day. Scary!! She says the funniest thing. The other day she was looking for something and then she said, "no worries, I found it!" It is so funny to hear her say 'no worries' she seems so grown up at times!

The house is always full of her silly laugh whether she just told a funny joke, is being mean and loving it or just being happy. She sits in a booster seat now and can do the seat belt up all by herself. Her hair is growing, still brown and super curly. In the morning she has a fro that is OUT. OF. CONTROL!! She doesn't care if we do her hair or not and most of the time I have to bribe her with something to do it. She likes pony tails the most. The girl has spunk and most days I love it!

Seems like just yesterday this little lady came into our lives....

On her First Birthday....

On her Second Birthday....

Life without Katelee is unthinkable. She brings smiles to every ones face, even when she is real crazy. We love you Katlee Madge, you make us better from just being here! Thanks and Happy Birthday!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

I have had this feeling of wanting to write something profound and amazing for my children to read about my personal experiences and feelings about September 11, 2001, but so far I have come up wanting. A few of the documentaries I did watch this past week have given my experiences on that day and more a feeling of inadequacy. However I would still like my children to be able to know how I, as their mother, dealt with this day and how it changed my life forever. I will start my story of September 11, 2001 on September 10, 2001, the day before.

My brother Matt arrived home from his Mission in New Zealand, clear across the world, after his flight was delayed a few hours. We all met him at the airport gate after going through a metal detector at security without tickets for a flight. That was the norm… Back to the story, when Matt walked off the plane we greeted him with hugs and smiles and a few tears. It was a great reunion, one I had been looking forward to for two years. We had people over at our house all night and then finally we went to sleep. How grateful I am that he came home on the 10th!

I awoke on September 11, 2001 around 7:00am and walked across the hall to the bathroom to get ready for work. My dad was up watching TV in the living room and mentioned something about a plane running into the World Trade Centers. I remember still to this day not thinking much about it. I did some stuff and then went into the living room to watch the news coverage. I told my dad that it could have just been bad navigation and went back to getting ready for work. I honestly don’t really remember what happened between then and me leaving for work, but something changed. My thoughts of an accident were changed to knowing that America had been attacked. The drive to work was somber. Not many people were out driving around and when I got to work it was worse. We wheeled a TV behind the teller line and watched it the ENTIRE day. Only one customer came in the whole day. The longer I watched the TV the more depressed I became. Seeing all the footage, the planes hit, the bodies jumping from the buildings, the battered people that survived and then the buildings collapsing, it was almost too much to take in. It was replayed a thousand times and each time I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. Each replay, each detail added to this horrific story sunk my heart farther and farther into my chest. Finally the end of work arrived and I headed to a high school volleyball game I was coaching. The stands weren’t real full and there was an eerie feeling the whole time, as if we shouldn’t be living our ‘normal’ lives. It seemed almost selfish to do so when so many lives had been turned upside down that very day.

That night as I said my prayers I poured my heart out for those that had died, those that would die, those that would survive, their families and America. I cried and cried some more. Thousands of people I had never and would never meet had died and I was affected by each one. A very small portion of their misery was slapped onto my plate and the weighted of it seemed almost unbearable. Fear gripped the nation and bonded every one of us together. For once we all shared something in common… I could look at someone and know without a doubt that they had one of the same fears I had.

I still remember the silence as I walked to my class on the campus of UNLV. All planes had been grounded and the silence in the skies was almost deafening. UNLV is very close to the airport and there always seems to be a plane flying right over, nice and low and loud. But not then, no, not a sound could be heard in the sky on my walk to class. The walkways were quieter than normal and I almost felt ashamed to be going to school while people were still stuck under rubble and dying clear across the country. My first class that day was a US History class, so appropriate for the time. I remember the Professor coming in and sitting down on the desk. A somber look on his face and he started his lecture for the day. This man was one of order; he never deviated from his lesson schedule, however today he looked each one of us in the eye and said, "This is something we need to talk about, for this will be in the history of the US forever." He then had an open floor discussion with us. He asked our opinions, our feelings and what we thought would happen because of this. Although I recognized how big of an event this was I didn’t really process just how big it was. This was the "Pearl Harbor" of my day! I had lived through something of that magnitude, something that one day my children would learn about in their school classes. In that moment I knew that my life and those of the people around me and even those that didn’t exist would be changed and different forever.

Life was different for a quite a while. Finally the planes started flying again and rules and regulations were changed. Safety precautions were changed, added and implemented to try to keep America safe. People were changed for a while. They were nice, smiled and talked to one another. But eventually things changed back to normal. People became selfish and grouchy again and slowly life just moved on. The images of what happened on September 11, 2001 will always live in my mind. Anytime I see a plane flying low my mind and eyes scan the airway looking for a building, with a fear burning in my heart that some how it is all going to happen again! Each of us that lived through this event has evaluated our life, considered our decisions and pondered what we would have done if that had been us. How would we have reacted? I would love to think that I would have joined the group that fought back, stood for what I believed. I would love to think that had I been in the burning, mangled building I would have carried someone down 30 flights of stairs, done all I could to help others out. But reality is I don’t really know how I would have reacted. I might have sat on that plane and prayed with all my heart that it would some how be better, be over. Maybe I would be there wishing for someone else to do the hard stuff, to fight back. Maybe I would have ran down those flights of stairs as fast as I could, thinking about nothing but myself. My reaction in this situation will never be known, but the "what if’s" and wondering will probably never be gone.

Each September 11th the feelings come back, maybe not as fresh or as harsh, but they are still there. It gets better each year and after September 10, 2008 it became a lot different for me. On that day a feisty, blue eyed, brown haired girl was born and changed September to a different kind of month for me. As I sat watching TV in my recovery room in the hospital on September 11th, I held this little lady and was reminded again why life was SO. SO. SO. GREAT! As I looked in her eyes I knew she was my America. She was life continued, a reminder that life was different but better all at the same time. She has become the spirit of America to me, she is feisty, crazy, nice, beautiful and so much more. A terrible thing happened on September 11, 2001, a thing that will never be forgotten. Although it was a terrible thing some good came from it. We learned from it, we grew closer from it, many people prayed for the first time in ages. We were allowed to grieve in the open and that connected us to people we would never have connected to other wise.

So for my children, always remember that as crazy as this country may seem at times it was founded on correct principles. It is a great country to live in! Hold on to the hope that the majority of the people in America are good people. That in a time of crisis everyone will unite again and have a common bond. I pray, most of all, that you will never have to experience something like this for yourselves, but that if you do you will have courage, strength and love! I know it’s not much and far from profound, but it is what I felt, remember and wanted to share. I love this country but most of all I love you guys and your father the most!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Brussels Sprouts Anyone?

Ashlee has been trying all kinds of vegetables and is loving it! I think so far Yams are her favorite. Tonight for dinner we had Chicken, Rice, Salad and Brussels Sprouts. I threw some Brussels sprouts and rice in the blender and gave it to Ashlee. She started out strong and then started to fade. She kept opening her mouth wide, but it took about two times as long to finish. Every time we put something in her mouth about half of the food would come out. She is so cute it didn't even bother us at all. I love watching Ashlee try new things. I love seeing her reaction to all the different foods. Sometimes is priceless!