A Post About Brenden

July 10, 2012 at 10:32 am (Big B)

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At the end of January, my first born child turned eight….and it’s true what they say, eight is pretty great. Eight year old Brenden is fantastic. He’s smart, creative, kind, and keeps us laughing with his quirky sense of humor. Brenden is one of a kind. He is fascinated by sharks, and all monster fish in general. His favorite food is saucy meat balls over rice. He loves building lego models, and dances down a grocery isle better than anyone I know. He is always entertaining.

The whole year Brenden was seven, he couldn’t stop talking about when he’d turn eight. I’m sure his excitement was in large part from watching his fun, older cousins set an example of being baptized, and also because his Dad was a cub scout leader. When you’re a boy that belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, baptism and cubby scouts are big time things to look forward to when you turn eight. Brenden was very eager to participate in both.

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This smug face makes me laugh. 

Greg does a good job of promoting a love of scouting. He and Brenden used to talk all the time about when B would be able to join Cub Scouts, and B could. not. wait. It’s been so fun to watch him join and take on the responsibilities of being a scout with enthusiasm. He’s so handsome in his little uniform, and loves working on his requirements.

As much as Brenden looked forward scouting, he anticipated his baptism day for much, much longer.

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Each cousin and friend getting baptized before him set the standard for what Brenden thought was cool. However, as his birthday got closer and closer, it became more apparent that his choice to be baptized was being influenced by the Spirit. Plain and simple, Brenden felt good about it, and believed that what he was being taught about Heavenly Father and Jesus was true. Brenden radiated joy and confidence. He felt joy in choosing the right, and his happiness was particularly impossible to miss on the day of his baptism. Two words: perma grin. Looking through these pictures brings me a lot of comfort. I feel like I slept walked through this time, but seeing his happy face brings to mind many sweet moments that might have been forgotten.

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For example: There was the Sunday that we “lost” Miles after church. After looking everywhere, Greg and I agreed to split up at the back of the church, comb each side for him, and meet at the car in the front. Brenden, Eve and Greg made it to the car quickly. Brenden being sensitive to our concern offered to say a prayer. He asked Heavenly Father to please bless me to find Miles, closed with an Amen, and declared with confidence, “There. That should do it.” I walked up with a mischievous Miles in tow about ten minutes later…grateful for the heavenly assistance.

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I can’t imagine our family without Brenden. He is a great example to his siblings and his parents. We love him dearly.

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We were fortunate to have bunches of people from our family and ward come to support Brenden. He loved it, and so did I. We felt very loved as a family. Our friends and family are awesome.

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Cousins Will and Eli walked up just in time to get in on the picture taking. These boys are so LOVED in our home.

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It kills me when I stop to notice just how tall and grown up Brenden has gotten. It happened in a blink, I tell ya. A BLINK!

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Brenden was particularly glad to have both sets of his grandparents come. My Dad even made the hard trip after just having knee surgery. I couldn’t ask for better Papas and Grammas for my kids.

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Going under water is NOT Brenden’s favorite thing. However, this face embodies how he faced his baptism day: no fear, only smiles. He walked confidently into the water with his dad with a few nervous giggles. When Greg immersed him in the water, Brenden launched himself back up to the top with the most hilarious wide-eyed face. The panic only lingered for a split second before he broke into laughter. His whole face beamed. I’ve never seen Brenden more proud of himself. I hope he never forgets how he felt that day. I know I’ll never forget the joy I saw in his face.

I love this boy.

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Christmas Happened

July 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm (Family)

My sister says, “Pictures, or it didn’t happen.” So…….

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 Santa is real.

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I have an angel and two wise guys.

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Brenden always has a crazy face for the camera.

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Christmas morning on the stairs…classic.

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Being at my Mom and Dad’s to celebrate was super fun.

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Greg and I can’t take a serious picture to save our lives.

Wouldn’t want you to think all that didn’t happen. :)

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Hey.

May 16, 2012 at 12:16 am (just (me)linda)

Today I had a root canal. Apparently, my tooth had really long roots, so I had to get numbed up to high heaven.

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It was cracking me up when I got home. Try as I might, I could not wrinkle the left side of my nose. For the life of me, I don’t know how people do botox. I really love being able to move my face. Having facial numbness after the dentist is soooo weird. I one part love it, because it’s so funny feeling, but I equal parts want to scream with the crazies because it bugs big time.

Dear Internet,

Can we keep things real for a minute? This is going to be a super awkward post. I’m going to be frank….I have been afraid to blog. However, at the same time, I have been dying to write. I have been afraid, because my personal world has been so complex, and I really don’t want to be misinterpreted. These last months have held my deepest sorrows, but also some of my greatest joys. I feel like an old weathered soul with a wealth of scars, but simultaneously like a freshy baby with shaky but eager legs. My emotional state is  a lot like spring really. Winter hangs on the edge, but growth and sunshine press forward. It seems that spring has a lot to teach me each year. I decided the other day that mid-winter is really not the time to be setting lofty resolutions. Forget New Years! The end of winter is a much more natural time to stretch and grow as a person. I think even people need sunshine to find strength to blossom. I’ve also decided that spring is my favorite season.

Anywho, there it is. This has been a time of hard learning for my soul, but I am grateful for it. I can feel great things happening. I have not known where to start blogging, so my numb face is as good a place as any. Let’s awkwardly slog on while I try to find my voice again, shall we? How about a bunch of celly pics from instagram? Mm-kay? Mm-kay. PS: Do you instagram? I hear all the cool kids do. My username is spearmintmango. Look me up.

My Mother’s Day weekend was lovely. Eve helped me pick out a new necklace. The beads are really red, and the big one is an awesome mustard-y yellow. Love it.

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As I paid for it, Eve looked up at me with her big brown eyes, and said, “Mommy, can we please share your new neckess?” :)

On Friday night, Greg took me to pick out a frame for a print he got me at Christmas. SO SO excited to finally have it up on my wall. On Saturday, we took the family to Tucanos for lunch. I love Brazilian food, and will never turn down a feast of grilled pineapple. The fam let me nap off the HUGE meal afterwards. Naps are the best.

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My friend, Holly, gave Greg the hookup to give me lilacs. My very favorite flower.

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The weather on Saturday evening was awesome. Greg and I were able to get out of the house alone to a go see a PBR bull-riding event. Driving on country roads with the windows down does good things for my heart.

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Rodeos are just plain good fun. We laughed a lot, and had a really good time.

Sunday was super chill. Brenden announced from the pulpit, “I love my mom, because of the look of her face.” Hahahahahaha! Not sure what that meant exactly, but I loved it. I quite like being a mom. It’s an up and down world just like everything else, but the payoffs are so worth it. My family is rad.

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This morning was a beautiful spring morning here in Boise. I went running with a lot on my mind. On the way home I decided to risk the dirt path that runs along the river by my house. The river is crazy high. Knee high over the trail, but did it stop me? Only long enough to get a picture. :) It smelt like the mountains. It made me smile, and helped me clear my head. I made a commitment to myself to really get outside everyday in some way. I need water, trees, dirt, and adventure. :)

Back to my mouth: I’m so excited about my root canal. Weird to say probably, but true. Tonight I ate ice cream without wincing in pain the whole time, because of an angry tooth. Tillamook chocolate peanut butter has never tasted to good. The actual procedure sucked, but the payoff will be worth it. I’m living by that motto a lot.

“I have seen enough ups and downs throughout my life to know that winter will surely give way to the warmth and hope of a new spring. … I am optimistic about the future. For our part, we must remain steadfast in hope, work with all our strength, and trust in God.”  -President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Hope y’all like that quote as much as I do.

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Hope

January 22, 2012 at 12:46 am (just (me)linda)

These past January days have been grey, rainy and dreary. In spite of it, the view over Boise on my walk today still looked beautiful through my blurry dampness.

There were bunnies playing tag in the bushes, and birds singing a sweet song in the trees. All of the magnolia trees all have fuzzy buds on the tips of their branches. They lay in wait to announce a new season’s arrival.

Is it too early to be feeling a shift in the cold earth? Is it my imagination grasping at hopes of brighter, sunny days?

I find comfort in the fact that seasons change. Spring will come with promises of new life and green summer days to follow. It will not fail me.

While I restlessly wait, high places call my name.

Images from my birthday backpacking trip this past summer:

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Jughandle’s false summit over Louie Lake.

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Climbing straight up. McCall far down below.

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She calls me Melba.

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Mountains and good company = me a happy girl.

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Sunrise Over Boulder Lake

January 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm (just (me)linda)

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This is where my head is tonight.

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See Greg Run For Fun

January 18, 2012 at 1:57 am (Celiac, Greg)

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This is Greg. One day in December Greg decided to run. He decided to run, just for fun.

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He ran and ran while we enjoyed hot chocolate and beautiful, sunny December morning. It was a fun morning for all of us. :)

For those of you that don’t know, Greg has spent the past several months battling crazy flu-like symptoms. Sick from both ends.(From the tail end in particular.) It’s been mis.er.a.ble. for him. Right around Christmas time things got bad. There were good days, (his fun run was a good day) but mostly he just felt like poop all the time. Poop is probably the optimal descriptive word, because things were just down right poopy all the time…literally.

As we looked back on life, a pattern of Greg being similarly ill without passing it to anyone else began to emerge. It had never been so bad though, and it was getting worse. Concerns that something bigger was at play lead us to make a doctor’s appointment with a friend of ours. Blood was drawn, stool samples were collected, and cameras were run down his throat to his stomach and small intestine and up his…uhmm….well, he had a colonoscopy too. One could say he was examined from all angles.

The results: Greg has Celiac Disease. The treatment: Go completely gluten free.

How do we feel about this? It’s a nice combo of YAY!!!! and Uhgggg….

We are thrilled to have found the culprit, and a way to kick its butt. I am so excited for Greg to just. plain. FEEL. GOOD. He is already feeling so much better. We found out last Wednesday, and started making diet adjustments right away. Yesterday he went back to working out, and said it was the first time in a long, long time that he wasn’t dealing with cramping whilst sweating. That is HUGE and so awesome. Worth all the inconvenience. That being said, it is DARN inconvenient. (Here comes the “uhgggg….”) I spent the end of last week reliving some of the feelings that came when Miles was diagnosed with diabetes. Ie: Mourning the ease of a familiar lifestyle, and wondering what the “H” I was going to make for dinner. It’s been okay though. We’re lucky that we already eat a lot of meals made from scratch, and I’ve been able to find some of our old favorites that are already gluten free. I thought I was pretty good with nutrition labels, but have realized I’m going to have to be a super freak about reading them now. Greg has had a really good attitude about it all though, which has been helpful for me. I started a new recipe binder, and have been adding everything we try and like to it with the hope that meal planning will get easier. I also plan on saving all my actual weekly menus in it as well. With Miles I remember when we finally put a whole year behind us, things seemed so much easier. All the major food events had been experienced, and that perspective gave us confidence. I think this new binder will help give us that too. A year of good recipes and menus already planned will be awesome. I’m excited. In the meantime, if you have any gluten free recipes/blogs/cook books that you love, I would love to hear about them! My food world is feeling pretty complicated.

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Today a friend sent us really yummy peanut butter cookies that had chocolate swirls on top. Sooo flippin’ good, and she sent the recipe too. Yay for nice people! It’s definitely a binder worthy recipe. :)

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*Caution: Puke Pic In Post Below. Ye Faint Of Heart Be Warned! ARRRRRGGH!

December 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm (Greg, just (me)linda, Little Lamb Chop, Mileage)

I am about to share a lot of gross details. Just a heads up for you.

I do not throw up. I hate it. So I don’t do it. I don’t out of shear Quigley stubbornness. In 29 and a half years, the number of times I’ve thrown up due to illness has been less than I can count on two hands. My three pregnancies didn’t add much to that number. Some people vomit well…like Greg for example. He can just relax, get it out, and feel better. For me, it’s violent. Without fail, it explodes out my nose, and brings no relief.

A stomach bug hit our house this past weekend. It’s taken me to a zen, slow-moving turtle place. I stop, breathe and concentrate through the urges to loose it, and then continue on being a mom. …and it all started with this:

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This is how we found Eve at 12:30 am Sunday morning. (Who sleeps through that?!) We cleaned her up, and I spent the remainder of the night sleeping on the floor next to her holding a bucket. Dear, sweet girl.

Bright and early the next morning, I got up to shower and go to Stake Conference. We’d decided maybe I should go by myself, and honestly, I was quite looking forward to that. When I was ready to go, I peeked in on the kids only to discover Miles sleeping in a pile of his own vomit. (What the what?! Again, who does that?!!) Poor boy was fine all night, and I felt so bad that I was in the shower when he needed me. My children definitely do not have my iron stomach.

Greg says the best training to be a parent he got, was all his years of working at Six Flags. Cleaning up bodily fluids is just another day at the park. I’m so grateful that he just takes all that stuff in stride. He’s a wonderful man. I knew the children were in great hands as I walked out the door.

I started feeling funny during conference, but I was fairly sure it was due to a hard night. When it took me forever to make dinner that evening, and I could barely eat any of it, I knew I was sick too.

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Monday was full of nuggling, (snuggling) watching movies by the Christmas tree, blog reading/writing, friends doing nice things for us, and Greg handling everything when he got home. Basically, we were lazy bums. By evening, the kids were on the mend. I’m not far behind them. Today, I got ready for the day. The wash has been started, meals are being planned, and music lessons will be attended. It’s another day in motherhood. As always, we have music helping us push through it. We took a break from the Christmas tunes this morning so the likes of Eddie Vedder could serenade me. I love his slower stuff…sometimes the harder stuff too. :) I’m sure that comes from years spent in the same house with my brother, Lee.

Hope you are all able to avoid the barfs this season! So sorry to any of you I may have unknowingly infected at Stake Conference. I’m sure you’ll have some extra immunity points because you went. You should be good. *wink* :)

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When Things Get A Little Too Hairy…

December 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm (just (me)linda)

Confession: I take a lot of cell phone pictures of myself, because well, let’s keep it real here, I’m a little vain. However, my narcissism comes in handy at times. It’s a rare occasion for me to actually be in front of our family camera…unless I make Greg take pictures of me. It’s not that I don’t want to be in pictures, (I am a firm believer that moms and dads should routinely be photographed no matter how you think you look, because those images will be treasures to your kids and grandchildren.) it’s just that I’m always the one taking pictures.

Today I was looking for a pic of my long hair, and it was taking too long to search and search our files for one, so of course I just resorted to my celly. (SEE? HANDY!) There was a problem though…my hair was so freakishly long that it’s hard to find an image displaying its full lengthy glory. Yes, you read correctly…”was” so freakishly long.

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I’ve been wearing my hair long for quite some time now. In fact, I have never been so satisfied with the same style for so long. I loved my lengthy tresses, and went without feeling my usual hankerings for a change for a really long time. It grows pretty fast, and had reached the bottom of my bra line. Longer than I have ever had it before, but honestly, it had gotten too long, too heavy, too blah. I can’t even describe it, but one day I just felt like it was time. Time for something new.

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Here’s my dirty locks, capped, ponied, and ready to go to the salon on Thursday. That’s a nice thing about having a friend cut it. She sees my hair all the time, and knows how I style it and what problems I have with it. So there was no pressure to really do my hair before going to see her.

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She asked a million questions to make sure I was really ready…

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…then BAM! There was twelve and a half inches of my mane on the table.

An inch or two more off to shape it, and I’d say we have ourselves a change! :)

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It was the weirdest. feeling. EVAH. to run my hands through it, and have nothing there! I’m very happy with it though, and the weirdness it already wearing off. My friend did an amazing job. Now I’m just getting used to styling it.

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My new bed hair is pretty fantastic. I’d forgotten just how crazy it used to get. (No worries, just bleachin’ my ‘stach…it’s not a sleepy/kooky faced milk advertisement.) I was really pleased with how well my crazy coif tamed though. I threw it into a braid, whipped out some curls with the flat iron. The curls got a little too “I’m twelve” looking, but still, nice to know I can still get away with two day hair!

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I feel like my hair and I finally hit our stride on Sunday. I’m loving it.

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These are a couple pictures I showed my stylist friend. (The left is Caitlin from hue and hum. I’m a huge fan of her hair, her art, her blog, her cute dog and her husband’s music.) (PS: This is one of my very favorite pieces by Lady Hue. It means something different to me than her inspiration, and I don’t have my long hair anymore, but it speaks to a deep part of me. I love it.) Anywho, the end product of my chop far exceeded my expectations.

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It’s just (me) in a new way. :)

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Friends, Love and Inappropriate Touching

December 8, 2011 at 1:07 am (Family, just (me)linda, Mis Amigos)

In life, there are people you quite like, and then there are people you really enjoy. Relationships with the latter become something special when they can pass the test of time. When no matter how long it’s been, you can still pick right back up where you left off.

(And when you can do that “picking back up” along the shores of a high mountain lake, well…that’s just freakin’ awesome! That’s what that is.)

I was blessed to have truly, lovely friends in jr. high and high school, and to this day, I still genuinely enjoy getting together with them.

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When my sweet friend, Emily, announced her wedding would be held this past October at Redfish Lake, I thought, “I will be there. Come hell or high water!” So I went, and three of my other friends did too.

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Our visit was SHORT, but ever so sweet. I LOVE these women! They are so easy to be around. Laughs are always plentiful. :)

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Emily’s wedding was BEAUTIFUL! I have been enamored with the Sawtooth Mountains and Red Fish Lake since I was a little girl. Emily has long dreamed of a wedding there on the beach, and it was a privilege to witness her dream come true. What a view!!

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Emily- You. looked. radiant. Congratulations to you and Jason again!!! You are such a genuine and giving person…Jason is lucky to have you. You are lucky to have each other! I love ya, Girl!! One of the crappy things about me not being on facebook is not having regular contact with you. I miss that! I hope that all is going well!

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After the ceremony, we all got a little camera happy. Here’s smoochy face Dana giving her newborn boy a bottle. Dana- Your silly side is the best! There’s no one better to just let loose with. You’ve always cracked me up. Consequently, you are a part of many, many, MANY of my favorite memories. :)

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Tasha – How do you look that cute pregnant?! You’re a beachy, blond, prego bomeshell! I’ll be in town for Christmas. Can I come hug on your newborn? :) I’ll call you!

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I love this picture. I can hear the laugh, and love the classic raised brows saying, “You are seriously so weird, Melinda! Do you really need to be that close to me?!” :) Lauren- What can I say? You’ve been my longest, besty friend. You are beautiful, kind and have the most sincere heart of anyone I know. I will always feel a sister like bond for you and Dana. I’m so glad that you two were such good friends with Tasha and Emily so they could become part of my life too.

Thank you so much, Girls, for being there way back when, and still today! I can’t wait till next time! Hopefully next time more of us can come. :)

My little sister, Reese, came with me to the wedding. As we pulled away to leave, she simply said, “I love your friends.” I thought that was so cool. It was a great reminder to take a moment and just appreciate  how incredibly lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life.

Speaking of wonderful people…Reese is the bomb. She and Jordan camped with us that weekend. We stayed one lake over at Alturas Lake. One of the best moments of the weekend was being able to steal away with her for a moment between the ceremony and reception. We just sat on the beach, listened to the water lap on the shore, and discussed life as we looked over the mountains. She is such an amazing soul, and I love how we can speak heart to heart. Plus, she makes a pretty hot wedding date. She even let me get to second base! Hahaha!

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I don’t know exactly what was happening in these pictures, but they had me laughing SO HARD when I looked back through them. I’m very much glad we have this nerdyness documented. Ow OW!! Hahahaha!!!!

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School

November 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm (Big B, Diabetically Speaking, Mileage)

I’ve had a bunch of people inquire about how school is going for the boys, (specifically about Miles and diabetes) so I figured I should do an update for all y’all.

In a nutshell: Both boys love school. They can hardly wait to jump out of the car in the morning. For them, school is thebomb.com.

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Brenden’s teacher is fantastic. I was a bit nervous to see how he would do this year. He grew so much in first grade. A lot of credit for that goes to his wonderful first grade teacher. I hoped this new one would help keep things moving in the right direction. I’m happy to report that thus far our experience has exceeded expectations. I couldn’t be more pleased with where he’s at. He’s on mark in every way. I’m so proud of him. My schedule has been such that I can volunteer in Brenden’s class once a week. I help run his little reading group, and we’ve both liked it a lot. It’s been fun to be able to observe him in his school world for the first time.

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Brenden did get sent to the assistant principles office a couple weeks ago, but since it was for playing his butt like a guitar in the lunch room, we decided not to care. The A.P. made such a big deal out of it that I’m sure he won’t be a repeat offender. Hilarious! I’ve mentioned before that B likes to boogie, right? :)

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Miles taught himself a valuable lesson about friction a couple days before school started. He placed his forehead on a rapidly rotating wheel, and gave himself a big ol’ burn. (Good one, Miles.) I wish I had video of the incident. It was really something amazing. Picture a Big Wheel bike upside down on the porch…Miles sitting on a small chair with the hard, plastic front wheel between his knees…both hands on the pedals, making the wheel spin as fast as he possibly can…then slowly bowing his head down to make contact. The look of pure confusion he gave as he came back up has me shaking with laughter now as I think about it again. I guess you probably had to be there. :)

Miles has been ready to attend school with Brenden for two years now. Having Brenden move on to bigger and better things without him has really chapped his hide. To say he was excited to finally start kindergarten is an understatement. It was the best day of his life. It took him about two seconds to make friends with the whole class. He definitely doesn’t struggle in the “putting yourself out there” department. He loves to be in the center of the action.

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As far as diabetes goes…jeez, where to begin?

It is…okay?

Yeah, “okay” works.

Well…maybe “okay” is the wrong way to say it.

It’s mostly great…but sometimes really, REALLY awful.

As far as Miles is concerned, it’s been great. He gets a lot of attention from people (kids and adults alike) for his testing skills and knowledge of what he needs. Right now he loves that. Plus, if he ever gets bored, all he has to do is hint something is wrong, and he gets out of class. (A trick he puts to use all too often…already. I expected those kind of shenanigans in jr. high not kindergarten!)

My behind the scenes experience has been a little more bumpy.

There have been bad moments. Like the time I had a feeling to go into school with Miles, and found an unexpected substitute teacher that knew nothing about him, his needs, or anything about diabetes in general. That was pretty fantastic. (I was furious.) There have been self administered guilt trips for numbers that aren’t perfect. (I’ve got to get over that.) There has been unwanted advice, and suggestions from people who have been dealing with diabetes for two seconds. That’s been hard, because I’ve realized Miles will have to deal with stereo-types and people who have opinions, but not necessarily knowledge, for the rest of his life. Speaking of people, there was the day I had to meet with the principle, the school nurse, and the heath tech to discuss how I think the heath tech is incompetent. That was terrible. My Dad’s name is Dale. A favorite Dale-ism is, “You don’t know your butt!” The heath tech is a woman who for sure does not know her butt. Nothing gets me whipped up into frenzy faster than talking about that woman. Say the term “heath tech” around me, and you’re likely to get an earful. There’s just no way to slice it…Miles is not safe in her care.

However, there have been wonderful things happening too. Miles’ teacher might not get it all, but she is supportive and accommodating. Our principle has a child with diabetes also, and I really feel like she has our backs. Having common ground on this issue has made a huge difference. Our school nurse is heaven sent, and is 100% committed to keeping Miles safe and happy at school. She has completely re-arranged her schedule so we don’t have to deal with the heath tech anymore. I feel like we’re on the right track.

One of the nicest happenings has been having people who have been there just when I needed them. Whether it be for watching kids while I attend to issues, lending an ear for me to unload on, or sharing a good laugh. I have wonderful friends.

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It is going to be a successful 2011-2012 school year.

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