I hired a babysitter so I could be alone today. In my room. :)

I've been keeping my friend Amber's kids two days a week while she works.  She's a dental hygienist, which is the universe's greatest part time job.  I wish I had thought of it.  Social Work is not so conducive to part time, meaningful employment.  So while she's off making $30-40 an hour, she pays me $12 an hour to keep her kids.  I'm super grateful for the extra money.  I thought I was going to spend it decorating the house, getting a swing set, building a fire pit, and replacing our trampoline mat.  Instead, I'm using it to pay the $2500 we owe in taxes and $500 for a new starter in our van.  Boo.  But I'm still grateful for the income to pay for those things cuz we didn't have that much saved.

It's been good for Gavin to have little friends over 2 days a week.  It has been just he and I alone together most of the day while the boys are in school.  That has gotten old pretty quickly.  I dont really want to build trains all day or watch Disney Channel or jump on the trampoline.  I want to do each of those things for about 10 minutes and then I want to get my housework done... and other exciting grown up things.  So we have enjoyed having 4 year old Aadon and 2 year old Olivia here for Gavin to play with.  7 month old Jeremiah is about as easy as a baby could be.  I never had one like him, I'll tell you that right now.  So it's a pretty dreamy gig all around.  For the people who keep telling me that 3 kids is the same as 6 kids... YOU LIE.  Or you smoke crack.  Either way, 6 is not like 3.  I only have 6 for about 2.5 hours each day and I'm here to tell you, it's not for me.  We're sticking with 3.  On my knee.  Or in a tree.

I FINALLY got soil put in the planter box Ty built for us several years ago.  Within the next few days, we'll be growing tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, beets, carrots and peas.  I dont have any idea what I'm doing so I'm going to cross my fingers on both hands and hope something grows!

Brad and I are coaching Cohen and Jace's baseball team.  This is the last year that they'll play together for a while.  Cohen moves up to minors next year and Jace will have to play coach pitch for another year or two.  They are both pretty athletic and enjoy most of the sports they try.  I couldn't talk them into trying basketball this year but I hope they want to play next year.  They got a hoop for Christmas and I think they're pretty good.

Gavin turned 3 in March so I decided it was time to get him out of the crib and stop buying diapers.  It's been a rough transition.  He's pretty well potty trained, thanks to 2 year old Olivia being potty trained and Gavin wanting to potty on the toilet like her.  But he and Jace are sharing a room now and it is NOT going well.  They wake each other up a lot.  I have a bad memory but I think Cohen used to comfort and snuggle Jace when he'd wake up in the night.  Jace is not necessarily returning the favor to Gavin.  Very often we end up with me and Jace in guest bed and Brad sleeping with Gavin somewhere.  It's no good.  Gavin for sure loves his new underwear though.  After we bought them and brought them home, he put on at least 10 pair at one time because he couldn't decide which ones to wear!  It was so cute!  He could barely walk with all those underwear on!

A cute thing Gavin says right now is "lasterday".  Which obviously means yesterday.  Jace actually hasn't gotten that one down either.  He calls it "the day before this day".  Ha!  "Mom, on the day afore this day, did I have school?"  He really does say "afore" instead of "before".  He and Cohen are both doing well at math, which they did not get from their parents.  Cohen is still in piano lessons although he and I both lose are patience pretty easily during practice.  We've got to practice our patience during practice.  See what I did there?  :)


As childhood should be

Christy drove up with her kids for the afternoon.  We went over to the Community Center Park and let the boys explore.  Watching them climb fences, race across bridges and throw rocks into canals made me SO happy for them.  Those are the things of my childhood.  Growing up in Joseph City and Thatcher allowed me lots of free time to explore and PLAY.  Kids these days miss out on that most of the time.  Even today, Christy and I were never more than 50 yards away.  That's just sad for our boys. Gone are the days when kids only come home when they're hungry or it gets dark.  My kids are with me ALL.THE.TIME.  I ache for them to have more freedom, more adventure.  Today was good though.  Those 5 little boys had a lot of fun together, just being kids.


Here we go again!

Brad and I both wish that I had kept up with my blogging because it's such a fun way to journal.  We love looking back at our old posts and reading what was going on.  So, here we go again!  Instead of wishing I would have kept blogging, I'm simply going to start again.  I probably wont every fill in the year long gap but it is what it is.

So here we are in Globe.  We moved here last March for Brad's new job as Director of Patient Financial Services at the Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center.  He loves it, but it's killing him.  He goes in before 7 am and works until 5.  We have him from about 5-8pm and then he usually goes back in from 8-11ish.  It's pretty brutal.  We're glad he's not working 3 jobs anymore but he's working just as many hours, or more.  Still, we are happy here and are so grateful for this very unexpected window to be opened to us.  NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS did I think I'd live in Globe.  I've driven through a million times going between Thatcher and Mesa but I never thought there was any life here.  It's a lot like Holbrook, I think.  It's definitely small town and we're happy for the change of pace.

Cohen and I are both taking piano lessons.  He practices a few minutes twice a day and is coming along.  I never practice so I'm not doing as well.  Shoot.  If I'd just practice for 10 minutes a day, it would make all the difference!  Here's to it!

Jace is in all day kindergarten.  He reading sight words and sounding out new words all the time.  He wears his hearing aids pretty much all day.  He gets tired of kids asking about them but so far they are just curious, not teasing.  He and Cohen often play together at recess.  Neither has made a good friend yet.  Both told me this week that they chase girls at recess, just for fun.  They dont like the girls; they were very clear about that.  The only chase them for fun.  And when they catch them, they just tag them.  Cohen really likes his teacher.  He struggles a little with math, just like his parents, but he's doing really well reading and spelling.

They both play soccer.  They are pretty good for their ages, at least here.  They each usually score 3-5 goals per game.  When Jace scores, he just walks away from the goal slowly without even smiling.  Sometimes he says, "Why is it just so easy for me?"  He's very humble.  Daisy and Kalvin Hansen are on Jace's team.  We're good friends with the family.  Jace for sure has a little thing for Daisy.  He was writing her name during General Conference last weekend and he talks about her ALL.THE.TIME.  So cute.

I am the Young Women's President and Brad is in the Elder's Quorum Presidency and teaching the youth Sunday School class.  He's a rock star with teenagers.  They love him.  And he loves a fresh audience for his jokes and stories!


1st day of 1st grade!

I dont miss blogging but I think I'm going to regret not having all these great memories in one place. 

I love this 6 year old kid!  We're both so happy that school is back in session!  This is his first year of all day school.  I asked how it was... Did he get hungry or tired?  No.  But he did have to go to the bathroom 3 times!  I'm sure his teacher loved that! The little boys definitely missed him here at home.  He's so good to play with them and be so helpful.  He has such righteous desires to make good choices and be obedient.  1st grade is lucky to have him.


Our Jacer is 4!

We celebrated with the family at Encanto Park's Enchanted Island.  It's perfect for 4 year olds.  Train ride, kiddie roller coaster, carousel, and lots of other carnival rides.  We had dinner at In & Out and then opened gifts and had ice cream cake.  The favorite gift was a Spiderman football from Papa and Grandma Stoddard.  On the drive home, Jace said "This is the BEST birthday ever!"  So cute.

A few size stats about Jace:  He's 33 lbs, which only puts him in the 24%.  But that's up from his 2 year old 12%, when he only weighed 24 lbs.  He's 39.5" tall, which is in the 33%. It'll be so interesting to see if any of this carries over to his size as a teenager or adult.  I cant imagine me and Brad producing someone so small but Brad's Grandpa Stoddard is short and thin so I guess it's possible.

We had his 6 month hearing check up and his hearing has not gotten any worse!  That's good news because they dont know if his hearing loss is degenerative or if it is as bad as it will get.  We see great improvement in his speech in just these 6 months that he's had the hearing aids and is in preschool with weekly speech therapy.  He is definitely using more ending sounds to words and making lots more consonant sounds.  Some of the progression of his language is so cute.  He still often says "nakes" instead of "snake" or "houssssssse" instead of just "house" or "matey" instead of "maybe".  He is pretty shy and intimidated by crowds but at home with just our family he is a loudy, loud talker/singer.  He sings at the top of his lungs all day long. "I will GO, I will DO... the things the ward commands".  :)  Or he sings his own songs without words.  I wish I could read his thoughts while he's doing that.

He has started using an imaginary friend to tell stories about.  No matter what we are talking about or what someone does, Jace's "friend" has done or said something similar.  "Mom, my friend caught a lizard at his house too!"  Lots of times these stories about his "friend" are total make-believe and I think those are my favorite.  "My friend saw a rainbow with only ONE color!  Isn't that crazy?" 

Jace is the defender of his brothers.  At the gym, he sits on the floor in the baby area with Gavin the whole time.  When I pick them up, he wants to quickly go play basketball or computer games before we leave because all he's done for the hour I'm gone is just sit and play with Gavin.  I keep telling him he doesn't have to stay by Gavin the whole time and he says "But what if he cries?"  So sweet.  He also defends Cohen if he's in trouble or losing a wrestling match with Dad. 

He likes school and his "two classes" at church but he'd rather be home than anywhere else.  He loves Dallin, Grandma Lindsay, Emmett, Daddy and his brothers.  He and Gavin play so well.  Jace loves to take Gavin with him to hide in the closet or cubbard.  He loves to crawl around on the floor with Gavin, growling or squealing.  He would follow Cohen to the ends of the earth.  He wants whatever Popsicle color that Cohen chooses. 

This kid is also a total comedian.  He likes to put both legs into one leg hole of his shorts and then try to run around the house like a mermaid.  The pediatrician asked him what his favorite food was and he said "lollipops" with a long giggle.  The doctor asked him what kind of pizza he likes and he said, "lollipop pizza" and then giggled for 30 seconds.  :)  Brad was getting him a shirt and asked, "Jace what color shorts are you wearing?"  Jace yelled back, "PINK!" And then cracked up. 

Above all, my favorite thing about 4 year old Jace is when he says, "Mom, I want you nuggle me."  He still loves to be held and snuggled and tickled.  I love to hold out one if his arms and then play guitar on his belly.  That really cracks him up and I cant ever get enough of that giggle!  The whiney voice, I will be happy to see him grow out of, but that giggle is heaven.


Happy Birthday baby Gavin!

While I was in Florida with Cathy for a week, my baby boy turned 1!  He is only in the 10th % for weight, which is fine with me.  That just means he's lighter to carry around.  :)  He really doesn't eat much though, which is pretty frustrating.  Just in the last week, he has started this shrill screaming routine.  He suddenly has an opinion and wants to make it known!  He's such a doll.  We love him to tiny pieces!
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Day ???

So as not to appear ungrateful, I forge ahead with my "daily" gratitude list. I dont know why I thought I would actually update this blog everyday this month... but it's good to have a goal. :)

I'm so grateful to feel at home here in this rental house. I haven't felt at home since we moved from our sweet house with the beautiful tree in north Mesa. It's been 2 years of drifting. We've been in this house 6 months and it feels like home. We love the neighborhood and the ward. I feel very connected here and I love it! I'm so grateful for the friends I've made here and that the boys have friends here too. I hope we'll be here a while.