Sunday, August 28, 2016

Life goes on

Our little buddy turned 8 months last week. He's finally mastered sitting up on his own, figured out how to coordinate his tongue with a spoon and eating, gets around by sliding on his belly and wants Mom to hold him all day long and ONLY Mom. When someone else holds their arms out to see if he'll come to them, he leans against Mom with his head on my shoulder and pats my back with his hand. We call him Bens, Benzy, Benzy Boy, The Baby and Big Belly Baby. No teeth yet and loves to snuggle with his momma. I'm almost positive he'll be my first kid to inherit the Haw's side infamous widow's curse, I mean, peak. He's a such a sweet little baby and loves his brothers- but not more than Mom. He's warmed up to Dad again after being apart though so that's helped!! He has giant knee rolls and his legs don't fit in the bumbo- you have to wedge them in. I'm really curious as to how much he weighs since I'm pretty sure he's my biggest baby. 

My 'Nike Boys'- when they walk out the door in the morning with TJ, sometimes I think my heart is going burst but then they are gone by 7 am and I realize they won't be back until I pick them up at 3 and I do a little dance ;)

Visiting Dad at work- Legend Oaks 
 Healthcare and Rehabilitation right in Plum Creek, Kyle, Texas

Shad's favorite thing to do is sit on that little stool and hang on while Benson gives him a ride.

I've worked really hard to try to do my best to make this tight little space a home and condense a large house into a small 3 bedroom apartment. We make it work and it feels like home already- good thing we don't have very many visitors because there's not really any place to sit. :)

Right now the boys are quite set about what they want to be when they grow up. Ty wants to be an archeologist, Levi a scientist and Shaddie a missionary and a firefighter. :)

This past week I started my online graduate program through the University of Arizona. They are 7 week classes and I have 8 classes to do so my projected graduation is December 2017. I'm excited about it and hope it goes well!! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

First Day of School

Ty- 1st grade with Mrs. Snead in Room 3
Levi- Kindergarten with Mrs. Sparks in Room 9

The boys were SO excited for their first day of school- they couldn't wait to hurry up and go to sleep so that the night would pass by and it would be time to put on their new clothes and go to their new school :) They are at our local elementary school here in Kyle- Negley Elementary. I was impressed with their back to school night and felt pretty confident dropping them off at their classrooms. Both went in so fine and happy without any problems- I was proud of them. They go from 7:20 to 3 pm so they seemed gone for a long time! It was kinda nice with just the two babies! Shad took a good nap and so I was just dealing with Mr. Benzy who wants to be held 24/7! It seemed crazy easy!!

Both chose their new school clothes- of course not the cute Nike stuff I got. Ty wanted his dinosaur expert shirt and Levi wanted his tiger shirt :) And they thought they looked sooo cool in their new Nikes. Definitely one good thing about having boys- you can buy one pair of shoes for the entire year and wear it for everything. 

I am SO impressed with Levi's teacher- she is so super sweet and takes a lot of effort to have very constant, clear communication from her to the parents. She even took the time to call me after his first day and tell me how well he did. She said she used him as an example 6 or 7 times throughout the day and that he was "perfect" and "outstanding behavior." I was really happy to hear that and so touched she'd take the time to call. She also sent an email and gave me her own phone number. I think we'll have a great year with her. 

I also can't believe the small class sizes- both boys have 17 kids in their class! And it's not a small school- there are 6 classes of each grade. I'm just really impressed and feel lucky to be here.

Funny story- Levi came home and told this in his own words:

"Mom! So guess what happened today? Mrs. Sparks was at the front of the class and was reading a book to us. She pointed to this word (his) in the book and asked if anyone knew what that word was. I so quietly raised my hand and she called on me. So I said 'Chester loves his friends' and she FREAKED OUT! She said, 'YOU CAN READ?' and I just shook my head and all the class stare-looked at me!"

TJ gave the boys' Father's Blessings Sunday night before school started and I was surprised by how much the boys actually wanted them and took it seriously. Levi even asked for two blessings- one before church so he could make friends in his primary class. Ty seems to have an extra sensitivity to spiritual things because this is the second or third experience where he's had tears in his eyes after feeling the Spirit. After his blessing as he was wiping his eyes, we really took the time to explain what he was feeling and why. It was kinda neat!

Ty had to fill a brown paper lunch sack of 5 things that describe him. I was impressed that besides legos and toys he put in his mini-sized Book of Mormon as his favorite book :)

Levi's teacher sent this to me in an email- so cute!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Settling in

Jordan stayed with us for a few days after we arrived in Texas so that she could help with the kids while I got organized and unpacked. It was so great having her here and she was a lot of help. The boys just love her and she's really good to them.
Since she was here we went up to San Antonio early on the day she flew out to see The Alamo and walk around the San Antonio Riverwalk. We also ate at The Salt Lick, a famous Texas BBQ place in Driftwood that was pretty delicious. 

 We live on the 3rd floor of an apartment here in Kyle and just imagine how fun it is to unload groceries with kids in tow in the blasted humidity, ha. To add to things, the key to our apartment is tricky and we spent 15 minutes trying to get it to open the front door. We ended up having to call TJ at work to come home and open it for us and complain to the front office for a new one. It's sooooo nice having TJ so close to us and able to quickly leave and go back.
One interesting thing- we found the closest Costco to us (in South Austin) and took a trip up there. I now feel right at home since finding it. Anyways, while we were there there was an older lady that fell and hit her head while coming out of the bathroom. I saw the commotion and went to check it out. All the employees were very strictly telling everyone to step back and get away but when I mentioned I was an ER nurse they let me right there. I became the first responder until EMS got there. It was very uneventful since she never lost consciousness or pulses and mostly just had lacs to her lip and eyebrow but it was a little confidence booster to my nursing skills since everyone acted like I had just parted the red sea. Afterwards Ty told me, "Mom! You're a woman hero!"

We had Back to School Night at Negley Elementary!! I've been nervous about starting a new school in a new area but now I'm pretty confident these guys will do well and enjoy it. They both are SOOO excited for school to start. 
Levi has Mrs. Sparks for his kindergarten teacher. Another mom in the hallway told me she's the best teacher in the whole school and that we really lucked out in getting her. She was so happy and friendly and her classroom will filled with old students coming back to say hi. I'm really grateful and think Levi will have a great year. 
Ty has Mrs. Snead for 1st grade and he's super excited. They have a bring your own devices program so later on the school year he can take an iPad to school!
We've heard this is the best school in the district so I'm feeling really good about things and excited to see what this year will bring us. It's also so nice that we live about 5 minutes away and TJ will be dropping them off to school on his way to work each day. This is like a dream come true for us.

Oh the snapchats Jordy sents me :)

Benson had his first haircut at almost 8 months old! And even then you can hardly tell in these pictures. He's been my baldest baby and slowest growing hair kid. I'm pretty certain he's the only one that inherited my widow's peak too. 

Last of AZ

While in AZ, I took the kids up to Phoenix one afternoon to meet up with my old roommates that I had for 2 and 3 years during college, Jen (Eagar) Perkins and Melanie (Carter) Garcia. It had been several years since I had seen them and it was SO good to hang out with them again!! Between the 3 of us we had 11 kids all swimming in Jen's pool and a pizza party- a little crazy but so fun. My boys hardly wanted to get out of the pool to eat. I had forgotten my suit so I was a sweaty mess holding Benson off the side of the pool so the pictures are kinda scary looking of me- we should've taken better ones! 

Mel's kids: Sean, Sophie, Savannah, Santiago
Jen's kids: Owen, Elsie, Tatum
Tara's kids: Ty, Levi, Shad, Benson

We roomed from 2003-2006 while I was at ASU and we were like family. I love these girls like my own sisters and it's so crazy to think about how we were back then, worried about life, dating, careers and school!! And now look at us!! ;)

For old times' sake, of course ;)

Last time the 3 of us got together it was when we had these three 6 year old kids about a month within each other back in the spring/summer of 2010.  So we had to reenact the picture, naturally.

While we were in Marana, my mom had her 55th birthday on August 11th! Teddi and I made her a spider cake and we ordered Olive Garden for take out dinner. The kids were SO excited to surprise Grandma with her cards and presents.

I also got together with my best friends from high school, Kelsey (Gaiser) Finlayson and Kristen (Murphy) Nitka. We were just missing Kami (Kubik) Fisher who lives in Indiana! It was great to see them and catch up.

Then on Monday August 15th, we loaded the van up and made the two day trek out to Kyle, Texas. Jordan came with us and we stopped overnight in Van Horn, Texas. Oh my goodness- this was the trip from you.know.where. Ughhh- Benson was not a good baby and we went 481 miles straight on I-10 one day and 475 on I-10 the next. Often times we were the only one on the road and I'd set my cruise control, not touching the pedal for an hour!! So needless to say, it was a VERY LONG DRIVE and we were very happy to finally make it to our little apartment and be reunited with TJ again.

My mom was in love with her spider cake :)