17 September 2017

Downs Syndrome Walk

Life here in Gilbert seems to be settling into a peaceful routine. The boxes are gone! The same guys who unpacked the truck came back and picked up the load of debris on Monday. Some boxes were outside the gate, they commented that they would be done in a jiffy...yeah, until I showed them the backyard. Took more than a couple jiffies. We are enjoying the new view of our backyard spaces. Monday I picked up 18 cf of garden dirt to fill the garden area. I should plant seeds this week! Evelyn helped me plant my tomato plants, one promptly shriveled up the next day. Amelia has a pumpkin planted she got during Achievement Day Girls. I started a small herb garden as well. Seems like I am spending a bit of time each day flooding the citrus trees and hand watering my new little plants before the hot sun burns them to ash. One day I staked up the little pomegranate tree, thinking it was a tree and not a bush. I might need to restake it for bush support and not try to shape it into a tree and add mulch to protect the fruit. Our apple tree is now half dead. I think the water/drip system is not working. The rest of the time outside was spent pulling grass and weeds out of the rocks. I hate rocks, specifically, I hate weeding rocks. Using herbicide can also ruin any chance of planting in the future if I decide to change up the design. I finally found the swing hangers in the shed after checking every box in the garage. The girls are quite content to swing and paddle about in the wading pool while I work. The temperatures were under 100 this week, felt almost like we can survive outside for more than 5 minutes. The older kids are outside more after school as well playing in the sprinkler and on the popular swing. Justin even got our bikes ready for road riding! We went on a family bike ride around the "oval" with the girls in the trailer. Amelia's tires promptly went flat so Justin took her back to get it fixed while the boys and I charged ahead. Felt amazing to be back in the "saddle." I might even want to exercise now each morning, walking outside at 8 am to temperatures under 100 makes a difference. I should comment that I stopped drinking coke and coke zero the day after we moved here. The first 4-day migraine almost did me under but I was craving water so badly that quitting seemed a god-given chance. I am sad no change happened with my weight, maybe the changes are inside?! Once in a while I treat myself to a large lime on our tree (unripe) to squeeze into my water. Our limes are turning sweeter each day we wait. November seems so far away, we might not want limeade in November.

Phillip ripped his shorts this week from waistband to hem at scrub scouts this week. He was quite proud of his manly feat! How many folks can boast their bum busted out of their shorts? He was quite sad the bluehost sunglasses Uncle James gave him finally busted. He shed a couple tears over his lost treasure. He is excited for pack meeting this coming week, the police are coming to give advice and demonstrations.

Amelia and Evelyn tried out soft hair curlers this week for the first time. I bought to curlers for my own hair, to add some body (curls) to the back of my head. All the babies I bore quite flattened all my beautiful curls. The curlers flopped on my hair. Amelia and Evelyn were hilarious the night I rolled the curlers on. They went to bed with kerchiefs wrapped around the curlers acting like old grannies. In the morning they went crazy with laughter over their cute boingy curls. Amelia head bopped her curls this way and that. She declared herself the Princess of Pig Butts. Evelyn's hair kept the curls tight and small just like a little Shirley Temple. Amelia's curls fell and lengthened within the hour, still keeping a pretty wave for the school day. We replicated the look for church today. Be still my fluttering heart! Girls with curls are over the top adorable. Those with natural curls are the luckiest.

Thursday Justin came home early from work. He had a work function that afternoon, his company went to an adult Chuck-E-Cheese type place, with better food and adult sized carnival games. He got to come home a bit early. I was glad to get back to the hairdresser so she could fix the side of my hair that was an inch longer than the other. This time I went alone, sans poopy diapers and toddlers needing to use the potty. I picked up an old door on my way to salon from a lady on Craig's list. The door was in the right price range and cute. The back of the door had large bolts sticking out, so it would not fit well as a piece hung on the wall. I switched the glass-paned door in the living room for the new one and hung the glass door over our bed as a headboard. I was pleased to actually find studs in the walls that matched the spacing of the hangers on the door (from when it was hung on the wall in Sidney). Also pleased I hung it level all by myself, sometimes my leveling turns out wonky no matter how hard I try. Saturday I unpacked a last rogue box of books I found in garage while looking for the swing hangers. Chucked that box into the recycle bin.

I started teaching the kids piano this week. Amelia is in level 2B of the Faber method. We just picked up where she left off in May. The boys I enrolled in the Hoffman Academy, an online method that mostly uses video instruction supplemented with curriculum I print off. The parent is meant to sit and help with the lessons. Seems like the system would be better for Phillip who learns better reflecting with a teacher. The boys started off learning how to play Hot Cross Buns using black keys. They are not restricted to which set of 3 black keys to use, the variety appealed to both boys. The music sheet showed only staggered notes without music lines. Everett is quite excited to earn points, by the end of the lesson and his first practice he racked up 450 points.

Saturday we attended the Sharing Downs Syndrome Arizona walk at the Tempe baseball stadium. The kids were so excited to get out and explore our new area. Folks signed up as teams with donations, most wore matching shirts or colors showing support for the Downs syndrome people in their lives. We signed up with our ward primary. The kids enjoyed dancing to popular music, playing in the bounce houses, and working the carnival games. They came home with fists full of cheap prizes and grins on their faces. We walked around the stadium shortly after 9 am. Volunteers cheered everyone on and handed out cold Gatorade and waters. After the walk the kids got face paintings then we explored the carnival games. Josie was quite taken with the ducky game, mostly filling her net with quacks and dumping them out. A light breeze kept us cooler than expected. I still had a nasty headache most of the day that no amount of water would stamp out. We splurged on Jimmy John sandwiches for lunch. The kids are getting used to our new way of life: no drinks or chips, just water and the basics. It's good for us all. Sidney was too easy a place to satisfy boredom with food and soda, here we have more options to fill the void. I think we are the loudest folks within a mile radius. Seems like no one ever comes outside after dinner to visit or play. We are outside making all the noises rowdy kids make, probably annoying all our elderly neighbors. Hoping we are providing some entertainment instead of annoyance. The Godard boys actually came out to play we were making such a racket. We ate dinner of sandwiches and veggies on the driveway, hope that is not against the HOA. LOL.

Our house in Sidney is still up for sale and vacant. The stress of having a double mortgage is almost enough to drown a person. I keep thinking of ways to bring in a bit of money and still stay home. I might watch a baby or kids on the side. I am not quite sure how to grow my photography business...if I should. Evelyn could attend kindergarten next year, she meets the deadline by two days. That kind of jolted me out my skin. I found a lady who does a home preschool, only $135 every 4 weeks. Still that expense is out of reach with our current circumstances. Looks like the Cabela's and Bass Pro merger will happen in the next week. We are hoping to finally get some answers so Sidney can released it's bated breath. Hoping for changes that will bring more folks to Sidney at least temporarily.

Quietly and quite suddenly Josie stopped nursing. I was sure she would be super difficult to wean, but Monday morning she refused to nurse and has not since then. I am so torn! I love nursing my babies, seems to keep them babies for just a little longer. I love the close contact and moment to sit down and think. I will miss it dearly. Josie is growing up too fast, slow down just a little and let me savor the small moments.