Today is Saturday. Berkeley gets home Thursday. Even though it is only 5 days away, it feels like there is still a year left in this deployment. The more excited you are for something, the LOOOOONGER each approaching day tends to feel. Right now the kids are both in bed and I'm dead tired. This is my blog so I am going to take a paragraph to brag about myself. I deserve that, right?! Berkeley has been gone nearly 4 months and during that time, I have managed two young kids 24 hours a day, survived on minimal sleep, maintained a clean(ish) home, tilled and weeded and maintained a large garden area, planted my own veggie starters, exercised 6 days per week, lost 19 pounds, and I am still alive! This experience has once again shown me that I am much more capable than I think I am. I am so proud of myself but nothing compares to my excitement for Berkeley to be home with us again. I'm tired and totally burned out. I honestly have the deepest respect for single parents. I think about doing this routine forever and it makes me want to run away and hide. Deployment for Berkeley has gone well. He was given the "Best Damn Cop" award. No joke, that's what it's called, and he received another Air Force coin for his service. He completed his semester of school online while in Greece. He was able to do some cool hikes, go rock climbing, eat good food, go to a spa where fish ate the dead skin off his legs and feet, see some super old monasteries, work out a lot, and Skype with us! Although it sounds fun, he is super ready to come home. Before Berkeley left, he have me a Priesthood blessing in which I was blessed to be able to find much joy in spending time with our kids. I can honestly say that this blessing came to fruition. As exhausting as it has been, watching the kids learn and grow the last 4 months has been so fun. I want to write a little bit about each of them.
Asa. Oh, Asa. He is quite a character. He has a personality way to big for his little 3 year old body. He is so energetic, animated and charismatic. He has a huge vocabulary and sometimes amazes me with his intellect. He has become quite inquisitive and has begun asking me tough questions that I have not been prepared for such as: Where is Heaven? How can Jesus hear us if he is far away? Is Jesus magic like Santa Clause? Etc. When he finds something he is interested in, he gets totally absorbed. Right now dinosaurs are his whole world. He knows most of their names and it is adorable to hear him say Carnotaurus, Brachiosaurus, Parasaurolophus, T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Velocoraptor, Triceratops, Spineasaurus, and more! It's amazing the things a 3 year old's mind can retain. We play dinosaurs ALL DAY. If we aren't playing dinosaurs, then we are playing with the playground ball. He loves for me to roll it to him kick ball style to he can kick it back to me. He is learning to catch and also to hit balls with a bat or racket. I think we may have an athlete on our hands if he sticks to it. He loves for me to sing and tell him stories. He loves my music. His favorite songs are "Jessie's Girl", "Marry You", "Love Like Woe", "Rolling in the Deep", and many others. He picks up lyrics quickly and sings them often. He has also started to make up his own songs which totally cracks me up. He loves to watch TV. I have to really be careful because it is easy to let him watch too much. His absolute favorite show right now is Busytown Mysteries. He also loves Dinosaur Train, Bob the Builder, Curious George, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, and Backyardigans. He is great bike rider and still absolutely loves his battery powered tractor. (Thanks again Curtis and Becca Ward!) He loves to talk to people. He always asks strangers what their name is and shows them whatever toy he happens to be carrying around with him. I love his sweet little face and love his voice. I love how often he says "I love you" and wants cuddles. I could go on all day about him.
Hazel. I can't get enough of this little girl. I love her to pieces and my heart swells just thinking about her. She is a happy, independent, BUSY little girl. She is into EVERYTHING. She is perfectly content to wander the house and explore. She walks perfectly (started at 9 months), climbs up on everything she can, makes huge messes whenever possible, gives me heart attacks with how daring she is, and fills our home with smiles and giggles. She is learning to sign and talk simultaneously! She signs "Eat", "More" and "All Done". She says mama, dada, ba-ba (bottle), baaaa(bath), poo poo. She has started dancing when she hears music. She LOVES food but has no teeth, so she is still limited in her options. She gets so mad when we have food that she can't have. Actually, she did just cut her first tooth TODAY so hopefully more will come through soon. She knows how to throw tantrums and knows how to bug her brother. They already quarrel. She loves to lug around her soft blanket and I think she may develop quite an attachment to it because Asa was this way with his little stuffed puppy and he STILL loves that thing. I love going in to get Hazel after she naps because she is extra smiley and so excited to see me when I open the door. She plays peek a boo with her blanket. She will pull it over her face, wait for me to say "Where is Hazel" and then pull it down super fast. She is an easy, happy-go-lucky baby. I love life with her in it. She is so beautiful and so sweet.
OK, now I really need to go to bed. When I get a chance, most likely after Berkeley gets home, I will sit down and upload pics and videos. Till next time...