Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Monthly Reed: 30

A very happy half-birthday to Reed!

Super duper cheese.
After every meal, Reed asks, "Will _____ (whatever food he didn't finish) get all yucky on the fridge? Should we put paper (saran wrap) on it? Was I a good eater?" He asks if it will get yucky in the fridge because he wants to save ALL leftovers--even soggy cereal--so I have to tell him that some things will just get yucky. He gets so upset if I throw any of his leftovers away; but he never asks for them again later.

Reed probably could have done both of these tasks sooner if instructed sooner, but anyway, Reed can now put on and take off his flip flops by himself and can also put on his shorts and underwear by himself. Shirts still pose problems, and, for whatever reason, he's not great at getting his shorts, underwear, or shirts off by himself.

 A diaper circle and its proud creator.

So this is kind of embarrassing, but I usually put diapers by the door until I am going outside--and sometimes a few pile up. One day, while Reed was waiting for me to be ready to go, he arranged the diapers like this (above), then yelled, "Mama, I made a circle!!" He was so proud.

"Matching" with baby brother.

If I'm leaving Asher alone for a minute and he's sitting up, I usually put a pillow behind him, just in case. Reed decided he needed a pillow, too, and was so excited to tell me that he "match-matched with Ash."

 Using his "handy helpers"--that what he calls his two fingers when he uses them to pinch things and pick them up (he got it from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse).

Reed loves playing games on the computer. We've been playing the learning games on fisher-price.com and now that's all he ever wants to do! His favorites are the Thomas guess-who game, the opposites game, and the who's at the door? game.

We talked about colors then drew rainbows one day for school. Reed's is on the right. I helped him write "RA," but he wanted to write the rest himself--that is what the scribbles next to the letters are.

Reed loves to sing. I sing to him every nap time and bedtime, and he will usually join in on the song. We have a little game where I sing a few words, then pause, and he fills in the blanks. We trade back and forth until the song is over.

Reed loves "Sing a Rainbow." And, as you can see, he often mixes up red and green--but does really well with the rest of the colors.

 Ryan has been taking Reed to the Home Depot workshops for kids and Reed has been loving them--he loves to build!

 While the hat definitely doesn't go with the shirt, I thought it made him look so grown-up!

Reed is so tender with Asher. The other day we were in the car and Asher was crying. Reed said, "It's okay, Ash. We're almost home. Don't worry." Reed loves to tickle Asher and really enjoys going in Asher's crib post-nap to play with Asher before we get Asher out of the crib.

This shovel is Reed's go-to utensil for eating yogurt.

Reed is generally a pretty good and obedient little boy, but he's starting to throw tantrums and yell "no!" or "stop it!" a lot. He can be quite strong-willed if he sets his mind on something.

Such a goof.

We have been doing "school" a few times a week (just Reed and I, while Asher naps) and Reed really loves learning. We have done colors a few times and started on a few letters. I was surprised at how much he already knew--what he'd picked up from just our playtime before. He loves doing school.
We sorted M 'n' Ms (then ate them!) for school one day. He did pretty well, except for the rogue brown.

A few things Reed loves to do: play "kitchen food," go to story time, do school, go to the splash pad, go to the park, watch movies, swim, jump on the bed, paint, be buried by pillows and blankets and guys, and play bubbles and chalk.

 Reed and Moo cuddling.

One day, Reed had been napping for quite a long time, so I went to check on him. I found him lying on the bed, awake, holding his stuffed cow ("Moo") which he had swaddled. When we left the room, he laid his cow down on his pillow, kissed the cow, had me kiss the cow, then whispered, "We better close the door so he can sleep."

 Playing with our homemade, super sticky play-dough.

Randomly, Reed peed the bed all 3 nights we stayed at Grandma's two weekends ago--but he hadn't had an accident for about a week and a half before that and hasn't had an accident since!

 Looking out his "goggles."

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm surprised, too.

I finished another project! I know, I know. Quite exciting. I was perusing etsy one day when I found this popsicle matching game for sale. I thought, "I could make that." Now, there's something you should know about me: I am an instruction follower. I don't make up my own recipes, I don't make up my own patterns, I don't make up my own rules to games. So it was kind of a stretch for me to make a project sans pattern.

Luckily, I already had all the supplies I needed--felt, popsicle sticks, and paint--or I'm not sure the project really would have happened. I made mine a little different from the original and was quite happy with how it turned out. (Yeah, it's a little embarrassing that I am so proud of making a popsicle-shaped pocket out of felt.)

Then I decided to get a little crazy and write the color names on the back of the sticks--that way, when Reed learns to read the game will be even cooler.

You don't have to tell me how amazing I am--I already know.

Then I decided to get really crazy and make my own pouch to hold the popsicles. The original game didn't even have a pouch. In other words, I came up with one of my first creative, original ideas that didn't involve writing a research paper.

And, voila! A popsicle color matching game:

The best part? Reed actually likes it and wants to play with it all the time. Score!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A whole lot of cute, a whole lot of Hambly.

Two weeks ago (I'm a bit behind in blogging), we got to go to California to see almost all of our Hambly cousins. The only three missing were the Hamblys who live in Malaysia. And, though not all of them were exactly happy to be in the picture, all of the Hambly grandkids are quite cute:
 10 of the 13. Notice how most of the oldest kids are girls? Ryan and I are doing our part to even out the boy-girl ratio.

We had so much fun. We went to the park, ate a lot, and basically took over (and by "took over" I mean "wreaked havoc upon") Grandma and Grandpa's house. Reed's cousins are so good to let him tag along and play with them. He has been talking about them nonstop since we left. During the drive home, he asked, "Do we get to see cousins today?" When I told him we weren't going to see them, he started crying and said, "I want them because I love them."

 Sneaky Peyton popped into the picture at the last second :)

 A little movie time.

 Declan and Reed racing cars. Reed kept pushing the start level prematurely. Luckily, Declan is patient!

 The night of the Bulls game, the kids took over the adult table and the adults watched the game during dinner. I don't think the kids minded.
 Reed and Maura watching Tangled together.

On our way home, we decided to make a pit stop at Calico Ghost Town. We have seen the signs for Calico about one million times, but have never stopped before. Parts of it were interesting, but it seemed mostly like a collection of old-timey stores. At least now we know!
 It was really, really windy.

 A house made entirely of glass bottles cemented together. Seems like that would take a long time.

Reed and the glass house. 

 This doll is really creepy, right?

 Old mining/living equipment.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Good for a laugh

Asher thinks Reed is hilarious. Do you?

Monday, May 23, 2011

$5, well-spent

I was out running on Saturday morning and passed a garage sale with two kid-sized quads. When I got home, I had Ryan go to find out the price. He went, saw they were marked $5 a piece, and asked if they worked--the seller's response was "I'll give you both for $5." Sweet! He came back, rounded up $5 in change (they didn't have change for our $20), and headed back with Reed.

We had to let the batteries charge for a few hours, then Reed and Ryan headed out to play:

Reed loved that he could drive it all by himself--he felt like such a big deal.
Can you see his giant smile?

That may have been the best $5 we ever spent...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cruise! Days 6-7 (At Sea)

I don't know how I forgot to include this next gem with the Puerto Vallarta post. That night, we went to a Karaoke party and Ryan took the stage. He sang "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey and was a crowd favorite. He was much better than the super drunk single mom (her kids were at Camp Carnival) who sang "Before He Cheats." Pictures of the magic:

I know, I know: impressive.

Friday and Saturday we were "At Sea." In other words, there wasn't a ton to do. We spent a lot of time reading/tanning on the Serenity Deck (affectionately dubbed "Serenity Now"), we checked out Scattergories and a deck of cards from the library (Ryan totally destroyed me at War, twice...and let's not even talk about Scattergories), we went on the water slide, played mini golf, balled it up on the basketball court, read (I finished The Help and wished I hadn't read it so fast because I still wanted to be reading it), wandered around the shops, and relaxed. The only bad part was that the ocean was much choppier on Saturday than it had been the entire week, and I got quite sick. Yuck.

We docked back in Long Beach on Sunday morning, then had a full day until our flight left. When we finally got home around 1 a.m., we were exhausted. The next morning, I was quite excited to see these two:

Asher looked confused when I was the one who came into his room, which made me a little sad. But when I picked him up, I got one gigantic smile and a little "gee" (his signature noise). 

Reed was excited to see us, but even more excited that we came home bearing gifts. I think his favorite gift was actually the set of maracas we gave Asher, but my favorite thing we got for Reed was this dope soccer outfit:
He's so legit.

We had a fantastic time on our cruise, and I would definitely recommend Carnival, if anyone is in the market for a cruise line to travel with. We missed our boys so much--especially the last few days--but it was nice to have a break and to spend time with just the two of us. Happy five years to us!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

On a slightly more serious note.

I'll admit it, I waste a lot of time on the internet. Especially since becoming the "Social Media Expert" (ha) for my dad's foundation. (I'm facebooking here and tweeting here. I know, I never thought I would tweet either. Likes, follows, or advice would be greatly appreciated!)

But, amidst all the time wasting, I've found a lot of good on the internet lately--a lot of stories that have pulled at my heart. One of the most recent was this family, who lost their wife and mother and the baby she was pregnant with very unexpectedly on the same day. I've long been following this family, whose lost their 18 month old last summer. These stories make me think of people I know who are facing difficulties--one friend whose baby was just born at 34 weeks and is in the NICU, another whose baby has a heart defect and has already had a surgery and is now back in the NICU, another who is pregnant with a baby with a heart defect and who has been in and out of the hospital. What really impresses me about all these people, though, is the attribute they have in common: faith. When I think of them, I feel so selfish. I have healthy kids, Ryan has a great job, we live in a nice place. I don't know that I could face what they are facing. But I am grateful for their faith and for their example of how to face trials and to use those trials to make themselves stronger. Seeing their faith in the face of such gigantic trials humbles me, and inspires me to become stronger and more faithful in the face of my small and perhaps somewhat insignificant trials.

Anyway, one last good thing I've found on the internet:

Okay, one more "last" thing: the movie above made me think of this talk by Elder Holland about the Book of Mormon, and it's possibly my favorite talk, ever.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Monthly Asher: 7

 Asher Smash is seven months old today!

As part of Reed's seven month post, I posted the best laughing video ever--so decided I should try to replicate it with Smash. Here is the result (quite cute too, I must add):
His laugh makes my heart happy. (And in case you are wondering, I am suctioning a cup to my face and letting it fall off over and over.)

This bucket of eggs is Asher's favorite toy. He loves to dig through it.

Asher has discovered that he can make noise--a lot of noise. He will have entire conversations with me where we smack our lips at each other (see video above), he has started saying "babababa," he loves to vibrate his lips together, and he loves to squeal and "gee."

He loves to look at himself in the mirror.

Asher eats solids three times a day and loves them. He has lost interest in his bottle because all he wants to eat it solid food! He went from eating 8 oz. at a time to eating 4 oz. at a time.

Asher loves watching Reed's Thomas train.

Asher has three teeth, and I'm pretty sure he's working on a fourth.

 He's so pro at sitting now.

Little man is still in love with his toes. He will bend in half to get to them while he's sitting up. And he loves to chew on them while he's laying down.

New tummy mat from Grandma=good times.

Asher now wears size 6-12 months clothes. They are still a little loose, but the 3-6 stuff was way too small!

Already musically talented.

Asher sleeps from 8:00 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. He naps from 9:00-10:30, 12:30-2:00, and 4:15-5:00. He is a great sleeper!

He got Jimmered.

I think he's found something in the bag.

Asher has figured out how to get himself out of the Bumbo. He twists and folds himself until he falls out on his head. Crazy kid.

Just a little stuck in his hood.

Asher has discovered toys with buttons and he loves them. He especially likes the buttons that make loud noises or sing to him.

Using his hands and his feet to play.

Asher loves his brother. Every time Reed comes into the room, Asher gets a huge grin on his face and waves his arms excitedly.
We bought both these shirts before Reed was born because Ryan was so in love with the print we wanted to have the shirt in multiple sizes. Luckily for us, they fit both boys at the same time, too.

Asher is so curious. He gets so distracted by everything, all the time. Feeding him is a job because not even food can keep his attention!

Reed and Asher wrestling.

Asher is so good at finding and grabbing things--he has a ridiculous arm span, apparently. We will put things where "he can't reach them," turn around for a minute, and look back to see him chewing on the forbidden object. I think we're in trouble.

Grabbing a puff.

Asher gets so excited to see us when we come to get him out of his crib. It's all gees, giggles, and smiles.

Since becoming a sitting up master, Asher does not like laying down--it's all sitting for this big guy.

Mini push-up

Asher has discovered that if he kicks his legs, he scoots--but hasn't yet realized that his arms could help propel him forward. He usually ends up doing a little push-up like in the picture above and moving very slowly forward.

Reed feeding Asher puffs.

Asher loves his puffs and yogurt puffs. He is even getting somewhat proficient at picking them up and feeding himself.
His face doesn't normally look like that--it was quite bright outside, apparently.

Asher is a little allergic to grass. He gets a little rash, even if it's on a blanket--but luckily it doesn't seem to bother him. He loves to be outside.  (I know, you're thinking--why is he in the grass in the picture above, then? Call me a bad mom.)

Asher loves warm water but hates cold water--even if the cold water is awesome, like the cold water at the splash pad.