Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Monthly Reed: 33

At the park, Reed discovered that if he put his toy car into the spray of the sprinkler, the sprinkler would shoot the car out about fifteen feet. It was awesome.

Reed loves being a big brother. When Asher wakes up, Reed likes to go into Asher's crib to play together. If Asher is sad, Reed finds a plug or a guy or toy. If Asher bonks his head, Reed finds an "owie hat" (burp cloth...long story). And if Asher tries to get something he shouldn't (e.g. something he will choke on) Reed says, "No, brother. You're too little" and gets it from Asher. Reed is also getting the hang of trading toys with Asher if Asher is playing with something Reed wants.

 Reed hates when it's bright outside, so he's rather attached to sunglasses. He really likes wearing them upside down, though. I try to fix them but he says, "This is how I like them!"

Reed decided to try going potty standing up on a stool in front of the big potty a few weeks ago and, since then, it is the only way he likes to go potty. When he needs to sit down, he sits on the big potty, too. It is so nice not to have to clean out his little potty, and super nice not to have to worry about the germs on public toilets--he stands up at those, too :)

Reed is doing better about going to sleep--but he still almost always comes down once to go potty (even though we went about five minutes before bed). He doesn't usually really have to go, but sometimes he does, so we don't want to tell him not to go. Anyway, when he comes down, he just has this little grin and you can tell he thinks he's just the trickiest boy ever. It's kind of frustrating, but cute at the same time.

Instead of the traditional bubble-blowing method, Reed blows through this tube blower into the cup and creates mountains of bubbles.

Reed loves doing crafts. We are constantly making one project or another and he is always so proud of his work--he wants to hang it on the wall, the fridge, or immortalize it in his book full of pictures he has made. 

Reed has always loved books, but he seems to love them even more lately. We've been going to the library a lot and coming home with stacks of books, which we then read over and over again. He has several books memorized and likes to help me tell the stories.

Whenever we play outside, Reed gets super dirty. Here is one of his  "dirt lines " from his flip flops.

After going through a rough patch for a few months, Reed will go to nursery without crying. He used to do fine, but for a few months he would scream whenever we left him. Last week, though, he marched right in and didn't even look back at me to say bye!

Reed is very smart. He has been making all kinds of connections lately that surprise me. One of my favorites was when I told him we were going to make Muddy Buddies and he said, "Muddy Buddies--just like I'm Buddy!" He often sees things or hears things and tells me it's just like something we read in one of his books. And he's great at spotting R's. I pulled the tab off the rice cereal box and he found it. It said, "Remove tab" in tiny lettering and he said, "Mommy, look! It's R for Reed!"

A little video of Reed playing outside.

Every time we are in the checkout line at the grocery store, Reed asks, "Can I have a treat for being such a good boy at the store?"

Reed loves the Wii and can get games by himself and play some of them when we do Wii Sports Resort. It is improving his hand-eye coordination a little, I think :) We don't play often, but he would play all day if we let him!

Reed loves to be my helper. He helps cook, clean (by choice, seriously!), and even helps me do coupons. He gets so excited when he sees the newspaper because he knows coupons are in it!

Monday, August 29, 2011

"When you come to the temple you will love your family with a deeper love than you have ever felt before. The temple is about families."
—Richard H. Winkel
Reed is always so jealous when Ryan and I go to the temple because he really, really wants to come with us. On Saturday morning, Ryan watched the boys so I could go to the temple; which, of course, left Reed a little upset and very much wanting to go to the temple. That afternoon, we decided to make the temple a part of our usual Special Saturday fun.

Reed was so excited when we told him we were going to the temple, and practically jumped out of the car when we got there (a feat, because our car is quite high off the ground).

He was a little disappointed that we couldn't go inside (and that I had the audacity to make him stop moving long enough to take his picture), but he loved walking around the temple grounds and seeing the fountain in front.

He also enjoyed smelling the flowers. I enjoyed just being on the temple grounds--it is so peaceful and beautiful there. I know the boys felt that peace, too.

(Unrelated, but how cute are Asher's feet in flip flops?)

 After our temple visit, we went to the splash pad. Post-splashing, we made a trip to Iceberg for dinner and shakes. Asher had his very first taste of shake (and it was even strawberry, I just realized...shame on me), and is decidedly a fan of ice cream goodness.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Adventures in Couponing: Can I Get a What What?

I had to split my groceries up into two transactions for all of my coupons to work, and all I had to pay for my second transaction was 11 cents to cover the tax! It was kind of fantastic to see the 100% savings on my receipt, too. ( I had a total of 84% savings on my first transaction, which was also pretty exciting.) I spent $3.83 for 16 items. And then I spent $3.39 for one bag of chocolate chips, haha.

What I got (transaction 1): 4 bottles of Ken's Steakhouse Salad Dressing, 2 boxes of Crest toothpaste, 2 loaves of bread, 2 bags of Bugles (for Bugles Muddy Buddies, woot woot!), 1 Activia Greek Yogurt, 1 12.6-oz. bottle Pantene Shampoo, and the chocolate chips (also for Muddy Buddies).
What I got (transaction 2): 4 more bottle of Ken's Steakhouse Salad Dressing (food storage, folks).

Rocket. SHIP.

We are so ready for summer to be over. And I don't mean for school to get back in--that happened a week and a half ago, and it really didn't affect us. We can't wait for the summer weather to go away! It has been over 100 for the past few weeks, and we are getting a little stir crazy.

Luckily, we've found a few ways to keep us occupied inside. Reed really likes to paint, color, and do stickers, so we decided to venture further into the world of toddler crafts.

Project One: Tongue depressor caterpillar and butterfly.

(Sorry, you'll just have to imagine that one.)

Project Two: TP Roll Rocket Ship

Project Three: TP Roll "Shaker" (It's filled with rocks and makes a fantastic racket.)

Project 4: Foam doorknob signs for Reed's and Asher's rooms with glow-in-the-dark stickers

(You'll just have to imagine that one, too.)

Happy crafting! If you have more ideas, send them my way :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Fair=Veritable Smorgasbord

Yes, I do love Charlotte's Web:

I also love a good fair. A few weeks ago, we went to the Washington County Fair with Grandma, Grandpa, and Kayla, and had a fantastic time.

Upon arrival, we went straight to the display tent to see if Grandma and Kayla had won anything with the quilts they submitted:
And they had! Kayla won first place for her quilt and for her pillow, and Grandma won first place and a special first place award for her division, which qualifies her for the State Fair. Woot woot. Reed found a little tractor thing to ride and did not want to get off--I don't think he believed me when I told him we would find bigger and better rides.

Once we pulled Reed away from the tractor, we went to the petting zoo. Reed was a little nervous (they let us in the pens with a few animals, who "kept trying to get him"). But he really liked feeding them through the bars.

His favorite animals were the giant pig and the ducks--I think because he liked to throw his animal feed into the pig's trough and the ducks' swimming pool.

Kayla was a good sport and helped him feed the animals. After we saw the animals, I asked him if he wanted to ride the horse...and he said yes. I was suprised, and pretty sure he would freak out when actually on said horse, but decided to give it a go...

...and he loved it! He didn't even get upset when I wasn't the one to hold on to him. He even said, "Yee haw!" and I'm pretty sure he gave a "Ridin' Cowboy!!!" too.

Sometimes, I am overwhelmed by his cuteness.

Anyway, next we went to check out the fair rides.

 I am pretty sure Reed was in heaven. He only got scared on this mini-roller coaster, but the operator was nice enough to stop the ride, help Reed out, and even to give us a refund (without us asking!). His favorite ride (which has been my favorite ride since I was little) was the giant slide--the kind you sit on a rug to slide down. It was awesome.

Asher smasher was a great sport, considering he did not get to go on any rides. He munched on crackers, played with Grandma, and had a few dance parties with Mom and Dad while Reed went on rides.

Reed even got his hand painted. He chose a horse, of course:

 Thanks for being awesome, County Fair. We're already looking forward to next year.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Reed's First Airplane Ride

We bought a car! We are the proud new owners of a 2003 Chevy Tahoe. The extra space is fantastic and Reed loves the built-in DVD player. But perhaps the best of the purchase was the trip to pick it up--we bought the car from Ryan's parents, so Reed and Ryan got to go to Reed's favorite place: California. And, better yet, they got to ride on an airplane.

Don't let his face trick you, he really loved the ride. Ryan said Reed hopped the entire way down the tunnel that takes you from airport to plane.

He was especially intrigued by the "really loud noise" when the plane took off. And he was fantastic for the duration of the flight (yeah, it's only about 30 minutes, but I'm still impressed)--Ryan kept him occupied with a movie and snacks.

And, of course, he had all kinds of fun in California hanging Grandma and Grandpa and Janelle and Steve's family. He keeps asking to see his cousins--I think he forgets that they are several hours away.

Favorite Reed quote of the trip: Ryan was explaining to Reed that they were going to fly in an airplane to California, then would drive our new car back. Reed thought about it, then said, "But Daddy, what are we going to do with our airplane?" Don't worry Buddy, I'm sure someone in California will take care of our private jet :)

This is our everyday.

Our boys love the bath, so we generally have a bath every night, right before bedtime. Our baths are always very wet (for everyone involved, whether in the bathtub or not) but they've gotten increasingly so as Asher has gotten more mobile.
Then we decided to throw balloons into the mix, and the bath got a little crazier (unimaginable, right?).

And whenever we bathe, there is a serious power struggle over this toy:

Which subsides when Asher gets distracted and needs to say hi:

And then resumes when Asher remembers that he really wants the toy. Which then causes Reed to ask, "Mommy, can you move him?" or "Can you just put him in the baby bathtub?" or to complain, "He keeps gettin' me!"

After moving Asher several times, we finally just pull him out of the tub--because, honestly, he's just as happy out as he is in, as long as he can still stand up and see what is happening:

Then Asher decides to explore, which generally leads him to find his favorite door accessory (it makes a great noise).

And finally, we bundle up in hoodie towels--because  how could you not love a towel with a built-in hat?

The Monthly Asher: 10

 Someone needs to slow this kid down! Before long, he won't be a baby anymore!

Asher has gotten so fast at crawling and is finally crawling up on his hands and knees rather than pulling himself around. He is all over the place! If you turn your back, you never know where he might scoot off too.

Always so interested in what Reed is doing.

Asher is really attached to his taggie blanket. He gets so happy when he sees it and cuddles right up to it while we rock and when I lay him in his bed.

 Playing with Reed's  "doggie." AKA, Asher's favorite toy.

Asher is so not interested in his bottle. At all. In the morning, I can usually get him to eat about 6 ounces, but otherwise, I am lucky to get him to finish 3 or 4. I generally end up making his bottle into rice cereal so he at least gets some of the good stuff he needs from the formula.

 Balloon in the bath=Best. Day. EVER!

Asher has never been much of a cuddler, but recently we discovered the secret to getting him to cuddle: reading. Any time you put him on your lap or pull out a book, he leans back against you and stays that way for the duration of the story. We read books every chance we get--before both naps and bed and frequently throughout the day!

 Asher loves this toy, mainly because the balls inside of it make noise when you shake them.
 He knows how to drink out his cup, but he really just likes to chew on the straw.

Asher just (as in today) started figuring out how to wave "hi" and "bye bye." He still doesn't do it consistently, but it's really, really cute when he does do it!

Smash loves to pull open all the doors in Reed's kitchen.

 There's just something about a baby in a hooded towel.

Asher still takes two naps, but stays awake for a longer amount of time between his naps. He wakes up for the day at 7:45, naps from 9:30-11:45, then naps again from 2:30-4:15, and goes down for the night at 7:30. He is a great sleeper and is so easy to put down.
 We had a friend over, so had the swing out. Reed was dying for Asher to go in the swing--we so tried it out. Asher wasn't too impressed.

Asher is still wearing 6-12 month clothes, and is really starting to fill most of them out. He has really small feet that are just barely starting to get chubby.
 We just got this new little table and Asher is so in love. He especially likes to drum on it.

Asher has been cruising like crazy lately. He walks in circles around the buzz-woody table (above) and goes to town at the splash pad--there are a ton of rocks to pull up on and walk around.

Super chill.

Asher is such a sweet, happy boy with an infectious laugh and an easygoing personality. We love him!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Reflections on a Sunday

Lately, Reed and I have been butting heads a little bit.  The main problem is that I want him to listen and obey, and he doesn't want to listen and obey. And he will not stop throwing everything he touches (including, but not limited to my phone, his shoes, his cars, his drink cup, and Asher's bottle). I've been going to bed each night feeling badly about how frustrated I've been with Reed and how quickly I've been losing my patience. Then I wake up in the morning and it all starts again.

A few days ago, I finally realized something: Reed is two. And yes, he needs to obey. But he's not going to change his approach--and mine is obviously not working. So I need to change the way I do things. This shouldn't have been such an epiphany, but it really was. I remembered a talk given in General Conference in April that focused on taking a Christlike approach in our parenting and creating a Christ-centered home. I felt a little ashamed, because my current methods were certainly not Christlike.

The next morning, armed with a better attitude, a new approach, and a lot of prayer, I tried to be more patient and loving as I interacted and disciplined Reed. I gave him a lot of just Mommy-and-Reed time during Asher's naps--I've been busy lately and we haven't had much of that. And the difference? It was astounding. Reed was so good. He actually obeyed. And when he didn't obey, I had the patience to deal with it.

Today, while I was at church I had another epiphany of sorts. I was thinking of recent experiences where I've received answers to prayers or have been taught lessons I needed to learn. Each time, I've been impressed and touched by how well Heavenly Father knows me--He knows how I learn and which teachings methods are most effective for me. And he uses those methods. I, too, know how Reed learns best and what he responds well to. I need to use those methods.

I'm grateful to be a mom and to learn these lessons, however difficult they may be. And hopefully I will be able to continue to put them into practice so we can create a Christ-centered home.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Monthly Reed: 32

I mentioned Reed's scary eyes last month, but now he's also added a scary voice to the mix. And I happened to catch it on video:

Reed loves to sing songs together and is really proud when he learns all the words to a song. I sing to him at bedtime, and he always joins in--sometimes he even tells me to stop singing so he can do it all by himself. Here is one of his favorites:

Speaking of songs and Reed's love of them...Reed also loves videos. And he really loves videos of "story time songs"--meaning songs that we sing together or at story time (we've found several videos of them on YouTube). Now, when I try to sing any of those songs with him, he immediately requests the video to go along with it.

If you're looking for Reed, he's probably upside down somewhere.

Reed has been all about doing "tricks" lately, most of them involving climbing. He taught himself how to do a headstand of sorts (using the couch, or wall, or a chair, or anything) to help prop himself up and has recently started flipping his legs over his head, too, doing a kind of somersault.

Reed's "head stand"

Reed has a crazy sweet tooth. He loves everything sweet. Everything! Some favorites are chocolate, ice cream, marshmallows, and popsicles.

Reed recognizes almost all the letters in the alphabet (a few problem letters are Q and W) and numbers 1-12. He can sing the entire alphabet and count to 15.

Cooling down with a homemade popsicle.

Reed learned how to pedal his bike! I am so proud of him. He got pretty frustrated while he was learning, but he stuck to it and figured it out!

Making "snakes" with the frosting squirter.

One of Reed's favorite things to do lately is to play play-doh. He especially loves our cake-making play-doh station (above).

Reed is hilarious. He says the funniest things--I have no idea where he comes up with his material, but it's good. He makes me laugh every day.

He's such a cheeser.

Reed has been going through a rough patch as far as sleeping is concerned. He gets out of bed and comes downstairs at least twice each night and often a few times when he's supposed to be napping, too. He's so tired but just doesn't want to sleep.I think part of the problem is separation anxiety...he's been super clingy lately.

 He never, never sleeps in the car. So I had to document it when he finally did.

Reed is a fantastic big brother and a great helper. We love him so much!