Monday, October 31, 2011

Trunk or Treat!

On Friday night, our ward had a Trunk or Treat. I was kind of super pumped, because this was our first Trunk or Treat of our married life. I know, it was a big day for us.

We decided to pump up the volume a bit on Reed's costume--we added a sweet 'stache and the parrot on his shoulder.

He was so not going to stand still for a picture, though:

I saw a fantastic idea on Pinterest to decorate your car trunk to look like a giant monster mouth. I wasn't planning on doing it, but Ryan thought it would be fun--so we went for it:

I thought it looked gerat, and it was quite popular at the party:
(For whatever reason, he couldn't keep the swords out of his mouth.)

As for the party itself, we had a lot of fun. We started with a dinner, then there was a costume parade and games for the kids. We ended with--of course--the Trunk or Treat. Reed filled almost his entire bucket with candy. We had a fun night, and it was a great way to get Reed pumped up for Halloween!

(Oh, and, by the way--Asher was there, just not pictured. He ate a ton of food at dinner, then helped Ryan pass out candy and made all the young women swoon over his cuteness.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Reed's First Football Game

 I know all the words to my high school's fight song. Is that weird?

Anyway, last weekend Ryan and Reed visited my Alma Matter to watch a football game. It was Reed's first football game, and he had a fantastic time. Ryan got a bag of Skittles for them to share to keep Reed somewhat occupied during the game (his attention tends to wander). Ryan let Reed munch on the Skittles while he talked to my sister Kayla and before Ryan knew it Reed had eaten basically the entire bag of Skittles--so perhaps he had a good time because of all the sugar coursing through him. They left early because the Warriors were getting completely stomped on (the Warriors made a late surge, though, and only lost by one touchdown), and it was getting a little late. They stopped at McDonald's (Mickey Don's, in Reed-ese) for ice cream, then went and bought ice cream to take home for me. Ryan let Reed choose which flavor, and he decided on mint--because, "Mint is Mommy's favorite!!" A fantastic night, all around.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Festival

Last night we went to a Fall Festival. First, we had to get in the festive mood--so we put the boys' costumes on:

While we were doing our mini-photo shoot, Reed spontaneously yelled, "I am Jake and the Neverland Pirates!!!!!!!!" and started waving his swords around. It was awesome. He is so pumped on his costume.

Oh, and then he started chopping the bushes. Because no self-respecting pirate could leave a bush unscathed.


Asher pulled off a smashing performance as a penguin. One day, he'll probably think I'm lame because I re-used Reed's costume.  But seriously, I wasn't even being cheap. I just love this costume so much, I couldn't not  use it again.


At the festival, we started the fun at the craft station. Ryan and I both discovered the beauty of black velvet coloring projects: you can't tell if you color outside the lines. Awesome.

Reed also made a cute frame. I asked him if he'd hold it up and smile and he just said, "No." Didn't even give me a viable excuse. Luckily, Ryan was a willing model.


While we crafted, Asher was busy wielding swords. First ever double-sword wielding penguin? Perhaps. Watch out, Happy Feet.


Immediately outside the crafting area, Reed caught a bag full of Monster snot for himself and for Asher. Asher loved it. Reed was a little apathetic. 

Finally, we checked out the games. Our first stop was a game where you had to toss a frisbee into a net:

 Reed's got stuck on the outside of the net. We counted it.

Reed did much better at the find-the-ball-under-the-skeleton-head-after-I-mix-them-up game. He nailed it on the first try.

Reed surprised at his accuracy in the ball tossing game--you had to toss skoosh balls into #10 cans (cannery cans)--and he went 4/7. Not bad for a little guy!

We stopped at Grandma and Grandpa's on the way home to show off our costumes. Reed played the "trick or treat" card and scored two treats from Grandma. (Is anyone surprised?)

The Monthly Asher: 12

It rained one day, so we busted out the hats. The next day, it was back up to 80*. We love you, desert.

An entire year! Who believes it? Not me. Anyway, here is everything you should know about Asher Smashie at 12 months...

Clapping for the pumpkins. Because they are awesome, you know.

Asher has entered his noisiest stage of life yet. He babbles all day long, and has occasional bouts of yelling--not because he is mad or sad, but just because he likes to make noise! He has four words: "da" or "dada," "mama," "buh-buh" (brother...he only says it occasionally), and "ba" for bottle. He doesn't say "ba" often anymore since we've transitioned to a cup only, but sometimes he calls his cup his "ba."

LOVES mandarin oranges. We cannot break them into bites fast enough for him. My goodness. He eats his food according to what he likes the best--so he'll eat his favorite thing first on down to his least favorite thing last. If he is eating something he likes, but you put something he likes even more down on his tray, he'll spit out what he's eating to go for the new more loved item.

Playing in the giant box that Asher's birthday gifts from Grandma & Grandpa H. came in.

Asher loves balls--I'm pretty sure they are his favorite thing to play with right now. He  throws a ball, chases it down, throws it, chases it down, repeat, repeat, repeat...all day, basically. He loves to throw his balls into obstacles--like under the kitchen table, where he has to navigate several chairs and table legs--then climb to get them.

Asher has a crush on Daddy. Whenever he sees Daddy, he says, "Dada! Dada! Da!" over and over. When he's eating and Dada's not feeding him or next to him, Asher can't focus on his food. He leans over the side of the highchair, trying to see Dada. And he gets so excited when Daddy gets home from work. He giggles and takes off crawling for the door to find him.

Showing off his ball.

Asher is such a climber. He climbs onto everything he can, then sits down and uses it as a chair. His favorite climbing chair, currently, is his race track (see the picture below). He climbs into it, then sits and plays there with whatever he can reach. He also likes to climb onto the bumbo, onto our kid-sized picnic table, and into boxes.

Asher loves the park. He loves to crawl through the tunnels, then slide down the slides either by himself or with Reed holding him. He is not a huge fan of crawling in wood chips, but will sit and play in them forever.

Asher's favorite chair.

Asher has transitioned from the bottle to a cup with a straw and from formula to whole milk with ease. He loves his cup and is way better about drinking out of it than out of the bottle. Toward the end of his bottle days, he just got too impatient to lay still long enough to drink it. He likes to carry his cup around, holding the straw in his teeth as he crawls--it's really funny to watch!

Trying to fit the shapes into the holes.

In the past month, Asher has really learned to get interactive with toys. He knows the right buttons to push to make whatever sounds he's looking for, can put balls and things into the holes where they're supposed to go, and can put cars down our tall race track. He's very quick to pick up on how things work.

In addition to balls, some of Asher's favorite things to play with are building blocks--Reed and I stack them and Asher takes them apart, one by one; puzzles--he loves to pull the pieces out, then try to figure out how to put them back in; play kitchen--he could open and close the cupboards all day; race track--he loves to put the cars down the ramps; and the gumball machine and octopus--you put balls in both of them, then get the balls out, then put them back in, etc.
Climbing in to the little race track.

Asher hasn't shown any interest in walking, but he is so fast at crawling! He takes off and is impressively fast. He keeps us on our toes.

Asher thinks he is really, really tricky. He climbs over to the stairs, then pauses until someone notices him and says, "Asher, no sir..." Then, he cracks up and starts climbing the stairs. He giggles the whole way up, and really starts laughing when you catch him.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Asher + Lambie: Watch Him Grow



It's a little crazy how much this boy has grown in one year...

Asher's Party

We had a little party with Grandma, Grandpa, Kayla, Mandi, and the Noah family to celebrate Asher's birthday. I decided I wanted to very loosely go with a "ball" theme, so I made a few little decorations and iced the cupcakes to look like balls:
The circles are just cardstock and the hanging balls I made with balloons coated in glue-dipped yarn. They were surprisingly easy, yet incredibly messy. For dinner, we did build-your-own-pizza with the cutest mini pepperonis, ever. (You didn't think pepperonis could be cute, right? They can.) I ended up making four batches of pizza dough because I have a small breadmaker and, well, the first batch was kind of a debacle. I used yeast that had expired (but only by three weeks) and accidentally added three tablespoons--not the three teaspoons the recipe called for. Even with all that yeast the dough didn't rise at all. Oops. The last three batches were actually quite yummy, though--I think using non-expired yeast may have had something to do with it.

Poor Smasher is cutting molars, so he wasn't exactly cheery at the party. Notice the plug in his mouth below--generally he only has his plug when he sleeps: Reed and Tylee, on the other hand, had a fantastic time being Asher's helpers.  I'm pretty sure they were both way more excited about Asher's gifts than Asher was.

After presents, we let Asher attack his cake. (A little shout-out to Albertson's: they give you a free 8" round cake for baby's first birthday, and even write "Happy Birthday ______" on it. Awesome.) Asher was a little hesitant about the cake at first. He started by gingerly probing the icing balloons on top--he was really drawn to those. Then I got a little bite for him, which he considered for a minute. Next I made a little pile of Asher-sized bites, which he started cramming into his mouth...

And finally.....


He realized that chocolate cake covered in icing is, in fact, fantastic. From there, he commenced actually getting bites for himself out of the cake. I think he picked up an entire icing balloon and shoved it into his mouth.

The aftermath. Notice that though half the cake hasn't really been touched, all the balloons have been poked:

 By this point, Asher decided he was done with his party. So I rescued him from his high chair to give him a quick bath. Ryan stopped me for a second so he could take a picture of us. And Asher chose this moment to share his cake with me:
I was a little surprised to find Asher's entire hand inside my mouth. At least it was covered with frosting, not dirt.

The next day, Reed woke me up at 3:30 a.m. Why? He wanted to "Play with that new really fun ball thing Asher got for his birthday." I made him go back to sleep for a few hours, but once they were both up we pumped it up and started playing:
They both had such a good time playing with it. We ended up playing with all of Asher's new toys that day and he loves them all--it's always nice to have a few new toys to add to the rotation :)

Happy birthday, Asher Smash.  We love you!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stats & Stats

Asher, 12 months:
Weight: 21 lbs., 6 oz. (25th percentile)
Height: 29 1/2 in. (50th percentile)
Head: 48.5 cm. (95th percentile)

Reed, (almost) 3 years:
Weight: 32 lbs. (50-75th percentile)
Height: 35 1/4 in. (10th percentile)

Today we went to the pediatrician for Asher's 12-month well-child check. In addition to his immunizations, Asher got a flu shot. On the fly, I decided to get Reed's flu shot, too. And, since it is almost Reed's birthday, the doctor just did Reed's 3-year well-child check while we were in the office. Poor Reed had a really hard time with the shots. He kept telling me, "I don't want a shot!"--even two hours after he'd already gotten it. And now my poor boy is up and crying, burning with fever, two hours after he went to bed. Asher, on the other hand, cried for a little bit, was grumpy all day, but it sleeping well now. I hope our sweet Reed feels better soon!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy birthday, Asher Smash!

It's our sweet baby's birthday today!

 (Thanks, Rachel, for the picture idea!)

I cannot believe that it was an entire year ago that we were doing this:

 (10.18.10, 8:05 a.m.)

And now we are doing this:

(10.18.11, 8:15 a.m...he was sleeping at 8:05)

We love you, Asher Smashie, and are so grateful you are part of our family!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who is this kid?

Asher has had many hair cuts before, but never one this dramatic:

When I went to get him out of his crib the morning after, I did a double take--where did my baby go? He looks like a little boy now!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fail.

It was Ryan's birthday. He turned 30, which is kind of a big deal. And I neglected to post a "Happy Birthday" post to Ryan on our blog. I also neglected to write "Happy Birthday" on his Facebook wall. Since my internet behavior displays otherwise, here is proof that we did, in fact, celebrate Ryan's birthday:


Ah, the cake. Remember it? We've had this cake for Ryan's birthday five years in a row and it tastes just as delicious as I remember every time we have it.


Happy (belated) birthday, Ryan. You are an amazing husband and father. We love you!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The only sugar cookies I like.

I've never been that big a fan of sugar cookies because, let's face it: they're usually dry. And glaze made out of powdered sugar might look nice, but tastes gross on cookies.  Now, my dislike for sugar cookies wouldn't be a problem, except for one fact: I really like to make and decorate sugar cookies--as does Reed. Solution? Find a good sugar cookie recipe.

It wasn't exactly hard to find a good sugar cookie recipe once I remembered that my sister has a recipe she really likes. I got her recipe and tried it. The result: fantastic. Best sugar cookies, ever.  So here it is, because I know you want it, too:

Mandi's Sugar Cookies
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream or cream cheese (I prefer cream cheese)
6 cups flour
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla. Add cream cheese. In separate bowl, combine flour, soda, and salt. Add gradually to creamed mixture. Cut into fantastically cute shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. (You can refrigerate the dough before you cut your cookies if you want to, but it isn't necessary. I never plan in advance enough to do so, and they always turn out great!).

Yep, that's the "knife" from his play kitchen. And no, he couldn't wait to even finish frosting one cookie before he took a bite.

This one was too goofy to leave out.

Confession: Some of these cookies are, in fact, glazed. We made them on Sunday and had zero frosting. My mom had half a jar of purple frosting and a ton of powdered sugar. So I went with it. I have been eating mostly purple cookies and leaving the rest for the boys :)

Getting in the Spirit

I love Halloween. I think the main reason I love it (beside the candy, of course) is that it is the start of the "holiday season"--soon it's Thanksgiving, then Reed's birthday, then my birthday, then Christmas, then New Year's Eve. (Side note: With two birthdays in October, one in November, and one in December, the last few months of the year are really expensive in our family.) I also love that we can finally pull out our sweaters and start using blankets again.

Anyway, we've been doing some Halloween prep around here, starting with pumpkins. We did buy pumpkins a little early, but Reed has been so pumped about pumpkins since they came out at the stores that we decided to just go with it.

As you can see, Asher was beyond pumped about his pumpkin. Seriously, you would think it were made out of chocolate or something (not that he's actually had chocolate).
We decided to paint our pumpkins so they wouldn't be gross before Halloween. Reed chose literally the largest pumpkin at the store, so his required a lot of paint.
Luckily, he's quite artistic.

Ryan got gigantic glasses from Dollar Tree (love that place) for Asher's pumpkin. First, though, we tried them on Asher.
Best. Day. EVER!

When they were done, we posed our little pumpkin family outside our front door. Here's to hoping they don't get smashed before Halloween:
Inventive use of pipe cleaners right? If you think this is good, though, check out the back:
Yes, that is a braided tail.

We've also been decorating for Halloween. I saw these cute footprint ghosts on Pinterest. Then I saw a friend's idea to make them into a garland. You know I had to do it:

Reed thought is was so funny to paint his foot--it really tickled. He also thought it was hilarious to paint Asher's foot. And he was pumped to help paint the faces.
(I know: baby feet are already darling enough, then you turn them into ghosts and the cuteness basically kills you.)

My quilting extraordinaire mom helped me make this wall hanging: 
She was even sweet enough to do the quilting for me--and then she surprised me by doing the binding, too! Thanks, mom :)

And finally, Grandma got the boys all decked out for Halloween:
Baby of the family Kayla with baby grandbaby of the family Asher.

They all glowed in the dark, and Reed took turns taking everyone into the pantry with him to see how cool he looked. He even did this funny little jig that looked awesome glowing-skeleton style.

He was supposed to smile. Instead, look how creepy he is:
I guess he's just getting in the Halloween spirit?