Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gobble Gobble

I'm not exactly what you might call a good decorator, but I enjoy decorations nonetheless. I have slowly started collecting decorations for the major holidays--but have a total of about zero Thanksgiving decorations. Until this year, that is. I scored a few cute decorations at Krumpet's for 75% off (woot!) and I made a few...

Turkey 1: My cousin  Brooke, who is uber-crafty, made a darling grateful turkey. Since I love copying ideas, I decided to loosely--emphasis on loosely--use her idea. Mr. Turkey is made out of can, and each day we write something we're grateful for on a little slip of paper and put it inside Mr. Turkey. On Thanksgiving, we'll have a turkey full of things we're grateful for.

Turkey 2: Reed and Asher have taken turns being sick, so we've been stuck in the house a lot lately. We were getting a little stir-crazy, so I found a quick craft for Reed and I to do together: a pine cone turkey. We searched the yard and found exactly one pine cone. Luckily it was decently shaped, so we went with it. Reed loves him, and has played with him so much his feathers have become quite cattywampus.

Turkey 3: My friend is in charge of Activity Days (a group for 8-11 year-old girls in our church). I'm pretty sure she is the cutest Activity Days leader, ever. Anyway, she did this craft with her girls last week and was nice enough to get extra supplies for me to make one, too. He is definitely my favorite turkey of the three:

All I have left to say: Gobble.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Monthly Asher: 13

Today I looked at Ryan and asked, "Where did our baby go?" Asher is getting so big and is acting so old--he's growing up too quickly!

Asher's favorite book is Can You Find Colors? His favorite song is undetermined--he loves them all. His favorite blanket is the taggie I originally made for Reed, but that Reed didn't care about at all. And his favorite plugs are the white one that says, "Just Chillin;" and the green one that says, "Snooze Button." They are shaped differently than all our Nuk plugs.

Asher is now a one-nap baby. It's been a rough transition so far--he's so, so grumpy, but will not take two naps. It will be nice scheduling-wise: we'll be able to get out and do so much more. But it is not currently the most pleasant thing ever.




Asher's roseola rash--this is after it had already started healing. (It's so hard to get a picture of a moving baby...)

Poor Asher had a battle with Roseola. It started (as is common) with a high fever (102.6) that would not go down, despite cool baths and tylenol/ibuprofen. Suddenly the fever was gone and he had the beginnings of a rash that grew worse daily. At first the rash didn't bother him, but on the worst day he screamed if I touched the rash; the rash covered both legs completely, his chin, and part of his hands; the rash was red, very swollen, and scaly; and poor Smash basically whimpered all day. After almost two weeks, his rash has started to go away but is still present, and thankfully doesn't seem to be bothering him any more.

Asher shows zero interest in walking. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Asher's favorite spot--he's so pleased with himself for being up there.

Asher loves, loves, loves chairs. We have a toddler-sized armchair and a little plastic toddler-sized chair, and Asher spends the majority of the day climbing on them, hanging out for a few minutes, then climbing down--only to climb back on a few minutes later. Sometimes, he'll take a book or a toy with him; but often, he just likes to hang out in the chair.

I mentioned last month that Asher didn't like to crawl in wood chips at the park. Now nothing will deter him from getting to where he wants at the park. Wood chips? Bring it. He can also climb through the tunnels, get to a slide, and go down it on his tummy all by himself.
Asher's book nook. (The rash on his chin is part of the roseola)

Asher has started grabbing a book or toy, crawling with it, shoving it at Ryan or I, then climbing up on one of our laps. We are expected to either play with the toy with him or read the book to him. It's super cute, because he's so pumped every time he finds something he wants to bring to us.

Asher can stack blocks. He prefers knocking them over, but has learned to stack wooden blocks and to push together mega blocks.
Another of Asher's chillin' spots. Notice the power cord dangling down--we're totally baby proof in our house...

Asher loves to climb. He's always loved using our little picnic table to stand up with, but one day he saw Reed climb on top--and he was on top, too, in about five seconds. Now he goes up and down it every time we're in the kitchen. He's so fearless, and a little reckless, too--he likes to climb up the inflatable ball pit/slide he got for his birthday, then just shoot off the top end. He falls and hits the floor, cracks up, then gets up to do it again.

Asher's favorite place in the house is Reed's room, likely because that is where the majority of the toys reside. He is so independent, too. He'll crawl all the way up the stairs, into Reed's room, and start playing with toys, not even caring that the rest of the family is downstairs. He wants to play in Reed's room, and in Reed's room he will play!

We  switched Asher from a high chair to a booster and he loves it.

Asher can find his belly. If you ask him where his belly is, he'll pull his shirt up and pat his belly. Yes, it is ridiculously cute.

Asher has ten teeth. Ten!

Asher has been able to go down the stairs by himself for a while, but he finally figured out how to start himself going down the stairs. He used to try to go hands first and I'd have to remind him to go feet first--then he'd spend a few minutes trying to get turned around and always ending up sideways. Anyway, he's got it down pat now and is getting quite fast.

Friday, November 18, 2011

R + M take Vegas

Ryan turned thirty this year, remember? Part of the reason we had such a lack of celebration was that his real thirtieth birthday present was going on a weekend man trip with a few of his good friends who were also turning thirty (well, 3/4 of them are thirty, but that's beside the point). They went to the Grand Canyon and Vegas and had a fantastic time.

Ryan forgot the camera, but luckily I was able to snag this picture off his friend's facebook page:
The boys at the Grand Canyon.

Ryan had a conference in Vegas on Monday, so after his friends went home he stayed. Then, Monday night, my mom took the boys--and I met Ryan in Vegas! Woot. The first thing we did? We both love Target. Seriously. I'm not talking about a passing appreciation, but true love. We bought a few Halloween-clearanced items, a few snacks, and headed on. Next stop: the movie theater, where we paid $22 to see Moneyball. Yes, twenty-two dollars, which is literally about ten times what we ever pay to see a movie. Luckily, we both thoroughly enjoyed the movie. After the movie, we went to BJ's for dinner. Fun fact: we went to BJ's for a pizookie directly after we got engaged. Finally, we searched for a Rite Aid, hoping to find Thrifty's ice cream. Apparently every Rite Aid in Vegas has gone out of business. Lame.

The next day, Ryan went to his conference early in the morning. I went to the best diner, ever, and had an amazing breakfast. I felt so weird, eating by myself--I wished I had brought my book so I wasn't quite so bored. Anyway, after breakfast I went to a different Target (see, love) and found the cutest clothes ever for my sister's baby girl (get excited, Lou). After Target, I went back to the hotel and read a book, uninterrupted, for an entire hour. That was a vacation in and of itself.

I went to meet Ryan on his lunch break. He took this picture:
Dear Ryan, if you take a picture of yourself like this, it's definitely going on the blog. Just for future reference.

We walked to the Bellagio, hoping to see the fountains, but, sadly, they didn't start until later in the afternoon. Ryan did take this winner, though:
Not the best angle, but we're workin' it.

I spent the next few hours going to the mall (the Galleria mall, which, when I lived in Vegas, was always the mall), getting lost (dang GPS didn't know about the construction on the 215), eating lunch solo (again, weird, but this time I thought to bring my book). Just so you know how big of a dork I am: I didn't have enough time before I needed to meet Ryan to go anywhere else, and I had already checked out of my hotel, so I read my book on a bench at the mall. What can I say? It was a page-turner.

After Ryan's conference we went to M & M world, which wasn't as cool as I had hoped. The 3D movie was pretty cute, though.
And that is the extent of the pictures I took. Surprising, I know.

Next, we went to the MGM Grand, where we screened a new TV show. It was actually really cool--they have a screening room and you watch basically the pilot of a TV show that is in production. You provide feedback and I'm pretty sure they actually use it. The show we watched was pretty interesting--it was called Fatal Encounter, I think.

We had planned on staying later that night, but decided that we were both so exhausted we didn't actually want to drive later than we already were. So we headed home--after stopping for Slurpees, of course. Not-so-fun fact: StG doesn't have a single 7-11. You know what that means? No Slurpees. And no, Icees are not the same as Slurpees. Anyway, it was a great way to end our day!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

btw...

I finally updated Reed's Corner and Asher's Space. I know, it's been a while.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rolfe Family Reunion, Day 5: al fin

We decided to make day 5 a little less busy than the preceding four days, so we would have a little time to just relax and catch up with each other a little. We did make a trip to Jumpin' Jacks, which is basically Reed's favorite place in America. We haven't been for a few months--the last time we went, Asher couldn't crawl, so spent the entire time strapped to me in a baby carrier. Asher enjoyed his freedom and loved crawling all over the inflatables:

Cole wasn't as impressed.

Reed was Hailey's little sidekick again, and here is the one picture I snapped of them:
Approximately two seconds after I snapped this picture, the crashed into each other at the bottom of the slide and spent a few minutes wailing. Luckily, they did recover and were able to continue playing.

That night, we played our favorite family get-together game: The Party Game. (This time it was actually The Spooky Game, but it still worked.) You have six sugar cubes. Sugar cube one has an "S" on five sides and a pumpkin on one side. Sugar cube two has "P" on five sides and a pumpkin on one side--and so on, to spell the word spooky. On your turn you roll the cubes, and if you spell spooky, you get to choose a wrapped gift. You can also steal gifts from others. As you can imagine, it gets a little intense! We ended the game with a new movie, a book, a decoration, and (more!) candy. Grandma, of course, was the nice guy and ended up with a bag of dog biscuits.

We stayed up late, again, because it was our last night together. The next morning, everyone headed home. We had a great time with our family, and want to give a gigantic thanks to my mom and dad for organizing everything, feeding and housing everyone, and for being all-around amazing!

Rolfe Family Reunion, Day 4

On Day 4 we decided to go to Zion National Park. We had a late night the night before (Halloween, remember?), so we got kind of a late start. We made it to the park just in time to have a picnic lunch. Unluckily, the picnic area was completely shaded and it was freezing--so we ate rather fast. We were quite happy to get started on our hike, though.

Uncle Kenny with Reed, Hailey, and Kody.

Ryan had to work (lame!), but luckily Grandma was more than willing to partner up with Reed,  Buddy System style. And Grandpa carried Asher for the second half of the hike, so I could have a break.

 Nick, Cole, Hailey, Kody, and Kenny on top of a hike that clearly had a "no climbing" sign posted. What rule breakers.

We did the river walk that leads to the Narrows. It was a nice and easy "hike"--paved most of the way--which was great since we had so many kids. We have tentative plans to go back next summer, without kids, and hike the Narrows.
Nick and Cole, touching rocks.

My boys and I. Don't make fun of my awesome hiking gear. All in the name of comfort and running-tech shirts.

There were squirrels everywhere; we saw at least ten. The really friendly ones--you know, the squirrels who would get right up in your grill for a snack--were quite chubby. We also got lucky enough to see a deer. My mom asked Reed where he thought the deer was going, and Reed answered, "To find Santa, probably."
The group. The pictures don't do justice to the colors--it was beautiful.

Toward the end, both babies fell asleep, which was quite cute:
The baby whisperers.
That night, Kayla and Blake babysat (thanks, guys!) and all the adults went to the temple together. We haven't all been in the temple at the same time since Ryan and I were sealed there--over five years ago. I loved being in the temple with my family, and am grateful for the peaceful spirit I felt while we were there.

After we got home from the temple, we had hot chocolate (woot woot, cocoa motion), then stayed up late playing the name game--basically the best game, ever.

So, again, a fantastic day!

Rolfe Family Reunion, Day 3

Day 3 of our reunion was Halloween. Because our entire family was going to be together, my mom thought it would be fun if we all--including the adults--dressed up. As you can imagine, our group of ten adults and five kids all in costume was quite a spectacle, but in a good way.


I am still impressed by all we did on Halloween. In the morning, we went to the park by my parents' house and fed the ducks. (We didn't wear costumes there.) Early afternoon we went to Kayla's high school's trick-or-treat. It was so cute--all the students bring candy, then invite the little kids in the community to come trick-or-treat. Reed got an entire bucket of candy. The high school kids loved his parrot, and kept "feeding" it.

The kids entertaining themselves.

Our next activity was family pictures. We found a local photographer who was doing Halloween mini-shoots: no appointment necessary, and you get a CD of all the images for $20. Awesome. The kids were not in the best moods, but at least we're all in the pictures, right?



Aren't my parents cute?

After pictures, we went to the mall, where we went trick-or-treating at every store and did a few  crafts they had set up--bracelet making and bag decorating.

Asher was so done with his costume after pictures. Don't mind his lack of costume.

I love how worried Asher looks...

It was a Pirates of the Caribbean tree. How could we not take a picture and say, "Arrrrggggh!!!" by it?
You couldn't see Lynnie's and Nick's costumes in the group picture, so I thought I'd show them off here. Cute, huh?

After the mall, we came home for a quick dinner, then ventured out to trick-or-treat.
Pumpkin garden.

Kenny, Grace, and their kids getting some loot.

Reed is quite shy, but he was very happy to get candy--not that you can tell here.

Lynnie, the kids, and me at a haunted house.

I didn't want to put Asher in the penguin again because it made him SO mad every time I tried. Luckily, Asher's cousin Calum handed down cute skeleton jammies/costume--so Asher was no longer costumeless. Additionally, once it was dark and the skeleton was glowing, Asher's little legs looked super cute kicking like crazy, as he is prone to do.


By the way, see the little candy bar (wrapped) in Asher's hand? Ryan gave it to Asher to hold after the first house we went to. We thought he was just holding it, but he actually sucked on the wrapper so hard that he sucked all the chocolate through a tiny hole in the wrapper. Impressive. It kept him busily occupied for a good thirty minutes, then sugared him up enough to be happy thereafter! 

We ended the night with a ton of candy--and we stopped a good hour before the rest of the group! 

Happy Halloween!

Rolfe Family Reunion, Day 2

On Day 2 of the reunion, we went to my parents' neighbor's house to see his train. Maybe that sounds weird--but it's not like he has one little track set up--he has an entire garage full. I stayed home with Asher (he was napping), but I heard it was awesome:
Bro. Harding (the train master), Grandpa & the grandkids

Reed really likes his little Thomas train set, so he was quite impressed by this giant train set.
Grandpa showing Reed the train.

Later that day, we carved pumpkins.
That's a lot of pumpkins.

At the beginning of our pumpkin-carving fest, everyone was gathered round...

By the end, the adults were all carving, and the kids were all playing. The little guys got bored halfway through and left the adults to do the hard work. Ironically, we had decided to carve pumpkins "for the kids." Ha.
"Reed's " pumpkin. He was showed zero interest. Seriously, he was more excited last year.

Still later, we went to take family pictures. This is one of my favorite shots: the adults all trying to get the kids to look at the camera and smile. Haha.
I'm pretty sure we're singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" here.

We ended up with some great shots--like the one below, where everyone but Asher is looking. (It had to be my kid.) More to come, when I get the full-sized images.

 

Rolfe Family Reunion, Day 1

During the last weekend in  October, my family had a little mini reunion and--wonder of wonders--everyone was there. We had a lot of fun and squeezed in more activities into five days than you would think possible.

On the first day of the reunion, Ryan and I went to an amazing garage sale in the morning and got a fantastic haul--lots of children's books, a swing, some puzzles, etc.--for only ten dollars. In the afternoon, when everyone arrived, we all congregated at my parents' house. Once the masses got settled and ready, we set out for our first family reunion event: the corn maze.
The family, minus Lynnie (she was taking the picture), and Ryan and Asher--they stayed home so Asher could nap. (Thanks, Ryan!)

The corn maze itself was pretty good, but I really enjoyed all the other activities. We went on a hayride, met a witch, jumped on a gigantic bounce pillow that reminded me of "The Blob" from the movie Heavyweights, visited the petting zoo, went in a mini kids' maze, rode tire swings that looked like horses, had rubber duck races with water pumps, and slid down gigantic pipes into a sandbox full of hard corn. Phew.

Oh, and perhaps the biggest deal? We met Kayla's boyfriend (? They so need to have a DTR), Blake. What a brave kid, meeting our entire family at once. He is quite cute and really friendly. We all approve, Kay!
From top, L-R: Kayla, Blake, and Reed meet a witch; Grandma, Grandpa, and grandkids on the hayride; Reed + Hailey = BFF--Reed had so much fun with Hailey and followed her around everywhere!; Reed and Hailey on a teeter totter.

From top, L-R: Kody going down the pipe slide; Reed pumping water to make his duck move--his favorite activity; Hailey in the cute shirt Grace made; Cole cuddling with grandpa--and the corncob he found.

From top, L-R:Reed and Hailey in the mini-maze; Hailey giving her dad a high five; Reed on the horse swings; Reed and Kody playing on the slides and in the corn.


There were a few chickens wandering around the maze. I think they were lost, too. Reed thought he was the navigator since he had a "map." Ha.

 A-maze-ing. (Clever, I know)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Monthly Reed: 35

Feeding the ducks with his friend Tylee.

Reed loves to be in charge. All day long, I hear, "Oh Mommy, I have a super good idea. How bout we______." And he's always surprised if we don't do his plan--because it was so good, you know? He gets so pumped when we do follow his plans, and you can tell he feels like such a big boy.

Reed really loves to watch movies in the car. I only let him if we are doing a long drive--not just errands or across town. One day, we were doing a long-ish drive--as long as a drive in St. George can be--and before he asked, I put the movie screen down and started a movie. From the back seat, I heard applause and "Yay!!!!!!" for a solid minute. It was so cute.
Reed loves the library lately. We go at least once a week and generally come home with a stack of books that we read several times that same day. His favorite books right now are the Curious George books. We always head to the Curious George shelf first, then go make ourselves comfy in the children's section and read for a while.

"Sometimes I have to hold my raffers like this. Because they like to kiss." Yes, he really said that.

Reed has really been using his imagination lately. He always surprises me with the things he comes up with.Today, for example, we went to the park and found that all the slides were wet (oops to me--it did rain last night). Reed--without any prompting from me--said, "I think an animal will probably come and lick all the water up." When I asked him which animal he thought would come, he said, "Probably a donkey. Like from Shrek." For the next few minutes, he went on this crazy tangent about how Donkey would probably go to the petting zoo and find another donkey friend so he wouldn't be lonely. Later, he pretended that a crane from his Thomas train set was his sewing machine, but it was broken, so he had to fix it--he spent a good ten minutes describing to me all the ways he'd tried to fix it--tape, glue, screwing, hammering, etc.

Reed really likes to be Daddy's sidekick. He tries to get me to let him stay up late by asking is he and Daddy can "just watch football together for a few minutes." He often requests to wear his Mickey playing football jammies because "Daddy loves football." He loves to go to the store with Daddy and get drinkie treats (ICEEs) together. The other day, he and Ryan were playing together and Ryan asked Reed what they should play. Reed said something to the effect of, "Daddy, you just stay here by me and watch because I love you." Reed didn't even care if Ryan played with him--he just wanted to be by him! Cute.
He hates to be  "chilly" or  "freezin' maleezin'" but doesn't like to wear clothes. When I can't convince him to put clothes on, he chills layers-deep in blankets so he can be "super super cozy."

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Reed is the king of sound effects. He has been making them since before he was one, when he started making a growling noise when he drove his cars along the ground. Now, he has a noise for everything. I love to just listen when he plays because you never know what sounds you might hear.

Reed is such a sweet boy. Frequently throughout the day, he'll stop playing and either say, "Hey Mom, I love you" or come give me a hug, then go right back to playing. He's also quick to pay a compliment--things like, "Oh, your shirt is really cute." or "Mommy, I love your new haircut." Today, as I was putting him to bed, he pointed to my undershirt and said, "Mommy, this brown thing is so cute. Where did you get it?" I told him I got it at a store by Children's Place and he said, "Oh, do you turn left and go down the path to get there?" I confirmed his directions, then he asked, "Why do you want to have it?" And I explained that I wanted to be modest--to which he replied, "Oh, like we wear our modest clothes!" (From and FHE lesson--something is sticking!)

Being super cool, super cool, going down the slide head-first.

For whatever reason, Reed whispers when he's playing by himself. He will whisper to his guys/cars as he moves them around and pretends with them. I haven't yet figured out why he thinks he needs to whisper.

After many tears shed (by both Reed and I), Reed no longer naps. I tried so many different methods and, in the end, decided the battle wasn't worth it--we'd end up struggling for at least an hour, Reed still wouldn't take a nap, and then we'd both be grumpy the rest of the night. And even though he wasn't napping, he was staying up until his normal bedtime and coming down several times. Then he started waking up early, too. Happily, since I stopped trying to make him nap and started putting him to bed earlier, he has stopped waking up early, stopped being crazy grumpy at night, stopped coming out of his bed at night after we'd already put him down, and started being pretty good at staying in his room for "quiet time." During the nap drama he was sleeping from 8:30-6:30 and not napping. Now he sleeps from 7:30-7:30 and has about an hour of quiet time.
Playing in one of the boxes from Asher's birthday.

Reed is so protective of Asher--it's really sweet. If Asher gets a "bonk," Reed immediately grabs the nearest toy, book, or blanket, and says, "Oh, Asher, here you go...it's okay, look what I got for you!" It even usually works. And if Asher ever gets something small he's not supposed to have, or a book with "soft" pages, Reed rushes to get it and says, "Sorry sweetheart, you're too little." He usually then makes an effort to find something to replace Asher's forbidden prize with. He's very sweet.

Reed loves to have dance parties. In the car, he will randomly yell, "Dance Party!!!!!!" and it's our job to find a suitable song--and then the whole family dances. His favorite songs, currently, are "Shake Your Booty," "The La-la-la song" (Real name=who knows. It's the one that goes, "Tonight, tonight, there's a party on the rooftop-top of the world....") and "I've Got a Feelin'" (Is that the real name? It's the Black-eyed peas song.) I pulled out my Christmas music the other day and he already has a favorite: "Santa Baby."