Wednesday, February 22, 2012


A few weeks ago, we went to Colorado for a combo dentist visit/baby blessing. We always have fun visiting Lynnie and Nick--though the trip often involves dental work--and this weekend was no exception. We spent a lot of time cuddling our newest niece/cousin, playing together, and having an all-around good time.

On Saturday morning, we stopped by Home Depot for the kids' workshop. Cheese-face Asher was so pumped to be the official holder of the paintbrushes.

And though his face may deceive you, Reed always has a good time at these workshops.

My camera battery died, but let it be known that Reed and Ryan built a fantastic Valentines day box, and that his cousin Cole did, too. Strangely, when you leave your camera in the car overnight and the weather is really cold, the battery drains. Good to know.

Grandma, Grandpa, Kayla, and Mandi joined us late Saturday night.And left early Saturday afternoon. It was quite a quick trip for them.

Maliya was so good for the blessing--she didn't cry at all. Surprisingly, my boys didn't either.

And how sweet is she in her first white dress? This was Lynnie's (her mom's) blessing dress when she was a baby, too.

After the blessing, we had lunch at Lynnie and Nick's house. When Grandma wasn't looking, Asher totally stole her cookie off her plate and ate it before anyone noticed. We found incriminating powdered sugar all over his person, though, so we knew what went down. Sneaky.

I was the "photographer" (ha) for the day so we could get a few shots of Maliya. I made Reed pose so I could set up the camera with the lighting. This was the pose he deemed appropriate:

And this is the pose Ryan deemed appropriate:

And finally, to wrap up the most random of all random posts, here are a cute pair of shoes I scored at Goodwill in Colorado for $4. Sweet!

The Monthly Asher: 16

Showing off for the camera.

(Basically) Every time Asher sees the camera, he smiles. Seriously. He has been screaming/crying/throwing a fit, I've pulled out the camera, and he stopped screaming so he can smile. I'm not joking. In the picture above, he was crying and throwing food until I pulled out the camera--at which point he started clapping. What can I say, I've done my job to prepare him for life with my picture-happy family.

If Asher thinks he hears someone growl (and to him, a lot of things--including burps--sound like growls), he starts growling, too. It's hilarious. Sometimes Reed and I growl just so Asher will start. If you start fake laughing, he starts cracking up in his fake laugh--which is hilarious. Ryan is the best at getting Asher's fake laugh really going.
Someone figured out how to climb on top of the table.

Asher is not super adventurous, but randomly he'll try to do something a little bit crazy just to keep me on my toes. The other day I walked into the kitchen to find Asher sitting on top of the kitchen table, happily playing. He does think he's kind of invincible at the park and will try to follow Reed across ladders/climbing obstacles that separate portions of the playground. Or he'll try to climb off the edge of the jungle gym--feet first, like he knows he supposed to from up high--but he'll be about ten feet off the ground. I have to keep a close eye on this boy.

I always give Asher a spoon or a fork at mealtimes, and he generally ignores it. Lately, though, he'll occasionally pick it up and try to use it. And sometimes, he'll pick food up, put it on the spoon, take it off the spoon, and eat it. He'll learn one day. Hopefully.

Lookin' good for the ladies

Asher loves to have his hair done. If he hears the word "hair" mentioned or sees me walk in the direction of the bathroom, he makes a beeline for the bathroom, rubbing his head the entire way. He thinks it's funny to have his hair sprayed with water and loves to get it combed. The only problem is that he admires his hair by rubbing it, effectively ruining any style I've attempted to put into it.

Asher has started saying a few new words this month: bye-bye, uh-uh (as in "no"), yessssss, boo, and has changed from saying "buh" for brother to saying "buh-buh."

Something is super funny

Reed and I made a dog house out of a giant box for school one day and it has since become Asher's favorite hangout spot. He especially loves when he finds Reed inside. The two of them will play peek-a-boo for a good half hour, cracking up the entire time.

Asher is super attached to his blanket and plug. When we go to his room post-nap, he points to where his plug is on the floor (because, of course, he's thrown it out of his bed), and won't calm down until we retrieve it for him. Once he's got the plug in hand--or in mouth--he has to have his blankie. Ryan likes to take Asher's blanket, put it on his (Ryan's) head, then stroke it and say, "so pretty." Asher thinks this is the funniest thing anyone has ever done and cracks up. It is super cute to watch.

He almost always has a book in hand

Asher is a huge fan of books--maybe even more so than Reed. If he finds one of his favorite books (which is basically any book we own or have checked out from the library), he picks it up, then follows me around making noises of protest until I stop whatever it is I'm doing and read it to him. He won't really let me start reading until he is settled comfortably on my lap. Then he leans back and enjoys his book. He loves to point at the pictures while I read, and he's even started trying to say words from the books we read the most (e.g., "boo," "peep peep," "woof woof," "oink" etc...apparently we read a lot of animal sound books). If I had to choose what I thought his top 5 favorite books would be, I'd go with Goodnight Moon; Moo, Baa, La la la; Biscuit's Pet and Play Easter; Can You Find Colors?; and Peek-a-who?

Asher's latest teeth (13-16) have finally broken through the gums. Hallelujah. More appropriately, HALLELUJAH! This boy is not exactly a pleasant teether. We've still had a few rough days when they start pushing through further, but we are (mostly) back to a rather pleasant boy.

Just walking is boring now--here he's extreme walking (walking while carrying something heavy...)

As of January 20, 2012, Asher is officially a walker, not just a consecutive stepper. That is the day he decided walking is, in fact, pretty cool--and even cooler than crawling. Since then, he's become quite proficient at walking on most surfaces--even on the wood chips at the park. He has even started walking up stairs that have a handrail or bars for him to grip to help him pull himself up. He has also gotten a lot better at walking while carrying something (which comes in handy when he needs to carry one of his many books to me).

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sorry for makin' such a big mess, Mommy.

Last weekend, Ryan decided to build the table saw he got for Christmas. Naturally, Reed decided to be Ryan's helper. When I came out to see how they were doing, I found this:
Apparently Reed "helping" Ryan meant Reed breaking apart all the Styrofoam packaging. He was being so good and having such a fun time that Ryan let him go to town. Reed asked me to break it with him, so I decided to try it out--and I'm not going to lie, it was a lot of fun.

When we were all done and sweeping the mess, Reed said, "Sorry for makin' such a big mess, Mommy." And honestly? For once, I didn't care about the mess one bit.
Reed was covered in Styrofoam bits when we were done. I asked him to smile and instead, he clenched his fists so tightly he started shaking and stared off into the corner. Then he started cracking up. What he was doing? I'm still not sure.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day

We did not start our day like this:
 (Don't worry, those pancakes are green on purpose)

Because Reed wakes up too early for me to want to make breakfast. So after a bowl of cereal--probably Reed's favorite thing to eat--we made our way into the living room to find balloons! And presents!

Some of the balloons had treats inside (Ryan and I are super tricky like that), so Reed had to figure out how to pop them. Watching him try to sit and step on them was pretty funny. After a few minutes, I gave him a hint and he figured out he could use his sucker stick to pop the balloons.

Reed's little Valentine gift was Color Clix. We got a pack of these inside a Wendy's kid's meal on the way to Colorado. Reed loved them so much that when we got home I looked into buying a set for him, only to find that you can't buy a set of them. Lame. But then I was at the dollar store and....dun dun dun dun! Small boxed set of color clix. $1 for Reed's happiness? Well worth it.
He also got a cute ants/peanut butter and jelly game from Grandma (thanks Grandma!)

Asher got light-up tops. This boy has a thing for tops. Grandma gave him a truck from a Chuck-the-truck collection. I love Chuck the truck--a truck that's also cute? Perfect.

We spent the morning playing at the park with a few friends, than came back to have an amazingly awesome lunch of green heart pancakes, heart eggs, and non-heart bacon. (I was voting for red pancakes, but Reed thought green was a more suitable color for Valentines day.) Asher was a little too hungry to have the patience for me to make the bacon into a heart. Maybe next year.

We spent the rest of the day having a fantastic time with mylar and regular balloons. Balloons cause a lot of excitement in our house!

Ryan and I went on our Valentine date on Monday night (we saw a movie, had Ryan's amazing New York Strip for dinner, and let ourselves have a short break from our diet to enjoy a little chocolate), so on Valentine night, I went out with my mom and sisters for a little gal-entines date (thank you, Parks & Recreation, for a fantastic idea) while Ryan watched the boys--what a sweetheart.

Happy V-day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

White Dress

A few months ago, I was asked to be the Personal Progress Adviser for the Young Women's Program in our ward. Personal Progress is a program that encourages young women to come unto Christ and “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9). This purpose is accomplished by a series of goals and projects that the young women complete throughout their time in the Young Women's Program.

At the beginning of each year, we have a program called New Beginnings. New Beginnings is an opportunity for all the girls to learn more about Personal Progress and to introduce the new girls who will be coming in to the Young Women's Program during the year. As the Personal Progress Adviser, I was in charge of planning New Beginnings. I was a little lost at first, but then my younger sister, Kayla, suggested I use the theme "White Dress." I loved the idea of doing "White Dress." I remembered this poem, shared at General Conference by Elder L. Tom Perry: 
"My Three White Dresses"
My mom bought me a white dress,
Not red or pink or blue.
She said it was a special dress
Like very other few,
There has been just one before,
A dress now put away,
That I wore some time ago
Upon my blessing day.
As a little baby clothed In my first white dress,
My dad held me in his arms,
There to name and bless.
So pure and clean was I just then,
With time to grow and learn
About the Father's plan for me.
My glory I must earn.
Now I've reached the age to judge
The wrong road from the right,
And I am here to be baptized
In this dress of white.
So once again I'm free from sin.
The path is clear to me.
I'll grasp the rod and hold on tight, I vow with certainty.
Just as mud would stain my dress,
Sin would stain my soul.
The key is to repent or bleach,
For whiteness is my goal.
And if I try my very best,
Then richly blessed I'll be,
Wearing inside God's holy house
White dress number three,
So today I make this pledge:
I'll strive to choose the right,
Through this sacred baptism ordinance
In my second dress of white. 
(Linda Gay Perry Nelson, 1993)

We centered our theme around these three white dresses--the blessing dress, the baptism dress, and the wedding dress--and the covenants they represent. We used white dresses and temples to decorate, and sent the girls an invitation that looked like an invitation to a wedding reception.

 Taylor helped to plan and prepare for New Beginnings for one of her ten-hour Personal Progress projects. The idea to display the dresses came from my younger sister, Kayla, and I'm so glad we decided to do it. The girls loved it and I think the dresses provided a good visual representation.

Two of our young women spoke about Personal Progress and both did a fantastic job. Our main speaker, Karla Seamons, was amazing. Sister Seamons is in our ward and--I didn't learn this until I heard her speak--made her own wedding dress. She displayed a beautiful doll that wears an exact replica of her dress. Sister Seamons' talk was an analogy, comparing the preparing and sewing her wedding dress to preparing for temple marriage. She highlighted areas of Personal Progress that help us to prepare to enter the temple. She was the perfect speaker for the program, and I think everyone in the room could feel the spirit as she spoke.

We displayed the Young Women leaders' wedding pictures throughout the room.

One of our young women sang "What Heaven Sees in You" by Doug Walker. (Lyrics here.) The song talks about the three white dresses and how each young woman is a daughter of God and is of great worth. The song is beautiful, and by the time it was over, there was more than one person wiping away tears (including me).

We didn't use this video, but if you want to hear the song and are in the mood to get a little teary, you should watch it:

(Oops, it didn't upload before...)

We ended by spotlighting the new young women and having refreshments. One of the young women leaders even made a wedding cake. We have a tradition of giving the girls a charm at events like this to help them remember what we talked about--so we gave them a charm of a bride and groom.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve in the Young Women's Program. I continually learn from the girls in our ward and am touched and impressed by their goodness. I hope that I can be a good example to them and that one day they will enter the temple in their third white dress.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hablo Espanol

I love this onesie. Because really, what's not to love about a onesie that says "Made in the US" in Spanish? I also love that it is size 0-3 months, and did not fit Reed (picture here!) or Asher until they were about 12 months old. That would be one large 0-3 month-old baby.

And in case you are wondering (you probably weren't), this is Asher's favorite chair in the house. It's right next to the computer and Asher makes a beeline for it anytime I sit down at the desk. Then he hangs out, giggling, while I compute--and how can you not smile when Asher laughs?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One of these things isn't like all the other...

A surprise in the produce drawer, courtesy of Asher:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Monthly Reed: 38

I love the super cheese.

I'm not sure if Reed actually sings along in Primary, but he really likes to sing the Primary songs he sings at church at home with me. This week, we've been singing a lot of the "Hello" song and "The Wise Man Built His House upon the Rock." He sings, "The rain came down and the floodles came up! The rain came down and the floodles came up!" When I was singing it and said "floods" he told me I was silly--it was supposed to be "floodles" not "floods."

All dressed up for church--his first day of Primary in our ward!

Reed started Primary this year at church! His sunbeam class has thirteen three-year-old kids in it. So yes, it's a little bit crazy. His teacher told me that on the first Sunday they were all having a snack that the teachers had put in individual ziploc baggies. After a few minutes, she realized that all the kids were eating--except Reed. He couldn't open his bag and was too timid to say anything! Oh, Reed. Luckily, the class is splitting in half soon. Maybe he'll talk when he only has 6 classmates, instead of  12.

We both got new "chillers" and they happened to match (brown sweat pants). And then we happened to both be wearing gray shirts. It was a big day for us, so had to be documented.

I think Reed might currently be on a little growth spurt of sorts. Usually, he doesn't really eat much at all. But lately he has been hungry all the time and is super tired, as well. He eats, and about 20 minutes later he is hungry again! Last night he was so tired he asked me if I would put him to bed--and it was only 6:30!

The other day I was in the bathroom, fixing my hair, when Reed walked in. He asked what I was doing and I explained that I was fixing my hair so we could go to the park. He said, "But Mommy, your hair looks beautiful!" He is such a sweetheart, and always gives compliments--generally on clothes and hair.

Contemplative, perhaps?

Reed's current favorite things to do during quiet time are building blocks and drawing on his easel. When he builds, he brings down his favorite creation to show me--generally a tower of some sort. Then he leaves it with me, admonishing me to be careful so I don't break it (I guess he's assuming I play with it while he's gone?). His favorite subject to draw is Sheetrock Hills (the town Handy Manny lives in). He draws Manny's house, the tools' house, Mr. Lopart's house, and the "little path" that goes to Ruben's garage.

Connect 4 is one of the few things Reed and Asher will play together without fighting. And aren't they cute?

I got a laminator for Christmas and I'm not sure who loves it more--Reed or me. I used it the other night while he was sleeping and in the morning the first thing he said to me was, "Hey Mommy, remember your laminator? We should do that!" (It was sitting out on the table and he saw it). Honestly, I was surprised he remembered what it was called. I let him help me with a project the next day and now he is hooked. He keeps asking if I have anything I "need to laminator" because he "just loves it so much." In conjunction with the laminator, he's taken quite a liking to my paper cutter. If it were up to him, we would cut then laminate every paper in the house.

One day I woke up to Reed singing: "Slide to the left! Slide to the right! Shake your booty! And slide to the other side!" When Reed sings--no matter the song--it's kind of really loud kind of in-tune yelling. So you can imagine this was quite an amusing way to wake up.

Having a dance party with Peyton, Zoe, and Kamdyn on New Years' Day.

Reed loves to play in the sandbox by our house. And when we do play in it, he is fully invested. His favorite thing to do is to dig pits and bury stuff in them. When we are done, both he and Asher are impressively dirty.

One day Reed was playing and asked me if I wanted to see a "woah thing." I said yes and he started yelling, "Woah, woah, WOAH!" and fell over backwards on purpose. Then he cracked up. Since then, there have been several variations of "woah things."