Thursday, March 29, 2012

Diversion

We were supposed to move last weekend. We found out Thursday night that our move probably wasn't going to happen. We had already packed the majority of our belongings not only into boxes but also into two trailers and had no plans for Saturday beside moving. So we decided to go on a road trip as a diversion of sorts.

During the drive, Asher got really excited about having his picture taken. Anytime we put our cameras away he'd start saying "cheese" until Kayla or I took his picture.

When we pulled into town, we went straight to our favorite restaurant: El Gallo Giro. Awesomely authentic Mexican. Then we went to our hotel, put the kids to bed, and played Draw Something on our respective phones. After a quick trip to Macey's for amazing caramel pretzel ice cream and a few episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, we went to bed.


The next day, we woke up bright and early, courtesy of Reed. We started our day by driving to Park City for a quick trip to the outlet mall, where we scored a few sick deals at Children's Place.

Reed was really, really sad when I informed him we weren't actually buying these hats, just wearing them for fun. Oops.

After PC, we went to IKEA, which is always an adventure. We made it rain money with some fantastic finds for our new house.

This little man was kind of tired:
But luckily we got fro-yo to perk him up. This is his first ice cream/frozed yogurt cone, ever, by the way. He was a huge fan.

Finally, we decided to do something the boys might enjoy: bowling! And where else would you bowl but the basement of the Wilk?


Asher was super grumpy and only happy at the bowling alley if he was touching a ball at all times. Reed, on the other hand, had a fantastic time. He loved the ramp--we've never used one before.


Finally, we loaded up the car and set off for home. Thank goodness for Au Pair Kay-Kay, who kept the boys entertained until they fell asleep--after which an epic game of 20 questions ensued.

Sunday was my last Sunday with the Young Women in my ward. I'm really, really going to miss them. Luckily, I get to go back in a few weeks to help with an activity I planned. Anyway, after I went to YW in our old ward, we decided to go to our new ward--and we love it. Everyone is super friendly, there are a ton of kids, and Reed and Asher both liked their classes. I'm even more excited to move now!

The Monthly Asher: 17

Asher has started really running. It is basically the cutest thing, ever. He takes off with all the power his little body can muster and holds his arms out to the side as he weaves around, going at turbo speed. I'm positive he's going to fall every time he attempts it, but somehow he always keeps his feet.

If you hold your arms out and crouch down, Asher will run to you and give you a hug. My heart melts every time.

Asher's vocabulary has started going through the explosion expansion phase. He starts saying a new word or words every day. His current favorite words are "ball" "quack quack" and "car." If you ask him what a duck says, he yells, "Quack quack!" If you ask him what any other animal says, he also yells, "Quack quack!" We're working on that.

Our favorite word that Asher says is "yeah." Oh my goodness is it cute. My favorite part about his "yeah" though is that he answers every question with "yeah" and will even stop crying to answer a question with "yeah." (It's a super upset sounding, I'm-mad-still "yeah" but a "yeah" nonetheless.)  The other day we were driving home and it was just about bedtime and Asher was just done. He was crying and mad, so I started asking him questions. He kept pausing to say, "yeah" and finally stopped crying long enough that we got to dance to the music in the car. The rest of the car ride went relatively well.

Asher loves, loves, loves balls. You can generally find at least one on his person at all times. The other day I let him go to bed with a ball because it wasn't really worth the fight to take it away. Asher napped for 3 hours, then woke up and played quietly with his ball for another 15 minutes. When I went in to get him, he held up his ball for me to see and yelled, "BALL!"

Through some miracle, Asher finally started laying still during diaper changes. It's amazing. I can use both hands to change him rather than using one hand/my body to hold him down and the other to change. I forgot how easy it is to change a diaper.

We decided it was high time Asher lost his plug (pacifier). Honestly, I was super nervous to take it away. Asher is stubborn--a lot more so than Reed, and taking away Reed's pacifier was not pleasant (perhaps because it coincided with a lip injury)--but anyway, I was nervous. But all my worry was for naught. Asher was not really that bothered by losing his plug. He only cried for a few minutes at bedtime and naptime the next day, then was fine. We did have a shaky moment when he saw his favorite plug (oops) and yelled, "Plug!" while reaching out for it. I quickly hid it and distracted them and we were good from there! Way to go, Smash.

After we took his plug away, Asher grew even more attached to his blankies and giraffe. He has two blankies--one tiny taggie blanket and one super soft blue rocket blanket--and a stuffed giraffe that he will not sleep without. He has stopped throwing them out of his crib post-nap and I usually find him cuddling with them when I come in (when he's awake or asleep). He likes to bring them out of his crib with him and carry them around for a while. And if he ever sees them during the day, he makes a beeline for them and cuddles with them for a few minutes.

Asher really enjoys foods you eat with a spoon--like yogurt, applesauce, and cereal--but refuses to be spoon-fed and isn't really a fan of using his spoon. Instead, he holds his spoon in one hand basically the entire time he eats and dips his other hand into whatever he is eating, then sucks it off. It's quite messy, but it gets the job done.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Moab

We have made a series of trips to Colorado over the past 9-ish months: an emergency dental trip in June, a follow-up dental trip in December (that we were supposed to go up for in August-ish...oops), and another follow-up dental trip/baby blessing in February. We were due for a final (at least for now) dental trip that happened to fall right around the time of our first date anniversary. Being a major holiday and all, we decided to make a fantastic little weekend of our dental trip. We left the boys with my parents (thanks Mom and Dad!) and made the long, boring, all-too-familiar drive to Colorado.

We made it to Colorado early-ish, so we went out to dinner (take that, diet!), then hung out with Nick and Lynnie for a while. After a rousing game of _________ (you play it with Rook cards, it's awesome, but I can't remember the name), we went to bed. The next morning, Ryan got to sit in a dental chair for an hour or so (thanks Nick, you're the best!) and I got to read a book I like uninterrupted for an hour or so. That was a vacation right there. And then we were on the road.

Luckily, Nick and Lynnie live a mere hour and a half from Moab, home of Arches National Park. Our last trip to Arches was about a three-hour-long pit stop after Ryan's emergency dental work--meaning he was loopy from painkillers and I had driven from Utah to California to Colorado all in the past 48 hours. We didn't really enjoy that trip. But this trip? Ideal.


We decided to hike to the Delicate Arch, which is the arch pictured on Utah's license plate. I'm not going to lie, we were both huffing and puffing quite a bit after the initial ascent--it was a pretty steep grade for a decent distance. I kept saying, "I think it's just going to be a 'wow' moment, though, when we finally get there" to try to pump us up.

I was right. I turned the corner, got my first glimpse of the arch, and said, "Wow!" Because it really was a "wow" moment.
Ryan, triumphant within the arch.

The wind by the arch was ridiculously strong. And, coupled with my fear of heights, the wind really freaked me out. I stayed next to an outcropping of rock while Ryan hiked to the arch and to a few other nearby rock formations.

Where's Ryan?

Luckily, there was a gigantic bird having a fantastic time soaring above me. I don't think I saw him flap his wings once--it was that windy.

Finally, though, I got sufficiently annoyed with myself for missing out on something so awesome because I was a gigantic wimp that I made my way to the arch. What looked like a steep, scary-ish hike turned out to be an easy walk.

I made it!

Side note: I was wearing a green track suit (from my brief stint as the SCHS Sophomore Volleyball Coach) (Go Warriors!). Ryan was wearing a red track suit. Together, we looked like Christmas. Or a spectacle. You choose.

The view from the other side of the arch was ridiculous:

We found interesting eroded holes in nearby rocks. I believe this is how the big arches started:

After spending time at the arch, we decided to hike down to see the Indian rock paintings we'd seen a sign for. They were amazing:

That night we went out to dinner at a fantastic restaurant which shall not be named (mainly because I can't remember its name) and REAL--as in full-fat--ice cream. It has been a long time since we've consumed real ice cream. And it was every bit as fantastic as I remembered it to be.

Later, we decided to go back to Arches. And I realized I wasn't wearing my wedding ring. After a frantic twenty minutes of searching the car, the hotel room, and deciding to drive into Arches to look in the parking lot, I called my sister. My ring was on the bathroom counter. Oops. After said crisis was averted, we drove into Arches for a magnificent view of the stars. We were basically the only people there--we saw only one car, and that was on our way out. The view was amazing. I don't think I've ever seen so many stars at once.

The next morning, we drove home using the scenic route--an eclectic collection of about five different highways. While driving, we found this awesome building:

We have yet to determine what it was in its heyday. I think Ryan was a touch disappointed that I'm the least adventurous person in America and was unwilling to ignore the "No Trespassing" signs posted every two inches. I was at least willing to use the camera zoom to get a shot of the stairs you could see through the window:

(I didn't say it was a good shot.)

Across the street was this beauty:
There's just something about old crumbling buildings. I love them.

Remember how I mentioned we took the "scenic route"? One of the lesser-used highways we drove on had a posted speed limit of 25 mph. Seriously. There wasn't even an animal in sight. I happened to be driving at the time. Ryan convinced me to go 45 mph, but that's where I drew the line. I didn't want to have an anxiety attack.

Eventually, we made it to Bryce Canyon. Last time we went to Bryce, it was summer--so seeing the canyon with snow made for a new and exciting adventure.

Ryan threw a snowball into the canyon. It went quite far, actually.

And I sported more Warrior gear (circa 2003, when I played volleyball at SC). I've had that sweater for almost 10 years. That might mean I need to get some new clothes.

We were sore from the hike the day before and lots of the trails were closed, due to ice, so we didn't hike much. But we did plan another trip to Bryce after seeing an awesome-looking hike that winds down into the canyon.

And there you have it: happy first date anniversary to us!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My daily dose of cuteness.



Reed asked me if I would move his car seat next to Asher's so they could hold hands and cuddle. I was pretty sure Asher would neither hold hands nor cuddle, but it was so sweet that Reed wanted to try that I went for it. And guess what? Asher held Reed's hand without hesitation. Now when we get in the car, Asher immediately sticks out his hand for Reed to hold. My heart melts every time. They like each other!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Monthly Reed:39

We like to have dance parties, and they usually end like this.

Reed is so sweet and is so good about giving compliments unprompted. The other day he told me, "You know what's nice for me, Mommy? When you do all the school stuff for me. I really really love it!"

Reed is starting to come out of his shell. He'll actually talk to other kids at the park and to people who I encourage him to say "hi" to. I don't (usually) have to sit next to him at story time any more. I'm so proud of him!

 Yep, that was a lot of help.

I was working on a Mickey Mouse File Folder Game one day and was still mid-project when Reed finished his quiet time. He wanted to help, so he found his scissors and "helped" make a huge pile of little paper scraps all over the carpet. At least it kept him occupied and happy long enough for me to finish the project.

Reed has gotten so brave at the park. He used to love climbing the ladders, then went through a phase where he was scared and wouldn't try to climb them at all. Then he would climb, but only if I was spotting him. Now he is all over the place, whether I'm nearby or not!

Posing with the infamous zafety za-zas.

Every time Asher cries, Reed starts singing, "It's a hard knock life for Asher! It's a hard knock life for Asher!" then requests that I sing the rest (the song is from the movie Annie, in case you're wondering). It's really, really funny. If Asher is really upset, though, Reed will then say something like, "It's okay sweetie. Mommy will help you, sweetheart."





I've mentioned that Reed loves Dave Matthews Band. I didn't think he knew the words to the song, but last week, he suddenly started singing--and he knows almost every word to most of the songs! It is so cute to hear him sing along to Dave Matthews. His favorite part is the chorus of his "first favorite song" (track 2 of Groo Grux King). The lyrics are ,"Yours, yours, yours, yeah!" But Dave Matthews says it with kind of an accent, kind of like "yos"...so that's how Reed says it. Super cute.

Showing off the "Valentine heart"--he made it by himself!

Lately, Reed will say a string of non-sensical words and then tell me it's Spanish for something. The best one lately: "Boppy." Apparently, that's Spanish for "Fruit Loops." Good to know.
Reed was singing "The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock":  "The rain came down and the floodles came up! The rain came down and the floodles came up!" Floodles=really, really big puddles.
We've been working on writing letters as part of our school stuff.
 Playing with slime

We made slime one day for school. It was amazing. It feels like solid and liquid at the same time. I really don't know who had more fun--Reed or me. Anyway, while we were playing, he said at least 15 times, "This stuff is so weird! I love it! It's super cool!" (Mix 2 c. cornstarch with 1 c. water. Add food coloring if desired.)

I told Reed that we are going to move to a new house. He thought about it for a few minutes, then said, "But how are we going to move our house? It's so heavy!" 
 
Reed has been waking up super early the past few weeks--like 6:15 early. Okay, so maybe that's not early for other people, but seeing as how neither Ryan nor I are morning people, it's basically still the middle of the night. Anyway, once he wakes up, he comes and crawls into our bed and cuddles with one of us (it varies from day to day) for a good twenty minutes. All this is silent. Then suddenly he is wide awake, requesting breakfast. The cuddles are super cute. Since he eats breakfast so early, he generally eats a second breakfast with Asher when Asher is up for the day around 8:30. That's probably a bad habit...

"Mommy, I'm Handy Manny!!"

Reed got a box of Nerds (a huge box, to be exact) that we still have--we've been working through it slowly but surely. The other day he asked me what they were called. I told him "Nerds" to which he responded, "Nerns? Like I'm Nern!!!!!" He was so, so excited. I guess I should explain. Reed has a plethora of nicknames (mainly because I'm kind of weird and dole out nicknames like nobody's business). "Nern" or "Nernie" is one of these nicknames. Anyway, now he refers to Nerds exclusively as Nerns.

Reed gets super pumped whenever he sees the number 3 or whenever we count something and there are 3 of whatever we are counting. He yells (seriously, yells), "THREE! Just like I'm three!!!!!"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Homework.

For the past few months I have felt that Reed and I have a little too much time on our hands that we don't use very well. We do a lot of playing. We take a lot of walks. We go to the park often. But it felt like our whole routine was just getting a little old. I had been wanting to do "school" with Reed for a long time, but have lacked the motivation to actually prepare stuff and do it. Finally, I decided it was time: Reed and I were going to do school together while Asher napped during the day.

I had tried doing a school of sorts with him about six months ago, but it didn't really work. I didn't put enough effort into it and, frankly, he didn't really like it. This time around, I decided to actually try. I found this fantastic blog that has been the main inspiration for most of the things I've done.

Reed loves doing school together now and he is learning so much. When Asher goes down for a nap, Reed does about an hour of quiet time, then we do school during the last hour and a half of Asher's nap. Every day, Reed is so excited to do school. He usually comes downstairs about 5 minutes after his quiet time to ask if it's time for school yet. And when it's getting close to time to start school, he watches the clock and gives me updates: "It's to the four! It's almost to the five! It's still almost to the five! It's at the five! IT'S TIME FOR SCHOOL!!!" And I have been having fun, too. I feel so much more fulfilled now that we're actually doing something productive with our time. I get excited for school, too.

I have also had a lot of fun making school supplies for us--my homework of sorts. Ryan's mom gave me a laminator for Christmas and I have had more fun than is probably healthy using it. And it turns out that Reed loves it, too:

Here are a few of my favorite projects I've put together for school time with Reed. The first is a Mickey Mouse Color Matching Game. I saw an idea on Pinterest that used the Mickey paint samples from Home Depot--they had punched the corner of the paint samples, put them all on a key ring, and had a color flip chart. I decided to tape the paint samples in a file folder, laminate loose paint samples, and make a matching game:

This is the inside. I have a loose paint sample that matches each paint sample attached to the folder. Reed matches up the colors:

I saw another idea to make a paper mitten and animals to go along with Jan Brett's The Mitten, a book I loved as a child. I decided to make a mitten out of felt and color and laminate the animals (link for a free printable for the animals here)  so they would last a little longer. Reed loves to read this story and always has to wear his matching blue mittens while we read it.

I saw another idea on Pinterest that printed monster parts onto magnetic paper, making a magnetic build-a-monster. I didn't actually have magnetic paper on hand (shocker) so I pulled out my felt stash again and freehanded a few monster bodies, eyes, arms, horns, and mouths. I'm not going to lie, I think I like this one more than Reed does.

I really love teaching Reed and hope that he continues to enjoy school so I can continue to do my homework!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Snow Canyon

We woke up two weekends ago to amazing weather--70 degrees in February amazing--and knew we had to do something awesome outside. Luckily, we happen to live approximately five minutes away from Snow Canyon State Park. It qualifies as both something awesome and something outside, so we decided to spend our day there.

We started with a picnic. Everyone was happy, because everyone in our family likes eating:

Asher was also happy because he can walk now--and every time he walks, he is impressed with himself and super happy--and we let him walk all over the picnic area:

Reed was also happy because we saw a ranger station--just like there's a ranger station on an episode of Handy Manny--and because the ranger gave him a map--just like Cubby has a map on Jake and the Neverland Pirates. I swear we do activities beside watching TV:

Then we put the boys in the jogging stroller, and Asher was no longer happy:
He cried for ten minutes solid while we walked the paved trail to the real trailhead.

Upon release from the stroller, Asher was much happier. Reed was happy, too--he just gets annoyed when we make him stop what he's doing for a photo-opp.

We decided to do the Pioneer Names hike mostly because it is super easy and we forgot to bring our hiking backpack to carry Asher in. The hike was great--Reed could walk it easily and walked the entire hike (usually he gets tired and we take turns carrying him on our shoulders). Asher thought he could walk it easily and walked most of the hike, clutching tightly to my finger. By the end of the hike, I couldn't really feel my finger. Because of Asher's pace, we were pretty slow going, but we had fun.


There is one spot on the hike where you can climb up a steep-ish mountainside and really get a good look at the pioneer names. Ryan and I took turns doing so:


(I'm afraid of heights...what can I say? I'm higher than I look, though, seriously.)

The boys played with sticks and rocks while they waited for us.

Then Ryan helped Reed climb up halfway, mainly because he was so mad he didn't get to come with us he tried climbing it himself--and got unnervingly (for me) high before Ryan got him down.

Saturday spent in an awesome way outside: check.