Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Monthly Asher: 18

Enjoying a snack outside.

First, a few stats:
Weight: 24 lbs. 3 oz. (25th percentile)
Height: 31 in. (20th percentile)
Head: 49 cm. (90th percentile)
Interstingly--to me, at least--at the same age Reed was 1 oz. bigger, .25 in. taller, and had exactly the same head size.

Asher's vocabulary has started to explode. He is starting to try to copy many of the words we say and has added a ton of his words to his everyday vocabulary. He is also (occasionally) using two words together. Not so much as a sentence, but like two related thoughts, e.g. "Uh-oh. Daddy." Or "Mommy. Night-night."

 Little cheeser.

Every time I mention Grandma or Grandpa Asher starts yelling, "Coco! Kay Kay! Kay Kay! Coco Coco Coco! Kay Kay!" Coco is Grandma and Grandpa's dog and Kayla is their daughter (and his aunt) and he is alway so, so pumped to see them. He also starts this Coco/Kay Kay chant when we get close to their house and when we see their house.

I call Asher "Lee" sometimes (weird, yes), and can be heard saying, "Uh-oh Lee" quite frequently. Asher has started saying, "Uh-oh Yee" when he has an uh-oh. He also says, "Uh-oh Geeeesh! (George)" and now says, "Uh-oh Geeeesh!" almost exclusively.
Playing with brother's easel--he loves the eraser.

Asher has a few issues with issues with eczema. During a particularly bad flare-up, we had to put his prescription strength lotion on twice a day and regular lotion once or twice, as well. There was one spot on his arm that was the worst. Now, every time I mention "lotion" he holds out his arm and points at it until I lotion it thoroughly.

We went to Colorado to visit Nick, Lynnie, Cole, and Maliya, and Asher fell in love with Cole. Anytime Cole wasn't next to him, he'd walk around yelling, "Cole! Cole!" until he found Cole. And since we've left, he's continued to request Cole.

Reed got a bad owie (I don't remember what happened) and sweet Asher went and lay down on Reed to give him a love. When Reed sprained his ankle a few days later, Asher was very concerned and frequently gave Reed love to help him feel better.

Asher has fallen in love with Curious George. He loves the books, loves the stuffed George that happens to be Reed's favorite stuffed animal, and loves the George episodes on PBS. He tries to say, "George," but it sounds like, "Geeeessh!!!" And it's always, always, yelled.  He recognizes the books by their yellows spines and if we walk past the books in the library, he yells, "Geeeesh!" and runs back to grab a George book or two.

To wash the Reed's hair, I have him lay down cradled on my arm in the tub, then pour a cup of water through his hair until we get all the shampoo out. I used to just pour the water through Asher's hair while he was sitting up--until he got a little jealous of Reed and wanted to start lying down, too. So I let him start lying down and he loved it! He smiles while I wash his hair, then points to different parts of his body (arms, legs, belly, etc.) that he wants me to pour water on. The one problem is that before I'm ready for him, he'll say, "Night night" and try to lay in the bath himself. We keep an even closer eye on him now.

Asher loves Mickey and is especially infatuated with these Mickey ears.  When he wants to wear them, or any hat, he rubs his head until I get the hint.

After our trip to Provo, Asher became super excited about pictures. He will generally pose with a cheesy smile and loves to yell, "Cheeeeeeese!!" every time he sees a camera. He will even say "Cheese" for Reed's little camera--and pretend cameras.

Asher is almost constantly in possession of a ball and has started doing a few tricks. His favorite is to lay across our biggest ball (about as tall as his belly button) and to roll over the top of it.

Carrying his beloved bubbles around the house.

Asher has become quite daring. I think, partially, because he thinks he can do everything Reed can do. Anyway, lately at the park he climbs everything. He can climb a ladder that is taller then my head--I have to reach as high as I can to spot him. It's a little bit crazy to see this tiny boy climbing so high!

Asher is finally interested in his spoon and has gone from being just interested to being proficient! It's so nice--he's still messy, but much less so. He thinks forks are funny and uses his fingers to try to get food to stick to the end.

Headed to the garden. He loves playing in the dirt, so he's a big fan of the garden.

Lately, Asher loves the bubbles in the bathtub. He requests them every time we climb in and has taken to carrying an empty bubble bottle around the house. He thinks bubbles are a lot of fun.

Ryan has started calling Asher "OCD baby" jokingly because Asher is in love with washing his hands. Any time he hears the water running or sees someone washing their hands, he has to wash his hands, as well.

I know I already posted a picture in Mickey ears--but they were both too cute to only post one. I love his pretty eyes and his cheesy smile!

Asher has started saying, "Daddy" and "Mommy" in place of "Dada" and "Mama." He refers to me as "Mama" usually and sometimes as "Mommy," and has basically stopped using "Dada" altogether in favor of "Daddy." He has started calling Ryan "Daddy-o," as well, which is really cute.
Asher loves cars and calls anything that has wheels (bike, lawnmower, train, etc.) a car. He has started yelling, "Go!" then taking a car and zooming it across the floor. He will also say, "Go!" before he goes down a slide or takes off running through the house

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The following pictures do not adequately portray our egg-dying experience.
In the pictures, you can't hear Asher yelling, "Ball! Ball! BALL!" and getting upset every time he was not either holding an egg or attempting to chuck it into a cup of egg dye. In the pictures, you can't see the copious amounts of egg dye that soaked through the cotton tablecloth (my bad) and appeared to stain the top of the table as well as the majority of Asher's body (don't worry, both cleaned up fantastically). In the pictures, you can't see the cracks that covered most of the eggs by the time Asher was finished with them. It was, in short, a debacle.

Reed did have a great time, though. His only complaint was that we stopped so quickly because of his brother's antics.

And we did cap off the night with lime sherbet freezes, so that was a plus.
I'm thinking next year's egg dying attempt might go a little more smoothly. Hopefully.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easter 2012

I knew it was going to be a good morning when Reed ran out his room yelling, "He came! The Easter Bunny brought me eggs!" It was particularly nice to see Reed running because he had sprained his ankle Friday and spent Friday and Saturday refusing to walk. Good to know that he will run for candy. Anyway, the clever bunny had left an egg inside his room on the door handle so Reed would be sure to see it. Smart planning, bunny.

A few minutes after Reed ran out of his room, we heard little brother talking in his room. Ryan got Asher out of his bed. This is what my first glimpse of Asher and Reed were like, upon exiting their rooms:
How can you not love the bed-headed, sleepy-eyed boys pumped about Easter eggs?

We commenced the hunt immediately. Asher was surprisingly awesome at finding Easter eggs. I was expecting to have to point them out to him, then coax them out of his hand and into the basket (that was basically our experience with Reed at the same age). But Asher was all over the egg hunting game. He saw eggs that Reed didn't even notice.
(Don't let the egg by the open potty gross you out. The potty had been closed and the egg hadn't been hiding there that long. Just sayin'...)

Reed was also super pumped about finding eggs. He kept making comments about how tricky or silly the bunny is. And he was beyond excited to find an entire box of "nerns" in his Easter basket.
We paused mid-search to check out the carrot plate--grown in our garden, by the way--to find it empty and to empty our baskets, blitzkrieg style.

And the hunt commenced again, this time outside. When we dyed eggs, Asher was crazy with them. But during the hunt, he was surprisingly gentle. And willing to actually put them in the carton. Weird.
In the excitement of the egg hunt/basket dump, Asher hadn't noticed the Curious George movie in his basket. When he did find it later, though, he marched over to Ryan and I, yelling, "Geeeeesh!!!! Geeessshhhh!" (That is an approximation of his pronunciation of the word "George.") We let the boys watch them movie while Reed iced his sprained ankle (a little over-exertion, surprise, surprise), then we spent some time talking about Jesus and why we really celebrate Easter.
I think the picture above adequately portrays their post-adrenline let down after the egg hunt.

After naps, we went to church. I wasn't really able to get a successful shot of the boys together, but you have to applaud my effort.
A better outcome:

And if Reed weren't giving the camera the stink eye and Asher eating his hand, this would be a winner:

I'm grateful we had the opportunity to go to church on Easter Sunday and to teach the boys about Christ. I must admit, the excitement of Easter morning and the bunny is probably what stood out to them--but I hope as they get older we can help them understand more deeply what we really celebrate on Easter. I'm grateful that Christ was resurrected and know that He lives. I read this talk by President Gordon B. Hinckley after the boys went to bed on Easter Sunday. It ends by quoting the song "My Redeemer Lives," also by President Hinckley (Hymns, no. 135):

I know that my Redeemer lives,
Triumphant Savior, Son of God,
Victorious over pain and death,
My King, my Leader, and my Lord.
He lives, my one sure rock of faith,
The one bright hope of men on earth,
The beacon to a better way,
The light beyond the veil of death.
Oh, give me thy sweet Spirit still,
The peace that comes alone from thee,
The faith to walk the lonely road
That leads to thine eternity.

I hope that I can become a better example of Christ to my children and can encourage them to look to Him--and to know that he lives.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

We bought a house (no zoo included)

It's true--we bought a house. And we are beyond excited about it.

(You know I'm long-winded. If you don't want to read the story, you will find pictures below the novel.)

We had bad luck as we started our house hunt. We found  a house we thought had a lot of potential, only to have our hopes shattered when the inspector came and revealed that the foundation was shifting and there were at least $80,000 of work to be put into the house. Then we went out of town, so we missed looking at a few good-looking houses (when you live here, you learn quickly that you have to put an offer on a house the first day it comes on the market if you are to have any hope of getting it). Finally, a house came on the market that met all our requirements. Our realtor (Michelle Evans. She's amazing. If you need a realtor, call her, now) and I were going to go "preview" it and bring Ryan back if we liked it. He was in the middle of tax season, after all, and couldn't go running all over town to look at houses. But Ryan had a good feeling about the house, so he met us there--and it was a good thing he met us there, because we made an offer immediately after looking through the house. It was is perfect. Even the boys loved it.

Our offer was accepted the next day (hooray!) and then we had to wait. For a lot of things to happen. It finally looked like we were going to move in at the beginning of the week of March 19. Then it looked like it was going to be Friday, March 23 at the absolute latest. When Friday came with no sign of moving, we went to Provo for a distraction. We came back from Provo with high hopes to move Monday. Then Tuesday. Then finally, on Wednesday, March 28, we signed the papers. And we owned a home! We had to wait for one of the owners to sign and overnight the papers (he lived out of state) and for the loan to record, but had our crew of helpers all lined up for Thursday, March 29, at 5 p.m. to help us move. At 4:45, we finally got the call: we really owned a home and could pick up our keys. (In case you are wondering about the holdup: Our home was a foreclosure that came on the market in January. It was purchased and "flipped" quickly. The underwriters took issue with the speed of the flip and the value increase, despite detailed reports from the inspector and appraiser that affirmed the quality and value of the flip. Anyway, the underwriters had to send the loan to several different levels of people for it to finally be approved.)

We moved in on Thursday and have been loving our home ever since. And now, without further ado (because there has been much), here are far more pictures than you are probably interested in seeing:
This sign was hanging in front of Ryan's parents' home for several years. When they were cleaning out the garage, Ryan snagged it. And it's now the first thing you see  as you walk up to our home.

If you go through the entryway to the right, you will find yourself in the dining area/kitchen. Don't mind the BBQ mess on the counter. We planned to have family and a few friends over about two weeks after we moved to motivate ourselves to unpack. It worked.

Closer-up of the kitchen (I warned you there were going to be a lot of pictures). All the appliances are new, hooray, and we only had to buy a fridge.

This might be weird, but I have loved the back splash from the second I saw it. I'm kind of obsessed with it. But isn't it beautiful?

Next to the kitchen is the dining area. We bought a new table--but the store accidentally double sold the chairs. And the chairs happened to be on back order. We will hopefully have the other four of our six chairs sometime in the next three weeks. Hopefully. 

Looking over the kitchen island, you see into the family room. I love how open the floor plan is. In our quadroplex, the kitchen was hidden around a corner. With the open floor plan, I can make dinner, talk to Ryan, and see the boys playing in the toy room or back yard. It's amazing.

To the left of the entryway is our toy room. This room is really meant to be a formal sitting room, I believe, but we find it much more effective as a toy room. 

Another view of the toy room. The boys love having an entire room dedicated to toys. And I love that it keeps the mess contained to one room (mostly).

Down the hall, you come to Asher's room first:

Another view of Asher's room. In case you're curious, those books stayed on that shelf for approximately 30 seconds after the picture was taken. Asher loves to read.

Next to Asher's room is Reed's room, home of his prized possession: his bunk beds. We bought bunk beds when we bought Reed's "big boy bed," but only built one bed at the time. When we were looking at furniture for our move, Reed fell in love with beds that had ladders--so we decided to build his. He loves it so much.

And another view of Reed's room:

Next to Reed's room is the boys'/guest bathroom:

And then you come to our music/craft room/we have ridiculous amounts of books room.

Have I ever posted a picture of these side by side? Ryan's dad built these for Reed and Ryan. Amazing, right? And how cute do they look together?

Branching off the hall before you get to Asher's room is another hall (that's confusing, I know), where you find the laundry room....

...and then the master bedroom.

And, of course, another view of the master bedroom. Don't worry, I know the blue rocking chair doesn't match. Revamping it has been on my to-do list for a long, long time.

And here is not a very good shot of the master bathroom--it's hard to get a good angle in there. The shower is to the left, if you're curious.

One of my favorite parts about the house is the fully-fenced backyard. That's right, we have a backyard.

A shot from further back--because you definitely need one--

This is random, but Reed loves that birds--especially dove birds--land on our back wall. We built a bird feeder at Home Depot and he is anxiously awaiting the purchase of bird seed so we can try it out.

And the backyard? It has a terraced garden with drip lines already installed! I found carrots and green onions ready to pick in the garden, as well as strawberries that are ripening. Oh, and about one million weeds.

But I finally have the garden completely weeded (for today at least), and just have to finish cleaning out the second strawberry row. Then I have to figure out if there is still time to plant anything that will grow in our dry weather.

And there you have it. Our house. That we own (or will in 30 years). We couldn't be happier. Come visit!

The Monthly Reed: 40

I think I have a cheese-face picture like this on almost every monthly post I do. It's his go-to pose for pictures.

Reed makes me laugh pretty much every day. One of his catch phrases of late that I find particularly cute is "I am so super pumped about this!" He says it at least five times a day. He gets super pumped a lot, apparently.

Ryan disassembled our table a few days before we moved...which turned out to be about two weeks before we moved. Anyway, the boys loved having picnics at the Buzz-Woody table and at the picnic table Ryan built.

Reed and Asher have had sharing issues lately. Well, they've always had sharing issues, but the issues have been escalating since Asher got more vocal, stronger, and more opinionated. Anyway, we've had several talks with Reed about being a big brother, sharing, etc., and we are finally seeing some progress. He doesn't share all the time, but I think he's starting to understand that if he lets Asher have the first turn, Reed gets the second and longer turn. Sometimes, too, he surprises me and shares his favorite toys with Asher without being asked.

Doing a trick.

Reed really, really loves doing school. I originally planned to do school with him three times a week. But he loves it so much that we do it every day. When he comes out from quiet time, the first thing he asks is, "Can we do school now?" He is learning a lot and impresses me with how much knowledge he retains. I'm glad he loves learning.

Building a "Handy Manny Phone." I'm not exactly sure how a Handy Manny Phone differs from a regular phone.

One day I said "sorry" to Reed and he responded, "Oh, don't you mean 'you're bad'?"

Reed's hair got quite long and started going super curly if we scrunched it with a little gel. He fell in love with his curls and requests "curlies" every day. He thinks he looks super cute.

One day Reed threw a ball at me. I didn't even ask him why--because it's something that happens often enough--but he explained anyway: "Throwing a ball at you is how I say, 'Mommy, can I please have a piece of cheese?'" At least he threw the "please" in there.

I've just always loved his feet in flip flops. They're still chubby.

Reed had asked me a few days in a row to move his car seat right next to Asher's so they could hold hands and cuddle. It is a little bit of  a pain to get them in the car with one of them in the middle, but it was a really sweet request, so I complied. I didn't think Asher would hold Reed's hand--but I was wrong. They held hands basically every car ride for about two weeks. Then the novelty wore off. But it was so sweet while it lasted!
Reed found these "seeds" in the backyard. He's been waiting very, very patiently to plant them.

Reed learned how to unbuckle himself in the car. It happened by accident; he and Ryan were driving somewhere when suddenly Reed was saying, "Uh-oh, Daddy! Uh-oh, Daddy! I unbuckled!" They pulled over, rebuckled, and had a chat about unbuckling. Since then, Reed has not unbuckled himself once when he was not supposed to. He waits until we stop, then asks if he can unbuckle. We didn't tell him he needed to ask, but he explained that he likes to ask, "Just in case." What a  good boy.
I was taking pictures of Asher doing a trick and Reed wanted to compete--this is what he came up with.

This year's Primary theme at church is "Choose the Right." We've been trying to point out to Reed when he chooses the right so he can better understand what he's learning at church. One day, I told Reed "thank you" for sharing with Asher and he responded, "Hey Mommy! I know what I was doing! I was choosing the right!" He was so excited. Since then, he's realized a few times he is choosing the right and is always excited to do so.

Reed's favorite feature of our new house--his bunk bed.

Reed is beyond excited to have a bed with a ladder. Whenever anyone comes over, he takes them directly to his room to show off his bed--even if they've seen it several times before. For the first week after it was built he asked me several times a day if he could just go play in his room. I love it, too!