Saturday, July 28, 2012

Zion

Sometimes we wake up on Saturday morning and think, "We should do something today"--which usually ends up in some kind of fantastic family outing. This time, it was a trip to Zion National Park. (Side note: Buying a pass that gets us into all the National Parks for one year for free? One of our best purchases to date.)

We haven't been hiking for quite a while--I'll blame the heat rather than perhaps a bout of laziness as of late--and the boys were pumped. I was pumped just to see Asher in a baseball cap. Cute, right?
Once we got to Zion, though, Asher was not quite as pumped. 


Baby carrier? Pshaw. He's no baby. He thinks he's big enough to hike. He screamed, "OUT!" for a solid 15 minutes before we finally found a perfect distraction: a singing bird. Smash was intrigued. He kept telling me, "Birdie, hear him. Say 'tweet tweet.' Say 'hi, ah-er bee' (Asher bee)." And, call me sneaky if you want to, but every time he asked to get out thereafter I told him he had to stay in or he wouldn't be able to see the birdies. He believed me.

Reed, on the other hand, is big enough to hike. Or at least too big to carry in a baby carrier. He and Ryan were the trailblazers and pace-setters. It was nice to have Reed's three-year-old legs setting the pace for my wimpy pregnant self.
 

At the beginning of the hike, Reed stopped approximately every five feet to point out something awesome he saw (like a white rock. Or a smooth rock. Or perhaps an ant.) Some things were more exciting than others, like this giant cracked rock. Ryan is the explainer in our family, and he did a fantastic job of explaining erosion and other rock-related items to Curious Reed.


We decided to try a hike we haven't been on before (Watchman Trail). The trail gained a lot of elevation through a series of switchback and was beautiful--a different kind of scenery than the rest of the park.


Had we finished the hike, we would have been able to overlook the town of Springdale. Not finishing = my fault. I may have pushed my body a little harder than I should have--which I realized when I almost blacked out at the end of the hike. Good times. I'll go ahead and blame that one on the baby.

Luckily, though, a picnic and stop at the snack counter for frozen yogurt quickly revived me. This view didn't hurt, either.

On our way out of the park, Reed just had to stop and look at the map. He loves maps--he carried around the map the Park Ranger gave us all day.

And since our new hike had put us in an adventurous mood, we decided to drive through the park to see the tunnels. Worth the drive, definitely. Not only were the tunnels amazing, but we ran into a rain storm and got to enjoy several waterfalls that formed after about 20 minutes of rainfall.

Thanks for treating us well, Zion. We'll be back soon.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oatmeal

I strip Asher every time he eats--if I didn't, I'd be doing three times as much laundry. You see, Asher doesn't eat food so much as he wears food. I think he probably eats about 1/3 of what I give him. The other 2/3 end up on his body, on the floor, or in his chair. Two of his favorites and perhaps most messy foods are oatmeal and yogurt. One day I decided to bite the bullet and give him both.

He was pleased.

He found the oatmeal coating on his legs particularly hilarious.

His hands? They were covered in oatmeal, too. He shouldn't have been quite so surprised, though, seeing as how he abandoned his spoon in favor of his mouth about two bites in. Hands are so much quicker than spoons.

Asher was having so much fun finding the oatmeal all over his body that I started asking him to identify different body parts. I'm not sure why I thought this was a good idea, because it proved to spread oatmeal even further. But he thought it was hilarious. Honestly, I did, too.

Eye!

Who has a big belly? (If you ask him that question, he'll immediately locate his own.)

Ear!

Sadly, once I did clean Asher, he took off down the hall and face-planted on the tile, resulting in quite the fat lip.

But brother cheered him up.

The Reed's finger was hurting, so I decided to add eyes to it to make his scar look like a smiley face. Works every time.

Which, of course, led to making Reed's belly a face. Asher thought this was the funniest thing he'd ever seen, so we had to draw a face on his belly, too. And if both boys had a smiley belly, you know they weren't going to let me escape without one. They even gave one to Daddy when he got home a few hours later.

 There you have it: from oatmeal encrusted babies to smiles on bellies, this is my life. It's a pretty good one, I think.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Swim

We hadn't originally planned on putting Reed in swimming lessons this summer, but when I found out that the local college practically gives swim lessons away (okay, not really, but it's super inexpensive), we decided it was worth a shot. Reed was very apprehensive about swim lessons. I was, too--mainly because Reed hates getting his head wet and because he hasn't wanted to put his finger underwater since the mop accident.

The morning of the first swimming lesson arrived. I brought Kayla for backup. And to my surprise and delight, Reed did fantastically. You might even say he enjoyed himself. He even tolerated the 2 seconds where he head was underwater.

His favorite part? Chop chop timber. In other words, jump from the edge into the teacher's waiting arms in the pool:

He's the jumping one in blue.

He also enjoyed practicing his kicking, on his belly and back:  

And learning to "scoop" ice cream (stroke the water with his arms):

My favorite moment: the first time Reed was instructed to blow bubbles in the water, he blew air on top of the water. Surprisingly, this method was unsuccessful.

Day one of swimming lessons: check. Let's see how the next two weeks go!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Monthly Asher: 21

 Laughing about something hilarious. Whenever something funny happens, he requests, "Gain?" (again)

We play hide and seek a lot, and it is rapidly becoming Asher's favorite game. And apparently it's even teaching him to count! I was on his team today, and I told him we needed to count. Before I said anything else, he said, "One, two..." then waited for me. He repeated each number after me, until I got to seven. When I said, "Seven," he said, "eight." I was also surprised today when I asked him where we should look--not expecting a response--and he ran to a closet, yelled, "Door!" and threw it open. He looked inside, said, "Not there! Bubba's oom?" (Brother's room), then ran to Reed's room. We looked under the bed (not there again) and he said, "Closet?" and looked there. Anyway, hide and seek is becoming much more enjoyable!
Post-good nap

Asher basically hates nursery. When we open the door, he starts yelling, "No!" locks his legs, and won't walk unless compelled to. He then proceeds to scream unless we stay with him. We actually had a successful nursery trip last week--we left and he stayed without crying and he hadn't even had a nap that day--but this week was a nightmare. He wouldn't stop screaming even after Ryan went in with him. He's quite stubborn.

I get a lot of pictures like this. He thinks the camera is his to hold. And his hand isn't diseased, that's just oatmeal.

Asher wholeheartedly believes that he can jump. Whenever Reed jumps or I ask Asher to jump, Asher yells, "HOP!" and moves his feet quickly in place. I'm positive he thinks he is hopping. It's ridiculously cute.

Being brave and "jumping" from the ottoman to the chair.

I might have mentioned this before, but Asher is extremely loud. He basically yells everything he says. And if he doesn't yell it, he just says it in a rather loud voice. I'm not sure if he speaks so loudly because he has to compete with Reed or because he just likes to hear his own voice. And when he gets upset--well, I'm pretty sure our entire street knows about it.

Asher loves Thomas trains and will play with them forever. One day he just built track, broke it down, built it again, broke it again...

We have been battling ants again (groan) and Asher has become kind of obsessed with bugs. He constantly yells, "BUG! Ite dere!" (right there) and points to a spot where there is not, in fact, a bug. He calls every bug that crawls simply, "Bug" but he can now correctly identify ants as ants. At least the ants have given us that.

 Quite impressed with himself.

I sing to Asher at nap time and bedtime. Lately our song choice has become quite limited; Asher always requests his two favorites: "tem-bull!" (Temple, aka "I Love to See the Temple") or "of God!" (aka "I am a Child of God). And if I start singing alone, he won't have it--he says "Bubba ding!" (Brother sing) until Reed comes and accompanies me. Asher really loves to have Reed sing to him.

Something he learned from Reed: immediately after I take a picture, he yells, "See it!" And has to look at it.

In Reed's monthly post, I mentioned that Reed likes watching only "new" episodes of shows. Over the past few days when we watch a show, Asher yells, "New Mickey! New Mickey!" He also gest quite upset if we pause the show for any reason and says, "Oo-bie, started? Oo-bie, started?" (Movie started) until we put the show back on.
 That face. So cute.

Asher used to call himself "Bee" and still does if he's talk about his spot ("Bee bot"). But if he's referring to anything else, he calls himself "Geet" or "Geek." I have no idea how he drew "Geet" and "Geek" out of Asher, but I'll go with it. He says, "Geet turn" or my personal favorite, "Geek got it," meaning, "I can do it, so stop trying to help." He's even started identifying himself correctly in pictures. In the past when I'd point to a picture of him and ask who it was, he'd ignore the question and find a picture of Reed, Ryan, or I. But now he'll point at a picture of himself and yell, "Geet! Geet!"

 Reed puts Asher into headlocks he likes to call "hugs." And Asher yells, "ET GO! ET GO! ET GO!" (Let go) at the top of his lungs.

Every time I make a phone call, Asher runs over and starts yelling, "Hi Dad! Hi Dad!" I'm sure you can guess who I call most often. Anyway, he loves to talk to Ryan on the phone, even if all Asher says is "Hi Dad!" And occasionally, "Love you! Bye bye!"

I'm sharing a kebab with the most beautiful girl I have ever seen...with a kebab

Apparently I have a lot of random word associations.  Here's one for you: every time I hear the word "kebab," I think of Flight of the Conchords:
When we made kebabs for dinner with my family a few weeks ago, this song was the only thing I could think of. It played in a loop in my head. Anyway, Ryan partially found, partially created a fantastic marinade that we happened to use for the kebabs--and if I don't blog it, the recipe will be lost forever. Without further rambling, then:

Lemon Ginger Marinade
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. lemon or lime juice
1 Tb. Italian seasoning
3-1/2 inches chopped ginger (I know, that's a weird measurement)
1 Tb. soy sauce
1-1/2 Tb. minced garlic
1/2 Tb. sambal oelek (An Asian chili based sauce)

Combine all ingredients and marinate for 2-3 (or more!) hours.

We used this marinade with chicken, which I think is the best application of it. And my, was it fantastic. I take issue with some marinades because you can't actually taste them once you've cooked the meat. But this marinade gave the meat an amazing lemony flavor with a little zing. Yum.

Enjoy your kebabs.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cinematography

While we were in California, I hardly saw Reed. He spent basically every single minute he was awake playing with his cousins. One day, they were bored and decided to make a movie. Super Reed was born. I enjoyed it, and I'm sure you will, too, even though you don't have the emotional investment I do. Note: Kindly tilt your head to the side to view.



I know, I know, amazing. You want to see more? This production is known as Microwave Song. I laugh so hard every time I watch this that I practically pee my pants (this may be a problem now that I'm pregnant) My favorite line: "And you don't want anything in the fridge?"


And finally, I'm pretty sure One Direction should use this video for promotional purposes.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Respite

It has been crazy hot lately. By crazy hot I mean 118 hot. Anything over 110 is just ridiculous--I get sweaty while walking the twenty feet from the air conditioned car to the air conditioned store. I literally sunburn if I'm outside for more than five minutes. We've been spending a lot of time indoors lately. Anyway, when I saw that rain was forecast for this weekend, I almost laughed at loud and didn't believe it at all. I honestly can't remember the last time it rained. Maybe April? March? Then it sprinkled Wednesday night. It poured (by desert standards) Thursday. Then it poured again Friday. And Saturday morning. And Sunday! The weather cooled all the way down to 85. We have been in heaven and have finally been able to play outside!


I know, I know, Asher is in a diaper only. In the rain. Don't judge me. I'd just barely cleaned him up after breakfast and he made a break for the door. And because it was around 88 degrees outside, I wasn't too worried about him getting sick.

Notice Reed catching serious air:

Asher is blurry in basically every picture I took. I think he's trying--emphasis on trying--to jump here. He basically yells, "HOP!" then runs as quickly as he can in place.

I kind of regret not getting wet. Just look how much fun they had galloping through the puddle:

And whenever Asher sees Reed playing with Daddy, he has to have a turn, too.

It may be four or five months before we get another good rain, but we've certainly enjoyed this one.


P.S. When it stopped raining and the sun came out Saturday afternoon, I climbed on top of the roof to take down an old antenna we've been meaning to take down since moved in. Being on top of the roof is a big deal for a girl who is not exactly fond of heights. Boo-yah, roof.

The Monthly Reed: 43

Ryan took Reed on a "date" to see the movie The Lorax. They stopped and got me these flowers on the way home. Reed picked them out and was so excited to give them to me!

Reed's imagination has been going wild lately. He frequently comes up with stories of things that he and Curious (George--his stuffed animal/partner in crime) have done--from going to Curious' Community Center with its seven slides and gigantic scary spider ride with a big Curious on top of the building to going on a boat adventure with Curious were Curious is a captain and Reed is a pirate. He'll also ask me if I want to go to outer space or on a boat ride, then make up a way for us to get there.

Reed: "Asher, you're just too little to climb up there [onto Reed's top bunk]"
Asher cries.
Reed: "Asher, is it just hard being the little brother?"
Asher: "Uh-huh." Cries again.

One day I told Reed, "You look cute." He responded, "You're welcome." I guess I should consider myself lucky to be able to view his cuteness.
 One day at school we were measuring with various objects--beads, stones, cough drops, basically whatever I could find--and Reed measured the entire bottom half of his leg!

Asher accidentally ripped a page in a book. Reed took Asher's face gently in his hands and said, "Asher, I just really don't like when you rip books. Because then it's an uh-oh and I have to get tape. And I just really want to play. So please try to be careful sweetie."

Reed told Asher one day, "Asher, I'm really aware that you want to do that, but I just don't want you too."


 Another school project! We were learning about "s" so we made a pattern of shoes down the hall (Asher, Reed, Mom, Dad, etc.)

Reed is extremely interested in how things--machines, cars, everything--work. We end up watching a lot of videos on YouTube that show how things work because I don't really know either. Then he likes to build things out of building toy (SmartLinks) or blocks and explain to me how all the parts work. Some of his creations would be amazing to see in real life!

Ever since Reed got his stitches out he has become ridiculously attached to band-aids. I am seriously having to wean him off them because he is so tentative and nervous about using his finger! He doesn't wear a band-aid at night anymore and I go for as long in the day without a band-aid as I can get him to. Lately, the skin has been peeling off a bit (sorry to gross you out) and his attachment has grown even worse. He may be going to college with a band-aid on his finger.

 So blurry but too cute.

Reed has always been interested in and wanting to play with Asher, but since Asher has started to communicate more and play together better Reed has really started to take on his "big brother" role. He always invites Asher to come play with him. It's super cute: "Hey Ash, do you want to come to my room and go on a space adventure with me?" He is constantly telling Asher not to do things Asher shouldn't do--he's really starting to boss Asher around! I've enjoyed watching the two of them interact more.

While we were in California, Reed fell in love with the trike at Grandma and Grandpa's house. He rode it at least twice a day and would have spent all day on it if he could! He doesn't have a lot of chances to ride his bike at home--it is too hot and the heat makes me sick when I'm pregnant--so he really loved all the time he got on the trike at Grandma's.

Reed likes to build things then bring them to me and explain all about how they work. I believe this was a mask that could double as a camera.

Reed's sense of humor has been developing a lot lately. I can't think of any examples currently (of course), but he's starting to say things on purpose that are funny rather than just being funny because they came out of the mouth of a three year old. He's also starting to understand other people's jokes  more (mostly the jokes he sees in movies) and cracks up whenever he finds something funny.

Displaying his police badge and hat at story time.

Ryan and I got really tired of watching the same episode of Mickey or George over and over and over, so Ryan got Reed really excited about watching new episodes. Parenting is really all about PR. Anyway, now Reed loves watching new episodes and doesn't care about his old favorites.

The infamous stitches. Reed was beyond pumped that he got to keep them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fourth of July

When we're able to, we like to spend the Fourth of July in California--we've been there every year on the Fourth since Reed was born (2009, 2010, 2011)--because the Fourth of July in California is fantastic.

This year's festivities started with a church pancake breakfast (yum), then discovering one of our tires had picked up the largest nail I've ever seen. I'm pretty sure we drove the entire way to California with said nail in our tire, which freaks me out. Anyway, thank goodness for cousins: Reed spent the forty-five minute wait for AAA in heaven playing with them. We also got to stake out our fireworks spot.

When we got back to Grandma's, Reed was so super pumped to share his Fourth of July tattoos with his cousins. (Side note: These tattoos still won't come off.)

Asher was more excited about showing off his belly.

We arrived at our perfect firework viewing spot early enough to play a rousing game of soccer. I played while holding Asher since he'd decided to scream if I left his side for more than thirty seconds at a time. I think I might be a better soccer player holding Asher than not, though.

After soccer, we had a picnic and Reed got his hair painted. He was more excited about the hair than the tattoos, if you can believe it. He cried the next day when we washed it out--I'm pretty sure he thought it was a permanent color change.

Really, though, it was a pretty sick paint job. (Thanks, Shannon!)

Fireworks aren't legal where we were, but poppers are. The grandmas came loaded with enough poppers to furnish a small army. The kids made quick work of them.

After Asher saw me step on a popper that hadn't exploded, the foot step became his method of choice.

We attempted a kid portrait of (almost) all the cousins in both Ryan's dad's family and Ryan's uncle's family.  Quite successful, really. (By the way, the five littlest boys were all born in the same year. Fun, right?)

My favorite kid in the picture? Fletcher, easy.

Finally, it was dark and glow sticks were handed around. Reed was so pumped for fireworks he was practically bouncing around.

And Asher fell so in love with this chair that he sat at the head of the adult circle without Ryan or I for half an hour.

The fireworks started pretty late--especially if you were on Utah time--and Reed fell asleep on Ryan's lap in about five minutes. He'd been so excited about the fireworks that we tried to wake him up, but his head tipped back and he was snoring in just a few seconds. Asher stayed awake the entire time. I asked him if he liked the fireworks and he told me, "Buh-buh ike it." (Brother likes it.) He did enjoy pointing out various colors to me.

I caught a smiley-face firework on camera on accident and I was so pumped that I couldn't not post it. For your viewing pleasure:


Happy Fourth!