Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Monthly Asher: 32

Posing for a bookmark we made for Ryan for Father's Day.

Asher loves puzzles and is quite good at them. He can put together a 30ish piece puzzle almost completely by himself and usually spends time playing puzzles every day.

Ashie and Bubba built "beds"

If Reed is doing something, you can be pretty sure Asher is going to try it, too. Asher loves Reed and wants to be just like Reed! He is interested in a lot of the same things Reed is and is often willing to try something just because Reed does. It's interesting in the brief times I spend with Asher when Reed isn't around--Asher is both excited to be alone and confused about where to start playing first!

Showing off his lego car (don't mind his weird expression)

Asher doesn't really like to be in new situations or around people he's not super comfortable with. We spent the last week in Tahoe with all of Ryan's family and Asher took a very, very long time to warm up to everyone. Luckily, he really loves Bubba and is willing to do things if Bubba will hold his hand (and Bubba usually will), so he did play with his cousins--though in a somewhat reserved manner.When he's nervous, he gets a lot clingier to me, too, so he spent a lot of time hiding behind me or sitting with me while we were in Tahoe.

Building a race track down the stairs is one of Asher's favorite things to do.

We gave Asher a Tag Jr. reading toy for his second birthday. He didn't care about it at all. But this past month, he has rediscovered it and loves it--it's his current favorite toy. He will sit and play with it for large blocks of time. He particularly likes the book called "Us" because it has a jammin' song at the end. He starts the song, then holds the Tag up to his hear boom-box-esque and rocks out. It's ridiculously cute. Reed has the Tag Reader, which he calls the "Reader Tag"--and since we call Reed "Reeder," Ashie thinks the toy is a "Reeder Tag"--so Ashie calls his Tag Jr. his "Ashie Tag."

Still fits.

As we've started pulling out some of the boys' old toys for Lila, Asher has started to take an interest in them (of course). His favorites are the exersaucer and the bumbo. He will often sit in the bumbo and just hang out or play with something for a while. And he loves to make the little computer part of the exersaucer sing. Which he does 1,000 times in a row :)

Chocolate monster.

Asher is perhaps the world's biggest chocolate ice cream fan. He goes crazy about it. Whenever we have ice cream and I ask him which flavor he wants, his immediate response is, "CHOCOLATE!" before he even hears any options!

He loves my water bottle so, so much.

Asher is often my happiest child--but he is also often my most grumpy or saddest child. He doesn't really have an "even"--he's either super excited or super mad. He also tends to vacillate pretty quickly between the two extremes. Luckily, he's more often happy than mad.

Grumpy face.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Behind the Scenes

I found this series of pictures and couldn't help but laugh. 

Every month, I take a picture of Lila with this stuffed lamb.

And every month, we experience something a little like this...

I hold the boys off as long as a can because they always want to be in the picture, too. As soon as I give them the go sign (and usually sooner), they are by Lila on the couch.

Then Reed starts trying to eat his feet, of course. And no, Asher isn't wearing any pants.

There is usually some sort of scuffling for position involved.

And the boys always want to see the picture, so come right in front of me. (By the way, red thing in Reed's eye? What is that?)

This happens. Totally on accident.

Reed wins the scuffle and is next to Lila. I'm pretty sure she's sending me a silent plea for help.

Asher makes another foray to the couch.

And then Lila is smothered with love.

Just a day in the life. I love it.

The Monthly Lila: 5

Soon she'll be bigger than the lamb.

 Is it possible to love toes as much as I love Lila's toes?

Lila has figured out how to roll from her back to her tummy. The first two times she accomplished the roll were in bed, of course. She was supposed to be going to sleep, but I heard her fussing so I checked on her and was surprised to find her on her belly.

LJ always has a friend. 

Lila is generally good about falling asleep on her own in her crib. Sometimes, though--especially since she's learned to roll--she just plays instead of going to sleep! She's not a crier, really (thank goodness), so she won't cry in bed. She'll just squeal, roll, and generally have a good time. If she gets out of her swaddle, there is no way she will go to sleep, which is a problem since she's really great at getting out of her swaddle. When she's not playing, she goes to sleep within 5-10 minutes. Randomly, bedtime is her most likely time to play--possibly because it's the time she's most tired. At least she plays rather than cries, right?

 Hanging out with brothers while Daddy hangs pictures.

Lila has dropped her fourth nap. If I try to put her down for a fourth nap, she just plays instead of sleeping (unless she's woken up early and started her day early or has napped poorly the entire day, which happens on occasion). Our schedule is a little out of whack from being in Lake Tahoe all last week, but she generally takes three naps ranging from 1 hour to 2.5 hours. The boys were both so scheduled, but I've had a hard time getting her to stay on a good schedule--sometimes her first nap is her long nap, sometimes her last nap is her long nap. But generally, her first waketime is 60 minutes, her first nap about 90 minutes; her second waketime 80 minutes, her second nap 2-2.5 hours; her third waketime 85-90 minutes, her third nap 90ish minutes; her fourth waketime between 90 minutes and 2 hours, with bedtime between 7-7:30. Again, her schedule is a little weird from our trip, but she generally wakes up between 1-2 a.m. to eat, and again around 5 a.m. to eat, then up for the day about 7:30 a.m. It's a work in progress.

 This worm is one of her favorite toys.

Lila loves her worm toy, which sings to her if she touches it or moves by it. She also loves "crinkly" toys--you know the toys that make the "crinkly" sound (think plastic grocery bag) when you grab them? Anyway, she's a big fan of those. And she absolutely loves her singing pig.

 Lila is so loved.

Lila is a big fan of the game peek-a-boo. She doesn't make any reaction if you cove her eyes, then do boo, but if you cover your own and do boo she rewards you with huge smiles and occasionally squeals and giggles. We spent last week in Tahoe with cousins, and once they discovered the reaction she gives for peek-a-boo, they pretty much played peek-a-boo with her non-stop.


Lila loves to be sung to. Her favorites are songs with actions, like "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man," and "Popcorn Popping," with "Popcorn Popping being her absolute favorite. I usually tickle her whenever there is a "rain" action in a song, which she thinks is hilarious. In fact, she has come to anticipate being tickled any time I wiggle my fingers above her, and will squirm and giggle before I even touch her.

 LJ is always chewing on something, toy or otherwise.

Lila has yet to take a bottle successfully. Part of the problem is that I just don't think about it. The other part of the problem is that she freaks out when I try to give her a bottle, and Ryan is only home for her last feed of the day--so if we forget when he's home, we're out of luck. One day.

 Sweet doll.

Lila is such a content baby. She will lay on the  ground and play or coo by herself happily for a good 20 minutes. On our Tahoe trip, she missed several naps, had to nap in the carrier, and was just super off her schedule--but she was happy the entire time. She's not a fussy baby, which is nice.

 Reaching for a toy.

Lila loves the tub. She is pretty excited about her own tub and splashes like crazy every time she's in it. While we were in Tahoe, I put her on a towel in the big tub and she went crazy. She was kicking and splashing and having a grand time. Then she tried to roll over and things weren't so grand :) She is definitely a water baby.
I love her smiles.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yet Another Post About Motherhood (Are you Surprised?)

A few times in the past weeks (well, maybe more than a few), I've asked Ryan if he's noticed something I've done around the house after he's failed to comment on it. Sometimes he's noticed whatever it was and just hasn't had a chance to say anything about it, sometimes he hasn't noticed because, well, it was a pretty insignificant change. But sometimes, I really need someone to recognize that I've accomplished something tangible with my time during the day because, truly, there are many days when the only things I accomplished are keeping everyone fed, somewhat rested, and mostly clean. I remember saying to Ryan one day, "I'm just looking for a little validation." (Note: Ryan is a great husband and almost always comments when he can tell I've done something, even if it's just cleaning the front room. Seriously, he's awesome. This post is in no way downplaying him.)

It's hard to be a stay-at-home mom with three little kids. Sometimes, when Ryan gets home and asks, "So what did you do today?" I have to really think--because what did I really do? Most days, it goes something like this: I fed Lila, got the boys breakfast, got Lila down for a nap, did some form of exercise, showered (with the boys), fed Lila again, played or went somewhere, got Lila down for another nap, got the boys lunch, got the boys down for quiet time and naps, fed Lila again, spent a little time with her, got her down for another nap, did Mommy/Buddy time, put a show on for the boys, cleaned, fed Lila again, started dinner--and then Ryan gets home. A long list, yes, but it doesn't feel like much got accomplished beside feeding people and putting people to bed. I have learned that a lot of motherhood--at least when your children are small--is physical effort, in addition to mental and emotional exhaustion. I physically do a lot for them each day because there are a lot of things they just can't do for themselves yet--like getting lunch or self-directing their clean-up efforts. Thankfully, as they've gotten older, Reed and Asher have become much more independent and can get drinks and snacks for themselves, as well as get dressed and go to the bathroom without assistance (mostly), but still, I spend a lot of my day doing physical tasks. And I want someone to notice.

I'm coming to a purpose for this post, I promise.

Today, I was reading my scriptures and came across these two verses in 3 Nephi, where Christ is delivering a sermon very similar to the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 6:

3 Nephi 13: But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast ashut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father, who bseeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

 3 Nephi 13: 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father, who is in asecret; and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

I realized that I'm expecting everyone to notice what an effort I'm making every single day to be a good mom to these three little ones. I want verbal acknowledgment of that I'm actually accomplishing something. I want people to know that I'm doing a lot around here and that I'm not just spending my day hanging out. And guess what? I am accomplishing something. I am being noticed and acknowledged--just looking to the wrong sources (like Facebook or Instagram) for that acknowledgement. I am being rewarded with so many blessings I can hardly count them all. I guess what I'm saying is that I need to be content where I am with what I'm doing and not worry so much that everyone know what I'm doing and tell me what a great job I'm doing--which is going to be a learning process for me.  I'm grateful for my blessings. I'm grateful for my children and husband. And I'm grateful to have a loving Father in Heaven who does see the effort I'm making and validates that effort by pouring his love and peace upon me.

Update: Ryan sent me this article, which perfectly relates to what I'm talking about. The article is worth a read!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Instalife: May

My instagram feed...
When Reed and Ryan went on their date, Ashie and Lila got to take a bath together. Ashie thought it was the coolest thing, EVER. And I was reminded of a certain two little boys in the tub together (which feels like it was yesterday).

I made a cowl! The boys really, really wanted to try it on (seriously, they requested). I followed Maybe Matilda's crochet along for the pattern and pattern helps. This cowl is going to come in handy for the 110* weather we've been having lately.

I took this picture while we were out of town--I went in to check on her and she was just too sweet to resist.

One night Ryan went to the temple, so the boys and I got ice cream in colored cones and gave Lila a pedi!

Ashie has been refusing to stay in his bed for naps--so I put him in the pack n' play. Now he requests to sleep in it (he calls it the "baby bed")

We finally started decorating! Woot!

We love good food. This meal is very "Hambly."

Reeder won huge butterfly poster from Redrock Canyon Visitor's Center, and we have been using our "Mommy and Buddy time" to color it together.

Yes, this is a screen shot--I think I accidentally deleted the original. Anyway, the boys and I finished 500 books in our library's 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program. Every 100 books you get to choose a small prize, and at 500 you get a book bag. Reed thought the book bag was a lame prize, so I pulled out the fabric paints and we added a little swag to ours to make them more fun. Reed suggested the "zig zags." And Asher wanted to be just like Reed (of course).

Saturday, June 8, 2013

More Family Pictures (Seriously)

In the past few weeks, we finally started hanging pictures and other decorations on our walls. Yes, we have lived here four months. You may remember that the first time we bought a house, we were unpacked and fully decorated in two weeks. Apparently getting settled takes a touch longer when you've got a newborn and move at the beginning of busy season. 

I digress. (As usual.) Anyway, we decided to do a collage wall because we have a ton of wall space here. We needed to print pictures and wanted a large one of the three kids--but we weren't super happy with the picture we got at Redrock and we didn't want the pictures to be too matchy-matchy. So we took the kids to the park and promised a good amount of play time if they cooperated--and they did, for the most part. Here are the best pictures we got:

Love these three!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Family Pictures 2013

After our first family picture attempt with three children, I have concluded that taking a decent family picture when you have kids is impossible.

Thank goodness for photoshop.

We learned when Asher was little that photoshopping a baby's head is actually not hard at all. So instead of a picture where no one is looking, at least we have a picture where everyone is mostly looking (oh, Asher...he wasn't fully looking in ANY picture) and where most everyone is smiling. We'll talk that up to success for this time.

Taking pictures of the three kids is also difficult. You have enough adults making fools of themselves for everyone to look, but you are quite concerned for the well-being of the baby.

I also learned that taking a picture of just one kid is cake. Check these out:

Oh, you want to see more pictures of my beautiful children? You're welcome.

 We even took a picture of just the two of us:

And Daddy had to have one with Little Miss:

Until next year, family pictures.

(A big thanks to my sister Mandi for coming on a "walk" with us to take these)