Friday, February 28, 2014

Who Are You? A Topic for Each Week of the Year {Week 7: Parents}

Week 1: Name/Birth
Week 2: School

What were your parents like? Did you have a special relationship with either of them? Do you know anything about them from when they were children?

My mom and dad with Reed, December 2008
I was lucky to have a special relationship with both of my parents--they both are and always have been super supportive. Here are a few specific memories I have of each of them:

Mom

I was blessed to have a mom who did not work outside the home. As such, I got to spend a lot of time with her. My mom is super, super crafty. She quilts, she sews, she paints--she can basically do anything. And do it well. I remember making forts under her big quilting frames and laying underneath them with Lynnie while my mom would tie the quilt. Sometimes I'd bring a book down and pass an enjoyable hour reading and listening to her chat with her friends. Other times I was apparently a little less lazy and would help tie the quilt. I'm sure my knots were loose and sub-par, but she always made me feel like I was doing a good job and was super helpful. I remember so many trips to the fabric store. Lynnie and I would flip through the gigantic pattern books while my mom got what she needed. If she was making something for us, she'd let us help pick out the fabric. If we had a specific costume we wanted tor Halloween, she made it. She made me a beautiful yellow "ball gown" the year I wanted to be Belle for Halloween. She hand-painted a doll house for us one year for our Barbies, which we loved.

My mom and I on my wedding day. 
My mom would always help us with our school projects--and there are five of us, so she had a lot of projects to help on. One time in middle school I had this project--I have no idea what the assignment was, but I decided to make a monster wallet to fulfill it. My mom helped me sew a wallet out of faux-fur, then I made a driver's license, fake money, a bank card, etc. to fill out. One time I had to make a cell in a creative way. Per tradition (seriously, every one of my siblings did this), she helped me make a GIGANTIC sucker, using different candies as the cell parts. Speaking of suckers--my mom had a sucker-making business for a while before I was born. So she had a plethora of molds, flavorings, and even a handy little bagging machine. (It was seriously cool.) We'd occasionally get the whim to make suckers and she'd help us heat the sugar, add the coloring and flavor, pour the molds, and bag the final products! In high school, I decided to run for student council and my mom spent hours making posters with me, with clever slogans she came up with. My favorite was "If you "carrot" all, vote for Megan!" The poster was shaped like a gigantic carrot. It was fantastic. She spent even more hours helping me put together my Sterling Scholar binder, finding and scanning in every award I'd ever gotten.

My mom with Asher, October 2010.
For a personal progress project one year (part of the Young Women's program), I decided I wanted to learn how to tint black and white photos. (How did I come up with this idea? I'm not sure.) My mom got the supplies for us, then helped me figure out what I was doing. Turns out, tinting photos is super fun. My mom also taught me to sew, to crochet, to cook, to bake, to clean, and to do anything remotely crafty.

My mom came on every single field trip I had in elementary school. I don't even think I'm exaggerating. I can't think of a single field trip when she wasn't there. She took us all 100,000 different places--dance lessons, soccer practice, basketball practice, voice lessons, softball practice, volleyball practice, early morning jazz band--I seriously don't know how she did it. She was at EVERY single one of our games and performances, even though sports aren't her favorite thing. My junior year I had a really bad volleyball experience, and my mom went and talked to my coach after the game, super upset. At the time, I was a little embarrassed--but also grateful to know that she cared about what mattered to me.

My mom with Lila, January 2013.
My mom was at the birth of each of my babies, and helped me get through the "what is this motherhood thing?" phase each time. When I found out Reed was failure to thrive, she called me and I cried to her on the phone for an hour. She told me I should come stay with them for a few days, and I did--which was a huge blessing. 

Whenever I have a question or want to try a project, she lets me come "shop" for supplies in her basement, then gives me a tutorial when I get stuck. Right after Lila was born, I mentioned I was looking for stretchy lace for headbands for Lila, but hadn't been able to get to the craft store because it was far away and I was having trouble juggling three kids. Four days later I opened my mailbox to see a small package from my mom with four different kinds of stretch lace. That's just the kind of person she is. And I'm so grateful for all she has taught me.

Dad
Every year, the night before school started, my dad gave each of his children a father's blessing for the new school year. I forward to my blessing every year. Additionally, he was more than happy to give me a blessing any time I needed one.

In Elementary School one time, my dad came on a field trip as a chaperon. I think we went to Spring Mountain Ranch, but I'm really not sure. Anyway, I was PUMPED that my dad had taken a day off work to come with me!

During my junior year of high school, I went to the temple to do baptisms every Saturday (or almost) with my friend, Alyssa Winterton. One time, before I left , my dad sat down with me and read my a scripture: "And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy aname may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine bangels have charge over them;" (D&C 109:22). He told me how proud he was of me for going to the temple and that the work I was doing was important. I still read that scripture every time I go to the temple. I got really involved in family history work in high school and one time, while I was on the computer looking for family names, my dad sat with me for a minute. He told me that the stake president had promised that if we did family history work for an hour each week, our families would be blessed and spared trials. He told me I was directly blessing our family. Those experiences were very special to me.
My dad and I on my blessing day (early 1987).
My dad was the bishop of our ward when I got baptized--I copied my sister Lynnie and told him I didn't want him to baptize me--I wanted the bishop to baptize me! The day of my baptism was really special. Our new church building had just recently been completed. The morning of my baptism, I got to go to the church with my dad to help him hang the large artwork that had arrived for the walls of the church. I was his eyes--I'd tell him what looked centered and leveled. I had a great time with just the two of us. Later, when we got to the baptismal font, we saw that somehow the stopped had come unplugged and the font was empty. He replugged it and started the water again. Luckily we were early--but when the guests arrived there was only about 1.5 feet of water. He had to lower me super far down into the water, but it worked out!

My dad ended up basically following me around with my bouquet on my wedding day! (July 28, 2006)
When I was in high school, my dad spent HOURS tossing volleyballs to me at the gym so I could practice my passing. We set up two empty garbage cans as my targets. He'd toss, I'd pass, he'd retrieve the ball. Over. And over. And over. We only had one volleyball, so this was kind of a lot of work for him--not to mention a huge time sacrifice.

Throughout middle school and high school, my dad occasionally left notes on my mirror when I had a particularly important or challenging day ahead of me. I still have two: one that says "good luck at tryouts!" (trying out for the sixth grade basketball team) and one that said "there are two types of people: those who are bugs and those who are windshields. Be a windshield today!" and had a picture of a bug and a windshield that he'd drawn. The latter came during a particularly emotional and trying time during my junior year of high school. Those notes meant a lot to me.
When I was a junior in high school, I re-took the ACT, trying to reach a 33 so I could qualify to apply for the Presidential Scholarship at BYU. I had a volleyball game in Las Vegas the afternoon after the test, so I took the test in Vegas. I woke up very early in the morning, realizing that I had forgotten my ID at home. Panic ensued. My dad spent the next several hours on the phone with our neighbor (who used our garage code to get into the house, get my car keys, get my wallet out of my car; then drove to Kinko's, made a high quality copy, and faxed it), the testing center, the test administrator, anyone he could talk to. That day was my very last chance to take the test to qualify for the scholarship. And guess what? After all that drama, they let me in, let me take the test, and counted my score. Which was a 34. I didn't get the scholarship--but I was grateful for a dad who cared so much about what I cared about. 

My dad coached me on more teams than I can count. He came to every single game, whether he was the coach or not. That's not to mention the dance recitals choir performances, band performances, awards ceremonies, and millions of other things he came to. I love him and am so grateful for him!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Brothers


Sometimes, these brothers fight like crazy and can't stop bugging each other.

And sometimes they share a stool and say, "Mommy, look how cute we are! Take a picture of us!"

I'm so glad they have each other. Right now they are each others' best friend. They do everything together. They depend on each other. Reed climbs into bed with Asher when Asher is scared. They crack each other up. They do experiments together--like the one where Reed holds a cup over each of his eyes and Asher shoots water directly into Reed's face. They love to match--the other day I put them in matching shirts and together they decided to wear matching pants, shoes, and hairstyles. They give each other rides on the back of the trike. They sort all the wheel pieces out of their building toy, divide the wheels evenly, and build buildings together. When Reed has quiet time and builds k'nex, he builds a duplicate of his creation and leaves it outside Asher's door so Asher can play with it after his nap. I hope that they stay friends growing up and that they always have a special bond.

I sure love these boys.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Monthly Asher: 40

I've found that I kind of often repeat what Asher said in a different way to make sure I have his meaning clear (he talks in circles sometimes). Lately, though, Asher will respond, "That's just like what I said!" or "I like mean that!" I find it to be pretty cute. 

Sometimes your hat is the perfect way to carry your guys.
I don't remember why, but one day we had Asher nap in the master bedroom instead of in his. I put songs on for him on the apple tv--he choose Christmas songs and was SO pumped to hear them. Now he wants to nap in there every day. He always says, "Mom can I like sleep in your room? But like on your side of the bed. And can I listen to the Santa sleigh songs?" He gets on kicks where he wants to read the same book every time he takes a nap. His current book is David Gets in Trouble. The previous book was Leonardo the Terrible Monster and before that was Froggy's Day with Dad. At bedtime, though, he always chooses a different book. Oh, and if Reed tries to come in while we are reading? Asher yells, "BUBBA! Go out. This is Mommy and Ashie time!" At night, Ryan and Reed read their chapter books. I put Lila down, then Ashie and I get to read a book and play together--we both love it, because our Mommy and Ashie time is pretty limited!

Photo bomb.
Asher and Lila have a special little connection. They love each other and drive each other crazy at the same time. But often Ashie will start playing with Lila and she just cracks up. They do goofy things together and I love to watch them play.

I asked them to smile for the picture. If you can tell from his profile, Ashie is totally smiling but too busy building his base to look at the camera.
Sometimes Asher will tell me, "Mommy just so you know...." the proceed to tell me something that's usually pretty mind-blowing ;) 

One day Asher said, "Dolly is the one who toots a lot. And Daddy. Daddy is the smelliest one in the family!"

We babysat friends one night. Asher and Reed loved having them over. As they were going upstairs Asher told me, "Mommy, the boys and the grills are going upstairs!
Lila sneezed on Asher and he said, "Polly bless youed on my face!" (Side note: we started calling Lila "Dolly" pretty much from day one. Asher has also decided that "Polly" is appropriate because Polly rhymes with Dolly.)

Asher is still loving school and it has been so good for him. He used to get so nervous when we were going somewhere and he knew other kids would be there (like church or a friend's house or even the library). He'd tell me, "I don't like friends" or "I don't like kids." Now, though, he LOVES to go to school and see his friends. And, a few of his school friends are in his church class--so he loves going there, too! He has even become less nervous when we're going to be around other kids he doesn't know. I'm so proud of him! In addition to social skills, he loves to learn. He recognizes and knows the sounds of most of the letters now, and his writing gets better every week.

His writing practice from school one day.
One day I was upstairs when I heard Asher say, "Dolly do you know what no means?! It means no!" I'm not sure what was going on but hearing him say that phrase was pretty hilarious.
Sleeping on mommy's side :)
Still loves his bee ball.
Lila scratched Reed in the car. Reed asked her to stop and she burst into tears. Asher immediately said, "Dolly, you can scratch me!" in an effort to cheer her up. He was totally serious, too. For the next few days, anytime she cried in the car Asher told her, "You can scratch me!!" 

The "Peekaboo Guy"
Sometimes Asher says, "Mom, if anyone's looking for the peekaboo guy, just tell them he's right here!" Then he'll lift up his shirt to show my monkey hiding in the waistband of Asher's pants.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Monthly Lila: 13


Girlfriend thinks this chair belongs to her. She figured out how to climb into it by herself and now any time she's near it she has to sit in it! Notice her tongue--she sticks it out a lot!

Our thirteen-month-old doll has started communicating quite a bit! Honestly, her biggest form of communication is shaking her head no. Whenever I try to do her hair or buckle her into her car seat, she immediately starts shaking her head no. Which in part is hilarious and in part makes me crazy. She occassionally says "nuh nuh" for "no no" while she shakes her head, but it's usually just the shake. She does say "mama," "dah" for "dad" (though this is increasingly becoming "dada"), "buh" for "brother." She has started doing this intent one-handed stretch toward things she wants. She pointed once, but usually it's a full hand reaching with all her energy for the desired item.

Just getting a drink from brother!
It appears that we are going to delve into the wonderful world of food allergies. Ryan has food allergies and, honestly, I've just been waiting for one of the kids to break out in hives. (Okay, Reed did once, but his case of hives is still unresolved). Anyway, I was making PB&Js for the boys. Dolly was on the counter by me (so unsafe, yes) because if she's not on the counter she flips a lid and screams while she holds on to my legs the entire time I prep a meal. She was reaching toward the peanut butter with all her might, making her signature "uh! Uh! UH!" which means "give me some NOWWWWWW!" I thought, "Well, she's one now...we're in the clear!" and handed her a baby spoon with about 1/4 tsp. of peanut butter on it. She sucked on it for a minute, then decided she wasn't interested. Five minutes later, her face and right wrist were covered in what was unmistakably hives. Her poor little eye was swollen and I was in a panic. I knew it had to be the peanut butter. I called the doctor, and they determined that Lila was likely having a surface reaction, since she'd ingested to little. They advised me to give Lila a bath and watch her for breathing troubles. The bath cleared the hives up almost immediately, and thankfully breathing was never an issue. If such a small amount of peanut butter led to hives, though, I don't even want to think of what a larger amount would do. Poor doll!

In the bath, post hives. The redness on the right side of her face and her chest are the fading hives (they had cleared up a lot at this point) and her right eye is still a little swollen and pink in the picture.
Baby Jae loves peek-a-boo! Peek-a-boo is the one thing that is almost guaranteed to calm her down when she's mad. I often have the boys go tell Lila that I'm coming when she wakes up from a nap (she is kind of a grumpy waker-upper). If I take too long to go in, she starts complaining. If one of them starts playing peek-a-boo with her, she starts cracking up. And if you ask her, "Where's Dolly?" she puts both hands on her head in an attempt to cover her eyes.

Just helping with the dishes. How tough are her sleeveless onesies?
We accidentally discovered that Lila LOVES to play catch! She was fussy, so I was holding her. Asher wanted me to play catch with a plush ball, so we did so while I held Lila. And she about died she laughed so hard. She'd hold out both hands for Asher to throw it to her, then giggle as I walked her over to him, where she'd drop the ball into his waiting arms. It's ridiculously cute.
One of her favorite drawers to empty. Also one of the most hodge-podge drawers in our house.

Lila enjoys filling things up and dumping them out. We have these plastic balls that snap in half and Lila loves to snap them apart, put something inside, dump it out, put it back inside, dump it out...repeat. She also loves to empty the bottom drawer in my bathroom while I get ready. Lately, I've set her up on the counter beside me so she couldn't get to the drawer--and she started taking everything out of the basket of stuff on the counter.

Dolly's signature hairdo. It comes from ripping out the cute little ponytails I put in her hair.
Ryan is officially into busy season and the kids officially miss him. In the morning after I feed Lila, I usually take her in to say "hi" to Ryan. She has started holding her hand to the door and saying "da" once she's done eating. Lately, though, he's gone before she wakes up--so she crawls around the house saying, "Da.....da....da..." I'm pretty sure she's looking for him.

I was trying to take a stealth picture...
...and she caught me!
We were in Primary for opening exercises last week, waiting to hear Ashie give a talk. They were doing a little activity to get their wiggles out that involved clapping and touching their heads. Dolly totally started doing it with them! It was super cute.

Trying to grab Reed's toy...
...and she got in a little over her head.
I had planned to start Lila on whole cow's milk right at her birthday. I was a little worried she'd have trouble with it (she had trouble whenever I ate too much dairy), so the doctor suggested I wait a few days after her appointment so that if she had a reaction I was sure it was from the milk and not the immunizations. Then we had the peanut issue, so I had to wait a little longer to be sure that was cleared up. We finally tried milk--and she was NOT a fan. I think she was more upset about not nursing than she was about the taste of the cow's milk. To be fair, we always nurse after she wakes up from bed/naps and for her first taste of milk, I got her out of bed, sat in our usual spot to nurse...and gave her a cup. She flipped a lid. The next time I was smarter about it but the milk was still a no-go. I asked a few friends for advice. One suggested I warm the milk--and thankfully, that did the trick! She is now pretty good about drinking her milk. I still sit with her and hold her (otherwise, she's too distracted to drink anything--and if I give it to her with a meal, she ignores it)--but she actually drinks the milk now! A few days ago, I got her from her nap, grabbed her milk out of the fridge--she got super excited--and then stuck the milk in the microwave. She burst into tears and cried for the 35 seconds of heating. When I got the milk out of the microwave, she started giggling and reaching for it--super cute.

We have a milk drinker!
She tends to spit out full mouthfuls of milk if she gets too much, so she always drinks bibbed.
I mentioned before that Lila's iron was low again at her 12-month appointment. We had to go see a specialist, which was a little bit of a nightmare--we were in the waiting room for 1.5 hours and in the examination room for another 1 hour before we saw a doctor for a total of 7 minutes. Anyway, Lila has iron-deficient anemia, which apparently is pretty common. If we treat it now, it's not a big deal. I give her a prescription iron supplement (it's more concentrated than the over-the-counter drops) twice a day and gave been trying to focus on implementing more iron-rich foods into her diet. We have a re-check in two months, when hopefully her iron levels will have increased!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Life with Dolly.

Miss Lila Jae got a cute new dress for her birthday. I needed a picture (of course). Here is what I got instead:

Because standing up is better than sitting.

Hey mom, we want to be in the picture, too!

Dolly!

DOOOOOLLLLLLYYYYY!

We're still kind of trying.

We've given up.

The end.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Box Talk

I finally emptied the Costco-sized boxes of diapers and wipes, then tossed them down the stairs to go out to the trash. When I walked down the stairs, though, I saw Reed and Asher each sitting in a box, playing. I did what any sensible mother would do: brought out the bucket of markers and let them go to town--for a full forty-five minutes! Their boxes were truly works of art.  Usually, they tire of projects like these after the first hour. But, much to my surprise, they actually played with the boxes for several days in a row--which made me happy they discovered the boxes before the boxes made it to the trash!







Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Who Are You? A Topic for Each Week of the Year {Week 6: Grandparents}

Week 1: Name/Birth
Week 2: School

What were your grandparents like? Do you have any special memories of them? Do you remember any stories they told you about themselves or your parents?

Maternal Grandparents
Grandma Edna {Dalley} Steel: How I loved my Grandma Steel. We used to visit my Steel grandparents yearly (or maybe once every two years). They lived in Plano, Idaho, and we'd drive all 12ish (including stops) hours there. We would leave very early in the morning to drive there and would be driving all day. This is so not safe and completely illegal now, but we'd fold down the middle seat of our suburban, pile blankets and pillows, and sleep for the first few hours of the drive! Occasionally, I'd make myself a bed on top of our luggage in the back. This really happened. Anyway, it was all worth it to visit my Grandma and Grandpa. I loved picking raspberries from her garden, then taking them in and sorting them with her and stealing a few as we'd go. They were delicious. We'd rummage though the attic to find dress-ups, then act out stories together. One time I'm pretty sure my sister married me to my cousin. Another cousin was our child. At my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, a few of the boys were playing "horse" in the church gym during the clean-up. They were sing a half-deflated old volleyball. My grandma joined in the game, in her nice dress from the party! One Christmas, she made us all pillows. They were a faux-fur kind of material and my parents still have them in their basement. Another year, she made every grandchild a teddy bear (keep in mind that she had nearly 40 grandchildren at the time). She called them "Ande bears" (Ande=Edna spelled backward). My bear is very special to me--I still have him. One time I wrote my grandma a thank you note for something she'd done for me--and she sent me a thank you note for my thank  you note! When I was 9, my grandma was diagnosed with lung cancer. She passed away in fall of 1995. We were all devastated--I remember sobbing through her funeral. I'm so grateful to know, though, that we will see her again. I have a beautiful charm necklace of my grandmother's to remember her by. 

Grandpa Louis O. Steel: Grandpa Steel is my only living grandparent. When I was little, I always called him the "teasing grandpa" because he is seriously a major tease. I still remember trying to sneak past him so he wouldn't tickle me! My Grandpa has walked with a cane for as long as I can remember. When he was young he had an illness (polio??) and ended up with a metal hip. Grandpa loves to read--which, unfortunately, is not possible for him now because of failing eyesight. I always remember him having a book next to him. He was a very fast reader and would finish a several-hundred pages long book in a matter of days. One time I was visiting and had finished my book (the horror!). Luckily, Grandpa had plenty of books to borrow. I settled on the first book in the Children of the Promise series. I loved it so much that he let me take books one, two, and three home to keep! Grandpa has had hearing trouble for many years. He is very quiet until you get him to talking--then he tells great stories. He went through a phase where he really enjoyed making potholders with one of those weaving loom things--I think all of his kids have a drawer-full! His favorite restaurant is Chuck-A-Rama (a buffet) or Golden Corral (another buffet), and we generally end up at one of the two when we take him out to celebrate birthdays.

Paternal Grandparents
Grandma Irene Alice {Russell} Rolfe: My Grandma Rolfe was diagnosed with Alzheimer's/Dementia when I was pretty young, and I really don't have many memories of her before that. After she was diagnosed and had to stop working, she came to "work" at our house. She'd help my mom with cleaning during the day and would spend some time with Kayla, who hadn't started school yet. My grandma always had a positive attitude and a smile on her face, even when her disease started making her easily confused. One random memory: my grandma and grandpa were on a trip with us and we'd stopped at a fast food restaurant on the drive. My grandpa got food for himself and my grandma, then went to use the restroom. Unbeknownst to the rest of us, my grandma ate both her chicken sandwich and his chicken sandwich before he got back! We all had a good chuckle over that one.

Grandpa Dee Rolfe: Honestly, I had kind of a complicated relationship with my grandpa. He was not the world's easiest person to get along with. But he was at basically every single game of every single sport I ever played. He was at all my siblings' games, too. We played a lot of sports--that was a lot of games. My sister and I played on a club basketball team called the "Vipers." We'd travel to out-of-town tournaments and I can't remember a tournament he didn't travel to with us. At the beginning of every game, just before tip-off--when it's actually pretty quiet in the gym--he'd yell "Go Viperrrrrrrrrrrrs" and keep going on that r sound for a long, long, time. It was impressive. After he started the "Go Vipers" tradition, he transferred it to our other teams--Panthers, Bighorns, etc. My grandpa really liked to experiment in the kitchen. Some of his experiments were more successful than others :) One thing I loved when I was little (and think sounds GROSS now!) were peanut butter and butter sandwiches. That's a lot of oil! My grandpa also liked to paint/draw. One year for Christmas he gave us portraits of ourselves he'd drawn. Grandpa and Grandma Rolfe always lived in the same city as us, so we saw them a lot--often on Sunday dinner, at every holiday, and of course at all our sporting events!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bubbles

A few notes about the bath:

1. Reed likes showers. Asher likes to take a bath. Lila doesn't have a choice. I usually make Reed get into the tub with Asher while I shower, with the promise that Reed can hop in the shower when I'm done. Usually, though, Reed is having so much fun with Asher that he wants to stay in the tub. 

2. The tub in the master bedroom is way bigger than the boys' tub. Slowly but surely, the toys have migrated bathrooms and now the boys take nearly all their baths in the big tub.

3. My babies all have uber-sensitive skin. Lila's is even worse than the boys. So we don't really do bubbles very often--if we do it more than once a week, their skin gets really irritated. I don't even usually buy bubble bath. But then I was cleaning out my bathroom drawers and guess what I found? (If you didn't guess bubble bath, you haven't been reading #3 very closely). The boys were PUMPED. And when Lila joined the mayhem she was more than happy to eat the bubbles. Yes, eat. What do you do about that?


You'd think she would stop after the fist taste.
Caught in the act!




Love Day

First, humor me for a moment as I shed a tear or two over how big my babies have gotten. Sigh:

{2013}
And now back to the business at hand: Valentines Day. Can I tell you something? Vday=not really a big deal to me. Seriously. Ryan and I don't love going on a Valentines date because, well, a two-hour wait is not my idea of romance. (Kind of ironically, though, our fake first date was on Valentines Day.) I'm not really a flowers-and-chocolate kind of girl, either. And now? Valentines Day falls directly within the bounds of busy season--so Ryan isn't even home to celebrate much anyway. We'd rather celebrate our first date anniversary (which also falls within busy season. Lame.). But. We do like to have some Valentine fun with our three little ones.

Lila would not hold still. So I asked, "Where's Lila?" and she immediately stopped moving and put her hands on her head to play peek-a-boo.
The boys were excited for Valentines Day this year because they both had Valentine parties for school to attend. They loved making Valentines for their friends and were beyond pumped to give them out. Asher's teacher for the day told me that Asher was the most excited not to get Valentines but to give them out! They worked really hard on their Valentines and their cards and treats turned out pretty cute (in my opinion at least). I let them look at a few ideas I found on Pinterest and choose what they wanted to make. Reed did Valentine s'mores and Asher gave a shovel with M n M's that said, "I dig you." Awesome.

Jae=the problem child of pictures.
The kids and I actually had kind of an eventful day on Valentines Day. It started, of course, with a photo shoot. Next we went to the church so I could practice the organ. The boys LOVE going to the church because they get to play with all the toys in the nursery.


We got home, put Lila for a nap, then the boys and I got our craft on. They worked on perler bead placemats while I painted a shelving thing for their room. We had a lot of fun and their placemats turned out to be super cute. They've used the placemats every day since!


After Lila's nap and lunch, we went over to a friend's house to decorate Valentine cookies and to play. The boys had so much fun decorating cookies! Asher is finally big enough to do a decent job of spreading frosting, so I even got to decorate a few cookies while I visited with Karinne and enjoyed myself. Honestly, it was the most enjoyable sugar cookie decorating experience I've had since having kids!

Reed's place mat.
Ryan made it home in time for a not-too-late dinner, woot woot. For dinner, Reed realllllllllly wanted to make pink heart-shaped pancakes. So we did, of course. I love a good breakfast for dinner! After the kids went to bed, Ryan and I put a show on. I'm pretty sure he fell asleep in approximately 10 minutes--he's been going in to work at 5:30 a.m. so he can get home before bedtime, and he's pretty exhausted. We sure love him.

Asher's place mat.
 All in all, a good Vday, I think.