Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Monthly Lila: 22

Lila's favorite things: Minnie Mouse (Mee Mee!), Winnie the Pooh (Pooh), Curious George/any monkey (aah aah...because monkeys say aah aah). The funny thing is that her exposure to these three things was very, very minimal before she started loving them. We had one Minnie book. Minnie was also on her diapers. We had a few Winnie the Pooh books. We also had a few Curious George books. That's all she had. So you can imagine her excitement one day when the boys decided to watch Curious George on TV. Oh. My. Goodness. She was yelling, "Aah aah! Aah aah!" over and over. So cute. Now, though, every time we turn on the TV she starts yelling, "aah aah!" and sadly, we almost never watch aah aah. We were at Wal Mart yesterday, visiting the toy section (the kids' favorite part of going to Wal Mart). Usually we just go to the rows the boys like, but I decided to venture down a girl row for Lila. She found Minnie almost immediately and was beyond excited, yelling, "mee mee! MEE MEE!" and giving the doll hugs. She's too cute.
Relaxing at a hotel
We still have a long way to go talking-wise but she is improving a lot, too. I've been working with her on words mainly as a way to reduce screaming and frustration (mostly from her :). Now, when she wants something, she usually just starts saying "please" (pronounced "bees"). If I ask her what she wants she usually points to it or goes and touches it. She sometimes says what it is. If she doesn't use a word, and we know what she does want, we have her try to say the word for whatever it is she wants. Another funny quirk of hers is that she says most of her words twice in a row (like "Ree Ree for Reed"), Some of her words: bye-bye, hi, bees (please), Ree Ree (Reed), Doo doo (Goo goo...AKA Asher), mama, dada, wah wah (walk walk...also what she uses to tell me she wants shoes), bye (bike), dee-dee (stinky), pee pee, da/yeah (yeah...she says it both ways), no no, baby, boh (bear), aah aah (monkey...they say "aah aah"), Pooh, Mee mee (Minnie), din dee (drinkie), mow (more),  Luh luh (Lila), dee dee (Jae Jae), doo doo (choo choo), dee dee (cheekies), my (mine), wow wow (bow wow), bee pees (piggies), uh oh.

Lila can identify most body parts. We've added in a few new, tricky parts lately: shoulder, chin, cheeks, and bum. The bum one was kind of an accident. We were quizzing her on body parts (the boys think that's a fun game) and one of them asked her where her bum was. She immediately pointed to her bum and the boys cracked up, of course. Then they asked her where Reed's bum, Asher's bum, Mommy's bum, and Daddy's bum were. She found them all.
Art projects with Ashie
Lila knows the sounds of a few animals, too. She knows that a cow says "moo," an elephant says "bbbbbbbvbvbv" (hard to explain, but she raises her arm for a trunk and makes a cute little noise--she learned it from buddy school), a cat says "meow," a doggie says "bow wow," and a monkey says "aah aah." If she sees a giraffe, she raises her arm high in the air to show that it's tall. And she calls horses moos, of course.

I found Lila bare naked in her crib two mornings in a row--she took off her jammies and her diaper in an attempt to do....well, I'm honestly not sure what she was attempting! One morning poop was involved the next morning only pee was involved, thankfully. I started putting her in either a onesie or a diaper cover under her jammies and it's seemed to help--I haven't found her bare again, but it doesn't seem like she's really tried to get bare again, so we shall see what happens.
Asher was using his blanket as a cape, so she found hers to use, as well!
There's this concrete half-wall thing around the flagpole outside Reed's school that I think is meant for sitting. One day, Asher climbed on to the half-wall and walked along until he ran out of wall and hopped off. Now, every day, Lila points to the wall and yells, "Doo doo! DOO DOO!" (Goo goo...AKA Asher) and continues yelling goo goo until I lift her onto the wall and let her walk and then hop off (all while holding hands). I can't decide if it's annoying or cute. PRobably both.
Lila loves to dress up and really just loves clothes. If you tell her something looks cute, she holds that body part out so you can get an even better look (e.g. if you tell her that her pants are cute, she sticks out her leg). She has also started letting you know who picked out and put her clothes on. Here's a sample Lila interaction: Ryan: "Lila, I love your pretty dress." Lila: First, pats her belly and rubs the dress, then "Mama....mama" Ryan: "Mama got your dress for you?" Lila: "YEAH!"

Lila is getting really, really good at giving out kisses, hugs, and squeezes. When she kisses, she puckers her little lips and it is the cutest thing ever. When you ask her for a squeeze, she actually squeezes tight and, on occasion, will even wrap her legs around you, too, for extra squeezing power. She's never been much of a cuddler at bedtime; she prefers to just sit on my lap and look up at her pretty lights. But lately, she'll TURN AWAY FROM HER LIGHTS so she can lay her head on my shoulder! Awwwwwwww.

I don't remember what she was mad about, but this is a pretty classic offended Lila face.
Speaking of bed time, Lila has chosen a blanket she loves and must have to sleep with! Honestly, I was a little surprised because up until now she has been fine with any blanket/stuffed animal as long as she had one. Now, though, she loves her Aiden + Anais blanket (AKA bay-bee). She's okay with either of her pillows. And she usually prefers Stitchie (dih-dee) or giraffe for her animal.
If I ever give the boys anything or ask the boys if they want anything, Lila yells, "Luh luh! Luh luh! (Lila)" until I acknowledge that she wants some, too, and either give her some or find a worthy substitute.

Lila loves to color. She's much more interested in coloring than the boys were at this age and will actually stay occupied for a little while scribbling on paper.

Just doing her own thing.
After having a perfect all-time record for going to nursery with no tears, Lila has turned on us. For the past two Sundays she's gone into nursery with no problem, then randomly started crying for me 15-20 minutes in! She doesn't calm down unless they bring her to me. Both times I've asked her if she wants to go back to nursery, but she just tells me, "mama...mama." I've eventually talked her into going back but I'm not sure why she's having trouble. She usually enjoys nursery. I think her favorite part is the bubbles. She always tells us, "Buh bow!" (bubble) when we mention nursery. During one of the aforementioned hard weeks, I took Lila back in to nursery during singing time. I stayed with her for a little bit and was surprised to see that she totally followed directions during singing time! She sat when she needed to sit, attempted the hand actions, and marched around "following the prophet" with all the other nursery kids, too! 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Griffith Observatory

Nevada Day is October 31st, which means that we always get Halloween off from school. Score. This year, Halloween was a Friday. The following Monday or Tuesday were Staff Development Days. And boom! We were left with a five-day weekend.

Our family has been saving for quite a long time for Legoland tickets. We've put all our spare coins, all our random Craigslist sales earnings, and money the boys earned for chores in a jar on our counter. When we realized we'd finally reached the amount we needed to buy Legoland tickets, we were ecstatic. And when we realized we had the five-day weekend coming up, we knew just how to spend our mini-break! 

After the boys' Halloween parties, we drove to California, where we were greeted with a beautiful sunset and Kent's amazing corn chowder. Both good ways to start a vacation. The next morning--Halloween--the rest of the family had to work or go to school, so we decided to spend our day playing. First, we went on a trip to IKEA. The kids got a little crazy at the end, but then Asher won two soft-serve ice cream cones, so everyone was happy once again. 

After our spending spree, we decided to check out Griffith Observatory. When we got there, Asher's need to go potty had reached emergency level, so he and I hopped out and ran to the bathroom while Ryan, Reed, and Lila found a parking spot. After Asher peed for a solid minute (at least), we enjoyed the views while we waited for the others.

Asher wanted to take a picture of the two of us and I kind of love how it turned out.

The Hollywood sign is visible from the Observatory, which was a fun surprise.

Eventually Daddy arrived and I tried to take a successful picture of everyone. Some day I'll learn. Side note: I'm pretty sure Lila's belly wasn't hanging out all day, but what was present all day was her obsession with her skirt. She spied it on the floor of my room when I was packing and was ticked that I wouldn't put it on her that seconds. So when she finally got to wear it she was ecstatic and kept patting it and getting our attention to admire her Halloween skirt.

The observatory was a lot of fun. Lila spent a lot of time like this:

Because there were "ball balls" in the sky everywhere!

We got to go on the roof to see a huge telescope and generally enjoy being on a rooftop.

Ryan let Ashie stand on the edge (while Ryan held on) and Ashie was freaking out. As soon as Ryan retrieved Asher from the ledge the tears subsided and were replaced with a cheesball smile.

My favorite part was this amazing display of vintage star/moon/other heavenly body jewelry. It wound all along this huge hallway with a timeline of various events in space. And apparently the jewelry all came from ONE collector! I don't know why exactly but I just love the display.

Asher took 1,000 pictures on my phone.

And we found the moon!

This also happened:

And, a total aside: while we were in Simi, Grandma and Grandpa treated us to a trip to the Reagan Library. Lila was kind of a pill so I didn't take many pictures, but I did get a few pictures of the boys' favorite part:

We also loved getting to tour Air Force One and a helicopter!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Monthly Reed: 71

One of Reed's MobiGo games (it's a handheld electronic game thing geared toward little kids) is a Planes game. At one point in the game, the narrator says, "all the racers' worst nightmare..." and Reed, after hearing this a few times, came up with a "joke": "I wonder if when they pick racers who have that nightmare."

Ryan and I were having a "discussion" of whether a scorpion I saw in the garage was really a scorpion. Ryan didn't believe that it was, but he also didn't know what it might have been. Reed interrupted, "Either know what it is or it's a scorpion." That's right, buddy.

We were driving one day and Reed said, "Hi self!" and started cracking up. Apparently he saw another white Tahoe, which is the car we drive, so it was like "seeing ourself." 

After General Conference on Saturday we took a drive out to Redrock. We talked about going to Blue Diamond, where we've seen wild burros before and Reed wondered aloud, "But maybe we wouldn't see any burros, because they're at Wild Burro Conference. Like they all go and there are talks and stuff." He and Asher spent the next fifteen minutes or so discussing the details and merits of Wild Burro Conference.

On laundry day Reed told me, "I'm kind of excited for you to do the laundry because I really love wearing khakis and all I have right now are blue or red!" I didn't realize his love for khakis ran so deep.

When we were searching for skeleton jammies and en route to Target, Reed said, "Well, if we got a coupon and a cartwheel {Target's coupon app} and it was half off, then it would be a really good deal!" True. Apparently he's picked up on my deal lingo.

One day Reed said, "This says 30,30,30...or d third d third d third. Get it? Haha"

Reed really loves legos and has gotten pretty proficient at building sets by himself. Asher got two small sets for his birthday and wanted to build them, but I was in the middle of making lunch and couldn't help him. Reed sweetly offered to help and the two boys worked together nicely and built the sets! Reed would show Ashie which piece they need to find, Ashie would locate the piece--or if he had trouble, Reed would help him locate the piece--then they'd take turns putting the piece on. Great teamwork.

Reed does not love having his picture taken, which I think is why there are so few pictures of him with this post! He won't turn around if I ask him to and won't smile if he's already facing me. Stinker.

Reed is doing great with reading! His teacher sent home a list of sight words to work on, which we practice every school day. We also do our daily Phonics Pathways lesson with Asher. The practice has really paid off because Reed is making huge strides in reading! He wanted to start reading books other than Bob Books and so we've tried a few. We read them together--so I read the words he doesn't know and he reads the words he does know or can sound out. Honestly, I was so surprised by how much of the books he's been able to read--he's definitely reading over half the words in each book, probably reading around seventy-five percent or so. His confidence is growing, too. Long vowels are his main holdup, but we're getting closer to the long vowel section in Phonics Pathways and I think once he starts to understand those he'll be reading everything! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Halloween 2014

Our Halloween started on the 30th, when both boys got to enjoy school parties. I didn't take a picture of Asher's party because, after dropping Asher off at school and Lila off at a babysitter's house, I got to go to Reed's school to watch his parade and help out at his party. (Though, if I'm being honest, I didn't so much help as just hang out. He liked having me there, though, because when I asked if I should leave he asked me to stay! Sigh.) Anyway, by the amount of oreos smeared onto Asher's face when I picked him up and the cute craft he was holding, I know he had a good time. 

The Kindergarten parade was a little disorganized, but it was fun to see Reed and his classmates looking adorable in their costumes. I also got called "Mrs. Hambly," which was SO weird. I've been called "Sis. Hambly" many, many times, but I truly can't remember the last time I was called Mrs. Hambly. I didn't even feel like they were referring to me.

Anyway, after the boys were sufficiently sugared up (there were SO many cookies/cupcakes/etc. at Reed's party), we loaded the car to drive to California!

On Halloween night, we first went to Shannon's block party, where we ate a lot and played with our "extra cousins," as Asher referred to them. Apparently Janelle's girls are our cousins and Shannon's kids (the boys' second cousins) are our extra cousins.

Finally, it was the time we'd all been waiting for: trick or treating! Woot woot. There were a few quite memorable moments of the night: 1. Asher had to go potty when we were nowhere near Shannon's house. So he and I snuck away from the group and he peed in a bush. Is that illegal?

2. I was carrying Lila and failed to notice a small step. And though small, it was big enough to make me trip and fall, tearing up my knees and, despite my best efforts, hitting the back Lila's head on the pavement. Luckily, I was able to keep her up until after the initial impact, so she didn't hit too hard. After many tears from both of us, I mentioned going to get more treats to Lila and she immediately stopped crying and started walking to the next house. Atta girl.

4. Just as we were finishing up, tiny droplets of rain started falling! Good timing.

5. When we asked Lila to make her ninja moves, she'd grab the little apron on the front of her costume, lift it up, and growl. At each house she'd march up with all the other kids and say, "teet teet!" (treat treat) (but I think she was trying to say "trick or treat").

6. Regarding their costumes: Asher was dying to be Mike Wazowski. He's all about Monster's Inc. this year. And when I found a Mike costume in his size hanging by itself at a consignment sale, I knew it had to be. Reed started hoping to be Sulley, but decided to be a red ninja instead. The red part was important. And, lo and behold, the very same consignment sale had a red ninja costume! It was a little big, but nothing my rotary cutter couldn't handle. The fabric didn't even need to be hemmed. Once Reed landed on his costume, he thought it would be really, really, fun for Lila to wear the ninja costume both he and Asher had worn around the same age. Apparently, Reed has trained a lot of baby ninjas and knew Lila would be perfect for his next ninja-in-training. She didn't care--and actually really, really loved the costume when we put it on--so we went with it!

7. The kids got multiple pieces of candy at the first few houses. When they only got one piece, Asher immediately reported the the injustice to me. I quickly explained that we were still lucky to get a treat and he definitely still needed to say thank you. Thereafter, at every house he'd tell me, "I just got one treat. But I said thank you anyway." If he received more than one treat he'd show each piece to me so I could see how lucky he was.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

On the Driveway

We don't have much of a backyard to speak of (though with our teeter totter, fire pit, and free pool it is much improved), so sometimes when the weather is particularly nice we hang out on the driveway instead. Our hang out spot may be a little weird, but it's the perfect location to watch the airplanes and to wait for Daddy if it's close to his getting home time. (On this particular day, we were in the middle of fall busy season so it was not anywhere near Daddy's getting home time.)

The sky was overcast, which called for pictures on the big camera. Here is the most successful group shot I got:

And here is the least successful:

Apparently Lila got a bop. By the way, lately, when she gets a minor injury, she fake cries, holds up the injury for me to inspect, and trots off happily after I kiss it and tell her it's all better.

Asher has a hard time not making a face in pictures.

Airplane!!!!! One of fifty we saw that day.

And even though planes pass overhead every few minutes, they get excited about each one. And if a helicopter comes? Their whole week is made.

Did you see that airplane?!

See? Again with the faces.

Then Ashie thought it would be fun to dance with Lila on the driveway.

Lila didn't agree.

She was super sad for a minute.

Until she was totally fine. These photos are time-stamped one minute apart. No joke.

I asked Reed to look at me and smile so I could take his picture. Here's what he did instead. I can't believe it only took him 5.75 years to tire of my picture taking.

Then he shot me with his k'nex laser gun.

And Lila searched the cup holder in my chair, looking for something.

At least she'll smile for pictures.