Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Monthly Lila: 25

One thing Lila likes to do lately is to pick up something she deems heavy, then carry it over to me and tell me, "Lila strong!"

One night we were praying and I looked over at her to see that she was helping her baby doll fold her little baby doll arms. It was so cute.

We have been focusing a lot on Lila's speech for the past few weeks. We are really trying to encourage her to use her words and to join words together. We are also focusing on ending sounds, as ending sounds are rather tricky for her. I've also noticed that she can't really say the "ck" sound. Anyway, we have seen a lot of improvement over the past few weeks in both clarity and complexity. She puts two words together almost always and has started putting three and four words together, too. They are still usually connected thoughts but out of order, like "cereal purple spoon," but are starting to work together better, too, like "check bike out." 

Lila is obsessed with pockets "paw paw." One day she noticed she had pockets in her pants and since then she hasn't been able to keep her hands out of her pockets. She LOVES them.

Lila has always called horses "moos" and will tell you they say "moo," no matter how many times I tell her otherwise. 

The boys have caught on to the speech thing and are trying to help her, too. In the car one day Asher was trying to teach Lila to say "Reed." She kept saying "Ree." So he tried teaching her, "Ree-duh." Surprisingly, she caught on right away--to Ree-duh, haha. Then she started saying "Ree-Ree-duh!" because she often calls Reed Ree-Ree. It was really cute. Another word the boys taught her was "Ashie" and occasionally "Asher." Lila has always called Asher "doo doo" for Goo Goo. The boys taught her to say Aa-dee and Aa-der. She still usually calls him doo-doo but will call him Aa-dee or Aa-der if we remind her.

Lila loves reading books. We make sure to read before every nap and bedtime, because sometimes the day just gets away from us and there is not another chance! Lately, Reed has been reading to her at nap time, which she LOVES. Her current favorite book is Sam Loves Kisses. She also likes Moo, Baa, La La La. She knows both those so well she can help me finish the page! Her other favorites are our Winnie-the-Pooh set. They are simple books--ABCs, Colors, Numbers--but she loves them because they have Poohie.

Lila has started to have a very strong opinion about what she wears. Some days she's okay with what I chose, but most days she wants to be involved in the process. And she always wants to choose her bow--not that she'll leave a bow in! If I ask her to get a ponytail, she'll run and grab the ponytails, the comb, and the spray bottle full of water. She likes to choose how many ponytails go in and what color the ponytails are and MUST have a turn combing. 

If anyone in the house puts on a jacket (dah-de), socks (tocks), or shoes (dues), Lila MUST put some on, too.

Lila loves to ride bikes. If we enter the garage, she immediately tells me, "puh-poh bye!" (purple bike) and heads off toward it. She isn't pleased if we aren't actually riding bikes.

Lila loves brushing her teeth--but only if she's the one doing the brushing. We strike a deal--that we have to recommunicate every time--that if she lets me have a turn, she can have a turn. She calls her toothbrush her "pink teeth" because it's pink and she uses it for her teeth!

The Monthly Asher: 51

Kayla and Asher were racing and Kayla told Asher he was a fast runner. He said, "Yeah, it's because I have a rocket bike. It's not like a real rocket but it makes me run fast."  

As Asher has gotten better at writing and drawing, he's also gotten more critical of his work. If he goes outside the lines or if something doesn't look how he was expecting it would, he gets really, really upset. Like crying upset. I'm trying to be encouraging (and I don't think I've ever been critical of his work!), but it takes a lot of encouragement for him to believe me and accept that he's done a good job and that it doesn't have to be perfect--that we get better every time. He has also become very precise. He was folding two sides of a piece of notebook paper and had me fold it for him so the lines could line up perfectly. Then, when he noticed that one side had an extra line, he found a blue pen and had me draw a line on the other side!

This quote is actually from last year, but I just found it in my phone and I don't think it ever got posted: Reed wanted to cuddle, but Asher didn't want to. Asher kept saying, "But I can FEEL him in my BED!"

Reed got a Batman Wii game for Christmas and has loved playing it on occasion. The game is a little too hard for Asher, but he LOVES to just sit and watch Reed and Ryan play, shouting out instructions for them to follow (back seat wii-ing, if you will). He is a really good sport about it and doesn't complain at all! And, when I have offered to play something else with him, he tells me he'd rather just watch them!

One morning, Reed wanted to read his chapter book while I made breakfast. Asher said, "Mom, can I watch Bub read?" And he really meant watch, because Reed wasn't planning on reading aloud. I suggested he read one of his BOB books. His eyes lit up and he yelled, "OH YEAH!" I was around the corner in the kitchen, so he yelled, "DONE!" to me each time he finished a book. He was so proud of himself.

Speaking of Bob books...for three mornings in a row Asher woke up before both Reed and Lila. We decided to read books together while we waited for the others to wake up. Asher wanted to start our boxed set of BOBs--it's the sight word set, so a little harder than the originals. He read 3-4 books to me each morning and was so super proud of himself for reading so well (I was pretty proud, too). Each time we read he'd give me the running commentary on what book he was on and how many he had to go and, when he read all 20--well, he was about to explode. He was so happy. I was, too!

One day for Mommy and Ashie time, Asher wanted to make a Star Wars book. We found cute Star Wars clip art, then got to work! He came up with all the words himself and it is a pretty fantastic book.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Girl and Her Bed

There has been no driving need or outside factors driving us to move Lila into a big bed. She wasn't climbing out of her bed, like Asher was. She didn't need to vacate for a new sibling, like Reed did. I wasn't even planning on moving her out of her bed. Then Ryan built Lila's dress-up center, and we were talking about where we were going to put it. I casually mentioned that once she moved into her bed and we moved her crib and changing table out or her room, we'd have plenty of space for the dress-up area. The next thing I knew, we were deciding to move Lila into her bed. The next day. (1/26/15)

"Helping" Daddy take down the crib.
 Lila's room has always housed a queen-sized bed for visitors; so, instead of buying another twin bed and being out of space for the queen-sized bed, we moved her right into the queen. She looks SO little in her big giant bed. One morning she was in the very top corner, the room was dark, and I literally couldn't find her for a minute.

How tiny does she look??
I was quite wary about moving Lila to the big bed and honestly wasn't really sure she was ready. I was sure that she would climb out every night and nap time and that we'd have a week of what would essentially be sleep training. When she stayed in her bed the first night, I was totally shocked and sure it was a fluke. I knew that nap time would be the true test of if she'd stay in her bed. Nap time rolled around the next day and, wonder of wonders, she stayed in! She even took a fantastic 2.5 hour nap, which is not her norm. She's now been sleeping in her bed for a week and a half and has had zero issues--other than falling out once. Oops. We found her asleep on the floor one night, but thankfully had stacked pillows and blankets there for such an occasion. She didn't cry and stayed asleep  so it must not have bothered her too much!

Lila LOVES her big girl bed, so much. She's always happy to get in it, especially once we got her a stool so she could climb in by herself! I think she really enjoys having a bed big enough that Ryan or I (or all of us!) can actually cuddle with her for a few minutes at the end of our bed time routine (I love that, too). She's getting too big!

(As it turns out, the boys love Lila's big girl bed, too)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Lila Turns TWO!

Though I'm still in shock that my baby is TWO years old, I figured I'd better take a break from my wonder and document her second birthday before her third. So here we go...

Ryan and I have a history of being bad with dates. 

Exhibit A: we planned to go on a cruise for a five-year anniversary. We planned to cruise in April. A cruise departing April 20 was way cheaper than any weekend, so we booked it. And why was it cheaper? Because April 20 was EASTER! We missed Asher's first Easter. We did celebrate a week early and they got to celebrate again with Grandma, but still.

Exhibit B: there is the one year when we missed Asher's birthday. Well, "missed" isn't really being fair. Because, in BOTH our minds, Asher's birthday was the 19th. Ryan's mom even questioned us, but we were SO positive Asher was born on the 19th. As it turns out, he was born on the 18th. Sorry, Asher. We did have a wonderful party on the 19th and it's not like we forgot his birthday completely, but still.

Exhibit C: Lila's birthday is January 21. Ryan and I booked a trip to Portland that departed January 21. On purpose. We celebrated a day early and she got to have Grandma watch her for three days (which is kind of a birthday present in itself), but still.

So there's my confession. We celebrated our doll's birthday on the day that was not actually the anniversary of our birth. I don't think she minded, though:

We started the day by making cupcakes. I let Lila stir AND crack eggs, so she was in heaven.
Then we turned the cupcakes into Minnie Mouse cupcakes and she was in double heaven, if that's a thing.

We babysat a friend while his mom was at the doctor's office and got to go on a walk, which Lila is always a fan of. And, when Lila wanted to wear chiller pants coupled with a dress, I went for it.

Disney movie rewards had sent us an envelope full of Mickey and friends stickers, which Lila basically died over--especially when I gave her free reign on the stickers and she got to put them all over her dress. Later, she transferred the stickers to my shirt, which made her equally happy. The boys were completely sure that Disney KNEW it was Lila's birthday and sent the stickers on purpose, especially since  a few of the stickers actually said, "Happy Birthday."

 After a dinner of Lila's favorites (chicken fingers and french fries with a healthy dose of ketchup), Ryan unveiled the project he'd constructed for Lila's birthday: a dress up station! The dress up station turned out ridiculously cute and Lila loves it so much!

Lila then set to work on her other presents--after donning a pair of dress up shoes. Also, I wrapped her presents in Minnie Mouse paper so I'm pretty sure I got extra points for that move.

Lila was super pumped on the Bitty Baby Grandma and Grandpa H sent. I was, too--the baby is so dang cute!

And enjoyed/kind of destroyed the popsicle stick creations the boys made for her,

and even loved on the purse and hat I made for her.

Then it was time for the charm! Last year's charm was a dolly, because Lila has been known as Dolly since basically day one. This year's charm was a block of cheese. Ryan chose cheese for a few reasons: first, cheese was one of Lila's very first words beside mama and dada; second, because cheese and cottage cheese are her favorite foods--she's kind of obsessed with them; and third, because Lila adores having her picture taken and will request photos by yelling out, "DEEEEEEES!" (cheeeese!).

Finally, we got to devour cake! Lila did a great job blowing out her candle, then dug right in and ate her whole cupcake.

 We love our doll!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

St. George, Kayla, and the Rest of 2014

This post is (dare I say it?) my last post documenting 2014. Phew. Also, future Reed, Asher, and Lila, sorry I missed your monthly post in December. I am sure you totally noticed and were very traumatized and may even be at your therapist's office right now talking about it.

Anyway. We left off on Christmas night and our drive home, wherein me staying awake to drive was basically a miracle. We got home, slept in our beds, then woke up in the morning, unloaded our Christmas stuff and hit the road, Utah bound. Luckily, our morning drive was only 2 hours long. (Also, side note and addendum to my Christmas Top Ten post: we decided to try out audio books with the kids during our drive. We listened to Charlotte's Web on the way to CA and Stuart Little on the way to UT. The books were a big hit and we'll definitely be doing it again.) Once we got to Utah, we got to spend time with Lynnie's family and Mandi, who both had already been in town for a while for Christmas. Kenny's family got to Utah late that night, and we were all there, just waiting for Kayla to get home!

And now, I'll commence the list Long posts go so much better this way:

1. Sledding
We tried to go sledding on my birthday, but there wasn't enough snow at Mt. Charleston. So we asked everyone to bring their snow gear so we could go sledding in Utah! On Saturday morning, we spent a few hours sledding in Cedar City. We had SO much fun! I was worried the boys wouldn't really love it (they're not thrill seekers, at all), but they had the best time! They were even brave enough to go down together, without an adult, and they each made a solo trip! After a while sledding together and with Ryan, Reed started sledding with Kody and Asher wanted to make a few trips with me. Reed and Kody liked to see how far they would go, so they'd have Kenny and Ryan or Nick give them a big push at the top of the hill. And I think they set a new mark for the sledders at our hill that day! Hailey joined them for a few runs, too. After going down with Asher a few times, I decided to let Lila try out the small hill. She couldn't decide if she loved or hated it--she loved going fast down the hill, but didn't love when my boots dragged in the snow and shot ice into her face. She started crying and telling me, "Eye! Eye!" (I'm not sure if she meant stuff was in her eye or was actually trying to say ice. Sad either way.)
We have a lot of cute sledding pictures. I need to get a copy of those at some point.

2. Cousin pictures. 
My mom always makes matching pajamas at Christmas time. For the last few years, the kids have gotten a numbered shirt to go with their jammies, too. We try to take pictures in these numbered shirts every time we're all together. That's going to be really fun when they're in the their thirties. Anyway, one day we went to the park and attempted to get a few decent group shots. I'm not sure we were exactly successful but we had a fun time! I think the kids' favorite part was when we released them to the playground at the end...

3. We stayed up super late literally every single night to play games after the kids were in bed. We discovered a new favorite, too: Heads Up. One person holds an ipad at the front of the room. Words or phrases (all related to one topic) appear on the screen, and the rest of that person's team has to give clues so the person can guess the word. And, to make things even better, one of the categories requires the rest of the team to act the words out. We all looked like lunatics trying to mime some of the phrases it gave, but it was hilarious. The iPad films you while you're acting, too, so you get to relive the fun. It. Was. Awesome. Seriously one of my favorite games we've ever played.

4. We got to welcome Sister Kay Kay home! Her flight was delayed so we ended up staying at the airport waayyyyy longer than we had planned, and the kids were super antsy, which was a lot of fun, but it was worth it when she walked through the door! We took her to see her sign at Dutchman's (a traditional spot to put a "welcome home" greeting for a missionary), kept her up too late and made her tell us stories, and just basked in her presence.

5. We had second Christmas! The cousins got to do their present exchange, Kayla got to open her gifts (which included a car, a laptop, and a new iphone! Woot), and we all got to open our gifts from my parents. Favorite gifts: my parents gave Lila megablocks building table, which she about died over. They also gave the boys Nerf bows and arrows, which were immensely popular and soon led to many rounds of American Gladiator.

6. Reed made a new BFF. He needs to live next door to Kody, stat. They played together non-stop and had no major issues. They are both into spies, so they played numerous spy games. They played with a calculator together for an entire afternoon. To overhear them talking was hilarious because they were just in their own world.

7. We went to see Christmas lights at the temple. And, while we were there, it started snowing! In St. George. Ryan even got Finn to hold his hand, which was kind of a miracle. The snow was pretty (and  super cold) and the kids loved trying to catch it on their tongues.

8. Speaking of the temple--all the adults got to go do a temple session the day after Kayla got home! Being in the temple together is a sacred experience and one we don't get to have often. Our sweet neighbor Hallie (whose family has lived right by my parents for her entire life!) watched all the kids and, when we tried to pay her, wouldn't let us since we'd been at the temple. I was really impressed by that, especially when her mom later told me that Hallie had come up with the idea completely on her own!