Saturday, October 31, 2009

Leaves are falling

Fall is in full swing here in the city, and I am LOVING it. It is absolutely gorgeous everywhere you go, and the weather is crisp and cool. The other day was cold, rainy, and windy, and we were stuck inside most of the day. But we still had a good time sitting on the balcony, watching the leaves blow off the tree by our building, in full force. Asher learned what a "gust" of wind is, and they both loved to see the leaves fly up in the air and twirl and even get caught in little wind tunnels where they just twist and twist in place. I am loving teaching Asher about Fall and why the leaves change colors and come off the trees, and I love that he is understanding. I have to say that I am really loving the city right now.

I heart NY in the fall!

Yesterday at Morningside Park. Gorgeous weather, gorgeous trees, adorable kids.

A "mommy" chicken and a baby chicky

(Don't mind Asher's already chocolately face and totally shaggy hair)

In case you were wondering, Sayer is the "mommy" and Asher is the baby. When I asked Asher what he wanted to be for Halloween, he told me he wanted to be a baby chicky. Ever since he saw Peter and the Wolf he has been obsessed with pretending to be the wolf and baby chicky. I was surprised that he stayed consistent with this request to be a baby chicky for halloween, so I decided to go ahead and make him a costume. Thankfully they opened a new Michael's a short 20 blocks away from my house on October 25, so I was actually able to get the things I needed.

Asher was actually excited to go trick or treating this year, and totally understood what was going on. He was a little shy at first, but he caught on quickly and got into the groove. He was very insistent that he wasn't a duck or a chicken or big bird, he was a baby chicky. Maybe next year, he won't want to open every single piece of candy as he gets it. He also took his sweet time deciding which piece of candy he would pick from people's bowls. I loved it when people would just give him a handful and be done with it. I've never seen such a picky 3 year old. One house only had candy corns, and he said, "no, I don't want any candy corns" with a look of disgust on his face. Awesome.

The orange tights were my favorite!

This is Asher making his "baby chicky" noises and hand motions.

Poor Sayer was sick and miserable today. He looks thrilled, doesn't he?

Daddy and Sayer at the building Halloween party

My neighbor Debbie and Asher. Asher loves Debbie anyway, but he kept trying to find her at the party and asking her to hold him. Then he would hug her and say she was such a cute kitty cat and make all these cute little noises. He is so funny.
Asher, Debbie and Peter

Asher's post-party outfit. Showing me my marathon medal that was supposed to be part of my costume, but he never actually let me wear it.

I made delicious and cute sugar cookies and adorable mummies in a blanket for the party, but of course, I didn't take any pictures of them. Oh well. It all turned out really well I think.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh that Asher

So many times during the day, I wonder "what the heck is he thinking?!?" Last night, 2 minutes after I closed their door for bedtime, I hear pages ripping, ripping, and more ripping, accompanied by laughing. I go in there, and sure enough, Asher has completely torn apart one of his favorite books, The Polar Express. I was livid. Doesn't he understand that he will never get to read that book again? That he has completely ruined it beyond repair? That that is not how we treat things we care about? Argghhhh!!! What is he thinking???

Today, I put Asher down for his nap, like I do everyday. He likes the door open, so I give him one chance... if he gets out of his bed, I close the door. Well, he lost his chance, like usual, so I closed the door. I was very tired since we got up really early to take family pictures this morning, so I took a little nap myself. I thought he would be tired too. But when I went in there 2 hours later, after not hearing any noise, I find not a sleeping child, but his room completely torn apart. Clothes out of his drawers, sheets and blankets off his bed, blocks dumped out, train tracks dumped out and put together, his stroller basket completely emptied, including the first aid and sewing kit I keep in there. Bandaids opened and thrown everywhere. The lamp was turned on and broken, and he got up on the radiator yet again and broke the a/c vent and opened the curtains. Oh, and he had taken off his pants and underwear and peed on his bed. I. Was. TICKED!!! And, I'm pretty sure he got that message. To his credit, he did do everything I asked him to do after that... he put all his clothes in his drawers (of course I will have to go back later and fold and organize them), put all the blocks away, and put all his blankets back on his bed. The room was still a mess, but he did what he could to clean up. But I just don't get it... what on earth is he thinking when he is doing these things??? He has done these things before, and the results are never pleasant. Don't they learn? Please tell me they learn.

Of course these are only 2 examples of the kinds of things he does ALL THE TIME. The kid drives me insane. I know all 3 year olds do these kinds of things... right?? Help me to feel a tad bit better and share your kids' "what were you thinking?!" moments.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ramen makes angry kids happy

That's right, I fed my kids ramen noodles for lunch today. It really is a shame that they are so bad for you, because I love 'em. What can I say? I grew up on ramen, so it's just one of those things I love that I shouldn't. I don't give them to my kids very often at all, but they were being little monsters, and I knew that ramen would quiet them up... they love eating the long noodles. It was amazing. One second they were screaming like wild children, the next minute, was this:

The ironic thing is that they were going crazy because I was neglecting them, so I could finish making these muffins that I was going out of my way to make more healthy, by adding squash, applesauce, and oats. Oh well. It's dark and cold outside today. A perfect day for hot noodles and muffins!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Baby shower

Two Saturdays ago, some friends and I threw a baby shower for our friend Jill. She mostly just wanted children's books, so we decided to go with a "Bedtime Stories" theme. I got the idea from this Hostess from the Mostess post. It was a lot of fun to plan. I did the table spread, the rolls and the cupcakes (my poor meringue didn't set up. i hate when that happens. So they looked pretty miserable, but tasted fine), and the other two ladies did the party favors, pineapple banana drink (so good), greek chicken salad, and creme brulee french toast. YUM!! Thank you to Tara who helped me use the extra fabric to sew little pillow covers. I was pretty pleased with the way it all looked. My problem is that I always have these awesome visions, but I am not that great at executing them. Oh well, I can only get better with more practice. Aside from the food and decor, the shower was wonderful. Jill is pretty much the sweetest and cutest little thing you have ever met. She is a patient one and didn't find out the sex of the baby! I guess we will find out in about a week or so. Good luck Jill!
The spread. It's supposed to be a bed by the way

The planners and Jill

And all the cute ladies at the shower...

Asher is a pre-schooler!

Asher on his way to his first day of preschool, in front of our building

Some friends in my ward and I put together a preschool co-op for all of our 2006 kids. For now we are just doing it one day a week for 2 and a half hours. Asher loves it so much. I can't even tell him about it until the night before, because he will get so excited and want to go right then.

Last Friday we went on our first field trip to a dress rehearsal of the Lollipop's production of Peter & the Wolf. It was so cute. They talked to the kids about all the different instruments that represented each character. It was so fun and both Asher and Sayer loved it and sat still and engaged the entire time. It was about a 45 minute program, so I was really impressed. Especially with Sayer. But that boy loves music, so I really shouldn't have been. Now Asher's favorite game is to have me pretend to be the wolf and he and Sayer are the baby chickies that get eaten by the wolf. I'm not sure what to think of that, but I make sure that my wolf is always a very nice wolf.

Anyway, we are excited for all the fun things that we get to do this year with Asher's preschool.

Snack time, or Halloween costume??

I usually fold Asher and Sayer's toast in half when I put jam on it, but for some reason I didn't today. Whoops.

So lucky!

So I know that everyone thinks that they have the best kids in the whole world, but as it turns out, I really DO have the best kids in the whole WIDE world. I'm sorry, but I just do. Asher for example, is just awesome. He talks non-stop and just says the funniest things. I am amazed everyday at the things that he is learning and understanding. Right now, the boys are sitting on the balcony with Nate, screaming "MOMMY" and "HEY PEOPLE" at the top of their lungs. They are so loud, that the classroom across the way from us had to close their windows, and the people from the street are stopping to look up at them.

Today Asher had preschool and when I asked him what he did at preschool, he told me that he was a princess while spinning around and around and saying that he was pink. Awesome. I tried to tell him that he was Prince Charming, and then I taught him and Sayer to waltz, bow to their lady, and kiss her hand. Little gentlemen in training. Too bad he still insisted that he was a princess.
We had circle time tonight as a family to wrap up our day (first time for us, but I think I might make it a regular evening wrap-up), and the boys were so great. We read scriptures, and Asher had to make sure that he was on the right page and on the same verse as me. Then we said prayers, and they were both SO reverent and quiet for the ENTIRE prayer. This rarely happens in our home, so when it does, it makes me very happy.
I love watching my kids learn and grow. Sayer has been getting really into books lately and is trying to say all the words that we come across. He wants to be just like Asher and tries so hard to do everything he does. As a result, he is a very agile little guy. He is climbing stuff that Asher wasn't climbing until he was 2 1/2. The other day, he practiced going up and down those chain ladders, the ones that move a lot, for about 15 minutes. He still misses a rung here and there, but for the most part, he does so well.

I love my little boys so much and truly feel so blessed that I get to be their mother. Of course they drive my insane some times... ok, a LOT of the time, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Plus they're adorable.

Oh, and in case you couldn't tell from the pictures, they love chocolate donuts. Just like their mommy! ;)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

August Adventures: Provo

So on Monday morning we hit the road nice and early to drive to UT. When we were almost to Reno, Asher said he had to go potty. We had to stop on the side of the road. Luckily I whipped out the travel potty instead of letting him just pee in the bushes, because he had to poo. Is this not the cutest picture you have ever seen?!?
I love how he has his elbows on his knees, just gettin' the job done.

We made it to Provo after a nice long stop in Wendover, at their one park. It was actually pretty nice and the kids had a blast and were able to get out some excess energy. They survived their 3rd and final, brutally long, 12 hour car ride. Such awesome little troopers.

We stayed with MacKay and Rebecca for a couple nights, during which we were spoiled with Rebecca's awesome cooking and hostess-ing, and got to visit with Bart and Erin and their 2 precious little kids, Vander and Zoe. After 2 nights, we realized that our kids were tearing their house apart, and we decided that we all might be a little more comfortable if we stayed somewhere else. Thankfully our wonderful friends the Banners had already offered their home to us, so we took them up on it. They have 2 little boys, one of which is just 6 months older than Asher. Jace and Asher were BFFs back in our Provo days, and it didn't take long at all for them to rekindle their friendship. They have an awesome basement with tons of toys, and it was just what they needed. All 4 boys got along so well, and had so much fun together, that there was really no disciplining that had to go on at all. Besides playing with cars and trains, we took the boys to the Highland splash pad so they could cool off in the water.
Jace, Asher, Sayer

Luke, Jace, Asher

And of course Andrea and I had a ball together, talking kids, hubbies, chick flicks, books, weight loss, jobs, school, and whatever else we could think of to yap on about. Other than that, Nate and I just ran errands around town, visited with some old friends, hit up Ikea (actually, that was with Andrea), had a nice dinner out (thanks Andrea for babysitting), read some books, watched some movies, and just hung out and relaxed.

It was bitter sweet leaving to go back to NY. We feel like we had a very successful trip and did everything and more that we wanted to. Throughout the month, we took 7 lengthy drives, 3 of which were at least 12 hours, the rest of them 2-3 hours. We changed where we were sleeping 9 times, 5 of those changes were after only one or two nights. We had two, 5 hour long flights. Four drives to the airport: a 2 hour long subway ride, a 45 minute drive to Provo from SLC, another 45 minute drive from Provo to SLC, and an hour long drive (thanks Josh) from the airport back to our humble abode. I read 3 books (Harry Potters 6 & 7, The Time Traveler's Wife) and Nate read 5 (most of which were for school). There are a lot more "numbers" that we could do, but I'm a little tired now. Thank you to everyone who housed us, made sure we were fed, provided babysitting, travel arrangements, planned fun things for us to do, entertained us, and just spent time with us. We love and miss you all and can't wait to see you all again.
Asher and Sayer, eating string cheese, and watching the airplanes at the SLC airport. Our flight was supposed to be at 11:00 pm, but it got delayed an hour. We were able to get Asher to fall asleep before we got on the airplane, but poor Sayer was so overtired, that it took a little bit of coaxing to get him to fall asleep after we took off. Both boys slept the entire trip. Angels I tell you. Love them!!

Monday, October 05, 2009

August Adventures: Carmel

From Sunnyvale we went to Carmel where my parents rented a house for everyone to stay in. It was kind of an odd house. The only cool thing about it was the igallop, which is an awesome contraption that helps you strengthen your horse riding muscles. It's a little odd to watch, but for some reason, you just can't get enough of it. Whit posted a really cute video of Oliver tryin' out the igallop.

The house was on a golf course, so it was nice to be able to take the kids out there to run around when there were no golfers. Asher loved watching the ducks in the little pond and watching people golf. This one couple we watched were terrible. They kept repeating the same 3 holes because no one else was coming, and it didn't look like they were getting any better.

We went to White Sands beach one day. It was such a beautiful day, especially for Carmel which is often cloudy and cold. All the little boys had such a blast playing with grandpa Bill and Ben, building sand castles and ditches and playing in the water. Us girls mostly just parked it on the towels and talked and ate chips.
Ollie all bundled up

Jillian sportin' her hot swimsuit cover

Diggin' in the dirt

Diggin' with Grandpa Bill

Nate and I took Sayer for a little walk through town to get him to fall asleep. He never actually fell asleep, but we got some nice hot chocolate and quality alone time out of it.

The next day us girls hit the town to do a little shopping while the men took all the little boys to the Dennis the Menace park, or something like that. Poor Nate stayed home with the napping Sayer to study. Although I don't think he ended up getting much done. We stopped at an adorable little boutique for awhile and tried on all sorts of fun stuff that was way out of my price range. After that we headed to Anthropology where we all proceeded to try on just about every item that we thought was cute, out of the entire store. Unfortunately, even their clearance stuff was a little too pricey for me. But my sisters and even my mom came away with some pretty awesome loot. I did find some coats that I am coveting and waiting to go on super sale. I think we were there for at least a couple hours.
My dad took out one of the seats in the back of the van, so we had to improvise with a camping chair. Whit was a good sport about it.

From left, clockwise: Hailey, Whit, Lexy, Jill

Hailey, Me and Lexy waiting at Anthropology

Me lookin' smokin' hot in some big red sunglasses

Whit, Jill, Me and Mom getting some scrumptious dark hot chocolate

Lex and Hailey

At night we ate good food, watched Alias, movies, and played some hard core mormon bridge and some other card game that I can't remember the name of.

On our last day in Carmel, we took some pictures on the golf course, went to church, went to Roundtable pizza where I met up with a high school friend, Kristen, and then made the drive back to Sacramento.

This was the best we could do...

Sayer had had enough. They are all such handsome boys!

Mom and 5 of her 6 lovely daughters (Ash had to work :( )

Back of the house

Mom and dad at the front of the house

Ben being awesome at Roundtable

Waiting for our food...

On the road again... eating of course.

Back in Sacramento, we had one last night of awesome game playing, talking, laughing and eating, before we hit the road to UT the next morning.