Friday, May 16, 2014

Two-Year Interview

We can't get enough of this sweet, little voice.
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Dos Anos for June Bug

This sweet girl turned two in February (yes, I know it is now May and I am finally documenting it).
The moment either birthday girl emerges from her room is a big deal for me.  I love to shower them with attention as soon as they wake up.  My mom always decorated my door for me on my birthday and it was such a special tradition.

This sweet smile melts my heart every time!

June's lovely birthmother, Su, has sent a package all the way from Korea for each of June's birthdays.  She doesn't say a thing about it-  we just get a surprise package at the beginning of February filled with beautiful clothing.  June has since believed that every package that arrives comes from Su.  Here is June  showing off the darling things she received:

I have associated June with the grouchy lady bug for the past year (for a variety of reasons: she likes the book, she is really grouchy when she's tired, and she just reminds me of a little lady bug in general).  Luckily, 2 year olds are agreeable to any party theme that's suggested. 

I invested hours into her lop-sided cake, although you wouldn't know it from its appearance.
At least it was really tasty... and as is notorious of desserts at our house, relatively healthy.

We are so blessed to live close to grandparents and cousins.  
It makes for an automatic guest list and fun celebrations!
Mom is always a spaz about this part of the birthday (blowing out the candle).  Poor June tries to hug the cake during the song and gets frightened by Mom's response.
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We love this sunshine of our lives!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Noel, 2013

As our family matures, we have been able to better establish rich holiday traditions.  It is my goal to fill the season with meaningful memories as opposed to a commercial gimme-gimme focus.
A new one that we added this year is the Journey to Bethlehem put on by several local faiths.  It is so cool to see the variety of backgrounds there come together by a common focus on Christ.

Here is the participating camel, my favorite part of the production.

Tree trimming:

Mia was terrified of the "grunchy green guy" while watching "The Grinch" with cousins (the Jim Carey version is gross, but we needed something that the older male cousins could appreciate).  


Dad and Mia used external sources to turn up the gingerbread-house design competition this year.  Note their Seussical landscaping in the finished product (on the right).  
That top-heavy marshmallow tree caused a lot of heart ache.

Mia decided that she wanted to see the Nutcracker ballet this year for her Christmas present.  Mom was a little reluctant about the attention span of her wiggly little body, but we made it through the entire production with only one declaration of "not again!" when the prince emerged on-stage for the final scene.


Our annual Coeur D'Alene cruise to the "north pole"

We tried a new type of Christmas cookie this year for Mia's school party: "peppermint buttons."  The girls were well-practiced at sneaking dough by the end of that night.  June patiently waited by the oven until each batch came out.



Here we are, dressed in our festive red velvet for Christmas Sunday

Getting into the spirit at Great-Gma R's on Christmas 'eve:

We were so lucky to have our always missed Utah cousins surprise the family for Christmas!
Times like this usually call for a dance party:
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All is calm and bright at midnight

Testing out the new art supplies and puzzles:  
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When Mia opened her fancy World Map puzzle, she skeptically said, "Umm...this one is at my school"





We had a frosty "white" but snowless Christmas day.  It was still lovely.

We pulled out the fancy crystal goblets at Gma K's in the evening, but Mia was a bit heavy-handed with hers despite countless warnings and nearly sliced her finger off when it shattered.  She was instructed to keep her hand elevated to slow the bleeding down in order for her parents to assess whether it warranted an ER visit.  She took her instructions to heart and wouldn't lower her poor hand for the rest of the night.  It did the trick... no emergency room Christmas to our relief!



Cute matching nightgowns from talented seamstress Gma K:

After the girls went to bed that night, Mom and Dad discovered that the girls' plasma cars from Gma & Gpa R have a 250 lbs weight limit.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

-isms of 2013

I have tried to keep track of the silly things that our girls say, but often tell myself, "I need to write that down..." and subsequently forget.  Here is a list of the Mia-isms and a few June-isms (spoken language is a relatively new development) from 2013 in order of occurrence: 


Mia-isms


After seeing a picture of mom & dad Running in Arizona- "you were running and Mia & June were eating corn-corns." (Kumquats)

Taking inventory of the three girls in the car- "we are all so beautiful. But not daddy. He's not pretty. He's a boy."

While reading a book where one matches an animal with the movement it makes, we had decided that a "caterpillar climbs". Mia said, "and a caterpillar flies too because it's a butterfly." Smarty! When we were deciding what a beetle does, Mom passed the word "swim" but Mia stopped me. "He swims when I put him in the toilet."

After seeing a Base jumping video on YouTube- " I want to do the jumping off the rocks all day long"

"lips"=chapstick, lip gloss, etc.

After finding the b-room door locked with Mia inside...and knocking til it opened:
"You do not lock mommy out of the b-room"
"But I needed some prisacies [privacy]!"
(Busying herself to look in the mirror and I notice that she has applied mascara...perfectly. Better than I can).
"I see you got into mommy's makeup"
"I look so beautiful."
"You are not allowed to get into my makeup without asking."
"What do you see?"
"You put my mascara on without asking."
"I don't see any. [I mean] it's not all over the place!"
In other words... Shouldn't I be awarded for my application skill?!

Mia said to mom, "we are matchers. you have brownskin chocolate freckles but not brownskin chocolate skin."

"I'm a bad guy to mommy."
"No you aren't. You are just learning how to be a listener."
"Well, I'm a bad guy to June and a good guy to you."

To Mom and Dad-"You are not special because you don't have brown skin chocolate. If someone is brownskin chocolate they are only special."

-What is your favorite food?
-White sauce (pointing to the salt).
-You mean salt?
-Yes, white salt is my favorite and tomatoes.

Mia really quiet in back seat:
-what are you thinking about Mia?
-I'm thinking about naughty things.
-what naughty things?
-ALL the naughty things.

Mia said that when her Bunny's last surviving ear falls off, he will become a boy.

"I'm hiding 'cause I don't want to smell your gum."

After helping to assemble our new picnic table in the back yard, Mia announced, 
"now we have an outside chicken!" Chicken=kitchen

Identifying herself: "I'm a hair girl and I look at pictures and videos on somebody's phone."

At REI: "I can get a bike because I don't poop or scratch my bum. I don't do things like that."

-can I watch Mermaid at gma k's house?
Mom: it's Sunday and Mermaid doesn't remind us of Jesus
-Oh! The daddy has a beard like Jesus! It's okay!

After asking what an astronaut is, Mia said, "oh! I wish I could do that!"

While dragging the garbage can down the driveway (one of her first times on her own) Mia shouts, "mom, do I look like a woman?!"

On the way to watch the magician at the library... "You and June can stay home. The guy will take really good care of me." Yikes!

Helping mom pick out an outfit (for mom):
"Hmm. Okay (in a patronizing voice), I will be your tiny mommy because I'm tiny."

"Plants like to drink orange juice and rain."

The Grouchy Lady Bug by Eric Carle is Mia's recent favorite. She calls it "The Grunchy, Grunchy Lady Bug."

While swimming in the lake, Mia moves up to Daddy with one hand in the air and tries to push him over with the other one. "Let's play baptized Daddy. I'm going to Baptize you!"

Looking at an ant hill..."oh how I love the antses!"

dad was speaking Spanish to himself while planting some lavenders. "Dad, the plants don't spanish Spanish."

After dad squeezed Junes belly and caused her to produced some noisy gas, Mia declared, "June had a bum burp!"

After having some assistance pottying outside and making quite a scene, Mia exclaimed, "that. Was. Amazing!"

"My friend Brody said 'you have a nice hair' and I said, 'it's a four ponies.' And then I said again, 'my mommy made them.'"

Dad said to Mom: "You know what I'd really like for Christmas if we had the resources?"
Mia interjected: "What is it? Footie jammies?"

In reference to the Grinch at the CDL Christmas cruise, and through tears: "He is NOT my favorite crunchy guy!"

"Junie, I'm gonna take you to Panda Bear and take you in the wagon.  I'm not gonna go on the road- We will go on the walk-side!  We will go to Albertson's and then go to Panda Bear. I'm being the mommy."

(Examples of random, semi-obnoxious commenting stage)
Mom-  "Wow, Mia! You worked hard on those puzzles!  Great job!"
Mia- "Well...you are just a wiseman that they saw!"
Mom- ???

Hand over mouth and wide-eyed: "He just said the password" (Mia's key term for "naughty words"- hate, stupid, etc.) Now times this phrase by a million and you will have Mia's weekly dialogue.

-Daddy, push your tummy out like a baby.
-Nah.
-Just try.
-Nope.
-Daddy, YOU ALWAYS NEED TO TRY THINGS ONE TIME!"

"Small-eh-show" = Marshmallow
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June-isms
June-isms

After bumping her head, pats it and attempts to say "tough cookie" -15mos.

June blew us away today when I was counting the 12 girls in the Madeline book. I began counting, "one" and June said "two!" Then I said "three" and she said "four" and so on until 10!!! I have never directly taught her this and have no idea where she picked it up at this age! -18 mos

While snuggling June before her nap, she grabbed my chin and said, "chin up!" She had seen me do that to David a week earlier when he was being grumpy! -18mos

June has the SWEETEST singing voice and is quick to sing along anything... particularly primary song as she falls asleep. I Am a Child of God is a favorite. -20mos

June's language is very advanced with three word utterances, regular past tense, -ing, and huge variety of vocab-20mos

June has always been compassionate. She will stop crying of someone else is crying in order to comfort them. Mia has a cold right now, and every time Mia coughs, June asks, "you okay?"  It melts my heart.

calls herself  "Doonie" (Junie) -20mos

While pretending to eat Junes cheeks for lunch, she stopped giggling and asked..."tasty?"-21mos

In the possessive stage.  We often hear, "No, Mia, that MINES!"

June enjoys the novelty of finding things that are "hiding" and revels in the announcement, "Deh it is!"

June is a picky eater, but is extra polite about it and declines with a "No Kank-oo!"

Animal Sounds- 19 mos.
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Body Parts-21 mos.
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Living with Kids

We were privileged, this past September, to be featured on DesignMom (my fave) for her "Living with Kids" series.  Most of the homes featured on it are so lovely and created by actual designers-- ours obviously isn't of the same caliber, but it's unique in that we were able to build it for low cost during our intersection in our lives, and still have a high-quality of living here.  We never want to leave!

Read about it here:

Gabrielle (DesignMom) chose pictures particular to the interest of her readers, but here are some of the extras from the shoot:





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving in the 'burg

As per annual tradition, we journeyed to Rexburg for the Thanksgiving holiday (and my birthday, ahem).  It doesn't sound terribly glamorous when declaring our plans to friends, but is the best type of soul comforting vacation for me.  Grandparents, yummy food, reliable traditions, and the familiarity of a home away from home make for the best of times.  
My maternal grandparents recently relocated for the second time in the last year.  One imagines one's mother and grandmothers in a particular setting (the kitchen, for me...how progressive is that thought for this closet feminist?), but I didn't know where to picture my grandma for the past months since they'd moved.  It bugged me.  This gives some perspective on the magnitude of problems (or lack of) I have in my life.

I cannot get enough of this stunning beacon that sits on the hill across the road from my grandparents.  This time, we went inside.  


It took a little time to familiarize ourselves with G Gma's new stomping grounds 
(some of us more than others).

Everything felt absolutely luxurious- particularly the plush carpet.  Being used to concrete, I just couldn't get enough of the cozy padding all around the house, and neither could my kids.  
So, lots of floor time with somersaults and dare-devil moves.
All the bathrooms have lovely deep drawers...deep enough to house a hearty babe!
Here's a peek into  a secret hide-out under the stairs

The bedroom closets are mirrored.

...and Aunt Jasmine ("Ja-mins") enhanced the novelty of it all.


Cousin Eli (and his mom) graced Mia with a turkey hunt, 
Thanksgiving bracelet craft, and fun appetizers:


Cooking along side Mom, Aunt Amy, & Gma Heinz made for a heavenly meal.
Here we are, post-feast, full and content.

A little jaunt around the neighborhood is always necessary after the binge.  
This one was particularly delicious!



I got to squish my birthday celebrations into the festivities as well.
One of the best treats?
Great Gpa AND Great Gma joining us for a swim at Green Canyon Hot Springs.  It's usually a cultural experience, but I didn't notice the cutoff and mullet clad clientele this year...I was too busy reveling in the rarity of the occasion.  It seems like I spent my young childhood trying to convince her to swim with me in her own Kailua pool.  Her response was always, "I don't like the water."  So I assumed she didn't shower either.  Water is water.  
How did she always smell so sweet...like Nexxus Humectress conditioner?
Anyhow, here is the evidence for those who know her and may not believe me.  
My grandma is in a swimsuit!  I sure hope I look like her when I'm 77.

My fishy:
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As per the usual, June was a peacemaker when things got tense btw Mia and her counterpart.

Birthday jog with my favorite running partner.  
He tries to manipulate me into running faster every time despite declarations of 
"you set the pace, Ashley." 

Party prep was just as much fun as the party itself!

My Great Gma Harmon gifted me an entire family of handmade, Finnish mittens.  
I wish I could frame them, but they've already been put to good use keeping our fingers much toastier than any other pair I've owned.

A willing audience makes for an encouraged performer...if you catch the right moment.  
Here's a sample of the arabesquing.
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I just really like the people in this picture
(missing Aunt Ramona and Jack who had taken off earlier).
See my lovely burning trifle in the middle of the table?
It was to-die-for, but those candles are starting to creep me out!  Alas, no turning back and on to 30!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Halloweeeeen, Two Thousand Thirteeeeeen

We decorated pumpkins the lazy way this year, but I don't think the girls noticed.

Our Halloween festivities turned out just as we'd predicted they would.  
Mia has had a life-long phobia of weird costumes, masks, hats, etc.
So, while a sassy "blue fairy" on the way out the door, she was in shambles by the time we drove several miles to the nearest neighborhood in order to trick-or-treat.  
She is surprisingly articulate about her fears, SHRIEKING things like,
"I don't like this Daddy!  Take me back to home!"
"There's a scary guy COMING!!!"
She'd be a fabulous horror movie actress.  She makes the most innocent Bob the Builder seem like a creep!

June, on the opposite end of the spectrum, would knock expectantly on the doors, and subsequently waltz right into the obliging neighbor's foyer.  The candy part was just a bonus to the home tours.
Not a great success.

The day-time parties weren't much different.
Teacher reports that Mia had a conniption as soon as SpiderMan arrived, and despite the fact that many of her poor classmates were made to remove their fun hats and masks, Mia still sought refuge on this random volunteer's lap for the duration of pre-school.  
No matter that she donned a wild hot-pink wig.  
Mia reports that she liked the "funny mommy with hair."

A wary Mia poses with the other costumed kiddos:

And finally, a fairy and her little lamb in the less-threatening light of day: