Monday, November 9, 2009

Asher a Cappella

Asher, Asher, Asher. Such a silly baby. I believe I wrote in a previous post about his lack of real-word speech. I suspect that he knows more than he lets on, and that when he decides to really talk, he'll start with full sentences.

A few days ago as he and I were grocery shopping I realized he was singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Without clear words, it was hard to tell (and the tune is used in so many songs you know) but I took a guess that that's what he was singing and by his reaction when I joined him I knew I was spot on. So, I started inviting him to sing it with me over the last few days. I realized that he was accentuating parts where he knew the word was coming up. He actually knows the song pretty well, but when I sing it every night (and other times throughout the day) he'd never joined me. He just silently learns stuff.

Two nights ago I was thinking about that, and thought, let's see what else he knows. So I specifically invited him to join me in "I Am a Child of God" and he excitedly joined in, again accentuating certain words that he knew were coming. I can't believe this child. Again, it's a song I sing at least once a day, part of our bedtime singing routine, and he's NEVER sung with me until I invited him. What a nut.

Here's a clip of him singing. The parts were he drops off are areas that he often sings... he gets distracted easily. At the end, there's an encore clip of his favorite animal sound.

He also (not as consistently though) enjoys singing "The babyies on the Bus say Wah Wah Wah;" "The Mommies on the bus say shh shh shh;" and "With a Moo Moo here, and a Moo Moo there"

And yes, Asher IS that child you hear busting out a tune with the hymn book open on his lap in the middle of Sacrament Meeting.

This ‘n That

I have a bunch of random stuff that I’ve been wanting to add…

IMG_2113When Brian and I moved into Camas Commons 4 years ago, cable TV was not included in the rent like the previous place, so we used antennas and watched a few select shows through fuzziness and frequent adjusting. When it all went digital last June, watching TV has become a huge headache. We lost a a few channels, including a favorite, FOX still comes in the old way, so to watch it we have to do all sorts of switching, and the rest of the channels are nice and clear, if you can get them to come in at all. (So, rather than a little fuzzy that never bothered us, it will just freeze frame or not come in at all). One night Brian was doing his usual dance of trying the antenna out all over the room. We just wanted to watch something while I gave him a haircut. He tried that thing EVERYWHERE, and the only place this particular channel it came in was suspended above the couch. One centimeter to the left, right, forward, backward, etc… and it was a no-go. This EXACT spot was the ONLY spot. (Until the next day when the hot spot is somewhere completely different). Anyway, I found a toy that was just the right size to hold it in its spot. I couldn’t believe it. And it only took 40 minutes of hunting around to find that night’s hot spot for that particular channel. Woo hoo! It was a lucky night.

The other morning when the kids got up, the train set was still out from the night before. I was so impressed watching them play with something together and not fighting. Asher has more than learned to hold his own... a lot of times he throws a tantrum when his attempt to take things away from Brennan is unsuccessful. Then he comes crying (translation - tattling) to me that "Brennan won't let him have that toy!" It's Brennan's own fault - He's been teaching by example for the last year and a half. Anyway, unless or until Asher trys pulling that stunt, they usually play really well together these days. Brennan has learned to just claim 2 or 3 toys at a time as the one's he's playing with, and knows and accepts that everything else is fair game. And Asher seems to be catching on that he is welcome to play with Brennan as long as he minds the rules (like not taking). Incidentally, this particular train set was mine as my chosen birthday present when I turned 7... or as Brennan likes to call it, "Moms train from when she was a little boy."

Asher's nap time, a.k.a. "quiet" time is not always quiet for Brennan. However, he is pretty good about settling down for some personal play time. On halloween day he was doing just that while Brian did homework and I did whatever random stuff myself. I love listening to Brennan play, the little conversations always make me laugh, but they're usually too complex to remember well enough to share. This isn't an example of complexity really, but I just got a kick out of watching him play in his own little world, hardly aware of Mom and Dad just a few feet away from him.
*Warning* you may find this boring, but as his Mother I enjoy every second of it, and I'm posting this more for me than for anyone else :-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween 2009

We had a fun Halloween, but unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the kids or activities. Ha ha. The only pictures for the day were of the food I made for a party. It’s a spinach/hummus dip with crackers to represent tombstones (some of them with writing like RIP and “Saul T. Snack”) and a pretzel fence. It’s a graveyard scene, the idea from a magazine, though my finished product looked nowhere near as good as the original.


Anyway, it was a fun day. While Asher napped I took Brennan to the Library for their Halloween party. It was a free event (my favorite kind) with all sorts of activities like mini bowling, ring tosses, fishing, and all those kid favorites. After their turns the kids could choose a trick or a treat. (the tricks were little toys). We didn’t stay too long, but Brennan had a good time. We got home (through the HORRIBLE post OSU football game traffic) just in time to hit the Camas Commons (our neighborhood) Mormons & friends party. It was much quieter this year for some reason. We then headed to Mom and Dad’s for the kids to show off their costumes and trick-or-treat to a few of their neighbors, and finally we got to the Trunk-or-treat activity at the church. Asher had a wonderful time, and was so cute to watch. At houses, he would follow Brennan, and as soon as he would see someone with candy opening the door, he would drop his bucket and RUN the rest of the way. At the church, I eventually stopped holding his bucket out because he couldn’t care less about the candy. He just loved running around free in a parking lot.

It has been so fun to do Halloween with a 4 year old. Each year Brennan gets more and more out of Halloween. It was cool to have a child understand and anticipate the activities, and enjoy them on that level. The first 2 or so years, you know it’s more for you than it is for them. This year, Brennan did it for himself!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Brian and I have done some rearranging about 14 times in the last 3 months.  The most recent one was to bring our desktop computer downstairs and keep it hooked up to the TV in the living room.  It’s been interesting to attempt to get around on the computer now that the text is too far away to read well.  Also, Brian somehow found and AMAZING deal on Windows 7, (which we don’t recommend the company that sold it… it took Brian 2 1/2 weeks, several phone calls (for which the customer service number is only found after an intensive search over the internet), and many emails, to in the end be able to download his purchase through (shhhh) tapping into someone else’s wifi.  ANYWAY… this is the long explanation to say that all the pictures I’d uploaded to the computer in the last few weeks have been difficult to access for a number of reasons.  Now that I’ve got them, I’ll try to do some catching-up.

In mid-October we made it to our usual farm for the pumpkin-patch/corn maze activities.  Activities you will see include a duck race with old-fashioned water pumps, kids playing in the corn boxes, the tractor ride, and picking the pumpkins.  It was an absolutely perfect fall day-warm enough to strip off the sweater in fact.  This day was right in the middle of many days of rain however, so the ground was quite muddy.  We carefully tromped around the pumpkin patch and were home clear… until Asher gleefully ran into the deepest, thickest mud bath a few short feet from the tractor.  He was several feet into it, and up to his calves in mud before he lost his balance and fell onto his hands and knees.  Brian was less than pleased, but I thought it was kind of funny (which is why it was then my job to deal with the muddy baby).  Asher loves to shake things up for us.

The other adventure was doing the corn maze.  Brennan absolutely hated it.  Just panicked.  Brian and I had to pretend we weren’t lost, even though we became quite so.  I guess it was a difficult charade to keep up because we obviously weren’t exiting despite telling Brennan we were on our way out.  He kept crying about how he wanted to get out, and unfortunately, we had no idea how.  Clearly, we survived to tell… but it was a little more taxing than we’d bargained for.  At least the rest of the day there was fun and wonderful!