Monday, December 29, 2014

Ash Is Two

I know, I know... this is old news, but I have another boy, having another birthday in a little over 24 hours and even another boy, having another birthday 24 hours after that and I don't want Ash's 2 year old update to get lost in the mix.

Ash at two is spunky, goofy, stubborn and beyond empathetic.

He always notices what mood I'm in and will grab my face between his two chubby hands and ask, "Why are you crying, laughing, happy, sad, "fustated", etc.."

He might not have walked until 19 months and 1 week, but the boy has been talking our ears off all year long.  He says everything.  He picks up new words instantly and uses them correctly in sentences after that.  I forget his speaking so well is a little unusual, until other moms with kids his age comment on it.  Sometimes they worry a little about their kids, but I assure them Ash had plenty of extra learning time, since he did not so much as touch his feet to the ground for an entire year longer than their children.

If he's happy, he says "That so fun." about everything and if he's not getting his way, "You so mean."  Needless to say, I get called mean a lot.

He is in a hitting phase right now and I have repeated hundreds of times in the last few weeks-"Ash, you may not hit.  Hitting hurts.  If you are frustrated, use your words and tell River why.  If you choose to hit, you choose time out.  Understand?  Now what happens if you hit?  That's right, you go to time out.  Now what should you do instead?  That's right, tell River why you are frustrated."  Blah Argh... Let me tell you why I am frustrated.  This does not seem to be working.  Maybe after a few more hundred times???

Despite what I said about the hitting, he adores his brother.  He is on team River all the way.  If River is in trouble, he tells me "Brother is sad.  Why brother crying?  You so mean."  I love their loyalty to each other.  I love that they genuinely enjoy each others company.  I love that tears are short lived, forgiveness comes quickly and laughter abounds when they are around each other.  Ash idolizes River and wants to do whatever his brother is doing.  I love hearing him call River "Brother".  It is so sweet.  A prayer was answered when Ash was born.  Babies are not easy for me to come by and I desperately wanted River to have a friend to travel through life with.  It makes my heart happy their love for each other is so strong.

Ash gets around great now.  His awkward toddler run is to die for.  He swings his arms side to side and his hips side to side in opposite direction.  He climbed ladders before he crawled, or walked and once he got a little help from ankle braces needed to stabilize his overly flexible ankles, he was moving in no time.  (Before the braces, you could bend his feet up and back towards his legs and his feet would completely lay flat against his shins.  No wonder he was afraid to walk.  He had no stability at all.)

He loves his kitty "NO-Dull". (Noodle)  He loves laying flat on the ground beside him and putting his arm across Noodle's back.  Noodle tolerates it pretty well and no matter how many times Noodle runs away and hides, Ash's love never falters.

  He yells "AMEN" at the top of his lungs after prayers and runs around not listening when we read scriptures.  He needs to get water, or throw something away every ten meetings during Sacrament meeting and cries for a minute when I drop him off at Nursery, but always has a huge smile on his face when I pick him up.

He adores his Kindermusik class and smiles the entire time, trying to copy the sign language the instructor is doing as fast as he can.  His favorite is when they pull out the parachute, but he refuses to listen to the music and wave it gently.  There are only strong hurricane waves from this little guy.

When he turned two, he was still waking 5 times a night and nursing back to sleep.  It was a combination of his love of nursing, lack of other self soothing techniques like binkies, bottles, blankets, thumb sucking, Bear working nights, sharing a room with his brother and us living in an apartment.  Crying it out was practically impossible and he had no idea how to get back to sleep without nursing... nor was he interested in learning.  I am beyond thrilled to report that in the month since he turned two, we traveled to Colorado and used my friend Becca's spare bedrooms to sleep train him and he is now sleeping through the night, but really... who cares about him... I AM SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!  Hallelujah!  He goes to bed at 8:30 pm and wakes up between 7 and 8 am.  It's not quite as stellar as River's sleep schedule, but it is consecutive and consistent and miraculous and wonderful!

He goes to sleep with a growing army of miniature babies.  It started out with the kitten we call Kiss Kiss and he calls Kee Kee, that used to be River's.  Then grew to include the dog named Hugsy that he calls Doggy, which he acquired from Primary Children's Hospital's Surgery Day.  Then a tiny duck he named Duck Duck joined the pack in November when his friend Collin gave it to him and last to join the crew was a baby kitten he named Little Kitty (pronounce Yiddle Kee Kee) that I think he stole from Becca's daughter when we were sleep training, but I wasn't going to report him, maybe Little Kitty was our lucky charm.

He makes me laugh 100 times a day.  Once, he belched loudly at church during the closing prayer and then announced "I fah-ted!" (farted) even louder.  I laughed so hard I had to leave the chapel.  He has no shame and delights how irritated it makes River that he mixes up his bodily functions.

I love his smile.  I love the way he crinkles his nose and shows his teeth when he is really happy.  I love how much he loves his birthday and how he has told me everyday since, "It my birthday."  I love that he would stop in the middle of whatever he was doing and run to our Elf On The Shelf and say, "Hi Sparky." and that he has asked me over and over again, "Where Sparky?" since Christmas has come and gone.

There is a million things I have forgotten.  I kept promising to write them down as they happened and I failed, but this post is already too long.  I'll leave you with this- Ash Phoenix has our hearts.  He has us all wrapped around his chubby little finger.

Happy 2nd Birthday my little love!

Drops the mic and walks away...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Happy 40

Most people plan on getting married for forever. My parents were pretty sure it was going to last two weeks. It wasn't always easy and sometimes it was downright impossible, but with love and the Lord's help... they are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary today. I could not be more proud. There aren't award shows for this kind of achievement, but you get something even better. You get a wonderful life, filled with love and the miracle of seeing something you started with a simple promise, continue to grow to the eternities. Thanks for loving us, loving each other and being willing to do hard things. Sorry I don't have more pictures of you guys as young-ins, but did life really start before me? I love you both so much!