Wednesday, December 31, 2014

4.5 (ish) plus Grey and a summary

I've made my own sort of tradition to take nice black and white photos of each child on their birthday and half year mark. Well, I only noticed it was Liam and Dash's half year mark the night of their half birthday, after they'd gone to bed. I had taken no pictures. SO these are a month and a half late and since it's already not how it's supposed to be, I'm including some photos of Grey. And since it's New Year's Eve (thanks 2014, it's been good), I'll just do a little summary of each kid and call it good.

Liam is a hilarious child. He's always asking silly questions, hamming up his face, doing some goofy walk. He also has a penchant for yelling. Yes, yelling when he's mad but also just when he's feeling the need to be loud.

The child understand things so quickly. I think it's part of his competitive spirit. He just loves to be first, first, first. It's very upsetting for him when he's planned on being first but it doesn't pan out. Both twins are very sensitive and this is one of his sensitive areas. But back to the point, he really tries to understand things and asks questions until a concept is clear. He understands it and really knows it. So impressive.

Further, Liam loves to impress. This has been a constant in his life. He just loves to do something cool and get attention for it. He loves the praise (though don't we all?). But I thing he appreciates the achievement himself- he impresses himself.

Liam tends to be a little bit more vocal or comfortable when in unusual circumstances. I'm talking new places and new people. He can be a little shy but no too much. He likes to take charge of our little clan but often lets others take over when there's friends involved. He's a really good playmate.

Dash is also a hilarious child. He makes funny voices, points out funny occurrences, is ready to laugh about anything. He's happiest when everyone around him is laughing. He can also be so sweet, ready to give hugs and kisses when someone's upset, telling them soft words to help them feel better.

Dash can be amazingly wiggly. He's wiggly when he's happy, doing funny dances all around, and he's wiggly when his upset, flailing all around the ground in a way where I just stay back for fear of impact. That little body just moves.

The kid is smart and so dedicated to the things he sets out to learn. When he's reading, he slowly goes through the words, making sure he pronounces things just the right way. He makes these amazing spatial connections that don't even occur to me ("mommy, we just drove in a Z shape!"). What a cool guy.

Dash has become such a singer. He makes up all sorts of songs, rehearses snippets of various primary songs and other kid songs, and loves to sing along with his parents. He's even started to add his own form of vibrato, which is ridiculously cute.

Grey is finally talking! He still has a lot to learn, of course, but he's finally trying. For ages we couldn't even get him to repeat us. We'd ask him to say such and such, to which he'd say, "uh uh!" and cover up our mouths. In the last few weeks, that's turned around. He sometimes refuses but mostly is excited to try out words we say and has added all sorts of words to his daily repertoire. While reading scriptures, we've recently been saying one word at a time, which he repeats, and it is SO CUTE. 

This little man has opinions. He's very adamant about his "uh uhs!" and is very perky and sweet with his "uh huhs!" In the last month, though, holy moly, he's gone mad with stubbornness. The moment something occurs to him and it's not already happening, meltdown. The moment I unzip his coat when he wanted to do it himself that time, meltdown. The moment his brother moves his book the wrong way, meltdown. His meltdowns are him standing there screaming and crying and not letting anyone do anything with him for a minutes, then wanting to cry while being held until he calms down. And it happens so very often....

Grey is at times very adventurous and at others, very conservative. I think it just depends on where his confidence lies at the time. Usually new places, people, and things cause him to be initially cautious. Often seeing his brothers do things helps him feel like he can do it too. And he's getting to the point where he CAN do a lot of the things that hiis brothers do. He still very much likes to cuddle and prefers a lap to any other seat.

Grey loves to join in laughter. Even more, if he realizes he's causing someone to laugh, he'll repeat that behavior over and over. He looks so pleased when that happens. In fact, whenever anything "good" happens to him, he looks very pleased. "ah, life is good." It is, Grey, it really is.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

So much phone

ooooh, some of these are oooold (as in summatime). Enjoy these phone photos and videos!
Hammock hiders
Hammock hiders

Dang. (after using an old junky monitor for a month or two, we finally replaced the screen, oof)

Flower picker
Flower picker


I guess I should move him...
I wanted to leave him there for Sean to see when he got home but the danger potential was too high.

Grey was not at all happy...
Grey was not at all happy to leave his brothers at smaland but this ikea chair made it all okay.

Lego admiration
Lego admiration

The Birthday Dude
The Birthday Dude

A touch of pink
A touch of pink

Flaming tips
Flaming tips

Forgot about this photo from last...
A warm autumn day, visiting Tamarack.

Project Gray Walls half way to...
Project Gray Walls half way to completion (even if they do look bluer than I expected...)

A "lion ant" eating carrots, a...
According to Liam: A "lion ant" eating carrots, a banana, an apple, and a fried egg.

Book art
Book art

Balloon angels
Balloon angels

My studs
My studs

This child o mine
This child o mine

This is Greys third headache in...
This is Greys third headache in two weeks. So pathetic.

Watching Harry potter for the first...
Watching Harry potter for the first time (for the kids, who knows how many times we adults have seen it). I was wondering if I'd regret the decision and so far, no damage!

Teach Your Child to Read in...
"Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons"- on lesson 66 and so far it is doing as claimed. I highly recommend.

Primary program practice. I spy a...
Primary program practice. I spy a little boy who wants to do everything his brothers do.

Once my brother had my mom...
Once my brother had my mom make several pies for some assignment. After she finished, he grabbed one and pretended to smash it in my face, pulling up at the last second. Except, it slid over the side and right into my mouth. Moral of the story: eat pie every chance you get.

Let the static begin!
Let the static begin!

How Turkey Day decorations roll in...
How Turkey Day decorations roll in the Bradley House

Choo choo!
Choo choo!

What's better than a dinner visited...
What's better than a dinner visited by Santa?

Lil hat
Lil hat (actually a bell ornament)

This is how we do it
This is how we do it

Waldo seekers
Waldo seekers

Some amazing and thoughtful family has...
Some amazing and thoughtful family has been leaving us gifts on our front step. We're half way through our twelve days. All I can think of is how wonderful people can be.

The second half of our Twelve...
The second half of our Twelve Days treasures. With Sean having to work every day this week, we were a little bummed. But this brought such excitement everyday. I am so grateful to this kind family for their generosity and example of Christlike charity. Thank you so much, you are in our hearts!


He so strong, breakin those sand rocks.

He was into it.

Reading practice (even before we started that reading book)

Another fabulous IKEA chair

Just a taste of Grey's shuffle walk, which his brothers also employed as two-year-olds.

Whenever Sean leaves for work when the kids are awake, saying goodbye is a big production. This was on Grey's birthday so the goodbye was shortened because there was cake inside waiting for them- usually they stay in the driveway waving until the car is out of sight.

Balloon delights

Grey's magnificent belly laugh (yes of course we were paying careful attention to general conference...)

Dash and Liam used to do this puzzle all the time and we've brought it out again for Grey to enjoy. He's even learned the tradition of kissing all the characters at the end :)

Dash's first talk! He told me what he wanted to say, which I wrote for him. Then he read it to the primary. Proud!

Liam's turn for his first talk! Same deal as Dash. He did so great!

And finally, their lines from the primary program. Good memorizers!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

Sean worked a full, long day on Christmas so we did our gift exchange on Christmas Eve. We had a lovely dinner, reenacted the Christmas story with the felt board Great Grandma Bradley sent (thank you!) and enjoyed some present unwrapping!

Sean was most excited to give the boys some balloon powered toys.

While they didn't work terribly well, the kids still loved trying to blow up the balloons. And they're faces were just too hilarious.

Biggest hit for the twinners was a pair of new Waldo books. Oh my goodness, the excitement.

When Dash opened the second Waldo book, Liam exclaimed "Is that Where's Waldo the Fantastic Journey??? IT'S WHERE'S WALDO THE FANTASTIC JOURNEY!!!" Many presents later, they were still giving us thank you hugs for the Waldo books.

We had such fun opening our fun presents, enjoying new books, games, a rockin blanket, and a new exercise bike!

And we had to finish with our traditional wrapping paper fight! (this video is long and I aimed it too low and is probably not very interesting for anybody but me)

(you can see one of the paintings Mimi gifted us, which I LOVE.) A merry Christmas it was!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Holiday Hop 2014

Another year, another Holiday Hop. This time it was much warmer and therefore so much better.

This time there was a horse-drawn carriage but we arrived there for the last trip. So we loaded up all the kids (we met up with the Harpers again) and I popped in with them.

I don't know how I got to be the lucky adult to ride. Probably because Grey has embraced his Two-Year-Old Status and would have thrown a fit with anyone else.

Look how lovely! We couldn't really see the horses where we were riding, so it was just like any ol' wagon-type ride.

But then we met the horses and it was special.

We also met Santa! He gave us candy canes!

down the barrel
And after visiting the historical museum we took a view through the old canon barrel. Whoopie!