Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Andy at 3

Our little guy is 3!  Is that sounding old or what? Cameron and I can't get over how adorable and fun this age is.  (Please stop growing up, Andy!) Andy has the same personality he's always had--excited, happy, social, life of the party, opinionated, stubborn.  It's so fun to see how all that manifests itself at this age.

  • He still says hi to everyone, everywhere we go.  Absolutely no social fears.  He loves spending time with friends.  (And he calls everyone around his age a friend.)  I think he'll always have a lot of friends. I think he's pretty socially intelligent for a toddler. :)  He's already good at approaching people and finding common ground:  "Hi friend!  I Andy!  Ooo, car on your shirt?  Look, I gotta pocket on my shirt!"  
  • He is the most excited person I have ever met.  He is thrilled about every aspect of life, big or small.  "Yay! My plate and cup are the same color!"  "Yay! Go to the store!" And he makes me feel like a million bucks every morning when he first sees me--he is so dang excited.  
  • He loves his daddy.  The highlight of his day is when Cameron gets home from work.  He's always jumping up and down screaming, "Daddy!!!!!!!"  Then, they play in the backyard together and water the garden.  It's the cutest thing ever. 
  • He is still super heavy and super tall.  Near 100% for both.  
  • He loves to play in the backyard.  He rides his bikes around, kicks balls, throws balls, runs in circles, sidewalk chalk, jumping, paints with water.  Really, anything active. He is 100% boy.  
  • He loves baths. 
  • He loves going to the park.  Sometimes he's really brave and sometimes he's not.  He's gotten really confident at the park just around the corner, but when he's somewhere new he wants to hold my hand.  He loves to swing and says, "I'm an airplane! I'm a bird! I'm as high as the clouds!" 
  • He loves swimming.  We have a Seven Peaks pass, and it's basically the best thing that's ever happened to him.  He just wants to swim in the deep end and begs me to go on the big slides.  He's not loving the splash pad right now (he's very cautious there), but I'm hoping he'll get more brave as the summer goes on.  
  • He is so silly and has the cutest sense of humor.  He's very into slapstick.  It's fun to makes jokes you know he'll think are funny.  Like last night, his Pooh Bear fell on his book while we were reading, which he thought was hilarious.  And then I said, "Pooh is trying to eat your book!  He must be so hungry!" And...Andy was giggling so hard he could barely breathe.  I love his sweet, simple sense of humor. :)  
  • He's really become a lot more academically interested.  He likes doing "school," which is basically where we sit and focus on a letter.  He's not great at writing letters (other than "A," which he's got down pat!), but he's great at identifying letters, which we do in random magazines.  It's so fun to have him point out letters he sees as we go around town..."Look mom!  It's an A!  I see it!  On the sign!"  He's got them down pretty well through L and then a few random ones after that.  We used to work on shapes, but he's so good at those now we've moved on.  He's great at pointing shapes out as we go about our days, "Look mom!  It's like a triangle!" He still struggles in the color category, but is getting better.  He calls red "fire truck" and yellow "dump truck".  I'm loving watching him learn!  I feel so grateful to be his teacher.  I'm looking forward to doing joy school with him in the fall.   
  • He loves our car.  He calls it his new car.  (Even though it's 4 months old now.)  It's white, and when he sees anything that's white, he says, "white, like my new car!" The cutest/strangest thing is that he kisses the car about half the times he sees it.  
  • His favorite color is orange.  But what's strange is that if you ask him to pick out a sucker or something, he always picks the lame colors. White, brown, etc.  
  • His favorite foods are bread with butter (and every square inch better have butter), cheese, apples, eggs, PB&J sandwiches, pizza, pasta...really, he'll eat anything we're eating. He's improved so much.  He's a BIG eater.  He has frosted mini wheats for breakfast pretty much every morning.  His favorite thing in the world is when there are two stuck together--those are called "big ones."  And very rarely, you'll find a true treasure: when there are three stuck together, which is called, "Woah! a GIANT ONE!!!!!!"  
  • He's so affectionate and sweet.  He tells us all day that he loves us.  He's confused about the meaning of, "I miss you," and says it whether he's been with you all day or not.  It's just a term of endearment for him.  There's nothing sweeter than when he all of a sudden says, "I miss you, mama."  
  • He loves to sing songs.  He makes up all sorts of silly songs.  Once he wanted to sing a poo poo song, so I made one up.  It's stuck around and is one of his favorites. :)  He also loves to sing, "I am a Child of God."  He also loves "My Heavenly Father Loves Me," which he calls "The Birdy Song."  He likes when I sing it to him before bed and rub his belly.   And he loves to sing, "Let It Go."  (Who doesn't?!)  His absolute favorite song is, "Happy Birthday."  He sings it to himself year round.  He asks me to sing it to him before bed.  He sings it to Max when Max is sad.  
  • He loves to play with friends.  He's played well for the most part, but is starting to be a little territorial.   
  • He loves to cook and spend time with me in the kitchen.  Whenever I start making something, he brings his stool in so he can help me.  He knows what all the basic ingredients are.  He loves to dump in the ingredients, and does a great job.  I'll always treasure making bread with him.  
  •  I'm loving that I'm not terrified to leave him in a room by himself anymore.  He still gets into trouble, but for the most part he uses objects the way they're intended to be used.  So...no more monitors in the toilet.  Phew.  I'm also loving how much more reasonable he is at this age.  He still throws his fits, but there are definitely less.  I think this is partially because he can now communicate pretty much anything he wants to say. His big crying fits are usually after his nap for no apparent reason.  He usually sobs for twenty minutes straight and then all of a sudden says, "I better now!" and instantly is all smiles, carrying on like nothing ever happened.  
  • He loves to go to Costco, which he calls "The Hot Dog Store!"  (Yes, he usually gets a hot dog there and polishes off the entire thing.)  He recognizes the Costco logo everywhere.  
  • He still naps most days.  2-3 hours.  (Yes, I'm lucky and grateful.) It happens 4-5 days a week.  The other days he just has quiet time in his room.  He goes to bed about 8 PM and wakes up about 6:30 or 7 AM.  He's so great at going to bed; it never takes too long.  We pretty much just pray, read a book (two books if it's dad putting him down), and maybe read a song.  He likes to turn the light off with his toes.  And then he's good to go.  
  • He is so sweet to Max.  He's always bringing him toys, a binky, etc.  He sings him songs when he's sad.  He's always excited to see him first thing in the morning.  If he's not around, Andy always asks where he is.  
  • He's still a fan of the something.  (AKA watching TV.) He loves Bubble Guppies, Paw Patrol, and Mickey.  
  • He's developing some manipulation techniques.  He says, "One more minute!" ten times a day.  And he magically gets hungry the second we tell him it's time for bed.  ;)  He also whispers when he's asking for something he think he won't get.  No idea where that comes from. 
  • As always, he can throw some killer tantrums.  I actually feel like they're a little bit better, but it's still once or twice a day.  He usually has a hard time waking up from his nap and cries for twenty minutes after.  He always snaps out of his fits all of a sudden and then says, "I better now!"  And then he acts like it all never happened, carrying on his way.  
  • His language is so good for the most part, but he still has some crazy words and phrases.  Example #1: About half the time, he calls apples, "Apple Penis!" It's particularly inconvenient at the grocery store when he yells it at the top of his lungs when he spots apples.  I have absolutely no idea where he got this from.  I'm pretty sure one of my sisters taught it to him to be funny/annoying.  Example #2: He has this frisbee type thing he likes to throw around.  He calls it "Dirty Dan."  What the heck? He also says, "Ta da!!!" to show me things multiple times a day.  Too cute.  He went through a few weeks when he repeatedly asked to "go up the mountain."  Nothing we did seemed to qualify.  Who knows what he meant?
  • He's started to do introductions, which is adorable.  Someone came over today, and he said, "This is my brother Max.  And this is my mommy."  He also introduced Brendan (Cameron's brother) to Cameron, which was cute: "Brendan, this is my daddy."  
  • He loves to look at pictures and videos of himself on our phones.  And he can maneuver around the iphone perfectly.  And he takes lots of random pictures on my phone.  
  • He loves clothes.  He's always pointing out his "new shoes" to people.  He's very excited about all his shirts and has a way to refer to each one: "my pirate shirt!," "my superman shirt!," "my race car shirt!," "my polar bear shirt!" He also loves helping me with laundry and very carefully puts the folded clothes in his drawers.  
  • He loves to help in general.  It makes him feel important and like a big boy.  He loves to empty the silverware from the dishwasher.  He loves to carry groceries in from the car.  
  • As always, he's very mischievous and gets into a fair amount of trouble.  It makes life exciting though, right? 
I don't think we could possibly adore our Andy any more than we do.  He's such a light in our lives, and brings such a vitality to every minute of every day.  

It's hard impossible to get good pictures of him at this age, but here are a few attempts: 

Can you spot Andy? Here he is playing hide and seek.
Awww. 
He still loves to sort things.
Water painting.
He has done this multiple times.  He helps himself to whatever he can find while I'm showering.

He loves wearing this hat, and I love him in it.
He loves to exercise with me.  And he does the cutest push-ups I've ever seen. 
Not many toddlers have mastered 4 inch heels.  We're very proud.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

April & May

Spring was pretty great around here! Some fun things we did...

  • We celebrated Greg's birthday at a delicious Greek restaurant.  
  • We had my family over for breakfast and watched General Conference. 
  • I went to see Les Mis at Hale Centre Theater with my sister Rachel.  It was amazing.  I still can't believe that was a local production. 
  • We had a fun dinner with Grandma Lee at Cous Cous.  Scott and Nicole and their cute kids came too. 
  • Our wonderful friends Kasee and Jason came in town from Texas.  I got to go to Kasee's baby shower with some other Texas friends; so fun to celebrate their beautiful little girl!  We also got to have them over for dinner at catch up.  We miss them sooooo much.  
  • Easter was so fun!  Holidays with kids are just the best.  We did our own little traditions at home with Andy--colored eggs, made him an easter basket, and hid the eggs we decorated.  We did an egg hunt at my Messick grandparents' house, did a hunt at my parents' house, and did a big family party at Cameron's parents complete with another egg hunt.  Yes...that's four egg hunts.  Andy was in heaven because egg hunts are pretty much his favorite thing ever.  We're now almost two months past Easter, and he still asks us to hide eggs almost every day.  He even hides them for us sometimes. :)  



    Andy's basket.  Yes, I'm one of those lame moms who gives books (from DI) and only one treat.

    Cute matching brothers in their Easter outfits.

    Max's first egg hunt.
  • Our fun neighbors the Taggarts invited us over to make s'mores.  
  • Sara got back from Jerusalem!  It's been so fun having her around. 
  • After working some insane hours for a while, Cameron took a day off work for some family time.  We had the best day!  We went to Discovery Gateway in the morning, to the Rec Center for swimming in the afternoon, and to our favorite place for dinner, Plates and Palates.
  • No pictures, but my sisters Rachel, Sara, and I did a makeup class at Sephora one saturday morning where we learned highlighting and contouring.  Considering we didn't even know what those were before attending the class, I'd say we learned a lot!  It was fun to have some sister time. 
  • I had a really fun ladies night with some Texas friends to celebrate Lindsay's birthday.  It's always so fun to get together! 
  • We had a really fun miamaids party at the Rec Center.  Basically, I got to spend my night kid-free, sitting in the hot tub and going down the slide=pretty much the best night ever. 
  • I went to dinner with good friend Jessica just before she moved.  It's been so fun spending time with her!  I'm so bummed to not have her close. 
  • Mother's Day!  I'll just say it wasn't my favorite day; I had to speak in church and teach Young Women's. (I don't think they should ask a mom to speak on Mother's Day. Am I right?) Cameron still made it nice--he made me a yummy breakfast and gave the best present ever: a ladies night that happened a couple weeks later with pedicures, manicures, dinner at the Dodo, and a movie.  Later that day, we did double dinners, first with my family and then with Cameron's.  
  • Cameron and I went to the Nickel Creek concert.  We have loved them for forever, so it was amazing to see them reunited and live. 
  • We hosted a Texas reunion party when our friends the Bradshaws were in town.  It was so great to see everyone! I loved watching all those kids playing together.  The Smiths, Reicherts, and Craguns came along with the Bradshaws.  We had a blast. 
  • We went to Discovery Gateway with my cousin Nichole and her cute kids.  It's so fun seeing family more often!
  • Andy attended his first birthday party!
  • We spent a really lovely sunday afternoon on temple square. The weather was perfect.

Andy was waving to Jesus.
  • We had a great Memorial Day.  We went on a fun hike in Farmington with my family and finished the day with a barbecue. 
I promise the hike was prettier than it looks here.
Cutest picture of Max on the swing.
This is Andy being king of the rock on our hike.
  • I need to document the crazy amount of gardening and yard work that went on.  Cameron has developed quite the green thumb!  He loves working out there.  (I'm lucky he likes to do it, because I don't.  Too many family nights spent weeding growing up, I guess!) We're growing tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, green beans, strawberries, basil, artichokes, cilantro, raspberries, and blackberries.  We also planted a peach tree and two apple trees.  
  • Cameron took a trip to San Francisco with his friends (and co-workers) Blakely and Joel for a work conference. They went a little early and had a great time hiking and seeing the city. 
  • We had lots of family visits!  We had a great visit to see G.G. (Cameron's grandma.) Andy loves her! 
  • My poor sister Rachel had terrible jaw surgery in May.  The up side was that we got to see her a lot while she recovered!  We went to the zoo one day together.  I talked and talked and talked while she listened and listened and listened.  (Since her jaw was wired shut.)
I love seeing this lion!  I remember it from when I was little.  
He always wants to ride the ladybug.  (Which is actually a grasshopper.) 
  • My mom completed the St. George Half Ironman.  Isn't she amazing?
  • We had many fun visits to the Park!  At least once a day, sometimes twice. 
  • And, as usual, lots of Andy shenanigans. 
    Is there anything cuter than a toddler bum? I think not.

    What, you don't eat your cheese like this? ;)  I've caught him doing this numerous times.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

January, February, & March

Some updates from the first few months of the year:

  • We had a fun Texas friend get together at the Craguns' house when the Cavanaughs came in town! 
  • We bought a membership to Discovery Gateway, so we had lots of visits there with my mom and with friends, too. It helped us survive the cold, winter months when we couldn't play outside much.

  • We went on some very cold January walks to try to stay sane. 
  • Andy went on a date with Cameron to get frozen yogurt. 
  • We enjoyed having lots of play dates with friends we're happy to live by again! I'm loving living by Amy (BYU friend), Andrea (Texas friend), Lindsey (Texas friend), Katie (High School friend), Jessica (High School/ward friend), Emily (mission companion), Melissa (DECA/BYU friend), and others my sleep-deprived brain is forgetting. :) 
  • We had many fun dinners at both of our parents' homes.  
    Andy loves Uncle Brendan.
  • We visited the Bountiful library a few times for story time.  We stopped going after a while because of Max's morning nap/Andy ran around like a crazy person and I was sick of chasing him, but I'm glad we went, because I was unexpectedly reunited with my high school friend Katie, and we've hung out a few times since then! Also, I met a fun playgroup from our neighborhood that's been so kind to invite us to lots of activities.  
  • Andy watched a fair amount of Paw Patrol and Bubble Guppies. (Utah in the winter with kids...a little on the rough side.) 
  • I judged a couple piano competitions and really enjoyed that! 
  • I started teaching piano mid-March and love, love, love it.  As of now, I have four students. (Including an adult student! Which I love!) 
  • We bought a car! It was so great to become a two-car family again.  We love our Nissan Rogue!
  • Andy started Kindermusik classes.  The course just finished.  We had such a great experience and had so much fun! Andy loved running around with Olivia, the stamps at the end, the blanket hammock, and his wonderful teacher Miss Kim.  
  • We had a fun saturday outing to the zoo with Cameron's family. We introduced them to our favorite Thai place, Sawadee, for lunch.  
  • We enjoyed having some wonderful people come visit for dinner/dessert.  Cameron's parents, my parents, the Morgans, the Craguns, the Cramers, Grandma and Grandpa Lee, the Melnychuks, and the Maxwells.  
  • We had a really fun dessert night with the Joneses.  
  • Dave and Kelly came in town, so we celebrated with the Lee family for a weekend. We went to see Austin in Pride & Prejudice at BYU (he was the best Mr. Bingley ever), had a family dinner at Greg's and Kathy's where Andy had the time of his life with his cousins, and then had another dinner at Kevin's and April's.  Can we just say how much we love living by family?! 
    Sloan introduced Andy to the art of Cheetos.
  • We both received church callings. I'm a miamaid advisor in Young Women, which is pretty much the best calling ever.  Cameron is an Elders Quorum teacher and Assistant Ward Clerk over finances.  
  • We started being able to really enjoy walks and the new park by our house in March.  Life. Saver.  And picnics at the park are even better. 
  • As usual, Andy dabbled in all sorts of shenanigans, both at my parents' house and our new house.  (Not pictured: the $200 video baby monitor Andy threw in the toilet. Also, the new humidifier he ruined. Or the dresser he knocked over. And the other hundreds of things he destroys each day. Good thing we love him. ;)

    This is what happens when your toddler stores tupperware in the oven and you mistakenly turn the oven on. This may have happened TWICE.  And it took hours to scrape it all out of the oven. 

    Will he ever outgrow this? Please, oh please?
  • We had some fun visits with my grandparents.  I'm so grateful to have three of my four grandparents still alive and living close by!

  • We put up a wall in our house! Best decision ever. 
  • I went with my mom and Abby to see "Bring It On," the musical. And I fell in love with Red Vines the same night.  (I was previously a "Twizzler Only" kind of girl.) 
  • Andy learned how to play hide 'n seek, which is now his favorite game.