Monday, December 15, 2014

George at One Year, Part Six

18-months--so crazy!

He's become way more snuggling-orientated.  He'll actually come to you and seek you out to sit on your lap and just watch a show or Grandpa/Dad playing a game or read a book, it's been super cute!

Counts to three, "1, 2, 3"!  Like I've mentioned, I've been counting his food, buttons on shirts, laces on a football... pretty much whatever for a while, so it has been super awesome to hear him counting back!

Still looooves his flash cards.  Loves books.  Worships Mickey Mouse.  When he sees him he just squeals, "MICKEY!"

Still loves the stairs.  He's smart and can pretty much break through an barricade we create, however he's become a really good listener and so we he knows it's a "we're not going up the stairs right now" he just goes to the barricade and gets angry, hahaha.  But he doesn't try to break through, so we'll call it a win!

He can also go down the stairs like a boss; we taught him the process of, "Leg, leg, knees," and he'll say it with you as he goes down.  Well, most of the time.  Half of our time going down is arguing with him that we're going down, not up:  "Leg, leg, knees--George, we're going down the stairs not up.  George, leg, leg, knees.  LEG, LEG, KNEES.  George Bradley, we're going down the stairs."

To encourage George to walk we've been trying to trick him into standing up as much as possible.  This has included what we call, the "Marshmallow Game" where I place his favorite marshmallow treats up on higher places that he has to stand up to get to.  I started doing it on his stroller because the stroller would start moving and he'd have to walk with it.  He just figured out to not lean on the stroller.  That boy is a pill about walking.  Nerd.

He's invented this new, terrible, what we call "raptor shriek" when he's just ticked.  Now, he can get ticked for a variety of reasons, but for the most part they're pretty lame.  Like, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe you just told me to sit on my bum for safety reasons," or, "Did you just pull me off the stairs, AGAIN?"  It's drama king city up in here.  We like to call him Tinkerbell--only enough room in his little body for one emotion.

He's been working on about four molars for the past month, and two finally cracked through and, oh man, he's in pain.  Weird late nights where he just can't sleep, but he'll nap for almost four hours during the day.  We've just been swinging with it, but man, it's been strange.

He still loves older boys, like ages six and up, he just thinks they're the coolest ever.

He doesn't eat much.  This is probably because of the new teeth, but it's been weird.  He's just not hungry most of the time, and then one meal a day he's basically ravenous.

He still won't preform.  Like, at all.  He seriously could care less what you want him to do; if he doesn't think you need to see it, you won't.

LOVES his cars.  Still.  Always.  We were wrapping my little brother's 24-days of Christmas package to send to him in Chile; we had purchased the majority of the stuff from the Dollar Store, and while we were there I had gotten George a pack of mini cars that I was thinking I may use as a stocking stuffer.  He was playing in the room with us when he found it and immediately brought the pack over to me to open it.  He was just like, "Dude, Mom, these are cars.  I need them."

George still haaates walking.  A lot of people seem very confident that they can make him do it, and then they try and they're like, "Oh, whoa, yeah.  He's not going to walk."  Uh, yeah, that's what we told you.  He be cray-cray.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

George at One Year, Part Five

George learns new words every day, including "up", "down", "Bane", "please" and just, yeah, he pretty much mimics whatever we're saying.  Favorite words include, "apple", "banana", "green", and "cheese"--but "cheese" is said with a devoted intensity of love and adoration.

He doesn't just love the word "cheese", he loves cheese itself.  It's his most favorite thing to eat in the world (currently, this changes frequently).  When I pull out a bag of shredded cheese he'll chant, "Cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese!" and wave his arms all excitedly.  If he even hears you say, "cheese", he'll do some more cheese-chanting.  He loves the stuff.  Randomly, while playing with his toys, he'll start singing, "Cheese, cheese, cheese..."  Pretty sure he dreams about it.  If he had a diary, it'd be filled with, "Cheese, cheese, cheese!"

George also sings along in his own Chinese to songs that we sing often.  His favorite song as of late is the Rainbow Song.  I have no idea if that's the factual name, but the ending goes, "I can sing a rainbow too," and thus, the Rainbow Song.  George's favorite part is the beginning, which sings, "Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue."  When he sings along to it, it goes like, "[George Chinese] na-na (George for "yellow) and blue."  It's sort of the cutest when he'll start singing it on his own while he's playing.

He also loves to count.  Or, well, have you count for him.  He'll count in his own language; sometimes he's got the actual sounds down, but most of the time it's him just filling in the blanks with his Chinese.  When he's eating he likes for us to count the food on his tray, like cut-up strawberries or cereal.  Otherwise, he loves counting the laces on this football my dad got him, and when I count while we play with his pop-up toy.

This kid has been breaking out teeth like nobody's business.  The first two brought a very grumpy George Bailey.  He was not at all pleased with those teeth.  Then the molars started coming in, oh boy.  Let's just say George's emotions have been permanently set on HIGH this past month.  Emotions running wild!  No joke, if he couldn't figure out what he wanted to do to entertain himself he would just come find me and cry about it.  It's been awkward, to say the least.  But also highly hilarious, as always.

George till loves outside SO.  MUCH.  This has been rough as it's gotten colder.  Combine his love for the outdoors, plus the inability to go outside as much, plus high emotions due to teething, and you get one very upset baby when the door opens and he's not allowed outside.  Luckily the cold days were sparse in October, so we still got out, just not as much as he's used to.  Most nights when Bradley got home from work, George would need a Dad/George/Bane moment where Bradley would take George outside to play with the frisbee with Bane.

This was a nice moment for George because he got outside, and a nice moment for me because I was able to finish dinner without my son trying to stand up by the stove.  Which is super safe, right?

Speaking of standing up by the stove, George made his first attempts to stand up on his own.  He can do it, but he's sort of terrified of it so the only times he stands up on his own are at moments where he doesn't even recognize that he's doing it.  Otherwise, any and all attempts for us to help him stand and/or walk are thwarted by George.  He knows before you've even begun what you're trying to do and he totally shuts us down!  We're learning to trust the doctor's observation that, "There's a big difference between can't do it and just won't do it," and let him do it at his own pace.

Again, moving at his own pace (and not giving a poop what anyone else thinks), George has finally begun utilizing furniture walking.  This is both darling and dangerous.

George is incredibly smart, but he's also incredibly content 98% of the time.  This has been a blessing because he's a super chill child the majority of the time, but it's also meant that there's not really an easy motivational tool to be used to get him to exit his comfort zone.  Take a toy away, he'll just find another one, no big deal.  What we should've realized, with the fascinations he's had with it, is that dog food would be the motivator to use.  He loves digging through it, throwing it in the dog's water, the like.  So it only makes sense that it was the dog's food--which I had set up on the round table that's by the back door--which convinced him that furniture walking was a necessary skill.  Every since his first expedition to retrieve the dog food on the table he's just gotten more and more confident with the fact that furniture walking is a good tool.

George has gotten over the roughest patch of stranger danger!  To which, YAY.  However, he's still my son.  As such, if too many new people approach him at once he panics and is totally upset by it.  He, like his mother, needs the option to choose when and how he wants to introduce himself.  And yet in church, with total strangers who are keeping their distance because it'd be awkward to just canoodle a random person's child, those are the people he wants the attention of the most.  Basically, he's an interesting mix of his introvert mother and his extrovert father.  Poor kid.

This month Brad's parents were working hard to clean their house out so prepare to put it up for sale.  During the big clean-out, they had quite a few things they offered to hand-down to us and George.  One such item was a tepee that Michelle had purchased but admittedly had never put together and used when Brad and his siblings were little.  It had gotten forgotten, and so it was basically brand-spankin' new when we got it.  Well, George loves it.  Seriously, he adores it.  I set it up in the front room and every morning he goes and plays in it for twenty or thirty minutes before he's ready to go upstairs to eat breakfast.  It's mighty cute!  And man, when he's in the tepee-zone, it's like no one else is there.  He'll grab a few cars, crawl inside, and he's seriously done that for over and hour, just talking to me from time to time.  SO CUTE.

Pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but George loves our bed.  Or, well, any bed.  He loves to wrestle and play around on the softness of the bed, throw himself into the pillows, and body slam the bed while saying, "Ka-boom!"

Basically, if I'd let him, we'd be playing on mine and Brad's bed all day long.  Which, sure, I'd totally do (hello, stay in bed all day, heck yes!), but, um, yeah.  He's sort of the least safe person ever on the bed.  No forethought whatsoever as to where he's tossing himself around, and so the whole time we're catching him as he's throwing himself off the bed.  Or hurling his body at the headboard.  In short, he's not safe, at all.  So, one day when he ran into our bedroom and was begging to get on the bed again, I realized, duh, why not make a "bed" on the floor!

Thus, the Pillow Pile was born (patent pending).  We have, like, six too-flat pillows that we've just thrown into the closet because we didn't use them anymore, so I just laid them out on the floor in the front room and did my own, "Ka-boom!" and the rest is history.  George spends large amounts of time, again, grabbing a few cars, where he then lays down on the pillows and drives his cars.  It's pretty darling.  Sort of picture a teenage girl on the phone, that's what we always tease that it looks like.  He'll play laying on his stomach, legs popped up in the back, literally just how you'd picture it!

Another thing George continues to do is "sexy play".  He'll lay on his side, all draw-me-like-your-French-girls like, and play with his toys.  This is also quite hilarious.

Another hand-me-down we got from Brad's parent's was a bunch of flashcards.  I've been wanting to get George some just to see if he'd be interested since he loves things like counting and coloring so much, and so when Michelle had a bunch I was just like, "DUDE.  YES."  George has been surprisingly addicted to them.  He can do them for upwards of thirty minutes at a time.  He's been able to learn shapes like an oval and triangle, and he's become especially fond of saying, "Green!" because of the flashcards, to the point that it's become more common that, "blue" (which is a super huge deal in George Land, trust me).

As a last random detail, George loves to be "rawr"-ed and crawled after and chased around.  He added to that charging back to crawl underneath you and through your legs.  This is a confusing step for people who are chasing him for the first time, haha!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Nerd Side #1

Today I am going to be discussing and rating one of my favorite video games and guilty pleasures, so get ready to get your ninja on because we're talking Naruto today!

Last year, around this time, I bought the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 video game for Xbox 360.  It is a fighter game, however it also has a story mode that takes you through basically two full seasons of the anime.  In the story mode, the graphics are amazing and overall the storytelling really grabbed me.  Even Heather, who's not usually a "story mode" sort-of-gal when it comes to fighting games, enjoyed watching me play during the story mode.  The story mode is actually what got us to start watching the anime itself (which you can watch on Hulu Plus).

I had a companion on my mission in the Dominican Republic who was a huge Naruto fan--both anime and manga--and he said multiple times that when I got home I needed to watch it.  However, it had never really interested me because Naruto is one of the longest running animes ever.  No joke, there are currently 17 seasons and 384 aired episodes.  Yeah, it's sort of an investment to start at square one.  It wasn't until I purchased Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3  that I finally decided to give it a shot.  Now over a year later, I'm all caught up.

Going back to the video games, the fourth installment of the Ultimate Ninja series came out this September, Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution (these titles always make Heather laugh because they're so "anime-y"), and I am loving it.  They did things a little differently than prior installments, but man, it's a good thing.  It isn't so cookie cutter, there's an added game mode called the Ultimate Ninja Tournament where you can unlock customization items for you favorite character.  (For example, totally have a plush dog on Itachi's arm.  It's basically awesome.)  There are three story modes that have three fights each; not as long as previous games, but as the tournament mode has six or seven ranks to work through there is more than enough to do.  Plus the online battle mode pits you against other players from around the globe in multiple modes, including tournament and even four-played-esque fighting.

I give it 7 out of 10 only because I don't think it's incredibly replayable and I do wish the story mode had more to it like Ninja Storm 3.  But, still, I absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys fighter styled games.  The controls are easy to learn and allows you to easily reel out combos.  Heather has even been able to branch out past ranged characters because she was able to quickly learn other styled fighters (this is a big deal, trust me).  There are also enough attacks and counter attacks to make pretty much every match unique, which I appreciate.

As an end note, I also stamp this game as a highly Dad Friendly game.  I am not trapped in this game or left with a million penalties if I walk away (this is something I have a hard time with when playing, say, League of Legends or even Starcraft or any console first-person shooter game).  If Heather has run out after George is asleep in bed, it's easy--and fun--to build my own tournaments against the computer characters, which allows me an easy pause if I need to dash away to aid the George Man.  Overall, this is what we appreciate the most about this game, that we can easily step away, there's not freak out from teammates for going AFK, just fun game play without the stress.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

George at One Year, Part Four

Randomly just stops and lays down with his face in the carpet.  Sometimes he just chit-chats, sometimes he yells, sometimes he just lays there.  It's pretty weird no matter what he decides to do with it, let's be honest.

Temper tantrums to a certain degree.  This includes flipping out randomly, including about toys and food.  For toys he literally will have a melt down that they're not functioning, only he's not using them correctly.  Food, he just randomly decides it's not good enough.  Awkward.  Mostly correlates with teething.

Brad teaches primary to the ten and eleven year-olds, and they love George and recently George has decided that he loves them right back.  He even lets them hold him and even asks them to hold him, especially Josh.  Josh, Stetson, and Jacob like to drive cars with George, wherein said cars often end their lives repeatedly in large explosions.  The boys also taught George how cool it is to drive his cars on the walls, of which he now repeatedly requests me to do at home.  It's pretty cute.

Loves, loves, loves kids, especially older boys, like the ones in Brad's class.  It's weird because he doesn't particularly love his cousins getting up into his personal bubble (they like to get really close, like face-to-face), but when we were at the play area at the mall while taking a break at Comic Con, he was just so happy, no matter how close or not-close the others kids in the area got.  He even collided with another baby and got tripped over several times and he never once got mad.  George literally did not want to be picked up, he just wanted to crawl around and chase all those kids for forever.

One week in church, George and I were sitting in the lobby hanging out for the last hour of church, and the deacons from the ward that gets out thirty minutes before us were preparing to go gather fast offerings and George wanted to go with them so.  Very.  Badly.  He sat on the couch and yelled across the lobby at them; he totally wanted to go be BFFs and join their conversations.  It was pretty hilarious!  He did the same sort of thing at an Activity Days party for the dads and daughters, who were swimming in my parent's pool.  George wanted to get in there with them SO bad, it was hilarious.  He was, again, chatting it up at them from the side of the pool.  He was also pretty ticked when I took him back into the house, haha!

Basically, George is definitely becoming a lot more social.  He's still got a bit of stranger danger in him, like when he determines that someone has approached him far too quickly and way to friendly for his taste.  He sort of does this whole, "Who do you think you are, making silly faces at me?  You don't even know me," diva thing if people are too friendly too quickly.  Yep, diva.

George still refuses any sort of attempts to get him to try walking or even standing on his own.  He's way too smart; if he doesn't figure out what you're doing at first and you actually successfully trick him into standing on his own for a second, he totally remembers the next time you try to pull that trick on him.  He simply is firm in the idea that crawling is far more efficient.  Or something.  Pretty much he's just opinionated and he likes to express said opinion.

The funnies thing that comes from his insistence on crawling for forever is this awkward sort of zombie-without-a-leg drag that he does to carry his toys across the room.  George will have a toy in one hand and then scoot towards his destination with one knee up and the other leg of propelling himself forward, using his unoccupied had to help pull himself along.  It's pretty hilarious, trust me.  And again, trust me, he totally looks like a baby zombie.

George just keeps saying more and more words.  "Apple" is the big favorite of the month, but "banana" is pretty high up there as well.  He calls all lights "blue" because of the night light he learned his colors from.  He now says "beep-beep" and other sound effects while playing with his cars (which are his very favorite toy in all of existence).  He learned how to say "Brandon" earlier this month as well, the first relative's name he's learned to say.  "Yay" and "yeah" exclaimed all excitedly are also favorites.

He still doesn't say "no", which is AWESOME because he already has other ways to be a stink butt, so I'm happy that doing it in words hasn't happened quite yet.  Phew.  We try really hard to give him direction rather than just saying "no", like, "George, we don't touch that, find something else to play with" (this particular point of direction deals with his obsession with wall jacks, like where you hook up for internet or phone.  He loves poking his fingers in those things.  Great).

George's greatest accomplishment continues to be figuring out how to sit on the dog bed or touch the dog food/water before I can catch him.  He succeeds more often than I'd like.  Because, ew.

Officially off formula!  One night we ran out of formula and we decided to give almond milk a shot; if he didn't like it, we'd just go to the store really fast and grab formula.  Um, yeah, it totally works.  He loves it, and we're lovin' that he loves it.  Because formula smells terrible.  So, so, so terrible.  I'd have George brush his teeth three times a day to brush it out (which I suppose isn't a bad thing... but you know.  IT SMELLS).

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Nerd Side #0

Today I have decided to talk a little bit about some of my more nerd related thoughts!  This is the Nerd Love Story, and while it has been pretty heavy on the "love story" part, it's been a little lacking on the "nerd" side of things.  Which is my job.  So I will be waxing eloquent for a few paragraphs to nerd this blog up a bit!

For those of you who do not know me I am a comic book fanatic.  I started reading them after my twelfth birthday.   The first comic I ever read was a re-print of the Amazing Fantasy #13--this was the first appearance of Spider-Man, created by Stan Lee. I LOVED this comic.   It is also the engine that helped propel me into nerdom.

For me, the last more-than-a-decade of years have been amazing with all of the comic book movies being released, starting in 2000 with X-Men and most recently this year Guardians of the Galaxy.  I have at times been impressed and at times let down HARD (cough, Daredevil).  However, there is one thing that always happens without fail:  whenever a brand new Marvel movie comes out, my phone is blown up with questions about said movie.  Basically, a lot of my friends and family have no idea what is going on with certain characters and/or story lines (because they didn't read the Marvel encyclopedia on the toilet several times, it's a great place for learnin').   Pretty much I am going to be putting out there some of the lesser know facts about the recent movies, as well as going over my own theories for where it is all going.

So, from here on out I will try to do one (or perhaps two) topics a week, just sort of questions that I'm asked or predictions that cross my kind.  For anyone that is following the blog already, if you have a topic you want me to cover just throw it down in the comments below!

Welcome to The Nerd Side.  Word.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Most Random, Babbling Post About Making a Home You'll Ever Read

Yeah, so basically at some point... I will finish the seventh day of my seven days of gratitude.  Yep.  It'll happen.  I think this is the third weekend that I've laid down in bed and been like, "Hmm, yeah, should probably do that.  Sunday's a great day to do that!"  Uh, yeah.  Hasn't happened.  At some point it will.  I think.  We'll see, I suppose.

Our home hunt is to the slowest, deadest pace ever.  It's fair to say that we're keeping our eyes wide open, but we don't think the home we're supposed to be in will come around for a little while.  Our new "deadline"-ish plan is before next August.  WE HOPE.  We really, really hope we can find somewhere before then.  But we have faith.  Even in just the last month since the townhome fell through we've been shown multiple ways we were needed right where we are, things that could not have been accomplished if we have moved.  So again, faith.  There's a purpose.  We know that.

With that realization, for a long time I haven't been willing to really hang anything up or decorate anything or really home-ify anything in my parent's basement, mostly in the hope that we'd be finding our home faster than we thought.  Continuing to be unsure of long we're going to be here I've decided to finally allow myself to make a home here because, what the heck, why haven't I?  I think some sort of superstition in my mind was saying, "As soon as you make it all homey, then you'll curse yourself to live in your parent's basement.  FOR FOREVER."  True story, this is pretty much the best way to sum up my thought process.  I truly was like, "Dude, can't get comfortable."

But, we are comfortable.  Is it weird, that being the worst part of it all?  That there's literally nothing awful about living with my parents other than being semi-selfish-son-of-a-guns and basically just asking for more?  That's so weird.  I think it's weird.  Brad and I have agreed that it's weird.  It should be hard, right?  To live in someone's basement?  Your parent's basement?  It should be rough, yeah?  It's not for us.  It's super nice.  And we're over here being upset at the fact that we literally have no reason to move.  At all.  Nothing to barter with to say, "Oh my gosh, we need a house now."  Because we don't.  We can wait.  There's nothing rushing us.  It's all crazy, basically.  I'm babbling.  Let's move on.

So, we're comfortable.  This is home.  It should be treated as such.

When we were first married, Brad and I volunteered to clean the Oquirrh Temple.  We were assigned to clean up the laundry room.  The funniest part about cleaning the temple is that it's so flippin' clean to begin with.  So we're like, "Uh, okay.  What do we do?"  So we're sweeping and wiping things down, and seriously there's a place for everything in those laundry rooms.  Big, beautiful, full of white linens.  Functional, gorgeous.  I had never seen function, cleanliness, and organization so beautifully put together.  I've always wanted a home like that.  I've realized that not allowing myself to make what is truly a temporary home still home has hindered my ability to make that happen.

The other week we deep cleaned for a pool party I was hosting for my Activity Days girls and their dads.  I needed to clean all of our rooms just in case the girls or their dads wanted to change in the house before going home (none of them did).  After it was all over, I was immediately thinking, "Holy crud, I don't want to do that again."  So each day I've been working to make that happen.  At the end of each day, I pick things up.  I try and make sure that when I leave a room, it's a little cleaner than I left it, or at least not dirtier.  The house isn't perfect, but it's clean.  For some reason, the little day-by-day effort to keep it clean has allowed me to allow myself to accept that it's home, and how awesome that is.

Having a home is treating it how you want it to be treated.  I don't mind non-perfection.  I'm not huge on random chochkies and doodads (these are legitimate words, I swear).  I love putting things up that mean something, or I'm okay just leaving a space blank until I find a function for it.  I've finally realized how I want George's room to function and I've been working on that, working on putting up things that matter to George (which means wheels and The Legend of Zelda and blue; seriously, it does).

Our basement kitchen is a high-traffic area.  I prefer to get ready in there because I like the natural light, and we like to get ready in there because our bathroom is connected to George's room, so the kitchen we don't have to worry as much about being quiet.  The kitchen is where we give George his baths and prep his whole nighttime ritual.  Basically, we had a lot of crap hanging around the kitchen.  So, I pulled out some metal tins I bought on mega-clearance last Christmas and I slapped some chalkboard labels from the Dollar Store on them and tried it out.  And hey, it functions.  I like it.  We're keeping this system.  It's nice, everything has a place, every thing has become so easy to find and put back.  And hey, it looks nicer!  But overall, it makes this home, because things are finding a place.  I'm working with what we have and I'm building a system.  FINALLY.

The best thing I did this week is I finally completed a project that's I've been putting together for a while, but that's been in my head for even longer.  I purchased this pallet of random frames at an auction for like $35 maybe two years ago.  It was mainly for thing gorgeous, ornate, empty frame (that I have yet to find a use for, cough, cough), so everything else was sort of a freebie/bonus.  Most of the frames are slightly damaged, including a giant 30x40 that had a butt ugly piece of artwork in it (seriously, just epicly terrifying).  I had a plan to make a family collage of sorts in it since I got it.  And, this week, I finally finished it, printed it, and hung it up, and it's awesome the impact it has.

The greatest surprise I got from it is just how much George loves to stop and look at it every day.  He'll ask to be picked up to look at it together.  This is mostly a vanity thing for him, but he likes to point out Mom and Dad from time-to-time, so that's nice of him.  Pretty much I just never realized how much of an effect having simply a picture of yourself hanging on a wall can make a place home.  Even George felt it.  It made him happy.  It makes me happy to walk by that giant thing (seriously, just giant; each picture within the collage is over 6x8, that thing is monster) and to see my little family in a few of our favorite photos.

It made me feel stupid for keeping myself from doing this sooner.  There's just something about making your mark on your home through pictures and creating function and organizing based around how your life runs there.  However temporary that home may be, it's still home.  We've been here for two and a half years now, and it's time to allow it to be home.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

George at One Year, Part Three

This kid loves swimming.  So much.  The funniest part is that George seriously believes that he can swim on his own and gets upset at us when we don't allow him to swim around.  But yeah, he totally cannot swim.  He sinks.  Trust us.

George has become quite the Mocking Jay.  (Ha, Hunger Games reference.  High five.)  He'll just randomly mimic our noises or words.  And, in true parent fashion, we freak out and gush every time he does it.  It's just SO CUTE.  It literally makes our day each time it happens.  And then we talk about it for the next three days or so.

George says, "bed time", "kitty", basically all of the colors, "Brandon", "baby", "bed time", "bum change", among many others.  He still says "grandpa", "blue", "Mom", and "Dad" the most.

Pulling himself up even more than usual and getting more and more daring about it.  Yeah, um, yikes.  Like the roll-out garbage can, people's legs, any and every precarious object...

He can go down the stairs... but only two steps.  That's his limit, apparently.

George is understanding and taking direction, which I guess he's done for a while, but I just starting noticing it more because more and more my direction is to keep him from killing himself, hahaha!  Yep.  "George, can I have that, please?" is a big one to get stuff out of his mouth.  He ate a piece of vinyl this morning (August 16), true story.

Each time George sees his reflection he stops and has to wave and flirt with himself.  Once he figures out that it's him, he has to find something, crawl back to the mirror, and watch himself playing with/using said object.  It's pretty hilarious.

George randomly decided to hate bed time, which was lame.  He's always been great about laying in his bed; even if he doesn't fall asleep, he's still happy most of the time until he does fall asleep.  This month had him freaking out once he figured out Brad or I wasn't in the room.  Awkward.  Luckily we've smoothed it over and he's back to sleeping and far less boobing about the fact that Mom and Dad don't want to hang out with him at 3:00 AM.  George, trust me, there's no one I'd enjoy spending time with at the butt-crack of dawn.  This is not an insult specifically against you.

He's developed this weird mini-temper-tantrum thing lately.  Basically it looks like his constipated, vocally grunting and clenching his fists while his face goes red.  He'll do this for a split second before gasping for air.  It's sort of hilarious.  But also, you know, sort of like, "What the heck, dude?  What's with the tantrum?"

George is a climber, but not in the most logical sense.  He basically tries to climb everything that he shouldn't and that's also dangerous.  Especially the fireplace mantel-area, which is rock-hard concrete and has no-where to move around so I have no idea why it's attractive.

More and more George understands what we're saying and it's pretty freaking cool.  I can ask him, "Can I see that?" and he'll hand me what he's got.  This works most of the time when he's put something in his mouth, but sometimes he's determined to eat the piece of paper he's put in there and he'll run away.  Again, super funny... but also, "What the heck, dude?"

Often when George crawls and he's ready to do it at full speed he'll literally put his head down like he's a charging rhino or something and then he'll just zoom forward... without looking where he's going.  He'll often trip himself or almost run into people or walls.  He'll literally face plant from excitedly crawl-charging like this.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sevem Days of Gratitude, Part 6

Today was an awesome day and I'm keepin' my gratitude simple!

  1. Church.  We got there on time, all three of us, took the sacrament together, and had a fun time teaching Brad's 11-year old class of boys together.  The boys love George, and George loves them, they had a lot of fun playing together.  It was a really fun and spiritual day as Brad was able to successfully turn the boy's attention back around with a great Mormon Messages video that cemented the lesson perfectly.  It was just epic.

  2. Good, comforting food.

  3. Bed time.  I love going to bed, I love a good night's rest.  I'm going to do so right now.  NIGHT!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Seven Days of Gratitude, Parts 4 & 5

So, uh, yeah, totally spaced doing my gratitude-ness yesterday due to the fact that I can apparently only remember to write one thing a day (if that), and Fridays that would be my weekly e-mail to my freakin' awesome little brother, who's on his mission in Chile, James DeMill Anderson.  Yep.  So that happened.  This did not.  Thus, today will be a combination of Parts 4 and 5.

  1. Man, I am forever grateful for technology.  Seriously.  Brad and I were talking about when we were kids how things we were done and how that compares to the craziness amazingness (man, am I a woman with words, or what?) that is technology today.  I remember my parents purchasing me a disposable camera or two for the end-of-the-year party every year in elementary.  I remember watching the dial tick down with every photo and being careful what pictures I took because I only had so many before the film was fully used.  Now?  Yeah, I snap eight bazillion photos a minute on my phone.  This is something I'm very grateful for, otherwise I'm almost one-hundred percent sure that three-fourths of the photos that I take of George would be blurry because that kid never stops hustling around.  I'm grateful that I don't have to worry about how many pictures I have left.  When  my phone's memory is full, I've got my memory card.  When that's full, I can transfer my 1,000+ photos in like five minutes (which today is basically forever, but you know, awesome in retrospect).

    Today I took a video AND took pictures at the exact same time.  And you know what I was filming/photoing?  George and Brad playing Diablo III together and laughing.  A tiny moment that I'd otherwise have to question if I had enough room for it, let alone would have to decide if I'd rather have photo or video of it, I couldn't have both.  Technology allowed us to talk to Ben and Kaydee yesterday via Google Hangouts.  They're over 12-hours away and we can see each other in an instant!  That's just epic!  So yeah, I love technology.

  2. I'm super grateful that my dad decided to start Crew Colors.  Even in my decision to be a stay-at-home mother, this business and the way my parents run it has allowed me to continually learn.  Way back when I was probably fourteen, Dad told me that I should learn Adobe Illustrator so I could do work with Crew Colors outside of Adobe Photoshop.  I had been using Photoshop since I was nine and I was happy with that skill I had.  Illustrator was hard and totally different than Photoshop.  Photoshop was so easy to me, I didn't want to learn Illustrator.  But, thanks to my dad's encouragement and to my involvement in Crew Colors, I did learn.  And you know what?  Totally like Illustrator more AND I earned a new skill-set thanks to this business.  Working at Crew Colors has also pushed me to learn things that otherwise I don't think I would have ever known.

    The other day working with a customer to re-create their dad's old business card showed me the Smoother Tool in Illustrator.  Seriously, had no idea it existed before.  Now, it's opened up a whole range of possibilities and ease-of-use in future projects.  Without Crew Colors, I would have never gained knowledge about high quality printing, including printer profiles, image resolution, and color profiles.  The best part is that I just continue learning more and more with every job I do.  It's given me a great perspective on the service industry, on how service providers should be treated.  I am so grateful for the learning experiences I've had and will have!

  3. This may sound stupid but, man, I'm so glad that soda is in the world.  I'm a big Coke drinker by appearances, but seriously--I just love carbonated drinks.  I love the fizz, the burn, oh man!  SO DELISH.  Drinking a soda super fast?  Favorite thing ever.  Drinking an ice cold soda on a super hot day?  Another favorite.  Soda with pizza?  A must.  Soda with a burger?  Yes, please.  Coke reminds me of home, of family.  A Coke seriously will brighten my day.  A classic Coke with lemon reminds me of my mom.  Vanilla Coke reminds me of James and our many nights of playing Kingdom Hearts and Sims City; it also reminds me of hours of practicing Halo together with me.  A 44-ounce from the gas station reminds me of Brad, and that first summer we spent married, living at Wymount, hitting the gas station down University Parkway every day with the change we could find.  Non-Coke related, but a Baja Blast reminds me of Alix and late-night Taco Bell runs.  Diet Pepsi reminds me of my dad.  Like I said, it may sound super dumb, but soda is a total comfort for me.  I probably should've chosen, like, apples or something as my comfort.  But, you know, it's soda.  And I love it.  I'm grateful for it's comfort, as unhealthy as it may sound!

  4. Super grateful for the nap I had today.  Bradley let me stay in bed and him and George went to Brad's parent's house to help pick grapes.  Michelle was awesome enough to play with George while he picked.  I got to sleep in till NOON!  Yes, and it was sort of the greatest thing ever!  I haven't legitimately slept in (especially not that long) since I'm pretty sure when I was pregnant.  It was so nice.  SO NICE.

  5. I'm so thankful for my husband's humility.  Every marriage requires adjustment, and I'm constantly amazed at my husband's willingness to do better and be better.  For me, it was always super hard for me to admit that I was wrong.  Seriously.  Super hard.  Ever since we were sealed over three years ago, Brad's example has allowed me to be more humble and more willing to admit when I'm wrong.  Brad's humility has brought so much peace to our marriage, and the help he's given me has actually better enabled me to help him in his struggles.  I know that I've said this before, but I'm so grateful for the fact that our relationship has been such a team effort.  People make comments all the time about wives telling their husbands what to do or basically being the pants in the relationship, but it's really thanks to Brad's humble example and willingness to change that we've legitimately become a team effort rather than a tug-of-war.  Are there still rough patches?  Yes.  Duh.  That's why marriage is fun.  It is thanks to that insertion of humble attitudes by Bradley's example that has allowed us to continually better ourselves individual and as a team, and I am forever thankful for that.

    Basically, I think we're a pretty awesome team.  No matter how it may appear, both Brad and I are happy to stick to our guns, no single individual calls the shots in this relationship.  There's no major power who makes decisions all of or even the majority of the time.  Both Brad and I are obnoxious in the fact that we're always happy to put in our two-cents... into everything.  But that humility that Brad brought in early-on in our marriage has given balance to our strong personalities and has allowed both of us to feel like we're being heard and that we both have a say in the decision-making in our marriage.  I am so, incredibly thankful for that because neither of us feels suffocated or under-appreciated--all thanks to Brad's amazing ability to be humble.

  6. I am grateful for everything that makes me laugh.  My family is especially keen on laughter and growing up we were taught especially to learn to laugh at ourselves.  Not at-the-expense of ourselves, but legitimately at ourselves.  If that makes any sense to anyone but me.  But seriously, I've found that it's such a valuable tool to not take yourself too seriously.  People say stupid things, things that we can choose to get offended over or just laugh off.  Laughter has given me a perspective that has allowed me to move forward, to not dwell on the unimportant.  Laughter has given me life-long friendships, like my best friends Rachel and Laurelyn, and it's also given me my eternal companion, Brad.

    My favorite memories in life are the simple ones because the only requirement is laughing!  I still remember my dad giving an explanation of why people say, "I'm going to the john to take a crap," which is due to the fact that the man who invented the toilet was named John Crapper.  "If I had invented the toilet," my dad explained, very matter-of-factly, "We'd say, 'I'm going to the Ken to take an Anderson,' instead."  My whole family bust out laughing in that car that day.  It is something we still talk about and continue to laugh about, especially the fact that my dad wasn't even trying to be funny.  Those moments that laughter provided me have taught me that there is a strong need in life to relax and enjoy right now.  Those moments have also taught me that every time we're allowing ourselves to be offended or stressed, every time we over think things or become over involved our paranoia about how others perceive us, we're totally missing out.

    Laughter, enjoying the moment, humor, and everything that follows that, isn't forced.  It can't be.  It can't be faked, it can't be manipulated or created, it's something that happens because we're allowing ourselves to be ourselves and we're happy with that.  That's why I'm grateful for laughter because it's such a simple and yet powerful tool for bringing people together.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Seven Days of Gratitude, Part 3

  1. I am so grateful for the Gospel's effect on my marriage.  I owe every single moment that Brad and I grow closer and stronger as a couple to our Heavenly Father.  I laugh, grow, and progress with my husband thanks to the harmony that is provided through living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know that Heavenly Father knows us both individually and as a team, and I'm grateful for His giant part in our happiness as husband and wife!

  2. I LOVE MUSIC.  I'm so grateful for music!  This is such a basic (and sort of lame) "gratitude", but I seriously am.  The saddest part is that this crossed my mind because I've been singing "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" in my head all day.  Saddest part is that it's not the movie version, it's the Disney Channel version where they had all the Disney Channel stars sing it.  Yep.  Every time the snippet of them singing comes on Disney Channel--which I literally watch every day still because I am almost twenty-four and still pathetically love it--I freak out and watch it and then proceed to sing it over in my head.  All.  Day.  Long.  And I'm super cool with it.  Basically there's a very beautiful and simple harmony they do for the last lines of the song, sung by the chick from Girl Meets World and the nerd dude from Kickin' It, and it's SO NICE.  And thus, I'm grateful for that.  I'm grateful for harmony, the beauty of music and song.  It's a wonderful part of my day, every day.

  3. I will never be able to fully thank my parents enough for everything they've done for me, Brad, and George.  I am forever grateful to their constant service.  We live in their basement free of charge, they feed us, watch our son last second, offer to take him when he's up late on the Crazy Train, have never been intrusive or made us feel unwelcome, and they are endlessly giving towards us.  They remember to buy formula when I don't, they are there to help us at every turn with everything.  I feel like I owe them so much more than I can ever repay, and as we were two steps from moving out and they are, yet again, stuck with us, we've worked really hard this last month to be better.  Be more helpful.  Make their burden less, like they've made ours for the past almost three years.  I love my parents.  I am grateful to their example, I've always looked to them as an example of a great marriage, ever since I was little I wanted a marriage like theirs.  Living with them has taught us to be a better couple and better parents.  They've been such a wonderful example in all things, I can't even begin to explain!  Basically, they're amazing.  I love them SO MUCH.  As lame as I sometimes feel still living in my parent's basement, the hardest part about it all is that there's nothing that Brad and I have ever figured that we can complain about.  My parents are just that awesome, and they've been that awesome.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Seven Days of Gratitude, Part 2

  1. When George was very young, we took him to quite a few movies.  So long as they were fairly mellow, he was great!  Last November, we took George to see Frozen.  Yeah, no.  He couldn't even make it past the ice cutters, poor dude!  Since then, we haven't tried taking him to a movie again, until yesterday.  On Tuesdays at our local theater, they've been doing five dollar days--any movie, any time, five bucks.  We, along with my family, decided to hit up that awesome deal to go see The Giver--a fairly mellow movie, right?  So, we choose front row seats so George could crawl around with his toys when he wasn't watching the movie.  He was doing great with pre-show previews.  Here we were thinking, "It's going to work!"  First preview comes on--some show about a bear--and he went up and sat by Brad on the theater seats.  He was eating pizza crust (from the three dollar Pizza Hut pizzas they also offer on Tuesdays), and he was actually laughing.  I was like, "DUDE.  We did this!  It worked!  We can take him to movies again!"

    Then, in that first trailer, a shower sprayer turns on, which just-so-happens to be one of the greatest fears of our kid (no joke, he haaates them), and George freaks out.  Brad and I just started laughing.  Brad immediately scooped him up and took him outside, saving him from that shower head.  George watched a bit more of the movie (probably the first twenty minutes) before it was clear he was not cut out for the movie theater yet.

    This moment is something I'm grateful for because I am constantly pleased with my husband, my son, and how we work together.  In everything that happened, there was never frustration, or anger, or anything negative.  There was literally just, "Okay, this is what we've got to do," and we all worked together and we did it.  I don't even know if this makes sense to anyone but me.  For me that moment was something to be grateful for because, in what could've been some big ol' family freak-out, there was nothing but laughter and just getting the job done.  Brad took George home and told me to stay at that movie with my family, all with a smile.  I love that moment because it showed to me, "That's exactly what I want our family to be."  I'm grateful for that.

  2. Every Wednesday my sister comes over and we hang like homies.  I love Wednesdays.  I love Alix, she's my best friend.  I feel nothing but grateful that I am lucky enough to have a great relationship with my older sister.  More and more I've seen that people just don't have that sort of relationship with their siblings, and every week I'm reminded how awesome I have it.  My sister is amazing.  She's hilarious, smart, kind, giving, thoughtful.  We can talk about silly topics like the deeper character meanings behind Witches of East End (trust me, it's totally there), while in the same conversation talking about deeper issues on our minds.  We aren't the same person, we don't have all the same opinions or thoughts or ideas, but we don't feel the need to tip-toe around each other.  We don't argue, we just talk.  We can be open and totally honest with each other.  She loves me past my faults, and I love her past hers.  My sister is, again, my total best bud and because of that I love Wednesdays.

  3. As a very simple and last bit of gratitude, I just love George's personality.  He's such his dad, but he's so much like me at the same time.  He's silly, he's completely his own person, and he's definitely got his own opinion.  He thrives on people like Brad, but at the same time doesn't like large groups of people or people who enter his bubble too quickly, like me.  He loves to people watch--something both Brad and I love to do.  But George is still all his own.  He's such an individual, he's no ham and doesn't care what anyone would like him to perform, he'll do it when he wants to.  He's so smart and just so thoughtful.  He analyzes everything he's given.  He wants to look at things from every angle.  He's his own person, and I am grateful for that because man, it makes us smile!

    I mean, dude, look at his new thing where his lounges like a rich guy everywhere. It's hilarious. And it's so him.