Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson

Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson
Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kayla Rae 18 Months

Our little sweet pea, Kayla turned 18 months old this last week. Its crazy to me how quickly the past year and a half has gone by! Every phase of Kayla's development has been a joy but I'm really loving this chapter of her young life. She is such a curious and happy baby! Over the past 3 months, a lot has changed with our little lady. 
Kayla had her 18 month checkup this morning and was 32" and 26lbs. She's in the 50-75 percentile for weight, length, and head circumference, which is about where she's been all along. 
Her vocabulary is exploding, especially the last couple weeks. She can now identify most foods we eat, many of her toys, and she knows lots of animal names and even makes puppy and cow sounds. My favorite animal word she says is piggy - she actually says 'tiggle tiggle'. I think she's gotten confused when we used to tickle her piggies (toes). She now refers to her toes and any picture of pigs as 'tiggle tiggle'. She says it in such a funny way and I can't help but laugh at the misunderstanding.When she says water, sometimes it really sounds like 'water' and other times like 'agua' which is interesting. Maybe the nursery leaders are teaching her to be bilingual. :)
She says 'thank you' anytime she's given anything, and constantly says 'Hi' and 'Bye'. In fact, when we put her in her crib for a nap or for the night, she gets snuggled up with her 'boo' or bear and 'kie' or blankie and then waves and smiles at us and says 'bye!' Its so precious!
Kayla's recently started saying grandpa when looking at pictures of my dad. I think its now turned into calling anyone who looks a little older 'grandpa'. She says 'kids' and 'daydee' or baby and loves interacting with both. 
She still gets so excited to see daddy on TV! Whenever he comes on, she squeals 'DADDY' and her joy is contagious! She also gets really excited when the garage door opens cause she knows it means daddy is home. Brett and I got iPhones this last month, so we've started face timing when either of us are at work, and Kayla loves it! I love being able to see my loves when I'm working too!
Kayla is such a great little helper. Her favorite task is helping momma make the bed. Every morning, she will run in and start handing me all the big decorative pillows, even if I'm not quite ready to make the bed. Its a good motivator to make the bed every morning and her joy in helping me makes me so happy. Hopefully she continues to want to be helpful when the baby comes. :)
She loves playing a chase game around the kitchen island and is now running quite well. Her favorite place is outside, which was fine up until a few weeks ago. Its so blazing hot now and she's always asking to 'go' and bringing me her shoes and a bow and it breaks my heart that its too hot to go outside. She does love the pool though and is getting more daring and comfortable in her pool explorations. 
Kayla loves reading her 'books' and has given many of them tough love. Just when I thought she was ready for pop up books, she destroyed 3 of them. Good thing tape works!
She can now reach the doorknobs and can almost turn them to open the doors. I feel like my whole world is about to be rocked when that happens. Good thing there are dead bolts on the doors that lead to the outside!
One thing Kayla says all the time is 'bubble guppy'. She says it clear as a bell. It's funny she's so obsessed since we don't even have cable. A friend babysat her while we went to the temple awhile ago and they watched Bubble Guppies. Kayla must have fallen in love, because she asks for it all the time. I've pulled up clips on YouTube a couple times, but she must just have the song stuck in her head. It's a funny thing. The couple of shows we've let her watch are Curious George and Strawberry Shortcake. When I need to take a shower and haven't had time during a nap, I'll pull up an episode on Netflix and I have about 15 minutes that she will be entertained before she's banging on the bathroom door. She loves the 'monkey' show though and gets excited to watch it. 
She loves Elmo and Winnie the Pooh too, though not from TV. We have the Pooh book and and an Elmo toy and she gets really excited  and calls them both my name. She also loves bubbles, whether at the pool, or a fountain, or blowing bubbles. 
Speaking of Pooh, I've been working with Kayla on recognizing when she's going poo poo. She will now tell me right before she goes poo poo in her diaper and I got excited thinking she was getting close to potty training. I bought a cover for the toilet and we put her on it once and panic ensued. I guess I'll wait a bit longer, definitely until after our trip to Mississippi next month, but we'll see how it goes after that. 
Kayla is a pretty good little eater and isn't very picky. About 6 weeks ago though, she got sick and wouldn't eat anything or drink her milk. She lost a few pounds and I got worried, but it went away after a few days and her appetite returned. I'm grateful now that she's so healthy and not too thin, because that would have been much scarier. 
She's got 13 teeth now, having just cut her first canine. 
Two months ago, I decided to try cutting her down to one nap a day, as I read I should in a magazine. That was the worst mistake of my life. Before that, she slept 12-13 hours at night with two 1.5 hour naps a day, one at 10ish and the other around 2. I thought I could combine them into one really long nap after lunch but messing with her sleep schedule caused so much trouble! Its so true that sleep begat sleep when it comes to babies. It took a week of messing with it before I regretted it completely and then a month or so to get her back on a good routine. She's now sleeping again 12 hours at night and two 2 hour naps a day. She just doesn't have it in her to skip a morning nap. Once in a while, she won't take the afternoon nap, but then she just goes down at 7 rather than 7:30 or 8. I'll be extra cautious of messing with her sleep schedule for awhile. :)
Kayla loves coloring and is getting quite good at actually drawing with the crayons in the coloring books. Before, she'd just dump the crayons out, scribble for a second, chew the tips off and then put them back in the box. 
She loves putting things away. She asks to play with her 'blocks' all the time and will dump them all out, stack them for a few minutes and then put them all back in the box. She'll repeat that as many times as I'll let her. 
For awhile, she was in a bad habit of throwing her food off her high chair and it made me crazy! I started making her get down after the meal and pick up the pieces she dropped, hand them to me, and then we'd throw them away together. It must have worked because she doesn't do it much anymore, but after we'd done it a few times, it became a game and she'd pop the food off the floor into her mouth, smile at me, and hum a song. I think she was humming the clean up song I sing when we pick up the toys.
Kayla loves music and dancing so much! Sometimes, she'll run in the kitchen and reach for the iPod dock and sing a few notes, letting me know to play some tunes. Any time there is music playing, she's dancing, spinning, rocking her arms, and singing along. I love her rhythm and musical talent. I'm excited to see what she can do with her gifts.
She loves seeing pictures of Jesus at church and can recognize Him in any painting. She even recognized the outline of the Christus in our Youth Conference logos. I'm impressed with her familiarity with the Savior, but one time while at Verizon, a man walked in with longer brown hair like Jesus and Kayla kept calling him Jesus. Thankfully, her pronunciation of Jesus sounds more like 'jus' so people didn't know what she was saying but I did and was trying hard not to laugh. 
Another funny thing happened at Schlitterbahn the other day. A woman walking in front of us had a bikini bottom on that was bright blue with stars. Kayla kept pointing and saying 'poopoo' because that's what she calls her diaper. I was laughing so hard that she thought that woman's bottom looked like a diaper! Oh, out of the mouths of babes. 
Kayla can identify all her body parts and will fold her arms for prayers, but hasn't quite gotten the idea of keeping them folded and being reverent for a few minutes. Usually its more like a time a to holler since we're bowing our heads and ignoring her while we pray rather than feeding her the food sitting on the table, as she probably interprets it. 
When Kayla wakes up in the morning, I'll pick her up and cuddle her for a minute and she'll start identifying everything in her room, as if to let me know. She'll point to and say 'birdy', 'bear', 'clock', 'bow', 'flower', 'Jesus', etc. and nod knowingly with each word she says. 
When she wakes up from her afternoon nap, the first thing she says is 'cracker' and will cry until I give her some sort of snack. Crackers, bananas, and apples are her most requested foods. She loves eating mashed potatoes, rice, chicken, banana, yogurt, and 'yummy' which is any treat. When she sees me eating something, she runs over and says yummy until I give her a bite, whether its a treat or not. Heaven forbid she miss out on some delicious food. :)
We sure love our little Kayla and couldn't imagine life without her. I'm excited to see her as a big sister in a few months! Here's a few fun photos of Kayla over the last few months. 

Anything can be a toy to a toddler

Hanging out at the pool

Helping Daddy open his Father's Day gifts

Kayla and Daddy on Father's Day

She loves helping Mommy with the 'flowers'!

She will put headbands on her own head constantly,
even first thing in the morning while still in her pajamas.

Our little gardener

Blowing kisses - she does it off the back of her hand. 

I asked her to fold her arms for a prayer - so sweet!

Hanging out with Momma at Schlitterbahn!

Schlitterbahn fun!

Having diinner on the deck. Its my favorite place to eat
since cleanup is a breeze :)

Playing at the park!

At the Sea Turtle Refuge. She loved seeing the 'turtles'!

One of our roadtrips! She's still a really good traveler, thankfully!

Hanging out with Daddy at the hotel in Austin. She's such a cheeseball!

Canoeing in Austin. 

Photobombed by Momma :)

Fun at the splashpad!

Eating her blue cupcake for the gender reveal of her baby brother!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Youth Conference!

This weekend, we had our Bi-Stake Youth Conference with the McAllen and McAllen West Stakes. It was one of the bigger undertakings we've had since being called as a Stake Young Women's Presidency. Let me first say that I appreciate so much more the leaders I had as a youth. I always enjoyed the activities and loved my leaders, but now I respect and appreciate them and all their sacrifices and hard work more than I ever have before. So thank you to all the Soda Springs 8th Ward Young Women leaders and the Stake leaders! Thanks for shaping my testimony and providing countless faith building experiences. I will always have a special place in my heart for each of you!

Also, I'm so grateful for the church organization! I loved growing up in the gospel, but I relish the thought that no matter where we live or where we raise our children, they will have the church youth programs to strengthen them the way that Brett and I were strengthened in our youth. I'm so grateful to know my children will have the experiences they need to grow and come unto the Savior. The church is such a blessing in my life. I'm humbled to be able to serve these youth and work with the amazing women I do in my calling. I learn so much from them all and will forever cherish the experiences I've had working with the youth in McAllen.

Our theme for youth conference was Coming Unto Christ Step by Step on Your Journey. The church was filled with maps and street signs - homemade ones, not stolen from the streets. :)
We started off on Friday morning by heading out to help out Habitat for Humanity. What a wonderful organization! They have several houses being built in a neighborhood, so we delivered our 150 youth to do whatever they needed  us to do. They provided the tools and even fed us lunch. The youth really seemed to be loving the work and did a great job! 

On Friday afternoon, we had workshops and food for the youth. All of the speakers were wonderful and I heard nothing but wonderful feedback. Each ward had made a Mormon Messages video and we watched those during dinner. After dinner, we had a dance. They had a Latin dance instructor come teach some fun dance moves. Kayla particularly loved the Latin music and was dancing and twirling the entire time. I love her rhythm!

Our snack bar - Build your own Trail Mix - was a big hit!

On Saturday morning, we reconvened and had a yummy breakfast. After taking our big group picture, we broke up into more workshops. As part of that, Cassie and I had put together an obstacle course. It included a yarn laser maze, scripture mad gab, scripture mastery puzzles, a balance beam and a faith fall. We put so much work into these activities preparation and I loved watching the youth enjoy all of them. Its so gratifying and makes all the work worth it! I'm really blessed to be able to work with the women I do in our presidency! They all teach me so much and set such a wonderful example of service!

Kayla was a champ after being at the church for 12 hours on Friday and 8 hours Saturday. She had lots of people entertaining her while I was working and made some new friends. Brett was also there all the time that he wasn't working. I love that man so much, but having him work along me in my calling and helping me with all the preparations makes me so so so grateful I found such an amazing husband. He truly supports me in my calling, just as he promised he would when I received it. I couldn't do it without him and his help. 

After lunch, Kayla started getting restless, not having had a good nap for a couple days and since my specific responsibilities were over, I headed home. The fun continued though. After a delicious catered dinner, they had a wonderful speaker and musical fireside that the youth had prepared with a powerful testimony meeting. That's the one thing I really wish I could have heard, but being a mom is my number one calling. I pray that these youth are truly having their testimonies strengthened as they head out into this crazy world of ours. 

Kayla and I hanging out in the mother's room while I tried
to get her to take a nap, to no avail. 

Kayla playing on the photo booth set. 
After the fireside, they had another dance. Our ward tied for first place with the Mormon Messages video. I really did love that video! It was so well done. I love seeing what the youth can do and their sharing of their talents!

Now that the weekend is over, we can all take a break and some deep breaths.......for a few days. Mini-missions are coming up in a few weeks, so the work is never done!