Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two Faces

This little man can go from studious
to mischievous
in about 2.8 seconds.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Hard Working Boy

As I've mentioned before, Talmage loves to help with any and every chore. His recent love is taking the trash out. Rather than having city-owned big, black trash cans, we are just supposed to put our bagged trash on the curb two times per week for the trucks to pick up. Talmage loves helping me take out the bags of trash and hauling the trash can back to the garage. :)
Check out that proud grin! He was showing me a cool rock he found.
Off to add his bag to the heap
"Huff, puff, huff, puff, concentrate!" He gets so into pulling in the trash and it brings the biggest smile to my face! I wish you could all see him do it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ladybug Catchin'

Who's this? Just the cutest little BYU fan ever! (Despite the sad loss yesterday...GO COUGARS!)
We went out to play in the backyard, but the little cutie just wouldn't leave his hat on!
I tried it backwards too...
...but to no avail. Seriously?! Can that grin get any cheesier?
He always wants to play with the faucet. Just turn the faucet on to a trickle, give him a measuring cup, and you can count on him being entertained for a looong time. I turned it on low, and he started drinking the water...hope it's safe!
This is his, "uh-oh, I'm all wet" face.
And this is his "no, no, no" face as he points to the cords that are off-limits.
Then we were off to do some ladybug catchin'!!!
Our backyard has dozens of them crawling through the grass right now.
Talmage absolutely loves them, along with any other bug. He is really quite good at quickly snatching them before they crawl or fly away.
I'm trying to teach him to open his hand and let them crawl on him rather than keep them pinched between his thumb and forefinger. I'm having trouble convincing him it really is better that way.
But oh, the wonder and fascination he gets from these cute little critters is absolutely delightful.
The trouble with him loving bugs so much, is that there are WAY too many bugs in Texas that aren't so cute, and are really downright mean. Like these fire ants, for example...I have to watch him like a hawk every time we're outside to make sure he doesn't go picking up something that is "ow-chee, ow-chee."
And sometimes, good hard playing just wears a boy completely out!
Stay tuned...I'm sure there will be many more chronicles of Adventures in the Brady Backyard!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

Happy {belated} St Patrick's Day! I tried to take a festive photo of Talmage and I, and this is what I got:
He is definitely a ham!
Then I was making some mint brownies. I showed him the cocoa and made the mistake of telling him it was "chocolate powder." He looked at me, looked at the cocoa, and quick as a flash grabbed a handful and shoved it in his mouth. Yuck! He regretted that one!
(Side note-he loves anything chocolate and definitely responds to that word. When we were visiting Utah over Christmas my mom gave him a Tootsie Roll and he looked at it suspiciously until she said, "It's okay, Talmage, it's chocolate!" At that point he loudly proclaimed, "Oh!" and popped it in his mouth.)

He was very excited about helping with the brownies, cocoa-stained shirt and all.
He can make the most angelic faces!
And enjoying the brownies in conjunction with our green dinner was the best part of all. I hope your St. Patrick's Day was as fun as ours!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I suck in my cheeks when I concentrate. I have ever since I was a small child. The harder I'm concentrating, the more my face resembles that of a fish. It's embarrassing, especially when a photo of me concentrating hard on a quilt, cheeks sucked in and brow furrowed, is featured in a Stake Women's Conference slideshow like it was last Saturday. :) I don't realize I am even doing it, which makes it a hard habit to break. Luckily Sam thinks it's adorable (how does he think all of my weirdo quirks are cute?!?), so it's not really a problem.
Talmage doesn't suck in his cheeks when he's concentrating, but he gets very into the task at hand. For example:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

More on Drawing

Drawing. It's what gets Talmage through Sacrament Meeting quiet and happy. It's what keeps him occupied throughout much of the day. It's what I know could allow me to get a lot done, but instead glues my eyes to my sweet boy's curious hands that like to experiment on the wall a little too much. It's currently his activity of choice.
And regular pencils, as shown in this picture, no longer suffice. He knows pens are cooler, and colored pencils are the best. And how can I deny him these messier alternatives when he flat-out denies the pencil, looks pleadingly up at me, and repeats "please" over and over? Ah, the life of a toddler. Such a fun stage!
The problem with drawing, however, is that most people stay still while doing it. Talmage does not like to be still at all, so he devised a way to draw while wandering around the house.
He would hold the paper against his chest and draw on it as he walked around.
Then things got a bit too quiet. Fearing the wall was suffering more damage, I glanced down the stairs and found this:
Nope, not asleep--just one of the sweetest sights ever! He was happily drawing there on the landing.
He had to keep moving, though, so he rolled steamroller-style to the opposite end of the landing...
...and then back. Watching him entertain himself down there was positively heart-warming.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Favorite Perch

This is pretty much Talmage's favorite spot in the house:
He continually begs to get up there and walk back and forth, back and forth along the length of the counter while Sam or I walk next to him to prevent any mishaps.
Anything that makes him feel like a grown-up is fantastic in his eyes! And this makes him as tall as Daddy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Early Learning

There are some things Talmage has learned that frankly shock me. He understands so much of what we say these days. The other day I told him we would go get in the car after we said our prayers and I got him dressed and such. We went about the morning routine, and about 20 minutes later he said "Amen" to his prayer and proceeded to jump off my lap, run to the garage door, and stand there waiting to go outside. I was amazed that he understood that we would leave after we prayed, for one thing, and then that he remembered during the 20 minutes or so we were doing other things!
For the last couple of months he has loved counting and saying ABCs (or his adorable versions of counting and ABCs). Often when I am telling my piano students the notes ("A, A, C, G, E...") Talmage will chime in with letters too! If he is feeling cooperative I can stop at various parts of the alphabet song and he will fill in the blank. He loves counting--especially counting dramatically to a big climactic THREE and running into things or "jumping" off of small objects (uhhhh, teee-ooooh.................................DEE!).
And oh boy, is he ever opinionated. He has an opinion on pretty much everything, and if things aren't going the way he wanted them to, watch out! He is so determined. Anyway, I could go on for ages, but the point is that I am just amazed at how capable babies/toddlers are! Of course I tend to think my boy is pretty amazing, but I know that the things he can do and say aren't really all that uncommon among tiny children, and that fact is downright stunning. They are such sponges! I have much I can learn from him and other little children.
There are a couple of things he has learned that aren't that surprising though...
#1: Licking the beaters is one of life's best simple pleasures:
Mmm-hmm. After I let him lick one of the beaters from some egg-less banana muffins I was making, the rest was history. He urgently begs for the beaters every time he sees them used.
#2: How to absolutely melt Mommy's heart. Oh wait...he was born with that ability!
Sick of seeing that drool-soaked collar yet? It appears in almost every picture. Maybe, just maybe, he won't be teething for the next 6 months? His teeth come in so slowly!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hot, Hot, Hot

"Hot, hot, hot," said in a whisper was probably one of the first ten things Talmage learned to say. It is still a favorite phrase, and he uses it often. He loves to get oven mitts, put them on his arm, and go to the oven whispering, "Hot, hot, hot!"
By the way, I can't believe how old this little guy is getting and looking. He has reached the point where after playing outside he smells like a sweaty boy instead of a newly lotioned baby. Today I was having visions of him climbing onto the school bus for his first day of kindergarten (kindergarten is all-day here), and I couldn't stand the thought. I think I just might be one of those "car-drop-off" parents...I know, I'm ridiculous to think that far ahead.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Talmage's Favorite Books

Talmage often runs up to me, book(s) in hand begging "sha-shee! sha-shee!" (story! story!) I think we could read books all day. He loves them so much! I thought I would share a few of his favorites with you. The titles are linked to more information about each book, for those interested. Just click on the title.

Ahh, Bugillions, what would we do without you? I do crazy voices for each of the bugs, and Talmage loves to open it up and read it to me, imitating the crazy voices himself. Such great entertainment!

Touchy Feely Trucks--he loves rubbing the different textures and saying either, "soft, soft, soft" (in a whisper) or "rough."

Peek-a Who? His very first favorite book. It's a perfect one for younger babies, and it hasn't grown old yet.

Nursery Rhymes-he loves the slightly raised illustrations on each page.

Noisy Peekaboo! With animal sounds that echo through the room when the right flap is lifted and baby finds the animal, who wouldn't love this one?

Counting, Lift-the-Flap, and animals...Who's Hiding on the Farm combines several favorites into one.

He loves the books in the bright baby series. With just one word on each page and a coordinating photo, they're great for learning new words.

The 10 Color Book by William Accorsi is a source of joy and frustration, depending on how quickly he can get the plastic shapes to fit into their places in the book. They click into the front cover, too!

The Seek and Slide series is another favorite. Rather than having flaps to lift up, these books feature windows with sliding covers that reveal different animals underneath.

(sorry about the picture was hard to find a decent one of this book)
The Colors book from the Fish and Friends series by Paul Dronsfield. Each page says something like, "The Octopus is purple...Which sock is purple?" featuring a large purple octopus with socks of varying colors. I would read it to Talmage, and after each question I would say, "That one," pointing to the correct image. He started imitating it a while back, pointing to the page and saying, "That one!" He doesn't always point to the right one, but it's a good start!


Book of Mormon Stories, put out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loves his nightly reading of these illustrated scriptures.


The Gospel Art Book is a favorite for him. Just don't try to open to a page and stay there--if you want it to hold his interest, he must be holding it and having control over page turning.

I'm so grateful Talmage enjoys reading so much! I come from a family of bookworms, and it is so great to see him headed the same direction. Reading to him each day affords me the opportunity to cuddle up with my boy on my lap, something that seldom happens otherwise with his hyper, energetic personality!

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