Sunday, December 16, 2012

Inspired Words

I'm kind of doing this blog partly as a way to keep in touch with family and friends and let them know what we're up to these days, as well as keeping a journal of sorts so I have something to look back to and remember this blur.  So, to keep along with the journal side of things, I wanted to post a quick note that I can look back to as a reference to a time when I felt prompted and amazed by the Lord's planning and timing in our lives.  I remember sitting through General Conference and thinking how strange it was (and sad) that so many people talked about losing small children and how they coped or applied the principles of the Atonement in their lives and gained stronger testimonies of the Plan of Salvation.  Now, as I look at the tragic events of the school shooting this week in Connecticut, I'm truly awestruck at the inspired messages from General Conference that came prior and discussed these very topics and how the Lord can help our families through what seem to be such unbearable times.  Here's what I just posted on Facebook after reading some of the Conference Ensign tonight with Kyle:

Wow, just read this talk with Kyle and I remembered how there were like 4 talks in the last General Conference session that talked about losing children. It's really amazing to see the inspiration ahead of time with respect to the loss of 
so many little ones this week in Connecticut. For my non-Mormon friends, General Conference is a church meeting that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has twice a year where a living prophet and other Church leaders speak to members around the world. I included the parts that really stuck out to me below from Elder Shane Bowen's talk this past October where he is talking about how hard it was to lose his little son at such a young age.

At that moment it felt as if our world had come to an end. It is impossible to describe the mixture of feelings that I had at that point in my life. Most of the time I felt as if I were in a bad dream and that I would soon wake up and this terrible nightmare would be over. For many nights I didn’t sleep. I often wandered in the night from one room to the other, making sure that our other children were all safe. Feelings of guilt racked my soul. I was his father; I should have done more to protect him. If only I would have done this or that. Sometimes even today, 22 years later, those feelings begin to creep into my heart. I soon began to feel anger. “This isn’t fair! How could God do this to me? Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” I even felt myself get angry with people who were just trying to comfort us. I remember friends saying, “I know how you feel.” I would think to myself, “You have no idea how I feel. Just leave me alone.” As I felt the guilt, anger, and self-pity trying to consume me, I prayed that my heart could change. Through very personal sacred experiences, the Lord gave me a new heart, and even though it was still lonely and painful, my whole outlook changed.

My life started to change, and I was able to look forward with hope, rather than look backward with despair. I testify that this life is not the end. The spirit world is real. The teachings of the prophets regarding life after death are true. This life is but a transitory step forward on our journey back to our Heavenly Father. The same feelings of loyalty, love, and family unity don’t end as our loved ones pass to the other side; instead, those feelings are intensified.

Sometimes people will ask, “How long did it take you to get over it?” The truth is, you will never completely get over it until you are together once again with your departed loved ones. I will never have a fulness of joy until we are reunited. But in the meantime, as the Savior taught, we can continue with good cheer. I have learned that the bitter, almost unbearable pain can become sweet as you turn to your Father in Heaven and plead for His comfort that comes through His plan; His Son, Jesus Christ; and His Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost. What a glorious blessing this is in our lives. Wouldn’t it be tragic if we didn’t feel great sorrow when we lose a child? How grateful I am to my Father in Heaven that He allows us to love deeply and love eternally. How grateful I am for eternal families. How grateful I am that He has revealed once again through His living prophets the glorious plan of redemption.

Remember as you attended the funeral of your loved one the feelings in your heart as you drove away from the cemetery and looked back to see that solitary casket—wondering if your heart would break. I testify that because of Him, even our Savior, Jesus Christ, those feelings of sorrow, loneliness, and despair will one day be swallowed up in a fulness of joy. I testify that we can depend on Him and when He said: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you… because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:18–19).

Thanksgiving, exploding soup, and pukepocalypse....

First of all, I am especially grateful for our sweet little girl and incredibly saddened by the loss to so many parents this week with the school shooting in Connecticut.  I don't even know what to say as far as how difficult that would be, even with the knowledge we have of eternal families and the plan that God has for us.  I also can't imagine the pain of those children who were there as witnesses to the tragedy of their friends and classmates at such a young age.  I love my family and can't imagine being without my cute, adorable Alexa who is running around the living room screaming "blankie!" at the moment and tickling Kyle.

I guess I haven't written since before Thanksgiving.  We had a double header with the Singletons and Grandma Sweeny.  We spent Wednesday night at the Singletons and had Thanksgiving lunch with them and the Skankeys, and then headed over to Snowbird for dinner with Grandma, Kathi & Don, Hope & Quinn, and Rich & Wendy.  Kyle said he never wants to do that again because he thought he was going to explode, haha.  Side note--Alexa woke up early Thanksgiving morning so we brought her into bed with us, and have discovered that she is a complete flailer.  I had Alexa kicking me from one side and the wee little baby kicking me from the other pretty consistently for most of the morning.

Sad cooking story.  I made some creamy cauliflower soup a couple weeks ago, and I was standing there waiting for it to boil for what seemed like forever.  I heard Alexa squawk to let me know she was awake from her nap, so I ran back to her room and started changing her diaper.  As soon as her bum was completely naked, I hear the horrible sound of the pot of soup boiling over onto the stove.  It went from nothing to complete chaos at just the right time--all within about 20 seconds.  I had to decide whether to risk her being naked and peeing on something, or letting the soup create a boiling puddle under the stove.  Ughh.  Then, after boiling the soup for a while I had to blend it. Proceeded to blend the soup, at which point the top blew off the blender and covered me, Alexa, and half the kitchen with boiling soup.  It seriously went EVERYWHERE!  And right then Kyle walked in the door.  Good times.

Alexa loves the little cloth nativity we have (Marmie, Emily and Sara, it's the same one I made for you guys a couple years ago.  Sweenys, it's the same as Mom's).  I was vacuuming last week and she was freaked out by the vacuum, so she just stood by the couch holding baby Jesus and watching me with a scared face.

playing with Uncle Todd while we saw The Hobbit.

at Todd & Melissa's house for a Swingle Christmas party

She has started to argue, and we think it's absolutely hilarious.  She responds in a high pitched voice, and never uses real words when she's arguing.  It's always babble, but stern babble like she's trying to make a point and help us understand her side of things.  I need to video it.

We watched a friend's almost 5 month old baby a couple weeks ago, and it was a lot of fun to see Alexa interact with him.  She loved helping take care of him and feed him his bottle, push his swing, etc.  She would get so mad when I would take her away from the baby to eat dinner or change her diaper.  She would cry and call out his name.  And then she asked for him every day for the next week.

She continues to talk like we can't believe.  She says "cheese" for pictures, and we got a cute recordable card for Uncle Craig / Elder Swingle for Christmas and she said "love you Uncle Craig" on the card.  Ahh, it was so adorable.

She must have eaten something that didn't agree with her the other week because she had her first pukepocalypse.  Poor girl.  She woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn't get her to fall back asleep after like 45 minutes of rocking and cuddling.  Put her back in the crib and she threw up everywhere.  So, dad took a shower with her and we got her all cleaned up and curled up next to me in bed.  I finally got her to fall back asleep at like 5am after hours of misery.  She was in the weirdest position by the way--on her back with her legs draped over my big belly, arms across my chest, and her head in my armpit.  It looked really uncomfortable.  Anyway, she had been asleep all of 10 minutes when she turned her head and threw up in my eye while still asleep.  I'm not sure if the puking woke her up or my reaction to the fact that she had just thrown up IN MY EYE!!!  There were many baths, showers, and much laundry done that day.

I made her a bean bag chair for Christmas.  It's a lot bigger than I thought it would be....she kind of drowns in it at this point. Oh, and she calls it her "pillow chair"

Saturday, November 17, 2012


We’re up at Snowbird (a Utah ski resort) with Grandma Sweeny for the weekend, and Alexa happily brought her book after book to read to her while I made breakfast this morning.  She even brought Grandma a book about pets in Spanish, and Grandma was a total champ and just made up the story to go along with the pictures :).  People are napping, so I thought now would be a good time for a blog update.

Alexa's new big thing is praying.  We sat down for lunch the other day and Kyle and I both took a bite of food and looked over to see Alexa sitting there in her high chair folding her arms and staring at us.  Haha, oops!  We stopped to pray with her before taking a second bite :).  She keeps us in line. Last Saturday we prayed four times during lunch per her request.  She'll fold her arms and just stop eating and smile at us.  She hardly ever says "amen," and instead just claps and says "yay!" when the prayer is done.

We've discovered the wonder of Baby Einstein--she will seriously sit completely still and watch the whole show, even though she won't sit still for cartoons (even involving puppies!) or Disney.  It's amazing what you can get done in a half hour when she's sitting still.  Here she is watching it on Saturday morning while eating a banana, which I considered to be the perfect breakfast for a little girl in monkey pajamas.

She loves to give us kisses, hugs, and pat us on the back.  If she can't reach my back, she'll walk up to my leg and give it a hug and pats it like she's giving me a real hug.  Every night after family prayer she'll say "hug!" and run up and give us both hugs and then "kiss!" and give kisses.  And then say "love you!"  I was leaving for work one day this week and she said, "bye bye, love you!"  Yeah, definitely didn't want to go to work after that.   

Some of you may have seen that I posted on Facebook about her hiding peas in her high chair last week, too.  It has already started!  She found a hole in the chair behind her head and I caught her shoving veggies in there.  Reminds me of Adam Sweeny...  When she's being a punk about eating, Kyle can (sometimes) get her to keep going by telling her to take a "dinosaur bite," where she roars and then takes a big bite of food.  It's pretty awesome.  
Great smile while eating Cheerios :)
Kyle loves taking her on the slides at the playground because she does this maniacal laugh when she gets to the bottom:

More pictures of Lexi bundled up to play at the playground:

And for those of you wondering what we did for Halloween, Kyle requested that Alexa be an ewok so that she could run around babbling like her usual self.  The rest of the family went in line with her costume by being Vader and Princess Leia.

got to see Katie while trick or treating at Shelf Reliance!
During a costume "fitting" right before nap time.  What a mess.  I will say that trying to get kids to sit still to make alterations on sewing projects is REALLY hard!  This is also the face that she makes whenever Kyle puts on his Vader mask--she's really scared of it!

 Oh, and we celebrated Day of the Dead that same week with some friends, so here's Mexi Lexi.
 We took Alexa to a BYU Basketball game a couple weeks ago with the Ludlow family tickets.  I thought she would love watching the game because it has a ball (she loves playing with balls and saying “ball” repeatedly), but come to find out she was much more interested in just playing with the people sitting around us in the stands.  She was flirting with everyone—saying “hi” and smiling at them, waving, etc.  The guy behind us had some ice cream and she paid particular attention to him.  Smart girl.  She also had lots of fun with the lady sitting next to us.  At one point she reached over and poked her nose and smiled and said “nose!”  I apologized profusely, but she just laughed and encouraged Alexa to do more. 

I’ve been on a sewing kick lately, and here are a few of my recent projects.
I love this polka dot dress!  Best part is that making clothes for little people is really fast because they're so small, AND you can just use fabric from the scrap bin because they don't need much (this was in the scrap bin at Hobby Lobby for a couple bucks!)

Seriously mad that I took her blankie away for the picture

also made her some beanies from some old sweaters

and these fuzzy boots!  Love these, too! Scrap fabric from her Halloween costume.
I also made a carseat cover for this new baby on the way, a portable high chair for Alexa (fabric and velcro that loops through a chair to keep her trapped), a steering wheel cover for the Nissan because it stays freakishly cold in cold weather, and two stretchy maxi skirts for me and my big belly.  Today marks 28 weeks.

Video of Alexa reading an animal book with Kyle.  She loves watching it.  It was too big to upload to the blog, so I put it on YouTube:

She's starting to put words together into small phrases, and her vocab continues to grow daily.  She will repeat almost everything.  My favorite new word this week is "cool!"

Side note.  This is probably too much information for most of you (stop reading if that's the case), but I lost a giant thing of placenta at a wedding reception the other week and it scared the living daylights out of me.  I thought the baby was trying to crawl out!  It turns out that it was just a chunk of placenta that broke off from my tear and clotted up.  I seriously thought I was about to have a baby at 26 weeks in the bathroom at a wedding reception....whew.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Take time to dance....

We've had a fun, busy last couple of weeks.  Here's proof (Alexa fell asleep on Kyle's lap while we were talking on the phone to my parents tonight--loudly, on speaker phone).  Sweet little girl.

We've all kind have been sick, first Kyle, then Alexa, and now me.  Just the typical nasty cold going around, and Alexa still has a little cough and I am just at the beginning so the sinus headache is feeling really good right now.  Not.  I looked through my doctor's notes from Alexa to remind me what I'm allowed to take while pregnant and went through all our medicine in our cold section this morning, and I can't even take Airborne, let alone anything else we have.  Hence the 2.5 hour nap this afternoon.  That's the best medicine I can get, and it was glorious.

Speaking of being pregnant, I promised Malori that I would post a belly picture, so we took one on our walk today.

I am definitely showing much earlier with this little one than with Alexa, which is only to be expected.  Kyle says I'm like 3 months ahead in comparison (showed at 4 months like I showed at 7 months with Alexa), which is probably true looking back.  I didn't even wear maternity clothes with her until the last month and a half.  It's interesting to see the changes with a second since we've also been able to feel the baby a lot earlier.  Kyle felt this wee one for the first time at about 18-19 weeks versus 22, and I was able to feel the baby for weeks before that versus like 20 weeks or so.  Today marks 24 weeks.

Alexa continues to talk more and more, and amazes us with how smart and cute she is.  I know, I still need to get a video of her talking and doing animal sounds.  On the to-do list.  Last week we were hanging out in her room playing with her baby doll, and she was happily saying and pointing out all the body parts on her doll.  She said "knee" out loud for the first time, so I said "yay, Alexa, high five!"  She promptly grabbed the doll's hand and made it give her a high five and said "yay!" with a smile.  I love that little girl (even though she left me hanging with my hand in the air).

She's getting a lot better at saying "please" and "thank you" all the time, and she said "love you" to Grandma and Grandpa Swingle when they said goodbye on Skype today.  Seriously adorable.

Now some special stories from the last couple weeks...I went and got her from her nap and she was carrying around her blanket (pretty normal these days--it goes almost everywhere with her), but she totally tripped on it in the hallway and biffed it hard core.  I picked her up and cuddled in the hall until she stopped crying, at which point she got back up and ran straight into the bathroom door.  Poor child.  On Wednesday we had a very traumatic experience.  I went to grab something in the kitchen, so the sneaky one ran into the bathroom and shut the door, and then quickly opened the drawer right in front of the door so I couldn't open it!  I began to panic because I realized that there was no way for me to get in there!  The drawer is literally right in front of the door so I couldn't even crack it to get at the hinges and take the door off, or pry through and close the drawer, etc.  I tried taking the door knob off with a screw driver in the hope that I could reach through and close the drawer or something.  I kept calmly telling her to close the door, and she just stood there hysterically crying.  I finally gave up and called Kyle because I couldn't think of anything else to do.  He offered to come home from work and kick the door in, but right when I explained the situation to him, Alexa closed the drawer and I quickly opened the door.  She was drenched in tears and so very upset.

We've been practicing eating with silverware for the last couple months, and tonight she fed herself her first entire bowl of soup. She scarfed it all by herself and did super well!  She can stab things with a fork just fine, but normally we scoop things on the spoon and then she feeds herself with it, but tonight she did it all.  I was amazed that she wasn't more of a mess.  She was about half way done below and her face and the tray are so clean.  Good job, kid.

Kyle and I finally got callings.  He is Cub Scout Master, which I know he will absolutely love.  I was made 2nd counselor in the primary presidency, so Lexi is now in nursery as of last Sunday with early approval from the Primary President.  She LOVED it, and even drew us a picture, which seriously made me almost cry because it hit me at that moment that she's so grown up and already drawing us pictures.  Sniff sniff. I was honestly fighting back tears.  Yes, I know it's chicken scratch/scribble. I blame it on being pregnant.

It's been great to have both mom and dad out here these last few weeks.  I'm going to have to get Kathi to go on long vacations more often!  We loved spending time with both of them and even got Grandma Sweeny to come eat dinner at our house!

To end, some random pictures of Alexa:

This is her teddy bear's hat, but she loves taking it off and wearing it around the house

Her car seat has been in our living room since we switched it out for a convertible seat a few weeks ago, and she
loves sitting in it and piling blankets and stuffed animals on top of herself.

I feel like she has a really long tongue :)?!

And, if you want even more pictures, here's a link to her baby book I made this month.

Click the link above, and just under the picture of her click "view photo book." Ignore the login part completely.

Oh, and here's a great video of her dancing with Kyle and Mike last Sunday.  I was inside and could hear her shrieking and giggling, so I had to come out and see what was so fun.  I was not disappointed.

Also, Kyle requested that we do some Halloween decorations this year, so we made some of our own and found some at D.I.  He is used to fun decorations for every holiday, but I'm pretty sure we only ever decorated for Christmas, and even that was pretty simple and we mostly just did a tree and a few lit windows.  Anyway, here's our beginning of Halloween decorations.
Group effort - Kyle cut and sanded the blocks, and I painted 
I did LOTs of crafts during General Conference and this was one of them

Alexa loves playing with these pumpkin lights

Kyle says my monster door is "cute and girly," and not at all scary :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Good news!

I'm excited to announce that we went to the doctor yesterday for another ultrasound and I now have all my privileges reinstated!! Tear is healed and baby looks good, so we are very grateful.  As promised, I took Alexa to the park to celebrate.  We went swinging and ran around looking for flowers (dandelions). She has to stop and touch every flower she finds :).
She insisted that her puppy come along.
Maybe because she's a lazy bum and wanted to use him as a pillow!!
We didn't get any really good ultrasound pictures from the tech (I should have made special requests!), but we saw lots of baby!  This was the ultrasound (20 weeks) where they check every little thing developing - every section of the brain, spine, chambers of the heart, kidneys, diaphragm, fingers, toes, blood flow, placenta, cord, measurements of head and waist (baby is 4 days bigger than the due date), etc. etc.  It's so fascinating to see all of that already developed and so teeny tiny!!  Baby was completely folded in half, playing with its hands with its feet up by its head.  Glad Kyle got off work early to come with me!
Alexa's favorite toys these days are fuzzy little pom poms (taking them in and out of containers), snaps and buttons (taking things on and off), stuffed animals, balls, and anything else she can take in and out of bags/containers.  She has started sniffing things a lot, so we may have a weird little fetish on our hands, we’ll see.  Her favorite food to eat while teething is corn on the cob.  She just picks it up and gnaws on it.  Cold broccoli stems kind of work, too, but she doesn’t eat them at all like the corn.  

She has started looking at pictures and pointing to the people in them, especially mommy and daddy.  It’s cute because she’ll do it all around the house with our pictures on the wall.  Oh, and she calls herself "baby" instead of Alexa in the pictures.  Her vocabulary is growing soo fast, and I can’t believe how many new words she learns each week!  This morning she grabbed my elbow and said “elbow” out of the blue.  I just stared at her in amazement.

Here's a video from last week of her feeding Kyle dinner.  She thought it was hilarious, and was laughing sooo hard before I started recording.  She loves to watch the video and laugh and clap for herself.

And a picture of her laying Kyle down for a nap :).  He got home from work and was putting her down for her afternoon nap, but when he told her it was time for a nap she ran over to her closet and pulled out all her blankets one by one and started putting them on daddy.

She’s transitioning between 1 and 2 naps right now, and only really takes a morning nap a couple days a week, but is still tired enough to need a little bit of rest every morning.  Sometimes that may just be laying there for 10 minutes and then jumping up or talking to herself.

Mike came and stayed with us last weekend while Peggy and Paul were gone visiting Grandma and Grandpa Swingle in AZ.  Kyle and Mike even got Todd to come down and play Super Smash, so life was complete.  Alexa joined in on the fun.

I made a new diaper bag this week and it was a really fun project!  It actually wasn’t as bad or time consuming as I thought it would be.  Complete with hidden zippers and sippy cup / bottle pockets.  I love scrap fabric (recognize this pattern, Malori?)!

One last random story.  We asked Craig what he wanted in a package we mailed to him last week in the MTC -- told him that I would make him anything -- homemade bread and jam, brownies, cookies, etc etc.  What does the kid ask for?  Chili Mac!!!  So we mailed him a huge bowl to cook the macaroni and cheese in the microwave, a pop top can of Chili, butter powder and milk powder all measured out so he just needed to add water, etc.  I laughed so hard that he really had us send him macaroni and cheese and a can of chili!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

stairs and a silly little girl....

I forgot to mention a few August updates in my last post, and have some more Alexa stories (as always)...First, Kyle (with the help of Uncle Paul and Todd--thank you!!) finished the stairs and they look awesome!!  He completely rebuilt them (ripped them down all the way to the drywall).

Second, both Kyle and I were supposed to be in this work athletic competition in August, but I had to back out for obvious reasons.  Kyle still did the tennis and basketball tournaments and made me oh so proud.  He even got this funny little basketball trophy for taking third place.  The other tournaments that week included horseshoes, ping pong, foosball, golf, Wii dance, volleyball, and a triathlon.

We went to Ikea for breakfast last Saturday (so delicious and cheap!) and bought Alexa a stuffed puppy while we were there.  She now takes it everywhere continuously saying "puppy, puppy, puppy!"  Speaking of the puppy, she even dragged it through toilet water last week.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Alexa pooed through her cloth diaper and shorts (yumm), so Kyle stripped her down and threw the diaper in the toilet to get all the nasty poo off. Well, I came home a couple hours later and grabbed a hair tie out of the bathroom and accidentally left the door cracked. Alexa wandered in while we were doing the dishes and grabbed the diaper out of the toilet and started dragging it around the bathroom along with her puppy. There was like an inch of nasty toilet water on the floor and she was playing in it when Kyle found her. It was horrifying and disgusting and awful. We laughed and sanitized all of her, the bathroom, the bath mat, her stuffed animals, etc. etc. Never leave the bathroom door open!!

Kyle and I were downstairs in the living room, and Alexa decided she was done so she climbed up the stairs and on to the table to play with my cup of water!!  Kyle went up right after to get her and freaked out (as I would have done). Karen, I thought of you as this was our first surprise table climbing incident.  How quickly they can figure things like that out when they have 5 spare seconds.

We were grabbing something at Kohl's last week and Alexa happily started chasing a 5 year old through the aisles giggling.  I walked around behind her and laughed as the 5 year old jumped on top a display rack to get out of Alexa's reach.  Keep in mind, Alexa doesn't really know how to run, but just walks faster and looks like a staggering drunk while hyperventilating with glee.  The five year old could have easily walked faster than her and gotten away.  Anyway, the 5 year old's mom said, "the baby just wants to give you a hug!" to which the girl responded "I don't want a hug" and sat up there on the wooden display shelf staring down uncomfortably at Alexa.  So very funny.  I can tell that Alexa will grow up to have no sense of others' personal space, and that this girl definitely does not like people who invade hers.  I led Alexa away so the poor girl could breathe again.

Oh, and she got 5 TEETH last week, including 3 molars.  Ouch.  Kyle was up with her at 4 this morning and couldn't fall back asleep after.  Poor baby and daddy.  She's been pretty good about it, just waking up like an hour earlier in the morning and being a little bit grouchy off and on.  Otherwise, she's a happy, babbly, wandering little girl.  New words include book, baby, body parts (this is her favorite new thing to do -- point to our teeth, nose, eyes, ears, fingers, belly button, etc. and she can say about half of them).  She said "amen" a few times at church today.  That's a word I'm surprised she is just now saying since she hears it all the time.  She is also starting to do animal noises, which I love!  I still remember when I got a video at college of my niece Wylah doing animal noises as a little toddler.  Adorable.  Alexa will do puppy, bunny rabbit, fish, elephant, monkey, lion, and dinosaur.  She has also mastered going down the stairs by herself standing up (she's been going up since she was like 8 or 9 months, but down is another story).
There's no story behind this photo.  I just think she looks hilarious in this racoon hat at our friends house, which she would affectionately pet and call "puppy" :)

She's been hanging out with me more lately and sat on my lap while I peeled a bunch of potatoes for a triple batch of creamy potato soup.  I had to laugh while she sat there biting the raw potatoes one after the other--just biting them, not eating.  Peeled, not peeled, she didn't care.  That's how she entertained herself while I peeled.  She sits on my lap every day while I put on my makeup (she likes to brush our hair and play with the blush brush).  She also sat on my lap for like a solid half hour (miracle) while I finished up two new church quiet books for her.  Some of the pages are for when she gets older, as she could care less and doesn't understand at this point...

Book 1 - tie your shoes
Book 1 - hair braiding, build a temple out of felt squares
Book 1 - build a road and get the car home (it can drive under the house).  Right now the car mostly drives on mom and dad's arms.  Also, a treasure chest to hide snacks in at church.
Book 1 - have to decide if the food goes in the trash can or fridge (Word of Wisdom).  Also, felt soldier / armor of God.
Book 1 - finger puppet animals in Noah's ark.
Book 2 - counting the 7 days of creation with beads
Book 2 - Day 1: separated light from dark (sensory sun), Day 2: earth and heaven (earth puzzle)
Book 2 - Day 3: separated land and water (sensory water), Day 4: made sun, moon & stars (snap on stars)
Book 2 - Day 5: fish and fowl (bird "flies" back and forth on string), Day 6: animals and man (alligator mouth zips open and closed and you can hide things in there too)
Day 7: rest (read the scriptures--buckles open and closed with paper and crayons/pencils inside to scribble on)