Year: 2012

Family Christmas Update 2012

 - by Brittny

Before we get into 2013 we ought to post a family update summarizing 2012. We’ll start with the members of our family that you most want to hear about. Sam (3 1/2) and Daniel (1 1/2) are great friends to each other. There is nothing that makes us happier than to see those two playing together. They love wrestling, pretending and playing outside together. They are sweet boys and we feel so blessed to have them.

Sam finished a year of joy school and loved every minute of it. It was a lot of work to try to coordinate with the other parents and it seemed like joy school was cancelled more often than not, but we enjoyed getting to know some other kids better. In the fall we decided to go a different route and enrolled him in preschool at our next door neighbor’s house.  It is one of his favorite parts of the week, and Brittny is glad to pay someone else to plan the lessons and coordinate everything rather than doing it herself.  Having preschool right next door was the perfect solution for Sam since he’s already comfortable with our neighbor and awesome for us since we don’t even have to drive him! He’s been loving it and we enjoy seeing him come home with all of his new projects to show off. His mom is learning the skill of  properly disposing preschool art projects without causing too much consternation.  Sam loves to learn, he knows his alphabet very well and can spell a few words (Sam, mom, dad, stop etc.) and would probably love to be reading better if we would spend more time teaching him.  Despite his original objections to the zoo, Brittny’s aunt was very generous and shared her zoo pass with us this year.  Sam quickly decided that his favorite animals were the elephants and we enjoyed MANY fun days at the zoo this summer.  THANK YOU so much Aunt Petrine!

Sam enjoyed spending his summer days outside playing with the other kids in our neighborhood. He  made good friends with the 5 year old next door who loves to play with him and Danny. So much so that we had to disconnect our doorbell one day to keep him from coming over every 5 minutes during naptime (the every 5 minutes part isn’t an exaggeration)! One of the really funny things is that two of the older kids that he played with have speech impediments and have difficulties saying “r” sounds. We started to notice that Sam had started to say things like “squawes” instead of “squares” and had to explain to him that even though these kids were older, Sam did in fact have the correct pronunciation of the “r” sound! It’s interesting to see the influence friends can have. He has finally gotten himself potty trained, although keeping dry at night still eludes him. We’ll get there yet! On a more positive note we recently realized that despite having started life as a terrible sleeper Sam has recently become our rock solid sleeper.  We’ll put him in bed at night and not hear from him at all until the morning, and nothing bothers him in between!  He’s also become our excellent traveller.  Over Christmas we went down to California and he happily sat in his carseat for over 10 hours each way, even when his brother was crying.  We never thought either of those things would happen, and they happened so gradually we hardly realized it!  Further proof that miracles do happen!  More than anything he loves technology. Every night before bed he gets to play one computer/phone/tablet game with his dad and it’s probably his favorite part of the day.  If we don’t watch him carefully he often will find a device and happily retreat to some corner of the house to play games for hours on end.  He recently told his mom that he needed a different clock that he could watch shows on and play games on like his dad, and that he needed a new laptop for Christmas because his laptop (just a toy one) is just old. Oh boy! We have a feeling this is a pattern that we will be observing for years to come!  We enjoy having him in our family and all the different perspectives he brings to our lives.

Our Daniel turned one this year and  is an absolute delight to be around. He is a bright and happy child and just a sparkle to have in our family. He loves animals of any kind – from tiny rolly pollies to dogs ten times his size. He has a particular squeal that he emits for any animal that he sees. He has to get closer and pet it, even if that animal looks like it would happily eat him for lunch.


He has started walking and talking. It was funny to watch him learn how to walk, he had gained the ability to stand steadily for long periods of time at about 8 months old, even bending over to pick things up and stand up again without sitting down, but wouldn’t take steps for months.  Brittny’s mom called him a meerkat because of the way he stood on two legs looking alert, and then going back to all fours to actually get around.   Then on Sam’s birthday he took a couple steps on his own. After that he took a few steps every day for a few weeks, but nothing more. Then one day he suddenly decided that he could walk, and off he went! By the end of that week he was testing out running and hasn’t looked back. Danny loves being outside and playing with his big brother.

We were very excited for him to start nursery back in October, however he’s only made it a couple of times so far.  Daniel has absolutely no fear or inhibitions, much to the dismay of his parents! He will climb on to anything within reach, grab exactly everything he shouldn’t and simply run away from his parents from time to time.  Luckily the worst injury he’s had so far was a burn on his hand from grabbing the iron, and a big bump on his head from tumbling out of the shopping cart. Daniel of course has also taken after his father’s interests in technology.

He loves to mimic any sort of big sounds, be it the lawn mower, the snow blower, or the smoke detector. Or playing music and dancing, he’s a little audiophile in the making!  His vocabulary is starting to blossom, and it’s fun to see him gain a few new words every day. Around the time Daniel entered nursery, he developed a bit of separation anxiety. After he warms up to you he is very snuggly and affectionate, though. We got him weaned within the last month which has been a huge milestone for us.  For the first time in over 4 years Brittny is neither nursing a baby or pregnant with one (or both at once!)  Danny has also started wanting to be potty trained, which is surprising to us after only just finishing potty training Sam a few months ago!  We’ve been putting him off until after a getaway that we have planned in a couple weeks as it doesn’t seem kind to leave him with his Grannie only partially potty trained but that will definitely be an exciting change!  Now if we can get him to sleep through the nights on his own again he’ll be practically all grown up!

Brittny has been extremely busy as the secretary in our ward’s Primary Presidency, but she is enjoying her work and contributing a lot to the community. On top of her calling and motherly duties, Brittny still enjoys doing freelance web programming for various clients, especially friends and family.  This year she created websites for a neighbor starting his podiatry practice, a friend who’s developing her own clothing line, another website for that same friend for a wrapping paper business and a popular young adult novelist.  She recently landed a contract with Adobe and that has definitely given her a good challenge and changed the way she’s working.  For the first time since before Sam was born she’s actually going into an office to work, which is something she hadn’t really considered doing. She wrote a lot more about this transition in her blog, but it’s been a great opportunity for her to get to know what Eric does a bit better (the contract is one within his department), really improve her skills and gain some confidence in working with different systems. She spent a fair amount of time caught up in the recent election, and while she’s considerably disappointed in the results, she’s somewhat glad just to have it over with.

Eric has been settling more into his Product Management role at Adobe, and he’s recently taken on some additional responsibilities for more Adobe products. That does mean more traveling and workload, but it’s also a good opportunity for him to take his skills to the next level. He’s recently traveled to New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston, and Sydney attending fun conferences and visiting with customers.

He’s very excited about the completion of Adobe’s new campus which – besides being a really awesome facility with great amenities – has the added benefit of being less than 10 minutes from our home rather than 35 minutes away like their old location. He’s given himself the added responsibility of being a team captain for Adobe’s After Hours Gaming League team for League of Legends (think like a company softball team – but with video games). They play for charity so he gets the added benefit of being able to justify his time spent playing his favorite game as being for a good cause. :) Fortunately, he is around most weekends so he can sing with the choir and play the violin in special musical numbers. Eric also had the added luck to win the company’s NCAA March Madness pool with a bracket in the top 0.05% of all brackets on, which is funny because he doesn’t follow basketball hardly at all. The $1,000 prize went towards his season pass to Solitude this year! He’s been given two church callings in addition to a church “assignment”. He helps out in our primary as a “friend” to an autistic child, is in charge of email communications for our stake’s single adult ward and is an emergency preparedness neighborhood block leader. They just can’t get enough of him! At the new year he’ll be trading in his calling as a “friend” for being Danny’s nursery leader, which will hopefully encourage Daniel to attend nursery more frequently!

Progress on the house is coming along, though we’re sure there will be a never-ending supply of projects, we finally were able to put in a backyard complete with fresh sod and a planter box for our gardening ambitions. There was a  mix up with the sod delivery and it came a day earlier than expected but late in the day. Even though we had people who were willing to come and help in the morning Eric got excited about the sod and just started rolling it out, with the intention of just seeing how far he could get before it got too dark. Just before midnight he came into the house with all of the sod laid! It was especially fortunate as a rainstorm came in the next day which would have made the sod much heavier, and it made it so our sod could take good advantage of the moisture. Even though we hadn’t intended on additional purchases this year, we rounded out our backyard with a nice gas grill and playset for the kids.  Building the playset was yet another adventure.  It took us over a month to complete and after several trips to Home Depot for missing or broken parts we finished with some leftover pieces.  In retrospect we think we’d have been better off finding some plans and buying some lumber and building it from scratch, but we’re glad to have a fun playset for our kids to take advantage of in our yard.

We hope the new year brings joy to you all and that you will feel the love of our Savior in your life.

The Hansens

Family Pictures

 - by Brittny

A few months ago I posted about how we’d done some family pictures down at the LA temple for our 5th wedding anniversary.  When we were getting ready to do so I posted on Facebook that we were looking for a photographer in the LA area and we offered that we could work out an exchange with the photographer that we could hook them up with some Adobe software in exchange for the shoot, since Eric is an employee and gets a sweet discount.  We made a different arrangement with Mary and those pictures turned out great.  My college roommate’s mom – Lavon Maiersperger – saw my post as well.  She doesn’t live in Southern California so couldn’t do the temple pictures for us, but she was interested in making an exchange with us for pictures another time.  (I feel like I need to explain why we did pictures twice in one year.  It wasn’t at all because we didn’t like Mary’s pictures – we love them!  But we weren’t about to turn down a chance to get more pictures of our cute boys!)

We decided the best thing would be to meet at our house and then take pictures in some of the surrounding area.  We live where there’s a lot of open space and it’s beautiful at this time of year.  It seemed like a good way to minimize travelling time and get the best chance of happy boys for the pictures.

So, on the morning of our pictures I had just finished ironing my shirt when the doorbell rang.  I unplugged the iron and Danny and I ran down to let Lavon in then dashed upstairs to do the last few things.  As I was finishing taking out my curlers I heard Danny from the other side of the house scream out in pain.  Danny is our curious climber and he’s frequently locking himself in rooms, climbing up places that he can’t get down from, pinching himself in hinges etc.  So, I wasn’t too worried at first because it’s usually just something minor.  But I went to see what was the matter.  He was holding his hand, but nothing looked too wrong with it at first and I couldn’t see what he had done.   Then I realized that he’d just come out of the laundry room and that the iron, which had been on the ironing board, was on the floor.  I still didn’t know if the iron falling had just scared him, or what, but I took him to the bathroom to run his hand under some water just in case.  Sure enough, he’d burned his hand, and done a good job of it too.  He had redness that went across the whole pad of his hand that slowly turned into a massive blister!

Sad blister! As you can see, this was one of the ways we could convince Danny to smile at first was by taking his picture with Eric’s phone (a camera he’s used to). Look at that cute cheesey grin!

Not exactly the best way to start a picture day.  We figured there wasn’t too much more that we could do for him once the burn had been cooled down and put some aloe vera on it so we decided to go on with trying to take some pictures.  We drove down our block to where there’s a really pretty lookout into Utah Valley.  It’s one of our favorite places to go on a walk to as a family.  During the summer we try to take nightly walks that culminate in going to “see the valley”.  At first Danny didn’t want to get out of the car (he wanted to drive drive!), but we did eventually coax him out and got a few pictures taken at that overlook.

It didn’t last too long though and we soon decided to return to the house and try to let him run his hand under some cool water some more.  We figured we’d see if we could get it under control and then maybe try to take some more pictures.  It’s a decent drive to get up to our place so I was hoping to get Danny happy again so that we hadn’t wasted Lavon’s morning to drive up to us, just to have to reschedule.  While Danny played in the sink (which made him very happy, and our guest bathroom very wet) Sam went out back and Lavon got some pictures of him in our backyard.  Sam was being a major punk!  He wouldn’t smile for anything.  The pictures turned out really cute but not exactly showing a happy Sam.

We did finally get Danny happy again and brought him outside.  We put him and Sam on the grass and they were rather cute together.  Then our neighbor’s cat, Spook, came over and Danny was thrilled!  He *loves* our neighbor’s cat and his face lights up whenever he sees Spook.  It was awesome that Lavon was able to capture some of these looks of pure joy that Danny has.  Looking at the pictures you would think it was Sam who’d gotten his hand burned instead of Danny!

We might try again to see if we can get pictures of our family with everyone happy and smiling at the same time, but honestly, I love these pictures!  I love that they’re all taken in our own backyard and really show our boys personalities – blisters, frowns and all.  Thank you again Lavon!

(I don’t know if the full photo album is public, or if you’ll at least be able to view it all if you’re friends with either Eric or I but here’s the link to the full Facebook album)

Sam’s 3rd Birthday

 - by Brittny

I was cleaning out my email inbox tonight and found that I had a note to myself in there about some blog posts that I needed to write.  I felt good that I had actually managed to write most of them, but there was one that had gotten neglected – Sam’s birthday.  I felt even worse when I looked through my post drafts to find that I have an unposted draft of a post about Sam’s *2nd* birthday that never got finished.  I think I want these posts to be extra memorable and that task gets too daunting so I don’t get anything done.  Oops.  So I decided I’d just sit down and quickly write out some thoughts about Sam’s birthday.   I’m sorry there’s no pictures.  I’m sure we have some somewhere, but if I wait to post this until I find the pictures it will never get posted.. and 6 months is long enough to wait to get a post finished :P

So the thing Sam was most excited about this year for his birthday was the cake.  Not the presents or party or anything else… just the cake.  It wasn’t even that exciting of a cake.  We made cupcakes from a boxed mix and put frosting on those cupcakes.  No real cool decorations, or fancy recipe, just good ol’ Betty Crocker cupcakes.  But he talked about that cake for weeks on end.  He was SO excited about the cake.  Perhaps he will not share in his dad’s preference for pie :)

We threw a little birthday party for him.  Ok, so maybe it wasn’t as little as I had intended.  I started with just a few friends, and his cousin Skylar who he sees pretty regularly.  Then I thought that if I was inviting my sister I ought to also invite my brother.  Then I decided if I’d invited both of my siblings that were in the area I ought to also invite Eric’s siblings who were in the area, and his parents as well.  It was a crazy fun party, with lots of fun kids running around.  However I think in the future I might limit his parties to either being friends parties or family parties.  I’m more and more liking the rule of thumb that you can invite as many friends as you are years old :)

The best part of Sam’s birthday in my opinion happened the day after all the celebrations and birthday stuff was over.  The next morning Sam woke up and asked me “Can we have the day we already had?”  While it was hard to break his bubble and let him know that he doesn’t get to have a perpetual birthday, it did make me happy to know that we had succeeded in making it a special day for him :)

The Art of Crime

 - by Brittny

I’m starting to re-think my grand plan of going to Costco and Home Depot with my boys today.  In the little while that I let the boys play in the car while I was gathering my stuff and wrapping up a couple things Daniel started a life of petty crime as a graffiti artist.

Then while I quickly ran the sharpie into the house he found a pair of scissors and I made it back just in time to stop him from cutting his nice pants to shreds.  I didn’t even know we *had* either of those things in the car, let alone where to find them! Guess it’s time to go through my pins on cleaning to see if the link with the hints for getting sharpie out of anything really has ideas that work…

Update: I tried the idea from that link of using sunscreen and it totally worked.  There are only a few places where you can somewhat tell there might have been something drawn on, but really it was a miracle cure.  I just used Kroger brand spray on sun screen, a little bit of rubbing and a paper towel.  Magic!

All the Work in Our Family

 - by Brittny

Eric’s and my curtain rod fell down yesterday and Sam noticed it this morning. I asked him if we should put it back up and the following conversation ensued –

Sam: No, just dad should do it.

Me: Why just dad?

Sam: Because dad does all the work in our family.

Me: Uhm, ok, so what does mom do?

Sam: She just sleeps in bed.

Needless to say he won zero points for this conclusion, especially since it was 11:30am and I had just barely woken up Eric, while I’ve been up trying to mitigate the messes our boys have been making since 7:30am.  Which isn’t to say that Eric doesn’t do a lot of work in our family, but I certainly don’t spend my days just sleeping in bed!

First Day of School!!

 - by Brittny

Today was Sam’s first day of preschool!  So we got the obligatory first-day-of-school-in-front-of-the-front-door pictures –

We could’t convince him to put his hands at his sides or really look right at the camera but this shows better what Sam is really like anyways.  We did some quick haircuts before school this morning, which fortunately went much better than last year :P

I do feel like we’re cheating a little bit because his preschool is just at our next door neighbor’s house where he spends a lot of his time anyways.  Not exactly the most harrowing first day of school experience.  No real anxiety over whether or not he’s going to like his teacher or be comfortable in a new environment – he’s doing exactly what he begs to do all day long!  But really I think it’s going to be the perfect thing for him.  Sam loves learning and being around other kids, but he does get nervous sometimes about doing new things and going off on his own.  I think this will be a great step for him, and more importantly I think it will be a great experience that will build his confidence and love of learning.  Not to mention that this preschool is relatively inexpensive and just twice a week so it will give us lots of time to go and do things on our own that we enjoy.

I probably would have considered doing joy school again this year, but all the people I did it with last year have put their kids into different preschool programs.  It was a lot of fun, but it sort of disintegrated halfway through the year.  It didn’t help that of the 8 moms that were participating 5 were pregnant, 3 of whom were going to have their babies within a day of each other at one point.  In January we split off and changed it to being just a once-a-week playgroup and two of the other moms and myself continued to do more of a school program twice a week.  I really enjoyed doing joy school with Sam and hopefully next year I can find people who would want to do a similar program with Danny too!

Anyways, Sam is back from preschool now and it sounds like he loved it!  They made bags today and apparently he asked his teacher to draw his bouncy ball on it for him.  Whatever floats his boat :)  He walked in the door and wanted me to read aloud all the papers he brought home – even though they were mostly informational papers for my benefit.  We’re excited for a fun year!  Thanks Miss Anna for an awesome first day!

If you put a Brittny in charge of food storage…

 - by Brittny

If you put a Brittny in charge of food storage…

She might start watching for sales.

If she starts watching for sales…

She’ll probably notice that pasta is on sale this week.

If she notices that pasta is on sale….

She’ll probably want to buy some.

She’ll start to buy some.

She might get carried away and purchase upwards of 50 packages.

When she gets home, since she had a long and traumatizing excursion to the store, she might be too tired to put the pasta in the basement right away.

So it will sit in bags outside the basement door.

If the pasta is sitting in bags outside the basement door, a Sam will probably discover them.

If a Sam discovers the pasta, he will inevitably bury his brother in the packages of pasta while his brother lays there placidly.

(Luckily, the end of this story doesn’t end that they destroy the pasta and we need to watch for it to go on sale again… yet :)

And the Day’s Winner Is…

 - by Brittny

So yesterday was an interesting day.  We’ll just start at the beginning and you can see what you think.

The end of the year is approaching and we as a primary presidency have been scrambling a little to get our primary program together.  So on Monday night I stayed up a little bit later getting the responses from our kids compiled so we could write our script during our meeting the next day.  It was a big task, and while it took a good chunk of time to get through, it actually wasn’t as bad as I’d thought.  It still meant that I didn’t get to bed until after 1am, and since Danny hasn’t been sleeping real well lately, I knew that I’d pay for my late night the next day, but it seemed worth it.

The next morning Sam woke up at his usual 7am and came in to wake me up.  Luckily he managed to wake me up without waking up Daniel so I was able to crawl out of bed and get downstairs while Daniel continued to snooze.  Lately our morning routine has been that I’ll come downstairs with Sam, get him a bowl of cereal and turn on PBS kids.  Then I go back to bed and get another hour or so of sleep.   I fully intended to do that on this morning as well, however I started working on getting more things arranged for our presidency meeting and ended up staying awake as well.

Around 9am Daniel woke up too and we started to get everyone ready for the day.  By 11:30am I was feeling really good about myself – I had laid out clothes for myself, fed everyone breakfast, dressed Sam, cleaned the kitchen, gotten our meeting agenda prepared, prepared the conducting sheet for Sunday, distributed a better format of our babysitting co-op calendar and done a review of our family budget!  I was definitely feeling like I was the winner of the day!

I hopped into the shower with Daniel while I let Sam watch some PBS Kids.  After showering we dressed, dried my hair and got it into curlers, all by 12:30!  For me to curl my hair on a weekday is an accomplishment in and of itself, even though it doesn’t take super long finding those extra 5 minutes to throw the curlers in isn’t as easy as it might seem.  We grabbed Eric and headed downstairs to have some lunch as a family.

As I started to make myself some leftover enchiladas Danny was starting to get a little fussy and (as usual) the only thing he wanted was to be nursed.  So I sat on the rocking chair and ate my enchilada while Danny nursed, trying to spill as little of my lunch on him as possible.  When I’d finished eating I started to print out my last few items for our presidency meeting (our rocking chair is placed where I have access to the computer).  Unfortunately I had run out of paper in the printer and even after adding more the computer and printer were being finicky about actually printing my documents.  Luckily Eric saved the day and got it all worked out.

Meanwhile Danny had fallen asleep so I went and laid him down in his bed.  I had been planning on taking him and Sam to our neighbor who was hosting co-op babysitting that day, however, since Danny was asleep and Eric was going to be home we agreed that I would leave him home.  If he awoke while I was gone Eric could take him down to our neighbor’s to join Sam.  My meeting was at 1pm and as it was already a little past that time I raced out the door with Sam, dropped him at co-op and got to our presidency meeting.

Our meeting was very productive and we got a pretty good start on our program script.  We wrapped up right at 3pm when I was supposed to be picking up Sam (luckily co-op and our meeting were both in our neighborhood, so I was right on schedule).  When I hopped out of the car to pick up Sam I couldn’t find the co-op tickets that I’d grabbed before I left.  Somehow between leaving home and our meeting they’d gotten lost.  I could have driven 5 houses down, picked up some tickets, and driven back to get Sam but I decided I didn’t want to make them wait any longer for me and I’d drop tickets off later.  When the door opened I was surprised to see that Daniel wasn’t there, although I was glad since that meant he was probably at home still sleeping and would be quite pleasant for the rest of the day.  I gathered my Sam and we headed home.

As I opened up the door I discovered that Daniel was not, in fact, still sleeping, but downstairs playing while his dad ate some lunch.  When Danny spotted us walking through the door he ran over to give a great big hug to… Sam!  Danny gives the best hugs, but it’s fairly rare that they are granted to his big brother.  I think Danny must have missed having Sam around for the half hour that he had been awake.  It was SO sweet to see that affection between those two boys.  They really are awesome brothers and I’m so glad to have them.

Sam was hungry so we fixed him a snack while I worked on some things on the computer.  Daniel has gotten into a stage where he LOVES to climb and get into things.  Especially if he can find the worst things to get into.  So naturally, while I was working on the computer I had to periodically take him off of the table/chairs/counters, deter him from climbing up and dismantling  or turning on our stove,  and calmly remove from his grip the knives he had procured from our knife block.  Never a dull moment with Danny around!  Finally I decided that since the day had over all been a success, Danny was getting antsy, Eric  wouldn’t be expecting an early dinner, and we’d been needing to do a grocery run since Thursday that I would round up the boys and head to the store.

It took a little while to get everyone ready, find shoes etc.  We made it out to the car and I realized that I needed to grab a few more things out of the house, including Sam’s baby doll – Tinkey -so we could avoid a meltdown.  So we got out the door probably around 4:30, still not too bad considering I was doing this with a preschooler and a toddler.  I plugged in my phone so that I could listen to my book during the drive.  We hadn’t even left the neighborhood when I realized that Sam was way too quiet, and he hadn’t yet had his nap for the day.  Crap, even the short drive to the store, if Sam was that tired  he’d be fast asleep before we reached the store.  So I insisted that he sing songs with me as we drove down the mountain.  He protested that if we sang loud songs then “we were going to wake him up”… but that was kind of the point.  There’s no way I could let him take a nap after 4pm if I wanted any chance of him going to sleep that night.

We made it to Smith’s without Sam falling asleep and I knew once he got out and walking around he’d be ok.  So we got into the store and found that they were unfortunately out of the shopping carts with the attached kiddie cars in the front. Sad, but not a big deal.  I grabbed a regular cart and Sam got a child sized cart.  I put Danny in my cart and Sam put Tinkey in his and we headed inside.  As we got inside Danny was getting squirmy so I went to buckle him in and discovered that the male end of the buckle was missing.  So I pretended that I was buckling Danny in by sticking the fabric part of the belt into the other end of the buckle, knowing it wouldn’t hold him, but that it might give me a few minutes of him being tricked into thinking he was stuck in the shopping cart before he’d insist on being carried.  Our shopping was fairly uneventful, Sam occasionally wandered into the aisles and got in other people’s way or rammed his cart into me or tried to put Starbursts into his cart, and Danny got tired of being in the cart and convinced me to take him out a few times to “help” me push the cart from my arms (note: this is in fact of negative helping value as it means I have to grapple with a toddler and push with one arm, in case you weren’t sure) and kept having to be re-seated in the cart as his climbing instincts told him that he MUST stand in the cart despite mom’s opinions to the contrary.

Finally we had gotten everything on our list and made it to the checkout.  As we loaded up the belt Danny wanted to be taken out of the cart but I insisted that he stay in the cart until we made it to the end.  I was nearly finished unloading my cart when I had a sinking realization – the other thing that I was supposed to grab from the house when I went in to get Tinkey, was my wallet.  I quickly rifled through my purse and realized that I had in fact made it all the way to the checkout line without my wallet.  I finished loading the groceries onto the belt and went to the front.  Danny was trying to get out again but I quickly re-seated him as I turned to the cashier to ask if they could put the groceries on hold while I ran out to my car to get my wallet.  As I was starting to tell her this I see Danny in the corner of my eye stand up in the cart and look over just in time to see that him lunge out of the cart and go head over heels right onto the hard floor.  He lands right in the middle of his forehead with a loud SMACK.  Horrified, I quickly pick him up and snuggle him to my chest while trying to assess the damage.  His nose is bleeding and he has a huge bump already forming in the middle of his forehead.  The cashier works quickly to procure some paper towels, sends her bagger off to get some ice, and her supervisor closes off the lane so we aren’t rushed while taking care of the situation.  Another checker comes over to help reassure me and tells me, in a very kind way, that I should I have had him buckled in – which I assure her I would have except that the buckle was broken.  Of course, that doesn’t make it any less my own fault, I could have gone back and searched for a cart that had a fixed buckle, but it didn’t seem like it was worth the effort at the time.  I feel awful, and hate the feeling that every person in that part of the store is now watching and judging me with my screaming, bleeding son who I should have done more to keep safe.

Danny's bump

This was the best picture we could get that shows the bump Danny ended up with. It’s not discolored so it’s a little hard to see, but if you look at his forehead you will notice that there’s a big round bump in the middle of it.

When I’ve finished assessing Daniel and have decided that – while he’s still crying and bleeding – he’s going to be just fine.  The bump is nasty looking and his nose is still bleeding, but just normal bloody nose.  It doesn’t help that he’s been congested so all the blood is mixed with copious amounts of snot.  The blood is all over and he doesn’t want to let me touch him to clean it up, and is instead wiping it on my arm and chest when I can’t catch him to wipe it off first.

I finally finish telling the cashier about my wallet situation.  She makes arrangements with her supervisor to have the groceries put on hold while I run out to the car to search for my wallet.  I’m fairly certain that I’ve left my wallet in my diaper bag from the day before, so I haul out my two boys – one still bleeding and crying, the other off in la-la land – out to our car to search.  As I go through the car I realize that I’ve taken my diaper bag into the house and it’s not in our car.  This never happens.  I am the world’s worst person at taking the diaper bag back into the house. Many times I’ll put it in the car for church on Sunday and the next Sunday when we’re getting ready for church – it’s still in the car.  So for me to have taken it in after a single outing is totally unheard of.  Unfortunately, this means that my wallet is sitting at home next to our rocking chair.  Shoot.  So I call Eric and have him text me the information for one of our credit cards on the off chance that they might be able to type in the information on their computer.

As we’re walking back in, Danny still whimpering and bleeding a little bit, Sam spots his old nursery leader who works in the Fred Myer inside our Smith’s.  Sister Hong is one of the world’s most wonderful people and she keeps a stash of candy and fruit snacks with her so that when she sees kids she knows at the store she can give them a treat (note: this is not WHY she is such a wonderful person, just one of the many examples).  So of course Sam has to stop and say hi.  I recount our story to Ming-tzong and she commiserates and gives fruit snacks to both of my boys.  She doesn’t know it, but she was the hero of the day – those fruit snacks were what finally helped Danny to calm down and be somewhat happy again.

We walked back to the checkstand and from there over to customer service where I was told for sure that they would need to see the actual card to be able to process the transaction – not surprising, but it had been worth a shot.  So I quickly text Eric to ask him to come down with a credit card.  The store manager comes over and has me fill out an accident report while we wait for Eric.  They offered to get Danny a drink or something, but the fruit snacks have been enough to settle him back down.  I do just want to note that the employees of the Smith’s were SO helpful, professional and kind through this whole ordeal.  I’ve been impressed with their friendly service since the first time I went to this store and yesterday’s experience was no exception.  Even though they could have berated me for being a terrible mother who doesn’t buckle her child in, or been frustrated with me for being the idiot that leaves their wallet at home, they were truly very kind and understanding and helpful – for which I was very grateful.  It made an awful situation just a little bit easier to deal with.

After the accident reports were finished we still had to wait a few minutes for Eric to arrive.  Finally our knight in shining armor arrives on his noble steed – or Eric in his helmet arrives on his scooter, the details are a little vague at this point :P  As he walks in he’s looking at the checkstands for us and finally sees us at the end of the aisle at customer service.  He still doesn’t know about Danny’s fall until he gets to us and I explain what happened.  At this point, despite the paper towels I have to clean him off, he has blood spattered across his face and there is some on my chest and arm – we probably look like we’ve just come from a murder.  Danny jumps into Eric’s arms and I think all of us are glad to see him with us again.  Eric pays for our groceries and I’m gratified to find out that once we put in our membership rewards number our total drops from $205 to $130 (pasta was on sale for $0.50/bag from its usual $1.50 so I had stocked up for our food storage).  A savings of $70 is a small consolation prize for what we went through, but better than nothing!

We go out to the car and get all the groceries packed up.  I’m grateful Eric was there to help load up the kids and groceries since I’m a little exhausted at this point, and it’s always easier managing the whole process with two people rather than one.  Finally we’re in the car and I’ve given Sam his donut that he earned for being relatively good at the store.  Sam doesn’t always get a donut on our shopping trips but we’d passed by the bakery case on our way into the store and he had asked for one.  I made the deal that if he was good we could maybe get one, knowing that if he didn’t see it again we’d probably escape without them.  Unfortunately my poor planning had made it so we ended up back by the bakery section right at the end of the excursion and since things had gone relatively well I couldn’t really refuse him.  I’m really grateful now that we had gotten the donut especially after everything else that we went through, it seems like a nice way to mediate the whole experience.

As I hop in the car I decide to listen to my book to help calm my nerves a little bit as we drive back home.  When we get about two minutes out of the parking lot I remember the reason I hadn’t listened on the way down – I’m supposed to be keeping Sam awake.  I look back at him but it’s already too late, Sam is totally passed out, donut in hand.  We get home and I lay him on the couch in hopes of a short nap, then I put the groceries away and start pulling out food for dinner.  It’s nearly 7pm at this point and Danny’s getting tired and hungry.  So we stop pulling out leftovers and sit down on the rocking chair and he nurses to sleep.

After putting Daniel in his bed I get Eric to come downstairs for dinner, we wake up Sam, eat dinner and watch some TV.  I’m of course a little worried about Danny after his big fall and a bit concerned that he might have a concussion, even though he’s been acting like his normal self, just tired at the end of a long day.  I’m grateful when he wakes up so we can examine him a bit more in the comfort of our own home.  He is just fine, his only souvenir from our adventure is a big lump on his head, but otherwise is no worse for the wear.

Finally it’s time for bedtime, I get Sam to bed, get some cleaning and work done, and finally around 11:30 I take Danny up to bed as well.  I had every intention of going back to my own bed after nursing him to sleep, but the next thing I knew I woke up from a nightmare in Daniel’s bed at 4am, guess the day wore me out too!

So, while the day started well, I’m going to say that yesterday’s winner was not in fact myself.  Luckily today and tomorrow are days that are devoid of any outside commitments or errands so I will happily stay locked up at home  with my two kids just cleaning and doing at-home things :)

By the way, if you read my personal blog as well and read this post about our adventure at the swimming pool, please don’t call CPS on me.  I promise most of our adventures have no accident reports and go off just fine.  We go to the pool and Wal-mart and Smiths and the park all the time without any major mishaps.  When they do happen I feel some catharsis by blogging about it, but I promise I’m a better blog than my blogs might make me seem!

Sam and the Plan of Salvation

 - by Brittny

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo – picture courtesy of Wikipedia

A couple months back I emailed this story to myself so I could remember to post it later.  I guess it’s later now :)

One night I was reading scriptures with Sam and we were discussing 1 Nephi 2:25  – “Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy.”  We had read that scripture the night before but Sam had gotten really fixated on it so we read it again and discussed the Creation and Fall.  When I discuss things like this with Sam I usually lead by asking him questions, even if I don’t think he knows the answer.  I like to make him think about things rather than just telling him about them.  Sam surprised me with how much he knew without me telling him!  He knew that Adam was the first man, and he was alone so he needed Eve and lots of other details. I wish I had written down more of the details that he knew (I think one was that Eve was made from Adam’s rib) but I was typing it up on my phone so I just wrote down the abbreviated version.

After we’d gone through a lot of the story Sam started pulling out his “why” questions (he is 3 years old after all, everything get’s a “why” :P )  “Why did Heavenly Father create Adam?  … Why does Heavenly Father love us? … Why are we Heavenly Father’s children?” etc.  I tried my best to give him good answers and not just say “because that’s the way it is” as tempting as it was.  I had used the reasoning that Heavenly Father loves us because we are his children because he had created us, so he asked – “Why did Heavenly Father create us?”  Uhm, good question Sam.  I couldn’t come up with a good answer right on the spot that didn’t just send us back in a circle so I decided to turn the question back on him.  His answer was “because we love our family.”  Translation – Heavenly Father created us because families are important, we love our families so Heavenly Father of course wanted to have us as children.  I was just floored by that sweet and insightful answer.  I don’t know that I would have understood that concept until I was a parent myself, so I was pleased that Sam could come up with that at such a young age.  Sam is such a smart kid and I definitely think we learn as much from him as he does from us!

Sam Perspectives

 - by Brittny

Apparently summer is a busy time to be a stay-at-home mom/freelance web developer, so blogging hasn’t been a high priority lately.  But I was about to post a few Sam quotes on Facebook and decided they would be better placed in a blog post.  So here are some of Sam’s perspectives on life lately –

Last night as I was reading scriptures with Sam we were talking about Korihor and got to the part where he had to go door to door to beg for food.  I realized this was probably something that didn’t really mean anything to Sam so I explained to him how we ought to work for the things that we have.  As part of the discussion I tried to explain to him how Daddy and Mommy work so that we have food in our house and a house to live in and all the things we have.  So I asked him what he thought we did for work.  He said, “Mom… does keyboarding and mousing.  And Dad… plays with his computer.”  I like that even though the things Eric and I do for work might seem very similar to Sam he had different (and apt!) descriptions for the differences :)

Also last night I was trying to convince Sam to go upstairs and pick out some pajamas so we could get him ready for bed.  He replied, “No, I want to do it like dad.”  Which was a fairly cryptic answer so we asked him how dad does it.  Sam said, “I want to sleep in my clothes like dad.”  For those of you who don’t know, Eric works from home about 75% of the time, so most days his clothes for the day are just basketball shorts and a t-shirt.  I had to explain to Sam that what he was requesting to do would actually be the opposite of what Eric does – Eric doesn’t sleep in his clothes, he works in his pajamas ;)

This last story I posted on Facebook earlier this week, but I think it’s worth preserving here.  I was putting Sam to bed on Monday and asked him what he thought of the Olympics.  He told me about what his favorite event, “they jumped and then grabbed their toes and flipped and turned and into the water like a rocketship!” It’s hard to get an exact quote since he was acting out a lot of it and showing me the pike position in his bed, but I thought he was pretty cute.  He gave Eric a similar explanation, complete with acting it out, when Eric came up to say good night to him.  Can you tell that we’d been watching synchronized diving?

I thought along with this post it would be appropriate to post one of Sam’s recent favorite music videos. He’s learned some of the lyrics and will randomly sing it sometimes, he’s a lot of fun :)