Month: January 2012

Reading æ.l.ɺ.ɛ.æ.d.jɛ

 - by Brittny

Maybe Sam really was reading to Daniel after all...

Every night before bed Sam has a pretty specific routine that we go through.  Part of that routine includes me reading a story to him.  Tonight he was messing around when I asked him to pick out his story so finally I picked out one for him instead.  He was very ticked that we weren’t reading the story he wanted, but I held firm that if he’d wanted to pick that he needed to listen to me and obey.

Luckily I’d picked out one that he likes almost as much as I do – Already Asleep which is illustrated by his very talented Aunt Julie.  As we started reading Sam grabbed my hand and was insistent that I point to the words as I read them.  I think I’ve done that intermittently but it was funny to have him demand that I help him follow along.

Then about halfway through the book Sam really wanted to “read” the pages, so he’d have me say the words and then he’d repeat them.  It was pretty cute.

After a few more pages he took the book and started sounding out the words himself!  I was amazed!  I’ve been trying to show him that he can sound out words every so often, but I knew it was something he was a little young for.  But he took the book and started sounding out the letters on the page all by himself!  Granted, the sounding out was pretty elementary.  In sounding out the word “already” it sounded more like /æ.l.ɺ.ɛ.æ.d.jɛ/ (yes, I got my degree in Linguistics so I’m kinda excited to have a chance to use IPA), for those of you non-linguists in the audience it would be spelled out something like ah-luh-r-eh-ah-duh-yuh.  English is a stupid language to have to learn, but I was just impressed that he could do any sort of sounding out at all!  I think I might need to find him some simpler books to practice with…

FHE Desserts

 - by Brittny

Sam *loves* Family Home Evening.  It is one of his favorite things in the world.  Frequently during the week I will watch him “play” Family Home Evening.  He’ll sing a song, say a prayer, pretend to have a lesson, sing and pray again.  It’s SO cute.  We haven’t always been awesome at actually doing FHE though because we wouldn’t have a lesson quite ready.  Fortunately for us our sister-in-law made us a whole bunch of Family Home Evening Lessons for Christmas so now it’s even easier for us to make sure we actually do Family Home Evening each week.  (Thanks Susan!)

As everyone knows, the most important part of FHE is the treats afterwards.  Since we’re pretty lame our post-FHE treat is pretty much always Oreos.  It’s already made, easy, makes everyone happy, and we fairly consistently have some on hand.  In fact, I think Sam would be surprised to find out that Oreos are *not* a church mandated part of FHE ;)

Tonight after we finished our FHE Sam was excited for his treat, so I pulled out the Oreos and started eating some with him.  Eric had just gotten Daniel back to sleep in his arms so he retreated upstairs with the baby so he could keep him asleep (particularly since Danny’s been sick recently with a little bit of croup :( )

I walked away from Sam momentarily and looked over just as Sam was going up to the counter to reach for another Oreo.  I didn’t so much mind that he was getting a second Oreo, just that he was going for it without asking.  So I mildly scolded him with a, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?”  To which Sam responded something about Daddy and milk cookies (he calls Oreos “Daddy milk cookies” because they are Eric’s favorite treats and he – of course – always eats them with milk).  I decided to count that as a request and handed him an Oreo.

Sam immediately took that cookie, ran upstairs… and gave it to Eric.  He was so concerned that his Daddy hadn’t gotten a treat after FHE that he wanted to make sure that Daddy was taken care of. He didn’t even come back and ask for another cookie for himself.  I’m constantly amazed at the sweet and caring nature of our little Sam :)

The Magic of Costco

 - by Brittny

So recently Eric and I have been debating whether or not to keep our Costco membership.  We don’t go super frequently and when we do it seems like we end up buying lots of things that we don’t really need.  Not things that we don’t *want* mind you, but let’s be honest, I probably would have survived just fine without a box of 72 mini quiches.  Originally I had justified our membership because it was supposedly the cheapest place to get diapers, however our boys don’t do well in Huggies or Kirkland Signature diapers and Costco doesn’t carry Pampers.  For just about anything else we just don’t have enough people to really justify the massive bulk purchases.  So we’d decided to at least let our membership lapse for awhile and wait until we next really felt like we needed it.

Our Sam is what you might call a picky eater.  In fact, I’ve recently noticed a pattern in the foods he will eat.  Pretty much everything he eats is a combination of a carbohydrate and cheese.  Macaroni & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, pizza, crackers & cheese, english muffins with cheese, nachos, rice with cheese, goldfish crackers, etc.  Those are his main staples (yes I realize that he gets the cheese eating gene from the Anderson side of the family and that his mother is totally to blame for his poor eating habits *hangs head* ) and I have a hard time getting him to eat just about anything else.

However, today I realized that Costco has magical powers.  When we walked into Costco today Sam was telling me that he was SO thirsty, so I told him I’d get us a “cool fruit drink” (aka a berry smoothie) on our way out. Now, back in August I bought a Blendtec blender and we have, consequently, had a lot of smoothies around our house.  Sam won’t touch them with a 10 foot pole.  But when we got it at Costco it was the best thing he’d ever had!  He excitedly drank it the whole way home.

Tonight he wanted more of his “cool fruit drink” so I offered that we could make a smoothie in our blender.  Sam helped me get the fruit and juice in the blender and I even let him push the button.  But when I gave it to him… nothing.  He didn’t even touch it.  In the end I had to drink the whole pitcher of smoothie myself.

When we go to Costco he will eat *anything* the sample ladies are handing out, or anything that comes from the takeout window up front.  Eric had mentioned this to me before, he got Sam to eat all kinds of things while on an adventure with him.  I blogged about this phenomenon a little over a year ago, but without actually realizing it.  However, if we buy those same things and bring them home, we might as well be trying to poison him!

So, the upshot is we might have to hang on to our Costco membership for awhile.  At least until we can convince Sam to try new foods at home…


2011 in Review

 - by Brittny

Well, it’s time for our obligatory year-end update on the family. It’s hard to believe we’ve been in our new home for over a year now! Time has flown by for our little family. We are very grateful for blessings and support we received this year from our family and friends. Adjusting to a homeowner’s life took more effort than anticipated, but it’s been a fun experiencing learning more about lighting, electrical wiring, installing water sprinklers, and other handy skills. I get the feeling that there is a never-ending supply of home improvement or maintenance jobs in our future.

Of course, the most exciting thing that happened this year had nothing to do with our house, but with our new baby!  Our sweet Daniel was born on 15 April at 11:00pm.   He weighed in at 7lbs 9oz and was 20 inches long.  Of course, he isn’t the same small baby that you see in that first post – he is 8 months old now! He is an extremely happy and easy-going child.  His smile constantly makes our day, and makes him lots of friends wherever we go.  All of a sudden, he has started moving around a lot! He is crawling very quickly and confidently, has taken to standing on his own for a few seconds at a time, and even crawling up stairs–much to our dismay. It won’t be long before he gets moving on two feet!  He has developed a few “tricks” like clapping, and clicking his tongue.  Our favorite thing he does though is sniffing.  Every so often he will scrunch up his face and start sniffing really hard for a little bit.  It doesn’t seem like he’s really trying to smell anything, and I’ve checked to make sure he didn’t have anything stuck in his nose, he just enjoys sniffing I guess.  His face when he does it though cracks us up.

He started out as an amazing sleeper which was totally new to us.  However in October we did some travelling and he got sick.  Since then we had at least one person in our family sick through the end of November.  Daniel’s sleeping habits haven’t been the same since, but he is still the least complaining child.  I took him in for his 6-month check up at the end of October and told the doctor that he was acting just fine, but that his eyes had been really goopey.  It was weird.  She said it was probably nothing and started to check him out.  When she looked in his ears she said “oh!  He has an ear infection!”  It was just a viral one so nothing that we could really do about it except let it run its course, but I was totally surprised that he had something really wrong with him because he’d been acting so cheerful!  That’s just the way our Danny rolls :)

Sam is a really good big brother to baby Daniel, but of course not without a good bit of jealousy mixed in.  He will be turning three in March, but you would think he was much older by the way he speaks. Whenever you ask him a yes or no question, he rarely responds with a one-word answer. If you ask him, “Sam, are you done eating yet?” he’ll respond, “No, not quite” or “Yes, I am done eating.”  Or the other night Eric asked him, “Sam, would you like some dinner?” and Sam responded with a gasp and then said, “Dada! That would be so great! I do want some dinner!”. He loves reading and asking very precocious questions. For example, Eric took care of Sam one day while Brittny went to a meeting: Sam: “Is Mom home yet?” Eric: “No, not yet.” Sam: “Is she at school or play?” (Referencing a particular line of “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam”)  Or on the day that he was wearing a shirt that said “USA” he looked down and said, “U-S-A.  Does that spell freedom?”  He has started going to joy school twice a week and loves it.  Even though he’s a little bit young for preschool we’re really glad that he has the opportunity to participate in this activity.  He loves the chance to learn and to play with other kids.  Sam loves letters and reading.  He can spell a few words – his favorites are Sam and Eric.  His favorite show is Super Why, and he even dressed up as Super Why for halloween!

Eric is working harder than ever after being baptized by fire into the Product Management group at Adobe. There is a lot to learn, but he enjoys the way the job challenges him and gives him opportunities to grow. He also is having a lot more opportunities to travel lately visiting clients all over the world from Sydney to New York. Probably the most exciting thing for Eric this year is that he developed an algorithm for Adobe that they’ve started to patent.  He’s pretty excited to have his name on a patent, even if all the rights are assigned to the company and not himself. He always dreamed of inventing things when he was a young child, and now that dream is being realized! His church calling as a building scheduler is relatively simple. All he has to do is answer the phone and maintain an online calendar, but he is still very involved in church with the ward choir and putting on special musical numbers.

Brittny was released a couple months ago from her calling as the Nursery coordinator, which worked out well since Sam had been well adjusted to attending on his own for a little while now. She was then called to be the Secretary in the Primary! So her workload has expanded dramatically, and she still helps out with the Nursery from time to time. All of the exposure to so many little kids has turned our family into a petri dish for the illnesses floating through the ward. We’ve had at least one member of our family sick every week since the beginning of October until a few weeks ago (*knock on wood in hopes of keeping good health*). We’ve started implementing some new healthcare practices (multivitamins for everyone, extra hand washing etc) to hopefully ward off more nursery-borne sicknesses in the future! Brittny also still works from home as a freelance web programmer whenever she gets a moment’s rest from chasing kids. With Eric’s new job position the extra money isn’t really necessary, but it’s nice for Brittny to have the hobby and extra spending money. She appreciates the reminder that she’s good at things other than changing diapers and cleaning dishes (especially since she’s not so good at the dishes part!). But she does a great job caring for our two little ones, the most important job in our family.

So that’s our family update for the year. It’s been very exciting despite the fact we didn’t have to move, and that’s something to be really excited about! Our best wishes go out to you for an excellent 2012!