Category:daniel’

Hurricane Danny

 - by Brittny

You wouldn’t believe that such a cute face could cause so much destruction.

Today as we were sitting down to dinner I was telling Eric about all the destruction just Daniel has caused today.  As I went through the list *I* couldn’t believe how long it was – and I was there for it!  If you ever come over to my house and wonder why it is such a mess here is a list of most of the mischief Danny has gotten into since he woke up this morning –

  • I woke up to find 5 pieces of bread jammed into our toaster oven (which I had fortunately unplugged the night before)
  • As we were just about ready to head out the door for a visiting teaching appointment, Danny climbed up on the kitchen counter and managed to get himself all wet.  Oh, and also the counter where my cell phone was charging, getting both the cell phone and charger wet (fortunately no damage seems to have been done to either of those electronic devices).
  • While I was making soup for dinner tonight and had walked away to let it simmer, he climbed up on the counter and dumped a whole cutting board full of kale on the floor.
  • He threw the spice jar of paprika to the floor forcefully enough to break it
  • He got into a package of spaghetti noodles and broke quite a few all over the floor
  • Sam pulled out the eggs from the fridge to play “egg-y mess”.  Fortunately I found him before he could start actually playing this game.  However Danny found one of the empty egg shells that was still in the container and proceeded to smash it into a million pieces on the carpet while I put the rest of the eggs back in the fridge.
  • Sam and Daniel got into the upstairs bathroom and filled up the sink with water, soap and a whole roll of toilet paper, which obviously was unusable afterwards.
  • I attempted to make some home made granola bars this afternoon.  They turned out more like granola cereal so we put it in bowls and were eating it that way.  Danny took his bowl and dumped it on my rocking chair.
  • Later while I was making dinner, Danny found crushed red pepper flakes on the counter and dumped the WHOLE jar into that granola
  • In the afternoon Daniel asked for some chocolate milk.  I made him up some.  A little while later I found that he and Sam had taken the container of chocolate powder and dumped a bunch of it on the counter.  I confiscated the container and put it on a high shelf.  Sam then opened the pantry, climbed up and pulled it out and started feeding the chocolate powder to Danny using the lid as a spoon.  Oh, did I mention that Danny didn’t take a nap today?  Anyone want to guess why?
  • Danny found pens multiple times today and used them to draw on the doors of our entertainment center.
  • A picture on our fridge of Eric’s parents fell down during the day.  Danny found it and ripped a corner off.
  • For Easter Danny received some bubbles.  He found one of the three bottles and dumped it all out on the kitchen floor (at least that’s basically soap right?)
  • While the granola bars were cooking this afternoon Danny found the jar of peanuts and dumped quite a few of them out on the floor.
  • Recently Danny has figured out opening doors, and of course his favorite is to go out of our front door.  I had been able to deter him for awhile by engaging the dead bolt since he can’t reach that high.  However he’s found that by using his ride-on Lightning McQueen toy he can pull it up to the door and unlock the front door.  That of course meant that one of our activities this afternoon was repeatedly bringing him out of our front yard, especially since he didn’t have any pants on over his diaper.

There was more, but as you might imagine, I’m exhausted from trying to keep up with him all day.  So I can’t remember the others.  And yes, all of those things happened just today.  We ended the day by him throwing a HUGE fit, hitting me repeatedly and going into time out, and finally just passing out in my arms.  Please bless that he sleeps for a looooooong time tonight.

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)

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!

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!

Daniel’s First Birthday

 - by Brittny

Sunday was Daniel’s birthday! I can’t believe it’s already been a year since we welcomed this cute bug into our family, and I can’t imagine our family without him.  Our celebrations were pretty low key. I figure doing too much for a one year old will just overwhelm them, and my goal is just to make it a good day for the birthday boy.

Since it was Sunday we had church in the early afternoon.  I bought him a new Sunday outfit which he looked adorable in, although a few sizes too big for our little pipsqueak.  Then we came home and it was naptime.  We tried to get Daniel to nap with Eric so that I could start making preparations for our celebration that night but he didn’t sleep really soundly.  I think he had about 3 thirty minute naps when all was said and done.  Not exactly what we were hoping for but oh well.

We had Eric’s parents over for dinner.  Daniel chowed down!  Some days he’ll eat a lot of solid foods and some days he just wants to be held, but he just sat in his high chair and ate and ate and ate!  It was pretty fun to watch.  I think it helped that one of his birthday presents was  some sippy cups with straws and so he was having an easier time drinking with his meal.  Usually we’ll start feeding him solids and he gets distracted and wants to nurse, which will put him to sleep and then that’s the end of that.  It was really gratifying to see him enjoy the food so much, especially since he was the guest of honor!

Of course we had the traditional first birthday cake mess-fest :)  Danny was very tentative at first but then he got into clawing at the cake. I don’t think he actually ate much, but he certainly enjoyed the cake so I think that’s all that matters.  That was pretty much the extent of our celebrations, nothing too exciting but Daniel seemed so pleased at the end of it all that I think it was about perfect :)

For those of you who have no desire to watch the 9 minutes of Daniel smashing his birthday cake (i.e. everyone except his grandma), here are some still shots of the action:

At the end of the day we re-watched the videos that we’d taken at his birth. It was neat to get to go back and re-live those first few moments of his life, and watch him and Sam meeting for the first time.  It was interesting to watch and I could remember how much pain that delivery caused and how exhausted I felt afterwards, but still thinking “Aww, baby!  We should do that again!”  You would think that the pain and exhaustion and everything would be a good deterrent from thinking of going through it all again, but apparently not.  And no, this isn’t any sort of announcement!  I was pregnant with Daniel while I was still nursing Sam and I got SO anemic and weak.  I weigh less now than I did then (thank you breastfeeding and a week of food poisoning) and I’m pretty sure my body couldn’t handle another pregnancy until I have Daniel weaned, which does not seem to be on the near horizon.  But these babies are miracles and I feel so privileged to be part of bringing them into this world.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about Danny so I’ll take this opportunity to give an update.  Danny had a rough winter and was sick nearly every week from October through February.  Never anything serious, just coughs, colds, runny noses etc.  Just enough to make him miserable :(  As a result he’s gotten into the habit of sleeping in Eric’s and my bed exclusively and I haven’t had the heart to move him out again.  It’s probably about time to start doing it but he is really fun to snuggle with.  It’s also meant that he didn’t eat very much and he’s pretty low on the growth charts.  He still nurses more than he eats solids by a long shot.  This has been good for my figure, but not quite as good for his.  I just don’t think I can keep up with the demands of a growing toddler!  So I’m working on feeding him more solids but it will be a slow process I’m sure.

One of the funny things with Danny is he started standing around 7 months, and would just stand but make no attempt to go anywhere.  He got to be a really solid stander too.  I’d watch him stand in one place for 5 minutes at a time without losing his balance. He could even squat down and stand back up from that squatting position without any trouble at all!  My mom called him a meerkat because he would scurry around on all fours and then stand up at attention and get back down and scurry around again.  It was a pretty apt description of him too!  Finally on Sam’s birthday (10 1/2 months)  he took his first couple steps.  After that he’d take a a few steps just about every day for about a month, but never more than about 4 steps and he didn’t show any interest in taking more.  Then a couple weeks ago he suddenly decided that he could walk!  And off he went!  This past week he’s even started running a little bit.  It’s so funny to see him suddenly have this mobility and just running around like he owns the place.  For some reason I feel like he looks smaller when he’s standing and walking than he does when he’s crawling.  I think it’s just so funny to see such a small thing walking around that it emphasizes how little he is, whereas it seems natural to see him crawling.

Danny’s started talking a little and jabbering A LOT.  He loves to make noises with his voice and sounds like he’s talking to us all the time.  He doesn’t have too many actual words yet, mostly just mama, dada and done, but I’m guessing that it’s going to be like with walking, all of a sudden he’ll realize that he can communicate with words and his vocabulary will explode all at once.

Daniel LOVES animals.  He is very much the opposite of Sam in that regard :)  Whenever he sees any sort of animal – the cat next door, stuffed monkeys, YouTube videos of puppies – his face lights up and he starts to squeal in a way that’s unique to finding animals.  It’s so adorable!  I have a feeling he’s going to be our child that is constantly vying for a pet.  Unfortunately for him, Eric and I decided before we got married that we’d rather have more kids than having kids and pets.  Especially since there are lots of allergies in my part of the gene pool (and Danny seems to have inherited that quality from me) pets just aren’t much of an option.  Luckily our next door neighbor has pets so we’re hoping that Danny can be satisfied with helping them care for their animals as he gets older.

Daniel really hates his carseat.  He starts squirming and crying as soon as we so much as walk up to the car now, and will cry for long stretches of time when we put him in.  We think it’s going to help when we can turn his carseat around, which we can do once he gains another pound or two (part of my motivation for feeding him more solid foods).  I know the recommendations have changed and they want us to keep him rear facing until he’s 2 but I don’t think the safety benefits of keeping him rear facing outweigh the dangers of driving around with a screaming child!  We’re making sure we at least get him to the old requirements, but then it’ll be time to turn him forwards.

Daniel shows no signs of separation anxiety like Sam had.  A few weeks ago we went to the park and Daniel spent the whole time trying to crawl as far away from me as he could.  He loves to explore and has no qualms about being far away from me.  It’s definitely been a shock to my parenting style!  With Sam if I turn to go another way he quickly turns to follow me.  Daniel couldn’t care less and would be fine heading off in the other direction whether I’m there or not.  I’m so fascinated by how much of these little guys’ personalities just comes pre-wired.

I’m sure I could keep going on about our Danny but I think that’s enough for now.  We love this sweet kid.  His smile can light up a room and he’s quick to share it with others.  We’re so glad to have him in our family, we love you kiddo!

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!

Come on get in the boat, fish!

 - by Brittny

Today was a momentous day.  Today we received, what will hopefully be, Sam’s last shipment of diapers.  Wahoo!  We plan to give potty training a go once Christmas is past.  However, that wasn’t the most exciting part of the day.  The exciting part was that those diapers came in a great big box!  What toddler boy doesn’t love having a huge box in his front room?

So, of course, I put the boys in the box to let them play around.  Sam hadn’t yet gotten to the stage in life where he hops in a box and it immediately becomes a racecar/spaceship/secret bunker etc.  So when I asked him what it was he looked at me like, “Uhm, a box, duh mom.”  So I suggested that maybe it was a boat.  That was immediately a hit!  He started to pretend he was going to the promised land (yes, he’s watched the Animated Scripture videos a few times :) ).  He then told me “Mom!  Float. My. Boat!”  Which I thought was a pretty hysterical request.  He also asked me for a “rower shovel” (more commonly referred to as a paddle, I like hearing how Sam describes things that he doesn’t know the names for!).  It’s so much fun to see these little kids’ imagination come to life!

Poor Danna

 - by Brittny

If you’re anything like me then you come up with great ideas for presents to get your kids throughout the year but as soon as Christmas/birthdays roll around you come up blank and have to scramble for ideas.  So to combat this I started a running “wish list” for each of my boys so that I could keep track of things I think they would like.  I keep them on Amazon so that it’s just a quick click to add things to each of their lists.  Tonight as I was gearing up for Christmas shopping I took a quick peek at the wish lists I’d compiled for each of my boys.  Sam’s list had 106 items, while Daniel’s list had a mere 4 items.  Eric commented that according to Amazon I love Sam much more than I love Daniel.

So to make up for this apparent neglect of my sweet baby I decided it was time for a gratuitous Daniel update!  (Ok, so I’ve been meaning to write this post anyways, but this gave me a good excuse to get my rear in gear and do it)  So without further ado, here’s how our wonderful 7 month old baby is!

I took Daniel in for a doctor’s appointment at the end of October and got his new stats –

Weight – 15lbs 14oz – 20th percentile

Length – 26 1/4 inches – 25 percentile

Head Circumference – 17 inches – 25 percentile

So all in all he’s pretty even.  When I went in to the doctor I mentioned that he hadn’t been sleeping quite as well recently and that he’d had sorta goopey eyes, but not so much so that we’d been worried about it or anything, just noticed.  I had chalked it up to allergies or something minor.  As the doctor was checking him out she was like “Oh!  He has a very infected ear!”  No wonder he hadn’t been sleeping quite as well and had goopey eyes.  Now I have to explain that really the changes were VERY minor.  He hadn’t been fussy or anything, he’d still been a very happy baby.  I was SHOCKED to find out that he had an ear infection.  He’s such a low key mellow kid and such a change from what Samuel was like as a baby.  We’ve decided if that’s what he’s like with a pretty good ear infection we’re going to have to try to listen up closely for any minor complaints because they’re likely to be worth listening to!  Aside from the ear infection though he looked fabulous.

That really pretty well sums up what it’s been like to have Daniel in our family, he’s just a delight to have around.  He’s always happy and smiling, and very friendly.  I don’t think I’ve once taken him anywhere without him making friends with someone!

He’s starting to get some fun tricks.  He can army crawl all over the house pretty quickly, and he’s starting to pull himself up to standing a little bit.  He loves to “talk” and giggle to people.  He had been a really good sleeper up until about the time he got that ear infection.  Since then he’s stopped really wanting to sleep on his own, but he’s been teething so that has definitely hindered his progress on getting back in his own bed.  He now has his two bottom teeth, and he loves to use them to eat cheerios and crackers or whatever Sam has thrown on the floor.

Daniel also really loves the TV.  It’s so funny to see his face light up when the TV goes on.  We call him our little couch potato.  And yes, I know that I’m not supposed to let my baby watch TV, but if Sam’s watching SuperWHY I’m not likely to keep Daniel from watching too, especially when he gets so excited about it!  But his favorite thing to watch on the TV is himself.  Eric will sometimes hook his phone up to the TV and show the videos he has of Daniel.  Daniel thinks this is about as cool as things can get.  He will laugh and look at the TV like “Wow, what a clever and funny baby!  He’s so smart!  Have you guys seen what a cool guy he is?!”  It’s even better to watch Daniel watching videos of himself than it is to watch the videos themselves!

Unfortunately you don’t have Daniel to watch the videos with you, but you *can* watch the videos yourself and judge whether or not he really is as clever and wonderful as he thinks he is (I tend to agree with him, but as his mother, I am a little biased ;) )  Here are some of our recent Daniel photos and videos –


This one is his favorite to watch, the one that makes him think he’s so clever :)


A few weeks ago Daniel started sniffing things. I don’t know why but I find this hilarious, so I had to get video of it!


Eric was eating a sucker while holding Daniel, this is the result of that activity :)


In case you were wondering what happens when you give a pacifier to a teething child. You can see that he also thinks this is pretty clever :)

These two pictures were taken within a day of each other.  They illustrate the perils of having a two year old brother and mom turning her back for a minute –

Yes, those are maxi pads stuck to his head. Apparently we need to adjust the child lock on one of our bathroom cabinets...

... and yes, here his head is inside the cover of a DVD case. I know the picture is kinda blurry, my camera was giving me grief and Daniel was starting to get mad so this was as good as it gets.

Sometimes things happen which don’t involve his head…

Yup, what could be more fun than putting stickers all over your brother's back?

I think that’s all for now.  The upshot is, despite Sam’s wish list being longer than Daniel’s, we really do love this little kid a LOT.  One of these days I’m even going to get around to getting a good picture of him and adding him to our sidebar pictures so he looks like he’s part of our family… but don’t hold your breath, life’s pretty busy with these two munchkins around!

Three Months of Danny

 - by Brittny

I totally thought I had posted this a couple months ago, whoops!  I think I was waiting to get some of the better pictures of Danny off my camera, but oh well.  When I get around to that I’ll post those too, but this has waited long enough!

On Friday our Daniel turned three months old.  I can’t believe it’s already been that long since he was born.  It still seems like we only just brought him home from the hospital!  He is such a good baby and getting to be so fun.  He’s super smiley and giggly.  He has overcome his fear of Sam recently and it’s so cute to watch the two of them play together.  Danny gets so excited when Sam starts paying attention to him.  I really want to get video of it but whenever I pull out the camera Sam starts hamming it up for the camera rather than playing with his little brother.  One of these days though I’ll get it and post it for sure!

He’s also quite the mover.  He loves to just kick his little legs.  After watching him get excited I better understand why I felt like he was holding kickboxing classes in my stomach before he was born.  He probably was!  On Saturday he was laying on the floor with Eric and doing his kicking while lying on his back and was actually able to use it to scoot halfway across the room!  Certainly not the most conventional way to get around, it’s pretty funny to watch.

Anyways, we just love this little boy so much and are so glad to have him in our family!

Poor Daniel, he looked so uncomfortable, but he was fast asleep so I couldn't bring myself to move him either!

Daniel’s 2 Month Check-up

 - by Brittny

Today was Daniel’s 2 month check-up so I have new growth stats for him!

Weight: 11lbs 11oz – 50th percentile
Height: 23.5in – 75th percentile
Head Circumference: 15.75in -50th percentile

If you remember from his last checkup that means he’s at the same percentiles for both weight and head circumference, but his genetics are catching up to him and he’s dropped from the 90th percentile for height to the 75th.  But all in all he’s growing well and looking good.  He really is a remarkably good baby and I feel so blessed that he has such a sweet and even temperament.

The tricky thing today was that we had shots for Sam and for Daniel… and Eric is in Atlanta on a business trip.  You might recall that after Sam’s 1 year check up I vowed never to do a checkup without Eric again.  But since this trip was planned at the last minute it wasn’t like there were a whole lot of options. I debated whether to do the checkup today and shots on another day when Eric could be there, but that would require hauling everyone down to Provo again (yes, I still need to find a more local doctor).  So I decided to suck it up and just get it over with while we were there.  I made sure to warn Sam what was happening and promise him some french fries and ice cream if he was good.  I held him on my lap and snuggled him while he got his one shot, and he did really well!  He was a little bit indignant afterwards, but he didn’t fight it or anything.  I was very proud of him.  Then we left the room while Daniel got his.  I felt bad leaving Daniel on his own, but he isn’t old enough yet to have attachment issues and I didn’t want Sam to see Daniel getting his shots and freak out over it.  Daniel was pretty sad after his shots (he had to get 3 today) but after a little bit of nursing he was happy again.  A quick stop at In ‘N Out and we were all happy and well fed.  Both of the boys fell asleep on the way home and I’m hoping for a good long nap out of Sam (Daniel is already awake) so that we can have a successful day together while Eric is gone.