Sam’s Last Day of Preschool!

 - by Brittny

To mirror our first day of school shot :)

Today Sam finished his first year of real preschool.  Our next door neighbor teaches preschool out of her home so he was able to just cross our yard twice a week and go over to their place for preschool.  It was the perfect thing for him!  He learned so much, and was so excited to come home every day and show us what he’d learned :)  Probably his favorite thing all year was the name tags that they would write each month.   Every month he’d bring one home and wanted me to tape it to his door, so he now has quite the collection.  I wish I had kept them in order so you could really see how he progressed in tracing his name.

Sam’s nametag collection

They had a little program to show off some of the cool things they learned this year.  And I do mean little, the whole program is less than 4 minutes, so don’t be intimidated about watching it, it doesn’t take very long.

In the fall Sam will be going to preschool at our local elementary school for their tuition preschool program.  I wish I knew earlier on that Anna would be offering a different curriculum next year, I probably would have had Sam stay for both years if I’d known.  But by the time I knew that I’d already gotten Sam too pumped to go to the elementary school and ride the bus.  I think it will be a great experience for him and a good transition to kindergarten but this year was such  a great experience (and so convenient!) I would definitely do it again.  Thanks Miss Anna for a wonderful year!  We can’t wait until Danny is old enough to come and do preschool too :)

Sam & Miss Anna

Yup, that’s how Sam smiles when you ask him to smile. Awesome huh?

Sam: Our Story Reader

 - by Brittny

Sam “reading” a story to himself at 2 years old

If you ask Sam what he wants to be when he grows up he says he wants to be a “story reader.”  We’ve settled on that being a narrator and I don’t doubt that someday he’ll do it!  Tonight as I was getting Sam ready for bed I told him to run upstairs and grab a story for me to read to him.  He replied, “Oh, how about you just tell me a story.”  Not feeling in a very creative mood I recommended that he just go grab one instead.  He replied, “Oh, I’ll just tell you a story then.”  Luckily I had my keyboard handy and was able to transcribe what he was saying.  Be forewarned, these stories make absolutely no sense, and I left out a lot of the repetition (since he would say the same line 3 or 4 times sometimes) but I thought it was a funny little view into Sam’s mind.  Be warned that he switches between 3rd and 1st person without much warning and I tried to get some of the kid grammar pieces in there without fixing them.  Enjoy :)

Once upon a time there was a little boy named me and I was very old, and very sick. And I couldn’t walk. Then he said “there’s mommy there’s mommy!” because he found Daniel, and pizza! That was too funny. Danny gets hungry then he starts filling his tummy with juice! And he says “More House, more house please?” And too much soda was there the next morning, and that was too silly! Now that Sammy had gone far far away it’s time to say “Go go go sliding turtle!” And Sammy said “jump turtle!” Then there was two teeny tiny wires that he flew an airplane with! Then he saw a parachute and he wanted to try to parachute and the people who had that airplane said “I want to learn how to parachute.” And one day he said “Gootey” in preschool because there were sparkles on his shirt, and that was so funny. Do you know that we wear some kind of headphones in the winter? They’re called “Weereovers” They clean all the snow out. And one day he was supposed to wear some but he didn’t have any. He only wore gloves and a coat and a hood and a chin protector and nothing else, not even a mask! I needed a mask. And that was silly. The end.

I have one more story! It’s from Danny. It’s with great pictures. Danny said, “One time there was a little boy named Danny and Danny said “No no no no no no no no no” and he said “Yes yes yes” and then he said “Around the block around the block, catch up to Sam around the block” And then he came and said “Ry Ry! Ry Ry! Ry Ry!” And then he saw pizza shop, and he said “pizza! pizza! pizza!” because he wanted pizza. And Sam said “Aw, we should have got some pizza for Danny, but we missed it.” And one time there was a little bit of splat in the blanket chest, and one time there was a little bit of crumbs. And then there was a bubble behind the couch! And then it popped, and then it goed around and then it keeped going around. Aw Turty is sick! And soda he drunk more and that made him more sicker. And he drunk more and more and more and more. And then something turned around and it went “tramp tramp tramp tramp” Then, it was all of it went “squish and squish and squish and squish”. And they tried to put it in the vorarator, he was having a hard time putting it in something. Then it went “Beep beep beep” The end.

There’s one more story! From you! It went “Smarties on the desk, smarties on the desk”, because there were smarties, on the desk! I’m really sad! I wanted to see you be a baby. And she ate more and more and more, and she never stopped. Do you know what will happen if you eat smarties? You’ll feel even smarter! And if you eat even more of them, you’ll feel even more smarter – as tall as this cup!  And Danny kicked them out, and Mommy said “Noooo!”  And she said “kick ball” and Danny kept kicking Mommy and she said “ow ow ow ow!”  and that’s why Sam would hug her everywhere that Danny kicked her.  That’s why Sam kept mommy up.  Someone woke her up and she said “Bwom bwom bwom”  and she said “close your mouth, close your mouth, please just close your mouth.  Just wake up”  and it was the Winevwom.  The End.

There’s one more story from Daddy!  It’s called Sam & Daniel & Dad Be Friends.  When Sam and Daniel and Dad took pictures of friends skating on ice.  Then there was a bird collector that collected people and putted people into the road.  And then a car comed!  And the bird collector told them to “stay there”  and they saw me died!  And then they would never come alive ever ever ever!  And the friends said we’re never going to stop skating.  And mommy said “I’m tired” so she went to sleep and then someone woke her up – it was the Wyver Cheetah and it was a bad guy!  And she collected people in her bag.  And I got out of the road and told the people to come out of the road and they listened and the bird collector told them to stay in the road but they just kept skating until they got across that snow.  And then some lady saw a mountain and they saw where our house was.  And it was enormously fine!  And it was just a little hill and they took a little shortcut on that hill and it would lead them home!  And they were free!  The end.

There’s one more from my nightlight!  There was Mom, and Sam and Daniel and Daddy went to work.  And mom said “hey someone’s missing!”  It was Dad!  He was missing.  And the cul-de-sac because they were stuck by a big snow bank and that’s why they went around the cul-de-sac out of the car, back into the car and drove back to where their home was.  And she goed down stairs and a Triple Guy Mean got her.  Then Sam went to Friday to ask for a game – he forgot a game!  He was silly.  I was a silly billy.  And Mommy hurt all over her finger, and that’s why she had bandaids.  The end!

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 :)

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 :)

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 :)

Sam’s Vain Repetitions

 - by Brittny

On Saturday we were talking with Sam about going to nursery and he mentioned that the other kids tell him no to praying. Sam is extremely articulate for his age and I would imagine that he frequently volunteers to give the prayer in nursery. I would imagine that the other kids might not appreciate his prayers as much as we do at home. Sam says a lot of the same things over and over in his prayers and we find it amusing what his unique vain repetitions are.  I thought I’d take a minute to record some of these here:

  • Thank you for Mommy & Daddy that they should go on a date this morning and Grannie and Grandpa that they should go on a date too –  We’re not sure how this started but every prayer Sam says includes this line.  I especially love that he’s not just praying that we *will* go on a date, but thankful that we *did* go on a date (even though Eric and I pretty rarely go on formal dates).  I also enjoy the fact that Eric and I apparently need help in this area, as do his parents, but my parents are doing just fine.  Good job Mom & Dad :)  Maybe Sam is just reinforcing John Wooden’s quote – “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”  Recently when we’ll ask him to say the prayer he will first protest “I can only do ones with Grannie and Grandpa in them”, which we tell him is great, we love his prayers with Grannie and Grandpa in them.
  • Please bless Daniel that he can be a good example to his baby brother – I guess Daniel has a baby brother that we don’t know about (!?)  I’m pretty sure this came about because we’ve before prayed for Sam that he could be a good example to his baby brother.  Every so often Sam changes it and prays that Daniel can be a good example to his big brother
  • Please bless this food that it will give us the nourish and strengthen us – For those of you who aren’t really familiar with Mormon culture I should explain.  Normally when someone is giving a prayer prior to a meal they will ask for a blessing over the food.  Often that involves using the phrase “please bless this food to give us the nourishment and strength that we need” or “please bless this food to nourish and strengthen us.”  I guess Eric and I have used each of these phrases frequently enough  that Sam has mashed them into a single phrase.  The best part is he will say this even if we aren’t sitting down to eat anything!
  • Please bless daddy that he can travel home safely – Again, this is said pretty much in every prayer, even if Sam is sitting on Eric’s lap, clearly negating the need for Eric to travel home safely, although we are not ungrateful for the added blessing of safety the next time he is away from us :)
That pretty well sums up the items that routinely make it into Sam’s prayers.  The other thing that’s really funny is that whenever Sam is praying he switches to a really sweet, high-pitched intonation and cadence.  It totally cracks us up.  Here are some other things that Sam has prayed for before that haven’t made it into his regular lineup but we enjoyed nonetheless –
  • Please bless that we can go to Grannie and Grandpa’s and Bobo’s, and Uncle Mike’s and eat food and rice and that we can watch Rio and do good things today – Too bad we weren’t able to do all those things , that would have made for a fun day!
  • Please bless Daniel, to nourish and strengthen us – We laughed about this one for days.  Evidently Sam was taking to cannibalism and Daniel was going to be the first to go!
  • Thank you that I am Superman – This was just last night.  Sam had gotten some new Superman pajamas and was wearing them while saying his prayers.  This was just such a cute way to phrase it and we loved it!
  • Thank you for headphones and hot dogs and Aunt Tay Tay – This is an old one and I’ve posted about it before, but I think it bears repeating.  Taylor was just honored that Sam was as thankful for her as he was for headphones and hot dogs – that’s high praise from Sam!

I’m sure there’s lots of other things I could post about that Sam has prayed for in the past, but that’s all I can come up with off the top of my head and from a search through my GMail/Google Talk history.  We sure like this kid and his awesome personality.

More family relationships

 - by Brittny

I just wanted to pass along this quick Sam story.  This morning Sam was talking to me and asked me if Aunt Tay-Tay (my sister) was his only aunt.  I told him that not only was Taylor not his only aunt, but he had 9 other aunts!  So we started naming off his other aunts and he replied that each one of them was in fact his aunt.  Except when I got to his Aunt Marianela (Eric’s oldest brother’s wife), his response was “No, she’s not an aunt!  She’s a girl cousin!”  No matter how hard I tried Sam was not convinced that Marianela was his aunt, she had to be a girl cousin.  Congratulations Marianela!  You’re the only one of his aunts who earned that distinction – and one of his aunts is only 19 years old!