G and I listened to this audio book during our drive home from Christmas in Reno. It's called "People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It!" by Larry Winget. It was phenomenal, and I highly encourage you to borrow my copy, or buy your own. We laughed hysterically the entire drive and learned quite a bit about stopping being -- or not becoming -- an idiot. He has down-to-earth parenting, financial, fashion, business, marital, etc advice that must be heard by as many people as possible. After all, in my day-to-day life I run across quite a few idiots (not you, my loyal readers...) and I'd really like word to spread about this guy's advice.
Speaking of books, if you have a small and imaginative boy, I would encourage you to purchase or borrow the Magic Treehouse books from your library. We were at Borders a few weeks ago and I stumbled across the series, showed it to Buddy, and immediately he was hooked. So if you know what I mean, Santa delivered the entire series on Christmas. Buddy completed the first book yesterday, which was so exciting considering this was his first crack at a "chapter book" and he wants to do nothing but read all day long now. They are perfect for early readers, especially boys who like dragons and dinosaurs and pirates and outer space and history and other countries. And since Buddy is my firstborn and I rely on recommendations from other moms about cool books and toys for boys, let this be my recommendation to you. Your boy will love you for it, even if you are the one to do the reading at first.
A few of the cousins
Speaking of Christmas, our Christmas was great. We enjoyed a week in Reno with all of Greg's family. The cousins played marvelously and we all enjoyed tons of great food. I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but we did manage to eat at In n Out three times. Oops. No wonder I came home so fat.
Sambo and Buddy acting silly on Christmas Eve. They were tired of me posing them for a "cute" photo in front of the tree in their new jammies. I should say Buddy was tired of it, and Sambo just copies whatever Buddy does.
***I got released from my calling as primary president and called into the stake primary instead. I was devastated at first because I genuinely love those primary children. But after sitting through primary last week as a substitute without the burden of being in charge, I quickly realized I wasn't that sad after all. It was an interesting transition because the new calling came suddenly, and so between Thanskgiving and Christmas and all of the craziness of getting ready for the new year in Primary, it was a terrible time to be choosing a new presidency. So the new president and I worked together for six weeks before I was finally got released and her new presidency was called. That in and of itself was an interesting and unique learning experience. Since we were both so invested in the calling, we accomplished more in that six weeks than I could have imagined (shoutout to Nicki for her awesomeness during that time too!). If only all presidencies in the church operate that well!
***This week I went to Albertsons and spent $68 and got several, and I mean several bags of food. I purchased 20 yogurts, 11 boxes of cereal, 14 bricks of cheese, and enough produce to fill both produce bins plus more. I saved $130. I love to double my savings -- and I often do, but that's hard to do when I'm loading up on produce. I was so pleased!
***Yesterday when the bus pulled up to pick Buddy up for school, he ran halfway to the bus, quickly stopped and turned back toward me saying, "I forgot to give you a hug and a kiss!" Without thinking, I said, "You already kissed me, now hurry to the bus!" I could have kicked myself for saying that. What I should have said was "I am so happy that you are still at the wonderful age when you want to kiss me. I'm the luckiest mom in the world!" I should also mention, that when he got on the bus I saw him look out the window to wave and blow me a kiss. When he got home from school I still felt like an a**, so I told him I sure liked it when he blew me that kiss from the bus. So what do you know, he did it again today. Love, love, love that boy!
***Sambo has been in a pretty foul mood since we came home from Christmas. I think he's extremely bored. When I take him somewhere fun, he's happy and when we come home he loses it. *Sigh* He's given the term "temper tantrum" a whole new meaning this week.
***Without even realizing it, it turns out I frequently refer to Sambo as "your brother" when speaking to Buddy. I'll say, "Can you go get your brother a drink?" Or, "Can you read your brother a story?" In my sub-conscious I think I was trying to instill a sense of brotherly love. Well, the other day Sambo was bugging me in the bathroom, so I told him to go out and go find his brother. I said, "Where is your brother?" He got the sweetest grin on his face and pointed with both hands to himself. I was totally confused, so I asked again, "Where is your brother?" Again, he pointed to himself.
Oh my gosh. He thinks one of his nicknames (and he has a LOT) is "your brother." How adorable is that?
***Sambo was evaluated today for early intervention services. After a few minutes with us, the two evaluators sweetly told me that their services are reserved for severely developmentally delayed children who have serious special needs. They serve babies ages 0-2, and since the range of normal development for babies is so wide, a child has to be below the 2 percent rage to qualify in any area of the developmental areas they test. I told them I understood and reiterated why I was there. They proceeded with the testing asking me a million questions and observed him for about an hour and a half. The typical test takes closer to three hours apparently to account for breaks for the child, temper tantrums, a child that just won't cooperate, whatever. Well, including a diaper change break, we were done in far less time because Sambo is a superstar. The evaluators were very impressed by how well he listened and cooperated and did every single thing they asked of him. When they stepped out to tabulate their findings, they reminded me that their services were for seriously delayed children and he was extremely highly functioning, so I shouldn't get my hopes up.
Well, a few minutes later they came back and announced they got the shock of their careers and he did indeed fall below the 2 percent for speech. One lady told me that she was so shocked at how well he has learned to over-compensate for his total inability to speak. He is so compliant and such a good listener and easy going and speaks so well with his eyes and his hand gestures, she, even a professional, got fooled into thinking he talks.
Well he doesn't, and I am so proud that I trusted my mother's intuition to get him evaluated now while he's young and the services are free and accessible. So for the next year we'll have a speech therapist come to our home to train me on special tricks and techniques to help him learn to speak. Yay!
***I was a substitute cub scout leader this week for wolf's den meeting. I have never done this before and I seriously loved it. We painted heart napkin holders and then screwed them together. Then they ran around the gym acting like different animals and we finished with a discussion about developing healthy habits. They are going to fill out a health chart for two weeks and they were asked to: drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, play and run every day, wash their hands before meals, and "take a shower involving soap" every day. I about died of laughter because that was in the wolf book. But then the boys proceeded to argue about how that's not fair or fun and their moms say they don't have to do that and I laughed even harder.
For some reason only three boys showed up, so we had enough supplies for my boys to participate, so they painted too. I sort of knew all boys were hyper, but holy cow. These cub scouts were crazy hyper. I often say I don't understand why I have the two most hyper children on the face of the earth. It was reassuring (and a little disturbing) to realize my boys are normal after all. In fact, the disturbing part was realizing that there is no difference in maturity level or cleanliness (remember we were painting) between a 2-year old, a 6-year old and the 8-year old scouts. Yikes! But at least I know this in advance so I won't have the urge to shoot myself in the head when Buddy never grows out of his constant hyper-active stage.