Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2012 Reading Challenge

Just like last year, we did a reading challenge this summer.  Our goal was to read 10,000 combined pages in three months.  For some reason it was harder this year, but we finished just in time for a big night out as a family.  For our reward, we went to pizza, bowling, and played some arcade games.  We hadn't taken Sambo bowling before and it's been a good long while since Buddy has been.  The boys were in absolute heaven.  This is one reason I love boys.  They are so easy to please! 

The bowling was really fun.  I was the big winner with a whopping score of 85.  G had to play with his left hand "because his shoulder hurt" (from an injury roller skating with the boys a few weeks ago).  One time Sambo knocked down a bunch of pins and shouted "home run!"  I think he must have heard "strike" and assumed home run would apply to a good frame.  It was pretty funny. 

We also did the other challenge each June, July, and August that we did last summer.  We had a contest between us to see who could do the most service, exercise, reading, scriptures, "special time" with kids, and work.  In June Buddy won $20, and of course, G won the $20 in July and August.  He won every time last year and my theory is he only has to worry about himself and not the kids...
In case anyone is curious, here is a list of the books we read.  I didn't write down G's books, so he'll have to post his own in the comments.  Have you read anything good lately?  If so, let me know!

G read:  3482 pages

M read:  3176 pages
"Eat to Live" (enjoyed)
"Ramona and her Mother" (read to the kids-love this series)
"Heaven is Here" (LOVE and highly recommend)
"All There Is" (ok)
"Ramona Forever" (read to the kids)
"Forgotten Garden" (love this book)
"Power of Positive Parenting" (practical tips for dealing with frustrating kid behaviors)
"Blue Castle" (lesser known book by L.M. Montgomery)
"Drop Dead Healthy" (hilarious-highly recommend)
"Bossy Pants" (hilarious)
In progress:
Book of Mormon
"To the Rescue: Biography of Thomas S. Monson" (soooo inspiring)
"Ramona the Brave" (reading to kids)
"Crossing to Safety"
"James and the Giant Peach (reading to Sambo)

 Buddy read:  3300 pages
"Seven Day Magic"
"The Heini Prize"
"Cryptid Hunters"
"Magical Mrs. Plum"
"Death of Silas Winterbottom"
"Aunt Severe and the Dragon"
"Fablehaven #5"
"Guardians of Ga'hoole #1"
"Storm Runners Eruption"
"Magic Treehouse #1" (read to Sambo)
"Strange Case of Origami Yoda"
"Farmer Boy"
In Progress:
Doctrine & Covenants
"Origami Yoda #2"

Sambo read:  134 pages
"Bob Books 1-14"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our Second Born

Sambo Starting Preschool 

Today is Sambo's first day of preschool.  We are doing a co-op preschool with curriculum ordered off the Internet with several friends.  I love doing this because I love being really involved in my kids' preschool.  He has been so excited to go to "school," but he's mostly excited to play with his friends and wear his backpack.    

Buddy has such a big personality that I feel like most people don't really know Sambo like we do.  Most people think he's a holy terror, which might be true.  I honestly can't decide on that one.  But he is such a perfect compliment to my personality that he rarely rattles me.  I think he's hilarious and awesome in every way.  I'm so glad he isn't in school yet every day because I sincerely enjoy having him with me.
Sambo is very creative and loves doing "crafts."  Yesterday he made this mask and breastplate out of paper plates.  He is Sam Flynn from Tron Legacy, in case you couldn't tell.  The costume is taped to his face and shirt too which is so cute, I think.

Here are some things that make him extra special.  Consequently, these might be the reasons he stresses people out.  (???)
  • He is a hypochondriac.  He LOVES being sick, getting shots, and gets genuinely jealous when other people are hurt or sick.  I finally hid our bandaids yesterday because as much as I beg and plead, he won't stop getting into them.  He is inconsolable if he thinks he has an injury or an illness and you don't address it. 
  • He takes bossy to a whole new level.  He spends his entire life correcting other kids and making sure everyone follows my rules.  Obviously I don't mind.  But other people do...
  • He also takes attention-seeking to a whole new level.  Anyone that knows him already knows, this, though.  
  • Sam is really interested in heaven and has had plenty of "good ideas" to figure out where heaven really is.  He has spent considerable time thinking this through.  A few ideas he has come up with:  "Close my eyes and pretend I'm dying.  Then when I get to heaven, I'll open my eyes and see Jesus."  Or "Get some binoculars for Christmas so I can see all the way to heaven where Jesus is." I hate disappointing my kids, but I had to explain why neither of these ideas would work. 
  • He has a foul mouth.  No, he has not gotten over this phase.  (At least I hope it's a phase.)
  • He is totally and completely obsessed with his older brother.  He brags about Buddy to all his friends, he tells the haircut lady he wants his haircut spiky like Buddy's, he tries to learn how to do everything Buddy can do, and he prepares for Buddy's return from school with "surprises" most days.  Some of the surprises have included a new frog caught in the yard, a piece of gum, a funny story, a note, or a "craft" he's worked on throughout the day.  As a result of his obsession, he can do pretty much anything Buddy can do, which is saying something considering there is a 4-year space between them.  Sambo was jealous that Buddy is allowed to swim in the "deep end" at the pool, so he taught himself to swim.  He was jealous that Buddy can read "chapter books" so he begged to learn to read.  All his friends are Buddy's friends.  He can build Lego's just as well as Buddy.  We thank our lucky stars every day that Buddy was born patient because he has no privacy.
  • Whenever Sambo writes his name on something, he always writes that he's 4 because he hates that people mistake him for being younger.  They do this because he's small and he has a speech delay.  Also, he can NOT wait to be 5 in a few months.
  • He does not mind having a speech delay.  He is totally happy with who he is.  He is confident and content with his life.  If he feels like doing something he does it, if not, he doesn't.  I LOVE this quality about him and it's the main reason he makes me feel at ease.   We always say that Sambo is "happy to be here." 
  • Sambo has only cleaned his room once that I can remember.  He usually cons someone else into doing it for him.  (Never me.  I refuse.)  He's been holding out for two solid weeks and finally conned a babysitter into cleaning it for him this weekend.  
  • Yesterday morning I was driving out of the driveway and noticed Sambo's UPSTAIRS window screen was off and was laying on the lower roof and his window was open about 18 inches.  Now, I don't ever open my kids' windows -- even a crack -- because I'm paranoid about all those stories I hear on the news about another child falling from their window onto the ground.  Sambo was in the car with me, so I asked him about it.  He explained that he opened the window so he could see the neighborhood kids getting on the bus better.  Our windows are big and extremely heavy, so I was surprised he could even get it open.  I'm sure all of you reading are alarmed by this story.  Interestingly enough, I wasn't surprised or really all that worried.  My kids are both very curious.  But Sambo does not engage in risky behaviors, so I'm confident he would never have stepped out onto the roof.  But still, we had to have a frank discussion about why opening the window and removing the screen were terribly dangerous.  (This is our fire escape route as required by us by DHS, otherwise I would have already locked or glued that window shut permanently, fyi.)
  • He is painfully responsible.  I am too, so this quality endears me to him too.  He knows all the rules, where everything in this house goes, the day-to-day routines, and makes sure they are followed.  He doesn't always listen and he is quite mischievous, but in things that matter, he is totally trustworthy.  He doesn't wander off, he does what he says he'll do, and I don't feel like I have to micro-manage him (Like others in this house.  But I'm not naming name(s).)  Interestingly enough, when somebody else is babysitting him, he is not responsible at all.  Does anyone have any insights into this?  
He's my little baby and the more he squirms and tries to get away from me, the more I feel like hugging and kissing him.  He is such a delight.  I just love him so much!  I just hope I don't smother him to death with all my loves cause I just might if I don't watch myself...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

3rd Grade

Buddy started 3rd Grade last week and so far, so good.  He has a bunch of new friends and has been spending a good portion of his time at school reading books and worrying about the two children in his class with autism.  He has hardly reported anything else about school except those two topics, so I guess things are good. 

I thought I'd share a few "beauty" related quips he's had in the past few days.

He came out of the bathroom, saying in all seriousness, "I hate being so attractive."

Another day he asked me, "I am supposed to think you are pretty?"

And then a different day he was telling me about somebody in his class that "likes" him.  I asked if he thinks she's cute and he said, "No.  She has buck teeth and a long face like you."