Saturday, February 27, 2010

How to Teach Your Baby Math -- Glenn Doman

How To Teach Your Baby Math: The Gentle Revolution How To Teach Your Baby Math: The Gentle Revolution by Glenn Doman


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you have read any of his other "How to Teach Your Baby..." books, the background history and whatnot is a little repetitive, but I totally believe his concepts and actually purchased the materials. (I'm making my own materials for the other programs...and he teaches you specifically how to make them...I just didn't want to do that for the math program.) I love how his books give step by step instruction. I really feel like his goal is to teach parents how to help their children instead of trying to "sell" his idea. If he was trying to do that, the materials to be purchased would be way more expensive, and the institute that he runs for children wouldn't be free. I truly believe his intentions are altruistic -- and I believe what I have read. The reading program with Callie is still going well...so why not believe him?

View all my reviews >>

How To Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge -- Glenn Doman

How To Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge: More Gentle Revolution (Gentle Revolution (Gentle Revolution Press)) How To Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge: More Gentle Revolution by Glenn Doman


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Again, parts are repetitive if you've read his other books...but love this. My intention is NOT to make my child a genius or smart to the levels that he is talking about...rather, to help my kids to continue to love learning throughout their lives. That's all. So, I don't/won't go as hardcore as he talks about (don't have time for that anyway), but I love the small results I've seen so far. I haven't started this program completely, but have made minor adjustments in how I teach Callie certain facts..."What's that?" Instead of saying "bird," I tell her it's a "robin." Three days later, she remembers and points out that there are robins outside...not crows. For me, and it seems for her, that's fun.

Throughout his books, sure there are things he says with which I don't agree 100%, but one thing that has really struck a cord with me is his idea of being a professional mom. I have a renewed sense of purpose and delight in my current (and life long) job as a mother. It has been empowering to have a sense of all I can do for my kids other than just raise them -- though I feel that is noble in and of itself.

These aren't books for everyone perhaps, though I do believe every parent can benefit from the knowledge in these books, but I read these at a perfect time for some things I've been feeling and going through with Sammy and Callie right now.

View all my reviews >>

How to Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence -- Glenn Doman

How To Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence (Gentle Revolution) How To Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence by Glenn Doman


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Good overview of all the programs throughout the Gentle Revolution series. Good starter book to get the idea of what it's all about. I read this between all the other books and found it just as enlightening...though some parts are repetitive.

View all my reviews >>

How Smart is Your Baby -- Glenn Doman

How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop And Nurture Your Newborn's Full Potential (Gentle Revolution) How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop And Nurture Your Newborn's Full Potential by Glenn Doman


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was a direct answer to prayer for me regarding Samantha. Though it is helpful for all babies, I love how this book, and his others, give step by step actual activities that you can do to improve certain areas of a child's development. It was excellent timing for me to read this.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, February 26, 2010

Paging Dr. Green


(Google Images "Dr. Green." This was the first image. Wow, Marcus has a lot of stuff he needs to work on before he starts practicing.)

A few months ago, I was really optimistic. I thought, Marcus will get his dissertation done within 3 months (bunking with the in-laws) and it'll take about 2 months to find a job. I know the economy is bad and no one can find a job, but Marcus is luckily in one of the few fields that is actually growing. So it can't be that hard to find a job, right?

We moved here beginning of September. It is February. Marcus just finished up his dissertation, passed, and we are moving onto job hunt. We're a little off schedule, but that's ok...no problem getting a job, right? (yes, all you who are laughing at me, go ahead) A few weeks ago even we were looking up what is available...and there are jobs. That was really encouraging. Well, those jobs are gone. And while Marcus worked on his resume and curriculum vitae today, I did some job searching for him...narrowing down what is out there based on his training...and the big one -- he's not licensed yet. He needs to find a company that is willing to supervise for 2,000 hours before he can take his test and get licensed. Wow.

I still think he'll find something -- but it just make take longer than I anticipated.

(The famous Dr. Greene. I loved watching ER. Watched all through high school back in the day with Dr. Greene and George Clooney.)


And you know, that's ok. In the few moments of stress that I've recently had ("we'll never be able to buy a house," "where will we possibly find a job?", "what about Samantha? we can't just move around and get re-established for a short period of time again...because we're just barely getting started now..." etc.) , I've been filled with peace. There was a reason that I was optimistic before -- and it wasn't just because it's-better-to-laugh-than-cry-attitude. It's because if we are doing everything we possibly can, and are sincerely trying to follow the Lord's plan for us, then it'll turn out. Maybe it'll take longer, maybe we'll live somewhere we don't want to live, maybe we'll never buy a home...but it's ok. And I'm happy about that.

In the meantime, if any of you know of anywhere that is an awesome job and has full benefits, maybe gives paid vacations...like, they actually pay for your vacations...please, let us know! Ya know, it's all about connections people.



My favorite Dr. Green picture.
Art by Michael Paglia

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Want a Free Moby?

I'm talking about the incredible Moby baby carrier/wrap/awesome thing. Check it out at this blog? I'm telling you, these are the best and I really hope to win one...along with the other millions who want one.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Olympics 2010

When watching the Olympics, I can often be seen wiping a tear off my cheek. It's true. The Olympics does something to me. I feel such a sense of pride for my country. I love cheering on the underdogs. I get butterflies in my stomach before the big jump. I feel my stomach drop when someone falls. I become so invested when I watch the Olympics. Which is better? Summer or Winter? Ask me now, and I'll say hands down it's the Winter Olympics. I love it. Ask me in 2 years when London is hosting the Summer Olympics...and I'll say Summer is best. I'm a big fan of the Olympics. Some complain about the commercials -- I love them. Those advertisers and marketers were thinking of me as they put these commercials together. Ya know the one when they're all little kids getting ready to compete..and then it says "To the Mothers, they're all just kids," or something like that? Yeah. I cried when I first saw that. Anyway. I cry during the Olympics.

Last night was no exception. Watching Joannie Rochette perform last night was incredible. She did so well, and afterward, when she let all her emotion out, I just cried. I can't imagine being at the Olympics, performing on behalf of my country, and having my mother pass away days before -- and then performing my personal best score. That, to me, is an olympian. Being able to focus so well, being able to shut out the deepest pain -- if only for a second, to represent your country. I cried like a baby.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy

These two sure make me happy.

Callie at lunch. Lately she's been loving soup and requests it for lunch.


And little Sammy -- who officially is now shorter than Callie (yes, the older sister will be getting the hand-me-downs) -- who still is content as she chews on her clothes. Who doesn't love a good sweatshirt from time to time?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

She is Amazing

It's easy to sometimes think Samantha is doing something new, progressing on some level, but then talk ourselves out of the idea. I'm not sure why we do that. Perhaps it's because we have decided to more fully believe others who are filled with doubts regarding Sammy's future than our own paternal instincts and, frankly, knowledge. I see her doing great and amazing things that sometimes she doesn't repeat for months down the road. But still, I know what I see, or hear. I know what I know. But still, I sometimes think to myself, "Oh, that was just an accident. She didn't mean to do that." Why? Why do I do that? Shouldn't I always assume that she did, in fact, mean to do that? As her mother and as her advocate, I should be the one, even if I'm the only one, who is cheering her on and giving her credit for every single little thing she accomplishes. I am always cheering her on, but it's only most of the time that I, myself, truly believe what I see. That makes me sad. And everyday I try to have more faith in her abilities. It's really not as bad as it sounds, I don't think. I believe Samantha is quite capable of a lot more than what she is currently doing, and I believe that we will continue to see miracles with this girl. Just sometimes, I guess I have felt like I have to assume the worst...assume that she isn't doing things with purpose. I feel a lot of pressure to not assume my child is greater than she is. Isn't that just wrong?! I mean, really. Mothers should never feel pressure to think their child is anything than what they are. And quite frankly, I believe that each child is more amazing than we realize. So, mothers, and fathers, think your kids are amazing -- because they are.

With that said -- wow, guess I had to get something off my chest, eh? -- Samantha has had a great week. It's been really fun. First of all, drinking the Capri Sun (which is funny because I actually just typed Crapi Sun...oops) was a really cool thing to witness for 2 reasons. #1 -- Samantha is definitely starting to show her likes and dislikes more. I like seeing that, and it's a huge developmental accomplishment when one can clearly demonstrate what he/she likes or dislikes. So, yippee for you Sammy. And even better is #2 -- I didn't know Samantha could drink out of a straw. For a long time we worked on it. She got it, kind of. And, I gave up. I thought, she can drink out of her Avent cup, that's good enough for now. About 1 year later, with no exposure to straws, she, on her own, understood to suck out of the straw to get to that really yummy sugary juice! Now, that was exciting for me.

Also this week, we've had some improvements with her language. We haven't had speech therapy since we left Spokane, and this has been really bothersome to me. Samantha gets it in school, but I don't think it's nearly enough. Back in Spokane we not only had the best SLP -- oh Carly how we love you -- but Sammy was meeting with her twice a week. Now, nothing. It's frustrating to me, so we continue to do what we can at home. I've been working on "more" a lot with her. It was a few weeks ago now when I was giving her pretzels in the car and she said "mo." That was exciting stuff. But since then, we've been able to get some "mo" out of her from time to time. And even better, there is a strong distinction between her "mo" and "no." It definitely takes the right motivation. And once again, Capri Sun has pulled through. Sammy was drinking the Capri Sun, took a break and starting jumping in excitement -- or sugar rush, not sure which. We laughed and I asked "Sammy, do you want more?" She stopped jumping and said, "Mooo." So, mo' she got. Peggy was walking down the hall and I called her in so she could witness it. "Sammy, do you want mo?" Samantha stopped, and clearly said "no." As she did so, she took her hand it swept it to the side, like she does when she no longer wants food at any given meal. But still, we asked again, and she said "nnnoooo." It was so clear. So purposeful.

Our little Samantha clearly knows what she wants, and she is finally starting to be able to let us know. In this moment, I couldn't be happier!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Capri Sun

video

In an attempt to get Callie to go to the bathroom more frequently (potty-training ya know), I went out and bought Capri Sun. She loves it. And it turns out she's not the only one. This is just a really short clip because the camera ran out of memory, but you can actually hear her gulping it down. Pretty cute. (The screen is appearing black. Don't be fooled. Hit the play button and the picture will appear and you can see the short video.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Potty Training Update


Ahhh this picture makes me laugh.



Well, we've had many an accident, but tonight, something happened. Callie was off playing, then came over to me from another room and said, "Pee." I was pretty sure this had meant she had already peed her pants. But no. She was informing me that she had to go...and go in the potty she did. One victory for the day. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

And as a side note: I love seeing Callie walking around in her little underwear. She's so cute.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

She Makes Me Smile

Oh Sammy is so funny. Whenever friends and family are around Samantha, they worry that she's going to fall and hurt herself. We are just used to how she moves that we don't think twice about it. Amidst all her stumbling, she has never hurt herself...or if she has, it wasn't enough to be noteworthy. Yesterday I was watching Sammy in the entry way. She was just enjoying herself walking around in circles and picking up shoes...and I saw her objectively. Yes. This is why people are nervous around her...and it made me smile.



video

Married to a Doctor


Only recent picture I have on file on this computer -- here we are taking Flat Stanley (nephew's 3rd grade project) to see Avatar in 3D.

Though I can't recall all the details, I know I had a list of things I wanted out of life. I'm pretty sure I have it somewhere because I've been given the assignment to make a list like this several times in Young Women and a couple times in school. So, I know a list exists. I can't remember the details because honestly, I never really took the assignment all that seriously. I already knew, basically, what I wanted, and I didn't see the need to write it over and over and over again. But I'm pretty sure, on one of those lists, I wanted to marry a doctor. I mean, isn't that an essential on most dream-filled girl's wish-list?

I've since, as mentioned, lost track of those lists. I went to school, served a mission, graduated from school, met and married Marcus, taught high school, had a baby, had another baby, preparing for baby #3, moved many times -- and all the while, Marcus was working on school. I've been very happy and blessed in my life.

But, today...today at 12:00pm all my dreams came true. I am officially married to a doctor. Oh my heart twitters a little faster every time I hear Marcus' voice or I think..."Dr. Green." ooooo ahhhh

No, but really. Today Marcus is in Utah. He went down to BYU to defend his dissertation that he's been working on for the past 5 years. And he passed. And that does make him Dr. Green. And, it makes it possible for him to start looking for a job within his field -- a job where the word "salary" is included in the job description. That's exciting. And it's also really exciting knowing that all this work that Marcus has put into this has paid off. He is finished. All the stress, sleepless nights, hours of reading, typing, researching...it's all over. I am so proud of him. Doctor or not, I love this guy a whooooole bunch, and I'm really excited for him to come home.

Congratulations Marcus!
I always knew you could do it! I love you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gross Smell = Trapped Dead Animal


A couple weeks ago now, I began to smell something unpleasant in the bathroom. I was afraid it was because I had left a wet diaper in the garbage can and was feeling rather embarrassed that I had caused the smell. We promptly took out the trash. But the smell continued to get worse each day. We couldn't place it. Finally, after about a week, we put some of our background experiences together and were able to place it as a dead animal. Gross. I mean, GROSS. Trapped under the house...dead...decaying. That's nasty. But what can you do?

The smell got worse. The putrid hours turned into days. Febreeze, Glade, and scented candles could do nothing to abate the horror. One day, Marcus came home and said, "I'm going in. I've got to get rid of whatever it is under there." (What a brave soul.) Scotty was with Marcus and willingly offered to help. (What another brave soul...because there's no way in Hades that I'd be going under the house to find a dead animal. No sir-ee.) For details on the extraction, check out Scott's post on their blog. He goes into detail.

Our fears were confirmed...a possum lay dead (not playing dead)...barely beginning the decay process. This smell would have been HORRIFIC within a week. I can't imagine. It was roughly the size of Callie from head to tip of tail. I get the heebie jeebies thinking of it. I'm sorry for the fate of that animal, but am so grateful that it's now able to peacefully decay on it's own in the field behind the house.

Today

This week, Marcus is out of town and Samantha is on her mid-winter break. So, what am I going to do? Well, there are 2 focuses that I have for the week, and I've officially started today.

1) Eat healthier. So far so good.

2) Potty train Callie. I figure there's no better time for it. We'll be home, no running Sammy to school and appointments...so I can pump Callie with fluids and stick on her on the pot every 1/2 hour. That was the plan...but I'm hitting about 50%. Oh well. She's been kind of potty training herself for months now...about 6 or 7 months now...but we never wanted to commit to taking the next step and doing full out potty training. Well, now it's time. And we'll just have to see how this goes.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Baby Belt Giveaway

My amazingly talented friend has just started up a new etsy shop -- One Little Belt -- and it's just fantabulous -- to say the least. Check out her shop...and then leave a comment to be put in the raffle for her giveaway!


"You have three chances to win. I am giving away two girl's fashion belts and one boy's leather belt raffle-style on Valentine's Day. Each belt will be your choice of style and size with free shipping. You can see styles here. To enter leave a comment on the giveaway post here with your e-mail address.

As an added bonus you can get a second entry if you post this giveway on your blog. Leave a extra comment here with the link to your blog.

The giveaway ends on February 14th at 7:00 pm. MST. Results will be e-mailed February 15th.

I really need all of your help getting the word out about our belts. We have them ready to go, now I just need to let people know about them. You can copy any of this post and use it in your's. Whether you need a belt or not, I will just be thrilled to have your support. Thanks everyone!"

Summer of Anger, Summer of Peace -- Rick Dean


Very interesting book. Author, Rick Dean, grew up in a family of 7 kids. His older brother, Dennis, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and the disease slowly took away the use of his body. Rick was responsible for taking care of Dennis for much of his young life. During the '60s, not much was known about muscular dystrophy, and the prognosis was grim. But Dennis was an incredible boy...and man...who outlived the odds. His story was truly incredible and extremely uplifting.

I found it extra interesting because of our Samantha. The book begins with the fact that Dennis is approaching the days when he needs a wheelchair...and he is NOT happy about this. I was reminded of last year when our physical therapist talked to us about getting a wheelchair for Sammy one day. That was very hard for me. On some level, I felt like a wheelchair signified "giving up" or failure. Logically I understand that's not true...but that's how I felt. I was able to empathize, on some level, with Dennis...with how hurt he felt as they took his wheelchair home for the first time. But it was also wonderful, and extremely encouraging, to read from Rick's point of view -- how much he helped his brother, loved him, and actually enjoyed being Dennis' wing man. I often worry about Callie...if too much will be asked of her if she will be resentful. I've had plenty of opinions given to me about what I need to do so she doesn't feel put-out. And that only makes me worry about her more. This book was encouraging. Even if a sibling may need to help out a lot, they can do so happily, with no hard feelings. I hope that for Callie.

One wouldn't read this book to marvel at the literary techniques or the beautiful imagry. Rather, you would read this book to be inspired, to hear a great story. After reading this, I had the desire to be a better person.

I was able to meet the author this week, and it was an honor. He is a lovely man and I'm so impressed with his compassion and love. I'm glad he wrote this book in order to share his brother's story. May much goodness come from it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

How To Teach Your Baby to Read -- Glenn Doman


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Recently I have had a desire to help my daughter love learning. She already does, so I wanted to find a way to help maintain that throughout her life. She is two years old and I marvel at her enthusiasm to learn and, plainly, at how bright she is. So when it was recommended I read this book, I loved the idea...and I loved the book. I have begun to implement the plan to teach your young children to read and Callie loves it. She looks forward to seeing her words everyday. The materials are extremely easy to make and the process takes very little time each day. But already, she is recognizing words. It's been really fun for both of us.

Climbing Out

It's official. Callie is climbing out of her crib. We've rearranged the furniture several times hoping to get rid of this newly developed problem. It hasn't worked. So, from now on I suppose we'll be waking up in the morning by Callie opening our bedroom door and announcing to us that she is awake and ready to get going. Yikes. It's been a long two days already. I can't imagine what the next 16 years will do to me!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cookies!


The other day I decided I wanted to spend some special Mommy/Daughter time with Callie. Cookies. She loves cookies and she loves cooking. Great idea Jen! Sometimes I can just be so smart it kills me. We washed our hands -- which Callie loves doing. Starting off real swell. I had already made up the cookie dough (I know, making the cookie dough seems like it would be fun to do together, but she has a very short attention span, so I thought we'd just skip that part) so I just gave her little balls of cookie dough and she plopped them down on the cookie sheet. I started telling her where to put them, but then I thought "Jen-babe, relax. Let these be her cookies" and she started putting them where ever she pleased. And really, it should be that way. We were joyfully preparing our cookies when with such speed she grabbed one of the uncooked cookies and shoved it in her mouth. Wow! I was impressed, a little annoyed because there was raw egg in there afterall...and the fact that she decided she needed to be so quick about it illustrates the fact that this smart cookie knew I would have discouraged her from putting raw cookie dough in her mouth...but that's neither here nor there. I've had my share of raw cookie dough. A girl's got to start some time, right? So, here's Callie, in all her cookie glory -- having it ooze out of her mouth as I ask her to smile for me. What a sweet little girl!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cold in Cali



Yes, we even have our cold days and weeks here in sunny California. This past week has been much cooler as we've had some rain. I had to pull out the winter coats for the girls, but they still enjoyed being outside and running around together. This little video isn't amazingly cute or anything, but it does show a little bit of how much fun the girls have together. Callie runs around yelling "Sammy get you, Sammy get you" because that's what we tell her is happening as Samantha stumbles her way over to Callie and follows her around in circles. I love hearing the pitter patter of little running feet on the deck and the squeals of laughter. Even if I am low energy, it lifts my spirits. I have some great girls.

video

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Trees


Callie's starting to explore and climb trees. I love it! She's so full of adventure and has so much fun trying out new things. I can't wait to get her on a community soccer team or tree-climbing league.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Locked In

We all know Samantha loves to open and close doors. This usually isn't a problem, unless she locks herself in the bathroom. She's done it twice now. She goes into the bathroom, because who doesn't love playing in the bathroom?, and then opens up drawers. Those drawers make it so we can't open the door, and she's trapped. She's done it once before, and after that we realized we had to keep a close eye on her so she doesn't really get stuck in there. Well, this past week she snuck in and did it again!

I tried to push the drawer back in, but I just couldn't get the leverage I needed. After quite some time, I decided this would be a good video moment, and then she complied...shut the drawer, and opened the door. What a sweet, obedient little girl.

video

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Coloring

Callie has discovered that she loves to color. We have to be very careful with this. Sometimes it's great. Church is a little easier when you have a kid who likes to color and draw. But the other day, Callie found a Sharpie laying around...and well, we are very lucky that Marcus noticed very quickly. I was out and got a phone call.

"Jenny? How close are you to being home?"
"Maybe 10 minutes. Why?"
"We could use your help scrubbing."

hmmm Is Sharpie permanent marker removable? I guess when the angels are on your side because after some intense scrubbing, they were able to get it off of the piano and wood floors. Woa. That was a close call friends.




video

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Problems with Blogger

One thing that really frustrates me is when I want to edit a post or upload something or whatever...and blogger won't let me do it. Grrrr I want to EDIT for pete's sake. Is that too much to ask?!

Replacing TV with TV

Lately, I have dropped a lot of my tv shows realizing that I am up way too late watching shows that are basically stupid. So, instead, when I need some tv, I sit and watch Gilmore Girls on dvd. Great replacement...I know! New tv shows replaced by old tv shows. hmmm I'm still up too late watching tv, but I'm hooked. I never watched it while it was on, but someone gave me seasons 3 and 4 to borrow -- claiming I'd like them. They were wrong...I love them! I'm obsessed. Aside from some of the bad acting, I love it. And I need to go back to see seasons 1 and 2 -- through the end.

And it's got me thinking about all the old teenyboppery shows I've liked in the past, and if they were still on...I'd still be watching. They are filled with bad plot and bad acting, but that's partly what makes it so great. Though, I think Gilmore Girls is a step above the ones listed below. So, I now introduce my embarrassing list of Jenny's Television Greats -- this really should have a different title I'm sure.

Dawson's Creek. I shudder as I think about it. I'm really embarrassed about this one, mainly because I was so old when it was on, and it's really just that lame. Just before I went on my mission I was watching this show...so I was like 20 years old watching Dawson's Creek! Barf. But there was something about it that I liked. It definitely got annoying -- Dawson got super annoying, just plain out ridiculous. But then you have Pacey who was just a good guy -- cuter-the-more-you-get-to-know-him guy. So plot was not always the best, but that's ok. That's not why you watch a show like Dawson's Creek. Actually, I'm not sure why you do watch a show like Dawson's, but I did, and I enjoyed it. (Until I decided to stop watching it because, I believe, it was just too much.) I even have the soundtrack. Gag! But if there were re-runs, I could place a pretty good bet that I'd get sucked in again.


Roswell.
Roswell was a gem of a show. It brings me back to my college years. Dido became popular around this time, since her song with the theme song. "Oh I am what I am, I do what I want...but Iiiiiiiii can't hide. I won't go, I won't sleep, and I can't breathe, until you're resting here with me..." Great start for her. Great cast. I didn't even remember that Katherine Heigl was on the show...but this Grey's star was on the WB hit Roswell. Oh, how I loved this show and looked forward to it each week. A good mix of teenage love, angst, and aliens. I'm sure it was super cheesy, and over the top, and ridiculous, and at times inappropriate. But I'm tempted to go buy all the seasons on dvd as we speak...or type. Whatever.




Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I never watched Buffy, though after watching only 1/2 an episode with Analisa the other day, I regretted not partaking in the years that Buffy was on the air. Oh the acting is horrible, the vampires and other monster-like creatures look hideous, but there is a definite draw. And this little (once again, too long) clip made me giggle a little bit. Oh, vampires are great aren't they?



So, I clearly have a weakness for tacky tv shows. And as long as there are people out there in the world like me, those shows will continue to thrive...at least for a few seasons. There's something about these teenybopper shows that make me happy. I mean, won't we -- who are in my generation-- all have fond memories of Saved by the Bell? I mean, didn't we all learn from Saved by the Bell? If not about friendship and love, we at least learned that there's no hope with dope. Yes, I'm quite sure we will all hold a special place in our hearts for SBTB. And though Dawson's and Roswell, and shows of the like, may not fall into that category. But for a short season of my life, they filled an entertainment void in my life.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wahoo!

It's official. Sammy says "MO" -- translation: more.

Yep. My girl is so smart I'm about doing flips here. I've been thinking for a little bit that she was saying it...but today there was no way to deny it.

Driving home from school. Handing pretzels to her in the back seat.

"Sammy? Do you want more? Mmmmmore?" silence as I wait for a response.

"Mmmmooooo."

"Yeah!!!! Sammy, mmmmore mmmmore mmmmore pretzels!"

She giggled and giggled and ate her pretzels while I laughed my little heart out...and she laughed more. Life is joyous isn't it?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We Are Here For A Reason

In my short (almost) 30 years, I have found that there are a lot of questions to be asked. I have some of the answers. But more often than not, I find that others have the answers that I'm in need of. And usually, I find out who has my answer after on-my-knees, pleading prayer. And always (so far), I find the people who have answers to my hardest, most life-altering questions after a lot of prayer. Not just some...but a heckuva-lotta prayer.

Samantha has been an area of concern for me, well, her entire earthly existence. Certainly there were the ups and downs because of health-related issues. But, no matter how "great" things are going, I always wonder about...and have concern for...her future. I have felt time and again that there is more to this little girl than what she is able to show us...that there is more for us to see here, while she is living and with us, on this earth. My faith enables me to immediately believe, and know, that more understanding will be given to us after this life...but I honestly believe that there is more HERE that we will see. Though we have seen many miracles in Sammy's life, I believe there is more to be witnessed.

So I pray. We are c o n s t a n t l y praying. And I pray that we will find what it is that will help her achieve her full potential here. And after this life, when she is resurrected into a perfect, beautiful little bundle of Sammy-Sam...she will be perfect. And here, I will be able to do all I can, as her mother, to help her achieve what she was -- is -- meant to accomplish and achieve.

About 2 weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend. I am tutoring her son, and she was telling me what some of his difficulties are in school. This discussion, led to a discussion about learning, in general. (I also am constantly praying that I will be able to help Callie develop her mind and talents as much as she can. You see, I feel like I have 2 children on opposite ends of the spectrum. Sammy is definitely way behind, while Callie is achieving far beyond her age. I am constantly looking for things that will continue to stimulate her and make her happy in learning.) My friend introduced me to a program (which once we really get rolling I'll blog about), and Callie is loving it. This program led me to another program that I feel is an answer to my prayers -- for Samantha.

We are in the early early early stages. All my projects are on hold until I read about 1,000,000 books. But we are meeting with a clinician who works in this certain field. That meeting will be sometime in June or July. She is the only clinician outside of Philadelphia, PA who does this...and she just happens to come to San Jose, CA every 6 months to follow-up on patients she has here.

We are in San Jose for a reason. We are living with Marcus' parents for a reason -- sure to save money...but also to be in this ward, so I could connect with this friend I've made, so she could connect me to this program, that connected me to a woman in our stake who has used it with FOUR of her special needs children, whose cousin is the only clinician outside of Philadelphia who sets up individual plans for these kiddos and comes to SAN JOSE every SIX MONTHS so she can help her cousin's kids...but in the meantime has created a clientele here...I mean, really people. The Lord often provides answers to our questions and concerns through others. And I'm so grateful for it.

Now, we haven't officially begun, as I've previously mentioned. But both Marcus and I are so excited. I'm reading during any free time I have and we're trying to save as much money as I can to pay for it...but I believe that this will greatly benefit our little sammy-sam...and of course, I'll be writing more on this topic as things unfold. It's so early I'm not quite ready to generally blog about the program, but the more information I get, the more I'll share, as it's a program that can benefit ANY child.

Monday, February 1, 2010

How Much?

Ok, so if someone was asking you to possibly watch their little boy -- not sure on the age...I think under 1 year old -- while they went back to work....possibly part-time...possibly full-time -- how much would you charge?

Because I have no idea.

Here's the scoop. Someone we know has a little boy. She needs to go back to work. Someone has offered a part-time position, but because of some other issues, she may not take it. As she has looked around for other jobs, she can only find full-time positions. We have no idea what the situation will be. I asked how much she was thinking of paying me...I asked nicely of course...and she said she wasn't sure yet about all of that because she had never done this before. So, I said I'd do some research and ask friends who have done it what they were paid and get back to her.

Any of you ever been a nanny? How much did you get paid? I know they need the money, that's why she's going back to work. She knows we can use the money, that's why she's talking to me. Is there a good hourly price? Or should we just do a flat weekly rate? But it may be 2 days a week, or maybe up to 5 days a week (I'd probably have the little boy from 11am - 6:30pm). So folks, what's a girl to do? Help help help me.

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