First birthday

First birthday

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Samuel - 20 Months

So I kind of feel like saying Samuel's age in months is getting a little ridiculous. When people ask how old he is now, I usually just say "One and a half" or "He'll be 2 in January." For my own records, though, I figure I'll keep up with months for a little while longer. Obviously his month-to-month changes aren't quite as drastic as they were this time last year, but they're still significant (I think. But I am his mom. :-)

Samuel started preschool again this month and, not surprisingly, he LOVES it! His teachers this year are Mrs. Katie and Mrs. Sharone. They have music time and get to play outside, two things he didn't do last year. They also do tons of artwork and play with cars and trucks, apparently a winner with him as well. We pull in and he starts saying "Car! Car!"

 He still likes to go visit his old teacher, Mrs. Barbara, as well. Hers is one of those names he can say really really well, so he likes to go point at her and say "Bah-buh! Bah-buh!" It's really cute.

I like him going to preschool too. I can get so. much. done! It's crazy! Tuesday I did some work around the house and ran errands, and I think I went to 8 or 9 different places in the hour or so I was out. I also went and bought myself some shoes today, something that would be next to impossible to accomplish with Samuel in tow. Starting next week I will be watching an extra baby on one of his preschool days, but I'm still really pumped to have my one morning a week to myself.

Anyway, back to Samuel.

Eating: Um, still a lot. He has gotten pickier lately though. He's slowly learning how not to throw food on the floor if he doesn't want it. His (and my) new obsession this month are laughing cow cheeses. Holy schnikes, those things are good! I managed to get a bunch of them on sale, so we've been having one every day. It's a nice little boost of protein since the only meat he will eat is chicken nuggets/tenders. I still pretty much give him whatever we're eating, though, so hopefully he'll come back around one day. 

Singing: Skinna-marinky-dinky-dink. And Twinkle Twinkle and Itsy Bitsy Spider. The only one he actually sings is Twinkle Twinkle. And don't even try to fool him by singing ABCs instead, because he WILL NOT stand for it.

TV: Apparently Super Why is out, Clifford is back in. This week anyway. And Daniel Tiger is ok too, unless it's an episode that Owl isn't in, because why watch it if you can't see "Ow-EL?"

Sleeping: We've had some 6-6:30 am days thanks to this one last eye tooth that WILL NOT COME THROUGH. Not fun. I make him stay down til 7 at least, but with our rooms being right next to each other, if he's awake, I'm awake. Naps are still 1 1/2-2 hours usually. We had a few bad days with that recently too, but 9 times out of 10, there's no real problem.

Clothes: We're pretty solidly into the 24 month clothes now with some 2Ts mixed in there. A few of his 18 month things are still acceptable, but definitely getting tight. When did he get so big?

Books: I'm so glad my child loves to read! A few favorites right now are Hop on Pop, The Nose Book, Bunny's Garden, B is for Bear, a Thanksgiving book, Peek a Boo! I love you!, and Hands are Not for Hitting (oh yes, we went there!).

Toys: As aforementioned, the kid is loving some cars right now! I also got him a little truck he can ride around on and that's a hit, as well as anything he can push around. He also likes to hammer on his tool set, "ride" his bike, and play on his slide.

Play/Climbing: Because the two are synonymous for him. He learned how to climb up the twisty ladder thing at the park and get onto the platform 5 feet off the ground. And go up the rock wall. And down it. He scares his mama to death every time we go. He can also climb the fence a bit. And get on our dining room table. And climb the shelf in my closet. Oh my.

I think it's also significant to note that Samuel RUNS. Like, seriously runs. Everywhere he goes. Not just sometimes. Not just a quick spurt of running then panting. But a literal, all-out toddler run. I have to jog to keep up with him. Walking beside me and holding my hand is torture for him. Poor guy. I guess he got his momma's genes there. ;-)

Words: Samuel talks a lot. We've gotten pretty good at the yes/no game, so I can typically deduce what he is saying after a series of questions. He's gotten really good at saying several names, particularly "Carter" "Josh" "Conner" and "Barbara." He's also started calling Eric and me "Daddy" and "Mommy" which is really cute. He refers to his grandparents as "nana" and "bubby" (why I don't know!) and, occasionally, correctly identifies "pappy". He can also correctly identify a good chunk of letters, which I'm pretty impressed with. And, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that he loves talking about his "wee wee." He tells it "hi" and "bye bye" every time we do a diaper change. He's such a boy.

Annd now it seems that nap time is over. ;-) I love my crazy cuddly little bug, as much as he wears me out. And, as always, I'm so glad to get to be his mom! <3 nbsp="">

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beach Bums.

Eric and I finally got away for a weekend by ourselves! It only took us 19 months. (I swear I'm not a super-attached-can't-leave-my-child kind of mom. We have just never had an opportunity to leave him since our family is so far away). 

After a lot of debate, we decided to go to Hilton Head for our getaway. That might have been a mistake, since it's a good 6 hour drive from our house and we were only staying 2 nights (talk about waaay too much time in the car!). So we didn't think that part through. 

We did have a great time relaxing, though! Our room was oceanfront so we could see/hear/smell the water and salty sea air while lounging around. It was amazing. There were 3 or 4 pools, only one of which we actually used one day (seriously, 2 nights just isn't enough!), and some fire pits and restaurants and such at the resort. We spent a lot of time wandering around and even more time just doing nothing. Together. 

We did take one morning to explore part of the island we hadn't visited before. 
We found a random farm with a free petting zoo where Eric got licked by a deer (possibly the weirdest part of our trip??) and met/talked to some cool parrots (who can apparently live up to 90 years?!? Am I the only one who thinks that's crazy interesting??). 
We went up a lighthouse. 
We played putt-putt (and essentially tied - the score card said Eric beat me by one point, but there was a questionable round or two, so I'm holding to a tie if not a win.;-) 
We ate. A lot. 
We dressed up and went to a jazz club/restaurant with a bunch of 60 year olds and listened to one of the best pianists I've ever heard (and a crazy latin lady singing and dancing...). 

It was random and fun and, as much as we missed our little guy, we totally wished we could have stayed a few more nights! 


Fingers crossed it won't be another 19 months before we escape again. ;-) 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Owls and Grace. And Mountain Dew.

Those two things don't have anything to do with each other, they're just two things I meant to record and they seemed obscure enough to sound good together. ;-)

Owls - Nothing special there, just that my child is obsessed with owls all of a sudden. (???!?) I'm not totally sure where it came from.

There's an owl on Daniel Tiger (Named O the Owl. Super creative, right?). He never really cared about him before, but now he's choosing to watch Daniel over Super Why.... "cause OWL!"

There's also an owl in this ABC book my parents got him last week and he keeps opening the book to the "O" page and squealing "Ow-elll! Ow-ell!!" in the most exaggerated way possible.

To top it off, we got to see a real owl at the Science Museum on Monday. He was over. the. moon. He "talked" about it the rest of the day (or, as the case may be, he kept saying "owl owl owl - hoo hoo!!" the whole way home. Vocabulary isn't his strong suit. ;-)

So there's nothing special about that, it's just something I wanted to remember.

And grace - Well, I was just thinking after a very long, fussy, napless, beat-your-momma-up-and-scream-about-every-little-thing kind of afternoon about how beautiful grace is.

Sometimes it's really hard for me to be gracious to my child when he is having a rough day, especially when I'm tired or, like today, super sore to go with it (that's what I get for working out too hard this week). But I know that I have been and can be way harder to deal with than that. Not only do I (internally) throw fits (I usually keep my all-out kicking and screaming tantrums to a minimum these days), I'm stubborn and overly questioning and at times even belligerent, and sometimes I sure do think I can do everything by myself.

Man, I'm so grateful that God has shown me grace! And that He gives me grace to make it through afternoons like these. Because even when making it to bedtime is a struggle, there's no where else I'd rather be.

That was going to be all. But then I remembered this:
Samuel's "job" at dinner time is to bring Eric a soda, usually Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper. 

One evening a few weeks ago Eric had to work late, and I found Samuel in the living room like this, calling "da da!! da da!!" It was sweet and sad and hilarious all at once. Apparently Mountain Dew must have magic properties, though, because Eric walked through the door a few moments later. We'll have to test this one out again on MICU next month! 

Anyway, that is all (for real this time!).

Friday, August 29, 2014

19 Months: He Speaks

At 19 months, baby boy is finally talking, or doing something that resembles it anyway. I'm guessing he has 40-50 words right now. Not all of them are intelligible to the average listener, of course, but he likes to attempt to communicate anyway. Or maybe he just likes to hear himself talk. ;-)

He's also started putting multiple words together in the last week or so. This has worked to his advantage since I tend to give him what he wants since I'm so proud of him for saying two words together. Don't get used to it, kiddo. ;-)

I need to be better about keeping track of what he says since it makes me laugh about 20 times a day, but here are a few not-very-funny words/phrases he's saying a lot this week:

- "More, please (Pssss)!"
- "Me/My _______ (whatever is his - ball, cracker, banana, etc.)"
- "That _________ (this morning he woke up and pointed across the room and said "That ball!!")"
- "Baby!" I've also discovered this can sometimes mean "bagel" if he's feeling too lazy to make the "lll" sound.
- "Hi!" He's said "bye bye" for a long time, but "hi" is new this month.
- "Wa wa" aka waffle
- "No," "Yes," "Uh-uh," "uh-huh" and the like. He is doing much better about meaning yes and no.
- "Dee-dee" aka Teddy. He looooves his teddy.
- "Seh, Go!" - His version of "ready, set, go!"
- "Keys."
- "Door.
- "Flower."
- "Car."
- "Bike."
- "Toes/nose/eye/earring/arm/knee." We spend a lot of time going over our body parts. Oh, and I can't forget "diaper" and "wee wee." Such a boy!
- "Juice!" which he hardly ever is allowed to drink. Pretty much the only juice he gets is from Trader Joe's sample stand and he starts saying it as soon as we walk in.
- "Chair"
- "Jump!"
- "Yayyy!!"
- And, as mentioned a lot the last few weeks. "Why!!!" (Super Why on PBS).

We also spend a lot of time talking about animals and their sounds, letters (he's really into the letter "E" right now), saying "sorry" and "thank you" (he has to be prompted to say these a lot), and talking about different family members/friends. He has a few friends whose names he realllly likes to say a lot.

Samuel also still spends a TON of time babbling to himself. Like right now, he's laying in his crib talking away. And laughing. And clapping. I do wonder what is going on in that little head of his!

He's also started singing to himself the last few weeks, which is beyond adorable. The most common thing I hear sounds something like "ABCs," but who knows what he really means. He doesn't usually want to sing with me when I sing, but anytime we're in the car or he's playing alone, he's usually singing himself a little tune. So sweet. :-)

I know it'll probably drive me crazy, but I am really excited for him to start talking more. Kids say the funniest things, and I'll get to have a front row seat to his little monologues. Hopefully future months will bring many more conversations to share!

Monday, August 25, 2014

19 months: Favorite Things

I'm thinking it might be easier to do these in increments. At three days shy of 19 months, here are some of Samuel's current favorite things:

- Watching videos of himself, especially ones as a "baby" learning to walk where he falls down a lot. He CRACKS UP at any video where he falls down. (We have 3 videos like this and they seriously entertain him for 15-20 mins at a time).

- Super Why (a PBS show). Multiple times throughout the day he starts telling me "Why!!! Why!!!" He only gets to watch once per day though. It's a rough life.

- Bubbles. Duh.

- Pulling everything out of the kitchen drawers, especially all the K-cups and plastic ziploc bags.

- Babies. I don't know what sparked it, but he looooves babies right now! It's one of his favorite words.

- Brushing his teeth.

- Singing - this is something new he's just started doing and I love it! I'll hear him in his room talking to himself and he'll just start adding a tune to it. Adorbs.

- "Jumping." He can't actually jump, but he thinks he can.

- Standing at the top of the steps of our deck, clapping, and yelling "Yay!!"

- "Racing" with me outside.

- Opening and closing our gate and saying "Nooooo!"

- I probably shouldn't admit this, but he loves climbing and standing on our side tables in the living room. He's pretty steady, and there's nothing on them, so we finally just let him do it. Mom of the year right here!

- Playing "Airplane Samuel" with Eric and me.

- Looking at a Curious George DVD case and making monkey sounds. Entire car rides to the Y have been spent like this.

- Throwing food on the floor. Really, throwing anything on the floor. Wood floors make such a cool thump. Le sigh.

- Pulling the cat's tail. Poor kitty.

- Pressing buttons, especially at the store. I let him press the credit card machine buttons until I'm ready to actually use it. He thinks it's pretty fabulous.

- Elevators. Over and over and over.

- Water fountains. Seriously, it doesn't take much to entertain this kid!

- Giving and blowing kisses, saying "hi" and "bye", and generally winning the attention of every woman he comes in contact with.

- Other people's food. Obviously everyone else's Goldfish are way better than his own.

- Mommy and daddy, because we're awesome. ;-) Seriously, though, I think my favorite thing Samuel does right now is go up to "talk" to other kids, say "hi" and then point toward me and say "ma ma!" Like he's just making sure they know that that mama is his. That and his cute little hugs and kisses melt me.

This really has been a fun month despite some serious tantrum throwing. Watching Samuel learn so much and hearing his vocabulary grow so rapidly is amazing! I so love this crazy kid! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Gnam Gnam.

Does anyone else have a serious baking addiction? I really have tried to back off multiple times. I have yet to be successful.

These two things are at least sort of healthy-ish? And easy. And quick. 

Banana Bake
Um, so easy, you don't even need a recipe! Cut up a banana, put it on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Dab some honey on and then sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Pop that bad boy in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes and you have some amazing banana-y goodness. It was like a sopapilla. With bananas. You're welcome. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Once again, E-A-S-Y.
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all that stuff up and roll the dough into balls on a cookies sheet. 350 for 10 minutes and you have some gluten-free Reese's-esque deliciousness ready to eat. Oh, and I threw in some chocolate chips for good measure. You know, just to be sure they were chocolatey enough. 

Why can't I be addicted to salad or something? 

Winning their hearts.

I don't know much about parenting. I'm kind of figuring it out as I go, as I'm sure every other parent is.

I do appreciate being able to glean from other people's parenting wisdom. Pinterest and blogs have made that pretty easy. I can read articles or thoughts/ideas from other moms without ever leaving my living room. Some of what I come across doesn't mesh with my style, and some people seem to think that because their 9 month old hasn't thrown a tantrum yet that they're parenting experts. But occasionally I'll find something really encouraging, and I'm always grateful when I do.

One encouraging article I read yesterday was by a mom who went to a woman whose grown children all turned out amazingly well - they clearly had a great relationship with their parents, their own families, and the Lord. She had to know her secret. What kind of wisdom could she share?

The seasoned mother didn't respond with a list of things to make sure her children did or said or read (How often do we young moms look for checklists to help us feel accomplished as parents? I know I do!). In fact, she didn't really respond at all, but instead sent her (grown) children to the young mother to share what kept them so tied in to their faith and family.

The kids' response was simple - their parents won their hearts.
They took an interest in their kids' interests.
They listened intently to what their children had to say.
They sometimes passed up on other opportunities to spend time with their kids.
They made sure that their kids knew they were more than lovable, but likable as well.
They prayed for them and with them.
They helped them find their best traits and develop them
They worried more about their children's hearts than their actions.
And they constantly reminded them that who God created them to be was enough.

And that love in action won them not only to their parents but also to their God.

I hope that's the kind of parents Eric and I will grow to be. I know we (I) have a long way to go, but I hope our child(ren) will see that kind of love in us. That they will feel like they belong, like they are a special part of our family just the way they are.

It also struck me that the same principle applies to our faith. So often the idea that prevails in Christian churches is that we should "share" our faith - aka go through a list of scriptures to convince people of the deity of Christ. Really shouldn't our goal be to win their hearts? And while it's clearly Christ who does the winning, can't He - doesn't He - use us to do so?

It's easy to look for shortcuts. It's easy to just give someone a list of scripture verses. It's easy to follow a list of do's and don'ts in parenting. It's hard to invest in people, to take time to get to know them, to find a way to connect, to love them. It's hard to see their hearts instead of their actions. It's hard to remember that, no matter how different than us they may be, they are significant, they are enough.

I'm terrible at this, I know. I'm an awful listener. I judge way too easily and definitely find it difficult to connect with those different than me. I worry what others think and judge my own actions way too harshly as well. I'm sure I will have the same trouble as a parent. I already struggle and I've only just begun.

But I know I am called to something far greater, far deeper, and thankfully I don't have to do it alone. I hope and pray I'll learn to love deeply, overwhelmingly. And I hope that when my kids are grown and someone asks them about their relationship with their family and their faith, they'll be able to say the same thing: we won their hearts.