Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sam is 13 months old!


Well, a few days late BUT Sam is 13 months old!  Look at that blonde, blue-eyed cutie.


What can I say about Sam?  In some ways he is easy.  He's good-natured, extremely outgoing and social, loves meeting new people, and is completely easygoing about me dragging him all over town every day.  Then there's the other side of it.  The side that is hard.  The side of Sam that is an insane frat boy maniac.  The toddler that continuously climbs up on tables, dances on chairs, scales ladders, and runs around the house squealing.  He exhausts me every day.


But he's definitely adorable and so lovable. So much fun.


Sam's relationship with Jack remains volatile.  But when they get along, it's downright adorable.  Then it's back to wrestling.



Happy 13 months Sam!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sam - Year One

Sam’s Year One

Well, this post is a few weeks late but it seems appropriate since every Sam post this year has been a bit delayed.  Second child syndrome I assume.  But let’s dive into this past year, shall we? 


A little over a year ago I was a week from my due date and cockily thought that I would be overdue again.  So I was pretty shocked when my water broke and I had to head to the hospital in the middle of the night.  I was so much calmer this time around though.  I’ll never forget driving with John on an empty LA freeway at 2am through downtown LA.  We were relaxed and chatting and couldn’t wait to meet our new little boy. The labor was better because I knew what to expect and, in what I would learn was true Sam style, he slid right into this world without much fuss, ready to party even though the doctor wasn’t in the room. 


The first few weeks, even months, are a blur.  I just remember being on the go those first four weeks when Sam was still asleep most of the time.  He hung out in the Ergo on my chest while I went to Jack’s play dates, led my MOMS Club meetings, and at every preschool pickup and dropoff.  While I had been scared to death to go to Target with baby Jack, I took Sam everywhere and anywhere.  Sam sadly wasn’t the greatest sleeper but he was better than Jack so it seemed like an improvement.  And besides, by the second kid, your sleep is totally screwed and you’re conditioned to wake up often so it’s just not as hard.  Nonetheless, I wouldn’t have complained if I had gotten a good sleeper.  Sigh.


I guess I would sum up those first six months with Sam as hard, but actually a little easier than I thought it would be.  Jack was just so so tough that I had psyched myself up to expect the absolute worst…so Sam seemed easier.  Plus it helped that I now had a great support system of fantastic mom friends who were always there to hold Sam while I chased Jack around a park, or juggled bags and car seats or whatever. 


Sam immediately showed us that he was going to be way different than his brother.  Even now, while he doesn’t talk, he is just the opposite of Jack in so many ways.  From almost birth, Jack loved hearing us read to him and would devour books.  Sam has read about a total of 3 books in his 12 months of life.  Jack was so clingy and upset in most new situations or big groups.  I would inevitably leave a play date early because he just wasn’t happy hanging on a blanket on the grass.  Meanwhile Sam can’t wait to be put down so he can go toddling off to strangers to say hi.  It’s such a different experience doing things with him…whether it be music class or trips to the zoo or anything.  He’s just a happy, smiley, social kid. 


While Sam’s outgoing personality made for an easier infant, I think it’s made him a harder toddler than Jack.  Just when I thought I had survived the hardest part (the first six months), life went and laughed at me and gave me a challenging toddler and a harder second half of the year.  Where Jack was content to be at home and, even from a young age, could play quietly and get engrossed in a book or toy, Sam was and continues to be the opposite.  He hates just hanging at home, is bored by just my presence, and wants to be out and about and entertained.  “Where’s the party?” is his motto I think.  If you know me, you know this is not my lifestyle!  So it’s been exhausting trying to keep him entertained and happy.  But it’s worth it because his little crooked smile is infectious and adorable. 


Sammy does have one thing in common with Jack though…he is stubborn as hell.  Those two brothers….  I feel like I’m Sam’s bodyguard most of the time, just trying to keep Jack from hurting him.  Jack wasn’t pleased when we brought Sam home and nowadays he isn’t much happier about the situation.  They will have nice moments together where Jack will hug him and say something loving.  But most of the time Jack is hitting him or pushing him down or yelling at him not to touch his toys.  Poor Sam only wants to keep up with him and copy him and he just gets pushed around all day.  I feel bad for the kid because he’s become conditioned to wince when Jack runs up to him.  And yet he keeps going back for more because there’s no one he loves more than Jack.  I think “Jack” was even Sam’s first word.



 

This first year was more challenging than I could have ever imagined…and in different ways that I could have imagined.  The sheer emotional and mental frustration that comes from juggling a baby and a preschooler…it’s enough to send you over the edge some days.  John has been my rock this whole year and we’ve had some days that were great and some that were fairly terrible.  When he’s having a hard time with them I can try to cheer him up him and vice versa.  (or we just keep each other from killing the kids.)  Thank goodness for having a partner who is totally invested in Jack and Sam and who is here for me all the time.  I really feel like I barely survived the year and I only did because of John. 


All of these challenges are at least made better by the fact that I know this is a phase, and a short one at that.  I try to keep that in mind when I’ve got a screaming sobbing over-tired baby tugging at my leg while I’m cleaning poop off my preschooler’s legs and hands.  I laugh about the fact that I used to have a career and take a shower every morning and get dressed to look presentable.  And now I’m cleaning vomit off of my pants because I have a toddler who is prone to gagging and throwing up.  It’s just funny how life works out. 


But I don’t think I’d trade it for the world, even on the worst of days.  Having Sam around to laugh, smile, and brighten my day is better than anything else.  I love when he’s a great mood after dinner and he chases Jack and me around the house, giggling like a maniac.  I love that his favorite thing to do is cover his face with his little lovey blanket and play peek-a-boo with me.  I love that he’s just starting saying “WHOA” and he uses it all the time…especially when we see Christmas lights.  He’s a little character that kid and I can’t wait to see what happens with him this next year when he starts talking and his personality comes out even more.  And who wouldn’t want to stare at his little face all day?  Happy birthday Sammy Matts!




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jack is 3 3/4 years old!


Look at that handsome kid.  I've always loved his smile.  As his teacher says, he doesn't smile all the time but, when he does, you know you've earned it.  


But don't be fooled by that smile.  He can be charming one minute and an utter terror the next.  There's lots of talk of "three-nagers" in our playgroup and I totally subscribe to that theory.  When he's great, he's great.  Fantastic.  My buddy.  But when he's not....he can be moody, angry, aggressive, insane, and just a ball of emotions that he doesn't know how to regulate.  Sometimes it's so disheartening but thank goodness I have lots of mom friends who are in the same boat.  Their sons are crazy and hard to manage too.  So it's all just a phase and I enjoy the good times and try to survive the throwing fits and temper tantrums.  :)


I will say that this kid has really come out of his shell.  Our playgroup friends who have known him since he was 6 months can't believe the change.  He used to be so quiet and serious and now he can be so animated and happy with his friends.  It's so fun to see.  Some of it must just be his age but another part of it is definitely his preschool.  He really likes his new preschool and it's really made him more outgoing which is cool.  Not sure he learning much on the reading and writing front...but that's okay.  ;)


Jackie remains my cuddler while his younger brother HATES to be held or cuddled.  Which is why, now when he's going through a co-sleep phase, we indulge him.  He usually wakes up half-way through the night and wants daddy or mommy to come in and sleep next to him.  He just wants a warm body but John enjoys the sweet time with him.  


Sam remains a friend sometimes but nemesis often.  There are brief moments of adorable happiness between the siblings during the day.  A half an hour after dinner, 15 minutes in the morning.  Time when they chase each other and giggle and have fun.  But then the rest of the day I'm pretty much a referee.  Jack seems to just be angered by his presence.  Even when he's not touching his toys.  


Unfortunately there's a lot of hitting and pushing and none of my preventative or discipline methods seem to be working.  I'm hoping it's just a phase but worried it's a decade-long phase.  Yikes!


Regardless, my first born is one heck of a kid.  A fountain-obsessed, planet-loving, crazy kid.  Who is 3 3/4 years old! 




Friday, November 14, 2014

Sam's 1st Birthday

 

So, proving that second kids often seem to get the short end of the stick, I decided that I didn't want to have a huge party for Sam's 1st birthday. I mean, I'm confident that Sam won't remember his first birthday so why go to a giant expense? We decided to just invite Jack's friends over for a play date. And serve cupcakes of course. Because all I really needed was a picture of Sam stuffing a cupcake into his mouth. And, guess what? I got it. :)

   
 (Birthday hat courtesy of Jack's 1st birthday party if you can believe it.) 

Sam had a great time chasing after the older kids, as usual. It's his favorite activity. And he seemed to enjoy his first cupcake. Though I can't say that he devoured it with the same speed as Jack. So maybe I'll be lucky and have a kid that's not a giant dessert fiend with an insatiable sweet tooth.

Here are some pictures from our fun day!

 






 

 Happy birthday sweet Sam! 

 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sam is 12 months old!


Well, it's been a whole month since my last post but I wouldn't miss this photo shoot for the world.  Our little Sammy is 1 year old!  Absolutely crazy.  It went by so fast!  (Except for some of those days...yikes.)  


Sam is a seriously active little guy.  He's got a twinkle in his eye and is ready for fun at all times.  His favorite thing to do is chase his big brother.  (Here's Jack at 12 months if you need a refresher).  Sammy just loves watching Jack, imitating Jack, and playing with Jack's toys.  He loves it when Jack's playgroup comes over and we've got 12 three and four year olds running around.  Little Sam is always there in the mix trailing after them.  


At 12 months, Sam is finally sleeping a little better.  He goes to bed early (6:30pm) and, if I'm lucky, sleeps until around 5:30am.  He's definitely a morning person but that's not terrible since I am too.  He's a great eater so far too.  He eats most things and is incredibly adventurous compared to Jack who currently eats about 5 things.  


Love this kids smile!  And his scream!  


And his crazy face!


These two brothers.  Sigh.  If only Jack would stop beating him down.  Because when he stops, they are pretty cute.


I mean...isn't this the most adorable thing ever?  


Happy 12 months Sam!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sam is 11 months old!


Sammy is 11 months old!  I think the poor kid has been sick for about 4 weeks but this cold just won't seem to go away.  But look at that cute blondie.  He is so big now...just solid...probably due to him being an eating machine.  The kid loves to eat anything and everything and that's so refreshing since Jack eats like three things.  And speaking of Jack, here he is at 11 months in case you were wondering. :)


Sam is a SERIOUSLY active little boy.  He is walking now (though still crawls when he needs to get something fast).  He climbs on everything from kitchen drawers to step stools to strollers to rock climbing walls at parks.  Sam watches Jack's every move so he's learning fast. 


He does crave attention though and that's exhausting sometimes.  I suppose since I'm often preoccupied with Jack's activities but, man, he will let you know when he wants attention.  Screaming, shrieking, even biting until you give him your undivided attention or take him outside or do whatever he wants.  Tricky little kid.


Poor Sam though does take quite a bit of abuse from his brother.  One minute Jack is sweet and the next he's tackling him, wrestling him, pushing him down, etc.  But, darn, when they are cute they are cute.







Happy 11 months Sam!  You're almost to the big one!