Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sam is 5 months old today!

Little Sam (or BIG Sam) is 5 months old today.  He continues to be one happy, smiley, laid back dude.  

My assistant Jack's blurry hand pictured as well

He definitely still looks like Jack at the same age, but the differences are getting bigger.  And they do act incredibly different.  Jack wasn't laid back at all.  Sam, while he's laid back, is DYING to move.  He exerts such effort trying to sit up and crawl and just generally bounce.  He's pretty pissed that he can't play with his big brother.  

Sam also seems a bit more content with his environment.  Jack was always a bit more curious and inquisitive and, well, a trickster.  Sam seems too nice to be a trickster.  

Sam is GIANT though.  At the same age, Jack actually lost weight because I was breastfeeding and my supply was dwindling.  I didn't really know that or do much about it.  This time around, the doctor suggested supplementing formula with Sam.  We did which quickly led to Sam rejecting breastfeeding altogether and now he's completely on the bottle.  It's actually translated to a better nap schedule, longer stretches at night, and a HUGE weight gain.  I think Sam might have gained three pounds in one month.  Which is crazy.  We will see at his doctor's appointment this week but the kid is chubby.  And adorable of course.  But chubby none the less.  Check out that belly!

Oops.  Can't stretch that far without falling over.  

And here are the brothers.  Jack always insists on being part of this photo shoot so here you go.  :)  Happy 5 months buddy!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Household update


 Hi there.  We are all still alive, in case you were wondering.  In fact, we are doing pretty darn well.  It's just that I'm sadly exhausted after putting two kids to bed so I usually go to bed pretty early.  So I'm sorry I'm depriving you of adorable pics of my kids.  Because they are pretty darn adorable.

Sam is just...well, adorable.  Let me think of a synonym...delightful?  Who knew that babies could be this way?!  No offense to Jack but Sam is a walk in the park compared to him.  Smiley at all times, never cries during the day, is dragged everywhere and stays happy.  He will go to anyone and everyone.  And he is super easy to put down at night.  He isn't giving us giant stretches of sleep still at night but NOTHING like Jack.  He wakes up every 2 or 3 hours but if you feed him he goes right back to sleep without much fuss.  It's awesome.


Of course, one of the best things about Sam is seeing his big brother interact with him and vice versa.  Jack is a god in Sam's eyes and he is most excited to see him throughout the day.  He can be fussy in the bath but if Jack pops his head in, he breaks out into a smile.  Tired of bouncing in the bouncer?  Just have Jack come up to him and play with him and Sam is no longer tired of being there.  And Jack is just amazing with him.  He loves Sam and is constantly asking about him.  He exclaims that he would like a sandwich but that "Sam can't eat sandwiches!"  And he'll hug him and say good morning each morning at 6am.  They are best buds and I hope it stays that way.  At least for a little while.

Sam amazed by Jack's storytelling abilities

Holding hands


Perhaps a little TOO much hugging from crazy big brother

But basically we are doing very well.  Very busy with my MOMS Club stuff and all of Jack's play dates.  Sam is a hit with the older toddler crowd so that's cute.  The other day my family came up with so that John and I could get a date night and Sam was, again, great.  And very cute in a cowboy hat.

Jack had some fun too with Grandpa and Aunt Julie.

So we're doing good!  John certainly enjoys having his boys who love basketball and music as much as him.

And I like playing with this cutie while big brother is at preschool.  :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sam's 4 month doctor's visit

This is much delayed but about 10 days ago Jack had his 4 month doctor's visit!  The little guy checked out pretty good.  She was impressed with his head and core strength (and his continuous efforts to sit up) and was charmed by his smiles.  

She was less impressed with his weight gain.  It wasn't alarming or anything but he didn't gain that much.  In fact, he followed the exact downward curve that Jack did.  Of course, in the next month, Jack's 4th to 5th month, he lost weight so we are just trying to prevent that with Sam.  After I said that I thought that my milk supply might be dwindling, she suggesting supplementing a tiny bit of formula.  If this had been my first kid I would have balked but, instead, I was like, "sure, whatever."  So now I try to give him a bottle of formula after his last nursing session before bed.  It hasn't gotten us any more sleep but I am hoping it is helping his weight gain.  

Anyways, here are his stats!

Length - 25.5 inches (75th percentile)
Weight - 13 pounds, 10 ounces (30th percentile)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sam is 4 months old today!

There's our little Sammy.  Four months old today!  Starting to look a little different from Jack, right?

He's a funny little guy.  He seems to have hit a bit of a 4 month regression where he's a little bit fussier and his sleep...well, I'll go into that later.  At home he pretty much refuses to let me put him down.  But he does love to be out and about around a lot of people.  He never fails to give a smile to Jack's teachers or my friends or strangers on the street.  What a charmer.  

But yeah...that sleep thing.  In that way he is JUST like his brother.  Currently waking up every hour or so and that's when he's sleeping on us.  And poor John tries to help soothe him every time but the only thing that will put him back to sleep is nursing.  Soo....  yeah.  We are tired.  We will see what happens. 

There is nothing Sam loves more though than his big brother.  He just adores him.  Lately Sam has been so pissy and it seems it's because he's trying to sit up but can't.  I really think that's what it is.  It's like he wants to move like his big brother Jack but he can't and it's making him mad.  He'll catch up soon though and then they'll be off and running.  :-)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Year Three

It’s hard to sum up a whole year in one little post.  Especially a year where Jack has changed so so much.  I wrote for my “Year Two” post that I couldn’t believe how much Jack had learned.  Well, not surprisingly, he’s learned even more than I could have imagined.  Let’s just get this part out of the way first.  Regarding, I guess we’ll say “academics”, Jack is pretty much killing it.  He’s so far ahead of most of his peers that it’s crazy.  I don’t say this to brag because he’s behind in other areas (we’ll get to that later), but in regards to letters, numbers, reading, and math, the kid is approaching (or at?) kindergarten level.  According to the kindergarten teachers I know of course.  He can count in the thousands, millions, and even loves to yell at me that “a billion has NINE zeros!!”  I would say the eeriest thing about him is his uncanny ability to remember numbers of things.  I call him “Rainman” and it’s really not that far off.  Right now, sitting in our living room, I could ask him how many aisles Vons has and he would tell me.  And Home Depot, and Target, and Trader Joes, and CVS, and every other store that we’ve been in.  And, sure, we’ve been in Vons a lot of times….but he can do it after one trip to a store.  Then there’s the counting.  For the past six months he has labeled each fountain we drive past a number.  So on the way to preschool we pass fountain #3, near his friend Owen’s house is fountain #4, etc.  The amazing thing is that fountains #1 and 2 are literally ones we've driven past once.  And never again.  But he kept that tally and added on throughout the months.  He calls everyone’s cars by their license plate numbers…taking the last couple digits.  So one day he talked about Grandma coming to visit in “84” and I had no clue what he was talking about.  Well, sure enough, her car’s last two numbers are 84.  He knows my car, his daddy’s, his grandma’s, his grandpa’s, his aunt’s, etc. There have been many times when we’ve gotten a number after ordering food at a place like Poquito Mas or some other little restaurant.  Well, weeks later Jack can tell us what our number was at that restaurant.  And he’s always right.  He’s literally never been wrong so John and I use him as a fact checker. 

He seems to be learning to read all on his own.  I certainly don’t do anything actively to teach him but all of a sudden he’ll read something and I’ll be amazed.  New words every week.  And he loves writing his lowercase and uppercase alphabet letters.  He spends so much time outside with his chalk drawing all of the letters and numbers.  The other week at school his teacher literally ran up to me at pick-up and said “Jack was SO AMAZING today!”  I got excited thinking that maybe he talked a ton during circle time or really participated in dance class like a superstar.  Instead she says, “Jack wrote all of the numbers up to 20 and then wrote the whole alphabet!”  I was like, “Yeah”.  Big deal lady.  But she was shocked.  I guess they hung up his paper in class after she walked it around to the teachers of the 4 year old class and the 5 year old class. 

One of John’s special bonds with Jack is music.  He makes Jack mix CDs in sort of a dictionary or encyclopedia style.  So he has an “A-B” cd, an O-P-Q” cd, a “R-S” cd, etc.  Jack has them all memorized.  And not just the song lyrics but the track numbers.  He can hear a song on the radio and tell us exactly what number track it is on his CD.  He loves to sit and watch John play the songs on his guitar.  He’ll yell out “song number 11!” and John will play that song and then he’ll go “next!” and be able to tell him that the next song is a Talking Heads song or Rolling Stones song.  But if he gets to a jazz or rap song, he tells John to skip it because “I’m sorry, there’s no guitar in those songs.”  So funny. 

The biggest change this year for Jack though has been preschool and his socialization.  He’s come so far in that area.  I think part of it is just growing up and the other part has been being in a preschool away from mommy.  At two years I wrote that Jack, in a big crowd, throws a tantrum and runs to mommy.  And that he never plays “with” his friends.  Well, I am happy to say that’s not the case anymore!  He certainly isn’t Mr. Social and never will be.  But he has become much more comfortable with kids.  He still prefers smaller groups (FOR SURE) but is able to head off to preschool with no tears and sit down and just start drawing or doing puzzles or whatever.  And now he actually plays WITH his best friends.  It’s awesome.  The boys that he has known for years he plays so well with.  They’ll chase each other and giggle or push bikes and draw together.  John and I went to a parent-teacher conference the other week at school and it was pretty illuminating.  Or at least just confirmed our own thoughts.  At school, Jack will play really well one-on-one with kids.  If the group gets too big or too loud or too chaotic, he sort of retreats and wants nothing to do with it.  He’ll read by himself in the corner.  During the weekly “enrichment” classes of gymnastics or dance or whatever, he is VERY slow to join in.  I believe it took about 4 weeks of observing gymnastics before he would actually sit with the group.  And then a few more weeks before he would actually get up and attempt a somersault, etc.  But the teachers were always fine with it because it’s not like he wasn’t participating and then running around and distracting the class.  No, he was paying strict attention and watching every move.  They say he has his own mind and won’t be swayed by peer pressure or anything else.  He’s going to do what he wants to do.  I was worried for awhile when I kept seeing him playing alone until I realized it’s not like the kids were shunning him.  Quite the opposite.  They beg him to play and some days he just ignores them and does his own thing.  In that way, he’s just like his daddy.  Totally secure and confident and not swayed by peer pressure or what people think of him.  Hopefully it serves him well in the future.

Now on to that stuff that Jack is still working on.  Let’s see… There is potty training.  Or a complete lack of potty training.  He is NOT INTERESTED.  Like, at all.  Not even an iota.  I would say that 90% of his friends his age are out of diapers but not him.  Sigh.  It’s not that fun having two kids in diapers but I suppose there are benefits to not having to use every gross public park bathroom in town.  His hard-nosed pediatrician and his teacher surprisingly both told me to ignore it.  That, someone like Jack was just going to one day decide he doesn’t want diapers and that will be it.  I just hope it’s sooner rather than later so I’m not still talking about this in my “Year 4” letter.  In the past few months he’s gotten good at utensils and drinking out of a regular cup.  Though I wouldn’t say he has mastered either.  Which I know is so late but, what can I say?  Maybe I didn’t give him enough opportunities to practice.  But he’s fine now so we’re okay.  He still can’t undress or dress himself so I suppose we need to work on that this year.  The really cute thing is that he’s just gotten into taking showers.  He loves it!  And who wouldn’t?  He gets in there and turns it on himself and takes his time and sings songs.  Then he turns it off, opens the shower door and yells “I’m done!” 

Watching Jack become a big brother has been so lovely.  It was rough at first (VERY ROUGH) but Jack has bounced back and loves baby Sam now.  He smothers him with hugs and I often have to tell him to back off a little.  He says he can’t wait til Sam can walk and talk.  There are occasions when he asks for Sam to stay home so that just Mommy and Jack can go somewhere but he’s not too bothered when I tell him that Sam can’t stay home by himself.

For my Year Two letter I wrote that I couldn’t imagine a better age than 1 to 2 because he was so sweet.  And I don’t know that I can say that 2 to 3 was “better”.  It was certainly different.  Jack is far less “sweet” but it is also so much fun to see his imagination and intellect grow by leaps and bounds.  He will sit and tell a story he’s made up for 30 minutes.  He has completely independent thoughts and feelings and he can communicate so well.  Of course, this year was also full of epic temper tantrums and asserting independence.  But we survived.  One big happy family.  (Most of the time.)

So happy 3rd birthday to my lil’ Jack!  I love how much he loves his daddy, his grandparents, and his aunts and uncles.  He talks about them all the time and loves to visit them.  I love how much he loves his new little brother (and how much Sam loves him).

I love how much he loves playing outside, getting dirty, shooting hoops, counting, and playing song after song.  I love it when he sprints to me as I approach the preschool playground at pick-up time and gives me a giant hug.  I love that he wants us to stay in his bed at bedtime so that he can fall asleep with either me or John.

I love his laughter and his curiosity and his mop of dirty blonde hair.  Happy birthday "son #1" (as he calls himself).  Don't grow up too fast.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Jack + Sam

One of the coolest things about having Sam is watching him watching Jack.  It's amazing.  He is enthralled by his older brother.  If Jack is in the room, Sam's eyes are usually trained on him and watching his every move.  It's pretty cute.  And of course I hope they grow up to be great pals.  Sometimes I'm a little wary of Sam observing Jack and learning how to jump off couches and throw things but I suppose he would learn that on his own.

The other day they were being pretty cute and I caught it on tape.  (Tape?  Anyways...)  Before you watch the video, let me set the scene.  Jack had climbed into Sam's bassinet which is one of his favorite spots.  I was sitting in the rocking chair next to the bassinet with Sam on my lap and Sam was, of course, staring at Jack intently as he told a story.

The story won't make sense I'm sure but he's talking about all these characters from a comic book/graphic novel that John reads to him all the time.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Visit from Grammy and Pop Pop


Well, this post is LONG overdue and I apologize to all 5 readers of this blog.  Briefly, can I just say that I am finding it almost impossible to keep up on blog posts.  Not that my daily life is terrible, quite the contrary, but I never open up my computer during the day because we're always on the move or I just don't have two free hands during the day.  Pre-Sam, I did all blogging after Jack's bedtime when I had a full two hours before I went to bed.  Well, nowadays, after I manage to put Sam and Jack to bed by myself (which is long painful process), I am exhausted and literally go to bed after about 30 minutes of doing dishes and cleaning up.  So, again, I apologize for the lack of blog posting.  I am about 6 weeks behind and have so many pictures I want to share.  Anyways, I'll start with the super fun visit we had from Grammy and Pop Pop mid-January.

Grammy definitely had a good time with Sam.  A majority of the their visit you could find Sam nestled in Grammy's arms.  Probably 100% of the time except for when I had to nurse him.  :)  He was very happy to have all the attention.  

Jack wasn't wanting for attention either though.  He was THRILLED to have Pop Pop around to play with.  It was pretty darn cute.  He wanted to do everything with him.  Didn't want me to read a story, "I want Pop Pop".  He even wanted him to put him to bed.

It was so nice seeing Jack have so much fun with his grandparents.  That he knows them and loves them so much even though they live across the country is pretty cool.  

Okay, because I am tired and need to go to bed (shocking), I'm just going to present the rest of pictures without much commentary.  :)

checking Pop Pop's heart

in Santa Monica to visit cousin Kris at her Ultimate Frisbee tournament

watching Ultimate is exhausting

Sam's first trip to the beach!

And with babysitters in town we actually got to celebrate John's birthday!