Friday, March 13, 2015

Sam is 16 months old!


Little Sammy is 16 months today! Still cute, still a maniac. The kid is constantly moving and active and wants to be out and about. He is growing every day which isn't surprising since he eats as much as a 10 year old boy. Seriously, he eats at least three times as much as Jack. Today he had three bananas along with his normal three meals and snacks. Crazy.

 

I truly believes that he understands everything I'm saying.  I can tell him to go get something and he comes back with it, he knows what I mean when I say it's bath time, and he because visibly upset when I tell John I'm leaving.  He points, cries, smiles, and therefore gets his point across at all times so I'm really enjoying the communication.  


Sammy is such a happy, good-natured kid.  Crazy and active, but at least such a sweet disposition.  He currently loves building towers with duplo blocks, playing trains, and shooting squirt guns outside.  


There's no doubt that he loves his big brother.  Still trying to copying him and keep up with him at every turn.  


It's so fun to watch them together.  Especially during the 25% of the time when Jack is nice and sweet to him and they are just adorable together.  


Happy 16 months Sam!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sam's 15 month doctor's appointment


Sam had his 15 month check up yesterday and all went well!  The doc didn't really have anything to say because Sam's pretty much A-OK on all fronts.  He's physically healthy, he is saying some words, he's starting to use utensils, he's sleeping through the night and napping pretty well, and he's just a cutie.  She wants me to cut out the bottles and switch entirely to sippy cups for milk but, what can I say, I'm lazy.

 

Here are his stats!

Length - 32 inches (80th percentile)
Weight - 25 pounds, 14 ounces (70th percentile…a big jump from the 50th percentile!  He has been eating like a horse…)


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Jack is 4 years old!


Jack is 4 years old today!!  Holy smokes.  I can't believe it.  He's a real kid.  


I will try to write a "Year 4" post so I won't go crazy here, but suffice it to say, Jack is a special kid.  A little bit off the beaten path for a 4 year old if you know what I mean.  He can be thoughtful, extremely focused, detailed oriented, and likes the oddest things (i.e. fountains, tons of nonfiction books about space, nature, etc.).  But he's also your typical 4 year old boy in so many ways…loves his bike, loves running around with friends at parks with a stick in hand, and loves pizza and cupcakes and dinosaurs.


He's an enigma this one!  Happy and giggling one minute…grumpy and frown-y the next.  


He certainly wants to do things his own way and wasn't thrilled about this photo shoot.  He even attempted to give me his frown face but I think he was on the verge of laughing.


So happy birthday Jack!!  We love you!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sam is 15 months old today!


Look at this smiley kid!  He's 15 months old today! Little Sammy.  I wish I had the time and energy to blog about him every day because he's such a cool kid.  Except for the fact that he wakes up at 4:30am every. single. day.  Hence the no time or energy to blog because I'm putting Jack down to sleep at 7:30 and going to bed at 8:30.  But it's all a phase and it's hard to be mad at him when he's usually quite chipper and adorable at 5am.  


I had thought that this age was so great with Jack and I remember why.  Sam learns new things every day and says new words every day.  He can communicate now with pointing, grunts, and words if he really wants too.  "Milk", "crackers", "kitchen", "cookies"….of course.  Because he's brother is obsessed with junk food.  He also tries to sing the ABCs which is so cute.  He's FINALLY into a book or two…the alphabet board books.  I am rejoicing that he will sit through one whole book!  Unfortunately what he's truly obsessed with is TV.  One bad week with two sick boys when the TV was on a lot and now Sam wants it on all the time.  So we will see how that goes.  But one day soon he'll be able to talk and it's going to be adorable.


Sam loves going to all of our social outings whether it's play dates at someone's house or a playgroup park outing or a holiday party.  Just yesterday he went nuts at a Valentine Cookie Decorating party with like 25 kids.  He was so jazzed just to be around all those kiddos.  (p.s.  the opposite of his older brother.) 


Yup, he's certainly a charmer.  A stubborn, won't-sit-still, blonde little boy but a charmer none the less.  


For better or worse, the boys seem to be getting along a little better.  Jack pushes him down and yells at him less and Sam follows after him like a little puppy.  They play together after dinner and I thought it'd be awesome but now it's just TWO boys climbing on chairs and jumping and banging on things.  So not sure I'm happy Jack is teaching Sam all of his terrible habits.  


Sam doesn't seem to mind though because he thinks his brother is pretty cool.


Even when he smothers him in a wrestling match.


Happy 15 months Sam!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sam is 14 months old today!

 

Little Sam is 14 months old today! I don't think I can say "little" anymore because the kid is huge! I'm sure one day soon he'll catch up to his older brother who is pretty darn skinny. Sam loves to eat and seems to love almost every type of food.

 

He's good-natured and loves people and an audience.  He loves chasing after his brother, picking up everything he sees, and asking "what's that?"  He uses that phrase all the time and it's pretty adorable.  He's trying to say a lot of words these days and is somewhat successful…mama, owl, chair, etc.  It really is a neat age as he learns so much every day.  


I think with all of the recent cuddling from Grammy and Grandma, Sam has gotten used to being held so I'm doing a lot of that lately.  Which is fine with me most of the time.  But the kid is getting heavy!  


His blonde hair and blue eyes are as cute as ever.  He loves playing with Jack…though Jack doesn't really love playing with him. At least the hitting and pushing seems to have diminished slightly.  With a long weekend away for John's birthday, we had to do this photo shoot on the fly without Jack here.  So no cute sibling photos this month.  :-(


Happy 14 months Sam!!

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!