Thursday, February 21, 2019

Samuel Cary - 22 months

What a fun month we have had!  Several people have mentioned, "It seems like he is so grown up" or "He is a little boy now".  I think I have kept waiting for a season of parenting to feel easy or that saying that life with Samuel has been fun implies that it is easy.  I don't know if there is a season of parenting that is easy.  BUT life with Samuel is fun (and sanctifying).  One month from today we start over - Samuel gets a brother.  I am such a sap when I think about it.  So here is a sappy look at our last month.

Dada went on a mission trip - We survived a week away from Dada.  I told Ian, "I feel so sorry for whomever stays with Samuel when we are in the hospital with the Baby."  Samuel asked about Dada about 800 times.  Since Ian flew out of Indianapolis, we were able to drive together to the airport, drop him off, and then drive just a few hours to MamaG's (and Samuel napped for an hour of the drive that I had solo!).

The last time we went to Ian's parents, Samuel and I had tummy bugs and then we all got colds.  This time we were healthy - Praise the Lord!  It helped the week to pass quickly as Samuel had new toys to play with, new libraries to explore, and MamaG to play with when she wasn't at work.

Samuel also asked about "Pa" (PapaG) about 800 times. I told him, "Dada and Papa are working together." So I think he now thinks that Ian and Matt work together all the time.  It was fun to get pictures of them and show the pictures to Samuel.  We spent a lot of time looking at pictures on Momma's phone during the week (but we watched no TV... moderation, right?).

Ian's flight got delayed on the way back by 3ish hours.  I decided to just drive all the way home by myself (we were already on the road when we found out about the delay).  Samuel did amazingly well... until the last hour.  Then we were both tired and the sun kept shining in his eyes (and there wasn't a way to block it).  But we made it.  It is fun when you can see growth in your kid.  He did so much (so much!) better in the car than our trip to IL for Thanksgiving.  
On the flip side (what is the opposite of an accomplishment?) we just got back from Presbytery and Lawdhavemercy - Samuel slept horribly.  He napped for 20 minutes and then slept from 7pm-12:30am and 4am-6:30am. So I may never let him sleep outside of his crib ever again.  I always think, "Oh he will get tired, he will sleep" - not my kid - the more tired he is, the worse he sleeps.  I look back and chuckle at my new mom self thinking, "Babies sleep when they are tired."  Nope.  They sleep when you put them on a rigid schedule and follow it.  I could say a lot more about Samuel and sleep, but who wants to hear about that?

Talk on the phone - Samuel has realized that he can "talk" on the phone to people.  He really only wants to talk to Dada and sometimes PapaG, but he asks everyday (sometimes multiple times a day) to call Dada (he puts his hand in a flat palm to his ear and tells me who to call). He likes to hold the phone up to his ear and walk around.  He usually doesn't say much.  I need to get him an old phone from the thrift store (it has been on my mental to do list for about 3 months).

Help make muffins - for Valentine's Day, I tried to think of some things that Samuel loves.  The list was: cracking eggs, stirring stuff in a bowl, blueberries, bubbles, muffins, and watching trucks - so we made blueberry muffins together and then I let him play in the bubbles from the dish soap while watching trucks drive by the kitchen window.  He did such a good job!  I told him to that we had to work together and stir gently.  All the ingredients stayed in the bowl for the most part and he did so well.  He did have a meltdown when the muffins came out of the oven and they were too hot to eat.  A few months ago, he would stir so violently that flour would fly out of the bowl and he was so bullheaded about how things needed to be done that he wouldn't listen.

2T jammies - Samuel is still wearing 18 month clothing but I moved him up to 2T jammies and they seem to fit better.  He has "vroom!  vroom!" jammies in size 2T so you can guess how Samuel feels about moving up in size. Once we finish our stash of size 5 diapers, he will be in size 6.  

Putting mittens on - Samuel has gotten so much better at putting his mittens on over the course of winter.  At the beginning of winter, he basically would shove his whole hand into the big part.  He now knows to put his thumb into the thumb part (sometimes he puts his pointer finger in with his thumb, but he will let me fix it).  He used to wear his mittens for 5 minutes and then take them off.  He wears them the whole time we are outside (or until he soaks them by picking up snow).

A few more sounds - Samuel has created a sound for a cat.  It sounds something like, "yumyum" but it is his "meow".  He saw a figurine of a Souix Indian this month and called it, "Jesus" so instead he learned "how-ow-ow" while tapping his hand over his mouth.  Probably not the most socially acceptable thing.  He has a sound for "owie!" (see dramatic finger story below).

Big Boy Anything - At times, Ian or I will mention, "what a big boy bite!" or something along those lines.  Well it has either paid off or backfired.  Samuel is all about big boy anything now.  He has a Big Boy Diaper that he gets to wear at nightime (it is actually a pull up for like 5 year olds but it leaks less often than anything else)  It has Spiderman on it and Samuel is obsessed.  He wants to wear Big Boy diapers for naptime (or anytime really).  I now buy three different types of diapers (my pre-Mom self is rolling her eyes and my current Mom self is muttering, "choose your battles and move on").  There are normal Costco diapers, Big Boy Naptime Diapers (Pampers Sesame Street), and Bedtime Big Boy Diapers (Nitetime Spiderman).  I try to be careful about labeling anything as Big Boy as then Samuel wants to do it the Big Boy way from then on.  

The other day I asked Samuel to carry an apple to the table while I worked on making the rest of his snack.  After a few moments, I realized that it was quiet in the dining room.  Homeboy was eating the apple - like taking bites of the apple - not choking, not being ridiculous - just eating the apple like it is not big deal.  He now insists on eating grapes the "big boy way" (the whole entire grape!).  Sure Buddy, anything to give your Momma anxiety. 

Playdough - Samuel is finally a fan of playing playdough!  Wootwoot!  I love playing playdough.

Bubbles - Samuel has been a fan of bubbles for quite awhile, but he has finally figured out how to ask for them.  He had bubble baths at MamaG's house and thought they were the best.  He asked for a bubble bath every single time I went to the bathroom (and at 8 months pregnant, you can guess how many times a day that is).  He also wants to play bubbles in the sink (see muffin story above).

I feel like I am especially sappy these days (until I am not - ha! then it is, "I have the Holy Spirit dwelling in me. I can be patient and self-controlled.") Samuel has moments of such sweetness and it is so hard for me to think about having an infant and our whole dynamic changing.  We are thrilled to welcome Brother, but it is hard to think about Samuel's whole world changing.  Overall, I think it is a good thing.  I feel like we have come so far.  I used to tell tiny baby Samuel, "Samuel and Mom are a team.  We have to work together."  I mainly said this when he would cry and cry and I didn't know what to do.  The other day I realized, "We are!  We are a good team.  We do work together."  I know his moods, hand gestures, and preferences.  I would like to think that he knows when I am fun-Mom and when I am serious-Mom.  I enjoy spending time with my kid!  I don't feel like all day every day is "grit your teeth and get through this".  I have a pretty good idea when to let the rules slide a bit and when to stand firm.  He is my sidekick and I am his (truthfully he has Mom and Bunny as sidekicks).  We hang out together all day, every day for the most part.  I have had a lot of small moments in the last month that I have felt proud of Samuel and how far we have come.

On a somewhat different parenting note, I told myself before I became a parent that I did not want to lie to my kids.  And it is getting hard.  I am not sure why people feel like they can lie to toddlers, probably because it is easy.  The main times that it is challenging are food and TV.  I so often want to say, "I don't have any yums" instead of, "we aren't having anymore muffins today."  Or "the tv/ computer/ whatever is broke" instead of "we aren't watching any trucks right now".  

And last but not least - the finger drama!  We have tried to raise Samuel to be "tough" aka not dramatic about little bumps and falls.  When he was learning how to sit up, crawl, walk etc. he would fall so many times a day.  We did our best not to react.  Consequently Samuel has had some pretty big tumbles and not really been too emotional about them (knock on wood).  A few weeks ago, he picked at one of his nails and it turned into a painful situation.  I tried to solve the problem by putting a bandaid on his finger (his first ever bandaid).  He cried for like five minutes and would not calm down.  It was a trying few hours. He held his thumb out and babied it and was dramatic about it (he wouldn't let me put his coat over that hand etc.) Thankfully bedtime came and the next day he seemed fine for the most part.  

Fast forward a few days and we are trying to pack up quietly at our AirBnB while everyone is exhausted and hasn't had any food or coffee.  Samuel started going through a toiletry bag and found a bandaid.  To entertain him and appease him I put it on his pointer finger.  Lordhavemercy!  He was so dramatic about it.  I took the bandaid off an hour later because I couldn't take it.  He was throwing a fit and non-consolingly crying like it was his thumb all over again.  We kept telling him, "It is not really hurt.  You are okay!"  I could not believe how dramatic he was being... and nothing was wrong.  Since then, he has brought up his finger "owie" about every other day.  It slays me because there was nothing wrong with it!  

Happy 22 months Samuel Cary!  We love you!  Here's to soaking up your last month as an only child.  Love, Dada and Momma

Monday, January 21, 2019

Samuel Cary - 21 months


Our Samuel is 21 months old (on the 21st!).  Life with Samuel is challenging and fun - sometimes all in the same moment.  We had a really full month!

A few more words - Samuel has started saying, "uh-oh" (it doesn't sound exactly like uh-oh, but it is pretty close).  He says, "um!" for food he likes (or food he wants). He also makes a "mmmmmm" sound for cows and "art, art!" for a dog barking (it sounds NOTHING like a dog barking but that is what he is communicating).  He is still "vrooming!" all day every day.

Imaginative Play - Just in the last week or two Samuel has gotten so much better at playing imaginatively.  He will act out stories happening with his toys.  The story lines are very short.  And then we repeat the same story 10 times in a row, but it is better than it was.  His favorite stories right now are about farming.  He likes to drive the tractor in the barn, have the tractor take a nap (for three seconds), and then wake up.  He also likes to feed his animals and give them drinks of water.

He likes to wear his farming hat while playing farm
Attention span - I also feel like his attention span has leaped into longer time frames.  He will sit and play or read for much longer (10 minutes maybe?) than he used to.  A year ago at this time, I was going crazy trying to entertain him all day.  He would go through and "play" with all of his toys (or pull all the books off the shelf) in 15 minutes.  And then we still had 9 hours and 45 minutes left in our day.  There are days now when he will only play with one basket of toys.  He has been slightly better about looking at one book in the car for a whole 5 minutes instead of tossing it aside after 30 seconds.

Watching TV independently - Glory, glory, hallelujah! Samuel is getting better at watching TV by himself.  Typically he likes to sit on my lap to watch TV, but every so often he will sit and watch it for 10 minutes and I can get the dishes done without being interrupted 800 times.  

Being silly with Dada
Braver around Dogs - I am not sure if this is something that has happened this month or last month, but Samuel is doing so much better around dogs.  I completely understand why dogs are overwhelming and potentially scary to Samuel as they are the same size roughly.  On several different occasions, Samuel has done great around dogs.  He likes to throw their toys for them and feed them 500 treats.  (Now Mom just needs to relax when Samuel is around dogs...)

The Wheels on the Bus, Father Abraham - Since we can only sing, "The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock" so many times a day, we sing other songs to Samuel.  Every other week or so, he decides he likes one and then he wants that song on repeat for days.  He also likes, "This Little Light of Mine" and "Jesus Loves the Little Children".  Samuel especially likes it when Bunny does the hand motions for the songs.

Funny Story - we would sit and sing around the table after supper while visiting MamaG and PapaG.  Samuel loved it.  If someone would sing and not do the hand motions, he would call them out.  It cracks us up that he is so opinionated about so many (seemingly small) things.

Making Waffles with Dada on Christmas Morning
Coloring with Big Boy Markers - I have been hoping that Samuel would take a liking to coloring as it is good for his fine motor skills (and it involves sitting still).  He is mature in his choice of coloring utensils.  He won't color with crayons.  He prefers markers, pens, or pencils.  Of course this means that I have to sit with him when he colors, but it is okay. He gets tickled when I draw a tractor or cow.  And he recognizes what the pictures are so that boosts my self-esteem.

Christmas lights - Samuel really liked seeing Christmas lights (which he calls, "Jesus") when we would ride in the car at night.  He would get annoyed that there were not continuous lights to see.

Christmas gifts - Our boy got so spoiled over Christmas.  He got so many trucks or tractors that by the end of Christmas, if he saw a wrapped package, he would say, "Vroom!  Varoom!"  Christmas was definitely more fun this year with Samuel than last year.

Walking "fast" - Samuel likes to walk fast and do laps.  He made up a sign for "fast" and he especially likes to walk fast when other people participate.  He is getting pretty close to running (just in time as Momma is big these days).  I remember so many people cautioned us, "You don't want him to walk, he will be running three days later."  Maybe that the experience for some people, but I love that Samuel can walk.  It has been six months since he started walking and it has been great!
Reading Cars and Trucks and Things that Go with Grandpa
His Own Coffee Mug - Last Sunday someone at church (Jill) gave us the cutest little coffee mug.  Samuel has been thrilled to drink out his own coffee cup in the morning like Mom and Dad.  He has also been pouring the water out or putting his food in the cup, so he rarely keeps it the entire meal.  It has been good practice for him to drink out of a regular cup.

Looking at pictures of himself on phones - Lord have mercy!  I am not a big technology / screen person when it comes to my kid.  I would rather have them never watch TV or be on technology than to teach them moderation.  However, I think moderation is a better choice (although not easy).  My mom let Samuel look at pictures of himself on her phone while they were here over Christmas and now he is obsessed.  It is so hard for me as a parent.  Anytime Samuel sees a phone, he wants to see pictures of himself.  It has made it so hard to get pictures of him as he is always reaching for my phone now.  But moderation it is, so I indulge him once or twice a day and we look at pictures of Samuel.  He, of course (of course!), is opinionated about which pictures we look at (pictures of Samuel and Dada are his preference).

Still likes:
Muffins, cereal bars, Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, "driving" aka sitting in the driver's seat and steering, baths, bubbles, cracking eggs, stirring, helping cook, playing in water, all of Mom's and Dad's attention, truck videos on youtube, being outside, testing limits (not in the calculus sense), alternating between kissing Brother and blowing him raspberries, climbing on anything and everything, tape and stickers

Still dislikes:
Being told, "No", sitting in his own seat for meals, not having his paci all day, sitting in the car seat, not being allowed to drink coffee, playing by himself

Proud Moments:
The other night we went out to eat.  I grabbed one of Samuel's new favorite books from Christmas and a car for the diaper bag before we left.  Samuel did so well!  Samuel typically has a hard time being patient (the kid has ants in his pants - which is probably developmentally appropriate) when we go out to eat.  It felt like it took forever to get our food, but Samuel did such a good job looking at his book and playing with his car.  He did a great job eating food once it came.  No meltdowns (even though it was getting close to bedtime).  

Reading with Dada at the restaurant
On our way out of the restaurant, the (old) couple sitting next us mentioned that is had a pleasure to eat near us.  I think I replied, "You caught us on a good day!" which is 100% the truth.  But at the same time, I was proud.  It was one of the first times that all of the hard work of the last 21 months actually felt like it paid off.  The hours of gritted teeth, training, correcting, loving, and digging deeper for patience resulted in good behavior for the hour or so that we were in the restaurant.  Don't get me wrong - Samuel has plenty of good moments - they are not usually all in a row for 60 minutes though.  And when I spend pretty much all day, every day with him, I experience all of his high and low moments. I, of course, expect my kid to be well behaved 24/7 (because expectations seem to be my biggest enemy in life).  It gave me hope that we are doing okay as parents and that some day going out to eat will be normal part of life again.

We participated in the Chamber's Chili Cook-off again this year.  Samuel tagged along for the first hour or so (until nap time).  As people filtered in, he recognized (and greeted) everyone that came from church.  A year ago, I left him screaming with Jane Nice while we did the cook-off.  This year, he screamed when Dave and Jane left the cook-off.  It was so fun to have him know "his people" and not to be overly shy.  

Samuel got his haircut this month (his hair grows so fast) and he did great!  He sat in the chair all by himself and did not scream once.  He has "talked" (in sign language) about getting his hair cut so many times since then.  He was really mad that the next time we went to Meijer he could not get his hair cut again.  I was really proud of him for not freaking out (like he has done in the past).
All of Samuel's driving dreams come true at PapaG and MamaG's house

Family Time:

Samuel got to spend time with Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Jared, PapaG, and MamaG this month!  He had a blast with my parents and brother when they came out for Christmas.  I don't think he had one tantrum the entire time they were here.  He always had someone catering to his needs.  

We had fun with Ian's parents too, but Samuel had his first tummy bug (that struck in the middle of the night but was short lived thankfully) and then he caught a brutal cold.  So he had fun but it was a bit subdued. One of the advantages of this age is that Samuel is easily amused - being able to "drive" MamaG's car, going down the big slide by himself, throwing sticks off the porch - all fun things that don't take much effort.

I will end this with a Dada quote, "Samuel has had more opinions in his 21 months of life than I have had in 34 years of life."  - I eventually told him that he had to stop saying it as it was discouraging me.  But it may be true - he is his mother's child.

Happy 21 Months Samuel Cary!  We love you, Momma and Dada

Friday, December 21, 2018

Samuel Cary - 20 months

Four Generations at Thanksgiving
Our Samuel Cary is 20 months old!  What a fun month it has been!  (Do I start every post that way?  It also has it challenging moments, but we will focus on the fun...)  If I had to pick three words to sum up this stage, they would be: repetition, imitation, and stubborn (and a close tie would be opinionated or independent). 

Tripled Vocabulary - shortly after Thanksgiving Samuel started to say, "Momma" and "Bubba" (my water bottle) so he pretty much tripled his vocabulary.  He also says, "Buh!  Buh!" on a regular basis.  If it is in the morning at breakfast, it means he wants blueberries.  If it is at night after supper, then it means he wants to take a bath.  It can also refer to bubbles or balloon.

Climbing - Lord have mercy! We are in a climbing phase.  It is completely impressive to me the things that Samuel can climb on.  I put the Christmas tree up in a corner and put a chair in front of it to block it.  He worked on it for an afternoon and had figured out how to climb up on the chair.  

Playing with a dump truck at Miss Darla's
Big Boy Booster Seat - Shortly after figuring out how to climb up on chairs, Samuel started boycotting his high chair.  He would not sit down in it and insisted on sitting on "big boy" chairs.  I utilized Amazon Prime Two Day Shipping and got a him a booster seat.  The high chair is now in the attic waiting for Brother to need it.  

Spending the Day without Momma - Someone from church (Darla) volunteered twice during the last month to take Samuel for the day.  He went and hung out at the Cline Farm from 8am-6:30pm.  It was so good for both of us.  Supposedly he was well-behaved and Mom got to cross some stuff off her to-do list.  It was glorious.  I have never left Samuel with anyone for that long, so I was proud of him for doing so well.  
Playing with Dada's glasses at supper

Praying for specific things - Samuel has been a fan of praying for a few months.  I think he associates it with eating and he gets positive attention for it.  He has started to point at objects and then fold his hands to pray.  So we pray about the object he pointed at.  

Sweet story - Samuel had been praying for specific things for a few weeks and then one day he pointed at me and said, "Momma". We prayed for Momma.  It was so sweet of him to think of me.  He now asks to pray for "Dada" or "Momma" on a regular occasion.  He has asked to pray for himself once or twice.

The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock - I think I sang this song about 10-20 times a day for the last month.  Samuel knows the hand motions but is stubborn about showing other people that he knows the motions.  He really likes the Psalty version of the Wiseman.  Also - my poor kid thinks that the Wise Men from the Nativity is the Wise Man in the song. 

Still loving:
His coffeepot / playing coffee, trucks, tractors, bubbles, vacuuming, CRACKING EGGS and stirring / cooking, washing his hands (playing in water), John Deere, toys that are rideable (his John Deere tractor and 4-wheeler)

All Samuel's dreams came true when he got to help Uncle Jared plow snow

Not loving (or liking):
being told "No", diaper changes, not having his paci / giving his paci to Mom or Dad, riding in the car for more than five minutes

Funny Story - we have been working on the Christmas story and the characters of the Nativity.  Samuel has a Nativity set and knows Jesus, the Dada, the Momma, the Wise Men, and everyone else is usually Dada as well.  The other day, he picked up Baby Jesus and gave him a few kisses.  Before I could finish saying, "Samuel how sweet of you to kiss the..." Samuel had throw Baby Jesus across the room.  I, unfortunately, laughed as I was shocked (which is the best reinforcement for Samuel) so he did it several more times throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas.  A good summation of life with our sweet crazy boy.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Baby #2 - 24 weeks

Nerd out with me for a moment.  24 x 7 = 168 days pregnant 168/30 = 5.6 months.  So we are well on our way to be SIX months pregnant.  Wah! 
My due date keeps changing - let's say this is 20 weeks.

Some days this pregnancy feels like it is flying by and other days it feels like I have been pregnant forever.  The closer my due date gets, the more anxious I get about this kid sleeping.  Those first 6-12 months of Samuel's life were rough in the sleep department (and I feel like lack of sleep makes both Samuel and I cranky and that affects all of life?).  The other night Ian said something about, "... and we will have a cute little cuddly baby.." and I was like, "I am excited for the baby to be a year old" (and Ian agreed).  At least we can go into it with our eyes wide open and know that it doesn't last forever (it just feels that way when you are in the middle of it).

Headed out to push the jogging stroller - it was COLD - a few days past 20 weeks

I have hit the wall as far as exercise goes.  I am OVER it.  I am not very good about getting out with Samuel as it is so rainy or cold or windy (or all three).  And by the time that Samuel goes to bed, I just want to sit on the couch and stare at the wall (or my phone).  I know my future self will thank me if I don't get totally out of shape - those last few weeks of pregnancy will be much smoother if I just keep at it.  I have found some pregnancy workout videos on Amazon Prime so I do about 10 minutes of something (and complain most of the time that I am doing it - sorry Husband).

21 weeks 21 days - He is face up - you can see his eyes and nose and mouth - Hi Baby Hi!!
I think part of the issue is that I am gaining weight slower this time around (thank you Lord).  I am 16ish pounds gained from my pre-pregnancy weight (which is closer to 25 or 27 lbs pre-Samuel but whatever).  With Samuel, if I did not exercise, I felt like I blinked and gained 5 pounds.  This time, I am eating whatever I want and not really gaining too fast (which is FUN and BAD all at the same time - eek!)

Baby's Profile, you can see his skull/brain, eyes, nose, and mouth
I also get a good chuckle out the differences in doctors.  With Samuel, I was weighed every.single.appointment (and I think I was lectured every single appointment about my over-achieverment in the weight gain department).  This go around I think I have been weighed three times and no one ever says anything about my weight gain.  

I have been craving food more this go around.  I saw a picture online of someone making egg noddles from duck eggs and I was like, "OH MY GOSH, I NEED THOSE IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!" It feels a bit immature, but I am rolling with it - for better or worse.  
21 weeks and 5 days
I think we have a name!  We have had one that we have liked for awhile and we have stuck with it for a month or two.  I may do a baby name poll towards the end of the pregnancy so we aren't sharing for now.  But it is exciting to think of the baby by his name.  

Sleep could be better (and it could be worse).  If I was exercising more, I may be sleeping better.  I am already sick of sleeping on my side.  I was awake during the night last night and I was thinking how grateful I am that I get to stay in my nice warm cozy bed.  My first choice is to sleep all night, but if I am going to wake up, it is nice to stay in bed and not drag myself out of bed to feed and change a person who does not like having his diaper removed due to being cold.  I think I have some more sanctifying to come in life.  

Maybe not my best picture, but some day I will be glad I took it - 23 weeks and some change
My back has started to ache some days so I am trying to be good about squatting to lift Samuel (which helps a lot!).  It feels inconvenient, but it is worth it.  And it is like a mini-workout, right?

24 weeks with Samuel

It is fun to go back and read what pregnancy and life were like pre-Samuel.  Man, I can remember making copies for my Calc BC final, like 45 minutes before I gave it.  It was such a stressful year.  I am glad that I am not re-living that year of my life :) It was a good hard year and I learned a lot, but I am thankful it is behind me and I am not in the middle of it.

And reading that blog post made me realize that I have yet to start a registry - do we even need anything?  I will probably make a couple (so that I can get the free stuff that you get when you start a registry). I need to get back in the infant / little baby mindset.  You forget what it is like (or at least I do, until I see a picture or video of Samuel and then it comes flooding back).

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Samuel Cary - 19 months

Our Samuel Cary is 19 months - and wow! what a great month it has been!  Some people told us when Samuel was a tiny infant that somewhere around 15-18 months kids get to be really fun.  At the time, that seemed eons away, but now that we are living the dream, they were right - this is a fun stage.  I told Ian the other day, "I laugh multiple times a day with Samuel.  I also want to pull my hair out multiples a day, but I will take it."  I don't remember laughing much Samuel's first year of life and so I will take the fun with the challenges.

New Skills:
Praying - Samuel has been praying by holding our hands since the summer. Recently he wants to pray by folding his hands.  It is so cute.  

Samuel likes to shut himself (slowly) into a room (usually a closet) and then giggle until you come open the door.  He especially gets a kick out of it if you ask, "Where is Samuel?" while he shuts the door and is inside.  It is like the beginning phases of hide-and-go-seek. He does a great job of not smashing his fingers in the door.

We have been working with Samuel on the skill of picking up and cleaning up.  He does a pretty good job of picking up if you tell him specific task to do (go put this car in the basket etc.) It does depend on his mood, but that is probably every thing at this stage. He has self-assigned himself to help fold laundry (wad up a towel or shirt and shove it in a drawer).  I try to praise him for having a helpful attitude and then refold the item when he isn't looking.

Climbing up on the couch - ugh!  Samuel is tall enough and strong enough to pull himself up on the couch.  It is a good workout for him.  He was very proud of himself the first time that he made it up on the couch and went running across the cushions, only to fall and bang his nose on the arm of the couch.  Oh man!  He hasn't screamed like that in awhile.  I thought there was going to be a lot of blood, but there was not any.  His nose swelled up and he has a scab on his nose, but no worse the wear. I was probably just as upset as he was.  He also figured out how to climb the step stool (and gave me a heart attack when I found him standing on the top step).

Hummus - praise the Lord - Samuel will eat broccoli, carrots, and peas dipped in hummus.  He isn't too fond of them on their own, but will eat just about anything (lunch meat, tortilla) if you dip it in hummus for him.  Sometimes he suggests somewhat odd combinations.  He also likes guacamole (but won't eat avocado). 

Truck Tunes - Lord have mercy!  This is completely my fault.  I was having a "just leave Mom alone for five minutes so that I can get one thing done" moment so I looked up "construction trucks" or something on YouTube.  I found truck tunes and now Samuel asks for the truck video all the time.  He wants to wear shirts that have trucks on them.  He wants to read trucks books (but that comes in a dull second place compared to the truck video).  

Coffee Maker / Coffee Pot - once again, this was kinda my fault.  We got a new coffeepot and I let Samuel help me take it out the box and with that, it was over. He staked the coffee maker as his.  He has taken the coffeepot everywhere with him - in the car, in the bathtub.  I think we may have made 800 cups of hypothetical coffee.  Samuel knew all the steps to making coffee - pour the water in, scoop in grounds, press the buttons on the front, pour the coffee in a to-go cup and add creamer.  He dragged that coffeepot all through the house and would insist on you taking the cup of coffee when offered.  Of course he wanted me to sit with him and watch the process. Someday my child will play independently...right?

Balloons - someone at church passed along some balloons from a baby shower to us - and they have been a huge hit.  Samuel will say, "ba ba" and try to lay on the balloons.  He laughs when they float up the ceiling. 

Cooking / Stirring - as the theme of the month goes - this was my own fault - I let him help me stir some eggs for an eggbake and now he begs to stir things.  He will often have a meltdown during cooking.  He gets mad that the eggbake has to go in the oven.  He gets mad that he can't touch the hot oven.  It is usually towards the end of the day so neither of us is filled with patience.  We get eggs for free (thank you Darla!) and so sometimes I will let him crack one or two eggs (which he enjoys and is really pretty good at cracking them) and whisk them around in the bowl.  He likes to run the show and tell me what needs to be added.   

Checking out a new (long) stick
Vacuum - he has liked the vacuum for awhile, but we have been vacuuming a lot this past month due to leaves be brought in the house all the time.  He likes to take the attachments off and pretend to vacuum.  He likes to pull the cord out.  

Outside - this hasn't changed much, but Samuel loves to go outside.  I don't even take toys out for the most part.  He will play with sticks, rocks, leaves, and dried grass. 

The best of times: When he laughs, when he spontaneously tells you that he loves you, when he does something completely unexpected and hilarious, when he prays

The worst of times: irrational meltdowns or all meltdowns / tantrums, when he can't tell you what he wants, when he wants to be held allll the time

Sleep: On the positive side - Samuel does not really cry anymore when he is in his crib.  On the negative side - I can't get him on a good schedule. We spent all of last month transitioning down to one nap and it was rough.  We were finally on a good schedule and he was napping for two or two and half glorious hours in the afternoon. Daylight Savings Time threw us off (over two weeks ago!) and I can't get him adjusted.  He is back to napping for 60-90 minutes (along with waking up at 5am) and then being ready for bed by 4:30-5pm and it makes the afternoons and evenings trying.  I think he has dark circles under his eyes.  Poor guy.  Hopefully we will get back on a good schedule after we get done traveling for Thanksgiving.
I told Samuel I needed one picture of him in his Halloween costume.

Speaking of holidays - we had some holidays to celebrate this past month - Halloween and pre-Christmas.  We went trick-or-treating to four different houses of church members and Samuel made out like a bandit!  He would wear his Samasourus costume until he got the candy and then would take it off.  It was a fun night.

We also attended a Halloween parade on the town square and Samuel loved the band.  It was cold, so we didn't stick around for too long.

Paulding's Historical Museum had a festival of trees in mid-November and we had fun checking it out.  Samuel definitely understands more of Christmas this year, but I still think we have a year or two until he really "gets" it. 

At the Festival of Trees - our serious Sam

Friday, November 16, 2018


I want to be a low maintenance person.  It annoys me when I am a high maintenance person.  If you are high maintenance, that is okay.  You do you.  

I pride myself on being able to eat pretty much anything.  I will eat food out the fridge cold. I will eat food that does not really taste good to me.  I will eat a lot of things.

The same holds true for beverages.  I prefer water and coffee (with cream).  I am not a big soda person - the carbonation upsets my stomach.  I drink a lot of water every day - especially when I was running and/or teaching every day.  In  Korea my co-teachers affectionately called me "Camel" because I would carry my Nalgene water bottle everywhere with me and drink so much water.  (Funny True Story: one of my co-teachers said, "I saw you crossing the street the other day.  I wasn't sure if it was you or not (it was winter and I was probably bundled up) but then I saw your water bottle and knew it was you."  hahaha!) 
Throw back to Korea - when I carried my water bottle pretty much everywhere with me
All of that to say, it has been a big disappointment (and thorn in my side) that water has not tasted good to me this pregnancy.  At first I chalked it up to "first trimester nothing tastes good".  But my distaste for water has persisted. I have been craving the water from the Upper300s Hallway at Mountain Vista - that may be the best water I have ever drank in my entire life. So I came up with a drink that does taste good (most days).  Ian calls it Pregnog (like eggnog?).  Samuel knows the steps to making Pregnog and will sit on the counter and help me stir it up.  He likes to drink it too but has a hilarious reaction to it every.single.time.

This is my Bubba.  Ian has refilled it countless times. #amazinghusband


1. Start with an empty 48 oz "Bubba" waterbottle.
2. Pour in an entire can of La Croix (I like the coconut flavor)
3. Empty a tray of ice cubes
4. Fill the rest of Bubba with cold water
5. Give a generous squirt of flavored Stevia drops.
6. Mix together using the straw.

Bubba and me back in my "Math Cabin" days
I only drink one Pregnog a day.  I make myself drink water the rest of the time.  I look forward to my Pregnog every afternoon.  I sometimes drink about two-thirds of Bubba and then refill the rest with water. Sometimes it tastes good and sometimes it tastes gross.  If we had an automatic ice maker, I would probably drink a lot more ice water but I am lazy about making ice (and cracking it out of the trays).  I have some really hard first world white girl problems.

Sunday, November 4, 2018


I am 20 weeks pregnant today and I feel overwhelmingly thankful.  This blog is really for me (and Ian and the kids) so sometimes I probably share more than if I was doing this for monetary gain or some other reason.  I do not tend to be an overly emotional person (or at least I don't think of myself that way). 

I (Ian too) was thankful for Samuel's pregnancy.  In some ways it felt like a surprise and in some ways it felt like a fulfillment of what God had promised us a long time ago.  At times it felt like I was smiling and nodding and saying I was thankful but not knowing how to process the gift of a baby.  Now we have Samuel and I have had a taste of the fun, challenging, joyful, sanctifying experience called parenting. This go around I feel thankful in a different way - a deep unexplainable gratitude.  It makes me care way less if I gain 50 pounds or if my back aches or if my maternity clothes from last go around don't fit so well.  For us, it feels like a miracle - the weeks of sickness, tired of sleeping on my side, water not tasting good - all of it - is part of a miracle.

If you are reading this and your story has not started or ended like you thought it would, we are so sorry for you.  We know and love so many that have walked roads of deep deep grief.  If there is one thing that I have learned in the last few years is that being an adult means holding seemingly opposing emotions at the same time.  We are so thankful for this baby.  So thankful.  But that does not erase or diminish the deep grief we have for friends who aren't married that long to be married.  Or friends who long for children. Or friends who have miscarried.  Or friends who have lost tiny little newborns.  Or friends who have lost toddlers or big kids or adult kids.

When I think about how our story could go, I am so thankful that we have been gifted this life.  As with most (all?) parents, we hope our kids bury us (at a ripe old age).  But we don't have that guarantee, so I try to be thankful for each day that we do have with Samuel and this little one.

So it may seem that we take this pregnancy for granted or we have brushed aside those who have a different ending (or middle or start) but that is not our hope or desire.  We want to stand on the rooftops and jump and down and celebrate this baby for as long as God gifts him to us. But that does not mean our hearts don't break and we don't mourn.  It is harder to express grief (in my opinion) and Ian reminds me often enough that I naturally tend to be a Debbie Downer.  I often try to post happy or joyful moments to remember.

All of that to say, we still see you. We remember your kids.  We remember your babies.  We remember your infertility.  You are not forgotten.  We love you.  We love your kids.  We stand with you in your grief and heartbreak.