Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dear Samuel: 7 Months

Little Sam,

This month you are really showing off. It seems that you are growing, moving, and learning exponentially these days. Could you slow down please?

You conquered the crawl--even though it took you a week or so to get it. At first it was a couple of scoots forward, plop, cry, try to get up, cry, and maybe attempt it again. You definitely got frustrated! Then, suddenly, it all clicked. Like your brother, you often scoot on one knee and use the other foot to propel you forward. You definitely love your new trick--it makes mommy accessible at all times and gives you access to all the fun "toys" like cords and the dishwasher ;)

You've also started self-feeding these last few weeks. In fact, I'm pretty sure that if I gave you puffs all day long, you would sit and eat all day. You love love love to eat. We still mostly spoon-feed you, but I've been sneaking you little tastes from my plate like pancakes and fresh bread. Otherwise, bananas and avocado top the list for your favorite-things-to-stuff-in-your-mouth :)

This month you also had your 3rd hospital stay--thanks to a penny that your brother fed you, a cold, and a little trouble keeping your oxygen levels right after the procedure to remove the penny. Of course, you were a champ and charmed everyone. You also took your first ambulance ride to the hospital--which we sincerely hope is the first and last one you ever take. Pretty please.

Sam, we are falling more and more in love with the kiddo who is coming out of the woodwork. Everyday, I see new pieces of your personality and love getting more glimpses into what makes you tick. You are recklessly determined--I've caught you standing in precarious places on more than one occasion. You seem to know how to crawl right into trouble and seem to enjoy it--like when you insist on pulling our Carbon Monoxide alarm out of the wall (at least five times now). You act shy with strangers, but you still love to get them to smile at you. You are constantly moving, exploring, and, yep, even terrorizing our living room toy boxes.

Sam, we love every squishy 20 plus pounds of you. We love your curious attitude and gummy smiles. We love the way you adore your brother and already have fun climbing all over him. We love that mischievous smirk you wear a lot and the way you head straight for the one thing you can't have. And your giggle--I can't get enough of it.

But, for the 7th time now, I'll tell you once more--could you start sleeping through the night?


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Friday, August 19, 2016

Simple + Easy Activities for Little Ones

We are reaching the end of a sweaty, stuffy summer in Texas, and I'm definitely ready to see cooler temps (even though they probably won't show up until October!) and more routine around here. These last few weeks have been a lot of short outdoor playtime in the morning and indoor activities in the afternoon (it's just been too hot to go out, well, at least for this Minnesota girl!)

So, I've been trying out some new creative activities to help switch things up.

Before you think that I spend every day doing something creative and uber fun with my little guys--let me just tell you that most days my creativity is handing Luke the watercolors and letting him paint. However, it is fun to add to some different activities to the mix--so I'm going to share a few ideas that we've done lately that Luke (and Sam) have enjoyed :)

1. Shower Curtain painting and sponge throwing. It was inspired by this idea from Busy Toddler. Really, the only thing I did differently was let Luke paint his own design on the shower curtain (or a tarp would work too) before throwing sponges. I also thought writing letters, numbers, or shapes would add a bit of learning to the mix. We weren't so educational, but it was fun!

2. Pan and roller painting. This was inspired by Luke finding the roller in the garage and pretending to paint the walls. I simply made it a little more colorful by squirting paint on a cookie sheet and laying paper down across the table for him to roll on. ps. I buy this paper like this to make art projects 100% easier to clean up. Plus, it lasts forever and makes cute wrapping paper ;)

(poor Sam! It was so bright!)

3. Laundry basket web. I used a laundry basket and made a web with yarn and then plopped small toys on the bottom for Luke to grab with tongs. I thought Luke would absolutely love this activity, but it was a little "eh" for him. However, I think his younger self would have been much more into it. It was an easy activity to bring outside and at least kept him out of the dirt for a bit.

4. Water bowl. Whenever we go outside with Sam, I fill a big plastic bowl with water, add a few water/random toys, and let Sam splash his hands in it and grab for toys. It keeps him busy and cool without him getting too wet. Win-Win.

5. Print + Create Kits. Okay, okay--a little bit of shameless plug. But! We really have had fun with these this summer.  Luke was part of the creative and "product-testing" for many of the activities and they kept him busy. Plus, we had lots of chats about the Fruit of the Spirit, God's creation, and what we are thankful for. His favorite is definitely the outer space kit (he has colored the space ship coloring sheet at least 6 times), but I'm kinda partial to the Thanksgiving and Prayer set (How can you not love donuts?)

Since we still have many more toasty days to come, I'd love to hear your ideas or latest kid-friendly activities you've done with your kids--I can always use some fresh ideas!

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dear Samuel: 6 Months

Mr. Sam,

How are you already half a year old? Really--it feels like yesterday that they placed this adorable baby in my arms. And now, well, you are 20 pounds of squishy, happy goodness.

You are really starting to show off your determined and go-getter side. You are trying so hard to figure out how to move around. Right now, you can reach really well, and have pretty decent balance. Even when you do fall on your belly over and over, you keep trying. I have a feeling that when you start crawling, I won't be able to keep up with you. You are so busy! You are constantly moving--when you eat, when you sit, when you lay down, and when you play. I love seeing your tenacious spirit!

You are still digging solid foods and like 90% of what we give you. Even if you seem to not like it at first, you generally give it a few bites and end up actually liking it. We know you really don't like something because you make lots of spitting noises and scrunch your face up. Luke love to imitate you and inform us when you don't like food. We haven't tried much beyond purees because we want to take it slowly and make sure you are ready for more solid foods.

I'd like to report that you are sleeping through the night and not waking up so early, but unfortunately, you are not. You still wake up at least once a night and still often wake up before six. I guess we'll just have to be patient and wait for you to figure it out ;)

You still have that tuff of hair (I just can't bring myself to cut it!), still love smiling at people, and making you laugh is as easy as pie. Sometimes just making a silly face at you gets a giggle out of you. Although you are a happy guy, you still have your grumpy moments--like when you get scared of a loud or sudden noise, get a toy taken away (thanks to Luke), or don't get fed fast enough ;)

Sam, you're an absolutely joy to our family, and I'm so thankful that you are ours.

We love you!


ps. I'm actually writing this 2 days before you are 7 months old (second child problems!), but even if I'm a bit behind, I still want to capture you at this age :)

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