Friday, February 18, 2011

To My Sweet Sweet Baby

To my precious Samuel, on your first birthday,

I can't believe it's time to write another letter to you already!  So much has happened with you in the last six months that I am so glad that I gave in and wrote you a letter on your half-birthday... if I hadn't done that I never would be able to keep up with you!  And as amazing as those first six months were, they had nothing on these last six months!  You haven't slowed down a bit, and you continue to amaze us each and every day!  You have all of us wrapped around your finger, and it's obvious that you know it!
  • You have 6 teeth!  In my last letter I mentioned that I thought your second tooth was going to come in the very next day, and I was exactly right!  And not a month later, you got 4 more teeth in 2 days!  Nearly every day since then I have expected to see some more teeth in your mouth, as your gums look like they're wanting to erupt, but these next few teeth are proving to be quite stubborn!
  • In my last letter, I also mentioned how you devour food... that also hasn't changed!  If anything, your appreciation of solid food has intensified!  You open your mouth so wide in anticipation of each and every bite, and once you get your bite you moan and groan like you've never tasted anything so wonderful before.  You'd think I was feeding you chocolate instead of veggies!  
  • You still adore your momma.  I am your favorite person, and you make sure that everyone knows it.  And then you tell them again, just to be sure.  When I am not there, though you do great with daddy, grandma, grandpa, Auntie Mimi, Uncle Travis, or Grammy, but you are very insistent that anyone outside your inner circle is completely unwelcome.  Last week we went out to dinner and you made eye contact with a woman on the opposite side of the restaurant and you Flipped Out.  I don't know how you could have thought that you were unsafe, especially seeing as how she was all the way across the restaurant whereas I was right next to you, but you've always been weary of strangers, so I wasn't really surprised at all.  At home, you won't play on your own for more than 5 minutes without needing mommy to hold you, but I know that one day there will come a time when you won't want to spare 5 minutes for me, so I am holding you tightly while you'll let me!
  • You started waving "bye-bye" and "hi" at 6 months old (you close and open your fist for bye-bye, and for hi you throw your hand up like you're hailing a cab and after a second you wave your arm up and down in a big jerky motion), and within the last two months you've added the words "Bah-bah" and "Haaaah!" to your waves.  I get a kick out of it Every.Single.Time.
  • At 6 months you also started participating in "So big!"  You 
  • "Ah-Boo!"  Is still your favorite game, and very often you'll initiate the game, and then yell and scream if I don't immediately realize and start playing with you!  
  • You started nodding at 7 1/2 months old, and you nod perfectly!  I was feeding you puffies and asked if you wanted some "More, please?" and you nodded and opened your mouth!  You also started shaking "no" in the same week, though you wiggle your whole body side-to-side rather than just moving your head.  At 10 1/2 months you started saying "Yeah" when you nod, and at 11 1/2 months you started saying "Nah Nah" for "no no".  Usually "Yeah" is said with a huge smile and nod after I just told you not to do something!  You are a stinker!
  • Watching you give and blow kisses is the sweetest thing!  Grammy was the recipient of your first not-to-mommy kiss, and I know you made her month with that!  You grab my face and give me very enthusiastic kisses, and you get so happy and giggly when you blow kisses!  Daddy is your favorite person to blow kisses to, and mommy and Jack Jack get tons of slobbery kisses daily!  Grammy got her kiss when you were 7 1/2 months and you blew your first kiss at 8 1/2 months.
  • Jack is your best friend.  Besides mommy, of course.  You adore your big brother, and he's so lucky that you're a peanut because you love to "wrestle" him!  When you see Jack on the floor you make a beeline for him and crawl on him!  Of course, daddy eggs you on by saying "Get him, Sammy!" and Jack giggles and says "Look what he's doing to me!" and you smile so big!  You adore playing with your brother, and he adores playing with you!  
  • You are a New Experience.  You started army crawling at 8 months, and 2 days later you were full on crawling, and were super fast at it!  You had been pulling yourself up since 7 months old, and so after you learned to crawl it only took a week before you were cruising all around!  My jaw was on the ground with how quickly you picked that up, and I can't count how many times I have had to pull you out of the fireplace, grab you off the stairs at grandma's house, and I've even pulled you out of the dishwasher!  Jack hadn't crawled until he was 11 months old and so I was not used to having a baby that moved- imagine my surprise when at the age he learned to crawl, you grabbed the ride-on schoolbus toy and started walking around the house with it!  It has been such a fun experience,and I absolutely love watching the smile on your face when you move yourself from place to place.  Your smile shouts "Look at me!  Look what I can do, all by myself!"
  • Your sleeping is much better.  Now that I've actually written that down I am sure that you are going to wake up a few times tonight, but you've worked hard at learning how to go back to sleep on your own.  We had to just let you figure things out on your own, and it took you a while.  As attached as you are to your mommy this didn't surprised me at all!  Once you learned how to sleep you had to have a lesson every 5-7 nights for another 2 months- you proved quite stubborn when it comes to sleep!  You still nap for 45 minute intervals, though your morning nap is improving.  
  • You're starting to walk while holding on with only one hand, and you love to practice standing while holding nothing at all!  You make quite a game out of "Can you stand?" and you laugh when you let go to stand, and you laugh harder when you fall!  Your brother used to do this too, and it was one of our favorite games so I was giddy when you started doing it, too, but with your cocky smile you definitely add your own flair to the game!
  • You know where your nose and your lips are, you know that the cow says "Voooo" or "Mmmmboooo" and that the duck says "Kaak kaak kaak".  You love to clap.  Love it. you started clapping when you were 8 months old and haven't stopped since.  And now your clapping is accompanied by "Ya ya ya!" (yay yay yay!)
  • Words words words!  I haven't made a list of them, so I'm sure I'll forget... you say "Ma ma" (of course!), "Ah-Boo", "Da da", "Tha Tha" (Jack Jack), "Guh guh" (grandma), "Yeah", "Nah nah" (no no), "Ah Duh" (all done- you also sign this), "Moe" (more- you sign this one, too!), "Uh oh", "Ya ya ya!" (yay yay yay!), and I'm sure as soon as I hit publish on this letter I will think of more!  You are doing great, and I am so proud of you!
  • When you were 9 months old we were concerned that not only hadn't your reflux gotten any better, but it had actually been getting worse since starting solid food... usually reflux improves on solid foods!  We started you on baby Prilosec and took you to a pediatric gastroenterologist and after the first month on the meds you gained a pound, and your reflux greatly improved, and you've been much happier, too!
  • You are the Great Mimicker.  When you were 9 1/2 months old I watched you "drive" a car across the ground as you made the sound of the engine, and when  you were 10 months old you "flew" an airplane and made the appropriate noises.  I don't think you've ever really paid much attention to real cars or airplanes and the noises they make, so I figured that you learned this by watching your big brother.  You've also tried to get hats on your head and your socks on your feet since you were 10 months old.
  • Talk about being New Territory, you are going to be my tantrum thrower!  At your young age you've already mastered the, um, art, of the toddler tantrum- you scream, throw your head back, arch your back and throw your arms up limp-noodle fashion... by the time you were 10 months old you had already thrown more tantrums than Jack, at 3 1/2- almost 4- has thrown in his whole life!  While I'm not excited about the tantrums and the challenge I expect you to be, I am excited to see how this will play into the man you will become.  I pray that this quirk of yours is an indication that you will be a strong leader, and though you might end up on the small side (or just smaller than your brother and cousin...?) you won't let anyone push you around.  You know what you want, and I hope that your irritation at not getting what you want is a sign that the man you will become will work hard to achieve his goals.  And with a hard worker such as your daddy to guide you, I know that you will achieve them!
My sweet, sweet baby boy, you are so loved!  I can hardly remember life without you, and I don't know how its possible but our love for you grows every day!  Watching you grow and change and discover yourself and your small world this past year has been absolutely amazing, and I greatly anticipate what you will learn and do in the year to come!  I am so blessed and humbled that not only do I get to witness it, but that I get to witness it from the seat of honor as your mother!  I love you, my Sammy Wamster!

Love forever and ever,

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