Dear Sweet Sam,
Mommy is a few days late with this month’s post. But I promise it’s because we’ve been so busy and not because I’m trying to hang on to eleven months as long as possible. Though that part is also true.
Have you really been here with us for almost an entire year? It feels like both forever and no more than a wink.
This month you proved just how much you have been paying attention to us. You imitate nearly everything we do — from coughing to combing your hair to “painting” the walls. You know a hat belongs on your head and shoes go on your feet. You pat your stomach when we say “belly,” and shake your head “no” to nearly every question we ask. You can growl like a monster and whistle through a plastic straw. You know Mr. Ribbit (your stuffed green frog) and Ellie (your elephant lovey), and you throw your “binky” in your crib for the birds (that hang from your mobile) when we ask you to.
And you love your rocking chair. You climb onto and off of it at least 20 times per day.
Actually, you are climbing onto everything these days. You can scale the stairs in less than a minute, and you recently learned how to shimmy back down (thanks to two “practice stairs” at Nana’s and Poppy’s house). You try to climb onto the couch, into the bathtub, over the safety gate, and into the refrigerator. You have no problem getting into the kitchen cabinet and into your dresser drawer, though you still need help to get back out. You love to crawl into your play racetrack and spin yourself in circles. And if there is an empty box nearby, you bet you’ll be in it.
Despite all the climbing, though, you are still not walking. I believe you have the strength and coordination for it, but not the confidence. Or interest, really. You are perfectly content crawling and crab walking and cruising with help from furniture and your push toys. We do often find you standing on your own– if both of your hands are occupied — but no real steps yet. I suspect once you figure it out, there will be no stopping you.
Other favorite activities include putting things into boxes and baskets, crawling through your tunnel, “riding” your giraffe, collecting leaves from the yard, waving to neighbors (especially when Mr. Butler plays hide-and-seek behind the bushes), clapping your hands, removing and replacing the lid of your sippy cup (and my camera lens, which made this month’s photo shoot quite difficult), and pulling out every item of every cupboard you manage to get into.
Needless to say, we can’t take our eyes off of you for just one second!
You have discovered your tongue, which means you like to pull it — and subsequently gag yourself. You have also discovered another certain body part, which makes diaper changes even more challenging. Speaking of that certain body part, one night during your bath, you were standing in the water (which you frequently do), and you started to pee. You looked down at the stream, then up at me, and we both laughed. Oh, boy, we still have a lot to learn.
We wrapped up our first Kindermusik class this month, and we both miss it so (as well as our weekly Panera dates!). When I play your CD in the car, you get the biggest smile on your face. We call it “Sammy’s music,” and you definitely recognize the songs.
You also recognize “Sammy’s movie.” It’s the Baby MacDonald episode of Baby Einstein, and you clap when it comes on the television. We don’t let you watch it often (unless you are unbearable in the car, which happened during at least one road trip this month), but you are so mesmerized by it. I believe you are also beginning to make the connection between the cows, horses, ducks, chickens, sheep, and pigs in the movie and the ones in your books and at the farm we visited.
In addition to the farm, we also went to a baby water park, storytime at the local library, several playdates at the park, a toddler “dance party,” and the toy store to play with the train table.
You are also quite the helper at home. In fact, Poppy spent a few days with us this month to help lay hardwood floors in our house, and he taught you to hammer and to sweep. You were so content just hanging out at the gate watching him work. And occasionally you would drop something to get his attention. You two have become quite good buddies.
Daddy is one of your best buds, too. Though now when he gets home from work, instead of scurrying towards him, you scurry away … because you want him to chase you, of course.
You are still such a good eater, and you are officially “eating with purpose.” In fact, we have to order a separate meal for you when we go out because otherwise you eat half of ours! You eat three meals per day plus two snacks, and you nurse in the morning and at night. Favorite foods include cheese, pasta, pizza, any type of meat, and tomatoes (especially from our neighbor’s garden). You finish your favorites first — and fast! — then tear off your bib and slowly eat everything else off your tray.
We introduced two new foods to you this month: hummus and peanut butter. For now you prefer hummus, though if you have any Wiley in you, I bet that will change!
You have also discovered our snack cupboard. You open the door, pull out a box of crackers, sit down on the floor, stick your hand inside the box, and start snacking.
You are still sleeping like a champ, too. Several times this month you napped just once in the late morning, and I though you were ready to make the transition to one nap per day. But you are back to two solid naps (thank you!). And you are still sleeping from about 7pm until 7am.
We changed your bedtime routine just slightly to allow a few extra minutes to play in the bathtub and crawl around without a diaper. Then you help to rub lotion on your belly and get into your jammies — now two pieces because they’re much more convenient for a squirmy boy.
Your hugs have become tighter, and sometimes you can’t seem to get close enough. You rest your head on my shoulder and lightly tap your fingers on my back. And it is the best thing ever.
I love you to the moon and back, bud.