Dear Sweet Son,
Your fifteenth month was a busy one. And it was all about family. You were born into a great one, bud. I hope you always know how lucky and loved you are.
Just one day after Thanksgiving, we picked up your furball sister, Lucy. And it took you no time at all to adjust to life with a puppy. You do not hesitate to take the stuffed ducky from her mouth and tease her with her chew toys. You clap your hands and beg her to chase you around the kitchen. You climb into the crate with her and close the door. You feed her from your snack container and try to drink from her water bowl. As crazy as our days are, seeing the pure joy that Lucy brings to your face makes it all worthwhile. You two are already the best of friends.
We enjoyed a visit from Oma and Opa and Aunt Kirsten in early December. They brought presents and cookies and gave an endless amount of attention to you and Lucy. Nana and Poppy came later in the month, along with Uncle Andrew, Auntie Laura, Uncle Stevo, and the two dogs. Oh boy, you are quite a host. From your dance moves and acrobatics to your blue tape mustaches and googly glasses and reindeer antlers, you entertained us all.
We also took an unexpected trip to Connecticut to honor your Daddy’s cousin, Lauren. Sadly, she was a victim of a horrible tragedy — one that I pray you never again experience in your lifetime. We are so grateful, though, that you were able to meet sweet Lauren on Thanksgiving Day. She loved you very much, Sam.
It was a sorrowful trip, and everyone was happy to have you nearby for kisses and tickles. There were no rules that week, and no bedtimes. We ran the halls of the hotel; we ate pizza and chocolate at 9:30pm; we had a popcorn party in bed. And we hugged you extra tight.
Soon after we returned from Connecticut. it was time to decorate the tree, wrap gifts, and prepare for your second Christmas. True, you still don’t really get the concept of Christmas, but it was magical nonetheless. We were thrilled to celebrate with you in our new home, and I will not soon forget the look on your face when you turned the corner on Christmas morning and spotted your new wooden kitchen set. Other fun gifts included a basketball hoop, a sled, a dump truck, and books.
This month also provided the opportunity to indulge in lots of sweets. As soon as you hear the mixer churning cookie dough, you demand to climb onto a chair and join the action. Mommy often lets you stir the batter and always gives you a lick from the beater. Sometimes, though, you prefer to create your own concoctions. Like the day you opened the bottle of vanilla extract and dumped it into the canister of sugar. Yes, you are our (sneaky) little chef.
You don’t only eat sweets, of course. Though I think you would be perfectly content if your diet consisted of Hershey’s kisses, Fig Newtons, and peanut butter frosting. Other current favorite foods include ham, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, applesauce, and all kinds of berries. You still love to eat with a fork, and you also now insist on drinking from a “big boy cup.” Half of the small amount of water in your cup usually ends of on your shirt or on the floor, but you still think it’s the coolest thing ever.
You typically eat four small meals a day: 8:30, 11:30, 3:30, and 6:00. And you are down to just one looong nap. We made the transition early in the month after a few too many middle-of-the-night wake-ups. You now sleep from 8pm until 8am and nap from about noon until 3pm.
Those rough nights were also likely connected to your molars. You now have two — almost three! I imagine that was pretty painful. Sometimes ice helps. Actually, you and Lucy both love to chew on ice cubes from the freezer.
We enjoyed our first significant snowfall of the season on the day after Christmas. We bundled you up and took full advantage of the freshly fallen flakes. Daddy held you in his lap, and the two of you tobogganed down several of the many hills in our backyard. Then you and Mommy built a snowman, which you thought was hysterical. You can see Frosty from your bedroom window and often look and point and smile. You did, however, face plant into the snow several times. It’s very difficult to walk in thick snowpants and boots, isn’t it? It will get easier, pal, I promise. I expect you’ll be up on skis in no time.
In fact, you are already quite the daredevil. You don’t just climb onto the chair, you now climb onto the kitchen table — and then attempt to stand up. You use your step stool or a box to reach the counter and the bathroom sink and the top of the entertainment center. Somehow, you are still able to crawl under the rungs of the chairs and through the shelves of the bookcase. And you recently figured out how to scale the wooden gate that keeps Lucy out of the living room. Yes, we’re in trouble.
You almost always have a smile on your face — or a devilish little grin. But, boy, can you scream, too. You scrunch up your face and put your hands over your mouth and force tears from your eyes. This is your typical “I’m not getting what I want” reaction. It happens at least 20 times every day. Please don’t tell me we’ve already entered the toddler tantrum stage?
But then — sometimes less than a minute later — you come at us with open arms and an open mouth for a big hug and an even bigger kiss.
Our days continue to get more busy and more fun. You practice lots of pretend play — from cooking in your kitchen to flying your airplane around the house — and understand nearly everything we say. You consistently say momma and dadda and make the beginning sounds of other words like hi and hot and bath and banana. You sign more and all done and milk. You shake your head no and nod yes and shrug your shoulders for I don’t know. You may not be verbalizing many words yet, but you are still a great communicator. I cherish our conversations now, and I know they will continue to get better.
You are my sunshine, Sam. I love you so much.