Thursday, January 22, 2015

Happy 1st Birthday, Samuel John!

Dear Sam,

I am not quite sure how this happened, but you are already a year old!  Sometimes it seems like you have been around here forever, and yet sometimes it feels like you were just born!  You have been such a joy to watch grow this past year.

  1. You were born with a phenomenal head of hair, and it has only continued to be amazing. You went through one phase, however, where it stayed long on top and you went bald on the side.  Unfortunately, we had a lot of good laughs off of your crazy look.  Now, you hair is full and you need hair cuts constantly!  I need to get used to this with having a boy!
  2. You are my thumb sucker, and I adore it.  You never took a pacifier, but it's been nice that I never have to remember to bring one anywhere and you always have your soother with you wherever you go.  It's also the cutest thing I've ever seen.
  3. You, buddy, are a big boy!  I cannot tell you how often someone mentions, "Wow, he's a big boy!"  Random strangers even!  I have always loved a fat baby, and your thighs are fantastic.
  4. The first few months of your life were some of the hardest for me with any of my kids.  You struggled to sleep, you wouldn't stay asleep, and you were often cranky when you were awake.  We tried loads of things, but I finally begged the doctor for Zantac and it made a HUGE difference.  It took 5 months, but once you had your meds you were a new kid.
  5. You being a new kid only lasted a few months.  September you got your first ear infection, and little did we know that it was one of many many to come!  Between September and January you ended up with 9 ear infections and had been on more antibiotics than I have in my 31 years of life.  It was awful knowing you were in pain, but not being able to do much to help.  You finally had tubes put in this past month and it's been life-changing.  I can only imagine what it has been like to have all of that fluid out of your ears!
  6. Your dimples are to die for.  Your smile charms and you know how to work it.
  7. I'd like to apologize to you for the beating you take from Evie.  I am certain she means it out of love, but at 3 she still doesn't quite understand that dragging you around and wrestling you are still things that a baby should not be doing.  I am pretty sure there is a side of her that enjoys antagonizing someone who can't fight back, which is why I think she smacked you with the fly swatter yesterday while you were eating lunch.  Do me a favor, someday, and fight for your sister if she needs you, but don't let her bully you around :-)
  8. You are SO close to walking.  You have started to take a couple of steps here and there, so I know you aren't too far from taking off.  I'm not sure I'm ready for this stage!
  9. For some reason you DESPISE your car seat.  You are a terrible traveller.  Doesn't matter if you are equipped with snacks, toys, and entertainment.  You cry before I put you in, and you whine most of the time you are in the car.  
  10. You love to rummage through the cupboards.  You have figured out that if you pull hard enough you can override the child safety latches.  You pull out the mixing bowls, and even crawl all the way in.  The problem is that you get stuck and keep hitting your head. 
  11. You were my first baby that actually enjoyed the Ergo carrier.  I am not sure if this is because you HAD to like it, or if you really did because you are not a snuggler at all.  Early on I would put you in the Ergo and you would fall asleep while I brought the girls to Catch Air or the zoo.  It was survival, and I was thankful you made going out with 3 kids a bit easier.
  12. You love to dance.  Love it.  Whether it is watching your sisters cut a rug or yourself moving and grooving, music most definitely makes you happy.
  13. You have already mastered the art of picking the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms.  I am certain I will have a tough time hiding any veggies in your meals someday :-)  Overall, you are a pretty good eater and I haven't really found anything your DON'T like (which might be obvious from the size of your belly).
  14. You are brown-eyed and brown-haired boy in the midst of a couple of blue eyed, blonde haired girls.  I love the variety that you have brought to our crazy little team.
  15. I go back and for with who you look like.  There are days you are so your father, but then days you look just like Belle, who is the spitting image of me.  
  16. You are my early riser.  Belle and Evie always slept in until at least 7am.  You, for some insane reason, feel the need to be up between 5 and 6am.  Can we work on this?
  17. You aren't saying any words yet, but I wonder if it is because your ears were so full of fluid for so long.  
  18. You have taught me how to learn to go with the flow, and that I am not in control.  Being the 3rd kid, you didn't have the luxury of always taking your naps at certain times and for a certain length of time.  I have had to wake you up from numerous naps, and have had to stretch you to make it to certain times.  You've actually handled this well, and have helped your mama learn to let some things go.
  19. Can we talk about the dog food?  Evie and Belle were curious about this as well, but I think you take this to an entirely new level.  Maybe it's a boy thing, putting gross non-food things in your mouth.  Either way, you ALWAYS find your way to Mac's bowl and flip over his water and hoard his food in your cheek like a squirrel.  It's gross, dude.  Stop.
  20. Being your mom has helped build confidence in myself and following my gut.  I would get nervous to constantly bring you in for appointments when I knew you just weren't quite yourself, but eventually I gained confidence that I know what's best for you and that it didn't matter if the nurses and doctors thought I was overreacting.  I learned to worry more about making sure you were healthy, rather than if I brought you in and nothing was wrong.  Yup, even at my age you worry what people think of you.  Thank you for helping me work on this.
  21. I am so thankful that you are a Mama's Boy.  You love your dad and get ecstatic to see him when he comes home from work (actually you start smiling as soon as you hear the door open), but right now I am the one you prefer.  I know that it won't be long until Dad will be your best friend and you will be off playing soccer and building Legos, but for now, let me cherish that I have a little leg up :-)
  22. I adore watching you with Belle.  She has turned into quite the caregiver and helped since you have arrived.  She has become a vital asset to me, and she loves giving you bottles in the car, playing peak-a-boo with you, and helping teach you to walk.  
  23. You have a birth mark on the side of your face that reminds me everyday how unique and special you are.  It's your trademark.  I have had MANY people ask me about it and wonder if I was getting it removed, but it's part of you and was the first thing the nurses pointed out when they laid you on my chest a year ago.  
  24. You love new environments.  In fact, you are often a happier baby when you are somewhere new.  At this point you have zero separation anxiety and you easily go to other people.  I love that the women who watch you in MOPS know your personality and know when you aren't yourself either.  Many people love you, sweet boy.
  25. You are an explorer.  You crawl around nonstop and I can often find you with your head in the dryer, pulling out toy bins, or trying to find things under the table.  I apologize for the sheer amount of Legos and Perler beads you have probably ingested during your explorations.
  26. You love to put your fingers in people's mouths.  It drives me nuts.  I can very rarely just hold you without you trying to grab my teeth or shoving a fist in my mouth.  
  27. Holy cow, kid.  I have never known a child who made such an event of having a bowel movement.  Maybe it's just part of being a boy, but you make sure everyone knows you are working on some business.  Grunts, red face, and even bending over.  
  28. Evie constantly refers to you as "my Sammy John."  She is a crazy big sister, but she adores you and loves to try to make you laugh.
  29. Can we figure out what the deal is with diaper changes?  From day one you have hated them, and continue to hate them.  Maybe this will push you to potty train faster??? Wishful thinking, I am sure.
  30. You have brought a joy to this family that we didn't know was missing until you arrived. I get this urge to squeeze you every time I pick you up because I just cannot get enough of those dimples, round belly, and sweet smile.  Thank you for what you have taught me about myself as a mom, and for adding a little more testosterone to this household of Barbies and tutus.  I cannot way to watch you grow, to watch you learn, and to see what kind of personality you are going to have.  

Happy Birthday, sweet boy!  We love you!

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