Sunday, November 30, 2008

a letter to samuel

This is a letter to Samuel in honor of his 3rd birthday.  It's long and I certainly don't expect anyone to read it (though I do hope he'll have the interest some day!).  But I wanted to put it out here to save it.  Warning:  I didn't hold back on my raves about my little guy in this post. :)  There is definitely a lack of modesty here.

You turned 3 this month.  How did that happen?  Though you have never been a big cuddler, I do remember a time rocking you before placing you off to dreamland in your crib.  As we'd rock, you'd look up at me and get a mischievious look on your face while you giggled.  I could rarely rock you to sleep because you just wanted to play!  I should have known then how much fun you would be now; Still today you thrive on interaction with others.  True, you can take a few minutes to warm to a crowd as you hide behind my leg, but by the end of a gathering everyone is amazed that the energetic, fun, and outgoing little boy is the same as the one who arrived.  You sometimes say to us:  "I'm shy" followed by lots of giggles because you recognize the absurdity of that statement.  

I've heard numerous times from others that you are "a very special little boy" and believe me, Mom and Dad know that better than anyone but it's fun to hear.  There is something about you that brings light, joy and hope to others.  Just the other day you brought a tear to Gumpa John's eye because you spontaneously gave him the biggest bear hug you could muster as you said goodbye.  You often accuse me of "Too much hugging!" and you follow it up with, "Don't hug me, I'll hug you!" as you squeeze me tight and say a long drawn-out, "Huuuuuuuuuugggg!".  

Like your Dad, you seem to know just the right thing to say in such a small number of words.  I'll remember forever the first time you said, "You're the best mom in the whole world!".  Turns out Dad is the best Dad in the whole world and Sydney (whom you nick-named Siddy) is the best Siddy in the whole world and even Jenny is the best Jenny in the whole world - and we thank you for that!  You get me all teary-eyed when you say things like, "We're a great family" and "I like spending time with you, family."  

Recently you told me you wanted to buy a gift for Daddy, just because.  So we took money from your own piggy bank and I gave you a choice that we could either go to the local gift shop or we could go to the hardware store.  Boy do you know Daddy because you chose the hardware store.  You walked slowly through every isle, examining everything closely.  After wavering between a bird house, a funnel, and vice grips, you decided Dad really needed a funnel.  Daddy was so pleased at your thoughtfulness; it turned out he did in fact need a funnel!  It's probably no coincidence that you liked the gift too and Daddy lets you use it for bath time.

You have always had an amazing vocabulary and people are often surprised that you are just 3.  You even are starting to use your own slang like "whatever" (I won't always appreciate that one!), and "no problem, Mom".  "Sure" seems to find it's way in most of your sentences, as in "I sure will miss you" and "that sure is a nice dam" (you're into dams and any sort of area with lots of electrical equipment is a dam to you).

We don't have a lot of children in our neighborhood that you know but you are quite fond of our neighbors.  You make regular trips to Dale and Jackie's and Jackie spoils you with cookies and crackers.  You enjoy visiting Bob and giving him a run for his money in the countless questions you ask him as he goes about his work.

You are getting much better at understanding, following, and even enforcing rules.  You once laughed your way through time outs but you now seem to understand why and when we use it.  In fact, you get embarrassed when you are in trouble and put your arm over your eyes thinking we can't see you.  You take it upon yourself to ensure others are following the rules too.  You put me in time out earlier this year for yelling and you have busted us many times for eating in the family room.  You take it upon yourself to be a 3rd parent to Sydney and ensure that she isn't putting anything in her mouth or playing with anything dangerous.  When Mom and Dad once turned their head as Sydney sped up the stairs enjoying her newfound freedom, you promptly came to us with your hands at your hips and declared, "You're daughter is going up the stairs!"

What a wonderful imagination you have.  Throughout the day we get visits from friends that only you can see:  from Tierko and Boo Boo the pigs, Paw Paw the bear and the dancing bunnies with no names.  These poor friends have been tortured by me inadvertently sitting on them from time to time.  I got a good laugh when you told me that the piggies didn't join us at our friend Heidi's house because you were worried her cat might eat them. 

Virtually every day you wear your froggy swim goggles and I enjoy hearing your reasoning why.  Some days you are a fire-fighter and the goggles will protect you from smoke, other days they protect you from the wind outside, and still other days they are simply swim goggles "for swimming Mom!" - duh!  We get comments from many strangers how much they love your "winter hat and swim goggles" look.  You also have a preference for certain clothes but love being naked the most, which we've started discouraging more since it's getting cold.  Still, you find a way to use your imagination to justify your naked-ness.  It seems every time I turn a corner some article of clothing is now off either due to the tag on it bothering you or for some fun reason like "to help you wade in the deep water in our family room", you say.

You conquered day-time potty training this year at the age of 2 1/2.  It went really well, though I'm certain that's what started this naked trend.  You have not yet mastered keeping your diaper dry at night.  Each morning you say, "It's really hard to keep my diaper dry at night" and we assure you it will come in time.  You moved to a big boy bed shortly before turning 2 and we thought you loved it but recently you are telling us otherwise.  We now hear talk about ghosts in your room, the need for all lights on, and how you don't like the top bunk.  Even our nightly story time, kissing bandit kisses, and songs ("This Little Light of Mine", "Twinkle Twinkle", and "Lullaby") do not fend off ghosts anymore.

This has been a big year for you.  You suddenly went from being our baby to being the big brother.  You handled the transition so well and have only had a great love for your little sister Sydney.  The other day you said to her, "You're my best friend Siddy" and it melted my heart.  And boy does she ever love you.  She follows you with her eyes like a hawk and squeels with delight at the mere sound of your voice.  She does whatever she can to keep up with your antics, and you've already taught her how to climb on furniture. 

Your spirit and enthusiasm make life much more fun.  It became obvious to me at the zoo that very few people enjoy life more as you yelled with glee to all the kids "LOOK AT THAT SHARK GUYS!" while the other children sat more reserved.  You have the highest of highs. But I can not very well summarize your year without mentioning that your spark and enthusiasm also help contribute to the lowest of lows.  Your tantrums can rival the best of them and while your persistence will one day serve you well, it tests our patience more than I ever thought possible.  The truth is, whether it be a good day or a bad day, you take an extraordinary amount of energy, but I wouldn't change a thing about you.  I can only hope that our reserved nature will balance, and not stiffle, you.  I'm so proud of the fact that you have so much joy and confidence and I would be surprised if I ever worried about you finding what you want out of life.

We love you very much Samuel.  Thank you for being you.

All our love, 

Mommy & Daddy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

cool art

I thought this was such a cool idea for art.  What a clever way to get hand prints of everyone in the family and serve as unique art at the same time!  Now, if only those colors of canvas worked well in my house.  I'm sure there is a simple way to make it myself with different colors.  If only I had the time.

By the way, you can purchase this kit at Red Envelope for $39.95.

In unrelated but very important news:  my Mom is getting out of the hospital Friday, exactly 6 weeks after her being admitted.  2 surgeries (open heart surgery to repair many things, and a gallbladder removal), and lots of hard work later she's ready to come home.  New challenges await her and us but I'm excited for her.

I'm hoping things will calm down in my life and I can start blogging again more now that I'll be blogging less on my Mom's Caring Bridge site.  I can't believe I didn't make a post about Sam turning 3 (on November 8)!  What a fun time we had at a local community center water park!  Where did my baby boy go?


P.S. The invitation I designed for Sydney made the Digitreats blog, my favorite spot for Digital scrapping!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

just poppin' in to post a pic

This is what happens when you give an 
almost-3 year old vegetable dip.


PS thanks for the supportive replies to my previous posts!  
Mom has already graduated to the rehab unit!