Thursday, February 21, 2013

Samuel: 9 months

9 months
Height: 29 inches, 81st percentile
Weight: 19 lbs, 12 oz; 53rd percentile

Samuel is 9 months old.   His little personality is bubbling, and he is busy learning to do a thousand new things a day.

More than anything, he loves sticking out his tongue.  He is nonstop testing the air with this muscle.  When he is thinking, working hard...or just lying on his back, that tongue is out.  It is one of my favorite little things about this phase.

Samuel is very sensitive to the feelings around him right now.  When Carter cries, he cries.  When he senses that I am upset, his face crumples.  He smiles with the people around him, and laughs when he hears the sound.  He is so observant of the feelings around him.  He is always watching, waiting, listening.  It is a skill that will serve him well.

While he is sensitive to the feelings around him, he is also full of his own emotions.  The laughs of others coax out squeals of delight from this little mouth.  He loves, loves to hold blankets over his face and jerk them away to hear us say, "peek-a-boo!"  He is also very, very against being placed in his car seat or high chair.  He stiffens his legs and arches his back with squeal of angry protest.

He still ends up in our room a good bit after midnight.  Ear aches and teething started it...and now separation anxiety helps in linger on.  He is the most dear snuggler and laughs every morning to wake me up.  If I try to give him a paci in the middle of the night, he just pushes it away with an angry grunt.  He knows what he wants...and it is NOT a paci.  The whole night situation would have stressed me out two years ago.  Now I just snuggle him close and know that he will be back in his own room soon.  Things like this work out when they are ready.  Until then, he's a nine month old...if he needs me, he is my dear guest.

Samuel is starting to wriggle and writhe and is moments away from crawling on his own.  He makes extraordinary mileage for not actually traditionally crawling, specifically if the motivation is Carter's train tracks.  I expect him to crawl any day now, though I think the day would come faster if he was less interested in being held all the time.  I'm not rushing the day he crawls.  Boy, it'll be busy at our house then!

 Samuel still loves to be toted in the Ergo, and he is still largely unimpressed by solids.  He thinks they are fine for tasting, but isn't overly excited about eating any big meals.  He still loves to nurse and is super efficient these well as highly distractible!

Samuel loves to give me kisses on command...and I love to receive those drooly, open-mouth tokens of affection. Right now, I'm the only lucky recipient, and I relish in my role.  He grabs my face, pulls my in, and lands them straight on my mouth.  I'm left a puddle on the floor.

Right now, that awesome anti-gravity hair is still doing it's pointy thing.  I love it so much.  I know it will lay down as it grows...and that makes me a bit sad.  It's so wonky and funny.  It's just so "Samuel."  One of my favorite little things about this guy.

I have gotten to rock Samuel a good bit lately, maybe more than I ever did in the past.  I don't know why he needs the extra snuggles, but I am glad to get them.  All the housework can wait.  All the "to-dos" can be delayed.  Rocking babies is really my very favorite thing. 

Samuel is the most precious, bright sunshine in these sweet days of baby-toddlerhood.  Our family is so blessed by his happy personality and darling smiles.  What a lovely, lovely boy we have.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Goodnight Little One

Samuel went to bed early last night.  You wanted to reread your favorite book we had just checked out from the library...again.  It may be time to purchase this one.  You have it memorized...

I asked Daddy to grab the camera.  It was one of the million perfect moments in our day that I love the most.  I don't want to ever forget just what it was like.

You stop in the middle of the fifth reading to give me snuggles.  I never mind reading the same books over and over.  Your questions and reading along make it so dear.  As do the snuggles.

We read.  You ask questions and then focus on the first three pages.  We just talk about the pictures and you name all the train parts.

We make the same face at the pages, because we are more alike than different, darling.

You trade in kisses for more reading.

I oblige and you start getting sleepy...all melty in my arms.

I end up riling you up a little before toothbrushing time because I just can't stand it. You're practically edible.

You ask for a tickle.  Your wish is my command.

Daddy finally carts you off for your Thomas toothbrush session.  You went through a phase where you loved this...and then another where you hated it.  We found a two minute Chugginton video.  Problem solved.  It's both a timer and distraction.  Thanks Mr. Jobs.

You sneakily click on another video that Daddy lets you finish in bed once he has your diaper changed and pjs on.  You have him positively wrapped around your finger.

 We're reading through the Jesus Storybook Bible each night during Lent.  We'll end up at the resurrection on Easter.  You are understanding so much more than I expected.  I read to you during nap time and Daddy repeats the story at bedtime.  

You love Daddy putting you to bed.  You love stories and songs with your favorite man.

You can barely keep those eyes awake, and finally get one last rendition of "Hush Little Baby" from Daddy while I'm off shushing your little brother back to sleep.  You blink a few times under the quilt I made for you, snuggle deep under the comforter, and we can see that you are asleep on the video monitor within a few minutes of shutting the door. 

Darling boy, these everyday moments are so precious.  Sometimes our life seems a little crazy.  Most of the time, it just seems fleeting.  I love you so much, dear one.  I am so glad to share days with you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Disgust

Backward crawling.

It's seriously annoying.

Annoying.  See also: mom who runs for the camera before helping you out from  under the couch.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Universal Mean Mom Thing

In an effort to help our children, mean mothers everywhere unite at moving the thing their child is crawling/toddler/swimming/you name it towards in an effort to keep them going.  Furthering the cruelty is the child whose belongings you are moving.  All in the name of gross motor skills kids...

Also, Samuel is doing that bounce, scoot thing toward most of the stuff in our house.  Sometimes he flips over, but hasn't mastered the all fours, crawling position.  Instead, he just bounces around, scooting inch by inch toward the things he wants...squeaking as he goes.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Carter says...

Carter runs through the kitchen and slams on his brakes in front of the dishwasher.  He slams it open so hard is crashes shut again without him having to touch it.  We whirl around to reprimand him.
Carter opens the door with exaggerated slow movements, and cocks his head innocently to one side.  "How about softly?" he asks in falsetto.
Yeah about softly!

"Josh-u fought the battle of Jerry-cho, Jerry-cho, Jerry-cho,
Josh-u fought the battle of Jerry-cho, Jerry-cho, Jerry-cho and the walls came tumblin' down...

Walks up with blocks in hand, "I'd like a baby sister. Two baby sisters!"
I turn with a confused look. "What did you say Carter?"
"Oh please. Please two baby sisters please."
We have not talked about anything but baby nephews around here! I have no idea who put him up to this but my money is on Boo!

"Oh no!  Phone broke! Oh no!  What did I do?"
Me: "Uhoh, the battery is dead.  We have to give it a rest."
"Oh, Daddy fix it!  Daddy fix it with batteries! Daddy good wit batteries!"

As I ran, panting along behind the jogging stroller:
"Mama?  Mama what wrong?  You okay?"
Yeah babe...just trying to push you up this hill.  Carry on.

"I am so peshus (precious) Mama.  So, so preshus"

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Samuel is getting to be quiet the expressive little boy!  We love seeing all his faces...especially his little tongue sticking out when he is still my heart!

Carter's offer for faces for that

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Letters to Carter

Dear Carter,

There is nothing more perfectly wonderful or exasperating as you.  You are all fire and kisses and demanding little tantrums and perfectly hilarious sayings.

You will never be called a wallflower, anyway.  Or, I'm starting to think, cooperative.

When I remember these days, I don't know what will stick out in my memory.

I don't know if I'll remember the way you wrap your fingers around mine in the parking lot or when you are nervous.  I don't know if I'll remember how flustered I feel when you throw fits in public or how much I will have to remind myself that it shouldn't surprise me that you are a sinner.  I don't know if I'll remember how perfectly you fit in my lap to read books or the way you give me kisses with your eyes scrunched closed.

I don't know if, when I look back to these pictures years later, I will remember your obsession with trains and how much you adored Thomas and his crew.  I don't know if I'll look back on these days and just remember the sweet way he requested my presence every night before bed to sing "Hush Little Baby" to you with three little kisses and a "Good night, sweet dreams..."or if I'll remember the meltdowns, tantrums and incessant yelling for your way, right away.

I know I won't remember all of it.  The tiny things I re-read on the blogs I wrote as a half-dazed new mother...I barely remember those moments now.  I remember the way you felt against me, rocking all those millions of hours in the golden chair in your nursery.  I remember the way you wanted only me, all the time that first year.  I remember your huge brown eyes and the comments they drew everywhere we went.  I remember never ever sleeping and draping my body over the side of your crib, patting you for hours and hours and hours.  I remember so much spit up and so many perfect smiles.  But I don't remember everything.  I can't.

That's why I write, sweet one.  I can't bear to forget these perfect days.  They are filled with your anger and your joy.  They are filled with learning and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and singing really loud.  They are filled with correction and exclamation and the remarkable journey of a teeny tiny baby becoming an independent little person.

These days are full.  They are full, and I don't want to forget the dichotomy of them.  You have so many opinions and the more independent you are, the more interesting and frustrating you become.  It's the perfect harmony of toddlerhood.  It sounds like screeching and it sounds like laughing.  And I just don't want to forget.

To forget your tantrums would be to forget how strong your convictions are...and how far you have, hopefully by then, come.  To forget your stubborn, strong-willed personality at two would be to forget a piece of you are...and I can't bear that.

So I will keep writing about all these little things that will be hard to recall when your strong will is making things impossible as a teenager or when you are insisting you know everything as a young adult.  I will remember all these little things that make you who you are.

I will remember the way you occasionally walk over to Samuel, call him precious and pat his head.  I will remember the way you occasionally walk over to Samuel and yank toys out of his hand and then walk over to tell on yourself immediately.  I will remember the way you say, "I'mah obey!" so cheerfully only to be so directly disobedient moments later that I am sure nothing I am doing is working at all.

I will remember how excited you get about sandwiches and pickles...and how crazy it makes me when you throw the remnants down on the floor when you are done.  I will remember the way you always pull a chair up to the counter to help me and how the silence when you are not around is both relieving and deafeningly quiet.

I will remember you, Carter Steven Castillo.  When you were two years, 5 months and 4 days old you were the most bi-polar, hilarious, loving, disobedient, crinkly-nosed, imaginative, perfectly wonderful toddler I've every known.  I love every part of you.  I love you, my dear son, with all my heart.