August 11, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sam!

Dear Sam,

Happy Birthday, my sweet two year old! 2! I can't really believe it. Unfortunately for you, your birthday was on a Sunday this year, which is always a hectic day around here, but made doubly so since VBS kicked off that night. Between church and nap times, the four of us weren't even all in the house and awake at the same time for more than 20 minutes before 9PM. So, it was a quiet birthday celebration with just you, me and a couple of Sesame Street cupcakes from Target while Dad and Luke did their thing at church. Not surprisingly, that was enough for you. Getting to watch a little Sesame Street on Netflix without anybody interrupting you, stuffing your face with sugar, and topping it all off with a (much needed) bath, and I think you felt pretty special. It's not often that you've had much time without Luke this summer, and you really seemed to relish the quiet, one on one time with me. 

While we'll do it up right later this month with a joint party for you and your brother, that Sunday was perfect in it's own right.

This past year, you stayed so much healthier. Getting the tubes put in your ears and getting your aspiration problems diagnosed were key to all that. No overnight stays in the hospital! Cardiology released you from needing EKG's every 3 months. We haven't even been in a cardio clinic since January. In fact, you were doing so well in all areas, that we just skipped your 18 month well check with the pediatrician entirely. So...yeah, sorry about the missing statistics from your baby book. I have no idea how much you weighed for a couple of months or how big your head was. I know, I know. Second child problems.

Right around Christmas, you decided that solid food wasn't so bad. Especially Christmas cookies. And just like that, all those months of feeding therapy paid off. Since then, you and food get along great. You love PB&J's and would eat them for every meal if we offered them. You also went from bottles to a honey bear cup to regular straw sippy cups in the last 8 months. I can't tell you how excited that makes me. It's been so amazing to blaze through these feeding milestones after being stuck in one place for an entire year.
You are such a silly little guy. You delight in making people laugh and have recently perfected your best silly face. You are such a delight. You like to wave to people from the front of the grocery cart. And not just some people....ALL people. In fact, if someone manages to cross our path without acknowledging your greeting, you let them know with a "HEY!" and a loud squeal to make it darn near impossible to ignore you. As you can imagine, the little old ladies eat you up.

You LOVE Seasame Street and will stand right in front of the TV for the entire hour it's on every morning. You don't seem to care a lot about Elmo particularly, but you will crawl like lighting towards the TV when that familiar theme song comes on. Last week, you brought me the remote and then crawled into position in front of the TV, used the sign for "more", and waited patiently until I found an episode on Netflix. Then you clapped and squealed and were content.

Most of the time, you are sweet and loving and joyful, but you've recently learned how to fight back when your brother knocks you over one too many times. You also are not fond of me leaving you places, like the nursery at church, or with a babysitter at home, or even sometimes just in the living room while I go to the bathroom. Every once and a while, that clingyness gets transferred to your dad instead of me, and I have to admit that I don't mind that at all. Some times a girl just needs to use the bathroom without an audience.
 You are still taking your time with walking. It doesn't seem to be a physical problem, as you definitely have the strength and ability to do it. Apparently, you just aren't interested. And that's okay. You are a speed demon crawler and you are cruising really well around the furniture. If you hold onto someone's hands or have a push toy, you are willing to walk for a little bit. If you manage to take a step on your own, as soon as you realize what you've done, you sit down immediately. It's annoyingly frustrating, but you definitely do things on your own time. Next year I will probably be talking about walking like I am about eating this year. It'll come, too.

A few weeks ago, your therapist figured out you'd do just about anything to get your hands on some old Mardi Gras beads, and got you to start standing on your own.  That same day, we also got a glimpse of your "I'm-determined-to-do-this-face." I'm sorry I laughed so hard, but come on, most people just stick their tongue out. Not you, oh no. You go full on grimace. Every time. So funny, sweet boy.
When we named you Samuel two years ago, people always asked if you went by Samuel or Sam. I would always answer back that it didn't matter, just not Sammy. Well, I told everyone but your big brother that. And sure enough, in the last year, Luke has christened you Sammy. Now everyone from your therapists to your babysitters call you Sammy. I resisted a long time, but eventually we all caved. Even yesterday when you got in trouble for pulling all the place mats off the kitchen table (and subsequently dumping cereal everywhere), I yelled out, "No Sammy!!" 
So, I guess it's official if that's what you get called when you are in trouble.
Happy 2nd Birthday, Sammy.

Love you, sweet boy.

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