Our 100th Post! – Poor neglected Sam

 - by Brittny

Ok, so Sam is really the furthest thing from neglected in real life. He’s our only child and living with his parents AND grandparents. Don’t worry, he gets plenty of attention :) However he’s been a bit overshadowed with the house and the baby in the blog. So, in honor of our 100th post on this blog, it’s time for a good old fashioned Sam update. Since this is Brittny posting, just expect that it’s going to be really long, but I promise to at least throw in copious amounts of cute pictures and videos to make it fun to read :)

We took Sam in for his 18 month appointment a few weeks ago. Yeah, we were a little late since he was 20 months old at that point. Unfortunately his 18 month appointment was scheduled in the middle of my sister’s dramatic and 5 week early arrival of her first son. In the craziness a few things got neglected, and Sam’s doctor’s appointment was one of them. It took me awhile to get up the guts to call the office and own up to my spaciness and set a new appointment (I’m a little phone phobic anyways, so that didn’t help). Anyways, we finally got him in. Here are his current stats –

Weight – 24lbs 0z – 20th percentile
Height – 31 in – 7th percentile
Head Circumference – 50 cm – 90th percentile

It was kinda surprising to see his stats down so low. At his 12 month appointment he’d been in the 75th percentile for height and the 30th percentile for weight. Then he dropped off a ton at his 15 month appointment, but that one was right in the middle of when we were super sick in June and he’d lost a lot of weight during that time so I’d just chalked it up to that and I didn’t even record his stats at that appointment because they seemed like such an anomaly. Not that I’m really surprised to see Sam down in the 7th percentile for height, he doesn’t exactly have giants for parents, but it was just so crazy to see it go from 75th percentile to 7th.

But, Sam is doing really well. The doctor said as we were leaving that he looked “perfect”, which is of course what we think, but it was good to hear someone else say it as well :) At every appointment our pediatrician gives us a little piece of paper that has some of the milestones that he should be reaching and things he should and shouldn’t be doing at his age. We were very surprised to see that they were looking to see that he had 10-20 words at this stage. That’s it?! I know people had told me Sam was a good talker but I hadn’t realized just how advanced he really is in that category for his age. I’d guess he has well over 200 words, but I really haven’t kept track at all and I don’t think I could track them all at this point. He speaks in little pidgin sentences with all of the articles, pronouns and other connecting words left out, but that’s apparently well beyond where he should be right now.

We’ve really enjoyed Sam’s talking, and he talks all day long.  The first thing he does when he wakes up is usually to roll over and start labeling all of the parts of my face – “mommy eyes!  mommy nose!  mommy mouth!” etc.  Or he’ll wake up and ask for “juice?” until I ask him, “you want some juice?” and he’ll say “k, ready, set, go!”  I’m not usually yet ready to “ready set go” but eventually we’ll make it up the stairs anyways and get him some juice.  Some of his more fun phrases are “cool dude!” which he’ll say whenever he has a hat on, or sunglasses, or any number of things he thinks are cool.  He also will say “awesome” when he thinks something is awesome.  Recently we’ve taught him to be pinged (a computer term meaning the activity of sending out a request to test the responsiveness of a specific computer on a network).  If he’s doing something that we want to just keep track of him without necessarily having to be in the same room then we’ll leave him alone and then periodically call out “ping!” and listen until he calls back “ping!”.  Yes, we are super nerdy but we think it’s awesome.

We took Sam into Adobe one Friday so that we could enter him into “Nerd Shirt Friday”… he won of course :)

Right now he’s gotten all of his direct objects mixed up so he’ll say things like “hold you” “read you” “nuggle you” rather than “hold me” “read to me” “snuggle me”.  We know it’s pretty typical but we think it’s pretty cute.  He’s also started saying things like “mommy ask you” while signing “please” rather than just asking me for something or saying please.  I’m guessing that comes from me asking him “how do we ask?”, and while the response I’m looking for is of course “please”, I really enjoy his “mommy ask you!”.

I left Sam at the kitchen table to eat his breakfast cereal, thinking there was nothing for him to get into.  I was wrong, there was a salt shaker there, what could be more fun than “shake shake shake!” all over the table?

The best word to describe Sam is busy.  I’ve had people say he seemed like a busy boy since he was about 3 months old.  It’s been true the whole time.  Sam is always doing something or getting into something.  He’s not necessarily destructive (although as you’ll see in the picture below, sometimes he is), but he’s always exploring and trying to find new things and figure out how things work.  Eric’s parents have told me that Eric had a similar curiosity and that it made him a very expensive child.  I absolutely believe it, but if it means that Sam will turn out like Eric, I think it’s a good thing.  We’ve just learned to keep things that Sam’s curiosity could destroy well out of reach, or out of the house :)

This is what happens to your keyboard if you leave your computer with Sam so he can IM his dad while you work on something in the other room.  Yes, all of those keys got pulled off.  And yes, they all did (eventually) go back on.  哎呀.

Sam started going to nursery a couple months ago and he loves it.  Unfortunately our ward meets at 1pm which is a terrible time for toddlers.  It means that nursery is right in the middle of nap time and so we end up with a lot of cranky kids in nursery.  Luckily Sam usually sleeps on the way to church and (if we’re lucky) through sacrament meeting so he’s a little bit better off.  He’s still pretty clingy so we haven’t been able to leave him in there on his own just yet, but in all honesty I think I’ll be a little bit sad to leave him in there when he is ready.  It’s really fun to watch him play in there and have fun.

His favorite part is singing time, in fact I think it’s his favorite part of the entire week.  Sam loves “yugic” (music) and so 20 minutes of singing with props is about the best thing ever.  He knows some words to a few songs and it’s pretty fun to watch him sing them.  He will randomly sing out “Jingle bells jingle bells” throughout the day, and whenever my mom calls him he likes to sing “Nobed” (Once there was a Snowman).  He still loves “5 little monkeys” but he hasn’t quite caught on to the concept that we have to decrease the number of monkeys with each verse.  If we start with 5 monkeys then he wants 5 monkeys for all 5 verses, or if there are 3 monkeys at the beginning then we stay with three monkeys all the way through.

Sam was very proud of himself for getting his coat on all by himself…

One of the interesting things in nursery is that Sam is still kinda shy, but he really likes being with the other kids.  He’s pretty good at playing with other kids and sharing with them.  One of the funny things is that if another kid comes up and steals a toy from him, he doesn’t usually get mad or anything, he just watches them like, “why did you do that?”, and then goes on to do something else.  He’s not too easily ruffled which I think is an awesome quality to have, and definitely not something you can just teach a child if they don’t come that way naturally.

Sam also really likes coloring.  One of the funny things though is that he tends to like us to draw for him rather than actually controlling the crayons himself.  Usually he just wants us to write things on a piece of paper for him.  For a little while he was able to spell his name, but since then he’s wanted us to write other things and so he’s gotten that spelling mixed up. For awhile he was spelling it “S-A-Ow hurt!”, not sure why, but apparently he thought the last letter in his name was “ow hurt!”

This was actually Sam watching General Conference, not Ni Hao Kai Lan.  He was so excited by the choir’s singing!

Sam’s favorite TV show is “Ni Hao Kai Lan which has been fun since it teaches him some Chinese.  I’ve actually been amazed at how many words he’s learned both English and Chinese from the show.  I knew that he could count to three in Chinese but then one day he surprised me with knowing all of the numbers up to 10!  I don’t even know where he got that because I haven’t seen any of his episodes that counted higher than 3, but it must be in there somewhere because somehow Sam knew it.  His other favorite things to watch are “Finding Nemo” and “Journey to the Promised Land” (a scriptural DVD).  It’s kinda funny that his 3 DVDs that he watches he calls “Ni Hao”, “Nemo” and “Nephi”… all “nee”s.

Hanging out, watching Finding Nemo

Oh, and for those of you who have been following our sleep saga with Sam, he’s suddenly become a great sleeper.  I’m not sure exactly what changed but he’s gone from taking mini cat naps and needing someone with him all night long, to taking 2-3 hour naps and sleeping on his own!  Plus he’s gone from needing to be nursed to sleep to just deciding he’s tired and falling asleep.  It’s been amazing!

Oh, and he’s also now weaned, which is something I’d started to think was never going to happen.  I wasn’t in any hurry to wean him, but I’d slowly been transitioning him to a more solid diet after his first birthday.  When we got the flu back in June it really did a number on Sam and every time I’d try go back to feeding him solids he’d just puke them back up.  So I went back to nursing him exclusively and giving him some Pedialyte.  It took a few weeks for him to get completely over it and by then we were in a routine of nursing that was difficult to break out of.  Then we were moving and going on vacations so it was just easiest to keep nursing him since it meant I didn’t have to remember any extra foods or sippy cups, just the nursing cover.  Then as I was thinking about getting things back to normal my sister had her baby 5 weeks early and we spent a few weeks running back and forth to Provo helping her with moving apartments (yeah at 8 months pregnant, yuck) and being in the hospital.

It wasn’t until October that I really had time to work on a new routine anyways.  I was amazed though at how quickly he dropped off the feedings in favor of solid foods except for his feedings that would put him to sleep (naptime and bedtime).  Then he started falling asleep in his high chair while eating lunch, and soon his nap time feeding was gone.  It just took a few nights of him skipping his bedtime feeding for me to decide that he was done with that too.  Suddenly Sam was weaned and neither he or I hardly realized it had happened.

I don’t at all regret nursing him as long as I did.  My mom kept pointing out that he was about the healthiest child she’d seen at that age, and really the recommendations are to nurse kids until they are at least 2 years old – despite our American tendencies to want to wean children at a year old.  But I’m also kinda glad to be done, I was having a hard time keeping up with eating enough for me, Sam and a growing fetus.  I was getting super dizzy and I think it was mostly due to eating for three!  Sam however still will beg for “Moo”, although I don’t think he really expects to get it anymore, so I just try to cuddle with him and/or give him a cup of juice/milk/water when he makes that request.

I was trying to get a picture of something Sam was doing, but when he saw the camera he hammed it up instead, what a cutie!

Sam is really excited for his younger sibling to come.  For awhile he was constantly asking “Baby? Christmas?”, to which we responded that Christmas would be a VERY bad time for baby to come, how about Easter?  He would just get more insistent, “Baby! Christmas!”  Luckily, we’ve finally convinced him that we can have the baby for Easter instead.  Sam likes “playing with” the baby by lifting up my shirt and kissing my tummy, or blowing raspberries or “nuggling” my tummy.  It’s really cute!  Judging from the way he acts with other kids we think he’s going to transition to having a younger sibling pretty well.  We’ve spent a good amount of time with his cousin Skylar and he loves holding him and playing with him.  He’s very sensitive to the baby’s needs as well and will tell us “Baby sad” if Skylar is crying, or “Baby happy!” when he’s about to eat.  We have however had to teach him some basics, like we do not “hi-yah” the baby.  Also, when we’re done holding the baby we don’t just push the baby off mom’s lap, and if you want mom’s attention we can’t just decide that the baby needs to go to sleep so that mom won’t hold him anymore.  There will definitely be some adjustment but it’s nice that he’s at least interested in the baby.

Another exciting development is potty training. We’re nowhere near potty trained yet, but Sam will at least make an attempt to do his “ewws” on the toilet once a day. I’m grateful for every diaper that I don’t have to change. We decided rather than making potty training a stressful ordeal we’d just buy a potty seat and see what happened. We have a reward system that he gets “eats” (peanut butter M&Ms) whenever he goes potty. It’s enough of an incentive to keep him motivated to try! In fact, sometimes when he needs to go to the bathroom he’ll tell me “Mommy, three eats!” which roughly translated means “Mom, I need to go poop” (he gets 3 M&Ms for going poop, 2 for peeing, and 1 if he at least makes an attempt).

I could go on forever about our Sam but I think that’s probably more than most of you want to read so I’ll leave it at that for now.  Hopefully I’ll do better at keeping updated in the future… but it probably won’t happen, so don’t get too excited ;)

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