Saturday, August 31, 2013

My turn

In Ben, Heath has a mini-me. Their personalities and the way they think are pretty much the same. I've often been envious of that, but it does mean that when Ben does something annoying that I just know Heath would've done as a kid I get to say, "This is YOUR fault." :)

Well, Heath will probably get to turn the tables in the next few years, because since turning one, Sam has revealed that he's a lot like me. He's sensitive. If another kid is crying, even someone he doesn't know, he seems concerned and will even go over and try to help. It's especially evident if Ben's upset.

Sam definitely seems more introverted than Ben or Heath. He can entertain himself and he seems content on his own for a while. My patented method of getting Ben to come with me, which basically just involves me leaving the room, doesn't work as well with Sam. Sometimes he'll come running after, but sometimes he's just like, "Whatever. I wanted some privacy anyway."

It's interesting to watch how Sam changes depending on who's home. If Heath and Ben are there he runs around like a crazy person, wanting to keep up with them. But if it's just the two of us he's much calmer and quieter and more likely to focus on something.

It's exciting to think of having a kid more like me. I love Ben dearly and am amazed by the things he says and does, but our personalities clash in a lot of ways and it's very hard for me to deal with the constant talking. Just like Heath, he brings things into my life that I never would've done or seen on my own, but it'll be wonderful to have a child with whom I can just share comfortable silence.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Spring pictures (now that it's almost fall)

Sam wasn't too impressed by the ocean. 
He would walk up to it and then back away as the tide got too close.

He did enjoy the sand.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Let's Get Physical!

At 21 months Sam has almost completely conquered our house, physically. He can climb up and down the stairs himself. I rarely keep the gate closed anymore, because he's more careful on the stairs when I'm not with him. I love this milestone. He can open all the doors in the house. I don't love this milestone as much. It necessitates keeping the deadbolts locked at all times, which is easy to forget. So far I haven't had to chase him down the street or anything, but I'm guessing with such a helpful big brother he'll figure out how to unlock the deadbolt before too long. *sigh*

He can climb onto all the chairs, and because of the aforementioned helpful big brother he figured out that if you push a chair up to a counter you can reach what's up there. Ben didn't start doing that until he was at least 3, so this is new territory. We use folding chairs in the kitchen, so when we're not using them they're now folded and leaning against the wall. Luckily, Sam hasn't put together that he could push a chair from the dining room into the kitchen to achieve the same result. Let's hope it stays that way for a while.

And just yesterday I witnessed him open the refrigerator. That kind of terrifies me. There's so much horribleness that could come from that skill. I can't remembered when Ben mastered that, but it was never a problem with him. He only used the ability for good, not evil. Hopefully Sam will learn that from him, too!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Backpack Series

As a dutiful younger brother, Sam idolizes Ben. He does everything Ben does, literally. Even if Ben is just standing by the door with his hands clasped behind his back, Sam will sidle up next to him and assume the same position. It's adorable and sometimes awful, because of course the copy-cat routine isn't confined only to cute behaviors. However, today I bring you one of the cuties. Since preschool starts again next week (YEA!) I thought this was appropriate. Sam Wearing Ben's Backpack:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I'm not good at being Present. Being In The Moment. I'm always in my head, planning, worrying, thinking about my to-do list. It's a quality that makes me a good organizer, but it doesn't always come in handy as I'm parenting. One of the things people most often say when you have a baby is, "Cherish this time. They won't be this small forever." But most of the mothers (at least first time mothers) I know get too bogged down in the day-to-day exhausting minutia of caring for a baby, a toddler, a preschooler, to really enjoy what's happening right in front of them. I do, at least. Especially in the past few years I've tended to focus on the negative and my brain just gets stuck there.

Well, I knew it was time for a change when I realized that my negativity was starting to annoy me. I was getting sick of my own carousel of thoughts that just went round and round and did nothing for me. So recently I've been trying to make a concerted effort to change my thinking habits. To enjoy fun, happy times as they're happening. Not necessarily documenting them for posterity, but just being joyful in the moment.

Over the weekend we went to a birthday party where the boys each received huge bubble wands. So yesterday afternoon we headed to the backyard to try them out. I wasn't expecting much. Ben usually gets sick of blowing bubbles pretty quickly and Sam just gets mad when I won't let him stick the soap in his mouth. But this time both Ben and Sam were content to let me be the bubble master. As I filled the air with huge bubbles I realized that this was A Moment. I willed myself to mentally put down the to-do list and simply exist with my boys. I listened to Sam erupt into giggles every time a wave of bubbles came for him. I watched Ben stick out his arms and fly through the bubbles as a plane. I gazed at the blue, blue sky and enjoyed the shade of our backyard. I tried really hard to ignore the fact that my hand was getting all sticky from the bubble solution.

Overall, I think I succeeded. Admittedly, I did start writing this blog post in my head before we were even done playing, but I think it helped me take notice of details I might not have otherwise. And admittedly, I got bored with the bubbles long before they did. But I had a lot of fun imagining that what I had wasn't a plastic stick and some soap, but a magic wand creating bubbles out of thin air.