Happy New Year! I can't believe it's 2007 already. This year went by so fast - I think that's the way it's probably going to be from now on. Me watching time fly by and wondering how Sam has gotten so big and learned so many things when I remember just yesterday we were taking him home from the hospital and not knowing things like... how often do we wash him? How much should he be eating? Am I giving him enough tummy time? I can't even imagine what my parents think when they look at me and I have a baby of my own!
First off, I wanted to post this picture I took today. We were in Seattle yesterday and stopped at the Army & Navy Surplus store for something that Leela needed to get for her boyfriend, and she bought Sam this little camo shirt. Well, we took a few pictures, and I just love this picture. I set it as my background on my computer and I just keep staring at it, so of course I had to share it. I'll post a better copy on my photo page on Flickr later too. I'm working on getting all of the vacation photos onto my computer and sorting through them so I can upload a bunch of them to share!
So, the rest of our trip to New Jersey was great. We spent Christmas Eve at John and Marilyn's (Helene's brother and sister-in-law) and that was a lot of fun. The days before that Emmy came and stayed with us in Flemington, which was great. I am so glad that we got to spend so much time with her. Out of all of my cousins, she's the one I'm closest to, and I think she'll be a cool 'Aunt' for Sam, even if we don't see her much anymore. On Christmas, Kira, Sam, Justin and I drove into Philadelphia and had brunch with my Mom, Uncle John, Aunt Becky - and Aunt Becky's new FIANCE, David! That's right, we will be traveling to Atlanta in July for the wedding. It's so exciting, and we really liked him, he seemed really nice, is into computers, so of course got along with Justin, and to top it all of is handsome. After that we headed over to my Uncle Charlie & Aunt Gayle's house for Christmas with my Dad's side of the family. We had a great time, and it was nice to see everyone! Justin and I got a much appreciated break that night when Helene and Lianna decided to stay the night there and keep Sam with them! We went back to Flemington and our heads hit the pillow within 1/2 an hour. We got to spend the next day just hanging out and doing a little shopping and seeing a movie. The other big event was on the night of the 28th my Dad had a big party at his house. Half of a local band he knows (3 guys) came over and played music (mostly Phish covers) in the dining room and we all danced and had a lot to drink and hung out. It was really a great time!
Now we're back in Washington at home settling in. The weekend we got back Mom also flew back and stayed here a couple of nights, and we went to a New Year's Eve party at Kelly & Michael's house. We had a great time hanging out and seeing everyone again, and watching all the kids play! It's really fun to watch Sam and Micaela together since they're so close in age (they were due on the same day, but Micaela came early!). I can't wait until they get old enough to really start playing together. Kelly had a genius idea and we all celebrated New Year's Eve "East Coast Style" - we rang in the New Year when the ball dropped in New York at 9 PM! It was a genius idea for all of us parents with little ones. My head hit the pillow before midnight, but I still felt like I'd celebrated!
On Monday we headed up to Bellingham to take Mom back home, and she took Sam overnight while Justin and I had a little mini-vacation up in Canada. We stayed in a hotel with a Jacuzzi tub (I think I need one) and went to the Colossus Theater up in Langley and saw "Eragon", which I highly recommend. Since then we've just been settling back in at home and I've been working on getting everything we brought home with us put away and cleaning up things like the pile of mail I needed to sort through, and working through many many loads of laundry!
Sam is still doing pretty great. He turned 8 months old on Tuesday, and I can't believe how much he's growing and changing every day. I think now is the time that I'm starting to see just how much I would really miss if I was working full time. Sam started crawling while we were on vacation! He started with a lot of time up on the hands and knees, and rocking back and forth. Then he progressed to army crawling, but that didn't last long before he got up on all fours and really started moving. He's still a little wobbly and not too fast yet (which is fine with me!), but he definitely likes being able to move around on his own! Last Saturday, less than 2 weeks after he started crawling, he pulled himself up to standing for the first time! I was amazed that he is doing that already. He is crazy. He loves to stand up every chance he gets, and he doesn't have much balance yet, but he will take steps if you help him out. I can't believe how much he can do on his own now.
The only downside to his pulling up, which of course I am very proud of, is that it has caused minor setbacks in the bedtime department. We lowered Sam's crib as soon as we got back from vacation since before we left he could already pull up onto his knees. Well, the last few nights when we put him down, he starts crying (really crying - not just tired whimper crying) immediately and it's taking a lot longer for him to go to sleep and at least 2 trips back in to put him back to lying down because when we go in he's standing at the side of the crib wailing. It's really hard. I guess we were lucky before, and while we were on vacation he would fall asleep with a bottle or in the car a lot since we'd be out late, so he didn't have to go into his crib awake. It's really hard to have to go in and calm him all down knowing he's most likely going to start crying again as soon as I walk away, and to listen to him cry from the other room. At this point I know it's the right thing to do, because I don't want to teach him that if he cries he'll get picked up, and he is always tired and even drifting off during his bottle/story time before bed. Anyhow, I'm hoping it won't take too long for this to improve and maybe get back down to the 5-10 minutes that it was taking him to fall asleep before vacation.
We're still doing the bedtime routine with a bath and books and bottle before bed, and I think it's a nice routine to be in. Our favorite books right now are "Kiss Good Night" (the main character is named Sam!), "I Love You as Much" and "Love You Forever" (even though it almost always gets me teary).
Sam is eating more foods now and it's really fun feeding him different things. Sometimes I can't believe how much he can eat in a sitting! The other night I went over to Brooke and Dave's and he ate a giant spoonful of beans with corn and some guacamole plus a whole jar of baby food. He has eaten beans, mashed potatoes, a little bit of salmon (maybe a little early but it was just a little), guacamole, watermelon... it's so fun to watch him eat new things. He's not that great at chunks and chewing yet, but I think we're going to start giving him cut up fruit soon and start to get him learning how to chew up his food. He does LOVE the Gerber finger food puffs, and he usually gets some of those in his high chair before every meal while we're getting his other food ready.
We've also been trying a little juice and I'm starting to teach him how to use a sippy cup. He doesn't really understand it, and since they all have valves you have to suck a significant amount to get anything to come out the spout. Sometimes I'll suck it a little for him and sometimes I can take out the valve to get him to understand the juice comes out there. If I do that, I just have to make sure I'm watching him because it also means that if he tips it it will spill out all over the place!
Well, that is pretty much all I can think of for now. I'm going to go hop in the shower and get ready for the world while Sam is napping. I'm going out to a movie with Brooke later, and maybe stopping by the bank to finally open Sam's bank account since we got several gifts for him over Christmas that we want to actually be saved for him. On Monday Justin, Sam and I are going to head down to Olympia to visit Brie and the twins since they're both home now! I can't wait to actually be able to hold them - Sam is going to seem so huge compared to them! I will take pictures and get them up here. Also, like I said, I am working on getting our vacation pictures sorted out and hopefully in the next 2 days I'll have photos up online. I will definitely post here when I have them up because I definitely want to share them!
I'll be back again soon!