March 13, 2007

My Amazing Baby

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He really is amazing, you know. I know that all Moms think that about their babies, so that's why it's okay to say it. Everyone's baby is amazing to them! Sometimes to other people too, but most often to their parents.

Sam is getting so big! I just can't believe how much he's grown and how much he has learned, and how much new stuff happens every day. I think that for the rest of my life, I will be in a constant state of amazement. Amazement that I actually have a child, for one. I still look at him all the time and can't believe that I'm a mom! Amazement at how beautiful and perfect he is. Amazement at all of the things he learns and does. It's just crazy, all of it.

Sam hit a big milestone on Sunday. Justin and I have been talking about going to church for a while. It used to be a bigger part of Justin's life, and it's not something that we've done together much in the past, but now that we have Sam we both have ideas about how we want to raise him spiritually, and going to regular church services and forming a community of spiritual people has something to do with that. I've been to Lake Forest Park Presbyterian Church several times with Brooke & Dave, who have been going there for around 5 years. One reason we decided to try it out is because they have really good kids programs there. The first nice surprise was that it took us under 25 minutes to get there, which was great! I didn't know it would be so easy, but traffic is non-existant on Sunday mornings at 9:30! We both really enjoyed the service, and met some nice people already! But, the big milestone I'm talking about was for Sam. When we got there around 10:05 we took Sam to the nursery, dropped him off, and left him until about 11:20 when the service was over and we went to pick him up. It was his first time in any kind of nursery/day care environment, with adults and children that he didn't know. He didn't cry when we left, and when we got back to pick him up, he was being rocked by one of the volunteers and falling asleep in her lap! It made me feel so good about everything - about having him around so many people and trying to encourage him to be comfortable and safe with the people we introduce him to. Justin and I have been talking about joining a local gym, which would also require him to go into the daycare at the gym, and I feel a lot better about it now. It's funny, it was a little bit of an emotional experience even though it was only an hour and I was right there. But it made me feel great and confident that we're doing a good job and he is doing well too!

Yesterday Sam learned how to drink out of a straw! He is having some trouble with sippy cups because he understands the sucking part, and he is starting to understand that in order to get the liquid out, he has to tip the cup. But he doesn't really understand tipping the cup without tipping his head at the same time, and usually looks like he is going to be pulled by his giant head and topple over backwards. So, I thought I would try the cups with straws since that's what Seamus and Lorelai have always used, and the doctor said he is old enough to learn. The first time we tried it I thought he wasn't ready - he just wanted to chew it and tip the cup. But then he got it! He looks so cute when he drinks with his little lips puckered up on the straw. So, we are using that so he can have some juice when he eats, and I'm going to start offering him formula in it. My goal is that when he starts drinking cows milk he will just drink it from a cup and we'll phase out the bottles at that point. As it is, he mostly has bottles before his naps and bedtime, so that will make the transition easier. He doesn't seem particularly attached to his bottle, but we'll see when we try to take it away!

I have found that one thing about being a mom is that you look for milestones and signs that your baby is learning, and often you think they are starting to do something. Like, "Oh I think he is starting to learn how to smile on purpose". But then, one day, sometimes several days or weeks after you think this thing happened, your baby ACTUALLY does the thing, like smiles for real. And you look at them and think, "OH! I see! He's really doing it now!". I started experiencing this during pregnancy - I believe this is where the phrase "When you're really in labor, you'll know it" comes from.

My most recent experience with the phenomenon had to do with what people now call "cruising". Cruising is when babies walk around a room by holding on to whatever they can get their hands on - walking along the side of couches, toys, coffee tables and shelves. We're now in the "He's really doing it!" phase. He walks all around our downstairs, around his kiddie table, back and forth along the wall and mirror I mounted for him, around the couch. He's now confident and interested enough to walk along with you if you grab both of his hands, and can use the walker we got him to take some steps.

He's also getting more confident with standing on his own without holding on to anything. He can stand on his own for several seconds now. I know it doesn't sound like a long time, but when you're sitting there watching him do it, it's pretty cool. He's starting to learn how to balance - when he's standing on his own and starts to topple, he can catch himself a little bit and sometimes right himself to standing for a few more seconds. It's so amazing to watch him learn all of this! If I had to guess, I'd say he'll take his first steps sometime before his first birthday!

I just can't believe it's been almost a year already - Sam is going to be 1 in less than two months! I'm starting to think about birthday parties and stuff, we'll probably do a joint thing for Justin and Sam since they're so close together and Sam's only turning one and won't know what's going on anyhow. He'll just be happy if he gets some ice cream.

Well, Sam has been asleep for quite a while and I want to get in a shower before he wakes up so we can take a trip out to the grocery store, so I better go.

Oh, also, NEW PICTURES! I just posted a ton of pictures from Seamus's 3rd Birthday party and from Brooke's Birthday on Sunday. Check them out for some totally cute pictures of Sam enjoying Birthday Cake and Cheerios! There are a few pictures in the ones from Shea's birthday of Sam and Rebecca hanging out - does this count as his first date? :-) Also, I'm not sure if I posted this before, but in the pictures from our play date a couple weeks ago there are some good pictures of Sam's play area in our basement so people can see where Sam plays and spends a lot of time.

I will be back again soon with more updates!

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