Twelve Months: One Year Old!

We survived the first year!

This milestone is always an accomplishment for me. Pregnancy is hard and the first year is hard. Running off little to no sleep for almost 22 straight months (pregnancy insomnia plus the first year with a baby) is rough - full stop. I was prepared for this having been through it a couple times before but I'm pleased to say out of all my babies, this was also the 'easiest' first year we've come through. Okay, maybe not easy, but not the worst.

Sam has been busy! He is crawling all over the place and getting into all sorts of trouble; mainly pulling rocks out of our plants or ripping up his brother's paper books. He is pulling to stand and likes to walk around the ottoman, stools or have us hold his hands while he toddles across the floor. He also likes to play outside and rub the grass with his toes or rearrange the rock beds. He cut another bottom tooth shortly after his first and has been experimenting with what they do. He still barely has any hair to speak of but I have noticed it coming in a little thicker and darker. My guess is it will be straight like Ben's. Time will tell!

Sam still wakes up once a night for a quick feed but as this chapter of our life closes I try not to get too annoyed and just enjoy it for what it is. We've had a special little connection his entire life and soon he won't need me in the same way. I'm trying not to get too sappy about that. We've had a couple full nights of sleep this month but I expect more will come soon. He's been dropping his nap from time to time, wavering between 1 or 2 a day. This makes it harder to predict his but also allows for a bit more freedom away from the home.

This past month we made a trip down to sunny Arizona to visit with my parents. It was Sam's first trip out of the country and he did pretty well on the plane rides. We enjoyed the Aquarium, Zoo, nature walks, Children's Museum and Old Western Towns. We went on his first boat ride where he swiftly kicked one of his new shoes overboard (eye roll) and later he went for his first ever swim with his Baba at the community pool. We had a nice time in the sun after a very long winter. We certainly prefer being outdoors.

Sam's first birthday party was a real success. I'm always amazed (and very appreciative) of our family and friends who come out to celebrate all these birthday parties for our boys - I think this is birthday party number nine in five years? We did a little blue sky and cloud theme for our happy, smiley, fun-loving little boy. I doubt he realized all the fuss was for him but we loved on him all the same.

And now we venture into our second year as a family of five. I'm so very grateful that this is our reality and I certainly don't take it for granted. Its not glamorous or simple and sometimes I wonder when I'll get a solid hour without interruptions from the little people who 'neeeeeeed me' but that's part of what makes it so special, right?

Goodbye to my sweet little baby Sam, you've been a dream. Now to enjoy the next adventures with a little toddler in the house!


Eleven Months: Springing into a New Season

Spring is here and with that (I hope!) a new season of life that includes much more time outdoors and much less time wiping noses. We had another bad month with mono being the latest destroyer going through our house along with more fevers and colds. I'm sure you are so over reading about it just as we are so over with having to endure it. This has been our sickest winter to date. Thank goodness for Spring.

Sam is also eleven months old now! My goodness, we are rounding in on the one year mark. I can't express how much of a dream baby this guy has been. Honestly, when he's not sick he is just the sweetest, easiest most content little baby. Such a great addition to our family.

He cut a tooth this month (his first!) which has been long awaited. It wasn't too bad, at least compared to the other things we were dealing with. It is barely peeking out but is as sharp as a razor, no surprise. He's a lot more squirmy and mobile as well. He loves to stand up on his own and tries to push our hands away when we're holding him but he isn't as balanced as he thinks he is so usually grabs back for us as soon as he realizes what he's done. He loves to play with toy cars and Picasso tiles and is quite vocal about his displeasure when someone takes something away. Sam also loves to point his chubby little finger to identify anything and everything as we're walking around. Bed, elephant, plant, light, desk. I think he and his Grandpa will have lots of interesting walks in the weeks ahead as I remember the older boys spending lots of time identifying each and every little thing that crossed their paths when they were around the same age.

Sam has a few words that are probably mostly recognizable only to us. Mama, Dada, all-done, Na-Na (food), Hi Dad, Baba, hey. He's certainly quite chatty and it is fun to listen to all his squeals and sing-song babbles. He also likes to wave hi and bye and will lift his arms way up over his head when we ask, How Big is Sam? He likes to be tickled or thrown up into the air and giggles with such delight when we oblige. Baby laughs are seriously the best.

This month was mostly spent in quarantine mode but we did make it out to a birthday party and a cemetery celebration honouring our ancestors recently. I think we went to the zoo earlier this month but honestly it feels like such a long time ago I can barely remember. We did make it out to Canmore one blizzardy day and enjoyed a new restaurant before playing outside amongst the big flakes. But the snow is melting and the playgrounds are a bit less slippery so perhaps the next month will be a bit more adventurous.

Here's to new season and new beginnings! Time to go plan a birthday party.


Ten Months: Double Digits

Ten Months! How is this possible?

I think Sam still feels like my little baby because he still looks pretty baby(ish). No teeth, peach fuzz hair and not crawling (or running!) around like some other kids his age makes me think he is still just a little bumpkin. I cannot believe that in a few short weeks we'll be celebrating his first birthday. Where does the time go?

Sam has been so good to us. He's sleeping so much better, only getting up a couple times at night - except for when he is really sick. He's so content when he's awake; happy to watch his brothers run around or play with a few little toys on the floor. He has this thing for pulling over baskets which is sort of funny (probably because they're usually empty - if they were full I'm sure I would find it highly annoying). He loves to look outside and watch it snow, slapping his chubby little hand against the cold window pane. He can say 'Hi Dad' and 'Ma-Ma-Ma' and makes a hollow whistling sound through his lips. He also likes to suck on his top lip and make ppppssst sounds. His favourite songs are the ABC's and If You're Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands, actions included. Gosh I love this kid.

This past month we checked out a fish hatchery, the zoo, the Science Centre and even made a trip to the Children's Hospital. Poor big brother's index finger was slammed in the car door and looked like a mangled wreck. Fortunately it was just soft tissue damage. Three boys, five years, and our first ever visit to the ER. I'd say that isn't too bad. We celebrated Valentines Day (how lucky am I to have FOUR boys to love every year now), went on snowy walks through the woods, battled more cold and flu bugs.. which reminds me... Poor Sam got Roseola a couple weeks ago and it was just the saddest thing! He's totally fine now but come on spring, we're all ready for less indoor germ pits.

Love you ten month old!


Nine Months: New Year - Still Feels like a New Baby

Happy New Year Friends!

We were fortunate to have a very lovely holiday season filled with family, friends and lots and lots of Kleenex. I wasn't kidding when I wrote that our family suffers from a constant plague during the winter months. Maybe it is just because we have a (brand new!) five year old, three year old and a nine month old? There's got to be a time when we're not always drowning in our own snot, right?

Sam has been such a trooper this past month despite not feeling well at all. He likes to babble, Da-Da-Da and Ma-Ma-Ma, and other random words that only make sense to us. He calls all food 'na-na' because I probably over annunciated 'banana' one time when feeding him and it apparently stuck. He still loves pretty much all and any food that we give him - such a difference from his first month where he would purse his lips so tight at the sight of a spoon. Nowadays I wonder if he has a hollow leg. Oh, and can you believe Sam still doesn't have any teeth? This is a good thing too as he certainly likes to chomp and tug when he is nursing. Serious ouch. I don't think I could handle that with a razor sharp tooth poking through. He's up on all fours, swaying back and forth, but not crawling yet. Also a relief as I don't have to run after three boys (yet). I'm sure its going to get much busier here in a few weeks, ha. Can you please stay little (and relatively immobile) forever, Sam?

This past month we obviously celebrated the holidays and had a great time with our family and friends. We got to spend more time than we expected with Sam's Great Grandma as she had a fall on Christmas Eve and had to spend a couple weeks in the hospital here. She's on the road to recovery and is in great spirits. We've enjoyed getting in the extra visiting time with her. She loves to sing to the boys or listen to them read her stories. We rang in big brother Ben's 5th birthday and a New Year, got back to our usual schedule of playdates and science centre outings. We attended a 1 Month Celebration for a friend's new daughter and Sam managed to stay entertained and well behaved throughout a ten course meal which spanned 3.5hrs and well past his usual bedtime (we were shocked)! We also spent a weekend out of town in beautiful Lake Louise enjoying the stunning scenery and playing in the snow. I even got a chance to hit the slopes for the first time in nearly six years! Oh it was so much fun. Now if only we could get rid of these awful bugs who constantly want to spoil our party.

You're such a trooper, Sam! Way to earn the badges for your immunity belt. xoxo


Eight Months: Happy Holidays, Baby!

I love this time of year. The snow falling softly outside, fireplaces and steaming mugs of tea keeping us cozy indoors, people who would normally hurry past you on the street tend to slow down and exchange a smile. Holiday parties and twinkling lights and Christmas carols playing on repeat; the days and weeks leading up to the holidays just seem to have such a magical feel. The anticipation of Baby's first Christmas is just icing on the gingerbread cake.

Unfortunately, this time of year is usually the start of our family plague and that did not skip over us this season either. Poor baby (and his big brothers) have been sick for pretty much the entire month of December. Its been quite the gross mess of fevers and coughs and sneezes and Kleenex. But we do our best to manage keeping our runny noses at bay especially when decorating Christmas cookies. Ack!

Sam has been sitting up comfortably and wriggling around a bit. He likes to play with his toes and hold little objects (usually his brothers' toys) in his hands. He is much more interested in food and he has taken a real liking for bananas and yogurt. This has also helped with the diaper explosions a bit. Solid foods man, makes a difference. Sam is also getting pretty good at putting his pacifier in his own mouth. This is helpful when I don't always attend to him as quickly as he would like. Sleep has been exactly what you might guess with sick kids who can't breath well. Sam had his first bath in the big boy tub this month. He and his brother Max took turns exchanging plastic cups back and forth until someone, not mentioning any names, decided to dump a cup right on his little brother's head! Luckily it didn't scar the baby for life and he has since enjoyed many more bubble sessions.

Not surprisingly, this month has been full of holiday related outings. We got to visit a neighbour's house where the Big Man in Red himself showed up. Sam happily sat upon his lap and was quite memorized by his beard. We also attended a couple kid parties around the neighbourhood and watched big brother Ben's preschool Christmas concert. Us parents even had a chance to get dressed up and go on a couple holiday date nights while Grandma bravely took care of all three (sometimes sick) boys at our house. We we had a real cold snap where we hunkered down indoors for a couple weeks followed by a little reprieve in the temperature where we bundled up and did some sledding in the woods behind our house. I love when little boys' cheeks and noses get all rosy and red. I have a feeling they won't be as eager to go tobogganing with their mom when they're teenagers, haha!

Very much looking forward to ringing in the holidays with our sweet boy. There will be lots of family and friends around to share in the love. Regardless of what you may celebrate or believe - we wish you warmth, love and happiness from our home to yours.


Seven Months: Babbles and Bubbles

Mr Sam is Seven Months Old!

I wrote this post two weeks ago - TWO WEEKS AGO! I had my ducks in a row and I was going to get this post out on the proper day and all I had to do was add the pictures. Woot woot!

Apparently my ducks waddled off.... sigh.


Danny and I were commenting about how quickly seven months has gone by. It seems more like three months ago this little dude entered our family. It also feels like ages ago that we were a family unit of four and I was heavily pregnant, so I guess it is a bit of both.

A couple of our good friends are both expecting their third child any day now. Man, I do not miss those final weeks waiting for the baby to arrive. So physically exhausting, mentally exhausting and emotionally exhausting. What a difference it is to 'be on the other side'. Much love to them and their growing families (or anyone else who enduring that final stretch). Hang in there mamas. Big hugs!

Now onto our boy.

Sam, you are rolling over, getting stuck and getting mad about getting stuck, ha! You are also sitting up unassisted for long periods of time and putting a lot of things into your mouth. You hilariously reject all solid food from a spoon, pursing your lips so tight, but have accepted a few morsels off our finger. You are a drool machine and regurgitate a lot more than you ever had before so I suspect we might have some choppers by next month's post. You often make loud pppppppssssttt! sounds as if you were playing a trumpet, especially when you are tired. Sleep has still been horrible with you waking nearly every hour (gah!) but we will trudge on and get through it as we always do. At your wellness appointment you weighted 18lbs11oz and were 69cm long (50-75th percentile for both). You still have a big head (90th percentile) and are measuring healthy on every scale. We are incredibly grateful for this and we know not to take it for granted.

You are developing a little feisty personality and we love it. You have not met a stranger and give big gummy smiles to anyone who looks you in the eye. You giggle loudly when your brothers run around you in circles, sometimes quite literally, and you like to keep an eye on whatever we are doing. You are a much happier boy in the car and generally hold onto your big brother's hand while giving him smiles and coos wherever we go. I love that you love them so much. Your favourite words are 'heeeeyyy' and 'dee dee dee' usually in that sequence. I suspect you'll start saying 'da da da' soon.

Winter has arrived and with that some extra layers of clothing. You hilariously play peek-a-boo with your toque or hat until you are fed up with it and just tear it off. You also spend a lot of time 'talking' to us or blowing raspberries. Our home is getting just that bit louder with another voice in the mix. It is eye (and ear) opening.

This past month was fairly uneventful which is fine. Once again, grateful for 'normal' days as they're what we crave whenever things are off balance. We fill our time with preschool drop offs, play dates, changing diaper explosions and running lots of errands. You were an Ewok this Halloween which was pretty adorable if I do say so myself, but chose to have a nap instead of going trick-or-treating with your Storm Trooper brothers. Next year will be different, I'm sure.

As we prepare for the season ahead, I am filled with so much gratitude for our little family that I suppose isn't exactly 'little' anymore. We've got three boys who will one day grow into three teenagers and then into three men! I look forward to creating many memories, navigating the inevitable struggles, and imagining what sort of exciting adventures are in store.

Love you Mr. Sam!

***Update: our friends welcomed a boy and a girl in the last two weeks and we are more than thrilled that both moms and babies are healthy. And, wow, newborns are tiny!


Six Months: Half a Year!

Our Sweet Sam is half a year old.

There were a few moments during these past six months that felt like we were in pure survival mode but the vast majority has been nothing short of great. I worried quite a bit about how hard it would be to manage three kids, especially in the early months, but thankfully it was nowhere near as difficult as I had feared. Challenging? Yes. Busy? Of course. Perfect? Absolutely not. But all things considered, pretty damn great.

Sam giggles like crazy, is obsessed with his tongue and learned to roll over this month. We let him try solid foods on his 6month birthday and got a hilarious reaction (not a fan) but if he's anything like the rest of us he'll learn to love food soon enough. His sleep has been dreadful and exhausting (up every hour or more) but I know it is just a phase. Coffee helps. Maybe I'm just imagining things, but I think he's getting more hair too. Will it be straight like his oldest brother's or curly like our middle boy? Time will tell. Its always fun watching new little bits of him emerging every month. What will be revealed to us next?

Sam had his first plane ride this month and handled it like a champ. I wasn't concerned about him one bit (unlike the stress I put myself through the first time I ever flew with a baby) and it proved to be a pretty uneventful flight. We visited Toronto, the birthplace of our biggest boy, and it was fun to go re-visit the old stomping grounds. Funny, now that we are well-entrenched in the lifestyles of suburbia, I found it hard to believe that we lived in the heart of downtown with so much hustle and bustle... and a newborn. A big contrast for sure but both equally great.

While in Toronto we took in a Blue Jays game (where we apparently made it onto the big screen just as I was trying to latch Sam, lol) made a trip up the CN Tower (where I glamorously nursed him on the dirty floor next to a vending machine) and explored the Royal Ontario Museum (where I fed him next to some prehistoric dinosaur bones, ha). As you can see, Sam's pretty happy to go anywhere as long as he is fed. We also spent time at the Ontario Science Centre, perused some malls and dined with some extended family who we haven't seen in ages. We spent a couple nights at Niagara on the Lake and took obligatory touristy photos at Niagara Falls before loading our soaking wet selves back onto the plane.

Back at home it has been pretty routine day-to-day stuff, which is fine. We've battled a lot of colds and are pretty much into the season of boots, mitts, coats, toques and blankets. Halloween is just around the corner and then into my most favourite time of year. No complaints, especially with this smiley little boy as a side-kick.

We love you Sam!