Sunday, November 30, 2008

So True...


Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.

(And sadly, we didn't get Sam's 4-month photo today due to scheduling problems - but will be sure to take it tomorrow!)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday Acquisitions

Newly acquired by Jen & Jeff: almost $300 worth of paint and paint accessories. Now we will really need to get moving on painting our kitchen and upstairs! Ack! (I should note that we will get 30% of the paint cost back, since Home Depot had a mail-in rebate...but we probably won't get it for 6 - 8 weeks). I hate buying paint - how does anyone ever know that what they're buying will work?? It gives me serious stress.

Newly acquired by Amanda: a serious case of whininess (is that a word?). She's been really great lately, but I guess we all have our bad days and today was not stellar. However, by evening she was in a great mood and chatting up a storm in the car on our way home from Home Depot.

Newly acquired by Sam: the ability to blow bubbles! Thanks Jeff for teaching him that one. Now his normal drooliness has been amplified by about 10X.

Newly acquired by Jeff: a MacBook, for school (yeah right, just for school). Jeff and Amanda have been having much fun playing with its cool features:

Newly acquired by Jen: sadly, not a new computer. However, I have inherited Jeff's old laptop and will finally have an upstairs computer of my own! Not that I couldn't use the laptops before, but they were never set up for me. Now I can sync my iPod and have all my programs installed upstairs! Whoo hoo! Yes, it's sad what makes me happy...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Crack Me Up

Today when we were leaving Amanda's preschool, she said something funny while we were walking to the car and I told her that she cracks me up.

"Hey," she said, "I have a shirt that says that!". (She had a shirt from Old Navy two Easters ago that was really cute, and that she wore for quite awhile.)

Easter Rebel

She suggested that maybe Sam would be able to wear it when he got bigger. I tried to explain that it's kind of a girly shirt and that he probably wouldn't want to wear it. But she was really upset that it was such a cute shirt, and she really wanted him to be able to wear it.

Finally I told her that it was kind of like the song from one of her favourite albums these days, Snacktime by the Barenaked Ladies. (Aside: if you don't have this album, you must buy it! It's great music for kids and highly listenable by adults too. Definitely a must-have.) The song is called My Big Sister:

I like my big sister.
But I don't want to wear her coat.
It may be black
It may fit perfect
But you and I both know it's a girl's coat

Now I can handle some hand me downs
But shirts and sandals are out of bounds
Balls and games and such I don't mind
But a coat is over the line.

This song is HILARIOUS. So we sang it together, substituting "shirt" for "coat", and by the end we were laughing hysterically together.

I think she got it - she hasn't mentioned it again!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sam Update

I am happy to say that we seem to have turned a corner with Sam! For the past three days he has been much more pleasant and I'm wondering if his grouchiness over the past couple of weeks has been due to the cold he's had. It didn't seem like too bad of a cold until the last bit, when the cough got really bad, but I know I had the same thing and my throat was quite sore. So maybe he just couldn't figure out why he felt so lousy? Regardless, I'm really hoping (knocking on wood here) that we've seem the last of super-grouchy Sam for awhile.

He has even been taking some naps, although they're not as frequent or as long as I think he needs them to be, and nighttime sleep has improved (although we're still not getting the same 8-10 hour stretches...more like 6-7 hours usually). I'll take it! The most important thing is that he's much more happy, smiley, and talkative during the day and there's a lot less screaming!

And in other Sam news...drum roll please...he rolled over today! Twice! I admit he doesn't get nearly the amount of tummy time he's supposed to, partly because I'm just rarely organized enough to fit it in, and partly because he hates it and screams bloody murder after about 5 seconds. But today he did roll over tummy to back twice - both times right after I put him on his tummy. Both times I also put him back on his tummy right away, at which point he got really irate ("really, woman, if I WANTED to be on my tummy I would have stayed there!").

And a dose of Sam cuteness for today...(actually this photo is about 10 days old, but we have been woefully negligent in our picture-taking lately!):

A Walk In The Park

Yesterday we decided to take advantage of what was predicted to be the last reasonably sunny day, at least for the rest of the week, and we headed over to Rocky Point for a walk. Rocky Point is on the Burrard Inlet in Port Moody, which means there is ocean right next to the forest. There is a great splash park and playground there, and a section of the Trans Canada Trail which is great for walking.

We were on a bit of a mission, because we had a few books that needed to be returned to the library. I wasn't sure whether we would be up to walking all the way to the library and back (I think about 6 km total), but somewhat to my surprise, we made it! Amanda was dragging a bit at the end but she was a trooper. Needless to say we all had a good sleep last night!

Here are a few photos from our adventure (or see the entire Flickr set).

Amanda found a clam in the forest - a bit weird, but that's what happens when you have ocean and forest close together!
A Clam!

Amanda imitating the pedestrian sign:
Walk Like an Egyptian...

One sole holdout leaf amidst all the fallen:
Sole Holdout

A peaceful view of the Inlet:
Meandering Stream

Rabid Sam! For some reason he starts to froth at the mouth sometimes...combined with the googly eyes in this shot, he looks like he had an encounter with a bat!
Rabid Sam!

My beautiful girl, looking so grown up!
Beautiful Smile

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

As Promised...

Here is a short video of Amanda reading from her Bob Books. Unfortunately I can't remember how to make the videos last longer than 30 seconds, but you get the idea!

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

We had an interesting night last night. Since Amanda never took the bottle, we were determined that Sam would need to learn so we could get an occasional night out. We tried him with the bottle and expressed milk a couple of months ago and it was a big success - he didn't even bat an eyelash, just drank down the bottle (and a bunch more frozen bags full, too!) without a second thought. "Great," we thought, "this will be easy!". But we haven't kept up with the bottle, mostly because I have found it difficult to keep pumping on a regular basis.

Last night there was a work-related seminar/networking event that I wanted to attend - since it seems likely that I will be job-hunting in a few months, I thought it would be a good idea to keep up my knowledge and see some of my colleagues. Plus, I knew that even though it's work for me to get out for the night, it's important that we get to the point that we can leave the kids once in awhile and get out by ourselves. Since Jeff is also out on Mondays, we arranged for my mom to come look after the kids and I've been diligently pumping to make sure I had enough for the 1 or 2 feeds that would be required. I fed Sam before I left at around 4:30 pm and crossed my fingers!

Well, surprise surprise, he completely refused the bottle. However, my mom said it seemed like he wasn't really that hungry - he was mad when the bottle was in his mouth, but wasn't screaming for food otherwise. She, Sam, and Amanda sat in front of the tv for awhile with Sam in mom's lap and he just drifted off to sleep. When Jeff got home he just picked him up and put him down in his cradle and he went right to sleep. I got home a few minutes later and he was out like a light.

I figured he'd be up shortly looking for food, since he hadn't eaten since 4:30. It was one of those "do I wait up or go to bed" moments, but finally fatigue won out and I headed to bed at around 11 pm. Good thing, because the little monkey slept until after 3 am!! I can't believe he went close to 12 hours without just reinforces for me that when he wakes up after only 3 hours or so at night, he really doesn't need to eat. He went right back to sleep after feeding and didn't get up until 6:45 am, which was great!

And, also surprising, he's been much more pleasant today. I actually managed to get him down for a nap at 9:30 am or so, and just now he has actually gone to sleep in his crib! For the first time! The first nap was only 30 minutes, and I don't hold out much hope that this one will be better, but I'm happy that he has settled in his crib. We need to work on moving him into his crib for nights soon, but I've been reluctant to do it while his sleep has been so messed up.

So now we need to work on getting him to take a bottle again. I've got a bunch of milk stored up, so I guess we need to have Jeff feed him at least every couple of days. Our next challenge will be Jeff's work party, which is next weekend. We've got my parents lined up to babysit again, but it will be a longer evening, so we need to make sure he won't be screaming until we get home!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Grouchy Sam

I feel compelled to write a few words about Sam since he was woefully neglected in those last few posts. Things are going all right with Sam, but it's getting very frustrating as he is so grouchy during the day. He is turning into his sister - flat-out refusing to nap during the day - and as a result, he gets more and more ornery as the day progresses. He also has quite a nasty cold at the moment, which isn't helping matters either. On Friday morning I took him to the doctor to get his cough checked out, as he's been sick for a couple of weeks but over the past several days the cough has gotten much worse instead of better. The doctor didn't seem too concerned about the cough, but mentioned again that Sam has a lot of gas in his belly. I don't know whether it's the gas that's causing him to be so miserable, or what could be causing all that gas, but he's really getting tough to handle during the day.

It's especially frustrating because when he's not miserable, he's really super-cute and a lot of fun. He's very smiley and loves to chatter away with us or Amanda. His sleeping continues to be all over the map - most nights we get around an 8-hour stretch or even longer, but it starts when he goes down at 8 pm so it still means an early-morning wakeup. That would be fine, except that a couple of nights a week (now even more frequently, probably due to the cold), he's up much more often and doesn't want to go back to sleep after eating.

Argh, always keeping us on our toes, this one! Hopefully we can resolve some of these issues soon so we can enjoy our time together more!

And So It Begins!!

Over the past week or two I've visited with several friends who have recently undergone renovations to their houses, and finally I've been inspired to start some of the jobs that so desperately need doing around the house. It seems that since we moved in 5 years ago there's always been a long list of reasons/excuses why nothing gets done: lack of time, lack of money, and difficulty in prioritizing the long list of things that need doing being at the top of the list.

So I'm determined that we're going to get a couple of smallish jobs done before the holidays. I decided that the only way to make sure this happens is to take drastic I started peeling wallpaper off our kitchen wall. :)

Yes, anyone who has been to our house can now rejoice - the ugly ivy wallpaper is gone! (I'm just in the process of taking off the backing paper, but it's going pretty smoothly). Now we just have to choose new paint, prep the walls, and paint, all before the holidays...umm, so now I know why I don't usually jump into these things so aggressively...

Keep yourself tuned in to see whether we can pull it off!!

A little blast from the past here...did we ever mention that we can now post short videos on Flickr?? When they added this feature we went back and added a few old favourites into our photostream. Here is a video of Amanda at about one-and-a-half, with the ivy wallpaper featured prominently:

ETA: I forgot to mention that Amanda was a bit distressed about the removal of the wallpaper. However, we managed to appease her by snipping a piece of it for her to keep in her photo album. It's hard for us to remember that as much as we hate the wallpaper, it's been there since before she was born and it's all she remembers!

Magic Moments

One afternoon this past week was especially awful. Amanda and Sam both fell asleep in the car on the way home from somewhere, and this was a good thing as they both desperately needed naps. We parked in the driveway and all 3 of us napped for a good couple of hours. However, when Amanda woke up she was completely miserable - she always hates napping and figures she's been tricked if she falls asleep (unless she refuses to admit she's been sleeping at all...yes, Amanda, you've really just been "keeping the sun out of your eyes" for the last 2 hours). Cue the screaming and moaning and general misery.

So a few hours later, after putting up with this for the rest of the afternoon and evening, I had finally got both kids to bed. Awhile later I heard Amanda calling for me from her room (she rarely does this anymore...usually once she's in bed we don't hear from her until morning). I went in and all she wanted was a hug. I guess on some level she realized how awful the evening had been and wanted to make sure we were OK before we both went to sleep.

So I leaned in for a hug and she grabbed me tight around the neck and SQUEEZED and I got a little teary-eyed. My grandfather, who died 13 years ago, used to ask for a squeeze when he wanted a really big hug; I have shared this story with Amanda many times. I told her what a great squeeze that was, and she asked me if it reminded me of my grandpa. Then she pulled back and looked at me with such an open look of love on her face that I was taken aback. It's probably the same look she sees a hundred times a day - you know, when you feel so in love with your kid but can't possibly say it all the time or you'd seem like a crazy person? I said "what?" and she said "what?" and we went back and forth for a bit, then she said "I just love you so much, that's all".

Well, what more could a tired mommy ask for? I tell you, sometimes when we need it most God throws us a parenting bone and all is well again with the world.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Need a Weekend to Recover from My Weekend...

It seems that the pre-holiday rush has already begun! This weekend was full with all kinds of activities. Even though it's nice to have lots to do, it never seems like we get a chance to relax!

On Saturday morning, Amanda's favourite musical group, Bobs & Lolo, was appearing at Coquitlam Centre as part of their celebration to welcome Santa to the mall. Yes, Santa actually arrived this seems now that he always arrives the first weekend after Remembrance Day. As far as Amanda is concerned, having both Bobs & Lolo and Santa Claus in one place at one time is pretty much the pinnacle of coolness, so we had to check it out!

We figured the mall didn't realize how popular B&L are, because they had set aside only a small area for the performance and it was packed!!

The Preschool Audience

We were off to a rough start as Amanda insisted on sitting on the 'A' on the big carpet they had laid out, even though it was at the furthest corner from the stage. Once the music started she was torn about whether to stay on the A or move closer and, people were edging her off the A which was causing some distress. She had a few minutes of teariness and we finally had to tell her she had to cheer up or leave! She was starting to depress the other kids! Finally she shook it off and moved up towards the front of the carpet and enjoyed the rest of the show, dancing away. Personally my favourite was when they sang Cindy Seahorse, a slow story song, and Amanda danced her princess dance - complete with twirls and a very serious princess look on her face - throughout.
Serious Princess Pose

After Santa made his appearance and the crowd dispersed, we headed over to the Christmas train they have set up - I think this is the first year they've had this and Amanda really enjoyed it.
Christmas Train

We didn't do our Santa photos yet - somehow it seems way too early. Probably we'll wait until the last minute like usual and end up waiting in line for hours!

Saturday evening Jeff was singing in a concert, but the kids and I headed over to my aunt Allyson's house to celebrate Chris' 19th birthday. It's hard to believe he is 19 already! Amanda had a great time running around Allyson's beautiful house with her cousin Tristan and generally being a monkey. Sam was remarkably well-behaved, and it was nice that I had lots of arms to hold him so I got a bit of a break! Contrary to his normal "needs to be jiggled constantly", he was content to sit in Nana's arms for a good chunk of time.

Time with Gigi

Sunday was our usual busy day - church followed by lunch with Jeff's parents. After a brief rest at home we headed out to a surprise birthday party for a friend of ours. They had just moved into their brand new house on Saturday, so his wife invited a whole bunch of people over for dinner. Seems like a great way to do it - no one is expecting anything to be tidy when you're in the middle of moving! Their new house is beautiful and once again Amanda had fun running around with friends while Sam enjoyed being passed around.

All in all, a fun but exhausting weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Free Stuff!

Don't you love it when you get free stuff in the mail??

A couple of weeks ago I entered a contest on the blog for Urban Baby & Toddler magazine. Last week I found out that I won a pair of See Kai Run shoes (9 to 12 months) for Sam!! These are uber-trendy and retail for around $40 here. So, yay! I was so excited to receive them in the mail today in their cute little package:

I Had a Bad Day

So, good news: for 2 nights of the past 3, Sam has slept for an 8 hour stretch (+/- 30 minutes) at night. Of course, between those 2 nights he had a night where he was up every 1-3 hours, so who knows.

The bad news: he is totally miserable during the day. Not sure what's going on, but ever since he hit his 12 week growth spurt 3 weeks ago, he's been way more fussy and clingy during the day. He pretty much refuses to takes me ages to get him down, and then he is awake again in half an hour. I think it's the lack of napping that's making him miserable, but again, who knows. When he's awake we get brief stretches of pleasantness, during which he is extremely cute and smiley and lovable. The rest of the time he is either (a) eating or (b) screaming. He is only content if I'm holding him, which makes getting anything done (like feeding Amanda) next to impossible. I'm pretty much at the end of my rope so I hope this phase doesn't last too much longer.

Today it was unexpectedly beautiful...a perfect autumn day. I managed to get both kids packed up and out of the house and we went for a walk at Lafarge Lake to enjoy the beautiful fall colours. Amanda was a bit grouchy...she would have preferred to go on a bike ride, but we decided on the lake instead (this required driving, and I couldn't get her bike in the car with us, so it had to be a walk instead). She complained that it would be "boring", but once we got there she was totally excited and seemed to have a great time, running around, splashing on the lake shore, and playing at the park. I was feeling good about myself, figuring that for once I'd managed to be a "good mom" and get the kids out for some fresh air. That good feeling lasted until I was strapping Amanda into the car seat, at which point she announced that she was right, it had been boring. Thank you, Amanda, for giving me a preview of what life will be like when you are 14. So my good mood was pretty much gone, and that was only compounded when we got home and Sam screamed for the rest of the afternoon.

By dinnertime I was desperately trying to get dinner made - I was actually going to make a real dinner and had everything out and ready to go, but couldn't put Sam down for longer than 10 seconds without a major screaming fit. I pretty much dissolved into a puddle and was feeling very sorry for myself, then decided that my only option was to bundle the kids up again and head out to pick up some food so I wouldn't go crazy.

I stopped for a brief minute to check my email before we left and got some terrible news about very good friends of ours, who just found out at 21 weeks that they will have to terminate their pregnancy. All of a sudden, my bad day seemed awfully petty. Sometimes it takes a major kick in the rear end to force us to count our blessings. Needless to say, our thoughts and prayers are with them tonight.

Here are a few photos from our day today - or check out the whole Flickr photoset.

Light on Water


On the Path

Not Amused

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reading Star!!

We've been working with Amanda for quite awhile on reading, but it's never been a huge thing - we wanted her to come to it on her own, rather than forcing it down her throat. She has known her letters and the sounds they make for a long time, and she was starting to read simple things well before her fourth birthday. We also bought some Bob Books, which are great first readers, and would practice with them once in awhile. However, she would get very easily frustrated and we left it for awhile, figuring eventually it would come.

Several months ago, she got very interested in her Word Whammer. Over the past couple of months, we've been asked many times a day "How many letters does XXX have?", since she knows that if it has 3 letters, she can spell it in the Word Whammer. She started with the settings that help you spell the word, but now she does it completely on her own. And if she wants to spell something that doesn't fit in the Word Whammer, sometimes we will play along and sing the song for her..."The word, yellow, is what you see, you made that super-duper excellently!". (Oh yes, we have the whole schtick memorized.)

A few weeks ago, it was like a light bulb went on over her head and all of a sudden she is really reading! We revisited the Bob Books and she can read an entire book completely on her own! She also is reading everything she sets eyes on: road signs, newspaper headlines, ads... The frustrating thing is that we're now starting to realize how crazy the English language is. The poor kid remembers pretty much every rule we throw at her, but then the next word she tries to read will negate that rule. It must be so frustrating for her! But she is just so excited to be reading that it doesn't seem to bother her too much. Of course, once she gets to Kindergarten we'll probably find out we've been teaching it all wrong and she's messed up for life!!

I'm going to try to get a short video of her reading, because I think it would be something cool to have and look back on later...if I can get it filmed I'll post it!

Reading to Dora
Sharing a quiet moment reading with Dora, almost exactly two years ago

Lest We Forget


Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.

Remembering 2008

Originally uploaded by JenJeff
Wet, Rainy.. and a day off... Sometimes we forget to thank those who gave their lives so that we can live the way that we do.

Amanda and I were able to head down to the local cenotaph and place a poppy onto a wreath. There was a pipe band and a marching band as well. The highlight of the day was the WWI cannon.

I think that the day is special to us as Amanda and Sam's great grandparents were both in WWII and their great grandad on the other side was also in the war. It was also a great chance to remember and honor them as well!

Enjoy the day off.. but remember why we have it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Busy Weekend!

Phew, we've been busy this weekend! Every year it seems the Christmas rush gets earlier and earlier...well, I guess it's not technically a Christmas rush since it's not really Christmas-related stuff, but it feels like the busyness of the holidays moves up every year. If that makes any sense (probably not).

On Saturday morning Amanda had a birthday party to attend for one of her friends from her old daycare. I roped Jeff into taking her - it was at a local community centre so all he really had to do was supervise. She had a great time and was thrilled to see her daycare friends again...she talks a lot about how much she misses them. In the meantime, Sam and I decided to check out the Archbishop Carney craft fair - I mean to go every year but this is the first time I've managed to get there. I was pretty impressed! Admission is only $1 and there were over 100 vendors, all juried...a lot of the stuff was quite cute and very reasonably priced! I went with only $20 cash and had trouble figuring out where to spend it as I could have spent a lot more. There were a lot of cute kid things, homemade cards, and baking items. Definitely worth the $1 admission! Parking was a bit of a zoo but it was very well-organized and I did manage to get a spot right in the parking lot after about 10-minute wait. Worthwhile when carrying a 3-month old in a Baby Bjorn in the pouring rain!

Saturday evening we ordered Nando's takeout and Jeff and Amanda picked up the Tinker Bell movie for us to watch. Amanda was quite taken with it and it was pretty good for us, too. It was cute how they tied the story in with Peter Pan (not that I remember much about Peter's been ages since I watched it). The best part was just having family time snuggling together on the couch. After the movie, we watched the music video that came on the DVD:

Amanda had a great time dancing around the room to this song...she is really good at capturing the mood of the music with her dancing. This song got some lovely princess-like twirls and a princess demeanour to match. :)

This morning Amanda had yet another birthday party to attend, this time for one of the boys at her preschool. It was at the pool and they did about 30 minutes of pool games before heading back to the party room for lunch, cake, and gifts. She had a lot of fun! She prefers to wear a bathing cap in the pool, since it keeps her bangs out of her eyes, so at least it's easy to find her white latex head bobbing around. I was the only parent who didn't go in the pool (a bit hard with Sam in my arms!) so I was the dedicated photo taker, which meant I didn't get any photos with my own camera. Sam decided he didn't want to miss any of the party and woke up as soon as we got there, so I definitely had my hands full with him for the duration.

Finally, tonight we headed out to Swiss Chalet for dinner with Jeff's parents and his aunt and uncle. Auntie Nora recently celebrated a big birthday, and since we weren't able to make it to her birthday party, this was another chance to get together. Plus, Jeff's parents were quite thrilled to introduce them to Sam and show off Amanda a bit! Mmmmm, festive specials all around. (And the best part is that we still have our Lindt truffles to enjoy later!)

Now we're gearing up for another busy week. Tuesday is a holiday, but I'm going to be going to the Circle Craft show, our annual kick-off to Christmas tradition, so Jeff will get to spend the day with Amanda. (Sam will again have to come with would take me months to store up enough milk to leave him for an entire day, the way he eats!!).

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Really Boring Day

So, today was kind of a lousy day. Amanda has been fighting a cold and was home from preschool on Wednesday. I was pretty sure she'd be OK to go to school today, so I got myself up at 6:45 am as usual and got ready to go, then got her up at around 7:30. But while we were eating breakfast I realized she really wasn't well enough for school...she would have been fine but all the other parents would have been mad at me for letting her spread her germs around!

There was a slight panic as the other thing I was supposed to do this morning was take Sam to our Roots of Empathy classroom visit. ROE is a program that brings babies and parents into school classrooms for an entire year, to give kids a chance to see how babies develop and thereby help develop empathy for others. The program has been shown to decrease bullying in schools. Amanda was an ROE baby and we enjoyed it so much that when I realized Sam would be born over the summer (and therefore would be the perfect age for the program) I contacted the school district about volunteering again. We've been placed at a local middle school with a grade 6/7 class, and have only had one visit so far, during which Sam screamed (and I mean SCREAMED) the entire time. Oh well, at least it will make those kids think twice about having babies any time soon!

I purposely scheduled our visits for preschool mornings, since technically older siblings aren't supposed to come to ROE visits, but I figured I'd call and explain and see if I could set Amanda up with a colouring book off to the side. But when I got hold of the coordinator, she said that the class teacher wasn't in today, which means they're not supposed to hold the session! So we postponed until next week. So it all worked out OK, except that I'd gotten Sam all dressed up to go out for nothing! We did head out to the mall for awhile to run some errands, but other than that, it turned out to be a pretty lazy day. Part of the reason for this was that Sam slept terribly again last night - for a baby that's always done long stretches, these 2 hour "naps" at night aren't working for me!! Hopefully things will get back to normal soon or I might go crazy!

So there you go, a really boring recap of our day...

We have a very busy weekend planned - Amanda has birthday parties to attend on both Saturday and Sunday morning! Quite the social butterfly. We'll try to post some pictures.

And just for a dose of cuteness to counteract this boring is a picture of Sam from a couple of days ago, on his way into the bath. He was so cute that I had to pull out the camera!
On the Verge of a Laugh

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Introducing Sam!

So yes, it's been so long that we haven't even posted anything about our new baby! Samuel Jeffrey was born on July 31st (6 days early) at 3:02 pm after a very interesting labour experience. We wanted to attempt a VBAC, but with my past history and pelvic shape we had very low expectations that it would be a success. But much to our surprise, it actually worked! Labour was very different from our experience with Amanda (something I wasn't really expecting) started out easier, got bad very fast, and then progressed extremely rapidly (i.e., 3 cm to 10 cm in about 20 minutes!). Despite the cord being wrapped tightly around his neck (something we didn't know about until later), the delivery was pretty straightforward and recovery was 100X easier than our previous C-section.

Sam is generally a pretty happy and mellow baby, although he definitely has a temper! Much to our delight he is a better sleeper than Amanda; he was sleeping pretty good stretches (4-5 hours) at a couple of weeks and by 6 weeks was up to 6 hours or so, then 7-8 hours by 8 weeks. However, now at 14 weeks he's regressed a bit...he hit a big growth spurt at 12 weeks and I'm not sure whether it's still going on or whether we won't get our good sleeper back again! We're hoping things will return to normal soon.

One of the best things has been watching how Sam and Amanda interact. Amanda is such a little mommy with him...she talks to him in a high singsong voice and loves to play all kinds of little games with him. She has been a great helper to us, especially to me during the days when things get frustrating! Sam obviously adores Amanda and gazes at her happily for ages. She is often able to calm him down when Jeff or I can't. We were lucky that Amanda didn't have high expectations of what he would be capable of...just one of the nice things about them being over 4 years apart. We can't wait to see how their relationship progresses as he gets bigger!

A few favourite photos are below...or visit the entire Sam Collection on Flickr.
1 day old
Looking Mischevious

13 days old
Our Boy

6.5 weeks
Funny Smile

12.5 weeks

And a recent photo of Sam and Amanda together...
Brother and Sister

New Leaf...

We've been inspired to start posting to the blog again...just because we just have so much extra time on our hands these days (that, folks, is what's known as sarcasm). We've realized how much of Amanda's babyhood we remember because we wrote it down, and how much of Sam's we will probably forget if we don't! So we're going to try to get back into a regular habit of writing, but it might be pretty rusty for awhile.

We have no illusions that there are hundreds (or even dozens, or even any) readers out there, but while we're at it, it would be great to know who's reading! If you could leave us a comment we would appreciate it!