Saturday, January 22, 2011

6 Months!

Today our sweet little man is six months old!  Our lives were certainly turned upside down a half a year ago today with an unexpected traumatic birth, l-o-n-g NICU stay, and adjustment to life as a family of four.

Samuel has come so far from that tiny little 4 pound baby on a ventilator...

Our first snuggle

At his six month checkup yesterday, he weighed in at over 15 pounds.  He's in the 10th percentile for both height at weight on the full-term growth chart (unadjusted for his prematurity).  He's smiling, cooing, laughing, grabbing, and standing.  He "swims" in place while on his tummy, kicking his legs and moving his arms as fast as he can.  He loves baths, snuggles, and watching his big sister's antics.

We are so grateful for our handsome little man and all the joy he brings to us every day!

Friday, January 14, 2011

What we've been up to...

We have been very busy...

...being adorable

...looking for the "monkey in tree!" spotted outside Nora's window (we're guessing it was the neighbor's cat?)

...celebrating Christmas Eve

...opening Christmas Stockings

...loving baby's first Christmas!

...getting all dressed up

...adoring cousin Mimi

...concentrating on coloring

...watching the sunset with Daddy

...making a bed in the laundry basket

giving messy kisses (she thinks it's hilarious!)...
...and the stunned reaction

...and loving it!

...enjoying first ride in yard swing 

...and being a caretaker to all stuffed animals

It was our first Christmas in Tucson, away from the usual family traditions we love.  Although it was hard to be far from family, we had a lovely Christmas (a Christmas Miracle!) at home.  We spent the entire day opening presents at a leisurely pace, allowing plenty of breaks for playing, eating, and napping.  We had dinner with Ben's Aunt, Uncle and Cousin Mimi which was also lovely.  I have to say, I didn't miss the crazy holiday travel, airplanes full of germs, and cold snowy weather, but it was sad to hear family gatherings over the phone full of laughter and craziness.  All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas, and I am just so grateful to have my kids, home, healthy and happily celebrating together.

Since Christmas, (and Natalie's much-anticipated return from PA!) we've been busy going for long walks, playing in the backyard, and enjoying elaborate games of pretend.  Eleanora's favorite is to be a doggie.  For up to an hour at a time, she will follow Charlie around the house and imitate his every movement.  She will only respond to questions with various barks, pants, and growls, but obeys commands to "sit" and "stay" very well.  She even scratches her ears with her foot.

She also loves to baby her stuffed animals, treating them exactly as I treat Samuel.  She feeds them, rocks them, sings to them, reads to them, changes their imaginary diapers (with exclamations of "Oh my!" coming from her room and oodles of wipes being used), putting them to bed, and then admonishing us to "peas be quiet, bear seeping".  

She is also very protective of her baby brother, reminding Natalie to, "Be gentle, Na-Na.  Peas don't hurt Baee Sammy"

She also always lets me know when Samuel is crying - even when I'm holding him.  

"Mommy, Mommy! Baee Sazmmy cying! I sing him! Giggle Bews, Giggle Bews, Gigle aww da way!" 
("Jingle Bells" is her second favorite song after "Happy Birthday!).

Samuel is growing beautifully, weighing in at over 14 lb at his last check up.  He loves to watch his big sister's shenanigans, and seems to be quietly dreaming of when he can join in the fun.  He is a sweet little snuggler, generally happy and peaceful as long as he has a good view of the action.

After the horrors of last weekend's events in Tucson, we are reminded to count our blessings and pray for those lost or injured within just a few miles or our home.  As Gabrielle Giffords and others recover at University Medical Center, the hospital we know so well after spending nearly 8 weeks watching over our sweet Samuel, we are thankful for how far we have come in the last six months.  We will never take for granted having both of our children under one crazy, fun, loving roof.

Hurry home from your conference Ben!  We miss you!