Sunday, April 9, 2017

Happy Birthday Sammy!

On April 2, this little human turned two years old.  He gave up his pacifier the Sunday before his birthday, and spent the week asking first about his pacifiers, by name.  That they had names was a big sign that it was time to give them up.  There were just three of them.  Tiny pacifier, BIG pacifier (the one attached to a line to clip to his shirt), and other pacifier.  There were a couple of other pacifiers floating around, but they were never named.  When he was persuaded that the pacis weren't coming back, he started asking sad little questions like, "Too old for my fuzzy blanket, too? Too old for Froggie?" Two weeks later, pacifiers are hardly missed.  
 Against my wishes, Sammy started potty training at the same time he gave up his pacifier. Potty training wasn't even going to be on my radar until late summer.  When we got back from Utah, I tried to put him back in cloth diapers after two weeks in disposables, and he refused as often as he accepted a diaper change, so potty it is.  I keep fruit snacks around to use as potty treats.  This boy would walk through fire for "root nacks." He is currently using the potty during the day about 80% of the time.  I still try to talk him into diapers, but he asks to use the potty, even with diapers on. All of the kids are cheering for him and helping him.  He comes to ask for his root nack by saying, "Jared help me! Need root nack!"
 Sammy loves balls, transportation, ninja turtles, books, coloring, animals, and bike riding.  He is heavily influenced by his older siblings.  In fact, that list looks like a summary of all of their favorites.  He also loves playing with water.  This hasn't been great, since we have a septic system, and it has been raining constantly since October.  The amount of rain we are getting is abnormal even for Seattle. We had to get our septic system serviced a couple of weeks ago to take care of a clog that was making our toilets back up into the tubs when we flushed.  We got the clog because of the backup of water from the slow draining septic tank.  The water backlog was compounded by some child washing their hands in the downstairs sink, walking away with the water running hard, and leaving it that way for THREE HOURS before I noticed it.  I have to keep a close eye on Sammy to make sure he isn't playing in the sink.  He was probably not the culprit in the downstairs sink incident (he can't turn that one on by himself), but he does love to fill cups and dump them.  I'm rethinking my brilliant idea of replacing our sink faucets with ones that are easier for the kids to turn on for themselves.
 Speaking of messy habits, Sammy seems to be the idea man for a lot of trouble that he and B get in together.  For example, I was setting the table for dinner by putting out bowls of burrito toppings, and Sammy thought it would be fun to put all of the green onions in the cheese bowl.  B thought it would be fun to move some toppings around, too, and in the three minutes I was out of the room, they had dumped all of the burrito toppings in a huge pile in the center of the table.
Sammy likes to color on his hands with his markers.  Occasionally I find him with marker on his arms and face, as he has been assisted by B.  If Sammy finds a pen, pencil, crayon, or marker, and he doesn't immediately find a piece of paper to color, he will color on any available surface.  We will probably have to replace everything in our house by the time he is old enough to be reasoned with.
Fortunately for Sammy, he is adorable, and very cuddly.  He likes to bring me a blanket and a book after his nap, and sit with me for a while.  He is my baby, so I try to have time for this.  When I don't have time, he is happy to sit on the counter and assist me with cooking, and he loves riding in the car.  "We on the feeway, Mama?! See a BIG Ruck!"
 Sammy likes to sing.  His favorite songs are "The Wheels on the Bus," "I am a Child of God," and "Choose the Right."  When he woke up on his birthday, his siblings started singing "Happy Birthday."  He didn't know that one, so he said, "No, no! Sing 'Choose the Right'!"  So they did.  All three verses.  With gusto.
 Sammy likes learning about space, but he identifies every object in space as either "earsss" (earth) or "moon."  He has recently started repeating everything I say back to him as a question.  This is definitely a habit he picked up from me doing this to him to confirm that I am understanding him correctly.  This makes reading his favorite books take twice as long.  Not only do I have to read it, and have him repeat my words back as a question, he also has to identify features that are familiar on every page.  His current favorite book is "Little Blue Truck."  Which now goes like this: "'Quack,' said the duck." "The duck, Mommy? Say quack?" "Yes." "Duck is righthere (all one word)!" "Yes it is." "It is, Mommy? Duck is?" and so on.
Sammy shared his birthday this year with General Conference.  Our church holds this event twice a year.  We get 8-10 hours of broadcasted instruction and music from the leaders of our church, a living prophet and his apostles in four or five sessions on the first Saturday and Sunday of April.  In our house, this is a big event.  We make cinnamon rolls, and this time the kids each picked out a craft project to do during the session.  Eloise got a mug to paint, and B got a bird house to paint.  Jared got a science kit and built a battery operated car.  I got play dough for Sammy.  
 As soon as Eloise's mug was painted, she got out the play dough and played for the remaining seven hours of conference.  I have never bought play dough before, since I hate the mess, and I think it is a bother, but all of the kids have spent hours and hours with it, so we may be play dough people now.
 It was sunny all Sunday morning, and when we headed out between sessions for a bike ride in the woods, the rain started pouring.  It was sunny again by the time we got home.  It must be spring.  General Conference was wonderful.  All of the questions I came with were answered, and I felt inspired and uplifted.
 I attempted a tres leches cake that Cheyenne made for Victoria's second birthday six weeks ago.  Mine turned into a delicious disaster.  The frosting never really set up as Cheyenne assured me it would, so we ended up with what looked like a stack of pancakes floating in syrup with sprinkles on top.  Grandpa Michael, the Christensens, and the missionaries came for dinner and cake.
 I vote Sammy my child most likely to walk into a lake in order to get his siblings attention.  This has nearly happened on multiple occasions.  He will hang back to get our attention, then one of the kids will take off after him to bring him back, leading him to run in the opposite direction while looking back over his shoulder.  He has run into lots of things this way.
He does love to run.  Happy birthday, two year old!  Please don't ever get too old for fuzzy blankets and snuggles.

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