We Are Fami-Lee

We Are Fami-Lee

Friday, January 25, 2013

Baby Signing

Call me naive, but I didn't expect to have to deal with these kinds of things for at least 6 more months, if not a year.  It's called the terrible TWO'S, right?  She's only ONE! Now, don't get me wrong, she's not terrible.  She has simply found her voice (and a loud one it can be), found her opinion, and desires her independence, when it comes to certain things.  But, because of these things, she's started throwing tantrums ALREADY! Throwing-your-head-back-without-concern-for-what-you'll-hit-your-head-on-and-screaming-at-the-top-of-your-lungs tantrums.  Someone please tell me that it's normal for 1-year-olds.  Somehow, it would make me feel better if I was just under the wrong impression, as opposed to having a kid who likes to everything early, including driving me insane!

Let's back up.

The real problem is that Sam knows what she wants but can't ask for it.  So instead she yells and screams until we can figure out what she wants.  Which has led her to the understanding that if she yells and screams, eventually she'll get what she wants.  Not my idea of great parenting.

This scream-fest has been especially true during meal times.  If we are spoon feeding her, she screams if we aren't fast enough at getting it in her mouth.  If she is feeding herself, she screams for more even if she has some in her mouth and both hands.  I swear, my hearing is being affected.

So I finally figured out a plan of action: baby signing.  I hadn't originally thought I would do that with my babies for a couple reasons.  One, it seemed like such a fad and if you didn't do it, you were a bad parent or something.  No band-wagon jumping for me.  Two, I knew a couple of kids whose speech was delayed and those kids had also been taught to sign.  To me, they didn't feel the need to use their voice because they could sign the simple words.

I had to reconsider my past opinions because I've developed a mantra as a new mom: Do what works for you and your family, until it doesn't anymore.  And this sure wasn't working for me anymore.

We started Sunday with one sign: "please" We'd show it to her and say the word, but every time we try to show her how to do it, she'd freak out (stupid independence thing).  I knew she wouldn't get it the first time, or first day, so any time she did a quieter version of yelling, we'd give her what she wanted.  Baby steps for the baby! She threw a couple tantrums but we stuck to it.

It's now Friday and though it's certainly not perfect, we have seen a NUMBER of great changes!

1) She can actually do the sign.
2) She won't freak out (usually) if we do the sign with her hand.
3) She will occasionally do the sign without provocation.
4) There has been less yelling!

It's harder to teach her in more uncontrolled settings, often because I really don't know what she wants so even saying please won't necessarily get it for her and sometimes she really can't have what she wants, but it's a work in progress.

Other things waiting to be worked on: other signs like "more," "water," "thank you," etc. But I think the thing I'm trying to work on most right now is helping her learn to play by herself (so much for independence).  She won't let me do anything without screaming at me.  Cleaning? Nope.  Blog posts? Nope.  Relaxing?  Double nope.  Any suggestions on that front?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday!

We had a pretty fun day on Samantha's first birthday.  When she woke up, we went to the Science Center with Grandma Lee.  I had never been there and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was for a 1 year old.  I'll for sure have to go back, and maybe even buy a season pass for these cold wintry days.  I think Sam would enjoy it!

When we got home, she took her nap, while I frantically tried to finish up cupcakes for her party.  These were just for the adults.  She got her own cake.  The cupcakes were a little too rich for a kids first-ish bite of sugary treats.

When she woke up, she had some lunch and then we ran over to Safeway to buy her cake.  I could lie to you all and say I made the cake she ate, but if you really knew me, you'd know.  I saw these cute little cakes at Safeway made just for kids and it was the perfect little size for her to have a cake all to herself.  See the pictures below!

As we were in the parking lot of Safeway, I looked down at the dashboard and it said 3:19 p.m. I took a little moment to remember exactly one year previous, at 3:19 p.m. when baby Samantha entered this world.  It was a special moment from the day.

That night we had a pretty low-key birthday party.  Just us and her grandma and grandpa Lee.  I didn't want to get all overwhelmed with the pinteresty 1st birthday parties and the extravagance that comes with it, so we kept it simple.  Dinner and cake and opening presents.  It was a good party.

Enjoy the pictures!

Getting ready to go to the Science Center

So Cute!

Splashing in the water

Learning to hula hoop

I want more rocks to throw on the ground!

Toddler jungle gym

Space filled with empty jugs.

Birthday dinner.  Mmmm.  Tortellini!

Conversing with grandpa. 

The cake I made!

She wasn't too sure at first.  She was trying to get the stickiness off her fingers.  Once I gave her a taste...well, you'll see. 

This is good!

Digging in. 


Om nom nom...

nom nom nom

Not sure what this face is. 

I know it's cliche, but I can't believe it's been a year.  I know all the other years will fly by just as fast! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Girl and Her Elephant--12 Months

Wow.  Just wow.  My baby is one year old.  I cannot believe it.  I spent the days prior to her birthday this year reminiscing on the days prior to her birth last year.  Reminiscing might not be the best choice of word.  More like thanking my lucky stars I wasn't doing that again!  This year has had its ups and downs, that's for sure.  I have had to learn how to be a stay-at-home mom and it's not as easy as I thought it would be.  I miss working, but somehow I wouldn't change it.  Samantha has brought such joy into this house, it's crazy!  We love her to pieces!

Typical running off photo. 

And here's a collage of this girl and her elephant 12 months in the making.  My grandpa told my mom that he hasn't been able to see the difference from one month to another.  Although it might be hard when looking at two successive months, if you look at the last year, there are significant changes!

This baby girl isn't so much of a baby anymore.  She walk (and runs) like crazy now, hardly ever falling.

She talks like crazy too, although she has her favorite words.  Pointing at me (or Derek) while saying "mama," whispering puh-puh (puppy.  She met Doug and Heather's puppy Aspen over the holidays and loved her until she knocked her down.  Then she wasn't so sure.), or buh-buh (baby and bye-bye), and attempting to say "noodle" (it's more of the n sound followed by a "luh." Hard to explain but incredibly cute to hear!)

She loves pulling things out of their place and either throwing them aside, gently placing them on the ground, or giving them to people one item at a time.  On our trip back from Utah, she spent about 20 minutes taking every piece of reading material from the seat and methodically placing it on the ground one at a time, then putting them back on the seat one at a time, over and over again.  I was just glad she had an activity that kept her happy for 20 minutes on the plane ride.

She also likes playing "fetch."  She'll hand me a toy, I'll throw it and then she'll run to go fetch it.  My own little puppy!

She LOVES playing with daddy.  Her favorite games right now are squealing with delight when Derek tries to get her to say dada while pointing to himself and she immediately says "mama," running after him around corners where he jumps out to "scare" her, and chasing after him when he's on all fours.  I'd consider her equally a mama and a daddy's girl.

She's been loving dolls.  Any thing resembling a doll (stuffed animal, Elmo) will do.  She picks it up, holds it lovingly while rocking back and forth, or she pats it on the head softly while saying buh-buh.

She still loves dancing.  Aside from swaying back and forth, or up and down on her knees with her hands up in the air, she's begun a "happy feet" dance.  Pretty much exactly what you would expect:  Running in place as fast as her little feet will move.

Have I mentioned that she sings too?  It's usually at church during hymns, but she'll sing right along with everyone else.  Pretty cute.

She understands so much.  I can't get over it.  She's starting to respond to simple instructions and it amazes me that she understands them.  She'll bring me a toy, her soother, etc.  One funny thing to remember: I changed her poopy diaper downstairs the other day and I'll usually take her upstairs to her bedroom where we keep her diaper genie so it doesn't stink up the whole house.  I forgot this time and was doing other things when I noticed her pick up her diaper and head upstairs.  I followed her all the way to her bedroom where she stopped at the diaper genie.  I was amazed that she knew where to go and where to take it.  I probably shouldn't have been since she's seen it happen so many times, but it was still amazing.

I think she might be calming down a bit too (did I speak too soon?  We'll see).  I'll catch her laying down on her elephant every once in a while.  Just laying there.  Doing nothing.  Except laying there.  This girl never does that.  Ever.

She loves reading books.  She'll yell and yell while holding a book out to you until you pull her onto your lap and read the book to her.  She doesn't stay for the whole book, but I still find it cute that she wants to read even a little bit!

She's starting to get good at pushing buttons (literal ones, not mine, although that can be true too), turning on her toys, flipping pages in books, etc.

Have I mentioned how much this girl eats?  Here's a sample day:

Breakfast: 1)cereal bar 2)whole bowl filled with cut up peaches and yogurt 3)nursing when she first wakes up
Lunch: 1)One of those toddler meals with a pasta and vegetable 2) piece of bread or some sort of cracker (mum mum's or goldfish) 3) nursing before naptime
Dinner: 1) pasta (still trying to get her to eat more meat), peas, carrots 2) banana or other fruit if she's still hungry 3) nursing before bedtime

Is that a lot for a 1 year old?  Maybe not, but for how little this girl stays, I am constantly amazed at how much she can fit in that little stomach of hers.

That should be all.  She changes so much, I can't believe it.  I wish I was somehow better at writing down the specifics daily (for me, not to bore you) so I would remember when and where she learned to do things.  It's crazy how easy it is to forget.

Hopefully the next year is just as good as this last.  I plan on continuing the Girl and Her Elephant installments until she turns two, mainly because since she is so little, I'd like to see more growth!  Hope no one minds!

Being silly with daddy. 


Playing with the new toy Grandma and Grandpa Morgan got her for Christmas. 

Checking out baby Emma.  6 months apart, almost exactly. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas 2012

I feel like I should post these in order, so get ready for A Girl and Her Elephant as well as a First Birthday post coming soon!

Christmas this year was definitely one I'll remember for a lifetime.  I was super sick the WHOLE time as was most of my family.  It was a bit miserable, but I'm glad Sam didn't get sick and I'm also glad that she wasn't really old enough to care that her mom wasn't as into the whole festivities as she normally would be.

We got to go down and visit my family down in Utah.  Everyone was there, so it was really great to see them.  Samantha got to meet my brother Tyler, his wife Chelsea and their daughter Grace (9 months older than Samantha) for the first time.  Grace had an on-again-off-again love for Samantha (pretty typical of a 20 month old) and Samantha had a I-don't-really-know-what's-going-on-but-I'll-go-with-it relationship with Grace (pretty typical of an 11 month old).  It was really cute to see them together.  I can't wait to see them grow up together and become the best of friends!

I won't do much more talking and let the pictures speak for themselves.  There are a LOT of them!

A stocking I cross-stitched for Samantha last year and Judi helped me sew into the stocking this year. 

The very minimal decorations I had this year. 

Grace smothering Samantha with hugs.  So cute. 

That's better!

And now some kisses. 

Reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" with Grandpa Matt on Christmas Eve. 

Christmas Eve cousin bath time. 

Christmas Eve pajamas. 

Yes, that's a Santa on her bum.  And, yes, she's adorable!

Showing us her bum. 

Samantha blowing kisses as Grace jams out with tambourine. 

Opening presents Christmas morning.  Don't mind me.  I told you, I was sick!

Cousin Colby.  He LOVED all the little babies.  He was so cute with them. 

Uncle Tyler and Sam.  I love how they're looking at each other here. 

Trying to get a picture with the littlest kids.  Always in motion!

Well, at least they're all in this one. 

Christmas chaos. 


More chaos. 

Who knows what she's got in her mouth by this time. 

Great-Grandma Hayes playing with Sam. 

Eli and Samantha, 3 months apart exactly.  Can anyone guess who's older?

Seriously the best photo of all of them.  Too bad Grace is blinking. 

Eli and Samantha. 

Colby, Emily and Brady decorating gingerbread houses. 


Finished products. 

Uncle Doug and Samantha. 

Uncle Tyler with Sam and Eli. 

Uncle Tyler, Aunt Chelsea, Sam and Eli. 

Who's happy?

Great-Aunt Ilene and Samantha. 

Christmas dress. (I looked EVERYWHERE for her black tights that I could have sworn I brought with us.  Alas, after church, I found BOTH PAIRS!!!  Oh well, she's still cute. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday.  I know we did!