I'm not sure I can really explain how much you've stretched me over the last year. Sure, I've had to really work on my patience and energy and voice volume, etc., but I really mean I didn't know I could care so much. I feel like the Grinch, who's heart suddenly grew 3 sizes. There's no one I spend more time with, no one else I want to just take a nap so badly, and no one else I miss so much the moment they aren't there. (Okay, I often miss your Daddy too ).
I want so much to remember the little things that we experience each day, that we think we'll never forget, but that I know will someday turn into "oh yeah, remember when Sam would keep his fingers in his mouth all the time?" That's not necessarily one of the things I'm talking about though.
Sam, I love the way that your "I Love You" started out as just "I You". It was like a secret code. One of your go to face these days is this silly scrunch face that kinda looks like disgust, but I think you're trying to show that you're happy (your sister has a scrunch face too, but hers actually looks happy). I love watching you start to try to lead Blake. You love to save her from going down the stairs, or doing something you know she's not supposed to do, like eat dog food. You make her laugh so easily, when you walk silly or splash in the bathtub, or really if you just laugh, she'll join in. Blake, similarly, you start crying anytime Sam starts crying. Our house is so loud sometimes, but I try to think of it as empathy.
Sam, you have a sensitive spirit. You want kisses for anything bumped, your tears come quickly, and sometimes unexpected things scare you. But you've also got a daring streak. I often trust you climbing or exploring because your cautious side keeps you safer. You've recently showed an ocd side. You hate having your hands dirty or sticky. You actually don't like Blake's hands dirty either. I've never heard the word napkin so much. I kinda love that you want your socks off as soon as your shoes are off. I don't blame you, we hardly put socks on your for a good year or so. (oops). I love your sweet voice trying new words, and some recent favorites have been: I'm no stinky! and Where's (whatever)? Right there! I love that you say Amen at the end of books, and you say Bye Bye at the end of a show or if we are leaving something (bye bye playground).
Sam, you love social play, but you also really like to do your own thing. You're often the kid on the side playing with a toy on your own. You also LOVE to play chase. Nothing makes you giggle more. You love books and you often share your bedtime reading with your sister, who just climbs all over us. You love the bath and shower, it seems to be your happy place. You've mastered the iPad. You might be made of chicken nuggets, but you're still mostly willing to try things.
I still love seeing you and your sister together so very much. Sam, you're not much of a baby kid. It wasn't until Blake started crawling that you really realized she could be a playmate. You guys rough house, make each other laugh, and you get upset over a shared toy. Sam, when you wake up before Blake, you often ask for her and like to find her in her crib. A few times you didn't realize I had already put her in the car, or gotten her out, and you threw a fit thinking we were leaving her behind. Blake, you love watching your brother, and I love your eager hand pushing his door open when we check on him during naptime.
Blake, you're going to be sassy. You've got the sweetest smile with a nose crinkle. Your whole face lights up. You like high fives and silly noises, and you're so close to giving and blowing kisses. You are so interested in people. You watch with staring eyes. You're our Princess, our Little Bit, our Honey Bee, my Koala Bear. You still prefer Mommy, and you've got a touch of social anxiety, but you really do love people. Your Gma and Mimi and Aunt Jenn are favs, I think. You say a few words. Lately you say Bobby all the time. Except to Tricia's boyfriend Bobby. You're a little shy to show off. You like to sing to yourself, often with the word Ragu, and you seem to be good a mimicking words. Your voice is much girlier than Sam's (I realize it should be, but it's still fun). You get a bit possessive, and you already collapse to the floor if you don't get what you want, be it a toy or getting picked up. You love fruit and meat, you've already said no to beans everytime, and you feed the dogs when we aren't looking. You look so much like your Daddy, but in a girlie way. Your Pops loves that you look like a Connelly. I can't walk away from you without you protesting or trilling your R's. You love being jumped with, but not always thrown in the air. Blake, you're so close to walking. You've been able to stand on your own for a while. You kinda refuse to cruise much, but you love walking assisted. It kills me a little. I can't get anything else done when I help you, but I know this stage won't be too long. Rather than taking steps, you'll dive towards us. You started that way with the stairs, but it didn't take much prompting for you to learn how to safely get down the stairs and off sofas. You're an independent little thing. You don't like to be helped if you think you can do sometime on your own. This is starting much earlier than I remember with Sam. You likes better than Sam did at this age, and you still love things with strings. Your two favorite loveys have strings that you get a deathgrip on. You love dolls and stuffed animals, which I am so excited about (Sam could care less). Oh, by the way, you've got to stop having 3AM parties with your Daddy. We'll figure out another date time, I promise.
You guys, I want you to know that I'm doing my best. I know sometimes I might seem mean when I carry you bodily to the car or to your room. I know that those clothespins looked so good to chew on. There will be sometimes that I don't do what you want, and it'll be good for you. There will be other times that I'm wrong, and I'm sorry already. I hope I help you teach you about admitting when you're wrong and forgiveness by example. There will be times when I don't look when you wanted me to, and I'm sorry, your mom gets distracted really early. I compare myself to other moms even when I know that doesn't help. You might compare me too someday. What I want to remember now, for me, and for you, is that God made me your mom, and He made you my kids. We can handle each other. We can help each other grow. My craftiness, or lack there of, is what is just right for you guys. My love, my patience, my wisdom (all God given), is just right. You guys, I know you'll mess up, you'll fall off your path, and I hope and pray my reactions leave you knowing that you're so loved. Always. Every moment. And I pray that I point you to Christ. I pray for you guys every day, sometimes with words, and sometimes with emotion, and I will continue to. I love you more than I can find words for. I feel like I should add in that Daddy feels this way too. I see it in his eyes when he looks at you. You guys are shaping him too. He's becoming more of a leader. He's firm, but loving and gentle with you guys. He's goofy and love playing with you. Sam, he reads to you even more than I do, and he loves that time with you. I hope you keep cuddling for a long time. It makes me fall even more in love with him to see him as your Dad.
I know you'll grow, and I so excited for it. I want to remember this point that we are in. Muppets Christmas Carol because Sam is sick. Blake is chasing the dogs under the table and has managed to take her shirt off. Sam, Blake, I love getting to be your mom.