Friday, August 31, 2007

Learning Manners

Brent and I were discussing teaching Samantha manners. Brent commented that he's been consciously using please and thank you with Sam whenever he talks to her. I thought that I had been doing that, too. but then I started noticing what I say to her. Most of the time they are just commands: No! Don't touch that! Give that to Mommy! and so on. I realized that she's not the only who will learn manners over the next few months. I will also need to remember to say "please" and "thank you." Not just to model the behavior, but because Samantha deserves the same respect I expect from her.

It's easy to get in a rut of stopping Sam from doing things that might hurt her or break something. It's hard to get far enough ahead of her to direct her toward something constructive. But when I do, it's a lot more of "Let's push this button" or "Can you knock over this tower of blocks?" instead of "Don't push that button" (on the VCR) or "Don't know over that stack of newly folded clothes" (her favorite laundry day activity!)

Samantha is growing so quickly and turning into such a little girl instead of a baby. It's fun to watch, but also a little sad. I guess that's why people have more children! So they can experience the baby months again. I want another baby for that reason. That and Sam's going to need a playmate!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We have a walker!

Sam has made the official leap from a step-taker to a full-fledged walker. It's so fun to see her toddle around the house. She loves to walk between two places over and over again. On Monday it was between the chair and the couch. She would get to one, clap, turn around and walk back to the other, clap and repeat. Then Tuesday it was between the chair and the kitchen table. Here's a video of her walking between me and Brent.

It's an exciting time! She gets better each day. She'll walk around just to walk around. It's so cute how pleased she is with herself. I think it's because she can tell we're so excited and pleased about it, too.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Vacation Part 2!

Let's wrap up this fantastically fun vacation! On Monday we hung around in the morning getting packed, finishing laundry and saying good-bye to Grandpa. Then we drove to Bremmerton to take the ferry over to Seattle. Sam seemed to love to boat ride. It was windy and chilly so we spent most of the time inside, but we did see lots of jelly fish and seagulls before we retreated inside. After the ferry ride we headed straight to Pike Street Market. We got to see the guys throwing fish around and lots of amazing artists with their stuff. My favorite part, however, was the flowers. Sam's holding a bunch of flowers we bought for Aunt Liz. After the market we headed out of downtown to find Liz's house. After a confusing drive where our map didn't match our directions, Brent's expert orienteering skills got us on the right road and we made it to Liz's right on time! We can sum up our driving for the week in one word: lost! We had fun with Liz. She's got a cute house with two dogs, several chickens and a fun garden (including sunflowers!) She also has a Wii so we got to experiment. We played it a lot Monday night and Tuesday morning. Tuesday we packed up and headed back to Seattle. We took the underground tour. It was cool to learn the history of the city and see a glimpse of what it looked like a while ago. This was an old sign we saw down there and for obvious reasons had to have a picture. After our tour, we headed out to the locks. We grabbed lunch first at Totem House. I had the best fish and chips I have ever had!! Then we headed over to the locks. We got to see the boats come in and the whole process! It was amazing! Another amazing feature of the locks is the salmon ladder. This is where the salmon come through going from salt water into the fresh water. They hang out for a while as their bodies switch from salt water fish to fresh water fish. Next to where we watched the fish jump up the ladder was this neat sculpture. Sam and Brent are just adorable!

We made it home safely and have recovered from our adventure in Washington. It was a great vacation, from what we saw and did, to the family we visited, to the fun times we shared as a family. It was great to have Caitlyn with us. I was quite sad to send her home in another car...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I love vacation! It's the recovery from vacation that's always a bit rough. We had an awesome vacation in Washington this last week. Our vacation started at 3:45 am on Wednesday morning and ended at 1:00 Wednesday morning the next week. We took an early flight to Seattle Washington. Samantha woke up at 4:00 am and stayed awake until about 30 minutes into our flight. She didn't seem bothered by flying in the least. She fell asleep and then we put her on the floor in front of us. Isn't she cute! We rented a car and drove into Seattle. We were lost several times but eventually found the Seattle Center and made it to the Science Museum. It was fun with lots of cool exhibits. They had a special dinosaur one that I particularly liked. The stuff for kids was fun and Sam just wanted to walk everywhere! She would hold our fingers or push the stroller, but she wasn't up for letting go...yet! After the museum we drove to Shelton and stayed with Brent's grandpa.

On Thursday we went with him into Tacoma and went to lunch at a nice sandwich shop and then to the Glass Museum. They have a workshop where you can watch glass artists making cool things. It was awesome. They also had a really cool, education exhibit about glass art including technique, medium, purpose and stuff. It helped me appreciate everything we saw a bit more. Sam learned the fine art of carrying a purse! We got in trouble for taking this picture inside the museum. But they were nice since it wasn't of any of the art.

Friday was a relaxing day. We stayed at Grandpa and Ann's house enjoying the beauty of Puget Sound and all the pretty flowers that grow in Washington. We helped Grandpa water the flowers (it took us about two and a half hours) and when we finished it started raining! All that water. That afternoon Brent, Sam, Grandpa and I dug clams down on the beach. I haden ver dug clams before. Sam and I had fun picking them up, after Brent and Grandpa dug them up, and putting them in the bucket. If Brent and Grandpa didn't go fast enough Sam would take the clams out and make a pile of them and then put them back in the bucket! That night Brent and I went on a date! We went to Xinh's for seafood and then to the Shelton bowling alley for an hour of bowling. We had such a nice time. Sam had a nice time while we were gone; she decided to take her first steps! Caitlyn got her to take seven steps!

Saturday was a busy day. We went back to Tacoma and went to the zoo and aquarium. Sam loved how close she could get to the animals and the water-life. There was a fascinating exhibit on seahorses. They had some pretty fantastical looking seahorses! We also saw a herd of caribou that were all perched on the edge of their little cliff staring intently at the yak in the neighboring area. They also had sea otters, walruses, whales and polar bears. It was a fun zoo.

Well, this post is getting long so I'll finish the rest of our trip in another one. Enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

13 Months!!

Wow, the last month has really flown by! Here are a few of my favorite pictures of the last month: This is Samantha's first ponytail! Isn't she the happiest baby you've ever seen!
Brent and Sam BOTH fell asleep!
She loves to draw and write. Just before I took this picture, she was holding the pencil exactly correct for writing! Very impressive.
I love sleeping pictures:) This is how Sam fell asleep, cozied up to her tiger.

Sam has developed so much personality over the last month or so. She loves to make us laugh. If she does something and we smile or chuckle she does it again and again. On the flip side, she adamantly dislikes getting in trouble. She has a very difficult time coping with being told 'no.' She seeks our approval at every turn. Which is good because it gives us the opportunity to encourage and teach her, but it's hard that she's SO sensitive to 'no.'
We are having a lot of fun learning how to play together. Some days she's not interested in her toys at all. We'll just crawl around the room, go up and down the stairs and push buttons on the remote. She always loves being outside and especially going somewhere she can watch other kids run around and play. She loves my attention, which she demanding at the moment. Hope you enjoy the pictures!!