Sunday, February 24, 2013


G and I are both the oldest, so we know the annoyance of having younger siblings do what we did when we were growing up.  Apparently I wasn't all that cool because my siblings didn't copy me anything close to the way that Sambo copies and idolizes his big brother.  I have no way to articulate they way that Sambo looks at Buddy.  The way he follows him all over the house.  The way he is always tagging along when they are playing at the park or riding bikes.  The way he stares at Buddy instead of the camera when they are posing for pictures, so he can make sure he's doing exactly what Buddy is doing.  (see above) They way Buddy makes a homemade card for my birthday and Sambo replicates it exactly.

 Sitting in church today. 

Today we looked over at the two of them during church.  They were dressed the same for starters:  blue shirts, khakis, and glasses.  They both had their pads of paper and pencils.  Buddy was drawing Shaun White symbols and Sambo was precisely copying him.  It was so cute.  It was just a perfect snapshot of how they are.  My heart grew in my love for them, watching Sambo look up to his brother, and watching Buddy {mostly} allow it.

Here is some of their artwork.  Buddy's on the left.  Sambo's on the right.

Here is more artwork.  Buddy's are on the ends.  Sambo copied both of these onto one drawing in the middle.

In somewhat related news.  Yesterday Buddy invented a game, complete with written rules.  The boys played this game for at least three hours yesterday.  It was so darling. 

And in completely unrelated news, G made meatloaf all by himself for dinner tonight.  He does not enjoy cooking, so I was completely shocked when he printed off a recipe for Pioneer Woman meatloaf the other day and informed me he was going to make it for dinner on Sunday.  And he didn't want any help.  Sambo did help him.  Although I had a twitch the first 10 minutes of the cooking experience, I eventually let go of the need to control/help and let him do it.  It turned out perfect.  It was delicious!  I was sincerely impressed. 

P.S.  How proud of me are you that I figured out how to do these photo collages in Picasa?  I'm extremely clueless about stuff like this, so yay for me!  First G stretches himself by following a recipe.  Then I follow a tutorial online.  All in one evening.  What is going on here?!!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cinco Sambo

We have a lot to share, but I can't type with a baby in my arms.  And I don't put my baby down unless I absolutely have to.  So I'm impossibly behind on updating this blog. 

But first before I tell all about our baby Rudy, I have to tell you about how Sambo turned 5 (2.5 months ago...).

Sambo is fantastic.  I am really, really glad he's my boy.  I've said it before and I'll keep saying it all his life:  Sambo's personality compliments mine perfectly.  I rarely get annoyed with him.  He is quite a handful for some people, but he's not for me.  He is extremely obedient and helpful.  He is just as responsible as I am, which pleases me beyond explanation.  He knows how the family runs, he knows our habits and schedules, he knows where things go, he notices when people are sad or overwhelmed, and he springs to action.  I love having him home with me and am very distressed about him going to Kindergarten in the fall.  I think he'll do great (unless his teacher gets annoyed by energetic type-A children)... but I will be terribly lonely for him.

He is very spunky.  He is active and sneaky and very loud.  He is both crazy and calm.  I can't explain it, really.  He just is.  He can keep up with his older brother and all his brother's friends no problem, so that explains a lot.
 The birthday boy enjoying a McDonalds lunch.

His birthday haul. 

 We didn't do a friend party for him, but he wanted a "spider birthday" anyway, so these are the cupcakes I whipped up.  You already know I'm horrible at making cakes/cupcakes, so don't judge.  And let's also not talk about the fact that G and I went out on a very exciting date to the Killers concert the evening of his birthday, so the boys went to my awesome friend's house.  Sambo was NOT sad about this.  It was the greatest thing I could do for him actually, since he wants her to be his mom anyway.  Just so you don't' think I'm a total failure as a mother, I celebrated with him all day, including telling him he might be getting a new brother, taking him mini golfing, and taking him to McDonalds.  And the next night we partied as a family at his favorite pizza/game place.

 This was his birthday party with his birthfamily and here he is with his beautiful birthmom.  This was taken just after Rudy was born!!!!!!  I was texting all evening with Rudy's birthmom about her delivery and his entry into the world while this party was happening.  CRAZY.

He has had a speech delay and he still isn't very vocal or competitive, so most people don't know how bright he is.  You really have to pay attention, but of course I do, and he has a very sharp mind and is very clever.  He is a quick learner. He learned to read easily.  His spelling is exceptional.  He started writing notes to people a few weeks ago and I was shocked at how well he can sound words out. 
He is athletic and can do anything his older brother can do.  G takes the boys skiing a couple times a month and according to G, Sambo is really good.  This summer Sambo got annoyed because Buddy and his friends would swim in the deep end and leave him alone in the "baby section" at the pool.  He begged me to let him go in the deep end.  I wouldn't let him do it alone until he could swim across the pool on his own.  So, he showed me right then and there that he could do it.  And he could! I never taught him to swim and he never had any lessons, he just did it. 

 After skiing.

 Building his new Legos on Christmas.

He is very creative.  He loves doing crafts and building things.  He sifts through our recycling almost every day and comes up with projects.  He can build Legos by himself, following the instructions or making up his own ideas.  His birth family is made up of several professional artists (several different mediums) and he most certainly has the creative gene.  In fact it's funny because he comes home in a huff most preschool days annoyed that the mom/teacher wouldn't let him cut or glue things himself, or because they wrote his name for him on his projects.  He is very capable and most people wouldn't expect such fine motor skills from a little boy.  He has replaced the batteries in all our baby gear and all the toys this house.  I had to buy two new Costco packs of batteries because he replaced so many.  He can work a screwdriver better than I can.  Too bad we have no engineers in our family because he needs a mentor.

He loves to sing, he loves to cook, and he loves Legos.  He is a hard worker and will always help me do anything.  He is our designated dishwasher emptier and he runs and grabs new burp clothes, my phone, or a diaper all day long.  He is independent.  He doesn't need me to do things for him.  In fact, that's the worst kind of threat/punishment/bribery.  (Do you want me to buckle your seatbelt for you?  Then you better hurry into the car!  Do you want me to feed you?  Then you better sit down and eat!)

And he is darling.  Oh, this might just be his very best talent.  Everything he does and says is cute.  And my goodness, he manages to get cuter every day. 

Skiing again.

 Sambo helping build Rudy's new dresser.

He is an excellent little brother because he admires and appreciates everything Buddy does for him. But what has really surprised us is what a great BIG brother he is. He is very nurturing and kind toward his baby brother.  He is soft and gentle and loves to help.  He sings him songs every day. He picks him up when he cries and I'm busy.  He has asked me numerous times to teach him how to take care or Rudy: things like how to do tummy time, how to change diapers, how to give baths, how to buckle his carseat, and how to wear the front carrier.  He hasn't been jealous one single bit.  Quite the opposite actually.  He is very proud of his baby and brags about him to everyone.  
He is sensitive and cries during most movies.  He can't handle seeing someone hurt or sad, either in a movie, a story, or in real life.  He cries when he feels the spirit.  He also defends Buddy when he gets in trouble and will do things to cheer him up or make him feel loved.  Yesterday while Buddy was in the middle of a lying incident, Sambo whispered encouraging things in his ear to coach him through the experience.  "You are being embarrassing.  Just tell mom," he kept saying.  And Buddy does NOT resent this.  He appreciates all the help.  In fact, he was lying to cover up one of Sambo's mistakes!  He loves surprising Buddy after school with a special craft he has made for him.  One day last week he wrapped three "presents" for Buddy to open after he got his list of jobs done (he had racked up lots from poor behavior).  Sambo put them on the mantle to motivate him.  When Buddy was done he was overjoyed to open a box of Thomas the Trains (LOL!!!!) and random snacks Sambo had pulled from our pantry. Today he asked his preschool teacher for a leftover bird craft project so he could make one for Buddy, since Buddy loves birds. 

He brings balance to our high-strung family.  We all just love him so much. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Introducing Rudy

Our little baby boy is already two months old!  I go back and forth between deep sadness that time is going so fast and also excitement about his bright future.  Fortunately, I don't have any regrets about the time I've spent holding him and staring at him these past nine weeks.  I've tried really hard to make him a priority and to savor every single day with him, since he'll likely be our last baby. 

I absolutely LOVE babies, especially newborns.  I love they way the cuddle.  I love the way they curl into a ball or arch their back when I lay them on my shoulder.  I love their smell.  I love their soft wrinkly skin.  I love their soft silky hair.  I love their squeaks.  I love the long feedings.  I love coaxing those first smiles.  I love engaging them to get their first laughs.  I love giving them baths.  I love changing diapers.  I love watching their reflexes.  I love their coos.  I love the way they stare at my face and the lights in the room.  I love the way they look for my voice when I'm not holding them.  I love the way my life slows down when caring for a newborn.  I love sitting on the couch for days and weeks and just looking at them.  I know many people feel bored and that the monotony of caring for a newborn is unproductive or depressing.  But I feel more alive and more like myself when I have one in my arms.  There is nothing in the whole world that is more exciting and more enjoyable and makes me feel more productive than caring for my little Rudy Rooster.  I just love this.  I wish time would slow down. 

I will add more details about what he's learning and what he's like soon.  And I'll tell about his adoption and birth soon too. ...As well as finally highlight Sambo's 5th birthday.  Stay tuned!