12 months!

Sam is 12 months old! 
Can you believe it?! Has the year gone as fast for you as it has for me?! 
All month I keep thinking, 
This time last year... 
-I had to stop teaching early and was placed on bed rest
-I went in and out of the hospital for pre-eclampsia 
-My water broke the night before I was supposed to be induced 
and then Sam was born at 10:14 the next morning. 
Wednesday evening I read, "The night you were born" to Sam and he surprisingly made it all the way through the book! I was a little emotional thinking back to "the night he was born" and all that has happened this year.  I had no idea what to expect on this journey of motherhood. 
When Sam was born he lifted his head up and bobbed his head up and down and looked at me like, Hey- you're my mom. I was in complete shock (because I had just given birth) and I had never heard of a baby lifting their head up like that- lol! I think that was foreshadowing to what an active and sweet little boy he would continue to be!
Sometimes the year feels like a bit of a blur. Probably due to the fact that it has now been over a year since I slept through the night and since I've slept past 5AM :-) 
But there are other moments that seem like "just yesterday" and will last in my memory forever.
Sam has been a true blessing and a gift from God.
 I love you so much Sammy and I am so thankful I get to be your Mommy!

Okay, now on to some Sam Stats!
And thank you to Abby for taking these beautiful photos for us!!
Sam has 8 teeth, 4 on top and 4 on the bottom. Even with all those teeth, he still isn't great at chewing, but maybe he will eventually get it? He LOVES manderine oranges and squeals with delight when he seems them. He likes bananas and any fruit baby food mixture. He really likes yogurt and carrots... Green beans are okay and so is pasta, but he doesn't get excited for these foods. I would like to try giving him more "meals" but since he still isn't the best at chewing I have held off.

Sam isn't walking yet. He is sturdy when he stands and he can make it side-stepping around the furniture really well, but when he wants to "go" he uses crawling as his fastest mode of transportation. (And he is fast!)

On the way home from school, Sam used to fall asleep and get a little nap in on the drive home. Now he rarely falls asleep and instead, he chatters, looks out he window, talks to himself in the mirror and takes off his shoes. And whenever he sees me looking back at him in the rear view mirror he has a good old belly laugh. Even though I think he could still maybe use that nap, it is fun to "talk" on the way home.

In the past few weeks Sam is becoming more interested in climbing in and out (and bouncing of course), in his PB chair. He is more interested in his books-- He likes taking them out of the bookshelf and dropping them on the floor, but he also likes listening to the stories...
He REALLY likes his touch and feel books and his owl puppet book-- that is his all time favorite.
Sam has such a good little personality.
 He is a happy bouncing baby boy!

Thank you for being you Sammy!
This has been the best year of my life. I look forward to all the years ahead! 
All my love,


Rambling Renovations

I have been meaning to share this for a long time, had the draft started but never got around to it.

Rambling Renovations is the name of a blog that I found several months ago and I am in love with their home so I thought I would share. 
I love the details of her home, every inch of square space is utilized and full of beautiful design.

(Looks kinda like mine, don't you think?!)
Soo happy I have a kitchen like this now!

This is their bathroom... 
Love the colors and the way they used that little space behind the door for storage. 
The file tags are such a cute touch. 

 Here is a picture of their basement. Not huge, but a perfect example of designated space.... entertainment area, play area, craft area, and where they have their home office.

How adorable is this little play space under the stairs... swoon! 

And how cute is the stairwell down to the basement?! 
(And if you look inside the mailbox it is painted turquoise-- attention to detail-- nailed it!)

Um, that bathroom door?! Amazing!

And at the bottom of this link there are more house tours for you to view! 
I LOVE house tours! 


The wall

Several people have asked me "what's on the other wall in your kitchen?" 

I've shown you the main wall in the kitchen: 

And the small wall where the fridge is:

But if you've been to my house before you know that I have another wall in the kitchen.....
What's now on that wall?    


I am embracing the fact that we have the wall and therefore I'm using it to display artwork! 
This painting used to be in the living room above the couch
(sorry not at all a current photo of the living room but you get the idea)... 

 I am using the IKEA cart that used to serve as my microwave cart/counter for the stove, as my little Sammy Station. I have his food in the cart and I keep his highchair right here for easy access to the sink (he's a messy eater-- haha) so it works out perfectly and keeps the floor space nice and open so Sam can play while I am working in the kitchen. 

About the wall: 
The kitchen remodel was expensive. Period. Therefore, taking the wall down was out of the question. And since we ended up paying even more than we originally had planned, because we had to get new floors, I am really glad we decided not to push the budget and take the wall down. 
During the planning stages, the contractors were not able to give us a "hard" price for the wall removal because they couldn't tell us 100% until they opened the wall up if it was load bearing or not. It was not.... 
BUT, it was recommended by another company that even if it isn't load bearing, to add an additional header because removing all the plaster which has held the wall up for MANY years, could cause cracks in other areas-- ceilings and tile in our bathroom upstairs etc. because of the shift in the weight. So the cost of opening the wall up, adding a header, paying for cabinets and additional granite would have been really costly.  
Even leaving the wall and adding more cabinets would have been really costly. 

So, I had a plan. 
I would embrace the wall as a way to showcase artwork and by not having additional cabinets, I then in turn had more floorspace... I am embracing the floor space as well!
And so far it is working out really nicely! 
I like the flexibility that it gives... 
If I want to move the cart out to the center of the kitchen and add bar stools I can easily do that. 
If I want to get rid of the cart and put Sam's little kitchen on the wall I can do that. 
Later down the road if we wanted to add a larger eat-in-kitchen area, we can do that too.
Maybe even a TV or something?
Lots of possibilities with the wall. 

And just in case you were wondering, I am still LOVING my new kitchen!
For a few weeks after it was finished I would almost startle myself in the mornings as I came in carrying Sam at "dark o'clock", ready to make his bottle... Then I would blink and think, Oh my gosh- I actually have a new kitchen! And the dishwasher--- oh man, life changer, seriously.  


Sam's Christmas List

I know we just celebrated Halloween, but has anyone been thinking about Christmas already? 
Each year I try to think of Christmas gifts earlier and earlier, because it seems like time slips away from me faster and faster, so if I don't get started (with all things in life) early, it doesn't happen.....

I am so excited about sharing all things Christmas with Sam.
Oh what fun!

So what's on Sam's Christmas List?!

Boss and Mimi are getting the boys kitchens
(not these exact kitchens, but you get the idea)
It is the year of "New Kitchens"... haha. 

When I tagged along with a friend to IKEA a few weeks ago, and I couldn't pass up this little play table and chair set.
It is hard to see in this picture, but what sold me on getting this (other than the nice IKEA price), was  the little silhouette of a scottie dog on the back of the chair-- how perfect!
I got a red table and two white chairs. 

My good friend Abby recommended this book... I love the illustrations and since I love shopping online, through good old Ebates, this was added to Sam's Christmas list.

Then one thing I know Sam actually wants is this...
When I visited a friend earlier this year her son had a Rody and Sam LOVED it.
She explained that this is a great toy because kids use it for years.
And we all know Sam loves bouncing! 

What's on your Christmas List?!


11 months

It seems as though each month I get farther and farther away from Sam's "month birthday date" to take his onesie picture and write about all his "doings"....
At least I got this posted before the month was over, barley...

Oh my gosh, I can't believe we are so close to having a one year old?! 
How can it be?! 
Time is going so fast!
I have been trying to gather all of my Sammy phone photos, all of his professional photos and photos off the blog so I can *possibly* print them for his first birthday....
We will see if I actually get that accomplished :-) 
Anyway, I have so enjoyed looking at these photos and seeing how much Sam has changed in a year.

Okay, so before I get ahead of myself (or behind with reminiscing), 
Let's talk about Sam at Eleven Months.

It is like this month he has turned into a little boy....
He has been wearing toddler sizes for a while now (you know, we are shopping in the "other side" of Target for his clothes), but it hasn't been until this month that I have felt he is acting like a toddler.
The boy is ON THE GO! Ha!
He is super active, super talkative, super LOUD, extremely strong, and funny!
Sam loves to make us laugh. He loves to do stuff to get a reaction and then thinks it is hilarious.
He has been really into making sure Evan is watching everything he is doing. 

My favorite quote of the month would be from a little first grader... 
Luke, (the first grader), came up to me one day when I was picking Sam up, and instead of saying his usual, "Hi Sam's mom, Does Sam eat green eggs and ham?!...hahah".... He said, "Hi Sam's mom, You know, Sam is pretty much the wildest one in there". I burst out laughing and said, "You know, Luke, you are probably right". Because Sam IS totally the wildest one in his class.
When I pick Sam up he is always moving around, talking (loudly) and playing with his friends. His friends kind of just sit and watch him like he is the entertainment. One day when his class was out on a walk, I knew they were returning because I heard loud, Bap, Bap, Bap's coming down the hallway.
I looked out to see 4 little boys sitting quietly (and still) in the stroller and Sam (the largest of course), in the front, bouncing up and down loudly "talking". The teachers and the other boys looked pretty exhausted (exhausted by Sam's energy maybe-haha)..... But Sam was as loud and active as ever, not looking a bit tired even though you know he slept less than anyone in class.
Oh Sammy, Sam.
So yes Luke, you are right, Sam is pretty much the wildest one in class!

Sam is a sweetie though....
He has learned to give kisses.
Sometimes he will lean in by my mouth and be really still, then I will realize he is wanting to give me a kiss--so precious.
He has also learned to clap! He claps when we ask him to and then gets a big toothy grin on his face.
Sam has several teeth... 4 on top and 4 on the bottom.
He is getting much more stable on his feet, not walking yet, but pretty steady as he walks around the couch or is favorite thing-- the TV stand. (Kinda wishing we had a mounted TV w/o a stand... 
We move Sam from the TV about a hundred times a day- not kidding). 

Although Sam isn't really into listening to stories or "reading" books yet, he is getting more into his sound books and his touch and feel books. I love listening to him giggle when we read a touch and feel, he gets so excited about those fluffy animals- so cute.

Sam still loves going for stroller rides, he loves swinging at the park.... He still loves his exersaucer (as long as we are watching him jump, not putting him in it so we can go to the next room), he loves bath time and splashing his legs around.

Sam is a happy boy!
I love you so much Sammy!

**Notice this is not Sam's normal month picture
 location; he is SO active, I was afraid to take his pictures on the master bed without Evan home to be our spotter. So for now we are using his Sam chair. :-)