Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in Review

Wow, what a year! 2008 came in like a bang, or more like the bang, bang, clang from the workers in the basement, and is going out like a whoosh, or more like the whoosh of air as Sam walks/wobbles past you on his way to the living room from the kitchen.

This was a year of big changes for Sam and the entire Jones family. And it was fun, exciting, wonderful and eventful throughout. The year started with a visit from Grandma Debby so she could meet her first grandchild. We all stayed at Grandma Pat and Grandpa Ron's because our basement was being redone. Sam was just a little nugget of guy back then, but he was aware of his surroundings and taking it all in.

February brought the smiles out of Sam as he began to let his personality out a little more. It was a special time for Mom and Dad as they go to know their little guy better with each day.

By March, Sam had become much more self aware and was interactive with Mom and Dad as well as Grandpa Jerry who was able to visit for a few days from California. He liked to stand up while holding on to Mom or Dad's hands and stomp his feet - foreshadowing his love of walking to come later in the year.

In April, Sam took his first road trip down to Kansas City to see Grandma Debby, Great Grandma Ann and Great Grandpa Dick and the whole Gray clan. He slept nearly the entire time in the car making the trip much easier on Mommy and Daddy.

In May, Sam was really coming into his own. He liked to make faces and laugh and play with toys. We were fortunate to see our good friends Cory and Rachel as they celebrated Cory's premier movie, Graduation. Over Memorial Day, our great friend Jeana also came to stay for the long weekend. We had fun playing in the yard and enjoying the outdoors. It was this weekend that Sam really started pushing up with his arms and sitting.

In June, Sam got tired of laying on his back or sitting and was ready to move. By the end of the month, he was crawling up a storm. Just in time for our trip to the Rollins Farm with some good friends from Mnpls. Sam loved crawling in the yard, but was unsure about the lake. It proved to be good practice, though, as we traveled to Door County, WI for a Jones/Gray family reunion and there the lakes and beaches were much bigger (and more fun).

This was also about the time where Sam started eating solid foods. Starting with avocados and moving to bananas and sweet potatoes, Sam was in hog heaven. However, we quickly discovered that Sam had some skin sensitivities to citric acid and wheat so we had to watch his diet closely.

Over Labor Day weekend we took another trip to the Rollins Farm and took in the annual Steam Festival. Sam was excited about the tractors, however, was frightened silly when a steam engine blew a gasket and let out a deafening whistle that I think I can still hear. The rest of the trip was fun with the family.

In October, we took another trip to Kansas City unexpectedly as Grandma Debby had to undergo heart surgery. We stayed for about two weeks and Sam was an absolutely perfect little guy, even though he had to deal with a lot of new places. He was busy crawling and exploring and was curious in just about everything. It was during this trip that Sam weened himself off of breast milk and moved entirely to solid foods and formula.

In November, Sam started taking his first stand alone steps, 1 or 2 then a tumble into Dad or Mom's arms. He was also babbling and letting out the occasional "dada" or "mama". We returned to Kansas City for Thanksgiving. Grandma Debby was back home and we were joined by Uncle Grand and Aunt Shana (who same met the month before). We stayed with my Uncle Tom and the Gray family and had fun with Sam's 1st cousins once removed(?).

December was a busy month, as can be seen from the posts below. Sam got his first haircut, started to walk in earnest (he can now walk uninterrupted from one side of the house to the other), celebrated his first birthday and had his first real christmas with tons of family (entire Rollins clan plus Grandma Debby, Uncle Grant and Aunt Shana came up here).

All in all, 2008 has been a great year for all. Can't wait to see what's in store for 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas reflections

We all had a wonderful Christmas holiday this year. It started on a somber note, however, as Sam's great grandmother Grace passed away on the 21st. It was not unexpected, but sad none the less. She was 3 months shy of her 100th birthday. We all love her and miss her.

Sam was pretty excited about Christmas this year, granted last year he was barely a week old. He loved pointing to our christmas tree or to Santa on the mantle or to the ornaments on the shelf in the dining room. So many sights and sounds! He learned Santa says, "Ho ho ho" or "Ha ha ha" as Sam would repeat. He also liked to dance to christmas carols. Oh, and somewhere in all this excitement, Sam learned to walk.

Christmas really got going on Monday (the 22nd) when Grandma Debby, Uncle Grant and soon-to-be-Aunt Shana arrived. The house was suddenly full with hustle and bussle and presents and comotion. It fueled the holiday spirit in all of us as we get ready for the special day.

On Tuesday, we all made stockings with fun stickies and shapes. Uncle Grant's was pretty cool but I think mine was the best.

Christmas Eve was spent at Uncle Ben and Aunt Zaidee's house with family and friends (the Martin family - not related). We brought a big baked ham which Sam liked to munch on. We also opened one present that evening Sam got a super cute Christmas outfit from Grandma Debby (who he calls "Nanna").

Christmas morning did not disappoint. Santa had come to Jones household and left everyone lots of goodies including overstuffed stockings. Sam enjoyed opening his gifts, but he most enjoyed playing with his new toys including his matchbox cars, Tonka train pals, a talking puppy, some cool new clothes and a bunch more. Needless to say, the boy was a little spoiled, but hey, its Christmas.

We then all piled in the cars and drove over to Grandma Pat and Uncle Ron's for an extended Christmas morning with the whole family. It was chaotically wonderful and Sam had a blast. He got more presents which he loved and would walk from person to person showing off his brand new toy cell phone with pride.

Sam took a late morning nap while we all picked up a bit and around noon the Botkol's came by for a Christmas brunch. Well after that, we were ALL exhausted so we piled back in the cars and headed home with all our loot for more naps.

The next morning, Grandma Debby, Uncle Grant and Aunt Shana all headed home. The house got quiet and empty and somewhat smaller. I think even Sammy was feeling a bit of the post-holiday blues. But with all those new toys to play with, their is little time to dwell on sadness. Instead, its time to race cars!!!

And that wraps up Sam's Christmas 2008.

P.S. You can see pictures from the big day as well as Sam's birthday in the slideshow on the top right of this blog or by clicking here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Love Sam (and Chris and Lucy)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sammy!

Today is Sam's first birthday! It is incomprehensible how much he has grown in the last year. From a little bump of a guy to a walking (that's right, he's walking), talking (sort of), independent little man. He is the joy of Lucy's and my life and we are so happy to get to know Sam better with each day.

Sam had a birthday party this past Sunday with the whole Rollins clan. He played with his cousins, opened his presents and had banana cream pie for desert. I think it was a successful party as he took a nice long afternoon nap and had a lot of fun in the evening playing with his new toys.

Today, Sam woke up with a smile. Mommy and Daddy sang happy birthday to him and we had some fun before Daddy left for work. This afternoon, Sam and mom go to class and then Auntie Annie and boyfriend Jay are coming over for dinner and to decorate a gingerbread house. Sounds like a great first birthday to me.

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Love, Mommy and Daddy
Postscript - This is the 100th post on this blog. Two milestones in a single day!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

First Haircut

Sam got his first haircut yesterday. He was a very brave boy and was wonderful. Leslie, his stylist, said he was a perfect customer. We then celebrated the end of the mullet era with a trip to the Christmas tree lot where Sam picked out his first Christmas tree. What a day!

From Sam at 1 year

From Sam at 1 year

From Sam at 1 year


We all had a great Thanksgiving down in KC this year packed with Grandmas and Great Grandmas, Aunts and Uncles and Great Aunts and Great Uncles, and cousins galore. Sam ate turkey and green beans on the big day. He also got to play with Grant's dog, Kichou, and they became fast friends (though we discovered dog allergies in the process). All in all, one great holiday. Here are some pics.

From Sam at 1 year

From Sam at 1 year

From Sam at 1 year