Here we are again, saying goodbye to another year. (Didn’t we just do this 12 months ago?!)
This year has been another great one for our family. It’s been filled with so much laughter, smiles and love. We’ve had many sleepless nights but that’s just par for the course, right?
Dean has been adjusting to his role as big brother. It’s been a bit bumpy as he learns to share and Sammy learns how fun it is to destroy everything Dean builds. But he’s enjoying his built in playmate and the two are having a blast getting into trouble together. Dean’s favourite thing to do lately is to get Sammy in trouble. The boys aren’t supposed to climb on their train table (but we don’t really reinforce it) and Dean will come tell me or Jason to come see something – he will be very excited and we come to the living room for what we think will be to watch his trick… Nope! As soon as we go into the living room, he shouts and points “LOOK! Sammy is on the table!” with glee, knowing he just busted his brother. A month or so ago, Sammy pushed the stool from room to room for Dean to turn on the lights. They giggled and laughed and shrieked as they turned on every single light in the house. Sammy loves his big brother and Dean is very protective of his baby brother when other kids get too rough with him.
Dean has grown so much this year. He is such a character! Every day he does something that reminds me how big he is but then when I give him a snuggle before I go to bed, as he’s laying there asleep, I am reminded about just how little he really is. This little boy surprises me every day with how much he is learning and has already learned.
He loves space, dinosaurs, trucks, airplanes, trains, cars, boats, mud, sticks, dogs, food, painting, dancing, music and anything else you can think of (okay, maybe not so much broccoli or the dark…)
He started preschool in September which has been monumental in his socialization. We regularly had play dates throughout the summer but it wasn’t structured in the sense of a free-play preschool is… If that makes sense. He’s learning to share and how to empathize with friends. The school is a parent participation and I am having a blast being a duty parent and going in with him once a month or so. It’s a terrific school and he has so much fun!
I’m about to start introducing a bit of structured learning time once a week with just the two of us. We’ll explore fun ways of practicing letter sounds and printing. We’re going to do more arts and crafts. And we’re going to get more one on one time with household chores being pushed out of the way and my attention on my biggest little man.
Dean, as he has been since utero, is still very active. He loves to move and pretty much never stops. He’s made leaps and bounds on his bike early in the year. He rides it pretty much every day when we go out – except if it’s raining or, like now, icy. He loves taking it to the skatepark and going up and down the ramps. He picks up on physical things very fast. And loves to try all sort of scary (to mommy) things!
Sammy’s year has been filled with many, many firsts. First laugh. First time crawling. First words. First steps. He’s growing like a weed. In one moment I will find myself thinking that this kid is so much like his brother – and then in the next, I think they are polar opposites. He’s definitely his own little guy, complete with a personality twice the size of himself, if not more.
This chunky monkey took his first steps just before his birthday but took another month to decide walking was worth it. He found crawling was much more faster and effective. He’s been a mover from the start, just like big brother. He was crawling even earlier than Dean was. And Sammy learned that moving on one level just wasn’t enough. He loves climbing. And it’s ridiculous how good at it he is! I’ve had to take him out of our top load washing machine on more than one occasion. Everything is fair game for this kid.
He loves to “go go” but loves his snuggles. We’ve had some challenges with his sleep this year… For pretty much the entire year. It’s been long and gruelling but we’re hoping now that he’s 14 months, that we can start helping him learn to sleep by himself and self soothe back to sleep.
This year was filled with many shared moments with friends. Our summer was filled with play dates in our backyard and at local parks. We made some close friends with moms and kids in the area. I love my little “mom village” with great resources and ideas. We do many different outings – from IKEA breakfast to local drop-ins. The kids love having friends to play with and mommy loves not having to pretend to be a tunnel for Dean’s cars, all. day. long.
We bought a trampoline early in the summer and it opened up the idea of hosting backyard play dates. I don’t drive so having friends come to us while having two little ones seemed like a great idea – and it turned out to be one of the best one’s I’ve had! We did weekly play dates in the backyard. The trampoline, little pool, ride on cars, sandbox and toys were a hit. The kids all had a blast.
We went on some great hikes this summer. Nothing too tricky as Dean was hiking it. He surprised us a couple of times by keeping up with us and making it nearly 5km on one of them! Sammy was pretty indifferent as he was packed around on my back but the fresh air made for some lengthy naps!
In June we went up to visit Grandma and Grandpa in the Yukon. It was a great visit – even if the long daylight (4am, bright sunshine…) totally messed with their routine. Sammy was waking up at 4:30a most mornings and so one day I eventually gave in and decided to walk the hour and a half to town to get breakfast while he was in the carrier to sleep a bit longer.
This summer was our first visit to the PNE. Dean went on his first ride and had so much fun! It was memorable and he still brings it up. The first ride he went on was a train that drives along a track, nothing special. The second ride?A bumpy, fast, kiddie roller coaster. Oh boy, the look on his face as it went down the first hill was priceless. I was watching with Sammy on my back in the carrier and I got worried that he would start crying but apparently, after he recovered from the shock of the first hill, he was ready to go again and again! He went on many of the kiddie rides – and we’re very excited for our first family trip to Disneyland in the next couple of years.
Halloween was a lot of fun. We went Trick Or Treating at Jason’s work a few nights before Halloween. Dean was very excited to run around and collect candy. Preschool had a dress up party as well. And then on Halloween night we went out for half an hour in his preschool neighbourhood. Dean was thrilled to knock on his teachers door and see the kids I used to nanny (and have since stayed close with) to Trick Or Treat.
Dean picked out his own costume (a pirate) and Sammy wore a sweater a very talented lady I used to go to school with knit for Dean during his Panda obsession a year ago. It’s not actually a costume but it was nice and toasty and so cute!
Christmas was busy – we ended up with the stomach bug that has infected everyone. Thankfully it left just as fast as it arrived. We lost a full weekend of Christmas excitement and events because of the stomach flu but we managed to make up for it! We had a blast doing all sorts of fun things together as a family.
The boys are taking after their father – they’re both little nerds! Dean and Jason love to play video games (okay, Jason does the playing and Dean sits and watches and bosses him around… but it works for them, haha!) It’s so heartwarming to listen to them building Kerbal spaceships together!
It’s been a great year. The boys are growing by leaps and bounds and we’ve loving every minute with them (okay, maybe not all – I don’t appreciate the 3am parties in Sammy’s room…) It’s so hard to believe how fast they are growing up to be little men.
Here’s to more memories and more smiles, laughter and love to fill our 2016. ❤