This one goes to 11

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September 16, 2021
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If I am posting, it can only mean one thing.... It's Sam's birthday. That's right. This former One Pound Twelve Ouncer is now eleven. I am not sure who is more excited about this... Sam or me (because I get to use a Spinal Tap reference).

This has been an interesting time to say the least. I have spent more time with Sam and Irene over the past 18 months than I ever thought I would. Like most people, we have been very COVID careful, staying in our house, getting vaccinated as soon as we could, wearing masks and generally being cautious. Through it all, we have had some really great times, and gelled as a three person family.

To celebrate Sam going to eleven, I thought I would highlight eleven things from this past year that has made me laugh/smile/cry/feel

JOKES
If you have not had the honor of hearing some of Sam's jokes, you have really missed out. He loves a good pun, and never misses an opportunity to turn them into a joke. These are just a few of his latest:

Q: What do you call a table with a lot of stuff on it?
A: A Table of Contents

Q: What do you call a store that only sells disgusting things?
A: A GROSS-ery story

Q: What do you call an animal that is very odd?
A: An ODD-er

I could go on, but I have to save some of his material for him.

FANDOM
We should all be so lucky to have a Sam in our corner. When Sam is your fan, he goes all in. So, Joe McConnell (the local KQED radio traffic reporter), Lando Norris (F1 driver), Kevin Harvick (NASCAR driver), Usain Bolt (Jamaican sprinter), Harry Styles, and Selena Gomez - count yourselves lucky as you have Sam as your #1 fan.

GENTLENESS WITH ANIMALS
I know I mentioned this last year, but this year we have seen it even more. To help keep the kids occupied and entertained, we have been fostering kittens. Our first fosters were two 8 week old kittens. Sam bonded with one of them so much that letting go was hard.

Sam and Lulu

Our second fosters was a family of five 4-week old kittens and their mom. We had this group for two months, and ended up keeping one of them.

Through all of it, Sam helped these kittens become adoptable with his gentle ways, helping the kittens become love bugs who wanted nothing more than to be around humans.

Of course, Vinny is still his #1

DRIVING
Well, more like riding. Since we spent so much time in the house, one of the few things that everyone felt safe doing was going for car rides. I would drive and both kids would roll the windows down and put their heads out the window. Sam will often be narrating an imaginary car race while feeling the wind in his hair. Of course, car rides took on a whole new level of fun once his sister got her learner's permit. The smile on Sam's face in the second picture is only because I was in the backseat and Irene was driving

IRENE AND SAM
While we are on the topic of Irene, nothing... and I mean nothing is better than when these two are together having fun. Its not all joy, but when they are good... they are so very very good. They play together, they laugh together, they plot against me together, and they have their own TV Shows and inside jokes. I would post pictures of the two of them but there are just too many to pick from!

WATER
When in doubt, bring Sam to water. It doesn't matter if we are talking the pacific Ocean in January or an inflatable pool on the back deck, there is no question that Sam's happy place is the water.

SNOW
Yes, snow is a form of water. But just as playing in water brings Sam joy, snow brings out a whole different type of joy. Whether its catching snowflakes or rolling around in snow, Sam loves himself some snow.

VANILLA
Sam knows what he likes and what he likes is Vanilla. Vanilla ice cream, Vanilla frozen yogurt, vanilla yogurt. Are there other flavors out there? Yes. Yes there are. Is Sam interested in them? No. No he is not.

THE THUMB
We used to have the "Sammy smile" which consisted of sticking your tongue out as far as it would go in every single picture. We have now transitioned to the "The Thumb". Getting a photo of Sam without his thumb front and center is near impossible. In fact, if you manage to get one, Sam will insist you retake it so he can put his thumb out. Here is just a small collection of photos with "The Thumb" (not including ones already used)

PLAYTIME
Xbox, Roblox, Baldi's Basics, pretend sword fights, Spy games, lightsaber wars, bike riding, splashing in water, riding in a car, evil stuffed animals... you name it and Sam will turn it into something fun. This is a kid with imagination to spare, a love of games and a never ending supply of energy. Nothing makes me smile like watching Sam play.

(SELFISHLY) THE WAY SAM IS PROUD OF MY BOOK
Irene will tell you that the book is about Sam, so of course he is proud of it. But the book is more than just Sam's story. Even so, the moment I got my ARC's (advanced reader copies), Sam got his hands on one and read it in one day. The end of the book is a letter I wrote to Sam on his 1st birthday, that he asked me to read aloud to him. I cried while I read it - and held his hand. A moment that made all of it worthwhile.

If you are interested in the book you can pre-order it now at A Great Good Place for Books, Amazon, or Bookshop.org. the book comes out on Nov 2.

Tagged: Birthday
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