On 12/06/2012 you turned 52 weeks old, and on 12/08/12, you turned one year old.
You weigh 28 pounds 1/2 ounce, are 31.5 inches tall. You wear size 18-24 month clothing. Your shoes are infant size 6 Extra Wide. We use cloth diapers, and when you’re on my watch, I find that I double-stuff the inserts. If we used disposable diapers, I would guess you would wear size 5.
You know what so many things are. I’ve always believed that babies understand more than we (adults) think they do, and you are proving my theory as correct. For example, your father and I were walking along with you in the stroller one evening. We were talking to each other and one of the neighborhood cats crossed the street in front of us. I said, “Oh, look, there’s that cat…” You had been looking off to the side, but when I said that you looked back at us, then forward, and yelled “CAT!! CAT!!” I routinely ask you get Froggy, and you will bend down, grab Froggy and stuff him in your mouth. If I tell you to go read your books, you will crawl over and start pulling books off your bookshelf and flip through the pages. To your favorite book rotation you have added a book with pictures of all sorts of different cars, and you proclaim for all to hear “CARRRR! CARRRRR!” when you start “reading” it. One night I asked you find mommy’s car, and you flipped to the page of red sports cars. Smart kid. If I ask you to go get your car or your ball, you will take off across the room searching for the appropriate object. If we say, “Power to the (insert whatever object you’re holding), you raise your hands in the air with a big smile. If you’re eating and you get distracted, I will ask you if you’re eating your chicken (or whatever food you’re eating) and you look up startled and then start eating again.
New word(s) you say this week: “Car.” You are also learning to make the “L” sound with your tongue. You have also figured out how to make a sound that sounds like you’re slurping the bottom of a glass with a straw, this sound is accomplished by making an “O” with your mouth and blowing while creasing the back of your tongue. It’s a strange sound for you to have discovered how to make and you do it all the time. You still use the word “nanananaaa” (banana) for any food that you REALLY like, although you seem to realize that it’s called something else.
You are taking steps more and more frequently. You regularly take 5-6 steps, on 12/6 you took TWELVE in a row. I was so shocked! You’ll see somewhere you want to be and off you’ll go, usually side stepping, to the middle of the room and then you look around as if you’ve just realized that you’re in the middle of the ocean without a life jacket, and down you go on your well-padded bottom. You have started lifting your legs when it’s time for a diaper change, which is immensely helpful. When we lift you under your arms or hold your hands up, you take off running using us as your balance system, giggling the whole way. If we pick you up from that, your little legs go 100 mph like a little frog who was running away from something.
We set up our Christmas tree this past week, and you are utterly fascinated by it. It’s OK, I’m much older than you and I’ve seen it a few more times than you have, I’m still amazed at how beautiful it is.
I stayed home from work on your 52 week birthday to bake the cakes for your birthday party. Since the theme for your party was wheels, I thought it’d be a good idea to bake a bunch of mini pineapple upside down bundt cakes and call them tractor wheels.
We are working on your table manners these days. Somehow you got the notion in your head that if you don’t want a certain food, or if you’re done eating something, you throw it on the floor. The eve of your year birthday, you were eating dinner and it looked like you were about to throw your food on the ground, so I held my hand out and told you to give it to me if you don’t want it. You looked at me and placed the food you didn’t want in my hand. I had lined up your food on the table edge, within your reach, and instead of pushing the food you didn’t want on the floor, you started picking the food you did want to eat and eating it instead. Then you saw me picking the food from a bowl, and you reached for the bowl. Just to see what you would do, I let you have it… and you started picking from it, too. This is progress.
Saturday was your birthday, and your birthday party was that afternoon. You took a 2 hour nap and were ready to roll. Literally, as the theme for your party was wheels. We had a bouncy house for older kid entertainment. For food, we had “Pinwheel” (Wrap) Sandwiches, Bicycle tires (pretzel rings), tractor tires (pineapple upside down bundt cakes), Spare tires (Oreos) and a bunch of other wheel themed food. I made your smash cake from bananas and made banana flavored Cool Whip frosting with blue food coloring. You loved the frosting and then flipped your entire cake upside down on the ground. Awesome. Even more awesome, you’ve had green poo for three days (so far, and counting) after. Apparently blue frosting + breastmilk = green poo.
The night of your birthday you had the crappiest sleep I’ve ever seen, which if it had been a normal sugary cake, I would have been blamed the sugar, but I think it’s something else because I used very little sugar. That combined with your weird nursing of late, I think it’s either teething or learning your new skill of walking, or maybe both combined. Or it could be that you’ve had a lot going on lately. You’ve become unpredictable with our 5pm nursing, which is our “reconnect” nursing after I’ve been at work all day. There are days at that nursing when you nurse for a minute or two, days when you refuse it completely, and then other days when you nurse for 30 minutes. As with anything, time will tell, I suppose.
Things I want to remember about this week: How you think everything is a game! Pulling papers out of my work bag — good times! How fast can you get to the stair before the gate gets shut in front of you? Can you pull everything out of the cabinet and rearrange it? How you love keeping the beat to music with shakers, and you test EVERYTHING to see if it makes a noise if shaken, and if it does you smile super big. How you figured out how to open the fireplace gate AND pull open the glass doors, because you wanted to eat the charred wood inside… oh, and pulled your shirt half off in the process because you don’t like long sleeves and how unhappy you were with me when I took that burnt piece of wood away from you. How when we walk through Costco and taste the samples, you now know that you’re allowed to taste them, too (usually) and look at us with expectation. You do a lot of communication with body language and sounds these days. How peek-a-boo is one of your favorite games to initiate, anywhere and everywhere is a possibility, nursing you hide behind your hand, Froggy, or whatever, around corners, behind the fireplace gate… hilarious to watch you initiate it and wait for us to notice. How fascinated you are with shoes and when you got your first “real” shoes in the mail this week, you examined them and then sat down on my lap to let me help you put them on your feet. How adorable it is when you wake from your nap or in the morning, and sit there in your crib talking to Froggy, using all the sounds and words you know and then laugh at your own jokes. The enormous smile you greet me with when I open the door to your room in the morning. The heart-meltingly sweet hug you give me in the mornings when I pull you out of your crib.
I’m typing this last part of your letter on your birthday. You had your birthday party, and lots of people showed up to tell you how happy they are that you’ve been in their life for an entire year and wish you a happy birthday.
I nursed you to sleep tonight, my newly 1 year old boy, and as I held you, I reflected on what it felt like to hold you in my arms for the first time one year ago, so small, and feel you tugging on my breasts for sustenance, and how for the first 7 months of your life, the only thing your body knew as food was the milk from my body. I stroked your one year old head, as I’ve done so often this past year and got so enwrapped in my thoughts and memories, that you nursed yourself into oblivion and dropped off my breast, slack jawed, your legs flopped off the edge of the chair and you snored quietly… and I sat there and continued to hold you close, unwilling to move on with the evening.
Nursing you has been such a journey, and such an enormous part of our relationship and as such, it’s something that warrants its own letter, which I’ve written and will finalize at some point. I will share in this letter that the quiet time that we have together while you nurse has given me lots and lots of time to think this past year and reflect on a lot of things. I’m grateful that I have a lot of nostalgia but no regrets.
Marrying your father was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Moving forward with our dream of having a child, and all the scary, scary decisions that entailed, and then, finally, holding you in our arms which validated that those choices were, without a doubt, the right ones, the best ones, we’ve ever made as a couple. Because the best thing in this world to us is to be able to say that we are your parents. You are a gift to us. You are a gift to this world.
Happy Birthday, Sweet William.