So here goes.....my baby is a year old.
Officially, not until Tuesday. But soon enough. While the panicky edge is gone from his first birthday, it's still an extremely bittersweet occasion.
The only reason I'm not a bigger mess is because somehow, though he is more mobile and independent than ever before, he's also more and more affectionate each day. He gives hugs and kisses, and he brings favourite things to us to play with him or just to hug. I learned just the other day that when your tiny little boy finds and brings you a stuffed animal, you will never want to stop cuddling that stuffed animal. I cuddled Mr. Hooty the Owl all night after Baby Bird went to sleep.
I'm also learning that your baby is ALWAYS your baby, no matter if they are toddlers, children, teens or adults.
|A year ago Tuesday|
|A few days old|
Okay, so let's talk about Baby Bird:
- He has a sparkling personality. He is so goofy and cheerful. He is affectionate. He is sensitive to the world around him (especially how mama and daddy are feeling). He walks around with either a big goofy grin or a little sly grin on his face at all times.
- He is *almost* walking. He has taken 3-4 unassisted steps at a time, but he much prefers having some support in the form of a hand from Mama or Dad, or to push items around the house. He has a push toy, but he will push anything: laundry basket, file box, high chair, dining room chair.
- He has three teeth (maybe four - I'll have to check the fourth to see if it cut this last day or two). He is not a gentle teether. It's been a rough three weeks, and my sympathy factor for how much it must hurt is through the roof.
- He still nurses avidly, and he loves food, too.
- He will steal your heart in an instant.
- He loves to show off for people, but he is not a fan of loud, crowded rooms (as we discover frequently at a crowded playgroup we attend weekly).
- He's very talkative. He's now starting to try to mimic words (he especially loves 'B' words: "Bump!" "Boom!" "Button"). And he chatters all the time.
|11 months or so|
|First time on a swing last week|
Let's talk about motherhood a year in. I'm definitely going to start crying part way through this:
- It's been the fastest year of my life. I once heard someone say, "The days are long but the years are short" in reference to parenthood, and I couldn't agree more. Often, by bedtime, I am dying for some respite or a hot shower. But overall, the time flies by and it can be so very difficult to take it all in. On the whole, though, I think I'm doing an excellent job of living in the moment and being fully present with Bird.
- I have not slept a full night since before Bird was born. People ask me why don't I sleep train. The short answer is that I just don't believe it's necessary for us. We are tired some days, but overall we believe babies have needs and that he will end up being a better sleeper who is more secure in the long run.
- I still marvel at the change in myself. I went from not maternal, not sure about breastfeeding, *need* to be a working person, etc., to a complete mother hen.
- I am still about 20 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. I did not plan to be anything but fit and thin by now, but I'm finding the weight is not a priority. As for fitness, my best laid plans have been interrupted by a medical issue (nothing serious, but something that needs healing before I can so much as walk) and I'm hoping to have a resolution for that soon so I can run my 5km in June.
- The amount of love in my life is immense. There are days (er, daily) that I just stare at Bird and my eyes well up with such pride and love that I just cannot put into words. My child, my husband, my family - they are perfect. And in that utter perfection (even in times of discord and chaos), I have found that I love myself more than ever, too. That doesn't mean I don't feel like I'm failing at the mom thing from time to time - I do have terrible-awful-not-very-good days sometimes, but they pass quickly.
|Favourite Photo - 4 months old|
So that's it - onto toddlerhood.