Saturday, December 15, 2012

11 months old

well, this is the post that almost didn't happen.  with less than two weeks before christmas and a to-do list a mile long, this got shoved to the bottom of my list.

but i woke up motivated this morning.  i'm guessing it was the extra 1 1/2 hours my bud allowed me - amazing what a difference SLEEP can make!

in a few short weeks our bud will turn a year old.  i'll save the tears until then, but looking back over his first year and realizing how quickly it's transpired is making me so very emotional.

here's what's happening with our little mister - 

  • not walking yet, but getting bolder each day as he lets go when he's standing, usually to face plant into pillows on the bed or floor, but lately it's also been just letting go and then letting himself fall onto his behind on hard surfaces.  i'm surprised he hasn't hurt himself, because he's definitely not afraid of much.  
  • would love to climb the stairs if given the opportunity, but we've gated off the top and bottom.  on one occasion he did make it to the third stair (which made my heart stop), but then proceeded to slide back down.
  • is VERY curious about the toilet, and i have no doubt he would LOVE to play in it; hence the reason we've invested in toilet locks (which incidentally are also adult proof - i had to get a special lesson on how to unlock the toilet from the hubs).
  • mealtimes are often pretty fun and sometimes challenging.  he'll go from perfectly content to starving in a matter of minutes, and if he doesn't get fed right away, he let's me know by crying or banging on the table or both.  if he's eating something he likes (like pureed sweet potatoes/butternut squash with greek yogurt or oatmeal and maple syrup), he'll wolf it down, opening his mouth like a little bird - so cute!  if it's something he's not very interested in, he either spits it out or starts rubbing his eyes, even if he's not tired.  if he starts rubbing his eyes during mealtime, i know it's pointless to continue the current course of action, and i find something else to feed him.  i've recently re-introduced mashed up avocado (he hated it a few months ago when tried for the first time) and he loves it.  i add just a pinch of salt, and i wonder if that made the difference   i also started giving him a whole cheese stick to hold onto and eat rather than just cut off tiny pieces for him.  i was worried about the chocking hazard of him biting off too large a piece, but so far he just nibbles at it or throws it on the ground for zoe.  
  • cheerios have become more than sustenance; they're become pure entertainment.   he still loves to eat them, but discovered a few days ago that if he smacks them while they're on the table in front of him, they go flying in all directions.  or even more recently, he'll use his thumb on the corner of the cheerio and watch it flip into the air.  so now, for every cheerio that makes it into his mouth, at least five end up all over the kitchen nook floor, again, much to zoe's delight.  :)
  • he's started tilting his head to the side and giving me huge grins when i look at him.  this usually happens when we're at the kitchen table and i'm a captive audience.  seriously one of the cutest things ever.
  • i still get asked every time i go out with him if he's a boy or girl.  i don't get offended, but think it's funny since there is no way his clothes could be confused with girl clothes.
  • his hair is getting longer; completely out of control.  i tried putting one of my hair ties in it yesterday just to keep it out of his eyes while he ate, and he definitely could have passed for a girl.  daddy wasn't too thrilled about it and neither was he, so the hair tie didn't stay in very long.  
  • his nap schedule seems to be evolving, and the past 4 days he hasn't taken an afternoon nap.  i'm REALLY hoping this doesn't mean he's ready to go down to one nap.  and isn't the morning nap usually the one to go first?  at least his morning naps seem to have increased in duration to about 2 1/2 - 3 hours.  can't complain about that.

and some photos of some of his favorite things:
  • crawling all over the downstairs with zoe.  oftentimes i'll be working in the kitchen and hear hysterical giggling coming from the nook area.  when i look to see what's going on, he's either just staring at zoe and laughing or is trying to hold onto her and stand up, which also makes him laugh.  i think he's a little more amused by her than vice-versa right now, but i absolutely love the connection he feels with her (and that's her saving grace when i feel like i've just about had it with all her shedding)!
  • he still loves to read, but now does so standing up next to the couch.  his current favorite book is the 'dog book', specifically the page with the shaggy and silky dog (lots of textures for him to feel).
  • and lastly, he LOVES to look out windows, and i'll often find him on his tippy-toes straining to see.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

well, that'll never happen again

this christmas season i'm feeling the pressure to get it right like never before.

i want to make sure our sweet baby bud, a couple of days shy of 11 months, has a great first christmas.  i want to start building special family traditions and memories.  i don't want to miss anything   the type-a personality in me just wants to get it right.

but i'm quickly realizing just how easily this season can get out of control and overwhelming.

i've been trying to - 

  • find the perfect first ornament for our bud
  • find the perfect first teddy bear for him
  • decide what to do about a tree - should we go to a tree farm and do that whole thing as our new family tradition or just go up in the woods and cut one down like we've done in years past?  or should we forgo a tree altogether since we'll probably have to gate it off so it doesn't become a hazard? 
  • make sure he has a cute christmas outfit for photos
  • make sure i capture photos of him with the tree, photos of him with christmas lights, capture other various ideas i've seen on pinterest (another reason i have a love/hate relationship with pinterest), etc.
  • research local christmas activities and plan to do some of them
  • make christmas presents
  • decorate the house
  • catch up on photo editing from the beginning of the year so that i can put together a photo book of his first year (this is a MONUMENTAL project, and one i've been putting off for..well, this entire year).  i literally have thousands of RAW photos taken in my crazy new-mom phase that i uploaded and then never sorted/edited/etc.  there's no more putting it off, i just have to DO IT.  cue early mornings and late nights
  • plan his first birthday party, which falls a couple of weeks after christmas.  beside deciding on a loose theme, i have done nothing for this yet
  • decide on christmas (and birthday) gifts for him and other family/friends

AND last but not least...figure out the best local santa to take him to get his picture taken with.  i know, this is silly, but i envisioned taking him to the same place every year, and i wanted a real-bearded santa.  a nice backdrop would be the icing on the cake.  but after realizing that everyone i've asked has a differing opinion on the best local santa, and trying to squeeze in santa time between naps on a week day, yesterday i made a decision.  we would head to the nearest mall and just get it over with.  i had actually heard great things about that santa anyway, and i just wanted to cross this off my to-do list.

well, things didn't quite go according to plan...

  • the christmas outfit i had envisioned him wearing (a cute hanna anderson scandinavian-inspired look i found at a consignment event earlier this year) proved to be quite a bit smaller than i thought.  i still squeezed him into it, but, well, it's obvious.
  • when we arrived at the mall, santa was on a break, and not scheduled to be back for another 45 minutes.  every minute spent waiting is precious when you have an active 10 1/2 month old who does not want to be confined to a stroller.  45 minutes may as well have been 5 hours.
  • when the hubs (who was able to meet us at the mall after work) saw the prices they wanted to charge us for the photo packages, he cried price-gouging.  and he's not even the frugal one in the family!  yes, i told him, it's a total rip-off, but they're going to charge that because they can.  well, it wasn't about the money for him; it was principle.  so he convinced me that if we're going to spend a crazy amount on santa photos, we may as well go to macy's santaland downtown portland, and make a fun family event of it.  well, i couldn't disagree with that.  that's where i had originally wanted to go; i just  figured it would be a whole production to get the bud there alone, and had given up on the idea.

so we decided to walk the mall for a few minutes as to not feel like our trip there was a total bust.  after perusing the christmas displays in macy's and nordstrom, we were headed toward the mall exit, when it happened...

we ran into santa.

well, not literally  but we saw him re-enter the mall, and it appeared he was heading back to his sleigh.  when he walked by and saw us, he knelt down and said hi to our bud.  now, i'm sure not every mall santa would do that when 'off the job', but this santa was awesome!!  he was the real deal (beard and everything).  he seemed genuinely happy to see our little guy, and was soooo sweet to him.

but it gets better.  

we were walking in the same direction he was, a few paces behind, when we saw a mom and her two older kids say hi to santa, and then proceed to take a picture of/with him with their phone.  well, not only did santa not mind, he was looking at the pictures on the woman's phone and appeared to be asking to take more.

in that moment i made a decision.  i pulled out my camera (which i had brought along just in case i could take a picture of santa and bud while in the sleigh - which i found is not allowed) and decided to approach santa.  normally, i would be embarrassed and think it incredibly rude and tacky to do something like that...but after what i witnessed, i didn't over-think it; i just had to do it! 

i asked santa if he would mind taking a couple of quick pics with our bud, and was THRILLED at his warm response.  we got the following...

it started off like this - 

and ended like this-

{am i a bad mom for admitting i'm a teeny bit happy to have gotten the scared baby picture?  i've always found them hilarious.}

i know visiting santa will never happen like this again, and we'll probably still do the macy's santa experience this year, but i will never, ever forget our bud's FIRST and very unique santa experience.  it was special and meant to be.  and i don't think we'll ever meet a santa quite like this one ever again.


but despite all the craziness this christmas season (and maybe because of it), the thing i most want to get right is to not forget the real meaning of christmas.  for our family, that means jesus, the reason this time of year is so important and why we celebrate.  it's not about the presents, and it's definitely not about the perfect first ornament or santa. 

it's about the baby jesus and through who we can experience hope, joy, love and peace.

if we can get that right, i have no doubt everything else will fall into place.  :)