One Year Old.

Just like that, our sweet baby boy is one year old. As I sit down to type this it feels surreal, and while the facts cannot be denied, it just doesn’t fully connect that he is, in fact, one year old. Last summer feels like a lifetime ago and yesterday, all at once. I cannot imagine having a baby who doesn’t, crawl, giggle, and play, yet that sweet baby boy who slept in my arms and went on long walks on cool fall days is someone who I have to remind myself is just a memory. He is the same baby, but he is different. I look back on pictures from the past year, and feel like I don’t even know that chunky little four month old that stares back at me. And really, I don’t. He is growing and changing every day, and with those changes the love we have for him grows, as well. We thought we couldn’t love him more than in those moments after he was born, but oh how wrong we were. He is the light of our lives, the reason we wake up grateful to be alive, and the reason we can’t wait to get home in the evenings for playtime and cuddles. Life without our little man is a distant memory that is hard to imagine, and moving forward we know that he will grow into a boy who we are so proud to call ours.
Of course, despite the trip down memory lane and our sadness over saying goodbye to our baby, we are often reminded that he still is our baby, despite what the months on the calendar might say. He keeps us busy, has his fair share of fussy nights, and loves nothing more than a blanket and cuddles on the couch with mom or dad. And, with all of the growing he continues to do, comes continuous changes every month!

Age: 12 months
Height: 32-33 inches. Hard to accurately measure a squirmy guy! Either way, he is in the 99-100th percentile.
Weight: 26.5 pounds. 98th percentile.
Milestones: Standing independently. Walking holding only one hand. And he now officially has a few words/babbles in his vocabulary. Mama (which is his favorite as of this week), dada, baba, gaga, and puh-puh. We aren’t quite sure how much he connects these words to any meaning, but considering mama is usually babbled when he is feeling sleepy, cranky, or needy, I think he has that one figured out. And, when asked ‘where’s dada!?’ he has replied with a smile and ‘daaaah-da!’ He knows his people!
Sleep: We have had definite improvements this month, but he still just isn’t the greatest sleeper. We did cut out nursing at night, and have figured out that if he does wake up (which happens about every other night lately), the baby channel and laying on the couch will put him back out in a matter of minutes. So, getting him to sleep quickly while breaking the habit of eating in the middle of the night has been a definite victory for mom and dad!

Best Moment: Hearing him babble mama and dada just can’t be beat. When he is feeling extra lovey, he will come in, wrap his hands around your neck, and open his mouth wide for a face smothering kiss and shrills and squeals on his end. There is nothing sweeter. *this is almost ALWAYS followed by him grabbing a handful of hair and yanking, hard. I think he is already mastering buttering us up.* We also took family portraits and are so thrilled with them; they capture who he is just pefectly.
He continues to make strides towards walking, and while he isn’t there quite yet, he is getting more confident every day and we know it will happen soon enough!
Worst Moment: He has come to love standing at his baby gate and looking down the stairs, but this month on a morning while mom was getting ready in the bathroom, he managed to push the gate over and roll down the stairs. Mama’s heart just about stopped, but he escaped injury free minus a nasty looking rug burn on his nose. Needless to say, even when the gate is up, he not left on his own at all anymore.

Health: Good! This month we received news that, for the first time since that first detection on the 20 week ultrasound, his dilation of his kidney has gone down! We have been hopeful and waiting to see improvement, so for it to finally happen was so wonderful. Since we saw improvement, we don’t have to do another followup for six months. 
Other than the kidney improvement, health has been great, and he continues to do well.

Eating: Give this boy all of the food. He loves to eat, and would have blueberries and string cheese for every single meal if he could. He is also a lover of pasta, any flavorful dish that has meat and vegetables, desserts (obviously), and pancakes are the key to his heart. Plain cooked veggies are not his favorite, but if they are mixed in with his meals he is pretty good about eating them. So, moving forward we need to be creative with our cooking to incorporate as much of the ‘good stuff’ as possible!

We have cut down nursing to just once a day before bed, and he has done very well transitioning to the bottle/sippy cup the rest of the time. We still have a lot of frozen breast milk, so we likely won’t be introducing cow’s milk for another month or so. We plan to cut out that final nursing session in the coming week. While we wouldn’t mind continuing a bit longer, mama is going back to night classes the end of the month, and for the sake of everybody, it will be best if we have a new, ‘nursing free’ schedule established so that transition is as easy on everyone as possible.

Teeth: 8. Always making a show of things, his next two bottom teeth both broke through on his birthday. He is getting somewhat better with his tendency to bite, and it tends to just be mom that he goes for, likely because he thinks it will get him food. So we hope that phase passes soon, the bites get scarier and more painful with every new teeth that makes its appearance!

We really cannot say enough how much we love our little guy. His laugh is infectious, his smile is captivating, and his sweet hugs and (somewhat vicious) kisses make every tough moment worth it. We cannot wait to celebrate many, many more birthdays with our little guy, and love him more than words can say!

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