Friday, May 31, 2013

One Year Old and Going Strong

Will had his one year check up a couple of weeks ago. He is now 22.1 pounds (50th percentile) and 31.5 inches long (95th percentile). So he's still destined to be a basketball player (Graham is proud), and he's finally packing on some weight to go with his height. Hooray!

The doctor also commented on how long his feet are. Apparently, size 5 shoes (which are almost too small) are not average for his age.

I had to laugh when the doctor, after watching Will cruise around the examination room and squirm out of my arms repeatedly while we talked, commented how busy Will is. I get that a lot, but when the doctor who sees countless babies every week singles yours out as being "really active", you know you're in trouble. Although, I guess it's kind of normal to me now. I don't know what it's like to have a child who will sit quietly on my lap and play with a toy. Or who will snuggle up with me in the rocking chair and let me read him books. Or who will play on the floor with toys, even with me, for more than 30 seconds before he decides to go off exploring the world a bit more. I'm not complaining. I love my little Magellan. I just think it's interesting that I can see his personality so strongly. I wonder how those tendencies will manifest themselves as he gets older.

At one year, here are some of Will's favorite activities:

Flipping light switches: He has figured out that when you flip them up and down, the lights go on and off, which is fascinating to him. Except, that sometimes he forgets that you have to switch between up and down, and he'll just keep trying to push it the same direction over and over and can't see why nothing is happening.

Moving things from one bucket to another: Up until recently, Will just loved to dump everything out onto the floor and make as big a mess as possible, but he has recently developed the skill of putting things IN rather than just taking them OUT. He loves to throw blocks into their storage bucket (I think he likes the sound it makes), and he also regularly puts them into the bed of his new dump truck before pushing it around the room. Hooray for baby steps toward learning to clean up!

Making friends: Will LOVES other kids. Whenever we're on walks or out shopping, if he sees another young child, he starts trying to get their attention by yelling. He's not angry; they're just short bursts of sound, like he's saying, "Hey! Look over here! Wanna be friends?" It's really cute.

Waving: He's finally getting more consistent at waving to people. I love watching him flap his hand around with that little grin on his face.

Playing outside, especially when dirt, sticks, and/or bark chips are involved: We've gotten outside and gone to the park recently, and Will is LOVING exploring a whole new part of the world. What is it that compels children to throw bark chips though? In any case, he doesn't seem to mind that we don't have grass yet at our house. In fact, grass kind of freaks him out. He's much happier sitting and digging in the dirt, tasting rocks.

Teasing his parents about walking: He's SO close! In the last two weeks he's made HUGE strides (couldn't resist) in taking steps. He WANTS to walk now, which is progress, as he was completely uninterested for awhile. He can totally walk, albeit awkwardly, but he's not confident enough to really go for it. He'll walk a few steps, sometimes as much as halfway across the room, and then he'll decide it's too slow and go back to crawling. He does, however, like to push chairs around the house now and use them as a makeshift walker. Any day, this kid is going to take off running, and I bet he'll never look back.

Playing in his favorite spot: Will has a favorite spot. It's completely random, but he plays there multiple times a day. It's the window ledge behind the back of the couch (See his spot in the picture above? It's right behind him). He often will climb up on the couch, crawl into his spot, bang some toys around and look out the window, and then kamikaze-style roll/slide down the couch cushions to get back down. It's pretty entertaining.

One is so much fun!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Birthday Boy

(Disclaimer: This post is full of pictures and sentiment about my adorable son. He's cute though, so I think they're worth looking at. Just thought I'd warn you.)

Happy Birthday William!

When did I go from brand new mom to having a one-year-old who is on the brink of walking? I can hardly keep up with this boy. I've been meaning to post pictures from his birthday for a week now, but I'm just now getting around to it. Somebody's been keeping me busy.

I wanted to make Will's birthday special (I mean, you only turn one once), but I realize that he doesn't even get what birthdays are even about. I was trying to think of a party theme that would reflect something he's actually interested in, but he's so young that he hasn't really developed a LOVE of cars or trains or animals yet. But, I asked myself, "What DOES Will love?" One thing kept coming to mind: FOOD.

Will LOVES food, and he's a really intense eater. He shoves food into his mouth faster than I can put it on his tray, and he eats a ton! It's a wonder he isn't twice as heavy as he is. Anyway, at first, I thought "food" was kind of a weird theme for a party, but then I was noticed his copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar on the floor of his room. And it hit me...Will is my own very hungry caterpillar. So the party's theme was set.

The week before his birthday, my parents were in town, so we did a party that Saturday afternoon with my side of the family. We had a great time, even if, I was scrambling to get everything together at the last minute. 

My mom helped me make an awesome cake, which I based off of ideas from Pinterest.

Oma helped me prepare food to mirror the foods the caterpillar eats in the book. We had sandwiches with salami, Swiss cheese, and pickles; olives; watermelon; and a fruit salad with all the fruits he eats during the week.

Graham picked up some helium balloons that we turned into a caterpillar. (Those are the balloons in the background of the pic below). I had planned to make a face to put on the red balloon, but, you know, that just didn't happen. :)

P.S. - Will really likes his Grandpa Wright. I think the feeling is mutual.

I also made Will a onesie with a caterpillar (I happened across the fabric at a quilt store that week...serendipitous!) and a number one that had a bite taken out of it.

After a kamikaze attempt to grab the flame of the candle, and being VERY sad when I pulled his hand back, Will got his first taste of birthday cake.

Will wasn't quite sure what to do with his cake at first, but he got the hang of it pretty quickly and enjoyed dumping large quantities of it on the floor...and was sent straight to the tub afterward.

It was a fun time, and he got some great gifts that he's thoroughly been enjoying since then.

The following week, we had another party for him with Graham's side of the family. This time I was on my own for making the cake, and I almost collapsed on the floor in frustration a couple of times during the process of decorating it, but I think it turned out well in the end. The benefit of having two parties with the same theme is that I was able to use all the same decorations the second time around. That meant they got more use, and I had less effort to put into party #2 (which was good because the cake basically took me ALL day). Win, win!

Will still didn't really get what was going on, but he really enjoyed ripping the wrapping paper off of the presents, and he ate a lot more of his cake the second time around (though he still threw a decent amount on the floor).

Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated with us!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Motherhood: Year 1

Today I've been a mother for exactly one year. One year ago, I woke up at 6 a.m. with contractions that didn't stop. By lunch Graham came home and we headed for the hospital. I remember sitting in the car on the way there, wondering what Will would look like, excited to meet him and yet nervous that I had no idea how to be his mother. Apparently, he didn't mind having a total newbie for a mom, because he came anyway, and we've been figuring it out together ever since.

I had a lot of expectations for motherhood, and for myself as a mother. I've helped care for other people's children, so I knew how to change a diaper and I'd already developed a strong bounce-and-rock rhythm. But there were also so many things I didn't know and wasn't prepared for.

When I was pregnant, my brother and sister-in-law sent me a card with the sentiment, "Congratulations on having your world turned happily upside down." That phrase has become my favorite description of parenthood.

Becoming a mother has completely changed my life. My time, my to do lists, my thoughts, and my mood revolve around this little man who joined our family a year ago. It's hard, really hard sometimes, but it's so worth it.

I love being a mom.

I love making Will smile and laugh. Sometimes, I chase him down the hall and he laughs so hard that he falls over and can't crawl anymore. I have a constant buddy, and one who is a source of endless entertainment.

I love being able to comfort Will when he's hurt or sad. While I don't always love him clinging to my leg and whining, or waking up in the middle of the night, I love that when he's crying, he wants Mom. No one can put him to sleep as well as I can; no one can stop his tears the way I can. It's a great responsibility, but I love knowing that my son trusts me to comfort him and keep him safe.

I love watching my little Magellan explore and discover the world. I took him to the park last week and for the first time I really let him just crawl around in the dirt and grass. It was amazing to see in his eyes the joy and wonder at experiencing something for the first time. He was so intrigued by things that we as adults often a bug crawling across the sidewalk. He helps me see the simple wonders of the world.

I love watching him figure things out. He's such a determined little man, and he won't give up. I love to see the grin he gets on his face when he's accomplished something difficult (like climbing up on the couch for the first time). Mama is as proud as he is!

Lastly, I love that Motherhood has made me appreciate my own parents so much more. I understand more and more each day what they sacrificed for me. When I rock a sick baby in the middle of the night, I think of how many times my parents must have done that for me. When I go to the store to buy diapers...again...I think about how much money my parents invested in me. When I sweep the floor for the third time in one day, I wonder when my mom lost count of how many messes she cleaned  up.

But, as I look at my son, I also understand more and more WHY my parents chose to have a family. I know that what I do as a mother is of paramount importance. Every lesson I instill, every skill I help develop, every hug I give is building a human being who will be prepared to contribute to the world and be a light to humanity. There is no greater joy, no greater satisfaction, no greater accomplishment than seeing your own child grow.

So, happy birthday to the boy who brings me more joy than I knew I could hold.

And happy Mother's Day to the woman who exemplifies all I hope to be for my own children.