Thursday, October 10, 2013

Caleb's First Birthday

Our baby boy turned one on September 23rd. Being away from home for Caleb's first birthday made me very, very sad. Even though I knew it wouldn't matter to him, I felt mommy guilt for not being able to do a party like we had for Emily. It is a milestone that needs to be shared with grandparents and aunts and uncles and closest friends. It's a time to celebrate surviving the first year that is so wonderful and difficult all at the same time. I would have LOVED to have shared this special day with family back home. Timing wise, it just didn't work out for us to go home so soon or have family come visit us. My parents had just returned from a two week trip to Greece and Jeremy's parents had just returned from a vacation in South Carolina. Nobody could just hop on a plane and come for a quick visit and going home wasn't an option for us having just moved into our house three weeks prior.

We have met a few people from church and MOPs (Mothers of preschoolers), but we don't know them well yet plus it wasn't like we could throw a big party having just moved into our house! We decided that we would just invite one family--the Yeisers from Louisville. Elizabeth and David have been extremely helpful and encouraging to us during our relocation having so recently relocated to the Bay Area themselves. I have been in regular email conversation with Elizabeth since July. They are a lovely Christian couple and have a three year old little boy, Davey. I had been wanting to have Elizabeth and Davey over for a play date since we moved to Alameda so this was a great opportunity. Knowing we were having some friends over made it more fun to plan a few small festive decorations.

We decided to have a Peter Rabbit themed party on Sat. Sept 21st. Caleb has a small Peter Rabbit stuffed animal that we keep in his car seat. (Thanks, Dinkney!) It has kind of become the car lovey. (We have another one that we keep in his crib for sleeping.) He loves to hold it and chew its ears. So, a Peter Rabbit party seemed like a good idea for our little guy. I ordered an adorable birthday banner with Caleb's name on it. We had matching little plates, napkins, cups, party hats, and cupcake picks. I displayed a few Peter Rabbit books and set out a few of his professional photos for decorations. I made carrot cake cupcakes to go along with the theme (they were delish).

It was ironic that it rained on the day of his party. It had not rained a single day since we arrived, but of course it rained that day. AND it flooded our sidewalk! (The drainage ditch in the street gets backed up with leaves and debris.) The Yeisers literally had to wade through water to get to our house! Luckily, it stopped raining and the water was gone before the end of the party. No damage done!

I also served some other items not pictured that were on the counter.

Yummy carrot cake cupcakes. Is there anything better than cream cheese icing?

Umm, not so sure about his hat!

Look at those eyes!!! 

At 1 yr. check-up Sept. 24th:
Height: 30 3/4 in.
Weight: 21 lbs. 15 oz. 

He likes it! Success!

Jeremy and I got him his own personalized chair and a few toys.

The Yeisers--David, Elizabeth and Davey

New Milestones:

Caleb has been busy since my last update when he was ten months old. At ten months, he was just starting to cruise. He got really good and fast at cruising between 10-11 months. About one week before his first birthday, he decided he would start walking. Those first few tentative steps are the most precious thing ever. Of course we made sure to get plenty of videos. He tended to put his arms straight out in front of him (a la Frankenstein) to help with his balance. He would take a few steps, fall down, crawl over to something to pull up on and then do it again. One night in particular he practiced over and over and over again with Mommy and Daddy cheering him on and laughing at his persistence! By the time his birthday came, he was walking pretty well. A few weeks after that and he's kicking a ball and walking all over the playground!

Caleb is able to bend down and pick up items off of the floor without holding on to anything.

Throws and kicks balls.

Can stand up independently from the floor without pulling up to stand.

Quickly climbs flights of stairs (unable to safely climb down.)

Waves "hi" and "bye." Claps hands. Points towards objects and makes a high pitched "Hmmm" sound to indicate he wants something.

Drinks from a sippy cup with a straw and handles, but has trouble managing sippy cups that don't have handles.

Enjoys holding board books and turning pages. He will allow me to read a couple of short books in one sitting.

Says "Uh oh" when he drops something.

Caleb is able to say a few words now! He says "hi," Hi-dee," "mama," "dada," "ball," and "byebye." He makes a barking sound when he sees a dog and sometimes will say "Dog," but without the "g" at the end. Also has said "bir" for "bird." He tends to say "dada" a whole lot more than "mama." He calls for Jeremy all the time. I've noticed that he doesn't usually say "mama" unless he is in distress! He will call out for "mama" when he wakes up in the morning if we don't go get him out of the crib right away and he will say "mama" with a lot of urgency when I'm getting his dinner ready and he's hungry!

Eating and Sleeping Habits:

Caleb is now mostly eating table foods and feeding himself. I still give him pureed veggies in those squeezy tubes a few times a week because they're just so darn convenient for getting in the necessary fruits and veggies. I try to give him whatever we are eating, but obviously sometimes that doesn't work out if it is too spicy or something he just won't eat. I hope I'm exposing him to enough new foods that he won't be too picky. Already he eats more meat than Emily does!

I've weaned him to twice a day nursing sessions for in the morning when he wakes up and before bedtime. The rest of the time he has whole milk in a sippy cup with a straw. I'm going to try to keep nursing him for a few more months because it is so convenient for first thing in the morning and at bedtime. I haven't had to pump since we moved because I'm always with him at those times a day.

Caleb takes two naps and luckily he's pretty flexible about them. Emily's drop-off and pick-up schedule from school three days a week is something we have to work around. His naps get pushed back a little on those days. He usually naps 1 1/2 -2 hrs. in the morning and about the same for the afternoon. Yesterday he napped from 10-11:45 am and 2-4pm.  He goes to bed between 7:30 and 8pm and wakes up between 6:30-7am. Lately we have had some problems with him waking up too early which I attribute to his room getting too bright in the mornings. We have got to get some room darkening shades soon!

Me and my birthday boy!!!

Dad with his birthday boy

Small portion of Caleb's banner that was draped across the living room entrance

We spent Caleb's actual birthday at home. We sang to him again and let him eat another cupcake! :) We opened a few gifts that had been saved for his special day and did Facetime so the grandparents could see him walking and opening their presents. It was nice to be able to share a little in the festivities with them through Facetime. 

And a note for Caleb,

Sweet boy! You are one now! This just might have been the fastest year of my life. I really can't believe you are one already. Where has the time gone? You are a delight! (except when you wake up at 6 am.) At one year of age, I can already tell a lot about your personality. You seem to adapt well to changes (thank God). You are playful and quick to laugh. You're gonna be a ball player (You already have a nose for the ball!) You are a good napper so long as we keep you in a dark room. 

Right on cue, you walked in time for your first birthday. You showed lots of perseverance with learning to walk. I'm so thankful that you are able to say my name now. I'm sorry that we weren't able to spend your first birthday with all of our family, but you were a happy boy at your party and loved all of your presents. The grandparents enjoyed the show you put on for them as they watched you walk. 

Hope you smile big for the camera next week for your one year photos! 

I love you to the moon and back.