Okay, I have had some time to prepare myself for this, but it still seems impossible that it has been a year since we brought Ben into the world. Why does the time go by SO fast when it's SO good? I am proud of the fact that I have managed to enjoy this time so much. It has been the happiest, most rewarding year of my life.
Last night, I was thinking to myself about the series of events leading up to Ben's birth. The time I spent in labor was probably the most connected to Ben that I had felt throughout my entire pregnancy. While my labor was pretty uneventful, there were a few moments where for the first time, I really was thinking about the baby and what he needed more than I was thinking about myself. I suppose that was in preparation for the instant need I felt to do EVERYTHING for him the second he was born. I still can get myself all worked up and emotional if I think too hard about what that moment was like for me. Meeting Ben is still my most cherished memory.
But speaking of memories, this last year has been FILLED with memorable moments - ones that I have mentally stored away (and probably blogged about) that will fill the rest of my life with happiness I never knew was possible.
Ben - you are the happiest, funniest, most loving and special little boy and I am thrilled that you are mine :) Happy Birthday!!
Okay, now for the latest:
Ben has spent the last month "perfecting" his new skill: walking! He is getting so fast and will attempt to practically run across a room if there is something/someone exciting he wants to get to. I think Greg and I have sharpened our reflexes over the past couple weeks and are learning to respond to his new abilities. I really think our new floor plan has helped in giving him the opportunity to walk wherever he pleases. Instead of just having the ottoman to run circles around, he now will run/be chased/chase us around the ottoman, the hall, the dining room table and the kitchen island. In related news, Ben is WIPED OUT during naps and at the end of each day. The other day, he slept through us putting together some furniture - complete with all of the hammering and pounding going on.
Ben's vocabulary in terms of actual words is pretty much the same as it was last month, however his babbling sounds have become pretty complex! He now says "mama" a lot more often (yes!) but it's almost always done in a drawn out whiny tone (boo!). This morning, he repeated "nana" when I asked if he wanted some banana with breakfast. I also think he repeats "juice" (toosch) occasionally.
It's amazing how much he understands now. We can say "no" or "uh oh" (which he sometimes repeats) and he knows not to do something. I can ask him to come to me, or bring me something, or "let's go find daddy" and he totally gets it. It is going to be really fun as our communication with him increases over the next year!
He LOVES to mimic - especially when it's fun sounds I make (squealing) or random bubbly sounds/blowing raspberries.
Ben has continued to be so cuddly and loving. When I ask him for a hug, he will walk all the way over to me (no matter how far away) and put his head down on my shoulder or chest. When I ask for a kiss, he will either walk straight to my face and just wait for me to kiss him, or he will open his mouth and come at me with his tongue out. I can always tell he is tired or just needing some snuggling when he puts his head down on me unprovoked, which I LOVE and take advantage of each and every time.
Still rocking 2 naps a day - and I love how predictable he is with them!
This past week, in part of my effort to increase Ben's daily fluid intake, I started introducing whole milk. My hope was that he would LOVE it. Or tolerate it. So far, he hates and refuses it. Fun! I know that in time, he will drink it, but it's not fun worrying about what your child is/isn't consuming. By far, the most challenging thing about parenting for me has been planning meals for Ben and knowing that I am meeting all of his daily nutrition needs. Also, since Ben is a year now, I'm feeling it's time to cut back/soon stop nursing him. (I seriously cannot believe we have made it an entire year). I really would like for him to get used to whole milk soon so that I can confidently wean him, but I never anticipated him disliking milk!? Anyway, we will figure it out :)
The good news, is that Ben is becoming a good little eater and it's been super fun watching him get REALLY into certain foods! We are working on not throwing our (his) food on the floor when he is no longer hungry, using (playing with) a spoon, and drinking from a variety of sippy cups.
Ben is busting through some of his 12 month clothing and is swimming in some of his 18 month clothing - but wearing both sizes regularly. On a recent doctor visit (see 2 paragraphs above), he weighed in at 21 lbs, 8 oz - somewhere in the 30-40% range.
He can now clap his hands (kinda) but is more interested in clapping my hands for me. He loves playing with his toys - particularly anything he can put things into or take things out of. He has a bin full of duplos, and when he is done playing, he always seems to grab the same long, yellow duplo out and walk around the house with it. There also is a funny mood that he gets in that is hard to describe. (Crazy? Aggressive?) He will walk around and then charge straight at someone with one arm up. I think he is trying to say "hi", but he sort of looks like this:
Ben loves bath time. He loves to be hung upside down. He loves to be chased and to chase others. He loves his binky. He loves to see how things work. (He has very much enjoyed watching us assemble things in the new house). He loves to open and shut doors and drawers. I'm now finding random toys in random places. He loves to grab prescription bottles (child proofed!) and shake them like mad. He loves any and all attention, particularly when someone is being funny or when someone thinks what he is doing is funny. He loves when we go into his room and pick him up out of his crib in the morning. It sometimes takes him a couple minutes to wake up completely and get rid of the grumps, (like his dad), but the instant he is fully awake he plasters a huge smile on his face and can't wait to get started on his day.
This last year has been so different than I ever thought it would be. Sure, my expectations of not having much time to myself and with our lives not being all about "us" anymore were spot on, but Ben and having the chance to spend so much time with him watching him grow (soooo rapidly) has been 1 million percent worth it!