Blogging our first pregnancy and child rearing, all the ups and downs, tears and laughs and overthinking that not only comes with being knocked up and a new Momma, but with just being me.
My 2012 in review. From baby to toddler. In a year. Really, less. This year was about transitions and growth.
From walking to running
Words to sentences to conversations
Holding objects to imaginative play
Flipping through books to sitting and reading or being read to
Going with the motions to understanding what is coming next and remembering what has happened, and telling us.
I’ve seen a life grow before my eyes.
Trippy (that’s for you Mom) and wonderful, and crazy, and a privilege.
And hard work.
There have been tears, and I’ve had difficult moments.
It has been a great year. I’m exhausted and so fulfilled. And so happy.
I continue to hold dearly to and enjoy every moment, as much as I can. And I look forward to all that is ahead of us.
2012 had its highs and its lows for us as a family. But this blog is for Emilio - and if I had to speak for him, I think he’d reflect on a wonderful year filled with learning, growing and doing. A lot of all of those.
He went from a newly walking, few word saying 1 year old to a sentence stringing, running, singing almost 2 year old. From baby to toddler.
He took 2012 by the reins and got everything he could out of life this year.
That’s a model for us all.
To more in 2013, more of all of it.
And thank you, Emilio for always being the joy in so many lives, and especially mine.
Happy New Year!
On Tuesday and Thursday Emilio’s Grandma, my MIL, watches Emilio. The schedules work out that I take a “later” train as she picks me up at the train station.
Today, I took an earlier than usual train to meet my FIL with him. Schedules have shifted as there are some devastatingly sad things happening in their, and our, lives at the moment.
I took the opportunity to really spend some time with my guy. We walked to a playground we hadn’t been to before and explored together.
I watched him take on a playground meant for 5 year olds and I saw how big he’s become. How independent. How confident. How much of a little boy he is.
I watched it and soaked it in.
I treasured our extra time together.
However you find it, with whomever it is you love in your life, treasure those extra stolen minutes and seconds and hours. Treasure them now, live and breath in them. Be present. Capture time and make it yours. You can lose it so quickly and those minutes, they slip by so quietly.
15 months old! Look at you.
The biggest change in the last month is how many more words you’re picking up. You’re getting pretty skilled at mimicking us. If we say something a couple of times that we know you can repeat you catch on. Just today you came home from daycare saying UNO and holding up one finger. I think your favorite word right now is no. We don’t mind too much because you’re darn cute when you say it. And because usually if we counter with a yes you agree. I can tell you’re focused on building vocabulary because you often mumble words as I’m putting you in bed and you often wake up talking. Usually it’s a blend of car and dijjy. But often you’ll hear birds outside so you’ll sign bird and say it.
You are one silly guy. You have a very impish nature. You love tricking your Dad with food, you’ll pretend to feed it to him and then snatch it back and eat it! You love hiding and playing peek a boo, all smiles and claps when we find you. This morning you had quite a good time disappearing into our hanging clothes in the closet and then popping back out. Then when I brought you in to your room to get dressed for the day you were holding a finger up to your mouth and saying, Shh. Another product of the classic, “The Wheels on the Bus” As soon as we start singing it, your hands go in to motion, and when we stop you’re immediately signing for more. Good thing your Dad has a taste for repetition.
You are still very much enjoying books. You still don’t quite have the patience to sit down and listen to a book read, but you love flipping through the pages and pointing out what you recognize. More and more I’m seeing you taking to reading on your own. You have a little book in the car you love to look through and study, and you’ll often take a book in the living room and go and sit down on the floor and flip through on your own talking about what you see, or perhaps reading it to yourself. Your favorite books are still interactive ones. Find Spot and Where’s My Cat are popular. My favorite is when you pick up a book and climb in to my lap to read it. We did that with all your books downstairs over the weekend. It was quite lovely.
We continue to stay busy, but also keep it low key. We made a trip to NH in the last month to visit. We hadn’t been in quite sometime, so it was nice to get in some country air. I ran my first 5k since having you and it was so great to have you greet me at the finish line. Technically you helped me train too!
I love exploring with you, and taking you on trips and adventures. We love to explore playgrounds, trails and wide open spaces in the area and you seem to always be up for it! We’ve been going to Sagamore Hill since you were still a bean growing inside me, and I think it will continue to be a special place for us as a family. We headed there on a nice afternoon in March and you just got to charge along the paths, check out the grass, and be silly with us. It is quiet afternoons as a family that I love the best. You’re always just happy to be with us, no matter where we are, and that’s what it is all about. Now that the weather is getting warmer we’re spending a lot more time outside and you’re getting to walk with us on our weekend walks. You’re really good at staying on the sidewalk so you can charge along right beside us and Dij. You have the best walk. Belly out, arms at your sides swinging along. You da Man!
In some many ways it is so clear that you’re a toddler now. You are defiant, independent, single minded and very very curious. But, in many ways you’re still my baby boy. You still are happiest snuggled up next to me, you still want to nurse when you’re tired or thirsty. You still love to fall asleep in my arms with me humming and bouncing you. I told someone recently, as she sadly wished her baby would stop growing, that the fun you have as they get older makes up for the passing time, and I really believe that to be true. Emilio, you’re such a blast! I can’t imagine wishing you to be any other age younger or older now, because you’re so much fun now! Sure I look forward to you communicating with us more, you sleeping more, you discovering more. And sure, I miss your tiny baby days and how much easier it was to just wear you around, or set you down and not worry about everything you’d get in to. But, I’m so enjoying you NOW, in the everyday moments we have. When you wake up and shuffle around the room because you’re now realizing that walking in your PJs is much different than in your barefeet, and listening to you say, “Vroom” as you move your little wooden car along the bedframe while I get dressed, and singing the alphabet as I get you dressed and watching you put it together with the letters on your wall, and even when you won’t let me put you down and say, “no” every time I try. I love it, I love it all, I love you.
Dad has been home in the evenings a lot more this past month which is wonderful. I love watching your relationship blossom and seeing how different it is from ours. You guys have a blast together, and I know you will continue to, you are two very very silly guys. This is partly why I hope you have a little sister someday, I can’t be outnumbered! I often have to break you two up in the evenings so you don’t get too riled up before bed!
My favorite though, of the last month, is that now you call me Mama. That, my dear boy, is the best feeling in the world, to hear you call me by name. Because that’s who I am, I’m your Mama and I’m so darn lucky to be so. You’re the best little guy in my whole wide world and I am so so happy you’re mine, and I’m yours and we have so much to look forward to together.
You’re 13 months old! I wrote recently about how this last month between you completing your first year of life and starting your second has felt luxuriously long. And it has. The first year flew and it felt so nice to just soak up some us time as you began your second year.
The biggest change in the last month? More meltdowns. Maybe it is because the majority of the time we spend together is at night, when you’re tired from busy days at daycare or Grandma’s. I take something away from you, meltdown. I put you down, meltdown. You don’t like anything I’ve given you for dinner, meltdown. And let’s not even talk about getting changed for bed. But you know what, I don’t mind! In fact, sometimes, I think it is kind of cute.
Also, it is helping prepare me for legit toddlerhood, you seem to be cruising right along in to it. And by cruising, I also mean you’re walking so confidently buddy, it is awesome and exhausting.
For the most part, we’ve hung close to home and just spent time together as family this last month. Its been really nice. We’re exploring more parks and playgrounds near us and you’re loving the swings, slides and places to explore. I love that you’re an outdoor boy.
You are really starting to take to books more too and seem to love reading them with us and just flipping through them on your own. This makes me really happy and excited for lots of story time to come. I loved having my Mom read me a story at bed time and I look forward to doing it with you too.
We did take one trip down to Knoxville to visit with your Auntie MJ and Uncle Sam. You again did great on the trip, and we had fun taking you to your first College Hoops game! It was pretty exciting, and tired you out!
You got your first cold just after you turned a year, way to stay illness free for a year bud, I like that immune system! You took it like a champ though, and after lots more rest, some trying nebulizing sessions and some antibiotics you were back to yourself in no time. Then the throws of teething got you good, and still have you. I have a feeling some little molar chiclets are going to be poking through soon.
You and I, bud, we’re still tight as ever. You’re for sure a Mama’s Boy and I’m proud of it. Nursing is still a go, and has been a real lifesaver as your teeth have been coming in. I’m so thankful I can give you such comfort so easily.
You’re a real love bug. You love to cuddle. You love to be close to the ones you love. Wendy told me the other day you went up to her and moved some hair out her eyes. So sweet. Speaking of which, you love hair! If I can give you anything to comfort you besides nursing, it is my hair to hold and run your fingers through. You haven’t really taken to any other kind of lovey, it is just too bad I can’t give you my hair in the middle of the night instead of having to wake up…
You’re doing great with eating, you eat everything! Your favorites lately are freeze dried fruits and veggies, peas, mango, green apple and chicken. You’ve started to get the hang of fork and spoon too.
We took you to the Doctor recently and you were 25lbs, and 29.5 inches long, not so much our big boy anymore, starting to get right in line with other kiddos your age. Except your head, that’s still huge and sometimes I can’t fit shirts over it.
You’ve started really using signs and it is great. You can sign eat, more, all done, please and thank you. We’re definitely going to keep teaching you signs! You’ve also started saying more words. You say Apple and Turtle pretty clearly. You kind of say all done, dog, bottle and Dijah. Good job buddy!
Oh Emilio, I could go on and on, of course. But just know this, it still surprises me, it still blows me away, the love I have for you. I don’t talk about it much, and maybe I should, but it is still hard for me to leave you everyday. We tend to rush out of the house, and that helps in many ways, but if I look at you in your car seat as I walk away it hurts. So I rush through the day thinking of you always and just counting down until I can get you back in my arms, because that’s what matters most to me. You. I know that it was your Dad and Me that made you, but my dear boy you’ve made me a Mom, Thank You, Thank You for giving me the best role I’ve ever had and making it such a blast!
I love you oh so very much,
10. You can function on much less sleep than you think.
9. You will judge other parents, it is what you do with those judgments that makes a difference.
8. All you need is food, clothing/diapers and a safe place to sleep, but the rest of the “stuff” is fun too.
7. Mom friends are important, you need someone else that will speak your language.
6. Cameras are important, take lots of pictures.
5. Pee and poop will not phase you soon enough, get used to it early.
4. Diaper free time, is key. And, see above.
3. Meet the need, and it goes away.
2. The hardest part of parenting is nighttime parenting. See above for help with this.
1. Trust yourself, you know what to do.
Give me your top 10, or 5 or 2!
Emilio is all about the pointing now. He sees something he wants to
know the name of
he’s curious about
he’s confused by
he wants to go to
he points at it and usually says, “Da”.
Lately, he hasn’t been sleeping that well. My guess is that it is mostly due to teething. When I think about it though, when I think about all he’s pointing at all the time and then I picture what is going in that perfect beautiful little head of his, all that he’s learning about, all that he’s processing, all that he’s realizing he can find in this big beautiful world we live in, I can’t imagine settling down to sleep would be very easy at all.
You are 1 year old! You have lived a whole year! We have had quite the year, haven’t we? I didn’t get to meet you quite how I’d planned, but that is a pretty distant memory now, and I’ll always be able to show you the little scar on the bottom of my stomach and let you know that’s where you, my big baby came out! We’ve been ringing in your birthday in style this weekend with a party, cake, friends, fun and play. Its been a blast! But let’s talk about you.
You my baby, are on your way to becoming quite the little boy. You are a walker, really you have been for the last week. You got somewhere to go? You’re walking! And, Sunday morning, on the eve of your first birthday you learned how to push yourself up to standing. Now, you don’t have to booty scootch or crawl to a surface to help you get up. Progress!
You are all about pointing, you want something, you’re pointing at it. You want to talk about something? You’re pointing at it. It is pretty funny to watch. Most of the time you’re asking to eat whatever I’m eating, or for a ball or balloon. Speaking of which, you learned how to say balloon at your birthday party, except you call them, bidoons. I might start calling them bidoons too.
You really love people Emilio. You are still hesitant around strangers, but once you get comfortable you are a social butterfly. We went to our favorite Steak House, Peter Luger, for your first Luger steak this month and as we were waiting for the meal I was following you around as you walked from table to table charming everyone in sight. Its a blast, and thank you for being the happy baby in a restaurant, it makes our meal much more fun! You definitely enjoy the Luger steak, and I think the broccoli was your favorite part of the meal, that or the fresh whipped cream. Now, you are staying to say bye-bye when you wave good bye to people. When Dad is home at night to be with us for bed-time routine, as he leaves the room, you’ll turn on my lap and wave to him and say, “bahbah”.
Let’s talk about sleep, shall we? We were on a pretty good role there for a while, waking up once a night, coming in to bed with us in the mornings and sleeping another couple of hours. On the weekends it was the sweetest, and I won’t lie, I didn’t really mind being late to work a few days. But now, we’re dealing with a little sleep regression. I’m sure we’ll get back in the groove soon, but my dear I’m a little tired. Aren’t you? Sure I like cuddling with you on the couch and listening to you fall asleep on my chest, but unfortunately I have to put you in the crib so I can do Mom-stuff. I know you don’t like it, but you’ve got some soft friends in there who like cuddling with you too! And, I promise, when you’re up in the middle of the night, I’ll bring you in bed with me and you can snuggle right up to me and put your arm around my neck like you like, okay?
Well, what did we get up to in the last month? A lot! It was the holiday season so we were a traveling bunch taking in all the sights, sounds and festitives of this time of year. We went to a Chanukah party at Great-Great Uncle Myron and Great-Great Aunt Rhonda’s house where you played cymbals with your Great Grandma Rose and hung out with your cousins. We lit the candles at home for Chanukah, and in Massachusetts over Christmas and you even lit them an extra night so you could celebrate with Grandma and Grandpa. We slept over at Great Grandmas and Great Grandpas for Christmas and opened presents, played with Uncle Sam and Maibe and had fun with the tree! Then, we got to visit your Great Aunts and Uncles and cousins for Christmas dinner. You charged around the house like a pro, showing everyone your walking skills. And, you got to meet a cat! We went to the petting zoo with your Auntie MJ and Uncle Sam and you were not happy. The animals scared you, but we still got some fun time on the playground!
You have become quite the fan of Khadijah. You see her and get so excited. As I was getting things ready for your birthday party you were chasing her around giving her her toys and cracking up as she would take them from you. It was a blast to watch. A few mornings in a row you’ve joined her on her pillow in our bedroom as we get ready for the day. The other morning, you laid on her like she was the pillow. Good old Dijjy, she didn’t mind at all.
You are still a great eater bud. You tried salmon this month and loved it. And, of course, now you’ve had cake too. But you already knew the joys of sugar from Thanksgiving. Your latest achievement is mastering the straw cup. Soon, you’ll start getting milk in there! Breast milk is still on the menu and you are still nursing many times a day. You like to come up to me and snuggle when you want to nurse. I love it.
You’re so thoughtful and loving, Emilio. You give everyone hugs and kisses, and love being around the people that love you. If we’re not in the room with you, you come find us. You’re never far away, and love just being with your family. When you’re tired, you’ll find a soft spot and put your head down and just smile up at me. Everyone that knows you and spends time with you, loves you, to their core. It is easy to see why, for me of course, but even in just my interactions with other children I can see what they see that’s different in you. I believe it is a beautiful blend of your Dad and me. You got all the good from us.
Your favorite toy remains a ball, any ball. You love to watch them bounce, it makes you laugh. You love to find them, pick them up and thrown them. You love to just walk around holding one. We blew up some beach balls for your party and you were loving having them around. As we were taking pictures, I told you to go find and get the ball, and wouldn’t you know it, you did!
There really isn’t much you aren’t up for Emilio, except having your diaper changed and getting dressed, and I’m so excited to see what is in store for us next. I’ll follow you anywhere you want to go big boy. Where to?
I love you more each moment,
You’re one month away from a year, and it blows my mind. You’re such a wonderful boy. Everyday, you’re changing and growing and it amazes me.
You’re figuring out how to walk, Emilio, and it is pretty awesome to watch. This past week, just as you edged in to 11 months you started getting more comfortable and taking many more steps. You took your first step on November 4th, so technically as a 9 month old, but it is really in this last month that you’ve been walking. Your biggest walking achievement has been standing and clapping, and standing and dancing. It makes everyone who witnesses it smile, and how could it not?
You also are a pro stair climber. You fly up those stairs now, with us close behind you. Next is teaching you how to get down them.
You’re very familiar with your gear, and how things work in your life. When you see the highchair, you get pumped and wiggle your body, and then slap the tray as you wait to see what delicious food you’ll be served. When you see the car seat, you hold tight to us, whine a little and look away, as if if you can’t see it, you don’t have to go in it.
You’re still quite the chatter box. You make much more familiar and obvious sounds now as you build your speech. We’re pretty confident your first word was ball… but it could be just us. I swear the other day you pointed at Khadijah and said, “Dijah.” You say “mama” a lot now, and sometimes I think it is talking to me, but most of the time it is just how you ask for something.
Your newest addition is pointing. We’ve got a pointer in full effect now. I can’t lie, it kills me everytime you point and say, “Da.”
You also wave goodbye and goodnight now, and I think you might be close to learning how to blow a kiss. Your grandma taught you how to do, so big when someone asks you how big you are. That was a hit at Thanksgiving.
Last month bud, we retired the sleep sacs. And maybe it is just a coincidence, but I swear you’re sleeping better. You are a man who likes the freedom to move. You’re sleeping in style now too thanks to some awesome handmedowns. You’ve got a bunch of great fleece pjs that keep you comfy and warm, and adorable. Always.
You went through a phase in your 10th month of only wanting to sleep on me. Not even next to me, some part of you had to be pressed on me. It wasn’t easy on me, but I didn’t mind the close cuddle times we’d get, mostly in the early mornings. I won’t lie though, you’ve slept through the night 2-3 times in a 2 week period and it has been pretty nice. Lately, you’re back to waking up just once and I really appreciate it.
You’ve got 4 teeth now, and good thing because you love eating! You’re a great eater. You love mango, grapes and melon right now. You’ll try everything, and seem to have a pretty diverse palate. You’re fav is still breastmilk though and I’m thrilled that we’re closing in on a year of nursing. Lately, when you nurse, you like to play with my hair, it soothes you and helps you fall asleep at night. I am just happy you’ve grown out of tugging and pulling on my hair, and slapping my chest. Those kind of hurt!
I’ve had some moments, recently, where I look at you and I see a little man, a guy, a boy growing up. It throws me for a loop and I get sad and nostalgic while also excited and happy. You’re already becoming the boy you’re going to be in a few years. You’re independent, fun loving, adventurous and loving.
You had two Thanksgiving meals and you loved them! We had a great time celebrating with all the family that loves you so much, and you liked the pie! We traveled up to NH for the holiday and got to see lots of extended family. They love you, of course. By the end of the visit, you were a pro at being passed around from person to person and just going with the flow.
But, when you’re sleepy all you want is me, you clutch me and burrow your head in my shoulder. I couldn’t love it more. I’m your mama, and I’m so damn lucky to be. Thank You buddy.
Your lucky mama who loves you SO MUCH.
The first time I worked from home on a Friday and dropped Emilio off at daycare, I had two pastries for breakfast to eat my feelings. I felt guilty, very guilty. I moved past it, of course, and now I’m back in the office on Fridays.
Yesterday, I had a hair appointment at 9:00. I contemplated taking a 1/2 day and working from home the remainder, but then I decided to treat myself and take a whole day off. Emilio, he was at daycare. I didn’t eat my feelings this time. Of course I felt sad leaving him there, but I feel sad leaving him everyday, I’ve just managed to work with the saddness and it helps me cherish the times we’re together even more.
Then, I saw this post from Jill (a la Baby Rabies)- “After a couple friends have been chided by “mommy martyrs” about their yearning for their children to sleep so they can have some “me” time, and after the days I have when my 3.5 year old doesn’t nap, I’m feeling a bit ranty. Myth: You have to love every minute your precious children are awake. Truth: It’s QUITE normal to lose your ever loving mind when your child is up and with you for more than 6 straight hours.” Sure, it isn’t quite the same topic but it got me thinking. I bet there are Moms out there who would chide me for taking a day to run errands, get my hair died and catch up on bad TV while pumping (much more fun than working while pumping) while leaving my child in daycare. Which brings me back to the whole, why do we beat each other up over parenting decisions rather than just say, we’re all a community of Moms who are EACH going to do it a different way so why don’t we just embrace the one thing we do have in common and build each other up instead of judge and chide.
But back to the reason I sat down here to write this. I want to put this out there for other Mom’s who may be feeling guilty when they think about taking a day for themselves while their child is in daycare.
It’s good for you and thus good for your baby and your family.
A happy Mom = a happy family.
There is absolutely no way we can do it all all the time. Some days, sure, we can run with it and do it all. But other days, we need help, we need time alone to accomplish tasks, to feel good about ourselves. And, when those days happen to be work days and you’re off, it’s okay for someone who is not your partner or family member to watch your child. In reality, the daycare providers are part of your family now anyway, you just pay them, a lot more.
And, I want to thank Jen for showing me how beneficial this idea was a long time ago when Emilio was still in utero. I remember talking to her one day and she mentioned how she was taking the day off and Evelyn was going to daycare. I believe I told her how smart that was, and also listened to her when she expressed guilt about it. But here’s the great thing, her sharing it with me made it clear to me that this was something that was okay to do as a new Mom, and as a result, I’ve benefited from it. So, I’m passing it on, to all the other Mom’s out there. With a caveat, pass it on too, and pass on the boosting each other up because we all need it.