Jackson’s First Birthday

Well, we survived. Jackson is a year old, we had a birthday party, and it was fabulous.

Corey and I got him a play kitchen for his birthday (more on that later once I get good photos of it!) and he is completely and utterly obsessed. He had the biggest grin ever on his face when he first saw it, and spent about half an hour just putting things in the cabinets and taking them back out. Definitely a successful gift!!

He took an awesome nap before the party and was ready to go when everyone got there. We had a waffle bar with a zillion toppings and options and it was so much fun. I made crockpot hot chocolate (I use this recipe and it’s 100% the most amazing thing you will ever put in your mouth. I can’t drink any other hot chocolate anymore) and we had mimosas for the adults. Jackson loved the waffles – I think he ate more than me – and it was so fun to watch everyone get creative while putting theirs together!

I strung his photos up across the window in our dining room and we had a slideshow playing of photos from his first year throughout the party. Everyone seemed to enjoy checking out the photos and I could have sat and watched the slideshow all day long.

He had a blast opening presents, but he wanted to stop and play with each one before moving on. It’s sweet (and I will miss that trait when he gets older and loses that!) but we tried to get him to focus a bit so the guests didn’t get too bored watching. He got a ton of food and accessories for his play kitchen, and I can’t wait to watch him get creative with it as he gets older!

I made him a “healthy” smash cake (sweetened with fruit, no added sugar) and he cracked us up with how delicate he was! He carefully picked each blueberry off the top and ate them, and he wouldn’t dig into the cake at all. I broke a piece off for him in hopes that I’d get him more interested, but he preferred to just go play with his new toys. He ended up picking at the cake for about five minutes before declaring he was “done!” and got down to go play. Oh well – I wasn’t really looking forward to getting him all cleaned up afterwards, anyways.

The day was a total blast and I’m so glad we had the party. I can’t believe my baby boy is a whole year old!

Jackson: Twelve Months

Stats: Won’t find out for sure until his 12 month appointment in about a week and a half. I’m estimating 20ish pounds…maybe a little more – he’s feeling heavy lately!

Clothing size: Jackson definitely got a bit longer and  jumped into all 12-month clothing this month – the pants actually fit now! Some are still a bit long, it just depends on the brand. He’s even wearing a few 12-18 month pieces from Old Navy. Can’t believe it!

Sleep: No change since last month – he’s still sleeping like a champ!

Eating: We’re giving him whole milk now – two glasses a day, and we’re still nursing twice a day. He currently eats three meals and two snacks a day, and we’re still grateful for how good of an eater he is! He’s picky about some vegetables, but he loves pretty much all fruit, meat, and cheese. Still a carb fiend, but what kid isn’t?

Milestones: Jackson had his first haircut this month! He looks SO much older with shorter hair! He has taken a couple of steps here and there with much persuasion from mom and dad, but has no interest in walking on his own yet. He’s very happy to crawl around (and he’s fast!) and loves to cruise. He can walk holding just one hand or our sleeves, and he’s started to get more confident with letting go and actually standing up every once in a while. We switched him over to a convertible carseat this month instead of his infant seat – he looks so much bigger in it! He’s still chatting up a storm and now will hold the phone up to his ear and say “hello? hello?”. Still loving books and will actually “read” them now – he’ll sit down with an open book and babble to himself for a while. It’s precious.

Things we want to remember: I love how he gets more and more communicative every day – it’s so fun to see him figure out ways to tell us what he wants. I want to remember how he points at everything with his middle finger and says “that! that! this! this” and I don’t ever want to forget the adorable little wiggle he gets when he’s excited to climb up the stairs for bath time.

Special outings or adventures: Jackson had his first New Year’s Eve – we had friends over and played games all day. He had a blast going to the hair salon for the first time and getting his hair cut. He kept stealing the comb from the stylist and trying to brush his hair. His biggest adventure this month was his first birthday party! He had a blast.

Favorites: I think his absolute favorite activity right now is reading. He doesn’t really want to sit still and listen to us read a book, but he loves to look at his books and read them to himself. He loves to flip through them and look at all the pictures, and looking at a book is just about the only time I see him sit still. He’s obsessed with the play kitchen he got for his birthday and can’t get enough of it. We love to watch him read books, and I think we both agree that hugs and kisses are still our favorite thing he does!

What we’ve learned: Well, we survived our first year as parents! We learned so much this year and we are completely different people than we were this time last year. And I think that’s a fabulous thing! We are continually learning new things and we are so excited to see what the next year has in store for us.

Jackson: Eleven Months

Stats: I’ve given up on weighing him on our home scale, so I don’t know – we’ll find out next month at his 1-year check-up, though!

Clothing size: He’s in a weird spot with clothes right now – he’s almost exclusively in 9-12 or 12-month clothing, but some of his 12-month pants (a lot of them, actually) are still incredibly big on him. He’s still able to fit in a few 6-9 month pants, but they’re getting shorter by the day…so really, he’s got about 2 or 3 pairs of pants that actually fit him right now. Super fun when every day the clothes he wears get completely dirty and have to be washed. So! Much! Laundry!

Sleep: We continue to be completely and utterly grateful for Jackson’s sleeping habits. I just know we’ll get payback someday when he has a younger sibling. He sleeps from 6:30PM to about 7:00 or so in the morning, and takes two naps (one is about 2-2.5 hours, the other is 1-2 hours). He’s definitely a sleepy baby!

Eating: Still his favorite activity in the world. He went through a picky phase this month and now vegetables are a bit harder to get into him. He will generally eat them if they stay on his tray long enough, but won’t even consider it until he’s got some preferred food (like cheese or bread) in him first. He started eating breakfast more and more often this month and once we went on Christmas break we decided to make it official and now he’s on 3 solid meals a day. He typically has a snack mid-morning and a bottle (of formula) in the afternoon. We’re down to breastfeeding just first thing in the morning and right before bed…and I have no intention of giving those two sessions up until he decides it’s time!

Milestones: So many! Still not walking but his cruising gets more and more confident daily, and when I “force” him to stand unassisted, he’s able to carefully lower himself to sitting rather than just falling over. Still won’t stand up on his own unless I trick him, though! He’s up to 5 teeth now (with a couple more threatening to break through any day) and at my last count he has 9 words (bubba, dog, mama, dada, go/door – we aren’t sure which he’s actually saying but it’s definitely one of those two, outside, done, bye-bye, and more)! He gives kisses and hugs that completely melt my heart, he started trying to color a bit this month, and is really into reading books. He climbs the stairs now, and finds new things to get into every day!

Things we want to remember: I thing we say this to each other every month, but this is our favorite age! I absolutely love that Jackson is starting to talk more, and he’s imitating a lot of what we say. It was so magical to see Christmas through his eyes for the first time, and the entire season was more fun than it’s ever been in my life. I don’t ever want to forget how special this first Christmas as a family was!

Special outings or adventures: Quite a few this month! He had his first Thanksgiving (at Aunt Jenn’s house) and his first Christmas (we celebrated out at Meme’s house, at my parent’s house, and at our house!), and we did a ton of fun things for the Christmas season. We went to Whoville in Georgetown, went to see Santa, made gingerbread houses, and had a ton of Christmas adventures!

Favorites: Favorite activities this month include crawling into the tupperware cabinet to play with everything, going outside and yelling at the dogs, and any toy that encourages throwing and/or hitting. He also loves to talk (even if no one has any idea what he’s saying), crawl around upstairs, and go up the stairs. Our favorites are definitely the hugs and kisses!

What we’ve learned: We learned how absolutely incredible it is to watch the holidays through your child’s eyes. It was the most fun I’ve ever had during the Christmas season. We’re also beginning to see how much trouble we’re going to be in once Jackson starts walking and can get into even more than he already does! Oh, and we’ve definitely learned that if we have another child, the weekly photos need to not be restricted to laying on a rug! These photos get harder and harder to take every week!

4 Years

Corey and I are back at school this week and are trying to get settled back in for the spring semester – our Christmas break was fabulous but it always throws us for a loop when it’s actually time to get back to work! It’s a bit crazy around here lately, but I just had to pop in for a quick post about today because…

It has officially been four years since this amazing man and I got married.

Four years!

We’ve been together for nine years now, and I can’t believe that next year we’ll have been together for an entire decade. He makes me so incredibly happy and sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to find someone that is so perfect for me.

I love our little family and how much our life has changed over the last year. I’m so excited to be celebrating four years with this man, and have a hard time believing that in just a few weeks we’ll be celebrating our son’s first birthday. How did that happen?

We’re celebrating this weekend with a date to one of our favorite restaurants, gifts (we don’t usually do them, so this is a big deal!) and a movie at home. It’ll be our first “real” date in a while, so I’m pretty thrilled!

Happy anniversary, love!

Book Club: Hands Free Mama

Have y’all heard of this book?

I’ve been reading her blog for several months now, and it speaks to me in a way that not many blogs do. Every time she writes a new post, I find myself pausing to read it a little more slowly, and pondering the contents for quite a while afterwards.

I’m very, very guilty of leading a distracted life a lot of the time. I’m constantly trying to juggle several different things at once, and my phone and I are attached at the hip (errr – fingers?). I have a hard time going more than a couple of hours without checking in with Instagram or Facebook, and I can barely even get through an hour-long television show on the couch without pulling out my laptop to look at Pinterest or something else completely random and meaningless.

I want to disconnect a bit.

I want to slow down, see the beauty in life a bit more, and stop being so damn distracted all of the time.

And this year, 2015, will be the year for that.

I was given this book for Christmas, and I’m so incredibly excited about it. I sat down to read it one day a few days before the end of 2014, and I started with the introduction. In it, the author mentions that the book is intended to be read through in a year – one chapter a month. She encourages readers to take their time, soak it all in, and journal their way through it. This isn’t a book that you consume really quickly and forget about – it’s one you should savor, take your time on, and really truly think about.

And that’s exactly what I intend to do.

And I’d love for some friends to join me along the way.

I’m starting this month with chapter one. From what I can tell, each chapter seems to be broken into three different sections, with weekly “intentions” or challenges for the week, and a section at the end for reflection. I plan to read one section a week for the first three weeks of each month, then on the last week I’ll do the reflection part. Some months are slightly longer than 4 weeks, so it may not be broken up exactly like that, but I’ll figure that out as I go. In the end, I want to focus on one chapter each month, and I want to truly spend time pouring over the pages of the book and taking it to heart.

I’ll probably be doing a lot of personal journaling as I go through the book, but at the end of each month I’d like to stop in here with a post about the chapter I read, my thoughts on it, and what my experience was like throughout the month.

Will you join me?

You can get the book on Amazon for about $10 (the Kindle version is only $2.99!), so it’s not overly expensive. And no, this isn’t sponsored and I won’t get anything if you buy the book. I’m just excited and I would love to have some people to chat with as we work our way through the book. You don’t have to be a mom to get something out of this book – I think it is something that anyone could take something away from, even though it’s geared towards parents.

I’m curious to see how my attitude and focus changes over the course of the year…I feel like January is always the perfect time to start making some changes, so I’m ready to dive in!

Have you read the book? Are you interested in reading along with me this year?