Gosh, where has the time gone? This summer is just flying by! We had a blast in Aruba for my sister Rachel's wedding, but missed our little monster like crazy. He was in very good hands with Grandma and Grandpa Peterson (and a little help from Aunt Janan). Sounds like he had a great time! Even came back with two new teeth!
The very day I picked him up (June 10 - his 11-month birthday, for anyone keeping track of these things) was also, coincidentally, the day he took his first few steps (without holding onto furniture, that is. He's been "cruising" around the walls and furniture for weeks now.) It is entirely possible that he actually completed this momentous feat while we were away, but I give G'ma P much credit for letting me believe that I witnessed his true first steps (whether or not they really were will never be known.) Since then, he has started to venture away from the safety of the furniture more and more often to travel very small distances on his own. It's so fun to see those giant, clunky baby steps and then the inevitable tumble, which never seems to bother him at all. I wish I could say I have it on video, but he always chooses to do it randomly (never on command, of course!) and I am rarely that well prepared with the camera.
The next big thing in the O-man's life - and it's a BIG one! - is his first birthday! We are going to have a few people (mostly family) over for the special occasion on Saturday, July 10. I had deliriously grand ideas about the cake I was going to bake and decorate for him, but after a practice decorating session a few nights ago, I have scaled wayyyy back on that one. The turtle I had intended to make, sadly, turned out looking a bit like a pile of steamed broccoli. Not exactly what I'd had in mind!
It's so hard to believe that it's been a year. I'm glad I've tracked all of O's progress throughout that time here on this blog and in his baby book. But no one ever tracks the progress of a new mom on her first year of motherhood. Such a strange trip it's been! I think back to my life before Owen, before pregnancy even, and wonder where that person went. These days, my mind is constantly scattered and I can never find exactly what I'm looking for (not at all like the very organized woman I used to be). My days are filled with cleaning up puke, reading the same board books over and over, and making random day trips to the grocery store just to get out of the house (a far cry from my full-time day job, busy social calendar, and careless free time). Sleeping in is a thing of the past. And 8:30-10:00 p.m. is my only "me" time and it's usually spent cleaning up the day's mess and getting ready for tomorrow's.
But walking into Owen's room each morning to find the little guy jumping up and down in his crib and just beaming to see me is the highlight of my day. Or maybe it's the way he curls up in my lap and turns all the pages of "Hand Hand Fingers Thumb," or "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," or, his new favorite, "Mr. Brown Can Moo. Can You?" - all of which I now know by heart. Or it could be watching him splash around and try to chase the little star that shoots water out like a fountain around the bathtub. Or how he smiles and laughs when he pops one of the bubbles I blow for him on the back deck. It's so hard to choose just one.
A lot of things about motherhood have surprised me. Most things, in fact, because I really had no idea what I was getting into. For instance, I never imagined how difficult breast feeding would be, or how devastating it would feel to be unable to do it. Also, I don't think I was fully aware of just how many major milestones happen during the first year of life - first smile, first laugh, first solid foods, real solid foods, rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, talking. I surprised myself by how little I (a moderate germ-a-phobe) worry about germs, probably because I quickly realized how futile it is to try prevent Owen from putting EVERYTHING in his mouth. I never realized how important adequate burping can be to a gassy, fussy infant. Or that no matter how many books I read on sleep training, you really just need to listen to your baby and go with the flow!!!
With almost a year of motherhood under my belt, I worry less now than I did in the beginning. I'm not so afraid of not doing things "right," but instead I just try to do the very best that I know how to do. I refer to the books and web sites much less than before, not because I don't care, but because I have more confidence in myself. I cried the first time I sang "You Are My Sunshine" to Owen in the hospital room after his hernia surgery when he was 2 months old and I still get teary each time I sing it to him now. I know his favorite line in his favorite book. And I can tell that "daedee" means "Casey," one of his favorite words.
I am so blessed to be able to spend my days with my beautiful little guy. It's very, very different than they way I spent my days a year ago, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I am looking forward to what the next year has in store and watching Owen (and myself!) continue to learn and grow. I'll try to continue to capture it all here (at least the highlights, anyway). Now, back to the drawing board on that birthday cake...
11-month photo with Curious George
Aren't I cute?
Family picture outside our new house (not that you can see us!)
"I'll love you for always." Decal above Owen's crib.
The BEST way to wind down your day - giving Owen his nighttime bottle. Not sure why Daddy pulled his pants up like an old man, though.