Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Man!!!

We spent Xander's birthday weekend at the Nick Hotel in Orlando. Both sets of grandparents joined us and it was a really great way to celebrate his birthday! We didn't plan everything out perfectly but it all worked out great! Joe had better pictures of all the fun we had at the resort, but here are two of the important festivities- opening presents and eating cake!

Xander had his twelve month checkup today. Usually he does great, but he really didn't want any part of it today. He did grow a bit, he's 20 pounds and 29 inches, which puts him at the 24th and 12th percentiles, respectively. That's a gain from last time when he was at the 10th and 7th percentiles so I was happy. Hopefully my little man will sleep a lot today after his icky shots.
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Figured I'd update this with highlights of his 12th month:

- He has 6 teeth!
- We're working on weaning (he uses his teeth- breastfeeding is not so much fun). He likes formula in his bottle but we're working on whole milk and the sippy cup.
- He definitely lets us know when he's unhappy. He gets angry when you take something away from him, which is a new development from his previous happy-go-lucky calm self. I'm hoping this is just a short phase and once he has more words it'll all disappear and he'll be back to his calm, happy-go-lucky self. He still is happy most of the time.
- He's a daredevil! He cracks up when he falls and will climb anything. He is so stinking cute!
- He eats almost anything and like his sister prefers his food whole rather than cut up. I have to monitor him pretty closely when he eats.
- He likes to be included in everything. He likes to color and spends almost as much time putting the crayon to the paper as he does in his mouth!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

One year later...

One year ago from right now I was checking into UCH. An hour or so later I had my epidural. A few hours later I had my baby boy. What ensued over the next couple days was nothing short of a nightmare. Over the past year as I've told people about Xander's meconium aspiration, I've had two people tell me of someone they know who went through the same thing. Only their stories didn't have a happy ending. I am so blessed our nightmare only lasted a couple days and ended happily ever after... I will admit to giving my little man a few extra hugs and kisses today.

On a personal note, this has not been an easy year for me- as a mother or wife. No one can raise a child, let alone children, on an island. I've worked extra hard this year to increase the "village" surrounding me and my family. It's required me to be more careful about who I open up to, reach a little further to make connections, put more effort into some relationships and quietly seek distance from others. I've felt many doors open this year and am grateful for some of the new friendships and support systems I've been finding. This year has also required me to seek assistance and ask for help when needed. Joe's schedule has called for a lot more travel than ever before, but I am SO lucky that he is such a hands-on father and happily takes over after a full day of working so I can put my feet up (or at least go to the bathroom alone and maybe clean a dish or two) while he gets the kids ready for bed. As always I've been relying on my parents, perhaps more this year than ever before. I've experienced more growth this year than perhaps any other and feel much stronger than ever before. Having two children has required me to let some things go and only draw attention to the most important matters. I am very happy with the relationship I have with both of my children. The three of us are a team. We work together- and while at times we butt heads (nothing can cause dissonance like a three year old!), we are constantly learning from and supporting each other. Rosemary told me the other day "Mommy, you're not always a good mommy, but most of the time you are." At three, she doesn't always filter her thoughts and while she was probably thinking of the time I didn't let her eat cookies for dinner, it was a true statement and something I accept. We live in a society where we are always expected to overachieve and be the best at everything we do. There is so much esteem placed on being the best. As a mother, perfection is unattainable (how do you measure perfection anyway?). I spent three years trying to be "the best." And now I realize that I was wasting my time. My children don't want or need me to be "the best" mother. They need me to be THEIR mother. They need to see me succeed, but they also need to see me fail. They need to see me happy, but they also need to see me sad. They need me to be there for them, but they also need to learn independence and self-reliance. I can't make my children into the people I want them to be. I can only support them as they become the people they are.

This post is all about my growth and development over the past year. I've spent most of the day preparing for Xander's birthday celebration this weekend and it dawned on me how much my life has changed this year. Tomorrow I will celebrate my son's first year of life and the amazing little person he is. But tonight I celebrate the person I have become over the past year.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Baby steps

Xander took his first step yesterday!!! I didn't get it on video or even a photo. We were at the park with some friends and he let go of my hands, stood on his own for the longest he ever has, and then took one step toward me! He was so proud of himself!!!! I'll keep trying to get a video of it!
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day weekend

Note: I tried a new mobile blogging app and the pictures turned out very poor quality. I think I'll stick with my old one next time. :(

Labor Day might be my favorite holiday given that Joe has a four day vacation!! We made very good use of that time. We used Friday to be productive and get some errands done, then finished the day at the monthly First Friday celebration nearby complete with bouncy house and balloon animals. We made it an early night since the kids were kind of pooped. Saturday was spent mostly getting things done around the house until evening where we found a festival complete with pony rides, train, bouncy houses, music, and fireworks! We brought a blanket and set up camp out on the lawn and had a really fun evening! I couldn't believe the kids lasted all night! Xander was mesmerized by the fireworks while Rosemary, in her intellectual way, judged all of them ("that was too squiggly, that one's too loud, that one's too green.") I finally told her that we didn't need to rate them, we can just enjoy, and then she seemed to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show! On Sunday we packed up the minivan and headed to Orlando for our good friends baby's baptism. We got there a little early so we stopped by the self-proclaimed World's Largest Mcdonald's Playplace. We played a few games of tag, and some hide and seek before it was time to head to the church. After the ceremony and lunch we headed back to the Brown's place where we were able to spend the rest of the day catching up. We ended up heading home around 9. With such a long weekend and late nights for the kids, we spent Monday at home playing, cleaning, and getting some rest. Here are some pics from the weekend festivities. I didn't take a ton of pictures, so this is all I got!

Here are the kids at the Celebrate Oldsmar festival on Saturday:

Rosemary LOVED the bunnies at the petting zoo!

It was so cool to ride the ponies right by the water!

Here's Rosemary's very secret hiding place while playing hide n seek. Can you find her?!

Xander really liked the turtle!