Embrace the Camera.

I have a bunch of birthday photos to share, but I’m still working on them. I was lucky to have my aunt, uncle and cousin to take photos during the birthday weekend.

I am inexplicably the only one in a swimsuit, Dash is not looking at the camera, and Zach is wearing my hat which doesn’t quite fit on his noggin. I think it sums up the weekend pretty well, and maybe even life with a one year old. A little messy and mismatched, but full of happiness.

Literally the best birthday ever.

It happened. Dash turned one.

We had a party for him this weekend with friends, family, barbecue, and a whole lot of balloons.

I mean, a whole lot of balloons.At 12 months he can now say, “ball,” and “balloon,” and seems to just repeat these two words over and over again all day. Ball is very clear, but balloon is pronounced, “ba-oo.” These are his favorite things to talk about and he has been waking up in the morning  looking for one or the other. He also seems to say “down,” “more,” “all done,” and “wow.”

And the most exciting news – he took his first steps this weekend. I think it will be awhile until he is really walking around all over the place, but it was fun to be with family and watch him take those steps.

Also new this month is his signing ability. He now signs for more, all done, and eat. And maybe drink. When he wants something in a hurry he mostly points to things and then smacks his open palm against his mouth. Maybe not approved signs, but it makes sense to me.  Sometimes if I guess the item of food he wants he bounces in his highchair and nods his head. But if I don’t receive the message he screeches with frustration. Fair enough. I don’t like being ignored either.

Dash the one year old has come a long way. He no longer takes acid reflux medicine, he loves bananas, and he sleeps all night and twice a day. He loves to be outside and still puts most things in his mouth sometimes to learn more about the things and sometimes to chew them up. He likes pools and bathtubs equally and I often find him trying to fling his leg up into the tub. Thankfully he is still pretty short.

He doesn’t watch TV, but knows exactly what to do with a TV remote. And he handled all the newness of his birthday party and lots of guests with grace. He greeted everyone, smashed some cake, and opened all his presents and then played so hard with his little friends he was sweating.

It was literally the best birthday party he has ever had.

Embrace the camera.

I got a new phone. The iPhone 4. For the time being Zach has my old iPhone while he waits for the iPhone 5 to come out. Why? Because that is the kind of guy he is. The kind of guy who gives his wife the new stuff right now because he knows patience and “later” are not concepts she grasps well and because they are ideas that he not only grasps but excels in.

One ability the iPhone 4 has that the 3 didn’t have is the ability to take self portraits with the camera without turning the camera around. This makes embracing the camera much easier.

It also lets you use filters that make wearing your glasses instead of makeup look hip instead of lazy. Oh, iPhone 4, you get me and I love you for it. But not as much as my husband.

Gearing up.

The Dash man is getting closer and closer to his big day. This last bit of his first year has been fun because he is developing so much.

He is communicating with some signs, pointing, facial expressions, and some screeching. He is getting stronger at standing and walking along with his walker toy, yet still cautious about taking solo steps.

He learned to clap the other day and spent half of his morning “nap” clapping with arms stretched wide and then smashed back together. He likes to take two blocks together and smack them together too. He sits in his crib in the morning and babbles while sticking his feet through the slats of his crib and banging them on the wall.

He is eating more and nursing less. He is teaching me how to see when he is ready to move on and when my feelings about what he needs and what he is ready for are sometimes just that, my feelings. “He is as mature as we let him be,” Zach says. I know it may seem silly to talk about that with an under one-year-old, but already he is independent in little ways. Babies are so tiny and needy at the beginning and it is easy to think about them that way for a long time. In so many ways Dash has taught me to be a better parent by getting out of his way.

I’m excited for his birthday and the opportunity to celebrate how much he has grown and, although I know there are numerous challenges ahead, I am excited for the time to celebrate all the challenges we have overcome.

 

Keeping up with the updates.

This weekend we made the final touches to the main floor bathroom. We replaced the light socket and outlet. Not just the switch plate, but the actual switch. It is a small detail, but it makes such a difference in the room.

It truly feels like it is no longer 1979 in that bathroom. And the biggest accomplishment of the weekend – we didn’t electrocute ourselves. The outlet and the light switch were on different fuses so by the grace of God and my husband’s common sense we tested the outlet again before sticking a screw driver in it. Seriously, you have to stick a screwdriver in part of the outlet to get the wires out.

Anyway, we survived and then we went to the pool to hang out with one of Dash’s little friends.

Snack time can look a little funny when you only have 9 1/2 teeth between the two of you.

Somewhere in Kansas.

I’m embracing Kansas over here.

On my way to Super Target I saw what I thought was a large black dog grazing in someone’s yard. It turned out to be a fairly small cow, but still was in someone’s yard. Like I said, we aren’t in the boonies, but close.

And Trader Joe’s had these sunflowers for $3.99. Sunshine, happiness, and state pride for under $4 seems like a bargain to me.

And peach pie, maybe not the state pie of Kansas, but shouldn’t it be?

Fifth anniversary.

Today is our fifth wedding anniversary. This has been a busy season of change for us and it has been hard to focus on planning a special celebration. But it is special. Five years feels like a big deal. And then there is the little boy that has become part of this family in the last year. Last year I wondered if we would get to celebrate our anniversary before he arrived. But he waited, sweet boy, and we get to have our special day, even if it did begin at 6:15 a.m.

We have had 5 years together to learn about each other and grow our marriage, our love for each other, and our family. And I realized last night, as we sat together building a tower or foam blocks for our son to knock down when he woke up this morning, that we sure have grown a lot of love.

Happy anniversary, Zach!