Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Year One: Success!

First of all I now have 7 followers! That is nearly double digits! Yeh!

I kept going back and forth about what I was going to post for Pmoney's 1st Birthday. I have been thinking a lot about where we were this time last year. How sad I was. How sick Parker was. How unsettled the future seemed.

I was just going to re-post the first entry I did after he was born and some pieces of the subsequent entries about his progress. I still cry when I read those. If you have not read them and are interested, begin on June 27(ish)2008. He was born on June 24, 2008, but I did not have a chance to write until around the 27th.

However, Parker's first birthday is something that should be celebrated for many reason. Mostly because Parker is a really happy guy (generally)and he REALLY enjoys cake. In the last year I have realized my goal is to strive for and focus on creating and fostering a happy family. When they are good, I am good. And as the cliche goes, when Mommy is happy the family is happy- creating a copacetic tone and cycle to our life. I know this all sounds very granola, tree hugger, Mother Earthy, but it is true. Parker makes me happy and when I'm happy so is he and when I am not happy, as a general rule, neither is Josh.

I realize this will not always be the case. I know there will be days when Pman is not happy with me or vice versa, but having this home base of happiness (ug, now I'm even making myself a little sick with all this sweet talk) is important to me.

Go brush all that sappiness out of your teeth before you continue reading this.

Subtitle: Milestones, updates and general fun things from the past year.

Rolling over: Isn't it crazy that we come into this world not being able to roll over. Through watching Parker learn and grow I have realized how much there is to life that we take for granted. Don't worry, I'm not going all sugary on you again. I'm talking about things like rolling over, being able to focus on objects on the other side of the room, touching your finger to your nose. This is starting to sound like a field sobriety test... but these are all things we had to learn and we do now without realizing it. I remember the first time I went to get him out of his crib and he was on his stomach after I had put him down on his back. Wow. How did he do that?

Eating solids: He had that yucky baby rice cereal for the first time on Thanksgiving and has not looked back. My boy LOVES veggie soup, grilled cheese, peanut butter, lemons, pickles, hummus, berries (of any sort) and cake. He will tear up some cake.

I once tried giving him cottage cheese and he picked the curds out of his mouth. He will not eat an avocado, even if it is smashed to nearly liquid form- I hope that changes, I love avocados. He also does not enjoy noodles of any shape or texture. This is probably the oddest thing he dislikes in my opinion. If I put a spoon full of noodles and peas in his mouth, he will pick out the noodles.

Whenever we give him something new to try he makes a face like we are feeding him straight up poison. If he opens is mouth again, as if to say more, than it's a go. If not, he will not eat this food no matter how much you try.

Sitting: The first time he sat on his own was at our first story time at the library. There is nothing like being in a room full of strangers when your child does something for the first time. Your squeals of delight at your child's newest trick are typically met with half assed smiles and seemingly condescending looks that convey a feeling of "Get over it." Thankfully, everyone else in the room at the library was a new mom and congratulated Parker and me on the new development despite the incessant shushing by Bar-bar-a the library Quiet Nazi. I remember him learning to sit as a pivotal point in our relationship. I no longer had to hold him all the time. I could put him down while I refilled my coffee(or wine)and knew he would be ok.

Crawling: The first time he crawled it was to attempt to retrieve some blueberry waffle scraps I had left on my plate. He did this lazy crawl in the general direction of my plate, so what did I do? Push it further way. No, not because I did not want him to have it, he had blueberry waffles plenty of times before. Instead, I wanted to see how badly he wanted them. "How far are you willing to travel for this delicious breakfast treat little man?" I LOVE being a mom- Oh the power! Stop laughing- right now I do have power, I do also realize the power is fleeting day by day, but right now it is mine!

Teeth: It took him forever to get teeth. I think the first popped through when he was 9 1/2 months. He has 6 now, 2 bottom, 4 top, but all development has stalled out. By the by, Josh's tooth that Parker kicked out in FEBRUARY, has yet to be replaced. Hands off ladies, he is all mine. Abby also has some missing teeth issues due to events in her life prior to us adopting her. This all means I am the only family member with a full set of my very own teeth.

I live with a bunch of hillbillies.

Routines: We used to have a routine of going for a walk then watching "The Price is Right" followed by a nursing session and a nap. Then he stopped nursing (THANK GOD!)and my favorite part of the day become his bath and bed time. He would let me rock him to sleep while I read him a story or we just listened to "Sounds of the Rainforest" CD before I gently placed him in his crib for the night. He no longer goes to sleep if I am in the room. Instead, our routine is to go to the gym (or swim lessons), come home split half a grilled cheese (yes, that is a quarter of a sandwich each) and veggie soup while we watch "I Love Lucy" then he takes a nap. I thought I would be sad that certain parts of our routines change and evolve, but I realize that he is growing up and we are able to related to each other in newer (and often better) ways.

Social Activities: When Pmoney was first born and he came home we went on daily walks with our friends Michelle and her daughter Olivia, who was born a month before Parker. This was as far as his social network web extended. Then we joined the gym and he sat in his infant seat while the toddlers touched his fuzzy hair and attempted to "feed" him his bottle. We then branched out to once a week story times at the library followed by a quick play session in the kiddie area and lunch at the local Panera with another mom and her son. Now, Pman could create his own facebook page and probably have more friends than me. We go to Mommy and Me outings, he is taking swim lessons and karate...ok ok I'm lying about the karate. He is so funny in these social settings. No matter what he is playing with, if another kid snatches it out of his hands, he pretty much shoots them a look of indifference and crawls over to something else. To me this means he is either a huge sissy or very easy going...whatev...Or possibly he is so sophisticated that he does not allow himself to become emotionally attached to material objects. Yes. That's it.

Every summer Johns Hopkins University Hospital NICU has a Reunion Picnic for all their NICU babies. Everyone who has spend time in the NICU is invited to this afternoon picnic. We just got our invitation in the mail and it stopped me in my tracks. My heart raced, my stomach fell to my knees and my eyes welled up with tears. Not only was I immediately hit with the vivid memories of all those days we spent there, but the date of the picnic has significance to us. The date is July 9. That is the one year anniversary of the day Parker was discharged and we brought him home for the first time. July 9 is a powerful day for us and along with birthdays and our wedding anniversary, I will never forget it.

I keep thinking- "Oh for with my next child I will do this", or, "I'm so glad I've done this because now I know how to ________ (fill in blank)." What I keep forgetting is each baby is different. The layout may be similar, but the nooks and crannies and ticks and tricks change. What Parker just rolled along with, may be a major challenge to the next Phillips baby- not that there is one any time soon. But I also know that having such an amazingly strong son as my first baby has shown me how strong I can be as a mom, how solid Josh and I are as a parenting team and how lucky Parker's future younger siblings will be to have him to guide them.

Happy Birthday Monkey XO


Nancy Campbell said...

The first birthday of the first born is a celebration. Congrats on his growth, your growth, and the joy you all bring to each other.

Lovely post.

Minivan Lover said...

Nancy Campbell, I love thee ;)

The E's said...

All 3 of you have most certainly come a long way in one short year...may the toddler years bring you even more joy! I look forward to sharing them with you!