This month, we celebrated your 1st birthday! Can you believe it? You're 12 months old! I'm not going to lie, it took me a while to come to grips with this, but I had to keep reminding myself of all the joy you bring me in all the things that you're growing and learning to do. And get over the fact that you weren't my tiny little baby anymore. You're still my baby, don't get me wrong, but you're not the little 7lb 7.8oz baby that we brought home in 2011.
I did cry when we put you to bed for your nap the day before your birthday and we took pictures with you just before you went to be that evening, because it was just making me so emotional and I didn't want to forget it.
On your birthday, it was busy and crazy, but you did amazing! We had a lot of friends and family in our house but you were stellar. You didn't fussy (until it was time for your nap) and you went to just about everyone who wanted to hold you at the party without any major melt downs. It was really toasty outside, that day so we planned your party to be inside and from what we could tell, it worked out great.
This month is bittersweet for sure. We love watching your grow, but are in complete denial that it's been a year.
We love you more and more with every second that you're in our lives and we cannot wait to see how the future pans out for all of us. The next couple months are going to be a little bit rocky, but we'll make it through. We're a family and that is what we will do...
We love you to the moon and back, Coen.
Love, Mama & Dad
Update from last Dr.'s visit: For any parent, I'm sure that the 12 month visit a little nerve racking. For us, we went into this one knowing that some major things were going to either need to change or at least start to change, we just weren't 100% sure how that was all supposed to happen.
- We knew that there would be the introduction to cows milk, I just didn't know how, exactly... But we learned and it's actually going really well. This also meant that my nursing streak was really going to come a complete halt. We're still weeding out the use of formula and bottles, but it's really going well. We're very happy about this easy transition.
- We knew that baby food would have to be put on the back burner and that table food or adult food would have to be introduced more and more until it was what he was eating all the time. We're working on this.
- We knew that we'd have to work on less co-sleeping and more sleeping through the night. This actually took place on it's own and has been going well so far.
- We knew that car seats might be another topic, but we think we have that one squared away already. He's facing backward and in a big permanent car seat now and no longer using the infant carrier. That's been several months now, but still something we transitioned out of.
- We knew that walking would be in our future and while we were already happy with what was being produced on his own, we knew that it would only increase with time. We just wanted to make sure we were doing everything we were supposed to in order to help him walk more and more.
- We knew that teeth would be another topic, but from what we can tell, he's doing great. Still has 4 on top and 2 on the bottom, but we could see where other teeth were starting to make some movement and one molar was already cutting through. So it's all going the way it's supposed to, so that's great.
- We had questions about sleeping with a lovey, blanket or stuffed animal and they say that all of those things are fine because he's strong enough to roll over and catch himself from laying on something like that all night. We weren't sure if he would want one, so we had to ask.
He's a healthy little boy, he's just a little more petite. We'll see how he grows as he ages.... It will all be changing soon, I'm sure. Can you imagine what he's going to look like next to his sister in 2 months!?!?! He'll look like a giant by then!
Clothing: He's getting bigger, but he's still not in the clothes for his size. He's creeping into 12 month clothes and wears most 6-12 month clothes, but 18 months or anything bigger falls right off of him. I still have a 6-12 month pair of pants that still fall down if he wears them around the house and crawls in them. And he's still wearing 3-6 month pants to bed because they are short on him, but fit in the waist and protect his knees if he's wearing them around the house before bed. I love dressing him too. I think girl clothes are always more plentiful and hard to resist, but boy clothes are just as fun and cute. I'm trying to get better at having a good system for those items he's growing out of and those items that he's going to be growing into. I was going to work on it more this weekend, but never got back to it because we were working on other things. It's a weird transition but it happens so quickly... I need to get a grip before it's really out of control.
Diapers: He's wearing size 4 diapers. We started with Target because they usually run a little bigger and they've been working great. We bought more and they were the Luvs brand that we had been so loyal to for so long... but they just don't hold as much at night. So, we're trying to work on what we're going to do to avoid leaking through at night.
Nursing, Formula & Cow's Milk: Nursing came to a complete halt right after he turned 11 months. I couldn't believe that we were both just done, but we were. I wasn't completely happy with the way it all went down, but I cannot go back now. We had a great run and I went further than most people could... ever. So, it was great. I just miss it like crazy. It's very sad to not have that bonding time with him anymore.
Formula is being weeded out, but we're not going to cut it off completely until we are out of formula. We're just a few weeks from that, but it's going well so far. He doesn't mind that his bottle is mostly milk, so weeding it out all together won't be hard. I'm not worried about the transition of this as much as I am about weeding out a bottle all together. That's going to be tough. Cow's milk is going great, otherwise.
Food: Another topic that was talked about in the dr. appointment... And I have to admit that I've been a little timid about this transition too. When I give him thicker food or food with more consistency he usually gags. I told the dr that and he just said that we needed to be introducing it and that eventually he would just take to it. So, we were a little more aggressive and while we still revert back to some baby food to insure that he's getting the right amount of veggies and proteins and things... he's taking to the adult food alright. Or at least better than we thought he would.
Sleeping: Like I had said before, after the 12 month well visit to the dr. where he said that we need to really have him sleeping through the night. That we need to cut off the early morning bottle feeding and that the co-sleeping should be stopping too... It was like Coen had a switch go off and he just did it. He just started sleeping through the night, he didn't really cry at all and we didn't have to have him CIO (cry-it-out) or anything either. He just did it and it's been working for several weeks now. There were a few times when he just didn't want to go down, but once he was down, he was good to go.
These pictures are from the last time that we put him to bed before he turned 1. I was all emotional about this, but it's what it is... Just cannot believe he's 1 year old. Time really does fly.
Baby Wearing: I would love to say that I'm doing this still, but after my attempt to wear my Moby on the side of my body at the French Hen Farm Sale... I hung it up. I cannot carry him in the bjorn because I just don't have the abdominal space to hold a 19lb baby on my growing belly and the side option just gets tough after a while. I try to carry him, whenever I can, but it usually doesn't last too long. I'm thankful that he's smaller for his age and not a 3 year old that wants to be toted around, but still. It's additional weight that hurts to carry after a while. So for now, we are no longer baby wearing.
Sitter: We have visited with our sitter one time and have plans to do this more. She misses Coen, but they'll be together soon enough! In the meantime, we've reached out to a few mother's/father's in the neighborhood to see if their children would have any interest in helping us watch Coen from time to time. With S. being a stay at home dad during the summer, I wanted to have someone that we could use as a back-up in case S. wanted to mow the lawn, run to the store, just do some things around the house or head to the golfing range for a while. We've come up with 3 options and have yet to use them, but it's nice to have options in town. My parents both work and while they are always willing to help with Coen, it's nice to just have an option when they aren't available. I'm hoping to make use of them soon, I just need to get a date on the calendar to actually do it. Feels good to have people that are willing to help us!
Words: He says... Moo (when asked "what does a cow say?" or if he wants to read his "Click, Clack, Moo... Cow's that Type" book), ut oh, quack quack (when asked "what does a duck or duckie say?"), ouch, dada, mama, num num (for food or bite), clucking sound with tongue, native American sound with mouth and hand, and "what's that?" (which sounds like "Hissss dat?" but we get the idea.)
He recognizes his name (and his full name when he isn't listening very well), come here, " How big is Coen?" (to which he knows how to respond), bottle, kisses or "give ___ a kiss", doggy/Toby/puppy, No no no, bite, come on, let's go, no touching, that's not for babies, good job (which prompts him to clap), yeah! (clapping inducing also), ball, mail, hat, what's that?, who's here?, sit down, stand up, walk walk walk, keep going, dog, Toby, pat pat pat (for petting the dog) and cup.
There are probably a few more that I'm not thinking of, but this is a pretty good list for what he's saying or comprehending right now. It's so fun to watch him learn and grow his vocabulary.
Walking/Crawling: Coen is getting more and more brave about walking. He's really good at home, but gets going a few times when we are away from home, but just not as often. He does realize, like most babies, that crawling is still faster, but lately hasn't been falling nearly as much because walking is much more fun for him. He'll even walk against a wall to get to where he needs to be... it's pretty funny to watch him explore.
Toys: It's funny to say but maybe really awesome... Coen isn't into toys too much. A little here than there... but he is REALLY into books. He would prefer to dig around in a book pile for hours over a basket of toys. It's really interesting to watch too. I don't know what it means, but it's great in my opinion, because it's keeps me further away from that plastic toy nightmare that I was dreading. So the books are great!
Events: Biggest event? Coen turned 1 and we celebrated!
Here are the details...
I made this balloon wreath from a Pin found on Pinterest and it turned out great! My thumb was a little sore from pushing all the pins into the wreath, but all in all, it was easy and fun to make! Now we get to keep it and use it for upcoming birthdays, which I'm pretty happy about.
The piece in the middle is his birthday invite which was also inspired by Pinterest. I loved every bit of it! I put it on the wreath to just add some pizazz to the middle. It really looked great.
The banner on the mantel was made by my very talented friend and the gifts were all of his goodies that he got to open on the day of his party! He loved the gifts and would try to open them far before we were ready... little stinker.
My banner is made out of scrap-booking paper and is beautiful! I cannot wait to use it for many years and birthdays to come!
This is a snack/appetizer counter where we had meat balls in BBQ sauce, cheese ball and crackers, veggie tray, chips and salsa, garlic-garlic dip and beer bread and deviled eggs. It was all very yummy.
My other food table had coleslaw, pulled pork, mac n cheese and watermelon. IN the middle there, you can see those little colorful balls... those were the cake pops that I ordered for the party and they turned out great! A party pleaser, for sure.
You can see the streamers in this picture hanging above the table and then pictures from various stages in Coen's life hanging on the window in the kitchen, above the table, as well.
This collage of pictures is all pictures from the hospital (or at our house) of those that were attending the party and their first time meeting Coen. It's crazy how small he was and how much he's changed. It was fun to look back at those pictures and remember those times too. He's such a sweet little boy.
Before cake, we let him dig into his gifts and he loved opening everything. Ripping through the paper and tearing up the tissue paper, it was great!
He wanted at the candle so bad.... and I literally had to hold his hands while he fussed for the cupcake until we were done singing and we had blown out the candle until I could let him have at it...
Then, this is how he decided to attack the cupcake. No hands and all mouth...
To which he thought was hilarious... and then he finally gave into putting his hands into it. It was perfect.
The Guest List...
We invited our family and our close friends. We had said from the get go that we weren't interested in having a big party. We also said that we'd like to always celebrate birthdays as we have done for years and not really make a HUGE deal out of it all. Our last piece was that we were only going to invite people outside of family that meant something to us (some of our best friends) and that Coen would know. If someone wouldn't fall into those categories, we just didn't even consider inviting them. We didn't invite a lot of our family, but rather our immediate family, just to keep the numbers down. We have a nice house but it begins to feel really small when we have more than 5 people in it. We had 18 total show up and it was crowded, but fun!
Below is Coen with my dad, my brother-in-law and sister, my father-in-law, my mother-in-law, my mom and brother, my brother's girlfriend, the M. Family, the L. family and then my entire family (minus Coen, because he was in bed).
By now, you're almost 13 months... but better late than never.
Happy 1st Birthday, Coen... We love you!