Monday, July 11, 2011

Turtle Party

We celebrated our June baby with an outdoor turtle themed party! We had a wonderful time celebrating Athan's first birthday with all of his cousins and a few other special guests. Thank you all for helping us to celebrate baby A!

The turtle theme was based around Athan's swim suit!

Cousin Ally loves to help

Scarfing down the birthday cake...moments before he choked on it and spit it back out

Love that my dad would get in the pool with Athan even though he was fully dressed
Beautiful big brother

Our adorable Athan

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's Been a Year

Happy Birthday, sweet baby Athan! What an incredible year it has been!

Like every other before, this month was special for several reasons. The most obvious is that this boy is on the move. While not quite running, Athan can get around on his own very well. He still toddles in this adorable way and does crawl if needed. He doesn't sit for long, but if you can catch him while he is still, he will play a few games with you. We like to play "thank you," where we hand objects back and forth. Sometimes it really does sound like he is trying to say "thank you" as he hands me the object.

His looks have changed along with the season. As you might expect, my olive skin tone little boy is super tan now we're spending time at the pool. I am jealous of that skin! His hair is adorably fluffy and blonder (wasn't expecting that one). His hair seriously does stick up on top, and there's really no taming it. We're still waiting for those first teeth to arrive, but I'm sure it will be soon.

The lack of teeth hasn't slowed Athan down at all when it comes to eating table food. He loves anything you'll give him. He loves food so much that he normally cries when the meal is over, and we take him out of the high chair. He drinks well from a cup, which is good for keeping him hydrated because we are sweating all the time down here! His naps are very predictable, usually at 10 and 2. Many of his naps are right at 45 minutes, but he will nap longer some days. He sleeps from about 7 to 7, waking up just enough in the night to cry and send Hudson running to our room (poor Hudson!) and also eating a little at 6.

As I reflect on our first year getting to know our little Athan, I first think about his smile- how his face lights up when he sees us. He enjoys watching people, but definitely prefers Mom and Dad. He is a sweet little cuddler, he loves to be rocked as we read stories before bed or when he first wakes up from a nap. Even when he is playing, he will often trot over to me and just fall in my arms for a hug. Love that! He adores Hudson and wants to do whatever Hudson does. As most 1 year olds are, he is fearless and tenacious, willing try something over and over until he gets what he wants.

Finally, I feel like I have to write about his sleep. That huge issue that consumed my thoughts in my first months with baby A. If only I would have just listened to the advice of my mom..."try not to worry about it so much. Won't he just sleep when he needs it?" My good intentions went a little too far as I attempted to help Athan sleep better for the sake of our entire family. What I realize now is that Athan is just not a great sleeper. I know we made mistakes in the process of sleep training, but I believe some of that is just him and that really is okay. I do believe we gave him the gift of falling to sleep with ease. That was my biggest concern with him as a young infant. He had so much trouble falling asleep when he was tired. A few tools (dark room, paci, miracle blanket, and a predictable routine) seemed to help him make great strides in this. The gift he gave me was learning patience as I worked with him, and even more, absolutely precious moments of rocking him to sleep in my arms that I will always treasure. The year goes fast, and I am so grateful for those times.