I swear I woke up and Chief was a year old. Fastest. Year. Ever. How did that 8 pound, tiny, toothless baby that couldn’t hold up his head become this babbling, biting, busy, solid eating ONE YEAR OLD?!? I don’t know how we got here. Every month I get a little sad that I can’t hardly remember his toothless grin or his round baby face and I long for a moment with that tiny guy again, but every month I also think “this age is the best!” I am loving watching this boy grow.
When Chief was really young, you would never catch him without a scowl on his face. Seriously, the clerks at Natural Grocers remember him as the baby with “the look” because he would give them the meanest looks while they were ringing me up. Now, he’s the world’s biggest ham! Not only is he smiley, but he is “showing all 7 of his teeth, scrunching up his nose, squinting his eyes” kinda cheesy. His personality has developed from a potato (sweet potato) into the most easy-going, sweet, curious, happy, and persistent little guy you’ll ever meet!
As we round out his first year, here are a few stats:
- Weight: 24.4 pounds
- Height: 31 ¾ inches
- Belly: extra round
- Diaper size: 4
- Teeth: 7 (well 6½)
- Dimples: 2 on his cheeks, 10 on his knuckles
- Shoe Size: 4 wide. We call them his Flintstone feet – wide and flat.
The stat that gets me is he grew nearly 11 inches in ONE YEAR! Can you imagine growing 11 inches in 12 months?! Mind blowing.
During Chief’s 12th month..
He claps and gives “high fives.” He claps for himself when he builds cup towers, he claps when he eats all of his food, he claps when he stacks his rings, and he’ll “high five” any hand that’s raised. You might be trying to swat a fly, but if he see’s a hand up, he’s gonna give it right back.
He’s drinking from a straw. Game. Changer. It’s so nice to not have to worry about having his cup with us at all times. However, the cup he prefers to drink from is Mom’s large, stainless steel Yeti. It weighs nearly as much as him.
He sprouted another tooth. Little Chief Seven Teef. That boy is so proud of his teeth and he uses them on anything he can fit into his mouth – Dad’s finger, the corner of the coffee table, an exposed knee, or his favorite – right above your collar bone. Ouch!
He stands on his own. For 5-10 seconds and only when he doesn’t know what he’s doing. I have yet to catch it on camera.
He got busier. After last month, I didn’t think it was possible. He wrestles the lumbar pillow on our bed, perches himself on top of the coffee table, closes the door behind him when he wanders into our bedroom, unrolls ALL the toilet paper, and is dangerously close to scaling the couch. He knows when he’s doing something he’s not supposed to – if I catch him chewing on a phone charger I’ll say “Chief!” and he’ll immediately throw it down and crawl in the opposite direction. Like, “What? That wasn’t me.” At what age do kids reach their peak level of busyness? Am I close?
He stacks cups and matches lids. He first started stacking cups, then fitting lids on Tupperware, then it was the lid to the spray olive oil, now he’s really into mixing and matching the tops to Mom’s hair products. Give the boy a couple of cups and some lids and he’ll stay occupied for 10 minutes.
He TURNED ONE! We hosted a backyard Sweets & Treats party for our sweet boy. He was surrounded by all of those that have loved him and supported us during our first year as a family of three. Chief was a champ! He let guests pass him around, he sat with Mom while we opened all of his gifts, and he dove face first into his cake! That boy owns my WHOLE HEART.
I’ll do another post about his party soon.
Chief’s first year was the fastest and slowest year of my life. It was the hardest but most rewarding, exhausting yet so invigorating, exciting but extremely terrifying, and so stressful yet so peaceful and full of contentment. I felt feelings of self doubt to feelings of 100% confidence and fear that will make your stomach flip to so much love I felt like my heart would burst. As I look back at his first year, I’m filled with contradictions and oxymorons.
Days that seemed like they would never end now seem to have gone by in flash. What I wouldn’t give for just one more day of newborn snuggles. We rarely snuggle these days. Sometimes when he’s playing with the light switch behind my head, I pretend he’s hugging me real tight. It helps satisfy my need for newborn affection.
We are no longer breastfeeding, but I’ve been pumping and giving him milk in a bottle or cup the last two months – until this week… As of this week I have officially stopped pumping. When I imagined this day, I thought I would go total “Office Space” on that Medela. Gah! I’ve wanted to throw that thing against a wall more times than I can count. But now, I’m having mixed feelings. What a relief to not have to lug that thing around, but I’m so sad my baby doesn’t need me anymore. We have enough milk in the freezer for 10 MORE DAYS of before-bed bottle feedings. After that, we are going to retire the bottle. The before-bed snuggle and bottle session is my favorite! I’m dreading the day that’s over.
Since Chief was born I’ve been thinking more and more about my heritage, where I came from, who came before me, and I’ve realized that’s going to be me someday. I’m going to be the person my great-great-great-great grandson/daughter will be researching. It’s an eery thought and the more I think about the big picture the more I feel like a speck – a speck of time, a speck of dust, a tiny footprint to leave my mark. I’ve realized I’m a speck to the rest of the world, but to Chief, I’m the whole world. He loves his mama.
Throughout the last year I’ve learned that moments/stages are fleeting. Hard days are followed by the best days and best days can be followed by even more amazing days. The days can be long, the weeks are short, and the year(s) pass by in an instant. Your mama loves you, James Chief.