The big one.

We are coming up to the big ONE year mark and I’m part overwhelmed, part sad, part nostalgic, part reeling. Part lots of things I can’t put into words. Of course I’m talking about Henry’s first birthday. We’re doing a small family thing (with a couple close friends too) because money is super tight right now, but I’m excited. Thanks to my mom and aforementioned close friends of mine who are helping, it will be really cute and fun.

I’m putting together a montage video of his first year. Believe me when I say I have no shortage of video for this thing. I would even say I have too much video. Especially after he was a few weeks old. But when he was just brand new and I was up all night nursing and singing to him while trying to recover from a c-section, I was totally negligent in the video department. There are, however, a couple good ones and watching them kinda break my heart into a billion pieces. I will never hold a newborn Henry again. My walking (running) boy who I can barely keep up with now will never look up at me with that sleepy newborn stare. I’ll never be able to make a meatloaf while holding him because he was that tiny and that light. He’s still attached to me at the hip, but my biceps burn a little more each day now. Don’t get me wrong, I love this age. He is so much fun and he sleeps all the way through the night (currently 12 hours a night). That beats waking up every 2-3 hours. Part of me wishes I could have appreciated the early days more. Or at least remembered it more. It’s all kind of a haze. Between the post-partum crap and c-section recovery and the whole no sleep thing, it was rough.

At least I have videos like this (along with a gajillion pictures) to remind me of how sweet he was. This was during a 2 am feeding session.

And compare that to this kid a week ago on Thanksgiving:

Time to go read some of my book (Mockingjay) before bed. Hopefully I can find the page I was on since Henry likes to take out my bookmark and hide it. Goodnight!

I guess I’m one of those moms.

Being a stay at home mom (minus the 8 hours I work outside the home per week) has afforded myself and Henry some luxuries, obviously. One of them is nap time. Henry likes to be held when he naps. He will not go in his crib, even after he’s asleep. As soon as I place him in his crib, his eyes pop open and the screaming starts. I’m not about to let him cry it out, so I take him back in the living room with me and let him nap while I watch the Office on Netflix or, even better, I lay down in my bed with him. That’s what I’m doing right at this moment, actually. Sometimes I nap with him, most of the time, I play games on my phone or text friends. Henry takes long naps in our warm, dark bedroom. It’s a win-win. Funnily enough, bedtime is a different story. He goes to sleep in his crib at night (before getting in bed with me later).

Anyway, I know people are thinking they could never cater to a baby this much. When would they get their cleaning done? I do all of that when he’s awake. He plays; I clean. He eats lunch in his high chair; I eat lunch with him. Easy.

Now there was a time that I tried to break him of this habit, but I’m way more of an attachment parent than I thought I’d be. Babies change every day, so I’m going with what he needs right now. If he needs me to feel secure at nap time, fine. He needs sleep (currently he sleeps 2-4 hours day, 10-12 hours at night) for brain development. Plus, I don’t like dealing with an overtired fussy baby, so I’ll do what I gotta do. There are days he boycotts naps or only sleeps 45 minutes. Those days suuuuuuck.

A recent development in my life is that I now trust myself as a mother. I have an awesome kid, so I must be doing something right. I don’t need to follow some parenting philosophy step by step or google everything for answers. I do have a couple friends with kids that I bug from time to time, but I just go off what I feel is right for me and my child. And I trust it because all I have is this overwhelming love for him therefore of course I’d make the best decisions. So I’m gonna keep co-sleeping, keep holding him whenever he wants me to (a lot), and following his cues. I DO NOT allow him to do whatever he wants, especially if he can get hurt. He will be taught to respect himself and others, but I am also teaching him love and security.

Plus, who wouldn’t want to take a break from their day and snuggle up with this? Everything else can wait.

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Eta: I just went back and read this post where I talked about him sleeping in his own crib at nap time. That lasted a couple of months actually and around 8 months, he started only wanting to be held again. This time I didn’t fight it.

11 months.

Honestly? Where does the time go? I can’t believe I have this almost-toddler now. Henry’s already walking (pretty well too) and eating all the foods (except no peanut butter, honey, or strawberries yet before you become concerned). His new favorite food is apple. I peel one and then chop it into bite-size pieces. He goes nuts for it. Anyway, I just can’t believe that he’s not this little, sedentary baby anymore. And even though things aren’t super great at our house right how, Henry makes everything better. He’s hilarious and smart and charming. I start getting bummed and maybe even let a tear or two fall, and then I look at my baby and remember how lucky I am. Truly, truly blessed. It doesn’t hurt that he loves snuggles and he loves giving kisses. Talk about heart-warmer.

I could go on and on about how amazing I think he is, but I’ll spare you….until his one year post, then you’re in for it.

And if you have some extra prayers or love to send, we could use them right now.

I’ll leave with this picture taken on his 11 month bday. My baby growing up.

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