The 12 Month Reality Check

If you read my last post, you know about my emotional reservations regarding Preston getting physically bigger. As it turns out, I don't have much to worry about. Since birth, he's gained a mere 13 pounds and has grown only 9 inches. According to the pediatrician, P'Dub is in the 10th percentile. This means, height and weight-wise, he's only bigger than 1 in 10 kids. But he's thriving otherwise – and his melon is topping the charts in the 75th to 90th percentile. Go brain!

So for now, he's little and cute. When Preston gets older and kids start picking him last in gym class and stuffing him in lockers in the hallway, it won't be so cute. There's nothing to worry about medically; he's little just as I was at his age. And you all know that currently I'm nowhere near the 10th percentile!

The pediatrician also alerted me to a couple other things. For instance, out with the formula and in with the whole milk. And not in a bottle...only in a cup. In fact, there should be no more bottles, except at night. And even the night bottles need eliminated by 15 months.

Holy crackers! Am I ready for this? Am I ready for no bottles? P'Dub is currently on the three bottle plan: morning, afternoon and bedtime (with solid foods inbetween). Knocking out the first two bottles won't be a problem. The night bottle will be the issue – at least for me anyhow.

I love rocking Preston in his nursery, listening to his Baby Einstein lullaby cd, cuddling, talking softly and giving him his bottle. It's soothing for both parties involved. But within the next three months I have to wean both of us. This is going to suck.

Another eye opener from the pediatrician: Out with the baby food. Say what? I'm solely responsible for his nutrition? I kind of liked it when Similac and Gerber took care of it. Besides, I can barely come up with dinner ideas for Jeremy, and now I've got three square meals and two snacks to provide daily!!! I'm doomed. Or, rather Preston is doomed.

The reality of Preston growing up is hitting me hard. It's truly bitter-sweet. It seems to me that as P'Dub gets older, there is always going to be something he'll grow out of that I'll miss (and I don't mean an outfit), and always something he's growing into that will be exciting. Like the bottles. I'll miss them. But I'm looking forward to the day he uses his own spoon.


Little Monkeys for My Little Monkey

One year ago today, at 8:45 a.m., my little monkey was born. He was tiny and pink (not unlike a newborn hamster, but bigger and his eyes were open). He was wrinkly and wiggly. And his movements were in somewhat slow-motion. He was the cutest little dude I'd ever laid eyes on.

*Tears* Yes, I've been a crying mess all week. It's not that don't want him to advance. I love it that he's social, learns new things every day, dances, gives hugs and kisses, and that he gives me that ornery smile when he knows he's doing something unruly. But I like it that he's little. I like his little socks and his little pants. His tiny tee's and small jackets. Physically, I like him little. Besides, calling him Mommy's Big Monkey just doesn't sound appropriate.

But even though he's little, he's still grown a lot. There is no way he could fit in his newborn clothes (although that would make for a great snapshot). He doesn't fit in his swing. And he doesn't want to play in his Exersaucer anymore...but that's just because he thinks he's too big!

So although this birthday is bitter sweet, it is his first birthday none the less and we celebrated. This time, the event was much smaller, with only Preston's friend Max, and his parents in attendance. There wasn't a theme, per say – although we had monkey cupcakes, and his gifts were wrapped in monkey paper. And we had one decoration, a "Happy Birthday" banner which hung from the exposed beam in the kitchen.

His birthday party was low-key. The kids played. The parents chatted. We ate. Opened gifts – Max got Preston a book and Jeremy and I got him cool sneakers with skulls, a piggy bank, and onesies...he didn't need any more toys). We had cake. Our guests left. We put Preston to bed. And then watched the hospital video from the day he was born.

*More Tears*

Cheers to Preston and to the next year of this parenting journey!

P'Dub is the Big 0-1!

Then and now...WOW! (Nostalgic post to come.)


Mom Brain

When I was pregnant, any absent-minded act I performed was blamed on the pregnancy.

"Oh me, oh my. How silly of me. All I think about is this baby. Pregnancy brain. Tee Hee."

And sometimes it was actually true. Like the time I got a bad case of backne and asked my husband to scratch my back with a piece of sandpaper. (That wasn't the pregnancy brain part.) Shortly after, I asked him to lube my back up with lotion. (This WAS the pregnancy brain part). Within seconds my back was on fire and I could feel every tiny skin lesion. I sat in front of the fan for a half hour.

But now I'm no longer pregnant, yet I find myself still taking part in one mindless act after another. Take yesterday for example. Jeremy, Preston and I walked the trail by our house to the Puget Sound. Preston was in his jogging stroller, and all our belongings were carefully bundled in the storage pocket below.

Upon returning home, I put everything away. Including my Playtex Fridge-to-Go Tote; which goes in the freezer. This little cooler holds two bottles – and for our walk, we filled it with one bottle of water, and one bottle of formula.

Hours pass. Jeremy is getting ready for bed. I'm nearly frantic looking for my cell phone. It wasn't in my purse, in the drawer, on the island. It wasn't anywhere I usually place it.

Then I remember. I put my phone in the outer storage compartment of the fridge tote. The fridge tote is in the freezer. My cell phone is in the freezer!

My phone was chill, ya'll. It was so cold I could barely hold it. And a lightning bug's butt gave off more of a light than my screen now did. Jeremy said I wouldn't know until the morning if it would still function or not. And, it does.

Mom brain. It ain't pretty.


Totally Over It

Cheerios®. Pediatrician recommended. The number one cereal choice for moms with toddlers. One gram of sugar per serving. No artificial colors or flavors. Resists crumbling. Easy for little fingers to hold.

Could you find a better little snack for your baby? (Aside from fruits and vegetables, that is?) I think not.

Around 8 months of age, I introduced P'Dub to glorious Cheerios. It was taste bud love. I never went anywhere without them.

Now, four months later, Preston is totally over the Cheerios hype. He's burnt out. Won't even eat ONE. He'll pick them up and try to feed them to Jeremy or fill his Tonka dump truck bed with them, but he won't put one in his mouth. Totally over it.

So now I'm on the search for a replacement. Baby Mum-Mum's are yummy, but too fragile for the diaper bag. Biter biscuits are tasty as well, but over-the-top messy.

The saga continues.


Note to Self:

Before teaching your child body parts, such as 'eyes' and 'nose', be sure to trim his/her fingernails.


But, I Don't Like Cake

In case it had slipped anyone's mind, Preston turns the big "1" on January 23rd. And while in Ohio visiting, we celebrated this fantastic event (just a tad early) with family and friends.

Everything was going smoothly. The cakes were perfect. The food prepared and delicious. Elmo's were taking over the house. And the guests were arriving. This was Preston's big day and I was frantic. (Of course, as that's my nature.)

After a bit of mingling, introducing Preston to relatives he'd not yet met, everyone munched. It was casual and laid back...and I, still a bit frantic.

FINALLY it was cake time! Preston was perfectly positioned in his high chair – eyes wide, wondering why everyone had gathered around so. Uncle James had the video rolling. Aunt Tara had our camera in the 'ready' position. And all guests had their eyes on little baby Preston. Ahhh, this was going to be fantastic!

Jeremy lit the cake and the room filled with song. It wasn't choir-worthy by any means, but we all did our best. Simultaneously Jeremy and I blew out the candle on Preston's smash cake. His eyes were beaming from the lit wick (we may have a pyro on our hands).

I gently set the cake on Preston's tray. For a moment my mind wandered...I can hardly believe he's one? I quickly refocused. It wandered again...what if he gets a belly ache from all the sugar he's about to ingest? I quickly refocused, again.

Preston was smiling. He studied the cake. Slowly yet deliberately he poked his right index finger and thumb into the icing. Pulling it back he noticed his thumb was covered in orange goo. A little perplexed. Another grin. Then he puts the icing in his mouth.

He froze. Eyes shut tight. The mouth puckered. Eyebrows furrowed. Nose scrunched. His entire body shuttered. Yep, he hated it.

And I thought..."Are you freakin' kidding me boy? You are a baby. Babies are supposed to love all things sweet. You are supposed to dive into your cake relentlessly. You are supposed to smear it in your hair, your ears and neck crease. I'm supposed to find icing up your nose a week later."

Luckily, the first taste was not enough to scare off the weary diner. He went in again – this time a little more cautious, yet determined. After all, he's an eater. And he's never turned down food a day in his life.

And....same reaction. It's as if he bit into a lemon.

Uggh. For real kid?

I pulled back the fondant and revealed the deliciously moist (my least favorite word in the entire world. Although for cake, there really isn't any other way to describe it.) yellow cake with butter cream frosting. Now this may be the ticket!

Preston noticed the cake had taken on a new appearance and willfully dug his finger in again. This time however, he shuttered BEFORE the cake hit his lips. His mind had already psyched him out. It was too late.

After a couple more attempts, with nearly the same reactions, Jeremy and I quit torturing the poor kid and took the cake away. He did wind up with cake in his hair and on his face, but this was only due to the usual eye-rubbing and hair-pulling; signaling it was nap time.

Of course my kid is doesn't like cake. He wouldn't be my kid if he wasn't a little 'different'.

Although Preston didn't tear into the cake, his performance was priceless. Everyone had a great laugh and took amusing photos.

After his nap, Preston opened gifts and everyone took a field trip to see "Icky", the family's miniature donkey. It was the perfect ending to the perfect birthday party.

Thanks to Grammy, Pappy and Mimi for making the party possible, and thanks to everyone else who attended. Oh, and a special thanks to The Cake Chick...fantastic job!

Note: More party pics will soon be uploaded to the pic' show (on left).