Liam, last week you turned a year old! I can't believe you've become such a big boy! On the day of your birthday I received my weekly email from Babycenter.com, just as I have every week since I found out I was pregnant with you. Every email I had received prior to your birthday had as the subject line, "your baby this week". Last Wednesday, May 11, it said, "your toddler this week". What? I have a toddler? Time really has gone by ridiculously quickly, but enough mommy-moping, let's get down to business.
Your 12th month was just jam-packed with excitement & new developments. One special event was your first Easter. Sadly, I did not get a pic of our little family all dressed up for Easter, but I know a friend has a picture of us with our extended family, and I need to be sure to get a copy. I do have plenty of sweet pictures of you in your Easter outfit from your 11-month photo shoot. We spent the Friday & Saturday before Easter at Papa & Grandma's farm, because Uncle Kyle & Aunt Millie surprised Grandma with a visit. Easter Sunday we woke up at our house & gave you your Easter basket.
You did not like the Easter grass.
But you loved banging the Easter eggs together!
And you REALLY loved eating the Cheerios that were inside the eggs! (also, your ear is not misshapen, your toy behind you just makes you look like an elf).
We spent Easter afternoon, per tradition, at Sallye Hof's house, with dozens of our sweet, family friends. I think there were about 50 of us this year, which was so fun. It was so fun to reminisce about how exhausted our friends, Emily & Stormi, and I were last year; and to see how much God has done in our lives since then. Emily & I were both VERY pregnant last Easter (& I was majorly swollen) and Stormi was wiped out from undergoing chemo treatments. This year Emily & I had you & little Jane in your darling Easter clothes, cruising all around the room; and to look at Stormi, you wouldn't know she had ever had cancer. Thanks, God, for such sweet gifts in this life!
Of course, the big event of your 12th month was your first birthday party! I had wanted to have some sort of theme to the party, but I really wanted it to be something that you would be excited about. We don't let you watch enough t.v. for you to be attached to any type of character, and as far as the activities that you like, it didn't seem like a drooling/crawling party would go over all that great with our guests. I finally thought of having a party with the letter "B" as a theme (actually, I remembered seeing this "B" themed baby shower blog post and decided the concept would work well for your party). After all, you do love Balls, Books, Balloons, & Bubbles, so I thought it would be perfect! We didn't do tons to decorate, but I loved what we did. The mantle in the living room was all about you...
A banner of your first 11 months of pictures with your puppy, a few of our favorite pictures with you on the mantle, and, of course, some of your brightly colored balls in the votive holder.
We also used lots of Bright Balloons to decorate. It was so festive & fun!
We had a Backyard Barbecue & I served (nearly) all foods that start with the letter B. We had Burgers, Brats, Burger fixin's, Baked Beans, & Bugles. I had intended to make Baba ghanoush to serve as a dip with Bagel chips, but I ran out of time to get to the natural food store to buy tahini, which is a crucial ingredient, so we served store-bought hummus as the dip instead. We served Birthday cake and Berry lemonade pie for dessert.
We attempted to get everyone who wasn't a family member to forgo bringing you a gift and instead bring hygiene items to donate to Loving Choices Pregnancy Center to help the Babies that they serve; but most people brought you a gift anyway. You have loved playing with all of your fun, new toys you got, although at the time you were a little overwhelmed by all the paper and attention.
You definitely did not disappoint when it came to enjoying your smash cake. I had made you a litlle cake in the shape of a number "1" (good thing a one is just a rectangle ... I'll need a lot more practice with cakes if I'm going to make a "2" next year!)
At first you just picked the little balls of icing off the edge of the cake ...
Then when you figured out how to really dig in, you were really excited!
And a little amazed.
We loved celebrating your special day with you.
I chronicled the events of your actual birthday here, so I won't revisit everything we did, but here are a couple more shots of you enjoying your gifts...
You were really fascinated with all the sounds your new, red barn makes; and you love trying to fit all the animals into the silo.
Your "ballpit" (little tent that came with 24 balls) is one of your very favorite gifts. We've just had it set up in the living room for the past week and you love crawling in and out, throwing the balls everywhere, & cuddling in it with blankets and pillows when we read books before nap time.
Your progress in walking & talking were huge this month. You're not actually saying new words, at least not really, but you've become much clearer with the words you do say. You've started identifying your daddy and I in pictures that you see of us around the house, which has been really fun. I love it when all of a sudden you start pointing and saying, "dadda", and I realize you see a picture of your daddy on the wall. Sometimes when you're finished eating you try to say "done", but I think that's the only brand new word I noticed this month. As of your birthday, last week, I wouldn't have said you were a walker yet (you've progressed a lot, but we'll save that for next month's post). By your birthday you could take a few tentative steps at a time, but you really didn't like doing it very much. Crawling continues to be a much quicker and more reliable way of getting around. You've also started really loving to dance. At a graduation party a couple of weekends ago you went crazy when you heard the Motown hits that were playing, and dancing was all you wanted to do for the rest of the evening.
You are still a great eater. Some of your favorites are grilled chicken, cheese, goldfish crackers, yogurt, and pureed fruits. You will eat pureed vegetables without too much complaint, but you aren't quite willing to put up with the texture of solid fruits and vegetables yet. You had your first peanut butter and jelly sandwich & your first spaghetti dinner this month, both of which were big hits.
I should probably wrap it up, since this is the longest post ever, but we love you, little buddy, and we're so thankful God is letting us raise you!