Sawyer at One Year

Today I have a one-year-old (and a party to host)! And this is also the last of the nostalgic baby posts.

I remember the time leading up to Sawyer's birth a lot more clearly than the day after it, which is probably normal. I thought the whole thing was a lot easier than I imagined, including the recovery- either I was lucky or I just had really low expectations. Nonetheless, I was left with a tiny, squirming, helpless baby. 

Fast-forward a year. He's even more squirmy, but not exactly tiny and not quite as helpless. Some of our more recent milestones and things of note:

This kid knows how to grow chompers- he has eight! Two on the bottom, four in the front on top, and he's been cutting his two top molars this week. These ones are obviously bothering him the most, since he's constantly chewing on his hands (and Sophie).

Sawyer does things when Sawyer sees fit. He's accomplished the mobility milestones on the later end of normal so far and I think we're going to hold steady with that pattern for walking. He has started pulling himself up, though, but only when it's worth his while. Why bother? Crawling is so much faster (and he refuses to get up off his elbows- if he did that he wouldn't be able to carry around his balls and Little People).

He pretty much eats whatever now, which is whole new territory. He adores cheese, loves chicken nuggets, and is incredibly enthusiastic about oranges. He's warming up to refried beans, tolerates some vegetables, and has become a pro at the sippy cup. He detests scrambled eggs and has learned to toss stuff to the dogs.

Oh, sleep. He's in his own bedroom, and has been for about two months, so that's a huge victory. He is in the Pack-n-Play, rather than his crib, but I'm going to file that under "Things I Don't Give a Shit About." We tried the crib and he hated it, so I'm not pushing it again for while. Right now he sleeps from about 8:15 to anywhere from 4-5. Since I have to get up at 5 to get ready to work I usually just bring him back to bed to sleep with us for a bit so I can get a few more minutes of rest. If he wakes up before 4 I attempt (sometimes successfully) to get him back to sleep. He also seems to be weaning himself off his (shameful) bedtime feeding, so that's encouraging as well.

Hobbies and Interests
Sawyer enjoys singing, dancing, tormenting the dogs, playing with balls, swinging at the park, cruising the neighborhood in his wagon, playing the guitar with his dad, opening drawers he's not supposed to, and pushing around his Little People Bus. Obviously quite the Renaissance Man.

He's starting to mimic us, which is hilarious... and frightening. He says "mama, "dada" and has made sounds that resemble "dog" and "ball." He chatters constantly and sings when there is music (or when there isn't music and he feels like dancing). He points at things now and I can tell he's starting to get frustrated that he can't actually talk. He'll pause and you can almost see his little brain desperately trying to convey what he wants. My mom said that I was pretty verbal by the time I was about a year and a half, so we'll see what the next few months bring. 

He's pretty cool. 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up, link back.

1. I have such respect for women that can pull off cool hats. I was in Starbucks the other day and an older woman walked in wearing a fedora or something and it looked so perfect. The only hat besides a baseball cap that could wear was a cute overized one that blew off in the middle of the Caribbean Ocean.

[seriously, how many people can pull that off? source]

2. I'm reading Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl and all I can say after fifty pages is that she's a huge, narcissistic, annoying pain in the ass. But I keep reading. 

3. I'm actually committing some uncharacteristic literary polygamy; earlier today I was reading Dunham's book, Ulysses, and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye (which I just finished). I'm generally a one book kind of girl, so this is definitely not my norm (nor do I intend on it becoming so.

4. Ulysses. Wow. I need a professor and a class to go to.

5. I went to Target on Sunday morning to get the basics, as I always do, admittedly knowing that the Lilly Pulitzer line was coming out. I snatched up a dress that I had spotted online and wanted just before the crazy women who intended to hoard the merchandise to sell on eBay came in. The cashier told me that one woman planned on going to Hawaii with her profits. 


6. This is my second week running and my second week in a FitBit weekly challenge. Yesterday I hit the illustrious 20,000 steps (about ten miles) in a day mark for the first time (I'm a little embarrassed about that, actually). Next week I'm going to scale down the cardio so I can fit in a few more PiYo sessions. You know, because I'm sure everyone is DYING to know my workout regimen. 

7. Why do nacho recipes need to exist?

[nothing that I make at home beats these, though; source]

8. I'm also confused about the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge. 

9. Is there an app or program that you can get to scrub your Twitter? I went private last year when some students found it and would like to turn it back public again, but as a clean slate that I can totally confident is appropriate. Not that I have any glaring violations, but I don't have time to go back through and read thousands of tweets. Help!

10. Ready to be shocked? On multiple levels? We always get Sawyer a book for holidays and I knew that we'd include one in his birthday present. I'm a little short on time right now, so I let my husband handle it. Yup. I gave up an opportunity to pick out a book. And control. He ordered BJ Novak's The Book With No Pictures, so he passed the test.

The Last Year By Threes

Instead of doing long drawn out posts on some of these, I thought I'd just give a few snapshots:

Three People I Get Advice From
- My mom
- My good friend at work
- The internet

Three Ways I've Changed for the Good
- I've become more patient (although I'm sure some would argue)
- I've learned to prioritize better
- I have more fun

Three Ways I've Changed for the... not so Good
- I consume way too much caffeeine
- I am perpetually behind at laundry and housework
- I leave work at the end of the contract day; I take stuff home but it makes it hard for kids to make tests and things up

Three Places We Buy Kids Things From
- Target
- Amazon
- Babies-R-Us

Three Things I'll Miss About the Baby Years
- Fat chubby rolls 
- Footie pajamas
- Baby cuddles

Three Things I Won't Miss About the Baby Years
- Sleep issues (am I jinxing myself?)
- Baby food (purees are so boring and gross)
- Physical therapy and frequent pediatrician check ups

Three Things I Look Forward to in the Next Year
- Seeing him walk
- Hearing him talk (what the heck is he thinking?)
- Watching him eat fun things like ice cream and cupcakes

Three Things I'm Proud Of
- Not rushing him to the doctor for every little thing 
- Sticking out breastfeeding
- Keeping my shit together when things got rough ( least in front of people)

Three Things I Wished I Had Done Differently
- Been less worrisome about him rolling over as a newborn and not let him sleep in his swing
- Not have worried obsessively about my supply- formula is fine
- Used the Baby Ergo more

Three Things He Does That Crack Me Up
- He now mimics me when I shake my hand and say "no barking in the house" at the dogs; now it's our "thing" and we do it whenever they bark
- Sings and dances (like when he did in the middle of Party City today and made everyone else laugh)
- When he puts his head down and pretends to sleep when we say "night night" 

Nonfiction Nagging- Double Shot

I've unintentionally been reading a lot of nonfiction this month and have two more quick reviews.

The first is education-guru Kelly Gallagher's In the Best Interest of Students, a look at the new strengths and weaknesses of the new secondary
ELA Common Core Standards. Like I told my colleagues in an email I sent them recommending it, I generally loathe "teacher" books, but I can't say enough good things about this quick, helpful read. There are many misconceptions about the news standards, partially in thanks to those outside of education weighing in on a system they don't understand (including those stupid articles you see on Facebook that link to difficult math problems that of course show CCS is the devil). Gallagher breaks down the positives and the negatives, helping teachers understand how to take what they've been doing so that they're in compliance and so that the kids' needs are being met. I picked up a ton of great strategies that I hope to implement this year and next. And what I love about Gallagher is that his ideas can be adapted to fit any sort of level.

The second book I just finished is an ARC I received from Penguin. Leigh Ann Henion's Phenomenal is her story about a quest she embarked on to take in
different "phenomenal" experiences around the globe, hoping to sort of experience a rebirth of her own, after becoming a mother. Her book is divided into section that detail her adventures in Puerto Rico swimming in the bioluminescent waters, in Venezuela seeing the Catatumbo Lightening, in Sweden watching the Northern Lights and in Australia experiencing a total solar eclipse. I appreciated this written voyage- many of the places I had no idea existed. What did get old was her actual writing; her self-realization process often felt that it was being too explicitly spelled out in a spelled out poignant quotes from people she encountered and frequent moments of clarity while out of her element. In a word: forced. 


My First Year of Motherhood: The Best Parts

I'm back again to recap on the first year of being a parent in light of Sawyer's birthday here in a little over a week. The other day it was the not-as-fun stuff; today we're going to look at the opposite. 

I knew that motherhood wasn't going to be easy and that there would be some really hard parts; what I wasn't as prepared for was how happy it makes me. Right now, for example, Sawyer is gleefully shredding  Kleenex all over the floor and I'm finding the whole thing fairly amusing. He's learned to throw things behind his head and turn around to retrieve whatever it is (right now, tissue)- object permanence and the coordination to throw something. Kind of a big deal. It would be better if he could read, but I'll settle for this... for now. 

Here's what a snippet of what I've loved the last year:

He's Really Cute and Cuddly
I know this is very trivial, but having a baby is sort of like having a high-maintenance puppy around all the time. I'm well aware that I am biologically wired to think my child is adorable- it's nature's way of ensuring that I'll provide the proper care. And it works. Even when he's crying he's still cute. The cuddles are pretty sweet too, except when they're at 2 am. That is my absolute least favorite time to cuddle with anyone. Nonetheless, there's something that kicks in that makes these two things very enjoyable. Picking up a smiling baby ready to throw his fat little arms around me up from daycare everyday is sometimes the highlight of my afternoon.

The Little Things are Fun Again
I'll be the first to admit that I'm jaded and cynical; not as bad as some, but far worse than others. Having a little guy around has taken some of the edge off, though, and I find myself getting excited over small things like taking him to see ducks or the first time he tried solid food. Going to get his first pair of Chucks was even more fun that buying myself shoes and we could play peekaboo or with his Little People for hours (well, maybe like a solid twenty minutes). The holidays were infinitely better this year and hearing him laugh is enough to cheer me up instantly.

The Little Science Experiment
A kid really is a science experiment; he's this little research subject that can be manipulated and altered by changing a variety of variables. In theory, anyway, and after accounting for genetics. I enjoy reading about the cognitive, motor, and behavioral changes that he goes through and looking back at how much he changes month to month. 

My Little Buddy
Like all moms, I do love the occasional break. But the older Sawyer gets, the more fun we have together. Minus grocery shopping on Sunday mornings, work, and the occasional appointment, he's pretty much always within the vicinity during waking hours (and sometimes during sleeping). He has a pretty easy demeanor and I already see a sense of humor starting to creep through the baby personality (there's some stubbornness in there too). I can't wait until the days when I (hopefully) have someone as enthusiastic about ice cream runs as I am. I'm also pretty psyched to eventually take him to see the space shuttle, the tide pools, and his first big sporting event.

Someone to Love
I loathed all the corny Hallmark-esque things that people tell you pre-baby about how much mothers love their babies and whatnot. But it really is true. The love you feel for your kid is both exhilarating and downright frightening. I'm not saying it's better, but it's definitely different than the feelings I've had towards family members, my husband, friends, pets, or even Diet Coke. It's the kind of love that sustains you when you feel tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, and alone. It's the kind of love that makes you put on a happy face during the worst of times and the kind of love that helps you reset your priorities.

It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it. Seriously. If there weren't any moms the population would die out.