Thursday, September 8, 2011

1 Year Old

One year ago today I was filled with excitement, joy and some pain:) I can still remember quite a few of the events of that day but suprisingly I don't remember quite what the labor pains felt like. It is true what mothers say that all that labor pain is erased as soon as you see your new baby. So while I do remember waking up and running around the house cleaning things up, sitting with my sister and counting contractions, calling my husband several times to get home because I was probably going to have to go to the hospital pretty soon, riding in the car to the hospital and arriving at the hospital to relax in the jacuzzi - I honestly don't remember and even have a hard time describing what the labor pains felt like.
Most of all though I remember getting to see my baby for the first time and getting to hold him for the first time. Right then I knew what a special little boy he was and have only realized it more this past year.

I thought at first it might be hard to transition into a stay at home mom but I have found the new job/role to be quite fun. I have always enjoyed the differences in my days as a teacher (never knowing for sure what to expect) and I get that everyday as a mom. Somedays are quite easy and it is playtime all day, while others may involve teething or a stuffy nose and require a lot more cuddles and naps. So one year has blown by and I feel like I have experienced and learned more in this year than maybe I did in 4 years of college:) And I would not do anything different.

As always I thought I would just share some of my highlights from the year with Tian.
1. 1st Christmas - Tian actually was able to rip open his gifts even though he may not have quite understood what the presents were. He also enjoyed looking at the tree and all the decorations. I look forward to this Christmas where he understands his presents a little more and gets to help decorate ALTHOUGH we won't be able to put out all the decorations for safety reasons.
2. Trips around the eastern US - We had some great times taking Tian to places during the past year. One highlight was Aunt Manny and Uncle Josh's wedding in Ohio when Tian was only 6 weeks old! He was a wonderful traveler and a great ring bearer. We even took another trip to Ohio in the summer when Tian was a little bit older to visit with Aunt Manny, Uncle Josh and Uncle Adam. We also had a great time in Hilton Head South Carolina with the Hertleins and Rehobath Beach Delaware with the Mouers. Tian seemed to love the beach and so did mama and dada.
3. Crawling and Walking - I never realized how much a baby accomplishes in their first year of life but these 2 things were amazing to watch. With Tian crawling and walking so quickly though it seems like I only had a tiny baby for a very short amount of time and I already feel like he is acting like a toddler even before he should be!
4. Smiling and laughing - I do love the smiles and laughs I am getting now rather than the blank baby stare:) Mornings are so much fun because Tian seems to wakeup with a big smile on his face everyday. I am going to enjoy those days as long as I can. And nothing is better than the baby giggles when I am able to do something silly to make him laugh.
5. Trying new foods - I have really enjoyed making baby food for Tian and have him try new foods. At first it was just new fruits and vegetables but more recently it has gotten really fun as I have been able to make him blueberry french toast and homemade spaghetti. I am really looking forward to making him special recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I can't wait to get some cookie cutters to make fun shapes with his food.
6. Swimming - Probably one of my favorite things we did all summer was go to the pool. It was a lot of fun taking Tian in the pool with me and getting him used to the water. By the end of the summer he was doing a great job walking in the baby pool. I can't wait until next summer when he is even more into it.
7. Traveling to visit grandparents - It is always fun to go see the grandparents and it has been even more fun lately seeing Tian light up to see them. One of my favorite moments has been seeing him ride on the tractor with my dad and get so excited about it.
So while everyday has been a special day and everyday has brought many highlights and fun, those are just a few of some of the things that stand out. I have absolutely had a wonderful year with my 1 year old and look forward to another one.
Happy 1st Birthday Tian!!!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

12 things I couldn't have done without in Tian's first 12 months

#12 Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder

These feeders were really great in the early stages of introducing solid foods to Tian. I put frozen food ice cubes in these and was able to have 20 minutes to eat my own food while Tian worked on these. They also were great to use with frozen food cubes when Tian was teething.

#11 Around the House Plastic Tub for Bathing

We decided not to buy a typical baby bathtub to use with Tian and instead just tried a small plastic tub we had around the house. At first we bought an infant comfy bath sponge to put down in the tub when he was super little but eventually we just went to using the tub and it has worked great! And we are still using it at 1 year of age and will continue until he grows out of it.

#10 Youtube Videos

I didn't spend much money if any on baby videos to put on to amuse Tian for hours at a time. While I thought the Baby Einstein videos were cool I really couldn't bring myself to pay $20 or so per video. So instead I found pulling up short videos on became a great way for Tian to spend short amounts of time occupied by himself with me able to get some stuff done i.e. get myself ready for the day. One of his all-time favorites seems to be Will I Am singing on Sesame Street. Check out the above link for that.

#9 Favorite Toys
Little Tikes Pop Tunes Big Rocker Guitar
IKEA EKORRE Toddle wagon/walker

While Tian has a lot of toys he doesn't exactly play with many of them. Out of all of them however these 2 items seem to have been great hits. One was purchased for 25cents at a yard sale and the other $19.99 at IKEA. Great deals and great hits with this picky toy player. The push cart was especially great in helping him learn how to walk.

#8 Salvation Army Thrift Store and Goodwill

I think it is pretty ridiculous to pay $20 for a pair of baby jeans so one of my favorite stores I have begun to hit more and more is the Salvation Army Family Store and Goodwill. I have found clothes for Tian that are basically brand new and in excellent condition - jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shoes, coats, a snowsuit and toys too. My favorite day is Wednesday when all clothing and shoes is 50% off at the Salvation Army Store!!!!

#7 OXO Tot Baby Food Freezer Tray

These trays have been super helpful in making baby food for Tian. I love the lids and how easy it is to just fill them with the food, put the lid on and freeze them without worries until emptying them into freezer bags. While regular ice cube trays could definetly work the convience of these trays with lids is well worth it.

#6 Rumparooz

Cloth diapering has gone quite well with Tian but if I could do it all over again I would change one thing and get ALL Rumparooz diapers. I went ahead and purchased several types of cloth diapers to try and while several of the other types were OK the Rumparooz turned out to be the VERY BEST and we love them. The snaps are better than the velcro however as the velcro does seem to wear out but the Rumparooz rarely if ever leaked and were great quality. So for me the ideal cloth diaper experience would be all snap Rumparooz.

#5 Planet Wise Diaper Pail Liner and Diaper Dekor Plus Diaper Disposal System

My husband and I came up with this system for storing the dirty cloth diapers and it has worked beautifully. No dirty diaper smell in our bathroom and super easy to use. Just pull out the diaper pail liner when it is full and take the whole thing to the wash and wash the pail liner right with the diapers. I would say when the pail liner is in the diaper pail it holds about 15 diapers before needing to put in another pail liner so I purchased two to just go back and forth with.

#4 BabySmart Cooshee Changer

This was a wonderful purchase for a diaper changing station. No washing of sheets required just a Clorox wipe every so often to wipe it down. If an accident does happen while changing baby, once again just a quick wipe with a Clorox wipe or wipe. And it is super soft and comfy for baby to lay on even though my now almost toddler continues to fight every diaper change.

#3 Baby Bjorn Smart Potty

Since our intention was to have Tian start sitting on the potty as soon as he was able to sit by himself we wanted to make sure we got him something comfortable and his size. This potty has worked great and Tian continues to like sitting on it and reading his books while going potty very regurlarly now:)

#2 Books
Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League International Book)

The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two by William Sears

While I am a big fan of the internet and find out a lot of information just by searching on the web I do like to have some good book sources on hand anyway. The above mentioned books were well worth their purchase and very useful in this first year of raising a baby. I found the super baby food book very helpful on how to make baby food and the amount of food to feed baby and look forward to trying a lot of the recipes for meals for my soon to be toddler. The breastfeeding book was very encouraging in making sure I was doing everything right with breastfeeding and when I had some difficulty early on it was very useful to go to and find out what exactly was the problem and how to fix it. And the baby book was great to read and make sure we were doing everything right with an infant and to make sure Tian was developing ok during his first year. All are great reads and I highly recommend them all.

#1 Troy (Husband)

And of course I couldn't have done without my #1 help Troy my husband. From help with diaper changes, to mid-night going back to sleep rockings, to playtime so mommy can give music lessons, to all the household help including changing cat litter - definetly the #1 thing I couldn't have done without in Tian's first year was Troy:) Love ya Troy!