12 Months




Sweet little Gavin,

Oh, Gav. I will never get tired of telling you all about how much I love and adore you. This first year of your life has been one of the absolute best of mine. You are pure sweetness with a little dash of crazy thrown in, and the older you get the more I fall head over heels for your silly little personality.

You're entering that magical age where it seems like you're learning or doing something new and exciting every single day. I can see my tiny baby slipping away as you become more and more independent. And independent you most certainly are. You don't want to hold hands in public, you don't want us to cut your food into small pieces, you don't want to be held down for any reason, and you have zero fears that I have discovered. You are constantly wandering off on your own, exploring all the nooks and crannies our home has to offer. You are also attempting to climb just about anything that can be climbed, but thankfully you haven't gone full spider-monkey on me yet.

Now that you are officially a toddler, things have changed a bit. You've added a bit more "spice" to your constant sweetness, and we've had our first foray into tantrum territory with you. I have to say, your brother was the king of tantrums at this age, so yours are kind of just adorable. If you get mad at us and happen to be standing on the tile, you will run as fast as your tiny legs will take you while crying as loudly as you can, then dramatically fling yourself to the floor the second you hit the carpet, where you'll cry as if your heart has been broken in two. While Grayson's tantrums seemed more angry, yours seem to be much more based on heartbreak.

You're still happy most of the time, but you are starting to protest and fight back at times. If anyone takes anything away from you that you really want, you will totally freak out and scream and cry. If Grayson won't share a toy, you'll grunt and scream, and you've recently started a baby-version of hitting. You aren't packing much of a punch, but you are definitely getting your point across.


You are SUPER silly, and you literally walk around smiling and laughing most of the day. All we have to do is make eye contact with you and you break into the sweetest little grin. The tiniest ounce of attention seems to fill up your little love tank, then you're back to independent exploring until you need another couple minutes of being loved on. You love to be chased and tickled, so I spend an absurd amount of time doing both. You also have an ornery streak, and you love to take things you know you aren't supposed to have and run run run as fast as you can with them. At the moment the things from my bathroom drawers and the Christmas tree decorations are your favorites to steal. You'll slowly, sneakily take something, all while watching to see if anyone has seen what you're doing, then you'll give the orneriest little smile with a side-eye before you run away. It's hysterical and sometimes totally infuriating.

You are understanding so much of what we are saying, and I've noticed you love to be helpful. You'll load the water bottles into the bottom bin of the fridge after I show you how, or help me put toys up in the baskets around the house, or bring me whatever I ask you to. It seems like just about anything I ask you do to you will do with very little direction. Of course I think you're a beautiful genius baby just like your brother - and I'm pretty sure I'm right ;)

You've started communicating with us a lot more (to be fair, you're over 13 months as I'm writing this). You answer me by nodding very decisively with a grunt for yes, and give a pretty brief head shake for no. You point to whatever you want, and come running and grunting and shaking objects at me anytime you want me to do something for you, like turn on a toy or feed you something you found. There are videos that you watch and dance to on YouTube called Gigglebellies (you're obsessed) and you'll find the remote, run over to me shaking it while going "Ahhh!Ahh!Ahhh!" and point at the TV, then you'll start dancing in a circle until I get it turned on. You definitely know how to get your point across.

You LOVE to dance, and you literally start at it the second you recognize a song or beat of any sort. Even if I sing like three words or tap on the table a few times, you start dancing. You also love to sing, which is just precious. Sometimes you'll sing in your carseat, and you almost always sing to music. You also sing your ABC's with me during diaper changes, which is the only way I can get them done these days. You also have the sweetest little baby voice in the world, so the singing totally melts my mama heart.


You are eating like a champ, which is great because you are a teeny tiny little guy. You were really sick last month, so I'm sure that didn't help anything, but we are currently trying to beef you up a bit before your 15 month doctors appointment. You are several pounds lighter and a bit shorter than Grayson was at this age, so it's kind of strange for me. The good news is you still feel like a baby when I hold you, so it's helping to keep any baby fever at bay ;)

Your favorite foods are grapes, strawberries, broccoli, carrots, soup, and pancakes. You haven't accepted my offerings of cow's milk yet, so all you're drinking is water. You're still nursing several times a day...and a few times a night, as much as I would love for you to not be doing that. However, since you're so little your doc said I need to keep it up as long as you're asking, so looks like mommy just won't be sleeping through the night for awhile. You're also working on your top two molars at the moment, and you handle teething so, so well that we never realize you're getting a tooth until they've broken through. This will bring your grand total to 10.

Your brother is starting to love you more and more, the older you get and the more you start to interact with him. He thinks it's hysterical that you answer us yes and no now, and the other day when I was feeding you and telling you to eat certain things he said "He always does what you tell him to do..." like he was amazed. I told him he should learn from you! Every once in awhile I catch him being really sweet to you, usually when he doesn't know I'm watching or you're being sweet or sleepy. I adore watching the two of you bond, I am so incredibly glad I get to experience the sibling thing through you guys.

You are the sunshine in my life sweet boy, you make me so super happy, and you were just the most perfect addition to our family. I couldn't be more obsessed with you, and you bring so much joy to everyone that knows you. I love you so much baby boy! I can't believe you're one!

Mommy

Photos by my sweet friend- Shana Pisanich Photography

Gavin - 11 Months


Oh sweet Gav. This past month with you has been so, so much fun. You are just the silliest little thing I've ever seen, and you keep us laughing all the time around here. You are so sweet, so much fun, so very independent, so adorable - I'm a bit obsessed, but in a totally healthy way, swear.

I know every mom goes on and on about her kids, but you really are the best. I know this because everyone who meets you adores you, and you basically have your very own fan club. We spend a lot of time at the church, so the ladies in the kid care area know you well. When we show up I hear "It's Gavin! Gavin's here!" from at least four or five different women. I repeatedly hear that they are obsessed with you, that you are the best baby, that you are so sweet, on and on and on - one lady actually stopped me in the hall the other day and told me that you are her favorite. So funny, but I totally understand ;)

When I try and think about the best way to sum your personality up, the words sweet and goofy are the first things that come to mind. You are just the sweetest little baby ever. You have the sweetest little voice - other than when you're screaming, which you do a lot (playfully, but still). You give the sweetest kisses, although you're not super affectionate. I have to ask for kisses, but then you'll give me like 10 so I get my fill for the day. You'll give me one very sweet kiss, and then when I look away you grab both sides of my face and make me kiss you again, and again, and again. Sweetest ever. You also don't give many hugs, or even like to be held a ton. You tend to wander off on your own, play for quite awhile, then wander over to hug my leg or grunt at me until I pick you up and give you some hugs and kisses, then you're ready to wander off on your own again. You're so independent and like to play by yourself for the majority of the day, but you have to check in every 10 minutes or so, just to make sure I'm still there. You also don't mind dark rooms at all, so I'll find you playing in the dark playroom or shut in a room where the door hadn't been shut all the way, totally happy and playing with whatever you've found.

Your goofiness is just the cutest thing. You laugh all the time, about everything, and sometimes you just sit in my lap, looking at me, and we just laugh at each other for awhile. Literally anything makes you laugh. All we have to do is look at you and laugh, and there you go. You aren't talking yet, but you're a pretty good mimic, so we've got Dada, Mama, and Uh-Oh out of you so far. I think Uh-Oh is your favorite to say, and it's so cute how your little mouth curls up to make the Ohhhh sound. You still love clapping, high five-ing, and you really like to take my hands and make me clap or tap your mouth and then mine to make that silly sound you love.

You have totally mastered the walking thing - although you will be one in TWO days, so I'm a bit late here. When you had actually just turned 11 months you were walking but walking a little rickety still at that point. Now, you're practically running. You actually are running, but tripping over your feet and splatting to the ground every so often. You are constantly, constantly banged up and bruised. Since you have zero fear, you just do whatever pops into your head. Climb anything, dive off anything, crawl into anything - you make me nervous, to say the least. You rarely seem to mind if you get hurt, unless you're really, really hurt, and then we have tears.

Another way you're often hurt is that mean ol' big brother of yours. The two of you have a ton of fun together, but he's mad at you about touching his toys approximately 83% of the time. Aside from that you're all wrestling, giggling, dancing best buds. Watching you two together is seriously the cutest, but I'm bracing myself for years of insanity. It's already pretty insane. Ya'll are LOUD and crazy.

You're a pretty good eater, although you still don't eat a ton most days. You're really weaning yourself when it comes to nursing, and we're at about a four hour stretch during the day most days. If I'm not with you I don't leave a bottle and you're totally fine. You love strawberries, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, black olives, cereal bars, and pizza. I gave you chicken strips and french fries the other day and those were a pretty big hit, and you love veggie straws. You like most things, but then some things, like cheese, you just refuse completely. You eat a lot of those little pouch things, a few a day, but if you see real food you typically prefer that.

You've got eight teeth, and we're thinking another one may be on it's way, judging by the way you've been acting. You're still a teeny tiny guy at close to 28 inches and just 18.5 pounds, but maybe you'll catch up at some point. Or maybe you'll be little and scrappy, you've certainly got the daring personality for that. You're starting to stretch your naps out, and we're down to two most days, sometimes one if your morning nap is super late. You're a pretty good napper, so we usually get one from around 9 to 10:30 or so, and another one around 2 or 3 for at least an hour. You go to bed right about 8, and wake up anywhere from 6:30 to 7:15. A couple weeks ago we had a stretch of waking up before 6 every day for over a week and I didn't think I was going to survive.

 You are doing all kinds of fun stuff these days, but one of my favorites is the dancing. You are such a little dancing machine and it's so, so cute. You are completely obsessed with this Busy Bumblebee song that Nana discovered on Youtube, and we turn it on and you just start dipping and swinging your hips and bouncing up and down and waving your arms around. Absolutely precious.

You're starting to have a bit more of a temper, but usually only when I'm not getting food to you quick enough or I'm not letting you hold your tooth brush. You really hate to have your diaper changed, but it's just because you don't want to hold still. You don't get mad, you just flip over and run away. Makes things rather complicated for those of us changing you. You don't like to be told no. You shake your head no back at us and kind of grunt in disapproval. Aside from those few things, you are a happy camper basically all day, every day.

I absolutely adore this age with you, but I have seriously enjoyed every minute of being your mama so I know I'll never be able to pick a favorite age. You have totally ruined me for any future babies that I may (somehow, maybe, hopefully) talk your daddy into, because it is HIGHLY unlikely I would ever be so lucky to have another baby as good as you. Your crazy, silly little personality is so different than what I was expecting from my mild mannered, laid back tiny baby that I brought home almost a year ago, but oh my goodness I wouldn't trade this for the world. I am loving everything about watching you grow, and watching you and your brother bond, and I am so, so thankful that I get to be your mama. I love you so much my sweet baby!


Abundantly Blessed

Today is my birthday. My 32nd birthday, to be exact. Birthdays are funny. The older I get, the more insignificant they become. It's still nice to have a special day, of course, and it's so lovely to be flooded with texts and calls and Facebook messages from people telling me Happy Birthday all day long - who wouldn't want that?

But I realized something this morning. After I dropped Grayson off at preschool I went to Starbucks to work for a bit. On my drive home, I was praying (as I often do when I'm alone in the car) and I realized that although I of course have so many things I ask God for on a regular basis, more than anything I just wanted to thank him. Over and over again. Because I am wonderfully, abundantly, absurdly blessed.

Of course, life isn't perfect. Nothing ever is, no matter what it may look like through an Instagram filter. It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of laundry and feeding kids and cleaning messes and scrubbing floors and folding clothes and wiping noses and changing diapers and disciplining and feeding them again and power struggles and alllll the noise and bedtime routines - it can just be so routine, so mundane, so overwhelming. It's easy to live this life as a mama to little kids and as a wife to a husband who works constantly and just feel a little stuck.

But then. Then I look out the window of my car and see the gorgeous trees and the beautiful homes and the sunshine, and I think - I live in such a truly beautiful place. And then I think about my boys - my sweet, crazy, loud, hilarious, mama's boys - I could not possibly love them more if I tried. And I think about my husband. My husband who drives me crazy and is an insane workaholic, but who truly wants nothing more than to see me happy, who takes me on amazing trips to San Diego and buys me everything I need and supports our family without a single complaint, and I think oh my goodness. I might be the luckiest girl in the world.

I think about the fact that I am getting to chase my dreams, that I have the luxury to do that - how blessed am I? I think about the fact that I live in a safe place, a safe neighborhood, that I don't worry about so many things that so many other people in the world have to worry about. I think about the fact that I have a reliable car, a comfortable home that will always have a fridge full of food, family that loves me, amazing friends. And I think about the fact that God decided I was worthy of all of these things, even when I know I'm not. And I think about the fact that he looked at me in my cushy, comfy life, and he snatched me up and said "It's time." He brought me out of my confused, lost, non-believing but super comfortable life and got right in my face and said "Time to follow me." I didn't do that. No way I would have done that. But He did it. And I am so, so, so beyond grateful. My life has changed, in the most amazing ways, even though it has remained so much the same.

So today, on my birthday, I don't need a single gift. I don't need a single "Happy Birthday." I don't need a special meal or a cake or any recognition. I am exactly where I need to be, I am insanely happy to be here, and I am so incredibly, abundantly blessed.