WOW - can Eli really be ONE already. When I say this year has flown by that is an understatement! I mean everyone knows the first month (or maybe 2) are a blur because you are completely sleep deprived. Thankfully Eli started sleeping much better around 6 weeks, although he still liked to eat every 2 hours during the day he could go 3-4 at night. I'm pretty sure those days didn't seem to go as fast as the days go now. I feel like there's not enough time in the day even though I'm home all day with him.
Now how do I recap the most amazing year of my life, well its impossible, but here are just a few thoughts.
In the beginning...
Eli ate every 2 - 2 1/2 hours around the clock the first few weeks of his life. He would nurse for at least 40 minutes so I was basically just a milkin' machine. :) He hardly ever cried and we enjoyed every minute of looking at our beautful, healthy, little baby boy. I remember when we left the hospital it was such a strange feeling that we were taking a baby home. It took a few days for it to sink in that this was 'real life'. I remember how amazed we were at every little thing he did. I still feel the same way a year later. Its unbelievable to watch your child grow. The miracle of life continues every day! I remember how worried I would be at night for Eli's safety - nothing has really changed there but I'm not quite as bad. I read a quote the other day that said "I've yet to meet a worrier that had an awesome prayer life". How true is that! Instead of worrying I just need to pray. Still working on this!!
After the blur of sleep deprivation wore off I really begin to enjoy/remember every second of being with my sweet baby and finally got into a routine around 2-3 months which was awesome!! I loved rocking him, cuddling him, cooking, cleaning (ok maybe not the cleaning part) but I loved and still love every aspect of being a stay at home mom/wifey. Its simply amazing!!! I'm blessed that right now God has provided JUST enough finacially for me to stay home this first year with Eli. I don't know what this next year will hold but praying God continues to provide for us in allowing me to be home with Eli. Its such a gift to spend my moments with him. It seems like from about 3 months on till now time as just multiplied. Someone said the days are long but the years are short but honestly the days are short too. I want more time with Eli! Of course there's always cleaning I don't get done but there are fun activities we don't get to during the day too.
Seems like when Eli hit 3 months life got a billion times easier. He was a better sleeper, faster eater, and I was able to get things accomplished around the house. He was in a great routine (thanks partially to BabyWise, even though we didn't follow it exactly) Plus he started growing and reaching milestones like crazy! By 4 months he was rolling over both ways and by 5 months he was sitting up by himself. He sweet little personality really started showing once he got his laugh at 4 months. The sound of his first laugh is by far one of my most treasured moments of mommyhood!! Nothing compares!!!
It seems like every month he'd do something new and sweet and Steve and I would say "this is my favorite stage". Then a month later we'd say the same thing. I mean you think when you bring that tiny baby home that you really couldn't love them anymore than you do right then. But it's crazy how your love grows. Every day!!!
By 6 months Eli's personality was in full swing...this kid loves attention!! His laugh and smile were, and still are, contagious!! He was still nursing around 4-5x a day and eating baby food. I made most of his baby food myself which was quite fun. Later down the road, I would only make certain things myself and started buying store bought. Geeze we should have invested in Gerber! He was still napping 3x a day which was awesome! Even though he's never been the best of nappers I loved our schedule and routine. This little guys is predicable and this mommy loves it!
During Eli's 7th and 8th month we had lots of holiday activity but it was so fun having his first Thanskgiving and First Christmas. It was really special!! I remember being so excited for him to wake up on Chistmas morning! I can't imagine how much more fun it will be in the years to come when he actually knows what going on. :)
After Christmas in Mississippi Eli started crawling, well army crawling, but he could still get to what he wanted. He started finger foods and that was so precious! He seemed like such a big boy feeding himself with those chunky little fingers of his! By 9 months we dropped his evening catnap and were down to 2 naps a day. It took a couple of days to adjust but he did good. He was still a nursing machine but only 4x a day, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bed. I think nursing him really helped keep him healthy. His first year of life he was really only sick twice, only one of which he ran a fever.
These last 3 months have literally flown by. Now Eli is crawling..EVERYWHERE! He's always been a talker since around 5 months and still jibber-jabbers. He loves to read and I mean LOVES it!! I have a video of him reading to himself. Something I will always treasure. Just today I watched him read through his books and smile as he turned the pages. He's suck a smart boy. But he is ALL boy!! He loves turning his toys over and 'destorying' them. Just this week he pulled the drawer off of one of our kitchen cabinets....muscle man! I really can not turn my head for one second. But he's a sweet boy. He loves cuddling with his mommy before naps. He's now down to 2 naps a day and yet again he's SO predicable. 10:30-12:00, 3:15-5:00, bed 8:30-7:00am. Its funny that if I keep him up for his nap longer than I should while we are reading his book, he will turn his head in to me to be rocked. I will always treasure these moments. Yeah, yeah you shouldn't rock him to sleep, but you know what, God gave me this precious boy despite some medical problems and if I want to rock him till he goes to college I will! :) ok I'm only partially kidding but I really do savor every cuddle I get from him. He loves to give me kisses and loves to fake laugh and be tickeled.
His first birthday was fun! We had a family party at my parents. I was a little nervous that he might be overwhelmed with everybody but he did awesome! He was, as always, the center of attention. So stinkin cute!! He didn't want his smash cake though but wanted to eat all the tissue paper and wrapping paper. We were blessed with lots of friends and family that came to celelebrate his special day. We also got to spend time with Steve's family a little for his birthday. One of Steve's brother's (and fam) send him a big present in the mail which was so sweet and fun for Eli to open and his oldest brother (and fam) videoed our family get-together and took Eli to the zoo for the first time. We really enjoyed seeing Eli interact with all this cousins.
And now to today, I still get sad when I get the 'toddler weekly updates' instead of 'baby weekly updates'. Thankfully he still loves his mommy! We've pretty much given up baby-food and are on almost all finger foods even though he's not a great eater. I'm still nursing but have weaned him to just 3x a day. Soon will be 2x. I'm hoping he makes the transition well.
Although time is flying by I try to capture each moment in my heart. I am so thankful for a healthy, joyful, baby boy!! He is precious and such a blessing to his daddy and
Sweet little boy finally dove into a cupcake I made for him on his actual birthday! How can your heart not melt when you see those baby blues!! :)