Apr 28, 2016

The twelfth month

*Loves looking at pictures - even if he doesn't know the people in them. But if he's in them? EXTRA big grin. (#vainbaby)
*Still loves running water, the washing machine, and has a healthy interest in the vacuum until it's turned on.
*Continues to make the best faces - I love how expressive he is!
*Gives me so many kisses - I feel like Parks doesn't do that as much with anyone else, so it makes me feel extra special!
*Waves, and can clap his hands, but much prefers to clap yours together instead.
*Loves when Ben chases him down the hallway. P is FAST when he crawls, and he uses me as "base;" when he gets to me he just starts belly laughing even if Ben is still coming after him. (This happens a lot when I'm pumping!)
*Still loves creepy monkey the best but will hug stuffed animals now - for a long time he didn't care about anything soft and would even give stuffed animals looks of disdain (again, expressive!), so to see him hug and cuddle now is pretty sweet!
*Thinks Dad is a pretty terrific jungle gym.
*Says Mama, Dada, lots of babas, hi and bye bye. (Bye bye is really just a ba ba but whatever he's obviously a genius so I'm counting it!)
*Is still super into people - going to the grocery store is like catnip to him - he's constantly twisting in the cart to see everyone, and Lord help you if we're in the same aisle as someone else and they don't acknowledge him. (He starts grunting/yelling at them. "Ehh! Ehh!!")
*Still loves Uptown Funk, but Meghan Trainor is right up there with Bruno now. Parks and I both enjoy her new song "No," but Ben does not - ha!
*Will mimic expressions and words - my favorite is when you start to whisper "ba ba ba," and he copies you or he starts whispering something else. It totally reminds me of the Parseltongue whispering in the Harry Potter movies!
*Still loves baseball - his baseball themed birthday party is this weekend - I can't wait to share pictures!
*Made it to a year of exclusively pumping! Let me say that again. I have been exclusively pumping for a YEAR. We started supplementing with formula right around his 11-month mark because my supply really started dropping, but I've pumped for a year. A YEAR! I've pumped in houses (mine and others), in bathrooms (ugh), in pump rooms at offices, in moving vehicles, early in the morning, and in the middle of the night. As much as our lives have adjusted and been rearranged since Parks made his appearance, my pump schedule has always been a permanent fixture. I've skipped time with friends and going out to run errands because I couldn't make it work time-wise with my pump schedule. I have lugged a pump bag with me  everywhere (in addition to a diaper bag and a baby), I've spent hours not holding or playing with Parks because of pumping, had several clogged ducts, two close calls with mastitis, and have wanted to quit more times than not. At its best I am incredibly proud of what I have provided for my son, and at its worst pumping has caused tears and conversations of "why is this so hard?"

It's been a journey, separate yet co-existing with this first year of his life - I have plenty of thoughts on it (fodder for a later post), and I could not have done it without the incredible community of support from Ben, and our family and friends, but for now I'm just going to sit back in awe of what I have accomplished. I've watched him more then triple his birth weight because of the milk I made for him. He has thigh rolls and chunky arms because of the milk I made for him. The word sacrifice has a whole new meaning now, but I made it! I am weaning now (already down to four pumps per day instead of six - woo!), so hopefully only a few more weeks and I will be completely finished!

*Is humbled Parker's birthday is during National Infertility Awareness Week. We have this incredible miracle baby but it doesn't mean we've forgotten what it's like in the trenches of infertility; it's time to Start Asking why more isn't being done to help with this disease. (Find out more here).

*Survived the first year! There were times I didn't think we'd make it, and especially with the cold that hit our house the past few weeks (first Parks, then Ben, then me), there were days I couldn't even see past the next day, but we did it! I can honestly say this year has brought more joy than Ben and I could have every imagine, but it also brought more challenges. Things that were never an issue before come to light and you have to navigate through new bumps and turns - difficult to begin with, but especially so when you're hormonal or sleep-deprived, or both. I'm proud of us!

Right now we're going to sit back and enjoy the next few days and his party. After that? I'm thinking Baby's first pair of shoes, maybe some walking (he's so close!), and I'm sure more teeth. (Because really, I doubt we'll ever be done - ha!)

I can't believe it's already been a year of having you in our lives - it seems like we've known you forever! Happy Birthday Bubba! We love you so much!


Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Yay!!!! You have all survived the first year, and I swear that's the hardest part! (can I say that only a year ahead? ha ha) Love you and Parker!!! I can't wait to continue to follow this guy and PLEASE send me a photo of your last pump with a big fat thumbs up. You are amazing!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I love all of P's different facial expressions! I especially like his looks of disdain. He might give Mandy's side-eye a run for her money! :) Congrats on making it through the first year of parenting. I obviously can't even understand what it's like but it sounds so exhausting and overwhelming, but also so amazing! And pumping for a whole year = rock star status!! Way to go! You are going to gain back so much time when you stop!!!!!

Charbelle said...

What a year! I posted a picture of Audra from 2012 this morning and all I could think was how time flies and how much of a baby she was in the picture. I love how you do your best to treasure every moment!

Katelin said...

I seriously love his faces SO MUCH. Such a sweet little guy, I can't believe he's ONE. STOP IT TIME. But what a great year it's been. Hurray Parker!

Nora said...

He does make awesome faces. I love it! It has been so neat to see him grow up the last year- I'm so glad we were able to come visit last August- and can't wait to see what the next year brings. Thanks for sharing with us, as always. xo

Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com said...

Oh, my gosh, all those faces! He is so funny.

Patricia Venkatesh said...


Penelope Sanchez said...

He's so adorable. Happy birthday little boy.

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