About Baby's First Birthday

We celebrated Jacob's birthday on Saturday, 5/28.
We had BBQ and went with a red,white, and blue theme. 

Even his cake was red, white, and blue!
(I might have cried when I picked it up at the bakery!)

He definitely liked it!

Jacob received a lot of gifts on his birthday. His favorites have been the V-Tech Sit to Stand Alphabet Train and Leap Frog Scout. He really loves the going for rides in the Radio Flyer wagon from his grandma and grandpa and splashing in the pool that we got him!

I got a present, too. Two of my best friends from Florida surprised me and flew in for Jacob's birthday. Previously, neither one thought she'd be able to get the weekend off. Somehow, they made it work and made my day! I'm so happy that they finally got to meet our little guy!

It's hard to believe he is a year old. It went by so fast.

We've had so much fun this past year, watching him grow and change. The year just flew by. 
Crazy to think that's how the rest of is going to go! He really does look like a little boy now.

And he sure was exhausted after his party!

This is going to be my last About a Boy post.
 I always said I'd only blog for baby's first year, and then I'd turn my writing focus elsewhere. 
So check out www.jessica-goodwin.com to see what I'm up to! 


About a Quilt

I wrote a post for Baby Gaga on ways to recycle and upcycle baby items. One of the ideas really caught my eye: using leftover baby onesies to make a quilt! So I decided to try it.

By try it, I mean find someone else to do it for me.

On Etsy, I discovered SweeTeeQuiltsTN - I sent a few messages to the owner, bought the largest quilt she would make, and sent off Jacob's onesies, PJs, and receiving blankets. I specified that I wanted a gray back and navy blue trim. In a few weeks, we got our finished quilt back!

I'm amazed that it only took a few weeks to make this!



About Accidents

A few weeks ago, on a Saturday morning, we had gotten up and done breakfast, just like we always did. My husband was in the kitchen and Jacob and I were in the living room. He pulled up on the coffee table, like he always does, except his hands slipped, and down he went...

Smacking his face right on the edge of the coffee table. Right in front of me. A few feet away.

He started to cry, and I rushed to him and scooped him up. I hugged him and bounced him up and down and shushed him and in just a few seconds, the tears stopped... And then when he opened his mouth, blood came gushing out.

My husband and I were both shocked at the amount of blood that came out. I usually do okay in emergencies, but I was sickened when I thought of Jacob's two brand new bottom teeth. What if he smacked them? Or bit his lip or his tongue? What if he messed up the teeth that were trying to cut through on the top?! 

I grabbed a washcloth and soaked it in cold water while my husband called the doctor's office. At 7:58 am on a Saturday, they must have just turned off their answering service because he actually got to talk to someone.  I had Jacob suck on the washcloth and it seemed like the blood was coming from somewhere up top. It stopped bleeding by the time my husband got off the phone. The doctor told us to head over.

We stuck some booties on Jacob and got him out to the car. By the time we got him all buckled up, he was kicking his feet, smiling, and laughing. I was sitting in the backseat crying and trying to calm down.

At the doctor's office, Jacob was just fine. The doctor came in and looked in his mouth with a tongue depressor and said that he had just split his lip, and that it had already stopped bleeding. Both the doctor and the nurse told us that any facial injuries tend to bleed and gush a lot - which is definitely what happened, and what had us so freaked out. We were told to stick to soft solid foods for the rest of the day.

And he was fine. No more blood. No swelling or bruises or anything. Teeth were fine.

We were definitely more shaken up than him.

And the worst part? Now that he's starting walking - that won't be the last time it happens.

Any of you have any scary baby experiences? How'd you handle it?


About Birthday Party Planning

Some time after emerging from the postpartum fog that is adjusting to life with a newborn, I joined an online group for moms in my area. I introduced myself and read the posts for awhile, hoping it would be the type of thing where I could eventually get up the nerve to type out a message and maybe make some new mom friends. ("Sticking the kid in the stroller and going for a walk. Anybody want to meet me at Starbucks?")  Except I forget that, I live in a fairly affluent 'burb of Washington, D.C. and the moms seemed more interested in nanny shares and barre classes.

Other moms would post things like: "Looking for a new stylist who can work with my super thick hair. Suggestions?"  And I happily responded with the name of my girl at the salon I go to in the mall... Only to see that people were suggesting these crazy stylists who have done Michelle Obama's hair and have worked New York Fashion Week. Same thing with mani-pedis. I was glad to toss out the name of the shopping center nail salon that I go to, only to have all the other ladies suggest day spa after day spa.

A lot of the posts and discussions aren't really my cup of tea...  I don't need an au pair recommendation. My kid isn't ready for tae kwan do, lacrosse, or Suzuki music lessons. (If you're wondering WTF that last one is, I had to Google it myself.) but reading them has been helpful at times. Thanks to that group, I've learned a little about daycare and dentists and found a great pumpkin patch to go to for Halloween!

The posts that really threw me for a loop, though, were the ones where moms discussed birthday party preparations. When I first joined the group, I was shocked to see someone ask for "suggestions for venues for a first birthday party." Wait. What? A venue? Are you planning your kid's first birthday or their wedding? I thought people just had baby birthday parties at their house. But no... 

There were suggestions for parties at baby gyms and The National Zoo. A few moms suggested restaurants. One even said they had their kid's first birthday at one of those Japanese steakhouses where they cook in front of you and fling shrimp at your head. Another mom shared, in great detail, her experience of RENTING OUT HALF A BALLROOM AT A HOTEL. For their kid's first birthday. (AND they had an open bar.)

Then they started talking about themes and caterers and photographers and vegan bakeries. For a birthday party. For someone so young they wouldn't remember any of it.

I kept my lips zipped and fought back the urge to ask if these ladies were all joking (or nuts, or rich, or all of the above?) for going so crazy over a baby's birthday party, but figured, whatever, to each their own, they can celebrate their babies' birthdays however they want.

My baby was going to get the free smash cake from the bakery at Harris Teeter (Look into it!) and we'd just have people over and hang out in the backyard. There wouldn't be a theme, because who knows if he likes dinosaurs or trucks or turtles or ducks or...?!?! He's a baby, and right now, it kind of seems like he likes everything. I imagine he'll like whatever we end up doing for his birthday, and I know he'll love smashing his hands into his sugar-loaded, dairy-laden, gluten-filled cake, even if we don't rent out a private dining room at The Palm for him.

But now that we've fast-forwarded a few months, and Jacob's first birthday is right around the corner,. I started actually giving his birthday some thought. It went a little something like this: 

We just remodeled our patio, so we could do his party outside. And if we're doing it outside, maybe we can barbecue. Oh, hey, his birthday is right around Memorial Day. We can do it that weekend. Oooh... Memorial Day. Red, white, and blue! When I order his free smash cake, I'll see if they can decorate with red, white, and blue frosting. OH!  I'll get red, white, and blue paper plates and napkins and forks, too. Let me just look on Amazon and see what... Oh! Look at that! They have all kinds of patriotic party supplies. Oh, streamers! And wire garland! And red, white, and blue paper straws! HOW FUN!

What the hell was wrong with me? Only it didn't stop there. Because, Pinterest:

Oh my goodness, look at these ideas for a patriotic birthday picnic. Layered red, white, and blue fruit punch. Pinning that! Oh, look at the picture of the kid in the crib with all of the balloons. Gotta do that and take pictures. Oh. Red, white, and blue sangria? Screw the punch. Who's going to drink punch, anyway? Oooh, they painted mason jars to look like American flags to hold silverware. Cute, but I'm not going to all that trouble. I wonder if I can just find something like that on Amazon. Probably. Amazon has everything. Oh my goodness, look at that, they have their kid fingerpainting and then when you peel the stickers off the canvas it spells their name!!! Pin, pin, pin! Doing that!

I swore to my husband that I wouldn't go nuts. But since we started talking about it and planning it, we are now both so excited that our son's first birthday is almost here. How the heck is that possible? A whole year has gone by already?! The kid has teeth! He's on the move! He makes us laugh every day. And the most important thing... We've managed to keep him alive! He survived. And we did, too!

So, I'm starting to get it. Jacob won't remember who's there, or what presents he gets, or what snacks we had. He won't even remember the flavor of his cake. But WE will. As parents, we have a lot to celebrate. We have an awesome kid. His first year has been full of love, excitement, laughter, and a whole bunch of amazing memories. He's happy and healthy. And we're so happy to have him in our lives. So celebrating his first birthday is a big deal. And so what if I've gone a little nuts? (I did order personalized M&M party favors for the guests.) We're celebrating our first year as parents, too. So, happy birthday, kid!

Check out my Baby Gaga post about first birthday party ideas!


About Walking

We have a walker!

About Naptime

Naptime has shifted. Again.

Back when he was really little, when we did three naps a day, Jacob would always do a bottle when he woke up and then pass right back out in the bed with me. It was fine before he was rolling and crawling all over, because he didn't move, and in our king sized bed, I wasn't worried about him going anywhere. So we'd cuddle in bed for like another two hours. It was great.

Then one day, that stopped. Jacob stayed up all through that nap. Just like that, he went from three naps to two, all on his own.

For awhile, he did his naps downstairs with me on the couch. I'd hold him and snuggle until he fell asleep, and then I'd cuddle with him until he woke up again. Which meant I didn't do much except for sit on the couch and watch Dawson's Creek reruns.

When I started writing, I decided he needed to go in the pack and play. He eventually took to napping in the pack and play just fine, and he'd be just a few feet away while I was working.

Then I decided it was time he napped in the crib. I'd hold him for a little while until he finally fell asleep, and then plop him in the crib. That all worked fine for awhile, but he was getting so big...

So I'd stand up and hold him, and rock him, and sway, until his head drooped onto my shoulder and I knew he was asleep. Into the crib he went.

And then, one day, while we were standing and swaying, he lifted his head up, and pointed to the crib. I laid him down in the crib and he curled up on his side, like he was going to sleep right then. Then he rolled onto his back, opened his eyes, and waved at me. THEN he rolled back over, and went to sleep. It was like he waved goodbye or good night to me. So... He doesn't really need to be held anymore. Good for him.

Sad for me. :(

Review: Laboos Bamboo Dinner Set

In March, I was super excited to receive a free bamboo dining set from Laboos in exchange for my opinion/review. 

I received the panda plate, spoon, and fork. They are adorable! 

Jacob is just starting to try to use utensils so the lightweight bamboo spoon and fork are perfect! The plate... I wasn't so sure that would hold up if he flung it off the highchair, so I'll save it until he's a little older.

The only problem with this dining set - after a couple of falls off the highchair tray, the edge of the spoon chipped and splintered. I was disappointed and threw it away, because I could see where the crack continued along the bowl of the spoon. Still have the fork, though! 


About Mother's Day

I had the best first Mother's Day!

I was showered with presents from my boys. I got a pair of Tieks, (LOVE THESE SHOES!) a book,  (Wine makes Mommy Clever) two bouquets of flowers, a picture frame, and Jacob and I got matching "Our First Mother's Day" shirts, which we wore to brunch!