We counted our blessings every day this first year with our son and tried not to take a moment for granted, always remembering how lucky we are to be parents. We had absolutely NO CLUE what we were doing most of the time, but with good examples all around us, a little luck and a lot of love everything always seemed to work out. No amount of reading can prepare your for parenthood by the way (I learned that lesson in the hospital I think).
Fortunately our son slept through the night from about 15 weeks old and was generally a very happy baby after the newborn phase. Schedules worked really well for us, but we know they're not for everyone. He rolled over and smiled at one month, crawled at 6 months, walked at 9 months and by 11 months his primary mode of transportation was RUNNING, which we were initially very proud of, but brought the challenges of infant mobility earlier than we expected, including lots of falls and boo boos and buying SO many baby gates. In hindsight, our lives would have been much easier if he'd been a later walker, but we wouldn't change a thing about our sweet little man! To my delight, his first word was mama, but he went through phases where he called me "Emma" and "Dada." Call me whatever you want, just as long as you call me! Other earliest favorite words were ball, car and doggy/diggy.
We somehow managed to exclusively breastfeed for 1 year, which was nearly impossible working full time (mad props to all of the moms who have juggled pumping and working or pumping with anything for any amount of time!), especially since I was working away from my office in government buildings from months 6-12 (with an insanely busy, unpredictable schedule and no real spot to pump). There was a lot of winging it, multi-tasking, car pumping and storing milk in random places, but somehow we made it. He wasn't a great food eater at first (he hated solid foods for the first month or two) but now he eats like a pig and isn't picky at all.
He is an energetic, fearless, smiley, silly little goof ball and we can't imagine life without him. We're often still in disbelief that we get to be his parents. I sold my convertible after putting him into the car seat via a tiny back window became annoying and got a small SUV. We wish he liked sedentary activities a little more (or at all) - he certainly wears us out - but he will at least sit down to read a book. He loves balls, cars, water, family and friends and being on the go. He's a great traveler and very adaptable - we love how well he goes with the flow. He's incredibly social and isn't afraid of strangers. He doesn't cuddle as much as we would like - usually just before bed and waking up - but when he does it melts my heart!
For his first birthday, we celebrated our favorite little guy with a jungle safari themed, black and white striped party in our back yard. Zebras were a big part of the day as were jungle leaves, and we of course had photos of his first year everywhere! We also spent way too much on balloons, but you only turn one once, right? We had the party at 10:30am so that he would be fresh off his morning nap and that seemed to work perfectly. I highly recommend timing it around your birthday boy or girl's routine, despite how weird hosting a 10am party may feel. Babies change everything, right? He loved his cake (gets that from his mama), loved being outside (he's very into the outdoors) and LOVED seeing all of his favorite people. Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate our sweet little guy and for all of your love and support this amazing first year!
Our hero, the infamous Nurse Sarah who delivered Walker even showed up to celebrate the special day! If it weren't for her, I'm sure I would STILL be in labor, and she will always be so special to us.
Walker and his Grampy have a very sweet, special bond.
Walker's birthday Snapchat filter! It was surprisingly easy to request and inexpensive if you are interested in one.
Zebra cakes, classy right?
Rice crispie ones dipped in white chocolate (thanks to Walker's thoughtful Aunt Hay Hay)!