Happy First Birthday, ZacharyHappy Birthday, dear Zachary.... Happy Birthday to you!
Let me state the obvious and shout, "I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW FAST THIS YEAR HAS FLOWN BY!"
Now that I have that out, just wanted to write a "brief" recap about my little guy in honor of his first birthday.
A year ago today, at 11:30am, Dale and I waddled into the hospital (well, Dale walked...I waddled), for my 1pm scheduled C-section. As I sat hooked up on a monitor waiting for the extraction to begin, I remember feeling so excited and nervous (what else is there to feel)! The time had come to finally meet that little guy whose feet, face, and organs we had viewed on screen via ultrasound.
As the clock ticked past 1pm and the nurse told me that my obgyn was delivering another baby (you know...one of those "natural....can't hold baby in any longer" situations), I panicked and told Dale, "But... but.... we're supposed to be done by now! It's MY turn! What if the other lady's in labor and pushing for hours!" How dare someone go natural during my scheduled C! As pee mounted in my bladder, I remember unhooking myself from the monitoring device instead of calling the nurse....which led her to come running in the room to find out what happened on the heart monitor (gee - so THAT'S what the nurses are watching from the nursing stations). Based on my hundred other visits to the bathroom, she smiled and said, "I had a feeling that's where you went."
Finally, at 1:45pm, I was rolled in, given the spinal (minor "ouch"), felt my legs go numb, was laid back, and the medical equivalent of a Nascar Pit Crew put a sheet up between me and the cutting crew. Time to make that first incision. But where was Dale? They had not brought him in the room yet, and my doctor started to cut! I called out, "Wait! My husband's not here yet!" Within minutes, Dale was walked in and told, "Don't look!" Of course, he said he glanced over and it looked pretty messy, but after that, all messiness was a blurry memory, and at 2:04pm, we heard Zach's beautiful cry.... he was lifted above the sheet ala "The Lion King", and we both broke into tears as Dale said, "Oh my God!"
(And yes... I'm feeling a little verclemped!)
I mean, everything is so clear in my mind... my 8lb 6oz 21.5 inch perfect baby boy! (I also remember trying to move my legs in the recovery room just because I couldn't - from the spinal.... and I kept thinking of Uma Thurman's line from "Kill Bill": "Wiggle your big toe.". I could not wiggle my toes nor move my legs....despite my attempts...but it kept me occupied until they brought Zach to me so I could hold him for the first time.
So here we are.... a year later, and as much as people told me, "You won't BELIEVE how much a baby changes and grows in the first few years and how fast it goes", boy are they right!
From his belly laughs which started around 6 weeks, to his lifting his head like a little turtle during tummy time, and staring at Dale and me while we sat on the couch, his little head barely lifted above the edge of the mat on which he lay... to his belly push-ups.... to balancing on his knees....to his crawling (about 8 months - here comes Speed Racer)...to his first stumbly steps (10 months - forget cruising - I'm just gonna walk!) to his walking like a pro at 11 months.... to his running around his crib last night while I chased him.... as he giggled continuously.... to his babbling and talking ("hot! hot! hot! BAAAAYYYYY BEEEE.... HIIII EEEE! Clock! Clock! Fisssshhhh! Da da da! Up! Up! Mamamama! Ba ba ba!")... to his playing peek-a-boo (especially with dada)....I love every minute!
I love watching him play with his toys....watching him as he figures out how to push balls through the holes in this one contraption he has.... laughing and babbling as they roll back out.... then trying to fit his blocks in the same holes....it's a hoot.
I love how he tries to test me with his wicked grin. Lately, he's been trying to touch my cell phone charger. It's become a game now. He'll point at it and get his finger closer and closer as I say, "No. No. NO!" He tries three times in a row - smiles - and then he walks away from it, only to return again to try once more.
I love his charming smiles and grins. He has millions of those to give. And boy does he give those liberally! I love his hugs - especially when I get home from work and he hasn't seen me all day. He literally squeezes me as I hold him and jumps up and down in my arms - squealing and smiling! About a week ago, I was in his play area with him, on my knees, facing out and talking to Dale. All of a sudden I felt these tiny arms around me, felt a squeeze, and heard a loud "eeeeeeeeeeeeee!" He gave me a bear hug!
AND... I got my first official kisses from him on Christmas Day! I mean, of course I steal kisses from him all the time, but on Christmas Eve, he started giving my sister's mother-in-law kisses on his own - lips to her face - no initiation from her... we all got the biggest kick out of that. Well, come Christmas Day, he starts kissing the baby on the box of this toy my sister gave him, and when I picked him up, he started smacking his lips against my cheek, my nose, and my mouth! I love those wet baby kisses! Of course, he hasn't done it since, but hey - I'll take what I can get - and what better day than Christmas day to get one!
Zach is such a good boy overall. Now, that's not to say he's temper-free. (He's Italian - a temper goes with the territory. An Italian without a temper is like... well... a non-Italian). And Zach does have a temper, let me tell you! We sometimes egg him on (bad mommy and daddy). For example, when he's tired and wants attention and we're eating dinner, he yells at us and pushes his little fists towards us and lets out a red-faced scream until we come get him. Sometimes, if we try to put a cookie in his mouth when he's in this mood, he smacks it away. So we keep offering the cookie. 101 Ways To Annoy Your Kid And Have Fun Doing It.
Food-wise, Zach drinks about 21 oz a day on average (ranges from 18-24 oz depending on the day). The most he'll drink at one sitting is 5 oz. Usually, he has smaller-more-frequent meals throughout the day (perhaps he heard that it's good for the digestion). When he's done, he pushes that bottle away. I'm impressed at how controlled babies are with their appetites. If only I could be like that. Me.... I'll keep eating and eating until my plate is clean... and then eat some more (although last year at this time, I weighed about 55 pounds more - me pats myself on the back...end - ahem).
As far as baby food, he'll eat approximately 3 jars a day - some days he has cereal in place of a jar - or yogurt. It just depends (on what mommy or daddy feel like feeding him). And he still favors the fruits. Forget those baby meats - he gags on the smell alone. Who invented those horrid meals! Do they have any taste buds!?!
He had pizza for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it (meaning he almost attacked me and climbed up my leg to get more). He kept opening his mouth even when he had some in his mouth already! We don't give him much "adult food" yet, but we're starting to introduce different things. He seems to like everything we've offered. Oh - and I love the way he chews - he looks like a little old man as he munches away (he has 7 teeth - 3 on top and 4 on the bottom).
Next up: Milk and a Sippy Cup. (Hard to believe we won't be buying formula much longer)! The Sippy Cup is a toy to him right now. The other day I demoed to him how to drink from it (thinking if he imitated my carrot-eating, he might imitate my cup-drinking), but this led to a game whereby he would put the cup to MY lips over and over and giggle.
There is so much to write about! And speaking of writing, Zach wrote his first book! Just kidding - but he did draw his first 'picture' on Christmas day with a crayon. He walked around holding it (reminded me of Harold and his purple crayon... but Zach's was blue), and then he put it to paper (and to my dad's patio door...and to the kitchen floor...and back to the paper). But the funny thing was, he held the crayon the way you're supposed to! Between his forefinger and thumb - not clenched in his fist as you would expect of someone so small. I think if you stare at the drawing long enough, you'll solve the mystery of the Sphynx!
I guess I'll sum it up (geez - FINALLY, Joanne) by stating that he has such personality! It's as if he knows how cute he is... and how funny he is! Yesterday, in his gated area, he kept crouching down to play peek-a-boo with us - and we'd say, "where is Zachee? Where did he go?" Then he'd pop up and giggle like a hyena! The funny thing is.... you could see him throught the gates the whole time, and he could see us.
I know I'm going to post this and say, "Drats! I meant o mention this" or "I forgot to mention that!" I need a tape and video recorder 24x7 to capture it all!
Anyways, Happy First Birthday, Zacharoo! You're a beautiful and funny boy, and when you learn to talk even more, please tell me what is it about my singing of the Alphabet Song that makes you smile and chuckle. And why do you giggle so much at night when I dance with you and sing "This Old Man" (it's my singing, isn't it). And what it is about sucking on strands of my hair at night that you find so soothing, and why do you frantically clamber towards my head and pull on it - practically ripping it out - when I yank it out of your mouth!
We love you SO much!