the inevitable happened, and our baby turned into a toddler. i was shocked when i could no longer find the answers to all of my motherly questions on my preferred baby website under the "baby" category after his birthday. and a little offended, to be quite honest. i now have to click the "toddler" tab and go from there to ease my paranoid mind when he has a rash, his sleep schedule goes berserk, or i need some fresh ideas for stimulating activities to help me teach/entertain him. time never went faster for me than it did during these 12 months. it has been the very best year of my life so far. but enough about me. let's hear it for the boy:
of course one of the first things we did was a photo shoot. just like we have on the 5th of every month since he was born. he wore a new birthday shirt, and it lasted for less time than it ever has. he knows what he wants, and it definitely doesn't include me taking pictures of him all morning.
we gave him this little activity table that sings, makes noises, counts, and lights up for his gift. he liked it about as much as he liked the rest of the toys he's had since forever. it was definitely more exciting for us to give him something than it was for him to receive it, i think.
during the day, richard had to work, but i still wanted to do something fun with him, so i took him to the tree house museum. i love following him around as he explores when we go here. he also took some steps (8 was the high number for the day) and showed off his new moves.
my mom and dad wanted to celebrate marty's big day with us, too, so they offered to bank roll a trip to chuck e. cheese's. we aren't in the habit of turning down a free dinner, especially when it's in honor of our favorite boy, so we quickly agreed to go. plus, richard has always wanted to go there.
at first, marty loved it. pizza for dinner, lots of lights, kids running around, and music. what's a one-year old not going to love about that?
then, as our night was winding down, i had the brilliant idea to take a picture with this giant mechanical chuck. marty's eyes were glued to it the entire time we stood next to him. also, the mouse was rotating. that is important to note. because when he rotated back toward us, richard then had the brilliant idea of holding marty up to see mr. cheese for him to get a better look....
and that is when he lost it. i'm sure he thought that we were handing him over to a giant rat, which even as an adult i would hate.
we felt so bad, and we certainly didn't want to end his birthday on that sour note, so we headed back to do some more rides. the horse had been his favorite by far.
and he had his eye on this one quite a bit. he loved it, and it made us feel much, much better. almost like the whole scare had never happened.
until a guy in a chuck e. cheese costume came running out of nowhere, right at us, giving us absolutely no warning or time to get marty the heck out of there before the whole thing happened again. only this time, marty knew he hated the giant dirty rat, and i'm sure it was much more damaging to his poor little heart and psyche. my dad basically ran as fast as he could to the opposite side of the place, and of course i, like the mother of the year that i am, followed with my camera in hand to document it all for this very post. which on the ride home i started to feel horrible about!
well, we absolutely could not bear to end on that low, so we headed back to old reliable. this time, both of us stayed close - i think to comfort ourselves as much as to comfort our boy.
so, not the perfect night, but all in all it was a pretty good day.
the sunday following his birthday, we celebrated with my family out at my mom's house. we were there most of the day, so part of the festivities included a nap.
then we got to opening presents. the first one we/he opened was a crocheted elephant from richard's sister megan. she is so talented, and he loved it. almost immediately he grabbed it by the trunk and started swinging it around.
then i tried to show him what a trunk is really for.
we also did the cake thing, of course. i made a strawberry/blueberry shortcake, because those berries are two of marty's favorite foods. we got a bunch of video, but no still pictures, which makes me sad. maybe my dad or sister did. anyway, he was adorable. he didn't know quite what to do. we had him in nothing but a diaper just in case he made a holy mess, but he was so gentle with the cake and didn't make a mess at all. i think he was shy with everyone watching him, and of course we don't usually just put a huge piece of food in front of him, so it was all brand new. i loved it though. i shouldn't have let myself, but i let a few comments from people get to me about how he wished it would've been chocolate cake, or he didn't like it because i never let him eat sugar. well, i actually just thought he'd love it because he loves berries. but yes, i've made sure that he eats healthy foods for the most part. i wish i didn't let those things make me feel bad, but in the moment i did. i actually went downstairs and cried about it. i loved his reaction to the cake. he is a tender boy, and he was tender with his cake. i've prepared healthy food for him because i love him. i love him more than anything in the world, and i want him to be healthy and happy. i'm thankful that richard is totally on board with that, and i'm thankful for the people who support us in how we parent.
most of all, i'm thankful for marty. he has changed richard and i in ways that we could have never imagined. it has been a hard year in some ways (sleep deprivation is the first thing that comes to mind, financially - hello, i quit my job! -, we have no idea what we're doing most of the time, etc.), but the good things outweigh those hard things by such an incredible amount that you can't really even compare (the snuggles, smiles, laughs, milestone moments, hearing "mama" or "dada" and knowing he knows what he's saying and who he's saying it to, feeling like my heart will burst when i think of how much i love my boys, seeing him get excited about a dog, hearing him jabber about anything and everything and know that he knows exactly what he's saying even if we can't quite understand).
so, happy birthday, marty boy. we love you, buddy.
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things about marty:
- you jabber about anything and everything - you even started talking in your sleep!
- you have 4 teeth - 2 on top, 2 on bottom (all up front)
- you walk like a champ
- you point at things - food you want, places you want to go, people you want to go to
- you love blueberries! especially the frozen ones that we put in your oatmeal in the morning
- you hate having your diaper changed
- you suck your left thumb while playing with your right ear with your right hand
- you love to play drums with dad
- you love to jump up and down in front of the mirror
- you can point to eyes and noses
- you love doggies - real or stuffed animals, it doesn't matter - and you even say "doggy" and "a dah" (which we're pretty sure means "a dog"
- you're great at crawling up stairs, but you haven't mastered coming down backwards yet - you still try to come down face first most of the time!
- you gargle your water (daddy taught you how to do that)
- sometimes you let us rock you to sleep, but recently you started liking to fall asleep on the floor and then to be moved to your crib (this started at grandma and grandpa smith's house)
- you love to help with laundry, whether it is pushing the laundry basket around the house, feeling the washer and dryer to make sure they're working right, or pulling all of the clothes out of any open drawer in our dresser
- you also love to play with mommy's pots and pans
- you have sweet dance moves that include a lot of head banging and big smiles
- you love to read. currently, your favorite books are "good night moon" and "i love you through and through"
- you love to listen to and help daddy play guitar
- you LOVE to be naked
- you really like bath time, but you hate the part where we wash your hair
- your nick-names include: old mac marty (dad is worried you'll be confused about the song when you get older), marty boy, boobah, bing bong, buddy boy
- you're becoming so independent and a little less snuggly, so we cherish the snuggle time we get
- you do pull-ups with daddy in the laundry room
- your bedtime song is edelweiss
- you have an adorable crooked bum crack (a slight curve to the left at the top) that we're really hoping you never grow out of
- you can fit an entire walnut (shell and all) in your mouth, which kind of scares us
- you give yourself kisses in the mirror
- you love to swing on the swings at the park
- you love to be swung around, or thrown up high in the air by daddy (and he really loves to do it)
- there seems to be a special place in your heart for both of your grandpas because you cry whenever it's time to leave their arms, or even sometimes when they leave the room
- you love it when we "tickle" your legs and face
- you HATE to have your fingernails and toenails clipped, but they are considered weapons of mass destruction when they get too long. victims have been daddy's gums and ears, both of our noses, and various other body parts.
- you enjoy a good game of peek-a-boo
- you play "catch" with us (grandpa porter first taught you to do this with a tiny stuffed animal)
- you are fascinated by any kind of tag
- we really can't wait for you to learn to blow your nose because you hate when we try to get those boogies
- you have two smiles: 1) a great big one that melts the hearts of all who see it. it's incredibly contagious. 2) the nervous smile that you give to strangers or people you're unsure about. very cute, and also funny!
- you get as much satisfaction out of a toy made out of a pill bottle as you do from your most expensive toy
- you don't generally like to get into your car seat, but you love to sit next to the stuffed dog that has now become a permanent fixture in the back seat of our car
- you don't seem to like people in costumes (e.g. chuck e. cheese and santa)
- your mom and dad are the luckiest parents in the world, and they love you more than any parents have ever loved their son.