Sunday was Daniel’s birthday! I can’t believe it’s already been a year since we welcomed this cute bug into our family, and I can’t imagine our family without him. Our celebrations were pretty low key. I figure doing too much for a one year old will just overwhelm them, and my goal is just to make it a good day for the birthday boy.
Since it was Sunday we had church in the early afternoon. I bought him a new Sunday outfit which he looked adorable in, although a few sizes too big for our little pipsqueak. Then we came home and it was naptime. We tried to get Daniel to nap with Eric so that I could start making preparations for our celebration that night but he didn’t sleep really soundly. I think he had about 3 thirty minute naps when all was said and done. Not exactly what we were hoping for but oh well.
We had Eric’s parents over for dinner. Daniel chowed down! Some days he’ll eat a lot of solid foods and some days he just wants to be held, but he just sat in his high chair and ate and ate and ate! It was pretty fun to watch. I think it helped that one of his birthday presents was some sippy cups with straws and so he was having an easier time drinking with his meal. Usually we’ll start feeding him solids and he gets distracted and wants to nurse, which will put him to sleep and then that’s the end of that. It was really gratifying to see him enjoy the food so much, especially since he was the guest of honor!
Of course we had the traditional first birthday cake mess-fest :) Danny was very tentative at first but then he got into clawing at the cake. I don’t think he actually ate much, but he certainly enjoyed the cake so I think that’s all that matters. That was pretty much the extent of our celebrations, nothing too exciting but Daniel seemed so pleased at the end of it all that I think it was about perfect :)
For those of you who have no desire to watch the 9 minutes of Daniel smashing his birthday cake (i.e. everyone except his grandma), here are some still shots of the action:
At the end of the day we re-watched the videos that we’d taken at his birth. It was neat to get to go back and re-live those first few moments of his life, and watch him and Sam meeting for the first time. It was interesting to watch and I could remember how much pain that delivery caused and how exhausted I felt afterwards, but still thinking “Aww, baby! We should do that again!” You would think that the pain and exhaustion and everything would be a good deterrent from thinking of going through it all again, but apparently not. And no, this isn’t any sort of announcement! I was pregnant with Daniel while I was still nursing Sam and I got SO anemic and weak. I weigh less now than I did then (thank you breastfeeding and a week of food poisoning) and I’m pretty sure my body couldn’t handle another pregnancy until I have Daniel weaned, which does not seem to be on the near horizon. But these babies are miracles and I feel so privileged to be part of bringing them into this world.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about Danny so I’ll take this opportunity to give an update. Danny had a rough winter and was sick nearly every week from October through February. Never anything serious, just coughs, colds, runny noses etc. Just enough to make him miserable :( As a result he’s gotten into the habit of sleeping in Eric’s and my bed exclusively and I haven’t had the heart to move him out again. It’s probably about time to start doing it but he is really fun to snuggle with. It’s also meant that he didn’t eat very much and he’s pretty low on the growth charts. He still nurses more than he eats solids by a long shot. This has been good for my figure, but not quite as good for his. I just don’t think I can keep up with the demands of a growing toddler! So I’m working on feeding him more solids but it will be a slow process I’m sure.
One of the funny things with Danny is he started standing around 7 months, and would just stand but make no attempt to go anywhere. He got to be a really solid stander too. I’d watch him stand in one place for 5 minutes at a time without losing his balance. He could even squat down and stand back up from that squatting position without any trouble at all! My mom called him a meerkat because he would scurry around on all fours and then stand up at attention and get back down and scurry around again. It was a pretty apt description of him too! Finally on Sam’s birthday (10 1/2 months) he took his first couple steps. After that he’d take a a few steps just about every day for about a month, but never more than about 4 steps and he didn’t show any interest in taking more. Then a couple weeks ago he suddenly decided that he could walk! And off he went! This past week he’s even started running a little bit. It’s so funny to see him suddenly have this mobility and just running around like he owns the place. For some reason I feel like he looks smaller when he’s standing and walking than he does when he’s crawling. I think it’s just so funny to see such a small thing walking around that it emphasizes how little he is, whereas it seems natural to see him crawling.
Danny’s started talking a little and jabbering A LOT. He loves to make noises with his voice and sounds like he’s talking to us all the time. He doesn’t have too many actual words yet, mostly just mama, dada and done, but I’m guessing that it’s going to be like with walking, all of a sudden he’ll realize that he can communicate with words and his vocabulary will explode all at once.
Daniel LOVES animals. He is very much the opposite of Sam in that regard :) Whenever he sees any sort of animal – the cat next door, stuffed monkeys, YouTube videos of puppies – his face lights up and he starts to squeal in a way that’s unique to finding animals. It’s so adorable! I have a feeling he’s going to be our child that is constantly vying for a pet. Unfortunately for him, Eric and I decided before we got married that we’d rather have more kids than having kids and pets. Especially since there are lots of allergies in my part of the gene pool (and Danny seems to have inherited that quality from me) pets just aren’t much of an option. Luckily our next door neighbor has pets so we’re hoping that Danny can be satisfied with helping them care for their animals as he gets older.
Daniel really hates his carseat. He starts squirming and crying as soon as we so much as walk up to the car now, and will cry for long stretches of time when we put him in. We think it’s going to help when we can turn his carseat around, which we can do once he gains another pound or two (part of my motivation for feeding him more solid foods). I know the recommendations have changed and they want us to keep him rear facing until he’s 2 but I don’t think the safety benefits of keeping him rear facing outweigh the dangers of driving around with a screaming child! We’re making sure we at least get him to the old requirements, but then it’ll be time to turn him forwards.
Daniel shows no signs of separation anxiety like Sam had. A few weeks ago we went to the park and Daniel spent the whole time trying to crawl as far away from me as he could. He loves to explore and has no qualms about being far away from me. It’s definitely been a shock to my parenting style! With Sam if I turn to go another way he quickly turns to follow me. Daniel couldn’t care less and would be fine heading off in the other direction whether I’m there or not. I’m so fascinated by how much of these little guys’ personalities just comes pre-wired.
I’m sure I could keep going on about our Danny but I think that’s enough for now. We love this sweet kid. His smile can light up a room and he’s quick to share it with others. We’re so glad to have him in our family, we love you kiddo!
I just wanted to pass along this quick Sam story. This morning Sam was talking to me and asked me if Aunt Tay-Tay (my sister) was his only aunt. I told him that not only was Taylor not his only aunt, but he had 9 other aunts! So we started naming off his other aunts and he replied that each one of them was in fact his aunt. Except when I got to his Aunt Marianela (Eric’s oldest brother’s wife), his response was “No, she’s not an aunt! She’s a girl cousin!” No matter how hard I tried Sam was not convinced that Marianela was his aunt, she had to be a girl cousin. Congratulations Marianela! You’re the only one of his aunts who earned that distinction – and one of his aunts is only 19 years old!
When Eric and I were engaged all of his Chinese friends would tell him that we had “couple face”. Apparently there’s some phrase in Chinese which roughly translates to “couple face” that means that you and your spouse/fiance/significant other look alike, like you belong together, and you look like a couple. It became a family joke and it’s been fun finding other couples who have “couple face”. Well I started using Picasa to organize the pictures on my computer, and one of the cool features is that it will find faces and have you tag them. It also will start to guess who different faces are based on previous pictures you’ve tagged. I took this screenshot of one set of guesses –
In case you can’t tell, the people in the pictures are just me and Eric. Picasa tagged me as Samuel, Eric as me, me as my sister’s husband Ryan, and Eric as himself. This was just one sample. As I went through it was tagging Eric’s family members as members of my Dad’s family and all kinds of silliness. I did feel a little bit vindicated that it tagged Eric as his older brother Tim multiple times, but not once did it get me mixed up with my mother. For those of you who don’t know, my mom and I look A LOT alike, and I think Eric and his brother Tim look a lot alike as well. You can be the judge –
On our wedding day I saw Tim holding his little girl and was very confused that Eric had changed out of his tux and into another suit. I came within seconds of going up to, who I thought was Eric, and asking him why he’d changed his clothes! Luckily I noticed my mistake just before actually approaching Tim. I just wasn’t used to there being multiple Eric-looking people around!
Eric has mistaken my mom for me on multiple occasions. The most notable was Christmas of 2008 when we were at home with my family. At the time I was 7 months pregnant with Samuel. My mom and I were standing together leaning over the island in their kitchen when Eric comes up from behind and starts stroking my mom’s arm. Just as my mom turns to find out what’s going on I lean over so he can see my face and say, “uhm, honey?” Eric had quite a start at that point and my family likes to tease him about it.
Eric’s not the only one who has mixed us up though. When I was in high school one night at dinner my dad came over behind my chair and started playing with my hair. That wasn’t really weird, until I turned around and my dad said “Ack! You’re not Kerry!” Suddenly it was a lot weirder to have had my dad being that affectionate with me :P
However, the strangest moment was during my freshman year in college. I had gotten all dressed up for some pictures and was heading out the door when I caught a quick glimpse of myself in the mirror. I suddenly turned around and said, “Mom?!” It was so weird to have confused myself with a mom, especially since my mom was over 500 miles away at the time!
So…”couple face”! It would seem that we have some of that within our family. And next time someone asks who Sam looks more like, I guess the answer would be me!