WOOOOSHHH is the only word I can think of to describe the last year.

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Having the fall weather roll in these past few weeks has brought those pre-Hafiz days back to my mind. October was such a long month last year. Since I was so huge and had people constantly telling me that they thought the baby would come early, I was ready for Hafiz to arrive every single day. That meant my hospital bag was packed that whole month. I cleaned the bathroom almost every day. I folded and re-folded newborn clothes. I went to prenatal yoga 3x a week and walked 5 miles a day, thinking it would help me go into labor. I used evening primrose oil and ate pineapple and spicy food. The days moved so slowly. By the time November came around, I had truly tortured myself. I remember going to an appointment with my midwife on my due date, Nov 7, and finding out that I wasn’t dilated at all. I came home and just collapsed on the floor in tears. I was convinced the baby would never come out.

In retrospect, of course, this all seems so silly and stupid. But the 9+ months of anticipation and immense level of physical discomfort I was feeling at that point were overwhelming and nothing that other moms had told me about “appreciating those final days of freedom and solitude” could be honored.

The morning I went into labor on 11-12-13 still seems so surreal to me solely because everything was so calm. I didn’t let myself get too excited since I was convinced labor would be many hours and possibly many days long. So when I arrived to the hospital – well, arrived to triage after 45 min of labor in the waiting room, that is – dilated to 9 cm, I didn’t have time to process what was happening. Especially since the pain was absolutely blinding. So after leaving our house around 3:15PM, Hafiz was in our arms by 6:57PM.

And time hasn’t taken even a slight pause since then. The video I made of Hafiz’s first year is a pretty accurate representation of how fast I feel this year has gone. Lots of little, beautiful, slow-moving moments but that have collectively flown by freakishly fast.

I look at Hafiz today and can’t even comprehend the squishy little newborn he once was. Today, at just 28.5 inches tall (he has barely grown in height since age 6 months, by the way. So he dropped from 90% to 10% in height. Haha! He’s ours!) and 19 lbs 3 oz, he is SO active and strong and full of personality.

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a rocking horse and cowboy hat from a family friend at his bday party. oh boy. 

Here’s what’s up:

Sleep. Well, he goes to sleep easily at 7:30PM each night but 4:30AM wake ups are our new normal, I’m sad to say. I tried to let him CIO but – while that strategy works for the occasional middle of the night wake up – at 4:30AM he is stubborn beyond belief. He comes into our bed most days at that time and we sleep one more hour all together. From there his morning routine is basically the same. Gets dressed, messes around the kitchen while I do stuff, eats breakfast and then gets put back down to nap between 6:30 and 7am, after I leave for work.

Food. YOU EAT SO MUCH. 4 meals a day. Some new favorite foods are beets, slow-cooked brussels sprouts, mushrooms and polenta. Oh and clementines and blueberries. We have started eating dinner earlier so we can all eat together and some nights I seriously think you eat more than me. And then after that you still nurse a ton before bed. How you only weigh 19 lbs is a mystery. I am down to pumping only once at work most days, so we’ve started to give you some goat milk in a straw cup. You’re okay with it. You still nurse like a fiend in the morning and when I come home though. You are actually more into it than you were a few months ago, which is strange to me. I think it’s more than milk for you, though. It’s an attachment thing. I hope you keep wanting to nurse AM and PM.

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eats everything, dirt included.

Mobility. You crawl so fast and easily that walking probably seems pretty pointless to you. You do spend a few hours of the day using your walkers though, and cruising along and between furniture, so maybe you’re warming up to the idea. I used to think you’d be walking by Christmas but I’m not so sure anymore. You are able to stand up unassisted but only for a few seconds and you can’t get up to standing without holding on, which tells me that walking is still far off. I was SO eager for you to crawl, but I don’t feel the same way about walking. I knew that once you crawled you would be less fussy because you would be able to go wherever you desired, and that was absolutely true. I don’t feel like walking is that imperative to your independence. The only reason I am looking forward to you walking is that the germs you can pick up crawling around parks and public places (and soon to be airports and airplanes, ew) is pretty gross. Walking would be far more hygienic!

Teeth. Just noticed #7 coming in on the bottom. It doesn’t seem to bother you at all. Your top teeth are bigger each day and so flippin’ cute.

Weight. I just noticed that you are a pound lighter than you were at 11 months (down to 19 lbs from 20 lbs) which is confusing. Of course 20 lbs was my calculation using our home scale and 19 was the doctor’s. So who knows. You are definitely not a chubby kid.

Cloth diapers. When you pee it smells like ammonia. WTF? Other than that, cloth diapers are going very well. I’m grateful that your father handles most of the gross ones. You are way too regular, buddy. Everyone complains when their baby is constipated but this has literally NEVER happened to you.

Baby sign language. FINALLY you are not only signing, but signing consistently!! At 11 months you were starting to do it here and there, but now you sign “milk” to me every time you want to nurse. Since you have a cold right now, that has been pretty much constant. You crawl into my arms, look right at me and sign “milk” with a smile before throwing yourself onto my chest. You also do the sign for “eat” as soon as I put you into your high chair. You know what’s up. However, you still don’t do “more” probably because you know hitting the table and/or yelling gets you more food anyway. We probably should’ve reinforced that sign more 🙂 oh well! You also sign “light” consistently since you are obsessed with turning lights on and off. Oh, and “tree” though this might just be you reaching up to try to touch trees all the time? But it looks like the sign for “tree” anyway 🙂 I feel so happy that you are signing since it was hard for me not to feel discouraged when other friends had their babies signing back around 9 months and you weren’t even attempting it then. Especially if you oral language skills are slow to develop,  I think signing will help us.

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opening and closing his hand when i turned on the light to sign “light”

Talking. “Mama” if officially your first word. For awhile you were “mamamamama”-ing all the time but now  it’s is clearly an intentional use of “Mama” while reaching for me (though you still do babble with “mammamama” a lot, too). Your father claims you say other words but I think he hears what he wants to hear, if you know what I mean. You do repeat intonation and sounds, so maybe that’s what he means. I can only vouch for “mama.”

New tricks. Your motor skills have made a huge leap this past month. You spot the tiniest things from across the room (blueberry, piece of dust, etc) and can pick them up with your thumb and index finger. You stack your colored rings and actually do it over and over until you do them in order. You’ve never done all 5 in order but you do 3 and sometimes 4. You love putting things into boxes or baskets or cabinets, dropping books behind your bookshelf and then pulling them out again, putting lids/caps on things and feeling so proud when you do it, collecting items on your walker like it’s a shopping cart and then pushing them around, etc. You love music and shake pill bottles, rattles, drinks, etc. and smile and dance. You dance while playing the piano or if I put on any type of music from Raffi to classical to “What Does the Fox Say?”

As for me. Aside from just getting over a terrible cold, I feel great. I actually had an awesome realization the other day: I am happy with my body and I eat ice cream every night. I had this realization during a team meeting at work the other day when we had to go around and share guilty pleasures. I was having trouble thinking of one. One of my co-workers goes “Oh, duh Carly, ice cream! You are always eating ice cream.” And I was just like, “Umm, but why would I feel guilty about that?!” It’s just a pleasure, not a guilty one. And the reason I feel happy with my body is not because I look amazing, but I finally have an exercise routine of yoga and running that I genuinely enjoy and helps alleviate stress. I feel so much stronger and flexible than I was just a few months ago.

What else? Oh, yesterday we got really, really, REALLY bad news about our house which means our move-in will be pushed back another month… or two. It’s hard not to feel depressed about this. My entire paycheck each month literally goes into the house. This recent development means not only a lot of $$$ but ripping up some work that we’ve already done on the house that was $$$ and then having to re-do it for more $$$. F everything, for real. We have basically no money to buy Christmas presents for anyone so I hope everyone is cool with something ugly and homemade by me.

Whatever, Hafiz is the only reason I can’t even be that upset. We are so blessed. Whatever.

c

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it was a double bday celebration for hus & hafiz

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post-party showing my minimal decorations

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