Caleb’s Officially One!

I officially have a one year old.

I can’t believe that it has already been an entire year since I was able to finally set eyes on the being I grew. Someone recently shared with me an article “6 reasons December babies are special, according to science” – and while I think that all babies are special, it was a joy to read that article. I have felt so truly blessed to have Caleb in my life. It’s funny, even though he hasn’t existed that long, I cannot imagine my life without him.

The birthday boy all ready for daycare this morning.

There have been bad days, of course, but the good days outweigh the bad days a million times over. I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.

We don’t give Caleb a lot of sugar but I did let him have a couple of bites of a cupcake. He enjoyed it a lot.

That being said…  I’m giving my two weeks notice to my job. I returned to work when Caleb was exactly 3 months old with the short-term goal of being able to stay home with him. My self-imposed deadline kept getting pushed farther and farther back. We are now at the point where I am able to stay home with Caleb and I want to take that opportunity. The toughest part of all of this was letting Caleb’s daycare know (it made me a little misty-eyed). They’ve been with him for 9 months and have watched him grow so much. We went with that daycare because it had the feeling of taking Caleb to grandma’s house and we couldn’t have asked for a better family.

That face! <3

So this is my birthday present to Caleb in a way. Sure, it will be interesting setting up our routine, especially as I will be working some from home, but I look forward to the opportunities that we will have together. There is always that doubt in my mind if this is what is best for Caleb, for our family, but I’m comforted by so many fellow moms (even some who have children that are now in their 30’s and 40’s) telling me that they do not regret staying home with their children for the first few years.

“We are reminded that, in the fleeting time we have on this Earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame, but rather how well we have loved and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better.”

– Barack Obama

The birthday boy is OUT!

We celebrated his birthday today simply. A cupcake, a song (followed by the playing of the Captain Zoom birthday song – a tradition my mom started many years ago), and that was it. We’re having a few people over on Saturday for a little birthday party but nothing big.

Life with a 10 Month Old

I haven’t done just a general update on Caleb in a long time and I’ve had quite a few people asking me for one. Even though Caleb doesn’t turn 10 months officially for about 3 more days, I’m calling this his 10-month update.

It amazes me how quickly Caleb’s first year has been going by. In just a few short months, I’ll have a one-year old on my hands! Caleb started walking not long before he turned 9 months and since he figured out how to step those short little steps, there has been no stopping him. He has been walking here, there, everywhere around the house. It amazed the ladies at daycare how quickly he started walking and how well he walks. I think I have a determined – headstrong – little boy on my hands.

Just about three weeks ago, I felt Caleb’s first tooth poking through his bottom gums. A week later, another bottom tooth poked through. Then this past Friday, an upper tooth popped though! So it seems like he is averaging one tooth a week.

Most nights he sleeps through, or maybe will wake up once during the night. He’s easy to put back to sleep though for the most part with just a few minutes of nursing. His biggest issue is that some mornings, he will start tossing and turning at about 5-5:30 a.m. Once he starts to toss and turn, I find myself wide awake. I recently switched out one of his bottles that I send to daycare with some food and he is loving it. My goal is to offer breast milk to him as long as he wants but I’m not putting the pressure on myself to maintain a rigorous pumping and feeding schedule. It is less stress on my end.

Caleb loves to eat. Anything and everything. I try mostly to stick with whole foods – green beans, blueberries, and cucumbers are his favorite. I try to give him very little items with processed sugar simply because I don’t want him addicted to those kind of sweet treats. He loves it but just because you love something doesn’t mean you should have it!

This past weekend, we all went to a local farm festival. We went to the same festival last year when I was 29 weeks pregnant.

29 Weeks Pregnant

As long as we are in the area, I think we are going to try and continue the tradition of having our photo taken in front of this piece of farm equipment!

The farm festival, along with a trip on Saturday to a craft show and farmer’s market up in Wanchese, served as sort of my birthday adventure. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Caleb made quick friends with a little pig, though he didn’t seem very impressed by his new friendship. Or with any of it really. 😀 I will say that he did love getting the opportunity to sample the food inside of the market!



Our Outer Banks Adventure

I love being near the Outer Banks. It’s nothing for me to just get up on a day and drive down there for a few hours. During my maternity leave, I actually loaded Caleb up in the car and drove down there, picked up some Duck Donuts and came back home. It was a wonderful trip and a good way to spend a morning.

Caleb’s first taste of cantaloupe – he loved it!

Every summer for about 18 years now, my grandparents go down to the Outer Banks for about a week and stay in a condo inviting the rest of the family to come. I usually try to get down there. In the past few years though, I’ve only managed to go down for the day. The condo is located right near the ocean and when I was younger, it felt safe for me to be able to come and go as I pleased pretty much.

Two of Caleb’s favorite toys – a cup and a spoon!

The latest tropical storm lurked about 150 miles south off the coast of North Carolina this weekend, making it overcast, WINDY, and cool. The temperatures lurked in the low 80’s near about all weekend, giving us a nice break from the previous weeks. We couldn’t go on the beach because of how hard the sand was being blown everywhere but that’s okay – we still had fun!

Bonding time with the grandson!

My mom had picked Caleb up a float for the pool so we went to the indoor pool for about 15-20 minutes and let Caleb float around. He’s been in the water before and enjoys it. His little legs were kicking as hard as they could. I think that I have a little water baby on my hands and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Caleb was wore out from floating around, so I put him down for a brief nap before he resumed crawling around on the carpet. Crawling is something that he just started doing that weekend and he was so proud to show his skills off. He has even been working on pulling himself up a little bit. Now that he is mobile… we have our hands full!

After his nap, my mom, Caleb and I went down to Rock-A-Bye Baby OBX and picked up some really cute goodies. I can’t wait to get back and shop some more! I’m working on a YouTube video right now that’ll feature some of the goodies that I purchased from the shop as well as some clips of Caleb swimming.

I took Monday off of work so that Caleb and I could relax a little bit. Since it was a much warmer day, I took him outside and allowed him to just go to town with a bowl of apple puree. I think he had fun!

A Letter To My Son

Dear Caleb,

Yesterday you had your 4 month shots. I can’t believe that I have only been your mom for 4 months. It feels like a lifetime already. You make it so easy to be a mom, to be your mom. I cuddled with you most of the afternoon while you slept because I knew you needed it. I knew that you needed the warmth and safety of mom’s arms. Yes, I had to take leave without pay from work but it was worth it. You’re only going to be this small once.

You slept all day and into the evening. Even though I knew that I should wake you, I let you sleep. I knew that your little body needed the rest, even if it meant that we would be up all night. Sure enough, at midnight, you woke, ready to start your day. It made for a long day at work only having 3 hours of sleep, but how could I be upset at you? All you wanted to do was “talk” to me last night, to play with your toy, to share your happiness. Every time I looked over, your brown eyes looked right back at me. You would smile, a smile that filled my heart with joy. I know that you don’t understand the concept of love yet but you know that I am your person, your protector, your provider. I am your world.

But it won’t always be like this. As you grow bigger, as your world grows bigger, you won’t look at me the same. Sure, I’ll always be your mom and you’ll always love me, but things will change. Someone else will come into your life and I want that for you… one day… That’s why I had no problem staying home with you yesterday. I know our time together is short.

I’ve already watched you grow so much since you were born – cooing, reaching for things, holding your head up, interacting with others, TEETHING – it has been so amazing. I can’t wait to see where this journey continues to take us.

With love,

Mom

Our Edenton Adventure

I love going to the farmer’s market and the Edenton Farmer’s Market is one of my all-time favorite markets. I love the variety that is offered and the market seems to really have a bond with the rest of the community. Even better, they just opened up in a snazzy new permanent location this year. I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while now so Robb and I bundled up Caleb and made the drive over to Edenton.

I always set myself a spending limit for the farmer’s market. If I don’t, then I usually end up going way past my spending budget for the month. $40 seems to be the magical number for me since we grow a lot of our own food. I view the farmer’s market mainly as a way to supplement what we grow and as a venue to find some super awesome items. So here is what I got for my Farmer’s Market $40:

As of Monday morning, all we have left from our haul is two rabbit ears, some honey goat cheese, the microgreens, and the ground lamb. There is nothing like cooking with fresh, local vegetables.

After showing Caleb off at the farmer’s market, we decided to walk a few blocks downtown. I wish that it had been a few degrees warmer but it wasn’t bad if you stayed out of the wind. Robb had carried Caleb around the market but I slipped him into his carrier for our longer walk. Our Lil Bean is growing so fast that he will really tire out your arms! One of the things that I like most about babywearing (besides the bonding time) is that on a chilly day, it helps to keep Caleb nice and toasty.

Like every other time when we go to Edenton, I made Robb go into the Cupola House garden to take some photos of me. If the weather had been a bit nicer, I would have made him go to a few other spots but I decided that could way for another day. Maybe when Caleb is slightly bigger and we will be able to take him down to the playground and I can swing with him.

We went into Salty Kisses Boutique to check out their sale and found an absolutely adorable monster hat for Caleb when he gets a bit bigger.

For lunch, we ate at the recently opened Governor’s Pub. Robb had a burger while I had a turkey Reuben (aka, the “Rachel”).

We were all tuckered out by then so we piled in the car and headed back home.

I love our little day trips and can’t wait to take Caleb on some more adventures! Though I think that he might have been a little less than impressed with the day…