12 Months: We Made It!

I'm writing this post with a coat of semi-obnoxious glittery nail polish drying as I type. It is the first quiet moment I've had in what has been a string of Christmas/Birthday/NewYear related activities over the past week or so. It was so wonderfully fulfilling and we created so many memories but quite frankly, I'm damn exhausted.

Hence the delay in our Benjamin's One-Year post...and I'm kind of kicking myself because I always make deadlines so how could I miss the very last one of the series?!? But I'm (slowly) learning to cut myself some slack and so here we go - a few days late - but that's okay too.

One Year. 365 days. It's so true what they say about the days being long but the years being short. I cannot begin to describe how enriched our lives have been since Ben arrived. But it has also been incredibly challenging and tiring and overwhelming year at times too. We've experienced many life lessons - some easy and some hard, had moments of self-doubt and over analysis, experienced immense joys and fits of laughter that left our cheeks sore and our bellies aching. I wouldn't have it any other way. (Well, maybe a bit more sleep).

Ben is such a little character and I love him to pieces. He's figured out all sorts of ways to get our attention whether it be banging his head against the bannister, 'faking' injuries, laughing loudly or squealing at the top of his lungs and then giving us a big goofy grin. He loves to be with people and is generally very cheerful and friendly around them but can happily entertain himself quite well in his playroom too. I love this stage (and the opportunity to take a decent shower).

Ben is a great eater and has taken to eating pretty much whatever we're eating with just a few of the normal exceptions. He still likes throwing his bottle or water cup on the floor as many times as he can. He had his first cupcake and ate the whole darn thing in fistfuls...fistfuls! Looks like he has a sweet tooth like his mommy. Uh oh. Doesn't explain why he bites everything he can though. Ouch! Trying really hard to extinguish that behaviour.

We weighed Ben this month and he's a sturdy 20lbs. People tell me he's got long legs too which isn't surprising as his pants are getting shorter and shorter. He's got 5 official teeth but I'm seriously tempted to type 8 because there are three more that have just cut through and like to make an appearance from time to time. Consequently sleep has really regressed. He seems to wake up screaming 2-3 times within the first couple hours of putting him down, followed by a 2am 'hunger' wake up and then the usual morning routine. He started waking up for the day at 4am a few times this week which scared the crap out of me (how did we survive this when he was little?) but had a decent wake up time this morning so I'm hoping that was just an anomaly. He's moving around and is very determined about where he wants to go but but still prefers to hold on to our hands. I'd guess his first solo steps are just a matter of weeks away.

We've done so much this past month that I'm finding myself having to look back at our calendar to remember all the different events. As mentioned earlier, we flew down to Phoenix and Las Vegas for a few days in late November/ early December. Ben caught Roseola when we returned so that put us out of commission for a week. We attended a couple birthday parties (when healthy again) and joined in on some play dates and holiday brunches. A Christmas Tree lot was visited, Christmas parties were attended and Grandma baby sat a couple times. We walked through the freezing cold to view the Zoo Lights holiday display and celebrated an early Christmas with Danny's family by going out for dim sum and then having a gift opening back at our place. My entire side of the family (20+ people) congregated in the city for Christmas. We enjoyed Christmas Eve at cousin Megan and Gary's place, hosted Christmas brunch and dinner at our place, and then celebrated Ben's official birthday at Uncle T's and Aunt C's. We were surrounded by many close friends and family as we celebrated Ben's first birthday party and had yet another family dinner here complete with a chocolate fondu the day after.

We're tired but we're happy, especially little Ben. When I look back at those photos of the early days I can't help but feel so blessed with the person we have the privilege of raising. Of course it isn't always bubble gum and rainbows - but boy is it ever worth it!

Love you so much Benji! Happy Birthday!

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