Thursday, October 16, 2014

Splish Splash, Birthday Bash

Chase is one. I can't even believe it. I don't know where the last year went. I can't even figure out where Summer went. It seems like we were JUST planning our trips to Powell and anticipating Timber's litter and getting excited about all that and now it's just... over. I never understood what the heck adults meant when they'd say having kids makes time go by so far. Dude. I get it now.
We had a small party for his birthday- just family really. Well... and Jim and Becki, who really might as well be family. They count.
We did a simple casual lunch/ dinner thing with an under the sea theme. It was a lot of fun, if not a little stressful, to plan and put together. I have never felt like I'm any good and throwing parties, I tend to forget the most basic things, but I am pretty pleased with how it all came together. It was particularly nice to have so much of the family together.
We especially appreciated that so much of Jon's family made the LONG trek all the way from Vegas just to celebrate with us. What a heart-warming reminder of how much love and support this little man has around him. I did a lot of reflecting on the past year but ESPECIALLY on those first months. I don't think as a mom I will ever stop worrying about him, but those were especially tender times. It's hard to think that there was ever a time that I didn't know what a PICC line was. I had never even heard of bradychardia, and apnea was something I only associated with older men. Now I have machines stored away in the closet, extra infant leads under the sink in the bathroom and I can trace a total of 17 tiny silver blemishes from needles that pepper his otherwise creamy baby skin, including the one right smack dab in the middle of his back- a reminder of the day we thought he had spinal meningitis.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Not just for the fact that my son was one of the lucky ones who came home, but for the flood of love and support that came our way during that time. He had quite the prayer army, and that really carried our family through those days. As if simply being new, first-time parents wasn't intimidating enough, no matter how much thought and effort goes into meticulously planning, NO ONE includes the NICU in their birth plan, and we certainly didn't. I figured if Timber could give birth in my living room, surely I could too. And I still believe I can, it just didn't go that way this time.
And now, one year later, I look at this happy, smiling, bouncy 17lb boy who has come into my life and made EVERYTHING have purpose. He's incredible. I can't believe how far he has come and that's no doubt partially thanks to his vast support system that only starts with Jon and I but is infinite beyond that. He's got Grandamas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends rooting for him. And I can not think "family support" without my mind going to Grandpa Albert who has always been the rock of our family, and though he's not here in the flesh any more, I have no doubt he keeps an eye on all of us- including his little namesake, Chase Albert, from the other side. No doubts.
As the day went on, we ate, we talked, we laughed. We sang Happy Birthday to our little 2lb wonder, and we had a blast. Though, I think Chase would have preferred we skip the singing. Apparently our talents were not up to par and it was quite upsetting to him. Luckily he got over that quickly.
I feel so lucky to have this boy in my life. I am lucky to be his mama.
We took him to his official one-year checkup with his pediatrician, and he was pretty happy with his progress. As many preemies (and plenty of full-term babies, too!) do, he does have some developmental delays, particularly regarding gross motor skills and communication. We have been referred to Kids on the Move to have him evaluated and get some pointers on things we can be doing at home to help him, and also some therapies we may consider enrolling him in just for peace of mind. There's nothing we won't do for him if needed.
1. has one tooth, with two not far behind
2. his favorite foods are yogurt, meat, green beans, and cheese
3. absolutely, positively will not take any bottle we have tried- and we've tried them all
4. can drink from a regular cup, with help
5. can wave buh bye
6. says Mama
7. can pull up from a sitting position
8. has advanced fine motor skills
9. has never had a babysitter
10. is in a stranger danger phase, but somehow we're simply OK with this.
11. Has exactly zero interest in crawling
12. Is so close to cruising on furniture. So so close.
13. Wants to eat anything and everything we are, but has nothing to do with being spoon-fed puree baby food.
14. genuinely enjoys the dogs, and thinks it's super fun to feed them from his tray- something I am sure he will do the rest of his life!
15. Loves bath time, and boating, and anything else involving water
16. is officially on an Ergo strike, which is hugely inconvenient.
17. Is a mama's boy. Oh... darn. *sarcasm*
18. Has no interest in other babies. At all.
19. Is down to one nap/ day, but sleeps well through the night.
20. Is nowhere near even CONSIDERING weaning.

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