I'm still finding it hard to believe that our adorable little man turned one. After facing our loss, I feel even more appreciative of how great a gift his life is to us. I've always known that I shouldn't take him for granted, but now I more fully understand that on a different level. The first year of his life, and our first year being parents, has been a bigger gift than what we could have ever imagined. It's been a year filled with laughter, tears, frustrations, and joy. Oh, so much joy.
If I had to pick two words to describe him, I would say joyful and curious. He is such a genuinely happy baby, except for when he's tired or hungry, and I certainly don't blame him for that! He knows no stranger, smiles and waves at everyone he sees, reaches his arms out to be held, and is especially drawn to other kids. He gave out dozens of hugs and kisses to little ones at the airport and on our flight for Christmas vacation, making everyone around us smile and laugh. His joy is contagious, and it makes me smile to see him light up any room he enters!
He is filled with wonder for the world around him, and his observant nature makes me stop and slow down to take in what's around me. I love watching him explore and seeing the wheels in his mind turn as he examines every aspect of all the things he sees or touches. I would love to know what he is thinking!
His favorite parts of the day remain the same: eating, reading, and bathing. The only food he won't eat is acorn squash, and he's got the 98th percentile written on his charts to show for it. He still adores books, only now he also points at objects in the books and pretends to read by making all kinds of babbling sounds as he turns the pages, which in turn makes my heart melt. He gets so excited for bath time, that he starts wiggling, giggling, and flailing his arms about when we start stripping him down after dinner.
It has been so exciting watching him grow and develop over the past year. He is on the brink of walking, and he gets so excited trying to take steps that he just belly flops towards us, knowing we'll catch him, resulting in all of us cracking up! I'm so thankful to be able to witness his milestones and his growth throughout his first year of life.
I know a lot of people think we're crazy for choosing to start a family so young, but my goodness, it is so worth it. He is such an incredible blessing to us, and we can't imagine our lives without him. Don't get me wrong, it's also hard and challenging being parents at times, as we constantly have to put his needs above our own; yet, that's somehow, in a crazy way, part of what makes it so wonderful. Whenever I talk to expecting moms when I have Oliver with me, I make sure to tell them how much FUN parenthood is because it truly is an awesome gift from God!