Tomorrow is officially Valentine's Day. I usually try not to get too worked up over what is essentially a Hallmark holiday (Although I am technically female and do wind up getting caught up in it because what female doesn't grasp desperately at the one day of the year when romance is not asked but demanded from her better half? The important word here is TRY.) but not this year. This year(Second only to last year) is the do-all, end-all, of Valentine's Days.
This Valentine's Day is Critter's First Birthday. I'm officially sleeping through the night, I'm officially "nursing" free, and I'm happy about these things. In honor of this milestone event, I present to you "A Year of Firsts" in pictures.
Critter's first days with us in the hospital. Little did we know how soon he would begin ruling over us with his beautiful blue eyes, his iron fist, and a readily available screech that can shatter glass.
Critter's first day home. And the first time meeting our loyal four legged family member who couldn't come to the hospital, Kepler. Clearly, this picture shows just how early he began perfecting that screech.
Critter's first pair of overalls. I love little boys in overalls. I could eat them up. I'd still be putting Smoochie in overalls but a: he won't let me, and b: it might just send off "Children of the Corn" vibes. I'll stick with Critter for now.
First Easter Celebration. First corduroys AND first argyle (which Critter interpreted as, "Why ON EARTH did you put me in this crappy scratchy sweater, mom?" Smooch would have shown his little brother what Easter celebrating was all about, but he woke up sick and running a fever on Easter morning, so he wound up showing Critter how to be a pitiful, non-moving lump.
First Birthday invite for cousin Leyna's celebration. This was at her first birthday party. The first time I held Leyna I fell in love, and was inspired to say, "Lets have more." Critter blessed us 9 months later.
The first time Critter fell asleep while playing. This was MONUMENTAL because it was the first time he actually sat and played without screaming for me to pick him up. I think he just may have given me the time to empty the dishwasher for the first time in months. He looked so beautiful I wanted desperately to kiss him, but I was afraid I would wake him and face his wrath (and screech).
First day with the new Bumbo Seat. I loved, loved, loved this seat. It's the best purchase I've made in his entire first year. We were able to take it with us to different places so quick and easy, and he always had a place to eat, and to chill out and play- no matter where we were. Picnics, BBQ's, relatives who weren't Grandma and didn't come equipped with their own high chairs. Have I mentioned that I loved this seat? I loved it right up to the point after Christmas when he discovered he could wiggle out of it, and it was no longer safe. Now I mourn it and life will never be the same. - This endorsement was in no way paid for by the makers of Bumbo.
Critter's first obsession. I can't say I blame him. Those little dimples on his toes are so cute I could eat them myself.
First Halloween. Every year we make a trip with Family and friends to the Pumpkin farm. It is a tradition we all look forward to, which includes grilled corn on the cob and a yearly camel ride with daddy. Also- first acquired taste. Maybe next year sitting on a pile of mini pumpkins will be more fun (or mom and dad will come to their senses and realize how uncomfortable it is).
First Thanksgiving. Turkey leg, meet Critter. Critter, meet Turkey leg.
First Christmas and the tradition of the Santa Suit. My Mom has had a Santa Suit which all of the grand kids wore for their first Christmas. It looked like Smooch was going to be the last (he was 6, after all, when Critter arrived), so the suit was "altered" as a Halloween costume for Mom's new dog, Shelby. Unbeknown to me, my oldest niece, Amber, was insanely jealous that Critter would not have to endure the sheer embarrassment that is the Santa Suit (she is 14, so appearing within 15 feet of her in public is also considered an embarrassment). She glowed with happiness when she saw the newly purchased Santa Suit for the newest member of the family.
Tomorrow, the newest member of the family is turning 1. The journey of the past year has been challenging, to say the least. But I have also come to know an expansion of my heart, the most magnetic blue eyes I have ever seen, and an unending gratefulness that my ear drums are, in fact, still intact.
I love you, Critter. Happy Birthday, Little Dude.
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