Elias turned ONE on May 30th. A whole year. One full rotation around the sun. I've had a lot of people ask me "can you believe it?! It seems to go fast!" to which I often found myself replying both yes and no. Yes, because a year feels so big and so important and means saying goodbye to baby and hello to toddler. But no because, quite frankly, it has felt like longer than a year due to being awake more hours of this last year than any other before. It has been a long and beautiful journey into this thing called motherhood. While exhausting and overwhelming, it's also been awe-inspiring, humbling, and packed with joy.
This little munchkin has stolen our hearts and run off with a smile.
It has taken me a full 2 weeks to finally get to this post because we have been so busy enjoying summer, having Jon home from school, and getting outside. It's summer and we are eating it up.
Elias's first birthday party was SO much fun, and we loved watching him grin from ear to ear all day long while he greeted each of his guests. This kid loves people. The more the merrier. And a party for him where he gets to see all his favorites AND try out cake for the first time? You would think he would burst from excitement.
Our dear friend Keith was so thoughtful and took photos of it all for us so we could just enjoy. It helps that he's a really awesome photographer, too. So these are all his handiwork. Thanks, Keith!
We did a nautical theme and really got into it! I think our excitement for summer and all things ocean may have influenced our excitement just a bit. I made the invitation myself and was really thrilled with how well it came out. The whale just makes me so happy. :)
Because his birthday fell on Memorial Day, we grilled out and had a kiddie pool for the littles to enjoy. The big kids loved it. Eli was not a fan of being splashed, but warmed up to it after a little bit.
I made a buoy photo booth backdrop based on this blog post and it came out beautifully! I was surprised by how easy it was and I wish we had taken more photos in front of it before taking it down. It was so colorful and cheery!
I really went outside of my comfort zone and made a birthday cake. Most every cake I've ever made in the past has been a total flop, so I was determined to make this one awesome! I asked my dear friend Mignon, who is the best baker I know, for some advice and recipe help. After a very nerve-wracking evening of baking and flurry of texts back and forth with photos for guidance, I. baked. a. cake. !!! Mignon completely saved the day and it turned out to be one of the best cakes I've had in my life. It was a classic yellow cake with blue ombre buttercream frosting and layered with blueberry compote. Heaven.
Eli not only loved it, but thought it was too good to not share and gladly gave his Dada a taste. I died.
We love this little boy so very much and are loving this new stage with him. Cheers, to many more years with you, sweet Eli!
For my own future reference (and for the curious grandparents who love the updates), here are some new things he is doing, saying, loving:
- We successfully weaned from the paci after our Boston trip and he is doing great without it.
- Words he can now say: Mama, Dada, Mimi, Hannah, Nana, diaper (die-pum), vroom vroom, ball (baahhhh), bath (baaat!!!), hat, bye, airplane (ah-plun), all done (ah-dunn), brush, helmet (hel-meh) and up!
- Can do these signs: all done, more, thank you, up, milk, and please.
- Can identify his nose, eyes, mouth, hair, ears, toes, hands, and belly button.
- Walking everywhere! He's trying a new walking skill each day and will do it over and over until he masters it. For example, walking from rug to hardwood and back, or going up and down the small step between the living room and sunroom. He also enjoys grabbing an object and walking with it to the next room to give it to someone.
- He eats like a teenage boy already. If I'm not careful, he will eat my whole meal for me. There doesn't really seem to be any food he refuses, but he definitely has preferences! If he sees a blueberry, he may well explode with excitement. This kid LOVES blueberries.
- Anything with water is the BEST THING EVER. He has a kiddie pool and loves to splash. His evening bath is probably his favorite part of the day. He screams BAAAT (bath) at the top of his lungs as soon as I indicate it's time for a bath.
- Eli loves riding on the back of my bicycle. The bike seat has given us so much more freedom to get around when Jon has the car, and allows us to pace Jon on runs without needing the jogging stroller every time. It's been so much fun to ride with him!
- Lately, he's shown a lot of interest in doing the things we do. He will "help" load the dishwasher by transporting the contents of the tupperware drawer into the washer rack, brush our hair, put shoes on our feet, play drums, and cut the grass with his toy mower.
- One of his favorite activities is taking a ball, toy, or other object to the dog and holding it up to see if he will take it. Sometimes he becomes disappointed if Mac refuses to accept his offering of a shoe or the tv remote. Can't say I blame him.
- It appears that Eli is a very social child and is very eager to meet and interact with new people. I am not sure he's ever met a stranger. As soon as he makes eye contact with someone, they are new best friends and are greeted with a a beaming smile and a vigorous wave (sometimes a double-handed wave if they really seem friendly). It's not uncommon for him to spend more time waving and smiling at people than eating when we go out to eat.
- Eli seems to think everything with wheels says vroom vroom, except for motorcycles, which are "dada vroom vroom".
- He LOVES to tell everyone as loudly as possible what sound a monkey makes. There is no such thing as a quiet monkey.
- Little Blue Truck continues to be his favorite book and we have it memorized forwards and backwards. Sometimes during a particularly difficult fit, reciting that book aloud is the only thing that will calm him down. Beep Beep Beep!
- He can successfully point out correct family members in pictures when prompted.
- He got a scooter for his birthday from his Mimi and loves to push it around and ring the bell.
- If we are not giving him enough attention, he will go to something that is a no-touch item and start messing with it and calling out for Mama or Dada. It's manipulative and maddening, but effective at getting our attention. No, you may not continue touching the power strip or eating dog food.
- He is a fierce lover of his Dada. First thing in the morning, he's asking for Dada. Last thing at night before bed, Dada. Jon is the best Daddy and loves to lavish Eli with snuggles, tickles, and silly games.