My Sweet Baby Boy,
I don’t think I should be calling you a baby much anymore. My guess is that if you really understood me when I call you “baby” that you would point your chubby little finger at me and squawk. You are so incredible Gabriel, even when you are cranky. And instead of being my precious baby, you are now my wobbly little toddler.
In the time leading up to your first birthday your Dad and I pushed you so hard to get you to walk, but you were not having it. You were content with crawling and cruising. You would stand on your own in the middle of the room, which was a huge improvement.
You were communicating so well. You were pointing at things and letting out squeals to get what you want. It is cute to see you get excited when you are able to communicate what it is that you want. And although sometimes you are trying to get toys or your blanket, mostly what you want is food. Food is a good motivator for you.
On your first birthday we had a party for you at Grandma Great & Grandpa Jim’s house. They were not able to be there but they were kind enough to let us use their home and backyard. We had pizza and a dragon bounce house and lots of family and friends over to play.
For me, however, the best part came when it was time for cake. You weren’t sure at first why we put such a delicious and large piece of cake in front of you. But very quickly you decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and began to shove handfuls of cake into your mouth. And quickly your hands became mittens of blue frosting. It was this that upset you and started the screaming. When you no longer could separate your fingers because they were so caked with frosting, you kind of freaked out. So while I dished up cake and ice cream, Aunt Becca and Nicole took you upstairs to wash you off.
Also somewhere during this period of time, “someone” started a cake fight. And just for your info Gabe, it was not I. But needless to say, lots of people ended up with blue frosting all over. And also, just because I feel the need to have it documented somewhere, I was trying to stay out of the fight and YOUR FATHER shoved frosting in my face. So someday Gabe, when you see me get even, you will be able to understand why.
It was shortly after your birthday Gabe that things got crazy in our lives. Many people who read this blog, and someday you, understand why I have not been posting. It is not that I have been too busy for you but more, things have been darkened by a certain event in our lives. One that I fear, will hurt on of the most important relationships that a person can have-the bond between siblings. Some day Gabe, when you are reading this post and get curious, I will explain anything that you have questions about. Your Dad and I will tell you what happened and why this past little bit of time has been one the most wonderful and most awful times of my life. But you need to know Gabe, that the light that you continue to bring into our lives is what helps us to keep on doing what we are doing. We want you to have the best, even if when can’t give that to someone else.
And you need to know Gabe, that your sister Sera loves you. I am sad that she does not get to see you grow and learn every day. And it breaks my heart to think that right now, you probably have forgotten who she really is. But Sera loves you Gabe. When you have grown I want you to know that she asks about you every time we talk to her. She wants us to send her pictures of you and she tries to talk to you on the phone. I hope that the bigger you get, the more of her you will be able to remember. And I pray ever night that her absence from your life is only for a short period of time.
The day that we saw Sera leave at the airport, September 27th, was the day you took your first real steps. Before that time you had made little lunges towards thing maybe accidentally getting a step or two out of it, but it was that day, after we had seen Sera off and were back home, that you walked. It makes me cry, right this very moment, for two reasons. One, because it was something we had been trying so hard for and it was amazing to see you finally achieve. And two, because I know how badly Sera wanted to be there with you when you took your first shaky steps in this world and she missed by about an hour.
Since that day, we have not been able to slow you down. Our primitive baby proofing has proven to be amateur at best. And if there is something we don’t want you into, that is usually the first place you go. You shove your toys under the kitchen sink. You pull potholders and other utensils out of the drawers. You put crackers in the clothes dryer. You get boxes of cereal or Hamburger Helper out of the cupboard. Or my personal favorite, you unroll all of the toilet paper off the roll, play in the toilet, and then proceed to march out of the bathroom with the nasty toilet bowl brush in your hand. Learning to move with you and have a good defensive strategy is the main focus of your Dad and I. In fact, as I am typing this your Dad is in the kitchen installing child lock to the cupboard under the sink, which is sure to piss you off in the morning.
Your favorite game is peak-a-boo but not in the traditional sense. Oh sure, we can throw a blanket over our heads and yell loudly, “Gabe, where is Mama?” And soon enough you yank it off, along with a few hairs, and smile proudly as we proclaim “HERE I AM!” But even better than that, I will lay on the floor so that I am looking away from you and ask “Gabe, where are you?” and you giggle as you sneak up along side of me and peak your face around my head so that I can just barely see you out of the corner of my eye. I then clap and say, “There you are Gabe!” and you smile a clap too.
This past weekend marked your second Halloween. We celebrated with a parade with the other kids from your daycare on Friday and a visit you my work and your Dad’s work later that afternoon. You got a lot of candy on Friday and everyone thought you were almost too cute for words. Saturday we celebrated by going to Grandma Karen & Grandpa Chad’s church for a trick-or-treat parade which brought in even more candy. And after that we went to your cousin Cameron’s birthday party, which about did you in. By the point, you were so overwhelmed with candy and kids and NOISE NOISE NOISE, that you would periodically throw yourself on the floor and scream “Mama!”
It was raining Saturday night so we didn’t take you out with the neighbor kids but the did get to see you in your cute costume and you even got to partake in a few of the treats the you collected. And I will say it here, I think you are the CUTEST Yoda to ever walk the face of the Earth or any other planet for that matter.
All in all Gabriel, these have been a couple of crazy months for us all. You talk more and more. We can’t understand most of what you say but you first three words were: Dada, Mama, and Puppy. You followed quickly with Hi, No, Grandma, and Night Night. You walk and borderline run almost anywhere you go. You play games with us and like to turn the pages when we read to you. And clap and smile, even when you hear the crowd doing it during a Jazz game that your Dad and I are watching on T.V. You will mimic Grandpa Chad’s silly laugh which makes all of us laugh even harder.
I want to thank your grandparents Gabe. Your Dad’s parents, Grandpa Scott and Grandma Linda and my parents, Grandpa Chad and Grandma Karen. It is amazing to see all that they do for you and how much they love you. I know that you make them just as happy as you make your Dad and I. And I want you Grandma Linda and Grandpa Scott to know that we hope they are able to come down and see you as much as they would like, now that they are retired. We want them to have an amazing relationship with you because you are one amazing little boy.And you are truly just that Gabe-my little boy. Not so much a baby but a little boy who loves making messes, being loud, acting silly, and giving kisses to his Mommy and Daddy. I hope that you never getting tired of giving me kisses Gabe because I cannot seem to give you enough. I am sorry for not posting all of this sooner, but I know everyone understands. I love you Gabey-Baby. Happy Belated One-Year Birthday!