Friday, December 27, 2013

A Lovely Little Christmas

This Christmas was technically Calvin's second, but really it was his first with any awareness of what was going on, considering for last Christmas he was not even 4 weeks old yet.  We had so much fun with him this year!

To kick off the season, we put up our tree, and Calvin was very excited to "help" decorate it.  To his credit, he paid little attention to the tree overall, but he did manage to pull it down once.  Thankfully it did not fall on Cal, we only lost 2 ornaments, and I was only mildly injured trying to catch the tree (a badly broken nail).  I just happened at that moment to be taking pictures of him with it (at least, trying to), so I actually have this 'action' shot of the tree on its way down.
thankfully the only catastrophe of the season
Also, we went to the Columbus Zoo's Wildlights the week before Christmas.  It was quite cold, but we were all bundled up, especially Cal, so it wasn't too bad. The lights were beautiful, and Calvin was alternately excited and hypnotized by them.

The Saturday prior to Christmas, we braved the crowds and went to see Santa. We waited a little over an hour in line (which actually wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be), and though Cal started to get a little restless toward the end, overall he was very good.  When it was finally his turn, we couldn't wait to see his reaction. Of course we hoped for the best.  When I sat him down on Santa's lap, Calvin stared ahead at the camera with a deer-in-headlights expression.  

Then, he looked up at Santa, who looked down at him, and they snapped a shot right at that adorably precious moment.

Finally, after we danced little jigs and waved our arms while standing just beside the camera, we managed to coax a big smile out of Calvin (Santa looked pretty bemused as well).  As much as I loved the previous shot, this one's my favorite.

After all that fun, we stepped into a nearby Hallmark store to pick out a special heirloom ornament for our tree.  Definitely starting a little tradition here.  I LOVE the one we picked.

On Christmas Eve, we traveled up to Cleveland to visit with Brian's family on his mother's side, and Calvin of course charmed the pants off of everyone.  It was wonderful to see everyone, and other than having to chase Cal constantly (lots of stairs + no baby gates = Cal off to the races), Calvin did great.  We came back home that evening with Brian's sister in tow (she lives in D.C. and had flown into Cleveland for the holiday).
Calvin cheesing with his Auntie Kristy
clapping with his Great-Grandma I
Off to sleep so Santa can come!
Christmas Day was so nice.  We invited everyone to our house for the celebration, the only downside of which is the vigorous cleaning necessary, which is very nicely offset by not having to travel anywhere.  After everyone woke up, we all opened presents, and Cal immediately started playing with his new toys.

We then had breakfast, and relaxed for a while.  My mom, sister and my sister's boyfriend showed up.  We worked on preparing food for a special Christmas dinner.  Brian debuted a glorious roast beef (absolutely nailed it on his first time ever cooking one!); I made manicotti (it's not a fancy meal without an Italian dish!); my mom brought a ham and sweet potatoes, and Brian also made yukon gold mashed potatoes, and mouth-watering fresh green beans smothered in toasted butter-bread crumbs, from his mother's recipe.  What a feast!  Cal LOVED it all (as did the rest of us) and ate so much food!  :)

I love setting a fancy table.  I don't often get to do it, but I really enjoy it when I do get the chance.

After dinner, we lazed in the living room and enjoyed each other's company a little while longer, before calling it a night.  Calvin really enjoyed getting loved on by everyone, playing with his new toys, eating yummy food and getting lots of special time with mama and daddy.

All in all, it was delightful, and I'm just so grateful to have Calvin in our life. He makes these holidays (and every other day) so much more joyous.  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 6, 2013

525,600 Minutes of Our Little Turkey

Calvin is 12 months old!  Our honey bee hit the Big O-N-E on Thanksgiving Day. So very appropriate.  We hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the first time; my mom and sister came over and it was lovely.  Cal had a great day, getting loved on by his nonna and aunt, eating lots of delicious food, including birthday cheesecake (made by me, it turned out so well, yum!), and spending the whole day with us. We concluded the evening with a cuddly bedtime reading of the new book we gave him for his birthday.

This little turkey is 1!
nomming his Thanksgiving meal
making a mess!
so tasty!
It's just so hard to believe a year has already passed since this beautiful little boy came to us.  I remember his birth so clearly, and think of it often.  What an adventure this year has been!  I have been basically in a perpetual state of amazement as I've watched him grow and develop into the vivacious, hilarious, brilliant, wonderful little boy he is today.

What a difference a year makes!
These days, Cal is thisclose to walking - he walks back and forth holding onto his fire truck riding toy, and he's often "caught" standing without holding onto anything.  He even dances without toppling over!

Calvin just had his 12-month doctor's appointment today.  It went great (other than some tears during the shots, which I quickly remedied with a nursing session), and we found out just how big this little butterball is.  At 23 lbs, he's 75th percentile for weight, and at 32" tall, he's 97th percentile for height, WOW! Doc said he's growing perfectly.  We must be doing something right!  :)

photo by Simon of Gotta See Ya Photography
Calvin loves music, and yes, dancing.  He loves playing with his myriad of toys, and what I'm impressed by is that he plays with ALL the toys that are out - he really doesn't gravitate to just one or two.  Hopefully this means he'll be a very well-rounded individual.  :)  Cal very much enjoys chasing the cats, and he cracks up when we "chase" him.  He's recently been flashing a stinker face, which is hilarious every time.  He loves eating - seriously, the kid eats just about everything - and he is still going strong with nursing, which we both love.  And he LOVES his mama and daddy.

photo by Andrea of Sidney Layne Photography

photo by Simon of Gotta See Ya Photography
And we love him, oh, how we love him.  Though sometimes parenthood is... challenging... I desperately, wholeheartedly, overwhelmingly LOVE my little boy, and cherish all the wonderful ways he has changed my life and exponentially enriched my soul.  Love you love you love you, Calvin, always always.

❤ this is how I measured my year ❤