It's true. My little boy is officially a toddler. To prove it he walked three steps by himself yesterday in front of us. Where did that baby go so fast? It really is amazing how much he has grown in one year. He started at 8 lbs, 5 oz and almost 20 inches long.
At his one year check up on Monday he weighed in at 23 lbs and 29 inches. That's a lot of growing in a year. Now he looks like this:
We had a fun party for his birthday on Sunday. He caught his first cold for his first birthday, so he was not feeling the greatest, but he enjoyed playing with all of the kids just the same. Because of rain, we were stuck indoors, so I'm really glad we hadn't been planning a barbeque or picnic. The hit of the party was the "ball pit" which was Andrew's baby pool filled with about 100 little balls. The kids loved diving in or just sitting in it and throwing the balls around. Even the babies had fun with it. Who would have expected something so simple would bring so much pleasure. We left it out for now and Andrew has played in it ever day. He taught himself to climb in and out of it and has even started picking up the stray balls and putting them back in. It is really cute!
Birthday wake up! Despite his cold, he had a smile. Monkey birthday cake for our silly monkey.
Playing with his cousin. I made his tee shirt.
Birthday boy with mommy!
Andrew received some wonderful presents and has been enjoying new "bigger boy" toys. It will forever amaze me how incredibly difficult it is to get toys out of their packaging. I bought him a few toys from Moolka, mostly German and French imports. They were packaged in parent friendly containers that did not require special tools to open. The American company toys (made in China, I'm sure,) were twisty tied and sealed in their boxes and took great strength to unwrap.
To commemerate Andrew's first birthday we got his photo taken, along with some family shots.
For my birthday this past May I received a Sprinkles cupcake mix set in the dark chocolate flavor, the kind sold at Williams Sonoma. I wanted to make them all summer, but never got a chance for various reasons. So, with just two days left of summer on Saturday, I whipped up these babies. The mix needed the typical eggs, butter, liquids added and there was a recipe for a chocolate buttercream icing. The dot candy toppers were included. I thought the cupcakes were a bit dry and would probably pull them out of the oven a bit earlier if I made them again--the recipe called for 20-25 minutes in the oven, I pulled mine out at 22 minutes. The icing was great, and is a standard buttercream recipe with cooled melted chocolate mixed in to it. There were only 12 cupcakes, and only two left today! I think we enjoyed them.
Andrew's first birthday party is on Sunday and I can hardly believe it was one year ago we were patiently waiting for the day he would arrive. So much has happened in this past year. When he was born I promised him that on his birthday he would get cupcakes instead of having to deal with the ordeal of birth. It was a silly promise that he doesn't recall, but it made me happy to make for him after we both survived that craziness of birth. While I did order a cake for him because making one this year isn't in me (it took five hours to make my niece's Dora cake!) I am planning to make some cookies as favors and am debating making a small batch of cupcakes just for Andrew (and us!) I'll have to see how the week goes. I had originally thought about purchasing the cupcake cake pan at William Sonoma, but after really looking at it in the store, I decided it was way too small to serve the whole family/party. If it ever goes on sale, I will get it though, since it is cute.
While I suppose the presidential race is a bit more serious than this, but it certainly adds some yum factor to what is becoming a stressful race. Wee boy and I visited our favorite local bakery this afternoon to order his, (sniff,) first birthday cake. (While I could make it, I am not that insane at the moment.) Weinrich's has been selling presidential race cookies for a while now and they keep track of what they sell. So far, it seems that the Democratic ticket is in the lead by a large margin. In fact, they were just about sold out of Obama cookies today and were busy filling a large order when I was there. There was a story on our local news last week about the cookie race so since we were at the bakery I thought it would be fun to participate. (Andrew also got a butter cookie from the bakery lady, his first "real" cookie. I believe he may have inherited the maternal sweet tooth gene.)
Andrew went to music class yesterday and seemed to enjoy it. The class was full--12 kids and 12 parents plus the teacher. Andrew enjoyed checking out all of the other kids and instruments. While it makes Chris shudder, I think I'll buy Andrew some of the instruments for Christmas. The shakers and clacker ones fit nicely in his hand and he has always enjoyed shaking things to hear the sounds they make.
He looks like he is ready to start school in this photo to me. I can't believe he is almost a year old. Notice the rather generic looking remote control in his clutches. He loves remote controls, particularly the universal one that actually makes the tv do things. His other favorite toys this week are used danactive containers and empty vitamin water bottles that he trash picks out of the recycle bin. Why we buy toys, I don't know...
The wee boy and I, along with some friends, checked out the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ last week. We saw lots of fish and even caught a glimpse of their new hammer head shark, which was really cool looking. The saw-nosed shark was neat to watch too. One of the divers in the shark tank tried communicating with Andrew, who wasn't quite sure what to make of the oddly dressed man waving to him from inside the giant shark tank.
We also got a chance to see some leopard rays that were not on display to the public, thanks to a wee one's friend's daddy who works at the aquarium.
The hippo tanks were also fun to watch.
Despite missing naps, it was a fun day. More photos over at Flickr.
Since having a boy and reading about scares regarding mass manufactured toys filled with potential chemical hazards, I have been more interested in knitting toys. I have lots of patterns for toys and have found lots more on Ravelry. This swirled ball is one that I first discovered on Flickr, which led me to Ravelry, which led to a free pattern here. It was one of the more fun patterns to knit and would look great in lots of color combinations. I used cotton yarn that isn't squeaky, especially when a certain little boy chews on it.
One of my current favorite toy catalogs is Moolka, which is where wee one's birthday gifts are coming from, as well as last Christmas' presents. I like how their toys require imagination and not tv screens or batteries.
Dinner tonight is cooking already in the crock pot. It is a recipe from a friend for Chicken Cacciatore.
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 six ounce cans tomato paste
8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
Put sliced onion in bottom of crock-pot. Add chicken. Stir together rest of the ingredients. Spread over chicken. Cook: 7-9 hours low or 3-4 hours high.
I didn't use wine and replaced it with water and a teaspoon of cider vinegar. I also added some fresh basil leaves from my plants in the yard. It smells great.
The wee one has awoken from morning nap. Let the playing begin!