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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Calvin's Big Year

This past Monday was Calvin's first birthday. I can't believe my little boy is already a year old!

It has been quite a year for our family. We've had the usual challenges and joys of the first year of parenting, plus some that are a little more unique to Calvin.

We coped with the news of his chromosome anomaly and all the medical implications that went along with it. We kept up with the array of doctors and specialists who continue to follow and care for Calvin (immunology, endocrinology, cardiology, surgery, renal, cranio-facial, his regular pediatrician, and his OT for feeding). Calvin endured many check-ups, blood tests, and even his first surgery like a champ.

We watched him learn to sit up, babble, roll, scoot, crawl, pull up, and "cruise" (walk while holding an edge) - triumphs for all babies, but I think especially for those at risk for delayed development.

From the day he was born, we watched him charm everyone around him with his friendly disposition and that one irresistible dimple. We have seen his sweet personality develop as he showed us which foods he likes best (bananas, cheerios, ritz crackers, and applesauce), what he likes to play with (shakers, the bead track, and books - what a proud teacher mama I am that Calvin loves books!), what makes him laugh (dancing, tickling, peek-a-boo, and when he sneezes), what scares him (jack-in-the box and sometimes the swing at the park) and even his favorite animal (dogs - so far!).

We have also learned about his personality by how he reacts to the world around him. He loves other babies and isn't afraid of new adults. Although he's very friendly and social, he is also fine playing by himself. He is content to explore his toys and surroundings on his own. In new places he becomes quiet and observant, then more active once the new situation has become familiar. Now that he is crawling and pulling up, he explores the apartment with curiosity - looking over and under everything he can reach, opening containers and peeking into baskets, finding new props to help him stand and "cruise" around.

Calvin has been on family trips and outings. Two trips to Georgia: one in late summer, one in winter; hikes and picnics; and two trips to Lake Tahoe. He has celebrated lots of holidays and birthdays with friends and family, including two Easters!

Calvin has also been to a few different baby classes including baby sign language play group, "cuttlefish" swim lessons, and his latest class: Gymboree!

It has been amazing, humbling, empowering, and joyful being a mama to this wonderful boy. I can't wait to see what will unfold for Calvin in the coming year. I don't expect it to be easy! I expect that Calvin's second year - especially with Calvin becoming a big brother! - will have even more challenges, but even more joys for me and his daddy.

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