Rafe’s 12 Month (First!) Birthday

And now, Yaya can no longer declare that Adik is zero years old! The boy is now one! Yayyyyy!! He’s pretty pleased about it, too!

[[image:2012_1229_rafe28.jpg:What you get when you ask him to smiiiiiile:center:0]]

* Mouse over the pictures for captions

It is just staggering how quickly a year has passed. Adik is no longer a tiny little newborn, but a fun little boy – he’s become a real person with a sense of humor, preferences that he can communicate, and a wonderfully sweet attitude to life. He’s a lovely easy-going baby, and happiest most when everyone is playing and laughing. In this past month, Adik has gone from being a world-class crawler to an almost-toddler. He can now walk about six steps independently. He loves to hold our hand (only one though!) and walks around getting into everything. He still is primarily a crawler – and it is amazing how fast this child can move crawling on all fours. Unlike Yaya who learnt very early to respect her boundaries, Adik ignores his. He wants to get into the kitchen, open cupboards and drawers, attack the cat food and climb the stairs. He’s a slippery and fast little guy so you cannot take your eyes off him! One minute he’s happily playing with a toy in the living room, the next he’s almost to the stairs and attempting to make a break for it! But yes, you heard it! He is almost a walker! He walks six or so steps before falling or sitting down. Wheee!

As you may remember from last month, Adik is now on a high calorie diet so all his foods have heavy cream or butter added to it. We weigh him at home from time to time and so far it’s looking good. His one year appointment isn’t till after his birthday so we will cover that another time. He has been a very good eater, and seems to be quite the bottomless pit. We see him making the “more” sign a lot. He uses it for everything! And he is not above asking us for food off of our plates. After being so used to the Yaya who turned into a picky eater, it feels quite odd to have a child actually asking for stuff and seeming to enjoy eating it! The following are foods that Adik tried (4-day trial) and his rating of them:

* Cauliflower puree (thumbs up)
* Potatoes + bay leaf with onion/chicken/garlic/rice (thumbs up)
* Whole milk (thumbs middle – it was not a hit right away)
* Blueberry yogurt (thumbs up)
* Cheerios (thumbs up)
* Rice krispie cereal (thumbs up)

The following are foods that Adik ate by asking to try what’s on our plates and so were not really part of a 4-day trial, and his rating of it:

* Graeter’s Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (thumbs up!!)
* Chocolate Chip pancakes with maple syrup (thumbs up)
* Toast with butter (thumbs up)

Adik also gets at least 1 container of pediasure a day, and nurses on demand still (especially at night). We need to get the number of times that he wakes up at night down so Mama can get more sleep. But otherwise, he’s a pretty easy-going baby. He happily noshes on cheerios all day and is learning to feed himself (he mostly misses or the cheerio falls out of his mouth before he can close it so it’s quite amusing).

Speech-wise, Adik is still sticking with his 4 words (Mama, Papa, Yaya and Kitkat) and the “more” sign is his default. He uses it almost like “want” rather than “more”. For instance, he will point to the TV after something he especially liked (usually a song) ended, and make the “more” sign. Or he will point to what’s on our plates and make the “more” sign. Meaning, hand some over, you selfish grown up! ūüôā He’s also following in Yaya’s footsteps and learning some animal noises. The one he knows well is “What does a bear say?” to which he will roar pretty convincingly. This started out with the animal finger puppets so he mostly needs the Bear finger puppet before he roars. He also makes the Kangaroo finger puppet bounce and loves when we make the “boing boing” sound effect for him.¬†

On the birthday front, thanks to friends and family who sent gifts, emails and facebook notices to wish Adik a happy birthday. Adik has a bunch of new stuffed animals, vehicular toys and other bits and bobs thanks to you all! We very much felt the love. Also thanks to those of you who included a gift for Yaya as well so she would not feel left out.

Now this is when we usually get to the part with the photos of how the boy spent his day, but given that this also coincided with our after-Christmas trip, I have also snuck in a few pictures of the fun time that we had first at the indoor waterpark in French Lick, IN. Let’s start first with some photos taken at the waterpark the day before Adik’s big birthday:

[[image:2012_1229_rafe01.jpg:Yaya and Adik have fun splashing each other:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe02.jpg:Wading in the baby pool:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe04.jpg:Cautious Adik needed Papa to show him it was OK to play:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe03.jpg:Playing with a little fountain at the baby pool:center:0]]

Adik was a little hesitant each time we went to the waterpark. He, of course, stayed only in the baby pool. But even there he was very careful and wanted me or Vin to be in the pool with him before he felt confident enough to crawl or wade (with help) through the water. This meant that we did not take many photographs as one of us was accompanying Yaya on her more challenging slides, and the other stayed with Adik.

We also took a short side-trip to Brian’s:

[[image:2012_1229_rafe05.jpg:Brian and his armfuls of jama’ed kids!:center:0]]

Now we’re ready to take a look at how Adik spent his very first birthday!

[[image:2012_1229_rafe06.jpg:Cuddles with Papa while getting ready to go to breakfast:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe07.jpg:More Cheerios Papa!:center:0]]

Yaya and I went to the waterpark for one final hurrah while Papa and Adik finished breakfast. And then we packed up, checked out and started on our snowy way to Becky’s. Yep, look at all that snow on the ground. Luckily the waterpark was kept at a lovely tropical temperature (both air and water) so we did not feel at all deprived, despite the weather outside.

[[image:2012_1229_rafe32.jpg:Even I had to admit that bits of the snowy scenery was beautiful:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe31.jpg:Look at all that snow:center:0]]

Adik slept through the first part of the 6-hour drive. When he woke up and demanded nourishment, we stopped for a bathroom break and snacks. 

[[image:2012_1229_rafe08.jpg:Wintry weather outside:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe09.jpg:Applesauce snack:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe10.jpg:It’s nice to be up front when the car isn’t moving. Lots of stuff to play with!:center:0]]

Then Adik goes back into his carseat and we go on with our journey. Finally we get to Becky’s, just in time for Adik’s party!

[[image:2012_1229_rafe12.jpg:Balloons!:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe11.jpg:Adik is distracted by the goings-on:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe13.jpg:Presents! Presents!:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe15.jpg:A new phone for Adik!:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe14.jpg:Even Yaya received a present!:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe17.jpg:Nikki, Mary, Donny and Becky:center:0]]

Above are some of the family members who were there.

[[image:2012_1229_rafe18.jpg:Having a great time:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe19.jpg:Yaya and Adik playing with the new toys!:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe20.jpg:More playtime with the family:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe22.jpg:Yaya and Grace play balloon volleyball:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe21.jpg:Adik likes the cooking toys:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe27.jpg:Masak-masak with a whisk:center:0]]

And then it was time for cake!

[[image:2012_1229_rafe16.jpg:A special little cake for Adik:center:0]]

Gabby and Grace helped decorate the house with balloons and streamers, and not only was there a grown-up sized cake but there was also a little Adik-sized cake especially for him!

[[image:2012_1229_rafe24.jpg:Getting messy:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe25.jpg:Smoosh the cake!:center:0]]

Adik did not eat his cake (apparently a proud Renstrom tradition that Yaya started). But he thoroughly enjoyed himself playing with it. We all had a slice of the regular cake though.

[[image:2012_1229_rafe26.jpg:Adik continues to have fun with Uncle Phil and Grace:center:0]]

Yaya had conked out by this time, with a fever. The waterpark brought with it a smorgasbord of germs and viruses. We retired to our hotel where Yaya slept through the night (but Adik did not). Again, normally this would be where we say our goodbyes till the next month, but this time I wanted to sneak in a couple of funny pictures from the day after Adik’s birthday:

[[image:2012_1229_rafe29.jpg:Yaya thinks Adik kissing his image in the mirror is funny:center:0]]

[[image:2012_1229_rafe30.jpg:Sticking his tongue out at himself!:center:0]]

We had an awesome day and an amazing time at Becky’s (as always). It was so much fun to get together with the same group of people who were with us a year ago to greet Adik into this world. We can’t thank you enough Phil, Becky, Mary, Gabby and Grace for being there with us both at Adik’s birth and at now his very first birthday! We miss you Aunt Mary! Also it was great fun to spend time with Nikki, Arielle, Donny and Kim, as well as Becky’s neighbors. It is always such a fun time there.

Happy first birthday, baby boy! We love you! Here’s to many many many more, inshallah!!

[[image:2012_1229_rafe23.jpg:I’m not zero anymore! I’m one!!:center:0]]

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