Happy 1st Birthday to my precious Jasper John!
What joy and blessings our little red-head has brought to our family. I prayed that God would give me a snuggly, cuddly, affectionate baby, and goodness did He answer that prayer. Jasper is my pal, my little shadow, and I love him for all that he is and all that God will help him become as he grows.
Today has been bittersweet for me. For some reason, his first birthday has made me feel like crying, like mourning the loss of my baby as he becomes a little boy, day by day. It's funny, because I distinctly remember being so excited about Bennett turning one, and about celebrating his milestones and being thrilled by each one. When my first-born turned one, it was like I'd accomplished something, like I'd helped make that year pass along as it should. With my second, I've begged time to slow a bit, and I've been scratching my head, trying to figure out how on earth a year has managed to sneak past me, stealing my baby away. I know I'm being dramatic, but Jasper has always seemed more delicate, more babyish, more needy, than Bennett ever did, and I've loved that about him. In part, that has defined our relationship, and I've soaked it in. Obviously all that hasn't changed in one day, and it's possible my little red-head will always be a Mama's boy (which I wouldn't mind at all :) ), but his first birthday marks a rite of passage in my mind. It means that I'm not in control (which is good, because God does a much better job), and that I can't slow something down that I think is moving too fast. Time keeps moving, and my boys keeping stretching and growing and learning (as they should). I'm glad for this, but as I said, it's bittersweet.
Okay, and after reading this little novella about my baby boy, if you're still here, I applaud you. Next up is a short list of milestones he's reached, and then what everyone's here for: birthday party and the pictures of his actual birthday, and as a bonus for sticking around so long, I made a couple of cute videos today of Jasper giggling and being entertained, and my oh-so-talented husband edited them together for your viewing pleasure.
**Words -- technically, his first word was "hi," although he rarely says it, and never on command. His second word was "again," and he says this fairly regularly. His third word...MAMA!! YESSSS!! I shouldn't be surprised, but it melts my heart every time, and I was so excited that he started saying it so early, because Bennett didn't say it for a LOOONG time (I don't think he saw the need since I was always at hand anyway). In general, his sounds and communication have really started moving along in the last month or two. I never get tired of hearing his sweet little voice.
**Teeth -- the kid has NINE little chicklet teeth, including one molar. Insane. People get so confused about his age when they see him because he's small for his age, but he has a mouth FULL of little pearly whites :)
**Food -- he's perfectly capable of eating finger foods, but it's touch and go. His favorites are baked potato, ritz crackers, cheerios and cheese on occasion. He's got a definite sweet-tooth. And he's getting better with his sippy cup. When he's truly thirsty, he drinks from it with no problem. He also loves to eat leaves, but that's something I'm trying to talk him out of.
**Motor skills -- He can stand unassisted, but can't get to the position on his own yet. It's going to be two or three more months before walking hits the scene, I'm thinking. He's clapping his hands now and is VERY proud of himself for it. He loves showing off this particular skill. His right hand/arm/side of neck continues to improve and get stronger, and with this, his range of motion and strength continues to improve, although he still prefers his left hand for grabbing, pulling, and manipulating objects.
**Favorite things -- he LOVES big brother's cars, and he's crazy about large balls and balloons - we play "roll the ball" a LOT. He also loves to read books (although I don't do it with him nearly as much as I did with Bennett *sigh*), loves to take baths, and with the warmer weather lately we're discovering he is crazy about being outdoors.
And now for the pictures:
Thanks so much to everyone who came and made Jasper's big day SO special! Jasper was not at all interested in the smash cake, or opening presents, but lucky for him, he has a big brother who doesn't mind helping with those things at all. :) He was a pretty big fan of the cookies and the puppy chow, though, and played with his new presents a lot after the crowd left.