My sweet little Theo has spent the first week of his second year with a wicked cold, complete with coughing, sneezing and an incessant runny nose. He got it from me, because I got sick right after his first birthday party.
The night before Theo’s first birthday, Elie and I watched the video from his birth. It was the first time I had seen it, and it seemed like the right amount of time to go back and re-live that night. The battery on the camera died right before Theo was born, but we can to see the moments right before. The room was calm, the lights low, voices soft, my Mom was standing beside me, Elie was feeding me ice chips and wiping my forehead, waiting to be the first hands our baby felt. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to bring our sweet boy into the world.
This morning we had a friend come over for coffee. We all sat in the family room, Elie and me on the floor with Theo, playing. He was toddling back and forth between Elie and me, laughing and crinkling up his nose, squinting his eyes and snorting in the way he does now when he is very excited and proud of himself. As his parents, we think it’s adorable. Every time the kitty walked by, he lunged for a kiss, and we checked to make sure he wasn’t too vigorous with his love.
If you visited our home last year, the floors were probably less than sparkling, the dinners simpler, there was probably a basket of laundry waiting to be folded and put away, and I was likely wearing yoga pants and sporting a ponytail. Elie probably made you a delicious coffee, and I hope you got a cuddle from Theo. But most of all, I hope you felt appreciated and loved. 2016 was about letting go of perfection and simply being present and grateful. It was the year of gratitude.
For those of you who read these monthly posts and enjoy following along with Theo’s first year, thank you. I can’t believe he’s been in this world for almost twelve months. These posts have been so precious to write, to reflect each month on how much he changes and how quickly.
There haven’t been a lot of recipes appearing in this space lately, have there? It’s not because I’m not cooking. I am. But how do blogging mamas find adequate time to test a recipe and measure ingredients and take thoughtful photos and write an interesting story and get it posted before that dish goes completely out of season? I haven’t quite figured out how to do it yet.
I’ve been thinking about how monumental this first year is, this year of so many firsts. Everything is brand new and every new experience has the potential to be one that shapes the rest of Theo’s life. Am I being melodramatic? Maybe. But I have this compelling drive to make every ‘first’ the best one possible.
If you’re a regular here, you know that food is a big part of our life. So, I was keeping my fingers crossed that Theo would be a good eater. And boy, is he ever! He wants to eat anything we’re eating, whether it’s avocado toast or pulled pork or ice cream. We have to be careful what we eat in front of him. Like with every other major milestone, I had so many questions about the best way to start giving Theo solid foods. I thought I’d share our process here, in case you have the same questions.
When we announced we were having a baby, we received many comments along the lines of, “I guess your traveling days are over!” Not a chance. When we decided to expand our family, we did so with the intention of continuing to travel as much, if not more, than before baby. We’re not naive; we knew how we travel would change. But, we fully intended to bring our baby along on our adventures. What better education for a child than to explore the world and be immersed in different cultures and lifestyles?