Happy 1st Birthday, Cullen!

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Woohoo! I think there should be a prize for parents who survive their first year of parenthood. By no means have we had anything outside the norm happen to us (i.e. our child was never in the NICU, we didn’t have a colicky baby, nor did we have to deal with a chronically sick baby or anything else tragic), but man, it has been a rollercoaster of a ride this past year!

Prior to having Cullen, the unknown is what scared me the most. Will I have time to run? Will I get my body back? What if I miss being childless? Will Craig and I have time to spend together? Of course life is a lot different now. But I still find time to run (because it is important enough to me). I did get my body back (and I’m more fit than I ever have been). Sure I miss the ‘good ol’ days’ of being able to come and go and little more easily, but Cullen brings a lot more smiles to my day, and Craig and I have a stronger relationship because we both share in something we’ve created.

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I can’t say it feels like this year has flown by.  It feels like two years since we were in the hospital going through 42 hours of labor. The memory of those hourly wake-ups during the middle of the night are far too vivid, and I’m going on 365 nights of not being able to sleep uninterrupted for 8 hours which doesn’t help. It is tough, and I don’t like it! I know there are parents who go even longer until their child sleeps through the night–and  the sad thing is I might be one of them. But once I get my sleep back and out of this fog that leaves me saying “snit” for “snowsuit” and trying to put the milk in the oven, I know I will feel like a new person and time will go by much faster.

Tthe lack of sleep has been the hardest thing about this first year. Everyone warns you about it, and while I knew it could be rough for the first couple of months, I didn’t think he would still be waking up twice each night after 12 months. I’m blaming this one on Craig’s genes because my parents said I slept through the night at 6 weeks old and Craig’s mom said she was in a fog for 18 months. Ha! But we do what we can: I try to go to bed as early as possible and sometimes I go and have Craig soothe him back to sleep. It doesn’t help that I get up most mornings around 5:30 a.m. to fit my training run in. It is a choice I make to keep running competitively, and while it has been incredibly tough, I can’t be too upset with my performances this past year.

It has been a good year nonetheless and it continues to get better as Cullen gets older and more independent. We’re in a good routine now and he is a lot of fun to play with. He makes us laugh, and I think he’ll be just like his dad in that respect. So, here’s to the love of our lives. Happy birthday, Cullen. We wish you all the best this year and look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you and your charming personality.

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Cullen’s Credentials. . . . .

Favorite book: Dog

Cullen loves turning the pages, touching the fur pieces, and always requests this book to read before bedtime.

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Favorite foods: strawberries, yogurt, popsicles

Words: “a-bye,” “muma,” “dada”

I don’t think he knows that he is saying our names, but I think he understands the word “bye.” And he loves to wave good-bye with both hands.

Favorite toys: toilet paper, toothbrush, pens, comb/brushes, cotton swabs, . . .ya know, anything but actual toys

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Non-food items he’s eaten: a bite of wax from a candle, the plastic piece from an earbud/headphones, and cotton from a cotton swab

Bedtime/wake-up time: Pretty consistent from 7:30 p.m. – 7:30 a.m. He rarely wakes up earlier than that. Sometimes he wakes up and wants to party for an hour or two in the middle of the night before going back to bed.

Wake-ups at nighttime: two. . . we’re lucky if he only wakes up once

Naps: some days two, other days only one . . . .it is usually split pretty evenly 50/50. Naps are usually an hour to an hour and a half. If he naps longer in the morning, then he usually doesn’t take a second nap in the afternoon.

Other favorites:

Going for runs in the stroller. He will just sit there contentedly the whole time during my run.

Petting Sadie

Climbing up the stairs

Opening drawers and pulling everything out

Cruising in his “car.”

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