Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One year down!

"I've got two kids,
I've got two kids,
They're Stella and Otto,
Yes, I've got to kids."

(...and here they are.)

That's just one of the goofy little songs that I find myself singing to Stella and Otto. More of a jingle, really. But, while it's not exactly cutting edge song writing, I have to admit that I always have a soft spot for it because, well, it still amazes me that I have two kids.

And, even more amazing, the youngest is turning 1 today!

Happy Birthday, Otto!

The cake and cupcakes Sarah made for the party we had for Otto over the weekend. Still not sure how she got all those done, along with the 500 other things we had to take care of.

Otto digs into his cake. Literally.

Crazy to think that it was a year ago today that Sarah and I made our way to the hospital, for Otto's big arrival. In fact, in roughly 2 and a half hours time, from when I type this, it will be one year exactly from when he appeared.

And, what a year it has been. Highs and lows. Somehow both rushing and slow. Frequently exhausting, but often rewarding. I remember in the first weeks after Otto's birth thinking "actually, having two kids isn't much harder than having one." At this point, I'd definitely rethink that bold claim a bit. But, never for a second have I regretted having a second kid.

And, seriously, he's such an amazing, amazing kid. A wholly different person than Stella, but one just as wonderful. It's interesting, as he grows and her personality develops, how I find my relationship is so much different with him than it is with Stella. Is it because he's a boy? Or because he's the youngest? Or, just because he's his own person, with his own personality? Certainly, a combination of all three. But, regardless of the reason, it's incredible how you can have two people in your life who you love equally, but who you find yourself relating to and bonding with in different ways.

While Stella has always been thoughtful and cautious, creative and into books; Otto is much more physical and daring, he has little interest in books and crayons yet, but already stacks blocks and loves tossing balls (two things Stella didn't do till she was much older). The observation Sarah and I have made several times is that when Stella used to first encounter a new object, she'd pick it up and turn it over in her hands again and again, looking at it carefully. Otto picks it up, bangs it on something and then tries giving it a toss. Otto's probably easier going than Stella is overall, and less inclined to get scared or worried; but if he's upset or frustrated, he's much more stubborn. And, as I've mentioned several times before: The boy has a pair of lungs.

As I said, it's like they're their own people or something. Crazy.

Developmentally, Otto's got a lot going on these days. Sadly, he's still not sleeping through the night consistently, but he's making a lot of big steps literally and figuratively. He's not quite walking on his own yet, but can waddle along while holding mine or Sarah's (or even Stella's) hands. And, he stands on his own from time to time. He's also gotten very good at going upstairs since we relocated the bedrooms to the basement (more on that in another entry), and can even go down stairs fairly well too.

He's also a pretty darned good hugger too.

Meanwhile, in his mouth, his sixth tooth is finally arriving, meaning his smile will seem a little less lopsided for a bit. And, he seems to finally be getting past the point of immediately sticking everything directly into his mouth. Also, he's not talking yet, but he spends a good portion of his time pointing at things and making a "dat" noise, which we take for him working on identification. Leading to a lot of exchanges that go something like this.



So, I think he's working on it.

It's been a crazy year. A wonderful year, if often tiring year. As I started our this entry by saying, it still sort of boggles my mind that I've got two kids. But, I'm a happier and better person for it.

Happy Birthday, Otto!

Otto, sporting the last of his little monthly shirt stickers. You made it, Otto!

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