So… I’m a few months late with this post. I’ve had it in the works for a while, but as I explained in my last post, sometimes things just get in the way. But I like to think that the blogging world runs on its own timeline. So lets pretend, for a moment, that Lil’ Ziggy really JUST turned one.
This really was the craziest, most different, difficult, trying, confusing year of my life. And yet, it was in many ways the best year of my life too. It all began in the late afternoon of March 8, when my birth story resulted in a tiny human being placed in my arms and I was subsequently tossed in the deep end. All my research, reading, Pinteresting for naught. They say there really is no user manual for parents, but I disagree. There is, and it’s mostly on the internet, but I still found myself lost and dazed most of the time.
But I made it through cluster feeding and witching hours and the transition to solids (gross, amirite?). I learned and relearned my baby’s cues more times than I can count. I carted Ziggy from Fort McMurray to Calgary and back again, only to be evacuated down to Edmonton and now, temporarily, in Ontario. Transition is becoming a new normal for me. Despite all that, I can’t really remember what life was like before him.
A whole year. One thing I will say is that I really feel like he is starting to become more “fun”. He’s not quite a toddler yet, but he’s so active and mobile that I often can just sit back and laugh while I watch him flit around from one fun discovery to the next. He’s grown into such an expressive and funny little man. I try to remember that during his many tantrums that come with being active, inquisitive and curious but without verbal communication to vent the frustration.
We celebrated Ziggy’s first birthday with, of course, a cake-smash photo shoot. Special thanks to our good friend Wendy of Wendy Koo Photography for taking such hilarious, adorable and beautiful pictures. The theme we chose for his photo shoot was LEGO, and I am amazed at how it turned out. I make a cake that (sort of) looks like a blue brick. I wasn’t sure if he was even going to touch it as he hadn’t really had any sugary foods up until that point, but he went right for it. We couldn’t even get a picture of him before he got cake all over himself!
One upon a time, I wanted to be like my favourite bloggers and be a cool, calm and collected Stay At Home Mom who simultaneously kept her kid entertained and the house spotless, and still found time to put dinner on the table by the time daddy got home.
Well, folks, life doesn’t always happen the way that you want it. I go into a bit more detail in my previous post, but in short we made the decision that I would go back to work and Lil’ Ziggy would go to daycare.
It was the best decision we have made in a long time.
We decided to go this route with only two weeks to spare, and I was so nervous that I wouldn’t find a spot for Ziggy in time. Indeed, most of the places I called had wait lists of upwards of 30 babies Lil’ Ziggy’s age, meaning months of waiting when I had mere days. Furthermore, I had to do all my planning and inquiring from out of town, so I didn’t even have the chance to visit daycares and inspect their quality.
Thankfully, a church about ten minutes away from our home had just opened a brand new daycare, and I was referred there by another childcare provider. The timing worked out, and they had a space. And my nerves were completely put at ease the very first time I brought Lil’ Ziggy there. The place is bright and cheerful with lots of toys and books. At his first full day there, he fingerpainted a masterful piece, and I knew he had found the place where he belonged. To this day I’m so impressed with the staff who do such a wonderful job taking care of the children.
And most of all, Lil’ Ziggy loves being there. In fact, when I go to pick him up, he usually just acknowledges my presence and goes back to what he was doing! We have yet to experience a “no mommy don’t go” moment, which is really good even though it somewhat breaks my heart that he’s doing so well without me. The fact that he is thriving there makes it so much easier to go to work. I’m also very thankful that the building survived the fire, so I’ll be able to bring him back there when it opens up again and I have our condo cleaned enough to bring him back to Alberta.
We got a walker!
In my last Baby Update, Lil’ Ziggy had JUST learned to crawl. He started slow, but in no time he was zipping all over the place, and soon after he was pulling himself up and cruising. The daycare staff joked that they’d see him at one end of the room, then they’d turn around for ten seconds and he’d be standing at their feet, having furniture-hopped the whole way there.
Then, oddly enough, he decided to take his first steps as we were packing to evacuate! It’s like we were moving too slow, and he said “seeya parents!” and started to walk right out of there! I wish that we could have celebrated a bit more, but at least I took a short video of his first official steps into his daddy’s arms.
He’s still fairly wobbly, and I often say to him, “go home, Ziggy, you’re drunk”, but he’s getting better and is even starting to walk backwards a little bit. Soon, he’ll be running and I’ll never be able to sit down again.
Had his first (and second) haircut
My baby boy was blessed with a full head of luscious, fluffy hair, and I was trying really hard to resist the temptation to get it cut far before his first birthday. We took him to a place in the northwest of Calgary that caters specifically to children. He got to sit on this hilarious stool with a steering wheel, and he “drove” while the stylist worked on his hair. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the only time he started to whimper was when Chris and I started to chat to each other instead of focusing solely on him.
When it was done, I couldn’t believe the difference! He looked like a little boy, no longer a baby! He even got a little certificate, and we got to keep a lock of hair. I’m going to have to find a place in Fort McMurray now that is reputable with small children, or I’m going to have to muster the courage to do it myself. Since we have been staying with family in Ontario during the evacuation period, I took him for his second haircut as he was starting to get a little shaggy again. He still didn’t cry, but he was a little wigglier than the first time.
Loves slides, cars and blocks
I first tried Ziggy out on the baby swings back in Calgary, when he was about ten or eleven months. I got a few smiles out of him, but he rarely squealed with glee. On the slide, however, he has a blast! We either go down the slide with him, or stand at the side and hold him as he goes down. It’s hilarious to see how excited he gets! One of our favourite things to do now that the weather has gotten nicer is to take him to the playground and let him explore and discover. We were in Goderich this weekend, my in-laws have a cottage in the area, and he just loved the playground they have at St. Christopher’s beach.
This child had so many toys I don’t even know what to do with them all, and of course he only gravitates towards a few. We brought a small gym bag down from Fort McMurray with some of his favourites. He isn’t so into stuffed animals right now, but he is loving cars and wooden toys that can be stacked and knocked over. Really, he’ll “drive” anything that will slide along the floor. So my phone is a car, packets of baby food are cars, you name it. It’s so much fun watching him scoot along the ground with a “car”, driving it up the side of the freezer, over my legs. I got him a set of wooden blocks that have the periodic elements on them, along with traditional letter and number blocks, and we have a great time making walls and pyramids, then knocking them down.
This past year has been far from perfect motherly bliss for me, but when I see all the things he can do now, and all the things he is learning to do, it’s all so worth it. I know the toddler years will be full of new challenges, new discoveries, and new ways to love my sweet Lil’ Ziggy.
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