So please bear with me while I go into a little more detail about the first month of Ryan's second year.
The month started off with a fantastically fun birthday party,
and a trip back to Germany. We lost a week to jetlag, and 3:00 am bedtimes. Ryan had his one year checkup, where he weighed in at 23 lbs (no wonder my arm starts burning when I hold him,) and measured 29 inches. The good news is that he's close to the 50th percentile now for height, which is a triumph, at his 6 month checkup, he was in the 10th percentile for height. But he's gone from 80th percentile in weight to 50th, which would be good if it were only due to his largely increased mobilitly, but we struggled for months with food.
My little boy became a full-fledged toddler this month! On Ryan's birthday, he was able to walk pretty well, so well that we stopped counting steps because there was no point where we were waiting for him to fall. He still needed help getting up off the floor, and would have to crawl over to a piece of furniture or the wall for a little help getting up. During the month, Ryan slowly started assuming a position that looked like he was going to do a summersault, which was his attempt at getting up. All of a sudden, one day, while sitting, he put his hands on the floor, butt up in the air, and with a little wobble, stood up all by himself! We clapped and laughed together at his triumph.
He's also started running. It started during our 20,000 times a day game of chase around the island. The game that started with me crawling behing him around the island, then turned into walking around the island, finally became run around the island.
He runs best barefoot, and preferably, naked, as his favorite time to run is right after a bath. I have to dry his feet off quickly now after a bath, because he's off like a shot. I have to say, its an awfully adorable sight.
Fortunately, he's still not good in shoes though. I say fortunately because I dread the day when he starts running in public. Its pretty easy to corner him in the house, not so much in the outside, wall-less world.
And this was also Ryan's month of climbing. This is one of those milestones that is good in terms of development, and scary as anything in terms of parenting!
I would call December also "Ryan's month of eating."
I wonder if it was the move towards table food and away from chunky purees that made the difference. Whatever the change, Ryan moved from barely eating three meals a day, to eating 3 full meals a day plus two snacks. Ryan tried so many new foods this month it was amazing. He ate sausages and potato salad, spaetzle with sauce and pork steak, kiwi, oranges, eggs (he's had scrambled egg yolks before, but they were never a hit,), just to name a few. Ryan's favorite snacks are Babybel cheese, or fruit mixed with yogurt.
Ryan also transitioned from formula to cow's milk in December. The transition went really well. Saturday, December 22 was Ryan's last day of having formula at all, and by then, he was down to 2 oz. of formula per bottle anyway. I think the transition to cow's milk was harder for Mommy though. It seems strange thinking how formula became such an essential part of our lives, from the day before Ryan was released from the hospital until December 22nd, it was always on our minds. We were always running out to buy more formula, measuring out scoops of the stuff, storing it, and cuddling with Ryan while he drank it. When I think back to our trip home in the summer, we brought 20 boxes of the stuff- it fit in a large trash bag. It was a mountain of formula. And all of a sudden, its all gone. Yes, there are many positives to being off formula, but its just one more reminder that my little baby isn't a little baby anymore.
In Ryan's world experience, Ryan visited New York City for the first time this month!
Yes, he's flown in and out of New York twice, but he's never actually visited the city. It was so much fun to watch him take in, and get a little overwhelmed by, all the sights and sounds that make up the coolest city ever!
Ryan flew yet again- from the US back to Germany. It was fun to let him walk around the airport in his jammies while we were waiting at the gate. And just as I predicted as we stood at the Frankfurt airport watching our little boy percariously toddle around taking three, four, five steps; by the time we flew back to Germany, Ryan was walking all over. He and I spent lots of time walking from one side of the building to the other side to look out the windows and see the airport workings. He did fantastically well yet again on the airplane. Since the flight was overnight, he slept the majority of the time. Very few tears, and lots of smiles when he was awake.
Ryan visited only one Christmas market this year. Jet lag, and the lady on the airplane with the bad cold, really messed up our Christmas preparations this year. But, it was okay. Ryan loved looking at all the lights and the booths in Stuttgart!
Ryan had a very important anniversary in this 13th month of life: we celebrated Ryan's homecoming from his time spent in the hospital. We celebrated by taking Ryan outside to play in the snow- for the first time ever! Ryan didn't feel it was much of a celebration, apparently, snow isn't his thing. But, he also found out that he loves sled riding!
And of course,the holiday celebrations. Ryan had his first visit from the Christkind and his second visit from Santa Claus. This year, Ryan had the pleasure of unwrapping gifts and trying to take down the ornaments and lights from the Christmas tree. He got to enjoy visitors. And, he got to be the star of this year's Christmas card.
Rounding out Ryan's last days of being just a one year old, and not a one year plus months, Ryan got to celebrate the New Year. Ryan's first New Year was as to be expected with a newborn: he spent the time cuddled in a blanket, fast asleept. Ryan's second New Year's celebration was completely different. He stayed awake way past midnight. He got to eat our special New Year's meal with Oma, Opa, Mommy, and Daddy. And most importantly, he absolutely loved the fireworks! If you're going to like fireworks, then Germany is THE place to celebrate New Years! We watched fireworks shoot up into the sky in all directions for at least half an hour. Near the end, Ryan was even saying, "Baaa," when Oma and Mommy said "Boom" to a firework! It was so exciting to celebrate the New Year with our handsome little man.
All in all, it was an exciting month! It was so fun to watch our little toddler explore the world in a new way! We love you so much Ryan!