First Year


Guys. I haven’t written in so long! I feel like I JUST wrote about how Daniel was born and perfect and all things rainbows and sunshine because OMG God entrusted us to care for another human.

Turns out that was a year ago, and in the last year I have put many other things ahead of writing, namely making sure Daniel isn’t going to bed with sheets that he peed on. (Ok, ok, that happened once or twice, or was it three times?. But in the rush of the morning and then the tiredness of the evening I forgot to change his sheets that he had soaked through the night before. At least I put a blanket over the fitted mattress sheet. I’m not a monster.)

And now, I can’t even write about my baby anymore because he is NOW CONSIDERED A TODDLER per the email I got from this morning that didn’t come from “Your Baby This Week” but instead was “Your Toddler This Week” and then the subject was “Your 1-year-old”.

Excuse me while I go weep.

Ugh. I have been struggling all week because I don’t know what emotion I want to feel.

Happy! Because hey! We survived the fist year! We ended the day on May 7, 2015 as a family of three and now we’re ending the day on May 7, 2016 as a family of three, and I call that a win!

Sad! Because Daniel doesn’t like cuddling unless he’s sick or SO TIRED that I don’t even WANT to cuddle with him because he’s whiny and snotty and throws his head back dramatically. (We’re still wondering where he got the drama gene 😳)

Proud! Because Peter went on 9 work trips in the last year that were 7-10 days long, and Daniel and I survived*! And I went on 3 work trips (significantly shorter at 2-3 nights) and Peter and Daniel survived!

*Daniel and I learned that we both get sick of each other when it’s just the two of us and Peter is gone for more than 5 days. The feeling is mutual, so I don’t even feel bad saying it. (Ok, I feel kind of bad.)

Lucky! Because seriously you guys, I kind of feel like we won the baby lottery with Daniel. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t blogged much, I think. No one wants to hear about how good someone else’s baby is. I mean, he has his days – we all do – but overall, he’s a good person.

Frustrated. Two words. Bath time. I loathe bath time. Bath time was enjoyable for a few months when Daniel could sit up but not crawl or stand, and then he started being able to stand up and OMG the anxiety. One of my greatest fears aside from snakes and someone coming to get me in the middle of the night when Peter is gone is Daniel slipping in the bathtub and cracking his noggin’ on the faucet. He gets mad at me because I make him sit down. I get mad at him because, as I sternly tell him in my “mom” voice, “YOU KNOW THE RULES! NO STANDING IN THE BATHTUB” Effective parenting at it’s finest.

Overwhelmed. Because I’m feeling all of these emotions.

For his birthday, we spent the whole day together as a family, starting at 6 a.m. with just Daniel and Mom time, which was mostly a photoshoot because I put balloons in his crib right when he woke up. He was SO HAPPY, and as my sister said, “the definition of ‘good morning, Sunshine.'”

“I woke up like this.” Seriously. He woke up like this. And he wakes up like this most mornings.

Then at 7 we woke Peter up and Daniel got to play in Mom and Dad’s bed for about 25 minutes because OMG THROWING YOURSELF BACK ON THE BED AND PILLOWS IS SO MUCH FUN. And then he spit up all over our bed. Because I love myself more than my child (not really, but kind of) I already changed the sheets. Standards.

Then around 8:15 it was breakfast time, and I’ve decided that another birthday tradition aside from balloons in your crib in our house is that you get to have a sprinkle donut for breakfast. Daniel hadn’t experienced the joy of a sprinkle donut until this morning, and to be honest with you, I was quite disappointed in his reaction. He didn’t like it. As my sister Rachel said, “He must get that from the Romenesko side” because you won’t meet a Vanderstappen who doesn’t like sweets.

He’s thinking “Mom, WTF I want pancakes. You KNOW I love pancakes.”

After the failed donut experience, it was bath time (🙄) and then WOW was Daniel tired after a morning filled with such excitement!

He napped in only his diaper because I was not about to chance his birthday shirt getting peed on during nap time. 

THREE HOURS LATER he woke up from his nap and he packed up and went to the zoo. Peter and I knew the NEW Zoo existed, but we had no idea it existed only 19 minutes from our house. The weather was great, Daniel was SO well-behaved, and it was quite a splendid afternoon.

Looking at this picture now I’m kind of laughing. We didn’t go boating despite his whale hat and shark blanket. Also, Daniel carries his wooden spoon everywhere and it’s awkward to explain to people because wooden spoons have a bad rap for discipline and not play time.
Daniel looks like this monkey when he is nakey.
I love this picture because it looks like Daniel is a person with a baby head and arms and man legs.

After an afternoon nap, Peter and I – good parents that we are – ditched Daniel with Daniel’s godfather’s family to attend an event at St. Norbert College.

What a delightful day celebrating one of the raddest people I know. It is so exciting seeing Daniel become a real person with opinions and attitude and enthusiasm for life. I mean, the kid gets excited when he gets into the tupperware drawer. TUPPERWARE.

Ugh, I love him so much.

Now I’m going to go hold a newborn sized diaper to remember Daniel’s little tush a year ago as I sob silently while watching my one year old sleep.

First Year Monthly


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