Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's a Home Run...Caleb is ONE!

Caleb's birthday party was a lot of fun. Many of his friends, and lots of his family, came to help him celebrate his special day! We went with a baseball theme, which was a lot of fun to plan. We had baseball food, including hot dogs, nachos, peanuts and cracker jacks. Baseball decorations. Baseball party favors. A baseball cake (which, by the way, I would love to take credit for making....but I did not...see above...SO cute!). Because of our "divided" family, we did not stick to a particular baseball team, but went with blues and reds to represent the Cubs AND the Cardinals! Compromise.....=)

Although Caleb was a little overwhelmed at times by all of the people, and was a "tad" tired from missing his afternoon nap, he was a trooper. Needless to say, he played hard, and then was very ready for bed when the time came.

Posing before the party...


Party Favors....

This is the 1st time the entire Johnson family has been together since our wedding, in April of 2006! (Left to Right: Kyle, Heidi, Meghan, Kris, Caleb, Rhoda, Arlen)

Some friends...

"Happy Birthday to you..."

Although he was not a big fan of actually touching the cake, let alone eating it, he did get very excited when he started clapping, and everyone laughed and clapped with him. He kept clapping, just to see everyone's responses!

When Caleb hears an airplane overhead, he stops what he is doing and points up to the sky, looking around to find it!

Everyone was so generous with their gifts for Caleb...thank you everybody!

At the end of the day, after most people had gone, Caleb and his friend Eila (she is 10 days older than he is) played together. They had a lot of fun pushing the fire truck and the lion around.

After playing in the driveway, Caleb and Eila were quite dirty. So, it was bathtime for both of them!

Before Caleb went to sleep last night, he and I sat together for a while on the rocking chair in his room. We had soft music on and I rocked him. My heart felt a bit heavy as I thought of how quickly these past 12 months have gone by. It hadn't really "hit me" quite yet. In all the busyness of preparing for his birthday and having family in town, I hadn't had much time to reflect. When you have a baby, the FIRST BIRTHDAY is something that, even if subconsciously, you think about, even months and months in advance. I don't mean just the party, but the concept that once your little one hits age 1, so many things change. He can drink cow's milk. He is now considered a "toddler" (although we are still working on learning to "toddle"!). The "baby" toys have been washed and packed away. Of course, all of these things are exciting....watching Caleb grow and learn is so wonderful. But, I can't help feeling a pinch of sadness, thinking about how his 1st year is over.

In those first days and weeks of a baby’s life, that 12 month mark seems so far away! Then, all of a sudden, it is here! Where did the time go? I guess I do know where it turned into many moments of sleeping and eating and playing and learning and growing and hugging and kissing and crying and laughing and smiling. And, that is what helps us to be in the present, and to continue looking forward, cherishing the memories of yesterday, but not getting bogged down in "what used to be".

So, in the quiet and darkness of his room, after everyone had gone home, and it was just me and my baby, I took full advantage of the chance to hold him, rock him, and tell him how much I loved him, over and over and over (in case he didn't hear me the first few times). I know, I grow up, they change, they become more independent. And, I am sure there will come a time when I don't call him my "baby" anymore....but for now, he is still my sweet baby boy.

August 31st, 2007...

August 30th, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Caleb!

Caleb is officially 1 year old (yesterday, August 26th...10:09 a.m.) To celebrate his big day, we took Caleb to the zoo, and had a special dinner...and cake! His party is planned for this weekend, so stay tuned for some more pictures!

Caleb's 1 year doctor's appointment was today. The doctor was pleased with Caleb's growth and development. (See sidebar for height and weight stats!)

It is a bittersweet time....those "baby days" are gone, but it is very exciting to think about all of the new things Caleb will learn over these next months. After talking with a friend today, I was reassured that, no matter how "old" Caleb gets, he can always be my baby.

Some photos of our 1 year old exploring...

Caleb actually pet the goat and the sheep! The last time we went to the petting zoo, he was very hesitant to touch the animals.

Looking at the ducks with Grandma...

Grandma and Grandpa Johnson came all the way from Florida for his birthday....

Kisses from Grandpa J...

Presents from Grandma and Grandpa Johnson...

Caleb got his first slice of cake! He was definitely more intrigued by the candle flame than the cake itself!

Although he was a bit apprehensive, and ended up getting most of it on the floor and his head, he did manage to get a few good bites of the cake I made for him.

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Looking Back...

As Caleb's 1st Birthday draws near, it has been especially fun to look back at old photos, and to remember how special these first months have been for all of us. I could have included hundreds and hundreds of pictures....seriously. However, I have selected just a few favorites to highlight his growth and change over this first precious year. Enjoy. **And, stay tuned for his 12 month photos...coming SOON!

Thinking back to those initial moments following Caleb's amazing entrance into this world is heartwarming and reminds me of the many reasons why we love him. There are few memories that I will cherish as much as those "first firsts".....

His first of the most amazing sounds I have ever heard! As the doctor was "mending" me, I remember asking "is he okay, is he okay?" Someone, I am not sure who, said "he is perfect." Thank you God for a healthy baby.

His first weigh in...9 pounds, 5 ounces...REALLY? That makes me feel a little better about the 40 pounds I gained. Only a little. =)

His first time eating....thank you, Lord, for designing such an intimate way to provide for our children.

His first time looking into my eyes..."Hi sweet boy...I am your Mom. Do you know how much I love you, little Caleb?"

His first diaper change...thanks, Brandy, for helping the new dad out! (I don't think I, personally, changed a single diaper until we were at home.)

The first time (of many more to come) someone commented about how much Caleb looks like Kris...a sweet reminder of the truth that "he is ours"....

Nothing can taint these sweet memories....not hours of pushing or an epidural that I am convinced did NOT work or even a broken (and still sore) tailbone. =) We are so blessed. In His wonderful gift to us, God has shown us such grace and love. Why we "deserve" such a blessing is beyond me, but what a reminder of how amazing and loving our God is.

Psalm 139:13-18
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. [1]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

Lord, thank you for creating our precious Caleb, and for entrusting him to us!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Since he was about 7 months old, Caleb has loved to "walk"....anyone who has ever been willing to hold Caleb's hands and help him to walk around the room is on his "best friends" list for sure! After a while, he learned that he could pull himself up on furniture, and still enjoys the freedom that comes with being able to navigate around the couches and tables.

A couple of months ago, Grandma bought Caleb "Mr. Lion" to help him learn to walk a little more independently, but Caleb really didn't want much to do with him. Don't get me wrong...he liked to play with the lion's mane, press his nose to make music, climb over him, and occasionally "wrestle" the lion down, but he had no desire to use Mr. Lion to walk. He much preferred holding on to someone's hands, or walking along stable furniture!

More recently, though, Caleb has made some progress! He is now fully confident pushing Mr. Lion around! He still has a bit of trouble when he runs into a wall, as he is not yet sure how to turn himself around. But, he is learning! We are so proud of him!

This quick video clip and photos are from today....we played outside, and went up and down the driveway over and over and over, and even ventured into the grass and down the sidewalk. Caleb just loved it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pasta Night!

We made ravioli this past weekend...Caleb enjoyed it very much! And, doesn't every baby need some "food all over the face" photos? We learned early on that bathtime must immediately follow dinner.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Uncle Kyle's Visit

Because we don't get to see Kris' brother Kyle very often, we were thankful he took some time to visit Chicago! It was great to see him, and he and Caleb had a lot of fun together.

Heidi, Kris, and Kyle with Caleb... this is actually
the 1st photograph of Caleb with ALL 3 of the "Johnson Kids".

Relaxing at home...

At Ultimate Frisbee...Kyle played with Caleb so we could
get some excercise!

At the park...Kyle spent a lot of time helping Caleb walk,
which Caleb of course LOVED!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"Yea!" for Friends and Vanilla Lattes!

We went to Nibbles Cafe today with my friend Shauna, and her little girl, Maddie. Maddie is just a few weeks younger than Caleb, so it was fun to have a true "playdate"! Nibbles is a cafe for moms and a play area for kids. They had an area called "Belly Babies" that was perfect for our little crawlers and climbers. I got to drink a vanilla latte and catch up with a friend....all while Caleb had fun playing! Success! Caleb is still trying to figure out how to interact with other babies. He is definitely a "watcher" and has some of Daddy's independence in him.

Caleb immediately found some toys to play with...

Caleb and Maddie trying to figure it all out...

Listening to one of the employees talk...

Figuring out the tunnel...

He made it through!


The 4 of us....I am really thankful to have friends
who are going through this Mommy thing with me!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Randall Oaks

I took Caleb to Randall Oaks (a barnyard zoo in the area) with my good friend Becky and the cute little 4-month old that she babysits. Although it was extremely hot, and Caleb was a bit apprehensive around the animals, he seemed to have a good time. We got to feed the goats and sheep. We also saw cows, horses, chickens, a llama, and various types of birds. It will be fun to go back another day when he isn't so sweaty, and when he might appreciate feeding the animals a little bit more!

Checking out the chickens...

Feeding the sheep...

Hanging out with the goats...


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