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Baby Bear's First Birthday

365 days ago, Jacob and I woke up at 5am and headed to the hospital to give birth to our little bear. The first time I heard Henry cry was the greatest sound I have ever heard and the first moment I saw him has been branded in my mind. He was so tiny and blue and his face was scrunched up from crying. He was and still is the most beautiful child.

I know I say it often, but this past year has been the best year of my life, but also the most difficult. Henry has taught me so much about patience, love, understanding, and compassion. Because of Henry my faith and relationship with God has gotten so much stronger and I thank him everyday for giving me the most precious gift.

I still can't believe I captured this smile!

In his first month of life, Henry was patient with us as Jacob and I figured out how to be parents. We co-slept (something I swore I’d never do!), a lot, and spent the majority of our time in bed. Henry enjoyed sleeping, eating, and cuddles and he hated getting his diaper changed and bath time- basically your typical newborn. It was amazing to see him smile even if it was only from gas and listening to all his little baby noises!

In Henry’s second month, he started to like tummy time and being talked to. He would coo at us as we talked to him; it was the most adorable thing! It was also around this time that he started to pay more attention to me and Jacob. We were still co-sleeping, but I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

By three months, Henry giggled for the first time and could army crawl. He loved his stuffed octopus that my friend Kenzi, got for him. He still enjoyed cuddles and went through his first major growth spurt. That meant a lot of night feedings and no sleep for us, but it was so worth it to see him healthy and strong!

One of my favorite images of them.

Teething came in the fourth month and boy, was that rough! Even with the teething pain, Henry was laughing even more and started to truly interact with family members. He also had his first experience with water outside of a bathtub. He liked tummy time and laughing, but didn’t like being hungry (just like his mom!), swimming, or wearing sunglasses. Henry started holding his head up better and also had his first photoshoot with mom and dad!

At five months, Jacob and I were tested as parents. Henry had two hernias that needed repaired and required surgery. Watching him be wheeled away into the operating room was one of the toughest things we’ve had to do so far and I spent those two hours he was in surgery praying that everything would turn out alright. And it did! Henry was so good when he woke up after the surgery. He took it like a champ and was back to being a normal baby shortly after. This was also the month where he learned to grab things. He grabbed the dog’s tails, my fries while I was eating them, and basically anything he could get his hands on. He also rolled over for the first time!

Co-sleeping ended at five months and by his sixth month, he was sleeping in his crib through the night! Henry also tried his first solid food- rice cereal. He was not a fan at first, but eventually came around to it. He also went to his first of many family reunions and meant the whole Soliday family, minus a few. This was also the month that he started to enjoy swimming in Mimi’s pool! His first tooth made its arrival as well!

In his seventh month of life, Henry could roll over, sit up with help, switch toys hand to hand, and play with his feet. His personality really started to shine through and Jacob and I were so proud to see that he was laid back and goofy- just like us! We were still teaching him not to pull hair or the dog’s faces and tails. Heartbreakingly, cuddles became rare and Henry started to become independent and enjoy time alone.

Henry said his first word at eight months old and of course it was “dada.” He had 4 more teeth by this time and teething became more managable. Henry was eating more solid foods and enjoyed carrots, green beans, and cereal. He didn’t like peas and this was the month where he stopped liking being held like a baby altogether.

Nine months in and Henry could sit up by himself, started to wave, and enjoyed grabbing his poopy diaper as it was being changed! When told “no”, he would giggle and still does. Henry enjoyed pears and bananas and didn’t like when no one was paying attention to him. The first time he sat up by himself was on Poppy and Loli’s kitchen table.

By the time Henry reached double digits; the big 10 months, he could crawl and stand with support. He also finally learned how to say “mama.” This was the month that I learned to trust my gut instinct. Henry became super sick and my gut said to take him to the doctor while a lot of others said it was just a cold. I finally took him and he ended up having croup, pink eye, and a double ear infection. Even though he didn’t feel good, I still enjoyed those two weeks because he cuddled more than he had in the past eight months. Soon after taking him to the doctor and getting antibiotics, he started to feel better and the cuddles became sparse again. This was also the month that he learned to be weary of strangers and started to chase one of our dogs any time he could.

I couldn't find his 10 month photos, so enjoy one from over the summer instead!

I blinked and eleven months was here. By this time, Henry could pull himself up and feed himself puffs. He also had his first cake smash! He wasn’t too big on smashing the cake, but enjoyed tasting the icing. Henry loved to chase the dogs and play. He didn’t and still doesn’t like not getting his way. Anytime Jacob and I eat, he wants a bite too. This month was pretty laid back until the very last two weeks. Henry gave me a run for my money! He was starting to enter the toddler phase and screamed any time he didn’t get his way or a bite of our food.

12 months is here…. I think I’ve teared up a lot today. I swear just yesterday he was being placed into my arms for the very first time. Henry had his first birthday party a couple days ago. He had so much fun eating pizza, smashing his cupcake, and opening presents from our family! Henry brings so much joy to the people in his life and I can only hope that he continues to do so for his whole life. This past year has flown by in a blink of an eye, but it has also been the very best year of my life. Henry Andrew Thomas Horvath you have blessed me beyond what words can say and I’ll love you always.


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