Hawksley's first birthday

Hawksley turned one. I have a one-year-old. I had every intention of posting a picture with Hawksley's stats like I have in previous posts, but do you think he would sit still to take a picture that - sort of - had a white background behind him so I could put text and graphics on top of it? Not a chance! This is real life.

We didn't host anything crazy for Hawk's birthday. I got a lot of "but he only turns one once!" stuff, but really, we have a big enough family, and with Hawk's aunts and uncles and cousins, etc, etc, we had a pretty full house/yard. His birthday also fell on May long weekend (which will be awesome for him as he gets older) and I wasn't about to ask people to stay behind for a one-year-old's birthday. Besides, the weather was exceptionally nice, and that literally never happens on May long. Like, ever.

Since Hawksley loves being outside, (he always has, remember when we first took him camping last year?) we spent a lot of time outside for his birthday. He got this massive blowup toy that has a bunch of balls in it and all the kids were going nuts inside it. Actually it's pretty cool, despite the 250 balls that seem to splay around my living room. I wish I could leave it outside but it would for sure blow into the Big Pond.

Which leads me to... his toys. YOU GUYS. Kids accumulate so. much. crap. So many toys! Derek and I are pretty limited with what we buy Hawk because we know everyone else (our families) will spoil him with toys.

Sometimes I feel bad about it. I took him to my sister's baby shower recently and another little boy was there who is a year older than Hawksley. The other little boy had brought a bunch of trucks with him to play with, and I was shocked to watch Hawksley play with the truck, too - just driving it all around the shower hall, motoring around like he had always done it. He loved the friggin' truck! I didn't even know he could figure out how to use the truck. That's when I felt bad. Like. Oh. Maybe I should buy him a truck...

He's changing every single day it seems, and he figures things out at lightning speed - like how to play with trucks. Or toy construction equipment. Or toy ATVs. And I just feel like it's hard to even keep up with what he's learning!

So I bought him one little truck. I even let him pick (he picked the lame one that I didn't want). Annnnnd then my girlfriend bought him the other four in the collection. Do you see what I mean? Now he has five of the flippin' things, and it's not like he is old enough to play with them all at once.

Anyway. His toy basket that I keep in the living room has been upgraded a few times, and now it's legit this big gigantic basket full of toys. And kids just don't need that much stuff.

Aside from liking trucks - Hawksley LOVES the colour blue. I admit: I'm reluctant to decorate him in blue, or put much blue in his room, or really surround him with blue at all because of the whole gender colour debate which I feel strongly about.

I also accidentally watched Raven go off on the View (it's the only show on the TV when I'm at the doctor's office), and her room was robustly floral and pink. She hated it! Her drawers were stuffed with jerseys and "tomboyish" things, but her room was pink and covered in flower wallpaper from age seven to fourteen. Which is pretty nuts. So as soon as Hawk is old enough, I do want him to have a say in what his room is like. Until then, it's grey and white and more woodland than any specific gender. Actually, it's just my style. Clad in an Eames white rocking chair, toasty grey walls, a thrifted mid century credenza, and some pendleton stripes. 

And then this toy-thing presented itself. The kid's toys are taking over my house. I swear, I walk into some homes that are covered head to toe in kiddy clutter, and I get anxiety over it. I always felt like if I had a kid, I was doomed to suffer beneath a pile of toys - and my house wouldn't be clean until they were teenagers.

And then I met my girlfriend who has BOYS and you can barely tell there are children who live in her house. There are no toys scattered around the living room, no tacky baby art on the walls (I know, I'm sorry; I'm so mean about that) and her floors actually look swept.

Yes, her clean house gave me hope.

I was talking to my very pregnant sister about it since she's also in nesting/nursery mode, and we started talking about how our friends' kids have their own playroom now. But we never had that. We played with our toys in our room, or we went outside - or even in the basement. I don't feel like I need to give up an entire room in my house for Hawksley's toys, and I don't want the hassle of moving it all if we ever have a second child. 

So I've decided to move him into the bigger bedroom, or the spare bedroom right now - and move alllllll his toys there and out of my space. I will EVEN paint him a blue wall because I am the-nicest-mom-in-the-world-and-sometimes-I-will-do-nice-mom-like-things. 

And like. Maybe constellations on the blue accent wall and how amazing would some northern lights be? He would love it. And a moon. Duh.

But seriously, he loves blue. BLUE! Derek and I both love red and I don't know WHY we assumed Hawksley would be the same. I mean, obviously that's not how it works. I feel ridiculous even saying that. But blue! Sometimes he just lays on his back looking up at sky, completely hypnotized by the blue oasis. It's so flippin' cute. 

If there is a blue option in front of him, he takes it.


He has a bunch of blocks, and only one blue block. He digs through the blocks until he finds the blue one and he just sits and plays with it in his lap. Or he throws it and chases it. It's the same with the blue balls from his birthday gift (the ball pit thing). He just wants all the blue.

And I feel like... Trucks? The colour blue? Can you be more stereotypical? OH WAIT YOU CAN...

We cut his hair. I AM SO DEVASTATED ABOUT IT. Look at all his luscious locks in these photos (that I had to keep out of his face behind his homemade felt p'tit prince crown).

We cropped his hair short. He had so much thick hair on the top of his head, but thin scraggle hair on the bottom, which was really just a danger zone for a future mullet. He caught a bad cold, and we found him in his crib one morning with green boogers dried in his heavy bangs and stuck to his face and cheeks so he couldn't see. It was heartbreaking (and a little funny).

My mom, a hair stylist her whole life, was really advocating for a haircut, and so was Derek. And then so was my sister and her husband. And then so was Derek's side. AND I JUST FELT SO GANGED UP ON. But, let's be real. I'm the mom. I really had he final say (AND ALL THE POWER), and I just gave in.

I had a moment of clarity where I was like, "Why is hair such a big deal to me? Even all my own sensitivities about my hair post-cancer treatment, and Derek's amazing long ponytail - what is my deal?"

I tried to be strong, to eschew Hawksley's metis heritage and just cut his hair. Hair grows back right? Blah blah blah. So we cut it. And I immediately regretted it. I felt like he looked douchy instantly and totally not like my little boy. Actually, he looked thirteen, and like... like a "bro" if you know what I mean. Let's just throw him in a baseball cap and a dirty shirt and call it a day!

I should have never listened to everyone. You guys, I GET that it was the practical thing to do, because he can't wear toques in summer and his ponytail situation wasn't good. But Hawksley was his hair. He was! I swear. Just like Derek. Who would Derek be without his thick, flowing, black, long dad hair?


Yes I made him a blue birthday cake because #nicemom. I tried to be super casual about his first birthday, and I thought I was with the whole "family only" birthday party/play outside thing. And then reflecting I guess I made him a friggin' gold felt birthday crown, baked him his own tiny personal smash cake complete with homemade blue icing because blue, and then made tiny blue cupcakes with cookies on top for all the kids (I wasn't making a cake for everyone else because I thought I was being "casual" and low maintenance), and then I went and bought little black paper bags to put candy in for goodie bags and I cut out little chevron-like red tags and wrote the kids names on it. And then I made snacks, even though I asked family to bring snacks. And do you see where I'm going with this?

Hawksley wouldn't smash his smash cake. He's very very very gentle. He doesn't smash things with his hands the way most little kids do. He's really good and really careful with his fingers. Just amazing dexterity for a one-year-old. So he picked a little piece of icing at a time and ate the cake like that.

So I smooshed his hands in so he would see there is actually chocolate inside. He ate a lot of it. But I ate more of it over the next week...

Which brings up another point that I need to get serious about - taking care of myself during motherhood. This will probably be a much longer future post, but still, I'll glaze over it like a Krispy Kreme: I'm still carrying all my baby weight. I had lost about 15 pounds of it, but then slowly started packing it back on until I realized holy shit I'm overweight.

And I tend to do that. I put my head down and focus and my health takes a backseat. Pair that ambition with the busy life of being a parent and I don't even consider what's best for me for half the week.

And then I started doing all the right things - Derek was losing weight - and I was not. I was still gaining. And then my doctor made the comment that I need to lose weight, which sucks because like, I KNOW. So I brought up that I haven't been able to lose weight. And that my periods won't seem to stop (they're biweekly back-to-back), and that I have this weird "skin-crawling" thing that happens all day long, but when I look there is nothing on my skin.

So I had my cervix biopsied. I'm still waiting on the results, and to be honest, I feel like I'm OK, but this is just another reminder that my lesson is to put myself first, even if I'm a wife and a parent and a sister and a daughter and a friend and an everything else.

The skin thing is something called formication and could be a long term side effect from chemotherapy and radiation, a lovely lethal cocktail, and could be something happening with my nervous system. So let's all hope I gather the strength to finally put my health first so I stop going crazy with all these little things wrong with me.

After all, I have a family to take care of.

Since Hawksley's infamous haircut he is a totally different kid. He's happier, yes, but he also has like eight teeth now - seemingly overnight because he had none up until 11 months - and he has a really charming gap between his front teeth. Like a big gap. Like a questionable braces gap. As his other teeth come in, they're all spaced apart and I'm practically seeing the dollar signs tacking up with each new tooth that cuts, but the centre gap is endearing. Thank goodness.

He motors around and crawls everywhere. He has the capability to walk, but he hasn't quite figured the balance out yet (he only walked to me once when he was crying), and he has started to pull tantrums, complete with stomping his feet. I think it's hilarious.

But honestly, I find this to be the easiest stage so far. The first year was not rewarding to me - sorry! - but this is already heaps better. He can communicate with me, even if he is a little turd sometimes and pulls a fit when he doesn't get his way. But it doesn't irritate me the way it used to. I understand he is frustrated that he can't communicate. Before I spent everyday like, "WHAT IS IT YOU WANT, CHILD?!"

He says mama, mummy, mum, mimi (that's grammie), poppi and papa (grandpas), "Tada!" every time he gets his arms through his shirt holes, hello and hi paired with fast arm waves, Roguie every time the dog barks, due (which is blue - we get it, you like blue) and no no no no no no until the cows come home. And he said fuck once - totally my bad - he sometimes repeats me. It's so cool! But so strange. I can't get over how fast he learns. It's something new every day.

He's obsessed with iPhones and remote controls (more stereotypical eye-rolling and fear for future generations) and he likes to hide them under things. I don't know why. He LOVES TO DANCE and shake his bum, and he likes Rihanna a lot. Like a lot a lot. "Work work work work work," comes with a lot of hand flapping in this house.

One year! Amazing. I survived and I kept him alive! I feel like I should get a medal, but then I'm like - Oh yeah. Everyone does this. I'm not special at all.