Adventures in PB&J Parenthood: 1 year, 1 month

365 Days + one month!
One month into toddlerhood! So how's it going? Read on to find out...

When I first stared this this PB&J parenthood series, it was meant to be a look back on how PB and I were hanging in there in regards to being first time parents. With time, the posts evolved more into monthly recaps of our Ben. As much as I told myself that I'd only do things for his first year like my Instagram #PBJmommyandme series and these monthly recaps, it was hard not to get sucked back into things. There's just too much fun that happens not to share. So here we go again with our year 2 series and looking back on ONE year and ONE month into the newest territory: Toddlerhood!

Mr. Independent
So what has the first month of toddlerhood look like? EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE. No really... while last year was all about making sure we did everything right, taking care of our fragile little newborn... enjoying the tiniest little smiles and coos, this year is a little different. Ben is definitely far from that tiny, helpless newborn. He's our Mr. Independent now. He's so curious and adventurous about the world around him. We have to keep up with him, his newfound mobility, and his new sassiness. Ben isn't fully walking yet, but give him a couch, gate or chair and he'll find a way to maneuver around it. He loves to chat, he's been talking up a storm with his babbles and ever expanding vocabulary and has now learned the power of a toddler tantrum. When he isn't into something he will 100% let you know. LOL.

But with all the new mobility and personality comes a whole lot of goodness! This kid knows how to melt our hearts with his silliness. He's now giving the sweetest koala hugs and his sense of wonder has been so wonderful to watch!

Parenthood at one year, one month
To be completely honest, I've actually found it more exhausting to be a mom to a toddler than to a newborn! What?! Yes, in our case its proven to be true. When Ben was a newborn he was actually super chill, he fell into a good sleep schedule right away, was always so calm and generally just an easy going baby. Everything was pretty clear cut and scheduled with a baby. Cut to a year into it all and that's completely changed! Our days are unpredictable, we have a mix of those easy going, chill days to the crazy "what on earth is happening" kind of days. I'm definitely being kept on my toes nowadays!

It almost feels like something inherently clicked the second he turned one. As exhausting as his newfound toddler abilities have been for us as parents, its also been such a blessing. It's been amazing to watch him form his big personality, watch him grow and learn new things. He literally amazes us each day with his wits and smarts!
Ben is crusin' around the house like crazy! He's still not walking on his own, but we're doing PLENTY of activities to try get him on the move independently, LOL!

Looking forward to another year of milestones!
If month one has been a glimpse into how the rest of year two will go, I'm sure we're in for one heck of a Ben Adventure! As I type this up right now, he's sleeping peacefully next to me, but I know he'll be up in a little bit, re-energized and ready to conquer the rest of the day. As crazy as our days can potentially be now, I'm still so unbelievable thankful. Thankful for his newfound awareness of the world, thankful for his big bright smiles that greet us each morning, thankful for his adorable playfulness, thankful for every single second I get to be this amazing little miracle's mama!💜

Ben's Disney Birthday: Part 1

All the magic for our little mouseketeer!
Ben's Disney Birthday! Another incredibly magical night complete for our adventure book and for the most special reason of all... our Ben!

Ben's big ONE: At Home Birthday

Ben's Big ONE

A little photo look back at Ben's 1st Birthday party, the "at home" edition.

Hooray for the Mouseketeer!
December 30, 2018, it was a day surrounded by endless love, family and lots of cake (& red frosting aftermath).

We weren't originally planning anything big for his actual birthday day, our original plan was to throw Ben a big bash at Disneyland. But the Disney party wasn't for a few weeks until after his actually birthday, so the plans changed from a small cake and dinner with our immediate families to a huge Mickey celebration surrounded by our extended family! We realized that with our Disney party, some of our family wouldn't be able to make it down, and we didn't want to miss a chance to celebrate with them and Ben. Our little guy has made quite the impression on or relatives, so it was no surprise that we had a full house of loved ones, all there to cheer on Ben as he turned one year old!

I'll let the photos do the talking from here:

Ben's smash cake aka the "first" cake they get to have. It's supposed to be smashed into by the birthday celebrant, hence "smash" cake, lol. The bakery where we ordered it from warned us that since the frosting was red that the aftermath wouldn't be pretty... stay tuned to find out how that went, lol!

A sweet friend on Instagram sent over some amazing Mickey decor that was leftover from her son's 1st birthday. It was the kindest gesture and I'm hoping to continue the act of kindness myself by sending them to another mama/family who would want them, too! This decor is way too cute to just be used once! Hopefully they continue to spread magic for another birthday party elsewhere!

Food! I do have to say that Ben's 1st birthday spread was pretty darn good! We had a buffet of the yummiest Filipino and Thai food for our guests! PB is Thai and I'm Filipino so it was such a nice mix of our cultures and truly representative of our little Ben!

Thankful. My grandma has been such a light in my life. She's battling Alzheimers and Parkinson's Disease and she isn't doing too well on most days, but was able to make it to celebrate Ben all thanks to some amazing family members who helped escort her to the party! Thankful doesn't even begin to cover the feels for having her there with us!

Game of Mickey noses! We had a few fun games for our family to play, most of the kiddos invited weren't there since they were all sick, so the adults stepped up and played the games, like this pin the nose (or post it since we ran out) on the Mickey 

Smash cake time! How adorable is this birthday cake towel my sister got for Ben?

We waited until exactly 4:38pm to sing happy birthday to Ben. This was the exact time he was born, so what better way to celebrate one year than with a round of "happy birthday" and cake!

Our Ben was a little hesitant to smash into his cake. 

But once he realized there was yummy cake under all that frosting, he was all for it! My sister mentioned how after all was said and done with the cake that it semi looked like a cake murder scene... lol! 

One happy ONE year old! Ben had an exciting day surrounded by the people that love him the most, good eats and a whole lot of birthday magic!

It was a day to remember and so special since it was all about our little rainbow! As you can see, he had a great time, hehe. Stay tuned, coming soon is a recap of Ben's Disney birthday extravaganza!!!

PB&J Parenthood: ONE YEAR

365 days of PB&J Parenthood!
We did it! We've officially reached ONE YEAR of being parent to our little Benjamin!

Month 12
Ben's twelfth month was definitely a BIG one for so many reasons. There was growth, more milestones and plenty of holiday fun. Month twelve saw our little Ben trying a whole new world of solid foods which he immediately took to, let's just say that pancakes are now his favorite food group!

Ben also continued to be as curious as ever, he's on to go, go, go! He's learned how to scoot himself off of the couch and is zooming around on our furniture... literally, lol.

In the most fitting of ways, PB ended the year by using the last remaining time off he had for paternity leave to spend the final weeks of December and Ben's last month of his 1st year with us! It meant tons of daddy and me time (naps), adventures around our area and lots of holiday fun!
Nap Party with daddy! (Mom did not get an invite to this, lol)
Snowfall at the Oakland Zoo's ZooLights!
Quality daddy & me giant LEGO time!

One and done! WE DID IT!
We did it. We survived our first year of parenthood! In all honestly, time felt like it flew by in the blink of an eye. It felt like only yesterday that we were two frazzled first time parents with our newborn son, desperately trying to figure out how to navigate the waters of being a parent. I still remember the first 24 hours of being parents to Ben. How we were completely clueless, sleep deprived and slightly going bonkers. We hatched a "genius" plan to each hold Ben for an hour, so the other could sleep.... until the nurse came and and said "you know you can let you baby sleep in his bassinet next to you so you can ALL sleep?" LOL. It's hilarious to think of it all now. How we were so scared to hold Ben because we didn't want to drop him, or how anxious we were about every. little. thing.... Now we let our little guy roam freely, pick up him with one hand and pretty much do things that 24 hours into parenthood PB&J would be completely shocked by, lol! With 365 days of parenthood under our belts, it's crazy to see how things have changed from day 1 to today. We're definitely a lot wiser, braver when it comes to parenting, and our hearts our definitely fuller with each day that has passed with our little Ben. 

Mom Life
On a more personal level as a mama. I still remember feeling so helpless after my c-section birth to Ben. All the emotions swirling in those first few weeks with the combo of recovery, things not going according to the "ideal" plan, the breastfeeding fails and woes and pretty much everything in-between. In a nutshell, it wasn't at all the warm and fuzzies I thought being a new mom would be.. But then my little Ben showed me just how wonderful life as a mama could really be. I just needed those first few weeks of "initiation" into mama hood for me to see. Once I let go of the expectations I had in my mind of a perfect start and just went with the flow, knowing that each day may have it's ups and downs, but it will always be okay, along with the reminder that "I'm my child's mom...I know and will always know whats best for him" everything became so much better. 
From week ONE
To year ONE

Everyone told us that the first few weeks of parenthood were always the hardest and trust me, it was... then things just start to flow... things become a little easier, you start to recognize the cries, the coos, the behaviors and then your heart just knows.... It's hard to describe. You finally feel like a parent and you know that life will never be the same in the best way possible!

So here's to our first year of parenthood! All of the ups, the downs, the stresses, the joys, the laughs, the tears and most of all the love. Now onto year two! If the past few days into it is any indication... we're in for one amazing adventure with our big Ben! 💜