Monday, April 10, 2017

Fletcher's First Birthday (and Party)

Then, March 28, 2016, 10:32 pm:

Now, March 28, 2017, 10:32 pm:

Fletcher's first birthday fell on a Tuesday, there was too much celebrating we could do. We still tried to make it special. Jared and I woke him up for the day by serenading him with "Happy Birthday." We think he enjoyed it.

I left work early to get him from daycare. We got home in time for a wagon ride around the neighborhood. And in time to snap a few pictures in front of his magnolia tree. The tree was a gift we got on the day we brought Fletcher home from the hospital. We planted it in the front yard and will enjoy watching the tree grow with him over the years.
Once Dad got home we headed off to get Fletcher's first haircut! He sat in the police car chair. Dad got to pick the movie from a very wide selection of VHS's on the wall. Of course he chose Fox and Hound. I think this might have been the first time Fletcher had ever really seen a cartoon before. He's not very interested in the TV, thank goodness. He did so great while the sweet lady cut his hair. He got a little antsy at the end because he was tired of being strapped in.
Big boy haircut meant big boy dinner. Where else would we go for our child's first birthday? Sawmill, of course!
It was a very low key day and wasn't anything too out of the ordinary for us. I still felt all the feels of my sweet little boy turning a year old and sobbed while I rocked him to sleep. After he went to bed I replayed the video of him being born and looked through all 300 or so pictures of the first few days of his life. Then we promptly went in at 10:32pm to wish him official happy birthday.

April 1, 2017: Fletcher's First Birthday Party!

We completely underestimated how many people were actually going to show up for Fletcher's birthday party. Can I just reiterate that we have the most wonderful family and friends? People traveled from all over to come celebrate our boy with us. Many made a day trip just so they could wish him a happy birthday which just made us feel incredibly special. We are so lucky to have everyone of those people in our lives.
Fletcher on the other hand was a little overwhelmed with all these people at his house. The poor boy woke up from his nap and the next thing he knew 30 people were there, some even that the audacity to bring their children to his house (who Fletcher is normally excited to see, by the way). He was not interested in entertaining or showing off his little personality. He either wanted to be held by me or his JuJu and no one else. I definitely think the saying "its my party, I can cry if I want to" comes from a first birthday.
 He did warm up after he had his smash cake (and I let him play with no clothes on). I guess the boy is more comfortable sans pants but, aren't we all?
I made him a low sugar smash cake with blueberry icing on the inside and covered in raspberries
The bib was made by his Aunt Charli Kay and was gifted to me the Christmas before Fletcher was born. When I opened it I knew I wanted him to wear the bib on his first birthday. There is something very special about being a Rice man. I guess you have to be one (or be married to one or have one as your dad or son) to know just what that means :)
Fletcher got so many gifts we didn't even know where to start opening them. For a kid that had a very small corner dedicated to his toy collection in the living room, I am sure this was overwhelming too. He did enjoy opening some gifts and made everyone giggle when he was just as obsessed with the lama wrapping paper as everyone else.
see the awesome lama wrapping paper? next to Fletcher, Kelly's wrapping paper was the talk of the party
Overall, we had a great time! It was definitely more a party for us considering the food (pork and chicken wings) and beverage choice, but we figured this was probably going to be one of the few birthdays we could actually have a say in the theme and decorations.
sweet Elizabeth came all the way from...Kernersville :)
Thomas and Gigi (Virginia, pregnant with baby Bledsole, due in July) came from Wilmington for the day!
Julia, Will and Wade traveled to Greenville then to Raleigh to spend the night which allowed Fletcher and Wade to have their first official sleep over!
sweet Meghan and Ryan came all the way from Charlotte for the day. Meghan came to meet Fletcher the morning after he was born. She is one dedicated Aunt and we LOVE her so much.
all mamas wild college friends aka Fletcher's crazy aunts who spoil him rotten with toys and sugar.
I wish I had taken more pictures of everyone that was there, especially more of those that had made a trip to see us, but we have the memories to last. We can't thank everyone enough for coming to celebrate our sweet boy turning ONE!
Cheers to us officially having a TODDLER.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fletcher 12 Months

Man, what a roller coaster of emotions that hit me on March 28, 2017. Our baby is now a toddler. That just doesn't seem real [the unwarranted tantrums are certainly real]. My mind can't quite wrap itself around the fact that a year went by in what seems like the blink of an eye. All those clich├ęs are oh so true. I am steadfast trying to hold on to every.single.moment. But, here we are, with a ONE YEAR OLD, our one year old, and I just can't believe it.


Similar to the emotions I felt on his birthday, this age is a lot like a roller coaster. One minute we are happily playing and the next, the world is ending because the toy fell out of his hand incorrectly. The tantrums can be intense. We know they are happening out of shear frustration because he can't fully communicate his needs. That fact doesn't make them any easier to deal with. We just think he gets his expressiveness from his mom. Since the time he took his first steps, he has been on the move, and goes non-stop until he falls or passes out. He is truly a mamas boy but lights up the second dad comes into a room or he sees him pulling into the driveway after work.


walking everywhere, mom and dads first weekend away, blowing kisses, visit to mama's work, second snow, mama's 28th  birthday, Saint Patrick's Day, brushing hair, solo weekend with mom, tantrums for no apparent reason, trip to Wilmington, first haircut and FIRST BIRTHDAY!
second time in the snow. which promptly melted about an hour later.
birthday boy! standing with the sign I wrote a few days after he was born.


Activity: walking [especially outside], playing "hide and seek" and mini chase. He loves when we gasp and say "I'm gonna get you." He squeals and "runs" away. Enjoys taking sunglasses and hats off and putting them back on [over and over].
Food: carbs, any fruit, and cheese
Toy: he got a ton for his birthday but probably likes the magnets on the fridge the best, thanks to his Great Aunts.


upset because he put pasta on his own head.
Activity: being frustrated, not getting his way, not being held the second he gestures to be picked up, being strapped in, laying down for diaper changes and getting dressed, and being left at daycare by mom. yes, we are going through a little attachment issue phase right now.
Food: meat


Eating: we slowly transitioned to whole milk one week prior to turning 12 months. We mixed whole milk with breast milk until he was only drinking cold whole milk. We chose to use FairLife milk. Won't bore you with the details of why we chose this but we plan on sticking with either the ultra-filtered milk or organic milk. In addition to starting whole milk we dropped the bottle. All milk is now consumed from a sippy cup, four times per day. The transition to both were much easier than I thought they were going to be. Praise.

Sleeping: at daycare he is napping on a cot now! Like a little boy. Be still my heart. He only naps once there, 12pm-2:00ish. On the weekends we are still getting two naps, one morning (9-10:30) and one afternoon (1:30-3). Night sleep is still the best. Since switching to sippy cup a night he doesn't drift off while drinking his night milk so he is wide awake when we put him down. He will roll around for a few minutes but puts himself to sleep pretty quickly. He sleeps in the craziest positions.


our first weekend away
one happy boy
mamas boy
hanging out at work with mom
welcoming dad home from work
visiting downtown Wilmington

with his two favorite ladies

first time trying ice cream at Kilwins

celebrating Vance's birthday (sans Fletcher)
its all good baby baby
With the number of times I mention the word tantrum in this post it probably seems like all he does is freak out. But the truth is that we are just so used to having a very calm child so to see him fall out on the floor for no apparent reason can be a little shocking. Just like everything else we know this is just a phase.

Sweet Fletcher James, this has been the best, craziest, fastest, funniest, hardest, and most loving year of our lives. You have changed so much since you were born. I never thought I could love you more than the first time I met you, but my heart grows for you everyday. You fill our lives with your constant joy. You have such an infectious smile and wonder for life. Thank you for giving our lives purpose. Having you here just makes sense. You are our greatest accomplishment. We love you more than you will eve know sweet boy.