How did this baby turn a year old on Saturday? Seriously, how did that happen? This little chunky-chunk is my second son, Lennox Ray. I would like to warn you if you don't want to see a picture loaded post, then skip this entirely!
Lennox's birthday has been a bittersweet build up for me. I simply can't believe a year has flown by as quickly as it did and on top of that, this is my last first birthday! It's weird to say this is my last first birthday because I never thought I would have the privilege of celebrating one first birthday. However, we have been blessed to celebrate two now! Lennox was our super surprise baby and from the moment I learned I was pregnant with him, life has seem to just fly by at lighting speed!
If I'm being completely honest, this day came up so fast, I wasn't prepared at all. I mean, sure, I had been searching Pinterest for the next big birthday theme for several months. But, between working full time, adjusting to two littles, keeping a home, and just managing life - my free time hasn't been as available this past year as before Lennox. I had this big idea of doing a Wild One theme from Where The Wild Things Are. I had all these decorations I wanted to make sketched in my mind, I had a shirt idea I was going to make with my silhouette, I had big plans for party favors for all his cousins, the whole nine!
But, then I found myself a week before his birthday with no decorations, no gifts, no party favors, no shirt, no nothing. In my mind, I had "ruined" his birthday. I was a horrible mom for not giving him a pin worthy first birthday! I didn't make him a chalkboard stat sheet. I didn't stay up until the early hours of the morning after one of his sleepless nights to make him that birthday shirt. I literally was loosing sleep over this. Over a birthday party! I was comparing my lack of plans for Lennox with my over the top first birthday that his brother received years prior. I was disappointed.
I woke up last Wednesday and decided I needed to take Friday off to make his birthday amazing. Around noon on Friday, after I had been to what felt like a million stores unable to find anything I was looking for, I realized I was being ridiculous. He isn't going to remember the shirt he wore. His cousins won't remember what cheesy favors they got after they left his party. No one in my family is going to judge me for the decorations, or lack of decorations, at his party. I was stressing myself out over nothing important. Regardless of how decked out his party is or isn't, it will still be amazing because we are celebrating him.
I told myself whatever the next party aisle had was going to be his birthday decorations and you know what? It ended up being perfect. Lennox has taught me over the last year that I have to loosen up. He has changed me so much that even one of my sister in laws commented on how she can tell a difference in me since becoming a mom of two. It was eye opening to hear, but in a good way. Lennox came into our family and was the baby I needed, without knowing I needed him. Before him I was the crazy scheduler, the planner, the OCD list maker. Weston, his brother, was a dream newborn. He fit into the schedule I planned, slept when I wanted him to sleep, ate when I wanted him to eat, was a perfect textbook baby. A baby my personality appreciated.
Lennox has been the complete opposite. He has made me grow and learn more about myself than I ever knew possible. He doesn't sleep, in fact, even since his newborn days he has been against sleep. He now barely takes one nap a day. ONE NAP! Weston was a solid three nap a day baby up until 18 months old. You know how much you can get done when your baby naps? Everything. Lennox has turned our life upside down and it has taken us a full 12 months to land on our feet again. But, the journey has been so worth it. I'm enjoying the little moments more. I'm realizing just because everything isn't picture perfect, doesn't mean it isn't perfect for us.
Lennox reminded me that I don't have control over everything and sometimes I am just along for the ride. He decided he was going to start walking at nine months old and he hasn't looked back since. He is eager to learn as much as his brother and determined to test his limits daily.
I tried to carry over traditions like I did for his brother, one being these monthly pictures. Lennox decided early on, around six months, that he wasn't a fan of the camera. And since he started crawling and walking early, there was no forcing him to take pictures after his six month home photo shoot. I had to let it go. Its funny how much just these pictures taught me. His personality came out in the pictures so much more when I let him be in his own environment instead of me trying to force some perfect memory. That big happy grin in month 11 is what I live for!
He has taught me that being different isn't bad, it's completely ok! He is so different than his brother, not just in personality but in growth and development. At first I stressed out about how much he ate and how little he slept. I learned my children are different as night and day but they are both equally showered in love and affection.
Lennox taught me searching for perfection is impossible and coloring outside of the lines is what you should really live for. Not everything has to be over the top, simple things, like a plain homemade vanilla buttercream cake, is perfect just the same. I let Weston help me make the cake, seeing his face light up pulled on my heart strings. He helped me make the batter and it was his idea to top it with M&Ms.
Lennox reminds me a lot of this sprinkle smash cake I decided to make for him. I thought it was going to be easy, how difficult can it be. But, today it's Monday morning and we are still finding random sprinkles in our kitchen! I told myself many times while I pregnant with him, don't stress out - this is your second, how hard can it be. Yet, here we are, 12 months later and I still struggle some days wondering if I'm doing it right.
All the days stress goes away when I come home to this blue eye, blond side curl, little boy. I forget all the things I may have done wrong during the day.
He has made me work harder at being the best mother I can be. He has showed me my strengths and my weaknesses.
He hasn't received a lot of alone time with Brian or I since every chance we get is quickly interrupted by Weston. But, watching them grown, bond and love as brothers has been the most amazing experience of them all. Weston will tell you Lennox is his baby, of course until it is time to change a diaper. He adores him and will do anything to make him laugh.
It's a different feeling watching your last baby grow up. You never know when it will be the last time for certain things, so I feel like I am cherishing all the moments just a little bit more. Even the late night feedings he still enjoys at 2am. I figure, I'll sleep when they are older - maybe.
I'm so happy I was picked to be his mom. He completes me in a way I could never put into words. He is exactly what this family needed.
Happy 1st Birthday, Lennox Ray! I can't wait to see where this next year takes us!