At Gabriel's 12-month well-child appointment he weighed 21 lb 4 oz, and was 30 inches long. He is in the 25th percentile for weight, but 50th percentile for height. He has already moved into a size 6 shoe. Mr. G now has 8 teeth...and beware to not let your finger accidentally get too close, or he will chomp down...and hard.
He is still nursing like a champ - normally 7 times a day - but is adding new foods to his repertoire all the time. The foods he is currently eating are egg yolks, avocado, yogurt, kefir, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, peas, apples, bananas, pears, oranges, strawberries, cantaloupe, ground venison, smoked venison sausage, salmon, tuna and chicken. And now that Gabriel has hit the one-year mark, he is also drinking the whole raw milk that rest of us drink. He is really good about eating all of this, but his hands-down favorite (surprise) are fruits. In fact, if he sees a banana or an apple and you are not currently feeding it to him, he will begin protesting. Loudly.
Here are some highlights and pictures from his 12th month of life:
Christmas came a few days into Gabriel's 12th month. And he celebrated byyyyyyyy.....sleeping through most of the excitement! I feed him at about 5-6 a.m. every morning and then he usually still sleeps until about 9 a.m.
He is not in many of our pictures from Christmas morning...
...but we made sure to take some pictures of him when he did finally decide to grace us with his presence.
I snapped these pictures of G and Elisabeth on Christmas morning also (trying out the new lens that Jas totally surprised me with!).
I'm so used to seeing Mr. G look like this...
...that it takes me off guard how big/mature he looks when he looks like this instead:
And yes, Big Sister Elisabeth is a little partial to her little Gabriel. She finally talked me into letting her "wear" Gabriel for a bit. She was in her element:
A day or two after Christmas, the two bigger boys finally "laid down the law" with Jas and I: They said it. was. time. for Gabriel to move into their room. So, Mr. G is in the "The Boys' Room" now. It's bittersweet...but good.
And then Gabriel and I went on a roadtrip with my dear friend Melissa (I alluded to it in this post). It was my (and Gabriel's!) first time ever visiting an IKEA. It happens to be my idea of heaven-on-earth.
And Gabriel had quite a good time also.
Knowing that his birthday was coming up very soon, I purchased several toys to tuck away for a few weeks for him. But...I just had to go ahead and let him have this little boy doll that he loved so much.
We haven't named him, so the poor thing is simply known as "Gabriel's little boy". They had a pow-wow on the way home from IKEA that afternoon!
Gabriel only liked his little boy slightly better than he like IKEA's Swedish Meatballs that we shared in the cafeteria. I can't tell you how many times we thought it was Gabriel laying in various spots around the house for the first couple weeks after we brought his little boy home. It scared the pants off us more than a few times!
Another favorite toy of Gabriel's is the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics that we've had for about 8 years now. (It was one of E's presents her first Christmas with us, 2004)
It has actually always lived on our dishwasher, so I supposed ours should be called Dishwasher Phonics instead of Fridge Phonics.
Gabriel knows how to push the button to make it sing the alphabet song, but other than that, he really just likes to sling the letter magnets off the dishwasher.
But it keeps him by me in the kitchen and happy for a while.
It is no wonder that Gabriel loves his big brothers and sisters as much as he does, with how they continue to interact with him so well.
It does this mama's heart so good to come upon situations like this one, that the children have initiated themselves:
We celebrated Gabriel's birthday by going to....our favorite local Chinese place with Laolao and Papa.
Once we got back home, it was time for G to open presents.
He had a little help.
He liked the toys I'd picked up for him from IKEA. We gave him the this, this, this and this from IKEA. (We were sorely lacking in the baby toy arena because we thought the days of babyhood were long gone around here!)
We also gave Gabriel this little album that I filled with pictures of him and him with all of us. The children love to go through it with him and name everyone...and he seems to really enjoy it, if I am reading him right when he tries to stuff it in his mouth.
There is a tradition in the African American community that you should never cut a childs' hair before they turn one. And I had no desire to. But Gabriel's hair has really begun to take off lately...and it is practically taking more time to do his hair in the morning now than it does mine! After talking to our friend Sheena about it recently, I really think we're getting closer to getting it cut now. From what we understand, we will be able to use clippers and do it ourselves (we do our other boys' hair also), but for this first time Jas and I are thinking we may take him to a barber. I want to get it cut..but I don't. We'll see how long it takes me to screw up my courage.
|1 month old|
|6 months old|
|12 months old|
When I look at G's face in this picture below, I see a much-loved, precious boy that the Lord has been gracious enough to allow us to parent...
What if we'd been too scared to adopt domestically?
What if we'd thought we were too old to "start over" with parenting a newborn?
What if we'd been too scared to adopt a black child, given that we live in the deep south?
All of these concerns, and more, went through my mind...and I'm so very, very thankful that He made His will abundantly clear. And I'm so thankful that we followed where He led.
When I was a 22-year old know-it-all graduating from college with a business degree, I thought I knew exactly what my life would look like...and this is not at all what I had in mind...
...but He knows so much better than me. I wouldn't miss out on the story He's writing for our family for anything in the world.