(cut for your convenience, in case you don't feel like reading all the fine details!)
After the birthday in the previous post, there was another birthday the next weekend but for someone significantly younger than my beautiful friend Jacklyn. My lovely friend Kristi, who I've known since I was 13 and reconnected with about 3 years ago, was newly pregnant when I found that I too was expecting; our bundles of joy are just a little over 2 months apart. Kristi's daughter McKenzie had a fun little party with lots of yummy food and activities. This was the first real time that Daniel got to be around more than just one other kid at a time and I must say, he is such a big kid in every sense of the word. He goes right up to people, plays along side other kids (even taking their toys... oops), gives kisses (even without asking, which made the birthday girl cry!) and enjoys attention from anyone. Such an extrovert, this kid.
The following weekend, my parents came up to see us for the day. As the weeks go by and we see my parents, I see a huge change in Daniel. He is remembering them from each visit, each weekend we spend with them and he is realizing that these are the people who indulge him. He walks up to them willingly, holds his arms up to them to be picked up, even falls asleep on my dad while watching TV or gives kisses when my mom says "chu" (Japanese slang for "kiss"). After we moved away from San Diego I was so worried that Daniel wouldn't be close to my parents, but I think it's safe to say that my fears are being alleviated.
The weekend after that, we visited San Diego again. This time, it was so Gary and his boss could attend the air show at MCAS Miramar. I paid a visit to Stacy to drop off a few gently used second-hand items for her to use once her baby arrived. I also helped my dad do an errand while we were out dropping those items off, while Daniel stayed at home with my mom. The NEXT weekend, Daniel and I drove down the San Diego without Gary (a successful solo mama-baby trip, I might add; minimal crying during the drives to and from) to visit Stacy again; this time, in the hospital! She gave birth a bit early but all is well, mama has since been discharged and baby should be home as well. We delivered a box of macarons, her favorite, after we visited my old work just around the corner from the hospital Stacy was at.
So hopefully, we spend a few weekends at home with minimal traveling. At least until Daniel's first birthday party, which we will be celebrating on Thanksgiving weekend. We'll be in San Diego for Thanksgiving with my family, grandmother and her husband, then travel back to Irvine the next day to pick up Gary's grandmother from Michigan at our local airport and his mother from Japan flying in to Los Angeles. We have a busy weekend to look forward to in about a month so spending some much-needed time at home will not hurt my feelings at all!
I think my mom is planning on coming out here soon so we can take Daniel to take his 1st Birthday portraits. She came up here to take up to get his 6 month portraits done, which were adorable and he was just learning how to stand on his own while holding onto something. He was still chunky cheeked and we just gave his hair a little trim. It'll be fun to compare those photos to the ones we'll be taking in a few weeks - he's at least 6 inches taller and walking like he's been doing it since he was born! I can't believe my boy is going to be a year in just a few short weeks... I need to dedicate a post specifically to how I feel about that.