Kellen’s First Year - A Retrospective
Our first year with Kellen has been nothing short of amazing. We’re truly blessed and grateful to have him in our family. In this post, we’ll look back at Kellen’s first year with us.
Below (past the photo collage), you’ll find a brief summary of each of the 19 blog posts and 362 photos published here throughout Kellen’s first year with us.
The Big Day(s)
Kellen was born at about 37 weeks on April 22, 2014 at 4:19 in the morning. At birth, he weighed 6 lbs., 6 oz. and measured about 19 inches.
We were admitted to the hospital the morning before, and Aimee was induced at about 8:00 that night. She started pushing about six hours later, and a little over two hours after that, Kellen had arrived.
Overall, Kellen’s birth was uneventful (that is, normal), and we would spend the next day or so resting and receiving visits from family.
Read More: The Big Day(s)
The First Two Weeks - Almost Perfect
Other than a touch of jaundice, as is common in newborns, Kellen’s first two weeks were great. Our pediatrician felt the level of jaundice was high enough to warrant several blood tests throughout his first week, but by the end of the week, the jaundice had subsided and was no longer a concern.
Kellen received visits from several family members throughout his first two weeks.
Kellen’s first two weeks also marked my return to work.
Read More: The First Two Weeks - Almost Perfect
One Month Old
By his one-month birthday, Kellen had gained about 3 lbs., weighing around 9.5 lbs. After a (mostly-great) month with our baby boy, Aimee and I were as enamored with him as ever.
Read More: One Month Old
Six Weeks As A Family
While Kellen’s first two weeks were pure bliss, the four following were a bit more challenging. At six weeks, he weighed a little over 10 lbs., a gain of about 4 lbs. since birth.
After his first few weeks, Kellen was plagued with a bit of a case of thrush (notice his speckless tongue below), which is basically an oral yeast infection. Thankfully, he was able to get over it within a few weeks.
During Kellen’s first six weeks, we also celebrated Aimee’s first Mother’s Day. Kellen and I woke up for his morning feeding, letting Aimee sleep in for another couple hours. I made Aimee one of her favorite breakfasts while Kellen supervised.
Read More: Six Weeks As A Family
Two Months Old
At two months, Kellen seemed to have grown by leaps and bounds. He weighed in at just over 12 lbs., nearly double his birth weight, and measured 22.25 inches.
He seemed to become fully aware of Aimee and I, responding to our voices and making direct eye contact with us - looking “at” us, not just in our general direction. It was apparent that he recognized us as people he knew and trusted.
It was around this time that Kellen also started to smile in response to our interactions with him - such a joy to behold.
My first Father’s Day was a wonderful day of celebration of our baby boy. My first gift of the day: Aimee took care of Kellen in the morning and allowed me to sleep in. When I awoke, Aimee had prepared breakfast and had gifts from her and Kellen waiting for me. A little later, we spent time with my family celebrating the day.
Read More: Two Months Old
Three Months & Five Terrifying Minutes
At three months, Kellen weighed 13-1/4 lbs. and measured 24 inches. He’d been battling acid reflux for a few weeks and hadn’t been eating as much as usual; otherwise, he’d probably weigh a bit more.
He’d become increasingly aware of his appendages and objects around him, starting to identify things that he wanted to reach for and touch.
He also met his Uncle Taylor, my brother, who lives in California, which I’m sure, was a treat for both of them.
Three months also marked Aimee’s return to work and Kellen starting daycare. Both Aimee and I work nearly an hour away from home (and daycare). Full-time, Kellen would spend around 11 hours a day in daycare. We weren’t entirely comfortable with him spending that much time in daycare at only three months old, so I arranged with my employer to work from home for some time, allowing us to place him in daycare for six hours a day instead.
At three months, we also experienced the most terrifying five minutes we’ve yet to experience with Kellen. ALTE - Apparent Life Threatening Event - That’s what our pediatrician called it.
Read More: Three Months & Five Terrifying Minutes
You can also read a follow-up post, an update on Kellen’s condition.
Four Months Old
At four months, Kellen weighed just over 15 lbs. and measured nearly 25 inches.
At this point Kellen had started “talking.” He’d sit on one of our laps or in his car seat and let out a little baby moan over and over again for a few minutes. He’d also do it in response to our interacting with him, seeming to have quite a lot to talk about.
Kellen had two firsts at four months - his first birthday party, for cousins Hayden and McKinley, and his first visit to a splash pad where their party was held. He loved to splash around in the tub at bath time, but he wasn’t sure what to think about the splash pad.
We were also excited to see Kellen’s first piece of artwork, courtesy of his daycare - a footprint caterpillar.
Read More: Four Months Old
Five Months Old
Month five was full of growth and development for Kellen.
He had become more and more coordinated, doing a push-up or two when laid on his belly. He was also able to occasionally roll onto his back.
Since bringing Kellen home, we’d always swaddled him, arms-in, at bedtime, as it helped him (and us) sleep more soundly at night. The weeks before his five-month birthday, he’d gotten strong enough to “break out” of his swaddle, giving us a clear impression he preferred to have his arms and hands free. After working with him a bit, he was able to sleep through most of the night hands-(and-sometimes-pacifier)-free.
At one point during one of our family get-togethers, my dad said we couldn’t have gotten a better kid if we’d custom-ordered one. We couldn’t have agreed more.
Read More: Five Months Old
Six Months Old
At six months old, Kellen weighed just over 18 lbs. and measured 26 inches… a little short. With Aimee and I as his parents, he has little hope of being tall.
Hard to believe that a little less than six months before, he was just a little six-and-a-half-pound newborn.
At this point, Kellen was now sleeping in his own room every night. We had planned on moving him into his room at around three months, but because of his health concerns, we wanted to keep him close by for a while longer.
He was also able to sit up mostly unassisted for several minutes at a time. He could stand for a quite a while as well, although he needed support for balance.
Read More: Six Months Old
While Kellen is too young to go trick-or-treating for his first Halloween, we did manage to get some great photos of him in-costume.
Read More: Happy Halloween!
Seven Months Old
Kellen’s seventh month was all about food.
Just after his six-month birthday, we started Kellen on solid foods… well, baby food. Initially, he wasn’t quite sure what to think (first three photos below), but he got the hang of it pretty quick (fourth photo below).
He’d also gotten good enough at holding his bottle that he could, for the most part, feed himself. Aimee and I found this to be a fantastic skill for him to have while we were getting ready for work in the morning.
Read More: Seven Months Old
Eight Months Old
During month eight, Kellen experienced quite a few firsts, the most exciting of which, Christmas, was right around the corner.
Kellen’s first Thanksgiving was eventful. We celebrated with my family, and Kellen met several family members for the first time. Having skipped the previous Thanksgiving with my folks - that year was our turn with Aimee’s parents - we also met a few new family members, a few of which were very curious about Kellen.
Kellen had been a pretty good sleeper for a while. He’d typically sleep through the night, but he was (and still is) definitely a morning person. He’d normally wake up between 4 and 5 in the morning, although he’d sleep until 6 or 7 if we pushed him. This worked well during the week when Aimee and I had to work, but I’d spend many a weekend morning entertaining him before the sun had come up.
Aimee and I were excited beyond words to celebrate our first Christmas with Kellen. We sent out our first family holiday card, featuring Kellen and his three elves.
Read More: Eight Months Old
Kellen’s First Christmas
Kellen’s first Christmas was fantastic. Between celebrating with our families and having our own celebration, we had a total of five Christmases. Kellen had a blast at all of them.
Read More: Kellen’s First Christmas
Nine Months Old
At nine months, Kellen got to meet two family members for the first time; he was eating new foods; and his first two teeth had come in.
Around Christmas, Kellen got to meet his Grandpa Bill for the first time. Bill was married to my mother before her passing a few years before and continues to live in Colorado where I grew up. Kellen’s reaction to their first interaction was priceless, resulting in one of my favorite photos of Kellen ever.
Kellen also got to meet his Aunt Cheshie (Cheryl), Aimee’s aunt, from New York. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any photos of the occasion, but their introduction was a smashing success.
In addition to eating solids (baby food) three times a day, Kellen was also working on his dexterity by eating bite-size rice puffs.
After several weeks of teething, Kellen now had two tiny baby teeth to show for it.
Read More: Nine Months Old
Ten Months Old
At ten months, Kellen started eating table scraps and had picked up quite a few new tricks.
We started supplementing Kellen’s solid foods (baby food) with actual solid foods - table scraps. Initially, he most definitely didn’t care for it, going so far as to try to block the food (with his hands) from getting anywhere near his mouth, but he grew more and more accustomed to it.
He was able to wave hello/goodbye, and he liked to clap his hands together.
He could also pull himself up and stand for a while, as long as he had something to hold onto for support.
And my personal favorite, he’d gotten quite good at “gimmie five.”
It was also at ten months that Kellen called me “da-da” for the first time. Aimee and I thought he might address me before her, as we’ve heard “da-da” is easier to say. He did it several times in a row, and it seemed as if he was making the connection (that I’m da-da).
In addition to his two bottom teeth, Kellen’s two top teeth were also starting to come in, but they were about as difficult to photograph as the elusive black rhino of Africa.
Read More: Ten Months Old
Eleven Months Old
There wasn’t much to report at eleven months other than Kellen still wasn’t crawling. At this point, we assumed he’d skip crawling altogether.
Kellen continued to expand his culinary horizons. We’d try to sit down and have dinner as a family a couple times a week, giving him scraps of whatever we’d prepared for ourselves, so he was eating a bit of people food every day.
While Kellen still had yet to crawl in the traditional sense, he could still get from one area of the room to another if he was determined enough. Overall, he was pretty mobile, rolling, scooting, and slithering about.
He’d also gotten very good at waving hello and goodbye, bringing an ear-to-ear grin to our faces every time.
He also started occasionally referring to Aimee as “ma-ma.” He had a couple other word-sounding noises as well.
Read More: Eleven Months Old
Happy First Birthday!
Aimee and I took the day off work today to celebrate Kellen’s first birthday as a family. Aimee summed up our feelings perfectly on Facebook on the eve of his birthday…
“As I sat in the hospital parking lot waiting for Chris, I was so scared and knew my life was about to change forever. After waiting in the hospital for almost nine hours before being induced, and the actual labor only lasting seven hours, Kellen was born on April 22 at 4:19 AM. I had no idea how much better my life was going to become just by having this little person in it. Kellen brings so much joy to my life, and if I had known then what I know now, I would have been running into that hospital to have him!”
“Happy first birthday to my little man tomorrow who has taught me what family and love is really all about. Mommy and daddy love you so much!”
Read More: Happy First Birthday!
One Year Old
At one year old, Kellen weighed just under 24 lbs. and measured 29.5 inches.
A lot happened in April, including Mommy’s birthday, Kellen’s first trip to the zoo, and his one-year birthday bash.
Aimee’s birthday also falls in April. Kellen got some time with Abuela, Grandpa, and Aunt Tori while we spent an afternoon with them to celebrate Aimee’s birthday.
Kellen’s last day as a pre-one-year-old was both exciting and emotional, especially for Aimee. It was hard to believe we were in the hospital welcoming him to our family a year before. When I put him to bed that night, I thought to take a photo of his last time going to bed before waking up the next morning as a one-year-old.
Aimee and I took the day off for Kellen’s first birthday, and we decided he might be old enough to enjoy a trip to the Houston Zoo. We had a great time at the zoo, although Kellen seemed more interested in the many field-trip-goers than the animals.
After about 11 months, we assumed Kellen was going to skip crawling altogether. He had been somewhat mobile for a while and was starting to show signs of wanting to walk. We thought he might start walking within a couple months of turning a year old. Well, on the very day of his birthday, we set him on the floor to play and low and behold, he scurried across the floor on all fours. We were shocked - is he crawling?!
Kellen’s first birthday party was quite an affair. Aimee did a fantastic job planning everything. We made all our own food and invited family over to celebrate.
Kellen loved being the center of attention at his party, and he was more than happy to demonstrate his new crawling skills.
And the moment everyone had been waiting for, birthday cake time!
Read More: One Year Old