Gavin’s First Birthday Party

Gavin’s birthday was August 4, which was a Tuesday, so we celebrated his first birthday with family and friends on the following Saturday (August 8).

We didn’t exactly have a themed party – he doesn’t know about any of the popular children’s characters yet. At a local party supply store, I picked up a Happy 1st Birthday banner, paper napkins, and invitations that had planes, trains, and cars on them. Other than that, I got blue and white paper plates and disposable cups at Target.

Happy 1st Birthday banner |

We had the party at noon, so we provided food for everyone to munch on while visiting with the birthday boy. We had deli sandwiches, chips, veggie tray, fruit tray, and cheese and crackers. I ordered a variety of sandwiches from a local grocery store that does catering. I hadn’t ordered from them before, but I thought the sandwiches were really good, so I’ll have to remember that in the future. My Mama (Gavin’s Honey) made the fruit tray. I put together a basic cheese and cracker plate, bought an already made veggie tray, and bought a variety pack of chips. We had iced tea and a cooler of iced down drinks (water, juice, and soda). We had some leftover food, but we seemed to have figured the right amount for the number of people we had.

Birthday Cake |

Gavin's Smash Cake |

Gavin eating his smash cake |

We ordered cakes from the bakery at the grocery store where we got the sandwiches. The cakes were decorated the same – white icing with blue writing and border. Gavin’s smash cake was a white cake and the guest’s cake was half white cake and half chocolate cake. The cakes were good, and Gavin seemed to really enjoy his smash cake.

Gavin opening birthday presents |

Gavin opening birthday presents |

I think it was a great first birthday party. Gavin had fun – he got some new toys to play with, had a yummy cake, and got lots of loving.

Gavin is 1 Year Old!

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Gavin is 1 year old! |

Wow! Gavin is one year old! This year has flown by! It’s such a pleasure watching him grow and learn new things.

For his birthday, we went to the zoo. It was Gavin’s first time at the zoo, and he seemed to have fun. It was a hot day, so a lot of the animals were hiding in the shade. Because of that, it was hard for Gavin to see some of the animals. He did get to see plenty of animals though, including giraffes, elephants, lions, bears, zebras, bison, rhinoceroses, penguins, and more!

Darinda & Gavin at Caldwell Zoo |

Gavin at Caldwell Zoo |

To continue celebrating his birthday, we stopped and got cupcakes. When we got home, Gavin couldn’t wait to eat his cupcake!

Gavin eating his birthday cupcake |

We did get him a few gifts, and they appear to be a hit. We got him a recliner last week. He’s a little young for the recliner, but he’ll be big enough for it soon. For his other gifts, he got some Mega Blocks and a touch and teach book. He spent the afternoon playing with his new toys.

Gavin playing with his birthday gifts |

Other than his new toys, he still likes to play with his alphabet tiles, balls, bounce and ride elephant, and truck. Lately though, his favorite thing to play with is the plasticware in the kitchen. I put locks on all the cabinets except for two, and I put a bunch of plasticware and some wooden spoons in there for him to find and play with. He was so happy to discover he could get into those cabinets, and he’s been playing in there ever since.

Gavin playing with plasticware in the kitchen |

We went on a family trip to Colorado last month. I was worried about Gavin and the long car rides, but he did great. While in Colorado, we did some sightseeing, but we tried not to do too much in a day. It was a good vacation, and we got to see and do what we wanted without overdoing for Gavin.

Michael & Gavin at Garden of the Gods |

Gavin’s always exploring his surroundings. He’s so curious, and it’s great watching him explore. He cruises along the furniture and walls, but he’s not walking yet. He’s always got a hand on something, but I don’t think it’ll be too much longer and he’ll start to let go. We’ve Gavin-proofed a lot of the house, but there are still some off-limits areas that he makes a beeline for as soon as he gets a chance. He’s pretty quick and he seems to know what areas he’s not supposed to go to, and of course, that’s where we wants to go.

The last year has been a blast! Gavin is such a happy little man and he brings so much joy to our lives.

Gavin is 11 Months Old!

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Gavin is so much fun!

This June, we celebrated Father’s Day for the first time with our little man. It was a nice relaxing day. We went to brunch and enjoyed our day together as a family.

Father's Day 2015 |

Gavin loves exploring his surroundings. He’s so curious, and he’s always watching what we’re doing. He doesn’t army crawl any more, he regular crawls everywhere. He can pull himself up to standing really well and has started cruising along the furniture. We’ve been enjoying our home and spending a little time outside on pretty days. He seems to enjoy being outside.

Gavin |

Gavin has six teeth, and he chews on everything. Last week, I put some crib rail protectors on his bed because he was starting to chew on his crib. I try to keep a toy handy that he can chew on when we’re out, and he has lots of toys at the house. Lately, he plays with his books, stacking toy, balls, truck, and his newest toy. He got a blow up pool recently, and he likes playing in it. He also really enjoys bath time, and lately he likes playing with his bath animals and bath book.

Gavin in his pool |

He’s a good eater, and he’s eating more solid foods now. He’s sleeping well at night (about 12 hours) and he naps twice a day (morning and afternoon). His morning nap is usually a little shorter than his afternoon nap. His allergies have been bothering him lately, so we’re trying to keep that under control. Even when his allergies are bothering him, he’s still such a happy little man.

Gavin is 10 Months Old!

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Gavin is 10 months old! |

Gavin is growing up so fast!

This May, I got to celebrate Mother’s Day for the first time with my little guy. It was a nice relaxing day. We went to Mass that morning, had a nice lunch at the house, and Michael got the firepit going and we enjoyed being outside.

Mother's Day (2015) |

Gavin enjoys playing with his toys, but lately he’s more interested in exploring his surroundings. He army crawls everywhere, and he can pull himself up to standing (see video below). He’s also figured out how to get up the stairs (see video below).

Gavin standing up |

We went on our first family vacation last month. We drove down to Galveston and spent a few days relaxing. We took Gavin to Moody Gardens, the beach, and swimming in the hotel pool. Gavin did great, and I’m already thinking about future vacations for us!

Moody Gardens |

Gavin at the beach {Galveston, TX} |

In May, Gavin was baptized. My Mama made his baptismal gown from my wedding dress, and it’s beautiful. Such a wonderful future heirloom for our family.

Gavin's baptism |

Gavin now has five teeth, and a sixth about to come in. He likes to chew on things, so I try to keep some teething toys in the fridge for him.

He’s still a good eater, and he’s eating more solid foods now. He’s also still sleeping well at night (about 11-12 hours). He naps twice a day (morning and afternoon). He naps in his crib now, instead of his swing. His morning nap usually lasts 30-45 minutes, but his afternoon nap is longer.

Baby Registry {A Complete Checklist}

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It’s hard deciding what to buy when expecting a baby. You want to be prepared for baby’s arrival because the last thing you’ll want to do after giving birth is run to the store, especially when you’re exhausted. Then again, you don’t want too much stuff because that can become overwhelming. Some of the things we got before Gavin was born were used all the time, while other items were rarely, if ever, used. Plus, some things I bought after his arrival when I realized I needed them. Based on our experience with Gavin, I came up with this complete list of baby items. Obviously, everyone’s registry list will vary based on their lifestyle. We registered at Target, and I do some of our shopping on Amazon, so the links below open to one of those companies. 

Diapers – Before Gavin’s arrival, I bought cloth and disposable diapers. I used cloth diapers on days when were at the house, and disposable diapers for when we were out. I bought these cloth diapers, diaper fasteners, and diaper covers. For disposable diapers, I recommend Pampers Swaddlers . I’ve tried a couple of other brands of disposable diapers, but the Pampers Swaddlers have worked best.

Wipes – I like Babyganics for disposable wet wipes. The GroVia cloth wipes I bought work great too, but they have been discontinued by the manufacturer.

Diaper rash cream – Fortunately, Gavin hasn’t had many diaper rashes. I mainly use diaper rash cream as a preventative measure. I’ve found Boudreaux’s works great. Also, it’s nice to have some Lotrimin on hand if the diaper rash is caused by yeast.

Diaper trash can – I use a regular trash can and trash bags.

Changing pad – We don’t have a changing table, we use this changing pad with this changing top on his dresser.

Changing pad covers – I recommend having two changing pad covers. We use this one and this one. They both work well, but I prefer the one from Target. I lay a cloth diaper on top of the cover to help keep the cover clean longer. They sell changing pad liners, but a cloth diaper works just as well.

Diapering {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} |
Breast pump – Check with your insurance, it should be covered. For our insurance, I used a supplier that only mailed the breast pump after delivery of the baby. I ordered as soon as I got home from the hospital. It took about a week for the pump to be delivered. The company I used offered a couple of different brands. I chose the Medela Pump in Style Advanced, and it has worked great.

Breast milk storage containers – I’ve used several brands of bags, and now just use the Target brand found in the store. It works well, and is a little cheaper than the brand name bags. There are a lot of storage container options, so find what works best for you and stock up on them.

Formula – I received some free samples of formula before Gavin was born, and kept them around in case the breastfeeding didn’t work out as planned. Breastfeeding worked well for us, so we didn’t need to buy any formula.

Bottles – Since I breastfeed, I didn’t need many bottles. The only time I needed bottles was when we went somewhere or if Gavin was spending the day with his grandparents. Basically, if I wasn’t around or if it would be inconvenient to nurse, I needed to have bottles on hand. I bought this set of bottles and some extra nipples. It was all we needed.

Bottle brushes – Your going to want to be able to clean the bottles and breast pump pieces well. I have this set of small brushes and this bottle brush.

Pacifiers – We haven’t used the pacifiers much, but they are nice to have on hand just in case. We were given some as gifts, and I’ve picked up a few at the store.

Pacifier clips – If you’re using pacifiers, it’s a good idea to have a couple of clips.

Bibs – We were given lots of bibs, so I haven’t needed to buy any. We go through 2-3 bibs a day. This is one of those things it’s great to have extras of because some days may require more than others.

Highchair – We registered for this one. It works great and matches our furniture.

Spoons – I bought this pack of four spoons, and that’s all we’ve needed.

Sippy cups – We’ve tried a variety of sippy cups. Since we’re still fairly new with the sippy cups, we haven’t picked a favorite yet.

Bowls – I bought a couple of plastic bowls that have suctions on the bottom. So far, that’s all the bowls we’ve needed.

Feeding {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} |


Baby wash – I’ve tried a variety of baby washes, and have found Aveeno creamy wash is best for Gavin’s skin.

Baby lotion – Gavin has eczema, so I’ve tried a lot of lotions to find what is best for his skin. Aveeno makes an eczema lotion that works great on him.

Baby oil – I like to rub baby oil on Gavin’s head to help with cradle cap and to keep his skin from getting too dry.

Vaseline – I sometimes rub vaseline on Gavin’s skin when it starts to feel rough. I keep a small, travel size jar handy.

Washcloths – We registered for some cute baby washcloths at Target that are great, but are no longer available. I also purchased these washcloths to have extras.

Hooded towel – I recommend getting two hooded towels. We registered for one, and got it, plus two more. Every time Gavin gets a bath, he gets wrapped up in a hooded towel afterwards.

Baby bath tub – You can always bathe your baby in a sink, but we did get a baby bath tub. It was easy to move around, so I could bathe him in whichever room was most convenient.

Bath toys – Gavin is now at an age where we use bath toys during bath time. We’ve been given some, and I purchased a couple of others. Lately, his favorites are these.

Bathing {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} |
Crib – Your baby is going to need to sleep somewhere. When we first brought Gavin home, we used my old cradle (my Mama had kept it). When he outgrew it, but we weren’t ready to move him to his own room, we used a pack n’ play in our room. When we were ready, we moved him to his room and now he sleeps at night and naps in his crib. We registered for this crib and it looks great.

Crib mattress – A good mattress is needed for the crib. We registered for this one.

Waterproof mattress cover – A good mattress cover is a must too. I got this one.

Crib sheets – I recommend having three crib sheets. I say this because I’ve had to use three sheets on the same day – remove the one on it, put a fresh one on in the morning and had Gavin promptly spit up all over it, and put another one on after that. My Mama made two sheets for Gavin in the color green that I wanted to use in his room. We also registered for some sheets, and got this blue one and these white ones.

Rocker or Glider – It’s nice to have somewhere to sit and rock your sweet baby. We registered for this glider and ottoman. At first, we had it in our room because that was most convenient, but now it’s in Gavin’s room.

Dresser – Your going to need somewhere to keep all the diapers, baby clothes, and other baby items. We registered for this dresser to match the crib.

Bookcase – We keep Gavin’s books and toys on the bookcase. Basically, you need somewhere to keep the books and toys, so a chest or even a dresser would work. I like that the bookcase is open shelves, so as he’s getting older, he’s able to reach and get the items he wants. We got the matching bookcase for the crib and dresser.

Blankets and quilts – I used blankets to swaddle Gavin, but you can buy swaddlers too. Swaddling is a must though! I also lay blankets and quilts on the floor to provide cushioning. Plus, you’ll want blankets and quilts to snuggle up with your little one.

Nursery {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} |
Baby Gear
Car seat – I recommend a travel system where the car seat snaps into the stroller. This one lasted us the first 9 months, and is super convenient when out and about with baby. We now use this convertible car seat, which is one that will hopefully last a long time.

Baby mirror – I like to be able to see Gavin in his car seat. We got this mirror for the car.

Stroller – We have the stroller with the travel system mentioned above, but we also got an umbrella stroller for convenience. We got this one – mainly because we thought the shark was funny.

Baby carrier – I used the BabyBjörn. Mainly I used it around the house, but I have occasionally used it when we went somewhere that wasn’t stroller friendly.

Play yard – We have this Pack ‘n Play. We used the napper for when he was really little, then he slept on the top level, now it’s lowered to the bottom and he takes naps in it and we use it when traveling.

Play yard sheets – I recommend 2-3 sheets. We have two cotton jersey sheets (gray and green) and this quilted sheet.

Swing or Bouncer – We have this swing. The swing has been great! Gavin used to only take naps in his swing, so it was a necessity.

Diaper bag – We have this diaper bag for when we want to carry a bag with us. This one is big enough to hold everything I need when we’re gone all day, plus it’s manly enough Michael doesn’t mind carrying it.

Bottle bag – It’s nice to have something to carry bottles in to keep them cold when gone for the day or traveling. Our bottle bag is small, and I sometimes use it as a diaper bag when I need something smaller to carry.

Travel changing pad – I keep this changing pad in the diaper bag or in the car when we’re out and about. It has space to keep some diapers and wipes in it, and it has worked well for us. Sometimes when we’re out running a few errands, I’ll stash the travel changing pad in the car and not worry with carrying a diaper bag.

Highchair cover – The first time Gavin sat in a restaurant highchair, he spent his time trying to suck on the different parts of the chair. Gross. So, we got a cover, and now no worries because he can’t get to the highchair parts to suck on them. I keep it in the diaper bag, so I always have it with us when we’re out. The one I bought has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but there are others out there and I highly recommend getting one.

Shopping cart cover – Similar to the highchair cover. This one has a zippered pocket in the front, so I can stick my wallet in and off we go. I usually keep it in the car, so it’s with us when I stop in somewhere to shop.

Baby Gear {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} |
Amount of clothing depends on how often you do laundry. Personally, I do laundry 3 days a week, so I make sure to have enough to work with my laundry schedule. Babies spit up and have “blow outs,” so it’s good to have extra clothes, and not spend too much on the clothing they do have. Clothing is a much gifted item, so I haven’t had to buy much. He’s now in 12 month size, and I have spent more on him now than ever before, but we still get clothes as gifts. Also, the type of clothing depends on your climate. Gavin was born at the end of summer (August), so I base my number of clothing items on what he used… adjust accordingly to your climate.

Onesies – We have had lots of onesies for Gavin, and I still use onesies. Mostly, the onesies we have are Carter’s brand. I recommend 6-8 onesies for baby. I like the Carter’s brand because they’re cute, they come in sets, and they’re fairly inexpensive. When we go somewhere, I often dress Gavin in a onesie, and carry an extra one with us.

T-shirts – Gavin was born in August, and I swaddled him at night and nap time, so a lot of time I would just have him in a t-shirt and a diaper. I used these side-snap shirts and some Burt’s Bees t-shirts. I recommend 7-8 t-shirts.

Footed onesies – When the weather was cooler, I kept Gavin in footed outfits so he didn’t get too cold. His transition to footed outfits was about the time I stopped swaddling him. It just so happened that we stopped swaddling when the weather was getting colder, so the footed outfits were a must. I recommend 6-8 footed outfits.

Shorts/Pants – I don’t always keep shorts or pants on Gavin when we are at the house, but I like to put them on him when we go out, either with a cute shirt or over a onesie. It’s currently summer here, so Gavin has mainly shorts, but whatever the climate, 4-6 shorts/pants should be enough.

Sleep sack – We had two sleep sacks for Gavin. He used them during the winter months. I used this terry sleepbag (I got it for the sleepbag and never used the shirt) and a fleece sleepbag.

Mittens – I recommend two pair of mittens. I used these mittens on Gavin for the first several months. I used them at night because I was afraid he would scratch himself.

Socks – On colder days, I kept socks on Gavin. He likes to pull them off, so I don’t use socks that often, since they don’t stay on long when I do use them. Still, I recommend 3-4 pair of socks. I always carry an extra pair, but we rarely use them.

Caps – When it was colder and we were out, I would put a cap on Gavin. I recommend two caps. Like socks, Gavin would sometimes pull off the cap. Once again, I would carry an extra with us to have on hand, but we didn’t always use it.

Burp cloths – This is more for Mom, Dad, or whoever is holding baby. Babies spit up, so it’s good to have something to put over your shoulder when you pick baby up. Never failed, Gavin did some epic spit ups… and usually when no burp cloth or other cover was around. It’s like they know. I use burp cloths, but I also use blankets and cloth diapers for spit ups. Basically, have 10-12 items to use. When Gavin was born up until about six months or so, we would go through 5-6 cloths a day. He’s now almost 10 months and it’s 1-2 cloths a day.

Clothing {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} |
Health & Safety
Baby video monitor – I like to keep a close eye on our little guy, so I love this video monitor. We also have a security camera installed in his room that I can see him using an app on my phone. The video monitor is great because it can be easily moved around the house or taken with us when we go on vacation.

Humidifier – We used this humidifier during the winter months. Gavin has dry skin, and it helped with that.

Fan – Gavin’s room has a ceiling fan, but if it didn’t I would want some type of fan in there. Need to keep the little one comfortable!

Thermometer – The hospital gave us one, but I did buy an ear thermometer too.

Nasal aspirator – The hospital gave us one, and it is something you want to have on hand. Gavin had one cold, so that was about the only time we used it.

Baby nail clippers & nail file – Baby nails grow fast. You’ll want to keep the nails trimmed so baby doesn’t scratch himself.

Hand sanitizer – We used a lot of hand sanitizer in the early months. We also had a dog then, so I kept sanitizer in different rooms around the house to use after petting the dog. Now, I mainly keep a bottle by the changing pad and a bottle in the living room. I also keep small containers attached to the diaper and bottle bags for when we’re out.

Safety gates – We have three safety gates. These were great to use when we had a dog to keep the dog and baby in separate areas. Now that Gavin is more mobile, we use them to keep him out of certain areas.

Outlet covers – We put these in the outlets around the house. When Gavin sees an outlet, he immediately heads toward it.

Cabinet & door latches – I bought some of these to use on the kitchen cabinets.

Toilet seat locks – I haven’t bought any of these yet, but will probably get one for the toilet in the bathroom next to Gavin’s room.

First aid kit – I got a basic first aid kit to keep in the bathroom by Gavin’s room.

Laundry detergent – A fragrance free detergent is good to use to wash baby clothes and linens.

Health & Safety {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} |
Books – I’ve got a variety of books for Gavin… some hold his interest more than others. Some of his favorites have been Sheep in a Jeep, Little Blue Truck, Dear Zoo, Moo Baa La La La, and Elmer’s Colors

Teethers – Teethers that can be chilled are great. Gavin likes this one and these. He also really likes this teether.

Toys for stroller & car seat – We have a few of these attached to the stroller and car seat. A couple that we have used are a giraffe and elephant, and I have picked up several others while we were out and realized we needed a new one. Carter’s makes an octopus one that is currently his favorite.

Activity jumper – The activity jumper has been great. It has lasted a while, and Gavin enjoys it. We bought this one.

Other Toys (blocks, balls, etc.) – We have a variety of toys for Gavin when we’re at home. Some of his favorites have been a toy snail, football, blocks, rattles, balls, and alphabet tiles.

Entertainment {Baby Registry - A Complete Checklist} |

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Baby Registry Checklist |