Jake you are now ONE! It seems unbelievable.
For the past 366 days (2008 was a leap year) we have spent every single night together sleeping side by side and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. The nighttime is extra special to me since I returned to work when you were 5.5 months old. I'm really glad that you've been able to spend so much time with your father as he looks after you everyday when I go to work. It's been hard on us all at times but I know that we'll fondly look back on this time later on down the road.
So let's get down to business, shall we?! This month you took your first solo steps. You were 11.5 months old and it happened on the 5th of October 2008 to be exact. You were very kind and did it in front of both your father and I - we were amazed. Your father and I actually had an agreement not to tell the other if we saw steps when the other wasn't there but luckily you waited until both of us were around. I wasn't quite sure whether you'd take your first independent steps before your first birthday as you are such a fast and proficient crawler, but only a couple of weeks after those first steps most of your hesitation to 'let go' is now gone even though you are still working on your balance. It is such a privilege to watch you learn this most momentous skill! Go Jake Go! Your father and I have been really enjoying encouraging you and we often call you 'Christopher Walkin' and we ask you whether you'll take your 'walk-ie talkie' to Mil-walk-ie'. Yep - fun times!
Your father has come up with some new games including 'tummy zombie' where your father eats your tummy and another game that you are less impressed by is 'soft pillow' where you have to act as your father's soft pillow. You also love playing chasey - that always gets lots of giggles and you are an active participant in all peek-a-boo/inai inai baa games. Hiding behind the bedroom curtains is a favourite.
This month your father and I became Emergency Responders along with Max's parents because we want to be prepared for ANY unforseen situations (although we hope to never use these skills). You can now turn on the toaster oven, open the microwave and turn it on, open all the cabinet doors and drawers, switch the lights on (when I'm holding you) and flip the knob that switches the water from the bath to the shower. So as you can see, you keep us busy!!
On the 5th of October we took you to the Ghibli Museum with our friends Kyo, Kin and So-kun. We wanted you to play in the cat (neko) bus but didn't realize that parents weren't allowed inside. We were hesistant to let you play together with the bigger, rougher kids but the museum attendants said that you could play at the side and that they would watch you. So off you went, but you weren't satisfied with that baby play and you proceeded to climb up on the bus and crawl through the window into the bus and then waved at us and flashed us a big, big smile. We were shocked at how brave you were and a little sad as this was the first time that you really didn't 'need' us....
The culmination of this month was your first birthday on the 21st of October!! I took two days off work so we could spend some relaxing time together as a family. Your birthday started off as every birthday should - with lots of presents and phonecalls from family!! Although you didn't really get the idea of 'unwrapping' presents, we had a lot of fun wrapping them the night before and setting them up outside the bedroom. We didn't wrap your trike and you immediately crawled over to it in the morning and started spinning the pedals!! After a quick trip to the park to test out your trike, we popped into Starbucks to say hi to the ladies there and then we headed home for your nap. Martine came and met us for your birthday lunch at Village Vanguard where you had tomato-based clam chowder, some hamburger and you also had your first taste of icecream!!! After lunch we visited the clinic where you were born to say hi to the midwives and then we walked home retracing our steps from last year stopping off at Martine's house for some yummy coffee!! We had planned to spend a relaxing afternoon at the local hot springs (since last year was SO painful) but it was just tooooo hot!
Yesterday we had a party for you and your buddy Aisha with some of our close friends at Shinjuku Gyoen. It was raining in the morning and I wasn't sure whether we'd get to celebrate in the park like planned but the weather cleared up and we had a blast. I always forget just how pretty that park is and I think it was the perfect spot to celebrate your birthdays!! More on that in the next monthly update. Gosh every month I just seem to go on and on about how much we love you. Of course before you were born we knew we'd love you, but we had no idea just how precious you would be to us. To be honest, we can't get enough of you. I hate how fast this past year has flown by, but I look forward to many, many more Jake-a-licious years. Happy Birthday sweet J!!