You are ONE. How in the world did that happen? I love watching you grow, it’s the best. Every new day and discovery blows our mind and we watch you with such wonder. Let’s recap your year, my big boy.
Month 1
I wish I could tell you that the day you were born was pure magic filled with butterflies and rainbows–but it wasn’t (birth story HERE). And that’s OK. We’re going to keep it real here. Mama had a VERY hard labor and an even harder recovery ahead of her. You broke my tailbone with that big noggin’ of yours (big brains they say). I couldn’t physically walk, get out of bed, get out of a chair, go to the bathroom, take a shower…really do anything with out a LOT of help from your dad (we got REAL close those first few weeks-ha!). But you came out healthy, and we thank God for that. Your dada was smitten, immediately. It took me a bit more warming up, not going to lie. I was in so much physical pain that it was very difficult for me to enjoy you, or anything for that matter. It wasn’t until day 8 of your life that I even changed your diaper for the first time. It was rough-going. God listened and knew what I was going through because you were (and still are) such a GOOD baby. You rarely cried and that helped for sure. You started smiling socially (not just gas) at just 3-weeks-old. Even your doctor was  impressed. You were STRONG from day 1 with great head and neck control, ability to roll (not on purpose) and very active. You didn’t nap much (still don’t), and always always always wanted stimulation. You were not the ‘sleepy newborn’ people told me about! You came out with a voracious appetite and by week 3.5 I started you on formula. Breastfeeding was proving to be too much with my other ‘injuries’ going on, so something had to give. I did not feel any ‘mom guilt’ that people talk about–so don’t worry! You loved Similac, so Mama loved Similac too! That was a game-changer for sure and my sanity began to return. Your wonderful nanny, Marina, also started around the same time and you have been best of friends ever since. I went back to work quickly, I needed it. It made me a better mom for you sweet boy. The first month was the biggest adjustment of my life but I knew it was all going to be worth it (and it is).

Birth Photography: The Schultzes, Newborn Photography: Laura Wopperer
Month 2
In month 2 of your life we were really getting in to the swing of things. You were starting to sleep really well at night (10 hours by 7 weeks–another answered prayer from God). I started taking walks with you, which was a really big deal from where we started at day 1. Each day we’d walk a little bit further and my strength was returning. You officially rolled from back-to-belly that month, your dada was so proud. You started laughing–full blown BELLY laughs during month 2. It was the cutest thing. You celebrated your first Halloween and you were a raccoon. We did our first family-shoot with Allison Kuhn Photography (get used to those buddy). You met your Godparents, went to the pumpkin patch and we started to get really excited for the holidays to come.
Month 3
You took your very first flight to New Jersey to see your family there, and you did great on the plane. You are just the happiest, most smiley baby and truly make our life easier with your happy disposition. We celebrated your first Thanksgiving and picked out your very first Christmas Tree. You even helped us ‘deck the halls’. Mama got her groove back and started Pilates again. I had lost all of my baby weight really quickly but any mom can tell you your body is just ‘different’. It was nice to get that back again! I started Christmas shopping for you and couldn’t wait to celebrate as a family of 3 at home with you. Best part of the month–you consistently were sleeping 12-13 hours through the night by 12 weeks and haven’t stopped since. We love your sleeping habits at night!
Photography: Allison Kuhn Photography

Month 4
I took my very first trip away from you this month. I had a wedding at the Biltmore in Asheville so dad was on duty. It took no less than 3 hours to get a frantic phone call from him. He had ATTEMPTED to cut your nails for the first time and knicked your finger. Had Marina not been there, and I had not answered my phone–you would have taken a trip to the ER no doubt. He is so protective of you and loves you too much. This month you graced our first Christmas card–star of the show. You met Santa and did GREAT. Biggest smile, it was adorable. You were also Baby Jesus in our church’s Christmas service. You did great and pulled Mary’s hair the entire time, everyone was cracking up. You had the best time on Christmas morning. We moved all of our living room furniture and put down a bunch of blankets on the floor. I had wrapped tons of gifts for you (and you were given TONS because you are the spoiled first grandchild on both sides of the family!), and you opened them with such zest. You were SCREAMING and tearing them all apart. It was hilarious. One of my favorite memories. We spent the day snuggled together just enjoying the special moments.

Month 5
Happy New Year! This month you learned to roll from belly-to-back and started CRAWLING. You were moving and grooving everywhere and so began my heart palpitations. You rode the LiteRail for the first time (our train in Charlotte), went appliance shopping for the new house we’re building with us, and started sitting up successfully too! We took tons of walks to dad’s office to see him during the day. All in all, a good month.

Month 6
This month you went to Vail, CO with us! We got to see your grandparents while we were there too. You loved hotel-life, and settled in nicely. On the airplane, you played with the puke bag the entire time instead of the 200 toys I brought for you. That’s OK, you were still good. The biggest deal this month was your Baptism. We pray that you love Jesus. Your great grandmother (whom you’re named after), both sets of grandparents and Godparents and Aunt and Uncle Ash+Alex all flew in for the special occasion and we had a wonderful celebration at the Duke Mansion afterwards. Allison Kuhn also shot that for us and we just love those images so much. You also got RSV that month and had it for your Baptism but you still don’t seem to care when you’re sick. You started doing a ‘fish’ face that was so cute and you did it non-stop for weeks.

Photography: Allison Kuhn Photography

Month 7

Month 7 was just a fun one. This is when you really started to come alive in your personality–my favorite month yet. No offense, but you babies are sort of boring for the first 6 months. Cute, but sort of boring. The weather started to warm up so we did a lot more things out and about with you. You were really turning in to a social butterfly and we loved watching that. You also helped us sell and close on our condo that month. Your first home, so many memories. We got to stay in it through out the entire house build though so we were so thankful. You started to look more and more like your dad (I just work here!). We got to do our second family shoot with the Byrums of Kristin Byrum Photography in the peach blossoms–they turned out SO cute, we had such a blast. Our time together during the day at the parks were some of my favorite. Just you and me, hanging in the grass. You started pulling up too…Each day was getting sweeter with you.
Photography: Kristin Byrum Photography

Month 8
This month started off with a bang. I had my first wedding of 2015 and we went on your first official vacation out of the country–to Mexico! We went back to where we honeymooned and had the best time ever. You thought you were the mayor of Mayakoba and the memories we made are truly priceless. You swam for the first time (and loved it). You are definitely a water baby. You loved the airplane rides this time too. You’re definitely your father’s child. We celebrated EASTER! And you were the cutest little bunny on a play date with your friend Collin (you’re only a few days apart). I loved making your Easter basket, even though you didn’t seem to care. Dad bought you an activity cube and you seemed to love that impulse-buy way more than my carefully curated basket. You started clapping, attended your first Charlotte Knights Baseball game (and got a home run ball from it!), you started eating meats (that I made–I actually cooked all of your baby food and still do!), and you started acting like a dog. You carried everything in your mouth just like your brother and sister. You also discovered the toilet, toilet paper and anything else bathroom-related. You took your first swing ride at Latta Park and I took you to Discovery Place for the first time. You were blossoming before our very eyes.

Month 9
We quickly bought you a membership to Discovery Place. You go almost daily with Marina. You started attempting to stand on your own and scaring us. Marina also started potty-training you. And I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it myself–it’s working! You’re very proud of yourself. We celebrated my first Mother’s Day and you pulled out all the stops. A delicious brunch at Baku and an afternoon at The Ritz Spa–you’re the best. We got you a water table for your balcony which you love. You really started to get in to EVERYTHING so it’s all eyes on Cal at this point. We celebrated your Dad’s birthday too. The house started to really go up and we started visiting it almost daily. We also discovered this month that you love BIG dogs.

Month 10
Busy busy busy–biggest deal this month was you began to walk assisted. Opening cabinets, getting in to anything and everything. You became exhausting, very quickly–but we love it. Thankful for your growth and development. You’re an eating-machine and haven’t found a food you didn’t like yet. You started to become pretty abusive toward mama-I have the bite marks and bruises to prove it. I had 4 back-to-back weddings this month and your dad would bring you to the ones in Uptown to visit. That was fun! We celebrated your best dad ever for his first Father’s Day too!

Month 11
We started to have more time in the pool with the summer heat, which you love. You got to go back to Colorado to visit your grandparents for a week! You had so much fun hiking and being outside. You are definitely “outside boy” as Marina would say. That is where you are happiest for sure. We started Music Together and you really took to it–you love music, have since you were born. You learned to climb this month. That was fun…not. Later in the month we visited the other half of your family when we all met up in Charleston. You got to meet your first cousin, Carter! You only hit/grabbed him a few times so hopefully he won’t remember. By the end of the month you were OFFICIALLY walking, all on your own. So proud!

Month 12
Last month as my ‘baby’. Time has just flown and you don’t seem much like a baby anymore. You’re tipping the scales at 27lbs and pushing 6-year-olds out of your way at the playground. We need to learn some manners little (big) boy. People can’t believe you’re only 11 months as you trudge down the streets of Uptown like you own the place. You are brave, and bold. No fear. Mama has all of your fear and thinks you might need a leash. We spend our afternoons on walks and on a really good day, Mama will even go in the Uptown fountains with you and get SOAKED. We have so much fun. We’re just a quick 2 blocks from home and people stare at me dripping wet as we roll back in to our condo. You’ve really taken to body-slamming the last couple of moths and think it’s hilarious. You bite your tongue sometimes when you do it though and don’t realize what happened. Your grandparents from NJ got you a tricycle and we use it ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. You absolutely love cruising on that thing and people in Uptown can’t stop laughing when they see you in that orange helmet. You are being spoiled all month with gifts–but what else would you expect? For your birthday we are taking you to Aruba to celebrate. Sorry that I’m not throwing you a party, but I doubt you’ll remember :).
Photography: ARTN Photography

We love you Callahan Ryan Hutchins. Thank you for being our biggest blessing over the last 12 months! We can not wait to see you grow even more!

Love, Mama xo