ONE

Happy first Birthday, Koa Bear. 

What can I say. This is a bittersweet moment. I want to say something more meaningful, something that matters, but I’m falling short. Wasn’t it only a day ago that I felt your bootie stick out of my belly and felt your little feet kicking? And just an hour ago that I woke up wondering if these are contractions? And a minute ago that I held you for the first time thinking “So *you* are my baby? Are you my Koa? I had no idea you looked like that!” And “I can’t believe I actually have a baby!” 

I clearly remember these first few weeks being up with you in the stillness of the night, pumping milk in the glow of the Christmas lights that were decorating our living room, listening to podcast after podcast. 

It’s like time stood still for a moment. And then time sped up, you grew and grew and started smiling and giggling and laughing and moving around and being a mom got easier and before I knew it you were rolling over and scooting and crawling and standing and walking. And squeeling and babbling and saying Ya-ya-ya-ya-ya. 

And the sun came up every day and set every night and life happened and we travelled to Germany and I went back to work and we moved and you started daycare and there are wars being waged and you had your first cold and then another and a couple accidents and you met your other grandpa for the first time and then he died and you met some of your family at his memorial and you drummed on the big drum and then Voldemort got elected President and we joined Dumbledore’s army. More wars being waged. At home and far away. And you are exploring and learning. 

And without realizing it, my love for you has grown and grown and grown to where my heart might burst just thinking about you. 

You have the sweetest personality and you’ve shown it to us from the day you were born. Your papa fittingly calls you adventure bear. And I call you Spätzchen. My sweetest bear, my smartest bear, funniest bear, my littlest bear. 

We are both very proud of you. Happy Birthday, Koa Reed Corbett.


– your Mama
*The photos. You get what you get. No cheating. We’ll do this every year, little bear. ❤️

52 weeks

Phsical changes: I cut your hair. It was poking your eyes and bulging over your ears, so I cut it just enough to enable you to see. You look so much more mature now! Your legs are little muscle packs! And your eyes are slowly turning brown! And now, of course, you also have a scar over your eye. My big boy. You have 11.5 teeth, and more are coming. You weigh 25Lbs (+-1Lb). You are 31.5″tall! Wow! That means you grew 11″ in the past year and gained 18Lbs. 

Motor skills: You are really good at walking. In just a couple of days you went from walking 10 steps if you have a clear path to walking for a good 10min! You struggle when there’s obstacles in your way like a mattress on the floor but you are brave and determined and excited. 

Social-emotional: You love the back and forth game. You are a very happy child. You love your papa and mama so much. You also love Amber and Britney and Kelly at the daycare. Izzy has a little toddler crush on you and loves to hug you and give you kisses and Jackson called you his best friend. 

We still bedshare and sometimes you will only sleep with your papa next to you and sometimes only with your mama. And sometimes you need us both. 😍

You love skyping with your Oma and Opa and you recognize your grandma Pat’s voice on the phone. 

Cognition/ Language: You understand a whole lot. You get excited when you see or hear something you recognize: your face lights up, you grin and laugh and jump up and down. You help getting dressed by holding your arms up and you “brush” your own teeth. Well when you want to that is. You want to do things by yourself and you let us know when you dislike something. You are testing our boundaries for sure. You make smacking sounds that we think are air kisses and you can wave hello and good-bye. Your favorite thing to say is ja-ja-ja-ja-ja and to shake your head no. 

Your papa says you are the smartest bear he’s ever met. He loves you so much. 

I can’t believe you are turning one this week. It was only yesterday that we saw you for the first time. You are the best part of my day. I love you to the moon and back. 

❤️

Trump is President 

Little Bear,

you are the son of a Native American father and a German Immigrant Mother. You may look like a white boy, but you are biracial. Your papa and I are in an interracial marriage and some people believe that those are bad things. That immigrants should be deported, that violence against people of color is ok.

Know that you are loved and safe. We are going to fight. We are going to stand up for and with anyone whose voice isn’t being heard or being silenced. We will spread love, not hate. We will not be complacent and just accept injustice. 

50 weeks – Emergency Department 

My brave little bear,You are getting very good at walking. You get so very happy and excited and brave – trying for destinations further and further away. This afternoon, you didn’t quite make it and hurt yourself. I was terrified and was a bit overwhelmed with my emotions thinking I failed you in keeping you safe. Your papa was calm and knew how to assess and respond quickly and a couple of hours later, you were stitched up by the friendly ED doctor. The whole time you were brave and friendly with all the nurses and doctors. I thought for sure you’d stop walking for a while but while we waited to be seen you were already all over the place again. It’s hard to get you to stay in one place for long. You’re gonna have a swollen black eye for a bit and maybe a little scar on your eyebrow, just like your papa. You fell asleep on the way home and your grandma Pat will stay home with you tomorrow.

Baby bear, take it slow. You have all the time in the world. I love you. Your shaken and scared mama.

Intentional Parenting

Koa,

More than anything I want you to feel loved. I want you to feel safe and secure. I want you to feel connected in this world. 

I want you to have empathy, be kind and inclusive, respectful and considerate of others’ feelings, needs and the impact your words and actions (or silence and inaction) have on not just the people around you, but on the environment and future generations as well. I want you to be an ally and an advocate for those, whose voices aren’t being heard. I want you to understand the difference between equality and equity in terms of creating opportunities for people to grow and thrive and giving support. I want you to have creative problem solving and healthy conflict resolution skills. I hope that you create solutions.

I want you to have confidence in your identity, your abilities and skills. I want you to find a way to contribute to society that fulfills you. I want you to be a positive role model and a leader in this world. I want you to recognize people’s autonomy and focus on growing yourself: lead by example

I want you to be curious, observant and open-minded. I want you to see the value in diversity and recognize that you can always learn something valuable from every situation and from everyone, no matter who they are, and that everyone contributes something to this world that is of value.

I want you to make informed, evidence-based choices. I want you to take responsibility and be accountable for your choices and their consequences, but I also want you to be kind and forgiving to yourself and others. I want you to see mistakes as opportunities for growth. I want you to understand that people are not their behaviors.

I hope you’ll be afforded the space, stability and opportunities to safely explore, learn, love, and grow into the best possible version of yourself. I also want you to understand privilege and that everyone is the sum-result of their experiences and the opportunities they were given or denied. I want you to recognize your part in creating/ maintaining a level playing field. 

I want you to be mindful, self-aware, I want you to have good emotional regulation and impulse control, be able to delay gratification and communicate and satisfy your needs in a healthy manner. I want you to be flexible. 

I want you to have hope. I want you to see the beauty in this world. More than anything I want you to feel loved. I want you to feel safe and secure. I want you to feel connected in this world. 

I will do my best to model these things for you and I’m working hard on my own shortcomings in some areas. I have a hard time coping with disappointment and I have very intense emotional responses that I have difficulties self-regulating. I don’t always communicate and satisfy my needs in healthy ways. I judge others and sometimes lack impulse control. But I am trying to be kind and forgiving toward myself. I am learning as much as I can about positive, gentle, peaceful parenting.

 

 

 

 

 

11 months

Koa,

You are 11 months old!

You’ve said Mama – exactly one time – and I magically caught it on tape to prove it. 😋

I can tell that your comprehension of language is growing every day. And you talk up a storm when you feel like it. Your favorite “words” are still duddy, da-da, da-ga, and grrrrrr. 😂

You like giving raspberry kisses and hugging your face close to mama and papa’s faces. You think nose kisses are funny. 

You have strong opinions about things. You prefer “brushing” your own teeth and you’d rather not wear diapers. You also want whatever it is that I don’t want you to have. 😋

You have started to walk a few weeks ago – a couple steps here and there. You’re so joyful and adventurous. I think that’s why you started crawling early too. So much to see, lots of places you needed to get to! ❤️

You love banging toys. On the wall, on tables, on other toys. You like taking apart your puzzle mat and playing your version of hide and seek: you speed crawl away (behind your bed) and then look back to see if I’m following you and if I am you crack up laughing! 😂

You love books, especially “I love you more and more” – thx Sha Sha!!, and “Kiss goodnight, little bear!” And Chu’s Day (thx, Naomi!).

Some days I look at you and your face looks so grown, not old, just different. Like a boy, not a baby. 

We keep busy: we go to brunch, the library, to playdates, OMSI, Hammer and Jack, hikes, on bear-ventures (like pumpkin patches, hayrides, and salmon hatching). 

I love you baby bear. Next month is your birthday. 🎈 

We love baby wearing! 

A rainy Portland day! You’re ready with your boots and rain coat!

Pumpkin patch!

Hanging with Papa. 

Play date with Duke!

You and Isi. 


Painting at the daycare!

Walking!

You are 10.5 months old and this week, you took your first independent steps! I had told the daycare not to say anything but Becky said something on Monday about you walking and hitting your head. I was sad you hurt yourself but also annoyed that she told me about you walking. 

But today, 3 days later, I saw it with my own eyes! We were downstairs saying good bye to papa before going to the Kita, and you took a few steps towards me!

I was so excited. I tried to coax itout of youa couple more times but you were done for the moment and prefered cruising around the table instead. But you showed Britney when we got to the daycare! 

I’m so proud of you my little bear! You are determined and couragous and adventurous. I love you SO very much.

In related news, you slept for two long stretches last night: from 7-10, 10-1, 1-6! I hope it wasn’t a fluke. I think it’s really true that it’s worst right before hitting some milestones! 

❤️❤️