James at 12 Months

People told me time would fly by and, for me, it both has and hasn’t.  I would say the first weeks and months actually felt really slow.  I don’t mean that in a bad way, but I did not feel like time was flying by.  Each day was really long.  As the year progressed though, time sped up and I would say the last six months have definitely flown by.  I’m sure this will continue to be the case, so I want to pause and document James at one year.  Going forward, I’ll likely do these posts every three-six months instead of monthly.

Eating

Everyone who visits our home comments on how much, and how quickly, this little guy eats.  He seems to take after his Dad lol.  He will eat pretty much anything at the moment (except birthday cake…), but his favorites are definitely cheese, peas, blueberries, bananas, black beans, and pizza.  He is not much of a meat eater at this point, except for salmon and sometimes a little ground beef.  I’m guessing this might change once he has more teeth, but who knows.

We’ve started introducing cow’s milk to him and so far, I’d say he’s confused by it.  He drinks some, but also spits a lot out.  I think he’s so used to drinking water, anything else surprises him.

I’m still breastfeeding him, but am going to be out of town for a couple of days this month, so wanted to introduce milk so he can drink it while I’m gone.  I’m not too worried though since he loves cheese and yogurt and eats a ton.

Can you tell someone likes to rearrange the cookbooks?

My favorite thing with his eating right now is, before almost every bite, he holds his food up in the air until someone tells him what it is.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell what he’s holding and if we say the wrong thing, he just keeps his little hand up in the air, staring at us until we get it right.

At twelve months he had two teeth, but one of his little top teeth just poked through last week.

Sleep

Sleep is definitely the best it’s ever been.  He goes to bed at 7, almost always without complaint.  We generally don’t hear from him until the morning, around 6:30 usually.  He takes two naps a day, around 9 or 9:30 and 1:30 or 2.  He is napping much better these days, which is amazing because it lets me get some things done, but also because he is so happy when he gets enough sleep!

I admit that when I think about when to have another child, sleep deprivation weighs heavily on my mind….

Physical Development

James is walking!  He started walking really short distances at 11 1/2 months, but now he is full on walking (and fast!) all over the house.  He still crawls sometimes when he’s in a hurry, but more often walks.

He is also climbing all over everything and it is a little bit scary.  I need to buy / make something safe for him to practice his climbing skills.

James also learned how to open doors this month.  Honestly, I’m not too happy with this new skill, as I’m not kind of terrified that he’ll smash his little fingers, but I suppose he had to learn some day.

Language

James pretty much only says “Dada” and his version of no, “neh neh neh”.  He actually used to say “mama,” but hasn’t in forever 🙁  It was really cute though, he called my husband’s dad “Dada” too when he was visiting last week.

While he isn’t talking much yet, I’m seeing so many signs of his growing comprehension and it is amazing!  One of our favorite books is Go to Sleep Little Farm.  There’s a part in the book where the Dad turns off the light and James starts waving when we read that page, just like he waves goodnight when my husband turns off his light at the end of the day.  I didn’t know if he really followed what was happening in the books, so I thought this was pretty awesome!

Personality

He is still mostly very happy, very busy, and very curious.  He is still clingy with me and I am enjoying every last hug.

I think of 12-18 months as sort of a ‘tween stage between babies and toddlers and it’s been so fun to see parts of his little toddler personality emerge.  He loves to test the limits and will look at me before doing something he knows he’s not supposed to do, then throw a mini tantrum after I stop him (this mainly revolves around climbing on his shelf and the tables).  Honestly right now it is really cute, but I’m sure I’ll have to work on staying patient as he does this more and more.

He’s also started to interact a little more with other babies at story time.  He and another little guy were walking around the room together and James would hand him a toy when he came over – so cute! #babybuddies

His favorite things to do right now are playing outside, reading books, singing songs, and eating.

Honestly, I really thought I would struggle with James turning one, but I’m really not sad about it.  I think I was sad beforehand because I loved him being a baby so much and couldn’t picture what it would be like when he was a little toddler.  Now that I can see more and more of his sweet personality each day though, I could never wish that away to go back to the baby stage.  I’m loving exactly where he is now and can’t wait to see more and more of his personality emerge in the coming months.

Past updates:

5 Months

6 Months

7 Months

8 Months

9 Months

10 Months

11 Months

*Please note this post contains affiliate links – I get a small percentage if items are purchased, at no cost to you.  I only include items I have and love.  Thanks for your support!

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James at 11 Months

I’m a little late with this update and cannot believe James turns one THIS month.  I’m honestly trying not to think about it too much and to just enjoy the month, as I tend to get overly sentimental.  Still, things are changing rapidly as James takes his first steps and I look at going back to work part-time.  It definitely feels like this very special year is coming to a close in a very real way.

Okay, before I get too sappy, on to the update!

Eating

James eats all the things.  He normally eats what we’re eating for dinner now, which makes things so much easier.  We offered him a few bites of ice cream on vacation and he was fine with it, but made it clear he’d rather eat his peas.  Who is this kid?

He did however love the homemade pizza we made last week, and really loves mashed potatoes.  He also continues to love yogurt, fruit, and anything someone else is eating.  He literally begged on his knees for a bite of a granola bar my sister was eating when she was here…five minutes after finishing a big breakfast.

My favorite development with his eating has been his desire to share.  He holds out tiny bites of food to me and, even though his hand is covered in unidentifiable food residue, I think it is the sweetest thing.  Sometimes if it is a bite of something really good though, he takes it back at the last second haha.

Sleep

I don’t want to jinx anything, but sleep has been so good!  Before our vacation, he had been frequently waking up at 5:30 or so for the day.  For some reason, ever since we got back two weeks ago, he’s often been sleeping until 7 or later.  Apparently he decided to stay on East Coast time and I am not complaining.  (Right now it’s 7:30 and he’s still sleeping…I literally never thought that would happen.)

I’ve also woken up a couple of mornings and all was quiet, but when I looked at the monitor he was silently walking the perimeter of his bed.  Works for me little man!

The only negative with sleep is that he has hit the clingy stage and sometimes cries when it’s time to go to bed now.  It generally doesn’t go on too long though, I just hate to hear him crying!

Physical Development

The biggest change has been James has started taking his first steps!  This happened last week, so just after he turned 11 months.  I would not say he’s walking, but he is taking a few steps at a time and is very close.  Right now, it is more of a mad dash between two things so that he can make it there before gravity catches up.

He is also standing for long periods of time – he likes to stand while we read books these days.  And a smaller, but one of my favorite physical developments – he is waving!  Something about this is just way too cute for me to handle.  He stood at the door waving for the longest time when my sister and her fiance left last week.  It melts my heart.

He has also started climbing things, which is interesting.  I was sweeping the floor after lunch the other day and looked over to see him sitting on the couch…holding the remote control no less.

Seeing him climb the furniture with no regard for safety is a little scary, but still fun to watch him exploring the world in a new way.

Personality

He is the sweetest.  Clearly I’m not biased at all, not even a little bit 🙂

He has become more clingy this month, but I honestly don’t mind.  He is normally so independent and on the go, I will soak up every long hug and slobbery baby kiss he gives me during this stage and will hold him in my lap all day long if he wants.  I of course still encourage him to be independent, but I am loving this time when he wants his Mama.

He also has a serious love of games…or what passes for a game at this age.  He of course loves peekaboo and also loves any other silly little game we come up with around here.  He gives the best belly laughs.

He has become fascinated with taking things in and out of containers.

He loves the splash pad, the beach, exploring, and READING.  He will seriously sit and listen to books for the longest time, which is funny because he is otherwise never still.  I’m very excited about this as I love to read and really look forward to reading him some of my childhood favorites as he grows.

I’m going to try not to become overly sentimental this  month as his birthday approaches.  I want to look back and reflect and remember this first year, but I also don’t want to waste too much time thinking about the past.  I want to truly be present and enjoy each day with the little buddy as he continues to change and grow.

Does anyone have a birthday this month?  (Apparently, it’s the most common birthday month in the US.)

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James at Ten Months

This has been such a happy month.  For the most part, James has been really happy and independent and we’ve fallen into a really good rhythm lately.

Eating

James continues to love to eat!  The big change this month has been family meals.  We’re finally eating dinners as a family, and loving it.  I always wanted to do this, but when James was napping so poorly, he needed a super early bedtime and he was eating dinner by like 4:45 a lot of days.  My husband wasn’t even home from work yet, so family dinners weren’t possible.

James still goes to bed early, but has dinner at 5:30 or 6:00, depending on his naps that day, so while it’s earlier than we’d ideally want to eat, we can swing it.  It’s interesting to see how much better James eats when we eat as a family.  He’s always been a good eater, but he seems to really enjoy dinner time more when we all sit down together.  I suppose I wouldn’t want to eat with people just staring at me either 🙂

His favorite food was avocado for a long time, but lately his favorites seem to be bread, yogurt, peas, carrots, bananas, and fruit in general.

Sleeping

I left sleeping out of his updates for a while because it was stressing me out and I didn’t want to dwell on it or continually complain about it.  Sleep is finally going pretty well!

I’ve come to terms with the fact that James will likely never be an epic napper (spell check suggests I say rapper instead of napper, but I don’t want to count him out just yet ;), and that’s fine.  He is on a pretty good two nap schedule now though, generally napping around 9:00 and between 1:00 and 2:00.  He usually takes one short nap and one long nap (for him – an hour to an hour and a half).  He needed a third nap a couple of times this month, but he had a cold, so wasn’t sleeping as well in general.

He is also sleeping through the night!  James had been down to eating once at night, between 3-4 AM for a long time.  I knew he probably didn’t really need to eat at this time anymore, but it was honestly just easier to go in there and feed him so I could go back to sleep.  All of a sudden though, he was wide awake after I went in to feed him, and taking up to an hour to fall asleep again.  I knew it was time to stop.  I phased it out a little bit, but feeding him for less time each night so I would be confident he wasn’t starving.

James never cried when he woke up at night, just started talking to himself, so it was relatively easy to not go in there.  Still, I was worried he would just be up for the day at 3 AM or get upset after a while when I didn’t go in.  I was prepared for the worst, but it was totally fine!  The first night he talked to himself for ten minutes or so and then went back to sleep.  For about a week, he still woke up between 3-5 and chatted for a while, but he never started crying.  After a week or so, the habit was broken and I haven’t needed to go in there at night since.  I probably should have done this sooner, it is so nice to sleep all night again!

Physical Development

James is becoming more and more confident and capable with standing and cruising.  He can pull up on walls without anything to grab onto, and he comes down so carefully.  He will sometimes bend down to get a toy from the floor and stand back up again.

He will also lean on his shelf or the couch without holding on so that he can use both hands to play.  He sometimes stands for several seconds without holding on to or leaning on anything.  It is so amazing to see his independence growing.

We don’t have any stairs at home, but he can also go up and down the little steps at Barnes and Noble with ease.

James graduated to the big bathtub, and a big kid car seat, this month.  He is getting so big!

He has started banging two toys together with both hands.  He is also getting better and better at using his fingers to turn the pages of books.  He loves picking up a string with his two little fingers.

He does not yet sign back with any of the baby sign language.  He is super verbal and I’m curious if he’ll ever use the signs.  He also doesn’t wave or clap or point yet though, so he may just not be there yet, which is fine.

James also got his two bottom teeth this month, which is the cutest.  He is a big fan of brushing his teeth, and finds the experience so funny 🙂

Personality

I feel like that picture says it all….

He is super confident and friendly.  He crawls right up to strangers, children and adults alike.  He made friends with a couple of seven year olds at the pool last week.

He is SO HAPPY.  James got his first cold this month and he was such a trooper.  He did not get the memo that babies are supposed to hate the nose frida thing (basically you stick it in their nose and it sucks out the snot since they don’t know how to blow their noses yet).  He thought the thing was hilarious.  I have this baby chest rub I put on his chest at night too and he found that equally hilarious.  His default is definitely joy.

He is super independent.  He is on a mission to explore and is absolutely happiest when he has the freedom so crawl around and touch and taste everything in sight.

He loves books, as long as we’re at home.  If I ever try to read him a book at the library or Barnes and Noble, forget it.  There is much too much to see there.  At home though, reading books is one of his favorite things to do.

If I could freeze time at one age, this would absolutely be it (so far).  He is super interactive, but also independent and able to entertain himself.  He is so sweet and happy and flexible.  He is exuberant and talkative and curious and brings us so much joy.

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James at 9 Months

James turned 9 months old yesterday!  This is such a busy stage, but such a fun one.  There are of course wonderful things about every age, but I love how interactive and full of personality James is now.

He loves playing back and forth games, babbling, and generally being silly.  It’s been a great month!

Eating

James continues to love food.  The biggest change with eating this month has been his new ability to pick up small pieces of food, like peas.  Eating peas is one of his favorite activities right now.  It’s kind of funny though because he often just keeps the peas in his mouth, so they’ll roll back out when he starts talking or takes another bite.

Now that he can eat small pieces, he can eat almost anything we do, which is very convenient.

He tried Thai green curry this month (light on the curry paste) and seemed to really like it!  I hope he continues to be an adventurous eater.

We also introduced peanut butter and he did not have a reaction, which was a relief!  I now sometimes add it to his morning oatmeal.

Gross Motor

As always, James was very busy on the movement front this month.

He started pulling up to stand and cruising.

This has been a big change, but a fun one!  It’s also allowed me to update his shelves with a second level of toys, which I’ll post about soon.

James also started “traditional” crawling, though he still army crawls when he’s in a hurry.

He also finally learned to sit reliably!  As soon as he started pulling up to stand, he also started sitting for extended periods of time and playing.  (He previously hated sitting and would lunge out of it if we ever put him in a sitting position).

Size

In a word: Big.  James is 20 pounds, 15 ounces (73rd percentile) and just under 29 1/2 inches (95th percentile).  He is getting heavy and we’re taking bets on when he’ll be taller than I am!

Personality

James is so friendly!  He has still not shown any real signs of “stranger danger” and loves hamming it up and getting attention wherever we go.

*I wrote that Monday…he freaked out with the nurse and doctor on Tuesday.  I’m not sure if it was “stranger danger” or because he’s teething and was really tired.

He will often choose one person to focus on when we’re out and stare at them hard, following them with his gaze wherever they go.

He has been particularly happy this month and is almost always in a good mood these days.  When he’s tired, his attention span shrinks and we need to entertain him more, but he’s still not usually too grumpy.

The exception to this is when he’s trapped in the car.  We had several long rides back and forth from Houston and he hated every minute of them.  I don’t blame him.  His two bottom teeth are also coming in this week and while it hasn’t made him too grumpy, it has definitely impacted his sleep.

One other development we’ve seen this month is a love of books.  I’ve always loved reading to James, but he has started frequently choosing books for himself this month and he gets the biggest smile when I take the one he chose and read it to him.  He loves turning the pages too.  He has a definite favorite book (Hello Bugs) that he chooses first every time and I find it so adorable!  He also really likes “touch and feel” books and books with photos of babies.

He also likes shiny things, water bottles, cups, and balls.  He particularly loves these gold hedgehog coasters we have and will carry one around the house with him while he explores.

He loves watching cars go by out the window – we often do this when I’m tired because he’ll happily do it for 20 minutes or so and sometimes it’s nice to be still 🙂  This is even more fun when we time it so he sees his Dad arrive home from work – SO EXCITING.  He starts shrieking and banging on the window and grinning, it’s pretty hilarious.

He’s also started really saying “mama” and “dada” to refer to us.  He’s said the sounds for months, but there were a couple of times this month where he clearly said them when one of us entered the room – so exciting!  He also has his own way of saying “no,” which sounds like “neh neh neh” and is too cute.  He says this mainly when we wipe his face and hands after a meal.

Life is at once busy and quiet right now.  It takes a lot of energy to keep up with the little guy, but it’s also so relaxing to have many days where I wake up and realize we can do whatever we want all day.  I’m loving every minute of this particular stage and trying to really savor the last few months of James being a baby.

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James at 8 Months

Happy 8 months little buddy!

James turned 8 months old this past Saturday – time flies, etc., etc.  For real though…

Eating

This little guy loves to eat!

He’ll eat pretty much anything at this point, but his favorites include apple cinnamon oatmeal, avocado, sweet potato, pear, and watermelon.  He also likes yogurt, ground beef, and salmon.

He is increasingly able to eat modified versions of what we eat (for example, ground beef with spinach and cheese last night when we ate tostadas), which is great for me!

He eats three meals a day now.  I find that lunch time is the best time to introduce something new, as he is the most alert and energized for this meal.  He is occasionally uninterested in dinner and just throws his food on the floor, but he usually eats well.

I plan to post some of his favorite recipes soon!

Gross Motor

The big change this month was that James started army crawling at 7 1/2 months!

I wasn’t sure if he would bother with crawling since he was so good at getting around by rolling, but he’s army crawling all around the house now, and also getting up on his hands and knees and rocking, so I suspect real crawling is not far off.

He can also almost sit up from laying down, he just keeps one hand on the floor.

This is funny to me since he still usually won’t sit if I sit him up – he is on his own little timeline and I love it.

Fine Motor

I observe the most changes in his fine motor skills through watching him eat.  He can now pick up fairly small pieces of food, using his thumb and two fingers, though he can’t always get them into his mouth.  He also has so much control now when holding his little glass to drink water.  He is so focused when he does this, it is amazing to watch.

Sleep*

James very reliably wakes up once per night to eat, between 3-4:00 AM and then goes back to sleep until six or seven.  I may try to wean him off of this middle of the night meal…but I may not.  It’s honestly by far the best he eats all day, as there are no distractions and he’s half asleep.  He’s often too curious and busy to be bothered with nursing for more than a couple of minutes during the day.

We have had great progress with naps just in the last week or so (I had a hard time typing that…don’t want to jinx it!).  I’m going to write a separate post on this, but things are FINALLY looking up!

*I wrote this last week and have to say James slept HORRIBLY when we were in Houston last week!  He woke up many times at night and I was so, so tired.  Thank goodness though, he has been back to normal the past two nights we’ve been back home.  I was getting worried!

Size

I don’t know how much he weighs / how long he is as he hasn’t had a doctor’s appointment since 6 months, but he is looking huge!  When he woke up yesterday, his big toe was poking through his 9 month pajamas….

He is a long little guy with some big baby feet!  We got him some 12 month clothes last week and they are fitting scarily well….

Personality

Oh my goodness, he is such a happy and charismatic guy.

I’m not sure at what age it usually develops, but he definitely does not show any fear of strangers at the moment.

While in Houston last week, I brought him to the school where my mom and sister teach several times.  The children were so sweet and respectful, but he was still basically swarmed by enthusiastic 9-12 year olds wanting to play with him all at once.  He took it in stride, giving big smiles, and crawling over to check out shoe laces and other interesting objects.

He is happiest when he is either outside, watching people (especially big kids), watching cars, or freely moving around and playing.

He also loves music and literally lights up when I start singing certain familiar songs.  His favorite toys right now are balls and a set of stacking cups he has.

He loves rolling them around (both the balls and the cups) and chasing them around the room.  He also tries to drink out of the cups, even though they’re always empty.  The world must seem so confusing.

He seems to be getting his first tooth, so I hope that doesn’t impact his happiness too much in the coming weeks!

This little guy amazes me every day and I am so happy to be his mama 🙂

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James at 7 Months

As of yesterday, out little guy is officially seven months…decidedly over the hill toward the one year mark 🙁

It has been a challenging, but very fun month.  We got out to explore more than ever and spent tons of quality time with family, the best!  We also enjoyed some truly beautiful weather and spent many hours out in the sunshine.

Here’s a little bit about what life looks like with James at 7 months:

Eating

I was talking to a friend the other day and she told me her daughter (one month older than James) takes around an hour to eat, taking tiny bites.  I had to laugh because that is so opposite of James.  He shoves literally as much food as will fit into his mouth.  He eats enthusiastically for about 15 minutes and then is DONE.  He will start banging on the table and straining to get up.

He’s currently eating three times a day, but is sometimes not that into breakfast.  Some days I feel like he eats almost as much as I do and some days he eats barely anything.  I’m just following his lead on how much he wants.

His favorite foods right now seem to be sweet potatoes, pear, watermelon, and fried egg yolks.  He does not seem to care much for lentils, but will eat some if they’re mixed with avocado or spread on sweet potato slices.  I’m planning to make him pancakes this weekend, which I’m excited about!  His meal times are still one of my favorite parts of the day.

Gross Motor

If I had to characterize this month in one word, it would be MOVEMENT.  James is not yet crawling, but he is 100% mobile and can roll across the room in a flash.

In addition to speed, he’s come a long way in being able to get to precisely where he wants to go.

He is an expert at pivoting his body so that he can roll in the desired direction.  He still prefers to roll in one direction though (to his left if he’s on his back), but this doesn’t slow him down much.

I’m curious to see if he will actually crawl since he’s so mobile already with just rolling, I’m not sure if the motivation / need will be there.

He still resists sitting unless he’s at story time or something super interesting is happening in front of him (such as cars driving down the street….)  He does fine sitting in his chair to eat though.  I think he’s just more interested in being on the move these days.

Fine Motor

I will write more about baby led weaning soon,  but one thing I love about it is the impact it’s had on James’s fine motor skills.  His ability to use his fingers, rather than his whole hand, to pick things up has grown dramatically in the past month.  If he sees a little piece of one of his favorite foods, he gets a look of intense concentration and uses his chubby little fingers to pick it up and bring it to his mouth, almost in slow motion.  You can see all of the effort it takes.  What could be more motivating than tasty food?

He is also more and more able to manipulate objects in his hands to get a desired part into his mouth (whether it’s food or not….)

Sleep

Sleep has definitely been a challenge this month.  I honestly don’t have the energy to talk about it too much right now and my thoughts are all over the place.  Suffice it to say we’re working on getting naps back to a reasonable length (he’s actually taking a nice long one as I type, hooray!).

We’re also working with helping James fall asleep now that he’s realized he can get out of his floor bed.  This just started this week so we’re still adjusting to this and figuring out the best strategy.  I will definitely post a floor bed update once we figure out what works best for him and our family.

Personality

Seven words for seven months: joyful, energetic, curious, independent, friendly, determined, loved.

I know I mentioned that James went through a couple of weeks of feeling really grumpy, but thankfully he is back to his happy self.  At the time, I thought his mood was due to short naps, but he is so happy again even though his naps are often still short.  I now think it was likely due to all of the developmental leaps and changes he was going through (becoming mobile and learning to eat solid foods mainly).  Change makes me grumpy too; I get it little dude.

He has been really cheerful the last couple of weeks though and this age is equally sweet and hilarious.

He loves being outside, playing silly games with his Dad, and EXPLORING.  He likes toys, but I think he likes exploring the house just as much, which I love.  He also likes sneezing – he always gets a big smile on his face after he sneezes, which I find hilarious.

He went in a baby swing for the first time the other day and LOVED it.  He was laughing and smiling so big.

He also loves story time.  I originally started going to story time at the library mainly for myself, to meet other moms with babies, but he now gets so excited when we’re there, grinning with his signature tongue-out smile the whole time.  He seems to like going out in general more than he used to, as long as he can move around some while we’re out and not be cooped up in a carrier or stroller the whole time.  It has been so nice to get out more this month.

James used to sometimes burst into tears if a stranger came over or if he was surrounded by too many people, but he has been so friendly lately.  He gives huge smiles to strangers we see when we’re out and talks up a storm.

Speaking of talking, he has started saying “mama”.  I honestly have no idea if he’s using this to refer to me though, or just saying the sounds, so I’m not sure if this counts as his first word?  How can I tell?

He also continues to love bath time, and for some reason, particularly loves the time right after he gets out of the bath and before he gets ready for bed.  He becomes giddy and ridiculously happy at this time, but still easily settles down when it’s time for bed.

It has been so much fun to see his big personality emerge more and more this month.  I’m excited to see what the next month brings!

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Day in the Life – 6.5 Months

Good morning!  It’s hard for me to believe that another month has gone by, but indeed it has, and lots has changed as James has become so much more mobile and gotten really into eating solid food.  This was our day yesterday.

We’ve been working with James on sleeping “through the night” lately.  I suppose you could call it mild sleep training, but I honestly hate the word “training” in reference to children.

He was going to bed on his own just fine, but had started waking up habitually at 9-10, and sometimes other times, wanting to nurse or be soothed back to sleep.  I knew he wasn’t really hungry because when he sometimes went back to sleep with just a little soothing, he woke up many hours later happy and playing.

Last night, he did pretty well!  He woke up once at around 2:45 and started scooting out of bed.  I admit I love watching him doing this on the monitor – it is both entertaining and kind of amazing to watch.  I went in and moved him back into the middle of his bed and he cried for maybe 2 minutes.  He sucked his thumb and kicked the wall for a while, not fussing, and fell back asleep.  He woke up again at 5:20.  I fed him and he went back to sleep.

I ate breakfast, read blogs, and worked on some bachelorette party planning for my sister (so excited!).  I often workout during this time, but wanted to run on my treadmill today and all of my stuff was in with my sleeping husband, so I decided to wait until nap time.

James woke up right at 7:00, which is great because, according to Dr. Weissbluth (more on that on Friday), children waking up at the same time every day helps their overall sleep.  James seems to naturally wake up around 7 most days, so we’re shooting for that.

He is so happy when I go in.  One thing I love about his floor bed is that I can lay next to him and snuggle in the morning.  I get him up, change his diaper, and get him dressed for the day.

We then go out to the backyard to “greet the world”.  There are lots of interesting bird noises this morning and little snails out from yesterday’s rain.  It’s fun to see him start to notice smaller things like bugs and snails.  He was intent on trying to pet a tiny spider on its web the other day.

We go in to say good morning to his Dad, but James is more in the mood to roll around so we soon give up on morning cuddle time and go play in his room.  He chooses his elephant shaker off of his shelf.  He also bumps his head on his shelf, which he doesn’t seem to care about, but it leaves a red mark that makes me sad.

He starts sounding grumpy so I nurse him, which cheers him up.

I then put him down to play in the living room while I make his breakfast.  I heat up his leftover oatmeal with banana from yesterday and fry a couple of egg yolks in avocado oil.  I cut the egg into strips so he can easily eat it.  He ate a lot more than what’s on his place mat, but I give him a little at a time so it doesn’t all wind up on the floor.

He is playing happily by himself, so I leave him alone while his breakfast cools off.  I quickly change into my running clothes and get the treadmill set up so I can take full advantage of his likely short nap.  He is still happy by himself so I load the dishwasher.  I really try not to interrupt him when he’s busy playing because I want to encourage his concentration and his ability to entertain himself.

Eventually I interrupt him because we’re running out of time for him to eat breakfast before he naps.

He was much more into the oatmeal today than he has been in the past and is getting so good with his spoon.

He’s gotten much more stable in his little chair, so I can sit across from him now and eat with him sometimes, which is really nice.

Mealtime is fun and messy as usual.  I place him on a blanket nearby while I clean up and talk to him about what I’m doing (washing his place mat, putting the extra food away, etc.) so that he at least starts to become aware of the process.

James is yawning by the time I finish cleaning up so I get him ready for a nap, sing him a song, and place him in his bed a few minutes after 9:00 AM.  He falls asleep within five minutes and I book it to the garage for a treadmill run.  I bring the monitor in case he wakes up.

I run three miles at a quick for me pace (8:10 minute miles, though my speed was all over the place).  I was getting tired in the last mile, but my desire to have time for a shower kept me motivated.  I watched Lilo and Stitch on Netflix while I ran because I haven’t seen it and I’m basically a five year old inside.

I rushed through the run and the shower and then realized James was still asleep, woohoo!  Way to go little buddy.  I’m so happy he is taking a real nap, not just 35 minutes, so he will be rested.  I finish booking the place for my sister’s bachelorette.  It is a house / B&B in the Texas wine country and has alpaccas…I’m pretty excited about it.  I then work on this post – a fun and productive morning so far!

James wakes up a little after 10:30, an hour and twenty minute nap, which is great for him lately.

We sing songs and play in the mirror for a bit before I nurse him.  Then we’re off for a walk!  It looked like rain this morning, but the sun came out and it is a beautiful day.

We walk for a little under an hour.  James starts mildly protesting after about 40 minutes so I book it home as fast as I can.

When we get home, James plays and rolls around the living room.  I sit by him and fold laundry.  He decides to come help and laundry turns into peekaboo.  Fine by me.  After a while, James starts getting sleepy eyes and goes down for nap # 2 around 1:00 PM.  He falls asleep quickly and without much protest.

I eat a quick lunch while he naps and start to do some cleaning.  I don’t get much done though because James takes an exceptionally short 30 minute nap.  I’m not too surprised because I noticed he had fallen asleep on his arm in a way that didn’t look too comfortable.

I go to greet him and we go sit in the backyard in the sunshine for a little while.  At times like this I feel so, so thankful that I get to stay home with him.  It’s so nice to just be together outside on a Tuesday afternoon.

Eventually we go in and I nurse him.  We read a few stories from the Bible I got him for Easter and he plays in his room.

After a while, I bring him to his little chair for a late lunch of sweet potatoes, which he loves.  I roasted them in lots of avocado oil and turmeric.  He really loves sweet potatoes and is good at eating them, so I try to load them up with some extra goodness.  Turmeric is the first spice I’ve introduced since it’s so mild and has so many health benefits.  I’ll probably try ginger and garlic next.

He eats seven sweet potato rounds – looks like I’ll need to go back to the grocery store for more sweet potatoes tomorrow!  He can’t get enough.

Cleanup is relatively easy because very little sweet potato made it onto the floor.

I place James on a large blanket in the living room with a couple of toys, but he often seems more interested in exploring the house than toys these days.

Eventually it is time for his last nap of the day.  Some days he only takes two naps, but since his second one was so short, he took three today.

This nap was also short, about twenty minutes I think?  This was strange because James’s short naps are almost always 35 minutes to the minute, so I don’t know what was going on today.

Regardless, he got up, I nursed him and he played some more in his room.  Soon my husband got home and played with him until it was time for dinner.

James had avocado (he ate almost half of a pretty big avocado) and pear slices.  He eats dinner around 5 and we’re not usually ready to eat that early so we sometimes compromise and sit with him and eat a salad so it’s more of a family meal.

After dinner, James played a little more and then took a bath.  He is so cute and curious in the bathtub.  He likes splashing in the water, but also really wants to explore the surrounding area.

After bath time, I nursed him again, gave him a massage, and my husband read him Goodnight Moon.  I sang him a song and put him in his bed.  He didn’t protest at all and fell asleep in about ten minutes.

We had leftover falafel (frozen from Trader Joes – I highly recommend it!) for dinner, so I didn’t need to cook anything.  As I mentioned, the last couple of weeks were a little rough, but so far, this is shaping up to be a great one!

What was the best part of your day yesterday?

 

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James at 6 Months

I have all sorts of thoughts and feelings about the six month mark.  I can be overly sentimental and six months sounds SO old to me right now.  Halfway to a year.  Is one year the end of babyhood?  I’m not sure, but it sounds dangerously close….

I must say though, it has been a wonderful month.  We’ve gone on lots of little adventures and also had many quiet days at home and in the backyard.  Now that it’s so much easier to get out of the house, I really enjoy the days we spend at home too.

Before we had kids, I told my husband I thought six months was the cutest age for babies, and I must say, it’s pretty darn adorable.

Enough sappiness though.  What has James been up to?

Stats:

Weight: 17 lb 10 oz (53rd percentile)

Height: 27 1/2 inches (85th percentile)

Head circumference: 44.6 cm (85th percentile)

It always makes me laugh when the doctor says he’s a “long and lean” baby…his thighs!  This is actually the highest his weight percentile has ever been though, so that made me happy.

EATING!

More on this soon, but we gave James his first solid food last weekend.

We went with avocado for his first food and it was…messy.  So much fun though.  My sister was in town for the occasion, which made it extra special.

He’s been grabbing for my food the last few weeks and he really seemed to enjoy having some of his own.

Gross Motor

How I found him in the morning….

James is still all about learning to move.  He can quickly roll across the room now and also spends lots of time on his tummy “air swimming” and getting frustrated that it’s not getting him anywhere.

He’s been a proficient roller for quite a while, but I feel like he just realized that he could use rolling to move around the room and get where he wants to go.  There is no stopping him now!

On that note, does anyone have a natural floor cleaner they love?

I’ve seen the most change this month in his ability to bear weight on his legs while we hold him.  This kid is ALL about bouncing.  Bouncing while we hold him up is his number one hobby (in conjunction with spitting…).  It is his happy place.  He gets the biggest grin and sometimes sticks his tongue out while he bounces up and down.  It’s pretty great.

He is not, however, very interested in sitting up.  When I sit him up to practice, he’ll often rock back and forth, trying to scoot, as if to say, “this surely must get me somewhere, or why would mom insist that I try it?”  Sometimes he’ll just bend down and suck on his toes lol.

Lately though, he often lunges back or to the side as soon as I sit him up, clearly making his opinion on sitting known.

The exception to this is when we’re at story time, where he easily sits by himself.  He once sat up for like twenty minutes there, I was shocked.  I think it’s because he was busy watching and listening, and so was not jerking around trying to move.  I try to mimic this by sitting him in front of the mirror so he has something interesting to look at, which sometimes works briefly, but he’s really not that into it.  I suspect that as soon as he’s interested, he’ll be able to sit unassisted no problem.

Fine Motor

James now passes objects back and forth between his hands.  He’s also able to pick something up and rearrange the way he’s holding it to get the desired part in his mouth.  It amazes me to watch his little hands at work when it seems so recent that all he could do was ball them up in little fists.

Personality

James is so happy and funny!  He cracks me up every day.  He is a little scientist, so eager to explore his world.

He takes solid naps more often than not, but hangs in there really well if we’re occasionally off schedule when we’re traveling or have a busy day.

He loves being sung to, playing with scarves, looking in the mirror, and playing games like peekaboo or making silly faces together.  He also tolerates long walks on the beach..er around the neighborhood, which has been great since I love to walk and to be outside.  I worry that it’s already getting hot for long walks though; he’s so warm when I take him out of the stroller!

He has a little baby friend from the library and they are so cute together.  They don’t interact too much, but he definitely seems to recognize her and they reach out to touch each other and smile at each other.  It makes me happy to see him with a little buddy.

He is super chatty when we arrive home after going somewhere new.  He’s often silent when we’re out, just taking it all in, but then he tells me all about it when we get home.

Things I Want to Remember

How he gives me the biggest smile when I go in to greet him in the morning.

How he goes about life with his tongue sticking out, hoping to taste something interesting.

How he sleeps in the strangest position with his little butt in the air.

How he grabs my nose while he’s nursing or while I’m singing to him before a nap (LOL).

How soft his skin is.

How he grabs his belly rolls in the bathtub.

How he looks in the smallest little swimsuit I’ve ever seen.

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James at Five Months

The last month has flown by!  Time in general seems to have acquired entirely new properties since our little guy was born, but this month in particular was FAST.  I wanted to document this very sweet time in our lives and share what’s new.

I have to say, this is my very favorite stage of development so far (yes, I think this at almost every stage…).  James is so engaged and interactive, but is not really mobile yet, which I know will bring new challenges.  He is such a happy little guy and is changing all of the time.

Gross Motor

James is determined.  He started rolling from tummy to back at three months and back to tummy at four months, but he really mastered rolling this month.  He also started desperately trying to crawl, but so far this mostly results in scooting backward or slowly rotating in a circle.

Funny story – half way through the month, he seemed to forget how to roll over!  I think once he mastered it, he didn’t care as much about practicing anymore and was likely focused on learning something new.  After constant rolling back and forth, he started trying to roll over, than flopping back down and giving up.  Has this happened to anyone else?

Once I realized this, I started putting toys / interesting objects diagonally above him so he could see them, but would need to roll onto his tummy to get a better look / grab them.  Within a day and a half or so of doing this, he was back to rolling regularly.  (I jokingly referred to this as rolling boot camp.)  Not being able to roll over was seriously impacting his naps, so I was happy when he was at it again!

James has also been practicing sitting and baring weight on his legs.  He can sometimes sit for a couple of minutes, with his hands on the floor for balance.  This seems to surprise him more than anything.

He also loves being held upright to practice standing.  He often collapses after a few seconds, but the last week or so he has started bouncing while doing this with a HUGE grin on his face.

Fine Motor

Last month was all about clasping his hands together and this month has been all about reaching for objects and bringing them to his mouth.  I so clearly remember when he couldn’t get his hand to his mouth at all as a newborn (and so desperately wanted to), and it is amazing to see him now, using his hands so deftly.

Sleep

James has made great strides with sleep this month and I must say, it’s made a huge difference in our family’s happiness!

He is not yet sleeping through the night regularly (he usually wakes up once in the middle of the night and once in the early morning), but I honestly don’t really care about that.  He goes back to sleep quickly and on his own after I feed him, so it’s just a 15-20 minute process.

The change this month, however, has been falling asleep independently.  This is something we’ve really been working on since he was three months or so, but saw significant progress in this month.  He’s been able to fall asleep on his own after night wakings for months, but just recently started doing so for most naps and at bedtime.  He used to cry and cry and need significant comforting, but I now just sing him one song and put him in his bed and he usually falls asleep.  I sometimes have to go back in to sing him another song and he sometimes needs more help with his late afternoon nap, but the days of lying next to him and rubbing his back or tummy while he cried seem to be mostly over (at least for now!)

He did have a strange 5-6 day string of very difficult bedtimes a couple of weeks ago.  I honestly have no idea why.  He started crying SO hard when we put him to bed; it was terrible.  After a few days though, he went back to normal and seems perfectly happy at bedtime most days.

Awareness

One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in James this month is his awareness.  He seems to be recognizing patterns and anticipating what will happen next.  For example, he gets super excited when I put him in his stroller to go for a walk.  He also gets a huge grin on his face when we start getting ready for bath time – one of his all-time favorite activities.  I actually wonder if this greater awareness is what caused his temporary bedtime rebellion – he would start crying as soon as the bedtime routine started.  Regardless, it is so fun to see this mental leap.

I honestly can’t believe that our little buddy is almost half a year old!  Six months seems like such a milestone to me and I just wish time would slow down.  I can only imagine what the next month will bring, but I’m trying not to look ahead too much, to focus on savoring these sweet days one at a time as they come.

Do you have children?  If so, what is something new they’re doing this month?

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