Saturday, January 29, 2011

James and the giant drum...

James has been playing with a bodhran we bought when we were in Ireland (a cheap one that it is ok if he wrecks!). He seems to like making sounds with it, mostly by scratching as he is just starting to learn to bang on things and hasn't quite associated it with the drum yet. But here is a few video clips of his attempts at making music...

And a quick video of James in his jumperoo. It would have been longer, but Eliot called me and James got distracted!

Sitting up and cute pics!

James has been officially sitting since two days ago. He can sit for probably 5 minutes at least without falling over, which is a lot longer than he ever did before! Here are some cute shots of him sitting:

We also went up to Hillsboro to celebrate my aunt's birthday with the whole family at Macaroni grill, and James sat in a high chair in a restaurant for the first time!

James has been starting to give us "kisses" in the form of grabbing our face and putting his mouth on it but not biting or sucking or anything. It's quite funny. Observe:

And here are just some cute shots!

Did I mention it's spring now in Oregon? We saw this tree blooming on our walk by the river. I love my state!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cranky cranky cranky

I haven't been writing much because I've just been trying to cope with life.... Eliot is working furiously on his dissertation, and since he has an added class to his GTF duties that he hadn't expected, all of that plus students pretty much means I take care of James on my own all day, every day. I love the little guy, but I never get a break... and since he's been really crabby recently (don't know why, no teeth have come in or look like they are coming in), it's been extra trying.

I've also been worried about where we will go next. But there's nothing I can do about that.

James has been exploring more of his world recently. He likes grabbing everything in sight... when we went out to Macaroni Grill the other night to celebrate my aunt Diane's birthday, I realized that we are now those people who push everything to the center of the table to keep their baby from grabbing anything. He is so inquisitive, he loves inspecting everything he can get his hands on (including his hands themselves!). I think he's very mechanical, he can figure out how to open and close things and can move things to get to other things, etc.

James still can't sit very sturdily, I have to spot him so he doesn't fall and hurt himself. He's still not crawling at all either... he sort of digs his back feet in and puts his bum up in the air, but he doesn't go very far. Mostly he gets to things by rolling.

But he's a charmer. He smiles at everyone who smiles at him. I love taking him out (besides it being a pain to drag all his stuff around) because he loves to look at everything and is just taking in the whole world.

I am working on his 6 and 7 month videos, I am behind because of the holidays. So I don't have any pics to post yet as I'm working on that project... but I promise I'll get his Eighth Month photo album up soon! (Oh my goodness, eighth month already!).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

James is 7 Months Old!!!

Happy 7th month birthday to my sweet little James!! He is growing by leaps and bounds and never fails to amaze me at the new things he can do. Lately, he has been better about the separation anxiety and he doesn't cry when I leave the room as long as I am back within 5 minutes or so. He also can hold two toys at once (one in each hand) and put down one toy to pick up another (it's a growth milestone, trust me!).

Yesterday I went to Joanns for some fabric and took James with me because he likes to look at all the patterns and colors. It was his first ride ever in a grocery cart with the shopping cover I made him! I took a pic of him with my phone because it was so cute:

This past week we also got a few gifts from Aunt Alison, which James had a fun time discovering. Well, James and Eliot...

James has been enjoying some Mum Mum crackers recently... he looooves feeding himself, and whether it is the crackers or fresh banana in a food feeder, he loves making a mess as well!

Did I mention we got a bath seat for him? Well, we did, which helps him sit up in the bath and be able to play with toys. The penguin is his favorite, and not because I push it on him or anything. It makes me happy that he loves something I love. :-)

And James is also sitting up more and more. I'm glad he's finally figuring out how to balance himself without me holding him up... he's getting heavy!

Here are a few quick videos for your viewing pleasure... the first is one of James making sound effects:

And this one is of James playing today:

Happy 7 months James!! We love you!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


James has slept in till 9:30am the past two days (with me just getting up once at 6am to feed him). It is AMAZING. I don't expect it to last, I have a feeling this is a short-term situation that will change soon, but while it is happening I am embracing it with open arms. This is the first time I have gotten any decent amount of sleep in the past 7 months, and I am starting to feel human again. Lord, PLEASE help him keep sleeping well!

His naps during the day have been pretty wacky, though, in the past week. He usually will only go down for 30-45 minutes and then refuse to go back to sleep. I figure it's because he is sleeping so much at night, though what caused this I'll never know.

James has also been showing more signs of teething... more drooling and very fussy while awake. He loves his vibrating teether and chewing on a piece of chilled banana in his fresh food feeder. I also give him frozen washcloths to chew on, and he likes those too. So we'll see if any teeth show up soon!

In other accomplishments, he is rolling like a log across the room to get to things he wants. He still isn't totally sitting up by himself, which is hard for me since I can't put him in a shopping cart when we go out and instead have to carry him in the Ergo or get out the stroller. It would be great to use the shopping cart cover I made and just plop him in the cart when we go out... someday soon it will happen. But until he supports himself better without slouching over to the side, I think I better wait.

He is also picking up objects with the "pincher" grasp, meaning he no longer grabs for things with his whole hand, but with just his fingers. It's amazing to see him grow and change in front of my eyes... he's getting so big!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My birthday!

I had a lovely birthday with my family. Eliot made me dinner, and my family came together to get me a much-needed new iPod (my old one wouldn't shut off and only held a small amount of music). I would write more but James was up all day except for two short 30-minute naps, and I'm exhuasted!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Baby sign language

We've started to teach James some sign language in hopes that he can communicate some things to us even before he says his first word. We are working on "more" and "eat" and "all done." I am thinking about adding milk, please, yes, no, and and thank you. I think they would be the most useful. Oh, and maybe "hurt." That would definitely be useful.

James is growing in leaps and bounds. I'm almost about to get out his 12 month clothes because he outgrowing the 9months ones! He also has learned to blow raspberries and bounce up and down if you hold him upright. Today I saw him try to push himself up on his back legs to propel himself forward without putting his head down like he normally does. I think we are making progress towards crawling!

He also can sit for a few seconds before toppling over, and sometimes he will learn to balance himself and stay upright. We're still working on the sitting, so I ordered a bath seat for him so we can play in the tub without having to hold onto him constantly (don't worry, we won't leave him alone in there!).

One thing I've also noticed is separation anxiety (he cries when either of us leave the room or walk away from him) and stranger anxiety (he doesn't like it when anyone beside Eliot or myself tries to hold him for longer than a few minutes). All totally normal in his development.

I think the most frustrating thing right now is that, even though we "night-weaned" (I no longer feed him between the hours of 7pm and 5am), he still wakes up wanting his pacifier. Which means we have to trudge in there 4-5 times a night to put his pacifier back in. The kicker is that he knows how to put his own pacifier in during the day, but at night when he can't find it, he freaks out. I put 5 or so pacifiers in the crib to up his chances of finding one... it looks like a pacifier cannon exploded in his room and left little paci landmines everywhere. :-) So far he's only found pacifiers once or twice and put them back in. So we're exhausted. Still. 6.5 months later. Sigh.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pictures and privacy

Just an informative post to let everyone know that I am changing my web albums so they aren't searchable on Google, but you can still get to them and see them if you have the link (like the ones on the right of this page). I didn't realize all my pics were on the web for all to see till now or I would have changed it earlier!

The only thing this changes is the pics in my posts... they may appear as white boxes you can click on to see the pictures. I am sorry to do this, but I want to protect my family and I think this is the best way so the whole wide world isn't seeing pictures of us!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A year with C.S. Lewis

I decided the other night while perusing the bookshelves to read a short excerpt from C.S. Lewis every evening with Eliot. It allows me to have one "adult" moment in the day when I can consider my faith and think about something besides diapers and baby food... so far it's been refreshing, like a drink of water in a dry land.

I ran into this passage today:

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."
— C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

There's a lot of changes going on in my life, some large, some subtle and some that are not yet here but will be soon (moving, etc). One major change has been Lammytown, my mommy group online, which had some drama involving just a few members which caused the person who started the group leaving it and threatening to shut it down, leaving us all in emotional upheaval. These are the women that I have shared mommyhood with since October 2009... and seeing some of them leave in a huff without much explanation has been hard. Even harder still is that they tried to make us choose between their new group and our old one, which is just immature, unfair, and completely ridiculous (we've got much bigger fish to fry than mama drama!). So... the group is healing and moving on without said people, which probably will be better in the end. But it's been a hard couple of days dealing with the thought of losing this group of people I've come to know so well.

I'm also facing the idea of leaving our home when Eliot gets a job, as it likely won't be here that he finds it (though God can perform miracles, certainly!). The very thought of moving away from my family, friends, and house makes me queasy and downright sad. Add that to my cabin fever from the cold weather and 6 months of interrupted sleep and you have... well...

I know that God is building something I just can't see yet. In the online group, in our family, in my life. And it's going to be BEAUTIFUL. I'm going to hold onto that.

Meanwhile, I'll keep spending a few moments a day with C.S. Lewis and go from there.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Baby parlor tricks

James has a few new tricks!


And pulling his socks off!

Goodbye and hello

Today I finally did it... I went through my pre-pregnancy clothes and got rid of all the things I will likely never fit into again. It was hard, emotional really, to admit to myself that my body has just changed in a permanent way and that I will never again be the same shape I used to be. It was worth it... yes, definitely worth it. But hard none the less.

I think it's the first time in awhile I've been honest with myself about what I really weight and how breastfeeding might not get me back to my pre-pregnancy weight (or lower, as I'd hoped). I may just be this size. I would like to lose another 10lbs or so just to be healthier, and that might happen... but the way my body has changed will likely not let me ever squeeze into those size 6 jeans again. I'm holding onto my favorite pair just in case... but I have no real hopes that it will happen.

Being a momma means giving up yourself. Not entirely, mind you. I am still the person who loves gardening, singing, dancing, organizing, planning, traveling, etc, and I hope to pass those things onto my children. But it does mean saying goodbye to many things that were a fixture in my life (free time, hot meals, sleep, my figure, going out whenever I please) and saying hello to sleepless nights, hunger pains (James gets to eat first!), endless laundry, responsibility, and more rounds of singing "Personal Penguin" than I'd ever imagined.

It also means saying hello to laughter, cuddles, giggles, little arms reaching up towards me, watching new talents develop, and a little person who smiles each time he sees me. Joy.

I'd gladly give up my size 6 figure any day to just hold my son.

And so it begins, a new era of my life where I live less for myself than ever before. I've never been happier.