Monday, February 21, 2011

New Accomplishments

James has been busy busy busy learning new skills and discovering his world! He isn't crawling yet or attempting to (he seems happy to just roll places), but he is pushing up on his arms and kicking his legs, so I think it's only a matter of time.

This week I sat him next to his basket of toys (he sits very well by himself for long periods now) and he figured out how to pull all the toys out and then decided the basket would make a tasty snack. Observe:



He also has finally developed the pincer grasp, so he picks things up with his thumb and forefinger. It allows him to eat finger foods, such as cheerios (YAY cheerios!!) and diced soft foods. Tonight he enjoyed diced carrots.



This week he's also been liking me feeding him less and less as he wants to try it out himself. So today I have him a spoon to try, and he did know how to put it in his mouth but couldn't quite grasp feeding himself with it yet (not surprised, it is early for that and I figured he'd use it more as a toy). He had fun playing with it!




James also likes splashing in his bath, taking his vitamins (I think they are sweet and that is why he loves them so much), and chewing on strings of all varieties. Today I took him out in the yard in his stroller while I pulled weeds and taught him gardening lessons about life (you have to pull out the bad stuff to let the good stuff grow!). He loved being outdoors as much as I did, and I could easily wheel him around the yard with me as I worked.

The worst new development is the separation anxiety. He cried if he sees me walking away from him at all, which makes it hard to do anything at all. Eliot took him to the mall yesterday as their first daddy-son outing together, and it is the farthest away from James I've ever been. It was quiet around the house and I enjoyed some crafting time, but I did call and check up on them because I missed them!

Let's see... what else... hmmm...
Well, James is still loving to read, and he loves turning pages. He gets excited and kicks his feet when he sees a book he recognizes. He also is very interested in how his hands work right now, examining them as they manipulate objects. James loves watching the Baby Signing Time dvd we have and laughs when he sees the little frog in the program (because it makes cute little sqeaking sounds).

In the language front, he hasn't said anything really, but he is saying more syllables, like "Boo" and "Gah." It isn't all the time, but I don't want to talk all the time either so I understand! I heard he may say mama or dada soon, but there's no rush. He'll talk when he's ready.

Eliot took some pics of the nursery this morning:



And here's one of James and I before we went to Fred Meyer... he got to ride in the shopping cart as his adventure on his 8th month birthday!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

James is 8 months old!!

James is 8 months old today! And since he is up all night from severe separation anxiety, we are all taking it easy today. But we did take a few pics...











Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, a little late... but we did have a great first Valentine's day with James! We took him out to brunch at Elmers and he enjoyed some mum mum and apples with oatmeal and cinnamon. He also enjoyed chewing on Sophie! I gave him and Eliot valentines that I made, and we had a lovely time. Here are some pics from our brunch:






We also took some pics at home...






Enjoying a gift from Mimi Helen


After James went to sleep, Eliot and I enjoyed a home-cooked meal of prime rib, berry pie, and mashed potatoes. (I made the pie for Eliot, he made the prime rib for me). We had a lovely evening together reminiscing about our many adventures together and finished the night by watching our 2006 Seattle dvd that I made of our first apartment together. :-) Altogether, quite a perfect Valentine's day!

Happy Valentine's day everyone!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Rock a Soak!

I decided to switch diaper detergents this month because our current one wasn't rinsing clean from our diapers and causing build-up (which leads to stinkies and diaper rash... not good!). The #1 recommended detergent by most cloth diapering moms is called Rockin Green... it is a diaper safe, enzyme, fragrance, brightener, and harsh chemical-free detergent, with a few drops of essential oils for natural fragrances in the formula I have (Classic rock.... there is also hard rock for hard water and soft rock for soft water and sensitive skin). I chose to get Mighty Might Marshmallow and Smashing Watermelons this time around. :-)

Anyway, one of the awesome things you can do with this new detergent is "Rock a soak." The formula of the detergent deep cleans while soaking for an hour or overnight, drawing out all the build-up, bacteria, and embedded dirt in the diapers. It is amazing how well it works! Here is a photo of my "clean" diapers just 30 minutes into the soak:


Then here it is after an overnight soak... I didn't stir the diapers much in the last pic, so I think a lot of the dirtier water is on the bottom. But still.... observe:


Ew! I had no idea there was THAT much build-up in my diapers, though I suspected something was wrong because James has a small diaper rash and the diapers have the stinkies. I am doing a Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer soak right now to make sure we get out all the grossness. :-)

I <3 my diaper soap. It should make diaper laundry foolproof from here on out as it is clean-rinsing. Woohoo! It's the little things in life, I tell ya.

In other news, we went for a walk in Hendricks park the other day to see what flowers are blooming now that spring is coming to the NW.
Here is a pic of me and James with witch hazel and a few other things blooming behind us!

And one with Eliot and James with the yellow Witch Hazel...

And, finally, WILD TURKEYS! We saw these walking through the park and had to take a pic.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

James plays Peekaboo!

I had fun playing Peekaboo with James today...I used his little stuffed penguin and hid it behind my legs for the game. James LOVED it and laughed each time the penguin made an appearance. Observe...
video

Here is a short video of James playing in his kitchen... just to show how much he's growing up!
video


Also, James's great-grandma knitted a pair of wool longies for James (wool pants that are like a diaper cover and are waterproof). They came out great and fit perfectly!


And who can resist a few more cute pics?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Raising a reader

James loves to read with us. We read books before each naptime/bedtime as a way to settle him down to go to sleep, and he loves looking at all the pictures and touching all the books. Today I realized that when I say "Turn the page" and have the next page a little bit open, he reaches out and flips the page over! He even waits for me to say it (most of the time). I am so impressed that he has figured out the mechanics of a book... maybe he'll be a reader? I'm reading more these days too, even doing a book club with my mommy group. I have taken to reading again before bed and during our short breastfeeding sessions.... it's more peaceful than the TV and I figure it sets a good example!

James seems to favor touch and feel books (like the animal one Grandpa bought him for Christmas) or books with interactive things (like the In My Den and In My Tree books that Aunt Alison bought him). But he also loves Sandra Boynton board books, especially Hippos Go Berserk and Personal Penguin. I think he just loves sitting on our laps and hearing us talk/make noises. I hope to get him some more Christian books, bedtime books, and pirate books.

I also hope to take him to the library more for lapsit storytime when it doesn't fall at the same time as his nap. When I was there last Saturday I saw lots of parents with their kids and thought James would love it.

In other news, James is just starting to figure out how to get up on his knees once in awhile, but any time he tries to push forward with his feet he just goes backwards because his arms are stronger than his legs. It's cute to watch. :-) I've also heard him say some sounds that sometimes sound like words...."yeah" and "hi" seemed to be the most common. But I don't think he was really saying them, he just exclaims random syllables sometimes when he's chatty.

Oh, and James loves listening to and watching the birds in our back yard. I keep the feeder filled just so I can point out all the juncos, chickadees, and finches that stop by. :-)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tasty toes

Sorry I haven't updated in awhile, I used to remember to do it every Saturday when James turned another week old, but since I stopped counting weeks it's not really on my radar.

Here's what's been happening around our house...
James has been grabbing his feet and chewing on his toes recently, which is adorable but unfortunately happens mostly when the camera isn't nearby. I'll try to get a picture soon!

He also sometimes says new things like "Gah," but no words or dada-mama yet. I heard that might happen soon, but I think James is a month and a half behind the "average" so I don't expect it. He'll talk when he's good and ready! He does cry/whine right away though when he needs something or doesn't want something. I can't wait till he figures out this sign language so he won't get so frustrated.

We've been enjoying many more walks outside now that the weather is spring-like. We saw some violets blooming and witnessed a muskrat and a wood duck on our last walk! James like animals and especially birds, he will smile when he hears bird calls. He also has started kicking both his feet when he is happy about something, and sometimes waved both his arms or hits at something when he is playing. It's amazing to watch him grow!

He is sitting like a champ now for longer periods, but still not making any motions towards crawling. Again, I figure when he's ready he'll do it. I'm not pushing him to be mobile! I have baby-proofed a few things around the house though ever since I came in the living room (while Eliot was in the kitchen) and found that James had rolled himself into the corner between the ottoman and the couch!

Oh, and we introduced a sippy cup to James at 6mo but he still can't figure out how to drink from it. So we tried (as per our Pediatrician's advice) giving him water right from a cup instead of through the spout of a sippy cup. Voila! He drinks! He loves water (thank goodness) so we are sticking with that as long as possible so he won't get hooked on sugary juice. I hope he figures out the sippy cup soon, but I'm just glad he's learning how to drink fluids from somewhere other than me lol!

Here are a few of my favorite pics from this week... there's one or two more in the Eighth Month album.

Playing in the "kitchen"

Using a ring as a pillow!

You can see both how small he is and also my baby-proofing in this one...

My cutie!

A tribute to our alma mater

Playing in his jumperoo today

Learning how to drink water from a cup!