Wednesday, November 30, 2011

James is Crawling 2011!

In the last week, James learned to sit up on his own and crawl. He actually learned to do both on November 21st, my dad’s one year anniversary. I videotaped him sitting but I couldn’t capture the crawling. He kept working on the crawling while we were in the Cape for Thanksgiving, with much encouragement from Kevin’s family.

He’s been working on it more since we got home. He does better when the video camera is not on him, but here’s a clip of him crawling. After I recorded this he followed me from the living room to the bathroom. He doesn't like me out of his reach anymore. He’s gone from not wanting to be left alone, to not wanting to be left without me. Mind you, because of Kevin’s work schedule, Kevin spends about half of the day with him 5 days a week. Even the other two days he spends 1-2 hours with him. So there’s really no reason why he’s gotten so attached to me over him. Unless James has figured out that I’m a bigger pushover than his father.

James crawling (32 weeks)

James can also pull himself up to a standing position when he finds something low enough to the ground to pull up from. Usually this means that when I’m lying on the floor on my side, he crawls over to me and puts his hand on my legs and uses them to pull up. He balances precariously so I grab him when he pulls up. I’m not sure if he’ll be walking as quickly as everyone is predicting though. Now that he can crawl, he doesn’t demand that we hold him in a standing position as much.

James at 32 weeks 2011
James pulling up (32 weeks)

James at 32 weeks 2011
Bonus cuteness- His raised eyebrow says, "did you see that?"

Friday, November 25, 2011

James's First Thanksgiving 2011!

Thanksgiving 2011
Thanksgiving with Kevin's family: Kathy, me, Kevin, James, Grandpa George, 
Grandma Ruth (James is notably less photogenic when I'm not behind the camera)

We spent James's first Thanksgiving on the Cape, where both Kevin and I spent many Thanksgivings before we knew each other. This is a little strange considering we met in Virginia, but Kevin's maternal grandparents have been living there for a long time, and so did my dad's parents. We had Thanksgiving dinner with Kevin's extended family, aunts, uncle, and cousins. The day after Thanksgiving, we briefly visited my grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousin an hour north in Truro.

Thanksgiving 2011
With Aunt Katie, Uncle Chris, and Great-Aunt Denise

Thanksgiving 2011
James is ready to eat in his new Thanksgiving Day bib

I was really excited to feed James all the mashed Thanksgiving sides. He usually only gets to have one flavor at a time, and while he had tried squash before, he had never tried mashed potatoes, turnips, stuffing, or cranberry sauce. I know you're only supposed to introduce one thing at a time so you can figure it out if they're allergic to something, but James isn't a very delicate baby, and Kevin and I have almost no allergies. James LOVED Thanksgiving. He loved being around Kevin's family, getting constant attention, and he loved eating everything. He wanted me to keep the food coming. I had to check between bites that he didn't still have food in there from the last spoonful because he wanted more before he was done. He was super cute.

Thanksgiving 2011
This is less fun than I anticipated; my dinner is getting cold!

Thanksgiving 2011
James's plate: mashed potatoes, turnips, squash, stuffing, and cranberry sauce

Cape Cod- November 2011
With Great-Grandma Catherine

Cape Cod- November 2011
With Great-Aunt Elaine, Uncle Griffin, and Winky

Cape Cod- November 2011
With Great-Uncle Richard

Thanksgivings without my dad are hard and sad. Especially on the Cape. Especially when I'm at his family's house and Thanksgiving is so much less without him. Last year was the first Thanksgiving without him, but it was so close to the day we lost him that we were still spinning in shock. This year felt like the first year without him. He is everywhere, and at the same time, his absence is suffocating.

Follins Pond, Cape Cod- November 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

One year is the same as one day.

My friend said something interesting about a loss she experienced almost ten years ago. She said, "I don't want to feel better." That rings true more than anything else. I miss my dad.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

James is 7 Months Old 2011

James at 7 Months 2011
7 Months! (Pirate face?)

There hasn't been much change since last month. The exciting news is that James is sleeping more! James was starting to wake up more and more often in the middle of the night and for larger periods of time.  It made no sense because we knew he could sleep 5-7 hours without eating, and pain medicine wasn't helpng him. Then after he attended our late night 11-11-11 party he got even worse. At his 6-month and 7-month appointment his pediatrician Dr. F (he has three: Dr. G, Dr. H, and Dr. F) encouraged us to "Ferberize" James, though he didn't use that word or give us the specifics. With some online coaching from Chrissy and Rachel, we gave it a try and it worked like magic. Like amazing sleep from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. with only 15 minutes of crying fairy magic. He's still napping a lot during the day as well-- he naps every 2 hours for a daily nap total of about 2 hours.  And he's been in a much better mood during the day, probably because he's sleeping more. Or maybe because his parents are in a better mood.

James at 29 weeks 2011
Passed out on the couch(29 weeks)

James is also starting to get his two center bottom teeth.  This photo was taken a little over a week ago and the teeth have popped up even farther now, but I can't get him to let me take another picture.

James's First Tooth!
First teeth! (29 weeks + 5 days)

Less happy news is that James is going through some sort of stranger-danger transition, and he initially cries when anyone besides me or Kevin holds him. But he seems to get over this after a little while of reacquainting himself with a person.

Almost everything else is the same. He sits for long periods, but still falls over regularly. He tries to grab the spoon to feed himself but is rarely successful and gags himself with the spoon. He's stopped military crawling and has gone back to rolling wherever he wants to go, but he does get up on all fours now like he might suddenly crawl for real one day. He still loves to stand and jump while we hold him.

James at 26 weeks + 5 days 2011
Trying to figure out how to eat the spoon (26 weeks + 5 days)

James at 30 weeks + 2 days 2011
Holding himself in "about-to-crawl" position (30 weeks + 2 days)

James is still about the same length as last month by my home-measurement, 28 inches, 20-21 pounds heavy, so he's about average for height and weight now, though his head circumference continues to be off the charts. He's in 9-months to 12-months clothing.

James at 7 Months 2011
James, wearing a toddler-sized hat (7 Months)

I am super-excited about James's first Thanksgiving this Thursday.  He loves to eat and I'm planning on letting him try all the mashed foods: potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, cranberry sauce and maybe even a little stuffing with gravy. I didn't have my first Thanksgiving until I was 6 or 7 years old, so James is a lucky boy, even though he won't remember.

Eating sweet potatoes and bananas
Putting everything in his mouth
Shredding magazines
Looking at himself in the mirror
Photos of friends and family (seriously, he squeals when he sees photos)
Having his picture taken
Falling asleep during walks
He loves bathtime.
Playing with boxes and remote controls
New toys
"The Itsy Bitsy Spider" is still his favorite song

James at 29 weeks + 6 days 2011
Playing with boxes (29 weeks + 6 days)

James at 30 weeks + 3 days 2011
Shedding magazines (30 weeks + 4 days)

Doesn't hate:
Eating carrots or mangoes
Books (though he keeps trying to eat them when I read)
Sleeping in his crib at night or at naptime

Eating chicken or beef baby food
Driving in the car in the daytime
Putting on his pajamas (maybe he's knows it means bedtime?)

James at 27 weeks + 6 days 2011
The face he makes when I try to feed him chicken (27 weeks + 6 days)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

11.11.11 Party

I've been looking forward to the date 11/11/11 for a long time. No date has more repeated numbers, except maybe 11/11/1111, but we're 900 years too late for that one. When I started thinking about it I was in my early 20's, and 32 years old seemed so far away. I pictured myself somewhere romantic or exotic on the date, like maybe Paris or Rome. I was hoping I would be married, with children, wonderful friends and family, good health, a house, and an awesome career. I was hoping I would have it all.

As the date approached, I got depressed because after my dad passed away I felt like I could never have it all. I had the period of my life when I had both my parents, and the period of my life when I would have children. I can't have it all at once, but maybe I'm still lucky I get to have it all-- one at a time. I'm trying to be grateful for all the things we do have, especially our health. If my party proved anything, it's that I have some truly wonderful friends.  Thank you to everyone who came and made the day as special as I hoped it would be.

11.11.11 Party
My amazing little family

11.11.11 Party
Two of my besties, Ash and Michele

11.11.11 Party
Dan, Christina, and James's future best friend Hudson (in belly)

11.11.11 Party
Lukas, Sarah, Robin and Cory

11.11.11 Party
My brother David and his girlfriend Melanie

11.11.11 Party
Dive bar lovers: Wednesday, Briggs, Michele, and Clark

11.11.11 Party
Brady and his admirers

11.11.11 Party
And everyone! On a timer. (Notice Brady voguing.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

James Meets More Friends 2011

If you haven't met James yet, FORGET YOU. No! Just kidding. I remember back when I was childless, I didn't always rush out to meet my friends' amazingly beautiful and talented offspring. Sometimes it took me over a year to meet their kiddies. When I could, I did, but time and distance can be prohibitive. Nonetheless, I do celebrate the people in our lives who come to see James. If you love him, we love you even more. That's just the way that works.

 Here are James's newest friends!

James at 27 weeks + 2 days 2011
Wendy meets James (27 weeks + 2 days)

James at 28 weeks + 4 days 2011
Brian meets James (28 weeks + 4 days)

James at 29 weeks + 3 days 2011
The Boones meet James (29 weeks + 3 days)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jeff Mangum Concert 2011

Last weekend, Briggs, Kevin, I went to a Jeff Mangum show. Jeff Mangum is best known for singing in the band Neutral Milk Hotel.  Remember mixed-tapes? Kevin actually put their song, "In the Airplane Over the Sea" on a mixed CD he made me in 2006. How cute is that?

Neutral Milk Hotel released it's last album 12 years ago, and Jeff Mangum doesn't perform much, so when he went on tour this year, his two New York City shows sold out at lightening speed. That's how we ended up in Jersey City.  I was a little dubious about seeing a show there, because Jersey City doesn't have the best reputation, but the venue, the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre is amazing. It was originally opened in 1929, and was built in an amazing Baroque/Rococo style. It closed in 1986, but now it's under continuing restoration and has live events and old films. It's beautiful. It reminds me of a theater Kevin and I went to in Richmond years ago. Plus the theater is in Journal Square right across from the New Jersey Path trains so it's actually pretty convenient. nd the night of the concert the bar next door, the Journal Square Pub was awesome too. The bar was selling super cheap drinks and blasting Latin music, at least until people started picking pop tunes off the jukebox.  I would definitely go back to the venue for other shows.

Jeff Mangum at Loew's Theatre
The upper level of the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre in Jersey City, NJ

Jeff Mangum at Loew's Theatre
Briggs and Kevin in the lobby of the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre

As for the concert, Jeff Mangum was great. He was just seated in the middle of the stage playing an acoustic guitar, so the music sounded different than the albums. I hadn't been to a concert in two years because there really wasn't time or motivation when my dad was sick in 2010, and then after we had the baby in 2011.  Listening to any sad songs is still not a rewarding experience, and Mangum isn't light pop. But I tried to stay focused and it was a good show.  

Jeff Mangum at Loew's Theatre Jersey City
Jeff Mangum November 5, 2011
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...