Tuesday, September 27, 2011

James at 5 months + 1 week 2011

I know I just did James's 5-month update, but there's already some new stuff to report and there's no point in waiting a whole month to do it.  On Friday, James had his 5 month appointment with the doctor.  He measured 27 inches long and weighed 18 pound and 2 ounces. I can't believe James has grown 6 inches in five months.  Wow.  I even had to adjust his jumperoo up so his feet don't drag.  Now he's on tippy-tip-toes again.

5 Month Doctor's Appointment 2011
Pediatrician's office

James at 22 weeks + 1 day 2011
Large and in charge indeed! Sitting without balancing on his hands.

Also, two days after my 5-month update about James he mastered rolling from tummy to back so now if you put him down he rapidly rolls away.  He can only roll from right to left (when you look at him; it would be his left to right) so once he's reached the far left he gets stuck and annoyed.

James at 22 weeks + 1 day 2011
The anatomy of a roll, part 1

James at 22 weeks + 1 day 2011
The anatomy of a roll, part 2

James at 22 weeks + 1 day 2011
The anatomy of a roll, part 3

All of James's new skills are making life more fun, but also more challenging.  He thinks everything, including my light-weight laptop, are a toy.

James at 22 weeks + 3 days 2011
Snatching the wipes away from me during his diaper change

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Whom does James look like? 2011

In March, I predicted James would look Asian based on my baby photo and Kevin's baby photo.  I was right.  At least at first.  James was born looking like a little bloated Eskimo.

Baby James Born! 2011
James, Day 1

Easter 2011
James, Day 4

Compare to photos of me and Kevin when we were born:

My First Picture!
Ericka, March 1979

1980 05 Family Photos 046
Kevin, February 1980

But then, James morphed significantly. James at 2 months:
James at 9 weeks 2011

Compare to photos of me and Kevin a little later:

1979 07 Baby E 255
Ericka, 3 months?

1980 07 Family Photos 047
Kevin, 3 months?

What do you think? Does he look just like Kevin? Is he a combo? Does he look like his own person and not like us that much?  His head shape is definitely not like Kevin's or mine's.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

James is 5 Months Old 2011

James at 5 months 2011
5 months!

James turned 5 months old yesterday and 22 weeks old today. He has developed a lot of personality in the last month.  He's excited to see us in the morning, and he turns to look when you call his name, though I'm not sure if he's recognizing the name or the "look-at-me" tone.  He loves patty cake, though he can't play it yet.  He finds my attempts to play patty cake with him hilarious.  He also likes peekaboo though he finds it less funny.  He's generally more fun, but he freaks out if we step a few feet away from him, and he gets super grumpy if he's teething or it's naptime, which is most of the time. He fights naps with every fiber of his little being, no matter how tired he is. Sleep is the enemy.

At the grandmothers constant instance we tried feeding him cereal and baby food to get him to sleep more.  They said it would increase the amount of time he slept at once at night. The pediatrician (and other parents we know) said it would not. Finally we tried it just to please our mothers.  I am here to report that it did not increase the amount of time he sleeps at night. We even tried feeding it to him at different times, but it didn't make a difference.  At first he didn't care for it, but on the second try he had a change of heart. He loves the pureed sweet potatoes and carrots. He opens WIDE and tries to grab the spoon from me to feed himself. For now though, we've taken him off the food again, since our sleep experiment was a failure. Now he stares at me whenever I eat like I'm selfish for not sharing.

James at 19 weeks + 4 days 2011
Enjoying sweet potatoes (19 weeks + 4 days)

He's really good at grasping things and he can reliably pick things up and put them in his mouth, even his little pacifier.  He prefers the outside part of the pacifier for his teething to the gummy part for sucking.  He also grabs his giraffe around the neck and chews on the giraffe's ears and nose.

James at 19 weeks + 1 day 2011
Writing our rent check (19 weeks + 1 day)

James is on the move! We used to be able to put him down on his activity mat while we put away dishes or something within eyesight.  Now, it's a bit more touch and go.  First he started scooting away on his back.  Then he started rolling over from back to front.  He does that every single time you put him on his back, even though he's not actually a big fan of being on his stomach.  And in the last day or so, he's started occasionally flopping back onto his back.  This means he can roll quite a distance from where you originally placed him.  He also regularly sleeps on his stomach now because I put him in his crib and then he flops over to sleep.

James at 19 weeks 2011
Scooting away on his back (19 weeks)

James at 19 weeks + 4 days 2011
Rolling over! (19 weeks + 4 days)
This is the reason the bumpers went back on the crib.

Finally, James sits for a few seconds when I prop him up.  A week ago he would stay up for a second or two, but now he actually stays balanced for a while sometimes and manages to grab at things before toppling over. Look how pleased with himself he looks! My baby is the cutest.

James at 20 weeks + 6 days 2011
Sitting by himself for a second (20 weeks+ 6 days)

James at 20 weeks + 6 days 2011
Admiring the other handsome baby (20 weeks+ 6 days)

James at 21 weeks + 4 days 2011
Football season has begun! (21 weeks + 4 days)

James at 5 months 2011
Not crawling yet, but looks like he's preparing! (5 months)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Allison and Dan's Wedding 2011

Poteet Wedding 2011
This pretty much captures Allison and Dan

I just got back from a lovely wedding in Maine. The Poteet's welcome dinner the night before the wedding was nicer than many weddings I've been to, with a beautiful view of the water in Bar Harbor, local beer and good wine, delicious appetizers, surf and turf for dinner, and two desserts, including some of the best brownies I have ever had.

Poteet Welcome Party 2011
Wendy, Clark, Dan, Allison, Jason, Chrissy, me, and Kevin at the Welcome Party

Poteet Welcome Party 2011
Welcome Party dinner

The ceremony location was beautiful, with perfect blue water and mountains in the background. They wrote their own vows, which I usually love because it gives you a rare chance to peek into the hearts of the bride and groom in a way that the standard religious vows do not. Allison expressed her love in a particularly eloquent and touching way. Dan's vows were not only lovely but he also responded (impromptu!) to her vows to wonderful comic effect.

Poteet Wedding 2011
Allison's mother and brother

Poteet Wedding 2011
Allison and her dad- someone looks happy!

Poteet Wedding 2011
More vows-related hilarity!

Poteet Wedding 2011
I love that she's looking at us to enjoy the moment with her.

Poteet Wedding 2011
Allison and Dan exchanging rings

Poteet Wedding 2011
Big kiss!

Poteet Wedding 2011
Mr. and Mrs.! 

I can hardly pick one photo from the cocktail hour because it was similarly beautiful and fun on a dock outside. And they served a blueberry mojito that was even more delicious than I imagined it would be. I might have to learn to make it myself because now that I've had one, I can't face a future without any more. Seriously.

Poteet Wedding 2011
The dock is awesome, right?

Poteet Wedding 2011
Me, experiencing blueberry mojito joy

Poteet Wedding 2011
Walking on the dock with our friends

The reception was inside a tent with trees near the support beams and herb garden center pieces, which were lovely and brought the outside location of the wedding inside the tent. In my opinion, good dancing music is one of the most important parts of a reception because, at least for me, it divides the weddings I really have fun at, from those I enjoy more passively. These days, with little baby James to keep me busy, weddings are my super fun night outs, so it was great to have such a good DJ. Also, my friends at the wedding were really fun to party with all night.

Poteet Wedding 2011
First dance near the inside trees

Poteet Wedding 2011
Cutting the very pretty cake

There was something else about this wedding. It felt like fate. To explain, I have to go back to the beginning. Allison and I went to high school together in New Jersey but she was in the grade above me and I knew her through friends that were in band with her: Chrissy, Cate, and Wednesday. I only really started spending more time with her when she would come home from college and then later when I would come home from college. In 1999, her junior year of college and my sophomore year, she studied in DC for a semester, and that's when we became close. She's a great listener, she leans in when you speak, laughs big wonderful laughs when you're only a little funny, and touches your arm to stress a point. She has a political wikipedia tucked in her brain, and her idealism is surpassed by very few people. She is easy to love.

Here's where it gets a bit odd. In 2001, before we knew either of them, my now-husband Kevin, and Allison's now-husband Dan, left the east coast and went across the country to go to school at the University of Iowa. Kevin was at the Iowa Writer's Workshop, and Dan was in law school, but somehow they ended up playing basketball together regularly.

In 2005, shortly after she met Dan, Allison told me she had met a great guy on Friendster. She told me about their first date in Boston and how she was excited for his next email. Later that day, I took a picture in Miami in front of a palm tree, which later I put on my Friendster. When I moved to Charlottesville for law school, Kevin saw the picture of me in front of a palm tree and thought I was cute. The first time Kevin and I went to visit Allison and Dan in Boston together, Kevin realized that he knew Dan from Iowa.

Did you follow all that? Ramsey, New Jersey; Iowa City; Boston; Miami; and Charlottesville. And then there we all were. I had known the bride for 15 years, Kevin had known the groom for 10 years. If it's one of those it's-a-small-world coincidences, it's a good one for sure. Or maybe it's meant to be.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Grandmas Rock 2011

James has two of the best grandmothers that a boy could hope to have. Both have seen him at least once a month since he was born, and though I'm not exactly keeping count, they've actually seen him way more frequently than that. Recently, however, James got a double-dose of grandma love. My mother stayed over Labor Day weekend to help me while Kevin went to Atlantic City for a guys' weekend. A few days later, Kevin's mom came to watch James so that we could attend our friends Allison and Dan's wedding in Maine. She had to do the night shift alone too! They are both heroes. They even both reported missing him when they returned home.

Labor Day 2011
Nana Ana getting raspberry kisses from James

James at 20 weeks + 4 days 2011
Grandma Kathy playing with James

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Baby Cort 2011!

Trey and Sunny had their first baby, a boy, about a week ago!  They named him after the baby's great-grandfather, grandfather, and father, all "Frank Joseph."  Since the little guy is IV, or "the fourth" they are calling him "Cort" in much the way his father goes by Trey as a nickname for III. His nickname is also after a close friend named Courtney that they lost.

At 9 pounds 11 ounces, Cort was just one ounce less than James!  Cort looks slender though, whereas James looked like a little Eskimo marshmallow. Congratulations, happy family!

Sunny, Trey, and Cort 2011
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