Friday, March 30, 2012

King James

I've been told that my blog is due for an update on Mister James.  Thank you for the reminder.  We all need a little more James in our lives, so here are some photos for you to drool over, plus some details for me to turn to in 4 years when he says "mom, what was I like as a baby?" and my internal memory card is completely blank.

This little man is growing up too fast!  I have tried everything I can think of to keep him little.  I've stopped feeding him completely. I squirt him in the face with ice-cold water when he tries to talk.  Or move.  But none of it seems to be working!!!  He's determined to grow up--completely against my will!!!   Good thing I'm so madly in love with him, otherwise I might just trade him in for a newer model!
December, 2011

December, 2011
James started sitting independently at 5 1/2 months old--earliest of all my babies....probably  had something to do with the Michelin man rolls around his mid-line...

He really has been such a good, calm, sweet, easy-going baby.  I can't even count how many times people have commented on his good nature.   He's been a breeze....except with the whole sleeping thing.  I guess i was due for it--i've had nothing but great sleepers.  I now have so much more empathy for the sleepless mom.  

James spent the majority of January "crying it out"--poor guy.  It sounds so cruel.  And i guess it actually was.  But I thought that 100% of his needs were met.  I thought there's no way he still needs to be nursing 2-3 times in the middle of the night, and I knew he was exhausted ('cause it was always in the middle of the night!) and so i let him cry. and cry. and cry.  And i'd go in and tell him i love him, and he'd cry some more. Finally, on Feb 2, I said enough is enough!   And i went back to nursing my fat little 7 month old in the middle of the night--just once this time--and wouldn't you know that he slept way better!!  What I thought was a spoiled little baby waking up for comfort, was actually a fat little baby needing to keep up his figure! (okay, maybe it was a little of both :)  Either way, bringing back just one feeding during the night did wonders for both of us.  Go figure...

He also finally started taking a bottle before bedtime, and that helped a lot.  Although he has his "pacifiers" attached to him at all times--if he doesn't want to be calmed--he won't be. I finally learned though, that rather than letting him cry and cry, if I just go in and scoop him up for about 30 seconds--he'll lay right back down and calm down!  I wish i'd thought of that in January!  I really can't even remember much about that month.  Just that i could barely keep my eyes opened most days--as evidenced in Exhibit A
Exhibit A
He's doing much better now.  Still not perfect, and still quite unpredictable.  But he does sleep through the night 1-2 times a week, and he rarely wakes up for anything other than one nursing session--which i barely wake up for myself.  

Lucky for me, when I'm too tired to walk straight, I have some very good helpers around the house, who love to hold "the little nugget."  And so far, they've never really dropped him!

January 2012

From the moment we found out we were having a boy, I started panicking about having a picky eater.  I think that it's a near statistical fact that boys, at least little boys, are generally pickier eaters than girls.  I know of at least 15 families in which that is the case.  So, I was really freaked out about starting solids with James.  I thought I might die if he rejected avocado, or oatmeal mush, or pureed sweet potatoes.  And what do you know?  He did!!  He rejected mushy food!! I mean, he'd tolerate a few bites of it, but wouldn't really open up his mouth.  Unless i put the mush on my fingers--then he'd eat it right up.  But i saw a future of me, sitting in a school cafeteria, hand-feeding my 6 year old son his PB&J, and quickly stopped with that approach.  Instead I enlisted the help of his other moms.

Which still didn't change much, so i stopped pureed food altogether and started with foods he could pick up and feed himself.  And that's when his true Allred colors shone forth.  We soon discovered that behind all that chub was a starving boy with a speedy metabolism, and now we can't keep up with him.  He will eat basically anything he can fit in his mouth. Including mush, naughty little boy....

I've heard that it's not uncommon for kids' appetites to change, so I'm not counting my chickens, just thankful that he's doing so well right now.  His favorite food is probably mango.  His least favorite is still anything pureed. And he seems to choke on foods a little bit less than his sisters.  Though when he does, you better believe there are FOUR ladies in this house running to his side to make sure he's okay.

James used to suck on these two fingers, all the time.

But sometime around age 3-4 months, he switched hands.  And fingers.  And now he prefers these two.

And not only does he like those fingers, but he likes to hold something soft in his right hand whilst sucking the left.  Like the pink blanket in the above picture.

Or a wet wipe

 Or a tag on a blanket

or the tag on his stuffed turtle.

My wise friend, who has had a finger-sucker herself, suggested that I try to get him attached to one blanket.  That way, rather than sucking his fingers everywhere we go, he'll get used to only doing it when he's got his blankie.  And it just so happens that my sister-in-law made this AMAZING blanket that has that soft silky fabric that he loves all around the edges!  And, unlike most of the blankets he uses, it's BLUE!  It's taken zero effort to get him to fall in love with this beautiful blanket.

And I have a feeling this isn't the last photo I'll take with him and his blankie :)

This boy also loves his bath.  He is so happy in the water and would stay in there for hours if we let him.  He loves to dip his face in and take a (very chokey) drink.  He loves to kick, move around, splash--it's so unlike his sisters, and so stinkin' cute!

If I were writing this post 2 weeks ago, it would probably end here.  Maybe with some mention about how i love going to get him from his crib when he wakes up, all his limbs flailing in excitement   And how i love that he will give me a smile just about any time I want one.  He loves peek-a-boo.  He loves pat-a-cake.  He's insanely ticklish--all over.  He's got the best giggle.  He's the center of our conversations.  I probably also would've mentioned that he's still immobile, barely rolls over, and is just so easy going!

But some of that has changed.   He's decided that he does, indeed have an opinion about many things.  He's also discovered a unique squawking ability that I once believed could only be achieved by extinct flying dinosaurs.  Combine these two new-found qualities, and you've got a loud and ornery little boy!! It's still new enough that we all laugh and think it's cute.  But I have this fear, call me crazy, that enough squawking can drive even the most infatuated of moms up the wall.  At least I still get to look at this cute face while I try to drown out the awful noise coming out of his mouth.

And, coincidentally or not, he has also discovered the art of backward crawling.  I can put something 15 inches in front of him, and it's completely out of reach.  But objects on the other side of the room, or even under the table, are fair game as long as they're behind him.  Last night he even cornered himself under this chair.

He looks like such a big boy in this photo, i'm tempted to just delete it!  No more growing, little boy!  You're my baby, and you need to stay that way!!  Forever!!!  maybe if I take my role of "babying you" more seriously, you might just stay young forever!!  (oh dear, I just caught another glimpse of myself at his school cafeteria, spoon-feeding him his pureed PB&J and carrying him to his next class.  I supposed I should just let the boy be who he's gonna be.  Now there's a novel idea...)

He wins my heart daily.  He's started saying what i guess we'll call his first word--which is "uh-oh."  This morning, when he was lying in bed with us lazy parents, he let out a little toot, looked at Reid, and said "uh-oh."  We just about died.

I love this little boy more than I ever knew possible!!

And that is my James Update.  Feel free to gush.


Elise said...

GUSH!! Oh that baby is sooo cute it hurts! And, Emily?! Two posts in one week? I'm in heaven!

Em Russ said...

love it... LOVE those rolls and cheeks. It looks like it hurts to smile he has so much "cheekieness"!!

I totally agree with you about my baby getting bigger... maybe you should just have ANOTHER baby!! (not that I am doing that... yet)

Karen said...

He's so cute!! And in some of those pictures, I could definately see Reid in him