juthwara: (Chu)
If you had asked me two weeks ago, I would have said we had another month until walking. James had cruising down, and was occasionally standing without holding onto anything for a few seconds but honestly, he just didn't seem that interested when crawling could get him where he wanted to go.

But then last week he started standing independently for longer and longer. He figured out how to stand up without using anything to pull up (something Alec didn't figure out until after he learned how to walk - if he fell, he would have to crawl over to something he could pull up on). He started squatting with a clear gap between his butt and the ground. This past Wednesday, I saw him do deep knee bends without holding onto anything. It's like suddenly two weeks ago he decided mobility was his new job. So it wasn't really a surprise Saturday morning when I saw James stand up and then take three tiny steps before landing on his butt. Walking at thirteen months! What a prodigy! Well, compared to his brother (14 months) and sister (16 months!) he is.

Speaking of prodigiousness, our baby who disdained all forms of spoon feeding like we were trying to feed him lukewarm library paste? Started feeding himself with a spoon last month, remarkably neatly. Even Katherine, who was a fine motor skills fiend needed to have baby oatmeal added to her applesauce to keep it on the spoon at that age, but he happily spoons the slippery stuff up without a problem. On the not-so-prodigious self-feeding front, he is finally successfully drinking from a straw cup. You would think that a child who has spent literally his ENTIRE life sucking on things to get liquid would, when presented with a straw, think to do more than just look at it dumbly and then try to bite it, but not our special snowflake. I wasn't sure how to deal with this, since the older kids both took to straws naturally and instantly, but (for anyone Googling "How to teach a toddler how to use a straw") finally I switched from the fancy spill-proof strawcups to the cheap Take and Toss type where I could squeeze the sides and push some liquid up through the straw. Once the flow got started, he would instinctively suck to keep it going and got the idea of sucking to get it started pretty quickly. He still can't hack the fancier cups with longer straws, but I found a compromise in the form of these cups, which are small and cheap, but have a screw-on lid that can't be pried off by an enterprising toddler. If only I could find more than the one pack of four, I would switch all of our kid cups over to them.

On the cognitive end, it became incredibly clear when James had passed the 55 week developmental spurt and not just because he started sleeping for more than 20 minutes at a time. He started becoming very interested in putting his nesting cups together instead of seeing how far across the room he could scatter them. He started grouping like things together. He added three new words - okay, baby, bye. He started getting very interested in baby dolls and stuffed animals and now has a cloth baby doll who is becoming his lovey (I'm so pleased - he chose a doll that's easily commercially available and simple to replace, unlike Katherine who glommed onto a mother and baby bunny pair from my childhood. Not merely irreplaceable, but with a small part that's easy to lose!). He's less likely to freak out when he wants something if he can see me in the process of getting it since now he's starting to understand sequences.

At the moment, his main interests are baby dolls, the play kitchen, things that fit together, cars and anything that plays annoying electronic music. He was 19 pounds, 13 ounces last week, continuing to skate under twenty pounds and be our skinny little guy. He's silly and cuddly, and still my sweet baby.

juthwara: (Chu)
So we have this baby, and he keeps growing. And then he develops more physical skills. The nerve, I tell you. Doesn't he know he's supposed to be my tiny baby?

This is such a gross motor age. James can: stand at a table, go from lying down to sitting up, creep across the floor, occasionally in the direction he wants to go in and has pulled himself up nearly to standing at least once. I think he will be crawling next month.

In fine motor skills, he can: pick things up in a fine pincher grip, wave and is working hard on clapping. He uses his pincher grip on the two or so solid meals a day he's eating now. I had to laugh - we were so careful about introducing solid foods to Katherine (although there were food allergy issues there, to be fair). And after a month or so of lackadaisically trying different baby foods to indifferent success, we found James eating Cheerios off of the floor and started giving him Cheerios. As it turns out, the boy just doesn't like mushes. He's also thrilled with apple and pear slices, orange slices cut up small, broccoli*, buttered toast, graham crackers and corn flakes.

Cognitively, he's babbling away like a little brook (the small body of flowing water, that is, not his father). And while visiting my mother, several of us heard him say something that sounded quite a bit like "Hi" in response to people greeting him. I'm pretty sure I've heard "Mama" and "Dada" a couple times, but they don't seem to be repeated too often. Separation anxiety has started to take hold, which means he's not quite so happy to go to other people any more if I'm there.

No matter how big he gets, he's still my sweet little love muffin. He's such a happy, happy baby, who smiles all the time and rarely gets upset. My happy little lovey.


*It's bizarre - I have three children who all love broccoli. Goodness knows I haven't done a thing to deserve such good eaters. They get plenty of junk and sweets. And yet last night, out of a meal of chicken, roasted potatoes and broccoli, the only thing either of my older children ate was the broccoli.
juthwara: (Chu)
17 pounds, 5 ounces and 27 inches. Not as huge as his brother and sister at that age, but a respectably sized baby nonetheless.

He smiles his way through life, showing off his delicious round cheeks and double chin. He even managed a smile at the nurse giving him his shots this morning, in the pause when she switched from one fat little thigh to the other. He has a very ticklish neck and never fails to giggle while I'm cleaning out under the folds under his chin. He also thinks his brother and sister are absolutely hysterical.

In physical developments, he is sitting unsupported, grabbing everything in sight and rolling all over the place. He hasn't managed to wiggle his way across the floor yet, but he still manages to work his way around to wind up a couple feet away from where he started. He has two teeth so, so close to pushing through, as well as four lurking close under the surface.

His coos are steadily turning into babbling. He's also discovering the upper ranges of his vocal register, making it a fun guessing game to figure out if he's really distressed or just performing vocal exercises.

I highly recommend having a jolly little fat man like James in your life. He's a happy baby at a very happy age, and we're so very happy to have him.

juthwara: (Default)
My goodness, where does the time go? One minute you're crossing the tabs on your stick-like newborn's teeny-tiny diapers, the next minute you're straining to lift a fat, wiggly five month old. At his four month appointment, James was 15 pounds, 12 ounces and 26.25 inches. That's around 60th percentile for weight and 85th for height. So he's officially more than doubled his birth weight.

This is the handsy age. He grabs everything in reach, from toys to hair to plates, and examines them with scientific keenness before attempting to bring them to his mouth for the purpose of a vigorous gumming. Speaking of gums, he's been working on getting a tooth through for about a month now. Oddly, despite the fact that this is often a very drooly age, he barely drools despite the impending fang. He's still something of a spit-up volcano, although not as often. That has the effect of making the spit-up a more random event, lending a charming air of Russian Roulette to holding him without a protective cloth.

On the gross motor front, he went from happily lying on his back and doing half-rolls to one day rolling back onto his back every time I put him on his front. Then, the day he turned five months old, he rolled from back to front, and he's barely done anything else since. I will be interested to see how soon he can work up an army crawl. He's starting to take more than a few seconds to topple over from sitting to lying down. Katherine is very determined to teach him how to sit up, so we'll see if she can have him sitting independently before he's six months old.

He favors us with happy conversational cooing, with a couple consonants and proto-babbling being introduced just before four months. He's just happy, period. He doesn't seek out attention the way Alec did, but pretty much anyone who pays attention to him gets a big smile (not surprisingly, he's a very popular baby. I admit I'm hardly impartial, but he's got the sort of Gerber baby looks and cheerful mien that attracts a huge amount of attention in public). He adores his big sister and brother, and the huge smile he gets every time he sees them makes the aggravation of multiple children worth it.

Did I mention he's a happy baby? Happy happy happy. And we're happy to have him.

juthwara: (Default)
People who stop to coo over James tend to exclaim about how tiny he is (including an odd woman who was exclaiming how tiny he was compared to her baby who was a month older, when as far as I could tell they were exactly the same size), but I can never see it. Partly because at the 90th percentile for height, he isn't tiny for his age, but mostly because all I can see is how much bigger he is than the newborn that was so impossibly skinny we had to cross the tabs on his newborn diapers and 0-3 month pants fell right off him when I held him up.


firstdiaper P7250132

That's one month and three months. It's kind of astonishing how quickly a baby can turn from scrawny, sleepy newborn to a fat little flirt. In James's case, while he's been smiling regularly since six weeks (his first was at four, but they were pretty rare at that point), it was around 10 weeks that he suddenly turned on the charm and got really interested in the fun game of social interaction. Now, he pulls away from nursing and gives me a big grin and a long coo, and I have to be careful not to catch his attention so he doesn't get distracted from eating by the sudden need for a flirting session. And I must say, he's very good at flirting. He gives any object of his affection gigantic grins and earnestly coos at us. He's starting to really enjoy being sung to, although I wonder how much of it is the music versus the fact that I'm paying attention to him. He's laughing more and more, first at the mobile above his changing table and then when Katherine figured out that he loves having his hands clapped together.

His neck is ticklish, although I wouldn't stick your finger in too far since he has a prosperous artisanal cheese-making business in the many folds. He's still a very spitty baby, but we only intermittently feel the need to give him Zantac for his reflux.

So far, his current interests are: Me, his father, his siblings, the cats, his hands and anything dangling above his head, from mobiles to dangling toys to the ceiling fan. He can hit dangling toys fairly reliably and can grasp anything near his hands, but has yet to reach out to grab anything successfully.

In the gross motor arena, he can hold his body stiff enough to "stand" and support himself with his legs when held upright. He can hold his head and upper chest off the ground while on his stomach. He can routinely roll onto his side, and a couple times has rolled onto his stomach while on his side, but that was on the bed which isn't a very even surface. Still, I think rolling over from back to front is speeding up on us. He can wiggle himself around to 180 degrees from where he started while playing on the floor. Aaah! Independent movement - the beginning of the end!

His nighttime sleep continues to amaze me - usually from around 8 or 9 pm to 5 am, then another couple hours after that. I've actually started putting him down in the bedroom to sleep on his own. His naps aren't as great - they tend to be short, even in the sling, and you certainly can't think about putting him down. I did get a swing recently, and with proper sleight of hand, he can be put down asleep in it and stay asleep for probably about as long as he would have slept.

I love three month olds. They've left behind the crankiness and unpredictability of newborns, but they're still small and cuddly. They're the epitome of sweet and adorable. And I love our three month old most of all.

juthwara: (Default)
I've always had trouble precisely describing Alec's personality. He's a very very happy little boy, calm and cheerful most of the time. He has a gigantic fan club due to his happy smile and cheerful wave that he favors people with indiscriminately. But despite that, it's hard for me to describe exactly as "easygoing," because once he experiences distress, he pulls out the drama queen. It's more like his barometer is set at extra happy, so it takes more to get it to dip down into unhappy, but once he's there, he's really there.

Lately, he's started in on tantrums when his will is thwarted, and I must say, he's certainly mastered them with style - arching his back and hitting me if I'm holding him, collapsing dramatically to the ground, crawling along the ground hitting his forehead on the ground. There is no end to the depths of his woe over my refusing to let him fish old coffee cups out of a public trash can.

Today, however, I noticed that while he was collapsed on the ground, weeping, he was glancing up at me to make sure that I was paying attention. This fit in nicely with what his babysitters were telling me earlier today, that when he's begging for their food, he uses an incredibly fake cry to try and convince them that he's starving.

K certainly could throw a good tantrum, but I never got the feeling that she was expressing anything more than the true intensity of her feelings. Alec though? That one is destined for the theatre.
juthwara: (Default)
At 16 months, Alec:

* pretends to feed me by shoving a spoon or a cup in my mouth and helpfully saying "Mmmmmm!" in case I don't get the hint
* does the same thing to the cats. They are less receptive (although surprisingly patient given they're getting bashed with a cup)
* takes my face in his hands and kisses me sloppily on the lips
* presses parts of his head (some might say the relevant verb here is actually "bashes") to my lips to get me to kiss him
* happily scribbles on paper with crayons for several minutes before attempting to enjoy a nice colored wax snack
* identifies dogs (and cats) with vigorous woofing, including paging through Sandra Boynton's "Doggies" and woofing
* points to cats in a book and says "Cat!"
* LOVES sending cars down ramps
* has started putting trains together to push along train track instead of just wandering around with a train car in each hand
* walks around with a toy phone pressed to his ear, saying "Hello!"
* can accurately sort shapes into his shape sorter and can place puzzle pieces on the correct slot, although he can't get them in yet
* can turn doorknobs well enough to open all of the doors in the house, making us panic daily
* requests a rousing chorus of "Itsy-bitsy Spider" by making the finger motions
* flirts shamelessly with everyone he meets
* carries a broom and dustpan around whenever I take him to work, which is very convenient because I can still see him even when he's on the other side of the circulation desk
* is quite possibly the cutest thing I've ever encountered



juthwara: (Default)

May 2015



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