As hard as it is to believe, James is 1 today. And although I had intended to remember Every. Single. Minute, I have of course neglected to write things down/organize the pictures/imprint everything on my brain. So I thought I’d take a few minutes to write down some of the things he’s doing now in hopes that I can at least capture a little bit of a picture:

Words: His first word was “uh-oh,” although some people have questioned whether that counts. Since he used it in the appropriate context, I decided that, yes, it did. (I will not mention that he moved from “correct context” to throwing things off the edge of things and saying “uh-oh,” which, yes, disputes the whole statement, but still…) “Buh-buh,” whispered almost under his breath, and a wave represented “bye-bye.” It was said on the same day as “uh-oh,” but not used again for about a week. He now waves quite easily, but the actual “buh-buh” is saved for special occasions. “Ma-ma” came next, but I’m still not sure if that means me; sometimes it means a bottle, sometimes he just keeps saying ma-ma-ma-ma-ma as he putters along. The newest one is “moe,” meaning “more.” This most definitely means bottle, although he also uses it occasionally when he just wants something.

So, at one year old, his vocabulary consists of these four words. At the same time, he makes it extremely clear  when he wants something and is not being attended to.

Walking: He is now at the point where he is taking 2-3 steps at a time and then collapsing into whatever (hopefully soft) thing he can find. He thinks this is all quite exciting, and often laughs hysterically while doing it. (Or perhaps is laughing hysterically at us as we lunge towards him, trying to prevent him from knocking his head on the ground.) Whenever possible, he is on his feet — whether that’s finding a toy or stool he can push around to use as a walker, something to hold on while he makes his way around the room, or someone’s hands as they walk with him. Even crawling involves being on his feet, as he never got down the hands and knees part, but rather just sticks his butt in the air and walks around on hands and feet. Surprisingly (or, I supposed, unsurprisingly to anyone who has been through this stage before) he is incredibly fast. I was trying to make spaghetti sauce tonight before Kelley and Lucy and Will got home and found that I could do one thing (turn on the oil, throw in the garlic, dump in a can of tomato sauce, etc.) in the time that it took for him to get from the sink to the bottom step of the back stairs. I have to say, it made making dinner a much more active process than I am used to. Then again, I’m not exactly what you’d call used to making dinner, so it certainly wasn’t the worst of things.

Food: James wants to eat whatever it is that you’re eating.  Sometimes, as with his birthday spaghetti dinner, this is fine. When you are munching on an apple, however, not so much. (Actually, we tried with an apple — paper thin slices, then diced — but it was still too hard for him to eat. For now we’ll stick to much softer things.) He has complete disdain for baby food and only allows you to feed him from a spoon if it’s something that requires his adult companion to eat with a spoon as well — like yogurt. (And forget that whole Yo Baby thing. He sees the baby on the container and laughs. He wants the grown-up thing.) We have taken advantage of  all the Gerber toddler snacks and finger foods, which do seem to work. Puffs and yogurt melts are particular favorites. This is indicated by the way he suddenly leans as forward as possible when he sees them, sticks a fist up in the air, kind of like a “Charge!” gesture, and starts yelling, “Moe! Moe! Moe!”

Teeth: Four at the moment, two bottom front, two top front, but if his drooling and fussiness over the past few days means anything, more are imminent.

Demeanor: I have to say, James is generally a pretty easy-going, smiley baby. Although he does cry when he’s unhappy, he doesn’t really have a tantrummy alter-ego  the way Will did. (Um, does.) Although he does seem to be having a little bit more stranger and separation anxiety these days, he’s generally quite friendly and open with anyone he comes into contact with, and absolutely loves his big sister and brother. (The way he lights up when they come into a room is wonderful. And to see all three of them when they’re cooperating together? Priceless.) He’s rarely fussy for a prolonged amount of time, so far the only major exceptions being when he’s about a week away from teeth coming in. This week is actually almost the fussiest I’ve seen him, which I think is a combination between teeth and walking — that whole thing where major milestones also create enough upheaval in a baby’s life for them to show unhappiness about it.

Sleep: For the most part, he goes down without much fuss between 7:30 and 8. He does wake up occasionally, so it’s not like he’s a perfect sleeper (and I’ve of course guaranteed a bad night tonight), but he generally sleeps through until the next morning. By next morning, however, I mean 5:30/5:45 a.m. And according to the sleep “experts,” that’s the equivalent of sleeping through the night. We’re waiting for the day where James is old enough to keep Will company downstairs so that our two early risers can do their thing, while the rest of us sleep in.

What else? He bleats like a lamb when he’s excited. And then he squeezes his fists together, holds them in the air, and tightens up completely. Once I got past worrying that it was some kind of seizure, I thought it was great. (The daycare people love it. The daughter of the woman who runs the daycare tries to think of things that will attract his attention just so that he’ll be excited enough to do it.) … He likes to put his feet up and relax. Whatever he can find to rest his feet on, the trays of his high chair and stroller are particular favorites, he will. When we take him for a walk in the stroller, he grabs on to the stroller above him, puts his feet up, and is ready to roll. … Unlike Lucy and Will, he’s not a particular fan of being in the car. In fact, that’s one of the few times he just cries and cries. It’s gotten better as he’s gotten older, but until we’re actually moving, he’s not entirely happy.

The hair: Two haircuts before age 1, but the mohawk is still there. (see above)

Well, I’m sure there’s a lot more I could post, but I’ve been up since quarter to six this morning and I’m pretty damn tired. (Plus I’ve probably jinxed myself out of any decent night’s sleep tonight.) So, happy birthday, James. We love you!

Going through all of the baby clothes reminded me of how hard it is to figure out the sizing for all of these things. Last night I was trying to find a onesie for James to wear and came across three of them that were all ostensibly the same size: 0-3 months. Carter’s is like the Papa Bear of baby clothes: too big. Gerber is the Mama Bear: too small. Baby Gap is Goldilocks: just right. (Check out the picture below to see them all together.)

Not that the too big and too small don’t come in handy: the Gerber onesies were the only thing that fit James at first. And why Baby Gap has a 0-3 size that doesn’t actually fit the 0 part, well, that can be a bit frustrating. (And that’s what Baby Gap NB size — newborn, for those not in the know — is for.)

I realize this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, but it took me three kids to figure this out so I thought I’d share.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 4 weeks since James was born. In some ways it’s been easier than I had expected. Lucy and Will have been incredibly helpful and I’ve been able to mostly go with the flow rather than have a lot of, well, expectations of how it would all play out. So, for example, these days the first thing on the morning agenda after getting the kids to school (which, to be honest, Kelley is still handling more often than not) and James fed is to somehow manage to get some more sleep. So far, James has been mostly cooperative as he tends to fall asleep after nursing. That usually brings us to around 10:30 or 11, which is when I get to eat.

Unfortunately, in order to eat it generally means I need to transfer James off of my lap, the options being the car seat, the swing, or the boppy lounger. Depending on which one I choose, I’ve generally got about 10 minutes before he wakes up crying. Although I’m not sure if this is an entirely good thing, with #3, it is a little easier to ignore the crying, at least for a few minutes. During minute one, I have to admit that there is a bit of frustration — and, yes, guilt about the ignoring — on my part. Once I’ve got some food in me, though, I can move on to minutes two and three where I remind myself that I don’t really have anything to do each day other than to take care of James. Since that mostly entails feeding him, letting him sleep and changing his diapers, well, that’s pretty doable. The fact that I can watch tv or read during some of that certainly doesn’t hurt.

Not that it’s always smooth sailing — things are seeming a lot easier as I write this since James is happily sleeping in my lap at the moment. Still, I feel like I have much more realistic ideas about how this all works this time around; it definitely makes a difference.

(And I will be sure to read this myself in a few hours when James is fussing and Lucy and Will are fighting and I am starving because I haven’t eaten a decent meal in an entire day. For now, however, I will happily stay in my state of denial. Um, I mean serenity.)

It looked like it worked! Woo-hoo! This has opened up a huge world of possibilities!

You see, I spend a lot of time sitting on the couch with a baby in various stages of wakefulness. Yes, *wake*fulness, not sleepiness. And, of course, when sleep finally does occur, the only way it takes for a little while is if I don’t move whatsoever. And, also of course, rarely have I adequately prepared for that fact with appropriate snacks and activities. What I *have* managed to gather around me regularly are the tv remotes, a book (usually in reach), and my iPhone. Using the phone to blog will unfortunately mean occasional typos and improper capitalization. But, as I said, it means I can actually sit here and type away. I’m thinking my mom will forgive me. 🙂

Ok. Now that that has all been established, it appears that the little one is waking up again. (Lucy’s use of the packing tape is not helping matters in any way. Sigh.) I will try and leave you with a picture for now.

Until next time…

Has it really been over a year since I last posted? Apparently. That kind of sucks, especially since I really wanted to have a chronicle of the pregnancy. As it turned out, though, the pregnancy was pretty uneventful. To my great surprise, it was actually quite a good one as pregnancies go, without much to say for it except that I felt better pregnant than I did/do when i’m not. It almost makes me want to do it all over again. Of course, having the doctors say that a fourth c-section is a bad idea kind of negates that. So, well, so much for that.

With that said, I thought it would be nice to pick up where I left off and try and chronicle the whole baby part – and how it works with everything else – instead. I thought it would be a no go at first since I’m finding it hard to pull out the computer these days. I just found a wordpress iPhone app, tho, so I’m going to give that a try and hope it works. Here goes!