Friday, October 9, 2015

James - 11 Months

James, you are 11 months old! Hard to believe you are almost 1, my sweet baby boy. Makes me happy and sad all at once.

You weigh almost 27 lb and remain very tall and strong. You have big feet that are like little loaves of bread, making them difficult to put in shoes! Your cheeks and thighs are so chubby and cute! Most of your clothes are 18-24 months, though you still wear some 12-18 months. We're about to move you to size 5 diapers. At that point you and Claire will be wearing diapers 1 size apart despite being 22 months apart in age. 
Here's what you're up to lately:

- You're a food lover! You love to eat and get very excited about food. You'll eat almost anything, but your current favorites are beans and graham crackers. You also love bread or any fruit. We're still nursing and that is going better lately. You like to nurse for frequent, short sessions. I'm excited to see how you like whole milk next month! 
- You love animals and get a big kick out of Teddy and Aurora. They make you giggle, which is a pretty hilarious sound, sort of like a joyfully happy machine gun! You've discovered feeding Teddy from your high chair and you're always trying to touch Aurora. Not surprisingly, Teddy loves it and Aurora does not - ha!
- You're walking a lot, and really seem to be taking off! You love to toddle around and explore your surroundings. You love to be with people, and will always gravitate to where they are! Seeing you walk is really precious. 
- Your sinus issues have been continuing. We're talking major snot...all the time! After dealing with this for awhile and trying a prescription antihistamine, I took you to the doctor and she diagnosed you with a sinus infection. Poor booboo! It's clearing up slowly but...just lots of drainage. Your doctor says we're in a holding pattern to see how snotty you are this winter. If it's a continuing problem, we might see about testing you for allergies or getting your adenoids checked out when you're a little older. We're hoping you feel much better soon!
- The only positive to being sick is that the antihistamine you were prescribed causes drowsiness. We give it to you before bed and you have started sleeping through the night!!! Your doctor wants  to continue the medicine through Halloween when the ragweed gets better...sure, anything you say, Doctor! ;) You're still not a great napper. For the most part, you take one nap a day that lasts for about an hour. Strangely enough, if I leave you with Daddy or Pinky while I go run errands, you'll take these really long naps! What's up with that, man?!?
- You're talking and babbling a lot. You say DaDa and Teddy (sounds like Ted-dye) regularly, and you'll repeat other things we say to you. You finally said Mama!!! You don't say it a lot, but when you do it's like music to my ears! You have lots to say and even though we don't always understand it, we love to hear you express yourself! You have a sweet little voice and I can't wait to hear the kind of things you say when you're Claire's age. 
- Speaking of Claire, you two crack me up! Y'all fight over toys quite a bit. Since she's older, a lot of times she's the culprit in these situations, but you're definitely staking a claim on things too. Your personality is coming out more and more, and you definitely know how to express yourself when you're upset! 
- We took you up to East Texas for the first time recently for the Strutton family reunion. It was a great trip, and very fun to show you off to my family! Everyone was totally charmed by you, especially when they saw your overalls and "Strut" hat, two old-school Strutton staples!
Current nicknames: Jambo, Jamesie, Jamesie Boy, Jaybird, Strut, Little Man, Buster, Buster Boy, BayBay Swatt
Favorite toys: car keys, books, mega blocks, talking Elmo doll. You're obsessed with shoes! You study them, try to chew on them, and love to carry one around in each hand.
Jamesie-boy, you are joy personified and we can't imagine our family without you! It's hard to believe that a year ago, we still hadn't laid eyes on your beautiful face. The day you were born is one of the happiest, most precious days of my life. We are so excited to celebrate you next month! 


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

James - 10 Months

James, you are 10 months old! Time sure is going fast...we're in the double digits now. Before we know it you'll be 1!

A couple weeks after you hit 10 months, I took you to the doctor because you were sick and you were almost 27 lbs. That's so big that the doctor had to double-check the dosage on your antibiotic because it was so large. You're really tall and freakishly strong. This isn't just a mama's're huge! You wear some 12-18 month clothes, and lots of 18-24 month. You're in size 4 diapers.
Here's what else you're doing these days:

- You're walking more and more! It's still mostly just a few steps between two people or things, but you've taken a few longer jaunts lately.  Very exciting! Before long, you'll be off!

- You're working on your 8th tooth. You now have four on the bottom to match the four on the top! It seems like we may get a little break from teething here...yay! Your little pearls are really cute and we love your toothy grin.
- Your nose has been really snotty lately, poor thing. It seems you're prone to nasal allergies. We're hoping you feel better soon!

- You're still nursing. This is nothing short of miraculous, because it has not been an easy road. A lot of the time it's still painful and we even had bleeding at one point recently, something that hasn't happened since you were newborn. You nurse like an adult drinks a nurse a little, sit up and get distracted, nurse some more, sit back up, and so on and so forth. We're also dealing with biting now that you have all these teeth! Getting to a year will be an act of sheer will and determination. There's been an uptick in your nursing frquency recently...maybe a growth spurt or not feeling well.
- Food is your favorite! You seem to really like most everything, and a snack can almost always save the day when you're upset! You have a very hearty appetite. Guess you'd have to in order to keep up that physique, huh?!! You really like blueberries, beans, and cheerios.

- Your sleep is okay, once we actually get you to sleep. Usually you only get up once a night, but getting you to fall asleep is an absolute battle. It usually takes between 30 minutes-1 hour of absolute wrestling to get you to sleep, during which you're chunking your paci across the room, knocking over your lamp and sound machine, and climbing all over me. It's insane! You almost always go down for a morning nap with no trouble around 11 am, but the afternoon nap and bedtime are generally much harder. Your naps rarely last longer than an hour. After repeating this process three times in a day, I usually fall directly into my bed in an exhausted heap.
- You're talking a little more. Your main word is still Dada, but you've also said "Hey Sis" and something close to Teddy and dog. Mama is still elusive. It's almost like you're joking with me...I'll say "Mama" and you look right at me and say "Dada." Haha!

- I'm going to be honest: you are an absolute sweetheart, but you're also a bit of a maniac right now.You're super active and strong, so things like changing you diapers/clothes and putting you to sleep are like wrestling an alligator. You are a very determined little dude! You climb all over me and your Daddy. Baby bulldozer is your default mode these days. You're also still pretty clingy. If I'm not right by your side, there's a good chance you're fussing. Snacks and other people are usually a good distraction though!
Current nicknames: Jambo, Strut, Jamesie, Jameser, Jaybird, and Claire affectionately refers to you as "Buster boy" and "Ketchup boy"...not sure where that one came from!

Favorite toys: You love books, especially our tiny Mickey Mouse and Sesame Street books. It's so sweet to see you studying them intently. You really like the toy kitchen, too. You're also obsessed with our cell phones!
James, you're so precious to us! You bring such joy to our days and your smile is an absolute game changer! Thank you for being ours, sweet boy!


Sunday, August 9, 2015

James - 9 Months

James, you are 9 months old! I can't believe you've been on the outside as long as you were inside!

Here are your stats:

Height: 30.5 inches-98th percentile

Weight: 25 lbs, 9 oz-99th percentile

Head: 18.5 inches-92nd percentile

You're a really big, extremely strong kid. All the clothes we buy now are either 12-18 or 18-24 months. You wear size 4 diapers.

Let's see what else you're up to:

- You took your first step a couple weeks ago! From there, you've worked up to taking 2-3 steps into someone's arms. Daddy walked at 9 months, so this is another way you're his mini-me! Soon you'll be off and running!

- You're babbling a lot these days! It's the sweetest sound ever. "Dada" is still your only word, but we're pretty close on "dog", and we're trying to get you to say "mama." You've been busy reaching some major physical milestones, so I'm sure you'll be talking more soon.

- You gave me your first true hug today! It was so sweet. Claire and Grace want you to be their little Olaf and just like him, I guess you do like warm hugs.

- You're still doing major teething. It's a constant transition, but you have 6 total (3 on top, 3 on bottom) and are cutting your 7th as we speak. It has made you pretty miserable, poor boy. I think you've also been going through a growth spurt this week. Lots of shrieking and screaming and you lose your mind if we walk away from you, even for a second. You've also been nursing more frequently.

- You're eating all kinds of new foods! You are obsessed with cheerios...they are a wonderful distraction when I need a few minutes to do something at home or at the store, etc. We're starting to give you more table food. Lately you've had chopped broccoli, chicken, bread, meatloaf, green beans, and pieces of banana. I may have also let you have some pieces of a glazed Round Rock donut. You seem to love it all! You're still eating oatmeal with either peach or mango puree most mornings. Also, you love to drink water!

- Your sleep is unpredictable. On a good night you wake up once to eat. Between teething and being sick with a virus a couple weeks ago, you've had some really rough nights. Lately Daddy and I have spent many nights with you sleeping in the double bed in your room. We haven't even attempted sleep training. I have a feeling you won't sleep through the night regularly until you're weaned.

- You don't really like laying down unless you're sleepy. You constantly want to sit up while you're getting clothes put on, nursing, or being rocked to sleep. You're freakishly strong for a baby so you can be hard to handle. Getting you dressed is one of the most physically difficult things I do as a mom. It's crazy! Unless you're really hungry or tired when you nurse, you want to eat a little bit, then sit up, eat a little bit, then sit up. Ouch!

- You're doing this really cute thing where you give us a really big, exaggerated nod and grunt when we nod at you. Such a tough guy! It's so fun to see you express youself.

Current nicknames: Jamesie, Jamesie-boy, Jambo, J-bird, buddy

Favorite toys: books, play kitchen and food, anything Claire is playing with (seriously, you're really honing your little brother skills!)

Jambo, we love you to pieces! You are a true sweetheart and we love watching you grow...don't rush it though, you're my baby!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

James - 8 Months

James, you are 8 months old! Chugging right along!
I think you weigh about 24 lbs. You are tall and quite the chunky monkey. You're wearing 18 month clothes and size 4 diapers. Unless they're stretchy, even 18 month size shorts are a little snug around your thunder thighs! I love your's precious!

Here's what else you're up to:
 - You said your first word...Dada! I think the first year with a new baby can sometimes be tough for the dad because babies are so naturally attached to their mamas at first with nursing and all that. It can make it a little tough at times for the dad to comfort the baby, despite their best efforts. Given all that, it makes me really happy that both my babies said Dada's quite a testament to the awesome dad they have! I wonder what you will say next!
- You're officially crawling and have honed your skills quickly. You're fast and into everything! You like to stand at the furniture and you can transfer back and forth between the couch and the ottoman while holding on. I feel like you will take your first steps before long. You've got quite a strong base with those legs!
 - We're still doing purees and you love them all! Your favorite food so far seems to be avocado. You've also had sweet potatoes, bananas, green beans, peaches, green peas. In the mornings you have oatmeal with pureed peaches or yogurt. Occasionally you'll also have some banana. In the evening you eat one of your other purees. You're drinking water from a sippy cup, and we're on the neverending quest for the perfect cup for you. 
- You're finally cutting those two top front teeth...they've been coming for weeks so we're all very excited and relieved to see them making an appearance! No one's happier than you, I imagine...poor thing, you've been in a lot of pain over the last few weeks. You're a lot happier now - those front teeth are the absolute worst. Recently I took you to the doctor because you were sick with a cold and she said you were actually getting four top teeth...ugh. At least we're knocking a lot of them out all at once. 
- Between the aforementioned teething and drainage from your cold, sleep has been all over the place. You've been getting up more frequently at night recently. On a good day, you'll take a morning and afternoon nap...they rarely last more than an hour and lots of times they don't last 15 minutes. We'll get there! You usually go down for the night around 7:30-8 pm and lately you've been waking up for the day between 7-8 am. 
- You are such a sweet, handsome boy. You can clap now, and it's about the cutest thing I've ever seen. Your smile lights up your whole face and it's infectious. People just make over you when we're out and about. I'm surely biased, but you're a good looking boy! You look so much like your daddy. You have brown eyes and your hair, which is coming in more and more every day, is brown with a golden tint. Your mouth is a lot like Claire's but your lips are less pouty. Your hands are huge, almost the same size as Claire's (future football player!!). 
 - Speaking of Claire, you two are getting closer everyday! Y'all are best friends and worst enemies...haha. You're playing together more and more, and it just warms my heart to see that. Now that you can get into more stuff, y'all are fighting over toys more and more. I thought we had a little more time before that started...haha! You are fascinated by your sister and her biggest fan....she loves you right back and thinks you're hilarious. 
Current nicknames: Jamesie, Jambo, Jay-bird, Little Lord Fusspants

Favorite toys: mega blocks, books, the Apple tv remote (you're obsessed), and anything Claire is playing with
Jamesie, you are our sweet man. I remember being a little freaked out when I found out you were a boy. I was happy, of course, but a little intimidated since I didn't have a brother and my first child was a girl. But oh my heart...I can't imagine life without YOU. You are the little boy I didn't realize I needed...but God knew, and I'm so glad He gave us you.

We love you,

P.S. These pictures aren't the best. Our resident photographer (Cam) was out of town when these were taken and it turns out this camera stuff is much harder than it looks! While juggling my two wild children and trying to get a good picture, I lunged to catch James from diving headfirst off the chair and the camera strapped around my neck smacked him in the face! Mother of the year here, people. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

James - 7 Months

James, you are seven months old! You are a growing, bouncing, thriving baby boy!

I imagine you weigh about 23-24 lbs. You're growing out of clothes so fast...all the new clothes we're buying are 18 months! Size 3 diapers are getting snug.
Here's what else is up with you this month:

- You're so close to crawling! You kinda scoot around army-crawl style, and you get up on all fours and rock back and forth, so I know you will take off any day now. In the meantime you can boogie all over the place via rolling! 

- You are trying out all sorts of new foods. Highlights include sweet potatoes, green beans, and peaches. You've also started puffs, which you love! It's so nice to be able to give you something to snack on. You're also still liking oatmeal and bananas. We've discovered that the first time you try something, you don't like it and make a face. But after that initial feeding you seem to warm up to most things. I look forward to when you can eat regular watch our plates like a baby hawk! Right now you eat food at breakfast and dinner. You have a witching hour most evenings and usually fuss through dinner, probably because you're not napping a lot. You are still nursing and it's going well, unless you're cutting teeth in which case you bite! Ouch!
- You have two teeth on the bottom and it won't be long before the top two come through. Those tops are the absolute worst, in my opinion! I don't think they're imminent, but they're certainly causing you some grief. I know they'll look super cute though when they do make their appearance!

- Sleep: Oh Lawd, I have spent more time this month stressing over your sleep than I can count! Our challenge has been naps...a few weeks ago you straight up quit napping unless you were with me. You wouldn't nap in your crib at all. Don't get me wrong...I love for you to nap on me/with me, but with another little one to care for and laundry and chores that are about to eat me alive most days, this wasn't gonna work. Claire went through this same stuff too when she was this age, but she could nap in her swing. You are too big for that and the rock n play though, so we've been really working on those crib naps. You are improving and most days lately you nap at least some in your crib. Your naps are usually very hour at most, and sometimes less than 10 minutes. It's a process and we'll get there! People talk about the exhaustion of having a newborn, and I get that, but to me this stage is the most exhausting between teething, separation anxiety, and fighting sleep. The exhaustion has been unreal lately and finding the time to even take a shower is nearly impossible. The good news is that since you don't nap much during the day, you sleep better at night. Some nights you wake up right after we put you down and have to have your paci put back in, but after that you usually only wake up once to eat, usually between 3-5 am. You go to sleep most nights between 7:30-8 and get up for the day around 7 or so.
- You weren't really into the pacifier a few months back, but now you are taking one more. We got you the bigger MAM ones (just like sissy-we are a MAM family!) and you like them better. It's nice to have a quick way to soothe you. 

- You drink water out of a sippy cup now and really like it. We usually help you drink but you're getting better at handling the cup on your own. You love to chew on the spout! 
- You love your big sister so much! You are fascinated by everything she does and get the biggest smile on your face when you see her. It's really sweet! With you becoming more active and playing, y'all are interacting more and it's just so neat to see. Claire has always been sweet to you, but she's more interested in you lately and y'all have become big buddies. 

Current nicknames: Jamesie, Jamesie-boy, Munch, J-bird, buddy, buddy boy, "little handsome baby"

Favorite toys: stuffed stop sign rattle, mega blocks, toy hammer
Jamesie, you're such a sweetheart! You are a special child and you love to be with your people. We can't imagine life without you. Love you so much!


Saturday, May 9, 2015

James - 6 Months

James, you are six months old! How has it already been half a year since I first saw your sweet face? It's amazing how quickly a little person captures your heart and makes life hard to remember before them. We are so glad you're ours, sweet man.
Here are all your particulars:
Height: 29 inches - 99.99th percentile
Weight: 22 lbs, 7 ounces - 98th percentile
Head: 17.75 inches - 92nd percentile

You can still fit in 9 month clothes, but 12 months fits you better. It's really fun starting a new season with you and dressing you up in summer duds. You currently wear size 3 diapers. 
Here's what else you've been doing:

-You are large and in charge! Your doctor says you're the size of an average 11 month old! We were already planning to move you to a convertible carseat soon, but I ended up ordering it right after your 6 month appointment because your doctor said you'd outgrown the infant seat. You seem a lot happier now that you can sit up and see more in the car.

- You can sit up unassisted now! You look so cute sitting up all big and strong, and you really seem to enjoy your new viewpoint of the world! You also roll around a lot these days.

- Your two bottom teeth finally came through! They'd been a long time coming...teething has not been fun. You already had an infectious smile, but those two little pearls make it even more contagious! We can see the top two teeth through the front of your gums and your doctor says they'll be coming through in a month or so. 
- We've been feeding you rice cereal for a month. Now you've tried bananas...initially you didn't like them, but you seem to be warming up to them a bit. Lately we've been giving you oatmeal in place of the rice cereal, and just like Claire, you seem to prefer it.

- It's been an interesting (read: challenging) month for our family. Claire came down with the flu in mid-April and then it spread through the family like wildfire. First me and Pinky, then Daddy, then Papaw. Thankfully, with the help of Tamiflu you didn't get it...which shocks me considering everyone else in the house did.We were so cautious all winter during cold and flu season with you being a newborn...we all got flu shots before you were born, etc...but spring has been a sick season for us. Daddy and I had a rough time taking care of you and your sister while she was sick and you were cutting those gorgeous new teeth, all while we had the flu! You did come down with a different virus a few weeks later, right around your six month had fever, runny nose, watery eyes, and a cough. 

- You're going through a clingy phase and have been pretty fussy lately. People look at me like I'm nuts when I say that because you're such a happy, social little guy...but that's just are social, you don't like to be alone. Lately, when we're not with other people, if me or your dad aren't holding you or right near you, you are most likely upset. It makes for some tricky situations, especially during the weekdays when I'm by myself with you and Claire. She went through the same thing at this age and I know it's just a phase. Your doctor also says this is just a personality thing. You are such a sweet boy and we don't want you to be upset. :(

- Between sickness, teething, and all the other craziness, it's no wonder you aren't sleeping well. You wake up quite a bit at night and you're not napping well. I'm trying out different things to see if we can improve the nap situation...your little stinker of a sister has a habit of sabotaging your morning nap. You don't really care to nap outside of my arms....some days you're only napping on your own for an hour all day!!!!!!!!!!! This is far too little...hoping we can get things figured out and into more of a routine soon. 

- We had you dedicated at church on Mother's Day, the day after you turned six months old. It was a sweet day with family. You are such a blessing to us.

Current nicknames: Jamesie, Jamesie-Boy, Crinkle Cut (because of the shape your eyes make when you smile), J-Bird, Drum
Favorite toys: Stuffed construction set, especially the little stop sign, all your teethers, toy car and football, xylophone and other musical toys, blocks you can bang together
James, you are just the best little man for our family! Your smile lights up the whole room...heck, I think it could bring about world peace! We are so thankful for you. Love you to the moon and back, sweet boy.