The last time I wrote, James was just 7 months old—an eon ago! He’s a different kid! A sweet, funny, affectionate little boy who talks and walks and sleeps ON HIS OWN. (I said ON HIS OWN!) He’s always smiling, always making us laugh, and always on the move. He continues to be the greatest joy of my life, my whole world, and that’s putting it lightly.
Below I’ve got details on the milestones and memories we made over the last 9 or so months but here’s the most meaningful change that’s happened to us since I last wrote:
In late October, my mom transitioned out of the job she’d had for 20 years (spoiler: no, she’s not retiring—we wish!) and it was the first time in my entire life that she wasn’t working 60 hours a week, the very first time I’d ever seen her home for more than 1 week. It was the best thing that could have happened to Daniel, James, and me, because as fate would have it, I miscarried that same week and I needed help more than ever. James has spent so much time with her since, which has been so helpful and so, so special. She cherishes him. He’s crazy about her. Together, they’re the cutest duo I’ve ever seen :)
Here’s a glance at how the past 9 months have gone:
Back in May I bought an inflatable pool for $10 at Target, set it in the backyard, and James and I started “swimming” in it all the time. We got so much use out of that cheap little pool. James squealed with joy when I’d squirt the hose against the side of the pool and he never ever seemed to mind how absolutely icy the water was (can’t say the same for me).
At 9 months, he started saying “hi!” and “hi dad!” and waving to everyone and everything he came across—even store mannequins. Daniel and I lived for the way he put his whole arm into the wave and how he really nailed that last “d” in DAD.
In June, we started swim lessons at the YMCA nearby. James was the oldest in the class by a month or two, the only boy, and seemed to enjoy it right away. He didn’t even seem to mind when I dunked him on day one.
Another major development at 9 months: James cut down to 2 naps a day and began sleeping on his own. It was a hard won milestone and certainly as hard for us as it was for him. Once I realized it might be the end of the days of holding him, I was the one crying like a baby.
In September, James turned 1! Our family and friends came over for a nautical-theme birthday party, a decision I made because he loves the water so very much. We had pizza, pasta, and apps galore, all from Primavera, our favorite restaurant and the place where I had my baby shower, bridal shower, and a party to celebrate publishing my memoir. The cake was precious—a white cake with white frosting from White’s Bakery—covered in blue fondant with a whale and a life raft on top.
When we sang “Happy Birthday” to him, we set a smash cake in front of him (a cute mini version of the big cake) and he just kind of sat there, stunned and unsure of what to do. He smiled and clapped but, despite all of our attempts, he didn’t want any part of that cake. Ha!
My best friend Sabrina and her husband came in for the party, all the way from New Jersey, and it made the day all the more special. James got to meet their beautiful baby girl, Violet, too! They held hands immediately, and later James tried to hug and kiss her half a dozen times (what are boundaries again?).
James loves to roar like a lion (or a dinosaur depending on which book we’re reading) so that’s what he was for Halloween. We took him trick-or-treating at my parents’ house and over to our neighbors’ house across the street.
Speaking of roaring, he also enjoys mooing like a cow and gets a big kick out of saying “hoo hoo hoo ha ha ha” like a monkey.
At 13 months, James started talking up a STORM. It started with mama, dada, hi, bye bye, book, belly, hug, kiss, milk…and by 15 months he was picking up a few new words every day: cheese, bagel, water, hummus, cracker, binkie, good girl (to DeeDee the pug), deer, and so much more. He strings together a few sentences, too, like, “No dada! Hug!” when he doesn’t want Daniel to put him down in his crib.
He has the best time playing “Where’s James?,” our form of peek-a-boo, where he puts his hands on his head, we ask “where’s James?” and begin looking around to find him, then he takes his hands off of his head and we shout, “There he is!” and he smiles and laughs.
Another favorite activity? Lifting Daniel’s and my shirts to see our bellies. He pokes our belly buttons, squishes the soft spots, and laughs like it’s the funniest thing ever.
For Christmas we got him a play kitchen with a gazillion pieces of toy food (why did I do that again?) and he has been playing with it nonstop ever since. Hopefully he’ll start cooking dinner for us soon :)
Aaaand he’s walking! He took his first steps around 12 months but continued crawling most of the time because it was faster and more efficient for him. But now! Now we’ve got a tiny drunk guy barreling through the house. Heaven help us.