Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Slow Down, James Eugene!

My heart raced as I left work this afternoon.  Walking out of school I ran into a few parents; I hoped they couldn't see the anticipation in my eyes.  I hurried to the car and zipped out of the parking lot.  My heart skipped a beat as I made it through two stoplights.  I whispered to myself, "I can't wait to see James."  It felt like Christmas morning.  My stomach filled with butterflies.  I just couldn't wait to see him.  He'd just turned in to an even bigger bundle of joy over the weekend and somehow I knew tonight would be special.

At the babysitters, James pointed at duck statues and exclaimed, "Duk!"  We took a trip to her basement to see Ruby, who is doing really well in her new home.  On the way out the door, Annie told me that she'd seen him let go of a chair and take a step or two.  "Oh, he did the same thing last night!" I said with pride.

James and I entered our house to a chorus of barking.  We went over to the kennels, and while I let the doxies outside, James stood holding onto a kennel.  As I closed the back door, I turned around to look back at him.  He was standing half way between the kennel and the kitchen table meaning one thing and one thing only- HE HAD WALKED!  "Oh my goodness, James Eugene, you can walk!" I exclaimed scooping him off the floor.  I immediately dialed Grandma B and told her the good news.  James meanwhile got up from his comfy reading chair and walked into the kitchen!  Holy cow!  He was really walking!  All the steps before were coerced by mom and dad, but these steps were all James.

When Kyle got home,  I gushed to him about the walking.  As first time parents, Kyle and I proceeded to spend the next hour video taping James walking, here, there, and everywhere.  Our house has never felt so small.  We're thinking about putting a track in the backyard.

My baby toddler is a walker!   He really is "SO BIG!"

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Dino-James celebrated Halloween two days in a row this year.  On Tuesday he went trick-or-treating with his BF Evan in Greek Town at Mizzou.  He was a hit at the sorority houses.  Not that I'm surprised, this fearsome carnivore attracts ladies of all ages.
On Halloween, we trick-or-treated around our cul-de-sac.
This pumpkin-loving dinosaur had a blast!

After hitting up the houses in our neighborhood, we visited a few of James's admirers around town.  While at his babysitter's house, he delighted Kyle by taking three steps!  Two houses later, we spent some time with his godfather's wife's parents (did you follow that?).  They gave him a butterfinger to hang onto.  James had a good time passing it from hand-to-hand, but then decided he wanted to crawl, so he put it in his mouth.
A few minutes later, we looked over to see this.
That is the look of a dinobaby getting his first taste of chocolate and peanut butter.  Yup, he bit a hole in the wrapper and was enjoying the deliciousness.  Not exactly the way I wanted to introduce him to peanut butter and definitely way earlier than is appropriate to give candy, but he didn't seem to mind. 
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, James Eugene!

Did you know that one-year-olds sleep in until 8:30?  They do, or at least James did to kick off his birthday!  He played, went to church, napped, just like any other day, but after waking up from his nap, he went outside to find family and friends!  The look on his face was of pure shock, and I'm fairly sure he thought he was still dreaming.  It was truly a surprise party.  After the initial shock wore off, we played passed the baby toddler.
chillin' with the elder Bachmanns
playing 'so big' with his babysitter Annie

No dog party would be complete without a game of pin the tail on the doxie.  This game was a lot of fun as long as you drank an adult beverage before hand.
Almost, Aunt Jessica!
Go, Grandma, Go!

I hope I'm as cool as James's Great Grandpa when I'm older...
After the game, it was time to sing "Happy Birthday."  I felt so many emotions during this time- wonder, awe, excitement, but mostly I wished the moment could always last.  My son surrounded by friends and family, all eyes on him, the center of the world for that fleeting moment in time.  If life only had a 'pause' button, I would have spent hours on this.
 Of course it only lasted a few minutes before we turned to cake eating.  James started off skeptical.

However, his attitude quickly changed and the rest of the cake eating looked like this....
Chocolaty icing perfection.  Thanks to Mimi for photographing the cake domination!

This was undoubtedly the most sugar James has ever had.  He was a totally different kid when it came time to open presents.  For one thing, he was much more daring.  He let go over people's hands and stood on his own (normally he would be too scared and plop onto the ground).  Then, there was the climbing.  Holy monkeys, this boy was everywhere.  He couldn't sit still for .5 seconds.  The funniest thing he did was stand up in front of his reading chair and fall face down into it.
 It was funny, but I much prefer my subdued sweet boy to this wild child.

Thanks to everyone who made the trek to Columbia (or just over to our house).  We appreciated everyone who was there in spirit as well.  Thank you for helping us raise such a wonderful little boy!

I'll leave you with this... my favorite family portrait to date.
Happy 1st birthday, James Eugene!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Obsession: For Babies

Little J has had a plethora of obsessions in his short 11.75 months.  First there was peeing all over his outfits.  Then we moved on to staring at lights.  Soon followed watching the dogs play.  Shortly after, the book Jazz Baby changed James' life for the better.  Now that fall has arrived, his obsession has turned towards the pumpkins.

It all started a few weeks ago while shopping at the Farmer's Market.  There little man spotted pumpkins and let out an "Ah!" From that moment forward, whenever James has seen a pumpkin, he's exclaimed "Ah ya ya!" and put his hands out towards them.  No longer can we simply walk quietly into a grocery store.  Nay, for there must be happy utterances made towards pumpkins.  The orange orbes must be acknowledged for the trip to continue.  All of this leads us to today and the journey to mecca: the pumpkin patch.

Our family drove west from Columbia to Peach Tree Farms where we were greeted by a smiling face and amazing news.  Not only were there pumpkins to see, but also bunnies, catfish, a baby donkey, and ["you don't want to miss"] a chicken raising ducklings.  At this point, I was grinning ear to ear and wanted to race over to that compassionate hen and give her the Humanitarian Nobel Peace Prize.

I contained my excitement, but James couldn't keep his under control.  As soon as we got out of the car, J caught sight of the pumpkins and began speaking in tongues so that all were able to understand that no one knew what he was saying.  However, it was clear from his enthusiasm: he was thrilled to be around so many pumpkins.  Here are a few pictures from the day which our cheap-o selves are also calling his one year photos. 

We had a great evening at the pumpkin patch. James is asleep now, no doubt dreaming about the big orange squash.  Oh, and I almost forgot- a hen raising ducklings, and I thought I'd seen just about everything.
P.S. I love living in the country.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First Vacation

Saturday, June 2 was a day I had been looking forward to and yet dreading for months.  It was the day I was to take James on a plane ride.  Solo.

It's not that terrible scenarios were playing out in my head- instead it was a big question mark.  Basically, what was going to go wrong?  Would his ears bother him?  Would he get a poopy diaper?  Would I be comfortable enough to nurse on the plane?  How would I hold the baby, collapse the stroller, AND cover it?  What illness would James contract during our flight?  A simple cold?  Tuberculosis?  Would I need to hand my baby to a stranger?  Annoying, right?  These questions haunted me whenever I thought about our flight.  But, surprisingly, the plane ride was uneventful; to answer my questions- nothing, no, no, yes, a kind stranger would cover the stroller, none, nope, nope, no.  All of that worrying for nothing!

We landed in Atlanta ready to spend time with my friend Beth and her 3 month old son Christopher.
 It was the boys' first time meeting. They hit it off right away- talking about bugs, dirt, and trucks.
They  had a lot of fun swimming together, listening to books and songs, going to the library, shopping with their moms, and chilling at the Farmer's Market. 
The trip was much different from last year, but it was fun to hang out as moms and watch our little babes become best friends!  All in all, a nice relaxing vacation!
 Thanks for hosting us, Beth, Ben, Christopher, and Bentley!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mirrors and Clapping

7-month-old James is too interesting for just one post.  He's got so much personality these days and has developed definite likes and dislikes.  

His likes include: petting the dogs, getting his picture taken, listening to songs, babbling, the pacifier, other babies, peek-a-boo, mirrors, flowers, birds, milk, solid food, banging spoons, putting everything in his mouth, standing, sucking/chewing on one finger, sitting, the iPhone, smiles
On the not-cool list:  clapping, being tired, being hungry, long car rides, sudden loud noises, strangers, laying on his back, being fed too slowly, garage sales(he did NOT get this from me...), being hot and sweaty, long rides in the stroller, having a dirty diaper
I hope to expand on James' 'like' list this summer as I will not be working!  I am officially a full-time mom until August 13.  Pretty cool that I get to go back to work on my birthday, huh?  We've got a lot to do this summer.  

First up: learn to play the piano!

7 Months

Little Jimmy is over 7 months old, and I am falling more in love with him by the minute.  It's that stupid, smile when you think about him kind of love.  Everyday I picked him up from the babysitters this past month was like Christmas morning.  He'd be playing in a bouncer quietly by himself.  I'd come in and say, "Hi!"  His face would light up as he looked towards me.  Every moment with him is beautiful.   
 A parenting book I'm reading called Bright from the Start mentions that there are three personality types that babies can be:  easy, difficult (intense, active, spirited, uninhibited- all fall under this umbrella), slow-to-warm-up (cautious, inhibited, slow-to-adapt).  James definitely fits in the easy category.  He smiles when you smile, eats solids like a champ, takes naps, and loves to explore the world.

This month James seems to have grown tremendously.  He now sits up on his own without toppling over! He stands in his activity saucer and can be pulled to standing position while we're just holding his hands!  No crawling or scooting, he's still just a roller.  : )
J has been eating tons of food and has enjoyed everything we've given him so far: rice cereal, sweet potatoes, chicken, peas, pears, carrots, apricots, and apples.  He eats twice a day- once at noon and again around seven for dinner.  All in all, he eats 8-12 ounces of food each day in addition to nursing 5 to 6 times.  This might explain all of the growing he's doing; I'd say he's right around 16 pounds.

James' sleep habits have been off-the-hook wonderful (knock on wood).  He takes two naps during the day IN HIS CRIB, then goes to sleep from 8ish until 6ish.  B-e-a-u-t-y.  We still swaddle him and let him sleep with his pacifier, which looks something like this, except with his eyes closed and in his bed.
Perhaps the biggest event of the month was James' Christening at Good Shepherd. 
It was a precious moment to see him baptized.  We were so happy to have our family there for the occasion- especially his Godparents who traveled from out of town!  

James wore a gown and bonnet (hehe- I couldn't help myself with the bonnet, it was too cute).  The gown was made from a bolt of fabric Great Grandpa Perko brought back from Japan when he was in the occupation army back in World War II.  When he brought the bolt back, he gave it to his 'old-maid aunts' who made it into three Christening gowns- one for Laura, her twin Diane, and one of their cousins.  In addition to McGrandma wearing it, Aunt Caitlin wore it as well.  Many people have asked why Kyle wasn't baptized in it.  Well, Laura's mom didn't tell her about the gown until Caitlin was born a few years after Kyle.  Our guess is that she didn't think boys should wear dresses.  : )
After the church service, we had a brunch at my parents' house.  All in all, a great day.

Everyday with James is something new.  A coworker told me this week, "each age just gets better."  I'm finding that to be very true.  Who knows what joys 8 months will bring... 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

6 Months

Each month with James just keeps getting better and better.  This one started off with my spring break.  Our family spent a few days in St. Louis before heading to our real Spring Break destination- ST.JAMES! You guessed it- we went wild!  It was little man's first time spending the night at the Land.  He woke up one to two times each night, which wasn't out of the ordinary.  One of the exciting things he did was accompany his grandma and me to my favorite grocery store.  He also helped Grandpa B record how many 'shrooms were on each mushroom log.  Most importantly, he found HIS FEET!  Little man found them and couldn't get enough! 
We spent the rest of spring break trying to get on a sleep schedule.  Thanks to the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, I learned Kyle and I were approaching James' sleep habits all wrong.  Emphasis on: ALL.  Here's a T-chart to give you an idea of our way vs. the right way.

Our Way                                                     The Right Way
keeping James up late                                Put baby to sleep when the sun goes
so  that he would sleep late                       down (usually btwn 7 and 8)
 (works for teenagers....)                            Babies should sleep from sunset
                                                                  to sunrise, starting their day no earlier
                                                                  than 7 am

letting him nap whenever,                          Have baby awake for about 1.5 hours,
wherever  (channeling our                         then let him nap for awhile, for a total
inner Shakira for that philosophy)              of 2-3 naps per day before starting
                                                                    the bedtime routine

put baby in crib sound asleep                     Put baby in crib slightly awake so he
                                                                    will learn to fall asleep on his own
So yeah,  the book totally opened my eyes to what we were supposed to be doing!  Now that we're following the books suggestions, James' days are much more predictable and he is significantly more pleasant to be around.  When he does get cranky, I know he either hungry or ready for a nap.  I am so happy to have finally read the book.  Thanks to Bryan and Katie for recommending it!

James started eating solid foods this month!  I wanted to wait until 6 months, but I read an article from the Mayo Clinic that made me realize James was ready.  The article gave these three questions,
  • Can your baby hold his or her head in a steady, upright position?
  • Can your baby sit with support?
  • Is your baby interested in what you're eating?
I answered an enthusiastic "YES" to all of three.  Plus, the Easter Bunny delivered rice cereal in James' basket!  The stars had truly aligned.
James LOVED eating cereal.  The first time eating it, he grabbed the spoon and yanked it towards his mouth.  It ended up being very messy.  Now he just sits there like a hungry baby bird and waits for the next bite. His mouth hangs open and he says, "Ahhhhhh."  Then the spoon goes in his mouth, and he squints his right eye.  I can't get enough of it.  I look forward to feeding him his dinner way more than I look forward to eating my own!

James also started rolling from his back onto his stomach this month.  He used to cause a loud raucous kicking and screaming when he tried to roll over because his arm would be in the way.  Now, he just rolls right over.  This new mobility means we're putting him down on one side of the room, and he'll end up on the other!  We've even come into his room in the morning to find him sleeping on his stomach.   Frankly, as long as he's asleep, we're cool with it.

Happy Half-Birthday, James Eugene!  You're turning into such a big boy!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Easter

Easter is clearly James' favorite holiday.  This little guy smiled from morning until night.  He had a wonderful day celebrating Jesus' resurrection.   

We started the day worshiping at Good Shepard.  In true form, we got there about 2 minutes before service started, but were luckily able to snag seats.  James was wide awake the whole time and talked (sometimes very loudly) throughout the service.  I think he really enjoyed all of the singing and people!  After church, he took a break from the crowds before venturing over to my Aunt Kathy's house.  There he hung out with BCF, Aria.  They had a good discussion about politics, and respectfully agreed to disagree about this year's coming election. 
After debating Obama's foreign policy and Santorum's stance on immigration, James went on his first Easter egg hunt!  He found 5 eggs...one hiding in a grill, another in the grass, two on cars, and one more resting peacefully on a fire hydrant.  Kyle helped James look through his loot.  The final count money: 25 cents, candy: lots.

 After that celebration, he headed home for a nap.  Upon waking, he was surprised to see the Easter bunny finally delivered his basket.  He was overjoyed about everything in the basket.  As I handed each thing to him, he cooed and then put it in his mouth.  

Soon it was time for another Easter egg hunt.  Go James, go!  Watch out for all the invisible babies and kids who will steal all the Easter eggs!  How come I never got to have an Easter egg hunt where I was the only kid?  #middlechildsyndrome
The night ended with a Mcfamily dinner and long drive back home to Columbia.  James is now resting peacefully in his crib dreaming of chocolate eggs and knitted roosters.  

Happy Easter!