Saturday, December 29, 2018

Something Saturdays (12/29/18)

Hi everyone!!!! How are your holidays going? I hope as great as mine!

Christmas Eve was lovely-just spending time with my hubby and baby and making cookies together (James loves watching the mixer and left a little thumbprint in a cookie which I now feel like needs to be immortalized for all time--anyone know how to turn a baked sugar cookie into an ornament? Lol #imnotkidding). Christmas day was THE BEST. James was so danged excited about everything and so so happy. He loved all his gifts, and the food, and getting to see his grandparents. We just stayed home and had our parents stop over at different points of the day and it was just perfect. Wednesday, Michael had to go back to work (boo) but we kept up the festivities by going over to his mom's house for dinner to see Michael's brother and sister-in-law who were in town (it was our only chance to see them because Michael's dad and them were going to an out-of-town wedding for a cousin. We weren't able to go because of work plus that travel with James is just not going to happen.) James was happy to see his aunts and uncle. I had to work then Thursday and Friday but those were the last days of work for me for a couple weeks so yay! Today we're having a playdate with a former coworker of Michael's who has a son a couple months older than James. Hopefully it goes well!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

James' 1 Year Photos

I hope everyone had/is having amazing holidays!!! We had the best one yet, James was SO happy. I think he approves of this Christmas thing. Since his 1 year pictures were semi-holiday themed I thought I'd share with you guys!

James was in a a great mood for his 1 year photo session BUT he was just so curious and confused about everything so he was not the most cooperative lol. But he's adorable and Amanda Ellis Photography is amazing so we still got lots of cute shots of my sweet boy! And these are some of my favorites <3

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Something Saturdays (12/22/18)



I love Christmas. And this year has been the most extra special Christmas season because James is full of so much wonder and it's everything (it feels like his first Christmas, since last year he was just a little lump lol). Also, Michael has a super long weekend (he came home early to stay with James when I went to work yesterday, he has Tuesday off, and he took Monday off.) So I'm super excited. We're going to see Christmas lights, make Christmas cookies, and then on Christmas we'll enjoy the holiday at home, make some new traditions, and our parents are going to come over and see us in between their other plans (we're not messing with going anywhere, it's just too difficult with James' naps and everything.) It should be magical. I hope yours is too!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Something Saturdays (12/15/18)

I have much to discuss. Let's dive right in:

2 weeks ago we got James' 1 year photos taken, he wasn't as cooperative as I would've liked. He was in a great mood but he was just so fascinated by the camera and lights that he wasn't smiley or giving many expressions other than "Oooh, what's that?" BUT Amanda Ellis is AMAZING and she got some ridiculously good shots anyway! Just the sneak peeks blew me away. This is one of my favorites:
Photo by Amanda Ellis Photography
The rest of that week was pretty busy getting ready for his party. Cleaning, making the favors (I made hot chocolate sticks which were so cute and I loved them but the recipe I used had some issues so I won't link it), decorating, making the smash cake (which reduced me to tears when it came to frosting time but luckily James super duper loved it), and making the cupcakes for the guests. Everyone (including me) LOVED the cupcakes. I made Baking a Moment's vanilla cupcakes with whipped cream frosting (half of which I filled with a strawberry reduction I made) and Brown Eyed Baker's ultimate chocolate cupcakes. I loved them all, but I ended up with leftover frosting for both. I was worried I didn't frost them enough but everyone said they were perfect so I guess it was fine! I'm definitely keeping both recipes in my repertoire. The party went super well, James had so much fun and loved all the attention. He also loved having all his grandparents (3 grandmas, 2 grandpas, 2 great grandpas, and 2 great grandmas-we were just short 1 great grandma!) in one place. He was so cute and had a blast. And he's been loving playing with all his new toys. Monday was his real birthday and Michael took the day off. We had put up the Christmas tree the night before and little boy was in awe of it. He loved having us both home and playing with him and I made lower sugar chocolate chip cookies for him to have his first taste of chocolate + 1st ccc. He was ALL ABOUT IT. He was actually kind of aggressive about it. So...yeah. Chocolate is dangerous, not new information. The rest of the week was spent playing with toys, putting up Christmas decorations, and normal stuff (+ little boy's 12 month check up). I have to work today but I have tomorrow off so yay!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

James-12 Months!

Date: December 10, 2018

Height:  29.33 inches (as of his doctor's appointment on the 12th)

Weight: 19 lbs. 8.4 oz (^ditto)

Sleeping Pattern: James is still on 2 naps. He usually goes down for his first nap around 9:30 (falling asleep around 9:45) and then gets up around 11, no later than 11:30 though. I put him down again 3 hours after he gets up from the first nap, it usually takes him at least 20 minutes to fall asleep then (part of this week has been trying to figure out why sometimes it takes him foreverrr to go down and I think we may have figured out now that he needs to be really active to burn off energy before this nap). He then is asleep until 3:30, or 4 at the latest. He usually gets 2-2.5 hours (3 if it's a real good day) total between the 2 naps. When he gets under 2 hours it's a rough day, lol. Then nighttime sleep is usually great and about 11 hours.

Eating Habits: He was on the same nursing schedule as normal until last week we eliminated his 3rd nursing session (he'd been trying to squirm away and play very quickly during it and I had planned on getting rid of it first for the weaning process). He hasn't missed it at all. He just eats a snack of real food instead and is perfectly pleased with that. He has 3 meals and 2 snacks of real food and is still a good eater, but it definitely is different every day how good lol. He is currently in a throwing food phase which is annoying but, ya know, what are you going to do. He's eaten out at restaurants a few more times and actually does well, which is great.

Development & Firsts: This was a big one-James had his first birthday (cue all the crying)! He also had his 1st birthday party (and a smash cake but it was healthy and sugar free lol-he did love it though!) On his actual birthday I made chocolate chip cookies (made with coconut sugar, but still)--he'd never had a real cookie or chocolate before and it was a hit (he actually got really intense and a little aggressive about it lol.) He also had his first Thanksgiving. And this was the month where he full on learned how to walk. He can stand himself up from a sitting or crawling (or any) position and just walks everywhere now. Like it's nothing. It's insane how quickly it happened. First it was like "Oh he'll do a step or 2." Then, "Oh wow he did like 10 steps in a row!" "Oh hey he walked across the room!" And then, "Huh I guess he just walks everywhere now." He also got a 7th tooth (bottom right lateral incisor). Other than that he really just super understands when you're talking to him and will respond (he'll choose between options, say "yeah"/nod his head, etc.) and he keeps talking more and more. 

Mischief: James is still super vocal about letting you know he isn't happy with something. He still tries to run away when you're trying to change him (including in the middle of a diaper change--after a couple incidents where he walked somewhere naked and peed there, I am now MUCH quicker about going after him and wrestling him into a diaper). He also still likes to pretend he wants to share his food with you and then quickly take it away and eat it with a smile (he usually does this to Michael, only occasionally does he fake me out). Now when he doesn't want you to pick him up (usually in an effort to remove him from a place he shouldn't be) he'll try to force himself to sit down to avoid you. He's also having that phase where he throws food. It's normal for his age but gah it's annoying. He thinks it's pretty hilarious though and it can be really hard not to laugh sometimes when he's staring at you in the eyes and grinning and then just lobs something. We were out to dinner the other night with Michael's dad and stepmom, Jeanne, and James was playing with a card they'd given him and he tossed it over his head so hard that it landed on the table behind us. Jeanne was crying she was laughing so hard. And of course he loves to go everywhere he shouldn't and get into everything he can't have (and throw books off the shelf...), especially if he thinks you're not looking he'll dark away. Then when you catch him he giggles. It's darn cute mischief. 

Cuteness: Surprise-he's still cute. All of James' talking and little sounds are super adorable, and I love his animal sounds. Watching him just walk around is insane and the slightly unsteady gait he has kills me. He's still a sweet sweet boy who loves kisses and giving/receiving cuddles and hugs. We haven't been slow dancing as often since he's on the move but the other day we were and towards the end of the song he wanted back down to play. When the song ended he pointed to my phone for me to put on another song, when Storybook Love came on (theme to The Princess Bride and mine and Michael's 1st dance song) he smiled and looked at me and when I asked if he wanted to dance again he put his arms around my neck and laid his head back down on my shoulder. I melted. He's started sort of appreciating coziness-if there's a soft blanket or if he's feeling affectionate he'll like nuzzle his head on the blanket or your lap or whatever and lay there for a minute (more like a few seconds since he's rarely still but you get the idea). The way he starts that off, actually, is another cute/weird thing he started doing this month: he'll go down into like downward facing dog/a pre-somersault. I don't understand it but it's hilarious watching him peer at you from between his legs haha. We also like to play the "up/down" game. He'll be standing and we'll say "up!" then he'll squat down, "down!" I think it started when we got him out of his crib one day but he does it frequently now, usually he initiates it by squatting and saying "down!" (He apparently can't say up but he gets very enthusiastic about the "down!") We've started doing a fun thing where when he sees flowers he starts sniffing. He had been pointing to the painting of flowers we have above the couch and I said "What do we do with flowers?" then I started sniffing in his face before saying, "we sniff 'em!" Which he found hilarious so now it's a thing (we also have poinsettias on the kitchen table which helps perpetuate the flower game). I'm in love with his little stuck out bottom lip-he doesn't actually do it to pout, usually he does it because he's exerting effort or sometimes he does it for no reason at all but it's SO CUTE AND I AM OBSESSED WITH IT. He still loves music and will start dancing (he has a new "smart car" toy that has a radio function that plays music which he loves to groove to). He still loves reading and will get so into certain books you read to him (a favorite has been Bedtime for Batman because of course he still loves Batman and gets so excited when he sees anything with him or his symbol on it). If he sees an animal (more accurately, a toy that looks like that animal) he knows the sound of (usually a dog or elephant) he'll start relentlessly making the sound as if to alert you to it's presence/because he's so excited. Oh and this is magical: James loves Christmas lights. When he first saw our neighbors' lights out our front room's window he was rapt and he still is full of wonder each time he sees them. He'll spot them from somewhere else and immediately walk to the window and stare with wide eyes, smiling and dancing. Sometimes as it starts to get dark he'll go check at the window to see if they're on yet. Now that our Christmas tree is up he's even happier. He's so adorable when he's loving his food, he'll do a happy dance/wiggle. He dies things because they're funny and ahhh his grin. And his full on big boy belly laugh/unstoppable giggles. When he laughs a lot he always ends up with the hiccups, poor little thing. But of course that's cute too. He just loves people-he's super friendly and social and relishes attention (ha, that's my baby alright!) and has become fascinated with babies/other kids (in real life and pictures). He's just so fun and funny and silly and happy and sweet and wonderful. I'm so lucky. 

Nicknames: James-y, Jamesy-pie, Nugget (or Nug or Nuggy or Nuggy Nug or Nuggety or Nougat), Goofy or Goof-Nugget, Kid/Kiddo, Cutie McCuterson, Cuddle Bug, Snuggle Bunny, Kookaburra (because he's cooky), Mister, Sir, Bud/Buddy, Friend, Sweet Boy, Baby, Love (My love, little love, sweet love, lovey), Cutie patootie/pie, My Sweetie/Sweetie-pie, Sweet Pea, The Baby, Little/Sweet/Baby Boy (or any combo with any of the other nicknames listed-particularly Sir Baby and Mister Boy).

Talking: He understands things, he responds, he asks questions. We're like genuinely able to (in a rudimentary way) converse. It's insane. And James is always playing around with new words-he recently started to call snow "bow". We've also been working on please and thank you (he's said cheese a few times too, thanks to Michael telling him to ask for the "cheese, please", lol). James has also gotten really good at animal sounds this month-he learned how to do the elephant sound by watching his daddy and aunt and grandpa (they puff up their cheeks and blow air through their lips in a way that I can't figure out how to replicate but somehow my 1 year old did.) He acts like he's chewing for a giraffe, shakes his head and blows out air for a horse, goes "mmmm" for a cow, and pants for the doggy (that and the elephant are his favorites). We're working on fish, saying "blub blub" (he says "bub bub"). Today he started say "bawk bawk" for chicken (although the food, not the farm far as he knows.) He's also starting to get the hang of Santa and ho ho ho ("ta" and "oh" or "ho") and today he just started saying "boppy" (the nursing pillow). He still says "dad/daddy/dada" the most (he usually only says "mama" when he's crying, *sigh*) followed closely by "ball" and "ba-" (aka Batman). He's just a little chatterbox and repeats words frequently (Today I said "pepper" and he said "peppew" for example) and he's learning more every day!

Favorites: Me and Michael. His grandparents and Aunt Shannan. Dancing/singing/music in general. Kisses. Reading. Facetiming. Christmas lights/the Christmas tree. Being tickled. Playing. Particular toys (especially balls and his new push/ride "smart car"). His dinosaurs. His stuffed Tigger. Making silly faces/sounds. Sniffing (either faux-angrily or because there are flowers nearby to be sniffed.) Making animal sounds. Hair. Feet. Running away from you/hiding and then popping back out. ATTENTION. His birthday. Baths. Babies/other kids. Food (new discover=chocolate). Batman. 

Dislikes: Being changed (clothes or diaper)-he seriously wails and sobs (and usually will start freaking out as soon as you lay him down). Being held or forced to stay still if he wants to go do things. Being told no/that he can't have something/be somewhere. Getting hurt. Not being paid attention to. Not being with mommy/daddy. Being in the car for too long, especially if it's dark outside. 

Concerns: Honestly, not really anything! Just making sure I'm feeding him a balanced diet and that he's getting enough activity (he sleeps better when he can burn off his energy lol) and trying to keep the inevitable toddler accidents/boo boos to a minimum. 

A Day in the Life: James wakes up around 7 and I go in and get him (he usually happy dances in his crib when he sees me and wraps his arms tightly around my neck. He also likes to be given his stuffed dinosaur to hold-and then throw-while I take him out of his sleep sack) and then I nurse him. We have breakfast (usually yogurt + something else) and then play, maybe spend a little time with daddy before he leaves for work. I put him down for his nap around 9:30, he usually falls asleep in about 15 minutes and naps until about 11 (11:30 at the latest). After he wakes up I nurse him again and then we have lunch. Then we play, I maybe get some stuff done or run an errand or 2. I give him a snack somewhere between 12:30 and 1. He goes down for his nap 3 hours after he got up from his last nap (so usually 2-2:30) and then he hopefully falls asleep in about 20-30 minutes (or less! But that like never happens). He naps until 3:30-4. Then I give him a snack and we play/I prep dinner. Michael gets home and we eat around 6. Then more playtime before the bedtime routine starts at 7:15. We change his diaper, lotion him, read a story, then Michael dresses him and takes him to say goodnight to things and read the superhero rules and then we sleepsack him and I nurse him until he's super sleepy and full. I put him in his crib and he usually rolls over and falls asleep pretty much immediately (around 8ish) and he sleeps until morning. It's a pretty good life. 

And here we are...the last of my monthly updates! This year has flown, but at the same time it feels forever ago that he was so small. I'm sure I'll do another update at some point (maybe 18 months?) but in the mean time, here's a look back at my cutie cutie's past 12 months.:

1 Month | 2 Months | 3 Months | 4 Months | 5 Months | 6 Months 
7 Months | 8 Months | 9 Months | 10 Months | 11 Months | 12 Months

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Something Saturdays (12/1/18)

What. a. week.

Last weekend was pretty crazy with all the Thanksgiving madness but then Michael left for a work conference Tuesday morning and didn't get back until last night so James and I have been quite sad and "daddy"-less. I did take the opportunity to be super productive and do some cleaning and bake cupcakes (and James' birthday smash cake!) for James' 1st birthday party which is next weekend *gasp* I also had my friend Amanda come over on Wednesday to keep us company and we made liege waffles (I used Baker Bettie's recipe)! We had a lot of fun and it's good that her and James got to play because his 1 year pictures are on Sunday and she's our photographer, so she'll be nice and fresh in his memory and hopefully he'll cooperate and be happy and cute for pictures. James has been a little weird all week, possibly because of recovering from last week's craziness, and possibly because Michael had been gone. Regardless, he's home now so hopefully things should be better. And wish us luck for tomorrow's photo session!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

'Tis the season for lots of cookie baking!!! A few years ago I shared my favorite cookies for the holidays, but some time has passed and I wanted to highlight some more cookies for you (especially because they're sooorta my specialty). Today I wanted to focus on (in my opinion) the king of cookies, my all time fave: CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES! I have a bjillion recipes, tons of variations, but keeping it as classic as possible these are my favorites that I'll actually make again and again. They're each delicious and guaranteed to make everyone drool!

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes
(left to right, top to bottom):

Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is my go-to. My favorite all around ccc. They have browned butter and are sturdy on the outside and delightfully gooey on the inside. They're pretty much flawless.

The New York Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
This recipe is famous for a reason-it's just a little bit extra special and a whole lot delicious. And I'm never mad about a big cookie full of chocolate.

Browned Butter Dark Chocolate and Marshmallow Cookies
These cookies are chewy and gooey and have just a hint of brown butter--and yes...there's also marshmallows. But those are optional if you wanna keep this classic.

THE Levain Chocolate Chip Cookie Copycat Recipe
If you haven't heard of them, Levain Bakery is in New York and is famous for their GIANT cookies. They look like a huge biscuit that then you break in half and see the gooey goodness. They're epic and this recipe is the closest I've gotten without taking a trip to NYC!

Paleo Chocolate Chunk Cookies
If you're looking for a healthier cookie that's also INSANELY TASTY these are the ones. They also happen to be gluten free and dairy free-so they're great if you or any of your loved ones have dietary restrictions!

Chewy Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are super classic and just chewy and tasty. The little secret is that they also happen to be made with coconut oil instead of butter so they're a bit healthier + are dairy free. But no when would ever guess it!

Exceptional Chocolate Chip Cookies
When you're looking for something extra special and a bit more fancy in your ccc, then make these ASAP! Browned butter, toasted pecans, dark brown sugar, and oat flour all contribute to the magic in these cookies. They're so good. Trust me.

Big, Thick, and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Just a comforting, big, chewy, gooey cookie. Keeping things simple can be nice.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
The perfect cross between a chocolate chip cookie and cookie dough-they're essentially balls of warm cookie dough/very underbaked cookies. They're the best. I love to impress people with these at functions and watch as they go back for seconds...and thirds....and sevenths...

{Lower Sugar} Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
There's a lot of sugar during the holidays ( general) and I love how these cookies are so perfect and delicious and taste so decadent but have less sugar (and the sugar they do have is coconut sugar). I'm actually planning on giving one of these to James on his birthday as his special treat!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Something Saturdays (11/24/18)

Happy post-Thanksgiving weekend all! Did you have a good holiday? Anything fun going on this weekend? Before I get into mine I'll back up.

Last weekend I pretty much just worked, blech. Monday I ran some errands, but other than that things were pretty chill around here until I worked Wednesday. Thursday we went to dinner with Michael's stepmom's family which was nice and James had a lot of fun (although he didn't eat-I think he was too overwhelmed/tired because he didn't nap well). Friday my best friend and her husband came over and visited with us which was great (they live out of town and haven't seen James since he was a couple weeks old), and then we went over to Michael's aunt and uncle's to visit with them and some of his cousins. Today we went to another dinner with Michael's mom's family and it was nice to see everyone but it's a long drive so it was a lot. So...yeah. And tomorrow I'm going to my cousin's baby shower, but other than that hopefully I'll get to have a bit of downtime. 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Something Saturdays (11/17/18)

This week was quite lovely, mostly because it was my birthday on Tuesday and it was the best birthday! First my mom came over on Monday and brought me and James lunch and we hung out which was nice. Then my actual birthday kicked off with Michael bringing me a brownie, chocolate mousse bomb, coffee cake, and a salted caramel macaron from Studio Bakery (yay!) and he took the day off work which is amazing because days where the 3 of us are all home are the best days. The baby was very happy and sweet alllll day (and he even started saying mama again which he had taken a brief hiatus from so I was very excited to hear it again). Then we all went to dinner at my favorite restaurant Table 6 and James was sooo good and happy and it was just a great day. Other than that I'm just working a bunch-blech. But the earlier part of the week made it all better :) 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

James-11 Months!

Uhhhh I'm freaking out. Next month my baby will be turning ONE WHOLE YEAR OLD. HOW, HOWWWW???? Also, I turned 29 yesterday so I'm struggling with a lot of "where did the time go" feelings.

Date: November 10, 2018

Sleeping Pattern: The same as the last 2 months. James takes 2 naps during the day that usually total between 2 and 3 hours and then he sleeps about 10.5-11 hours at night. He usually does really well unless something is disrupting him but he does pretty darn great. 

Eating Habits: Still nursing 4 times a day, he's definitely getting really antsy and distracted during most of his feedings so I can see that we're moving towards weaning soon (I'm planning on doing it slowly, though). He's super loving table food, still. AND he's finally come around to vegetables! Yay! He's completely able to use and scoop with a spoon and he's starting to get the hang of a fork. It's amazing how much that little boy can eat when he wants to! It's also amazing the giant messes he can make, ha. The worst is when he puts his dirty hands in his hair (frequently making eye contact with you and slowly making his hair stick up with gunk as you gawk and say "noooooo....") Also, for some reason, he sometimes shoves his food down by his right leg. I have no idea why. It's very weird, and very messy.

Development & Firsts: OMG every month is full of huge firsts lately! James got a 6th tooth (top lateral left incisor), went to his first pumpkin patch, met his dog "cousin" Millie for the first time, had his first Halloween (he was Winnie the Pooh), and HE TOOK HIS FIRST STEPS! On November 6th my big boy was standing on his own in the kitchen (he can pull himself to standing on pretty much anything, he's a world class stander at this point) and doing so well and standing for so long that I told Michael to look. Not long after that, James took 4 steps! We were so lucky we both got to be here to see it! Since that time little guy has only taken the occasional step or two but I sense he's working on it. Other than that, he's just understanding so much of what we say and talking a ton.

Mischief: James will let you know when he does not like something-at the least he'll shout at you and make an angry face or maybe whine, at the worst he'll freak out and scream as if you are causing him physical harm. His poor aunt Shannan experienced the latter for the 1st time while babysitting and trying to change his diaper (how dare she!) and felt awful. Every single time you change his clothes or diaper he will crawl away from you-frequently naked as a jaybird. It's pretty adorable actually, but his squirminess while trying to change him can get pretty frustrating also. Sometimes the crawling away becomes a funny game and he giggles and crawls as fast as possible away from you. He can and will get into anything and everything and generally protests at being taken away from things he shouldn't be into. He also has gotten sneaky about trying to get stuff he shouldn't. One time he positioned his pack n play (because he can move it, weirdly strong baby) so that Michael's view of him was blocked and he couldn't see him trying to hang on the vacuum cleaner. Anytime he knows I'm not looking he will speed crawl towards one of the areas I don't let him play in. James also likes to pretend he wants to share food with his daddy, then he'll last minute take the food back and giggle (he never does this with me, he just shares the food and doesn't fake me out lol). He still has this face and this smile that he'll make when he's feeling sly. It's sort of insane how mischievous he can be. But like he's still so sweet so, it's mostly ok lol.

Cuteness:  Oh my cutie cutie cutie. James is still so sweet and gives big kisses (when he decides he wants to). Sometimes we'll just be sitting and reading, he'll sometimes be holding my hand (ah!) and then he'll raise his head up, grab your face, and give you a big smackeroo (he gave Michael one of these the other day and he just melted). Speaking of reading, James has gotten SO into books this last month. He wants you to just read and read and read to him. He just lights up and is so attentive and it's crazy (he learned how to do all the parts of the Pat the Bunny book after reading it like twice). He'll sit down and pick up a book and hold it for you, or you'll say "What do you want to read?" and he'll point or pick a book up. He's also started giving big tight squeezes around the neck this month, which we LOVE. If I get him from the crib and he's standing and I kneel to be on his level he'll wrap his arms around my neck. And he's just gotten even more attached to Michael and I, if that's even possible. He gets displeased when one (or both) of us leaves and is SO happy when we come home. He can also be a bit clingy which-although sometimes difficult-is so sweet. I'll be trying to cook in the kitchen, or something, and he'll pull himself to standing on my legs and hang there, holding them, wanting to be picked up and paid attention to. He's just so insanely interactive, how much conversation we're already starting to be able to have. And he's just always learning-he'll point to things and say "dat?" because he wants to know what it is.  He'll cheers his food with yours-it's so adorable just how much he adores food-he LOVES it. He'll do a little happy dance when he's getting to eat, particularly things he's really into. He'll also do a little happy wiggle/dance on his own when there's music of pretty much any sort (whether I'm singing, Michael and I are playing The Greatest Showman soundtrack for the umpteenth time, or he pushed the song button on his Somebunny Loves You book). He's always making the funniest faces and doing the funniest things. He started doing this faux-angry sniffing which we were confused about where it came from at first until I realized Michael loves to get in his face and do that little "angry" sniff also so, of course, he always has to copy his daddy (and apparently Michael did the same thing when he was little). He also has started smacking his lips when he has an inkling food might be around, lol. This has also evolved into clicking his tongue and he'll do it pretty much anytime and it's crazy cute. And he'll wiggle his tongue in his mouth and make a like "wawawa" sound for some reason, I have no idea why but it makes me laugh. Anytime James sees his reflection he likes to kiss it (this results in a lot of lip-prints on the glass door we have that goes out to the deck, also on the window of the oven). He still loves Batman and gets insanely stoked when he sees anything with him on it and will yell "Ba!" and the same also applies to balls-anything round is a ball (picture of the moon, picture of the sun, my dad's bald head...) and he will enthusiastically call "BALL!" He now has 2 balls that he loves to play with. It's funny, the ball thing started at the pumpkin patch-he played with a tether-ball and ever since everything has been a ball, including when he picked out his pumpkin (which he legit pointed to and said "ball." like "yes, this is the ball I want.") Feet are hilarious to him thanks to the stinky footsie game and he loves to hold up his foot or a sock or just about anything for you to sniff and then act like it's stinky. Kills him. I don't know, in general his sense of humor is awesome and we all giggle a lot. He's gotten really into his stuffed Tigger this month too-it used to be on a shelf on the wall in his room but he started reaching for it and then giving it all sorts of cuddles and kisses and loves so now it's just on the main floor available for him to play with whenever he wants because that's adorbs (he also loves to give his stuffed dinosaur the occasional snuggle in his room after waking but seems content to let you put it back on his bookshelf before leaving the room). Chasing James or having him "chase" you has become a favorite game, as has hiding behind a corner and then "peek-a-boo"-ing out (he's usually the one who likes to hide then pop out at you). He'll laugh and laugh (and it's the best laugh there is). And finally, he got to meet his Uncle Kevin and Aunt Emily's dog Millie (they live out of town) and this was the first time he's really spent any time with a dog. He was definitely wary at first but during dinner they made friends and James ended up purposefully feeding his food to Millie. And he would giggle whilst he did so. HOW CUTE IS THAT?! So yeah, as always, sweetest cutest baby on the planet.

Nicknames: James-y, Jamesy-pie, Nugget (or Nug or Nuggy or Nuggy Nug or Nuggety or Nougat), Goofy or Goof-Nugget, Kid, Cutie McCuterson, Cuddle Bug, Snuggle Bunny, Kookaburra (because he's cooky), Mister, Sir, Bud/Buddy, Friend, Sweet Boy, Baby, Love (My love, little love, sweet love, lovey), Cutie patootie/pie, My Sweetie/Sweetie-pie, Sweet Pea, The Baby, Little/Sweet/Baby Boy (or any combo with any of the other nicknames listed-particularly Sir Baby and Mister Boy), Baby-man (Michael calls him this).

Talking: He's saying sooo many things and it's getting more and more conversational. He'll respond if we ask him things, or sometimes he'll ask us something ("Who's dis?" "Where's Dad?" "Dat?"--aka "what's that?") There are a lot of words and things he will just say randomly out of the blue and then you like never or rarely hear it again, but he says "dada/dad/da" all the time (mama less so, *harumph*). His 2nd most used word is probably "ball" or potentially "bat" (Batman). He went through a phase where he was saying "book" a lot but now he just sits and holds it for you, instead. He frequently says "hi" (in the cutest little happy elongated "hiiii" way), "yeah", "no", "buhbuh"(bye bye), and sometimes "duh" for dinosaur (as opposed to "da" for dad). He's said dog, meow, woof, and really just a bunch of stuff. He's kind of amazing.  

Favorites: Me and Michael. His grandparents and Aunt Shannan. Dancing/singing. Cuddles. Kisses. Reading. Facetiming. Being tickled. Playing. Particular toys (especially balls). His dinosaurs. His stuffed Tigger. Blowing raspberries (making silly sounds/faces in general). Hair. Feet. Animal sounds. Running (more accurately, crawling) away from you. Attention, always. Baths. Food. Batman. 

Dislikes: Being changed (clothes or diaper). Staying still if he's not in the mood. Getting hurt (I hate it too.) Taking anything he wants away from him/telling him he can't have something/taking him away from somewhere he shouldn't be. Not being able to sleep. Not being paid attention to. Not being with mommy/daddy.

Concerns: Not much! Little boy is so good, my only concern is just hoping he stays safe and doesn't get hurt general lol. Especially with how he loves to get into everything.

A Day in the Life: This month was a little weird because we spent most of it adjusting slowly to help make up for daylight savings time. But it's pretty much the same schedule we've always had, just with the times moving forward. And now that daylight savings is over it's back to norma. James wakes up around 7am and then I nurse him. We have breakfast and then play/read/spend a little bit of time with daddy before he leaves for work. I put him down for his nap around 9:30am. I get him up at 11am (or 11:30 at the latest) and nurse him. We have lunch and play and read and I maybe get a couple things done also (cooking, stuff around house, errands, etc.). He goes back to sleep between 2 and 2:30 (or at least that's when he goes down, he usually plays in his crib for a bit before he finally conks out) and then gets up anywhere from 3:30-4. I nurse him and then we have a snack, sometimes while I cook dinner. After Michael gets home we all eat together (usually like 5:3-6ish) and then have a little bit of playtime before our nightly routine (change diaper, read book, Michael dresses him and says goodnight to things around the house, reads his superhero rules we have hung up, then hands him off to me in his room). I nurse him at 7:30 and he's usually asleep and in his crib around 8ish.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Something Saturdays (11/10/18)

Life's been crazy but great the last couple weeks!  Lots of working and spending time with my boys. James' first Halloween went well-he napped during most of our trick or treat but was able to be dressed up for all his grandparents to see him. He was the cutest little Pooh Bear (and Michael and I weren't too shabby as Eeyore and Piglet). 
Otherwise we've pretty much just been loving on him as much as possible. On Tuesday we went to brunch with my boss/friend Val and our friend Amanda and that was fun and then later that night, while at home and with Michael and I watching, James took his first steps!! He walked a good four steps and kept sort of practicing throughout the night! And today he turns 11 months-eeeeeeee! I'll be posting his monthly update this week but gahhhh I can't deal with the fact that he's turning 1 soon!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Baked Cucumber Chips

Baked Cucumber Chips
So you know how sometimes you can't tell the difference between cucumbers and zucchini at the grocery store and so you end up with 3 cucumbers and you and your husband don't even like cucumbers (and your baby tolerates them slightly, at best)?

No...just me?

Oh. Well...that happened. So I needed to find something to do. And I found a way to make baked cucumber chips. Which intrigued me. 
Baked Cucumber Chips
They're actually super simple to make and you can have fun playing around with different seasonings! I originally intended for James to enjoy them but the texture was tricky for him. Luckily, Michael really ended up liking them and they were gone before I knew it! I'm always down for a healthy way to have a crunchy snack.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Something Saturdays (10/27/18)

Hihihi guys!!! I'm in a super good mood because this week has been quite lovely. Last weekend I loved having the entire time with my boys. Saturday we ran a few errands and ended up checking out a new bakery near-ish us that just opened up which I was cautiously excited about: Studio Bakery. NO CAUTION NEEDED. I lovelovelove it. It's a beautiful, modern, airy space and half of it is just an open area where you can see the 2 owners (one is the pastry chef, the other the decorator) at work. Both the owners are SO nice and sweet. And everything is made fresh with real and oftentimes local ingredients. In other words, everything I'm about. They also gushed about how cute James is so that's always a win, lol. I got their Chocolate Mousse Bombe and Michael got their fruit tart, and we shared a chocolate eclair. The chocolate bombe is pure chocolatey PERFECTION. Every bit of it is high quality and the texture and taste are amazing. Michael really loved the tart and the eclair was nice (but honestly compared to the other two's amazingness it's hard to focus on it). I actually returned again yesterday and got a chocolate peanut butter cupcake, another chocolate bombe, and a personal cherry pie for Michael. The cupcake was insane-the frosting is so peanut buttery and the cake was light and chocolatey. Michael doesn't even care for cupcakes but he went gaga over the bite he had. And he love love loved the pie. Look...suffice it to say...we're obsessed. I'm so happy. 

Other than that I just spent quality time with the boys last weekend, and mostly did the same with James this week. I did attempt to do some cleaning on Tuesday didn't go well. My little man lost his marbles at the fact that he wasn't allowed in the bathroom with me while I cleaned. So, that's my situation. Otherwise, though, he was just so happy and affectionate and I love the little cutie. I did work Thursday but that's the only day this week I work! I have this weekend off so I can fully enjoy the festivities of my little buddy's 1st Halloween! Wish us luck!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

5 Ingredient Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce

5 Ingredient Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce
My Italian husband is, understandably, quite picky about sauce. But it's led to a hunt for the creation of his version of sauce perfection. I know one of his chief complaints about my sauces in the past has been that they weren't thick enough, so when I saw this method for roasting tomato sauce to achieve that thick texture as if it had simmered for hours on the stove but actually was just in the oven for a bit, I knew I needed to try it!
5 Ingredient Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce
And the results were YUM. This is actually my favorite sauce that I've made, thus far. It's admittedly still not quite Michael's perfection but he did really like it and oh my word the texture is dreamy and the flavor is just the perfect amount of garlic and richness. A total must-try!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Something Saturdays (10/20/18)

Hi guys! How's fall treating you? I'm not loving it, as per usual, I hate the cold and pretty much all of it BUT I am liking it much more than normal thanks to the sweet baby James! Last weekend we went with friends to a pumpkin patch (which also had a bunch of animals to see and pet and feed and a bunch of other stuff to see and explore) and we all had so much fun! It was the first time we've ever done something like that with James and it was great. At first he just stared at everything with wide eyes, taking it all in (typical for him) and then once we were in the big box of corn kernels (I don't know why, it was super fun though!) he warmed up and then had a great time! He was just so cute to watch, and then at the end we sat him down by the pumpkins and he picked one-and he loved it! He was so happy to have it and kept calling it a "ball" hehe. Tuesday he had another big day because Michael's brother and sister-in-law were briefly in town with their dog (the latter James had not met yet) and we went to dinner at their dad's house and it was really nice but funny to watch James and Millie (aforementioned pupper) meet. He was really wary at first and even cried when she got too close but then during dinner somehow she endeared herself to him because he ended up feeding her out of his hand (on purpose!) and giggling. The rest of the week was pretty typical stuff, just loving spending time with him. I had to work Thursday and Friday but I'm so happy because I have the whole weekend off! Yay! 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Something Saturdays (10/13/18)

Last weekend we had friends over and it was SO fun-it's a good reminder that we do need friend time lol. Even if that time also involved a squirmy crawly baby. This week has been pretty routine, nothing terribly exciting. 

Oh! But! The commercial I filmed with Michael and James is finally up and it's so so cute!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

James-10 Months!

Date: October 10, 2018

Sleeping Pattern: Literally exactly the same as last month! James sleeps pretty great 80% of the time (he has had a few issues from teething/separation anxiety but overall it's been good) he takes 2 naps during the day and sleeps about 10.5-11 hours at night usually.

Eating Habits: Great news-we've (at least currently) mostly gotten over the biting situation. So that's good lol. James nurses 4 times a day still, usually for 10-15 minutes (once in the morning, once late morning, once late afternoon, and once before bed). Solid foods are still going really well-he eats like a champ and we can give him almost anything (he may or may not decide he likes it but that's neither here nor there.) We're up to 3 full meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) + a pre-dinner snack. He's so cute and funny when he's eating: he'll do a little happy dance because he's happy and he's eating. When he wants more of something he usually starts kicking his legs and getting demanding (and sometimes says "mo") haha. When he's done he'll just sort of play around and frequently says "All done!" (more like "a-dun" or an insistent "DUN!"). One time I was nursing him and he stopped, said "all done" and then patted the other side because he wanted to nurse on that side-I diiiied. Also, for some strange reason, he sniffs his food before he eats it. It's so strange but also kind of cute.

Development & Firsts: It's been another big month developmentally!!! James got his 5th tooth (his top right lateral incisor). He can pull himself up to standing (and now does so on everythaaaang. NOTHING IS SAFE! Including his crib, we had to move that mattress down reeeal quick) and finally learned to sit himself up from laying. He can do a legit crawl (not just the army crawl). He can crawl up the stairs (with me following very close behind and worrying the entire time--we also installed the baby gates as a result.) He can walk if someone is holding his hands or if he's pushing the laundry basket around--he also stood up independently for about half a minute one time so that's coming. AND he's waving and clapping! So much happening and it's so fun and cute and craaazy.

Mischief: This child still has a mind very much of his own and is starting to get more vocal about protesting when you try to take him away from what he wants (since he's moving everywhere and getting into everything). One pretty funny example is one day Michael was having pizza and James reached for the crust so he let him grab it to have a bite. When he tried to take it back James would not let go and ended up yelling "ahhhh!" with a look of disgust that he would even attempt to take that pizza from him. The next day he was cranky because Michael was trying to eat the same pizza covertly across the room and ended up letting out a loud cry as if he'd been hurt but when I tried to see what was wrong I just saw him staring at Michael in betrayal and then he turned to me and made a pouty, pleading expression and "talked" in such a way that I could only ascertain the meaning to be "Mommy: daddy isn't sharing that's not nice!" One of the funniest moments of my young(ish) life. He still gets a little devilish grin sometimes when doing something he shouldn't or if he's crawling somewhere he shouldn't go and you say "Where are you going?" he'll start giggling and speed up. He also still enjoys shaking his head "no" at you.

Cuteness:  This section kills me every month because HOW CAN I POSSIBLY SUM UP ALL OF THE CUTENESS THAT IS MY BABY? He's still cute in all the ways he's always been. He loves music and dancing, he loves kisses, listening to him jabber and talk is amazing, even when he's yelling at you it's cute. His hair just keeps getting poofier (like his daddy's--it gets tall instead of long lol). His little toothy smile is the best (and sometimes you can just see one of his 2 front teeth peeking out which is killer). He's started sticking his tongue out to the side recently. Slow dancing is going strong, it is one of my favorite things to just put on a song and have him lay his head on my shoulder and snuggle me-it's one of the few times he's not trying to go go go. His face when he sees me after I've been gone is the best thing, he gets SO excited and usually starts to giggle and crawl over to me very quickly where he then gives me hugs and kisses. When his daddy gets home he hears the garage door and his face immediately lights up and he gets SO STOKED to see him! When he crawls up the stairs he's so proud of himself and starts giggling at the accomplishment (which is true of pretty much anytime he does something that he or we are proud of). Watching him just walking the laundry basket around is adorable. Whenever he claps it's so so sweet and fun, he's so happy! The waving hi and bye bye is cuteness. This baby still loves Batman and it's pretty epic haha-he just gets so excited to see him (on his rags, the big poster upstairs, etc.) and always points and goes "Bat!" And in the epitome of all cuteness, this story: One day during dinner Michael came over and put his arms around me. James' face lit up and this big grin slowly stole over his face. Michael then kissed me and James giggled. So we then kissed either side of his face and he was SO HAPPY and smiling and laughing and everyone was tearing up. It was one of the best moments of my life, my heart was so full. Honestly, he's just the sweetest cutest best baby. 

Nicknames: James-y, Jamesy-pie, Nugget (or Nug or Nuggy or Nuggy Nug or Nuggety or Nougat), Godzilla, Cutie McCuterson, Cuddle Bug, Snuggle Bunny, Kookaburra (because he's cooky), Mister, Sir, Bud/Buddy, Friend, Sweet Boy, Baby, Love (My love, little love, sweet love, lovey), Cutie patootie/pie, My Sweetie/Sweetie-pie, Sweet Pea, The Baby, Little/Sweet/Baby Boy (or any combo with any of the other nicknames listed-particularly Sir Baby and Mister Boy), Baby-man (Michael calls him this).

Talking: Still talking up a storm. Dada/dad's and mama/mum's happen a lot but he'll also say "hi" "buhbuh" (aka bye bye, while waving), "a-dun" (all done), "mo" (more), "yes"/"yeah", "Bat" (Batman-usually accompanied by pointing at whatever Batman thing he's seeing) and lots of other things. It's so cool and fun to see him communicating.

Favorites: Me and Michael. His grandparents and Aunt Shannan. Dancing/singing. Daddy's guitar. His piano/keyboard toy. Cuddles. Kisses. Spinning. Being tickled. Playing. Hair. Feet. Animal sounds. Books. Listening to/watching mommy sing Itsy Bitsy Spider, Little Bunny Foo Foo, Old McDonald, and Wheels on the Bus. Pushing the laundry basket around. Pulling himself up to stand on everything. Attention, in general. Baths. Food (strawberries, chicken, cheese, yogurt, carbs).

Dislikes: Getting hurt (we're officially in the stage of many many little bonks and tumbles thanks to his increased mobility. Luckily nothing has been bad yet but it's still heartbreaking to see him cry because he's hurt himself.) Green vegetables (not always and not all of them but they're tricky). Taking anything he wants away from him/telling him he can't have something/taking him away from somewhere he shouldn't be. People he's not used to who are not the super tiny like us and try to hold him. Not being able to sleep. Teething. Shots. Not being paid attention to for. Not being with mommy/daddy.

Concerns: James has been having some separation anxiety so he's extra clingy and I think it's affecting his sleep a smidge. Nothing terrible though so overall things are pretty great.

A Day in the Life: James wakes up around 7am (sometimes I'm lucky and he sleeps in until 7:15 or 7:20! Lately, though, he's been waking up closer to 6:30, grr) and then I nurse him. We then have some breakfast and then play/spend a little bit of time with daddy before he leaves for work. I then change his diaper and put him down for his nap around 9:30am. I get him up at 11am (or 11:30 at the latest if he's still asleep) and nurse him. We then have lunch and play-I usually also get something done at some point during this time (cleaning, cooking, laundry, errands, whatever I need). He goes back to sleep 3 hours after he woke up (so 2-2:30) and then gets up anywhere from 3:30-4 usually. I nurse him and then we have a quick snack while I cook dinner. After Michael gets home we all eat together and then have a little bit of playtime before our nightly routine. I nurse him at 7:30 and he's usually asleep and in his crib between 7:45 and 8.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Something Saturdays (10/6/18)

Hi guys! I know it's been a couple weeks, I took last Saturday off because it was just crazy so hiiii! Nothing particularly insane is going on around these parts, James is just crawling and pulling himself up on EVERYTHING so it's always an adventure. Today we're excited because we have friends coming over (which like never happens)-yay! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Banana Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes {Baby Led Weaning Recipes}

Banana Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes {Baby Led Weaning Recipes}
I've got another baby-approved recipe for you!!! These pancakes are AHHMAZING for everyone because they're super quick and easy to whip up and so healthy AND delicious!! Seriously, Michael and I both loved them almost as much as James (it's hard to compare to the amount of enthusiasm that little guy had for these pancakes. He devoured them in no time flat!) They also freeze great, I made a big batch and then froze most of them so I could easily just take one out and microwave it anytime little man needed his pancake fix.
Banana Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes {Baby Led Weaning Recipes}
I just love how healthy these pancakes are, they're mostly just bananas and oats! And you just blend all the ingredients in a blender: COULD NOT BE EASIER. I also added blueberries for my boys and because I'm a grown up and I can-and I don't dig blueberries-I added chocolate chips for myself. These were actually one of the first foods that baby James got excited about (he ate 2.5 pancakes in one sitting) and no one can blame him. You'll love them and feel good about eating them/feeding them to your family!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Something Saturdays (9/22/18)

This week has been interesting! Monday was Michael's birthday (yay!) and he took the day off because James had a doctor's appointment. He also ran some errands and picked up our gorgeous new custom frame with our family picture. I'm in love. And just a bunch of scheduling stuff was weird this week and James has been teething but overall things are good. Today I have a wedding and it should be a long day for me but I can't wait until I'm off work tomorrow to spend time with my guys :) And we're getting lunch with friends so yay fun fun fun!

Oh! And hey, I want to tell you guys about the AMAZING Yeast Bread Essentials Course my friend Kristin, AKA Baker Bettie is offering. It's a self-paced course that consists of13 detailed lessons covering all of the fundamental information about working with yeast, mixing methods, master recipes, shaping techniques, and baking techniques. Kristin KNOWS her baking so you want to learn from her, she's amazing! For more info. and to enroll (and to view the first lesson for FREE to make see what it's all about) click here. AND all of my readers get a $20 discount (bringing the final price to $39)-just use the code COOKINGACTRESS.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

James-9 Months!

Date: September 10, 2018

Height:  28.74 inches (as of his doctor's appointment on the 17th)

Weight: 17 lbs. 9.6 oz (^ditto)

Sleeping Pattern: Baby boy is fairly low sleep needs so he doesn't actually get a TON of sleep during the day but his nighttime sleep has gotten longer and deeper so I'm totally ok with it! He has 2 naps during the day, that usually last anywhere from 1-2 hours (he usually only sleeps for 2.5-3 hours total) and then he is usually asleep for the night by 8 and he sleeps until about 7am! It's lovely :) His sleep routines are pretty much the same-for naps I just put him in his sleepsack and sit and sing for 1 song (or, lately, like 1 verse of a song) then I lay him in his crib. Then he falls asleep. At night we change him, lotion him, read him a story, then Michael takes him around to say goodnight to everything before reading him his superhero rules and then handing him off to me to put in his sleepsack and nurse before bed.

Eating Habits: Biting during nursing has become a thing so that's made stuff interesting (I've managed to get it much better by being more vigilant about his latch, though.) He nurses 4 times a day, usually for just under 15 minutes. He's been doing amazing on the solid food front! He's eating about 3 times a day now (usually breakfast, lunch, and dinner but sometimes he'll do lunch, pre-dinner snack, and dinner if I can't get myself up and going for breakfast quickly enough). He's had SO MANY different foods and really is doing so well. On the rare occasion he runs out of food and wants more he'll usually smack his highchair tray and sometimes even say "Mo!" (Or if he wants whatever you're eating his eyes will get all big and he'll reach towards you and sort of make a begging sound haha.) When he's done he usually plays with the stuff left on his tray and shakes his head. (We've been doing the baby signs since he was 4 months old but he hasn't really seemed to latch onto them? I feel like he's so vocal he's like...nah...I'll just talk lol. He's actually said "All done!" a few times!).

Development & Firsts: Ok so a lot happened this last month!! James got his top front teeth (his right on August 15th and his left on August 21st). He crawled backwards on August 20th and then actually started crawling (army crawling to be specific) on August 31st. And he stood himself up (via holding onto the laundry basket and pulling himself up) on September 9th! He's on the move, to say the least haha. He also had an actually meal at a real restaurant for the first time! Michael, James, and I all went to BJ's Brewhouse (a localish chain) and we ordered James some potstickers that he loooved.

Mischief: Oh this silly mischievous boy. James always loves to head towards whatever he shouldn't be into and he'll give you this look over his shoulder of like "what? what am I doing?" and/or "hehehe good luck catching me lady." The other day I put a blanket over my head while we were playing, expecting him to take it off, but instead he giggled, went, "yes!" and started speed crawling towards some stuff he's not supposed to get into. He also likes to giggle and speed-crawl away from me when I say "Where are you going? I'm gonna get you!" And this has been the month of biting-due to a combo of getting more teeth and more trying to come in. But I also think he thought (and maybe still sometimes thinks) it's funny. We're working on it and I think it's getting better but oh man the little grin he would give you when you'd say "Ow!" or just "No biting." He'd just stare at you and have the most devilish little grin steal across his face. He shakes his head "no" frequently and also just loves to scream and be an insane person, generally.

Cuteness:  All the same cuteness that he's always had applies!!! I will say, he's starting to look like such a little boy (his hair especially!) and I love it but it also makes me want to cryyyy. But then he's still so the same, I love when he lightly puckers his lips in his sleep, like he's done for as long as I can remember. And ah he's always doing something new and adorable! He's still really interested in Batman and smiles anytime he sees a bat symbol (which is pretty frequently around my house) and will even kiss it if it's on a towel or something. James still loves music and dancing especially but this last month we've started slow dancing and oh my gosh it's the sweetest thing. I'll hold him and we'll sway/dance around while I'm playing a song and he'll just rest his head on my shoulder. Sometimes he'll also sing during it (usually just him going "oooh" but one time he was singing, "maamaa maaa...." and I cried.)  And YES the way he says dada/dad and mama/mum now is SO very clearly him addressing us and we love it and it's adorable and the best. Eating is one of the cutest things, watching how he'll GO TO TOWN on something or just make the cutest mess or study how to best approach something. We gave him a whole apple for the first time and I'm sorry but it's cute as heck to watch a baby hold and eat an apple. He also purses his lips when his mouth is full in the sweetest way (his grandpa says he has good manners, keeping his mouth shut when he's chewing.) Oh and one day Michael shared some of his food with James and then had a very serious talk about how food is best when shared. And after that James started sharing his food with us-he'll hold it up to you with the sweetest, most earnest, expression on his face. It melts your freaking heart. We also pray before dinner, usually, and he loves it. While we do "bless us oh lord" he smiles and looks so happy. What else does he do that's cute....he uses his fist to do the "wah wah wah" thing, a lot. It's so funny. Now that he crawls he also loves to speed off towards things while looking over his shoulder for you and giggling if you chase after him/make it seem like he shouldn't be going there. He has peeked his head around the corner of the laundry room when I've been in there a couple times and it cracked me up. I could hear him crawling on the tile floor and then pop! There's his cute little head and adorable little grin. Every moment of every day is full of cuteness (it's even cute when he's trying to eat my hair). I'm obsessed.

Nicknames: James-y, Jamesy-pie, Nugget (or Nug or Nuggy or Nuggy Nug or Nuggety or Nougat), Noodle, Godzilla, Cutie McCuterson, Cuddle Bug, Snuggle Bunny, Hedgehog, Mister, Sir, Bud/Buddy, Friend, Sweet Boy, Baby, Love (My love, little love, sweet love, lovey), Cutie patootie/pie, My Sweetie/Sweetie-pie, The Baby, Little/Sweet/Baby Boy (or any combo with any of the other nicknames listed-particularly Sir Baby and Mister Boy), Baby-man (Michael calls him this).

Talking: James says a lot of things that may or may not be actual words lol. Pretty sure we've heard him say no, yes, yeah, more, all done, batman, grandma, kiss, and probably some other things. He definitively and emphatically (and frequently) says "dada"/"dad" and "mama"/"mum". He's just such a chatterbox, though. His babbling is sounding more and more comprehensible and intentional and sometimes I swear we just have conversations with questions and responses and everything. (An example of a very short such conversation: "dadaa?" "Yeah dada's coming right back." "Yeh." And other times it's more him doing a very long incomprehensible rant-like thing and I say, "Yeah?" and he looks at me and says, "yes!" or something to that effect.)

Favorites: Me and Michael. His grandparents and Aunt Shannan. Dancing/singing. Daddy's guitar. Being held. Kisses. Spinning. Being tickled. Playing. Hair (particularly trying to ACTUALLY EAT IT lately. He will grab my hair and start trying to chew it. It's so weird.) Listening to/watching mommy sing Itsy Bitsy Spider, Little Bunny Foo Foo, and Wheels on the Bus. His toys and books. Attention, in general. Baths. Food (strawberries, chicken, yogurt, cheese, pastas, pancakes....pretty much everything except vegetables lol)

Dislikes: Sometimes vegetables (gah). Taking anything he wants away from him/telling him he can't have something. The car. Overwhelming situations/big crowds. Not being able to sleep. Teething. Tummy aches (had our first one this month and it was sad). Not being paid attention to in too long. Not being with mommy/daddy.

Concerns: Figuring out the biting situation has been hard but I think we're getting better!

A Day in the Life: James wakes up around 7am (sometimes I'm lucky and he sleeps in until 7:15 or 7:20!) and then I nurse him. We then either go have some breakfast (usually some combo of like fruit, toast, cheese, oatmeal, yogurt, stuff like that.) or hang out and relax and spend time with daddy before he goes to work. After playing and such I put him back down for his nap around 9:30am. I get him up at 11am and nurse him. We then have lunch (which could be any number of things) and after that if we have errands we'll run them or we'll just play or do some playing and some of him playing on his own while I clean/cook/do dishes, etc. He goes back to sleep around 2pm and then gets up anywhere from 3:30-4 usually. I nurse him and then we might have a quick snack or just play/have him play while I cook dinner. After Michael gets home we all eat together and then have a little bit of playtime before our nightly routine. I nurse him at 7:30 and he's usually asleep and in his crib between 7:45 and 8 (sometimes he falls asleep while nursing and sometimes he falls asleep after I've put him in his crib).
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