Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Meet James, Part I

Other than their pale skin and blue eyes, James and Julia are night and day in terms of their physical appearance and their personalities. (On a side note I'm still not sure how we got two blue-eyed babies since I thought that was a recessive trait and Mark's eyes are hazel.) One thing that's been really interesting is seeing how their personalities have developed - believe it or not their personalities from their first week home are the same as now, 7 months later.

Enough about that though, and on to the man of the hour, James.

James is our sweet boy. He's sensitive and very intense and will gaze deeply into your eyes for long stretches of time. (Sometimes I watch TV while feeding him and I'll look down and realize he's just been staring at me the whole way through.) My mom describes him as wearing his heart on his face - if he sees you're sad he will start frowning. Today I was talking on the phone while walking the twins in their stroller. I was describing the hard time I've had lately getting James to take a nap when I looked down and saw James with red eyes about to cry. He never cries while out walking. I immediately petted him and told him that I loved him, and then he was fine. I don't know if he heard his name and perceived a negative tone to my voice or just saw that I was upset which made him upset. Or maybe I'm just looking too much into this.

James gets distressed if Julia cries, which is common with twins. He'll sometimes give an empathetic cry or, if he's being fed at the time, will be unable to eat. He also generally shows more interest in her than she in him. James tries hard to please - when I point a camera at him he will smile how he thinks I want him to smile (which is often different than his natural smile), and he even has smiled while on the verge of tears. Usually he seems to enjoy being photographed - he likes seeing me smile and smiling back at me - but the few times he was on the verge of tears he had a low grade fever and I didn't know it. So I try to be careful and make sure he's enjoying himself. He looks for approval, which is sweet but a little sad. He will grab his feet (his favorite new trick) or use his hands to push up his chest during tummy time and, since he's very proud of himself, will look for us to smile and encourage him. James is also sensitive to noise and Julia's shrieks often startle him. He's a light sleeper, is restless and thrashes in his sleep - lifting his legs and letting them fall down hard. He hates waking up and often greets the end of a nap with a loud cry. James is shy around new people, and sometimes cries when held by someone new. For a shy boy he has a very loud bellowing cry, and he also has an amusing grunt that I call his beached whale sound. But then his speaking voice is really soft and sweet.

My first favorite picture of James and the first one I got of him smiling, taken at just under 2 months

James's shy smile, rarely caught on camera, taken at 4 months

James's super wide smile at 4 months. Now his smile is a little rounder and not as wide. You can see his tongue has a crease in it because he's tongue-tied.


  1. James sounds like such a sweetheart. Isn't it interesting how they have such set personalities from day one?

    Oh and Max had a tongue-tie. He had to have it clipped at about 10 days old so that he could latch for breastfeeding. That was no fun. :( It runs in the family. Two of his cousins had the same thing happen (one of them had to have her tongue clipped twice!).

  2. Pleasure to meet you James! I love your bashful grin :)

  3. I love your thoughtful description of James's personality and behaviors! What a sweet record for you and your babies when they are older.

  4. Beth, I didn't realize they clipped tongues anymore. My mom's was clipped because she took a Spanish class in college and wanted to trill her "r"s.

    Cathy and Kate, thanks! I look forward to writing an entry about Julia. I like writing about their personalities in detail because it'll be interesting to see how it matches them as they age.