Saturday, July 17, 2010

Meet James, Part II

James looks like me but acts like Mark. Both can be shy and sensitive, are sensitive to noise and hate waking up. Mark used to get annoyed with a past roommate (who is not on Facebook, so if you're reading this it's not you) for daring to say "Good morning" to him when Mark was up only to go to the bathroom and planned to go back to sleep. He hated having to make even that much conversation. Like Mark, James will wake up and be quiet and stoic for quite awhile.

James is a nuzzler and we didn't realize how much he liked to be held until he learned to hold out his arms to be picked up. He held them out all the time. Then we felt bad for not holding him more - we just thought he didn't need it as much since he didn't complain. We worry that he will be ignored because he doesn't fuss as much as our princess. When they were a few months old, Julia often cried for her pacifier. James on the other hand occasionally cried but often would try not to - I'd sometimes see him struggle to get an edge of it in his mouth as though he didn't want to bother us. In their first few months we referred to James as our happy, easy, zen baby.

Mark goes nose to nose with 1 month old James

James the nuzzler. Taken at 5 months.

James is a big boy. He weighed one pound more than Julia at birth and now weighs 2 1/2 pounds more (though I think it looks like more because of his giant noggin). When someone picks him up, especially if they picked up Julia first, they are likely to say, "James, you're heavy!" Physically he resembles my father. He has big hands, big feet (size 12-24 month socks are already too small and Mark describes James's feet as "white anvils"), a really strong grip, a thick chest (not to mention multiple chins), and a tendency to get overheated. He was able to start tummy time early because he was strong in his chest - in fact his first time trying it in a clear bassinet at Kaiser he kept scooting to the front of it and we had to pull him back to start again. (I've since heard that when babies gain weight they no longer can do this early scooting and crawling.)

We think he's tongue-tied like his Grandma, Daddy, and Uncle Michael. His hair was curly at birth but has now settled into being straight after a few months during which he lost his cute birth hair and went bald. James is blond, with a strawberry cast, and very fair, with skin that rivals mine in pastiness. In pictures he can look like three totally different babies. I think it's related to his age.

The Three Different Faces of James:

Face 1 of James (seen 1-3 months): Lesser seen side view of big cheeked baby. Taken at 3 months.

Face 2 of James (seen 3-6 months): Blank pumpkinhead face that looks like me. Taken at 4 months. This is his camera smile, not his natural smile.

Speaking of blank pumpkinhead faces, is this James in The Nightmare Before Christmas?

James as an actual James-O-Lantern. Taken at 3 months.

Face 3 of James (seen 6 months - present): Recent addition to the face trio, taken at 7 months. Smile is rounder and less wide. Prettiest baby of them all methinks.

James loves to look around, explore, and be carried around to see things. Grandpa loves to show him the dinosaur poster (Mark got it from National Geographic and put it up a couple years ago as a joke and then we left it there). In fact in his first week home James kept staring at some framed art prints above our sofa, even though we thought they were too far away for him to see. Early on he was fascinated with some toys but would get frustrated with them easily because he couldn't manipulate them yet. When he plays with toys he is often very rough with them, either pounding the bejesus out of the hanging animals on his vibrating chair or stretching the arms of his activity mat really far so he can try to chomp those hanging animals. He seems to have strong fine motor skills for his age.

James also loves books. He'll hit the book in the area with a pop-up section so you'll open it for him, and he'll cry for another book when one ends. His feet move fast against each other when he's happy and excited, or sometimes when he's agitated. We joke that he's trying to start a fire.

Grandpa likes to show 5 month old James the dinosaur poster. (It's worth noting that James is wearing his "Snugglesaurus" outfit.)

All James wanted to do after he was born was look at the paintings behind Mark. Taken at 1 month.

James is pretty obsessed with books. Here he's looking at his favorite - Where's Baby's Belly Button? Taken at almost 5 months.

James with the hanging animals on the vibrating chair. This is a rare moment where James isn't pummeling the animals. Taken at 1 month.

If I were to make future predictions about James I would say he'll be the first twin to walk (but the second to talk - only because he's tongue-tied and Julia's more social). In life he will have really intense relationships with a few close friends. I know he's only one minute older but I think he'll behave like a traditional first born and be more serious, responsible, and duty-bound. He will go into math or science (and probably become yet another Dr. Pilloff). Grandpa thinks he'd be good at wrestling. (After seeing my forearms when I was born Grandpa predicted I would be a golfer. He said my brother would be a football player.)

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