James's other favorite pastimes were playing in the closet, looking at his reflection in the mirrored closet doors (though he hated the mirror when he was younger), and moving the closet doors back and forth. (We finally had to take the doors off for fear of pinched fingers.) James loved to slap and bang things. When James picked up a toy he usually would hit it and then put it in his mouth. He likes to figure out how things work, and I think he's an engineer in the making. When he was able to get to the entrance to the nursery where the hallway is hardwood floor, he loved slapping the floor with his hands. We also had an ant problem these months, and sometimes Papa said that James would slap the floor if he saw an ant.
He and Julia also enjoyed emptying the changing table shelf. After that, diapers and washcloths were constantly on the floor and we'd put them back occasionally to give the babies the thrill of emptying shelves again. James also enjoyed pulling out the entire extra crib plank (which is the length of his crib) out from under his crib. For about a month James liked to crawl and rotate so that he was completely under the crib except for his head. We'd call it his Man Cave.
"That other baby can high five too!" (8 1/2 months)
James loves playing in the closet. (9 months)
When James discovered what a great sound hitting the floor made, he hung out here all the time. Then Papa taught him to slap ants here too. (8 1/2 months)
James chillin' in his Man Cave. (8 1/2 months)
James was also the hermit crab of pacifiers. If he came across another pacifier on the floor he'd spit his out and take the new one. Obviously new ones taste better. A few times we'd line up all the pacifiers a few feet a part and watch him crawl to each one, spit his out, and put the new one in.
James gained a lot more hair during these months, and it became more of a sandy color and less strawberry. James' brow would turn red right before he started to cry or when he needed a nap. I'd see it and declare he'd need a nap within the next 15 minutes. He also continued to have the faintest blue vein (it looks like a tiny bruise to an outside observer) between his eyes that he's had since a few days after he was born. James was a cute chubby baby for the beginning of the 6-12 month period, but around 9 months his face started to look more like a boy. And after he started crawling (at 8 1/2 months) he started to look leaner. Basically with his 93rd percentile head (calculated at his 12 month well check) his body began to resemble a lollipop or bobble head doll.
James is a boy of interesting noises. He often likes to move his lips together fast to make a "buppubbuppubba" sound. I will do the same really fast back to him and kiss his face and he'll laugh. He also likes to make a clicking sound with his tongue against the roof of his mouth and was delighted whenever anyone made the sound back. In the middle of the night he liked to make loud and long i-yi-yi-yi noises. Our favorite sound is a guttural "arrrawrrawrrawrrawr" sound that we referred to alternately as his possessed frog voice, his beached whale sound, and his lion roar.
We also discovered James's budding foot fetish. He likes grabbing my feet and especially my socks - on or off my feet - as well as eating his sister's shoes. He left chomp marks in Julia's ruby slippers at Halloween, and at the pumpkin patch was obsessed with Julia's new shoes and kept putting them in his mouth... while her feet were still in them. Once we shot a video of him putting her bare foot in his mouth.