Wednesday, October 03, 2012

J at 6 months

We had a little scramble to get all our paperwork together for him, but we were thrilled to be able to adopt J in February. We named him J, for my father who passed away last November. Our boy has been growing like crazy, in his body and in our hearts, and we are so blessed to have him and Z. We call him “little monster” and “bubba” because that was Z's best attempt at pronouncing “brother” when we brought him home.

He is growing well, but differently from Z. He's about average for height, but he's thinner than she was. It seemed like it took him until he was three months to have anything you could call a bootie, and he never really got the fat rolls. He struggled a lot with his digestion the first few months. We finally figured out that he was allergic to milk around 3.5 months, and that made a huge difference. He stopped spitting up literally overnight when we changed his formula and he's been a happy baby ever since. He is up to date on all his shots and the doctor says he's hitting all his milestones. He started on solids this last month and really loves to eat! He wanted nothing to do with cereal, really, but loves any kind of soft veggie or fruit that we give him, and he's done great on the little bit of beef and chicken he's tried so far. I think his favorite is apple, but it's hard to know for sure because he's so enthusiastic about everything!

He cut his first teeth, found his feet, and got up on all fours all in a week last month. It's like he was racing to see how many milestones he could hit and how fast. Not long after that, he was crawling. It wasn't a big dramatic moment, he just looked across the room at a toy he wanted and started motoring over to it. He was so pleased when he got there, though, that he kinda forgot how he had done it. It was several days before he did it again, and a few days after that before he finally mastered it and added it to his daily repertoire of tricks.

Some of his favorite things to do now are to grab onto faces and chew chins and noses. He knows the word “zrbtt” (I think most people call them “blowing raspberries”) and if Z starts giving zrbtts to me or Rose, he will crawl across the floor to do it, too. He especially likes to zrbtt people on the cheeks. He's very slobbery, so you have to love him a lot to let him do it. He has a great grip, though, and can all but do chinups off my ears. I had been growing my hair out, and trying out dreadlocks, but he was getting his sticky little fingers so tangled in the locs, and then he barfed in them and I couldn't get the smell out, so I had to cut it short. He still gets a good grip on it and pulls me in close so he can chew my nose, but at least now it's easy to untangle him. He's got swimming lessons coming up in the fall, so we can't wait to see if he learns as quickly as Z did. He loves to play and splash in the water, and we've taught him how to float on his back and hold his breath and go underwater already.

J has been to East Texas for a family reunion, and to Houston to visit with the cousins, and to Austin to visit with our friends and family there, and also to College Station to visit with our good friends who live there. His cousins just love helping with getting him changed and dressed and fed, and they are very excited when they know Z and J are coming for a visit. He hasn't gotten to go on any real vacations yet, but we do have one coming up in October, we'll be going to the beach. I think he'll love crawling around in the sand. He's a good traveler and likes to babble in his car seat and he sleeps well in the car.

He's the apple of his Zeidy's eye (Zeidy is Yiddish for grandfather, that's what Rose's dad is called) and loves to tug on Zeidy's mustache and sit with him in the recliner when we go visit. Rose's mom goes by Bubbie (Yiddish for grandmother) and she loves to hold him and feed him his bottles. We try to make sure we see them once a week, at least, so J is very familiar with them and always gets excited when he sees either of them open the door.

My mom recently moved to a new house, so we've been to visit with her a couple of times in her new place outside of Austin. J did his first rolling over there, on the rug, at Easter. My mom is very fond of him and often calls him by my dad's nickname. She reminds him sometimes that he'll have to be a little bit tough to hold his own with such a feisty big sister, but tells him it's okay to be sweet, too.

He's surrounded by music all the time, because we sing to him and to Z as we play our way through the day. He likes to have lullabyes at night, and his favorite toys are a little play piano and a musical table that is covered in noisemaking gizmos. He is definitely a pacifier-loving baby, and never was very interested in his thumb or any other soother. The day he figured out how to put his own pacifier in his mouth was probably one of his happiest, and that's saying a lot because he is a very happy baby. He has an easy, bubbly laugh that he uses all the time. Everything from funny sounds to bouncing on a lap will make him laugh out loud. He enjoyed a bouncer, liked his swing, and LOVES his jumpy seat. He can sit and bop up and down in his jumpy seat for what seems like an hour at a time. He's a funny sleeper, he wakes often as he tosses and turns but it's easy to get him back to sleep. He takes several good naps during the day, but doesn't yet sleep through the night.

And even though he's very nearly 8 months old now, I am so proud of myself for getting this and Z's updates written, that I don't even care that it's late. Writing anything at all is a victory right now.


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