Baby James @ 9 Months

Happy New Year, dear friends! I hope you enjoyed a delicious holiday season with good company, and are feeling rested and merry.

Well you know, maybe merry isn’t the right word now that work has started again, but I hope you’re at least jazzed about the fresh new year.

Our holidays over here were low key, and my dad flew out from California to join us for James’ first Christmas. While NYC is a blast during the holidays with all the shows and lights, truthfully we mostly hung out at home and ate good food. It was perfect.

This post is mostly a life update, but I have to take a second to talk about some of the food we ate. My favorite dish from the holidays was our Christmas dinner tradition, Beef Wellington. Only during the holidays do I splurge on that $30/lb chateaubriand cut of beef, and it’s always worth it.

For Christmas Eve I also have a tradition of serving Cioppino, which is always great before indulging on all the things on Christmas Day, as it’s a very light but flavorful dish. It’s also a splurge and consequently feels very special. I don’t have a recipe up for that (I will get that up this year, it’s officially on my editorial calendar), but it’s a riff on Giada’s Cioppino.

Sharing our first Christmas with James was so, so wonderful. There’s something different about Christmas with children. The excitement and curiosity of a child at all the Christmas lights, decorations, and presents is infectious and adorable.

Truthfully, I have also become less interested in the whole gift-giving element of Christmas in my adult years, as gift-giving isn’t one of my love languages (if you have no clue what I’m talking about, check out Gary Chapman’s profile on the 5 Love Languages). I think that lack of interest comes from the blessing of being able to get the things I need as situations come up, but gift giving for children is a whole different arena. So fun!

[Me and James at 7 months on the Hudson River, NYC]

So what else is going on over here? I’m sure I don’t even need to point it out, but I haven’t done a baby James updates in AGES! A lot is new.

Most of the reason I haven’t done an update in so long is because the past several months have been a blur. A sleep-deprived blur. It’s the kind of thing you don’t realize until you don’t get it, but sleep is SO IMPORTANT for basic life functioning. Pete and I have felt like zombie people and were starting to get delirious.

We have made serious improvements in the past month or so, but there was a time not too long ago where James was getting up every HOUR of the night.

Every HOUR.

It was rough, and frustrating, as it felt like we had read all the popular baby sleep books, and our pediatrician didn’t have a lot of additional suggestions.

Currently, James still wakes up every few hours during the night, but it is a lot better than it was. We are managing fairly well at this point. I know this is all temporary!

(I hope).

[Family photo in Central Park when James was 6 months]

James is extremely active, and we think he’s just about ready to walk. He can stand up on his own and doesn’t seem to sit still for more than a second. It is so incredible to watch, especially when I reminisce about when he was born.

Which apparently is weird, by the way. I was talking with a friend who had her first baby two weeks before me, and I asked her if she goes back and looks at earlier photos of her son. She said she doesn’t. But I do ALL THE TIME! I am that mom who already walks down memory lane with a 9 month old, haha!

You know what though? Everyone tells me that kids grow up too fast, and I can honestly say I am trying to savor it as much as I can.

[James at 5 months, wearing polarized sunglasses we bought to protect his eyes. He didn’t like them.]

The other thing that’s new since my last update is feeding James solids. Predictably so, this has been a BLAST!

Predictably so AGAIN, I make James all his baby food. They are all simple things of course, like pureed squash, vegetables, and fruits, but it’s adorable to see how he truly tastes the food and then pounds his hands on the counter asking for more and opens his mouth for the next bite. He doesn’t like everything (like avocado…who doesn’t like avocado?!) but he does enjoy a lot of different foods. Bananas seem to be the most magnificent food in the world based on his reaction.

Here is a mish mash of photos from the past several months…

[6 month James on the Hudson River]

[James looking at ducks in Central Park]

[Checking out the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade floats the day before Thanksgiving]

[Family selfie in Central Park]

[I know it’s blurry, but I love this photo. James loves being thrown up into the air].

[The most recent photo I have of James, taken after Christmas]

Thanks for catching up with me and the family, and I hope we all have a great year to come. It’s a goal of mine to update more frequently this year, so I will be back again soon. Cheers!