James, this is by far the wildest and most fun stage. Our hearts are bursting with love for you and we couldn't be prouder. You consume my thoughts and my prayers every day, and I wish so much that I could keep you little forever. 

A DAY IN THE LIFE: Andrew and I usually alternate nights for who gets to put James down after bathtime. Being at daycare all day, and usually having only 1 nap, he's pretty exhausted and ready for his nighttime bottle. It's something we both look forward to and is such a treat - he's typically asleep by the time he finishes his bottle [seriously, like 5-7 minutes tops] and if he's not, he'll lay his head on your shoulder the minute he's through and drift off to dream about puppies and slobber kisses. We're very fortunate that he's been a good sleeper because I really don't want to give up those bedtime snuggles and rocking my baby [who won't be a baby much longer]. Ok... before I cry - 

FAVORITES: "walking" assisted, school, sleeping with puppy, real puppy kisses from Jack and Zeke, talking nonstop, still thankfully loving the exersaucer while I get ready in the mornings, drinking water from his 360 Munchkin cup

DISLIKES: getting kisses and then not being picked up immediately afterward, not being able to walk on his own

SCHOOL: James is now the oldest in his classroom after his girlfriend, Lilly graduated to the toddler room. James and Lilly would play and jabber all day when they were together - I think he's trying to walk now so he can move up sooner. 

SLEEP: 7pm - 6:30am

DRs VISITS: came down with a quick case of croup at 8.5 months that required a steroid shot and a breathing treatment - was playing again that afternoon. got fitted for his cranial band

SPECIAL EVENTS AND PARTIES: at 7.5 months, Andrew and I had our first overnight away from James - Andrew's parents kept him at our house and everything went perfectly! Also attended our friend, Ridley's, 2nd birthday party - a pirate party!

TYPICAL SCHEDULE: 6:45am wake up 7oz bottle, 8:30am breakfast solids, 10am 5oz bottle, 11:30am lunch solids, 1pm 5oz bottle, 1:30pm nap, 4pm 5oz bottle, 5:30 dinner solids, 6:30 bath, 6:45pm 7oz bottle, 7pm bedtime

9 MONTH MILESTONES: "big boy" crawling [off his tummy], pulling up on everything, "cruising", can pick up food and eat it [mostly just Gerber puffs, we're working on the real stuff], if you tell him to "shake it" he'll shake the ball/rattle/water cup that he's holding

9 MONTH STATS: 20lbs 6oz [60th percentile], 28.75" [65th percentile], size 4 diapers, 9-12 month clothes


A fancy name for a flat head. In the grand scheme of things, this is such a minor condition that is so common in infants. So, as many times as I told myself not to be concerned with it, that it would even out on its own, the truth is that it wasn't evening out as much as we [or the doctor] had hoped at this point.

Flash forward really fast -- We ultimately decided to go with a cranial band [helmet] for James. During my research, I was really searching for a testimonial or input from other parents who had been in our shoes. I found lots of things about severe cases, but not many moderate cases, like James's. So I'm throwing this out there, at the very beginning, to share some tidbits about our experience and hopefully put a fellow mom's mind at ease.


At every well-check, our wonderful pediatrician would mention the flat spot on his head, and of course, we always agree to do our fair share of tummy time. James has been in daycare since he was 2 months old, so we've only had so much control over that throughout the day. Combined with sleeping 12-hour stretches at night on his back (insert praise hands emoji), we now have a perfectly healthy, gorgeous baby....with a little flat head.

At 8 months, we decided to seek the opinion of a local specialist about his head. Sure enough, she suggested that due to his age, they recommend the cranial band. After much debate and discovering that insurance isn't going to assist us with coverage, Andrew and I decided that it's in his best interest to go ahead and do it. Our thought - if someone ever bullied or picked on him because of his head shape, it would break my heart to know we could have done something about it.

For those wondering about specifics, James's measurements were 12mm in diagonal difference [moderate] and his CI was 92% [mild brachysephaly], which they thought may improve slightly with age.

So....a couple of weeks ago, sweet baby James got his head measured and molded for his new helmet. After seeing a couple of unsettling photos of babies getting fitted, I was really nervous, but James lived up to his nickname and handled the whole process like an angel baby.

Our therapist first put a breathable stocking over James's head and then proceeded to overlay strips of wet plaster-covered fabric over it. Since he can easily sit up on his own, this made things much easier because he could sit up and play while she was doing her job - our job was distracting James. They kept the room very toasty since he was down to his diaper and the water would drip on his shoulders a bit. It didn't take long until he wanted a bowl water for himself to splash around in.

Almost done! The whole process took about 20 minutes. Once she had all of the plaster strips in place, she was able to snip the part covering his mouth while we let the plaster harden. Sidenote: James is obsessed with watching the Robin Hood "Oo De Lally" song on YouTube. We pull it out whenever we need him to sit still for a sec.

Once it dried, she wiggled the plaster cast right off! They had a sink bath waiting for him so we could clean the remaining plaster off. This is the only time he was a little uncomfortable and fussy - the tub was better suited for a smaller baby, and since it was mostly a sponge bath, he got a little too cool before we could dry off. 


Right now, the helmet is in production. We'll go back in on Tuesday, when it arrives, for his fitting! 


We were originally told that James would likely wear his cranial band for about 10-14 weeks [max] for about 21 hours a day. He'd get 3 one-hour breaks for skin checks and free-reign wiggling throughout the day. 

Overall we're incredibly optimistic about it! I keep saying it couldn't come at a better time. James is pulling up and cruising ALL THE TIME [more in his 9-month update] so the extra protection will serve him well. 

I hope to share a couple more updates on this when he gets his helmet - how he adjusts and the progress - as well as before and after pictures when it's all said and done! 



A little behind, seeing that James is almost 8 months old now. Where does the time go? August and September were busy with parties, a new school and vacation. Our little baby is growing into a little boy right before our eyes. His personality shines and he is still the happiest, smiliest baby I've ever seen. Getting James to laugh is pretty easy - he's very ticklish and loves it when anyone makes a funny face or noise.

FAVORITES: bath time, "standing up" while holding your hands, the exersaucer, playing the drums, playing the piano, being tickled, swinging, favorite stuffed animal is still puppy, razbaby teether [love!]

DISLIKES: After a week-long vacation, we had a minor adjustment period where he disliked being the center of attention [insert rolling eye emoji].

SLEEP: Still a good napper at home [~1 hour in the morning and 1.5-2 in the afternoon] and getting better at school, usually an awesome sleeper at night [7pm - 6:30am in the crib], but had 1 night after returning from vacation where we did a little drive around the neighborhood at 1am to calm a teething baby

SCHOOL: We made the switch to James's new school and definitely like the convenience of the location. I've been able to stroll him to and from school since it's only about a 10 minute walk. His class size is bigger [10-11 babies], but he's adjusted SO well!

VISITS AND PARTIES: We visited Danville and Greensboro and attended his first football party. We also had our first family vacation to Isle of Palm, SC [pictures below!]

TYPICAL SCHEDULE: 6:45am wake up 7oz bottle, 8:30am breakfast solids, 10am 7oz bottle, 11am nap, 12pm lunch solids, 1pm bottle, 1:30pm nap, 4pm bottle, 6:30 bath, 6:45pm bottle, 7pm bedtime

7 MONTH MILESTONES: army crawling, "standing" assisted, new solid foods [pears, zucchini, carrots] , saying "mama" but only when he's wining

7 MONTH STATS: [at 6.5 month appointment] 17lbs 9oz, 26.75", size 3 diapers, 9-12 month clothes

Now...for the beach photo dump. Andrew gave me a fancy new camera as an early birthday present, and I've had so much fun learning the ins and outs of amateur photography. It's so hard not to want to capture every move this squishy baby makes, but looking back through these pictures, I feel I should say that my parents and brother were also with us on vacation. Note to self: take pictures of the adults too. 



From day 1 he's been "Sweet Baby James" and he continues to be the sweetest, happiest baby I've ever seen. I've been documenting James's milestones and stats month by month, but this is the first time I'm blogging it. I know I'll love going back through these later on and reminiscing about this sweet, squishy little man.

FAVORITES: puppy, gator, oball, talking to "that other baby" in the mirror or camera, being tickled, bath time [splashing!], swinging in the back yard, watching and playing with his cousins, "petting" the kitties 

DISLIKES: getting dressed after bath time

SLEEP: great napper at home [~1 hour in the morning and 1.5-2 in the afternoon] and getting better at school, awesome sleeper at night [always has been!] 7pm - 6:45am in the crib 

SCHOOL: loves Mrs. Crystal and Ms. Ashley, but getting ready to move in a couple weeks to a more convenient, better rated school. Andrew and I have mixed emotions, but we know he'll do great and that it's the right move for our family. 

VISITS AND PARTIES: Thomas's 1st birthday, Hudson's pool party, visited Danville to see all the cousins

TYPICAL SCHEDULE: 6:45 wake up and nurse, 10am 7oz bottle, 11am nap, 1pm bottle, 1:30pm nap, 4pm bottle, 6:30 bath, 6:45pm bottle, 7pm bedtime

6 MONTH MILESTONES: sitting up, rolling over [back to belly], solid foods [avocado, apples, green beans, sweet potato, butternut squash, oatmeal] , saying "dadadada" and "heeeyyy", but probably not intentionally to/at Andrew or anyone in particular. 

6 MONTH STATS: size 2 diapers, 6-9 month clothes

Sweet baby James, you are such a blessing to our family and have made your daddy and I so happy and SO proud. The best parts of our days are seeing you for the first time in the morning, always smiling and talking in your crib and then picking you up at school at the end of the day, laughing and so happy! You love your kitty brother and sister and love "talking" to them when they're around and "petting" them when they dare to get close enough. You're learning and growing so much every day, and your shining, positive personality shows in everything you do. The past six months have flown by, and it breaks my heart to know that the next six will go by even faster. I wish I could bottle up your little laugh and smell and take it with me every time I'm without you. We love you so much, James. 



Some of the most valuable information I was given before having James was to try to take care of myself too. "Find a time during the day that works best for the both of you, and get clean, dressed and maybe even put on a little makeup." It's definitely easier said than done. I swore that I wouldn't be one of those baby-obsessed moms, but I honestly had NO clue how much I'd love this creature that just came out of my body. We had plenty of help when he was born, but staring at a sleeping baby sounded so much more appealing to me than showering. Despite my extreme baby-watching, non-showering tendencies, here are a few ways I was able to feel like myself again after giving birth.

1. Change out of pajamas.

I wasn't squeezing back into my pre-pregnancy jeans the day after delivery, but it made me feel much better to change clothes in the morning. Even if it was only leggings, a nursing tank and a cozy cardigan. The newborn nights are long, getting up every few hours, but changing into an outfit other than pjs signaled to my sleep-deprived body that it was a new day with a new, clean slate.

2. Shower every day (and maybe even shave your legs!!)

I'm a nighttime shower girl. Even now, I shower at night so I can snooze until the very last minute in the mornings. Washing off the day felt so so good, and a warm shower seemed to restore my sense of normal life. Shaving my legs also made me feel like I "had it together" a bit and helped with #3...

3. Get ready! 

Maybe not every single day, but about 4 times a week, even if I wasn't leaving the house, I'd at least put on a little BB cream, mascara and blush. After laying it all out there during delivery [literally], it was important for me to feel "pretty" again and a little makeup and a curling iron did just that. Throw in a few selfies with a baby, and you're golden!

4. Get together with the girls.

I mentioned before that we had help when James was born. Andrew had a month of paternity leave and both of our moms each came to stay for a week when we first came home. Less than a week after his birth, my mom and Andrew ushered me right out the door to supper club. Having a few sips of wine and a night's worth of girl talk made me feel SO good! I nursed James at 6, went to dinner, and was home by 9 for his next feeding (and an early bedtime!) This move also required me to complete items 1-4 above!

5. Cry a little. 

Childbirth does a number on your hormones, and I was totally not immune. Although I didn't experience the extreme emotions that come with PPD, I did have some baby blues in the first few weeks and sometimes crying a little [or a lot] was the best way for me to cope. Realizing what was happening [hormones/baby blues] and that it's ok and normal to cry made me feel better about shedding some tears when I felt sad, happy or simply scared out of my mind.

These are just a few tips that helped me along the way. In no way, are these tactics to help cope with or overcome postpartum depression. If you are a new mom and you ever have thoughts of hurting yourself or your family, please seek the help of medical professional. There is never a reason to be embarrassed to ask for help - your new baby needs and deserves their mama to feel healthy and her best!