It never ceases to amaze how just one year’s time can transform a ruddy, floppy, birth-scented newborn into a walking, talking, baby with a definite sense of humor and vibrant personality.
We praise God for our joy-filled year with Justus Daniel Shalom, and pray for many more years together. Happy first birthday to our beloved son! We celebrate his life and those who have played a special part in his life so far.
May God make His face shine on you, and may you grow into a man, who, in keeping with your name, seeks justice, yearns for and promotes true shalom, and who lives with the thought that “God [alone] is judge,” as we seek to nurture and tenderly shepherd you as you become the person you were created to be.
Justus at 12 Months
What a funny little guy we have on our hands! I’d forgotten how much I enjoy having a one-year-old around the house (which is reminding me why I really, really need to do a better job at recording these memories, if I’ve already forgotten some of the special stuff that’s common to this age). And as funny as he is, requires twice as much energy exertion from his mama for all the fun and funniness.
Justus took his first steps at nine months, but he can now raise himself to standing and has really taken off with his walking over the past couple of weeks. He typically wants to be doing whatever his sisters are doing, and does not like to be excluded, especially if he can still see them. This has advantages, though, in that he easily picks up skills simply from watching them.
He also does just great climbing the stairs, and can now go down them, too. (With me following closely, of course. Sometimes his sisters follow him up the stairs, too; only adults for coming down.) He can climb fairly well, too–up onto the couch, stools, or chairs. And if an object is his height, it’s not uncommon to catch him trying to hoist a leg up.
He has started to say a few words, too, and his most used are “hi,” buh-buy,” “uh-oo,” “bah!” (ball, also used for balloon), “mama,” “da-dee” or “dah!” “na-na” (banana), “num!” (his request for food). His most used word is definitely “hi,” though it often comes out as “hi-yee!”
When he wants to nurse, he just leans toward me and clicks his tongue, often smiling up at me. It is so sweet.
He also is in the pointing stage, which is so cute to watch.
We are still breastfeeding during both daytime and nighttime. Though if he gets too busy, he doesn’t nurse as much during the daytime. I also nurse him to sleep most naptimes and bedtimes.
Justus usually eats something of whatever we are eating for mealtimes. He loves to have it put on a fork or spoon and feed it to himself–basically, however we are eating the food is how he wishes to eat, too. Sometimes, though, we eat finger foods and he prefers to still use a fork! 🙂 Some of his favorites are greek yogurt, banana, apple, eggs, quinoa, and oatmeal. I usually just follow his cues as to how he’d like to get things into his mouth, but he does do quite well using regular utensils at this point.
I’ve also given him some of the juice I’ve made in the juicer. Usually this has kale, spinach, carrots, apples, plus various other vegetables. He absolutely loooves this, though I try not to give him too much. He also had his first juicebox the other day. We were away from the house, and had some with us that we gave to the girls. He was begging for some from Eden, so I asked her to give him a try (he’s loved to play with their straws before). He took over and drank the entire box! (We had an extra ready for Eden, thankfully.) Wasn’t too grand for a later diaper, but he really enjoyed this “first!”
Justus is still my personal alarm clock and squishy cuddler. We have been sharing a room and bed since day one, and still are co-sleeping/bed-sharing. He usually goes to bed around 8p.m. and wakes up around 7a.m. In between, he nurses at least once, and if he is teething or something else is going on, that will be more frequent.
He usually takes a morning nap around 10a.m., and then an afternoon nap around 2:30p.m., though I think he’s about to transition to just one nap per day.
Though all of our kids have had fairly healthy childhoods (so far), Justus has been our healthiest baby to this point. I’ve never placed him in a nursery/childcare (Eden was only in the church nursery a few times, and Hana Kate quite frequently during her first year), so that may be part of it. Yet, he still picked up two of his sickness from other babies). He was sick only three times in his first year, each time with a cold, and has had a fever just twice. We are very thankful for his good health! We don’t follow the traditional vaccination schedule, so for now, he has only had one doctor’s well visit–just to say “hi,” basically! 🙂 (Maybe I should take him again now that he can actually vocally say “hi.”)
Wow! What a personality he has! There are many smiles in our house, for sure.
Justus is an animal lover, but he especially loves dogs. Whenever he hears the word “dog” or sees one, he starts panting. (And actually, this was the sound he made for all animals for a while–it was quite funny when he saw a bird and started panting!)
He also sometimes says “hi-yee” to whatever animal we are meeting at the moment.
Of our kids so far, he has never really had much aversion to new people, and just yesterday we were talking to our neighbor and he was happy for him to hold him while we talked–Justus even reached out his arms for him to hold him. This is a great charm to have, and highlights the challenge of having an extremely shy baby that one of our girls went through.
He loves water, and doesn’t have many fears of getting it in his face or of getting too cold. He often tries to drink the water: both out of the faucet and from the tub or pool. He has loved the swimming pool, and it is extra fun now that he is walking. (Extra work for me (or Daniel) if he’s not in a floatie at the pool, for sure, though!) I had him in the floatie at our community kiddie pool the other day, and he was following an older boy around the pool.
Although he loves people and playing rough with his sisters, he does not like lots of loud, chaotic noise (right there with you, buddy!) or overly energetic kids, and fusses even if he hears his sisters playing too loudly with each other. If we’re in a large crowd that is noisy, he often clings to me. Otherwise, he likes being around people, large or small groups.
Both of his sisters love him a lot, and they relate to him each in their own way. Recently, they have been wanting to carry him around. Hana Kate can do this for remarkable distances and lengths of time. So, of course, Eden wants to do this, too. He usually lets them carry himself without objection, and just recently has gone to them smiling and with outstretched arms. Eden is most affectionate toward him, but she sometimes gets frustrated with him if he is messing up her playspace. Hana Kate is more forgiving in that area, and often gives him what he’s wanting or simply moves elsewhere.
He is also more affectionate at this age than the girls were, though there are a lot of factors that could influence that. He will often voluntarily cuddle or kiss both of them, and also usually gives kisses to me and Daniel when we request. We just melt every time!
Justus doesn’t grow frustrated too often, but he definitely does on occasion when he wants something he can’t have, is over tired, or has to be in the carseat for very long. He also doesn’t like to hear other kids crying, and usually starts making crying or whimpering sounds if he hears others crying.
He also loves to take off his diaper and run away before I can get to him. Hmmm… On that note, we made it an entire year using cloth diapers and cloth wipes. (Next baby (God-willing), I think I’ll try elimination communication earlier on.)
He’s wearing mostly size 12 and 12-18 months and some 18 month clothing. I haven’t put him in shoes yet, but his feet are pretty big. (I do have some soft-soled Robeez, and will probably use those a little more if he’s walking outside in dirty or hard areas.)
He is 20 lbs., 5oz. and 30 inches long. His white-blonde hair is actually growing in, and he has already gotten a farmer’s tan!
Reading is another activity he really enjoys. Along with pulling books off the bookshelf. However, he’s learned that it’s a no-no, and that combo (along with putting less books in his reach) has already helped.
Along with no-no’s, I’ve only taught him a couple of things that are always off limits. He has dones fairly well with understanding this, though it did take a good while to get to that point.
I have videos and other pictures I wanted to post along with this, but if I wait to post until I insert those, I know it may not ever get posted. So for now, I’ll try not to let the perfect (beautiful pictures and lovely occasion-themed videos) be the enemy of the good (getting enough sleep and making sure I actually record something).