Our little family is now safely nestled in the mountain town of Cotacachi, Ecuador. And by nestled, we are sort of stuck right in between some volcanoes, one on either side of our house. The home has no heating or air (only fireplaces for chilly nights), and it’s so quiet right now. In the distance, I hear dogs barking, cattle lowing, and an occasional large horn honk in the distance. But it’s 8p.m. as I write this, and this little town will all be saying goodnight early. In the morning, some roosters that mix of sounds. Continue Reading…
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 Continue Reading…
Hitting nine months of babyhood is kind of cool, because now baby has spent nine months in, and nine months out, give or take a little (a little more on the “inside” end with my babies ). This past week, Justus turned 9 months! Hard to believe!
At the time he turned 9 months, Justus:
- is 20lbs., 10oz., and 30 inches long.
- grew 2 new teeth: his top two teeth. It was hardly noticeable this time around–could it be that his amber teething necklace really did help? He did nurse a little more frequently a couple of nights, but nothing kept him awake or fussy. The teeth are still making their way down a little more ever day.
- had his first fever when the whole family got sick; he was pretty miserable with the sickness (respiratory), but thankfully is all back to his happy self!
- can stand by himself for a few seconds at a time.
- loves cruising around the living room using the couch and tables to get around.
- says “Mama, “Dada,” “Bee-ba-boo,” and I think I caught him saying “Na-na” for Hana Kate. Mostly “Mama” and “Dada” get said at random, though. “Bee-ba-boo” is said when he wants to play Peekaboo!
- Can play the toy drum.
- Loves following his sisters around, but can also play by himself for a good while.
- Seems to sometimes understand the meaning of “no,” or at least is starting to get a vague idea of the concept in specific concepts.
- Gives kisses (I think we have his friend Evangelyn to thank for this–at least, her kisses and her mommy have reminded me to say “kiss” when we give them, and now Justus often gives kisses when we ask for one, and sometimes even when we don’t.)
- Is showing an affectionate side: besides giving kisses, he will sometimes crawl over and lay his head on one of us. He even did this to Hana Kate the other day, and they both loved it.
- Sometimes will wave for “goodbye.”
- takes two naps: around 10a.m. and 2:30p.m.
- If for some reason he has missed his afternoon nap, or he has a short one, he gets really hyper and it’s quite funny! (Though it’s tempting, we don’t keep him up just for the fun of it! )
- Can drink from a sippy cup, and some from an open lid cup.
- Has been trying lots of new foods, though breastfeeding is definitely still his primary source of nutrition.
- I’m pretty much of a “food before one is just for fun” style of baby feeding, but I can definitely tell that he is having fun! (And making a huge mess.) This month, he’s tried: avocado, quinoa, pear, apple, banana, black beans, carrot, home-juiced veggies in liquid form (usually a base of kale, apple, carrots + other fruits and veggies). He is obsessed with the juice–if he sees me having a juice (which I usually have at supper time), he goes crazy trying to get some. A little sadly, this means that his diapers aren’t…well, the same lovely, easy consistency as breastmilk only diapers.
- got his first diaper rash (see above).
- enjoys people. When my mom and sister visited the previous weekend, he crawled right toward my mom the moment he saw her, and then also happily leaned for my sister to hold him.
- is still happily co-sleeping. Most nights I change his diaper before I go to bed, and he sometimes nurses then. Other times he’ll nurse later in the night, too. Since I don’t get up or out, I’m not always aware how many times it occurs. He had a phase where he was soaking through several diapers each night. I thought maybe I needed to strip the diapers, but just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. I guess he must have been either nursing more during a growth phase or going more at night.
- does not like loud scary noises, such as Daddy and sisters wrestling or growling at each other.
- tries to fake laugh if he hears other laughing. Of course, this is funny, so he does end up being the source of more laughter! Such a fun phase!
- loves to empty the laundry basket of his diapers and the bookshelves of their books!
- applied for his first passport!
- experienced his first “big snow.” He was quite curious about it all, too, and prefered to poke at it with one finger.
- is growing lots of new hair. It’s almost an inch long.
- He loves to dance…to anything, including hymns like “Holy, Holy, Holy!” and classical music, too!
- Although we don’t leave him anywhere apart from us, he doesn’t seem to experience separation anxiety yet.
In spite of my efforts and desires, time isn’t slowing down, and neither is Justus. Now he’s 8 months!
At 8 months, Justus is:
- 20lbs., 3oz. (still need to measure him)
- wearing 12 months, and 12-18 months clothes
- taking 2 naps a day: one around 10a.m. and another in the afternoon, usually starting sometime between 2p.m. and 3:00p.m.
- sleeping from around 7p.m. to 6a.m., give or take (waking once or twice per night…usually)
- happily cosleeping (thankful to have my warm little guy on cold winter nights)
- quite healthy overall, but got his first cold on Christmas Eve; thankfully just a stuffed up nose and resulting cough that quickly passed
- starting to “cruise” by holding onto objects and walking along them
- starting to stand up from the floor on his own(!), though only twice so far
- climbing the stairs (a great energy burner!)
- happily breastfeeding for nourishment and comfort
- trying a new food: three days before he turned 8 months, I let him try some avacado chunks. It kept him occupied trying to pick up the chunks, but he ate everything and then licked the table!
- still loving strangers who smile at him and even hold him
- not experiencing separation anxiety yet (not that he’s ever left with others, but no problems if we leave the room, etc..) A few times, I’ve run errands, and come back and he only wants to be in my arms once I return.
- sometimes feeling left behind if his sisters are playing with him and then suddenly disappear
- loving to pull books off the bookshelf, laundry out of baskets, and perform other general exploratory acts of destruction
- obsessed about bath time–if he hears the water running for his sister’s bath, he’ll make a beeline for the sound
- showing signs of not giving up easily, though he doesn’t seem to get frustrated, either
- showing a sense of humor: he likes to snort and blow raspberries to communicate and make people laugh; if we are laughing at mealtime, he usually thinks we’re laughing at him, and will try to do more stuff to make us laugh.
- melting his mama’s heart (And his daddy’s, too, pretty sure.)
- is pretty good at peekaboo, and often will initiate this on his own now
So thankful for the privilege of sharing these early months with Justus, and to learn so much about ourselves as we nurture this little image bearer!
We celebrated three months with Justus. This is such a sweet, fun phase; though, I guess I probably could say that about almost every stage. Continue Reading…
Justus is now 8 weeks.
He is definitely on a roll, literally. We’ve all seen him roll from tummy to back several times, including my mom while she was here for a visit for a few days last week. He sleeps on his tummy when sleeping on the bed, so it usually happens surrounding his sleep times that he is doing push-ups and looking around and then flips over. Continue Reading…
The day after Justus turned 5 weeks, he started to take longer naps and I started laying him down on his own for many of his naps. He usually gives a few grunts and then is sound asleep. He has also been sleeping for longer portions of the day, which sometimes makes it feel like he changed overnight (and rather literally, he did). Continue Reading…