Hennie James: Eleven Months


Sweet Baby James is growing up and little hints of the toddler she will soon become are starting to show through in her budding personality. This strong-willed child knows her mind, has unbelievable determination, and can be very intense (I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised about that after some of the crying sessions we witnessed in her earlier months). Like her daddy, Hen will gratefully and enthusiastically eat anything that is offered to her. Like her mama she can be noisy, stubborn, and smiley all in a single moment. And boy is she on the move! Crawling, cruising, and climbing around our home to get quickly to the things that catch her eye. Lately she has been quite drawn to the tantalizing record collection on display in our living room; a few times a day she will pull Bob Dylan and Nat King Cole from the shelf and take them out of their plastic sleeve. Later we will find that plastic sleeve crumpled in a corner somewhere and wet with saliva. Fun!

Her facial expressions crack us up daily and she has recently mastered a very high-pitched screech that she uses when she feels excited or annoyed, needs attention, or is just plain feeling cheeky. Current favourite tricks include waving hi and bye, playing peek-a-boo, pulling off her socks so she can eat them, chatting nonstop, and pointing at us when we ask “where’s mama?” or “where’s daddy?” She has perfected the stare-down at an early age and we are very aware that we will have our hands full for a long time, but are loving that we get to raise such a curious and mischievous little sasspot!

Hennie James: Ten Months

Miss Hennie James is ten months old and her personality is shining through in spades; she can be sassy, silly, clever, and cute – sometimes all in the same moment! Hen seems to know her mind quite a bit already (not sure which parent she may have picked that up from?) and we love watching her daily as she tries to solve problems and develop her new skills. Despite our suspicions that she has been continuously teething for the last month or more, she has been super smiley. Her new teeth are popping through all over rather than in pairs, so she has a bit of a jack-o-lantern smile at the moment (just in time for Halloween, I guess!). She is walking like a pro as long as she can hold onto something with one hand to steady herself, and loves to wave hello, high five, and clap her hands while saying “yayayayayayayayaya!” Hennie is still not saying “mama” or “dada,” not chewing her food very well (though she is very enthusiastic about solids), and has yet to master drinking through a straw; bottles and cups seem to perplex her a little, and her first instinct is to chew on things rather than use them for their intended function.

The last two months we have seen Hen adapt to so many new environments and experiences as we travelled around BC and flew to England, but on her ten month “birthday” we moved into our first (owned) family home, complete with Hennie’s very own bedroom! Though we’ve only slept three nights in our new home, she has been napping and sleeping much better in her own space with less interruptions. Time is flying by and we intend to spend the next few months exploring the parks and river views in our new city.

Hennie James: Nine Months

Hennie’s ninth month on the outside has been one of travel and new experience! There have been a few stressful moments for our little fam but mostly just good days and so much fun watching her navigate new skills, new sights, and new faces.

Nicknames: Bugaloo seems to have stuck. Who would’ve thought!?

Life Lately: the past month has been defined by continued separation anxiety. Hen’s early months were a time when we couldn’t be separated from her for any length of time. Only we could care for her and calm her, and though she no longer screams for long hours of the day she has continued the trend of preferring her parents. We don’t mind at all, but we know our families (especially the grandparents!) would probably appreciate sitting with her for longer than a minute before she spots her daddy and reaches desperately for his embrace. But we have seen the alternative and know that there are worse things than a cute and clingy companion so we sorta love it.

Solids: We’ve been away from home for the better part of the past month so we’ve been using that time to try and expose Hen to new foods and flavours. We give her tastes of whatever soft foods we’re eating, from conventional first foods like bananas, yogurt, and mashed potatoes to some more “daring” baby foods, including chicken shawarma with tzatziki, lamb and beef curries, bacon, sausage, and eggs, feta and watermelon salad… so far Hen has loved it all!

New Favourites: after expressing zero interest in being read to up to this point, she has become infatuated with books – “reading,” turning the pages, chattering away to herself, and looking at the pictures. It certainly warms her bookworm mama’s heart to see her crawl past the noisy, light-up toys on the floor to get to a basket of books. I hope it continues forever and ever! Another new skill is pulling herself up and “walking” along the coffee table or couch. She’s been a more amenable baby since the day she learned to sit up so there’s no doubt in our minds that this girl prefers to be upright. She’s been able to crawl for a while and will do it if there’s adequate incentive (food, electronics, books!), but it looks like she may not be super into crawling and just go straight to walking. Every post I’ve done has said that this is our favourite age yet and nine months is no exception!

Hennie James: Eight Months

This is such a fun age! We truly love it. Stroller walks, sunny park hangs, smiles …we are finally having all of the experiences that other parents have been having for a long time, haha. Of course there have been countless memorable moments over the past seven months that we will always cherish, but the current phase we’re in has so many more ups than downs that it’s hard not to gush about it. Y’know how you have a baby and people come out of the woodwork to instruct you to “savour every second ’cause it all goes by so quickly”? In the early days we took that advice as a comfort rather than a warning. But nowadays every milestone mastered and skill successfully learned is a reminder that this silly and determined baby girl of ours is trying to grow up as quickly as she can. Experience has told us that every phase is fleeting, so we are dragging out every cuddle and making the most of these long summer days before she becomes a toddler in just four short months!

Things We Want to Remember About Hennie at 8 Months Old: lately she keeps repeating “ich” like she’s about to say something in German. She is currently obsessed with her dad and needs to be held by him all the time. She gets so excited when she hears him come into the apartment after work and will push mama away quite roughly to get to him! She doesn’t laugh very easily but when she does she just lights up. Her belly and thighs are the most ticklish, but she has to be in the right mood (if not we receive the judgemental, chilling stare that she mastered much too easily). She still loves being in the wraps and carriers strapped to mama or dad and we’re so thankful for that because it’s nice to keep her close while we’re still able. At 20 lbs she may outgrow being carried sometime very soon! She has a cute little stink face that comes out when she is concentrating really hard on something.

New Skills: crawling, having teeth (though she is still working on how to chew properly), sleeping in her crib for all naps and night times (!!), interacting with more complex toys, joyously slapping her open hand against things, standing up, knocking down block towers, closing the fridge door (a game we play on repeat), trying new food flavours, and climbing on everything. If there is something within sight that she is not allowed to play with or is dangerous, she will do everything within her tiny powers to get to it. Her lack of fear is worrisome.

Hennie James: Seven Months

The theme for this past month has been sleep, specifically a lack of it! An onslaught of big changes in such a little body has meant that Hennie’s previously decent sleeping abilities have been hugely waylaid. Excitement at having so many new skills have made for a very agitated baby in the evenings. Even before this regression it took a combo of bouncing, shushing, and ninja moves to get this kid down, but once she was out we usually reaped the benefits of 5 (ish) uninterrupted hours of sleep. We knew that every phase has it’s day with these babes so we tried to accept that one until it passed but the week before May long weekend we were complete zombies and decided something had to be done. We made a plan with some new rules (for her and for us) and used the long weekend to start. Things were going well for a week or two until Hen figured out exactly what we were doing and altered herself accordingly, becoming completely resistant to naptime and bedtime routines and ramping up her screaming tenfold. Last night we felt like our strong-willed daughter had left us no choice but to let her cry it out. Ugh! Fingers crossed that we can get the whole family into a bit of a routine before the traveling we’re doing later this summer!

Nicknames: Hennie Bear and Bugaloo or just “Boogs” 🙂

Things We Want to Remember About Hennie at Seven Months Old: her twisty wrist motion, it’s the best. How she smiles with her tongue out, how much she loves frozen banana, the way she pumps her arms and legs with excitement when she sees us, how she looks to us for encouragement right after she rolls over, how proud she is when she achieves something new, how much she loves being in water and splashes like crazy, the way she laughed like crazy when she finally got up on all fours and started inching across the floor – it’s like she knew she had just done something so awesome.

New Skills: she has mastered her hand motions to the point where she can (clumsily) wave, high-five, and bring a spoon to her mouth; is sitting up without help, feeds herself red pepper, baked sweet potato, cucumber, and carrot, and finally finally fell asleep in our arms a few times. We had been waiting 7 months for those cuddles and we looked at each other with giddy grins every time she laid her little (big) head on our shoulder. This usually lasts less than a minute before she tries to climb up and over our shoulder to see what adventure awaits behind us. Little monkey!

Hennie James: Six Months

Happy half-birthday, Hennie James! We cannot believe the first year is half over, though we also wouldn’t say it has flown by with this kid. Our little girl has never done anything half-heartedly; she cries with intent, she plays with a purpose, she does everything at full speed (or full blast!). When she learned that she could roll both ways this month she immediately started flinging her weight left and right, limbs flailing, to get to whichever toy had caught her eye. She isn’t mobile yet but when she spies something that she wants that is out of her reach, she will get to it. She will find a way. I hope she never loses that determination.

Current Nicknames: the three most common are Bugaloo, Little Bear, and Goblin

Things We Want to Remember about Hennie at Six Months Old: how there is almost always a blurry limb in any given pic of this girl because she’s always on the move, how much she loves being strapped to Tom in the dad carrier for hours on long walks (perhaps with a cheeky pint while she snoozes), her spazzy right arm, the way she rolls all over the rug and onto the hardwood (and under the bookshelf, and into the hall), the grunts she makes when she’s determined to do something and the huge grin that follows when she has succeeded, and that although we have had some pretty low moments lately it’s been her best month so far because she’s interacting a lot more and her personality is really starting to show! It’s definitely a fun age, most days 😉

New Skills: the developmental ‘leap’ that babies go through between 5-6 months is a big one, so there have been lots of changes happening. Hennie is SO active now, sitting up and standing with our help, leaning down to grab toys or up to grab faces, and wanting to crawl so badly. Unfortunately she doesn’t sleep nearly as well as she used to, we suspect as a result of a teething-and-growth-spurt combo that’s requiring extra night nursing and comforting, but we’re doing our best to deal with the current phase with as much patience and coffee as is necessary.We have given her some solid foods to try and it has been fun to see her reactions as she already has such an expressive little face! She seems to love all sweet things and feel rather indifferent towards the other flavours (perhaps she inherited her dad’s sweet tooth). Her favourite snack so far has been frozen banana or frozen mango chunks inside of a mesh teether – soothing on her sore gums, I’m sure! Hen has mastered a lot of new hand movements lately and will enthusiastically reach for whatever is nearby that looks interesting; we are constantly pulling things out of her reach and infuriating her by doing so. Little busybody! We are very much looking forward to seeing Hen learn and grow even more this spring and summer!

Hennie James: Five Months

I know I said this about four months, but five months is such a fun age! As the last post mentioned, Hennie seems like a “normal” baby now and we are so relieved (and, as always, still learning)! She has so many smiles and cuddles for her mom and dad these days, doesn’t scream when (most) people hold her, and is now both a frustration and a joy. Unfortunately, around the time when colic ends most babies start hitting some other issues, so we’ve transitioned from the hurricane of colic to the nap strikes, bedtime issues, and general irritability of teething and sleep regressions. The difference now is that there is a reason we can pinpoint for her cranky moments, in the form of two sharp little teeth just under the surface! Poor Hen. Her development is right on track too; she is grabbing, drooling, rolling, reaching, chewing, wiggling, sitting up and standing (with our help) and loving every minute of it. She can have a piercing or a sweet voice depending on what she wants at the time. We are letting her explore some purees once in a while to get used to the textures and smells of new foods, but not a lot is ending up in her mouth, as expected for this age.

Nicknames: Hennie Penny, HenBaby, Happy Hennie, Turd Burglar, Sweet Baby James, Jamesie, Lil Monkey, Goblin Baby, Chunky Monkey, White Chocolate Chunker, Drooler

Things We Want to Remember About Hennie at this Age: how she kicks her feet with excitement when she sees us, how she sleeps with one rogue arm up in the air like a firehose, how soft her big chunky thighs and arms are, how she always keeps one hand on us at all times if she can, that she likes to be held by us the most, her screeches as she’s finding her voice, how light her blue eyes are getting, the tuft of white blonde hair on the top of her head, the way she acts like (as Tom says) “a baby goblin we found in the woods that we have to teach to act human”.

Things That Are Changing: Hen is not taking to tummy time or to her bouncy chair as enthusiastically as she once was, resulting in us having to hold her a lot more – no small feat for a baby this strong and wiggly! She has also grown out of being swaddled, a big change for us and for her sleep-time routine, but we are finding new ways to make it work. She has started to let us sit when we go out to pubs and cafes now, and that’s a nice change ’cause for the first four months we had to bounce her constantly when we dared to go out. She has started to stay in her Bumbo chair and high chair for longer periods of time so it looks like she’s just preferring the upright position in general!

Happy five months, Bugaloo!


Hennie James: Four Months

Hen is such a fun age right now – it seems like every few days she is learning a new skill and showing it off! She is rolling over from her tummy to her back, is laughing and holding her head up more easily, and loves to stand. She likes sitting in her high chair at the dinner table while we play cards and also likes straightening her legs when we’re changing her so we can’t get her pants on. She loves to use her voice and just discovered how to squeal and screech! So cute… so high pitched. She is also finally gaining some control over her hands and can grasp things very well, a fact that I found out the hard way when I dared to wear dangly earrings last weekend. Our current struggles include convincing her to take a bottle and attempting to troubleshoot that dreaded four month sleep regression. Her naps have become much shorter and it takes a lot longer to get her to sleep in the evenings, but we’re getting enough sleep to get by so we’re thankful for that (and for coffee). We just got the Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit to ease the transition from being tightly swaddled while she sleeps.

Nicknames: Little Turd, Hennie Bugaloo, Smiley Cyrus, Droolia Roberts, Lil’ Bum, and her daddy also loving calls her Gobbers.

Hennie Likes: sitting up and standing (with help, of course), looking at faces, mirrors, playing airplane, chatting after a big feed, the swing at the park, testing her voice, and testing our patience. 

Hennie Dislikes: having clothes pulled over her head, being held by someone other than mum or dad, falling asleep without being bounced, sleeping in, and missing out (aka she needs her parents to be within her view at all times or else). 

Happy four months, Hennie Bugaloo! 

Hennie James: Three Months

The Fourth Trimester is over and little miss Hen is a newborn no more! During these first few months there have been so many connections being forged in her little body and it’s so much fun to watch her learn a new skill or make a new discovery. But the milestone we’re most looking forward to has to do with the fact that colic tends to improve significantly between 3 and 4 months. Ummm, bring on the improvement, please!! We are desperate for our evening hours to get better and more manageable. Sometimes we are able to eke out a quick card game or watch the first half of a movie, but our evenings are (still) spent passing a very fussy baby back and forth until bedtime. We are looking forward to the day when she calms down and we’re able to leave her with a relative or friend for even two hours so we can have dinner together out of the house, but for now we’re spending our weekend evenings hibernating at home with some good takeout and a few nice ciders. Probably best during flu season anyway.

Hennie Likes: morning time, being spoken to in silly voices, her pacifier, kicking her feet, making “grumpy cat” faces before screaming, looking out the window, hanging out on the kitchen counter when mama cooks, being held by daddy.

Hennie Dislikes: evening time, getting immunizations, sitting still, having clothes pulled over her big head, being cooperative during feedings, cuddling, having people in her personal space.

Nicknames: Little Miss Custard Pants, Little Red Hen,

Development: Hen has begun to talk a lot more and it’s pretty cute. After she feeds she is (usually) pretty happy, and we have some intriguing conversations with her. She is a decent sleeper at night time if she’s swaddled tight so her loose arms don’t flail wildly and wake her up. She has become a very distracted eater and frequently stops feeding to gaze up at mama with a coy attitude and a wide grin – obviously we love that, but it makes it difficult to keep her well-fed! She still doesn’t laugh very often but makes up for it with frequent smiles. She is does push-ups when placed on her tummy and drools constantly while voraciously sucking her little fists.

Hennie James: Two Months

We have a two-month-old! So hard to believe. When I was pregnant I spent so much time daydreaming about what this newborn phase would be like. I imagined long naps together, hours spent cuddling, and sweet moments as a family. The reality has been very different and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t wishing this phase away. Everyone keeps telling us to appreciate every second but we feel pretty confident that we won’t miss these days later, no matter how cute and little she may be. That said, she is starting to show signs of change that lead us to hope she will not be a “high needs” baby forever.

Hennie Likes: holding hands, crying, constantly moving, being on the changing table, being next to mama in the Solly wrap, white noise, her green bouncy chair, waking up at 8am, the right boob.

Hennie Dislikes: having clothes put on, drinking from a bottle, being still, being quiet, being in the family heirloom bassinet, being left anywhere without company, being startled, the left boob.

Development: Hen has started to pay a lot of attention to lights, is holding her head up (quite a feat w a noggin this size!), kicking a lot, and looking around (preferably over the shoulder of someone who is bouncing her around the kitchen). She smiles easily but her smiles often morph into cries very quickly. She’s starting to figure out that the sounds she hears are actually coming from her own mouth! She is becoming much more alert and quickly growing out of her NB and 0-3 month clothes and into 3-6 month stuff! We are hoping she will learn to be awake without screaming a little more often, and are looking very much forward to the day when she lets us cuddle her 🙂