Thursday, November 21, 2013

at 12 months...

At some point, I had hopes that I'd be doing these posts every month for Jameson like I did the first time around for Caroline.  I thought it'd be helpful to document what they were like and what they were doing at each age marker.  But you know how that goes with the second child... :)

Nevertheless, let's do one now!

Jameson, at 12 months....

  • You could not be any CUTER!  You are the sweetest and most handsome little thing we've ever seen.  
  • Would you believe you are WALKING, but you don't have a single tooth in your body?!  We swear you've been teething for almost a year now, :) but alas, not a tooth to be found.  That's certainly not slowing you down on eating, though!
  • Words to describe you would be: happy, good-natured, inquisitive, quiet, engineer-type, and fun

  • Maybe this is across the board with boys, (but new for Mommy) but you are OBSESSED with figuring out how things work.  You love it.  You love flipping things over. (as you'll keep seeing...)  You like opening and closing the cover of a book we're reading.  While Mommy's reading...
  • You LOVE to bang on things and you notice rhythm.  Are you already a drummer, Mommy wonders?  

  • You like to get out and play with Mommy's hair dryer and brush.  (2 things of which you'll never need or use...)  And yes, that is a toilet in the background.  We have one that needs replacing.  :)

  • It's so crazy how you can walk now!  Your steps are still little and you're working hard at balancing, but heck- you can get from room to room on two legs now, and you're getting faster and more mobile each day!
  • You love to push things and walk behind them:  a laundry basket, a push toy, a waste basket, Daddy's leg, anything that will slide.  

  • Your sister loves playing the piano, and so you are already well aware of what a keyboard is.   You like to play on one, too, but you also enjoy flipping it over to examine the backside.
  • You're a snuggler!  You are content to be held for periods of time.

  • No more baby food for you!  You are really going for finger foods now.  I can tell you like the independence of eating.  Right now you especially like: soft carrots, beans, chicken, hot dog bits, rice, bread, eggs, and olives.  

  • You're okay letting big sis take the wheel.  Both literally and figuratively.
  • Favorite thing of yours: our tv remotes.  (go figure!  Such a guy.)  And as of this week, we really get a "show" when we take them away from you-- you've learned to fall limp on the floor crying and screaming like life itself is going to end.  :)  It's awful.

  • You and your sis are sweet together.  Most of the time you guys play separately, but then come back to one another and play together.  You get super jealous when Mommy or Daddy hold or love on Caroline.

  • Just like you gravitate towards things that keep you guessing, I like to say that you, Jameson, keep us guessing.  From the beginning, you've never been one to follow a strict schedule or meet the milestones whenever some book says you're supposed to.  With your reflux issues, we're left guessing when it comes to transitioning you away from the hypoallergenic formula and onto milk.  Nothing seems to be working right just yet.  We'll keep trying.   Sometimes you're not the easiest one to figure out...

  • Mommy's taking you to Babygarten at the library, just like your big sister, Caroline!  You absolutely LOVE it!  

  • Here you are trying to give a toy to another little guy.  You are so sweet.
  • Well, except for your hitting thing.  Yeah, you're a hitter.  You particularly like Caroline's bald head, but you'll hit Mommy and Daddy in the face, too.  When you see their reaction and hear them say, "No no, Jameson" firmly, you get a pouty face and begin crying, only long enough before you try hitting again!  Oh dear, we will keep working...
  • You are "talking" all the time.  We just can't understand a word of what you're trying to say.  :)  We can tell you are starting to understand more of what we're saying, though!  
  • Words you're saying: all done, Mama, Dada, God, ball
  • Every animal sound is "kkkkkkk"  (as in, "what does the cow say?"  "kkkkk")  :)
  • But you've got the first catechism question down pat!  ("Who made you?"  "GAH!")

  • Look at the sleeping babies!  ha ha!  You have to have a pacifier and a blanket to sleep.  Mommy switched to a satin crib sheet when she learned how much better that would be on your hair.
  • You are taking a morning and afternoon nap, and then bedtime is 7:30.  You still wake at least once or twice a night, though... Mommy and Daddy are more than ready to be done with THAT!

With all the guessing you keep giving us, you also have so many hugs and kisses to give!
We love you, our sweet guy.
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

dear jameson...

Dear Jameson,

I can't believe it was one year ago today you were placed into our arms.  And into our family.

You were eleven days old and a hefty six pounds.

This was the last picture we took as a family of three before getting in the car to go get YOU!

We were so ready and so excited to become a family of four.

We signed the papers.  We wrote the check.

Committing to you before we ever laid eyes on you.

We loved you before we ever knew you.

And words cannot express the moment we saw you, our son, for the very first time.

You were placed in my arms.  Time seemed to stop.

You were perfect.

We couldn't stop staring at you, taking in your every little feature.

As if to say "nice to meet you" with our eyes.

We were so happy.  You were a dream come true.

Life doesn't get any better than that moment.

Caroline held you, her new baby brother, for the first time.

You made her so happy.

Nanny rejoiced to meet you as well.

You know what's funny?  You slept through the entire thing!

You didn't even know what was happening to you, how the Lord was directing your paths even at your birth.

But dear Jameson, He is always working in our lives.  Even when we are asleep or unaware of His leading.  He is our guide.

He has given you a community of people who will love you and cheer you on through your life.

One year ago today, we tucked the blanket gently around you and loaded you in our car.

We carried you into our house, and life would never, ever be the same.

(in fact, that very afternoon, we were in the doctor's office having to give you a breathing treatment!  oh goodness...)

We thank God for you, Jameson.

And we look forward to many, many more years together.

Mommy and Daddy
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Monday, November 18, 2013


Sure, they make for a TON of yard work this time of year, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

the white parents at the black salon...

I'll be honest.  As vanilla parents to a chocolate baby, we are naturally CLUELESS when it comes to black hair.  It's been an entirely new, fascinating subject to learn, and I've really enjoyed opening myself up to another culture through it.  There are many different products and lines of thought on caring for ethnic hair, but there was one thing ALL of our african american brothers and sisters were in agreement on:

You don't cut his hair until he's 1.

Being as clueless as we were, we had no idea this tradition existed.  As we asked around, it seems like there were lots of varying reasons and some superstitions for this rule, but basically, we were told it would change the texture of the hair from soft to brittle.

Say no more.

I'm not about to break that rule, no matter how high Jameson's hair continues to climb.  (ha!)  Because what's more important to me than my son's appearance is honoring and incorporating his culture into our own, and this was an easy, no brainer for us.  No way were his soft little curls going to be clipped.

Until his birthday last week!

So this was the moment!  Granted, I'd had an entire YEAR to figure out where we should take him when this day came, but did I have ANY idea where we were going the day of???   Nope.   I'd been asking various folks where they'd recommend, and though there were plenty of capable folks whose names we were given, we both felt pretty strongly about going to a black salon/barbershop.

We've opted for black salons/barbershops not just because we think they'd do a better job on his hair, but because as a transracial family, it's important that Jameson is not always the one in the minority.  We want him to have LOTS of opportunities to be in and around black culture, to gain another dimension of who he is.  Being black certainly won't be his entire identity, but it will be a large one.  And an important one.  (Just like Caroline's alopecia doesn't define the entirety of who she is, it certainly plays a large role in her identity process.)  It's also just as valuable for Marc and I to be around and in black culture, too.  Whether they realize it or not, they are just as much "my" people now.  :)

So the next morning, I had narrowed things down to two places in town, but this was just SO outside of my expertise!   How did I know where to go, afterall?

I was a little nervous walking in the salon, as anyone would be when you enter into another cultural experience completely foreign to your own.  I'll never forget the echoing sound of my boots as I stepped across the hardwood floors of the foyer and into the spacious open room of the salon.

Suddenly, I saw a salon filled with wonderful, smiling folks, all with skin as dark and velvety rich as Jameson's.  Marc and I instantly felt at ease.  At home.

This was exactly what we had been hoping for.

"Hello!" they warmly greeted us.  "What can we do for you?"

I'm sure we were quite the sight to their eyes!  Well, I'm white, I wanted to start off apologizing.... (he he!) but instead I chose my words a little more carefully.  :)

"This is our son, Jameson,..."

"Hi Jameson!  Well, hello, Jameson!" the place erupted before I could finish my sentence.  It was like they knew my son already, in a way that I cannot.  They took him in INSTANTLY.  We LOVED it.

Beautiful beyond words.

"...and he is one year old today, so we'd like him to get him his first haircut," I finished.  And then, the nervous, white mama in me started speaking in rapid fire, "But I'm not ready to chop it all off!, and I still want him to have his soft curls!," I nervously announced to the entire place.

As if they ALL needed to hear your insecurities over his hair, Amy.

They, however, were all very understanding and excited to be there for Jameson's big moment.

"Y'all from here?" one of the stylists asked us.  I'm sure they didn't quite know WHAT to think of us!  Not sure how many black-and-white families have walked through those doors before.

This is Andrea, Jameson's first stylist.  She's a mom to three children, the oldest being in his twenties.

And this picture is a great reminder of why we needed to be there in the first place.  :)

(I'll be honest, I was a little embarrassed taking him with his hair so out of control like that.  I'm sure I was confirming every stereotype in their mind...)

As Andrea started working her magic, this is what ensued.  The poor boy LOST it.  (yes, that's my hand trying to feed him some puffs, thinking it might help keep his mind off of things.  Umm, it didn't.)

Big ol' crocodile tears.

The stylist next to us must have noticed our distress as he gestured to Jameson and said, "Don't y'all worry.  ALL the little ones do this."

Well, okay, that made me feel a little better.  At least this wasn't happening because my son's head had thusfar been left to the hands of clueless, white parents.  ;)

His crying continued on and on, becoming hysterical.  At that point, Andrea stopped, picked him up, and tried to calm him down.  It wasn't helping.

She handed him to me, and I tried calming him.   Didn't work.
He stretched his arms out toward Marc.

And the most beautiful thing happened next.

As soon as he was placed in his Daddy's arms, Jameson's cries fell completely silent.  He laid his head down on Marc's shoulder where he knew everything would be alright.

He received the comfort that only his Daddy's embrace could give him.

It was a moment Marc and I will never forget, with everyone in the salon as our witnesses.  "Well," one person commented approvingly, "he just needed his Daddy."

Yes, his Daddy.  We could've cried.  How are we so richly blessed to be parents to Jameson?

Andrea handed him a brush and continued cutting.  It was the perfect distraction.

He tried brushing his own hair with it at one point. :)

And this is what I love.  As soon as Andrea finished cutting his hair, she set Jameson back into the chair and pulled out HER phone to take pictures.

Of my son.

She got my number and texted me one of her snapshots.  The owner of the salon came up to me and asked for my address so that they could mail us a "first haircut" certificate.  So, so sweet.

Speaking of so, so sweet.... he looks so grown up!!!  (I love Andrea's face in the mirror here-- can't you see the warmth?  And look at his sweet expression back to her.)

My little guy, I may not look like I should be your mama,
but I'm so happy I AM!
You are STUCK like glue to me.
Forever.   :)
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