I realized that I never got around to posting the winner of the Christmas card photo shoot, for those of you who aren't on the Christmas card list (and if that's the case and you're reading this, perhaps I should add you...hmmm.)...so here it is :) Definitely captures Jacob's essence! He is an incredibly happy little boy. He smiles almost every time we look at him now, which is such a nice feeling. Of course, we also know when he's not happy...and he's getting ever more adept at communicating that. He's acquired an ear-piercing shriek that he pulls out once in a while when he's extra angry about something. That is going to take some getting used to. But really, it doesn't happen very often and most of the time there's a good reason for it and it can be taken care of fairly easily. Usually he's hungry (once I can feed him he quiets down instantly), sleepy (a good rock and he's usually ready to nap--though he has to get to a certain fussiness before that will work), or bored/lonely (whether it's playing or just standing up and walking around, that usually works for at least a while, until one of the other two issues come up).
The whole smiling at us thing is really a lot of fun. He looks at us like we are the two coolest people ever. Big, open-mouthed grins, dimple in full view...it doesn't get any better than that. He's also been talking a lot lately. Still no real sounds--sounds that could form words--but lots of cooing and babbling. Some of the sounds are SO cute. Oh, and one of the best side effects of the smiling thing? It's a lot easier to get him to smile for the camera! Of course, he's still drooling and chewing on his hands a lot, teeth or not, so getting a picture minus those two elements is still a challenge.
Looking back on my year ago blog postings (I can do that now, which may provide interesting blog post fodder on slow days...), it's amazing how far we've come. From a newly pregnant couple that was totally clueless about babies to fairly competent parents of a six month old...though not to say that we don't still have our moments, most of which involve poop or unexplained crying spells, which I suppose could throw anyone off. And I know there are a million challenges ahead that we haven't even thought of yet...like when Jacob no longer thinks we're the coolest people he knows. Last year at this time we were finally getting the word out to people other than family, and starting to really worry and wonder about the rest of the pregnancy, now that the first trimester was officially over. Now I still worry about things, from making sure I'm doing the right thing for good breastfeeding to keeping Jacob safe. From his clumsy mom to giving him the freedom to sit on his own but trying to protect him from flopping over and banging his head, and from worrying about how secure he is in his carseat to rolling over on his face in bed, there's so much to think about. Just this morning I got a little concerned because I put him back to bed after his 7:30 feeding and some playtime (a little after 9am) and he slept until about 10:45. I was a little worried because that was a little out of character for my little catnapper. Crazy (but awesome!).
Still...I know how lucky we are. I was just watching a baby show this morning (Babies: Special Delivery--there really wasn't much on) and there was a couple profiled whose baby was born with some sort of cyst in her torso, and it was literally sucking the life out of her. Eventually she had a brain bleed and they had to take her off life support. She died. I just can't imagine going through a pregnancy and delivery, only to lose the baby a day or two later (or EVER, for that matter). I just held Jacob close and stroked his hand and face while I watched, knowing how incredibly blessed we are to have a relatively healthy little boy who brings us so much joy. 2008 has been a pretty amazing year, and I hope we experience equally good things in 2009. Have a very Happy New Year everyone!