(I'm posting this without pictures, because I can't find the damn card converter to load them on the computer - I'll add them soon, hopefully)
Well, geez. That went fast. Jim is a whole year old, and he is active and adorable and a total pain in the ass to chase around, and I'm not entirely sure I remember what life was like before him. I suspect there may have been a lot more sleeping in.
At a year old, he's walking EVERYWHERE. Being my own blood, he's naturally rather accident-prone, so I feel like I'm on the constant verge of a heart attack watching him stagger around drunkenly, banging into everything he encounters. He's hurt himself to the point of bleeding 3-4 times in the past week - I've got some gruesome pictures to post up later. The indoors is no longer satisfactory, of course, so we spend a lot of time outdoors, where he can stumble around the grass, attempt to bash his head on the garden boxes, and practice tackling roosters nearly his height. Grocery shopping, etc., is also a trial now, because riding in the cart is not at all acceptable. Apparently Jim is a grown man now and must walk.
As far as communication goes, he's doing pretty well. He can say 'dada' (means lots of things, including Daddy and AWESOME!!) and 'mama' (means Mama and HELP!!), and he can sign 'milk' (one hand flapping at the wrist) and 'all done' (same, sometimes two hands) and sometimes 'kitty-cat' (two hands waving at chin height). Sometimes he makes his signs when he doesn't really want anything just to show that he can do them and be part of a conversation. He just likes to know that we know what he's saying. "Yep, Jim, you like milk!" = instant grin from Jim. He also understands a lot of words - cheese, banana, outside, splash, kitty-cat, STUPID CHICKENS, milk, etc. He thinks his nose is called a 'boog' (rhymes with 'dude', hard g, means 'beep' or 'honk' in Farsi) because we always say BOOG when we poke it. Sometimes after we BOOG his nose, he'll reach up and touch his nose and go 'buh!'
Emotionally, he's getting complicated. Used to be that we could say whatever we wanted and laugh at anything and he'd just be delighted to be included. Now, though... The other day he was grinning at Noah in a particularly amusing way - chin down, eyes up, mouth closed. It was creepy and hilarious. So, naturally, we started to chuckle at his silly creepy grin, and immediately his poor little face just crumpled up and he started sobbing. Of course we felt like the two biggest assholes in the world (don't picture that, thanks). Poor Jim! It's no good when a baby gets his feelings hurt. It just takes some adjusting, because a month ago he NEVER got his feelings hurt, but now he's terribly sensitive.
As far as other things go, he's developing about as one would expect (which is to say, very impressively). He can stack a couple blocks on top of each other, and he helps me put things away. He likes to play with his giant legos, and he gets a great deal of pleasure out of banging on things. He really really REALLY wants to eat off a plate instead of his tray, but we can't let him because he will throw it on the floor. He knows how to turn on the Xbox, and he knows where the batteries go. Buttons (both the electronic kind and the clothing kind) are the best things ever.
All in all, this age is REALLY FUN.