Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Nine Months: What's Up

It's been awhile since I recorded where we are with E's milestones and sleep and daily routines. Seems like now is as good a time as any. Probably boring to most, but I think I'll be glad to have this later.

So let's see: No crawling yet. But he really wants to. He rocks back and forth when he sits up, and he leans forward over one leg with his hands on the floor in front of him and rocks some more. He hasn't figured out how to get on his hands and knees. He moves in that direction (hands in front, one leg out behind him and the other twisted under him) and then gets stuck and teeters precariously before pitching forward and landing on his belly--thwump. (It makes him smile every time.) Once he's on his tummy, he tries to move by lifting his arms and legs in the air and kicking furiously. Poor guy--for all that kicking, it doesn't seem fair not to move forward even an inch. He supports himself with his hands very well, and can move in a full circle that way. He scoots backwards as well, but not with any control. If there's somewhere he wants to be (near the cord to the fan, for instance), he always manages to get himself there by rolling and pivoting his body with his hands.

He's figured out how to cough on purpose, he thinks sneezing and grown-up feet are funny, and his little pincer grasp gets quite a workout while he nurses (he has a knack for grabbing the tiniest bit of skin under my arm and pinching the hell out of it). He gives wonderful hugs. We live for his hugs, and we get a lot of them every day.

He loves books with bright colors, different textures he can touch, flaps that lift up, and real pictures as opposed to drawings. His favorite books are B IS FOR BEAR, WHERE IS BABY'S BELLY BUTTON?, and BABY SAYS PEEKABOO. He also likes a set of books we have that are about colors, opposites, and time. He has no patience for regular board books yet (save Sandra Boynton's MOO, BAA, LA LA LA).

He eats pretty much anything. He went through a phase where he hated green beans, but he'll eat them if he's hungry (as long as they're from a jar). He's not wild about carrots at the moment, but he's loved them in the past. His favorite vegetable is probably homemade summer squash, but he also likes peas and avocado and sweet potatoes and Earth's Best's "summer vegetable medley." He loves all fruit, of course. And yogurt; he loves yogurt. (I've mixed tofu and cottage cheese in his yogurt and he's happily eaten it so far.) Mashed banana and oatmeal mixed with breastmilk are his favorite breakfast foods. I gave him a jar of rice and lentils a couple of weeks ago but it gave him a stomachache, so I'm waiting awhile to try that again. We recently tried giving him hard-boiled egg yolk and a pancake (separate instances) as his first finger foods, but he doesn't want to put them in his mouth (and was suspicious of the egg yolk in general). Maybe he's not ready for finger foods yet.

He lives for music. He will smile ear to ear when I sing him a song, no matter how upset he was moments before. If he's fussy in the car or while he's eating, I start to sing, or I put on a cd, and he's transformed. I sing to him a lot.

He weighs about 23 pounds. We nurse four or five times a day (seems to be moving to four) and once in the middle of the night (twice every so often). He's been going to bed a bit later than he was a couple of months ago. Now it's 6:30 or sometimes 7:00. He usually eats dinner around 5:30. More often than not, I feed him dinner, TJ bathes him and reads to him, and I nurse him and put him down. He wakes up at 6:00 in the morning on average, and he's often soaking wet. I change him and nurse him and then either take him downstairs or wake TJ and go back to bed myself for another hour.

He takes two naps, one around 9:00 a.m. and one around 1:00 p.m. He naps for an hour, on average. (I still can't believe he's turned into a predictable napper. I didn't think it was possible.) I usually put him down wide awake at naptime. He plays in his crib for a time and then he usually cries right before he's about to fall asleep, but he doesn't cry for long.

He loves ceiling fans and baths, but more than anything, he loves Squeaky.
His little yellow giraffe toy never gets old.
He lives for bouncing and walks.
He enjoys ripping up magazines and is very serious about it.
He likes meeting new people and he gives them huge, heart-melting smiles.
He's someone who needs his space, especially when he's been held a lot or when we've been around a bunch of people.

It's getting harder to take him out to eat. He's not as content to sit in his booster seat, and he's at the stage where he throws his toys on the floor over and over and then gets bored with them. He's developed quite an attitude in general over the past month. He sometimes screams in anger if you so much as turn your back on him (to walk over to the kitchen sink, say), or if you take a toy away from him (even a potential toy, like the iced tea you're drinking). On play dates with his friend Jonas, he gets mad if Jonas takes the toy he's playing with, and is not appeased by being given another toy. (And so it begins . . .) If one of his cds is playing in the car and I turn on the radio, he sometimes yells until I turn his music back on (and other times he doesn't care). You get the idea.

He makes fun, crazy sounds every day, and is experimenting with several new facial expressions that crack us up. One is the furrowed brow, one is the scrunched up nose, and one is the squinty smile-like-there's-no-tomorrow.

Guess that about sums up where he is at nine months. Did I mention how sweet he is? And beautiful and snuggly? And the way his hair has grown over his ears? And the way I really think my heart stops when I'm nursing him before bedtime and I look down at his eyes half open and his hair damp from the bath, and his sweet sucking, and I know I'll wish I could return to this moment again and again?

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