Wednesday, July 20, 2011

9 Months

Dear tiny,
Happy 3/4 of a year![Insert platitudes about the time having gone far too fast.]

This month has seen an even greater uptick in your sociability and extraversion. While you will still crawl around and entertain yourself for good stretches of time, as much as possible, you really like to be close to me while doing so. For instance, you used to happily play with your books while I cooked dinner. Now, the second I go over to the kitchen (or even to another part of the room), you turn and follow me. You are my little shadow, and I kind of love it.

Your appetite has increased exponentially this month. You enjoy eating most things (usually oatmeal with cinnamon & bananas for breakfast), but really prefer whatever we are eating. I suppose it's that mimicking stage - you really don't like eating by yourself, but once we start eating, you'll start right up along with us. All this is despite the fact that you still don't have one single tooth, and your doctor doesn't see any coming anytime in the near future. Easier for me!
It's a good thing you've started eating so much more food - you are one skinny child! At your 9-month checkup, we found out that while you are in the 75th percentile for length and head circumference, you're below the 5th percentile for weight. When your pediatrician, who we adore, first came into the room, she noted that you are quite low on the weight and that they'd like to see you in 6 weeks for an additional checkup to make sure you're still gaining. Then by the end of the appointment, she looked at us and said that she really thinks it's because of how ridiculously active you are. She asked if you were always like that (you'd been crawling all over the exam table and trying to grab everything in sight), and, to be honest, I thought you'd been relatively calm during the appointment. I mean, you loathe being placed on your back (you'd much rather be sitting up and crawling around and doing something), but isn't that normal? The doctor observed that some babies will just sit still and let her do the whole exam without moving. Really? This happens? In any case, this made her far less concerned because she said she thinks because of your activity level, you really just can't keep the calories on. Still, she recommended moving up to 3 full solid meals a day. This works sometimes, but not always. You just have some days where you're not very hungry at all. Oh well - I suppose babies are way better than most at knowing how much they need of what, and I figure you'll let us know what is best for you. You're obviously still gaining quite a bit in height and meeting all your milestones ahead of schedule, and you're rarely cranky, so we're not too concerned.

Although speaking of being super active, there was one time you were not, and I could not have been more grateful. We had your routine 9-month blood work done (to check for iron deficiency and lead poisoning, neither of which you have), and had to go over to a lab for it. We were originally told at the doctor's office that it would just be a finger prick, but when we got to the lab, the technician told us that it would be in a vein inside your elbow. I was pretty nervous, especially since your dad was at work, which meant that I'd have to hold you still all on my own. I asked the nice lab tech if I could give you something to distract you, and she kindly handed over one of the little vials (one of your new favorite toys). I told her I couldn't look, glanced to the side, and before I knew it, all the blood was drawn and you were still contentedly playing with your vial. Not. one. peep. For your shots, you hadn't made any noise, but had made sort of a weird face; this time, you didn't even do that. You were just perfectly calm sitting in my lap as though nothing out of the ordinary was going on at all. The lab tech commented that I was the one who deserved the sticker since I was clearly way more nervous than you.
This month marked your first camping and hiking trip (we also went to a cave, although it was not your first cave trip). We took along your pack 'n play and set it up in our 8-person tent, and you slept just great. Hooray! You also adored being in the hiking backpack and watching everything go by on the trail (including the mama bear + 5-6 cubs we saw...yeah.). We're thrilled to know that we can head out camping and that you'll do just fine.(Blurry photo shot from the hip as we were slowly backing away.)

Speaking of sleeping, your schedule has become remarkably consistent this month. You've always been an excellent sleeper (which I attribute to seminary), which is maybe a bit surprising considering how active you are (although with a mother who slept through the night the night before going into labor, and went back to sleep for several hours after her water broke, I'd probably be more surprised if you had trouble sleeping), but you've recently begun going to sleep for the night and waking up for the day within a few minutes of your regular time. While it's early, it's nice to be able to plan around a set time.
Everywhere we go, people continue to stop and comment on how happy you are. I mean, yes, I'd like to think that you are a particularly smiley and good-natured baby, but really - do people think that babies just cry nonstop all day long? They seem to think it a success just to have a child NOT crying. This, to me, is preposterous. So thanks for helping to dispel the notion that babies are just grumpy 24/7.

(You were even calm and interested by the Fourth of July fireworks, although exhausted, as evidenced by this picture. Still, it was a perfect day of flag raising, barbequeing, and over-the-top red/white/blue wearing.)

You've also started giving kisses more regularly and on demand this month (well, on demand when you're in the mood). It is pretty much my favorite thing ever. The other day, we met your grandparents at a museum and the second we saw them, you reached out to your grandpa and he, of course, delightedly took you. You immediately leaned forward and gave him a kiss on the cheek. I'm pretty sure it made his week. Perhaps I shouldn't tell him that we have a number of smears on the bottom of our full-length mirror from kisses you've given yourself...Tiny bear, I love how we grow closer every day. I love how you come over to me to ask for comfort, or how if you're really tired, you'll start crawling and just lay your head down and imploringly cry for me to come to you. I love how much you trust me, how you pull up on my skirts, and want to always be with me. I'm so grateful I always get to be with you.


Maxine Parrish said...

I don't think you realize what a delightful treat it is to come across such a consistently happy baby. It's not that most babies cry all the time, more like most babies just don't smile at people outside their known circles. And then there's my children, who either flirt shamelessly with strangers or else try to glare holes through them...

Karisa and John said...

That is SO COOL YOU SAW A BEAR! (And with all the cubs.) I'm very impressed that you guys kept your wits and slowly backed away. I came across one once at girls' camp, and started frantically singing my lungs out to scare it away, which sounded terrible but actually worked!