My dear Hank:
Can we just stop time for a little while? Just hold on to the way you are right now for a bit longer? I know each age and stage of parenting has its joys and struggles, but I'm really enjoying you right now.
One of the most exciting changes this month is that you got your first tooth! Your bottom center tooth on the left came up first, and It looks like the one right beside it will be coming up soon. You have been drooling and teething for quite a while, so it's very exciting to see that little pointy tooth in there.
You've also started really playing with your toys instead of just putting everything into your mouth. It's so fun to watch you examine and discover ways of touching, feeling and manipulating things. From the big stuff in your toy box to a little tiny morsel of ground beef in your food, you are so curious and observant.
You love playing with just about anything, but you do have some favorite toys, like:
- A little Cobbler's Bench that was your Daddy's toy when he was little (a gift from his Papas). You love the hammer especially.
- Karen Katz lift-the-flap books.
- Anything musical, especially this baby orchestra set by Hohner Kids.
- These Fisher-Price Lil Zoomer Safari Speedsters.
You have started to mimic gestures and sounds, though not really mastering any of them yet. You will wave your hand hello or goodbye, but you aren't quite sure what it means yet — except that all of the adults in your life do it with giant silly grins on their faces whenever somebody comes or goes. You also say, "Da-da-da-da-da-da" a lot, and have even said "dada" to your daddy a few times. But we're not completely sure you are doing it intentionally yet.
We've been working so hard on getting you to crawl, but you're not convinced you want to do it yet. You bounce when you're sitting and lean forward onto your hands, but haven't taken that plunge ahead yet. For now, I'm trying to enjoy your non-mobility while it lasts, because I know you won't always stay where I put you!
We are still living at Grandma and Opa's house, trying to sell our house in Bellefonte and find a house here in Erie/Edinboro. Sometimes we grow very impatient with how long the process is taking, but we remind ourselves how lucky we all are that you get to spend all this time with your grandparents — and they get to see your smiles every morning. You always have a smile for everyone and it is truly heart-melting.
You are still breastfeeding. Daytime feedings can be a challenge as you are more interested in playing and looking around. I've learned that I need to give you something to play with or sing you songs throughout your feedings to get you to stay latched on. At night though, you are content to just eat while I rub your back and legs, and you look up at me and rub my arm. These moments are more precious to me than all of the gold in the world.
At your 9 month well visit this month, you:
- weighed 17.9 lbs (15th percentile)
- were 26 inches long (3rd percentile)
- had a head circumference of 46.5 cm (85th percentile)
We have dropped some night feedings, though you still get up at least once a night to eat. You go to bed around 6 PM and wakeup around 6:30 AM. You also take two naps a day totaling about 3 hours on a good day.
Mealtimes with solid foods are so much fun. You love feeding yourself and it's such a thrill to watch you discover foods. We usually have one puree (prunes, applesauce, yogurt, etc.) with each meal and then at least one thing that you can feed yourself. In the morning it's waffles with coconut butter and fruit, or a bowl of oatmeal. Lunch and dinner vary week to week, but some of your new favorites are cod and spinach, avocados covered in cheerio dust, and pasta with bolognese sauce. If I had to say what your favorite foods are I would go with waffles and sweet potatoes — you always gobble those things up quickly with a happy face.
I like to think you're a Mama's boy but the truth is, you're pretty obsessed with your Daddy. If he's in the room you're always fascinated by what he's doing, and to this day nobody can make you laugh like he can. It is one of the great joys of my life to watch your relationship with him unfold. He still gives you a bath every night and takes care of you in so many ways. Mommy is very lucky.
Speaking of baths, you went through a phase this month where you pooped in the bathtub every night for a week! We had quite a few laughs about this and thought maybe you had developed a quirky new habit, but thankfully you stopped doing it. Little buddy, you are always keeping us on our toes.
I can't wait to spend the summer with you and Daddy going to the park, playing in the grass, getting books from the library, swimming at Presque Isle, and visiting our friends and family. You make everything a fun adventure.
I couldn't love you more,