Carter: 9 Months

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hello nine months! I can't believe how fast time is flying. C has more personality than ever, and has been keeping our spirits bright during what has proven to be a never-ending string of cold blustery days this month. He loves to read, roughhouse, eat, bounce in his Jumparoo, and see Papa T when he comes home from work in the evenings. C continues to be quite the mama's boy, so leaving him for any length of time has proven to be a struggle for whoever the lucky recipient of C's undivided attention happens to be. At some point I'm sure he'll realize that he can still have fun hanging out with other people when mom's not around, but for now, he's pretty set in his routine, and isn't too thrilled to be left without his mama. I've got no doubt that these days are numbered, so I think I'll enjoy every minute while it lasts!

The other day, after C had been napping peacefully for about an hour or so, I heard a crinkling noise coming from his room. After going in to check on him, I discovered that he had managed to knock down a couple of his soft books that had been sitting on the ledge of his crib. Instead of napping, our little bookworm was busy turning pages and looking at pictures. Reading in bed at it's finest!

Another favorite...sitting on the couch reading magazines with mom. Even better if he gets to tear out pages and perfect his crinkle skills!

Solid food
Scratching different textures
Shaking his head 'no'
Water glasses
Having visitors
Tapping his foot (particularly when his food is taking too long to prepare)
Touching faces
C has been interested in men's faces and their whiskers for a long while already, but his latest habit has been to have one hand on mom's face while being held or when he's tired. Adorable.

'Roaring' like a lion
When mom is holding another baby
C got to watch part of the Grammy Awards Show this month. At some point, one of the performers started crooning 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling', and when he got to the word 'baby', out of nowhere, C had a scared silent cry and real tears. Apparently, we didn't lose the loving feeling in this house!


Sitting unassisted. Woohoo!! At the beginning of this month, C finally got his balance figured out, and can now sit by himself unassisted. I stay close, because he still inevitably tips over at which time cryfest ensues, but he's been doing a good job with it and gets better every day. Must be his extra workouts at physical therapy starting to pay off...In other BIG news, C rolled from back to front for the very first time on his nine month birthday. He's been trying to reach for toys above or behind his head lately, so I thought this might be coming soon, but nevertheless, it surprised him when it happened, and he immediately rolled again to get out of his very least favorite position...tummy time.

C was baptized this month. The day was a whirlwind, and C had no problem being the center of attention. We had a small gathering of family at our house following the service, and after a serious power nap while everyone ate lunch, C enjoyed spending time playing with everyone who came to help celebrate his special day.

First taste of meat - chicken! C was about a week into his eighth month when I offered him his first taste of meat...super finely puréed chicken mixed in with some sweet potatoes. I definitely wouldn't call it a favorite, but he did manage to at least choke it down give it a reasonable taste. For the most part, he is still primarily on a milk, oatmeal, fruit and veggie diet. This month, he got to try egg yolks, blueberries, plums, peaches, parsnips, and yogurt among other things. In celebration of turning nine months, we even let him sneak a few bites of Grandma S's jello case you're wondering, after the initial tentative bite, he turned into a hungry bird, and immediately wanted more. Once C starts to eat more table food, we'll have to be extra careful about making sure he eats the healthy veggies and fruits first before offering any sort of sweets.

Around the middle of month eight, we introduced a sippy cup and started transitioning to formula after C started biting reluctantly discovered no harm will come. He was starting to look a little thin, and had begun losing interest in nursing, so after a couple of attempts with the sippy cup, he figured things out and was back on track. Until 8.5 months, C was still nursing four times daily in addition to two-three solid food meals per day. I've been making all homemade baby food for C, and therefore have been researching  and reading quite a bit about the transition to solid foods. What I've learned is that until he is a year old, milk should still remain the most important part of his diet, with solid foods being secondary. In hindsight, I think part of the reason he seemed to be slimming down was due to the fact that he was eating so much solid food that he wasn't getting enough calories from milk in his diet. Let's be honest...if all we ever ate was oatmeal, fruits, and veggies, I'm sure we'd all be in supermodel form! Needless to say, after this discovery, I switched things up a bit and his current feeding schedule looks a little something like this:

8:30 a.m. // Nurse, then 9 oz. sippy cup with formula
10 a.m. // 2 oz. formula mixed with oatmeal, fruit, or fruit & yogurt
1:30 p.m. // 6-9 oz. sippy cup with formula
2:45 p.m. // veggie and fruit (approx. 3/4 C depending how much C likes whatever I'm offering)
5-5:30 p.m. // 6-9 oz. sippy cup with formula
6:30 p.m. // 2 oz. formula mixed with oatmeal, veggie or fruit (Depending on the day and how late nap time goes, we don't always have a third solid food meal in order to make sure C will take a full sippy cup before bed)
7:45-8 p.m. // 9 oz. sippy cup with formula

At his at-home weigh-in on his nine month birthday, he came in at a cool 22 lbs. 6 oz. He's officially wearing mostly 12 month sized clothing, and is in the 12-18 month pant size after his muffin top expanded with all of the formula lately. Our official nine month checkup isn't for a couple of weeks yet, so I'll be sure to post an official update then.

In terms of specific recipes, a couple of C's current favorites are:
+ Banana Cado // 1/2 banana mashed with 1/2 avocado
+ Yogurt mixed with fruit
+ Green Monster // 1/4 C green beans, 1/2 avocado, 3 Tbsp apple or pears
+ Plum Squash Puree // Equal parts plums and squash
+ Zucchini Apple Puree // Equal parts zucchini and apple

I've been using the The Wholesome Baby Food Guide cookbook a LOT for recipe ideas, and often refer to their handy sample menu schedule for inspiration and variety. So far, I've found this cookbook to have the best information and more variety of recipes than any of the other numerous baby food cookbooks I've read or purchased. The recipes for babies that are beyond single food purees are particularly helpful to know what veggies and fruits will pair well together, and what kind of herbs might be a good addition to various foods. The cookbook also sorts out foods into ages they are safe to introduce, explains how well various foods will freeze, and has a wealth of information about all things baby food. Cooking for Baby is another cookbook I've enjoyed reading that offers more visuals, although less recipes.

First Valentine's Day celebration. C was excited to have Grandma J & Grandpa T visit him for Valentine's Day this year, and T & I were excited to finally have the opportunity to go out on a date. After calling around last minute for a reservation on what was surely the busiest day of the winter season, we ended up with a 6:45 reservation at Kazarellis. We literally had not been on a single 'adults-only' date since our anniversary waaaaaaay back in May when C was only a couple of weeks old. It was so nice to get out for once, but of course, because of the holiday, the restaurant was packed, and we didn't even sit down until 45 minutes after we were supposed to. Due to the poor planning on the restaurant's part, I missed C's bedtime for the first time since he joined us nine months ago. Grandma J assured me that after a slight struggle, he did do OK going to sleep, although he wasn't all too pleased that it wasn't mom feeding him and laying him down. After T & I got home from dinner and settled in for the evening, C woke up for about five minutes to scold me about missing his bedtime and to have a reassuring snuggle to make sure all was back to normal before calling it a night.

C completed his very first swim lessons this month! At the last class, all of the other parents were commenting on how much he has grown since our first class six weeks previous when C was just  7.5 months old. C has now passed level 'Shrimp', and pretty much loved every minute of his time in the pool. Some of the things he 'learned'  were how to jump off the wall, blow bubbles, use a kick board, go underwater, use the slide, swim in the deep water with a float belt, and the flutter kick. I'm sure he'll be swimming on his own in no time! All in all, getting C in the water as young as he is was the best decision we could have made. Not only because it helped him to become more comfortable with the idea, but also so that he could watch and learn from the other little kiddos near his age, and work on building those core muscles through water resistance. We live on a lake, and spend the majority of the nice weather around water, so teaching C how to swim at a young age is absolutely essential for everyone's piece of mind and C's safety in the coming years.

As I type this 9 month update, C's very first tooth is starting to pop through. We were starting to wonder if he was ever going to get any teeth, but as with most things when it comes to C, he was in no hurry to start teething. So far, he's been doing pretty well with the whole ordeal, and while he has been waking up about once a night needing to be consoled, overall it hasn't been too hard to sooth him and get him back to sleep within about five minutes. After chatting with T's cousin who has a babe about 7 months older than C, I ordered Camilla to help sooth the teething pain. The jury is still out here as to whether this has been working for us or not as I've only just tried it a couple of times so far.

Playing 'Peek-A-Boo' and 'Soooo Big' are two of this months favorites. When C is on the floor playing, he will inevitably find the edge of the blanket and pull it over his face and wait until I notice he is 'missing' to play Peek-A-Boo with him. He is especially fond of a big production though, and LOVES when T or I billow out a big blanket over him and let it settle while searching for him. When we finally 'find' him, he is completely overjoyed, flashes us his adorable smile, maybe a laugh, and then starts babbling for us to do it again. His latest trick has been the 'soooo big' move putting his hands over his head...and then shaking his head no. I'm not sure why he thinks this is so fun, but it's pretty funny to watch. The head shaking thing was new during the middle of this month, and he is always doing it at opportune moments like when I ask him if he wants more to eat, if he knows where one of his toys went, or if he is ready for bed. Such a silly little guy!

We may not always realize we're making memories...we just know we're having fun!

So Much Love

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines Day everyone! I hope you all have a love-filled day...whether that be spending time with someone you love, or enjoying an activity you love. For us, that will mean lots of hugs and kisses for C today. In another life, that might have meant a shopping trip, a nice dinner out, or catching the latest romantic comedy. This year, we'll be spending this blustery wintery day all cooped up inside where it's warm and toasty enjoying many many kisses, smiles, and smooches with our little guy.

At first, this guy wasn't too sure of this photo shoot, but after he realized he might get a taste of the sparkly heart props, he got super excited about it. Can we just take a moment to admire C's chubby baby thighs. Is there anything cuter? His mom socks and I'm With Cupid onesie just take the cake.

In preparation for the holiday, we've been reading the love themed Huggy Kissy by Leslie Patricelli.  A cute little book about a baby with all sorts of ideas and reasons for hugging and kissing. Eskimo kisses, bear hugs, a peck on the cheek, tight name it, this book has it covered. If you have any other holiday themed books you'd recommend, I'd love to hear about them! 

Absolutely thrilled to have snuck in a taste of the heart. By the end of our photo session, C was covered in glitter from head to toe, and loving everything about it.

...When I tell you I love you, 
I don't say it out of habit, 
or to make conversation. 
I say it to remind you 
that you're the BEST THING
that's ever happened to me....


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