- With the exception of a few 9-month onesies, you are wearing 12-month clothes almost entirely.
- At your 9 month (+16 days) check-up, you weighed 20 lbs. 12 oz. and were 28.5 inches long. (75th percentile)
- You still nurse a few times daily (approximately: when you wake up, before your afternoon nap, late-afternoon, and before your bath) and although the frequency has declined somewhat, I don't think you're weaning quite yet...which is fine with me.
- You continue to be such an excellent eater! The only thing you've really turned away from is cantaloupe, but otherwise, you continue to eat just about anything you're given. Some foods excite you more than others, of course (avocados!), but you nibble and pick your way through each meal contently. I'm impressed that you've tried (and seem to enjoy) tilapia, tomatoes, peanut butter, tomatoes, and mushrooms! The doctor gave us the go-ahead for you to eat anything now, and you're enjoying this expanded palette!
- "Mama" is definitely in your vocabulary! You name me specifically, and frequently say it as you're trying to find me. It melts my heart.
- "Buh-buh" (bird) is your other frequently-used word.
- You've been taking afternoon naps in Mommy and Daddy's bed! You're ready around 12:30 or 1:00 p.m. for an afternoon snooze, and I'm usually ready to rest for a little while, too. You know what it means when we head to the bedroom, and after you nurse, you usually drift off to sleep...often after looking up at me with a smile and eyes that say "this is exactly what I wanted, Mom". It's one of my favorite times of day.
- After you nurse in the evening, I lay you on the changing table to undress before bath time. You're very relaxed by this point, and have begun to anticipate some playtime with Mommy! You really enjoy being tickled and "gobbled" up, and you usually share some sweet belly laughs as we play together for a few moments while Daddy runs your bath water. That's another of my favorite times of day with you.
- After your bath, we put your pajamas on, I brush your hair while Daddy gives you "Baby Doll". (She's a stuffed doll that you were given, and she seems to give you some comfort as you go to sleep. We couldn't think of a more creative name for her...so "Baby Doll" she is!) As soon as she's in your hand, you usually lay your head down on my shoulder. I turn out the light, Daddy gives you a kiss, and then we pray before I lay you in your crib. More often than not, you don't even whimper, and you're sound asleep within minutes.
- You've had several nights of sleeping until 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. But, usually, you're still waking once to nurse (often between 4:00-5:00 a.m.) and then sleeping again until 7:00ish.
- You've called out "ma-ma-ma-ma" from your crib in the morning a few times...which, admittedly, gets me out of bed a bit more quickly than your whimpers do.
- You sleep on your side, for the most part, and really don't move around very much! Though you are entirely capable of rolling over onto your tummy, or pulling yourself up, or crawling around, you must think of yourself as a turtle in your crib...unable to move from your back. That's how I find you every morning...lying there...just waiting to be "rescued"!
- You are a crawling machine! You tried for so long to figure it out, and then, practically overnight, you did! You mastered it quickly, and seem so pleased with your new skill. It has broadened your world significantly!
- You gained independence steadily, and although you still don't care to be left in a room alone, you have gained confidence to venture off on your own through the house.
- You are interested in everything that is not a toy, and you have made yourself acquainted with the contents of every kitchen and bathroom cabinet. There is just so much to explore, and our house is your playground.
- You are trying to stand, and so enjoy being vertical!
- You have become an expert at putting your small, colorful toy balls into an empty Puffs container! When you started this game, it was hit-or-miss. Now, your aim has improved, and you rarely miss the opening. After every successful ball, you look up, expecting a clap for your accomplishment. We oblige, of course.
- Waving "bye" is another of your favorite "tricks". You wave without encouragement each morning when we head to the garage door to see Daddy off to work, and when guests head to the door to leave, you regularly know that it's time to wave then, too.
- When a familiar person or object is mentioned by name, you know what's been said.
- People are your favorite toy, and you get such pleasure from waving and "talking" to strangers at the store. When you aren't acknowledged, you look to me so curiously, as if to say "what's their problem?". You are turning into quite the socialite, and many (many!) people do get lots of enjoyment from interacting with you.
- You know what "no" means, and have started shaking your head "no" after it is said. Sometimes, even coming close to doing something that you are not supposed to do will elicit a shaken head "no". You usually choose to obey, too, which makes Mommy and Daddy quite pleased.
You, little girl, are amazing.
You are making this world your own, and watching you do so brings me indescribable joy.
You're quite the little companion, and it is my honor to be your mommy.
I love you, Emerson Blair.