Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nine Months

My little ladybug,

Well, here we are, another clothing size bigger. You have actually slowed down in the growth department, which is totally normal for a kiddo your age, so we are sort of in the clothes we should be in right now! What a change. We still have had you in 9 month pajamas since you were about 7 months though. Your legs are too long for those footed things!

This has been a big month for you. You have made such developmental changes and strides and we are so thrilled to see all the fun things you are now doing - even though it makes me realize just how soon you will truly be a little girl and not a baby. Towards the end of your seventh month (when you were about to turn 8 months) you started really 'getting' your toys, but in this last month, you started to get them in a big way. 

The first thing we noticed was that you take the funnel top off of your little ball drop toy to put the balls in the smaller tube, rather than use the funnel attachment. You do it with such precision and intention that it makes us laugh about your determined little personality. I can see your little brain working as you pick up toys here or there and realize that they "go" somewhere. We got you a shape drop toy for Easter, so I am excited to see you develop with that.

You have begun to really move around this month, much more quickly that I would have thought possible considering that, much to your Momma's (mocking) dismay, you refuse to crawl with your belly off the ground. Yet. You scootch on your butt, or roll around or army crawl everywhere you need and want to go. Usually after regarding the object that you want for a while and thinking about it. It seems to those watching that you take something in, contemplate it for a little while, formulate a plan, and then use whichever means of travel you deem best...save actually getting your belly off the floor and doing a legitimate crawl.

Your problem solving skills are already impressing me when I see you work something out. We have been spending a lot of time outside because it has been just so flipping nice lately, and you always want to eat the grass. So, I plop you in the middle of the blanket and think smugly to myself, "Well, she will just have to crawl for it if she wants it, won't she?" Within a few minutes of turning my back to check on my herbs, I turned around to see you still in the middle of the blanket, but with the blanket gathered all up around you, looking at me and grinning, with a fistful of grass that had been previously covered by said blanket. Outsmarted by a 9 month old.

You already seem to be very similar to your Mom in that you like to achieve your goals expediently, which is all well and good, but take it from someone who knows first hand - your seventh grade math teacher will still want you to "show your work" on math problems - regardless of the shortcuts your Grandpa John may teach you. "Work smarter, not harder" is unfortunately not a valid argument when learning algebra. 

You have been doing the sitting and reaching thing that is supposed to proceed crawling (according to the 'experts') for like two months now. You are such a flexible little thing that you usually reach what you want without having to actually move. Unless I move it away from you, of course, because I am a mean mom.  Much like this calendar. 

Though you have slowed your growth a bit, I am shocked, because you are eating like a horse. We used to split an egg for breakfast (amongst other things), but now you can eat a whole one on your own. Plus veggies. You eat crazy amounts of food! This morning you had a few grapes, some veggie puffs, broccoli, a half cup of oatmeal, applesauce and a little bit of toast. Just for breakfast. And that was after nursing! Even your Nana is shocked at how much you are able to put away (she measures everything in cc's since she is in the medical field), and she just marvels at it.

I am still breastfeeding you about 4 times a day, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on what you want. You don't really love to drink water, but you have really gotten the hang of your sippy cups. Mostly the ones with the straws because I suspect you don't like to tilt your head back enough for the non-straw ones. 

I tend to underestimate the amount of food that you will want, so you get many small portions throughout a meal. I know that you understand the sign for "More" though you don't yet do it, because you get a huge grin on your face and get really excited when I sign and ask, "More?" You have started signing "All Done" at the end of meals, and lately I have caught you doing it a few times when you are ready for a different toy.

Your little personality cracks me up on a daily basis. You go from the most curious baby in the world to a serious and contemplative one, to one who scrunches her face all up in the cheesiest grin ever. You are super independent, already, preferring to try to do most things on your own, but you love people. What a flirt you are when we are out in public. You have been quite interactive for a while now, but now that you have some "tricks" up your sleeves you really love to show off for people. 

Towards the end of last month you started waving at people, furiously, and clapping. I thought it was sort of a fluke, but then you kept doing it. And then when we started saying "Can you say hi?" or "bye" you would just start waving. And whenever anyone, anyone, says "Yay!" or begins clapping, so do you. Pretty adorable. You also do "So Big" where you throw your hands up over your head and stretch out those little arms as high as you possibly can. Also pretty adorable. Now you have started throwing your hands up like that and wanting us to say "So Big" after the fact, which is funny...the first 8 times in a row or so. 

You are possibly the loudest baby...ever. You love to scream and shout and make loud shrieks and giggles, and just to hear yourself. Usually in inappropriate places, like church. Don't get me wrong, I love to hear your cute happy noises, but you are hitting crazy levels of volume! Luckily, most of the time other parents look around to find you and then smile at us and you (usually because we are cracking up and trying to shh you). Every time we put shoes on you, you have to thump your heels against the floor to see if you can make a louder and louder and louder noise. And every time you encounter a new table, you slap your palms against it to see how loud of a noise you can make.

There have been a few times this month that have made both your Dad and I turn to look at you because we thought you had audibly said "Mama" or "Dada" or a few other much used phrases. But, usually you refuse to do a repeat performance of anything, especially when we try to capture said event on film, so we won't admit just yet that you have said your first words, though lately when you see me it is all, "Mamamamamamamamaamama". We shall see if that changes anytime soon into a more distinct beginning and end. I am a tough girl to impress, I know.

As much as you love people, sometimes when you get a little fussy, all I need to do is set you down with one of your many beloved books and you will happily settle in to leaf through the pages. Inevitably you start giggling to yourself, which makes my heart just swell. I can't wait until I can get a peek inside that little mind of yours. You are most often perfectly content playing on your own and amusing yourself, though you are fascinated by other kids when they are around, and I love that so much about you.

You continue to be a sleeping champion, and rock out two solid naps a day plus about 10-11 hours at night. Generally. There are always days of exception to the rule. You still prefer to be nursed to sleep and get so mad when I wake you up if you fall asleep nursing. Here's the secret that you won't admit to anyone though - you do just fine going to sleep on your own. A few times you have actually audibly sighed in what seems like relief when I put you into your crib for the night.

I love you so much baby girl. This has been a huge month for you, and I cannot wait to see what the future brings. 

All my love,


Evelyn Rae is nine months old

...and she did finally grab that calendar before I could.

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