Today you are nine months old! What a big girl you are getting to be! You learned a lot of new things at eight months—crawling, cruising, waving, peekaboo, going from lying down to sitting to standing, among other things. And you got two more teeth (in the middle on top). Your hair is longer and thicker, enough so that you are collecting some ringlets behind your precious ears. And you can walk (like a drunken sailor) if we hold your hands, so your Grandmama gave you your first pair of shoes. You are so excited about walking like this! You’re also learning how to go up the stairs.
Your newfound mobility is so fun. You started out by lunging in the direction of what interested you, and you eventually learned how to army crawl and heave yourself across the floor. You still haven’t mastered the classic crawl, and although you can get from one place to another, for the most part you stay put except for when a very enticing toy is just out of reach. But I know that soon you will be getting into everything! The way you motor about in your walker removing things from coffee tables and trying to open cabinets gives me a sense of what you’ll be like.
When we lay you in your crib, you can now pop up to a sit, and even to a stand. I remember the first time you discovered you could pull to a stand in there; you were supposed to be napping, but I heard you fussing on the baby monitor, so I went to check on you, and you were clinging by one hand to the slats of the crib, looking around for me, able to stand up but unable to get back down. What a surprise it was to see you standing in there! Once you could do it, though, now you do it all the time, holding onto the crib rail and bouncing up and down on your fat little feet and giggling like crazy at your accomplishment.
Most of the time these days you like to be standing. Your absolute favorite activity is to stand holding onto the bottom drawer of your dresser and methodically remove every item of clothing to the floor, occasionally stopping to bounce your knees and giggle. Your Daddy says you are very selective of what you pick up and into what pile you put it (right or left of you). It’s so funny to watch you digging around in the bottom of the drawer trying to get every last onesie out. You also love to stand at the coffee table and bang your toys (especially your wooden puzzle pieces) repeatedly onto the table. And you can move from side to side holding onto things, cruising (tables, baskets of toys, your dresser) with more ease all the time (though you’re still just a beginner at it).
A lot of things are very funny to you, like Mommy brushing her teeth (but you certainly won’t let Mommy brush your teeth!), Mommy’s sticking out her tongue, Daddy’s tickling you, the doggies, the baby in the mirror. And some new things are completely upsetting these days, like diaper changes and changing clothes (you have much more important things to do, thank you very much, like rolling onto your tummy and grabbing at toys). We have to change your diaper standing up sometimes! More than before, when you can’t have something you want (like Mommy’s food or Daddy’s beard or Mommy’s necklace) or you can’t move yourself to where you want to go, you get frustrated. Sometimes your aspirations are greater than your abilities, but you’re developing all the time, and I promise you you’ll be able to do whatever you want soon.
We are so thrilled that you can wave now! You wave bye-bye, hello, when you’re excited, yourself in the mirror, and when you pass through a door (you never know who will be on the other side!) It is so much fun. You must think the world is crazy for waving all the time since everyone is always doing it around you now to encourage you. And you love peekaboo! You even do it yourself now—if you have something like paper or a diaper or clothes in your hands, you’ll bring both arms up above your head, covering your face (or trying to) and waiting eagerly for us to say peekaboo. You are so fun! And you adore it when you make clucking sounds and we respond in kind. Any kind of imitation game is thrilling for you. This month you’ve really started to notice other children—big kids walking around in stores, or other babies with whom we have playdates. You try to touch them and take turns stealing toys away from one another. So fun!
This month you tried more new foods, like seaweed, pineapple, strawberries, curry, cauliflower, tofu, mac and cheese, goat’s milk, feta, pasta, cherries, apricots, and mango. What an eager eater you are! But mostly you are still on milk. Mommy weaned this month, and you are enjoying your formula milk just fine. You are a very good eater. Whatever Mommy is eating you want, too!
Your Daddy and I thought you were definitely trying to say a few words this month. It sounded like you said, “ki” meaning “kitty” when you saw a cat, and “peek” when we were playing peekaboo. You still say da da da a lot, and ahh, and dai dai dai dai, blah blah, and muh muh muh. Sometimes you’ll go on and on, saying agah in a very serious tone of voice. We love to hear you talk and can’t wait till we understand what you want us to know!
Since this month was so busy for you developmentally, your brain and body were often too busy to sleep as well as you used to. You had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Cutting your top two teeth was hard on you, too. Poor Baby Nora! But you have the sweetest, most easy-going disposition. We can take you anywhere and you will be no trouble, like the Country Club to which your great-grandparents took you to for the first time this month, or the pediatric ophthalmologist where your eyes were pronounced perfect. Everyone called you an angel!
This month Mommy started taking an intensive course for a few weeks and your Grandmama has been staying with us watching you. You and she have such fun and you are always so thrilled to see her. You two like to sit on the front porch and watch the birds, and she naps with you in the afternoon after taking long walks. We have a \baby pool for you on the back deck that you think is so fun even without water in it. You sit there playing with the inflatable toys and watch the doggies and bounce up and down in joy since you love to be outside while your Grandmama sits with you and sings songs and tells stories.
Now, of course, you’ve been living outside Mommy longer than you lived inside her. Today you are 39 weeks old, and you were only inside Mommy for less than 38. Pregnancy with you was enjoyable—feeling you kick inside and respond to the environment. But having you now is so wonderful, a thousand times better. Mommy and Daddy are so proud of how engaging and curious you are. We kept calling you “determined” this month—the way you get an idea in mind and work towards it (grabbing something, moving somewhere). You’re not scared to try anything, and you never meet a stranger. You are a very special little girl and we cherish you.
With love from
Mommy (and Daddy, who was so excited about this month’s letter since you’ve done so many new things recently and he wanted to make sure I didn’t leave anything out!)