Monday, December 19

Nine Months

Brock is nine months old today, which is weird because at some point my brain stopped allowing him to get older and I keep thinking he is only six months old. He has started outgrowing his 6-9 month clothing and every time I have to put something away, the thought goes through my head, "Why is he already outgrowing this size? He's only 6 months old!" Then I remember he's not and feel a little crazy. Anyway, he is actually nine months so hopefully it will stick in my brain now.

We had a checkup at the doctor today, which I always look forward to for some reason. No shots this time, just a little toe prick to check his hemoglobin, but I'm pretty sure he reacted worse to that than he ever has to the shots. He's a little dramatic in my opinion. He still weighs 20 pounds exactly, which puts him around the 50th percentile and means he hasn't really gained any weight since his 6-month appointment (tell that to my biceps though). And he is now 29 inches long, which is about the 75th percentile, so he's getting tall and thinning out (maybe he'll have more of his daddy's body type). Other than the weird man in the elevator who stayed standing right next to us after the other people got off (hello, unspoken elevator rules!) and who kept talking baby talk to Brock, I would say it was a good visit to the doctor.

Here are some of Brock's accomplishments and patterns for the time between the eighth and ninth months:
  • At 35 weeks, he started pull-crawling on his belly, also known as the army or combat crawl. He was inspired by the Christmas lights (in case you missed the video, here it is). Now he can really move himself around and can scoot across the floor pretty quickly.
  • He started waving bye-bye at 35 weeks, sort of. He does it randomly and doesn't always do it when someone is actually going bye-bye, but I'm still going to let it count.
  • We moved his crib mattress down to the lowest setting at 36 weeks. He's still not pulling himself up or pulling himself to sitting, but since he started "crawling" we assumed it would only be a matter of time before those other things take place and better to be safe than sorry.
  • He's eating all kinds of finger foods now: animal crackers, cheese, small pieces of our meals (which I keep accidentally referring to as "people food," as if what he's been eating until now was for something other than people). He really got the hang of the chewing motion this month and figured out that he shouldn't just immediately swallow everything that goes in his mouth so I've been a lot more confident about feeding him table foods.
  • He has gotten really interested in Piper, especially her tail. Every time she comes in sight he looks down at her and smiles really big. He laughs at her all the time and tries to grab her tail and eat it when it's within reach. He's gotten a lot more aware of and interested in his surroundings, in general, but I like how amused he is by Piper, in particular. She is not quite as enthused about him, unless he is in his high chair dropping his new finger foods.
  • We've started experiencing some separation anxiety this month, which is apparently right on track according to the What to Expect book. I read that it's just a phase and that he'll probably get over it within the next couple of months, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed because I don't want a clingy baby who will hardly let anyone else hold him and who always needs me in his sight (which is how he has occasionally been acting lately). He even had a couple of meltdowns in the church nursery and we had to go down because they couldn't calm him. Not cool.
  • As I mentioned before, he's now outgrowing some 6-9 month pajamas and pants and is moving toward the 9-12 month sizes. He is still in size 3 diapers though (size 4 at night).
  • He can pull from sitting to standing if something is directly in front of him and if we're behind him as a safety net, but other than that he doesn't even really show much interest in pulling himself up. I guess it's too much work.
  • This month, he started turning the pages of books himself while I'm reading to him. I loved it at first and thought it was so cute, but now I have to speed read to get all the words in before he flips to the next page. We can go through a 10 page board book in about 5 seconds.
  • Blaine and I are starting to see little flickers of understanding and comprehension when we talk to Brock. He doesn't really fully comprehend anything yet, but you can tell something is starting to stir in his little brain. He's also connecting things, like he knows what certain sounds mean. When we turn the water on in the bathtub, he looks into the bathroom from his room, or when he hears Piper shake her ears or scratch, he'll look for her.
  • He kind of moved back to a 3 or 3.5 hour eating schedule. According to his age, he should be able to go 4 hours between feedings, but I haven't really pushed it because I've noticed he spits up less if he eats smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Maybe we'll shift toward the 4 hours this next month.
  • He goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 at night and sleeps til 7:00 or 7:30 in the morning. He takes two or three naps during the day, but I think he's probably about ready to drop that third nap now because it always seems to make him crankier when he wakes up from it.
  • We've started working on discipline this month because he's starting to get into things that are not for him and I can tell he's beginning to test boundaries to see how much he can have or do. I'm a little concerned about what discipline is going to be like for him though because as of now, when I tell him "No" he just smiles and thinks it's hilarious. Sometimes he'll pull my hair (really hard!) and I take his hand in mine and remove it from my hair and say, "No, no, Brock. That hurts Mommy." His reply is not, "Oh I'm sorry Mommy. I'll stop." It's, "Ha ha." This is going to be fun.
  • He might be learning his name, but I'm not convinced yet. Sometimes he looks when we say Brock and doesn't look when we call him other names, but then sometimes he responds to any word, so who knows? I'm not surprised he doesn't know it yet though because really we call him all kinds of nicknames, and this month I've had to intentionally make myself start calling him by his name so that eventually he knows what it is.
  • He's still trying to cut those top teeth. Ugh, and they are killers. Again with the dramatic thing. I'm pretty sure it can't hurt as bad as he lets on sometimes, but who am I to say really? I wish they'd all just come in though and we could be done with this teething madness.
My Milestones
I thought I'd end with a few of my own personal milestones that I've noticed this month:
  • I'm not googling as many things in an attempt to make sure he's normal anymore. I spent a good portion of my days on the internet the first several months, concerned about every little thing, and this month when I went to google whether Brock should know his name by now, it occurred to me that I've only searched for a couple of things in the past month: The name thing, whether he should be able to pull himself to sitting, and whether it's safe to eat Honey Nut Cheerios (babies aren't supposed to eat honey until after age 1, but apparently it's safe if it's been cooked - in case anyone else wanted to know). Only three searches in an entire month is really quite an achievement for myself. Yaay me!
  • This second milestone is not such a good one though. I've realized this month that I have forgotten A LOT about the past nine months. My friend Kerri (remember her baby shower I blogged about) had her baby November 18 and since then she has occasionally called or texted me with a question. Almost every time it takes me a while to stop and think about what Brock was doing in that first month and what things were like back then and at what point he started doing what. Even with my ridiculously detailed monthly updates in the blog, there are so many things I didn't write down that I'm afraid I have forgotten or glossed over. This is scary for two reasons: (1.) I'm much more likely to want another baby soon if I don't remember everything from the beginning, and (2.) I'm much more likely to have no idea what to do with another baby if I don't remember what I did with Brock.
  • The final milestone is probably the one that does the most for my sanity. I'm starting to realize the truth to the motto, "This too shall pass." In previous months, I can remember Brock going through a phase of some sort that was really rough and tiring and difficult to deal with and I would always get kind of bent out of shape because I would be afraid that this new thing was going to last forever. Now that I've been through several different phases and rough patches and we've all come out alive on the other side of them (me, more than anyone else... I'm not homicidal or anything), it's sinking in that they are just temporary difficulties and that they will pass. There's always something with an infant - teething, sickness, schedule changes, growth spurts, and just learning new skills in general - so there are always going to be ups and downs, and I'm just figuring out that if I roll with them instead of freaking out and thinking the world is turning upside down, then life is going to be a lot easier for me. It only took nine months for me to come to this conclusion. Sheesh.

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