9 Months Old

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This is a late update, as we’ve been so busy around here. But it’s a long one.

Bobby has been going to Texas, for work, several weeks at a time, which has been difficult for us. But that’s what we signed up for when we made the decision to move to Michigan (to be closer to family). We could have moved anywhere in the US if we wanted to. But we chose Michigan simply because we want Josie to know her family. And this opportunity will be good for him, his career, his future and us financially. It’s just a bummer when he’s gone for long periods at a time.

My Dear Josie, I’m loving all your changes. And it’s hard for me to accept that each and every baby is different and is on different paths of developmental milestones. While you’re still not walking, you certainly are rolling, scooting back and turning in circles. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the lack of tummy time we gave you when we lived in Texas (because we had hard wood floors). I can’t help but feel regret that I have something to do with it. But that’s okay; you’ll get there.

When we first moved back to Michigan, you went through an 8-month sleep regression. You were up just about every single hour. Eating three to four times each night and crying to be held. Each time we gave in and let you cuddle up close to us in bed. Thankfully, that didn’t last long. Even though those two weeks felt like years of torment and sleepless misery (where I wanted to claw my eyeballs out). Thankfully, you’re back to sleeping through the night again. And so are we.

I’m running short on breast milk that is stored and frozen. And I’ve been desperately pumping every 2 hours to build up a decent supply. After doing it for two or so weeks, I’ve managed to get my supply up about an ounce each breast. Not much. Totally depressing, really, but I can only do what I can. I’m worried about what you’ll eat when I go back to work.

You’re refusing all formula. I’ve tried so many kinds, types, brands. You refuse all food and I’m pretty sure we scared you with the spoon-feeding. You close your mouth up like it’s glued shut and turn your head until you get irritated and start fussing. I’m not quite sure where to go from here. I’ve reached out to fellow mommies on Facebook and even took you to see a doctor. Sadly, that doctor didn’t provide me with any advice, any suggestions or direction. She was awful! I feel lost. You usually spit it out and throw it up. Yet, you haven’t really thrown up the past two weeks, you just spit it out and gag. You tend to throw up when I sneak a bottle of formula in there. You know, then you get mad, and then you refuse all further bottles regardless if it’s breast milk or the nasty formula. I’m so sorry, baby. I wish I could make this an easier transition. I’m doing everything I can.

You actually seemed to like my gluten-free oatmeal, just a tiny bit. So I put it in the food processor and made it really fine and tried to give it to you, but you refused. This is still a battle in progress.

You seem so much more interested in what we’re eating. The ONLY thing I can consistently get you to keep putting in your mouth is a cookie. Yes, a cookie. I know I should have never even given you one in the first place, but I was curious, desperate, for you to eat ANYTHING. And this seems to be the only thing that you like.

And your skin! Oh my goodness. It was as if the food (any of it) burned your sensitive little skin. You were red and raw for days! Not to mention, had a reaction to everything that I put into your mouth. It looked like little mosquito bites, red, raw and irritated and caused you to itch like crazy. It first happened with applesauce. It was so strange. But I have noticed the more I introduce these foods (repetition), the reaction gets less and less. But you’re just not ready for foods. You have choked a few times and scared the crap out of mommy. I’ve decided to let it go for a while. When you’re ready, I will know it. You will know it. And we will experiment from there.

You’ve officially made it to the point where you cannot be left alone on the floor anymore. I walked away for just a minute to change the laundry and you managed to roll yourself, army style, over to the fireplace. You’re not crawling, although babies usually crawl, stand with assistance and pull up on furniture by the time they’re your age. You’re not doing any of those, yet. I was worried. I was concerned. Yet the doctor didn’t seem to be concerned at all. But then when I left her office after your 9-month wellness visit, she said that the “questionnaire” I filled out caused her some concern. Yet she had NO issue at all with you when you were there in the actual office and she was assessing you herself. But she called mommy and got me all upset, worried and confused. I researched. I asked other mommies (of course on Facebook) and it seems that not ALL babies develop at the same time. Not all babies are in sync. You’re changing. You’re growing. You’re smart! There is nothing wrong with you. Alas, I’ve made the appointment anyway. The program is called Early On and I will have a woman come into our home and assess you. To see what we, as parents, can do to help move you along faster. I’ll do that. But I refuse to believe that there is anything “wrong” with you. You talk all the time. You say mama and dada and a ton of other babbles. You roll, scoot, and turn in circles. You’re getting there. You’re just taking a little bit longer than other babies. And that’s okay.

You’re so vocal. Saying mama. You’ve even said “bye-bye” to Aunti Rachel when she was leaving one day. I think you say these words but haven’t yet pieced what they mean yet. But maybe you do know what mama means, because you say it only in times where you’re hurting (upset belly at night) or when you wake up in the middle of the night to be changed. It’s like you’re calling out to me.

You can now sit up all by yourself without losing balance. You hit this milestone shortly after we moved into the new house in Michigan, right after 8-months.

I can see your top teeth coming in. You love to chew on blankets. Rarely ever chew on your toys-only Sophie. I know now to introduce things like this early on (such as 3-4 months old) because now you’re beyond it. If I give you a slice of pear (which you liked the taste of) you never actually try to put it in your mouth, ever. You don’t put anything in your mouth. You’re not much of an oral baby. It’s so strange. But you’re unique, little one.

I bought you one of those shopping cart covers so you can sit in the shopping cart like a big girl now. You loved it! Although, it is too cold out to take you anywhere on most days, (plus I don’t like to venture out when it’s snowing-it’s not worth the risk) I hope to use it more during the next grocery shopping trips.

You love jewelry or anything shiny like jewelry. You love mommy’s necklace and ring.

You absolutely loved Santa Claus! We actually took you to see two different ones and you loved them both. You were mesmerized by his big beard and puffy coat. You smiled and stuck your tongue out during the entire time.

You’re first Christmas was a success. Everyone just loved you. You actually tried to open gifts, too. You’re so smart! Next year is going to be a blast, little one, and I cannot wait to make it as memorable as possible for you.

We surprised your great grandparents for Christmas. It was very exciting. We were able to break it to them that we’ve moved to Michigan and spent a few nights up there with them. You were a trooper, as always, and did just fine away from home.

You LOVE Mickey Mouse (not Minnie). You love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Disney Channel. If I put it on, your face lights up like a Christmas tree. It’s adorable.

The only other show you really LOVE is Super Why! Which is great, because it’s a learning show. At least it can teach you something.

There’s a crazy flu going around that is sadly killing people. I finally got you the flu shot. I’m sorry I waited so long.

You’re now in size 12-month clothes. And some of them are too tight. You will probably be in 18 months before next month!

For the past few nights you’ve been refusing me and daddy to rock you to sleep. You do just fine soothing yourself to sleep. But mommy is sad, Josie. I don’t want to give that up yet. It’s my favorite part of the day. Holding you close and watching you drift asleep. You’re growing too fast and becoming so independent. It’s amazing to me how independent you are as a 9-month old.

Your daddy and I celebrated our 3-year wedding anniversary. It still doesn’t seem like ONLY 3 years. It feels like 20 or more. He bought me two-dozen beautiful long stem red roses. Our ideal date night would consist of making dinner at home together in the kitchen and watching a movie. And we did just that. And it was amazing.

Since daddy has to go away now for two weeks at a time, it’s been difficult for mommy to get into a routine as a “single” momma. But I think I’ve finally got this down, again. I want to be the best mommy to you so it may take me a few more trips of daddy being away for me to a comfortable place. We’ve had many visitors. Both your grandma’s came to stay and even your grandpa came to stay with us. Your Auntie Rachel visited. We were never alone. It was perfect. They are all so helpful and I don’t know what I’d do without them all. Especially grandpa. He does all the manly work around the house (since the man of the house isn’t here) and plows the snow for us. I’m especially grateful.

I’m sure I’m missing more milestones and things to talk about but you’re only a few weeks away from 10-months old. Oh my! I cannot believe the time. It’s so unfair how fast it goes by. I love you to the moon and back. Always.

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