Dear Sweet Sam,
You are nine months old today. Hooray!
Everything calls for hand clapping these days. You knock over a stack of blocks? Yay, Sammy! You finish your tortellini? Way to go, buddy! You pull your pacifier out of your crib? Let’s celebrate! Life is just so much fun. I hope you always appreciate the small moments and milestones.
And there have been so many milestones this month. I swear it took just days to go from crawling to standing to scooting across furniture to climbing the stairs. And sometimes you do a funny little crawl on your hands and feet with your booty in the air. You are so strong! And very active. You certainly keep Mommy and Daddy busy.
You’re too clever and too persistent to be contained by “road blocks,” i.e. our legs or a box or a chair. You simply crawl over/under/through — you do whatever you need to do to get to where you want to go! And that desired destination usually includes a cord or a cable or piece of paper — almost always something you shouldn’t have. I like to call it supervised exploration.
We are working on the word No, but you usually just smirk and giggle when we say it. We are also working on the concept of patience. Because you don’t have much. You get frustrated if you can’t rip the piece of paper or tear the tape from the box. And when you are finished eating, you want your bib removed immediately. But, baby boy, I admire your determination.
It’s fascinating to watch your little mind work. You push buttons and pull levers and turn toys over in your hands. You try to open closed doors and duck your head to crawl under the dining room table.
You also figured out how to stand up in your crib this month. Then it took two days to figure out how to lay back down. But, fortunately, you are still such a good sleeper. In fact, for the fist time this month, somebody other than Mommy put you to bed. Our dear friend, Tina, stayed with you while Mommy and Daddy picked up some furniture for our new home. I’m proud of you! But I also really missed your snuggles. I even considered sneaking into your room and scooping you into my arms when we got home.
You typically sleep from about 7:30pm until 7:00am with two naps during the day, 1 1/2 to 2 hours each. You have completely dropped your evening catnap and would much prefer to hang out with Mommy while I make dinner. I give you some spoons and plastic bowls and sometimes a bag of quinoa or chocolate chips, and you entertain yourself on the kitchen floor for about 10 minutes. I can’t wait until you’re big enough to stand at the counter and be my little sous chef!
You now eat three solid meals per day and nurse four times. You love pasta and cheese and chicken and watermelon. You also had your first fruit smoothie and scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. Because it’s summertime! You ate both in just your diaper on the cool kitchen floor.
Despite the amount of food you eat, you are still a peanut. At your nine-month well visit, you weighed 18 pounds (13th percentile) and measured 28 inches long (43rd percentile).
We also introduced you to the water this month. You took your first trip to Lake Anna, and our very kind neighbors invited us to use their pool. At first, you really clung to us, but after some splashing and bouncing, you were smiling and giggling. However, you still want nothing to do with your baby raft.
You are still slightly timid in new environments and prefer to observe rather than participate in new activities. But I admit that I do love when you climb into my lap and wrap your arms around my neck. I know Daddy does, too. In fact, you have started to whine when he leaves for work in the morning. I think you both count down the minutes until he returns home each evening. He walks in the door and shouts, “Daddy’s home!” And you crawl as fast as you can to get to him.
But you and I have our very special moments together, too. We love to dance. We rock out while making dinner and sway to sweet lullabies at bedtime. I push you in the laundry basket all over the house. And we take walks and have picnics at the park. You are my best little buddy!
And … you have finally started to say “mamamama.” My heart is so happy! You still say “dadada” and “ga … ba … eee … ayyy.” You are certainly beginning to communicate with us in your own little language. You grunt and squeal and yell and giggle. You stick out your tongue and blow raspberries and fake cough. And sometimes you scrunch your neck and give us a “whatever” face. (Daddy does the same thing.)
You bang the keyboard when we Skype with our family and smile at the screen. Oh, and you’ve take a real interest in animals. You watch the birds and bunnies and squirrels in our backyard. And you are not at all intimidated by big dogs. You giggle when their tails tickle your face and you gently pet their paws. We can’t wait until you have your own furry four-legged friend!
It’s amazing to think that it took nine months to get here …
… and another nine months …
… to get here.
Sammy, you challenge us and entertain us every day. We love you to the moon and back!