Thursday, August 29, 2013

9 Months

Dear Benjamin, 

Monday you turned nine months old. You are three fourths of one year! This last month has been absolutely incredible and is definitely my favorite stage so far. You're a curious little explorer and every single day you push yourself and break boundaries. You're starting to learn what you're allowed to do and you do this by getting into a lot of "trouble". I say "trouble" lightly because everything you do is age appropriate but you're definitely testing the limits. You are starting to understand "no" and redirection is usually pretty successful but you can also be stubborn persistent when you really want something. You show me and Daddy new ways to baby proof every day because you always get into the one thing that isn't for you. This month you've also begun perfecting the art of the temper tantrum, which, at this age, usually results in my laughing at you. Sorry.  You're a great baby, though. A seriously great baby. We're rarely around other people with that going unmentioned and it makes us so proud of you. Everyday you amaze and thrill us.
At your 9 month check up on Monday you weighed 22 pounds 7 ounces (up 4 ounces from the previous month) and measured 29 inches (up half an inch). When the doctor came in he said you were the size of a 15 month old (ha!) but while you were a bit of a chunk he wasn't at all concerned because of how tall you are. According to the chart you are 89% in weight, 77% in height, and your head circumference (19 in.) is 99%. Daddy came with us to this appointment because I wanted him to meet your doctor and be there when we addressed the "rash" on your face, chest, and stomach. 

Over the last several months we've noticed these three spots flare up and then appear healed. I tried coconut oil for a while and then switched to Aquaphor. The last time I mentioned it to the doctor he suggested that it was from saliva getting trapped under your pacifier and irritating the skin. Having watched it appear and reappear all these months I am 100% convinced it's due to allergies. On Monday we were able to get a referral to have you allergy tested once and for all. I know it my heart of hearts that it's related to your (my?) diet and I'd like to find out what it is exactly so we can stop guessing. I have had concerns about it scaring your face and the doctor did make a comment about the eczema causing permanent skin discoloration. I would absolutely hate for that to happen so we are determined to nip this in the bud once and for all. 

Other than that you're developing wonderfully. This month you've been a cruising machine! It's only a matter of time before you're fully walking. Every day you get more confident, letting go of the furniture you're holding or standing with your back to something for balance. You're always on the move which makes it very difficult to change your diaper (still size 4) or get you dressed. You prefer to be naked and I usually have to chase you around to put anything on you. You're still wearing size 12-18 months clothing but you've moved up to size 5 shoes. Between me and your grandmas you are completely set in the clothing department through wintertime! 

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that you have pretty much mastered "feet first" when getting off the bed and couch. Love this!! It makes me so proud every time you swing those legs around first.
The last few weeks (and this last week especially) you have been talking up a storm! You are constantly babbling. You've even been waking up in the middle of the night just to talk to Daddy and me. Your actual words are "dad", "dada", "mama", "okay" (which you hum constantly), "hi", and "oh yeah". For a while you were saying "oh yeah" a lot and it was the funniest thing! You wave bye bye and you blow kisses.
You eat anything and everything. You still haven't tried nuts or fish but the doctor gave the thumbs up to trying those on Monday so I suppose we'll introduce them soon. I think that the allergy testing is going to prove your dairy allergy at the very least and I feel terrible for not heeding to that in the first place. I've been eating dairy for months and you've been eating a lot of it yourself in the last two months. You like cheese a lot (shock). Now that you have your 8 front teeth (still vigorously working on those molars) you're eating just about all table foods. We literally cannot eat in front of you unless we're prepared to feed you off our plate. Who wants a pouch when you can have chicken, right?
Sleep? What's sleep? Gah. This month has been crazy! You were sick off and on for two weeks. On Daddy's birthday you had your first fever and it was really hard to leave you with Nana so that we could go on our first date since you were born. Teething has been really hard on you this month, completely disrupting your sleeping schedule. Then, last week, you and Daddy were sick with a head/sinus cold and you had a hard time breathing. Your nose was running and you would wake yourself coughing. I finally put a pillow under your mattress to elevate one side and put another pillow on top for you to sleep on. I know you're not "supposed" to do this but you always make yourself onto a pillow in our bed so I'm not worried. You're still coming to our bed around midnight but it's become a bit of a nightmare. You wake up at all hours of the night, sometimes for hours at a time, just to talk or play. A couple of times you woke up crying and inconsolable from teething but not since we purchased teething tablets for you. Last week you weren't napping like you normally do. You were only sleeping for 20-30 minutes several times a day instead of any long (and necessary for both of us) naps. You've been waking up earlier, between 6:30 and 7:00 most days. You rarely make it to 9:00 for your morning nap which is only about 35 minutes long. I prefer your two hour naps so please feel free to return to those at any time. Your afternoon nap is still around 1:00 and you still go down for a short cat nap most days around 3:30/4:00. Because your naps have been lacking you've been more than ready for bed around 6:30 each night. Daddy and I try to push it to at least 6:45 or 7:00 but that probably explains why you've become an early riser.
 I love you forever,
PS - I have been sick the last couple of days but I do want to take official 9 month photos of you. Daddy and I are hoping for good weather on Saturday so that we can take them then. 

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