9 months

dear dream lover,

nine months in, nine months out. how fast the time has flown! how big you’ve grown and yet how tiny you still are — 16 lbs, 26 inches (a good 3 lbs smaller and 3 inches shorter than your brother was at this age, tiny guy!). dr. porter suggested that you should eat more solids and drink less milk, because she doesn’t think you’re getting enough calories. silly doctor. breastmilk has more calories than veggies! and besides, despite being a peanut, you are healthy and beautiful and strong. you also very much enjoy trying and eating new foods, so you may very be eating more tasty things soon anyway. so far you’ve tried and enjoyed apples (sometimes), pear (sometimes, but more than apples), beets, lentils (ethiopian-style!), injera (although, as with all breads, you are not very good at eating this), sweet potatoes (LOVE), yams (LOVE), squash (LOVE) (although admittedly, you only like those last three with a touch of maple syrup and ginger) (who can blame you, though? much tastier that way!), soba noodles with peanut sauce (LOVE), tofu, carrots (hard for mashing gums or soft for eating up), carrots & potatoes from miso soup (LOVE), zucchini (LOVE),  green beans, and broccoli (although the major gas it gave you has put this tasty treat on hold for now). your gut has matured quite a bit too, and both you and i can eat several more things without too much worry for your tummy. hurray!

you also seem to think you’re a big guy in other ways — dropping your second nap already! we’re a bit of a ways off before it’s official, but silly baby, what are you doing to your nap schedule? you like two naps, you really do. but sometimes you just can’t be bothered — having a big brother is too exciting for wasting time on sleep i guess. but i have to say that even though i am never sure WHAT you are going to do for sleepytime, you still are such a pleasant chap. while you might fuss when it’s time to nap, even when you’re overtired you’re awfully sweet. so far no trips have seriously thrown your sleep schedule off — such the opposite of your brother once again in a very nice way.

and oh, sleep! when it’s time for bed you will often shove your thumb in your mouth and tuck your head under my chin. this is my cue to take you upstairs and you get so excited on the way up and when you see the bed. and then we snuggle down and finally you will nurse, relieved that you can now go to sleep. but my favorite part is how you wind down, a little bit of nursing, a little bit of finger(s) (usually mine, very occasionally yours). and then a little nursing, or finger, or finger, or nursing, or finger finger nursing. nursing nursing nursing finger nursing. and so on, until you finally fall asleep suckling one. it’s my very very favorite part of the day with you for sure. and they are so many good parts to our days!

we discovered this month that you don’t drink the milk i thaw for papa when i go out because it has gone sour. this is quite strange because this did not happen with your brother! so this time around i must be making too much lipase, how strange. my untested hypothesis is that enzymes in your mouth have signaled my nursings to make more lipase — a digestive aid — to help with your gut issues (which your brother did not have, not like you). but who knows? in any event, when i have to go out now i just pump some fresh milk a day or two beforehand and everything is fine. although you mostly just take the pacifer and wait for nursings if you are hungry. but the nice thing is that your papa has become a professional kid juggler and can put my two favorite guys in bed for the night and i don’t have to worry if i have to go out for a class or for a drink with friends. it’s so very nice, and your papa is also so very proud. plus we both get to enjoy the cuteness of the times you wake up right at the beginning and don’t want any nursings at all — just some snugglings, please. we are always happy to oblige.

i have to admit that i thought you would be crawling now. perhaps walking-holding-fingers or cruising. or even that you might have some teeth. but no. you have your own schedule for these things. and so we wait, curiously. your bottom two teeth are all but in. you can see them. you can feel them. but the skin on top is definitely there. and some days i think they really do bother you. something is coming. but not yet. and you can hold yourself up if we help you stand. and you are *so* close to figuring out crawling. so, we’ll see.

your favorite toys are balls. it might even be your first word, but we’ll see. you love to have them rolled to you (and gently bounced off your belly, but shh, don’t tell gus. he’s not allowed to do that! even though it makes you laugh SO. MUCH.) and to try to catch them or roll them back or AT LEAST TOUCH THEM OH YAY! you get so excited when any or all of us roll one to you. you love speedy and mighty, still. and watching the little wooden cars race down the track. and the marbles. you love when we make block towers for you to knock down, especially if we tease you about making such a mess. and really, anything your big brother is doing or playing with, please. tonight when i took you downstairs from the playroom for dinner, you kept twisting in my arms, trying to go back. look at you, baby, having opinions!

you like the snow. you even like sledding.  it snowed for your very first solstice, which was lovely. and your very first christmas too. you didn’t understand either day, of course, but oh how you loved all the presents. all the bows and the bright colors! so exciting!

and we’ve begun to teach you a few signs, “more” and “all done” and “nursings” and “eat.” you think it’s silly when we do them — oh how you love to laugh at us — but it’s fun and crazy to think you are old enough to start learning them! what a big tiny baby you are already!

happy happy winter, little one.

much love, as always,

mama

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