After a couple of pictures, he got bored and decided to climb the chair….
**I am totally aware that Carter’s monthly posts have become small novels. I can’t help it….I want to remember everything so I’m as specific in possible in my posts. Apologies!!**
Still wearing 3’s.
3 1/2 wide. Yes, he has wide feet. I hope this changes as he grows. Wide shoes are hard to find!
He wears 9 month tops (even though they’re still slightly big on him) and 6 month pants. I bought two pairs of Koala baby 6-9 month shorts when he was around 4 months old thinking that he would be able to wear them soon. They’re still gigantic. My guess is that by the time he can wear them, it’ll be winter, therefore, I wasted money on those. Note to moms out there….Koala Baby clothes run BIIIIIIGGGGGG. I went on a shopping spree at Carter’s in the Leeds shopping center. Since it’s turning into fall pretty quickly, I racked up on some jeans and several long sleeve shirts for him. This BEAUTIFUL weather the south is having is causing clothing changes. Evening golf cart rides definitely require long sleeve shirts, pants and socks now!
Gave up nursing right when Carter turned 8 months old and my milk is now dried up. This will be the last month that the nursing section will be in the posts. Tear :*( On the bright side, weaning from nursing didn’t hurt me at all!!! It was uncomfortable right when I started, but never painful. Super easy. I think this is attributed to the fact that I did it for 8 months. Had I weaned when he was nursing more than 4 times a day, I’m sure it would have been incredibly painful.
Carter is still eating Stage 2 foods as well as various table foods from us when we’re eating. Table foods he has eaten include bananas, peaches, bread, strawberries, peas, pork chops, mum mums, lima beans and brown rice. We’re also trying to introduce the sippy cup. My plan is to have him fully weaned from the bottle by a year old or sooner, but I’m not going to force him. I’ll let him wean at his own pace. I bought a sippy cup that he apparently wasn’t a fan of. I’m learning that sippy cups are like pacifiers. You gotta find the right one for your baby. He liked the one Nana and Papa have at their house so we ended up just buying the same one. Also, Carter’s appetite decreased quite a bit this month. He got to where he was rarely finishing his bottles, leaving as much as 2 or 3 ounces in some. This is a side affect of teething which is what has hit him BAD this month.
A major change that happened in the feeding area is that I started making Carter’s food. About a week and a half before turning 9 months old, I purchased the baby bullet and started making Carter’s food using real fruits and vegetables instead of buying him the packaged stuff that has TONS of preservatives in them. It’s been quite a change and we’re still adjusting to it. It’s actually much easier than I thought it would be to make his food, that’s for sure. But for Carter, the taste is completely different. He is resistant to eat the real stuff so we’ve had to slowly adjust him to it. He usually eats about 3-4oz of baby food 3 times a day. Right now, we give him about 2oz of the real stuff and then 2oz of the packaged stuff. I plan to do this until he can eat the real stuff only and he’s almost there. I am aware I waited too late in the game to do this. I should have done it when he started solids at 6 months and that way, he would have had no food taste expectations other than what I created for him. Even though he’ll only be on baby food for a short period of time, I want him to eat the real stuff as much as possible. I think it will make the transition to real fruits and vegetables easier for him. Not to mention it is SO much healthier and don’t even get me started on how much cheaper it is!! So far he loves the real sweet potatoes. He didn’t initially like bananas or avocado, but they’re growing on him. He HATES raw carrots. That’s my bad. I should have cooked them before making his food but I didn’t. He cried anytime that stuff even touched his mouth. We’ll try the peas and green beans next week…and I definitely WILL remember to cook them first ;)
Still takes 2 naps a day that are roughly an hour and a half or longer. When he does something particularly exhausting (like going to the zoo like we did this month) he’ll take a super long almost 3 hour nap. He still goes to bed somewhere between 7:30-8pm. There was a period of time when Carter was 8 1/2 months old that he was waking up SUPER early between 5-6am. Fortunately, he always went back to sleep after about 30-45 minutes of talking to himself. This waking early phase only lasted a little less than a week though and then he was back to sleeping until 7:30 or until I woke him up. Carter was teething pretty bad this month and even though it made him fussier than normal, we are extremely lucky that it never disrupted his sleep.
No major changes this month. He still loves being outside doing anything. He loves golf cart rides and playing on the swing set. I also bring him outside in the front yard to practice standing up without holding onto something and walking. He is starting to grow tired of playing with his Ocean Mat and I may be packing that up soon. Now that he can stand up he does it all the time and wants to play standing up, not laying down. So I had to buy him a stand up toy for him to play with. He still plays with the piano on the music mat though. I absolutely love watching him play. He literally does circles in the living room. He starts with the stand up toy, stays there for a while, then crawls to the exersaucer, then he crawls to the piano mat, then he crawls to the center of the room and plays with handheld toys. Then he starts the process over again with the stand up toy. Kid cracks me up just doing circles in the living room! When he tries to do something and succeeds, he looks at me like with the biggest smile on his face as if saying “mommy I did it!!!”. He is truly such a joy.
New things he’s done at waketimes this month included going to the Birmingham Zoo and also going to story time at the public library with Nana while mommy works (daddy also took him to story time this week because he was in town all week and played the role of “stay at home dad”). I’ve finally found the best way to read to Carter. He is such an active little boy and refuses to sit still to let me read him a book. The only way I’ve found that I can do it is while I’m feeding him his bottle before bed. The lights in his room are off and just his closet light is on (so that I can see what I’m reading - I really need to buy a lamp) and he sucks on his bottle while I read a book-usually either “Just in Case You Ever Wonder” by Max Lucado because it’s my favorite or chapters from his baby bible.
Mother’s Day Out
Naps are still decent at MDO, but nothing like what he does at home. He takes anywhere from a 20 minute catnap to a 45 minute nap. Shockingly, he sometimes sleeps in the swing in the nursery, but occasionally will only sleep in a teachers lap. He has NEVER wanted to sleep in a swing at home. I’m impressed that he’s broadening his horizons. He is still slowly adjusting to someone taking care of him other than us or the grandparents. He is fine when I get him there but the second he sees me head for the door he bawls. I read in the What to Expect the First Year book that separation anxiety peaks around 8-10 months. Awesome. I’ve noticed this in other areas too. He won’t let anyone hold him that he isn’t really familiar with and if he does, it isn’t for long. Any suggestions on how to help the separation anxiety would be extremely helpful!
Now that it’s fall, Justin’s travel is in full effect. My husband travels almost every week during the fall. And not road trips. Cross country trips. This month he went to Washington, New York, Oregon and Oklahoma. On big trips like these, he usually gets home Friday night and leaves again Sunday morning. Needless to say, we’ve begun using Facetime on the I-Pad/I-Phone so that he can see Carter. I tend to get lots of sympathy from people when I tell them that I work full time and my husband is only in town on the weekends. That’s when the “oh honey you must be superwoman! How do you handle that?” comes in. It’s honestly not that hard. Debbie (MIL) keeps Carter while I’m at work and by the time I get off work to go get him, he’s only awake for about 2-3 hours before going to bed for the night. And I love that time I get with him since I haven’t seen him all day. I also love seeing Carter’s face when he sees daddy for the first time all week. That smile will light up the room!
Carter’s 9 month appointment was today. He is 28 inches tall (50%) and weighs exactly 19lbs (30%). His head is 17 1/2 inches around (30%). Looks like his height is starting to slow down but so is his weight! It’s hard to get a baby to gain weight when they’re as active as Carter is! At this appointment Carter had 3 shots (I think - it may have just been two) and got his finger pricked to test for anemia. We have to go back in a month, not to see the doctor, but to get the flu booster. His next appointment will be when he’s a year old. Wow. It’s almost heartbreaking to say that. A year old. Where has the time gone???
Carter learned an insane amount of abilities last month. This month, I think he’s solely focusing on standing up on his own without holding on to anything. He will frequently pull up in his crib with both hands on the crib slats and then all of a sudden let go of both hands and stand on his own, however this only lasts for about 2 seconds before he loses his balance and falls. But he does it over and over again! He has also showed a HUGE interest in walking already. I frequently get him to walk with my assistance around the house or outside and we also practice standing outside. I’ll hold both of his hands and then let go of one and then count “one….two….three!” and then let go of the other. He’ll wobble for a few seconds and then eventually fall onto me, laughing hysterically because he thinks it’s a game. But he is incredibly good at balancing by only holding onto something with one hand. It’s quite impressive. Also, while Justin was playing the role of stay at home dad this past week, he taught Carter to high five.
I HATE TEETHING!!! Carter’s bottom two teeth came in when he was 6 months old and they never affected him. Not so with these top teeth. I started seeing white “bumps” on his top gums right when he was 8 1/2 months old but he started having teething symptoms for these top teeth right when he turned 7 months old. These teeth have taken almost 2 months to finally cut! I could tell he was in so much pain because he was CONSTANTLY putting his hands in his mouth and crying while he’s doing it. He also started sucking his thumb pretty much all the time (he used to do this a lot but stopped for a long time and has picked the habit back up this month).
See?!? He is officially a thumb sucker again. Other symptoms he experienced were a massive increase in drooling and decreased appetite. His top left incisor started poking through the gums around September 20, 2012 (8 months 3 weeks old). The top right incisor was right behind the left one and came out around September 25, 2012.
I’m adding this section this month because I’ve started “disciplining” Carter this month. I’m using that word in the absolute loosest of translations. By “discipline” I mean that anytime Carter is doing something I don’t want him to be doing, I pull him away, make sure he’s looking at me and say “No Carter, we don’t do that” (except that I say what he’s doing) and shake my head. Shockingly, I think he knows what I’m telling him. He kept trying to pull up on the entertainment center that is under our TV that has shelving that holds the DVD player, DVR player and all kinds of electronics. Anytime he even starts crawling in that direction I get ready for it, but I don’t usually pull him back and say “no” until he touches the shelving. I don’t want to correct him for doing something he hasn’t done yet, even though I know he’ll do it. In the past two weeks, I’ve noticed that once I tell him that one time, he’ll go play with something else. A few minutes later, he’ll start crawling back to the shelving and then he stops mid-crawl before getting there, looks at me (and sees that I’m staring at him) and then he crawls towards something else. I’m so impressed with this! At 8 months, they are supposed to be able to understand what you’re telling them not to do, but this is the first time I’ve really witnessed it. I don’t want to start off telling him “no” to everything, so I’ve been picking my battles for now. I’m focusing on him not getting into those shelves under the TV, not getting into the little corner of the kitchen that holds Gizmo’s food and water, not standing up in the bathtub during bathtime and not banging his hands on the high chair tray during meal times.
Other Notable Things
This month was Carter’s first time to go to someone else’s house and stay for a long period of time and even take a nap (not including grandparents houses). We went over to our friends Devin and Mary’s house to watch the Auburn and Alabama games and brought Carter’s pack-n-play so that he could take a nap there. It was his first time being away from his own home or the home of the grandparents for such a long time and I was afraid he would get upset and want to go somewhere familiar. He did great though! He played with his toys and pulled up on absolutely everything and loved watching the dogs. When it was nap time he went to sleep easily even though he was in an unfamiliar place and slept the normal hour and a half. Justin and I forgot his rain machine but Tiffany was going to her house anyway to get some clothes and she just brought us Harper’s rain machine. I have no idea if Carter would have slept without that machine or not, but I didn’t want to risk it. We should totally do this more now that we know we can. Both Justin and I were afraid to take him out of his comfort zone for such a long time and were certain we were headed for disaster, but he proved us wrong!
Carter still likes everything I’ve put in this section in the past several months, so I won’t repeat all of them, but will just list the likes that seem the most prevalent this month:
- Golf cart rides
- The swing at the playground
- Puffs and mum mums- absolutely loves puffs but still struggles with using the pincer grasp to feed himself. We’re working on this. He can pick up the puff with his whole hand and bring his hand to his mouth, but he can’t get the puff out of his grasp to get it into his mouth. Mums are bigger so it’s easier for him to feed himself with those. One pack has two mum mums in it and I will break it into several pieces and he’ll feed the whole pack to himself. Also, Gizmo is loving this pincer grasp training because she picks up anything Carter drops on the floor.
- Standing up in general. It is literally the cutest thing in the world when he sees me out of the corner of his eye, turns and looks at me, drops whatever toy he’s playing with and crawls to me and then uses my legs to pull up on and then hugs my legs once he’s standing up. Justin doesn’t think this is funny because when he pulls up on Justin’s legs, he ends up pulling his leg hair. Carter wants to pull up all the time but he doesn’t want you to do it for him, he wants to pull himself up to a standing position on his own. He’s so dang independent…and kind of stubborn! He gets that from me. That and his lack of interest in cuddling.
- Watching me or Justin jump. Yes, this is weird. But he gets the biggest kick out of just watching us jump up and down. Crazy kid!
- Older kids. I can’t even begin to explain how much he loves to just sit and watch other kids, preferably older ones that can walk and talk. It’s like he studies them. He just stares. So weird!
- Mornings. You wouldn’t think he loves mornings since he typically is a late sleeper, but he is a hoot when he wakes up. I’ll come into his room and he will immediately stand up and look at me and start cooing. I love it!! I have to get a video of it because it literally is the cutest thing!
- Not a lot of dislikes this month other than those related to teething. Due to the teething he had to be kept busy to keep his mind off the pain, which meant he really didn’t like sitting still. Though I think this also is attributable to the fact that he’s a boy (boys are typically more active than girls) and that his parents are me and Justin, two people that have no idea what “relax” means.
- Being away from me or Justin or the grandparents (separation anxiety)
- When you wipe off his face. He HATES having his face wiped, whether it’s to wipe off food or to wipe off buggers or snot. HATES it.
Overall, I must say that this is my FAVORITE baby stage. I am loving the 6-9 month time frame and I know I’ll love the 9-12 month one even more. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a little newborn baby, but this stage is so FUN! Newborn babies are cute, we all know that. But with newborn babies come sleep deprivation, crazy schedules and really not knowing what on Earth they’re crying about. Those burdensome traits are long gone now and I am loving watching Carter now that he’s mobile. He crawls all over the place, pulls up on any and everything and is even walking with assistance (holding onto me or someone else or some kind of furniture). His personality is so fun at this age and I can’t wait to see what the next age bracket brings!