Van @ 9 Months

Growth & Appearance: You’re not chubby so much as you are girthy. You’re solid. We joke that you have emphysema because you are so barrel chested. Maybe you spent your overdue days in the womb hanging out and smoking?
You also still have an “old man” appearance and several people have commented that you seem “wise”; I think the two are intertwined. Whatever the case may be, your Papa’s Aunt self-diagnosed you as a genius and I’m not arguing with the woman.
You weigh 21 lbs, 6 oz. (60th percentile), 30 inches long (91st percentile), head circumference 18 inches (60th percentile). You’re wearing size 4 diapers (same as your brother), size 18-24 month pants (you got some long legs), and size 12 month onesies/tops. Your hair is brown with little specks of golden. Most people say, like your brother, that you look like your Papa but have my eyes. I agree.
Teeth: It only took 9 months, but your first tooth has sprouted. Your bottom left has broken through and your bottom right is right behind it. I can see the top two working their way down as well. You’re about to have a whole new look. We won’t wait until they turn yellow to brush them like we did with your brother, promise.
Eating: Baby led weaning has been bliss. You love it, we love it, and feeding you is easier than asking a bronco to buck. You eat everything. In fact, you cry when there is nothing left in front of you. I’ve learned to cut your food into tiny pieces before setting it in front of you because you get too frustrated by the fact that I cannot cut it as fast as you can gobble it. You’ll eat just about anything, but your favorites are bread products. You eat everything on your own. I offer you 2-3 meals per day and you eat a lot at each meal.
You jump up and down in your high chair when we have oatmeal for breakfast. And you still eat a lot of the pieces of the shag rug in the office.
You breastfeed 8 to 9 times a day. Some sessions last as little as 5 minutes but the morning and night feeds are always longer sessions. Our schedule is similar to what it was last month, though you seem to phase at least one feeding out most days: breastfeed twice before breakfast, then once after, breastfeed before lunch, then once after, breastfeed twice before dinner, then once before bed. I feel more relaxed about breastfeeding now that we’re on the home stretch. My plan, at this point, is to make it to your first birthday and then go as long as you are interested and as long as it’s enjoyable.
I pump after your morning feed and get anywhere from 1 to 3 oz. It doesn’t seem like much, but I combine it with the next days pumped milk and store it in the freezer for the days I work. I have way more milk than I need, but not enough to donate. 
Sleeping: I’ve found you sitting up in your crib for the first time ever. It seems to have taken you awhile to move off your back. Now you’re up sitting every time I come in and I can tell pulling to stand is just around the corner. Since you started crawling, you’ve also started sleeping on your stomach. We come in to spy on you and, oftentimes, you’re little bum is sticking straight up into the air. I love this stage.
You sleep through the night, consistently. I sleep soundly and don’t go to bed at night with one ear to the monitor. It’s like heaven. Thank you. Here’s your sleep schedule: Wake up between 7-8am, nap around 11am until 1pm, afternoon nap from 4pm to 5:30pm, bedtime around 9pm. Your schedule has to be more flexible, so you don’t always get a second nap, though I’m sure you need it.
Nursing doesn’t always put you to sleep, but you have no trouble going down despite being placed in your crib awake.

Development: You have old man strength. We caught on to this early on but it’s manifesting in more ways now that you’re more mobile. The other day I sat you on a tricycle. A friend tried to pick you up off the tricycle and ended up lifting you up only to find the tricycle still in your grasp. You’ll be the one we turn to when we can’t open cans and banging the damn thing on the bottom to get the air out isn’t working.
You’re used to things being taken away from you, but rest assured that taking anything away from you is no easy feat. I think I’ve mentioned your death grip in every update thus far, but it’s worth repeating because it really is deadly. Every now and again (as in numerous times a day) I’ll have to take something away from you. It’s difficult to baby proof when you have a brother that throws everything on the floor. Accompanying your death grip now, however, is the sassy cat growl. You sense when somethings about to be ripped from your claws and start to draw it in closer to your body and bury your little head to your chest to protect your prize. Then you growl. When Hooper manages to take something away from you anyway, you scream and shake your head violently back and forth. You aren’t talking, per say, but you are a fantastic communicator.
Speaking of communicating, you say “ab da”. A lot.
You know your name. You’ve responded to it for quite some time but I’ve failed to mention it here.
You’re a wiggle worm on the changing table. I can’t even lay you down before you’re lifting your head up off the table to get a better view of something to grab. It’s nearly impossible to get a diaper on you; you contort your body in such a way that resembles this guy.
You mimic our waves and are starting to learn to clap.
You crawl with your right leg tucked in. You look handicapped.
You crawl under the desk often and then cry when you hit your head.
When you’re sitting, your arms are always up and out as if you are holding onto the handle bars of your motorcycle.
You make fantastic eye contact. We went to dinner with your Aunt KiKi and Chris and Chris insisted you starred him down. I believe it. You’re very personable. You love to laugh and even when you aren’t feeling good, you always smile. As long as no one is taking something away from you, you’re quite happy.
Now that you are crawling, you’re able to entertain yourself. As I write this, you’re underneath the pinball machine playing with the wire. You’ve been there for at least 10 minutes and you are perfectly content. Now you are eating the rug. You like eating the loose pieces of the rug. Damn the wool rug.
You’ve found Sarah’s food and when you’re near it, you want to eat it. Your brother ate so much dog food I was beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t just put it on a plate and call it breakfast. 
Favorites: To say you love me seems like an understatement. Doggonit, it is understated. You L O V E me. No matter where I put you on the office rug, you always seem to meander your way over to my chair. You grab on to let me know you’re there and then look at me with these eyes as if to say, “These toys are cool, but you are cooler”. Despite your love for me, now that you’re crawling you’re quite fond of traveling all over the place to find something new to get into. You like balls, the dog leash, and pretty much anything you see Hooper playing with.

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