Noah had his nine month check-up today, on the exact day of his nine monthaversary. He’s 18 pounds and 15 ounces (25 percentile) and 29 inches long (75 percentile), with a 18.5 inch head (75 percentile). He’s long, lean and big headed, just like his Dad. Doc McSorley said he’s in tip top shape. She gave us some expected tips on putting Noah into his bed before he falls completely asleep and also cutting out his one remaining late night and early morning feeding. She said we shouldn’t worry about his late development of the pincer grip he needs for self feeding because it’s common that boys develop the gross motor skills for mobility before they develop the fine motor skills for finger movements, while girls often develop in the reverse order. (That makes Noah gross and Bella FINE.) The most shocking thing she told us was that we could give him some cow’s milk. All the books I’ve been reading say that the proteins in cow’s milk are too complex for an infant under the age of one to process – unless the milk is cultured like in yogurt or cheese. However the Doc said that though they don’t recommend weaning to cows milk because there isn’t as much of the necessary iron in it as there is in breast milk or formula, that it’s fine to supplement a nine month olds diet with cows milk. She recommended I put it in a sippy cup with a straw so that Noah didn’t become accustomed to just drinking watered down juice in a cup.
Nine months seems eons away from six months – when he had just started to sit up without full support. Now he’s crawling, cruising, pulling up, and invading everything. He’s so focused on studying his environment and touching everything he can get his hands on – and even things he can’t. At nine months he’s not only more mobile but incredibly more emotional. He gets so excited, smiley and giggly – but can also get so sad or angry too. His emotions shift so easily from one to the other and then back again depending on what’s going on. He’s also learning language. There are some things he clearly understands – like the unwelcome meaning of the word “No.” It makes him cry and crawl to me to be held for comfort, even though I’m the one who just gave him the warning. But he clearly knows that he shouldn’t touch some things and will just linger an inch away from them with a mischievious look in his eye – glancing at me to see what I’m going to do, testing his boundaries, seeing what he can get away with and getting sad when he can’t. He’s a moving, chattering, listening, examining, smiling, crying, cuddly little beast – and I don’t think I could adore him more.
And to make the nine month milestone even more exciting, Noah stood up without support for the first time today. It was only for a couple of seconds before he fell on his butt, but the funny thing was that he was totally focused on practicing it. He’d pull himself up on the foam couch in the office, get his feet grounded, let go with one hand, let go with the other, stand triumphant, and then fall on his butt. He repeated the process several hundred times, like he was in training. Also in the last day or so he’s upgraded his flapping to clapping. He’s been flapping his arms in excitement for quite awhile and while it looks a lot like a hearty round of applause, his hands were never fully making contact – until yesterday. And now he’s clapping constantly.
Today was a day jam packed with stuff – starting when Noah woke us up at 5:15 am. Mark took the day off and after Noah’s pediatrician appointment we walked to Cosi for some coffee and bagels. Noah was overdue for a nap and fell asleep in my lap while Mark was getting our food. He was so tuckered out that I just held him all curled up in my arm while I ate. Mark left to go to a dentists appointment and I read a City Paper and drank my coffee until he woke up after a 45 minute snooze. On the drive back to the house we saw neighborhood resident Kate outside with her baby. We met a newly pregnant Kate when she and Mark were canvassing our area for moveon.org to get voters to the polls. Noah was born two days after election day and we hadn’t run into Kate since. So I stopped to meet her daughter Ella who was celebrating her 3 monthaversary today, making her exactly 6 months younger than Noah. Though Kate had planned a home birth with a midwife she ended up having to make an emergency trip to Hahneman hospital when Ella started coming out foot first. But alls well that ends well and Ella is adorable. I hope we get to spend more time with them.
In the afternoon I was worried about Patrice disappearing only to find out she went to a Phillies game (because she can obviously never get enough baseball), lamenting Missuz J’s missing blog (PLEASE come back), and fielding calls from my distraught Oma who was confused by a misunderstood phone call she’d received from my ex-stepsister (her mother and my father are divorced, hence the ex). Then we headed to Trader Joe’s to buy some ingredients for some test recipes I need to do in anticipation of feeding my cousin Tammy and her husband when they come to our house for dinner next weekend. Tammy’s husband is quite the cook so I’m feeling a little pressured to serve them something respectable. Hence the testing of new recipes before the event.
My mom called in the evening to ask why I hadn’t blogged and to say that unfortunately my stepfather Larry appears to be on the decline again. Luckily we were able to cheer her up just a little bit by letting her talk to Noah on the phone. By the time we finished eating dinner I was out of steam. I really started to lag while trying to get a good 9 month old picture of Noah to help with the chronology in my photo album. Noah was not cooperating. He didn’t want to sit still, he didn’t want to look up from whatever task he was involved in, and he didn’t want me to keep futzing around with him while he tried to scoot around and play. And then he was ready for bed too and our combined drowsiness won out and I gave up on getting the perfect picture. But I’m finally posting this for the day and now if I’m smart I’ll go right to bed. And take the morning nap too. See you in the afternoon kids.