Thursday, August 04, 2005

Milestones and exhaustion

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 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.


Heather/SHTEZQ said...

I have 10 month old twins it is so neat to hear sombody elses story that are like mine.

patrice said...

yay noah!!! so much going on. isn't the first year crazy? 9 months and 2 days ago, he was still en womb. now he's doing all kinds of crazy stuff. I'm so amazed. he's totally on the move - I am thinking perhaps later this week, he can drive himself up to our house for a visit, maybe? as long as he can get the keys in the ignition without the pincer grip, I guess.

sorry about the baseball thing.

lonna said...

I remember feeling these things at Dermot's 9 month appointment. He was really such a little person. He had very strong wants, desires, and emotions. Unfortunately, all of these things were also very frustrating for him. Hopefully Noah will be better at anger management than Dermot is.

I'm also glad to hear that Noah is growing so well and is healthy. Well baby visits are so funny for me. On a day to day basis, I am completely aware of how happy and healthy my child is, but it's always such a relief to have an objective individual tell me the same thing. Our doctor is so nice, he always tells us that things are great and that we should keep doing what we are doing.

As for the milk thing, another concern about milk besides digestion is that the earlier a food is presented the more likely it is to cause an allergy. So if there's any history of dairy allergy or intolerance in either of your families, you might want to wait. We don't drink milk, but the day that Dermot turned 1 year and one day old, he was on soy milk at daycare. I just hated pumping because I was so lousy at it.

Here's a picture of Dermot by the way

NME said...

Lonna -

I ADORE that picture of Dermot. Absolutely gorgeous. Do you call him Derry? That's what we called David's Dad.

It's great when anyone tells you that you're doing a good job. It's such a relief.

I asked the pediatrician about milk allergies and she said after nine months and with no other allergies that it shouldn't be a concern. We don't have any dairy allergies in my family and my mom said that she switched me from formula to cow milk at 8 months old.

You guys are vegans, right? I really admire that. I honestly don't have the willpower or ingenuity for that but I do plan on givng Noah organic milk. I'm paranoid about the growth hormones.

lonna said...

Ethan will once in while call him Dermy, which drives me crazy. I'm not a big nickname fan unless it's unrelated to the name. I named him what I wanted him to be called. It probably stems from all the people that used to call me Lonnie (bleech). Derry is very Irish, maybe we'll have to keep that in mind.

Thanks for the nice words about Dermot, we think he's just the cutest thing going.

We are vegan, but Ethan and I were before we met, so it wasn't the big deal that it can be for some families.

Kelly said...

I like that pediatricians are comfortable giving advice to parents, since that's why we pay them big bucks. But I still believe in parents' intuition. If you are comfortable giving him milk, do it. If not, wait. My experience says that 99+% of parents nowadays wait until their babies are one year old.

And if you don't like the Noah is gross/Bella is fine thing, use large and small motor skills. Then Noah's large and Bella's small. You use the Noah-benefitting one and Patrice can use the Bella-benefitting one.

Sometimes I amaze myself with crazy ideas.