Dear Clara – 9 months old

29 Jun

Dear Clara,

A couple of days ago you turned 9 months old.  I missed it.  You’ve been keeping me so busy, I completely missed it.

You pretty much seem to be done with the baby food.  You don’t really like for me to feed you with a spoon anymore.  You are so independent, you ‘d rather do everything yourself.

In the past month, you’ve learned how to clap your hands, give kisses, and you’re SOOOO close to saying “more” in sign language.  You’ve been pulling up on things with some help for a while now, but in the past two weeks, you’ve started pulling yourself up all by yourself.  You cruise along the coffee table, trying to reach everything on the top of it.  I’ve had to do a lot of baby proofing in the past month or so.  Outlet covers, removing the baskets from under the coffee table, clearing off all the junk we used to keep on top of it.  Even my coffee mug isn’t safe there.  You love to pull on cords, especially the one for my laptop.  You also love shoes.  I’m not sure if it’s just because they sit where you can reach them or if you really just like shoes.  I guess we’ll find out.  Tearing up my magazines is another fun hobby of yours, and then trying to eat the pages… that’s awesome, too.

We have to be very careful to keep the pantry door closed, because you always try to crawl over there and see what kind of things you can get into.  And there’s a lot of stuff in there you shouldn’t get in to.

Mr. Turtle and Curious George are your favorite friends right now, and you even think the big bear is fun to play with these days.  You’re not scared of him anymore.  In fact, you light up when you see him and do your weird butt scoot over to him.  You’ve gotten to be really quick at that.  It’s not really a crawl, but you make it work.

Mr. Turtle is your bedtime friend.  You always want him with you, and even when you get up in the morning, you’re very clear that you want to bring him downstairs with you – even without words, I know exactly what you’re saying.  At least that’s one time I know.  Most of the time, I still have no idea.  Your daddy is super proud that you like the little stuffed turtle, because he picked it out for you when we went to the Bahamas when I was pregnant.  He loves that you love it.  You’ve also started sleeping on your side.  You’ll hold on to the turtle for dear life, roll over on your side, and put him over your head like you’re trying to block out the light.  You still don’t like to sleep on your tummy.  Now that you’ve figured out how to roll over and crawl around, you sleep in one corner, and when you’re trying to keep yourself awake, you crawl over to the opposite corner of your crib and sit there.

You’re really  interested in walking around.  You’ll hold onto our fingers and practically run around.  Everywhere you can get to.  You haven’t seemed very interested in the stairs just yet, but we’re ready for you when you are.  Your Grandad came last week and built us some adaptors for the bottom of the stairs so we can put the gate there and it will stay, even if you pull on it.  He’s a genius.

We’ve been going to swim lessons, and you’re a regular little fish!  You love the water so much and when we walk out to the pool, you get all excited and flap your arms around like you want to fly out of my arms and right into the water.  And that’s about right.  You do such a great job kicking and even moving your arms and getting your face in the water.  The teacher thinks you’re going to be an “early swimmer.”  I didn’t tell her that you certainly have the genes for it.  Your Grandad was a swimmer in college, and so was your great aunt Andi.  They were both really good, and I think I remember someone telling me that Andi almost made the olympic trials.  Maybe you’ll do that one day, too.  The last time we were at swim lessons, you started swimming between me and your daddy – just a little distance – by yourself.  You do such a great job!

Tomorrow you have your 9 month checkup.  Apparently it was supposed to be Monday, but you know, I forgot about it.  I’ve never before forgotten about a doctor’s appointment before.  Somehow it just slipped my mind.

You’ve started giving kisses when we ask for them, and you’ll give them to your stuffed animals, too.  Today you gave me a kiss, unsolicited.  Melted my heart.  No kidding.

You are starting to make noises that sound like sentences and conversations… I can’t wait until you have a few words.  You say “dada” but not really “mama,” and today it kinda sounded like you were trying to say “turtle” but that’s probably more wishful thinking than anything.  My mom said that when I started talking, it was almost immediately in full sentences, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you do something similar.

You really like when we read books to you – it’s about the only time you’ll sit still for any length of time.  And you love bathtime.  When you hear the water running, you get real excited, like when you see the pool.  You love to splash until I am soaking wet, play with your little squirty toys, and you laugh when I squirt you with them.  You try to drink the water.  Gross.

The garbage disposal and the vacuum cleaner scare you.  You freak out.  Today we went to clean the old house and you would not stop crying until I picked you up and held you while I finished cleaning.  It is challenging, to say the least, to sweep, mop, clean a refrigerator, and clean toilets with a baby in your arms.  I think I got my workout for the day.

You love other people.  There is no stranger danger in you.  You light up when someone talks to you in a store.  And they almost always do.  If they don’t, you kind of give them a look like, “What’s wrong with you?  Don’t you know I’m cute?  You should tell me so.”  Other kids crack you up!  I don’t know if it’s because you think they’re funny, or if they’re doing things that you think you want to be doing, or what, but you giggle like crazy.

The other day you discovered the little door stop things that are attached to the walls.  You grabbed one, and when it slipped out of your hand, it made a “sproiiiiing” noise, and you cracked up.  That was pretty hilarious.

What else?  I feel like there’s something new every day.  You are a crazy girl – and you’re growing up so fast!  You’re certainly keeping me on my toes!

Oh, I know.  You’ve gotten a couple more teeth.  From what I understand, they normally come in in pairs… bottom two, top two, then in pairs after that.  You wouldn’t do anything the normal way… that would be too easy.  So you have gotten your bottom two around 4 months old, then the past couple weeks, you’ve been cutting more teeth.  Today I saw them… One on top – the top right center… and one on bottom – the one to the left of the two you already had.  Snaggletooth.  I shall call you snaggletooth.

We love you, Munchkin.  Happy 9 months!

Mommy (& Daddy)


Pictures to come soon… 🙂

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