You are such a sweet, easy, pleasurable baby. You have grown so much and you are starting to get such a sweet little personality. Here are some fun things you are doing right now:
Stats at 9 months- 20lb 1oz (80%) and 29.25 inches tall (95%)
Stats at 12 months- 22lb (80%) and 30 inches tall (75%)
Crawling and Cruising - Yay! You finally started crawling around 9.5 months. Your mobility changed everything! I know I'll miss the days of putting you down knowing you'd stay, but I love that you can be an adventurer now. We borrowed a "baby cage" from the Wears, so for about two months we had a monstrosity in our living room. BUT, it made Mama's life so much easier! I could put you in there (sometimes with Q) and you would play safely while I got breakfast or dinner made or packed lunches or anything really. :) Sadly, the "cage" didn't last long. You figured out how to move it and escape. Now that you are over the "cage", we had to put up the baby gate at the stairs because you LOVE the stairs. You get so excited when we open the gate because you love going up all by yourself. You get such a kick out of Daddy telling you "I'm gonna get you!" You laugh and you are REALLY fast! We definitely have to watch out.
Eating - You love solids and you have figured out the whole "pick it up and eat it" thing. You picked up the sippy cup really fast and you even figured out how to drink out of sister's Camel Back with the straw! Smart girl! I made all Quinn's food, but for you, I've done a mix of pouches and homemade. I am so blessed by all the moms in our neighborhood who gave me their unused baby food too! You still have a thing about texture so some stuff makes you gag, but you are getting the hang of it. At 9 months I was I was still nursing about 4-5 times a day so that was your main source of nutrition. Let's be honest, it was just easier. :) Toward the end of your ninth month, you decided you were too big for baby food so now you only want food you can feed yourself. AND, you are a bottomless pit! I think you eat as much as sister sometimes! Now that you are almost a year, I nurse in the morning, at night and usually once during the day. I am starting to wean you but I am a little sad...I love nursing (despite the PAINFUL start) but I know you are ready to be a big girl and drink whole milk.
Laughing - You smile easier than any kid I've ever seen. Everything makes you smile and you tend to always smile for photos. This makes me so happy!! :) Sister makes you laugh the hardest (still) and you tend to laugh at the most random things (i.e. when Q drops something, makes a silly noise, Ella barks, etc.). You also have the best "sympathy" laugh...if you hear us laughing you sort of fake laugh because you see us doing it. I can always get a smile when I brush my teeth (you love the Sonicare sound), when Q is running in front of us for school drop off, when I "fly" you into the bathroom for bath time. You think it's funny when I say "naked baby coming through". At dinner time, you love sitting next to sister and she makes you laugh a lot with silly noises and blowing bubbles. Your favorite game is going back and forth with sister blowing bubbles and getting spit everywhere!
Talking - Your first word was MAMA around 8-9 months. Woohoo! I mean, you probably don't know you are saying my name, but I was excited that you figured that sound out first. You quickly moved to DADA and you stuck on that one for a while. Lately, when you are frustrated, you sound like you are venting and saying "dada" over and over like you are telling us what's on your mind. It's pretty funny! You have also started copying us more. The funniest thing you say is "good girl" when we do anything with Ella like put her outside or in her crate. You just love that silly dog! You can sort of mimick our sounds now, so we can get you to say "I love you" and your new favorite thing to say is "hi". You also know how to say "uh-oh" and you've picked up on the game at the dinner table where you throw something down, say "uh-oh" and we pick it up. When I rock you at night I whisper I love you a lot so you've started whispering "I" over and over. It is just about the sweetest thing.
Playing - You are a busy girl! You crawl so fast and you are into everything. I haven't put locks on the cabinets so you love pulling everything out. You also don't like things to be in order. You immediately knock down the blocks when we stack them and take toys or clothes out of bins and baskets. It's funny how you and Q are different that way. She used to want things in order and you are the opposite! You played in your exersaucer until about 10 months while I showered and/or got dressed, but now I just have to depend on sister to "babysit" while I quickly get dressed. I have about 15 minutes but that is HUGE for a mama! Going to the park or being outside after we pick sister up from school is a little hard right now. You want to be down on the ground but you want to eat everything. So, Mama will be glad when you can walk and get around a little to explore without wanting to eat leaves, dirt, grass, etc. Another thing you love is reading books, but you are very particular about them. You LOVE the ones that have flaps you can open and you know exactly where the flaps are and how to open them. It's so cute to see your sweet little finger open them up and then close them. Our new favorite thing you do is peekaboo behind the ottoman. You squat down and pop up when we say "where's Noelle?". You are so proud of yourself and it's hilarious. Now that it's summer, you have been loving the pool. You like to stay in your float kicking and kicking but you also love to just play on the steps or outside the pool. You like to climb in and out, in and out, in and out. You are just so busy! Of course your favorite thing to do is ANYTHING sister is doing. Poor Q can't do anything without little nosy sister checking it out...but Q is so patient and she's learning to play with you more and more. It's so sweet! You have become a dancing queen. You love when sister turns on the music in the playroom and you immediately go over to the table to be close to the speaker. You just dance and dance! Finally, our favorite thing of all is your recent discovery of open-mouth kisses. You can put off bedtime like a champ by giving us open mouth kisses and laughing while we try to rock you. Tricky, sweet girl!
Sleeping - Praise Jesus, you started to sleep better during the day at around 6 months! At 9 months you took about an hour long nap in the morning and afternoon. That probably doesn't sound like much to most people, but for me, it was amazing! Now that you are closer to a year old, you take a good 2.5 hour nap once a day and a little cat nap if you need it. You also still sleep 12-13 hours at night! My little rockstar night sleeper! We still have you in a sleep sack because I just think it's nice to sort of have a blanket on you and we recently put a "lovie" in bed with you (the lion that Nannie Mae got for you before you were born). You aren't super interested in cuddling with it, but you play with it when you wake up. The only issue with sleeping right now is that you don't want to go to sleep. You throw a little bit of a fit and arch your back when we sit in the rocker. When I stand up you know I'm going to put you down so you lay your head down and cuddle. Tricky girl! Lately I have been telling you that I will put you down if you don't lie down, and I think you get it because you eventually give up and lay your little head down. I love rocking you and I'm not ready for that to be over...I will rock you until you are 16 if I can!! :)
Mama loves our days together! I love seeing you grow and learn new things. I love being able to hug and kiss you all day and we have a fun little routine. Every other Monday we go to MOPS and you love the teachers and friends there. Tuesdays and Wednesdays we stay home and get stuff done while we play. Thursdays, you go to work with me at the church where they have childcare. You are usually the only kid, so you get lots of love from two teachers. Thursdays are also "nap in the car" days because I have to drive right when it's time for your naps. But, we make it work. Fridays, we take sister to dance and then have lunch with Nannie Mae. Sometimes you sleep on the way there and sometimes you don't. You are so busy during dance and you LOVE watching sister and her friends. It makes you smile so big. When summer got here, we threw the schedule out the window and just did what we had to do to get sister to all her fun camps. But, you got to do VBS this year (the childcare version) and you did great! I think as a second child you know you just have to go with the flow.
What a blessing you are sweet girl! I hope you always have a silly sense of humor, I hope you always smile easily and I hope you always love being around your sister! Of course, I also hope you will always want to be around Mama and cuddle with me too. :)
Love you so much!