Alex is 9 Months Old!! (Well, 9.5 Months Actually, But Let’s Pretend This is Timely)

I love this picture

I love this picture

Ok, I realize that I’ve been delinquent in publishing lately.  Actually I haven’t been writing as much as I’d like for the past, oh, 9 months, but lately it’s been really bad, right?  I really want to be more active on my blog right now, but honestly the demands of motherhood are taking up the majority of my time, and I feel that being a parent should come before writing about parenting if it comes down to that.  I’m pretty sure Alex thinks the best game in the world is trying to attack my computer keyboard whenever I’m trying to type anything, so that’s also an issue…..

There are other things taking up my time right now, however.  Blogging is usually my secondary pursuit after being a wife and mother, but my little sister is getting married in about 2 and a half weeks, and I’ve actually been really busy with a few things in connection with that, like making her veil and planning her bachelorette party.  Everything takes longer when you have a baby, of course, and when you spend a large part of your day doing routine tasks like changing diapers, nursing, and rocking your baby to sleep, you have way too much time to think up more and more ideas and then things tend to get out of hand…..

ANYWAY…. soon I hope to put blogging back into it’s usually spot in my priority ladder.  🙂  The monthly updates, however, remain very important to me because I see it as a personal written record of Alex’s first months of life.  That’s why I’m forcing myself to keep up with at LEAST those posts (even when they’re nearly a month late). I know I’ll forget so much over the years, but I want to put down some of my thoughts and experiences as they are happening.

I mainly wrote all that stuff about not blogging much because I feel guilty.  What I feel more guilty about, though, is that while I haven’t been writing my own posts I’ve also neglected to read the blogs I follow, partly because I don’t have time to comment (and I usually like to comment if I read), and partly because I just get more ideas for posts and then am frustrated that I can’t write them all.  😦

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Ok, on to the good stuff: Alex is/was 9 months old!  Already!  Spoiler alert: this month was all about vacations and sickness.

Health:

We might as well talk about this first because I felt like it was the overlying theme of Alex’s 9th month.  We left off last time with us in California visiting some of my husband’s relatives as we tagged along on his business trip.  While there, Alex began to have a dry cough.  At first it was just at night, then during the day, and by the time we got home it was more of a phlegmy cough and was happening more frequently.  No other symptoms.  Our Washington state vacation was just 1.5 weeks after we returned from California, and we seriously considered not going since Alex was sick (in fact, I packed the night before really not knowing if we were going or not). My husband was worried that the dry airplane air or the cold wet Washington air would make Alex worse, that he might catch something new on the plane, and that he might make other people sick.  We had also been worried that he might have whooping cough, but pretty much decided it was bronchitis instead because, although it sucked, it didn’t seem that “bad”.  He did have some really terrible coughing spells, usually during the night or during a nap.  The first happened a couple days before we left for vacation.  It happened while he was napping and he woke up coughing and gagging and choking on phlegm.  I held him over the sink and actually did the choking back thumps because I didn’t know what was going on.  His face turned all red.  He was so exhausted afterward that he actually just fell back asleep in my arms, poor little guy.

We went on vacation, though, and the plane ride didn’t seem to adversely affect him, but when we visited my husband’s brother and his family, Alex cough his little cousin’s cold.  We first noticed on the plane ride home that he’d gotten a cold, and that plus the cough was horrid!!  It was especially rough at night or any time he slept because it was like all the phlegm would build up and he doesn’t know to try to cough to keep his throat clear, so he would wait until he was compelled to cough and then it was just so so much.  Of course it was upsetting so he would cry and that would just make it worse- ugh.  He absolutely does not like me suctioning out his nose (over the sink with the water running while I pull boogies out with my fingers is the only way he’ll really let me do anything), so it took forever to clear everything out.  We now do think he had/has whooping cough.  It just wasn’t as bad as it could have been, thankfully.  We had been in California and there is a lot of whooping cough there, he did have the “whooping” sound (just not every time), and it did last a million and one days.  He still coughs, actually, and it’s been a month and a half now, and whooping cough is sometimes called the 100-day cough.  The horrible coughing/choking spells ended several weeks ago around the time he got over his cold, thankfully, but he does still wake up coughing a few times every night.

So we survived that.  Then Alex got his first fever (this actually happened right after he turned 9 months, but I’m going to talk about it now anyway since we’re already talking about sickness).  It lasted about 3 days, no other symptoms, higher in the evening never getting above 101-102 degrees.  We have no idea what it was, but I really really hated it because Alex was not himself.  He was quiet, still, slept a ton, and just wasn’t his usually mile-an-hour self.  We had never seen him like that, so it was sad and a little frightening even though I know it’s normal to be a little less energetic when you feel like crap.  He’d just start crying out of nowhere, and it broke my heart.  I put garlic on his feet for 2.5 days straight and I think it helped him fight off whatever was attacking his body.

I forgot to mention that while in Cali Alex got a big heat rash that took quite awhile to clear up. He was also eating a bunch of figs while we were there and we realized later that they were giving him a rash in his face. He was so rashy for awhile there. 😦

And now he’s well, thank God, and I hope it’ll be awhile before we have to deal with the next cold or whatever.  I know being sick a lot is a normal part of growing up (I sure had my share as a kid), but it messes with everything and really sucks.  Also, as a parent you can’t help but worry.

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Eating:

Alex is eating up a storm.  The cough and cold threw him for a loop a bit though because eating would invariably bring on a cough spell and then we couldn’t tell if he was coughing or choking.  People always looked very concerned in restaurants.  Alex still loves all kinds of foods, however, and is never afraid to try new stuff.

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Nursing:

Alex still nurses as much as ever.  A couple of days when he was all stuffed up in his sinuses he couldn’t nurse very well, and that really sucked. He couldn’t suck on his duda at all for awhile there and so wanted to nurse even more for comfort, especially at night.  I always had snot on my boob.  I had to wash off every morning, and it was lovely.

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Sleeping:

All the sickness (I told you this month was marked by illness!) really threw off our groove with sleeping.  Alex does NOT want to be alone when he doesn’t feel well, and this especially goes for sleeping, so I spent a whole lot of time holding him and lying next to him while he slept.  For awhile there if he woke up and wasn’t IN OUR ARMS he’d be really upset.  He got into the habit of sleeping draped over me.  He seems to find that super comforting, and he loves to nurse in that position as well.  I don’t mind it either as it’s relaxing for me and more comfortable than side-lying nursing, so we do it a lot now.

Alex still sleeps in our bed, if you hadn’t gathered.  We really don’t have plans to change that any time soon since it’s working really well for us right now and it doesn’t seem like Alex has any desire to sleep alone.  It’s really really convenient for times of sickness.  I think even if Alex had already transitioned to his own room or bed we’d probably bring him back in with us when he’s sick.  Otherwise I’d be up a million times a night to comfort him.  All those times he woke up coughing, sometimes just realizing we were there beside him was enough to make him feel safe and relaxed enough to fall back asleep.  It’s also convenient since he still nurses so much at night.  Granted, if he was in his own bed, he might not nurse quite so often, but I do think he’d still wake once or twice a night.  We wake each other when we stir, but Alex still wakes even if we leave him alone (like at the beginning of the night if he goes to bed before us), so there is no perfect arrangement right now.  But this works for us.  We do, however, plan to make a floor bed.  We’ve been talking about it for a couple months now and just haven’t gotten it done, but we will.  Our main reasons are: so Alex won’t fall out of bed (though I worry a LOT less about this now than I did a couple of months ago), so I can have more space (we want to put a small mattress next to ours and level with our bed so Alex has some space of his own when he chooses to use it), and so Alex can become more independent with going to sleep.  Regarding that last point, Alex has as few times now fallen asleep on his own without needing rocking or walking or bouncing or singing. I am still there with him and he’s free to nurse, but he rolls this way and that and nurses this side and that and gets comfortable and sleepy on his own and in his own way until he just…. falls asleep.  The first time this happened I was SO AMAZED!  Anyway, it doesn’t happen every time, but I think it’s a good first step to Alex becoming more independent with going to sleep.

Developing and Growing:

Alex is ON. THE. MOVE.  He’s a superstar crawler, and I think that actually makes him less likely to be an early walker because, well, crawling is just so efficient for him that he’d rather do that then try to walk.  He does love to stand while holding on to things, though, and he’s getting quite good at it.  His transition from sitting or crawling to standing is smooth and seamless.

Alex is pretty steady on his feet, but he did shed his first injury blood this month when he fell and cut his lip on a bookshelf. 😦

Alex knows some words, like Mommy, Daddy, Ami, doggie, and no.  He also knows some phrases, such as “I see you in the mirror”, “we’re here”, “all done”, and “Daddy’s home”.  It’s so fun to see that he knows what we’re talking about!  I can say “Where’s Daddy?” or “Where’s Ami?” (our cat) and he will look to where they are.  He gets so excited about spotting whatever I’m naming, too.  When I say “I see you in the mirror!” he immediately looks at our reflection in the mirror, and when I say “Daddy’s home” he looks toward the doorway for Daddy.  It’s adorable!

The big sound for Alex this month is “b”. He’s been practicing it a LOT and saying baba and blowing air through his lips to make a crazy “bbbbbb” sound that I can’t even really do! He imitated “b” a little bit when we would play peekaboo in the car.

Alex weighed I’m at 20.75 pounds this month. I think we’re going to start weighing him on the regular scales now because he’s getting too big and wiggly to hang him in the sling and weigh him with the hand scale like we always have.

Alex is just beginning to do actions when we ask him to.  He’ll jump, for example, when we say “Jump, jump, jump!” and he’ll sometimes clap his hands when prompted.  I look forward to him really imitating us- it’ll be so fun to try new stuff!

It’s a little tough to write this section right now because there are several things Alex is doing now, at almost 10 months, that he wasn’t doing at 9 months, so…. I think I need to go start on the 10 month post as that milestone is only about a week away- WOAH!

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We’re just really enjoying our little man so much.  He seems less like a baby and more like a little boy all the time, which is both exciting and sad.

We toured the Midway in San Diego

We did quite a few “shower baths” while on vacation

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We went to the San Diego zoo, and Alex did really well, but was just a little too young yet to really appreciate it. He’d often notice the fence right in front of him and miss the huge elephant beyond….. Oh well.  Some zoo pictures:

Alex loved the petting zoo even though they ONLY had goats, which I thought was kind of lame….

mama bird feeding baby 🙂

baby panda!

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We went on another plane trip this month to Washington state. There was more driving than any of us would have liked, but I had so much fun seeing the Puget Sound area and the Olympic National Forest with my two favorite men.  The last time I was there was right before I met my husband…. a lot has happened in 4 years!  Alex did well in the car, considering how much he dislikes being strapped in.  I rode in the back with him absolutely everywhere and was, for the most part, able to keep him from descending in hysterics.  He endured a 5 hour car ride one day when we went from the Olympic Peninsula area to Wenatchee.  I was proud of him. Some pictures from that trip:

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getting hands on

 

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family selfie (and it’s actually one of our favorites)

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being goofy on the ferry

 

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on the ferry

 

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Exploring sticks and grass in Deception Pass State Park

 

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hiking near Rosario Beach

 

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hiking near Deception Pass Bridge

 

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on Hurricane Ridge

 

He still does ok on the plane- he is just a whirlwind of energy, though, and it totally wears us out holding onto him as he crawls and climbs and wiggles.  He always flirts with the people sitting near us (he is a HUGE flirt, my goodness!), and has a tough time sleeping because everything is so exciting.  He also LOVES the arm rests on the plane (WHY???) and I’m sure licking them is absolutely the reason he keeps getting sick every time we travel, haha!

Ok, Now I’ve FINALLY gotten this post written and I feel so relieved.  I’m going to immediately begin the 10-month post because these things are so much better when I do them at the right time.  Otherwise I forget stuff and I really hate that.

In the morning I’ll add the pictures and publish.  I just really love having monthly updates to look back on later and want to keep doing this at least for Alex’s first year (or maybe first two years??).

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