LovesGiving kisses (to himself in the mirror, his toys, even the piggies) but only when he feels like it. Ask him for a kiss and you're gonna get dissed instead; eating everything; walking with his learning walker; Thomas the Train; bath time
HatesHaving "toys" taken from him, and by "toys" I mean wires, choking hazards, and basically anything dangerous but super fun looking; strangers
A few days before Rico officially turned 9 months, we had a photo session with my friend Cristal of Cristal Veronica Photos. I thought his update would be the perfect opportunity to share some of those with you! We started off at Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park then explored the fountain at the Music Concourse and the pretty cherry blossoms near the Japanese Tea Gardens. Our original session date got rained out so even though it was a little chilly, we were just happy it was dry!
Upside-down baby! His favorite thing ever right now. That and doing backflips.
As far as toys go, he's into anything that makes noise, especially little wooden animals that click and clack as you bang them together.
The buttons on his shirt are far more interesting than Mom and Dad making silly faces at each other and ... kissing ... ew!!!
Any opportunity to get up on two legs is considered the best thing ever. He pulls up on furniture, while holding onto the wall, and holding our hands. His legs and core are super strong but he still needs a little work on the balancing thing. His favorite thing right now is using his Sit-To-Stand learning walker to go from one room to the next. He walks with it to his corner of the living room to play with his toys, then uses it to walk over to the piggy cage for a little visit, then grabs it to walk into his room and play with toys there. This kid wants to walk soooo badly! The Husband and I even have a bet going as to when he'll start walking on his own. The Husband says before 10 months and I say between 10 and 12 months. Considering he'll be 10 months in about two weeks, it's looking like I might win! But I have mixed feelings on this - my mom ego wants to be able to say "My son starting walking at 9 months!" but the competitor in me wants him to wait until 10 so I'll win the bet!
"Still taking pictures, huh?"
He was totally over pictures by this point and not fully willing to smile, but he looked like such a big boy, sitting on that little tree stump all by himself. ♥
Stranger danger started around 8.5 months and he sometimes gets a little overwhelmed with new faces or loud noises. But he warms up pretty easily and smiles instantly when he sees a face he recognizes. He also wants to be a part of every conversation. Every.single.one. If you're chatting and not including him, he will make himself known with his babbles and squeals, which means it's nearly impossible to make a phone call outside of nap time.
He eats pretty much everything (except plain broccoli) and is really great about hand-eye-mouth coordination. Food still ends up on the floor during mealtimes but it's there intentionally now since gravity has recently become the most fascinating thing ever. The Husband and I have both said that baby-led weaning has been the best parenting decision we've made so far (well, that and sleep training - he still regularly sleeps 11-12 hours a night!). Every food is interesting and exciting to him. He usually squishes new foods between his fingers and gets a feel for the textures before eating it but he does at least taste everything we offer him. His favorites include everything from plain boiled carrots to spicy polenta with bell peppers to chicken enchiladas and he eats almost as much as I do at meals. I make minor adjustments to seasonings when cooking but he basically eats whatever we eat. I'm planning to do a more in-depth post on BLW soon since it has been such a great experience for us.
This month, he also learned to gives kisses - to himself in the mirror, his stuffed animals, and even the piggies. I've caught him hanging out at their cage kissing the bars when they come over to check him out! On the other hand, I have received exactly ONE kiss. One. Uno. Totally unprovoked, too. He just crawled over to me one afternoon and planted a slobbery wet one on my check, then crawled off back to his toys. If I actually ask for a kiss, though, he just smiles and looks away. It has to be his idea, initiated by him, or it's no kisses at all. He's a coy one, that Rico.
He tried a baby gymnastics class this month, which was both a hit and a miss. He was the youngest kid in the class and most of the other babies were already walking, so he had a hard time keeping up when it was free play time, but during the structured part when we were teaching them how to do safe flips over our legs, he was all for it and one of the only babies NOT freaked out about flipping backwards. He also learned how to turn the lights on and off, which is a big help when my hands are full, and he figured out how to turn the volume up or down on the TV. We don't let him just sit down and watch TV all day but we did discover that he's drawn to Thomas & Friends and loves the theme song especially. So I sometimes turn it on for the last five minutes or so and let him listen to the song during the closing credits. On at least five separate occasions, he has approached the TV and turned up the volume when the song comes on, sometimes even coming from a different room in the apartment to turn it up and listen!
Little Rico is showing signs of a little temper, too! If I take something away that he wants to play with -whether it be a toy that I need to clean or a wire he's trying to chew- he balls up his little fists, sometimes pounding them on his chubby thighs, furrows his brow, and grunts. If he's really angry he'll stiffen his legs, arch his head back and scream. I feel like we're already having terrible 2's level tantrums and he's only 9 months old! But he's also sweet and loving and smiles easily. He climbs in my lap and cuddles up, sometimes bringing a book with him as he crawls over, and he understands a few simple phrases. He likes to be helpful and happily hands things to me when I ask him to, he follows if I tell him to "Come here," and understands simple commands like "Put Blue Bear (his pacifier) in the bed for naptime" (drops paci in the crib and smiles proudly).
One big thing for me this month has been learning the difference between tired and exhausted. During the first few months home with a newborn, I was tired all.the.time. It was literally impossible to ever feel rested because the hole of sleep debt was so massive. Now that he's sleeping through the night (and has been for a while), I'm slowly starting to feel rested when I wake up but, by the end of the day, I'm so worn out I can barely muster up the energy to wash my face and brush my teeth before bed sometimes! Rico is far more active and independent than before but that means he requires a lot more supervision, too. Add that to the many decisions you have to make throughout the day as a work-from-home parent (what to make for breakfast? lunch? snack? Do I have time to run an errand before the next nap? Sneak in some emails? Do some editing? etc etc etc) and it becomes pretty easy to see why even the simplest of days spent here at home can be exhausting physically and mentally. On the flip side, he's so much more fun now and we're only just beginning to explore and discover the big wide world together.