Sunday, November 27, 2011

{9 Months}

My little lady is 9 months old!  Still the light of our lives and a complete joy.  We are loving watching her learn and grow each month.  I am continually amazed by how quickly she changes, how fast she picks up new things, how smart she is. 

The biggest change in our lives these days is Natalie's mobility.  She is now crawling and pulling up on things and it seems that she is everywhere at once.  She would kind of scoot and roll around before - but never did an army crawl or anything.  Then, one day, she's crawling.  Just all of a sudden.  It was funny to see how quickly she learned that she can get around...follow us around the corner...find what she's looking for in another room.  Now that she has it figured out, she doesn't slow down!

Most of our monthly photo shoot looked like this....
VERY hard to get her to sit still and get her picture taken.

Natalie has become really good at communicating what she wants.  She'll say "mamamama" at bedtime when she is tired and wants to nurse.  She always wakes up calling for "dada".  She is extremely vocal when she doesn't like something...squealing, arching her back, pushing things away with her hands, slamming toys on the ground.  Her little facial expressions tell exactly what she is thinking.  She claps her hands when she is happy and when she hears music.  She has learned to click her tongue, and likes to imitate us.  She reaches for people and things that she wants.  She talks to her toys and stuffed animals.  I absolutely cannot believe how intelligent and observant she is. 

Each month brings out more personality.  While she is doing better in the anxiety/attachment phase (no more crying when we leave the room)....she still has to "warm up" before she'll let someone else hold her.  She also is fearful of certain things - like the vacuum cleaner, Harley, dog puppets (don't ask...), and cats.  I don't know if it is a fear, or just an uncertainty about unfamiliar things.  I think she is more reserved; wants to observe and check things out before they get too close.  I will be interested to see if this continues as she grows. 

Natalie's favorite pasttime these days is EATING.  The child has taken to solids beautifully, and is loving eating table foods as well.  She nurses morning and night, takes a formula bottle twice a day, and eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  She has gotten really good at feeding herself and has really good fine motor skills.  She is great at feeding herself puffs, banana, peaches, mandarin oranges, green beans, carrots, pasta, scrambled eggs, and toast.  She had some baked ziti the other day that we had for dinner and loved it.  She'll clear her tray in no time, then hit her hands on it to signal that she wants more.  I want to start teaching her some sign language.  First I have to learn some sign language...

Natalie is growing - she weighed 19 pounds 4 ounces at the doctor's office last week.  50th %ile on weight and she's slowed down a bit.  Wearing all 9-12 month clothes.  Still sleeping like a champ - 12 hours at night with 3-4 hours of combined nap time during the day.  She also has learned to sleep in on the weekends!  Yay!  She'll sleep until 8:30 on those days, which gives Mommy & Daddy a couple of extra hours of sleep.

Natalie loves music and dancing.  She is not so good at sitting still to listen to a story unless she is really tired, but she likes to chew on the books while I read. :)

She loves, loves, LOVES her daddy.  He tickles her and plays with her and snuggles her and she just laughs.  It is the cutest, sweetest thing.  They have a very special relationship, and sometimes daddy is the only one who can calm her down.  I know he loves that, and likes to remind me of it from time to time.  They have their own little daddy-daughter thing goin' on, and it completely steals my heart.

She continues to be an easy-going baby.  Easily entertained, doesn't mind sitting on a blanket and playing alone while I get things done around the house.  However, now that she is crawling she makes a beeline for cords, magazines, and her diaper bag. 
Is this an ornery face, or what?!?

That seemed like a random collection of Natalie facts, but I just don't want to forget all of the little things at each stage.  Most importantly, I love this sweet little girl more than I could ever say.  She makes life wonderful and fun and beautiful.  She never lets me forget the plan and purpose that God has for me, and for her.  I am so thankful for her.

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