Ava is nine months old today! At 3/4 of a year old, Ava loves books (mostly chewing on them, but also admiring the colors and turning the pages) and food and music, tolerates having her face wiped after eating, and hates napping during developmental leaps.
To that last point (what she hates), about 10 days ago Ava was in the throes of a mental developmental leap (the Wonder Weeks timeline is sooooo accurate for her!) and she was basically on a nap strike unless we were holding her. That made for a couple of rough days all around as she was in a glass case of emotion. Fortunately she has moved onward and is napping well again. She continues on the night sleep schedule that she has kept for the past 6 months or so – she goes to bed at around 7:00 PM and wakes up at around 6:30 AM. We joke that she has spoiled us and we can’t have any more kids because there is no way that they will sleep as well as she does. And I function sooooo much better with my 8+ hours a night. :)
Ava army crawls like a champ. She still hasn’t figured out the traditional crawling, but army crawling (is that what it’s called? She scoots on her belly basically.) gets her to where she wants to be. She’s very chill and pretty content usually to hang out in the same spot with a toy or book. She loves to sit up and play with her books and toys and she’s quite good at getting herself from sitting to belly or back. Just in the past couple of days she has mastered going from her belly to sitting up comfortably – that we have witnessed anyway. I think she has been doing that for a week or so because we would sometimes go get her from her crib and find her sitting up, looking around the room. Speaking of crib….a couple of weeks ago, she and Kevin had a traumatic experience. He was with her one afternoon and she was in her crib with the goal of a nap on everyone’s mind (except hers, perhaps). She had never pulled up on furniture, pulled herself up to sitting, etc. so we had not thought to lower the mattress in the crib and it was still at the high point. Kevin heard some rustling, then THUMP, and Ava started wailing. He sprinted to her room and she was on the ground by the crib. She had managed to pull herself up to standing in the crib and then toppled over the side. Needless to say she got cuddle naps for the rest of that day and we lowered the mattress before bedtime. We are so thankful that she is okay – no bump on the head, no bruises, no broken limbs. I know this is only the beginning of the adventures that come with parenting, but it was scary for all of us! A friend told us once that parents have to stay one step ahead of kids, and we learned first hand that that is true.
Her third tooth – one of the top center teeth – came through this past month. She’s got an amazing little smile with those three teeth poking out! She continues to be an excellent little eater. Some new and interesting things that she’s tried in the past month include garbanzo beans (whole and in avocado hummus), cherries, blackberries, corn on the cob, curry, mushrooms, brisket, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, kiwi, and peanut (in the form of Bamba! Such a cool snack for a baby.). Her pincher grasp is outstanding. I continue to probably cut things up a little smaller than necessary. She has mastered drinking out of a straw, which is really nice when we eat out with her – no sippy cups for us. I keep a stainless steel Norwex straw in my purse and in the diaper bag so she can drink water neatly wherever we go. She continues to nurse around 6 times a day (give or take a session – which are quite efficient and vary in length from two minutes to ten minutes – depending on our schedule that day), and she’ll sip on formula when she’s with Kevin, Sue, or Craig. She doesn’t seem to mind formula but doesn’t get too excited about it either. Maybe it’s too bland for her sophisticated little palette. ;-)
She loves the cats! Anytime she sees one or both of them she coos and smiles really big. Kiki doesn’t get close enough to be touched, but Rue does and Ava is working on learning to be gentle. Rue isn’t sure what to think of the bald kitten (what we think the cats call Ava) and her newfound mobility. Ava continues to sing and jabber a lot. She alternates between ‘da’ and ‘ma’ being the sound of the day. ‘Da’ is probably the overall favorite sound recently. Ahh, it seems like just four months ago that ‘ma’ was her favorite thing to say – they grow up so fast. :)
She loves to be worn in the Ergo when we are out shopping. She likes to face out and see what’s going on around her. She’s often a squirmy girl during diaper changes and when we’re walking around holding her. Ava loves to play peek-a-boo and gets a real kick out of it when she holds her water bottle or book or toy up to her eyes and we say, “Where’s Ava?” She is developing such strong opinions about things and it is so fun to see her little personality develop. She continues to be a serious observer when out and about, around less familiar people and places. She prefers to be held by Kevin or I as she does have a bit of “stranger” anxiety.
Her 9 month wellness check was on Friday. She’s now in the 6th percentile for weight, weighing in at 15 pounds, 2 ounces. Her height is 26.75 inches (16th percentile) and her head circumference has her in the 41st percentile. The pediatrician said she’s doing great. We like our pediatrician – she is so relaxed and easy going about things, which is really good for a type A control freak such as myself. Basically the only directives she has given us are no honey before a year and no walkers. Check and check.
Ava continues to amaze us everyday with her sweet disposition, curious nature, and energetic presence – we are so grateful to be her parents.