As Jack reached his 9-month milestone and with a recent addition to our extended family, I’m quite reflective and excited. Nine months ago, much like my friend/Jeff’s cousin did a week ago, I was doing this. Almost a week overdue, I was so done. Last September, I was toasted with exhaustion and filled with anxiety.

To say the least, so much has changed over these past 9 months. We brought home an adorable bundle of sweetness who has quickly morphed to a bundle of energy. Little did we know just how much this boy would fill our hearts.

At Jack’s 9 month well baby visit last week, we learned that his weight and height have definitely tapered to the point where he’s back on the charts. He’s very healthy, weighing in at 24lbs. and measuring at 29.5 in. For weight he is in the 90th percentile and for height he’s in the 75th percentile. Though big, he’s definitely back on the charts! He’s still wearing size 4 diapers and large cloth diapers. Depending on the brand, he wears anywhere from 18m-2T clothes. His hair continues to get lighter and longer, and he still resembles both of us equally– at least we think so!

At the dr’s office, Jeff reported that Jack was his usual active self. Because he’s much taller and so much more curious, in one visit, he was able to singlehandedly create enough destruction to turn off the lights, knock over almost all of the dr’s tools on the walls and destroy the paper on the examining table to the point where the nurse had to change it 4 times. Yup. He’s a boy in ever sense of the word.
destroying things at the dr's office
He’s crawling on all fours like a madman. He’s quick like a bunny; if you turn your head to grab the remote, he’s probably dumped out his entire toy basket or found a 2 inch entrance to his closet nursery that we’ve temporarily barricaded with his exersaucer or is turning off the DVD player, despite the fact that there are 10 pillows, an ottoman and a fan blocking his path. He’s quickly becoming a pro at pulling himself up on all the furniture. He’s had his fair share of falls, but practice makes perfect. He’s definitely working on mastering the whole cruising thing. Though he hasn’t taken any steps on his own, he frequently stands on his own, but isn’t quite sure where to go from there.

It’s becoming so much easier to communicate with Jack. We call him Jack more often than Jackson, but he knows his name. Every now and then when he’s being wildman Jack, I’ll flip on this show and he just dances and giggles. Every time he hears his name, he smiles. He must think the show is talking to him. We’ve been continuing to introduce some basic signs to him, especially while he’s eating. He’s catching on, at least I thought he was…Just the other day, I signed “all done?” to him. He waved “bye bye” back. haha. We’re getting somewhere!

His personality is so fun now. He’s very cognizant of our daily routines, and who does what and when. He’s caught on that if mommy is carrying him a certain way, it usually means we’re going somewhere. More often than not, if I’m carrying him to a different room, he likes to wave bye bye, as if we’re off to another trip to the park. He knows that if Jeff picks him up and says uh oh, that it usually means he’s getting kisses on his belly. When Jeff says uh oh, Jack is already giggling and pushing Jeff’s face away from his belly. He enjoys dancing and grooving. Anytime he hears music, even if it’s a commercial, he’ll wave his arms like he’s conducting or does this pelvic thrust thing. The dancing doesn’t stop him, even if he’s sitting down. He’ll dance regardless of his positioning. It makes me crack up every single time!

Jack at 9 months

Jack is quickly becoming such a copycat. Our reading routine is very regular, so he knows what to do with the books. He’ll sit in our laps and follow along. He gets it: he points and follows the words, just like I do. I’m not sure if this should be in the copycat category or the City Baby category, but whenever Jack hears a siren–whether it’s an ambulance, firetruck or police car–he loves to squeal along with it. haha.
His curiosity is very much like his father’s. He continues to examine and study objects, as if he needs to get behind why stuffed bear rattles. He enjoys banging things together almost as much as he enjoys stomping on his toys. But as playful and active as he’s become, Jack is still quite the lovey boy. He has this puppy puppet that we like to play with that he loves to kiss. Whenever he sees it, he has to stop what he’s doing in order to give it a few smooches. In the middle of bashing his blocks together, he’s known to turn around and crawl over to Lola just to give her a little open-mouthed smooch. His way of letting you know that he’s content involves petting your arm and lovingly pinching you. My upper arm is all blue and purple, and I’m so o.k. with it.

With all the sweet smooches comes the tears of defiance. We’re still working on the soft discipline. Serious faces and “no Jack, that’s not for you,” often illicits a giggle, but we’re staying stern. Like most kids, he will vocalize when he’s bored, hungry or tired. You know, the usual. But when it’s time to change, he still unleashes shrills of terror. This kid still does not like clothes! (It’s such a shame, especially when I have an obsession for buying him clothes!) When he’s upset and crying, like if I need to put him down to make his dinner, he now does this exasperating slump to the floor. It’s so dramatic! Not sure where he would’ve learned that. 😉

destroying and inspecting thingsWe recently got the ok to start Jack on meats and more proteins. As of this weekend, we started to transition to modified versions of our dinner, but chopped. His favorite foods are squash, cantaloupe, banana waffles (warmed with no syrup) and bananas. I definitely enjoy cooking for the boy. It’s so rewarding when he claps because he’s enjoying what he’s eating. We’re also starting to minimize formula and breastmilk feedings.

With an upcoming trip this weekend and then a work assignment for me next week, we are sending Jack down to Va for a week to spend with our families. His visit down to Va. is extremely bittersweet for me. As much as we’re looking forward to spending time with our friends, it’ll be the first time I’ll be away from the boy for an extended period of time. As if being away from him isn’t hard enough, but I came to the realization last week that this could possibly be the end nursing for us. Because nursing babies tend to be very finicky with the whole scenario, it’s possible that our week apart from each other may disinterest jack in continuing nursing. As it is, my supply has diminished a considerable amount and my letdown is extremely slow which also compounds the situation. I’ve surpassed my own expectations in the nursing realm; quite honestly, I never even thought I’d be able to do it, nevermind make it this long. As many moms that have nursed know, the physical and emotional effort involved results in an inexplicable bond. At the beginning, I was so resentful because I was so worn out from how demanding it all was. But once I got over myself, nursing was THE one thing that came so natural. It made so much sense to us. Once we got the hang of it, it’s probably one of the only things we HAVEN’T struggled with…until now.
I’ll have to pump while we’re apart for comfort sake and the hopes to continue nursing once we’re back to our normal routine. I think we should be able to continue where we left off, but I guess we won’t know until we get there. Just like how Jack was up EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR last night due to teething discomfort, this kid is unpredictable. Speaking of which, as of this morning, he had 5 teeth, but we’re working on 2 more, hence the lack of sleep and irritability.
this guy isn't as innocent as he looks

For family back in Va., get your rest now. One thing’s for sure: this bundle of energy will keep you on your toes at all hours of the day and night.