nine months old

Luke,

My how time flies. Today you are 9 months old, which means only three more months until we celebrate your first birthday. You are growing up right before our very eyes and every day you bring new ways for us to smile and laugh at and with you. Your Daddy & I are so blessed and thankful to be your parents and to have you in our lives. My one request is that you would just stop growing into a big boy so quickly. Slow down and enjoy this time a bit, please. One day you will miss these days when everyone did everything for you AND you get to take naps. I promise you will miss them one day!

Since I last updated you about your age, here’s what you’ve been up and around to doing.

Mobility:

You started crawling at around 6 months and you haven’t looked back. Now that we’re in a house with mostly wood floors, I can hear you coming and going very easily, and move you do! You probably average about 1/2 a mile or so on your hands and knees each day as you move yourself from place to place. You are very good at standing up on your own, and you transfer yourself from one item to another while standing with great ease. Your Daddy has tried to get you to walk while he holds your hands, but you prefer to be closer to the ground right now, something for which I am personally very thankful!

Your Candy & Pops came to visit in July and Pops decided that you had to have a walker. They went to the store and returned with not just any old walker, nope, you got the Cars walker which we now refer to as your car. It took you about two weeks in the walker to learn how to move forward while in it, but now you go and go. We very frequently hear the horn and the turn signals beeping and clicking when you’re playing in your walker. The biggest problem with the walker is that it gives you a lot of freedom to open some of the taller drawers in the kitchen, so it looks like Mommy & Daddy will have to baby proof those drawers sooner rather than later.

You have been going to “school” once a week over the summer as a trial run to see how you would do at school…and you LOVE it! You have a buddy there, Amos, who is 12 months old and you follow Amos everywhere around. Your teachers tell me that you try to keep up with Amos and that while he walks, you crawl right behind him wherever he goes. In the afternoons when you know that Mommy & Daddy are coming to pick you up, you and Amos make your way over to the room door and stand at the gate talking to anyone and everyone in the hall trying to get someone to pick you up. I finally discovered this in person on this past Thursday and all I could do was laugh at your cuteness waiting for Mommy to pick you up.

Speaking of doors, you are becoming quiet adept at opening them and closing them on your own. Where did this skill come from, Buddy? We do not close your bedroom door, but use a door stopper to keep it open just a crack for our easy entry and exit when we need to get to you or away from you quickly and quietly. Well, you now have learned how to crawl over to it and open the door. Your room is right next to the top of the stairs, but luckily you just like to crawl across the hallway to our room and find us or look for us. You’re not interested in the big wooden stairs yet, thank goodness! So, we had to start putting a box at the front of your door to use as a baby gate since we haven’t quite found the perfect one yet. We look quiet redneck about it all, but you seem to love the extra drums to play. Win, win, I guess. Have no fear, Son, we are on the hunt for the perfect baby gate for your doorway. No more escape artist Luke.

Pops taught you how to climb the stairs at their house from the living room to the kitchen when we were back in Columbia over the 4th of July. Now you move with ease and believe it or not, grace, up and down the two stairs from our kitchen to your playroom. You go slowly while moving up and down the stairs, but you want to be left alone and do it all by yourself, so we let you. You are all over the place, Luke, but we love watching you learn. You are quiet the curious little monkey.

Dexterity:

Your dexterity amazes me. I think you actually may have better hand-eye coordination than your Mommy, which is actually not saying much considering I don’t have great hand-eye coordination, but hey…the way you maneuver things is quite impressive. Starting a few weeks ago you wanted to feed yourself. We thought you were fussy at supper time because you had a new tooth popping in, but as soon as you grabbed the spoon from me, you calmed down. From that moment on, the only way we can feed you with a spoon is if we get you between your bites or shove the spoon in your mouth when you are smiling or laughing. You pick things up very well, play with things well, and you love anything with tags. You will not play with your taggie blanket much anymore, but you will find a tag on an item and go to town on said tag. You pick up small balls well, and you concentrate on picking up food items from the tray, table, our hands, your lap, or basically any surface where said food items may reside. You grasp bottles and juice cups very well and move them to your mouth with ease. It’s very funny to watch you take a juice break while eating because you will grab your cup with one hand, hold food in the other, and open your mouth wide until the nipple of the cup finds your mouth at which point you will drop the food and grab the cup with both hands to drink away. You like to flick items with your pointer finger, and you pinch for things with your pointer and thumb fingers very well, too. Slippery food items used to give you a problem, but you’re proving that you’re a conquer and those suckers don’t stand a chance against Luke anymore. Bring on the noodles, bananas and fresh fruits!

Food:

You are an amazing eater, Luke! You are now eating three full meals a day, plus a snack all by yourself. For breakfast you will typically have a waffle or cheerios and allow us to feed you yogurt or apple sauce as long as you have food to pick up and feed yourself as well. At lunch it’s all Luke; same with snack and supper time. We always feed you your food first and juice to drink during your meal, then follow up with a bottle at the end of your meal. You are now down to only 4 ounces of milk in each bottle, 3 times a day (maybe 4 depending on how hungry you are and how much you eat a mealtimes) along with about 6-8 ounces of juice water and your 3 full meals. You will eat just about anything, and if you see other people eating, you must have food to eat as well. Some of your favorite foods are: waffle, baby Goldfish, freeze dried strawberries, apple/cinnamon puff sticks, bread, chicken, turkey meatballs, ground beef, mixed veggies, sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, peaches, strawberries, cherries, plums, beets (much to your parent’s chagrin and Candy’s delight), and broccoli. Oh, and you really like chocolate, too.

A typical day of meals looks like this:
Breakfast – waffle or Cheerios, yogurt or apple sauce, fruit of some sort & milk
Lunch – mixed veggies, a starch, a meat (usually a turkey meatball or two), juice & milk
Snack – baby Goldfish, apple/cinnamon sticks, dried fruit, Craisins, yogurt melts & juice
Supper – meat, starch, veggie, fruit, juice & milk

Here’s a cute picture of you enjoying your first hamburger and hot dog at Johnny Rockets in Nashville with Candy last week:

Talking:

You talk pretty much non-stop, Luke, and we can’t figure out where that trait might have ever come about. Hmm…. You are very good at saying “Mamama” and “Dadada” now and pretty much everything is one of those two, although you do know who your Mommy & Daddy are to you. At school I’ve been told you do a lot of high pitched screeching/squealing and encourage the others in your class to do the same along with you. When you eat something and enjoy it, we hear “mum, num, num, num, num” and you are very quick to admonish us for getting in the way of your eating, playing and what not.

You have a temper when things don’t go your way, young man, but we ignore you until it’s over and then we all move forward. I predict that you will be a hard one to break on those shouting matches, but you must learn quickly that your Mommy & Daddy are naturally stubborn, too, and that they will win.

Temper aside, you love to smile and laugh, and you talk to your animals in your room. You don’t much like to read, so we really only read at bedtime. I think you don’t like to read because you’re required to listen during story time and you’d rather do the talking most of the time. I love to drive you to and from school and listen to you talk to your toys in the backseat. You change tones with them, you change pitch, and you even sing to them. Everyone at church laughs at your talking back to the Preacher during sermons (luckily Daddy doesn’t mind), and you sing along with us when we sing hymns and such. When we have the children’s sermon, you answer the questions just like the big kids do. You are a social butterfly, Luke, and you talk all the time. It’s a joy to watch and hear.

Growth:

We haven’t had your 9 month appointment yet, but as far as I can tell I’d say you’re about 24 pounds or so. You are quickly outgrowing your carseat, but you are still in some of your 6 month clothes if it’s shorts & shirts sets. You are moving into 9 month onesies now since you have such a long torso. Your little thighs are so chunky, but I love them. You are a skinny boy everywhere else, but we chalk it up to your movement because Lord knows you eat us out of house and home already!

Your eyes have stayed a very blue color, and your hair continues to change colors. Now it’s blonder with some reddish and brown natural highlights. When we wash your hair, it’s naturally curly, but then it dries stick straight, so I’m hopefully you’ll get some more curls as it continues to grow. Your finger nails and toenails grow like weeds so I’m cutting one or the other at least once every 10 days.

You are still wearing size 3 diapers and sleeping in 6 month onesies, but some of your cuter one piece outfits in 6 months are too tight around the bottom…it gives you a cute butt dimple, but they are very hard to button and are tight around the legs now. So, we’re moving on up to the 9 month clothes as we outgrow a 6 month outfit. Some 9 month are way too big on you still, so we’re mostly wearing the 6/9 month onesies and 6 month shorts.

Schedule:

A typical day in the life of Luke looks like this:

6-7:00 am – wake
7:30ish – breakfast & bottle
9:00ish – nap
11:30 – lunch & bottle
3:00 pm – nap
5:00 – snack
7:00 – supper & bottle
8:00 – bath, story time, finish any remaining bottle
8:30 – lights out

Most nights you sleep through the night, and on the nights that you do wake up, we will let you cry for a bit then comfort you and put you back to bed. You used to get a bottle in the middle of the night but we try not to do that anymore. If we think you really are hungry because you haven’t eaten well the day before, we will give you a bottle before we go to sleep, usually around 11:00 pm or so. Some nights you’ve had us up for as much as an hour crying and fighting sleep, but most nights you will pass out and sleep through…at least sleep through in terms of giving your parents at least 6 hours of sleep straight.

Your Thursdays are a bit different because of school, but now that you’re going to be in school two days a week, I have a feeling your home schedule will change to match your school schedule. Mommy just needs to adjust to that school schedule in terms of earlier nights & earlier mornings for her.

Big Events:

In your short life you’ve already had a few big events. In June we moved to Kentucky from Columbia, South Carolina for Daddy’s new job as Pastor at First Presbyterian. You made the move very well, but adjusting to the time change and a lack of home for the first week was a bit hard. You are doing great now, though. In July we went back to Columbia for Uncle Matthew & Aunt Katy’s wedding in Atlanta. You got to ride on your first plane for the trip back to Columbia and you loved it. To date you’ve been on 3 planes now…quite the Rapid Rewards collector!

During the wedding weekend you got to dress up and take pictures with the Bride & Groom and you got to flirt with so many people! You were in the nursery during the church service, but you joined us at the reception for a great time. Your friend Jordan Walters came with us on the trip to keep you while Mommy & Daddy had a lot of wedding stuff to attend to, along with Candy, Pops & Grandmommy. We were all busy, so Jordan spent a lot of time with you and from what I understand, you two had lots of fun together and now have lots of secrets of your own. At the reception you danced with Candy & Pops, including the “Wobble” with Pops, but it was loud and there were a lot of people there so you had to leave a bit early with Grandmommy, Auntie Wendy and Jordan. But, you had so much fun and did a wonderful job adapting to sharing a room with your Mommy & Daddy and being shuffled around to different events.

And, in July you also started “school” at Broadway UMC in Paducah. You did a one day a week trial basis over the summer and loved it and your teachers, so we decided to keep you on there in the fall and move you to two days a week. This gives Mommy a chance to do some of her work and get some big items done each week, and it gives you the chance to interact with other kids and enjoy the company of other adults who love you so much, too. We knew we’d found a good place for you when you giggled and smiled when we took you on Thursday mornings. We’re so grateful that God led us to this place for you since there is no church program in Mayfield where we live and the one we looked at in Murray is booked. You love your teachers and we love that the program is small, intimate and makes you happy. This summer you enjoyed the “Summer Safari” and Candy is happy that this fall you’re enjoying the “Mother’s Day Out Candy Land.” I’m just happy that you’re happy.

Luke, you are our pride and joy and we are so thankful that God has given you to us to keep while you’re here with us. You bring light into our lives, you flirt with everyone you see, we get all sorts of compliments on you and you are just such a source of fun and joy. Thank you for being such a sweet boy, and thank you for letting us be your Mommy & Daddy. Most of all, thank you to God for such a precious gift like you. Luke, we will always strive to tell you and make sure you know how much we love you and how much God loves you.

We love you more than you will ever know,
and almost as much as God loves you!

Love,
Mommy & Daddy

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