Happy Birthday, Sweet Clara! Hard to believe she’s nine months old already. From here on out, it's more time on the outside than on the inside! If only the nine months of pregnancy had passed as quickly as her first nine months here! This has been a huge month for Clara in terms of gross motor development. Here’s what she’s up to:
- Crawling. Sometimes “commando-style” and sometimes on all fours, but this girl can get around. Her favorite things to crawl after are technology (mom’s camera, dad’s computer, any type of cord), Rufus, and shoes. The forbiddens, of course.
- Clara learned this month how to get from her belly to sitting position. This means that she can not only get all the way across the room, but once she gets there she can sit up which inevitably leads to….
- Pulling up! On everything. Furniture, people, her toy basket, Rufus’ bed, Christmas presents, her crib….. We had to lower her mattress and she’s started cruising just a little bit along the coffee table or in her crib. This girl is already wanting to walk. Chill out, Clara! There’s plenty of time!
- Wiggling. Clara is so so active these days. She’s always crawling or twisting or turning or moving or tugging. Bathtime and changing/dressing time have gotten to be a real challenge!
All those gross motor changes brought with them a bit of a sleep regression. We sure did enjoy those several weeks when she was sleeping through the night consistently. Hopefully we’ll be headed back there soon because this mama is TIRED. She’s started flipping over and sleeping on her belly now (I think it’s the cutest thing in the world when she’s got her toosh up in the air). When she wakes up in the night, it’s like she remembers, “Oh! I can crawl and pull up and cruise around on stuff!! Maybe I’ll do that for awhile!”
I thought for awhile that the sleepless nights might have been teething. She is still chewing on everything in sight and drooling like it’s her job. But after a few nights of motrin (to little avail) we decided that the sleep issues were not teeth related. And sure enough, there are still no teeth. I’m still not in a hurry (except it would be nice to have something to blame the occasional cranky mood on….) the teeth will come eventually, and we’ll have to bid farewell to the cutest gummy grin there ever has been.
I am hesistant to even type this, for fear of jinxing myself (those NICU nurses have really instilled the fear of jinxing in me!) but Clara is actually eating a little better. The past month, her reflux seems to be much better. She still spits up/throws up some, but it seems to be with less frequency. She has started occasionally drinking six ounces of milk from the bottle – a new record for her. And the work we’ve been doing with the feeding therapists suggestions seems to be helping spoon feeding too. Just the past couple of days, we’re starting to get some significant volumes of solid purees in her. Today, she ate 5-6 ounces of carrot/apple, yogurt, and a fruit blend and some bites off of a banana! She still gags sometimes and throws up during eating, but I am feeling very encouraged that we seem to be making a little bit of progress. One of the “tricks” that has worked for us is giving her food from those new squeezy pouches. She likes when we squeeze those straight into her mouth and bypass the spoon all together. She’s also drinking a tiny bit out of a regular cup (still no luck with sippy cups or straws, but we’ve been practicing those too) Her bottle feeds are all still during her sleep, so we’re eager to get those weaned and have her eating more solids to sustain her. I haven’t gotten a weight in awhile, but she feels bigger to me. Hopefully she’s been gaining some.
We’ve also started to hear a few more consonants in her babble. Last weekend she was experimenting with all kinds of new sounds: /m/, /b/, /d/, /w/…. We haven’t heard as much of those the past few days, but she’s definitely trying to get new octaves and volumes. It’s fun to hear her voice changing.
She is still a remarkably happy baby. She will play on the floor, in a pack n play, or in her crib for long stretches of time. She loves to sit with a basket of toys and slowly pull them out and play with them. She loves reading more and more, it seems. When we put the books away, she starts reaching for the next one and loves to help turn the pages. It’s one of the few times she’ll sit still. She likes listening to music and dancing and loves to wallow on the floor with her daddy or Big Daddy. She’s started showing a little more personality about what she wants and doesn’t want the past month. We’ve seen a new kind of cry that is really just a mini temper tantrum when she isn’t getting what she wants. She still doesn’t show any signs of stranger anxiety. Her face lights up when her daddy comes home or her Sweet Mama comes to visit.
One thing is for sure, I love her more and more every single day. This month seems to have been filled with lots of sad news for other CDH families. In the midst of Advent and preparation for Christmastime I am just so very grateful for our miracle and the sheer joy of watching her grow up so happy and (relatively) healthy.
God has been gracious to us. We praise Him for each little curl on this sweet little head.
|Clara, nine months old|
Happy Birthday, sweet girl. We love you.