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Raleigh turned 9 months old at the very end of December.
That means he’s been out longer than he was in.
This month was a big one.
Each month has brought huge developments and changes, but these last couple have turned a baby who could only lay down and at best roll over into a baby who can crawl FAST, pull up to standing and begin to walk as long as he’s holding on to something.
The fact that I am starting to think about his first birthday is enough to put a lump in my throat.
Raleigh at 9 Months Old:
The latest milestones, for our record books:
Cruising along furniture – This month, Raleigh learned how to pull himself up on almost anything, and he has started walking while holding onto things. The books tell me that’s calling “cruising.”
Seven teeth – He now officially has 4 teeth on top and 3 on the bottom. The previous 6 were relatively painless, compared to the teething horror stories I have heard. But this 7th one, the 3rd on the bottom, was ROUGH. I wouldn’t be surprised of the 8th one, [4th bottom] starts coming in any day now.
So many bumps and bruises – At any given time now, Raleigh has at least a half dozen scrapes and bruises on his forehead and face. And his knees and legs have double or triple that many. Thankfully, nothing has been major so far. The worst was a bumped lip and a little bit of blood. But at the rate we are going, and the energy packed into that little body, I feel like it’s only a matter of time before the bumps get a little harder and the bleeding a little more profuse.
Walking along furniture by himself – The biggest motivators to get him to walk along the couches at first were remotes and cell phones. He loves those things. Now, he can pull himself up and cruise along nearly anything. So much to explore!
Sledding – On Christmas Eve, Raleigh went sledding for the first time. He had been pulled in a sled before, but this was the first time he rode down a hill in a sled. It was cold so we didn’t last too long but he took it all in and didn’t cry, so I consider that a win!
His snow suit reminds me of Ralphie’s little brother on A Christmas Story.
“I can’t put my arms down!”
Celebrating Christmas and New Years – Thankfully, Matt and I didn’t have to travel anywhere for the holidays. The perks of growing up in the same town! We spent time with both of our families, and Raleigh was showered with love and presents. He looked so cute in his Christmas outfits, I can hardly stand it. He wasn’t too interested in opening presents; he was more interested in eating the paper. But it was a great first Christmas; one we will always remember.
Raleigh’s Favorite Things:
- Remotes, cell phones and other off-limits electronics
- Making a huge mess in the living room with all of his toys, repeatedly
- Pulling tupperware out of the kitchen cabinets, repeatedly
- Pulling the dish towel off the bar, repeatedly
- Crawling over to the open dishwasher and refrigerator as fast as his little body will take him, hoping to investigate before I close them.
- Drinking from a sippy cup and letting the water run out of his mouth
- Standing up in the bath tub
- Teasing Remy with her toys
- His “duck call” – but only if he’s the one doing it. It’s a shape sorter puzzle and the shapes have a sound box inside each like a kazoo or duck call that make noise when you blow into them. Raleigh discovered this and LOVES to call to the ducks. We think it’s hilarious!
- Remy’s food and water dishes remain two of his favorite things, and it’s a constant struggle to allow Remy access throughout the day while keeping Raleigh away from them.
- Wearing hats. He leaves them on for 2 minutes at best right now. Super awesome when it’s -5 degrees out and he refuses to wear his hat!
- Loud, noises like squeaky doors, the blender or crying babies. They make him burst into tears.
- Laying on his back for diaper changes, getting dressed, booger sucking, etc.
- Getting his nose suctioned with the Nose Frieda. Although, I don’t really blame him for this one.
Sleeping – Raleigh seems to have gotten worse at sleeping as he got older. He peaked at about 4-5 months old and his night sleep chunks have gotten shorter as he got older. I tried Ferber several times with moderate success each time, but I’m sure it was more of a lack of follow-through and not a faulty method. However, and I’m hesitant to even type this for fear of jinxing things, I think we might have turned a corner. I will hopefully be able to update next month that we have made amazing progress and it’s stuck! [Please, Lord! Help it stick!]
Standing unassisted – I have seen him stand by himself for one or two seconds at a time, and then he either falls down or sits down. This will be his next trick, I think.
Perfecting the pincer grasp – He has come a long way in using the pincer grasp but it’s still a work in progress. It’s hard when I’m offering him table foods; I cut them up so small because I don’t want him to choke, but then he can’t grab them very well yet. He’s learning though!
Taking steps with help – He will take steps if he’s holding onto your hands, or if he’s holding onto the lion toy he got for Christmas.
Annoys Mama by:
Eating books – He is showing a lot more interest in books lately. I am thrilled! We have also just recently incorporated reading a story into our bedtime routine. I pray that he will learn to love books like I do. He still loves to eat the books just as much as he likes to turn the pages though. It’s not the chewing or eating that bugs me; it’s when he rips chunks of cardboard off and swallows them. He did that with wrapping paper this month and actually vomited to keep from choking. So I spend a lot of my day confiscating books once he moves from page-flipping to biting.
Chewing on crib rails – I did not know that babies did this. Apparently babies are little beavers. One day, I saw Raleigh chewing on the railing on the monitor and I heard some weird clicking noises. I went in and saw him gnawing through the paint on the railing. When I took him out, he had white paint chips all over his face and in his mouth. He proceeded to poop out paint chunks for several days afterwards. [Insert eye roll emoji here.]
I did a little googling and discovered this is very common and equally annoying for most parents. I raided my fabric stash that night and sewed up some crib rail covers. So far, they are doing the trick. He still bites the rails but doesn’t do any damage anymore.
Earlier this week, I was at my parents house and put Raleigh in the crib for a nap. I completely forgot that he chews on the railings and that theirs were bare. I again heard lingering fussing and some weird noises so went to check and found him this time with brown paint all of his face. He put 8-10 good gouges into the railings of my parents new crib. Silly baby.
Loudly vocalizing frustration and anger – This must be some type of development; maybe him discovering how to vocalize his feelings more. He has a new whine/cry that is completely fake and forced, and he’s exercising it freely.
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It’s crazy watching him develop more and more into a little person as the weeks go by!
We are on a break between ECFE sessions, and are excited for them to start back up again. Now that we took our Christmas decor down, we have wall space ready for more art projects!
The bitterly cold weather has us hibernating a little bit and longing for spring. It is going to be fun to explore the outdoors with Raleigh now that he is older and more active.
But like always, we are doing our best to enjoy the now and find the beauty in each day.
My beloved Grandma passed away last week and if her last few months on earth taught me anything, it is that each day is truly a gift.
For each and every day I get to be this boy’s mama… Thanks, God.