Thursday, February 23, 2012

(Almost) 9 Month Update

Carter is 5 days shy of 9 months old today, and we went to the doctor for his 9 month well visit. Can I just say that my kid is a trooper? He is easy to take along out in public about 90% of the time. I know that is not the case with every kid, so I'm thankful that right now our son is this way. It sure makes having an infant and 4 teenagers a little easier because he's so easy going! (Side note for those that follow us closely: yes, we are now at 4 teenagers instead of 5. It's been that way for 3 weeks.)

So, here's what's up with Carter Ashton at 9 months:
-Weight: 17 lbs, 1 oz (10%ile)
-Height: 28 1/4 in (50%ile) - his percentiles have been the same since his 2 month visit, so though his weight is on the lower end, it's consistent with his own growth curve so there is no concern on the doctor's part or mine. He's shaping up to be a tall and skinny kid like his parents were.
-Head circumference: 17 3/4 (I think this is what she said)
-He got a clean bill of health from the doctor. She still wants us to continue using his current multivitamin until he goes on whole milk at a year old. We are mostly using the multivitamin right now because of common deficiencies in breast milk. She commented that his head looked slightly better than it did at his 6 month visit. It's only been 3 weeks with the helmet, so there is still lots of time for improvement.
-He nurses 5-6 times a day and gets solid food 3 times a day plus random snacks. His portion sizes are slowly increasing, and I suspect will increase even more as he becomes more mobile. My goal for nursing is a year old.
-He has only refused two foods so far: spinach and chicken-both pureed at home.
-His favorite foods seem to be oatmeal, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli, and apples and pears (mixed)
-I am still making all of his food. It is very easy and saves us a lot of money. I've been following the guidelines in the book Super Baby Food. It has been great these last few months as Carter began solid food. I still love the book for ideas and baby food preparation, but I'm beginning to rely less heavily on it for portion sizes and what types of food to introduce. Carter does not eat as much as she recommends, but he eats as much as he needs to. I'm taking my cues from him on portion size. Also, I'm ready to start giving him little bits of whatever we are eating mostly for simplicity sake. I want to keep his diet well-rounded so that he experiences many different tastes, but I also want it to be simple to feed him. He's far from ready to be 100% on table food, but I am ready to begin introducing more than just his little Gerber puffs. :)
-He babbles constantly. We think he is getting closer to "mama" and "dada" but not there yet.
-I'm introducing sign language regularly now to hopefully keep frustration away as he begins to want to communicate more clearly. I am regularly using "more," "please," "mama," "all gone" and "milk."
-Since starting him on solid food at 5 months I have been offering water in a sippy. He knows how to drink it, but usually doesn't. However, he LOVES to drink water from mommy or daddy's straws at a restaurant.
- He is mostly mobile. He can roll and stretch to reach things he wants. He can lay on his tummy and push himself backwards with his arms or spin himself around in a circle with his arms. He will get up on his hands and knees and rock back and forth. But, he is not crawling yet. If he's sitting with you in a chair that has arms he will scoot to the edge of your lap and pull up on the arm of the chair. He also loves to stand up and only be holding onto your hands. I'm starting to notice some frustration in not getting to where he wants to be so I'm hoping that will begin to push him to try some more. He's so content with just a few things that if he sees something he wants but can't get to it and has something else nearby he will just give up. :) He'll crawl when he really wants to.
-He can now clap and wave.
-He is beginning to give big, wide, open-mouthed kisses!
-He LOVES to take a bath and splash or play with his toys in the tub.
-He loves to read. He has a couple favorite books already. If he does not want you to read anymore he will close the book for you. If you begin to turn the page and he wants to keep reading, he will turn the page the rest of the way for you as well.
-He loves music of all kinds. He knows how to turn on the music on each of his toys that have sounds. He will usually clap after he turns it on. Sometimes he will turn on the music on one toy and then play with something else. If you turn the music off, he will very likely turn it back on and go back to the toy he was playing with. I guess he likes background music.
-He thinks Rori is very funny! He will giggle at her for no reason, and he will laugh hysterically when she plays with us. He has figured out how to grab onto her though so she gets as close as she can to protect him while staying out of his reach. She's really going to be in for it when he decides to crawl!
-He got his first two teeth last week. I still haven't managed to get a good picture. He likes to keep them covered up by his lip or tongue.
-He is very much in the mommy-attachment, separation anxiety stage that comes between 7-9 months. He wants me in the same room with him and often wants me sitting next to him or holding him while he plays. This is worse after 4:00 in the afternoon. This can be a draining phase of life, and it's important to teach him it's okay to be with someone else for a few minutes. However, it is so endearing, and I'm soaking it up while it lasts. He won't always have this same attachment to me, so while teaching into it I'm also treasuring it greatly!
-Many people ask how he does with the big kids and vice versa. They have a great relationship. He knows them all very well now and is very enthusiastic when they come into the room. Now that he's playing so much more than he did when we first got here, they will get down and play on the floor with him sometimes. They are very gentle and cautious with him.

I have to say that this stage is so much fun! It is going so quickly and there are things that I already miss. But, with each thing that passes something else happens that is just if not more fun than the previous stage. Carter has always had a little personality, but a whole new, fun, bubble personality seems to be pouring forth from him since about 8 months old. He is so much fun!!!

Here's some recent pictures of our wonderful little boy!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mostly Pictures

When we went to Dallas a few weeks ago we stopped in Lubbock coming and going. Taylor's parents just moved there so it's an easy stop between ABQ and DFW, and it's a chance for Carter to have some good time with Bibi and Pops. We did a belated Christmas celebration with them while we were there. Also, Pops got to go show Carter off at his office at LCU. Here's some pictures: