Friday, September 28, 2007

9 months

Dear Gabriel,

I've been dreading this day for the last couple of weeks. In my mind, for some reason, 9 months seems so big. 9 months feels like you are less of a baby and more of a toddler. I suspect it has to do with the fact that today marks a turning point where you will have spent more time outside of my body than inside it. I cannot tell you how unbelievable that is to me. At least this milestone won't be marked by intense pain on my part.

It turns out that 9 months is an amazing age to be. This past month has been one of the most fun and most challenging months that we've spent together thus far. You are so busy and active and happy that I end up exhausted by the time you fall asleep, and by the time you wake up in the morning, I am dying to do it all over again.

This month you started crawling properly, with the legs and arms in synchronization. Initially, you did it slowly and methodically, and would look up at me with a smile on your face while you slowly made your way across the room. These days, you are much faster, and you slap your hands against the floor while you move, so that I can hear you coming from a different room. I miss your odd little frog crawl, though, and I'm so grateful that I have it on video so that when you leave for college, I'll be able to remember what it was like when you cleaned my floors with your stomach.

You also started standing, on EVERYTHING, this month. I thought that crawling changed my life, but standing is a whole different ball game. You stand on tables, on couches, on chairs, on pant legs, on walls, on anything that will hold you (and lots of stuff that won't). The other day you were standing up and exploring the items on top of the coffee table. I handed you a card, and you carefully took it in one hand, and then carefully held it with your other hand, and I realized that you were standing! With no support! No hands! And then ever so casually, you rested your elbow against the table and the moment was over. You didn't even notice that you'd done it.

You climb stairs unassisted. From bottom to top without pausing. You climb on top of the toys in the living room, and will climb onto chairs to get closer to the windows. The other day, I spotted you on the video monitor trying to lift your leg and climb out of your crib by using your Fisher Price Aquarium as a stepping stool. You go from sitting to kneeling to examine toys more carefully. You cruise the furniture and the coffee tables endlessly, mostly to be near the dogs. Basically, I have to watch you like a hawk. I'm grateful that despite your adventurous side, you learned how to sit down from a standing position right away, and you lower yourself onto your bottom fairly gently, so at least you're not bumping your head on the floor when you sit down suddenly.

You still love music and will dance to anything- music at the grocery store, elevator classical music, even the beat of the breast pump! You have a bit of an obsession with music class and you spend the full 45 minutes swaying from side to side and clapping along with the group. The whole class starts laughing as soon as you start dancing. You even shake the shakers along with the instructor!

One of my favorite changes this month is that you started to babble. You've been ahh-ing and ooh-ing for a while now, but this month you began chatting in earnest. You started out with "ba ba ba" and moved onto "ma ma ma" and this week in the span of three days you busted out with "ya ya ya", "da da da" and "pa pa pa". Your sweet little voice is music to my ears, and I spend hours out of the day responding to you and encouraging you to talk. I've been wondering if maybe it is a biological thing, because your little voice has got to be the sweetest sound I've ever heard. Your dad definitely agrees. He will sing the Beach Boys "Barbara Ann" to you incessantly to get you to talk back. Last night it even sounded like you were trying to sing along with him. He was so excited, I had to pry you away from him at bedtime.

This month we went to visit your Nonna and Nonno in California, which was torturous because you had to be away from your daddy for 2 whole weeks. I doubt he'll ever let us do that again, because all 3 of us were miserable apart. You adore your daddy and the feeling is mutual. One of my favorite parts of the day is seeing how your little face lights up when he walks in the door. I'll hold you up to the screen door while he is getting out of the car, and by the time he makes it up the walkway and steps, you are vibrating with excitement.

You're still a food fanatic these days, and we've moved onto finger foods, of which you definitely approve. You will focus intensely on the carrots or green beans on your high chair tray and it is difficult to get anything else in your mouth because you like feeding yourself so much. You will even use a fork if I put food on the fork for you. Somehow you know which end is the correct end, and you'll bring the food on the fork to your mouth before handing the fork back to me for a refill. We're even getting to the point where you are starting to eat some of the foods that we eat at dinnertime. At first I was so excited about this, until I realized that I'd have to share my muffin, and yogurt, and ravioli with you. I'm an only child, Gabe, I don't like to share food. It takes serious sacrifice for me to split all my goodies with you. This is additional incentive to not let you have any sugary things until you're older. I am definitely not sharing my cookies with you.

You're amazing and smiley and sweet and funny. You laugh all the time. I laugh all the time. I can't believe that this is really our life. I've never been happier. I've never felt luckier. I only hope that you stay as sweet as you get older, because then I can live with the bittersweetness of you growing up.

Everyone tells me to enjoy this because it flies by, and I'm trying. I just want to figure out how to slow it down. At least a little.

We love you bunches. Oodles. Too much for words.

[Pictures to follow, once my computer is de-coffee-ed. What? It's a word!]


chris said...


Wow. I love this age.

Yankee T said...

Sweet post. It does go fast. I can hardly believe he's 9 months old. Pictures! We want pictures!

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

wow - 9 months already??! it is such a fun age though.
i'd love to see some new pics of the cutiepie. :)