I’m sorry my little Aria bug, I’ve neglected documenting your antics because you keep me so busy! Between work, playing with and caring for you, and attempting to keep the house one step shy of “Code Orange: Chaotic Disarray” I have little time to read or write stuff. But write I shall because your adorbs needs recording.

You are such a joy to watch, to teach, to hug and kiss, and to experience your constant and never-ending growth and curiosity with the world around you. There are actually several drafts or ideas of posts that were started and never posted since the last post, which I think was during your 7th month, but either I wanted to add a picture or just became distracted by work or the bustle of every day life and never got around to completing them.

So in an attempt to play catch-up, I’m going to try to document what you’ve been up to over the last couple of months and steal from some of those drafts. And I’ll just worry about pictures and videos later, so at least there’s something to read about these wonderful months of your life and our fun little family 🙂

8 Months (April) – You began crawling shortly after turning 7 months, and were crazy-mobile from that time on. By the time you reached 8 months you could easily walk along furniture and were pushing your activity table around like a walker. You were saying all kinds of consonants and trying to figure out how your toys work. We had to buy you new toys because it didn’t seem like you had enough to keep your curious little brain busy. I followed you one day around the entire house, while I was on a call for work, as you explored every room, stopping to pull yourself up at the buffet in the dining room, and at the oven, you stopped to explore and get trapped in a laundry basket in the kitchenette, then you meandered into the study and pulled some books off the shelf, and finally made it back into the living room.

During this month your favorites were:

  • Favorite food: probably still pears, they make you squeal with delight. Or avocado, which makes you cry when you run out. And Cheerios, any time, any place, any quantity, they’re the best.
  • Favorite books: Pat the Bunny, Peek-a-Who?, Baby Einsteins Touch and Feel Animals, Where’s Baby’s Belly Button?, and oddly enough, a non-interactive book, Goodnight Moon
  • Favorite clothes: none! you would totally go naked if you could get away fast enough. In fact you cry the whole time you’re being dressed, but once finished you’re pretty ok with it. But you don’t like your feet covered when trying to stand, because it’s slippery, so you pull socks off and try to crawl out of sleepers
  • Favorite toy: the activity table that you pull up at,  stand at, bang on, discover Cheerios in, and use like a walker as you force it across the room
  • Favorite songs: ABC’s (when a toy plays it and someone starts singing along), Twinkle Little Star, I’m a Little Teapot
  • You’re a horrible squirmer now; it’s near impossible to get a diaper on you.

We went through a brief phase of speed reading. Gone was lingering over each book, gently tasting or caressing the pages, and gazing at the pictures to capture every detail. Instead we were in a state of ‘must read as many as possible, as quickly as possible!’ I couldn’t get through all 10 words on the page before you’d be flipping onto the next. You have to turn the pages and if I didn’t have it separated and ready to grab then the whole book would be shut as you fumbled with trying to turn, darn it, turn already! You would flip through the pages so quickly that I had to start ad-libbing and summarizing so that the story made some semblance of sense to at least me. Blessedly that ended after a few weeks, and you went back to enjoying and digesting books at a reasonable pace.

9 Months (May) – You make up your mind and there is absolutely nothing that will stop you. Not even you. You decided you wanted to walk. You began standing up without any support, and would just stand there. I remember walking into the room one day and you had crawled up to the front door to look out, and were just standing there, not touching the door, just standing there with your arms to your side. I found my phone and recorded you for a good while before you even noticed I was watching you. It was about a week after you turned 9 mo that you took a step… and fell flat on your face. The next day you took 2 steps. The following day 3. Then on May4th you decided you were ready, and took a bunch of steps before falling down.

Somewhere during this time we went to your grandparents house where your absolute favorite activity was to push a chair around the kitchen. It made the most awful noise but you wanted to do it forever, just pushing that chair around and around, with whomever was nearby rescuing the chair from corners and other obstacles, so you could keep pushing it around and around. Then you tried walking without the chair and didn’t make it very far, but everyone else got to see how much you wanted to walk. Your great grandma had been saying, “she’ll be walking by 9 months, mark my words.” I had to go out of town and would be gone over your 9 mo birthday and was so worried that you’d start walking while I was gone, but you waited for me to get home before taking off 🙂

Once you started crawling you became an entirely new playmate to your cousin Kayla, and once walking it was almost like the age difference between the two of you was a non-issue to Kayla. You do your best to keep up with her, and you two play like best friends. You’re both incredibly cute to watch together.

During this month you’ve developed more personality than I ever imagined possible. You’re out to prove that you’re not a baby, but a full-grown toddler. You want to feed yourself, and are very adamant that you can put the spoon in your mouth without help. It’s a very messy ordeal when you become stubborn. Oh and you and I both love those squeezy pouches because you get to feed yourself and I get a much less messy self-fed baby. We only do avocados or bananas or things of that nature on bath night because of the amount of cleanup required.

Your daddy said that he believed by the end of May you’d be fully walking and no longer dependent at all on crawling, and he was right. In fact by the end of May you were trying to run.. and somewhat successful at it. It’s so cute when you make your way into another room and look back to see if anyone has noticed you in there. If acknowledged, and asked, “where are you going?” you get the biggest grin and those little feet start peddling as if the faster you make them move up and down, the farther you’ll go.. this often ends up with you landing on your face. But what’s even more hilarious is when no one gives you the satisfaction of noticing your antics and you audibly sigh and make your way back into the main room, sad that you couldn’t get into trouble this time. Such a character.

You started following simple commands this month – I would say, “come in here, let’s go into the living room with daddy,” and you would follow me in there, even when you clearly didn’t want to. I know both your grandmother and I would say, “if you want lunch, you have to come into the kitchen,” which is how you’d hesitantly decide to make your way in there without being carried. I was so confused one day, however, when I had coaxed you into following me into the living room and I turned to wait for you as you toddled behind me from the kitchen, and your arms were stacked. I was watching you and wondering what was going on, until I looked down and saw my arms were crossed. My little stinker is mimicking me! I’ve noticed it other times too, when I cross my arms you awkwardly hold your arms in some semblance of that until you decide it’s not comfortable and put them back to your side.

You’ve also learned one word in sign language and do not hesitate to use it. I taught you ‘more’ so that I wouldn’t have to worry if you were still hungry or not. Well you think it means food in general right now, and the gesture is very similar to clapping, with two hands coming together with the fingers all pinched together. So your version of it is kindof smashing your hands together, as you know it’s not the same thing as clapping, but you haven’t quite got the nuances of it. You used to whine and toddle into the kitchen hoping someone would follow you, now you do the ‘more’ gesture and whine and toddle into the kitchen, then sit in front of the fridge and ‘more’ ‘more’ ‘more’ then whine some more. Or point at something, like grapes, and ‘more’ ‘more’ while throwing food that’s not as tasty as grapes over the side of the highchair.

You give hugs – they are adorable. You just lean your head against the shoulder or head of whomever is holding you. It makes your daddy smile.

You babble a lot, and it’s mostly been dadada but grandmommy has been teaching you other consonants, and my favorite was one day when you looked me straight in the face, stuck your tongue out and went “lalala”. Grandma admitted that’s how she was teaching you to make the L sound and it’s stuck. It’s pretty darn adorable so I’m not going to correct you.

You’re still very sociable. You might be shy at first, especially when people first come into our house, and you often have to toddle over and stand in front of them, staring them down with your mouth agape, but it doesn’t take you long to decide they’re ok and start waving to them. Then you find their shoes and try to eat them.

You know mommy doesn’t it like it when you put shoes in your mouth, any kind, not even the house slippers, so you’ve made it one of your life goals to try to find shoes somewhere in the house that you can bring in front of mommy and proceed to chew on. Even if it means you have to find them in another room, carry them all the way to wherever I am, then devilishly smile as you bring it up to your mouth…

One of our favorite activities together is to go for a walk. We strap you into your trike and I push you around the block. We have to point out and talk about birds and trees and flowers, I often try to show you bunnies but you never seem to see them.. you just look really intently at something, not quite in the direction of the bunny, and point and say, “ah da?” and I try to redirect your gaze but then the bunny runs away and you still don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. This has happened several times. Today, even, in fact. When we walk past any bushes that overhang the sidewalk you have to reach out and run your hand along them. When we we first start out and when we go over bumps you make motor noises.

You love your tunnel. You’ll pull it down off the couch where we have it most of the time to keep the floor open, and then you’ll dive into it. Then you’ll often turn around and peek out of it with a giant smile. Then you crawl through it as fast as possible and peek out from the other side. Sometimes you try to stand inside the tunnel which just makes a lot of noise. You also try to lay on top of it and giggle when it collapses.

Your dino popper toy is missing almost every ball that came with it, so you try to find other things to put into it. Daddy has sent me pictures of you putting your shoes in it, and I’ve sent him ones of you putting stuffed animals in it. My favorite is when you try to put the big bouncy ball in it, which doesn’t fit. You’ll throw out whatever is in there, put the big purple ball on top, and pat it as if that will make it sit low enough to be bounced by the dino toy. It pretty much lives there now.

You still hate having your diaper changed. It sounds like we’re torturing you when we change it, because you’ll whine about it and squirm around, then when we try to hold you still you cry like the world is ending. However, when I say, “come here and let me change your diaper,” you almost always come over, if not immediately, within a few minutes. Sometimes you’ll have a devious grin and you’ll wait until I’ve got the diaper all laid out and the wipes ready to go, and you’ll snatch the diaper and run away. That was a very common ritual for a couple weeks. You definitely like to invent new games, and they crack you up (me too).

I love you so so so much, and I’ll try to make sure I’m better at documenting your momentous, as well as mundane, if there are any, milestones and your everyday adorableness.