Saturday, September 17, 2016

Joey: 9 Months

9 months in/ 9 months out. It's crazy what the postpartum hormones did to my hair, huh?;)

I remember how I felt taking that selfie at 40 weeks pregnant. 40 weeks. 40 whole weeks. My face says it all. None of my other kids had waited until 40 weeks to be born, but that was my first mistake -- expecting Joey to be like my other kids! I remember that in the final days/weeks of pregnancy, the hardest part of the day would be waking up in the morning, not feeling a single ache or twinge, and knowing I had another whole day of pregnancy to get through. All of my labors started in the wee hours of the morning. The best part of the day at that stage of pregnancy was when I laid my heavy, weary body down in my comfy bed at night knowing I had at least until the wee hours to get a good night's sleep. I remember the way I melted into the mattress, so grateful to have a break from carrying that belly around.
Now he's 9 months old, as long out as he's been in.

He's still crawling and cruising and in no hurry to walk, which is fine by me. He still doesn't like the walker that I thought would be so perfect for him on our hard floors. He sees it for what it really is, a trap with wheels. As long as he's in it he can't get into things he shouldn't. The walker earns its keep by containing him for a just a few minutes here or there, when I really need it. His favorite thing to do is open cabinets and pull out the contents one by one. He has cabinets that he's allowed to get into, that aren't locked, but he knows he's allowed and that takes the fun out of it. He wants the good stuff -- packages, bottles, trash cans, that kind of thing. It can be hard to keep him entertained because he either wants to be held by me or wants to look for trouble. I can back carry him in the Ergo while I'm working in the kitchen, but he gets bored and curious about what I'm doing, shifts his weight from one side to the other as he tries to see around me, and it makes me very uncomfortable. So again, just a few minutes here and there, as long as it takes to get the job done.
I *think* his eyes are brown. Still not sure..
He's turning into a a little comedian baby too, cracking us up by shaking his head no at us, making "lala" and tongue-clicking noises at us, and yelling at us just to get our attention and give us his mischievous crinkle-eyed grin. The other day Annie got him to laugh like I've never heard him laugh before. I was in the kitchen and heard this hysterical laughter and thought that can't be him in there laughing like that. I went out there and sure enough Annie was sending him into gales of belly laughs by putting the sunglasses between her lips and blowing them out noisily. I dashed for my phone and took video which I couldn't share to Instagram and Facebook quickly enough. (The kids and I laughed as we watched again and again for the rest of the evening and I reminisced about when Timmy was the same age and he died laughing every time Delaney slapped his face with a wet washcloth. Then there's our old favorite video of Delaney and baby Annie in the bath together, Annie laughing hard every time Delaney dropped a toy in the water. We could try all day to get a giggle out of these babies, and then it will be some random thing that sets them off. (The video of Annie and Joey is on Facebook and Instagram, and I wish I could figure out how to post it here, but I can't. It is sooooo cute!!)

A video posted by Rachael Brady (@rachaelb3) on

Last month we transitioned him out of our room and into the guest room, where he'll stay until he's sleeping through the night reliably, and then we'll move him in with Timmy. I got a chuckle thinking about the progression from Delaney as a baby with a decked out nursery and nice crib, to Joe stashed in a corner of the guest room in a pack 'n play. #4thchildproblems. I can't even say at this point when he'll be ready to move in with Timmy. We'll have a few days of him sleeping through the night just fine, and I think I'm in the clear, and then he starts resisting again. Sometimes he has trouble going down for the night. Sometimes he has trouble staying down. Sometimes he thinks it's time to get up when it's only 4:30. He is super stubborn and my tried and true sleep training tactics have not been working. But I'm wearing him down, I think. We're going to get him out of that guest room by December, and Tim's parents are going to have a place to sleep when they come visit!
What happens when I try to get anything done in the kitchen with Joe
There was a time I thought I was an expert in babies. That was nine months ago. Joey's the first one that I've ever tried supplementing with formula. He's the FIRST of my four hungry monsters to shake my heretofore unwavering confidence in the sufficiency of breastfeeding and only breastfeeding (along with introduction of solids after six months). But about a month ago I kept feeling like he wasn't getting enough milk and he wasn't wanting solid foods so I dug out the free formula samples from the back of a closet where I'd been hiding them in case of an apocalypse. He drank a bottle heartily one day and the very next he wanted nothing to do with it and hasn't since. I keep pushing food at him, but he's the pickiest eater of them all. He only likes Tim's muffins soaked in milk, guacamole, and my homemade chicken noodle soup. Just little bits of things here and there, and I know that's appropriate at his age when solid foods are supposed to be experimental anyway. Mostly he just wants to nurse. My supply seems to have rallied in the past few days, so maybe he was just going through a growth spurt. Sometimes it feels like a lot of pressure being his main source of calories, you know? But it's working after all so we're going to keep at it. Still, I do not see myself nursing Joey for as long as I nursed Timmy (2+ years). Not if I'm already struggling. But we'll see, I guess.
He wanted in the bathtub with Timmy the other night, so I put him in and started snapping pictures like crazy. They had a lot of fun together splashing around. Timmy messed Joey's hair up and made him look like a little Einstein, and they were so silly together. But then Timmy sort of climbed up the incline at the back of the tub, and let himself slide down noisily to the other side. That was too much for Joey and he wanted out, so I got him out and put him in his pajamas. Then he became obsessed with going back into the bathroom. I didn't want him in there anymore because he was dry and the bathroom floor was wet. Also, it's a bathroom. I shut the door, he cried really hard, and I tried to redirect him somewhere else. He headed for the door again and was really bent out of shape about it being shut. Again, I tried to distract him and take him somewhere else. A little while later Delaney was having her bath and she decided to open the door a little bit for whatever reason. Joey was lurking in the hallway, and soon she heard his hands going slap-slap-slap on the floor as he made his way in. When I went in there he was standing at the side of the tub lifting one leg, then the other, trying to climb in. Delaney said, "Pleeeaaase can he come in?" How could I say no when he was being so adorable trying to get in that tub? So he became the first child in this family to get two consecutive baths in a night, the second one being after he'd already been dried off and dressed. I guess being the baby of the family has its privileges sometimes.
He cut two new teeth on Sunday. He's getting to be a very toothy Joe. I see the top lateral incisors are getting ready to come in any day.

I'll take him to the doctor later this month, but I'm guessing he's around 20 pounds. He now wears size 6-12 or 12 in most clothes, and size 3 in diapers.

I got Joey yet another new babysitter, one of the girls who just moved in down the street. The other kids and I were out for exactly two hours, and when I got back I was anxious to see how he'd done. The babysitter seemed a little unnerved, and fled our house so fast she almost forgot her flipflops. I thanked her and thought to myself, she really earned her money today. A few days later her dad came over and introduced himself while I was waiting at the bus stop. Joey smiled at him and he told me that they'd gotten along well when Shelby had babysat him on Sunday. He said Joey kept wanting to go to him and got upset any time she had tried to take him back. I laughed and said, "That's what he does." It's a little funny that I keep asking women to babysit him and then it's the men who have to do the work. It's clear that Joey has spoken on the matter, and I need to just ask a guy next time.

Update 9/27: I just took Joey in for his checkup, and he didn't grow much since last time. He's a little shrimpy at 18.96 pounds (20th percentile) and 27.76 inches (25th percentile). Those are like Delaney stats. In fact those were almost exactly her measurements at 9 months, I just looked them up.

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