May 22, 2010

Nine Months

Wow, it's really been an exhausting week. I've sat down to write this every night this week, and ended up having too much to do for work, or simply passing out on the couch. I got a new pseudo-promotion at work (better title, more responsibility, same paycheck) and I'm trying to catch up on all the new tasks I have to deal with. Aside from that, Kate's recent increase in mobility has been accompanied (somehow) by an increase in energy. She's been in constant motion from the second she wakes up in the morning until we put her to bed, and that motion now includes scooting, crawling, climbing, and even a little bit of supported walking. We knew that it would be a change, but she also only took a five minute nap on Monday, and still didn't seem tired.

Monday was Kate's nine month birthday, and Tuesday was her associated doctor's visit. I've posted lots of new pictures in her six month album (, and I'll be creating a new album for any pictures after nine months....I'll link to it in our next blog post. There are also a few new pictures in the KateFans album. If you haven't made it into Kate's fan club yet, come on over and get your picture taken with the world's cutest baby.

Her doctor's appointment went quite well, as she confirmed that everything was moving along according to plan. She's right where she should be, developmentally, and still huge, physically. She measured 30.5 inches long and 24 pounds, 12 ounces. That was with clothes, so we're guessing it's more like 24.5 pounds, but close enough. That measurement puts her in the 100th percentile for height and 99th percentile for weight. And, no surprise to anyone that's ever seen my giant noggin, she's in the 100th percentile for head circumference as well.

The doctor also told us that we could increase her food repertoire to just about anything, with a few exceptions (peanut butter, shellfish, etc). We were excited by this and got a little carried away....when we got home we broke all the Official Parenting Rules. You're supposed to introduce new menu items to babies one at a time, and go for three or four days before moving on to the next one. The idea is to isolate each ingredient so you can track down allergies if they have a reaction....if there's only one new food, then it must be the culprit. However, Kate's never shown any indication of being allergic (or even intolerant) to any food if my baby wouldn't be able to eat something! As I said, we got a little carried away, and introduced about five new foods all at once. Yes, we're bad parents, but she was a little champ and liked them all (with no adverse reactions). D made two new recipes...the first was chicken, spinach, garlic, carrots, and oregano. The second was potatoes, leeks, and spinach. We also gave her some yogurt. They were all taste sensations, and though it was obvious she liked some better than others, she put them all away just fine.

Kate's still sleeping pretty well, though it takes her a bit longer to get to sleep than it has in the past. Before, we'd lay her down (after her nighttime routine of diaper change, pajamas, book, bottle, bed), she'd cry for about ten seconds, and then she'd fall fast asleep. With her new mobility, sometimes she now decides she wants to sit up and look around for a while, which results in the following view on KateTV:

For a while, she would sit up and then not know how to lay back down. She'd sit there and nod off to sleep, with her head first drooping, then bolting upright, then drooping, etc. Eventually she'd kind of fall over and catch herself before landing too hard, then go right to sleep. The mattress has been moved to its lowest setting, and we had to remove the bumpers so she didn't stand up and use them as a step to climb over the railing. She still uses a pacifier when she's in bed, but recently we've had to put two or three in there with her....without bumpers on the crib, it's pretty easy to throw/drop a pacifier onto the ground.

Kate's current energy levels and maneuverability have made playtime much more interesting as well. We haven't really baby-proofed the house yet, and I'm still not sure how we're going to....there are a lot of built-in hazards. We're having to be extra diligent and stay close while she's playing on the floor, because she can be at one end of the living room or the other in about ten seconds. Moving items so that she can't get to them is going to be a trade-off, because many of those items belong to Willow. You know what they say about moving the furniture in a blind person's house....the same goes for dogs. In one direction, Kate likes to go for Willow's water and food the other direction, all of Willow's a third direction, Willow's bed.....and in the last direction, the TV and all of its associated electronics. Moving any one of Willow's things probably wouldn't be a big deal, but I'm not sure where we can move them all to so that she can find them (and easily get to them), but Kate can't.

Here's a fun shot of Kate doing her best Kilroy impersonation. After first just peeking over the table at us, we eventually realized that she was gnawing on the wood with her two little teeth. Put that on the list for baby-proofing.

We had an unexpected visitor earlier this week. A cat that we believe belongs to our neighbors down the street (about five houses down), came into our backyard and started scoping out our resident birds. There are some tiny finch-like birds that live in our trees and have built a nest in the pole supporting our gazebo. The cat was staring at them and waiting for her opportunity to strike....fortunately, I don't think the birds are putting themselves in harm's way. The cat was very friendly and at one point walked in our open back door. There she promptly ran into Wilow and decided she'd rather be back outside. The weather's been great, so we headed out to the yard with a Kate and a blanket....Kate enjoys the grass and the fresh air, and she was intrigued by the cat.

The first time we tried Kate in a swing (at a local park), it was a little too big for her and she tended to rock back and forth while it swung....not a desirable feeling. We decided to pick up a smaller baby swing and attach it to our garage entrance. This time she really enjoyed it. With summer coming up, this should be a good way to play and meet all of the neighborhood babies at the same time.

We have an exciting event to go to on Sunday (aside from the Lost finale), so we might have more fun pictures early next week.

May 12, 2010

Check that off the list

We've had a very eventful day in the Ryan household today. Fortunately, J got to see most of it before he left for the evening. Kate has had a very exciting few weeks and is really growing into her personality.

She is an incredibly happy baby and loves meeting new people. We ran into one of our amazing nurses from Children's at our Mother's Day dinner and within 30 seconds of talking to her, Kate was reaching out for her to hold her. We love that she is willing to go to anyone, though she often doesn't want to sit still for long.

Kate has picked up a couple new skills in the last few days. A few weeks ago, we started tapping our hands over her mouth while she was making noise. She thought it was hilarious. Well, it is now one of her favorite games and she is even learning how to do it herself. Usually, she uses her pacifier or a toy, but recently she is actually doing it the right way with her hand. She even tries to make the noise on our mouths and puts our hands over her when she wants to play.

Perhaps you noticed in the beginning of that video that Kate has also learned how to crawl in the right direction. She figured it out this morning. She usually only takes a few movements forward at a time, but she definitely has the idea. I expect she will be off and running in the next few days.

I got a little surprise this afternoon. Many of you know that we have a video camera in Kate's crib that connects wirelessly to our TV downstairs. A few days ago, we were watching her on KateTv (as we lovingly call it) and we watched her sit up in the crib, scoot down to the end, and stick her face right in the camera. We then proceeded to watch her turn the camera around. It was almost as if she was giving us a tour of her crib. We decided that is was time to move her crib down to the lowest setting. It's a good thing we followed through because this is what I saw on KateTv today. She was pretty proud of herself when I got up to her room.

Kate is also working on hugs and kisses. Her kisses usually are open mouthed slobber-fests. She is spotty with the hugs, but it feels so good when she wraps her little arms around us.

Here she is going in for the kiss.
I can't wait for her to learn how to give closed-mouth pecks.

Kate will be nine months old on Monday. We can't believe how heavy she is (almost 25 pounds) and how quickly the months have passed. We're beginning to plan her big 1st birthday party in conjunction with a big birthday for my dad (they have the same birthday).

Some parting photos just to show how much our little girl has grown already.

Grandpa D made this chair for Kate for Christmas and she tried it out for the first time on Christmas morning. She was 4 months old.

Here she is today! The bow is in the same place as it was on Christmas morning.
She is already looking like a little girl.