Monday, May 5, 2014

Gabriel: 9 Months


Exactly 9 months ago Gabriel made his big debut. Today (since it's a Monday) he also happens to be exactly 39 weeks old. In only a couple of days he will "officially" have lived longer outside the womb than he did inside. That probably sounds really weird, but I can't stop myself from thinking about it as I reflect on how long Gabriel has been with us and brought us so much joy in the past 18 months (9 before we even knew what his precious face or body looked like!). The fact that he will soon have lived longer ex-utero makes me feel like he is really grown up - which sounds ridiculous to say about a 9-month old baby because...he is still a tiny, young baby - but there you have it.

Before anyone starts to feel like I should have titled this post "odd musings from a first-time mother," let's move on to Gabriel's 9-month updates. Brace yourselves - because this past month was huge! 

  • Unfortunately it's pretty much the same old same old in the milk department - except for the fact that we did manage to give him some milk from a lidless cup (by basically pouring it in his mouth for him) at least once. Success?
  • We also discovered (thanks to apple-flavored Baby Mum-Mums) that Gabriel doesn't mind apples! I would say he "likes" them, but that wording might be a little too strong.
  • I have started to give Gabriel tiny, mushy pieces of some foods (like bananas). Interestingly enough, he will accept the mushy banana pieces even though he despised the pureed bananas. It's taken me long enough, but I finally realized that for my son who clearly doesn't want to be spoon-fed I should be learning more about baby-led weaning (maybe that sounds obvious but hi, I'm a first-time mom). If you have any great resources, please share!

Nap Time
  • Gabriel now takes ALL of his naps in his CRIB! Alleluia! He naps so much better now that he can roll around in his sleep. I had no idea when this day would come, but I just continued to try placing him in the crib on occasion - until one day it actually worked without him waking up less than 5 minutes later. I took that experience (which happened a little before 8.5 months) and ran with it. He has taken every nap in his crib ever since. :D

Bed Time
  • Currently he still wakes up 2-3 times a night.
  • For over 2 weeks this past month Gabriel actually "slept through the night" (meaning he had at least one 5 hour stretch each night). This gives me hope that perhaps once some teeth break through he might begin sleeping "through the night" again. I can feel that day (night) just around the corner - yet just out of our reach....

Bath Time
  • Nothing to report other than he still loves it. He really loves water (and bath toys, plastic cups, wash cloths, anything shiny [like the drain plug], and everything else that could possibly go hand in hand with a baby bath).

Play Time
  • Gabriel has been introduced to a nice, round cooking pot (and its lid) along with a wooden spatula. He loves it - whether it's holding the pot, banging on the pot with the spatula, playing with the lid, rolling the pot around, or playing the bottom of the pot like a drum. You name it, he loves it.
  • Magazines have become a regular thing. He loves to flip pages, crumple and/or tear pages, stare at the pictures, and flail the magazine around as he bounces his arms. Such a great not-toy.
  • Pretty much anything that is NOT a toy (especially if it has buttons, lights up, or is meant to contain liquid) is now Gabriel's favorite toy. 
  • Gabriel is such a little explorer!
  • He still loves to turn light switches off (obviously if I'm holding him so he can reach) and is pretty much obsessed with any door stop he happens to find.
  • He would play all day long with cords of any kind (or the fire extinguisher for that matter) if we let him. For the record, we don't let him.
  • He has discovered balls for the first time and really gets a kick out of me rolling one to him.
  • He likes to drum on everything either with his hands or a spoon/utensil.
  • We introduced him to (now that the weather is nice enough) the swings at the park. He definitely enjoys it! 
  • Gabriel has his first real baby friend (other than my nieces)! 'A' is 14 months old and loves to try and share all the things with him (especially things he cannot yet have). They get along so well and it's truly endearing to watch them interact.


I probably should have led with this before the play time updates.... Oops.
  • His eyes definitely look more and more brown. Occasionally they still look sort of grey but more often they have become a light, golden brown. Only time will tell if they become a "true" brown or hazel.
  • Gabriel is legitimately crawling! He was "mobile" before, but he wasn't really crawling. Last month it was more of a lunge, wiggle, army crawl, roll combo. 
  • This past month he learned how to get up on his hands and knees and rock, push himself to a seated position off of his tummy, how to crawl, pull himself to standing, and last week he even had his first "cruising" session (walking alongside the couch as he held onto it for support)! I should mention that all of these things happened in less than 2.5 weeks. Gabriel is so ready to go go go.
    • The first week of rocking and sitting up led to many head and face bonks (during which I constantly chased him with the Boppy pillow and sat it behind him each time he sat himself up in a new spot), but after one week he really began mastering his balance and control while being mobile.
    • His enhanced sitting skills and lack of needing the Boppy have also led me to finally utilize the baby seats in shopping carts - which is an experience he and I both love.
  • Gabriel has even learned how to crawl up the step out of our living room. Thankfully it's just one step, because he hasn't yet mastered going down the step without face-planting (so I keep two throw pillows there all day long to catch him as he goes up and down).
  • He now does the pincer grasp!
  • He clicks his tongue.
  • He has started waving at people (for real waving - because in the past it's been sort of a hand lift or tiny wrist rotation).
  • He reaches for, lunges for, or crawls toward me when I hold out my arms to him. :)
  • He often crawls into my lap when he is hungry or wants something.
  • His vocal chatter has largely increased along with his range of babbling sounds (which are starting to frequently sound eerily like words).

Suffice it to say that this entire month has been one of rapid cognitive and physical development - and a large chunk of all these things happened in only one week (Holy Week, to be exact!). Other notable things from this month include him demonstrating his knowledge of where music typically comes from (my laptop), him noticing and looking for the source of reflected light (random but really cute to watch), and of course sitting up in his crib. This past weekend in the metal hotel crib he even pulled himself to standing, though he has yet to do that at home.

I can't wait to take him to the doctor next week and learn all of his new measurements! If I remember I will come back and update this entry with the info. :)

Updated (5/12/14): We visited the doctor this morning and here are Gabriel's 9-month measurements:

  • Height: 28 inches (25-50th percentile - what a big range!).
  • Weight: 15 lbs. 14.5 oz. (this is only the 2nd-5th percentile...but considering the percentiles I had as a healthy child, the fact that he recently started crawling/standing/cruising [burning lots of calories], the fact that he did in fact gain some weight, and it's taken us forever to get him eating solids, I'm not surprised. And yes, he eats a lot. And no, the doctor isn't worried - nor am I).
  • Head circumference: 17.5 inches (50-75th percentile).
  • They also did the "9 month toe prick" to check his iron levels and his hemoglobin was at 11.1 gm/dl so he's good to go! I was slightly nervous he wouldn't have enough iron (due to the slow climb onto the solid foods train), so this made me very happy!
  • Just a note: the 9-month check-up is the BEST (so far). Only one vaccine and a toe prick. This equaled zero tears and - as always - Gabriel was healthy and happy. Thank you, Lord, for his good health and joyful disposition!

"'Baby's dreams must be the sweetest,' thought Pooh."
-A.A. Milne


  1. And today is "Happy Korean Children's Day!" He is growing so much - and so fast! Thank you for sharing all of the updates! <3

  2. oh my gosh, that picture of you with G on your shoulder's is the cutest picture ever of you two! i love it!! so precious!