I'm almost two weeks late on the monthly checkup this month, as my trip to Korea and the subsequent recovery has been a little preoccupying. More to come on that, but it was an awesome trip, and it's likewise awesome to be home with my two favorite people!
You wouldn't know it from that first photo, but it has become very clear that Johnnie loves the water. I won't post pictures due to the watching eyes of internet pervs, but I got some adorable shots of her splashing in the bathtub like a maniac a couple weeks ago with her 14-month-old cousin. And Ez took her swimming last week while I was in Korea, and he said she kicked and kicked and kicked in her little tube, to the point where she fell asleep before he even got the car seat buckled for the ride home.
Feeding: At 9 months, Johnnie weighs 22 lbs. and is all sorts of BIG. Her favorite food is cheese, sharp white cheddar in particular. Maybe that is what is contributing to her incredible growth. Last night she made a new 13-month-old friend at the local community carnival; though four months younger, Johnnie was 3+ pounds heavier and at least an inch or two taller. (Can someone make her stop???) Her diet still consists of a mix of jarred and fresh organic fruits and vegetables, cheese, frozen breast milk and formula. Nothing fancy. Though her milk intake was decreasing for awhile, she's now back up to demanding 25 oz. a day--which makes sense considering we're due for another growth spurt. She's now wearing 18-month sized clothing. She goes for her official checkup with the doctor next week, and I hope he will not tell me that my child is part grizzly bear. (She does have sharp claws, a voracious appetite and a bit of a temper.)
Weaning: Since I returned from my trip early this week, she's gone back to nursing in the mornings and evenings, but basically only for comfort. My supply could probably be measured in drops, and I am not taking any measures to increase it at this point. What I currently have seems to really help her calm down for bed, so she doesn't seem to mind. I'll take it.
Locomotion: At about 8.5 months she started taking small bursts of 3-4 steps, and since hitting the 9 month mark she's been getting a little braver. While I was skyping with her last week from my hotel in Seoul, she got up off her dad's lap and walked 6 steps forward to touch my face on the computer screen. Despite her ability to walk on her own, she still strongly prefers holding onto at least one steady adult finger to help her toddle her way around and around the house. Thus I don't really consider her to be a "walker" quite yet, since she's too chicken. Which is okay, because I don't want her to grow up too fast... which is already happening. She has also pulled to stand a few times, but not with much regularity. And while last month she wanted nothing to do with crawling, this week she crawled halfway across the living room using an odd little one knee/one foot combo. It's amazing how much difference a month makes.
Talking: Yep, new category! For about two weeks now, she's been known to say mama and dada at just the right times... I haven't wanted to jump to conclusions, but I think we've got ourselves a talker! (Example: On Wednesday, she got upset when I was dropping her off to go to work, so she shouted mamaaa! as her gramma helped her toddle over to me for one last hug. My heart burst right then and there.)
Other things: Though I guess this should technically go into the 10 month checkup in two weeks, she finally got her first tooth yesterday! I was beginning to think we'd need to get her baby dentures. She's also continuing to test our boundaries, tossing her head back and crying when she doesn't get her way (for example, wanting to play with my glasses, stick her finger in the electrical socket, or walk around drinking her bottle). We are trying hard not to let her win those battles of will. (I mean, clearly we can't let her learn the hard way that it's dangerous for babies to play with metal forks...) I've said it before, but I didn't realize babies so young could be so determined about their preferences. She's still my happy little lady though, and I am praying for wisdom for how to guide her while not cramping her style too much.
It's hard to believe she's now been exploring this big, wide world for the same amount of time she was growing in my belly. It's all quite miraculous and going by so quickly.