She's so strong, too! I tell people that it feels like wrestling a little bear when you're trying to keep her still for a diaper change or nap time and she wants to wiggle away. And when she's really flailing, she can cause some serious injuries! She was excitedly pumping her arms while Dan was holding her about a week ago, and managed to jab him in the eye hard enough to really hurt him! He had to keep the injured eye closed most of the day for it to recover, and it took 3 days for his vision to return to normal. Poor guy!
Emma caught a cold during Christmastime and it lingered for a solid two weeks. Half the Jester family in Virginia seemed to have colds, too, so she learned how to "fake cough" since everyone was coughing constantly and she thought it sounded funny. One of her favorite games is reaching in peoples' mouths and touching their teeth, so one of us was bound to catch her cold (the lucky winner was Dan). Many, many boogie wipes and Kleenex later, everyone is healthy and feeling good again.
Dan's school was on break an extra week after we got home from our holiday travels so he and Emma hung out every day and picked me up for lunch on the days I worked. Thankfully, I'm back to working three days a week, so I had a couple of days off, too. One was dedicated to celebrating my birthday! Dan and I dropped Emma off at Sue's house on Friday and spent the day seeing two awesome movies ("Saving Mr. Banks" and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"). We met our friends Paul and Ann for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, too. My actual birthday was on a Saturday, and Dan and Emma bought me flowers and cards and we just enjoyed the day together - talking to our families, running errands, getting our cars washed, and eating ice cream as we walked on the beach. The whole weekend was perfect. I am one blessed girl!
It's getting more and more fun to share experiences with Emma now that she's really noticing her surroundings and other people. Some fun facts about her at 9 months old are:
- Two of her new favorite past times are pointing at everything and waving at everyone! It's a really cute stage, especially as she discovers the effect she has on others. When we're able to, Dan and I will walk her over to the object she's pointing at so we can explain what it is while she touches it (and tries to put it in her mouth). And she made friends literally all over the country as she waved her way through the airports at Christmastime.
- She's suddenly very interested in feeling her two bottom teeth all the time. If her hand isn't in her mouth, her tongue is poking around her mouth to make sure they're still there.
- She is still really friendly and doesn't mind letting a perfect stranger hold her. She gets the most excited about meeting kids and dogs, though.
- She is rolling and scooting a little more but still hasn't mastered crawling, so she uses those strong hands and arms to try to pull herself toward her goal. That's fine until she uses my hair or face or the front of my shirt to claw her way towards something.
- For one week she said "Mama" non-stop, and I'm glad I caught it on video since she hasn't said it since!
- She's still not showing much interest in eating solid foods. She likes oh-shaped cereal and will eat at least a couple of those when I offer them. I'm learning that food consistency is a big deal to her. When I blend foods at home, they are still rather gritty or chunky, and she's not interested after a bite or two. We've had more success with smooth foods like mashed bananas, yogurt, and baby food from the store. When I'm eating a piece of fruit, I'll let her taste it and she seems to enjoy the flavors.
- She is sleeping through the night 90% of the time now! Sometime during Christmas, she began rolling onto her belly to sleep, and I think it's made a big difference. She generally sleeps from 8:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m., and it's wonderful! I don't know how restful her sleep is, since every time I check on her, she has scooted to a different corner of the bed. But she stays asleep or soothes herself back to sleep without assistance almost all the time now.
- She's weaning herself off her third nap most days. As long as she's had two decent naps, she can get through the evening with just a short cat nap in the car or none at all.
- Another milestone we're noticing is that her play is slowly evolving from putting everything in her mouth to actually manipulating objects with her hands. She is really interested in books, and loves to point at the pictures and turn the pages. The book usually does end up in her mouth, too, but she spends much more time looking at it than gnawing on it.
Emma and her best friend Ellie in their pretty Christmas dresses. They didn't see each other for two weeks while we were out of town, and acted very excited to be reunited again!
Our strong girl balancing on cousin Brad's hand at Christmastime. His arm was moving all over the place while he kept her balanced, but she chewed on a toy and acted like it was no big deal.
"When in Texas..." Trying on a cowgirl hat for size. She didn't like it (to Dan's great relief!) :)
That tongue has been out of her mouth and feeling her teeth constantly this month. So 75% of her photos look like this.
The magical sleep position: Belly down, hands tucked underneath, booty in the air
We went to one of Dan's Wednesday night roller hockey games.
She's seen him play before, but this was the first time she stayed awake and recognized him in his gear!
We attended a baby shower for our friends, Kat and Burton, who are expecting twins! New playmates for Emma coming soon!
My Honda CR-V gave me a birthday gift by making it to 250,000 miles! We need to get new tires for it soon, so now we're shooting for 300,000! :)
Enjoying the Southern California sunshine on my birthday with a family walk on the beach
This girl has had so many new experiences recently! She is growing up before our eyes and stealing our hearts a little more each month!