9 Month Doctors Appointment

Hadley had her nine-month doctors appointment a couple days ago. Here are her stats from the appt:

Height: 28″ (70th percentile)
Weight: 20 lbs 7 oz (75th percentile)
Head: 45 cm (75th percentile)

Hadley’s growth pattern has slowed overall. The doctor even said, “So you aren’t going to have a giant afterall!” She’s still growing well but is no longer in the 97th percentile which is just fine with me. The rest of the appointment went fine as well. She had an anemia test (not anemic!) and a flu shot. She didn’t even cry for either poke! She looked at us, furrowed her brow, and got red in the face, but then realized she was fine and went right back to trying to eat the paper covering the table. The doctor gave us a list of finger foods which I was happy to accept since Hadley is definitely slowing her interest in purees and would rather eat what we are eating. He checked her gums since we still have no teeth and said it might be another month or even TWO before we see anything. While this makes eating a little tricky for her, I am happy to postpone the biting, sleeplessness, and overall misery that comes with new teeth. Oh yeah, while we were chatting with the doctor Hadley was clapping practically the whole time and he even commented that she was quite proud of her newest skill. It was really cute. But that’s about it to report. Our next appointment is for her one year check. I cannot believe how quickly that will be there! Until then…

A Letter: Nine Months

Dear Hadley,
Today you are nine months old. And what a busy month this has been! You are learning so much so fast, I’m having a hard time keeping track of all your accomplishments. But the big news of the month happened only this afternoon: you are officially crawling.

Crawling was such an exciting milestone, simply because you have been working on it for SO LONG. You’ve had the physical ability for awhile now, but you just didn’t know you could do it. Then you were actually doing it, but I don’t think you even realized it. You would crawl forward a few inches, but would get frustrated (or distracted) and stop to sit down, putting you further back than where you started. So today I saw you going for it and I managed to get out my phone and recorded you crawling across the hall to your sister… and the unicorn pillow pet she was using as bait.

Another thing you mastered this month was learning to use a straw. You are obsessed with water bottles and so it was only a matter of time before you finally figured out how to use one. You started by chewing on my Camelbak and once I realized you were figuring out the bite valve, I bought you your own learn-to-drink-from-a-straw sippy cup. It has a cool feature where a parent can gently squeeze the cup and brings the liquid to the top of the straw so you can taste what is inside. And that was all it took. You sucked on the straw, your eyes got really wide with glee, and that was it. You were hooked.

Another thing that makes you exceptionally happy is reading books with Daddy. Every night after bath time, you two curl up on our bed and read a few books. You get so excited, listening to your Dad reading, and touching all the textures on the pages, you can hardly contain your enthusiasm as he turns each page.

One of the things that has NOT been fun this month is teething. I still cannot see, or even feel, a single tooth, but the symptoms are certainly there. You are biting every thing you can fit in your mouth, drooling all over, and you have even spiked a few unexplained high fevers. I feel so bad when you look up at me with those sad, pleading eyes. Don’t worry, sweet girl, it will all be over soon enough.

Involving your mouth, but with much more entertainment and less pain, is you learned to stick out your tongue. It all started when we were at the Wings and Waves water park. I think you discovered the taste of chlorine on your lips and you kept darting your tongue in and out. But once we were back home (and chlorine free) you did it again while you were eating and discovered you could lick your lips. It was the cutest thing, but as it is hard to feed you with your tongue sticking out, it’s probably not the best skill to practice during meal time.

Speaking of meal time, you use to be our very predictable eater, everything we gave you you simply accepted and gobbled up. But things have changed recently. I’m sure some of it has to do with teething and some of it was the hot weather we have had, but most of it has to do with finger foods. Once you discovered you could actually feed yourself, you are less and less inclined to eat the purees we feed you on a spoon. I’m having to start getting creative with your meals to keep you happy…and fed! But as you are still a champion nurser, there isn’t any risk of you going hungry any time soon!

Aside from the teething frustration and the eating complications, you are such a happy little girl. I just love this age because every little thing is new and exciting. All we have to do is show you something you haven’t seen before and any fussing or crying screeches to a halt as you happily examine the new object. You are so content to explore the world around you and discover every little thing that it brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.

One of your favorite discoveries happened just the other day. You had woken up from your nap, and I could hear you happily chatting away in your crib, so I didn’t come pick you up right away. Then I heard a loud bang and, thinking you had somehow fallen out of your crib, I ran up the stairs to your room only to find you smiling up at me. You were having so much fun you kicked your legs and discovered you could donkey kick the wall of the crib. You kept doing it over and over and you thought it was just the funniest thing ever. In the future, I’d appreciate it if the things you get so much joy out of were things less likely to give your mama a heart attack. Thanks.

As you get bigger and stronger, your Daddy (who is in charge of the nightly bath time) has been letting you and Ana take baths together more and more. This delights you both to no end. There is very little that your sister does that does not just make you shriek with delight. And it goes both way too. It gets to the point where you are both in the tub just giggling and laughing so much I often have to come up and see just what is so funny! I am so happy that you and your sister can share these special times together…and that you occasionally let your father and I just sit back and observe.

Since you have obviously been getting quite the control over your physical abilities, we decided that you were finally ready for your very first Gymboree class. Ana, as a Gymboree “graduate,” was so excited to share it all with you and she didn’t want to miss watching you experience it all for the first time. So Daddy, Ana and I all went with you and it was every bit as amazing as we remembered. I loved watching your eyes light up with each new discovery and seeing you giggle as we sang and danced to the silly songs. I am so happy that we are able to do these fabulous things with you and help you enrich your life in ways that you can’t even begin to imagine yet.

Oh, Hadley, we have been having so much fun together, it’s hard to tie it up with a nice pretty bow. It would take a myriad of ribbons of different textures and colors to even begin to describe all the things that make you so special. All I know is that you are one amazing child and I just love that I am able to stay home with you so I don’t have to miss one single moment of watching you become the person you are going to be. Because I know that you are going to be spectacular.

All my love,

Houston, we have a crawler!

To celebrate that she is NINE months old today, Miss Hadley decided she would officially become a CRAWLER!

She’s been slowing getting it over the last few days, but today was her first long stretch of crawling! She had been crawling a few inches then would stop and sit down, putting her back further than where she started. So, understandably, she got a little frustrated and didn’t try too hard. But once she built up a little more confidence (plus a little sisterly motivation) and didn’t give up, SHE DID IT. My baby is now mobile. Let the baby-proofing begin!

Wings and Waves

Today we drove out to McMinnville to check out the new Wings and Waves Waterpark at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.

Yep. That's a real 747.
Wings and Waves, baby!!
As soon as you walk through the main doors you are IN the waterpark. From the leisure pool (with a water Vortex, basketballs hoops, and a hot tub), to the Oregon forest themed play structure (with three kid-sized slides, a 300 gallon dump bucket, and lots more guns, buckets, and valves) and “Splashdown Harbor” the 91,000 gallon wave pool (with varying wave patterns and underwater bubblers). Oh and we can’t forget the four water slides that come out of the giant 747 on the roof! Sonic Boom (the yellow slide) is a great beginner slide, but still fast and exciting. Tail Spin (the blue slide) has figure eight banking curves but the real thrill is that the majority of the slide is in total darkness! Nose Dive (the green slide) has some steep drops and fast turns and ultimately drop you (around and around and around) in a huge funnel. The final slide, the Mach 1 (the orange slide), is the only slide you have to be over 48″ to ride and cannot go on a tube (the other slides can be done on a single or double tube and you only have to be 42″). I personally didn’t go on this one, but our friends found it wildly entertaining with a face full of water at the end.

Water slides, whirlpool and hot tub.
Water slides, seating areas, and snack bar.

Ana’s personal favorite is the wave pool. She puts on a life jacket and swims, body surfs, and floats around in the water like a little fish. The waves are really strong closer to the “shore” so as soon as the alarm that indicates the waves are coming sounds, we head to deeper water where the waves are still strong and rolling but don’t crash down on you and leave you choking on water. Then once the waves come to a stop, watch out for the bubblers that spontaneously erupt volcanoes of underwater bubbles!

Ana's favorite: the wave pool!
Someone is ready to swim!

Despite the fact that we went on a weekday, there were several school buses in the parking lot which resulted in longer lines for the waterslides, so we played in the wave pool and the leisure pool between slides to break things up. After trying everything Ana could go on at least twice (Sim and I took turns walking around with Hadley or letting her splash around in the warmer leisure pool) we ended with a soak in the hot tub. Then we decided to get cleaned up (they have several family bathrooms!) and go check out the water museum.

The H20 Museum was like a mini OMSI. It was very hands-on and perfect for children (and grown-up children too) to explore and experiment while learning. We walked in the door and Ana made a beeline for the submarine.

Driving a submarine
Then played around with a periscope.

Looking in the periscope
She even sailed a boat down the Columbia River from the mountains, over the Bonneville Dam, and all the way down to the Astoria Bridge.

Sailing her boat under the Astoria bridge
Then she played with a wave machine that showed how waves start in the ocean, react with buoys, and finally crash onto the shore.

Learning about waves
Then we got to see what happens when water is a gas…

"Water as a gas"
…and when it turns solid.

"Water as a solid"
She loved exploring the space shuttles and lunar rovers. There were lots of buttons to push and simulators to test.

Exploring a space shuttle
Peeking out of the space shuttle
Inside a lunar rover
And finally she did some astronaut training and checked to see how she “measured up.”

Training to be an astronaut
Seeing how she measures up
All in all, we had a great time. It’s definitely worth the trip, and it’s a total bonus that it’s only an hour drive. At $25-30 per person, the admission price is a bit steep, but it is very nice that you can just make a day of it. We were there for about five hours and never had a chance to get bored. In fact, we would have stayed longer if we weren’t all getting tired and hungry. Our final thoughts? TWO THUMBS UP!!