Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dear Ryder... Nine Months

Dear Ryder,

Once again it seems like just yesterday I was writing your last monthly update, but here we are again. 

You continue to grow and change on a daily basis, and this month you conquered quite a few physical challenges.

Shortly after New Years, Daddy and I both came down with a horrible case of the stomach flu. Thankfully, you were spared this misery, but I quickly learned that two sick parents attempting to recover and take care of a small child at the same time is not an optimal situation.

Unfortunately, almost as soon as we recovered from the flu we were stricken by a horrible cold and cough. You picked this one up as well -- first a dry cough that didn't seem to bother you, and then a horrible wracking one that woke you in the night. Luckily you remained in fairly high spirits, although you were a little fussy and refused to eat almost anything but breast milk.

But with Daddy and I sick as well, and you spending almost every night in our bed (which is where I let you sleep when you don't feel good), all three of us were keeping each other up with the coughing fits, and after a few increasingly sleep deprived weeks, I sent you to the doctor with Daddy. Although you weren't diagnosed with bronchitis like Daddy, the doctor did prescribe you some antibiotics, which I administered with slight trepidation. Thankfully, your condition rapidly improved, and we are finally all feeling healthy again.

During the weeks that we were ill, my sleep deprivation got so intense that I became slightly worried for my own sanity. Nana to the rescue! As soon as she learned how much we were struggling, she came and whisked you away to her house overnight so Daddy and I could get some rest. She is an angel and someday I'll have to thank her for saving our marriage.

You sit up well by yourself now, and can finally get into a sitting position on your own from both your back and stomach. It shocked me the first time I found you sitting like that in your crib waiting for me. You began pushing yourself in kind of a backward crawl toward the beginning of the month, and within a few weeks (on 1/26/15 to be exact) you had figured out how to legitimately crawl. I squealed with delight the first time I saw it. This meant it was time to start childproofing, and out came the gate for the top of the stairs. You also use just about anything to pull yourself up into a standing position whenever you get the chance.

Door stops are pretty much your favorite thing in the entire house. You love to bat at them, yank on them, and pull the plastic caps off the ends -- which happen to be the exact same size and shape of your wind pipe. As a result of this discovery, all door stops were subsequently removed.

As soon as you were on the move, you honed in on everything dangerous within your reach. We had some baby proofing to do...

You are ridiculously strong and fast, grabbing anything and everything that's within your reach. Even beer. Go figure.

You have discovered your genitals, and enjoy yanking on them as hard as you can whenever you find yourself in your birthday suit. I'm a little worried that your pain receptors aren't working properly. 

You absolutely hate being put on your back for a diaper change. This is a fairly new development, and we have no idea why -- you used to love getting your diaper changed! I think perhaps you associate it with getting ready for bed, because you seem to hate sleep with a passion. Crazy kid.

We have a nightly bedtime routine that consists of changing into jammies, reading a book, having a bottle or nursing, and rocking to a background mix of songs that Daddy made for you. Typically you're asleep in my arms by around 7:00 p.m. and although I place you on your back to sleep, you prefer to roll over and sleep on your belly. You still sleep with a pacifier.

Before we all got sick you were really getting into a rhythm with your sleep patterns, but now all our hard work has gone out the window, and it seems we'll need to start from scratch. I just keep reminding myself to cherish these moments when you call for me to cuddle you in the middle of the night, because each day that passes, you need me a little less. That breaks my heart a bit, and I hold you a little closer in the dark.

Although I am still pumping and we nurse when I am home, breastfeeding has become challenging because you are just so dang distracted by the world. It's no longer possible to nurse you anywhere but a dim, quiet room. As for food, you definitely have your preferences. You basically flat out refuse any green vegetables in their pureed, jarred format (not that I blame you). We've come to realize that you seem to enjoy feeding yourself better than us spooning goo into your mouth, so we give you chunks of things like avocado, pear, broccoli, whole wheat bread, Cheerios, sweet potatoes or bananas on the tray of your high chair. It makes a mess, but you're slowly learning how to get more pieces into your mouth than down your front.

You also love eating socks.

You have entered a period of severe separation anxiety, bursting into tears when Daddy or I leave the room or you can't see us. You've also developed apprehension of strangers. These behaviors are simultaneously flattering and annoying.

At your checkup this month you weighed 20 pounds 1 ounce, and you are 27.76 inches tall.

Even though we weren't feeling great, we still took you on your first ski trip to White Pass. We love snowboarding, and Daddy was excited to take you on your first run in the front pack (even though it was just down the bunny hill). We also went on a snowshoe hike around a frozen lake.

Not feeling great, but still enjoying your first time snowshoeing.

Tragically, the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl in one of the most heartbreaking game enders in the history of football. But you have been a 12 since before you were born, and we're excited to hit the ground running again next year.

Go Hawks!

Nana, Papa, and Auntie Nancy came up to watch you so Daddy and I could attend the Seahawks payoff games. You seemed to be good luck, my little Seahawk! At least until the end...

Our favorite Friday afternoon visitors, Cailin and Charlie, came to hang out again. The two of you continue to get along famously.

We got you a couple of new toys -- a basketball hoop game that you absolutely love, and an activity table that encourages you to pull up and "cruise." It's so much fun to watch you play!

I love to squish your chubby little hands, feet, and cheeks. I love to blow on your belly and make you squeal. I love to brush your hair off your forehead and plant a kiss between your clear blue eyes.

Your laughter is the most amazing sound I have ever heard.

Lately I find myself desperate to scoop you up, cuddle you, and kiss you at every opportunity. Maybe because as you become more and more mobile you also become less and less dependent on me, and it makes me crave your attention.

Don't grow up too fast, little boy! 

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  1. Oh my goodness! So, so cute! There are so many exciting things for Ryder (and you guys, too!) in this update! It's crazy how busy he's getting to be! :)

  2. This is such a cute and sweet post! I can't believe he's crawling and pulling up! They grow too fast! We had the same problem w the door stops!! Had to take all the plastic tops off!!


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