Charlie's 9th month has been WILD. Not just with the winter storms that have hit Dallas, but also with the amount of activity going on inside the house. Charlie has gotten to be quite a fast little crawler and jets around the house constantly while he's awake. He loves to be standing and pulls up on everything he sees, and then "cruises" around the room by moving from one piece of furniture to another. He really likes pulling up on toilets and looking inside, so I am doing my best to keep the bathroom doors shut--yuk! There was a lot of falling at the beginning of the month, but he's getting much better and is even standing without support for very brief stretches every once in a while. He now gets up and down easily, which means he can entertain himself for long periods of time. I was a little nervous about the crawling stage and all the potential dangers it opened up, but I have really enjoyed it. Charlie loves his independence and plays so much better on his own now that he is mobile. I definitely have to watch him pretty carefully, but he's so amusing to watch that I don't mind. :)
He babbles a ton, and although Clint thinks it's getting more purposeful, I'm not so sure. His favorite sounds are "dat" and "da-da," but he also does the "na-na" sound every once in a while. He is also becoming communicative in other ways--he shakes his head from side to side to indicate "no," scrunches up his nose and gives a big smile when we ask for his "cute face," and waves "bye bye" occasionally (he's getting better). Aside from that, we primarily hear screeching and laughing out of Charlie--which there is a lot of! He has a breathy little laugh that we just love. He seems to do it when he finds something kind of funny, but not fully enough for a full-on belly laugh. He loves to play games with us, and is still pretty fearless. He loves to be surprised, to be thrown up in the air, to be tickled, to be turned upside down, and for us to pretend to drop him. This makes him seem so much more like a big kid all of a sudden!
Charlie still loves reading and we read several books a day. He is really interested in turning the pages right now and does not like it if I forget that that is his job. He loves books with flaps that open and close. We love "Pat the Bunny" right now--he pats the soft little bunny, plays peek-a-boo, sticks his fat little finger through the ring, and waves "bye-bye" wildly at the end.
One of the funniest things about Charlie is how vitally interested he is in his world. When we are out and about, he is constantly craning his neck to watch the people and things that are new and different. He will really stare new people down, which I think is a little jarring to them at times. :) Similarly, if new people come over to our house, he cannot take his eyes off them. I loves his curiosity, but hope that, with age, he becomes a bit more polite in the staring department. :)
Charlie is a pretty good eater these days. Technically, he can feed himself finger foods now, but he's pretty picky about what he'll eat on his own, opting primarily for Puffs and Yogurt Melts. He's not quite as diligent about eating the cut up fruits and vegetables I put on his tray, but he still eats those well if I feed him the purees. And he's taking after his father and grandfather in one important area--he is a big beef lover! :)
Charlie did great at his 9-Month appointment and seems to have put on some weight:
Height: 28.5 inches (60%)
Weight: 18 lbs., 14 oz. (24%)
Head: 18 inches (60%)
All in all, this was a wonderful month and I feel so lucky have gotten to share it with Charlie. I loved watching all the changes that have happened this month and have had so much fun with him. I will do just about anything for Charlie's sweet laugh--and he knows it!