19 June 2016

Zoe's on the Move and Talking at 9 Months

Nine months is such a fun age. Zoe is talking and moving, her schedule is fairly predictable, she's eating more solid foods, and definitely knows her family.  Being more aware of her surroundings means she's got a little separation anxiety, but she loves her teachers at school, so the fussing is very short. We are finally getting more laughs and smiles on camera and while Skyping with family.

Smiley Zoe
So much hair on this blue-eyed, fair-skinned beauty
The major development this month relates to movement. Last month she would move from place to place on the floor, but it was not coordinated or directed in any way. Now she can get anywhere she wants to go very quickly. She uses one knee and one foot to "crawl," even after we've tried helping her use both knees. Sometimes, like on the concrete at the pool, she tries crawl-walking.

Zoe Walk-Crawling:

Zoe can pull herself up on anything, and she does often. She's not really cruising yet, just going from sitting to standing and back to sitting. I caught her debating the stairs one morning.

Thinking about Climbing Stairs:

The other big milestone is that she is starting to "talk" to us. So far, she seems to like to say "ah-da" to everything. We aren't sure what she's referring to - daddy, all done, etc, but it is so cute. She also loves making raspberries.

Crawling and Talking:

Zoe blowing raspberries:

As you can see in the first video, she can drink water from a straw. She's also fairly successful using a sippy or regular cup. We've started offering her more of the foods that we eat, though the girl still does not have any teeth! I'm starting to get a little worried because I don't see any emerging. It seems like she has experienced teething on and off for months, but it has not resulted in any teeth coming out. Because she doesn't have teeth (and our slight fear of food allergies) we've been slow to try lots of different foods and textures. She loves bananas, beef, chicken, oatmeal, and drinking water. Every now and then she will surprise us by eating something that we enjoy (like quinoa with sausage). We tried giving her some kefir milk as her first introduction to dairy and she was not a fan of the taste. Thankfully, she did not appear to have any reaction to the milk. There have been a few instances where her face has broken out in hives when she has eaten food, but it has been difficult to pinpoint the cause. One time, it happened at school when she ate hummus, but she had eaten hummus before that time and since that time without problems. Another time it happened with meatballs, which she has also eaten without problems. A third time was when we ate lunch out at the museum. That is more understandable since I don't know what might have been added to the food (oatmeal). My best guess is that she was reacting to something that may have contaminated her food, or utensil. Dairy seems okay, we still have to test eggs, nuts, and seafood. I'm not sure the best day to introduce these foods because I want to be able to call on a doctor if she does react.

On the topic of allergies, Zoe's skin has cleared up significantly. I'm so glad that stress is behind us and that we do not need to continue any topical medications! While she may break out in a small rash on her chin or cheek here and there (mainly when eating and touching her face with slobbery fingers), it occurs rarely now. Her skin loves the hot and humid weather, and even the chlorine in the pool does not bother her.

Sporting some slightly pink cheeks after eating at the museum
Pink chin and cheeks after eating at the park
If you didn't notice before now, we also got Zoe's ears pierced this month. The dermatologist we used for Rose will only pierce ears until a child reaches a year and then won't do it until they are 6. In our experience with Rose, we knew it was best to do it young, when I could nurse after getting it done and when it still just feels like a shot. Similar to our previous experience, Zoe gave an initial cry when the gun pierced the ear, but she was fine within a minute or two of completing both ears (even before I nursed her). Her ears continue to heal up nicely and all the teachers complement her on her new bling.

Zoe's eyes remain blue and unlike her sister, I do not see any hints of other colors. My expectation is that she will be our blue-eyed girl. As you can see in the pictures and videos, her hair is really coming in and is a light brown or even dirty blonde color. She's starting to outgrow a lot of her 9 month clothing. At her 9 month doctors appointment, she was a little over 18lbs and just shy of 27". She's at the 18th percentile for height and 32nd percentile for weight, which is starting to follow a pattern similar to Rose. Her noggin remains large at the 84th percentile.

My beautiful blue-eyed, dirty blonde girl
Over the past couple of months, we've also started seeing more of Zoe's personality. She is generally content, unless she's tired, hungry, or soiled with poop. Over the past month we've started seeing so many more smiles from our little girl. She loves watching Rose, singing songs, being tickled, standing up, and walking. She still doesn't completely trust Rose, with good reason since her sister loves squeezing her to death. At times their laughs echo, but more often Zoe is crying to be freed from Rose's arms. 

I'm so grateful that Zoe is such a good sleeper. She sleeps all night (8:30-6:30 or so), and prefers 3 naps per day (a short 1 hour or less morning nap, a longer 2 hour nap mid-day, and a short 1 hour or less pre-dinner nap). It has been so helpful to have both girls sleep on the same schedule at night. Sometimes we are fortunate to have both girls take their mid-day nap at the same time, but often Rose delays her nap at home so Zoe gets up when Rose finally goes down for her nap. It works out okay so we can spend some one-on-one time with Zoe. In addition to sleeping good stretches, she can also sleep anywhere. Within minutes of driving in the car, she is often asleep, and she has proven herself capable of sleeping in hotel rooms in the midst of noise and lights.

Our smiley girl on daddy's shoulders
We continue to cloth diaper another month, only using 1 disposable each night. And, I am so glad I can report another month where Zoe has received only breast milk. I stressed about having to travel to DC for a work conference, leaving the girls behind with daddy. Thankfully, I was able to pump at the conference, and transport breast milk back on the plane. Zoe continues to take about 1-2 extra bottles of milk than I pump, so I'm down to about 2-3 weeks of stored milk for her. I've started on fenugreek supplements, mother's milk tea, and power pumping to see if I can at least match her intake through the summer. Hopefully something works!