October was a busy month for both us as a family and in Gabe’s growth. Sometimes it feels hard to keep up with the leaps and little things that are happening. Things can be pretty uneventful or there will be a small thing here and there and then bam! Big changes. Though sometimes I think change happens and it just takes a bit for me to notice. But here we are. Nine months old. Nine months into this life long gig. And our joy in him grows as each month goes by. Bear with me this is a long one.
Let’s start with the social stuff first.
We started the month off with Gabriel’s first visit to Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm. Yep we have a real Farmer John and he is a beloved coastside icon. Given that Gabe was only 8 months old there was only so much “fun” in it for him. He enjoyed being pulled around in the wagon and touching the pumpkins. But what he loved most was playing with and eating straw! In almost all the pictures we took he is looking down at the straw in his hand. Didn’t make for the best pictures but it was still his first trip. Looking forward to next year being a whole different experience.
Gabe then got to see whales up close and personal for the first time… though I don’t think he noticed. There were several large pods of whales that decided to stop in the bay for a snack as they were migrating for the winter. The warm waters pushed a bunch of little fishes up this way causing quite a feast for them. They hung around for over three days along with some dolphin pods. What was cool about this is that they hung out right off shore! I don’t know if we’ll ever see whales this close to shore again. It was amazing. If we had gone down to the shore we could have gotten better pictures but instead we stayed on the bluff top. Caused quite a traffic back up too. It is amazing that you could drive down highway 1 and see whales frolicking in the ocean.
We attended our first MOPS group this month as well. I’ve know about the MOPS organization for quite some time and planned on finding a group after Gabe was born. I was thrilled to hear that there was one that started up locally this year year. We absolutely love our group. It is so imperative to get some good mama support. Gabe gets to be around kids his age, I get some adult time with mama’s with kids of varying ages. It’s win win. I’m looking forward to seeing what God does in and through this group.
Also on the list of firsts was the 45th annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival. Gabe surprised me on this one and had a blast. We put him forward facing in the carrier and he really enjoyed people watching. We enjoyed looking at some of the vendors and partaking in some of the food. The pumpkin ice cream hit the spot when the sun came out. Gabe enjoyed some roast beef. There was some really neat kids toys like hand carved block castles and elaborate cloth books but the handmade nature of them put them a bit out of our price range. We did though find him a little hat to protect him from the sun when he is on my back. As with the pumpkin farm, next year will be a whole different experience with him.
We are starting to see him express his love/joy for us. He’s been smiling at us for some time now and talking back but now? Now we get to experience him crawling to us and climbing up on us. It’s been so incredibly meaningful to me. He will lock eyes across the room and you see his eyes light up as he starts crawling with such vigor across the room. He exhales with meaning as his hands and knees pound the ground. Then he places his hands on your legs and pulls himself up to standing. He wants to be there and is happy to be there. What a joy. Part of this too is him crawling on me when I lay on the floor with him. Especially if you are in his path. He can and totally will crawl over you and complain while doing it! But he loves that connection. I love that connection. So I’m spending a lot more time on the floor playing with him… it also makes it easier to lift him up in the air and bounce him on my legs.
His crawling and movement is kind of amazing at this point. I know I talked about “expert level” in past months but I think that was a bit premature. He can move like lightning across the room now. And all his transitions. I am amazed at how he can be on his side, then butt, legs out, under, on his knees with such balance! And then one day I noticed he was sitting on his butt! When did that happen? I have no clue but he can now do it. Thankfully that never hindered him from movement. Up and down against just about anything and so good at maneuvering down. He’s learned to flip his toy box over and just about crawl over it. Tumbles still happen but much less. He is more likely to bonk his head on something when he is somewhere he shouldn’t be ahemunderdesk/deskchairahem.
Gabe has chosen the squat as his exercise of the month. He has down push ups and side planks and wanted to change it up a bit with the squat. He mostly does this when he is standing in the play yard where he will start squatting up and down. It’s cute. Along with that he took a few big steps towards learning how to walk. One day he was standing up against the front of the couch and before I knew it he had “walked” sideways along the front of the couch. He primarily does it in front of the couch but I’m seeing more instances of him moving sideways in the play yard. Walking is slowly coming! I bet we will see him walking by his first birthday.
His new activity this month is the opening and closing of doors. And he is pretty good at doing both opening and closing. And door stops. We have a few old school door stops that he loves to go over to and play with. He has also learned how to open up cabinets which means we have moved into the finger crushing stage. He has so much fun opening and closing them but it’s not safe for his fingers! So we are working on getting things child proofed so he can continue to have some freedom and not crush his fingers.
Eating is going well. He is eating a ton these days in addition to breastmilk. We’ve upped the game with finger foods and giving him more things that we are eating. This kid is loving chicken, chicken soup (anything with a broth!), mushrooms, lentils, cottage cheese and hummus. This kid loved hummus. He is really getting a feel for grasping foods and eating them. It’s messy but he is feeding himself! Combined with some purees I think we have a good combination of him learning how to feed himself different textures and sizes along with all those good for him veggies. Especially now that we are reaching a point where he can eat most of what I make for dinner. Yay for one less thing for me to do!
We have officially transitioned to two naps a day! I thought this was going to be a difficult one but thankfully it wasn’t. His naps feel a bit more manageable now with their timing. They still fall on the short side (30 mins) but he seems to be throwing in a few more 1hr 20min naps during the week. Typically he does them at the least convenient time… like at church or when you plan to run errands. But in the same breath… it’s 1hr and 20 mins! Now if only I could get him to let me know when he plans on doing his long nap so I can plan accordingly. Wishful thinking, yes?
Nine months is proving to be bittersweet in that he officially outgrew his infant car seat. While he technically is still within the requirements, it’s just too tight of a fit. I can tell he is uncomfortable. Part of me is happy to not have to lug around the car seat… but at the same time… ugh! Having the portable car seat has been a lifesaver in the last couple of months. From situations where I need him to stay put and be safe to where I put him for his nap when we are places that he either isn’t being carried on my back or the stroller isn’t in use. He is happier though. And just like all of his change… I’ll figure it out. You always do.
I’m sure there are a bunch of little things I’m missing but I think I got the most of it for this month. Looking forward to what next month brings. And now for the pictures.