Holy moly – 9 months. Where did you sneak up from? Charlotte Charlotte is 9 months old today, and she has officially almost been “out” of my tummy for as long as she was “in” my tummy (reminding me just how long pregnancy really is!) I know I say this every month, but I feel as is so much has changed over the last 4 weeks. It’s strange really – we seem to go through cycles. Cycles where not a lot changes in a couple weeks, then BAM, so much will change in only a couple of days. It’s like a light bulb goes off in C’s head – and these developmental milestones that come out of nowhere never cease to amaze me. One word I have used to describe C a lot over the last month is “cheeky monkey”. For it seems that she has quite a cheeky personality these days, getting up to mischief, pulling funny faces, and certainly keeping us on our toes. She is a social bub, and is generally not wary of strangers. Rather, she is more than willing to flash a toothy grin at anyone who stops to say hello. At a party recently – she was more than happy to be passed around for cuddles and play – and didn’t seem to mind that I was nowhere in sight. She is such a nosey-parker too – straining to see where someone is going if they leave the room, and just generally wanting to be apart of the action! At the end of last month, C had just begun to pull herself along the floor. This has only picked in speed and intensity, and she can now get from one side of the room to the other in no time at all. She is a strong little girl, and will push herself up from her tummy, into a seated position with ease, then head back down on her tummy again when she wants to move somewhere else. She also (finally) realised that she can roll from back to tummy, and will do it anytime we put her down on her back. This has made for a rather comical daily clothing change – where she rolls and wriggles so much that I literally have to wrestle her to get her dressed, nappy changed etc. C’s ‘chatter’ also continues, with lots of noises, sounds and yells (?). Her excited ‘yell’ whenever the cats come close is too adorable for words, although I don’t think the cats really appreciate it. My personal favourite ‘development’ this month are baby kisses! On cue, Charlotte will nuzzle into my cheek or mouth and plant the wettest baby kiss, simultaneously melting my heart when she does. Another favourite are the baby ‘claps’ that she will do when prompted – too adorable! In other news, at the end of last month, C had 7 teeth. And at the end of this month, the 8th has finally started to poke through. It has been giving her a fair bit of grief for weeks now – causing her to rub and hit her mouth, face and ears, so I am relieved that it has finally cut through. Almost instantly she seems to be brighter and happier, so here’s hoping she now has some relief. Smiles, giggles and kisses aside, I think Charlotte has quite a sensitive soul too. She most certainly does not like to be told no, and will burst into tears if she hears the dreaded “n” word. If she is pulling my hair, for example, and I give her a stern ‘no’, I will be met with her bottom lip coming out, quivering, and lots and lots of tears. She has actually also burst into tears on a couple occasions when I have been telling off the cat (who has brought not one, but two, mice home for in recent weeks) – resulting in a mouse-carrying cat, freaked out mama, and crying baby. A rather funny sight if I ever did see one! A snapshot: Loves: her DADDY!, blowing raspberries and kisses, clapping her hands, smiling at strangers, heading outdoors for a walk, the kitty cats, cheese, blueberries and yogurt, the drain on our bathroom floor (?), chatting to the ‘baby in the mirror’. Loathes: having her face cleaned / nose wiped, drinking from anything that is not her Mum, nap times, being told “no” > yep the same as last month! Feeding 9 months in, and I am still nursing Charlotte 3 times during the day, and once or twice at night. Ever so slowly she is showing more interest in foods, and will generally try anything we serve. We went out for yum cha a couple times this month, and she loved the sticky rice and noodles. She also wolfed down some garlic rice from a local Phillipino restaurant, as well as some omelette, but her real love is cheese (just like her mama!). Sleeping As at the last monthly update, Charlotte was nowhere near sleeping through. Yet merely days after that update, she only woke up once overnight– and that trend has pretty much continued for the most part. She now generally wakes around 11pm, and then will sleep through to 5am or so. I say ‘generally’, however, as we still have the ‘crazy’ nights every now and then, which I think have had a lot to do with the hot weather we have had this month. Sleep duration aside, gone are the days when I put Charlotte to bed on her back, and come in to find her still asleep on her back. No, my friends, this girl can move and will now generally sleep on her side or tummy, and it is normal for me to find her sitting or kneeling in her cot after her nap (which we rather quickly lowered when we discovered this!). Achievements and Milestones Scooting, rolling, sitting, chatting, dancing. Our little girl sure is growing up. Charlotte met Santa for the first time this month, and was an absolute treasure the whole time. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting her to be too worried or upset, given how much she LOVES smiling at strangers whenever we are out. C ended up sitting on Santa’s lap for over 5 minutes as the camera broke – and not one tear was shed – just smiles! She also joined us for a Santa fun run… And attended her first concert – the Wiggles! Ahhh the social life of a baby Me – the physical and emotional 9 months in – and I am constantly asking myself where the time has gone. Someone said to me that with babies / children – “the days are long, but the years are short” and I don’t think that truer words have ever been spoken. For all too often I find myself at Friday, wondering where the week has gone. Yet in the middle of the day, when nap strikes are in full force and food refusal is on order, the evenings can’t come around quick enough. I’d hoped to get more consistent with training this last month, and I didn’t do too badly. I generally fit in 2 runs a week, ideally 3, but with lots of walking in between I think I am keeping relatively fit. Emotionally I have days where I feel that I could do more to be a ‘better’ Mum – but I think that is a common sentiment for us new Mums. Luckily these days are generally fleeting, and I only have to get one toothy grin from my little girl to know that all is well. She really is the light of our lives, and I am so proud of the bright little cheeky monkey that she has become. So there you have it – our 9 month update! Next month is sure to be a big one – with Christmas (duh) and our first family holiday to the beach. 7 days of sunshine, sand and surf = sounds like heaven to me.