Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ava Turned 9-months

Ava turned 9-months last Sunday and we went for her well-baby visit yesterday. We took these pictures last Saturday when we were dancing in the kitchen to Christmas music, making fun memories. When we sing, Ava likes to mimic and sing along. It's fun to see her join in and be so social.

We had a rough week because Ava was teething, getting her top two teeth at the same time. Plus, she had a cold and an elevated temperature combined. I stayed home from work with her on Monday when we discovered her temp and she slept most of the day and nursed about 6-hours that day! Thankfully she never got even slightly dehydrated. I had to go back to the office for a team offsite on Tuesday so Aaron stayed home with her that day. It was hard for them because she wanted me to be with her since she was sick and Aaron said she wanted to be held a lot, but wasn't very happy. I was very proud and grateful that he did that because being home with a sick baby when you're not the mom who can nurse the little one.

I took her the doctor on Monday to get checked out because of her temp and her cold seemed to escalate. They confirmed that her eyes and chest were clear. Our job was to keep her comfortable and treat her elevated temperature. She went back to daycare on Wednesday, which helped because she got to play with her friends to help cheer her up. She woke up a lot overnight from coughing. We were all exhausted all week. But I'm thankful for nursing because it was easy to soothe her at night. Last night, things were back to normal and she slept 10 1/2 hours again! I feel much more rested, especially after napping with her today.

Now that Ava is 9-months, we're seeing her grow bigger, stronger, and become a little more independent.

Growth at 9-months:
  • Weight: 20 lbs 4 oz (76th percentile) - thank goodness for the sling!
  • Length: 29 inches (92nd percentile) - her 9-month sleepers are tight on her toes and she fits well in 12-months now
  • Head size: 39 1/4 cm (84th percentile) - great brain growth!
Favorite activities: Ava loves to sit on the floor and play with toys, especially with her friends at daycare. One afternoon when I picked her up, she tried to kiss a little boy that was crawling by her. It was so cute! Ava rolls on the ground all over and pushes side to side with her arms when she's on her tummy. We love to play hide-and-seek with her because she laughs really hard. I carry her around in the sling, which she loves because she can sleep even running errands or look around at things we're doing. She's still enamored with Bena, who might get a lick in once in a while.She discovered Bena's tail recently and wanted to touch it because she liked the way it moved. This picture on the right was from the night we decorated the house for Christmas. We put up a tree and a poinsettia.

Our Friday night tradition is growing strong. We make a homemade pizza and watch a movie together. Ava loves the time sitting next to Mommy and Daddy or playing on the floor. Since our TV is in the basement, I rarely watch it more than Friday's.

Last Friday, Aaron's parents came down to take care of Ava so we could go to my company's holiday party at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Here's our picture of the big night by our tree. I had a company meeting in the afternoon so they picked Ava up at daycare and took care of her before I got home. I came home for a couple hours to get ready and spend time with Ava. She was starting to get sick that day so she slept for most of the afternoon. I haven't left Ava at night since she was 3-weeks old so I was worried about her settling to sleep for the night. But Grandma and Grandpa are pros and they had fun that night. Towards bedtime, she was looking for me. They took turns walking her around the house and then she fell asleep! What a sweet girl.

Growing stronger: Just this week, she started to pull herself up to a sitting position from nursing by using her elbow. And the past couple days, she likes us to support her when she stands. Ava is also getting squirmy and wanting to explore. I'm surprised and happy about how strong she's getting.

What she's eating: Ava is thriving off of mama's milk and eating solids on the days that she wants to and doesn't reject it. And reject, I mean gagging and puking! She has no desire to put foods in her mouth on her own and in general, she doesn't put many things in her mouth like most babies. This week I gave her a pea from my plate. She picked it up with her thumb in her palm and had no desire to put in her mouth. I offered to it to her and it was like a steel trap! I take mashed banana, cooked pear, applesauce, and butternut squash to daycare for her "lunch." They line up the babies in high chairs for their solid foods. I've also tried pureed quinoa mixed with banana or pear. I don't think she likes the texture or tastes because she prefers the fruit on its own. She seems to reject sweet potatoes or butternut squash every time. Aaron has a bet with me that he thinks she'll hate the squash like him!

A word about iron: At her 9-month visit, they did a heel-stick to test Ava's blood for iron count. The doctor told me that they look for a reading of 10, but Ava had a 14! I was so happy! Breastmilk is low in iron, but it's highly available for the baby's absorption. Formula and baby cereal is loaded with iron because babies will only absorb a fraction. I'm really happy to know that she's getting exactly what she needs.

We're looking forward to Christmas! I'm making gift bags for Ava's daycare teachers tomorrow to take in on Monday. They are all so patient and sweet with the babies. I spend a lot of time at daycare because we sit in the rocking chair in the nursery while she nurses. I'm thankful to have found a good place for her to be while I'm at work. I can tell she enjoys it there.

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