Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9 Months

We've been a little busy the past few months which is why this post is late. Patrick finished up his summer schedule, Owen got teeth, started crawling, and I switched to weekend night shift (every Friday and Saturday night). So let me try to fill in the gaps.

Health and Growth
He still fits in some 6 month stuff but it's a tight fit and only the outfits that seemed to have run big in the first place. It seems that 9 month stuff fits him really well. I think we were around 18 pounds at the start of this month (so really when he had just turned 8 months). He was really healthy except for the couple of days that his bottom two teeth were coming through. We got the first tooth around July 18th (hence, why I mentioned it in his 8 month post) and the second tooth came in just a week or so later. I keep thinking that we have two top teeth on their way but nothing yet. He was pretty grumpy about teeth but who can blame him? I'm sure that stuff hurts! There was one nap that he woke up from recently that I discovered bite marks all over his arms. He had even broken the skin in one area! I need to try and get a picture of them because it's pretty crazy.

He still loves food. Surprisingly, he still nurses too. He dropped a feeding this month so he now only nurses 4 times a day. I also stopped pumping before bed about the time that I transitioned to night shift. I just realized that if he is slowing down, I will too. I can definitely say that we will be finished by a year though. I just don't think I have it in me to go any longer. Thankfully, it isn't nearly as hard to keep up with his milk needs while working night shift. He eats solids after 3 of his nursing sessions and takes a little snack at some point in the afternoon. His new eating times look a little like the following.

7:00- wake, nurse, solids (oatmeal, fruit, yogurt)
9:30- nap
11:30- wake, nurse, solids (yellow veggie and fruit)
2:30- nap
4:30- wake, snack (puffs or cheerios with cheese)
5:30 or 6- nurse, solids (rice cereal, green veggie, fruit, finger foods like black beans and chicken)
7:30- nurse, bed
Sweet peas from his sweet daddy.

They are a hit.
New food staple of the month was cheerios. He's probably eating way too many but it's hard to resist when they occupy him so well. I find myself giving him extra handfuls so that I can get through whatever task is at hand. He also loves eating pieces of cheese. When he dropped one of his afternoon nursing sessions (halleluiah!), I introduced a snack time to get him to make it until dinner. Some nights it works better than others. It's just become an odd time of day. I'm trying to prepare our dinner in the middle of feeding him. We'll get there though!

Just chew on the bib if the food doesn't come fast enough!

Owen has been in some sort of nap transition lately. I think he is going to end up shortening his morning nap and taking his second nap later in the afternoon. There have been several days lately that he goes down for his morning nap at 10 but still only sleeps until 11:30. He then stays up until 3 and sleeps until 5. I'm totally fine with whatever he wants to do but I wish he'd just get consistent with it soon. I can tell that he is getting way more social. There are days he is soooo sleepy but he will fight going down because he doesn't want to miss anything.

Nighttime sleep is still the exact same. He goes down around 7:30 or 8 and sleeps until 7 or 7:30. There were a few weeks that he had days he was waking up at 6 or 6:30 but I think that was about the same time he was moving his nap times around. I've found that when one area of his sleep starts to shift, it all moves around a little until he settles back out. One thing I do know, this kid needs his sleep. He is a grump bunny without it!
Praise baby. How we wind down when fussy.
Sleeping in my arms on one of those "off" days.
Sleeping in the car.
This has been a  crazy month for motor development. He went from a baby that would only sit up if placed that way to a baby that will sit up on his own, crawl, pull up, wave, and clap his hands. I ended up lowering the crib while Patrick was in N. Ireland. All this activity happened so fast! I just have to say that the clapping is probably what kills me the most. It is just so stinking cute! I have decided that Owen is probably going to be a tactile learner like me. He has gotten really good at putting little various shaped blocks through this upright puzzle we have and of course, he claps for himself when he does it! From what I gather in talking with my mom, I was the exact same way as a baby. I would work puzzles and use a pincer grasp way before anybody else. She says that I was the neatest little eater because of it. Owen has also started to sign with us. We have started working on "more", "all done", and "milk". He is really good at the "more".

Our little crawler
Blurry pic, but he actually puts the shapes on the pegs
His other puzzle
Helping mommy keep the floors clean.
Thanks uncle Benjamin!
Silly boy.

My schedule change
So this has nothing to do with Owen being 9 months old but it deserves an explanation somewhere. About halfway through July, I received an e-mail from my nurse manager to all of the labor and delivery staff saying that there was a weekend night shift position available. I've thought about this particular schedule before and wondered if it would be a good fit for several reasons: 1) It's night shift so we wouldn't have to worry about childcare 2) It's only two nights a week but I would get paid for working three. 3) It is a benefited position and 4) Night shift pay.

After talking with my manager, she gave me a week to discuss the schedule change with Patrick and get back to her. I really thought that Patrick would shoot me down immediately which would have been fine. I was already feeling really balanced with my current job hours. I just wasn't making nearly what I used to make plus we were paying for childcare every Monday. We were making ends meet just fine but it was an adjustment. Also, I worked full time nights when I first started my job and it was rough. I wasn't the best at flip flopping back and forth. However, I wasn't a mom back then either. I think becoming a mom primes you for these crazy things. To my surprise, Patrick wanted to hear about this possible change. After a lot of discussions and prayer we decided to give it a try. As my mom said, "You never know unless you try it."

So I started working weekend night shift at the beginning of August. I'm pleased to report that so far I really like it. It is nice being off during the week. We don't fork out any money for childcare and the paycheck I'm getting is more than I've ever been paid before in all my time as a labor and delivery nurse. I'm so thankful that it is working out. It was definitely trial by fire. It just so happened that Patrick was due to be out of town the first three weekends of my new schedule. We have some awesome friends and family though and we made it through! Of course, it's not a perfect arrangement but nothing ever is. However, it's pretty dang close.

I guess that pretty much covers what went on between 8 and 9 months. Hard to believe I'll be needing to post a 10 month update in just a few short days!

Owen taking me for a walk the Friday morning before I was due for work that night! We had a good long talk about my new schedule and how he needed to be a good boy for all the different people that were going to take care of him.
Morning coffee on the back porch. Love these two boys.

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