Yeah, I’m really struggling with this one. I did just update you on his 9 month like, what, yesterday? Time is getting away from me, and my emotions can’t take it! Ready to order are his first birthday party invitations! But a lot has happened over this last month, and it took me reflecting over a list to capture it all, and surely there is always more.

But here it is! Ten months of adventure under our belts. 

We have four teeth! The rest are seeming slow to come in, but I’m okay with this still somewhat gummy smile staring back at me.

At Emmett’s last doctor’s appointment he weighed in at 20 pounds 6 ounces. Size 3 diapers still fit, and he is solidly in 12 month clothes now.

He’s an eating machine, but at 9 months the transition to the world of solids was rough. I mean, really rough. Emmett’s most favorite food in the world is oatmeal with breast milk. And the kiddo can pack away a 4 ounce puree pouch like there is no tomorrow, but putting a puff or yogurt melt in front of him would send him into gagging fits, and inevitably, huge hurls of all his food. It was so defeating, with tears from both of us, and a hungry babe we didn’t want to feed again just in case the end result was the same.

At our doctor’s appointment we told her his transition to real food was just not improving. Always encouraging, she gave us a referral to a speech therapist that might be able to help us figure out what is going on and why his transition was so hard. But like all things, when you bring them up  to a doctor, they magically go away. Of course the same week we got the referral, things started to change and improve. Now, we are putting away puffs, yogurt melts, and cut up berries like a champ! At daycare we asked them to keep practicing, incorporating bit of the toddler menu into Emmett’s lunchtime routine and they did. Apparently ravioli and broccoli were definitely the winners! Emmett’s teacher, Ms. Krystal, said that he wouldn’t stop eating them and when she was worried about him overfeeding himself, he got mad that she took them away. Mama’s little pastaholic!

We have been trying to decide if still going to the speech therapist is a good idea. He’s finally making progress, but we think that getting seen just to do a quick assessment and monitor our progress is a good idea.

With more reliance on solids, Emmett’s milk consumption has gone down, so I have also gone down to pumping only once a day at work. It has freed up a lot of my day, and hopefully I will keep this up for the rest of the month, before transitioning into September and doing away with pumping at work entirely!

With all of the backstock of frozen milk supply I have (my entire door of our stand up deep freezer is FULL!), Emmett will make the 1 year mark for being on breastmilk. And I am committed to donating whatever he doesn’t finish.

He’s a baby on the move, adding to his standing repertoire, and starting to even take little bitty steps along the coffee table to reach what is just out of his itty bitty reach. Navigating the tangle of chubby baby feet has led to some tumbles along the way, but I’m quick to swoop in after the fall and give him the cuddles he needs. Well, that cuddles I need, too. A crying baby will also get cuddles in my book.

With this new and growing streak in independance, I took a few days last month and went away on a my yearly girl’s weekend to Michigan! It was a difficult thing to do, being away from him for the first time, well, ever, and miraculously I didn’t cry. Grandma and Grandpa came over for four days to spend some quality time with Emmett and stay the nights that Ben had to work. Naturally there were frequent texts, photos, and even some Facetime sessions. Emmett could see and hear me on the other side, but didn’t panic. I was so proud. But I knew that my limit of fun and time away from my baby was three days. After that I was ready to be home. Going on vacation is always splendid, but coming home is the real treat.

I guess I can’t say there were no tears, because when I walked into the door, and he saw me and gave me a startled look of realization that it was me in front of him, he smiled, cooed and rushed (if you can call it that) to me, climbing up the stair from the living room as I ran to him, hugged him close and then cried. It was soooo good to be home with my babe again. The rest of the day he stayed glued to me, giving me the cuddles I missed and it was perfect in every way. Being within kissing distance of his little duck fuzzy noggin made everything right in the world.

We had other adventures, and we got to go back to the aquarium, this time with Ben on his Saturday off work. The first time I took Emmett there at four months old he panicked and cried at the overwhelming noise, and goings on of a kid filled aquarium, and I had my first panic attack right where this picture was taken. Ben wasn’t there that time. But it was on that initial aquarium adventure I knew that I needed to get help with my post partum anxiety. I carried Emmett across this walkway, perched over water, and practically ran back to solid ground, with tunnel vision and a blocking out of the surroundings around me, I couldn’t help but run down the list of things that could go wrong as I carried him all that way. It filled me with dread, worry, and my lack of rationale scared the living daylights out of me. For the rest of the day, I couldn’t let go of his stroller, for fear of some snatching him. I couldn’t walk over the walkway, without worrying I would trip and drop him. It was exhausting, emotionally and mentally. And the next day I made an appointment to go see my doctor to go to counseling for PPA and OCD.

For any mom out there, fighting with intrusive thoughts, excessive worry that you know isn’t your norm, for obsessive tendencies, and more, I implore you to seek help in whatever form fits you best. Don’t let anyone tell you “oh, you’re fine, it’s normal”, “don’t worry”, or make you feel that you are an outlier in this. The more I talked about it to other mom’s the more I found out that this is common, and that I was not alone. If you need to talk to a profession, seek medication, get additional help so you can manage, please just speak up. I’m so glad I did, and I am a better mom for it.

Emmett continues to adore school, but he has been facing some separation anxiety when I drop him off. The best thing for me to do when I get him there, is to just hand him directly to his teachers. As soon as his tush would hit the floor, even if his favorite toys were in front of him, he would burst into tears and crawl to me until I picked him up. But what could I do? I probably didn’t make it any easier on myself, or him, but I would console him and then put him down again. So I have changed my routine, and the hardest thing to do was to give up my last kiss goodbye as I walked out the door. It was better for him to not get that last kiss and attention to distract him from his play time. For me, it rips my heart out, but for him, it meant less tears. So we continue.

When I open the car door in the morning, and this is the smiling face I see, I know that we made a good decision in our daycare option. We selected a care center instead of a home center, and I think it was the best for all of us. He is adored, and ALL the teachers know his name and dott on him. It’s the perfect balance for us. 

Here are a few other photos from our monthly update. This kid continues to be the center of our world and his growing independence, and personality shines through. He’s more talkative, caring, demanding, and opinionated every day, so I can see where I am shining through a little more. At the beginning he was all Ben. Now, I see streaks of me. I’m still trying to decide if that is a good thing HA!

We love this boy, and hope that we are raising someone truly special. 

It really must be hard being loved so much.