Since Kyle had this weekend off for a change and my leg was recovering pretty well from surgery we decided a last minute day trip to Ventnor NJ to see the beach for the first time would be a great idea. We planned the car ride for naptime and he did pretty well. We played on the porch for a while, had a visit from some friends and ate lunch. Then we hit the beach. Kyle took Daniel down to the ocean (I had to stay on the boardwalk because of my cast) and he took to the water just like a fish! When the waves went out he cried until the water came back. He took a nice nap on a blanket under an umbrella and then took a second dip in the ocean. The sand seemed pretty interesting to Daniel although he didn't eat as much of it as I thought he would. The idea of Daniel missing out on his first summer at the beach because of my leg was pretty upsetting but I also didn't want to miss being there for the first time he hit the surf so I was really glad we were able to squeeze in a Labor Day weekend sojourn to the shore. I can't wait for next summer when he will really be able to play in the sand. Mommom and Poppop were very happy to intoduce their grandson to all their beach buddies who have been asking about him all summer long and Poppop was just looking for an excuse to have to go in the ocean!!
In January Daniel got to meet my friend Barbara's son Joshua when they came for the weekend to visit. This weekend we crossed paths with the Eichenholz family in Ventnor and Daniel and Joshua got to play again. A lot has changed in 7 months!!!
Today Daniel is 9 months old. I can't believe his first year is 3/4 of the way over. We went to the pediatrician on Tuesday, Daniel now weighs 18 lb 4 oz and is 28 inches long. This puts him in the 20th percentile for weight and 50th for height. No shots this month which Daniel was very happy about and the doctor was pleased with his progress. Daniel loves to stand up and will pull up on anything. He is starting to let go of the furniture while he is standing and stays up for a few seconds. He is also cruising quite a bit. We are just waiting for him to take his first real steps. Daniel now has 7 teeth and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of number 8 as he seems to be teething this week.
Daniel is a very vocal little guy. He has mastered Dada but no sign of Mommy yet. He is perfectly happy when he wakes up to sit in his crib and sing to himself. This week Daniel got to play with some other kids here at home and he was starting to get a little possessive of his toys. Hopefully he will learn to share well once he spends more time with other babies.
One of Daniel's new favorite things is to kiss himself in the mirror. He puts his face right up to the mirror and it is so cute! I'm still not sure if he knows it is him or if he thinks it is a different baby. Daniel loves to chase the cats around here. They know enough to stay away though. Usually Daniel makes nice but sometimes he pulls the cats ears or tail and they don't really like that!
Daniel is trying new foods all the time. He loves eating whatever we are eating so I have been giving him little pieces of fruit and sometimes other things. He ate turkey this week and hamburger meat with noodles. He seems to be figuring out how to chew the bigger pieces. His favorite food is still Cheerios though. He can now feed them to himself and if I need to buy a few minutes to get something to eat myself all I need to do is give him some Cheerios in his high chair.
Daniel's Great Grandmother Mildred (otherwise known as GG) came to spend 2 weeks with us. She was a great help to me with Daniel since I can't quite chase after him yet. I also got an extra half hour in the morning to sleep while GG played with Daniel. Daniel had a great time visiting and playing and it was a nice opportunity for Daniel to get to know GG since she lives in Florida and we don't get to see her too often. Daniel's first trip to Florida was supposed to be in February but had to be postponed until this coming winter. The cutest thing was that Daniel imitated everything that GG did. It was a great visit and we hope she will come back to see us again soon.
Daniel has been adding new foods to his repertoire every few days. There are plenty of baby foods to try but sometimes that isn't enough for him. Daniel shows lots of interest in Mommy's food though so sometimes I give him small bites of "real" food. He has had a bunch of different fruits so far and today he actually had some Chinese food. It was a very bland chicken and rice noodle dish and he couldn't get enough of it. He was even able to suck up the noodles. It was so funny to watch. He loved it! We will mostly stick with Beech Nut and Gerber for now but for special treats Daniel can share with Mom and Dad.
So one difficulty of being away from home for so long at this point in Daniel's development is that when we came home with an 8 month old the house was totally not childproofed yet since at 9 weeks when I fell he wasn't mobile yet. So far we just have a gate in the living room at the top of the steps. Upstairs we keep the bedroom door shut and Daniel hadn't shown any interest in going up the steps yet. Until today that is. I went upstairs for a minute and as soon as I reached the top of the steps Daniel crawled over to the steps and started up. He actually did a great job (with Mommom close behind making sure he didn't fall back). He came all the way up to get me. This of course means we need a gate at the bottom of the steps which makes getting up and down much harder for me!!!
So this has been a busy month for everyone. Daniel is doing great. He is pulling up on everything. He is starting to cruise and he practices his balance by leaning down to pick things up while holding onto the furniture. He wants to be standing all the time. When he does crawl it is usually on his hands and feet rather than his knees. He also throws his toys on the floor when he wants to be put down. We are introducing new foods to him and found out that he thinks watermelon is yummy but he is not as fond of pureed chicken. Of course no meal is complete without Cheerios. They are Daniel's favorite and he is finally starting to get them in his mouth on his own. He thinks all meals are supposed to include Cheerios and I think he would eat them all day long if we let him. One of Daniel's favorite new things to do is play with blocks. He loves to knock down the towers that people build for him. At Mommom's house he has been playing with blocks that once belonged to me which is cool. Here at home he has blocks I had bought for him and he seems to be taking to those pretty well too. So things with me have been going pretty well too. I spent the last 2 weeks at rehab for my leg, Daniel spent his first weekend alone with his Daddy and things went great. They had a really good time together. This weekend I came home for the first time in 6 months and the 3 of us are together again under one roof. So far so good but it is hard on all of us since I can't do a lot of things yet. Daniel got to try out playing in his pack-n-play and as long as there are a lot of toys in there he was happy. He got to check out some of his toys that he hadn't seen yet like his rocking horse which he thought was pretty cool. Daniel is also making new sounds and noises. He has started saying dada although I don't think he actually knows what it means yet. He also figured out how to stick his tongue between his lips and make noise which is funny although it gets pretty drooly. He is just such a happy, giggly baby, we are so lucky!