Last monday, you turned 9 months old. It was quite the day to turn 9 months. We bought a new van that day and brought it home and then later that night, your mommy ended up in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. If ever there was a doubt in my mind that you've grown up, you put it out of mind that night and the days that followed. We took you to our friends house to spend the night, while mommy and daddy spent the night in the ER. You handled it like a champ. You stuck to your schedule, you played hard, and part of me felt a little sad that you didn't seem to miss mommy that much. But then you came to visit mommy in the hospital, and even though I looked 10 different shades of bad, you reached your little arms out for me. My heart broke into a million little pieces because there was nothing more that I wanted to do at that moment than to hold you, snuggle your face into my neck, and smell the sweet scent of your neck. But I was hurting, and had all sorts of things attached to me that would have been dangerous for you to play with. So off you went with Gram and Daddy, while Grandaddy stayed for a while longer. I thought of you a lot that night, as I lay there alone in my bed. I wondered if you were sleeping well, if you were okay. I wondered if everyone was doing everything right, and I missed you. I slept awful that night, despite the heavy pain medication I was on. The next morning, I woke at 5 am, and began walking laps around the corridors, just to prove to the nurses and doctors that I was okay, and to please send me home. That afternoon, I came home and scooped you in my arms. You smiled so big when you saw me, and I've never been happier to be home.
This past month has been an incredible month. You've changed so, so, so fast that I can't keep up with everything. You're cruising now... up and down the couch, from table to table, and occasionally, letting go, standing there on your own. You're incredibly fast. So fast that I can't turn my back on you one minute, not that you'd let me anyways, as I can no longer leave the room without you crying and missing me. Another milestone you've reached this month is you now have 5 teeth. I strongly suspect you have a sixth one lurking just under the skin, but so far, only 5 pearly whites are showing. What this has done to change your smile is a million fold. When you smile, it's as though the world slows down, and time pauses for a breath to take in the beauty of that smile. You smile often, so time seems to be slowing down again, and the months aren't passing so quickly (for which I'm very grateful). Another thing that's changed is that you've learned to make funny faces, and often wrinkle up your nose and smile at me, waiting for me to laugh. When I laugh, you giggle wildly, and do it again.
You're also exploring the range of your voice, both in vocabulary and in volume. At the beginning of the month you screamed and screamed and screamed (good screams, not bad). Lately, though, you've cut back on the screaming, and pick a new sound each day to mimic. Today's sound was "Duh", which you repeat over and over again as you play. If I say "duh" to you, you smile and say, "duh! duh! duh!" back. Yesterday it was "Guh" and the day before "Muh". Most of the times, if I ask you to say "mama", you say it. I don't know if you quite understand what it means yet, but it still makes my heart warm to hear you say that. Sometimes in the car, you'll say "mum" loudly, and I'll turn around to look in your mirror. You flash a smile at me, as if you were only trying to get my attention.
You're quite the social butterfly. The only sign of stranger anxiety I've seen so far is if you're left alone completly. It doesn't really matter who is with you, as long as it's someone. You love to wave hello to people, and just this morning, when a friend of mommy's dropped something off, you smiled, and waved hello to her. You're also quite the flirt. You'll smile at someone, wave hello, then act shy and dig your face into my shoulder, while still looking coyly at the person you're saying hello to. When it comes to other babies, you are totally infatutated. I'm positive you'll make a wonderful big brother (which, hmm... mommy and daddy need to get working on that) as you love other children. You love playing with other kids your age, so we've made a routine of getting out at least once a week for playgroup or something. Your favorite person right now is Uncle Justin. It's kinda sad though because he lives so far away. But when he was here last week, you absolutely worshiped the ground he walked on. If you were upset, and mommy and daddy couldn't calm you down, we called Uncle Justin in and you calmed down immediately. In fact, when he left yesterday, you cried so hard. I feel bad that you can't see him more often, but please know that mommy and daddy promise that one day, we'll be close enough for you to play with Uncle Justin more.
This next month promises to be wonderful, and has already been quite fun. I can't wait to see where it will take us... I love you so much, lil' munchkin.