Happy 9 Month Birthday Karis!

You know how I usually start this post saying, "How has it been a month?" Well not this month! My question this time is, "How has it ONLY been a month?!" This month has been so full and so busy that I can't believe it has ONLY been a month. Read on to see why this Mama is wiped out (but having such a blast)!

For the "let's get to the facts" people,
here are her highlights and monthly pictures:

Development: Has she ever changed physically this month! I feel like every day she started a new trick. At the beginning of the month she had just learned to push herself up to sitting from being flat. Within days of that when in crawling position she started lunging forward about 2 leg movements then go to sitting or go flat and then repeat (girl's got some perseverance in her). Then every so often she would push herself up to bear crawl (or yoga downward dog position). She had been able to get all over the room if she wanted, but once she got the positions down she figured out some really creative ways to spin quickly across the room (for a non-mobile baby, she was seriously mobile). Then all of a sudden, like she'd been doing it forever, she just started crawling. Then within days she started pulling herself up to standing! Then within days she started taking steps holding on to things. By the end of the month she sped up her crawl by doing standard crawl with her right leg and bear crawl with her left leg. Very determined little one.

Verbally, I have no clue if she is behind or on track (very curious to see what the pediatrician says this month). She is saying lots of consonant and vowel combinations, but no real words yet. The only word that I think she might say and mean is "yay" but I still am not ready to claim it for sure. She does show word recognition when we say: Mama (looks for/at me), Dada (looks for/at Chris), hi (starts waving), yay (starts clapping)... that's all I've noticed.  She has never been a super vocal baby compared to others babies her same age, so we will see. 

I don't know if this is development or just plain crazy, she has 6 teeth. Just a week after the top two broke out last month, the other top two on top followed. And she definitely has the Kiser gap between her two front top teeth. Good thing Tyra Banks says it's fierce and it's what all the models have now. 

*Next month I'll have weight and height stats, I'm that mom that is behind a month on appointments, so 9 month appt is really at 10 months. Never once pretended to be mom of the year. :) But I do really feel certain that, even though she is super active, she has chunked up! Finally got some rolls to hold on to and I couldn't be happier about it.

Favorite Things: Hands down the top thing was being a flower girl in Aunt Erin and Uncle Mik's wedding (see May 7 for details). Close second, swimming-- oh how she loves water (the beach, our mini backyard pool, bath time, splash pads and real pools)! Brushing her teeth (seriously her favorite toy). Ms. Stacy and her other nursery teachers-- she is going to miss them so (graduated to crawling room)! Dancing. Sucking her thumb at bed time. Going to her first Cardinal's baseball game. LOTS of family time this month!! Jazz splits (that is how she usually sits on the floor). Cruise ships-- I think because it's a perfect combo of her favorite things: lots of people constantly smiling at her, lots of noise (constant white noise), lots of water, lots of being outside and constant swaying. Sharing her bottle with us during feedings. "If you are happy and you know it." Clapping. The mini-play kitchen from her Grammy.

Dislikes: Hats (so much for protecting your face from the sun). Highchairs at restaurants. Too many days in a row off schedule. Daddy being gone for work or not able to hold her because he was too sick-- some seriously Daddy withdraw this month. Balloons. Grabbing poo-poo diapers while I'm changing her (OK this one might just be my dislike). Getting woken up from a nap. Going to childcare at the YMCA. Getting buckled up in the car seat.

And, here's some pictures I took:

"OK, Mom I'm done now..."

For the "I want lots and lots of details" people,
here are more details than you could possibly want to know: 

April 18: You have been pushing yourself up to sitting from being flat for the past week, but you have started doing it in your crib now too. Which is making your naps a bit shortened. You aren’t fussy, just awake. You like to look around your room and wave at your butterfly mobile.
April 19: Uncle Mik and Aunt Erin came over to play with you tonight. We got you some fake rose petals to practice throwing for when you are their flower baby. You loved pulling them out of the basket and eating them. I think you are ready to be the world’s cutest flower baby.
April 20: You lunged forward today. You’ve been on all fours for the past week now but go straight to sitting every time you get up to all fours. But today you went forward once with each leg and then went flat to your tummy. Our days of a non-mobile baby are numbered.
April 21: What a fun day we had-- you practiced crawling all day (got up into standard crawling position and would go forward with each leg once then fall on your tummy... then repeated this at least a hundred times). In the afternoon (once we got some shade) we went swimming in the backyard. You loved it and stayed in the pool for at least 45 minutes. Then we came in for a bath and you brushed your teeth for the first time (and texted your dentist, Dr. Ramsey, a pic to celebrate). Then we went to Broken for You at church and you got to play in the nursery. Then afterwards you got to meet my old youth minister, John Durham. He grabbed you straight out of my arms and you loved him so much. Really you loved everyone. We were there till 9:45p and you were having a blast!
April 22: Every morning after your bottle I prop you up to standing and let you hold on to the back of the couch and look out the front window. You love watching the squirrels play and birds fly around. You love feeling the sunshine on your face. Basically you just love anything related to outside. Another fun thing you do now is hold your bottle with one hand. It is so funny, like you are trying to show off.
April 23: When you woke up this morning we grabbed you and pulled us into bed for a special treat: Saturday morning cuddles! Then we loaded up and headed to the beach at Galveston for the first time. It was super windy when we got there and you and Daddy had trouble holding the blanket down. You loved the sand-- kept grabbing a fistful, look at it really intently and then drop it (repeated this over and over again). The first time the waves came up you cried, but after that you loved it. You absolutely hate wearing a sun hat, so we just lathered you up with lots of sunscreen instead. You loved licking your face and tasting the salt.
April 24: Easter: This is the holiday that we reserve for just the 3 of us. We went to church and we let you come in for worship then took you to the nursery. Then Mommy & Daddy got to come help in your room for the next two services. So fun to watch you interact with other kids. You just love being there around all those people and didn’t fuss a single time. After that Daddy suggested we go to Ihop since that is as Easter bunny as we will get this year. :)
April 25: You like to dance now. When you hear music or see someone else dancing, you will bop up and down. You especially love it when Mommy dances silly and you dance with her.
April 26: Right now the thing that makes you giggle most is when I puff air in your face. For some strange reason it cracks you up for a long stretches of time. You have the cutest laugh, it is super bubbly and so full of joy. Another favorite thing is when you go down. As soon as we zip you into your sleep sack you put your right thumb in your mouth and grab the top of the sleep sack with your left hand and pull it into your mouth. So sweet.
April 27: You went to your very first Cardinals game tonight. Daddy couldn’t have been happier to introduce you to his beloved team. We had you decked out in a Cardinals onesie, denim skirt, red bow and your Fred Bird to hold on to. You, of course, we as happy as can be with all those people around and the roof open. We stayed till the game ended (one of Daddy’s rules) at 10:30p. You took a little cat nap during the 8th inning. And guess what? We won! You bring this team good luck!
April 28: We went to the Zoo today with one of your suitors, Jake Rabe. Y’all both were as content as can as Ms Cindy and I pushed y’all all around. After that we hit the pool with Ms Sarah and Elizabeth. To say that you like being outside would be a major understatement. I love that we share that love.
April 29: We watched The Royal Wedding of Kate and Prince William today. You liked clapping every so often when the crowds would cheer. But mostly you just liked playing with y’all your toys and throwing them around. You are still crawling about 2 leg moves, but still not crawling officially in my mind (continuous crawling). You have started pushing yourself up to the bear crawl position some now too.
April 30: We drove to Bastrop, Texas today for the Smith family reunion. Everyone was so happy to see you again. You had lots of play time with Emery and snuggles with Uncle Nils, Aunt Katie, Great Papaw, Great Mamaw, Gigi and GPaw. Once we got home we hung out just the 3 of us-- our most favorite thing to do. You showed off lots of your new tricks for Dad-- like getting into the bear crawl position (or yoga downward dog).

May 1: Daddy left this morning for a work trip, so it is just us girls! He gave you lots of lovin’ this morning before he left and already misses you like crazy. You loved going to church today, as usual. And this afternoon you got to play with some of your favorite big kids-- the Kohlers (we practiced for the wedding) and Skaggs (Seth’s 3rd birthday). You are so blessed to have so many friends that are like family love you-- so many “big brothers and sisters” you have baby girl!
May 2:You are getting more physical every day-- you’ve gotten in to bear crawl/downward dog (on hand and feet only) a few times, you love to push or pull yourself up to your knees and then you put one foot flat (like you are proposing). You aren’t crawling more than 2 leg movements yet, but you will twist form sitting to crawling position and spin like that across the room. You may not technically be mobile, but you are really mobile!
May 3: The pat two days have been pretty fussy for you and I have NO clue why. As you will one day see, parenthood is often a guessing game. You seem to be showing every sign of teething again: chewing like mad on things, chin rash (you have gotten this outbreak on your chin from all the drool each time you break a new tooth), random high pitched squeals, general fussiness unless intentionally distracted (which once distracted you go back to being happy). But maybe you just miss your Daddy.
May 4: You have started showing some signs of fear. When it happens you cling on to me for dear life and hold your upper body real close (usually you don’t cuddle in when I hold you, you like to be independent and moving around). The two things that scared you were: a balloon at Seth’s birthday party and me throwing you up really high in the air (which we do all the time and you usually love it). I so hope that you I can teach you a healthy way to deal with fear. I want you to live life with faith not fear. 
May 5: While you have been crawling about 2 leg movements for a week or so now, today you crawled for real. You, baby girl, are an official crawler! We had just gotten on the cruise ship and we went to the lunch area and there was a giant table that I set you on. And you crawled right to the other end. You didn’t even bat an eye, it’s like you had been doing it for weeks. Daddy and I can’t stop staring at you in total unbelief that you have grown so much. We are so proud of you baby.
May 6: Your two most favorite positions to hang out in are the jazz splits (one leg straight out and the other bent back) and the proposal position (on bended knee). This is how you hang out usually when playing on the floor.

May 7: Today you were the flower baby in Aunt Erin and Uncle Mik’s wedding. You were totally decked out in a giant white tutu, a white onesie with “flower baby” written in rhinestones on the bottom, a giant baby necklace and a headband to match. Luke and Landon Kohler pulled you down the aisle in a bumbo attached to a boogie board. It was beautiful on the beach in Cozumel, Mexico.
May 8: Mother’s Day: I was given a very special gift on Mother’s day-- Aunt Erin and Uncle Mik (your adopted aunt and uncle) agreed to be your guardians if something were to happen to us and if Aunt Katie and Uncle Nils were unable to care for you for some reason. This says a lot about how much they love you! So you officially have God Parents!
May 9: You have really enjoyed your first cruise! Some of your favorite things are: making friends with every staff member, playing in the splash pad area for kids, practicing crawling, playing with the Kohler boys, dancing at dinner, karaoke, Steve “Baby Whisperer” Knox, getting to play in bed with Mom and Dad in the mornings, the constant swaying of the ship and ocean noise ... and you even liked sitting in your high chair 90% of the time (total victory since you typically hate that)!
May 10: During your feeding this morning you did the sweetest thing with me: You kept trying to share your bottle with me. You had done that to your Dad a couple of times on the cruise when he was feeding you, but today you did it with me for the first time. I hope you always have the attitude of sharing what you have with others. Compassion is such a sweet gift to give others.
May 11: You are already pulling yourself up to standing and have even started taking some steps while holding on to things! You have been pulling up to your knees for just over a week, but over the cruise you started pulling all the way up to standing. The baby proofing has begun-- things are moved up or out and outlets are covered. Now we will see how adventurous you are and see how much more we need to do. :) (Update: by the end of the day you started climbing over things-- like when I lay on the floor you like to climb over my legs.)
May 12: You started nodding your head yes today. You don’t have a clue as to what you are saying, but you are now obsessed with nodding. Grammy has been flying all day (lots of layovers) to get to you today and when I was changing you I was telling you, “You get to see Grammy tomorrow!” You started nodding and then started clapping. It was adorable.
May 13: You are jabbering more and more-- saying things like “doi doi doi” and other consonant and vowel combos. None that seem to mean anything. You do make a “yay” sound often when clapping and when I say “yay” but not sure if I feel confident to call that your first word yet. You seem to know what/who Dada and Mama and Karis are, but I haven’t really noticed any other word recognition (definitely something I should work on). But hands down your favorite noise to make is your growl. I don’t know why you love it so, but you adore growling.
May 14: You have the most hilarious poop face. You are never discreet about when you are using the bathroom. You always stop what you are doing and push with all your might (even if it isn’t constipation). If I am by you, you will look at me as you focus. You push your eyebrows up (but just the edge by your nose) and your face gets beet red. Often times you will put your arms up like you are flexing and then hunker down to get some extra force behind it. You have done this your entire life and it is hilarious. It’s like you just want to get it over with as fast as possible. Most of the time it makes me laugh. But yesterday you got poop all over , and I do mean all over, both of us. While I was changing your diaper some how you manage to work your hand down there and grabbed a handful of it and smeared it all over your face. So so very disgusting. Needless to say you went straight to the bath tub and I followed you.
May 15: Grammy has been here the past few days and this is some  of her favorite things from this trip and about you: “My very favorite part is rocking Karis to sleep, I’ll sing to her and she sings back to me. I love how she smiles instantly when she sees you, she loves to smile. She can pull up on her toy box and pick out any toy she wants. She doesn’t like things on her head, so I love putting donut rings and watching her throw it off. When she eats she opens her mouth so big. The secret to finishing the bottle with Grammy is to take some breaks to look around.”Another funny thing you did today is Daddy has been sick on the couch all day, well when he fell asleep and started snoring you realized he was there and started crawling over to the couch and then pulled yourself up to him.
May 16: Your Daddy has been really sick and to keep you safe hasn’t been able to hold you. You have been so sweet you keep crawling right up to him and pulling yourself up to where ever he is but he can’t touch you. Every time he walks in the room you squeal, start bouncing and then zoom over to him. Well tonight his antibiotics had been in for 24 hours so we figured it was safe and you didn’t want him to put you down all night, and he didn’t want to put you down all night. Y’all were both finally oh so happy.
May 17: NINE MONTHS! You have figured out ways to make your crawl even faster-- you do a bear crawl (flat foot & leg straight) with one leg and a standard crawl with the other.  You are so happy now that you can crawl. Also, you are taking probably 5 or so steps holding on to things now. You LOVE standing up so sometimes you will just stand up for a while holding on. But if I grab your hands you will walk forward and you love holding on to our legs (when we lay on the floor) or the couch, or your chair or the table and side stepping that way. Basically you really enjoying being all the way up and seem to be pretty fearless at trying new things.

To see how she has grown, check out past months here: Birthday (and here and here) & Birth Story, 1 Month, 2 Months, 3 Months, 4 Months5 Months, 6 Months, 7 months and 8 months.