9 months old

Rory James,

It's official! You have been out as long as you were in. I've got to say, I love you a whole lot more out here with us. This personality of yours, oh. my. gosh. The friendliest, smiliest baby I've ever met in my whole life. And you're MINE. How incredible is that? I think my favorite thing in the whole world is bringing you out in public and watching you interact with strangers. You have this half smile pasted on your face as you stare at a person, just waiting and waiting for them to turn and meet your gaze, and when they do you BEAM at them. You make their day! And you get so excited to have met somebody new.

Lately you've loved playing with long skinny objects, like spoons and straws and pencils. You'll decide on your preferred object and you'll bring it along with you all over the place. One day it will be a red marker, and another day it will be a wooden spoon. You like to hold it up hiiiiiggghhh and wave it around like a baton. Or you'll spend time hitting it against anything within reach.

You're getting a LITTLE better at not putting everything in your mouth, though we still watch you precariously. Once I found you with an entire grocery receipt wadded up into a soggy mess in your mouth. Another time, after you had been pricked on your toe at the doctor, I saw you playing with your bandaid and then I couldn't find it. Over an hour later we were at the grocery store and I saw you chewing on something and, lo and behold, the bandaid. Gross.

We are getting braver at letting you try real foods. This month you tried your first bit of ice cream: Huckleberry! You definitely enjoyed it. You still eat purées every day, but you definitely prefer eating grown up food. I've started feeding you parts of our dinner every night.

As always, you shock us with your giganticness. You're almost grown out of all of your 9 month clothes. The tshirts we bought you at Zara are always showing your cute little outie-belly-button. You've officially grown out of all of your zip up onesie pajamas. We bought you new ones that were size 12 month and even those are so small that we bought you a few 18 month ones as well which fit you perfectly. Your shoes are all too small and so we need to get you a couple pairs of size 4. You're still in size 4 diapers.

You've become a crawling master. You can climb up stairs, you can use the wall to stand yourself up, you've even started hanging on to the edge of the couch and walking around. You are always exploring and you never quit wiggling and moving and trying to get somewhere new.

We're still trying to do simple sign language, though who knows if you've caught on yet. I've noticed that you understand when I say "all done", or "milk", even if you don't do any of the signs yet.

Your favorite thing is to pick things up off of a table and drop them on the ground. I purposely set your toys on the coffee table so you can pull yourself up and spend some time pulling everything off.

We visited your Grandma and Grandpa Vidmar in Liberty Lake for over a week. Boy, do you love your grandparents. We've gotten really good at predicting how you'll be in the car. As long as we take breaks every few hours, you do a stellar job.

You have learned some seriously great tricks, though you rarely do things on command. For a few weeks you waved and waved and waved at EVERYONE! You stare at your hand as you rub your fingers together and reach out as far as you can and you wait for the person to respond to your wave. You waved so enthusiastically at Grandma Vidmar that we think you started associating "waving" with "Grandma". You also clap and give kisses, but only when you feel like it.

We did some seriously great things this month. We took you CAMPING overnight, like with a tent and everything. You did so well. The hardest part was not having anywhere to set you down and let you crawl around except for inside the tent. You thought the fire was magical. We also took you to the zoo in Idaho Falls! I expected you to be pretty bored, but you were actually really excited about everything! You especially loved the ducks, the donkeys, the monkeys, and the goats. We even got you to fall asleep in your stroller for the first time. We also visited 4 different lakes in the time we were up in Spokane. You went swimming in all of them! The icy cold water didn't faze you at all, and you loved splashing your feet in the waves with your daddy. You are FEARLESS. If we let you, you'd crawl straight into the water without hesitation. We really have to keep our eyes on you!

You have 3 teeth! 3 little tiny teeth on the bottom row. So far, no others are making their way through.

You still wake up once or twice every night to nurse. It's so normal to me now, I hardly notice it anymore. You are getting to be really easy to put to sleep. When you get tired you get louder and louder and more irritable. Once we start bouncing you to sleep you go down pretty quickly. It barely takes 10 minutes. What a change that has been! You take 2 naps a day that vary anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. It's not very predictable.

As long as we give you something to play with, changing your diaper has gotten so much easier. Sometimes it's still a two-man job, but we've gotten pretty good at changing you on the back seat of the car. We talk about your poop a lot. I didn't realize it until recently, but it's regular dinner conversation in our house. Rory's poop is too hard lately. Let's make sure he get's more water. Who knew that baby could be so interesting. On our way up to Spokane to visit Grandma and Grandpa, you had a gigantic diaper explosion. And I mean GIGANTIC. It was everywhere: all over your carseat, all over you, all over daddy. We pulled off an exit as soon as we could and there just happened to be a little fishing lake there. I stripped off your soiled clothes and bathed you naked in that lake while your dad wiped himself and the carseat down. We just laughed and laughed, because what else can you do in such a crazy situation. I still smile when I think about it because it was so funny.

You had your first haircut! And it was about time. That little blonde toupee that would whip around in the wind is now gone. You look like a 3 year old with your sandy blonde chopped hair. It's so strange to me how big you suddenly are. Like, boy, you are BIG. One hefty little laddy. Everybody thinks you are over a year old and when they come up for a high five they don't understand why you don't give them one. I have to explain to a lot of people that you are only 9 months old.

There is so much going on in our lives lately because it's summer and we are travelers! Luckily, you are so happy and easy going. You adjust easily to whatever new surroundings you encounter and I am having so much fun learning what new things we are able to do with you. Buddy, I love you so much. I am so proud to be your mama.

See other "letter to Rory" here



A portrait of Rory, once a week, every week in 2014.

We've been spending time with Andy's family in Spokane and in the 10 days we've been here we've swam in 4 different lakes. Rory is fearless and the cold lake water doesn't faze him at all. He loves it when we let zoom around and let his feet trail behind him, skimming the top of the water. We're raising a cute little fishy.


A portrait of Rory, once a week, every week in 2014.

Finals are over, and we celebrated our first day of summer by going to the zoo. Summer freedom is pretty great so far.


A portrait of Rory, once a week, every week in 2014.

Watching the crazy Rexburg rainstorm from the safety of our second story apartment.


image A portrait of Rory, once a week, every week in 2014. 

I look at this baby-toddler-child and am in awe that he was still growing in my belly 9 months ago. His happiness has become the single greatest focus of my life and I feel so strangely satisfied at the end of every day, even if the whole day was spent in our pj's eating applesauce and pulling books off shelves. I love this mom life.



image A portrait of Rory once a week, every week in 2014. 

Trying to get this kid to hold still for his monthly photo is pretty impossible. Note the messy floor and sweatpants. This week has been crazy exhausting and we are ready for some sweet relief.