Only two more of these to go before Isla is 1! I can’t believe it!
This has been a big, busy month. This month Isla had her first Christmas, began to sign, and started to walk!
Christmas was wonderful. We spent the holiday with Kellen’s family out on the Coast, and as you might have guessed from the pictures, everyone had a great time, especially Isla. I think she particularly enjoyed having the extra people around to play with her and laugh at her silliness. She had an incredible Christmas haul. I’m pretty sure the back bumper dragged on the pavement all the way home!
We attended a wedding a couple of days before New Years. We had to leave before the bride even made her entrance and didn’t come back until the happy couple had already exited, and even with as little time as she spent in her seat, we still got an ugly comment for her behavior. Sorry! 9 month olds just don’t have very good manners yet! Isla did enjoy the reception, though. We sat at a table with two little boys who kept her quite entertained. On New Years itself, Kellen and I had our mommy friend/neighbor come over and sit up with us. We listened to our baby monitors and drank water. Isla was in bed by 7. Wild stuff!
Somewhere in the middle of the holiday hubbub, Isla stepped up her game from 3 or 4 steps here and there to 6, 8, 10 steps, until she was making it from one end of the room to another without too much trouble.* She will always try to walk if she is in a standing position, but if she falls or if there is nothing to pull up on, she still has to crawl. I’d say we’re about 60:40 crawl to walk at this point, but the ratio drops every day.
Another thing that started in the middle of the holidays, Isla began to point at things she was interested in or wanted and started to repeat signs after us. Now, she will do “more,” “bye bye,” “dog” (sort of–it’s a hard one), and “all done.” She will say “dog” and “done done” when she signs, and if you acknowledge her “done done” and don’t respond immediately, she starts wailing. It’s nice to know more of what she wants, though. I hope she learns “milk” and “eat” soon, since that will definitely make things easier.
Isla graduated to the big girl tub this month. No more baby tub. No more “training wheels” inflatable mini tub. She gets the whole tub to herself now. She had one slip and got a pretty good cut on her forehead, but apart from that, she’s a bathtime pro. If only I could get her to stop throwing her toys out of the tub!
Isla also learned to drink from her sippy and with a straw. She prefers a straw, and she’ll actually go pick up the cup herself and drink from it. That’s a nice development. I’ve been thinking a lot about transitioning from the bottle in the next few months, and it makes me so sad, but I’m glad she’s starting to pick up some new habits and that she also seems to like drinking water.
One of my favorite developments this month is that Isla will snuggle us! She will come over and bury her face in our chests, and we get real, honest to goodness, completely voluntary, completely AWAKE snuggles. Unbelievable! I haven’t gotten in a good snuggle with Isla since she was 4 months old, so I’m stoked that she’s finally decided that she wants to be hugged again. It’s the BEST part of this month, I think.
This month Isla also started sleeping through the night. I posted about a week ago that she wasn’t, and Kellen and I implemented a modified CIO with her. We’ll go to her if she’s very upset or if it goes on for more than 10 minutes and do our usual middle of the night waking routine. For her normal stand-up-and-cry routine, though, we don’t go to her. It actually worked out very well. The first night she still woke up a couple of times, but within 3 days, she was more or less sleeping all night and not getting up at all. We’ve had a little bit of slippage, since she’s been teething and sick the last couple of days, but waking once a night is not a bad thing.
I’m so glad we changed how we were dealing with those night wakings, though. I feel like she’s sleeping more soundly, and for the first time in 10 months, Kellen and I are both getting a full night’s sleep. We put her in bed at 7, and we don’t see her again until 7 except on the baby monitor. It is incredible how different everything seems once you’ve had a little bit of sleep.
The final bit of news is that we’ve got 2 more teeth coming in. As of this morning, I saw the top front left tooth peeping through and you can see the other one just beneath the surface of her gums. As far as teething goes, this round hasn’t been as bad as the first, but dump a cold on top of it, and it’s still unpleasant.
So much has happened in the last month, and I know I’ve missed a couple of other developments. I feel like Isla has started to make that transition from baby to toddler, and in some ways, it’s almost overwhelming, because it happens so quickly and there is so much to adapt to. At the same time, she’s so much fun right now. She is bright, curious, happy, and affectionate. She’s also a little bit sassy and strong willed, but if she weren’t, I’d have to wonder if she was related to me at all.
It’s been a great month. I hope the next one maybe goes a little more slowly!
* I just have to throw in: I’m so glad our babysitter keeps it to herself when Isla starts hitting new milestones. She never tells us, “Isla started walking today!” She always waits for us to see it ourselves before confirming that she has been doing it at her house. It kind of keeps from spoiling the surprise and helps us feel less like we’re missing out.