Once again, I have so much catching up to do here! These are busy times, for sure.
The day Sam turned nine months old, March 6th, I was in the middle of a 5-day stretch off work. Woo hoo!!
Sam was feeding himself:
We went to The Children’s Gym with friends. Now I’m thinking about putting Ari back in the circus classes! He enjoyed playing on all the equipment there.
Sam had fun, too!
I don’t think he was pulling himself up, yet – I think I placed him at the edge of this mat – but he was doing squats!
I think Ari’s favorite part was playing house, though. (This playhouse was off to the side, with all the chairs for parents to watch the classes – probably for bored younger siblings of students.)
Back at home, there was a big box to play in! That box was once full of diapers. Gah, we’ve gone through so many diapers!
Ari pretended to be a librarian leading story time:
Sam scooted around getting into things:
In the backyard, the ADU we’re building got some more walls!
I bought some pasta made out of peas since Ari won’t eat any vegetables right now (and because I love to eat pasta but it’s not good for me). He was reading a “Jungle Alphabet” book so we called them “jungle noodles” and he ate some. They were so…different-tasting…though, that I could barely eat them!
So, yes, I took all those pictures in one day but forgot to take Sam’s 9-month picture. Anyway, the next day…
And, finally, the day after that:
We went to a play café I hadn’t been to before, in Northeast, called Roseway Play Café. We weren’t having a good day, though. Getting out of the house took forever and we were almost an hour late meeting our friends there. When we showed up, my friend was red-faced and angry, struggling with her son, who was having a meltdown about something. So I sent Ari off to the play area and went to look at the food, because we were starving. But then, just as the other little boy was calming down and wanting to go play, Ari walked up to me sobbing and eventually blubbered that his finger had been shut in a door. He cried for such a long time that I was about to leave and take him to the doctor when he finally quieted down! But then he and his friend weren’t playing very nicely with the other kids, and Sam wasn’t content to stay in the little baby area, and I was having a hard time eating because the eating area was too far away from the play area. Ugh! Anyway, here’s a picture of Sam there:
Meanwhile, more walls!
The next day, I think I got some more time off of work and made this stew, and I think it was delicious, but now I have no idea what recipe I used. Sigh.
Sam also had his 9-month well-baby check-up that day! His head circumference was 18.3 inches, around the 85th percentile on the WHO chart, his length was 28.3 inches, right about the 50th percentile, and his weight was 18.63 pounds, about the 30th percentile. (At the same age, Ari was about 26 inches long and weighed about 18.5 pounds, and also had a big head.)
The next day, a joist went up across the top (at that point) of the ADU:
Then we had a low-key weekend at home together, and Sam played:
I think he was just starting to pull himself up at this point.
The next day was the 12th, when we moved the clocks forward and suddenly had more light in the evening, and it was feeling more like spring. Sam played on his slide:
We got a giant baby gate and enclosed a portion of the living room to keep him safe. I just can’t baby proof the whole house with a 3-year-old in it!
I think that day was our warmest for the year so far, hitting around 60 degrees. We went out for our first bike ride with both boys on A.’s e-bike:
We went to Laurelhurst Park:
And New Seasons grocery store:
Then we took some pictures in the ADU:
Ari has been working on his balancing and jumping skills for a while, now:
Sam has been testing his physical prowess, as well! I walked in the living room that evening and found him apparently trying to climb onto the couch. Then Ari climbed up and started encouraging him, saying something like, “Come on, Sam! Yeah, Sam! You can do it!”
Another day, more pictures:
Then, on another day when I was home with the kids, Ari worked on his drawing skills:
Sam played on the floor:
And the two of them were ADORABLE together!
Ari was getting more excited about Sam, more interested in playing with him and talking to him. He would try to cuddle with him and would say stuff like, “You cuuuutie Sam! You’re the best baby! You’re the best Sam! Awwww, Sam!” (And now, a month later, he still does that!)
We got Sam a little rain suit that matches Ari’s, and got Ari a bigger one, so we now own yellow rain suits in four sizes.
In mid-March, a big beam was placed across the eastern side of the ADU, and more joists were put in:
I was very proud of myself that day, when I fed the boys calmly in the kitchen while I cooked. Even though Ari only ate mac and cheese, I had some good leftovers and fed Sam asparagus, mango, salmon, purple Okinawan sweet potatoes, chunks of tofu – and some mac and cheese. And he gobbled it all down! I also made this cornmeal-crusted tofu.
Then it was the weekend, and a friend of mine was visiting from California. We kept pretty busy with fun activities, then Ari and I both got sick at the end of the weekend. One night Ari was throwing up, and the next night (I think), he came to our bed and then had diarrhea all night and it kept leaking out of his diapers and we all kept just moving to another part of the bed and falling asleep again (after changing him) because we were EXHAUSTED. Ugh, it was so gross! Then I did SO MUCH LAUNDRY and was very grateful for the waterproof mattress protectors we have on both beds. I was also grateful to be in the middle of a stretch of six days off!
The crew building the ADU put some wood up on top of the joists, so I was able to climb up a ladder and stand up there and take pictures of the view!
Also, A. and the boys had a wild wrestling session on our bed. Ari was so excited to be playing with Sam that way, and Sam was excited, too!
Sam started pulling himself up in the crib, which has made it a lot harder to get him to sleep, but Ari loves it:
Ari and I had some “special time” when Sam napped one day, and we built a thing:
Then Sam woke up and was cute:
Aren’t they just so sweet when they’re sleeping?
And entertaining themselves?
Mid-week after my friend visited, once we were all healthy, and on the last of my stretch of days off, we met up with friends at POA Café in North Portland, which is a beautiful café with healthy food and a cute play area. The most exciting thing about that day was that Ari had started saying he wanted to wear underpants instead of diapers, and he wanted to go diaper-less to the café, too! It felt like a big risk, but I didn’t want to undermine his confidence, so I allowed it, and while we were there I bribed him with a fig bar to “be brave” and use the toilet (at home he’ll only use his little potty because he’s afraid of falling in the hole in the toilet). And he did it!! He sat up there, with me crouched in front of him with my arms around him, and he peed in a real toilet out in the world!! Now THAT is a huge parenting moment. It had been so hard to believe that day would ever come!
I’ll write more about potty training at some point in the future, I think, but I want to say here that we’ve had a lot of false starts and I was half expecting him to want to go back to diapers, but he’s been adamant about wearing underwear ever since that day, even at school and overnight. (Well, there’s been a gradual process – it was a little over a week later that he spent his first full day dry in underwear, and asked to wear underwear under his diaper at night and woke up dry.) There have been a lot of accidents (only one at night!), but it really isn’t as bad as I imagined, and his teachers are really supportive, helpful, and reassuring. (Their words, “It’s all part of the process” keep repeating in my head whenever I’m feeling stressed about it.) We’re not all the way there, yet, but he’s doing great and staying motivated and it’s so exciting for us!
Anyway, Sam was working on standing and reaching for things:
The boards for the second floor of the ADU were nailed down, after more joists were put up, so A. climbed up for the first time and I climbed up again.
Lovely views up there!
The following weekend, my parents visited so that my dad and I could go see a Blazers game with tickets that A. got from work (AMAZING seats just a few rows behind the opposing team’s bench!!). That was a blast!
My mom enjoyed seeing Sam’s enthusiasm for bath time (with me crouched in there holding on to him):
My dad and I were amused by his lack of enthusiasm for story time – although he seemed interested in one of A.’s favorite books!
We put him on the little rocking horse for the first time, and he seemed to enjoy it:
We had breakfast at Pine State Biscuits:
Later that afternoon, I broke out this walker toy and Sam used it for standing, but not for walking, yet. And right after this picture, he jerked backwards and fell over, hitting his head pretty hard, with the toy on top of him, so I realized I needed to be more careful with it!
We took Andrew for a walk and both boys fell asleep, hooray!
Sam didn’t sleep for long, though!
Meanwhile, the ADU was coming along…
At the beginning of April, A.’s brother and his wife visited and we had good meals out and shopping trips we could never manage on our own! The boys soaked up the attention from their uncle and aunt.
Then, Sam and I explored the ADU together…
And, on my next day home with the boys, we had a picnic and play time at Laurelhurst Park with friends.
Then, the biggest beam of all for our ADU arrived:
Ari has been looking so grown-up in his “big boy underpants”:
A. and I wanted to do something special for Ari, so we got tickets to see one of his favorite TV characters, Peppa Pig, live on stage! Since he’d have to be up past bedtime for it, I got him to nap in the afternoon by pushing him in the stroller for a long time while walking Andrew and wearing Sam in the Ergo.
We got a babysitter for Sam so that it could be a really special time for Ari. When we got in the car to drive downtown, he said something like, “It feels like Sam wasn’t born yet!”
During the intermission, Ari waited in a loooong bathroom line with me and used the toilet! Once again, I was so proud and pleased that he made it through the show in underwear. He had a great time, and kept saying, “That’s the biggest TV ever!”
More of Ari’s developments in March:
He was counting everything! Asking how many fingers he was holding up, telling me how many books and how many magazines he had and then how many of each he had after picking up one more magazine… At POA Café I was able to show him in an animal-seeking book how to read the number by each animal to know how many of that animal to find, then he happily sat with the book doing it by himself until it was time to go!
I also noticed that he was walking nicely on the sidewalk and stopping at streets much better than he used to. He’ll actually get upset and wait on the sidewalk if I step out without holding his hand. He’ll wail, “The cars are going to drive on me!”
Sam’s developments at 9 months old:
He got his two bottom front teeth (even though you can’t see them in the pictures!)
He was clapping by mid-March.
He was also sitting up by himself (getting into a sitting position on his own) by mid-March, I think.
On March 20th, I noted that he was pulling up to stand in his crib.
By the end of March, he was saying “mama” and making the sign for milk!
On a more personal note, I got myself totally burned out by the end of the month. I was off every weekend, which meant that I didn’t have my usual days off with the boys in school so I could get things done and rest, then we were visiting with people and doing fun things on the weekends. The house was a wreck and we were eating out constantly! Then we had spring break, which meant the school was doing shorter “camp days” and not serving food, so we had to make extra childcare arrangements and pack lunches for them and clean the house for babysitters to be there. I was feeling so tired in the evenings I just couldn’t do anything, so on the 30th, I got up at 3:45am, nursed Sam back to sleep to got him in his crib, cleaned up the kitchen and table, washed pump parts and bottles, packed lunches for the three of us, packed clothes for the boys, helped Ari potty and dress when he got up early, set him up with TV since A. was still sleeping, then left for work at 6:15. I was feeling pretty good about myself at the time, but I guess I’m old now, because I just felt wrecked for weeks afterward! I’ve been so tired. I totally fell apart one evening when I had a long day on my own with the boys and was struggling to get them both to bed at night. Since then, I’ve been really trying to prioritize sleep. More on that later!