The Other Side: Notes on the Ninth Month

A girl with a curl.

A girl with a curl(ish).

Even though we all know that 40 weeks actually equals ten months rather than nine (or at least those of us who have actually been pregnant know this, as that last month is probably the most miserable making us acutely aware of the passage of time), I can’t help but think that Miss C has now been out for roughly the same amount of time that she was in. She’s been in the world for 2012 and 2013, which makes her quite a woman of the world. It’s funny to me how much I groaned and moaned and felt sorry for myself during the more vomit-y moments of my pregnancy. Now that she’s here, I wish I could indulge myself and take a moment to nap or watch TV all day when I’m not feeling my best, but a crawling exploring baby doesn’t really afford me those moments.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A cabbage leaf makes a good hat.

A cabbage leaf makes a good hat. (As does a tissue box. Bonus points for the reference.)

These last nine months have been rich and scary and wonderful. This small girl has transformed from a wiggling ball of sugar to a person who likes things, who knows me, and who dances and yells when she needs me. She has preferences and is hinting at the possibility of eventually forming opinions. I am so proud. Nothing she does goes unnoticed. I swell with happiness every time she discovers something new.

Little assistance necessary.

Little assistance necessary.

And she’s been discovering a lot. Crawling is passe. Now that she’s mastered it, she’s pulling up all by herself on sofas and coffee tables. She even shows a little bit of indignation when we put her in her scooter chair because she can go faster without its assistance and she knows it. She can feed herself her bottle now. When she reaches her milestones, I often get melancholy, but I like it that she can feed herself at least partially now because it gives me a couple extra moments to meander over my own coffee. Independence is good for everyone.

And words. There are words. Even though she’s unable to say them herself, she knows and responds to “breakfast”, “lunch”, “dinner”, “snack”, “bottle”, “bath”, “change”, “daddy”, “mommy”, “nap time”, “hello”, “goodbye”, and “car ride”. (She also responds to “Gangnam Style” but that doesn’t exactly make me look like the best parent.) B and I will likely start signing with her too, so if you have any experience with baby signs, please let me know in the comments because we need to start somewhere.


She found all the shells at Bubby’s house.

She literally started waving at us and other people overnight. When we were on the road for Christmas, we always stopped at Panera Bread for lunch because duh, it’s Panera and it’s the best EVER. Every time we went in, she waved at everyone and smiled and often squealed. I have no idea how she acquired the waving skill because it’s not something B or I really showed her how to do, so I guess it’s instinctual. Is it lame that I think she’s a genius whenever she waves at us and others? I think she’s a genius most of the time not because I’m overly doting but because I just can’t believe I CREATED this girl. It is amazing to me that at one point she didn’t exist and now she does. And not only does she exist, but she exists well and she is achieving things. Gah.

Strangers and extra activities are kind of a scary thing with her right now. We worked really hard to get her in a routine that she could depend on and to give her safety and security in her interactions, so it was only a matter of time until a deviation from those routines would scare her a little or at least put her in a tizzy. When we left her for an overnight visit with my mom while we were in Memphis, she had a hard time adjusting for the first couple hours (as did we). But eventually she realized that she was safe and loved so she relaxed. She is surrounded by people who love her and she knows it.

Taken approximately 11 1/2 hours into Christmas. It was a long day but she (and Grammy) were good sports.

Taken approximately 11 1/2 hours into Christmas. It was a long day but she (and Grammy) were good sports.

I wrote about her dancing a few posts back, but dancing and swaying are a big enough thing for her that it’s worth repeating. She loves music and tempo and sways to the beat even when I’m doing something rhythmic like using the electric mixer or hammering a nail. I am planning on doing a post soon about some of the music she likes, which I think will offer an interesting postscript to the posts I wrote during my pregnancy about the music I imagined playing for her. I’m also contemplating putting up a video of her on the blog. I’ve been hesitant to do so in the past because I’m trying to define boundaries about what I will and won’t share here. Any thoughts (especially from the mommy bloggers) are, as always, appreciated.

So nine months. Three more and then she’s practically in college. I’m holding on. Happy nine months on this crazy planet, sweet girl.

We are the goodest.

We are the goodest.


  1. What a sweet baby. And so smart! Her milestone achievements have left those of my sons’ in the dust. Boys… ;)

    1. Haha thanks ;) I’ve been known to embellish, but I’m pretty proud of her.

  2. So much to respond to…first, she is of course gorgeous and brilliant. Yes, she will leave boys in the dust, but boys like the dust so that’s ok. With one of each, I can say they are completely different animals and I never would have said that before my son was born.

    Signs! Yes!! Do signs!! My daughter didn’t speak a word when she came home at 13 mo. She had never even heard English before. She knew what things were in her own little head, but had no idea what to call them to get us to give them to her. So, sign language. She learned signs for “eat”, “drink” and “more.” She was still in diapers so we didn’t need the potty sign. She made up her own sign for nap/nigh-night. Yes, my 13 month old child told me when she wanted to go to sleep. So cute. She also had a sign for watching TV, the “jazz hands” Blues Clues thing. It was so funny!

    She finally started talking about six weeks after she came home, but didn’t really say much more than Mom, Dad and Hi for a while, so the signs really helped.

    1. I think signs will be a great way for us to communicate. Are there any books or programs you would recommend for us to get started with?

      1. Well, this is about 10 years ago, but I think there was a book that was floating around. I used signs that my friends were using. I bet you can find something at your library…that’s where 10 year old books go to die, isn’t it? Or you could check the Internet, but then you miss the opportunity to introduce Wee Cee to the library and proper library etiquette

        1. She already loves the library! However, I haven’t taken her since she discovered she can scream a shrill pitch at the top of her lungs. It’s way fun ;)

  3. Oh Emily, she continues to be a beauty, full of light and love. I knew she was smart the first time I saw her picture. You can see it in her eyes. She’s wise and very plugged in. Such joy!!
    Selfishly I want you to post videos of her but I understand your concern for boundaries. I really do. I wish this blogging technology had been around when my kids were little (gosh, I hope it wasn’t or I just sounded like the biggest idiot! haha!) I think Cee will love to have all of this documentation. If there was ever any reason to post more of her, that would be it.
    Happy New Year to Miss Cee!
    The picture of her feeding herself and the one with Grandma… Precious.

    1. Hehe I don’t think blogging really existed in a way that we know it until like 2003. Then again, I’m not exactly on the cutting edge of technology so what do I know? Blind leading the blind over here! I’ll inbox you more videos if I decide against posting them here ;)

  4. I love this window into your world (and C’s).
    I hope C loves gangsta rap as much as I do.

    1. She’s a big fan of Das Racist. Not exactly gangsta, but we’ll work up to that.

  5. Aw sweet baby girl. Wait until she masters the art of manipulation. It makes bedtime way fun.

    1. I cannot wait. She’s already figuring out that she can get B to do she wants as long as she holds her arms out to him.

  6. Emily, thanks for sharing these milestones. Happy nine months to Ms. Cee — she is beautiful and so glad she enjoyed her stay in Memphis. Love your new design of your blog — I’ve been following you long enough to remember that bright yellow and red (also cool). :).

    1. Thanks, Brig! We are seriously contemplating moving back to Memphis because right now our lives would make a lot more sense there. A lot a big decisions need to be made in order for us to make that step, but I have faith that things will pan out. We’ve been praying a lot about it in the past year and it seems like things are falling into place to move back.

      I think I may go back to the yellow and red in the summer. I just kind of wanted the blog to have a wintry look.

  7. Nine months–and all those words! Forget the baby signs. You won’t need them.

    As far as boundaries… well, I’m trying to figure that out myself. The creepy thing is that cute, innocent, completely-clad pictures of my daughter and posts with innocuous titles like “Meet my Sweet Girl” turn on the pornbots. Not the kind of URLs you want to see referring to your blog.

    So, I guess, do what feels safe and won’t embarrass her (too much) later? The creeps will be creepy no matter what. Stupid creeps.

    1. Thanks, Kylie! I should clarify that she’s not actually saying those words, but she definitely knows them. ;D

      You raise some excellent points about sharing our life here on the ol’ Intertron. Those are my exact fears, that the creeps will find us. I don’t really fear for our physical safety but I want her childhood to be pure and untainted with the lurking of bots.

      1. It IS creepy.

        RE: Baby signs. I used a few with my daughter, but she started talking so early (around 11 months) that we didn’t end up needing them. For my son, they’ve been really helpful. All Done, More, Thank You, and Please have been the most useful (and charming). There are books and videos, and many communities have classes (which are nice because you can get out of the house and meet other parents).

        You’ll think that you’ll remember everything, but you won’t. Write the cute stuff down!!

        1. Thanks! I will for sure check and see if there are some classes in my town. Any excuse to get out is one that I will jump on!

  8. You remind me so much of my friend who just had my godchild. You are a great mom. I’d even overlook the Gangnam Style thing.

    1. I appreciate your overlooking. A bit of advice when and if you ever decide to have kids: don’t expose them to things you’re not willing to listen to 74,056,265 times.

  9. Aw Emily, you’re such a good madre. It’ll be a great thing for Miss C to look back at your words of adoration towards her. It’s good that you’re hanging onto every little moment because I hear they fly by…!
    As for signs, I saw that one of my friends on facebook taught their baby the sign for “more” so if they wanted more food they could have some. Idk just a cool idea I guess!
    Anyway, congrats to C for making it this far in the world! She’s already survived her first Apocalypse!

    1. And I hope she survives many, many more. I think if you can survive your first year (not to mention your first apocalypse) then you’re pretty much golden for life. She’s out of the woods.

  10. I used signs more with the Padawan because I was providing in home care to a friend who was deaf and disabled, so we signed constantly. “Finished,” “more,” “eat,” are the ones I recommend most!

    1. Are there any resources or books you would recommend for us to get started? I’m kind of overwhelmed with where to even start.

      1. Signing Time was a fun one. It’s a series. Our library has them, even.

  11. Well, I WANT her back! Love C. so much.

    1. She loves you too. ;D

  12. Treasure every moment. They grow up so fast. It seems like you blink and another phase of your child’s life has passed.

    Oh, and bad form on the Gangnam Style thing. Bad form, indeed.

    1. I know, right? The thing I learned from her fixation on Gangnam Style is to never introduce them to anything that you aren’t OK with listening to 76 million more times.

      1. Unfortunately, you’ll run into people who will introduce them to things you’re not okay with them listening to 76 million more times.

      2. Keep her far, far away from the Wiggles. My daughter never knew they existed and she (and I) is better for it.

  13. you right about this stuff so well, so relatable, so fun, so endearing. she’s a very lucky little girl. happy new year. xo, sm

    1. Happy New Year, Moms! I’ve been a bit MIA in the blogosphere lately but I’ll be stopping by your place soon.

  14. aaahahahahahaha if i had a child it’d always have cabbage on it’s head!

    1. The leaves really match up with the shapes of their heads so well. I wish I had hollowed out a cantaloupe and let her wear it before her head grew.

      1. There’s always watermelon.

  15. Gangnam style? Non, non, non,Eloise! I’ll just stick with Philip the tutor and Nanny et. al. at the Plaza. :D And please send up one strawberry leaf, thank you very much.

    1. PHILIP! I had completely forgotten about him! I think I just must write a post on Eloise. Yes, I simply must. It’s on the agenda.

  16. Your baby and my baby will make beautiful babies.

    This is all.

    1. That Gerber baby will have nothing on their future offspring.

  17. Gangnam Style makes sense because you lived in Korea. Your daughter will be well rounded culturally.

    1. Dude! That’s what I keep saying! I had Gangnam Style waaaaaay before it went viral.

  18. We’ve done signs with Doodle since he was itty bitty. I just started with some basics I knew from working in elementary special education, like “more,” “milk,” “eat,” “all gone,” “mommy,” and “daddy.” Now he knows probably two hundred signs or more, and consequently so do I! Baby sign and ASL are a little different, so if you want to continue sign while she grows up to try and foster a second language, I recommend sticking to ASL – I find a lot of our new signs at – but otherwise just find a cute baby sign book and work on one or two at a time. Heck, even look for one in board book form so she can gaze at baby pictures signing to her, too! We just signed to him every word we remembered as we spoke, and he started trying to duplicate our motions as he tried to repeat our words. Now he will hand me his hands when he wants to know how to sign something. :)

    1. Those are some really good tips! I had never even thought about how similar baby sign and ASL are to one another.

  19. Le Clown · · Reply

    A life changer… with all its ups and downs and challenges, my kids have enriched my life.

    I was reading about the words she can’t say, but understand… Have you thought about teaching her sign language? Our daughter picked it up quickly, and this is how we communicated for the first few months. Even today, at almost three, she will sign language “thank you”, “bath” and “more”…
    Merry 2013, Emily, to you and yours.

    1. Le Clown · · Reply

      And then I thought: Le Clown, how about reading Emily’s post carefully, without skipping a paragraph? You would have seen she mentioned teaching her daughter sign language. ANYWAY… Sara is a magnificent™ resource if you need a few pointers….
      Le Clown

      1. Hahahaha no worries! I think we’re all guilty of the ol’ scanneroo every once in awhile. I will check in with Sara (who, BTdubs, I think you should TM “magnanimous” for since you’ve already got the corner market on “magnificent”).

        1. Le Clown · · Reply

          Guilty, and good idea for magnanimous™. I think Sara has already sent you a Facebook message.
          Le Clown

  20. I wish I could wear a cabbage leaf as a hat. I have cabbage hat envy.

    1. Pretty sure those heads can get BIG if you let them. There is hope for you yet.

      1. I’ll go looking for one today. Fingers crossed!

  21. Wonderful post, Emily. Miss C is so beautiful and she has such a sweet energy.

    1. Awww, thanks, Cathy. She’s a fun gal.

  22. Can I have her eyelashes please?

    1. IKNOWRITE? She gets those from her dad, who’s been known to trap insects in his eyelashes from across the room.

  23. I looked it up in all my baby books and, yep, waving = genius. Way to go baby C. And her Mama!

    1. Thanks! Glad to hear that her early application fee to Harvard was not submitted in vain ;)

  24. I’d definitely recommend teaching Wee Cee to sign (and yourself — that helps). Some kids pick it up really quickly and it helps reduce conflict/frustration in communication. Plus when they get older and you need to secretly communicate in public, it’s a good tool to have. Your local library will have lots of books and resources on this.
    Congrats on hitting so many milestones on the ‘outside.’

    1. I like the idea of signing secretly to her when she gets older. That way we can gossip together when he dad is lame. ;D

      The outside is fun. Definitely louder than the inside, but truly fun.

  25. Episode VI just hit 10 months. We started working on his college application letters just this past weekend.

    “No food for you until you can spell ‘STANFORD’!!!!”

    1. Priorities, we have ’em.

  26. Adorable post!
    Glad you survived the long car rides this holiday season.

  27. What a brilliant baby! And gorgeous too! Love the cabbage hat. I never saw the value of signs because from the stage C is at, its useful for perhaps another 6 to 9 months before actual words for the things she was signing will emerge. And anyway, there are some benefits to not being able to understand what the baby is saying, like when she wants to say “I want jell-o” after already having much more than she should be having.

  28. runningonsober · · Reply

    Sweetest, coolest and goodest post ever. I am in love with your daughter. <3

  29. I’m not a momma so I may have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, but I used to babysit a little boy about 10 months old that did signs with his parents – and they were FANTASTIC for me as the sitter! We watched his Signing Time dvd over and over and he had learned a few more every time I watched him. “Milk”, “hungry”, “more”, “potty”, and “shoes” were his most common ones. (“Shoes” didn’t help me out much, but he really liked his new sneakers…)

    On a side note, this is my first baby advice EVER!! (You’re welcome to tell me never to give any again!)

  30. Beautiful!!!
    I only hope Gangnam Style isn’t a gateway for her, leading her deeper down a path of Achy Breaky Heart, Electric Slide, and *shudder* the Macarena

  31. Dancing babies make me giggle!

  32. Oh good I’m not the only one who lets my daughter watch Gangnam Style lol
    My 14 month old is *obsessed* with it. Actually I think we overused it and now she’s sick of it =P
    Some of the easiest signs to do at first are “milk” and “more” those were my daughters first 2 signs. We are still working on additional signs (other than waving)
    Once we were grocery shopping and “Bye Bye Bye” starting playing over the loudspeakers and she started waving and giggling.. I felt so proud! She recognized the words “bye” in the song and waved in response! Haha.

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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