As the days get cooler, I keep thinking about how quickly we’ll now head toward the holidays and, of course, Cora’s first birthday. Nine months feels like a milestone. I suddenly find myself spending more time looking back at the early days of the blog. I can’t believe how much she’s changed in some ways and not at all in others. Cora’s hair is finally getting some length, and I’d say it’s looking pretty blonde–quite the shift from her first days of dark hair. But she still gives us the same looks when she doesn’t like her food and she still gives us hell when we try to change her diaper. We love it.

Every day my husband and I talk about how much we want her to stay her age forever, and yet we’re so excited each day to see how she’s changing. She’s even more engaged with the world this month; more in tune with playing games and seeking our attention. After putting it off for months, we finally bought the baby playard (it looks super chic, by the way) and set it up in our living room. She loves to crawl around and play with her toys, but sometimes she’ll drop everything to lift her self up on the fencing to play peekaboo with us through the lattice. It’s adorable. It’s also terrifying because she’s clearly getting close to standing on her own. It’s crazy to think things like walking and talking might be just around the corner. I’m sure we’ll miss those infant days even more when we’re chasing her around the house.

Trying to balance life once the school year begins has been difficult. It’s hard to put so much emotional energy into managing Kindergartners all day to come home and feel present with my own kid. But Cora forgives me every day. She literally smiles and waves every time I get home or pick her up from daycare. It really feels like the dictionary definition of unconditional love.

With the start of school, trying to manage the menu for a nine month old has gotten a bit insane. Not only are we trying to expose her to all sorts of foods, but I’m still breast feeding. At this point, I pump once in the morning, once when I get home from work (before I feed her), and once at night. Zach typically feeds her a bottle for breakfast (plus some whole foods) and then at night to put her to bed. I love giving her new foods to try, but if I’m being honest, deciding what to feed a baby has been one of the more difficult aspects of parenting over the past few months. I thought the same when we first started pureeing foods for her, and we did get used to it. Now it’s a matter of finding her a varied menu of solid foods that she can feed herself (and safely so I don’t have a heart attack at every meal). She really has an awesome pincer grasp and hand-eye coordination, so she is more than ready. If you have ANY food suggestions and ideas for bulk preparing meals for 9-12 month olds, please leave me a comment.

We thought Cora had a cold last month, but this month we learned what a baby cold really looks like. Cora came down with a fever earlier this week around dinner time. She had been lethargic all day, and her runny nose kept getting worse. Her little eyes became super droopy and she was beyond fussy. The biggest tell: She wasn’t the ravenous eater she usually is. My nervous first-time-mom self had taken her temperature a million times before to see normal temps, so seeing it hit 101.6 for the first time freaked me out a bit. It broke my heart to feel her body that warm and see her so miserable. Snot literally poured out of her nose, and because she was so stuffed up and couldn’t breath very efficiently, she also just drooled. and drooled. and drooled some more. Poor girl was a mess. We of course talked to the pediatrician who reassured us and told us to come in the next day if symptoms were worse. Luckily, I had my mother-in-law watching her this week and she was able to take her in to the doctor when she really didn’t improve (again, she provided us mostly with reassurance that we were doing all the right things, and there was no need for any major intervention other than Tylenol for some pain). The fever did last all the way through Friday night, on and off, and I knew we were on the mend when she devoured her breakfast and danced her way through the pumpkin patch on Saturday.

Oh, and her two top teeth are breaking through, to add to the fun! So little miss now has 4 chompers!

The last time I gave a rundown of Cora’s schedule, I got a lot of great feedback about how helpful it was. Here’s a little update for you. Please note that her naps are still very inconsistent and have gotten worse since we started daycare. I’m hoping she adjusts because it leaves for one tired mama and baby at 5:30 pm.

7:00 am – Wakes and gets a diaper change. Zach feeds her a bottle as I have already left the house for work.

7:30 – Breakfast (pureed fruit and/or veggies, or some finger foods like eggs and chopped fruit)

8:00 – Books and floor playtime while Zach gets ready

9:30 – Nursing snack and naptime

11:00 – Wakes, diaper change, nurses

11:30 – Lunch (pureed fruit and/or veggies) and play or an outing

1:30pm – Nursing snack and naptime

3:30 – Wakes and nurses

3:45 – I pick her up from daycare

4:00 – Playtime while I pump

4:15 – Nurses and takes a catnap, usually on me because she wakes when I put her down.

6:00 – Dinner (usually either a puree or some solid finger foods)

7:00 – Bathtime, book, 6-8 oz breast milk bottle, and bed (Zach does the last feeding of the day)

By the time I publish this post, Cora will be getting close to 10 months and we will be approaching Halloween. I love seeing her hit all these little “firsts,” and we have so many more to look forward to.

I do hope to continue to post during this busy, busy season of my life, and I have SO MUCH to write about. Be patient with me as I navigate when exactly I’ll be accomplishing that. In the meantime, leave me a little note about what your baby’s favorite finger foods were at this age! I need all the ideas, please!

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