9 Months

That's Miss Mali as of today. She's been out of the cooker just as long as she was in it. I know I said I was going to stop posting her pix, but I lied. I want everyone else to be paralyzed by her cuteness, too.

This is also the point by which, according to witty-but-incapable-of-transcending- L.A.-superficiality author Vicki I0vine, you can have your pre-baby body back--provided you both worked out and starved yourself with equal measures of vigor. To which I say, feh (translation: fuck you and the type A personality you rode in on).

But back to Mali. She is certainly crawling for real. She has also perfected that pincer grip, meaning feeding herself is old hat. So is finding minute mouthable/chokable floor objects.

She is a curious baby (personality, not merely looks). I am not used to having an inquisitive baby. Iz and Leelo you could sit on the rug with a few toys, indefinitely. Iz would explore without feeling compelled to investigate, Leelo would hang out and goof off with the toys he'd been given.

Not so Mali. Turn your back for a few seconds, and hear a big "k-thunk"? That would be Mali pulling the power strip plug out of its outlet. That "scrinch scrinch scrinch" is Mali having emptied the office trashcan to play with its cracklier elements. A cascade of clitter-clatter? Mali found Iz's cup of crayons and dumped them out, too.

At the moment she is also a grumpy baby. Lots of fussing, all day long. I suspect it is due to her being a light sleeper and therefore getting insufficient rest. She falls asleep in the car easily, but will not stay sleeping for more than 30 minutes upon extraction. She does take good naps in her/our bed, but those are rare given her siblings' constantly full, constantly shifting schedules.

To complicate matters, she is continuously frustrated. She doesn't like baby food, doesn't like a lot of adult food, can't communicate her needs the way she'd like to, is frequently blocked from things she wants to destroy, can't locomote or pull up as quickly as she'd like, and the cats won't let her pull on their ears. Poor bit.

Right now she and Leelo like a lot of the same foodstuffs (bananas, veggie b00ty, rice bread, whole wheat croissants, naan bread). Instead of preparing three meals (baby, Leelo, the rest of us) I can now sometimes get away with only two.

Her eyes are still blue, still almond-shaped with almost no visible whites. Very different from Iz and Leelo's big old lamps. They are capped by light ginger/no color brows. The rest of her hair is coming in fast, brown, and curly. There's enough of it now for some excellent morning bedhead moments.

The octopus stage is upon us. Want to nurse her, change her diaper, put on her clothes? Good luck. She still has four paws rather than feet and hands, and uses her lower limbs to push and prod and make sure I'm still there while nursing or sleeping. Nothing colorful can be in her line of sight while she's nursing, or she'll grab and twist for it without detaching from the tap (ow ow ow).

Her social skills remain reassuring, though her receptive eye contact (when others request her gaze) is not great. She checks in with me, she responds well to her name, she plays offense in terms of initiating social contact with strangers.

She is a cheerful rather than a giggly, laughing baby in her non-grumpus moments. Squishy and warm, she is starting to put her head on our shoulders or chests when she's feeling loving.

Time to put her down. Hopefully she'll let me continue reading while nursing her to sleep, otherwise I'm going to be really bummed.

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