Oh Rosie-pie, her adorableness knows no bounds these days. She is just killing us with cuteness. About a week after her 8-month birthday, Rose just started crawling one day and man alive has she taken off in the past month. She is fast and brave and determined to follow her big sister or me around the house and has no fear of going up and down the one little step into our sunken living room or crawling from room to room if I call to her to follow me as I put away laundry. She's my little shadow. When she gets on the tile or wood floors, she just bear walks on her hands and feet rather than use her knees and Clara thinks that is just hilarious. And she is pulling herself up to stand next to couches, chairs, the railing of her crib, beds, and basically any other object that is low enough for her to grab onto and hold her (considerable) weight. And because she practices standing so much and is so strong and really improving her balance, I would not be at all surprised if Rose is walking before she turns 1.
At her 9-month checkup Rose was pretty close to being off the charts. She weighed in at 24 pounds 5 ounces (I was willing to lay bets that she was over 25 pounds, so I was close but it is a good thing I don't gamble), which puts her in the 99th percentile of 9-month olds for weight and at 2' 5 1/4" Rose is in the 95th percentile for height, so she is tall too. She was an absolute champ getting her flu shot (which was kind of a bummer because there are no 9-month vaccinations so she would otherwise have gotten away scot free) and let out just one little wail but was easily consoled with a snuggle against my shoulder. Her big sister's reaction to the flu shot was another matter entirely... (oy vey).
And speaking of snuggling, Rose LOVES cuddling close these days. She is perfectly content to nestle right up against me after taking her bottle while I rock and sing to her. And when we were in Yosemite this past week and I couldn't get her to go back to sleep at 5:45 in the morning in her pack-n-play she happily dozed off while laying in my arms on the bed (she wouldn't go down laying next to me - oh no, she had to be my 25 pound blanket) and refused to be moved on threat of reawakening.
Something has been up with Rose's sleep patterns because she has been skipping naps for a couple of weeks or taking short ones and waking up angry and refusing to go back down. And she has been getting up at least once a night again, too. That, along with chewing on small cylindrical shaped objects (like hangers and straws and my fingers) makes me think that maybe she is teething again, but that seems a little strange and I don't see any tooth buds popping up anywhere.
Rose is really learning to enjoy books and her favorite one is called "Busy Bear Cubs" and I picked it up in Yosemite. She also likes playing with toys and balls (particularly the tactile ones) and playing "I'm gonna getcha!" with us.
Personality-wise, Rose is a sweetheart. She is such a happy girl, full of smiles and happy chatter these days, unless she is getting tired (when she turns into a bit of a grump and I know it is time to get her fed and down for a nap). She doesn't have a lot of stranger-anxiety, but every now and then it will kick in for her or she will act shy towards other people by tucking her head against me and then peeking out and grinning. But almost always she is willing to be held by others if they want to hold her.
One of Rose's favorite parts of the day is when we go outside to play on the grass. I used to bring a small quilt for us to sit on but Rose only wants to be where she can tear up the grass anyway so we don't bother with that anymore She just crawls around grabbing fistfuls of grass or leaves that have fallen and then waving them in front of her. Of course she tries to stick them in her mouth and has learned that it is fun to tease mom or dad by raising the grass to her mouth and grinning at us while we tell her "no, no Rose" and then she shakes her head at us.
Some other skills that Rose has mastered include clapping her hands and the forefinger/thumb grip to feed herself bite-size foods (which has also meant she has started refusing to be spoon-fed sometimes because she just wants to feed herself). She is also just figuring out how to wave, too, but doesn't always do it on command. Rose loves playing with plastic spoons, lids, and bowls, so when I am cooking in the kitchen, she is often right there with me happily playing on the floor or going through one drawer that she can get open, which is fun because Clara was never really interested in that sort of thing.
Even though her hair is now definitely getting long enough for pigtails (and needing it too in the front to keep hair out of her eyes) Rose does NOT like having it done and squirms and squawks to get away from me. So I have to be quick about it and even then her pigtails are usually pretty messy because I am doing them on a moving subject.
We have a temple sealing date set for the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the Oakland LDS temple and we are so looking forward to that experience with her. We sure do love our little Rosie-girl.