Well, I'll say it again - HOW is Ben 9 months old?? He has been out as long as he was in!
Looking back on my 8 month post, it is crazy to see how much progress Ben has made with his crawling! He most certainly is now crawling directly towards whatever it is that he wants. When I walk from the living room towards the kitchen, he will crawl right after me....and then turn around and follow me back into the other room. (I love that). He now also follows Maxwell around, which is super fun for both of them ;) He has also crawled directly into the entertainment center a couple times, resulting in a black eye (his second....of probably many...lovely).
Ben will pull himself up onto everything....all the time. He loves to explore the areas around him. He loves to crawl into the bathroom while I'm taking a bath and then stand there and splash the water around. He will also now stand and let go with both hands for a few seconds - working on his balance! Greg has watched him crawl up 3 stairs, too!
Naps and bedtime are getting better (again). He still will cry for a bit when going down, but he seems to be learning to calm himself down more quickly and eventually will give in and snooze. This morning, I could hear him laughing to himself in his crib (a first) before he fell asleep.
He is back to sleeping from 8 pm until about 5:30 am (usually), eating, and then going back down until 7 am.
Ben has 4 teeth now, and MAN he looks cute with them :) It is so awesome to see him using them while eating foods now, but not awesome to hear him grinding his teeth. SICK!
I am still nursing him 5 times a day (on average) with the occasional 6th feeding (at 5:30 am). He is starting to really take to food, which is SO GREAT! I try to sit him down and feed him a "balanced" meal 2 times a day at a minimum, with the occasional bite of something if he seems interested in what we are eating (and if it's baby-appropriate). Usually this will be breakfast or lunch, and then sitting down and eating dinner with us. Half of the time he will eat EVERYTHING in front of him, and the other half of the time he is completely uninterested. Work in progress!
Ben is still in 9 and 12 month clothing, and outgrowing some of his 9 month gear.
Lately, Ben seems to be into everything that is not a toy. I mean, he still enjoys his toys, but if given the option between a toy and the vacuum cleaner, or the fireplace, or the cord to something, he will always choose the latter. We are definitely getting our exercise now, following him around all over the place!
Ben is a very social little boy. He enjoys smiling at nearly everybody, which I love! I cannot wait for him to start saying words, but for now, we really enjoy his high-pitched happy squeals, or his full on loud grunty "yells".
We are also noticing that Ben usually uses his left hand when feeding himself. I have no idea of this means he will turn into a lefty for life, but I wanted to note it down here just in case!