Pictures to follow...
Eating: Clark is a champion eater. He has been ever since he discovered solids. His first love was sweet potatoes, but now he'll enjoy pretty much anything, except green beans (and even those he'll eat as long as they aren't pureed). He seems to really like bananas and he loves to eat whatever we are eating. It's a lot of fun to have him at the dinner table with us now and have a family dinner.
This also marks the end of an era - no more nursing. I'm FREE!!!! Seriously, best day of my life. I know it's early. He's supposed to have formula or breast milk until 12 months. So sue me. He's doing great on whole milk. And I'm doing great too. :)
Sleeping: Clark is also a great sleeper these days. He will sleep through the night several days a week and the other days, he usually will just cry out and need one of us to give him his binky or rock him for a few minutes and he'll go right back to bed. Sometimes he'll wake up too early, like at 5:30am and we can give him a bottle and he'll go back to sleep for another hour or two. It's been so nice to get good sleep again. He also naps well - two naps a day for 1-2 hours.
Brief history of our sleep training: We never did cry it out. Clark still uses a binky and a fuzzy blankie to go to sleep. We waited until about 6 months or later to do sleep training. We sort of did a modified cry it out. We would give him a bottle or I would nurse him and then we would lay him down in his crib sleepy. He would usually make noises and/or cry, so we would go back in after 5 or 10 minutes and lay him back down with his blanket. We would maybe do that twice and if he was still crying we would rock him to sleep. It wasn't an exact science, but now he will generally fall asleep on his own. Sometimes we still have to go back in and rock him for a few minutes, but he will mostly put himself to bed every day. It's so nice!
Developing: Clark learned to fully crawl around 9 months. I was so worried that he was developmentally behind, but now I'm just not worrying about stuff like that. It seems like babies are so different and he's doing just fine. He crawls everywhere now and pulls up on everything. He can walk along the couch or if we hold his hands. He learned to climb up the stairs a few weeks ago, but he is completely oblivious about going down them. He will just dive head first unless we catch him. We finally switched Clark to a bigger car seat, one that doesn't pop in and out of the car.
Socializing: Clark has just recently realized that other people and little kids in general are a whole lot of fun. We've made some new friends with babies a few months older than Clark and he has been having a field day playing with them. He gets so excited that he squeals and screams in delight. He also clenches his fist and flexes all of his muscles until he shakes. Sometimes I worry that he is going to have a heart attack because he gets so excited. But it's fun to see him having so much fun.
Toys: He has a very short attention span, so he doesn't really play with one toy for more than a minute or two. He loves to open books and turn pages but refuses to sit still through one. Probably his favorite toys are cheap water bottles. He loves to shake them and chew on them and make them crinkle and crunch. He loves to rip paper. He loves to play with Daddy. Todd has started this annoying habit of putting Clark's toys in his mouth and shaking them, which Clark LOVES, but now Clark always tries to put his toys in my mouth and I don't love it. :)