Somehow we've moved at lightning speed this summer to jump into the last increment of our first year with miss Eleanor.
The last month was a big one of growth for Ellie, so I felt I had to take some time to write about it. For starters, she's sitting like a champ these days. She is babbling like crazy and working really hard on her "da-da-da" and "na-na-na's". Some others we've heard have been "nye-nye-nye" (which she knows is night-night time) and "ba-ba-ba". She also communicates through squeals and screams. I think if you asked her, she'd say she has full on conversations with Adly, all through noises. While we can figure out a lot about what she's trying to say, I know Adly especially is ready for her to start talking for real. I regularly hear her saying things like "why can't Ellie just talk??" While she may not be saying words, she sure knows how to make her voice heard through yells, screams, and squeals.
This past month, we tossed Ellie into the abyss of the big bath tub with her sister. This dual bath time schedule has been amazing for all of us. Not only does it cut out a big chunk of time, it has given the two girls a whole new world of play. We've discovered Ellie is a total fish and will situate herself right under the water spout anytime it's on. Both girls LOVE splashing like crazy and squealing with delight as they scrub-a-dub. Adly has also been trying to argue her way into having a bath every single night, because she loves them so much now.
While Ellie still has no interest in standing in any way, she continues to find ways to wriggle, rock, and roll her way around places. She has also learned how to sit back up all on her own. Let me tell you, the first time I walked into the room after I had left her laying down and she was sitting, I definitely thought her big sister was playing a trick on me.
Speaking of her big sissy, Adly has definitely taken on a new view of herself in the last month. This is one of little mother hen. Suddenly, my 3 year old is overly interested in mothering Ellie just as I do. Or should I say, copying everything I say to Ellie in her own words while jumping in front of me. Another favorite of hers has become to let me know when I do something "wrong" (different than normal) or when something happens with Ellie.
This was helpful the other day when, just a few days shy of 9 months, Adly yelled out from the living room saying, "Mama! Ellie's crawling over to her toy!! She's crawling!". Of course, I ran in the room just in time to see Ellie sitting in one place and rocking on all fours. Who knows if she was really crawling, but I do think it's a pretty great story that her big sister was actually the one who saw the first "crawl".
Ellie has also made big strides as an eater. The little miss who once refused to eat any foods has totally come into her own. She still loves pouches and will suck them down anytime they're offered. However, she's also moved on to completely random solids. I've said from early on that one area where she far surpassed Adly was in dexterity. I'm amazed at her pincer grasp she's had for quite some time and her ability to pick up the littlest thing. She is very much in a "I can do it myself, mama" mode (look at that, JUST like my toddler!) and likes to only feed herself. If I try to put food in her mouth with my hands, she will push my hand away and grab the food from my fingers to feed herself. Some foods she's tried and loved this month are: strawberries, raspberries, bread of any kind, mango, watermelon and fish. She also likes to be part of the crowd and seems to enjoy just about anything I'm eating and pass on to her. Watching her eat has been so much easier this time around, and the gagging doesn't scare me nearly as much as it did with Adly. She's becoming a better eater by the day.
Ellie continues to be a true delight to our family. It's incredible to me that at one time she wasn't here. I say it all the time, but she is seriously the happiest, most content baby. And I still contend, while I love it, I have no idea where her personality comes from! Her crystal blue eyes are still hanging on strong, with all of us hoping they're here to stay. She naps regularly, two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon. In between she spends her time adoring her sister and doing everything she can to "play" alongside her.
In the next month there will be many more changes within our family. I go back to work at a new job on the 15th and a new nanny will be joining our family. We're very excited about her and I think the girls are going to adore her. I'm looking forward to a quiet 30 minute commute to and from school to wind down every day. A big difference this fall has been Adly's awareness of my "going back to work." I'm hoping she handles it fine, but lately she's been bringing up her hesitance about me "leaving her" more often.
Another big change for our family will be Adly heading to preschool for the first time. We've chosen a quaint little church preschool a short walk from our house. This will be the first time Adly will be spending extended time within a classroom setting and I can't seem to stop myself from crying every time we're there. I don't know why, but this has been by far the hardest transition for me. Following our pediatrician's advice, I will not be attending her first day. This is because I cannot, for the life of me, keep my emotions in check. Even typing this now I've got tears welling up. Something about my little girl who no longer looks like a baby walking into school for the first time all by herself just makes me want to cry like a baby. So, her dada will be taking her for her first day of school, the Tuesday after Labor Day. Deep down, I know that once we get through that, Adly will thrive in preschool and thoroughly enjoy herself. It's just the heaviness of it looming that is too much for me to handle for some reason.
Until next time...
Love you so much, my sweet Ellie-belly.