Eleanor | 9 Months

9 months was a big one for Eleanor! I feel like we are seeing her own little, unique personality emerge a bit more each day.
 9 month old Eleanor likes...
to smile and wave
being chased
playing on mommy's bed
her binky
being tickled
touch and feel books
 9 month old Eleanor dislikes...
when somebody (Jack) grabs something from her
diaper changes
outfit changes
wearing headbands :(
Health: Eleanor weighs 18lbs and is 28 1/4 in long. She's only gained a pound in the last 3 months but she has grown over 2 inches and is healthy and happy. She is still in size 3 diapers and mostly in 9 month clothes although we did move up a size to 12 months in pajamas. I am happy to report that Eleanor no longer displays signs of reflux. I have added bananas back into her diet, which she seems to tolerate perfectly fine now, but still avoid all dairy that is not baked in. It's crazy to think where she was just 2 months ago with her reflux and other GI complications and how far we've come in such little time.. and how much she's changed!

Nursing: I feel like Eleanor is not nursing as often during the day now but she most definitely is nursing more at night. She is cutting her two top teeth so I'm pretty sure her nighttime snacking is just for comfort due to those pesky teeth! I'd say I nurse Eleanor at least 4-5 a day and 4-5 times at night (I am face-palming right now...believe me).

Solids: Wow! Just last month I felt like I was still force feeding Eleanor when it came to solids. She honestly just had no interest and would clamp her mouth shut every time I tried. But this month it's like all of a sudden her reflux symptoms disappear and girlfriend is loving to eat! It is so nice to see her enjoying eating something other than breastmilk! Haha.. Some favorites are carrots, peas, applesauce, potatoes, prunes, blueberries, and coconut milk freeze dried fruit snacks. I honestly just think that before now solids irritated her reflux symptoms causing uncomfortable flareups, but maybe...possibly...hopefully...she's outgrown her reflux? Praying that's the case!

Sleeping: Eleanor is still taking 2 naps a day. First nap is 2-2.5 hours after she wakes up, and her second nap is 3 hours after waking up from her first nap. It's rare for either nap to be much longer than an hour. For night time sleep.... I don't even know. Baby girl is definitely cutting those two top teeth and she has just been waking up all.the.time. I'm so exhausted that I haven't even been keeping track. I usually bring her into bed with me after the first two night wakings and then just nurse her back to sleep each time she wakes after that. I just want as much rest as possible and do whatever I need to do to get her to sleep again as quickly as I am able to.
New This Month: This has been such a fun month to watch our sweet Eleanor grow! Her personality is through the roof! She loves to smile and laugh and is very social! People always comment on how happy she is when we're out and about together. She is constantly waving and then clapping for herself and squealing with delight at the reactions she gets from other people. She LOVES to play peekaboo and is constantly throwing one of her blankets over her head and will just stay under there until you ask, "Where is Ellie?" It seriously is the cutest thing I've ever seen. She isn't as into books as her brother was at her age, but she definitely will sit still and listen along if you're reading a touch-and-feel book. We read the few touch-and-feel books that we have a couple times a day. She has become obsessed with "Jack's drawer." One of our bottom drawers in the kitchen is just full of Jack's cups, plates, and bowls and she loves to open it and take everything out... multiple times a day, of course :). Also new this month is controlled standing. She hasn't tried taking any steps, but she can pull herself up to a standing position and then ease herself back onto the floor. I remember not long after Jack learned how to do that he was walking. For now Eleanor seems content speed crawling after her brother and cruising along the furniture. She is also very vocal...mama, dada, baba, and lots of other babbling are pretty much heard all throughout the day now.

Eleanor Joy, I love you silly, fun, and adventurous little girl! You bring a smile to my face everyday and I am so grateful for the joy you bring this family every day! Happy 9 months, beautiful girl!


Eleanor | 8 Months

Okay, so THIS is my latest post ever.. I'm posting Eleanor's 8 month update today and hopefully her 9 month update will be posted tomorrow!
8 month old Eleanor likes...
her brother, Jack
sleeping with mommy
taking baths
being tickled
Jack's toys
Huck and Herschel
her binky

8 month Eleanor dislikes...
Jack taking toys from her
when mommy leaves the room
getting her diaper changed 
sleeping in her crib

Health: No wellness checkup this month. Although Ellie seems taller to me I think she still weighs about 18lbs. She got her first cold this month which was pretty sad. Jack got it first and then promptly infected the entire household. The really big bummer about this bug was its timing... we were scheduled to leave for a week to Jamaica a few days after Jack got sick and ended up having to cancel our trip! Kiddos...ruining all momma's fun!

Nursing: Ellie's nursing habits are pretty much the same. I feel like she nurses a lot but doesn't actually eat very much during the day. She is easily distracted by everything going on around her and who has time to nurse when there is so much to see and do!? Because of this though I think she is still getting a lot of her calories from night time feeding and I am bone tired. Girlfriend loves her 24 hour, all you can eat buffet between the hours of 11pm - 4am.

Solids: This month Eleanor started to show a little more interest in solids. Still doesn't like purees that much but loves to eat anything she can pick up and eat herself. Blueberries, peas, cooked carrots, and now pancakes are her favorites!

Sleeping: If last month was a sleep regression than we're now having a regression during the regression. Eleanor still goes to bed 6p - 6a but is waking A LOT. I'm talking at least every 2-3 hours. It doesn't seem to be reflux that is waking her and keeping her awake at night. I'm not really sure what it is (teething perhaps?) but I pray it passes quickly...

She is still taking 2 naps a day with her second nap being the better of the two. Usually 2 -2.5 hours total of nap time.
New this Month: Eleanor is go, go, go this month! She is constantly on the move crawling anywhere possible, pulling up on any object and then plopping back down on her butt and excitedly crawling off to the next thing. While she's awake she NEVER STOPS MOVING. She's actually is becoming increasingly difficult to cuddle because she is incapable of staying still! Changing her diaper has become a huge challenge ;). Eleanor celebrated her first Thanksgiving this month and did really well letting new people hold her despite her alarmingly strong separation anxiety (I swear Jack wasn't this bad or do I simply not remember right??) On Thanksgiving Day she looked right at her Great Grandma Dee and waved for the first time. Since then she likes to smile and wave at anyone who passes. She loves to hold mommy or daddy's hands and take steps although I'm not a big fan of doing that since I'm convinced I never want her to start walking. We've also discovered this month that Ellie can throw quite the fit if she wants to. If mommy leaves the room without bringing her along or her big brother decides to take a toy from her she will throw herself belly down on the floor and scream while slapping her hands on the ground. It's kind of hysterical but also a bit alarming. Who knew this wee, little girl was going to have such a huge personality!

Eleanor, it is so fun to watch you change and grow. I love seeing your personality emerge a little bit each and every day. We all adore you and can't help but smother you with kisses and hugs all day long. Happy 8 months, baby girl!


Eleanor | 7 Months

Eleanor turned 7 months.. last month!! This is the latest I've even been with an update. I did take the pictures when she turned 7 months.. so now it's just a matter of remembering everything!
7 month old Eleanor likes...
Huck and Herschel
big brother Jack
raspberries and being tickled
her binky
reading books! (new one)
being rocked 
 7 month Eleanor dislikes...
when mommy leaves the room
being overtired (basically any time after 6pm)
laying still for diaper changes
eating solids
sleeping in her crib
Health: No wellness checkup this month but on my scale she's right around 18lbs. She moved up to size 3 diapers and is still in all 9 month size clothes. As far as dairy is concerned she can still only tolerate baked in dairy through my breastmilk. After doing further food eliminations we also discovered that she has an intolerance/sensitivity to bananas. So I am no longer eating those obviously... Other than that, Ellie is happy and gaining weight although we still occasionally get reflux flare ups that disrupt her sleep and some allergy looking diapers.

Nursing: Our nursing relationship is still going strong at 7 months! She is very easily distracted during the day so I find the best times to feed her are right after naps when she's still a bit drowsy. She has begun to wake more to nurse at night, too. I feel as though she really is hungry for one or two of those feedings because she isn't much of a fan of solids and doesn't nurse well when Jack is around. She definitely is using night feedings to get her calories she missed out on during the day (which is very unfortunate for me!).

Solids: We've experimented a little more with solids this month (peas, rice cereal, carrots), but I honestly think Eleanor simply doesn't like purees. She pretty much refuses to eat them after the first spoonful... but if we give her really soft cooked carrots or peas in small pieces she'll pick them right up and eat them! She still eats very little when it comes to solids though.

Sleeping: I feel as though we regressed a little bit again in the sleep department this month. Instead of waking twice to eat she's now up 3-4 times a night again. Eleanor is consistently inconsistent when it comes to her sleep! She still sleeps about 6pm - 6am but will occasionally have a very early morning here or there (like 5-:30). It's pretty miserable for me to be honest!

She takes 2 naps a day. They could last anywhere from 30 minutes to about 1.5 hours. Usually her second nap is her better one. I'm hoping she does start taking a little bit better naps soon though so we can push her bedtime back to 7 eventually.
New this Month: Eleanor is crawling! I feel like the day after I wrote her 6 month post she basically started full out crawling and now she is a pro. She follows me all around the house on all fours surprisingly fast for her petite little frame! She also starting sticking her tongue out and just making the funniest faces this past month! She still loves to play with all her brothers toys more so than her own and especially loves to slobber all over his pretend food. This is the first month that she's shown interest in books. At bedtime, if she's not overtired already, I'll read her two books while in the rocking chair and she gets so excited --reaching for them and kicking her legs-- but then settles right down and snuggles as I read the story. It's seriously the sweetest and I love that she's starting to show interest in books! And although Eleanor doesn't need to be rocked to fall asleep at night I've been noticing that she definitely prefers to fall asleep that way. But despite not being the best sleeper she sure falls asleep pretty easily! Now just to get her to STAY asleep all night long.... HA!
Eleanor, I love watching you grow month to month! You are just the sweetest little girl I've ever met! I love how easily you laugh and offer up smiles and the fact that you simply adore your momma. I love your silly hairline and that perfect roll you have on your knees. I love everything about you, top to bottom! I am so blessed to be your momma, sweet girl.


Always Be My Baby

Tonight as I put Jack to bed I was overcome with so much emotion. I closed the last page of our bedtime story (Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night?) and looked over at him as his eyes fluttered open and shut, open and shut.... he was trying so hard to hang on, but sleep was creeping up on him quickly. As sleep finally took him, his binky fell out of his mouth and I thought my baby doesn't look so much like a baby these days.

This little boy, clutching his golden retriever stuffed animal and wearing his monkey pajamas, looked so big to me! My heart just ached... he is growing up so quickly and there is nothing I can do about it. Oh, but Lord, how I long to! How I long to shield him from this cruel world and every possible heartbreak within it. How I long to help him maintain his innocence that only a child can possess forever. How I long for him to always put his little hand in mine when we're silently walking side by side together. How I long for him to always call me "Momma."

Yet, at the same time, I long for him to grow up. I want him to experience the richness that this life can offer. I want him to achieve things he never thought he'd be able to and feel pride and joy. I want him to love. I want him to overcome fears and hardships with dignity and grace. I even want him to fail a little bit from time to time so he remains humble and can see that he can rise up from the ashes of defeat. I want him to live a full life, but in order to do that he has to grow up.

And isn't this the constant pull as a mother? We want them to always be our baby's but also we want to see them grow up to become the beautiful people we know they were created to be. They are pieces of our soul living outside of us who we want nothing more than to harness back in but know we need to let them grow --to nurture and instill as much goodness, faith, kindness, gentleness, and love into as we can --but, ultimately, let them go.

I never want to let him go.

So tonight my prayers for this beautiful, little boy were accompanied by tears. I prayed for his future and for the man he will one day become, but I also prayed a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving that this little being is my son. That I get to wake up every morning to hear the pitter-patter of his still chubby little feet running down the hall... That I get chocolate cookie mouth kisses... That I get squeals of delight and tickle fights... That I get to play trucks and choo-choo till my back is sore from bending over... That I get to see things as new and exciting through his eyes... That I get to read bedtime stories and give goodnight hugs...

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to be this little boys Momma. Help me to be a good one.


Eleanor | 6 Months

I cannot believe my little Eleanor Joy is 6 months old! How did half a year already fly by?? She is still the happiest baby I've ever met. Super sweet and always ready to give anyone the most perfect smile who looks her way.
Eleanor Joy likes...
taking all the diapers and other supplies out of the diaper caddy...everyday...multiple times a day...
her brother's toys
Huck and Herschel
the exersaucer
lotion messages
"chasing" Jack
her binky
the ergo
Eleanor Joy dislikes...
when mommy leaves the room
eating solids
sleeping in her crib
Health: Ellie weighed 17lbs and measured in at 26 3/4 in. at her 6 month wellness check up! She's gained 5lbs in the two months since I've cut dairy from my diet. She still can only tolerate baked in dairy through my breastmilk while cheese, butter, and all other forms of dairy are still a fail. She is doing so much better though! She is still in size 2 diapers (although I think we're almost ready to move up a size), but is now in all 9 month clothing.

Nursing: I have no idea how often Eleanor nurses during the day. I quit trying to keep track. She is very squirmy and easily distracted while eating so I feel like we do a lot of quick nursing sessions many times a day. At night she has gone back to only nursing 2 times.

Solids: Eleanor tried solids for the first time this month! Her first food was sweet potato, and since then we've tried banana, avocado, applesauce and pears. She hates it all and usually refuses to open her mouth after the first taste! What a difference from her brother who seemed to never stop eating once he got that first taste of solids!

Sleeping: I don't even want to talk about it... I seriously think I breed the world's worst sleepers. When Ellie hit 6 months we were on a good sleep schedule. She was napping well and doing okay-ish at night. She just moves sooooo dang much in her sleep and is almost crawling, so I decided it was no longer safe for her to nap in my bed and starting putting her in her crib for all naps and the beginning of her nighttime sleep. OH.MY.WORD. We have some serious sleep issues now. Girlfriend does not like her crib...

She is still doing 2 naps (sometimes 3) a day but will only sleep for 30-40 minutes at a time in her crib. On a bad day, she gets 1 hour total of naps. On a good day (meaning Steven's home and I can hold her after she wakes up to finish napping...) she gets 1.5 - 2 hours tops. It's bad, ya'll. And I know she can self sooth because I've seen her do it while spying on her like a crazy person through the monitor! 

At night, I put her in her crib and sometimes she'll give me a 6 hour stretch before waking to nurse. At that point I move her to my bed, nurse her, and she usually will wake one more time to nurse before morning. Lately, though, she is fighting being put in her crib for nighttime sleep, too. I'll rock her, put her in crib, she wakes up anywhere from just a few minutes to 40 minutes later and I have to start rocking her all over again. But if I just put her in my bed for the night right away she sleeps like a rock (a squirmy rock) for a good 6 hours before she nurses. 

We were doing so well before I made the switch to her crib... *sigh*
New This Month: Eleanor is ALMOST crawling. She scoots / army crawls where she wants to go and is pretty good at it! She will get up on all fours and rock back and forth, too. So, so close! She loves bouncing in her exersaucer and just being around the family... including the animals. When she sees Steven she just stares as if she's in awe (like in the picture above) and gives him the sweetest smile. She definitely still prefers her momma but is fascinated by her daddy and big brother, Jack. She is happy to play all day.. who needs naps anyways?!?! When she first tried solids she wasn't too impressed, but now she just downright refuses them. She does love to sit in her highchair and be apart of the dinner table discussions along with everyone else. Also this month I've noticed that she seems to no longer mind being put in her carseat! Very rarely will she cry when being put it. Now she just contently enjoys the ride or takes a quick snooze. But, hands down, the best thing about this month was her saying her very first word...."MAMA"!!!!!
Eleanor you are the sweetest, little girl and I am so glad that you are mine! My world has become a better place with you in it. I'm so glad I get to be your MAMA! Happy half birthday, baby girl!