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Eleanor | 12 Months

My baby girl is ONE! 

This year has flown by so quickly. It seems like just last week I was holding my 7lb 12oz baby girl. I still remember how surprised I was by all her dark hair (I was expecting another blonde baby like her brother) and her sweet, sweet temperament (what?!? no witching hour?? No crying every evening before it's time for bed?!?) She was sooo perfect, and still is just the happiest, most playful, content baby girl. What a blessing she has been to us this past year!!
 12 Month old Eleanor likes...
being chased
climbing on EVERYTHING
going outside
Huck and Herschel
big brother, Jack
her binky
mommy and daddy
reading books
 12 Month Eleanor dislikes...
diaper and outfit changes
being told "no"
people (especially Jack) taking something from her
Health: At one year old, Eleanor weighs 20lbs 12oz (40%) and is 30 1/4in (80%). Pretty petite compared to her brother at this age! She has 8 teeth (4 on top and 4 on bottom). Wears size 12 month clothes and size 3 diapers. We still are dairy free due to her intolerance and her doctor recently recommended we go gluten free to see if some of her sleep issues are resolved. She is a healthy, happy little girl though and we are so thankful!

Nursing: Eleanor usually only nurses 3 times during the day (before naps and bedtime) and 1 - 4 times at night. Trust me, that was painful to type out and admit... :)

Solids: She is a pretty good eater most days! Loves all fruit, peas, carrots, avocado, spaghetti, chicken, ground beef... Hates eggs. She always seems to have some sort of food in her mouth though and is constantly signing for more food. I feel like she is continually snacking in between meals!

Sleeping: Eleanor has actually slept through the night on a handful of occasions. But that is still not the norm for around here. She usually takes 2 naps a day (around an hour for each nap) and goes down between 6:30 and 7 for bedtime and waking up around 6-6:30 for the day. When Eleanor does have bad nights where she is up every 2 hours or so her behavior just isn't normal. She is extremely fussy and oftentimes can't even be comforted by Steven or myself. Her sleep is very restless and oftentimes she wants to sleep completely upright on my chest for those bad nights. It isn't uncommon for me to be nursing her 4 (possibly more? I'm so tired I really can't keep track) times a night if she is having one of her uncomfortable nights.

I honestly don't believe Eleanor has a sleep association... she can sleep through the night and is able to self-soothe. My gut is telling me that she simply doesn't feel well on those bad nights. After much discussion with my pediatrician (thank God for her, btw, she is seriously awesome) over the past year we both feel like it simply boils down to tummy issues! Cutting dairy from mine and Eleanor's diet made a huge difference (she quit throwing up after every meal, started gaining weight, and her eczema almost completely disappeared!), but she still has terribly inconsistent sleep. Moving forward we plan to remove gluten from our diet for at least 4 weeks and monitor Eleanor's sleep during that time. The good news is she doesn't have an allergy (her symptoms would be much more severe), just some intolerances that she will hopefully outgrow.

Also, I breed non-sleepers. The end.
New this Month: Eleanor went on her second airplane ride when we took a little family vacation to San Diego. She was such a good sport the entire time! She is seriously the easiest baby to take anywhere because she is so happy! The airplane ride, all the stroller sitting at the zoo, car rides, eating out, different bedtime routines at the name it, she is just a trooper through it all! Eleanor added two new words to her vocabulary this month: Jack Jack and tickle tickle. I feel like that couldn't sum up her personality any better! She is so playful and adores her big brother. Every morning she gets up and says, "Jack Jack," and then takes off running to his bedroom door. I have to swoop her up before she starts banging on it and wakes him up! She loves music and dancing, being chased and playing outside. She is super interested in any new animal she sees and so far hasn't show any fear (or caution!) to them. She has started to point at objects and is following simple commands. I feel like she understands so much of what we're saying now! She is such a big girl! What of my favorite new things that she does is shake her head no. Her entire body moves with her head like a dog wagging it's tail. It is the cutest! Also, we have discovered very quickly that Eleanor is a bit of a daredevil. She loves to climb on everything and unfortunately has had quite a few accidents! She's bleed more in her first year of life that Jack has in three years! I definitely wouldn't describe this little lady as a caution one...
Eleanor Joy, you are the silliest, sweetest, happiest little girl I have ever known! You have stolen my heart and changed me forever. I couldn't image my life without you. You have completed our family and turned our worlds upside down in the most special way. We simply adore you and your sweet, contagious smile. Thank you for bringing so much joy into our lives. We love you so much, baby girl. Happy Birthday!


Eleanor | 11 Months

I can't even believe that I am writing this 11 month update and that tomorrow morning my baby girl will be ONE... this year has gone by wicked fast and I'm feeling super emotional!! 
 11 month Eleanor likes...
touch and feel books
being rocked to sleep
her binky
being outside
walking everywhere
big brother, Jack
giving kisses
 11 month Eleanor dislikes...
having anything taken from her
outfit / diaper changes
sleeping ;)
Health: Thank God all the cold and flu viruses we experienced last month were absent this month! Eleanor is a healthy, happy babe. In all 12 month clothes and size 3 diapers. Now that she's walking everywhere I've tried to find her shoes, but she has narrow feet for a baby girl and I find nothing fits her but her brother's old Nike's (his first pair of shoes) she's stuck with his hand-me-downs for now!

Nursing: Nursing hasn't really changed much during the day. She nurses before her two naps and before bed...other than that maybe one random nursing session if she's upset. At night, I honestly have no idea because I'm too tired to keep track these days...but I do know it HAS gotten better!

Solids: Eleanor LOVES to eat. Within minutes of waking up in the morning she is signing "more" to me and walking towards the refrigerator to look inside. She loves fruit (strawberries and bananas the most) and meat! Chicken, ground beef, sausage, steak... you name the protein and she'll eat it. I'm actually surprised she doesn't weigh more than she did last month with all the eating she's been doing!

Sleeping: I think the majority of Eleanor's sleep issues last month were due to teething, but Steven and I decided we had to make some changes in the sleeping department nonetheless. I needed a little bit of a break from suppling Eleanor's all you can eat buffet! So now, I nurse Eleanor before bed then Steven takes her and puts her to sleep. If she wakes up anytime before 11 Steven goes back in and puts her down again. After 11 I'm back on duty. And let's face it....I miss her by then and want to snuggle! I'm deranged.. I know. In just a few days of doing this she was sleeping 6:30 - 11:30. Then she just magically knows it's after 11 and she can wake up and mommy will come to her! She's a smart cookie! It has seemed to improve her sleeping though. She is waking less and going down pretty easily for Steven. I've even seen her wake on the monitor and self sooth all on her own. Night time sleep is 6:30 - 6ish and she still takes 2 naps a day.
New this Month: Last month Ellie was just toddling and still preferred crawling most of the time, but this month she is walking everywhere!! It's rare that I see her crawling at all! She is growing up way too quickly.. it's painful. She also loves to climb on everything. Especially chairs she's too small for giving me a mini heart attack on a daily basis. She now signs the word "book" and asks us to read to her at night (although I think she enjoys taking the books on and off the shelf more than reading them). And although "book and "more" are her only signs she is very communicative! She is constantly jabbering and trying to repeat the words were saying. My new favorite thing she does this month is definitely giving kisses. Whenever you make the "mmmm" sound she runs over and gives you a big kiss on the lips and then turns to the next person to do the same to them! Steven, Jack, and I get multiple sweet kisses from her everyday. She is still just my sweet, happy, happy girl. And even when she is fussy and having a bad day I feel like only me and Steven are able to tell. She is simply such a sweet natured little girl!
Happy 11 months, Eleanor Joy! 
You never cease to bring a smile to my face with your happy smile and sweet giggles. 
You make our lives so fun! We love you!!


Eleanor | 10 Months

My sweet, little girl is 10 months old... this is going way too quickly! I cannot believe we are approaching one year :(
 10 month old Eleanor likes...
playing with big brother, Jack
being chased
screaming joyfully at the top of her lungs
her binky
crawling on mommy or Jack's bed
eating lots and lots of solids
 10 month old Eleanor dislikes...
diaper and outfit changes
being put in the carseat (once she's in she's fine)
when mommy leaves the room
Health: This month was tough in the health department. Jack and Eleanor both got the stomach bug when daddy was away on a business trip! Those were quite the challenging few days for me! I don't think I've ever seen anything as sad as my sweet baby girl puking. She was dry heaving so much that she started throwing up specks of blood. It was devastating :( Everyone is healthy and back to normal now though! On my home scale Eleanor weighs 20lbs. Still in size 3 diapers but has moved up to size 12 clothing.

Nursing: Eleanor has really increased her solid food intake this month so is not nursing as much during the day. I usually nurse her before both her naps and again at night. Maybe a random nursing session for comfort during the day if she needs it. However, she is killing me...KILLING ME...with her nighttime nursing. At least 4 times a night and sometimes more.... (Lord, HELP ME!).

Solids: All this girl wants to do is eat. She learned how to sign "more" and is basically signing it to me every time we walk into the kitchen. She is sooo excited when I put her in her highchair for food. She starts flapping her arms and kicking her legs so hard I think she might actually fly away. Favorites are blueberries, bananas, peas, carrots, bread (girl after my own heart right there), and pretzels. (I probably shouldn't give my 10 month old pretzels but she is OBSESSED! When she hears anything that remotely sounds like your opening a pretzel bad she will come speed crawling from wherever she is in the house to get some. It's pretty funny.)

Eleanor does not like eggs. This makes me sad because Jack and I eat them almost every morning and they're so quick and easy!

Also, we're still avoiding giving her dairy directly until after her first birthday.

Sleeping: Ya'll, Eleanor has officially passed her brother to earn the title of worst sleeper. This girl SUCKS at sleeping. She fights naps (Why?!?! She used to be such a great napper.) and it takes me forever to get her to sleep only to have her wake up 30 minutes later. For night time sleep she is up at least 4 times a night if not more (like every 2 hours). It's hard. So, so hard. We have regressed so much in the sleep department and I am exhausted. However, she did get 2 new teeth this month! (All on the top. So 4 on top and 2 on bottom now.) That's a ton! So my prayer is that teething has had a lot to do with it and her sleep will drastically improve soon.
New this Month: Eleanor took her first independent steps the day she turned 10 months old! Since then she's been practicing everyday and getting more and more confident. She still prefers to crawl everywhere though and she is such a fast crawler! Now, not only does Eleanor clap and wave hi, but this month she started to give high-fives and sign "more" as well. She is still such a social butterfly. She loves smiling and waving at everyone she sees.. and if she really likes you she'll give you an excited, high-pitched scream. Not a dainty squeal, it is most definitely a scream. Haha! She does a lot of babbling but the only word she consistently says is "mama." One of her favorite things to do is to get on mine or Jack's bed and then tumble about and roll over again and again. It's hysterical to watch! Every time I make my bed and throw the pillows on the floor she does the same thing... just dives into my pillows and starts tumbling and rolling about. She also loves being chased and practicing walking by pushing Jack on his tricycle.
This has been such a big month for you, baby girl! I can't believe you are almost walking! Everyday is such an adventure with your joyful smiles and squeals. I love seeing the world through your eyes. Happy 10 months, Eleanor Joy!


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!