Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Eleanor is 9 months!

There is something about reaching this nine month milestone that is leaving me uneasy.  Maybe it's because she has officially been out as long as she was in, or maybe because she is turning into such a little girl, but I am becoming all sorts of nostalgic for my tiny little baby.

How did she get to be so big?
She is so completely sure of herself, independent and courageous.  She is fully mobile and will follow us to every room in the house now.  She loves to crawl under things and get "stuck."  She smiles and babbles.  I catch her "talking" to her toys and hands.  Her favorite words are "Gah, gah" and sometimes we hear daddy or momma (although she has no idea what she is saying.)  When she babbles something we always make up real words and phrases for what she says.
Up and down, up and down.  She is climbing all over  and on everything.  The coffee table, the side tables, the chairs, the changing table, and even the wall.  Anything she can lean on and get her hands up on.  She hasn't tried to balance on her own yet but we are not too far off.
This month we don't have many new milestones.  She was already pulling up, crawling and all of that last month.  But in the last 4 or so weeks she has really refined her skills.  She no longer falls (at least not very often) and she moves with lightening speed.  We caught her doing the "slap-drag" one day (crawling with one leg in front and scooching her booty forward) but that was all.  She hasn't really done it since.  Sometimes she will attempt to crawl with her feet on the floor (think downward dog style) but again, it's not that often.  She has that perfect little baby crawl down to the tee.
It absolutely melts my heart when she crawls right up to me and into my lap.  She nuzzles my neck and gives big open mouth kisses, although we don't think she knows what she's doing yet.  However, there was one evening when we were sitting at dinner with friends and Alex had popped Eleanor onto his shoulders to entertain her.  Brittney called out to Eleanor saying "Give your daddy a kiss!"  Sure enough she leaned forward and set a big ole' open mouth kiss on his head.  It was so funny.  We laughed hysterically and sadly Alex didn't get to see it for himself.  Brittney repeated her request to Eleanor a second time and sure enough she complied, smooching daddy on the head again!  Probably one of my favorite moments!
This girl is all fun.  I have been cursed by others, saying the second one will be a nightmare since Eleanor is such an easy baby.  I correct them and say that this is only fair after the terrible pregnancy I was given.  She is making up for all those nauseating days!
Eleanor's smile lights a room.  She is generally a happy baby and only fusses when someone is about to steal her from my arms, or if she is tired or hungry.  She is still quite the momma's girl, but also loves her daddy dearly.  Just yesterday I caught her on video squealing with delight when Alex came home from work and entered the living room.  There is so much joy in one tiny little body!
While she tends to prefer her momma, she is definitely independent.  She will play happily alone on the floor for at least an hour without disruption.  When we are at playgroup I hardly have to attend to her at all (except when her diaper leaks!)  I typically gab and socialize with girls while Eleanor crawls over the other babies and steals their toys (yup, that's my girl!)
She loves her friends and always has a fun time playing with Harper and Aubrey as well as the big girls at our little playgroup.  It is so exciting for me to see her interacting.  I can start to see more of her personality blooming every day.
We are still rocking Baby Led Weaning.  To date, the only purees Eleanor has ever really had was some applesauce.  She didn't approve because she couldn't feed herself.  Oh, and she has also shared smoothies with me.  I can't get her to suck out of a straw yet, but I use my thumb to stop-up the straw and then let it pour into her mouth.  She loves it, but always grabs for the straw.  We typically have a green monster mess all over both of us!
Breastfeeding is still going great.  As of today we are down to just three nursing sessions a day.  We cut back to four about two months ago when we were fully sleep-trained.  Once after she woke up in the mornings, once after her morning nap, after her afternoon nap, and then right before bed.  But now that we are using a babysitter more regularly (and I hate pumping) I nurse her when she wakes up (6:30-7am), when I pick her up at the sitter's (around 2 or 3pm) and then right before bed (6:30-7pm).  I'm worried we are weaning too much too soon, but she seems satisfied and it is working for me.  It even works when I have late meetings and Alex puts her to sleep without a bottle.  Then I just come in and do a dream feed when I get home.  I feel very lucky that she is adapting well and we can continue breastfeeding but not pumping.
And sleep is also quite amazing!  She sleeps 11-12 hours at night, usually going to bed around 6:30 or 7pm and waking around 6:30-7am.  A few nights ago she slept from 5:30pm to 8am!  Whoa baby!  She typically takes two naps a day, each about an hour or an hour and a half long.  Occasionally she opts for just one nap and will make it a giant three hour stretch!  It mostly depends on our day and where she is when she naps.  She is just so adaptable and is happy regardless!
She loved playing with the blinds during our photo shoot this month.  It is getting increasingly more difficult to photograph her during our photo shoots.  Yet on the other hand, she rarely takes a bad photo.  She is a ham for the camera and really turns it on.  She knows exactly what she is supposed to do when she sees a camera and works it!  I have created a monster!
This baby is my pride and joy and lights up my world.  I will be the first to admit that it is hard to not put her before everything else in my life, including Alex.  I have to be very careful to make sure Alex has not lost his rightful place as first in our family.  Eleanor and I are two peas in a pod, but that pod is Alex and he cannot be forgotten.  I don't often mention him in my monthly updates, but I have been wrong not to.  He certainly is the glue that holds us altogether.  He is so attentive to our needs and loving and caring.  And he's an absolutely amazing father.  Eleanor is so lucky to have him, and so am I!
Turtle, Turtle!
It's been nine amazing months since this sweet girl entered our lives.  I can't imagine anything greater in the whole world than being her mom!

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