Monday, May 28, 2012

12 Months

Eleanor is 12 months old!

I'm one week and one day late, but we've been so busy with her birthday. We owe a huge "Thank you!" to everyone who came to her party and made it such a fun day for all of us.

Here is what is going on with our beautiful girl these days...

Size: She is 21 lbs 8 oz and 30 inches tall, holding steady in the 75% percentile for both. She fits well into 12-18th month sized tops, but has really long legs and needs 18-24 month sized pants. She wears a size 4 shoe.

Mobility: She isn’t walking yet. I’m not sure when she will start. She doesn’t even seem to be particularly close, but that’s ok. She crawls really fast and cruises around on the furniture like a pro. I’m sure she’ll get there soon enough.

Language: I swear she picks up a new word every day. It’s incredible. So far she says mama, daddy, kitty, hi, baby, tickle, ball, hat, shoes, eye, utoh, puffs, wawa (water), wow, that, and can combine them into very simple phrases like “Hi daddy!” and “Mama, wawa?” She understands so much as well. She is great at following verbal instructions and knows the names of a lot of her toys. She is still using several signs, but talking has definitely taken over.

Personality: Eleanor was always a shy, serious baby, but lately she is starting to become so friendly! Often she will say “hi” to strangers and wave, especially if they say “hi” and wave first, where before if a stranger paid her any attention it would make her turn away and hide her face. She’s very affectionate and loves to give hugs and kisses. When we are playing on the floor she will crawl over to me, stand up, and give me the biggest hug with her arms around my neck. She also loved to hug her cousin Atlas when we were visiting him, but their interactions made me realize she is definitely on the sensitive side. If he was at all rough with her, or even just touched her too much or in a way she didn’t like she would immediately tear up and cry in a really dramatic fashion. She is trying to be more brave though. Lately if she gets hurt she will think about it for a second, pout, and give me this look as if she is trying really hard not to cry before she gives in to the tears.

Food: In the last few days it seems like she has really turned a corner with eating. Before she would have some days where she ate well and some where she just threw everything on the floor, but lately she has been consistently eating almost everything I give her. Right now some of her favorite foods are grapes, blueberries, macaroni and cheese, yogurt, cheese, and turkey. Her favorite snacks are veggie straws and puffs.

Horrid Things: She has always hated to get her diaper changed, but lately she has figured out that she can thwart my efforts by twisting around and trying to stand up on the changing table. Every change is now a mini wrestling match. I try keeping fun toys on the table, singing songs, distracting her by giving her tasks, but sometimes none of that works. It’s not that big of a deal if she’s just wet, but if it’s a poopy diaper….yeah. Let’s not even go there. She has also entered that phase of her life where she has a perpetual runny nose, between minor colds and teething. Yuck.

Great Things: There are so many of them. One that I am particularly thankful for is that she is really well behaved when we are out. She does great in her stroller, even for extended periods of time, and she is easy to take to restaurants. She sits nicely in her high hair and nibbles on food while checking out all of the new faces. Another is that she is starting to really show an interest in toys after not really caring about them for her entire life. She got so many fun new ones for her birthday. I love to sit with her at watch her learn how to interact with them, and it also helps my days go by a little easier when there is something other than me that can entertain her.

Favorite Things: She loves purses and wallets. My mom gave her an old wallet and some used gift cards which she loves to pull out. We got her a Fisher Price purse for her birthday that comes with lots of little accessories that she loves to take out and put back in. Another birthday gift which has been a huge hit is the Fisher Price shape sorting picnic basket. Both toys have handles so in addition to playing with them she enjoys simply putting them on her arm and carrying them around.

Friday, April 20, 2012

11 Months

Eleanor is 11 months old today!

Most of you already know this since I posted about it on Facebook, but Eleanor has started saying a few words. First were "mama" and "dada," followed by "tickle," "baby," and "kitty" (ti-ty). She loves to talk and seems so anxious to communicate. Countless times a day she says "Mama?" with inflection as if she wants to ask me a question. I always answer with something like "What, baby?" and she will reply with one of her words or a string of babble. Sometimes we go back and forth just saying "Mama?" "What, baby?" "Mama?" "What, baby?" She loves getting any sort of response to her spoken words.

She is also starting to communicate with the few signs we have taught her. She picked up the sign for "nurse" the fastest (of course). She also knows the signs for "eat," "all done," and "more." She sort of made up a sign of her own too. When she wants something and I tell her "Say please" (of course I know she can't actually say it yet, but as Julie Andrews says, "Manners matter!" and you can't start too young), she will put out her hand with the palm up. Since she is doing so well with signing I'm working on adding more to her vocabulary, starting with "diaper," "water," and "again."

The "again" sign will come in handy because this girl LOVES books, and of course just reading a book once is never enough, so we always end up reading the same book to her over and over and over and over and over again. She will go over to the book case (I cleared out one of the lower shelves for her board books), pick out a book, bring it over to us, and hold it up for us to read to her. She loves turning the pages and stares so diligently at the pictures. When we read the end and close the book she immediately picks it up and hands it to us again. It can get very tedious, but if reading Barnyard Dance to her for the twentieth time in a row will help her develop a love of learning and reading, then I am more than glad to do it.

A few weeks ago we celebrated her first Easter. I wasn’t planning on doing anything for her since she is still so young, but Andrew called me on Friday before Easter and said he wanted to go to Target on his lunch break and get her an Easter basket. How sweet is that? He picked her out a baby doll, a few books, a stuffed lamb, a ball, and a squirt gun (which is a little advanced for her yet, but he wants it to be an Easter tradition). He also got her plastic eggs, which we filled with cheerios and hid in obvious places for her to find. She didn’t quite get the egg hunting process. We’ll have to try again next year. The doll, however, was a big hit. It is her new go-to toy, and what inspired her to say "baby." She is such a lovebug, always giving her doll (along with her stuffed animals and her very grateful parents) plenty of hugs and kisses.

In just one short month she will be one year old. It’s hard to believe. You know how when someone asks how old your baby is as the month goes on you stop saying simply “6 months” and start to say “almost 7 months”? I do that a lot, always looking toward the future rather than staying in the moment. I’ve been saying she was “almost 11 months” for half of the time she was 10 months. I’m not going to do that this time. I’m going to try really hard to make this month, the last month of my baby’s first year of life, go by as slowly as possible. When people ask, I will say she is simply 11 months old, not almost 12 months, not almost one. I want to cherish every single day of her being just 11 months old, I won’t rush her on.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

10 Months

Eleanor is 10 months old today!

Her favorite things are currently clapping and waving. The first thing she does when she wakes up in the morning is wave at me, then wave at the kitty. She always waves at the kitty even though the kitty never waves back. She waves at strangers, when she hears the words "Hi" and "Bye," and when Andrew walks in the door after work. She claps whenever she hears music, wants to express approval, or simply wants to hear me say "Yay!"

She is picking up new tricks left and right. If I hold out my hand and say “Please!” she will put whatever she has at the moment in my hand. At first it was just a fun pass-back-and-forth game, but it’s started to really come in handy when she gets ahold of something I don’t want her to have. Instead of taking it from her and making her cry, I just say “Please!” and she hands it right over. I wonder how long it will take her to figure out she doesn’t always have to hand me something when I ask for it.

She learned how to take toys out of containers and put them back in. At first she was just doing it with a blue plastic Solo cup that she picked up at a party over a month ago that has been a constant source of fun, but last week we went to a toy store and got her a little dog house with small plush dogs to put in and take out of. She loves it.

She’s also learned how to lay on her belly and fish dust bunnies out from under the furniture. Mommy is not a fan of this last one. But luckily she hands them over to me if I ask nicely and say “Please.” That is if I notice before she puts it in her mouth. Yuck.

She has started reliably saying "Mama" and "Dada" now. Any time she wants me she starts on with her “mamamamamamaaa.” Heaven forbid I ever leave the room, because she immediately yells out for me. A lot of her "Mama" talk happens in the midst of whining, but my favorite times are when she is playing on the floor and crawls to me with a crystal clear “Mama” and a smile on her sweet face. A few days after she really got "Mama" down and she learned "Dada" as well. She is also repeating a lot of sounds and even words, but I don't think she is connecting them with anything yet, so I don't want to point to anything as her first real word. She has repeated "yes," "shoes," and "that" so far, but only sporadically. We love hearing her sweet little voice.

One last thing, she has eight teeth!

Here are some photos from the last few weeks:

Monday, February 20, 2012

9 Months

Eleanor is 9 months old today!

Wow. She has been out as long as she was in. While those first 9 months went by painfully slowly, these last 9 months have flown by. It's hard to believe it was even the same amount of time.

At 9 months Eleanor is crawling all over the place, curiously exploring our apartment. She loves to head toward something she knows I don't want her to touch and then turn around a smile at me, as if to say "Are you gonna come get me now?" She started really crawling a week ago and is now a seasoned pro. She is a good eater and likes to try new foods, making use of her six teeth. She can drink out of a sippy cup by herself (as long as it's the kind with a straw). She usually only take two naps a day and is a great sleeper at night. She is really easy going and does great out and about, at restaurants, and at our friends' houses. She likes her stroller and of course being in the Ergo carrier. She loves to laugh and give kisses. She is unspeakably wonderful.

Eleanor and I will be back in Phoenix later this week to celebrate Atlas's first Birthday. We're going to try to get in as many visits as possible. We're looking forward to seeing everybody!

38 weeks:

39 weeks:

Friday, February 3, 2012

36 & 37 Weeks

Our girl is getting closer and closer to crawling. She can get into the hands and knees position really quickly now and has crawled backwards a few times, but she's still learning how to coordinate her arms and legs to get her to move forward. She also figured out how to maneuver from her belly into a sitting position.

She constantly surprises us with her brightness. Last week we were sitting on the floor playing and the second Andrew walked through the door after work she waved at him! He hadn’t even had time to wave to her first. She put it together that waving is something you do when you first see someone. I've also been half-heartedly teaching her a few signs and today she mimicked the "all done" sign.

I inadvertently taught Eleanor the best trick ever this week. Sometimes if she is feeling particularly cuddly she will put her head against my chest just for a second, then look up at me and smile. When she started doing that, I started squeezing her close and saying “Oh, soooooo sweet!” which she found hilarious. Now if I ask her, “Eleanor, are you so sweet?” she’ll put her head down on my chest and I will respond with a drawn out sing-songy “soooo sweet!” So I basically conditioned her to cuddle on cue.

She is so stinkin cute I can hardly handle it. I was sad when she started teething because I knew I’d miss her gummy smile, but now I couldn’t possibly imagine my life without her wide bunny-toothed grin. She has the best smile I have ever seen, an ear-to-ear beam where she shows off all 6 of her pearly whites that just melts your heart.

37 weeks:

36 weeks: