Nine Months With Eleanor

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This morning I was making coffees for some friends who own a childcare centre. I’ve done it before here and there, just filling in when there’s a need. It’s pretty awesome that they give parents espresso coffees in the morning – best childcare idea I’ve heard of! In the slower moments, I was looking through my Instagram posts from the last month to determine what all to write about Eleanor this month, and I found myself scrolling back way further than just one month. I eventually wound up at the post announcing her arrival. Her first months feel like an eternity ago, but I know less than a year has gone by. I found myself feeling emotional about just how fast this is all going, missing her tiny baby days but at the same time LOVING this stage she is in right now. I am enjoying her so much. I wish time would slow down a little, though!

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Highlights & Milestones

There were so many highlights this month, but probably the biggest highlight was having Papaw in town with us for the majority of it. Eleanor loved seeing him every morning when he’d pop over for coffee, and it was so cool that she learned and developed as much as she did while he was here to see it.

When my Dad first arrived, Eleanor seemed as if she was gearing up to crawl, but she wasn’t actually moving quite yet. She mastered the planking position, and in the first week or two he was here, she was starting to bring her knees down and get in crawling position. Then one day, she started inch-worming. It was so cute, and you could see this new world of possibilities open up to her. Her inch-worming soon turned into army crawling, and then during my Dad’s last week, she finally got up onto her knees and did a few proper crawls. I was glad he got to see her in the beginning stages of crawling. Since he’s left, which has only been a week, she has mastered crawling and is now pulling herself up on things. She has a little book basket that I found her next to the other day, on her knees, pulling books out of it. The “movement curve” has just gotten SO steep, and we are having to watch her a bit more closely.

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She loves standing (assisted, of course), and I think the introduction of the Jolly Jumper, as well as Papaw, have strengthened her legs and made her excited to stand all the time. She’ll look for your fingers, one at a time, indicating that she wants to stand up. We really have to watch her closely if we are changing her clothes on the bed because she is getting faster and faster and crawling all around. We also had to lower her cot this month as she was starting to figure out how to pull herself up. I feel like Eleanor went from baby to pre-toddler this month. So much has happened!

Eleanor’s second tooth fully popped through, and her bottom two front teeth are nice and high now. Her little smile kills me with those two teeth – too cute!

She’s started talking A TON. She really looks as if she’s communicating something, too. I love hearing her little voice, and not that I am wishing for time to go any faster but I am excited for when she actually starts saying words.

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Another highlight for me would be mornings. I think because she’s eating on a regular basis now – breakfast, lunch and dinner – it’s nice having a morning routine with her. I get her up, give her a breastfeed, and change her nappy. Then we go into the kitchen, and I start her with some raisins while I prepare her breakfast. She really loves raisin toast and smoothies. We’ll normally watch an episode of Curious George, which is Eleanor’s favourite. I’ll have a coffee and hang out with her or put dishes away. Then we’ll get cleaned up and either go for a walk or play in the living room.

I suppose another milestone this month is her independence. She’s getting more ok playing and discovering things on her own. I think this has a lot to do with her capacity to move around. It’s very interesting to just watch her, to see what she finds interesting. She spots E.V.E.R.Y. crumb on my floor making vacuuming an almost daily necessity. I’ve found rocks and plastic things in her mouth already, and we are only about 2 weeks into this whole crawling gig. She also is quite independent when it comes to food. She does not want any help at all. It’s cute…and a little frustrating depending on the food. I’ve had to give her a few morning baths because she’s spread certain foods all over her head. I love watching her discover things for herself, though. She loves sharing her food, too, which is pretty cute.

Eleanor is getting decently predictable now at this age, and we are finding that really helpful. We’ve been able to go on lots of dates after she’s gone to sleep, and just the other night, we actually went on our first date when the babysitters have put her to bed. It was SO awesome!

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Likes

  • FOOD! (Most fruits, sweet potatoes, toast, smoothies, crackers, raisins to name a few)
  • Her other baby friends
  • Jolly Jumper
  • Bathtime
  • Playing on Mum and Dad’s bed
  • Clapping
  • Waving
  • Talking
  • Swinging and going down the slide
  • Walks in the pram
  • Going to the YWAM Warehouse and visiting friends
  • Curious George
  • Hats
  • FaceTime
  • When we sing to her
  • Moraccas, drums, anything musical

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Dislikes

  • Getting wiped down after eating
  • Getting dressed
  • Cold things – cold water, super cold smoothies, etc.
  • Riding in the car for extended periods of time (no meltdowns, just tantrums)
  • When I leave a room

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How Am I Doing?

I am really enjoying this stage with Eleanor. I find that I have so much fun with her. Of course there are moments when a break sounds nice, too, but overall, I am loving my mum gig!

Working out is going great, and I find that I really need to keep doing it to help with energy and feeling stronger. I understand now why people feel it’s important to be healthy for their kids. You want to keep up with them and be able to do all the things they want to do. Now that she’s moving around, I am seeing how important it’s going to continue to be.

Over the past month, I haven’t eaten nearly as well because we finished our Whole30 and my Dad was in town, so I just sort of adapted to what was easiest. I am definitely feeling it – not feeling as healthy and allergies are back. I am sorting out how I want to move forward from here as far as my own health/allergies, as well as some habits I want to kick (i.e. the need for dessert every night…). I am also realising how important some of these habits will be if I hope to teach them to Eleanor, particularly now that she is eating a lot more solid foods.

Sleep also played a major factor in this past month. I got a taste of how good it could be to have Eleanor sleeping better, and then this past month went backwards so much. I think a big part of that was when she was getting her first teeth in, we were very accommodating and sensitive to her. We didn’t maintain the things we had been doing so she quickly fell back into old habits even after her teeth were fully through. About a week ago, though, we went back to our routine, and she’s starting to do better. We also swapped around when I nurse her in our bedtime routine, and that is helping to free me up a little so she’s not nursing right before bed but rather at the beginning of the bedtime routine.

Other than that, I am feeling pretty good. The other mums and I at the YWAM centre have started a mum’s morning tea on Saturday mornings, and we started this past Saturday. I think that will definitely be something I look forward to each week. I am also praying and thinking through where I am at with this season – how am I contributing, what does an average week look like, etc. I think previously I’ve tried to fit pre-Eleanor stuff into life now, whereas I feel like I need to just start fresh as a mum in missions. I am excited for the process, and I am sure it will be just that – a process.

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