Ten Months With Eleanor

Happy. If Eleanor were one of the Seven Dwarfs, she would most certainly be Happy. This girl has so much joy that she gives to nearly everyone she meets that my heart seems to burst everyday. People often comment about what a happy baby she is, and I am so grateful. She is such a joy!

This past month has been full again with all of her developments. New things every week it seems, and I can’t believe that we are only a couple months from her first birthday. I’ve started planning her parties. Yep, that’s right. She’s getting two first birthday parties this year – one in the States with family and the other here with all her friends. I am pretty excited to plan them both, BUT we are not there yet, so let’s get back to this 10 month business.

Also, I ask for your grace with these photos. It was nearly impossible this time around to keep her still for more then two seconds, so I did the best I could all things considered. Girl is just too busy!

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Highlights & Milestones

Movement is definitely her biggest milestone this past month. She was just starting to properly crawl the last time I wrote, and now she is whizzing around everywhere – crawling, standing, dancing – she’s ON THE MOVE! She quickly got confident with her crawling, and now she is crazy fast. It’s fun to see her in familiar places that now she can suddenly explore. She’s a bit more fearless than I think I am comfortable with, but thankfully we haven’t had many bumps and bruises so far. She has gotten increasingly confident on her feet as well. Right before she turned 9 months, she was just starting to pull up by her book basket. Now, she will pull up on anything – tables, couches, the wall, our legs. She’s very steady, and she’ll cruise around things while holding on quite regularly. She will also walk if we are holding her hands, but the minute we let go of one hand, she sits down. Even sitting down is quite steady, which makes me wonder how quickly she’s going to move into walking. I am not sure if I am ready for that!

The other movement she is very passionate about is dancing. Robbie and I both have upbeat playlists on our phones that we will play for her and then set the phone down by her. She will pick it up like her own personal baby boom box and start rocking back and forth. She also added bouncing up and down while standing and rocking back and forth on her knees. We’ve also seen a little baby twerk, which is equal parts terrifying and adorable. We have so much fun dancing with her. I posted a video last week of a compilation of Eleanor’s moves here if you want to see for yourself.

Eleanor is quite the ham these days. Her two-front-teeth, cheesin’ grin is melting hearts all over the place. She will giggle and squeal when seeing different people, and often at mealtimes, she will pick certain people and just give them goofy smiles and squeals the whole meal. She also taught herself how to do the fish face, which is so awesome to me. I was shocked when I saw her do it. This past week she has been sticking her tongue out, and that is also just too cute. Pretty much the girl opens her eyes, and I am a puddle lately. I am not ready for the hard yards of disciplining that come with the toddler years!!!

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I’ve noticed she’s also started mimicking a bit more. She will mimic sounds and faces. She’s very affectionate, and she will give me hugs randomly and pat my shoulder. It’s so sweet. Sometimes, I will make a “mmm” sound, and she’ll start repeating that in her sweet little voice.

Eleanor is most definitely getting bigger physically. She is still quite small for her age, but this past month, she’s been eating so well. You can tell this in her weight gain and in her fitting into bigger sizes now. She also has so much more hair. I crack up when I see photos from just 3-4 months ago when she was practically bald! It’s coming in pretty well now, and I can finally put some cute clips in her hair.

She is sleeping a lot better as of the last week, and we seem to be hitting a better groove with nursing as well in the last week. It seems the minute you figure something out with a baby, it all changes, so she’s definitely keeping me on my toes and helping me to be aware and adaptable. She’s a great water drinker, which is such a highlight for me. I feel like I struggle to drink enough water, so I am trying to cultivate this habit in her at a young age. So far, so good!

Finally, I am finding myself thinking of more places to take her each week so she can explore. I think home and the warehouse is not enough to keep her interested every single day, so I try to mix it up. This is fun, though, because I love seeing her explore new places. We’ve been to the museum and both malls’ kids places now, and she’s loved them all. We’ve also taken more walks to different places. I am grateful for the weather lately that makes all of this possible.

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Likes

  • Food – among her favourites are risotto, oatmeal, grapes, crackers and raisins…and anything else other people are eating. She wants to be a part of everything, so she’s starting to get impatient if people around her are eating and she’s not.
  • Dancing and music
  • Swings
  • Bubbles
  • Walks in the pram
  • Exploring new places
  • Playing chase (crawling style)
  • People! She LOVES people!
  • Water
  • Curious George
  • Standing up
  • Bath & Bedtime routine

Dislikes

  • Getting her nose wiped
  • Putting clothes on
  • Occasionally the car
  • When we are too slow to give her food…
  • Shoes and socks (we are working on this one since winter is approaching here)

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How Am I Doing?

I am doing pretty well. Eleanor’s sleep improvement obviously majorly affects me, but I find it takes a bit before you get used to having a deep sleep again. She’s mostly on a pretty predictable schedule as well, which is helpful to plan out the day/week.

I am still sorting through what a typical week looks like for me. I am trying to be holistic in my approach to this so that I am not majorly shortchanging one area for another, but I am also trying to maintain a bit of flexibility and be realistic about everything. All that to say I am praying into how I am contributing at YWAM so I can make sure I am still deeply maintaining that connection. I am primarily with Eleanor, and I am passionate about keeping it that way. However, I know how important it is to not only have things for yourself, but particularly as a missionary, to make sure I am connected with my mission. It’s an exciting process.

Health stuff is still something I am thinking about and working on. I am sort of at a loss with my allergies and trying to balance what works and what’s realistic. Hopefully I can get some clarity on this soon.

Overall, I am really, really, really enjoying this beautiful daughter of mine (enough to write three reallys!). We have so much fun together, and she is such a delight. I am loving being her mum, watching her grow and explore new things and make new friends. Yes, there are many challenges that come with parenting, but the joy is indescribable!

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