Here we go again! Another month already gone by. This last month has felt very fast and very slow at the same time. Eleanor rang in her “4-month birthday” at the hospital, and I found things shifting quite a bit from then. It’s been a tiring month as far as sleep goes, but I think that’s pretty much a perfect storm of a bunch of different reasons. If I were to call this month anything, it would be the month that is at odds with itself. What I mean is that as much as it was the hardest month, it was best month. As much as I feel like we took 10 steps backwards in some ways, we took 10 steps forwards in other ways. As much as I feel I was challenged in new and harder ways, I learned more about myself than ever before. It was good AND bad, hard AND easy, frustrating AND fun. It was everything. So often when people describe being a mum, I hear them say, “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, too.” I.GET.IT. Wow do I get it more than ever before.
Highlights and Milestones
One milestone for Eleanor this past month was that she had her first taste of solids. I’ve heard 4 months, 6 months, and everything in between. I’ve read lots of articles. I’ve asked my doctor. Pretty much like nearly every parenting decision, there is not one right answer, and at the end of the day, as parents, we have to make decisions for our families and our children. Ok probably better stop on this before I full ascend onto my soapbox here – maybe another post all on its own? Anyway, I was really debating about this one, and after chatting with our Dr. we decided to give it a very slow go. I’ve probably given her solids maybe a dozen times in the last month, and each time it was quite a little amount. I didn’t want to rush into it, and I really felt to watch her and see how she went each time. Robbie and I were surprised that she pretty much figured it out from the first bite, and she was so keen. There were a couple times she wasn’t interested really, and I didn’t force it. I would give her a couple days off if she didn’t seem interested or didn’t do as well. I think in the next month or two we might try some new things, but I think with this particular one, I just feel to really take it slow. Eleanor basically death stares anyone with food at this point, however, so I am nervous when she is mobile and eating lots of things. She may tackle you to the ground for your banana, so watch out! :)
Another big milestone was that she figured out how to roll from her back to her belly. She rolled from her belly to her back about a month and a half ago for a few days, but she has completely forgotten that she ever did that. When she first figured the back to belly out, she would get her arm stuck underneath her and get mad. Now she’s pretty quick and efficient at keeping her arms out. However, she still gets annoyed after awhile when she can’t get back or move. When you roll her back onto her back, though, she gets frustrated at that, too. I think she just wants to move. She doesn’t sit still, so I am thinking I really need to get in tip-top shape to chase this little lady around in the future! The only frustration with the rolling was the first few nights of her learning her new skill. She would do it in the middle of the night and scare herself and cry for help. The first night we were up what seemed like 22 times, but it’s gotten better each night since. I’ve also realised that I think she may start sleeping better and better now that she has more options for how she sleeps. She seems to prefer her side and tummy to her back, even though we always lay her down on her back.
Highlights were hearing her discover more of her voice. She first started with super soft coos a few months ago, but this past month or so she has gotten so loud! She will screech like a velociraptor (this is Robbie’s call on what she sounds like) for so long, sometimes not taking a breath for 15-20 seconds. She makes all sorts of faces while doing it, too, as if she is really trying to communicate something. She also found a softer side to her voice, which pretty much melts my heart into a puddle. She giggles almost daily now, and it seems like it’s always random things that make her laugh. Although the one consistent one is tickling her sides. It’s infectious, and I find myself doing ridiculous things to try and get her to laugh.
Other highlights are her ever increasing chubbiness. I know I have to say that with a grain of salt because the girl is super petite. Our Dr. calls her a “10th percentile girl”. However, she is definitely filling out, and her cheeks are incredibly kissable. She’s getting some rolls on her thighs as well. I just want to kiss and squeeze and cuddle her all day long. Also, not sure if this is a highlight or more just something that happened, but Eleanor has lost most of her hair. It’s crazy to us how different she looks. She has a little mullet strip in the back that’s still thick and dark, but the rest fell out and seems to be returning much lighter.
Eleanor loves her Sophie the giraffe. I didn’t really get it before. I knew everyone recommended them. I get it now, though, because she loves it so much. I sort of credit it with her growing capacity to hold all sorts of items and turn them around. She’s grabbing everything!
She loves rolling over now that she can. She loves her activity mat as well, and when she hasn’t rolled over yet and is still on her back, she will actually hold the toys in her hand and turn them over. Then all of a sudden, she starts swatting at them like a volleyball player spiking a ball, and her legs get going and her eyes light up. It’s pretty funny to watch. She loves talking to these toys as well.
She loves when her daddy sings to her! She will stop crying and just stare at him when he sings. It’s really cute.
She loves being outside, especially if she can look at trees. Just last week I took her to see her favourite trees at a nearby park. It was a pretty windy day, and each time a gust of wind would hit the trees, she would light up and start talking to them.
This probably isn’t quite a “love” yet, but she’s definitely getting more on this side of the spectrum with bath time. There’s been major improvement (AKA I don’t have to take a bath with her anymore!). She loves kicking, and when she takes a bath, her kicks equal splashes, which are always fun. I think bath time could turn into a love when she starts sitting by herself.
The car is kind of weird to me. It seems like she’s doing better, and she definitely is. I would say 4 out of 5 car rides are pretty good now, but every so often, she will still have a complete meltdown. So I don’t really know where we stand with the car.
She doesn’t really like the pool yet. She cried when I dipped her toes in it. Hopefully that will change when we get back from holidays in January, and it’s a million degrees outside.
On the other end of the temperature spectrum, she doesn’t like super hot weather either. Just like her momma! We’ve had a couple suuuuuuper hot days this past month, and she is just not a fan at all. She yelled at the hot air one night – pretty funny.
How Am I Doing?
This one could probably be a whole blog post on its own as well. Overall, I am doing well. I am really looking forward to visiting family tomorrow. I am nervous for the flight, but I am sure it will be alright.
This past month was hard because I have been processing so much. The hospital thing really showed me how much anxiety can get the best of me, and I’ve been working through that a bit. I don’t want to walk in fear all the time that something bad is going to happen to Eleanor, and I am learning to trust God with her more. I am learning to relax and let go a bit more as well – Eleanor is Eleanor. She isn’t the baby in this book or that book. She isn’t so-and-so’s baby or anyone else other than Eleanor. I’ve let go of trying to make her get on a routine and do this or that, and I have really enjoyed her and being a mum this past month more than ever. I am exhausted for sure, but I am having so much fun with this little one. She melts my heart multiple times a day, and the older she gets and the more she interacts, the more I am loving our time together. I can’t wait to see all the things she discovers this month. It’s such a joy watching her.