Twelve Months With Eleanor

Eleanor is now a big 1-year-old. In fact, she’s been a big 1-year-old for about 10 days, and I am just now writing this post. It’s sort of hung over me like a (shiny) cloud, and I’ve wanted to ignore it to be honest. It seems impossible that we are already here.

I’ve gone back and forth about what to write. I actually started another post called “One Year With Eleanor”, and as I was writing it, I realised that it more reflected the whole journey of the past year. That’s a totally different subject in some ways. So to keep with tradition, here is the next update as I’ve been writing all the updates. I may do some other ones as well.

Also, a few people have asked if I will continue these updates and the elephant photos. I don’t plan to do them monthly anymore, but I do plan to continue writing about Eleanor. Maybe every 3 months or so like these, and then I have some other ideas for posts as well. And in keeping with broken record fashion, I do fully intend to get more active with my blog again. I have so many ideas swirling up top, but life has been a little hectic (and disorganised) to get it going the way I want. Stay tuned.


Highlights & Milestones

Probably the biggest highlight from Eleanor’s 12th month was visiting the States again. It was such a special trip. We went home for a family reunion and to celebrate Eleanor’s 1st birthday. I haven’t been back to the States in Summer since I left for Australia 7 years ago, so it was really fun.

I had been planning all sorts of “summer” activities for Eleanor while we were there. Some highlights of the trip – Freedom Water Park, The Indianapolis Zoo, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, playing outside in the grass with Reese (parents’ dog), walks in the stroller and wagon, trying ice cream for the first time, her birthday party, seeing fireworks (and sparklers!) and of course, allllll the summer berries. Robbie’s parents and sister and her husband came up while we were there, and it was so special to have everyone together. We really loved this trip, even though it felt entirely too short.

One milestone is that Eleanor got her first top tooth. This girl grows teeth sloooooowly! The second one is nearly through now, but it’s pretty hilarious to see her one top tooth poking through.

Another milestone is using a walker. She started this in Australia using her little friend’s doll stroller. She walked around the warehouse with it, and we were impressed with how quickly she picked it up. My mom found one in Indy at a consignment shop for her, and she didn’t miss a beat ripping around their house. It only took her a day to figure out how to turn it. She loved that thing and the freedom that came with it. She also would walk if she had your fingers, and by the end of our trip, she was practically running. She would guide you (quite strongly too!) with her arms in the direction she wanted to go in. She also began standing up all on her own without having to hold onto something. She’s pretty proud of this new skill. She has only taken a step here and there from that freestanding position so far.



  • Frozen – the girl is crazy for Frozen and got quite a lot of Frozen paraphernalia for her 1st birthday
  • Grapes, raisins and blueberries – she would eat any of these all day long if she could
  • Walking around everything
  • Standing on her own
  • Books, books, books! (She got a lot for her birthday!!!)
  • My parents’ dog, Reese – bffs!
  • Spinach dip – a new discovery and quite hilarious
  • Animals – thank you zoo!
  • Jumping, bouncing, rolling around on the bed – maybe part monkey?
  • Water
  • Playing peek-a-boo and chase
  • Putting on shoes
  • Eggs!!!
  • Bathtime (only in our bathtub apparently)



  • Moderate dislike of the car still
  • Vegetables (unless they’re hidden in things)


How Am I Doing?

At this very moment, I am pretty darn tired. Eleanor didn’t transition too well sleep-wise with jet lag and a new place/cot. She was up a lot and at random times, and as we’ve returned from our trip, she is still not doing too great. It’s a bit of a perfect storm really – jet lag, new place, back to the old place, new teeth, turning 1, not wanting 2 naps, etc. I am pretty tired from it all, though.

Aside from that, I am loving this stage with her, tiredness and all. She is so fun, and her personality is so vibrant. She is such a joy, and I love how much she loves other people. She makes people smile so easily, and I love that about her. I am excited for all these new experiences with her and this next year. I am amazed at just how quickly this year went, that I have been a mum for an entire year now. I am enjoying this stage with her and in no rush for another baby quite yet. There are lots of little baby friends, some brand new and some nearly here, for Eleanor, too, and that is always a lot of fun for us. I find it a huge privilege to be a mum in missions. There is an incredible community and so many opportunities, and I feel really grateful for all of it.

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