Just a few days ago, Eleanor turned ten months old. Though I have always felt amazed how quickly each month has passed and how big our little girl is getting, this ten month milestone really stood out to me. Eleanor has changed dramatically this month. She has grown and developed into such a lovely little girl. Each day she becomes a little less of a baby and a little more of a girl. Her hair is growing longer and she frequently has little curls by her ears. Today we bought her first barrettes to keep her hair out of her face. She looked so “grown up” with a barrette styling her hair. Her countenance seems wiser and more understanding when she looks at Scott and I. Her two bottom teeth are clearly visible (though still no sign of any top teeth). She is starting to outgrow some of her twelve month clothing already. But not only does our baby look older and bigger, she is also showing us more of her personality and “Eleanorness.”
Since Eleanor has learned to crawl, Eleanor has shown us more of who she is. When I sit back and watch her crawl around, I can’t help thinking about her little brain making choices: “I wonder what that toy feels like.” “I want to taste the cat food.” “Those shoes look really interesting.” Eleanor has had these thoughts before, but now she can act on these thoughts. Watching her crawl shows me what she is thinking – where she wants to go, what she wants to touch, what objects really interest her (the cat food dish seems to be the most amazing thing ever). I’ve been working with her a lot on what is okay to touch and what is not. Scott and I are striving to stay consistent with her and are doing lots of redirecting. Now that we have a crawler in the house, we are much more busy – yet I adore watching my daughter explore and grown and learn. It’s a wonderful stage on life. The best thing so far about crawling is when she decides to crawl to me. Seeing her little 20 pound body scurry across the kitchen floor to be close to me melts my heart every time.
Yep, she’s pulling up too. All the time – on the dishwasher door, when I’m unloading dishes, on toys, on furniture, and even on her crib railing. Just this week, 2 out of 3 times, she’s been standing in her bed waiting for me to come get her. She still isn’t taking any steps while holding onto something, but that skill isn’t far away. In fact, Scott and I were talking the other day about what is will be like to see her come walking into a room to see us. It’s still hard to envision that.
Eleanor is just like Scott and I – she loves her food. And I love cooking for her. This morning, we had oatmeal pancakes (my friend, Polly’s, recipe) and Eleanor fed herself little pieces with homemade cinnamon applesauce on top. She absolutely loved it. Another favorite has been this pork tenderloin recipe, as she loves anything with sweet potato in it. She can also fed herself peas and carrots, small pieces of tilapia, and saltines. The other day, I let her try to feed herself with a spoon. While the clean up made me wonder about the success of this endeavor, Eleanor loved the independence and actually got the spoon into her mouth – with food on it – a few times. And she certainly still loves to nurse – especially when she wakes up in the morning and before bed. I cherish this way of feeding her as I know we likely will only continue for a few more months.
Playing with Friends
We had a terrific play group at our house on Saturday and Eleanor crawled around with the three other babies is total bliss for nearly two hours. She moved up to the crawlers room at church and loved being with other babies her age. We have enjoyed hanging out with our new friend Piper (and her mom, Molly) at the library and little swimmers. Eleanor has a special kind of friendship with Zoe, our cat. She loves to crawl to her and touch her fur. Zoe will usually only tolerate this for 30 seconds. We’ve also discovered that Eleanor adores dogs. Hmmm…not sure we want a dog anytime soon, but it’s pretty cute to see her face light up when she sees one close by.
Eleanor is learning some signs! She is starting to wave “bye bye” and give high fives, which is too precious. She even has been getting the hang of raising her arms up to show she is “so big” when we ask “How big is Eleanor?” We’ve been working on the signs “please,” “more” (as in more food), and “all done.” I have seen what I think is the “please” sign a couple of times too. It’s hard to say. What’s so cool about this is Eleanor is communicating. Slowly, she is learning to use her hands to interact with Scott and I. She babbles all the time (dada, baba, mama) , but still haven’t heard what we would consider a first word. Like every new skill, it will probably happen before we know it.
It’s so funny, that sleep used to be one of the things I worried about most when she was little. Now, Eleanor is a great sleeper…most of the time. Since she learned to crawl and pull up, what does she do in her bed? That’s right, crawl around and pull up on the crib rails. This makes sleeping harder for her. For the past week, I’ve heard her wake up each night and fuss for a while because she has woken herself up enough the crawl around. I try to just let her fuss and go back to sleep on her own, but it’s hard to listen to her cry – especially when I am tired in the middle of the night. I know God will help her rest and learn to put herself back to sleep again. I’m looking forward to not waking up in the middle of the night again.
Our big ten-month-old-girl is our delight. Scott and I often talk about how blessed and fortunate we are that God choose us to be her parents. As she grows, we are more and more in awe that she came from us, grew inside my body, and is made up of our DNA. Nothing has made me more in awe of God than looking and the child He created and brought into the world through Scott and I. We praise Him and thank Him for my dear girl – ten-month-old Eleanor Johnson.