Beauty in Mommyhood: Elle is 10 months old

*edit: Many of the pictures from this post have been removed. Mama just doesn’t feel comfortable sharing that many pictures of our beautiful children online. 

Dear Elle,

I love that I’ve been writing you these letters. I love that when you’re older, you’ll get a chance to read my thoughts about what it was like to be your mama when you were just a wee babe. You’re growing up so quickly and it’s hard to remember everything. That’s why I make it my duty to document the basics each month.

 

Look how pretty you are in your red Christmas dress! Unfortunately, you were more interested in eating leaves than smiling for the camera so we have to do a part II of attempting to get you to smile for your Christmas card photos.

You’re almost a year old and while in the past I’d get all weepy about this, I’ve decided to stop that. It is a blessing that you’re growing and developing the way that you are. There isn’t anything to be sad about. We’ve taken a few thousand pictures of you so we’ll always remember how teeny and small you were but to see you go from a tiny lil’ thang to this almost walking and talking little being…that’s sheer amazement! So no. Mama will not get choked up every time I think about how fast you’re growing. I will thank God that you ARE growing and that I get to enjoy this life journey with you.

Baby loves Christmas trees

Look at that. You’re not the only one growin’ up. Mama is too. Your 2 bottom teeth broke through this month and you didn’t cry one bit. In fact, your sore gums bothered me more than they bothered you. And it still surprises Daddy and me how quickly you went from scooting on the floor to crawling 30 miles per hour to now standing with no hands. Wow! You never cease to amaze us.

Oh…and you’re also talking. And A LOT! Some of your favorite words:

-Bob
-Butt
-Pop (you heard Daddy say this once and wouldn’t stop saying it!)
-Mum
-Dada
-Hiiiiiii
-Buh Buh (bye-bye)
-Pat, Pat, Pat
-Uh ooooohhhh
…and the unavoidable “NO”

I noticed you saying “No no no” a few weeks ago and I blamed myself because I got in the habit of telling YOU “no”. Daddy and me are trying to get in the habit of using words other than NO. It’s hard but we certainly don’t want you to go around saying NO! every minute of the day.

A few weeks ago we had a playdate with Sebastian and Cat. I’ve seen you interact with kids older than you but I’ve never seen you around kids smaller and younger than you. You were so sweet! It was as if you knew to be gentle wit him. You even gave him a kiss which just blew my mind!

 

FOOD

Okay, mama will be honest. This food thing has me frustrated. Some days you’ll eat a ton of eggs and gluten-free toast. And other days, you’ll toss everything that we hand you. We offer you food multiple times a day but most days you just don’t want it. Mama has to practice patience because it’s a bit disheartening to give food for a baby that just won’t eat. You’re already petite and I want to get you on solids so that the breast milk train can stop a chuggin’ but it’s tough. You really are a picky eater. Daddy has been teaching me how to be patient and you keep developing beautifully so I’ve got to learn how to trust that one day, you’ll eat just fine. Can you believe that I’m still pumping? I’m so proud that I’ve been able to give you breast milk for this long!!

SLEEP

I find solace in knowing I’m not the only mama with an older infant who won’t sleep through the night. It has become tougher since I have a grueling work schedule but I’m hoping that the end is near. Waking up every 3-4 hours at night is tough on your Mom and Dad. We’ve tried letting you cry it out but honestly, that just seems cruel and it’s heartbreaking to hear you scream “Mum” in dispair. Especially when a snuggle or milk is all that want. You sleeping through the night will change our lives for the better so help a family out, baby. Please?

PERSONALITY

Girl. Your personality is so alive. You are hilarious. You do silly things (like go around screaming “butt”) that makes everyone chuckle. You also have your moments where you don’t want to smile. You don’t want to be bothered and you don’t want to be held. But then you have your needy days where you cry if someone puts you down. You’re so sweet. Sometimes when I carry you on my back, you rub and pat my arm. The most random things can make you giggle. We have learned to watch what we say because you repeat everythiiiiiing. And you want to get into everything too!

I’ve been learning to let go a little bit too. I’ve realized that I have become such a helicopter mama. I know hovering isn’t always a good thing so I’ve learned to let you play by yourself sometimes. And not always with baby toys. I stopped trying to block you from everything in the house and so you now have free range. That’s right, you’ve been known to dive right into mama’s stash of beauty products. I keep a close eye on you and let you play. Life is short. I don’t want to spend it limiting you to only playing with certain toys, in a certain room and at certain times.We started going to a new church and you’re not a fan of sitting still but you loooove the nursery. You’re such a social baby and I love that.

With every month there are different challenges, celebrations and I am just amazed at how much we are all growing. Daddy watched you for 3 days straight and he did such a good job! Some people call that just “parenting”, but hey…not every Daddy can go grocery shopping with a baby on their back. I am unbelievably proud of him and I love seeing how you can bring out the best of us. And I love the relationship that you have with your Daddy. It’s so beautiful to see you bonding with him.

I love our little family so much. And we love you so much. You are the light of our lives and I thank God everyday for your health and happiness.

Untitled

Love you, baby.
Mama

 

Beauty in Mommyhood: Elle is 8 months old

*edit: Many of the pictures from this post have been removed. Mama just doesn’t feel comfortable sharing that many pictures of our beautiful children online.

*Note: I am way behind on Elle’s updates. She’s actually almost 10 months. Eek! I’ll be cranking out another update in the next week.

 

Dear Elle,

You’re Muffin.
Your name is Muffin.
You’re sweet, brown and round – your name is Muffin.
You’re Muffin.
Yeah Muffin.
And everyone loves you ’cause you’re Muffin.

 

I make up the silliest songs for you. But singing them to you always makes you feel better when you’re fussy. I’m seriously going to put together an album of the songs that I’ve made up. Including the “Wipe your face and wipe your butt” jingle and your favorite…”Don’t You Cry, Elle Belle”. Your bring out the sillies in me.

Speaking of sillies, you are hilarious! My favorite game to play with you is getting us both under the covers and then pulling back the sheets and shouting “Weeee!” You have the cutest little laugh. One time Daddy had you giggling for like 10 minutes straight. My heart was bursting.

 

You are well on your way to toddlerhood because now and days, you get really upset when you don’t get what you want. You don’t understand NO yet but I’m trying to find ways to help you understand what you can and can’t do without always saying NO.

 

Food

You still aren’t insanely in love with food but you’re definitely getting more and more interested. This month you had smoked turkey. You loved in. In fact, you really love turkey and I’m amazed at how well you feed yourself. Breast milk is about 80% of your diet. When you’re not gulping that down you’re eating peaches, scrambled eggs, gluten-free noodles, homemade spaghetti sauce, sweet potatoes and pretty much anything that we eat. You also like hummus and applesauce but only sometimes. You also drink water from a cup.

 

 

Sleeping

Mama soooooo wishes you would sleep through the night. I’m thinking one of the reasons why you don’t is because you’re still in our room. This month the plan is to move you into your own room. You never had a formal nursery because we didn’t intend on staying in this house long but things have changed and since we’re going to be here a bit longer, I think you’ll do better in your own space. We’ll see how it goes. 8 months of chronic sleep deprivation is crippling.

Your Firsts:

-You went to Disney!!! Not the parks but we explored the area.
-You stayed at your first Disney World Resort – The Grand Floridian. That makes 5 hotel rooms that you’ve crashed in. Wow!
-You said Mama!!!
-You have perfected the army crawl.
-You signed “milk”
-You went to your first makeup show.

Cool Things You Do:

-You have perfected your wave.
-You wave bye bye too!
-You know how to tap the iPad to make things change.
-You can high five on demand.

You’re getting heavier and that sometimes when I look at you I say that baby face of yours slowly start to disappear. I’m so not ready. But ready or not, huh?

 

Love,

Mama

Beauty in Mommyhood: Elle is 7 Months Old

*edit: We removed Elle’s pictures. I didn’t feel comfortable having so many online.

Dear Elle,

Oh my big girl…you’ve been going through so much this past month. Between teething pain, learning how to get up on all 4’s and developing some attachment to Mommy and Daddy, you have taken us on quite a trip. And that’s okay. Every day we’re noticing how much you’re changing. It is painfully obvious how much our baby is growing. When you want something, you won’t hesitate to let us know by shrieking. You’re grabbing at everythiiiiing (including Daddy’s beard) and I love watching you inspect a toy thoroughly before jamming it in your mouth.

My favorite thing to do with you is take you outside to see the fountain in the neighborhood. You LOVE this fountain. You’re just like me in that regard because I love water too. You also love taking a bath. And you had your first trip to the pool this month!

It’s so much fun watching you splash around in it. You skin is clearly up and it’s due to mama kicking gluten out of her diet. I feel terrible that the reason why your skin was going haywire was because of me consuming gluten. Your skin used to be itchy and red and you used to scratch it so hard that you would bleed. But not anymore!

We went to our first playdate a few weeks ago and I got to see how excited you are around other kids. You are really a social butterfly. It’s amazing to watch you giggle and squirm when you’re around babies your own age. It was always hard sending you off to your sitter at 3 months but now I’m glad I did because it’s obvious that you need and love the social interactions. Oh…and you learned how to wave! Which, I think, is the cutest thing eeeeever. You can wave hello and bye bye.

And then there’s food…

We officially started you on food at 6 months but you weren’t really interested. Things have changed and now you are giving food a chance. But only if you can feed yourself. You want to be in control. You have no interest in purées so we offer you smaller versions of the fruit and veggies that we eat. It’s called “baby led weaning” and so far it has been working for us. You’ve eaten sweet potatoes, carrots, strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, bananas, peas apples, eggs, spinach and lots of other veggies. We’re staying away from grains (remember, you’ve got that gluten allergy), meat and dairy. Feeding you this way has allowed us to eat healthier so it’s working out for everyone. You are also drinking water or breast milk from a cup after you have food. You are surprisingly good at not spilling it everywhere.

Every time I take a picture of you I am noticing how you don’t look like my little bitty baby anymore. You’re growing up and ohmigoodness, I’m tearing up just typing this. Mama doesn’t know why. I adore watching you grow but but…I don’t know, I just loved the newborn period. As hard as it was, I loved it. I know each month and year will come with challenges and while I’m excited to see what cool thing you do next, I also get sad.

I know it sounds strange but I think other parents can relate. I’m finding so many ways to continue to be close to you though. I know you want to be independent and not cuddle up on mama so much but between babywearing, taking walks and reading stories…

…I manage to continue to baby you. And will do so for quite some time. Oh! And this crawling thing is starting to happen…

I can’t believe it. I was all freaking out at how you didn’t show any interest in crawling and then one day you popped up on all 4’s and did that. Now I want you to take your time. Ha! I’ve finally managed to get you in cloth diapers 100% of the time

My crunchy mom status has gone to new height. I always thought cloth diapering would be a good way to go but I never thought I’d actually do it. And yet, here we are. Saving a TON of money on not buying diapers.

Elle Stats:

First Word Was Said: DaDa!
Favorite Food: Eggs and stawberries
Favorite Toy: Sophie the Giraffe
Favorite Place To Be: On someone’s back
Most Hated Place To Be: Your car seat
Things That Make You Laugh: When Daddy takes you on flights, when Mama steals your neck sugar, playing peek-a-boo, having your tummy kissed and when FaceTime’ing with Gam.
A Sad Moment: You had your first fever this month. It lasted for 2 days and you were miserable. We figured it was due to teething and while we can see those 2 teeth at the bottom, they haven’t popped up just yet.

Oh, and guess what? You are starting to look more and more like me! This makes your Mama very happy. And Daddy is jealous. You’re so loved and adored that we both want you to look like us.

Keep making us proud, baby girl.

Love You,
Mama

Beauty in Mommyhood – Elle is 6 months old

*edit: We removed Elle’s pictures. I didn’t feel comfortable having so many online. Technically Elle is almost 7 months old but I’m mad late with getting this up. My bad!

Dear Elle,

You’ve been around for half of a year. Wow! I value each minute and each day with you because I know that I’ll blink and you’ll be a teenager trying to get your sticky fingers on my beauty stuffs. Please slow down. I love you just like this. You’re so perfect. You really are. How did we get such a cool and calm, baby? Everywhere we go people are amazed at how cool you are. You have never had a fit in public (not really at home either) and as long as you have access to your thumb and can snuggle against my chest, you’re good to go. I love this about you. You are far from a high maintenance baby.

Your bottle can be either hot or cold and you’ll drink it. You don’t have to be held 24/7. You enjoy playing by yourself. When you wake up, you sing and babble versus screaming your head off. On days when I’m just exhausted, you seem to notice and make things a little easier on me. You’re a dream baby.

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Beauty in Mommyhood – Elle is 5 Months Old!

*edit: We removed Elle’s pictures. I didn’t feel comfortable having so many online.

Dear Elle Belle,

Yaaaaaaay!!! You crack up every time I say that. I mean, EVERY TIME. If if weren’t for your pictures, I would hardly remember you being a 5 lb little peanut. You are 13 lbs of chunk and I love it. I have gotten over feeling bad for your small weight. Mommy guilt is something else. I blamed myself for your being born early. I blamed myself for you being so little. And I blamed myself for you not breasteeding. I’ve let it all go. I am more focused on the now and making sure that you are happy and healthy.

And you’re both. You have the best personality, Muffin. I mean, seriously…I look forward to you waking up in the morning. You pop your head up and give me the biggest smile. And you laugh. A lot. You laugh, you talk, you babble, you sing…it is all so beautiful to me. You tend to be quieter around different surroundings and people but when you are at home and in your element, you can talk nonstop. You’ve started screaming too. Long gone is your sweet whimper. Now when there’s something you want, you SCREAM. And you growl too. Daddy and I think it’s hilarious. How can you be so cute by growling?

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Beauty in Mommyhood – Elle is 4 Months Old!

*edit: We removed Elle’s pictures. I didn’t feel comfortable having so many online.

Dear Elle,

Hey there, big girl! Technically you’re 20 weeks old which means you are almost 5 months old. I was all late with getting your doctor’s appointment squared away so you won’t be getting your 4 month checkup until like uh…this week. I am SO excited (and nervous) to see how much you weigh. I’m hoping that you’re at least 14 lbs or so. I see you getting bigger and you are officially in 6-9 months clothing but I always wonder if my breastmilk is enough for you. People keep telling me how small you are and it bugs me.

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Beauty in Mommyhood – EB is 3 Months Old!

*edit: We removed EB’s pictures. I didn’t feel comfortable having so many online.

Dear EB,

You are 3 months old. I type that with tears in my eyes because I remember being 3 months pregnant with you. Technically you have existed for well over a year and I’m just amazed at how perfectly you fit in my life and in this world. It’s true what they say. It does get easier. The first few months of newborn-ing is hard. Sleep deprivation is painful. It’s a physical and emotional kind of pain that I can’t begin to explain. But we are slowly getting past that. I mean, yeah….I am still sleep deprived but I think my body can handle it a lot better. I spend so many days wondering if I am doing everything right. Are these the right bottles? Should I really allow you to sleep on your tummy? Is going back to work the best decision?

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Beauty in Mommyhood – EB Is 2 Months Old!

*edit: We removed EB’s pictures. I didn’t feel comfortable having so many online.

Okay, it’s official. My child is growing up. Yes, it’s great that she’s growing and thriving but I really enjoy her sweet cuddly newborn-y self. EB is a really good baby. She doesn’t cry too much; mostly when we have stupidly missed her hunger and tired cues. But other than that, she does a great job at not driving us nuts with constant crying.

And when she does cry and I can’t figure out why I’m all like, “EB, you’re being such a crybaby.” And she gives me this look like, “Ma, do you want to make it better or shall I turn it up a notch?”

I’m starting to spot her little personality. She’s hilarious and has a wacky sense of humor just like me! She does this new thing where she’ll open her mouth to receive the pacifier and then spit it right out. And then she’ll whine just for you to put the paci in her mouth to start the cycle all over again. It cracks me up. She’s also starting to  babble. We are chit-chatting allll the time.

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