My sweet Ellie is nine months old today! How can this be? I said to Dave yesterday morning – only three more months of having a baby, ever! This is very bittersweet for me, and as much as I know there is so much fun and joy to come, I think I will always mourn the end of this precious stage of life, even years from now. But time passes and seasons change, and I am so thankful I was able to have three healthy babies and enjoy their babyhoods so much! Because whoa, I LOVE babies. Pretty sure I kiss Ellie’s cheeks and neck and belly and feet about a million times a day. The soft skin, the chubby rolls, the sweet little smiles? I could just die over it, all of it.
So, nine months old. Out for as long as she was in. Last year at this time my belly was round and life was so sweet with anticipation. And now, the reality of her is even better than I could have possibly mustered up in my mind back then. I still sort of can’t believe she’s real.
She has completed our family in the most perfect way, and we are all so in love with her. She is breathtakingly beautiful and so very sweet, and as much as it’s possible for a child of less than a year, she’s just … elegant. That’s ridiculous, right? But truly, something about her mannerisms and her way of carrying herself, even as a baby, remind me of … a movie star. Like she already knows how beautiful she is, and she has a strange confidence in it. It’ll be interesting to see if she carries this with her through her life.
Girl is on the move and will likely be our fastest walker. Her brothers both walked around a year – a little later for Benny. Ellie is cruising around furniture and crawling at lightning speed and letting herself go and standing for a second at a time before bumping down on her butt. Pretty sure she’ll be walking within the next month or so – not that I really want to rush it!
She loves to eat and can’t be really bothered with purees anymore, even though our pantry is still full of them. She spits it out or turns her head, or sometimes begrudgingly eats what we offer on a spoon, but for the most part, she just wants to feed herself. She gets so excited about mealtime, and whatever we put in front of her she scoops up and shoves in her mouth with abandon. We give her pretty much everything now, and it felt like we made the transition from pureed fruits and veggies only to anything-goes in like a day. Allergies? Eh. Spoiling her? Eh.
Holding off on treats with the boys, making them eat veggies and fruits longer – sure didn’t bode well for their later eating habits, so maybe being less strict with Ellie will serve us well. Or probably not. It’s a crap shoot either way. But she loves to eat!
She’s still nursing really well. As with her brothers before her, and probably most babies at this age, she’s too distracted to nurse for any length of time when she’s awake. She’s used to getting a bottle in the middle of the day while I’m at work, and since I don’t really give her bottles on the weekends, I’m pretty sure she drinks less milk on the weekends since she doesn’t want to nurse as much. She’s still really good before and after naps, though, and before bed and when she wakes up. I am savoring it as much as I can. Breastfeeding my babies has been one of the most unexpectedly amazing experiences of my life, and I’ll be sad when it’s over. But again, happy it happened at all. We’ll see how long she goes. Henry weaned himself at 8 months so I pumped for four months; and I cut Benny off at 13 months, though he was probably about ready to be done, too. With Ellie, I feel like I’ll let her go as long as she wants!
Ellie is still a really happy baby. We say she has perma-smile on her face. Though more and more she’s showing her dramatic side, too, which wants what it wants when it wants it! She’ll cry big, fat tears and will wail when we take something away from her that she wants (like my phone or a piece of paper she picked up off the floor), and she sure likes to get into mischief as of late.
If the pantry or fridge or dishwasher is open, she’ll make a beeline for it, every time and without fail. She knocks over garbage cans, climbs the stairs, puts everything in her mouth, pulls on cords, goes for electric sockets, empties cabinets and drawers – you name it. When she’s awake, I feel like we just have to be on top of her every second lest she damage something or seriously hurt herself! She’s always up early in the morning (three for three one early risers – yay us) so getting ready for work is often a comedy of errors, me trying to put on makeup and dry my hair while also chasing after her and putting her back where I want her, which is in her room with her toys, over and over again. Usually I just give up and let her play at my feet in the bathroom, though that still entails mischief – going for the garbage, pulling on the shower curtain, emptying the drawers. Ah, babies!
She’s pretty good about playing with her toys, and she’s very entertained by her brothers. She’s down for anything, anytime – just so easygoing and happy wherever we take her. She continues to get boatloads of attention whenever we take her out in public.
Her hair continues to grow and has reached a whole new level of awesomeness/craziness. I comb it down nicely after her bath each night, but it just pops right back up as soon as it’s dry, growing in all directions, curling over itself and getting in her face unless we put her in a headband, ponytail or piggy tails, which are my favorite!
She’s regressed a bit in the sleep department. She’s been my best sleeper by a LONG shot, and the four-month wakeful period never happened for her. For quite awhile she was sleeping all night most nights, but the past month or two, she’s been up once a night to eat, sometimes even two or three times. And the past week or so has been a bit brutal, with her waking up within an hour of us putting her down, and a few nights actually refusing to go back to sleep for a couple hours. One night over the weekend she got absolutely hysterical from over-tiredness – I had never seen her like that. Luckily the refusing to sleep is rare, and I hope it stays that way!
She’s a very vocal child, babbing and yelling in equal measure. Her “mama” phase that happened months ago left as quickly as it arrived, and these days “mama” is a rare sound – and music to my ears when I hear it! She loves to yell and shriek, and her babbling consists of mostly ba-ba-ba and random funny sounds.
I have her nine-month appointment next week so I’m not sure how much she weighs right now. She’s in 6-12, 9-month and 9-12 month clothes. I’ve bought her all 12-month stuff for summer. She’s in size 3 diapers. She still has only two teeth on the bottom, which she’s had for 3-4 months now, and no other ones appear to even be close to coming through. The boys both had a lot more teeth by now! But she does great eating even without many teeth, and her smile with those two little teeth sure is cute! She still takes a nuk, and we lose them all the time, which drives me nuts. She doesn’t seem as addicted to them as her brothers were, though, so hopefully taking them away eventually won’t be a big issue.
As much as she smiles constantly, she really doesn’t laugh all that much. We really have to tickle her or do something else dramatic to get her laughing. She’s into peek-a-boo lately, putting whatever she’s holding in front of her face and smiling from behind it when we ask “where’s Ellie?” She also does “so big!” with her arms when we ask “how big is Ellie?”
She’s very into her mama, which I love, of course. She wants to be held whenever I’m around and is happy to just chill in my arms, whether I’m just sitting or walking around and trying to get things done.
Our whole family is pretty much smitten with her, and like I said, I sometimes can’t believe she’s real. That she’s here and she’s mine and she’s so darn awesome. She is such a gift, and I don’t take for granted for one second that I get to be her mom!
Happy 9 months, sweet girl!
2-weeks-later update: At her 9-month appointment, Ellie weighed 17 lbs, 5 oz. and was 28 inches long. My tall and skinny lady! She’s also in such a mama stage right now, and I sort of love it! If I’m in the room, it doesn’t matter who has her, she just wants her mommy! She’s such a snuggle bug and I just can’t get enough of her.