There are so many things I want to remember about Ellie at one year old. These weeks and months pass by in a such a hazy, joyful, tiring fog, and one stage rapidly replaces another, and so soon we forget so many of the details of life with these kids of ours. I love looking back on what Henry and Ben were like at various stages, and so often I think wow, I would never have remembered that!
One day last week Shelly brought Ben and Ellie home after having them at her house for the day, and as she handed Ellie to me she said “Here’s your F5 daughter!” As in, tornado. And sure, all kids are like that at one year old. When they’re newly mobile and curious about everything and have no concept yet of consequences or danger or punishment. But Ellie? Shelly, Dave and I are all convinced that she may truly be the wildest one-year-old we’ve ever had in our care. She does not stop!! It seems to be her mission in life to make messes and get into trouble faster than we could ever, ever keep up with. She’s in the garbage, she’s in the pantry, she’s in the fridge; she’s taking all the wipes out of the wipes box or unrolling the toilet paper roll or opening the toilet and sticking her hand in. She’s throwing her food and cup on the floor during every meal time and trying to grab her diaper when we’re changing it.
She opens drawers and strews towels and kitchen utensils everywhere; she loves getting into Henry’s craft cabinet in the dining room; and anytime she’s upstairs in the bathroom, she’s going after the boys’ electric toothbrushes so she can “brush” her teeth, she’s in the top drawer grabbing the brush to brush her hair or the toothpaste to try and eat; and in the boys’ room, she’s always begging to be put up on the top bunk so she can roll around up there like a goof ball. If the bath is running, she thinks it’s quite funny to grab as many things as she can – my mascara, the toothpaste – and throw it in the water. If we leave anything too close to the edge of the kitchen table, off it goes – Ben’s cereal, yogurt, cups of water.
Her favorite new game is to throw whatever she can get her hands on down the stairs and then clap for herself when she’s done. The other day every pair of Henry’s pants from his dresser was thrown down as I got ready in the morning, and when we visited Dave’s brother last weekend, she threw every shoes that was by the front door down their basement steps. It’s quite hilarious, and she’s so proud of herself.
Keeping up with her is truly a full-time job when she’s awake. She has a lot of toys and she likes a lot of them, but she doesn’t do so well with playing on her own just yet. Henry was never able to play on his own and still isn’t good at it, and Ben was playing on his own already at this age and is still good at it. So it looks like we have another Henry on our hands in that respect. She really likes attention and does not like to be left alone. If we have to put her in the pack n play for a few minutes to keep her safe while we get something done, she’s fine for about a minute or two and then starts crying til we pick her up again.
But she’s happy. So, so happy! The girl smiles more than anyone I know, and she loves to show off her teeth – her “cheesy face” – while breathing loudly in and out through her nose for dramatic effect. She’s just about running now, and she has zero fear of climbing up on things. She loves walks in her stroller and her pink car, and she loves going down the slide at the park. She’s not afraid of strangers and is very social, walking right up to people and sometimes waving and saying “hi! hi!”
Hi is just about her only word still, but man is it a cute word. :) The boys were both talking up a storm by this age, but they were also slower in the mobility department, so it’s been interesting to have that all be reversed with Ellie. She’ll say mama and “mom! mom!” and something that sounds like “hiiiidaaad” to Dave. But ask her to say anything else? Nope. She won’t even try repeating us. “Say ba-bye!” – nope. Nothin. When she wants something and I tell her “say please!” she’ll bounce up and down as if to say “gimme, gimme!” If I say “say thank you” she’ll go “mmm!” It’ll be fun to hear her finally talk, whenever she decides to!
It’s fun to watch her start to “get” things, like stacking her Mega Blocks and feeding her baby doll and nodding her head when I ask her question and following little instructions. I’ll ask her to throw something in the garbage, and she will, and I think she knows how to clean up better than her brothers, taking such pride in picking up her toys and putting them where they belong. She claps and waves and blows kisses and plays peekaboo and points to the sky when she hears an airplane.
Shelly has a dog named Ruby and when we ask “What does Ruby do? she’ll stick out her tongue and wag it back and forth like a dog. She’s learning what a bunny does and will crinkle her nose for us, and she knows where her belly is when we ask, sticking it out and patting it with a big grin on her face. She can also point to her hair and her nose!
Her hair is still her most noteworthy physical feature – getting so long! We haven’t done too many pigtails lately since they look kind of cartoonish at this point. I like to do just a single ponytail off to one side of her head, and a few times I’ve done a ponytail farther back on her head with a barette/bow to hold her bangs to the side. She looks so grown-up and adorable! The past few nights I’ve put her hair in a loose ponytail on top of her head for when she sleeps, since otherwise it hangs past her nose and covers her face and I just can’t imagine that that’s comfortable when she’s trying to sleep!
She’s still nursing a lot and I feel like she’ll probably go quite awhile longer. I know Ben would have nursed longer than the 13 months he did, but I was ready to be done and so I weaned him without much issue. But Ellie’s my last and just knowing I never get to do it again makes me want to go as long as she will want to! I’ve also never had a baby who’s been so OBSESSED with my boobs and with nursing. The boys never stuck their hands down my shirt or “asked” for it – but Ellie asks for it constantly! It’s both adorable and flattering and also a tad bit creepy at times, ha. She’s always sticking her hands down my shirt, and on several occasions now, I’ve be holding her and wearing just a nursing tank and before I really realized what was happening, she’d yanked down my shirt and latched on!
My supply had gone down a bit once I was done pumping and she was only nursing in the morning and at night. I didn’t really get “full” anymore, and I thought we were nearing the end. But then suddenly she was SO into it and nursing every coupe of hours on the days we were together, so my supply went way back up! I thought I’d ditched the pump for good a few weeks before she turned one, but then I went away for a night two weekends ago and had to pump twice while I was gone. So we’re still going strong, and I’m thankful she’s always been such a good nurser from day one.
I mentioned this in her birthday post, but she is SUCH a mama’s girl. Mama’s girl and Shelly’s girl. It doesn’t phase her for me to be in another room or leaving the house when she’s with Shelly, or to be leaving me to go to Shelly’s, but when she’s with daddy or anyone else? She just wants mom! I feel bad for Dave, since I know she loves him – but he is a far, far third on her list of people she wants to be with at this stage in her life! It’s comical and a little heartbreaking to hear how she cries and squirms in his arms and then the second he hands her to me she’s just fine. The little stinker. He loves it when she does show him affection, though – voluntarily walking over to him for a hug or a big open-mouthed kiss like she likes to give.
As for her stats… she has eight teeth now, four on top and four on the bottom, with a couple more visible just below her gums. Her teeth make her look so different, I think! Her top teeth have really wide gaps between them, which I know is good for her future smile and the room she’ll have in there for her grown-up teeth. Right now it just looks really cute and slightly goofy, too. She’s in 12-18 and 18-month clothes, though she has very few things to wear right now since all her 12-month stuff is too small, but the weather is still warm and most of her 18-month stuff is fall and winter stuff! Love this time of year but the transition between wardrobes for a growing-fast little kid is a challenge.
I had her into the doctor a few weeks before she turned one since I thought she might have an ear infection (she didn’t) and she was 18 lbs, 5 oz. Her one-year check-up is at the end of this month. She’s a pretty good eater still, though she is already showing a preference for things that aren’t as good for her, and while she used to eat any veggie we put in front of her, she’s starting to spit things out and make faces at us now. Let the food battles begin, I guess. She doesn’t really like drinking cold milk from a sippy cup yet, instead preferring just water. She gets warmed-up cow’s milk from a bottle when she’s with Shelly or when I’m gone and Dave has to put her to bed. Otherwise she’s pretty much getting water and breast milk still to drink.
She loves to dance and will raise her hand above her head and bob up and down anytime she hears ANY music. She adores her big brothers, especially Henry, and the first day he came home after being in school all day, my heart about exploded when I saw how she reacted when he came in the door. She just lit up and ran right over to him, and when he sat on the floor she climbed on him like an excited puppy. Henry is equally obsessed with her, always wanting to see her and hug her and kiss her, and he likes to pick her up and carry her around the house, and for the most part, she just lets him. Ben loves her, too, and also wants the hugs and kisses, but he’s also kind of mean to her at times, too – stealing toys and even kicking her and pushing her at times now, which of course makes us freak out. Like how could you want to harm such a sweet thing?!
She is one tough chick, though, hardly ever crying when she bumps her head or falls down or, ahem, gets kicked by her big brother. And when he wants a toy of hers, she will hold her own, tightening her grip, running away, and/or squealing at him. Oh, the future fights I’m sure we have in store for us…
I’ve been working on this post for days, and every day I feel like there’s more to add. Last night we had tiki torches set up in our backyard and once Dave lit them, Ellie walked around the yard, keeping her distance from the fire and putting her lips together and blowing, as if trying to blow out a birthday candle. It was SO CUTE. And this morning she watched me curl my eyelashes in the bathroom and when I put the curler back in the drawer, she promptly opened the drawer back up, picked up the eyelash curler and put it up to her own eye, scrunching up her face while trying it out. Again, just adorable. All these little moments that will be forgotten one day in the near future, because our minds can’t possibly hold so many little memories, as much as we wish they could!
So that’s an update on Ellie at one… almost 13 months now actually! She’s just a doll face and we take such freakin joy from her. I say often that I can’t believe she’s real and I can’t believe she’s mine. I know I’m biased, but I think she’s pretty much the greatest thing ever.