Monday, August 24, 2015

A Letter to Elise at 5 Months

It's hard to believe we are one month away from you being half a year old. Sometimes I look at you and am in amazement that you are old enough to be doing what you are doing. How are you big enough to sit barely supported? How is your neck strong enough for me to carry you on my hip? It's nice but it's a little bit sad knowing you are that much less of a baby. When we took your monthly pictures this past weekend I couldn't get over how big you looked! I pulled up your 1 month photos as a comparison and it was crazy! You are getting bigger and sweeter by the day! Thankfully you are still just the sweetest little baby. Going to get you up from a nap or in the morning or even in the middle of the night to feed you, you just light up when you see me. You really are my little sunshine. The smile you flash for me brightens my day every single time. There's something about a gummy little grin that gets me every time!

This month we made the sleeping arrangement switch over from our room in the Pack N Play to your room in the crib overnight. We got back from our trip to St. Louis and I just knew it was time. I was ready and I felt like you would sleep better. I was amazed at how much better I slept! After I nurse you and lay you down you squirm around and grunt to put yourself back to sleep. In our room it would keep me awake but with you in your own room I can nurse you and then go right back to sleep when I get back in bed. It has really helped me get more sleep and feel more rested. You do such a great job of putting yourself to sleep. During nap time, since I watch you on the monitor the whole time, I let you have a small blanket which I always lay across your tummy and legs. You use it to put yourself to sleep, rubbing it on your face and wrapping your hands in it. Sometimes you even stick your finger through it because it is the crocheted blanket from your Oma. You spit your paci out most of the time, preferring your fingers or a blanket. You either suck your thumb or your index and middle finger together. You will also get a blanket in your mouth with your fingers and suck on it. You have a few pairs of jammies that are longer in the arms and you'll suck on the sleeve. You even pull your bottom lip into your mouth and such on it. When I wear you in the carrier you get it in your mouth and suck on it. You get the idea, you really like sucking on stuff! You also like to sleep on your belly and often times when you are fussing in your crib and then quiet down we find you fast asleep on your belly when we go in to check on you.

You have definitely figured out the whole you cry and I come in to get you scenario. I'll watch you on the monitor when you're crying. You will actually twist your neck and stretch around to stare out the door and watch for me to come. It's quite comical. The sweetest is when I go into your room and give you your pacifier. You reach up, grab my hand, and pull it down to rest on your cheek. It melts me and I typically stand there with my hand on your cheek until you let go unless Carter is awake and needs me. At nap time you sometimes need a little help to fall asleep especially if you're overtired, but at bedtime I pretty much always nurse you and then just lay you down. You'll roll to your side, put a finger in your mouth, and then you're out! Daddy and I are both in awe of such an easy baby. Your brother was never that easy until he was much older!

We were giving you a bath with Carter and putting you down for bed at 8:00. But you started really struggling to fall asleep. You wouldn't take anyone but me and I'd have to rock you patting your booty forever to put you to sleep and I could only lay you down totally asleep. After a few days of that I realized you were overtired so we started putting you to bed earlier. Now we give you a bath by yourself and put you down between 7 and 7:30 depending on how you are acting. It made a huge difference. Now, like I said earlier, we just lay you down and you put yourself to sleep. Most nights you only wake up once although you do have your nights where you wake up 2-3 times still. Your longest stretch between feelings has been 8 hours but is 4-6 hours on an average night.

I knew this time was coming, you don't nap as well on the go. For you to get a good nap we need to be home so you can sleep in your crib which makes it hard to go to our play dates which are usually scheduled at 10. You wake up in the morning typically around 7 and are awake for about an hour. Then you go down for a nap and sleep for 2-2.5 hours, sometimes even 3! So we usually can't make it anywhere until 10:30 or 11. Then you take a little power nap around 11:30 or 12 for 30-45 minutes. It works out nicely because it gives me a chance to make Carter's lunch and sit with him while we eat. Then you're sometimes awake for the first part of Carter's nap time to play with me. Other times you go back down at 1:00 with Carter. Your afternoon nap was about 3-4 hours but lately has shortened to closer to 2 hours. There for a while it was working out where you'd wake up to eat partway through Carter's nap time when I was done with my chores and I'd take you into daddy and my bed so we could nap together. Lately you haven't been waking up. I miss it but I know it's good for you to have uninterrupted sleep.

Your movements have become more intentional. You reach for and grab things that you want. One of your favorite things to do is play ball with me and Carter. I'll sit with you with our legs out wide and Carter will sit a distance from us doing the same. We'll roll the ball back and forth between us. You get so excited, wiggling and flailing your arms and legs. Then when the ball is close enough you reach for it and grab it. You can also grab and hold onto your feet. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before you start sticking them in your mouth. You've reached the stage where you grab something and it almost immediately goes toward your mouth. When you're in the bathtub you turn your head to the side and stick your tongue out and we crack up because you'll try to drink the bath water!  You love mirrors and stare into them, smiling and seeming to want to laugh. You laugh now but very sporadically. The first time you laughed I was pulling your feet up in front of my face and playing peek-a-boo with you which you thought was hilarious! I've also gotten you to laugh by kissing your cheeks over and over. You really are just the sweetest and most smiley little baby and I love it! I'm excited for you to laugh even more! We joke that you have resting surprised face because your eyes almost always look bugged out like you are surprised. We walked into the library one day and the librarian asked if we had just gone through a tunnel because of your expression. I was cracking up!

This ball is our favorite to play with Great Grandma and Grandpa Hurford got it for Carter when he was about your age.
One day at dinner daddy was holding you in his lap and you kept reaching toward his plate, trying to get his baked potato. Before then you hadn't shown any interest in table food. That night (August 10th) I cut some small chunks off of a banana and we took turns feeding them to you. You were so funny because you would just chew and chew and chew, really working on it. Sometimes you'd eat it and other times it would spill back out of your mouth. I was wanting to wait until closer to 6 months to introduce foods so we're just doing a little bit now to get you used to them a little bit before we start feeding you. We also gave you some small chunks of sweet potato on August 18th. So I guess you could say we're averaging a little bit of food once a week. I can't believe you're old enough to eat table food! I want to go more of a baby led weaning approach rather than purees this time so we're going to take it slow. I may give you a little bit of avocado this week before I made guacemole.

Traveling with you this month was a bit rough. You cried a lot and wouldn't sleep. Carter got desperate for you to stop crying and would pass up Big Al for you to hold which calmed you for a little bit. I think the problem was that you were getting over tired and couldn't fall asleep in your car seat. We all survived and I'm hoping our next few trips will be a bit better. We had a couple drives that were just miserable!

Right now you wear size 2 diapers when you are in disposables. I've switched your drawers over to 6 month clothes, but I left your 3 months pants in your pant drawer with the 6 month pants. Onesies are definitely 3-6 month size or 6 months. Your 3 month onesies are way too tight. Some of your 6 month pants fit great and others are a bit baggy. Some of your 3 month pants still fit and others are skin tight. So it just depends. I've noticed that some of Carter's old 3 month jammies still fit you but none of your 3 month jammies fit anymore. It makes me wonder if boy clothes are made bigger than girl clothes or if it's just a coincidence.

You had your "4 month" well check almost 2 weeks ago. You had red skin under your chin that he identified as eczema. Poor girl! Carter didn't start having break outs until he was much older. They don't seem to bother you though. You weighed in at 13 pounds, 8 ounces which put you in the 29th percentile. Height wise you were 24.8 inches which put you in the 48th percentile. I guess you are just our petite little girl. So far you have been just like your brother with head circumference. Your head circumference has jumped up 20 percentiles each appointment and you are now at 42.2 cm which is the 69th percentile! You started at 29th then jumped to 49th and now you are in the 69th percentile. I'm so glad my sweet babies wait until they're born to get big noggins! You got shots and Carter hated hearing you cry. He put his hands over his ears but wouldn't move from your side. You cried quite a bit initially and were still crying as we left but were calm once we got to the car and stayed calm the entire drive home. Then you took a little bit longer of a nap than usual.

Carter loves you just as much if not more than he did before. He really enjoys that you can interact with him more, playing ball by rolling it and reaching out for him. When you are both sitting in my lap to read you'll reach over and grab a handful of his hair. He will giggle and say, "No Sissy Leeleese!" It's the absolute cutest. He thinks it's so funny you do that. He'll randomly come over and kiss you on the cheek or tickle you. In the stroller he'll reach over and tickle your feet. His favorite is to hold your foot as we run along. Sometimes you get too hot or just get tired of him holding your foot and you'll shake his hand off and fuss which makes him sad, but I just tell him you're too hot and that makes him feel better. He also likes to grab your foot and wiggle your toes while reciting "This Little Piggy". You typically look at him like he's nuts when he does it and curl your toes. I crack up because he'll say, "This little piggy went to market. This little piggy went to market. This little piggy went to market. This little piggy go home. This little piggy wee wee wee!"
This little piggy went to market...

You had some more first this month. You enjoyed your first trip to St. Louis and met a lot of family. You met your great grandparents, all of my uncles, Ty's cousins Megan, Brody, and Scott, along with Megan and Scott's son, Garrett. You had your first ride directly in the stroller, not your car seat snapped in, during a walk on August 5th. Then on August 6th you went on your first run while strapped directly into the car seat. I already mentioned your first bite of food, banana, on August 10th. Then you had sweet potato for the first time on August 18th. Carter, daddy, and I took you on your first hike on August 15th. I wore you in the baby carrier and you just looked and looked around.

Elise, it has been another wonderful month. You keep becoming more and more fun and as Carter says bigger, bigger, bigger. I notice how much bigger you are the most when you are next to Carter. You are so much closer to his size now than you were even a month ago! We've taken pictures of you with him in your special pink elephant chair from Oma and Opa and you look so big in it now! The two of you won't fit in it together for much longer! You have the sweetest smiles and I love walking into your room and being greeted with a huge grin. We couldn't have been given a sweeter and more perfect baby for our family. Carter loves you to pieces and I've enjoyed watching your relationship grow as you are able to do more. I know he'll really love it when you start walking. But before we get there you have to get crawling down! I'm in no hurry as your brother didn't crawl until he was 11 months old so take your time, little miss! I love you forever and always!

Now on to daddy:

Smiles everywhere! At almost any time of the day or night, you have tons of smiles and cute litte coo's to pass out. You always wake up in such a good mood. It's a joy to walk in to get you to see you smiling up at us. I made sure your Gma and Gpa got a chance to go get you after a nap so they could see how happy you are.

Most mornings you wake up with me and play on your activity mat while I make lunch and breakfast for the day. You lay there and play and roll around and talk to me and just crack me up.

I feel like sitting up and crawling are just around the corner for you and we cannot wait. And as we approach fall, I will begin working on our Halloween costume that you and Carter will be dressing up with me as I turn the stroller into fun things. I cannot wait until you are a little older and you can participate!


  1. Adorable pictures! I'm glad she had other expressions besides startled in them. haha

    1. She basically has 2 faces: surprised and smiling! She's so funny!