Monday, November 23, 2015

A Letter to Elise at 8 Months

It blows my mind you are already 8 months old! Everyone says time goes by faster with the second child and it's so true! With your brother I felt like I was waiting for him to hit certain milestones and with you all the sudden you're doing it and I find myself thinking, "She's doing this already?!?" Then I realize how old you are and think, "Well, yeah, that's about right." This month has been straight awesome. You can play more with your brother and downright belly laugh at him. Your morning nap has shortened to 45 minutes to an hour and a half most days with some days at 2 hours. That makes it easier to get out and about. Your afternoon nap overlaps with your brother's for about 30 minutes to an hour. That gives me time to get a few chores done and then I have glorious one-on-one time with you. I really enjoy getting out the sensory bins, reading books, and watching you move around. It is so much fun to have that little snippet of time to focus on only you and boy do you have a sweet smile! I also enjoy going to storytime because I get to have you in my lap while Carter sits with the other kids. You actually pay close attention to the book and love watching the kids around you. Sometimes Carter wants to sit on my lap with you and it warms my heart to have both of my babies snuggling with me!

Something awesome about you is that you do really well playing by yourself. I can lay you down on the carpet and you will play with toys and roll around completely content. Your favorite toys are cars or anything with wheels and balls. You love to spin things and roll them. You will roll across the room to get to a car. You have also been known to roll over and pull books off the book shelf. When we read you grab at the pages and try to turn them. My phone is something else you roll for and try to grab. I'm not sure why you love it so much! Another favorite is our sensory bins. You could sit and play with them for hours. Unfortunately you still shove things in your mouth so I only let you play with them if I'm sitting right next to you. That means you typically play with them for 30 minutes to an hour at a time. Just this month you started crying for me to pick you up sometimes. There have been a few times when I lay you down to play and you cry until I pick you up. You are perfectly content being carried around or sitting in my lap in those situations, it doesn't matter as long as you are touching me.

I'd say the biggest development this month has been your ability to sit unsupported. I still sit with one leg behind you so you won't hit your head if you fall and if I have to walk away I put your Boppy around you just in case most of the time. Just this past week I left you sitting by yourself for at least 15 minutes and you never toppled over! You can even bend all the way forward and then sit back up! You are a strong girl! When you first started sitting you also started waking up during Carter's naptime. One day you were playing with a toy of his and I took a video of you. When he saw the video I was afraid he might be jealous you were awake and playing with his toy but his response was, "Sissy's sitting all by herself!!!" He was so excited and it was the sweetest! Since you are able to sit so well you had your first ride in the wagon. It was the weekend of Halloween and Carter had a blast pulling you up and down the driveway as you sat and played with a teething purse our neighbors gave you in a Halloween goody bag. You have also been getting up on all fours and rocking for a while. It started in your crib at night. You'd fall asleep for about 45 minutes and then wake up and cry. When I'd go in to check on you, you'd be up on all fours rocking. The first time you did it during the day was at the library while we were playing before Storytime on November 3rd. Since then you've been doing it more and more. You've even moved one knee forward in an attempt to crawl but fell forward onto your belly. I predicted you will be crawling by 9 months but we'll see, I could be totally wrong. This is new territory for us as your brother never did any of the practice stuff they say kids do before crawling. At 11 months he went from rolling everywhere to crawling one day out of the blue!

One of my favorite new developments is your babbling. You say "lalalala" a lot! You've also said mama and babble "mamamama" frequently. The first time you said it was on November 4th and I was so excited! Carter will say, "Sissy say mama!" and it's amazing that a lot of the time you do and clear as day! Thanks to him you say mama a lot. You said dada for the first time November 20th. You like to blow bubbles with your mouth. You also like to stick out your tongue to blow raspberries and think it is so funny! Going along with that you like to play with your tongue. You roll it and turn it upside down. It is frequently in the corner of your mouth rolled in some way. You really are just so funny! You started giving kisses too. Open mouthed, slobbery, almost eating my cheek kisses. If I give you a kiss you turn, grab my face, and return the favor. I love it so much!!! Just these last couple days you've started waving back when people wave at you. Talk about cute!

You still love Carter and Harper so much. Whenever you see either of them you light up and even giggle. You track them as they walk and you even laugh when Harper licks you, ew! The other day when daddy got home from work you were playing on the floor and looked up in time to see his reflection in the glass of the door in front of you. You broke out into a giant smile and started kicking your legs. It was the absolute sweetest! I love seeing you play with Carter. You love the ball pit and play in there a lot. When Carter's in it with you, you laugh pretty much the entire time. It's the cutest! Carter loves you so much. When we're out somewhere and kids are pointing you out and saying you're cute, he'll tell them, "That's my baby. Her name is Elise." Some days the timing works out to where you can bathe with Carter and you really enjoy it! He tells you to pretend to be certain animals, like a frog, and gives you props such as a green wash cloth on your forehead. It's precious! Usually daddy gives you a quick bath while Carter and I finish up dinner. Carter eats slower and I'm always behind because I feed you as I eat. The sweetest is walking in and seeing your daddy brushing your hair. It gets me every time! You have these light blue jammies with flowers on them that your daddy loves and he puts them on you whenever they are clean even though they have snaps and he hates jammies with snaps!

You enjoyed your first Halloween this month. Daddy made the stroller into a pirate ship and you got to dress as a mermaid. Oma crocheted you a hat with long blonde hair, a seashell bra, and a mermaid tail. It was adorable! You won costume contests at 2 different 5k races with daddy. Then when it came to trick or treating I wore you in the carrier and you napped for a lot of it. We are already planning out your costume for next year and are quite excited! 

For the Run to the Lights race, daddy stayed at the hotel with you and Carter and put you both to bed on his own. You had your first bottle in a long time and took it like a champ. Daddy said you held it and fed yourself while he took care of Carter. When he went to take the bottle, you had mangled the nipple chewing on it. Before then you bit me a few times while nursing, but now do it more frequently. When it seems like you are about done nursing I cut you off because when you get full you start biting me, ouch! Right now you nurse every 3-5 hours during the day and go 8-12 hours most nights. We have only been feeding you solids/purées at dinner time. We started feeding you another meal this week. So far it has been lunch. You've tried quite a few foods for the first time this month. You had puréed peas on October 28th. On November 2nd I gave you green beans sliced in half long ways and you rocked it feeding yourself! November 9th I gave you small mango chunks which you loved but struggled to feed yourself since they were kind of slimy. Puréed pumpkin was introduced November 15th and then we gave you ground turkey on November 17th totally breaking the 3-4 day wait between introducing new foods. You absolutely loved the turkey and I think part of that was because you were able to feed yourself really well. You also enjoyed that Carter fed some to you in between sneaking bites of your food. On November 20th we went to a program at the art museum. They had snacks out for the kids and one snack available was puffs. I got you some and you ate them like a champ! I'm thinking it's about time to start giving you a little water in a sippy cup. You love water and still try to drink it in the bath constantly. I have a story that will probably kill you of embarrassment when you are older. One day you were rolling on the rug while I cooked dinner. You rolled off the rug and started playing with Carter's socks he had taken off earlier in the day. Then I noticed you were moving your head strangely and went over to find you were sucking water out of his dirty socks! He took them off because he got them wet in the backyard.

Elise you are the sweetest little baby and we just love you so much! I am so thankful every day that you came into our lives. You have a sense of humor, are good natured, love to smile, and give me kisses! What more could I ask for! I love you so much, little girl!

Now on to Daddy:

You are still all eyes for you brother! You are always looking for him and when you hear his voice, you whip your head around to find him. He has also just recently started coaching you to say momma and dadda. I think that you will be speaking a lot sooner with his help!

You are such a bouncy little thing these days! We were facetiming with your Gma and Gpa the other night, and you got so excited and bouncy that it was getting difficult to hang onto you!

You are also very vocal, just babbling away whether anyone is listening or not. It is so much fun to hear that, especially if you do it when you first wake up and are happily babbling in your crib.

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