Nanny bought Eliana this dress and said that every little girl needs a dress.
Since it is cold here, we played dress up for a short time so that I could get these pictures for Nanny. I think bows can be cute, but I don't like the dents they leave. Eliana tends to wear bows for a picture now and again, but that is about it. If she had hair, I don't think it would have quite the same effect. I didn't have hair for two years, so I won't be surprised if Eliana doesn't have any for a while.
Isn't this dress splendid? A friend of mine got it for Eliana. We had this photo shoot before Christmas, but I am just now getting to posting it.
So, what do I know about my daughter?
*She used to take an hour to eat, and now it is usually around 20 minutes. She is getting two solid meals a day now.
*Three fourths of December was really hard on me because we were often home and Eliana was screaming every night for long periods of time. Eating solids has calmed that way down. For the past two weeks, we have been trying to get out of the house daily. That makes me such a happier person. Eliana lights of people's faces wherever we go, and that reminds me how neat she is.
*Eliana likes to sing first thing in the morning.
*Eliana has grown out of a size 2 diapers and hopefully soon will really fit a size 3. There is some form of her laundry on the shower curtain rod everyday for the last couple of weeks.
*Eliana likes to play with my hair. She doesn't pull it. Instead she likes to touch and feel it in her fingers.
*Eliana likes pinching her dad's face.
*Eliana has been going the nursery while I am at BSF. Part way through last year they opened up a class for her age. I was very nervous about letting her go, but now I find it as a nice breather. She doesn't sleep while there unless I go and help, but that is okay.
*PRAISE THE LORD! Eliana isn't screaming in the car anymore!!! That is a HUGE blessing. I can't even tell you what a difference that makes. If she is tired and ready to sleep, she will get fussy. I often try to avoid hitting her sleepy time while traveling. That makes our outings rather quick, but I'm okay with that.
*Eliana likes to be rocked to sleep. She is still sleeping in her swing, but I don't have it on anymore. That means she can also sleep in a bouncer while we travel. I've found that once she closes her eyes, she likes to be rocked for about 10 minutes. If I put her down before then, she often wakes up quickly. If I get so caught up in the book I'm reading that I go 20 minutes or more, she often wakes up quickly. If I try to lay her down in her crib, she wakes up within 10-20 minutes. May new year's resolution is to get her to sleep in her crib.
*Eliana is around 14 pounds. Yes, that is small for her age, but it isn't small for her. She has been steadily growing and gaining weight, so the doctor isn't worried.
Things people say about Eliana.
*I just want to squash her. -Tara (If you know Tara, you know that is a good thing:) )
Kyle made 8 cups of pumpkin puree. Eliana loves pumpkin!!! She has also had avocado and plum mixed with rice cereal. She has drank prune juice and apple juice to help system to not plug up. Next will be sweet potato!
Eliana hasn't quite figured out this source of food. The apple chunks are in the mesh part. She liked the handle more.
Eliana has been napping better and isn't fighting us with the long minutes of screaming at night to sleep. This makes Kyle and me much happier. Eliana isn't scheduled by any means, but she does have a pattern of 4 naps and waking up once during the night to eat. Those naps vary in length. Her awake time between each nap is around 2 hours.
Eliana and I are having a good morning. I praise God for the good nap she took this morning. While she was sleeping, I prayed over and over that she would take a good nap. I thanked Him for answering that prayer.
Eliana loves her elephant from her Aunt Tara. It has made car rides SO much better! I don't think she cried much in the car yesterday at all! Praise the Lord for that!
All I want for Christmas is for Eliana to take good naps, go to be at 8pm with out a fight, and to sleep for a few hours. I don't even mind being woken up once in the middle of the night if it meant she'd take good naps (longer than the 10-30 minutes ones we've been having) and didn't fight us (scream, push against Kyle and I, and won't sleep even if you lay her down and let her scream for an hour).
Yes, the picture is blurry because I didn't use flash. She woke up a minute later anyway, but this was an effort to get one of my favorite ways to see her. Asleep.
On December 4th, Kyle and I were married for six years! Wow, that is a long time to me!
My friend Ellie Grover is a wonderful photographer. She regularly does these amazing shots with wedding rings. I also love her creative perspective with the bride's shoes too. I got to thinking that if Ellie can take pictures of rings, maybe I could too. Kyle put our rings on the camel in our nativity scene while we were cooking. After a relocation to outdoors, I thought the camel and the rings looked rather nice. I love taking pictures in overcast light!
Tonight Kyle and I made the chocolate version of the cookies from a few posts ago for tomorrow's Christmas party. Kyle got out two dishes for us to put them on. We decided on a Christmas boot. As I stared at his special find, a quietness filled me. I just looked and let my eyes mist over. I asked Kyle if he knew where this boot came from. He said, "Grandma Wava?"
There are moments that my heart still breaks that they have been gone now over six months. Many times Grandpa Jack has visited my dreams. Sometimes you don't know what you had until it is gone.
You might be wondering what I have been waiting a WHOLE year for. It is simple thing that just about all of my readers get regularly and take for grant it. It is something to be treasured and worthy of thanks the Lord God Almighty when you have it. It is ... drumroll please... a night when I go to bed and don't get woken up until morning. Ta Da! Eliana slept through the night last night! Over the past week and a half we've been stretching to 7 hours a couple of times. This meant she was getting up at 4 most of the time. Last night was pretty hard in getting Eliana to sleep. It has been in habit lately to fight sleep with screaming, arching her head and legs from me, and all out determination to not sleep! Ah! After three tries, we got her down just before 10. She woke up around 6:30ish and sang as we call it until I got her around 7. Now some of you are wondering how this has been a year long wait if Eliana is only 5.5 months old. Oh no, she got me up quite regularly in the night before she was even born!
Eliana ready to go to church last Sunday.
A giggle session with Mr. Giraffe. Thanks Kellie for Mr. Giraffe! She loves him!
I have thought about Eliana's birth many times over the last five and half month. There are a few key players that I took a little bit of time to thank today. Remember those strawberry cookies from two posts ago, a bunch of them traveled with Eliana and me over to the hospital. One nurse in particular stood out a huge source of encouragement to me. It took calling on four different days to get ahold of her, but it was well worth it to see her smiling face and to share a sweet treat.
Is there someone who has meant a lot to you, but you haven't thanked lately? It really never is too late. This thank you was 25 weeks from the many acts of kindness. An email, note, card, or even cookies just might make their day. Actually, it made my day too! I smiled for most of the way home.
I've been looking forward to making Christmas cards this year for awhile. It is a way to share a photo of our wee one with many friends and family! I keep going back and forth about whether Kyle and I will be in the pictures too. I've thought about whether or not to put one picture or more than one. Should I use black and white photos? Should it be a recent or newborn picture of Eliana? Oh the many options...
Although I'm still in the planning phase, I do have some good news! Shutterfly.com is having a promotional for bloggers. If you want to take part in the 50 free cards, the info. is here. Don't delay, the registration ends tomorrow, Friday Dec. 10th.
There are so many Christmas card options to choose from. I know it will take me awhile to choose! Check out the options here. There are also some pretty interesting Christmas gift ideas here. You could make a deck of cards, a keep sake box, or even a puzzle! If you want to make a photo book, but you don't want to get out the scissors and glue, you could even try Shutterfly's photo books here.
Eliana and I had a photo shoot a few days ago. I wanted to get her all dolled up for Christmas cards.
I wanted her to be nice and toasty while I got everything ready. Plus, I didn't want her to spit up on her nice dress that her Nanny got her.
Awe, isn't she cute?
One of my favorite wedding pictures of mine is of me sitting down in my dress and a picture taken from up above. I tried to do the same thing with Eliana, but she didn't figure out that she was supposed to look up:)
I had taken a bunch, but I wanted to get a few more. This was as soon as I went to put her back in the photo shoot. Once I wiped it up, I was able to get a few more. Do you see that puddle of milk by her neck? I wasn't kidding when I said she still regularly covers herself in milk.
Sleeping Eliana. Yes, it is fuzzy since I didn't use the flash. I didn't want to chance waking her up!
Recently Eliana and I visited family in our hometown. Although there were many blessings to the trip, Eliana's lack of sleep was a constant issue. We had three days back home and then all of us were off to see family again for Thanksgiving. We got a little smarter by bringing our own swing. I knew that at some point I'd need to break Eliana of sleeping in a swing, and this has motivated me to continue to work on it. Let's just say it has been quite difficult on her and me. For the last three nights she has fought sleep steadily from 7-11ish. Last night at 10:30 I finally got her to sleep after she had a good screaming session for 20 mintues. Sadly, she was then up again at 11 to eat. Ugh!
Tonight, a miracle happened. Eliana happily and quickly fell asleep in Kyle's arms. This is truly a miracle for many reasons. One, she hasn't happily fallen asleep at this time in over two weeks. She hasn't fallen asleep for anyone else but me (and Taylor on one occasion) in over a month. You may be wondering why Kyle hasn't had success in rocking our wee one. Her fighting and screaming instead of soothing with him started after he had surgery on his wrist. Having those two weeks off made her prefer just me. Although it sounds like a compliment, it isn't to a tired mama.
Tonight Kyle put Eliana in a baby carrier as we put up the Christmas ornaments. She was already getting tired when he put her in. She enjoyed her close comfy daddy time. After the tree was done, Kyle pulled her out and held her in the rocking position for just a moment before her eyes got heavy and she went out. I tell you, I did a silent happy dance right there in the hallway! Silent, because there was NO way I wanted to wake up this sleeping little one.
So, here is the big question. Did she stay asleep? I know you are all wondering. Well, the answer is no. She woke up while I was typing this. She woke up a few minutes after being transfered to sleep out of her daddy's arms. I'm still happy though. She did fall asleep in her daddy's arms tonight, and I hope she'll soon go out for a couple of hours.
Eliana is a little over 5 months old. Here are some things I know about her.
* She often sneezes in twos like her dad.
* Today is the first time I've tickled her belly, and she thought it was funny.
* An over tired Eliana makes for grumpy parents.
* She loves to gnaw on her hands.
* She can roll over from stomach to back, although she still doesn't like tummy time.
* Eliana can grip my finger and then pull herself from back to side. With a little tug on my part she'll go to her stomach.
* She gets lonely quickly if you're not paying attention to her. This is much more apparently in the afternoon and when she is getting ready for a nap.
* Bath time is still fun. I don't think she has figured out that moving her legs makes the water splash.
* She loves to sleep in her swing. I'm in the process of trying to train her to sleep without motion. This process isn't too much fun for her or me.
* Eliana loves to be rocked to sleep. If I catch the window of time just right, it only takes about a minute for her eyes to close. Normally it only takes a few minutes, but there have been times when we have rocked and walked for quite some time.
* Toys are suddenly quite important to Eliana.
* Kicking off her socks is a daily habit.
* She still enjoys being swaddled.
* The car isn't nearly the nightmare it was when she was younger. If she is just eaten, we often can go a whole car ride without hearing her scream.
* Eliana has a faint Mongolian spot like I did.
* She also has strawberry birth marks like I did.
* The longest she has slept was 6 hours straight. Sadly, that isn't the norm. Four hours is much more common.
* Eliana will spot Kyle or I and focus on us if she is visiting others. I'll be honest, it makes me feel pretty special.
* Today she started trying out this raspy whisper sound that I can't even duplicate. I tried to catch it on film, but apparently that sound wasn't available anymore.
* On occasion over the last week and a half, Eliana has tried out a really high pitch sound that reminds me of a cat. While some find it funny or even cute, it just hurts my ears.
* Eliana's nails grow really fast. I have to cut them at least once a week.
* Eliana hasn't figured out why pulling on the string connected to her pacifier causes it to pull out of her mouth. She often has a slightly surprised look on her face, or better yet, an offended one like I did it on purpose. :)
* Eliana still spits up at least a dozen times a day. And no, I am not exaggerating. Thankfully, it often isn't as much spit up. It really startles other people, but I am totally used to it. It doesn't faze me in the slightest.
* There are days when I am so frustrated that I think Eliana will be an only child. But there are other days when I think a sibling down the road would be okay. Sometimes I have both of those feelings in one day depending upon how things go.
I am thankful that Eliana slept from 9:30ish last night to 3:30ish this morning. She has fallen asleep at 8, but it only lasted for about 20 minutes. That makes for a sad mama for the third night this week. She hasn't been sleeping well lately. Part of it is being out of town recently. But even before that, she switched from waking up once to waking up twice or even three times on a really bad night.
I know Eliana's pjs don't show that it is Thanksgiving, but they were warm for her last night. That counts for more than being "in season". :)
Today I am thankful for my washer and dryer. Can you tell why? Eliana spits up often, but that doesn't require a clothing change or two in today's case. Do you see all of the drool and spit up on the outfit above? I can't imagine if I had to hand wash and air dry everything.
While visiting my family, my mom picked up Eliana's current favorite toy. This week she has learned to really grip the toy and enjoys chewing on it. It amazes me how I get to watch her learn new things. The week before we traveled to see family, she was just starting to enjoy toys. I had a fuzzy small rabbit that she was getting used to gripping, but she didn't care much for the fuzzy texture. Awe, but this toy seems to be perfect for her. I'm thankful for my mom's generosity in getting this toy.
I think that it can be hard to listen when, as soon as someone starts talking, you are thinking about what you will say back instead of listening to the rest of what they say. Or worse yet, you start talking while they are talking.
I went to a teacher conference over 3 years ago that made me really think about listening. I did an exercise with my students where I put them in pairs and had one person be the listener and one person be the speaker. On the first 30 seconds, I had the listener interrupt as much as possible. After trading jobs, we discussed what it made them feel like. Words like bad, sad, angry, frustrated, upset, mad, rude, erg, and others were talked about. Then I had them do 100% listening. That meant for 30 seconds straight, the listener couldn't say anything. Not one little thing. They could only listen. The kids felt great, like someone cared, special, and that they mattered. You know what else happened? The listener could actually tell you what the other person said when they listened 100%. We talked about how interrupting is really saying your words are more important than their words. That has stuck with me for years.
One of the things that makes Kyle great is that he works to read my face and then depending upon what it says, he will ask what I am thinking. He knows me well enough to know whether or not what I say is all I am thinking about or if I am trying to avoid saying all of what is on my mind. He also knows that I often have multiple things on my mind. For example, I am currently wondering when Eliana will stop crying and go to sleep for the night, if there will be corn at Thanksgiving, and how traveling with little ones is always an adventure.
I am thankful that God gave me a husband who is a good listener.
Tonight my mom made spaghetti with meatballs and sausage. Yum!!! We had a lot of family over. There are so many things to be thankful for. Trisha and GramE helped set the table and do some final preparations for the meal. GramE was a big help when she bathed Eliana for the second time today since she had a major blow out. Thomas and I had great fun taking silly pictures. I got to catch up with family. One of the biggest blessings to Nanny was having Apa helping Nanny with the computer, pictures, and Facebook.
I am thankful for my sisters. Eliana and I have been visiting family for a few days. It has been great to spend time with several of my sisters. We all have such different personalities. It is funny to watch as we have changed over the years. It is so nice that we don't fight like we did when we were kids. I love that they think Eliana is better than cheesecake with that delicious chocolate sauce I talked about a few days ago.
I am thankful for cameras, blogs, Facebook, and email today. I was able to go on a nice walk with Eliana today and take pictures with a family member's camers. I can update family on how I am through my blog. I can chat with family through FB and email. I can stay in touch with long distant family and friends with email.
I've been able to talk with my mom a lot today. When we come to visit, it is rare that I get a long undivided conversation with anyone. There are just so many family members to catch up with, and often the reason for our visits are to celebrate someone's birthday. It can be hard to have long talks when everyone is gathered. It has been good to hear bits of my mom's testimony today. Boy did Jesus do a work in her. I wouldn't even be able to recognize the person she described of her early 20s.
Another form of talking that was simply delightful was to hear my brother and Eliana "talking". More like her trying out this new high pitch sound that reminds me of a cat, and him responding back with similar sounds. There is just something wonderful about seeing a man interact with a baby. I loved hearing them giggle at one another.
Today was a busy day! I prepared a meal for friends that have a 12 day old baby. She is simply adorable! I was amazed at how light she was! There is something breath taking about holding a brand new baby. I remember when Eliana was that small, but in a way it seems like so long ago.
After the meal I was heading to the dentist. I needed to drop Eliana off so that my cousin could watch her. My cousin called and was sick. Uh oh. What to do. I called Kyle, but he was swamped at work and had to stay there. I called my carpool buddy, but I'm pretty sure she was still at work. I was still at my friends' house, but there was no way I'd add Eliana to this family's already busy life. Another friend came by to drop off the brother of the newborn. I asked what she was up to for the rest of the day. Praise the Lord! She was not only available, she was excited to watch Eliana.
This is one of those times when I praise God for His timing and planning. He knew I'd need another friend to care for my little one before I did. If I had needed to go drop off Eliana some place, I probably would have been late to my appointment. It all worked out so nicely! Today I am thankful for God's timing and for my flexible, generous friend.
There is just something special about potlucks! I love them. Kyle, Eliana, and I had a fabulous time at a church potluck today. I love seeing what everyone makes. I love catching up with people and seeing brand new babies! You may be wondering why Eliana would like potlucks. She liked this one because she slept in my arms during the meal and fellowship. My back is a little tender from it, but I knew that she had been fighting naps earlier. I knew that if I got her to sleep and laid her in her car seat she'd more than likely be up in 10 minutes or less. I know that because that is what happened at the park before we went to the potluck:)
For many moons, Kyle had fish at work. He recently brought them home. Eliana thinks they're pretty nifty. I mean think about, who do you know that stands on their head to eat? I'm thankful that God made creatures that are beautiful and entertaining.
Eliana is 20 weeks old today! That amazes me! It was this week last year that Kyle and I found out we were pregnant. She was just the size of a poppy seed back then! I remember being 20 weeks pregnant and thinking, "Wow! We're half way there." At that point we didn't know for sure if Eliana was a girl or a boy. 20 weeks, my how time flies by.