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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ellie: 9 Months Old

Dear Ellie Belle:

You are NINE months old today!  I guess I should start planning your 1st birthday party; after all, it'll be here before we know it!  Hannah Kate keeps asking me lately "what kind of party" we're going to have for you.  I don't know the answer to that yet, but I promise it will be a special day!

I don't even know where to begin.  Besides your brother and sister, you are just one of the most precious things to me!  Motherhood has been the greatest journey of my life, and I am so so thankful that the Lord sent you along for the ride!  There are days when I feel like I can't possibly love you and your brother and sister even more than I do, but then yall will do something that absolutely amazes me, and I love you even more for it!
Well, last month you were on the move.  But now you are on the go!  You are everywhere and in to everything!  A couple of weeks ago I left my bucket of mop water in the music room.  I was folding clothes in the bedroom.  And guess who made her way to the music room and dumped the entire bucket of yucky mop water all over her and the floor?  Let's just say it wasn't Hannah Kate!  You haven't yet tried to climb the stairs, but I bought baby gates last week because I know you've been thinking about it.  I've caught you more than once sitting at the bottom of the stairs just looking up to the top.  You aren't doing the traditional crawl though.  You are doing the Ellie crawl.  Your right leg is underneath you with your knee on the floor.  Your left leg is out to the side, and you propel yourself with your left foot.  You also pull forward with your left hand and sort of slide along.  I often times wonder if you will ever get the hang of really crawling, but it really doesn't matter.  You get to where you want to go, and you get there fast!
I'm fairly certain you won't be walking at 10 months old like your sister did, but you are starting to pull up more and more, especially during the past three days.
You still like to wave bye-bye but mostly to yourself.  Yesterday when Mason got off the bus, we were standing fairly close to the end of the driveway.  As soon as you saw him, you started jumping up and down in my arms and waving at him.  It was the sweetest thing.  You are always so excited to see Mason get off the bus.

You learned how to clap this month, and you clap a lot.  Again, you love to clap for yourself.  You also clap every time you hear music.  You still love to play and love your toys.  You are also taking an interest in Mickey Mouse.  Sometimes Hannah Kate watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse when she wakes up in the morning times, and I have noticed you watching him, too.

You and I have not had a whole lot of sleep this month.  That's due, in part, to another ear infection.  So I took you to the pediatrician, and you are on antibiotics again.  You are doing better at naptime now, and I think we might even have a naptime routine established.  But 1:00AM and 4:00AM are just not acceptable wake-up times!  So maybe we can work on that for your 10th month!  You had me so spoiled when you were an infant.  You slept so much better then than you do now, and I was sure you'd be sleeping through the night by 6 weeks of age!  Oh well.  I'm sure it'll come one day.

You love to talk - rather loudly, I might add - and I hear new sounds and syllables everyday.  Your favorite is still da-da.  You wear a size 3 diaper.  You wear 9 and 12 month clothes.  You weighed 15 pounds 15 ounces when I took you to the doctor last week.  You love to eat!  You still love butternut squash, carrots and sweet potatoes, apples and pears.  You also love spinach.  You are still nursing, but it's becoming more and more difficult because you are losing interest in it.  You are distracted easily.  I think you'd much rather a bottle.

We celebrated your first Easter.  You love those plastic eggs.  I have several scattered on the floor in the kitchen.  They keep you entertained while I cook supper most nights, and you actually stay in one spot.  Your Easter dress was pale pink.  It looks more white in these pictures, but it was pink.  And you wore a bonnet.
Your personality is beginning to shine.  You are a hoot, and you constantly make me laugh.  You have also learned how to let me know that you don't like something.  You have started spitting when you get aggravated about something, especially when I take something away that you aren't supposed to have.  That's all I'll say about that for now.  We'll have to see where that takes us.

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times.  Everyday with you is pure joy!  And I love you more than you'll ever know!

~Mama


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Resurrection

Reflecting back on Holy Week . . . thinking about the steps the Savior trod into Jerusalem, the palm branches waving to the cries of "Hosanna," save now! . . . the washing of the feet, the agony in the garden, the betrayal, the lashings and beatings and mocking, the tears, the body of Jesus hanging on a tree all because of LOVE.  Friday.  But then came Sunday.  Resurrection.  VICTORY.

Jesus strides forth as the victor,
     conqueror of death, hell, and all opposing might;
He bursts the bands of death,
     tramples the powers of darkness down,
     and lives for ever.
He, my gracious surety,
     apprehended for payment of my debt,
     comes forth from the prison house of the grave
     free, and triumphant over sin, Satan, and death.

Adorable redeemer,
     thou who was lifted up upon a cross
     art ascended to highest heaven.
Thou, who as man of sorrows wast crowned with thorns,
     art now as Lord of life wreathed with glory.

What more could be done than thou hast done!
     Thy death is my life, thy resurrection my peace,
     thy ascension my hope, thy prayers my comfort.

A Puritan Prayer from The Valley of Vision

On that Resurrection Sunday morn, we awoke with a vigor to attend the early Son-rise service.  But I didn't wake up early enough so Ellie was still in her pajamas, and we had to come back home afterwards and then go back for Sunday school and church.
Yes, there were eggs and baskets and hunts and such.
I think these boys found all of their eggs in less than 20 seconds.  And their baskets were full.
This girl, on the other hand, was a little more selective.  There were eggs laying everywhere (literally.  The grass wasn't tall enough to "hide" anything.), but she kept on walking through the maze of eggs until she found the colors she wanted.  And, if they weren't the right color, she just kept on going and left them for someone else to pick up!
I think Mason filled his basket and dumped it several times before he came away with his eggs.
And here's what this sweet baby thought about those plastic eggs:
In between the early church time and Sunday school, we tried to get pictures of children and baskets.
And, yes, Ellie does have a basket!  It was sitting on the floor.
It's difficult getting the picture of one child, much less three children.  Or six kids.  Especially when one has a stomach virus, one is hungry and I'm sure I could come up with something for the other four, too.
Like I said, getting the "perfect" picture is hard.  Case in point below.  Ellie looks like she wants to hit somebody!
In the midst of the eggs and baskets and bonnets and dresses and early morning church and cantatas and all of the things that we have made to be Easter . . . the only thing that matters is the cross.  The love.  The sacrifice.  The resurrection!

Monday, April 01, 2013

Ellie: 8 Months Old

Dearest Ellie:

You are 8 months old!  Actually, you are now 8 1/2 months old!  This old mama is a little bit behind.  A lot behind, actually.  But here's to 8 months!
You are now on the move.  Not on the go yet.  But you have figured out how to move.  You have also realized you do not necessarily have to stay where Mama puts you.  Gone are the days when you stay on your pallet, surrounded by your toys and playing to your heart's content.  Pallets are for 7 month olds.  It's more fun to explore and end up underneath your swing.  Until, of course, you bump your head on the bottom of the seat and plead for someone to rescue you.
You are trying so hard to figure out how to crawl.  You mostly sit on your bottom and pull yourself forward with your right leg.  But lately you are attempting to get up on all fours.  Only that right leg pulls itself out, and you end up scooting across the floor on your hands and left leg, using your right leg to propel you along.
I'm beginning to find you in more places now so I see baby gates in our future. 
You are also beginning to pull up now.  Daddy had to lower the mattress in your crib. 
Besides scooting and pulling up, your other big accomplishment this month was waving.  You love to wave.  But you wave with the palm of your hand facing you instead of others.  I guess that makes sense though because that's what you see when someone waves to you.  And you don't always wave on cue.  But the other day, I picked you up to walk into the kitchen.  You turned around and waved to the cartoon people on the TV.

You are wearing 9-12 month clothes and size 3 diapers.  You are still nursing, but sometimes when nursing isn't convenient, I'll give you a bottle.  I think you much prefer the bottle because you can sit up and see what's going on around you while you're eating.  And you LOVE to eat.  Your favorites are still all veggies except the green ones, apples and pears.  You also like spinach.  You are learning to self feed with finger foods.  You aren't showing any teeth yet, but you drool a lot so I know they're coming.  You still have the same sleeping patterns.  I really need to get you on a better, more consistent daily nap schedule, but that's so hard to do right now with our busy schedule of school, dance and tutoring.  And I really wish you would drop the 4:00am feeding!  It would really be okay!  But at least you do go right back to sleep.

Your most favorite people in the whole wide world are Mason and Hannah Kate!  I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual.

And so, Ellie girl, it's been a great month!  You are our sunshine, and we love you to pieces!  I love you!  ~Mama