There’s so much to report on our thriving Ellacub! She started walking a few weeks before she turned one, following a couple cautious months of standing from a sitting position and just looking around. Luke took his first steps at nine months, but they were from a standing position after pulling up on a piece of furniture. When Eleanor was ready to walk at almost twelve months, she just stood up in the middle of the floor and did it! For a few weeks she transitioned from crawling to walking and now she rarely crawls. I love the way she swings her legs out to the side as she steps and firmly plants them down.
Talking! In the right mood, she’ll repeat any simple word for you but she also has a whole list that she uses spontaneously. These include the typical mommy, daddy, hi, and uh-oh. Other common words include, yes, no, this, dog, up, out, and everybody’s favorite: please! ‘Please’ is actually her most used word! When she wants some of what I’m eating or a refill, she looks at me and sweetly says ‘pease?’ with a smile. Sometimes it’s ‘pease, dis?’ with her finger pointing. She also uses this phrase when she wants an out-of-reach item. I think our please and thank you prompts to the Luke-boy may have had better results on her than on their intended audience! (:
Ever the girly-girl, she quite favors accessories. She delights in finding hats and putting them on herself, trying to put on shoes, and donning rings and bracelets. I hope this bodes well for all the darling hair clips I’ve accumulated! Her hair is just long enough to start using the tiniest clips. She also has four teeth and four more poking through her gums.
She is so proud to be able to travel forward and backward on ride-on toys by pushing with her feet. She’s watched Luke race around this way for so long, she delights to be able to do it too. Thankfully, the new ride-on car from Nika and Papi has made this new skill much less contentious in our house!
She’s losing interest in having food fed to her, much preferring to finger-feed herself. Her current favorites include cheese, blueberries, carrots from beef stew, and pasta. Pasta happens to be at the tip-top of Luke and Erik’s food lists too, so it’s a frequent meal plan.
The play kitchen that she and Luke received from us for Christmas has been a big hit. How cute she is stirring food in pots and pretending to eat it. She also loves any toy she can push or pull around the house, pushing cars back and forth with darling ‘vroom’ noises. In the past month she’s become a zealous book reader, toddling up to me with a book several times a day and beaming with delight when I sit her on my lap to read.
With all these delightful new stages has come a little more competition on the sibling front. Luke and Ella both struggle with grabbing each other’s toys and then throwing angry fits over having their toys taken. Of course Luke bears the bulk of the blame since he’s older, but there are times when Eleanor merits a reprimand and instruction too. I’m sad to say that they do their share of pushing and grabbing, but thankfully there’s never any real injuries from their squabbles. It mostly just produces the type of whining and wailing that stops immediately once a child gets his or her way. Teaching them to share and care for each other is ever a challenge and prayer request here!
Of course there are also times when they share and play together marvelously. It thrills my heart when Luke excitedly exclaims, “Eleanor ‘wake!!” as he hears Eleanor waking and joyfully rushes in to see her after her nap. He also negotiates for her when we announce her bedtime: “Eleanor go to bed in two more minutes.” They both love playing in boxes, baskets and tubs – climbing in together and giggling contagiously.
Eleanor’s single-nap routine doesn’t always thrill me. Some days I feel like she could really use another nap but she just can’t seem to nap a second time. And typically her nap is just barely an hour long! But I’ve recently decided to stop fighting it and just accommodate her with an earlier bedtime. Now we try to put her sleepy self to bed by 7 pm and then she sleeps (with 1-2 night feedings…) until ~7 am. Luke has dropped his nap altogether, so he’s been going to bed earlier too (by 8 pm) and sleeping until ~8 am. I love that this schedule puts them in range of their age-based sleep quotas, and sometimes they supplement with little snoozes in the car.
It’s too bad that these earlier bedtimes don’t allow for a lot of evening activities, but I’m excited to be closing a chapter on our naptime battles. For now, Ella’s happy to take just one and Luke has been going down at night so much better without an afternoon nap. Hurray! But I realize that I’m now a person who can talk about child sleep habits FOREVER so just in case you don’t share my fixation on them, let’s get back to the topic at hand…. the Ella-Wonder!
Want to look back on old Eleanor milestone posts like I do? Here are more notes on our Bella-babe.
- Nine months – crawling & cruising, first words, kissing & 9 states
- Seven months – sitting herself up & solid food
- Five months – self-swinging, bumbo-punting, & rolling both ways
- Three months – rolling over & scooching
- One month – heart-stealing smiles
We love you Ella-belle and it’s such a joy to watch you grow and flourish!