Tuesday, May 17, 2016

6 Months with our Ellie

Ellie's been in our arms for half a year now... wow. It's really hard to believe. It seems like every year with Hadassah goes faster than the last, and the months with Ellie have definitely seemed to fly by WAY faster than they did with our first baby.

(started this when Ellie was 6 months, now finally finishing it as she's 6 1/2 months!)

Sweet would definitely be the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Ellie. She's pretty calm, laid back, and happy to play by herself quite a bit. Her favorite thing is watching her big sister - I've learned it's almost impossible to get her to nurse for long if she knows Hadassah is in the room! Sure, she's a baby and likes to keep me guessing on when she's going to nap and how long each day (seems the only consistent thing with her is that it won't be the same for more than two days in a row!) but really, we are very thankful how easily she's fit into our family and how much joy she brings. When I have a hard day, with Hadassah testing limits, house a mess, and Ellie waking up the very minute Hadassah was quiet in her room for her nap... Walking into Ellie's room and seeing her genuine joy and huge smile at seeing me makes almost anything better. :)

Case-in-point: She spent her 6 month birthday pushing through her 5th tooth. And while I could tell she was teething with a little more dis-contentedness and a rough afternoon nap, overall she was still so sweet and happy. Such a laid-back girlie!

I dutifully took pictures each month - with tutu being the theme! - but actually blogging them each month proved to be a challenge. So here's a re-cap of Ellie's first 6 months, as bullet-pointed as my wordy self can make it to save time!

 (pictures this first month were sparse, as we were heading back to China on her 1-month birthday!)

By this month:
* awake about 45 minutes at a time * naps mostly in the arms of her loving relatives * has a fussy, hard-to-sleep time every night from 6-9 or later * But lengthens to 5 hours of sleep for the first stretch once down! * loves anything black & white & red * nurses every 2-3 hours * can't decide if she wants to be swaddled, have one arm out, or no swaddle at all! * has great head control for a newborn *

 * awake 45 minutes - 1 hour * naps usually just 1 hour at a time * recovers from jet lag amazingly * sleeps 8-10 hours straight at night just a few weeks after returning home * nurses about every 2 1/2 hours * so snuggly * enjoys both arms being swaddled * stretches in the cutest way after being unswaddled * likes listening to her musical seahorse while getting ready for bed * adjusts to sleeping in her own bed and putting herself to sleep for naps quickly and amazingly well! * lifts her legs straight in the air * smiles at almost any Chinese woman * shrieks with joy * says "a-goo" * has the cutest pouty face * gets rocked to sleep every night due to fussy hours continuing * weighs 15 lbs & measures 24 inches at almost 2 1/2 months old * fully in to 6 month clothes *

 * has the cutest coo "conversations" * loves when mommy wears her red&black shirt * loves watching Dassah do "dance shows" for her * lifts head up lots better on tummy * has the cutest eye-widening when she sees something interesting * gets vaccines and her "umbilical granuloma" removed * fighting lots of cradle cap and dry skin * nurses every 2 1/2 - 3 hours * awake about 1 hr to 1 hr 15 min * naps mostly 45-60 minutes at a time, with some longer ones thrown in! * fits in ERGO without infant insert * cutest happy noises while nursing * coos at self in mirror * sleeps with one arm unswaddled *

*laughs when she sees daddy * loves her mobile * grabs hanging toys and studies intently *smiles a lot at people who engage her outside * still sleeps through the night (with a "dream feed") pretty consistently! * first time on a slide with Daddy & sister * favorite toy is Mr. Caterpillar * loves going out and looking at new ceilings and lights * kicks legs and smiles when I get her up from sleeping * goes to sleep on her own at night pretty consistently - fussy bed times starting to end! * loves holding on to her crib bar while sleeping * holds toys better and better * outgrows her swing, trying to sit up in it * loves me pulling her up to sit " up-up-up!" and back "down-down-down!" * starting to get longer naps * nurses every 2 1/2 - 3 hours * squeaks so cutely! * finds her thumb * makes my life full of joy * laid back even with a house full of guests * plays with her dress * has the cutest "sleepy song" * gets so excited when she realizes she's getting a bath * fascinated watching mommy exercise * awake about 1 1/2 hours at a time * starts trying to drop her late afternoon nap * first 2 teeth! * still takes a bottle when being babysat! * starts enjoying the outside more (warmer weather helps!) * gets hugged and kissed a lot by sister * keeps me company in her bouncy seat as I hang laundry * really enjoys her sleep-time cuddly lamb * sits for a few instants alone * loves touching Daddy's face & cooing * wears 9 month clothes *

*both arms unswaddled * awake 1 1/2 hours, with a longer stretch in evening * nurses about every 3 hours, sometimes 3 1/2 to 4 * alternates between 2 hour naps and 45 minute naps * eyes much more engaging and understanding * smiles so so much! * skin much more clear * really enjoys stroller rides * copies big sister sticking out her tongue * blows raspberries a lot! * belly laughs! * pretty much down to 3 naps a day * 17.5 lbs and 26 inches at 4 1/2 months old! * more vaccines * starts solids (and loves it!) with rice cereal, sweet potato, and avocado *  leans for spoon, little mouth like a bird! * starts some stranger anxiety * calms so quickly in my arms * rolls from tummy to back * cuddles little lamb while falling asleep * looks with such love and delight at big sister * finds feet * lights up during "super Ellie!" (flying above Mommy's head) * distracted while nursing especially if big sis is around! * really enjoys her exersaucer * pulls blanket over face to play peekabo * holds my hand while she nurses, so sweet... * 2 more teeth! *

awake about 1 hr 45 minutes, stretching to 2 hours * most often has 2 long naps (1 1/2 - 2 hours) and one short later one * nurses about every 3 1/2 hours, sometimes 4 * still does the dream feed * eyebrows soften so sweetly when she smiles * still sleeps in ERGO, though hardly more than 30-45 minutes at a time * but has the cutest sigh of relief when she gets put in it when she's tired * incredibly flexible during a weekend at a mountain * loves to stand more and more (with support) * sits by herself sturdily * absolutely loves jumping in her jumper * loves touching grass and flowers and leaves (and trying to eat them!) * always eager for solid foods * loves: avocado, green beans, apples, pears, bananas, oatmeal & rice cereal * tolerates: squash & sweet potato * cuddles the best * playful * loves getting tickled * goes to sleep on her own well, not as affected if she's up a little later than optimal * can scoot backwards on a slippery surface (ie not carpet) * turns herself around in her crib on her back * loves playing with toys * sits and takes blocks out of a box * connects especially with anything with a face * sits up in cardboard boxes * always takes baths in big girl bathtub (usually with sister) now * has the widest-mouthed smile * giggles more and more * snuggles and "kisses" us when we do her goodnight routine * laughs at almost anything * gets 5th tooth with 6th coming through a few days after she turned 6 months! * wearing 12 month clothes! *

And one more, just because it's really only a baby that can have her face and feet that close together and look so cute!

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