I haven’t done a truly personal post in a long time! This blog used to be a place where I could share my crafts and DIY projects but also a place where I could just talk about my life, my kids, and things I’ve been thinking about.
Well today I have to share with you some pictures of the most beautiful little girl in the world.
Seriously, my heart swells with love when I look at her. Or think about her.
But I have to admit, that even though I’ve always loved her immensely, she has been my most challenging baby for sure. I know there are many of you out there who have much more difficult family situations to deal with and I’m not trying to put my trials on that level. Because I personally am a very impatient person and that’s always been something that makes small issues WAY more intense for me.
Every since Ellie was born she has been a high maintenance baby. She had colic as a baby, crying all the time, staying up late into the night and needing to be constantly rocked or have movement of some kind. I quit nursing her at 4 months because she never seemed satisfied and wouldn’t drink a bottle and finally just went on a nursing strike. I thought that that was her problem–that she was just always hungry. But that wasn’t it.
She started teething…she now has five teeth at 11 months. But it took months and months to get those teeth which were constantly pushing through her gums and hurting her. In August she literally cried all. the. time. I couldn’t even put her down for like three weeks. I couldn’t get anything done. It was harder than having a newborn! I took her to the doctor and he said she was just fine. Thanks, doc.
She also never crawled and had severe separation anxiety. She was so frustrated because she couldn’t follow me around and would cry every time I wasn’t in her sight. This made getting things done very difficult because hello, I can’t carry around a 20 lb baby everywhere if I’m trying to do laundry and empty the garbage and such. I knew my kids were slower to learn to move around so I kept expecting her to crawl around 9-10 months. But nothing, no crawling. And 11 months and she still doesn’t crawl.
But she hit a turning point in the last couple of weeks which have made my life infinitely easier. She scoots! It’s kind of hilarious actually. She has this way of maneuvering her legs to get her across a room and she is pretty fast! I mean what part of the body does that exercise because it has to be strong! And I have no idea if it’s going to help her learn to walk but I guess time will tell. But now that she is more mobile, she is much happier.
Also, she found a pacifier one day somewhere in our house and started sucking it. She never liked them as a baby but she LOVES them now. And they really soothe her over-stimulated body because she will happily suck on it for hours and not make a peep. So she is happy, sucking on her binky and scooting around the house. Ahhh…freedom!!
Finally the last problem we had with her was that she never wanted to go to bed at a decent hour. She would cry and scream for a long time when I would put her to bed at 7. I’d get her up and play with her for several more hours until she would finally go to bed happily at around 10 or 11. We tried to have her cry it out but it was just too painful for me to listen to, and I couldn’t really go anywhere in the house to drown her out. Finally I decided to bulk up her routine again. When she was 8 weeks old I had to start doing a bedtime routine to get her to go to bed and it worked great back then. I did it religiously every night for about 4 months. Finally I started to shorten the routine and it seemed to work okay so after awhile the routine was very short and it was easy to put her to bed. So I don’t know why I didn’t think of bringing back her routine earlier! It’s not even that bad, it’s just hard to do every night when I’m super tired from dealing with 3 kids all day.
The Routine: I give her a warm bath, washing her body and hair. Then I make her a warm bottle and put her in her jammies. Then I comb her hair and read her books and snuggle with her. Then I lay her in bed with the bottle and tuck her in tight and she goes to sleep. I mean, I can’t believe how quickly she embraced her routine again, just like she remembered it from months ago and was super happy to have it back. Makes me feel like an idiot for even giving it up! I’m sure you are all rolling your eyes at me.
She still is clingy and occasionally fussy and is very jealous if anyone, including my own sons, try to hug or snuggle with me. But finally, FINALLY, one month shy of turning one, she is at the ‘fun age.’ It was so hard to listen to all the older women tell me to cherish every second because it seemed like most of the time Ellie and I were both miserable. I was afraid to even leave her with anyone because of how difficult she was.
But saying all this makes me feel ungrateful for her, which I am not. I am SO happy that I have my beautiful daughter and I wouldn’t trade any of it, ever. I have a wonderful life with many many blessings that I need to remember at all times. Because my family is what is truly important and I’m so grateful I have them.