Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ellie Developments

Ellie continues to grow and develop so rapidly I can hardly keep up with all the new things she does to entertain and amaze me each day. Over break, we watched her gain many new skills and interests and I thought I'd try to document them while I still remember for the most part.

Ellie continues to do better and better at tummy time. She still only rolls over occasionally, but we are trying to show her that tipping her head is what helps her roll and I think eventually she'll get it. The amount of time she spends happy on her tummy continues to lengthen and we actually get smiles during this time now as well.

Her head and neck control also get better all the time. She has started to look up and back behind her more and more and look at what is in a whole room around her as opposed to just what is right in her area of the room.

Speaking of looking behind her. One of my favorite developments just in the last day or two is that Ellie likes my singing. I know, I'm terrible, and it worries me that we may find out there is something wrong with her ears one day, but although I can't explain it, she likes it. When we sing her a primary song each night before bed she just stares at me the whole time now. Today, when I was putting her down for a nap, I sang her a song with her in my lap and she arched her back and looked up to see me immediately after I began. Then, I got a big cheesy grin and she wriggled until I put her in a position where she could watch me sing. I got smiles for the first verse of the song and stares for the rest of it. Totally made my morning after a really rough night with her. And no, this is not one of those things we'll eventually get a video of for the blog. I get embarrassed enough on here, thank you very much.

With looking behind her has come this new position:
This is how Ellie spent most of Relief Society on the 26th in Preston in order to watch the teacher and music conductor throughout the hour. This position has also recently led to her getting up on her side occasionally. Hopefully that means she'll be rolling over on her stomach soon!

Ok, not a development really, but isn't she cute! We LOVE Aunt Julie dresses in our home... And Ellie just got big enough to wear this one for the 1st time right after Christmas.
Ok, now on to Spokane developments.

Ellie's hand control gets better all the time. She reaches for more toys and almost always grabs them on the first try, even if she hasn't gotten a ton better at getting them in her mouth instead of just against her face yet.

With hand control comes bottle holding! This is still very rare, but occasionally she'll hold her bottle with her apple juice or brown sugar water bottles! (given once daily to try and counteract all the oatmeal she gets for her reflux)

Speaking of reaching out with her hands, another made our day story from yesterday: Last night we went to the Mabton basketball games. Steve was helping the senior class out with their taco feed as he is one of their class advisers this year. Ellie hadn't been to Mabton in a while, so of course a few of the teachers we're friends with just had to hold her. Ellie does great with strangers, but twice, once with Steve and once with me, after she'd been with someone for a while, she spotted us and reached out. Like, leaned towards us with arms outstretched to go to Daddy or Mommy. No fuss, just a simple motion that melted our hearts. It's so great that she is beginning to be able to express her affection. We love that little girl an awful lot.

Ok, enough sap, back to hands. They are TASTY! This is Ellie's favorite new pose. Usually it's with the right hand, but she's willing to give the left a go too. Index and middle finger together - insert in mouth. Pretty stinkin cute. Don't worry, she gives all the other fingers and both fists some quality time and slobber as well. Just, these are her fall back sucking fingers.
However cute that may be, we don't want her to be a hand or finger sucker down the road as that can be really difficult to break. So if Ellie isn't just playing with her hands, she's just wanting to suck, we have started trying to give her a passifier now and then. I know, this habit can also be hard to break, but at least we can take away a passifier without the use of amputation. Once again, I know some parents may disagree with that statement as many kids seem to basically fuse the passifier to their bodies, but hey, we'll give it a go.

She's still kind of hit and miss on it, but when she's into it, she really likes her binky. On a random note, pretty sure she's throwing gang signs here in this picture. Yup, raising our daughter in Yakima Valley all right...

And then back to the tummy time. Ellie has started getting her legs under her more and more. She can push off of a solid object like my arm with her legs to scoot some. This started in Preston, but the only picture we got of her sort of doing it was in Spokane. Now if only she had any upper body strength to support her giant noggin we may be looking at a crawler soon. I think we've got a while yet.
Last few happy thoughts: Ellie loves her baths! She is so big now that she's graduated from her baby bath to just lying in a few inches of water in the tub, which she likes so much better. (later blog on this as well.) We have also begun giving her more foods. (again, another blog) Our girl is a great sleeper and napper most of the time and still wakes up smiling at whoever comes to get her. She also cracks us up now by stretching after she sleeps and by often sleeping with both hands behind her head like she's using them for a pillow. She is starting to discover the toys on her jumperoo and grab them, as well as the toys she carries everywhere with her. Ellie grabs clothes, bibs, and her knees and calves quite frequently, but has not started grabbing feet yet. We are starting to introduce her to a few very basic signs for diaper and food to try and teach her to communicate down the road. We recently had to break her of a screaming habit she had developed to get attention when she felt ignored. That thankfully only lasted a few days right when we got home. She has started to laugh more and more, is becoming ticklish on her neck and sides, and is such a pleasure to be around. Since we've gotten home she's gone back to constantly making noises and babbling throughout the day. She's such a happy baby and we are so blessed to have her in our family.

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