Ellis at 11 months

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Hugs, hugs, hugs- for Mommy and Daddy, that is. Ellis went through another phase of shyness, which resulted in being A LOT more affectionate with us. He'd been too busy checking out the world right from day one to want to snuggle much, even as a young baby (he had to be propped upo n our shoulders so he could see, rather than snuggled). That has changed. He loves giving hugs and getting kisses on his cheeks with us.

But he does get clingy. Even going to grandparents' arms has now become a bit iffy. He'll instead put his head down on our chests and cuddle in closer if he senses we might hand him off! To be fair, the poor boy had a cold. Nothing like May, when the entire household got a variety of strange, rare and truly horrible illnesses. Jut a cold, but oh, that it still pulls at your heart with his poor runny nose and a fever. He's a trooper though and pulled through- Mommy did to, despite one white night where neither slept. His clinginess has predictably become less pronounced now that he's feeling himself again.


Can we start with a silly but utterly adorable "milestone?" Someone's got some curls in his hair (which I've been combing into a part and he looks hilariously like my dad did as a baby, but now.... little curls flip up on occasion.)

Okay, okay here's an update on the REAL milestones! We are mobile, baby! Or rather we have a mobile baby. Ellis is crawling on all fours, complete with rug burns on his knees! It definitely is still a cordination challenge, so he's not quite zooming about the house, but he's moved from only crawling when motivated with keys or other shiny prizes to, on occasion, taking off to explore or find Mommy. A baby gate has now been installed and inspected by both dogs and baby (Ellis thought bumping his head against the metal gate was the best method to investigate by. Then he was confused when he tried the same thing on our wood front door and it hurt!). That's not the only gross motor skill happening 'round these parts. Ellis LOVES standing. He can't quite pull himself up yet, but loves, love, loves to stand at coffee table or with his activity cube and play. He'll stand for a good 30 minutes straight before getting tired too. Sadly, he hasn't figured out sitting down, so he just kind of falls back- TIMBER!- like a tree. So we try to watch out for that! Unsurprisingly, Ellis is always surprised that methods hurts.

As for his language development, everything is "Dada." He can babble a lot of sounds, of course, but that seems to be his word of choice. For everything. For anything. For Dada, for the dog, for Mama, for that toy and that toy and.... My parents swear he's said "popop" or possibly "pa" to reference his grandpa and he's said "baba" on occasion when near his bottle. But really, it's a Dada world for now.


Maybe it is just the added mobility, but we've been seeing a lot more agency from our little man this month. He can get to things he wants, and doesn't shy away from making his preferences known. He loves playing with his activity cube, mostly pushing balls down a ball run. He also loves being Just Like Daddy. He know has his own "credit card" (an old plastic card, like the ones that come in the mail. Not a real credit card, obviously!) we give him to play with in store lines. He also has an old Remote control.  Nothing  is as motivating as that remote is. 

December brought the holiday season, and its been delightful getting to see this time of year through new eyes. Truthfully, Ellis doesn't "get" what Christmas is. However, he LOVES our Christmas tree. We've incorporated it into our nightly routine and say goodnight to it. The lit-up smile he gets everytime he sees it sparkling is magical. Likewise, he enjoys watching the model train we set up under the tree. He's pretty good about not touching it too, though he loves playing with the extra train tracks and any cars that aren't hooked up to the engine. Jingle bells have also been a big hit; Santa was decidedly not a hit. We were a little surprised since Ellis has always enjoyed men with beards (especially white beards like Grandpa's!), but a stranger in a strange outfit holding him was not on the list of Ellis' favorite experiences. Oddly though, he finds me saying "Hohoho!" (from a Christmas book) hilarious.   


Ellis went off of eating solids this month. Not interested at all- well, he's interested in flinging it off his spoon and onto the walls but that doesn't count.  This is normal for babies with colds, sometimes, according what I've read. That same research also pointed out that Ellis also likely isn't as hungry as before because he's not growing as much. Eh, we keep trying and I keep reminding myself that babies do things at their pace, not mine. 


We had a white night or two when in the throes of the cold, and, man, did it remind me how much I love that Ellis is a good sleeper, mostly. I look at these wee, new babies and am confused by how Ellis could be so big. But, really, each stage is so nice and, not gonna lie. Sleep is one of the best parts of a growing boy.


Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, or so the songs say, but when I was working, things could feel rushed or overlooked. I've sometimes struggled with being a stay at home mom, but the best part of it all is that I have time with my boy, and I really wanted to make the most of it. So, I made an Advent Calendar of activities to do with our little sugarplum. Its was tricky to find things that would be fun without out over stimulating either Ellis or me. In the end, we did most of the activities, but not all. Some were hits; some were not (see the original post, along with updates on what worked and what didn't). But what I learned is a little planning and intentionality really helped enrich our days. Many of these things strengthened my  relationships with others and making a point to do things with people, something I struggle with, ended up being so rewarding that I made other plans beyond those on the calendar. The best was finally going back to my hometown and letting Ellis meet people, such as the woman who babysat me when I was his age! We also found a second library with even more baby books, and some other baby-friendly places to enjoy on gloomy winter days. 

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