She's a poor napper, and only recently has been able to take most naps on her own (after a week of gentle transitioning, which I knew I had to do as she started to have more trouble falling asleep on me). Those naps are usually 30 minutes, so I just barely get her down and she's up again. Sometimes I try to rush in chores, but since I know breaks are fleeting, I try to do what chores I can while she's awake and use her naps as a real time to unwind. I'm on the clock literally all the time since she won't take a bottle and is up every couple of hours throughout the night, so those small breaks are desperately needed for my emotional and psychological well-being.
I've loved watching her grow and change. So much has happened in just the past month that blows my mind. She started sitting around five and a half months, and from there has progressed more and more toward crawling. She stretches for toys without toppling and moves her hips and legs to try to move. She's taken to drinking from a straw cup, catching on immediately. We've been making her baby food and just started putting some into pouches, and she caught onto that immediately also - smiling and giggling with glee, like she couldn't believe that food was coming out of the straw instead of water or milk. She laughs and babbles so much. She still has her fussy moments, but that used to be almost all the time. Now she spends so much of the day giggling at everything. Everything! She laughs and kicks her legs when she sees bushes, flags flapping, balloons, a shadow, light fixtures, and often things we can't even figure out. She has started using consonants so that her coos are now babbles - mamamama, babababa, dadadada, bwawawawa. When we mimic the sounds back to her, she stops and then grins or laughs.
She plays mostly by turning a toy over and over in her hand to inspect it from all angles before putting it her mouth while bouncing/rocking happily, or by banging two hard toys together over and over again. She doesn't have interest in soft or plush toys at the moment. She looooves physical play - being tickled, tossed, nuzzled. When she's tired, she sometimes rubs her face back and forth against my face instead of rubbing her eyes with her own hands. When she's tired or just content and low energy, I repeatedly give soft kisses to her temple and she just leans her face into me and calms while I do it. She raises her arms when she wants to be held. She playfully leans toward Nicole from my arms and then smiles and turns back into me when Nicole tries to take her, but then does it again if Nicole retreats. She's started to get super excited at the anticipation of something happening; her eyes and mouth open wide and her hands lift and tremble like she just can't contain her excitement. The anticipation is often unwarranted, and we try to figure out what she was hoping for and offer it! She does it every time my mom answers FaceTime calls and I just melt.
Life with Ellis is amazing. I have no time for my three favorite things - reading, writing, and movies - but I remind myself that there will be so much time for that all too soon. The first few months were so, so difficult with our high needs baby that I don't want to miss a single joy of how she is now. I feel constantly on cloud nine, and no sacrifice seems too difficult because I can truly appreciate and enjoy every moment with her now with the sharp memory of how excruciatingly hard it all was not long ago.
This post is disjointed because all the great ideas I have for topics while busy with Ellis never get touched, and now when I have a minute to pull out my laptop while she's sleeping next to me, I can't think of any of them and my mind is a fuzzy cloud from having gotten up with her at 5:20AM. But I needed to seize the opportunity so I just loosely wrote about some of the things I want to be able to look back on later.