Eliana is Eighteen Months Old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Our little Jelly Bean is a year and a half old!  She is growing up faster than I can believe. *sob!*  I need more babies, guys.  I always feel like I should give a warning: incoming, about fifty million pictures.

Little Elly Belly weighs 22 pounds .  She may be tiny, but she’s also mighty feisty!  Watch out for this little firecracker….

We took away Elly’s beloved binks about a month and a half ago, and she was not a fan.  At least, I assumed she was a little upset about it when she screamed ferociously at me and proceeded to throw everything else (blankets, pillow, dollies, and books) out of her crib for the first few nights every night and nap since.  Our breaking point was our Wisconsin trip when we over used it to get her to be quiet for travel.  She picked up on abusing it and would whip it somewhere in the van, then proceed to bawl at the top of her lungs until I scoured the van to retrieve it and plug her back up.  #parentingwin  Regardless…. the bink days are over. haha  Although, she has tried to swipe our new little baby’s pacifiers when I’m not looking.  *Oh Elly*

There may have been once or twice (or half a dozen times) that I thought about reliving the binky days, but thankfully Cabz kept me on track.  “She is SO sad!  She’s screaming her head off!  She doesn’t feel well… Awww…. plus she’s driving me nuts.  Can we give her back the b….”  “No.” “Not even for just one…”  “No.” ha  Side note: Elly has always had the absolute best frowny face ever.  There are all sorts of baby beauty contests.  My question is, why don’t they have frowny face contests?!  Discrimination!  Elly would win though.  It wouldn’t even be a competition.  Just look at this little grumpy buns!  I just want to smooch her cheeks while she whips her head away with an angry “Mmm!!”

Although Elle doesn’t jump into her crib with a giant smile, she usually just cries for a few minutes before settling down and sleeping like a champ.  I am so thankful that she is normally a very decent sleeper.  She takes one afternoon nap that lasts about an hour and a half and bedtime is from 7:30 p.m. to 7 a.m.  Typically she is quiet all night.  Once in a great while she will wake up in the middle of the night and whimper or cry a minute, but she always goes right back to sleep.  I always put her things back in after she’s asleep. ❤

Little Yelly (I give my kids all sorts of nicknames, and this one fits her well because she is tiny with a mighty voice as needed) loves to be my helper.  Sometimes she gets so excited to help that she overdoes it a bit.  I’ll ask her to bring me a diaper and she comes over with a stack so big she can hardly hold it.  Uh…. thanks, babe?  She is the best little grocery unloader helper ever though. ❤

Her favorite time to pitch in is during meal prep.  She is always extremely busy “helping” me while I’m cooking.

We thought Evelyn was going to be our unique wild child.  And then Elly happened.  If anything, she is crazier and more of a daredevil than Evie was at this age.  (yikes, right?!)  We have a kid picnic table and she will climb on top of it, stand up, and then jump off.  Yes, she falls every time, yes she has gotten hurt doing it, and yes she continue to laughingly do it with zero amount of fear.  She has always been such a troublesome climber!  The only sort of restraint is her height.

Parks are always nice and terrifying….

If the big sisters do it, Elly thinks she should be able to do it too.  Watching them climb trees from down below makes her m-a-d.

Kind of like the time Abby got to sell brownies at our garage sale and Elly was told she was too little….  Insta fit on the cement floor of the garage.

Swings are Elly’s favorite (until you make her get out)….

…but she always has to take things to the next level or it’s just not fun.

Elly doesn’t know how to pedal, but she does enjoy riding trikes.  She knows how to use her feet to go forwards and backwards.

Of course, she has done this down our driveway (I ran faster, don’t worry) to prove she’s not just a baby.

Lil’ Trouble has known how to walk down stairs for months now.

I did not approve of her going down our deck steps (to cement!) at first, but she is always careful to hang on, so she earned free reign.

Our lil’ Jelly Bean doesn’t say many words yet (she is definitely my slowest talker), but here are a few fun words she uses:

“MOP!” – She will yell this at the top of her lungs and end the ‘p’ sound with a tight pout lip.  She’s calling me.  I think it’s her version of ‘mom’ with a hint of sass.  The first pic is the actual face she makes.

“Yi yi yi!!!” – When Elly comes running out from a back room yelling this is a concerned voice, I know there’s trouble.  This is her way of telling me she did something naughty (stood on the toilet and turned the hot water on in the sink, colored on something other than paper, broke something, climbed somewhere she shouldn’t have, etc.).

“Ot!!” – (hot) Whenever I’m cooking, she runs over and is sure to remind me that everything is, “Ot! Ot! Ot!” (as she tries to fall in it of course).

“Code!!” – She will screech this (cold!) after bath time when I’m getting her dressed.

“A-ee” – Abby

“Eh-wee” – Evie

“Buuh” – Bud

Da-ee – (Daddy) She usually places a high pitched emphasis on the “ee” part. haha

Mah-ee – (Mommy) Same ending emphasis as Daddy

Babbles followed by GO! – Here we go!

“Ehhhh WEE!!!” – (Elly) I am constantly calling “EeeeellY!” to locate my missing troublemaker.  So constantly, that the troublemaker I’m referring to will frequently run around the house yelling, “Ehhhhh WEE!!” with a big grin on her face.

Elly’s biggest accomplishment while she was 17 months was getting (mostly) day time potty trained.  Why do I say ‘mostly?’  Well, she does 100% excellent, as long as I abide by her stipulations.  She must be nude from the waist down (no diaper, no pull-up, no underwear, nothin’!) and Bud can’t be sitting on her potty when she has to go or she’ll panic.  Also, if I put something ON her butt, such as one of the aforementioned objects of clothing, in order to leave the house, there are no guarantees she will keep it dry.  So, while she potty trained earlier than either of my other two girls, it’s not as perfectly as they did.  I think she is well on her way and I just need to strap some undies on her buns and keep a close eye all day to help her figure it out.  She will typically stay dry even when I do put something on for a walk or a trip to the store.  She definitely wants to stay dry, but doesn’t quite know how to tell me when she needs to go.  I get a kick out of the picture of her with her pants.  When we were first attempting potty training, she was not happy about losing her drawers.  She would run and pull about ten pairs of pants out of her dresser and come running to me with an angry face. haha

I love Elly’s concerned face.  On the pink blanket it was her, “I found a yuck!” expression.

Elle Belle loves to get the colored pencils down and do some coloring.  Unfortunately she also enjoys spilling the can of pencils from time to time.  Making her clean them back up is not my favorite.

Sweet corn was a yummy part of summer.  Elly loved helping husk it with the big girls and Daddy.

Our baby is also a bit of a cheese monster.  She must get that from her dad.  She is thrilled when it’s a string cheese for snack kinda day!

Eliana has been a little food thief lately.  I’ve been letting her sit at the big girls’ table since it was easier for her to hop up and get on the can as needed.  This has its pros and cons….  She loves it and can make it to the pot when she needs to, but she is often popping up for reasons other than potty, trails food all over the house (worse than usual), and is right by the girls with easy access to swipe their food.  If they have something she loves and don’t eat it up before she finishes her portion…. watch out.  Blueberries?  Better eat those bad boys FAST.

Eliana got to try an icy for the first time this summer.  She thought it was pretty stellar.

She also came up with her own method of eating spaghetti.  Double-fisting it.  To each their own.

Someone still enjoys her little “bring cereal (or other) boxes over to Mama whenever I’m hungry” trick.

Elly quit taking morning naps a few months ago and we actually had an episode where one of our children fell asleep in their high chair!!!  I had to take a picture because although this is a common picture for many parents, this is something that literally never happens with our high strung babes.  Look in awe….

Little Toots finally has enough hair for little sprouts.  My sister gave me some little rubber bands that Elly is incapable of pulling out of her hair, which has helped us transition to constant hair sprouts.  Elle was the worst about pulling hair ties out the second she had an opportunity.

This little girl is always getting compliments on her hair.  It doesn’t show up quite the same in pictures, but she has sort of darker hair underneath with super blonde hair on top, so it turns out looking kind of like highlights or whatever it is women do to get that look.  I doubt it will stay, but it’s kinda cute while it lasts.

Yelly’s “say cheese” face.  Elly used to hate anything and everything to do with pictures, but has taken a liking to being in pictures.  She was my hardest kid to get pics of by far, so I’ll take it!

Scooters are tricky when you’re one.

A long while ago, the big girls randomly got these little rashes on their stomachs.  I would have them show me them to check progress sometimes and Elly started showing me her (nonexistent) rash.  She would whine a little and show me her “rash” hoping for some sympathy. hahaha  It was the best.

Parks, parks, parks!

We’ve still been getting out for our walks of course, but we sure do miss the warm weather when we could be out 24/7.  Boxes will always remind me how much we don’t need toys.

Walks, walks, walks.  This is how we all survive living in town. 🙂  Our usual is at least 2 miles a day, one in the morning, one in the late afternoon.  Lately, I have the one year olds ride in the double stroller, each big girl hang on to a side, and baby in the carrier.  It’s like our do or die routine. haha  Elly would get so excited on windy days that she would ride around with her hands up.

Elly’s favorite part of walks is when we do the park loop mile and stop at the park.  That means she gets to jump out of the stroller for the park path portion!  FREEDOM!!!!

It seems almost harsh to tell this story now, with it being so cold out, but in the HOT days of SUMMER I bring along a little spray bottle with cold water in it.  The girls love it when I spray them as we’re all walking along drenched in sweat.  Elly was squealing with joy in these pics.  Trust me.

Elly wanted to learn how to ride a bike too! ❤

I had Elly pose with the pumpkins.  She was really excited, until she realized they weren’t for snacking on.  She tried multiple times to bite one.  It was a bit disappointing to be honest.

Elly wants a puppy too.  It’s not just me, or Abby, or Evie, or Bud. 🙂

Trampoline hair is the best hair.

Hangin’ in Papa’s big tractor.

Elly is always happy to get a stick in her hand.  I have to say it can be pretty frightening though…. she swings them when she’s excited/happy and she swings them when she’s mad.  Moral of the story: WATCH OUT!

This kid.  She still hardly has any teeth!!  She does have a few more than pictured here, but for the longest time, her two little bottom teeth were her prominent ones.  Lil’ cutes!

This shirt was probably my favorite ever.  Too bad she grew out of it in like two seconds.  This is why I garage sale, people.

I didn’t get a picture of it, but this little twerp figured out how to side skip and it’s hilarious.  If only she would do things on command, I would already have a video…. *sigh*

Elly can be so completely ridiculous.  One of the other kids might take a doll away from her and she’ll scream in frustration.  I’ll have them hand it back to her like 2 seconds later and she’ll be so angry about it that now she doesn’t want it back.  And she’ll turn away and go, “Mmm!”  She gets this side from her dad I’m pretty sure.

She can also be quite the little obstinate twerp.  She heard me mention to Cabz that I wanted to get a picture of her in her capris because they just looked like pants on our short girl and it was hilarious.  This is the likes of what she proceeded to do for the next like 30 minutes while I tried to catch a picture of her standing.  UNbelievable. (also from her dad)

Elly loves her big sisters, although she isn’t generally very receptive to their assistance with, well, anything.  On a normal day, she gets to run in to Abby’s room and play with special big girl toys (little Legos, tiny rubber dollies, or pop beads) with her for about 20 minutes prior to nap.  It is one of her favorite times of the day and it’s so sweet. ❤  I didn’t get a picture, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

Abby gives the best trike rides too!  They’re even wild enough to suit Elly!

And she’s always willing to sneak in there and hold Elly when Elly doesn’t realize she’s being held. haha

Big sister Evie is quite the riot as well.  There’s sure to be cuddles and wild play combined!

Elly can be the typical little sister at times….  this was a thinking area (aka time out) session for the two big girls.  Elly cheerfully ran over to join them.  It’s not so funny when it’s her turn. hahaha

We love our little girlies!  Pretty sure they’re some of the cutest! ❤ ❤ ❤

I’m not one to resist matching outfits.  I mean, how cute is this?!  They LOVE when they get to match!  Best day ever!

I still always say, “Oh, Elly!”

I don’t have a picture of this, but Elly loves to hold our new little baby.  She will run and sit down and then open and close her hands while she scrunches her face all up in anticipation.  This is her way of saying, “Um, hello!?  I would like to hold the baby right this very minute!”

Elly is usually VERY selective with her hugs and cuddles.  She will usually allow grandparents, family, and close friends hold her, but it’s always on her terms.  When she’s ready she will run over to you, lift her arms up, and expect nothing less than absolute joy on your face that she actually graced you with getting to hold her.  And when she’s done, she’s done.  She has recently been obsessed with my friend, Callie, from church. (just for you, if you made it this far hahaha)  Do her brothers and sisters get to hold her?  Hardly.  But Callie is allowed the special privilege.  What a little twerp head. (Elly that is… for clarification)

She can sometimes be a bit of a Mama’s baby, especially when she’s overtired, sick, or whatever other reason she has to be a little extra cranky.  I don’t mind though.  I only get so many baby days left with this one.  Love you, sweets. ❤

This little girl is stubborn, adorable, feisty, independent, determined, LOUD, and a whole lot of other things.  We love her to pieces! ❤

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Eliana is Fifteen Months Old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is even happening to our baby girl?  She’s just growing up like a weed!  Maybe not in the categories of weight and height (6th and 8th percentiles) but mentally and physically she’s growing leaps and bounds every day it seems….  She weighs 20 lb and 9 oz now, so she’s gained a solid 1 pound a month since she turned one.  Babykins goes to bed at 7:30 or 8 depending on the night and usually gets up between 6:20 (my alarm time) and 7 a.m.

Big ol’ 1 year old.  I just had Elly quit taking morning naps because she was only doing an hour for her afternoon one and I needed more. haha  The first couple days of transition, she only slept one hour in the afternoon.  Since then she has been doing at least 2 1/2 hours!!  WOW!  For my girls, that is AMAZING!  I will definitely take it.

Baby girl only has five teeth.  She got her front bottom two first, followed by one of her big top teeth and one to the side of it.  And finally her second top big tooth is barely peeking through as of a few days ago.  Kind of a random (and super slow) teether!

Eliana may be tiny, but she sure has a great big personality!  She is confident, determined, spunky, feisty, squeaky and tiny, followed by yelly and LOUD, busy, busy, busy, busy, BUSY!, independent, knows she is cute as a button, stubborn, helpful, energetic, a Mama’s girl, who is often looking for trouble.  We love her to pieces. ❤

Sometimes when we’re somewhere other than home, Elly will sit on someone’s lap or allow them to hold her and act like she’s all docile and content to sit still for hours on end.  False.  She is doing this alllll for the audience. haha  I can barely get her to cuddle on my lap for 20 seconds out of a typical day!  My kids are so hyper/active constantly. *sigh* haha

Little Yelly doesn’t let her size stop her from doing anything she sets out to do.

This baby is definitely our biggest climber so far.  She figured out how to climb up and slide down the kids’ park months ago.  At first she had a hard time climbing up and would slide down on her tummy backwards to have a safer trip.

It didn’t take her long to become more comfortable and fine tune her climb up and slide down.  She likes to grip in those little holes to help heft herself up.

Her more recent park accomplishment has been climbing up slides.  Not just our smaller scale slide at home either.  She will attempt any and all slides at large parks.  I have to keep a veeeeeeery close eye on this kid!  She’s physically capable of almost too much.  She doesn’t realize she shouldn’t do everything she’s able to.  I’m really glad she’s so short, because that at least is a slight restraint on her antics!

These are her, “I did it after lots of trying!” face. haha

In general, her “I’m climbing and causing trouble face!” looks pretty similar.

People often laugh when they watch this tiny tot running around like crazy.  She is so speedy and yet has such short little legs! haha!

Elle Bell is obsessed with apples (just like all my kids have always been!).  She gets soooooo mad if someone is eating an apple and she doesn’t have one!  I try to make her wear a bib when she’s gnawing on one or she stains her clothes up with the apple juice dripping all over.  It’s kind of hard to chew on apples with no teeth. hahaha

I really need to get this on video, but Elly recently started running around with her dollies shushing them.  It’s so funny, because when they first start that rocking “shh, shh, shh!” thing, their little baby bodies look like they’re convulsing as they put their dollies to sleep. hahaha  She gets all into it.  Watch out, big sisters, if Elly thinks you picked up a dolly she was playing with!!!  Tiny but ferocious!

Although Elly doesn’t eat much at all, (I seriously have no idea how this kid gains weight and manages to poop anything out) she has an obsession with food.  She constantly thinks she wants to snack on things.  Usually, when I actually give her something to snack on, she ends up crumbling it all over the floor with a naughty smirk on her face. Grrrrrr…..  Her method for getting snacks is to run to the kitchen and bring me a box/package of something.  She then points at it, shoves it in my face, whines for it, and if I put it up, she quickly runs to get something else.  Ohhh, baby girl!

Little Yelly is a blondie like big sister, Evie! ❤

I try to get Elly interested in sitting through a book, but so far she only enjoys bringing me books and listening to about half a sentence before she’s bouncing up to find her own book to read herself.

Yelly’s favorite way to use a book is as her hymnal.  This is learned from church and her big sisters.  All three of the girls will often find their “hymnals” and open to different made up songs and sing sweet melodious tunes (er… loud, painful tunes that is).  The older girls go through phases where they do it all the time and then don’t much at all.  Elly, however, has been on a daily kick with it for a long time now.  She will either sing tiny, squeaky, kind of sweet sounding music or SUPER LOUD, turn your face beat red as you belt it out, Yelly style music. haha  I prefer the squeaky….  She prefers the thicker, bigger books for her hymnals.  The set of Biscuit stories is her favorite.

This is Elly’s daily morning spot, waving bye to Daddy as he heads to work.  We miss him so much when he’s gone!  But, it’s so exciting when he gets back home! ❤

Sweet Cheeks finally has enough hair to have a little piggie in!! ❤  It’s so cute!  Eek!  I should fix her hair more often.  She still isn’t saying many words at all.  She’s capable of more than she lets on, as she will once in a while blurt out a clear word or sign something before realizing she let it slip.  Then, she will be careful not to repeat it.  Stubborn little miss. haha!  She says, “Mama,” “shh, shh!”, “please” (which is more of a friendly little squeak when I tell her to say please vs. screeching at me), “Daddy”, and that’s all I’m thinking of at the moment.  It’s pretty sparse.  She signs quite a bit more though. Baby, more, please, bed, stinky, all done, cracker, cheese, milk, shoes, and probably some more I’m forgetting.

Elly’s first time ever eating an ice cream cone was well worth documenting I thought.

This little girl still loves being outside!  She figured out how to ride a trike (with no pedals) already and goes backwards and forwards all over the place.

Elle enjoys anything and everything outside.  Sand tables, parks, nature fun (sticks, rocks, grass, leaves, etc.), snack time, hiking rides, and just hanging out.  FYI: in the stick picture, Elly’s destructive personality was shining through.  She likes to find big sticks and then hammers them on the ground trying to do some damage.

This is Elly’s go to, “I see something super interesting and everyone should look at it right now” expression.  She does this when people talk to her too much and she needs to redirect them or when we’re talking about something we see, she will always “see” something great somewhere too.  The furrowed brows, the intent gaze…. cracks me up.

Little sturdy miss is a big fan of walks – especially when we do the park trail and she gets to get out of the stroller like the big girls!  I am a big fan of these pictures of her.  It’s so fun to catch her little expressions and body movements.  On the bottom she’s doing her “what” sign. ❤

“What?” again.

For a (very brief) time, Elly was really excited about holding big sister, Abby’s hand on our walks.  It was the cutest and I’m so glad I got it captured because her typical now is to scream grouchily when Abby offers her hand.  Oh boy…

Swimming has been a favorite outdoors activity for Elly (and all the kids) this summer.  Baby girl quickly learned how to clamber into the pool herself, although this was met with multiple mishaps.  Too many times she would flip straight under the water to Mama’s horror.  Never deterred, she was always right back at it.

The pure joy of pool time on Elly’s face here….. haha!

Her most enjoyed pool activities were typically “using” a squirter just like her big sisters or pouring water out of her little tea pot.

Tractors and lawn mowers are so much fun!

Helping Daddy wash the van makes someone feel extra grown up!

Swinging is the best.

Especially when you’re swinging with your big sisters!

This girl loves doing everything her big sisters do.  I don’t think she even entertains the tiniest thought that maybe she isn’t quite as big as they are.

Adorable, little, piano players!

I always think my big sisters have the best jokes.

Sitting on Abby’s lap at the big girls’ table and feeling like I won the lottery.

When Elly wakes up from nap before Evie, her first task post cuddle time is waking up Evelyn. *sigh*

Our tiny babe is notoriously a bit obstinate.  Many photo shoots have been brought to a quick close by this wee one.  Snapshot of real life happening now.

When taking photos of the girls, let’s just say I have always appreciated Evelyn’s quick smile.  She’s SO EASY to take pictures of!!  Abby tries, but it’s tough to capture her genuine smile and Elly…. well, as you can see, she doesn’t even try.  She goes into refuse mode.  I still manage to get some good ones of her, but I have to be on my A game.  As soon as she notices I’m trying to take pictures, she hides, runs away, or stops smiling.  My little Miss Trouble. ❤

Dressed up like cows to get our free Chick-fil-A!  Elly was old enough to get her own free kid’s meal this year.  Woot, woot!

Snack time is a great time of day.  Good thing it comes pretty much all the time.

Those cheeks!!

Literally, one Oreo later.  Never again.

She’s a winner in our book. ❤

Messy yogurt face.  Did she get any in her mouth?!

Little Twerpy enjoys rearranging the clothing drawers and randomly taking clothes and putting them in the laundry basket (ugh).  On bath nights, I have Abby put the girls’ jams, underwear, and Elly’s diaper in the hallway for afterwards.  If I’m not keeping a close eye, Elly will grab them and go stuff them somewhere troublesome.  Ohhhh, Elly! (I say this to her a lot)

The first picture is Elly’s yell face.  It’s not her angry yell.  Just her exclamation yell.  We see this face semi frequently.

Elle Babe went through a (thankfully) brief phase of throw down fits on the floor.  It’s so interesting how they come up with this stuff.  She has never seen anyone else do it and yet she came up with it.  Truly we are sinful at birth.  Just watch any kid ever and let me know if you don’t agree.

This kid’s constantly busy, but every now and then she’ll sit down for a few seconds and I run for the camera.

It looks like she knows she’s cute as can be (probably true), but she was really playing peek-a-boo here. haha

Trying to clean the couch cushions (or any housework really lol) with a bunch of babes is kind of slow work.

For a while Elly was on a tongue kick.  It was always out! haha

Waiting for supper is tricky when you’re one.

This is the extremely proud and happy grin produced when Mama discovers you with Baby Boy’s cup.

This face: I got to wear these new jewelry items before the big girls because they were still in Quiet Time!

Loud drumming noises!  YAY!  CLASH! BANG! Run!

Elle just decided to give little smacking kisses to Daddy the other night before bed.  It was the cutest!  She gave me some the next day too.  Daddy loves you, Sweet Pea! ❤

One of my favorite little things Elly does is run over and whisper real fast and intently to me.  She likes it when I whisper gibberish back to her and take her seriously. haha  Mama loves you too! ❤

We love watching you grow and learn.  Praying we will parent you as God desires, teaching you to see your sin and that you must turn to Christ if you would live.

 

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Birthday Babe

Parenting win of the year.  We kept almost forgetting about Elly’s big FIRST birthday.  If it wasn’t for her older sisters, we probably would have! haha  Thanks to them, she didn’t miss out on her cake.  The morning of her birthday, they were asking me, “Is Elly gonna have a cake??  Does she get a cake or anything for her birthday?”  Oooooh, yes.  Yes, yes, she does.  Good thing it’s our Aldis day!  We’ll just add a boxed cake mix to the list! Woo!

I happened to have some leftover pink and white frostings in the fridge, so I made a round cake and tried to do a darker pink strip, a lighter pink strip, and a white strip.  So fancy, right?  haha  The sprinkled #1 on top made it all better.

Elly’s cake eating pictures were probably my favorite so far.

First, the cautious, “What is this stuff you put in front of me?”

“Oh YA!!  THIS IS GOOD!”

SMASHING CAKE IN FACE!  “GET IN MY BELLY!”

That awkward moment when you look up and realize everyone is watching you stuff your face.

“Eh… oh well!  This stuff is too good to care!”

Double-fisting it!

*Sugar Coma*

Annnnnnd we’re done.  Mama intervention and cake time is over. haha

We didn’t have a present for Elly because, TOYS.  All over my house.  Constantly.  But I started thinking it would be kind of fun to watch her open one, soooo I wrapped up an old baby doll of Evie’s and we were good to go!  #regifting  #practicalparenting  #recycling  #toomanytoys

I wrapped Elly’s cute little present up and she took off running with it.  She thought it made a great accessory…..

….Until she became bored of the seemingly useless blob and threw it.

Our “sweet” little Eliana can be quite foul when she wants to be.  She wasn’t getting the “open it” concept very well, so I plunked her on the couch with it and gave her some extra encouragement.

She fiddled with it for a little bit….

And then got frustrated and kicked it to the floor while doing her squealy bratty yell thing.  So adorable, right?  Err…..

After practically opening it for her, she finally was motivated enough to pull the doll out.

She decided to be sweet again and gave her new baby lots of very wet kisses.

Then she ran her baby over to the window, but her chair (aka stepping stool) had books on it.  So she had to whack those off to the floor first.

Then she told her baby all about the outside world and gave her a few more kisses.

Time to open her present Emmy and Papa sent for her.

Well, that went well.  SHOVE.  KICK! haha

I opened it for her since she was being little Miss Attitude, and what did she do?  Shoved the clothes back in the back.  MMM!!

We still love you, Cutie! ❤ haha  XOXOXO

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Eliana is Twelve Months Old!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ol’ ONE YEAR epidemic strikes our house again!  Or rather, it struck over a week ago and I am just getting around to documenting that exciting occurrence.

I’m ONE!  No, she didn’t hold up one finger on purpose.  Lucky shot. 😉 haha

Our precious little Eliana Hope is about the size of your average 5 month old.  She weighs 17 lb 12 oz which means she JUST doubled her birth weight of 8 lb 14 oz!  I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen!  (and I guess, since I took her weight a weekish late, maybe it didn’t, but close enough)  Her older sister, Evelyn, weighed 17 lb 6 oz at a year, and is still the winner for our smallest baby contest. haha  Elly gained about half a pound since her weight check last month.  That still counts as growing though!

Baby Girl still just has two teeth on the bottom.  I find it so funny watching her use them to gnaw on apples or bite crackers.  She has to really jut out that ol’ bottom jaw to get anything done! haha!

Elly continues to eat pretty much whatever.  I still think she has the smallest appetite when comparing our three girls at this age.  She really likes to eat, but typically very moderate to small portions.

She even enjoys snacking on your occasional grass, sticks, leaves, nature.  Maybe she will really like salads…. ?

Elle has been the easiest of our daughters to switch over to whole milk.  No, I haven’t weaned her yet, but yes, she already drinks significant amounts of whole milk every day.  She usually downs about 2 full sippy cups in addition to her 3 nursing sessions!  Our other two girls would drink about a cup of milk over the course of the entire day if I remember correctly.  At least when we first switched them over.

The first time I had Elly try whole milk, it didn’t go super well, so I tried the chocolate syrup mixed in trick.  I added in enough that she liked it and thinned it out from there.  I was amazed how quickly she let me thin it down to plain milk!  Only a matter of days!  I am kind of thinking I’ll wait until she becomes less interested in nursing before I cut it out.  Mostly because she still really likes it and I think we’ll hit a point where she’s not as into it.

This baby can be trouble.  She is a major climber baby, which can sometimes end poorly for her.  I am constantly finding her on top of things she shouldn’t be.  Elly thought it was a riot when she realized she could climb up on the walker and hang out.

She also figured out how to (almost always) successfully get herself in and out of the walker.  It’s so much more fun when you do it yourself, right?!

We recently made a rule that Elly can’t climb on top of the big girls’ table anymore.  She absolutely loved it, but kept hurting herself.  Mostly, I think she enjoyed the fact that her big sisters couldn’t put stuff on their table to keep out of her reach anymore.

Monster Baby attacking the doll house!

Speaking of our wild baby…. this picture makes me laugh.

I think I’m the only one in our house that has always found this hilarious.  Baby in a “loin cloth.”

Elly started pointing a while back and I finally got around to documenting a few of those times.  She will point with just one finger sometimes, but often likes the whole hand approach.

This is my view when someone’s feeling needy…

Sometimes an applesauce squeezer will cheer Elly up a little bit during a cold.

Also, playing little Legos with the big girls – a coveted rarity due to frequent attempts to eat them.

Oh!  And extra snuggles with Daddy were yet another necessary when sick.

When this girl lets out some yelling she does it with her whole body.  Arms tensed, fists clenched, and her arms come in towards her middle a bit as she yells her short, jerky bursts.  Ahh!  Ahh!  Ahh!  She’s usually just being a goof.  Sometimes it’s because she wants more of some snack I’m sharing, but she never gets any when she yells at me. haha  She knows how to sign “more” for that.

Sweet Cheeks really enjoys it when I play chase with her and switch up running away from her and chasing after her.  She doesn’t get the concept of running away yet, but will come running to me with arms outstretched laughing away.  Her little hugs (leaning her head on me) are some of my favorites! ❤

When your baby is growing up on you, sometimes you shove a bink in her mouth and a bonnet on her head and pretend she’s still little.  #notmyproudestmoment  #reallymom?

Elly and Baby Boy have been bffs lately.  She enjoys climbing all over him (until they both end up sprawled out on the floor), hugging him, patting him, etc.  They really are a funny duo.  Elle is really obsessed with trying to feed her snacks to Baby Boy.  I don’t let her, but if I ever turn around for a second, she is over there trying to feed him and he of course is ready with mouth wide open.  They have an interesting relationship.  Sometimes they are all over each other hugging and talking sweetly.  Elly will pat him on the head (condescendingly or does she really think she’s older??).  Other times they’re yelling at each other and trying to get around one another.  Elly will rotate between finding toys to hand him and walking by nonchalantly and swiping whatever toy he has.  They are also quite jealous of one another and always want my attention especially bad when I’m giving it to the other.  #twinlife?

Here’s a rare picture of Elly crawling.  I’m afraid those days are seconds away from being over.

Sweet Cheeks started walking right at the end of 9 months.  By 11 months she was a pro.

The last few weeks Elly has been standing herself up without having to crawl over to something to get back up.  She didn’t realize she was capable of that new ability however until her birthday!  So cute!  With that revelation, the crawling days truly are coming to an abrupt close.  *sniff*

Baby walking is adorable.  That’s definitely not just me, right?!

This picture is great because it’s one of the few where our baby looks a little chubby! ❤

Although Elly has been over baby toys for a long time now, I’ve been working on packing them up lately.  She’s always been all about whatever those big sisters are into.

Little Miss is currently pretty independent of her big sisters.  She definitely wants to do what they are doing, but she typically doesn’t want their help or want them to hold her and she’s not shy about letting them know.  However, when she is in the right mood (over tired/hyper or supposed to be sitting quietly in church) she will crack up laughing at the slightest silly face they make.

When your oldest sister is WAY more smug about twinning with you than you are.

Someone is never happier than when they are JUST like the big girls!!

Watching the man power wash our siding.

Elly Hope was finally (barely!) tall enough to peek over and see the baby chicks at Theisens last time!  She was SO excited!

Eliana has been going up our steps for a while now and has been dying to practice going down.  I didn’t take the time to let her try until recently, so that is her new favorite activity.  Going up and down and up and down and up and down the steps.  Of course, this pastime works best when it’s supervised.  She ended up falling down the first carpeted flight of stairs once, gaining a minor scrape to the head.  She knows she’s trouble! 🙂

This next picture is the actual look she gives me when she (proudly) knows she’s going to do something naughty.  Right here she was busy reaching for my Bible which she knows is not a toy.

Playing outside is this little girl’s favorite!!  The older two often get outside before I make my way with the babies.  This is still Elly’s post while she waits for her turn.

She enjoys all the new things to explore and getting out of the house!

Parks are no place to sit in the stroller anymore.  Elly will have none of that!  She will go up the steps herself and barrel down the slides (with major supervision of course haha).

For a while there Elle would put her hands both straight up when she had a windy stroller ride.  Really feeling that ol’ breeze! ha!

Carrier rides are fun too!  Especially with Daddy! ❤

Swinging will always bring a smile!

Evelyn has always been our “super easy to make smile for pictures” child.  Abby would often LOOK but would look dead serious, even while extremely happy.  Elly is also usually a tricky one to catch smiling.  She is also tricky to take pictures of because most of the time she won’t even grace me with looking.  The following are what most of my picture attempts of her turn into.  Basically, she’s way too busy and simply doesn’t have time for me.

Elly really gets a kick out of whispering with me.  She acts all intense like she’s saying all these important things as she whisper babbles to me. haha  The other day I was whispering to her and she leaned in for a kiss and then licked me instead.  I’ll take what I can get, I suppose.

Little One likes playing with her baby dolls a lot more now.  She will give them kisses and carry them around, trying to mimic things her older sisters do with their dolls.  For some reason, I’m not quite sure she’s ready to handle the real thing….

We’ve noticed our Elly is quite easily offended.  She enjoys being a Mama’s baby around other people, and yet enjoys any attention she can get too.  It’s a fine balance, but she knows how to work it.  Just look a that little offended face! ❤

Good thing Daddy gives the best hugs, so she always has a shoulder to cry on. haha

She likes to do little yells as her whole body sort of jolts together in a feisty movement when she wants something (usually another bite).  She knows how to sign “more,” but obviously needs reminding once in a while…. ha

Reading is fun sometimes!

My wild, rocking chair, window watching baby!

Got this flower to stay in for like a minute.  Winning.

I love this little girl and her smile! ❤

Happy One Year, Sweet Cheeks!!  You’ll always be my baby. ❤

 

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Eliana is Eleven Months Old!!!!!!!!!!!

Our baby is going to be one next month.  ONE.  How does a year pass so quickly?!  I really was just bringing my baby home from the hospital like a month ago, right??  *sigh*

Elly Hope weighs 17 pounds 4 ounces now.  She probably has the smallest appetite out of our three girls (when they were her age).  She is always very ready to eat at meal and snack times, but doesn’t really eat that much comparatively.  She’s wearing mostly 12 month clothes right now.  She still takes two naps a day (about a half hour in the morning, and anywhere from 1 1/2 – 2 in the afternoon).

Elly has been walking all over the place.  The only time she still crawls is when she plops down in the middle of the floor and has to get over to something she can stand up against.  She hasn’t mastered the stand up in the middle of the floor ability just yet.  It was sadly cute watching Elle go through that stage where they’re starting to really get it.  You know, when they quit walking TO the parent with arms outstretched and smugly turn and choose where they wanna go.  Nah, nah, nah!  She also was doing this really hilarious proud crowing laugh thing every time she would walk across the room for a while.  Now she’s past all that as she feels she has mastered the art of walking.

Baby Girl still enjoys singing, and sometimes jiving, along when we sing during family worship time or any other time someone in the house bursts into song.  She will sing along when I play the keyboard too.

Eliana is nursing way less now.  I got a little tougher with night feedings shortly after she hit ten months, because it was getting kind of old.  She now nurses anywhere from 5:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. (if she does the earlier time, she lays right down again for sleep until 7), after lunch around 12/12:30 p.m., and then before bed at 7 p.m.  Once in a while she will have a small feeding around 3 or 4 p.m. as well, but it never amounts to much.  Only one more month and we’ll be transitioning to whole milk and weaning!  Crazy!  I’ve let her try a little whole milk in her sippy cup and she wasn’t too impressed.  She had a little, just because sippy cups are fun, but she made horrible faces and stuck her tongue out after each drop. haha

Babes finally popped her FIRST two teefers this month!  She now has her bottom little chompers.  She’s been kind of fussy, slobbery, and chewing on things a lot, so I’m guessing there’s more coming soon.  Time will tell….

Twinning with her cousin, Belle!  Belle and Elle ❤

I know it’s hard to believe, but yet again, a little stubborn streak has been shining through one of our sweet children!  She was saying, “Mama!” a whole bunch earlier today and Caleb said, “Say, Daddy, Elly!”  Although we all know she can say, “Daddy,” she simply gave him a low growl in response.  HA!  The rest of the day, we would try off and on to get her to say it and she would just growl obstinately.  One time he asked her, she growled at him, and then walked over to me and whispered, “Daddy!”  Just so I knew there was absolutely no doubt she could and just didn’t waaaaaaaaaant to.  Unbelievable.

I am obsessed with watching my babies learn to bend and move around as they figure out mobility.

Also, when they start sitting up on their knees. haha  Thinking they’re so big and looking so tiny and cute.

That Mama is such a riot. lol

We went to Dairy Queen’s free small cone day last week and Elly got to try a few bites.  She wasn’t overly excited, but seemed to think it was fine.

Parks are starting to be more fun for Elly.  She really enjoyed getting pushed by Abby last time we went.

She wasn’t quite as sure about getting sent down the slide with her, but it all turned out alright. haha

Peekin’ at Mama on her chair.

Elly got to meet her firs puppy last week.  My parents got a husky/shepherd mix.  I named her Bailey since they were on the struggle bus with names and I mean… I like naming all the pets ever.  Bailey was ecstatic about Elly.  I’m pretty sure she thought Elle was a puppy too. haha!

Sweet face! ❤

Eliana has been getting more into reading books (at least on her own haha).  She’s been a lot more gentle with her reading material too, which is good considering she thinks board books are foolish and paper pages are where its at.

Although she’s pretty young, Elle has already been spotted displaying some serious road rage!

Of course… when you take into consideration the traffic at our house, it’s almost understandable!

Exploring the house and finding your pick of toys is so much fun!  Elly has started making her toys “talk” and do things a little now, which is super adorbs. haha  I get such a kick out of it when they start making their toys have funny little voices.

Our three lil’ goobers!

“Sorting” clothes has been a favorite activity for Elle lately.  She likes it when I add some commentary, “Sort! Sort! Sort!” haha

Someone was pretty excited to be eating her snack on the step with the big girls!  Look at that giddy face!  You have to enjoy the footwear too….. rain boots, barefootin’, and tennis shoes.  Who knows.

Applesauce squeezers are a special treat around here.

This was a little blurry, but Elly was SOooooooo excited when I let her eat snack at the big girls’ table the other day!!  I thought she was going to burst with smugness.  Can you see a trend?  She’s a little too excited to grow up on me….

Elly found her own way to “ride trikes” with the big girls.  She grabs the handles on this one and walks it all around the driveway.  It’s hilarious, because she totally thinks she’s fitting right in this way. haha  P.S. Check out her adorable shoes in the one pic!  AHHH!!

This is Elle being troublesome (and she knows it).  I put her booties on.  She promptly took them off.

We got a walker for Baby Boy so he could work on his leg muscles a little more frequently.  I was using it to contain Elly sometimes, when I was trying to get a meal quick or something, but she is vicious with it!!  Since she already knows how to walk, she is seriously a danger in this thing.  She’ll run at you and just RAM into ya!  And it hits you right in the ankles which is super fun.  She also knows how to run and then pick her feet up and bang into stuff.  So, ya…. she doesn’t actually hang out in this thing too often anymore…..

Our little walking wonder.  She’s pretty unstoppable anymore.

You know they’re getting good at walking when they start adding in other things like eating and shaking toys while walking.

The girls have all been enjoying their wheels as the weather warms up.  We love our girlies! ❤ ❤ ❤

Mama loves you, Sweet Pea!  Your snuggles are my fav! ❤

 

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Eliana is Ten Months Old!!!!!!!!!!

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Little Elle Bell had a very solid weight gain this month and is up to 16 lb 13 oz.  Last month she was looking preeeeeeetty scrawny, but she really filled out a lot with that extra pound+! haha  She is back on track to be much bigger than Evie’s pathetic 17 pounds by year one.

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I think her pound came from her increased appetite.  She has been very enthusiastically chowing down on snacks and meals in addition to her milk.  Rice cake for the win!

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When your older sisters make off with yogurt and fruit cones and you’re stuck with a graham cracker.

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Big sister, Abby, enjoys helping feed Elly.

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Obligatory spaghetti face baby.

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Downing a raspberry muffin for snack.  One of Eliana’s favorites!  I didn’t get a picture of it, but one thing that tops muffins is a slice of bread with peanut butter.  You can hear her smacking happily all over the house! haha

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Good ol’ peas and corn continue to be a staple around here…

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Chowin’ down one of Emmy’s oatmeal cookies!

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I’ve been giving Elly a sippy cup with a few ounces of water during meal times to keep her happy in preparation for meal time.  She has started the “frantic meltdown as soon as Mama starts preparing anything to eat” stage, so stall tactics and diversions are my bff at the moment.

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Eliana now wears mostly 12 month clothes.  A few 9 month and a few 18 month as well.  I also switched her to her size 2 cloth diapers a couple weeks ago.  Funny how my girls could almost get away with wearing the newborn size the entire first year of life. ha!

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Someone likes playing with our drum set.

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Who, me??

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Elly will find the most random things around our house to be her fill in pacifiers.  It cracks me up.  Here she is with one of our drum cymbals.  What a goose!

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This little girl is getting SO crazy hard to photograph.  I think this past month was the toughest yet.  She won’t sit still to save her life and isn’t always an easy smiler for me either.  Always on the go!

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Lately, she has been loving the fake out.  As soon as she knows I’m trying to get her to look up and smile, all she wants to do is look down and focus on something else.

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Yes, Trouble!  I’m talking to you!

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It’s weird to think how close she is getting to being done nursing.  A couple more months to go!  She’s been nursing 4 or 5 times a day (usually only 4 solid times, sometimes a quick 5th session in there).  She will still sometimes want to nurse when I go to bed (we need her out of our room, buuuuuut, the other two bedrooms are kinda full, so that’s how it goes) and then sometimes wakes up too early when Cabz gets up for work and thinks it’s time to eat, but overall she is sleeping well at night.  Sometimes Elly will throw me for a loop with her expressions and who she resembles.  This particular picture of her really reminds me of one of Cabz’ cousins!  So funny.  She’s smugging it up big!

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Bedtime is between  7 and 7:30 p.m. and I get her up at 7 a.m.  Sometimes the kids wake up a little earlier than that, but rule in this house is the kids stay in their beds until 7.  She’s learned to amuse herself in her crib until it’s her turn.  When Elly is really tired (or sick), her little cheeks tend to get all flushed and rosy.  She also will often have a little hyper/crazy period before crashing for the night.

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Elly still takes her two naps each day.  Morning one is usually 9:30 – 10 a.m. and afternoon is 12:30 – 2/3 p.m.  On grocery or errand mornings, Elly will often fall asleep on the drive home and finishes her nap out in her car seat.  I really just want to squeeze those chubby cheekers!!  But then I think better of it and remember she is peacefully sleeping and that’s worth containing myself.

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I think it’s a given that every parent has thought of things they would “never do” as a parent, until they were one.  I was really on it with keeping my kids from eating dirt and “yucks” off the floor, etc. with the first two.  Then, we entered life with four, two of them being babies annnnnd, ya.  Elly pretty much scavenges crumbs and stuff all day long.  I usually end up sweeping at least once a day, so at least I know it’s fairly fresh, right?  I also realized the other day that I was giving up on restricting nature grazing.  Ya, Elly chews on sticks, eats leaves, grass, dirt, whatever.  Hey, at least it keeps her content!

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Sweetcheeks’ main accomplishment from the past month was taking a few independent steps.  We knew she was physically a little ahead of where our older two girls were at this point, but it still took us by surprise when I tried sending her over to Cabz and instead of going down to the crawl position…. she went for it!  So, she technically started walking at nine months old!  She doesn’t go too far yet, and only does it if we send her back and forth between us, but she’s working on it.  Crazy!  Abby and Evie were both right around the average year when they took their first steps, so we’re not sure how to handle this tot’s ambition.  She was up on top of our little kid picnic table earlier today, so she keeps me jumping.

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Along with actual walking, Elle has been loving all of the “walker” toys/objects she can find.  Anything that she can stand up against and that will even passably slide along the floor is good enough for her.  She has used Amazon packages, juice bottles, coolers, doll strollers, cereal boxes, and chairs to name a few. haha

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She also enjoys pulling herself up on me as I’m trying to cook or do something productive.  She thinks that is great fun!

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Abby has been helping out with the babies a lot more.  She keeps them happy for me, helps with feeding time, and lately discovered she can tote Elly around the house.

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One of Elly’s favorite things to do when we’re in the basement is to make a beeline for the stairs as soon as she sees a good opportunity.  She doesn’t just want to climb up them either.  She wants to first snag one of Evie’s light-up shoes sitting on the rug and then try to scramble up the steps with it as fast as possible.  No idea why she wants to swipe the shoe, but it’s so funny!

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Elle has also been really into the girls’ xylophone toy book that we keep downstairs.  She will get it in front of her and play away for quite a while.

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Baby girl likes to “sing” hymns with us during our family worship time.  She also will belt it out anytime the girls or I are singing throughout the day.  Her singing has kind of a yelling warble ring to it.  She enjoys adding a little bobbing dance to her music most of the time as well.

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Sadly, our littlest tot is not super big on cuddling.  She will sometimes even push back when I try to cuddle with her.  I have to catch her when she’s tired or after she gets a little bonk, and then can sometimes get a little loving out of her.  She gives me “hugs” by laying her head on my shoulder sometimes, which are my favorite. ❤

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Birthday balloon fun for Auntie Elizabeth’s exciting day!

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This babe is extremely confident.  She is always on the defensive and ready to hold her own with her big sisters.

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Elly is following in her big sisters footsteps and is a super slow teether.  Nothing in there to speak of yet.  The fact that she has no teeth hasn’t seemed to affect her volume though, so that’s…… a bummer.  Sometimes I call her, “Yelly Elly.”  <– Self-explanatory.  This is her face mid-yell.

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It’s interesting how my babies have always kind of fought back at kindness attempts from the sibling directly older than them.  Abby was always so sweet with Evie, yet Evelyn would scream at her and push back, always wanting to just do everything herself.  Elly has started doing that with Evie now.  What’s really funny, is the way Elly is totally fine with Abby helping her and playing with her.  Of course, Abby is generally much more gentle and Evelyn is more handsy and rough. haha

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Eliana is so determined to be big just like her sisters.  Whatever they are doing, she thinks she can certainly do it too!!  If they are trying to play with a small toy (Legos), she will be as close as she can, dying to get her hands on some fun too!

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Oh, it cuts her to the core when her big sisters get to go outside and play, and she is stuck in the house.  This is her typical pose during those times.  Face glued to the window, whining because she’s not a part of the fun.

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That’s better!

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Elle thrives on climbing around on the big girls’ beds, playing goofy games with them.  The giggles are contagious!

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Buddy was on a visit the other day when we went and did our Wal-mart shopping.  Typically, he is in the cart, the big girls hang on to the sides, and Elly is in the carrier.  This time, she got to sit in the cart and she was so giddy she didn’t know what to do with herself!  What fun! haha

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Being outside is so much fun!!  We had a few absolutely beautiful days this past month, and you can be sure we maximized our time outdoors!!  Elly was living it up!

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I take the kids out almost every single day regardless of the warm temperatures, but it was sure nice for longer periods of play time and less layers!

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Our little explorer at work.

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Tunnel Fun!  I think she is going to have a blast with our playground this summer!

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Praising the Lord for the way we see His work in the changing of the seasons.

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I get such a kick out of it when babies start getting on their knees. haha

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Sweet Elly Belly has always had a natural little “combover” as we fondly call it. haha  Literally, since she was a newborn.  The last picture in this set is one of my absolute favorites of her.  It just captures a sweet, natural look of hers that I have a hard time getting on camera!

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Slow down, busy babe! ❤

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We love you Elly Belly! ❤  You are such a blessing from the Lord!

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Eliana is Nine Months Old!!!!!!!!!

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Happy nine months to our sweet baby girl and happy one year to our handsome little guy!!  (still can’t believe he has been here for a whole year, his first year, already….)  Tiny Tot had her six month doctor visit really late, when she was eight months old, and had dropped to the 14th percentile for her weight.  I’m guessing she is even lower now since her weight this month showed only a 2 ounce gain.  She is now up to 15 pounds 5 ounces.  I wouldn’t complain if my babies had a little more jiggle to them!  She is tiny all the way around and I am starting to get the, “Wow! Really?!” looks and responses when I tell people her age.  With only a 2 ounce weight gain, the clothes haven’t changed too much.  Babykins wears some 6 month, a lot of 9 month, and a couple 12 month outfits  (it would probably be all 6 month stuff without the cloth diaper filler haha).  She may be tiny, but oh so smug.

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In spite of her size, Elle has a pretty solid appetite.  She nurses 5 – 6 times a day, enjoys sharing in every meal and snack time, and until recently (when I “helped” her give it up….) was still nursing in the night some.  Sometimes she will last from her 7/7:30 p.m. bedtime until 6 or 7 a.m.  Other times I let her nurse once right before I go to bed.  We are hopefully done with in the night feedings though.  Between her, Evelyn, and my own sleep issues I just wasn’t getting enough sleep to survive! ha!

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Elly started crawling a little over three weeks ago and just gets busier every day.  She is all over the place!

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As I posted on facebook a while back, her crawling hobbies include, but are not limited to: shoving cords, specks of dirt, shoes, and crumbs into her mouth, and “dashing” away when I come over to remove them.  Oooooh, Elly!  She has mastered the quick, “whip out binky, shove in dirt” technique too, so that no longer helps.  Sad.  Her mouth is super tiny, but I finally discovered the best way to retrieve things from it.  If I squeeze her cheeks, she will usually stick her tongue out and if I’m quick, I can snag the dirt right off.  Oh ya.

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Little Trouble knows exactly where the best supply of food crumbs are located in our house too….  the big girls’ table is her favorite place to scavenge.  This is a blurry pic, but the only one I had.  It’s kind of like having a dog to clean up after the kids…..  I may or may not be starting to embrace it.

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She’s always very interested in the girls’ snack time too.  “Hey!  I’ll take some of that!”

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In addition to crawling, our new little explorer enjoys pulling up on everything!  She loves when I’m sitting on the floor so she can follow in her big sisters’ footsteps and climb all over me.  I have given in to the fact that I am my children’s indoor playground. *sigh*  Another favorite is peeking up where the big sisters are playing with tiny Legos or something else she can’t have yet.

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There are so many new things to discover when you double your height!  Elly started (roughly) walking with her walker toy a bit too.

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I’m happy to welcome in yet another “helper” to my kitchen.

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Mirror friends are so much fun.

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Since learning all of these exciting new things, sitting herself up, crawling, pulling up…. Elly has decided that naps are for the weak!

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She missed a couple morning naps in there, but definitely still needs them.  Sometimes if I go in and resettle her she will fall asleep.  Other times, she plays until she passes out on her own.  It helps when she gets herself stuck.  haha

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Morning naps are still about half an hour and afternoons are anywhere from 2 – 3 hours, depending how loud the rest of the house is.  She has been waking up in the middle of her afternoon nap, but usually will resettle and go back to sleep on her own.

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Elly Belly loves chasing my foam roller all around the house (or balls, or balloons, or anything that rolls).  Just call her a puppy/cat. Such a goof.  Uh-oh.  Did I just reference my youngest daughter as a pet for the second time in one post?  That could be a problem…

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I had been using a bath ring that suctioned to the bottom of the tub to keep Elly contained for baths, but she figured out how to stand up in it and that was the end of that.  I had seen a bunch of pinterest folks loving the laundry basket in the tub idea and one night I had (miracle of miracles!) an empty laundry basket, so decided to give it a try.  She thought it was great.  It’s not going to become a routine because I very rarely have an empty laundry basket, but it was fun for once. haha  Usually, Elly just takes her baths in the big tub now.  The worst is that she always wants to stand up in there.

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This next picture is actually from age 7 months going on 8 months, but I hadn’t uploaded it in time to put it in last month’s blog and Elly’s face is just too cute.  Those cheekers!  On that little round face! ❤

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We welcomed in the New Year with quite the celebration!  Er…. just kidding.  It was our usual, all kids in bed by 8 p.m., kind of night.  Happy New Year though!

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Evelyn has been quite obsessed with the babies lately.  She is getting pretty good at cheering them up.  She still tends to be a little too handsy and not always as gentle as she could be, but she sure does love them.  As always, I love watching my girls interact and play together.  So precious.

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Cabz terrified me the other day when he said, “So far, Elly’s personality really seems to resemble Evelyn over Abby, doesn’t she?”  Ahhhh!!  Please not another spirited, wild child! haha!!

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Eliana is a confident little babe.  She feels pretty cocky now that she can get all over the place and explore things so independently.  She has started being a lot more friendly around other people and will even let them hold her without bursting into tears (sometimes).  When she’s done, she’s done though, and doesn’t hesitate to let it be known when she needs her Mama back.

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Someone loves taking each brief opportunity afforded them to dart for the stairs.

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Self-feeding is Elle’s fav.  She will keep going for quite a while before deciding to be done.  She’s a slow and steady kind of eater, which is reaaaaaaaally nice.  I can get her started first, feed the older three, clean them up, and then finish up by cleaning Elly.  Meal times are so much busier when I have to feed both babies (we usually just sit on the floor) off my plate constantly.  The high chair is nice too, because it contains Elly for a while and I have one less kid to chase around for a brief period of time. ha

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Sometimes Mama makes you get up from your morning nap before you’re ready.  Zzzzz……

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Sweet Cheeks is used to our noisy, constantly busy household and fits right in to the wild ruckus.  She is not intimidated by chaos, that’s for sure.

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One of Elly’s favorite little tricks currently is making a noise similar to, “Mooom, Moom, Moooom.”  Each time she says, “Mooom,” she makes a giant spit bubble (not the little “bbbb” kind, but just one with her whole mouth) until it pops.  Reading this back, this is something only the mom actually finds interesting.  ha!

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Elly has quite the extensive vocabulary.  It consists of, “Mama” and “Dada.”

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Baby Girl loves toys, especially “big girl” toys.  I was talking to some of my mom friends earlier this week and we decided the only baby that actually uses baby toys is your first one.  And that’s simply because it’s all you have.  So, if you’re pregnant with baby #2, go ahead and get rid of all those baby toys.  They won’t use them.  Whatever the big sisters have is definitely more enticing.

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Sometimes, our mornings don’t go as efficiently as intended and it’s just too close to morning nap time by the time we get back from errands.  ❤

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She doesn’t know how blessed she is to have two big sisters around!!

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These three….. ❤ ❤ ❤

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How blessed are we to be your parents, pretty baby!  Each day with you is a precious gift.

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