EDIT: I've tried adding photos to this post, but it says I'm currently out of space! I'll try to delete some old ones and create a picture post later on this week. :)
Recently at dinner, my uncle John reminded me that my last blog post was September 19! Oh my. So, I figured I would write a little update this morning while the little one is taking her morning nap.
We visited Indiana a couple weeks ago, where we spent time with Renae and Justin. This was our first road trip with Ellie and she did surprisingly well! I'm very proud of her. We left on Thursday after Israel got home from work and rode with my parents in their car. Ellie slept on and off that night and we got in pretty late around 1 on Friday morning.
The last time we were there was exactly a year ago, when Israel and I were making our move up to Kansas and stopped in for a couple nights to see Renae and Justin. It's hard to believe we've already been in Topeka for a whole year! We had a lovely visit with them and it was so wonderful getting to spend some time with them in their beautiful home.
Israel and I have been keeping pretty busy these days, with Israel back in school at Washburn and me taking care of Ellie and also doing several photo shoots. And Ellie has been busy just growing up! She will be seven months old in a few days. She has been drooling a ton and been a little extra cranky lately, and we noticed a couple weeks that she had a tiny white spot on her lower gums! Since then, her two front teeth are slowly working their way to the top, which has resulted in lots of pain for the little girl. :(
In other developments, we've got an almost crawler on our hands! I thought for sure we'd have another month or two before that happened, but Ellie has been working on moving a lot lately. She'll put her head down on the floor and push herself up on her arms, while sticking her little booty in the air and moving her legs very slowly. She can turn herself around and reaches for things very easily. We're going to have to start babyproofing the house because I don't think it will be too much longer before she starts crawling!
We've also started Ellie on solid food very slowly after she turned six months. I wanted to exclusively breastfeed her the first six months and then start her on solids. She is a great little eater! I'll feed her a veggie in the late morning and then a fruit in the late afternoon. So far she loves carrots and pears!
While her naps are falling into a pretty predictable pattern during the day, her sleep is still all over the place at night. She usually goes to bed between 7 and 7:30, but wakes up at least two or three times before she's up for the day the next morning. Two or three times really doesn't sound like a lot, but Israel and I usually go to bed during her shortest stretches of sleep. That means we'll only get in on her three or four hour stretches of sleep at a time.
This morning was one of those times when I immediately started grinding the coffee beans after we woke up. Occasionally, Ellie will have a couple great nights where she'll have a five hour stretch, waking up around 11, followed by another five or six hour stretch. That means we get five hours straight of sleep! It feels heavenly. But then the next night Ellie will go back to waking up every three or four hours. I've learned to just go with it, and not to expect any kind of pattern.
The idea of sleep training is very tempting again. It's sooooo hard not to feel envious of other parents' whose baby has been sleeping through the night since six or eight weeks. I can't even imagine getting that much sleep at a time anymore. I always wonder if we're doing something wrong or try to figure out what we did on the nights that Ellie sleeps better. But even if she had a great night, the next day I will try to repeat what we did, only to have her wake up three hours after she went to bed.
We pretty much do everything that all the sleep books say will merit sleeping through the night... putting her to bed early, not rocking her to sleep but having her fall asleep on her own (which she now does great at!), waiting at least ten minutes before going in once she does wake up, etc. But her sleep is still very inconsistent. A lot of sleep experts say to try giving a pacifier when she wakes up in the middle of the night wanting to nurse. I'm sure that would be great, but Ellie has never taken to the pacifier. She just tries to bite it and spits it out in confusion. Oh well. I guess she'll sleep through the night when she's ready?