Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm an Ellie Expert

So a friend of ours recently told us that we'd spent the last month becoming "Ellie Experts". I love this phrase because it recognizes that as her parents, Currie and I understand and relate to Ellie better than anyone else at this point. In the past 5 weeks we have learned what Ellie's idiosyncrasies are, we can predict how she'll respond to things, and we know what her little grunts and noises mean. And I can't even begin to explain how much joy this brings us.

In an effort to document some of these idiosyncrasies before she outgrows them (and before I buy a baby book to record them in), here are some of my favorite things that little Ellie does:

-She often sneezes twice in a row, but when she doesn't she thinks she will, so she ends up faking the second sneeze and yells "aaahhh" (this is by far my favorite thing she does and it is my mission in life to catch it on video before she stops doing it!).

-When I wake her up from her nap for a feeding, I know she's ready to eat by kissing her cheeks. When I kiss her left cheek she turns and starts to root and ends up "kissing" me with her mouth open; when I kiss her right cheek she turns to that side, roots, and ends up "kissing" me again.

-As documented by some of the previous videos, Ellie is noisy!! She loves to grunt, even in a sound sleep, and was keeping Currie and I awake at night until we learned that it really didn't mean anything. I realized that if she really needed us she'd let us know by crying. We've already gotten knowing looks in our direction during church when people hear her little grunts...though they assure us that they sound louder to us than anyone else. :)

-Just like her mom and dad, Ellie likes to eat. From the first time she latched right after delivery, she knew what she was doing, and she just goes to town. She is not dainty about it either; she is a gulper and chugger and is normally done with a feeding within about 20 minutes! The lactation consultant at the hospital told me that most babies take 6-7 sucks before swallowing; Ellie takes 1 suck before swallowing! She also vocalizes with each swallow and it sounds like she's saying "mmm", "mmm", "mmm."

Here's an overview of what her schedule looks like right now:

-Ellie eats every 3 hours during the day. Most of the time I have to wake her up to eat, and then I try to make sure that she has close to an hour of awake time before her next nap. By the time I feed her, change her diaper, and give her a little tummy time the hour is up and she is getting drowsy.

-At night she can normally give me at least one 4 hour stretch before needing a feeding. She normally sleeps through the feeding (sometimes I doze too), and only occasionally does she wake up after I put her back in her bassinet...then the fun begins. :)

-She tends to have one fussy period in the late evening. Currie's gotten really good at calming her down. He swaddles her really tight, puts her on her side, gives her the paci, and then "shushes" and rocks her. These are the "5 S's" from the book The Happiest Baby on the Block and they really seem to help Ellie calm down.

Well, most of my readers know that it took us two years, a fertility specialist, and a surgery (to remove two large cysts caused by endometriosis) to get pregnant. There were many tears cried and many prayers prayed before God mercifully answered by giving us our Eleanor Rose. So I hope it's obvious from this post how much we absolutely LOVE being parents. I get choked up thinking about how absolutely LUCKY I feel to have her. And to my dear friends that are still trying... know that I am still praying for you. Being an "Ellie Expert" is a huge privilege and I so long for you to have the opportunity to be an expert for your little one too!
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