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A Day in the Life of Eleanora Rose

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Lately I’ve started trying to capture Elle how she is in everyday life instead of getting her to smile at me or look picture perfect. These are so dear to my heart, not because they’re flawless, but because this is my girl in her everyday play on film. They’re raw and untouched. These are the moments I want to remember forever. It’s so easy to get caught up in my job and not capture her like I try to do other people. Lately, I’ve been looking for those moments that are truly her. It’s been beautiful so far.

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Bottle time…her favorite. She looks like such an angel when she’s sleepy and ready for her nap like this. She loves to cuddle with her bottle in one hand and bear in the other.

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Little miss is taking off!

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Being outside is the best! She loves walking along the rails…and climbing on them!

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Playing with her toes and watching Winne the Pooh…

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Our days aren’t full of smiles 100% of the time, but most end up like this last photo. I could eat up the little mischievous face!

Eleanora | 9 & 10 Months Old

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Well, I missed another month again! And I quit doing the numbers, because it just got to be too much. Our poor other babies (if there is one or two…hopefully!) might not have much at all if I’m already not doing to great keeping up with Elle’s updates! Moving on now…Who is this big baby anyway? Goodness! Only 2 weeks until we’ll be throwing a party for serving a WHOLE YEAR! What is this craziness? These past two months have flown by especially fast. Suddenly Elle isn’t such a baby anymore and is more of a big girl. I have SO MANY images to share here. Actually, I have lots of images to work on period! (But a post about being a working mama will have to come later.) I know I’m two days early posting this, but if I don’t do it right now while munchkin is napping it probably won’t happen.

Development/ Things I want to remember: The biggest thing is that Eleanora started walking this past week! (Lord have mercy!) She has been doing really well holding one finger for about a month or two now. Slowly she’s become more and more independent. She can pull up and walk along the walls and furniture, climb stairs and she finally started crawling around 9 months. But the moment we’ve been waiting for (or dreading?) came yesterday when she got brave and took off on her own! It is the cutest thing to watch her wobble towards me. I really can’t believe she’s decided to walk now. She also loves to stick her feet over the side of her carseat while we ride in the car. It is the cutest thing. She can say “Dada” and “bye bye” but is still working on “Mama”…hopefully soon! She claps her hands and can wave “hi” and “bye” to us. She certainly keeps me on my toes! We’ve entered the always-on-the-go stage and it’s all I can do to keep up with her already. (I know it’s just starting though.) Throwing toys and dumping books off the shelf is her new super fun game. It’s mostly cute. It also looks like I may have gotten my wish for a curly-headed baby! The hair cannot be tamed anymore, and I’m ok with it! The later in the day, the more crazy the hair gets. I need to snap a good photo of her awesome bed-head. It is spectacular.

Weight: She’s was up to 17 lbs and 29 inches at her 9 month check up…50th and 95th percentiles respectively. She’s tall and somewhat lean right now, although that isn’t for the lack of food she consumes! She’s definitely lost a lot of pudginess and I miss all that baby squish like crazy!

Clothing: E girl still wears all of the same things really. GAP’s 6-12 month clothes have plenty of growing room. She’s in anything from 3 month dresses (as tops) to 9-12 month outfits, depending on what fits. I won’t lie, baby clothes are so fun.

Sleep: Her naps have changed a good bit in the last 2 months. We’ve gone from one long mid-day nap to 2 hour-hour and a half naps in the morning and late afternoon. They’re pretty reliable, except for when she’s teething…then naps are a nightmare. She still wakes up anywhere from 6-8am, but that mostly depends on how early we get up. If there is something going on, she wants to be a part of the action.

Eating: There isn’t much Elle doesn’t eat these days. With 4 teeth on top and two on bottom, she can bite a piece off of just about anything. She eats a whole bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, bottle before nap, veggies for lunch, cheerio snack, bottle at nap time and whatever we’re having for dinner. She’s easy in the food department, as long as she can eat when we’re eating.

Personality/ Mood: She’s happy most of the time. She is really into toys and her play house. Don’t even get me started on spoons, because apparently they are the best things in the world. She seems easy-going as long as there are things to see and play with around. She’s still a fantastic traveler and will ride in the car or stroller for hours on hours. I don’t know if it’s just a baby thing or her preference, but little lady will find any tag that there is to find on ANYTHING. She’s found tags on things I didn’t even know had tags. Oh, and she can find any dead bug or little piece of trash in the house. I keep a clean house, but she still finds them. It’s gross. She’s started “singing” and jabbering more lately. It’s adorable. Going outside will fix almost bad mood too. Grass and birds and dirt…oh my! What fun.

Loves: We’ve started bathing Elle in the sink, because well, it’s easier on my back and she loves it. She loves to make the biggest puddles all over the kitchen. My favorite is when she’s all done and we walk her to her room with just the hood of her chicken towel towel on her head, like she’s a little caped, naked, chicken-super-hero baby…my finger in one hand, her bath toys in the other. It is the most darling thing you’ve ever seen. She also loves playing peekaboo now. I’m pretty sure she’d giggle for as long as I would play. (My longest stretch is probably 25 minutes.) Any kind of tickle, peekaboo, I’m-going-to-get-you game is her favorite these days. I’ve started taking her on some bike rides now that we have her a seat and she smiles almost the whole time.

Doesn’t love: She doesn’t love being told no. Since she can move just about everywhere we’ve had to start some small disciplinary measures. She’s doing great so far. I don’t know if it’s our tone or what, but she listens and stops what she’s doing for the most part. We try to praise her a lot when she obeys. Of course, we have NO IDEA what we’re really doing or what will work, but maybe starting to teach her early will pay off. We think she’s pretty independent (as most firstborns) and that is great, but there also need to be boundaries. I want her to explore her freedom, but also know where is too far. We’ll see! It’s all such an adventure and we pray for wisdom. She also doesn’t love getting her diaper changed anymore. I have to employ as many tricks as I can to keep her still.

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Boy, she sure is a cutie! Can we all just take a moment and swoon over how her headband matches her lips and eyes. How did I get so lucky? Mamahood is no walk in the park, but I’d sacrifice anything and everything  just for her. Learning how to work the job I love and care for her (even with a nanny!) is such a juggling act, but it’s stretching me and growing me into someone better. I’m thankful for how God is using her in my life to help me be more disciplined and passionate. We love you Eleanora!

To my Mom on my first Mother’s Day

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Mom,

I always knew I was so blessed to have you as my mother, but now that I have my own little girl I see you in a whole new light. It’s not so much the nasty diapers, spit up and general untidiness that comes with a little one that makes my heart more thankful, but the way you raised me with eternity in mind. Ultimately my forever-future won out in your heart and for that I am forever grateful…actually, that doesn’t even begin to cover it. You read a excerpt from your family journal at my baby shower for Eleanora and what you said will stick with me for a long, long time. You read that when I was just a few years old, you saw that music might be a part of God’s purpose for my life. Not what YOU wanted for my life. Not where YOU hoped I would be successful. Not YOU but HIM. Then you said that God would give me the strength and wisdom to be the mom God intended for my Elle, and that He would teach me how to help shape her for His purpose.

The most invaluable thing I have ever learned from you in regard to motherhood is to rely on Jesus and His Spirit for the daily things. It’s not so much that the mess can be maddening and the crying seems to pierce the soul sometimes, although the day-to-day can be hard. No matter what season, life is hard a lot of times. “Hard” isn’t a reason to drudge on, head low, in constant complaint about how hard things can be. You didn’t. Your eyes were on the future, eternity. I know full well it wasn’t always that way for you, but that is the overarching memory I have of your heart as I grew up. You taught me how to know Jesus. You encouraged me to follow Him and His plan for my life. Even when I told you I felt God calling me to pursue worship ministry, even though I knew it would never be where I made a living, you supported me. You prayed for me. And look what God has done now. I have no doubt that He used you (and Dad, because I can’t leave Him out of this if I tried) to shape me into who I am, not for your pride, but His glory.

And now I follow your example for my own daughter. I know I will make mistakes and I know she will see my imperfections. But more than anything I pray that she sees through me and finds Jesus. Like you (both), I pray God gives me wisdom for how to help shape her for His glory, His vessel for His Kingdom. In the end that is all that matters. Thank you for seeing the eternal and living that way. Above all else, that is legacy you have passed down to me. It is humbling and fills me with overwhelming gratefulness.

Your daughter,

Jen

Debbie-Steve Johnson - May 10, 2015 - 9:37 pm

Thank you for your sweet words. I do praise Jesus for his life in us. He does make all the difference. You have been a sweet blessing to me. I miss the little girl you were but I love the woman you are

Francisco - February 13, 2016 - 1:53 pm

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Eleanora visits Savannah

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As some of you know, we’ve had a crazy week. A bad storm came through on Saturday, knocking out our power, a few trees…and we got sick all at the same time. I’m happy to report that the lights are back on (after 5 days) and the internet is up again today too! Woohoo! I’m celebrating by sharing a few images from our trip to Savannah late April. Elle has already changed so much since then! It’s hard to keep up with her posts. She is such a little adventurer. She’s happy as long as we are out and exploring new places. I love that about her. I also love that she’s wearing a little sailor dress that I wore when I was her age! If you’re interested in seeing more from Savannah, I posted lots more of our trip here and here on my main blog…I just don’t want to bombard everyone with my girl!

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Girls Weekend at Rosemary Beach

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This year, my good friend Ashley and I decided that instead of presents we’d make a point to spend time together somewhere. Living in different cities can be difficult when it comes to friendship if you don’t make a point to connect. Ash and I have been through so much together that we always pick up right where we left off. Sometimes we talk everyday, sometimes we don’t talk for a week or two. She’s a gem of a friend. I really don’t know how I ever got along before her. Of course, if you know Ashley at all you know that being around her is always a blast. She is the epitome of a good time. I like who I am when I’m with her! It was so refreshing to get away. I had actually just been to Rosemary Beach for work, but it definitely wasn’t restful even though I love traveling regardless! We both needed it. For me, traveling is much more than going some place fun. It’s inspiration, rejuvenation and gives me time for reflection. We found a great deal on this quaint, cozy (aka small) condo close by and our 3 days together were perfect. I’m so glad E will have such a great “auntie” to look up to as she grows up. Love you Ash!

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