She's 1!

Ella Grace turned the big #1 last week on Monday, November 26! Why am I waiting until now to post? Well, it sounds good to say that I waited until the day she was supposed to come (scheduled c-section for Dec. 5), but really, it's just because I've been busy and have just now gotten a chance to sit down and write. My parents came to visit for almost 2 weeks during Thanksgiving and Ella's birthday. We had a wonderful time, but I didn't spend my "free" time typing blog posts. I spent it going to the grocery store alone (amazing!), going on dates with my hubby (amazing!), napping (amazing!), and playing with my kiddos instead of washing bottles (completely amazing!). They have returned home, and we're attempting to get back into the 'normal' routine.

So, back to the one-year-old. It still has not settled into my brain that our sweet surprise of a daughter is a year old.
There are some contributing factors as to why I'm having a hard time grasping her age. Yes, the year has FLOWN by, but also:

1. She's still ADDICTED to the bottle (I'm a little embarrassed to say how many she still takes a day, but just know it's a ridiculous number). She's definitely getting better about eating solid foods and trying new things, but it will still be a while before I can quit washing bottles. I took her for her 1-year appointment today and the Dr. didn't seem too concerned. He just said the longer I wait to wean her, the harder it will be. And then he said, "For instance, if she's still on the bottle at 18-months it will be a lot harder to get her off than it would be now." I said, "If she's still on the bottle at 18-months, I will be insane by then!" :) So, if you think of it, say a little prayer for Mama & Ella as we work together to kick this addiction!

2. She weighs in at 19.10 lbs, so she still gets to watch the cars behind us instead of the ones in front. I wasn't sure how much she weighed, but I hadn't rushed in turning her around because quite honestly, we don't have a car seat for her yet. Now I'm glad I haven't been panicked trying to buy one. We were counting down the hours until we could turn Riley around because he hated his rear-facing seat. Ella doesn't seem to mind it - especially when brother's in the car to entertain her - so she'll just keep on riding that way until a little more meat gets on the bones.

3. She seems to have no desire whatsoever to pull up on furniture or attempt to stand, much less walk. Honestly, this has concerned me over the past couple of weeks. Riley was a late walker (almost 15 months), so I didn't expect Ella to walk earlier. But, he at least tried to stand up and cruise along the couch. Ella is completely content with scooting around on her bottom. I talked about this at length with the doctor today and he did a pretty thorough examination of her legs. Guess what his diagnosis is?! STRONG WILL and STUBBORNNESS. Yippee! Aren't the ages of 2 and 3 going to be FUN with this little one?! :) Seriously, though, he thinks she is determined to do things her way in her time. We're going to give it 3 months and then go back for a follow-up appointment. He said if she hasn't shown any new developments by then we'll begin investigating possible causes. 

Although we're moving at a slower pace in some areas, other areas of Ella's little life reveal she's been with us for a year. Such as:

1. She has 7 beautiful white pearlies (3 of which came in while we were in Peru!)

2. She is a pro at eating with her fingers. In fact, many times she will only eat something if she's able to hold it and feed herself...there's that strong will again :)

3. She has mastered the art of drinking out of a sippy cup. I give her brother all the credit for this one. Lil' bit wants to be like him so badly, and she watches his every move. She learned very quickly how to drink out of a straw because she sees Riley doing it all the time.

4. She's babbling quite a bit and saying some words that are recognizable. For the longest time she'd say "Mama," but that has since been replaced with "Daddy." I attribute it to the fact that she's with me all the time, but maybe that's just me trying to make myself feel better. :) She also says "that" very clearly. She will point to all types of things and say, "that! that!" Today she said "up" and looked up at the ceiling. She says "yum" when something tastes good. And I say "yum" to her when I'm trying to convince her that something tastes good. I did it tonight when giving her yogurt for the first time, and it seemed to work! She ate about 1/2 of the cup. Even though she doesn't clearly say a lot of words, she most definitely understands a WHOLE lot of what we say to her. She's very responsive and is good about following directions.

I sure do love my sweet girl! She may have a strong personality, but she is the most cuddly, tender-hearted girl I've known. All it takes is a stern word and her lower lip puckers, she gets real quiet, and you can tell her little feelings are hurt. Most children around this age do not want to cuddle up, they always want to be on the go. Ella loves to play, but she also loves to lay her head against my chest and spend quality time just being together. Oh, how I cherish these moments! I pray all of the time that God will never allow me to forget the special times with either of my children. I hold on extra tight to each hug and each cuddle knowing that tomorrow they'll be heading to college (or so it will seem!).

I'll leave you with 2 recent videos of Ella Grace. Enjoy watching our big girl in action!

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