It's Wednesday evening. Eric is at class and Ellie is sleeping soundly. There are rooms to pick up, laundry to switch, dishes to wash, but they will wait for now. Tonight I feel the urge to stop, and to try and capture our little Elle Bell right now. She is so full of life. Each day adds more and more to her personality. So Ellie, right now...
You are almost 16 months old. At your last doctor's visit (15 months) we learned that you had had a huge growth spurt! You weighed almost 25 pounds (75%) (gained 4 pounds since your year visit) and grew to 32 inches (90%) (from 28!) The doctor also told us you had lots of teeth coming in. I can't imagine what it is like for you with your little body changing so much so quickly.
You are walking pretty well now. You attempt a run every now and then, but haven't mastered it yet.
You are learning things so quickly. We can show you something, and often, you remember it. This makes it lots of fun for people to teach you tricks like raising the roof, pointing to lots of body parts, and showing us how old you are. You are also beginning to like playing with your baby dolls some. Nini made you a quilt for your babies, so you like to wrap them up and give them bottles.
You are a firecracker, always on the go, always into something, and very independent. You will give us quick kisses on the go every now and then, and get a little cuddly at night, but that is about it. That's why, the other night, when I peeked in on you playing in the living room it brought tears to my eyes as I watched you, very gently, place all of your babies and animals into your little pink chair so that they could watch Praise Baby. It's times like these when I realize that you are getting older and understanding life more. I pray that you have a tender heart as you grow that leads you to becoming a compassionate person.
You talk all day long. Not really using words, but you make sounds. Mama means anything you want usually a paci or food. You walk around the house making all kinds of sounds and Eric and I always talk about how we would love to get inside your little head in order to hear your little conversations. We know we will very soon!
You love music. In the car, if I turn the music down, you do the "more" sign. If someone is singing to you and stops, you again say "more".
One of your new favorite times has become watering the plants with Daddy at night. You want your watering cans filled so you can water the plants. You also loved to be splashed with the hose and are usually a huge, happy mess by the time y'all are done.
You are my little shadow. If I am cleaning the counters, you want a spray bottle and a paper towel to do the same. You want to put my makeup on, wear my headbands, carry around my purse, try to unlock the door with my keys, and talk on my phone.
You love to laugh and we love to listen to it. It is loud and hard. Lots of things make it come out. A tickle on your neck, looking at someone through the window, or anything crazy your daddy does to hear it. Most of all, Harvey makes you laugh. There will be times you are so upset about something that nothing will make you stop crying. Then, I'll pick up Harvey and make him do a little dance move or something, and you totally forget your tears and are laughing right through them.
Speaking of tears, I think one of the traits that comes along with some of the things we love about you, like your desire to explore and independence comes a very very strong will. When you want something. You want it. Have to have it. End of story. Whether it be my food instead of yours, to knock all the bottles of Tylenol of the shelf of Publix, to play with my lipstick or pens, to stand on the couch (this is an issue because you want to climb up on all the pillows like Harvey, but happen to be a little more clumsy than him at this point...) or whatever it may be, when you do not get your way. You get mad. Really mad. Tears, yells, maybe even throwing something or hitting. It's a mess. It reminds me that we are born into a sinful world. No one has to teach us to sin. Yet, it teaches me patience and consistency. Two things I need to learn. Two things that are very hard to get down (especially when everyone at the store is staring at you, waiting on your next move.)
The good moments outweigh the tough ones, although sometimes the tough ones take so much energy and come to mind easier on a stressful day. That is why tonight, I wanted to stop and think. To think about who you are right now. The little things that seem so everyday now, were at one time, momentous.
Ellie, you are really such a joy to your daddy and I, and in many ways have spoiled us. As of now, you are a great eater, go to sleep so easily and will sleep all night long, can entertain yourself every now and then, and are always making us laugh.
Each day as you are learning more and more about the world around you, I am learning more and more about myself, the places in my heart that need to be cultivated from selfishness into humility and gentleness. I guess it makes sense, the best way to learn something is through experience and practice, and Ellie, you provide me with plenty of experiences and opportunities for practice! We love you sweet girl!