On January 4 of this year, we celebrated you first birthday! I can hardly believe the time has flown by so fast. It does not seem like a year ago already that you made your hasty, miraculous entrance into this world. After a pregnancy wrought with complications, your arrival four weeks early and a mere twelve minutes after arriving at the hospital should probably have given us a little window into your little personality and the fulness with with you live life. You were truly named “Eliana Joy” with good reason–you are our answered prayer, and such a joy to this house! “Full of Life” and “Bundle of Energy” come to mind when we think of you. “Spitfire” and “Pistol” are also words that readily to to mind when describing your vivacious, precocious personality:-).
You were a little peanut when you were born, weighing in at 5 lbs 12 ounces, and you remain a little peanut, barely making the charts with your 18 pounds and 26 inches. You crawl around the house with the speed of a train, but you have not attempted walking yet. Lately, though, you are trying to stand by yourself, and letting go of things to stand up unassisted for seconds at a time. I know it is only a matter of time before you take off running and never stop!
Though for the first few months of your life you slept and ate and ate and slept like most newborns, as you began to outgrow your 0-3 month clothes, you began to outgrow your need for much sleep. You don’t require nearly the amount of sleep most babies your age do (and certainly not as much as your older brother has!), and so we have learned to adapt our expectations accordingly. Most days, your brief nap time is followed by a period of independent quiet play while your brother finishes his lengthy nap and this Mama can work around the house for a little bit longer before you descend upon the place again, ready to tear into whatever is nearby. When you do sleep, you love to bunch up your blanket underneat you and sprawl out across it in a most humorous way.
You absolutely adore your brother, and when you wake from a nap and hear him playing away, you instantly come to attention, scramble to climb out of my arms, and crawl full-speed ahead towards him. Your brother, on the other hand, is not as enthusiastic about you joining in his fun, as he has usually built or assembled something that he has a definite plan for. When you descend upon the scene, your greatest pleasure is to undo everything that he has worked so hard to build. It’s all in good fun to you, but your poor brother is devastated, and you typically begin stealing toys back and forth from each other, followed by subsequent shrieks of outrage at the audacity of the other. My greatest joy, though, is when I hear the two of you laughing together, smiling over toys, and sharing sweetly. I hope you will always love and cherish and care for each other as you grow older.
As you outgrew the newborn days, you became less and less snuggly, so eager to see and explore the world were you. When we would hold you close, you would turn your whole body around and hold yourself up stiffly, refusing to be held close as it might obscure your view of your surroundings. In the last couple of months, however, you have begun to love to be held close once again. Now, we delight in your throwing your arms around us and burrowing your face deep into our shoulders as you give us a long, delightful hug, typically humming merrily as you do. Your daddy recently rejoiced as you began reaching for him as soon as he comes home from work, or when you hurt yourself, that you crawl to him for comfort, hugs, and kisses.
Speaking of your love for your daddy, he lights up your world! If you are in another part of the house and you hear your daddy come home and begin to wrestle with your brother, your face lights up and you let out a shriek of delight, crawling towards the sounds of merriment as quickly as your chubby legs will carry you. You then join in the fun with all the energy in the world. You are one of the toughest girls I know, rarely caring if you get tackled, knocked over, or trod upon by your brother in one of your many wrestling matches. You typically bounce right back up with grins and giggles, ready to take on the world, as usual.
You followed in your brother’s footsteps as far as your eating habits are concerned, skipping purees and going straight to table food at about 9 months old. Until then, you were exclusively breastfed, and you still nurse a few times a day. You’ve always been a bit of a “bottle snob,” and we have always had a difficult time leaving you if it was over a time where you were supposed to nurse. You still refuse most bottles and sippies, prefering instead to either drink straight from a glass, or out of a straw (your absolute favorite). If it is milk you are supposed to drink, though, we might as well forget it. You turn up your nose at it and refuse to drink any. Eating table food was harder for you than your brother, as he had a mouth full of teeth by your age, and you barely had two until only a couple of weeks ago. Now you have 6, and chewing foods is much easier for you. You don’t like things cut up, but rather prefer them handed to you whole, and you take little (and sometimes big) bites out of them until them are gone. You then exclaim loudly, “Mah! Mah!” (to which your brother replies, “No, no, Baby, Mama is right here,” thinking you are calling for Mama).
You are such a bundle of joy, we can hardly contain ourselves. Big Sister Rehan cannot resist kissing you over and over until you wriggle out of arms, pushing away with an exclamation of indignation. But for all your fiestyness, you are the sweetest little girl I could imagine, and we love you to pieces!
Love you always and forever,