This was the first week that Ellery’s weekly picture was taken somewhere other than home because we were at the BEACH in North Carolina.
45 weeks old
We had such a wonderful time at the beach house with my and my sister-in-law’s family. Ellery was a big hit with her big ol’ smile and friendliness. I think she got nearly every one in that house to blow raspberries back and forth with her. She, of course, loved all the attention and all the love she got there. She enjoyed “playing with” her cousin, Dexter (15 months) and little James (3 months). There was a lot of “you need to share” and “gentle hands” and “no, Ellery, you can’t use Dexter to pull yourself up on”. All in all, I thought they did great.
However, Ellery was not a fan of the ocean. I think it was too loud and too cold. Her first experience was walking (with help) up to the ocean and letting the waves come up over her feet. She kind of froze and tried lifting up her feet out of the water. When the wave came back she screamed (which was pretty amusing), and then she was pretty much done. She was okay with playing in the sand (and trying to eat it—even succeeding on some occasions) and loved playing in the community pool. We spent a lot of time swimming, going on walks, and spending time with people. She loved exploring every nook and cranny of the beach house. She pulled up and down on the high chair, opened cupboards, and crawled and pulled up on everything she could.
She did pretty fantastic as far as travel is concerned. We left at her bedtime for both trips and she slept for most of the night during those times. We traveled from Iowa to Virginia (took about 20 hours), stayed at my brother’s, and then drove the final 4 1/2 hours from Virginia to North Carolina. On the return trip we drove straight from NC to Iowa, about 24 hours with stops including 2 hours at a zoo. It was A LOT of time in the car. For the most part Ellery did good with taking naps, being entertained, and being stuck in the car. We only had one major meltdown where we had to make an unplanned stop to let her calm down. Other than that we just planned our fuel and meal stops for when she needed a break and did everything at once. Ellery made friends with several waitresses on the trip.
There was a pack’n’play at the house and it was so nice to have our room where we could lay her down and let her get to sleep without us in the room. She got up a little more in the night than she usually does, but usually went back down without too much of a fuss. Now that we are home we are really struggling with naps, bedtime and sleeping through the night. Any time we try to lay her down she screams and doesn’t want us out of her sight or to stop touching her. It feels like we are back at square one, but hopefully we can get back to normal soon.
She was able to try lots of new foods which she did great with. Some new favorites are bread, blueberries, and grapes—she will always choose these over other foods on her tray. She has also started offering her food to others, so cute but not that appetizing. We started introducing a little formula this week since Elle needed some extra bottles to fall asleep in the car and I just used up the last of my freezer supply. In fact, my supply in general has been dropping significantly with all the traveling and everything. I think that I may break up with the pump. I have mixed feelings about this, but I am glad that I we were at least able to go 10 1/2 months with just breastmilk and no other supplementation. It has been a journey, for sure.
Ellery has been making great strides toward standing by herself and walking. She will take several “steps” in between the hubby and I before collapsing on us. Sometimes she just gets lazy and throws herself though. She will let go of the table before grabbing the chair which means she is standing by herself for a few moments. Other times though she will reach for the chair, touch it, go back to the table, and repeat this whole cycle several times before actually grabbing the chair. She has been able to walk backwards in her walker for a while which I think is pretty impressive. She is also very skilled at climbing things including STAIRS! Watch out! I didn’t think she had reached this milestone yet, but we took her to the playground the other day and she made short work of climbing the stairs to the very top. We have to be extra vigilant now about closing the door to the stairs and making sure gates are always closed.
We are done being world travelers for a while. Having been in 10 states in 2 weeks. We even went to a wedding right before we left for the beach! We LOVED all the time with family, and now we are very grateful to be HOME.