Ellie is five (and a half) months old.
This is what I like to call her "meerkat" look.
She is focused, observant, and aware. She likes to take in everything around her.
When we go somewhere new,
she reminds me of a meerkat on watch patrol, twisting her head all around to look at every single thing.
She notices people, when they come and when they go and when they are happy.
She's even started social laughing, giggling just because the adults are, even though she's
way too little to understand what we're laughing at.
She's happy. Oh so happy. Her arms flap up and down and she breathes really fast when she gets excited.
And her feet are constantly twisting around, toes curling and uncurling.
She's loud. For Ellie there is no (and never has been) a medium. She's either quiet and content,
or she's MAD and needs food/sleep/our attention right this instant!
No buildup. Just happy, then NOT HAPPY.
And she has this crazy noise she does, it's both a happy and a sad noise,
kind of a cross between a growl and the noise you might think a dinosaur might have made. I need to get it on video.
I feel like just the past couple of weeks she has become more of a little person,
I feel connected to her; like we have a real relationship now. She responds to me, we play together,
we kinda really adore each other.
This is my favorite stage of baby-hood. The head-over-heels I-love-my-happy-squishy-baby-so-much-I-think-I-could-eat-them stage.
Ellie is strong and determined.
She knows exactly what she wants, and she will do everything in her little power to get it.
I have to keep a firm hold on her, because she can and will thrust herself out of my lap if something seems attractive just out of her reach.
When we were at my parents' last week, we went next door to visit my grandma.
Ellie loves my grandma; gives her the biggest smiles everytime she sees her.
And there's something simply beautiful about Ellie's perfect soft baby skin next to my grandma's time-weathered wrinkles. I love it.
Anyway, while we were there, Ellie decided she needed to play with the tubing for my grandma's oxygen.
No matter how much we did to hide it from her, Ellie remembered it was there and continued to reach for it and look for it the entire time we were there.
For a five-month-old, that's a pretty impressive attention span.
I'm kind of scared I'm going to have my hands full with her. I predict she's going to get into things and into trouble way more than Nicholas ever did.
She's still not sleeping.
She wakes up between three and four times a night.
Sometimes she'll go back to sleep with just her pacifier, sometimes she's so hungry she latches on to my arm and starts sucking while I'm trying to get myself situated to feed her.
I'm okay with it.
I don't feel nearly as desperate or sleep-deprived or discouraged by it as I did when Nicholas was her age.
I guess I've just come to accept the fact that
moms don't sleep. And it's all right.
And actually, I believe that Ellie sleeping through the night for the first three months of her life was
Heavenly Father's way of blessing me with the energy I needed
to get me through all the moves and changes.
Now that we're moved and settled, I guess I just don't need that blessing as much anymore.
Ellie loves her brother. Nicholas is her favorite person, no question.
When he's in the room, she watches him nonstop, smiling the whole time.
And if he happens to come close and talk to her, she squeals and laughs with delight.
He has a "happy dance" that he often does. She loves it, and laughs and laughs.
She also loves his tickles, even the not-so-gentle ones that I worry might hurt her.
Being a second child seems to come with a large dose of survival-necessitated toughness.