Our Sweet Ellie Belle
Ellie certainly should have her due. She's my sweet baby who is no longer a baby at all! Hard for me to believe in many ways!
She's my super sweet, cuddler. She's big into her paci (although not to the same degree as Anne Marie was) and as soon as she gets it she settles in wherever she may be - her bed, tv chair, or often in my arms - and immediately goes for her hair - or mine when it's available. If my hair's up, she'll pull the clip out. It's especially nice for her when I need to wear her on my back. She'll take her paci and lay her head on my back while she strokes my hair - although when she gets tired of being in the mei tai, she'll start to pull, which kinda stinks.
She knows herself in photos now. Last couple years I've taken Christmas card photos and cropped them to fit in a little 4x6 photo album and put them where the girls can go through and look at all the pictures. These are Ellie's favorite "books" off the shelf. She knows herself, Anne Marie, Mommy and Daddy and is starting to learn some others. I love the way she says "Ellie". Her voice is soft and high and just sounds really sweet.
If you ask her a question she will answer you with a full paragraph - almost none of which you will understand, but "bubee" (baby) seems to be her favorite word. She talks about babies quite a bit and is very interested in everything about them - she loves to see the real thing, but will settle for one of her many baby dolls. One of them will usually be her go-to item to grab for company in the car when we're heading out the door. She loves the "fat baby" her Aunt Paige got her!
She's starting to communicate so much recently. I'm starting to realize I understand some of the words and phrases and she's found other ways to make her meaning known such as some more signs and leading me by the hand to wherever it is she wants to go. This is a nice alternative to tantrums - although she can still throw a really good tantrum - or throw anything when she's mad, for that matter. She has a tendency to pull her "opponent's" hair in a battle or her own hair when she's really angry - and usually will come back with a tiny fistful of strands. Just the other day, Anne Marie had growled in Ellie's face while she was playing with a toy and I hear, "Ow, Ellie, can't pull hair". I walk in. They are in their separate corners of the couch. I ask Ellie to say sorry which she does. She then holds her hand out for AM to see and AM exclaims "That's my hair in Ellie's hand!" Before she discovered pulling her own hair in anger, she would look up, slap her forehead with both hands, and then pull them over her eyes. She's certainly a fiery, emotional, and passionate little girl.
Speaking of hair, she has a curly, unruly little halo that's coming in more blond than strawberry... it seems to only have the remnants of her red on the tips. It's always crazy because it's at an awkward length for growing out purposes but she won't keep a hair clip in her hair and will not let me put it in a pony tail. Against my inclination for long locks, I might just have to keep her hair in a short bob with bangs.
I'll hear, "Mom... Mom... Mommy" as she's running around looking for me. And when she finds me she'll use all her powers to make sure I notice and attend to her needs. If I'm standing at the counter (often preparing a meal for her) and she wants my attention right away, she'll wiggle her little body between me and the counter and then push me away with all her might. It's actually a pretty effective way to get noticed - she's pretty strong, although it doesn't usually garner her what she's after.
Even given her sometimes loud personality, in many areas she's my more timid child. She's a little more unsure of water and sand, wants to sit in a swing but not be pushed, and usually is not one to rush up to an animal. All seemingly opposite of Anne Marie.
And lastly, but certainly not least, she's potty trained!! We gave up diapers about a week and a half ago (except for sleep use), and even though I had my moments of doubt and frustration (who doesn't when potty training any child), I'm thrilled with how well she's doing. We'll have off days of multiple accidents, but for the most part, she's doing a great job of keeping her big girl panties dry! On our zoo trip yesterday she stayed dry and used the potty twice! Oh, the highs and lows of potty training can be so intense at the time. Since she's been in undies, it seems so very clear that she's not my baby anymore. She seems to communicate more and it's like she's grown up several months in just the span of a week.
If someone asks Anne Marie what her sister's name is, she'll answer "Ellie Bells". And the other day she said, "I call her Ellie Bells, but sometimes she falls down and I call her Oopsie-daisy." We love you so much little Ellie Bells! What a neat little girl you are turning out to be!