(fake smile)So what's new with you? I'll tell you since your conversational skills are limited. Well, since we're talking about it, let's talk about your babbles. I'm convinced you've said 'hi', but it's probably wishful thinking. You say dada when dad walks in the room and when he leaves, oh, and when you're playing with a ball or eating....sooooo. You say mama when you're crying or eating or playing. The most enjoyable verbal activity you've adopted is hitting your lips with your fingers and saying "blb, blb, blb". And a sound that never fails to be a crowd pleaser: your growl. You definitely seem to be understanding the conversational aspect of communication. I will say something and you will respond. I don't know if this is ground breaking child development, but I think it's interesting. People in Target probably think I'm crazy, since I walk around having conversations with you, but whatever.
As far as gross motor skills, you have made some big strides (pun intended). You crawl everywhere. And you try to crawl through things. Instead of going around the laundry basket or your exersaucer or the highchair, you crawl through them. You seem to have an adventurous spirit, which is great because I was pretty much scared of air when I was little. I'm worried the pediatrician or other concerned citizens are going to call Child Protective Services, because you constantly have bruises on your shins from all your crawling and climbing and falling. Along with crawling, you like to climb. A few weeks ago, while I was making you a bottle (in the same room), you had pulled yourself up in your high chair, turned yourself around and were proceeding to climb up onto the counter until I turned around in the nick of time. You will try to climb out of your crib (awesome), onto the couch or chair, etc. I have a box of your clothing under our table that I've kept there for you to use as a support for your cruising, but you now climb onto it, sit and then cry because you can't get down.
Also, YOU'VE TAKEN STEPS!!! BIG GIANT STEPS!!! ON YOUR OWN!!! WITHOUT SUPPORT!!! Okay, so they weren't big, giant steps, but how momentous!! I'm guessing you'll be walking by the new year.
Other new things you like: books (HOORAY!!), toy cars, balls, clapping, football (watching it on t.v.), spinning the toilet paper off the roll (awesome), banging on pots and pans, prune juice, Ritz crackers (evident by the perpetual trail of crumbs on our carpet), baths in the big boy tub, and pounding on the keyboard (grandpa taught you that).
(Eli and his friend Ben Decker)Okay, now let's talk about what you don't and won't do. Sleep. Sweet, elusive sleep. Eli doth murder sleep (not in the morbid way Macbeth did, but still). Your dad and I were talking about when we would want another baby (don't get excited, mom...), and he said that he can't think about having another child until we can get a full night's sleep. Your dad and I live in a perpetual state of exhaustion. Things are somewhat better than they were a month ago when you refused to take more than a 20 minute nap. I was ready to put my head in the oven Sylvia Plath style. Seriously, I think I was even hallucinating, I was so tired. One time I pulled into our parking lot and I thought cars were backing up when they really weren't. Yeah. You take naps now and are easier to put back to sleep, but you still wake up, on average, 4 times a night. I love you, my dear, sweet child, but please, learn to like sleep.
These last two months, you've celebrated (with enthusiasm) Halloween and Thanksgiving. I was interested to see how you would do with Thanksgiving, because it really is a precursor to Christmas, what with all the family and weird schedules. I was predicting that you would get so out of whack that fire would shoot from your eyes and the earth's gravitational pull would experience a shift so detrimental that doomsday would be upon us. However, you rolled with it. Which I really shouldn't be surprised about, because, apart from the sleep thing, you're a pretty easygoing, fun loving kid.
(Family pic at Thanksgiving)Okay, so some of you may get uncomfortable with my cheese factor in this next paragraph, so please, stop reading if Hallmark commercials make you want to throw your shoe at the t.v. I was talking with a friend the other day about how the birth story of Christ takes on a whole new meaning when you become a mother. This time of year always causes me to become sentimental about my faith. How humbling it is to think about how God came into this world because he loved his creation so much. God came to a woman as her child. And then God sacrificed himself for his creation while his mother stood by. I look at you, Eli, and wonder where the Lord will take you. What will you grow up to be? What does life have in store for you? What anxieties, joys, fears, tears, hopes will I experience as I watch you become a man and go out into the world? What must have Mary felt while she watched her child grow up? What went through her mind as she watched his incredible life unfold? Obviously I am not comparing you to the Messiah or myself to the Virgin Mary (I don't want you to have a complex or anything). But as a mother, I feel that the sacrifice Christ made means even more to me now, and I am so much more thankful and humbled by his life and love. As with so many things in my life, I am thankful you can show me love in ways I've never thought of.