nella: 11 months

Clothing size: 9-12 month stuff! I finally found some like-new jammies for her at the used kids’ store here. You can’t beat $1.87 for some Carter’s brand jammies (just because they’re my favorite). And seriously… penguins!Eye color: As Kaelyn would say, “bluey!”
Hair: It’s filling in, still blonde, and it’s just starting to curl in the back! I won’t even brush it after her bath, and she’ll have a natural mohawk for days. Everyone compliments her “spiky hair”, and no one can resist touching it.
Teeth: FIVE! Another one poked through on the top, to the left of her front teeth.

Eating: It feels like we’re suddenly spending a whole lot less time nursing, and in a way, I miss having more snuggle time, but it is also nice to have a little more freedom. She’s still nursing about 5 times a day (every 3-4 hours or so) , but she’s so efficient that it’s quick. I also seem to forget that she isn’t a little baby anymore and doesn’t need to eat every 2 hours, despite my efforts to feed her that often. She tries really hard to pull my hair now when she’s eating, which is not at all fun.

Solids-wise, she loves everything: PB+J, pasta, cucumbers, grapes, crackers, yogurt, pancakes, cheerios, chicken, beef, cheese, rice… you give it to her, she will eat it! She makes it nice and easy for me. She usually gets some Cheerios as a mid-morning snack, and then she has whatever we’re having for dinner.

Sleep: Bedtime is around 7:30 pm, and she sleeps all night until she nurses around 6 am, and falls back asleep for about another hour or so. When I go in to get her in the morning, she’s usually doing some variation of a yoga pose (the Cobra?), and, of course, she’s smiling! I love this happy little sweetie, especially in the morning.

She also naps for about 3 hours every afternoon. She’s been having a hard time staying up until the older girls go down for nap/quiet time, so I’ve been putting her down around 12:30 ish now, just before lunch. I think our vacation wore her out, plus having a little cold and teething, so she’s been more than ready for her naps these past couple of weeks.

Words: Her only word is “Ma-ma-ma”, but it’s sounding more articulate, and she is definitely calling for me when she does it.

Favorite things: This might sound a little conceited, but I think Michael would agree- she LOVES her mama. If I’m in the room, I’m the one she wants to be with, and if anyone else is holding her, she’s still got her eyes on me. Of course, she also intensely loves her Daddy and her sisters. She loves when I spin her around and dance with her, laughing, and going “upside down”. Swinging at the playground is one of her very favorite things to do, and she still loves to play in the bathtub.Dislikes: Because she seldom falls asleep nursing anymore, she cries almost every time I put her in the crib. I usually give her something to hold, like a rattle or a stuffed animal, and that helps her calm down enough to fall asleep. She also really hates it when I have to get something out of her mouth that she’s picked up off the floor (it’s almost always a piece of fuzz)! She also gets so upset when I say “no” to her. She looks so heartbroken, like she’s let us down. It’s so sad!

Nicknames: Nellbells, Nella Bella, Nellie, Nella Sunshine, and Daddy’s new favorite, “Rolly Polie Olie”, because she rolls all over the place! (Kaya pronounces it,  “Holey Polie Olie”, which is hilariously adorable.Milestones, etc.: -She’s crawled about an inch, I think. Ha! She starts to make the movements, but then she just lays down and starts rolling everywhere. It’s kind of ridiculous! She is also able to rotate/turn herself around on the floor. I know she could really crawl if she wanted to.

-At this rate, I think I’m going to be carrying this little girl around forever because she is still nowhere close to pulling up, standing, or cruising along anything. Still, I do love how she takes a firm handful of my shirt, right at my shoulder, and fits so perfectly on my hip when I am toting her around.

-She would play peekaboo all day long.

-She loves wearing anything on her head- blankets, hats (except her own sunhat, of course), her Halloween costume… Bonus points if you take whatever it is off of her head and say “peekaboo!”

-She is babbling a bit more, and she thinks it’s so funny if we imitate her or babble back.

-She loves other babies, and her reflection, of course! She is obsessed with taking my phone, and I think it’s solely because she can see her mirror image in the screen!

-Keeping your headband on is so last month.

Dear Nella,

I can’t believe we have just a few weeks left until you turn one! I love you so much baby girl, and I sometimes still can’t believe how blessed we are to have you in our family. You are our little sunshine baby, brightening our days with your smile and shining eyes.It’s so easy to make you laugh, and I hope stay that way- so quick to see the good in life. You are okay with anyone holding you, even if you don’t really know them, as long as you can see your mommy nearby. I love the sweet bond that we share.

Now that it’s fall, I’m also excited to see you truly experience the upcoming holidays. You already love trying on your Halloween costume!

Love, Mommy