Two whole months of Elleanna Joy: The Office, giraffes and Hot Rods

I am going to mark the month of July 2013 as the month we watched as much of The Office as possible. Neither of us have ever seen the entire series so…here we go! Elleanna will think that The Office theme song is her lullaby. Here are some memories of the second life of Elleanna Joy:

– For the fourth of July, we went to Colorado Springs for a retreat with dear friends and our family. This was our first road trip with the baby. I was so nervous. I packed and re-packed and over-packed to avoid under-packing. We stayed at a hotel. Our biggest concern was…how do we get the baby to sleep?!?!? This was the trip we discovered that she loves sleeping in the big suitcase (just wait…”suitcase” will surface again). We just lay a few blankets down and cuddle her in with some fuzzy PJs. This was also the trip where we hand-fed a baby giraffe. Matt gushed about getting to touch the baby giraffe for DAYS. Also, one thing I totally love about my family is that we all split up bringing meals. So for lunch and dinner, we crammed into each other’s rooms and tried to heat up large quantities of food with teeny microwaves and only one glass bowl. Needless to say, we often ate in shifts, and it was wonderful.

– Week 6 marked lots of Elleanna smiles! She dishes them out all of the time now, which is glorious, I must say. I love to watch her brain growing and growing.

– And now back to sleeping… ah yes. For the first 7 weeks of Elleanna’s life, she hardly ever slept on her own. She had one of us holding her. She would sleep 5 hour chunks…unpredictably. At 7 weeks and one day, I discovered I could no longer handle this arrangement. With the thought of the school year starting again in mid-August, we moved forward to some sleep training. My dear childhood friend who had a son one month before Elleanna lent us “Twelve Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old: A Step-by-Step Plan for Baby Sleep Success” by Suzy Giordano and Lisa Abidin. The concept is quite similar to Baby Wise but the book had many more practical steps to achieving sleep. (Let me say, we will probably not achieve 12 hours by 12 weeks, but Elleanna is finally learning how to self-soothe!). The first night we lowered the lights, put on her PJs, read her a story and prayed over her. Then we put her in her suitcase inside of her crib. She cried for 5 minutes. We comforted her. She cried again. We comforted. She finally fell asleep for a 5 hour chunk. Now only one week later at 7 or 7:30 each evening, she looks at me and practically begs to be put to sleep. It still takes her awhile, but we didn’t even know we had such a sleeper! She gives us a five to six hour chunk, eats, then a three to four hour chunk followed by eating an a little more sleeping. This feels like BLISS! BLISS, I say.

– Elleanna still really likes the Be Boop robot song.

– About a week and a half ago, Elleanna discovered how entertaining the plastic rhino is on her bouncy chair. She gets in and kicks and kicks and kicks… and makes the most amazing little dinosaur noise. Rawr!!!

– Every night we sing a song of blessing over Elleanna “May the Lord bless you, May the Lord keep you, making His face to shine upon you, May the Lord be gracious to you, causing His countenance to shine upon you and give you peace, And the best blessing of all, May His presence go with you, His presence be with you.”

– Elleanna attended her first car show this last Saturday night. We pulled onto the side of Main street, lowered the tail gate and piled on to watch all of the cool vintage and hot rod cars drag main street.

Here are some shots from her 2-month photo shoot: