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Ellison Sophia: My First Year

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S: Ellison Sophia: My 1st Year

BC: Thanks for the Memories, Love Bug!

FC: Ellison Sophia My 1st Year

1: My Birthday and Beyond Mom and Dad went to bed Tuesday night, drifting off after midnight. Mom hadn't even fallen asleep before her water broke at 12:20 a.m. After calling the on-call nurse to confirm this was really labor, Mom, Dad and Grandma Nancy were in the car on the way to the hospital at 1:45 a.m. Mom's contractions began on the way. We checked into the hospital around 2:15 a.m. Mom labored through contractions until 4:30. She couldn't move to get comfortable without painful contractions, so she opted for an epidural. This helped tremendously - but she couldn't feel her right leg at all. There was a "window" on her left side above her hip where the epidural didn't take, but overall, it was a huge relief. For the next 11 hours or so, Daddy kept Mom comfortable, hydrated and fed with jello. Nurse Regina made sure Mom was doing okay and tracked dilation changes. It took awhile to get past 1 cm, but once it began, it seemed to go pretty quickly. Around 4:30 p.m., Mom was dilated to 9.5 cm and couldn't seem to move forward. The Midwife, Deborah Doerfer, and night nurse, Mindi, came in at 5 p.m. and suggested we start pushing to see if it would help dilate Mom to 10 cm. It worked, and the first hour of pushing went by in a flash. The next 30 minutes were tough because Mom was working on very little sleep and didn't have a lot of energy. Contractions were still 3-5 minutes apart, so the nurse added a little pitocin to help out. Mom also asked for a mirror so she could see me coming. She was able to see my hair peeking through, which gave her the encouragement she needed to help me get the rest of the way out. The midwife also suggested some position changes for Mom, from lying on her back to squating on her feet. This helped move me past the pelvic bone. Mom was then able to sit and the last 15 minutes were so exciting! I was born at 6:44 p.m. and I was perfect! The midwife delivered me to Mom's tummy, and she cried tears of joy! Daddy was a perfect helper for Mom - he was able to hold her right leg because Mom couldn't feel it. He was very encouraging and loving and together they made the perfect delivery team for me! While the midwife worked with Mom to finish delivery, Daddy and the nurse weighed me (at 8 lbs 8.9 oz I was "LGA" - large for gestational age), gave me vitamin K and eye drops, and made sure I was healthy. Daddy went with me to the nursery for my bath and check up. Grandma Nancy stayed with Mom and made sure she wasn't lonely. A couple of hours later, we all moved to the recovery room in the Mother Child Unit. After 18.5 hours from start to finish, Mom, Dad and Grandma Nancy were all so tired! Daddy and Grandma went home for the night to take care of my puppies and get some rest. Mom and I stayed at the hospital and began our journey of getting to know one another. We spent just short of two days in recovery before we were able to go home. The hospital released us Friday the 13th around 2 p.m. - just 48 hours after we checked in. The hospital staff were fantastic and the experience was simply perfect. We're home now, and learning all about each other. I'm keeping Mom and Dad up at night like I'm supposed to, and I'm getting lots of attention from Grandma and my puppies. Samson checks on me every 20 -30 minutes and makes sure my face is clean. Molly gets upset when I cry, but otherwise doesn't pay too much attention to me yet. Mom is learning to feed me and it's quite an adventure. Dad will try feeding me soon, too. He's been super helpful for Mom and Grandma with her broken hip - he has a lot of responsibility and he's doing so well. Other notes about the last few days - I had a newborn/Valentine picture taken at Target on the way home from the hospital. I wasn't too happy about pictures, I just wanted to go home! I did get one very cute picture in my Valentine's dress, though, and it will serve as my newborn picture. We didn't get pictures at the hospital - they were too expensive! I rode in my carseat very well, too. That was a relief for Mom and Dad! I've been learning to sleep in my bassinet, but I prefer to sleep with Mom or Dad in the rocking chair. I had my first bath at home Saturday in the kitchen for church on Sunday. I went to church Sunday for the first time (I got to wear my Valentine's dress again - I make that dress look GOOD!). I slept through the whole service for the first time - when I was in the womb I danced through every Sunday service. Mom, Dad and Grandma are all working hard to give me what I need and take good care of me! It's been an exciting first 4 days of life!

5: Watch over me.

6: MWAH!

7: Snugglepuss


10: 3 Weeks I'm three weeks old today, and growing strong! My pediatric check up yesterday showed I'm clear of any signs of jaundice, my ears and eyes look good and I'm healthy! I slept through the night last night, after 4 nights of keeping Mommy up until anytime from 1 - 3 a.m. I really like to sleep while being held, so when Mom and Dad try to put me into my bed, I don't like it as much! I'm eating well - breastfeeding is harder than it looks, but Mommy and I are a good team and we're learning the tricks of the trade together. Sometimes Daddy feeds me from a bottle Mom made, so he and I can bond and so we can give Mom a break. One of my favorite times of day is between 5 and 6 a.m. - that's when Daddy takes care of me. He gets up early, changes me, feeds me a bottle Mommy made the day before, and holds me for awhile before taking care of my puppies and going to work. He went back to work full time this week, so I don't get to see him as much during the day. He tries to make up lost time at night and holds me a lot then. I'm getting used to bathing - so far I take a bath about every other day or as needed in the kitchen sink. I'll move up to my own bathtub after Abuelo and Abuela Raynoha visit (they get here Saturday and will stay a week). I got to see my nursery for the first time a week ago - it's fantastic! I could look at all the animals forever. I'm sleeping in Mom and Dad's room right now. I just switched from my bassinet to my pack 'n' play. I also spend a lot of time in my bouncy seat - it's a great place to nap or watch my puppies play. I've gone on a few adventures in the last week. Mommy took me to the grocery store. That was fun - I can't wait to eat real food! I also went to the mall with Mommy and her friend, Tika. I slept the whole time, but I did find a nice pair of shades! Mom and Dad took me to Costco and church this weekend. I was awake during church this week - the last 2 weeks I slept through it. This week I made a stinky diaper and had to be changed ... so maybe that's why I was awake! Tomorrow I get to go to a meeting with Mommy and tomorrow night Daddy will watch me all by himself while Mommy has dinner with friends. Maybe Daddy and I will have movie night - Kung Fu Panda? Life is good for me so far. My Mom and Dad are trying their best to take really good care of me, my puppies are lots of fun, and I get to sleep whenever I want and stay awake as late as I want. This is the life!

11: 4 Weeks Well, my first month went by in a flash! I can hardly believe all of the adventures I've had so far. I saw my first snow (but didn't go out - too cold!), went on several walks in my neighborhood with my puppies - some in my Baby Bjorn and some in my stroller - I've been to the grocery store a couple of times, Costco a couple of times, met my Grandma Nancy and Grandma and Grandpa Raynoha, been to church every Sunday, been out to eat a couple of times, seen the doctor twice, filled what seems like a thousand diapers with poo, had many baths (I'm not even crying anymore when I get them!), had 2 photo sessions (with another March 11) ... so many things to see and do! Mom and Dad have noticed how much I've grown already. I don't really even look like a newborn anymore. I'm more than 9.5 lbs. I'm crying a lot at night (I really just want to stay up and watch TV ...), but I am sleeping for 5-6 hours at a time when I finally wear myself out. Mom and Dad are learning to nap when they can, though Mom has a tough time of it. She's not a good napper like me and Daddy. I've received lots of great gifts in the mail this last week, too - thank you to everyone who sent me such great stuff! I have lots of super cute outfits, a few really awesome toys, some great books and a few other things. I feel so loved! Grandma and Grandpa Raynoha are here this week. Grandma is spoiling me rotten ... I love it! She holds me all day long and talks to me. She's good at getting me to stop crying. Grandpa has been taking really good care of my puppies for me -- since I'm not big enough to walk them yet, he's been walking them and taking them outside when they need to go. Soon I can take over, but I have to learn to walk first. That will be awhile ... Well, I suppose that's it for now. Lots of love to all my fans!! -Ellie

12: Abuelos!

14: Our Midwife | Deborah Doerfer

15: 6 Weeks I can hardly believe I've been around for six whole weeks (and neither can my mom and dad!). I've started to coo a bit more frequently, I really like to stare at the contrasting colors in the house (especially near the ceiling) and I'm great at silently exploding in my diaper! Mom has taken me on lots of adventures, most recently to the mall for walks. She bought me my first pair of sunglasses, too - they're so cool! Mom and Dad have figured out I will sleep for 4-6 hours as long as I'm in bed with them or in the rocking chair on their chest. They're trying to get me on a schedule ... hehehehe! In the last day or so I've begun really grasping onto things. Mommy's hair is particularly fun to grab. It's so soft and easy to hold on to! I can also hold my head up when I'm on my tummy. I'm getting really good at that. I'm okay at holding my head up when I sit up, but I still need a little time to develop my muscles to be really good at it. I can stand up, too, as long as someone is holding me ... Daddy and I are trying to spend lots of time together. He leaves for school in just over a week and will be gone for 10 weeks. Mom and I plan on traveling to see him as often as we can, and while we're there I'll get to meet lots of Mom and Dad's friends. We're hoping to stay with Daddy at school, but we haven't heard yet if there's going to be room for us. If not, we'll stay with Jonathan and Teresa, our great family friends. We may bring our puppies once in awhile, but we don't have a good plan for them yet. I'm growing like a weed and staying out of trouble! I got my one-month old pictures back today. Mommy's idea is to have one flower in the picture for every month I am old. This month we chose green for St. Patrick's day. Next month I'll have an Easter basket and my pretty Easter dress with bunny ears! I have my next check up on Monday. Mommy had her 6-week check up today and the midwife says everything healed up well! It's almost time for me to start getting shots. It's a good thing I don't know what those are yet!

16: 10.5 Weeks: I have been talking up a storm and smiling when I see Mommy and Daddy - facial recognition is great! I've talked to Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Don and GrandMarsha on the phone already. Boy, do they like to gab! Daddy is in school still, and I've been down to visit twice. We're headed back again at the end of the week. Last time we took my puppies- that was an adventure ... Mommy left their leashes at home, so she didn't have a way to let them potty on the way down. Luckily, a nice man named Ed had one in his car and let us borrow it. Thank you to Mr. Ed (the man, not the horse)! We visited all of Mommy and Daddy's friends at Hilton Baptist Church, where Mommy and Daddy were married. The pastor even announced my arrival before the sermon! I felt so famous! I've had a cold the last 3 weeks. I'm going to try and see the doctor this week to make sure it's not in my lungs. I'm having a difficult time sleeping because of it, but I can still sleep for 5-6 hours a night, so Mommy's thankful! I just don't like "the sucker" Mommy uses to get the goo out. I can say "goo," by the way. I'm very good at that word. I snort a bit, too, with my stuffy nose. I got my first swimsuit with matching sunglasses. I can't wait for Daddy to teach me how to swim! It's already getting so hot here. That's about it - I'm still growing strong. I'm about 12 lbs or so now, and I've outgrown most of my 0-3 month clothing. I'm into my 3-6 month summer stuff now, and boy do I have a lot of it!

18: 3 Months In just a day I'll be 3 months old. I am starting to spend a little bit of every day on my tummy and I really like to stand up tall when someone is holding onto me. My puppies are still being good to me and I've only been stepped on a little once. This whole being-on-the-floor thing is gonna take a little practice and patience! I'm getting very good at holding my head up. I really like to smile at everyone - it's so much fun to see people smile back! I'm trying to use words to tell Mom and Dad what I need, but that's going to take awhile. I cry less initially, though, and give them a chance to figure out what's bothering me. I spent the weekend with Daddy in Norfolk. We had a good time. I got my first airplane tickets. Mommy and I are going to Kansas City at the end of the month to visit Grandma Nancy and help her out - she's having a hip replacement on May 14th. Remember her in your prayers! Hopefully we'll be able to get Grandma all set up in the house so it's easier for her to get around and make meals and stuff. Plus, I get to smile at her -- that should make her feel all better! I've been sick with a cold, so last week the doctors gave Mommy and me antibiotics. We finish them on Thursday, but I'm going back this week to see if the infection has moved to my lungs. I hope not! My ears were clear, so that's a good thing. I just hope I'm not sick when it's time to get on the airplane, or we may not be able to go! Mommy and I are getting my 3 month pictures together (Mother's Day, afterall) May 11. Next month it's all about me and Daddy for Father's Day. I'm also looking forward to the birth of my new friend, Baby Smith (no one knows his name yet - his Mommy and Daddy aren't sharing!) - he's supposed to be here anytime in the next 2 weeks or so. I can hardly wait! It's going to be fun to play with him when he's big enough. That's about it for now. I'm just growing a lot and trying to keep Mommy from being bored while Daddy's in school. Oh- and I weighed in at 12.6 lbs and am 24.25 inches tall now! I've grow 4 lbs and 3.5 inches in 3 months. - Ellison

19: 18 Weeks It's been an exciting month and a half! I went to Kansas City to visit Grandma Nancy after her hip replacement surgery. I got to meet the rest of my grandparents, too, and all but one of my great-grandparents. I met all of my uncles and my aunt, both of my cousins and a few of my great-aunts/uncles and second cousins. Mommy and I went without Daddy, because he was finishing school in Norfolk. We stayed in KC for a week, and it was so much fun. I did really well on the plane rides, to Mommy's relief! After we got home, Mom's friends Michelle and Carrie and their two kids came to stay with us. We took them all over DC, Baltimore, Annapolis and Ocean City while they were here for a week. We had a great time at the ocean, but it was REALLY COLD. I stayed under the umbrella most of the time. After they left, Mom and I went for our final weekend to Norfolk to visit with friends and help Daddy move stuff home. He got home Friday the 12th and we're so glad to have him back! Things are getting back to normal, slowly. I started eating solid foods about 3 weeks ago. Mom started me on rice cereal, which we mostly just mix in with bottles now and again. Then we started green beans - I LOVED those! I even tried to feed myself. The next week was sweet peas, but I don't like those as much. This week we started squash and I've eaten the entire serving twice! I really like them, too! Next week Mommy says it's either carrots or sweet potatoes. I hope my skin doesn't turn orange! I'm also sleeping in my own room now - I'm getting so big! I don't sleep through the night, though - I don't want Mom and Dad to miss me TOO much. I am sitting up in my Bumbo chair, but can't yet do that on my own. I also love standing with some help. I'm learning to keep myself occupied with my toys, now, too, so Mommy can actually get a few things done around the house. My puppies are taking care not to squish me when I'm on the floor playing, but they do keep an eye out on me! I've also tried out the jumper - but I'm not strong enough to work that yet. I'm able to roll over onto my side and squirm all over, but I can't yet roll all the way over or scoot. I'm sure trying, though! I just have to figure out how these chunk-a-lunk legs of mine work ... Grandpa and GrandMarsha are coming to visit with Brandon on Sunday - I'm excited to have them here! I'm going to let Brandon sleep in my room (and I get to sleep with Mommy and Daddy again - yeah!).

20: KC | May 2009

22: Miller Family

23: Baby Girl | Weir Family

24: Cheri Magee, Wendy, Didi, Carmen and Terri Miller Ma Miller | Caleb, Kayce, Ken and Theresa Fielden | Ma Miller

27: Washington D.C.

29: Ocean City, Md.

30: Green Beans - Your 1st Food

31: Carl & Bettye White

35: Father's Day 2009

36: 5 Months There's been so much going on, it's nearly impossible to remember it all, but here are the highlights! GrandMarsha and GrandPoohPa came to visit with Uncle Brandon - we got to see Annapolis, the original Smithsonian, the Museum of American History, St. Michaels and Baltimore's Little Italy while they were here. We had a fantastic time, and I miss them already! My first 4th of July was excellent - I LOVE fireworks! I was amazed by the sounds and colors. It was so much fun to watch them over the lake here in Laurel. We got to visit with friends Shawn and Christine before and after, too, which really made the night special. I've had lots of variety in my diet - green beans, squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, rice cereal, bananas, applesauce, peaches and prunes (which fit in with the sweet peas - they don't get along with my system just yet!!). Peaches are sour- I always make a sour face the first few bites! I'm also drinking water out of my sippy cup, but I'm still learning. It's pretty difficult. I learned how to laugh - it makes Mommy and Daddy laugh, and then I laugh at them laughing at me laughing at them ... you get the idea. It's lots of fun. Peek-a-boo is a good game, too. I got lots of new teething toys recently - I'm starting to teethe. It doesn't feel very good, but for the most part I'm a good sport. Plus, I get to chew on everything, and Mommy and Daddy don't mind so much (as long as it's not the puppies ... they're not so fond of being chew toys!). I found my feet this week. They're fascinating. I can fit them in my mouth (more chew toys!) and I can grab things with them. I learned how to pull on some of my toys - and guess what! They play music or rattle! I'm talking a lot, too, and learning to use the "L" sound. Maybe I'll be able to say my name soon. I've learned how to pet my puppies and Daddy's furry arms. I'm a big girl and get to stay in the nursery at church now with my friends. Daddy's been teaching me how to swim at the pool in our neighborhood. I prefer to be pushed around in my boat, though. It's so relaxing! On a more somber note, I went to my first funeral. Mr. Carl (White) died July 5th; he was such a good family friend, and was the man who walked Mommy down the aisle at her wedding. We'll miss him a whole lot, but he's an angel now, so it's okay. Mommy started working again after 2 years - when she goes to work, Daddy and I get to spend quality time together - so I cry a lot so he knows how much I need him ... and to keep him busy. I don't want him to think I'm boring! We get two nights a week and Saturday afternoons all to ourselves. It's been a lot of fun so far! It's been a really busy first summer, with meeting so many new people and traveling all over! I'm glad it's only half over! Love, Ellie-pants

37: GrandPoohPa

40: Ponytail! | Giddy up, Daddy! | Carolyn Moore, Theresa McGee's mom | Exersaucer!

43: Bettye White | Molly Ann

44: 6 Months I'm a little behind - we've been so busy! I turned 6 months old this month - half way to my first birthday cake! I'm growing like a beautiful little flower and I can wear my hair in a ponytail (I look a bit like Pebbles!). I'm talking up a storm and rolling back and forth from tummy to back. I wake up in different positions every morning! I have slept through the night for the last few weeks now, and Mommy and Daddy seem to be more perky than before ... I went to Wisconsin and met my Great Grandpa and Grandma Raynoha, as well as my great Aunt Joni and Uncle Dick. Madison was a pretty place! It was fun riding on an airplane with Daddy for the first time. I spend a lot of time playing in my exersaucer - it's a lot of fun. My puppies lie on the floor with me to play, too. Samson checks on me in the mornings when I wake up. Both of them let me pet their soft ears and noses. I have to watch out for their tails, though! I've been eating in my high chair - vegetables, fruits and cereal. Mommy gave me watermelon and bananas in a little strainer sock so I can chew on them and not choke. It's so yummy! I really like bananas. I've been swimming a few times this summer, and I'm getting used to the water. I really like to be pushed around in my floaty boat. I also play with my sea turtles in the water - they have rattles and other fun stuff on them, so it's entertaining! I'm really gaining dexterity - I can pick up little things now and I figured out my fingers all work individually! I particularly like playing with buttons on daddy's shirts. I also like to suck on my toes (or anything else close) and take my socks off. That's a fun game - Mommy always has a hard time getting them back on. I'm very wiggly. I hope you enjoy my 6 month pictures. I had a lot of fun taking them (except when I fell and bonked my head on the floor - I'm still learning to sit up without help).

48: 7 Months I just took my seven month pictures today. Mommy thought it would be cute to get naked pictures with the bathtub. Very funny, Mommy. I'll let you know how I feel about it when I'm a teenager!! I'm talking a lot more and beginning to roll all over the floor. I can't scoot yet, unless I'm on my back, but I'm really starting to roll around. I also suck my thumb a lot. I gave Mommy a hard time during the photo shoot today with that - she couldn't keep the thumb out! I'm drooling a lot more, too - I hope it's because I'm getting teeth! No sign of them yet (other than drool), though. I got to see my Buelos this past month for Daddy's promotion. He looks good in silver leaves, by the way! We went out for dinner before they left and I got to sit in the restaurant's high chair all by myself! I felt like such a big girl! I also wore my first pair of blue jeans recently. Boy did I look grown up! As my new pictures may suggest, I'm also beginning to play in the bathtub. I really like my turtle toys. They're lots of fun. The swimming pool is closed now, so I guess the tub is my new pool! Daddy taught me to "high five" yesterday. I'm actually getting pretty good at it. I'm exploring new fruits, too -- I've had watermelon, bananas, apples, canteloupe, and nectarines. They're all so yummy! Daddy gave me pickles and they're yummy, too. I didn't mind them being sour! Congratulations to Aunt Trina for finishing her first 9 weeks of college. We're all really proud of you! That's about it for my big adventures since last time. Next month is my first halloween - I already have my costume picked out! Until then, Happy September! Love, Ellison

52: Victor Braday

53: Samson

54: 8 Months: I'm 8 months old, and so much has changed since just last month. I still am scooting around on the floor slightly and not crawling, but I can wiggle my way out of a carseat if not buckled in. Mommy found this out the hard way doing laundry. While she wasn't looking, I wiggled out and found myself sitting on the floor behind her. She was as surprised as I was. She then proceeded to put me in a laundry basket so I wouldn't squirm out. Little did she know (or me, either!) I would tip the basket over and give myself a boo-boo on my eyebrow. Needless to say, my 8 mo pictures will wait a few more days until it's healed as much as possible. If we wait too long to take them, it will be time for my 9 month pictures! I got to take a trip to Texas and New Mexico at the beginning of this month. Before we left, I got to spend some time with Uncle Karl (he came to watch Molly and SamSam for us while we were away) - I took him to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Natural History Museum, the Mall, the National Zoo and the White House in DC and to Annapolis. We had SO MUCH fun! We also got some great pictures. I met all of Daddy's Aunts and Uncles in El Paso, as well as a few cousins and second cousins. They threw me a baby shower, too - what a surprise! I got 2 nice winter coats and LOTS of great winter outfits. We had so much fun! Then we went to Alamogordo, NM, to see Hal, Debbie, DJ and Sarah and all of their kids, as well as a few other people Mommy and Daddy are good friends with. We got to stay in a pop-up camper in the Alton's driveway. It was like our own apartment! To top it all off, Debbie bought me my first chewable foods - Gerber Graduates Puffs - I love them!! I get to pick them up all by myself and put them in my mouth to chew on them. They're very tasty. I also shared them with Anna and Belle - their chihuahaus - but not on purpose. I just had a hard time getting them in my mouth! I learned how to Geocache and helped everyone find 10 of them - some up in the mountains and some in town. We even found one out near Holloman AFB where Mommy and Daddy used to work! I got to meet a few people in Mommy's old office while we were there. I got to meet lots of people at Mommy and Daddy's former church - and the nursery was fun, too! We had a picnic on Sunday afternoon in the park, and I got to meet Kitty and Sharon - two really good friends of ours. Another "highlight' on the trip was watching Mommy, Debbie and Sarah try to dye their hair. Debbie went first with the BLUE dye, but it didn't take very well. So Mommy bleached some of her hair and tried to dye it blue, but it just stayed bleached. It's kind of a pretty coppery blonde now in places. Sarah tried the crimson but ended up with a dark pink. I'm just glad they didn't try it on me!! I'm waving at people now and clapping a lot, even more so than last month. I'm also blowing raspberries a lot more. I think this is entertaining, especially while I eat. I'm trying really hard to talk, and even harder to walk. I think I'd rather walk than crawl, but I do the hula hoop every time I try! But I'll keep at it, just you wait and see! I'll be keeping Mommy on her toes before you know it! I got to go to my first petting zoo today. I got to milk a cow, had a hayride, pet the animals (pigs, baby ducks and roosters, bunnies, calves, a llama, goats, a mule and sheep) and I got my first pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. I had a lot of fun in the pumpkin patch with my friend, Victor. Finally, I'm getting ready for a new friend in a couple of weeks - the Burgos Baby is due before the end of the month. Also, my newest friend, Abigail, who was born August 28, is in the hospital. She has to have open heart surgery this week. Please keep her and her Mom and Dad in your prayers. The doctors aren't sure what's making her sick, and the surgery is just part of the solution. She's still so tiny and I'm worried about her! God is good, he can work miracles! Pray, pray, pray! And remember it's my Daddy's birthday on Halloween! Happy Birthday to the best Daddy in the whole wide world!! Love, Ellison

56: Geocaching in New Mexico | Baileigh, Sarah, Nick and Micayla Harshey and Debbie Alton

57: Kitty Walker | The first gift you ever opened - it was a shape sorter turtle from Debbie Alton's parents.

58: Luisa, Victor and Robert Braday

59: FIRSTS: Pumpkin Patch and Petting Zoo Swing ride Shopping cart ride

62: Story time at the library

63: 9 Months I CRAWLED LAST NIGHT (11/12/09)! I crawled just a few steps for the first time yesterday afternoon. Mommy wasn't completely convinced I had done it, so last night when Daddy got home, I showed them again. I crawled from beside Mommy and Daddy's bed to the bathroom door where Mommy was clapping and cheering and getting teary-eyed -- it was about 4 feet. Yeah!! Now my parents will have to be on their toes! I got a walker, too - I've been walking all over the house in that. I'm hot stuff when I get going! I like to open the drawers in the kitchen and pull the towels down onto the floor. I also like to play with my letters Mommy put on the fridge and the dishwasher. There are some on our front door, too. They usually fall on the floor, but it's still fun! I mostly like chasing Molly and Samson around in my walker. They jump when I run into their legs! The other new thing I have is a new stroller for big girls - not the kind for babies! It has a lion and other bright animals on it. I'm so lucky! I outgrew my carseat already, too. I got a big girl car seat. It's big and fluffy. I still have to face backwards for three more months, but then I get to turn around and look forwards like Mommy and Daddy! Daddy's a bit jealous - it's such a comfy seat! Daddy's also jealous of my new monster feet. I got a pair the other day to wear in my walker. They are green, furry, soft boots with toenails. Daddy picked them out. He just wishes they came in size 10 1/2 Men's!! I've also learned to play my first musical instrument. Daddy taught me to play the kazoo. I'm VERY good at it and I really enjoy the beautiful sounds I make. Mommy's trying to teach me to play drums on her tummy, but that may take awhile. Meanwhile, I keep clapping. I like to do that, too. I'm also talking up a storm. I can say ah, b, d, g, h, k, m and p sounds. If I could just learn a few more vowels, I'd be set with lots of words! I've begun eating food from Mommy and Daddy's plates. It's just too interesting to stay away from. I've had small pieces of bread, mashed potatoes, noodles, green beans and pickles - to name a few. I haven't tried any meat yet, but now that I'm crawling, I'm going to ask for some chicken. Maybe even some Turkey for Thanksgiving!! I still can't have milk or cheeses, honey or lots of spices. I got a cold and an ear infection last week, so I've been taking antibiotics. I really like my medicine -- it's bright pink and tastes like strawberry bubble gum (or at least that's what I'm told). I get excited when I take it! Mommy isn't sure if my ear is better yet, but if I'm still poking at it next week, she says she's taking me back to the doctor to have it checked. I hope I don't have to go back! Speaking of doctors - my friend Abigail had open heart surgery a few weeks ago and is home and doing very well now. She was in the hospital for nearly a month before they let her go home. But God is good and she is getting better every day! I also have a new friend - Evan Burgos. He was born October 20th - a week early! I got to hang out with him yesterday for a little while. Hopefully he'll be able to play with me soon. He's still too small for me to play with. I do get to play with my friend Jeshua now, though. He's big enough now to share toys with me. I get to play with him every Monday night when our parents have a Bible study. It's fun for us! Happy late Veteran's Day to all of the Veterans out there! Happy Thanksgiving - I'm thankful for you all! Love, Ellison

65: Tony, Tika & Jeshua Smith, with Tika's dad, Gunter. You ate turkey and watermelon.

66: Your first big snow. You didn't really like sledding yet.

68: 10 Months I had a wonderful Thanksgiving - my first! I got to eat Turkey and I really enjoyed it. My family spent the day with friends: Luisa Braday and her two boys at Tony and Tika Smith's with their family. We had so much food - and so much more to be thankful for this year! We also got our Christmas pictures taken and sent out our Christmas cards. I got to dress up in a Santa dress for the pictures. I've been exploring new sounds I can make. I like to cluck my tongue and I've learned to make Indian war cry noises. I've been saying "Yeah" a lot - so Daddy asks me if I love my mommy and I say, "yeah yeah yeah!" It makes Daddy laugh! I like to stand and hold on to furniture. I can find all sorts of things to play with, but I don't think Mommy wants me to have them. She keeps saying things like, "uh-oh! I have to find a new place for that!". All the best things get put where I can't reach them! I've learned what stranger danger means ... I don't like strangers to hold me now. If Mommy or Daddy try to give me away, I cry a lot. Mommy says I'm going through a stage, whatever that means. I went to the doctor, and he told me I am getting teeth. Mommy says that's the problem. I don't see how they're related, personally. I also had to have medicine for a cold I got. It seems I'm always stuffy these days. I'm excited about my first Christmas and New Year. I've been really good! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

75: Abuela taught you to climb! | S | T | A | I | R | S

78: 11 Months Wow! My 10th month was quite a whirlwind - so many things happened, I hope I can remember them all! We had Christmas parties to go to - those were lots of fun! Christmas, of course, was the highlight of this past month. Mommy and Daddy taught me about baby Jesus, and I got to open lots of presents (many more than baby Jesus, I'm sure!). I especially love my musical instruments. If you remember, I had a kazoo that I love playing. To my collection, I added a drum, tambourine, maracas, a piano/xylophone, flute, and a few musical toys to help me along. I love my drum -- I've been clapping to the beat of songs once in awhile, too. I'm also learning to dance a little bit. Big news! I got my very first tooth on Christmas Eve. I got my second one just a couple of days after Christmas, so you could say I got my two front teeth (on the bottom, anyway)! I've been really good and haven't bitten anyone yet. Mommy is particularly thankful for that! My Abuelos came to visit from Phoenix. Buela spent a LOT of time playing with me - I had a lot of fun learning how to climb the stairs with her! Mommy seems a bit scared now, though ... I got to spend a week with them, and was very comfortable being by myself with them so Mommy and Daddy could have a date night. I don't know what that is, but they both came back feeling refreshed! I'm just excited I got to play with my Abuelos all by myself without having to share. I thought that was great! Don't worry - they spoiled me rotten. Buelo liked reading to me. They both enjoyed feeding me - boy, did I stay full! I've been trying really hard to stand on my own, and have been successful for a few seconds at a time. I got a toy for Christmas that I can hold on to and walk behind. I'm getting better, but I still need lots of help on it. I'm climbing a lot - not only the stairs, but I'm trying to climb my furniture in my room and lots of other things. I'm bonking my head frequently, but I'm okay most of the time. I'm talking up a storm, but no one seems to understand me just yet. I've been trying to learn a little sign language to help - I've mastered "more" on occassion. Mostly I still cry to get what I want. Mommy seems a bit done with that technique, though! I am trying more and more table food - I really like some of it. When I don't like it, I stick my tongue out and shake my head until it comes back out. I love to eat the bread at restaurants. That's fun! I've had lots of fun playing with Daddy - he makes me laugh all the time - especially right before bedtime when we're getting my jammies on. Daddy likes to tickle my belly and zerbert a lot. I've been zerberting back, though, which makes everyone laugh. I'm also getting good at waving bye-bye and giving big, wet kisses. I haven't learned to pucker, so I drool a bit, but my parents seem to love it just the same. I must give a million kisses a day! I'm learning to play ball and tug-of-war with Molly. She's a good pal when she wants to be! Sam-Sam continues to check on me when I'm sleeping. I guess Mommy even found him laying across the doorway one day while I slept. I've seen my first snow - it's really cold! I went sledding a bit down the sidewalk. Daddy pulled Mommy and me in the sled. I wasn't really too sure about it all, but Daddy says someday I'll just love it! I know Samson and Molly really like snow - they go crazy when the backyard is full! I'm getting excited about next month, too. I get to go to Kansas City again to see Mommy's family. We're going to have a birthday party on February 13th, but we don't know where quite yet. Mommy and I will be there for 2 weeks and Daddy will join us for the last week. I can't wait! And can you believe it ... just one more month away from being 1 year old!! I've almost survived a year with my parents!!! And they're not doing too bad, either! Lots of love, Elli

79: 1st haircut

80: Cartoon Cuts with Terri Columbia, Md

82: Molly Ann

84: ONE YEAR! We made it through our first year, and Mommy and Daddy are still alive and well! There are so many milestones happening right now with me. Where do I start? I now have 4 teeth - the top two are in now, and Mommy says I have to learn to brush them this week. I've been eating lots of different foods - Mommy and Daddy share off of their plates a lot. I am VERY particular, though, about the textures and temperature of my food. If I don't like it, I just spit it out all over the place. I think this is a riot. Mommy isn't agreeing with me, though. Grandma Nancy taught me how to drink through a straw, which I just think is SO cool. I got a new sippy cup with a straw, too, so I can practice without making such a mess. I was weined from breastmilk a week after my first birthday. Something to do with my teeth? I have another coming in soon, too. I expect it will break through this week. I know how to wipe my mouth off when I'm done eating, too, and sometimes I think it's fun to try it when no one asks. I usually don't have a napkin at these times, so if I'm wearing a bib, I use that, and if not, I find shirt sleeves are very useful in this case. Mommy doesn't seem to like that too much, though I have no idea why not. I also started drinking juice. I can say "juice" on occassion, too! I am learning all sorts of things - I can now say "more" and "finished" in sign language in the right context or on demand. I'm learning "drink" but I've not conquered that one. I know where my nose, hair, eyes, ears, feet, socks and tum-tum drum are. I also know who my Daddy and Mommy are, my dogs and a baby doll. I'm learning farm animals with the help of my stuffed friends, and I do pretty well when asked which one is a particular animal if I only have 2-3 to choose from. I can say bye-bye, baby! I wave a lot, but never at the right times. I delay my wave when someone waves first. I know how to brush my own hair (sort of) and I know where the barrettes go (I just don't have the dexterity to make them stick in my hair). I like to pick out my own clothes in the morning, but I don't like putting my jammies on at night. I'd rather just crawl around without anything on. I LOVE bathtime, and I don't cry much anymore when I get my hair washed. I use the big-girl tub, too, not my old baby tub. Mommy put sticky things on the bottom so I don't slip, but she doesn't really let me stand up in there, anyway.

85: I got a new wagon just a few days ago - it's SO MUCH FUN. I LOVE to go for rides in it. It's so fancy, too. It has seat backs that pop up or go down to lay on, and it has a canopy to keep me safe from the sun. I also got a new play yard - it's just a big fence to sit in with my toys, so I don't crawl up the stairs while Mommy and Daddy aren't looking. I got to put away my pack-n-play, since it's for little babies. I'm walking with the help of furniture, but am still afraid to let go. I can stand for much longer periods now, but only if I'm preoccupied and not paying attention. I love to hang on to legs and climb on my chair. I am trying to walk without help, but I think it will be a few more weeks before I'm daring enough. I go to the library for storytime, and I'm really getting interested in the songs. Playtime with other kids is becoming much more fun. I get to play on Sundays at church, or when Mommy takes me to the play area at the mall. I am going to a new playtime at Fort Meade this week, so I hope I have fun. I love slides, but never get the chance to climb up them like I want. There are usually too many other kids around for me to try. I'm going down for naps pretty quickly now, and I'm not having as hard of a time being put into my crib at night for bedtime while I'm still awake. Usually it doesn't take long at all, and I fall asleep on my own. Sometimes, though, I just want to be held for a long time, and usually Mommy and Daddy oblige. In fun news, I went to KC for 2 weeks to celebrate my birthday with my family there. I got to play with GrandPooPa and GrandMarsha's poodles - they were SO much fun. They're a lot smaller than my dogs, but they are softer and have lots of energy. I got to play with my cousins Colby and Zack and my other cousin Caleb. We all went into the city the day after my birthday and went to Union Station/Science City and Kaleidoscope. It was great! SO many new things to see and play with. My birthday party was great - there must have been 50 people there. When people sang "Happy Birthday" they also used kazoos. If you remember, this was the first instrument I learned to play. It was funny! I didn't like the icing from the cake on my fingers, so Mommy had to feed it to me. I got to open my presents after we got home - there were too many to open at the party! I got lots of great stuff, so thank you to everyone who helped me celebrate! It was a great first birthday. I've had such a wonderful first year. I am looking forward to this coming year. So much has changed, and so many things are changing as I write. Life is good, and I'm glad you're a part of my life! Lots of love, Ellison Sophia

86: Fun in KC

89: Kaleidoscope at Crown Center and Science City at Union Station Kansas City

90: Corey, Zackary, Trina, Kierston and Caleb Politte, Colby Harralson

92: Great Grandpa and Grandma Don and Margie Weir | Grandma Cindy's parents | Judy Saft and grandson, Ruth Rizer and Great Grandma Chita Weir

93: Lon Miller | Olivia, Monty, Jennifer and Jacob Miller | Angie and Gunnar Pendroy, Terri, Ma and Tyler Miller

94: Top: Terry Mitchener Bottom: Kayce, Caleb and Sharon Fielden | Top: Marilyn Mitchener Bottom: Ken & Theresa Fielden, Julie and Drake Gochenour

95: Michelle Richards | Abigail, Laura and Kerry Tomey

99: "For a long time there were only your footprints & laughter in our dreams & even from such small things, we knew we could not wait to love you forever."

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  • By: Trisha R.
  • Joined: over 9 years ago
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  • Title: Ellison Sophia: My First Year
  • This is a gift to Elli for her 18th birthday (or whenever we get to it), showing her first year.
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  • Published: over 9 years ago