dear peanut {eleven months}

 E 11 m

happy eleven months, miss elinor.

you are pretty darn cute, baby girl.  and so wiggly!  the world is your oyster, and you are all about exploration.  crawling.  pulling.  standing.  sitting.  squatting.  cruising.  reaching.  all of the verbs.  you are so intrepid!  and your papa and i are doing our best to let you figure things out.  we laugh at how silly we must sound as we provide constant commentary.  yay!  such a big girl.  you can do it.  thunk!  it's okay.  up?  uh-oh.  wahoo!  sometimes you fall.  sometimes you fail.  and in true parenting fashion,  i dig in the archives of my childhood and pull out the ditty: pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.  i sing it.  and you do it.  always ready to get back up and try for it again.  just a smidge wiser.  and with an extra helping of determination.  and oh, you are so gleeful when you succeed.  and we are so proud of your effort.  won't it be remarkable to watch your life unfold?  the trials.  the wins.  the lessons.  the joys.  you are a fierce itty-bitty.  a force.  and i know we will continue to marvel at you.  may God use you mightily, little one.

you are truly effervescent.  and so funny!  and you know it.  you entertain us with your expressions and sounds and games.  peek-a-boo!  where's elinor?  are you shy?  you play all coy and then explode with flirty faces and dramatic sounds.  oh, and you are just the babbly-est.  you wake up with stories on your tongue.  and the singing!  you have a song for every occasion and for every toy.  you stare the {whatever it may be} straight in the eye and sing the sincerest of songs.  i love to listen to you.  you also like to make your voice boom.  you have discovered reverberation.  you scuttle into the entry hall, sit up big and tall like a total prima donna, tilt your chin toward the ceiling, and serenade the walls with the loudest of voices.  your tones carry and hit your ears, only encouraging the volume.  you play with sounds.  gah.  blah.  mah.  you play with resolution and cadence.  we will do our best to encourage you to be confident and fearless.  we never want you to be self-conscious.  we want you to be secure in your identity in Christ.  use that voice!  sing praises.  be bold.  live wildly for Him.

speaking of and mealtime.  wowee.  you crawl into the kitchen while we prepare dinner.  you sqawk with sharp and deliberate sounds.  we hear you, baby girl.  we know.  you are excited to eat.  don't worry, we are on it.  have we ever forgotten to feed you?  no.  and by the way, you are totally over the spoonfed thing. soft or mushy foods might be off the menu.  and formal utensils might be out for the time being, until you learn how to wield them.  you are super jazzed about feeding yourself.  you pick and pinch.  you grasp the bits of food and delicately place them into your mouth.  your mouth which is preemptively open wide, awaiting those tasty morsels.  your recent obsessions?  blueberries and pumpkin.  oh man.  you go gaga for those.  i am fairly certain that you can consume an entire carton of blueberries in five minutes flat.  and those ain't cheap!  and pumpkin!  you sure are an autumnal baby.  you had your first taste a few weeks ago and you were hooked.  you let out a legitimate mmmmmm... which punctuated your eating.  bite. mmmmm.  bite.  mmmmm.  delightfully percussive.  you and your papa could probably go pretty far in a rhythmic eating competition.  now, that should be an olympic event.  gold medal.

you are such a deliberate child.  you take your time with everything.  selecting your bites of food.  plucking out just the right piece and slowing carrying it to your mouth with aplomb.  your steps.  you walk around the perimeter of furniture with deliberate movement.  you trace the lines.  i can just see future you tackling a puzzle.  all the end pieces in place and then skillfully filling in the center.   your choice of reading material.  you make your way over to your play basket and hover over as you run your fingers over the spines of each book.  i can see your mind contemplating each title, recalling the content of each, before making your selection.

and one of the cutest things?  when you wake up, you find your way to your book box, reach out through the rails of your crib, and bring a story or two into your bed.  when we go in to wake you from your sweet slumber, we are greeted with the most pleasant sight:  little you, sitting in the corner of your bed, clutching your "snuggles" {magic sleep blanket} and sucking your thumb with one hand while flipping the pages of a book with the other, and making sweet sounds as you "read".  melt.

how we are loving this stage.  seeing your personality bubble up.  enjoying your precious cuddles as you cling to us when you are feeling overwhelmed.  watching as you reconnoiter.  and marveling as you suddenly venture out and make yourself known, gabbing as you go.  you are a delight.

love, love, love,

your mama + your papa