almost one.

We are less than two weeks away from being parents to a 1-year-old. I was telling Nate over lunch on Sunday that if I had to pick one word to describe the past year besides "awesome," it would be "exhausting." Nate said, "Yeah, but you wouldn't have it any other way."

He's right. I would take exhausted with Elijah over well-rested and no baby any day. He is so, so fun. And most of the time, he is a happy little guy. Even when he's not, it is never a burden. Never an inconvenience. We have no regrets of receiving this gift from the Lord. When Elijah was born, Nate said, "I don't ever want to go back to life-without-Elijah." I whole-heartedly agree.

Caught ya!
In the last week, Elijah has taken up walking—and he is pretty good at it! He still crawls mostly because it is so much faster, but it's super cute to see him pull up on the wall and let go and then proceed across the room in what our friend describes as "the drunken zombie." Of course walking comes with falling, and falling with tears and bruised leggies and sometimes a bruised face. But we help him up and he's back at it again.

Our house has been on the market for a few days, so we have been trying to stay out of the way while people come through for showings. We were out of the house all weekend, so Saturday I took Elijah to the downtown library for a puppet show. It was great! The show was definitely better for older kids who can sit still for 15–20 minutes, but Elijah did fine. We made friends with a 10-month-old named Harley and caught up with our friends Molly and Eli.

I like taking Elijah to places with other kids. He usually loves being around other people and watching them or interacting, and I'm loving and appreciating that other parents are almost always so nice. Like in an "we're-all-in-this-together" kind of way. We're all tired and challenged and loving it.

In the beginning, I think I wasn't sure how it would be nursing Elijah to 1 year. That was my goal. And well, we are still going strong with no sign of stopping. Mostly this is because Elijah doesn't self feed. He doesn't want to put things in his mouth. (So teaching a sippy cup has been a flop. He just throws it on the floor.) He eats purees fine, as long as they aren't too thick. Otherwise he gags or gets this terrible look on his face and pushes it out with his tongue.

So we are working on it, trying and introducing new textures and thicknesses. His sitter is on board with helping him practice every day. We will address it with his pediatrician at his 12-month appt., but our friend who is an occupational therapist says it's a bit too early to worry too much about it. I've still been worrying since about 8 months, but I told Nate that someday we will say, "Remember when we thought Elijah would never eat?"

We aren't exactly sure how we will celebrate Elijah's first birthday. He probably won't eat cake, but from the couple of licks I've shared, I know he loves ice cream. :-) We might be able to make the trip up to STL that for another Cousin Camp and to see my sister and brother-in-law. Elijah and Daniel haven't been together since Christmas, so a visit is long overdue!


Elijah: 11 months

I am totally unprepared for our baby to turn 1 year old! He is getting so big, so fast. It is so fun to watch him learn new things. He is on the verge of walking and talking. So exciting! Here are a few of my favorite pictures of Elijah at 11 months old.

He is learning how to high-five. Also, I made some blueberries+pears+banana for him. Yum.

Elijah LOVES Otis. He loves wrestling him. Otis is very tolerant.

Elijah used to cry when I put him in the cart, but now he's getting the hang of it. Love running errands with this guy.

Loves "typing" (pounding, banging, grabbing). Silly boy.

flight out.

A note I typed into my phone as I sat on the plane to KC. Elijah and I went back to Kansas at the end of February to attend my grandpa's funeral. I haven't had much time to write, but Elijah is almost one now and I'd like to get back to it, even if it's just journal-style.
I took Lyft to the airport. $14, including tip. My driver (Dustin) was a former Marine. Grew up in Nashville. Married, no kids. Recently returned from 2 years overseas. I told him I work at LifeWay. His Sunday School teacher is Lynn Prior. Small world. He goes to Lipscomb and is reading McClaren, skeptically. He gave me his card so I can contact him to get a ride when I fly home. I was his last trip of the day. He helped install the car seat. A good Lyft experience.
Airport went smoothly. Hardest part was lugging the 25-lb. car seat all the way to the gate. Note to self: get wheels for that thing! I am going to be so sore tomorrow. I need a good body massage!
E has given everyone—counter agents, TSA, other fliers, and flight attendants—the biggest, cutest smiles when they talk to him. TSA carried the car seat through security, and a dad carried it down the jetway for me. (He said he had two little ones and his wife would be angry if he didn't offer to help another parent.)
Next to our gate (C-18) I found a family restroom/lactation room and we camped there for 20 min. E got a fresh diaper. A good find.
A couple people asked me about my red gate check bag. A grandma whose daughter was nervous about traveling alone with a 2 year old asked me about my experience. I told her most people are helpful or probably would be if you just ask.
E was the biggest wiggle worm while we took off. It was past his bedtime though and they dimmed the cabin lights so I finally got him to nurse and by 8:20 he is out. A strain on my right arm but he sure is precious when he sleeps.

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