You are FIVE months old!! I can't believe it... it seems like only a heartbeat ago you were my secret wish, the baby I didn't think I'd ever actually have and now you are here and FIVE months old. I know all mothers say it but I truly believe you are the sweetest little baby to ever take a breath. You have filled up my heart and this family in ways I will never be able to put into words. The closest I can come is when I insist that I knew something was missing and now there simply is not. You are here. We are complete... and we love you so very, very much.
You are about 14 lbs and we like to joke that you have no idea that you are a little baby. You "didn't get the memo". You seem to truly believe you are just like your big brothers and sisters. It would have been nice if my last baby had stayed a baby just a little longer then most... but instead you have not allowed anyone to cradle you in their arms while you were awake since you've been 5 weeks old. You like to be part of the action and you love, love, love all the action that your siblings create. You like to sit in your bumbo chair right in the middle of their play (the more chaos the better). You sit surrounded by Lego's and cars while the "big kids" play elaborate games around you but you seem to believe that you are an integral part of the game. If they forget to pay attention to you for a few minutes you let out a little yell, not a cry - a very deliberate little yell and they all quickly fall in line. "Yes, Ella!" "Look, Ella!" and you smile your big gummy smile and melt everyone's hearts.
I love the way they love you. Those brothers and that sister of yours love you in a way I never could have even imagined. I mean, I knew they would love you. They are all very affectionate, kind children but you have opened up their hearts in a whole new way. While Kirsten is at an age where she can be short tempered with the rest of us, she can sit and rock you for ages with the patience of a saint. The boys like to tell the rest of us about how they love you more then they love the rest of us. After a few dozen "I love you Mommy but not as much as I love Ella"s, I taught them to say "Ella is a baby so she needs a little extra love." They do not ever express affection to anyone else without making it clear that they love you more. It is so, so sweet. They are attentive and gentle with you and you are their GREATEST audience. You laugh, and laugh, and laugh at anything and everything those silly boys do and it just melts me.
The only time you cry is when we are in the car. You HATE the car. But when we are not in a motor vehicle you are just the easiest, happiest baby I've ever met. You like attention (and you're not afraid to let us know if you're not getting enough) but you are completely satisfied as soon as one of us smiles at you.
You are a great eater and a great sleeper and you always have been. (I told you, you really are perfect.) You like to sleep all swaddled up "baby burrito" style. We wrap you up tight in special "swaddlers" every night and the only time you wake up is if an arm happens to get free. (Then you wake up crying and confused, staring at your flailing limbs, annoyed that your sleep was interrupted.) I'm not sure how we're ever going to get you to sleep without being bundled but I'm not worried about it... in fact I love this one last "tiny baby" detail and I'll probably be annoying you by trying to swaddle you up the night before you start kindergarten. :)
You like your stroller, the water, and sitting in your excersaucer. You are quickly gaining control over your hands and arms and starting to grab everything around you. You have rolled over a few times, but you generally stay completely still while you sleep. You still sleep right next to me, crammed into your bassinet. Even I think it's starting to get ridiculous that I still stuff you into that tiny bed. I say I keep you there because I don't want you to wake Kirsten up when you wake up very, very early (5ish every morning) but really it's just because I like being able to reach you from my bed. I like listening to your quiet breath and peeking at your sweet face when I roll over. I am getting ready to "make the move" and your sister is SO excited for you to start sleeping in the "girls' room" but I am also cherishing these last nights of sleeping with my baby at my side.
Kirsten and I LOVE to dress you. I think it may be our favorite part of the day. We pass over comfortable onsies and choose tutus on an almost daily basis. I figure your tutu years are limited so I'm going to take full advantage while they are here. :)
You are finally starting to get some hair. You have very fine hair covering most of your head now, and we still have no idea what color it is going to be. It is too light to be brunette, but too dark to be blonde. It is not RED like your brothers' but we are thinking there may be a strawberry tint... it's pretty much anyone's guess at this point.
You don't have any teeth yet. I don't think I'll be able to say that much longer... you are teething A LOT and I am thinking your first tooth may break any day. I cried the day I found Danny's first tooth. I loved his gummy grin so much it just broke my heart... this is not going to be pretty.
We all call you "Ella Marcella" and ask you "who's a good baby? who's a good baby? You are! Yes you are!" ... (both ala Matt) and I sing my own version of "you are my sunshine" to you every night. You give us all BIG, sloppy, open-mouthed kisses all the time BUT you won't give them to anyone else (much to Grandma's dismay). I just love it (not because I don't want you to kiss Grandma). I feel like you know exactly who you belong to. You get it. You are ours and we are yours. You love us and you know that we love you. You have it all figured out. It does my heart good.
I adore you sweet girl. I wish more then anything that I could freeze this moment in time. Our little family is so happy and having a baby does my heart so good. However, I've learned from your siblings that as you grow so does the love... so I'll just cherish these baby moments as much as I possibly can while they are here. You are so very, very loved. Thank you for making us complete.