Eliza is One
Our branch’s one year anniversary was June 5th. It feels like longer than that, just like we’ve been a branch forever but no, Jacob and I have only lived here for two years and we’ve only been a part of this awesome branch for one. Eliza is the only baby born and blessed in the branch. Eliza Ruth, Botetourt Branch baby. She’ll always be our measure for how old our branch is.
Eliza has made huge milestones these past few months. So far she has cut her front four teeth with more trying to join them. She started walking while 10 months old and now is quite an excellent wobbler, walking with her arms up and out for balance. She only falls now when trying to avoid sudden changes and movements from her siblings or me. I’m grateful for her change in eating, she has stopped eating grass so I can let her loose outside while we play soccer and work in the garden but she still wants to try flowers and dirt and such.
Eliza is so beautiful. She has the dark eyelashes that all my kids have had with big brown eyes. She is small and a happy girl. She smiles so much and sticks her tongue out when happy and entertained. She is always finding new noises to make her happiest is the lip trill. Our little motorboat!
She is also very smart. If she is doing something she knows she is being naughty she’ll check for our eyes on her before proceeding. Such a little sneaky girl. She’s into all the cabinets and crawls everywhere she can fit. One time she couldn’t fit head first between our couch and side table so she tried to back in. And recently she has taken to putting her arms out for Jacob to pick her up, only to reach for where she really wants to be, like a human taxi service.
The skills she has picked up from her older siblings keep impressing me. She’ll crawl around on her knees saying “vrrrrooom” and pushing a car. She’s tried her hand at jumping off a single stair and when we visited the creek there was no hesitation from Eliza just rushing in to catch up with the others. She isn’t a fan of baby food right now, much preferring to eat what everyone else is eating, unless it comes in a convenient pouch then she’ll suck it down quick and get back to playing. She plays peekaboo with blankets and loves to be chased. Sometimes she’ll crawl away or try to guess which side of the tunnel you’ll surprise her on. But sometimes she gets flustered and just puts her head down in giggles not altogether wanting to get away.
I put her in the carrier a lot less now. She loves sitting in the cart at the grocery (which Isaac is sometimes okay with and sometimes resents, it is really fun when they can both ride though!) and she often wants to play where ever we are, like the library. But library visits now keep me on my toes because she wants to push and pull all the books and movies off the shelves. So I just put books on reserve and we don’t do much productive browsing at this stage.
It is kind of weird being in the middle of motherhood now. I still feel like just a newb. I have a ton of mom friends with teenagers to reinforce that. But we just had a mother of one move into our branch, she’s older than me but asking me about doctors and play dates and siblings and I just want to shout from the rooftops how wonderful family is. How glorious three kids are when they start playing with each other and how sweet and considerate they are most of the time and how much we all learn and grow when they aren’t being sweet and considerate. It’s daily in the trenches work around here, we still haven’t fully potty trained Mister Middle so there is a lot of diapers and food prep and cleaning up and dressing kids who can’t for themselves but there is a lot of hope and joy and talking and smiles and relationships blooming and I’m just really grateful for my little crew who have really helped me learn a whole lot about myself and help me continue to grow every day.
Happy Birthday Eliza, dear. You keep us on our toes with your adventurous antics and we are patiently yet eagerly waiting to see where your spirit and energy take you.