Eli - Eleven Month Update

Naps: One one and a half hour nap in the morning and one two to three hour nap in the afternoon.
Feeding: Bottle feeding formula 4-8 oz., three to four times a day. Also eating solids three times a day - loosely following Baby Led Weaning.
Clothing: 12 - 18 month
Bedtime: 7 p.m. (ish) Sleeps 12 hours consistently each night.

This is by far one of the biggest things that has changed. Over the course of the past month, I started upping Eli's solids intake so during the next month we could start transitioning off formula. Being more consistent about meal-time with Eli is both awesome and difficult. It has been great because he LOVES to eat, it gives us something to do (SAHM probz), and he's started dropping a bottle here or there, or is often eating just 4 oz at a feeding, rather than his usual 8 oz - saving us some $$. But it also takes a lot of effort to plan food when we're going out and about, it can be annoying to mop the floor three times a day, and recently, Eli has become a little bit of a slow eater, so sometimes it takes him upwards of 45 minutes to eat everything he wants. Since he feeds himself, only about 85 percent of the food makes it in on the first try (a percentage which has greatly increased since previous months), and I try to only take his food away when he starts swiping and playing, rather than eating - which sometimes can take FOREVER. Particularly when I shovel down breakfast in 10 minutes. But overall it has been really good, and I'm excited to start giving milk instead of formula soon - although it does make me feel like he's so grown up! 

(ps. I do still plan to write more on our method of Baby Led Weaning, for some reason I keep putting it off since it seems like such a large topic and we're only sorta following it - but I've had so many questions about it I will do it, promise.)

Sleeping has been awesome this month. He's totally back to normal after The Great Teething Week of 2014, and he's been sleeping like a champ. Sometimes his naps are a little wonky, but that's usually because I've pushed him on them. The only thing I've noticed is it has become more difficult to get him to fall asleep if he is overtired - or if he falls asleep on the car ride home for 15 minutes, it's usually enough of a power nap to keep him up for an extra hour, rather than immediately continuing his nap in his crib. Once I figured that out, we saved many a nap wondering why in the world he was just talking and chatting in his crib rather than sleeping. Now I just keep him up for an extra hour or so, then he'll go down for a "good" nap after that. 

Sign language has definitely picked up this month, he now knows "drink," "book," and "all done," in addition to "more." "More" has a ton of meanings, such as "keep doing that," (like when we play games) "give me that" (usually with food, drink or toys) and just "food/eat." We'll go into the kitchen and he'll immediately start signing "more" and won't stop until I give him some food. Seriously, he's like Pavlov's Dog. 

He's still not truly crawling yet. He is certainly trying and will get on all fours, rock back and fourth, but then usually just starts to sort of army crawl backwards or just give up and roll where he wants to go.  He loves to stand with assistance, and can even balance alone for a few seconds. He's babbling like crazy and I keep thinking I hear "mamma" in there, but I think it's just that I want to hear it, so I do, you know? He's really started to understand verbal commands like, "clap," "wave," "drink," "turn the page," etc. so it's even more fun than it used to for me to talk to him. 

One of my favorite developments this month is he started to dance a little. He'll sit very straight with his hands on his thighs and do the belly roll bounce. His favorite song is Aelo Black's "I'm The Man." Every time it comes on he gets this huge grin and starts to feel the beat. I'm telling you, this kid's got moves - if only he could do more than just sit ...

I've started realizing over these past two months that Eli is a bit of a tough sell. I never really noticed it because he would laugh for me, but he doesn't belly laugh a lot and it's nearly impossible for him to do it in front of other people. He'll smile, but he just won't give in and laugh. I always thought I'd have this kid that you could just look at and make giggle, but Eli is definitely not one of them - you have to work for it. He does love being tickled, especially by Mike's 5 o'clock shadow, playing peek-a-boo, bouncing, swinging and funny faces. He's almost harder to start laughing than he used to be, but once he does, it's deeper and harder than it ever was before. I can't help but laugh too because it's so contagious! Mike and I will be in tears over his laughter and it's so worth all the work it takes to get it going. 

Eli's also still really into testing out his vocal chords - he does these tribal, guttural, low screams/groans that are deep in the back of his throat. It's so weird, it's funny. He's also still into clucking, lip smacking, zerberts, fake coughing, fake laughing and any other noise he can finagle out of his mouth. 

As far as dislikes, the big thing is he's become a bit attached to Mike and I, and in particular me, this month. Mike and I promised ourselves that we wouldn't have a child that was attached, but I don't think there's anything we could have done to stop it. While I know staying at home with him doesn't help, it's not like I'm the only person he ever sees. We get out with other people a lot and Eli is babysat a decent amount but it still seems to take a bit of time for him to warm up and adjust anytime we're somewhere new. Part of me sort of likes actually having a child that wants me - I mean that has NEVER happened to me - but I feel bad for other people if he starts crying when they pick him up. I know how it feels to be on that side, but now I can truly say that it's not the person, it's the baby, so don't feel bad.

New This Month:
Biggest new thing: His first two haircuts! Don't worry, it was nothing major, I didn't touch the fauxhawk at all. I first trimmed up the area around his ears at the beginning of the month, then a couple weeks ago I took a stab at the back, just trimming off the beginnings of a mullet. Neither Mike nor I are very sentimental, so it wasn't a big deal, plus I don't count either one as a true haircut since really it was a 20 second trim each time. Nothing a ton of food couldn't distract him from. Just don't look too closely, there are definitely some strays that were missed. 

Not necessarily totally new to him, but he had his second trip down to the beach in Florida and well, you all know how that went. He doesn't really like the ocean, but loves the pool if it's warm. He played with his first iPad on his own and is probably the only 11 month old in America that can't immediately find the app he's looking for. He tried lots of new foods this month as teeth have opened up a whole new world for him. He particularly loves super crunchy toast and dipping it in hummus or pesto. He also had his first taste of ice cream and cupcakes, both first bites immediately followed with LOTS of "more" signing.

Mommy/Daddy Update:
This month has been really great for us. I was telling a friend the other day that I'm starting to think of Eli as my best friend. He's becoming my little buddy that has preferences and opinions which I want to know and accommodate, and I like involving him in everything I'm doing. While yes, Mike is definitely still my best friend, Eli is a close second and I just love it! But with him growing up, I do find myself a little sad that it truly is going so quickly. The days can be long, but the months are definitely fast. Every time we reach a new milestone or he grows out of another outfit, I'm reminded of it. I love it and I hate it. Mike feels a little the same way. He and Eli are totally becoming buddies and it's hilarious to watch them interact and see how proud Mike is of every little thing Eli does - but he too has mentioned that it seems like he's changing too fast. I think this post about remembering to remember is ringing especially true for us right now.  


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