The Dawleys

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Been Awhile!

I haven't done a good job of keeping up with this blog, but at least we have the photo-a-day site to look back on, right?:)
Ella will be 8 months old on Wednesday! I still can't get over how quickly time has gone. I am amazed every day as I watch Ella explore her environment, interact with us, and become more confident in her ability to move and make noise. She is such a sweet little girl and is very aware of her surroundings. I catch her staring at things that I wouldn't think she would notice, like the shelf above our sliding door that currently holds Christmas decorations or plants that sit high atop shelves. She also likes to watch faces. Just yesterday when I picked her up from school, I took her from one of the teachers and walked to the hallway to get her coat. I stopped for a second to read her daily sheet, the whole time preoccupied and not looking at her. I noticed a shift in her weight and looked up to see her leaning all the way around so she could watch my face. She had such a look of curiosity on her face. It was so cute!
Since Ella got her tubes in on November 23, I have noticed such a difference in the sounds she makes. I love listening to her sweet little voice and listening to her as she experiments with new sounds.
The past few nights, Ella has slept through the night in her crib. I am so proud of her and am so happy to be getting more sleep. But there is a part of me that is sad and a part of me that wants to yell "I told you so!" to all the people that told me that I was basically ruining her. I am sad to lose that extra cuddle time with Ella and I am sad to not have her sleeping by my side for a portion of the night (after her first night waking). There is such a joy and peace that I feel laying in bed in the middle of the night between my two loves, listening to them both snore contentedly. There's no place I'd rather be.:) Part of me is glad that she is showing independence though because so many people (well everyone that has offered their opinion) have told me that we are creating bad sleep habits for Ella or that she wakes up just to sleep in our bed or that we will have a heck of a time getting her out of our bed someday. The past few nights have proven to me that children will sleep on their own when they're ready and will show independence when it's developmentally apropriate for them. Our society really pushes sleeping in cribs, sleeping through the night, and falling to sleep on one's own without help at an extremely early age. I personally believe that this shouldn't be pushed on a child before they are ready. Kids will always let you know when they are ready for things and it's not always in the same timeline that our society makes us think is appropriate. I also think that parenting doesn't end at night just because I want some sleep. If Ella needs me, I will always be there to hold her and love on her no matter what time it is. I know my thinking is controversial, but for me Ella has been a perfect example. With all of her ear troubles, she needed the closeness and comfort of Mom and Dad in the middle of the night. She needed the frequent bottles because she wasn't able to eat much during the day. Now that she is feeling good, she can display some independence and doesn't need me for as much comfort at night. So I am proud, but sad at the same time. One of the first of many mixed emotions that I know I'll feel as a parent.
Now that things have settled down in the health department at our house (knock on wood), we have been looking forward to Christmas. Presents are already wrapped and under the tree, I've started baking Christmas cookies, the decorations are up, Ella and I have been listening to Christmas music (Mariah Carey and Glee of course!), and Yankee Christmas candles have been making our house smell wonderful. We are so excited for Ella's first Christmas!!

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