Ellis: Nine Months Old

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Dare I say it, but could this be the most fun age yet?!  Ellis is so entertaining right now, I just love hanging out with him.  He is learning new things every day & amazes me at how quickly he can get himself into trouble!

We've got a mover and a shaker on our hands... this kid is NEVER still.  Getting monthly photos is proving to be quite the challenge... 99.9% of them turn out blurry because Ellis is a busy busy baby!

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days
Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

He goes to the doctor for his 9 month well-check in 2 weeks, but I'm fairly certain he hasn't surpassed the 17 lb. mark yet.  Though he be but little, he is fierce!  Don't let his size fool you -- he will get around and do all the things, just like the big kids.  He can still wear some 6 month clothing, but for the most part is in 9 month clothing and still in size 3 diapers.

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis boy is getting braver and braver by the day -- pulling himself up on everything, climbing, standing independently for a few seconds at a time.  He's crawling everywhere -- not a traditional crawl, but either an army crawl or like a 3 legged crab crawl type thing.  It's so cute, but now that he is fully mobile, he's into everyyyyything.  He has learned the word "no" but it doesn't mean he listens. :)  

Question parents:  What word do you use instead of "no"?  I feel like I'm saying "no no" all.the.time.  I sometime use "ouch!" or "yucky" but mostly just say no. And I don't like.  It's so negative, and I feel like a broken record.

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis is enjoying more regular meals mashed up or in tiny pieces vs. just pureed veggies and fruits.  This month he's tried and loved chicken noodle soup, spaghetti, tenderloin with mashed potatoes, pork roast & brown rice with broccoli, pancakes, hash browns, chicken, and turkey -- to name a few of his favorites.  He sometimes hoards food in his cheeks, which I did as a child too, so that's kinda funny.  We're still nursing while at home, otherwise he still taking 5 oz of breastmilk at daycare every 3 hours.

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

We've had to do some sleep training this month because he wasn't going down at night, and waking up frequently out of the blue.  We did the dreaded "cry it out" method (which I didn't believe in) after a very frustrating night of frequent wake ups and not wanting to leave momma's arms. But I told myself he was safe, he had a full belly and clean diaper -- he was just playing me.  He just wanted to be held.  He cried for an hour straight.  It was equal parts heartbreaking and like nails on a chalk board.  We nearly caved multiple times but held firm, and he did eventually fall asleep.  He's had a couple other instances where he cried/whined for 20-25 minutes after I put him down for a nap or for the night, but does eventually get himself to sleep, so I'd say it's working!

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

He still just has the two bottom teeth, but I think the top ones will be in soon.  I't's kinda hard to picture him without his gummy smile.

We are currently teaching him to wave "hi" and "bye" and clap his hands.  Slowly, he's learning!

Things I love about Ellis this month:
- The way he sticks his tongue out and up over his upper lip when he's really concentrating.
- His giggle.  I think I say this every month, but man -- I realllly love it.
- His eyes & eye lashes.
- The way he flaps his arms like a bird when he's excited.
- His endless expressions.
- That he is generally always happy!

Ellis James, Baby Update - Nine Months | My Darling Days

We're so looking forward to Christmas with this little one... he's going to be such a ball!


Previous recaps: One Month | Two Months | Three Months | Four Months | Five Months | Six Months | Seven Months | Eight Months 


Make: Lactation Cookies {and other tips for boosting your supply}

I'm currently just shy of 9 months into my breastfeeding journey.  I've shared before about the not so glamorous truths of breastfeeding in this post, and since then some aspects have gotten easier, while others have not.

A recent issue I've been dealing with is low supply, which just floors me because I was such an over-producer for the first three months.  Maybe this is my body's way of telling me that it's time to hang it up, but I so desperately want Ellis to receive momma's milk for the first year of his life.

I've heard the following ways can help increase your milk supply:

Drink a beer every night.
Drink a blue Gatorade.
Drink mother's milk tea.
Eat oatmeal.
Use Fennel essential oil.
Take a Fenungrek supplement.
Drink 75 million gallons of water a day.
Eat healthy fats like nuts and butter and avocados.
Put flax seed on everything.
Power pump.
Reduce stress.

I've tried a few things on the above list, but in my efforts to research how to increase my supply, I found this recipe for lactation cookies.  Basically, I was hooked at the word 'cookie'.

Make: Lactation Cookies | My Darling Days

Make: Lactation Cookies | My Darling Days

Zac, being the wonderful husband that he is, has been making me batches of these cookies every couple weeks, and I honestly do notice a slight increase my in supply when I eat them.  Plus, they taste really good, so I am highly recommending them.

Make: Lactation Cookies | My Darling Days

We freeze them, and I eat one or two a day.  I notice that I pump about two more ounces in the morning when I eat them consistently.  I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but every drop counts!  Whether it's a coincidence or not, I'm not sure, but I certainly don't mind "needing" to eat my cookies everyday!

Make: Lactation Cookies | My Darling Days

If anyone has had any luck in successfully boosting their supply, please share your secrets in the comment section below!





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Ellis: Eight Months Old

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

You know, they didn't lie when they said time is the greatest thief.

Ellis James is officially 8 months old as of Oct 19th, and I just don't know how this happened.  Every night when I nurse him to sleep, I scroll through the camera roll on my phone and my eyes quickly well up with tears.  They are mostly happy tears -- like, how in the world did we get so lucky?


Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days


Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Our cautiously, curious, little guy continues to light up our world.

This last month he finally cut a tooth!  And then right after that one poked though, a second one came up. Now we're working on not biting mom while nursing (OUCH!!).
(Please, if anyone has any tips on how to stop this from happening -- I'd love to hear them).


Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days


Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

What's new this month? 

Ellis is scooting a bit on his bum and doing the ol' inch-worm body pull, but is not crawling yet.  He goes from sitting to the crawling position, but hasn't quite mastered getting his knees tucked under himself.  He more or less flops like a beached whale at this point -- his arms & legs go, but his belly stays on the ground. It's really kinda cute.  He is starting to pull himself up on things and we had to lower his crib this month too because he thinks he's a cool acrobat kid -- so for his safety, it's time we lowered it.

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Speaking of cribs, Ellis is still sleeping pretty well at night for us (for the most part).  And as the days get shorter and shorter, he seems to be ready for bed earlier and earlier.  By 7:00-7:30 pm, he's spent.

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Ellis boy is still a great eater, and we're now handing him things like puffs & crackers, and he feeds himself versus us feeding him. The best is when a piece of food gets "stuck" in his hand and he can't quite figure out how to get it off.  He still takes 5 oz of breast milk every 3 hours and eats homemade baby food for breakfast, lunch, & dinner.  He is very curious whenever we put something in our mouth, so gone are the days of eating in front of him and not offering him anything. Home boy wants a taste!

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Little Ellis is finally starting to out grow his 6 month clothing & is still in size 3 diapers.  He also still very much loves to jabber, but lately it's really only in the comfort of his own home.  He says "ba ba ba," and da da da" ALOT.  I keep trying to get him to say "ma ma ma" but it seems his "m's" only come out when he's crying.  Go figure!

Although he doesn't say any words yet, the kid has impeccable hearing -- he can literally hear a pin drop.

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days

Lately, Ellis really enjoys standing & playing with his activity table, but he definitely needs a spotter.  Oh, and the other day he laughed for 5 minutes straight at a clothes pin.  Thought it was the coolest thing ever.  He's pretty easy to please :)

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days


Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days


Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days


Things I love about Ellis this month:
- How he loves re-watching videos of himself. He laughs and laughs and laughs!
- The way his face lights up when I sing & dance in the kitchen
- How his hair is starting to grow over his ears (dad says he needs a hair cut... mom says NO WAY!)
- They way he studies a new toy in his hands so intently
- That he enjoys being read to -- for as wiggly as he is, he sits pretty well for a book
- How much the ladies at daycare love & adore him

Ellis James, Baby Update - Eight Months | My Darling Days


Missed a recap?
One Month | Two Months | Three Months | Four Months | Five Months | Six Months | Seven Months

Who's the cutest pumpkin in the patch?

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

I imagined Ellis's first trip to the pumpkin patch to go like this:

It would a beautifully warm Fall afternoon/evening.  We would all dress up in our most fall-inspired outfits, and I'd snap photos of us frolicking through the patch with that magical "golden hour" sunlight beaming through my camera lens.  It would be Pinterest worthy.  We'd find three perfect pumpkins (and one for Grace, too).  I'd store the memory of Ellis's first pumpkin patch experience in my memory bank forever.

Do you want to know how our trip to the pumpkin patch really went?  We raced home from work on a Monday night, inhaled supper, threw Ellis in some way-too-big-for him overalls & headed to the patch.  Ellis fell asleep on the way there, so he was a bit out of it when we woke him up.  Oh, and I should mention he had a confirmed case of hand, foot, and mouth too.  Also, I thought I had pink eye so I was in my glasses and sweat pants -- hardly the fall-inspired outfit that I had planned in my head.  We ended up only having about 10 minutes of that "golden hour" sunlight before it got too dark & the bugs chased us out of the patch.  Also, we left with not a single pumpkin.

#pumpkinpatchfail.

All in all, it wasn't a bad evening; it just wasn't the picturesque "Ellis's First Trip to the Pumpkin Patch" memory that I had hoped for.

Expectations -- As a new mom, I'm learning to throw them out the door :)

Lucky for us, Ellis's Great Grandma & Grandpa own the patch, so we went back a couple weeks later, and actually picked pumpkins.  And, we got some nice photos, too.

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days
^Can you believe this kid had hand, foot & mouth in these photos?  Not a single spot on his face.

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days

Fall, Pumpkin Patch | My Darling Days


Ellis is the cutest pumpkin in our patch, and we love him so!