Eloise is Five!

Our Eloise Ivy is FIVE today.

I feel like she's been with us forever, yet the days of new motherhood don't feel too long ago.

My midwives had told me that first babies take forever to come, so stay home as long as possible once I go into labor. The rule follower that I am, I arrived at the hospital about 15 hours into labor, fully dilated and ready to push her out! No time for any kind of pain meds or measures.

She's our only baby we waited to be surprised to find out the gender. EVERYONE thought she would be a boy, and I also assumed she'd have light hair like her dad. We were all shocked to meet a little girl with lots of dark hair. I've never been able to go anywhere without someone telling me how beautiful she is from a young age.

Those early days were oh so hard, but she was a good sleeper and eater. She taught herself to sleep through the night at 7 months old, bless her heart and TAKE NOTE, George. She was not a snuggly baby and always wanted to be on the go. If you tried to hold her facing in she would attempt to throw herself off of your body. I was on four weeks of bed rest with her in the middle of my pregnancy because of spotting from how much she moved, and I had a very good idea of her personality even in utero. Don't even think about trying to swaddle her.

Being the oldest child, we had no idea what we were doing with her and we still don't. Thankfully she is resilient and forgives us. Looking back over photos from her first year of life, the theme that emerged was "clueless parents doing dumb things."

Like trying to take family photos at naptime...

...walking long distances through the snow with no stroller or baby carrier...

...and my personal favorite, frequently eating dinner with a napkin covering her head so as not to drop food on her. Let the record show that we never put that baby down!

She has always had the best stink eye. No idea who she gets that from.

She became a big sister at a whopping 22 months old and again at 4 1/2 and she takes it all in stride. She is mostly so patient with her siblings, who are alllllll kinds of into her stuff. She was made to be the biggest sister.

She is curious, articulate, and doesn't miss a thing. She loves order, schedule and routine. She is persistent, determined, and a natural leader. I think she'll probably run a company one day, or maybe the world. Others tell me this too. She keeps us on our toes. Nick always reminds me this will serve her well.

It's always been easy to forget how young she is because she seems mature in many ways. She is capable, confident, and secure.

She could do arts and crafts and puzzles for hours. She loves sleep like her mama. She would still take a 3 hour afternoon nap if I let her. She has a flair for the dramatic. Despite having a closet full of lovely clothes, she adores putting together outfits that always mystify me so maybe this means she'll be a fashion designer. She loves to read. She reads her Bible every night before bed. She needs her downtime but she also is totally energized by gatherings of family and friends. She loves to be in nature and is fascinated by so many things.

She is my biggest helper. She makes hers and sister's beds every morning and when I remind her that she doesn't have to make Mimi's bed, she tells me she does it because she "can't deal with it looking messy." I have NO idea where she gets that ;)

Her relationship with Mimi is hilarious. They can drive each other wild but when told to sit somewhere, they will sit RIGHTNEXT to each other. She is also Mimi's biggest defender, and has been known to have no problem telling boys much older than her to let Mimi have a turn because she's little. They are a little bit like an old married couple. Her relationship with George is the sweetest. She took to him right away and is so motherly with him. He adores her and she love love loves him.

I can't imagine life without our Eloise. I am so grateful that she made me a mother. Happy birthday to our big girl!

be gentle

my little


the world

is just

not ready

--a.j. lawless

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