somehow, ellie is 17 months old -- and what an incredible age that is. she is learning new boundaries, new things she can do on her own, new words, literally every day. she's figuring out how to express herself, how to be understood, how to carve out her own little independence. the baby calendar is long over & so i don't have a regular way of tracking these moments of growth, so as i looked back at our morning during her nap, i came here to record the things that this little girl is all about these days.
she has a bunch of words and a lot of them are really clear, but she has her own take on some of her favorite things -- wawa for water, milk-a for milk, snack-ee for snack, yaya for latte (i especially love that one!), nani for my mom (instead of nana, which is what we've been calling her), peas for please, shu-bell for shovel (her papa loves to dig in the dirt, which she knows, so every time she says papa, it's followed with shu-bell); izzy-kay for her friend lizzie kay; jackie or jack jack for her friend jackson, she also says "dowwwnnn" very dramatically. i know these will change, evolve, go away & so i wanted to savor these early words she so proudly uses.
being outside is the great equalizer for this girl -- we spend most of our day, every day outdoors -- at the park, taking walks, just exploring. it's our big reset button -- if we've having a tough day, no matter the weather, we venture out. she runs most places, belly out with lots of gusto. she likes to announce her independence -- when she's venturing off, she'll wave bye bye, say bye bye and lean her head into her shoulder to see you off, then come running back hoping desperately you've really missed her. she'd make a great life guard -- if she knows people are around, she goes over their names over & over & over & over again -- especially if they're out of sight for a bit.
she does everything big -- she's hugely enthusiastic, very serious, big reactions all around. she's in a really affectionate phase -- she hugs like she means it, gives really really slobbery kisses and exclamations of "mooommmmmyyyyyy!!!!" she's testing her will and her powers of influence (i-wan-a-snacky is something i hear about 9000 times a day -- we're working on it, without much success). she ADORES babies & dogs & eating & trash trucks. those are her four big loves and we spend a lot of time talking about them. she answers most questions with "yeah" very emphatically -- like she's just been waiting on you to ask her about that.
oh ellie girl, we're just crazy about you, and worn out, all at once.
one quick note on the top photo, last night we were looking at some old photos of my great grandmother, after whom ellie is named -- we were talking about how stoic people were in photos in 1925, especially women. when i took this photo of e this morning and put it through a black and white filter, it looked like she could be standing right next to her namesake.