Eleanor at 5 months

Time to get back to Eleanor's monthly updates!  I always write the text and take these photos in real time (so when she was actually 5 months) but it seems to take me a while to put it all together in a post. But here it is!
Eleanor at 5 months…

Eleanor loves her stuffed animals and reaches for them when we lay them next to her.  Her favorite for now is “Penelope the Horsey.”  Every time we hand it to her we say, “Look Eleanor! It’s Penelope the horsey!!” and then she smiles really big.
Eleanor went camping for the first time!  We went to Santa Cruz for Memorial Day weekend as is my family’s tradition and slept in a small tent and everything (see a whole post on it here).  We spent a couple afternoons at the beach which sadly led to Eleanor’s next milestone…

Eleanor got her first sunburn (insert sad face).  We lathered her up and had a hat on her, but alas, she has her mother’s skin.  It’s been multiple weeks now and the sunburn seems to be gone but her cheeks now seem to be permanently rosy. 
Her hair is growing!  It’s super light (seems to be blonde) so it’s hard to tell but it’s getting ever so slightly wispy-er.

She seems to love her name.  When we call out to her she looks up and flashes a huge smile.  Maybe she just likes that we are talking to her but it seems like she is really picking up on the name thing. 
Her nicknames as of late are: Cheeks (cause they are just so HUGE and wonderful) and Rubes (after her middle name)

Eleanor’s favorite toy seems to be her toes.  She grabs them and kind of rocks around on her back. 
^^Blurry but it captures her real smile so well.  She usually opens her mouth in a wide "o" like she's super excited.  We think she's mimicking our smiles to her as we put on a big excited face and say "Eleanor, smile!"  
She is so much more aware of the world!  This of course makes life so much more fun cause she seems to “get” things a little better (like responding to peek a boo!).  It has it’s challenges though too.  For example, she gets super distracted by noise while nursing and struggles to fall asleep in public (like at church) if there is anyone around. 
Eleanor rolled over this past month!  She officially became a roller on May 28th when I caught her roll out of the corner of my eye.   She did it again soon after that and then continued for the following days, so we decided that she really has the skill down. She unofficially rolled at 3 months but it seemed like an accident and then didn't happen again for another month and a half so we didn’t want to claim it yet.

Her laugh is more like a suck-in-air-shriek/squeal.  Her face lights up, she smiles big and then shrieks.  It’s hilarious and makes her seem super excited about everything. 
But maybe the biggest development overall is Eleanor’s sleep (naturally this is a big topic for me as the goal to get her to sleep more has consumed my mind since day one).  Eleanor got a fever from her 4-month shots, which led to a week of constant waking up in the middle of the night for a week.  When she seemed over the fever, her sleep seemed to get even worse, the worst night being every two hours of waking and wanting to eat.  We determined that it must be the 4 month growth spurt people had told us about.  This was days before going camping and I was dreading her waking up at all hours of the night crying and disturbing all our fellow tent camping neighbors.  Oddly enough though, right as we went camping she started to stretch out her sleep again and from there it’s just gotten better and better.  She (usually) now goes down at 8 or 8:30 pm, wakes up two hours later but goes back to sleep if you pop a pacifier in, and then sleeps til 5 am.  I feed her at 5 am and then she goes back down to sleep til 7 or 8 am when she’s up for good.
Her daytime naps have improved tons as well (hallelujah!).  She is usually awake for an hour in the morning and then goes down for her first nap, which usually lasts for anywhere between 1-2 hours (depending on how early she woke up that morning).  Then she’s up for two hours, takes a 50-minute nap, then up for 2 to 3 hours and takes another 50 minute nap.  Sometimes she also takes a short evening nap, which I’d ultimately like to end because it can interfere with bedtime, but for now it helps her not freak out at night.

I had been waiting to really "sleep train" her until I thought she was ready like it was going to be a big event that I had decided on. One day though when we were in Walnut Creek I just up and decided to give it a try and let her soothe herself to sleep by crying it out and after 10 minutes of crying she went to sleep.  I had been rocking her to sleep for every nap up til this point and it was pretty exhausting and time consuming so this new method is loads better and she seems to sleep better because of it.

I also noticed at night that if she would cry and I went to her then she would immediately fall asleep in my arms.  I knew then that she wasn't wanting to eat, she was just wanting comfort.  And if I went to her once then she would cry every two hours for the rest of the night.  So we started letting her cry it out if she woke up before 4 am and it would just take one cry and she would be out for the rest of the night.  So it was better for and better for us.  Win win!

Wow!  That was a lot on sleep, but a lot has changed so I wanted to record it.  I have two big motivations when I write these updates 1) to remember Eleanor's babyhood and record it for her to read and 2) to give me personal notes to reference for when I have future babies (like little letters to my future self).  So sometimes all the detail is just because I want to give my future self as much info as possible :)
We love this girl and are so excited to continue to see her develop.

P.S. I know that this must seem like a ridiculous amount of pictures that all look really similar. Prior to having Eleanor I would wonder why new moms would post 15 pictures that looked exactly the same (or so I thought) but now I get it.  I sit Eleanor on the chair and snap away (like 100's of photos, it's ridiculous) and then I have the hardest time deleting any because each one seems to capture a different aspect of her personality.  All these pictures are all wildly different to me and capture a different look or gesture or smile that she does at this stage and I don't want to forget any of it.  So bear with me each month ;)

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