21 Photos of Elvie’s Eventful 21st Month

Elvie’s twenty-first month started on vacation in London, took her through surgery and the toughest part of recovery, and ended with her at home and sassy as ever, rocking a body brace and good spirits. She turned twenty-one months old on Monday, and I feel incredibly blessed and lucky when I think of this past month with Elvie. Taking her on vacation was a delight, and she was an amazing traveler, especially considering that she is a very opinionated toddler. We had such a short time between our trip and her surgery that those days at home just flew by, and then she got through the surgery and the hospital portion of recovery better than anyone expected, leaving the hospital just four days after her big procedure. I am in awe of my little girl. As has become my monthly tradition, I’ve gathered some photos together here to share with you, so here are twenty-one photos to mark the twenty-one months she’s lived so far.

  • Elvie is 21 months old!

    Elvie is 21 months old!

    And what a month she’s had!

  • Our happy girl

    Our happy girl

    Picnicking and flirting with passersby in London were favorite vacation activities for Elvie.

  • Concentrating on her steps

    Concentrating on her steps

    Traveling gave Elvie all sorts of opportunities to work on her walking skills. She was thrilled that there were so many park paths to walk down every day.

  • Back in our home city, and back to making friends to keep

    Back in our home city, and back to making friends to keep

    Elvie was charming everyone that walked by on one of our first outings after we returned from vacation. At home or away, her smile makes friends of strangers.

  • Quiet snuggles

    Quiet snuggles

    Elvie loves to set cheek to cheek. She wants to snuggle with her big sister with as much of her body as possible.

  • I think she likes mac and cheese.

    I think she likes mac and cheese.

    When Elvie gets into a meal, she really gets into it. She gets more enthusiastic as she grows.

  • Sweet smiles on a beautiful day

    Sweet smiles on a beautiful day

    We were fortunate to have beautiful weather to enjoy before Elvie had her surgery. We took as many opportunities as possible to let her be outdoors and moving around.

  • A big treat for a big girl

    A big treat for a big girl

    Elvie no longer wants to accept bites that I hand her or the part of a pastry that I think she can eat in one sitting. She wants the whole thing. Normally, I try to compromise so as to minimize the mess and wasting food that she’d likely eat later, but after she went in for a CT scan, I figured she deserved a treat for being brave.

  • Early morning goofiness

    Early morning goofiness

    Despite being denied her usual middle of the night bottle and then being awakened long before she was ready, Elvie was all grins when I let her take some selfies on the train on the way to her surgery.

  • Keeping it silly before surgery

    Keeping it silly before surgery

    Elvie thought that the clown gown and socks she was given to change into were hilarious, and she wanted to let everyone know. She pretty much laughed her way into the operating room.

  • During recovery from surgery, she got a lot of special treats

    During recovery from surgery, she got a lot of special treats

    Elvie made it clear early on that she was not interested in hospital food unless it came in pudding form or on a stick. We figured that since she’d just been through a pretty big ordeal, we could let balanced meals slide for a little bit.

  • Outside for a snack picnic

    Outside for a snack picnic

    Elvie surprised us all by doing well enough to go outside just two days after her surgery. Her pain was controlled, and she didn’t have to be on her IV unless it was time for medication. She loved getting to be outside, even though it was just for a short time.

  • Setting recovery records

    Setting recovery records

    Just four days after her big surgery, Elvie was well enough to go home from the hospital. I dressed her in a new dress and her favorite jacket, and she got so excited when we told her she’d get to go home.

  • Enjoying what is normally a no-no

    Enjoying what is normally a no-no

    Because there are limits to what Elvie can do while her pelvic bone is healing, we have had to get creative with activities. She loves taking things out of containers, and she especially enjoyed getting to make a big mess with things we don’t normally let her get out. In this case, she got to spread hair clips and elastics all over the bed.

  • A little Halloween sunshine

    A little Halloween sunshine

    Elvie’s Halloween costume this year was sunshine. It suits her personality perfectly, and she seemed to love her new poncho with the sparkles around the hood.

  • A little guitar playing to pass the time

    A little guitar playing to pass the time

    Normally this is her big sister’s guitar, but Elvie has been allowed to use it while she is stuck on her back. She loves to play instruments when we put on music, and if we put on a music video, she will imitate the musicians.

  • Elvie loves getting extra chocolate

    Elvie loves getting extra chocolate

    Post surgery, Elvie lost a bit of weight, and the brace she is in makes it much harder for her to eat. Sometimes she is just not motivated enough to eat anything, so we’ve resorted to getting extra calories into her via some of her favorite desserts. Chocolate is always a hit.

  • Baby's first hairstyle

    Baby’s first hairstyle

    While we’ve done little twists and clips in the front of her hair, Elvie has never had a full hairstyle before. In an attempt to keep her hair from getting so tangled in the back when she lays on it, I put in flat twists in three rows. She was not as impressed as I’d hoped she would be.

  • Breaks from her big brace elicit big smiles

    Breaks from her big brace elicit big smiles

    Three times a day, Elvie is allowed a little tummy time out of the rigid brace, with more flexible, breathable support on, and she absolutely loves it. If she’s grumpy, I know it will get better when it’s time for a brace break.

  • Baby's first haircut

    Baby’s first haircut

    The hairstyle I did wasn’t Elvie’s favorite thing, and it wasn’t as effective as I’d hoped in keeping the back of her hair from becoming tangled. A friend who has similar hair to Elvie’s suggested that I just cut the back to simplify things during this time. I did it myself, and it doesn’t look half bad.

  • Ababi snuggles are the best.

    Ababi snuggles are the best.

    One thing that is wonderful about Elvie’s brace is that it allows her to be in the right position for healing while also allowing us to pick her up. Both my husband and I love getting hugs from our sweet girl.

  • Keeping it fun

    Keeping it fun

    Nothing can keep Elvie from having a good time. I am convinced that she will continue to recover quickly, thanks to her determination and good attitude.

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