Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Letters to Ari...1 month old

Dearest Ari, 

Happy 1 month birthday! I cannot believe you have been here for a whole month already.  Your Dad and I have a hard time thinking back to a time that you weren't here.  I said "What did we ever do without him?" to your Nonee and she said "Dream about having him" and that is the truth.  Before you arrived all we did was dream of the day we could hold you in our arms. So happy you are finally here and also so excited to celebrate your 1 month birthday today.  

Milestones/Special "Firsts" :

-You have just started SMILING and we love it. At first, we were wondering if they were real smiles or if it was just your reflexes and/or coincidences.  But after many more smiles, we're sure you are actually smiling because you are happy!!! You even mimic our smiles when we gaze at you.  Every morning we take you out of your bassinet as you are waking up.  We unwrap your sleep sack and you give us a smile every morning as you are stretching.  You are SO happy when you wake up...we love it! It's one of my favorite parts of the day.  

You smiling at your Dad

- You had your first bath and you LOVED it.  Mommy gave it to you while Daddy was at work and she video taped it so your Dad could see too.  Your little legs did a lot of kicking and you were all smiles and I trickled the warm water all over you.  

You smiling during your first bath!

- You attended your first "Brothers Brunch" with all your uncles.  Daddy and I get together with all your uncles every Sunday morning for brunch.  We used to all sit around the table and talk about how excited we were for you to get here.  Now you're here and we just were so ecstatic to be sitting around the table WITH you! 

First Brother's Brunch

-You had your first "day trip" at 4 weeks old.  We left early in the morning and went to The Original Pancake House for breakfast.  Next, we stopped at our favorite store "Little Monsters" and your Auntie spoiled you and bought you some adorable new outfits.  Then we went out to Cedarburg for the annual Wine & Harvest Festival. Your Stokke stroller worked like a charm and your Daddy had so much fun strolling with you.  This festival really meant a lot to me.  I had been going to this for about 4-5 years before you arrived.  I would always sit and gaze looking at other mothers and their babies and dream of one day bringing you to the Festival.  It was surreal being there again and actually finally having you.  After the Festival, we went to our favorite place for dinner "Sala" and sat outside.  Your Auntie was there and your Uncle Aris joined us too.  It was a perfect way to end our day out.  

Here we are together at the Festival

- You have started sleeping through the night! According to my friends and family members with children, we are pretty lucky.  You like your routine and when we put you in your bassinet around 11:00 each night, you settle fairly quickly and sleep until 6:00 or even 7:00 in the morning.  When we lay you down at night, your Dad and I snuggle and just listen to you as you squirm around a bit and make some grunting noises as you drift off to sleep.  We love listening to you! I end each night thanking God for another amazing day with you and pray that He keeps you safe.  

Things You Like Right Now:

-You love the park by our house.  Before you were here, your dad and I would always take Buckwheat there and play fetch with him behind the firehouse.  It was so much fun taking you there for the first time.  It was a gorgeous day and you were so comfy, you decided to take a nap while there.  Buckwheat enjoyed himself too, playing fetch while you were snoozing.  

 You snoozing while Mommy watches over you

 See, I told you Buckwheat was happy!


- As I mentioned above, you love baths! Every bath you've had has been pleasant.  Your eyes light up and get real big as I wash you - you are very alert.  You've only peed once so far during your baths...I'll consider myself lucky.  :)

- You are definitely a morning person! You are so happy and content when you wake up, while being changed, and during your first feeding.  
Early morning changing 

- You like being "out and about".  Your Dad and I are a very active couple and we are so pleased with how well you already adjusted to being active with us.  You are such a good baby and I'm not just saying that.  Every time we go out (dinners, family visits, grocery trips, festivals, parks, etc.) you are so content! 

Your current dislikes:

- 7:00 p.m. until bedtime at home = fussy time! It's like clock-work. When we are home and 7:00 rolls around you decide it is time to fuss.  You are just plain ornery at this time.  You do a lot of whining and demand our full attention.  We try a variety of things to soothe you and as soon as we find one that works, it only lasts for about 15-20 minutes.  Then you get bored and we start all over again finding something to soothe you.  Things that work (sometimes): walking around the house holding you, bouncing you in your BabyBjorn Babysitter bouncer, rocking you, and tummy time on Daddy's chest.  You are wide awake during this time and do not take any snoozes.  Daddy and I sure don't mind this time though, because we know as soon as we put you in your bassinet around 11:00 p.m. you will sleep through the night.  

- Johnson's Hand and Face Wipes.  I like to use these on you as a quick way to "freshen up" before heading out for the day or before a visitor comes over.  You? Not so much! You cry every time I gently use these and are so relieved when it's over.  

- You hate getting a onesie put over your head when getting dressed.  Your Dad and I stretch out the collar of the shirt before putting it on you, so it doesn't constrict on your face - but you still hate it! How dare we! You let out some pretty might wails during this time.  

Your Dad:

- Your Dad is still adjusting to being back at work.  And I will be honest, he absolutely hates leaving you every morning to go to work.  It's hard for him to leave his beautiful baby boy to head to work and be stressed out there. I know that you are his inspiration to get through each day.  He daydreams about coming home to you and is so excited to see you when he walks in the door each day.  

- Daddy handles fussy time and I love him for it.  Your fussy time also happens to be Mommy's bed time.  I fall asleep on the couch or in my chair around 7:30/8:00 p.m.  Your Dad lets me sleep (only wakes me up for feedings) while he finds ways to soothe you.  Even before I was pregnant with you, this has been my bedtime.  My body just tends to shut down at this time, so I am so thankful that Daddy is willing to take care of you during this time frame.  

- Is starting to adjust to being peed on.  He is even starting to think it's funny.  I think it's humorous how this past week you only felt the need to pee on him (thank you).  We were doing real well for awhile until this past Sunday, you decided to pee on him 3 or 4 times in one day! 

Your Mom:

-Is healing up quite well.  I'm finally starting to feel more myself.  I am less sore and my incision feels a lot better.  I'm looking forward to my postpartum doctor appointment next week.  I'm hoping to be "cleared for exercise" so I can start toning up again.  For the time being, I am just enjoying going on walks with you as my exercise.  Although carrying you around all day is also getting me back into shape.  

- Went out for the first time without Daddy's help last week.  We made a trip, just the two of us, to Target last week.  I was really proud of myself as I drove with you alone for the first time, lifted you in and out of the car (in the rain), and strolled around Target with you picking up the necessities for the week.  Considering I was only 3 weeks past my surgery, I felt amazing! I definitely became more confident that I could handle outings with you on my own.  

- Is looking forward to your 1 month appointment next week.  I'm praying that you have continued to gain weight since we both seem to be enjoying our current feeding routine.  I'm still feeding you every 2 hours during the day, which I think really helps you sleep through the night.  

- Is just so happy!  I want you to know that I am not sugar coating these posts/letters to you.  YOU are a wonderful baby and taking care of you makes me (and your dad) so happy.  I don't ever get frustrated with you when you are cranky...I really don't.  I just keep thanking God that I have the opportunity to experience your crankiness and especially, motherhood.  Even when I am dead tired and have trouble keeping my eyes open, I look down at you and I just smile.  I'm so grateful that God chose me to be your Mom.  I wouldn't trade in any second of this!  I struggled for years to have you and would do it all over again (ten times over) without hesitation knowing at the end of it all I would get to have you.  

Oh and Buckwheat....he just adores you! 

Your Mom

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

All is Well

Ari is already 3 weeks old! I cannot believe how fast the time is going.  He's been here for 3 weeks - yet I have a hard time ever thinking back to a time where he wasn't here.

Ari is such a good baby.  He is very content with his eating, sleeping, pooping & peeing routine.  During the day he feeds every 2-3 hours.  If he is awake, he makes it known he's ready to eat by sucking on his hands,  rooting, and whining.  Sometimes when he's napping, we have to wake him up to get his feedings in within the 3 hour window.

Since he gained a substantial amount of weight by his 2 week appointment, our pediatrician told us we didn't need to wake him up anymore throughout the night to eat.  It was a relief to hear her say "Stop setting the alarm".   Ari gives us nice chunks of sleep during the night.  We get some 4, 5, and even 6 hour windows of sleep.  This is perfect since my husband is still transitioning to being back at work.

This is my first week solo.  My sister was here all last week helping me, which was amazing.  She ran my errands and helped with all the household chores like cleaning, laundry, dishes, and making sure I was properly fed.  :) I am so fortunate to have such supportive and loving family members.  Thank you sis for being there for me in so many ways! I couldn't ever possibly thank you enough for all of your help.

Ari happy to be chilling with his Auntie. 

I know it's only Tuesday, but so far my first week is going well.  In the mornings, Ari and I just kind of hang out, feed, & nap.  While he's napping I have a little "me" time where I make myself breakfast, put some laundry in, tidy up, and catch up on everyone's blogs, my emails, and facebook.  Then in the afternoon we are more active. We go outside and play fetch with Buckwheat in the yard.  It feels so good to be able to give Buckwheat some attention, since he has been overlooked these past three weeks.

I do have  posts brewing about breast feeding and my "must-haves" for a newborn.

But for now, I'll leave you with some more pictures of my miracle baby.  :)

 Napping with Daddy

 Content as can be

 Buckwheat isn't so sure about this tummy time thing?!?!?


 Buckwheat wanted a part in this too. 

 Trying out the Moby wrap for the first time


 Dead tired, but so so in love. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Belly Shot Progression

Wow...looking back and reflecting....I still feel SO fortunate that I was able to experience pregnancy.  This is something I've dreamed about since a little girl and I feel so blessed that God made my dreams come true.  I'm almost three weeks postpartum and it's really setting in now that my pregnancy is over.  Of course I am over the moon happy, because Ari is here!!! But the feeling is bittersweet in the sense that this chapter in my life (pregnancy) is over.  I will always look back on these photos with joy as I relive the happiness that came along with my growing belly.  I can't wait to share them with Ari some day.  This little boy is going to fully know how much he was loved, long before he was even born.  

11 weeks - Still in shock that I am pregnant

 14 weeks - I remember being so proud of my "lil" bump

 17 weeks - Buckwheat isn't so sure

 Half-way! 20 weeks on an 80 degree day in March. 

 23 weeks

 29 weeks

 30 weeks

 33 weeks at my maternity photo shoot

 34 weeks - on Father's Day

 35 weeks

 37 weeks - can't believe I actually thought I was "getting close" here

 38 weeks

 39 weeks - Ha! I thought walking would get things going. 

 FULL TERM - 40 weeks

 In labor at 10 days past due!

 Sweet baby Ari at 1 week old!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Letters to Ari ... 2 Weeks Old

Dearest Ari,

We cannot believe that you are 2 weeks old already! Your Dad and I are the happiest we've ever been.  We've dreamed of having you in our life now for years upon years and we are just ecstatic that you are finally here - in our arms! We can't thank God enough for sending you to us.  You're our little miracle.

Milestones from your first 2 weeks of life:
- When you were born you were 8 lbs, 13.8 ounces = 90th percentile. You were 21.5 inches long = 98th percentile and your head was 37 cm in diameter which was also in the 98th percentile.  You were a big boy!!! By the time you left the hospital, your weight had dropped (which is normal) and you were 8lbs 1 oz.  A week later when I met with the lactation specialist you were 8lbs 4 oz.
-At 4 days old, you came home from the hospital.  You also turned to your side all by yourself at just 4 days old.
- You quickly grew out of the newborn diapers and now wear size 1.  The volume capacity of the newborn diapers was just too small. (leaking)
- When you were 5 days old, you had your first night of amazing sleep.  Each night we swaddle you, both give you a kiss goodnight, and then lay you in your bassinet that is right beside our bed.  You are such a good boy and accept it's just time to get some good rest and you fall asleep within a few minutes.

You sleeping in your bassinet:

- At 6 days old, you took your first trip out of the house.  We went out for breakfast with your Auntie, Nonee, and Papou at the Original Pancake House in Brookfield.  You handled it like a champ.  Daddy changed you for the first time in the front seat of the 4Runner and you decided to surprise him by christening the front seat.  After breakfast, we all went to buybuy baby to pick up some necessary items for taking care of you at home.  We even picked up a comfy nursing chair for Mommy.
- You came down with your first diaper rash at a week old.  :(
- On day 10, you lost your umbilical cord...finally that stinky thing fell off.

Look who has a belly button (we were so proud):

- On days 12 and 13 you had your first overnight trip.  We took you out to your Nonee and Papous house for a visit. They were so thrilled to spend time with you and your Mom and Dad got a little extra rest.
- At your 2 week check-up you weighed 9lbs 6.5 ounces.  You grew over a pound in 1 week! We were so proud of you when we left the doctor's office.  The nurse called you a "butterball".

Things You Like Right Now:
-You love being swaddled, especially in your Halo Sleep Sacks.
- You have so much fun being burped.  You are so alert while being burped and sit there with these huge attentive eyes looking around.  I think being burped is your favorite part of the day.
- You like sucking on your hands.
- You like to nap during the day.  You usually go in waves in between feedings.  One wave you will nap, then the next wave of wake time you will hang out and spend a lot of time looking around.  This cycle then repeats throughout the day.
- You think it's cute to pee multiple times while we are changing you.
- When you're fussy, you prefer being with your Daddy.  The scent of Mommy alone tempts you and all you can do is open and close your mouth waiting to be fed.
- You're a great sleeper.  During the night, you sleep for a good 4 hours at a time. I have to wake you to feed you.  Your pediatrician said I shouldn't set the alarm anymore and let you sleep as long as you want during the night.
- When you're content and calm, you like your swing.  It relaxes you and you oftentimes take naps during the day in it.  When you're fussy - you do not like to be put in the's not a soother for you.
- You like hanging out in your BabyBjorn Babysitter bouncer.

- You definitely like Buckwheat, although he loves you a lot more at this point.  He will sneak in a lick any chance he gets.  We let him wash your feet and other body parts, but we have the rule "no licking Ari anywhere on his face".  He's a good listener and tends to prefer your feet anyways.

- You also adore visits from family members and friends.  Your auntie, uncles, and grandparents love spending time with you.  We have a visitor or two almost every day.  Everyone just loves you so much Ari.

Here you are content as can be in your Auntie's arms:

- Going out to dinner! We have went out a handful of times now and (knock on wood) every visit you have been sleepy and when awake, very content.

Here you are with us at our favorite restaurant in Milwaukee - Sala:

- You really enjoyed hanging out on Nonee and Papou's front porch Saturday morning.  It was a gorgeous morning, the temperature was just perfect.  You laid on your Daddy's lap and just stared up at him with your beautiful eyes.  Buckwheat also enjoyed this time because he was able to play with his lady friend from across the street, Chili.  :)

Here you are hanging out on the front porch:

Your current dislikes:
- You have a blocked tear duct. Your eye gooes sometimes and even crusts shut.  You do not like having this cleaned out and also don't like your eye drops from the doctor.
- You really don't favor the time frame of 7pm to 11 pm.  We call this your "fussy time".  This is the same time frame that you were active in my womb before you were born.
- Daddy mocked you once while you were crying by also crying.  You hated that.  Your bottom lip became real pouty and stuck straight out.  We couldn't help but giggle at you a little bit though.
- You are very impatient when we change your diaper when you're hungry.  You'd much rather eat and change later.
- You're not a fan of shirts going over your head.  You're good at letting out a huge wail when we do that.
- You are a bit disappointed with your onesies that have feet.  None of them fit you because of your big feet. You're also not a fan of socks.  You kick them off within minutes of us putting them on you.   This frustrates you because your lil tootsies get cold.

Your Dad:
- Took off 2 weeks of work to be with you at home after you were born.
- Does EVERYTHING right now for you (other than feeding, of course).  He burps you, does all diaper changes, does the laundry, grocery shops, runs errands and takes care of your Mom.
- Is very organized! He keeps track of your feeding times, wet & poopy diapers, and when Mommy takes medicine.

Daddy made this organizer to keep track of everything:

- Packs your diaper bag for all our outings, wakes you for feedings, swaddles you, puts you to sleep, does tummy time with you, and soothes you when you fuss.

Daddy getting ready to change you:

- He loves you SOOOOOO much!

Your Mom:
- Is slowly recovering from my C-section.
- Feeds you 8-10 times a day.

Feeding time:

- Snuggles you.
- Loves kissing you on your neck and underneath your chin.
- The favorite part of my day is waking up to YOU! I love opening up my eyes and seeing you in your bassinet right beside me.  It puts me in the absolute best mood every day.  I can't believe you're really ours and that I get to love you every single day.  I feel so blessed.

Taking care of you makes us so happy.  We love you very, very much!

Your Mom