Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Letters to Ari...2 months old

Dearest Ari,

Happy 2 month birthday! You officially turned 2 months last week Friday and we had such a busy weekend I didn't have time to post until today.  You are absolutely perfect! Your Dad and I are so in love with you.  We thank God every day for you and feel so "complete" now that you are here.  I feel like I was born to be a mommy, your mommy.  You can tell from the two pictures below that you are changing ...fast!

1 month old

2 months old

Milestones/Special "Firsts" :

- You hold your head up like a champ now. You can see from the pictures above that this is a huge change from your first month.  When you first started holding it up, you were this cute little bobble head.  Now you turn your head from side to side real fast and think it is the coolest thing ever.  You even get this real proud look on your face while you do it.  I love it! I get a kick out of you every time you do it.  Your neck muscles are getting real strong! 

- You are growing like a weed! You had your 2 month pediatrician appointment yesterday and you are 13 pounds 11 ounces and 26 inches long now.  Your doctor said you are very, very long and to put it into perspective for us, she said that you are as long as an average 5 month old.  I think you get your long legs from your Mommy.  :) Here you are at the doctor!

- You had your first trip to Door County.  We had so much fun! The weather was gorgeous! You hung out at the campsite where we sat around the campfire, cooked over the campfire, went on a hike, climbed a very tall tower to check out the fall colors, and spent time with your family/friends.  At night, it got pretty cold - so we stayed at a hotel a few miles away from the campgrounds.  Here are a few pics from our special trip together.  

 Snoozing on Mommy's chest at the campfire

 On our hike to the lake

 You with your Daddy & Uncles

Eagle Tower - What a great view!

- You went to your first football game to watch your cousins play.  It was pretty chilly so we were able to try out your new bunting.  You snuggled with your Auntie Shelley for the first half of the game and then went to the truck for the 2nd half because it was too chilly.  You were really proud of your cousins, even though their team didn't play too well that night.  Here you are with your cousins after the game.  

- You tried taking Mommy's breast milk from a bottle for the first time.  Let's just say you're not a fan - you are going to need some more practice.  You just play with the nipple and don't realize that you need to suck to eat.  You even smile while you're doing it. 

Things You Like Right Now:

- "Play Time" ...in between your feedings/naps you spend about 45 minutes to an hour playing. You really enjoy your Infantino play mat.  You will lay underneath it for a good 20 minutes kicking your legs, cooing, and swatting at the animals that are hanging from above.  You also really like your toy bar on your bouncer.  You bat at it and watch the pieces spin with bug eyes.  


- Fall walks ... Daddy and I take you on a walk almost every day (weather permitting, of course).  You look around wide-eyed for most of the walk, but towards the end you tend to take a much needed snooze.  

An afternoon walk at Humboldt Park

- Bath Time ... You still really enjoy bath time.  Now that you are so long, you've grown out of your bath tub because you kick your legs so much and your feet hit the bottom which pushes up your head and comes pretty close to hitting the top of the bath.  You know what that means!?!? Time for big boy baths! Now you take your baths with Daddy in the big boy bath tub.  You love this so much (and so does Daddy). 

You smile throughout your entire bath

- DADDY!  Daddy can always get a smile out of you, any time...day or night.  You follow him around the room non stop.  Even when you are sitting on my lap, you will do whatever you can to turn your head and face Daddy.  You even smile at him when he's not even looking at you.  This definitely melts my heart.  

Napping on Daddy's chest

- A good night's sleep.  Yes, that's right.  You really appreciate a good night worth of rest, just like your mom.  Your bedtime is around 11:00 p.m. and you usually sleep til 7:00 in the morning. You're still sleeping in your bassinet next to our bed, but now you find a way to scoot your body down the length of the bassinet.  You scoot so far down that your legs touch the bottom of the bassinet.  When we wake up in the middle of the night to check on you, we have to gently pick you up and put you at the top of the bassinet again.  We have started the discussion about moving you to your big boy crib, definitely will be harder on Mommy than you.  

- Your doggy. You definitely notice your dog Buckwheat now and will follow him with your eyes as he walks past you.  You two have already had some special moments.  

- The Snot Sucker...Yes, you actually like when Daddy sucks the boogies out of your nose.  You get real quiet and have this look of contentment on your face.  I'm pretty sure you like how it feels.  

- Visits from your Auntie...Your Auntie Shelley comes all the way from Marshfield to visit you.  She  has been here almost every weekend since you were born.   She loves playing with you, snuggling you, and watching you grow! Oh and she also loves to spoil you.  Your auntie is a huge contributor to your wardrobe.  :)

Sitting with Auntie at brunch

- You prefer to sit upright now with your back up again our chests. That way you can look around the room at everyone and everything in sight.   When someone tries to cradle you, you have a fit.  You are not just a teeny newborn anymore and you want everyone to know it! 

Your current dislikes:

- You were not impressed with the Packers early on in the season.  


- Tummy Time...You could really do without tummy time.  You spend most of your tummy time practicing your whines, instead of practicing lifting your head.  Then after about 5-10 minutes of whining, you will get really  mad and start to cry.  However, tummy time is really important and we still make you do it every day...multiple times a day.  Doctors orders! 

- Your stretches...You have a mild case of torticollis and we have to do 3 stretches with you multiples times throughout the day.  The doctor said your torticollis started when you were in the womb and now we need to work on correcting it.  One of the stretches is pulling your head to the side so the bottom of your ear lobe touches the top of your shoulder.  You absolutely HATE doing this stretch.  Makes sense, I would hate something that hurts me too.  Don't worry, you are starting physical therapy this week and the doctor is sure we can correct it.  

- Not being swaddled...We tried putting you to bed without being swaddled a couple nights.  You didn't really like it.  We put your legs in a sleep sack, just didn't swaddle your arms - and you woke up a few times during the night.  Your arms flail all over the place and I think the flailing alone is what woke you up.  Needless to say, we're back to full out swaddling.  

Your Dad:

- Your Dad has had off the past two weeks from work.  He works at a year round school and part of their schedule is a 2 week break in October.  He is so happy to be home with you! 
You take at least 4 naps on his chest every day.  Watching the two of you together is so special to me.  Your Dad loves you so much.  

 Getting ready to go on a walk

- Daddy is very excited about an upcoming trip we have to Arizona during Christmas break.  We have lots of hikes planned and will be visiting The Grand Canyon.  He was SO excited when you started holding up your head like a big boy because you need to have good control of your head before you can go in the Kelty backpack.  He even pulled out the backpack for you to try out.  The picture below is evidence that you really like the backpack.  In just a couple more months, you will be hiking with us in Arizona...so exciting!

You trying to convince your Daddy that you're ready...:) 

Your Mom:

- Really enjoys breastfeeding you.  You still eat every 2 hours during the day up until your bedtime and I really love that time we have together.  I feel so blessed that breastfeeding has come naturally for me and that I am able to provide you with such great nourishment.  I feel good knowing that you need me every two hours.  I am already sad about the feedings I will miss with you when I go back to work.  

- Unfortunately, I have to start preparing to go back to work.  I still have 4 and a half weeks left with you and I am embracing every single day to the fullest.  In preparation, I've started pumping so that I can have lots of milk frozen for you in storage.  

- I thought I had daycare all figured out for you.  You will be starting mid-January.  But now that you are here, I'm just not completely satisfied with what I had originally envisioned.  Something just didn't feel "right" with the home daycare that was referred to us, so we are starting a new search process for a new place.  We want your daycare to be close to the east side, so we can easily come check on you from work during the day and get to you as soon as possible after work.  The search continues!

- I really can't explain how much I love being your mom.  I look at you all day long and am just so happy.  I kiss your cheeks and neck over and over.  I hope you can feel how much you are loved.  I thank God every single day for sending me you.  


Your Mom

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The First Few Minutes of Ari's Life

Here is the video of Ari being born.  I don't know if you remember from my posts when he was born, it was quite a traumatic labor and C-section.  It wasn't the typical, pull the baby out and hear its beautiful cries.  Ari was 11 days late, went through a lot of distress during labor, and had a bowel movement in the womb before he arrived. I'm so grateful to the doctors who worked on Ari that day.  They first helped clear his lungs of all the meconium and then helped him breathe.  Afterwards, he spent about 2 hours in the NICU.  Eight weeks later it is still hard for me to watch this.  I so vividly remember laying there during those moments of silence as I was waiting  to hear whether or not my son was okay.  It sure was a scary experience, but all that matters  is that he did arrive safe and healthy...my prayers were answered.  :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ari's Flexible Schedule

Little Ari is already 8 weeks old and is such a good baby who seems to really like his little routine.  I'm enjoying my maternity leave with him so much and can't even envision sending him to daycare come January. Being home with him is such a blessing and these days home with Ari will always have a special place in my heart.

A day during the week in our life right now looks something like this...

7:00 a.m. (give or take a half hour) - Ari wakes up.  He is such a happy baby come sunrise.  He is pretty content for the first 5-10 minutes of being awake and will hang out in his bassinet and squirm about, stretch, and kick his legs up and down.  After about 10 minutes of that, he whines a bit to let me know that he is ready to start the day.  I then pick him up and lay him in bed in between my husband and I.  We both turn to our sides to face him and just stare at him in awe, feeling so blessed that he is really ours.  This lasts for about another 10 minutes until Ari realizes that he is hungry.

During the day, I feed Ari every 2 hours.  He is exclusively breastfed and a typical feeding from start to finish takes us about 15 minutes.

So when he is done feeding, he spends about an hour being awake and alert, which I call his "play time".  He will sit in my lap and play with one of his toys.  Playing at this point is staring at the toy with bug eyes, grasping the toy, and bringing the toy up to his mouth.  He also gets a session in of tummy time on his play mat, which he does not like one bit.  After tummy time, he spends a good 15 minutes nice and content cooing and batting his arms at the mobiles hanging from his play mat.  After play time, he is pretty tuckered out and will start giving me an ornery whine, which I know means he needs a nap.

 Play time

I cuddle him up with me on the nursing chair or couch and he sleeps until it's time to feed again and then we start the routine all over again.  I'll be honest, most of the time when he is napping I just hold him.  I may be spoiling him and pay later, but I really enjoy our cuddle time.  If I have something pressing around the house that I absolutely need to get done, I will put him in his swing for one of his naps.  As he gets a little older, I guess I need to start laying him in his crib for naps so he acclimates to that before starting daycare.

Once Daddy gets home from work around 4:00, he hangs out with Ari in between feedings and this is when I get things done around the house like laundry, dishes, cleaning, walking/playing with Buckwheat, etc.  When those things are finished, I take Ari and Daddy takes care of making dinner.  :)

Yay! Daddy's home from work. 

More Daddy time

Ari's last feeding is around 10:30 p.m.  After this feeding Daddy changes him, swaddles him, and lays him in his bassinet for bedtime.  Some nights, Ari will instantly fall asleep.  Other nights, he will whine and squirm for about 10 minutes before dozing off.  I'm really proud of him that he is able to fall asleep on his own so nicely.  Then, he sleeps through the night!  This started around 3 1/2 weeks and everyone told us, "Enjoy it while it lasts, but be prepared that it probably won't".  Well, so far it has still lasted.  We are completely aware that this could change at any time, but so happy with the amount of sleep we have all been getting.

I titled this post Ari's Flexible Schedule, because I don't walk around with a watch and time everything out perfectly.  If we don't start feeding til 2 hours and 15 minutes after the last feeding, that is okay.  Or maybe we had a really  messy diaper, so we might have a bath during "play time".  Some days we pack up in the stroller and go for a walk with Buckwheat in between feedings.  If he seems a little fussy before 2 hours hits, I might feed him earlier.  Ari is a really easy baby to read.  I can tell easily by his whines or the tone of his cries what he needs.  Once his needs are met, he is calm, cool, collected and content.  He really is a happy baby...I feel so blessed!

The weekends are when we do most of our errands and visits with the family, but we definitely adhere to our feedings every 2 hours...although sometimes we stretch it to 3 when we are out of the house.

Happy boy!

We love you too Ari! More than you could ever even imagine!

Oh and I'm addicted to Instagram.  If you are too...please comment and leave me your username so I can follow you! :) 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Sunday

My sweet baby boy is 7 weeks old today!  So in love....