Saturday, November 24, 2012

Letters to Ari...3 months old

Dear Aristaeus,

Happy 3 months!  We had so much fun with you this month.  You are definitely growing fast and starting to show us your personality.  You are still just simply perfect! We continue to look at you every day and ask ourselves how did we ever get so lucky... so blessed??!?!

Milestones/Special "Firsts" :

- You are "talking" all the time now.  By talking I mean squealing.  You have realized you have a voice and you use it...all day long! You squeal when you wake up in the morning, when you're playing, when we change you, even in restaurants while we're eating. 

- You have started grabbing at everything.  We will put a toy in front of you and you will reach out, grab it, and bring it straight up to your mouth to chew on, of course.  

- At 10 1/2 weeks old you shared your first laugh with us.  Daddy was lifting you up and down on his lap and you really thought that was funny.  Now you giggle sporadically although the same thing doesn't always make you laugh.  You do think it's pretty humorous when Mommy kisses you right under those big cheeks on your neck.  Our hearts just melt every time you laugh!

- At 12 weeks old you rolled over from your tummy to your back for the first time.  Mommy was sitting on the floor with you while you were playing on your activity mat.  I put you on your tummy and within 5 seconds you had rolled over and looked up at me like you were so proud.  You tend to give us one good roll now every day.  We haven't been able to catch it on video yet, but we will.

- You went to Apollo for the first time.  This was special to us because it is where we announced to the family that you were a boy several months prior.  Here you are at Apollo, of course the center of everyones attention.  Your Uncle Aris said he has a hard time listening to any conversations because he is always watching you.

- You had your first trip to Greektown in Chicago.  We went to have lunch with your Dad's Nouno.  It was so fun seeing everyone and letting them meet you for the first time.

- You traveled to Markesan to visit your Great Grandma Glisch.  She lives in a nursing home and your visit was the highlight of her day..week...month! She couldn't stop kissing on you for a second.

- You also had your first trip to Marshfield to visit your Auntie and cousins.  Your dad went to your cousins football game, but you stayed home with your mom and snuggled on the couch because it was too cold to go to the game.  You really enjoyed spending time with everyone although you are really anxious for your Auntie to move to Milwaukee.

- You went to your first bike race called The Tour of Tosa. It was a scavenger hunt throughout Wauwatosa.   After the race, everyone competed in a relay race on little girls bikes.  Your daddy was on a team with all of your uncles and they didn't do so well during the scavenger hunt.  They did however win the relay race.  Here you are chilling with your Uncle Darwin's helmet on.

Things You Like Right Now:

- You like to put anything and everything in your mouth!!!!! Nom nom nom! Your favorite things to chew on include your hands (all the time) and Sophie the Giraffe's butt.  Your hands even got a little chapped this month because they are constantly wet from you chewing on them.  

- You still are a big fan of baths! You've been taking baths in the big boy tub with your Mom.   You love the bubbles and have discovered the rubby ducky.  You will try grabbing at it and putting it in your mouth (of course).  When you get in that bathtub you are in such a good mood.  You kick your lil legs so hard and make huge splashes.  

- You prefer to be carried facing out because you are very observant.  You want to see and be a part of everything.  

- You love sitting up.  When someone tries to hold you cradle style, you will lose it.  

- Your Bumbo.  When we originally put you in this you did not like it because it was hard work.  Now that you are stronger you love it and hang out in your Bumbo multiple times throughout the day.  

- You continue to like play time on your activity mat.  You're even a pro at tummy time now. 

- You absolutely adore your dog.  You watch him constantly. He always accompanies you during tummy time/play time.  He is your best bud and the two of you hang out together all day! 

- You continue to be a very good sleeper.  By 8:30/9 p.m. you fall asleep in the living room with your mom and dad.  Then mom feeds you one more time at about 10:30.  You are swaddled and in your bassinet by 11.  The past couple weeks you have been waking up for a early morning feed at about 5:30 a.m.  Then you go back to sleep for a couple more hours.  You are really good at falling asleep by yourself.  Dad swaddles you and within two to three minutes of laying you down, you are out! 

Your current dislikes:

- BOTTLES!  We have been practicing day after day and you still hate bottles.  It doesn't matter what kind of bottle it is, what nipple it is, where you are, who is giving it to you, etc. You have taken a bottle 4 times total now, so I know you can do it.  Unfortunately once Mommy goes to work you won't have a choice during the day.  We are hoping the bottle starts to grow on you then.  

- Starting to teeth.  Yes, that's right.  You show all the signs/symptoms of teething already.  (irritability, drooling, biting behaviors, refusing feedings, red cheeks, etc) 

- You do not like getting strapped into your car seat.  Once we pick the car seat up you are fine, but you will whine and cry when we are putting you into it.  

- When we put you down for a nap in your bassinet during the day, we don't swaddle you.  Well, this leads to you flailing your legs all over the place and your chubby little legs getting caught in between the bars of the crib.  Once you realize you can't get your leg out without help, you let us know that you are not happy. 

- Being sick.  You had your first cold around 11 weeks.  Your poor little nose was so stuffed up and we had to continuously keep cleaning it out for you.  I'd have to say you handled it like a champ though. 

Your Dad:

- Gosh, your dad adores you so much.  He has been taking you on practice hikes to get you ready for your first vacation coming up in December.  We've had a really mild fall, weather wise - so have been spending a lot of time outdoors.  Here you are getting ready to go out on your hike with Daddy. 

- You are your Daddy's little protege.  He has been training you for your DJ debut.  Here you are helping him get ready to DJ one of his high school dances. (don't worry - the headphones are just for show)

- Daddy is looking forward to being home with you for the next 8 weeks.  He is taking the remainder of his paternity leave, then it will be Christmas break, and then he has 2 more weeks off since he teaches at a year round school.

Your Mom:

- I absolutely love reading with you.  We read about three books a day at multiple points throughout the day.  I'm so proud of you because you do such a good job looking at the pictures while I read.  Your eyes even follow my finger as I point to the words and pictures.  You are very attentive during this time and it's a part of my day that I really look forward to.  

- I do your daily stretches with you for your torticollis.  We do about three sets a day and we practice counting while I hold the stretches.  You are actually starting to like this and smile at me as I count aloud.  You see the physical therapist every two weeks and she thinks you will graduate from seeing her by your 4 month birthday.  

- I really have thoroughly enjoyed my time off with you.  Every single moment has been a blessing that I will always remember.  I don't want our time together to end, but I have to go back to work next week.  I can't tell you how much it breaks my heart to have to leave you.  I've been dreading this day since the day you were born.  We haven't spent a day apart for the past 13 months and now I have to leave you to go to work just feels so wrong, so unnatural.  I'm so sorry baby boy - I would spend every single minute with you if I could.  

You mean everything to us Ari.  


Your Mom

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Memory Box?!?!

Hi ladies...thanks for all the input on Ari's bottle issues.  We were really excited on Saturday because he actually drank from a bottle...2 times.  He definitely showed us he can indeed do it.  We distracted him with the Badger game and he was latched perfectly and full on sucking.  Then a few minutes later we introduced it to him again away from the Badgers and success...he drank from it again and actually finished the bottle.  Well, we have been continuing to practice every day since and nada, zilch, nothing! I told my husband the other day that this problem we have - well, it's a good problem to have! Last year at this time we were recovering from a miscarriage.  I feel so fortunate that our biggest worry right now is getting our son to take a bottle.  We are blessed!

I am wondering if any of you ladies can help me with something.  I am looking for a "memory box" to store all of Ari's keepsakes in.  (ultrasound photos, baby book, hospital band, hat from the hospital, etc) I've done a bit of searching on etsy, but haven't found anything yet.  If you have one...would you mind sharing where you got it or ordered it from? Thank you!!!

12 weeks old - how did that happen so fast?!?! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ari has the bottle blues

Advice needed...

We have been trying for about 3-4 weeks now for Ari to take my breast-milk through a bottle.  He is not having it! We practice a few times every day and I am starting to freak out as I am returning to work in 2 weeks and he still doesn't have it down.

He just doesn't realize he needs to suck!! He moves his tongue around and plays with the nipple, even gnaws on it with his gums.    As he's playing some milk comes out and he will swallow it, but he gets very little and I don't think we could even classify it as a "feeding".  He will play with it contently for about 5 minutes, but soon after that he starts to fuss.  I have a fast let down, so the doctor suggested a fast flow nipple, which we are still working with now.  My doctor said if we don't get it down before I start work, Ari will most likely not get the calories he needs during the day and will be up all night wanting to eat.  So I realize he won't starve, but being up all night on top of returning to work isn't too appealing to me either.

Here are things we've tried:
* different kinds of bottles, including those that are advertised as mimicking the mom's breast (medela, tommee tippee, dr. browns, playtex)
* different nipples (slow, medium, fast)
* different holds and a variety of different locations
* we have made attempts when it is feeding time and when it is not feeding time
* Daddy usually makes the attempts, but I have tried too
* I have left the house so he doesn't hear, see, or smell me
* we've started to feed on the breast, pulled him off the breast and quick slipped in the bottle nipple trying to "trick" him into sucking
* I don't give him the breast immediately after trying the bottle, so he doesn't associate the two as a cause/effect sort of relationship.

I really don't believe he is doing it to be stubborn necessarily.  I don't think he's sitting there thinking... "Hmmm...if I don't eat from the bottle, I'll get what I want...the booby!"  I just don't think he has made the connection yet that if he sucks he can satisfy his needs.

I'll take any advice you might have. My husband and I are pretty open minded and willing to try almost anything.

And here's a pic of our little guy at 11 1/2 weeks. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Moments Like These....

It's moments like these .... that I wish would never end, that I will never forget, that makes the wait so worth it, that makes my heart feel all warm and bubbly inside, that make me super emotional - bring on the tears!
This was the 2nd time ever that Ari laughed (10 1/2 weeks old).  After nursing, he just leaned back on his boppy and started giggling at me.  I was sick and was losing my voice...I think he thought I sounded funny.    

I wish this moment could have lasted forever...snuggling during Ari's mid-afternoon nap

Moments like these are truly priceless.