Saturday, November 2, 2013

Letters to Ari...12 to 14 months

Dearest Ari,

Where has the time went? I have to start by apologizing for not keeping up better on writing letters to you.  You are one busy little man and I find it difficult to find any spare time during the day to sit down on the computer.  I can assure you though we've had an amazing past few months with you.  I'm looking forward to filling you in on this post and hopefully I will do a better job blogging for now on.

Milestones/Special Firsts:

- August 19th, 2013 was a very special day for your mommy and daddy.  We were able to celebrate your first birthday.  What a blessing to celebrate the day of your birth! I found myself reminscing about that day in the hospital and all the emotions we experienced as you arrived.  Your delivery was so scary and I still find myself thanking God for keeping you safe that day.  This last year has been thee best year of your daddy and I's lives! You have brought so much joy, excitement, and love to our family.

We had a barbecue/picnic at Hoyt Park to celebrate your special day. Here are some pics.

We celebrated your birthday for about 3 days straight.  On day 2 we went for a boat trip and on day 3 we went to the zoo.  So much fun!

-You have been a talking machine! I can't even keep track anymore of how many words you know.  It seems as if every day you are adding a new word to your vocabulary.  Some of your favorites are:  all done, up please, more, help, fruit, good dog, momma, dada, no, yah, hi, bye bye, book, nose, eyes, go pack go, touchdown, nigh nigh.

- Walking is a thing of the past.  You have moved on to a cute lil toddler run.  You like to especially pick up the speed when you're excited about something or playing "I'm gonna get you" around the house.

- You can point to your nose, eyes, ears, hair, cheeks, teeth, and belly button now when asked to.

- You are very good at using your spoon and fork now.  You insist on having it before even thinking about starting to eat.  There are still times where you will get impatient and dive in with your fingers to speed things up a bit.  :)

-You had your first trip to the dentist at 13 months.  You were a champ! Daddy couldn't believe how well behaved you were and how you sat patiently while the dentist was checking your teeth.  The dentist was very impressed and we've now started flossing with you every day.  You love to have your teeth flossed.  You lay on your changing table and actually say "ahhhhh".

Things You Like Right Now: 

- You enjoy playing with any kind of shape sorter.  You have about three that you rotate between.  You have no problem sorting the shapes over and over...and....over and over.

- Grocery shopping.  You love to "help" mommy and daddy put things into the cart.  When we get up to the cash register, we hand each item to you and you put it on the conveyor belt for us.  It's your favorite job!

- Just recently you've decided that you LOVE books! You will say "book" and bring it over to mommy and daddy.  We read book after book after book after book with you.  Sometimes you make it through the whole book, other times it's just a few pages before you realize you want a different book.  Your favorite book right now is your Green Bay Packer board book.

- Speaking of the Packers, you are really interested in football.  You love watching a few minutes of each game.  When there is a touch down you raise both arms and yell "touch down".  You also love to pound your fist in the air and say "go pack go".  Your favorite kind of ball right now is a football.  You hand it to daddy, wait for daddy to say "go long" and then you run as far away as you can and turn around and wait for him to throw you the ball.  We're definitely still working on catching.

-Facetiming! You literally get giddy when we call your auntie in the evening.  Your legs start kicking while you hear the phone ringing waiting for her to answer.  It's so precious.

-Aloo gobi from the Indian restaurant is your favorite meal right now.  It's potato and cauliflowers mixed into a seasoned sauce.  You inhale it! If you've had a rough day, we call in a special order for you because it always hits the spot for you.

- Going to bed at night.  I hope this continues for a very long time.  It's literally the easiest part of our bedtime routine...laying you down in your crib.  You're so sweet, you say "nigh nigh" and just lay down and go to bed.  No whining, no's magical.

- You love to help around the house.  I'm amazed at how much you understand now.  You put your shoes away (in the right spot) in your room when told to.  When you're undressing for a bath, you take off your clothes and put them into the hamper in your room...all on your own, without even being told.  If you find some garbage on the floor, you pick it up and put it into the trash, without being told.  You seem to take after your mommy and like things tidy and in order...we'll see how long that lasts.  :)

Things You Dislike Right Now:

- You have a mind of your own now and it is evident.  When you don't get you want, you are definitely testing the waters.  We've started to experience some meltdowns.  You've also been experimenting with hitting and biting...gulp.  The good news is ... it has been getting better, so hopefully the way mommy and daddy are handling it is working! You are good at saying sorry and checking to see if the person (or animal...poor Buckwheat) is okay.  Hopefully this is just a phase that you will grow out of quickly.  I think you are doing it out of frustration because you can't quite communicate yet how you're feeling.

- Coming inside! If you could be outdoors all day long, you would.  Every day its the same story... you get very upset when it's time to come inside for dinner.  And oh, if it's raining and we don't get to play outside before dinner, you are not happy.

- Taking afternoon naps at home in your crib.  You sure do great at this at daycare, but not so much at home.  And this is probably because we end up giving in most times and you fall asleep on our chest in the living room.
You won. 

Your Dad:

Hiking with Daddy in Door County

-Daddy just had two weeks off with you in October and the two of you had a blast! You took daily trips to the park and even found an indoor play area for toddlers when we had some crummy weather.

- You and Daddy started a fall session of swim classes again a few weeks ago.  This is really you and daddy's "thing".  I watch from the peanut gallery and just love seeing the two of you together enjoying the water.

- You continue to practice riding your Strider with Daddy and wow, you are really getting good! You're moving along on it much quicker now and you are getting good at steering!

Your Mom:

- I have been SO tired with this pregnancy.  When I was pregnant with you, the tiredness really only lasted the first trimester.  This pregnancy, not the case.  I am absolutely BEAT by the time 6:00 p.m. hits.  I literally go to bed the same time you do, which is around 6:30/7:00 p.m.

- You've wanted lots of extra love from mommy lately.  When Daddy goes in to your room to get you up in the morning you say my name over and over.  Sometimes you even say "no" to daddy and lay back down to fake you're asleep.  I'm thoroughly enjoying these moments with you and find myself loving the extra snuggles that you're willing to give.

- When Daddy had off of work he brought you to my classroom a few times to visit.  What a treat to get to share you with all my students.

 Snuck in a visit during parent teacher conferences

Such a surprise! 

You are growing up so fast.  I'm so glad Daddy and I have taken a lot of pictures and photos of you, because the last 14 months has flown by.  You are such a witty, energetic, and sweet lil boy Ari.  You no longer are a're a toddler now.  We love you so much! Thanks for the best year ever!


Your Mommy

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Letters to Ari...11 months old

 Dear Ari,

I cannot get over how each one of these posts gets more and more difficult to write because you keep us so incredibly busy.  You are on the go constantly and by the time you go to bed, I am super exhausted myself. This last month was a whirlwind as we're all home for the summer and time seems to be disappearing before our very own eyes.

 We officially have a "walker" on our hands

 Loves talking on the phone

That smile! :)

Milestones/Special Firsts:

- I think the biggest one this month is that you officially started walking! Around 10.5 months you started taking a few wobbly steps and by your 11 month birthday you had mastered the art of walking! Now you aimlessly walk around the house with a toy in your hand, with no agenda, just because you can.  It's your primary way of getting around these days seems as though crawling is a thing of the past.  

- You visited Chicago for the first time! We went down to Chicago for three days with your auntie, Jessie, Jordan and his girlfriend Morgan.  We did a lot of shopping (you made out) and dining.  You even got to have your first ride in a taxi cab.  

Napping while shopping in Chicago

- You celebrated your first 4th of July.  The night prior to the 4th we went to Uncle Aris and Dayne's place to grill out.  After grilling, we all rode our bikes down to the lakefront to watch the fireworks.  Uncle Aris towed you and I in a bike trailer down to the lakefront.  The fireworks were short lived because it was way too foggy and we could barely see anything.  Then on the actual 4th, we went to the pool! 

Happy Fourth of July!

Things You Like Right Now:  

- CAMPING! We went on a camping trip to St. Croix Falls for a week and you had the time of your life.  You really enjoyed getting dirty at the campsite.  You actually had dirt underneath all ten of your fingernails for the duration of the trip.  You went hiking, swimming in the lake, swimming in the river, had your first fish fry, and went tubing.  You actually fell asleep during your tube excursion.  

 You're so sweet even gave the fish a kiss 

 Having fun at the lake

 You love your new 4-wheeler from the "Camp Fairy"

 Tubing on the river

 Playing with KeKe in your tent

All smiles

- You really enjoy throwing the food you don't like or want on the floor while sitting in your high chair.  Sure having Buckwheat around makes clean up easy, however, we're not sure how to break this habit.  So far, we haven't made much progress and going out to eat with you can be very messy.  

Things You Dislike Right Now: 

- You don't like having your teeth brushed before bed.  It's always a production each night that requires both mommy and daddy's teamwork.  

- Sleeping in your pack-n-play while camping.  At home, you're a real good sleeper and when we put you down in your crib, you settle in and just go to bed.  Well, this was the opposite camping.  The first night went okay, but then each night afterwards got progressively worse.  By the end of the week we were driving you around to get you to fall asleep and then transferring you to your pack-n-play.  You would sleep for a couple of hours and then wake up crying.  Mommy would end up picking you up right away since she didn't want you waking the whole campsite.  It sure felt good to get home and get you back to your regular sleep routine. 

- Sitting in your high chair after you are done eating.  So the second you decide you're done eating, you say "all done" and try climbing out of your high chair.  We had the straps off to wash them and have quickly got them back on because this is really dangerous.  We sit you back down and explain that you need to be cleaned up before being excused.  You are not a fan of waiting. 

- Waiting to eat at a restaurant.  It used to be so easy going out to dinner with you.  At first, you would just sleep in your car seat.  Then you would just sit nicely in one of our laps.  After that, you would be content hanging out in the big boy high chair.  Well, now that you can walk you want nothing to do with socializing at the dinner table.  You want down and you want to explore everything! We've tried entertaining you, distracting you, giving you snacks, etc. and so far no luck.  Nice restaurants are definitely out of the question these days.  

Your Dad:

- Daddy has thoroughly been enjoying his summer off with you.  You guys spend hours together at the pool climbing up and down the play equipment, going down the slide, and practicing actual swimming in the deep end.  Swimming is definitely you and your dad's "thing" which mommy loves watching from her lawn chair.   

- Daddy loves his job, but can't help but dread going back to work next week.  Being away from you is tough especially after the two of you had an awesome summer together.  I know he is really looking forward to his first break though in October.  

 First boat ride

Swimming in the lake

Your Mom:

I need to be honest here...this past month has been kind of crazy for mommy.  Mommy is pregnant!!!! We found out towards the end of the school year and we are very excited, but still completely shocked. Since it was so difficult to get pregnant with you, I kind of thought you were going to be an only child.  We are so thankful that God has bestowed this blessing upon us and thrilled that you will have a sibling.  It's still early in the pregnancy ...we are praying (hard) that things continue to progress smoothly and that you will have a healthy brother or sister to play with next year! 

I've been very sick this past month and thank God daddy was home to help me with you.  The timing of us being home on summer break has been perfect.   

I weaned you around 10.5 months since my doctor recommended it with the new pregnancy.  It was very hard for mommy since we had created such a bond over the past 10.5 months.  You adjusted really well though to formula and in another month we'll be transitioning you to whole milk already.  

You came to all of my early ultrasounds and the doctor and nurses got such a kick out of you. When we heard the heart beat, you would literally bounce up and down like you were dancing to it. It was so sweet.  Here you are after one of our ultrasounds! 

Other than that, mommy has been looking forward to your big birthday coming up.  I find myself reminiscing a lot about what I was doing at this time last year.  I was going crazy waiting for you to arrive in the dead heat of summer!! Little did I know, you would be almost two weeks late.  I have such pleasant memories of being pregnant with you.  I still am pinching myself wondering if this is all a dream.  You're the best sweet baby boy.  


Your Mommy

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Letters to Ari...10 months old

Dearest Ari,

You sure have kept Daddy and I busy this month.  You are an extremely active boy who loves to explore every waking minute of the day. Your personality continues to melt our hearts and how quickly you are growing up is really amazing.  Daddy and I have commented that you're literally learning something new every day! We find ourselves looking at each other quite frequently and saying "Did you see that?" or "Did you hear what he just said?"  Here are some pics from your 10 month photo shoot.  We thought it was only fitting to have this shoot from your favorite place these days...the pool!

 Practicing walking

 Gazing at the pool

 Look at all those teeth!

 I promised you only 1 more photo before you could finally go swimming

 10 months...underwater style

You love going under water 

Milestones/Special Firsts:

- You learn new things very quickly! We are amazed at how well you mimic sounds/words now.  You say mama, dada, buh-buh (for Buckwheat now), hi, all done, wow, and uh-oh.  You also say "mmmm" when you taste something you like.  

- You've continued to learn sign language and have mastered the signs for more, all done, water, milky and bath.  It's so cute.  We say to you, "Ari do you want to wash yourself in the bath?" and you rub your hand in a circular motion over your chest.  We're working on teaching you the signs for swimming, go for a walk, and please right now. 

- You now have 7 teeth! 

- You shake your head back and forth for "no" right before you do something you know you shouldn't.  You even look over your shoulder like you're saying to us, "Yup, I'm going to do it anyways." 

- You're a social butterfly! You wave hi and bye to everyone you see when we are out and about.  You especially love children. You will crawl up to anyone at the pool and start playing with them.  It's like you wish so badly to crawl up to them and say, "Hi, I'm Ari." 

- You finished your first round of swim lessons.  You won't have any official lessons over the summer, but we tend to be at the pool almost every day practicing the things you've already learned.  Your next session of lessons will be in the fall with Jim!

- You visited Road America at Elkhart Lake for the first time for the Superbike races.  You were fascinated with motorcycles as they zoomed past you.  Your head kept turning real fast as you watched one after the other pass.  
Watching the race

You rode through the pits on your Strider

Things You Like Right Now:  

- You absolutely love being affectionate.  You will be sitting across the room and I will say to you, "Ari, can I have a hug?" You will crawl over across the room as fast as you can to crawl up on me and give me a hug.  This melts my heart every time.  Also, sometimes when you're having a meltdown, I'll say to you "Do you need a hug Ari?" and you will come over right away to cash in.  You still also enjoy giving "mockies" and even give them through the phone now on Facetime.  

- Blowing kisses! Your auntie taught you how over Facetime.  I can't believe how quickly you caught on.  Now when you see her on Factime, all she has to say is "Ari, can you blow me a kiss?" and you do it without her even showing you first.  It's amazing! You get so excited for your daily Facetime call with Auntie.  

- STILL so very in love with your Buckwheat.  This pic says it all. 

- Swimming! When you arrive at the pool, you literally start squealing as we walk up to the gate. You are Mr. Independent at the pool ...want to go everywhere, see everything, and you have "no fear".  There is even a slide that you can handle going down all by yourself.  However, you're always trying to crawl up to the big tube slide that you see the big kids going into.  Daddy and I find ourselves chasing you all over the jungle gym in the water.
Playing on the jungle gym

- Your favorite toys right now are your shape sorting dump truck and your refrigerator gears.  You can play independently with these two toys for 15-20 minutes.  You concentrate very hard and your lips pucker up when you are really focused on something.  

- You like to pretend you're on the phone.  You pick up our cell phones or your toy phone, put them to your ear and say "hewwo".  Then you babble into the phone as if you're actually having a conversation.  

- Playing with Daddy's receiver and adjusting the volume of the surround sound, in addition to, pulling on the side of the TV.  We must pull you away from the entertainment center 10-15 times a day.  

Things You Dislike Right Now: 

- Being overtired! This doesn't happen very often, but when you haven't had enough sleep, you get very cranky over almost anything.  You will throw your head straight back and cry.  Then you fold over onto the ground, before getting yourself back together.  When you're in this type of mood, you can't decide what you want.  First you want up, so we pick you up and snuggle you.  Then seconds later, you want down - so then we put you down and you do the throw your head back and cry thing.  

- Playing in your excersaucer - you are way "over" this now.  You would much rather be crawling around exploring anything and everything than being in your excersaucer.  You act like being put in there is the absolute worst thing in the world.  The only time we really put you in there is when we need to vacuum, because you follow the vacuum around and try touching it.  How dare we put you in that thing?!?!?

Your Dad:

Daddy is so excited to be on summer vacation with you! His summer break is a bit shorter than mine, so he really wants to live each day to the fullest.  He's the first one up in the morning and graciously does the morning routine with you when you wake up around 5:30 each morning.  He's also the first one packing up the pool bag, so we can get out of the house asap.  I don't say it enough...your dad is so amazing.  He takes such good care of you (& me) every single day.  

 Climbing the tower while hiking at Lapham Peak

 In the pits at Road America

Helping Daddy DJ at DreamBikes

Your Mom:

I am also elated to be off on summer break with you.  Spending every day with you is something I had dreamed of since I went back to work.  I keep telling myself the countless projects around the house can wait...spending time with you is much more important! I'm really looking forward to more pool days with you and our big camping trip coming up in July.  I've said this before....but I want you to know just how much I mean it.  Everything we do is so much more fun now that you're here.  I just asked Daddy the other day, "What did we ever do with our time before Ari?"  Our days are so much more rewarding now that we have you.  

A special moment nursing you on the front porch

 At Road America

Last day of daycare!

Watching you learn and grow is so much fun baby boy, but I wish you would please slow down! You're changing from a baby to a toddler before our very own eyes.  We love you so much!


Your Mommy

And more fun pics from this month:

Grocery shopping with Jessie

 Hoop Dreams

 Hamming it up on the East Side

 Watching Brandon graduate with Grandpa

 Feeding yourself


 Visit with Keelin & Peter

 Hanging with Papou

 Love your baby blues

In the yard