Saturday, January 26, 2013

Letters to Ari...5 months old

Dearest Ari, 

I wish there was a "freeze time" button that I could press right now.  You are growing up so fast and really changing every day.  Daddy and I are always looking at each other and saying "That was new" after you did something.  I wake up every day and am so excited for another day with you and Daddy.  I was at work early one morning and thinking about you.  I knew you and Daddy were probably on the way to daycare.  I texted Daddy and said "Can you believe WE have a SON to drop off at daycare?!?!?!" It still feels so surreal that you're actually here and a part of our lives every day.  I wouldn't want it any other way...not even for a single second.  

  Happy 5 months!

   You really want to crawl!

  Love when you tuck that little lip.

Milestones/Special Firsts: 

Wow Ari, I don't even know where to start for this one.  This was a very busy and special month for you. 

-You celebrated your first Christmas! Everywhere we went, you just lit up the room.  A couple days before Christmas, we went to visit your Great Grandma Glisch in Markesan.  Your Grandma Staedler met us there. Looking back, it was an extra special visit ... our last one with Great Grandma as she just died.  On Christmas Eve, we had Mommy's side of the family over.  Daddy made his baked ziti, we watched a Charlie Brown Christmas, and opened gifts together.  You were pretty impressed with your Aaron Rodgers jersey from your auntie.  Then you celebrated Christmas morning at your Nonee & Papou's house.  It was such a gorgeous day as there had been a recent snowfall and the sun was shining bright! After we opened presents, we all went outside and played in the snow.  This was your first experience playing in snow.  You didn't smile much while out there - I think you were just in awe of nature's beauty!

  Your last visit with Great Grandma

  Just like Daddy...Go Pack!

  You with your cousins Christmas Eve

  "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

 Playing outside Christmas morning

 First fall in the snow...won't be your last

 Ugly Christmas sweater party

-You took your first vacation.  A couple days after Christmas we took our annual vacation.  This year we went to Sedona, Arizona.  You handled the trip like a champ! I was especially impressed with how well you did on the airplane.  While we were there, we went hiking, visited the Grand Canyon, and rented Jeeps for a day of off-roading.  

  Snoozing the flight away

 Visiting the Grand Canyon

  Hiking is hard work

  Bath time

  Happy to be clean!

 Playing with your cousin

 I'm ready to take the Jeep out Ma!

 - You were baptized on your 5 month birthday!!!! This day was so special to us as we owe all our thanks to God for your arrival.  Mommy and Daddy were very emotional...just so grateful to have you...truly a gift from God.  We kept thinking about the bible verse taken from 1 Samuel 1:27, "For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him."
I bought this for your room

 Your beautiful cake...thank you Auntie Shelley!

  Proud Mommy & Daddy

Things You Like Right Now:

-Eating cereal mixed with Mommy's milk = Yum! You think you are such a big boy and you open wide as soon as you see the spoon.  

 - Thankfully, you are really enjoying daycare.  You are in an infant room where the babies are 4 months up to 2 years.  There is one baby the same age as you and the rest are all older.  You especially seem to love the babes that are walking.  It's like you gaze at them in awe thinking "I wish I could do that".  Daddy drops you off and Mommy picks you up after work  Most days I am there by 2:45 to get you.  Every day when I walk in you are as happy as a clam hanging out with a lil boy named "Logie" that is 20 months old.  I think he's your hero! 

On a walk at daycare

Your first "daily report"

- Sitting up to play.  Yes, you mastered sitting up last month and this month that's all you prefer to do.  You are so strong and do a lot of reaching while sitting to get at the toys you want.  You have great balance already. 

 - Leaning forward from the sitting position.  You really want to crawl!  You even rock yourself back and forth sometimes, but can't quite get started actually crawling yet.  
- Grabbing anything and everything in sight, especially Mommy's hair, necklaces, and earrings. OUCH!
- Pulling yourself up - you will grab onto anything that is taller than you and pull yourself up to the standing position.  You have even done this in your crib...already!

- You always smile when someone sings to you. Your favorite medley's are Patty Cake, Ring Around the Rosie, Three Blind Mice, and the good ol ABC's.  
-Talking. Wow, do you like to be heard! You say "ba", "la", and "ma" over and over again.  

Your current dislikes:

- Colds. Yes, you had a cold this past month.  You had a cough and a stuffed up nose. Mommy got a call at work to come pick you up from daycare because you were so cranky - they couldn't get you to stop crying, which is really out of sorts for you.  You were so stuffed up at night,  you had trouble sleeping and would be up almost every hour.  It's like you would wake up and had a hard time putting yourself back to sleep because your nose was so stuffy. The only thing that seemed to work was laying on mommy's chest.  This lasted a few nights...I felt so bad for you.  With that said, you absolutely hated getting your nose cleaned out with the Snot Sucker.  
-Getting strapped into the car seat.  You like to move and do not appreciate when Mommy or Daddy make you stop to get buckled into the car seat.  
-Napping in your crib all alone in your bedroom during the day.  You just would not have it. 

Your Dad:  

-Your dad was in heaven on vacation with you.  All his dreams of hiking with his son finally came true.  You both loved it!

- Your dad has noticed that you have started to become a bit ticklish this month.  You smile, scrunch your head down, and shrug your shoulders up when we kiss you on your lil neck.
-Daddy had a rough time returning to work this month.  He really cherished all the time he had hanging out with you and Buckwheat at home.  
- Daddy still takes you to your physical therapy appointments.  He comes home so proud to tell me everything the physical therapist said about you.  You still go to therapy once every two weeks.  She said you are ready for just once a month, but we like going every two weeks to learn additional strength building exercises we can do at home.   So we asked her if we could continue coming every 2 weeks and she said yes! This will continue through your 6 month birthday.  
- Daddy let you get your hands on the wheel for the first time when we were on our road trip to the Grand Canyon.  You can see below that you were pretty excited!

- I personally think Daddy is a version of superman. He does so much to make everything go smoothly for you and I every day.  

Your Mom:

-Your mom is still adjusting.  Yes, I was finally getting used to going to work and coming home to you and Daddy and then just like was time for Daddy to go back to work.  I was emotional all over again when you started daycare.  I can tell you that I'm not worried about you at daycare one bit.  I am so happy with Milestones and I know you're enjoying it because I see how happy you are interacting with the other children.  I guess its just more of feeling sad that your daycare teachers get to spend time with you during the day and I don't...that hurts so much.  I just want you all to myself.  
- Your mom is a pretty silly person.  Now that you've grown a bit older, I've definitely started showing you my crazy side.  We have so much fun together, being silly. 

-I'm so happy that nursing has been going well and that I'm still 100% exclusively breast feeding you.  Here we are nursing on the outskirts of a four wheeling trail in Sedona, Arizona. 

This month has come and gone.  Although we are disappointed the days with you are passing so quickly Ari, we are thrilled we have created so many wonderful memories with you.  We are living in the moment... the best days of our lives.  

Your Mom

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Letters to Ari ... 4 months old

*Sorry this post is a bit late.  I found myself to be a bit overwhelmed with returning to work and preparing for the holidays.  Here is Ari's 4 month post about 2 1/2 weeks late...gulp.

Dearest Ari,

I cannot believe you are already 4 months old.  Our time with you seems to be flying by so quickly as you are reaching new milestones daily.  Your pediatrician was amazed with your development at your 4 month appointment.  You weighed in at 16 lbs 7 oz and were 27 1/4 inches long.

Milestones/Special Firsts:

- You started taking the bottle.  Yes, after weeks of practicing you held out until the absolute last minute.  You consistently starting drinking from the bottle the first day Mommy went back to little stinker.
 - You have enough grip now that you pull yourself up to stand.
- You started sitting up all on your own!! Your pediatrician was shocked that you can do this already.   At your 4 month appointment she said she thought she had missed the 4 month one and that we were already at the 6 month appointment. She nearly fell over when she walked in the room and saw you sitting on the table waiting for her.
- You've continued to practice rolling from your tummy to your back.
- You celebrated your first Thanksgiving.  This was extremely special to your Mom as Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday.  You had so much fun playing football with your Dad, Mom, & Uncles. Your Daddy was the all-time quarterback and wore you in the BabyBjorn.  You and your Daddy took about 10 snaps before you were all tuckered out and ready to rest.

thankful for mommy

Thanksgiving football game

- We did a lot of fun things this month in preparation for the holidays.  We hiked through the woods to cut down our own Christmas tree and went to a handful of holiday parties.  One of your favorite things we did was the Santa Rampage bike ride.  Hundreds of people dressed up as Santa Claus and then rode together through the city on their bikes and stopped at various locations for food, drinks, and pics- it's quite the sight! Now you of course didn't do any biking, but you did participate in the festivities.  You were the highlight of the entire event in your little Santa suit.  Everyone just adored you and people took pictures of you all day long.

You fell asleep on the way to get our Christmas tree.

You hanging out in your Santa suit. 

Things You Like Right Now:

- Standing...if you could stand all day, you really would.  You look around the room with the biggest grin on your face every time someone pulls you up to a standing position.  Your physical therapist reminded us to continue to focus on sitting activities even though you enjoy standing so much.  

- Putting anything and everything in your mouth.  You even like to lean over and mouth Buckwheat.
Eating your toy bar

- Blowing bubbles. It was so cool the first time you mimicked Mommy.  We would go back and forth taking turns blowing bubbles at each other.
- Naps on Mommy & Daddy.
- You appreciate a good night's rest and have started falling asleep in the living room around 8:00 p.m. We put you in your crib when we go to bed and you must be going through a growth spurt because you like to get up numerous times through the night to eat.  You wake up - eat - and then fall right back to sleep.  This has changed from your original sleep pattern of sleeping through the night.  I really don't mind one bit though because of how easily you fall back to sleep after you're done eating.  I enjoy our special dream feeds.
- Sticking out your tongue.  You've realized you have a tongue now and boy oh boy do you like to use it.  I have picture after picture of you flashing that tongue at the camera.

- You love looking at yourself in the mirror.  If you're fussy all we have to do is walk into the bathroom and once you see yourself everything is all better.

Here you are looking at yourself in the mirror at REI while we were Christmas shopping

Your current dislikes:

- You really don't like to take naps in your crib.  You prefer to fall asleep on Mommy or Daddy's chest, which we realize is something that can't continue forever.  We are trying to get you used to taking naps in your big boy crib as this is something you will have to adjust to when you start daycare very soon. 
Unsuccessful nap in your crib - look how sad you are...breaks my heart!

- You seem to be growing out of just sitting on someones lap.  You much rather be walking around with one of us, standing up, or sitting on your own.  I have a feeling you are going to be a very active little boy.  

Your Dad:  

-Ari, you and I are both extremely blessed because your dad is amazing.  He has been home with you this month since Mommy returned to work.  He has loved spending every minute with you and wishes it would never end. 
- Daddy gets up everyone morning at 5 a.m. with Mommy to help her get ready for work.  He preps her pump and bottles for the day, packs her a lunch, fills her water bottles, and starts her truck in the morning so it's nice and warm.  
- Daddy takes you to physical therapy every two weeks to work on strengthening your neck muscles from your torticollis.  He does a wonderful job exercising with you at home too, which is one of the reasons I think you are so strong.  The two of you spend a lot of time together on the play mat working on sitting, reaching, and rolling.
"Exercising" with daddy

- Daddy takes you on a hike every day.  The two of you get all bundled up since it's really cold out right now and you usually go for a walk to the fire station park with Buckwheat.  You ride in the Kelty backpack in preparation for our trip to Arizona where we will be doing lots of hiking.  
- Daddy continues to do your bedtime routine with you.  Mommy feeds you, then Daddy changes you, puts your pajamas on, swaddles you, then brings you to Mommy for a kiss, gives you a kiss, and then lays you down to sleep.  
- Daddy took you to open up your first savings account.  Here you are sitting at the banker's desk:

Your Mom:

-Ari, this month was really hard on your Mommy because I went back to work.  I can't tell you hard it was and still is to leave you every morning.  You don't seem to mind too much because your Dad takes such good care of you while I am away, but I want you to know it's something I really wish I didn't have to do.  I wish I could stay home with you every day.  I feel so guilty that I have to leave you because you mean the world to me.  The day I went back to work was the most pain I have ever felt.  It was far worse than any physical pain I have ever endured.  But, unfortunately I don't have a choice and we both need to work in order to provide for you. 
-The absolute best part of my day is walking in the door after work.  I walk through the kitchen and into the living room where you are playing with Daddy.  Your face instantly lights up with a smile and your arms and legs start flailing.  It is by far the best feeling in the world.  
- We took a picture together every morning before Mommy went to work.  It was my way of counting down to the holidays as I was looking forward to having almost 2 weeks off with you. Here is one of my favorites...

Everything is so much more fun with you in our lives Ari.  We love you so very much. 


Your Mommy