Saturday, May 25, 2013

Letters to Ari...9 months old

Dear Ari,

I've found myself playing the "last year at this time" game.  Last year at this time, I was finishing off the school year very pregnant.  I was entering the summer dreaming of your arrival and finally being a mom.  Now here I am, school year is coming to a close and I am looking forward to spending the summer with you as you approach your first birthday.   You are one amazing, sweet, and inquisitive baby boy and I am having so much fun watching you grow, develop your personality, and learn new things. It definitely was very difficult taking your picture this month.  You didn't have time to sit still...definitely didn't have time to smile...and look at the camera, that was out of the question when you're outdoors.  All you want to do is look around at everything at sight, crawl around, and explore.

I think this is the one smile I got

Being photographed is hard work, time to rest on mommy

Go, go, go!

How am I supposed to get around this thing?

Look at the camera? No way, I have sticks to eat. 

Milestones/Special Firsts:

- You now have a total of 4 teeth! The top and bottom two in the middle.  The fifth will be sure to break through soon.  We haven't noticed you to be extra cranky, even with all the shifting of the teeth.  

- You started swim lessons this past month.  You absolutely love them! You are in a class on infants anywhere from 6 months up to 18 months old.  You get very excited and you are very independent in the pool.  Some of the skills you're practicing is getting used to being on your back, splashing, hanging on to the side of the pool, leaning forward to come into the water and into our arms, blowing bubbles, and you even went underwater for the first time last week.
Your first swim class

- You wave "hi" and "bye" now....all the time.  It usually takes you about 10 seconds to respond when someone waves to you.  For example, everyone will wave bye to you at daycare when we pick you up. You will look at everyone with this lil smirk on your face for the longest time.  Then we will start walking out the door and then you will decide you're ready to wave.  It's so cute.  

- You are very vocal now and starting to associate a few words with a few things & people.  You say mama, dada, hi, and uctwee (for Buckwheat).  It is the cutest thing in the world.  Buckwheat will come to say good morning to you and you will say "uctwee" over and and over while you giggle as he gives you his good morning kiss.  You also hang over the side of your high chair saying it as you look down at him. At first, I couldn't believe that you were actually saying that, but I was convinced when you said it anytime Buckwheat would enter the room.  

-You went overnight camping for the first time to celebrate Mother's Day! We went to Devil's Lake in Baraboo, WI.  We went hiking during the day and hung out around the campfire at night.  It was super chilly at night, but mommy kept you warm.  It was the perfect way to ring in my first mother's day.  
On the trail

 Hanging out with Uncle Aris 

Family shot

-You celebrated American Easter & Greek Easter for the first time.  I had such a fun time finding cute things for your Easter basket including your first soccer ball! You loved your new toys! 

 Trying to figure out what this basket is all about

Your first bunny 

Things You Like Right Now: 

- You still are loving the water, especially swimming and baths.  I think your nighttime bath before bed may just be one of your highlights of each day.  

- Showing affection! You love to give kisses, hugs, and lay your head down on our shoulders.  You will even crawl over to us and lay your head on our lap.  It is the sweetest thing ever.  Every time you lean in, on your own, for an open mouthed, slobbery, wet mockie I get teary eyed.  You are so full of love!

- FOOD! You are very demanding when you're want your food and you want it now! Gloria at Milestones said you eat double what the other children eat.  You have quite a big appetite.  Your favorites right now are oranges, kiwi, bing cherries, watermelon, spaghetti & meatballs, and pastitso.  

- The thing that makes you the most happy right now is....Buckwheat.  You get so excited to see him in the morning and after school.  You screech, kick your legs, and bounce up and down.  The two of you are already the best of friends. 

Looking out the front door together

Things You Dislike Right Now:

- Something called, the norovirus.  My poor baby boy, mommy had it first and it probably was the sickest I have ever been.  I prayed and prayed that you wouldn't get it, but about three days later you woke up in the middle of the night throwing up.  Daddy stayed home with you the next day.  You didn't have an appetite and appreciated lots of extra snuggles.  By the next day you were feeling a lot better.  We sent you to school and in the afternoon you had a diarrhea blowout.  We were told we could not bring you back until you were diarrhea free for 24 hours.  We joke around now and say you were kicked out of daycare.  

- Waiting to have "milky".  I nurse you in the morning when you wake up and before bed.  I pump during the day at work and in the middle of the night so you can have mommy's milk while at school.  You know your routine well and when you want want it.  We did our normal routine the other night...dinner, bath, pajamas...and what usually comes right after pajamas is nursing.  Well, I needed to put you down to change clothes and you cried so hard there wasn't any sound coming out of your mouth and you had a real hard time catching your breath.  In the morning, "milky" is the only thing on your mind and there really isn't getting anything done until you get it.  

-Being patient. Waiting for mommy or daddy to cut you more food is very painful for you. 

Your Dad:

Your dad really likes taking you to swim class.  The first time you went Daddy just went in the water with you and he was smiling ear to ear the whole time.  It's kind of become your "thing" with Daddy. I don't mind because I love watching the two of you together, enjoying the water.  Plus, I get to take lots of video & pictures! 

Daddy continues to wake up early each morning to prepare your lunches before school.  He really is the best - he makes you something fresh each morning and tries really hard to give you a variety of fruits & veggies. He takes so much pride in creating tasty and healthy meals for you each day. 

Daddy also takes you to school every morning.  He is so sweet...he makes a Vine video for mommy almost every morning so I can see you at daycare.  It makes my day!  We usually try to come together to pick you up, unless mommy has a meeting.  

 Daddy loves pulling you out of your car seat and having you stay sleeping on  his shoulder

 Hiking at Devil's Lake

You and Daddy at Lumberjack Days can see how hard the two of you worked that day cutting wood?!?...ha!

Your Mom:

I think the most special part of this past month was celebrating my first Mother's Day with you. We were camping, which already makes it special because we are a family that loves the outdoors.  We went to bed that Saturday night (the night before Mother's Day) and it was much too cold to have you sleep in your pack-n-play, like you had the night before.  You were all bundled up and I let you sleep on my chest under the covers with me.  Believe me - you were as warm as could one point I even felt you sweating a bit.  I, on the other hand, was freezing.  Because I had you on my chest, I couldn't snuggle up with Daddy like I usually do to stay warm.  Plus, I was worried about falling asleep and squishing as it turns out, I seriously didn't sleep all night.  Dawn hit and you woke up right on your schedule..5:00 a.m.  I was pretty cranky at the time as I had not slept all night and was freezing.  Daddy took you out by the campfire and I curled up under the covers and finally got some sleep.  As I was lying there, I couldn't help but thinking...that was the most amazing way to spend the beginning of my mother's day.  I realized it was the epitome of being a mother ...putting your needs first, before my own.  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  I would do anything for you Aristaeus Jace.  You have made me the happiest I've ever been.  I always had your daddy and he was and still is the most wonderful man for me...but I didn't feel complete...our family was not complete... until we had you.  

An afternoon nap in our tent together

 Kisses from Mommy on Easter

Fun at the park


Your Mommy

And more fun pics from this month:

 On the move, full of smiles

 Trying to convince me to buy you that chair at REI

 A warm last!

 My first Mother's Day gift from you

Your new RayBans...bring on the summer!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Letters to Ari...8 months old

Dearest Ari,

I'm not sure how this is possible, but another month has passed and you are already 8 months old. Mommy is definitely having a hard time with how fast you are growing up.  As much fun as it is watching you learn new things and grow, I wish I could freeze time and live in this moment forever.

Happy 8 months sweet baby boy!  

Milestones/Special Firsts:

- Well, a few days after you officially turned 8 months, you popped your first tooth! The first one to make its grand appearance was your top left one.  I still do double takes looking at you, because I just don't recognize you with that tooth.  You look too much like a little boy with your new tooth.

- You have pretty much transitioned to eating whatever we're eating when we sit down for meals now.  We give you whatever we're having and then also your iron cereal mixed in with some baby food.  Some of your favorites right now are spaghetti, beans, cheese, tacos, bananas, and kiwi.  You especially love going to Apollo, Milwaukee's best Greek restaurant.  It doesn't surprise me because Mommy ate there a lot while she was pregnant with you.  You love feta, pastitsio, and Greek potatoes.  

Mmm! Feta!

- You are a cruising machine now.  You cruise all along the furniture and even transfer from one piece of furniture or toy to the other.  If you need to get somewhere fast, you still drop to your butt and crawl since you are a speedy lil guy on all fours.

- You went swimming for the first time.  We stayed overnight at a hotel in Appleton while visiting your Auntie Shelley.  While we were waiting for her to get off of work, we went swimming in the hotels pool.  You were in awe of the water.

Getting ready to hit the pool

Family fun

-You took  your first trip to Wisconsin Dells! We went and stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge with your Auntie & cousins.  You had such a blast exploring in the kiddie pool.  You were fearless - you actually crawled right through the middle of the pool.  You were the only baby that wasn't clinging to mommy or daddy.  You were too busy venturing across the pool and cruising along the sides...watching everyone in sight.  You are one observant little guy.  

 Cousin love

Hi ladies!

- You made the transition to a convertible car seat! (few days after you turned seven months) You were just too tall to make it any longer in your infant car seat.  

Things You Like Right Now: 

- WATER! Water makes you excited in any form or fashion.  You love swimming, baths, water from a glass, and especially drinking water out of your sippy cup.  You get this huge smile on your face and actually start giggling and kicking your legs.  

- Seeing the chiropractor! Yes, you started seeing a chiropractor to help with your overall wellness & ear infections.  Well, knock on wood - since you started seeing her, you haven't had another ear infection.  This makes you & us VERY happy!  You love your sessions with her - all you do is giggle!  They only last about three minutes and you think they are very funny.

- You love giving "mockies" (kisses).  We say to you, "Ari, can I have a mocky?" and you open up your mouth, lean in, and put your mouth on ours.  You don't have the puckering quite down yet, but we really love your wet kisses.

- EXPLORING! You are into anything & everything, non-stop all day long. You especially love the bathroom.  If you even see a glimmer of the door open, you bolt towards the opening.  Even when the door is closed, you bang on it and try to push it open.  You love pulling up on the side of the tub.  Before long, I bet you'll actually be crawling right into the tub.  You also really like the entertainment center drawers, the pullout drawers in the kitchen, Buckwheat's gate, the garbage can, and the opened fridge.

One of my favorite photos of you! 

Getting into trouble in the bathroom 

Things You Dislike Right Now:

- Being patient while waiting for food.  You are very demanding when it comes to your food.  You grunt, squeal, sign, and scream when you are ready for more.

- Being confined to just one room.  When you realize we have a barrier keeping you from going to another room, you are bound and determined to break through that barrier.

- Anything on your feet! Within seconds of being in your car seat you pull off your shoes & socks.

Your Dad:

Your dad was thrilled to be able to spend a lot of time with you this past month.  He had a three week break from work for spring break, so the two of you had quite a great deal of quality time together.  He especially enjoyed our time together as a family when mommy had spring break too.  We went to the Milwaukee Public Museum, the art museum, the children's museum, and did some hiking.

 Taking it all in at the art museum

 Getting ready to head out for a day at the museum

You've also taken a liking to the bike in your room.  You high tail it into your room and crawl on your bike when you want to ride.  Daddy puts you on the bike and pushes you around the house.  You absolutely love it ...the smile on your face is priceless.  You're very proud, it's like you're thinking "Look at me, look at me."

Your Mom:

I had SO much fun with you on my spring break.  I feel so fortunate that daddy and I are both teachers because we get to spend so much time together as a family.

At the pirate exhibit

A taste of spring at the art museum

This was my most favorite moment of the entire month...snuggling with you taking a mid-afternoon nap

Being away from you while at work is still really difficult for me.  I think about you from the second I leave the house until the moment I see you at daycare.  Even when I'm busy with my students at school, I find myself missing you and counting down the hours until we're together again.  I know you're in good hands, just wish they were my hands instead.  

Thank you for another amazing, unforgettable month sweet baby boy.  You are such a happy, content little guy.  I have so many people ask me, "Does he ever cry?" You have such an uplifting spirit Ari.  It's really contagious...anyone that is around you can't help but smile! You are so special to so many people.  You definitely make this world a much brighter place. 


Your Mommy