Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Two-Month Checkup

We had Arlo's 2-month checkup today. He's 12lb 3oz and 22.5", putting him in the 68th percentile for weight and the 39th percentile for height. I thought Dr. Robbins would tell us he's a tub of lard, but she said that babies actually should be in a higher percentile for weight than for height. His noggin is still growing steadily and is in the 79th percentile, which she wasn't at all concerned about, either. This kid better be a genius.

Dr. Robbins got to witness Arlo "standing" while leaning against our chests. She told us most babies haven't perfected this until they're around 4 months old, so that was fun to hear. See? He is a genius!

The most memorable part of the checkup was obviously the vaccinations. Danny and I started getting nervous about them last night, and right before the shots, I actually had butterflies (the bad kind, of course) in my stomach. Arlo was in the happiest mood he's been in since God knows when, and I hated that his happy day was about to be ruined.

Nervous Mama (don't mind those) and poor, unsuspecting Arlo

If I never hear Arlo wail like that again, it'll be too soon. Unfortunately, I'll probably hear it again at his 4-month checkup. Too bad he's too young for an ice cream cone. (Good thing I'm not.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

8 Weeks

Arlo turned eight weeks old yesterday. We're looking forward to his 2-month checkup tomorrow (minus the shots part). Last week, he was in the 32nd percentile for height, so we're hoping he's grown a bit—but we both know he's destined to be a shorty.

Rockin' the Shades / Sleeping at The Westside Market / Rod Stewart / Being Adored by Mommy
The reflux situation has definitely improved—but not as much as I was hoping. The happy moments are finally outweighing the screaming-nonstop moments, but we still have very bad days. Once upon a time, I was amazed by how Danny and I had adapted, with regards to sleep. I couldn't believe that I'd reached a point where I felt like a million bucks if I could get 4 solid hours. Well, it's caught up with us. We're exhausted. This is what all our friends with kids were talking about. I don't know how I'm going to function when I return to work.

We were able to get out and about quite a bit this week, though, and allow me to say that I love showing this guy off, crazy cowlicks and all. Love it, love it, love it.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bathtime with Guido

We really look forward to bathtime around here. Arlo's most relaxed when he's in the water, especially when it trickles down his face. The first time we bathed him, I expected him to scream bloody murder when it ran into his eyes, but he loved it. He's super chill once he's dry and dressed, and typically falls asleep shortly thereafter.

Buddha Belly / Drying Off / Yeeaaah, Buddy! / Awesome Hair 

Danny and I love bathing him, too. It's nice to see him so content, and we get to stare at his ridiculous belly and play with his amazing hair. Plus, the kitchen sink looks so much cuter filled with little fat rolls than dirty dishes. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Reflux Update

Last night, we started giving Arlo the prescription to treat his infant reflux, and this little collage basically sums up the majority of our day:

He's very obviously feeling better already. Danny and I keep saying, "We have our baby back!" He's sleeping more soundly, smiling more often, and just seems more comfortable. His temperament did a 180 overnight, which makes me wonder how many smiles we've missed out on these last couple of weeks. Would he have been giggling by now? He'd smile for us before, but not nearly as often as he has been today. Now, all we have to do to coax a smile is smile at him. There's no doubt that this kid loves his mommy and daddy. 

I'm not saying today's been perfect. He still has periods where he's clearly in pain, and now that I know what's going on, every whimper breaks my heart.

The nurse practitioner told us the prescription could take 4 days or so to really kick in, so I'm really pleased with this progress. We're almost there, Arlo!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

7 Weeks

Arlo turned 7 weeks old yesterday, and I was all prepared to write a post about how, 24 hours a day, he's clingy, furious, sleeping horribly, inconsolable, apparently going through the craziest growth spurt ever, and ohmygodIcan'ttakethisanymore. But I was just too exhausted.

Instead, I'm writing a post today about how Arlo has infant reflux, and he's been screaming nonstop for 10 days—and just acting "off" for 2.5 weeks—because he's in pain. I feel so guilty for not catching this sooner, but I'm glad Danny and I reached our breaking point this morning and finally called the pediatrician.

When Arlo arched his back and wailed in the nurse practitioner's arms, she made her diagnosis. That's apparently a big sign of reflux, along with several other things Arlo's experiencing—gagging, screaming, not sleeping, spitting up all the time, and preferring to be in the upright position. We have to give him a prescription medication twice a day until his reflux goes away, which should happen around 6 months or so. My poor little boy. I'd like a redo on these last three weeks, please.

Also of note, the nurse practitioner commented that Arlo is "the perfect blend of mommy and daddy," which I loved.

Glorious bedhead / Officer Adorable / Cute smile / Perfection

Unfortunately and fortunately, I have some pretty horrendous carpal tunnel in my left wrist, and since my OB referred me to a physical therapist (an occupational therapist, to be more accurate), Danny gets to stay home with us for another week. Woo-hoo!

I've had minor pains in my wrist for a couple of years now, but since I had Arlo, it's become excruciating and much more frequent. My physical therapist gave me a giant list of things not to do. Basically, I'm supposed to wear a wrist brace all day and not move my left arm from the elbow down, except when I'm doing the list of recommended exercises. That would be fine and dandy if I didn't have a newborn to carry around. I don't see this condition improving anytime in the near future, but I'll keep doing (okay, start doing) my exercises and continue going to physical therapy.

Now, here's to brighter days ahead.

Monday, May 13, 2013

6 Weeks

Arlo is six weeks old today, which means my maternity leave is half over, and Danny goes back to work in two weeks...but let's not think about that.

Arlo is a smilin' fool these days. He does lots of cute coos, but his only real giggle happened when he was sleeping. He's especially happy in the morning, which is strange, considering he clearly has no concept of night and day, assuming his sleep "schedule" is any indication.

He's all over the place when it comes to sleep, and Danny and I never know what kind of night we can expect. We're probably partly to blame for this, because we haven't attempted to put him on any kind of schedule. I know routine is good for babies, but we feed him when he's hungry, and we let him sleep when he falls asleep. Maybe I should read a book on this baby stuff or something.

Pretty smile / Cuddles with Scooter / Hangin' with Mama on Mother's Day / Napping with Daddy

Yesterday was Mother's Day, and as blessed as I felt to be spending the day with my sweet boy, my heart was heavy. I couldn't help but think of my lost babies and how broken I felt last year, of all my friends who are still waiting for their miracles, and of how painful the day is for those who never got their turn. I don't think I'll ever love the holiday.

Danny made my day special, though. He made brunch reservations, but I really just wanted to stay home and enjoy snuggles, so we ordered a pizza and watched a movie instead. It was awesome. I gave Arlo extra kisses for holding off until April 1st to be born—because April's birthstone is diamond—and I adore my new necklace. Nice work, boys.

Monday, May 6, 2013

5 Weeks

This has been a very bipolar week. The past few days, Arlo has been pretty fussy, requiring nonstop attention, and Danny and I finally realized that perhaps our poor boy is paying dearly for all of the spicy food I've been eating. I feel so awful, and needless to say, I won't be eating jalapenos until I'm done breastfeeding.

Loving his pink lounger. Look at those big fat cheeks. (Apparently, Danny's camera doesn't take the hottest sans-flash photos.)

However, he's given us quite a few smiles as well, including one that engaged every muscle in his face. Danny said, "He just smiled with his whole head!" I'm looking forward to more huge smiles like that, and I hope I can capture one with my camera soon. Arlo also giggled in his sleep twice this week. What in God's name is he dreaming about that's hilarious? Incredible. Even when he's sleeping, he takes my breath away.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Arlo's Party in the Woods: The Nursery Reveal

I had a lot of fun decorating Arlo's nursery, and I couldn't be more pleased with the end result. It's by far my favorite room in our house, and not only is it cute, but it's really meaningful, too.

Remember Danny's Party in the Woods post? Well, this nursery is a tribute to Danny, the strongest, sweetest guy a gal could ask for. He's cried with me, hoped with me, and rejoiced with me—and I'm honored to call him my husband.

This nursery serves as a reminder of how far we've come—a reminder of everything we've lost and of everything we have. It's a reminder that our love can move mountains.

Without further ado, here it is!

To give you a feel of what the room looks like as a whole, we'll start off with this poor-quality cell phone panoramic photo:

Now, here are the pretty photos that Sarah of LuSarah SEAS Photography took and my friend, Melanie, edited:

Just for fun, let's revisit the mood board I created before I started actually executing my plan. I made this board before Danny's Party in the Woods post, so I hadn't yet planned on incorporating party elements (i.e., the pennant, the party fabric in the embroidery hoop, the pinwheels, the happy fox art) into the design. 
Pretty close, right? Everything that's missing is missing for a reason. First, I actually did spend a million hours on a DIY mobile (I have a photo somewhere that I'm too lazy to dig up), but I couldn't shake the image of it falling into the crib, and it didn't look good anywhere else. Second, I have a mirror and lots of prints (already in frames!) that I just couldn't find the motivation to hang. Third, the giraffe is in the attic because he's too big for the nursery. He'll look cute in our office if we ever get it done. (Right now, it's a catch-all room.) Fourth, the little Ikea moose guy is in a box somewhere, and since Arlo won't be able to use it for a long time, we didn't feel the need to put it together yet.

And there you have it! Arlo's Party in the Woods. (It's so fitting because we just can't stop celebrating.) 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy One Month: A Letter to Arlo

Dear Arlo,

You're one calendar-month old today, which completely blows my mind. Part of me wishes time would stop and I could keep you my tiny brand-new boy forever, but another part of me can't wait to catch more glimpses of your personality, to learn who you are and what makes you happy.

Since you spend the majority of your time eating and sleeping right now, we don't know a ton about you. We do know that you love looking at the birch trees on the wall in your room, the mobile on your swing, and the curtains in the living room. When you're upset and we can't figure out what you need, your daddy holds you up to the curtains, and you stare in amazement, and all your troubles melt away. I hope all of your problems are this easy for us to fix.

You also enjoy being groomed. You live for baths, massages, and having your hair brushed. Apparently, you love Eskimo kisses, too, because that's how your daddy got your very first real smile out of you at 3 weeks and 6 days, and let me tell you, your smile is absolutely breathtaking.

You're adorable, Arlo. Everybody who sees you comments on your awesome head of hair, and then they usually remark that you look just like your daddy—and you do; I didn't know cowlicks and hair swirls were hereditary until I had you. I see myself in your face as well, though (that's totally my nose, chin, and jawline), and as time goes by, more and more people are seeing it, too.

Every single thing you do melts my heart—your long yawns that you usually follow up with a few lip smacks, the way you throw your hands in the air when something startles you, how you look into my eyes when I'm feeding you... Even when you're crying, you're cute; you make a hyper-exaggerated frowny face that makes us laugh out loud every single time, even when it's four in the morning and we're wishing like crazy you'd just go back to sleep.

As much as we enjoy your alert times, your daddy and I love to watch you sleep. Once in a while, you'll stir and coo, and we'd give anything to know what you're dreaming of. I pray that all of your dreams are happy ones.

You have a lot of fans. I've written 80 thank-you notes to friends and family who've brought or sent us gifts or dinner, and we've had more visitors this month than we can count. Your grandma thinks you're the greatest thing since... well, since your daddy, I suppose—and I couldn't agree more. I'm the luckiest lady in the world to have you guys.

Your daddy and I are just so smitten with you. Your first week home, he commented that our house looks good with a baby in it, and he's right. You're what was missing. We have everything now. There's so much love here that I can't believe our little house can contain it all.

I love you, I love you, I love you,