Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Citrus Lane Box #3

Our third Citrus Lane box came two weeks ago, so I'm writing this post a little late—but we really enjoy two of the items included in the box, so I definitely wanted to make sure I shared this month's goodies.   

July's theme is "journeying out from the house," and the items are meant to "keep you prepared wherever you go this summer." Its contents include a Tiny Love Pack & Go Mobile that folds down nicely for transport and clips onto anything for playtime, an Aden+Anais Burpy Bib that doubles as a burp cloth and a bib, Aden+Anais Mum+Bub Soothing Ointment that soothes anything from diaper rash to chapped lips, a NurturMe Organic Food Packet filled with quick-dried fruits and vegetables, Me4Kids Little Buddy Wipes that kill germs without the sting of alcohol, and some kind of offer to make your own Postagram postcard from your smartphone. 

It might actually make sense to do these posts a couple of weeks after receiving the box, because by now, we've had a chance to actually try out some of the products. We absolutely love the portable mobile. We've clipped it on the car seat, the stroller, and most of the time, it lives on the bouncy seat. Arlo goes crazy over it because it hangs down farther than the toys that are attached to the bouncy seat—so he can reach them really well and even shove them into his mouth. The bell on the mobile makes a really pretty chime-like sound, and the other gadgets on it add tons of visual and tactile interest. This might be Arlo's favorite thing in the world.

I wish the lighting was better. I freaking love this mobile.

I can't get enough of the Aden+Anais Burpy Bib. I get sad when I have to put it in the hamper. It's made of the soft muslin that Aden+Anais is known for, and could it be more convenient? A nice big burp cloth that snaps together and becomes a cute bib? Yes, please. We'll definitely be adding more of these to our collection soon. 

We haven't had a reason to use the ointment or wipes, but they're in the diaper bag, and I'm sure they'll come in handy someday!

Monday, July 29, 2013

17 Weeks

Arlo is 17 weeks old today, and he's the smiliest baby I've ever seen. Between the hours of 7 A.M. and 6:30 P.M., he's all grins. After that, he kind of falls apart until I let him go to sleep. I'm trying to push back his bedtime, in hopes that he'll sleep better at night, but he just spazzes out when he gets too sleepy.

Smiling on Grammy's couch.

Speaking of sleep, to say it isn't going well would be an understatement. I'm so tired that I'm not even tired anymore, and I'm actually starting to feel kind of drunk by the end of the week. Arlo wakes up five or six times a night. Each time, he eats a little bit and goes right back to sleep.

I started to wonder if maybe he needs actual food, and I know it's not unheard of for people to introduce their babies to solids at 4 months, so we've been feeding him oatmeal twice a day.

His very first bite of food. 

I know lots of people think this is too early, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, and I certainly never planned on starting him on cereal until 6 months—but I guess part of being a good, sane parent is being willing to throw plans out the window sometimes. All that said, the oatmeal isn't helping. He sure looks cute with it smeared all over his little face, though. I think he's probably swallowing about 25% of what we attempt to give him, but each attempt is a little better than the previous one.

Despite the look on his face, he's a fan.

Scooter's waiting patiently for his turn.

No major developments to report. While his babbles are still comprised mostly of vowels, he's added "bee, "ma," and "caw" to his repertoire, along with last week's "ghee." He still loves cranking his leg to make his bouncy seat bounce, and he can kinda-sorta reach the floor when he's in his jumperoo if he stands on one foot. He can also reach a couple of the toys on the jumperoo, which he thinks is just fantastic.

See? Kinda-sorta. 
He makes me so happy every single day, and it goes without saying that he's worth every tired, drag-ass minute—but something's gotta give, kid.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

365 Days

365 days ago, I got a positive pregnancy test, and—well, you know the story—I lay awake in bed for hours on end, waiting for Danny to come home from work so I could share our happy news by saying to him, "Kiss your baby and tell him to stay in there and grow big and strong."

I started this blog while I waited for Danny to come home that night, having no idea what direction it would take. I didn't know if I'd lose the pregnancy and end up with an infertility blog, or if I'd actually get to document my third pregnancy, from pregnancy test to delivery. I did know that I was going share everything until, come hell or high water, I got my miracle.

A million prayers, hopes, tears, laughs, kicks; the loss of "Twin A;" and 8 months, 6 days later, Arlo was born. One of my first thoughts upon seeing him was that he possessed the beauty of all 3 of his lost siblings, and somehow, he's gotten more gorgeous every day. I love my little miracle with a ferocity I can't explain.

And I feel blessed beyond measure that this is what I'm posting a mere 365 days after starting this blog.

What a year.

And thank you for coming along for the ride.

Monday, July 22, 2013

16 Weeks

Arlo is 16 weeks old today, and nothing's changed this week. He still doesn't sleep at night, despite being in his crib—but he makes up for it in smiles.

Isn't this smile awesome?
Oh, you wanted a bigger smile? How's this?
Or this?
Or this??

And my guys still take my breath away.

That thing you're doing, Arlo? Let's try that at night, mmkay?
Talk about a couple of studs.

Could they be any sweeter? I love them so much it hurts.

Monday, July 15, 2013

15 Weeks

Arlo is 15 weeks old today, and he's been very smiley and happy this week. When I ran home to visit him at lunch today, he was happy-hollering up a storm. He's been experimenting with consonants lately, and his "ghee" sound he busted out the other day was the cutest thing I've ever heard. His babbles are also becoming increasingly polysyllabic, instead of just "ooh" and "aah."

He's getting better at keeping himself occupied, and he can spend an hour in his bouncy seat now, talking to the hangy toys. It's a lot easier to get simple household chores done now that we're not all tethered to each other all day.

Content in his bouncy seat.

We survived our week without Danny, and it sucked about as much as I was thinking it would—but I was so busy that time flew by. It's a good thing, because thanks to my little non-sleeper, I was running on empty by the end of the week.

A grand reunion!

Speaking of Arlo's sleep habits, we're probably a little late on this one, but Danny and I bought a monitor yesterday and put Arlo in his crib for the first time last night. It was sad, but he did fine. He didn't sleep any better or any worse than when we co-room, which obviously wasn't the result we were hoping for. I can't tell you what we'd do for 4 solid hours of sleep. No, really, I can't tell you because I'M TOO TIRED TO THINK OF ANYTHING.

First night in his crib.

Like we say 10 times a night, at least he's cute.

Monday, July 8, 2013

14 Weeks

Arlo is 14 weeks old today, and Danny had to leave us last night to attend a mandatory week-long, out-of-town cop seminar. You can imagine how thrilled we are about this. Suffice it to say that, while I hate to wish any second with Arlo away, I hope this week flies by. This single mom business is really, really hard.   

Spending time with Danny before he left for Columbus. 

Anyway, Arlo was a social butterfly this weekend. We went to a 4th of July barbecue and our friends' daughter's first birthday party, and he enjoyed being passed around from person to person. I hope he's always this outgoing. He hams it up for everybody, and people can't help but laugh when he flashes them his huge toothless grin. He was put on this earth to make people happy. Lord knows I've never been this happy.

Ready for the 4th of July!
I know this is super similar to the above photo, but I couldn't choose just one.
At the birthday party with Mama.
Daddy's turn!

Recently, Arlo somehow learned that if he cranks his leg, he can make his bouncy seat rock. He only uses his right leg, and it's more than just a kick. It's more of a bicycling motion, and he really gets into it. It's pretty hilarious (and super ingenious). Watching him make discoveries is the greatest thing in the world, and I love that there are so many more discoveries in store for us. Every single day will be an adventure with this boy.

Look at that right leg go!
And here's a random smile just for you.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Three Months: A Letter to Arlo

Dear Arlo,

You're three months old today, and you chose this morning to give us your biggest belly laugh to date. You closed your eyes, scrunched your little nose, and just went for it. Your shoulders shook, you were so into it! The best part is that nothing even remotely funny was happening at the time. I'm so grateful your daddy and I were both there to witness it. What a beautful start to a month.

You're the center of my universe. When I'm not with you, I'm thinking about you, counting down the minutes until you're in my arms again. Fortunately, I can zip home during my lunch break most days, so I can squeeze in a couple snuggles to help get me through the rest of my workday, when I can hurry home to you.

You and I have a connection, kid, the way a mommy and her baby should, I suppose. My absolute favorite moments are when we're lying down, side by side, just staring at each other's faces. You look into my eyes and study my face like it's the most amazing thing you've ever seen. I do the same to you. Your face, hands down, is the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Every day, I look at you and am still blown away that you're here, and you're mine.

I've memorized everything about you. You are such a good-looking boy. Those dark eyebrows, long lashes, and wide eyes. That perfectly-shaped nose and those full lips. Your intricate little ears are one of the first things I commented on the first time I held you. I didn't realize it then, but one of them comes to a point, and I call it your elf ear, which your daddy hates. He thinks I'm going to give you a complex and make you feel less than perfect. The truth is, these tiny "flaws," like the wrinkle at the top of your nose, make you more interesting, and therefore, even more perfect. Nobody besides your mommy, who's spent a million hours staring at you, will ever notice these details, except maybe a girl who falls in love with you someday, years and years from now. She'll love these perfect imperfections, too.  

You certainly have your moments, but for the most part, you're a content baby. You love to smile, and your giggles are getting more frequent. The other day, you were so smiley and happy that your daddy cried when he had to leave you to go to work. We can always count on you being happy in the mornings, which makes it a lot easier for your morning-hating mommy to get out of bed every day.

You like to grab onto lightweight things, like your burp cloths and a small stuffed monkey blankie that Mike Blanc's family gave you. Inevitably, you stick whatever you're holding straight into your mouth. If you don't have anything in your hands, you stuff those into your mouth. A thumb isn't enough for you. You try to get your whole fist in there. You enjoy kicking the hangy toys in your bouncy seat, and your jumperoo is still too big for you, but you like to sit in it and watch Mommy or Daddy play with the toys on it. You'll be able to reach them soon, and I know you'll love them. 

You adore being outside. I can see you listening to the birds. Your eyes dart here and there, trying to find the source of that beautiful sound (a sound I'd completely stopped noticing). You hold your arms over your head and coo away, enjoying the feeling of the wind between your outstretched fingers. Watching you experience things for the first time, like the feel of Scooter's fur on your toes, is magical. Everything is so brand new and exciting for you.

I love you with everything I have, but even that doesn't seem like enough compensation for all you've done for me. Thank you for hanging on when the odds weren't in our favor, for helping me hear the birds sing again, for the absolute joy you bring to my life every single day. Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over.


13 Weeks

Arlo is 13 weeks old today, and I have a week of work under my belt. I've obviously always thought weekends flew by too quickly, but I had no idea. It's worse once you throw a baby into the mix. I left work Friday, so excited to have a whole weekend to spend with Arlo, and then BAM! It's Monday.

I hate leaving this face.

I said a couple weeks ago that I had a newfound respect for stay-at-home moms. Well, suffice it to say that I have just as much respect for working moms. This is hard. I go to work after sleeping like crap, and then come home to spend 3 measly hours with Arlo before his bedtime. Ridiculous.

Before we had a chance to fall into the swing of things, Danny got the terrible news that he was being switched to night shift. Umm...what?? There goes our perfect childcare set up, where Danny got to be home with Arlo a few times a week. Now, he'll be with Danny's mom almost every day, which will be really hard on her, considering she's 71 years old. She says she'll do it, but I feel really awful.

Another concern is that we'll never see Danny. On nights he works, Arlo and I will get home at 5:30, and Danny will be leaving at 6. He'll get home at 7:30 the next morning, fifteen minutes before Arlo and I leave. This blows. He does have 2 or 3 weekdays off every week, though, so Arlo and I will have him those evenings. He can't be with Arlo during the day, though, obviously, because he'll need sleep after a 12-hour night shift.

Saturday night was Danny's first night shift, and it broke my heart to watch him leave. Be nice to police officers! They sacrifice a lot.  
I let Danny wake Arlo up before he left for work. Arlo always stretches like this when he wakes up. He was probably farting, too. (Arlo, I mean.)
Sunday morning. So happy to see Daddy when he got home from work.  Too bad Daddy had to go to bed 10 minutes later. 

Arlo's still loving making his hands and feet do things. He intentionally slaps and kicks at the toys on his bouncy seat to make the music turn on. He knows exactly what he's doing, the smarty. 

Yay, bouncy seat!