Monday, September 30, 2013

26 Weeks

Arlo is 26 weeks old today—officially half a year! I found myself doing math problems last night—like "OMG, only one more of those, and he'll be one!" and "OMG, only 35 more of those, and he'll be 18!"—and I really started to blow my own mind. 

Lots to report this week. First, Arlo's still sleeping like a champ. If we keep him awake until 9, he'll sleep until 6:30 or so—but he seems to be a bigger fan of 8-5:30, which isn't ideal—but we're well aware that there are much worse scenarios. We've kept up the bouncy-seat-in-the-crib thing, and I hope his reflux is long gone before he outgrows his bouncy seat, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. Danny left the room while Arlo was playing the other day and came back to this scene:

I have no idea why there's a hanger in the middle of the floor. 

Needless to say, we started actually buckling him into it at night. 

Second, a bottom tooth worked its way through a couple of days ago, which was quite a shock to Danny and me since we didn't even know Arlo was teething. What a badass. There isn't enough tooth showing to get a picture yet, but it shouldn't be long. I don't know if he does it for relief or entertainment, but he can't keep his fingers or tongue away from that crazy new sharp thing in his mouth. I can't keep my finger off it, either. My baby has a tooth!

Third, I keep forgetting to mention that Arlo's been sitting up really well for a few weeks now. I don't like to let him chill this way on the floor yet because he still randomly decides to topple over once in a while (I won't talk about the time I let him bash his skull on the hardwood floor.)—so most nights, we practice sitting up in his crib, and apparently, I can't get enough photos of this. 

Cute man boobs. 

I can't even caption this.

This is the most hilarious outfit Grammy has ever sent him home in. When we later told her that it's a girl outfit, she said, "But it's blue!"

And here he is sitting up in the whale tub:

And with his best buddy:

Lastly, one of my favorite moments this week was when we were all at Carter's, and Arlo reached out and grabbed a toy off a shelf. His softy daddy couldn't help but buy it for him, and he kept saying, "That's the first toy he picked out himself!" I've never been much of a hoarder, and I always say that memories go in my head, not all over my house—but I can totally see how people end up saving boxes and boxes of things from their kids' childhoods. Lord knows my list of must-keeps is growing, and you can bet your ass that crazy orange toy will still be in my possession when Arlo has kids of his own.

A glimpse of the crazy orange toy. Also, that gorilla was the first thing Danny picked out when we found out there was a baby boy in my belly. (I think he's too big to keep forever, so that's one memory that'll have to stay in my head.)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Citrus Lane Box #5

Our fifth Citrus Lane box came last week, and it might be my favorite one yet.

I had a feeling this month's box would revolve around a fall theme, and while Citrus Lane's execution fell short, I was right, as the enclosed card states that these items were chosen with fall—and spending more time indoors—in mind. Interestingly enough, the big ticket item is a Skip Hop Hug & Hide Stroller Toy, and I, for one, don't typically push my kid around the house in his stroller, so they definitely deviated from their theme there, but what's that really matter, I guess? I clipped that sucker on Arlo's stroller, and we both fell in love with it immediately. We go for nice long walks several times a week—even more so now that it's nice and cool out—so we'll get a lot of use out of it.

The other items included in the box were Episencial Playful Wash, a completely organic and safe-for-the-eyes head-to-toe wash that I'll bust out as soon as Arlo's current soap is gone; Dr. Smith's Diaper Rash Ointment, which we'll probably never have a chance to use since Citrus Lane has us overstocked in the ointment department; Julep Nail Color, a polish I did test out, despite it not being a good color for me, and I'll vouch for the company's claim that the product is fast drying; and Charley Harper 123s by AMMO Books, which is our second favorite item this month.

The illustrations in this book are are gorgeous. I checked out the publisher, and apparently AMMO = American Modern, and the company celebrates the visual arts and pop culture, highlighting the works of unique designers, illustrators, photographers, and artists—and all of their items are awesome like this. They also offer puzzles, memory games (an Eames memory game!), flashcards, and coloring books. I plan to purchase the other two books in the Charley Harper collection, "ABCs" and "Colors," and I'll keep this company in mind next time I need to buy a gift for a kiddo. Target carries a very small selection of AMMO goodies, and they're way cheaper there. I'm so glad Citrus Lane introduced me to this company!

Sneak Peek: 6-Month Photos

We had Arlo's 6-month photo session yesterday with the amazing Brittany Graham, and we couldn't have asked for nicer weather or a more cooperative baby. Brittany sent us a couple of sneak peeks today, and since I look slightly weird in one of them, I'll share this one with you:

Is that gorgeous, raspberry-blowing child seriously mine? How did I get so lucky?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

25 Weeks

Arlo is 25 weeks and 1 day old, and I'm phoning (iPhoning. Bahahaha.) it in with a photo dump this week.

Obligatory jumperoo photo. (Sorry for the blur.)

Obligatory stroller photo.

Obligatory bouncy seat photo.

Documentation that he graduated from the sink to the whale tub this week.

Documentation that he tried his first non-cereal baby food, carrots (and wasn't a fan).

My favorite photo of the week. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

24 Weeks

Arlo turned 24 weeks old yesterday, and he's finally sleeping through the night most nights! When he doesn't make it the whole night, he only wakes up once—which is a walk in the park after months of waking up between 4 and 7 times. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. 

Oh, my God, I sleep now! (I feel like I should mention that that stuff isn't in his crib when he's sleeping. We still put his bouncy seat in his crib anyway.)

Shorty must've had a growth spurt because we realized a couple days ago that he doesn't need a pillow under his feet during jumperoo time anymore. 

Look! Feet on the floor!

Also, I wish I had a corresponding photo, but I keep forgetting to mention how difficult changing and dressing this monkey has become. Good grief. He shoves both hands in his mouth when we're trying to put his shirt over his head. He gnaws on his sleeve while we're struggling to stick his arm through it. By the time we wrangle his second leg into his pants, he's freed his first leg so he can stick his foot in his mouth. He tries to sit up while we're attempting to zip or snap his pajamas. He flails his arms. He kicks like a wildman. He beats us. He does all kinds of crazy dances, including a fun little rolling-over number, while he's covered in various disgusting things. We need 30 more hands. And 30 more changing pad covers.

That'll do it for this week. Here's a random photo that melts my heart:

Such a big boy in the highchair. (A good mom remembers to bring the highchair cover to restaurants. Whatever.)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

23 Weeks

As of yesterday, Arlo is 23 weeks old, and I'm pleased to report that he's sleeping! He still can't quite make it through the night, but he's getting damn close. He's been waking up just once most nights—typically around 4. I'll take it.

I'm assuming he's sleeping because his higher dose of Zantac is really kicking in. He still shows signs of reflux—but not constantly like before. Having him in his bouncy seat in his pitch-black room is undoubtedly helping, too. We're getting closer and closer to discovering the perfect recipe.

We saw the GI specialist last week, and she seemed confident that he'll outgrow the reflux within a couple of months. In the meantime, she told us to start feeding him rice cereal, which we've been doing at dinnertime. This could also be contributing to the better nights. But who knows.

In the lobby, waiting to see the specialist.

She also told us that we need to feed him on demand, like you do newborns—that it wouldn't be fair to Arlo to attempt to put him on a feeding schedule. When he feels well enough to eat, he'll eat. If he can only handle an ounce at a time, we have to work with him. This is what we've been doing, so the reassurance was nice. Yes, most babies should be on a schedule now. Mine can't be because he's in pain.

Anyway, if the reflux is still around in 6 weeks, the specialist would like to have us back to schedule some testing.

I haven't felt this rested since before Arlo was born. I'm not saying I'm no longer sleep deprived—because I totally am—but I'm finally feeling ambitious enough to start exercising again. Thank God. I haven't lost the million pounds that I put on while I was pregnant, and my I-just-had-a-baby license is about to expire. We've been walking our butts off.

My walking buddy.

There's a little playground about two blocks from our house, and Danny and I finally took Arlo there the other day. Arlo's swinging session was probably the highlight of my week. This kid's turned me into such a sap that my eyes filled with tears as he swung back and forth a thousand times, just beaming as he experienced the sensation of the wind in his hair and took in all the new sights. His eyes darted from the sky to the trees to the ground—and always, back to our faces. I think he loves our smiles as much as we love his.

We're a bunch of grinning fools, I tell ya. Life is so good.

Monday, September 2, 2013

22 Weeks

Arlo is 22 weeks old today, and we had one hell of a week. His reflux came back with a vengeance early in the week. He was absolutely miserable—crying hysterically, refusing feedings, spitting up literally 20 times a day, and sleeping terribly. We took him to the doctor on Thursday, and she upped his dose of Zantac again and referred us to a specialist. We go on Wednesday, and I really, really hope this doctor is able to find an answer for my poor baby.

The increased dosage seems to be helping, but I'm still seeing lots of signs of reflux. I can't wait until we don't have to give him medicine anymore. He can't stand the stuff. He's so smart that when he sees the syringe, he knows to lock his lips. This is what we have to put our boy through 3 times a day:

Yay! It's Daddy!
Daddy, you son of a--
Nope. Uh-uh.
You said you loved me, Daddy! Hmph.

We started putting his bouncy seat in his crib at night, and he's definitely sleeping better this way. Last night, he slept from 8:30 to 5:45!

Chillin' like a villain (and actually sleeping!). 

He's loving his jumperoo more than ever, and he's perfectly content spending an hour in it, looking out the picture window and bouncing up a storm.

Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy.

He's blowing raspberries like a maniac now, which is adorable and messy. He's also become very interested in faces, and one of his new favorite pastimes is trying to gouge out our eyes and rip our noses off. He actually hurts us sometimes.

Ripping Daddy's nose off. Note Arlo's expression—he's clearly on a mission.

He does this to Scooter as well, often yanking out fistfuls of Scooter's hair in the process, and Scooter's such a gentle boy that he puts up with it without batting an eye. That dog drives me insane, but he's so good with his little buddy. Arlo loves him. For some reason, Arlo thinks it's really funny when Danny makes Scooter "speak." Once in a while, Scooter gets lazy with his "speaks," and he'll growl instead of bark, and Arlo finds his growls especially hilarious. I don't know how we're going to teach him that growling dogs are dangerous—because his certainly isn't.  


Arlo cracking up as Scooter growls.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy Five Months: A Letter to Arlo

Dear Arlo,

You're 5 months old today, and it seems like every time I turn around, I'm writing one of these letters. Time is flying by. I was looking through your photo album the other day, and I was amazed at how much you've changed over the course of 5 months. You're literally twice as big as you were when you were born, and your perfect little features have become so much more pronounced. You were beautiful then, and you're beautiful now, but you look so, so different.

I can't believe how much you've learned to do in 5 months, either. When we first brought you home from the hospital, you were such a helpless little guy. You cried, ate, pooped, and just lay there. Don't get me wrong—we thought you were amazing, and you were, but you can do so much now! You're still pretty helpless, I suppose, but now, you laugh and giggle and babble away (when you wake up in the morning, you spend a half hour talking to the air before you scream and make me get up with you). You reach for things, hold onto toys, and maneuver your teething ring into your mouth. You kick your leg to make your bouncy seat bounce, jump in your jumperoo (with a pillow under your feet because you're still a little too short for this), and, as of about two weeks ago, roll over like it's your job. You've discovered that if a toy is out of reach, you can roll over to get to it, you smarty.

One of your most interesting developments this month is that you've fallen in love with Scooter. Your eyes follow him when he walks by you, you reach out to grab him (good thing he's so mild mannered; you've probably yanked about 10 pounds of hair out of his body, and he never bats an eye), and when your daddy makes him "speak," you laugh hysterically. You two are going to be best buddies.

Also of note, you went on your first road trip two weeks ago. We drove to Michigan to see your cousins, and I still can't believe what a good boy you were. There and back is a ten-hour trek, and you spent the majority of the ride sleeping. During our visit, you were a dream baby. You got to swing in a real swing for the very first time, which you really enjoyed—and you just chilled the whole time, perfectly content as you were passed from person to person. We're going to do our best to take you out and about with us as much as possible, because we want you to stay outgoing like this.

Unfortunately, your sleep update isn't a great one. You're pretty inconsistent when it comes to sleeping at night. You've given us a few decent nights this month, and just when I think you're really turning over a new leaf, you throw us a curve ball and wake up 6 times in one night. We've started putting you in your bouncy seat to sleep, which seems to be helping. This is proof that your stupid reflux is what's been preventing good nights; the angle of the bouncy seat keeps the acid from rising into your throat. I hate that you're still dealing with this. It isn't fair. You had an especially rough reflux week last week—lots of crying, spitting up, writing in pain—and your pediatrician referred us to a specialist. We go in 3 days , and I hope they have a solution for us. There's nothing that hurts me more than knowing you're hurting.

While I'm on the subject of hurting, let me add that you unwittingly helped me survive some serious heartache this month. You've enveloped this house in a layer of joy that little stressors and sorrows just can't quite get through, and even the deepest hurt is no match for the happiness you bring. I was so sad, and then I pulled you close to me and cried and cried and cried, and then I was okay again—because I have you. Try as I might, I'll never be able to put into words how much I adore you—but I know you'll always know. Not a week goes by where I don't tear up just because you're so amazing. You have the same effect on that sweet daddy of yours. Two nights ago, he cried while he watched you nap in your swing. When I asked him why he was crying, he said, "Because he's beautiful." You are, kid, and you've stolen our hearts completely.