Monday, March 31, 2014

52 Weeks

Arlo is 52 weeks old today. Fifty-two weeks! Since he's technically not one until tomorrow, let's keep it business as usual around here today.

Arlo spent his last week as a baby being extra adorable. He had a very serious conversation with Danny about love and life and happiness.

Or maybe Danny was just asking him if he wanted to be tickled. Believe what you will.
He mastered the xylophone.
A terrible sound never sounded so lovely. Love is apparently deaf, too.

We stuck him in his snowsuit for the first and only time this winter, and he had the time of his life.

I hate snow a lot less when my kid is cracking up and playing in it.

Danny and I both cried watching him walk down the driveway in his snowsuit—because he's growing so fast, because it's such an incredible joy to watch him experience (and delight in!) things for the first time (which I know I've mentioned a million times before), and mostly, just because he's ours.
Such a big boy.

We took him to sit on the Easter Bunny's lap yesterday. We were out and about, and it was on a whim—so I couldn't be happier with how the photo turned out.
Apparently, he only smiles for photographers when he's in ridiculous situations.

Speaking of Easter, okay, fine—I have to be a little sappy today. Exactly one year ago, I'd just finished stuffing myself with Easter dinner—and was contemplating having another piece of key lime pie—when I heard a quiet pop! and felt the room flood (or at least that's how it seemed when my water broke). I remember, so vividly, sneaking upstairs to the bathroom and shouting to Danny to "come 'ere for a sec." I remember the look on his face, and I remember thinking later that it was such a perfect reflection of my own feelings at that moment—a little shock, a little nervousness, and immeasurable joy.

Me, Arlo (in my belly), and Danny ('s shadow) exactly one year ago.

The day I went into labor—the day I knew I was so, so close to meeting the tiny person I'd hoped so hard for—is one of those crazy times that somehow feels like yesterday and a hundred years ago at the same time. But it was a year ago—one beautiful, stressful, wonderful, life-changing year ago. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

51 Weeks

Arlo is 51 weeks and 2 days old today, and you know what that means. How is my baby boy one next week?
Late last week, I sent out Arlo's birthday party invitations—which our friend Melanie was kind enough to design for us, after I spent 15 hours searching for something online that I loved. I had Zazzle print them on fancy paper, and voilĂ ! Insanely cute invitations.

 You can't read that address, can you? If you can, you're invited.
Since the photo of the actual invitation was taken by yours truly, it's crappy and blurry, and the colors are here's the actual image Melanie sent me—just to be sure you really understand how amazing these suckers are: 

I can't even handle it.

I ordered custom decorations through Scout & Acadia on Etsy—bunting, garland, and confetti—and those arrived a couple days ago. Jean, the shop owner exceeded my expectations, and I'm dying to share her work with you—but it'll be more fun for you to see it all in action in Arlo's birthday party photos, so stay tuned for that.

Now, let's see what the ol' iPhone has for you this week. Okay, here's my kid feeding Scooter, having a nervous breakdown, eating his first mini-slice of pizza, and chewing on a toy while dancing on a piece of shiny wrapping paper:

I love that they have each other.
"But I needed that 2-liter bottle! And Scooter and I were sharing that box of cereal I dumped!"
Nobody warned me that I'd cry just watching my child try new foods.
Need to fold a load of laundry? Give your kid a piece of shiny wrapping paper, and he'll be occupied for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

48, 49, and 50 Weeks

Arlo is 50 weeks and 2 days old today, and he's a walking tornado.

Food and Tupperware are so much cooler than toys.
He's been a real walker for a couple weeks now, basically ditching the crawling thing altogether—unless he decides he really needs to haul ass for some reason. He thinks he crawls faster than he walks, so if something terrifies him (Like Scooter charging into the room like a maniac. Poor kid's been plowed over one too many times, I guess.), he drops to his hands and knees and crawl-runs to his mama. In case you didn't know, I can fix anything.
Also of note:  the hair. I was tired of my beautiful boy looking feral.
I swear I didn't just rescue this poor child from a cave somewhere.

Last Friday, we took him to a photo studio to have some photos taken for his birthday party invitations.

This isn't for the invitations, but look at that adorable pose! (Too bad the photographer used that weird pencil chair, or too bad I didn't have the balls to tell her it didn't make sense.)
Every two minutes, we had to stop the shoot so I could hairspray his wild mop into submission, or it would cover his entire face. Danny and I decided that enough was enough, and what better time to cut Arlo's crazy hair than right after it was documented via photos? 

Check out that mullet!
We took him to Snip-Its, a kiddie salon, and I'm pretty sure he was the most well-behaved baby the stylist has ever worked with. Dude didn't move a muscle. I'd like to say he was so amazing because he's the best kid in the world, but in reality, he was so calm because he was fixated on Charlie, the half-boy, half-demon who was getting his hair cut across the aisle from Arlo. Charlie made high-pitched animal noises for a half-hour straight, while his dad held the left side of his head and his mom held the right side—and the poor stylist tried to trim his hair without accidentally lopping off his arm. I should also note that Charlie was so worked up that he turned a very concerning shade of red. He was quite the spectacle, but I'm grateful for the distraction he caused.
Holy shit, Charlie.
I wasn't in love with Arlo's haircut at first.
Too grown-up and "perfect."
But once I realized it wasn't actually going to look as prim and proper as it did when we left the salon, I was okay.
See? Still crazy.

I can't believe how different he looks without his luscious locks, and it took a couple days for me to be able to look at him without being caught off guard, but his new 'do has kind of grown on me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rachel's Baby: Goodbye, Baby Ryan

I don't want to include too much detail in this post, because my sister hasn't even had a chance to put her story into words yetso I suppose the title says it all.

Last Sunday (has it really been over a week already??), at 30 weeks and 1 day gestation—the day after Rachel's maternity photos!—Ryan made his journey into the outside world. Doctors had told Rachel and Greg that Ryan wouldn't make it to 30 weeks, and I like to think he spent his last two days in my sister's belly just cracking up. He proved them all wrong.

Rachel and Greg were able to hear Ryan's little heartbeat on the monitor right up until the very end, when he just couldn't fight any longer. He was born at 11:15 Sunday night, and I traveled to the hospital the next day. Let me tell youthat baby boy was beautiful, and holding him was one of the greatest gifts I've ever received.

Ryan isn't physically with us anymore, but his story isn't over. Please feel free to visit his FB page, Ryan's Journey - Trisomy 18.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Happy 11 Months: A Letter to Arlo

Dear Arlo,

You're eleven months old today, and you reached a major milestone just two days after I wrote you your last letter. At ten months and 3 days old, you took your first steps! You haven't quite mastered this skill yet—and you still look very drunk when you do it—but I'm confident you'll be a pro in a couple weeks, well before your first birthday.

Your birthday! It's a month away, and I've been thinking about it every day for weeks (okay, months) now. I look forward to celebrating your first year on this earth with all the people who love you. I know you won't remember your party, but I'm going all out anyway. It's for your dad and me—and we'll remember it forever.

I don't know if it's your impending first birthday or what, but I've been having lots of emotional moments lately, where your greatness just blows me away. It happened when you walked nine steps, once when you kissed me, when you first discovered you could make funny bubble sounds with your mouth by vibrating your lips with your index finger—and yesterday, when I just looked at you. I'd just finished changing your diaper, and you were lying on your changing pad, content (which is highly unusual; you're usually unmanageably wiggly), and I stared and stared at your gorgeous face. As crazy as it sounds, I think the tiny blue veins at your temples are what finally made my tears spill over. They struck me as such a real reminder that you're a human, with blood coursing through your veins and air moving in and out of your lungs. Your daddy and I made a little person. Will that ever stop amazing me?

Speaking of amazing, you dance when you hear music now. I didn't realize feeling music and physically responding to it was so inherent. You also know to "run" away from us when you think we're going to take something away from you—like cat food, (hopefully) before you shove it into your mouth. You have a special language reserved for communicating with the cats, who aren't your biggest fans. Every single day, you're a little better at everything you do—and seem a little less like a baby and a little more like a little boy.     

I can't believe we're beginning our last month of your first year with us. I have a feeling it's going to be a great one. Of course it will be.