Monday, November 22, 2010

Aaron's Smile! - 5 Weeks Old

I have been trying so hard to get a picture or video of Aaron's smile. It never fails that when I get the camera out, he suddenly stops doing it! Tonight I FINALLY caught him on video! Take a look...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

One Month Old!

Through my blog posts in the coming year, you will see a theme in these pictures of Aaron. I saw a sorority sister of mine did this with her baby and I absolutely LOVED the idea! So, Melanie, I am copying you and I hope you don’t mind! The numbers on Aaron’s shirt are stickers that correspond to however many months old he is. Over time, we will be able to see a fun progression of his first year as he grows. This picture shows him with a “1” indicating that he is one month old (and a “0” from when he was just born!). Next month, you’ll see him with a “2” sticker on him and so on. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

People have always talked about how time flies with your children. You blink and they are all grown up. I have no idea where the last month of my life has gone. We have been living in baby survival mode, with seeing to a newborn’s constant needs around the clock. It has been fun. I cry over just how glad I am that he is here. It is also so exhausting! We have successfully gotten into the full swing of breast feeding. I wasn’t sure that it would be something I would be able to do. After losing a child to a metabolic disorder, my heart needed to see my child have a full stomach, no matter how it got that way. I took my cues from Aaron, and after we got past the first few days of waiting for his MCADD test to come back (where formula was mandatory), Aaron was pretty clear in letting me know that he preferred breast milk to formula. He was a natural at it, and it has gone beautifully. Wow is it a lot of work though! I am the only one that can feed him. I really don’t get much consistent sleep as a result! He is up every three hours or so (sometimes sooner) ready to eat. He’s an aggressive eater and is quite efficient at it, but still, it is exhausting work. I plan to keep up with it though. It is the best after all, and if he’s game for it, we owe it to each other to keep going.

He is awake for a good long stretch in the morning, and again in the evenings. Chris and I try to talk to him, and interact with him as much as we can. He is so close to smiling, and it is wonderful encouragement to keep it up. He is a pretty easy going spirit, but one that sends pretty clear signals of what he needs. It is the perfect balance I think. I love how he communicates, with grunts and sniffs. He can be a bit melodramatic with his sounds sometimes. We love it! We just laugh and try to comply with what he wants.

He is also so strong! He fights to hold his head up. If you put him on his tummy, he will kick and squirm so hard to try to roll over. He isn’t close to being able to do that yet, but his determination is impressive! He has really strong kicks as well (as I remember well from when he was in me!). He also grabbed my hand the other day as I was changing his diaper and hung on for dear life! I am wondering how he will use his strength as he grows. It is definitely a gift he was born with!

My favorite time with him is in the afternoons. After the doula leaves, and I get some lunch, I’ll feed him one last time before his afternoon nap. Then we curl up on the couch together, and he just melts into me. If I don’t hold him close enough, he will curl his spine to get his head tucked up in the crook of my neck so my cheek rests against the top of his head. He settles in and sleeps deeply for a few hours. I’ll channel surf on the TV and snuggle on him. I feel like a human barcalounger the way he lays on me. It is really cute. He is just so sweet.

Aaron loves Curious George! A neighbor gave us a collection of Curious George stories as a baby gift. One afternoon when he was awake and feeling mellow, I grabbed the book and tried reading it to him. He loved hearing the sound of my voice, combined with focusing on the simple images in the book (not that he was really absorbing the story by any means. He just liked the elements of it!). He hung out and enjoyed the whole thing. He only had the attention span to make it through one story. Then he gets a little over stimulated. We have continued to read to him, and he does pretty well. Maybe he will be a good reader when he’s older?

Maggie is doing pretty well with him. She LOVES him and just wants to cover him in kisses. It is hard because we have to cut her off. She will kiss on him for forever if we’d let her! She is feeling a bit protective over him too. She is not a dog that barks. Now, when people come to our door and ring the doorbell, she’ll jump up and bark while taking note of where everyone is. We are glad that it’s all working well with her. She was great with Noah, so we aren’t all that surprised!

I am doing better with having visitors and have made a few tentative steps out in public with Aaron. It was really hard at first. I couldn’t handle being in any environment that took my constant attention away from him. I kind of had to just give in and be reclusive until I could learn Aaron’s signals better. Because he has some great long periods of being awake during the day, it has helped. If someone else is holding him and he is awake, I worry less. I can easily see that he’s ok. When he sleeps deeply and I have things going on around me is when I can get to be a bit of a basket case. Aaron overall is continually teaching us to trust again. It is a slow process, but every day we are building a new experience. It is so healing to have him here. Thanks for your patience. I know some are jealous that others have met Aaron, while they have yet to receive an invitation to come over. I am slowly working through our list of loved ones. I am busy a lot of the time with the basic tasks of caring for a new baby, as well as trying to get to you all. Some days it feels overwhelming and I am just not in a good mood for it. Some days Aaron is the one that isn’t up for it. We just do what we can.

These pictures were taken when Aaron was 2 weeks old from my favorite photographer Christie of Blue Columbine Photography. Aren’t they amazing? It was a fun afternoon. I met Christie in prenatal yoga when I was pregnant with Noah. She’s been such a kind and understanding friend through all of the craziness of the last year and a half of my life. It was so great to come full circle and celebrate this milestone with her and with her incredible pictures!

I also am trying to keep my trusty flip camera on me so you can see the living, breathing, and very active Aaron in action! Here’s a video of him playing yesterday on his play mat:

Chris also has all of our Aaron pictures up on Flickr if you need a bigger Aaron fix than what I have posted here! You can print your favorites if you want as well. Here's the link: Aaron Pics on Flickr