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October 26, 2007

Four Weeks With Ari

How did almost a month go by already? It feels like just yesterday that we were half-sleeping in the recovery room the night she was born, in awe of having brought this human being into the world, and now she's four weeks old!

Ari - Four Weeks

It's been an exciting week for Ari!

  • We went on our first extended outing; a family lunch, then a walk to the Nurture Center in Lafayette, to check out different carrying devices. We liked the Rockin Baby sling, but also picked up a Baby Bjorn at a near-by second-hand store, They Grow So Fast.
  • We took her to the pumpkin patch with my mom.
  • We had our first dinner guests since she was born; Colin, Sarah, Maggie, & Sam came over and we had a nice BBQ in the backyard. Ari slept through most of it, but woke up a little at the end to say goodbye.
    • It's a Girl banner Mystery solved — We also solved the "Mystery of the It's a Girl Banner" this week! When we brought Ari home from the hospital after she was born, there was a banner in our front yard, proclaiming "It's a Girl!" We figured one of our neighbors put it up, but after asking around, no one knew who did it. At dinner, Sarah fessed up that she, Colin, Maggie, and Sam put it up. Thanks, guys; we were really touched!
  • I got to feed her for the first time! She took the bottle with no hesitation, and drank 2oz from it, then Ania fed her immediately afterward, with no problem! There is something beautiful and special about seeing Ania feed Arianna, and bottle feeding will never be anything close to that, but I'm really happy to be able to feed her too, even indirectly.
  • She got her first rides in the Baby Bjorn, with both Ania and me, and saw her first full moon on one of our walks.
  • Ania took her for her first trip to the library.
  • We took her out for her first Friday night dinner! We have a long-standing tradition of doing dinner and a movie on Friday nights with Dave — dinner worked out great, but we'll have to think about the movie in context of keeping her on a sleep schedule.

We continue to enjoy her many cute, sweet, and entertaining faces, and have taken to keeping the camera handy so we can catch them as often as possible.

Ari's Faces - Week 4 Ari's Faces - Week 4

October 21, 2007

Ari's First Pumpkin Patch

We enjoyed the gorgeous weather today by taking Ari to Mangini's Pumpkin Patch, a tradition of ours that we're so happy to be able to share with her now. She even met Mr. Mangini!

PHOTO SUMMARY - Ari's First Pumpkin Patch

There are more pics of the outing in Ari's album.

October 19, 2007

Week Three — Ari Finds Her Voice

Ari - Three Weeks

I came down with a cold this week, and we decided to be cautious, so I didn't hold her for the first day or so. That really made me realize how much I've gotten addicted to holding and being close to Arianna; it was very hard not to! In celebration of Ari's third week, Ania and I watched the video of her birth, and looked at the pictures from her first few days. We're really enjoying having Arianna as part of our life!

Ari doesn't seem to have caught my cold, but she has definitely been giving her lungs a workout! To say she's found her voice is putting it mildly. I'm glad our neighbors all have kids, so they know we're not hurting her or anything; I don't think torture victims could hold a candle to some of her screams! Fortunately, it's pretty clear that it's digestion-related; her system is still developing. I know it's still relatively new for us, but I have to say, she's even cute when she cries!

Ari got her first piece of U.S. mail this week; her Social Security card arrived! Next week, I'll pick up her birth certificate.

Ari really enjoys stretching, something I think she picked up from her dad. She has a whole routine to how she does it, and I really get a kick out of it. I think part of why I like it is because it's something unique about her developing "personality". I know babies stretch, but her routine is almost certainly different from that of other 3-week-old babies.

I can really start to see a special bond forming between her and Ania, and it's a beautiful thing to watch happen!

Mom Loves You, Ari

She continues to enjoy her time on the floor, almost seeming to start taking an interest in the animals, mirror, and shapes on her "baby entertainment center" and the mobile hanging over her crib. We've also been exposing her to different seating arrangements, in addition to being held in our arms & laps. We hope this will make her less likely to be extremely partial to any one, though it's actually we who have the problem of wanting to hold her too much! :) She seems pretty happy spending time in different places, like the bouncy seat, the swing (goes forward and sideways), her crib (even when she's awake, just to get comfortable with it), and the Boppy pillow on the sofa (it's a good way for her to hang out close by but not being held, with her head and upper body inclined).


We went for a nice autumn walk in our neighborhood this week, to share the beautiful weather with her while it lasts. She napped most of the time, but got a little sun and a lot of fresh air, both of which were good for Ania and me as well! We also enjoyed some family time laying down on blankets on the grass in our backyard. Fall is Ania's and my favorite season, so it's fitting and makes us happy that Ari is a Fall baby. We're glad to be able to share some of this Fall's beauty with Ari, even if she can't really appreciate it yet.

October 12, 2007

Arianna's Second Week

Today marks Ari's second week of life, and we're shocked at how quickly the time passes. It's been wonderful to have this time when we can all be together, but we can't figure out where two weeks went already! Ari still can't really see yet, but it does seem she's becoming a bit more aware of her surroundings. She often tends to look in the direction of bright light.

Relaxing in my Crib - Two Weeks Old

When I married Ania, I didn't have any guarantees about how the future would be. The only certainty I had was that holding her hand, I knew I could jump into anything and be ok — for all my typical over-thinking, it really came down to just that. The six years since we jumped into marriage have been incredible. Now, having taken this second leap into parenthood, I want to report back:

As much as I used to wonder and worry about how having a child would change our life, I'm happy to say that Ari has become part of us so naturally we almost don't notice! Obviously, things are different, but in delightful and positive ways; the biggest change is that she adds a lot of love! As Taylor said, it's like when you get married and don't miss being single anymore. Everyone knows how tentative I used to be about all this, and everyone who reassured me was right: The experience is sublime. When his son was born, Taylor told me, "This is a feeling you want to have!" I wholeheartedly agree.

Daddy/Baby Time

I'm always excited when I wake up and remember that I have this beautiful daughter to hold and love. I've been especially enjoying "Daddy/Baby Time", when Ari and I give Ania a break and hang out just the two of us. Ania never gets tired of holding her, though, so it's even harder than usual to get her to take a break. A co-worker who recently had twins was telling me he loves it because he doesn't have to share; I totally understand that now!

We introduced Ari to more firsts this week, including an impromptu off-road trek at Hidden Lakes Park (ironically, because the asphalt trail around the field was too bumpy), her first trip to Target (today, after confirming with the doctor that it's ok), and her first rounds of "tummy time" — she's already able to lift her head and turn it from side to side! And I suspect she'd be moving if she could get a bit more traction with her feet.

She's generally been a very happy baby, eating well, sleeping a lot, and growing fast! As of today, she's 9lbs, 1oz (at birth: 8lbs, 5oz) and 22 inches (at birth: 20.87). Her cord stump fell off Monday, and the doctor says we're cleared to bathe her in water now.

Here's an example of her smile that I mentioned last week:

Ari's Smile

And here are a few pics from her second week; we've posted these and more in her album: Arianna's Second Week

Tip for viewing new pictures: Picasa Web Albums, the service we use to share pics, automatically puts the newest ones at the end. This is great for people who haven't seen them yet, but not so great if you want to just see the newest ones. The best way to see new pics is to have them come to you automatically, by subscribing to the web feed (What's a web feed?, What are the benefits of using feeds?), but you can also see them by either:

  • going to the album and scrolling until you recognize the last one you saw, or
  • go to the slideshow, press pause when it starts, and click the left arrow.

October 05, 2007

Arianna's First Week

This first week with our lovely baby girl has been magical, and we're savoring it! We can't get enough of her sounds, smells (well, not all of them! ;) ) movements, and faces. There's nothing like holding her close, soaking in the love she gives and making sure she knows ours will never go away. We could not be happier!

PHOTO SUMMARY - Arianna's First Week

Ari's been happy and healthy, and not very fussy at all. We know this is likely to change, but it won't change how much we adore her. We just recorded a private video message for her, like we did just before Ania went into labor. It will be nice to one day share with her our current first-hand thoughts and precious memories of her early life.

We're going to continue to put pictures in the album we shared in her birth announcement post, so if you want to get automatic updates of new photos, you might want to subscribe to the album's feed.

I never used to understand why some people seem to go crazy over new babies, but I do now. And though I have a new appreciation of the phenomenon in general, I also see now that, as many have told me, it is indeed different when it's your own.

Among so many other firsts this week, Ari had her first night in our house, doctor visit, (sponge)bath, feeding in the nursery, walk in our backyard, and she gave us her first smile. Whether involuntary muscle movement or sign of happiness and love, I can't put into words how good that felt!

Lots of people have called, visited, given gifts, brought food, written, and done other things to help and show their love and support. We really appreciate everything, and we're happy to see how warmly everyone is welcoming her to the world and to our circle of family and friends.