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January 25, 2008

Week 17 | Splish Splash

Ari - Week 17

Ari has always seemed to love bath time, intrigued by the sensations and smells, and especially enjoying the loving massage Ania gives her as she puts on lotion afterward. She finds water pretty interesting too, and this week, she kicked it up a notch and started splashing! That prompted us to move the tub from the bathroom counter top between our sinks to inside the bathtub, so now she can splash with abandon. Either way, she always ends up clean and happy!

Ari after bath

Ari really enjoys reading with Mommy! She genuinely seems interested, and pays attention very well.

Ari and Mommy reading

She had a fun playdate with Cordelia, our neighbors' daughter, who is about 2 months older. Cordi gave Ari a warm welcome and showed her some love:

Ari and Cordi

Milestones & Metrics

  • Smiling more again; she hadn't been smiling so much for a while.
  • Weighs 16.4lbs on 2008.01.22 (differential method)
  • How Arianna looks this week:
    Ari Closeups - Week 17

January 18, 2008

Week 16 | Leaving Our Baby for the First Time

Ari - Week 16

This week was the first time both of us were away from Arianna at the same time! Grandma Helen had the honor of being the first person with whom we've ever left Arianna, staying with her while she slept and we went to a baptism preparation class.

Although we had no worries about my mom's ability to care for her, we couldn't help worrying in general. Would she sense we were gone? How would she react? I guess that's just how it is to be a parent.

It was a relatively brief class, Ari slept the whole time, and she had no complaints when we saw her later. It was really strange to be away from her, after almost 4 months of one of us always being with her, but we knew we'd have to start getting ready for this at some point, and this was a good first time; thanks, Mom!

We had a couple of fun visits & outings this week. First, we went to Lafayette Reservoir with Colin, Sarah, Maggie, and Sam:

Reservoir with Barnards

Then Jon and Elena came to visit with Zachary & baby Vincent. Dave came over too, and we all went to Hidden Lakes park and had a good time playing on the slide, throwing the frisbee and football, and walking around the field.
Hangout with Vasells

My parents got Arianna a really cool activity table, and Ari was immediately interested in it, exploring and investigating all the new shapes, colors, sounds, and textures.
Ari activity table

Watching our baby sleep

I remember always thinking it was odd when I saw parents on TV or in movies going and looking at their children as they slept, but now I get it. It's a time to step back and experience the sense of wonder and joy at this beautiful being you've brought into the world.

Ania and I found ourselves wanting to go in and look at Arianna while she sleeps. There's just one slight problem; we both get so overwhelmed by our joy that we start to laugh! I can't explain why it comes out in the form of laughter, but that's what happens. Then we start laughing at the fact that we're laughing, looking at each other and knowing exactly how the other feels -- just about to burst with happiness -- and we try to rush out of the room before we can't hold it in anymore. Whew! Each time we go in, we try to be sober and serious, but it's just about impossible to see how adorable Arianna is when she's sleeping and not be overcome by emotion...

Ari sleeping

Milestones & Metrics

  • Our first time both away from Arianna at the same time.
  • She has pretty good control with her arms and legs:
    Ari with ball
  • How Arianna looks this week:
    Ari Closeups - Week 16

January 11, 2008

Week 15 | Some of the things we especially enjoy about Ari

Ari - Week 15

Ania and I were talking about some of the things we find particularly adorable about Arianna, so I started to write them down:

  • The way she yawns, tilting her head back and shaking it contentedly side-to-side as she finishes; this has been one of my favorite cute things about her since she was a newborn.
  • When she puts her hands together over her nose, rubbing her eyes and curls up & nuzzles into our chest.
  • How she "kicks up"; she kicks her legs into the air when she's waking up or on the verge of it, and sometimes when she gets excited. Sometimes she will do a full crunch too.
  • The way she stares at me when Ania burps her after feeding. It feels like she's studying me and I can really see the presence of consciousness in her gaze. It's very clear there's a human in there, observing and absorbing the world. I feel like I'm starting to see some of her personality as she looks at me...

Ari was full of smiles this week and had lots of fun playing with Grandma Helen and with Mommy.

Ari having fun

Milestones & Metrics

  • She really likes to stand. We're having trouble working on her ability to sit up because she never wants to stop at sitting; she always tries to stand up.
  • Ania thought it would be fun for her and Ari to take a bath together, so Ari experienced a full-sized bathtub for the first time and had her first "swimming" lesson. Both she and Ania had a great time!
    Ari first full-sized bathtub
  • How Arianna looks this week:
    Ari Closeups - Week 15

January 04, 2008

Week 14 | Ari's First New Year

Ari - Week 14

We went for a walk down memory lane this week, visiting the Markham Nature Park & Arboretum, where I went once a week to a Science Center as part of my gifted/talented curriculum in 6th grade biology. We learned about all kinds of stuff related to biology there, but the things that I most recall are going for bird-watching walks in the arboretum, and learning about and observing simple organisms like paramecia, hydrae, and amoebae under a microscope after collecting them from a small pond in front of the science center. I still remember how cool it was to see the cilia moving on the outside of a paramecium... I've been wanting to go back there for a long time, and it was a beautiful place for a walk, but a very cold and windy day, so unfortunately, we didn't stay very long. I hope Arianna will have such a cool experience learning about biology as I did when I was 12.

Ari - Week 14

I typically feed Arianna around 11PM and she usually goes down less than half an hour later. On New Year's Eve, though, I thought it would be fun for us to celebrate as a family, so we delayed her feeding and Ania stayed up. Midnight was indeed a pleasant family moment, but we'd made the mistake of not listening to Ari's cues, and had encouraged her to finish the bottle even though she'd given signs she was done. Well, we had hugs and kisses for the New Year, then Ari surprised us with a large spit up to remind us that her body knows what's best, and we should really heed its signals. That didn't spoil our fun though; we were really happy to welcome 2008 with our lovely baby girl!

Ari greeted the new year with her typical happiness and sunny demeanor, and watching her wake up (still somewhat perplexed at the world) and seeing her smile was a really pleasant start to the year!

Ari Happy New Year 2008

Dave joined us for our traditional New Year's Day walk around the Lafayette Reservoir, then later we went for dinner with the family at Mom & Dad's — the food was delicious, and Ari enjoyed being held and getting lots of love from everyone!

New Years Day reservoir walk 2008
Ari with family New Years Day

Milestones & Metrics

  • Ari celebrates her first New Year, and is awake with us for the change
  • Begins working on sitting upright (she prefers to stand)
  • She's enjoying her hands more and more
  • How Arianna looks this week:
    Ari Closeups - Week 14