Thursday, February 25, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

Yesterday I went back to work.  Well, kind of....not really.  I took my first depo since December 30th, which is the longest break I've had from work in my 7 1/2 years as a court reporter.  I think the longest break before that was our honeymoon in '05 which was 10 days.  And I'm not really "going back to work" yet.  I'm only taking jobs that (very selfishly) are convenient for me to take.  Or if the firm I work for is really swamped and needs some help covering jobs, like tomorrow.  I'm still not quite ready to leave the little wee one with anyone other than his daddy either, so Roger is being a HUGE team player and coming home early while I'm away.  So yesterday I had a 15-minute depo.  Roger wondered if I made enough money to even make it worth it for him to come home early.  Well, I don't know, but it did pay for the Wal-Mart grocery run  after my job -- where I also bought Ari three new toys, one of which his dad requested I buy.  One toy cost $27.00, one was $13.00, and the third was $1.00.  Guess which is Ari's favorite?  That's right -- the $1.00 red rubber ball.  So the depo today served its purpose by not only getting my fingers (and brain) moving again, but by also boosting my confidence that I haven't  over the past six weeks forgotten how to do this job.  Tomorrow I have a potentially four-hour long psychologist depo, which is why I felt the need for a little "warm-up" yesterday.  I have to admit, it did feel good to be working again.  Court reporting is such a big part of my identity; now if I can just figure out that magical balance between career and motherhood.  Maybe very part-time court reporter and full-time mommy for a couple years???

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

He's a better dresser than I am...

Last night I got home from work and Ari was rocking an awesome outfit:  dress pants, a long-sleeved white shirt, and a vintage Snoopy t-shirt.  I thought it was pretty sweet, so I tried to pull it off.  It's official -- he's a better dresser than I am.  And he looks great in stuff that I couldn't even come close to pulling off.

As you can see, he's got the t-shirt and dress pant look down.
  Me? Not so much.

Another outfit I couldn't pull off.

And another.
 "Kiss Me" pajamas while sitting in his personalized rocking chair.  All him.

Again, with the vintage tee and white undershirt.

(I guess I should let Abby start dressing me.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Something New Every Day

Every day Ari masters something new.  It's really unbelievable how fast babies develop and grow.  There are times when I change Ari's diaper that I swear his legs have grown 2 inches since the day before!  I feel so blessed to have such a healthy, strong boy, but then I get sad because I know these "baby" days are numbered!  Here is what we learned yesterday (at 7 1/2 months) -- pulling up!  I think he was inspired by the Olympics playing in the background.

Ari has also started to go from a sitting position into a crawl, but then we flatten out on the belly.  I just know if he was still in the orphanage he would be crawling by now due to all the hands-and-knee rocking he was doing when we met him, but Mom and Dad's arms have I think caused a little bit of delay in the crawling department.  By default, of course.  But that's okay -- I think it's an okay trade-off.  We know the crawling (and probably cruising too) is just around the corner!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

pictures for fun

c'mon, the only reason you really come here is for the pictures.
chillin' in his chair - "proof that miracles happen"

meeting "big pap" for the first time
(this is my 93-year-old grandpa i watch wrestling with every monday night)

meeting great-grandma trudy.  she's probably as excited as anyone.

what kind of smile is that?!?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One Month Home

Can you even believe it??  One month home already.  I wish time would have flown by this fast while we were waiting for Ari to come home!  But, as they say, good things come to those who wait.

I can honestly say motherhood is as great as I thought it would be.  It really, truly is.  I haven't felt this blissful since Roger and I were newlyweds.  We really do feel complete now.  We have been blessed with an easy transition and adjustment period (so far), and I think it's all because Ari is such an easygoing, happy baby.

A couple things I've realized in the past month:

1.  I don't need nearly as much sleep as I once thought I did.

2.  Taking care of a 20-pound baby 24/7 is very physical -- apparently enough exercise to lose and keep off 7 pounds.

3.  Between the three of us, doctor appointments are now a regular part of our life, unfortunately.

4.  Ari's attachment to us is a process that takes time, no matter how well things are going.

5.  I'm a lot nicer about sharing my baby with people than I thought I would be!

6.  My love for Ari grows deeper every day, which kind of blows my mind a little bit because I love him so much already.

7.  Roger is the amazing father I always knew he would be.

8.  I am in awe at just the thought of how much this child is going to teach us.  It's already happening and it started happening before we even met him.

9.  I see God's intentional plan for us that He had all along in action when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror rocking Ari to sleep.

I suppose the list could go on and on because every day I learn new things about myself in my new role as a mother -- what I didn't realize I'm capable of and what my shortcomings are -- but those are some of the few that really stick out.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Too much for one post

As soon as everyone is back to feeling 100% we will work on updating this blog with more stories, photos, etc. Right now I'll treat you to a slide show of a recent photo shoot we did. They turned out great. We can't wait to get them printed and hung up around the house.

Hope everyone has a great Saturday....
(The one morning it's my turn to get up with him is the one morning I wake up at 5:45, wide awake, and he decides to sleep until after 6:30 - awesome)

Friday, February 5, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Some of his favorites at (almost) 7 months......

Seriously, how great is Sesame Street?!  It's just as good as it was when I was 6.

Favorite Activity:  Bathtime

Favorite Toy

Favorite Pet:  Jill
Favorite spot in the house

Favorite book (by far!!)
Favorite Food: Acorn squash with cinnamon

        And his most favorite of all favorites -- The Bink

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ari & Company

I just have to blog about the welcome home we've received from everyone over the past three weeks.  I am overwhelmed at the love, excitement, and outpouring of support from our friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers (see below).  Or maybe it's because Ari is just so darn popular and good-looking.  Yeah, that's probably it.  Below you will find a small sampling of some of Ari's new friends who have stopped by to meet him and welcome him home.  Sooooo much fun we have had.  I hope he will always find himself surrounded by this many great friends.  

Something really funny and unexpected, twice now (at the mall and at an MSU Bears game) we have been stopped in public by COMPLETE STRANGERS who have come up to us and said, "Oh, my gosh, is this Ari?!?  I follow your guys' blog!  Wow, he's even cuter in person!"  How weird is that??  What a strange feeling.  During my retail therapy days while waiting for the little man to come home I saw a baby t-shirt that said Local Celebrity.  I didn't buy it because it was $30.  See, I did have some limits.  But oh how I wish now I would have bought it.  He is definitely our little celebrity.  

The future Mrs. Ari Wasson (Zoe) and Ari
Okay, I know that's completely ridiculous, but I can't help myself

Little Miss Jayden, another Hopester

Brady & Ari


Neighbors -- and a future babysitter?!?

Dalton & Ari -- have I ever mentioned how much Ari loves "big boys"?

Ari and Caden & Cruz

"Is it just me or do I know you from somewhere?"

Again, the big boy thing.  Ari cannot wait to be a big boy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kindermusik & The Jumperoo

Below you will find a video of the highlight of my day today.  Ari figured out what the Jumperoo is all about for the first time!  Oh, isn't motherhood just so much fun?  Yes, it is.  At least for now.  Please do not ask me that question in 16 years.  I might (just might) have a different answer.

We also went to Kindermusik tonight.  Another fun highlight of the day.  I think Ari liked it.  He actually participated (yes, 6-month-olds can actively participate in a baby class) and he never fussed. And I really liked it because, much to my delight, it wasn't a room full of only white kids.  I can already tell that's going to be a HUGE issue for me.  At this moment I can't really articulate all that I'm feeling about the importance of racial diversity in our lives, so maybe we'll leave that for another day when I'm thinking more clearly.

Ari also received his first shots in the U.S. yesterday, much to my dismay.  I was hoping to not redo the immunizations he already received in Ethiopia, but since it looked like he received them way too close together, according to his vaccination record, the doctor talked me and Roger into just redoing them.  She also thinks the vaccines over there are not trustworthy to be effective.  I'm really not thrilled about redoing them.  Yes, immunizations are necessary, but I feel like our country is a little overkill with all the vaccines.  I was really trying to stand my ground, but it's difficult to stand up to a medical professional.  Especially when one of her partners comes in the room and concurs the shots definitely need to be redone.  Sigh.  So the poor boy had some shots, and I think he was still a little "off" today as a result of it.  Or maybe he's teething.  Or maybe he needs to take longer naps.  Whatever it was, I hope he feels better tomorrow.  He still has a mild cough and rattly chest (that the doctor wasn't worried about), but his ear infections for now have cleared up.  I have a feeling he was sick for the majority of the first six months of his life, so I guess it's possible it may take some time for all of this respiratory yuck to clear up.

**Viewer's Note:  This video is ridiculously long because I can't bear to edit any of it out.  If you have much more productive things to be doing, feel free to quit watching at any point in time.  And also mute your sound so you don't have to listen to me babble on and on like the overly happy idiot I am right now.