i've always liked the word thrive. to me thrive means living life well. flourishing. so the phrase failure to thrive packs a punch to my heart. ari has been small since day one. when they laid him on my chest a few seconds after entering the world i could tell he was small. all 6 lbs 8oz of him felt like nothing. it wasn't until he was four months old that his smallness became a concern. he had biweekly weigh ins and a number on a scale that wasn't going up fast enough. he has had his blood taken more times than his dad has in his whole life. i have put his poop in containers a half a dozen times. we have gone to the doctor a lot.
there is not a day that goes by that i don't think about his growth. five months of worrying has taken its toll. i have a lot of mom anxiety. i have cried in the shower worrying about him. i even brought my old stomach pains back. it doesn't take long to come across the phrase "failure to thrive" when you're trying to figure out why your baby won't gain weight. i knew ari qualified for failure to thrive but my pediatrician never used the phrase. on his way home from work last week, david picked up a referral form to have ari tested over at the stanford children's hospital. he handed me the paper and i came across the referral reason code. failure to thrive. it stung.
there is a chart that tells me he's not medically thriving. i get that. he is in the 0.23, not 23rd, percentile for his weight. i didn't know they even handed out numbers below the 1st percentile. i have come to loathe the chart that plots his growth and compares him to other babies. but there is a bruise on his forehead that reminds me that he is thriving. he is always on the move, exploring new parts of our house. he tries to pull himself up on a new piece of furniture every day. anything in his reach gets pulled onto the floor. he excitedly crawls after a dog that dislikes him. he is happy and flashes his smile at anyone who makes eye contact with him. he likes the sound of his voice and loudly lets you know when he's unhappy. he gets frustrated and angry and balls up his fists in protest. he is stubborn and strong and doesn't give in when you want him to take a bottle.
he is my little boy and i love him and worry about him. but i know he's going to be okay because he is thriving.
KERSHAWS IN CALI
over the past few months people kept saying things like, "oh it get's easier at three months" or "after six months things will be better." well three and six months came and went and things were still pretty hard. it was a hard that we got used to, but hard none the less. but after nine months, i finally feel like things are easy. easy is obviously a relative term. don't get me wrong, we still have our moments. there are days that feel never-ending. there are moments that make me question being a stay at home mom. but we're more than just getting by now. things are pretty damn good.
sometimes when ari is upset i put him in his crib and hand him his blanket and pacifier. he pops the puppy in his mouth and buries his face in the blanket. then i pull the poof up and rest my forehead against the crib and just watch him be cute. this ten minute break makes everyone instantly happier. and i'll take ten minutes of happiness when i can get it. thank goodness for blankets and pacis.
last week we met my family in la quinta for jake's spring break. peter and nick were able to spend the weekend with us before heading back to school. it was perfectly hot and toasty. the days were spent golfing, being outside and driving in the golf cart. on this trip i noticed that all my brothers had a picture of ari as their lock screen on their phones. i never anticipated how much my brothers were going to love my baby. it's pretty amazing. ari and i are very lucky.
david loves his soda. i would like ari to avoid soda as long as possible. but with a dad like david i know that's impossible. and david will happily be the one that provides the first sip.
when ari first came home, jack did a really good job at pretending he didn't exist. he would practically sit on top of him when he was being held. he refused to look at him and would rarely give him a sniff. the older ari got, the more interest he took in jack. and eight months later, it is a very one sided relationship. ari likes jack. jack doesn't like ari. we certainly don't have a theo and beau situation on our hands.
ari get's really excited when jack runs into the room or when we come home and jack comes to greet us. ari finds it hysterical when we make jack chase after a squeaking toy. when ari sits in his high chair he is constantly peaking over the edge down at jack. when ari moves towards jack, jack gets up and leaves. occasionally ari will move weird or make a sound that makes jack angry and he will growl at him. ari brings out the inner tarrier in jack.
now that we have a family, i find myself annoyed with jack. the fact that we spend all day together doesn't help. if i come home and ari is asleep in his carseat i worry about jack waking him up. if i can tell jack is moody i'm paranoid he's going to snap at a chubby hand. barking during nap time is my worst nightmare. and picking up dog poop while holding a baby is just difficult (it will end badly one of these days).
but the other day i sat down on the bed and started crying after a bad day and jack came over and put his head on my knee. and i was reminded that when i wasn't a mom but wanted to be, jack helped me fill that hole.
ari has crazy hair that sticks straight up kind of like a mad scientist. i love it. it can't be tamed. he has a ton of hair in the back and on the sides but not very much on top. just like an old man. which i also love. the light captures the craziness of his hair perfectly here.
some days being a mom is harder than others. when your dog has to have blood work done or get shots, they take him in the back and you never have to see a thing. when it's your baby's turn, you get a front row seat. you and two phlebotomists have to pin him down while his teary eyes look back at you.
the bumbo situation was getting a little dicey so we finally got a high chair. ari likes being up high and looking down at jack. i feel like i can confidently turn my back for longer than 10 seconds. but jack, jack is the happiest about this new chair. and i don't mind because having jack around makes the clean up process a lot easier.