this weekend we learned that ari has a love of slides and swings. maybe we should have tried this sooner...



these pictures were taken in utah before his cute cheeks were covered in tape. there is only one bathtub in my parents house and it is surrounded by three windows. so it was hard to resist taking pictures of him.  and i wasn't the only one who couldn't resist the perfect light. these pictures were taken by me, my dad and peter at different bath times.



despite our best efforts, ari has been struggling to pack on the pounds. on friday, he failed his weigh in and actually lost weight. it was decided then and there that we were going to the hospital. he needed a feeding tube. we went home, packed our things and waited for david. we weren't sure what we were getting into, but we knew we were going to be there for a few days.

we answered a lot of questions and the doctors talked about our weekend game plan. after we were settled, it was time for the feeding tube. the nurses warned us that it was completely normal for him to gag or vomit. luckily, that didn't happen. he was just realllllly mad. they walked us through each step so we knew how to do it ourselves when we got home. i had been through a few blood draws with ari to prepare me for this moment. so it only felt like a small child kicked me in the heart when the tube started going down his nose. after 10 minutes he forgot there was anything stuck to his face.

our time at the hospital went by so slowly. the days were never-ending. it was the longest three days of my life. entertaining a 10 month old is hard. the floors at the hospital weren't the cleanest (not that ours are amazing) so we couldn't just let him crawl around. there was a plastic car that we could push him around in. and push we did. several times a day. what else were we supposed to do?

it was a hard weekend. i had really bad anxiety and couldn't sleep. i'm glad i had david. he is always calm and rational. essentially, the opposite of me. my anxiety peaked after the first night in the hospital. when david walked in on saturday morning i started to cry. i was so relieved to see him. he slept at the hospital the following two nights. but i couldn't sleep at home either.

ari was able to put on some weight at the hospital. a huge relief. now we know he's just not into food. he will be on a feeding tube for a while.

i know we will get used to this. i know that it won't feel hard forever.

this is our new normal.





there is so much to explore in the kitchen. especially in my parents kitchen. ari discovered the dishwasher while peter was unloading it. the moving racks were the coolest thing. 



i took ari on a hike this week (in utah). it was not his idea of fun. he whined all the way up and cried most of the way down. i could get a few giggles out of him by running but that was obviously not sustainable. then suddenly the crying stopped and he was asleep with about 15 minutes left. to be fair, i don't think he was terribly comfortable, he was tired, he couldn't see well and he was stuck to my sweaty back. we will have to get a real hiking pack and try it again.

(please note the crusty booger)




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.



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. 



... or eat beets and pomegranate baby food.