She did very well at her first few doctors appointments. She was a nice, big, healthy baby that was always high in the percentile charts and we were happy with that.
She slept better than I expected a newborn to sleep in the beginning and I found that very helpful especially because Casey had to go out of town within a week of us coming home from the hospital. Talk about sink or swim! We were so thankful to have so much family nearby. Between my mom, Casey's mom and my sister in laws, I never felt too overwhelmed while Casey was gone. I even got some assistance with her first bath at home!
Shortly after Casey got home, we planned Aria's "newborn" photoshoot with the amazing "Blyss Photography".
That week was the first time I noticed that she seemed to be struggling pretty consistently. She seemed somewhat colicky but she didn't fit the textbook definition of colic. The photo session was a lot more difficult than we expected and she seemed very uncomfortable. We still got ADORABLE pictures and I told myself that there are bad days and good days as a parent and that the next day would be better.
Aria's first holiday came so quickly. We went to the mall, watched the fireworks in the bed of the work truck and came home. Aria takes after her parents and really enjoyed the fireworks. We were so proud.
On the drive home from the mall, in terrible/typical holiday traffic, Aria screamed and cried herself into having a scary, difficult time breathing. It was so not like the personality we could see that Aria had and it seemed to come out of nowhere. We didn't know what to do. We felt so helpless. Again, we told ourselves there were good days and bad days but something was also a little off.
A few nights later, I woke up in the middle of the night shortly after putting her back down to bed (not a normal time for me to feel the need to wake up) and felt a strong feeling that I needed to wake up and check on Aria who slept in a bassinet next to my side of the bed. I looked over to the most terrifying sight. Aria was awake, on her back, wide eyed and silently choking/gagging with her airs flailing all over. I was suddenly very alert and awake and jumped into action. This happened twice in the hospital and they just told me it was nothing and showed me what to do. The second time it happened in the hospital I was alone and not quite able to move as quickly and I yelled for the nurses help and the nurse was able to get her breathing again.
This time, I was home with no professional help and I credit the Lord with being able to somehow get Aria breathing again. As I grabbed her, flipped her on her stomach in my arms, hit her back, and suctioned her mouth, I yelled for Casey to get up and help me. I feared the worst and prayed to get through this moment that seemed to last forever. The doctor had told me that anything once is okay. I told myself that as a mantra that night as I held her for the rest of the night. The next day, we had a small repeat of her choking episode and I rushed Aria to her doctor. I knew something was not right.
I was told when Aria was born that she was just a "spitty baby" and that she would grow out of it eventually. Turned out she had blood in her stool caused by an allergy to something I was eating. I was put on a strict diet. I was no longer to eat soy, dairy, eggs, nuts or fish. That seemed to do the trick and Aria began showing signs of improvement within two weeks with no more scary episodes and our cheery Princess Aria was back.
Also during that time, we were remodeling our house. Our goal was to have it done by the time we blessed Aria in August which we pulled off by the skin of our teeth. During the remodel, I was typically kicked out of the house with Aria so I took her on little field trips all the time. To the mall, to the hair salon and to visit my co-workers. We got really good at going out just the two of us real fast.
Once the house was finished, family started coming in for Aria's blessing day. Right before her Sunday, we took her to the beach for the first time.
Aria's blessing day was beautiful. We had our gorgeous new home filled with our friends and family to meet and celebrate Aria's blessing day.
August also marked the anniversary of our first date. It was so cool to go back to our first date seven years later with our daughter. It felt like Aria had been with us all seven years.
October was fun. We did Casey's birthday party which was so much fun. I through him a C Part/Chili Cook Off. Then we took Aria to Lake Mead for the first time which was super fun! She did great on the boat and didn't hate the water.
When we got back we had some more fun firsts. We did Aria's first trip to a football game (GO HART INDIANS) and first time at the movie theaters (Meet the Mormons).
Aria got to meet her new cousin Maisie when Garrett, Julie and Greadon brought her down for her baby blessing. It was obvious that that was the perfect time to take the kids to Disneyland for the first time. Aria is obviously my daughter because she LOVED Disneyland...and Maisie of course.
Then it was time to do Halloween in full swing. Being a dad made Casey a better sport and he went full out in his costume and even admittedly had a good time doing so. Halloween is my favorite season because it marks the beginning of "The Holidays" and Casey and I were so excited to soak in the true spirit of the holidays through the eyes of our daughter.
November was my mom's birthday so Aria and I decided to take her downtown for a girls day. We went to the flower mart, the jewelry mart and lunch all downtown.
We also celebrated Ashley's birthday followed by Aria's first Thanksgiving. We did a trip to Temecula to spend Thanksgiving with my grandparents and Whitney and Dennis and my dad. Once we got home we went into full swing to prepare for Aria's first Christmas with a break stop between Thanksgiving and Christmas to celebrate Alyssa graduation Nursing School.
The holidays are so much better with a baby! We went to Disneyland for our Christmas Card photo because, well why not? Everything was magical from getting our Christmas tree, Meeting Santa, looking at lights and getting Aria's "First Christmas" ornament. Santa came to our house and spoiled Aria. Whitney announced on Christmas morning that she and Dennis were pregnant which was the best gift of the year.
New Years Eve we did a little tiny party with the family up at Cody and Lauren's house and we braced ourselves for 2015. Aria woke up 5 minutes before midnight to ring in the new year with us and we wouldn't have had it any other way. That night was the last night Aria slept in our room. 2015 would be when our baby started growing up.
BRING ON 2015