Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Yesterday Ty showed me an adorable picture of a lion playing with a jack-o-lantern which led to me watching videos of different zoo animals eating/playing with pumpkins.  My favorite was a baby elephant smashing a giant pumpkin.  I couldn't get it to embed into this post, so check it out here.
Such a cute, little lion!  Picture found here.
All of the pumpkin videos got me in the right mindset for Halloween.  Carter started the day in a jack-o-lantern onesie which he'd already soiled by lunchtime when I went to visit him.  He ended up with 2 clothing changes at daycare today.  So glad I didn't dress him in his costume!  A new little 6 week old was wearing her ladybug costume today and looked precious!

In true Halloween style during our writing time today a student came up to my table where I was working with a group of students to inform me that there was a scorpion walking around by where he was working.  I assured him it must just look like a scorpion, but as I approached the animal I recognized the curled up tail immediately.  I couldn't believe there was actually a scorpion in our classroom.  I had the students closest to it move a little bit away "so they didn't scare the scorpion and get hurt".  I caught it in a cup, talk about heart pounding, and released it outside.
Imagine this sucker crawling around on your floor.  Source here.
When I picked Carter up from daycare after school I was greeted with an art project he had created during the day.  They also gave me an art project he created earlier in the week by rolling a marble around.  His teacher said that was his favorite one.  Little man loves things that roll, especially wheels!
Today's art project.

Marble art!
We went for a run and then headed home to get ready for trick or treating.  I showered while Carter played in his jumperoo and then it was time to get him in his Robin costume.  He looked so cute and kept reaching back to grab his cape.  

I wanted to take pictures before we headed out, but Carter just wasn't having it.  After this weekend whenever he's with me he wants me to hold him constantly and kept crying when I sat him down.  Finally I wised up, brought Harper in, had her run around in front of Carter, and he stopped crying.  Thank goodness for Harper, I finally got some pictures!
Starting to fuss while sucking his thumb.

"Pick me up now!"

Was that flash of black and white Harper running by?

We took some pictures and then Ty got home.  We all headed out to visit a couple of neighbors for trick or treating.  Carter was holding his pumpkin bucket, but dropped it immediately when we walked outside.  We just went to 2 of neighbors' houses to say trick or treat and then it was time to head home and get Carter ready for bed.

Happy Halloween!
Carter enjoyed his first Halloween!  I can't believe his last first holiday will be Thanksgiving.  This first year has gone by so quickly!  I hope you all had a great Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Maybe One Day

Yesterday Ty came home from his run and told me a long story all about this dad he had seen walking at the trail with his daughter.  He described how the dad was wearing a baby carrier and had the little baby girl he guessed was less than 6 months old in it.  He even mentioned the little bow the baby girl was wearing in her hair.

As he relayed the story to me I couldn't help giggling.  It was just so dang cute.  Not just the story, but the look in his eyes as he spoke.  I could tell he was picturing it.  Picturing what it would be like to have a little girl.  When we were pregnant with Carter, Ty always guessed we were having a girl.  He said he did it just to go against me since I was so sure we were having a boy.  I always knew that part of it was that he could picture having a little girl, a daddy's girl.  I can picture it too.
Carter loves his daddy!

He is an amazing dad.  I can picture him with Carter sitting alongside him, fishing together, reading books together, tinkering and fixing things.  All the things dads and boys do together.  But also cooking together, folding clothes together, cleaning house together.  All the things dads normally don't do with boys, but Ty will do because he is also an amazing husband.
Bath time with daddy!
As much as I love seeing him with Carter and picturing what they will do together as Carter grows up, I also love picturing him as the father to a little girl.  I see him as the kind of dad who would try his hardest to fix her hair (although he'd probably be unsuccessful).  I can see him sitting down for tea parties, playing with dolls, brushing Barbie's hair with his daughter.  I also see him showing her how to use a hammer, fix a car, and build things.
What does Carter think?  Sounds good!

I love seeing Ty as a father.  He is a natural.  It's so neat to see him as a dad to our baby boy.  I would also love to some day see him as a dad to a little girl.  If that doesn't happen, maybe uncle to a little girl.  But for now it's fun to dream.  To picture Carter possibly having a little sister.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Survived!

So I made it!  53 hours away from my boys and I survived.  I can't decide if it was harder than I thought it would be or a little bit easier.  There were moments where missing them hit me like a ton of bricks all the sudden and I struggled to hold in tears.  There were other moments where I was having a blast and almost forgot all about missing them, almost.  Most surprising to me was that I didn't miss them at bedtime.  Normally if I go to bed without Ty I get really sad.  Walking into Kelley's guest room and plopping into the comfy bed, the only thought in my mind was that I could sleep all night long and as late in the morning as I wanted!

Saturday morning many tears were shed and all were from me.  I got it out of my system before leaving the house and my biggest fear (that I'd cry on the plane) didn't happen.  It was a good thing Ty and Carter didn't drop me off at the airport because I definitely would have cried in public, which I hate!

My friend, Kelley, picked me up at the airport.  Walking out to her car and seeing her I got excited about the trip for the first time.  It was so good to see her and I couldn't stop smiling.  She took her role as hostess seriously and took me on a scenic route along the beach.  We even stopped, plopped down on the beach, and I buried my feet in the sand.  Sitting on the beach chatting with a friend I hadn't seen since Carter's baby shower was a great way to start the trip.
Our view of the ocean.
That evening we went out to dinner and window shopped for a while.  Then we headed to Steph's hotel and hung out for awhile with her, the groom, the bridal party, and her family.  Kelley and I left decently early and headed to bed at 11:30 California time, meaning I stayed up until 1:30 my time which hasn't happened in a very long time!  As we headed off to bed Kelley said she planned to sleep in and to make myself at home if I woke up before her.  I assured her that wouldn't happen!

7:30 am rolled around and I was wide awake.  Seriously?!!?  One of the only chances I've had to sleep in on the weekend and that's all I get?!  I had hoped to get a long run in, so I got up and decided to get ready to run and make the most of it.  When Kelley got up she gave me directions to a great running spot and I took off.  She had mentioned there was a big hill leaving her apartment but I figured I'd be fine.  What she didn't mention was the hill, I kid you not, was 2 miles long!  By the top of the hill I began to second guess my decision to run 12 miles.  I'll give it to California, they've got hills.  Coming from an Okie that might not mean much, but geez, the hills didn't let up.  I was averaging 8:30-9:00 during the flatter miles, but had a couple of 10:00 miles which were entirely uphill.  When my watch dinged for a mile and I saw 10:00 on the screen I decided the run was more of a sight seeing adventure than a long run. 

I stopped to take a lot of pictures!
Running along on a sidewalk made of packed sand I noticed a sign out of the corner of my eye.  I turned to look and saw that I was running past a Wildlife Conservation Area.  I turned and started up the path.  The path ended up being another mile long hill which was a bit much on my quads, but was so worth it when I reached the top!  Despite Kelley's great directions and taking my phone with a map pulled up (upon her request), I got lost on my way back and had to call her to pick me up.  I'm not sure why I always think there's a chance I'm going to make my way back somewhere on my own.  It just never happens!

The highlight of my run.
This view was worth running a mile up the side of a hill.

When we got back to Kelley's apartment I showered quickly, pumped for the millionth time, and we headed out to a sports bar to watch the rest of the Chief's game.  We had a leisurely afternoon, facetimed Ty and Carter, and then got dressed and ready for the wedding.  Seeing Ty and Carter made me so happy, but when we hung up I missed them even more than I already had.
Grammy got a picture of them facetiming me!

Pulling into the parking lot of the wedding location I felt the excitement bubbling up inside me.  I couldn't wait to see Steph and Richard get married!  Everything was absolutely beautiful.  We had a blast and as we were getting ready to leave for the night, Steph's mom talked us into heading back out to the dance floor for a bit.
Not sure I've ever seen such a pretty background for a wedding.
Before the wedding with Kelley.
Watching the professional photo shoot.
He was carrying her train, but put it down right before I snapped a pic.
Kelley, Steph, Richard, and me.
With the beautiful bride!
The next morning started bright and early at 5:00 am.  We left early for the airport so Kelley could drop me off before going to work which was so sweet of her.  She was afraid to send me on the Coaster after I got lost on my run the day before.  I wasn't sure I trusted myself to navigate the stops either.

By far the hardest part of the trip was the 30 minute drive from the airport to Carter's daycare.  I am normally a fairly passive driver and just go with the flow, but I was having some serious road rage on my way to pick him up.  Every person cutting me off or driving slowly was getting in between me and my baby and I just couldn't take it.  One of the teachers saw me pull up through the window and joked that Carter's mom was running to pick him up.  Can you blame me?  Finally having him in my arms, I couldn't hold him tight enough.  They had waited on his last bottle of the day so I could nurse him if I arrived in time.  Little man was so excited to see me, he would stop eating, pull back, stare at me, smile, and laugh.  He had definitely missed nursing.  Even after he finished eating he kept on going and would pull off to stare, smile, and laugh.  All I wanted to do was wrap him up in a hug and never let go!
I am soooo done with pumping, especially after this trip.  Pouring milk down the drain didn't bother me nearly as much as I thought it would.  I decided that was better than getting hassled at security or worrying about keeping it cold enough.  What stunk was how many times I had to pump during the day.  Nursing is just so much more fun and more comfortable.  Pumping did provide some entertainment along the way.  On my trip to San Diego I had a layover in Las Vegas.  I needed to pump and went in search of an outlet in a hidden dark corner of the airport.  Unfortunately I didn't find what I was looking for but I did find an outlet located in a place where I could face the wall and hopefully not attract too much attention.  I must've pulled the nonchalance off really well because one lady even came up to me and asked for directions to the restroom.  She must not've noticed the strange outline of something under my shirt, the sucking sound of the pump, or the stange placement of my hand holding the pump part on through my shirt.  Luckily when I pumped in the San Diego airport before boarding my plane, there was an outlet in the women's restroom so I had a little bit more privacy.

Would I recommend 2 nights away from your baby the first time you are away from him/her overnight?  No.  Is it a good idea to travel without your baby while you are still breastfeeding?  Absolutely not.  Can you do it and survive?  Yes.  Did I actually *gasp* have fun on my trip?  Totally!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Carter and Daddy: Mommy's not the only one in an air plane this weekend!

Note: this is a daddy post without ANY mommy supervision. So there will be incoherent ramblings and miss spellings... so let's all focus on the pictures of Carter!

This weekend Liz had a wedding in San Diego for a good friend of her's from college. Due to my new job, I was not able to get time off to go. So we decided that I would stay back with Carter and she would go. It was hard but it was our best option. Carter and I would end up visiting Liz's parents to run a Halloween race!

That race was the Twilight Thriller 5k in Joplin Mo. We have run it every year for the past three years and it has been a blast. The first year we really didn’t know what to expect other than people dressed up and raced.

The course is flat and fast with the only real down fall is that the turnaround is really tight. As usual that first year, Liz and the Hurford’s mopped up on the winner’s podium. Something that I didn’t expect was the costume contest winners. None of them really seemed to stand out. A DOG won the costume contest that year...

Then the second year, I of course dilly dallied on getting a costume until the day before the race. I ran to a thrift store and managed to find the right clothing to dress up as a gnome! Saturday Sondra helped me make a red cone hat and scarf and we went to the race. After the race, I was surprised to hear them call me up for the winner of the male costume contest! At that point, I realized that what really seemed to be an advantage was that I had on a 2 foot tall hat making me easily visible.

So this year, I decided that my costume needed to stand out big time. And as an added bonus, why not incorporate Carter? Yes I know what you are thinking, that’s cheating. No, it’s not! So rather wait until the last minute, I decided to give myself 2 weeks. Ever since Carter was born, I had been brain storming on turning his stroller into something awesome. Because it has the holes to put in the adapter for a car seat, that stroller has been just asking to be transformed into something amazing!

Pre Flight Check at Grammy and Gampy's before the race.

So using 100# cover stock, 5/8” styrofoam, and some dowel rods, that’s just what I did. Using a 1945 Bearcat as my model, I decided to turn the stroller into a fighter plane and have Carter and I dress up as pilots. I found him a cap and goggles for cheap online and then I found mine last minute at a costume store half price! With some last minute modification Saturday afternoon to add lights in the wings, (Carter's Grandpa Cox's idea) Carter and I were ready to go.

Walking up to the race I knew moving around in the crowd would be difficult. But almost immediately people started to notice the stroller. And as I got closer, they started to notice Carter in the stroller, and that is when the oos and awws started. As I thought, I would have to start at the back so as not to run anyone over or have them bump into the plane and tear it up.

Thomas, Sondra, Carter and I waiting for the race to start.

This was a first for me, I started the race in dead last, 205th place. A bonus to starting last was that all of the race organizers got to see Carter and I start. About half a mile into the race I had to stop and take of the lined leather jacket due to the engine overheating (haha get it? I'm the engine!). I checked on Carter and he was still quite warm so we forged ahead.

Because it was an out and back course, it was not long before we had people going both directions on the trail. Once I squeezed through the turnaround (scraped the wings on both sides!) the trail was a little easier to manage and we were able to start passing groups of people. About 100 yards from the finish I stopped and put on my jacket and Carter and I finished the race at full throttle to the cheers of the crowd.

Waiting for the Hurford's to get their trophy. And Carter admiring his trophy!

We ended up passing 76 other runners and finishing 129th! Not bad considering we had to start in the very back and our costume was 4 feet wide! At this point, it was a bit past 7 and Carter was starting to get tired. Luckily the awards came fast. As we stood waiting, sure enough they called for the winner of the men’s costume contest: “Pilot dad and plane son”. Not quite what we were dressed up as but close enough! Felt good to win something since I am not about win any races anytime soon!

The custom trophy Carter and I won!

By the end of the night, all five of us had won an award. Sondra got second in her age group while Dave and Thomas each got first in there respective age groups. As soon as we had collected out hardware, we hit the road to get Carter home and into bed. He is such a good baby that he didn't even start to cry until we were 3 minutes from home.

I think it is safe to say that our stroller is only starting its career in costume contests!

Carter and Daddy with Carter wondering why I am taking pictures instead of getting him his bottle!

While we are having fun we both miss mommy! Things are just so much smoother with her under center (football reference, yes!). I do things differently than her and Carter knows it. He usually waits patiently and watches closely because he doesn't even know what ill do next! This is good for all three of us and Carter and I both know mommy is having some much deserved fun! But we can't wait for her to come home!

Also I had ice cream for dinner. Now I don't feel good. Liz doesn't let me only have just ice cream for dinner...

BONUS PICTURE! Carter playing with Zuma and Fezzy.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ready, Set, Go...

I'm all packed for my trip and just checked in for my flight online.  I'm focusing on the exciting parts of the trip.  Staying with my friend Kelley, sleeping through the night, and being at Steph's wedding.  As every weekend does, I'm sure it will go by so quickly!

Ty has been given great power.  Not just taking care of our precious baby, although that is a great responsibility.  He has been given my login information for blogger upon his request.  He is planning to type up a post about Carter and his adventure this weekend running the Halloween 5k with an amazing costume he created with a little bit of help from his dad and grandpa.  I look forward to reading it!

I'm optimistic for this weekend, but I'll be looking forward to seeing little man's face on Monday!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I Can Do This... Right?

As I packed my bag I felt a ball of sadness rising into my chest.  I did my best to push it down and hold in the tears.  I've been in a state of denial toward my upcoming trip, but it is now upon me.  This weekend I will travel to San Diego by myself.  No Ty, no Carter, all alone.  One of my best friends is getting married on Sunday.  I will fly into San Diego Saturday afternoon and fly out early Monday morning.  That means I will be away from Carter for 2 whole nights.  It will be the first time I've been away from him overnight.

When I was about 7 months pregnant with Carter my friend, Steph, called me to tell me she was engaged.  I was so excited for her and to be at her wedding.  A few days later she called to let me know she planned to get married in San Diego.  At the time my main concern was the cost of plane tickets.  Ty and I planned to go together and maybe take Carter.  We figured Carter would be 9 months old and we would either take him with us or he could stay the weekend at my parents' house.  At the time I had no idea how hard it would be to be away from Carter for even 3 hours, let alone an entire weekend.
Gonna miss this sweet boy!
Once Carter was born I realized how hard it was to be away from my baby!  I read that the damage done to a car seat when checked is equivalent to being in a car wreck.  I didn't want to worry about his car seat and I didn't want to expose him to the germs of an airplane.  But I just couldn't stand the thought of being away from him.  Then Ty got a new job and we found out he wouldn't be able to take a personal day for the 1st 6 months at his job.  So I'd be going without Ty.  The question became do I take Carter with me or leave him home with Ty?

I dragged my feet buying tickets.  I couldn't decide what to do.  I wanted to take Carter with me because I didn't want to be away from him.  Thinking about Carter I knew he would have more fun at home with Ty.  If he went with me he would fly in a plane, drive in a car, go to a wedding, probably stay up past his bedtime, drive some more, and fly some more with not much baby fun in between.  With Ty he would have a fun weekend with daddy and his grandparents because Ty planned to visit my parents and run a Halloween race that weekend.  Ty had been dying to run the race and create a costume involving Carter and the stroller.  Did I really want to take that away from him?

I finally decided not to take Carter.  Then it was an internal battle whether I would still go or not.  I just kept picturing Steph saying those vows, wearing that dress, making a commitment to spend her life with the man she loves.  I just couldn't miss that.  I knew if I didn't go to her wedding I would always regret it.  Would I later regret being away from Carter for one weekend?  I figured not.  What I want more in this moment is to stay home with Carter, but what I will care more about later on is that I was at Steph's wedding.

So this will be hard.  Really hard.  I battled myself for months before I finally bucked up and bought tickets.  I don't expect it to be anything other than heart wrenching to make that trip to the airport alone.  Some mornings as I drive to work when I see Carter's empty car seat in the rear view mirror I break down and cry.  I struggle on days when I can't see Carter at lunchtime because I'm away from him for 8 hours which is the longest amount of time I've ever been away from him.  Now we'll be pushing 48 hours of separation.  Wish me luck.  I'm gonna need every bit of it that I can get.
Man, I'm gonna miss this babay!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

In Case I'm Not Here to Tell You

Dear Carter,

Since you've been born I've started thinking more about everything.  One thing I think about from time to time is that something could happen to me and I would have to leave you without a mom.  Then I start thinking about everything I would want you to know if I wasn't here to tell you.  One day as I was driving to pick you up at daycare I thought, why not write all of those things down?  Why not make sure if something were to happen to me you could read everything I would want you to know?  So this is my "in case I'm not here to tell you" letter.

First of all, I want you to know how much I love you.  No matter where I am, on this Earth or elsewhere, I love you more than words can ever describe.  I have loved you from the moment I found out you existed.  The whole time I was pregnant I ate much healthier, refused to take any medicine, and did special exercises all to keep you safe.  I loved looking down at my growing belly, knowing you were there.  I was so excited the day I felt you kicking and moving for the first time.  So many people told me I would grow tired of feeling your movements, but I never did.  Each time I felt a jab or a kick I would stop what I was doing and stare down at my tummy to see you.  I will never forget the day you were born and I got to see your face for the first time.  Your skin against my skin was the most amazing feeling in the world.  I was so tired, but so happy.  True happiness came to me the day you were born.  Those first days home with you I was in awe.  You were so tiny, such a miracle, such a sweet baby.  You were so easy going and calm.  You still are.  Holding you in my arms I forget problems exist.

No matter what you do I am proud of you.  There may be times I am disappointed and wish you had made a different choice, but I am still proud of you.  All I ever want is for you to be you.  People may try to make you feel bad or do what they want by telling you I wouldn't be proud of you.  Please don't listen to them.  Know in your heart that I am always proud of you.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Everyone disappoints others.  It's part of life.  Doing what you know is right in your heart is all that matters.  What I want most is for you to be who you were meant to be no matter what anyone else says.  You are perfect the way you are, but also know we are all works in progress.  You should always strive to be a better version of you.  

When I look at your daddy I am filled with love.  He is truly one of the most amazing people I've ever met.  One of the things I hope for you the most is that you will find someone to love you as much as I love your daddy.  I don't care if that person is a man or woman.  I don't care about that person's race, religion, culture, or anything else.  Even if I'm not here to meet that person I want you to know I love him/her.  I know that even without meeting him/her because of how much they must love you and how much you love that person in return.  One of the greatest gifts in this world is finding that perfect person to share your life with.  All the great moments along with all the struggles.  When you find that person, remember to treat him/her like the gift they are.  Remember to tell him/her how much you love him/her every single day.

I know there will be more things to add onto this letter later, but right now this is it.  These are the big things I want you to know.  The things that I don't want to leave this Earth without getting to tell you.
We have so much fun together!