Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas!

Friday morning Carter and I got up at 7am while everyone else slept in.  I dressed him in his new Christmas onesie.  We put a small Christmas tree up in his room adorned with the handprint and footprint dough ornaments from last year.  I created a Trans-Siberian Orchestra station on Pandora and we danced and played for hours.  I felt so happy.  That amazing, through and through, life doesn't get better than this kind of happy.  Being with Carter makes me so thankful for life, for health, for the ability to feel such an intense love, to be a mom.  Every moment with him is a gift and I treasure those special mornings like we had on Friday morning.

Posing with his Christmas tree.
Playing with Zuma, my parents' dog.

Later in the day I pulled out the rest of the Christmas decorations and we went to town making our home look festive.  It was the first time, including my childhood, I'd decorated for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  We always traveled for Thanksgiving and got home days later tired and needing to unpack and do laundry.  It was so nice to be at home, relax, and get all Christmasy with it.
Helping me decorate.

Our tree is up, although not yet decorated, and we have decorations throughout the house.  Carter enjoyed playing with bells and looking at all of the lights.  He is so much fun to watch.  I'm extremely excited for this holiday season.  I've always loved the holiday season, but it now brings me so much more joy.  Not just because I have Carter to watch, but because of the memories surrounding this time of year.  When we were at the trails running I saw the Christmas trees that were up last year.  The trees we ran to the night before Carter was born.  I think back to all of those emotions.  Nearing the end of pregnancy as we put our tree up.  Nursing a brand new baby to the light of a Christmas tree.  Wearing Christmas pajamas while holding a sleeping newborn.  My heart swells just thinking about those things.  We have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to.  This small family of ours sure is full of love. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Carter's First Thanksgiving

We started our day off with a 5k Turkey Trot in the morning.  My mom made all of us turkey stocking caps to wear.  We got lots of compliments.  Even as I was passing people during the race, I had a few look over and tell me they liked my hat.  I love dressing in the same thing as a group.  It's neat to all match and for people to be able to tell we are all together.
Looking cute in the car!
Wearing our turkey hats before the race.
Everyone in our race shirts after the 5k.
After the race we came home and Ty cooked up breakfast for everyone.  Then we laid around, rested, got dinner ready, and Carter and I took a nap.  We ate Thanksgiving dinner at 3:00.  It was so much fun watching Carter eat his Thanksgiving dinner.  He had turkey for the first time and loved it.  His spread included sweet potatoes with cinnamon, broccoli, potatoes, cranberry applesauce, and turkey.
Ready for dinner.

In the evening we went to a tree lighting in a popular outdoor shopping area.  I was really excited about it and even thought it may become a new Thanksgiving tradition.  That was until we arrived and realized we would be waiting 30 minutes before Santa would arrive and then even longer until Santa turned the lights on.  In the meantime there were choir groups singing Christmas carols which was nice.  Carter did really well waiting and even got to see a giant teddy bear in a Santa costume.  We may go again next year, but it would take some convincing!
Waiting for the Christmas lights.
With a Santa bear in front of Pottery Barn Kids.
Family photo in front of the trees after the lights came on.
Carter had a bit of hat hair when we took his cap off.
With Thanksgiving over, so are Carter's first holidays.  It's hard to believe he has experienced every holiday and even harder to believe he will turn a year old in just a few weeks.  From now on it may not be his first time celebrating the holiday, but he will enjoy it so much more than the year before!  I'm excited to see how he does opening presents at Christmas this year.  I envision him even ripping some of the paper.  Last year he spent the holiday laying in his bassinet, surrounded by presents, just 11 days old!   
Carter at Christmas last year.
He's still my best gift!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Megan's Gender Reveal

Ty's cousin, Megan, and her husband, Scott, are expecting their first baby in April.  They had an ultrasound which revealed their sweet baby's gender the Monday before our trip.  Knowing everyone would be getting together since Paul and Amanda were visiting, Ty's mom started dreaming up ideas for a gender reveal party.  She came up with an awesome and original idea.  Their family loves to make homemade ice cream so we would make homemade ice cream and then Megan and Scott would sneak in and dye the ice cream blue for a boy or pink for a girl.  Scott and Megan along with their parents found out baby's gender at their doctor's appointment and revealed the gender to everyone else during the party.
They made cute little pins for us to wear based on our guesses.  We also guessed the baby's birthday and weight.  Ty made them a calendar for everyone to stamp their birthday guesses just like the one he made Carter.  The whole thing made me so nostalgic and happy thinking back to the day we found out we were having Carter and not Emma.

Ty and Paul both guessed girl.
Carter guessed boy.
It was so much fun all gathering around to have the gender revealed.  They had a towel on top of the ice cream machine and pulled it off to reveal blue ice cream! 
As I was enjoying my ice cream, I looked at Carter and suddenly had the urge to treat him to some ice cream.  I'm normally very careful about following the 3-4 day wait rule after introducing new foods and he had just had parsnips for the first time that morning.  I told myself parsnips are basically just carrots and I would just give him a tiny bite.  Initially he wasn't too sure as the spoon touched his lips.  I think it had to do with how cold the ice cream was.  After the next bite he kept leaning forward for another bite.  It was hard to stop giving him bites so we switched over to yogurt.
Carter's first bite of ice cream!

Love his face here!

Carter got lots of attention at the party.  I loved walking out to see this happening!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Our Weekend in Pictures

I had big plans for writing a post all about our weekend today.  But then I was rocking Carter before putting him down for bed and Ty came in and took him from me which was weird.  Ty never just takes Carter from me without me asking him to.  As he walked off he said there was a surprise for me at the door.  I was a little leary, but went to the front door to find my best friend, Ang.  So I spent the following couple of hours sitting on the couch, talking and giggling with her.  Since I haven't posted since Thursday I just couldn't leave you all hanging.  So I'm giving you a preview or should I say postview of our weekend.  More will come later detailing Ty's cousin Megan's gender reveal party!
Carter's grandma is so pretty!

Carter wore one of Ty's old outfits on Saturday.

Munching on carrots specially made by grandma.

Playing with his new phone with Uncle Paul.

Carter dropped the phone.  I love Paul's reaction!

Playing with Aunt Amanda.

Family photo! 

This warms my heart.  I feel like I captured love in a picture!

A bunch of look-alikes!  Carter, Great Grandpa, Great Uncle, and Grandpa.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Growing Up Isn't So Bad

It has been hard for me as Carter grows up and gets closer to his first birthday.  But then he started crawling and it's so much fun I don't mind him growing up quite as much.  Today when I got to daycare he crawled over to see me.  If that doesn't make your day, I don't know what will.  Now I can picture him toddling along holding my hand.  Driving in the car looking at him in the rearview mirror I imagine having slightly incoherent conversations with him.  As hard as it is, this growing up thing is pretty cool!

He still likes to cuddle and sleep in my arms which makes it easier.

At daycare he sleeps better on his mat on the floor than in his crib.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Our New Car

Ty and I had been talking about buying a bigger, safer car to replace Ty's car before Baby #2 comes along for awhile.  The plan was to be used to the car payment before adding another child to our family.  Ty began researching and looking into what car would be best for us.  The longer I was back at work after the summer, the harder it was for me to be away from Carter all day.  We began seriously entertaining thoughts of me staying home after Baby #2 and the car search was put on hold.  We knew the car payment would be too much for the strained finances of a single-income household.  I was faced with a decision.  Did I want to have a safer car with room for our family to grow, but stay at work?  Or did I want to be able to stay home with our babies later on, but not have a car equipped to transport them in a way I felt comfortable and safe with?

Many nights were spent weighing the pros and cons of me staying home vs. working.  A couple weeks ago we went to the car dealership, test drove a car, and set into motion buying a car.  I still wasn't quite feeling 100% sure it was what I wanted to do, so we waited a while longer.  Last week was one of the hardest weeks for me as a working mom.  I broke down at school and my co-teacher again swept in for a heart-to-heart.  If I haven't mentioned it before, she is absolutely amazing and I can't imagine how I would have made it through this first year as a working mom without her.  She is mom to 2 amazing kids and went through the whole struggle of being a working mom just like I am now.  It is reassuring to know that she has no regrets.

Last night we went to the dealership and bought the car.  I left feeling like a weight had been lifted from my chest.  The longer we drew out the decision, the harder it was for me to go to work.  Now that the car is ours, I know there's no turning back.  I can no longer waver back and forth about whether to stay at home or not.  I've made the decision and will stick with it.  I love looking at our new car because of what it means for our family.  I know it's just a car but to me it symbolizes all the things I can help provide for my family by working, all of the opportunities our children will have due to our larger income.  It means we have room to grow.  That when we decide the timing is right we can add another baby to our family. 
Our new silver 2010 Mazda CX-9.

There are so many reasons why we finally decided the best thing for our family was for me to work, but these are the most important.  I want these written down so when I'm having a rough day or a rough week due to being away from Carter I can look back at them.
  • We want to send Carter to college or get as close as we can.  I've seen both sides of this.  I have no student loans and I have a 40 year old co-worker who is still paying off student loans.  It means so much to me to do for Carter what my parents did for me.  If not to pay for his college in full, at least to help as much as possible.  Now Carter, if you could get scholarships like mommy did, that would help us out!
  • I teach in the best school district in our area, arguably the entire state.  If I am still teaching in district when Carter starts school, he can attend my school district because I work there.  The opportunities he would be provided in the district are amazing.  We can't afford to live in-district right now, let alone on one income, so he wouldn't attend the district if I wasn't working.
  • We want to add 1-3 more children to our family (I know it's a large range, but it's hard to know until we have more than one).  We could squeeze into our current house with a 4 person family, but with a 5 person family it just wouldn't cut it.  We would like the option to move into a bigger house in the future.
  • As Carter gets older and wants to play sports or take lessons or run races, I want him to be able to do that.  I don't want to worry about making ends meet when he asks to play soccer or get a hamster or any of those things kids will want to do.
  • I have the best possible situation at work.  My co-teacher is amazing.  Working as a team I create half the lessons I would in a self-contained classroom.  My lesson plans don't take nearly as long and I'm not drained physically and emotionally at the end of the day like I was when I taught on my own.  If I were to stay at home I would lose my teaching buddy and who knows if we would be able to teach together again when I returned to work or if I'd even get a job within the same school district.
  • I've worked really hard to get to the point where I'm super organized and have everything for the year prepared ahead of time.  My weekly lesson plans take me minimal amounts of time.  As curriculum changes I am able to change one thing at a time.  If I were out of the classroom for say 5 years, it would be so hard going back.  I would start all over creating materials, learning curriculum, etc.  It would mean more time spent before and after school and at home working on things and less time spent with little man (well, medium man by that time)!
  • When I think of packing up my classroom and storing all of my school stuff I get an ache in my chest and a lump in my throat.  I can't imagine not sharing all of the materials I have with children.  I've spent nearly all of my adult life collecting books, creating resources, making math games to engage students in learning.  I just can't imagine all those tools not being in the hands of students.
  • Ty feels comfortable with me working.  I don't want him to feel stressed and overworked due to me staying at home.  I want him to go to work and enjoy what he does as much as possible.  I want him to be able to take chances.  If he's offered a job in a different department I want him to be okay doing that.  I don't want him to feel stuck where he is.  The idea of me staying at home scares him and I don't want that.
  • Carter loves his teachers at daycare, has so many friends, and has an endless supply of age appropriate toys to play with.  He spends time outside, creating crafts, making music, and being read to.  I can provide all of those things at home, but I couldn't give him the peer interaction.  I could schedule playdates, but they would most likely be weekly rather than daily.  I only have 2 stay at home mom friends in town.  One I'm not close with and the other has older kids.  
I could go on and on about retirement, my job, and all the reasons why I feel like it's best for Carter, but I better just stick to highlighting the major reasons we decided I should stay at work.  I would love it if staying at home were the best thing for our family, but it just isn't.  It's great for those families who are able to make it work.  Ty's mom and my mom both stayed at home.  Neither of us wanted for anything growing up.  Well, anything that was a necessity.  There are always those outlandish things kids want that they will never get.  I spent most of my childhood wishing for a little sister.  If I had a different job where I worked 8-5 and didn't have summers and nice holiday breaks to be at home with Carter I'm sure it would be a different story.  My job is a great blend.  I get to contribute to our income, but I also get to be home with Carter a lot more than most working moms.  The only way my working situation would be better would be to have a part-time job.  And at the end of the day as long as Carter has parents who love him, everything will work out just fine!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

We Have a Crawler!

Carter crawled for the first time tonight and it's hard to describe how extremely excited I am!  This weekend he started army crawling like a fiend.  Then last night he would get up on all 4's and hop his legs at the same time which I deemed his bunny hop.  I told anyone who would listen that Carter would definitely crawl for the first time this week.  So I wasn't surprised when he crawled today, but it was a bit sooner than I anticipated.

I was getting his bath ready (so in the video please excuse the messy face and absence of pants) and walked out of the room.  Of course Harper followed me and then I turned around to see Carter working his way down the hallway after us.  I freaked out.  Total squealing, flailing my arms and running to my phone excitement.  Unfortunately I had just plugged it in to charge because it had died earlier and it still wouldn't turn on.  Ty was unloading the car and when I heard him walk in I yelled for him and nabbed his phone.  We used Ty's keys to entice Carter and were able to catch him on video!

With little Carter man we haven't been accustomed to waiting.  He showed up 4 weeks early and never slowed down.  He rolled over early, he sat up early, he started rolling as a mode of transportation early, but when it came to crawling we were at a loss for words.  I knew he would do it eventually on his own time, but then his 9 month check-up came and went.  Then he was 10 months old and I was left scratching my head.  When was our baby ever going to move from rolling to crawling? 

Everyone had advice.  Put him on the floor more.  We already were.  Stop carrying him around all the time.  I really wasn't.  Find a toy he loves and will crawl to.  Complete fail.  As much as I wanted to help him reach this great milestone, I also knew sometimes all a child needs is some time and space.  My years in education have taught me sometimes you just have to step back and let a child get there on their own.  That's what we did with Carter and it is amazing he's finally here.  He may have kept us waiting, but it was worth the wait and makes this milestone even more exciting! 

Sick Baby Update: The doctor prescribed new meds for Carter and he seems to be doing much better.  He woke up in the middle of the night last night, but we're hoping he'll make it through the night tonight!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Change in Heart

During the summer I finally started to get back to my old running shape and was hitting my pre-baby times and paces.  Running felt so good and I loved how it felt to run fast and feel strong.  I love the feeling of running hard and flying around a corner.  Pushing the stroller, flying around turns made me feel even stronger and faster.  I was back in love with running.

The faster I go, the more Carter kicks his legs and squeals!
I ran all through pregnancy, keeping up with 4-5 runs per week.  I was dedicated and did it because I knew it was good for me, good for baby, and when I didn't I woke in the middle of the night with crazy painful cramps in my calves.  During those 9 months I started to forget what was so amazing about running.  I felt fat, slow, and uncomfortable.  Then came running post-baby.  I started to slowly remember what running used to feel like.  Feeling happy, strong, comfortable, and like I could go forever.  But it was a slow process.  I was most shocked by the fact that I wasn't much faster starting out than I had been when pregnant.  Granted I was now running with a stroller, but I still expected to be more like 9-9:30 pace.  I was caught off guard when I was still running 10:00 pace.

It took quite a while for me to get back to my old running self.  The one who got antsy to get out the door for a run.  The one who ran 6 miles instead of 4 just because I felt good.  The one whose favorite workouts were long runs and speed work.  But I got there and man did it feel good.  I appreciated all the small victorys and 10 second postpartum PRs than I ever would have before.  I was just excited for it to feel good again.

Once I got back there it was hard to think of giving that up again.  How could I let go of this amazing, euphoric running and go back to the slow, waddling, stopping for potty breaks a mile in running?  I was training for a half-marathon and was so worried we would end up accidentally getting pregnant before I got to run the race and put my training to the test, but that didn't happen.  I ran the Prairie Fire Half-Marathon and I was pleased with my time, but the race also set a fire under me to try to run a better time.  I was even farther from being able to let go of running because I wanted to get faster.

Then came the Jenks Half-Marathon.  I was able to run a postpartum PR, only 5 minutes slower than my half-marathon PR!  After that race I was content.  It was the strangest feeling.  Last week as I ran slow, easy recovery runs, I felt it.  I'm okay with giving up running again.  If we got pregnant right now I wouldn't mind going back to the slow penguin waddle.  I don't know if it's because I ran those half-marathons and feel good about what I've accomplished or what, but it's nice to know I wouldn't be disappointed to be slow again.  It's amazing the difference a month makes.

Today I ran some half mile repeats and I'm not gonna lie, it felt awesome!  I'm still loving running fast and hard, but I'd be okay giving it up too.  I'm not saying we're planning on growing our family anytime soon.  It's just that my feet and my heart are ready.  It comes down to waiting on my mind and the timing.  I'm ready to give up running, but I'm not ready to give up one-on-one time with Carter.
Wild hair after our run this evening.

I was inspired to write about this by a blog friend's post.  After reading her post I wanted to put into words my sudden shift in feeling toward being pregnant again and the effect it would have on my running.
Why hello!

Speaking of Move it Monday, Carter was all about moving it today!  After waiting for 11 months he's on the fast track toward crawling!  This weekend he sat up in his crib.  He did it again this morning.  He was army crawling this weekend, but it was also mixed with rolling and scooting.  Today he was predominately moving by army crawling.  Then this evening he was crawling, but instead of moving one knee forward at a time he was lifting both knees at the same time and doing something that looked like a bunny hop.  It was so hilarious.  Ty and I were both in such awe, staring at him and willing him to crawl that we didn't think to get it on video!  Hopefully he does it again tomorrow!

Taking a break in between army crawling to me.

Linking up with Ashley for Move it Monday!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Letter to Carter at 11 Months

Mr. Carter Man, each month just keeps getting more and more fun!  You have the sweetest personality and melt my heart every single day!  I swear if I had been asked to choose the perfect personality for my baby, I couldn't have dreamed up a better one for you.  You are so sweet, laid back, and snuggly.  I've been expecting a day to come when you no longer want to snuggle into your momma and be held and luckily it still hasn't arrived.  You are all about being in my lap.  You will go off to play and then will do a combination army crawl/roll to my lap and pull yourself on in.  If you are feeling particularly lazy, which you tend to do quite often, you pull yourself up and rest your head on my leg and just lay there staring up at me.  When I put you in the baby carrier you stare up at me and I giggle from how sweet you look.  You also love for me to help you pull up into a stand in my lap so you can wrap your arms around my neck and snuggle into me.  Man, I love it! 

Speaking of lazy, we can't quite decide if your not crawling business boils down to just simply being lazy or that you are just so darn laid-back and easy going.  Sometimes you get up into the crawl position and then lazily throw yourself forward onto your tummy and roll away.  Other times you get into the crawl position and use only your legs to push yourself forward leaving your chest on the floor.  Then there are times when you are trying to get to a toy and after lots of work, you just give up and start playing with your hands or something closer to you.  You are getting much closer to crawling.  Now you are consistently army crawling.  You also get up on all 4's a lot more.  Before you would get up on your knees, but keep your chest on the ground.  You still keep your belly on the ground while using your arms to spin yourself around to the direction you want to roll or move to.  It's all quite entertaining.  Luckily I've talked to some other moms whose babies didn't crawl until 12+ months, so I feel much better that you are a bit of a late bloomer.
You can almost stand without help.

You may be taking your time with crawling, but you are all about talking.  For a while now you've been saying mama and dada.  I swear you now seem to use them directed at the right person.  When I walk into a room and you see me you go off with mama mama mama.  You do the same thing when I leave a room.  When you are upset and want to be held, it's also mama mama mama.  We aren't sure if we should consider mama and dada as your first words or if we should consider it kitty.  A few days ago you looked down the hall at Skippy and said ki-ki-ee.  Then later when you were in my lap and saw Skippy walk by you said it again!  Your grammy has sworn you say doggie because when you see the dogs you say something that sounds like dog, but I've also heard you just babble it or say it when looking at other things so I'm not sure, but kitty you only say when looking at Skippy!

We love that you are communicating now.  The talking is just part of it.  You are also shaking your head no.  Sometimes you seem to use it when you mean to say no.  Other times you just like to vigorously shake your head back and forth.  You must enjoy the way it feels.  When you first started doing it I would laugh because I would ask you if you wanted more food.  You would shake your head no and then open your mouth inviting more food.  You also give us high fives if we reach out our hand and ask you for a high five.  You love Harper and if I ask you where Harper is, you will scooch around to find her and then look at her and laugh.

One of your favorite things to do is to play with doors.  When you get close to a door you reach over, push it, and swing it around.  You also like to open drawers.  It makes me nervous because you will open a drawer, put your hand over it so your fingers hang down inside the drawer, and then push the drawer shut.  I'm so worried you will one day push the drawer closed on your fingers before I see to stop you.  Something else you have been all about is putting your feet up on the wall.  You love to reach them up onto the walk and slam the wall with your feet.  You also use the wall to push off and slide yourself across the floor.  A couple days ago I went into your bedroom to get you up after a nap and you were sitting in your crib.  I so wish I'd seen how you did it!  You haven't done it since, but I'm sure it means you will be soon!

You are such a little helper.  When we get you out of your car seat, you raise your arms and then push with your legs to help us pull you out.  When we are getting you dressed we can put your arm into the sleeve and then you push your arm the rest of the way through.  Independence is slowly coming!  You are also drinking out of a sippy cup much better now.  It was like this month it finally clicked.  Before you'd get frustrated trying to treat the spout like a nipple.

When I leave daycare in the morning and at luchtime I always blow you kisses.  I'm hoping it's something you pick up soon.  Just recently you've started putting your hand up to your mouth like you are going to blow a kiss.  It is so sweet and I can't wait until it turns into a full-on blown kiss!  Sometimes you suck your hand when it's over your mouth which is so funny!

One day you will hear the song, "What Does the Fox Say" and wonder what was wrong with people back in 2013 that made them like it.  It is a ridiculous song, but you love it.  I don't think you've ever heard the actual version, but you love to hear me sing it and dance along.  I prefer to sing "What Does Carter Say" and then make noises that you make.  You think that is hilarious and smile and dance along, sometimes even clapping for me.  During your photo shoot singing that song was how we got you to look at the camera and smile.

Speaking of songs, I sang one to you I made up and sang to you all the time in your first few months and wanted to write it down so I don't forget it.  Instead of singing "All Around the Mulberry Bush" I changed it up a bit.  It goes like this: All Around the Mulberry bush mommy chased Carter.  Carter stopped to look at a toy, muah, (I lean down and say muah as I kiss you) mommy kissed him.  You always laugh when I kiss you.  I feel like you wish I'd skip the whole song and just say muah and kiss you.

Bathtime just keeps getting more and more fun.  You pretty much refuse to lay down in the tub.  You want to sit up the entire time.  You will move around in the tub and sometimes get down onto your tummy to splash with your legs, roll around, and make me nervous with your mouth and nose so close to the water!  Your favorite toys are bath books, wash cloths, your letters and numbers, and your scuba man we like to call Scuba Steve.  Your favorite thing is when I put the letters and numbers on the side of the tub for you to pull down.  Another thing you do to make me nervous is pull up on the side of the tub.  You will sit there on your knees and peer over the tub at me.  We still have shampoo bottles in the corners of the tub which you like to pull down.

Something you've been doing ever since your top 2 teeth came in is grind your teeth.  You grind your top 2 teeth with your bottom 2 teeth.  It is such an odd sound.  You normally just do it when you are tired, but every once in a while you do it just because.  It really bothers daddy.  I don't mind the sound too much, but hope you grow out of the habit before your permanent teeth come in!

I feel like every month I'm going to describe sleep as all over the place.  You do really well with sleeping through the night as long as you aren't having issues.  This month your issues have been teething and an ear infection.  If you are healthy and you don't have teeth coming in you sleep through the night, but I feel like we haven't had a whole lot of that, although we've had much more of it this month than any other.  This month your gums are like a teeth factory.  Popping out teeth like it's their job.  Right now I can see lots of white right underneath the pink of your gums.  You have your top 2 middle teeth, your bottom 2 middle teeth, and a top tooth to the left of your middle teeth.  From the looks of your gums there will be more coming through within the next few days and/or weeks.

We've been playing with your car quite a bit this month.  You love to be pushed around on it and can even use your legs to push yourself backwards.  When we first started using it I would hold your legs to help keep you on and at the same time lift them up so your feet wouldn't touch the ground.  It didn't take you long to figure it out.  Now you hold on all by yourself and when we start to push you, you immediately lift your feet off the ground and hold them up so you can move.  You are a smart cookie!

You've done much better napping at daycare this month.  You usually take at least one hour long nap.  They even put you on a cot on the floor to sleep in with the one year olds one day.  I can't believe they've already started transitioning you into the one year old room.  You will move over to that room full-time in January.  It's hard to believe you are old enough to be in that room, but you do seem to fit in with those kids better except for the fact that they are all walking and you aren't.

Your buddy Jasmine gets so excited when you come over to visit the one year old room.  One day as we were leaving for the day, her class was walking down the hall.  She squealed when she saw you and ran over to see you.  It was so sweet.  You also have a new friend in your current class.  She thinks you are simply amazing (who can argue with her?).  When we arrive in the morning if I'm still holding you and she sees you, she starts crying because she wants you to come play with her.  The minute I put you down beside her, she stops crying.  She cries when I pick you up for the day and it's so sad.  You seem to like her too, but aren't quite as smitten as she is.  There's a little boy in the one year old room who always says "Hi, Carter" when we arrive in the morning and it's so cute.  Although I hate being away from you, I love that you get to interact with other babies/toddlers all day.  Seeing the interaction you have and the friends you've made really solidifies for me that we made the right decision in sending you to daycare.

This month you have started weaning yourself.  You have no interest in nursing for a meal.  You eat breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner all with just a drink of milk to wash it down.  It doesn't matter whether I nurse you before or after you eat, you drink the same amount, so I usually just do what works best for us in that moment.  You still eat rice cereal or oatmeal cereal in the morning for breakfast.  You have a morning snack around 9:00.  You eat lunch around 11:00 or 11:30.  Afternoon snack is around 3:00 and dinner is usually around 6:30, but can be as early as 6:00 and as late as 7:00.  You are no longer eating any purees.  We finished off the last of the ones I'd made at the beginning of the month and you've moved on to table food at daycare and at home.

We haven't tried many new foods this month.  You've had cucumber, black beans, colby jack cheese, and eggs.  It's been interesting that some things you liked or at least tolerated as purees you completely turn your nose up at as a table food.  You weren't a huge fan of eggplant or zucchini as a puree, but you would eat them.  They've been a huge no go as a table food though.  I don't like them all alone either so I'm thinking I just need to find a good recipe to sneak them into.  You LOVED applesauce.  I'd go as far as to say it was one of your favorites.  But cut up apples?  They end up on the floor.  The really sad part is that Harper won't even eat them.  Maybe you just need more teeth for them because they are a bit hard.

Bananas are definitely your favorite food right now.  You will grab an entire banana and just chow down on it.  You've been known to eat 2 bananas as part of dinner.  None of that surprises me because I was obsessed with bananas when I was pregnant with you (I used to tolerate them, but definitely didn't like them).  I would eat one every day and some days I'd eat 2 or 3.  I also loved black beans, cheese, and salsa.  So far you love everything you've tried that I craved when pregnant.  You haven't had salsa yet, I'll be interested to see what you think when you try it!

You didn't have a well baby appointment this month so daddy and I ended up weighing and measuring you.  I'm sure the measurements were a bit off, but I'm sure they aren't perfect even at the doctor's office.  We measured you at 29.75 inches long.  And according to our scale you weigh 19 pounds. 

This month I packed up your 9 month clothes.  It's amazing how quickly you grow!  You are now in all 12 month and 18 month clothes.  It's gotten cold enough that you really need something on your feet, but socks just don't stay on around here, so we've started putting shoes on you.  Grammy and Grampy bought you some really soft white Nikes that you love and I think are adorable.  They also got you some cute brown ones that stay on really well too.  I'm not sure what size shoe you wear because brands are all so different.  Your Nikes are a size 4 and your brown shoes are a size 3.  We have a really cute pair of Carter's brand shoes that are so big you kick them off and they are a size 3!  You're still in size 3 diapers at daycare and wearing cloth diapers at home.

Now that you are transitioning to the one year old room they will try to move you over to one nap a day.  That nap is around 12:00 which means you will be asleep when I come at lunchtime when you are on that schedule.  It was really hard for me the first time I came and you were taking a nap at that time.  My days revolve around when I get to see you.  I'm always thinking about you and looking forward to holding you.  When you are in my arms I feel happy.  Our time apart is hard but it sure makes me appreciate you more and make the most of every moment we have together.  You are the most amazing baby boy and I love you so much!  
I can't believe you will be a year old next month.  It's amazing to think it's been a whole year since we first met.  Since I held you for the first time and felt your soft, precious skin.  If you can't tell, it makes me very sentimental and emotional to think about you turning one.  I'm just now getting into party planning mode which is so not like me.  Normally I would already have everything made, ready, and planned out a month in advance.  This party?  Let's just say invitations haven't even gone out.  I couldn't figure out my lack of motivation for party planning until your teacher at daycare told me you would be full-time in the one year old room in January.  That's when it hit me.  I'm just not quite ready.  Not ready for you to be one, for you to be a toddler, to let go of that newborn baby that I still picture in my head.  I've come to the realization that a parent never really is.  I'm always going to picture you as a newborn and wonder, where did the time go?  Well now it's time to look at the birthday party as a day to celebrate what an amazing boy you are and how much we all love you, not so much as the day you are getting a year older because who wants that to happen?  Not this momma!

Now on to daddy:

You are starting to talk more and more, and every once in a while, I think that you say an actual word and mean it! You were sick a couple of days last week and the afternoon I was home with you and you were feeling better and playing and talking. All of a sudden, you look down the hall (I assume see Skippy) and say kitty kitty! And then right back to playing!

You are really good at being mobile with out actually crawling. At this point, I think you are not crawling on purpose just to frustrate your mother! I am amazed how fast you can get around with rolling, scooting and a little bit of army crawling.

I love your always sunny disposition and how you always welcome your mom and I with a smile and sometimes a laugh! Getting you to laugh and smile is easy fun so of course we are doing it all the time!

Last month you and I ran a Halloween race where we dressed up as pilots and ran with your stroller that I had turned into a fighter plane! You and I had a blast and got a lot of attention which you loved. Walking up to us, people and would see the plane and go "o wow look at that!" And then they would get closer and see you and they would follow up with "aaaahhh". I think you must have been the cuter pilot!

All in all it has been an amazing 11 months and we cannot wait to celebrate your first birthday in less than a month! I know all of your family is also very excited to come see you turn one! It will be so much fun!