Friday, January 31, 2014

The Day I Resigned

I'm so excited I finally get to share the news with you!  It's been hard to blog because all I wanted to talk about was this huge decision Ty and I had been mulling over.  I wanted to share all of our thoughts, concerns, reservations, excitements, and feelings, but I didn't want to do all of that without talking to the necessary people at work.  I know the chances are slim, but what if they stumbled across this little space of mine before I shared the news with them.  So I held off and waited and twiddled my thumbs as I stared at the keyboard desperately wanting to write words that I just couldn't put out there.  At least not yet.  Now I can. 

Ever since returning to work back in March I have struggled.  It's been a battle between my heart wanting to be home with Carter and my mind telling me all this other stuff related to income, retirement, and working.  I kept expecting it to get easier and all my co-teachers told me it would.  Carter's first birthday rolled around and I was still waiting.  It wasn't getting easier, the opposite actually, it was starting to get harder.  Since I initially only went back for 3 months, I began to realize in October what a long stretch it was until the summer.  My heart yearned to be home with Carter and I started counting down until summer break so I could spend all day with him.  That's when I started getting depressed.  I didn't want to wish away any moments of Carter's life.  He's growing up too fast as it is!  I didn't want to wish away months just to get to the ones where I would be home with him.
It seems like just yesterday he was this tiny, baby!

It got to the point where I would break down once a month, then every other week, then weekly, and then last week I was a mess all week.  Ty and I finally decided it was time to look at our options.  We pulled up our monthly budget, took out the daycare expense and my income, and really looked.  Could we make it work?  We decided it would be tight, but we could do it, and it was worth it. 

All of that leads up to today.  This morning I broke the news to my teaching partner.  I was nervous and I'm not sure what I expected her reaction to be, but I wasn't expecting what she said.  She turned, looked at me, and said, "I know this is the right decision for you."  I was floored.  She has a lot invested in our partnership and the first thing that came out of her mouth didn't have "I" in it at all.  It just drove home even more what an amazing person and friend she really is.  She has seen me struggle.  She has talked me through some really rough days where I wanted so badly to just walk out, curl up with my baby, and never go back.  She knew what I was going through and she understood the intensity of the struggle I was facing.
Luckily some mornings he insists on being in the baby carrier while I get ready for work!

The next step was talking to my building principal and then my site principal.  I was overwhelmed by the support and understanding that I received from both.  When speaking with our site principal I shared my concern about not being able to come back to my current school when I return.  She was so sweet and assured me that she would hire me back in a heartbeat and she guaranteed me that whenever I was ready to come back a position would be there for me.  The relief of sharing the news with those important people at work and the excitement of hearing I would have a job when I returned put me on cloud 9.  I couldn't wait to call Ty, my mom, and my mother-in-law. 

Now it's official, starting June 3rd I will be a stay at home mom!  I'm not naive.  I know there will be struggles.  I know it will be hard.  I know there will be lonely days.  But it will beat spending 8 hours a day away from my baby.  And after all this working while Carter was at daycare I will appreciate the time so much more.  I will understand what a gift each moment I have with him is.  All that being said, I will make sure not to smother him (although you can't spell smother without mother, lol!), spoil him, or dote on him too much (if that's even possible).  Amazingly when Ty said the words "Maybe you should stay at home" I fell more in love with him.  Knowing he's willing to make this sacrifice when it benefits me in so many ways, but doesn't directly benefit him, made my love for him grow.  Suddenly he was even more handsome than he had been the day before, even more amazing, his accent even cuter.  I can't say it enough, I'm so glad I get to spend my life with him!  It has been an amazing journey and I know this next step will make it even better.  I know it will make me a better and more attentive wife, more sharing of time with Carter, and more fulfilled.  I don't know how long it will be or what all it will entail, but it will be fabulous and it will be ours.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I Love...

I haven't done a love list post in a while, I'm pretty sure since October, so I figured it was about time to write one.

Trips to the library.  The last few times we went to the library Carter walked along holding my hands and occasionally stopped to reach for a book.  Funny enough, every book he has picked out has been about cars or bugs.  I have a feeling that won't change anytime soon!  I'm definitely enjoying the ability to pick out books while I can!

Jeremy's new schedule.  I love that Carter gets to see his uncie so much more now that he doesn't work 4pm to midnight.  Carter sure loves his uncie and grabs for his beard every time he's near!

Macklamore's song "Same Love".  It's such a great song with a great message.  The first time I heard it was at the tail end of the music video and it teared me up.  It is just beautiful!  I'm also jamming out to Kacey Musgraves, "Follow Your Arrow".  Carter enjoys boogyin along to both songs, but not nearly as much as "What Does the Fox Say"!

Carter's tongue trick.  I've mentioned this before, but I can't get over how darn cute it is!  The only thing cuter is when he stands on his tippy toes.  What really gets me is when he stands on his tippy toes with his tongue out, reaching for something.
My boys.  Ty is such a great daddy!  As Carter gets older and is able to do more I see Ty enjoying it and having so much fun!  He is so sweet and loving, but also rough and silly.  I keep picturing him as the dad to a little girl as well.  He would do such a great job!
Watching Carter play at daycare.  There's a toy slide with stairs leading up on one side.  Carter used to climb up the slide, turn around, and go back down the slide.  They switched the stairs and slide around so new he climbs up the stairs, turns around, and goes back down the stairs.  He cracks me up!

Parking in the garage.  Ty was able to fix our garage door opener after Halle found a new home.  Now I park in the garage and it is fabulous!  My car is still cold when I get in, but it's not freezing.  I don't have to bundle Carter up to go out to the car, just to take everything off once we get in.  Everyday when I walk Carter through the laundry room to the car I am so thankful I don't have to walk outside!

Fleece lined leggings.  My mom bought me some for Christmas and they are amazing.  I wore a dress a couple days ago in 30 degree weather and stayed quite toasty.  Everyone kept asking me if I was freezing, but I wasn't at all!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Big Changes

This evening Ty's parents called to FaceTime with us and didn't realize Carter's bedtime has changed which made me realize there are some new developments with Carter I haven't shared on here.  One of our biggest changes has been bedtime.  He used to go to bed at 8:00 but started waking up at 6:00 am instead of 7:00 and I was worried he wasn't getting enough sleep.  So I moved his bedtime up to 7:30.  I was really hoping we wouldn't need to move his bedtime up to 7:00 because that meant less time with him in the evening after work, but he was struggling and tired so we did it.  Now he's down and asleep between 7:00 and 7:20 at night.  It's really hard on me and sometimes I cry after I lay him down.  While I hold him and give him his last cuddles for the night I slowly feel the shift in my chest until I lay him down and have the empty, sad feeling that I carry around all day at work.  My happy, fulfilled moments are so short these days.  Most mornings he wakes up between 6:30 and 7:00 so I get an hour or hour and a half with him before dropping him off at daycare and then I get 3 hours in the evening.  It's rough.
Napping in my arms after a busy day at daycare.

He now stretches up onto his tip toes to see things.  This evening while Ty and I were eating dinner, he held onto the edge of the table and pulled up onto his tip toes to get a good look at what we were eating.  I've been trying to get a picture of him on his tippy toes, but haven't been successful.  It's so hard to determine when he will do it and then it's usually such a fleeting moment I have a difficult time snapping the picture before he plops down flat footed again.  I'm not sure where this next thing came from, but he sticks his tongue out and covers his chin.  Usually this occurs as he is crawling fast or working hard on something.  Ty sticks his tongue out when he's concentrating and I've even seen pictures of him doing it as a child, but he does it differently.  I've also had a difficult time getting a picture of Carter doing this.  I've only gotten one picture and it's not a good one, but it gives you an idea!

Talking is starting to happen little by little.  He's said "hi dad" to Ty when he walked in a room.  He constantly says mama when he wants something and I'm walking away and doesn't stop until I walk back over to him.  This evening when FaceTiming he said bye and waved to his grandma and grandpa.  Most things he's said he repeated right after someone else said it, but mama is something he definitely has down!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Day My Immune System Gave Up

After a grueling day at work, well actually a grueling week, I went to lay down and rest for a little bit at 5:00 yesterday evening.  I figured I'd wake up after Carter ate dinner and I could give him his bath and spend some time snuggling before he went to bed.  Ty brought Carter in to say good night to me around 8:00 and I struggled to lift my head enough to give him kisses.  Then I zonked out again until Ty came to bed around 10:00.  As he slid into bed I asked him what Carter ate for dinner.  He responded with, "You'll just have to read the blog!"  How sweet of him to make a post while I was out for the count.  I enjoyed reading the post and looking at the pictures this morning after sleeping for nearly 14 hours.  I guess that's what happens when you are sick for 4 days and don't sleep any extra to help you recover, you crash eventually!  Unfortunately that teacher immune system I've been bragging about gave out on me.

It all started on Tuesday, my first day of work for the week.  After dropping the students off in the cafeteria for lunch I started having vision trouble and my head was pounding within 45 minutes.  Sometimes when I get migraines I am really nauseous and other times I feel mostly normal other than my head.  This one was accompanied by the constant feeling that I needed to throw up.  I went about my day as usual because getting a sub half-way through the day is pretty impossible and I've grown accustomed to functioning with a migraine for that very reason.
We've been drinking LOTS of Gatorade around here this week!
The next day (Wednesday) my head was still hurting, but much better although the nausea hadn't subsided and was actually much worse.  I ended up not eating anything and only drinking Gatorade all day, which Ty had run out to buy me that morning, such a sweetie!  That night I had vision trouble driving home from picking Carter up at daycare and got another migraine.  I was disappointed when I woke up Thursday and my head was still fuzzy and painful and I was desperately wishing I could throw up.  Throughout the entire 1st trimester with Carter I struggled with migraines (I'm talking 2-3 a week) which were always accompanied by severe nausea.  I was starting to wonder if that was what was going on and then the next bout of the bug kicked in.  Starting Friday morning around 2am I was in and out of the bathroom all night long.  Obviously it was unpleasant but saved us the $6 we would have spent on a pregnancy test.  I wasn't even successful with Gatorade, so spent all morning sipping Sprite from a straw.  I was feeling a little bit better by lunchtime and decided to try some soup which turned out to be a mistake.  During the afternoon I had to run to the bathroom numerous times and the nausea kicked it up a notch.  Not cool!  I'm hoping this weekend Ty (who of course if I have a bug has one too) and I will be feeling back to normal!  Until then we are downing ridiculous amounts of Gatorade and taking it easy!
Good thing Carter's so cute!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Breakfast for Dinner, that's the way Daddy Rolls - A Daddy Post

Daddy here, filling in for Mommy!

Last night mommy woke up at 2am about as sick as I was two weeks ago. I of course slept through it but she informed me that morning when I woke up! I honestly felt bad for her but deep down I thought to myself, now I am going to get sick! That seems to be the way it works around here, either we all get sick, or just I get end up getting sick.

Luckily Carter has only had a cough and congestion. As for me, it struck me at around 8:06am. Six minutes into my work day, I realized that it would not be a pleasant day. I did what I could but I ended up leaving work at around 10am. I came home, hydrated and rested. Poor Liz on the other hand toughed it out and made it through her work day.

So obviously when she got home she was absolutely beat. She tried laying down in the living room with Carter and but was not able to get any rest because Carter was obsessed with going over to her and bugging her. At about five, she finally called it quits and went to bed.

With that, Carter and I sauntered into the kitchen to figure out what the plan was for dinner. Much to our disappointment, there was not preprepared food left from the week that would be an easy heat up and serve. So I decided I would introduce Carter to one of my favorite dinner meals, BREAKFAST!

Liz and I had some pancakes left over from Thursday's dinner (yes, mom and dad had breakfast for dinner the night before!) and decided that the bites he had yesterday he seemed to really enjoy. So I warmed those up, along with some peaches and a glass of apple juice and he was set. He immediately went to town and ate all of the food I had made him.

After that, a little bit of quality rocking and snuggle time and he was ready for a bath. At this point he was so tired, I sat him down in the tub and he just sat there and stared at me. Needless t o say, there was not playing tonight! And then, out of the blue, he scrunched up his face and farted. Except, it wasn't a fart. But a poop! So we took a faster bath then expected and got him in his jammies.

After that, some more rocking and snuggling until bedtime. We very sneakily creep into mommy's room to kiss her goodnight and then lay him down to bed. All in all it was a good night!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Tuesday morning was rough for me.  It was the first day back at work after a 3-day weekend.  Extra days at home seem to make it even harder to go back to work.  They get me thinking about what it would be like being home with Carter every day.  Monday evening as I sat down after Carter went to bed I couldn't help but think, why can't every day be like today?  It had been a perfect day filled with playing outside, snuggles, snacking, and believe it or not, cleaning house! 

Tuesday morning when I dropped Carter off at daycare I set him down and went into the kitchen area to make some changes on his menu.  While I was in there Carter screamed and began crying really loudly.  I popped around and saw one of the other little kids holding Carter's hand while Carter cried and tried to pull it away.  I rushed over, grabbed Carter into my arms, and looked over his hand.  I didn't see anything so I guessed the little boy must've been pulling too hard.  I held Carter long enough to soothe him and then put him down.  As I turned to walk away the same little guy walked over to Carter, grabbed his hand, and bit his fingers.  Poor little Carter dude just sat there and cried.  I instantly picked him back up, shocked.  I couldn't believe the sweet little friend of Carter's had just bit him!  I get that he's not even 2 years old yet and doesn't understand cause and effect very well, but why would he do it again when Carter had cried the first time?!!? 
Frustrated with me for not letting him play with diapers, but the face goes with the story.
Carter's teacher and I both tried multiple toys to distract him, but all he wanted was for me to hold him.  I had less than 10 minutes until I had to be at work so I had to leave or be late to work.  It was the saddest, most heart breaking moment for me.  I knew Carter would be over it in the next few minutes, but not being able to hold him and soothe him as he cried coupled with having to leave him while he was crying was enough to leave me crying all the way to work.  As a teacher I know this won't be the only time a peer does something to physically or emotionally hurt Carter, but it didn't make it any easier.  To make me feel better, I watched this video.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Oh How Carter Has Changed!

This weekend Ty was bouncing Carter on the bed and Carter was laughing and loving it!  It was so cute that I pulled out my phone and took a video.  As I watched the video later when Carter was asleep for the night I had a flashback to Ty playing with Carter, getting him to laugh on the bed when Carter was 7 months old.  I flipped back to the video I was thinking of and was amazed by the difference in our little boy.  He's now almost twice the age he was back then.  He looks so much thinner, is mobile and moving all over in the video, and I swear his laugh sounds just a little bit different.  I had totally forgotten how Carter used to squeal in between laughs!  I think you'll be amazed in the similarities yet stark differences between Carter in the 2 videos!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Much Needed Beautiful Weekend!

This weekend came with some beautiful weather, temperatures pushing 60 degrees!  We were so excited to spend time outside!  Carter and I were outside as much as possible.  I blew bubbles at Carter, he played with his bike, and Ty picked up some sidewalk chalk for us.  I was shocked when I handed a piece of sidewalk chalk to Carter and he drew on the ground with it after seeing me do the same moments later.  My surprise was quickly squelched when what I had expected occurred.  After drawing 4 scribbles on the concrete, Carter became intrigued by the box the chalk had come in and only wanted to play with the box or throw the chalk around thereafter.
The first time we went out it was 48 degrees and windy.

Initially I put Carter on his bike and pushed him around.  After we played with the chalk Carter hauled it crawlingout to his bike and attempted to climb on with no help.  I couldn't suppress my laughter as he fell forward as the wheels began to move.  He didn't give up and went for it again.  After sitting on the bike and realizing he only knew how to push himself backward when he really wanted to move forward, he got off the bike and walked behind the bike pushing it.  It was the cutest thing!  I'm so excited for him to walk on his own and ride his bike moving forward!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

The holiday today meant I got to spend an extra day at home with Carter.  Of course the holiday also meant we listened to Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech and the random thoughts floating around in my head were much deeper than normal.  I turned the speech on while Carter was eating his morning snack and he got so distracted he stopped eating his apples until the speech was over.  Just goes to show MLK is a great orator regardless of age.  Everytime I listen to him speak I get emotional and goosebumps pop up all over my arms.  If you'd like to listen to the speech I have the youtube video we watched below.
We had perfect weather for our day with the high reaching into the 60's.  Much of our day was spent outside.  Carter was walking pushing his bike and discovered, when he slipped, that it was much easier to do on his knees so he switched to doing it that way.  He crawled all over the backyard and then came upon the chain-link fence.  His game then became trying to pull leaves from the other side of the fence and then turning around and shoving them back through.  Harper has grown accustomed to Carter reaching down and handing her food as he's eating (which we discourage but it's pretty hard to keep him from doing).  She walked up to him while he was playing with leaves and handed her part of a leaf he had ripped off.  Without even looking, Harper very carefully pulled it from his hand, chewed it, and ate it.  I couldn't believe she actually ate it!

Putting leaves in Harper's empty water bowl and then pulling them back out.
We also enjoyed lots of extra snuggles and Carter spent his inside time without a diaper.  His bottom is looking much better today, but is still not all the way cleared up.   He definitely enjoys not wearing a diaper!  This morning he was sitting on my lap and we had a blanket across our laps.  Suddenly he lifted the blanket up and looked down.  I swear he did it just to watch his urine spray across my lap! 
Eating out of his bib after lunch.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

No Diaper Day

Disclaimer: This story is not intended for those with weak stomachs!

Our little Carter man broke out in a gnarly diaper rash yesterday morning.  We applied diaper cream all day and thought and thought about what could be the culprit.  The last time I bought diapers I picked up Luvs instead of Huggies because they were quite a bit cheaper.  We normally buy our diapers at Sam's and Huggies are the cheapest they have, but we were in desperate need and it was Sunday evening so Sam's was closed so I stopped at a Wal-Mart.  Carter had used Luvs at his grandma and grandpa's house and they sent the left overs home with us, so I figured they would be fine.  When we had used Luvs before it was just in the mornings on his way to daycare as he still had Huggies at daycare and we used cloth at home.  That dawned on me when I was trying to determine the cause behind the rash.  We switched back to Huggies and hopefully that will help!  I have noticed the Luvs seem to be scented and Carter has really sensitive skin, so I am pretty convinced that's the problem.

Ty was brave enough to rock Carter diaperless, although I was the one who got peed on!
Anyway, that all is to set us up for what happened today.  This morning when Carter's rash appeared as red and raised as yesterday I decided some fresh air would do him good.  I ran the idea of no diapers for the day past Ty and he agreed.  Luckily Carter only pottied on carpet once and the rest of his incidents were in the kitchen on the laminate flooring.  Ty grilled out for lunch and wanted to eat in the living room to watch the football game.  I decided to stay in the kitchen with Carter because he was having fun with his toys in there and it would be easier to clean up any messes.  As I was eating Carter crawled behind the chair with his high chair in it so I couldn't see him.  I pushed the chair away so he would be in view and as I did looked down to see Carter holding poop up offering it to me.  I told him thank you and took it only to see him reach behind him toward the ground to pick up more poop which I didn't realize was there.  I had to call for reinforcements and Ty took Carter to clean him off as I cleaned up the floor.  The funniest part of the whole situation was how proud Carter was to hand me a log of poo.  I thought I had the situation under control when I took it from him but, unbeknownst to me, there was more!  On the bright side thankfully we've found something Carter won't shove in his mouth!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Letter to Carter at 13 Months

I'm still having a hard time believing you are a year old and here we are a whole month past your first birthday!  You are seriously the cutest little thing and still sweet as ever!  Just looking at you makes me smile so hard.  Hearing your laugh brightens my day.  It doesn't matter if it's in person or watching videos on my phone.  It make my day every single time.  When I'm walking in the halls at school after dropping students off in specials or at lunch or heading to pick students up, I am always flipping through pictures and videos of you.  One day I was watching a video of you spinning at the park, laughing when the specials teacher opened the door.  I looked up with the biggest smile on my face and she was in grumpy mood so she grunted at me and made a face.  Not even that could bring me down from the happiness of hearing your laugh.  It's my heart's medicine when I'm missing you!

Let me say that getting these 13 month pictures was incredibly difficult!  I felt like a clown between making silly faces at you, singing "What Does the Fox Say?", clicking my tongue, and swishing my hair around to get your attention and get you to smile.  Then daddy got home and you loved peering at me over his legs.  Sadly my favorite picture from the shoot includes your daddy's legs, but at this point I'll take what I get when it comes to pictures!  I'm sure it's only going to get harder all the way up until your teenage years when you flat out refuse to take pictures!

Crawling is still your main form of transportation although you are pulling up to a stand and cruising much more now.  You love to make me nervous as all get out!  Instead of going through the door of your car, you always climb over one of the other sides and of course go head first.  Daddy is always reminding me it's how you learn, but it doesn't change the fact that my heart races every single time!  The cutest thing you've picked up this month is standing on your tippy toes.  When you are standing up and want to see something just out of your view you pop up onto your tippy toes.  It is absolutely adorable and always elicits giggles from me.  That is unless you are in the tub then I about pass out from fear!  You've always loved your baths (well since you hit the age where you could take real baths, not sure any newborns enjoy them) but all the sudden this month you scream initially when I put you in and stand rigidly with straight legs.  I try to sit you down and you won't budge.  Eventually you sit down on your own and then it's like a normal bath.  Tonight you never sat down and I had to wash you while you were standing and I was holding one of your arms because you had your legs spread really wide and I was afraid you were going to fall!

This month you have been a little bit less of a momma's boy.  You still follow me around at home and use me as your home base, crawling over and laying your head in my lap.  Sometimes you very adamantly request to sit in my lap.  We usually read books when you are desperate to be in my lap.  You aren't so dead set on having momma anymore though.  If I pass you off to daddy or someone else you fuss initially, but give up after a few seconds.  You have even grabbed for daddy a few times when I was holding you which was unheard of before!  When we get to daycare you strain out of my arms so you can take off after your friends.  One of your buddies always rushes to greet you and either waves or pats you on the back.

Crying and hand movements are still your main form of communication.  You do call me mama and you say dada, but not normally directed at daddy.  When you see Skippy you squeal and say ca ca, ki ki, or ki ca over and over.  At the zoo you said ca ca when you saw a sand cat, so you definitely understand all cats and not just Skippy.  When you want me you will reach your hand out and motion toward yourself with your fingers.  You also let it be known when you want held or when you want to walk.  When you want held you reach your arms straight up in the air so I can put my hands in your armpits to lift you up.  When you want to walk you reach your arms up about half-way and bent with your palms facing up.  If I don't put my fingers out for you to grab soon enough, you peer around and reach around searching for my hands.  If you are sitting in a chair with me and want down, you reach around for my hands to slide down on your back.  If I'm not there or you can't get to my hands you flip around to your belly and slide down that way.  You figured that out on your own the first day you tried to do it.  I was so surprised!
Come on, momma, let's eat!

Harper and Skippy's water bowl continues to hold your attention.  You speed crawl to it and stop mid-crawl expressing disappointment when we pick the bowl up.  Today I went to the bathroom and daddy thought I took you with me.  He was cooking breakfast and heard a strange noise only to look around and discover you playing in the water bowl.  Normally you slap and splash in the water or completely pour it out.  Today you were dipping your fist in the bowl and drinking the water off your hand.  Yep, you are just a bit gross!  You're gonna end up with an immune system like mommy's!  I'd say a close 2nd favorite toy would be books.  I keep a few board books in every room.  Last month you would sit with a book and turn the pages.  This month you started making noises as you turn the page as though you are reading.  Your favorite books to have read to you are usually books with animal noises.  Your favorite book to flip through and read to yourself is "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?"  I think it's because of the bright pictures with the simple white background.  Each animal is large on the page and grabs your attention.  You'll flip from the front to the back and then from the back to the front.  When I read it to you, you flip through so fast I have to skip some of the pages.

Too busy reading to take your 13 month pictures!

It is so much fun to watch you figure out how things work.  You understand the balls of your Elefun game come out the trunk and you have tried pushing the balls down into the trunk.  Just recently you finally noticed after watching me where to put the balls in.  You also know to push the red button for music.  You've even tried putting Skippy's ball toy into your humidifier.  An understandable mistake as it looks a lot like Elefun!

You have been completely weaned pretty much all month.  You aren't much for cow's milk.  Every once in a while you will drink some of it, but most of the time you just continuously throw it on the floor until I relent and replace it with water.  Water or apple juice you chug down until you have to stop for fear of choking.  I fill your sippy about 1/8 of the way with juice and then the rest of the way with water, so it's pretty much water as well.  You drink milk or juice with breakfast and dinner, milk with lunch, and water with snacks.  Sometimes during dinner you will start screaming because you are thirsty and don't have your sippy yet.  I try to get food on your tray first and then work on the sippy, sometimes it's just not fast enough!  We are wondering if you have a smidge of a milk allergy or lactose intolerance because you don't like to drink milk (sometimes even spitting it out) and have been spitting up a little bit after eating yogurt, but you eat cottage cheese and cheese just fine.  So who knows, maybe you just aren't a fan!

Surprisingly this month you moved to waking up at 6:00 pretty much every day.  I was worried you weren't getting enough sleep going down at 8:00 so we've moved your bedtime to 7:30.  It doesn't matter what time you go down, you wake up at 6:00 so that way you get a bit more sleep.  We may move your bedtime up to 7:00, but I just hate to do that because it would mean I only get 3 hours with you before bedtime on weeknights and that's just not enough for momma!  Every 15 minutes is a treasure and I just can't give up 30 whole minutes and you seem to do okay with 10.5-11 hours of sleep at night.  Most days you wake up and lay in bed quietly playing for a while.  Some days you wake up and want picked up right away.  When you want picked up and we don't get there right away, I'll come int to find you standing in your crib and the monkeys ripped off your mobile and laying in your crib.  Although sometimes you quietly do that to entertain yourself while you wait on someone to come get you.  One Saturday you even woke up at 6 and laid in bed quietly until 7:00!  I sure would love to sleep in until 7:00 on weekends, but I love you waking up at 6:00 on weekdays because I get an extra hour with you before work/daycare. 

With your earlier wake up time, daddy gets up after you.  By the time he's up and in the shower you have already eaten breakfast, had a diaper change, and gotten dressed.  While daddy's in the shower you usually play in the hallway or in the bathroom with I straighten my hair.  One morning daddy peeked out around the shower curtain to see you.  He regretted that decision because you realized where he was.  Now every morning as he showers you come into the bathroom and play peek-a-boo with the shower curtain, freezing daddy by letting the cold air in!  I think it is adorable, but I'm not the one freezing!

At home you take a little 30-45 minute nap in the morning usually after being awake for about 3-4 hours (at 9:00-10:00) and a 2 hour nap in the afternoon around 2:00.  At daycare you take one nap in the afternoon with the rest of the kids.  You really still need your morning nap and get really tired at daycare before lunchtime, but if you took a morning nap your afternoon nap would be later in the afternoon than everyone else and you wouldn't sleep very well.  So you skip your morning nap and sleep for 2.5 hours or even a little bit more from 11:45 or 12:00-2:30.  Your teacher said you usually go down first and wake up last, that's my boy!  Well, more like your daddy's boy!

There have been so many new foods this month, I haven't been keeping track.  You had your first restaurant meal this month at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  You had a beef enchilada, a cheese enchilada, and rice.  Daddy ate your refried beans because I didn't want you to have too much new stuff at once.  I'd say your favorite part of the meal was the rice.  You dominated it!

This month we weighed and measured you at home, so it's not totally accurate, but it gives us an idea of how much you've grown.  You are 20.8 pounds and 31 inches.  You are still wearing some 12 month clothes.  You have a few onesies that don't button so I guess you have a long torso.  Your 12 month pants fit really well especially because we don't want them dragging on the ground now that you are standing and cruising so much!  You are also wearing 18 month clothes.  The onesies fit better, but the pants tend to be a little bit long and your waist is so tiny they sag a bit.  I keep joking you need a belt, but that would make diaper changes even more interesting!  Your toes are creeping toward the end of your size 3 shoes, but your size 4 shoes are still a bit big, although you wear both size 3 & 4 shoes right now.  I'd say you are between sizes, a size 3.5.  You are still in size 3 diapers.  We switched to Luvs from Huggies the last time we bought diapers because they were cheaper and you didn't have any accidents in the ones your Grandma bought you, but you've been getting lots of diaper rashes, so we are going to switch back to Huggies and see if that helps.  Otherwise it must be something you're eating and it will take us a while to figure it out, but I'm guessing the culprit is citrus or milk if it's not the diaper brand change.

You are the funniest little guy.  You make me laugh really hard at least once every day.  You do the strangest things.  Like shove random things from the floor in your mouth and quickly turn your head away in an attempt to keep me from fishing it out of your mouth.  Or demand to eat what I have.  I was eating raw baby carrots while carrying you and you just had to have one, so I gave you one and you gnawed on it for a long time before you bit a piece off and I took it away because I was worried you would choke.  There is never a moment when I'm wishing to be anywhere other than with you.  When you are asleep I wish you were still up to snuggle and play.  Waking up to the sound of your voice and seeing your face as I walk into your room is the perfect way to start my day.  Picking you up from daycare and snuggling you up against my chest is the highlight of my day.  I live for my weekends with you and am already looking forward to my summer of nothing but Carter ALL DAY EVERY DAY!  You are the light of my life and I couldn't ask for a sweeter, more snuggly, and easy going baby.  There aren't enough seconds in the day for me to kiss you enough.  When I'm carrying you I am constantly covering your little cheeks with kisses which you thankfully still allow.  I'm not sure how much longer you will tolerate that habit!  I am thankful every second of every day that I am your mommy!  I love you forever and for always my little snuggle bug!

Now on to daddy:

Hey Bud,

You are all over the place these days! You have crawling down to a science and have even figured out your top gear. It is so funny to watch you all of a sudden take off at full speed! Standing and cruising is your big thing right now and we think that it will be only a matter of weeks before you are taking your first steps by yourself.

More and more you like to find yourself a book, pull it onto your lap and read to yourself. I really love watching you do that, especially as much as your mother and I like to read. You also are infatuated with Skippy. As soon as you see him your are laughing and smiling, pointing and saying keekat.
Just the other day, I realized that you do not lunge at Skippy like you do Harper because you have figured out that scares him off. Instead you typically take your time and inch closer and closer to him, usually stopping just out of reach. Almost as if Skippy realizes you are not going to try to grab him, he sits still and lingers while you watch him up close.

You have also started standing on your tip toes to help you see something better or reach an object that is too tall. It is fun watching you problem solve. You are also getting to where you are able to really enjoy some of the equipment at playgrounds. It is fun watching you enjoy yourself so much.

This month I was quite sick one weekend and every time you heard me throwing up in the bathroom you would come find me as quickly as you could so that you could sit with me in the bathroom. You are such a sweet boy!

Every day is better than the last buddy and I love you so much!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Embracing Independence

When I drop Carter off at daycare he typically watches me as I walk away or even crawls after me, but I never get a wave or a good bye kiss blown my way.  Sometimes when Ty leaves Carter waves to him and it's just so sweet.  I think it's mostly because I'm holding him and waving to Ty so he follows suit.  The last few days when I arrived to pick him up at daycare, he reached toward me, stretched out his fingers and then curled them back toward himself repeatedly, beckoning me forward.  It melted my heart and plastered a giant grin across my face.

Sharing a waffle.
Trying some of my soy milk.
This morning as I was leaving Carter's classroom I looked back at him.  He pulled up onto a bookshelf, looked right at me, and waved good bye.  I instantly teared up.  It was the sweetest thing.  Like he was saying bye mommy, I'm fine here and I'm gonna have a great day, don't worry about me.  I also teared up because he looked so grown up standing there waving at me.  My brain almost instantly fast forwarded to other moments in life when I will have the same view.  Carter's first day of kindergarten.  Carter's first playdate.  His first sleep over.  His first weekend trip.  His first summer camp experience.  Dropping him off at his dorm to commence his college journey.  It's scary how fast it will all go by.  So I stood there outside his classroom door, watching him through the small rectangular window.  My tiny toddler, so fearless yet still needing his mommy.  He peered back at me from across his classroom and I finally had to pull myself away.  As I peeked back over my shoulder he had dropped down to the ground and crawled over to one of his friends to play.  With independence comes such joy because I know I am preparing him for the world and nurturing his ability to take care of himself.  That's not to say that joy isn't accompanied by tears.  Tears knowing that each day he will be a little bit older, a little bit different, needing his mom in different ways and I hate to say it, but needing me less.  It's almost as if he's waving good bye to the baby he used to be and embracing the toddler he has become.  My baby is a toddler.  Yes, a toddler.  It's time for me to get used to that.
Ready for a busy day at daycare.