Friday, February 28, 2014

Growing Pains

Mentally I know Carter's age.  Deep down I know he's going on 15 months.  I know he's over a year old, that he's working on walking, that he's becoming a big boy.  But there are still moments where I look at him and am suddenly shocked and taken aback at how big he is.  This morning when I laid him down on the changing table to change his diaper and took a step back to throw something in the dirty clothes, I turned back and saw his head touching the end on one side and his feet touching the end on the other side.  Later when I was cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast he crawled over and was looking at his jumperoo which he hadn't played in in months.  I put him in and couldn't believe how differently he played with it and how much bigger he was.  Then tonight when my parents arrived and my mom was holding Carter, I was shocked when he rested his head on her shoulder and his legs were stretched past her waist.  When did my boy get so big?!!?  I remember adults saying things like that to me all the time as a kid.  I would get so excited, run to the mirror, stare at myself, and be disappointed that I looked the same.  Now I'm on the other side and I totally get it! 

Playing peek a poo with friends a t daycare.

The best are the sweet moments when Carter reaches out and holds my hand.  This afternoon when we got home I had a migraine and wasn't feeling up to par.  Carter was tired and fussy.  I decided to take him into our bedroom to see if he wanted to rest for a little bit.  On our way down the hallway he reached out and wrapped his fingers around my hand.  Melts me every. single. time.  At what age will he no longer want to hold my hand?  That's when I'm going to really get choked up over how big he is! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Recalls are Scary!

This evening I was scrolling through Facebook while my pictures uploaded from my phone and my heart leaped out of my chest as my eyes caught an article someone had posted to their wall.  I saw a picture of one of Carter's toys accompanied by the headline "No Recall of Soothe and Glow Seahorse Toddler Toy Despite Fire Safety Concerns".  I immediately clicked on the link, read the article, and watched the video.  Check out the article here.  Long story short the battery coil has been known to heat up and melt the plastic inside the battery pack.  The company has improved the toy so there are now only 2 batteries rather than 3.  I quickly jumped up and headed into Carter's room to check his toy.  His is one of the new ones that only takes 2 batteries, thankfully!  But man, it's scary to think the company knows the product was faulty and did not recall it.  Why put any baby in an unsafe situation?
Please keep me safe!
We had a similar experience earlier this month with Carter's car seat.  A family member very thoughtfully sent me an article, this time titled "3.7 Million Graco Car Seats Recalled Due to Buckle Issue".  No parent ever wants to see their child's car seat company included in such and article, check it out here.  All I saw were the words recall and Graco car seat before I panicked.  My eyes didn't even flit across the words buckle issue until I was half-way through the article.  It turned out Carter's car seat wasn't included in the recall, but we could still get a replacement buckle which we plan to do.  Ty called and they asked for serial numbers and all kinds of information, so he wasn't able to do it quite yet.  In the meantime I had him switch Carter's new big boy car seat into my car.  We definitely still need the replacement buckle for our next baby, but luckily we already had the replacement car seat on hand.

Both of these situations really rubbed me the wrong way.  It's scary that companies care more about making money than the lives of human beings.  And not just any human beings, but infants and toddlers!  Those infants and toddlers are someone's whole word.  Someone's reason for getting up in the morning, for pushing through a hard day, for enjoying all the changes life throws their way.  How can a precious child be considered a statistic, a number?  How can the lives of children be stacked up against profit margin?  How many children would have to die for the company to lose money? 

As much as I love friends and family keeping me informed of product recalls through facebook, it is very scary for me!  I'd rather not log on to find out about a problem with one of Carter's toys, so I decided it's time to get proactive.  I've used the website in the past to make sure toxic chemicals weren't present in Carter's toys when we were stocking his nursery.  Tonight I searched on the app store and found "Recalls: Urban Apps" and "Recalls Plus" in hopes that I can stay up-to-date on recalls that way.  I'm not sure how good the apps will be, but we will see.  I am so thankful that neither of the recalls were on the exact item Carter had.  We have been lucky and I'm not leaving it to chance in the future! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Rewards of Being a Mom

There are so many moments as a mom when I proudly look at my son, but at the same time tear up at how much he has grown.  Today I was all over the place with my emotions.  We were playing in the living room this evening and Carter was sitting on the floor waving a plate around.  I swear I looked away for a second and when I turned back he was standing up, not holding onto anything, swinging the plate around!  I couldn't believe it, squealed, and immediately picked up the phone to call daddy.  Carter looked at me, seeming to realize he was standing on his own and plopped right back down to his booty.  I was so excited and tried to get him to walk to me all night.  Of course he wasn't interested in reenacting it at all!  We are all so ready for him to walk that I only felt joy over his standing.
Big boy standing on some totes!

When it was bedtime Carter wanted to be rocked for a while so I sat in the rocker with him pressed against my chest, his head resting on my shoulder.  He wiggled around until he was laying just like a baby.  I looked down at him and couldn't believe how big he was.  His body reached all the way across me and his little feet hung over my side.  My mind pictured that tiny baby who once seemed to be the length of my arm.  I nuzzled down into his hair, rubbed my cheek against his soft skin, and breathed in his sweet smell.  Anyone who has seen Carter when he's sleepy knows his attachment to my hair.  Especially when I'm rocking him to sleep he reaches up, gets ahold of some hair, and twirls it in his hand or just holds onto it.  It is sweet and I love the connection we have, but when he's overtired he rips my hair out and he's gotten to where no one else can put him to sleep.  He has to have momma and I assume partially because of my hair.  
Carter playing with my hair after a 5k.
So I've been trying to get him attached to something else.  We tried blankets and various stuffed animals with no success.  Lately I've been using his zebra lovie.  When I rock him I put it between him and myself.  I've been hoping that will get him to associate the lovie with being soothed.  Up until tonight he would grab it and throw it on the floor repeatedly.  Tonight he only threw it on the floor once.  Then when I laid him down in bed, he reached out for me while my hand was still in the crib and wrapped his fingers around mine.  I stood holding hands with my precious boy as tears welled up in my eyes.  I can't think of anything sweeter than holding your baby's hand.  After a few minutes of soaking up the love, I laid his lovie down beside him and left the room.  I then spent the next few minutes watching him roll around swinging his lovie, holding onto it the entire time.  He even waved it around like what he does with my hair and eventually fell asleep.  I love it when my little boy wants to hold onto my hair and have me close, but I love it just as much when he sweetly says goodbye with the touch of his hand and then holds his lovie to fall asleep.  It is hard to watch him grow and change, but it is so rewarding!  I'm proud of everything little man has been doing lately, from climbing ladders to standing alone and even soothing himself with something other than my hair.  It's so true what they say.  Being a parent is a difficult job, but there is nothing as rewarding!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Just an Average Monday

I love that days like today are "average".  It was such a good day!  After a rough weekend of again waking up at 5 am with a random wake-up around 2:30-3:00 both nights, Carter slept until 6:15 this morning.  I love it when he wakes up early and we get extra play time in the morning.  As I was getting ready, he pulled up to my make-up drawer and began playing with my make-up.  At one point he accidentally closed the drawer and worked really hard to open it again with minimal movement.  He gave me his puppy dog eyes and a few tears until I helped him open the drawer.

When I dropped Carter off at daycare he initially sat on the floor and watched everyone while reaching his hand out to me.  I walked him over to a car and he immediately swung one leg over and took off going backward.  I had never seen him move forward before, but he backed himself into a corner and then began pushing forward and moved all the way across the room.  I was so proud of him and excited to see him moving so quickly.  Laughing as my sweet boy rode around the room was the perfect way to start my day!

After school we came straight home to play.  Last week Carter picked up a crayon he had received as a valentine present and colored on the back of my make-up box.  I was so excited because he's never actually drawn before.  I screeched and ran to show Ty what Carter had done.  Surprisingly, Ty wasn't nearly as impressed as I was.  This weekend at the shower Carter used a pen to draw on a piece of paper.  So today I was extremely excited to pull out the crayons and offer him some paper.  Immediately after doing so I realized I offered him far too many crayons.  He found much more entertainment in throwing the crayons all over the living room than actually using them to color.  He did make a little masterpiece that is now hanging on our fridge.
Carter looking straight into the treasure trove of crayons.
I can't believe I got a picture with crayons flying through air!

Actually drawing on the paper.
Carter's finished product.

This evening I got an automated phone call from the school district sharing information about changes in our calendar.  There is an education funding rally in the capitol of our state and our school board voted for us to have the day off so everyone can go and participate in the rally.  I'm pumped about an extra day with Carter and the opportunity to participate in a rally to support education, but it comes at a price.  Going to school for an extra 30 minutes a day for the entire month of March (starting on Monday).  Ick, we went over on snow days a few years back and had to go for an extra 30 minutes every day to make the time up.  The kids were so tired by the end of the day and I even had one baby fall asleep at the end of the day multiple times.  I hate the thought of being away from Carter for an extra 30 minutes a day, but it won't last for very long.  We will also get out of school one day earlier at the end of the school year.  And I just have a little over 3 months left.  Wish us all luck starting Monday!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Carter's First Baby Shower

This weekend we drove up to visit my brother, Thomas, and for Ty's cousin, Megan's, baby shower.  Jeremy rode up with us so he could visit Thomas and we all had a good time.  Friday evening we arrived a bit after 8:00.  By the time I had Carter bathed and ready for bed he was extremely overtired and it took an absurd amount of time to get him down.  Poor little guy didn't fall asleep until 9:30!  Saturday morning Ty looked up where the shower was.  We originally thought it would be a 45 minute drive from my brother's house, but it was actually an hour and a half.  Carter wasn't too pleased and it was a lot of driving in one day, but it was worth it!

Ty missed an exit on the way to the shower so I was a little late.  I was rushed putting the present together and changing Carter into his party outfit and forgot my camera in the car.  I was disappointed, but everyone else took really great pictures.  I took a few pictures on my phone, but most of the pictures from the shower are courtesy of Leina (Carter's Grandma) and Aunt Gena (Leina's sister).  Carter enjoyed the shower, hanging out with a bunch of women who were all smitten with him.  They used mason jars with paper straws for drinks and Carter loved drinking out of the straws.  The spoiled little boy was even given a balloon by Aunt Netta (the grandma to be) and wore it tied around his ankle during the rest of the shower.  After the shower we all went out to eat which made for another late night for little man.  We didn't leave the restaurant until 7:00.  Jeremy and Thomas were both good sports.  At a table of 16 people they and Ty were the only men and they only knew each other, Ty, and me.  It was so good to see everyone and Ty got luxury treatment, sitting in between his 2 cousins.
The dad-to-be, mom-to-be, and grandma-to-be at the shower.

Reading a book for the new baby with his Aunt Netta.
Playing with his Great Grandma.
Playing with a clothespin.
Drinking from the special straw.  Don't worry about the red marks on his face, it's lipstick from his grandma!
Sleeping on his grandma.
Our dinner group and of course Carter did his cheezer face, but faced the wrong way!

It was so much fun to see Carter interact with all his family members and man does he love his uncies!  This morning Carter was sitting on my lap and reached for his Uncie Tommy.  It was the sweetest thing!  I couldn't believe Carter actually reached for someone else while I was holding him.  That doesn't happen very often.  When Thomas was holding Carter he opened the window blinds and Carter enjoyed staring out.  After a while Harper joined him to see what was up.  Then he wanted to stand in the window sill.  I was right behind him with my hand hovering right behind his hiney and as Ty took a picture he asked me to step back, talk about nerve wracking!  Thankfully Carter has great finger strength and held on really well.

Tippy toes!

Carter did so much better on our drive today.  We left right before naptime.  I fed him lunch and then he fell asleep for about an hour.  He woke up when we stopped to eat lunch.  He ate a banana, watched some Pete the Cat on my phone, and was back to sleep about 45 minutes later.  He didn't wake up again until we were about 15 minutes from home and I actually slept some in the car too!  So I'd call the drive home a great success!  Ty and I have decided we need to either plan trips around naptime or invest in an ipad for Carter to watch videos on when he gets overly tired.  The leaving after work and still being in the car during his bedtime just isn't cutting it.
Napping in the car.
Double fisting his banana in the car.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Carter Loves Cars

I should specify here, Carter loves to play with toy cars.  Riding in an actual car is definitely not his thing.  Friday after work we loaded up the car and headed to my brother, Thomas', house for the weekend.  He did pretty well in the car, especially considering he was going on just a one hour nap.  Toward the end of the trip we were past his bedtime and he started losing his cool.  After all other tricks failed I pulled out my phone and played Pete the Cat videos for him which dried the tears until my phone battery died because I had forgotten to charge it.
Playing with cars at daycare.
Playing with his new cars from Target.

Now the toy cars are a hit.  He's had a few he's always loved to play with.  Then one day at Target I found the cutest little toy cars in the dollar spot.  I got him one of each: a firetruck, a police car, a school bus, and a car.  He's been playing with them nonstop since.  I set up a ramp and showed Carter how to let go of the car and let it roll down the ramp.  Each time he tried he either drove the car down the ramp or let it haphazardly bump around on it's side.  After a few tries he finally got it.  I was so proud of him!  I couldn't believe he picked it up so quickly.  My little man is so smart!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

With chocolate on his chin from his first taste of chocolate (a Hershey kiss).