Monday, June 30, 2014


Ty has been taking over bath time.  Now that I have all day to hang out with Carter and I'm not so needy in the evening, I've been really pushing for Ty to do more with him when he gets home.  I think it's so important for Carter to have special daddy time and for Ty to enjoy time with his sweet boy, uninterrupted by me.  Ty was a bit reluctant to take over bath time saying, "You're just better at it than me."  He just took over on occasion when I was persistent.  Then last night I told Carter it was bath time and picked him up to carry him into the bathroom.  He started crying, reached for Ty, and screamed "Daddy" over and over, making it very clear who he wanted for bath time.  It was precious and made me so happy.  I'm sure it made Ty feel good as well, especially since he's used to the "ultimate f-you" when he tries to soothe Carter to sleep or gets him out of bed in the morning.  The especially fun thing that daddy does and mommy absolutely cannot do is wrap Carter up in his towel and swing him around as they walk down the hall.  He also lifts Carter high and drops him low while holding onto the towel.  Carter laughs hysterically.

Carter and I have been going to the splash park quite a bit.  It is so cute to see Carter interact with the other kids there.  Anytime a child shows up who appears to be around his age he gets so excited.  Today one little boy who was probably around 2 walked up by him and Carter got really close to him, stared in his face, and finally said "hi".  Then he tried to start a conversation babbling away while the other little boy just stared at him.  It was too cute.  Someone had left a spoon on the playground and Carter was using it to stir some wood chips around.  A boy close to his age walked up and Carter began following him around, putting the spoon up by his face, attempting to get him to pretend eat off the spoon.  He and Kamyra used to play that together every morning.  She would follow him to the kitchen area in the daycare room and he would pretend cook something and feed it to her.  Unfortunately the little boy didn't understand what Carter was doing and ran to his dad.  It's definitely time to start setting up those play dates I've been talking about all summer!
Carter cooking at the playground.
Staring at other kids walking by.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up

Last week Ty was part of a special project at work.  On Friday he got to leave early and arrived home while Carter was napping.  After eating lunch and relaxing for a while Ty headed out to mow the lawn.  When Carter woke up he heard the weed eater and exclaimed "daddy" just like he does anytime he hears someone mowing or weed eating.  I took him outside to check and see who was weed eating.  He was ecstatic to see it was actually his daddy!  We all trekked to the library together where Carter received his summer reading program medal for visiting the library 4 times and reading 8 books.  It was so exciting to have Ty with us when Carter got his medal!
Carter enjoying his snack in a chair rather than his high chair!

Saturday morning I got up with Carter and let Ty sleep in.  Ty woke up at 7:30 and I headed out for my long run.  I'm up to 10 miles and hate putting Carter through that long in the stroller.  It was really windy so it was nice to run without the stroller.  I got home in time to shower and quickly get ready before we headed to Ty's aunt and uncle's house.  They live in a nearby suburb and his grandparents, other aunt and uncle, and cousin were all in town visiting.  It was so much fun to see everyone and I enjoyed hanging out so much, I totally failed on taking pictures, but I do have a few cute stories.

Ty's Uncle Marty pulled some Milk Duds and Smarties out of his pocket and put them on the coffee table.  Carter kept walking over to them and looking at me, then looking back at the candy.  He never touched them, he just kept pleading with his eyes.  After he'd done it 3 or 4 times, Ty's grandpa said to me, "Give him one of those."  So I did.  Carter loved it and it was so cute that his antics had moved his grandpa and made him want Carter to have some.  He's walking with a cane right now and Carter loved it.  Anytime Great Grandpa Shupe was walking, Carter ran up behind him and grabbed onto his cane.  Grandpa Shupe would stop and wait for Carter to get a good grip so they could walk together.

We all went out to dinner at one of Ty and my favorite Mexican restaurants.  While we were waiting on our food I walked Carter around the table to sneak up on his Great Grandma.  He would say "boo!" and she'd act surprised.  It was adorable and he had a blast.  After dinner everyone came back to see our house and play with Carter for a bit before his bath.  My parents were in town for some inspections on the house Thomas is in the process of buying.  They came over to see Carter before bed.  After Carter went to bed my dad took Harper on a walk with me, we all sat around and talked for a while, enjoyed some ice cream, and then my parents headed home.

Today Ty got up with Carter and let me sleep in.  My long run had kicked in and I was exhausted!  We watched some World Cup soccer while Carter napped and then I decided to spruce up our laundry room.  I've been kicking around the idea of painting the room.  I went through all of our left over paint and decided on the paint from our bedroom and then the turquoise accent color I used in the main bathroom and on some hangings in our bedroom for an accent wall behind the washer and dryer.  I hung some flower pictures we had originally hung in our guest room but took down when we turned it into Carter's big boy room.  I also hung the curtains Carter's Gigi had made for our guest room and we took down because they didn't match his big boy room.  I was so excited to turn the room into somewhere I enjoyed being without spending any money.  I kept finding reasons to go in there and soak up the prettiness throughout the night.

We had such a fun weekend with family and a productive weekend cleaning and decorating the house.  The best part is that even though tomorrow is Monday, I still get to spend all day with Carter!  We are looking forward to more family time later this week for the 4th of July!

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Boy and His Dog Update

Carter is finally getting to the point where he understands how to pet "nice" and Harper is actually enjoying his attention most of the time.  He is still rough on occasion, but he seems to improve daily.  There are still moments where I have my back turned and turn back around to see Carter sitting on Harper's back like he's riding a horse, if that horse was laying down.  It blows my mind what she will put up with.  Then there are moments when I turn to see him laying in her dog bed with her, his head on her stomach as a pillow, and his hand wrapped in her tail fur like he wraps it in my hair.  Those are the moments that I love.  When he is sweet to her and she is sweet to him.

Anytime Carter and I go somewhere without Harper, Carter says "bye bye Parpar" as we walk out the door.  He has even run back to the door, reached for the doorknob, and cried "doggy" wanting me to get Harper.  When we arrive back home Harper is at the door waiting for us and immediately wags her tail and licks Carter's face as if to say "I'm so glad you're back!"

Tuesday morning Carter gave Harper her very first kiss.  He grabbed her muzzle and kissed her right on her mouth.  Not even the grossness of knowing what all she does with and puts in her mouth could ruin that moment for me.  It was the sweetest, most adorable thing.  It was as though Harper understood what he was doing because she gave him one gentle sweet lick on his cheek when he was done.  Later in the day he gave her another kiss and I wished I knew it was coming so I could get a picture.  Sometimes he goes up to her and stares in her face.  I'm not sure if he's pondering what life's big questions are for a dog, enjoying her beauty, trying to get her attention, or sending her silent "I love you" messages.  She lays there and stares right back at him as if to say, "I love you, too".

Carter loves to get Harper's leash off the hook by the front door and walk around the house with it, pretending he is taking her on a walk.  When we take Harper for a walk he wants to hold her leash and walk her, although she calls the shots and pretty much walks him.  I let him for a little bit as we are getting ready, but take the leash once we head out toward busier roads and he cries at first.  He wants so badly to walk his doggy.  He laughs at her as he watches her walk.  He laughs at her all the time.  He laughs when she eats.  He laughs when she gets a bath (which she hates).  He laughs when she licks his face.  He laughs when she licks herself.  I'm pretty sure he thinks she is the funniest thing he's ever seen.  This morning Carter was a little grouchy and was crying.  I distracted him by making towers with blocks on Harper's back.  He was pretty sure it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen and Harper laid very still and even allowed Carter to smack the towers down, occasionally slapping her in the process.

I am so glad I now have the opportunity to stay home with Carter.  I love that he has more time with Harper.  It is helping him learn how to be nice even quicker and it is helping her become even more patient with him.  The more time they spend together, the more they love each other.  Harper has gotten so much calmer and relaxed around other children as well.  She has always been a timid, nervous dog.  I hated that I used to have to tell children who asked to pet her no, simply because I didn't trust her to be nice.  When kids were excited or slapped her instead of pet her she would growl.  I was so worried about how she would do with a baby because children made her so nervous and honestly so did adults she didn't know.  My friend, Erin, assured me that Harper would know Carter was her boy and would treat him differently as her dog Molly did with her son.  She was so right.  When we brought Carter home from the hospital Harper was smitten and loved laying on the floor with him any chance she got.

Harper is a totally different dog around children now.  We've run from a park with a splash pad a few times and then I let Carter play when we were done.  Harper was so good with the kids and would calmly stand and allow them to pet her, no matter how roughly.  She even had a little girl sneak up behind her and pat her hind quarters and she didn't utter a sound or flinch.  My mom has always said "Children need dogs and dogs need children" and in our case it is so true.  Carter loves Harper and he has made her a better dog.  She is calmer, more patient, more relaxed, and I love her so much for that!

I just couldn't help myself:
 Read about how their relationship has progressed here and here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Moments that Melt Me

Carter has been especially precious and loving lately.  Now that he understands the purpose of hugs and kisses it means even more to receive them.  Monday I was sitting on the floor sorting laundry when Carter came over, crouched down on his haunches, and stared into my face.  I turned to look at him and see what he was doing and he planted a big kiss right on my lips.  The puckered lip kiss which he only does on occasion.  Usually it's a leaned in head, flat lips kind of deal with possibly a bit of slobber.  He had been sitting there waiting for me to turn so he could kiss me.  It was the sweetest thing.  I can't even describe how my heart felt.  Instantly I began laughing and told him what a sweet boy he was as he took off, but then I sat and began to tear up.  The first moment I saw him I was so in love with him and it blows my mind how much more I love him today.  I swear I love him more every day.  I'm not even sure how that's possible.
Such a sweet little guy!

Then we went for a run in the rain.  Thank goodness for our fabulous BOB rain cover!  Toward the end of our run it stopped raining, so I pulled the back of the rain shield up so I could see Carter.  He was so excited to see me he reached his hand up over his head, toward me, so he could hold my hand.  I reached in and grabbed his hand.  He giggled excitedly and held my hand for the remainder of the run.  I felt so loved and although it was difficult to push the stroller with one hand and hold his hand with the other, it made my day even better!  I wanted to get a picture, but that just wasn't feasible.

When we got home I was cold and wet so I decided to go ahead and shower instead of waiting until nap time.  When I do that I shut Harper out of Ty and my bedroom while shutting Carter in.  The shower curtain in our master bath is clear (I thought Ty was ridiculous when he insisted on having it, but it has come in so handy in situations like these) so I can watch Carter while I shower.  When he gets where I can't see him, I just call him and he comes running in to check in with me.  The only trouble I've ever had was when I called him and he didn't come so I ran out of the shower, soaking everything, only to have him open the closet door, say "boo" and laugh.  This day he chose to play with the cabinets in the bathroom, opening and closing the doors.  He is normally very careful, but accidentally slammed a finger this time.  He came to me, I pulled his clothes off, and lifted him into the shower with me.  He instantly stopped crying and then his body melted into mine.  He wrapped his arm around my neck and twirled his hand into my hair.  I was pretty impressed with myself that I conditioned my hair and shaved my legs all while holding him and only using one arm.  I ended up taking a really long shower because he was snuggling so sweetly.  I couldn't help but think just a month ago I would have been teaching writing at that time of day.  I love teaching writing.  It has come to be one of my favorite subjects to teach, tied with math and reading, which honestly I just love teaching in general.  But as much as I love teaching writing, snuggling Carter in the shower is so much better.  I am thankful for that opportunity every single day.
Snuggles are the best!

Then as I was getting dressed I looked over and Carter was on the floor beside Harper with his arm around her neck hugging her.  Their relationship continues to change and is evolving into the sweetest little friendship.  Harper later rewarded him by licking his face when he was crying in an attempt to cheer him up.  Each time I see them being sweet to each other I melt.  Sometimes I'm standing right there and other times I have my back turned and I swear Harper is sneaking love licks quickly so I won't notice how much she loves Carter.
This boy loves his dog!
Yesterday we were at the park playing.  A 5 and a half year old boy showed up and decided Carter was a blast to play with.  Carter was following the boy and trying to do everything he did.  The little boy was climbing up a ladder and Carter was behind him attempting to climb up the ladder.  The boy slipped and as he fell accidentally kicked Carter.  He turned to me and said, "How is he so brave?  He can't do it and he just keeps trying even though I kicked him."  I stopped to think about it and it's so true.  Carter rarely cries, he rarely gives up.  He is a tough cookie and he works hard.  Later Carter reached out for the boy to help him walk up a step and the boy took his hand and held his hand for a while as they played.  It was another moment that warmed my heart.

Those little moments that go by so quickly, but are so unexpected, are what I live for.  They are the moments that get me to put the camera down.  To really be present in the moment rather than documenting the moment for Ty, for the future, for family.  Because why take a picture when I can experience the moment, really be a part of it, be present, and bask in the glow of these gifts I have.  This perfect baby.  That sweet dog.  My amazing husband.  I may not have pictures of what happened, but I will always remember how I felt in that moment.  The way my heart melted.  How I wasn't sure if I would laugh or cry because I was so happy and felt so loved.  The moments that melt me are what life is all about.  And I feel so lucky and thankful that I now have the opportunity to experience them all throughout my day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Harper makes the best pillow!

He loves the splash park!
Trying to drink the water.

Shoving toys down in our chair's hole which I can't remember how it got there.

He loved eating popcorn in the pool!
He had his back to me and when I said his name he turned and looked at me like this.  All I could think was cave man!

He stewed this orange on the stove basically the entire time he played with the kitchen.
Shoving oatmeal up his nose which made an even bigger mess because he ripped his bib off.
Riding in the car with daddy.  Notice the oven mitt he likes to put on and walk around with.
Skippy enjoying Carter's Live and Learn Playhouse.

I was so excited to go splash in puddles but Carter hated his rain boots!
He threw himself down and wouldn't get up.
After watching this video I was embarrassed with how I came across as a parent.  So I have to preface it with the fact that I am not a complete push over like I sound in this video.  I had allowed Carter to get back on the table so I could take a video, so I didn't get onto him until the next time he got on the table.  I know, bad parenting, I shouldn't have let him do it at all, but it was too stinkin cute to not get a video of (in my opinion)!  Just don't want you to judge me as a pansy parent when you hear me talking (I should have just kept my mouth shut while filming)!

Worn out from all that dancing and from only taking a 45 minute nap!
Night night kisses for daddy.

I feel like this move is Ty through and through.
Enjoying new jammies from Auntie Ang.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Carter's 18 Month Appointment

This morning was Carter's 18 month appointment.  I figured we'd come home after the appointment, he'd eat a snack, I'd change, we'd grab Harper, and we'd go to run.  On the way out to the car Carter ran back to the front door, reaching for the knob, and saying "doggy".  He wanted so badly to bring Harper with us so I explained that she couldn't go to the doctor's office, but we'd take her on a run after the appointment.  Harper is quickly becoming Carter's best friend.  He is so obsessed with her and I caught him sitting on her like a horse this morning.  I couldn't believe she didn't freak out!
He sure loves his dog!

The nurse did all the measurements before the doctor came in and I was so proud of Carter because he didn't scream when I set him down on the scale to get weighed.  That's been his thing the past few times we've gone.  Although he did cry when she measured his head, silly guy!  The first thing the doctor said when he came in was, "Wow, he's tall!"  Lately when we are at the park or another public place and someone asks how old Carter is they respond with, "Wow, he's tall!" when I say 18 months.  I figured maybe he was a little tall or maybe they weren't around many 18 month olds, but to hear the doctor say it I guess he is pretty tall.  He mentioned that he's thin which makes him seem even taller.  Little dude is 34 inches tall which puts him in the 94th percentile.  The doctor said according to the growth chart, which he also said isn't super accurate, if Carter continues growing at the part of the curve he's at, he'll be 6' 2" as an adult.  I guess he gets that height from his Papa and on my mom's side somehow because my cousin is 6' 5" tall and Jeremy is 6 feet tall.  I really didn't want to think of him some day being grown up and over 6 feet tall because it made me emotional.  He needs to always be small enough for me to hold!

Mister man still fits in some 12 month shirts and 12 month shorts fit better than 18 month shorts because his waist is so small.  So I didn't think of him as being very big, but I guess that's all due to the fact that he's so trim.  Since he doesn't have that belly for the fabric to cover, he needs less of it, and therefore smaller sizes.  He weighed in at 24.2 pounds which puts him in the 32nd percentile for weight.  I hope he always has that gift of being able to eat a lot and be thin!  People are always amazed at how much he eats and have even commented that I give him too much food, but he eats it all!  His head has finally slowed down a little bit and his head circumference was 19.4 putting him in the 88th percentile, down from the 94th percentile at 15 months.

We chatted about his pale skin and he reinforced how important it is for Carter to always have a shirt on and to be constantly wearing sunscreen when out in the sun.  He said we can use Family Off! bug spray because the mosquitoes are so bad in our backyard.  I asked him about the eczema even though it is looking so much better.  My parents brought Aveeno Baby Eczema Lotion and it has actually been working!  He hasn't been scratching at it since we started using it this weekend and it's not bright red like usual.  It's the only thing we've tried that has actually worked.  He said to keep using the lotion and if it flares up again to message him.  The spot on his head that has been there for months and used to be raised is still fine and he said the mole was okay as well.  He was impressed with how many words Carter can say.  He also mentioned that since Carter is so tall to watch him around doors because he's going to figure out how to get them open.  Let me tell ya, he sure has tried!  I'm so glad we don't have any of the pull down levers and all of our doors have knobs.  He hasn't figured those out yet!  As the doctor walked out of the room Carter waved and said "bye bye" which the doctor, although I'm sure he gets it often, still thought was precious.

It was like he knew shots were ahead, he played with both his lovies all morning!

Little man got a few more shots which he wasn't pleased about, but stopped crying immediately when I picked him up.  We headed home where he enjoyed sweet potatoes and the rest of his smoothie as a snack.  That free smoothie has been good for part of dinner, part of lunch, part of dinner again, and a snack!  We definitely got our money's worth!  Then we headed out for a run with Harper.  I was so proud of her because we ran 5 miles and she didn't sandbag at all.  She still ran a little bit behind us, but the leash wasn't pulled tight.  I just weighed her and am happy to say she has already lost a pound and a half!  Only two and a half pounds to go until she is back down to her normal weight, woot woot!!!!  So Carter got a clean bill of health and Harper is losing weight.  I am one happy momma!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The World Cup on a Jumbotron

This weekend my parents and brother, Thomas, were in town for a house inspection.  Thomas put an offer on a house that is 15-19 minutes from us and it was accepted, woot woot!  The inspection was scheduled for 12:30, so I stayed home with Carter while he napped and everyone else headed to the house to hang out/watch the inspector.  There were no major issues discovered so Thomas plans to go forward with the deal.  I am beyond excited about having one brother less than a mile away and the other brother less than a 20 minute drive from us.  Carter is pretty stoked about it too!

Walking to the stadium.
After the inspection we headed to the minor league baseball field to watch the US play Portugal in the World Cup game on the jumbotron for free!  The stadium has a splash pad and a playground and they had blow up slides set up for kids.  Carter had a blast on the playground and in the splash pad, but the lines were so long for the slides we decided it wasn't worth the wait.  The playground had a big "tornado slide" as we call them, I'm not sure if there is an official name for them or not.  It's just the kind of slide that is long and twists around as it goes down to the ground.  Carter climbed all the way up the playground equipment to the slide with mom on one side of the equipment on the ground and me on the other side of the equipment on the ground.  He got to the slide and was scared.  He stopped and stood in front of it not sure what to do.  A little girl, I'm guessing about 2 years old, was standing by him and gently pushed him forward to let him know it was his turn.  He got upset and thought she was pushing him, so he sat down and cried.  I went around to climb up and help him down.  When I turned to check on him I saw that my mom had climbed up the slide to help him.  Some kids had played at the splash pad before the playground so the slide was wet.  Mom grabbed Carter's hand and slipped.  So when I looked back I saw mom sliding down the slide holding Carter's hand as he slid down head first with his cheek sliding along the slide.  Mom said when she got off the slide a little boy told her she was too big for the slide!  I figured Carter wouldn't want to go down the slide again after that, so I let him walk around on the equipment alone, figuring he would just go up and down the stairs.  Instead he again tried to go down the slide and was scared.  The same little girl was by him and he reached for her hand wanting her to help him.  She gave him a weird look and went down the slide.  I climbed up and set him on his bottom and gave him a little push to help him get started.  After that we went to the splash pad.

We picked a spot down on the field to watch.
Carter was overstimulated in the splash pad.  He had been to splash pads in the past, but this one was packed with kids.  There were so many kids he was a bit hesitant and scared.  He wanted my hand so I walked around with him.  Once he warmed up a bit he ran through the area, looking back to make sure I was following him.  Then he found a little girl with Cheez-Its and befriended her, hoping for a snack.  He eventually wore out and wanted me to hold him so I picked him up and we headed toward the blow ups.  While we were walking back from the blow ups after realizing the line was ridiculous we saw the US score the first goal.  We were directly in front of the jumbotron and so close it was like sitting in the front row at the movie theater.  I got so excited I shrieked and jumped up and down.  Carter wasn't quite sure how he felt about my reaction and all the noise of the tons of cheering fans, but I was holding him so he let it go.  On our way back we found free brown bag snacks for kids with a juice box and a bag of chips.  You all know what a stickler I am about Carter eating healthy, but the food lines were ridiculous and it was past Carter's dinner time so we grabbed one and let Carter eat a few chips and drink the juice box.  We headed back down onto the field and met up with my dad who had braved the absurdly long food lines to purchase Carter a hamburger which he didn't eat much of.  I had 2 fruit strips in my purse and Carter ate both of them, a little bit of burger, and more chips than I'd like to admit.

Carter was content to sit with us and eat while also feeding grampy chips so mom and I were able to sit and watch the remainder of the game.  We got to see the US score their second goal and were shocked when Portugal scored a second goal in the last minute of the game.  I sat and couldn't believe the game was over and that's how it had ended.  I'm sure Portuguese fans were thrilled and I could imagine the excitement that would ensue from tying the game up in the last minute, but it was very disappointing as a US fan.  Even though we didn't win (although a tie is totally acceptable) it was so much fun to be with my family and to watch the game in a stadium with so many other fans on a jumbotron!  
Feeding Grampy chips.
Tired boy wanted to be carried on the way back to the car.