Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas at age 2 is so much fun!!!!  Last year was fun, don’t get me wrong.  But at age 1, Carter didn’t quite understand much.  Even at 2, he still doesn’t understand that Santa was the one that brought the presents, but he showed so much more interest in his toys this year than he did last year.  I will say, we noticed that Carter doesn’t seem to be interested in opening presents.  He likes getting the toy, but he doesn’t want to open it.  Weird.

We started our festivities by going to the North Pole Express.  It’s a train ride that last maybe an hour tops.  Kids wear their PJs and we take a ride to the North Pole and stop to see Santa.  Santa and Mrs. Clause get on the train and take pictures with all the kids, then everyone gets milk and cookies and then we head back.  Carter and his twin cousins, Cynthia and Celia went together and of course Nana and Papa were there too.


The above picture is when Carter saw the train pull up to the station.  He was SO excited!

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On Christmas Eve, we headed to Tuscaloosa to go to my sister’s house to celebrate with my side of the family.  I actually didn’t take any pictures while I was there.  I brought my camera, but never took any pictures.  Carter wasn’t in a great mood (Justin and I seriously think that large crowds may stress him out) and he had to have a nap over there.  So I just never took any pictures.  We had a blast though.  Carter got some great gifts from the family.  Lots of them included one of Carter’s favorite things….AIRPLANES!

We ended up coming home later than we expected.  Carter went to bed almost immediately because we had to wake him up at 10:30pm to go to our church’s 11pm service.  Around 9:45pm, the Hoover Fire Department came down our street with Santa Clause.  I was so sure Carter would wake up to the sirens but he was OUT.  Next year we may wait up to see them….not sure.  We’ll have to see.

Anyway, we got him up at 10:30pm.  He was so confused and kept saying “night night” and pointing to the crib.  We got him in the car and went to go pick up my mom (she came with us to the service).  I was worried about how Carter would do.  Justin and I were convinced that he would get wild and we would have to leave early.  He surprised us all!  The entire service he sat in either Papa, mommy or daddy’s lap.  There was one time where, during complete silence in the church, he spotted Nana in the choir and yelled her name.  But other than that, he was very quiet and just sat there.  I was so happy with him!

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We put him down immediately after getting home around 12:40pm.  We were all exhausted!!  Justin and I did some last minute stuff for Carter’s gifts from Santa and then went to bed.  We woke up around 8am the next morning, but it was a little closer to 9am before Carter woke up.  I was glad he slept in a little bit since we were out so late.   Carter was so excited to see all the toys when he came downstairs.

After playing with his toys from Santa for a while, we packed up the car and went to Nana and Papa’s for more Christmas fun!


Train table was a huge success!  Though we’ve had to super glue some parts to the table because Carter kept destroying it.

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The only bigger success than the train table was probably the basketball goal.  He LOVES this thing!!!


Some fun Elmo music toys and various books.

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See what I mean about the basketball goal??


Eating his breakfast (a blueberry waffle) and playing with the train table at the same time.

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Like I said, we had a ton of fun at home, but then it was time to pack up and head to Nana and Papa’s to meet up with Jen Jen and Uncle Aeron and the girls.  There was also a surprise visit from Gigi!!  Carter was so glad to have everyone he loves there!


Carter got another stocking at their house.  I think his favorite was the M&M’s :)


This fun nativity set spun around and made music and Carter loved it.

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Opening presents!!


He is loving this hat.  He calls it his blue hat and he requests it all the time.  There’s matching gloves that go with it and he frequently requests those too.

IMGP9818 As if the big train table weren’t enough, we got a Thomas the Train and train track too!!! 

Carter had such a great Christmas.  He got TONS of toys, as usual.  His 2nd birthday is this Saturday and his party is that day too.  Downside of his birthday and Christmas being so close together is all the presents.  He gets so many things and we literally run out of room in our house for places to put his toys!!!  We already are having to transfer several toys to the attic to make room for the ones he got at Christmas!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas with your loved ones! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Carter - TWO YEARS!!!!

Oh yes.  I said it.  TWO years.  Carter is TWO years old.  How did this happen??  Y’all….I feel like in the past several months, Carter has become his own little person.  His vocabulary is insane.  We have actual conversations with him now.  And his ability to do things on his own has increased exponentially.  Quick update on my sweet boy at 24 months old:
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Still rockin’ the size 4’s.  The last update I did on Carter was at 21 months.  In that update I talked about how he was always playing with his diapers.  He still does this to an extent, but not as much as he previously was.  He still loves to name all the characters from Sesame Street that are on the diapers.
Shoe Size
His 21 month update had him recorded at a 6.  That was when we went to Stride Rite for them to measure him.  We haven’t been back since then, but as of now, Carter is wearing size 7 shoes.  And he still wears a wide shoe too.  We bought some toddler velcro new balance grey shoes and he wears them pretty much every day.  I love them!  They go with everything!!
He is mostly wearing 24 months or 2t.  Jeans and pants are usually 18 months or 18-24 months.  He’s skinny and short so his pants tend to be smaller.  He can still fit into some 18 month shirts, but we’re mostly sticking with 24 month.  I bought him some super cute longalls from Christmas Village for Christmas and Thanksgiving.  Usually when I buy stuff at Christmas Village or Cotton Tails (at least the longalls) they tend to run really big.  So I got 18 month longalls this year.  One of them fits really well.  One of them is just a tad too short and the Christmas one that I love is WAY too short on him.  I was so upset :(  Oh and he’s become obsessed with hats.  Which I’m grateful for now that it’s winter.  He used to hate something on his head but now he loves it.  Particularly toboggans.
I have a lot of friends that are having brand new babies.  They know that I live, eat and breathe Babywise, and so they frequently call and have questions for me.  One of them said to me the other day “I go read your blogs about Carter’s sleep and it just sounds like you had it made and never had problems”.  Truth is, I didn’t.  Carter didn’t sleep the first 3 weeks he was born (pediatrician said he was a “hyper-alert” baby), but once we implemented Babywise, the kid never looked back.  Carter has slept amazingly long at nighttime and naptime since he was a baby and his sleep isn’t even disrupted by things like time-change and sickness.  KNOCK ON WOOD.  So why did I say that in the feeding section??  I told my friend that every baby is different.  Where one excels, another struggles and vice versa.  Carter excels greatly at sleep.  Where he struggles is feeding. 
He doesn’t struggle in the sense that he won’t eat anything.  He definitely eats.  And he eats the good stuff too.  A lot of toddlers struggle with vegetables.  Carter LOVES green beans, carrots, peas and corn.  He struggles because he gets set in his ways and won’t try anything new.  He STILL won’t eat bread. Sandwich.  Grilled Cheese.  Hamburger.  Hot Dog.  Nothing.  He also mainly eats the Gerber Graduate meals.  He loves most of those and I know he’ll eat if we give him one of those.  As far as things he eats outside the GG meals, he loves grilled ham the fried chicken nuggets for kids.  He used to love grilled chicken, but lately  he hasn’t been wanting it.  I’ve figured out that if I go too long without giving him a food, he will all of a sudden not like it.  So I have to make sure I am constantly changing up his foods to make sure he doesn’t lose a taste for certain things.  He still won’t even try pizza and it’s a 50/50 shot on whether he’ll eat any type of spaghetti flavored food.  He’s so used to eating what we give him and won’t try anything new.  I need to nip this in the bud FAST.  I plan to talk to his doctor at his 2 year checkup and see if we’re at an age where I can do the whole “if you don’t eat what I give you for dinner, you go to bed hungry”.  Not sure when a good age is for that.  But I have to do something drastic to get the kid to stop getting hung up on the same things!  Oh and a new food that he’s OBSESSED with is rice.  He loves going to the Mexican restaurant to eat their rice.  So we started buying a flavored rice and he loves it and is constantly asking for it.
No changes here.  Naps once a day.  On a non-school day, he’ll nap from about 1:00-3:30 or 4.  On a school day he goes down later because he doesn’t get out until 1.  Those days he naps from about 2-4 or 4:30.  Nighttime is getting harder when it comes to books and reading.  Usually, we pull Carter into our laps and read him several books while rocking him before putting him in the crib for prayers and bedtime.  These days he wants to be in the rocking chair himself reading his own book.  No, he can’t read yet, but he likes to flip the pages himself and jabber about things he sees in the pages.  He actually whines a little when we try to put him in our laps.  He tends to say “no…Carcar rock!”  He  still calls himself “Carcar” instead of “Carter” even though I know he can pronounce the “t” sound.  His twin cousins called him this forever so it’s just been what people call him.  9 times out of 10, he’s referred to as “Carcar” or “Carterman”. 
He now climbs into his rocking chair and says “rock baby rock” to get us to sing the “rock-a-bye baby” song.  I must admit, I don’t know anything past “when the wind blows, the cradle will rock” so I just stop after that verse and then Carter usually claps when I’m done and says “yaaaay”.  Something else we noticed while at the North Pole Express was that Carter LOVES to hear you sing “Jingle Bells”.  When you’re done he will clap and say “yaaaaay” and then say “again”.
We do all kinds of things during his waketimes.  He’s recently learned to play golf with his little toddler golf set.  He likes to set a ball on the tee and hit it with the golf club (keep in mind that he’s 2…so he doesn’t actually hold the club or hit the ball the way he’s supposed to).  We’ve done away with the golf cart because it’s too cold now.  I’m sure we’ll get it back out around March or so.  He’s also become obsessed with standing in our shower and playing.  He’ll be in the living room and then say “mommy daddy showa” and run to our bathroom. 
He still loves being outside, even in the cold.  He loves playing airplane (where we put our feet on his stomach and lift him up while holding his hands).   Speaking of airplanes, this kid can spot an airplane from just about anywhere.  Just last night, we were driving and it was dark outside.  Carter was in the back and said “airplane” so Justin and I started looking around and sure enough there was an airplane FAR in the distance.  His teachers have told us how crazy observant he is when they’re playing outside and he sees an airplane.  Crazy!  He also still loves the dog and now that he’s bigger, he is able to climb onto furniture like couches and chairs by himself, so he loves doing that too.  He still won’t watch tv while we’re at home (he’s too active for this).  The only time we can get him to watch anything is when he’s strapped in the carseat.
Mother’s Day Out
Carter goes to school two days a week from 9am-1pm.  He has just recently stopped crying at drop-off, so that’s good.  He’s brought home so much art work it’s insane!  I love it!!  I think being at school is what is teaching him certain words and phrases.  He’ll come home and say something that I know I didn’t teach him, so I figure they went over it in school.  Around Thanksgiving time, Justin and I were discussing dinner and said the word “turkey” and Carter immediately said “gobble gobble gobble” and I didn’t teach him that.  It was a week later that I found out that his teachers went over it with him. 
Carter doesn’t have his 2 year appointment until January 3rd, so I will have to come back and update this section then.  My gueess is that he’s still skinny-probably around 30th percentile.  He’s been around that size for about a year now.  He’s grown in inches  a lot the past 2 months, so we’ll have to see what that percentage is at the appointment.
I can’t even explain how weird it is to see your child, the one that you feel like it was just yesterday that you brought him home, speak full sentences to you.  Last month, I was feeding Carter dinner and he spilled his milk and said “uh oh mommy, Carcar made a mess!”.  WHAT?!?!?!?  My immediate thought was “Did he just say a 7 word sentence??”  This happens all the time.  Words are starting to pop up out of nowhere.  I think he’s learning a lot from school and also from just observing.  He is insanely observant and 100% will say anything you say to him (so watch what you say around my kid please!!). 
He is very vocal and each day it gets easier and easier to understand what he’s wanting.  As much as he’s excelling at speaking, he has still shown little to no interest in learning the alphabet or counting to 10.  He can count to 3 and he recites sections of the alphabet (like “ABCD” or “TUV” or “NOP”) but won’t say it from start to finish.  I’m not worried about this.  Kids hit different milestones at different times so I’m not pushing these skills.  I’m more concerned with his vocal communication and he’s doing well in that area.  He’s also randomly started calling me “mommy” instead of the normal “mama”.  Carter’s also been saying “please” and “thank you” for months and months, but recently I’ve been working with him on directing the phrase to someone.  So instead of saying “thank you”, he’s been saying “thank you mommy” or “thank you daddy”.  And I’m proud to say that sometimes he will say “thank you mommy” without me having to prompt him by saying “what do you say?”  This makes me soooooo happy!!!  I am determined not to raise a spoiled little poorly-mannered child!
Other Abilities/Random Things to Note
He still shows an interest in cleaning up.  If he gets water on the floor, I’ll go get a paper towel but then Carter will take it from my hand and wipe it up himself.  Of course, I have to go behind him because he never gets it cleaned up completely, but he does love taking stuff from us and cleaning himself.  As awesome of a trait as this is to have, it can be inconvenient if you’re in a hurry to keep the dog from eating something that’s fallen on the floor.
He has an insane obsession with cats right now.  That’s unfortunate for him because if we actually got a cat, I’m pretty sure it would only last a day because our dog would eat it.  I don’t see a cat in our future, even after the Giz passes, but I guess we’ll see.  There are several cats that hang out in the culdesac at Nana and Papa’s house so he’s always wanting to go outside to see the cats.
He’s still, overall, a very shy toddler.  When he gets in a room with someone he doesn’t see on a normal basis, even if it’s someone he has met and seen several times, he clams up and sits in my lap.  It usually takes him about 5-10 minutes to warm up to other people where he’s comfortable enough to play around them.  Oh and he also started holding my hand to drag me places.  If he wants to go play in a room, but wants me to go with him, he’ll say “mommy hand”, grab my hand and pull as hard as possible to get me to go with him.  This is a new development within the past two months.
Carter’s Gigi (my mom) got him a small Christmas tree for his room.  It has colored lights on it and all the ornaments are animals.  And they’re soft cushy animals too, so toddler proof!  This may not have been a fantastic idea because now Carter is obsessed with it and requires us to allow him to look at it for several minutes before putting him in the crib at night.  He’s really very obsessed with colors right now too, so he always points out the colors on the tree.  He also makes Henry (his stuffed giraffe) kiss all the animals on the tree before he goes to bed.  After Henry kisses those animals, Carter wants him to kiss the picture of me and Justin that hangs in his room along with the really big picture above his bed of Carter when he was a newborn.  Henry’s pretty promiscuous :)
Luckily, Carter is still pretty obedient.  He is a toddler of course, which means he doesn’t listen to me 100% of the time and whines when he doesn’t get his way.  But for the most part, he pretty much does what we say.  We sometimes have to repeat the request multiple times, but he will eventually do it.  I’m ok with repeating things right now since he’s just now 2.  But in another year I will expect him to obey the first time I say something or into time-out he goes!
He knows when he’s gone “poopy” and frequently tells us.  He’ll say “Carcar poo poo” and then his face will get real red then he’ll say “all good” or “all better”.  He hasn’t quite distinguished the difference between actually pooping and passing gas though.  So sometimes we’ll go to change his diaper after he says that and there’s no poop.  We think he just passed gas and can’t tell the difference yet. 
On the line of observance, he knows EXACTLY where he is when in the car.  When we drive down Highway 150, he knows which turn goes to Nana and Papa’s house, which turn goes to Gigi’s house and depending on where he wants to go, he’ll tell us “that way” or “this way” because he wants us to go to a particular place.  When the car turns down my office’s road, he’ll say “mommy work” and when we turn into the Chase Corporate Center, he’ll scream “daddy papa!!!” because that’s where they go when they’re not traveling.
I’m sure I could probably write more, but I’ll stop there.  I am absolutely adoring this age and I think it’s the perfect time for me to start staying at home with him.  I enjoy our time so much together and now he’s old enough to notice that I’m here for him day in and day out.  I’m so excited to have the opportunity to be home with him and I’m looking forward to all our future adventures together!

Monday, December 2, 2013

November 2013

Well my plan to attempt to blog  more in November failed miserably.  I only managed to get 2 blogs up.  I’m so slammed it’s ridiculous.  Between wrapping up my projects as work (I only have 12 more working days at my firm until I am officially a stay at home mom!), family functions for Thanksgiving and getting a jump start on Christmas shopping, I just have had ZERO free time.  Here’s what went on with us during November:

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but Carter has developed a love of Mommy and Daddy’s shower.  He loves going in there and dancing, playing with water, playing with cups, bringing his diapers to join him, etc.  Not sure why it’s such an attraction, but he loves it.  And he always says “bye bye mommy, bye bye daddy, bye bye good girl” when he’s closing the door to get in the shower.  As if he’s actually leaving…cracks me up.

We visited the McWane Center when we were both off work:

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We had some pretty amusing times when playing with sunglasses:

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Had some fun little photo-ops while at church:

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Figured out how to brush our own teeth:


Figured out how to take our own socks off…pulling REALLY REALLY hard:

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Figured out how to put the toy cups up when we’re done playing with them in the tub:


We got a new hobby….playing under the dining room table:

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We played outside with Good Girl (formerly known as Gizmo):

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Mommy went to her first Alabama game with her friend (and former college roommate, Ashley) since graduating from there a whopping 10 years ago (I would go to more games if it didn’t cost and arm and a leg to go!).  Side note-the day after the game, we all found out that Miss Ashley is carrying a sweet little BOY:


We had to go to the doctor and found out that my sweet one had a pretty bad yeast infection (his poor booty was rubbed so raw that it bled several times).  The pain didn’t phase Carter.  He people watched while in the waiting room….


Got his very own Christmas tree from Gigi (this dang tree and it’s lights has caused us nothing but problems at bedtime!):

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**I love the tree, don’t get me wrong, but Carter is ALL ABOUT colors right now.  Since the tree has colored lights, he feels the need to name all the colors before bedtime.  This takes FOREVER.  He also requires his giraffe, Henry, to kiss all the ornaments before bedtime (since the ornaments are other zoo animals).**

We had a friend that I work with attempt to take some family pictures to try to capture at least one good one for a Christmas card (I didn’t put the one for the Christmas card on here because I haven’t sent them out yet).  The weather didn’t cooperate with us that day…as you can tell by my frizzed-to-the-max hair.   IMG_3699 IMG_3701 11000227685_e6c5a2a834_o 11000227915_aa3a032be8_o  IMG_3700

My sister that lives in Tampa came down for a whole week for Thanksgiving and Carter and Cooper got to hang out a lot.  I didn’t take a ton of pictures of them though.  Jennifer had most of the pictures, so I stole some from her.  The other sister probably has some really great ones from Thanksgiving, I just haven’t gotten them yet:

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Carter and I went to lunch one day at Buffalo Wild Wings and for some reason, he wouldn’t let go of my hand.  He wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to leave him I guess…

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Oh and Carter decided to try to copy my niece Lydia when she did a cartwheel.  Funniest thing ever!!  He didn’t do it in this video, but the other times he attempted the cartwheel, he would clap when he was done and say “yaaaaay car car!”.


My sweet niece Lydia literally decorated my entire tree for me.  Ornaments-wise.  I did the lights and the strand of red stuff, but she did the hard part.  Thank God for her….I was dreading doing that!


All of Carter’s cousins from my side.  Lydia, Carter, Cooper and Anderson….and Henry too :)

The day after Thanksgiving, we went to my mom’s since she had to work on Thanksgiving day.  The kids actually went ahead and exchanged gifts since Cooper and Jennifer won’t be here for Christmas.  Mom gave Carter the talking and hugging Elmo (this thing actually hugs you back…creepy).  HE LOVED IT!!!

 DSC_4384 DSC_4388 DSC_4410 DSC_4418  DSC_4425Carter also got some Elmo shoes from my mom.  He loves these too!  Excuse the fact that he’s wearing an Auburn shirt.  Iron Bowl was that day (Alabama-mommy’s alma mater, and Auburn-daddy’s alma mater).  He’s wearing an Auburn shirt because Justin was with him that morning while I was working out so he got him dressed.  Guess it worked well for the Tigers because they beat us within the last second.  Literally.

So that was our November.  I still can’t believe we’re already into December.  I have a mere 3 weeks left at work before I officially become a stay-at-home mom.  Carter turns 2 on the 28th of this month.  And my Israel trip is just 84 days away.  I just can’t believe time is flying by so fast!