Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Glow in the Park 5k and Brief Carter Update

Last Friday night, myself along with several other girls that live in our neighborhood did the Glow in the Park 5k.  It was at the Hoover Met (for those of you from Birmingham and know the area) and it started once the sun went down.  The purpose of this race was to put paint all over your body and wear bright neon glowing bracelets and necklaces.  Four of us painted each others arms and legs before the race started and drove there together.



This picture was the last one we took before we did the race.  This was at our “cleanest”!

This race was SO much fun.  I mean, this was the most fun I’ve ever had at a 5k!!  Running at night with neon everywhere was super fun.  On top of the paint we put on our bodies before heading to the Met, there were powder and liquid paints at stations during the race.  There were people throwing colored powder on you throughout the race as well as liquid paint so by the end of the race, we were DRENCHED in paint.  And to my surprise, there was even a bubble machine that you had to run through.  There was something resembling a disco ball that was dropping a huge amount of bubbles to the ground that just built up over time and you had to run through it.


Michele wanted us to take a picture with J’s since our neighborhood starts with a J, but they turned out more like L’s.  And I kinda feel like I’m throwing up a gang symbol in this picture, but still a cute pic of us girls regardless!


They had blacklights set up so that you could take fun pictures that made the paint on your bodies super bright!

glowinpark5k3  The race was at 8:30ish and we all hung out at the little dance party doing the cupid shuffle for a bit afterwards.  Then we went to eat dinner at La Paz at the Galleria and then went home.  I didn’t get home until almost midnight.  Officially the latest I’ve stayed out since before being pregnant with Carter!  And of course I had to take a shower the second I got home to wash all that paint off.  Shockingly, it all came out of my clothes too!

Such an awesome race and I highly suggest it for anyone in the Hoover area.  There were TONS of families with their kids there.  Naturally all the kids thought it was the coolest thing ever.  I can so see Justin and I doing this with Carter when he’s big enough!

So for a little update on Carter... he turned 19 months old on Sunday.  I doubt I will attempt to keep up with his monthly posts anymore.  He just learns so much and does so much now that it’s just too hard to document it all.  He is talking like crazy, repeating pretty much everything you say.  He still says please, but struggles with thank you.  We’ve also begun making him say he’s sorry when he does something wrong.  Anytime he goes to timeout, he has to say he’s sorry before coming out.  No, he has no idea what “sorry” means at 19 months, but over time, he will.  Also for timeout, he’s stopped crying uncontrollably during it.  I think he’s becoming fine with being in the pack-n-play as long as he can see what’s going on around him.  I may need to move the pack-n-play to a more isolated location to make timeout seem more like a punishment.

For some reason, he doesn’t like anything to be over his toes other than shoes or footies.  When I get him out of the bathtub and wrap him in a towel, if the towel gets over his toes, he’ll pull it off and say “no, no no!”.  He does the same thing if he’s playing on the bed and the sheets get wrapped around his feet.  He is saying tons of words, like I mentioned above, but we’re still working on simple sentences.  His first sentence was on our way back from Pensacola for family vacation when he saw me peek my head over the top of his carseat and said “I see Mama”.  Since then, he has started saying things like “my Mama” and “my Daddy”.  When Justin takes him upstairs for bedtime, he tells Carter to “say bye bye to good girl” (the dog) and Carter will say “bye bye good girl”.  This is about all he’s done at this point.  I’ve tried to get him to say “I love you” but all I’ve gotten is “I wuv”. 

His favorite thing to do right now is hurt himself.  Seriously.  He says “ouchie” and then bangs his head on the floor or into the wall.  He thinks it’s funny.  I don’t think it’s funny at all…this kid bruises extremely easily so it looks like we beat him.  He also LOVES to drink juice/water out of a sports bottle instead of his sippy cup.  I think he’s just trying to be like daddy. We’ve discovered that bribing him with food to eat food goes a long way.  If he doesn’t eat what I put in front of him, I will tell him that if he eats it, he’ll get a blueberry…or some applesauce, or something like that.  9 times out of 10, he ends up eating it all.  For times when he doesn’t eat it anyway, then he doesn’t eat.  If he doesn’t eat what I give him, then he doesn’t eat until the next snack time.  I also don’t think that “bribing him” is bad.  It’s no different than a mom that says “eat all of your dinner and you can have dessert”.  That’s what we’re doing.  I say “eat all your spaghetti O’s and you can have a banana”.  If he eats them all (even if he whines his way through it) I will give him the banana.  If he doesn’t, he doesn’t get the banana.  And the final eating related item to mention is that he has become fascinated with eating like Gizmo eats.  When we put bites of food on his high chair tray, he likes to bend his head over and try to pick it up with his mouth only instead of using his hands.  I am doing everything I can to discourage this so that he doesn’t develop bad table manners!  But I will admit, the first time he did it, I couldn’t help but laugh!

Big stuff coming up for Carter in August.  He’ll start school back at our church.  He goes two days a week from 9-1pm.  He’ll be in the toddler room which sadly is not the same room as his twin cousins that he is around all the time.  They’ll be in the younger 2’s room.  I wanted them to all be together, but my mother-in-law brought up a good point.  You don’t want them to form comfort around the same people.  You want to mix it up.  That will help his social skills and his “friend making” skills as he gets older and will also help in keeping them from getting sick of each other.  Also, he will move up a room on Sundays.  Right now, he’s still in the nursery with all the babies from 0-18 months.  In a couple of weeks, he will move up a room and will be with the twins again in the toddler room.  Finally, my sister and her son are coming in town this week and will be here a full week (maybe even longer).  Last time Carter saw Cooper he was when he was about 8 months old (I think).  Couldn’t walk yet, couldn’t talk yet.  I am going to be so interested to see them interact now.  And of course, I’m excited to see Jennifer and Jeff!

Till next time friends :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

#29 and #43 - CHECK!

Yay for marking more off my list!!  Number 29 on my list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days was to complete P90X again.  This was my third time doing the program.   The first time was several years ago when we lived in our old house.  The second time was when I was trying to get back in shape after having Carter.  I started it when he was maybe 5 or 6 weeks old (end of February 2o12).  I went back to work when he was 11 weeks old and did my best to keep up with the routine, but I was back to working 40 hours a week with a husband that was out of town a ton, so I just didn’t have the time to finish it the 2nd time.  The third time was in March 2013 and I finished it in the beginning of July (marking it off the list kind of late, I know).  No fun pictures to go with that one though, sorry.

Number 43 was to have Carter’s 1 year pictures taken.  Yes, Carter is 18 months old.  We ended up not doing 1 year pictures and I was ok with that.  I had a photographer come to his first birthday party to snap pictures of the party so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it and could focus on actually enjoying celebrating his first year of life.  So anyway, since we had those photos from his birthday party, I didn’t really feel the need to do one year photos.  So instead, we did 18 month photos!

I used Volree Wade Photography (same girl that took Carter’s birthday party pictures, see those here).  I went to high school and to church with Volree so I know her and her family relatively well.  She unfortunately moved to North Carolina so she had to come back to take his pictures.  It wasn’t a huge inconvenience for her though, she still has lots of clients here and she just picks a weekend to come back in town and books sessions with her clients then.  So she had several shoots going on the same day that we did our photos.

Downside of the day we did pictures-rain.  Birmingham received 6 straight days of rain that week and the day we planned pictures was during those 6 days.  We had planned, for those of you that know the Birmingham area, to get pictures done outside at Samford University, but the bottom dropped out and the rain was too bad so we headed downtown to Volree’s studio and did studio pictures.  Volree had TONS of interesting props…tons that Carter was completely interested in and wanted to play with.  We would try to get a picture of him using a certain chair and he would sit in the chair for about 30 seconds, but then he saw another chair hanging from the wall and wanted to sit on that chair.  This went on for the entire shoot.  And I thought a newborn session was bad….when they grow up, you have to chase them around!  When they’re babies, they just lay there!  Huge difference!

Regardless, Volree got a bunch of great pictures that we love and will cherish forever.  I love this age.  I mean, LOVE this age.  Carter’s personality is so vivid and he shows it through the pictures pretty well.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

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That one on the right is a face I get from him all the time.  It usually comes when he’s done something bad, but thinks it’s funny.  Mischievous little devil!




This one just cracks me up!  It’s like he’s doing a tiger face or something!!! morris-16 morris-18

This picture probably describes him the best!  Kid LOVES to be upside down and thrown around!

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Those blue eyes!!!!  Be still my heart!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Flashback Friday

I meant to post this yesterday since yesterday was Friday, but I got busy and forgot, so I’ll post it now. 

It’s been a while since I’ve had one of these, but with me and Justin’s anniversary coming up next week, I figured now was a good time for this one in particular!!  In the past, my Flashback Friday posts have been flashbacks many many many years ago.  This one won’t be that much of a flashback, but one I thought necessary since I’ve gained some new followers in the past year or so.  So now, we flashback to me and Justin’s wedding day, July 25, 2009. 

It was a very warm day that day.  The sun was out and it was gorgeous.  Couldn’t have asked for a better day!  With that said, it did rain for about 20 minutes literally seconds after we finished taking pictures with the wedding party in the courtyard.  You know what they say….a little rain on your wedding day is a good sign for your marriage :)  And something I definitely can’t neglect to mention is that it just so happen to be the same weekend as “Christmas in July”.  If you don’t live in the Birmingham, AL area, you probably won’t understand.  We have a radio station that plays Christmas music pretty much from Halloween to New Year’s.  They pick one weekend in July, usually at the end, and play Christmas all weekend long as the halfway point to Christmas time.  Our wedding weekend just happen to be the same weekend which is FABULOUS because all of my friends know how much I ADORE Christmas!

Our photographer was Amelia Strauss.  She no longer resides in Birmingham.  She moved to Los Angeles shortly after our wedding, but she is still doing wedding photography and every now and again I jump over to her blog to catch what she’s taking pictures of.  She is unreal!  Here’s a few of my favorite moments that Amelia captured on that perfectly wonderful God-given day:

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This is when we saw each other for the first time.  We chose to do this before the ceremony since we took our pictures before the wedding.  We wanted to be able to go straight to the reception and have a good time once the ceremony was over!

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Our reception was at B&A Warehouse in downtown Birmingham.  The place is BEAUTIFUL.  I loved the brick walls and the warehouse feel of it.  We decorated with Christmas lights and Japanese lanterns.  This is the view from the stage looking at the wedding cakes.


The grooms cake.  It’s a mountain.   Justin and I love mountain climbing so naturally, we had a mountain cake.  The cake’s icing is chocolate and the filling is Reese’s Peanut Butter flavor.  It was DELICIOUS.


Can’t have a mountain themed cake without a fabulous cake topper!

ASP_0283 The bride’s cake

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 ASP_0322 ASP_0324 ASP_0326 ASP_0341-1 ASP_0366 ASP_0379 ASP_0382 AES_1278 ASP_0134 And that’s it folks!  We stayed at the Tutwiler Hotel downtown and then caught a VERY early flight the next morning for our trip to Hawaii for our 10 day honeymoon.  I absolutely loved every moment of my wedding day.  Naturally there are a couple of things I would go back and change.  I don’t love the bridesmaid dresses nor did I love the flowers for my maids or even myself.  But I think the reason I want to change those is because it’s been 4 years.  Dresses have evolved and people are beginning to be more courageous with their flower choices.  If I could change now, I would change the color of the bridesmaid dresses and would have made them short dresses instead of long ones (it was July for crying out loud).  Not sure what differences I would have made in the flowers, but I know I would have wanted more color. 

Regardless, I loved my wedding day and I fall in love with my husband more and more each day.  Marrying him was by far the most important decision of my life (even more important than children).  He is my rock and I truly don’t know what I would do without him. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Carter - 18 Months

This is very belated.  I apologize.  I have been so busy at work lately and we also did a lot in the 18th month that I had to go through and find pictures of.  I know I say it every month, but 18 months is a big milestone and I CANNOT believe he’s a year and a half old y’all!  I just can’t believe it!  Time has flown by way too fast and I can hardly remember when he was a newborn.  Here’s a few things that happened in the 18th month of Carter’s sweet and precious life:

  • We had Carter’s 18 month appointment today,  almost two weeks late (hence the late blogpost).  When we were there, we had to answer about 20 questions about Carter’s abilities.  Things like if he can point to body parts and whether he stares with no purpose for long periods of time.  This was a test of autism.  The doc said Carter got a perfect score.  YAY for no autism!  Doc said everything looked great and that we could now be more adventurous with his foods (finally able to try peanut butter now).  He suggested us waiting a few more months before turning Carter to forward facing in his carseat.  We were wanting to do it now, but we will definitely wait since it’s safer to do it closer to age 2.  Also, he had his final shot until age 4.  So other than the flu shot he’ll get each year, no more shots for 2 more years!!!  His stats are as follows:
    • 32 inches (30th percentile)
    • 24lbs, 7oz (30th percentile)
    • 18.5 inch head circumference (25th percentile)

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  • He sang for the first time.  Justin and I were in the car and were pulling into our driveway.  Carter was in the back watching Elmo and it was a part in the DVD where Elmo sings about birds.  The lyrics aren’t difficult, mind you…he just sings “bird bird bird….bird bird bird….bird bird bird bird bird”.  Justin and I both heard Carter singing along at the same tempo as the DVD.  It stopped us both dead in our tracks and we looked at each other and said “was that Carter??  Did he just….SING??”
  • At some point in the last month or so, he figured out how to climb up the stairs to a slide and slide down on his own.  A small slide, though.  Not the big ones you see at playgrounds, but the smaller ones you see in someone’s backyard….like this:


  • He started trying to figure out how to put his own shoes on.  We didn’t push this.  It’s something he randomly started doing on his own…


  • We went to a few birthday parties.  Harper Lobdell turned 1 and so did Savannah Williamson.  Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to take pictures at Harper’s party.  Here’s some from Savannah’s party (he was LOVING the ball pit):

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  • We took a pretty nasty fall down the brick steps on the back porch and landed on the concrete patio (he was NOT happy this day…AT ALL).  Y’all, I had my back turned for literally 5 seconds.  In that 5 seconds, he tried to walk up one step and then back down, but he must have fallen on his way back down because by the time I turned around, he was face down on our concrete patio.  Thankfully there was no major damage.  Just some small cuts.


  • Speaking of falling, he’s doing a TON of that these days.  Why??  Because he’s figured out that he LOVES to try to climb things.  I understand now why all the books I read say that parenting a boy is 10 times more exhausting than parenting a girl because they have 50% more energy than girls.  Carter is constantly climbing on things all over the house:  the bed, the couch, the pack and play, chairs, stairs…anything he can climb, he tries to.


  • He began pointing people out in pictures.  He’s been doing this for a while now, but for some reason, looking through our wedding album has become one of his favorite things to do lately.  He loves looking at the family page and pointing out “Gigi, Nana, Papa, Mama, Daddy, Jen Jen, etc”.  In the video below, he was focusing on Gigi.  This video made Gigi’s day!  Just the other day, I noticed Carter had been quiet for a long time (too long for an 18 month old).  Naturally I had to investigate.  I found him in the corner of the living room.  He had taken our wedding album off of the table, pulled it onto the floor and flipped to the center page of it.  This center page is the page with a ton of family pictures on it (same page where he points out Gigi in the video below).  And he was pointing to where Papa (Justin’s dad) was in all of the pictures and was saying his name over and over.  He really loves to point people out in pictures!!!


  • He began “dancing”.  He used to dance by just bouncing up and down but now he prefers to turn in circles.  He loves doing it so many times that it makes him dizzy and he falls all over the place.  DRUNK BABY ALERT!!
  • Henry.  O…..M……G.  The attempt of weaning off Henry is in full effect y’all.  For some reason, about the 2nd week in June (17 1/2 months) he became completely dependent on Henry.  Like, cried when he wasn’t there…all the time.  It came out of nowhere.  He’s always loved Henry and uses him during naps and nighttime sleep and randomly throughout the day, but has never really NEEDED him.  He has certainly NEVER cried out Henry’s name when he’s upset.  So we really are trying to limit Henry’s appearances to sleeping only.  We will not be bringing Henry with him when he starts school in the fall.  Henry always helped Carter transition to being cared for by someone other than us and grandparents so he always went to school with Carter, but we won’t be doing that come fall.  I’ve already noticed a difference.  He asks for him less and less each day and when he’s upset about something, the first word out of his mouth is usually “mama”.
  • We started going to a fitness program called “Mommy and Me Fitness”.  My sister-in-law goes with the twins and we began joining them this month.  Basically, you go to a gym at a church and the moms workout while the kiddos run free all over the gym playing with all kinds of toys.  Carter loves it!  I think part of why he likes it so much is because of the twins.  He is loving playing with them right now.  He is constantly asking for Celia.  And I’m shocked at how well he says her name.  Cynthia is a bit harder to say for him.  It comes out as “CeeCee” or “Sissy”.


  • The top molars that were in process of coming in last month are now officially in and we are up to 12 teeth!  I’ve already started to see a white bump on his bottom jaw (whatever the tooth in front of the molar is).  So I guess we’re working on numbers 13 and 14.
  • Sleep hasn’t changed.  He sleeps roughly 11 hours at night and takes one nap during the day that ranges anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours, but most of the time is around 2 1/2 hours.  He’s still very content to play in his crib for up to an hour before I actually go get him in the mornings and after naptime.  SO thankful for that!
  • He learned new body parts.  We added toes, elbows and chin to the list of body parts he knows and we’re still working on knee and shoulder.  He also learned the big one for boys…yes, he now knows where his “pee pee” is.  Carter loves to point to things and look at us as if he’s asking us “what’s this?”.  We always answer him and that’s how his vocabulary has expanded so much over the past several months.  When I was giving him a bath a few weeks ago, he pointed “down there” and looked at me.  I didn’t respond though because honestly I wasn’t ready to go there yet.  But he kept doing it and looking at me like he was saying “you tell me what everything is lady.  Why won’t you tell me the name for this thing??”  So I caved.  I wasn’t about to give him the actual name for it, so I called it a “pee pee”.  We don’t frequently ask him where his “pee pee” is, but on the few occasions that we have (to show family members his new skill) he does point to it.  So we’re up to 12 body parts now (head, eyes, ears, nose, chin, tummy, teeth, elbow, hand, pee pee, toe, feet).
  • His hair has grown so much and is finally long enough to have a part in it!!!  Hard to see in the picture below because his hair is SO BLONDE!  He gets that from me.  I had super blonde hair when I was little up until I was pre-teens and my  mom started making me highlight it because she loved my hair being blonde.


  • I taught him how to give a hug and to give a kiss.  He has been learning how to blow a kiss (though he does it backwards-he says “muah” and then puts his hand on his mouth instead of the other way around) but just recently he knows that when I lean in towards him and say “kiss” that I want an actual kiss and he leans towards me too with a wide open mouth.  We’ll work on closing the mouth later.  I’m just glad he gives me kisses :)  The video below is a good video of it but it starts with going over colors…the kiss is at the end.
  • Brushing his teeth is one of his favorite things to do now.  We’re lucky if he lets us do it, most of the time he wants to do it himself.  The effectiveness of this is almost like brushing your teeth and then eating a box of oreos…useless.  He also is wanting to carry around the toothbrush through the house which we’re trying to discourage because he could fall with it in his mouth and it would push into his throat. 
  • Still doesn’t like diaper changes.  I should rephrase that.  He DESPISES diaper changes.  He has no interest at all in staying still long enough for me to change his diaper/clothes.  I can almost guarantee that 80% of the time, he will cry during a diaper change.
  • Temper tantrums are in full swing.  This little 18 month old wants to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it and doesn’t like being told no.  We’ve used time outs but we need to start using them more for sure.  I’ve gotta start working on being consistent with the time out otherwise the threat of “do you want to go to timeout?” will be futile. 
  • Father’s Day was this month!  Justin actually ended up going out of town later in the day so we didn’t do much but we had fun for the several hours that we did have daddy with us.


So that’s about it for month 18!  I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend (despite the constant nastiness of weather) and enjoys the rest of their week!!