Monday, August 26, 2013

August in a Flash

I can’t believe it.  Have I really only blogged one time?  ONE time in August??  I’m so slacking my friends.  So let’s just do a real quick crash course of our August.

My sister and her family came to visit.  They live in Tampa and Jennifer, Jeff and my 2 year old nephew Cooper came down.  Jeff only stayed a few days and flew back to Tampa to go back to work while Jen and Cooper stayed a whole week.  The last time Cooper and Carter got together, Cooper was younger than Carter is now.  They are totally different kids now than they were last time they were together so we were both excited to see how they would act together.

Here’s a few pictures Jennifer got while they were in town:

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You’ll have to excuse the fact that Carter is hoarding toothpaste.  He’s currently going through a phase where he is OBSESSED with it.  He loves carrying it around the house!


Bath time fun!!


She took a ton more but that’s all I have on my computer to share.

Carter got his 2nd ever haircut, but this one was way more fun than the first one:

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I mean, it’s SO much more fun when you get your hair cut while sitting in a jeep sucking on a sucker!!!  Notice that in the picture on the right, he has something in his hand.  He took the stylists comb and started combing his hair.  He does this all the time with all kinds of brushes in our house.  He loves to take my brush off my vanity and walk around the house brushing his hair.  It’s funny for the most part.  Not so funny when I have just given him a bath and combed his hair into the perfect part and then he screws it up!

photo12 He FINALLY ate a real cookie!  He’s always eating things like Teddy Grahams and Vanilla Wafers (which we refer to as “cookies”) but he’s never actually eaten a real cookie.  During a trip to the mall to ride the carousel (won’t be doing that again for a bit-he was a little ridiculously scared) we stopped by the Great American Cookie Company and I saw a small cookie that had cookie monster painted on it.  I got it hoping he would try some of it, but kind of knew I would end up eating it.  No way.  This kid devoured it!  Hence all the blue on his face in the picture above.


We had dinner with our bf’s the Lobdell’s and Carter and their son Harper had some fun taking pictures with their dads.  Boys. 


Lots of moving going on around my office!  We had promotions recently and our new supervisors needed to move to window offices.  At our firm, if you’re in the management group, you get a window office.  Everyone else has their own offices, they are just not next to windows.  A few of us are “retiring” and some are moving cities so we had a ton of rearranging to do.  I got the boot from my window office because a new supervisor needed to move in since I am only going to be around for a few more months.  I had to pack up all my stuff and take my diplomas and CPA licenses down.  It was bittersweet :(


Justin and I went to Nashville for a weekend to celebrate our four year anniversary.  We got to meet up with our friends Stacey and Brian that moved there a couple of months ago.  They were in our Sunday School class at our church and we miss them so much!


Nashville has the best candy shop EVER downtown.  How did I not know about it when I lived there?!?!?!

And I get to knock something off my 101 list!  Number 82 on my 101 List was to visit my friends Lillian and Craig and meet their offspring.  Lillian and I had some pretty fab times together in Nashville, but then I moved back to Birmingham for Justin and she met her fantastic husband, Craig.  I hadn’t been able to make it back up there to see her and since then, she had her little girl, Maggie and most recently had her son, Miles.  Maggie’s 2nd birthday party just so happen to be the weekend we were there, so we made an appearance!  Maggie is Lillian in miniature form.  Looks, mannerisms, everything.  Miles is only 3 months old and to me, all babies look like babies and I can’t tell who they look like.  My guess is that he’ll end up looking like Craig :)


On the left is me and Lillian with Miles fast asleep on his mamma.  On the right is Maggie about to blow out her candle.  Her birthday party was a cowgirl theme and was adorable!!  I expected nothing less from Lillian since she is an event planner!


I made this little comparison and put it on Instagram.  Can we just talk about how DIFFERENT Carter looks now than a year ago?!?!?!  That hair finally started to come in and he has a mouth FULL of teeth now.  The only thing that really didn’t change was his eye color.  Sweet boy still has BRIGHT blue eyes (you just can’t see them real well in the pic above).


My life planner from finally came in.  My sister, Jennifer, turned me on to this life planner thing.  She ranted and raved about it so I had to check it out.  See, I’m a writer.  It’s why I have a blog.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE to write.  At the moment, my entire life is planned on my outlook calendar attached to my work email.  Once I leave my job in December, I am going to need a way to organize my life!  And because I am a writer, I would TEN TIMES rather get a planner like this and write in it than add things to my iPhone calendar.  I am loving my planner!!!!


Our sweet one is slowly becoming obsessed with cars.  We got him a pack of three cars that light up and make noise (a fire truck, and ambulance and a police car).  He likes rolling the cars, particularly the police car, all over the floors in the house.


Last week, Carter started school again.  He is now in the toddler class where there are no naps, just playtime.  He is in a class with 8 kids-6 boys and 2 girls.  He is not in the same class as the twins, they’re in the “older twos” class, but he does get to see them when all the classes play either outside or in the gym.  He was so happy when he woke up the morning of his first day.  I kept telling him “we’re going back to school today Carter!” and he was constantly saying “cool….go!” (cool=school in Carterman language).  But when we got to the church, you could tell he was starting to get hesitant.  Notice his not so happy face in the picture on the right.  We sat in the lobby area for a while because we were early, and he waved and said “hey” to pretty much everyone that walked through the lobby.  When it was time to take him to his class, he started crying.  He gripped onto me so tightly.  He’s in a new room with new teachers and new kids so it’s all very new to him and I imagine he’ll be like that for a couple of weeks until he gets used to it and realizes that we’re not leaving him forever and that we are going to come back and get him.  Justin picked him up from school and he was so happy to see his daddy.  The next day when he woke up he kept saying “cool….cool….cool!!!” and walking towards the door.  He wanted to go back to school!  Sweet thing!

Not only did he change classrooms for Mother’s Day Out, but he also changed classes for Sunday School.  He was in the nursery and was BY FAR the oldest in that room.  Yesterday was “Promotion Sunday” where all the kids get moved up a class and we joined services to present 3rd graders with their first Bible.  Carter got out of the nursery and moved to the toddler room.  On Sundays, he is with the twins.  And he loves it.  Carter seriously loves those girls.  He is always saying their names and wondering where they are.  After the service we had a luncheon at the church.  All the kids went to play on the playground after we ate and I got a couple of pics:

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And a few other random pictures from the month:


These days, Carter is obsessed with diapers.  OBSESSED.  He picks up at least two in the morning when I lay him on the changing table to change his clothes.  He brings those two downstairs and combines them with at least 3 or 4 that are in the living room downstairs.  He carries them around all day long.  No joke.  No exaggeration.  He will be holding about 7 diapers and if he drops one, he’ll bend over and pick it up, the other 6 aren’t good enough. 

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I cannot begin to explain how badly we’re going through a “daddy cures all things” phase.  He wants daddy ALL. THE. TIME.  If he falls and bangs his head on something in the living room, even if I’m standing right in front of him and Justin is in our bathroom, he runs to the bathroom crying for daddy.  Justin picks him up and holds him until he calms down and once he is calm again, I’ll try to take him from Justin’s arms and Carter says “no!” and then hugs Justin with all his strength.  It’s sweet to see, but it’s kind of heartbreaking at the same time!

Some other random tidbits about Carter at 20 months of age:

  • He is saying like a zillion words now.  He’s beginning to form simple two word sentences too. 
  • He’s becoming a champ at saying “please” and “thank you”.
  • We’ve begun making him watch things other than Elmo (mommy can only take so much of the red monster).  We’ve tried Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins and Thomas the Train.  He prefers the first two over the third.  However, Carter generally never really watches TV.  He won’t stay still long enough to.  The only time he’ll really sit down and watch it is in the car…because he has to!
  • He’s learned to jump and does it all the time.  We’re definitely going to have some type of bouncy house for his birthday party in December.
  • As sweet as our little one can be, he is definitely strong willed.  Right now we are fighting the battles of throwing things and hitting.  Neither of them are things he’s doing to be “defiant”.  Books I’ve read have said that children this age aren’t neurologically and socially developed enough yet to be defiant.  That will come after they turn 3.  Right now, they are acting out of either happiness or frustration.  This is so true with Carter.   When he throws things, it’s because he is SUPER excited about something.  When he hits, its because he is frustrated that he doesn’t understand what we’re trying to tell him.  Both of these are normal at this age, per the books I read.  Biting is also normal but luckily we’ve had very little biting from Carter so far.
  • We can tell he’s wanting to stay up later at night but he is so not winning that battle.  He still gets put in the crib at 7:30 every night.  Carter has always been happy in his room by himself though, so he never cries when he goes there before he’s ready.  He just plays with his animals until he falls asleep.
  • If I had a dollar for every time he’s fallen off our bed….
  • He also knows to say “sorry”.  Anytime he’s in time-out, he has to say “sorry” before he comes out.  I explain what he did wrong to him before I bring him out of time-out, but at his age, he doesn’t understand it in the least.  He’ll understand it better as he grows up. 
  • We’ve been trying to introduce even more foods to Carter.  He is still not having the bread.  REFUSES to eat it.  As it turns out though, peanut butter isn’t allowed at his school, so we couldn’t send PBJ’s anyway.  The meats he eats are ham and chicken.   That’s it.  We haven’t tried steak yet, but I think steak is too chewy for him right now.  He eats the stroganoff Gerber Graduates meal with chopped up beef in it, but we made tacos the other day and gave him part of that beef and he wouldn’t eat it.  I want to try a pork chop with him too to see if he’ll eat that.  We just have to keep trying with certain things.  He loves most veggies and fruits.  Meat and bread is where we struggle with him.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Cat’s Out of the Bag

The official email went out to our firm last week so I feel comfortable making it public now.  I have turned in a notice at my job and plan to become a stay-at-home mom!  This wasn’t a two weeks notice like most jobs though.  I plan to work through the end of the year (December) to get all my projects wrapped up and help plan engagements for busy season next year.  I wasn’t about to give a typical “two weeks notice” in December right before busy season.  I like my employer too much and felt they deserved more than that.  So I gave them about 7 months notice (told them back in May) to give them plenty of time to find someone else.  This decision didn’t come lightly.  Several things had to happen to put the plan in place, but I won’t talk about those on the blog.  Also, we are doing it sooner than expected.  Justin and I always planned for me to begin staying at home once I had our second child.  And no, I’m not pregnant.  Also this will not “speed up” becoming pregnant with #2 either.  I have told Justin that I really want to enjoy being at home with Carter for a bit first before throwing another life change into the arena and he agrees.

I can’t tell how I feel about it yet.  See, I love my job and I love my employer.  I have only worked as a CPA at two places.  The first was in Nashville, TN right after I graduated from grad school.  I lived there for two years and moved back to Birmingham when Justin and I began seriously dating and knew we would get married one day.  That’s when I started working at my current firm.  I can’t say enough good things about this firm and about the amazing people I get to see everyday.  Yes, the hours are long and the job itself can be stressful and extremely frustrating.  But we have a very Christian and family friendly firm.  I could spit out all the perks of my job but I won’t bore you with those.  What’s important is that some of the people that know me best work with me.  People I have only known for 5 years.  And they are some of my favorite people and best friends. 

I am excited to be able to see my son everyday and also excited that I won’t be burdening my mother-in-law that keeps him everyday while I’m at work.  Of course she doesn’t see it as a burden in the least.  She loves Carter and loves taking care of him and seeing him as much as she does.  Regardless, I know what it’s like to have to spend 100% of your time watching a child and I am excited that she’ll have her life back and can go back to doing things she used to do before being a full-time non-paid nanny.

But then there’s that part of me that is scared to be a SAHM.  I have worked since I was 15 years old.  There’s never been a time when I was unemployed since then.  Seriously.  I’m not saying keeping up with a 2 year old won’t be “work”, but I do worry that I will become bored with this new life.  Staying at home with Carter and cleaning the house will be my new job.  That’s it.  I won’t get to see my sweet friends at work on a daily basis anymore.  I’ll barely have adult conversations.  Keep in mind that it’s not like I will have a husband to talk to at 5pm everyday when he gets home from work.  Justin travels about 30-35 weeks a year.  So it’s just me and Carter….24 hours a day….all week. 

However, all this aside, I am still excited about it.  Carter is at such a fun age right now and I love playing with him.  Whether we’re outside blowing bubbles, going to the zoo or McWane Center or going on golf cart rides.  I am excited to see him daily and for him to know that he is my number 1 priority (well, behind God and his daddy of course).  Carter knows what “work” means.  Justin has gone to get him from his crib in the mornings when I’ve already left for work and he says “mommy work”.  Something about that just breaks my heart.  I just haven’t been able to give him enough of my time.  He needs me and my one-on-one time more than my job is able to allow me to give him so a decision had to be made. 


There is a never ending debate on which is harder…a stay at home mom or a working mom.  Now granted, I haven’t technically stayed at home yet, but here’s my take on this vast debate.  It depends.  It depends on the mom.  The child. The mom’s personality.  Lots of things.  I could argue being a stay at home mom of twins is hand down harder than being a working mom of only one child.  But what about a working mom of only one child whose daddy is always out of town and she plays the role of single working mom?  Or what about the working mom with no family in town that has zero help?  Not to mention the difficulty of being the working or stay-at-home mom of a special needs child.  There’s also different definitions of “working” because jobs vary.  Some people have to answer to bosses that don’t care if your kid is at home sick and you need time off, there’s a deadline and they expect you to meet it.  Others work out of their home and are their own boss, so they are home more often.  Comparisons could go on forever.  I truly believe that there is no “harder”, just different scenarios.  For me, it will be a huge adjustment because of the things I mentioned above.  It will take some time for me to get used to this new role, but I will eventually get the hang of it.  Justin and I are so blessed to have both of our families in town that can babysit for whatever reason we need them to, so I know I’ll have help if I get to a breaking point and need some “me” time.

Anyway, this way too long post was all to say that beginning late December, I will be staying at home with Carter.  Not sure what that will do to my blogging.  I typically blog when I have downtime at work or during lunch.  I’m sure it will decrease the blogging a little bit, but I guess we’ll just see!