Friday, October 29, 2010

Subscribe here :)

Hi there! Not much to post today...well...not time to post anyway :). I just wanted to let you know that you can now enter your e-mail address into the box on the right sidebar to receive an e-mail every time I add a post to the blog! That way you don't have to come back and check to see if I've updated. (On a sidenote, the whole concept of this post seems quite vain, lol.) It's a convenient way to make sure you're updated on our little stories!

I hope you have a great weekend...we'll be enjoying chili and fun with friends with our "little pumpkin"!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Look Mom! No hands!



(**I seem to have my hands wrapped around his bottom in all the pictures I have of the wrap.  I think it is just habit from pregnancy.  I usually walk with arms flying around with the wrap...just so you know the wrap is secure with no hands!)

So many people have asked about the wrap that we use ALL the time that I thought I would post some information in my blog for others!  Basically, a Moby wrap is a stretchy, strong piece of long material that can be tied many different ways to securely carry your baby.  The cloth stretches across your back, spreading all the weight across your shoulders, entire back and hips.  It is literally the most comfortable way to carry Carter.  I use it ALL the time.  When I first had him, I had to have help to get him in.  It was a combination of his newborn "floppiness", my own fear of how fragile he seemed, and inexperience with the wrap.  Now, I can tie it on and pop him in by myself in less than a minute and comfortably wear him for hours.  Yesterday, I went to get gas, the cleaners, vet, Target and Wal-Mart...he slept almost the entire time in the wrap.  It usually is so good at getting him to sleep, he doesn't even wake up when I take him out to put him in his carseat!  We also use it a lot at church.  It keeps him snuggled up, usually putting him to sleep, so he's nice and quiet.  It also keeps my hands free so I can still have my Bible open and take notes!  When we stand up to sing, no rearranging necessary...he just sleeps on! :)  Sometimes, he doesn't sleep in it...but he is almost always content in it.  So content that the Moby wrap is our "go to" comforter when things go south at home.  When he cries and we have tried EVERYTHING, Steven or I (it fits us both!) just tie on the Moby and walk around the house until he settles down.  I don't want to jinx us...but it has worked EVERY time.  Ok...I'm sounding like a commercial...but another great thing is that his face and hands are tucked away...natural germ protector.  It also means he is tucked away from unusual people in public places that want to get in his face and touch his little hands.  One con I should mention is that it is a little hot.  The weather is getting cooler, which helps, but having all that cloth and a warm body tucked close can be a little warm...so I just put us both in lighter layers and consider the Moby a "light jacket."  If you had a baby in the heat of June/July...you probably would want to hold off until it was a little cooler!

Ok...so here are the details for getting one for yourself or someone that is having a baby.  (Ahhhmazing gift!)  You can buy them here for $40.  I was too cheap for that...so I just bought 5 yards (you may want 6 if you are bigger...but the 5 yards works for Steven and me) of jersey/cotton/knit blend.  You just need something that is strong but a little stretchy that will curl when you cut it so you don't have to hem.  (I mean, if you want to hem....more power to you but...)  When you get it home....just cut it on the crease so you have two pieces of 5 yard long material.  Done.  Seriously...easiest craft ever.  And cheap.  I bought my material for $1.99/yd during some sale they had...so mine cost $10....for 2.  

Now all you have to do is tie it.  There are instructions on the Moby website here and a really good video on YouTube showing how to tie and the most common way to place the baby in the wrap here.  (PS: There are a million good videos on how to tie this thing a million different ways...you can explore yourself!  This is just a good, introductory one.)

Additional notes for use:

  • As you will see in the tying instructions, you need to fold the material in half...I ended up tacking mine every few feet to kind of keep it folded...it makes it easier for me to handle and keep neat. 
  • I also sewed a little, red knot at the midpoint of mine.  The actual Moby has a tag that helps you find the center.  When it is dark, I can just feel for the mid-point so I can line it up to tie it.  Being centered is pretty important to the process.
  • It's nice to have two...that way WHEN your baby spits up, slobbers, or has a diaper explosion in it, you can pop it in the wash and have another one to use while it cycles through.  I also keep one in the car just in case I forgot to bring mine and need it.
  • For storage, you can have a little bag to stuff it all in.  I can't stand stuffing things...so I roll mine and tie it with a piece of ribbon I had around the house.
  • One of the common holds for little ones is the "Cradle hold".  I don't suggest using that one per the research that came out last summer about babies suffocating in wraps because their chin was too crammed against their chests.  When you use the other holds, the baby's head and airway are nice and open!

Ok...that's all for today.  I'm trying to update more often so that my blogs aren't so infinite.  I'll just leave you with a "Top 5 thoughts" list from today:
  1. Carter is starting to grasp things now.  Not just when you put your finger in his hand...but grabbing your shirt when you carry him, blankets that are nearby...etc.  When he grabs my shirt as I carry him around or feed him...he grabs my heart :)
  2. As we try to help Carter learn to fall asleep on his own in his crib, we were "shhhhhh-ing" and patting his little bottom.  New thing that works way better...rubbing his little head.  Oh he is his father's son!
  3. Sometimes falling asleep in his crib doesn't work and we rock him to sleep.  I love that too :)
  4. The 5K training is going really well.  The first week made me feel like death, but Monday's workout felt great!  I really hope today goes just as well.  Signing up and paying the registration fee is huge.  Anytime I don't feel like doing my workout....I imagine myself walking as all the other runners jog past me in front of people cheering their friends and family on.  And then I march myself out the door.  :)
  5. I hear every move Carter makes in the night.  Except on Friday nights.  On Friday nights, my sweet husband serves me by waking up for all of Carter's cries...and only brings him to me if he needs to eat. Then he takes him back and changes him, rocks him...whatever needs doing.  The amazing thing is that I never hear Carter cry one peep on Fridays.  Brains are amazing things.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Trying to get on schedule and in shape!

More Pictures of Month 1

     I couldn't come up with any winsome, interesting way to start this blog, so I figured I would just start with that.  New favorite picture :)  Can't lose when you start with something so sweet.  

     Everyone said that the first two weeks would be basic survival (they were right) and that things would even out again at 6 weeks.  And they were right.  Carter hasn't started sleeping through the night or given up his reflux habit...but things are definitely getting slightly more predictable.  Since we've switched him to the crib, he seems to have started sleeping a little better.  So I decided to try to get him on a bit of schedule.  He was loosely going to sleep after I fed him at seven, then I fed him again at 10 in the dark, keeping him as asleep as possible.  Then...I hoped for the best.  Generally, he's been eating once somewhere between 2:30-5....and waking up a several other times in the night needing some help settling himself back down.  I always woke him up at 7 and started our three hour feedings then, trying to consistently settle him and put him down for an 1 1/2-2 hour nap.  He almost never naps two hours...but I always wake him again for the next feeding anyway.  That was the idea anyway.  I'm trying to toe that line between being a schedule Nazi and being constantly on demand...waiting for Carter to lead.  I know he needs me to set up predictable times so that his little body can find a rhythm...but at the same time, I have to be sensitive to how stinkin' much his body's needs change.  I was pretty consistent with this schedule for a week....and he was awake all night long...all week!  He still only ate once...but he fussed and needed help getting back to sleep literally every 45 minutes all night long.  Not. Fun.  At.  All.  I stuck with it all week because I wanted to make sure it wasn't a one night thing...and it lasted the whole week!  My thought is that he is just getting too much daytime sleep...because that little schedule increased his time...and his nighttime habits went downhill.  My next plan is to continue starting every morning around 7 and keeping his feedings loosely on the 7, 10, 1, 4, 7 schedule (of course I feed him before if he's hungry!) but I'm not going to be as hardcore about putting him down for those daytime naps, ensuring that he gets all those 1- 1.5 hr sleeping times.  I think that, for whatever reason, he just doesn't need that much sleep.  I'm going to try to just watch his cues and put him down when I can tell he's getting sleepy.  And if he doesn't...that's okay.  We go back to the pediatrician on Nov. 8th.  I will show her the amount he is sleeping then and make sure it's adequate for what he needs to grow and develop.  So...that's where we are.  We're learning together.  It's altogether good, and I am grateful that Carter is so healthy and finding a pattern to his day.  I'm hoping that he will continue eating around the same time everyday...that will really help us be able to predict better what is going to happen each day.
     Carter is gaining more and more control of his head.  He can hold it up from good amounts of time now and can turn it to purse his lips to his paci that has inevitably fallen out.  He can't quite reach it with his hands...but you can almost see his little mind trying to figure it out.  He's getting chubbier and chubbier everyday...but also stronger and stronger.  We are enjoying watching him learn and grow...and enjoying how small and cuddly he still is!
     Right after I had Carter, the extra pounds seemed to literally melt off.  I weighed a little less everyday and couldn't wear my maternity clothes pretty soon after he was born.  And then weight loss came to a grinding halt...just short of where I would have liked it to.  Just short of my clothes fitting.  Just short of comfortable and healthy.  I'm not very good and just buckling down and losing weight...so I have stayed at that exact "stop sign" since then.  I also don't want to eat too few calories and affect my milk supply...so, in an effort to get things rolling again, Steven and I have decided to run a 5K together!  There are several big reasons:

  • When I do things, I have to have a goal and a plan to succeed...or I basically won't ever rally and commit.  With a 5K, I have a specific date set and a particular distance as a goal.  I have a plan for getting there.  I KNOW I will complete the training because I've already paid the registration fee and I'm too cheap to pay that for nothing.  I also am way too proud to walk parts of it, so....training will get done!  (In fact, I've already completed the first week.  I can't say it was easy or that I was super pleased with my performance, but I completed each day and I did the full amount...no matter how slow I was!)
  • I really am committed to healthiness...and exercise is a big part of that!  Every weight loss plan has a portion of vanity.  That is part of my goal, I am sure.  And, as I mentioned, I have to wear my clothes again...I can't buy a whole new wardrobe!  But I also have more heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and so on in my family tree than you can shake a stick at.  I want to be a good steward of this body.  I want to prevent having to take medication in the future.  I want to be able to serve others and enjoy life as long as possible...so I exercise and try to make healthy choices.  That doesn't mean never having a milkshake...I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world!  But it does mean trying to live an overall healthy lifestyle, including exercise!
  • Running is cheap.  I am cheap.  Match made in heaven.
  • It's fun to share a goal with Steven.  We can't go running together.  He's much faster than I am...and someone has to stay at home and watch Carter!  (Jogging strollers are not made for infants!)  But we do share the goal.  There is a lot of accountability to run when you live with your running partner.  I think it will also be nice to enjoy the meeting of our goal together!
So...hopefully I will be blogging on Dec. 4th about how much fun my first 5K was....or at least that I finished it and finished it jogging!  I am super out of shape right now.  (How did that happen?  I tried to stay so active during pregnancy!  Childbirth just takes more out of you than I thought it would!)  Please pray for me that I will be disciplined and self-controlled and I go through this training.  As with everything...I'll keep you updated! :)
     There are a few more things I'd really love to write about...but this blog is just too long and I need to do other things.  The picture link at the top includes some new pictures of Carter's bathtime and a little photoshoot we did with Grandaddy while he was wearing his "I love Grandpa" shirt.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

From Roll Tide Roll to my first day as an engineer...

 Rollll Tide!  That's what we were saying anyway!

I grew up saying Roll Tide...even at Ma's insistence that I say "War Eagle" (I can't even believe that let you post dirty words like that!).  I now believe that Ma pulled for Auburn just to make things interesting at home where all of us are good Bama fans..but...I digress :)

Since I've grown up in South Carolina, I haven't had many chances to cheer for my team besides in my living room with my immediate family.  They just aren't the popular team around here (though I have seen more fans coming out of the woodwork in these past two years, lol) and it's not as easy to go to an Alabama game as it is a Clemson or Carolina game.  But at last...I got my chance!  Daddy took all of us to the game on Saturday.  It was ugly.  It was sad.  But it was a little glorious to finally cheer on the Tide in person!  Even if my cheering seemed to be to no avail.



Our Bama family before the game :)



Grandaddy and Carter!  Rolllll Tide!

Obviously, the game was fun..even in a loss.  But Carter, I knew, would NOT enjoy such an outing...win or lose.  Luckily for us, Steven's youngest brother, Rique, and his wife, Sarah, live in Columbia.  (Sadly, as Gamecock fans...more ugly words in this post...we may have to change the rating on this piece!)  They are very good at being an aunt and uncle.  Got it down to a science :)  Rique and Sarah were willing to keep Carter during the game...so we were able to enjoy it with no worries.  There is something so wonderful about having family to keep sweet Carter.  It is a blessing to know that people are caring for him that love him...and love spending time with him.  It makes all the difference in the world!

Carter in his Bama outfit that survived spit-up...at least most of the day! :)

Carter with his Aunt Sarah....and their conflicting shirts :)

     Carter even got to take his first trip to the zoo while in Columbia.  From what I hear, he spent the first bit screaming bloody murder for his bottle that Aunt Sarah and Uncle Rique were desperately trying to get through the line to get to.  The second bit watching the animals from the comfort of Aunt Sarah's arms...and the last bit snoozing away in his stroller.  He also got to spend time with his niece and nephew -in laws...which I am totally aware is not proper family terminology, but Sarah's family seems like my family somehow...so that's what we call them :)  He also enjoyed some serious snuggle time with his grandparent-in-laws.  (again..i know :) )  What a fun time! :)

     Carter is continuing to grow so fast!  He is smiling and cooing a lot right now...which is a nice change from his only form on communication being crying!  These are a few faces I captured Wednesday morning after we woke up.
Smiles for his bouncy seat.

This is the very concerned look we get.  It is typically a pre-cry, warning face. :)

This is a lip-smacking request for food/paci.

This is a self-explanatory chuckle of glee for the swinging hedgehog(?) that he inadvertently hits.

Extremely kissable cheeks.


     He still really, really loves black and white objects.  He will track a black mug for a long, long time...and then get his worried face when it disappears.  But no worries!  Bring it back out...and smiles of glee!  It's a fun game for us :)  He gave me his first little chuckle on Tuesday when I dragged a little blanket over his face and sang a silly song over and over.  I haven't been able to get him to do it again...but I bet it won't be long!

     Everything with a baby seems to be trial and error.  I feel like I might be pretty good at it by baby 5 or 6...but I'm fairly certain our house our little house will not be dancing with that kind of excitement...ever.  I can tell already that I'm learning so much...mostly as I look back.  Everything I share with others that worked begins with, "In retrospect..."  Oh well.  Carter, I believe, will probably survive my hit and miss parenting skills...and will turn out just as all the other first-born babies do...myself included :)  One thing I'm still trying to figure out is baby schedules.  Do I just let him sleep when he falls asleep?  Do I put swaddle him up during the day and lay him down...even when he's quite awake?  Is he not sleeping more at night because I let him sleep too much in the afternoon....or is it because he is overtired and isn't sleeping ENOUGH during the day?  Or is he not sleeping for long stretches at night because he's only six weeks old and his tummy is still TINY!?!  My gosh...and if you ask people...everyone gives you totally conflicting information.  Because babies are different...and what worked for their baby...may or may not be helpful for mine.
     So..I just keep giving it all a whirl and hoping for the best.  Generally, no matter what I do he wakes up every 3 hours like clockwork at night...period.  So...at least I'm doing no harm, right? :)  He has started getting really fussy every night at 7 or 8...and rioting until 10 or 11.  What!?!  At least it's not the 2-5am circus we had going for awhile.  Those are just terrible hours for a ruckus.  At least 7-10 is more sane.  I discovered the solution to the fussiness last night.  Wrap him in the Moby wrap and sway in dark sunroom with the Roomba cleaning the floor.  It's a crazy sight...but the perfect storm of cuddliness, darkness, and white noise to put my baby out of his screaming-head-off misery.  I try to still let him get himself to sleep...but that calms us down out of the "screaming so much I give myself hiccups which makes me madder" fiasco.  So...done.  And last night, after the screaming fit....sweet Carter rewarded my Moby-wrapping, swaying, Roomba-running self by sleeping from around 11 till 2:30...and then again until 7.  He has literally never slept that well at night.  It was glorious.  I even got up twice to make sure he was breathing.  I know it may be awhile before he repeats that awesome night...but I'm hoping it has something to do with his bedroom change.  Last night was also his first night in the crib in his nursery.  Because...let's be honest...when you are poppin' pacis in all night...the last thing you need is to get up every time you have to do it.  But, since he has started sleeping better without his little magic paci friend...we gave it a try.
     Not only was it Carter's first night in his crib...it was also my first night as an engineer.  Because of Carter's reflux, he is supposed to sleep in an elevated position.  You can buy elevation kits for your reflux baby.  But I have hope Carter will not be in the "reflux" category for long.  And I am the daughter of Terry "everything in the world can be fixed or rigged with duct tape, WD-40, and spare parts from my shop" Hancock.  (Note: he calls this engineering...I call it rigging.  Except when I do it.  Then it's engineering. :))  So I dutifully rolled towels and placed them under one end of Carter's mattress.  They totally cancel out the cuteness of nursery decor.  Then I realized that his heavy head rolls right on down the little hill I made before his body can catch up...so I added a pillow attachment made to cradle his head in a carseat.  Then I noticed his head wasn't quite elevated enough, so I added an attachment made for the Bobby created to help newborns nurse.  At this stage of the operation, I noticed that Carter could fall off the elevation pad..so I added sleep positioners to keep him centered.  (It also works to keep him swaddled...added bonus I hadn't even considered!)  Then...Carter's whole body gradually scooted down the mattress until his was a squished ball at the bottom with stuff all over him.  SO THEN, I put a yoga mat with one squished blanket to go underneath is knees that keep his bottom from sliding.  Holy cow.  Where did the days go where sweet babies just laid in their cribs.  I guess wherever those days of Carter laying in spit-up went.  So...farewell empty crib.  Hello "engineered" crib:
Note the orange towel elevating the mattress.  Classy.

The assortment of tools that I personally believe made Carter sleep through the night so well last night.  Hey...I can hope that's why he slept so well!  
PS: If you think this is just a bunch of junk filling up his crib...and you think of a better idea...keep it to yourself lol.  I like my creation..er...engineering...a lot.

Oh the things we do that make sense in the dead of the night.

Ok...this is incredibly long.  Sorry.  I hope you are ending your week well.  Thank you for being our friends.  We love you all :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

But wait! There's (going to be) more!



When I was fourteen months old, Mama and Daddy gave me the coolest present ever.  It cried real tears, made life-like movements, and did whatever I told it to for approximately 10-11 years.  They gave me a baby brother.


Grandma Carter, Teri Lee, Travis, and Ma the day Travis came to this world.

Having a little brother was the best thing ever.  Having a brother that was the same size and practically the same age...was heaven.  We did everything together.

 We looked adorable together.
 Napped together.
 Ate together (though I think we did have separate seats most of the time :))
 Learned together. (This was my version of giving Travis the chicken pox.  That was the day we learned something new about chicken pox.  Like them not being straight lines.)
 Dressed up together.
 Had matching outfits (thanks Grandma)
 Played together.
 Learned new sports together.  Though I never got this one in particular.
 Played together.
 Had fun together.
 Went on trips together.
 Shared friends with one another.

Went to Clemson together.


And got married within a year of each other.

     Now, we honestly didn't spend every waking moment together as the pictures might suggest.  But we did spend a lot of time together.  We fit.  I was bossy...he was pretty easy going and kind.  I was talkative, and he was a good listener.  I was protective, and he loved me a lot.  We fought sometimes, but most of the time the only fighting we did was against anyone who tried to hurt the other.  Even when we weren't hanging out, it was nice to know that, not too far, was a pal you KNEW had your back.  We didn't sit together on the bus to track meets, but I sure liked knowing he was there just in case no one would sit with me.  We didn't always hang out at school, but it was nice knowing that he was there if I needed him.  We didn't do all the same church activities, but I knew he would probably do something with me if I was too nervous to do it myself.  Trav was better than just a friend because he was also my brother.  
     So, I remember when Travis came home from chemistry camp his senior year and told me he had met this really sweet girl.  The way he talked about her was very different.  He spent time with her on the phone, on the internet....which was WAY unusual for Travis.  When we helped him move in to Clemson a few months later, he was off to find his chemistry pal as soon as clothes were dumped unceremoniously in the closet.  He called me a few months later to ask my advice on asking her to be his girlfriend.  As close as we are, I was nervous about meeting Susanna....I could tell he was serious...I had to like this girl.  I drove to Clemson a few weeks later...and fell in love myself :)  Susanna is the sweetest girl.  She's fun, unbelievably smart, the kindest human being I know...and she really loved my little brother.  Steven and I started dating a few months later.  It was so fun talking to Susanna...dreaming about marriage together...going on dates with our boys together.    You can imagine how excited I was when they got married...Susanna is such a great sister and she brings out the very best in my brother.  We have had so much fun being newlyweds together.  So you must be putting two and two together...
     
     Now Travis and Susanna are expecting a little one of their own!  My sweet little brother is going to be a daddy...and Susanna and I are going to get to be mamas together.  My parents are beside themselves...Travis and Susanna have the most beautiful glow..and Steven and I can't wait to be an aunt and uncle!

Travis and Susanna with Carter the day he was born.

     Travis and Susanna are due May 8th...Mother's Day!  Our little ones will be 8 months apart.  I am so excited for them.  How much fun will our kiddos have playing together!?!?  And I am SUPER excited about going into this next phase of life with my brother and his wife...what fun we are all having...and about to have.  What a blessed child little baby Hancock is...to have a mama and a daddy that already love and cherish him..and that are completely two of the most intelligent people on this planet.  That's a good gene line-up right there :)

     As you prayed for our little family, please pray for my sweet brother and sister...and the beautiful baby that God is forming in Susanna!

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Fall"ing for Fall...Corny I know...mmm...Candy Corn!

     I am so glad it's fall.  Steven and I had cinnamon pancakes with baked apples for supper last night and you could smell the goodness even in the front yard.  Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, allspice and apples swirled around the kitchen, treating us to fall feelings and wonderment :)  We have mums on the front porch (provided you read this before I have had effective time to kill them off accidentally) our fall wreath on the door...and we have visited Jones Gap and SkyTop Apple Orchard.  Fall is officially here.

     Last Friday, Steven had worked a good many extra hours and was able to take off really early on Friday.  We left all the things that needed doing at home and drove to Jones Gap with Carter.  We had so much fun!  Yes, it takes longer to do things like this with an infant...but he also adds so much more enjoyment to the trip! We got to take lots of pictures of our little one that you can see by clicking here.  Just a few of my favorites:

Our sweet family...with Carter hiding in his favorite cocoon.

 Mama's sweet baby boy.

Sweet little smile

Carter makes his daddy so happy :)

They look exactly alike.


Melts. My. Heart. 

Pudgy fingers are great for kissing!

Aaaand....my husband is great at taking pictures!

     We had a blast hanging out as a family NOT doing something productive.  It was such a restful, sweet time...even though it, like I mentioned, took some effort.  That is something I'm learning about right now.  Babies are just not very efficient.  I mean, they are actually pretty remarkable...the way they grow and develop like crazy in this first year is incredible.  But they aren't efficient when it comes to adult schedules.  (I know what you are all thinking.  DUH.  However...it takes me awhile to transfer things like this from head knowledge to working, making-a-difference-in-the-way-I-do-things knowledge.  That's what I'm working on!)  Trying to make babies efficient creates more inefficiency.  Hurrying a feed?  Just makes the baby spit up.  Rushing through a diaper change?  Murphy's Law says that's the time the baby will decide to projectile poop.  (Don't think poop can be projectile?  Please.  Please come change Carter one day in really clean clothes.  I promise he'll show you.)  Trying to multi-task while cuddling?  Not only does it just not work...but it also robs you of the real pleasure of the cuddle.  Better just to cuddle...and then get whatever you had hoped to do finished when you're okay with putting that sweet baby down.  Because the thing is...."the newborn phase will pass like a wink!" is a promise and a warning.  There are fun and not fun times of any phase of life.  When you have a newborn...you get to cuddle and coo and kiss a teeny little baby.  But you also have to stay up all hours, change diapers, clean up spit-up and do endless amounts of laundry.  My prayer is that I remember the blessing of the cuddling and cooing during the nights when I just wish he'd sleep....and that I will remember the spit-up when I am playing with a toddler that I wish would slow down so we could cuddle!  I hope I will learn in this to appreciate the day in a simple, profound way. 

     Ok....side tracked a bit!  On Saturday, we went to SkyTop with Mama, Daddy, Travis and Susanna.  We had so much fun...again!  It was totally packed out...but it was a beautiful day for walking through the orchard and spending time together.  And best of all...we came home with some apples for the aforementioned baked apples and other assorted apple goodness.  Truly the best part of the day was spending it with family.  What a blessing it is to be surrounded (on both sides!) with parents, siblings, and even sibling spouses that love each other and Jesus.  I can't think of anything for which I am more grateful.  

Some favorite shots from the day: 

I love his faces...he was NOT pumped about being in the Moby wrap at the moment.

 This is his "post-cry" face...lol....
Rebekah says he is saying "phhsssssh, please"...I think that could also be it :)



Our little pumpkin :)

Uncle Travis taking Carter on a tractor ride.

     We got to end the day with a picnic lunch at a beautiful waterfall and then a Mexican supper with the Castillos.  At the end of the day, we had an overflowing diaper bag, three tired Castillos, and hearts with happy memories.  The house was a disaster...and I'm so glad it got left that way that day.  

     Carter's 1 month appointment was today.  On his 5 week birthday...that bothered the OCDness in me that I try to control.  But...I have a very healthy baby!  He weighed 10lb 4oz (54th percentile) and measured 22 inches (58th percentile).  The nurse didn't think the length was super accurate...but seemed okay with that.  :) It is a blessing that he is growing so well...and so healthfully.  The only concern was how much he does spit up.  I tracked it one day because, while I didn't want to complain about spit-up (I am the mother on an infant!), I also didn't want to ignore a possible health problem in my baby.  When our sweet doctor saw my notes, she informed me that his spitting up is not, in fact, normal at all.  He has reflux.  I thought he might.  However, it only seems to bother him about half the time...so Dr. Greene and I made the decision to stay away from any medicine for now...and see what happens.  Dr. Greene said that it will most likely start changing in this next month, either for the worse or better...and then we'll know what to do as far as medication goes.  I am praying that the Lord will take this reflux from his body so that he doesn't have to take any medicine.  And I am going to just keep burping and rubbing, elevating his bed, keeping him sitting up after feedings....the whole bit.  What a blessing that, even with all the spitting up...he's gaining PLENTY of weight!  Praise the Lord! 

Another long post....it's just too hard to blog consistently and get everything in short, easy-to-read blogs.  Or rather...I'm choosing to do other things :)

A parting Carter list:

  • He loves the early afternoon.  He does his best kicking, punching, and grinning around this time.  Additionally, all this rocking and rolling makes this prime time for some fantastic spitting up.
  • He loves the Moby wrap...until he gets hungry.  And then you have about 2 seconds to get him out and get him fed before he begins the angry bellowing.
  • Carter coos and grunts and squeals all the time.  Greg thinks all that communicating might be a trait he gained from me.  I have no idea what he might be talking about.
  • The most useful talent to have while breastfeeding is the ability to pick things up with ones toes.  It has saved me in multiple ways.  :)
  • He sleeps really well...just not a lot.  I don't know why..but every so often...he stays up at least half the night...really, really mad.  No matter what happens during the day.  Probably has something to do with the reflux.....still trying to figure it out.  Don't worry...I have a chart.  We will figure it out :)
  • Carter is 5 weeks old today.  Time is on super speed right now.  I had no idea that loving a baby and not sleeping like a normal person would make time go by so quickly!
  • We went on our first date two Saturday nights ago while Carter stayed with Mama and Daddy.  Knowing he was with them made the experience completely guilt and worry-free.  I had a lot of fun with my handsome husband...and then a lot of fun coming home to my beautiful baby boy.
  • He is doing well with the occasional bottle of pumped milk...as long as you take it away constantly.  His sucking power is waaaaaaaay more advanced than his swallowing speed.  (Although Dr. Brown's bottles are really helping him do much better!)
  • Carter is much more okay with being naked now...and loves baths now that he can be submerged in the nice, warm water.  Still hates diaper changes though...but with much less ferocity.
  • He loves being held horizontally so he can see up....but vertically is best after eating or you WILL get spit up...on your face, the wall, him, the mirror across the room...you get the idea.
  • He smiles...a lot.  I don't care if it's social or not.  It's really beautiful.
Carter's favorite way to do tummy time: