Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On the Road

I love road trips.  I don't know if this stems from the many car rides we took to Alabama and back as a kid, the fun road ventures I took with friends in high school and college, or just something that was born in me...but I love them.  I love reading in the car, (or being read to...Mama used to read to us all the time while we rode...especially Anne of Green Gables books...mmmmm those are so good!), staring out the window, talking to the other passengers/driver, (whether they really enjoy that part or not, lol) eating in the car, the feeling of a good stretch when you get out to take a bathroom break...I just like it.  I really like taking road trips with Steven...we have some of the best conversations in the car.  Sometimes serious, fun, silly, or just catching up, I feel like we reconnect in the car when my OCD self can't multi-task and Steven's ADD self can't get catch something to look at out of the corner of his eye! :)

This Thanksgiving was Carter's very first road trip.  It was great!  He slept some on the way there, but also just spent a lot of time looking out the window and smiling and talking to us through his little mirror that reflects in the rearview mirror.  On the way back home, exhausted from all the bluster of Thanksgiving, he slept the entire way.  He really is such a good baby!  The trip was definitely slower, since we needed to stop every three hours to feed him...and by the time he eats, burps like a raucous old man, and gets changed, an hour has gone by.  On the way there, we needed to stop twice, stretching a six hour ride to an eight and a half hour journey.  But it was a good eight and a half hour journey.  26 and 40 were so pretty, with leaves blowing down from their trees and mountains stretching across the horizon.  Conversation was sweet, the road pretty, and the end of our journey met with sweet family.

As a side note, packing for an infant to go on a five day trip was crazy!  I overpacked a little, not wanting to get there and wish I had something, but not too much.  We used every bib and spit cloth I packed, had extra diapers and wipes, and just a few leftover outfits.  Luckily, there were no major packing mishaps!  Carter slept in his pack 'n' play...making me ever so grateful he is now in his own crib at night.  Though he has been sleeping through the night at home, he woke to feed at least once a night and usually once early in the morning while we were in Tennessee.  It was fine, but it's nice to sleep through the night again now that we are back home!

While we were in Nashville, we were treated to my sister-in-laws yummy cooking skills...including a huge spread of food for Thanksgiving Day.

 Carter's many faces :)
 Carter's first Thanksgiving...I am SO thankful for him!

Carter napping with Abuelo after stuffing their tummies!

We also got to visit the Opryland Hotel, renovated from recent flooding.  It was beautiful...and CROWDED!
 Beautiful, HUGE Christmas tree in the Opryland Hotel.
A little family picture at the hotel...that Carter wasn't quite tall enough to make!

We sadly forgot to take any family pictures, so our hosts remain unpictured :(...but we had so much fun while we were there.  Greg and Morgan have a beautiful, comfy home that is just right for family gatherings.  We felt so at home there....and loved visiting!

While we were there, we also got to visit my cousin, Allison, to watch the Alabama game.  We visited her husband's family's home outside of Nashville.  It was also a beautiful, hospitable place...which was good since the second half of the game was so disappointing.  

Allison and Carter on Iron Bowl Day!

Now that we are back home, we are trying desperately to get ready for the 5K on Saturday!  We didn't run at all last week because I forgot my running clothes :(, so I am hoping we can make up for it this week without overdoing it.  I don't think I am going to quite be able to make my initial time goal, but I do think I will be able to run at a steady pace the whole race, which is really the most important thing.  I am really excited about the run...and how much healthier Steven and I are getting while training for it!  I'll let you know how it goes.

So...goodbye November!  And welcome December!  So excited about putting up the tree and Christmas decorations tonight!  I love this season!

New pictures of Carter here!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Roll Over!

     As reported in the last blog, Carter is now a roller :)  He has really gotten pretty good at it now...to the point that every time I put him on his tummy, he rolls straight over to his back.  He likes that much better! :)  It makes it good for snagging a video.  Enjoy our little 10 seconds of glorious rolling :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thankful for Family

     I am so grateful for family.  Steven and I both have the best friends in our brothers...and they married the BEST ladies on the planet.  I am so thankful that all of our brothers and sisters are also dear, dear friends.  We also have supportive, loving parents that have taught and are teaching us what it means to be godly parents to Carter. Aaaaand we have incredible grandparents who are unbelievable legacies...and totally spoil us...and Carter!  That's not even mentioning the sweet aunts, uncles and cousins we love so much.  We're totally spoiled.

     Grandma Carter and Pa drove up to South Carolina this weekend to visit.  It was SO good to see them.  Click here to see pictures of the weekend.  I think Carter is going to seriously start refusing to be put down by the time we get through the holidays :)

 Buzzing like a bee with Pa

 Flying like Superman with Uncle Travis

Talking with Great-Grandma

     Also, in all the flurry of getting ready for everyone to eat at our house on Friday night, Carter rolled over for the first time!  And....no one saw it!  Steven and Pa were out at the grill, Grandma was still on the road, Daddy and Mama were on their way....and I was washing dishes.  I laid Carter on his activity mat to have some tummy time and started washing.  I heard a little exclamation and Carter was on his back!  Gooooo Carter!  Of course, he hasn't done it again yet...but he will.  Hopefully, I'll get to see it next time.  There were no chances after that moment because he hasn't hit the floor all weekend... :)

     I am letting Susanna post pictures of her pregnancy that SHE picks...but she is seriously adorable.  I have to post at least one...or two...of her sweet self and baby Hancock.  Oh...I can't wait to know if this sweet baby is a boy or girl...and to cuddle with him/her!  Yay for babies!

 16 weeks

Loved, loved baby

I love the whole holiday season :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mom of the Year

Yesterday I made homemade salsa and chocolate chip cookies for our small group. They were yummy, we were right on time to group, and we were all three clean, dressed, and fed homemade baked spaghetti. I looked like I had a pretty "together" day, right? Maybe deserving of a little "Mom of the Year" action?

Not so much.

While I was making aforementioned chocolate chip cookies, I may or may not have consumed cookie dough. It may or may not have been kind of a lot of cookie dough. (Don't judge. You do it too...and if you don't, you're a fool missing a good time! ;) ) Anyway, while I was mixing and measuring, I was also Mobying. Carter was getting sleepy and fussy, so I popped him in the Moby and kept at it. A little while later, I put the dough in the fridge and got busy with some other things around the house. I kept noticing that Carter smelled so good. He smelled like the walnuts I had toasted. He smelled like chocolate. He smelled amazing! I kept thinking about how much the smells you are around cling to you and how I hope we don't smell like other things I cook. Soon, it was time for Carter to eat, so I started pulling him out of the wrap.

The entire left side of his face was covered in gooey, buttery chocolatey, melty dough.

Yep. One of my little "tastes" had fallen into the Moby wrap and melted against my infant son's face.

I was horrified...and then tickled. I traveled from, "I'm not going to tell ANTYONE this happened..ever!" to deciding to blog about to increase world laughter in seconds...I couldn't stop laughing while I cleaned Carter's face and bib while he vehemently complained about the wiping and the delay of his lunch (which is ironic, since yummy dessert was smeared all around his mouth. He didn't even know what he was missing!). I mean, who does that!?!? Gross! He looked like he'd had his first try at a chocolate bar...instead of his mother's 24 years of experience taking food from hand to mouth! We got him cleaned up, fed, and quite happy again. Happy ending for all.

I could write here about transparency and how unnecessary it is to try to look like we have it all together. I could write about how freeing it is to know you can make mistakes and still be a really good mom. I could write about what it really means to be "together"...made holy by a God of grace.

Or I could just leave it as a funny story about a new mom who dropped cookie dough down a baby wrap and melted on her baby's face and let you draw your own conclusions.

Let's do that.

**Don't worry. No babies were harmed in the making of this funny story. The chocolate in no way entered any orifices. He still doesn't know what he's missing. All is safe.

Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Flashlights and Explosions

     Bethany, Ryan, and Anna Grace got to come to our house for a quick visit Monday night before a fun concert they were going to in Greenville.  It was so nice to see them!  It was especially great for our hubbies to get to meet the babies...and to see each other!  Bethany and Ryan have "flashlight personalities".  They light up any room they are in...and are able to somehow leave it on even when they leave.  Our home felt warmer and sweeter for them having been in it.  (And little Miss Anna Grace is certainly picking up her own flashlight...her smiling and cooing made Steven and me light up like Christmas trees!). Carter was also excited to see the Carsons.  After a few minutes of staring at Anna Grace, he happily settled onto Ryan's chest where he snoozed the rest of the visit.  It was a happy time!

Why do I get the idea that Anna Grace may look down (literally, of course!) on Carter one day?  :)

     The visit did, however, also bring light and shine it on my own prideful little heart.  As soon as Bethany called to see if they could drop by, my first thoughts were the dishes in the sink, the stuff spread on our table, and the scattering of random belongings in the sunroom.  I think that's normal...but not as your first thought!  No, I wish I would have thought, "Yay!  Surprise visit with a family I LOVE!"  Who, by the way, would have been among the LAST to ever think twice about my messy house!  Luckily, my first thoughts were closely followed by what should have come first...and they became my first words.  Also luckily my husband loves me despite my ways and helped me do a little house straightening before  they got there so our home did end up being a tidy, inviting place to visit.  But even if it hadn't, I want to be okay with everything not being "just so" before people can visit.  I do want our house to be a clean, pleasant place to be...but I think most of the time the reason I want it to be that way for guests has far more to do with pride than it does with serving others.  My mom's middle sister, known in this document as "Aunt Beth," has a sign at her front door that says, "If you've come to see me, come on in.  If you've come to see my house, make an appointment."  And she means it.  But no matter how much I think, I can't come up with a single instance that I have ever been in her home and wished something was cleaner.  I always love being at her house because she makes people feel comfortable there.  And she is an amazing cook.  Maybe I'm just too full to notice any mess!  Whatever it is, I want to be like Aunt Beth when I grow up...except with my spices still alphabetized, because I really like them that way ;)  So...know that my house is always open for drop-by visits.  And if you hear a pause on the phone if you call on your way, just know that I am not unsure about wanting you to come...I am just shushing Martha Stewart/Miss Manners/my OCD...and getting to my second thought :)  And be sure not to notice dishes in the sink or shoes on the sunroom couch...that would be totally detrimental ;)

     In totally unrelated news, in a major burst of inner energy, Carter blew his diaper out in every way possible in my lap this morning while simultaneously spitting up over my shoulder, the chair we were in and onto the floor with a splat!  Everything between his mouth and the floor was totally doused.  In the split second after, the moment I was using to decide what was most important to clean, Carter gave me a winning smile and sneezed the remaining spit-up in my face.  Decision made.  Face clean-up was first priority.  And that, my friends, is why God made babies so cuddly and cute.  Spit-up and poop can only be compensated with a baby's pudgy grin and darling coo.

Last night, after the Carsons left.  After taking this picture, Steven cuddled into my left side, making it the perfect evening :)  Who knew Carter was storing up massive gas at this seemingly peaceful moment for the rocket explosion the next morning!?!?

See how much better I am getting at shorter posts? :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Veterans' Day

I know this is a day late, but Carter and I had a lunch date with Daddy (or Grandaddy :)) yesterday, and I just didn't have time for blogging.  Nevertheless, yesterday was Veterans' Day, and I wanted to honor my veteran here!

Marine Corps Ball 2006

Isn't he super handsome?

     Steven joined the Marine Corps on June 4, 2001, when our world was at relative peace.  He completed boot camp and had returned home to his family for ten days to prepare for School of Infantry.  On the eleventh of September, he went to the airport to fly to training.  Of course we all remember what happened that day.  As the towers fell, Steven was instructed to leave the airports that would be shut down and backlogged for days to drive to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  Because of enhanced security, Steven's dad dropped him off miles from the entrance of camp.  Steven hugged him goodbye and walked toward training, unsure if he would see his family again before he was deployed in what was certain to be a new war.  Months later, Steven was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Warfare training.  From there, he was sent back to Campe Lejeune to be assigned to a unit to train for war.  Steven did get to visit his family again before being deployed to Iraq from February-October 2003.  His unit was the first Marine Corps unit to hit Baghdad.  The Iraqis in the cities they drove through were still unsure of what was happening and who they were.  Bases were crude, often with no running water or electricity, offering little rest for these weary soldiers.  Supplies were low and unorganized.  Steven rode as a gunner atop the tank for months before he received Kevlar to go in his vest.  It is only the grace of God that allowed Steven to return home safely.  Steven completed more training both overseas and at home before being deployed again from January-September 2005.  Here, he was separated from his unit upon arriving in Iraq and placed with a unit that had lost too many men to continue without reinforcements.  His unit was given their assignment and Steven received orders to camp out in an abandoned Iraqi building on the far side of base to wait for his new unit to arrive.  He waited almost a week for them, alone in a building in the desert.  Finally they arrived.  They were from the North and were unsure about this "Mexican from South Carolina" who was "replacing" their fallen friends.  Though they eventually drew Steven into their circle, the first weeks were quite lonely.  Steven fought again for our country, this time with the prayers of a girl in India who felt unbelievable urges to pray for her future husband who she felt was near and in danger...but that's another story for another time :).  

Steven received many awards while in service, including  two awards for heroism: Navy Unit Citation and Presidential Unit Commendation.  He was part of two well-known operations, Operation Matador and Operation Sword. After finishing this deployment, Steven again returned home safely to finish his service with only training deployments.  He was officially inactive as of June 4, 2008, just four days before he made that girl that prayed in India his wife. 

     Though he is not currently in the Marine Corps database, Steven will always be a Marine- Semper Fidelis, always faithful.  He has a tattoo now that reads "warrior" in Hebrew.  It is taken from the book of Judges where the angel of the Lord speaks to Gideon as a warrior who derives his strength from somewhere deeper than himself.  The Marine Corps taught Steven that there is a difference between being a warrior and a soldier.  A soldier pursues excellence on the battlefield, but a warrior fights for excellence and honor on the battlefield, in his community, and in his home.  I have seen my husband look to the Lord to make him a warrior that is even deeper than a warrior of the Marine Corps.  He is a man who fights to honor and protect those who cannot fight for themselves, morals that the world fights to corrupt, and for his family.  I love the heart of a veteran...who continues to sacrifice every day to be a warrior in the matters of his daily life.  He joins the ranks of older men who remember D-Day...not as it is written in books, but from their own recollection.  Men who fought in the jungle and received scorn and disrespect at home.  Men who stood during peace time, ready to defend our country when and if the need arose.  I asked Steven what it was like to be considered a "veteran" with such men.  He said, "There is a quiet respect for each other, (veterans) a bond that can't be denied.  There is an acknowledgment that we went through something no one else understands, and proof of membership are the scars that we carry inside and out.  The things others read about in the news or history books are our memories."
     I am so grateful for my veteran.  I am grateful for his service to our country.  I am grateful that he is a warrior who fights everyday to protect our family, both literally and metaphorically.  I am grateful for men and women who sacrifice their time and even lives for something bigger than themselves.  They are heroes that demand my respect.  Thank you, Steven, for your service.  And thank you veterans who will read this.  Our country is forever in your debt.  You are the ones that make our country the Land of the Free.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2 month check-up

     Sweet Carter had his 2 month check-up yesterday.  He smiled and cooed at his sweet nurse and Dr. Greene.  He weighs a whopping 12 lbs and 4 oz and is 24.5 in long.  This puts him in the 57th percentile for weight and the 90th for height.  What a big boy!  He must take after our families instead of his mama and daddy! :)  I am so grateful to have such a healthy, happy baby boy.  He also got a lot of shots today!  I know that vaccines are miraculous medical victories to protect babies from the risk of terrible diseases but...it still made me tear up when they put that needle in his leg and he looked at me and screamed.  He was quite grumpy and "off" the rest of the day.  Luckily, I was able to hold him and cuddle all afternoon and evening...huge perk of staying at home!  At one point, I picked up some books and we cuddled on the couch with a blanket to read.  After several books, I started putting the books to the side.  Carter cried until I picked the books back up and started reading again!  It made the teacher inside me so happy.  He tracked the book no matter where I held it...until he fell asleep.  What a precious time.  Even though I'm sad he felt bad, I am so grateful for the snuggle time we got today!

Low quality picture from my phone...but a favorite :)

     In other news, Steven and I are still running!  It is a bit tougher to have the self-discipline to go out when it's so cold, but our race is too soon to skip any workouts...so we've been held accountable much more than we would prefer!  The training plan is working so well!  We are right on track and still feeling as good as we ever feel while running!  I can't believe how soon Dec. 4th will be here!  You can find the plan we are following at here. It has really served us well in helping us build up our strength and stamina over time without killing ourselves!  Hopefully, we will be able to run the full 3 miles in a few weeks at a reasonable pace!

     We are definitely finding our pace as a family of three.  As a person who thrives on a schedule, I am really enjoying feeling back to normal...in our new normal!  Carter is kindly only waking up once every night...usually near the early morning.  We are getting lots of uninterrupted sleep, making us all kinder people!  We are also learning a lot about each other.  I feel most loved when Steven does things that help me.  He feels most loved when I sit down and relax for awhile.  Those haven't always been our "love languages", but they are in this season of life!  Thankfully, I have a husband who pursues me...and the way I feel loved.  I am so grateful for not only the daddy he is to Carter, but the husband he is to me.  What a blessing.

     We have several really fun things we are looking forward to in the next few weeks.  My Grandma is coming to visit on one of her trips to see some friends of hers...and Pa is going to ride with her!  We are so excited to see them!  Then...we are going to Nashville to Greg and Morgan's house for Thanksgiving.  It'll be Carter's first road trip!  I know it will be very different from our past road trips, but I expect that it will be so much fun...in a whole new way.    While we are there, Carter will be able to meet my cousins, Allison and Josh, to watch the Alabama/Auburn game (my stomach is already in knots!)...it will be soooo great to see them and also to watch the game with family!  

     Here are a few new pictures...not too many!  Look...I'm getting better and not trying to blog seven hundred things at one time! :)

Just a favorite of the many faces he makes!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Good Morning!

I love getting up early. Well, as long as I get to go to bed at a reasonable time, I love the mornings. I love having hot coffee, breakfast, and my quiet time after I've had a shower but before the day has really started. I like it to just be getting light when I have gotten those first few things done and am ready to start the day. I like being up while others are still sleeping away...while it's still quiet. I've always been an early riser, save my first 3 years in college where everything starts at 9 pm. Being an early riser in college is just counter-cultural. Being an early riser was also not great during sleepovers. I could never stay awake and then would be up, bored out of my mind for hours the next morning waiting for the other girls to wake up. I got to know all of my friends' moms really, really well, lol. Being a new mom and an early riser have also not been a match made in heaven. Sure, I get up early...but if I don't go back to bed and sleep a little longer, I will not make it very well into the day. I've never been good at napping, so sleeping in later in the morning was my way to avoid sleep deprivation. Until the past several days. Carter has rounded another corner, and I think I'm finding the morning person inside me again. Carter has really starting dropping the 6:30 snack...taking a paci instead. So I take that time that I would have been feeding him to get a shower/breakfast/quiet time etc until I go pick him up to eat and start his day at 8. He has started going to sleep really well after I feed him at 8....and only waking up to eat somewhere between 2:30 and 3:30! Just one night feeding...I am now getting some normal sleep! To top it off, Carter decided to give me the extra special treat of skipping the middle of the night feeding last night...I think he would have taken the paci when he did wake up at 6, but I was personally quite ready for him to eat just a little! :) He then happily slept again till 8! I feel like all this work we've done to make sure he eats and sleeps around the same times every day are paying off and I am so grateful. He is finding his rhythm! I know that some babies never take to schedules that way...and some babies, no matter how hard their mama might try, just don't sleep long stretches at night. I am grateful Carter is thriving on living on a loose schedule. It is so much easier to figure out what he needs...and it is giving me some predictability...which I thrive on! :)

Since we are talking about mornings, I have to tell you about Carter's morning routine. After he eats, which absolutely MUST be the first order of the day, he gets changed. He generally doesn't mind having his diaper and clothing changed...but I think he downright loves it in the morning! He'll bow his back, stretch his little fists above his head and yawn in a way that seems to give him the oxygen he needs to wake up. Then he looks at me and waits for my silly sounds and songs to make him smile and kick. It's my favorite part of the whole day.

Carter's first sleep through the night, a glimpse into my return to the early morning, and a view of Carter in the morning...if this blog were a color, it would be sunshine yellow.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Our little pumpkin :)

Daddy and Carter on Halloween :)  We didn't put him through a costume this year since we weren't taking him trick or treating (he can't eat the candy...and we didn't need any!)...but he did wear this little bib and onesie :)

I love this one...and his little eyes that cut to the side :)

No one really got to see this because it remained covered with the bib all day....oh well.  Reflux has effectively hidden all his great outfits with bibs.  At least they make cute bibs! :)

Things have been going well at the Castillo homestead.  I think we have finally found our new "normal".  Carter is generally getting up at 8 and eating at 11, 2, 5, again at 8 after which he goes to bed.  He wakes up between 2:30 and 3:30...and then again at 6:30 for a little bite before he sleeps and gets up for good at 8.  I'd really love to get rid of that 6:30 feeding...because I think it's more habitual than hunger...but I'm so happy with the way things are going that I certainly can't complain.  I'm letting him nap whenever he's tired instead of trying to put him down, and he is no longer (mostly) waking up randomly at night.  We also started putting him to sleep with no pacifier which means we don't have to get up and put the thing back in over and over and over and over and over...you get the idea.  It does mean that we are generally rocking him to sleep every night...but we certainly don't mind.  We are trying to put him down before he is totally asleep so that he can learn to settle himself bit by bit...but we are really enjoying the nightly snuggle time too :)  

I love being a stay at home mom.  I LOVE spending my days with Carter...not missing a moment.  I love that waking up at night isn't stressful because I know that I don't have to be up early the next morning to be in the classroom.  I love folding the laundry, watching Carter giggle while I hang the bright colors over his face.  I love rocking him to sleep in the afternoons.  I love taking walks with him in the morning.  I love talking to him while I wash dishes.  I love going on errands during the day with Carter tucked in the Moby wrap.  I LOVED teaching...but it is nothing compared to being with Carter at home.  We get to read together, play together...talk and sing together.  It is such a blessing...and I am so thankful for my husband who works so hard and supports our decision for me to stay at home with Carter.  However, staying at home isn't perfect.  There are days that I feel overwhelmed because I never seem to "finish".  You never go home, clock out, or have vacation time from being a stay at home mom.  Sometimes it feels like I am doing the same thing over and over.  Sometimes I feel like I talk to Carter all day and then I have verbal explosion on poor Steven or whichever adult wanders into earshot.  Sometimes I feel like even though I work as hard as I can, I still need Steven to help do all sorts of things around the house.  There are ups and downs...as with any job.  And I'm learning some things about that.  We have been going through a series on marriage at church.  I have learned so many things about marriage in this series, but one particularly has been convicting.  Our preacher talked a lot about how our work (as a man providing for his family or a woman working in or outside the home) is an act of worship.  I'd heard that before...but he said something that caught me ear.  He said that if we are falling into bed every night wiped out...totally exhausted...that's not necessarily a bad thing.  We work hard...that is worship to the Lord.  He has given us work to do...and when we do it with all our hearts and to the best of our abilities, "as working for the Lord" we will be exhausted.  That rang such truth in my ears as I have fallen into the bed in coma-like conditions many, many nights in the past two months.  Many of those times I have that, "Bless my heart...I'm doing SO much!" feeling.  I mean, I cognitively know in those moments that I love this season of life with both the fun and the tiring parts...but when I'm falling into bed sometimes...I feel plain out sorry for myself.  But...I was created for this!  My job is HARD work.  And when I do that job to the best of my ability...I will absolutely be worn out!  This is the verse I am memorizing this week:

Colossians 3:23-24 

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."

I've known this verse...and used it for years...but I needed to really get the words into my heart...so that when I am tempted to take shortcuts, feel sorry for myself when I'm tired, or try to pass off some of my jobs to others, the Spirit can bring this verse to my mind to convict me.

That's a heavy topic.

To end on something light:

Mama and I went to Gaffney yesterday with Carter to meet Bethany, her mom, and Anna Grace!  We had so much fun having lunch together.  It has been so hard to keep up with Bethany on the phone with our babies taking up so much of our time.  Luckily, we are both finding our new rhythm and think we'll be able to stay in touch more easily...but for now...lunch was the best!  It's such a blessing to have a friend going through this new mommy stuff too!  We do so many things similarly...and about as many differently...and it's so nice to be able to compare notes.  I posted pictures of our fun here...but this is my favorite.

Bethany, Anna Grace, Teri Lee and Carter...friends for life :)