Friday, September 30, 2011

Letters to Carter: LOL

Dear Carter,

When I was teaching, I told story after story about my students.  Something funny happened  Your Abuelo used to compliment me on how well I imitated some of my students' twangy, country accents.  He had no idea how easy it was.  It's funny to me that you probably will grow up without a lot of that accent that has been a mark in my family for so long.  Now that I am married to your daddy, you can tell I'm from the South, but I certainly don't have the drawl that used to make your Uncle Kyle's friends howl with laughter.


I used to tell stories about these kids.  All the time.  Since I've been home with you, I don't have many outrageous, funny stories any more.  I give people your latest updates, developments, my favorite little things you do...but, let's be honest: you don't do anything that's just remarkably funny.

Well.  You didn't.

Now?  Now is the beginning of the "funny story" era.  My gosh, Carter, you make me laugh out loud every single day.  Yesterday?  You snorted banana up your nose and laughed like it was the most hilarious idea you've ever had.  (Though it was a lot less funny when I had to squeeze your nostrils to get it out so you know...breathe.)  You threw a block across the room and looked at me square in the eye before saying, "uhoh" like it had fallen innocently from a tower.  You shot a Cheerio across the kitchen to our dog who snapped it in her mouth.  Until your entire snack was gone.  You launched yourself belly-flop-style onto the couch cushions and laughed until you snorted.  You poured out a container of bubbles in the grass so you could play with the lid and container.  You climbed onto the dishwasher lid (thankfully clean and empty) and stuck your head in the machine...and then just sat there, taking it in.

And that was just yesterday.  Afternoon.

You make me laugh with your obsession with the microwave.  You have a crazy radar for its beeping...and no matter where you are, when the timer goes off, you feel it is of utmost importance that you are lifted so that you may pull the door open.

I laugh at you furiously crawling (and now still my heart) about with drool slinging from your little mouth that is constantly spouting teeth these days.  You have five of the crookedest little teeth...with one incoming.  You test them on everything except, thankfully, other people.  Yes, you took a bite out of our foam mattress.  Yes, I squeezed your mouth like a little fish to get it out.  Yes, you thought that was the funniest thing in the world.  Yes, I did too!  And yes, our mattress has a little bite mark on my side now.  Thank you for that.

Your favorite thing to play with...makes me laugh.  You have a new preoccupation with lids.  You like taking lids off and attempting to put them back on.  You like arranging lids.  I'd like to analyze this and figure out what this means about you and your development...but I got nothing.  I just supply you with a variety of lids and containers and laugh about your newest hobby.

When you crawl down the hall, you take the charging flashlight out of it's outlet and lay it on the floor, continuing on your journey.  Why do you do that?  But? Always makes me laugh.

You are taking one nap these days.  Usually 2 hour stints.  I think.  I'm never exactly sure how long you actually sleep.  We have a baby monitor, but I wouldn't let us spring for the video version (your poor Daddy..I'm just so cheap).  And some days, I really wish I could see what the heck you are doing in there.   But most days, it's kind of fun to try to decipher it through all the crazy sounds you make.  Seriously?  What is going on in there?  You have always been murderously unhappy about being in the crib awake.  These days, you wake up talking, and I get to go pick you up happy.  Finally.  I love that.  But sometimes?  I can't tell  if you're awake and playing or just rolling around in your sleep.  And I'm not ABOUT to wake you up and shorten your nap if you're asleep.  So I just use my best judgement and imagination.  My imagination says your doing a lot of really funny things in there.  It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

I love this season of laughter.  Some of it behind our hands because we really can't encourage Cheerio-shooting, block-throwing, banana-snorting, and dishwasher-climbing as appropriate behavior.  But some of it is the good, out-loud chuckles.  The laughter that catches your ear and makes you laugh back.  Which makes us laugh more.

I wonder, when you read this, if you'll know what the term "lol" means.  Maybe it'll be totally outdated and be what the "old people" say who try to be cool way past their "cool prime."

But, Carter do.  You make me LOL.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mt. Sunroom Couch

Carter has figured out how to climb onto the couch in the sunroom.  Oh boy.  Here's to another baby-proofing zone!  However, I will say, when I line the floor with cushions and pillow...and trap them all with chairs so they can't slip...he can entertain himself for quite some time.  He loves to his little "obstacle course."  He's one happy little explorer!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I've mentioned before that Carter does everything with extreme force.  Playing with blocks is absolutely no different.  We did this for almost 30 minutes before the laughing got so adorable I was forced to get the camera to video it :)  He's like a personal demolition derby...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Memorization Monday: 9-26-11

I have been taking a break to review, review, review...and it has been so good.  Each morning for the past two weeks, I have been reading back on the journal entries I wrote while I was studying that verse and designed a little print so that I can hang them around the house to be more readily reminded of them.

I have been hanging the index cards from each verse on my closet door, but they were nothing pretty.  And...I didn't want a bunch of index cards hanging around my house.  Some of these are pretty plain...but they beat index cards all day long. we go again :)  I'm going to start a new verse this week:

Romans 8:1-10  (I've already memorized the first 8 verses, so I'll just be working on adding on verse 9-10.  I got the first 8 awhile back and just COULD NOT keep going.  After a hiatus, I return to conquer verses 9-11!)

"1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life [a]in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For what the Law could not do, [b]weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of [c]sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit,the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is [d]alive because of righteousness. "

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Playing with Daddy

One of Carter's very favorite things to do is play with his daddy.  I love those boys :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Carter's first haircut

 I gave Carter his first haircut on Monday.  And by I, I mean I wielded the scissors while Steven did all the hard work of photographing and keeping the little tornado still.  And by still I mean....

Well, you know.

Am I a cosmetologist?  Oh, no!  Do I regularly cut the hair of others?  Absolutely.

My dad taught me.  Looking in the reflection of our microwave.  When I was in seventh grade.

You know that's quality.

He looks so much older, but I really like his hair being out of his face.  I'm just ready for the back to grow in just a bit more so I can see those curls again!

And for those of you who warn the curls won't come back...have you seen my hair?  Haircuts do not make straight hair.  Trust me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Where is Carter?

One of Carter's new favorite games:


And while we're busy searching for Carter...why not hide Daddy a little while too?


Monday, September 19, 2011

Memorization Monday: 9-19-11

Just wanted to let you know I'm still reviewing!  I have a little review project I'm working on to help refresh my mind on the verses I've done in the past as well as get them up around my house so I am consistently reminded of them throughout the day.

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Carter fights a lot while I rock him these days. And by fights, I mean he battles to stay awake and keep playing. 

His impish little smile and the happiness lighting up his eyes makes it hard not to give in and play along. But if I so much as smile, he is encouraged that naptime is indeed going to be put off...and he will never go to sleep. 

So I play awhile and then start snuggling him closer to get him to stop long enough to drift off to sleep. When I finally walk out of the room, my hair is ruffled, my clothes all twisted, and my arms tired from quieting this squirmy boy. Rocking him now is a little like a circus. 

I know this won't last forever, and it makes me even more grateful every time he falls asleep, cheek on my chest, belly inhaling and exhaling the deep breaths of sleep against mine. I bury my nose in the Johnson and Johnson shampooed hair, taking deep breaths, not yet willing to get up and put him in his crib. 

I know I will love his adventures of tomorrow just as I loved his tiny newborn wrinkles of yesterday. But for now, I am so glad it is Today. It will never be quite like this again. One more deep breath, one more tight squeeze. One more moment breathing and memorizing this moment. Because it is only today.  Once.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Playing with toys

Sometimes Carter plays with toys.


Sometimes he chases them, smacks them until they break, and waits for you to fix it to repeat the process.
All day.

Grandma, he loves it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Bear's Boys

Just look at that face.  That'd make any ole Auburn fan yell "Roll Tide!"  :)

Teaching Carter "Roll Tide" basics
Hopefully teaching Carter his genius ways.

Carter is too busy clapping for the Tide...and Henry is too mesmerized by the football to be bothered with a picture. :)  They manage to look super cute anyway :)

I love that kid :)

We like babies and football around here.  It was basically a great day.
You could already tell, huh?

Carter was touching "gently."  No, really.  I think he's improving.  Great-Grandma definitely thought so :)

Aunt Sarah could just barely refrain from biting that sweet naked baby :)

That baby and that smile....warms me right to the middle :)

Squishy baby face kisses.  The best.

Just in case you're not lucky enough to get the "Bear's Boy's reference: Bless your heart.  Click the picture.  Learn about "simply the best there ever was" :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Roll Tide!


I know you have to use your imagination a little bit.  I know he's just making the basic sounds.

But he totally only makes those particular sounds when we ask him to say "Roll Tide".

Unless of course he's not in the mood.

Which is basically anytime we're in front of people.

But?  To an Alabama fan...we're hearing the sweet "Roll Tide" every time.

RTR sweet Carter.  RTR!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Memorization Monday: 9-12-11

Pro 12:18  There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (ESV) 
Pro 12:18  There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. (KJV)

speaketh: H981 בּטה  /  בּטא bâṭâ'  /  bâṭâh
BDB Definition:
1) to speak rashly or angrily, speak thoughtlessly
1a) (Qal) one that babbles, speaks rashly (participle)
1b) (Piel) to speak rashly, unadvisedly

I can be pretty impulsive and thoughtless with my speech.  And I need to control that.  But...

On Sunday, one of our pastors preached about this same concept from a passage in James.  What he said resonated in my heart.  He talked about our mouths as a spiritual heart monitor.  Our words don't necessarily need to be controlled...our words reveal our hearts.  When I say things that are unkind, condemning, hurtful, filled with gossip, etc., it is not that I need to control my mouth better.  I need to repent of the sin in my heart from which the words flow.

It's not a complicated concept, but one I needed to hear.  It's easy enough to alter behavior for a short period of time; it is far more difficult to delve into the nature of my heart and repent.  There weren't a bunch of Hebrew/Greek dictionaries or commentaries on the culture at the time for this week.  There was a lot of looking at my heart and the patterns of sin in my speech.  Praise the Lord that He can use our sin to lead us into repentance instead of condemnation!

So I am going to spend next week reviewing all the past Memorization Monday verses.  I just noticed this week that I was having trouble recalling the verse when I thought of a particular topic, so I need to review!  I don't want all this work of memorizing these verses to go to waste by not reviewing!
Here are the verses I'll be reviewing this week (all the Memorization Mondays I've done so far!):

  • Proverbs 3:3
  • Colossians 3:23-24
  • Philippians 2:3
  • Psalm 91:11-12
  • Psalm 56:3
  • Isaiah 40:8
  • Proverbs 29:25
  • Romans 8:1-8
  • Isaiah 46:3
  • James 1:19
  • Romans 5:5-8
  • Ephesians 3:14-19
  • Hebrews 12:11
  • Numbers 6:24-26
  • Lamentations 3:21-24
  • 1 John 4:7-11
  • Ephesians 5:15-17
  • Isaiah 26:3

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Letters to Carter

Dear Carter,
I think turning one made you happy.  I'm not sure what it was, exactly, but you have been the happiest little soul this week.  I. love. it.  A lot of people say that "happy wife=happy life".  I guess they don't have babies.  Because seriously?  Happy babies=happy life.  If the baby's not happy, he's going to make pretty darn sure nobody else is either!  But a happy baby?  Oh a happy baby makes everyone smile.  You, sweet boy?  Have made a lot of people smile this week.

You definitely made the doctor smile when we went for your 1 year check-up. You acted like she was your long-lost BFF.  She loved it.  You loved it.  It was a long cry from those confusing visits filled with questions, diet charts, and allergy concerns.  You flirted and babbled, waved and kissed.  You were a happy patient (until they brought out the shots, of course).  You are growing like a weed.  Crazy growing!  You weighed 21 pounds, putting you in the 42nd percentile.  You are 30 inches tall and in the 53rd percentile.  All that eating is stacking up and helping you grow for sure!

So, after saying "Mama", you added on "Daddy" to a certain someone's delight.  You repeat it over and over when he comes home from work, kicking your little legs in excitement.  Melts his heart every time.  You've also been saying "uhoh" on command...and with meaning, which is fun to see.  For a long time you said, "oh uh!" just for fun.  Now you've mostly got the order right and say it when we do...or when you drop undesirable food from your tray to the floor (thank you for that, by the way.)

So your fourth word...get ready.

Roll Tide.

I totally have a video of proof.  It still lives in Andi's phone, so I can't post it...but I will.  Because it's amazing. the nayayers.  He's not exactly saying this word with a lot of perfection and excellence.  But?  He's getting all the basic sounds and the intonation perfectly...and is doing on command (when he feels like that still on command?) so we're counting it.  It's my baby and I'm counting it :)  Roll Tide Roll! :)

Also new on the developmental horizon is extreme, emphatic waving.  You have nothing to do with a small wave of the fingers.  Nope.  If you're going to wave, you do it in style.  I usually have to move to the side to not get hit by your crazy little hand.  Maybe the cutest thing you do.  Besides Roll Tide.  Nothing beats that babe.

You also have some err...not so cute tendencies these days.  Like hitting.  So much hitting.  You hit the table with your hands, hit the floor with your blocks, hit the pans with your spoons, and on and on and on.  That's all fantastic.  Totally down with that.  Hitting other children?  Not as exciting.  "They" say that children your age aren't developmentally ready to play/interact with other babies your age and that parallel play is more appropriate (playing beside each other without really interacting).  I'm so okay with that.  Parallel play would be fantastic.  It's the direct-assault-on-other-people's-kids play that concerns me sweet boy.  You're not doing it to be mean.  You're don't know it hurts.  But baby?  It does.  And I'm pretty sure you're going to hit someone soon when I'm not hovering and they're going to knock your goose loose.  And man.  That's going to make you so mad.  It's going to be a bummer of a learning curve Carter.

Additionally...what's with the gagging yourself?  Seriously?  You look at us and just stick that little hand down your throat till your throw up.  What can possibly be fun about that?  We are currently ignoring you when you do it..which doesn't slow you down.  And we put a bib on you in the car because...throwing up on your outfit/carseat en route to places totally stinks.  (yes, literally)  Throw-up caught in a bib is slightly better.  So maybe this is a phase you'll outgrow?  Please?  (PS: You should also know that I always have to fight back laughter when you do this.  Yeah, it's so gross.  Yeah, it's so strange.  Yeah, I want you to stop.  But a baby staring at you and gagging himself for no's so random it's kind of funny.  But the throw-up is please stop :))

In your book of firsts, it should be documented that you had your first public tantrum.  Thankfully in Lowes.  All the judgmental stares I would have gotten from all the mothers who have been there (why?) and the people who aren't mothers and don't understand were busy in Target and Belks (thank goodness) while Lowes was filled with men who felt just as startled and bewildered as I did.  They gave me sympathetic looks and just kept on with their tool-gathering.  Bless you Lowes men.  Anyway, you were happily rolling in the buggy on aisle 14 when I realized you could undo the disinfecting spray top and insert the nozzle into your mouth.  Clearly a safety violation.  Upon removing the "toy" and offering you another, you unleashed your inner sin nature in the form on what I refer to as "the anger scream".  I offered yet another option, which you threw to the floor in distaste and began convulsing, limbs flying, "anger scream" blaring, and face reddening.  So I did what every sensible mother does.  I ignored you.  And started my timer.  Because your screaming feels like it lasts ages.  It helps me to know it's only been 3 minutes and 33 seconds.  That seems so much more reasonable than the way it feels.  So 6 full minutes later...the beeping at the register caught your attention.  And, Praise the Lord, the lady kept beeping to keep you happy for a few seconds while I paid.  We left like nothing had ever made you sad in your entire life.

Then we got in the car and you gagged yourself until you threw up again.

And I laughed.  To myself.  Because buddy?  That's all there was left to do.

You are full of funny moments baby boy.  Whether you are gagging yourself, playing peekaboo, hiding behind the couch and racing around the corner to make us laugh, waving your hand so hard you almost launch into space, or talking to yourself into nonsensical make me laugh all the time.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to look back on these days and determine they were the very best of my whole life.  I love you sweet boy.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: One

 A snapshot of Carter's first birthday :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birthdays and Football...that's the good life


Summer is kicking and writhing as hard as Carter just before naptime, trying not to slip into fall and a more relaxed pace.  Fortunately for us, it's filled with the fun things that make busy-ness worthwhile.

Most notably, sweet Carter is one.  I can't believe how precious this year has been.  This little life, so anticipated, dreamt of, and prayed a complete year.  It's hard to believe we've come so quickly from wrinkly, peaceful, sleeping baby who had trouble eating to an always dirty, talkative, busy boy who can't stop eating! :)  It's gone so quickly.  We had the most precious day celebrating our little boy.  He woke up a little like this:

Had some breakfast: 
(Seriously, those faces!)

and went on a walk with some friends in the park :)  We came home for naptime and some hang out time with Uncle Kyle (yay!) and played in the floor, wating for Daddy to come home!

(super cute birthday outfit borrowed from sweet Mason and Levi!)

Daddy came home and then Andi and Grandaddy came by for a quick kiss, camera time, Skype date with Pa and a sweet present!

yes...he's giving Pa a kiss on Skype.  Maybe the highlight of my day :)

Then for some baked ziti (his favorite!) and chocolate cake:

The chocolate cake got off to a slow start, but he decided a few bites in that it might just be the best thing to touch his lips.  I had to take the thing away before he ate the entire cake and made himself sick.  He was eating it off of the spatula as I lifted it from his tray...

Then it was time for presents!

 Growth chart...tutorial here (brilliantly easy)

 I just love how ridiculously chubby he appears to be here.

 sumo wrestling with his magnetic numbers and letters in hand

 Loading his magnets in the dump truck.  How does he even know that's what he should do with that?

and of course...playing with the trash

It was a sweet day.  We are also excited to celebrate his first little birthday party with our family, small group and a few friends on Sunday.  It will be a weekend of hanging out with family, Alabama and Clemson football, and his first party...what could be better?

Someone else also had a birthday around here!

We joined Gabby for a pool party to celebrate her sweet sixteen :)  It was a fun time with family and Carter got another chance to splash around.  He LOVES the water!  His favorite was standing on the edge and falling in for us to catch him.  I hope he likes it just as much next summer!

We also got to spend part of the weekend hanging out with my mom's sister and her family (sans Amanda and Shawn...we missed you guys! :)).  Aunt Beth made the CUTEST present for Carter...pots and spoons with "Carter's drum set" written on them!  He basically thinks they are the best toy on the planet! :)  I am happy he has his own pots to play with now instead of the ones I'm trying to use to make supper!  Such a sweet, creative present...Thank you Aunt Beth!

Carter has his one year check-up on Thursday, so I'll be able to pass along his new "stats" then...I know he's grown a ton since 9 months...he's eaten enough to double his weight!

As summer fades (and hopefully the heat will follow!) into fall...we are excited to welcome one of our favorite seasons.  Cooler weather, layered clothing and college football.  Rollllllllll Tide and Go Clemson Tigers!

First gameday 2010 vs First gameday 2011