Wow, has it really been almost a month since I've last posted? I really need to get on this!! I see I now have a couple new followers, which is awesome...thanks for bearing (baring?...its 2 am and i've lost my brain) with me through my long rants and absence of posts! I never thought I'd be one of those people that gets carried away with holiday things and forgets just about everything else...but here's proof! Man, it's been a busy month and I am super excited for Christmas, I'm hoping the little monster actually gets it this year! So lets recap the past month, well sort of...you know how I can go on and on...and lets face it...I'm not all THAT interesting am I? :)
As you've probably discovered..by now..I love to play dress up with Carter. Not the girly tutus and bows dress up but the "oh look i've bought you new outfits lets try every one of them on now" dress up. So when I bought him a new Christmas outfit this year it was only fitting that we, again, played a little bit of dress up! And of course I played paparazzi and took about 5 thousands pictures of the same thing, but hey..with a monster as cute as mine how could you not? ;) ANYWAY I'm getting off subject...as usual! In doing this I realized just last year during one of my dress up fits, I took a picture of him in the same exact place and was just amazed at how big he has gotten...and handsome! I think I've started a new tradition! This wasn't my first choice, but it brings out the color in his eyes...and my husband picked it, and well, he's gotta have some say right? And as I'm talking about his eyes I realized I didn't do red-eye removal...again 2 am...no brain.
OK so on to other things, not too many big things have been happening this month, but lots and lots of small things. I found a super cute fisher price piano for Carter for very cheap on craigslist and took, what should have been 20 minutes, an hour long trek north to go pick it up. Thank you mapquest for steering me DIRECTLY into traffic. Upon arriving at the house I was greeted by one of the scariest dogs you will ever meet and the owner tried convincing me over and over to come in...the dog isn't mean...I took my chances, the dog wasn't mean, in fact it was small...and mangy...and really not scary at all...I'm a wimp. I got my piano, but not before the man took the batteries out and sent me on my way, and quickly got into the car and made my short drive back home....can't fool me twice mapquest!! I'm almost done shopping for Carter, and completely done driving out to strange men's houses...that sounded bad.
In other news...Carter has learned how to say both "stinky" and "crazy" and made a point to point at me at the drugstore and say "crazy!!" about ten times over, and I had little evidence to support myself considering I was rocking the bedhead look in ripped pajama pants UGGS and a big brown puffy coat...did I mention I was frantically digging through my purse for my wallet? I was a sight, my quick run for diapers and the aforementioned lack of brain caused me to run out of the house in pjs and messy hair without a second thought! So with that I will say...Carter is a genius...and very aware...I am, in fact, a little crazy...but aren't we all?
Lets see...mom news...the things "non parents" hate to hear about...
am I typing too many dots? WOW
anyway Carter has been replaced with an actual monster this past week and I discovered the culprit...eye teeth!! So it's back to the hyland's teething tablets before bed, and the stiff drink for me ;)
And finally, yesterday we went to a tree farm and cut down our very own...ahem..my parent's very own Christmas tree!! It was cold and not snowy, and looking for the perfect tree for Leela was quite the process...but fun nonetheless
(maybe thats a little bit of the crazy hair I was talking about)
...and there is my next tradition! Maybe next year the husband will let us cut a tree instead of an artificial one...which by the way has been missing!! And that...is a whole other post!!
A couple weeks ago my wonderful mother (aka Leela) took some amazing photos of the little monster roaming around in a nearby forest preserve. She has such an AMAZING eye for photography and I couldn't be more thrilled with the photos! I put up a little preview on the last post...but here's a couple more of my favorites!
To my surprise, capturing these photos was actually an easy task. Carter just loves to ham it up for the camera...and we just love to take lots and lots of photos! I entered Carter into a Model Search contest as well!! If it were up to me...he'd win, but of course...I'm a little biased ;) Anyway, Carter had a blast playing in the leaves and at the local playground...he must have gone down the slide about 20 times before we finally called it quits! And, we called it quits just in time because about 5 minutes after dropping off Leela, it started pouring down rain! Whew...good thing we went when we did!! Enjoy the pics! I have some very cute videos to post very soon!!
Carter has been quite the travelin' man lately, or should I say has been dragged along and forced to sit in the car for hours on end to endure long weekends away from home with his mommy...ohh its not that bad! This really has been the most jam-packed few weeks we've had in a while and being able to relax the past few days has been HEAVENLY...for me at least!
Two weekends ago Carter took the 2 hour long trip just south of us to go visit his Aunt Megan. When I say 2 hours, what I really mean is 2 hours just to get moving and 2 hours there. As luck may have it, my car ((ahem...the husband's old work van)) was really in the mood to mess with me that day...not only did it run out of gas not 5 ft from a gas station but it REFUSED to go over 35 mph on the highway when driving over bumps...seriously...what highway does not have bumps?! So there I was, speeding along at an astonishing 35 mph, in a little mini van, equipped with an unusually large ladder rack, for a good hour or so until I finally had the common sense to take a "less rocky" path. Needless to say we pretty much flew the rest of the way there! This was my first trip alone with Carter and I was apprehensive to take such a long car ride with him but he was wonderful the whole way...cheerfully yelling "Dada Car!!!" at every semi...should I be more concerned that he thinks his dad is a truck driver? or that he thinks the truck driver is his dad? ....that's a whole other post ;)
Our bad luck pretty much set the tone for our visit with Aunt Megan, and all the plans we had made for our visit quickly came to a halt when the roaring winds and unusually cold weather set in....but that didn't stop Carter from having fun...
he traveled deep into the frozen depths of the refrigerator.......he scavenged the cupboards for food...ya know because I starve him...
...and he even taught me a little bit about parenting...
All in all it was a much needed, low key visit...and we ALWAYS have fun with Aunt Megan...Oh and he even got to meet Elmo when we got back...(we may have been more excited than him...)
But I'm not done there and if you're still reading this you either have less of a life than I do or I really am that interesting...let's go with the latter... :)
So...this past weekend we all piled in the car...at 9 at night...and drove for 5 hours to a little cabin nestled in the woods for a nice little family vacation. Oh, but nothing is that easy for us...our 5 hour trip quickly turned into and 8 hour extravaganza as my sleepy husband downed can after can of monster energy drinks only to stop every hour to pee, and ya know stretch his legs, smoke a cigarette (ugh), and "re-energize"...why didn't we leave earlier you ask? Yeah...I found myself asking that question the whole way there. The real reason we left so late was because we wanted Carter to sleep the whole ride up, unfortunately Joe got off later than expected and Carter thought it was time to party...so he danced and clapped and "talked" our ears off the whole way there! We arrived at 5 am...got settled and Carter to sleep by 6 am...and were awake by 8 am. Ahhh now thats relaxation!
By the time we got moving it was at a really awkward time between breakfast and lunch...so we drove and found an Applebee's...yeah real original of us...and had lunch...right as they opened. It was actually pretty cool, it was set over the water and specialized in a lot of fresh seafood, Carter enjoyed the view...
After lunch we walked down by the water, although it was extremely cold and windy, and watched the boats...
And then we took a trip to "The Farm"...which actually ended up literally being a farm and not just a clever name for a petting zoo...imagine that! Among many of the cute animals..these two were my favorite... and this was Carter's favorite part...and he now has an unhealthy obsession with pumpkins..(as you will notice in the photos later...) After being terrible parents and prying him away...kicking and screaming...from the pumpkins, Daddy and Carter took a little stroll
Doesn't get much cuter than this!
The Farm was way too much fun and we were all beat...but we couldn't pass up a playground! So we stopped for dinner right near a playground and set Carter loose!
You'd think it was winter! But it is, in fact, the middle of October...and freezing!! Isn't he just too cute? Reminiscent of A Christmas Story...all stuffed into his winter gear!! And the next day...it actually snowed!! So our...I mean my...plans for a cute little fall outfit for Carter went out the window, but how could I resist playing dress up??Ah! I could just eat him up!!!
Moving on... We went to breakfast at a place called "The Rusty Tractor" and got to eat farm fresh eggs! Carter, on the other hand, only wanted jelly... Drawing attention from everyone around, Carter promptly began putting on a show...and his innocent act.. ..later we discovered he was storing pancakes in his pockets. After breakfast, we decided to brave the cold and forge on with our plans. With a bundled up Carter in tow we walked the streets of the cute little downtown area for Pumpkin Patch fest...yet, I must add, there was not one pumpkin patch there! The cold weather didn't seem to have an effect on Carter, he was still happy and smiley...stopping only for a moment to figure out how to accomplish the task of drinking his "ba ba" with mittens on We then went to a Cherry Orchard where Carter discovered LOTS of pumpkins...((but no cherries))...and went a little nuts...
and no....this is not a posed picture...it took both of us a an apple cider popsicle to get this kid out of the pumpkins..or whatever those are!!
That night we had a nice dinner at a cozy little restaurant where we met a man who played violin in a very well known orchestra (forgive me for not remembering the name) for 40 years! They were a very sweet and interesting couple who were also from the same area as us! And of course...Carter couldn't resist goofing off... For our first family vacation, at least with just the 3 of us, it went surprisingly well..and we can't wait to do it again..even though now Carter refuses to take off this hat... ...and he can't pass a pumpkin without an overwhelming urge to sit on it... ...i think this weekend was definitely a success :)
I've been on "blog vacation" for far too long and it's about time I jump right back into it! I've started so many posts with only a few words and didn't really know where to go from there, I have a lot on my mind...and for once...I am resting easy. Being the mother of a premature baby, has really taught me to appreciate every single thing that happens in life, every milestone is more than a celebration, every new word...tooth...achievement...is nothing short of a miracle. Lately, I just can't stop smiling, Carter, already being a big ol' ham, has just developed the funniest little sense of humor you could ever imagine. Even on a bad day, you can't help but laugh at his funny little expressions or silly voices, he has recently started only talking in a growling voice...terrifying but hilarious! ....I mean really... ...I dare you not to laugh at that! Another new development, Carter is now walking! It is the most precious thing I have ever seen! He sticks his little arms straight up in the hair, with a big ol' cheesy grin on his face, and he walks all around...chasing the cats, or me...he is really getting good (im trying to get a video up soon!). And, I am just amazed. I understand that it's a natural process, and babies do learn to walk...but my baby...MY baby, we were told he may not learn...of course this was when he was very young, but all of those things still weigh heavy on my mind and I am just thrilled with every little thing he does. These are the things many people take for granted, but I never will, I will always be delighted in the simple things.
It's been forever since I've updated this thing! What is there even to update?..oh yes...the monster baby is...WALKING! So as you can probably imagine he's is ALL over the place! I've had my hands pretty full and have some pretty funny videos to load on here, whenever I can find my usb...its a good day if we're all out of pajamas by noon!! Thats all for the quick update, much much more to come soon. i've started so many posts and never finished them, as I've recently discovered, i have a severe case of "mommy-brain"!
Carter's cousin Lucy (Su-cee) spent most of the summer in Norway this year, so when she came back it was only natural that they went on many adventures together! He missed her so much that only days after she returned, Carter went to visit his favorite cousin. After playing for awhile and having a very messy lunch...well, to be fair, any meal with Carter is a MESS!, we hit the beach! Lucy was nervous at first, but eventually she got used to being in the water...Carter on the other hand.... He was so comfortable in the water that he fell asleep! There's nothing better than relaxing in the water on a beautiful day and snuggling with my baby boy! After our swim it was time for ice cream!!!! yet another mess for Carter!Like Mother, Like Son...When I was little, I used to eat my ice cream cones from the bottom, I would chew off and end and suck the ice cream through that way...apparently Carter found this to be the best way to go about it as well..great minds think alike :)
After our long day of ice cream and swimming, Auntie Fallon made a big dinner...which was delicious, but of course...a mess! At one point she even commented on how she had never even seen Lucy make that big of a mess...that's talent! Since, at the end of the day, we were left with two messy babies, we threw them in the tub and then they lounged around in their towels...of course Carter borrowed Lucy's robe!
Hugh Hefner in the making..
We had such a great day with Auntie Fallon and Su-cee, but of course...as drama filled as my life can get..the day did NOT end well. On the way home, my car, which was supposedly fixed, overheated again on the highway at 8 at night! Yet again, I was stuck on the side of the road...with the baby...by myself. And the best part...my car is now junk!! I'm going on week 3 with no car! But that just means more visits here from Su-cee!
And so they visited... Auntie Fallon and Su-cee made a special stop to visit us the other day and we got to test out the new wagon from Lela! Carter, surprisingly kept his hat on the whole time...but the toys made many journeys outside of the wagon. Our stroll through the park quickly turned into a game of fetch, Fallon and I being the ones fetching! Our walk took about 1 hour longer than it should have, but it was much needed exercise for me :) And seriously...who wouldn't want to spend more time with him... After our walk we took a trip to the store to get our new gdiapers (more on that later)..and then we parted ways. Carter loves his visits from Su-cee and hopefully the rest of the summer is filled with many more!!
That is Carter at only 2 days old. Sometimes it's hard to believe he was ever that small, or that fragile. Watching that video tears my heart out, but gives me so much joy at the same time. More than a year ago, that was my little baby, helpless, tiny, fragile. Today, Carter is healthy and strong, and I am happy to announce that he has finally been discharged from the NICU's developmental clinic.He has met his milestones. Finally. After a year of doctors, nurses, check-ups, poking and prodding, we can finally put the NICU behind us, we can finally try and regain a sense of normalcy in our lives. Carter can finally experience life beyond monthly checks, physical therapy, etc....finally.
It was sort of bittersweet being discharged. Part of me wanted to grab Carter and run out of there as fast as we could and never look back, and part of me was incredibly sad to say goodbye to these Nurses and Doctors that cared for my son for so long. Because of those people, I can honestly say I have good memories of Carter's hospital stay, because of them...I got through it. It is not like we are done forever, we can always go back, we can always visit...we can...but will we? I love to see them, I love to show off my Carter and share memories with people who there, people who truly get it. I can't help but be absolutely terrified to go back there, even with Carter in my arms, my stomach still drops as I round the corner and approach the door. My hands still shake as I reach for the buzzer, my voice still trembles as I announce who I am...why I'm there. Although Carter is safe and in my arms, my stomach still drops. I guess you can compare it to a bad relationship, the crappy boyfriend that for some reason you were dying to see just one more time. You picked up the phone and called, heart racing, and dialed the same familiar numbers...knowing it might hurt, but wanting some sort of relief from the memories, wanting to talk to someone that understands, who gets it. And so we called, we set a date...to go back. August 4th, the day we were able to bring our baby home, at 6:45 pm, we will be going back to face the NICU... one more time.
Now that Carter is a "big boy", we've been going on many adventures. In just one weeks time, Carter has had his first trip to the Zoo, the pool, the beach, and he is now walking around while holding onto furniture...he really is a big boy! Some of the things he loved..and some not so much, but he is always up for an adventure! So this post doesn't last for days, and we all know I can ramble, I'm just going to quickly recap the past week...including pictures :)...and I'll post videos soon! ( as soon as I learn how to edit them!!!)
On Thursday, Carter's birthday, we went to the zoo! Carter was really stylin' in his new wagon that Lela and Bitter bought him!
He thought he was so cool riding around in his new wagon, fully equipped with new toys and cupcakes from Aunt Piggy! One day he will hate me for putting that hat on him!! First stop was the "kiki's", we got to see a Lion up close, which Carter loved! We then went immediately to the petting zoo so Carter could pet and feed the goats. It grossed me out but he seemed to have fun!
We saw a baby cow being fed, a llama, a GIANT pig, and much more farm animals...even a raccoon..which we could see in our backyard! Carter's favorite animal was the Eagle, he was laughing hysterically everytime it flapped it's wings. Aunt Piggy found a little pond and brought Carter over so he could dip his toes in the water, I'm not sure that he liked it!
After that it was cupcake time! Aunt Piggy brought gourmet cupcakes that were absolutely delicious! Carter enjoyed them...which resulted in a sugar high! He then found a hole in the table and had to inspect it.... Overall the Zoo trip was a hit! We didn't see much...but we will definitely be going back!
The Birthday Party!!!
Saturday was Carter's first birthday party! All night on Friday was spent making 100 animal cupcakes for the party. the sheep.... the pig.... and the chick... All I will say about that is...easier said then done. The cupcakes were a hit at the party and all 100 were eaten up by the end of the night...and no it wasn't me that ate them all :) Carter had a great time playing with everyone and being the center of attention. His favorite thing was playing with Papa Dan through the door. He then completely demolished his cake, which I will post a video of as soon as I can figure out how to edit it...I'm sure nobody wants to see a ten minute video of Carter eating his cake!! Anyway, he got so messy that I even found some cake in his diaper! At first...he was cautious... Then he dug right in....
And then...he crashed... I think it's safe to say that Carter definitely enjoyed his first birthday party!
Auntie Neener was nice enough to invite us over to swim at the pool at her apartment complex on Monday. The minute Carter saw the water, he high tailed it over there. He will definitely be one of those kids you have to watch at all times! He absolutely loved the water, so much that he didn't want to get out! After a LONG swim, we finally took a break, and Carter played peek-a-boo with his towel. My little man was SO tired out that I even got a little cuddle time in with him too!! And I noticed..we have the same feet...poor kid.. After the pool, we went back to Auntie Neener's for some lunch. Carter got to play with his cousin Dominic for a long time! He fell asleep on the way home and slept better than he ever has!
After watching Carter take to the water so well, I decided to take him to the beach! On Tuesday, Carter's "favorite person in the world", Amanda, and I took him to the city for lunch with Aunt Piggy and then a trip to the beach. After a big lunch, Carter was tired, and he didn't quite make it all the way to the beach... So his first 20 minutes were spent napping on the shore. When he woke up, I attempted to take him into the water, but he clinged to me like a little monkey. The water was ice cold and there were tons of waves, Carter was NOT amused. So we went back to our towels and played in the sand for a while, which he absolutely loved! And he even brought a whole new meaning to the term "beach bum"... After playing in the sand for awhile, we decided to give the water another go... At first he seemed interested....and then he just wanted to get the heck outta there... After that, we decided it was time to go! After about 2 minutes of being in the car, Carter was asleep! Gotta love the effect water and sun has on a baby!!
And finally...yesterday Carter had his 12 month well baby check. 12 MONTHS!!!...can you believe it?! He weighed in at 18 lbs 2 oz and is 29 inches long. He is still my little peanut! The doctor seemed a little concerned with his weight and we were told to make an appointment for next month for a weight check. When Carter first came home from the hospital, we had weekly weight checks for about 2 months, when that was over I was overjoyed! I was crushed to hear that we had to start up the weight checks again. I know it isn't that big of a deal, but as the mom of a preemie, you long for some sort of "normalcy". Even at 1 yr, we are still dealing with this stuff.....one day...
Other than the weight issues, all was well. He had his polio shot and took it like a champ! All he did was cry for a second, then make a funny face and rub his little leg. How I wish for the strength that he has!! We also did a blood test to test for allergies since he was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy in the NICU....lets all hope for good news!! At the risk of sounding repetitive, he's come a long way, and I am amazed at the growth I've seen!
(a size 3 diaper he wears today...and a micro-preemie diaper, that was too big on him, from the day he was born)
Carter's blog was made to tell the story of a baby born 11 wks premature who grew to be the little monster baby he is today. We hope to inspire those going through the rollercoaster NICU ride and entertain you as you go on the adventure of a day in the life of a monster baby :)