Thursday, June 25, 2009

Zoos, Beaches, and Pools..oh my!

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!!!)

The Zoo!!!

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!

The Pool!!!

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!

The Beach!!!

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 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)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A year ago today....

When Carter was born, my Mom gave me a calendar, that was blank, to fill in all of Carter's milestones throughout his first year. While Carter was in the NICU, I filled in each day with his weight, praying that one day he's break the 4 pound mark. I also would write down all of Carter's triumphs, no more oxygen, first bottle...etc. The calendar is hanging right by the door in his room, and everyday we pass it and talk about what day and month it is. When the calendar got to June, it ended, so I decided to flip back to the previous June, the June my sweet baby made his way into the world. Now, everytime we walk past that calendar, I talk to Carter about what we were doing a year ago "today"...and a year ago today, June 18, Carter was born, 11 weeks too soon.

As I drifted off to sleep last night, my mind was heavy with thoughts of the past. A year ago yesterday, I fell asleep angry at Joe. We had scheduled a 3-D ultrasound for June 18th, right after my check-up at the doctor. Joe had forgotten to put money aside and we found ourselves scrounging around for extra cash to pay for it. I was so excited to be able to see who had been kicking around in there, in 3-D this time! I dreamt of it for weeks, I wanted to be able to tell who's nose he had, who's eyes...even before he was born. When he told me we didn't have the cash, I broke down, I was so upset. I probably overreacted a bit...not like me at all right?! ;) But I stomped up the stairs and into bed, determined to get my ultrasound! I was 29 weeks pregnant.

The next morning was the usual "pre-doctor's appointment" routine, I woke up early, peed in a cup, which was to be stored in a fridge until my appointment. I need to stop right there, how can anyone type that seriously?! How classy is that, "honey grab the orange juice...but watch out for my pee, I need to bring that to the doctor!". Anyway, woke up, peed in cup, loaded up on waffles with probably WAY too much syrup, and watched the news until it was time to go. This appointment was supposed to be a regular appointment, so I had no reason to be concerned. My biggest worry was getting my ultrasound!

As I woke up this morning, I found myself reliving all of those moments. Everytime I looked at the clock, my mind would immediately flash back to that day, to that time. I found myself repeating "this time last year...", throughout the day. I had a tightness in my chest as 10 o'clock rolled around, the time of my appointment. All of my feelings from that day rushed back to me, the fear, the confusion...the fact that I still wanted my ultrasound. I remember the Doctor coming in and informing me that because my blood pressure was so elevated and I had all the obvious signs of pre-eclampsia, he had called the hospital to inform them that we'll be on our way. I just looked at him and said, "Do we have to go now? I kind of have this ultrasound at noon..." He must have thought I was crazy.

A year ago today, I was told my son might not live. I remember, so clearly, running out of the doctor's office, crying all the way to my car. I remember all the faces in the waiting room, the doctors rushing around, I remember the feeling of the door handle as I pushed out of the waiting room and ran down the stairs...the same stairs that I could never walk up as my pregnancy progressed...the same stairs that I looked forward to avoiding as my belly grew bigger. I remember Joe grabbing me and trying to hug me, I can still hear the pain in his voice, his tears streaming down his face. I remember apologizing to my sister for not be able to come visit her, I remember Carter kicking happily the whole way to the hospital...I remember asking God to save my baby, not asking, begging.

12 pm: My mom and I arrived at the hospital, I joked with the staff about needing a wheelchair, I laughed with my mom about getting lost in the hospital, I made jokes with the Nurse as I threw up repeatedly, apologizing for being "gross"...I was in denial. My back pain came back with avengence, I yelled at the Nurse for not giving me pain meds, I asked when I could baby was kicking, his heart rate was fine...I wanted to go home.

3 pm: A whirlwind of things were happening around me, I heard bits and pieces of things
"the helicopter is on its way..."
"no visitors"
And then I looked at my mom, who is one of the strongest women I know, and she had tears in her eyes. Up until then I hadn't been scared, I was told I was there for observation, I was told I would be able to deliver vaginally...I was told I'd be ok. Next thing I knew I was being wheeled back for an emergency c-section...I was 29 weeks pregnant, I was told my son might not make family was told I might not make it.

4:22 pm: I heard the sweetest noise I will ever hear, my 29 weeker, crying. He had made his entrance into the world, kicking and little warrior. He was whisked away to the NICU, I was taken to ICU, we were told my health status was "unclear", I was unstable, I was unaware.

4:22 today- I was at the Zoo, with Carter, holding him close as he dozed off on my shoulder. My mind flashed back, to a year ago today, and I took a moment to breathe, a moment to revel in the fact that I am here, Carter is here...and we're ok.

Today, I held him much tighter, took in each moment, and struggled to believe that a year ago today, if we had not been at the right place at the right time..........

Some days I can barely catch my breath, I feel guilty, I feel solely to blame for Carter's rocky start. Some days I just look at Carter and I can't hold back the tears, I tell him I'm sorry. But most days, I am overjoyed. Most days, I look at Carter and my heart feels like it could burst, I've never been more in love with anyone in my entire life. Carter is my world, my inspiration, my partner in crime :) I don't know if I've been able to process everything, and I don't know if I ever will. I'm sure there will be days when it creeps up on me, days when I say "2 years ago today...3 years ago today". Days when I'm overwhelmed by emotions. But one thing I do know, I am lucky, I am blessed. And if I've learned anything through all this, I've learned to never take anything for granted, to enjoy each and every moment, to live with a full and open heart. I've learned to believe in miracles....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Crunchy nose

Carter has been QUITE the ham lately, as if that's a surprise to anyone!! He's been my little comedian, all day long he strives to make me laugh...and he never fails to do so. I haven't posted much in awhile, and after a 3 1/2 hour weed pulling extravaganza, I have literally lost my mind!(I wish I had a camera outside with me, Carter was being too cute!). So, I will entertain you with videos of my little comedian at his best :)

This is Carter's "crunchy" nose. I wish I would have taken out my camera sooner! But, I think I was able to capture it pretty well...

Carter has recently learned to say "Num Num Num" and everytime he eats he literally yells it, especially if its one of his favorite foods :) Raspberry pics to be posted soon...

And last...he is starting to become a Daddy's boy and shakes his head "no" when I ask him to say mama...1 yr old and already workin me...

That's all for now!! Ah remember the days when I'd actually have something interested to say in my posts? I promise those days will be back soon!! We have a couple BIG events coming up that I can't WAIT to tell ya about :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

How Preemie Moms Are Chosen

Someone just sent me this and I had to share...

~*~How Preemie Moms Are Chosen~*~
(Erma Bombeck)

Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his
instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he
observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.
"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew.
Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia.
Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint...give her Gerard. He's used to
Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles.
"Give her a preemie." The angel is curious. "Why this one, God?
She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God.
"Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That
would be cruel."
"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.
"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea
of self-pity and despair.
Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it.
I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so
rare and so necessary in a mother.
You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own.
She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."
"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."
God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect She has
just the right amount of selfishness."
The angel gasps, "Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally,
she will never survive.
Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect.
She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied.
She will never take for granted a spoken word.
She will never consider a step ordinary.
When her child says momma for the first time,
she will be witness to a miracle and know it.
I will permit her to see clearly the things I see--
ignorance, cruelty, prejudice--
and allow her to rise above them.
She will never be alone.
I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life
because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."
"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in
the air.
God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bad Luck and Carter's 1 yr photos...

Carter and I have had quite the week! Already, before the age of one, he has been stranded on the side of the highway (not by himself of course!!), gotten into a car accident (everythings ok!!), and has scored a girlfriend....2 years older than him!! Let me start from the beginning..

Tuesday, I had a doctor's appointment about 45 min away, so we picked up Grandma or "Lela" as Carter likes to call her, and headed out to the doctor's. Naturally, we'd need to have "Lela" with us, monster babies and doctor's offices do not go well together!! On the way there, the car overheated and we were all stuck on the side of the highway...only 1/4 mile from an exit!! So we waited for my father in law (aka Papa Dan) to come rescue us! Of course there were tons of cars on the highway yet only one person actually stopped to check on us. You would think that if there were 2 women and a baby (sounds like a movie! haha ) stuck on the side of the road with Semi's flying past, that SOMEONE would stop! Papa Dan fixed the car and within about 1 minute of driving it, it overheated again! We had quite the adventure, piling our stuff into another car, driving to the doctor, carrying everything in, and then piling it all into ANOTHER car to go home. The best part was, Carter behaved so well through it all! He didn't really get crabby once and of course was the star of the show at the doctor's office!

So, after the doctor my dad (aka Bitter) came to pick us up and took us all out to dinner. Carter got to see the fishies and make a new friend. It was so cute to watch Carter and the other baby babbling back and forth to eachother, Carter just loves other kids...maybe its time for #2 ;) That would be a site to see, Monster Baby and his sidekick...another blog for another day :) Anyway, Bitter got us home safe and sound and a few hours later Joe got my car home..."possibly" fixed! We had another appointment the next day and I was told i could try and drive the car but there was no guarantee that it would work. Those prospects definitely we not appealing to me!

Day 2, I searched for a ride to the doctor and when I was unsuccessful, I decided I would attempt to drive my car. But, after 15 minutes of searching for my keys, I called Joe and he had them...and he was one hour away!! So after throwing a little tantrum, I learned from the best :), I kept on searching for a ride. Thankfully, my cousin, Valerie, wasn't busy and she agreed to come pick us up. I know you're probably wondering why I didn't just reschedule the appointment, had I of done that, we would not have gotten in until June 23! Anyway, I thought our bad luck streak was over, we'd go to the doctor, get picked up, go home and go on with our day...I was wrong. On the way to the doctor, someone driving the opposite way, turned their car and drove straight at us! And the worst part, he drove away afterwards! The only damage done was just a shattered mirror, Thank God. We were all ok, but stuck on a bad side of town and I was really feeling like things were just going to go downhill from here. Well, I am happy to say that we made it to the doctor and back...all in one piece! The rest of the day went smoothly. Carter got to hang out with his "favorite person in the world" (aka Amanda) and we got to play at the park and on the swings. All was well, until I ruined Carter's life by leaving the park. He made sure that, the entire walk home, he let me know exactly HOW mad he was! Not to mention my stroller was squeaking the whole time...everyone was looking at us like we were crazy!

On a happier note...Carter finally slept through the night that night!!!!! He has done it in the past, but as soon has he began teething he became the worst sleeper ever. That signified the end of my bad luck streak! I drove my car the next day with no problems and the day went smoothly. If these past few days are setting the tone for how June is going to be...I can't wait for July!!!

Yesterday we had Carter's one year photos taken, ONE YEAR can you believe it?! My little 3 lb baby is almost one!!! We had the pictures done by the same woman who did Carter's "newborn" photoshoot before he left the hospital, it was really cool to kind of bring things full circle! Because Carter is such a mommma's boy, I had to hide around the corner while she took all the photos, that is, until we brought the cake out! Carter would not have cared who was in the room, as long as he could continue eating his cake...or chewing on the candle! At one point, he just picked up the netire cake and was taking bites out of it and chewing on the cardboard underneath! The photographer did an AMAZING job, as expected, and I can't wait to see the pictures! We even took a special picture for Daddy that I can not wait to see!!! I will post some on here as soon as I get them!

This video is from the other day. Whenever Carter eats he yells..."Num num num" ...isn't he just the cutest? ;)