Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Room flip = play room

When a baby comes along, your perspective changes. On everything. And when I say everything, that includes even big purchases you made in life that you were confident would be perfect for a baby at the time. I'm talking about our house. Yep, pre-Charlie I loved our house. It went from an outdated, old house to an updated, clean, modern home. A home that we made our own ad we literally remade every room in it. I loved that we became a family of 2 in it when we got married and then became a family of 3 when Mr Charlie came!!

So why the change of heart as I'm telling you just how much I love it??? Well it mainly has to do with the overall layout..it's a side by side split. Which means we have lots if space, which is great, but where we were always playing with Charlie was in the downstairs family room. That means when mama is in the kitchen (for some reason I'm there more times than not), I am not within view if my sweet baby. Therefore, everything I need to get done in the kitchen (making dinner, lunch, cleaning dishes, washing pump parts, etc.) goes on the back burner bc I want to at least be able to see him playing. I dream of lots of house updates in a future home, but I was literally upset about the layout and spent hours on my zillow app looking a houses with open floor plans. Only in my dreams right?! That's right because I've made it clear to Jimmy: no 2nd baby or no moving until I'm done with my masters (Spring 2014). So dreams of a new house cannot become a reality for now.

I pretty much sat at lunch complaining about this to my fabulous and very creative/DIY friend over lunch one day. She's got such a great perspective on things and is thrifty like me and presented me the perfect solution. She challenged me to be creative with the spaces we have. She asked me why does the room designated as the dining room HAVE to stay a dining room? Couldn't we just move that into half of the living room (that's a WAY underutilized room anyway) and use the dining room as a makeshift playroom?! Um- yes, we absolutely could. Might be a bit odd when people come over but for us, the functionality would completely outweigh anything.

Jen- you're brilliant. I love that you present me with feasible and creative solutions to problems I present to you, you rock.

I went home that Monday night and told Jimmy about the idea. He was interested but did roll his eyes a bit because I seem to always want to change something. With no time that week because I had class or was studying- Jimmy was awesome and surprised me by moving what he could that Wednesday night I was at class. I was SO excited when I walked in the door!!!! Best surprise ever!! Then my parents and cousin came over that Friday and helped Jimmy move the heavy china cabinet.

And well, with a few changes, few additions (bought a play mat, installed a new light fixture and acquired a free rug from my mom) measuring a couple times , it was complete. And after a week and a half of living with it- I think we all love it!! We even had a play date upstairs and Rowen and Bo loved it too!!!!

So this my friends, is how you make an old house work when you don't like it anymore. Be creative, talk to awesome people and just do it.

And be thankful that Christmas Eve 2010 you decided to knock down the wall between your kitchen and dining room. Because that wouldn't have happened with a baby around....

New "play room"/ old dining room

View of the new half living room/office from the play room
Dining room & living room all in one.  Now that's utilizing space
View from the other side - with the china cabinet
DInner parties involve the TV - horrible I know.
View from the front hallway (kinda weird, right?)

Masks and wine cabinet are still around!
Looking into the play area from the family room

So....what do you think?  Kinda weird or just really freaking useful??  I have to say now that it has been like this for a week or so....I couldn't love it more.  We use the upstairs a lot more and are taking advantage of a room that we never used that much before in our house (upstairs living room).  Wahoo!  And that means mama is happy and we don't have to move.  Even better.

And you know who else likes it??

This kid!  He loves the play mat and that all his toys are right there!  It's so nice in the morning when we are finishing up breakfast and packing up all our bags and lunches, etc to just plop him on the play mat.  He loves it.  He's a rolling machine these days and even rolled 3 times and even up knocking his head on the hardwood floor.  Crazy man!

Overall - we love it and it works great for our family!!!  Which is the most important!
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Monday, January 28, 2013

FSF- follow up

I know it's not Friday, but this is just a follow up to a Fun Story Friday post.  So it will be on Monday.  I make the rules here.  So I posted a little whole ago about losing my mind and other things...that included a whole box of rice cereal for Charlie. I have good news:

1. The missing rice cereal box has been located.

2. I'm not in fact the one who lost/misplaced it. That would be one of our dogs. My bets are on Toby, as he's the only one big enough to counter surf. However, I'm also guessing that Willy had something to do with the end location. They tag team stuff like that all the time. Like one time when they knocked my work bag down from a hook and ripped open (and consumed a bag of peanut MandMs...more impressively all lived to tell the story. Or when Toby grabs dirty Tupperware off the counter and shares (you can actually read about that story from way back in 2010...). These dogs.  Never a dull moment is right.

But back to the main point...where the rice cereal box was and what accompanied it. Jimmy was ever so kindly moving the upstairs furniture around one evening when I was at class (after I had told him about my "brilliant" idea from a friend at work...this will be featured on a blog post soon). When moving the couches around in our living room he found the box if cereal under a couch and it wasn't eaten...but just severely gnawed on. It went in the trash immediately obvs (mama's not feeding her baby trash...) after I saw it in the counter when I got home from class - Jimmy wanted to let me know he found it.

The funny part? I saw an empty tuna can in the trash when I was throwing it away. Since we hadn't had tuna in awhile I asked Jimmy if he ate some that night. Nope - turns out he found that under the couch as well with the cereal. That just makes me feel so good about all the people that have been over to our house in the last who knows number of months that sat in that room and MIGHT have smelled something funny but were too embarrassed to say anything and point out that our house smells.

Embarrassing to the max.

I promise we are not dirty, even though our dogs like to hide things in places that makes it seem like we are. Dang dogs.....but at least we didn't find the cereal in a random cabinet or the freezer.  Could be worse.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Week number 25 with Charlie!

Well this week was SO much better than the last.  Intercession class ended.  Extra day off work/school and no one sick.  I call that a win at all levels!!!  

And a few firsts this week that included: 
  • officially started sitting up (!!)
  • got in the stroller for the first time like a big kid (vs. in the car seat) 
  • tried something else to eat besides rice cereal
  • officially can roll over back to front.  You are a rolling machine!
I'd call that a great week!!  Love experiencing all these first with you!!

Two of my favorites pictures from the week?  Pictures of Charlie loving on our dogs.  Charlie, you think these dogs are the funniest things ever.  We love watching you interact with them and hope you all continue to love each other.  Especially the dogs love you even when you pull their tails, ears, etc.

And a few pictures of the avacado experience.  He's like his mom and wears his feelings on his face.  NOT.A.FAN

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A little late..but week 24

This mama is sure far behind on the weekly updates - this on my Saturday to-do list.  Which also includes making baby food, doing some homework and playing with Charlie.  I have been keeping track of all that we've been up to, just haven't got my act together to get it all put together and posted.  Every week I keep telling myself these are getting silly and I can stop.  But then I keep doing it because I mean we're almost at 6 months...and what is another 6 months?  I will be happy with myself that I had your whole year documented, right?  Or will I look back at myself and laugh.  I am guessing the latter.  But oh well!!  Silly mom thing I guess!

This week was full of everyone getting back int the swing of things - but also was full of SICKNESS.  School and sickness.  Not a fun combination.  Luckily the sickness was just mom and dad and not Charlie - but that's not fun either.  I prefer a healthy family!!  However, we all held together and made it through the week.  We always seem to push through little man...just for you!!  Sometimes I look back and am unsure how we make it through - but we do. Thank the Lord for family, friends and understanding bosses and teachers....

Cheers to another week...oh and I forgot.  We started cry it out this week - or attempted to.  You did ok, and showed some better progress at sleeping through the night.  Got to start somewhere, right?

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Back to school

So this post is a little overdue now but ironically grad school class is just the reason for the delay. I finally started back to school right before Christmas. It's a little bittersweet because inevitably it means even LESS time with my little man but I guess good because that means it will be done sooner.

I finished up my summer school class on July 25. I was super pregnant and so sick of the hot hot weather. I was officially at the half way mark in my MBA program at UMKC. I had 5 classes done and 5 classes left (the program is normally more than that but bc I was a business undergrad I had lots of classes that counted so I didn't have to retake them). It's funny thinking back to my mentality pre-Charlie. I was ready to have this baby and had every intention of starting back to school again the last week in August because I didn't want to miss a semester. Everyone said I was crazy. I said it was just once a week for 3 hours. But the closer it got to his arrival, the more nervous I got about it. So I changed classes and added a brand new online finance class they just started offering. I knew it would be so much better.

Then Charlie arrived and pretty much my whole life changed. The absolute last thing I wanted to be thinking about with my new baby boy was school so I dropped that online class and decided to sit the semester out. I loved every minute that I got to spend with my sweet boy during maternity leave and am so happy my focus was solely on him. Couldn't have been more wonderful.

Then it was back to work again. Oh so fun. Then enrollment time cane around and it was time for me to decide. Mainly decide if I wanted to finish up what I had started. I would love to tell you that there was never a doubt in my mind that I'd start back up school again because their was. Doubts about if we could all 3 make it work, doubts about if I could survive seeing Charlie any less, and doubts that I would be able to take on just one more thing and add to my never ending to do list.

What made up my mind to enroll not one, but THREE classes this spring?? (Wait for it...I'm really not crazy...).  Here's the deal - and it's not because I want to put myself and my family through pure agony.  I sat down and really thought about it.  Why I wanted to get my MBA in the first place.  It wasn't because I will get a raise (which I won't), it isn't for the title or the "recognition".  The reason I started my MBA in the Spring of 2011 was because it was always a goal of mine to get my masters.  I don't know why, but it has been.  That goal of mine was actually one of the main reasons that I took my first job at Deloitte Consulting right out of college because if I could stick through traveling and crazy hours, they were going to pay for me to go back to school full time at a top school.  While that didn't work out (quit that job because I HATED traveling every week...so much), I knew when I started at Hallmark that I would want to pursue my MBA part time in the evenings.  And all that started after we got married.  I took the GMAT in the fall of 2010 and then started at UMKC in the spring of 2011.  For no reason at all other than it was a goal of mine and I just wanted to further my education, my knowledge and be a better employee and leader.  And guess what?  Even as a mom, that goal still resonates with me.  And in a weird way, I want to finish it even more.  I want to finish what I started so that I can someday tell my son someday about when even when I really wanted to quit something because more than anything I wanted to spend every moment not at work with him...I stuck with it for a few simple reasons.  (1) Because I am the type of person that always strive to follow through on my goals; (2) I truly want to further my education and business acumen and (3) I want to set myself and our family up so I can continue to provide my child and future children with all that I think they deserve.  The final reason doesn't mean that they will get to go to McDonald's every day when they are older...but just to make sure they can do those activities that might cost a little extra or go to the college they want to go to.  I'm finishing my MBA because I want to set a good example for my son, who I love so much and hate that I don't get to put him to bed one night a week. 

And another huge reason?  Because Jimmy told me he was so excited to take Charlie to my graduation and for him to see his mom walk across the stage and be so proud of her.  That literally makes me cry.

Because I missed last fall, I took an intercession class over Christmas break that was intense.  It wasn't hard but just a lot and a huge slap in the face "welcome back to grad school".  Right when we had our routine down - then I go and change things again.  Hence my crazy post last week.  But we all made it through and I'm pretty certain I still got an A or B.  Same diff, right?!  Thankful for that.  Now tonight, I start another class for the real spring semester that is just every Thursday night, which will be a nice break from having to go 3 times a week for intercession.  And because this online class I wanted to take during the summer isn't actually offered during the summer (nice, huh?), I've decided to bite the bullet and just take it this semester also.  So with 9 hours, that makes me an official full time grad school student.  Fun stuff right?  At least one is already done and one is online.  Jimmy and I talked a lot about it and we are all on board to make it work.  Because I refuse to take a summer class.  No way Jose will I go to class two times a week in the summer - not when I could be walking to the park with my baby boy that will not be a baby anymore come summer.

So sacrifices will be made, less time will be spent with friends and family, less sleep will be had by all (well, just mom and dad - Charlie - you need to sleep more!)...but we will survive.  It is all worth it in the end.  When Charlie gets to come with his dad and see me walk across the stage in May of 2014 - it will be worth it to see a smile on his face and clapping for him mama!  (Ummmm...he will be almost 2 years old then, which is really crazy...like scary crazy!!)

There you have it.  If you see me complain on facebook, instagram or in another blog post - I apologize in advance.  As I try to be completely honest and transparent on here - when I'm stressed, it likely shows.  But here we go as I get ready for another semester of fun and a fun balancing act we all call life!!!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Baby love.

This is just so true.  A constant reminder of all that I'm thankful for with Charlie.  Happy Wednesday - here's to finishing out the week STRONG!!!

Something's Gotta Give...

You know how they say that God only gives you what you can handle?  That is something I have been constantly repeating in my head the last week.  over.and.over.and.over again.  Telling myself "you can make it through this", "there is eventually an end in sight", "just keep smiling", "don't yell at Jimmy more than 20 times a day..."

We're pretty much at our breaking point in this Carter house.  Right after the holidays, my intercession MBA class ramped up to class either 2 or 3 times a week and then tons and tons of online lectures to watch because there is only so many nights for class.  And after that is was like a perfect storm.  I got sick.  Charlie stopped sleeping.  We started rice cereal at night.  He slept well for 2 nights - and so did we.  Then it was ALL downhill from there.  Sleep is pretty much non-existent, school ramped up with projects, cases, tests...then I got the stomach flu and was puking, then Jimmy got it and was puking, then Charlie got a cold.  And then this morning happened.  I mean it's only 6:30, so I guess it's still "this morning".

We had a long night of starting the Ferber CIO method with Charlie and listening to him cry for about 2 hours between midnight and 2 and Jimmy getting up and going in to reassure him everything is ok at different intervals (aka neither of us slept a wink...).  We had to start trying something because nothing is working.  This child doesn't like sleep!?!?!  He has to!!  After another hour and a half of crying, I finally got up with him at 5:30 to feed him and change his diaper because the crying wouldn't subside.  Of course, the three dogs were wanting to get up before that...so I had got them up, fed them and let them out.  Charlie and I are sitting in his room in the dark and I'm feeding him, trying to enjoy the moment.  I hear Willy sniffing around.  Yep, he found a diaper that I put on the side of the changing table because what do you know, of course the diaper pail is full?  I can hear him get it and run out.  Oh-no-he-doesn't.  Charlie and I get up (yep, he's still latched on) and run after him.  All the way to the basement and into his kennel.  I fight with him to grab on to the diaper (Charlie in my arms, has stopped eating) and yell for Jimmy.  Jimmy comes down with the spray bottle in hand and Willy surrenders the diaper.

We all go back upstairs, I sit back down with the Charlie.  He pukes all over my hair.  My hair that I washed and dried last night because getting up in the morning to shower will never ever happen.  I yell a curse word and Jimmy comes to get him and get him dressed.  I put water in my puke hair and just dry and straighten it.  Decide to just get ready for the day.  Take Charlie downstairs and see a diaper on the floor in the living room.  I'm so angry with Willy right now.  (We wonder the same thing..where do these diapers come from?!) Then Charlie pukes all over the floor.  He goes in his high chair while I get a towel.  Then he sneezes and snot goes everywhere.  Poor kid.  Was going to use the other side of the towel on his floor for his face but it has Crystal Light all over it from a packet that Toby knocked off the counter and ripped apart.  Yeah, I need to vacuum that up.

Charlie goes in his johnny jump up...Jimmy and I silently make our lunches, eat breakfast and sit down at the table.  It's 6:15 and his alarm for the day goes off.  He jokes that he better get out of bed.

I have a case due in school tonight, final tomorrow night, on top of both our work schedules are busy right now.  Sleep training night one was not-so-good but we are hopeful it will get better. It will get better.  We know it will (aka someone please tell me it will get better).

So we'll go to work.  Exhausted.  Puke-haired.  I'll study over my lunch hour.  Our dogs will go in the kennel and hopefully not wreak havoc.  Charlie will go to school and be the perfect angel he is there (duh?!  during the day this kid is like an angel).  And then I'll go to class until 8:40...poor Jimmy will come home to man the house by himself and start the process all over again.

What's gonna give?  Because no one told me it was going to be THIS hard and we were going to be THIS exhausted.  I love being a mom so much - his smile and smell and hugs melt my heart, but it sure is a challenge.

You know how they say that God only gives you what you can handle?  I know it's true but I feel like this is one of those weeks where I'll have to look back on it to appreciate.  So ask me again if I believe that next week because I'm sure I will.  I'm sure I'll be looking at this blog post and laughing at how whiny I sound.  Because I'm thinking that next week...Charlie will be sleeping again, class will be over for at least a week (that's a fact!), and Jimmy and I will get the chance to sleep like crazy.

One can only dream that will come true.  Oh...and one can also dream about getting a hotel room...right? ;)

P.S. you know it's bad when I could care less that Jimmy dressed Charlie in non matching gray shades this morning and I didn't have enough energy to change his pants.....

But as part of my attempt to gain perspective, I'm thankful I have a great husband and partner, we both have great jobs, we have a warm roof over our grads and beautiful and healthy little boy to call our own. Yes, in the midst off all this crazy- there is still greatness and so much to be thankful for....so I'll keep up with what Gods plan is.

Friday, January 11, 2013

FSF: losing my mind and other things

So last week my sister was telling me that my blog just isn't as fun anymore (in a nice way...). That all I blog about is Charlie. Yes, that is true. What I like about my blog is how it has transformed over the last 4 years. So I defended it and told her all we do is hang out with Charlie, so of course that's what I blog about. She agreed but made the request for "Fun Story Friday" to emerge again. While there will be no stories of my riding the bus adventures (don't think the Jo would make a special day care drop off....), there are pretty amusing things that happen with a baby. While most include bodily functions (i.e. poop, pee, spit up), one happened last night that involved none if the above. And it goes like this...

There are lots of things I have to remember everyday now. Like making sure milk gets in Charlie's bag, ensuring i do not smell like baby throw up, transporting breastmilk and the list goes on. Not to mention most of these things to remember take place all before 7:30am.

Yesterday morning I was quickly picking up stuff in our house because our cleaning lady was coming (yes, I got a cleaning lady...judge if you will, but you work 40 hours a week, make dinner every night, take care of a 5 month old baby and 3 dogs and go to grad school at night...and then tell me the first thing you want to do with your "free time" is scrub toilets...no thanks.  I had aspirations of being super mom, but I have come to the realization that I plain and simple just want to spend time with my kid). Since we just started feeding Charlie rice cereal the box hasn't found a "home" in our pantry yet. Because I like to make sure the counter is clear to be cleaned I put the rice cereal box away.

Last night I got home after a quick visit to drop off dinner and meet sweet baby Noah and it was time to feed Charlie his cereal.  So I got the bowl and spoon out and Jimmy searched for the box of cereal.  He couldn't find it.  He originally blamed it on our cleaning lady for moving it and then I finally fessed up.  I moved it.  And guess what?  I couldn't remember where I put it.  And then we searched.  High and low.  In the pantry, in all the kitchen cabinets and even in the fridge and freezer.  We looked everywhere.  I told him I was sorry and that I was losing my mind and other things on top of that.  Literally.

So I sent him off to the grocery store after looking at sweet baby Charlie sitting in his high chair all anxious for that cereal.  I took him out of the high chair and nursed him a bit and then just like that, dad had arrived and all was well.  Our little dude got his cereal (at all of it again - he's loving it and doing good!), a bath, nursed some more and then off to bed.  All was well again in the Carter house.

Except guess what?  We still cannot find the missing box of rice cereal.  Now all I can think about is when and where it might pop up.

Let's just be thankful that is all I lost.  I constantly panic about forgetting Charlie somewhere.  Yes, I'm crazy and in my current crazy state of mind, it wouldn't surprise me.  So I double check twice, three times to make sure he's always by my side.

And I thought I had pregnancy brain...apparently mom brain is even worse...

I will let you know when/if the box of cereal ever emerges from it's "hiding spot".  I'm positive I put it in a "logical" place at the time. 

Week 23 - back to school/work

Finally getting caught up.  But I still have so many posts to write!!!  Too much going on.  After some wonderful family time off...this week it was back to reality.  Unfortuntely for mom, a not-so-fun reality.  I got sick this week, had to start class again (after studying pretty much all break) AND go back to work.  Um, not fun at all.

There were some fun and funny moments though, of course.  Like seeing you interact with your new Christmas toys - it's so fun to see your face light up!  You got to spend lots of quality time with your dad and develop that bond with him even more.  And when you finally went back to school, you seemed to poop on everything.  So much that your silly face came home in a super funny outfit on Friday.  We just love you. 

We had some fun celebrating Grana's 60th birthday with your aunts, uncles and cousins!!!  AND you started solids aka some rice cereal.  Well that was just a fun event in itself because your face was, and continues to be priceless.  6:30 rice cereal feeding is our favorite time now!  We are loving seeing you learn.  AND best yet, you decided you were going to start sleeping normal again.  Which THANK goodness.  Because your poor parents were about running on empty with your newborn wakings again.  But now we put you down awake and you've figured out how to put yourself to sleep after about 10 minutes of fussing.  What is the trick?  Apparently you just want to smell your mom because you have gone to sleep every night snuggling with my t-shirt (even better it's the Pi Phi bid day 2003 one!).  You wrestle around with it and then put it over your face and fall fast asleep.  Your dad tells me it's because you love me so much and are used to falling asleep with your face on my chest.  My heart literally melts at the thought of that.  Not going to lie, I've had a harder time than I thought I would with this whole "feeding you solids" thing because I almost feel like I'm giving my little baby up.  But snuggling with my t-shirt?  Well, that makes it all better. I need you too...so much.  And it's fun to go back into your room and take it off your face after you are asleep!  I love to see your sleeping face.

You are also getting better at sitting up.  You can do it great in the boppy and we work on it every night when we get home.  Charlie, you are so amazing to watch grow and are so fun.  I literally wish I could spend every day all day long with you.  Guess I just have to suck it up and wait for the weekends....

Week 22 - Christmas and road trip!

Just like that Christmas came and went and with a lazy day the day after Christmas before we hit the road...Christmas disappeared from our house.  It's always sad to see it go, but made me very excited for what our lives will look like next year putting it back up and having to be aware of what Charlie can pull down.  Crazy!!

This was a fun week because the majority of it was spent in good old Katy, TX with our best friends - the Calcaras.  Yes, we willingly chose to drive with a 5 month old 12 hours in the car.  It wasn't horrible the way down, but the way back...well that was another story.  Will someday get to a blog post with pictures from our trip!  In the mean time, Vanessa did an awesome job of summing it up!

This week of your life also ended the year of 2012.  Crazy to think all the fun that 2013 will bring as we get the honor of being your parents and watching and helping you grow.  Can't wait for all this fun!!! 

*PS - I accidentally wrote on 12.27 that we hung out with Vanessa and Christ.  Just in case you are confused, that should read "Chris", as we did not get the pleasure of hanging out with Christ.  Even though that would have been amazing!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sue turns 60!

This post is a few days late - kind of like everything that is not work, school or Charlie right now!!  But better late than never for a very special lady on her very special birthday!!

My mother-in-law, Sue, turned a big 6-0 on Monday!  The 5 boys and their wives threw her a nice little party this past Friday to celebrate too and it was very fun (really my sister-in-law's Shellie and Lindsay did all the work - they are the best!!).  But before I get to the party, I want to shine the spotlight on Sue for a second.

She is one pretty remarkable lady.  First I'll start by telling you that she SUCCESSFULLY raised 5 wonderful boys that turned into pretty fantastic men.  Five kids.  All boys. In 10 years.  The closest are 16 months apart (I think that is right) and then Jimmy and his younger brother are 18 months apart.  Holy moly.  I thought that was pretty neat when I first met Jimmy, but now as a mom I'm more in awe at how she did it.  And she also got her master's in education with Jimmy and Bobby were little.  Um - she's pretty amazing, and I think everyone can agree!!  Especially that they all turned out not only normal, but pretty darn successful, good looking and good people.

Sue is a pretty great mother in law as well that always makes you feel like you are her own child.  Her house and kitchen seem to be always open and welcome to come over (and she makes some pretty delicious stuff out of her kitchen!!!).  She really set the bar high when you marry a Carter boy, as they expect you to be just like their mom - which I'm not even going to pretend I can do everything she did AND cook delicious homemade cinnamon rolls and enchiladas and tacos to die for.  Nope, I already told Jimmy I wouldn't even try!!

So she's a great mom, great mother in law AND an amazing Grana.  At the young age of 60, she already has 9 wonderful grandkids ranging from 5.5 months old (Charlie) to 10.5 years old (Libbie).  And she loves them all so much.  She is always willing to watch them when the parents need some help and is always doing such fun things with them.  They are VERY lucky to have her and so are we as their parents.

And finally, she's a wonderful school principal.  She works at the Catholic grade school that all the boys went to and was a teacher and then became a principal. I know she is such a great leader there and the kids just love her!!!

Here are some fun pictures from her birthday dinner at Garrozo's last Friday night!

Red, Sue and Sue's sister, Loretta

Our dinner partners: Kenlie & Libbie - check out that meatball!

The cake & singing!
Will FINALLY let someone else hold him besides his mom!

Opening her presents with the girls
I love this picture of Sue and her boys.  So much!!  She said that they were all worried about not being as tall as her when they were younger.  I think they all met that threshold! 

I also think I love it because it just exudes love.  As a mom to a little boy, I was getting a little emotional that night when we were driving home about him "not needing" me as much as we start him on solids.  (I know I'm crazy)  But Jimmy made it very clear how much he does still need his mom and so do all his brothers.  We all do.

The fabulous birthday girl and her boys. 

A cool shot of the whole room
Shot 1 of the grandparents and grandkids...

Shot 2 of the grandparents and grandkids
Obviously when  you are trying to get 9 kids to smile, that's not going to happen!

I really don't think she looks 60 at all!! It's crazy to think she has an almost 38 year old son and 9 grand kids. She sure is a special woman and one that I'm so blessed to have in my life and jimmy is very lucky to have as a mom and such a good role model. Charlie is also lucky to have her and Red as wonderful grandparents. I love my grandparents more than anything and I can't wait for him to get a little older and get to do fun things with them too!!

Cheers to making 60 look amazing Sue!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Folks, we have a 5 month old!

I literally remember when you were just born and I was sitting down in our family room with you thinking that having a newborn was so hard and exhausting and all I wanted was for you to be like 5 or 6 months.  The perfect age, right?  Well, somehow that time is already here.  I have no idea why 5 months ago I thought that was the perfect age, but let me tell you this - it is pretty dang fun.  You are just such a blessing and sweetheart.  

Here's the list of what you are doing now...

  • You are still rock that beautiful, toothless baby smile quite regularly.  I'm not going to lie...it pretty much melts my heart.
  • We think you are starting to get "stranger danger" aka anxiety with strangers a bit.  Just a few times when someone you have never met approaches you, you do a little freak out and all you want is your mom.  Don't tell anyone, but I secretly like it when only I can make you feel better and comfort you.  Must be a mom thing.
  • You scream more (not as loud or as much as your friend Jackson) and make lots of noises.  You even belly laugh with your giggles sometimes.  I love that.
  • You ALMOST have the back to front roll over mastered.  You were trying SO hard for everyone on our trip to Iowa...you just cannot seem to figure out what to do with that pesky hand!
  • You still grab EVERYTHING and you grab it hard.  Like I thought one more you were going to rip my earring out.  (note to self: no more hoop earrings). Hair is still a favorite of yours and you put it in you mouth.
  • You are still love day care.  Your teachers were so sad when we told them you wouldn't be there for 2 whole weeks because of the holidays, traveling and we are off work!!
  • You take 4.5 ounce bottles pretty regularly at school!!  Moving on up little man.
  • You have become the distracted nurser.  We have to go into our own room and it needs to be quiet and kind of dark...otherwise you nurse for like 3 minutes and then pull off and whip your head around to check out the room/surrounding/gas station (nursing in a car on the way home from Houston = fail).  I often wear my nursing cover in the morning too because when dad walks in the room you want to look at him and smile.  Cute, but not effective to get you fed!!
  • You had antibiotics for the first time.  You got your first ear infection and bronchial infection.  Not fun.  And guess what?  Your ear drum ruptured the first time...I hope that doesn't signal bad ear stuff to come.  You did not-so-good taking the antibiotics, but next time we'll make sure they are bubble gum!!!  But at least we got that first sickness over with.  For being sick though, you were still pretty resilient and sweet.
  • Sleeping??  What sleeping?? Haha.  Seriously kid, I kind of wish you never slept through the night because then I would think it just wasn't possible!!!  This last month was rough with being sick (both of us) and the holidays and traveling.  We worked on getting you out of the swaddle, which I would say for the most part was successful.  You are doing well in a sleep sack and only every once and a while if you are inconsolable at night we will swaddle your arms.  One step at a time...
  • Still drooling a TON and all the time, but no teeth yet.
  • We got your high chair and you are such a big boy and sit so good in it and play with your toys while mom and dad eat at the table.  Your dad is just dying to get you started on rice cereal and then solids, but I'm a little intimidated and just don't have time the first half of January because I'm taking an intersession class.  We'll see how long I can hold him off. He did buy rice cereal at the grocery story today...
  • You are starting to balance more when you sit up - Dr. Natasha said by six months you should have it down and I'm positive you will!  You can kind of prop yourself up for a little bit and then usually fall, but you are getting there.  I can't believe it is already time for that.
  • You can still fit into some 3-6 month clothes, but you are a too long for all your Carter's 6 month PJs, so those are all 9 months now - which is crazy.  No more straight up 3 month stuff for you...all 6 month and mainly 6-9.  Growing SO fast!!!   
  • What happened to my thumb sucker?  You were all about it and all of a sudden you want nothing to do with it.  Or a pacifier!! How are we supposed to soothe you?  The only thing I can come up with is singing to you....
  • You still move all over the crib.  You are figuring out that it's not that bad to move around a little bit and are getting better at going back to sleep
  • When you are at home on the weekends (or over the holidays) you only take 30 minute naps.  Seriously - I think you need to nap longer and you don't.  Our first fight.
  • Still working on figuring out at night how to calm you down and get you to sleep without picking you up and/or feeding you.  That has not been very successful, but the latter part of the month you were sleeping in all different places...so January we'll start over.  Positive sleep vibes!!!  It's getting harder to hold you and rock you though because you are so big and long!!!!
  • Still rocking those size 3 diapers.  Looking good little man.

We took you to the doctor right before Christmas and you weighed 16 lbs and 1 ounce - you are almost double what you weighed when you were born which is nuts!

Look at that sweet baby smile.  You were trying to show off in front of the camera too and do the "sit up on your own" thing.  You did it for like 20 seconds and then fell.

See?  Right on your noggin.  Immediately the photo shoot was done and the camera thrown aside for mom to console you because I thought you were going to start crying.  You didn't.  You just looked at me when I picked you up and smiled.  Tough guy here!!

It has been SUCH a privilege to be your mom baby Charlie these past 5 months and I know your dad feels the same way about being your dad.  It's just so fun to see all the new things you learn and all the toys you play with you and way you turn your head when you hear our voices.  We love that you know us and love us.  Because we love you so so much.  It's pretty remarkable.  And you make everything a little more special, especially the holidays.  I loved seeing you eat the presents this year and cannot believe how big you will be next year.  This next month I'm sure you will change even more!!!!!!!  I love it and hate it all at the same time.