Sunday, December 4, 2011

Date Night!

Carson's 13 week birthday celebration didn't include him. Although we love our little man to pieces we needed some time for the two of us. I was excited for an occasion to wear more than sweats and a T-shirt with spit up on it.  AND I finally am fitting back into my clothes! We went to a very nice restaurant called The Vintage Tavern.  It was beautiful and lodge like inside.  So cozy!  Jeff commented almost halfway through the dinner that we were able to talk about other things other than Carson for about 45 minutes.  Oh, how our lives have changed with this little man! It was so nice to just sit and be and not have to feed him while we're trying to eat dinner.  We would love to try to go out just the two of us at least once a month.  A great thing was that I didn't feel guilty at all for leaving him.  One, I knew he was in good hands with Pops!  And secondly, I crave alone time with my husband.  It has been an adjustment for everyone with me staying at home with C-man and Jeff starting a new position and working some longer hours.  I believe we are better parents when we take time to spend on our marriage.  I am so grateful for my husband.  He is an amazing man and a wonderful father.  I can't get enough of both our family time and "mommy and daddy time."

Vintage Tavern in Suffolk

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Traditions

This post somehow was deleted three times! Since I don't have that much time to write and I was thoroughly annoyed that I had to keep writing the same things over, I just left it for a while.  Fourth time's a charm, right? Determined to post before Christmas!

This is the second Thanksgiving in our house and our fourth married Thanksgiving, so we are starting to form patterns for the holidays.  These patterns somewhere along the way are then deemed traditions.  Our new little family has just a few traditions that happen around Thanksgiving.  First, we watch Elf while decorating our Christmas tree!  Watching Elf is the start to the holiday season!
"Buddy the Elf!  What's your favorite color?"
Hubs has a specific way of putting the lights on the tree, so I let him to that and I am in charge of "fluffing" our fake branches.

Maverick then does his part and takes off the bottom third of the decorations

Hubs love decorating the outside too, which is wonderful because usually it's cold outside= no fun.
Our next "tradition" that was started last year was that we hosted Thanksgiving at our house for both our families.  Everyone brings a little something and we FEAST! I was a little frazzled having been sick the week leading up to Thanksgiving, trying to clean the house and prepare four guest rooms.  Guess my sleep deprivation is to blame for zesting a grapefruit into the cranberry sauce instead of an orange! We had so much fun with all of the family (missing Aunt Sharon and Megs!).  Looks like this tradition is here to stay!

This was their pregame:)

My centerpieces were inspired from a DIY off Pinterest.  Cranberries and floating candles!

That Carson!  He's such a talker!

Finally got to meet Aunt Peggy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Carson at 3 months!

You're growing so much!  I can't believe how much you are learning and doing!  You can hold your head up pretty well.  You have lots of conversations with me and your daddy.  You are grabbing your toys and can hold on and shake them.  Boy, you have a strong grip!  You have started to roll over! I went to the kitchen for two seconds a few days ago, and I heard you grunting.  You had rolled over onto your stomach.  You keep rolling onto your side now and can't figure out how to get that arm out from under you.  I think you'll get it soon!  I don't think that I am ready for what rolling over leads to, but we are so proud of you!  You smile at me and your dad as soon as you see us.  You make my heart fill with joy just being with you.  You love to be held after you eat- and you still eat a lot!  You still wake up every two to three hours to eat.  Come on, baby!  Momma needs her sleep!  You are such an easy going and happy baby and love everyone around you.  You've only had one tantrum so far (at a church dinner, which was not ideal timing, Sweetheart), and the only thing that would quiet you was when your daddy held you.  You love looking at lights and out windows.  You will start fussing when you get in the car, but once we get moving you usually fall asleep- except if there are stoplights.  You do not like stop lights.  I just had to put your 3-6 month clothes away because you don't fit in them anymore.  Only 6 months to 12 months will fit!  You are 19 1/2 lbs.  You have more rolls than I can count! I am afraid that you are going to grow out of your baby things before you grow out of being a baby! Lastly, you have learned to passify yourself with your thumb.  We are so proud of all you are doing and love watching you grow!  We have loved every day of the last three months with you!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mom Blooper #2- FORMULA!

I believe this is directly related to blooper #1.  After having Carson late on Saturday night, we were discharged from the hospital Monday morning- our supervised parenting was short lived.  I couldn't believe we were taking home a baby!  The car ride was surreal not only because we had added a new member to our family, but we also missed the whole hurricane that had come through the area and was witnessing the effects of the storm on our route home.  Our neighbors were so nice and cleaned up our yard for us, so we could concentrate on the mission at hand: Operation Baby.  When we got home, we had to change his diaper because it took forever for the discharge nurse to come get us (Also, did anyone else have to walk and carry our their belongings?  I thought I was supposed to get a wheelchair and royal treatment??  Waddling in those diapers is not comfortable or attractive).  Well, the first diaper we changed got us all soaking wet as Carson used his fire hose to sweep the area! It was our christening.  Well, the rest of the afternoon went well and the visitors started coming.  We, as parents, survived the first day on our own!  Now, nighttime is a different story.  I had to set my alarm to feed him every two hours.  It is so painful as a new mother who hasn't sleep in days (well, let's face it, a good month! You have to count the sans REM cycle weeks leading up to birth because a bowling ball was lying on your bladder) to set an alarm for every two hours, especially to wake up a baby that is already sleeping.  Well, the first feeding of the night went ok, but the next one fell apart.  It was like he couldn't get enough food!  I felt horrible, like I was starving my child!  He kept crying and wouldn't stop even when I was trying to feed him.  My MIL came in as I am standing helpless in my underwear with my newborn who is screaming bloody murder.  I couldn't take it anymore and committed the ultimate sin of nursing moms: I gave him formula. GASP! Yes, I did it.  For three whole feedings my newborn chugged 2oz of formula and he was so content.  Later that day we went for his first pediatrician visit and she let me know that I was actually being my own worst enemy and hindering my milk from coming in by giving him formula.  Bummer.  She suggested that I just leave him attached for as long as he needed it.  That sounded like punishment.  But that is what I did.  I was committed to nursing.  It was painful being so sleep deprived, but we got through it. :) Oh formula, how you sit in my pantry and torment me so...

Growing Pains

So the last week and a half have been quite the adventure.  I have said since Carson was born that he was going through growth spurts because of how much he ate.  These past few days I'm convinced was an actual growth spurt.  Carson had been having at least one four to five hour stretch of sleep at night between feedings and then would wake up every two hours after that to eat.  These past few days he was waking up less than every two hours to eat.  Shoot me.  Then he would be wide awake at 6am.  He also wasn't taking naps during the day except for two 30 minute naps.  He was so overly tired at night that he was impossible to get to sleep.  Both of us were so exhausted.  Needless to say that I have been a mommy zombie surprising myself at how well I have continued to function under these circumstances.  

Over the weekend, we had gone to Richmond because part of my dad's birthday present was to go to the UVA-Duke football game with the boys; my brother, husband and father-in-law.  When we were in Richmond, I got to catch up with two friends I hadn't seen in a long time and they got to meet little man!  Kate, Charlie (husband), and Charlie (K9) moved back to the east coast! YAY!  Kate came and spent some of the day hanging out.  I was stumbling over words and hoping that Carson would keep it together for the little while Kate was there.  (So sad I forgot to take a picture with Kate!) Thankfully he did well, then it was off to Panera to meet one of the matrons of honor in my wedding, Jen!  Her family had moved to NY, so I haven't seen her in a while.  She has got to be one of my favorite mommy friends and was so helpful just for listening to me blab.  Thanks for the empathy! She is expecting her second child, Landon! So excited for her growing family!  She is an amazing mother! Carson went off the deep end and I ended up having to hold him the entire time we were there.  He fell asleep in my arms after a while and I dared not move! My back and arms hurt (He's 17lbs!), but my child was sleeping! Hooray!  Jen had to feed me part of the brownie I ordered (Hey, desperate times calls for comfort food!) because I couldn't move.  It was such a great time with her.  She is truly a heart friend.  That evening, it was me and MIL hangout time.  We got subs and SWEET FROGS!!  I loaded that frozen yogurt up! Soo yummy!  Just what this pooped out momma needed.  The rest of our time in Richmond was wonderful with Jeff's family.  They love Carson so much!  

Guess what?! I think the growth spurting is over!  Halleluia! Carson has slept for just over three hours at a time now and has been taking one good 2-3 hour nap during the day! This development happened Wednesday night after having five attempts at putting him to bed!  I am glad my baby is healthy...although I am not looking forward to the next growing pains!  I am still wondering why other babies his age are sleeping through the night and he isn't...

Jen and baby Landon!  Carson is sleepy from just eating:)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blooper love

In anticipation of my friend's, Krystal, baby's arrival, I started reflecting on the first few hours when I became a mom.  I was never one of those girls who couldn't wait to be a mommy.  In fact, infants mostly scared me.  I thought they were so fragile and really, what the heck do you do with them?  I was clueless, to say the least, especially since I never took interest in baby things.  I also didn't have much exposure to babies either.  Carson was born late at night during a hurricane, so we weren't expecting visitors until the next day.  Around 1am, the nurses were basically through with their checks and everyone was ready to go to bed- except me.  I couldn't believe that the hospital lets you have a child and then doesn't tell you what to do with them.  How irresponsible!  I knew that I was supposed to feed him every two hours. So, I just stared at him for the next two hours.  Not an awe-struck, new mommy love gaze.  It was more of a I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing babysitting gig gaze. (Of course I felt like I was babysitting!  It takes a while for you to believe that a person just emerged from your body!)  I felt much better when I could take care of him when he was inside of me.  OK, I could do this.  My task was to feed him every two hours and listen to make sure he was breathing.  Every two hours I tried feeding him but he just slept, so I figured I had potent colostrum because he ate right after birth.  I also figured he would cry if he was hungry.  Around 7am, my nurse came in and asked how he ate.  I told her that he preferred sleeping.  I was then berated for not waking up my child to eat.  How was I supposed to know that I had to do tricks to wake up my newborn to eat? I felt horrible.  Seriously, why doesn't an instruction manual pop out with the baby?  So, I failed at my first mommy task. My first of many mommy bloopers.  I have heard this before, and so far it seems to be true, that by God's grace, my child will survive my parenting. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Pops!

This past weekend, we kidnapped Pops for his birthday and took him to Smith Mountain Lake.  He was so excited and we were too! We couldn't wait for this four day excursion.  This lake house is owned by my aunt and uncle, and they were so gracious not only to let us use it but got it ready for us on very late notice.  Dad was the only one that had my aunt's phone number and he was in Disney the week prior to our trip...if I were a better detective/planner things would've been a little less stressful. Especially since when I finally did get her number off his phone, we were staying with my dad for the next few days and there was no place to escape him to call her! Well, everything was well worth it! It was so beautiful traveling west across the state.  The trees were brilliant colors. I miss the mountains! We took the opportunity to try to take our Christmas card picture while we were there and got a few more precious pictures too! Carson was not that helpful during our photo session, but we still were able to get a few good ones:)

Pops just came back from Disney and bought Carson all sorts of stuff

We were all able to get some much needed rest, but Carson won the award for the biggest sleepyhead!

My aunt, uncle, and cousin came up to celebrate dad's birthday by taking us to the marina for dinner!  My aunt and uncle were relentless in hinting that they would like a grandbaby soon...sorry Jonathan!

Tuckered out from picture taking
Ahhh so precious! I can't get over this sight! Although, it reminds me of Mayberry...

One contender for the Christmas card

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPS!! We loved celebrating YOU!  You are an amazing dad and "pops!"  Thank you for loving us all so much! You breed champions because you are just so awesome:)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Two Months Old!!

Carson just turned two months old! Already I forget that it's only been 8 weeks since he came into this world! He's sitting up by himself and standing with little assistance for small amounts of time. He's talking so much and we have lots of conversations.  He is so attentive and loves taking in all of the scenery. He recognizes our voices and gives us big smiles when he sees us.  He eats every 2-3 hours and usually has about a 4 hour stretch at night.
We just took him for his two month checkup and shots. I've been dreading this appointment for weeks. Jeff told me he'd get off early so I wouldn't have to be in the room when Carson got his shots. I HATE shots. Jeff held my hand last time I had to get one. So the thought of just hearing my baby screaming because if them made my stomach turn- it was incomprehendable holding my child down to get shots. It didn't look good all day for Jeff to be able to leave early to come but he met me at the doctors office. Thank goodness!! It truly was awful listening to him get 1 oral and 3 shots. Poor baby! I was uneasy having him get all of the vaccines. I did feel a little better because he has so much baby fat! Let me tell you how much: My 8 week old weighed in at 16 lbs 9 oz!!! He is 24 3/4 in long. He looks like he's so much older! I am thankful for his size because I think his shots went better than if he was smaller (well that's what I'm telling myself). He had a fever for the next 24 hours, so we gave him baby tylenol. He was a champ and not very fussy at all. I have such a great 2 month old!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

8 Weeks and Growing!

My little man is 8 weeks old!  I can't believe it has been that long since I first met him!  He is definitely bigger and is now smiling and laughing a lot!  He is so much fun!  He loves laying in his crib smiling and cooing at the animals on the mobile (Thanks Beth and Brooke!) or laying on his mat (Thanks Great Aunt Sharon!) and watching the jungle animals (above picture).  This weekend we went to Richmond and spent time with the grandparents and siblings.  They sure did love playing with Carson! It is the best feeling when Carson looks at you and smiles.  I love my little boy.  Here are some pictures from this weekend with the family!

Will Carson be a Duke fan like Uncle Johnny or a UVA fan like his Dad?  Hmmm...not sure I like either option. Go Dukes!

Becky and Sarah stopped by to meet Carson!  It is so special to have such sweet friends who share in our joy!

Carson looks like he has old man britches on.  The bulkiness is from his cloth diapers (which we love btw).

Carson thought he would kick back and watch the tube after a full day of visiting with family.

Although nursing is getting easier and I can now start having bottles for him, last night on the way home Carson decided he was really starving and he had depleted my reserve bottles just an hour before.  I had to pull off and park in a hospital parking lot in Hopewell and nurse him.  Ohh motherhood and my growing boy:)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our big boy!

Carson is growing so much!  He's got sweet rolls all over the place, and I can't stop kissing those precious cheeks!  He skipped the newborn clothes and went straight into 0-3 months.  Those are too tight now and has to wear 3-6 month onesies or 6 months clothes.  His weight gain also means that he sleeps longer! YAY! The car seat is getting to be a bear to tote though.  I think people feel sorry for me when I am straining hobbling along in the parking lot. People have stopped and asked if I need help.  I am thankful for the generosity of the other Smithfieldians, but I know I just look pitiful.  That is why  I started doing P90X (but mostly so I can hopefully fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes before winter!).  Here are a couple pictures to show how much Carson has grown over the last few weeks!
Carson at 2 weeks
He loves his Pops! (5 wks)

Me and my baby in the cute 6 month outfit Jen sent him! (5 wks)
He loves walking around like that with Dad.  Another 6 month outfit a sweet friend of Jeff's sent. (4.5 wks)

Roll out! Chubby but content baby! Carson at 6 weeks

Happy 80th Birthday Grandma!

This past weekend, we drove two hours to South Hill for Jeff's Grandma's surprise 80th birthday party!  She and Papa were very surprised!  Everyone was there including her brothers and sisters.  Grandma is just the sweetest and reminds me so much of my Gammy:)  Carson, our six week old, did amazingly! Because he eats about every two hours, we had to do some creative planning. (Thanks Adele!) Everyone wanted to get a piece of our little big man.  He did so well meeting all of his extended family!  Here are some pictures from the party taken by Aunt Carrie:)
Carson loves his Grandma!

Birthday girl and Papa!  Carson is one of three great grandchildren!

Four generations!

Carson getting some Aunt Carrie lovin'!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Newborn pictures!!

 For Carson's newborn pictures, we decided to ask our friend, Dani, who was my colleague while I was on InterVarsity staff.  She is a wonderful photographer and was great to work with.  I didn't want his bellybutton thing to be in the pictures, so we decided to wait until it fell off.  These pictures were taken when he was two and a half weeks old.  He looks big in the pictures because he gained 2 lbs in the first 2 weeks and he started out at 9lbs 4oz! 

To see all of the pictures, click here!