Monday, December 3, 2012

Oh, Mary

I can't even tell you how many times I have put up or seen a nativity scene in my life, but it's safe to say that it's at least 897.  So it was strange to me to feel such emotion putting it up this year.  Last Christmas, Mark's parents gave Karter a Little People nativity scene.  We finally got it out and put it together this year and he was so excited by it's contents (actually, he finds joy in sending the angels flying off the roof of the manger.)

I on the otherhand, felt sadness for Mary as I looked at her Little People self standing there next to baby Jesus (before she got launched under the couch.)  My heart was heavy for her (I guess there is something about Little People that evokes emotion in me) as I imagined her on the day that she gave birth to her beautiful baby boy.  What joy she must have felt as she held him in her arms for the first time...but in that same moment did she feel any sadness or fear?  I mean, God chose her to be the mother of Jesus so I would gather she was well versed in scripture.  Which would mean she knew the prophecies as to what would happen to her son.  I can't even imagine.

I have so many fears and worries about what will happen to Karter in his life.  How would I react if I knew what would happen to him, how his life would end?  I don't know if I could handle it.  I would probably cradle him in my arms each day and never let him go (which isn't too far off from our daily routine now-his choice, not mine.)  Which is probably why God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus and not me.

So while I always hold dear the true meaning of Christmas, this year I remember Mary and the inner emotional struggle she must have gone through so many Christmas's ago.  Oh, Mary.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Uterus Frustrations

So here's the thing, Mark and decided in September that we were going to actively try for another baby.  It's November and I am already discouraged.  I mean, realistically, did I really think it would happen in the first two months of trying?  No.  Kind of realistically, did I already have my grand reveal plan for the Christmas family gatherings?  Yes. 

I guess what I dread most is that it will take as long as it took with Karter to get pregnant.  That was a lot of negative pregnancy tests, a lot of doctors appointments and a LOT of blood drawn.  I'm hoping to not have to do all of that this time because I was really getting too friendly with the lab techs at CompuNet.

I ultimately know that God's timing is much wiser and grander than my own.  While I think I NEED a baby now, God's probably like: "Hey girl, remember all those sleepless nights you whined about before?  Enjoy these 11.5 hrs of peace and quiet now while you can."  I know, looking back, that even though I wanted Karter after one month of trying, God knew exactly when to send him to us.  So, while technically I'm being impatient, I know God's got this and I'm ok with that (but it would be totally awesome if He could just tell me when I'll get pregnant so I don't get my hopes up each month.)

Hopefully, I will soon be posting a picture letting the facebook world know that there is a baby in my belly (seriously, I have the greatest idea ever and I didn't even Pinterest it.)  Until then, I am gladly taking donations of pregnancy tests because I don't think Mark will allow me to buy anymore (so I might be kind of obsessed...)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Who's in Control?

Obviously not me.  We joke that Karter rules this house and it's basically true.  Sure, he has boundaries and I tell him "no" several times a day (whether he listens is entirely different) but when it comes down to it, if something isn't going to cause harm or years of therapy, I'll give in.

Last night, for example, the little prince was in full force.  Mark was out of town, so Karter decided that he would keep me busy. After scarfing down a big meal, he got out of his chair and stood at the pantry and whined.  Now, sometimes I worry he is not getting enough to eat (I know that's comical  when you look at his belly...and he does always have a bowl of food in his hand), but last night I knew that wasn't the case and I knew what he wanted. Goldfish.  I have been trying to hide from him the knowledge of this snack, but Grammie brought him some this weekend.  Ever since, he's been standing at the pantry several times a day whining for them.

I decided to give in last night.  I mean, what's a few goldfish before bedtime?  I got him a handful and asked if he wanted to eat them on the couch and he politely agreed.  Once on the couch, the little prince decided he needed to be covered up.  He grunted and pointed until I covered him up with a blanket.  It was like I was living a freaking "If you give a mouse a cookie" book.  As he was laying there cozy underneath the blanket as I handed him goldfish, he demanded that I turn on the tv (though he doesn't watch it, he just likes to know he can make me turn it on.)  So there I was, sitting next to my 1 year old, who was cuddled under MY blanket on the couch, being his human snack bowl with my hand filled with goldfish...and it was there that I was reminded that my life will never be the same.  My priorities, everything, has changed. In the best way possible.  Evenings like this are how I want to spend my evenings. Even if it means, I'm being bossed around by a 1 year old.

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Heart Just Threw Up A Little

This past weekend, Mark and I enjoyed a date night, i.e. sitting through an entire church service together followed by dinner and ice cream.  As we were discussing our adorable baby over sub par blizzards (pumpkin pie, not worth it), I told Mark that it feels like I love Karter so much that my heart is throwing up a little.  For some reason, this is not how he described how he felt about Karter, but whatev.

But seriously, I'm pretty sure there is no better way to describe it.  It's amazing how something so little creates such a big emotion in me.  He makes my heart swell with so much pride, joy and affection.  Yes, even when he is up at 6am.

It seems like everyday he is discovering something new (unfortunately, today it was the corner of the fireplace.)  Each day I think "this is my new favorite thing he does" only to replace it with something even more adorable the next day.  Although I'm not sure anything can beat the cuteness of him running into my arms giggling.  Or his cute little baby voice.  Or him yelling "baaa" when you ask what the cow says.  Or his...well, you get the point.

So the moral of the story is I'm crazy about my child.  I love him so much so that I don't even mind he's making my heart throw up.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Career Choice

As I watched Karter create havoc play today, I began to think about what he may want to be when he grows up.  I mean, obviously I will love him no matter what he chooses, but I couldn't help but start to formulate some ideas as to what profession he may go into (hopefully something that will make him millions and allow us to retire early.)  So, just in case he is struggling when he graduates high school/college because he's not sure what to do, here are some ideas he can look back upon:

-Demolition Man: He loves to destroy things. If blocks are piled up higher than one, he has to run over and knock them down.  This often causes a problem when the kids I watch are trying to build, because Karter's main mission is to destroy. 

-Professional Baseball Player:  I don't think I am biased, this kid has an arm.  Mark and I had a talk the other day about whether or not we should teach him to roll balls in the house instead of throw because he has such a powerful throw but then we decided not to quench his talent.  So what if it costs us a flat screen tv?

-A Librarian:  This child loves books.  Loves them.  That's probably because his grammie bought him 2857498794375 books.  I think he probably spent about 2 hours today reading books (not all together, of course.)  He sits down alone and reads stories out loud to himself.  Kind of adorable.

-Professional Eater:  He could eat all day long.  If he's not running over to the pantry getting out the graham crackers and capri suns, then he is constantly signing "more."  It's ridiculous.  By the end of the day his belly is so hard and bulging out because he has had 10 meals.  Sometimes I think he eats more than I do (unfortunately I have the same belly problem as he does, though.)

-Olympic Swimmer:  We have laminate floors in the kitchen/dining/hall area and one of his new favorite things to do is to lay down on his belly and swim across them.  He just slides all over them, which is disgusting considering the last time I mopped them.  I might just put a Swiffer cloth on his belly next time...why not kill two birds with one stone?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Be Careful

Ever notice that you have an overused phrase or word?  A few of my overused ones are adding an extra "like" where it doesn't belong and assuring people that "it will change your life."  Another one to add to my list?  "Be careful."  Karter is now running through life, literally, and climbing anything he can find.  I must tell him to "be careful" at least 39578 times a day.  For example:

Be careful as you climb on top of your riding tractor.

Be careful as you stuff the entire grilled cheese sandwich into your mouth at once.

Be careful as you are chewing on that straw that you just dug out of the trash can.

There's a good chance that he does not heed my warning because he hears it so much.  I don't know what it is, but it just makes me feel better to say these words.  I know that these words will not catch him when he falls or perform the Heimlich on him when he chokes on his grilled cheese, but they make me feel like I have some sort of control over the situation.  Life with a toddler lacks control, and if the only way that I feel that I can take control is to utter this phrase, then you can bet he will here it 39578 more times tomorrow!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My favorite thing

Whew.  I'd like to blame my lack of blogging on the fact that Karter is a walking machine and a busy little guy.  But in actuality, it's like due to the fact that this season of Bachelor Pad just ended and now I have more time on my hands.  You decide.

A few weeks ago, I took Karter to his one year appointment.  Out of the pages of paperwork I had to fill out, I remember one question..."what do you enjoy most about your child?"  Much to my dismay, they only gave me a few lines to explain.  It was probably a lame answer, but my genuine thought was "everything."  Sure, it's not so much fun that he only takes one 30 min nap a day and yes, my abs have been getting a workout from bending over 10 times at every meal to pick up his overthrown sippy cup, but I truly enjoy everything about this stage he is in.

Obviously, I wouldn't be able to express my love for 13 month old Karter if it weren't in list form. 

13 Month Old Karter, The Things I Enjoy Most About You...

- You are all boy.  You are happiest when we are outside digging in the rock pile, playing ball or helping daddy with a project. You love tractors, trucks, trains...if it has wheels you love it.  You are now starting to see that daddy is a little bit cooler than me (though I obviously disagree.)  Seriously, though, why do you cry when I talk to you in the car, but when your dad talks to you you converse with him?
-You think you're cute when you're being "bad" (fyi-so do I.)  Ever since your dad told you it was "bad" when you threw your sippy cup on the floor, now when you do something you know you shouldn't you say "bad."  At every meal time, you now throw something on the floor while looking me straight in the eye, then say "bad" and then finally you look down longingly at the object as if I were the one who threw it down. And I, being the sucker that I am, pick it back up for you and then we repeat this process.  Several times.
-You have quite the green thumb (and face.)  Some of my favorite mental photographs of this age are our walks to the garden.  Your dad walks in front with the big tools, I walk behind him with the smaller tools, and you walk behind me with a little shovel.  We walk along in a line of decreasing shortness out to the garden, where you usually find a green tomato and bite into it. You usually decide you don't like it (except for today when you took a bite, spit it out into the freshly cut grass and then picked it back up and ate it) and throw it over the fence to Katrina.  It's kind of adorable.
-Your hugs and cuddles.  Though you are growing up (too quickly if you ask me), you still love me.  You love to back yourself up so that you land in my lap, where I smother you with hugs and kisses.  And I have now figured out that if you refuse me a kiss, if I fake cry, you'll change your mind.

I feel like for the last 4-5 months I keep saying to myself "I love this stage, I wish I could bottle this Karter up forever", but each month keeps getting better.  Let's hope I can continue to say this through the age of 2...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy First Birthday, Baby

Dear little baby toddler Karter.

So today is your first birthday.  Can you believe it?  Just 366 days ago you were still in my belly kicking around like it was your first jungle gym.  Now you are a walking, talking real boy.  Who would have thought, at 3 am in your first weeks of life, that this time would go by so fast?  Sometimes I am afraid I didn't soak up every moment that I could of you this first year.  You are no longer a baby, you are on your way to toddler hood, and I'm not sure I can handle it.  Your grammie gave me a book for Mother's Day called "If I Could Keep You Little" and it's the story of my life.  I just want you to be little forever, but know it's my job as a mom to guide and watch you as your grow.

Consider this letter a reminder of all that you have meant to me this first year. 

You are...

-an answer to a prayer.  "I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27.  This verse is so true.  We prayed so hard that one day we would have you, and here you are!  After a year of negative pregnancy tests, you were a positive-just the baby that God picked out for us.

-a miracle.  I had worried during the first trimester that something would happen (hence the paper chain countdown I made until it was over), never thinking that I had much to worry about after that.  Wrong.  In case I haven't told you a million times what a miracle you are, you can read your birth story here.

-a lesson in unconditional love.  I will never not love you.  Even when you throw all of your dinner on the floor, bite me numerous times in the same spot or wake me up in the middle of the night for no reason, I will still love you more every day.  There is not a decision you can make in life that will make me not love you.  Oh, I may not agree with them all, but I will love you and support you in all your walks of life.  Though I thought I had an idea of what God's love for us was like, now that I have had you, I have such a greater appreciation for His unconditional love.

-what I was made for.  I have always wanted to be a mother.  Always.  Thank you for giving me that chance.  I may make mistakes and may let you down sometimes (like when I won't let you date until you are like 28), but always know that I wouldn't trade being your mom for anything in the world.  Not even a Hot Now from Krispy Kreme (and that's saying a lot.)

-a reminder of the simpler things.  It's amazing to see how much joy an empty container of sour cream can bring you.  When you hear me say "outside" you get so excited and kick your feet as if you had just won the baby lottery.  You remind me that life isn't about things, it's about living in the moment and making the most of it.

-so much more than I can put into words.  At times, this first year has been hard, trying and a learning experience.  But it was worth it.  So worth it. 

I've loved seeing you grow and change this first year, little K bug.  I can't wait to see what this next year has in store for us (crossing my fingers that it includes a lot of sleep.)

Love you more each day,
Your Momma

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Dilemna

Sometimes I think maybe I over think things.  Or I just worry that I will make a wrong choice which will negatively affect Karter and he will end up on a therapist's couch one day reminiscing about his rough childhood (I mean, today I only gave him 2 crackers when he was clearly signing "more".)  Whatever it may be, I've been thinking about something for awhile and trying to decide what the right choice's not really a big thing, but it's been weighing on my mind.

As a stay at home mom, I am blessed with the opportunity to be with Karter 99.9% of his waking hours (along with the other kids I watch.)  I love being able to be with him all day and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  To me, the pros of being a stay at home mom outweigh the cons of it, but sometimes I do worry that he will be 15 and still hanging on to my leg when someone new comes over.

I just feel this inner conflict of guilt sometimes that since I am home with him, he deserves every second of my time playing and engaging him in activities because it's my job...while the other part of me feels like I am doing him a disservice by not promoting independent play.  Sure, there are times that he goes off and plays on his own, but probably not enough.  But I just feel like a bad mom if I step away from him, wanting him to drive the trucks on his own. 

To make matters worse, I can't complete any household chores even if I can step away...if he hears the dishwasher open, he rushes over to it to climb; if he hears me in the laundry room., he runs over to open and shut the door and if I try to sweep, he comes over and messes up my pile.  So what am I left to do for the few minutes he plays on his own?  Facebook.  I mean, I guess I could take up knitting again, but there's a good chance he would just come over and unravel what I had accomplished.

So maybe I am just making a mountain out of a mole hill (seriously, who uses that phrase??) but it's been weighing on my mind.  It seems like a lose-lose...he plays independently and I have guilty feelings of being a subpar mom or I play with him constantly and he never learns independence.  Perhaps I just need to change my mindset and view it as a win win...he plays independently and I have a chance to broaden my vocabulary with Words with Friends.  Yes, that seems like a better perspective.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Haircut

What I am about to say may shock you, disappoint you or disgust you:  Kendra Wilkinson Baskett (or whatever name she goes by) was right about something (let's emphasize, one thing, she was only right about one thing.) I remember, on the one (lie) episode I watched, she was a mess about the thought of getting her child's hair cut.  She didn't want it cut and thought of it as he was losing the hair that he had while in her belly.  At the time, I thought she was being ridiculous, as her child looked like a chia pet was growing on his head, but now I get it.  Totally get it.

Mark has been on my case about cutting Karter's hair from about 5-6 months.  As soon as Karter started to sport curls, Mark thought it was time to cut it off.  I, on the other hand, loved his curls.  They were like his trademark.  What would Karter be without his curls?  Would he lose his baby super powers like Samson?  Most importantly, in a time when he is becoming more like a little boy every day, would this hair cut make him look like a little boy instead of a baby?

I finally gave in today.  I mean, I couldn't pass up a free hair cut at JCP.  So I called this morning and made my appointment.  I felt like I was going into it prepared, I had suckers for him and was going to have him sit in my lap.  We get to JCP and I then realize that I am not prepared in the slightest (I forgot the camera and a bag to take hair home in.)  I suppose Karter sensed this and decided to scream and flop around.  The hairdresser looked at me helplessly and Mark and I admitted defeat.  We packed up our stuff and headed out with the unlicked sucker and crying baby.  No joke, as soon as we stepped out of there, he took the sucker and happily licked it all the way home (and by happily licked I mean he got it nice and gooey and then rubbed it everywhere.)

By the time we got home, I was deadset on cutting this child's hair.  We strapped him into his high chair, gave him some cheese, got the clippers out and buzzed away.  What's funny, is that I thought it would be so much more traumatic than it really was.  I was fine.  Completely fine.  Sure, it made him look a little older, but he is getting older.  I can't stop it, I just have to deal with it. 

His first haircut may not have gone as I planned (I wanted it to be a big production), but I can not apply sunscreen to him without it getting stuck in his hair creating knots.  What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just Like Dad

The day has finally come...Karter is lengthening the leash that binds us together and is now actively seeking out Mark as his playmate.  It seems now that dad is the new cool and mom is old news.  I have to admit, there is nothing more endearing than watching Karter and Mark create their own inside jokes that I am not allowed to take part in (seriously, why is it not as funny when I put that stupid star toy in my mouth during diaper changes??) 

I feel like this weekend really solidified their bond.  Karter spent the weekend 'picking weeds' (aka strawberry plants) and husking corn with Mark.  As soon as I came over to join in the corn husking festivities, Karter wanted nothing to do with it and instead tried to eat the already husked corn.  I'm trying not to take it personally.  I don't mean to encourage gender stereotypes, but it's adorable to see them doing "boy" things together (but really, I'd be ok if they were doing cartwheels in the front yard instead.)

Last night, I was about to put Karter down for bed and Mark came home.  Karter was so excited and felt the need to show off.  As a result, he was up an hour later than expected, running from room to room getting into things he shouldn't (note to self: remove steak knife in my nightstand drawer that Karter now gets into-hey, you never know when someone is going to break in.)  Anyway, it was adorable to see how Karter's face lit up as soon as he saw his 'dada' was like he received a second wind.

While I'm not too eager to lose my title of "coolest parent Karter has ever had", I won't lie, it's quite nice when Karter prefers his 20lb self to be carried by his dad instead of me. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm So So Glad I'm Not...

A "new" mom anymore.  Sure, things like potty training and starting Karter in school will be new to me, but I don't consider myself new to the mom job anymore.  Thank freakin' goodness.

A couple weeks ago, I met with a woman who is pregnant with her first child to discuss her child care needs.  As we talked, I realized how grateful I am that I am no longer in that position.  Oh, I loved the joy and miracle of pregnancy and the anticipation of meeting my little sasquatch, but once he was here, it was a different story. 

There was just this feeling of helplessness and aloneness (not a word, I know) I felt after Karter arrived.  I remember getting into the car as we were leaving the hospital and feeling so sad (thank you postpartum hormones.)  How could they trust me to send me home with my precious little boy?  Why weren't any of the nurses going to come home with me to watch him while I slept???  At that moment in time, I felt like I was the only new mom in the world and that no one knew what I was going through.

The first few weeks at home were the same thing.  I mean, nothing can prepare you for being a mom, despite what you think.  I had worked with children for years and thought I could handle anything, but I was so wrong. Having a child that is your responsibility 24/7 is a totally different thing.  I was terrified of making mistakes and permanently scarring my child. 

I'm not saying I've totally got my mom act together now.  There are still questions I don't know the answer to and days I want to pull my hair out (luckily so much of it fell out after baby that that really isn't an option), but for the most part, I feel like I've got this thing down.  I feel competent in my abilities to be the best mom to Karter that I can be.  I actually take him out in public by myself now, which is a small victory in and of itself.

While I'm so happy for my new mom to be friends, I don't envy them.  Been there, done that, happy to have that first baby under my belt.  I look forward to the birth of our next child, and coming home with the much more realistic expectation that sleep just isn't an option.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Day in the Life

One day, when I have a houseful of my own kids running around, I may want to look back on the time when I had only one child to chase after.  Or maybe Karter will ask me one day what he was like as a baby.  If not for this post, I may have no idea as I will probably have gone crazy by then.  So that I may be able to answer this question one day, I call this "A Day in the Life of Karter:"

3-5am: Karter is up throwing a party in his crib, because really, sleep is a waste of time.  It was like no party I had ever attended, as it involved a lot of tears, rocking, and sighs.

6:40am:  Up for the day, because who needs to make up for the missing 2 hours of sleep.

7:15am: Repairman shows up to finally fix the piece of roof that fell off during bad storm a week ago.  I go to pay him and can't find the check book.

7:17am: I call Mark, blaming him for the missing check book.  He sends me on a wild goose chase for the check book throughout the house.

7:20: I locate missing checkbook wedged between books on the bookshelf.  Where Karter put it.

7:55:  Karter and I go up to brush our teeth.  While I brush, Karter crawls away with his toothbrush, brushing the floor that hasn't been cleaned in forever.

9:30am: Grammie shows up with frappes from McDonald's.  Karter's mouth immediately starts moving up and down signaling he wants it and needs it.

9:45am:  I take a shower.  Grammie is only able to console Karter by feeding him large amounts of frappe.  He refuses to drink from her cup and will only drink when given some from mine.  They are the exact same drink.

11:45am: Lunch is served, and what an amazing array of food that is laid before him: snow peas from the garden, watermelon, baby food, bean and cheese tortilla, greek yogurt, and pita chips.  The only thing he eats?  Yogurt and pita chips.

12:30pm:  Zerberts take a turn for the worse.  They now involve teeth.  Very sharp teeth.  I scream, Karter continues.  My thigh is now red in baby bites.

3:00pm:  Karter throws a fit so that I will give him more puffs.  And my phone.  Karter then throws my phone on the floor and then removes the back.  The phone is no longer in his possession.

4:54pm:  Mark calls.  I'm not sure who is more excited that he is coming home a few minutes early.

5:20pm:  Mark gets home and is hungry. He opens a banana.  Karter opens his mouth.  Soon, most of the banana has been ingested by Karter. 

6:00pm: It's bedtime.  Praise the Lord.  Though I love him dearly, bed time is a celebration in this house.

7:30pm: I stare longingly at the video monitor.  I miss him when he looks so sweet sleeping.  And then he moves....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Making Up For The Baby Book

It's an unfortunate thing that every time I remember to write in Karter's baby book, that is when Karter gets hungry for pens.  Specifically, the pen I am using.  It is for this reason that I have still yet to record his first words or keep up to date on the cute things he has done.  This is my effort to remember some of these adorable things he has been doing lately.

Bath time:  Nowadays, we're lucky if baths last more than 5 minutes.  I used to look forward to bath time as a bridge from dinner to bed time, but now it seems to be more hassle than what it's worth.  Karter has decided that there is no need to sit in the bath tub, but rather stand.  I might as well just turn on the shower for him.  The problem with this is that he will inevitably slip and hurt himself.  We are able to extend bath time by a minute or two with his favorite bath time toy: an empty teething tablet bottle.  Who needs the 5 rubber ducks, boat, foam letters and bucket he has in there?  He is obsessed with this bottle.  He would probably still have dirty knees and food stuck under his neck with out it.  So, thank you Hylands for making your bottles so fun.

First words:  Finally, we have words.  He's been super vocal and could hold on a very lengthy baby talk convo, but now we have actual words.  Father's Day weekend he uttered his first "dada" and the following weekend came "mama."  Of course, this doesn't mean he says them when we want him to, but at least we've heard them and know he can say them.

First signs:  He's been signing intermittently for awhile, but now it seems that he is actually understanding what they mean.  Kind of.  Yesterday, he was on top of his game signing "more" and "all done."  I gave him a loud round of applause after each one, thinking it would encourage this behavior.  Wrong.  Today, I would ask if he wanted more, he would sign all done, then scarf down whatever I put in front of him.  Oh well.

First steps:  A few weeks ago, he started taking his first steps (if I was a great mom I would have marked this date on the calendar.)  It's so cute to see him tottering as he walks towards me, or whatever object he is going after.  I know that walking is soon to come and I'm currently finding a place for all my valuables (most importantly my Big Boy bank.)

New favorite move:  Question hands.  You know what I'm talking about?  He puts his hands palm up and his arms out when you ask him a question.  Sometimes he does this even when you aren't asking a question, which makes it even cuter.

New way to kiss:  Zerberts.  Raspberries.  Whatever you call them, he just started doing it.  He puts his mouth on my shoulder and blows.  We both crack up and it's adorable. 

He has just been changing and picking up on so many things lately, it's hard to keep track.  I love this stage he is in and I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible...when I'm not picking up the remote batteries he's knocked out, the peanut butter jar he's knocked across the kitchen, or the food he drops piece by piece on to the floor as he is looking me in the eye.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Does He Know?

I continue to be amazed at how quickly Karter is discovering the world around him and how things work.  It seems that he has gotten to the point where he is now outsmarting me.  I thought that wasn't supposed to happen for quite some time.  The question that I have been asking myself lately is "how does he know..."

-Exactly when I am going to sleep.  No joke.  Mark and I go up, get ready for bed and lay down.  I read for a little bit and more times than I can count on my fingers and toes AS SOON as I turn to turn off the light, Karter wakes up crying.  Without fail.  Sometimes I turn off the light and just look at the monitor, waiting for him to sit up.  I'm actually considering sleeping with the light on, but he'll probably catch on.

-The things he shouldn't play with?  In a room full of toys, he goes for the lamp cord.  The play room usually looks like the toy box tossed it's cookies all over the floor.  Does this mean anything to Karter?  Nope.  He navigates around the toys to play with the lamp cord.   I've thought about removing the lamp, but then the play room wouldn't be much fun without any light, now would it?

-That I will eventually cave and give him the graham crackers?  Apparently, baby puffs and fruit wheels aren't good enough for him anymore.  Seriously, the child who would inhale puffs and find the container and take off the lid with his teeth is no longer eating them.  He just looks longingly at the pantry until I get out the graham crackers and give him one.  I might as well start sending him to the grocery to pick out what he wants.

-The right buttons to push on my phone.  Yes, I let him chew on my phone.  Will he contact mad cow disease from this one day?  Maybe. Anyway, every time I take it back, there is usually some new short cut on the screen.  I don't know how he does this every time.  The first time he did it, it took me forever to find out how to take it off. I'm dreading the day when he has changed everything over to a different language and I have no idea how to correct it.

-Just the right time to cuddle.  After having me chase him from the lamp cord, throw out his puffs and reprogram my phone, he knows just the right time to cuddle up in my arms and lay his cute little head on my shoulder.  And then bites it.  I'm choosing to believe that he thinks biting is a sign of affection. Hoping this stops before his fang teeth come in...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Love and Marriage

Dear little Karter,

You don't care about this now, and you probably won't care about it when you can read this, but tomorrow, your dad and I have been married for 3 years (which is like an eternity as far as J.Lo anniversaries go.)  I really kind of like your dad.  A lot.  He's kind of cute, usually funny and always there for us.  He puts up with my 'suggestions' (mostly while driving) and gave me the greatest gift of all: a subscription to All You magazine.  Kidding.  It's you. 

I don't want to put the Titanic curse on our marriage, but you can rest assured that we're in this forever.  You will always have mom and dad in the same house (that is, if I'm not at our beach lake house.)  We have made a commitment to each other, to God, and now you, that we will stick it out through thick and thin (and your dad has already showed me he loves me when I'm thick, so we're good.)

It's hard to believe that there was life before you (seriously, don't even remember what 8 consecutive hours of sleep is anymore) but there was, and I'm going to tell you about it.  So get your barf bag ready, I'm telling you your parents love story.

Your dad and I met 4 years and one week ago.  We were headed on a mission trip to New Orleans to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina (which is why your dog's name is Katrina.)  I had been forewarned that your dad was kind of an engineer nerd, so needless to say I didn't show up looking my best, believing I had no one to impress.  It was probably for the best, as your father thought I was pretty annoying to begin with (I can't really blame him.)  I soon learned that his last name was Gariety, only 3 letters different than my maiden name, Garison.  It was then I decided that we should marry, and I announced this to your dad on day 3 of meeting/being annoyed by me.  I think he was skeptical at first, but he came around.  By the end of the mission trip, I had convinced him he should call me.

We went on our first date June 20, 2008.  I fretted over what to wear (and still don't know why I chose what I did) and met your dad at his house.  I decided I was going to win him over by suggesting we order pizza and watch the Reds (it was the last Reds game we watched together;) Kidding, I promise (because your dad has probably brainwashed you into becoming a hardcore Reds fan.)  By the end of the week, I think it was decided that we loved each other and this was a forever thing.  I was looking for rings in September and your dad popped the question in December of 2008 on a mission trip back to New Orleans (via a golden ticket in a Willy Wonka bar-clever, that father of yours.)

We married a year later on June 20, 2009 (though if you are looking at the photo book I made of our wedding it says we married June 20, 2011-just ignore that.  I'll show you the marriage certificate to prove it.)  It was a fantastic time.  I wish you could have been there...well, not really.  I could go on and on, but you're probably tired of this by now.

My hope is that one day, you find someone to make you as happy as your dad makes me.  He is the kind to my mean, the logical to my emotional, and the strength to my weak.  He was worth the wait...and so were you.

I hope you haven't thrown up a little in your mouth by now.

Your-still-in-love Momma

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Ultimate Cheese

I feel like if you admit something you do is cheesy, it becomes less cheesy, and therefore cool again.  Whether this is true or not, it's what I'm telling myself and it makes me feel better. So this is my confession...

There comes a point in my day, after saying goodbye to the little ones I watch, where I'm just done. I've changed all the diapers I can change, fed all the kids I can feed, and stopped as many tears as I can without crying myself.  It's usually at this point in the day when Karter is his fussiest.  He just has this sixth sense about him, as I am sure most kids do, and he knows when I am most drained and decides to turn on the water works.  At this point, I realize we've played with the trucks 50x that day, tasted every book once and moved the bar stool to carpeted ground so it can longer move.  I find myself with limited options to make my fussy boy happy enough to last until bed time.

This is where the cheese comes in.  Not real cheese, mind you.  I pack up a bag, put on his hat and grab the blanket and head out the front door to wait underneath one of our trees by the driveway until Mark gets home. There's something magical for Karter about going outside and knowing that "dada" (though he still refuses to say it) is on his way.  For some reason, this time with Karter is pretty 'magical' for me as well, and I get a little caught up in my obsession for him and his cuteness.  We giggle, we play and sometimes  we he eats sticks.  I sometimes forget that we are on display for the neighbors to see, and the 938670 cars passing by on their way home, and I don't care. 

Mark soon joins us as he rolls in the drive and Karter excitedly kicks his feet.  There we all sit on the blanket laughing, talking and enjoying each other.  This is probably when the neighbors start throwing up a little in their mouths thinking "why can't they just take this inside?"  I feel as though it appears that we are fake enjoying each other, putting on a show to reassure the neighbors that we really are happy.  But it's not a show.  We really are happy.  It's cheesy and probably annoying to some who look out the window.  But I don't care.  It sure beats staying inside wiping pieces of paperback book off Karter's chin for the hundredth time that day....

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Boy Genius

I've said it once and I'll say it again...I've got a baby genius on my hands.  Sure, he may never find a cure for cancer or win the National Spelling Bee, but he can take the lid off the puffs container with his teeth, so that will do for now.  Perhaps it's just because I am his mom (not likely), but I find him to be exceptionally street smart, well, the baby version of street smarts.  He outsmarts me a lot of the time, so that should say something. 

You may be shaking your head thinking "impossible...he can't possibly be a baby genius", which is why I shall provide you with some examples.  Let's start with the what sparked this blog post.

The toy box.  My child loves the toy box. Already, at almost 10 months, he knows the toy box to be a mecca for babies.  When he hears the creak of the lid, he sprints for it (ok, it's more of a crawl sprint.)  He can be anywhere, but as soon as that lid is lifted, he is summoned to the play room to strain for toys he can't quite reach for.  Today, he kept trying to play with the electrical outlet, but the boy I watch during the day kept opening the lid to the toy box to distract him and he would come crawling over.  As I was watching him today get to the toy box as fast as baby-ly possible, I was just amazed by his recognition of the sound of the creak!

We got him a toothbrush several weeks ago and brushing his teeth has become the highlight of his day.   After he is taken out of the bath for standing up after he has been told 'no', to get him to lay still to get dressed, we bribe him with the toothbrush.  I used to think that he loved the taste of the toothpaste, but usually he sticks the end of the brush in his mouth to chew on, so who knows.   Anyway, he has figured out that the routine is he brushes, we rinse the brush and then he 'rinses' his teeth.  So now, after he has sucked off the toothpaste and chewed the end, he hands us his brush to rinse off for him.  It's pretty cute.

I wish that I could continue to convince you of how smart he is, but alas he has figured out all the good tv is on at 9 and decided to get up.  Too smart for his own good, I tell you.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Our first vacation

So we embarked on our first family of 3 vacation this past week/weekend.  I'm not going to lie, I had many worries that the drive was going to be 6 hours of Karter crying, me crying, and Mark cursing the day he agreed to this.  Luckily, this did not occur, but I did learn a few things this week...

1.)  My husband must really love me. Seriously.  There's no other way to explain why he still loves me after hearing me sing "The Wheels on the Bus", "Old McDonald" and songs made up by yours truly for what seemed like hours on end.  Fortunately he found it more amusing than annoying.  I've got a keeper.
2.)  Karter is a gangsta.  Should you meet him in a dark alley at night, watch out.  He's badass.  He has started doing this thing where he points out his pointer finger and shakes his hand up and down.  It inspired many a gangster dance from everyone there. I'm 81% this came from the numerous times I sang "5 Little Monkeys" and pointed my finger when the doctor said no more monkeys jumping on the bed.
3.)  Karter hates brooms.  After putting out his bottom lip at the Taco Bell worker when she walked near his high chair today, the lady brought him over a board book that they put in the kid's meals, which was super nice. I thought this would me that perhaps she and Karter were now BFF's, but I was wrong.  As soon as she walked out with a broom he burst into tears.  Poor lady felt bad and said she would wait to clean until we left.  In case you were eating at a Berea, KY area Taco Bell today and it was dirty, that would be why.
4.)  Bathrooms make amazing bedrooms.  Judge me if you want, but after hearing that a friend puts her baby in a pac n play in the bathroom on vacations, I thought it was worth a shot.  It was the darkest and quietest place in the cabin (it was three floors filled with 10 adults and 4 kids.)  He slept like a dream, perhaps better than when he does at home.  He may have even gotten up quietly and showered in the middle of the night, I'll never really know.
5.) Time with family is fantastic.  Karter's aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents are now scattered everywhere, so it was nice to get everyone together and be in the same place at the same time.  By the end of our time there, I think he was even smiling at others and considering letting them get near him!

I feel like it's a huge milestone to get through our first family vacation.  If I can travel 6 hours in a car with my 9 month old, then I can do anything.  Well, except for the laundry that's now piled up in our laundry room...and unpack...and the dishes that are waiting for me...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Walking Contradiction

Yesterday, as I was rocking Karter for his nap, and sweating off any ate-too-much-ice-cream-this-week weight off while doing so, I came to the realization that I am a walking contradiction.  I found myself sitting up there longing for the days of fall, with it's crisp hoodie weather...but then I remembered in fall sitting up there longing for the long, warm days of spring.  I long for vacations, and then when I am there, I long to be home.  Am I ever satisfied?  Though I try to be content in every situation, my human nature (that's what I am choosing to blame it on) causes discontent in me.

Since having a child, I've noticed that this character trait has made itself more noticeable within myself.  For the first few weeks, months even, I longed for the days when my baby would be an independent, mobile little boy, not needing me within 5 feet of him at all times.  Now, here I find myself with a more mobile boy (though, I still have to be within 5 feet of him at all times) and I long for the days when I could put him in the swing and go to the bathroom, without him crawl-running to the door and banging on it (yes, it's already started.)  My brother and I were looking at pics of Karter when he was just a wee little lad and I couldn't believe how much he had changed already.  Though those sleepless nights and days with a colicky baby were so tough, I shouldn't have been so quick to wish them away.

I guess what I have learned is that I will always be wishing for something else, something that I think is 'better.'  My job as a mom, though, is to acknowledge that fact, but learn to enjoy the current moment I have with my child.  I know now, that I even though I am wishing for the day when he can walk on his own, without me being there to catch his fall, I will look back on these days and wish for them again.  And when I do, I'll know that I did my best to enjoy every second of catching his little bottom before it hit the ground, chasing him up the stairs, and peeing faster, because goodness knows, that 30 seconds I'm gone is traumatic for him.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Are You Crunchy Enough?

No, I'm not talking about peanut butter (though that does sound delicious right now.) Everyone seems to be abuzz over the Time Magazine cover with a woman breastfeeding her 3 year old child (seriously, when you need to use a step stool, it's probably time to stop.) I'm not here to weigh in on the cover itself, but more so on this parenting trend that seems to support. Those crunchy parents.

I have been wanting to blog about this for awhile, but not wanting to offend anyone, I have held back my thoughts. But like I've said before, it's my blog so I think I can say what I think, whether it be right or not (though, I'm usually right, just ask my husband;)  There just seems to be a lot of talk on crunchy matters as of late, and it just irks me. 

I think that my parenting style is kind of middle of the road. I'm by no means crunchy, but I'm also not totally not crunchy.  I will breastfeed Karter for a year, maybe longer, I make my own baby food and I cloth diaper.  He's gone to the chiropractor a few times.  Add those things up and I at least get one crunchy badge, at least I think so.  But there are things I do that probably brings those in the crunchy community to tears...I vaccinate my child and firmly believe in doing so, I don't whip out my boob in public and not cover up, I do not co sleep (though there was that month that we had to in order to get any sleep), Karter's eaten his fair share of value brand graham crackers, and I fully believe that one of God's greatest gifts (ok, maybe greatest is a bit extreme) was to give someone knowledge on how to make epidurals.  Also, I don't chew my food and then feed Karter mouth to mouth, bird style.  I know, terrible mom right here (though he will thank me in a few years when he isn't in therapy in his 20's because pictures of me feeding him mouth to mouth have surfaced on the web.)

I guess it's not so much the crunchy lifestyle that really bothers me, it's the opinionated moms who live it.  While advice from other moms is to be expected, I have found that those that are "crunchy" provide the harshest kind of advice with a criticizing undertone.  We all mother differently and no one way is right, so I wish people would stop making it seem like there is one magic way to mother your child.  To me, a step stool for a 3 year old is created to reach things like the bathroom sink, not my boob.

Well, I could go on for hours, but my child has been fussing for the last few minutes because he wants out of his crib (gasp! He will probably have brain damage one day because I let him cry!), so I should probably attend to him.  Like I said, this isn't to offend anyone, but just to provide my own two cents. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Mother's Day Wish

Dear my little Karter bug,

It's been splendid being your mother the last 9 months.  I am so excited that tomorrow I will get to experience my first "real" Mother's Day tomorrow with you.  Not that you would be anything but perfect tomorrow, but just in case, here are a few requests I have for you for tomorrow:

-Please don't expect me up before 10.  I am sure you and your dad will have a great time playing trucks, building block walls and watching for tractors.  Just do it quietly, please.  There are only a few days out of the year when my whines of "I need to sleep in" will work on your father, and tomorrow is one of them.
-If you think of it, maybe you could let me go to the bathroom on my own tomorrow, without crawling in to play with the door stop, unravel the toilet paper, or to bang on the door if I shut it.  Just a thought.
-Perhaps, if you are going to knock off the items of the first shelf of the pantry, you could just reorganize while you are at it?  Putting back the potatoes and the boxes of cheerios you knock down  would be great too.  Don't over do it though.
-Maybe, if you feel like it, you could allow me to change your diaper without it being a 10 minute ordeal of wrestling you back so that you aren't crawling around on my off white carpet without me wiping you first.  I know, I know, you think it's hilarious and sit there triumphantly as though you have outsmarted me, and perhaps you have, but let's just give it a break for tomorrow, ok?  Better yet, make sure that all your dirty diapers occur in your dad's presence.
-This may be a stretch, but perhaps you could consider not laughing at me every time I say "no."  Need an example?  "No Karter, get the lamp cord out of your mouth." "No Karter, books aren't for eating." (and you can pretend that you aren't doing this, but when I look over and see paper on your chin, I know what you've been up to, fyi.)

These are just a few suggestions, feel free to come up with more on your own.  I will also take as many giggles, kisses, and joyful screams as you are willing to give out.  Thanks for giving me a reason to celebrate the day tomorrow.

All my love,
Your tired momma

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Swimming Trunks

Sometimes it's the little things that are the greatest reminder of how blessed we really are.  Today, for me, it was a pair of swimming trunks.  As I went to get them off the porch tonight, as they had dried out from today's festivities, I was reminded of how very blessed I am that I have a little boy to fill those trunks up. 

It's funny how much life has changed by that little bottom that fills those trunks.  Sunday's used to be the perfect time for Mark and I to complete the tasks around the house that had been piling up all week.  Now, we have to tag team it, as one person plays with Karter and the other person takes care of the never-ending to do list.  It's hard not to take for granted the time we have with Karter when we're busy thinking about the grass that needs mowed, the dog hair that needs swept up and the dishes that won't stop piling up.

While Mark mowed the grass today, I got to play with Karter in the baby pool, which was his first experience in water, besides the bathtub.  He was adorable, as to be expected, and seemed to love it.  I was busy snapping up every picture I could of the moment because I didn't want to forget it.

At the end of the day, I may not have gotten all of my to-do's done, but I brought in those little swimming trunks, and I realized that I got the most important "to do" crossed off today.  Now that's a good day.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Art of Play

My little man is growing like a weed, a really handsome weed that is.  There are times where I feel I am putting him to bed a baby and he is waking up a real boy.  While he still remains clingy and momma's boy-ish, he is starting to exhibit some independence as he begins to explore the world around him.

During those brief moments that he lets me leave his side, I love to stand in the kitchen and watch him play on his own.  It's so adorable as I watch him try to stand himself up on whatever toy he can find.  He is so determined to make his toys obey as he tries to hoist his little body up.  My favorite, though, is when he claps at himself.  It's like he is giving himself a round of applause because he's dumped out all the puzzle pieces or found where the horse is hiding in the Fisher Price farm.

He has become a little more daring in his crawling adventures as well.  Now he feels comfortable to leave and enter any room he so chooses.  Laminate wood floors seem like a great idea until you have a crawler...and a dog.  I'm pretty sure at the end of the day, he is covered in dog hair.  Thank goodness for my Swiffer Sweeper.

Even though I relish in those moments that he plays by himself, there is nothing that can beat momma-baby play time.  It's pure bliss to 'baby wrestle' with him and hear his high pitched giggles as he tries to escape my tickling hands.  It's in those moments of play time that I feel the closest to him and can sense our bond growing stronger.  Though I sometimes wish that he would nap better, I wouldn't trade that alone time he and I get during the day.

I am trying my best to soak it all in and enjoy each day with him.  Because as I know, there will come a day when I put him to bed in shark pajamas and he will wake up ready to conquer the world on his own.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What Goes In

So we've been delving deeper into the world of solid foods in the Gariety household.  We had been at a solid food stand still for awhile, and as Karter started to refuse more and more veggies, we were running out of things, other than peaches and apples, to feed this child.

Today, as I was grocery shopping and picking up things for my sweet little man I found myself picking out only the best for him.  I mean, from the beginning, I have made my own baby food, mostly from the veggies from our garden.  Now that we are starting to branch out from the Gariety garden goods, I am paranoid about the quality of items that will be ingested into his tiny body.

Mark and I don't eat terrible, his family butcher's their own meat and we eat a lot of veggies from our garden throughout the year, but I would be lying if I said a bag or two of Doritos never entered my cart.  Now that I have Karter, I am definitely evaluating what we eat.  At the same deli counter where I have ordered Mark whatever turkey was on sale, I found myself asking today "which brand is nitrate free?"

I feel like I have the chance to start Karter out on the right path, food wise and it's my responsibility to keep his little body as clean as possible.  Because we all know, it's only a few short years until he's off to college and shoving Easy Mac and Taco Bell in his mouth (not that I would know.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When Hands Meet

So among the many new tricks of Karter, I think clapping might be my favorite.  I mean, how do you get any cuter than baby claps? The way his pudgy little hands make little slapping sounds when they's precious!

Apparently Karter is on to the fact that I love those little claps and is using it to his advantage.  Only took a 30 minute nap the entire day? Hey mom, I'll clap as you pick me up from my crib.  Opening and shutting the cd player?  He was just clapping to the music.  Taking a shelf off the book shelf?  Clapping for his accomplishment.  Removing the cover off the register? Clapping to celebrate his strength and agility.  Eating any shoe he can find?  Clapping because he manages to get the grossest ones.

I'm not sure when the clapping will "just" be another trick he has up his sleeve.  For now, though, I love watching him as he is so proud of himself as he makes his little hands meet. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We've Got Movement

It's happened.  The day I have been hoping for, or at least thought I was hoping for, has finally come...Karter seems to be crawling.  And this is like no other crawl that I have ever seen before.  This is like a dog with three legs type of crawl.  He just drags one leg along with him because it's still in the position so that he can go back to a sitting position.  He sits, then crawls 3 steps, sits, then crawls 3 steps and then sits.  I don't know if he just has my endurance for physical activity or what, but it's kind of hilarious.

I thought that Karter crawling would encourage more independence in him...which perhaps it will, but now there is a dependence on me to remove everything from his reach.  I'm talking everything.  No longer can the kids I watch just play on the floor with a puzzle because there seems to be a certain almost 8 month old who wants to join in.  No longer can Mark set down his cereal bowl to go get Karter some Cheerios, because my little munch thinks his dad's cereal tastes better than his own.  And would he allow me the courtesy of walking 10 feet to my phone to make a phone call today?  Nope...he decided that would be a good time to taste test every shoe in the living room (and let me just tell you, I haven't put my shoes away in a long time.)

So now my job description as a mother has grown to include shoe remover, cheerio cleaner upper and human step stool as Karter is using  me to stand himself up.  I guess crawling, while it brings about new challenges, is a good thing.  At least it gives me some sort of preparation for when all heck breaks loose and he starts walking.  Until then, I guess I better start putting my shoes away...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Best Friends

Right now, Karter and I are best friends.  It's something he will probably be ashamed of in a few years, but for now, he loves my company and I his.  Soon, his dad will be his hero and I will be an after thought because I have no idea how to operate any of the cool toys around here (the mower, the tiller, etc.)  As for now though, I'm the one he wants to play with and I'm the one who he shares giggles with for no reason.

Each day, Karter and I usually have some time just us while the other children I watch are sleeping.  Today, we laid on the floor, shoulder to shoulder and just played.  I would put my feet up in the air and then he would...I would wave up at the ceiling, and then he would.  It was pretty adorable, if I do say so myself.  I felt so blessed today that I am his best friend.  I'm the one he wants to mimic, I'm the one he wants to lay shoulder to shoulder with and I'm the one who makes him smile when I turn to kiss him on the cheek.

There was a moment today where I got a little sad.  Sad that my baby boy is going to grow up and won't want to lay next to me and won't think that mimic-ing me is cool anymore.  He's going to make new friends and won't need me as much.  There will be another girl one day that he'd rather have kiss him on the cheek.  How unfair is that??  While it is sometimes a frustration, I am so happy that I am his world right now. 

I hope that he knows that I will always be his best friend.  There is nothing he can do that will make me love him less.  Any time he needs me, I will be here, ready to lay next to him on the floor and giggle about our feet up in the air.

And seriously, if you didn't end this post with the "we're the 3 best friends that anyone could have" song from the Hangover stuck in your head, well, you do now. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Simpler Life

Right now, I am witnessing one of the most beautiful things.  When I look out my back window, past my blooming plum tree, I have just watched about 15 horse and buggies traveling the road on their way to church.  It's views like these that make a mortgage payment worthwhile.

Not only am I struck with a sense of beauty, but I'm also feeling some jealousy.  I am so jealous of these people and their ability to lead a simple life.  I'm sending condescending looks at the cars that have to pass them because the people in those cars (and me as well) are missing out on enjoying so much of life because we live so much more loud and complicated lives.

Sometimes I think about trying to friend one of my more simple neighbors.  I would love more insight into how they live, and most importantly, their baking secrets.  I even sometimes daydream about joining their ranks.  This is quickly ruined when I realize that I would soon be kicked out when I ask questions like "Whose going to Target with me?" or "Anyone hungry for 4th meal at Taco Bell??"  Oh well, a girl can dream.

You see, I'm already ruined by the materialistic world that I live in and contribute to.  While I would love to live this simple life, my mind would also be racing with ideas on how to decorate my horse and buggy so that it was the best looking one or around or that maybe I should buy two barrels of flour and not just one, just in case. 

My hope is that it's not too late for Karter (though judging by all the baby toys and clothes he has, it probably already is.)  I want him to find joy in memories made and relationships formed, not in an accumulation of "stuff."  I don't want him to look out our back window and be envious of the simple life that is led by our neighbors, I want him to be living it.  Life isn't about clothes, or video games, or reality tv shows (though I sometimes think it is)...and I hope I am able to convey this message to Karter, both by word and by example.

And just to make sure he gets it, he will likely be dressed in black pants, white shirt and black vest for church this morning...though he doesn't have any of those things...I should probably head to Target...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Missing: Red Haired, Non Mobile Infant

I don't even know how it happened, but I've seemed to have lost my baby.  I thought about posting posters around town, but I figure that will do no good.  No one will be able to find him anyhow, he's lost for good. He's been replaced by an almost-crawling-pull-to-standing little boy.  How and when did this happen??  I love the boy he has become, but I miss the baby that he used to be (ok, maybe not the sleepless nights.)  I mean, I know I've blogged about this before, but I just can't get over my baby's insistence on growing and changing.

It really does go by so fast.  Just yesterday it seems like I was rubbing alcohol on his umbilical cord that hadn't fallen off yet and buckling him into his infant carrier that he seemed to be swimming in (and now he can no longer fit in.)  Now, my days are full of trying to keep him sitting instead of standing in the bath tub, removing things with lids because he uses his teeth to pull the lid off, and trying to calm him down when he is throwing a fit (he pants like a's pretty cute, unless he's doing it all day, like he did today.)

I used to chuckle at the ridiculousness of the Duggars, but it all makes so much sense now.  I totally understand now always wanting to have a baby in the house.  I know people look forward to the time when they don't have anyone in diapers, but now that I've had a baby, I'm dreading it (maybe because we use cloth?:)  I always want there to be a baby in my house.  I can't even imagine what it's like to now have a cute, sometimes cuddly baby around.

Maybe I'm being dramatic, I mean Karter is only 7.5 months, but I feel like I'm losing my baby and sending him into toddler hood.  Just the first of many times that I will have no control over my ever growing baby, I suppose.

By the way, if anyone has 20 or so K names they want to send me, please do.  I'm prepared to give the Duggars a run for their money.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hovering Above

I'm trying not to to, but I'm doing it.  I'm heading towards helicopter parenting (and I don't even like flying that much.)  While a helicopter is a quintessential part to a successful date on the Bachelor, it's not so good when it comes to parenting.  Even though at 7 months I can't mess things up too badly, if I don't stop, I'm likely setting Karter up for some sort of failure by wanting to intercede in anything that could go wrongly in his life. 

I've read some about this term, "helicopter parent," in one of the gazillion baby magazines that I am somehow subscribed to, and from what I can tell...this is likely what I could potentially become.  I don't like it, and I want to change it, but it's hard to take a step back.

I mean, I guess at this age it's alright.  My body lunges forward anytime he is sitting up and I notice a wobble.  I freak a little when Mark is sitting with him and doesn't have quick enough reflexes to catch him.  I come to his rescue a little too quickly when he gets frustrated at not being able to move his hands with his legs when trying to crawl.

It's not that I want to hover in his life and over step my bounds, I just don't want him to feel any hurt or any failure in life.  And while I know I have the best of intentions, I'm not doing him any favors.  As much as it pains me (and likely pains me more than him), it's okay to let him tumble when he's sitting up...he has to learn to get back up when life knocks him down.  It's okay to let him get frustrated when he's trying a new task but can't quite get it...he'll need to learn coping and problem solving skills to succeed in life.

I guess part of my problem is that I worry so much about being a good mom, that sometimes I become a not good mom (not being too hard on myself, I could just do things a better way at times, we all could.)   Karter is going to get hurt...he's going to scratch his knee, he's going to struggle in some subject in school, etc.  My job isn't to be there to fix it and immediately make it better (though, I'm not gonna lie, I may complete a few school projects for him), but to teach him how to solve the problems himself and to be there for him when he needs a hug, a band aid, or some encouragement.

Like I said, I know I've got plenty of time and I haven't ruined things for him yet, but I am more aware of my body lunging towards him every time I think he needs something.  It's time I pack up the helicopter and send it back to Chris Harrison, anyhow...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Mother's Heartache

I've said it once and I'll say it again...there is nothing more terrible than my baby being sick.  I feel so helpless when he coughs and when he sniffles that stuffed up nose.  Motherhood has definitely reminded me that I am not in charge, and when my baby is sick, I am reminded even more.  If it were up to me, Karter would never be sick and I would gladly take on that sickness.

Karter just has a cold and I'm beside myself trying to ease his discomfort and to make him feel better.  I can't even imagine what a parent who has a truly sick child goes through.  I am blessed with a very healthy baby boy, with the exception of a few major colds, and this is something that I don't take for granted.  My heart goes out to all the mothers out there that have to deal with more serious illnesses with their children.

I also wonder what it was like for Mary to watch Jesus suffer.  Maybe she was like me, and freaked at the slightest drip of the nose.  Wiping your baby's runny nose is no way to prepare for what Mary had to see her Son go through.  What pain she must have gone through and how many tears she must have shed.

So even though it kills me to see Karter in discomfort, I'm counting my blessings and know it could be a lot worse.  I would be a lucky woman if the worst that happens to Karter is a little cough and runny nose...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Night Like This

So Mark is out serving up beer to all those folk who are truly celebrating their Irishness and not using this day as a reason to get intoxicated (lie) and Karter is asleep, which means I get the night to myself.  Usually I hate having time to myself, unless it involves a dark room, my bed and my eyes shut, but tonight I think I'm alright with it.

One of the favorite things about my house is the outdoor space.  As soon as I saw the screened in gazebo attached to the back door when we looked at it the first time, I knew it had to be mine.  The two tiered huge deck was an added bonus, and the view seemed too good to be true.  Maybe not everyone would like the view, but I appreciate being backed up to a cornfield.  I love looking out and seeing only farmhouses (I'm tuning the busy traffic on our state route out) and the sunsets are so pretty here.

With this unseasonably warm weather, I have been waiting for an evening to just come out and sit on our deck for sometime, but something has gotten in the way of me enjoying these beautiful evenings (most importantly, The Bachelor.)  Now that I have this time out here, I am reminded of the summer evenings I would sit out here and wonder when I would be given the chance to be a mom. 

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in a patio chair looking out over the fields as the sun set talking with God about the sadness I felt, wondering why it was taking me so long and others not so much.  For some reason, this place and this view and those conversations left me with such peace and and understanding that God would provide, one way or another. And He certainly did.

So tonight, I am back in my same spot, reflecting and talking with God...except tonight, I have a baby monitor next to me, on alert in case my little Munch needs me.  Who knew that a baby monitor would be the most welcome accessory to a night out on my deck and a tangible item of an answered prayer?!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blessed to be a SAHM

I am thankful everyday for the opportunity to stay at home with Karter to watch him grow, but today was one of those days that I was very thankful.  One thing I didn't like about working was that on nice days, I was usually stuck behind a computer.  Not today.  Karter and I took full advantage of this weather and played with his toys and worked in the garden.  After I had finished cleaning up the flower bed, I went over and laid on the blanket next to him while he played in his cute little hat and I realized "It doesn't get better than this."  That moment was perfect and I am so appreciative that I got to spend it with him.

Now, becoming a stay at home mom (SAHM) wasn't an easy decision for Mark and I.  I had every intention of returning to work and Mark and I had agreed when we bought this house that I would at least work until the birth of our second child (he claims I promised him this as a condition of buying this house, I say that never happened.)  We had a babysitter picked out and were set to go...but then we had Karter. 

As I've stated before, Karter was a tad bit fussy and disliked hated sleep.  Even though my family had been coming over almost ever day since he was born, he would cry for anyone but me.  He would only nap on my chest (sometimes other people's.)  This was not conducive for leaving him with a babysitter.  Then, when I went over to meet with our babysitter, she revealed that she had agreed to watch 5 kids under the age of 2, which isn't even allowed in the state of Ohio.  My stomach was in knots after this visit and I didn't know what to do.  Did I give birth to my son only to leave him with someone who couldn't love him like I could and to know he was crying all day?  After some long discussions and budget reviews, Mark and I decided I would stay home.

I struggled with this decision, because, as much as I wanted to stay home, I was afraid I would lose some sort of value by not working.  Mark has never ever made me feel this way, but I was afraid that I would be thought of us dead weight, or something.  I know that just because I don't receive a paycheck doesn't mean that I'm not working.  Being a mom is the hardest job that I have ever had.

So anyway, today was just one of those days where I felt so blessed to be able to stay at home with Karter.  It is so worth any financial sacrifice because time is something I can never get back and memories are far more valuable than another knick knack for the house.  I mean, do I really need new clothes when my biggest fashion decision of the day is "which pair of sweatpants should I wear?"

One day he won't need me, and maybe then, I'll go back to work.  Until then, I can't wait for another day soaking up some Vitamin D next to cutest baby on the block (or State Route, in my case.) 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Socks In My Pocket

Not to go all Captain Obvious on you or anything,  but I've been a mom now for almost the last 7 months (17 if you count baby in my belly time), but today, I really felt like a mom. Why?  Because when we got home from our small group tonight I had to remember to take the baby socks out of the pocket of my cardigan.  My little munch takes them off like it's his job, seriously, sometimes he is taking them off while you are still putting them on.  Anyway, reaching down and feeling those socks in my pocket, I realized that this is real, I'm a mom. I am responsible for another human being, and more importantly his socks.

Sometimes I can't even believe how old I am.  28.  When I was 13, 28 seemed old, really old.  Now that I am here, I still feel like I am 13.  I look in the mirror and think "this isn't what I thought being 28 looks like."  There are times when I feel like I am a kid raising a kid (I don't know how those Teen Moms do it), but then I have to remind myself that really I am an educated well-rounded (I think) adult.  When did that happen?  I feel like I am so used to being someone's child it's weird to think that I am now someone's mother.  Weird, that is, until I felt those socks in my pocket.

Today, feeling those socks, I didn't feel so 13ish anymore.  Today I felt like a real mom, cool and collected and finally getting this mom thing under control.  I'd say I've been a great mother to Karter over these last 7 months, not to toot my own horn (but I'm going to anyway), but I finally feel like I know what I am doing.  I don't have everything figured out, but now I've gotten to the point where I've realized that's okay and no mother has it all figured out (and if they do, I don't like them.)

There will always be obstacles and things I don't understand about motherhood.  But for today, I've got those socks in my pocket, and for now, that's enough.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Giving Them Back

I've heard people say time and time again that it's so great to be a grandparent because you can "give them back" to the parents.  Who knows, maybe in 30 years (it better not be 16!) I will feel this same way.  But for right now, I am so happy that I don't have to give my baby back to someone.

This morning as we were completing the production that is getting dressed, I just looked at him and realized how happy I was that I get to wake up to that face every morning (even if it is at 6:30am-which is earlier than I got up when I was working, FYI) and get to be the last face he sees at night.  I am so blessed to be his mother, and I wouldn't trade one day of it for anything. 

There are days that I want to crawl into a hole as he fights another nap, but that's okay, because the rest of the day full of kisses and laughs and reaching new milestones makes up for it.  Not every day is perfect or memorable, but it's another day that I get to spend with him,and I'm okay with it being just that. 

I am sure when I am a grandparent and reflect on the years I was a sweatpant-wearing-crazy-haired mom, I'll realize the blessing it is to be able to enjoy my grandchildren but give them back to my children so that I can relish in the joy of an uninterrupted night of sleep.  As for now, though, I am totally okay with Karter's grandparents "giving him back" to me, because quite frankly, when I'm away from him, I can't wait to get him back.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stopping Time

I'm thinking about taking the batteries out of all my clocks.  Not because I'm becoming Amish (ok, so I really don't know, maybe they use batteries) but because Karter keeps growing and I can't make him stop.  So I'm going to extremes and stopping time myself.  Unfortunately, this will only cause us to constantly be late for things and won't help my baby from growing up.

Over the past 6 months he's been learning new things and it almost seems sometimes that he learns something new each day.  Lately, this has seemed to be on overdrive.  The other day, I was feeding him some fruit-veggie combo and he insisted on holding the spoon and feed himself (the doctor told me he wouldn't be able to do this...she should probably come here during meal time.)  When he does this, he makes a terrible mess and I'm constantly picking bananas and squash out of his hair and ears.  Well, on this occasion, after squeezing the food on the spoon all over his hand on the way to his mouth, he then took the spoon and scooped off the food on his hand and put the spoon back in his mouth.  A boy after his father's heart (not wanting to waste, that is!)  I was so amazed that he had the coordination and thought to this do this (I'm choosing to believe it wasn't a fluke!)

Then, today, I feel like he aged at least a month in the course of 12 hours.  While at church, he started waving to the lady sitting behind us who was waving at him (when he wasn't busy trying to rip the pages of my brother's Bible and stealing his pen.)  It wasn't a perfect was more of a repetitive karate chop but it was adorable nonetheless.  We came home and waved to him and he did it again.  Later on in the evening, Mark was holding him and he started spitting.  Mark and I laughed at this, which I'm sure will come back to haunt us (especially when there's food mixed in with that spit), but it's amazing how alert he is now and able to interact with his environment.  What happened to that 8 pound baby that I brought home from the hospital just 6 months ago??

Sometimes I just look through all the pictures on my phone that I have taken since his birth and I can't believe at how much he has changed.  I don't even remember that baby that in those photos...I just can't imagine that he was ever that small...and it was only 6 months ago!  It's scary to think how fast the next 18 years of his life will go when these 6 months have sped by.

Which reminds me...I have some clocks to de-battery...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Mother's Love

So I don't know if you've heard, but I'm in love.  Head over heals, melts my heart, would do anything for him kind of love.  I loved Mark with all my heart, but loving my child is a different kind of love.  It's unconditional and there is nothing that Karter can do to lose my love.  He can pull my hair out, poop while I'm changing his diaper and outfit because he's just peed everywhere, and refuse to sleep in his crib for his second nap of the day and only on me and I will still love him.  And yes, that all happened today.

Each night before we go to bed, Mark and I talk.  I enjoy this time as we just lay in bed and unwind for the day.  I find myself talking about Karter and what he's done that day and how I fell more in love with him.  It warms my heart when I hear Mark talk about how much he loves him as well.

It's so cliche, but it's amazing how much my heart grew the moment I held him in my arms.  I mean, I loved him when he was in my belly, but I always feared growing too close to him because I was afraid something would go wrong (which it almost did!)  Once I could hold him in my arms, I knew he was real and I knew he was mine.

Having Karter has given me such insight into God's love for us.  While I would have said before having Karter I knew what unconditional love was, it wasn't until he rested his tiny little head on my shoulder that I knew what that love was like.  It's amazing to serve a God that loves us that much and more.

Whether you are a mother through blood or adoption, you know this kind of love I am talking about.  It's amazing, overpowering and scary all at the same time. I can't even imagine now what life was like before this little red headed, strong willed baby entered my life.  All I can say is that it will never be the same again...and for that I am thankful.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Baby Assembly Line

Let's get real here.  Maybe I'm a horrible person or maybe I'm vain...but one of my biggest worries in having a baby was that it wouldn't be "cute."  I mean, there are babies out there that I look at and wonder "I wonder if he looks cute to his parents?"  Does/did anyone else have this fear? (I mean obviously, I had other important concerns, but this was one of them!)

It bugs me when you ask people if they want a boy or girl or if they have any other hopes and aspirations for their baby and they reply with an "Oh, I just want a healthy baby."  Umm, duh.  Who doesn't want a healthy baby?  I was pretty vocal when I got pregnant that I wanted a boy.  Would I have traded my child if it came out as a girl?  No...but her hair would have always been a mess, that's for darn sure.  So yes, I wanted a healthy child, and yes I wanted it to be a boy, and yes I wanted it to be cute.  And yes, I did want it in that order.

I know I'm incredibly blessed because not only did I get a healthy child and a boy, but I got a cute child as well.  Seriously, he's the cutest baby that I have ever seen in my entire life.  Don't even lie, when you've seen his picture, you've thought the same thing.  I'm pretty sure I'm not exaggerating here or viewing him through my "Mom Goggles" (similar to beer goggles, but without the beer.)  He's cute...freakin' cute.

Which leads me to the title of my blog.  Sometimes when I imagine God creating Karter, I imagine heaven as kind of a Santa's workshop of sorts.  The angels working the assembly line, putting together baby body parts as God directs (disclaimer: this is not biblically based, nowhere in the Bible does it mention a baby assembly line, just in case you were wondering.)   When I think about this, I imagine God picking out all of the most perfect parts for Karter-to his roly-poly thighs, to his strawberry blond hair, to his rubber band wrist (my brother Matt says that it looks like he has a rubber band between his wrist and hand because of the roll.)

Now, I know you are probably sitting there shaking your head and thinking "nope, God used all the perfect parts on my baby."  And that's probably true, too.  It's just amazing that all these perfect parts were put together to create the most perfect baby for Mark and I.  I couldn't have drawn a more perfect looking stick figure baby if I tried.  Which is why God is God.

So, I hope you don't think I am being petty or vain.  I'm just being honest.  I would love Karter so so much even if he wasn't the cutest baby in the world...but it certainly makes blasting his face all over facebook a little more justifiable;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

940 Saturdays

I was reading my Parents magazine last night and was shocked by an article I read.  The author informed me that from birth to the time Karter is ready to go to college, I only have 940 Saturdays with him.  As of this point in time, I only have 913 Saturdays left with him until he's ready to conquer the world on his own.  How is that possible? 

They say that time flies when you have a child and that "they grow up so fast."  I'm starting to realize that is the truth!  While the first couple of weeks dragged on, as we were all adjusting to our new schedule and family dynamic, it now seems that there is a fast forward button on my life and Karter is growing up faster than I can restock his closet with clothes that fit!

The author of this article gave several lame examples of how to use those 940 Saturdays and the time you have with your children (I mean seriously, putting sprinkles on an ice cream sundae?  Please.)  But it made me think of all the things that I want to do with Karter before he's out on his own.  I often think of making my own bucket list, but maybe it would be more beneficial to make a bucket list of things that I want to do with my children.  Because before I know it, my 913 Saturdays will turn into 1 Saturday left...(I'm already stocking up on the tissues.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What has this world come to?

I should probably go back to work.  Or destroy my tv and cancel the internet.  I can't even believe all the stories I have heard lately on the news and on Dr. Phil of what people do to their own children and innocent other children.  It's sickening.

I am by no means a perfect parent.  I'm sure I make plenty of mistakes, but I love my child with an unconditional love and would do anything for him.  I'm not trying to pass judgement on others either, it's not my job...but I'm just in shock of the evil decisions that people make towards children.  Maybe I'm more aware of this now because I have my own child.  When you have a baby, most people think of all the joy it brings...what I didn't really think of was how protective I have to become of my child to protect him from all things bad in this world. 

Here's just a sample of the news stories I have heard as of late:

-I posted this on my facebook page, but the story of the parents in Indiana whose 4 month died of malnutrition just disgusts me.  Their precious baby boy died at 6 lbs 2 oz.  Did no one see this child and feel some sort of concern?  My beefy little boy weighed 15 lb 12 oz at 4 months...that is 2.5 times what this child weighed.  How could you, as parents, not feed your baby or notice that something was wrong? I mean, I just don't understand how you could ignore the cries of your baby, knowing that they actually need something.  Sure, sometimes it seems like Karter fusses for no reason, but I always make sure he isn't hungry, dirty or have some other immediate need.  Sometimes I wish there was some sort of common sense test you have to take before becoming a parent.

-Last night on the news there was a story about a guy charged with punching his girlfriend's 6 month old baby.  Luckily, the child was fine (though probably would be better off in a different home), but all the mother cared about was making sure her boyfriend didn't go to jail because he "didn't mean to."  Please.  If someone hit my child, whether it was my boyfriend or not, going to jail would be the least of their problems.  Karter is 6 months old.  I can't imagine him getting hit so hard that it cracks his ribs, and I really can't imagine feeling sympathy for the perpetrator and not my son. And how did the guy justify it?  He was just giving him a hug, but it was a "different kind of hug."  I'd like to give that guy a different kind of hug.

-Today on Dr. Phil, he is talking with children and their parents who were abused sexually by a teacher at their school in such disgusting ways I don't even want to type it.  How does someone become so immune to their conscious that they think it is acceptable to take away one of the greatest gifts of being a child-innocence?  It's a sad day when I not only have to make sure that Karter has the right calculator and pencils when he goes to school, but now I have to make sure he knows what an appropriate relationship is with a teacher.

Like I said, I'm not trying to pass judgement, but these kind of people make raising a child in this day and age a scary, scary thing.  My job as a parent is not only to make sure Karter is fed, changed, and well rested.  Now I have to make sure he is educated about appropriate boundaries, the lines of communication between us are always open, and that he knows I am a safe place that he can turn to.  Not only is it important that I do this for my son, but it's our responsibility to watch out for other's children as well.  Maybe that 4 month old baby would be alive today if someone spoke up or reported their concerns.

Seriously, after reading/seeing what I have this week, I'm going to start researching real estate in the deserted hills of Wyoming.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Childbirth Class-Revision to Curriculum

Anyone else leave childbirth class feeling petrified and wishing the stork really did deliver babies?  I felt like childbirth class should be taken before you get pregnant so you know what you're getting into.  And what did I gain from it (besides $100 missing from our account?)  Nothing.  Mark and I didn't find ourselves in the operating room going "hey, remember what we learned about c-sections?" Instead, I found myself saying "am I dying?"

So I decided that after being a mom for the last 6 months, perhaps the curriculum could be revised to include the following items:

-You might as well bathe your baby in spaghetti sauce and you'll achieve the same amount of clean.  Karter pees multiple times per bath.  If I were to drain the water each time we'd be in there forever.  So what if his hair smells a little like Johnson & Johnsons and a little like baby pee? (I promise it really doesn't.)  The way I see it, he's just preparing for getting stung by a jellyfish in the ocean.

-Bulb syringing your child's nose will be the worst thing you ever do.  Ever.  What makes it even worse is when your child is stronger than you and has learned to roll away from you.  Seriously, I'm like a human pretzel getting in position to suck out his snot.  It's terrible...for him and I!

-You know those people you made fun of for posting constant status updates and pictures of their babies?  Yeah, you'll be one of them.  Believe me, pre-baby I threw up a little in my mouth every time I read a "Susie just rolled over" status and now it's like word vomit pouring out from my keyboard.  I can't help it that I gave birth to the cutest thing ever and feel the need to publicly share every detail of his life.

-Find a doctor who doesn't mind you calling them each week.  I'm surprised that my ob/gyn didn't send out a mass memo to all the pediatricians in the are warning them that I call...a lot.  Luckily, I found a doctor that we like, but fear they may start blocking my number.  As a first time mom, perhaps I'm a little paranoid, but better safe than sorry, right??

-Learn how to type one handed. You might be amazed to know that I wrote this entire post with my right hand while Karter slept in my left. 

So there you have it.  If you are expecting a baby and you've read this, you really don't need to go to that awful class.  Because really, do you want to see someone else giving birth over a tv screen?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lord, I love him

It's been awhile since Karter and I have rocked in my rocker at night, especially since he's been sleeping in our bed and I just turn and nurse him.  Now that we are sleep training, he's back in his crib and I'm back in the rocker for night feedings. When we are spending that special time together, I like to pray over him.  I believe it's never too early to start praying for his future...his spouse, his happiness, even his ability to pass the driver's exam (though now that I think of it, perhaps I shouldn't pray for this so he'll always need me:)

Last night while I was praying for him I found myself saying the same thing over and over again "Lord, I love him."  It wasn't a prayer for his future, or happiness or safety, but I think it was a powerful prayer just the same.  In those four words, I was sending out praises to God for giving me Karter.  In those four words, I was letting God know I would do my best to take such good care of this awesome gift He gave me. In those four words, I was reminded myself just how much I love Karter.

When I looked in the mirror at my belly this morning (vain, I know, but I like to see the progress of it shrinking) the thought crossed my mind that perhaps I won't be able to get pregnant again.  What if the right factors worked to make Karter won't be there for another baby?  How will I handle this? It was motivation for me to soak up every moment I have with Karter and to cherish every smile, new milestone, every cry.

So I should probably make this post short, so not to be a hyprocrite about cherishing every moment with my little man.  I've got a little cutie to my right screaming in joy at the top of his lungs ready to sing songs, play with his monkeys and impress his momma with his new tricks!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Great Debate

I was watching The Talk the other day and they were discussing something that I have been thinking about a lot lately...breast feeding in public.  I know that this has been a hot topic for some time now, but now that I need to do it, I actually care about the topic. 

I'm not going to lie, prior to having Karter, I was a little weirded out about it.  I mean, boobs out in public??  Craziness.  But now that I am a nursing momma to a boy who likes to eat every 2 hours (and hates the bottle), I find that I am now one of those boobs in public...and you know what?  I don't care.  I don't care that I'm doing it, I don't care that other people don't like it, and I don't care to hide in some disgusting bathroom or freezing car to do it so that others aren't offended.

There is a tasteful way to do it, which I try to follow.  I usually double up with both a cover and a blanket because Karter likes to rip off the cover sometimes all the time. I mean, I can't say that no one's ever seen some skin as I'm nursing, but I try my best to prevent it. As I write this, I'm reminded of about two months ago when two of my good friends from college and I were at the mall walking around and suddenly hunger struck...all three of our babies.  We lined the benches at the Piqua mall with our babies and nursing covers (two of which matched, by the way) and fed away.  I didn't see any scowls or rude looks and hopefully no one saw any boob.  (Michelle-I know you're a little sad you weren't part of this:))

You kind of lose any sort of dignity you have during the child birthing process.  After I've been exposed to more doctors and nurses than I can count on my fingers, whipping out my boob in public to feed my hungry little monster seems like a pretty modest task.  Now, I have a harder time condoning those that don't take into consideration anyone else and don't bother with any sort of cover.  It's people like that that give nursing mothers in public a bad name. 

I've gotten to the point where it kind of pisses me off when people seem to have a problem with me nursing in public.  I mean, really?  Aren't we all adults?  Have you never seen a boob before?  Plus, when you think about it, I'm technically saving tax payers a lot of potential dollars by providing Karter with the best nutrition possible, which hopefully protects him from many chronic illnesses. 

So I know I am just one opinion of many on this topic, but I felt like voicing it. And if you have a problem with breast feeding in public, well, you should probably just stop going out in public.