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 smart...like 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...