Carter Steven

Carter Steven

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Where did August Go??

I need to start setting aside time to blog. It is so hard to find time to get anything done around the house because there are not enough hours in the day! I wanted to do a quick update on our little guy before September gets away from me too...
Carter is growing so fast. It is so amazing to see him learn new things daily... some of the new things he has learned in the past month or so are:
1. Rolling from his back to his belly and from his belly to his back. He has actually been going from his belly to his back since about 5 weeks old but that's just because he is advanced!
2. Sitting up all by himself! He still loses his balance sometimes because he is obsessed with his feet and always tries to get them but then he falls over...
3. He loves all his toys! He reaches for toys and moves them from hand to hand. He opens his hands and takes the toys and they go directly to his mouth. He is also working on holding his bottle!
4. Starting to communicate... he has been making lots of different sounds and noises (including mama... but I don't think he was calling me mama, just making the sound!) He will make somes sounds and then look at you and when you say something back, he will make more sounds. He is too funny.
5. Laughing... at everything! Carter thinks everything is hilarious... and I love him for that. I hope he never loses that.
Well that's all for now... hopefully I will be able to write more soon!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Catching up...

I have come to realize that it is REALLY difficult to keep up with this blog with a 3 month old!! We have been having a really wonderful summer so far. We have taken a couple of road trips and spent a lot of time hanging with our friends and families.
Carter is growing like crazy. I cried a little when I packed away a whole box of clothes that he can't wear anymore. He is still wearing a lot of his 3 month clothes but he can wear some of his 6 month stuff already. He is seriously the funniest baby. He laughs and "talks" all the time. My favorite part of the day is when I get home from work and Carter smiles and laughs. Speaking of work... it was really hard to go back but now that I am there, it is almost like I never left. I got most of my kids back that I had before I left and I have some fun new kiddos. It sure makes the day go by a lot faster when I have adorable kids to play with all day.
Carter thinks his is a big boy already. His favorite thing to do is to stand up and he tries to sit up on his own, but can't quite get his balance. He loves to play on his activity mat and we have started to put him in his excersaucer at night for a few minutes at a time. He really tries to reach out and grab the toys. He found his hands a few weeks ago and they have not stopped going in his mouth since then. It seems we have a little thumb sucker on our hands and as cute as it is, we desperately want to break him of that before he gets addicted!!
Right now, Carter is enjoying his days with his Mimi and his Gigi. I feel so lucky to have them to watch him so I didn't have to put him in daycare right away. It was hard enough leaving him with my mom on the first day so I don't know if I could have left him with a stranger. My mom has him this week and its fun to come home everyday and look at the pictures she has taken of him throughout the day.
We were very blessed last week when Ryan was hired on as a full time employee at his job. He has been working as a temp without any benefits since January but after next month he will be able to get benefits!!
We celebrated what would have been Dad's 55th birthday on July 3. We released more balloons for him like we did last year. It is so hard to believe that this is the 2nd birthday without him. We miss him so much everyday.
I just wanted to write a quick note to catch up!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Carter loves Daddy!

I have to say that one of my favorite things about being a mommy to Carter is watching him interact with his Daddy! Ryan is such a great dad. Everyday when he comes home from work he immediately grabs Carter and starts to play with him. Carter smiles so big and makes the sweetest baby sounds. Ryan sets Carter on his lap facing him and just talks to him and makes faces. Carter reacts by wiggling around and cooing. It is just the sweetest thing ever. Carter woke up to eat about 4:00 this morning. After he had his bottle, I put him down to go back to sleep which of course he didn't want to do. Ryan got up with him around 5:00 and took him into his room to rock him. I didn't go right back to sleep and I just listened to Ryan talk to Carter. It makes me feel so good to know that I have such a supportive partner and Carter has such a loving Dad.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

One Month Old!

Carter is one month old!

We celebrated Easter the same day he turned a month old. We had a lovely afternoon with our families at mom's house. It is always great to have the whole family together. Our cousin Lauren made the trip down from Charlotte and met Carter for the first time. Carter had a great day being passed around and letting everyone love on him. He even enjoyed being outside while Maddie hunted Easter eggs. Next year will be really fun when he can hunt eggs, too! If Maddie is anything like her mom, she will be super competitive so I hope Carter is prepared!

Carter is changing everyday! We had his one month well check visit on Wednesday. He is 10 lbs 9 oz and 21 1/2 inches long. Our pediatrician was very impressed with the way that Carter was holding his head and how strong he was. She put him on his tummy and he lifted his head right up. She said that he was doing what she expected him to do at two months old already. Carter has already rolled from his tummy to his back 4 different times. It was really surprising because he isn't suppose to do that until he is alittle bit older. I'm so proud of my baby!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

3 Weeks Old!

Carter is 3 weeks old today! Time is flying by. Carter is still sleeping quite a bit during the day but he is sleeping better at night. He is loving his activity mat and his bouncer. He likes to listen to his musical toys, especially his Glow Sea Horse. He is a little wiggle worm and moves his arms and legs constantly when he is awake. Ryan and I gave Carter is first real bath last night. We had to wait for his umbilical cord stump to fall off and it finally did! He wasn't sure about the bath at first. He kind of kicked his legs and looked around before he started to cry. It was a good first attempt!!I got to thinking the other night when we had a visit from my best friend Meghan and her family. Meghan's sister Nicole is expecting a little girl in July. I kept telling her the same things people told me that annoyed the heck out of me when I pregnant. It was like I couldn't help myself. I guess it just seems like a rite of passage- now that I've pushed out a baby, I can give you advice! Well I told Nicole that she could come over and hang out with us if she ever wanted "practice" for her baby. It wasn't until a couple of days later that I started thinking about this concept and how ridiculous it really is to try to "practice" for a baby. Preparing for a baby is kind of like preparing for the SATs, GRE, or any other standardized test. You can prepare for the overall aspects of the test but you never know what is actually going to be on it. Now matter how many vocabulary words, analogies, or math problems you study, I never felt adequately prepared because I didn't know the exact questions. It would have been a lot easier if they had given us the actual test to study, right? Same with babies. You can read all the books or google random things about babies, but your baby isn't going to develop exactly how the baby down the street or across the country is developing. For example, you can google "how often do babies eat?" and you will get the pretty standard charts and they will say that a baby that is 3 weeks old should eat every 3 hours. Well, sometimes Carter likes to eat every 2 hours and then sometimes he can go 4 hours. Sometimes he whines and cries like he is ready to eat, drinks a whole bottle, and then spits it up all down my shirt. You can not predict how your baby is going to eat, poop, sleep or cry.

The whole point is that no matter how much you think you know about babies, you will never know what YOUR baby is going to be like until they get here. And I think mine is pretty cool :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

2 Weeks Old!

Carter is two weeks old now! We had his 2 week check up on Wednesday and he got a good report. He weighed in at 8 pounds 8 ounces. He is finally on a pretty good eating schedule. He is sleeping for 3 or 4 hour stretches during the day but he likes to be up at night. So far, Carter has been a really great baby. He doesn't get too fussy and he stays pretty content as long as he is in his swing, bouncer or being held.

Being a new mom is completely overwhelming. There are so many things that people don't warn you about. It is so easy to get everything ready for your baby to get here but once they are here, it is a whole new ball game. Before I had Carter, I was completely ready for him to get here with all the physical things that I needed. The one thing that I didn't completely prepare for was the emotional toll that having a new baby takes. I hate to hear Carter cry, even if it is just for a second. The first few days home from the hospital, all I could do was cry. It had a lot to do with the hormones changing in my body but it also had a lot to do with the fact that I had no idea what I was doing. Everything was hard at first: feeding him, changing him, putting clothes on him. The only thing that made me feel better was looking down at his little face knowing that he loved me no matter how big of a mess I was. Thank goodness I had Ryan to support me and my mom too! She stayed with us for a few nights when Ryan went back to work to help me not lose my mind!!

Carter is starting to get more alert. He is starting to look at his hanging toys on his bouncer, reacting to my face, and smiling (although this is most likely gas at this age but I like to think he smiles when he sees me!)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Welcome to the World Carter!

Carter Steven is here! He is now a week old and the most precious gift to our family. We are so in love!! Let's go back and start from the beginning...

Wednesday the 23rd was a pretty difficult day for me. I was so uncomfortable because Carter had dropped so low and had been sitting on my pelvic bone for about a week. I couldn't sleep at night and had to waddle slowly around the house which made my nesting nearly impossible. My mom came over after school that day and I cried to her about how I was so ready for Carter to just come already! I hadn't had any contractions for the past couple of days so I thought that the doctor had lied when he said any day now. Mom left that night and told me that she was going to be prepared for an early morning phone call because she had a feeling Carter was coming. And she was right...

I got up to use the bathroom a little bit after 3:30 am. I had just started to get comfortable again when all of a sudden I felt something strange. I jumped out of bed as fast as a pregnant lady can move and that's when it happened- my water broke. "Ryan... my water just broke." I have never seen him move so fast. He lept out of bed like someone had just lit him on fire and he was immediately in Dad mode. He gathered all of our hospital gear (which of course I way over packed for) and we were off. We safely made it to the hospital and I got checked in about 4:45 am.

The whole ride to the hospital I had little contractions and I thought "Wow, this isn't so bad." I would be eating those words for the next two hours. Hard labor hit around 5:15. There is really no way to accurately describe the pain. No matter how you squirm and reposition, there is no relief. The only thing that made me remotely feel better was to grasp Ryan's shirt and twist it. All Ryan could do was stare down at me with wide eyes and say "What can I do for you?" There was absolutely nothing. The nurse finally wheeled me down to labor and delivery and spoke the most beautiful word I have ever heard in my life... epidural. I got it about 7:00 am. The relief that came from the amazing drug was almost instantaneous. I could finally breathe again. I recommend an epidural to anyone who is going to have a baby in the future. Going natural might seem like a good idea but TRUST me, it is much better to not feel anything below your belly button while pushing out an 8 pound baby.

All I had to do from then on was wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait some more.

I finally was able to start pushing at about 2:10. We had a wonderful nurse who made everything seem fun and relaxed. After each round of pushing, we just chatted. We talked about everything from the movie Knocked Up to the oh so hilarious experiences of her other patients. Carter was slightly turned and instead of facing down, he was facing up and to the left. Because of this, he was a little more difficult to get out. Before I knew it, the doctor had come in and told me that I just had one more big push. Carter made his debut into this world at 3:11 pm weighing 8 lbs 7 oz and he was 19 3/4 inches long. That first cry was the most incredible sound I have ever heard.

Now my beautiful little boy is one week old. We are getting settled into our routine. We are figuring out a pretty decent feeding schedule, getting faster at diaper changes, and learning how different it is to hang out with a bright eyed baby at 2am instead of our friends.

Friday, March 4, 2011

36 Weeks

So I am officially one week from full term! Only four weeks left until my due date. A lot has happened in the past week. Mom and I went around Simpsonville and looked at several daycares. Ryan couldn't make it because he had to work. We ended up looking at 5 total. I was certainly surprised by the cost of some of the places. We had a really good experience though and found 3 that we liked. Ryan told me to go with my gut and listen to where God was leading me. We decided to enroll Carter at Holy Cross Academy. The ladies in the infant room were very pleasant and had been there for 5 and 11 years. I will go back to work at the end of June but Carter will stay with mom and Ryan's mom until August when they go back to school. Overall, I feel really good about my decision, especially after some of the daycares I have been to as an EI. I just know that they will take good care of him and he won't be left in his crib all day!

Last weekend, we had Carter's last piece of furniture delivered by my Dad's friends and co-workers Jerry and Dwanye. I can't express how PERFECT it is! If you are ever want to have a custom piece of furniture you should check out Check it out!

I went to the doctor this week and everything looked good. I gained back a bit of the weight that I lost during my stomach bug adventure. I was measuring right at 36 weeks. When the doctor felt my belly she said "wow, you don't have any room in there at all!" It is true. I'm starting to be able to feel body parts coming out of my waist and stomach. I keep trying to figure out exactly how it is situated in there. The doctor also said that he felt like he had already flipped and was in position for delivery. Oh wow that's crazy! I can't believe that in a few short weeks, I will be holding my little boy!

I had a wonderful BFF dinner with Kaylin and Meghan on Wednesday. We went to the delicious Adam's Bistro. It was great catching up. After dinner, I headed over to Carmax to check out a car with Ryan. We went to look at a red Mazda6 and found a gray Mazda6. They were both 2009s, had similiar mileage and almost identical features. I spent an hour going back and forth between the cars nitpicking over every detail. "Can I live with the scratch on the trunk?" "Does the red look like a 'mom' car?" "Is that spot on the windshield going to drive me bananas?" I felt like I was channeling my Dad. For those of you that didn't know my dad, he was super particular about cars. He washed all the cars almost every weekend and would notice every new ding or dent. When he bought me my Honda in high school, he looked for about 6 months and probably 15 cars before he got mine. He said that he wanted me to have the perfect car for college. I still remember pulling in the driveway and seeing it sitting there with my dad holding a big bunch of balloons. It was such a special moment! Well I finally decided on the gray one because it was in better body condition and the interior was impeccable. We got an awesome interest rate and a great deal. I offically feel like an adult now because we have the house, the car and a baby on the way!

After putting it off for a day, we put my Honda on craigslist last night at around 6:00. After getting a flood of emails, we set up a time for a man to come look at the car tonight and it sold right away! It was really sad to watch it drive away but I will always have the memories of my Dad holding those balloons and smiling ear to ear when I pulled up. I haven't taken any pictures of my new car yet but I will soon! I also need to take pictures of Carter's completed room. Lots to do! Goodbye, Honda! Thanks for getting my from A to B for the past 7 years!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

34 Weeks and the Stomach Bug.

So I'll be 34 weeks tomorrow! I can't believe how fast time is going by. I'm so ready for Carter to get here. I'm tired of being up all night uncomfortable and pregnant... I'd much rather be up all night with my sweet baby!

Speaking of how fast time goes by Maddie, my adorable niece, is ONE! My goodness. I still remember getting the call that Dan was going to be induced and getting all my stuff ready to head to Kentucky with mom. The first time I held that little girl, I knew what true unconditional love was. I never knew love could be so instantaneous. My heart just swells with joy everytime I see her. I know I am a little bias but she is the cutest and smartest child I have ever met in my life. I can't wait for her and Carter to grow up together and to see how they interact.
Last weekend, Ryan and I had plans to finish up things in Carter's room by getting curtains and shelves hung. Saturday we were going to enjoy a night with friends at Steve's surprise birthday party. Then on Sunday we were going to have maternity pictures taken by my mom and enjoy the beautiful weather. Well, the dreaded stomach bug decided that those plans were not important. It hit about 5 am on Saturday and kept me down and out all day Sunday. Luckily, I had my dear Ryan there to take care of me. He made several trips to the store at my request and rubbed my back when I was trying to get to sleep. I had an OB appointment on Valentine's day and the damage was clear. I lost about 6lbs, was dehydrated and my blood pressure was low. Carter's heartbeat was strong and he has been moving around quite a bit. He probably enjoyed all the extra room in my belly since my stomach was empty. I didn't lose any weight in my belly and I was still measuring right at 34 weeks! I was ordered home to rest on Monday. I am finally feeling like myself again!

So now all of our Carter related plans have been moved to this weekend! The piece of furniture that my Dad's friend is making for us is going to be ready in two weeks. Once we get that, his room will be complete! We can hang up the rest of the decorations on the wall and get the rest of his stuff stored away where is actually belongs. Below is a picture of Carter's bedding and the piece of furniture that Jerry is working on! It still needs to be finished and stained but I am in love with it already!!

Ryan and I are also on the hunt for a new car. I love my good old Accord but the 2 doors won't work well with putting a new baby in and out. We are planning on going next weekend to look and perhaps buy. We went and test drove some cars right around when I first found out I was pregnant but we decided to put it off until it got closer. I'm worried that I am going to have a hard time giving up the Accord because of all the memories attached to it. My Dad went through a lot to find me the perfect car back in high school and everytime I drive it, I think of him. I am excited about getting a new car though because I have had mine for 7 years! Wow. Time flies.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Fantastic Mr. Cole

I want to take a minute to tell you all how wonderful Ryan truly is (as if those who already know him need to be reminded!!)

In August of 2009, Ryan decided to go back to school. He worked at Unichem in a non-climate controlled facility that got to over 100 degrees in the summer months and about 50 degrees in the winter months. He worked from 8 to 5 and then headed to class from 5:30 until 10 Monday through Thursday. He never complained once always saying how he was working for us and our family. Ryan finished school in January of this year and immediately started a new job at Sealevel. Now Ryan drives 45 minutes to Easley every morning and has been working 12 hour days. He leaves around 6:15 and gets home around 8ish at night. Still, he never complains! He comes home, listens to me talk about my day, rubs on my baby belly, loves on the dogs and plays with them, AND watches all my TV shows.

Not only is Ryan the greatest husband, but he is already the greatest father. Carter loves when Ryan talks to him when he gets home from work and he is most active when Ryan is home! I think he likes Ryan's voice more then mine.

I just wanted to take a second to brag on him! I'm so proud to be married to such an amazing guy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

30 Weeks and Baby Showers!

I've made it to 30 weeks! Only 10 more weeks to go. I can't believe how fast time is going. Carter's favorite thing to do right now is roll around in my tummy and kick me in the bladder! Work has started getting a little interesting with my growing belly. It's getting harder to get up and down off the floor but I'm still managing! It just takes me a few extra minutes. The kids that I work with have started getting curious about my belly as well. Both my little girls that I saw today rubbed on my belly and looked at me suspiciously. I told them that there was a baby in my belly and that didn't seem to answer their questions!

We have had two showers, one in Tennessee and one here in Simpsonville.

Our Tennessee couples shower was hosted by Kathy Hawkins, a family friend of the Coles, and Ryan's Aunt Teresa. It was a way to include Ryan's friends and family that could not make it out to my shower in Simpsonville. It was very quaint and we had a great time celebrating Carter with them. It was funny to see the men that were at the shower playing the baby shower games. I'm pretty sure they got more into then the ladies that were there. One great thing about having men at the shower was that we got to watch football which is evident in the second picture when I was caught checking the score! Ryan and I got a lot of cute things for Carter. We had a wonderful time with Eddie and April and loved seeing their new home! It is always nice to go back to Tennessee and see Ryan's friends and family.
I had a wonderful shower hosted by my sister Danielle, and two of my best friends, Kaylin and Meghan. It was amazing! My family came in from Georgetown and I had friends come from Columbia and Charleston. The theme for the shower was elephants which was perfect for me. Carter is going to be decked out in adorable elephant stuff! I hope he likes elephants as much as I do!! Danielle, Kaylin and Meghan made some really delicious food and Kaylin planned some fun (but challenging) games! One of my favorite things that Carter got at the shower was a handmade blanket from Lois, a sweet lady that used to work with Dad, that looks EXACTLY like my baby blanket! (I have a blue baby blanket because my mom thought I was a boy... and yes I still sleep with it.) It was so overwhelming going through all of our gifts at the end of the night but I think we are finally getting organized! We have some updated pictures of Carter's room that I will post in the next couple of days.

Thanks to everyone who came to both of our showers and for all the amazing love you have shown us as we get ready to welcome our little boy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

28 Week Appointment

Ryan and I were finally able to make it to my 28 week appointment today after we had to miss it on Monday due to the snow and ice. We almost didn't make it out of our driveway because the ice on it has not melted at all! Luckily Ryan has a 4 wheel drive Explorer so we were able to make it out. I highly doubt my Honda will be able to make it down the driveway for a few more days. The main roads weren't too bad but some of the side roads we passed looked terrible still.

We thought we were going to be in the doctor's office forever today with the all the make up appointments they were going to schedule today but we were in and out in about 20 minutes! I got official word that I passed my glucose test! I also got good reports on my weight and my blood pressure. It seems like things are going pretty smoothly so I hope that it continues. We got to hear Carter's heartbeat again today and it sounded strong. He's is quite the active little guy so I'm not surprised! We saw a few women in the office today that were about to pop. I overheard a lady saying that she was going to be induced tomorrow and I got a little jealous. Then I realized that we have SO much to do before our little boy gets here and I was thankful that I still have about 11 weeks. We are trying to decide whether or not we want to get the 4D ultrasound done. Our doctor's office does them but my insurance doesn't cover it so we are looking at going to Baby Impressions to have it done. I need to call and stop procrastinating. I found a coupon for them today for $20 off so I guess that's more reason to go and get it done!

Ryan and I have used the past few snow days to get a few things done in Carter's room. Yesterday we hung up his wall decals and the fabric canvases that match his bedding. Today I decorated an old lamp shade to match his room. I'm really excited with the way everything is turning out!