3.29.2008

Happy 2 Months, Carter!

Dear Carter,

I can hardly believe you’ve been here on this earth for two months! It’s gone by so quickly and yet I can hardly recall life without you in it.

You are growing rapidly. In the last month, you gained almost 3 pounds and added over 2 inches to your length! You are already outgrowing your 3-month clothes.

In the last few weeks, you have begun to coo and smile, and you are now attempting to laugh. You have just discovered yourself in the mirror on your playmat, and you seem to think you’re pretty funny! You love bathtime. You could spend hours in your papasan swing, and you like your pacifier most of the time. You cling to your lamb blankie when you sleep, and you seem to favor your right hand. You are fascinated by lights, enjoy staring out the window at the world, and become immediately entranced when you hear music. You like to kick your legs when you’re lying down and often try to stand on them when I am burping you. You hold your head up and steady for long periods of time and take in all that’s around you with your big blue eyes opened wide. You rarely cry, but when you do, you stick out your lower lip – I have to say, it’s adorable. Your acid reflux occasionally rears its ugly head, but you have become a champ at downing your medicine.

You have experienced many new events this month: you attended your first wedding, baby shower, and church service. You celebrated Easter Sunday. You took your first bottle and even slept through the night twice.

You are truly a good baby, Carter. As a first-time mother, I am very blessed to have a child as sweet-natured and calm as you while I continue adjusting to my new role. You definitely resemble your daddy with your even-keeled temperament.

Even days when motherhood (the scheduling of feedings, responsibilities, and unexpected challenges) seems stressful, I realize that I would rather make it through a stressful day with you in my life than to breeze through a carefree day without you in it. Your daddy and I love you more than we know how to express.

Happy 2 Months Son!

Love,
Mommy

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3.23.2008

Happy Easter!

Listening intently to Daddy reading the story of Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection.

Daddy and Carter
Mommy and Carter

The Easter bunny brought several swimsuits for upcoming trips to Lake Martin and a book "What is Easter?"

His hair still looks dark brown from the back, but it really looks blonde now from the front!

Our first Sunday back to church...Carter did really well and seemed to enjoy the praise music.

Bathtime and bunnies....

My Baby's First Easter pjs....
...complete with rabbit feet.


The Lord is risen indeed. Hallelujah!

Happy Easter to all of you!
Love, Scott, Kelley & Carter


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3.22.2008

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Carter LOVES music. Yesterday, I was singing while burping him, and he began holding vowel sounds as if he was trying to sing too! (or he could have been trying to block out my off-key voice) But as you'll see in this video from his bathtime last night, even my silly voice can make him smile. I love it! :) His eyes get really big, he flashes his grin, and my heart melts. Don't you just want to eat him up???

P.S. I don't want to read any comments making fun of my singing. :)

video

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3.11.2008

MIA.....

Missing In Action
I realize that I have been MIA for over a week. With my sister moving in for the last month before her wedding, a few bridal showers at my house, being a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding this weekend, and all the preparations that go along with these exciting events, it has been busy at the Brown household. I actually assigned several new meanings to the acronym MIA to describe my life during the last 10 days. But first things first...while I have been missing in action, here are a few highlights since I last posted:

Carter smiling at his Gram Me on her birthday.


Carter is sleeping in the same bassinet that his Grandad (Scott's dad) slept in when he was a baby! The Browns have the bassinet at their house for when their grandson comes to visit.


These pictures show Carter pushing up and lifting his head. He pushed all the way up, but by the time I got my camera, he had lowered his head. However, he did hold this pose for longer than a minute! He is growing stronger every day and loves trying to hold his head up.




Carter has also started cooing. He does this particularly when he is lying on his Einstein activity mat. He has rolled from his tummy to his back three times! At his last appointment with the pediatrician, he weighed 10 lbs 12 oz (75th percentile) and measured 23 1/4" (90th percentile!).

Last Tuesday, Carter and I ventured out to the Iguana Grill for Girls' Night Out. He did very well! The noise didn't seem to bother him, and he was very entertained by the Mexican lights when he woke up. It was very cold that night, so I bundled him up . I am beginning to feel more comfortable taking him out and about.


Those parenting books are right on the money. Carter turned six weeks today and gave us his first "social" smile this morning, just as the experts predicted. He gave me a grin like I have never seen before, and I proceeded to spend the rest of today doing everything I could just to garner another million dollar smile.

Motherhood Induced Amnesia
I want to officially apologize to all of you whom I have failed to return calls or emails. Quite honestly, I just plain forget. On The Today Show last week, a segment highlighted this condition that new mothers suffer from. Experts said that this "momnesia" (so they have termed it) is hormone-related and affects the brain, causing difficulty in memory retention and recollection. So it IS real! I am not going crazy. Yes, I am sleep deprived. But my daily struggle to recall words and names throughout every conversation has been medically proven and verified. Meredith Veira reported that one mom forgot to pack any clothes for the baby when the family went on vacation. I do hope I won't make such a significant mistake, but feel free to give me reminders about anything and everything if you have any doubts or concerns. Chances are, they're legitimate. (And remember, so is momnesia.)

Making It Applicable
On a serious note, I have been continuing to make efforts to keep my priorities in the right order: God, Scott, Carter, etc. It's easy to grasp this concept in my mind, but I have a more difficult time translating it to my heart. And what exactly does this order look like in my daily life? If I spend more hours feeding and caring for Carter, how do I keep my Lord and my husband as my top two priorities? How do I make this important and crucial truth applicable to my life?

During the last couple of days, I have tried to use the nursing times to pray or read. I also realized that I could be going over Scripture memory cards during this time. This morning, I remembered some counsel that author Richard Foster gave for parents of infants in his book Prayer: "Rather than trying to pray in some fanciful isolation that you will never find, discover God in your times with your baby. God will become real to you through your baby. The times of play with your baby are your prayer. You may be able to pray during feeding time - this is especially true for nursing mothers - so sing your prayers to the Lord. In a few short months, you will be able to return to a more regular pattern of prayer." How liberating and encouraging!!!!

Scott and I try to spend at least five or ten minutes having a real conversation and discussing the events of the our days. He has been so supportive every step of the way (even in my "Veronica" moments), and I hope I can keep showing him that same commitment and love.

I would welcome any suggestions from other mothers on how you practically manage to keep Christ first in your life and your marriage before your precious child. It is easier said than done.


More In love All the time
Today I left Carter with my mom while I ran some errands to prepare for the wedding festivities this weekend and the shower at my house. Being away from my son for just a few hours made me miss him so much. As I held him upon returning home, I was overwhelmed with my love for this little boy. I fall more in love with him all the time. I know the Lord didn't have to bless us with a child, and I wouldn't have felt any less loved for that decision. But I do feel overwhelmingly grateful for this blessing. And I would be lying if I said I don't love Him any more for it.

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3.01.2008

Momzilla Takes Over

Yesterday afternoon, I took a nap with Carter. Somewhere between 4 and 6 pm, I slipped off cloud nine and awoke to find myself in the black hole of hormonal chaos and moodiness. The transformation was quick and dramatic. (Think Nikki and her altar-ego Jessica on the TV series Heroes.) My poor, unsuspecting husband arrived home to snappy remarks and sulky complaints. He gently took Carter into his arms and held him the rest of the night while I took my postpartum ugliness out on the birth announcement envelopes with my return address stamp.

Today seemed more promising with its fresh start. I awoke cheerful and enjoyed a leisurely morning drinking my coffee and playing with Carter. However, a line of events (insignificant to say the least) abruptly switched back on my mad-woman temperament. We'll call this altar-ego "Veronica."

Many people prepare you for pregnancy and for the actual delivery process, but it's hard to imagine the changes that occur after your little bundle of joy arrives. Expectations abound, and many turn out to be false. For instance, I knew it would take a while for my pregnancy weight to come off. However, it never dawned on me that my clothes would not fit for weeks to come. I shed 2/3 of my weight extremely quickly, and perhaps I got cocky and thought those 7 cookies a day wouldn't hurt me. :)

Until today, I have been content to roam the house in one of my three sweatsuits. My other uniform consists of my maternity jeans and a Target maternity shirt that could perhaps pass off as trendy with its empire waist. But with a bridesmaid luncheon, rehearsal dinner, and wedding two weeks from today, I thought I should try on some clothes to see what I could fit into.

BAD IDEA.

Tonight, I just about lost it as the following unfolded in less than 3 minutes...

- I discovered my 4 lb. maltese Sadie (now hereby known as the Little White Termite) chewing the doorframe

- the peace lily plant overflowed onto our dining room oriental rug as I watered it

- the oven timer beeped signaling dinner was ready (1st time I have cooked in four weeks)

- sweet Carter cried at the top of his lungs from his acid reflux (the Zantac is clearly not working 100%)

- I slipped on a rawhide chew bone and nearly busted it.

I anticipated motherhood to be a challenge, but it's different than I expected. Carter brings so much joy. It's juggling the rest of life that makes the transition difficult. And prior to having a child, I would normally be laughing from the chain of events described above. However, when you incorporate sleep deprivation and an "empty" clothes closet, minor details can seem monomental. All I can say is that if you call or visit and I mention Veronica's presence, hang up or run and check back with me later.

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