Happy 7 Months, Carter!

Dear Carter,
Another month gone by! And what a difference several weeks make. You are officially on the move! You started crawling this month, and you're constantly on the go. No matter what toys I introduce, your attention to them typically lasts no longer than 10 minutes. I would worry about you having ADD if it weren't that you'll actually sit and watch a Baby Einstein DVD all the way through. Speaking of those videos, the Baby Bach dvd has some doll carolers that have suddenly begun to scare you. Whenever they come across the screen, you start crying. I don't blame you. They are kind of freaky with their mouths open wide and those big, beady eyes.

After 3 months, "The Good Ship Lollipop" continues to be your favorite song. It can bring a smile to your face at almost any time. One time, I even sang it 6 times in a row to keep you happy on a car ride home. When you were in my tummy, the doctor used to laugh at how active you were during every ultrasound. And when you didn't have the hiccups, you loved to kick. That's hasn't stopped now that you're in the world. You have become super squirmy when I try to change your diaper or dress you. I am not sure if it's your strength or a sense of independence that you're trying to exercise.

In clothes, you're wearing 9-12 months. I still can't convince you to keep any shoes on, so we still let you go barefoot to the church nursery (and everywhere else). I guess that will be okay until you start walking, which may not be that far off. You love to stand and play with your new Fisher Price musical activity table, but Mommy likes to stand right behind you in case you fall over. You seem to have no fear.You absolutely hate being strapped into your carseat and will often tense your whole body and push up into a standing position so that we can't get you into the straps. Since you've grown taller, you can turn your head up and look over the top of the seat to see us in the front. The first time I looked back in the mirror and saw what you were doing, I turned my head at the next traffic light and caught you staring at me. It was so cute! You seemed to think it was funny and would hide your face in the side of the seat to play peek-a-boo.

Now that you're sitting up and can get into that position by yourself, you are sometimes content to just play with your toys in your crib after awakening until we come in. You discovered that you can peek through the slats and watch the door until we come, and you find it fascinating to do so. You're now on a pretty good schedule of taking a morning and afternoon nap of 1-2 hours each. You typically sleep from 6:30 pm to 7:00 am. You eat three meals a day and have tried some new Gerber baby foods like Mango, Guava, Sweet Potato puffs, and Biter Biscuits. You are drinking four bottles a day of 5-8 oz, and you're completely weaned and on formula. That was a tough transition for me, but you're happier now that you're getting enough milk.

You have a couple of funny faces that you like to make. One, you'll squint your eyes and make a flat line with your mouth. The other, you scrunch up your nose, pucker your lips, and close your eyes. I think both expressions are variations/imitations of my faces when I'm being silly! :)
On August 1st, you swam in a pool for the first time! I knew you'd love the water, but I was surprised you did so well given that the water was a tad cold. You squealed with delight for at least 20 minutes. Mrs. Charissa caught these pictures on film.

On August 23rd, we celebrated at cousin Cece's 1st birthday party! You enjoyed watching all of the kids and even let us put a party hat on you for a few pictures. It won't be long before we're watching you eat your own first birthday cake.
While I sometimes mourn the fact that time is flying by, I am not sure I'd slow it down if I had the choice. It is so fun to watch you explore, make new discoveries, and develop new skills. In some ways, I can't wait to witness your first steps or find out what's going on in that mind of yours through your first words. I long to hear you say "mama" or "I love you." But I treasure every second of the present with you - even the tears, stinky diapers, and occasional meltdowns. I love how your eyes light up when you see your daddy. I love that you now repeat funny expressions when you get a response from us. I love to hear your giggles and receive your sweet, wet kisses. I'm even beginning to appreciate the hair pulls. :) Carter, we thank God for you every day.
Happy 7 months!


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In the Land of Browns

Wow. This month is almost over already. Where have the days gone? I have been a terrible blogger this month, and for that, I apologize. You see, we have been living in our own little land lately where we speak our own language, witness miracles, and seem oblivious to the fact that anything else is going on outside our house.

A few weeks ago, Carter had his 6 month checkup. He now weighs a whopping 18 lbs. 13 oz and measures 27 1/4". That places him in the 75% for both. No teeth yet. I have given up on the excuse of "he's teething." It's now a running joke.

So on to the language I've developed. I can't even remember half of the phrases and terms I have conjured up over the last few months, but there is a memorable one: "Appecheezer." I was telling my mom what food we had at Supper Club, and apparently my mouth was trying to catch up with my thoughts. I was attempting to explain that the appetizer was cream cheese and pepper jelly, and out came "appecheezer." Am I sure God is calling me to a SPEAKING ministry??? Pray for me.

The embarrassing thing is that I don't always realize it when I say something crazy. This could be potentially detrimental to my career. For example, I have been freelancing for a writer and acting as his theological sounding board as he writes his new book. However, he has slowed down in his calls to me. And just a few days ago, he notified me that, for the next week, he would be out of the country...maybe he realized I'm living in my own. Who knows if I have made some completely ambiguous, contradictory, or just plain wrong comment. Leave out a "not" or a "yet" or "no" when talking about Jesus, and you've potentially got a heretical statement!At least there have been a few miracles going on in Brown Country.

Miracle #1: I have exercised for 2 1/2 weeks straight!
What can I say? The Olympics have inspired me. Actually, I am trying to whip my body into better shape before we head to Emerald Isle next week for our vacation. I have always been fairly active, but it's very challenging to fit in a workout when you have a young child. Some days, I can't even get motivated. Thankfully, I have had help and inspiration from my friend, Rachel, who is a personal trainer. She is currently offering 6-8 week boot camps in the Birmingham area. Her company is called Extreme Fit Training, and if the name doesn't say it all, let's suffice it to say that the grown men she trains on Saturday mornings typically throw up by the end of the workout. She's not playing around.

On a side note, I have learned a few valuable lessons through my workouts.

Lessons from the Treadmill:
Lesson 1:
I am a very passionate and eager person. I find it easy to throw on some workout clothes, lace up my running shoes, grab my IPOD, and jump on the treadmill in our basement. For the first 10 minutes, I'm running my heart out. Then I hit the wall. My muscles start burning, I start gasping for air, and I decide that I just can't go any longer. But one day, I realized something. It's perseverance and hard work that lead to success. Yeah, skill, talent, and luck can play a role. But whether you're an Olympic athlete or an ambitious businessperson, you're not going to get very far unless you're willing to exercise some determination and put forth some massive effort. Passion is only half of the equation. Passion + Perseverance= Progress. I ended up running for 45 minutes that day and felt really good at the end. (We'll skip over how sore I was the next day.)

Lesson 2:
Rachel has taught me that walking (and I mean walking so fast that you would much rather run) uses more muscle fibers than running and can be just as good of a workout. I can burn almost as many calories speed walking on my treadmill than I can running. That's good news for my knees.

Okay, back to miracles.

Miracle #2: I haven't broken any bones or burned the house down.
Warning to weaning moms....when you stop nursing, your body can go crazy. In addition to nausea, extreme fatigue ("going to bed at 8:30" fatigue), loss of appetite, and crazy emotions (think Momzilla), I have become the world's biggest klutz. (Since I am living in own world, I guess I don't really have that much competition.) By the way, before I get any smart comments about being pregnant, let me assure you....I am not. I wasted money on two tests just to be sure. So, I have tripped on a rawhide bone, taking the skin off the arch of my foot and causing pain with every step. I have bumped into doorframes and hit elbows on corners. And I have even placed oven mitts on a still-hot burner, thus cinging them. I am just waiting for a graceful tumble down some stairs.

Miracle #3: Carter is crawling!
Okay, so this isn't a miracle. But it IS exciting! It will certainly make life more challenging, but nothing beats witnessing your child make such a big discovery. Now one question for you mothers. What constitutes the official "First Day of Crawling?" Five crawls? Ten crawls? Crawling across the room? Completing the 100 meter crawl? Okay, I have logged too many hours watching the Olympics. Good thing they're over. Anyway, I must know in which dated calendar box I am supposed to put his "1st crawled" sticker. :)

In the Land of Browns, we have been doing a lot of reading lately. Having finished two graduate school programs in the last 8 years, I haven't had much time for pleasure reading, to say the least. So I have piles of books I have been just waiting to dive into. Among the many books I have been losing myself in is a very, very special one. My dad's 1st novel!!! If you enjoy the suspenseful, mystery genre, you'll love his book Sonnets. (You can read a summary here.) One critic called it "suspense with a literary flair." You see, writing is in my blood. (Allusion to gore intended.) The book is a quick read and will not leave you disappointed. Dad recently had a book signing at the Barnes and Noble at the Summit, so we took Carter to visit his Papa.

Next month I promise to step out into the real world and blog more often. Thanks for checking in with us.

Point of Clarification: To clear up any confusion, Robert Brown (aka Bob) is my dad, not my father-in-law. Yes, we have the same last name. You see, my maiden name was Brown. Then I met the man of my dreams, Scott Brown (no relation, of course), and became, as my friends LOVE to say, "Kelley Brown Brown." :)

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I'm Calling Your Bluff

This was taped about 4-5 weeks ago, but I just figured out how to download the video to my computer and make it small enough to upload to the blog. I don't know how to cut it yet, so it's 2:30 minutes. But Carter's "act" gets better as the video progresses. :)

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