Thursday, October 30, 2008

Next time you're at the grocery store...

You have to see if this is true.

A sneak peek

A sneak peek at Carter's Halloween costume. Cutest turkey EVER.

Monday, October 27, 2008

So weird

My husband got out of bed at 2:00 this morning, went to the bathroom, and took a shower before he realized it wasn't time for work yet. How weird is that?!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Tooth #6 popped through yesterday. It's funny because the dentist didn't count it on Monday because it was still below the surface, but on Tuesday it was a full-fledged tooth. I'm hoping now that it's out, Carter will sleep a little better. He's been nursing 2 or 3 times a night recently. He now has 4 on top, and 2 on the bottom.

Apple picking

We went out to Crooked Run Orchard this past weekend with Chris' parents to pick some apples. The Braeburns were picked pretty clean, except at the very top of the trees. And of course there weren't any of those tall sticks around to help us get them. in-laws climbed the trees! I tried but I just don't have any upper arm strength to pull myself up there.

Here's a pretty one Chris picked. It's tiny but cute.

Our bucket of apples. We wound up getting a bunch of Mutsu's also. They are really good! A tiny bit of tartness with the sweet, and very crisp. A perfect apple for eating raw.

And now I have to find the time to cut them all up and make some applesauce for the little guy...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Uh oh!

We have word #3! Granted, he hasn't said Hi or ByeBye too much in a while, but he has before, so I'm counting them. Last night, he kept dropping his "credit card" that we give him to play with. Every time he dropped it, I said, "Uh oh!" After a few times, we realized he was repeating what I was saying, but it was in Carterspeak so that's why we didn't realize it at first. But, every time, he said it right after I did. Chris and I got such a kick out of that! I'll try to catch it on video.

He's also gotten really good at high fiving in the past few days. He does his Touchdown whenever he hears us say that word, even if it's not in the right tone or singsong voice. And if we say "high five" and hold up our hand, he presses his hand right into it. So cool. He actually understands what we're saying!

Yesterday, my mom got him to shake her hand. She says, "Carter, do you want to shake my hand" and holds her hand out for him. He grabs it and she shakes it while saying, "How do you dooooo" in a funny voice. He loves it.

Watching him imitate us and learn things is so amazing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

You're not gonna believe this

So, you know how we were wondering what to do with Chris' walker and toilet thing? I had contacted a bunch of places and finally found a nursing home that would take it off our hands. Maybe.

But tonight, I got a Freecycle email from someone looking for a walker and toilet thing! It went to the large group, so it's not like they sent it just to me because they knew I had one. I emailed her right away and she was so happy. Her dad's coming for a visit and they wanted to have stuff for him at her house. She's coming by tomorrow to pick it up.

How great is that??!!

First dentist visit

Carter had his first dentist appointment this morning. He, um, hated it. LOL. I really think it was all about how the hygienist approached him, with both hands coming at him. But he screamed and squirmed and didn't do so well. But, he recovered quickly and the dentist gave him a clean bill of health. Said his teeth look perfect and to keep him coming every 6 months.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'll cry if I want to...

It's my birthday today. I used to really look forward to my birthday every year. Presents, cake, everyone singling you out for one special day. Now it just feels not very special. It's just Sunday. It's a day to get a haircut, go to the grocery store, lounge around the house.

I'm feeling very blah. I think it's lack of sleep. I'm being terrorized by a mouse. More on that later.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Report card

Carter just received a report from his daycare supervisor. She comes by once a month to check on things at his provider's house. Here's what she wrote. I couldn't be more proud. :-)

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy visiting at Shaista’s. Can’t believe Carter will be 1 year old soon! Seems like we met yesterday in the office. Carter is such a smart little guy. He amazes me as to how he thinks (and acts) like he is one of the older children at Shaista’s. At snack time, he gets up and down from the table and engages totally with the group. If I may be of any further assistance, please, feel free to contact me. Happy Birthday! I was just at Shaista’s this afternoon.

Real Estate

Many of you know that I work in real estate. I don't buy or sell properties; I work for a title company. For the past few years, the real estate market has really slowed down in a big way. We used to do 100 closings a month. Now? We're lucky if we break double digits. It's pretty scary.

But things may be looking up! Many people I've spoken to seem to think the dam is about to burst and we'll be really busy doing refinances and purchases for all those people who are waiting for the banks to start lending again. People have high interest rates and want to bring them down, it's just a matter of timing. There is a huge backlog of loan applications, and once the government is able to help the banks accept new loans, the tide will turn. And I can't wait to be busy again!

It will be so great to see the number of foreclosures go down, and the number of purchasers with good, solid loans come up. I want people (um, including myself) to be able to get out of loans that probably weren’t a good idea to begin with. And it’s looking that’s going to happen very soon!


This is his new touchdown thing. He does it constantly when he's eating.

Chris' back

This is what it looks like inside. Crazy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

11 Months

Our little dude turned 11 months old yesterday. It's hard to believe it's been almost a year.

He's been so much fun lately. He likes to imitate noises and funny faces. He understands when we say "no" and doesn't like it so much. He's so curious about every sound he hears...that boy will get whiplash one day from all the head straining he does to find the source of the sound. He pries my fingers away one by one if I'm holding something he wants. He kisses with a big wet open mouth. He nibbles my nose and laughs. He loves laying his head down on my chest with his thumb in his mouth. Chris melts when he does it to him. He loves to carry one sock in each hand and gets upset when we take them away. He begs for food, even when he's not hungry. He'll stand right on top of you, put his head down, make his cute little "aahh" sound, and give you puppy dog eyes. And then he'll lick his lips repeatedly. It's ridiculously cute. His favorite toy right now are these little Tonka trains that he can carry around everywhere.

He's decided to stop waving and saying hi and bye for now. But he does do this new thing where he'll put his fists in the air, clench his jaw, and get all red-faced. We call it his Touchdown pose. It's hilarious.

Invitations to his birthday party went out yesterday. Please don't be offended if you weren't invited, and you expected or wanted to be. It's at my mom's house and there's just not enough room for everyone that loves him. We'd have to rent out a banquet hall for that!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Baby dreams

I wonder what Carter dreams about. Last night he slept in our room so I wouldn't have to cross paths with THAT THING when he woke up to nurse. I bolted up at 5:00 thinking I heard IT moving around and a few minutes later, Carter laughed in his sleep! Made me giggle. I wonder what he was dreaming about.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Idiot parents

Along the lines of what Skippy's been talking about recently, Chris and I had an interesting experience yesterday.

We were leaving Linens N Things and headed over to Old Navy. There was a car in the parking lot with the alarm going off. I headed to our car to drop off our purchases so we didn't have to schlep them, and saw a kid in the backseat of the car with the alarm. He was moving all around like, "Oh shit, what do I do now??" He was about 7 or 8 and he probably opened the car door to get his mom and the alarm went off, he freaked out so he shut the door and now he was inside with the alarm going off. A second later, he bolted from the car and ran across the parking lot into the store (and, yes, at least he looked both ways before crossing).

As he went in the store I realized that she may come out and see him missing and freak. We stood where we were for a minute or two pondering the situation when she came out and headed right for her car. I saw her peek in the backseat and called her son's name, as I was running across the parking lot to tell her that he ran inside to find her. I saw the panic set in for a second until I told her and she ran back into the store.

Imagine if we hadn't been there to tell her that. If she'd gone out to her car and her son was missing. He could have been taken easily; the windows were wide open. Who leaves their little kid in a car anymore?? Seriously. I just hope she learned her lesson and it never happens again.

A mouse!!

There's a mouse in our house!

For two nights, I've heard something in our vent that sort of sounded like a squirrel dropping acorns or something. Then, this morning after nursing Carter, I was laying in bed and heard something in the bathroom. A few minutes later, I heard paper rustling in our bedroom. I shot up, which woke Chris up, and he asked what was wrong. I told him what I heard, and next thing we know, there's a mouse running across our dresser! Oh. My. God.

Can you imagine if I'd run into him while going to get Carter?? I don't turn on any lights to do that.

I am so grossed out. Blech. I keep getting the heeby jeebies.

(Chris just went into the bathroom and found droppings in our tub. I KNEW I heard him in there!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The cheese stands alone

Finally, Carter stood by himself for 3 full seconds last night. I had to get him balanced and let go, but he did it and we clapped and cheered and he was very proud of himself. We'll keep practicing and I'm sure by next week he'll be a pro.

Another thing we've noticed him doing is that he pushes a ball, toy, whatever in front of him so he can chase it. He'll take the back of his hand and push it. He's like a kitten.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Chris is doing so great. He hasn't taken any of his Vicodin in 2 days. He's able to get himself into and out of bed, and today he even put on his own shoes and socks! We went to the farmer's market to get him out of the house for a little bit and he did great getting into and out of the car. He even took the steps upstairs with one foot on each, instead of doing it with both feet on each step like a little kid. He's using his walker just as a backup, just in case he loses his balance or needs something to lean on.

The incisions are healing well. He's able to shower by himself. His mom rigged up a contraption using yarn and a hanger so he can pull the thing to make the water go from the faucet to the shower head. It's pretty impressive.

It's been great having his mom's help. And the yummy food she brings and cooks ain't so bad either! :-)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

He's home!

Chris is finally home!! He's in bed and fairly comfortable. I can't wait for Carter to see him again. He keeps looking for him.

Chris brought a walker home with him to use for a while. Anybody know what we should do with it when we're done with it? Can it be donated to a nursing home, do you think?


I have 458 unread posts on my Google Reader. And two day's worth of work to catch up on. Oy.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Surgery story

I'm home after being away from Carter pretty much for 30 hours. It was a little tough as I was getting ready to fall asleep. I started thinking about him and got a little weepy. But thankfully the exhaustion overcame me pretty quickly.

Anyway, enough about me. Here's where we've been the past two days.

Chris was called back to the surgical holding area around 1:00 on Monday and they did all the usual questioning, poking, etc. The nurses were all great and friendly. They asked him what procedure he was having done. Normal people would have answered "back surgery", but Chris said the whole procedure name (see a few posts ago for what it's called) and they were all very impressed. He just grinned. He was so proud of himself.

They took him back about an hour later and then began the long wait. His doctor said he'd try to do the minimally invasive version of the procedure, but wouldn't know if he could do it until he started cutting. He said if it was the minimal one, it would take 1.5 to 2 hours. If he had to do a more extensive surgery, it could take up to four hours. I braced myself for the long haul.

The hospital didn't have wireless internet, so I was pretty bummed about that. Chris' mom was good company though. After what felt like days of waiting, the doctor came out and told us he did do the minimally invasive version but some of Chris' nerves were all bundled up in scar tissue from his last back surgery, so that's what took so long. He had to unwind them and cut out the scar tissue. He said it would be another little while in recovery before we could see him so we headed to the cafeteria to grab some dinner (it was around 6:00 at this point). After we ate we headed back to Surgical Waiting and the nurse came out and told us he was still very sleepy and in and out of consciousness so they were gonna let him sleep a while longer. Then she basically called him a lightweight and that made me giggle. But she gave us his room number and said we could go wait up there. I was happy about that because a) there would be a tv, and b) I needed to pump again.

When we got off the elevator and saw his room, we were shocked. His doctor had told us that he got the VIP room, but we thought he was joking. (The head nurse in that unit is the mother of Chris' friend that died last year. The one we did the race for the other day.) Apparently, Mrs. S hooked us up with an enormous room with an awesome tv.

You can't see all of it, but it had 3 comfy chairs, plus 2 dining room type chairs, a round table, a dresser (you can see that in the pic), and a flat panel tv. It was way bigger than it looks in the pic. It wasn't until later that night, when we looked at the remote control (it was lost for a while), that we realized it really was the VIP room. The remote said so! (click the picture to make it bigger)

At around 7:30, they finally brought Chris upstairs to us. He was really pale. It's always scary seeing him like that. It took about 45 minutes but he finally started to come around and got some color back in his face. He was a little slow and out of it at first too.

The rest of the night is kind of a blur. There were lots of nurses coming in doing all sorts of stuff. It scared me every time he got up to the go to the bathroom because it was so hard for him, and he was shaky and grimacing and grunting trying to get out of bed and stand up. I felt really helpless. All that exertion made him hot so he had them turn the AC down to 65. The rest of the night is a haze of shivering, runny nose, and drifting in and out of consciousness. I think I helped him go to the bathroom while I was still asleep. We did get a good 4 hour chunk of sleep at one point which was great.

Today the physical therapist came in to help him get out of bed more easily and to help him walk around a bit. She brought a walker and told us she'd order one for us to take home. Before he got out of bed, I had to get a pic of his sexy knee-highs.

Good stuff, right?

Here he is walking down the hall with the physical therapist.

I stayed with him until around 10:30 this morning when his mom showed up, then headed home for a bit to shower and hang out with Carter. I hugged and squeezed that boy like crazy. I missed him so much. I went back around 1:00 and stayed until 5:30 and then left him with his mom. I hate having to leave him to spend the night by himself, but my mom had already been down here for two days helping out.

And now I'm exhausted and ready for sleep. Thanks for all your prayers, well wishes, and all that good stuff!

Monday, October 06, 2008

All done! He did great!
Oh, and finding a place to pump...not so easy. Finally begged and got a conference room.
Still waiting on the doc. Once he comes out to report to us Chris will be in recovery for an hour or so. This waiting sucks.
Chris just went back for his surgery. It could take anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Preparing myself

Monday will be the first time I won't be home to put my baby to sleep. I'll be at the hospital with Chris, and while I know he's in good hands with my mom, it makes me so sad that I won't be able to kiss and cuddle with him. I won't see him for almost 24 hours. I'm gonna miss that fuzzy-headed kid.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Chris' surgery

This is the surgery he's having. It's called transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion at L4-5. That's a mouthful!

When it rains, it pours

Bad couple of days.

We found out on Wednesday that Chris will need to have back surgery. On Monday! He hurt his back at his company picnic a few months ago and since then has had two injections, neither of which has worked. An MRI on Wednesday showed a larger herniation than before and he has decreased strength in one of his legs. This surgery is way more extensive than his last one (he walked out of the hospital a few hours later). He'll be admitted for two days and it could take him anywhere from one week to two months (!!) to recover. They'll be removing a disk completely and putting all sorts of metal shit in his back so the bones grow together. It sounds awful and painful and I hate that he has to have it done. I am, however, looking forward to him being healed and able to do the things he used to do before he hurt himself.

On top of that, the cold I caught from my coworker has snuck its way into Carter's nose and the poor boy was sneezing ALL DAY yesterday. Then, last night he woke up four times crying like someone had just punched him in the face. He usually only wakes up once between 4:00 and 6:00 and then goes right back to sleep after I nurse him.

At one point as I sat down with him he let out a bunch of toots in succession and then seemed to settle down a little bit (notice I said "a little bit"). And then this morning he was fussing and as I was about to open his door I heard him grunt and then shake the house with a huge fart. And then he was quiet. Don't know what he or I ate that caused that. In addition to the gas, he also can't breathe out of his nose. Poor kid has snot flowing from his nose, watery eyes, and puffiness all over his face. He's so miserable. And so am I. I forgot what it was like to be up all night with a baby. No newborns for me anytime soon! I'm beat.

The one shining moment in the last two days? Grandpa Don came into town again and got to hang with us and Carter for dinner last night. Will post pics when I can.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

In memory

This weekend we are participating in the Brain Aneurysm Race for Awareness 8K in memory of Chris' friend, Tim Susco. Tim suddenly died last August of a brain aneurysm and it was a huge blow to everyone that knew him. He had such a good heart that he was an organ donor, and his amazing family made sure his organs would be used to help others. If you read this article you'll see what a blessing that organ donation has been to several families.

For those of you that know me in real life, you know I don't exercise. At all. Don't worry...we're not doing the actual race. We're doing the 2K Fun Run with Carter in his new jogging stroller. Except we'll be walking, not jogging. I don't jog. And Chris is still having back problems so he's not jogging either. But we will be there to honor Tim and help raise money and awareness.
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