Monday, December 22, 2008

Lucky Number 7 (months)

Carter turned 7 months old this past month, and I figured I'd better document the milestone before 8 months! For the first time he didn't really do anything all that new and spectacular on the day of his monthly birthday other than this:

Armpit noises are next I'm sure.

No teeth yet, but he was doing so well gumming his teething biscuits, we went ahead and tried puffs. He got the first one in on the first try! Of course, I was standing by with every ounce of Heimlich knowledge I had at my disposal certain a choking incident was inevitable, but he gummed it very well!

He's pulling up on everything now, so I figured it was time to elevate his favorite toy to see how he'd fare, and he absolutely loved getting to play standing up.

In fact, he's decided he wants to play with most all of his toys standing up now, so to keep him occupied I put his toys on our ottomans to play and presto, a whole new set of toys!

BTW, our ottomans were the BEST purchase I made last year for child-proofing our home. We replaced our glass-topped, sharp-corned coffee table with 2 of these a few months back:

I love love love these leather wonders. They are fantastic and very high quality and serve as foot rests, coffee tables, chew toys, and now play-surfaces. Their padded tops and soft corners are perfect for our little man, and they were very affordable through

My favorite feature is the built-in storage so I can keep his small toys out of sight when they are not in use. I'll be the first to admit, it's a practice in futility when I attempt to keep the house from looking like a play ground, but I do try. And as an added safety feature, the hinges have some sort of mechanism that keep the top from slamming down on any little fingers that might be in the way.

Despite the ottomans, I've decided it's almost impossible to make an entire room (that you actually live in) completely baby-proof, and I swear the kid has a radar for stuff that is a 'no-no'. As a result, he spends a lot more time in baby-jail these days (aka the pack-n-play). I'm dying to find some activities/games we can do together to fill up the day, so if any of you have any suggestions, please let me know!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sansford & Jordan

I received this letter in the mail today. Normally any and all junk mail goes straight into the recycling bin (except for credit card stuff which gets shredded), but it was hand addressed so I assumed it was a Christmas card and I opened it. This strange letter from a 'marketing firm' in Georgia just screamed S-C-A-M!

I recently heard a talk on ID theft, and the 'you've won a (insert tempting travel offer here)' is a pretty typical scam designed to entice curious recipients to call to claim their prize. Upon calling, they're asked for a credit card number to secure their travel arrangements. So, I decided I should do some investigating and talk to the person/people who sent this letter.

First things first, I googled the company, and (of course) found zilch. Next I called the 1-800 number listed on the letter. A guy answered by saying "Howard and John..uh, sorry, Sansford and Jordan." (Nice. Having trouble remembering the name of your 'business' bud?) Then I told him I had gotten a letter about a cruise and asked him how they had gotten my name and address. He said, "well, have you traveled in the past couple years? 'Cause you know they got a list for everthin' these days!'" (Assuming I had been legitimately inquiring in order to claim my 'prize' this would not have been a very heartwarming response - I mean, you're giving away a cruise to someone from a random list of travelers that lives two states away?? For what possible reason?!?) Anyway, I politely told him I wasn't interested and asked him to remove my name from the list and he said "ok, done." I asked him if he needed to take my name in order to remove it from the list, and he was like "oh, well, no, um, I got it right here." and quickly hung up.

I'm absolutely kicking myself because I should have totally played along a little more to see if he asked for a credit card number and then reported it. But I didn't, so instead I'm posting this hoping that if anyone else searches this 'company' on google, they'll hit this post and be wary.

UPDATE 1/2/2009:
Glad to know this post worked to make other folks wary. The 'company' is not trying to steal any info from unsuspecting recipients of its (poorly fabricated) letter, but they are trying to suck you into buying a timeshare. They haven't done anything illegal (that I'm aware of) so feel free to complain about the annoyance, but as annoying as stunts like this are, I don't think the letter is a reportable offense.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Never say 'never'.

Before I was a mom there were a lot of things I swore I would never do as a parent. As a self-proclaimed germ-a-phobe, giving my child a dirty pacifier/bottle/finger just to get him to be quiet was at the top of my list.

Well, we're in the grocery store the other day and the munchkin launches his paci on the disgusting grocery store floor. Having forgotten to pack a back-up, I shove it in my pocket and try to finish up as fast as possible before the inevitable melt-down ensues. Of course I wasn't fast enough and as I'm in the checkout lane with THE slowest checker in the universe, the munchkin starts throwing the kind of fit that makes other people not want to have kids. So I did it. I yanked out the disgusting paci crawling with God-knows-what, and shoved it in his mouth. What can I say, it plugged the hole.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My better half-full

So a few weeks ago we were on our way to church and running late (shocker). We were unusually late this particular week, however, and as we pulled into the parking lot I grumbled, "great, we're 15 minutes late. We've already missed one whole quarter of the service." To which my better half replied, "yes, but we are here in time for three-quarters of the service." To which I responded (more than a little sarcastically), "well, how very 'glass-half-full' of you." Grinning, he said, "don't you mean, 'glass-three-quarters-full?'"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just your typical average day.

So yesterday (or day-before-yesterday now) we had a very exciting day...

I put up Christmas decorations/the tree, Carter tried finger foods for the first time, IT SNOWED IN HOUSTON, TX, you know the usual.

Of course no pictures were taken because my child refused to wake up during the time it snowed. Of all the times he would chose to sleep soundly! :)

None-the-less, it was very cool!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A little Yin, a little Yang

Well, we went to Mr C's company Christmas party this weekend and had a BLAST! it was fantastic. I drank more than two drinks, I had coffee (REAL coffee) and ate anything and everything I wanted including a hot dog and tons of cotton candy. The party was a carnival theme complete with games, ski ball, whack-a-mole, a photo booth, and all-you-can-eat cotton candy and carnival food and a swanky dinner (and dessert) buffet. I think I managed to eat 5000 calories in the course of the evening, and unfortunately I'm not kidding or exaggerating.

As for the munchkin, he was at Grammy and Grandad's house having a grand time. HE DID NOT EVEN MISS ME! This was our first night apart remember, but when I walked in Sunday afternoon he barely glanced at me before getting right back to playing. My mom kept saying things to soften the obvious blow to my ego like, "oh, honey, he knew you were coming back," and "you weren't gone that long." Hey, at least we know he can survive with a sitter. I'm already planning my next night out.

All-in-all a wonderful weekend, but after a night of 5000 calorie all-you-can eat/drink fun, I knew the first thing on my agenda this week had to be a trip the gym. No more excuses. I've been avoiding it for so many weeks my elastic-waisted pregnancy jeans are starting to look tempting. And I am proud to report that I went first thing this morning. I even got to work out for a whole hour before Child Watch paged me because my child was having a "I refuse to take a nap" meltdown.

So, I've taken the first step towards getting back into shape. And after we left the gym, what was the first thing I did? Why, head straight to Arby's to try their mint chocolate swirl shake of course! Oh well, I need a reason to go back tomorrow, right?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Clearly I have too much free time

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

How do you know??

Ok veteran do you know when your child is sleepy??? I'm dying here! Every time I think I know my son and can read him, he throws me a curve ball!

He used to be the BEST napper. I'd just put him in his crib and he was out like a light in minutes. No, scratch that, seconds! Not the case anymore. I put him down when I think he's sleepy and for up to an HOUR he'll babble and squeal away. When I come in to check on him, he'll be swinging from the rafters like a little monkey and having a grand ol' play time. Yes, it's all absolutely adorable when he's happy, but this cute play time always ends with him being over-tired, over-stimulated and screaming for an hour which leaves me wondering if I should:
a. give up on the nap and just deal with an over-tired and exhausted child for the next hour and a half (and risk the next nap being even worse) or
b. keep at it for God-knows-how-long and risk being in the position of forcing him to sleep when he's not sleepy (because remember I'm not a 100% sure he's sleepy right now).

After an hour of 'play time' (where I'm coming in every five minutes to pry him off of the side of the crib for the 100th time, lay him down and say "it's time for a nap.") and an hour of exhausted screaming (where I'm trying to comfort him and/or let him cry depending on how much patience I have left for this whole process), I'm cooked, he's cooked and I'm left wondering if I'm really cut out for this whole mom-business.

Admittedly, we follow a schedule, but I'm totally aware it is in a state of transition right now. We're in the process of going from three naps per day down to two. It's a loooong process that takes a few weeks/months and during that time you just kinda have to play it by ear. Some days he needs a third nap and some days he doesn't. Did I mention I hate these transitional phases?? I mean, life just runs so much more smoothly when I can refer to the almighty clock. I know what a lot of you are thinking, "that's not really parenting if you are just going by a clock!" But it's not that simple. Even when we're right on schedule, I still have to remain flexible...the clock is a guide. Every day naturally has wiggle room, and I still have to stay cognizant of any cues - like if he is sleepy, hungry, etc. But, for the most part, once he's on his schedule, you can almost set your watch by when he gets sleepy, hungry, etc. And, yes, I'm absolutely one of those moms that thinks children thrive when they have a steady routine, but this post isn't about debating the pros and cons of parent-led vs. child-led parenting...

Back to the topic at hand...a transitional phase, like the one we're in, almost always goes hand-in-hand with milestones and growth-spurts. And this almost always means there is a shift not only in the schedule, but also in his cues! It's because he's growing mentally and emotionally as well as physically and the way he communicates naturally changes during this time.

So when I'm supposed to be 'playing it by ear' and reading him the most, I don't have his nice reliable cues to read any more, I'm having to figure out new cues. It's like being handed a brand new child every few months and being told "ok, figure this kid out!"

So, how do you know? How do you know when your child is sleepy?? Because I used to know, but now I have no earthly idea.

On the up-side, this will all be my mom's problem for the next 24 hours. For the first time in 6 and 1/2 months Mr. C and I are leaving the baby with someone else over night for a much needed break. Pray for my mother. Little C really needs his Grammy R and I'm worried after she has had him for 24 hours she will resign from the position. Also, please pray for me because at the first real taste of freedom I might just drive to Mexico and change my name...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Wednesday 'Happies'

HEB - Went to our neighborhood store last night in search of unsulphered dried apricots and organic, wheat-free teething biscuits. Two items impossible to find just about anywhere except Whole Foods guessed it, HEB!

Stargazer lilies - We bought some before the Thanksgiving festivities and they are still beautiful. Plus, I had forgotten how amazing they smell!

Other mommies - they keep me sane and have become some of my best friends. I love our Wed get-togethers.

Coffee - Caffeine. need I say more?

Breakfast - Now that the little C-man has a place to eat other than smack-dab in the middle of the kitchen table I can actually eat this meal while he's eating rather than scarfing a handful of cereal straight from the box between diaper changes.

Music - for some reason my ipod has just been collecting dust lately (maybe because I haven't darkened the door of a gym in 2 months?), but I recently fired it back up and it's amazing how it keeps the day hoppin' along.

Frank Sinatra - His lovely voice has been dominating the aforementioned ipod, and his crooning is the perfect soundtrack to these pre-holiday weeks. Plus I feel classy listening to his music even when I'm up to my elbows in, well, even when things get messy.

Pony tails - The mommydo is finally long enough to put up! I know, I know. I was trying to get away from them with the short hair cut, but I hated having to fix it every day. I'm loving how I can just yank it back and go now. Needless-to-say, I rock the p.t. all day, every day.

Schedules - we have strayed away from our typical routine, but I'm bound and determined to get us back on track because I'm able to handle the inevitable curve balls the C-monster throws my way much better when I at least think I have my act together.

Mr. C - He may not be into blogging, but that's ok because he's just flat out amazing in every other way. Perfect example? I went to bed early last night and left a pile of laundry on the couch...woke up this morning and it was gone! He folded and put it away. Oh how I love that man!

And of course,
This little guy :) - He's pulling up now and babbling "da da" all the time (has no idea what that means yet, so there's still hope for "ma ma"!). He didn't pull up here, but he was so cute I had to post it anyway

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dear Santa,

Do you remember me? I came with my mom and dad to see you a few weeks ago at the mall...

You must remember me. I was such a good boy, I didn't cry at all even though I visited you after I had been at church for a whole hour! You will definitely remember my friend Caroline. She came with me and wore the prettiest Christmas dress you ever saw!

See, here's Caroline and her mommy...

I know we talked about a few things I needed for Christmas, but I had no idea you would visit early (or look so much like the Fed Ex guys!). I guess you must have known how badly I needed a proper place to eat because you brought me a much needed high chair just before Thanksgiving. It was so thoughtful of you to come early so that I would have a place to sit around the Thanksgiving table.

The high chair you brought is extra special too - it will grow with me for as long as I need a special place to sit/be restrained during dinner.

I must have been an extra good baby this year, or Mom must have told you how I've already started to outgrow my infant car seat, because you also brought me this fancy new convertible car seat.

Thank you so much for the wonderful presents and for coming early! I don't need another thing for Christmas, but if you (or someone you know of the grandparent variety) insists on getting me something else, Mom has been complaining to Dad that I'm outgrowing my pj's and could use some new zip-front footed pajamas in size 9 month/6-12 month.

Also, I'm pulling up like a big boy now!

Mom is sure I'm going to take off walking before my first birthday. A pair of soft soled shoes that stay put with velcro, like these pedipeds, would be a great help for when I am ready to take my first steps.

I also am always losing my socks. Mom just can't seem to keep them on my feet now that I've outgrown her favorite Faded Glory brand socks she bought me at Wal-Mart. I guess I'm ready for the same socks in 6-12 month sizes :)

I'm very excited about my first Christmas...or at least my mom and dad are very excited for me.

Hope you like chocolate chip cookies!

CSC (and Mommy)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It is finished.

Unbutton your pants, pop an antacid and unpack the Christmas lights. Yes, in the blink of an eye, my favorite holiday has come and gone once again. Christmas is wonderful, Halloween is loads of fun, Easter is great, but Thanksgiving is, and will always be, my fave.

There are no presents, it's not overly commercialized, it's just a day to pause and give thanks for our many, many blessings.
It makes me mad when I see people skip over this great holiday too. I walked into Pier One back in October to be greeted by ornaments, trees and twinkling lights. Jeez! I love Christmas as much as the next gal, but respect the turkey folks!

This year we had a lot to be thankful for and we had two opportunities to celebrate little C's first Turkey Day with both my family and Mr. C's. Two celebrations stretched into three days of family, fellowship, fun, football and of course wonderful food. I was in heaven!

We ate WAY too much and got a chance to catch up on DVR recordings and some much needed sleep. All-in-all it was the perfect week/end (with one exception involving the BCS rankings...), and as sad as I am to see my favorite holiday finished, its passing means Carter's first Christmas is right around the corner!

With a mouthful of food and a naked baby in the high chair, we hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

It was time for a facelift

C'mon In!

Hope you like the new layout. With the acceptance that the blog is mine more than the mister's, came the freedom to make the page a tad more me :)

Our blog isn't the only place that's received some sprucing up. We recently finished our dining room and entry...well ALMOST...I'd love new light fixtures, hardwood in the dining, an area rug and a runner, etc., but I'm sure I'll be tweaking things for the rest of our time in this house. We've paved the way, though, and it's a much improved first impression.

'before' and 'after' shots:

It was just that simple! Ha! Anyone who talked to me during this little project knows I'm kidding. Regardless, I'm glad it's done, and just in time for my favorite holiday.

We've moved!

Correction, I've moved...I mean who are we kidding? My better half is about as interested in contributing to this little project of mine as he is following international soccer!

Anyway, for the sake of practicing a little web-safety I've tried to add some anonymity to the blog by removing our surname. With as many pictures and stories as I've posted, I'm sure if anyone REALLY wanted to stalk us they could; but because I know there are far more interesting people out there, I'm not going to edit any previous posts to remove names. Going forward, however, we'll just be a (Mrs. C/mama C), the mister (Mr. C/papa C/C-man), and of course the little one (little C-man/ baby C/ C-monster). You get the idea :)

With a new title, I decided I needed a new (and correctly spelled!) domain, so you can now find us here ( hope that doesn't throw everyone off too badly and destroy any 'following' I've created (LOL - yea right..I'm sure I can just call the three people that read this blog and let them know :)

The story behind the title? Well, it's kind of a throw back to a previous post I did (very late at night so forgive the melancholy/over dramatic tone) about what I want to be when I grow up. In a world where we are all about extreme living, pushing boundaries, and being the best, I feel that the beauty in living a simple life has become overshadowed by a universal desire to be 'special'. In reality, though, an average life IS a beautiful thing.

Bestselling author Michael Neill says it better that I ever could with the following story...
Have an Average Day

I encourage you to follow the link, but if you don't have time to read the article, the moral of the story is, enjoying the ordinary is extraordinary, and a series of seemingly average days can have a profound positive impact on the world.

So with that, I wish all of you an average day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In Faithfulness, He Afflicted Me

I recently started following a site called Blog Around the World (fondly referred to as BATW). It's a fun blog site devoted solely to promoting other blog sites! I'm admittedly not a very good follower because I don't visit many of the sites the author features in her daily posts. Today's post and featured site were a different story, though.

I was so touched by Lynette's story and blog (Dancing Barefoot) I wanted to share it with all of you. Here's an excerpt from today's BATW post, Joy in Unbearable Loss :

"...Lynnette @ Dancing Barefoot is the mother of nine children. Yes, I said nine. But three of them are having a big ole party together in heaven right now. I cannot imagine the loss of one child let alone three. But through the most unimaginable pain a parent can experience, Lynette and her husband clung to their faith to get them through these dark times. Instead of rejecting God, they have grown closer and stronger with Him and each other. Their faith has deepened such that it is probably unshakable at this point. Very few people can say that because very few people have experienced what Lynnette and her family have experienced. I can tell you that she is a great witness to me personally and out of all this pain there is a sweetness about her that can only come from the Lord. She has just written a book that was released this past Tuesday, called In Faithfulness, He Afflicted Me that takes the reader on her journey..."

I've not read Lynette's book, but I'm anxious to. As a new mother, my biggest fear is that something would happen to our precious son. I don't know that I could survive the pain of losing my child, and as a result I often find myself begging, pleading and bargaining with God not to test my faith in Him in that way. This story is an inspirational reminder to me that God is the author of all creation and that every child's life is a precious gift.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Halfway there!

Carter turned 6 months old yesterday! It's such a cliche thing to say, but the time has just flown by! It's so hard to believe he's already halfway through his first year. When I stop to think about what all he has learned to do in 6 months, it's just incredible. I mean 6 months ago he couldn't lift his head, let alone his body, now check out just how well he gets himself from point A to B!

He's also rocking the solid foods. We've worked our way through several orange/yellow veggies, and he's really enjoyed everything so far except avocado - go figure, he was practically raised on guacamole while he was in the womb!

Pumpkin - yum!

Avocado - yuck!?!

The lip lock (nothing gets past it!)

So to celebrate his 1/2 birthday I made him bananas for the first time, and instead of pureeing them, I mashed them with a little water so he could explore a little different texture as well as taste. He seemed to like's the video:

And add one more food to the list of solids he's eating - icing! Daddy had to work late, but we tried to get one picture with his cake before bed and Carter used the photo op to grab a fistful of icing and shove it in his mouth! It was hilarious! Too bad that was the exact moment my camera battery died!!! So frustrating! I told Stephen to freeze while I scrambled around to charge the battery. Here's a picture from a few minutes just doesn't do the moment justice because he had already sucked most of the icing off his hand and face, but I'm glad we captured the memory anyway. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hope for the best; prepare for the worst.

I think this saying dates back to 16th century English literature, and I'm guessing whoever coined the phrase was travelling with a small child.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ahhh! I was Blog Tagged!

I was checking out my friend Ashley's very cute blog this morning (this is her picture - isn't she a doll?!) and saw I had been blog tagged! I don't want any bad juju, and I'm hoping if I butter her up enough, she'll give me some of her decorating tips; SO, here are the rules;

1. Link to the person who tagged you (Ashley)
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write six random thoughts about yourself
4. Tag six people at the end of your post
5. Let each person know he/she has been tagged
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted

Six random things about me:
1. Try as I may, I'd rather have a good beer than a good glass of wine.
2. I have zero will power around sweets and have been known to eat cookies for breakfast if they are in the house.
3. I know I shouldn't, but I love South Park.
4. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
5. I don't change out of my pj's unless I'm going somewhere or have people coming over.
6. Because of #5, I try to plan an outting every day, even if it's just to Sonic for an iced tea during happy hour.

Ok, so I blog tag







Happy Monday! :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fresh Food Feeder

Just had to give props to my favorite new baby's called a fresh food feeder. We have the munchkin brand, but there is a sassy brand I've heard good things about too. Anyway, it's this kewl little contraption you can put fresh food in and let your little one gnaw away without fear of choking.

Carter's not quite ready for chicken a la king or anything, but I've been running through the gamut of different teething products desperate for something that keeps him occupied for more than 5 seconds before he gets frustrated. So I tried this thing yesterday with a slice of peeled apple and he went to town for close to 30 minutes! It was fantastic! Hands down, the best kid-item I purchased this fall.

Thanks Uncle C!

For the past few months Carter's uncle has been in Kabul, Afghanistan on a deployment supporting the Afghan Military Academy. Much to everyone's delight, not least of all his wife and two girls I'm sure, he's headed home this month!

With such a fancy gig, uncle warbucks sent a little token home to his favorite nephew during his time away. His first Hard Rock Cafe T-Shirt from Kabul! No, you won't find it listed on Hard Rock's website as an actual location, but I'm sure that's just a mistake :) Carter also received an envelope with several thousand Afghanis (to start Carter's Afghan college fund of course!).

I did a little research, and as close as I can tell, the fist full of bills is equivalent to roughly 10 USD - a sum I'm sure the person or entity he exchanged with was grateful to get. What's even more amazing is, I think this is new currency, and the old currency was even weaker - if my math is correct the same amount in the old currency would have been worth only pennies. However, it seems with the recent activity in the middle east, money from the Taliban era has picked up steam and is worth several thousand times its face value to collectors and coin enthusiasts. Don't quote me on any of this, though. My research may be pretty off. Afghani exchange rate info on the web is pretty spotty.

Needless-to-say, whatever it's worth, it was a fun gift and we got a kick out of it; I know it will be a cool treasure in Carter's piggy bank when he gets old enough to understand money. And, deep pockets or not, we're praying for his safe return. I know it's been a long three months for his beautiful girls and wife, and we kinda missed him too.

Thanks Uncle C! Come home safe! And here's to hoping your time there improved the economy well enough to strengthen the Afghani, because with the rising cost of tuition and the so-so strength of the USD, we might be busting into Carter's piggy bank in 18 years or so!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Filled with Firsts

I've been slacking on the blogging this month, and I needed to catch up - October was filled with a lot of 'firsts' for Carter!! We had a pretty low-key month. Hung out around the house a lot following our whirl-wind September. I started redecorating the dining room and we got some new paint up. And of course, we celebrated Carter's first Halloween with friends and babies. All the babies were ADORABLE, but I'm sad to say I didn't get many pretty please you guys send pictures!

Carter's first trip to Lake Jackson to visit Grammy and Grandad for their birthdays.

Carter's first time in his Johnny Jump-up (video soon to come!)

First successful drink from his sippy cup.

First cold day (dipped into the 40's!) so we turned on the fireplace for the first time, and he loved watching it.

First time to sit up by himself!

And of course...his first Halloween!!

Still perfecting our sitting technique.

Giraffe thinks about crawling...

...but decides to scoot instead.

These next firsts technically fell in November, but while I was on the subject, I had to post them.

Here's Carter on his first 1st day of hunting season. Uncanny resemblance to Elmer Fudd, don't you think? Good to know we've got options for Halloween next year! :)

First time to sit up in the bathtub.

And in case you didn't get a good look in that last picture, a first that has been 5 and 1/2 months in the making...his first Mohawk!!! He finally has enough hair, but just barely!