Carter :: one year

carter-9590Carter boy,

This year with you in our family has brought an indescribable joy to all of us. I mean it, you light up everyone’s life with your infectious smile. We cannot go to even one store without someone stopping me because they have to tell me how cute you are, and that is probably because you smile (and even wave) to everyone who looks your way. It’s one of my favorite things about you. You absolutely adore your big brother, although you definitely know how to work us when it comes to him. We usually assume he’s done something naughty and gets in trouble but more and more we secretly watch you boys, he will get a little too close or gently touch your fingers and you scream! We’re starting to catch on though and that won’t work forever my boy. You are a determine little guy that’s for sure, and I love watching you navigate all of your moves. The way you have to smell your blanket every time you grab it makes me giggle. Life with you is better, and I cannot wait to see who you become.

I had been wanting to do his pictures for a while but apparently California is the new Washington because it rained every.single.day for like three weeks! We were/are so over it. But we had a clear two days and so I took full advantage. We took these in Andrea’s gorgeous backyard. I had planned to use another spot in her yard but unfortunately the sun was too far down on that side. Luckily she has eight million other sides to her yard that look amazing! I brought reinforcements to our session because well, the only time this guy doesn’t smile is during an actual photoshoot. And I even left feeling a little bummed because I didn’t think I got too much of what I was looking for. Buuut, once I got home I saw soooo many that I loved. (All thanks to his Nana!)

carter-9591I added this one directly above because if you ask him where his head is, this is his answer. Next we are working on the nose. And speaking of his nose, that little side profile below is just adorable to me!  carter-9615I don’t typically let me boys eat sugar for a long time with the exception of their birthdays. So while this cake looks gigantic for my one year old, I made it because a. I wanted to practice it for his party and b. I knew he wouldn’t eat too much. And he really did lose interest in about five minutes. But I sure think he was adorable for those five minutes.carter-9676 carter-9721Happy first birthday my baby bear, we love you with our whole hearts.

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Carter’s Birthday List

It feels so weird to think that we have a FIRST birthday in our house already but it is true, the baby bear is turning one in less than two weeks! He got so many good gifts for Christmas that I do not know how I am going to come up with another list.

I can start off with the few things that he didn’t get that were on the Christmas list, like this shopping cart and cute little vegetables, (probably my #1 on the “toy” list) and this table because I have high hopes for a nice backyard in the near future where we will hang out all of the time.

He got two adorable Little People sets, but didn’t get this one. (Limited Quantities so you might want hurry!) I kind of just want to buy it right now so that I know he gets it! Okay, now let’s talk about bath toys for a minute, I love them. I was just telling Scott that if we could let the water consistently run then they would probably stay in their forever, and then I stumbled on this! I have always thought all of the Disney character bath toys were adorable and I was going to put them on this list but I went into the store the other day and just couldn’t resist. I bought him a Mickey set, so cute! But I do want to get rid of all the old, yucky ones we have so even something some like this little guy would be perfectly fine. Also, while we’re talking about bath time.. I think Carter also needs a new bath towel, he is kind of outgrowing his first one, and I do think this little giraffe one is pretty cute.

Also because he is the second boy of our family, he really doesn’t need any of that. But we do need to get him a new car seat very soon, I have one friend recommended this one, and another who has used this one and loves it. Sooo, Amazon gift cards are probably on the top of the list (for momma at least) (*Ahem, any grandparents that are reading this)

Lastly, anyone who follows me on social media or has been reading here probably knows that he is super attached to a blanket. I’ve always used the Aden & Anaias blankets for him and just kind of rotated, that way it isn’t just one he is attached to. (see I’m learning something with the second kid) I’ve followed Modern Burlap for a long time now and I have even ordered one of Carter’s blankets from them, but I kind of, sort of have been eyeing their cute little camera swaddle.carters-birthday-list

I know this isn’t the best list, but like I said he already has so much! Toys that I haven’t even opened from Christmas.

Carter :: Monthly Achievements

12-months

** Breaking News – I had to come edit my post because since I published it, he took his FIRST step!! He did it twice! I was so excited! It was like all of a sudden he just decided he wanted to, and did. So fun! Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Boy am I glad that these monthly pictures are done, I can’t believe how hard they were to get these past few months. With Grayson I held him (much smarter!) because then he couldn’t get away. But we made it! I feel like I only blinked for a second and he is already a year old. It blows my mind how much faster time goes when you have kids.

Such a fun month! We of course had our first Christmas with him! He wasn’t interested in much more than his breakfast that day but just having him and knowing it was his “first” made it so special. He is not walking but stands all on his own, walks the couch and anything else he can. He is a master climber, he climbs everything. And I mean everything, the other day he was up on the window sill. One night we were watching him, and he was attempting to climb from a small chair to the couch. It took him about 15 tries and 20 minutes but he finally did it, something about it made me so proud. He didn’t give up, he also didn’t get frustrated. He fell and cried a couple of times but shook it off and got right back up. I hope that determination is something he carries with him long into life.

We are done with bottles (can I get a hallelujah?!) and his true attachment comes with his blanket. The first thing he does when he picks it up, he smells it. He’ll pick up Grayson’s, smell it and throw it down. I think it’s so funny. When I change his diaper, he does stomach crunches. Makes it almost impossible to change him, and he’s so strong I literally have to force him back down. He can give high fives and is starting to shake his head no. You know that determination we talked about? I think he hears “no” a lot so he’s already getting that head shake down. The last thing that I never want to forget is his what I like to call his show smile. If he is getting in a bit of trouble and hears the no, he pulls out this pouty lip and he’ll even bring a tear or two. But then, immediately following that little act he’ll smile at me. This squinty eye, scrunchy nose, one and a half tooth smile. We all laugh, every.single.time. Therefore he keeps doing it. Not teaching him good habits on that one!

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I decided to throw together all 12 months below just for fun, I wanted to see the change in him. (It kind of pains me to have the first two months not “match” the rest, ugh. I don’t know why I even thought it was okay to use my phone for these, so dumb) Okay, moving on.

12 months with you my boy, has brought me nothing but pure joy.

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The 11 month pictures reminds me so much of Alfalfa! Between the ridiculously parted hair and the big front “tooth”, they’re twins. I honestly can’t even pick a favorite, because I love all of them, and I love my happy boy.

Carter :: Monthly Achievements

Whoa! ELEVEN months. In some ways it feels like yesterday he was born but in most ways it feels like he’s always been here. He is still the sweetest little boy, he does get a tiny mad when his brother is bugging him but he’s also learned how to work the system. He knows Grayson gets in trouble for hurting him so sometimes Grayson just goes to hug him and he screams out! Haha it’s amazing how smart babies are.

Can we talk about how it is going to be his FIRST Christmas in a couple of weeks?! I really do believe that I am more excited now that I have kids than when I was younger. I am so so excited for this year! And just look at those little Christmas leggings he’s wearing! The picture this month part cracks me up part embarrasses me. He looks like alfalfa or something. This month it was almost impossible to get this picture without anyone’s help, Grayson tries but he actually makes it more work for me! So little puffs was my answer to try to get him to sit for a least four seconds to snap something. But really it just looks like he has hillbilly teeth! And his hair, gosh what happened to it? I swear I did it. But hey, I have to take what I can get these days.

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This boy is sooo attached to his blankets, I’ve mixed a few this time so he’s not exactly attached to one in particular but whichever one he is using. (I use the Aiden & Anais brand) He will go into his room and pull it down from his bed and lay on it, or even pull down my diaper bag from the couch because I always have one in there too. It still cracks me up every time he does it. Grayson was/is attached to one but it was later on that it started. He is always pulling himself up on everything and will walk the couch, and he will stand there without holding on. But no steps yet. He has started to become pickier with food, he will still eat anything I make or buy in those pouches. But used to love avocado pieces and now won’t have anything to do with them. He loves carrots pureed but just steaming them he doesn’t eat them. I am not giving up, I am still hoping that this one will like vegetables unlike the big. He has really started joining in on our dance parties, when Grayson first turns on a song; that booty is movin. He’s also increasingly aware of his little wee wee, in the bath he bends all the way forward just so he can get a peak at it. And grabs it any time I change his diaper! Boys.

Oh my goodness I had to come back in and edit this post because I forgot one of my favorite things about this month. He has started a new smile, first it was the scrunchy nose and now he has added squinty eyes. I WILL get a picture of it soon. I just have to. It’s the funniest, cutest little smile.11-months_8217I love you so Carter Joseph.

Christmas List 2016

I am going to make this short and sweet, mostly because I am short on time. Bottom line for Grayson, he is obsessed with any and all legos. The very first thing we’ll add is the Super Hero Airport Battle , and I know he probably wants this City Fire Station but will probably end up with something like this haha! We were at the store the other day and he said, “can you add this to my Christmas list?” So here we go, Ninja Turtle party van (which would be now a third Ninja Turtle party van in his possession, but that’s okay) This Paw Patroller is still on his list. Forever now I have wanted to get a little kitchen, Scott thinks it would be a waste but I don’t at all, especially as they both get older. I think the Step2 one would be perfect. Then because they have a kitchen, they definitely need a shopping cart and vegetables. Then because they need somewhere to eat their pretend food, the just need a little table. I have this strange love for Little People, they are my absolute favorite baby toys. So for Carter, I definitely wanted to add this little Fire Truck and look how cute this little Mickey and Minnie house is. While I was making this list, Target convieniently sent me an email with gift ideas. #targetdoesitagain. We are big fans of push toys around here, Grayson has always liked to race them around. This Stride & Ride Lion is adorable, and who doesn’t love a colorful, loud BeatBowWow. I think that about does it. christmas-list-2016

Carter :: monthly achievements

10-months

We are sooo close to a year old that I can hardly stand it! His personality is such a funny one and he scares me a little for the toddler years. He is a troublemaker much more than his big brother was at this age, I promise you I don’t think I have ever dug anything from Grayson’s choppers and I do it with Carter all.day.long. He does know what “no” means already and is good at listening to me so far. My little mischievous boy. He has not lost that happy spirit of his (unless we are shopping) the boy does not like it. We just walk into a store and he starts up with the whining. It drives me nutso. He better get used to it though because it feels like I am always in one store or another. For a long time now he has slept holding his feet, it’s the cutest thing. I should see if I can find a picture of it. I love watching my babies sleep. He is pulling himself up all the time, but doesn’t seem close to actually walking. He has starting taking steps if I am holding his hands or he uses the little walker, but nothing on his own at all. He is obsessed with the fridge! Even if he is on the other side of the room and I open it, he races over to try to get to it in time before it’s closes again. Makes me laugh. He loves bath time, but despises getting dressed afterwards. He is such a joy and I cannot imagine life without him.

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On a more serious note, I know that mom guilt is a real thing and that more than likely we’ve all felt it. Right now it is going strong with this one. When I think about Grayson at this age, I did not work. I of course had photography but it was super slow at that time. Now with Carter, I work three days a week plus photography has been overwhelmingly busy for the last six months or so annd another sibling. I feel guilty that he doesn’t get enough hugs from his momma, or enough snuggles and almost no one-on-one time with me. Grayson and I have always, always gone on dates together. Carter and I have probably been on two. He is such a good baby that when he is awake he just plays and follows Grayson around, so I race to get as much work or house chores done that I can. This is a viscous cycle that is my everyday life. I know that I am not the only one who feels like this, and am not trying to throw a pity party. It’s just how I am feeling and writing about it somehow helps, and if anyone else is going through this season just know you are not alone. I love my boys so so much it hurts, I just don’t want to look back and worry that I didn’t spend enough quality time with them. I’m praying I am can be more intentional in my time with each of the boys in my family.

This must be when he first started sleeping like this because I have three pictures all within a week! img_2837img_2838img_2881

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Carter :: Monthly Achievements and nine month photos

Say it ain’t so, just say it ain’t so. NINE months now, I’m in denial. Mainly because his birthday is in three months and I haven’t even started planning his party! I have a general idea of what I am doing but that’s it. Very unlike me.

Nine months is a big one I think. Their personalities shine, and they learn to do something new almost everyday it seems like. He is now mobile, that is probably our biggest milestone. I totally get why they call it the army crawl, he really looks like a wounded soldier making his way around the house. He gets up on all fours all of the time but does not actually crawl that way. He has a famous yoga pose, and goes from tummy to sitting in three seconds flat. He has the cutest little wave and loves to clap his hands. He is still just the happiest guy around, and sometimes I squeeze him so hard I am scared I am going to hurt him. He had his first flight, first flight as in flying off the top of a bed. Traumatic for me because I saw the entire thing in slow motion. Thankfully all he got from it was a bump on the head because when I play it over in my mind, so much worse happens. He seems to love to be outside just like Grayson does. He’s pulled himself up to standing a couple of times, and still loves everything I feed him. 9-months

I had to take his pictures a couple different times. He was being difficult. Plus I normally have another mom their helping wrangle their kids and this time it was mine. Scott tried helped. But he gets frustrated that I take too long so it makes me more flustered than anything. Buut, I am a determined cookie so I kept going. I always keep going until I get what I want. I seriously think I ended up narrowing down to like 50 which is OUT OF CONTROL. So I tried to do some collages to spare you some scrolling but there is still just way to many. Feel free to stop whenever you’d like. carter-1171

I put on this outfit because it’s what Grayson wore in his nine month pictures (you can see the difference in the boys if you want, here) What do you think? They seem like two way different babies to me but you tell me.carter-1221 carter-1234

The picture on the right is his excited squeal. The one and only I got during that mini session.

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Then it only got better after his nap and milk. Second one down on the right, his little lips and nose (heart eyes). The first horizontal on the left, I can’t figure out if that is him getting mad or trying to be Hulk. He squeezes whatever he’s holding and makes that face, I am just so glad I was able to get it. I love every single one of these.

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This is him waving “hi” and he has another specific wave for “bye-bye”. The cutest.carter-1378

All of these next ones are day two, he was definitely a happier camper this day. These first two are probably my favorites of all of his pictures this time, truly shows his personality. So so happy, and funny with the little scrunchy nose. I forget if this was Scott or Grayson, but someone was making him smile so big.carter-1474-2carter-1432-2

Ahhh nine months. My heart could burst. I put this quote on my Instagram for him and it is so true. “I swear I couldn’t love you more than I do right now, and yet I know I will tomorrow.” – Lee Christopher

He makes life so much better.

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Carter :: Monthly Achievements

He is on the downward slide to being a year old, so sad how fast it goes but so happy he is in our lives. He truly has made life better, more than I ever imagined.
8-months
He is always smiling and content (unless, teething) he sleeps so good and naps like a champ (unless, I have no idea why but we are with the in-laws!) Can’t figure that one out just yet but otherwise he beats Grayson on the sleeping by a long shot. It might also be that I am a better sleep trainer this time around, now that I have a better idea of what I am doing. He has really started to work his way around a room, not crawling yet but he does this thing where he is up on his hands and knees and then kind of lunges forward! It’s so funny. Then there are other times that he does move the knees and hands at the same time and craws a bit, but the lunging is definitely more often. He has elastic hands that must have glue on the paws because that boy can reach and grab everything and anything. So far there hasn’t been anything he doesn’t like to eat, I’ve even been giving him pieces of real food. Stuff that he is already eating in baby form, and a couple new things.. Banana, avocado, cheese, eggs and I even gave him a tiny bite of chicken. I love watching him experiment with new foods that he can grab, the look on his face while examining it just makes me smile. I keep forgetting to record it.

He started off as my moose but now I mostly call him my baby bear. That is about it for this month, it’s funny because they do change a little bit every day. I know that some people don’t love the baby stage, but I do. Experiencing new things with them is my absolute favorite, even the second time around. He still adores Grayson. He lights up when he sees him, and if they’re sitting there together he will (again) lunge forward with wide open arms and tackle him. It’s hilarious.

And then there is this picture. It is nearly impossible these day to get that “perfect picture” that I have in my head, but slowly I am learning to embrace the imperfection of their perfection regardless of the idea in my head. I look at this and I promise my heart literally feels like it’s about to explode with love for them, and their daddy.691a0043

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I had to share these last two because it’s his personality for sure. The left with his curled toes and shining eyes, and the right with the feisty side and mid-squeal. And the tan lines on his ankles, heart eyes. We spend so much time outside, he’s got great coloring. Happy eight months my boy, you are my sunshine.

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Carter :: Monthly Achievements and 6 months photos

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Apparently last time I separated these two posts but for the sake of I am in a hurry they are going together. Six months is such a fun age, what can I say about this little human. He is simply the best. He’s started to give me kisses when I ask (sometimes, if he feels like it of course) He took an interest in our food much earlier than Grayson did, actually I am not sure G was ever interested. So I started him with some peas, and he did great. Since then we’ve done carrots, zucchini, sweet potato and he loves it all. He did not like yellow squash but other than that he eats like a champ, and it’s actually fun feeding him. I get excited to give him new things and can’t wait to keep exploring with different combinations. Carter hardly cries, especially for no reason but wipe off his face after he eats and you would swear the world was ending. In the last two weeks he started rolling over, it is just as exciting the second time around when they do things for the first time! We are still working on the sitting thing, he leans waaaaay forward and can’t hold his body weight up just yet. Maybe next month! He is also still waking up once a night and I was okay with that because we were still nursing. But starting this week we have been transitioning to formula full time and once we are there I am going to push for the all-nighters. Oh and speaking of sleeping, he has theee best sleepy eyes.. I love when I get to wake him up, because I get to see those precious sleepy eyes. Plus, he is just so happy when he wakes. What a difference when a baby actually gets the sleep he is suppose to.. I keep thinking he is going to get a tooth popping through, especially after this week my always happy baby was having a rough couple of days. Maybe soon. What a blessing he is to our family, I am so thankful for him.6 months

Now onto his actual six month pictures. Again, I am in love with them.. He is so easy to photograph that I don’t stop until he is DONE. Of course, he loves those toes.

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That face!

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This one inherited my one-squinted-eye smile. He looks a lot cuter than I do though.

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“Mommy what is he doing to me?”

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“Mommy what are you dong to me?”

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The best way to get a cute one out of both of them is for Gray to kiss him. Win-win. Grayson’s eye lashes, so jealous.

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Love, love, LOVE. Happy six months my little moose.

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Carter :: monthly achievements

Five months already with my little lovable Carter Joseph. I am still in awe of him, his sweet disposition and ability to make even strangers smile. When he wakes up for his night feeding, I will put him back in bed and look down at him. He looks back up and squeals and kicks his feet with joy. I haven’t seen a time yet that I couldn’t get him to crack at least a quick smile at me. 5 months

Grayson was such a good baby too, Carter though is even more easy going. He will just hang out in his crib and kick around until he falls asleep, or after his nap waiting for me to get him out. Then when I pick him up, the first thing he does is bury his head in my neck. I’ve been trying to teach him to give me kisses and I’m not sure he’s catching on but he’ll grab my face in both of his hands and if that’s the way he is going to kiss me I might just die.

When I first took these I realized I left out the block.. Well, my OCD will not let me use ones that don’t match the rest. So the next day we were headed to the beach and before we left I snapped these.

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Here are a few cute ones from the day before.691A7386-2

That tongue looks like a perfect little strawberry.691A7387-2

His brothers lips are my favorite feature of his.691A7389-2

He is so so loved by all of us, his smiling face lights up my soul. I love you Moose.691A7414-2