Saturday, November 28, 2009

As of Late.

We've had some pretty active weekends as of late. Active is a relative term, as most days Carly and I hang out at home, play, go for walks in the 70 degree Tennessee weather (until this weekend), and count down the hours until daddy comes home. As of late, Carly has been having some new adventures.

She went to see Aunt Jenny's swim meet last weekend. She was all oranged out and the folks in the crowd couldn't get enough of her. She has a tendency to attract attention wherever she goes. The next night we babysat the 5-month-old baby of some friends of ours as they went to the Tennessee football game. Jenna's a calm baby and luckily Carly was asleep for the first hour she was at our house. And it worked out rather well for Chris and I, because we left both babies in the hands of his parents and headed to most of the adult session of stake conference (we did tell Jenna's parents about this). This was Carly's first real interaction with another baby (I'm not doing a very good job at socializing her) and they seemed to get along rather well. Too bad both their dad's are students and will be leaving Knoxville in the next short while; it would have been fun to see them grow old together.

The next morning was Stake Conference. I'm sure it was great, but trying to feed a very hungry yet curious baby in a crowded mothers lounge doesn't make for easy listening. I've decided Church will be a "get as much as you can" experience for the next 10-15 years. In news that's just as interesting, Carly had an adorable headband that matched her dress, but Chris seemed to think she looked like Rambo baby. I clipped a massive flower on it to solve the problem.

He thinks he's funny.
Then we had some sad news in the C House. Carly said good-bye to her dearest friend, LionHeart. I left him in the diaper bag with a bottle that had a little leftover "mama milk" in it. I forgot about the bottle, and two days later unzipped the bag to the most putrid smell ever. I tried to resuscitate LionHeart, but he can't be immersed in water, so there was no saving him. The smell was making me gag as I tried to wipe him down with soap and a damp cloth. So we said a tearful good-bye, and buried him in the dumpster. Luckily, he has a lot of brothers in the not-so-distant land of Target. We found one with as kind a heart as LionHeart had, and now Carly is getting to know LionHeart II.

Last picture with LionHeart I

And of course, we enjoyed Thanksgiving. We stayed in Knoxville and Chris's family came down and we celebrated at his sister Jenny's apartment.

Thanksgiving morning nap

Hanging with Gpa C. Beautiful baby.

Mama and Car.

Its been a fun few weeks, but I'm looking forward to three weeks of calm nothingness (that's a relative term these days with a baby and Chris's hectic schedule) before we head off for Christmas vacation. We are excited to spend the next few weeks celebrating Carly's first Christmas as a little family of 3.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

List of Gratitude

It has long been a tradition in my family that when we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner that we all go around the table and name a few things that we are thankful for. This year's was very special. I love this tradition because it is a time that usually helps me to express the things that are most important to me. Thanksgiving is also a wonderful time because it reminds me not only of everything I'm blessed to have, but also that everything I've been given comes from Heavenly Father. An entire day to think about how Heavenly Father has blessed us! Very cool to me. This year, I have decided to share with all of you a number of things that I feel particularly grateful for and why.... I hope you all enjoy:)

1) Erin - she will always top my list
2) Carly - the new center of our little universe
3) Dad, Mom, Becky, Sarah, Jenny, Sammie - made me who I am, love them so much
4) Jedd, Karen, Michael, Camie, Jason, Kasee, Brady - made erin who she is, love them so much
5) The temple/Covenants - binds us all together forever
6) The Scriptures - helps me keep the right perspective
7) Education - tough, but the key to our future
8) C/T family vacations - treasure those memories
9) Excitement for hollidays - Nothing like the build-up for special family time
10) The church - builds me up each week
11) Our apartment - not much to look at, but our sanctuary from the world
12) Latter-day prophets - where would we all be without them?
13) Pictures - funny how those are the morst priceless of all possessions
14) Prayer - sweet hour
15) Good people - don't they just make the day so much more nice?
16) Challenges - helps me progress
17) Bed - feels great at the end of every day
18) Our country - freedom
19) Good Hymns - few things help me feel the spirit stronger
20) Extended Family - good times and great fun
21) The cubbies - blessing or curse? not sure
22) Cheeseburgers - my favorite meal
23) Movie Previews - really bummed if I miss them before a movie
24) Good Friends - we are so fortunate to know and learn from you
25) BYU - brought erin and I together, place of great growth
26) University of Tennessee - time when Carly came to us, place of great growth
27) Ex Roomies - here's to my boys Matty, Joe, Mer, B-Rad, and Andy
28) Fall - leaves changing, college football, holiday season
29) Good health - so fortunate
30) Tenncare - HUGE tithing blessing
31) Snow - makes the world look so pure
32) Text messaging - can talk to my wife anytime I need
33) Nice shoes - don't know why I enjoy
34) Modern Medicine - awsomeness
35) The great outdoors - unbelievable
36) Working out - good to take care of our earthly tabernacle
37) Turkey bowl - very sore right now, but was a blast
38) The future - very important
39) The past - thankful for Heavenly Father's patience with me
40) Baseball - "Is this heaven? No, its Iowa."
41) Webcam - priceless to see our Idaho family
42) Cell phone - can talk to anyone at any time
43) Chuck-o-rama - for some strange reason, makes my wife very happy
44) Thursday nights - friday coming and also Community, the office, 30 rock
45) Our car - what would we do without her?
46) Dreams - sure are cool
47) Priesthood blessings - have guided us all our lives
48) Memories - the sweetest moments
49) The plan of Salvation - divine
50) Jesus the Christ - made all of this possible

Happy Thanksgiving! On to Christmas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I am a little extra grateful this year.
Because she's here.
Its easy to say "I'm grateful for this" and "I'm grateful for that". But I think Carly's arrival has taught me true gratitude. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for all my blessings up to this point (including Chris), but there is something about this girl that has changed my every perspective on life. This child's very existence has taught me a gratitude so deep I didn't know it existed. We are so incredibly lucky to have her, and every day I look at her flawless face and question why she was sent to me. As if I wasn't before, I am even more indebted to my Heavenly Father for blessing us with our Carly. More than words can express, this Thanksgiving I am extra grateful.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

She talks.

She has a lot to say.

[Sorry about my cinematography. Obviously I won't be winning an Oscar any time soon.]

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Tale of Two Monkeys

The other day I was entertaining Carly in order to stretch her to 2 hours between eating. Its a rather exhausting task. She has a large bin full of toys, and my 2-hour-gap quest often requires an emptying of the bin to hold her attention away from eating long enough. Anyway, as I dug through the bin to find something new and fabulous to show her, I came across two monkeys. Their story is a hilarious one, so I thought "I should blog about that". So here it goes.

My sophomore year of high school I bought a little stuffed monkey from the dollar store. I thought it was cute and it had Velcro on its hands, so I hung it off the seat of my car (do I sound 16 or what?). This monkey, named Monk (I know, I'm so clever at naming things. Must have to do with the 6 bunnies I've had named Bunny), spent many years with me in my high school car(s) and then made the trip to BYU with me. He even survived my high-speed rollover off I-15. Then I got married and he came too, experiencing each new phase of life as it came. I was undoubtedly emotionally attached to Monk. My first married Christmas we left to see family and Monk came along. When we got back to Provo and I was unpacking, I couldn't find Monk anywhere. I searched everywhere. Went back down to the underground parking lot and retraced my steps. But he was gone. I figured he must have fallen out of my backpack at the airport. I was so sad. A little too sad, probably, but Monk and I had gone through a lot together! Anyway, a little while later, Chris and I found another monkey that looked a lot like Monk. His name was Monk Jr., and he came home with us.

Then 4 or 5 months pass. Chris and I are walking to our apartment from the underground parking lot and there, in the landscaped rocks, lay Monk. He appeared to be in a pile of rotting trash that was in a rotting garbage bag. But he was still alive! I ran upstairs to grab a grocery bag, then ran back to rescue Monk. He soaked in several different types of soap for several days. Chris was terrified that he had become home to a nest of spiders, but the soaking proved him wrong. Monk was missing an eye, and was a little worn down, but looked great! I couldn't believe that he was just laying there after all those months! Isn't that so bizarre, yet so amazing? So Monk and Monk Jr became fast friends, and now they help me postpone my child's meals.

Monk Jr, Carly, and Monk

In other news, I recently got Carly a Bumbo off Craigslist. Next-to-new and 1/3 the price is the way I like to go, especially when it comes to baby things that my baby may or may not enjoy. I came home with it and immediately sprayed it down with anti-bacterial spray just in case it was infected with the swine flu, then rinsed it in the bath tub. So far, she seems mostly confused by it. But she is coming to enjoy it too. But of course, about 17 hours after I picked it up, my mother-in-law texted us saying she got Carly a new Bumbo and would bring it down this weekend. We promptly called her to tell her the news so she could get her money back . . . and suggested some diapers may be an appropriate gift instead.

And finally, I don't what it is, but we have been experiencing a ladybug invasion in the C House. I find them everywhere. Its very strange, as ladybugs are not usually bugs you find in the house. Of course I would take ladybugs any day over a roach (which make me scream rather loudly), and I usually pick them up and take them outside, though I did rinse one down the sink when I was doing dishes and felt really guilty about it.

Ladybug exploring Chris's slacks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

three months old

At 12:53 today I was rocking my baby to sleep in my rocking chair.
At 12:53 three months ago today, I saw her beautiful face for the first time.
Its crazy how we only love her more each day.
Carly, at three months old . . .
*you've now been sleeping through the night for two months, and sleeping in your crib for a month. It makes for a happy mommy.
*you just rolled over for the first time and now are rolling both ways with relative ease.
*you are a huge smiler. I can get you to smile at any second, with two exceptions: you're hungry or there is a camera in your face.
*you LOVE playing with daddy. He is the only one who has ever made you laugh. When he walks around the room, your eyes follow him.
*you're still a crazy eater. But I'd take crazy eater over crazy sleeper any day.
*you talk up a storm and make the sweetest sounds. You also love to growl--you think its funny.
*sucking on your hands is no longer a sign of hunger. It is now a form of entertainment.
*you produce drool at a most impressive level, and I often find it in unexpected places (like my hair or the kitchen counter).
*you bring me and your daddy an incredible amount of joy. We always say its a little insane how much we love you.
Happy three months, Car. We're glad you joined us.

Monday, November 9, 2009

She growls.

[skip to the 1:00 mark for the best of the growling]

They say you become who your friends are.

Must be all that time she's spending with LionHeart.

[she got LionHeart on her face, and couldn't quite figure out how to get him off.]

Friday, November 6, 2009

Momentous Moments

Carly met some major milestones two nights ago. Both happened in one night, so it was a rather fun night in the C house.

First, Carly rolled from her tummy to her back for the first time. I put her down for tummy time and Chris asked "Do you think she'll roll over soon?" I said, "I'm not sure. She still doesn't like tummy time." And right then she started to tip over on her side. She got her shoulder over and Chris ran for the camera. He couldn't find it and I remembered I put it in my purse to take to YW in Excellence, so I ran to get my purse. While I was out of the room I heard a little screech. I came running back in to find Carly on her back. Yes, let it be known that the first time Carly rolled over, no one was there to witness it. Can you believe that?! Luckily, we got her to reenact it for us, and this time got it on tape. {sorry its so dark; it was nighttime}. Its especially lucky because I haven't gotten her to do it since.

Then later than night I was holding Carly and Chris started to thump his hands on the floor like he was coming after her. When he reached her he would tickle her stomach. He did it a few times and she started giggling. Like real laughing. It was the most delightful sound I've ever heard. She giggled several times while daddy played with her. It was so cute. Alas, we haven't gotten her to laugh again either.


And last but not least, Carly got her first pair of OshKosh overalls a few weeks ago. Its a momentous moment indeed, as every child should have several pairs of OshKosh overalls as they grow up (that's a personal opinion). She looks adorable in them.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Mouse, The Skeleton, and The Lions

This weekend was a fun one as we celebrated Carly's first real holiday (Labor Day doesn't count). We started festivities on Wednesday at our Ward's Trunk or Treat. We had some last minute planning problems and ended up at the mall an hour and a half before it started looking for costumes. Luckily, Walmart had this little number on clearance:

the cutest mouse ever

So mommy and Carly went as a cat and mouse. It was rather cute, but I knew I would have to figure out something else for the actual Halloween, because the eyeliner all over my face wasn't the most comfortable thing ever.

Kitty and her dead mouse

Chris went as an unrelated Clark Kent. He looked great but it threw people off and I kept getting asked if I was supposed to be Cat Woman or why I wasn't Lois Lane.
Superman and . . . . Mighty Mouse?

So for actual Halloween we decided to all be unrelated, as Carly had another costume waiting the wings.

the cutest skeleton ever.
We bought her costume 3 weeks prior, not expecting her to grow at quite the rate she did. The accompanying hat looked like it was about the crush her head and her legs definitely stuck out of the bottom. Luckily, she's really cute so no one seemed to notice.
On Halloween we went to a fun dinner party held by some friends in the ward. Then we headed out to another party held by some friends from Chris's program. They recently moved to a new house and Knoxville is really good at ridiculous streets that aren't properly labeled, so we drove around for over an hour on a dark rainy Halloween night trying to find it. While it was rather fitting, it wasn't that much fun. We finally found it and surprisingly Carly put on a really cute front, which was lucky because both Chris and I were in rather sour moods. It turned out fine though and we made it back home in about 10 minutes (go figure).
Sunday November 1st I decided to dress Carly in my favorite piece of clothing she owns.
A red dress from BabyGap. Super cute.

Playing with daddy.
handsome daddy, pretty girl
But course she drooled all over it shortly after we put her in her carseat, then spit up all over it by the time sacrament started.
Sunday night we had some friends over for dinner and a rousing game of Ticket to Ride. We like it, but Ticket to Ride is a quiet, slow game, so we hope we didn't bore them to death. We sent them home with some pumpkin spice doughnuts as a reward for surviving the night with us.
Up next is a November overflowing with goings-on. Three more visits from Chris's family lie ahead. And next week Chris heads to Lansing, Michigan. He applied for the PhD visit program at Michigan State and got accepted, so he gets an all expenses paid trip up to check it out. The program there is excellent and the professor he would work with is rather distinguished, so I'm proud of him for getting accepted for the visit. It bodes well for getting into the program, and while I'm not totally thrilled at the prospect of dealing with 4 Michigan winters, I do want to find the place that's right for us. Only time will tell on that one.
I'm also getting rather excited for the Holidays. Even though Carly doesn't understand whats going on really, she brings such a special spirit wherever we go and in whatever we do, so the Holidays will be that much more wonderful. Also wonderful? Chris's month-long break from school, weeks at home with just the three of us, and a week-long visit to Idaho.
Finally, it appears Carly has a thing for lions as her two favorite toys are lions.
On the left we have Mr. Lion (creative, I know) and on the right is LionHeart. She will just stare at them and smile and then look all bashful and smile again. Few things can entertain her as well as Mr. Lion and LionHeart.

Carly and LionHeart on Halloween.