Monday, December 18, 2006

Carter Jessen Brown Has Just Arrived!

Meeting my baby boy for the very first time at 9:18 PM on Monday, December 18, 2006. After checking into labor and delivery 27 hours ago to be induced 7 days early, we have a healthy 8 lb & 9 oz. baby boy.

Patty, my final nurse, of nearly a dozen, was a gift from God. As the pressure of time was not on our side, having my water broken for over 12 hours, Dr. Gallagher had given me one more hour to progress before we were going in for an induction. I desperately wanted to have Carter naturally and Patty did everything she could to make that happen. Even though I was exhausted and Carter showing some signs of distress with his heart rate plummeting as large contractions occurred, she kept flipping me from side to side in efforts of getting my dilatation moving from the 6 cm it had stayed at for majority of the afternoon. Well, it worked and before we knew it around 8 PM, I was feeling major pressure and when checked, I had gone from a 6 to a 10 in less than an hour.

So perfect and beautiful.

Carter meeting his incredible father for the very first time.
Uncle Clint and PaPa Lance drove in from Dallas just in time for the birth. In fact, they almost walked into the labor and delivery room as it was going on!
Ya-Ya was with us most of the day and Erin was at the hospital all night patiently waiting.
My dad, Bill and of course, step-father Joe wouldn't have missed the most special day for the world.

Carter's Milestones Since Birth

Carter Jessen Brown's Developmental Milestones – Descending Order
  • Blake and I BOTH noticing dramatic difference in Carter's emotional stability in last couple of weeks. He is behaving so well the entire month of Oct, less "breakdowns" and staying extremely calm even when Addie is bothering him. Still so incredibly sweet, loving, patient & proactively good. We can tell that any minor constipation changes his mood to very whiney. When he is constipated, he repeatily says he is "very tired," even at 9 AM in the morning - 35 months
  • Went through a digression for 2-3 weeks with pooping in the potty (again) while at home and school. He got VERY constipated with the anxiety. Around Halloween, started "bribing" him again with 1 piece of candy anytime he pooped. Totally worked and 3 weeks later, completely normal and okay. Also gave him 1TSP of Milk of Magnesia every other day to help with constipation. - 34 months
  • Can CONFIDENTLY point out every single letter in the alphabet and number 1-12 on anything - books, road signs, cereal box, etc. - 33 months
  • Summer of 2009 - after swimmer's ear in mid summer - super afraid to put ears or face in water, says he doesn't want to get sick. Will finally wear floaties and swim by himself for a limited amount of time - 32 months 
  • Suddenly sings the ABC's perfectly, loudly and articulating every single letter clearly and "THE WHYS" have started! - 32 months
  • Moved into 3 year old class - Mrs. Sandy and immediately started blossoming. 32 months 
  •  His teacher's at school say he will hold complete conversations with them for an hour at a time and in detail explain things - about sports he is going to play and what he is going to do - 31 months
  • Got Swimmer's Ear - huge amount of green pus pouring out of his right ear - Dr. Cuming Rx'd Augmenton and ear drops Ciprodex BID, also had Pink Eye again! - 31 months
  • Randomly singing songs by himself, so cute... Jesus Loves Me, Head Shoulders Knees Toes, You are My Sunshine... loves to dance at school, teachers say he will start "brak dancing" and all the other kids will follow - 31 months
  • At peak of frustration with potty trainning.... he was 90% there staying dry all day and even at night for 12 hours until beach trip. It's like a roller coaster ride, now not staying dry and REFUSES to go #2 in the potty. We have resorted to bribary and allowed him to pick out a "baseball glove" that he gets if he succeeds - 31 months. Move to 7 days later and Carter is POTTY TRAINED... YEA! The bribery WORKED and two days after buying glove and having it on a shelf and talking about it, Carter started going in the potty for 3 days at home and then has been going the last 3 days during the day at school. Went 2 days at school staight wearing his "big boy" underware! - 31.5 months! 
  • First day EVER without a nap - PORT A. BEACH TRIP Day 1 - July 16, 2009, did relatively well but we won't try it again! - 31 months
  • Hit the WHINING STAGE, gonna be the end of me and my patience ;) Whines at everything, very sensitive when tired or new envirnment (this is the worst part of 2 years old so far!) - 31 months
  • Will go outside and hit golf balls every evening for 45 minutes, picking up 5 yds every week, having to watch him hitting in direction of house now! - 30 months
  • Running and Dribling to do layup with 5 ft goal - 30 months
  • Staying dry 50% of nights - 12 hours - 30 months
  • Transistioned to Miss Nina, Shonda and Leslie's class - 30 months
  • He has ALWAYS been so patient and sweet with Addie, but surprisingly seems as though every week he is getting even more loving and thoughtful towards her... AMAZING! - 2 1/2 years
  • Got big painful sore on side of tongue, in so much pain he couldn't eat or drink without crying, Dr. Cuming didn't think it was "Hand, Foot Mouth Disease," since he had no fever or any other symptoms. Although it was going around daycare. Took Motrin as needed every 4 hrs for pain and fed him popsicles and cold non acidic things. - 2 1/2 years
  • Got rid of pacifiers by using them as negiotition tool. If he didn't stay dry in pull up in evening then no pacifier at night - no pacifier in a week (I guess we have one positive thing of not being potty trainned complety yet!) - just under 2.5 years
  • Moved to full size bed - 29 months
  • Understands and speaks very well with pronouns using "I did do that." - 28 months
  • Can easily peddle tricycle - 28 months
  • Vocabulary exploded so much in last 2 weeks... using more and more complete sentences! - 28 months!
  • Knows shapes well - 28 months
  • 90% potty trainned except staying dry 12 hours at night (probably our fault!)-almost 28 months
  • Counting to 15 - 27 months
  • His NEW Big Boy bed is his comfort zone, wants to be in his bed reading ALL the time! - 26 months
  • Counting to 10 - 26 months
  • #2 in the potty (I know... gross! but HUGE accomplishment!) - 25 months
  • Staying dry ALL day (even during nap) - 25 months
  • Going "tee-tee"2-3 times at school and 1-2 times a day at home - by 25 months
  • Instant mood swings to emotional breakdowns if off schedule (like waking up from 2nd afternoon nap)- 24 months
  • Knows well the difference between cold, hot and warm (water)
  • Putting 3-5 words together regularly - 24 months (ex. "Daddy sit down please!) 
  • Confidently knows 10 animals' sounds they make
  • Loves the movie "Peter Pan!" - 24 mo
  • Went potty for the 1st time on Christmas Day morning - 24 mo & 1 wk
  • 2 Year Checkup - 30 lbs (50%) & 38" (75%) for height & super healthy & above avg of development across the board, doc says!
  • After we decorated for Christmas tonight - he pulled out all his Christmas books by himself! He knows what time of year it is! So Smart!!!!
  • Recognizes colors on own - purple, red, yellow - 22 months
  • The movie "Cars" - 22 months 
  • Loves to "Air Up" Balls with pump - 21 months
  • Really enjoys watching Backyardigans
  • Spinning balls on the ground
  • Throwing balls in trees and getting them out (I know... strange!)
  • The movie "Nemo"
  • Blowing Kisses
  • Coloring in coloring books-20 months
  • Doing sumersalts and headstands
  • Playing Chase
  • Jumping-19 months old
  • Elmo-18 months old
  • 18 month check up: 26 lbs & 13 oz (55%) AND 34" (90%)
  • First Haircut - Dec 20, 2007 at Sharkeys Cuts for Kids! - 1 year
  • Started really trying to actually use fork & spoon at 14 months by himself with some success & by 15 months he had mastered with about a 50% success rate
  • 1 year check up: 24 ilbs & 2 oz (75%) AND 31" (85 %)
  • Tubes in ears - 12 months
  • Took first step on Nov 23, 2007 at Pa-Pa's house in Tyler during Thanksgiving - 11 months
  • Said 1st definte word - "Ball" - 11 months
  • Had real bath without little tub at 10 1/2 months
  • Got sick for the first time at 10 months- viral bug with high temp and found double ear infection (tried 3 antibiotics and none of them ever cleared them up)
  • Clapped hands well at 10 months
  • 9 mo check up: 21 lbs & 2 oz (50%) AND 28 1/4 " (50%)
  • Real crawl at 8 months
  • Started pulling up at 7.5 months in crib & on coffee table
  • First bottom tooth broke through at 7 1/2 months - you got bottom 2 at exact same time)
  • Held own bottle well at 7 month bday
  • 1st swim class at Loves to Swim School at 6 months - loved it!
  • Recognized your own name well at 6 months
  • 6 mo check up: 18 lbs & 5 oz(60%) AND 27 1/2"(70%)
  • Army crawl at 6.5 months until 8 months
  • Sat up well just before 6 months
  • 4 mo check up: 15lbs & 5oz (50%) AND 26 1/2" (95%)
  • Turned over from tummy to back on 3/21/07 (3 months); back to front 1 wk later
  • 2 mo check up: 12lbs & 13oz (75%) AND 34 3/4" (97%)
  • Slept through the night (7hrs) @ 3wks (Jan 11, 2007)
  • Birth weight - 8lbs & 1 oz AND 20 3/4 "

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Last Thanksgiving Without A Baby!

37 weeks pregnant...
Thanksgiving in Dallas with Blake's side of the the family the week prior.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My College Roomates

These 2 girls were the biggest part of my life my junior and senior year at Texas A&M. We were blessed to have Kelli's family buy a beautiful house for us to live in and share more memories that I can even write about. 3 of my biggest loves began in that house during those 2 years - drinking coffee black, drinking robust red wines and the love of boxers!
This November, Kate married her college sweet heart, Ricky Wood. Tonight, they began their lives' together at a beautiful outdoor ceremony in a bed and breakfast near Fredricksburg, TX. Kelli came all the way in from Boston for the big weekend. Alli traveled from Houston for one night for us all to be together again for the first time since last year at Alli's bachelor party in South Beach.

The Sterling Family, Steve, Kelli, Kim and Colby. I couldn't get enough of this family during college.... so much fun and so amazing. Kim gave me so much insight on having a successful marriage and I will always remember her telling me that, "there will always be rough patches... and there are times I have wanted to kill him... but you work through those times together." I have so much respect for their family dynamic and the love they have always had for one another.

This photo of Kate was stunning.
I look about 12 months pregnant in this polka dot top tonight at 36 weeks pregnant.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Our Couples Baby Shower!

The Perkins hosted our shower in their beautiful home along with The Leonard's, Lopez's and White's!

The night was filled with lots of old and new friends that Blake and I are so lucky to have here in San Antonio. Even Scott and Krista Lay were able to make it all the way in from Tyler for the weekend, to help us celebrate, as well as Jay and Allyson Tjoekler from Austin.

Alison has been my "mommy mentor" since before I got pregnant. She has given me so much invaluable advice having a 1 year boy - Hudson already! I am so blessed to have her in my life every day as my Lilly partner and friend at this crucial part in my life.
Some of our guests and fantastic gifts...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Shower Time!

Today was my very first baby shower, thrown my some of my amazing girl friends... Rosanna, Jennifer Hickey, Cindy Sebeck & Alison (DiPuma) Casey.
We played a TON of hilarious games.
I am so blessed to have "MeMa" here to share in this special time in my life.
Danielle and Nancy celebrating the big day with us!
And of course one of my very best friends, Megan Perkins, right by my side.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Carter's Nursery

Diane, my mom and I have had such a wonderful time designing Carter's nursery. Our inspiration came from this great checkered fabric my mom found. Diane made them into long drapes and my mom handmade the crib skirt with the same fabric.
I ordered this coordinating blue on blue (like the fabulous walls) fabric and got the rocking glider chair covered with it. Speaking of the walls, they were such a labor of love for our unborn child. Blake and I joke that we have never fought like we did while hand painting these walls together over the last couple of months. What started out as a 1 wall project quickly turned into a huge entire room project when I loved the understated look so much. If Carter ever wants to paint his room when he gets older, you bet, we will put up a fight! ;)
Both of these items hanging are Blake's when he was a toddler. I can't wait to see Carter in them! Blake stained all the bookshelves in the room to match the dresser. I bought all the furniture planning on Carter using it all the way through college.
The cradle that is under the window was Joe's when he was a baby and also his father's. It is said to be close to 100 years old. We love it and look forward to having it in our bedroom for a few weeks right when we bring Carter home from the hospital.
My goal was to keep his room simple and not "baby-ish." I once was told that you should make the nursery more for youself since you are the one that will spend so much time in there with a newborn baby! It will be fun to see how it fills up with personal items of Carter's, as he gets older.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Carter's Nursey.

This room has been a labor of love that Blake and I have put so much time and energy into. With
only a couple dozen little quarrels along the way, mostly due to my perfectionism, while going through the extraordinary process of hand painting the walls with a 6 step process for each row. We now confidently know that we will succeed together in what ever God may throw our way!

The curtains were made by Blake's mom, Diane. The coordinating crib bed skirt was hand made by my mom, Cheryl. I got the glider chair custom upholstered with coordinating blue on blue checkered fabric that is exactly like the walls. The small wooden bassinet was from the "Ernst" side of the family and said to be at least 100 years old. It is where Joe slept as a baby.
Even the pillow was made my Diane and myself together and will be embroidered with Carter' s birth date. Carter is measuring nice and big and his due date was officially moved from first week in January 2007 to December 25, 2006.... yep.... Christmas Day! What a true gift from God!
Blake hand stained the 2 bookshelves in Carter's room and even painted matching blue squares on the top of this small one. The "Houston" football jacket and "Dallas Cowboys" vintage jersey were both Blake's when he was a little boy and I can't wait to see Carter in both of them!
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