monkey joe's



This place wasn't entirely designed for babies, but Carter managed to only get clobbered by a giant, merciless savage kid one time.

steppin' out saturday



polo w/ mock undershirt: carter's
pants: old navy
shoes: babies r us

sweater: charlotte russe
jeans: buckle
cowboy boots: nordstrom

an epic day

These are the days when your baby is learning so fast, he'll surprise you with something new every day.

Err, right?

Hmph. Not with us. Carter hasn't surprised me in a long time. He's been downright smug in sticking with what he already knows and acts completely blah about traveling outside his knowledge norm. Until today. I think he's been saving up brain power, probably to conquer the world and repopulate it with his own giant blue-eyed, floppy-eared, yo gabba gabbaing, waffle eating look alikes.

I'm declaring today as the day my bug officially started walking. He's done the whole wobble/fall-to-butt combo for an entire month, but today he was walking everywhere. And on purpose. I'll credit the new play area at the mall we've been going to a couple times a week. He's so inspired when he watches other babies. Aka, a major copycat.

A couple hours ago, we ran to Lowe's to pick up some screws and a 99 cent poinsettia. Since the store was fairly empty (and examining arrays of hammers and faucets isn't exactly my style), I plucked Carter from his cozy cart and stood him in the middle of the Christmas aisle. He grabbed my hand, and off we toddled - feet clad in nothing but socks - up and down the empty store. The proud grin plastered across his face couldn't have been pried off with a single wrench in that store (wrenches are used to pry, right? or do I need pliers?). Eventually his grip on my hand got sweaty, and his hair was damp, so naturally figuring it was time for a break, I scooped him up. And right then and there, onlookers gaped at the baby squealing in horror, arching his back to escape a mother who had feasibly just ripped out all ten of his fingernails. Matt hurries ahead of me and the pig wrestling spectacle I was creating, joking that he doesn't know us.

So I set Carter back down, and he falls to the floor out of sheer anger, face lying on the concrete, tears spilling everywhere. Then he suddenly epiphanizes that he gets to show off his walking again and politely reaches up for my hand.

And I guarantee this. You have and/or will give in, too.

So toddle, we did. You never realize how big Lowe's is until you've patiently ambled its entirety, bent down, steadying the grip of a blissfully plodding new walker.

Carter also ate something other than a carb tonight for the first time in weeks months I have no idea how long. I worry constantly about him not getting the right any nutrition. So with each bite he took, it seriously felt like weight was gradually coming off my shoulders. I never knew motherhood would bring with it utter gratitude to an apple. Thank you, apple. You can have my first born child. If he doesn't eat you first.



After we came home from Lowe's and ate apples, Carter let me wriggle on his new Babies R Us slippers, and he wore them around the house. I don't know when he decided to fit the whole shoes-stay-on-feet thing into his agenda, but I'll take it. I'm so bustin' with proud today.

And yes, I put together the diaper/dark-shoed outfit to get a laugh out of Matt. And for my own personal amusement.

In summary: My baby hated walking, eating and wearing shoes. But now he's marathonin' it up, chowing down and kicking butt. And I think he's a manager at Lowe's.



Ever been away from your bed? How about for a month? To be perfectly dramatic, I've been in such a slump without my own bed, my covers, my chairs and furniture, my dishes, my silverware, pillows and lamps that I haven't been in the mood to blog. Or vlog. Or take baby pictures. Or do anything. For the first week, it was tolerable - the foreign, community furniture had a novelty to it that made it easy to overlook the grimy, invisible film that veiled the tattered apartment. But then it got super uncomfortable.

Movers at long last returned the contents of our house from the mysterious land of storage to us Monday when we moved into another (newer, prettier, happier) apartment. Now let's focus: I got my bed back.

You know that question,
If your house was on fire and you could grab only one thing, what would you grab? I don't consider myself materialistic in the least, but I would disregard my 113 117 pound, weak, zero-muscled girlieness and heave my entire ultra plush, 300 pound, king sized, heavenly mattress onto my back (and probably fall over, into the fire and die).

But oh, how I love that bed.

My bed is so friggin' soft. It enveloped me and my husband for the years that we laid staring at the ceiling, questioning the perils of infertility that repeatedly and unexpectedly barraged us. It listened to us mulling over solutions and assuring each other back and forth that we'd be ok. It sat perfectly unmoving underneath me after I came home from having embryo Carter transferred.

When I come home from my long trips up and down the east coast, I don't race to the mailbox hoping for unusual pieces of mail. I don't hurry to the bathroom, even if my bladder's been screaming at me for the past five hours. I don't even greet my wailing cats. I steer my beeline straight up the stairs to plant my face in the cool covers of my reassuring, blissful bed and give him a hug.

In summary: I haven't been blogging because I've got a thing about my bed. All is well.


[my first] steppin' out saturday

I've noticed a few of my idolized mommy bloggers (love her, her and her) posting this theme. On Saturdays, they take a couple snapshots of what mom and bumble are wearing before they hit the town.

It's a cute idea for a blog post, especially if you're one of those people (like ahem me) who makes an obtrusive habit out of staring at what everyone else is wearing when you're in public (to get ideas for your own personal swag, of course).

So this afternoon after everyone was napped, we wrestled Carter into some clothes and snapped some pictures before we loaded the car. We dedicated another day to combing the streets in search of our future dream house. Here's what we wore. (You're welcome, inside of our car.)



belted dress: macy's
tights: macy's
riding boots: nordstrom

polo with mock undershirt: carter's
cargo pants: children's place
shoes: babies r us

lil' helper

My cats kinda rule this apartment. They walk on the counters. They climb the walls and scratch up the moulding on doorways. They scratch and howl at Carter's door when he's napping. They open cabinets (circus material? you think?) and sleep on the pots and pans - which, if you ask me, is proof they don't care about comfort ... at this point they just want someone to declare war against them.

But lucky me, I've solicited professional help. I snatched my iPhone so you could catch a snippet of Carter's current life purpose. He does this all day.

As you've seen, I wasn't exaggerating by using the word professional.

wordless wednesday


Ok, I can't stop myself. Today's ww has words.

I took this picture today, and I thought the look on his face was so friggin' poster child-esque that I sent it to the people at Cheerios (another mom who thinks she's birthed the cutest baby to ever have existed, nice to meet you). A long shot, yes. But you never know if you don't try!


Carter got a couple books to help scoot him along with some first words. Mama and quack quack can only get a kid so far (like, maybe to a pond filled with mother ducks?). Here's what we picked:





This small apartment is slowing Carter down, he's bored with his toys, and I want him surrounded by his favorite thing - other kids. The other day, we took him to Marbles Kids' Museum in downtown Raleigh.

The place was really impressive, it had water play tables, craft zones, an area for kids to dance around, dress up and tons of other stunning themes.

After dodging being knocked over by hundreds of elated, running kids, we found a gated area that looked about Carter's age, filled to the brim, bubbling with wobbly toddlers. Except Carter's not technically toddling yet, so he was bullied by babies bobbling over to him, swiping his toys and victoriously hurrying away with their prize (so much for making friends!).

Aside from watching Carter have a blast, what stood out to me was the other parents. Almost all the parents were sitting on the sidelines, pretending to watch their kids but actually staring into space, looking suicidal and completely zoned out. Some moms zoned in just in time to stop their babies from stealing Carter's toys, but a lot of them never noticed. (One thing I've learned about myself is that I'm a huge advocate for controlling your own child, but I will not interfere with telling someone else's what to do).

My instinct told me they were all there for the same reasons we were, to let their babies play with new toys and burn some energy. But they didn't want to be there. When their babies picked up an orange, plastic thing-y and hit another baby over the head with it, neither baby even learned that weapon was called a carrot.

Call me overbearing (please, go ahead, because I think I am), but I was following Carter around, showing him how to work things, telling him what things were, and making sure he didn't get trampled over. He's my only baby, I'm in the mindset that I've only got one chance to do it all right.

Later that day, I was looking through pictures we took. And gasp. Despite my best efforts, I guess I breathed in some of that zombie parent air.


So, I saw this picture and decided all those people probably weren't essentially hands-off parents. That place really just needs a little huge coffee shop attached to it.

today i have a thirteen month old


Thirteen cute quips about my thirteen month old. Ok, well, twelve for those of you who are going to sit and count. Thirteen's an unlucky number anyway. Let's do this:

Sheep say bah, duckies say kah kah, kitties say (with a furrowed brow & pointed finger) No no no no!

When he wakes up, he points to one of his stuffed animals so he can hold it for the first few minutes he's out of his crib.

His current crazes are wallets, containers with lids and waffles.

He can walk. But he's a firm believer that crawling's more proficient.

He currently has approximately 487 teeth mutilating his gums. He reminds us with high-pitched squeals every 20 seconds.

He won't wear socks (or shoes). He plucks them off as soon as we put them on his feet. I could get away with this during the summer, but people are starting to give me whatahorriblemothernotputtinganythingonthatbaby'sfeetinthisweather looks. The ones who aren't quietly scowling straight up squat down to Carter's stroller and ask him where his shoes are.

Hats are not an option.

When he's laying in his crib, and I'm two seconds away from saying goodnight and closing the door, he blows me a kiss. He knows it will always get me right back over to that crib to hang out with him for a few more minutes.

When he's finished eating (or tired of being in his stroller, carseat or tub) he raises his hands above his head, makes eye contact with someone and declares, GAH! Translation: All done!

He always manages to take off his pajama pants and throw them in the exact same spot outside his crib.

He found my electric breast pump in a drawer last week and has been pulling it out, turning it on and bobbing his head to it's rhythm on a daily basis.

He's a self-proclaimed, baby vegetarian. He refuses all meats - pureed in potatoes, drowned in gravy, salted, baked, sauteed, covered in chocolate sauce - they land on the floor. Ok so I haven't really done the chocolate sauce, but do you think it'd work? Seriously.



What's your baby up to? Anything cute? Write in the comments below so we can share ideas (also, note your baby's age). Sometimes (like, now) I get in a slump and don't know what to teach him next or what he's capable of learning ...

i'm a little stir crazy today

For anyone curious about what our temporary, furnished corporate apartment looks like, here's the living room. Gotta love couches that have been sat on by hundreds of traveling, nose-picking strangers.


mooove over, pennsylvania


We're here.
If I let my eyes drift to the left, there's a cheap, ugly, black and white printed picture of a tree on the wall with some kind of cardboard poking out from under it. To my right, there's a door to a porch that we can't get open. My feet rest on a scratchy carpet. Above my head, a popcorn ceiling. Staring straight into my computer screen makes me feel at home.

Thursday, movers came to pack up our house, and the best way I can describe seeing the home we'd created being torn apart and shoved quickly and nonchalantly into boxes was like ripping off a band-aid. You just look the other way and try to pretend it doesn't sting. The day was covered in band-aids, but the one that hurt the most was Carter's room.


I feel like I took away his home, and he doesn't even realize we're never going back yet. Swallowing back tears through sporadic goodbyes to our family was also tough. As the tiresome packing chaos wore on, the only thing that became stable was knowing that there was no going back.

Our new apartment is going to take a lot of adjustment. Carter's been crying nonstop. He has four molars coming in, and it's taking days to get his sleep schedule back. He wouldn't eat when we were home, and he eats even less now, it's making me so aggravated and worried. We were making great progress with walking and weaning from nursing (down to twice a day) before we left. He hasn't tried to walk in a couple days, and he relies more heavily than ever on nursing for comfort away from home. But, I've really enjoyed not having stairs here, I love that he has such a huge open space to crawl around.

We haven't explored our new area much because we've all been catching up on sleep and unpacking. All I know is that there's a gorgeous mall across the street (with a Nordstrom) that'll be seeing me soon.

We dropped the price of our house 12k on Saturday. When it sells, we'll be able to look for a house here and get out of this apartment.

Yesterday we went to Carter's Grandma's house for Halloween. We walked around to a few houses, and then he gave out candy with Grandma. He was stunned at the sight of eager trick-or-treaters snatching chocolate out of the bowl.

He was the most tired cow I've ever seen. (If you're wondering, we made him a cow because he's obsessed with signing "milk.")