Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#MerryChristmas



Hello, everybody-


Well, if you have no idea why our Christmas card has a pound sign in front of the words, you were probably born before 1960.  Congratulations on not knowing the meaning of the words “hashtag,” “twerk,” or “selfie.”  Trust me, you’re better off not knowing.  #TechnologySegregation


Anyway, quite a lot has happened since we last sent you a holiday card, although apparently not during January or February.  We have nothing to report from those months.  #NewParents #WeDidntGetOutMuch.


In March, Jeffrey and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary!  Jeffrey spent hours planning a surprise trip to Dallas, complete with a visit to the Dallas aquarium, a stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and trip to the spa.  #HesAKeeper


Around this same time I was itching to find a new job, and lo and behold, a friend from church mentioned that her boss was looking for an associate.  Several phone calls and an interview later, I had a job offer that I couldn’t refuse.  The only hitch was that my current contract specified a 90-day notice prior to leaving.  But surely they wouldn’t actually make me wait 90 days…except that they did.  Exactly 90 days later (and not one minute sooner), I left that job and started work at Salado Smiles. #WaitingThatLongWasHarderThanPullingTeeth  I’ve been there about 6 months now and I’m still loving it.


In July, Jeffrey started his 2nd year of residency in the Internal Medicine program at Scott and White.  I had hoped that we would see him more now that he was an upper-level resident.  You see, from July 2012 to July 2013, he worked a whopping 297 out of 365 days, but this year he’s already had ten weekends off…and two of them happened in a row!  (He assures me this is excellent.)  #I’mAResidentWidow #IThinkMyHusband’sBeenBrainwashed

 
Also in July, Carter surprised us by taking his first steps at only 10 months old!  Despite Carter’s big sister (our dog, Dixie) knocking him over several times a day, he has managed to learn how to walk very well.  Now he essentially runs everywhere, mostly in the direction of whatever delicate or dangerous items we have left within arm’s reach (or wherever the Goldfish crackers are).  #ChildproofingIsTheNewBlack


In September we threw a big birthday bash for our favorite one year old.  Grampy was kind enough to host the party at his farm so that all of Carter’s friends would have room to run and play.  Grampy even dusted off the old oil barrel train cars and hitched them to the lawnmower for some good ol’ fashioned country fun.  Carter hardly noticed his gifts or the train, but he certainly took notice of his birthday cake.  He helped himself to about half of a small individual cake, although only a portion of that got into his mouth—the rest of the dark blue cake was smeared from head to toe.  #CleanUpOnAisleThree

 
For Halloween Carter decided to we forced Carter to dress up as Charlie Brown.  #GoodGrief  He carried around a Snoopy stuffed animal all night and loved every minute of trick or treating with his friends from church.  He also got to taste his first Reese’s peanut butter cup (when mommy wasn’t looking). #NineOutOfTenDentistsDisapprove


Last month we reached an entirely new milestone—that baby is talking!  So far he can only say a few favorite words and almost all of them are snacks.  What can I say?  The kid likes food.  Don’t worry, though, we’re already looking forward to his vocabulary expanding to include embarrassing phrases he will say in public like “No! MINE!!!!” and “Why is that man so fat?” and “I just wet my pants.”  #LookWho’sTalking #KidsSayTheDarndestThings


All in all, it’s been a wonderful year.  We can’t wait to see what the next one brings!
 

Love to you and yours,

Jeffrey, Lauren, and Carter Edwards

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Permanent Problem

We're living in a state of emergency at the Edwards' household due to something that Jeffrey found today on the floor when he got home from work.  No, it wasn't a mouse, or a roach, or a spider...it was much more sinister.

THIS.
 
That's right.  We found only the lid to a RED sharpie.  OMG, call the National Guard. 
 
We searched all the usual places for the other half of the marker, but to no avail.  Somewhere in this house there lives a loaded weapon of mass destruction (of the walls).  I assume we will find it someday, hopefully before Carter finds it and uses it to create a mural of epic, and permanent, proportions.
 
I knew I should've glued those lids on when I had the chance. 
 


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Shoots and Ladders

He shoots, he scores!  We may have a basketball star on our hands, folks!

video
 
(We may also have 9 other videos where Carter throws the ball at me, at his dad, or at the dog instead of putting it in the hoop...so maybe he won't go pro after all.)

But it's not all fun and games around here.  Since Carter has reached the ripe old age of 1, we've decided that it's high time he started earning his keep around here.  First item on the agenda:  picking up after himself.  Luckily for us, he seems to really enjoy putting things in the trash.  (And I do mean ALL THINGS.  Do not leave your keys, wallet, smartphone, or anything else valuable within reach of his tiny hands at our house, because he takes his trash job seriously.)
video

The only problem seems to be the little bit you see at the end of the video--he loves throwing things away so much that sometimes he takes stuff out of the trash just so he can throw them away again.  Yesterday I caught him taking the last few diluted swigs out of a Taco Bell cup I had thrown away an hour before.  Yup, mom fail.

As you probably guessed, we're also attempting to teach Carter the meaning of the word "no."  It appears he doesn't quite get it yet, but we're getting closer, as evidenced by this video of him I shot after finding him in the bathroom surrounded by a billion pieces of toilet paper he had shredded into fine confetti.
video

We're clearly obsessed with this boy, but about a week ago we managed to tear ourselves away and decorate for Christmas.  Jeffrey worked on the lights outside and I put up the tree inside.  At one point he asked me to help him by holding the ladder while he worked on the tallest peak of our roof. 

Dutifully, I went outside and held the ladder for him, but quickly informed him:  "I'll hold the ladder, but if you fall I'm not going to catch you--we can't both be disabled at the same time.  It would be bad for the family." 

Love, honesty, and risk management--that's what our marriage is built on. 

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Carter's Birthday Party

Carter has been sick the last few days and yesterday he got a high fever, so we decided it would be best for me to stay home with him today to let him rest and recuperate.  Since he's napping now, I figured now was as good a time as any to blog about his birthday party.  Yep, you heard me correctly.  A mere 2 months after celebrating his birth, I'm getting around to documenting the festivities.  *Y'all don't all nominate me for Mom of the Year at once, now.
 
We decorated Grampy's farm with blue and yellow balloons, but not much else.  That beautiful Texas farmland doesn't need much help looking pretty! 
The birthday boy wore a onesie given to him by his MiGi to proclaim his "special-ness" to all the world.  (There sure are a lot of bright blue eyes in that picture, huh?)
Aunt Courtney helped Carter eat a balanced breakfast of waffles, waffles, and bacon. 
Of course, Carter had a blast with all the family who came.  He and MiGi had a good laugh playing with the balloons before the rest of the guests arrived.  So many of Carter's sweet family members came to his big day--MomO and DadO, PawPaw and Nana, Aunt Courtney and Uncle Greg, Aunt Leslie, MiGi and G-Daddy, Grammy and Poppy, and of course, Grampy was already there!
It wasn't just family who made the trek to the farm--many of Carter's friends from church came to celebrate with us, and some of Jeffrey's and my friends came, too.  We were especially touched that Lacie and Adam, Maegan and Jordan, and Jenny and Jesse drove in from out of town to attend.  It is an incredible blessing to have friends who love your child that much!  (I was especially glad that so many of our guests showed up after my major mistake with the invitations!)
The birthday boy was all smiles as he waited for the entertainment to start.
No birthday party is complete without cake!  We actually had two cakes--one for the guests and one just for Carter (pictured above).
video
I made this video of some of our favorite pictures and videos of Carter in his first year.  If ever you needed proof that Jeffrey and I are doting parents, here it is:  It was difficult for us to narrow it down to our very, very, very favorite 500 photos of Carter.
 
After we watched the video I made of Carter's first year, we helped him blow out his candle and then let him go crazy on the cake.

Judging from these pictures, I'd say that Carter enjoyed his cake!  He went from cautious to delicious to a monstrous mess in about 3.2 seconds.   

Here's the fam after we got that boy cleaned up and into a spare outfit.  Great party--can't wait til next year!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Halloween, Charlie Brown!

This year we scratched our heads trying to come up with the perfect costume for our little guy...and then we looked at his big, mostly bald, round head and voila!  We knew that his cute noggin was meant to be costumed as Charlie Brown.  (This was very convenient for me since the costuming would take approximately 30 minutes and $4 to make.  Love it!)
Nothing better than a boy and his dog
Instead of trick or treating in our respective neighborhoods, our small group from church got together and went around as a group.  It was great fun to share the night with them.  Carter didn't exactly trick or treat, but he had a blast watching everyone else run up to doors and run back with bags full of candy.  He also had a good time identifying every "duck" on the route--he calls pumpkins "ducks" because of a book that he has about a duck looking for a pumpkin.  We'll get him straightened out by kindergarten, I'm sure.
One of the families brought glow sticks for a little extra fun/to help keep track of kids. We were the brightest crew out there!
And, of course, because mommy is a dentist, we ended the night of sweet treats by brushing each tooth thoroughly!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dentistry from the Heart

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of participating in an event called Dentistry from the Heart.  (DFTH has its own website here in case you want to check it out.)

At our office, the day was set up so that anyone could come and choose one of three dental services to have done completely free of charge:  either one filling, one extraction, or a cleaning.  We had three dentists, three hygienists, and our usual staff, totaling about 13 people.  Even including a hefty number of precious, selfless volunteers who came to help us, we couldn't imagine that we'd be able to see more than 75 patients that day, so we advertised that it would be first come, first served and that we'd only guarantee to see 75 people in total. 

We had said that we'd start at 8:30 am, but we ended up starting at 7:30 instead.  By 8:20 we had reached our quota of 75 patients signed in and waiting for treatment.  Wow.  And that was even on a day that it rained cats and dogs!


The entire day was a bit of a blur for me--I had glimpses of sweet volunteers working hard at not-so-fun jobs, glimpses of our staff working together beautifully, and glimpses of patients talking with each other to pass the time, but mostly I just kept my head down and did some dentistry!

We ended up doing better than we expected.  We saw 85 patients and made so many people smile!

It was a truly special day, one of those days that affirms your career choice and makes you feel like you're really doing something good.  My favorite story of the day:

Two of our patients were talking to each other in the waiting room.
Patient 1:  This waiting room is really pretty.
Patient 2:  Yeah, everything about this day has been really good.
Patient 1:  Isn't it nice to get to feel like everybody else...even if it's just for one day?
Patient 2:  It really is.

(If that doesn't move you, you may need to get one of those heart monitors that they use in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" to check yourself.)



Monday, September 30, 2013

Pep Talk, Strep Talk

I haven't blogged much lately beyond the usual mommy posts (obsessively detailing and doting on my child's every move), and it's for a great reason:  Life is good.

Remember how in the movie Mean Girls (don't pretend you didn't watch it 5 or 6 times in college...and maybe last weekend on E!) all the drama happens and it's very exciting, but then at the end they talk about how everything's worked itself out and they can just float?  Well, I'm floating.  I love my husband.  I love my son.  I love my church.  I love my job.  I love my friends.  I love my family.  Float...

Now, in case those last two paragraphs made you green with envy, let me also tell you this:  everything in my life isn't rainbows and kisses.  This year I seem to have become suddenly susceptible to every illness swirling in this West Texas air.  In 2013 I have had the flu, a stomach bug that made me seriously consider never eating again, a possible fractured rib, a dented right big toe nail (bathroom drawer v. big toe), a cold that lasted for 2 agonizing weeks, and most recently Strep throat.

Incidentally, due to all of these illnesses I asked my husband, the physician, if there could be something terribly wrong with my previously functional immune system (like an autoimmune disease...or AIDS), and he diagnosed me with something else! 

Hypochondria.

Anyway, as a part of my journey back toward health, this weekend I took a trip to my friendly Walgreens store to pick up some meds.  I reluctantly purchased some cough drops to soothe my aching throat.  I say reluctantly because I really don't like cough drops.  Mostly because they taste like earwax.

Little did I know the surprise I would find inside (besides the fact that advertising them as "warm apple cider" flavor was an example of grossly false advertising)--each cough drop came wrapped in a little paper covered in motivational phrases.  "A pep talk in every drop," they say.  Here are some examples of the sayings found on the wrappers:





Halls, I'm sorry, but when I'm debating between drooling and swallowing my own spit (because swallowing creates a pain in my tonsils that makes me wince as if someone's hit me), I don't really want to hear about keeping my chin up.  In fact, keeping my chin up hurts my swollen, painful lymph nodes.  But I'm not a mindless complainer!  Here are my suggestions for what you could put on your cough drops instead:

"Being sick sucks."
"At least you're not at work."
"How can such a small person produce so much mucous?! You're a marvel."
"You'll probably feel better tomorrow--I don't think it can get worse than today."
"Allergies are stupid."

You're welcome, Halls.

P. S.  Please make the apple cider cough drops taste like apples.  Or cider.  Or anything but what they taste like now.  Thank you.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 Months (Otherwise known as 1 year)

12 balloons.  We made it all the way to a year, baby!

In this year you've gone from sitting in our arms as a motionless lump of human to walking all around the house hitting people and furniture with the dog's collar (which you insist on playing with instead of the millions of toys you received at your birthday party). 

In this year you've learned that "yay" means to clap because we're proud of you, and "no" means...well, "no" means that we're probably going to say "no" again when you keep doing whatever you're doing. 

In this year you've gained about 16 pounds!! (No comments on any pounds you may have noticed your mommy and daddy put on, please.)  You would have gained more pounds, but you poop about 13 times per day. 

In this year you've found your toes, found your voice, and found out how fun it is to unroll all the toilet paper when mom and dad aren't looking.

In this year we've played peek-a-boo, hide and seek, and tickle the baby approximately 4027 times.  (And loved it every single time.)

In this year at church you went from sleeping all the way through it to patting the Bible in the nursery, and finally to throwing the Bible all the way down the pew at the nice family who was unfortunate enough to sit next to us. 

In this year you've learned that Dixie is not only man's baby's best friend, but also a four-legged disposal, capable of finishing off any cheerios or vegetables that you are too full to eat.  She is also an expert in cleaning the food from between your toes, behind your knees, and all other places where you inexplicably manage to spill.

In this year you've gone from eating only milk, to jars and jars of baby food, to stealing things off of our plates.  You've found that oatmeal is not only your favorite breakfast food, but also your favorite hair styling pomade.

And whenever this brave new world gets too scary, you've learned that the safest place for you is to run back into our arms.

You've come a long way, baby, and we can't wait to see what you do next.  Happy eleventh, big boy. 


 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

364

We've watched our baby grow now for 364 days, and what a miracle it has been to watch that boy learn and love.

As tonight wanes on, I find myself circling around the same thoughts: 

How strange that on this day last year I hadn't met my boy yet, never looked into his blue eyes...

How odd that I had no idea how strongly this child would take hold of my heart...

But mostly I wonder: How did I get so lucky?  How did I get so lucky?

Being Carter's mama has been the greatest adventure of my lifetime, and one that I continually thank God for allowing me to experience.  I was made to be a mother; there are few things in this life that I know with such certainty as that fact.  It is in my bones, my blood, my DNA--the instructions passed down through generations of mothers before me, and shown to me daily by my mother.  I know it with the same certainty and unshakable faith that tell me my Redeemer lives. 

Carter, I love you deeply, fiercely, with wonder, with amazement, in spite of your bad days, and ever more on your good days.  I love you.  I love you.  I love you. 

I pray tonight that you will always know this fact as steadfastly as I know that I was put on this earth to be your mama. 




Monday, September 2, 2013

Save the...oh, great.

Carter's 1st birthday is only 9 days away!  (How did this happen?)

Being the overly incredibly attentive and indulgent completely in-control mom that I am, I planned a huge bash for Carter and his 50 closest friends.  I even made cute invitations, painstakingly addressed them by hand, and mailed them out.

Can anyone spot what I forgot to put on the invitation...?



That's right, the date of the party.  When did I realize this grievous mistake?  Not until I had mailed out every invitation and one of the invitees texted me.  Then I went into damage control mode: The party is on September 7th, everybody (the group text read).  I couldn't put it on the invitations because it didn't start with "C!"

Haha...ha........ha.

Mom fail.






Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bump in the Road

No, this is not a post about a baby bump--don't get excited.  It's so unfortunate that blogging women of childbearing years cannot post the words "bump," "baby," or "surprise" without raising suspicion of a bun in the oven.

Aaaaanyway...

The post is about an actual, literal bump in the road.  Specifically another car running into my car.  Boo.

Sometimes there's a really complicated story to explain about how a car accident happened.  Other times it's pretty cut and dry--like this story:  I was driving straight on a residential road and a lady ignored a stop sign (and my screeching brakes, and my honking) and hit me. 

Nobody was hurt in either car, which is fantastic considering that between the other lady's car and mine we had 5 children total.  Carter treated it as his first trip to play bumper cars and giggled at the collision.  I was relieved that everyone was ok, but not quite as amused as my boy when I remembered how much fun it is to get a car fixed after an accident.

If you remember from our last car wreck post, when we have a car accident, we really like to do it right, and this time would be no different.  In an incredibly slow-speed wreck, where only two cars were involved, where the other car was no damaged AT ALL, my car managed to receive damage to the headlight, front fender, side panel, and hood.  (And that's just what we can see--haven't even gotten an estimate yet.)

My sweet, precious grandpa fell into immediate action trying to get me a car to drive in the meantime.  He had been planning to buy a new car at the end of the week anyway, but called the dealership and told them he needed it a little early so that I could drive his old car. 

So if you need me in the next few days, you'll find me cruisin' in the 2000 Suburban with 373,000 miles on it.  Big pimpin.

(I cannot imagine why Grampy thought it was time for a new car!)




Sunday, August 11, 2013

11 Months

Same sweet boy, one month older!

I thought today might be the day that we couldn't get a good balloon picture (oh, the horror, I know).  Carter had a very exciting day going to church, eating lunch with his great grandpa, and hanging out at the Temple "Splash Pad" with friends from Western Hills; however, all that fun made for one grumpy boy at the end of the day, which is unfortunately when mommy remembered that today was the eleventh, and thus, PICTURE DAY!

Daddy came to the rescue and did everything possible to make that boy smile, including but not limited to: animal noises, jumping jacks, funny faces, and yoga poses.  The result is as you see below.  One incredibly joyous eleven-month-old baby showing you every one of his 6 tiny teeth. 

Happy eleventh, baby boy.  We love it when you smile.



Monday, July 15, 2013

Mad About Plaid

My boy knows how to rock a plaid shirt.




 
Hmm...I wonder where he got those sweet cheeks...


Carter at 10 months



Lauren at 11 months
 



Friday, July 12, 2013

Perfect Ten

Yesterday our boy turned 10 months old!

Between taking his first steps and finding his little tongue (which is now almost constantly sticking out of his mouth) he has become even more precious to me.  My sweet boy is still one of the happiest kids on the planet, cheerfully accompanying me on many trips to the grocery store, to church, and anywhere else he can find people to smile at. 

By now he's had time to wrap his grandparents firmly around his little finger, as well as his aunts and uncles.  Even Uncle Greg, the most hesitant of uncles to jump into the babysitting thing, has changed a diaper this weekend on his visit to Temple.  (Ok, maybe he just helped Aunt Courtney change the diaper, but that still counts.)

Love you more than ever, baby.  Happy eleventh.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pooberty

Today, my son took his first true steps!  (He had taken some "steps" before that might more appropriately be called "lunges," "trips," and "dives.")

In less monumental news, he also had another first today:  He pooped in the bathtub. 

He was in the tub because while I was feeding him he flung his arms at the spoon, creating tiny projectile portions of pureed peas everywhere.  I put him in the bath to clean him, and instead he pooped in there.  Kind of defeats the purpose, dude.

While he was napping I bleached the tub, cleaned the rest of the bathroom, and did some other chores around the house.  I woke Carter just in time to get him off to the babysitter's before work. 

I did not factor in the time that would be required for a costume change:  Carter had pooped through his diaper and onto his outfit.

After a quick change, I was off to work.  When I got home Jeffrey had just picked up Carter from the babysitter's house. 

And that's when we noticed an all-too-familiar smell coming from the back side of our little precious.  But it wasn't just in the diaper...no, he had just ruined outfit #2.

At that point Jeffrey and I looked at each other with exasperation, and I exclaimed, "Jeffrey, what in the world is wrong with our baby?  He's pooping on everything!"

Jeffrey looked back at me, with a look of admiration mixed with a little pride, and said, "He's becoming a man."

Pooberty really stinks.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Noses, Hoses, and Cheerios(es)

Noses

Jeffrey and I don't claim to have any expertise in the parenting department.  In fact, we're pretty much just flying by the seat of our pants.  Please don't tell Carter.  I think we have him fooled.

But while we don't claim any special knowledge on parenting, per se, we HAVE discovered the best method for infant booger removal.  Forget about the suction bulb.  It's effective when the kid is sick and has primordial slime seeping out of his nose, but for the everyday boogie, it's worthless. 
Sheepishly I'll admit that I've tried to pick my poor baby's nose with my own fingers, but besides being equally ineffective, that's also very gross.
Somewhere, some poor and desperate (disgusting) mom thought up this contraption, and while I've read several reviews that it works like a charm, I simply can't go there.

Full disclosure:  This apparatus has a filter somewhere between baby's nose and mommy's mouth, but it's just not ever going to be good enough for me.

So what's the best method?  It requires two people.  One holds down the child (yes, this is how all good parenting choices begin) and the other parent, preferably the one with steadier hands, picks the booger out with tweezers.  Oh, the things we do for these kids.

Hoses

Jeffrey told me that I was a little harsh in my last post blasting Kraft for its new ad campaign, so I was going to write a glowing review of my new Pocket Hose to help balance my karma.  Notice I said "was."

Jeffrey picked up the hose for me after the very energetic infomercial convinced us that we HAD TO ACT NOW and buy one.  Believe it or not, the Pocket Hose was actually a fantastic product that totally lived up to the hype on the infomercial.  It was lightweight, easy to use, and the very best hose I'd ever used.

Until it exploded.

I don't really know what happened, but my best guess is that the internal part of the hose that expands with water had a weak point because two days ago when I turned on the water at the spigot, instead of happily watching my Pocket Hose expand to 50 feet, I watched it bulge in one spot and then pop open in the middle. 

Even with the explosion, I still consider the Pocket Hose to be one of the best products on infomercials right now--beating out the Shake Weight, the Snuggie, and the ShamWow.  So I'm going to buy another one.

Cheerios(es)

Today, for the third time in recent history, I found a Cheerio in my brassiere.  Now that's one secret that Victoria never advertises.