Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Carter's First Birthday

I've completely neglected my blog for the past year which makes me sad but I feel like I have a legitimate excuse. I think about sitting down to write a post several times a week and then I find myself answering work emails, doing laundry, or playing with Carter instead. My goal is to try to be better about devoting more time to my blog to simply recount all the fun things that we've been doing with Carter. I was terrible with keeping his baby book up-to-date and there are so many fun milestones that I don't want to forget! So here goes nothing....

Carter turned one last Monday. How is that possible? Where did the past 12 months go? I've been experiencing a mixture of emotions the past several weeks as his birthday approached. I can vividly remember the day Carter was born. I had spent the past several weeks in major nesting mode. I decided it would be a good idea to clean every single window in our house. I used a toothbrush to get every corner clean! I guess I thought it would be really important to Carter to have squeaky clean windows, ha. I had organized every closet in our house and made a million trips to Goodwill. We had purchased everything we needed off our registry so as far as I was concerned it was time to sit back and relax. On Saturday, June 23, 2012 I decided to spend the afternoon at the pool relaxing and reading a magazine and I even managed to swim several laps. I was scheduled to go to Sibley Hospital the following Wednesday for a c-section so I needed to get myself mentally prepared. Chris played golf and that evening we grilled out and enjoyed a wonderful meal. When my water broke about 30 minutes after dinner I went from being relaxed to completely shocked.

Fast forward about four hours later and they were wheeling me into the operating room to deliver Carter. I had a minor panic attack because this wasn't how it was supposed to go. I schedule for a living and even though you cannot schedule a delivery, mine was. I knew it was going to the hospital on Wednesday, June 27th around 11:30a.m. It took me several weeks to come to terms with the fact that I was going to have to have a c-section, but I eventually did and it was written on my calendar and I knew everything that had to accomplish before that time. I scheduled my last day at work, Chris and I scheduled our last day and evening together with just the two of us,  and we scheduled when our parents would arrive in DC. Everything was scheduled. But around 9:00p.m. on June 23, 2012 that all went out the window.

When I think back to Carter's delivery it's a blur. When they took me into the operating room to give me the epidural, Chris wasn't allowed. It seems like it was eternity before they finally let him in. I remember the room was freezing cold and I could not stop shaking. My teeth have never chattered like that in my entire life. Then the process began and all I could hear were the doctors talking. I kept listening intently for a cry and I never heard one. I kept asking Chris "what's going on? Is he OK?" And then finally there it was! Crying!! The sweetest little noise I've ever heard. They handed Carter to Chris briefly and I remember seeing his tiny little face but even that seems like a blur. I somewhat remember being rolled into my room but I was on such an emotional and hormonal roller coaster that I don't even know what was going through my mind.

Part of me wishes that I could relive it all over again. Those minutes and hours were so special and overwhelming. I cherished those first few days in the hospital. Our family would come and go throughout the day and then we would have our alone time with our precious little son. The nurses were amazing and it was so quiet and peaceful there. I felt at times like I was the only person on the hallway. The nurses would keep Carter during the night so I could rest and they'd always bring him back in time to eat. Afterwards they would swaddle him up warm and snug and off he'd go. I never worried about him and the moment they would roll him back into the room were the best seconds I could ever ask for.

Minutes old!
Welcome to the world Carter Alan Wall

Of course Chris switched Carter out of his hospital hat into a Carolina Tarheel one! I was too tired to fight him on it, ha.

Cutest little face you've ever seen!

Time to go home from the hospital 

Well hello Mom & Dad. I think I can keep my eyes open for a few minutes now.

I could write for days and days about my experiences those first few days, weeks and months. I had twelve weeks to stay home with Carter which was a blessing. I cherish that time I had home with him and will have to say that they were the fastest twelve weeks I could have imagined. While we really didn't do much, it was a special time for the two of us.

I could sit and watch him sleep for hours.

Carter spent a lot of time in his swing!

This is how I stroll, especially in 90 degree temps.

Chillin' at the beach

Neighborhood play group

Celebrating Dad's birthday!

First visit to Charlotte and Myers Park Methodist. This is the church we were married in and I was baptized there as a baby and 30 years later so was Carter.

First trip to Charlotte

Vacation to Primland for Senator Burr event

First of many football Sundays

First Wolfpack football game

First Halloween

Trip to Napa and Sonoma

My best buddy

Baptism Sunday 

Reading the Sunday paper 
First Thanksgiving

First Christmas 

First New Year's Eve

Celebrating Mom's birthday 

First Valentine's Day

Introducing solids

First trip to Winston Salem 

First Easter 

Mother's Day on the Eastern Shore
First tooth

First time in the big pool

Father's Day

  Life has drastically changed for Chris and me over the past year, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I cherish our new life as a family of three. I love being the first person to go in and get Carter up in the mornings and seeing his little smile light up the entire room. I love our walks around the neighborhood. I love when he stares right through me with his baby blue eyes. I love our snuggle time in the bed in the mornings. I love playing and reading stories to him. I love rocking him to sleep. I love hugging him and kissing his sweet little cheeks. I love watching him drink out of his sippy cup. I love his laugh. I love his pudgy little knees. I love everything about him and can't quite get enough of him. I never knew you could love someone so much that sometimes it hurts, but he is proof that you can.

We've gone on wonderful vacations over the past year and made wonderful memories as a family. This past year has been the best year I could have ever asked for. To celebrate Carter's first year all of our family and some of our close friends came together a week ago for an "Under the Sea" party. I have never worked so hard on a party in my life but it was well worth it. I blame and give full credit to Pinterest for the birthday party workload and success!

Carter taking a ride on Bucky the horse. This was one of my 1st birthday presents as a child (yes my Mom held onto it!)

Carter's Radio Flyer wagon from Gigi & Pops


Oh yeah, this is tasty. Forget wasting time with my hands!

On Carter's actual birthday we took him out to dinner for Mexican food (one of his favs) and then we treated him to frozen custard at the Dairy Godmother. Needless to say he was one happy birthday boy and so were his parents!

High five 

We love you little man and look forward to many, many more years!

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