Sunday, August 30, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Callen and I were discharged from the hospital yesterday. We were very excited to get to come home and all be under the same roof. While we waited for the pediatrician to come in and check Callen out one more time and give us the ok to head home, Carter was very into checking out and loving on Callen while she slept in her bassinet.

Once we got the okay from the pediatrician, we loaded up to head home with our family of four!

Carter was very excited to have a partner in crime riding in the back seat with him. Nick said that on the way to the hospital, he kept pointing to the infant seat, saying "Callen's car seat." As you can see, he was pretty happy to have her along for the ride.

We got home and managed to take a few pictures of our recently expanded family. Of course, none of them were perfect...getting Carter to both look at and smile for the camera proved to be rather difficult. He was far more concerned with trying to get into the backyard so that he could play basketball.For her trip home, Callen wore the same gown that Carter wore home from the hospital. The gown was lovingly made by my sister-in-law and mother-in-law and has beautiful smocking with a W on the chest.
We are slowly transitioning into life at home with a newborn again read: not getting any sleep, feeding a little one every hour to hour and a half {milk, please come in!} plus a two-year-old. Carter continues to be a fabulous big brother, and fortunately manages to sleep right through baby sister's crying! We are truly blessed to have such amazing, precious children!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Family of Four

Well, we seem to be adjusting to life as a family of four pretty well. Granted, we haven't all four stayed under the same roof yet, but we are in heaven with our new little girl!

She couldn't be a sweeter, more precious child. Not that I am biased or anything... She is eating well and sleeping well and really just doing most of the things she should be doing in these first few days.

We have been very blessed to have Bamma with us since Wednesday. It has been nice to have someone who can be at the hospital with Callen and me when Nick isn't here, but what has been especially nice is that Bamma has been taking Carter home in the evenings after his daily visits. This has given them some fun bonding time over play time, dinner time, and bath and bed time, and it has offered Nick and me the opportunity to spend some alone time with Callen that we wouldn't otherwise have the chance to do.

The big brother seems to be really taken with his new role. Carter is loving having a "baby sister." Today, when he got here and realized Callen was in the room, he started saying "my Callen!" which was very cute. He loves to look at her, touch her {gently, I may add}, and kiss on her. It seems the book that we got him about being a big brother really helped him understand. He even repeated one of the lines from it today {unprompted!}, saying "I'm special in a new way too!" The next line in the book is, "I'm a big brother now." I love that he is excited about having a little sister. We asked him if he was excited to have her at home with him tomorrow, and he said yes! A step in the right direction. Lots of prayers that he continues to love her and be a fabulous big brother.

This is Callen's "grand champion" ribbon on display in the post partum hallway with all of her stats on it!
We are looking forward to going home tomorrow and embarking on "real life" as a family of four!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Callen Lockett Willis

Callen joined the world this morning at 10:26. Baby has been doing wonderful since HER arrival. Mom has had a tough recovery day, mainly from the meds. Carter was able to meet his new "baby sister" this evening. Without further ado:

Callen Meets Mom
First Pick with Mom & Dad

Hanging under the Heat Lamp
Meeting Carter

Callen gave Carter a new Basketball. He decided she was pretty cool for thinking of him before his 2nd Birthday tomorrow. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers today. Sue is beginning to feel better and looks forward to returning many calls tomorrow.

Almost forgot the fish stats: 6 lbs 12 ounces, 19 inches

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy {almost} "Bir'day" Carter

Carter is very into his birthday. We have been asking him for about a month how old he will be, and he'll say "two August," which is supposed to mean two in August. Lately {as in, the past two weeks} he has been putting cups on his head and saying "Happy Bir'day, Carter." It is super-cute, and I know that he got it from school. Most parents take cupcakes/cookies/etc and party hats to celebrate the little ones' birthdays during afternoon snack time, and the children sing Happy Birthday to the honoree.

Well, just because I'll be in the hospital on Carter's actual birthday didn't seem to be a reason why he should miss out on a classroom celebration. So, I decided to let his class celebrate with him today. I took ice cream cups for their class, and Carter was so excited!

He got to help pass out the party hats...

Then, he got to sit at the head of the table while the class sang Happy Birthday...

He helped pass out the ice cream cups to his friends...
And finally, he got to dig into the ice cream himself...
Since it was only about 3:30 at this point {and a beautiful day}, Carter and I headed out to the pool for a swim. While I wasn't keen on getting into a bathing suit the day before having a baby, it was totally worth it. He jumped off the diving board, we shot basketball in the pool, played with the noodles and he would jump to me off the side. It was a wonderful way to spend our afternoon together before he becomes a BIG BROTHER tomorrow!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Maybe Not So Displaced

Although we live in the midwest, we are definitely Southerners. We {all of us} say ma'am and sir, we drink sweet tea gladly and discriminately, and I dress our son in smocked & monogrammed age-appropriate outfits. We have worked very hard to ensure that Carter understands the importance of college football since we live in an NFL city in general, and University of Alabama football in particular. The child has been saying Roll Tide for almost a year.

However, as it turns out, our son has a bit of Hoosier in him after all.

Carter LOVES basketball. *sigh* I am not even sure I knew what basketball was until I was in middle school, but I darn sure knew what football was early on. Truth be told, he loves {and recognizes when he sees} lots of sports--football, baseball, basketball, & golf to name a few. BUT, I think he really loves basketball.

When I picked him up from school on Friday, he was playing basketball, and his teacher said he had been rooted to that spot for 35 minutes. All he had been doing was shooting the ball into the basket, retrieving it, and shooting it again. In his previous classroom, one of his teachers told me that when they would have splash day outside, that Carter would generally ignore the water activities which was shocking, given how much he loves water and the poolto go play basketball.

So, rather than resist, I have acquiesced. Sort of as a joint birthday/big brother gift, we got him this backyard basketball goal. Nick put it together this afternoon, but apparently he wasn't moving fast enough to suit someone.

Carter was also carrying the hoop around and putting the ball through it, but I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of that. Here are some shots of him playing with the fully assembled basketball goal.

So, when should we tell him that there's not much of a chance he'll be tall enough to play competitively? ;)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday Morning Entertainment

This morning, Carter and I were headed out of the house for a little Mommy-Carter bonding. I had planned to take him to the pool this morning so that Nick could finish up some honey-do items that are on the list to be completed before Baby #2 arrives this week. However, Mother Nature didn't exactly cooperate for a morning at the pool. When we left home, it was around 62 degrees and when we returned it was about 70. Not exactly pool-going weather. So, we altered our plans and headed to the Children's Museum.

We had a great time. It was really fun to go with him on the cusp of turning two this Thursday...where has my baby gone?!? . So many of the exhibits that he has really been into in the past were too "young" for him, and he was very interested in others that he hadn't shown interest in before.

We started off checking out the dinosaurs and the trains. He LOVED the trains...I think he could have stayed there all day.

Pointing at the train going by
When we headed to the playscape {for children under 5}, Carter didn't show much interest in the water table or the sand table...two typical favorites. He was however, delighted to slide and play with the balls. I suppose he is into more gross-motor activities these days...ha, doubt he is all boy!

We went upstairs and explored all of the fun around the carousel, which we also rode. While upstairs, Carter enjoyed playing in the ice cream parlor.

Serving ice cream
As we wrapped up our visit, we decided to travel to Egypt and explore the newest permanent exhibit at the museum. It started with a ride on Egypt Air {a very fun, relatively realistic replica of part of an airplane} to get there. Carter kept talking about how he got to ride on the airplane and land at the airport. Then he ran through the exhibit, checking out the Egyptian homes even sitting in the den to watch Sesame Street, shopping in an Egyptian market, and checking out crocodiles along the Nile.

"Petting" the crocodile
Carter and I had a great morning, and I think Nick was able to accomplish a little bit without Carter's running around and my telling him how to do it. Maybe tomorrow we'll get to make it to the pool one last time as a family of 3!!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

This Little Guy

Zoom in

Zoom Out

This precious little boy just melts my heart every day. He also amazes me with how fast he is learning and growing these days! The pictures above are from the other night...I look around to find him and he is lying on the cushions/pillows on the couch in our living room. He thought he was so clever, and he didn't want to get down. He kept saying "Mama, pat you, " which translates to "I'm tired, will you pat me on the back so I can relax and pretend to sleep." To which I replied, "Carter, you need to get down. I don't think it is very safe for you to be lying on the back of the couch." I am such a party pooper.

Today, we had his 2 year old well visit with the pediatrician. There were no shots, but he was still not thrilled to be there. He cried until he realized that he wasn't going to get stuck, and then he started talking up a storm and trying to put his clothes back on while I was talking with the doctor. She thought he was a hoot! Incidentally, so do I. He weighs 27.6 lbs and is 34.5 inches tall...we're getting close to that 3 foot mark!

And just because I haven't taken nearly as many belly pics this time as I did when I was pregnant with is one from this past weekend. It isn't the greatest picture ever--of either of us--but it definitely shows you how well Baby #2 is growing! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Carter's 2nd Birthday "Party"

Last night we had Carter's 2nd Birthday "party." I put party in quotes because we had a VERY SMALL gathering, given that I am about 10 days away from having Baby #2. However, I think it was perfect!

First we had a wonderful dinner--yummy pork that Nick smoked! Then the kiddos played in the sand/water table that Carter got for his birthday, and took a dip in the backyard pool.

After that, we had a quick change out of wet swim diapers {during which Carter was announcing to everyone that the "pool is closed" which was too cute} before singing Happy Birthday and eating birthday cake.
Blowing out the candle with Dad

Shoveling in cake

We have a few more small celebrations planned {cupcakes at school & some sort of celebration on his actual birthday even though I'll likely be in the hospital}, but we appreciate our sweet friends helping make Carter's 2nd birthday special!

The favors for our friends {2 and elephant iced sugar cookies}...not quite Martha- or Andrea-quality, but I was pleased with my first effort!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Movin' On Up

Carter spent his last full day in his Blue Locomotives classroom yesterday. He'll be transitioning to the twos classroom next week! It hardly seems possible. It seems like just yesterday I posted this--about his first week in this classroom!

His teachers {whom we LOVE and are so sad for him to leave!} made the sweet collage above for the each of the parents of the four boys who will be transitioning up next week. I thought it was really thoughtful of them, and Carter really likes it, too. The whole way home on Friday, he was looking at it and naming all of his friends and what they were doing in the pictures.

He has really grown so much in the past year. When he started in Blue Locs, he was barely walking & talking...and now, we can't get him to slow down. He is a non-stop talker and runs and jumps with the best of 'em.

I got emotional when I picked him up on Friday and Amber gave me the collage. One of his teachers, Deanna, has been with him since his first day of school {she moved to the toddlers about the same time Carter did}, and Amber has been wonderful too. So, it is hard for me, and I am sure will be a transition for Carter, too.

But, I know it is time for him to move up. Nick and I were talking the other day about how we think he is getting a little bored. He loves to learn new things, and I think he thrives in an environment where he has friends a little bit older than he is to play along with.

I can't wait to see what new friends he makes and what new experiences he has!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise

In my last post, I mentioned that we had a special surprise while we were at the beach. I got a call/message from one of my best friends from college, Jennifer {we'd been playing phone tag for over a week}, and she said that I could call her the next day because she'd be in the car driving to none other than....Gulf Shores, AL! I was so excited...I called her back right away and let her know that Carter and I were also down at the beach. We, of course made plans to get together!

(please forgive how horrible I look in this picture...I am 9 months prego, remember?)

We haven't seen each other in almost a year--since this trip to the beach along with Mary Ruffin & David--and Carter and her son who is about 6 months older than Carter had never met. It was great to visit with Jennifer and her sweet family! I definitely don't get to see her enough.

Jennifer, Dan & their children were kind enough to include Carter and me in a family outing for dinner at DeSotos, which was yummy. Then, we all went back to my parents' house, where the kiddos had popsicles for dessert and then enjoyed a sunset dip in the pool!

All of the children outside the restaurant after dinner (Hayston, Avery & Carter)

All of the children enjoying a popsicle before swimming

I am SO HAPPY that she told me that they were traveling to the beach. I would have been so sad to find out after the fact that we'd both been down there and didn't catch up!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

We're Back!

Where have we been, you ask? I'll give you a few pictures as a clue.

Yes, don't tell my doctors, but Carter and I took another trip down to the beach to see my Mom & Dad, and visit with them plus my sister and her husband. It was such a great trip, and I am so glad that we went. It was great to get to spend more time with my family and some one-on-one time with Carter before the new baby gets here.

Carter and I flew out last Thursday and just got back tonight. We had a horrible travel day on the way down three hour delay, one of which was on the plane, before we ever left Indy plus a missed connection and luck to get on the one lone flight left flying into Pensacola from Atlanta, but my little man travels like a champ. He never cried or fussed. And, on the way home today, he was also an angel, but there were no travel delays...THANK GOODNESS!

Carter had a blast! He swam & swam & swam! He finally mastered the art of swimming in just his bubble on his own, I might add...he just decided to jump right in with only the bubble on after he had a break for snack time and got very brave in the water.

He also went fishing with Big Pat (my dad) and caught 3 fish...two smaller fish and one speckled trout, that was pretty nice-sized! He loved it. I wish that I could have gotten a good picture of his face when he would see the fish flipping and flopping at the top of the water when he reeled them in...he was DELIGHTED! His eyes just lit up, and he would bend down parallel with the water to see the fish better!

We had a great time and are so happy that we decided to go back down once more this summer especially since we are home with Baby Willis still tucked in my tummy. {We also had a very special surprise while we were down there, but that is for a later blog.} Thanks to Bamma and Big Pat for being such a great host/hostess and chauffeur. We can't wait to see you again soon!
Although we had a FABULOUS trip, we are happy to be home...and both of us were thrilled to see Nick tonight...he's the only thing that could have made the trip any better!