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Teach Me To Smile


Carter

I have been wanting to do a post on Carter. You know, one of the usual 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, kind of updates. I did them with Everett, but I haven’t really done it with Carter. I always feel guilty that I rarely take pictures or do posts of Carter when I did so many with Everett. Even though I hear that’s normal once you have two children, I still tend to feel bad about it.

I think some of my feeling bad may be because, let’s face it, he’s pretty much the cutest baby on the planet, (I’m not biased at all), has a one thousand watt smile, and I’m letting it all go by without documenting it and sharing him rest of the world.

It’s been pretty chaotic the last couple of months. Carter’s six month mark came and I almost missed it. Since then, we it’s been a whirlwind with moving our family, Steve’s company, changing doctors/insurance, and all the other good stuff that makes moving so stressful. Now it’s mid-April and Carter is eight months… oh wait… he’ll be NINE months next week. So today I was really feeling like it was about time to get some updated pictures of our never-ending smiler.

We had a quiet moment today. I got 30 blissful minutes of a nap after I put Everett down. Carter had been asleep longer and woke up after a good hour long nap. I got him out of his crib and made a bottle so he could drink it while I tried to get a few more minutes of precious sleep time. I laid him down and he began drinking his bottle quietly. I turned over to get comfortable to see his perfect face smiling at me from behind the nipple of the bottle he was sucking. I laid there for a few minutes smiling back at him and began thinking how cute he is and amazing how smiley and happy he always seems. Then I began thinking about how bad I feel for him and wished I knew what to do to help him, besides love him and give him attention. Even then, I often feel guilty not giving him as much attention as Everett got when he was his age, especially because if anything, Carter needs more than what Everett got because Carter is always so uncomfortable. I just wish I had more of myself to give to Carter without completely neglecting Everett.

In the midst of my thoughts of concern for Carter I had a spark of energy which gave me an idea. My backdrop was in my closet and my camera was finally fixed. What better time to take some pictures of this cute boy than right then?! He had on his super cute baby Gap outfit he got from his grammy and I had undivided time while Everett slept.

So I laid out the backdrop and began shooting some photos. Carter was smiling away, as usual, and loving the attention. As I started taking pictures I noticed the stain he had on my favorite shirt of his. I thought about changing it, but unfortunately, most of Carter’s clothes are stained. It’s something I’ve become used to because it happens so often… he spits up a little, spits up some more, and some more, then we need to change his clothes, and by the time they get in the wash the stains don’t come out and then we begin the processes all over again with the next item of clothing we put on him.

Carter spits up so much that it’s like Steve and I have an unspoken regiment for what to do when he does. Unless his clothes are really wet we don’t change them, because usually when we do he spits up on his new ones again. We have become so used to it, but when I sit down and think about it, It’s really pretty sad. But basically, unless it seems like it’s going to make him really uncomfortable, we wait to change it. Because of that, some of the stains are harder to get out because they have been sitting for a little longer, and even if they are small, they accumulate, and leave all of his clothes looking like they belong to an orphan child.

When I saw his cute outfit he had on was stained I thought about changing it, because how lazy would it look to leave my child in stained clothing while I’m doing a mini photo session with him. But I didn’t want to get into Carter’s closet and wake Everett, and I also really loved what he had on. So I decided I would just edit the stains out afterwards.

I took a bunch of pictures and did end up changing him once because, as you will see from one of the pictures, he made the perfect shot complete by adding his signature spit up right in the middle of it.

When we were all done I went through the pictures to edit them, (on my laptop without photoshop which is why they aren’t as good of quality). I realized just HOW bad the stain was. I felt embarrassed and like maybe I should do more another day. I was thinking that if I were to post them I would look like a lazy or bad mom because my baby would seem to always be in dirty clothes. Then I got to the pictures where Carter started spitting up and it made me almost want to cry. My mind set changed. I was not longer thinking about posting pictures and what people would think of me as a mom or Carter in seemingly dirty clothes, but simply how badly I felt for Carter. I mean, he’s got a killer smile in almost all of the photos, and he does every day of his life. He’s always smiling. Always happy.

But he’s also always spitting up, and uncomfortable, and not growing… at all. Sometimes I can’t help but think, ‘how are you SO happy?!’ He amazes me and teaches me every day to be happy in whatever situation I am in. He is SO full of love. He loves anybody and everybody. All you have to do is lock eyes with him and he’ll give you a smile that makes you feel like you are the most special person in the world.

I did hesitate posting the pictures, because they didn’t turn out quite like I had envisioned. But I did post them. I posted them because, first of all, it’s really not that big of a deal, and I shouldn’t care so much about what people are going to think of me as a mom when I know I’m doing the best I can and that there’s not much more I can do about his stained clothes. But mostly, I posted them because this is Carter. My cute, adorable, ever-so-smiley, Carter. He is always happy and smiling, even with his stained clothes from all the spitting up, wet and uncomfortable from the aftermath, unable to do, physically, what I know he so desperately wants to be able to do, (like sit up), and being as small as a three to four month old. He simply endures and enjoys the ride.

I wish I knew what to do for him. Moving I can tell will be a huge blessing as our new pediatrician seems amazing and on top of things. We’ve already had blood work and an ultrasound done for him since moving here and the doctor is planning monthly checkups until his weight starts to go up. I am so grateful for that. I pray that we know what to do for him. As grateful as I am that everything came back normal for the Ultrasound, Upper GI Study, and blood work, it still leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions. Practically 9 months old. 12 pounds, (since February), and still constantly spitting up, sometimes a lot more than others. The first month or two of his life he gained weight pretty darn good and steadily for a little 4.9 pound preemie. He didn’t spit up all that much either. But then something changed, we aren’t sure what, but I know eventually we will figure out how to help him. In the meantime, I am so grateful for this patient and incredibly happy and loving miracle of mine. We love you Carter <3

baby boy

Had to get his Donald Duck outfit from Disney Land before he grows out of it... which hopefully he will soon! ;)

Donald duck

The tail! <3



LOVE this face!

Baby feet. <3

And there it is... in a more mild form, but either way, sorry to the weak of stomach

Getting up close and personal with the camera haha

Totally loving the new way of bathing at the new house. It was really just for Carter but Everett really wanted to join in.


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