Thursday, July 28, 2011

Carter Ashton is Two Months Old!

I can't believe how fast time flies. My little boy is two months old already!!! He is growing so fast and is such a good boy! Here's some information about what he is doing at 2 months old:

-weighs 10 lbs. 6 oz (50%ile) - gained 1 lb, 6oz since 1 month visit
-23 1/4 inches long (60-65%ile) - grew 1 inch since 1 month visit
-head circumference is in 25%ile
-He eats 6-7 times a day. I nurse him for 5-6 of those feedings, and Taylor gives him a pumped bottle for his late night feeding.
-He is a very efficient nurser-eating in about 15 minutes. Occasionally he wants a break in the middle, but we are typically completely done feeding in 15-20 minutes.
-He typically sleeps 7-8 hours at night starting after his 10-10:30 feeding. He's been doing this since 6 weeks old!
-After he eats in the morning between 5:30 and 6:30 he goes back down for another 2-3 hours letting us sleep some more as well!
-He is really good at putting himself to sleep for most of his daytime naps. When he gets sleepy I swaddle him, give him his paci, and maybe rock for a couple minutes. Once he is calm and laid down he does the rest on his own.
-His late afternoon/evening naps he prefers to cuddle to sleep and this is his fussy time anyway.
-He is very smiley now. He has even started smiling at people that talk to him that he has never seen before.
-He is finding his voice. His coos and gurgles are becoming stronger and more frequent.
-He has started rolling over to his sides. He favors his right but has rolled to both. I think he'll be rolling over to his belly in the near future.
-He is a fun combination of a snuggler but also liking his own space. If he has been held too long (like on Sundays at church), he can be made happy by simply finding a place to lay him down and let him kick and squirm.
-After we have been out and around he really likes to be laid in his bed to kick and talk to the bears on his mobile. I think this is how he detoxes from the stimulation of extra people and new environments.
-He has a new play gym that he LOVES to lay on. One of the toys on it has a mirror, and he really likes to talk to himself. We have heard the beginnings of giggles when he talks to himself in the mirror, but that's the only time he does it right now.
-He loves to take a bath. I'm really looking forward to being able to put him in his bath chair in a regular tub once we move instead of using the sink.
-He is a big time wiggler and squirmer (has been since months before he was born).
-When I was pregnant, Carter would go still when there was music playing (or me or Taylor singing). He would kick when it would stop. We see that in person now as well. He gets pretty calm and still when there is music playing and you can tell he's listening. I often wonder if he has his daddy's musical ear that analyzes the sounds.

We love him more every day. We can't get over what an amazing thing it is to be parents and to watch our sweet child grow and change. We work hard every day to absorb each moment since he changes so incredibly quickly. This next month will be full of change for all of us, and I can't wait to see what God has in store.

May 28, 2011

June 23, 2011

June 24, 2011

June 27, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

20 Things I Have Learned in My Short Time as a Mom

1. There is nothing more precious than your child smiling at you!
2. Catching spit up in your hand is an art.
3. The sound my little guy makes when we clean out his nose is one of the most heart-wrenching things I've ever heard.
4. Being "trapped" in stillness while nursing is a great time to pray, practice my memory verses (even saying them out loud over Carter), and talk to my boy.
5. The things that used to distract me while I would try to be productive are suddenly not distracting anymore when I know I have to make the most of the time he is asleep! If I'm very efficient I can cram a lot into that time between feedings!
6. I can get myself ready faster than I thought I could!
7. There is something so very sweet about a baby after a bath-a different kind of contentment.
8. Ceiling fans are pure entertainment!
9. Watching and laughing at the silly faces and funny sounds Carter makes is nothing but pure joy.
10. Sleeping through the night a wonderful thing.
11. Each separate grandparent thinks that everything Carter does is for them personally--SO funny!
12. Grandparents fight amongst themselves as to who gets more time with him-NOT Taylor's parents versus my parents BUT Mama K vs. Papa (my parents) and Bibi vs. Pops (Taylor's parents). HA!
13. Taylor and I have lost all priority in our parents' eyes. They call to ask only about Carter and want to see him before saying hi to us. :)
14. The washer and dryer eat little bitty baby socks-there is just no other explanation!
15. Grandmothers are good for putting the baby to sleep. Grandfathers are good for listening to stories.
16. I treasure the time that I get to sit through a church service, and will very much treasure the time when Carter is ready for the nursery. But I believe my time spent out of the service with him is just as much worship to God as the time spent in service!
17. I've always been a slave to my to-do list. That's the Martha side of me. This part of me can be negative when I let things that are more important (people, etc.) go to the side just so I can finish my to-do list. I believe having a list is a good thing. It keeps me on target and keeps me from getting distracted. BUT-as a mom I've realized that the top of my to-do list is always Carter! If I have to put laundry, cleaning, etc. to the side because he needs to cuddle or wants to play longer than I thought he would or decides to eat a little earlier then I am honoring the Lord! Mommyhood is teaching me to be more like Mary.
18. Mommyhood is also teaching me to be more like Mary in our marriage. The to-do list has to go to the wayside for that as well. Our time alone (and awake) is limited and precious-and will be even more so once we move.
19. Watching my husband becoming a dad makes me love him more every day in a way I didn't realize was possible.
20. As I was told before Carter was born, it is so true that now my "heart is 'walking' around outside of my body."

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Memory Verse 14

I was reading in Colossians this week, and this verse stuck out to me. I think it hits home as something good to lay on my heart as we enter this journey as house parents!

Colossian 3:12 New Living Translation

"Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday on Thursday

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


In my previous post, I said I would explain later why I chose Psalm 32:8 as my memory verse for the next two weeks. Well, as you read the following I think it will become clear.

Taylor, Carter, and I are embarking on a God-directed adventure as a young family. On August 1st, we will be leaving the DFW metroplex and moving to Albuquerque, NM. We have accepted a position as house parents at the Albuquerque Christian Children's Home!!! We are incredibly excited (as well as nervous) about this amazing opportunity!!!

Right before Carter was born we learned about this position. My mom is on the board for ACCH, and she mentioned that they were looking for house parents. She wanted to toss it out there believing we had the gifts to do this job. We completely blew it off. However, the idea kept plaguing both of us individually. The Lord has a way of keeping something on your heart and mind when He has a better plan than you. We began having long conversations about it. We asked lots and lots of questions. We found out all kinds of details from my mom; we called ACCH and asked one of the directors several questions in multiple different conversations. Finally we decided that we needed to pursue this. We could not stop thinking of this as an incredible missional opportunity to authentically, daily be the hands and feet of Jesus to these kids. My cousin and his wife are in the process of adopting a sweet boy from Ethiopia, and they have consistently talked about how taking care of orphans is in direct obedience to the gospel of Christ. Taylor and I have been very touched and convicted by this idea as well. This position at ACCH offers us this opportunity.

So, because I am still on restrictions due to my C-section recovery we were able to schedule a couple interviews via skype! (Isn't technology wonderful sometimes?!?!) Within a couple weeks, we had gone through the entire process and been asked to join them at the home. We excitedly accepted. School starts mid-August, so our goal is to get there, move in, go through a little training, and move the kids into our house before school starts. It's going to be a wild August, but we cannot wait!!

Here's a little about what we will be doing. The Home has 3 houses on property-2 that house children full-time, and 1 that the kids move over to a week at a time while their house parents are on relief. Each house is equipped to hold 8 children-your personal children count as part of that total. So, we will be equipped to hold 7 other kids in addition to Carter. As of right now, we will have 3 boys-ages 9, 11, and 17. That can, of course, change at any given time. We will also not necessarily always have boys-that's just how it is at this time. As you probably know, I cannot give their names nor any details about them as I learn them. We don't have many details yet about each of their situations. We do know that the kids at the Home are very much in need. Most of them are not orphans in the sense that their parent(s) are not deceased. Many have been abandoned or severely neglected. The more we learn, the more we prepare and pray for these kids, the more our hearts begin to break for them-and we cannot wait to get there and share Christ's love with them.

This will be the only job either of us holds while house parents. ACCH is only licensed to take school-age children, so during the day Taylor, Carter, and I will have time just the 3 of us. We will also have a week off a month to rest, refresh ourselves, and spend time as a family and a couple. Many people have expressed concern over us deciding to do this with an infant. Believe me-this was a HUGE part of our conversations before considering this position. In many ways we will have to view daily life like Carter already had older siblings. He will just go along with us to whatever we are needing to do with the other boys just like he would if he had older biological siblings. I admit that if Taylor had to have another job that would leave me at home caring for Carter and up to 7 more kids at the same time we would probably not have been able to do this right now. We will very much be working as a team in this endeavor-and that part is so exciting to us. We can also not get away from the fact, that immediately in his young life, we will be living out in front of Carter what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Isn't that our most important job as parents anyway? There is no time like the present to start including Carter in and teaching him about what it means to be like Christ!

This decision does not come without fears or feelings of being overwhelmed at times. But, again and again in our conversations Taylor and I kept coming back to the fact that God does not call us to stay comfortable. No where in the Bible does He demonstrate that His followers can just stay where they are comfortable. He asks individuals in the Bible over and over again to follow him, instructing them to not be afraid...He will not leave us. He wants us to trust him as we do something that scares us a little (or a lot) knowing that He is the Author and Perfecter of Life! He will guide us, keep us safe, and use us to His glory-as long as we are willing to step out there and let Him!

With that being said: here we go!

Psalm 32:8
"I will instruct you and show you where to go;
with My eye on you, I will give counsel."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Memory Verse 13

Love this verse! Will give more details about why I chose it later.

Psalm 32:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible

"I will instruct you and show you the way to go;
with My eye on you, I will give counsel."