Friday, November 30, 2007

Open Wide!

Matt and I got a big kick out of how wide Carter was opening his mouth to eat applesauce the other day. So Matt kept loading up the spoon with a mound of applesauce to see how big Carter's mouth could get. Poor Carter, when he came into our family I don't think he planned on being the family play toy. He's just so much fun.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I know this post is a little late due to our shotty internet, but I couldn't not post about the awesome win from our BYU Cougars!! Carter's little T-Shirt says, "Victory Party at my Crib" and so we did. Here's a few pictures from our party to watch the game:
Complete with blue tablecloth, blue plates and cups, white napkins, and blue and white streamers.

And of course, Matt made these nifty little signs that we put all over our fence, just in case any Utes came along. Sorry Marie. It was another great white nuckle game at the end with a fabulous ending and win by the Cougs! Rah, Rah, Rah, Rah, Rah Go Cougars!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

We Make Them Extra Sloppy For Ya!

Wednesday night we had sloppy joes, and let me tell you what, they were sloppy!!

It was kind of sad, because Matt and I were so busy taking pictures and laughing that we didn't wipe him up very fast so he ended up getting food chunks in his eyes and was very upset about that! Poor Guy!

Also, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. We hope you all had a great holiday. Matt, Carter, and I went to our friend's house down the street and had our feast. Thanks Lamberts! It was a great day though it was weird not being with family. It was our first big holiday being without family.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Outer Banks: Been There, Done That, Dang it we forgot the T-shirt!

November 15, 2007

Hello Family and Friends,

Matt, Carter, and I (Amber) are currently driving in the car on our way home from The Outer Banks in North Carolina. I know some of you are thinking, “What, what, what . . . what the heck are you doing in North Carolina?!?” And to that I say, “Settle down I will tell you.” We have known for a couple weeks now that Matt was going to have this week off, because as I have stated before Matt only has to work 12 shifts this month while on ER. What we did not know was if my work schedule would allow us to go anywhere. Well, as luck would have it we found out last Saturday morning I only had to drop the kids to school Monday morning and Friday morning. So within a few hours Saturday morning I had a trip planned and reservations made to the Outer Banks, and I must add because we were going off season we got a kicking deal. So here is a little, or not so little travelogue for ya’ll (after all we were in the south):

Monday after dropping the kids we took off and made it as far as Williamsburg, VA where our friends Ryan, Leah, and Jack Miller live. They graciously after short notice let us stay the night with them. It is so awesome to see friends again. Thanks guys for welcoming us!!

Then after chatting a little Tuesday morning we were off again and made it to the Outer Banks a little before noon. On this first day we went up north to the Currituck Lighthouse and water life and waterfowl reserve.
The Outer Banks is a huge waterfowl hunting area and is where the area first began to receive most of their tourists. A huge portion of waterfowl congregate in this area before heading further south for the winter. The Currituck Lighthouse is the only one you could climb up. Carter loved hearing his echo and the bounciness of the climb as we headed up to the top. The view was also quite enjoyable. Later on that night we went swimming in the indoor pool and Carter couldn’t have been happier.

Thanks to our sweet boy who doesn’t know how to sleep in we were up bright and early Wednesday morning to walk the beach as the sun was rising. What a cool experience that was for everyone. There is something magical about the beach. Also, coming in the off season was really cool because we practically had the whole beach to ourselves. By the way, this beach was right out the door from our oceanfront hotel.

Our next adventure for Wednesday was heading south making our way down the coast. There was Bodie Island Lighthouse (we didn’t get a picture because Carter was sleeping and we didn’t stop in fear of waking him) and then the Hatteras Cape Lighthouse. This particular lighthouse has been named America’s Lighthouse because it is photographed so much. Then we got on a ferry and crossed over to Ocracoke Island. Matt loved the ferry and was giddy like a schoolboy. I am sure that is difficult for you guys to imagine. It was awesome to be in between the sound and the ocean and to see the vastness of both.

(This was our ferry ride back during sunset.)

Once on the island we saw the Ocracoke Lighthouse and stopped at the beach voted best beach of 2007. We haven’t been to a lot of beaches, but we thought this one was fantastic. It had a great mixture of extremely soft sand and great sandcastle building sand and none of the rough rocky stuff. This was the first time Carter got down to play in the sand and with the water and he was in little boy heaven. He LOVED the sand!!! He was absolutely covered in it from the very top of his head to the very tip of his toes and every centimeter in between. What was hysterical is that Carter had a really runny nose and the sand kept on getting stuck to it so he would have this long, stringy sand slime hanging off of his face. He crawled, ate, and dug in the sand as fast as his little baby body would let him, and of course laughing the whole time. The water was pretty chilly so we only waded in it and Carter thought that was pretty cool, but his true enjoyment came from the sand. While we were at the beach there was a cool fisherman there (this is a huge fishing area, I mean hardcore fishing). He
caught two sting rays and one little shark. He couldn’t keep them, but kept them long enough so we, especially Carter, could check them out and oooh and awe over them. Then he would literally kick them back out into the ocean. Another cool thing that happened while we were there, we had two different schools of dolphins swim by about a 100 yards out from the beach. One of the schools had to have at least 20 dolphins. It was remarkable to experience Mother Nature that up close and personal. As with the beach before, we were there almost by ourselves.

Thursday morning (which is today) we packed up and left the hotel. For our last fun adventure we went to the Wilbur and Orville Wright National Memorial. The Outer Banks is where they took their first flight. It was remarkable to hear their story and all that went into their aviation quest and to now look at where that has brought us. We got to walk on the grounds where it all happened.

Now we are on the road making the long, dreaded nine hour drive back home to Pittsburgh. Because Carter is napping I figured I better get this all written down before I loose the time and or memory to do it with. It is so fun to have a family of my own that can vacation together and start to build memories together. What a blast we had!! Can’t wait to do it again!

Love you all,

P.S. Not only are we in the ninth hour of our drive with two hours left because we decided to take a new way, and not only are we in the middle of a blizzard through numerous West Virginia mountain passes, and not only has Carter thrown up SEVEN times in the car, and not only did he have a big blow out going all down his leg, and not only did he pee all over the car when we were cleaning/ changing him because it was too cold to take him out of the car, and not only did he have his biggest throw up right after we changed him into his fresh, clean pajamas, but also as crazy as it sounds this was all worth our totally awesome trip!!
P.P.S. I put on a lot of great videos from the trip and in the description section I let you know where we are at, etc. Check them out, some are pretty fun.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Pittsburgh Children's Museum

Today because Matt is working the 4 pm to 2 am shift in the ER we decided to hit up the Children's Museum for a few hours. It was so awesome to have that bonding time as a family.

Pittsburgh is home to Mr. Rogers and Mr. Roger's neighborhood. So here we are kickin it in the neighborhood. Won't you be my neighbor?

Mr. Roger's himself, sweater and all. Behind him is the train that comes through to take us to make believe land.

Me and Mr. Owl

They have an awesome water section with a bunch of water tables, and Carter's favorite section with water coming out of the ground.

And a must check out are some of the videos I posted on YouTube. Matt and I had a Hula-Hoop contest. Let's just say I was disasterous. Look for Carter's little head at the bottom of the screen. Matt won hand's down. Also, on Matt's video I stopped it so abruptly because I seriously thought I was going to wet myself I was laughing so hard. Matt really knows how to shake his Groove Thing. I hope you guys enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Video of Carter Walking

So I am not smart enough to put on youtube videos yet. If someone could help me out I would be much obliged!! I also couldn't get the blogger video to work. It was taking forever and a day to upload my video. Is that how it normally is? So anyway, if you would like to see Carter walking just click on the link below:

It will be lots of fun! :)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Here's a Shout out to the new Walker in town!

So yes, Carter took his first two steps today!! One after the other. He was so excited afterwards he crawled over to Dad as fast as he could with a big smile on his face to be wrapped up in Dad's arms. Matt and I praised him, congratulated him, and clapped for him (he understands the clapping part the best). It was so fun to see how proud he was of himself. Thus far the best moments for me as a Mom is seeing that proud sparkle in my son's eyes. I hope he will always be able to have that twinkle. Today was a good day.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What's Happening

The following is a letter I posted on a family website that I thought I would also post here in case anyone was interested. Sorry it is kind of long.

Dear Family,

I’ve posted a lot of pictures lately but haven’t written anything about what’s been going on. We’ve been keeping pretty busy around these parts lately. Usually Carter and I hang out with our friends quite a bit during the week, but since we’ve gotten home from Kansas City it has been work, work, work. For those who don’t know I take two kids to school at least three times a week. Their names are Siddharth Yende, he’s 3 ½ years old, and Tanvi Yende, she is in second grade. Their parents, Sachin and Namita, are from India and are both physicians here in Pittsburgh. I also clean their house about 2 days a week for around 4-5 hours between the two days. My work day usually consists of getting to their house which is about 15 minutes away around 7:15am and making sure the kids get dressed, brush their teeth, eat breakfast, etc. The kids are awesome with Carter and they also have a dog named Ceasar, he’s a Golden Doodle, that absolutely adores Carter as well. We leave for school around 8:30 and I am done dropping them to where they need to be and home by 9:00 am unless I go back to clean in which I get home between 12:00- 1:00. It is nice to have the additional money seeing as we have all these big surprise expenses on the house and Carter and I really love the kids. Once we get these home expenses paid for I think I will cut out the cleaning because Carter is not a fan and it is very taxing on me, but I love taking the kids so I will do that as long as I can. Other than that, Carter and I like to go to the Toy Lending Library or the Center for Creative Play. They are very similar places. They essentially consist of large rooms filled with toys directed to different age groups and help kids in their mental and physical development. Carter is pretty funny because often times he likes to just go off and do his own thing and doesn’t want me to infringe on his space. He also likes to crawl over to where the big kids are and tries to keep up with them. Though, lately he hasn’t wanted to be as independent, he is going through a clingy phase I was hoping he would skip over.

Matt and I love the stage Carter is in right now. He is funny and trying new things everyday and is constantly surprising us at how smart he is. For example, yesterday when I was changing his diaper I was singing “The Itsy bitsy Spider” and when it came time to sing the part, “up came the sun” Carter put his arms up to make the sun. I thought there was no way that Carter could really be doing that so I tried it a couple more times and sure enough on cue up came his sun. A couple times he even put his little fingers together for the “itsy bitsy spider” part. I guess that goes to show you what repetition can do. We are constantly singing in our house. Carter loves it and it is often the only way I can get him to do certain things. Like when he has grown impatient with eating his rice cereal, I start singing “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock” and he is mesmerized and keeps eating. Thank goodness for primary songs. Speaking of eating, he is an eating machine. We can not put food in front of him fast enough. When we were in KC he ate a whole adult sized bowl of chili. He loves vegetables, peaches, meatloaf, and especially yogurt, but really he eats and enjoys just about anything you put in front of him. He is also getting around pretty fast these days. He tries to stand up to every possible thing he can. If he sees something he could stand up to that he hasn’t tried before he whimpers until you set him down so he can give it a try (which can be frustrating in some public situations). He also has started letting go of things within the last few days so he can either stand by himself or turn slightly and grab a hold of something else to walk around. He is very proud of himself when he tries new things and succeeds, but he is also very frustrated and disappointed when he doesn’t succeed, hmm I wonder where he gets that from. He may look just like his father but so many of his personality traits are just like me. He is very demanding and whatever he wants at that moment, in his mind should be met right then. Another thing about Carter that Matt and I have been commenting on a lot lately is how tough he is. He bonks, falls, crashes, has heavy things land on him and he hardly cries about it or he whimpers for a second and is done. When he got his flu shot the other day he didn’t even cry or whimper. He looked shocked for a second and then shook it off. You can see that he also now is developing an imagination. He talks to himself in big long “sentences” as he plays with his toys and you can tell he has a whole storyline going on.

As for Matt, last month he was on his medicine rotation and ICU/SICU (surgical ICU) he wasn’t a huge fan of medicine, but quite enjoyed the SICU. He got to do some really cool things such as placing central lines into the heart through the neck. He was there for some crazy code blues and only a couple patients died on him. I thought the first patient to die on him would have been really hard, but he seemed to take it in stride as he does most things in life. He had a lady who worked at the hospital who called Matt her adopted son die this month. That was very sad and we all went to the funeral. This month he is on ER which should be pretty good. It is set up that ER docs can only work 13 shifts a month, 10 hour shifts at a time. Matt is only working 12 shifts. So he will be around quite a bit this month, YIPEE. The flip side is that several of those shifts are over night so he will need to sleep quite a bit the day before and the day after. His first shift is today from 4 pm to 2 am. We’ll see how it goes.

I hope Halloween was fun for everyone! We had a good time. The Saturday before Halloween we went to a trunk-or-treat at the church. Then on Halloween we took Carter out trick-or-treating just to a few of our neighbors. We have a fair amount of older neighbors who love Carter so they were delighted to see him all dressed up as a Lion. We got a pretty good amount of kids at our house. In our neighborhood everyone sits out on their porches and gives out candy while the kids walk around, and every group of children had at least one adult with them which was nice. So trick-or-treating night had a real community feel to it and made it very fun. I will post pictures of Carter all dressed up.

We love all of you guys and can’t wait to see everyone around the Holidays. That time can’t come soon enough.

Amber, Matt, and Carter

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happy Halloween!!

We hope that everyone had a fun and successful Halloween. Here is Carter our little lion out trick-or-treating for his first time. It was a lot of fun and all of our older neighbors got a big kick out of Carter and his costume.