carson taylor: four months

it’s bittersweet that you’re four months old already!  on one hand i’m sad that you are growing this fast and on the other i’m just loving how much fun you are right now.  

this month was pretty much the same as last.  no new big milestones over here.  though that’s not to say we don’t have anything to report.  while your routine is still pretty much the same you’ve become a slower eater during the day and a faster one at night.  we think this is because you can see so much better now and are on high alert.  your attention is usually anywhere but on your bottle (unless of course the bottle isn’t anywhere near and then your attention is focused on getting a bottle).   i’ve found you a few times lying wide-awake in your crib looking around; intently studying your surroundings.  since you generally don’t cry when you wake in the morning it’s the sweetest thing ever to walk into your room and have you smile the minute you see me.  it sets my entire day into positive motion.

speaking of development your mind must be working on overload.  noises and lights capture your attention in no time.  you have babbling down to a science and when it comes to mommy you are all smiles and coos.  it makes me feel so good to know that i might be your favorite person right now (sorry dad!).  according to Casey, your daycare provider, the two of you are having ‘conversations’ on the regular and noises from the other babies keep you on your toes.    

since getting sick and feeling better we’ve seen more of your personality!!  for now i’ll comment that you seem very contemplative with a look that often demonstrates you are thinking.  you are generally happy and if you want something you aren’t afraid to let us know – this directness is probably a mom trait.  you also seem to love being on the go – another mom trait no doubt.  our only complaint: you giggle and snort like it’s nobody’s business but have yet to give us a full belly laugh.  

as a preemie the doctors warned that you would have some catching up to do both physically and mentally.  to date you continue to surprise, most notably in the physical growth department.  your pediatrician often comments that you don’t know you were a preemie.  in fact you are now measuring off the preemie charts and are now compared to others in your same age group!  at your last appointment you measured 13 pounds 6 ounces (12th percentile) – your thigh rolls have rolls – and 23 inches long (1stpercentile – no surprise here).  i’m nearly ready to bust out the 3-6 month clothes but it’s 0-3 for life with your stubby little legs.  ;o) 

and, just so it’s written for later and we don’t forget, this month you gave us our biggest scare to date!  on february 8th you were admitted to blank children’s hopsital (again) for bronchiolitis after contracting rsv.    you stayed four nights and mom and dad took turns during the day and slept on the cot at night.  i’ve never been so scared in all of my life.  on the day you were admitted you couldn’t breathe, were turning blue when eating and had started to get dehydrated.  i’m sure this is just one of the many more times in your life that you’ll have me in a panic but, let’s give this momma a break.  what do ya say kiddo?!  

the nurses and doctors took such fantastic care of you!  after sleeping for nearly two days solid you woke a new baby.  although it wasn’t exactly how i anticipated spending your first valentine’s day you did get a special visit from the drake football team.  they brought you valentines and toys and even delivered cookies for mom and dad.  you looked so small compared to some of them! it was certainly a holiday we won’t easily forget.

what a month, carson!  i love you so! 
that smile!
that pouty face ;o)
first walk….in january!!

so many valentine’s
sitting in your chair like a big boy and being a little ham!

quiet walker lodge

for as long as i can remember i’ve wanted to take a cabin-y, wintery type vaca.  on my bucket list is a visit to park city, utah!  i love the idea of cozying up by a fire decked out in flannel, relaxing in a hot tub after a day on the slopes (or the bunny hill) and treating myself in a luxurious spa.  sure the beach is nice but, c’mon snowy mountain landscapes and chapped cheeks are calling my name 😉 

my husband on the other hand prefers warm, sandy locales with a bar.  so….in an effort to compromise i booked us a two night stay at the quiet walker lodge bed & breakfast near dubuque.  in 2017 we’ll go for warm.  

honestly the stay could not have come at a better time; riding on the heels of carson’s second hospital stay.  after a week of ‘sleeping’ on a fold out sofa and feeling beyond rundown trying to juggle all of my responsibilities while my baby worked hard to get healthy and strong i was ready for some serious r&r.  what better time to go to a bed & breakfast?!

we ventured north on saturday, stopping for lunch in waterloo along the way.  we love trying new places and decided on newton’s, downtown.  the food was divine!  a few hours later we made our way to the lodge only to find that according to policy children are not allowed!  total mom fail!  (next time i’ll know this is a thing to research.)  after some convincing (and baby holding) we found our way to our room.  

we stayed in the spacious sedona room.  i loved the idea of not having to do a thing but relax and enjoy each others company.   during my leave we missed out on some quality family time, alone.  this mini-stacation gave us that opportunity.  while we certainly anticipated that caring for carson would mean less one-on-one time during our stay i couldn’t have accounted for the fact he made sure not to miss a single minute.  he didn’t sleep a wink on sunday!  maybe all of the sleeping he did in the hospital caught up to him and by sunday night he was overtired.  not ideal for resting but he was so happy, so hungry, and so cuddly.  i couldn’t complain.  



with all the snow on sunday painting the landscape a beautiful white it made staying in our pjs until the afternoon easy. we enjoyed gourmet breakfast creations both days, the whirlpool tub and movies we brought from home.  by the time we left on monday i felt ready to be backand eager to start the week – one that i hope is far less eventful than the last!

workin’ it

i’d be lying if i said that maintaining the motivation to workout with a newborn has been easy.  honestly there are days i want credit just for putting on my workout clothes.  

before carson i’d easily workout 6-7 times a week, doing both strength training and distance running.  i always felt great but despite those feel good endorphins  and the runner’s high it’s been a struggle getting back in to a consistent routine.  some days are better than others.  since having the baby i’ve creatively found ways to squeeze in a good day’s work that leaves me motivated and feeling ‘the burn’ without all of the time away guilt.  here’s what has worked for me.  if anyone else has suggestions for how their balancing motherhood with other demands and working out i’d love to hear ‘em.

1) do what you can when you can.  forget consistency.  if the baby only sleeps for 20 minutes or you have to pump in 30 then workout until that time.  tone it up has great workouts that vary in length and are easy to fit into any time frame. 

2) expand your workout repertoire.  i used to just run.  then i used to run and strength train.  i had a very regimented schedule and stuck to it.  now i may take a class over lunch at work, distance run on the weekends, fumble through a hiit routine, squeeze in a 5k with the dog during the week and strength train to whatever videos fit into my baby’s sleep/wake schedule.  flexibility has been key.

3) see: YouTube! speaking of tone it up you can find their workout videos and several others on YouTube.  this was definitely a lifesaver over the holidays. 

 4) do more with less.  the days of long morning runs are gone.  unless it’s a weekend my runs are limited to 3 miles of interval and incline pacing.  

5) workout wear.  sometimes a new top, pants or even a good fitting pair of socks can get me motivated to hit the gym.  but unless i’ve added a swipe of mascara and rolled on the de-puffer i’ll still feel frumpy (and look like a 12 year old).  #whateverworks

6) insta-gratification.  my body has allowed me to run a marathon, birth a child, windsurf in jamaica and hike miles uphill in hawaii in 90% humidity.  it’s done incredible things and honestly i’m proud of it.  like any woman though, there are days. thanks to instagram i can post a picture on an off day and get the positive encouragement i need to keep going.

7) bikini season.  call me vain.  honestly i don’t care.  i have every intention of looking good in a swimming suit come summer. 

8) quit with the excuses.  motivation is a like a muscle.  it needs exercised to get stronger.  i could have totally played the ‘new mom’ card several times and skipped a gym sesh but i forced myself to go and EVERY TIME felt more motivated to continue.