Carter is starting to show his personality. It's so much fun to watch him study the world around him. There's so much behind his eyes when he's looking around. You can just see the wheels turning as he's trying to make sense of everything around him. Sometimes when I look at him, I don't see a baby at all -- I see a little boy, and I feel like I'm getting a glimpse into the future.
It's funny how much love you can feel for your child. I always knew it would be like that, but the circumstances of Carter's birth set me spinning. I went through a period of mourning, almost as if I'd lost him. And in a sense, I had -- I'd lost my pregnancy, my birth, the joy of having a baby and then getting to hold him and nurse him and have that first beautiful moment of falling in love, and knowing he would soon go home and start his life with us. What I got instead was something very different, and it took me a long time to come to terms with that. It really wasn't until his due date had passed that I felt like I could accept that he was really here.
Looking back now, I can see that I was numb for a few months. I didn't feel much of anything, and that's probably a good thing. It was a defense mechanism of sorts. But now I look at him and I feel so much. It's hard to put it into words.
As I said above, Carter has really started observing the world around him, and he's recently become fascinated with the outdoors. He loves to look up at the trees and watch the birds and squirrels. He also likes to touch bark and tree branches and leaves, all of which will go right into his mouth if you're not careful.
It's finally starting to cool off here, enough that we can go for walks in the morning and sit on the deck and enjoy being outside. Fall in Texas always feels like spring to me. You can finally go outside again after a long, hot summer.
Here are some pics of us relaxing on the deck on Sunday morning.
He'd just nursed himself to sleep in that last picture. He's such a little boob monster! The nanny says that he will start to get really fussy after about six hours of being away from me, and he'll start burying his face in her chest and chewing on her shirt. After a certain amount of time, he just wants to nurse. Happily, the longest amount of time I'm ever away from him is 7 hours, so it works out fine. He's doing well with the sippy cup too, and so I've put all the bottles away. There's no reason to try to get him to take a bottle at this point, really.
He's starting to explore his body a little bit too, which is cute. He likes to play with his toes, which is very convenient when I'm changing his diaper. He will also study his hands carefully, turning them and staring, flexing his fingers. He will tug on his ears, and poke at his outy belly button. He hasn't seemed to discover his penis yet, but I'm sure that will happen pretty soon!
He has a bath every night as part of his bedtime routine, and he really seems to like it. He likes to splash and play with the water. He can sit up on his own in the tub, but he prefers to lay on his back. I imagine he's learned it's warmer that way. He will tilt his head to the side and stick his tongue out to try to drink the bath water. It's so hilarious to watch!
I'll finish with a funny story: last night I was playing "airplane" with Carter. I was lying on my back and holding him over me like he was flying. He was laughing and enjoying it, and out of the blue I had this thought: "I sure hope he doesn't throw up on me." And within a few seconds, his mouth opened and a torrent of milky vomit came pouring out.
Oddly enough, everything went into slow motion. I saw the vomit falling towards my face, and I actually had time to think about what to do. Moving Carter would be no help; the vomit was already on its way. I couldn't really move myself without endangering my grip on him either. So I turned my head, and the vomit went into my hair. There was not a drop on the carpet, but my hair was soaked. It was so bad that I couldn't wipe it out with a burp cloth. I had to take a shower!
It was really funny though, and even though my hair was soaked with baby vomit, I was cracking up laughing. Carter thought it was pretty funny too!