Monday, December 31, 2007

Carson's New Tricks

Carson is CHUBBY!!! Check out the size of these thighs. He currently weighs in at 9.5 pounds, which means he will double his birth weight at only 6 weeks of age!

I thoroughly enjoy the thought of my fat stores quite literally going to Carson.

His new tricks include:

1. Sleeping a little longer. Last night he ate at midnight, 4:15, and then 8:00. Not bad.

2. Enjoying baths. Instead of crying when he gets wet, now he just gets really wide-eyed and looks kind of excited, almost like he's having fun.

3. Holding up his own head. When you hold him on your chest or over your shoulder, he always kind of arches his back and lifts his head way up. He doesn't yet love tummy time, but he does lift his head and turn it over quite often.

4. Looking cute. Thanks to Reid and Michele for the cutest outfit ever!!

5. Talking. Ok, not with words, but he does coo and make cute noises a lot more. I've had bad luck catching them on video, but here's one attempt:


We had a wonderful Christmas, despite our not being able to travel to be with family. Thanks to modern technology like the webcam, we still felt like we were right there with my family in VA and Rick's parents in the DR! And we still had our quiet, special Christmas with our perfect, innocent baby boy, not unlike the baby born so long ago in Bethlehem. Having just given birth to Carson, I had a new perspective on how Mary and Joseph may have felt. Labor and delivery of my baby was not easy for me... it was so painful I had flashbacks of the event every time I tried to sleep during the weeks afterwards!! If it was that hard for me, imagine how Mary's experience must have been, she being so young, without a hospital, doctor, midwife, mother, or even a bed. I imagine she had moments of intense fear and pain. But I also imagine that she sought a divine reassurance that all would be well, and that she relied on her faith. And as wonderful as it felt to finally hold Carson, I imagine that Mary's joy was even greater as she held the Son of God in her arms.
Randy Travis sings a Christmas song called "Labor of Love" that helped me to reflect on Mary's example. Some of the lines are:

"It was not a silent night. There was blood on the ground.
You could hear a woman cry in the alleyway that night on the streets of David's town.
And the stable was not clean and the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace with tears upon her face had no mother's hand to hold."

"It was a labor of pain, it was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark with every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love.
For little Mary full of grace, with tears on her face
It was a labor of love."

What a miraculous event we celebrated on Christmas day!! I am grateful that Mary was so brave and full of faith so she could be an instrument in God's hands to help bring our Savior into the world.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

no more finals!!

Rick took his last final yesterday, and Christmas break has officially begun!

Occasionally Rick has trouble staying awake while studying. In order to combat the fatigue, he likes to study outside in the cold. Yesterday, he sat out on our balcony in freezing cold weather, in short sleeves!! He came inside only when the wind started blowing the freezing rain onto him. But it was worth it... Rick did well on all of his finals and should get all A's!!!!!

During Rick's freeze-out, I waved to him from the window. I was making gingerbread cookies.

And Carson sat there on the couch, looking quite perplexed as to why Daddy was out in the cold.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Anybody need some more pictures of Carson?

Somebody is having a little trouble falling asleep after his 3:00 a.m. feeding, so here's a tribute to the little guy.

Friday, December 14, 2007

'Tis the Season To Be...

Last night, as Rick studied and baby slept, I was left with a few moments to muse. It suddenly hit me that
I'm not pregnant anymore! Yes, I do realize that during the past 3.5 weeks my body has changed, and it's quite obvious that Carson is now living and breathing without being connected to any part of my anatomy. But last night I just happened to remember a few things that I LOVE doing which are difficult if not impossible to do with a 40-inch waist: gymnastics!!

This involved as many handstands and back walkovers as I could manage in our tiny living room. It felt so liberating to stand on my hands and have my center of balance back!! And Rick was quite impressed by the amount of time I could hold a handstand.

Now, I really did love being pregnant. I felt great the whole time, loved the anticipation, feeling the baby move, baby showers, and cute maternity clothes. But I also love NOT being pregnant! Here's the kicker: I realized that, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." We get to enjoy so many different seasons of life!! Each season has its rewards, and its trials too. If we can focus on the opportunities, not the limitations, of each season, each one will be joyous and wonderful. I have had my season to study, and study my brains out I did! Rick and I have had seasons to work, to play, to be a part of sports teams, to play the piano, to fall in love, to be a missionary, etc.

Those were all great, but right now, this is the season to love and hold my baby, even if that means dragging myself out of bed every 2 hours to do so.

And I will love every minute of it.

Friday, December 7, 2007

GROWING baby!!

As of Tuesday, Carson had gained 1 whole pound since leaving the hospital! That's 16 ounces in 9 days! We are SO glad he is such a good eater; a true barracuda. :)

Carson is also growing mentally. He has black and white flashcards, as well as black shapes that adorn his bassinet to accommodate his developing vision. He studies them intently.

I think Rick looks too young to be a dad in these pics. Sometimes we say we are babies having babies. (Also, Rick just got his 2nd acceptance to med school... Medical College of Wisconsin.)

And I am doing... ok with the whole never-sleeping-more-than-two-hours-at-a-time thing. Carson has been eating even more often today, like every 1.5 to 2 hours, so a growth spurt is probably coming. We look forward to more chubs and to him growing into all his clothes!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

We miss Grandma.

Just a few of the things that my mom, Carson's grandma, did for us last week:

1. Organized the ridiculous number of plastic grocery bags we had stuffed under our sink.
2. Kept me company during the lonely, late night feedings.
3. Made me take naps.
4. Made me eat cheese with my saltines to get "more protein."
5. Gave Carson his first bath.
6. Pulled everything out of our freezer and fridge to organize... several times.
7. Cooked dinners and washed dishes.
8. Put up a new shower curtain and got rid of our smelly old one.
9. Stocked our fridge and pantry, including hummus and pitas.
10. Stayed with Carson so we could go out to dinner for perhaps the last time in a long time.
11. Left me a present to open the day she left. (A kit to make a gingerbread house!)
12. Taught me how to pack a diaper bag.
13. Significantly reduced Carson's bilirubin count by holding him just right in the sunlight. Or is she teaching him how to ride a horse?

When I accidentally sat on Carson's head this morning, he was probably thinking, "Oh boy, it's just me and her now! Where did grandma go??" We are grateful for my generous, caring and very organized mother.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


We are PROUD to announce that Richard Samuel James Otto has received his first acceptance to medical school!! The wonderfully large envelope arrived yesterday from Memphis, Tennessee, birthplace of Elvis and Justin Timberlake. Rick says that the University of Tennessee has a great teaching hospital and a world renowned children's hospital. I'm not totally sold on living in Memphis, especially after speaking with a couple of current students there who are also Tennessee natives with thick accents. One student kept telling us to watch out for all the "crumb" in Memphis. After several attempts to understand him, we finally figured out that he was warning us of the CRIME!
It's such a relief to know that he's been accepted! We may still receive more acceptances and then be able to choose where to go, but at least we know we won't have to go through the whole application process next year. Yay!!

"No, not Memphis, daddy!!"