carmen fable: four months

This little muffin turned four months old on the 27th. Time certainly is flying by but I'm trying to hang onto every moment.

At her four month check-up a few days ago, Carmen achieved a big milestone: she was finally on the curve for height and weight! This was a relief for me because I'm admittedly nuts about how small she is, seeing as how I'm so used to Ethan who has been on the top of the height and weight percentile charts since birth. Carmen is 11.5 pounds (did I mention Ethan was born at 8 pounds, 4 ounces at 36 weeks gestation?) and is still in mostly 0-3 month clothing. With her cloth diapers, she can also pull off certain 3-6 month outfits depending on sizes. Speaking of, she is still cloth diapered during the day and we are still using 7th Generation disposables at night. (Around the clock cloth diapering mamas, I salute you!)

Right now, Carmen goes to sleep at around 9 p.m. and sleeps through the night until around 5 a.m. She will then have about 2-3 ounces of formula, get a fresh diaper and fall back asleep until around 8 a.m., which manages to make the morning grind a lot less chaotic. For sleep, she's still in her bassinet beside our bed and in her amazing Magic Sleepsuit. She's a cat napper and dozes off here and there throughout the day rather than take longer set naps. She's also eating about 5-6 ounces of formula per feeding, around every 4 hours or so.

She loves tummy time, being read to and listening to music. She is developing such a big personality and is always giggling, babbling and smiling. She rolled over unassisted for the first time today and is determined to be a mover and a shaker. She tries so hard to pull herself up into a sitting position on her own and gets so frustrated that she can't. She loves to be held in a sitting position and I'm pretty sure she's going to be one active toddler -- which is new for me because Ethan refused to crawl until he was 1, and began walking a few months after his first birthday (he was in no rush). I'm just enjoying the day by day this time around. She's on no one's schedule but her own!

She is still her big brother's biggest fan and loves being on her playmat just watching him play. He still takes her (well, with my help) to weekly mommy big brother and me classes at My Gym. Ethan wants me to add that her favorite part is the swings.

Over the months so far...

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Ethan's 5th Birthday Party: The 5th Birthday Experiment

Adorable invitation by Sandy Ford Design

Ethan had his 5th birthday party yesterday! If you know me, you know parties are my thing. I felt like turning five deserved pulling all the stops, but at the same time it seemed a lot more chill than years past -- maybe because I finally figured out a good system (and not waiting for the last minute to execute all my ideas). Ethan requested a science party this year. The venue was a no-brainer -- My Gym Coconut Creek, our home away from home. Ethan has been taking weekly classes there since he was eight weeks old and has his parties there each year. What better place to celebrate turning five than his favorite place and with his favorite teacher (thank you, Mr. Lee)?!

(You can take a glimpse at parties of years passed here.)

I made these lanyards for each of the little doctors in attendance at Ethan's party. What I didn't think of ahead of time was that it probably isn't the best idea to hand out little lanyards to go around the necks of small children as they run around a kids gym. (Oops!) My friend handed each child their lanyard when they entered the gym -- and then the parents held onto them during the duration of the party.

For the party favors, Ethan wanted to send his pals home with something "science-y and fun!" We decided on homemade slime kits. We made these little direction cards and sent each kid home with some glue and Borax to make their own little slime.

Every year I make a photobooth set up. For this one, guests got to pull down the frame and pose next to the scientist hall of fame, which features Neil Degrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and Ethan -- per Ethan's request.

Every year, I also make a slideshow that streams on an iPad featuring Ethan's year. We must have watched his 5 year birthday slideshow 100 times the last two weeks -- and I'm pretty sure I cried each time. FIVE.

Ethan sent letters to Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Miss Frizzle from Magic Schoolbus. To his surprise, Miss Frizzle showed up! He was so, so excited!

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finally five.

Today, Ethan turned five.

It's been a birthday I've had trouble coming to grips with. Five. After all, it's the end of babyhood as we know it. Five begins new adventures, bigger adventures, different adventures. I've been trying to remind myself that they're still adventures all the same.

I've spent so much time trying to remember every single day that Ethan and I have spent together over these past five years. He has been my sidekick from day one. If I close my eyes I can still recall those exhausting, terrifying new days of first-time motherhood and infancy: colic, reflux, thrush, crying -- from both of us -- and trying to find ways to spend the day. I can still remember those lazy afternoons of rocking my infant son in my arms as I hummed Iron and Wine songs to him softly. And then he grew, slowly but surely. Walking, talking (never shutting up), learning, developing into not just my son but my best friend. The person I spent every moment of every day with. The one who saw me through heartache and the greatest pain one can ever endure. It is him who I credit for my spirit staying in tact when I thought I was losing it, losing everything. He is the reason I'm still here, the one I attribute every ounce of this beautiful life to.


In August, he begins preschool and though it's just two mornings a week, my throat catches when I think of how different things will be. Different, but not bad, I am trying to remind myself. With everything he does, my world swirls with pride and love and joy and I know this is just another opportunity to be his biggest cheerleader. His biggest fan.

Per Ethan's request, he spent the day playing with the new gifts that we surprised him with when he woke up this morning. We met my husband at Starbucks for an impromptu coffee break and then later had dinner at Smokey Bones, his favorite restaurant. Our house looks a little like Pinterest and Party City threw up all over the place as I work (and stress) myself to the bone for his birthday party this weekend. His fifth birthday party. Five. It's all so surreal, really.

This child. This little boy. He embodies hope and promise. He is the future. He is love personified. He is five today and I am proud, so proud, to be his mommy.

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