Sunday, December 28, 2008

Announcement and Update

So for those of you who haven’t heard the news yet, our family is growing. Carter is going to be a big brother come August. The official due date is August 25, but since Carter was so big (9lb 3oz), we will likely have a planned c-section about a week early. We’re considering the 20th, because that’s Ryan’s birthday, but we still have plenty of time to decide.

Carter is already talking to the baby. He likes to lift mommy’s shirt and kiss and hug her belly and tell the baby good morning or night-night. He also likes to sing to the baby. He’s going to be a great big brother.

As mentioned, Carter likes to sing. His favorite song by far is Twinkle, Twinkle. He also likes to sing the ABC’s, jingle bells, and several of the songs from his Sabbath School class. He has a hard time remembering all the words, but he’s pretty good with the tunes.

He’s still growing like a weed. He’s 36” and 28lbs now. That keeps him right at 95% for height and about 65% for weight, which is pretty much where he’s always been on the growth chart. Based on that he’ll likely reach 6’2” by the time he’s done growing.

He’s still learning things like crazy. He knows all his letters, though still not in alphabetical order, and he can count to 13. He can say any word he hears and is talking in full complete sentences now. He loves to read books and will sit and recite his favorite ones out loud to himself when we’re too busy to read to him. He’s heard many of them so many times, that he really can tell the stories himself as he turns the pages. A couple of his favorites are The Pokey Little Puppy and his Sabbath School Quarterly.

He also loves to cook. We get a step stool out for him when we’re making a meal and he’ll be right there helping measure things out and dumping them in and stirring. We even got him a little apron and chef’s hat for Christmas.

He still eats a lot and isn’t very picky, but he is showing preferences, asking for certain things a lot. As a Herman, his favorite food is of course tacos. He LOVES vegetables, especially beans (any type). There really isn’t too much he doesn’t like, but the few things he doesn’t we don’t push too hard, since he does like so many things that are good for him.

Friday, November 21, 2008


As promised here is the recap of our vacation to the Bahamas.

Just leaving was tiring enough to warrant a vacation. Ryan was in Dallas for a conference the week before our cruise. He flew into Chattanooga Friday morning and by the time we got home it was about time to go trick-or-treating, which we wanted to stick around for, for Carter. After that we made the trip over to Ryan’s parents in North Carolina, arriving there around 11pm. Poor Ryan was exhausted. We spent Saturday with Ryan’s parents and left for Florida that night after Carter fell asleep.

Fortunately the time changed that night, so when we stopped to sleep at 2a, we got 6 hrs of sleep before we woke up at 7a. As it turned out, I had packed 2 different black shoes for formal night on the cruise so we had to keep an eye out for a walmart that morning so I could get some matching shoes. (We figured a walmart would be the only thing open that early on a Sunday, which it was).

We got to port about 11 and were able to board at 11:30a. Our room wasn’t ready until 1:30, so we roamed around the ship and ate some lunch, while we waited around for a place to take a nap. :P After getting to the room we unpacked and relaxed until the safety drill, which was nice and short- they didn’t make us go out to the lifeboats because it was raining. We then finally got a nap. By the time we woke up we were out to sea and it was still raining. On top of it, by supper time, many people were complaining of sea sickness, myself included. Our dinner table passed around some sea sick pills, but I unfortunately had to leave early, because my stomach never settled.

The next day was much nicer- we were in Freeport by the time we woke up. There wasn’t much to that island, just some open air shops. Apparently there was a well hidden beach close by, so well hidden that there were only about 25 people there. (Someone at our dinner table discovered it). We, like many other people, ventured off to look at the shops and then spent the remainder of the day lounging around the ship. Ryan seemed happy to watch the huge barges being pushed into dock by the tugboats to load/unload their massive loads of cargo.

We left port that evening and the water was fortunately much calmer. The next morning we awoke in Nassau. After breakfast we ventured out to do some shopping and found a few things for Carter. We returned to the ship for lunch (why pay on shore when it’s all you can eat for free onboard!?) On the advice on a friend who’d been there before, we took a taxi over to Atlantis, a beautiful resort island with water parks and a sprawling aquarium that you can view from above and below. We wandered around the hotels and watched people scream their heads off as they went down the vertical waterslide. We didn’t venture into the water, because it was a nice mild temperature that day- perfect for walking around, but not warm enough by my standards to get wet.

The next day was our day at sea- the day I’d been dreading after the first night’s rough seas. Fortunately it was calm waters, but VERY windy. Ryan and I played a very interesting game of miniature golf. We’d hit the ball and the wind would blow it all the way back to us. Neither of us came anywhere near par on the course. :) By supper that night we were able to feel the ship swaying again. Fortunately it didn’t start getting really bad until after supper and we were ready to go to bed anyway. We found out the next morning from our cabin steward that the days going in and out of Florida are usually rougher. Apparently it’s something with leaving on the eastern side of FL, because we never felt a thing on our last cruise that left on the gulf side of the state.

All in all, we had a great time. Good shows, good food, good naps. It was very relaxing. And as for Carter, he didn’t want to leave Nana and Papa’s house. We asked him if Nana and Papa had spoiled him and he quickly replied “No”. We don’t buy it. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ABC's, football, and the Bahamas

Wow! It’s been 2 months! My bad. I guess there just hasn’t been a lot to update on. Not a lot of new things going on in the lives of the Hermans. As mentioned before, Carter is potty trained. He’s been wearing real underwear ever since that last post. He still wears a diaper at night, but he’s starting to have more mornings where he’s still dry.

The only new developments I can think of are that he’s learning more letters and colors. He knows more than half of the alphabet, but he’s learning them in his own completely random order. He seems to really pick up on the “letter of the day” on Sesame Street. He also loves to sing twinkle, twinkle and the ABC song. He’s got the tune down (it’s the same for both songs), but he doesn’t have all the words of course. It’s mostly “tinkle, tinkle, tinkle….” or random letters for the alphabet.

Oh, and of course it’s football season now and Ryan has gotten Carter to completely fall in love with the game. He asks for “foobah” daily. And of course he’s a Panthers fan (he’ll say panther whenever he sees the team logo). He has his own little jersey with matching pants that he wears on game days. Ryan has also taught him how to hike a football, put his arms up and yell touchdown, and he’s getting better and throwing and catching his little football.

For Halloween I made a Spongebob Squarepants costume for our neighbor boy Tyler, and a smaller version for Carter just for the fun of it. But I don’t let Carter watch spongebob, so he has no idea who he is. So Carter is going to be Elmo (he LOVES elmo!), and his big stuffed elmo will wear the little spongebob costume to match Tyler.

As for the adults in this house, we are testing our building skills. I, Mindy, designed a twin bed and we are now in the process of building it. Assuming it holds up, it will go in our little back room that until now has served our storage needs. We’re going to turn it into a small guest room/playroom for Carter.

What we’re currently looking forward to is our cruise to the Bahamas, coming up in less than 2 weeks! Unfortunately, Ryan will be away in Texas next week for a conference, so after a week away, he’ll only get to see Carter for 1 day before we leave him with his Nana and Papa for a week. For my part, I haven’t had a night away from my baby since he was born, so I’m extremely excited about getting away, but of course a little apprehensive about being away from him for so long.

So that’s pretty much it. I’ll post another blog after we get back from our cruise to let you know how things went.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


In just under a month we have gone from starting potty training to POTTY TRAINED!!! (at only 17 months old!!) It just sort of clicked the last couple days and he’s now telling us when he needs to go. The big success was yesterday- he had diarrhea all day and still told us EVERY TIME he needed to go! (yes, it's exhausting to take a toddler potty every 15-30 minutes with diarrhea, but still exciting.)

Today we were at a friend’s house and he would still stop playing and come tell me that he needed to go. We’ve moved on to pull ups, because diapers, even when they stay dry, can’t handle being taken on and off so many times. This is day 2 in a row that he has stayed completely dry all day. He’s still wet in the mornings, but we’ll work on that. We’re just excited that he’s going during the day! We plan to start regular underwear next week if he keeps up the good work of staying dry throughout the day.

Anyway, that’s the update. Gotta go for now. Little man is starting to wake up from his nap. Love to all!

Monday, July 28, 2008


So the exciting day has finally come- potty training! As you may remember I started taking Carter to the potty when he was 4months old, doing the elimination communication method. It worked great until he started walking and began losing interest in sitting on the potty. So we didn't push too hard. The important thing was that he knew what the potty was and how to control his release. Lately he would pitch a fit if we tried sitting him on the toilet, which was very discouraging. So I decided to get him his own little potty chair that's just his size that he can use all by himself. It came in today!

I've researched and learned some handy little tricks and started as soon as we got it home. I gave him lots of juice and salty crackers to keep him drinking lots of juice. I then stripped him down naked and shut him in the living room so I wouldn't have to chase him all over the house. After a few mishaps (this is where it's great having wood floors instead of carpet) he's starting to get the hang of it. When it's time he'll say pee pee and go to his chair. We've had 4 in a row now (he's going every 5-15 minutes, so there are plenty of opportunities for success).

He's so proud afterward. He'll stand up, turn around, bend down and look in amazement at his pee pee in the potty, (something you can't do with a toilet- there's always fluid in there) and then he'll clap and dance.

I know it will take some time for this to become a regular habit that replaces diapers, but it's so great seeing him excited about going potty like a big boy again and knowing to tell me when it's time to go.

Anyway, it's only been 2 hours, so I'll post an update in a few days or so to let you know how he does when he has clothes on and isn't pumped full of juice. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Correction to previous blog post

One quick change from the previous blog that I wrote this morning. Apparently after correcting him so many times that an "O" is not a "D", Carter now knows the difference. His affore mentioned blocks have letters on them and he correctly pointed out both the "O" and "D" blocks this afternoon. He makes his mommy proud. :)

Big baby steps for our little man

There have been some big accomplishments this past month for our little man. His climbing skills have us going crazy trying to keep him off of things such as the kitchen table. We decided to beat him to the punch of learning to climb out of his crib and just switched him to his toddler bed this week. He does great and stays in all night and comes in to get us when he wakes up in the morning.

The vocabulary just keeps growing too. He’s using more sentences, like “where’d it go?”, “I want … (insert word)”, and my personal favorite “mama, boo boo elbow”. Of course I don’t like that he gets hurt, but the fact that he can put it together to tell me where it hurts is great. (He knows and can say all of his body parts, so we’re covered).

His new favorite toy is his blocks. He loves to stack them up and then knock them down. He can get them pretty high too. The biggest accomplishment with this has been counting. He’s only had the blocks a few days, but from the get go we would count his blocks as he stacked them and already he can count to 3 on his own as he stacks them.

He’s also starting to learn some letters. His favorite cartoon is Super Why, a relatively new series compared to most out there, so you may not have heard of it. They go into stories to learn lessons using the “powers” of the alphabet, to spell, rhyme, and read. He loves to “sing along” to their alphabet song and when it’s time to spell something he’ll repeat the letters as they say them, and then say the word at the end after they say it. Granted it’s all repeating at this point, but it’s a start. He also loves to answer the questions they ask, saying “yes” or “no” when it’s appropriate, and if it’s multiple choice he’ll usually say his favorite. I never thought I’d like letting my child watch cartoons, but he clearly is learning from them. God Bless PBS!! (FYI, we don’t watch nickelodeon and sponge bob type stuff. We try to stick to the educational stuff).

Carter’s favorite book at the moment is an ABC book of babies and their emotions. At the end is all the letters and he loves to point at them and say different letters. He insists that the O is “D”. It’s very cute and it’s amazing watching him trying to learn. Another note on books- he LOVES them. He “read”, (listened to and looked at), over 100 books for the summer reading program.

As of his 15mo check up (which was a month ago) He was 33" and 24.5lbs. Thankfully we don’t have to go back until he’s 2! (We have our fingers crossed he won’t get sick before then). According to our measurement and scale he’s now up to 34" and 25 lbs (which keeps him right at the 95% for height and about 55% or so for weight)

In not so pleasant news, we’ve had to start disciplining our little guy. He definitely is testing us to see what is and isn’t ok. We started using time out this week and for the most part it seems to be working. He already knows that when I say he’s getting a time out I’ll point him toward the corner and he’ll go stand in it with his head down while I count out his time (another opportunity for learning to count). It’s cute to see him do this all by himself, but a little frustrating. Sometimes it becomes a game, at which point the punishment changes to sitting on my lap without being able to move- he HATES that one.

In non-Carter news, Ryan and I have a new toy- a Nintendo Wii (although Carter likes to try to play, too). After 1 week with it I lost 4lbs! We just got Dance Dance Revolution the other night (which Ryan said he wouldn’t play) and we both love it. If the Wii Fit ever becomes available for its retail price we’ll get it too. (It sells for $90 in store, but they’re always sold out and they sell for double online- likely from the people who keep buying out the stores). Not that I’m personally trying to lose a lot of weight, but I’d like to lose some before we get pregnant again (apparently it’s harder to lose after a second one). Maybe toward the end of the year we’ll have some more news. ;)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

2 months worth of updates

So here’s yet another long overdue update on the Herman clan. We’ve had a busy couple of months between work and vacations. Ryan and I both had work for a conference Southern was hosting back in May. His office was the one hosting the conference and I was contracted to do all the materials (create the logo, promotional video, certificates, advertisements, etc- you name it, I made it/did it). That kept us VERY busy for the better part of the month and then we left right after the conference was over for a trip to my home state of Indiana.

The choir that I was in for 10 years (3rd-12th grade) was celebrating its 20th anniversary and invited all the alumni back. The choir was one of the biggest parts of my life and where my closest friends were, so it was nice to get to see (most) everyone again and reminisce about old times and the various trips (5 different countries and numerous states).

While there we got to visit with family, but sadly very few friends (that’s the problem with visiting during the week when people have to work). Hopefully we’ll get to see more people next time, whenever that may be.

After Indiana we headed to North Carolina (after a short stop in Chattanooga to see our new niece, Isabella!) where Ryan was presenting at Fletcher Academy’s graduation and then setting up for Carolina Camp Meeting. We enjoyed being back in the warm weather (it was only in the 50’s in Indiana) and Carter particularly enjoyed Nana and Papa’s pool. He also bonded with Papa since Nana wasn’t there (she was in TN with Amy and baby Bella).

We came home with a week and a half before Ryan’s cousin Tim got married. I was commissioned to do an oil portrait of the couple for use at the rehearsal dinner and that’s how I spent most of my time, while Ryan tried to get caught up at work. Ryan’s sister Julie was able to come down from Michigan for the wedding, so afterward we all went back to NC so we could get all the cousins together (a first since Carter was born).

As soon as we got back I was on to yet another project, this time a series of graphite portraits done from live sittings. This actually is still going on, with one portrait done so far and 3 more to go. (Needless to say, it’s been a great year for commissions so far). Ryan got to move offices when he got back. The enrollment office is finally getting re-modeled, so he’s working out of a dorm room for the summer until the new offices are done.

Carter goes for his 15mo check up next week, but we already know he’s growing like a weed. Before we left on the first trip he had to stand on his tip-toes to touch a door knob. Now he can just reach up and turn them. He’s also picking up on everything now. He’ll repeat just about anything. He knows all his body parts and will point to them when you ask (and say some of them). He’s also really good with peoples’ names now and he’s starting to learn colors. He recognizes and says the colors green, purple, and blue. As a matter of fact, while I’ve been writing this he brought one of his toys over and showed it to me and said purple hippo (which it was).

Last night he was talking to me in what I thought was his normal gibberish, but when I stopped to pay attention to him, he was quite clearly pointing to his coloring set saying ‘crayon’. I asked if he wanted his crayons and he responded by saying ‘color’. So we spent some quality time coloring in his coloring book. He’s not much of an artist yet, but he loves to color. He especially loves to go outside and use his sidewalk chalk on the driveway. It’s the first thing he goes to when we’re out there. It would appear that his favorite color is green- it’s the one he always wants and says.

Our big trial right now is Carter has gotten really good at climbing and will climb on (and often fall off of) just about anything. He can climb half way up his crib from the outside, so we figure it’s only a matter of time until he figures out how to get the rest of the way over (from the inside or the out), which means his toddler bed will soon be seeing more action than just nap time.

Carter now eats everything (literally- edible or not) and has no problem eating more food at a meal than his mommy does. Thankfully he doesn't appear to have any food allergies. His favorite word is 'no' and we have experienced the beginnings of temper tantrums. I know this comes with his developing vocabulary and his frustration with expressing himself, but it's frustrating for us none the less.

Well that’s all I can think of for now and it’s a long blog anyway, so until next time… toodles!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Candle Practice

Okay, so this is an older video, but I thought it was worth sharing. This was the week or so before his birthday. We were practicing blowing out a candle for his birthday.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

He's One! (ok, 13 months now, but read it and you'll see why it's a month late.)

So it’s been a crazy month. The week before Carter’s birthday we made a trip up to Washington DC. Ryan had a conference there, but we went up early and spent the weekend with our good friends NJ and Sebrena and their little girl Kaitlyn (Carter’s future wife). We had a great time and really wish we could see them more often.

There was a big mix up with our hotel and had to end up staying at a different hotel the first night because they overbooked (Carter therefore was up until 1am- we were VERY unhappy). The next day they continued to have problems and long story short, we got a luxury suite, free tickets to the breakfast buffet for the duration of our stay, and $100 for the inconvenience of being re-routed the first night. So it all turned out pretty good and Carter got his own room. :) We also made a trip to the national zoo, which was walking distance from the hotel. Lots of fun.We made it back just before Carter’s birthday and had a party at our house with 27 people in attendance (it would have been 31, but one family was sick). Still, a big party for a little guy. Carter loves rubber duckies, so that was the theme of the party. I found a 3-D cake pan of a ducky and made and decorated it and a smaller version (the one Carter got to dig into). I also made a ducky piƱata and filled it with candy and small rubber duckies. It was a great party and I think the kids had a good time.A week later we were on the road again heading for yet another conference (tis the season I guess). This time it was in Memphis, where fortunately, we have more friends. We got to spend a couple evenings hanging out with Cort and Anca and had a great time (again, we really wish we could see more of our friends more often- they keep moving away :( ). For my part, I spent the days shopping (even though every other mall I tried to locate on TomTom was either an empty lot or a big empty building :P ). We took one night to go see an NBA game with the other counselors from Southern that had come along as well. Memphis lost to Atlanta (Such great teams that I knew neither city had a team until that night).Shortly after arriving back home illnesses set in.

There were a couple days I didn’t feel so great and then Carter developed a cold/flu complete with runny nose, cough, and fever of 102-103. The fever broke in the middle of this past week and then Thursday night, after spending the morning at mommies group with a bunch of other kids, I notice a bunch of spots on Carter’s belly and thighs. If you haven’t heard yet, it’s the chicken pox. He received his vaccinations 2 weeks ago, including one for chicken pox, and developed it as a result. The plus side is that it is a very mild case since it was the result of the shot. The down side is that it’s still contagious that way, and we were around a few unvaccinated kids at mommies group. I guess that’s life.

Now that you’re all caught up, the fun developmental things about Carter. At his Dr’s appt a couple weeks ago he weighed in at 23lbs 6oz and was 34in long (that’s 50% for weight and 95% for height). He’s also picking up a lot of new words and using small sentences more regularly.

This evening I took him to the bathroom and while sitting there he said “done”. He says this both when he is done and when’s he’s bored from sitting there too long. I asked him a couple times to make sure and finally he said “done mom.” I asked “no more?” His reply was “no more. Done” After getting him down I said we need to go put a diaper back on and he took off for his room (where the changing table is). I noticed he had yogurt in his hair (he insists on feeding himself everything now) so I said he needs a bath tonight. He said “yes” and took off running back to the bathroom. He’s a boy who knows what he wants. :)

New words that have entered his vocabulary since the last update are: cheese, nana (referring to Ryan’s mom, he’s used if for banana for quite a while), Carter (he can annunciate it perfectly when he wants to), yea, yum, vroom (when playing with his trucks or boats), teddy, kitty, tiger, tigger, doll, please, thank you, and (you’re) welcome. Once again, there may be more, but those are the ones I can think of at that moment.

He is also getting good at imitating movement. He likes to go up and down, back and forth (he has a book with these motions), stand up and sit down, blow kisses, cover his eyes with his hands for peek-a-boo, and he really likes to dance whenever he hears music. He also sings along to some songs (the ABCs is his favorite), though he of course doesn’t say any of the words.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Almost 1!!

With less than 3 weeks until my baby turns 1 (Eek! Is it really true?!), I figured an update was well overdue; though I will try to get another up to let everyone know how his big day goes.

Ryan wrote the last update, but left out all the big developmental milestones, so here is the update. He started taking steps 2-3 at a time right when he hit 7 months and 1 month later, right at 8 months, started walking across the room. Needless to say, he's a pro now. We're now onto climbing- yippee!

He has quite the vocabulary so far, which includes: mama, dada, hi, hey, bye, ducky, doggie, eyes, yeah, yes, no, down, more, done, and all done. There might be more, but those are the ones that come to mind right off, because he uses them most frequently. He'll also put together short sentences, his favorite being Hi daddy, when he sees Ryan in the morning or when he comes home from work.

He recognizes many of his body parts now and will point to and play with them when you ask him where they are. He knows his mouth, eyes, nose, ears, belly button (he loves sticking his finger in it), fingers, toes, and tongue, which he'll also stick out if you ask him what a lizard or giraffe does (we had to come up with something for them since they don't make a noise). He'll also give you five if you tell him to.

He also likes to imitate sounds now. He loves to bark when he sees or hears a dog and he makes a train noise, complete with his version of the whistle, every time a train goes by our house or he's playing with a toy train. Speaking of whistling, he went through a phase where he liked to whistle (I didn't know it was possible for a baby to whistle), but he seems to be past that for now. He also REALLY loves to read books, which is something he and his daddy do every night before bed. He also likes to dance and sing along when he hears music. He has a little toy piano that he'll turn on with a back beat and then play, stop to dance, play some more, stop to dance, and so on.

He still has a great love of food and insists on being able to feed himself now. He's pretty much had everything now, including nut products, with no signs of any allergies- yea! He also likes to drink out of a big boy cup (no lid or straw) at meal times. We of course still use the sippy cup for just around the house. Also helping feed his big appetite are his 9 teeth. His first molar broke through not too long ago, with another one and a canine looking to be close behind. (I must say, it was a nice break from teething while it lasted- molar teething = fussy baby).

For play time he likes to play on his Tonka truck, which he can climb on and off of by himself and push himself around. He also likes to dribble (kick) his ball around the room. He'll literally do laps around the room doing a very controlled kick. We'll start with soccer, maybe it will develop into football :). His most recent accomplishment is blowing out a candle. We've been trying to get him ready for his birthday, and he seems to have it down pretty well. Hopefully he'll be able to perform with a bunch of people standing around.

As of his last check up (back at 9 months) he was almost 31 inches long and nearly 22lbs. That's just over 50% for weight, but over 95% for height. Gee, I wonder who he got his height from?! :P. Needless to say, he's already in 18 month clothes, looking to be in 24 month by summer. He's also pretty close to outgrowing the size 5 shoes he started wearing at Christmas. Two months! 3 pairs of shoes for only 2 months!! He needs to slow down! On the up side for him, we broke the law and turned his car seat around to face forward when he hit 10 months, which he has the size for, but not the age (1yr). We figure he's bigger than your average 15 month old and on par with them developmentally too, so we're pretty sure he's ok. I really doubt a cop would question his age if they saw him, considering his size.

The final thing I can think of is that it looks like we're going to have a little lefty. I've read that as early as 6-7 months or usually by 8-10 months you can notice a preference, and he definitely tends to favor his left. Oh yeah, and he loves to give hugs and kisses. (although at the moment he's going through the mommy phase, but usually he'll hug and kiss anyone).

So that's 5 months of Carter updates. I will REALLY try to get another up shortly after his birthday. In the mean time- God Bless!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Carter's 1st Christmas

Boy time does fly by. Carter is already 10 months old, meaning only two months left until his 1st birthday, yikes. We added 7, 8, & 9 month pictures to our gallery, and should be adding 10 month's pics soon.

Found this pretty cool website called Animoto that auto creates a video by uploading pictures and a song. The website does the rest. They offer free 30 sec videos and seem to be fairly inexpensive full videos. They say hi-res videos will be coming soon but we'll see. I think it's fun but don't know if we will actually purchase full video. Might give it a try since it is only $3. For some reason the embed code isn't working with WordPress right now but here's the link to the video on Animoto's site,