And So it Begins...

This growing up thing is tough on a mommy's heart. Whether you are prepared or not, one day you look at your child and think "where did the time go??"  Lately when we look at Carter, this is exactly what we think.  He has lost so much of his baby face and is starting to look older and older as he fast approaches 5.  He is growing physically for sure, but emotionally he's been growing too. 
If you've read my blog for the last few years, you've seen a few hundred pics just like this one. You know this is Carter and his third arm, his giraffe! He got that giraffe as a baby and from about 18months on it has never been far from him.  He sleeps with it, plays with it, takes it places, constantly snuggles it and strokes its' tail over and over again.  Giraffey is what he's called it for a little while, but before that he was fraffy and then raffy.  He is very well loved! He's traveled to Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Iowa and all the states in between, and he even went to Disney World with us! To say Carter loves that stuffed animal is a major, major understatement.  Many, many times I have told him to please leave him at home because we didn't want to ever lose Giraffey.  Well wouldn't you know, just days before preschool started and on the eve of a really big transition for Carter, Giraffey went missing.  We traced his last known appearance to the double jogger stroller when Daddy took the boys for a run. We've concluded that at some point, Carter shared him with Walker, who likely held him for a few moments and then dropped him or tossed him overboard.  Somehow no one noticed this (what can I say, 3 men were involved) and later that night it was discovered that he was in fact, MIA.  We staged an epic search around the house, all believing he'd turn up as had previously happened, but he was nowhere to be found. That night Travis and I each drove around in the dark, re-tracing the route Trav had run, even scanning the park they had played at with headlights and flashlights.  We knew if this was the end of Giraffey, it would be a sad, sad day with one devastated little boy.  So we looked and looked and looked some more, but it was not meant to be.  Both Ava and I went to bed that night, distraught that he was missing and bothered by the thunderstorms happening all night, likely soaking his beloved toy.  Strangely however, Carter was not nearly as torn up as we all predicted he would be.  He just kept thinking he'd show up and he told me over and over that we could call the police and they would find him  :) 
After a few days of looking, we never did find his Giraffe.  Thankfully for Carter however, we did locate an almost identical replacement on Amazon.  Oh how lucky that was for us! Two days later a new Giraffey was waiting at our doorstep and Carter has never looked back! Travis and I still can't believe it, we thought for sure he would take this loss hard, but he's proven once again that he is growing up and reasoning on a much more mature level than ever before.  We are glad the issue resolved itself, although if Ava and I are honest, we are still sad about the original Giraffey being lost!  Can you say Toy Story 3, anyone???  That movie series has forever wrecked me when it comes to the kid's favorite toys!  She and I still talk about it but we are glad Carter seems to have moved on, ha! 
He has in fact moved on, to the big, exciting world of Preschool! 
  Carter has waited and waited for his turn for awhile now and thankfully this Fall it came!  Even though much of it was familiar, he was still a little nervous when it came time to go check it all out. 
 I took the boys to his open house so he could meet his new teachers and some of his classmates.  It was fun for us to get reacquainted with one of the teachers that Ava had and to meet his other teacher too. They are both so sweet and will be great for Carter!  After playing with his new friends, he was pretty excited to start this new chapter! 
When it came time for the official "first day pics" he was more than ready!
Doesn't he look so grown up?? And so handsome??
 We are so happy for him to have this great experience at the same preschool Ava went to.  He is gone three days a week and it's a sweet time for him to gain some independence and work on his school readiness while still having time this year to just play and be home a few days too. 
Star Wars is one of Carter's new loves, so he was thrilled with this backpack when we first saw it over the summer! I was thrilled it was a less tacky version of much of the Star Wars gear  :) 
 They know the drill! 
 Yep, your day is here Carter!
 On their own, they decided to get their snuggly things and pose for me. I love this picture of all three of them! 
 Ava was very, very disappointed that she couldn't be there for Carter's first day but she was glad to share these pics with him.  She is dying that she can't see him in action at Preschool, especially with her old teacher, but we promised her we would take lots of pics  :) 
Our very tall 4 year old!
Travis and I were able to take him on his first day since the preschool is inside our Church. 
I love this of the two of them! 

He had just a few butterflies before the morning began but mostly he was ready to go!
 He did tell me once on the way to school that "it's ok if we just go home and maybe I could play Super Mario Bros instead??"  Ha ha! 
I knew as soon as he saw his best buddy, he'd be good to go! Lucky for him, they are in the same class this year and every day is like a special surprise when they see each other again.  Don't they look like twins??  They became fast friends in Cubbies last year and their friendship only continues to grow! I love those little blonde heads of theirs'! 
That verse above our heads says, "Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God." Genesis 6:9  
I love that verse and that is our prayer for Carter, that he would pursue righteousness and walk with God so that he could be blameless among the people of his time.  He does have a tender heart for Jesus and this kid can pray with conviction and a sincere passion that humbles us. We wonder if the Lord will call him to full time ministry someday, he certainly has a love for God that we are thrilled to see!

So far, just two weeks in, Carter is doing great, we think??  He does seem to love it although getting him to tell us about his day is about like pulling teeth!  We definitely see the boy/girl difference in this area! Most of my questions for him are answered with "uh huh" or "I don't know, I can't remember."  I have to play 20 questions every day or just accept the fact that he's good and that's ok too.  The car rides home are mostly all about what's for lunch and if he can play on the wii, as opposed to Ava who used to tell me what her teachers wore and who had on an outfit that was so cute in her class!  We are excited for him to have this year at Funshine and already we look forward to our first conference with his teacher so we can hear what he's like in class.  We love to see our big boy growing up and we look forward to a great year for him! 

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