Dec 31, 2012

2013 New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year from Jane! (I decided because you put
this on Facebook, it was fair game for me to use.)
At midnight Aussie time Jane sent me and many other Deltas (the "loves of [her] life") a happy new year's text from Sydney and asked if we had any resolutions. I can honestly say I hadn't thought one lick about resolutions until 6:39a when I saw that text (and then didn't think about them again until at least 3 hours later when I rolled outta bed).

At first I was thinking 2013 is not the year for taking on new goals and challenges. Won't motherhood and then working motherhood be sufficiently challenging? Can my resolution be to still have a baby by this time next year? For him to be healthier than any of the plants I've tried to maintain?

And while I still think that yes, motherhood, working motherhood and having a baby by end of year 2013 are all very good and important goals, I decided in the shower just now (because that's where all good thinking happens) to have two, more traditional new year's resolutions.
  1. Take more pictures. I have a feeling I'll have a very cute subject at my disposal so I must really take advantage of it. Besides, how will y'all know he exists unless I do my due diligence on the photo front?
  2. Not to sweat the small things. One time a couple years ago I found myself rearranging the pint glasses in the cabinet because Ross had not put the matching ones together. It was at that moment that I knew I was nuts. I have never rearranged the cups since. I hope in 2013 I can start recognizing the other "cup rearrangements" in my life and just stop doing them. I'm sure I'll be a saner person and better mom and wife for it.
Happy New Year! What are your resolutions for 2013?

Reason #374 I Love Lexi

She sleeps in.

On more than one occasion I've had friends say they aren't ready for a dog in part because they aren't ready for a 6a wake up call to let the pup out. Now I know she's not a pup any more (4 1/2 years old!) but I don't ever remember Lexi needing that; not to say she didn't, I just don't remember it.

"I dunno why you people think it's time to get up."
Our little Lexi pie, Queen of the Puppies as Ross describes her, is the laziest most sleep-in loving puppy I know. On the rare occasions when Ross and I are up and getting ready at roughly the same time, she lays in bed and stares at us with a look that says "what the hell you two? It's early." And if just one of us is up and getting ready for work, she doesn't even flinch. Occasionally you can bribe her out with promises of food but who wakes a sleeping baby?

This morning for instance, Lexi was the last one out of bed (and last night she was the first one in bed). At 9:15, after Ross had been up for 30 minutes and I'd taken my shower, she lazily followed me out of the bedroom.

Oh Lexi, I love your sleeping-in self.

Dec 29, 2012

Cooking Quiche

iphone_picBreakfast for dinner - yum!

Tonight I made my first quiche. It had spinach, mushroom, a little onion and a sprinkling of cheese. I used this recipe and I think the consistency turned out excellently. The only thing I would do different next time is more cheese. Because you can rarely, if ever, have too much cheese.

Dec 27, 2012

Holy Wiggley Butternut Squash

At 29 weeks baked, Cade is about 2.5 pounds and 15 inches long. Also known as butternut squash sized.

However he is moving about 10 times more than any butternut squash I've ever seen. Maybe 20x more...since I've never actually see a butternut squash move.

I'm attempting to do work this afternoon, ya know, for my j-o-b but kiddo thinks its play time. Kicks and dance moves and flips and wiggles and you name it, he's doing it.

Other than having a case of the wiggles (which actually notes might be happening), he's developing some rockstar muscles and lungs. His little head is growing to fit that big smart brain he's going to have in it too. And apparently he's demanding lots of calcium. Which reminds me, I forgot to take my calcium supplement with lunch. I guess that means it is snack/calcium time for me.

Life on a Coaster

iphone_picAs you probably know, I'm aiming for a travel theme in my study at the new house (as well as the entryway and half really the whole area near the front door). The feature piece in my study is our family travel map, complete with color-coded pins. It will eventually be flanked by these cool globe mirror things. The curtains, once they get hung, feel kinda global-ish to me with their orange and white print.

Now I'm geekily excited for the latest addition: coasters. Really, I just need 1 coaster in here, to sit on my desk, but since they came in a 4-pack, I have coasters. What's on these coasters that makes them blog post worthy you ask?



I made my first Etsy purchase and now have a set of 4 coasters, each with a map of a different part of the Boston metro. The one that is featured on my desk is of course the one that includes BU.


Dec 26, 2012

The Treatment of Windows

It sounds like it could be a very serious post by the ACLU or something right?

But no, not nearly that serious.

Like fashion, I have the basics of decorating down. Colors should match and/or "go." Looks should be somewhat consistent. Furniture should be puppy/kid friendly (this is decorating for MY house after all).

But also like fashion, going bold or big-ish things stump me. Big-ish including four 34 inch wide windows in my living room.


So I'm crowd-sourcing. What do I do with these? Here are my parameters as I see/know them now.
  1. Casual and contemporary: We aren't a very formal family and neither is our home.
  2. Natural light: I really love the afternoon light I can have through these windows and would like to retain it. Also Ross loves him a dark cave of a room. If he has heavy lined curtains he can close, our living room will never see the light of day. I want to make turning the living room into a cave difficult to impossible.
  3. Big room: The living room is huge. HUGE I tell you. I think we need to use the curtains to make it cozier, not bigger.
OK ready, set, advise.

PS How is it that curtains, fairly easy to replace, scare me but paint does not? It's like how I can't keep a cactus alive but dogs and children seem to be no problem. Bizzare-o-world.

Dec 25, 2012

Merry Christmases!

Merry Christmases!

It's Christmas evening and me and my little family are back home unwinding from a full long weekend of Christmases. They were all lovely!

On Saturday we had Ross' family Christmas at my in-laws' house. Ross had already received all his big gifts (laptop from me, recliner from his folks) but he still managed to get a pair of underwear or two. Me and our new house scored big time with a Dyson from Nancy and Jack. Now I (and whoever I can bribe to help) can clean this big house in no time!

Cade's very special Gramma sweater
The most special, super awesome gift of all, bar none, though was a baby sweater for Cade that Gramma knitted before she passed away two years ago. She knitted one in blue and another in pink because as a grandmother, she knew to be ready for anything when it comes to babies. Neither of us knew such a treasure existed and we feel very lucky to have it for our little bundle of bouncing baby boy.

Then yesterday on Christmas Eve we loaded up the car and drove to Houston for my family Christmas, complete with little brother Kevin and his fiance Carly! It was Carly's first adventure to Texas and Kevin's first trip home since relocating to San Diego last year. It was a full and crazy house with 6 adults (and of course, one being prego) and 4 dogs but it was really nice to have us all under one roof.

Breaking from Lowe family tradition a smidge we had a big Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. As it turns out, that may have allowed more people to come so a win in general.

Then today Kevin and Carly caught a jetliner back to Cali; Mike, Brenda and Bryanna stopped by for some holiday cheer and about mid-afternoon the Blacks of Round Rock loaded the car back up, with presents received instead of presents to give, and headed home.

On said drive home I received the most fabulous of text messages - a picture of a big sparkly diamond ring on the left ring finger of one of my dearest friends! I don't think she's quite told everyone yet so I won't reveal her identity here (yet) but if you are 1 of the 10 people who read this, there is also a pretty good chance you were 1 of the 7 people on that big beautiful group text message. Oh how I love an Engagemas :)

Now we're in for a relaxing night of bubble baths (Ross), Christmas movies (me) and leftover pizza (everyone).

From our little-but-growing family to yours - Merry Christmas y'all!

Dec 22, 2012

Baby Bucket List

When Cade arrives in March things are bound to change. And from what my mommy friends tell me, there are a handful of things that become significantly harder to do for years to come. That's fine; I'm (mostly) ready for it. But nonetheless, might as well fit as many of those things into this last trimester as I can. Thus...

The Baby Bucket List

  • Movie date (Lincoln and Argo are on the short-list)
  • Brunch 
  • Concert
  • Sleeping in
  • Afternoon nap
  • Shoe shopping
  • Yoga class
  • Lots and lots of reading
Knocking out 2 since starting this list on Tuesday seems like good way to begin.

Dec 21, 2012

3rd Trimester!

That's right folks! 28 weeks done, 12 more to go! The homestretch is here! Bring on the third trimester!

At 28 weeks Baby Cade is a bit over 2 pounds (hopefully just a 19 weeks he was in the 83% percentile. If he's continued growing at that rate, wowzas. Linebacker baby.) He's 14-15 inches long and the produce of the week is a Chinese cabbage. He moves, he wiggles, he kicks and now he blinks too. Pretty fancy stuff.

On the Mommy-front, I recently deviated from my no-reading, no-prep norm (mostly because I finished one book and the only other reading material I could find on Wednesday was baby related) and read 2.5 articles on things that I can expect over the next 12-16 weeks (ie third trimester and immediately following birth).

Well, let me tell you, that's the last time I'll make that mistake. I damn near had a break down! Without going into details, because it was awful enough when I read it, I don't need to write about it too, suffice it to say while this growing a human thing is pretty miraculous, it is just as physically demanding. Ladies, there are some things in my future that I don't wish upon any of us but that apparently most of us, if we are having kids the old fashioned way, will get to "enjoy." Do yourselves a favor and subscribe to the ignorance is bliss philosophy for as long as possible.

Also on the Mommy-front I got the results of my gestational diabetes test and everything is perfecto. Pass the hot chocolate, cookies and cake please!

Dec 19, 2012

Good Read on American Families

Spurred by a New York Times recommendation, I just read "How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society." 

First, OK, yes the title might be a bit much. And a second caveat, it's a little science-y. Especially for me. But I'll give you the layman's summary:

People are waiting longer to have kids (in 1970 the average age for a woman to have her first baby was around 21; now it is 25) and as much as there are benefits like general maturity and financial stability to that, there are also risks. Risks include fertility struggles, the child's health, a smaller family "village" to help raise the child and the economics of a shrinking population.

Young parents, on-par aged parents, old parents - all that aside. I really like the way the article ends: with a call to action for a more family-friendly society. There are lots of ideas about what that means. With my thus very limited scope, if I were Queen of the World, I would start with family leave and up it to at least the following
  • 6 months maternity leave
  • 6 months paternity leave (and somehow make it totally normal and expected by employers that new dads actually use at least most of it)
  • partially-paid for the full duration, funded by the government
And then as Queen of the World, I'd move on to these things which have a variety of reasons for being more family friendly than what is happening now
  • More job-sharing, starting with, you got it, government jobs
  • Make "work-life balance" an everyone's issue, not a women's issue (starting with making the Mitt Romneys of the world also ask men what time they need to get home for dinner with the family)
  • Public pre-school because early education is important for the long-haul and as icing on the cake, this would reduce the years that working parents pay for full-time childcare
  • Free prenatal health care. Because duh.
  • Free childhood immunizations. Because duh.
  • Stabilize the cost of college so that educated wanna-be-parents don't have to choose between paying off college loans and baby-related expenses
  • Increase incentive (maybe reduced interest rate on federal loans? partial loan forgiveness?) to finish a 2 year degree in 2 years and 4 year degree in 4 years so young adults are ready to enter the workforce quicker and can get their feet under them younger
If you were Queen (or King) of the World, how would you make it more family-friendly?

Dec 16, 2012

Baby Firsts

It's a trifecta of baby firsts!

1. The nursery officially has its first piece of furniture.
Doesn't every nursery have a hippo bean-bag-like chair?

2. Our official first baby-related Christmas ornament.
Muchas gracias to Brittany for this

3. And to save the best for last, Ross felt baby Cade kick for the first time yesterday! Cuddling up against your hubby is always nice but there's a little extra nice-ness when it unexpectedly also includes a baby kick.

Dec 14, 2012


Yesterday we hit the 27 week mark and baby Cade is now roughly the size of a head of cauliflower. That means almost 2 pounds and more than 14 inches long. That's starting to be some real baby-type sizing.

On the mommy front, the right side of my rib cage is taking a beating. There's a baby foot or something lodged up in there. Apparently I look really funny as I try to adjust because at dinner last night both Megan and Jack commented on how uncomfortable I looked. So much for my poker face.

Also if my scale is right, I've started putting on weight at a fairly normal rate. It's looking like a pound per week recently but we'll see what the doc says when I go in on Wednesday. As long as nobody threatens my ice cream I'm awesome.

In addition to growing a baby, this week I feel like we made some progress on prepping for him here at home. We met with Avery who I worked with back in Girl Scout days and who since having her second baby has moved to part-time a nursery painter. She helped Ross and I get on the same page for the jungle-themed nursery painting and will be coming to the house in late January to tackle it for us. I'm so excited to have such a fun nursery for him!

Next week we start the third trimester and thus the home stretch. Bring it on Cade, bring it on.

Dec 12, 2012

A pregnant lady is only as fun as her belly pictures

What fun is it to have a pregnant friend unless she takes some belly pictures?

iphone_picSo this morning I sent some girlfriends a belly picture. It's not the best picture of me (what do you expect before 8a?) but the point is, there is a very pregnant belly.

Also in relation to the belly, Baby Cade beat the crap outta me today. For the first time I got a swift kick to the ribs. And in the middle of the afternoon at that, not his usual active time by any means. In fact he spent most the afternoon practicing his karate moves.

The funny thing is just a week or so ago I was telling Ross that Cade wasn't moving as much as he usually did. Apparently he was just resting up for today's big performance. Trust me when I say he's one healthy, active baby.

Dec 9, 2012

The Tree

Originally I was going to go Christmas-tree-less this year due to the move. Too much else to do to buy a new tree (we retired the super ghetto one last year...seriously it was held straight with fishing line, hello redneck) and bust out with all the ornaments.

I still stand by the "no big tree" decision; I can barely figure out where to put my furniture. I don't think I could handle the stress of arranging around a Christmas tree too.

But on Tuesday I broke down while at Whole Foods and came home with a little table top tree (also my first live tree n 5 years!). It was on sale, just $20 and as you know I'm a sucker for Christmas and sales. (Think of it not as how much I spent but how much I saved! In this case, I saved us $10. That's a deal!)

iphone_picBecause it's from Whole Foods I'm sure it is organic or some other ridiculously fancy thing I didn't know I *needed.* Most importantly though, it allows me to display one of my most prized Europe souveniers: a Swarovski crystal Santa's hat ornament.

Dec 6, 2012

From the Desk of...

Tonight I blog for you from the new desk of me!

Ross spent two days off working on the new desk in my home study and it is BEAUTIFUL. Dark espresso finish, silver hardware, two drawers down the side and one in the center. And it matches my new filing cabinet. And my new bookshelf. I believe, ladies and gentlemen, this is what we call an office suite.

Now onto other news, the real purpose of tonight's post: Baby Cade!

26 weeks! That's where we are at! Cade is the size of an English hothouse cucumber. (Who I ask you know what that is!?) (Also I really dislike cucumbers in all forms but I'm willing to make an exception for the baby form.) He's putting on some of that cute baby fat and is now roughly 1 2/3 pounds.

Additionally (producer of the produce analogies) suggested that at this time I may be running around preparing the nursery and going to childbirth classes. But there is a basket (of toys) in the nursery and we do have a car seat (thank you Mom & Dad) so I suppose if he arrives early we'll be able to drive him home and then he can sleep baby-Moses-like in a basket. Oh and he'll have PJs because apparently that's the only form of clothing I buy my kid. Lots and lots of cute PJs.

On the Cade-specific front, last Friday we (as in me and Cade) went to my baby doctor. She checked his heartbeat per the usual and he is still at a very healthy 140-ish beats per minute. One word: rockstar.

In mama-related news, holy pregnancy Batman. I was told by two people today how pregnant I look (thank you?). And I feel it. Despite relatively little weight gain, I've got some serious back aches. I guess having all your weight and then some shift in front of you will do that. Yoga so far is the only thing I've found to relieve it and as a result I'm becoming a hardcore, shameless addict. Also, I have never been hungrier in my life. For the past week I really feel like I have a hollow leg or a tape worm...or I guess, a baby. The volume of food and frequency of consumption are both nothing shy of astounding.

I also only like pants of two very similar varieties: yoga and leggings. Bless them both.

So from home decor to baby development and preparedness to prego pains, there you have it folks. Life in a nutshell.

Dec 3, 2012


Today I busted out with a necklace I haven't worn in a month due to packing. Ditto on some rockin' black peep-toe pumps. The kind that would give my prenatal nurse heart failure if she saw me in them. I also wore my favorite black tank top (thank you 80 degree December day in Texas) and a full, layered white pre-prego skirt. And shimmery new eye make-up. And perfume.

It rocked my world.

Dec 2, 2012

Things I miss

I know pregnancy will be more than worth it in just a few short months. But in the meantime, I really miss...
  1. Jeans that button
  2. Wine with dinner
  3. Sleeping on my stomach
  4. Easy leg shaving
  5. Really high heels
Of course the flip side of the coin is I'm sure I'll miss these things when I am not pregnant
  1. Guiltless ice cream eating
  2. Celebrating growing scale numbers
  3. Built in excuse to buy new clothes
  4. Knowing even my laziest day has been very productive

Dec 1, 2012

Deck the Halls

Not so much of the holiday variety but of the every day living variety. My mother-in-law helped me measure, level and hang these in our staircase today. I REALLY like them.

Bottom to Top: Rocky Mountains, Colosseum, Sydney Opera House

Nov 30, 2012

Thankful Part 4

20. Hometown Animal Care: We have the best vet. They are fixing up our little Lexi right now.
21. Cheap, easy online shopping. The new, pregnant homeowner's saving grace.
22. Kevin: He's pretty swell. And I get to see him next month!
23. In-laws: It's really nice to have my in-laws in town. They are always ready to help with whatever we need, new house included.
24. Tenants: That's right, we have tenants at the old house. We give them the keys today. Hurray!
25. Ross surprise: I don't know what it is yet, but it has been requested that I take an afternoon off at the end of December to enjoy 1 of my Christmas presents. Yes sir!
26. The end of Movember: my husband just became so much more kiss-able.
27. Utilities: I didn't realize how much I love internet, cable, electricity and the like until I was without them. They are all on now (fingers crossed they stay that way) and it is awesome.
28. Austin friends: From the usual dozen suspects to the ones we see a little less often, we're really lucky to have a large, fun group of friends here. Making baby shower invite lists remind me just how lucky!
29. Melissa: My BFF from the beginning of time. Can you believe we've been friends for 19 years??
30. Holiday season: It really is the most wonderful time of year. Full of happy moments, food, friends, family, festivities and so many other fantastic things. I heart the holidays.

Nov 29, 2012

New House Noises

Whenever you relocate, there are all kinds of new noises to become accustomed to. If you are lucky, they are run of the mill and nothing that gives you buyer's remorse (so far so good).

Here's what we hear.

It's a couple miles away so you can't hear it on the tracks but you can faintly hear the whistle/horn/thing. Given that we've both actually lived on railways and know what it could sound like, we're not worried. Once we actually are doing normal things like watching TV and raising a family, I doubt we even notice it. Right now its just because everything else is SO quiet.

There is a healthy, robust and vocal puppy community here. Fortunately they all seem to have about a 9p bedtime. Lexi is going to have so many new friends...including the neighbor dog who she invited herself to visit yesterday while Ross and their owner chatted out front. A few minutes after chatting with the neighbor Ross realized Lexi was not underfoot as she usually is and when he went into the front yard (from the back) to see if she wandered out there, our neighbor was escorting her out of his house. She'd just wandered on in for a play date, that's all.

Not our house but our cul-de-sac borders a fairly well-sized residential lot where the neighbors keep a few animals. Among them, as I discovered this afternoon, are goats.

I have never lived someplace where you legitimately hear an owl. I don't know if I've ever even visited an owl-inhabited place. Last night in bed I heard the "whooo whooo" you learn to mimic in pre-school and looked at Ross and said "an owl???" Yup, definitely an owl. 

Nov 28, 2012

Let there be light! No really, please let there be light

At about 1:30p today Ross called me at work "someone just came and turned off the power. I need Reliant's number."

Thus began several hours on the phone and eventually social media in an attempt to restore power to our house. During all this Ross immediately recognized the eminent need as we just had a cold front come through and he has a pregnant wife who should not be in a cold house all night. It wasn't until an hour into it all that we talked and he made this point to me. Apparently I had forgotten my fragile condition.

I won't go into all the details but what it boils down to is an innocent (we assume) mistake (by whom is a debate) in which service was transferred to a house with the same street number but different street name. Turns out we'd been paying someone else's electricity for the past week. (I think they owe me a fruit basket or something.)

In retrospect we had some pretty funny moments on our calls with support. One of the best being the customer support person who recommended Ross go online and complete a service form. Ross quickly reminded him that without electricity, neither internet nor computers work.

On the more positive side we both greatly appreciated the people who said "She's pregnant? You're right; we need to get you power" and "I had a baby not too long ago. Being pregnant is uncomfortable enough. You don't need to be cold and pregnant in the dark." (Amen sister.)

And in the end we really appreciate the combination of the customer service supervisor and social media team who both went the extra mile to get our service turned back on tonight and follow up multiple times while we were waiting on it.

Because of them I'm in a snuggly warm house, using my internet next to a reading light, after taking a hot shower and my hubby is vegging out to the TV.

God I love electricity.

Nov 27, 2012

And we're here!

Well folks, the wait is over. We're moved in!

Moved in, as in, sleeping here and navigating boxes. Today we re-entered 2012 with the set-up of cable and internet and the delivery of our fridge. Ah the information age! The glory of groceries and home-cooked meals.

iphone_picOur set-up has started in the master suite since that's where most the things we need to live on a daily basis reside. My inner HGTV-designer-wanna-be is very pleased to share with you our bright, bold accent wall in the bedroom. It was a little risky to put such a bright color on the wall but I'm happy to say we both really like it.

Tomorrow Ross tackles the backyard, hopefully getting a large portion of it sodded. Then Thursday and Friday I upgrade from evenings of unpacking to full days of unpacking. And somewhere in all that, we hope to have the electrician come out and set up our sweet "all electronic boxes hidden in a closet" set up. Frankly this set up is way beyond both of us and we're really glad we have an expert to lend us a hand.

Finally, the moment you've all been waiting for, the home build time lapse slideshow! ENJOY!

Nov 25, 2012

Nursery Milestone

After MONTHS of nursery decor debate, Ross and I have agreed on a specific!

We decided pretty early on that it would be jungle/animal themed. But then we discovered we had very different visions. Mine was a lot of solid colors and silhouettes; his was realistic ready-to-eat-you animals and most certainly NO silly baby faces on the animals.

We're still narrowing down exactly how we want the walls painted (we're pretty sure with trees) but this morning we picked out baby Cade's bedding. I call that step one. (Well maybe step three since the jungle theme was probably step one and actually having a nursery a la the new house was step two.)

Nov 24, 2012


Appropriately when I reached 24 weeks on Thanksgiving Thursday, told me little Cade is about as long as an ear of corn.

Nov 21, 2012

Forever Home

We are officially the proud owners of our forever home!

Finished product from the front

Italian soda toast in our new kitchen

Dining room

Top of the stairs

He's in heaven

First belly pic in new digs

Shapes & Colors

A former coworker of mine is lined up to paint an awesome jungle mural in the nursery for us. Ross and I though don't see totally eye to eye on it yet. I just showed him a sample picture and this is the conversation

Me: What do you think of this?
Ross: No. That doesn't look like what we agreed on.
Me: I know but I like the shape of the tree. What do you think?
Ross: It's blue.
Me: I know it's blue but what about the shape?
Ross: It's blue on blue.

Someone obviously did very well in colors but not so awesome in shapes.

Nov 20, 2012

Baby in the Belly - What's it Like

Pre-pregnancy I could not wrap my head around what it would feel like to have a baby in your belly and moving around. 23 and a half weeks in, I still don't think you can really totally imagine it until you've been there, done that. However I'd like to try describing it. And since I was incredibly curious before I was pregnant, I figure there's at least one other person out there wondering the same thing.

First - The first time I "felt the baby" was during yoga class doing an on-my-belly pose. I was still in the clear for stomach laying and whatnot so I wasn't too worried about it. But this one time I laid down on the ground and it felt like I was laying on a small nerf football. Right below my belly button. It was kinda a "princess and the pea" type moment. Like I knew there was something there but couldn't quite figure it out. (About a week later I confirmed with my nurse, yup, that's a baby. I then stopped doing said on-my-belly pose). I think I was about 18 weeks along at this point.

Second - When I started feeling Baby move, it didn't feel like flutters at all. It felt more like the less-appealing analogy people make, gas. It sorta felt like when you are really hungry and your stomach twists in knots, except without the hunger pains. Just like a part of me was doing something in there (something pretty darn important). I think this was also around 18 or 19 weeks.

Third - The next phase of baby movement felt like someone playing pool or ping pong in my belly. There was nothing graceful or detailed about it. It was a like a whole mass moving all at once. Somersaults. Stronger than the hunger pain-esque feeling, but again, not precise.

Fourth - This is where I am now. I can feel punches/kicks but I can't tell which anything is. It is definitely more distinct, detailed movements as opposed to feeling like the whole kid is moving at once. It's kinda like if someone taps you on the shoulder, just from inside your belly, which yes sounds really strange but it feels remarkably similar from inside your body as it does from outside. Sometimes it can be felt from outside my belly too but that isn't very consistent  yet. Also, now he MOVES, and pretty consistently. Every morning and every evening, right after I wake up and right before I go to bed. I'm still not sure if he's actually moving tons more during these times or if I'm just less busy and more aware of it.

I was kinda worried having a baby move inside me would feel really foreign or alien. Fortunately, it does not. I think part of that is because it comes on so gradually. It's not like one day everything is still and the next day you are getting boxed and drop kicked.

So when you have a baby in your belly, know it will probably feel pretty normal and natural which is exactly what it is.

Nov 19, 2012

Nov 18, 2012

Thankful Part 2

Patient, forgiving AND good-looking
13. My patient and forgiving husband - (Very similar to Thankful item 1) This past week I was - how do I put this delicately - difficult. Every day. My hubby was not only patient in the moment but forgiving after the fact(s). Bless him.

14. Black Friday sales - Because we bought a pretty bad ass refrigerator on sale today. I'm very pleased that Lowe's started their Black Friday sale a full week in advance.

15. FaceTime - Yes, the iPhone/iPad app. Because every third day when my hubby is on shift, I still get to see his pretty face before I go to bed.

16. Texas - It may sound cheesey but I really love my home state. I can wear short sleeves in November (and 9-11 other months a year), the cost of living is low, the economy is strong and diverse, the accents drawl, there's a national magazine, we don't (usually) take ourselves too seriously (how could any place with such big hats/hair and so much glitter be too serious?) and it just feels like home y'all.

17.  Grandma Betsy's food legacy - Also known as pumpkin bread. It completes the season, can brighten anyone's day, is my one family recipe and the only thing I can consistently bake.

18. The Houston Texans - It may not have been pretty today, but we got the job done! 9-1!

Nov 15, 2012

Mango Baby!

Support stockings, roomy shoes, sweating. All things used in their week 23 pregnancy description. Way to get a girl excited y'all.

Knock on wood, but so far I've had none of those. I'm sure it is wishful thinking that it will continue so smoothly but I can dream.

Also on the Baby Mama front, I can really feel him wiggling now. It's not all day, but usually in the morning as I drag my butt outta bed and in the evening as I start getting really lazy. It's kinda a nice reminder that something much more important that chores, work, bank accounts, etc is going on in our lives. In terms of weight gain, still pretty modest. But I'm eating and he's moving and every doctor's appointment seems to go very well so I am just going to chalk it up as a bit of genetic awesomeness.

Princess Mango Lily
From my intern days working on the mango farmers' group.
I'm choosing to imagine this is what Cade looks like, feathers and all.
More related to Baby Cade, he's now cross the 1 pound in weight mark! You go baby! He's about the size of a mango and his hearing is getting much better. In fact, he'll probably start to become accustomed to loud noises, like Lexi barks, and then be totally unfazed by them when he arrives. Excellent. Because sometimes, like when people dare to go on walks in front of our house, Lexi barks a lot.

Nov 14, 2012

Politics & Pregnancy

I'm not sure if it is being pregnant, the election or in some cases a combination of the two, but I have been more opinionated than usual lately (and its not like I'm passive most the time).

The example of a gift from Obama that I mentioned in my post earlier this evening, sparked the want to write another post.

Since becoming pregnant, there have been a couple social issues I've started to feel more strongly about (I'm sure raising children will spark a few more).

First, the Texas law requiring an ultrasound at least 24 hours before having an abortion. I'll start by saying I'm pro-choice so the general right to an abortion is one I support. However having had ultrasounds very early in my pregnancy which are incredibly invasive, my outrage is multiplied. First, are women so stupid that we don't understand what an abortion is doing? Second, is the state under the impression that the decision to have an abortion is akin to deciding what to have for breakfast? Goodness! Give us a little credit. And to the multiplying of my outrage, this is, I repeat, an incredibly invasive procedure and for very early in a pregnancy, really the only option. That the government believes it is OK to require something of that level of intimacy is mind-boggling.

Second, affordable contraceptives. I'm very excited for my little one to arrive. We're married, we own a home (ha, 2 soon!), we are gainfully employed, we finished college. In short, we're ready. Even given all that readiness, there are some elements of having a baby that scare the hell outta me. If two ready and excited people are still scared sometimes, imagine the poor couple who is not ready. Having a baby should and can be very exciting. Let's help as many people as possible have that experience and not a terrifying one. Also, a wanted, loved and prepared for child is ultimately better for society and, crass as it sounds, our financial state. When families can plan their children, they can better prepare to care (emotionally and financially) for those babies. If you want to save dollars on the government budget, affordable contraceptives are a much less expensive option than caring for a child.

Third, again affordable contraceptives. This time the idea that it is a "women's issue." We are not having sex by ourselves thank you very much.

Fourth, abortion. (Warning: this one gets heavy.) When we were doing our genetic screening, there were two conditions that were checked for that were fatal. Whether or not I could carry the baby to full-term would remain to be seen but the bottom line was the baby would not live outside the womb. At the time, I frankly just stuck my head in the sand and refused to consider the possibility that my baby could have one of those conditions. (And very thankfully I have a healthy, active, growing baby in my belly.) As I grow  and pass milestones like the halfway point, I can't fathom knowing with such certainty that the baby I was growing would never grow up at all. What a terrible thing to know. How do you even begin to survive 6, 7, 8 or 9 months knowing that? How do you answer the questions about your baby and pregnancy? How do you do anything but mourn to the deepest depths of your soul?? It is for that reason that my commitment to pro-choice laws is infinitely stronger than it was before becoming pregnant. Because if God forbid, my baby boy were not healthy, I would want the choice.

The expression "all politics is personal" is so incredibly accurate.

Lifting the Veil

With the election behind us, I'm lifting the very thin veil on my presidential preference.

Tonight, ABC News did a story on why Mitt Romney thinks he lost the election. In summary, Romney says Obama gave "gifts" to various minority groups and then aggressively got out the vote.

To me this translates into Obama passed policies he believed in and then asked his supporters to vote for him (or the less cynical version, asked Americans to vote for/against him based on those policies...isn't that what you are supposed to judge a presidential candidate on, their policies?).

The "gifts" Obama gave are outrageous things like healthcare or access to a future through skill development. Outrageous I tell you!

And the minority groups who benefited are fringe groups like young adults, women, African-Americans and Hispanics. God forbid they be encouraged to exercise their right to vote.

If affordable access to contraceptives (that enable better family planning, reduce unwanted pregnancy and frankly cost a whole lot less than you and/or the government raising a child), is the President's gift/bribe to me and other women, I will happily take that gift and vote with it.

Can we call low tax rates and loopholes the Republicans' gift to rich people and then accuse them of aggressively soliciting votes? If so, you're on.

Nov 12, 2012

Thankful Part 1

Our November is so wonderful and busy, I thought committing myself to blogging about something every day would be an overly ambitious challenge. I do, though, really like the idea of taking time to remember all the things we should be thankful for. This year instead of a post per day like I did last year, I'm going to do a few summary posts of the things I'm thankful for. And so far, 2012 has given me LOTS of fodder.
Numbers 1 & 5, combined
  1. My magnificent husband - He's sporting a charity mustache, man-handling many elements of our move and saving lives on a regular basis. All while taking me on date nights and making me feel pretty, even when my pants (tops, dresses, skirts, coats) don't fit.
  2. My growing belly - Healthy babies require growing bellies! And healthy is exactly the way I prefer my babies. Grow belly grow!
  3. My sweet Lexi - Even with her recent ailments, she's still the cutest pup I know. And she snuggles like a champ.
  4. My baby's godparents - Val already has a trip to meet Cade booked and Ryan is talking about prepping him for college. My baby has very good godparents.
  5. My dream house - We visited the new house again today and I can honestly say, it is a dream come true. Every time I see a new feature installed or unveiled, I'm just in love with it. I cannot wait to move in!
  6. My parents - In addition to taking my calls at all hours (especially Mom, I should really start being more considerate in my call times), they are helping us get the house set up in a couple weeks, planning a visit for the birth of one Baby Cade and what I am most thankful for, raised me to be a confident, head-strong, independent adult.
  7. My Grandma - At 87 years young, she's doing great and I know will be one of the first in line to meet the newest addition in the spring. I'm so glad Baby Cade will have a (super, exponentially fantastic) great grandmother!
  8. Deltas - The day my doc confirmed we had a healthy pregnancy, I set aside the whole evening for calling Deltas. Do you know how much fun it is to tell all your best girlfriends that you are having a baby!? It is excellent. And seeing them every year is simply spectacular.
  9. Our EuroTrip - We saved and planned and planned and saved and every minute was so worth it. Hands down the best trip I've ever been on (and I'm fortunate to have set a high bar with New Zealand several years ago). It was the perfect babymoon and I'm so glad we did it before embarking on our next chapter.
  10. Ice Cream - What? I'm pregnant. Also this love is amplified by a recent conversation with my doc. Me: "I'm not gaining much weight. Is everything OK? Are we cool?" Doc: "A lot of women find they eat healthier when they are pregnant..." Me: "I'm not one of them." Seriously, I have 3 varieties of ice cream in my freezer right now, cookies n' cream, Great Divide and chocolate fudge brownie. (And yes we're cool; baby is growing and has a healthy heart, both of which are more important than my weight.)
  11. Southwest Airlines - As you can see, many of the serious items are behind us. I love Southwest because they don't charge me for luggage, consistently arrive on time, still serve snacks and run a pretty damn good corporate blog. Also, I got my flight to Kev's wedding for $80 + miles with them. SCORE.
  12. Yoga - I'm not into "at one with the world" "love, peace and happiness" yoga (or the 1990s prenatal yoga DVD I bought, which has 3 pregnant women in brightly colored unitards making them look like teletubbies) but I have come to really dig athletic, balance-enhancing, flexibility improving yoga. My body hasn't been this well stretched since I was 15. And though I'm having to start modifying it now, it is the work-out I can do with the least modifications which makes me feel like my normal, active self.

She Blogs

For work today I tasked myself with researching some women-centric media outlets for our PR team. As a girl power geek, it was a task I LOVED and turned into adding a few new blogs to my personal RSS reader, including Motherlode from the NY Times. I figure in a few short months, its content will be wildly relevant. Might as well start studying up now. (Also it is sharp, thoughtful and thought-provoking with very little "sex clothes and makeup!" like I saw on so many others...I like those 3 things as much as the next girl, but dear God, I am sure there are more important things I should be reading in my roughly 30 minutes of personal/professional development time each week.)

Anyways, I wanted to share a small excerpt from one of the posts I read today, as I think it hits the nail on the head for what is coming down the working mom road for me. Here ya go

Now it’s time for a neat wrap-up, tying together one frustrated law firm associate and now at-home parent with the need for both policies and social compacts that make quitting a choice, rather than a perceived necessity, and that make her eventual re-entry into the workforce a generally accepted part of the arc of a career. It’s all part of the same thing: the evolution of the working parent as both sexes reach for a more balanced life. And given another half-hour at my desk, I’d wind that into a closing paragraph that made it all flow, and made it clear that the goal should always be to enable all parents to make the choices that work best for their families — because children raised in happy, secure environments are important to our future.

But I don’t have another half-hour, because I’m a working parent, and I have children to pick up at school, and an afternoon’s coordinated activities to set in motion, with the help of my husband and any number of other parents, all of whom are about to embark on a usual weekday of Lego League practice (four working-parent coaches, including me), playdates (with a parent who has an afternoon off), birthday parties (starting after work!) and taking children to watch the college hockey team in action (another afterwork activity).
I don't share this in a "woe is me, the soon-to-be working mom" way. More in a - "ha! ain't it the truth!" way.

Have a fav blog I should add to my reading list?

Nov 11, 2012

House & Pup

This morning Lexi and I ventured up to the new house. It is so close to being ready that you can't even go inside anymore. Hurray!

Like she owns the place

Additions since I was there 4 days ago: real front door, blinds inside, fence, address numbers, outdoor lighting, shutters and stain on front posts.

Nov 10, 2012

Falling Apart

iphone_picOur poor little Lexi girl seems to be falling apart. A few weeks ago, as you may know, she was on puppy bedrest for a hurt leg. Then of course there's the usual "Mom & Dad changed my food and now I'm having an allergic reaction" situation. (Apparently she can't just be on IAMS All-Natural, it has to be IAMS All-Natural Chicken variety; nothing else will do.)

Now it's her cute little puppy dog eye. Earlier this week Ross noticed her right eye had a weird pink swell/growth/something. You can only see it when she looks really far to one side or is worn out, panting and has her eyes open really wide. Her annual appointment was due pretty soon so he decided we should go ahead and do that.

Good thing too. He took her yesterday and the vet thought it was probably an infected tear gland but wanted to consult a puppy ophthalmologist. She sent a couple photos of it off and within a couple hours was calling us back. Turns out it is either an inflamed something-or-another or a tumor which would require surgery.

Lexi is now on oral meds and eye drops in hopes that it will clear up and thus have just been the inflamed thing-that-I-can't-remember-the-name-of. If it doesn't start to heal, we'll probably need to take her to a specialist and have them do a biopsy.

The good news in all this is two-fold. 1) It doesn't seem to be bothering her in any way and 2) Ross caught it early.

We're of course hoping her eye clears up, she's fine and that this is the last bit of falling apart our sweet girl does for a very long time.

Nov 8, 2012

Spaghetti Squash

22 weeks in and Baby Cade is about 11 inches long, roughly the length of a spaghetti squash (which I don't think I've ever seen let alone eaten). Slowly but surely he is closing in on that 1 pound mark.

Now that I'm into the second half of my pregnancy, things seem to be going faster. I'm sure this also has to do with our move, the holidays, etc. I've said it once and I'll say it again, it is a good thing this kiddo won't be here until March because there is NO WAY I'll be ready before then.

Dear Cade, please stay in my belly until March. I'd like you to be fully developed and whatnot and also, if you come sooner than that, you are probably sleeping in a laundry basket.

Nov 7, 2012

Really Really Close

Our new house is really really close to being done. (As it should be; we close in 2 weeks!)

Today I ventured up there with a coworker/friend on lunch to check it out.

iphone_picThe front yard landscaping is done - grass, a tree and some cactusy things that look fairly difficult to kill. (Score!) The back patio has been finished and the backyard is looking more cleared in general. We also have appliances in the kitchen now and a light in the entry-way.

Tonight I scheduled the painter to come over Thanksgiving weekend and paint the kitchen red (once you go red you can never go back) and the master bedroom accent wall a lovely turquoise. The painter is the hubby of a former coworker so I feel really good about supporting their family.

In addition to the painter we're juggling a million other house-related things but so far so good. Move in day is getting really really close and we can't wait!

Nov 6, 2012

Very Strong Opinions About Women Voters

I'm watching the electoral college votes roll in and listening to the political pundits chatter away about this demographic voting this way and that demographic voting that way. I can't help but notice, as I have throughout this election, the discussion of women. "Women care about X issue" and "Women are passionate about Y issue" and "He really depends on women voters in X state."

I'd like to point out a potentially little known fact: Women are half the country.

HALF. So perhaps it is a little presumptive to assume that HALF the population cares about one issue more than another. Perhaps implying that a full HALF of the population votes based on the same predictable 1 or 2 issues is a little insulting.

There's a lot of women voters out there and we are from all walks of life. Yuppies. Soccer moms. Old money. New money. Religious leaders. Secular leaders. Low income. Urbanites. College educated. High school drop-outs. Black. White. Asian. Hispanic. Business owners. Environmentalists. Government employees. The list goes on and on and on.

I think the campaigns and the commentators would be much better served to describe women voters through more narrow segmentation than "women." Do you ever hear "Well he really needs to win the male vote for this election"? No! You hear "White working-class men are critical;" a finely-tuned, specific segment.

Next election, please consider that women voters are defined by things other than their anatomy and speak to and about us as the diverse, critically-thinking individuals we are.

Random Thoughts on a Tuesday in November

In addition to "baby brain" making you forget things, I'm also pretty sure it increases ADD tendencies. Here's a sampling of my random thoughts before 9 a.m.
  • The inventor of maternity leggings should be President.
  • The starter of Bagel Tuesday at my office should be the VP.
  • One of the perks to being pregnant is guiltlessly eating a whole chocolate chip bagel slathered in cream cheese for breakfast. 
  • And also putting snack size Hershey's and Three Musketeers bars on that same plate.
  • I'm confident Mitt Romney does not turn up the volume and belt "The Pina Colada" song while he's driving. We have so little in common.
  • I bet if he wins, Obama would have a more raucous victory party (per the previous thought, among others).
  • I'm really interested in what a George Strait presidency would look like.

Nov 4, 2012

1 step closer

iphone_picThe new house now has a driveway!

We also have part of our back patio. I think the builder made a mistake as they only poured a 10x10 and our plan has a 10x20. I assume they aren't pouring it in 2 phases - that would just be silly. But we alerted them and I'm sure it will be fixed soon.

Word on the street has it we'll close the week of Thanksgiving. Fingers cross that happens and we can be moved in before the month is over. Yay!

Nov 2, 2012

Mama's Little Carrot

21 weeks down! Baby Cade is as long as a carrot (but hopefully a little fatter). says his flutters may have progressed to ninja kicks and I second that. He's a black belt! He's also got eyebrows and eyelids, both of which I say ultimately contribute to a good-looking person.

Unrelated to the official food analogy and development summary, this past week was the first time I had a relative stranger ask about my pregnancy. When I got home from work our new neighbor who I've only waved to once or twice asked if we knew what we were having. I told her it was a boy and she grinned and said she had three boys.

Only time will tell of course but at this juncture three boys scares the bejeezus outta me. A coworker of mine has triplet boys and I'm pretty sure that means his wife is superhuman. Ditto to my Grandma who raised four boys. I will happily take this adventure one baby (boy or otherwise) at a time (which is a good way to feel seeing as I am getting one boy this go-around; seems like my baby-producing preferences and body were on the same page).

From me and my ninja baby - sleep tight!

Nov 1, 2012

I gotta a house for you!

It's official, our current house is listed as available to lease. And I'm just sayin' y'all, it looks GOOD. I would totally rent it.

Tell your friends to rent it. Show them the listing. Remember to include "very reasonable landlords" in your description.

Oct 30, 2012

My Morning 3

Wow, I sure am pregnant.

Just because you are pregnant doesn't mean you can't wear cute shoes.
In fact if you are like me, they might be the only thing that fits.

Looking for 1200-ish square feet in North Austin? Then have I got a deal for you!

Oct 28, 2012

Very Strong Opinions About Sports

I'm sure it's shocking to anyone reading this that I have very strong opinions about something. Today's edition: sports.
  1. A championship series should not be won in a sweep. Two teams that make it that far should be better matched...and should give the fans a more interesting series.
  2. The MLB season should be shortened by a month. Ross and I have had numerous conversations on this. The MLB season should finish at the end of August and play-offs should be in September. It would make each regular season game more important and reduce the conflict with football, both of which we are sure would be valuable to MLB.
  3. California, Florida and New York should not all have more football teams than Texas. Seriously. We are the capitol of football.
  4. Austin-San Antonio should have an NFL team. Again, Ross and I have discussed this at length. The stadium should be in the Buda-Kyle-San Marcos area so as to pull fans/employees from both metropolis areas. The team should be the Mustangs which we think could be translated into Spanish as Los Caballos and thus nicely meeting Texas' bilingual citizenship. And obviously we should be the team's owners and thus obscenely wealthy.
  5. Coaches should dress nicely on game day. I'm not a basketball or NBA lover but the way their coaches' attire should be imitated. And if arguably a suit isn't appropriate for outdoor MLB/NFL venues, at least reach a golfer's standard. MLB coaches look ridiculous in their tight pants. And Bill Belichick, quit it with the torn sweatshirts man; they pay you better than that.
  6. Congress should stay out of pro sports. I know they have better things to do than investigate this pro sport scandal or that pro sport scandal. I wish they would start doing those better things and let the leagues, and where appropriate local law enforcement, do the policing.
Speaking of politics, though it's not one of my strong opinions, I do like the idea that the Presidential election be settled by a sporting event. What if the Lions and the Bears could square off to pick this year's winner? Likely a much more flattering method for both sides.

Oct 26, 2012

It's tough being a girl

A story on the local news tonight highlighted the height/size requirements for San Antonio's Fashion Week. While I can't find the story online yet to quote the exact requirements, I know it was at least 5'9" and size 0-something small. Many are arguing that plus size models should be included.

Interestingly enough, the story didn't mention anyone fighting for just a regular size 6 or 8, average height girl to be in the runway show.

This made me think about how tough it is to be a girl. Girls are given such conflicting body image messages both directly and implied. You must be skin and bones to model. But big is beautiful. Every body is great. As long as you are a size two.

Personally it is my hope that one day magazines, fashion shows, TV, etc will depict girls and women at healthy weights more than either end of the spectrum. How great would it be for "healthy BMI" to be the target of model recruitment? Because really at the end of the day, isn't achieving a healthy lifestyle what we want to teach girls?

Moms, Dads, teachers and other mentors can have an incredible impact but a little more help from pop culture on the importance of health wouldn't hurt.

Oct 25, 2012

October 25, 2012 - A Milestone Day

Today is a milestone day for Team Black.

First, at 20 weeks preggers, we're halfway there! Baby Cade is the length of a banana and instead of being measured head to tush, he's now measured head to toe. says I've likely gained 10 pounds...not so. I've gained 2. No complaints here!

loweC_6080Second, my sweet hubby and I celebrate three years of married awesomeness today. On our wedding day, I loved him more than anyone else. Somehow after three years, a house, job changes, 20 weeks of pregnancy and a whole lot more, I love him even more than I did on that beautiful day in South Austin. His strengths are my weaknesses and it is immeasurably wonderful to have him as my other half.

Oct 22, 2012

Wiggley Baby

During last week's ultrasound the tech asked me if I was able to feel Baby Cade yet. Yes, I told her a little. She said she wasn't surprised; this kid was a mover.

Today in my regular check-up with my OBGYN my doc asked the same thing and again I told her yes. Also that it felt less like flutters and more like somersaults, not very airy and not very graceful.

A few minutes later she had the doppler-thing on my belly listening for his heart beat. She then scowled and said "sorry I'm having a little trouble..." I asked if the heart beat I heard was mine and not the baby's (after all my heart is bigger, stronger and louder). She replied with no, that was the baby's but he was just moving so much she couldn't get a good read for very long at a time.

Dear Cade, you are one wiggley baby. What are you doing in there?

Oct 21, 2012


IMG_0931We have bricks! On our new house!

We've been behind schedule on the new house specifically because of a lack of masons in Austin. But yesterday when I drove by I saw a crew of masons laying the bricks on the front of our house. I have  never been so excited by bricks in my entire life.

Today I went inside for a second and saw that in addition to bricks on the outside, we now have light fixtures on the inside. Coming right along!

I'm hoping we get a closing date before the week is over and can start really planning our move.

Oct 20, 2012

The Godfather

014Announcing Baby Cade's godfather....drum roll please...Ryan!

So as you know we had godparents picked out before we even knew if we were having a boy baby or a girl baby. And once we found out on Tuesday, I was itching to ask the potential godparents. Since Ryan lives so close, I wanted to ask him in person. Unfortunately he wasn't available to go to dinner Tuesday night but he called us yesterday to see if we wanted to go on a double date. Perfecto!

When we got to the restaurant, here's how the conversation went

Ryan: Congrats on having a boy, Roscoe and Cheryl!
Me: Thanks Ryan
Ryan: So I'm the godfather right?
Me: Well, actually, we wanted to ask you about that...
Ross: Ryan, put these sugar packets under your leg of the table, it's wobbley.
Me (ignoring Ross): Yeah, we'd like you to be his godfather
Ryan: Really? Cool man. What's a godfather do?
Ross: Ryan, damn it, fix the table.
Me: Ross, we're having a moment!

And with that, Baby Cade got his godfather Ryan.

After fixing the wobbley table leg - because you know, first things first - we told Ryan what being a godfather means to us: being at Cade's baptism, showing up for birthday parties and just in general being a really good uncle.

Then Ryan started practicing his lines "Sorry boss, I need time off. My godson has his baptism" and "I gotta go to my godson's baseball game."

Later in the evening Ryan asked about my work/baby stuff and I said yes, I planned to work right up until Cade arrives. Ryan was a little concerned/confused on what would happen if I went into labor while Ross was at the station. We told him duh - we call the godfather! He started to say he could work from our kitchen on those days to be on call so to speak but in the middle of that was overcome by a look of fear and said "I am NOT delivering the baby!" God, Ryan, when your godson needs you, you gotta man up! (We'll not ask Ryan to deliver Baby Cade but it is kinda fun to mess with him.)

I'm really happy Ryan is Cade's godfather. He's the most kind-hearted person I know, not a mean bone in his body, and I think that's a great type of person to have in my kiddo's life.

My Baby Godmama

022In addition to having a name now, Cade also has godparents! I am very pleased to announce Baby Cade's amazing godmama, drum roll please...Val!

We'd been discussing godparents for months, maybe even before we knew we were pregnant honestly. Since Val lives half a country away, I wanted to do something fun to ask her to be our baby godmama. So I decided to ask her via video which led to...

Baby (God)Mama Drama

Tuesday once we knew we were having a Baby Boy Cade, I finished up my video for Val by adding in an ultrasound pic. I uploaded it to YouTube and emailed her the link. After several hours of waiting to hear back from her (and carrying my phone around obsessively because I just knew as soon as she saw it she'd call me) (also thinking what the hell Val, when I send you something look at it damn it), here's the email exchange that followed

Val: Copyright blocked :(
Me: well that was really anti-climatic. Let's try again and if this doesn't work I'll just email you the file
Val: It's still blocked.
Me: OMG this is hysterical. I'll email it to you in a few
Val: Stop breaking copyright laws, Cheryl. I'm doing a research project on copyright infringement right now - those penalties can be steep.
Me: Take 2 (file attached)
Val: I need to convert the file - the .wmv won't play on my computer. I don't have time to do it now, but I'll try to get around to it during class tomorrow.
Me: Last attempt because now this is a challenge, one I will not back down from

Apparently Flickr has looser copyright regulations because finally it worked and she received this

And then just as I knew she would, she immediately called. I believe the first thing she said was "I'm glad I didn't try to convert that in class because I would have been crying."

And with that Baby Cade got his Godmama Val.

I'm thrilled to pieces to have Val play a part in Baby Cade's life and just know he'll learn so many good lessons from her. She's a great example for him to have around and I am so so so happy that she's accepted and is excited for her role.

Oct 18, 2012

Toe-may-toe toe-maht-toe

19 weeks down and Baby Cade is apparently the size of a large heirloom tomato.

I'm going to say and my little one aren't exactly on par though since the website says about 8.5 oz and the ultrasound technician told us 10 oz just Tuesday. So let's say Baby Cade is a really really large heirloom tomato, like the kind you see at state fairs.*

In other news, arms and legs are about proportionate to the rest of his body and he can probably hear me now. If that's the truth then he's received some early training on cheering for the home team (including a terribly unsportsmanlike response to their loss) and binders full of women (including my full [and passionate] opinion on gender inequality in the workplace).

From a mom-centric stance, I came home tonight, looked in the mirror and said "wow, you shouldn't have worn that top; you look big." Then as I undressed for my shower I realized it had very little to do with the top and very much to do with, well, just being big. Also I have only one more week of belly-laying and then the doc says I have to flip to my side 100%. I'm not doing much belly-laying now but knowing it's about to be taken away for 20 weeks, I'm kind of tempted.

*I've never been to a state fair but I assume that all the produce there is large and award winning.

Oct 17, 2012

And we shall call him...

BABY PICS_1Now that we know we are having a baby boy, it's lovely to start calling baby "he" and "him instead of "it." And even better than gender-specific pronouns is his actual name.

We're naming our son

Cade Daniel Black

Cade is a name that during the random name shoot-out ("Michael!" "Duke!" "McLean!") we both stopped on and really liked. We discussed "Caden" too but realized we would always call him Cade and Ross especially liked the shorter version much better. And so it was decided: Cade.

Daniel is my brother's middle name. In addition to liking the subtle family connection (we had a family middle name selected for a girl too), I really like that it has softer sounds since both "Cade" and "Black" have very hard consonant sounds. I think it provides nice balance.

And that, friends, is our little boy's name! Let the monogramming begin!

Oct 16, 2012

It's a boy!

That's right! We're having a boy!

Today we had our big ultrasound, the anatomy scan where they check blood flow, heart stuff (143 beats per minute), bones, weight (10 oz) and yes, boy-or-girl parts. Confirming what the tech thought she saw 6 weeks ago, we saw little boy parts!


I realize my son will probably hate that this picture is being shared but oh well. I may go on to share it with the first girl he brings home, at his high school graduation and on his wedding day. Maybe more occasions if I can think of them.

Also I am very glad the technician labeled these things for me because honestly, I had no idea what I was looking at. Ross says he saw it clear as day; maybe it's a guy thing.

Oct 15, 2012

The Belly & Pumpkin Bread

18 weeks
  1. The Belly: I think you'll all agree, I'm looking pregnant. While I'm all about making Ross take these as his contribution the documentation, he's at work tonight and I think I am looking especially pregnant. As a lover of other people's pregnant bellies, I didn't want to cheat you of a photo opp. So here it is, my 18 weeks and 4 days pregnant belly, in its full end-of-day and thus larger glory. I think pregnant lady yoga pants may have to be on my shopping list in the near-ish future.
  2. Pumpkin Bread: I heard somewhere that what mama eats while she's prego can influence what Baby likes to eat down the road. And I want someone else in this house to enjoy the deliciousness of pumpkin bread with me so I'm eating it this fall in hopes that it will rub off on Baby. Note: I never would have even considered that I might have a child who doesn't like pumpkin bread. But since I am married to the only man in America who does not like it, I can't take any thing for granted. I'm starting the training and conditioning that fall = pumpkin bread now, lest we take any chances on this very serious subject.

Oct 14, 2012

El Weekend

iphone_picSaturday was the annual Mustache Party for the UT-OU game. The game itself was a bust but per the usual, Nick and Kristy hosted an excellent party. There were a couple less mustaches this year (Ross bowed out knowing that Movember starts in a few short weeks). I think Stacy's was my favorite though. His took him right back to 1980. Pretty awesome

And due to the losing of a bet, Cason had to sport Ross' Bears shirt all day long. It filled Ross with joy and I think broke Cason's heart a little.

Today was a day of yuppie indulgences for me. It started with yoga class, then a quick stop at the jeweler to have my rings checked and cleaned and finally off for a massage. A prenatal massage was a little different of an experience but hey a massage is a massage. Also the spa, Woodhouse Day Spa, had the BEST ROBE I have ever worn, even beating the ones at Lake Austin Spa and the Ritz Carlton in NYC.

Though I've been going back and forth on sharing this part, in the spirit of honestly sharing my pregnancy (which I assume you are interested in because I was always interested in my friends' experiences), this weekend I'm not really feeling the magic of pregnancy. I mean it is pretty amazing that my body is just humming along creating a new human. And I've been very lucky to have an easy pregnancy so far. But this weekend I've felt very limited by it. I feel great (yay!) so all the things I can't do just seem...annoying I guess. People ask if its hard to not drink (yes some days) but lately it has been harder to keep my heart rate down at the gym, or not take a hot bath, or simply find a comfortable way to sleep. I feel great and I want to do things but I know its important for Baby that I don't push any limits so I won't. But like I've said, I've had this pregnancy thing pretty easy and its for a baby I very much want with a hubby who I very much love so with that this whine is over.

Finally, dear God I hope the Houston Texans start playing decently in the second half of this game. I think I read somewhere that Baby can hear now and assuming that is true, he/she is learning quite the vocabulary as a result of this losing score. Prep for its future as a football fan I guess.

Oct 12, 2012

Bell Pepper Baby

Well, I'm one day late on the baby-as-a-food update. I guess this officially begins the extended phase of Baby-induced tardiness.

I was 18 weeks along as of yesterday and Baby is the length of a bell pepper and about 7 ounces in weight.

I'd like to pause here to say that the team at and I must shop at different grocery stores. Just two weeks ago Baby was avocado-sized and before that apple-sized. Maybe we have some freakishly sized produce here in the Lone Star State, but my avocados and apples are normally at least the size of a bell pepper and often bigger. Though I guess sometimes I do see weirdly long red bell peppers so maybe those are more common in non-Texas places and that's what I should be mentally comparing by growing Baby to?

In other news, the couple prego readings I've done lately (ie the 2 paragraphs from and 3 pages in a book) say I should avoid chips and eat more fruit. Have they ever been pregnant? (Baked) Cheetos and popcorn sound so good...all the time. Sigh, I did have a glass of V8 with my 94% fat free popcorn so I guess that ain't so bad. Also since I am still hovering around my pre-prego weight, I'm not too worried about gaining too much yet. But if/when that changes then, Girl Scout's Honor, I will reduce my Cheeto intake.

Limping Lexi

Usually she is leaping Lexi but on Monday she became limping Lexi. After some squirrel chasing, she developed a limp. She walked around on 3 legs, giving her back right leg a break. We called the vet and they suggested just keeping an eye on her for the remainder of the night to see if it appeared to improve.

It did not.

Tuesday morning I took our sweet little girl to the vet and thankfully someone was able to see us within 30 minutes. Dr. Mendoza, our wonderful wonderful vet, examined Lexi and determined it was her knee. Without an x-ray though we wouldn't know if it was just an irritated muscle or if she tore her puppy ACL or meniscus. Dr. Mendoza prescribed some pain killers, 5-6 days of lots of rest and no horse-playing, jumping or fun adventures. If it healed itself, great. If not, schedule x-ray for Monday and cross our fingers she doesn't need surgery.

Besides the obvious challenge of keeping our very bouncy puppy-baby from being so bouncy, I quickly realized another challenge: getting her home. Ross was at work and Lexi needed to not jump into or out of the car and prego me cannot lift her. The vet's office could lift her into the car but they how would I get her out when we got home? And I needed to go to work so how could I keep her from running around the house and jumping on furniture all day? Add into that pregnancy hormones and the pre-8 a.m. hour and I was overwhelmed pretty damn fast.

Lexi ended up spending the day at the vet's office where they could kennel her and Stacy and Megan met me up there after work so Stacy could take on the Lexi lifting duties. Even just after one day of resting, she was already looking better.

"At least I got a new bed out of the deal."
Since then Ross and I have been vigilant about monitoring her. No puppy door, no walks, no runs, no jumping on the furniture. We even take her into the front yard to go potty because there are steps off our back porch and bought her a new puppy bed so she would have something soft to sit/lay on during her furniture barring.

She's not been terribly enthusiastic about her imposed near-bed-rest and she seems really confused about the sudden lack of walks but it does seem to be working. This afternoon she looks like she's at 90%, maybe even better. Knock on wood, but we may have dodged the puppy surgery bullet.

Oct 10, 2012

Dressing Prego

Yesterday was the first day I could not button my pants. Thank you hair-tie through the button hole trick.

Today, though I could obviously pull the hair-tie trick, I thought I would give my beband a trial run. (I'm off work and going to a half-day volunteer meeting so if I'm wicked uncomfortable [which so far do not anticipate] at least it isn't for a full day at work.)

Those two things in mind, today I am thankful that

  1. I was born at the turn of this century and not last. Because while this beband thing is pretty good so far (4 minutes in), it did take several attempts to get it on right-side out and got me thinking about corsets. God, I am glad I never had those forced upon me. I don't even like pantyhose. I would have been a 19th century lady fail.
  2. I'm pregnant in the fall/winter and NOT summer. This thing isn't thick but let's be honest. When it is 106 out, you don't want any extra layers, thick or not. In fact if you could walk around half-naked and not get stared at, that would be preferable during the Texas summer.