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