Jan 31, 2013


34 weeks down! Baby Cade is now the size (well weight) of a cantaloupe (another in the list of produce I don't like but will make an exception for the baby version of). That means he's about 4.5-5 pounds and 18 inches long. He's putting on cute little baby fat that will help regulate his body temperature and, more importantly in my opinion, his lungs are continuing to develop. I dunno about you but babies with good strong breathing lungs are my favorite kind of babies.

On the mama front, more of the same. Putting on socks is increasingly comical and more mornings than not leaves me asking "why did I decide on an outfit that requires boots?" (and thus socks). Some days I have a surprising amount of energy by big pregnant lady in her third trimester standards. Those days rock. I really enjoy them.

In just a few minutes I'm leaving for an early morning interview with a pediatrician. The first of two I have scheduled over the next couple weeks. And this weekend we go on a tour of the maternity ward at the hospital and have wonderful friends hosting a Superbowl/Diaper Shower for us. It's definitely the final countdown and Baby Cade is high on our priority list!

Jan 27, 2013

Seriously Awesome Nursery Painting

This weekend was the much anticipated "Painting of Cade's Room" event.

My former GSCTX co-worker Avery has transitioned into part-time career as a muralist. Having seen her boys' room, I knew she was good. Thus when she found out I was prego and suggested a mural/marketing barter, I was immediately 100% game.

First I should tell you that Avery faced the challenging task of consolidating mine and Ross' very different visions of the nursery. After our initial meeting, I think we all felt good about the direction we were going.

So without further ado, here it is, from beginning to end, the Painting of Cade's Room.




Jan 25, 2013

Dr. Ross Says...

Me: I can't decide what to do. I want to go to the gym but ya know how I've started getting winded just from putting away laundry...

Ross: Yeah, you need to take it easy.

Me: I know but...

Ross: Honey, just sit on the couch and get fat for a few weeks. Enjoy it.


Jan 24, 2013

Delta Shower in a Box!

Those awesome Deltas have done it again!

Today I received what can only be called a Delta Baby Shower in a Box. Well, two boxes and a shipping bag. If ever I was worried about my kid needing...anything, tonight proved me wrong. It was like Mary Poppins's purse or a clown car, containing more than you ever thought imaginable.

We've got crib bedding! We've got onsies! We've got pants! We've got cute ducky towels!

And holy guacamole, we've got aunties!

Big thanks to Jane, AJ, Val, Anna, Jeddy, Meg D and Christa for all the wonderful baby goodies!



PS If you needed anything baby related from Target, too bad. I'm pretty sure the Deltas bought out the whole inventory.


Holy fruit batman, this kid is the size of a pineapple. That means 4 pounds and more than 17 inches long. No wonder I feel so big!

As in recent weeks the big "development" news, at least according to BabyCenter.com seems to be that he is getting more cute and less weird looking. I'll take it!

BabyCenter also says I may be becoming more clumsy, bumping into counters and such. This explains how on Monday I opened the same door into my belly not once, not twice, but three times.

33 weeks down, 7 to go. Unless I can convince him to come a few days early which I'm working on. I keep singing the praises of a March 10 or 11 birthday, just a couple days early but not enough to really impact his baking.

Jan 23, 2013

About Pregnancy

Things I was told would happen while I was pregnant and that have been spot on

  • Exhaustion
  • The second trimester would be the easiest
  • My brain would seem to work less efficiently (my vocab has been reduced by at least 50% I swear)
  • A seriously big belly
  • Not being able to reach my feet. Sigh.
  • The incredible struggle to move from lying down to sitting up/getting outta bed
  • Mood swings

Things I was told might happen and mercifully have not...knock on wood

  • Feet growing - I would be so disappointed if my whole shoe collection was null and void
  • Stretch marks
  • Morning sickness
  • Becoming off-balance. I totally rocked some pumps to work today.

Things nobody told me about but have happened

  • Loss of hand-eye coordination. Especially when it comes to drinks/liquids. I should wear a bib or apron at all times.
  • Rib cage expansion
  • Complete and utter loss of interest in vegetables (I'll eat them so it doesn't count as an aversion but its like I've forgotten they exist. When Ross came home this morning and saw a pizza box in the fridge he asked if he had to make all my meals to keep me from eating exclusively junk food. In a word: yes.)

Things about the procreation process that are dumb

  • 9 months. Really? 9 whole months? Couldn't we be like kangaroos and carry them in a cute little (external-ish) pouch or lay eggs like birds?
  • Labor & delivery. I haven't done it yet but given this story from the UK...yeah. 

Things about the procreation process that are freakin' genius

  • That it takes 2 people. Because dear God, I need my husband. To lift heavy things, to cook me healthy meals and to be the consistent voice of reason during the aforementioned mood swings and subsequent freak outs.
  • 9 whole months. Because I'm pretty sure it takes that long to even begin to process what you are about to embark upon for the rest of your life

It's a (Baby) Jungle Out There

On Saturday the loveliest ladies in all of Houston hosted a baby shower for me and Baby Cade. Like my bridal shower a few years ago, this was hosted at Brenda and Bryanna's house and with Mom's help.

They did AWESOME! Bryanna set up a "photo-booth" with a backdrop and animal ears for all of us to wear. I love that now when some of my favorite people call, it's a picture of them in animal ears that shows up on my phone.

The snacks were tasty and pretty. Especially the mini-cupcakes Mom found with fondant bottles and onsies on them. Oh and the fluffy, cream-cheesey fruit dip Brenda and Bryanna made. YUM.

We of course played shower games - because really what is a shower without some games. Mom even found personalized game cards which I just loved!

My cousin Robin was uncannily good at these games, especially the pop-culture ones. I'm convinced she doesn't actually practice law but spends full days watching ET and reading TMZ. That's the only thing that explains it.


We also played the "guest how big mommy's belly is" game. Melissa came out on top for that one. Twenty years of BFF-ness and she can guess my fatness like a champ.


Finally there were of course awesome baby presents. We especially stocked up on clothes, notably including pants which I had been a little distressed about my kid not having up until that point. (I know it will be warm when he's born and Texas and he probably won't need pants that often but I feel that having the option to wear pants is important. And now he has that option.) We also received some very practical things like a UV shade for the car, Pedialyte, diapers, blankets and from Mom and Dad, our stroller.


We're very lucky to have such wonderful friends and family and I was so happy to see so many from the Houston side of the house (including Mandi and even Zach who served as her chauffeur and was a very happy surprise to see for a few minutes).


Thanks y'all for hostessing such a wonderful, jungle-fabulous baby shower for us!


Jan 21, 2013

And so it begins

iphone_picThis morning as the President begins his second term, the Commander in Chief of our house begins an adventure of his own - baby stuff building. Starting with the nursery dresser.

And of course our First Dog is helping.

Also when we turned on the TV to watch the Inauguration during dresser building, the first thing we saw was this Walgreens commercial. Fitting.

Jan 17, 2013


Can you believe this is the 8th calendar year for this here blog? Wowzas.


What the heck is that? Well, it's about 3.75 pounds, 16-17 inches and also known as both a Mexican yam or Baby Cade.

BabyCenter.com estimates I'm gaining about a pound per week now which has been pretty spot-on for the past month. And Cade, little fatty, is taking 1/2 of that for himself. He's growing like a weed. And as if growing wasn't requiring enough energy, he is a wiggly little thing. I have a feeling my baby boy is going to be buckets of energy when he arrives.

On the mommy front, pregnancy aches are here. Hardcore. The strangest one is like up in my ribs and I am just sore there all the time. I think what essentially amounts to the top part of my belly is trying to grow faster than my body is ready for. I'm getting all stretched out. I don't know what organ it would be that is causing the discomfort (something stretching, something being squished by something else stretching, who knows) but goodness. Also watching me try to get up from laying down is pretty comical followed at a close second by the sight of me putting on socks or shoes that don't simply slip on. It's really hard to reach one's feet over a big pregnant belly!

Jan 16, 2013

The Belly

iphone_picIn an attempt to satisfy my insatiable fans and their demands, here's the latest belly picture. (And to answer your question, I feel bigger than I look. Trust me.) We're officially at 31 weeks and 6 days.

Check back tomorrow for the 32 week baby-as-produce update!

Jan 12, 2013

Baby Mama Reading

Things I avoid reading/researching about because they freak me out
  • Common pregnancy aches, pains and inconveniences
  • Episiotomies
  • Post-birth things your body does (or doesn't do)
  • Million things that have a 1 in 300000000 chance of hurting baby
Things I enjoy reading and researching
  • Preschool curricula (Montessori and Challenger nearby!)
  • Locally available swim lessons (starting at 6 months!)
  • Traveling with a wee one
  • Birth announcement ideas

Soapbox: Chivalry

Last night was a night of New York Times reading (isn't that what all the cool kids do on a Friday night?). In addition to "How to Choose a College" I read "I Don't Want My Preschooler to be a Gentleman." In short the author's son's preschool teacher has established the routine that the girls go to the bathroom first before naptime and the author is displeased because this is teaching her son that the different sexes play by different rules.

Let the soapbox begin.


Get Over It

I have yet to see "preschool teacher" on a list of highly paid professions. This teacher, who gets paid peanuts I'm sure, is doing the best she can and trying to teach the kiddos some manners. If it really bothers you, which it must to write an article on it, switch preschools. Or I trust that a good active parent (which the writer I'm sure is) can teach their child the difference between letting someone go ahead of them to the bathroom and long-term gender inequality. Good grief.


Holding and Opening Doors

Of course this article led to a million comments about other acts of chivalry and people's thoughts on them. I'd like to state, for the record, that I'll be damned if Cade grows up to be one of those guys who does not hold doors, for anyone but especially for girls. When I was at BU, which you know I loved, once I was single in the city, I quickly noticed how many fewer doors were held for me than I'd experienced back home. If there's a person right behind you hold the door or at least hand it off to them. It annoyed me when girls let a door close right in front of me and it nearly infuriated me when guys did it. No manners at all! I'll admit, when I was dating, if my date and I approached the door at the same time, I made a point not to reach for it. Yes it was a little bratty but I wasn't going to have a serious and/or successful relationship with a guy who was too dense to know he should open the door.

You'll be happy and probably not at all surprised to know if we approach a door at the same time, my hubby always opens and holds it for me. And I let him, happily, for two reasons. 1 - It's really a gesture I appreciate. 2 - Gender roles are so much less traditional today than they were 100 years ago (to state the obvious example, I have a career, and a good one at that) but I think most men still strive for and get satisfaction from being the provider and protector. It may sound archaic but I think it's true. And holding the door for his wife is a little thing that Ross can do to care for me and to play that traditional gender role. Why would I take that away from him?

It is such a simple and polite act, one that has great ROI. Yes, I'm talking about the ROI of holding a door. You take 5 seconds (if that) to hold a door and you give the person benefiting warm fuzzies, are told thank you and endear yourself toward them. Such great reward for such a small act. Hold the damn door.


Paying for Dates

First, I don't mean in high school and even the college years are up for some debate. But once a guy is (or should be) working full time, he needs to pay for the (majority of) dates. I'll give you my two reasons and I know there's people/situations out there that will poke holes in them but they are my reasons nonetheless.

1. It means he makes or has money. As in there's something in his bank account somewhere. If you are post-college and hypothetically interested in settling down, it's not wise to get involved with someone who has literally no cash flow. If you have to be his sugar mama when you are dating, imagine what the more comfortable, settled down years are going to be like.

2. It means he has some fiscal responsibility. He should only be taking you on dates he can afford. If he makes 6 figures and you get to go to martini bars every weekend, fine. If he doesn't and date night is a 6-pack of beer by the apartment building pool, fine. The point is he knows what his finances are like and woos you within those means. And as his date, you should respect those boundaries and not pressure him into spending money he can't afford. If you ask for or express interest in something out of his means, he needs to be man enough not to cave. Again if you are hypothetically interested in settling down, you want to be involved with someone who has some sense of fiscal responsibility.

When Ross and I met we were both broke and to be honest, he was more broke than I was at the very beginning. But he took me on dates that were great but not bank busters. Lunch and sno-cones in the park, mid-week drinks at 6th Street bars (where he more often than not knew the bartender and got a couple rounds on the house) or dinner at my place where he provided a mid-range bottle of wine. Ya know what - he sure fooled me. It wasn't until months later when he told me that I knew how broke he was. I just knew there was this good-looking guy asking me out on dates and then taking care of the bill. As we got more serious I started pitching in a bit (I'll get this round babe) but I never remember a time when the norm was me paying. And of course once we got engaged and moved in together it transformed from "my money" and "your money" to "our money" so who paid for what  became a wash. (This is not to say we've never fought about money. We have. We were SO broke the first 2 years we were together that I promise you we had more than one argument along the lines of "no, you go buy the toilet paper. I don't get paid for another 3 days.")


Bigger Fish to Fry

Short tangent - we talk often about women's rights and gender inequality with the woman getting the short end of the stick. While I don't mean to imply that men have it so hard, I do think there are some gender inequality issues where men get the short end of the stick. For example, when was the last time someone asked a dad-to-be if he was going to stay home or return to work after the baby was born? Modifying careers for the benefit of family is much less socially acceptable for men than for women. Maybe we should spend a little more time on issues like that and a little less time on who goes to the bathroom first at preschool.


Chivalry Does NOT Equal Oppression

I don't have too much of a soapbox here but to the original article's author's implication that by teaching her son to let a girl go to the bathroom first, the preschool teacher was instilling years of gender inequality...no. There are many many many people in this world that understand it is polite for a man to hold a door for a woman (or again for anyone to hold the door for anyone) but that it is unacceptable to pay her 77 cents on the dollar for the same work or to force "barefoot and pregnant" as her only adulthood option. Because my husband is awesome (clearly) I'd like to hold him up as the example.

Simple chivalry and serious gender equality are not mutually exclusive.

Jan 11, 2013

How to Choose a College

Via LinkedIn, I just read an interesting New York Times article called "How to Choose a College." In summary it is a guy writing his hopes for his niece, a high school junior, mainly that she'll look beyond SAT scores and celebrity alumni when selecting her college. His belief is that globalism and going out of your comfort zone should be high on the list of qualities sought out in a college.

When I think about what I hope for Cade when it comes to higher ed, first and foremost of course I hope he is excited about going to college. Assuming he's excited and that the logistical things like finances work out, my next hope for him is that he goes somewhere that challenges him. Maybe that means challenging academically (I certainly hope he at least needs to attend and be awake in class, otherwise why am I spending my money). But I also want that to mean something else. Maybe it means moving from a suburb to a city or from Texas to a different region of the country. Or maybe minoring in something that is interesting but not easy for him. Or studying abroad. Or joining ROTC or TA-ing.

Going to BU challenged me and looking back that's one of the things I appreciate most about my college experience. Being far away from my parents I was forced to be more independent than I might have been otherwise. I think I developed better problem solving skills because of it. I also think I developed more confidence by solving those various problems, even the ones that were as simple as "how do I get from A to B in X minutes without a car?".

For me, being in a city and meeting people of varying backgrounds was also a good fit. Now I'll admit that BU didn't provide great economic or racial diversity. It was mostly middle class, upper  middle class, slightly rich or really rich and white or Asian. (Quite, in fact, like good old CLHS.) It was also very traditional in terms of student lifestyle: 18-23, unmarried, no kids, full-time student, 4-year graduation plan. But I was exposed to significantly more religious backgrounds (Orthodox Judaism for example), political belief systems (blue blooded liberals - neither they nor vegans are allowed in Houston), career aspirations (biomedical what?)  and regional customs/experiences (people who didn't have a drivers license because they never lived someplace without public transportation or in the near polar direction, people whose high school zoning included Native American reservations) than I ever had been.

Since geography was such a defining component of my college experience it might be hard for me to remember that it may not need to be for Cade's college years. (Ross is the very opposite of me in that way; only time will tell who Cade takes after more.) But I hope whether it is geography, academics, culture or something I haven't thought of yet, that he, and me as the parent, will consciously look beyond the flashy numbers and find a college experience where he'll be challenged in and out of the classroom.

I feel like I should note that when I was selecting a school for me, I didn't think about that fancy "challenged out of the classroom" stuff. I played the numbers game - SATs, admission rates, tuition dollars (and then as my parents would probably agree, threw the last one out the window). If I had thought beyond the numbers I probably would have discovered before matriculation, for example, that BU didn't have a football team, something I never asked about because I had never heard of a college without one, thank you Texas. The only things beyond the numbers game I thought was how far could I go and how unique could I be. If it was normal or expected I wanted nothing to do with it. Point being, 10 years removed from the college selection process it is easy to say "challenged in and out of the classroom" but I know when I was in the thick of it, I definitely did not have that much perspective (though I'm sure my parents did and I'm sure I should have listened to them more but I think we all mostly agree that it worked out well in the end).

Jan 10, 2013

Orange ya glad

Remember that knock knock joke where every time the other person says "who's there?" you say "Banana! knock knock" and then the last time you say "Orange!" and then "Orange ya glad I didn't say banana?"

Yeah that's what I thought of today when I discovered that at 31 weeks, baby Cade is the size of about four navel oranges. (As you can see babycenter.com is starting to have to get creative with their produce analogies.) In case you don't know how big four navel oranges are off the top of your head, that's about 3.3 pounds. While birthing a 3 pound baby sounds a little less daunting, we still have some cooking to do because 6-8 pounds is what I'm aspiring toward. Nine weeks should be plenty of time for that.

My four navel oranges worth of baby is incredibly active. It's not so much kicking as just constant shifting. I imagine him in there being like "sitting on my right side sounds good" and "no maybe laying on my left will be better" and "I could try upside down." Basically like his mom, he just can't find a position that is comfortable so changes it constantly. Like every five minutes constantly.

In outside the womb news, I've made great headway on some baby related to-dos lately. I did in fact schedule a tour of the maternity ward at the hospital (early Feb). I also sought out some pediatrician recommendations. Between both our circle of friends and my co-workers, six people I know use the same pediatric practice! I'm set to interview them as well as one other practice I found myself and then happened to get referred to from a coworker. I'm sure between the two, one will be a perfect fit for us.

Thanks for the furniture Gramma Nancy!
And finally, the nursery furniture has arrived! Ross had complained about the never ending stream of bookshelves he was building for our new house. I've got good news for him - no bookshelves for the nursery! (Not yet at least.) Just a dresser and a crib/changing table combo, which I'm sure is much easier to build than a boring old bookshelf. Yeah, right. Happy building honey!

Jan 8, 2013

Sick & Pregnant

Being sick is never fun.

But let me tell you, being sick and very pregnant is less fun.

I know it is good that Cade is moving around in my belly - that means he is healthy. However there is something about the combination of congestion, sneezing, sore throat and a wiggley baby in your belly that is just downright unsettling and exhausting. Just too much going on at once!

Dear Body, I need one sensation or another to take a chill pill. Preferably the congestion/sneezing/sore throat combination. Love, me.

Jan 3, 2013

Cabbage Baby

75% baked! That's right we've done 30 out of 40 weeks and thus baby Cade is 75% baked.

He's about the size of a head of cabbage which roughly translates into 15.7 inches long and nearly 3 pounds of baby cuteness.

I'm sure there's all kinds of developmental goodness going on in my belly right now but BabyCenter.com is pretty light on details this week. So let's just go with he's growing.

Outside of the womb happenings, invites for two of my showers have gone out so it's looking likely that we'll have some clothes, furniture and other necessities. One of my fantastic coworkers has gifted me with some hand-me-downs so should Cade opt to make his appearance sooner rather than later, he'll now be able to sleep in a pack-n-play...one that conveniently matches Mom & Dad's bedroom decor. I think you'll agree it looks quite natural in its new home.

iphone_picNext up on the baby agenda is finding a pediatrician. I have a feeling when I go into my doc appointment tomorrow and I'm pretty sure its going to be like telling the teacher you haven't done your homework. As in I haven't done a lick of pediatrican research (though I did just email Emal asking her what questions a responsible parent would ask a pediatrician; that counts right?), have not pre-registered for labor and delivery and have not scheduled a maternity ward tour. Possibly I'll take a step toward one of those in the next 18 hours before my appointment. Think motivating thoughts my way please :)

Jan 1, 2013

Baby Bucket Update

Whittling my way through the Baby Bucket List I've been reading, napping and movie-watching like a champ. I recently finished Sharp Objects (don't recommend) and am more than halfway through Between Sisters (jury is still out). I also re-enlisted in Netflix's DVD service and this afternoon watched What to Expect When You're Expecting. As a pregnant lady, I found it HILARIOUS. Also I know the Baby Bucket List said "movie date" which we still fully intend to go on one of these days, but I would like to add to the list "catch up on movies" because I am going to do my best over the next 10 weeks (!!! just 10 weeks!!!) to watch all the movies I said I wanted to watch but never got around to. Netflix, you are about to get a work out.

Also here are a few new additions to the Baby Bucket List
  • Finish our wedding-2012 "yearbook" (I'm at June 2012, not too bad if I do say so myself)
  • Lots of Lexi walks
  • QT at the gym (because 1. it makes me less achey and 2. I can)
  • Cheryl-only activities when Ross is working
  • West Wing on Netflix (Not sure if I'll watch the whole series but I want to watch at least enough episodes to determine if its worth committing to the full series)
And so that you don't think/I remember all the awesome things post-pregnancy, here's a list of things I'm looking forward to enjoying when baby boy arrives
  • 12 weeks home with the little guy
  • And as a result, lots of time with my hubby too
  • Lots of baby pics, per my 2013 resolution
  • Puppy kissing baby, and vice versa, for years to come, because nothing is sweeter
  • An additional day each year to enjoy birthday cake
  • Giving family/friends the best excuse ever to visit me/us (reserve your spot on the Google calendar now!)
  • Shaving my legs
  • Pants that button