Mar 31, 2013

Happy Easter

UntitledFrom the wee baby Cade (sportin' his Easter outfit), Happy Easter!

Mar 29, 2013

Poor Poor Lexi

Sleepy LexiShe's been getting the shaft on picture taking, cuddling and walks. Her life, as you can imagine, is very hard. She only has this big house to roam, a people bed to sleep in and a brand new baby bro.

Soon enough she'll stop acting beaten and abused. But to prove we haven't forgotten about our first baby, here's a picture of her sleeping soundly next to me and Cade this morning.

Mar 28, 2013

Our Visiting Val

Aunt ValOn Saturday Val arrived for four nights. I can't say it was the most exciting vacation of her life but it was one that our little family REALLY appreciated it.

We did the usual baby things - feedings, diapers, cuddling, naps. On top of helping with little Cade, Godmama Val took care of me. She cooked us a delicious dinner, did dishes, helped with laundry, took baby duty to allow for naptime and more. I'm so thankful for the extra, loving hands we had this week. With some feeding/sleeping challenges, I really don't know how we would have survived otherwise.

I can't wait for her next visit - likely in the fall for Cade's baptism. He'll be a whole new kid by then!

Mar 26, 2013

I'm impressed

031I am very impressed by my hubby. He's helping take care of Cade, taking care of me (which is more needed than either of us would have anticipated), handling the repairs at the rental house (oh yes, on March 14 when Cade was 1 day old a pipe burst at the old house and we've had to hire a clean up crew, file an insurance claim and are now replacing the floor throughout the masters suite...yay!), studying, cooking, cleaning, going to work and yesterday he contacted the city council to protest the zoning of a nearby lot.

I think he's superman.

Mar 21, 2013

How it goes

So far it seems to go like this
  • Morning: feeding, napping, mostly sane
  • Lunch: change into real clothes, eat, mostly sane
  • Afternoon: feeding, puttering around house, feeling good
  • Evening: dinner, feeding, shower
  • Night: feeding, swaddling, begging Cade to sleep, trying every sleeping option under the moon, slowly start to lose grip on sanity
  • Early Morning: feeding, desperately co-napping in non-pediatrician approved ways, sanity lost, until...extra hands wake up, and "Morning" schedule, complete with naps, starts again
Repeat. Every day.

Mar 20, 2013

Real Clothes

Sleepless nights are gonna happen. Some feedings will be good, others not so good. Sometimes baby Cade will be fussy. Diapers will leak.

cuddle time in real clothes
I am however discovering the power of real clothes. Getting out of my PJ pants and into something I could wear in public seems to get the day started out right (or the afternoon started right as the case may often be). Add in a face washing and a little mascara and holy cow!

Hopefully the power of real clothes can carry us through the rest of our first day without Ross. Mom is here (thank goodness) but I've been trying really hard not to lean on her. So far no meltdowns and  no running to Mommy. Fingers crossed we make it through the night!

Mar 19, 2013

Every day is different

Ah the rollercoaster of new parenthood.

On St. Patty's Day the whole family had a great day. Good naps, stroller adventure in the sunshine, non-baby activities that needed doing. It was a good day.

But a less than great night since Master Cade insisted on being held all night or else punished us with screams.

Up all night equals sleep all day
Which led to a less than great Monday. A house full of sleepy people, a baby making a liar of me for saying "he'll eat any way its offered" and all the stress the two combined could dole out.

Thankfully we could circle the wagons. I called our pediatrician regarding sleep and he called me back not once, but twice and gave a swaddle rec and other suggestions.

Nancy went on a swaddle shopping and delivery trip for us.

An informative call with a lactation consultant provided ideas that so far are successfully working on the feeding front. (Very good because for a period I declared that I had ruined the ancient practice of breast feeding. Now I feel I haven't ruined it...and I've gained some perspective on the fact that I can't single-handedly take down a genetic function for all of humanity.)

Jon and Erin gifted us with teeny tiny baby gear on loan. We've tried one (a swing that fits him a little better) and it is a hit. (If I wasn't married to Ross, I might marry Jon & Erin; that's how much I love them right now.)

I set up a Google calendar for Cade help and recruited extra hands for the next week and a half or so. Just knowing who is coming to help when makes me feel less crazy (though the fact that I have a Google calendar for it makes me feel crazy in another Type A OCD 21st century mom way...also having trouble syncing it to my iPhone [as secondary Google cal] so suggestions welcome on that).

And of course Mom...well she does it all. I don't think we're going to appreciate the full extent of her baby holding and helping until she leaves. We're probably in for the shock of a lifetime come Thursday.

At about lunch time today I can't say it is our best day ever but it is better than yesterday. We're fighting some exploding diapers but kiddo is eating well and right. And if things get ugly again, I'll just reread this article - - because it is so funny it nearly had me in (good) tears last night.

Mar 17, 2013

At home

Packed up & ready to go
Friday early afternoon we piled our new still-little-but-now-seven-pounds-bigger family into the car and came home from the hospital.

First car ride was a breeze. Woohoo!

Once home we introduced Lexi and Cade. They seem to not mind each other at all. She gave him a couple sniffs and kisses and hasn't had much else to say or do in the matter. Though we can tell she's a little stressed by the change. She's not eating or playing as much. But we keep lovin on her and making sure she knows we haven't forgotten her. I'm sure she'll be back to watching TV and giving the neighbor dogs hell shortly.

Naptime in travel bassinet
We quickly discovered that Cade isn't quite big enough for his swing yet. I think he will be in a few weeks but for now that meant we had no downstairs sitting/hands-free option. Thankfully Mom and I were able to remedy that with a trip to Target and purchase of a travel bassinet.

Cut to Friday night and we've discovered Cade doesn't know his nights from his days. Or he knows and chooses to be nocturnal. Saturday night we changed our approach a little making sure he stayed fairly awake in the early evening hours which hopefully would lead to a better night. Unfortunately no. He'll sleep at night but insists on being held to do such. This makes for some very sleepy grown ups. At this point since there are three of us and nobody has to be at work in the morning it's OK. I'm starting to be a little anxious about Ross going back to work and Mom leaving though. Hopefully our pediatrician will have some suggestions on this when we see him Thursday afternoon. Otherwise I think a whole new level of sleep deprivation is in my near future. (Hey Jane, Val & Melissa - makes you super excited for your visits right?)

On a more positive note, feedings are going well. In the hospital he would go long stretches without eating and then chow down or go an hour and demand a snack. Or be hungry, in position and not do anything with "food" (ahem you know) presented to him. Now we're eating more consistently; every 2-3 hours for 10-20 minutes. We've recently added milk via a bottle and I am pleased to report no matter how the milk is served, Cade is happy to drink it. Yay feeding options!

Mar 16, 2013

To My Cheer Squad

Wednesday while in the hospital I had a virtual cheer squad. Coast-to-coast, Deltas were texting me asking about my progress, the awesomeness of the epidural and in general entertaining me. Ditto to a handful of Lone Star state girlfriends.

It was like having my very own dedicated cheer squad, all on my iPhone.

2 members of the Lone Star State squad
The nurses probably thought I was a little kooky for being concerned with keeping that bad boy plugged in until it was time to push but whatever. When you are hooked up at 17 different wires and tubes (or so it felt like) and are watching a pink line tell you that your body is freaking out, a virtual cheer squad is pretty fantastic.

So to my cheer squad, thank you for your encouragement, love and wonderfully inappropriate comments on good drugs as a benefit of labor and delivery.

Mar 15, 2013

Cade is here!

He's here!

I guess all I had to say was "please" because Tuesday night the ball got rolling on Mr. Cade's arrival.

(I'll give the short, PG version of labor and delivery here. If you want the rated R version, give me a ring.)

Tuesday evening we thought my water broke and instead of taking any risks went into the hospital to check it out. After some testing it was confirmed that some of my water had broken so it was off to labor and delivery with me. Tuesday night was pretty uneventful; I had contractions but they were so mild I didn't even feel them. Since Ross had worked Monday night and fought a 7 hour fire resulting in zero sleep, he eventually crashed at home and Mom stayed with me on the off chance that things got more interesting (they did not).

Wednesday morning we started me on pitocin to increase the contractions and move things along. I started getting uncomfortable during contractions but nothing I couldn't handle. Until one. I was so surprised by it my first thought was the position I was in must have pinched a nerve in my back. That was when I said bring on the epidural ASAP. Thank goodness. Because real labor, as in active pushing labor, did not begin until 3:30p. And lasted FOUR AND A HALF HOURS. Ladies, if you have had a baby you know that pushing for 4.5 hours is not quite normal. I didn't know how not normal it was until after the fact (probably for the best). In short - big smart genius baby head and a fairly small mama are not a match made in labor-and-delivery heaven. Ross was by my side the whole time, less about 5 minutes during our one break when he persuaded me that he should tell our parents I was still alive. He was a champ and worked just as hard as the delivery nurse.

Cade Daniel Black; 7 lbs, 3 oz and 20.75"
Then at 7:52p our baby boy entered the world.

That night he met most of his Texas-based immediate family and his godfather. Thursday he met more of the important people in his life and today we came home.

We're all doing really well. A little tired as you can imagine but happy to be home and slowly starting to settle into our new routine (as much as anything with a newborn is routine). He's feeding well, sleeping well and is under Lexi's watchful eye most of the time.

I'll share more of the post-delivery goodness later. For now, I am going to spend time with little Cade, relieve my Mom, and get ready for the 10 pm-ish feeding.

Enjoy the pics!

Mar 12, 2013

39 weeks, 5 days

Dear Cade,


Pretty please. With sugar on top.


Mar 11, 2013

39 weeks, 4 days

Dear Cade,

Up until now I've tried to bribe, persuade and guilt you into arriving. Today, I'm taking a new approach: inviting you.

Your father and I invite you to join us on the outside where we promise to love, cuddle, hug and kiss you to a ridiculous degree. We invite you to play with Lexi, run up and down the stairs, eat macaroni and cheese and the million other things little boys do so well. Please accept our invitation to join us on the outside at your earliest convenience.


Mar 10, 2013

Victory Shopping

I've been going a little (or a lot) stir crazy waiting on baby Cade to arrive. I'm bored sitting around at home but admittedly the list of things I can or feel comfortable doing is short. For example, I'm not quite comfortable walking Lexi by myself any more because she's strong, I'm big and I'm slow. I'm less worried about her knocking me down and more worried about her getting away and me not being able to really do anything about it.

Today I decided outlet mall shopping was on the list of things I could do because trust me when I tell you being pregnant has not hurt my ability to spend money. If anything it has strengthened it. And lucky for me, Nichole was available to join.

Mission leave the house - victorious!

And it just gets better. I had forgotten how good I am at bargain shopping. Lemme tell you, I am really good at it.

iphone_picI got two special occasion outfits for Cade - Easter and Kev's wedding weekend (both discounted 25%+...but let's be honest, I didn't know that til the saleswomen rung them up; I just knew my kid was getting cute clothes). Two new shirts from Banana Republic for the hubby (both discounted 50%+). New everyday earrings for me at a sweet $6.95. And the crown jewel purchase, an Ann Taylor cardigan regularly priced at $65 for $12, including tax.

Previously unidentified mission of shopping like a champ - victorious!

I hadn't shopped for clothes in months and not fun, normal sized clothes in even more months. Even with the waddle in my walk, carrying those shopping bags full of steals of a deal made me feel like myself.

Also, I discovered that the Ann Taylor, New York & Co, Gymboree, Carters and Osh Kosh outlets are all in the same section of the outlet mall. Which is right next to the Starbucks and only a round-the-corner from the Coach and Banana Republic. Let my glorious downfall begin.

39 weeks, 3 days

Dear Cade,

Have I told you how beautiful Texas is in March? Oh my goodness it is lovely. On Tuesday it is supposed to be 75 here! If you opted to come today, we'd probably be home by Wednesday (when it is forecast to be 77) and you could enjoy all that beautiful weather with me.

Also you would have guaranteed yourself a spring break birthday which will make for four really awesome years in college.

Finally as it is Sunday, your grandparents, Aunt Meg, Uncle Stacy and Uncle Ryan are all off work. It would be super convenient for them which I am sure is your top priority.


Mar 9, 2013

Puppies are Funny

Ross sent me this the other night. It perfectly describes Lexi's sleeping.

And a few days ago I saw this video for the first time. We've just started keeping Lexi's toys in a basket in the living room (in an attempt to demonstrate Lexi toys v baby toys). I'm pretty sure this is what goes through her head every day when she pulls the toys out of her basket.

And finally here's a real-life Lexi-ism.

She got in trouble for running into the street and bothering another dog on an off-leash walk a few days ago. Smart puppy that she is, she immediately started sucking up to me (v Ross) when we got home by cuddling me from under my desk. I "caved" immediately and was loving on her. I say "caved" because frankly, I didn't know that we were still punishing her. Ross on the other hand - and I'm not kidding here - proceeded to give her a stern talking to (which included mildly scolding me for giving in), put her in time out (ie the backyard in 75 degree sunshine) and gave her the cold shoulder until after dinner (but he did mix turkey chili into her food). Honestly seeing the two of them interact during the punishment was kinda funny to me. I wondered if Lexi "got it" but given how close she has stayed when off leash since, I think Ross' puppy discipline proved spot on.

Clearly he is the Lexi Whisperer.

39 weeks, 2 days

Dear Cade,

Tonight we're taking you on a dinner date with Rowan. Think about how much more fun these (highly chaperoned) (play)dates will be when you are actually out of my belly for them.

Rowan's a cute girl too. And she's ready to meet you. No need to play hard to get son.


Mar 8, 2013

39 weeks, 1 day

Dear Cade,

Your dad and I have talked about it. We are not above bribing a child. For every day early you arrive, your allowance will be increased.

Just think about it. You have six days.


Mar 7, 2013

39 Weeks

39 weeks pregnant! I've transitioned into PJs all the time. I'm also avoiding shoes that I can't just slip into. I'm trying to avoid socks too (its really hard to reach my feet) but sometimes your feet are just cold and socks have to be put on.

How big is baby Cade? I dunno. Oversized pumpkin from the state fair? A pony? A VW bug? He's BIG and Mama is BIGGER.

If you have any pull with the baby-birthing gods and don't mind calling in a favor...well, I'm not above asking you to do it. Let's get this kiddo here!

PS says he's the size of a mini watermelon. Mini. Please.

Mar 5, 2013

To the Moon

space age swingYesterday I came home from Starbucks/HEB and found that Ross had finished putting together the baby swing. The surprisingly space age baby swing.

It plays 6 "songs," has 5 "nature" sounds, swings front-to-back, side-to-side (both at varying degrees of swing-atude) and vibrates. And I'm pretty sure can fly you to the moon if you use the right setting.

Something this gadgety is totally up Ross' alley. (Seriously have you seen our kitchen gadget collection? I think the crock pot is the most advanced one I purchased.) Oddly enough though, I'm the one who picked it out. Maybe I secretly want Cade to grow up to be an astronaut?

Amazing Things About Pregnancy

While you know all the things I'm cranky about with pregnancy (lucky you), there are two things I've found really really amazing.

A Whole New Human

Admittedly on your fourth overnight trip to the bathroom it can be challenging to remember the coolness of it but I'm actually creating a new person. Prior to this the most exciting thing my body ever grew was strong fingernails. Now it's magically producing a little person with muscles, bones, organs and even a little personality. When I remember to think about it, that is nothing shy of amazing.

006Impact on Marriage

We're one of those lucky couples who have a happy marriage. We love each other, like each other, respect each other, work well as a team, have fun together and a whole lot more. So when we decided it was time to transition from 2 to 3 people in our little family, I didn't really think about how it would change our marriage (I just thought about teeny tiny socks and preschools).

But wow! Being pregnant has made things better than ever. I've never depended on, appreciated or been more impressed by my husband than during my pregnancy. He's awesome. He cooks, assembles furniture, cleans, holds my hand through pregnancy freak outs, races to the phone like a crazy person when I call in case it's "the call" and all kinds of more. Being pregnant changed what I needed from him and he's come through like a champ. I love him more every day for it.

Mar 4, 2013

Hi, I'm cranky. So nice to meet you.

My poor husband. He lives with such a cranky pregnant lady.

Though there are no "official" signs of labor, this pregnancy thing is starting to feel a little different, more weight on my pelvis for example, so I think yes, labor must be getting closer. (I suppose that's the only option; it certainly isn't getting further away.)

And though we got our wireless internet fixed today, now we're having problems with our TVs. We have this potentially awesome wired-through-the-walls home theatre system where all cable, internet, Blu-Ray box things are kept hidden in a closet and we can play audio throughout most the house. But I swear it is the most finicky system. And AT&T, which provides our home internet and cable is also a pretty finicky system. Together, they can be a nightmare. We're experiencing buyer's remorse on the home theatre system. And it has me very cranky. (Ross is frustrated as well but he's handling it a little better than I am. I've called/emailed everyone I can think of for some customer support. I also feel a bit of guilt since this home theatre system was something I begged for in the house and has turned out to be so painful. It should be so cool though...)

If you made it this far, you deserve a treat. Ten bonus points to you my friend. And one free baby snuggle when the little guy arrives.

Mar 1, 2013

Game On

I'm 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant. Cade is the size of a leek. (More importantly he's the size of a baby.) It's baby-birthing month. GAME ON.

There's really not much to update on. At our doctor's appointment yesterday, we discovered that I shed 2.5 pounds from the week before. Amazing the results of switching from full fat ice cream to low fat ice cream. Otherwise... everything was basically like it was the week before. No significant progress to report.

Now I'm just battling intermittent home wireless access and hoping I'll be able to work from home Monday. Because I'm big and PJs are way more comfortable than regular clothes but are kinda frowned on at the office, even at my pretty casual office. And I'm planning to work up until he arrives so the more my home office situation is conducive to that, the better.

Also on the wireless internet access front, I never realized how dependent we were. Working, Netflix watching, printing (wireless printer), iPad using, Facetime-ing. Our current modem is like a Hollywood romance, on-again off-again. Hopefully it will be more on-again between now and whenever the new one arrives...which was supposed to be today but was not but will hopefully be soon, internet gods willing.