Jul 30, 2013


Our pediatrician said to encourage Cade's "talking" by making sounds back to him. So Ross did. And Cade thinks it is HILARIOUS.

And we think these baby giggles are the best sound ever.

Jul 29, 2013

Big Wee Baby

UntitledSaturday Cade and I had a PJ party. It included a small PJ fashion show. As in one pair of PJs was spit up on enough that we had to change into another. I changed him into a PJ shirt I was certain would be too big because it was 6-12 month size but figured whatever, we were just at home.

Nope, that sucker FIT him. Perfectly.

Strangely enough though, so did a teeny tiny size one diaper.

Does that mean Cade is like a cartoon superhero? Big and muscle upper body but tiny waist and skinny legs?

Jul 25, 2013

Today's Brand of Awesome

More Father-Son Awesome
Today's most awesome moment was family story time. I held Cade while Ross read him a book about dogs and Lexi sat close by. The book included different textures so we helped Cade reach and feel those. It was the best!

Jul 24, 2013

The Best Lunch of the Month

"The best lunch of the month" reoccurs monthly at Chuy's with Haila. And it really is the best lunch of the month. I think in almost 4 years, we've only missed two months (one was sabotaged by sicknesses and the other was waived for Cade).

Today was the best lunch of the month and it was even more awesome than usual. Because as I was telling Haila about my oscillating mommy-guilt, she told me 1) not to have mommy-guilt and that 2) I was super mom.

I don't think I'm some terrible mom, hence why the guilt is oscillating. And while I think Haila telling me I am super mom was really nice, I may not quite be that either. But it was still really really wonderful to hear. Especially from a veteran (she's 5.5 years in) who I think is an excellent mom. It was great, honest, authentic validation and reassurance.

So for tonight at least I go to bed mommy-guilt free. Thanks Haila :)

Jul 23, 2013

To the Royal Mum

Like most of the developed world, I've spent the past 48 hours on Royal Baby Watch. God bless ABC News and its extensive coverage. As one new mother to another, if I could speak to Kate, here's what I'd say.

Our little prince
Our heir and his throne
Yes - this is a letter of unsolicited advice. I suspect it won't be the first nor the last piece of unsolicited advice you receive.

I'm going to assume you are nursing, at least for a short while. In which case, grapes are your new best friend of a snack food. You can eat them with one hand, they are cold and they are juicy which is perfect because you are already or are about to be wildly dehydrated.

What works this week for Baby Cambridge may not work next week but might work again in two weeks. Rhyme or reason? Nope. No such thing.

Even with a palace full of cooks, butlers, nannies and maids, if you feel like a crazy person, that's OK. It's the sleep deprivation. Because there are some things all the hired help in the world can't do for you - like nursing your baby, eating your meals, taking your showers or taking your naps. And somehow, 24 hours in a day really really isn't enough. (And if you feel the urge to punch the next person who tells you to "sleep when the baby sleeps" that's OK too.)

And finally, though you probably own every baby contraption in England, if you don't already have it, may I recommend the $37 vibrating bouncer chair from Target. It is like baby crack and is totally worth importing.

Good luck and may Baby Cambridge be an excellent sleeper,

Jul 21, 2013

Mmm Feet

UntitledThursday night in the bath I helped Cade find his feet. He was reaching for them but never got quite past his ankles. So I helped him a little and said "look! your feet! toes!"

Now he is ALL ABOUT THEM. Grabs them, looks at them and of course eats them.

In other news we had a super lazy day at home as a family yesterday. We watched a marathon of Netflix's new series "Orange is the new black." It's a good thing he is too young to know what is on the TV because it is definitely a grown-up show and if he were two years older, there would be a lot of earmuffs involved.

Not that that is going to stop me from watching at least 2 more episodes today with the wee baby.

Jul 19, 2013

Life Ain't Fair

Evening nap was vetoed yesterday for playtime.
I warned him that he would get over-tired but he proved
me wrong and then went right down at bedtime like a champ.
Baby Boy went to bed like a champ last night. Like a champ I tell you.

But guess who did not? Mama.

I had a headache before bed so took Tylenol PM and still it took forever to fall asleep and I saw 2a, 3a, and then 4a.

At 4a after sleep feeding the little one, I hit insomnia like a freight train. I counted backwards, focused on my breathing, tried EVERYTHING and finally I kicked my legs like an over-tired 4 year old and declared "it isn't fair!"

Then I decided at 5a to come downstairs and do my work. Maybe if I can get it done by morning nap time, I too can take a morning nap and let Ross be on baby duty until my morning nap is over.

Perks of working from home. Please let this perk pan out today please.

Jul 17, 2013

Holy Rainstorms Batman

Completely unrelated baby pic
Three days of rain? In Austin? In July? Never!

But yes! It is so. And because it is basically impossible to carry a car seat and an umbrella, Cade got his first feel of the rain. The good news is he did not melt.

Jul 16, 2013

Day 3

I've had exactly 3 business days of self employment and I AM LOVING IT. Friday and yesterday were even kind of crazy because Ross was at work and still, loved it.

Not to sound too yoga-and-granola but I feel like there is so much more balance in my life. So far, hopping between work and baby and puppy and house and husband is going well. I feel like my house is in order more, my time with Cade is more quality and everything is just less rushed overall. Yes, even less rushed in my Great Across Austin adventures yesterday (Round Rock to Cedar Park to downtown to Cedar Park to Round Rock).

An added bonus - while I was working this morning and Ross was caring for Cade, the Cade-man finally rolled over for his dad. I got to hear Ross exclaim in excitement and tell Cade how amazing he is. There is absolutely no better soundtrack to the workday.
Breakfast is now less rushed and includes rice cereal

We like not being rushed but the verdict is still out on the cereal

Update 7:17p
I've made the bed 2 days in a row and tonight I cleaned up after dinner and pureed leftover vegetables so Cade will have home-made baby food. Ross wants to know where his regular wife has gone. I don't know but I think the new girl is alright.

Jul 13, 2013

4 Months & So Much New

UntitledThe Cade-man is 4 months old today! Naturally a 4-month photoshoot ensued. He wasn't super smiley during it but he was very alert as you can see, looking at all kinds of things.

On the list of new things - a new schedule! Maybe this isn't exclamation point exciting to you but as the mom, it is to me.

Instead of eating every 2.5-3 hours, Cade is now eating every 3.5 hours which means we got to drop down from 7 feedings to 6 in a 24-hour period. It also means bedtime feeding is now at 8:30 instead of 9p. This makes for a much saner mommy (and daddy). I was going to wait another week or two before changing his schedule and had a whole battleship style war plan in mind for the transition. But Wednesday and Thursday of this week he eliminated a feeding all on his own. So we just went with it.

It also means new, fun bigger bottles are in the rotation. Well one of the bottles is fun - Red Sox. The other two...eh Chicago Bears. Whatevs.

Also new this week is pulling Mom's hair. He thinks it is the best thing ever. Or maybe he's just encouraging me to go get that haircut I had to cancel last week. (Rescheduled for this coming Friday.)

New today specifically is our trial run on a Mom & Baby work out routine. Either I am way more out of shape than I realized, Cade is the heaviest 14 pounds around or this work out is legit. He really disliked the parts where I'm supposed to put him down but on the flip side, the baby lifts were popular. Either way, suffice it to say we did not finish it before we both threw in the towel.

And one final new thing - yes there is one more! We visited Ross at the fire department for the first time! We had lunch there and took some excellent junior firefighter photos. Just look.

GFD with Dad

GFD with Dad

GFD with Dad

Jul 11, 2013

Jul 9, 2013


New fav PJs
Not that we needed some doctor to tell us, but apparently we are raising SuperBaby.

Ross took Cade in for his 4 month pediatrician appointment yesterday and he got straight A's! Good head control, excellent "standing", superb speaking. In fact he is very advanced in his verbalizing. Ross quickly made sure the doc knew that was all my genes :)

Baby boy weighed in at 14 pounds, 3 oz. He's also a full 2 inches longer/taller now meaning he breaks the 2 feet mark. No wonder his little footie PJs stopped fitting!

We also got the go ahead to start giving him rice cereal. I don't yet see a need to give him TONS but he does spit up quite a bit still with meals and wakes up in the middle of the night (not that that is unusual but as parents we dream of a full night's sleep). So we're mixing just the tiniest bit in with his bedtime feeding to see if that helps him sleep better at night. We'll start there and maybe add it into a day time feeding at some point too. I dunno; we'll see.

There were only two downsides to the doctor's appointment. First, we got mildly scolded for not enough tummy time as evidenced by his flat baby head (oops, sorry sweetie). And two, Cade-man had to have more shots. But I hear they give those even in Australia so what can you do.

Jul 8, 2013

Leap of Faith: Self Employment

As of Friday, I'll be entirely self-employed!

Since probably the beginning of our marriage, Ross and I have talked about me working as an independent contractor once we had kiddos. When Cade arrived in March we started talking about it more seriously. And when I started thinking about the logistics of working out-of-the-house, 45-hours-per-week motherhood, I started to act seriously.

After months of discussion and prep, I'm ready to take the leap. I turned in my 2 weeks notice at Blackbaud on July 1 and my last day will be this Thursday. After that, I'm officially on my own.

I set up an LLC and am now the sole member of Cheryl Black Consulting LLC. I purchased a domain, whipped together a very simple website, subscribed to Google's business applications, got a professional headshot and set up a biz bank account. I'm frighteningly official.

Now I'm in the thick of business development. Emails, coffee dates, lunch dates, phone calls, LinkedIn updates and messages. Posting on my personal blog making sure everyone I know knows.

What exactly am I doing? A smorgasbord of marketing communication activities. Social media marketing of course, but also copy writing and editing, event marketing, public relations, project management and a bit of fundraising.

So tell everyone you know! Tell them only nice things about me and then to contact me. Because baby, my shingle's hung and I'm in business.

Jul 7, 2013


This weekend Cade met his Uncle Spike.


And then all day today he squeaked and squealed and squeaked and squealed.

Jul 5, 2013

4th of July Sandwich

The 4th of July is pretty important to Americans but the 3rd and 5th of July are pretty important to Team Black.

On July 3 last year we found out about the bitty baby in my belly. So exciting! A life changing date.

On July 5 six years ago Ross and I met for the first time. He swept me off my feet. Another game changer.

It's one of the most warm and fuzzy holidays in our family. So from us to you - happy 4th of July sandwich!




Jul 3, 2013

Surprise: VEGAS!

Since last March (like 2012) I've been hoping and planning for Ross and I to go to Vegas with my sorority sisters next month. We take one trip a year together and this one honors Val graduating law school, taking the bar and marrying Justin.

In the past few weeks though it became a clear logistical challenge. Vacations, work projects, etc were not on our side. So Sunday I conceded defeat and canceled our hotel.

UntitledYesterday I came home from work and on our dining room table were lovely flowers and a card from my hubby. Inside the card were mushy loving words and a stack o' cash. And instructions to go party with the Deltas in Vegas. He'd stay in Austin and watch our little man.

I cried.

And jumped up and down and in general freaked out.

I booked my flight, let Kristin know I'd be bunking with her and started texting the world with the good news. When I texted Erin she texted back that she could watch Cade on that Friday until my Mom could get to Austin, if Ross wanted to go too.

Crazy star aligning! We called Mom to confirm she could be here Friday night, called Erin to clarify details, crunched numbers on flights and a (new) hotel...AND THEN WE BOOKED A TRIP TO VEGAS FOR TWO!

Neither of us have been to Vegas before so that is very exciting. More exciting though is that I get to see all my lovely Deltas. Shy of going to Europe with my hubby for two weeks, no trip is better than a Delta trip. We're flung literally all over the country - Seattle to DC and everything in the middle - but the one time a year when we see each other, it's like no time or miles have passed at all. Forgive the mushy Delta love but I am just so damned excited to be packing up my hubby and going to see all those girls!