May 31, 2014

A Perfect Saturday

The canvas print of this arrived this week
and is now hanging in our gameroom!
It really has been a pretty perfect Saturday.

It started with a Starbucks date with my favorite baby. Then we took a walk to the duck pond and Ross and Lexi joined for the second half. Then playing and lunch with both of our fav, an avocado.

Then it was an afternoon out! The gym, Barnes & Noble and an hour massage! The massage was long overdue. Due to scheduling conflicts, it was my third attempt. So so so wonderful. And after discovering the knots in my shoulders, I am vowing never to go so long (5 months I think) between massages again. I've already made an appointment for another at the end of July. Fortunately there is a great place near us, Cielo Spa, and their hour massages are only $37 so it is very feasible to go every other month or so.

Ross made us pork loin for dinner, one of my favorites. Cade and I FaceTimed with my parents, played with blocks, cleaned the gameroom and then read a book before bed. He even stayed up late, all the way until 7:10p!

Tomorrow we have an exciting day of grocery shopping and then a play date. All in all, it may not just be a perfect Saturday, it may turn into a darn perfect weekend!

PS And I had three nights of good sleep this week. Last night not so much but that was expected since we had drinks with Margeaux and Ryan and I was up til midnight so no big deal. Will make up for it tonight after indulging in some Downton Abbey.

May 27, 2014

Oh Mr. Sandman...

Back in April-ish, I admitted to the blog-o-sphere (er, all 5 of you who read this), that I am one sleepy lady. I am bummed to tell you that now, at the end of May, it isn't much better.

Sure, I have had good nights of sleep since then, thank goodness. But it is still a recurring issue. I've met with my doctor twice and though I like her a lot and think she is really trying to help me, they haven't proven to be fruitful cure-all visits.

I'm moving on to less "medical" treatments (ie less drugs) and more...more...I dunno...other things treatments. Hypnosis anyone?

I'll admit, I am fearful of being told "it's called working motherhood, welcome to the club" or maybe worse "you need to unwind earlier, have you tried meditation." I think I would cry over the former; punch someone over the latter.

So if you angry-elephant-stampede punch type "I don't want to freakin meditate I want to freakin be awake during the day and asleep at night damn it" into Google and you find one other person has searched that...well, you know where to find her.

Bachelor Party Boys

Saturday Ross organized a "mini" bachelor party for Ryan: driving range, dinner and bars. Ever the responsible group of guys (and their wives), it was decided they would not even have cars available to them to kill any temptation of driving or bad decision making.

After nap time, Cade and I carpooled Ross, Ryan and Jon down to the driving range/bar Top Golf. At first I was pretty amused that they were carpooling with a wife and toddler to the bachelor party but that was nothing compared to their conversation. They discussed babies the whole 20 minute drive. I mean every minute of it.

So we dropped them off and then headed to our playdate with Erin and Rowan. At about 8:30p Ross called to say he was done for the night but since I was still at Erin's, he would happily call a cab. We agreed to meet at home soon. At 9p he calls me back and says the cab thing didn't go so well and could I please pick him up. Sure, I was just leaving anyways and it really isn't that far out of the way. I told him he should convince Jon to come home with us as knowing he was safe and in bed would please his wife.

At 9:30p Cade and I picked up the boys. Then due to a forgotten credit card (but remembered within 100 yards of the bar) and a very slow drive-thru line (I swear they lost our order; I had to go inside and ask about it TWICE), it took another hour to get home. Cade stayed awake through the whole thing and Jon entertained him in the backseat of our car.

When we got home, I put Cade to bed and said I was going to have a drink. Jon joined me; Ross went upstairs. Mid-drink I say to Jon "10 bucks says Ross is taking a bubble bath." I swear to you not 2 minutes later Ross came downstairs in his towel. By 11:30p everyone was in bed, snoozing.

Cade woke up at 6:30a and was a fussy pants baby. But he'd stayed up late on his playdate (7:15p) and then been up for a random 90 car ride and then woke up 30 minutes early so I knew it was just him being tired still. Around 10a, Ross asked if I needed a break (yes, yes I did) so he took over baby-care and I went into the bedroom to continue my Downton Abbey binge. At 10:30 Ross quietly opens the door, gives me the "shhh" sign and whispers "you gotta come see this baby."

I walked into the gameroom and this is what I saw.


Fell asleep in the middle of his toys in his Las Vegas pajamas.

What can I say - the bachelor party stories and pictures of today are far different than a few years ago.

May 25, 2014

You're Welcome

UntitledFriday morning, post Starbucks and the park, Cade stepped up to be quite the little helper. I was vacuuming the unbelievable volume of dirt and crumbs on the downstairs floors and he was enthralled with the vacuum cleaner. At first he tried to eat the cord. However he quickly learned that that is not what you do with vacuum cleaners. Then though he helped me vacuum! He got right in there with me and pushed it as we cleaned up.

Then after his nap, he was downstairs with me while I unloaded the dishwasher. Usually when he sees an open dishwasher his Sixth Baby Sense (identifying ways to harm or kill himself) kicks in and he goes straight for the knives and only the knives. I outsmarted him this time by taking the silverware tray out first. With no knives available, he did the best and cutest thing ever: helped me unload it. He took out a Tupperware and handed it to me. Then a mixing bowl. Then a cup. Then plates (I've never put dishes away so quickly as when there was a toddler helping with the breakables). He was such a good little helper!

For this early training I say to his future roommates and wife: you're welcome.

May 17, 2014

African Safari Style in Wimberley

Because as you know, the only print magazine I regularly read is Texas Monthly that's what I was reading this afternoon on the porch during part of Cade's nap. Specifically the issue with the weekend getaways cover story. I mean, c'mon, that issue has my name all over it.

The first getaway I spied was to Sinya on Lone Man Creek in Wimberley. And it looked AWESOME. See what I mean...

It is inspired by the owner's African safari travels and the idea of "glamour camping" which is as the Texas Monthly writer explains "for when you want to spend time in nature, just not without your hair straightener." This is definitely my type of camping. Plus in our recent travel conversation on my birthday, Ross said that he wants to take an African safari trip one day (he's said this before so I think it is actually a real thing he wants to do). So when I saw Sinya, I knew it was for us.

And that is how we came to have our anniversary getaway booked. This place is so popular (I'm guessing the recent Texas Monthly feature didn't hurt it), there was only one October date left, the night after our anniversary. Close enough for me. We've got it booked, plus their fancy schmancy continental breakfast to boot.

Woohoo! I am so looking forward to this! What a cool, different thing to go do and within a 2 hour drive!

May 14, 2014

Dog Bowl Jam Session

A slight twist on the classic "pots and pans" toddler play.

Nichole's dog, Cocoa, was at the house with us and she did not like this. She retreated into her crate. Unfortunately for her, the crate of course has air holes and was only 6 or 7 feet away from Cade so I don't think it provided her any sound muffling.

Lexi on the other hand was not fazed. She lives with a toddler. Those aren't really "her bowls" anymore; they are "his instruments."

May 11, 2014

A Heaping Helping of Motherhood

For Mother's Day today my kiddos gave me a heaping helping of motherhood. With Ross at work we had the day to ourselves and as is par for the course with a toddler, that meant we were go, go, go all day.

Unfortunately the Wee Baby Cade is kinda a hot mess right now. His perpetual runny nose, which I am 99% is allergies, evolved into what Ross calls a "productive" cough this weekend. Poor baby actually coughs so hard it brings tears to his eyes. In part because of his cough, and probably in part due to the diaper rash I discovered this morning, we had a wakeful night. Bedtime is at 7p but Cade was up at 7:30, 10:30 and then 3a. The 3a awakening unfortunately was somewhat inconsolable. It was almost 4a before he was finally back in his crib, calm and quiet. I assume he fell asleep shortly thereafter but of course I'm not 100% sure (I was far too tired myself to hover around his crib and keep tabs. Besides I find if I stay in the room he doesn't sleep; he just wants to play or be snuggled which is 1000% counterproductive to what I am trying to achieve at 3 or 4 in the morning).

Since Ross' alarm goes off at 5:45a to go to work and then Cade and I started our day by 7:30a per the usual, it was a wakeful morning to say the least.

Once we really started our day Cade and I went to Starbucks, the Play for All Park, Walgreens and HEB. He was very very well behaved at Starbucks. I'd like to think it was equal parts his general awesomeness, his genius self knowing it was Mother's Day...the short line and the snacks I bought and continuously offered him. Those Starbucks snacks may be pricey but you can put no price tag on a happy toddler at 8:30a on Mother's Day Sunday.

UntitledThe Play for All Park is definitely our new favorite park. It is like 6 parks in one and we hung out there for FORTY-FIVE minutes which is like 5 days in toddler time. We discovered a xylophone thingy and per the usual, Cade really enjoyed the tunnels and slide. The cutest thing though has to be the Round Rock Village part which is a mini-downtown with kid-sized stuff. As you can see, Cade is already learning all about safety and the importance of using crosswalks.

After our morning fun, it was time to run errands including the grocery shopping. There was a small meltdown in the check-out line but those Starbucks snacks proved their value once again. God bless 'em. Also to Cade's credit, he is a remarkably good grocery shopper. I've taken him grocery shopping, like big for-the-whole-week shopping, at least a dozen times, maybe twenty even, and this is the first in-store meltdown he's ever had. And hello, he has a snotty nose, tear-inducing cough and diaper rash. And I was taking his snack pouch away from him (because he was insisting on flinging pureed fruit all over himself, the cart and the poor HEB employee standing next to us). So really, I can kinda understand the meltdown.

Once we were home and Cade ate lunch, it was time for a slightly early nap. He definitely needed it per the unusual levels of pre-dawn activity. Now, I will admit, in the spirit of total honesty, I was ready for naptime too. I mean I'd basically been up every 90ish minutes since 3a and then up for the day for real at 7:30a and had to manage a grocery store meltdown. And Lexi has allergies and I have to give her 3 pills today which she is totally not into and I still haven't done because its very challenging and just thinking about it exhausts me. So by 11:40a, I needed quiet time too.

Thankfully Cade and I both had a naptime rally. He slept an hour and a half or so and I wished my own mom a happy mother's day (because she's the best mom on the face of the planet and holy cow if you think you want your mommy just wait til you're a mom because then you need to talk to/consult with an experienced mom [and your own is always best] like 4 times a day, 7 days a week. Happy Mother's Day Mom! I love you!).

Then it was off to Meg & Stacy's for Mother's Day lunch. They hosted this last year too and it is really nice. With their pool, great patio and beautiful yard, it's a perfect, pretty and easy event. Not to mention Stacy is bad-ass on the grill.

Margaritas, fajitas and a lot of toddler-led entertainment. Believe it or not, as the only small person in attendance he was the center of attention. Shocking I know.

For my Mother's Day gift, Ross and Cade gave me pearl stud earrings. I tip my hat to Ross for catching it when I said a few weeks ago that I needed simple pearl earrings to wear for every day things with my pearl necklace (the earrings that match the necklace are lovely but with diamond chips and dangling pearls are more special occasion earrings than business meeting earrings). Well done boys!

And now Mother's Day is winding down. Cade is in bed, hopefully for a better night's sleep now that he has a humidifier. (Thanks goes to Nancy for picking one up and bringing it to lunch. I had every intention of buying one at HEB but totally forgot [ditto to milk] and in my "I need quiet time" state after shopping, could not muster the will to go to the store again today. She totally saved my sanity.) I am about to enjoy one of my favorite guilty pleasures of a bowl of popcorn with melted real butter and 1-2 episodes of DVRed trashy TV from the past week.

Finally, I tried to think of a witty transition but I can't. So I'll just share. We got our family photos back this week and they are AWESOME. We've already printed and hung two in the living room and I LOVE THEM. I can gaze at them forever because it is simply incredible what a perfect, beautiful little family and life we have and the photos are such a wonderful, tangible reminder. Sometimes, honestly, I think I must be dreaming. Because it's exactly what I've always dreamed of: a husband I am madly in love with and who is crazy for me too, a happy, healthy, stunning child, even a sweet loving family dog, a beautiful home in Texas and a prospering business.

Grocery store meltdowns and grouchy 3a anythings aside, I have been blessed with a wonderful life and I love the warm fuzzy feeling I get every time I catch it looking at me from the living room wall. I'll take a heaping helping of this life, this moment, this motherhood any day.


May 7, 2014

Quickest IT Turnaround Ever

Around 11 I was working from a client's office between meetings when my laptop died. Just on the spot died. Plugged in and everything. Restart, die. Restart, die. Restart, die. I didn't even make it to the login screen.

Thirty minutes later, turn on, die.

Enter frantic texts/calls to Ross "my laptop is dead. I need a new one ASAP."

By 12:27p we were on the phone and I was explaining the Laptop Death of 2014. Then after telling him what I needed in a laptop ("I dunno; fast, not heavy") and my budget ("whatever it costs; I need it now") it was decided that he was the more qualified laptop purchaser.

And purchase he did. When I returned from my afternoon meetings at 3:15p, there was a new laptop waiting in my office, most of the set-up already complete. I have a brand spankin' new HP Envy, complete with touchscreen.

I've had some good IT guys in my previous gigs but this takes the cake. It only required a 10 minute phone call and 4 text messages and I had a new laptop within three hours. No requisition forms, expense reports or other paperwork required. This officially makes Ross the best IT guy I've ever had.

Now consider, on top of acting as Chief Technology Officer for Cheryl Black Consulting, he also wore hats as Home Facilities Director (bought a new ceiling fan), Chief Automotive Officer, Head Chef and Dad, he's had a damn productive day. Soon he'll have to return to his role as Firefighter/Life Saver, which is important and all but I really love and appreciate all the hats he wore for our family today. He's the best!

May 5, 2014

Cade Hearts Parks

UntitledYou know, just an every day after school trip to the neighborhood park. And loving the hell out of it.


Also, as you can see he was feeling more like his usual happy baby self today. He's still not eating like the food monster we're used to but I noticed today that he seems to be most refusing crunchy things (plus the normal things he refuses like added to no crunchy things, it's a very short list of things he'll actually eat). Maybe there are some teeth coming in and that hurts? So tomorrow he's getting a lunch full of soft items. Fingers crossed he'll eat more.


May 4, 2014

Rough Week in Babyland

Poor Cade-man. He's had a rough week.

On Monday, another baby bit him at school. Unfortunately this is just one of those things that happens. The school handled it well, Ross and I spoke with his teacher and the director and everyone survived. But that was Monday.

Wednesday he tripped and bit his own tongue. Ouch!

Thursday he tripped and busted his lip. Again I say... Ouch!

Fortunately he got some QT with his grandparents pre-sick
Last night he stayed with Nana and Grandpa Jack and threw up in his crib. He clearly wasn't feeling well and was more or less awake until about 4:30a (Nana too unfortunately).

We had to skip our much anticipated playdate this morning. Even though Cade was acting fairly normal, who knows what caused the sick. Better to skip a playdate than share those germs with the other toddlers. And since he laid down for a nap at 10:20 and has now been sleeping almost an hour, I'd say staying home to rest was a good call.

Poor baby. Hopefully this rough week is over and the coming one is extra good to make up for it.

May 2, 2014

Toy Smuggler

UntitledLast  night Cade smuggled a block into his crib. The fugitive block made it through the night and was not found until this morning. Sneaky baby.