Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Live hard, play hard

I love to watch Cade explore. Nick & I sometimes wonder if we let him be a little "too free" sometimes. I think it encourages his creativity, helps him learn about his world, and is a damn fun time to get to crawl and do what you want. I mean hell, why have too many restrictions when you're only 8 months old...there's plenty of time for people to squash your dream--ahem-- lets say we get more rules the older we get. (And as a kid didn't you think it was just the opposite, more freedom when you're older, if only you could just grow up?? Now we're grown ups and what we wouldn't give to have a childlike freedom.)

Anyways, here is Cade's newest hobby --- dumping the toy basket to allow for easy access of all toys. He never knows just which tiddlywink he might need. After he explores the "near side" of his dumpage, he scales the basket to scope out the "far side" dumpage.
On this particular day he thought he'd grab his swanky blankie and play peekaboo. He was doing it by himself for a while and when I heard a little snort I realized he was totally initiating peekaboo and then joined him. (Hell, to be so carefree you play peekaboo by yourself and crack up... again, I wish I were him!)
Where's Cade? Peekaboo!
The kid amazes me....I wish he would be satisfied with his dumpage of toys longer than he is this week. Now his new mission is "Up" (pull up, climb up, reach up, pick me up, I want to be UP!!!) With mission Up we are getting lots of pinched fingers in drawers and bumps on the head. For the most part he looks at me to verify he's okay, and goes on with life. Other times it's a heart-breaking cry of pain and my initial pity for his boo-boo turns into a strange (I really shouldn't admit this) heart-warming glee that I am Mommy, I can kiss it and make it all better. Isn't that horrible?? He hurts himself and I get just a little satisfaction at making it better. When he's in my arms with big tears I kiss away and he grabs onto the neck of my sweater and I kiss the boo-boo and talk to him, then there's his sigh as his breathing goes back to normal and life is good again. I love it. I hope I'm always able to fix all his boo-boo's... . . . .

night bloggies,
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Baby's First Christmas

This is the story of baby's first Christmas.

We hosted Christmas Eve dinner for the Fleming and Lamb families. It was potluck style, the spread was fan-freaking-tastic! Homemade potato skins, Alex's pasta salad, green salad, bbq brisket sliders, coconut chicken tender bites, cranberry salsa, spinach artichoke dip, and more yummy appetizer-style fare. Supplemented by a cookie bar with homemade hand-decorated Christmas cookies and other treats my students gave me. Before dinner, we headed out to Deerfield to check out the lights. There were LOTS of life-size mechanical Santas and one light show that was synched to music you could tune your car radio to hear. It was amazing! The snow was the best part. (That and the yard that Alex and I snuck into to pose with the wooden life-size carolers, hehe)

We followed up by dinner and some family pictures, then headed to bed to get ready for Santa. When Cade woke up Christmas morning, 7:00am (Good boy Cade!) He could feel the excitement, the snow out his window was the best part for him, he loved the bright white sunshine coming into his nursery. For a kid who's never experienced Christmas, he sure got it down right from the start!

He was so thrilled, I think maybe his face in this pic is a reflection of ours. I had to drag Nick out of bed I was so pumped to start the day! The snow was a miracle. I really think our guardian angels pulled some strings to hook us up with some snow in Dallas on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. It was gorgeous, soft blankets in the yard. We did leave out milk and cookies for Santa...proof that he was here!

The most gifts we've ever seen under a tree. It was stunning to see them all wrapped and ready to go! We definitely felt blessed to have so many family and friends to give to.

A close-up on the enticing gifts...Thank God they survived until Christmas morning. You never know between an 8 month old and a curious dog just which packages will survive, but they all made it! Momma's good good boy and girl.

Daddy and Cade on Christmas morning with the dragon Santa bought Cade. He snuggled it right to his face just after this picture, it was so sweet.

It is hard to believe this time last year we were tying a big bow around my prego belly and dreaming of how fun this Christmas would be. Although it was an emotional holiday season, the joy of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year was amazing. To me it was like experiencing my very first Christmas, it was so new to get to do Christmas with a baby. It really brings you more closer to your faith to feel that kind of love on Christmas.

We opened stockings and some gifts at home first thing in the morning as we drank coffee. Our rumbling stomachs had to wait patiently for the roads to clear a little from the snow and ice from Christmas Eve before we headed to Lolli & Papa's (Nick's parents). It was nice to get some extra time to enjoy the stockings and watch Cade play with some of his gifts. He did need some instruction on unwrapping. It was a little confusing to him to get more than one gift at a time and not get a full chance to play with the first gift before we forced him to open another. Are we totally creating a monster? How lucky are we that we have a kid who's happy with the first gift he saw. His attention was totally about the first gift until we forced him unwrap others. Then he was pretty amused by the tissue paper and bows and boxes, but we SO wanted him to love what we had bought him that we pretty much have set ourselves up for getting cool gifts every year. And to think, he would have just loved the boxes.
We did end up at Lolli's for breakfast part 2 and then TONS of gifts. Of course the person who won't remember getting the most got the most. But we had to remind Cousin Michael that big boy gifts are expensive, thus it's less about quantity than quality. Pretty tough for a big kid to realize as we pile 50 presents in front of the drooling baby. Howev, the big kid got a freaking bazooka for all I know, that dart gun was GINORMOUS. And Cade will never own one. I've decided. I am working on submitting a Veto Letter for Santa just in case Cade ever asks for one and I don't know about it.
So after Lolli's we headed to my parents' house to see Grammie & Grandaddy, Aunt Shanon, Cousin Garrett, and Uncle Alex. As we drove up we noticed a very tall and hilarious snowwoman. With boobs. We immediately decided we needed a family picture. Check out the belly on that baby, the guns on that snowslut, and my hand PRETENDING to hug the snowslut. The rest of the pics speak for themselves.

Okay, the pics don't speak for themselves. My sleeve must have brushed the snowslut, causing her to collapse from the chest down. (This is what happens when you get top-heavy with the implants, ladies). I died. My mom yelled at me to "Fix it Hilaryyyyeeee".... not subtle when you're hoping the neighbors don't come out to see we killed their snowman!!! So as fast as I could I Dr 90210'd her, fixed the wig, and ran to catch up with the fam. Thanks Mom, for taking the last 2 pics.
It was an awesome Christmas, the never-ending Christmas. A white Christmas. A very perfect baby's first Christmas.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Feats of Amazingness

Time for a skills update on our baby boy. . . . . . ....
In no particular order of when they first occured, but rather what I can remember in this very moment.
1. Waving skills. Cade can wave (an open and close of the hand, a twist of the wrist). Today he waved his whole arm and opened and closed his hand as he waved bye to his wingmen at daycare. (There's only 3 boys in their room, they've gotta be tight)
2. Clapping skills. Yesterday when I picked him up at daycare as soon as he saw me he raised both hands in the air and then started clapping his hands together. I'm pretty sure I've never been more impressed with him or had such a great reaction walking into a room. I'll take it!
3. Pulling up skills. Although it gives me a vision of bloody mouth and stitches every time, Cade pulls himself up on the side of the tub. I have to snap myself out of the daydreamy haze I get looking at that naked baby laughing as he pulls up on the tub. He also pulls up on the highchair, his little car, his toy box...anything!
4. Talking skills. It quasi-kills me to say this, but the first word is officially "Dada" followed by "dad" followed by "hi-da" which translates to "Hi Dad". And the last two days he's said "hug". I do hesitate to officially add a word to a list until I hear it at least 10 times over a period of 2+ days. My mom thinks it's bunk that I don't give him credit the first time, but babbling noises that happen to sound like words aren't language to me. I look for purpose, generalization, articulation. I'm no mommy cheater, going around saying my kid says all sorts of crazy words way above his developmental level.
5. Going to sleep skills. It took only 3 check-up cycles on night one of sleep training (AKA "cry it out" until they sleep on their own) for Cade to figure out the system. Sure enough after 2 nights he was not crying when I laid him down in bed. He was such a great sleeper until daycare when the daycare never-ending runny nose congestion gunk never went away. We were waking up 2 times each at night to hold him for an hour and try to rock him to sleep again. After one platinum margarita with my friend Sara she pushed me to do it. Thanks Girl.
Random other milestones: eating Gerber freeze-dried yogurt that melts in his mouth, Gerber disintegrating cereal puffs (I've eaten more than him...), completely emptying out his toy basket and flipping it over, then balancing on his tummy, feet up in air on basket....
Funniest moment lately: When feeding Cade the last few nights he has burped and then he giggles and I start laughing and the two of us can't stop. I fake burp, then he cracks up. I tell him it's not good of me to teach him to burp and fart at the table, but he laughs even more, which gets me going. It will go on for a good five minutes. It's bliss. It's just us in our own world, and it makes the rest of my stress melt away.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Feeling blue, but blessed

I can't believe it's been so long... I don't know why blogging has me sad right now. I guess I just need to put the hard stuff out there so I can continue with the fun, lighthearted blogs. It's been 2 weeks tomorrow since my favorite (and by favorite it's because I see him the most, know him the best, etc) uncle passed away.

We had a really great fall, went to the arboreteum for his 60th birthday, got him well enough to come to Thanksgiving at our house with our families, and hung out with his brother, my other uncle (both mom's brothers) again. Then things just happened so quickly. For that I'm thankful and for that I'm still shocked.

My Uncle Steff was diagnosed with lung cancer four years ago. Nope, not a smoker, thank God. The journey could have been very different had that been the case. He and my aunt have this beautiful relationship, very real, but very loving, always so openly appreciative of each other even when the other wasn't present. For that I chose not to toss my bouquet at my wedding, but rather present it to my aunt. I'm so lucky to have her, she's an inspiring woman. Loves yoga, her husband, her son, and my favorite thing of all --- she always makes you feel like you're amazing and so special. God, even as people called and came over to visit my uncle in his final days and hours, she took time to tell each person how special they were to my uncle and to the family and something unique about themselves. Anyways, words can't say how in awe I've been of her. I'm lucky to have her among my role models.

Cade came with me to their house two weeks ago to be with the family. This child has pulled us through the neck deep mud that has been our grief this year. He's our hope and our light...He's our concrete proof that life is good. God is good. Good things do continue to happen in this world. Even when you can't make sense of the bad, and you want desperately to hate God and blame Him, you can't. You can't deny that God is good when you look at a baby. Life just sucks sometimes... I have to find ways sometimes to teach that to my students. I know that sounds insane, and why the hell do I have to teach that...but that's just the first part of the lesson, the little part that once you can get past you have to teach and practice the second part, which is "Move along". The journey doesn't stop. One of my favorite songs is "Move Along" by the All-American Rejects...The part I have to repeat to myself is "When all you got to keep is strong, move along, move along like I know you do. And even when your hope is gone, move along move along just to make it through". And after you get past that step, you continue to step 3, which is to Find the Good. Find the Good starts with going through the motions, living in denial for awhile, then accepting the truth behind the grief (don't get confused and accept the grief, that's not need to accept the TRUTH. My uncle died) At the core of that truth you find your peace. You find why that truth has to be okay for you. And having Peace is the key to opening the door to Good. Find Good again. Feeling good, doing good, having good times. Sure, the sad times are going to come back. Yep, you'll be surprised and it will take your breath away, then you rinse & repeat the process. (um, okay, I don't get too deep with the explain when I'm working with students through their problems. We do Step 1 - Move Along, Step 2 - Find the Good)

I lived this process so soon after Cade was born it was almost dangerous. My beloved, my beloved grandmother, the woman I called my idol died five days after Cade was born. Easter night. I was pretty pissed that I didn't get to bring Cade to meet her. But in the weeks that I muddled through this process, all the while Cade pulling me through it in fast cycles of Finding Good and falling back into my grief...I learned. I learned that the longer I can Find Good, the sweeter "New Normal" becomes. I could go on and on, and I'm no expert on this...unfortunately 2009 made me learn how to handle the death of a loved one.

So to end this sad note, and before I sign off to go to bed, I turn to music again. I put on Elton John's "Blessed" and I make a promise to myself and to Cade "to be blessed, to have the best, to pick a star from the sky.... to be blessed...." Tonight I turned off the tv, I held Cade til he slept and stared at the Christmas tree. Its colorful lights in the dark room the perfect illustration for the darkness of grief and the brightness wonder of what the future will hold. My grandmother had made a pillow that my mom had, and that I took to college with me, and which now rests on the rocker in Cade's nursery... "The Best is Yet to Come", as hard as that is to think about, I have to hope...Because the past with my family was pretty damn awesome, I can only imagine what God has in store next.

peace, hope, and blessings to you,
love, me

Goodnight bloggies.

Monday, December 7, 2009

8 month pics!

Someone call a doctor, my newborn woke up today as an 8 month old!!! Look at this little man, I can't believe it! I don't know which baby I prefer, 7 day old Cade or 8 month old Cade. I just adore them both. Of course now seeing the world through his eyes is amazing and beautiful, and sometimes scary.

^ That's my favorite face for sure! ^
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weekend Update in pics

Friday night: Saw A Christmas Carol 3D with the whole family, then came back to Grammie and Grandaddy's house to play with their new puppy, Tessie. Cade wasn't too aware of her, just cracked us up at his hamming for the camera. He watches for the camera, looks away and stops smiling when we put the camera down but grins and holds it as long as the camera is pointed at him. It's so ridiculous, but luckily we get good pics from his vanity! (Side note: First school picture came back, pretty cute, going to have to scan it in so you can see!)

Teething toy wins out over puppy time.
Saturday: Cade is 7 months old today! He dressed up in big boy clothes and hung out on his Lightning McQueen push car. The sound effects are pretty bad A, he loves it! I adore the focused face below. (and a pic that shows his true hair color! NOT a red head -- yet anyways:)
I had to hold his sign so he woudn't eat it/tear it/attack it (see last month). Good milestones on this bday! He tried a sippy cup of water today. Semi-able to hold it himself. V excited by teething opportunites the sippy spout offers. ALSO, Cade has started waving more consistently and frequently now. It's an open and close of the right hand, pointed towards himself, but he does do it in response to another wave and a "Hi Cade!"

He also had a trip to the dr Saturday morning for urgent care. We got a scary note from daycare saying another kid had RSV, if you google it says the 3 dreadful words "fatal in infants". Of course the damn symptoms are runny nose, cough, congestion. Um, hello! Kiddo has had those symptoms for WEEKS, cough just started howev and it sounded wet and with the trouble sleeping we decided to play it safe and get him checked. No RSV, yay! But we did leave with first ear infection diagnosis. Um, huh? He hasn't been obnoxiously fussy as we've heard babies get, so it was a little surprising. Apparently drainage from runny nose can get backed up and infected. Or something like that. Just an excuse for him to taste pink fruity bubblegummy Amoxycillin and wear cute hats. I'll take it! Poor little ears. Anyhoo, sleeping a bit better with the meds. Hasn't affected him too much! I guess the exciting weekend got to us, b/c I was rewarded with 2 big morning naps both Saturday and Sunday --- score! Check out the sweet nap I had with my babies on the couch this morning. Jealous, yes?!

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We had THE Best Halloween Ev-er!
After Friday's Fall Festival at daycare, Cade was ready to rock his lion costume again. This time the whole family joined in. I was Dorothy, Nick was the Scarecrow, Izzy was Toto, and Cade was the Friendly Lion. (No coward here!) Our parents came over for pizza and to hang out. Special kudos to Izzy for hopping right in the basket and sitting perfectly for almost a whole ten minutes! We think she was excited to be a part of the action, and maybe after seeing Cade in his infant carrier she was glad to finally get a special basket ot be carried in. She's the best dog! Anyways, here are some pics from the night!

After the trick or treaters left (we had our standard 25 kids come---best costume of the night was the 3 year old little penguin, best group of the night were the kids who said "Trick or Treat! Happy Halloween! Merry Christmas! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Hannukah!" They left quickly after Nick and I told them "Happy Martin Luther King Day! Happy Veteran's Day!" That sufficiently stumped them and they took their 3 candy bars each and left. Not so clever now, Mr. Incredible, eh?!

Grandma Lolli was so excited to babysit, so we packed him an overnight bag in case we got brave enough to leave him the whole night (and by brave we are referring to us missing hims!) and dropped him off. SOMEONE never got directions to his friend's house for the party, so we headed out for a date night instead. Um, crazy awkwardness when we walk into the bar and rollerboy skates up to us, pelvis pushed out and welcomes us in. Create this visual image fellow bloggies: Man, 6 ft tall (in rollerblades), 195 lbs, full white spandex bodysuit with sequins on chest, now refresh the image of the white spandex to include nearly sheer. Yep, we were able to verify that he was only wearing a jockstrap under that getup. And thus, the textbook definition of TMI.

We had a blast just being the 2 of us and can't believe we spent our first full night together just us, all night. We did a good job of not talking about Cade (okay, whatev, besides the obligatory "Damn we made a good baby" conversation that we have about once a week. If you're blessed with a good baby, you've got to acknowledge it. They tell you this rule in the parenting books. Be greatful.)

Anyways, we made it through the night at home without him. I woke up from 3:30-5:30 and just couldn't completely sleep. Finally at 7:00 I considered that sleeping in. With the time change it was "really 8:00" in my book, so I wanted to get the man. He had a fun night with Lolli and we had coffee and visited a little and now we're all back at home. The guys are in bed, Izzy and I are blogging then off to take a nap while we can! Hope everyone had a great Halloween! We have candy if you want to come trick or treat.
loves, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Lion & Toto
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

holy stinkfest batman!

So I haven't blogged in a bit, but I honestly have a subject that's been taking over my mind and I haven't thought of a clever yet appropriate way to write about it. So here it is, baby poop. All you future mommies, don't get scared. All you who condemn "bathroom talk", skip this entry.

In our meetings at school we always have to start with celebrations first. Celebrations for my Cade would be that we are officially a solids-eater! Yay! (And by solids I mean the practically liquified Gerber of course, bonus points on my mommy score card - whoop!)
We've mastered bananas, apples, sweet potatoes, peaches, green beans, green peas, apples & apricots, pears, and now prunes! We've also mastered our share of variety in baby cereal: rice, brown rice, and oatmeal. I'm so pretty much making up this whole food-introduction process as I go. I can't figure out when Stage 1 ends and Stage 2 begins and how to plan "meals" for him. No clue, but whatev! He's gaining weight and in 75%ile so I must not be a huge f'up, right?

Now comes for the concerns. The diapers. Ohhh, the dirty stinky diapers. Oh, the unholy smells. I had my first gag-reflex to a diaper yesterday. Not only was the stink outrageous, but it looked like um, looked like a giant melted Hershey kiss. I'm sorry, I know it's TMI and my mom will kill me for writing this, but I died when I opened that. And the thing is, I've so always been amazed at how powerful my love is for this sweet angel baby, that I've been --- for 6 months-- thinking my baby's poo don't stink.

I'm ridiculous, I know. I never wanted to be THAT mom, but I always was a bit suprised that I didn't start vomiting at the first #2 diaper from day 1. I've totally been living in poo-oblivion. Hell, I even totally accepted it when the pediatrician told me that brown, yellow, orange, AND green were all acceptable #2 colors. But forget it. The cloud has lifted. It's over. Bye-bye loving mommy filter on poo smells. Hello gag-city.

As I said earlier, I don't know much, but I have learned some BAD combinations of food (and by that I mean unholy diaper-ness):
- Peas & rice cereal
- Oatmeal & green beans (worst of all time bad)

Now I understand I've totally tempted the universe by putting this out there, but I'm certain tomorrow will not be pretty. Tonight was oatmeal, green beans, AND prunes (hey- they kid was hONgry!) Please Lord, let the #2 come at daycare. I pay too much money to not get SOME perks!

Good night baby bowel Gods. Bless me and my Diaper Champ and Lysol. We'll be ready.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Momma's Punkin in the Pumpkins

I know, Cheesefest 2009 with the title, but I couldn't resist. One of those daydreams I had whilst rubbing my big prego belly was of taking my baby to a pumpkin patch. Something about a sweet butterball baby lounging with big round pumpkins warms my heart like a tall nonfat light whip mocha. (also something I dreamt of whilst prego)

Sunday was the big day. Cade and I loaded up snacks (toasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, dark chocolates, Almond Hershey kiss mix for me; rice cereal and Enfamil for him), grabbed our jackets and picked up Grammie and Grandaddy. We met my aunt, uncle, and cousin at the Arboreteum to hang out for my uncle's 60th birthday (shout out!). It was the perfect day, clear skies, absolutely gorgeous. Strolling around looking at the millions of pumpkins, gorgeous fall foliage, and flowers everywhere was so relaxing. (okay, and exciting to see all the cute kids getting pics taken---haha, and hilarious to see fat brides in rather unfortunate wedding gowns, but I digress)

Cade loved it, he was so attentive to the colors and so loving the pumpkins. He's decided that faux-coughing is a clever means of communication. I'm sure other parents were thinking I was parent o' the year letting my baby cough and choke and sputter, but he was so faking for attention. As soon as you looked at him you got this big grin and if you faux-coughed back at him he'd just do it again and again. (Before you go calling CPS we just had 6 month check up and got clean bill of health, so go get over yourself...oo, I'm nasty tonight!)

Anyhoo, you don't really care to hear more, you want to see the pics, so here goes. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

6 months old pics!

Still the happiest baby on the block!

Showing off sitting skills.

It was only a matter of time... let the birthday boy have his day.

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