Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hanna Barberra got it right

Today we have discovered the Boomerang channel by Cartoon Network. Boomerang plays old school cartoons. I feour pure joy at seeing a cartoon start with the roaring lion and the brag line " in technicolor"!!! You know that equals some greatness. Aside from nostalgia, there is another reason to appreciate these cartoons. The creators of these had parents in mind. Characters don't even talk in these shows! The soundtrack is instrumental, classical music. Kids learn the difference between staccato and legato. Kids learn to read facial expressions and body language if the characters to derive meanings and emotional context of situations. No Baby Einstein needed.

My favorite perk of the old school cartoon.....the creators had the foresight to know that naming a show "yo Gabba Gabba" and having characters with ob-nox-ious voices and lame catch phrases. Ever see Wonder Pets? The damn show has a duckling with a lisp. And it comes on as I'm cooking dinner. Highly dangerous considering I'm weilding knives and hot pans when I hear those voices. Oh, and the lack of character voices and theme songs means I don't run the risk of having said theme song stuck in my head at 2:00am. This happens every time we watch Caillou, which is banned from my house. "I'm just a by that's four, each day I learn some more.". Shut the F up, Caillou! Why are you still bald, you little punk?

I'm convinced that the evil geniuses who create today's cartoons are a modern mix of advertisers (who know how to brand the shit out of something so you can't go to any store without seeing a tempting $15 Mickey Mouse tampon your toddler HAS to have) and druggies who know that Backyardigans are f'ing sweet to trip out with. That does me no good either.

I have major beef with those who try to "bring back" my favorites but end up totally bastardizing them. My Little Anime Pony? 3D Care Bears that don't ride in cloud cars and do the "Care Bear Stare"? Where the hell is Inspector Gadget when I need him? Bring him back!!

Another unexpected perk of old school cartoons? The moral lessons. These Puritan creators scare little minds into doing good in life, lest they end up in hell. Check out Bugs Bunny. Ever notice how Yosemite Sam is always going to hell? And it's hilarious to see who they run into down in hell. I just saw an episode that was mafia themed. Bugs has to outsmart Babyface and gang. It's violent as, well, as hell so I don't know how it ended, but it was totally going to be good times for parents. I guess it was old school Southpark.

One benefit of today's cartoons is the emphasis on education and making sure our kids don't turn into fatties. Thanks to Dora Cade can speak Espanol, Mickey taught Cade to count, and Special Agent Oso has taught Cade how to blow his nose, brush his teeth, make salad, and buckle up. (Oso is our family favorite!).

Just like all things in life, we need a balance. I just hope Disney and Boomerang brings back some more old school favorites. Original Mickey Mouse Club, Care Bears, and even some Maya the Bee would be nice. Until then, we will be a loyal Disney channel family. With occasional trips to Sprout for Sesame Street who keeps it real AND keeps up with the times. (Bert and Ernie do CSI skits! Hilarious!!)

What are your favorite old school and new school cartoons? Any beef you have with modern cartoons? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big Brother Love

There are no words... I just adore the special smile Cade has just for Devyn. I never have seen thsi smile until I saw him look at her. He has a special way about him whenever he looks at and talks to his Baby Sister Girl.

Whenever Cade talks to Devyn, he starts the conversation with a kiss. Wouldn't you love to be loved that way??

Sweet hugs. He loves to sing to her. His special song for Devyn is "Wheels on the Bus".

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1 month old

The onesie says "Dreamer", so appropriate for her mood during her first monthly birthday photo shoot:) My God I love this sweet little pink baby.
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Baby Sister Girl

It's been one month!! Our little family of 3 is settled into a family of 4 (okay, as settled as you are one month after adding a new baby into the mix). These pics are from our first night home with Devyn. Our sweet little lhasa-poo-poo Izzy was SO excited just as she was with Cade. I don't know if I blogged it earlier, but Izzy knew I was pregnant. She curled up with me right around my belly and she was more protective of me when people came into the house. She's just the best dog EVER! Just like we did with Cade, we let her sniff and kiss the baby and gave her lots of pets and cuddles as she did. So, we kind of took the same approach with Cade.
I'd had a summer date day with Cade where we grabbed Starbucks and hung out at Starbucks chilling with books. I bought him two book about being a big brother. We read them almost every day and talked about being a big brother. He didn't really seem to care. He knew the baby was in my tummy (and often thought the baby was in his tummy too) and helped get the new nursery ready. I tried to take him the newborn nursery in the hospital but that has now been blacked out at our hospital, no viewing of newborns allowed!!! Anyways, he got a baby doll and we practiced being gentle and loving. We prepped like it was the BAR. When we were shopping one day, Cade bought Devyn a little Sesame Street Abby Cadaby doll at Nordy's. He decorated a gift bag for her and we wrapped it together to give the baby when she was born. Her first birthday gift!
Well, he passed with flying colors! Before we bought Devyn home we had the kids exchange presents at the hospital. Cade didn't quite know what to think that Devyn had gotten him something. Is it possible my 2 year old called "Bullshit" on Devyn shopping for him? She got him an Elmo doll. (Although Mommy wanted her to buy Cookie Monster, it appeared that Cade was more excited by Elmo at the time, so she chose Elmo). It was kind of presh when we were leaving the hospital, me carrying Devyn, Cade carrying Elmo. He ran to the nurse station and proceeded to tell the nurse that his baby got him Elmo. God bless the sweet nurse who engaged him for a couple of minutes! It was so cute.
Cade showed Devyn her nursery when we got home. He even is sharing his lambie rug with her!

Seeing him love her and talk to her is the best thing in the world. Any new mom will tell you they never want their newborn to get bigger and grow up. Now that I'm on baby #2 (despite that, for now anyways, we feel like our family is complete) I cannot WAIT for her to be big enough for them to play. I think of all the fun stuff my brother and I did and I want that for them. I can't wait for them to both be cuddling in bed with us, opening Christmas presents together, their first lemonade stand (or colored acorns;), playing in the rain together, getting grounded together. I love to cuddle little ol' her, but I am excited more than I thought I'd be about them being kids together!

My favorite moment so far is the family going to Devyn's first doctor appointment. Cade was kinda psyched that the dr would be seeing Devyn, NOT him... So he was right on the table with her most of the visit. After she got her vaccine and started to cry, Cade came over to her, petted her head, kissed her and said, "It's okay, Baby Sister Girl. Big brother here." Best. Moment. Of. My. Life.

Dear God, please let them always look out for each other and love each other. Let them know how blessed they are to have each other. Let nothing come between them. They are each other's First Best Friend. Let them stay this way forever.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011


The clock says it's 1:48am. I hear the soft "click, click" and I feel perfect peace. In the soft light of my rock lamp I can't help but smile as my little bundle snuggles in my arms post feeding. Occasionally making little kitten noises as she stretches and snuggles back into the sweet spot at the crook of my arm. Heaven! I love it when a little dreamy giggle escapes her lips. Oh I would pay so much money to get a glimpse of her little newborn dreams. What makes her smile in her sleep? I am dying to know.

Part of me is distracted by the wonders of my late night Googling. Most of me is consumed in the perfect cuddle with my daughter. I am a recovering addict of the newborn cuddle. I had almost grown past this insatiable desire as Cade got to be an active wiggly toddler. Now I can't pick what I love more. Snuggling I'm. His twin bed. Hearing him say "'mon on, mommy" and pat is bed for me to "come on, lay down". Then reading him a story and having his little arm pull my neck in close to his and feel the pressure of our warm bodies, and hear our hearts beating together. ...ll. Or do I love this? Holding her close to me, milk drunk, smelling her downy peach fuzz head and kissing it all over without her waking up. Feeling so lucky when she curls her fingers around my pinkie. Now I'm getting my fix from two powerful drugs: son and daughter. Toddler and newborn.

I just came across a beautiful poem. An ode to a mother's rocking chair. Sounds silly, but it's beautiful. And perfect. And everything my life is right this moment. Thank you to Leslie, from for sharing this!

"Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peek-a-boo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo,
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Devyn's Birth Day

Almost 3 weeks post birth, I'm finally able to grab a second to blog Devyn's birth story. I've wanted to write about it since the minute it happened, I was so amazed with how different it was! By amazed I mean, that I'm still waiting to wake up from my perfect dream delivery and beautiful baby and be stuck back in the labor and delivery room with killer contractions and feeling EV-RY-THING like Cade's birth.
My fabulous mother-in-law, Lolli, came over early in the morning to watch Cade while Nick and I were at the hospital. Thankfully we were able to get a "before" picture....Can't lie, I felt like I was getting my first day of school pic made. I definitely had those butterflies and anxiety of knowing the next year is going to be so different, but so AWESOME! At least you hope so. You think you're ready for this, you've told all your friends that you've got this in the bag and you're going to rule the school this year. You smile for your mom, but you kind of want to run and cry just in case your day is scarier that you had thought.

Eventually we made our way to Plano Presby (I couldn't stop hugging and kissing Cade and Izzy and giving Lolli instructions, nervous wreck!) and we checked in with Gold Tooth and got registered. Luckily we ended up in Room #10. (Turns out had we ended up in Room #8, there was a highly likely chance there would be a VERY interesting and unusual birth story according to nurses & my OB).

The pitocin was started at 9:00am. After watching the Today show for an hour I decided laying on my back was too uncomfortable. One of the lessons I remembered my prenatal yoga teacher (before I became a prenatal yoga dropout) was to move around, your whole pregnancy you are discourage from laying flat on your back and the first thing "They" do when you go into labor is put you flat on your back. So I spoke up and asked to move into a more comfy position (something I didn't do in my naive pregnancy #1, thinking "Doctors and nurses are experts, I'll trust them".... dumb move: speak up and get even better service!)

Nice nurse #1 moved my bed and I was so thankful. I told her "I will do whatever you say to get this baby to come out faster and smoother"! She said "Lets try this then" and moved the bed into a super weird, but suprisingly comfy position. Nick called it "The catcher's squat", I called it "Happy Buddha". The idea was to give baby room to move down. I was so happy because all the pressure was instantly lifted off my back and sciatic nerve.

Zenned out prego. My nurse and OB thought I was too happy for someone who had been on Pitocin all afternoon. I dared them to up it, but they said to wait until they broke my water. I had a million billion assurances that this delivery would be easier. Something about my lady parts being a gravel road during Cade's delivery and now a paved superhighway this time.

Anyhoo, Zen prego only lasted so long. I was "allowed" to "eat" juice (I know, "eat juice"...grr) or jello or water once an hour. And I could only pick one! But ice chips were unlimited. F-you! I'm about to do a dang IronMan in here and I only get juice, water, or Jello? Where's my BURGER!?! Oh, and Vent #1: nobody comes in when your hour is up and asks you what you'd like to eat this hour. You have to remember that for yourself!! I'm sorry, but a little service in the food area would have been appreciated!

Lunch of champions below.

Disclaimer: Nick snuck me 4 renegade Reese's Pieces. I credit those little bad boys and the Jello with my unbelievably fast delivery.

So I had come up with a game plan with the anesthesiologist the day before. Problem during Cade's delivery was that I didn't feel my legs but I did feel Queen Victoria. I felt her open those gates let her army tear through the walls of the castle so to speak. Epidurals work differently for every woman every time, but I was assured that if you wait as long as you can at least the relief the medicine provides is measurable compared to the pain you were feeling drug-free. We agreed that once I couldn't breathe through my contractions I'd request the epidural.

At 2:30pm my contractions started to get tricky. It had felt like a doable workout, almost laughable all morning, how easy they were. "I can take more, give me more!" But by 2:30 I had to work through them. Previously I had been pacing around my room, did lunges, stretched my legs. Watched Devil Wears Prada and Sex and the City. Crunched ice. Now I was laying on my side and breathing through them. I told myself I had to go an hour longer than I did with Cade's labor before calling the anesthesiologist. That was supremely tough to even make it to 3:00! Oh, and somewhere in there, Nice Nurse #1 was replaced by Nurse #2 (who later earned her "Nice" title). I was so disappointed! Nurse #2 said Nurse #1 had to leave unexpectedly. Um, without saying "Bye!" ? What the f, Nurse #1?? I thought we had bonded! And there you go, leaving my high and dry, no baby and no goodbye. I felt used. Laid up there in my open booty hospital gown and not a goodbye. Luckily I had my faithful Pitocin painful contractions and "breathing through" to distract me.

So at 3:00 I had the nurse call in for the epidural. After AGAIN signing away that I understood the epidural could paralyze or kill me, 45 long minutes later, I got my magic juice. I was concerned howevs, that I could feel my right side. The anesthesiologist and nurse helped roll me to my right side to let gravity bring the juice to the right side. It worked and within 5 minutes my nurse suggested we try a practice push. "Now, if I say 'WHOA' that means STOP Pushing, got it? If I say, 'WHOA' that means Stop right away and we'll get your doctor here STAT". Um, okay, lets practice!!!

I pushed, which didn't even feel like a push that's how magic this juice was, and halfway through the push the nurse says "WHOA!!!" and she runs to the phone and instructs Nick and I not to talk, laugh, move, breathe. Um, cool. I'm good at being quiet. My boss is laughing hard right now if she's reading this. I'm the teacher who gets told to hush during staff meetings.

My doctor instantly appears and casually says "See, I told you it would be faster?! Lets go!" All of the sudden, the Showtime overhead lights are on and there are nurses prepping the baby warmer and everyone is suddenly covered in gloves and masks. My spa-like hotel room has now instantly transformed into a delivery room. So weird.

So my dr says to push and I push through one count to 10 and she says "Great! Look down, she's halfway here!" No shit?!! Liar!!! I look down and there's my baby! "Push again, this time nice and easy, very slow" I give a tiny little push really slowly and she's out!

It felt like several minutes before I heard her beautiful cry, but there she was, perfect and tiny and I didn't even FEEL A THING! For real. I would tell you Cade felt like the Ring of Fire. Devyn wasn't even a tiny little fart. She was so easy!! And cute!!

I was so happy my hair looked decent. I mean, so happy my baby got an Apgar of 9.9! I was so amazed at the whole experience. Tests on the placenta showed no signs of the CMV I was exposed to having been passed to the baby, Thank you God! Devyn looked just like Cade, so incredibly exciting!!! And she was and is as sweet as can be. Mommy's little honey cakes. Daddy's little princess. Cade's little "Baby Sister Girl" was here!! It was one of the best days ever.

And I even got the hospital's BLT AND my daddy bought me a big juicy Gazeebo burger and fries! It was a perfect day.

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