Posted by casey on March 31, 2010 in Caden, Family, Snapshots

The Zoolander Face




Posted by casey on March 29, 2010 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles, Family, Home

dsc_0350_edited-1Technically we could now refer to Caden in months, or month I suppose.  Caden is officially, as of this past Saturday, one month old.  Can you believe it???  It has been one month since those 31 hours of work and nine months of cooking before that brought us our baby boy.  I know everyone says it goes fast, and blah, blah blah, but I truly cannot believe it has been a whole month!  That being said, I am ecstatic that 4 weeks has gone by because that means that the house arrest we put ourselves under with him is over and we can join the world again!!!!!  I never thought I would be so excited to go grocery shopping but I kind of miss the mundane simplicity of meandering the aisles for the evening’s dinner materials.  Enough about that. 

As you can tell from the picture, he has more than gained enough to be back to his birthweight.  I think those Michelin man rolls on his arm there give you a hint of his appetite and at one month from his birthday, he successfully tipped the scales at 9 pounds 11 ounces, so ten pounds this week, here we come!

During Week 4 We Learned…

– I can eat any meal without actually chewing or tasting it.  I’m thinking about joining one of those hot dog eating contests because I think I could give them a run for their money on dsc_0400_edited-1the speed.
– That I would like someone to bathe me and massage me for 45 minutes to get me nice and relaxed to be tucked in.  Oooohhh and the tucking in part.  Any takers out there?
– Apparently you can use meat tenderizer to get “mother’s milk” stains out (it stains because of the protein).  So, not only am I dairy cow, but I am a dairy cow who is being eyed for a steak. (That is rare that cows have a double specialty.) Maybe I should throw a little Lawry’s seasoning salt in the washer too and make my laundry and them myself even more appetizing.
– Even if you just fed him, if you are trying to get out the door, he is going to wake up and be hungry.
– Babies make everyone extremely generous, and the generosity just keeps coming.
– If you want him to spit up, hand him to Colter…he loves to spit up on his Dad.  He loves to projectile spit up on Mom.  Either way it is a winning situation right?  I mean one of us thinks its funny for the other so at least there is some entertainment provided by the baby vomit.

Caden’s Fourth Week


Close But Not Quite

Posted by casey on March 25, 2010 in Puppy Palace, Snapshots

In case you haven’t heard, we got snow again this past weekend.  Seventy-three and gorgeous one day, 6 inches of snow that night and into the next day.  Anyway…Thrasher was so distraught that his feet had to touch this stuff again he made the final decision that it just wasn’t worth freezing his paws (and technically his belly since he sinks into it that far) to make it into the yard.


So he lifted his leg on the pot on the porch. Classic.

Yes…instead of picking him up and tossing him in the yard, I took a picture of it.  You wouldn’t have been able to see me throwing him into the yard so I thought this was a better choice.  Plus, when the snow melts it just washes everything off right?  I knew you would agree!



Posted by casey on March 20, 2010 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles, Family, Home

dsc_0256_edited-1I find it no small coincidence that while we dealt with this week being the third year without Mom, it was the third week that Caden has been in our life.  The third week of learning new love, growing bonds, and yes, exciting adventures in bodily fluids.  However, this third week meant that Colter’s two week “paternity leave” came to an end and alas, he had to return to work. (Enter dramatic actress with hand delicately draped over her forehead while sighing and leaning back.) 

I just plain felt bad for him.  For one thing, it was really only as if he got one week with his baby boy since he was sick the first week, and secondly, well, we had grown quite accustomed to our little routine.  Fortunately for me, I had already had that first week of “single parenthood” under my belt when Colter was quarantined away from us so the adjustment for me wasn’t as major as it could have been.  More than anything, I missed his company but Caden and I managed each day as we waited to greet him back home again!

A few important events took place this week.  First, Caden is rapidly porking up and will be hitting the nine pound mark in the next few days!  I would say he has recovered quite well from his initial eating protest and dramatic weight lost that first week.  I’m telling you, this kid has quite the appetite but as long as he is eating and hydrated I will feed him as often as he wants.  I do not want to go back to that first couple days when he didn’t want to eat!  The next “event” has nothing to do with Caden, and is completely shallow but somewhat thrilling nonetheless.  This past Monday I was feeling like torturing myself I suppose and decided to try putting on pre-pregnant jeans just to see what I was working with.  Ta- daaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!! Wam, Bam, buttoned and zipped I wore those size two denim butt huggers all week because I was so excited that they were on.  I was probably just excited to be in pants that actually buttoned and zipped and didn’t just have an elastic band over my belly too.  I mean, the elastic is convenient, but something about the routine of buttoning your pants was missed in those basketball belly months.  Shallow I know. Important? Not at all but definitely a good self esteem booster that has made me even more ready to get cleared to workout in two more weeks.  So Caden is inflating and I am deflating just as we should be. Just what you wanted to know right?

This coming week will mark the end of the “4 Week House Arrest” period that we and our pediatrician set for ourselves to try and fend off the last of those cold and flu viruses, so our dsc_0314_edited-1adventures together will really start after that!  Yes, we have left the house…but just not to really crowded, public places.  He has been to his Nonna and Papaw’s house, to Auntie Dana’s and today he went to the studio I took prenatal yoga at for a Baby’s First Massage class! (I highly recommend this studio, e-mail me if you have any questions about it.)

Three Weeks Has Shown Us…
– While yes, the “yuck” factor of spit-up goes away really the first time it happens, it is still always a bit of a shock when you get vomited on.
– You can hear the money falling out of your pocket when a brand new diaper is “used” before it has even been fully put on in a diaper change. :)
– Despite its ridiculous name, the “My Breast Friend” boppy pillow really is the greatest model, and the random click belt around your back is a miracle in itself.
– All baby toys have hideous sounding baby music that sounds like it is from a broken machine.  Why don’t they just make it sound like normal music?
– Despite their being baby music available on every “appliance” made for him, he much prefers the tunes of Tyrone Wells, Jason Reeves, John Mayer and the list goes on.
– When trying to eat, blog or do anything in-between feedings I can’t talk.  If I do, he hears me, turns his head towards me and decides he is hungry.  Colter finds this hilarious and has suggested that I resort to whispering so he can’t hear my voice.
– It takes me approximately 30 minutes to silence my brain from mommy-hearing enough to relax and fall asleep.  Even then though, the mommy hearing is on.
– He is perfectly tiny still.  His fingers, ears, coos, burps, are all so tiny, and precious and perfect….even when spit up or worse accompanies them!

As I have done each week , here is his third documented for you. Enjoy!

Caden’s Third Week


Pinches Not Needed

Posted by casey on March 17, 2010 in Caden, Family, Snapshots

dsc_0282_edited-1 Don’t Pinch Me, I Wore My Green!

Caden successfully survived his first holiday without peeing or spitting up on his entire green outfit until this evening.  Even Dad got dsc_0277_edited-1to see him in his green before he had to be put in a new “outfit”. 






Posted by casey on March 17, 2010 in Family, Grieving My Way, Home

Just as I mentioned last year, to let this day pass as if it is any other day, as if their is nothing significant or heartbreaking about it is not fair to me, my family or her friends.  To ignore today is unhealthy.  To pretend it didn’t happen is denial.  To embrace the day is one more step in moving forward.  Today is the day that forever will not be lucky because of the Irish but will always be the day that my mom was taken from us.

Three Years.
Three Years Ago Today, She Died.

orchidI’m sorry that I won’t sugarcoat it but I think all of the nicer ways to say it further disguise what really happened as well.  In order to have acceptance, you have to accept it.  So, to accept it I have to use the terminology that is most blunt and doesn’t make it kinder than it is, because there is nothing kind about our loss.  While there is most definitely nothing kind about it there have certainly been lessons, growth in relationships and just what was said a moment ago, acceptance.  I cannot believe that it has been three years.  In fact, it is shocking that it has been so long when as someone recently told me, the sting can sometimes be as fresh as if it was yesterday.

This third year has brought a certain peace to me that I am aware may not be with everyone because we all move through things at a different pace, in different ways.  When I reflect though I have realized that year one was a careful dance.  A dance where we tiptoed around each other, we circled the truth and treated each other as if we might break at any moment.  The truth is, we might have and at times we did break.  We almost ignored her absence while being completely overcome by it at the same time which yes, sounds impossible.  Year one was almost one of denial even though it was very obvious and fresh to all of us.  At least for me I think that about year one when year two hit me.  Year two hurt.  Year two was full of confusion, frustration and learning.  Learning how to communicate with each other, learning to have relationships that we once had through her instead of on our own, learning to do it without her and not be devastated every minute.  Year two consisted of tears of reflection as opposed to year one’s tears of shock.  Year two hurt.  For me, year three has been about acceptance.  In order to live, to really live and be focused on my family I had to make peace.  What I think most misunderstand about this is they think that means you are over it, you don’t think about it, that dsc_0259_edited-1it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t hurt.  False.  Extremely false.  What this means is that I can live, I can move on because I have learned that I can in fact do it without her.  Do I want it that way? No. Would I rather have her here? Of course.  But can I do it? Yes.  This year I have accepted that while I will always be sad for us, we can’t continue to be sorry for ourselves.  That is not a way to live, that is not an example to set.

What is difficult to me now aside from the obvious absence is thinking of all of the things, events and life moments that have passed without her.  All of the things that I never would have imagined doing without my mother, the things I never thought my Dad would have to endure without her and the memories that were made with her in mind but not in the moment, not in the pictures, not physically there.  What I do know though and it goes for myself, my brother and my Dad is that she would have been PROUD.

dsc_0225_edited-1She would be proud that I finished my degree in the months after her death. Proud of my first home with Colter and the true home we have turned it into.  My mother would have been proud of all of us at my wedding, proud that we made it, proud that we honored her and proud that I married the man she had already embraced and welcomed into our family.  As someone who loved children she would have been proud of the teacher I became and the dedication I gave to the job.  She would have been so proud to see my brother turn into a father and watch him tote around his baby girl, beginning his family with my wonderful sister in law.  Her heart would be full of pride as she watched my Dad step full force into protector of our family, constantly making sure we are okay while working through it himself.  She would have been so proud to watch me grow through my pregnancy and to have seen me hold my new baby boy for the first time.  Proud to watch my first moments with Caden, proud to see Colter and I become even closer, proud to see us thrive and proud to have a grandson, to see him, hold him and love him.

She Would Have Been Proud


Midday and Mindless

Posted by casey on March 16, 2010 in Home

I wanted to help you by informing you of a fact I have recently learned so that you weren’t left out.  I wanted to help you and just tell you this so you didn’t have to wonder, worry or rack your brain about it.  I wanted to help you so that you wouldn’t think that you were missing out….

There is NOTHING on TV during the day.

I mean I get it, primetime TV occurs during the hours when the networks have determined the most people are at home.  The most people who may or may not get to watch anything during their busy evening and chances are they are just recording it for later.  The most people who yes, spend their entire day hopefully contributing to society with a job of some sort and don’t have the option to watch a “show” of any sort.  It’s a show for sure, a s**tshow. (I’m sorry, I didn’t have a better term and yes I have been working on my swearing and have greatly decreased its frequency but it is occasionally still necessary for impact – like with daytime TV.  )

img_6094I however am contributing to the future of our world by being home with this baby boy and I would greatly appreciate something other than trash to watch. (How was that for a dramatic hissy fit?)  Here is the thing, I don’t expect you to sympathize or even empathize (yes, there is a difference) with me because if I was at work I probably wouldn’t either…that is totally fair.  But like I said, you should know.  I record enough junk to keep me entertained during middle of the night feedings, so during the day something else would be nice.

This is what I am working with:
– The Wendy Williams Show – “How you doing?”.  It’s soooo bad it is hard to turn away because I can’t figure out why it is still on the air.  Oh yeah, because it is midday and “no one” is home to watch it. I AM!!!!
– Judge Pirro, Judge Alex, Judge Mathis, Judge “I may or may not be legally allowed to rule on anything but I want a TV show” and the riff-raff who are trying to profit in addition to outlandish lawsuits involving Baby Daddies and bite marks.
– Soap Operas. Need I say more? I just can’t bring myself to watch.  How about a realistic drama like Grey’s Anatomy? Yes, I realize that was a bit of an ironic statement.
– Maury.  He wishes he was Jerry Springer, everything involves a paternity test and whatever happened to his wife Connie Chung anyway?

I’m telling you, it doesn’t get better than that.  You never thought you would be waiting for the hour that Ellen and Oprah come on so that TV could begin to turn around for the day.  Caden and I go for walks, listen to music and stare at each other to avoid turning it on which is probably good.  However a nice daytime series similar to something shown in the evenings would be nice.  Don’t tell me that is what the soaps are, because the stereotype that I am going to sit around, watch soap operas and eat “bon-bons” all day because I am at home being a mom doesn’t sit well with me.  It isn’t even that I so much have the time to just sit and watch as baby boy keeps me quite occupied, but something in the background that doesn’t involve screaming at each other or a trivial, over-dramatized situation would be nice.

Maybe I should develop and produce a new series.  That is realistic right?
Mindless and soothing yet interesting and inspiring.
Midday TV redesigned my way.


Bright Eyes

Posted by casey on March 15, 2010 in Caden, Snapshots

dsc_0170_edited-1bw-copySomebody is waking up!dsc_0164_edited-1bw

Caden is beginning to spend a bit more time awake and observing his world inbetween a few feedings instead of always sleeping.  While still very mellow, we are getting the chance to look into those eyes we waited so long to see!


Day 14

Posted by casey on March 13, 2010 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles, Family, Home

dsc_0171_edited-1bw-copySeven days ago I posted about surviving, and thriving really through our first week with our new addition.  I can’t believe that we can already add another week to that and on top of the two week label, I still feel as though we are thriving.  Within this week one important date did pass, Caden’s due date.  While we always knew and believed that the date that is “assigned” as to what his birthday should be is as magical as dragons sleeping on rainbows and never really thought he would come to us on that specific day it was fun nonetheless.  Yesterday, March 12th was that assigned date and it passed with us already having welcomed him into our world 13 days prior.  To all you doubters, I told you he was coming early…never doubt a pregnant woman who can feel her child sit on her bladder and had her OB confirm that the reason it felt like I was sitting on his head everytime I sat down was  because that was basically, exactly what was happening.  Just let me have this moment so I can say, “I told you so.”

The greatest thing this week has been that Colter fully recovered from Strep and my single motherhood daysdsc_0120_edited-1-copy of Week One ended as he was able to hold and snuggle his baby boy again.  Yes, he was a HUGE help the first week but mainly in the kitchen and across the room unable to touch Caden.  I felt bad for both of them, but this week he got to make up for it in dirty diapers galore!  Fortunately he doesn’t mind and shares all of the “duties” that he can and makes up for the fact that he can’t help much with feeding him in a million other ways.  Week 3 will mark his return to work, so I am sure I will have plenty to say about that!

This week, Caden has taught us…
–  That getting peed and vomited on can in fact be quite hilarious…especially when watching it happen to your spouse and not to you.
– We should all be thankful we fit in the seats in our vehicles because car seats look terribly uncomfortable.
– You can do anything with one hand, or one foot, or well…with your mouth that you used to be able to thoughtlessyly do with two hands.  (I have really mastered opening a granola bar package with two fingers in the middle of the night.)
– Just like him we can be sound asleep one minute, wide awake the next to decipher the noise he is making and then right back to sound asleep.
– I don’t go through near as many outfits as he does a day thus the years of taunting me about the amount of laundry I produce are over. Phew!
– Middle of the night TV is almost as bad as middle of the day TV.  Surprisingly, middle of the day TV is still the worst.
– You better time bath time just right because if not, that tub will become a toilet in a matter of seconds.

Most importantly, Caden has confirmed that we are capable and he is content…for now. Our family has settled in and today I asked Colter what happened in that childhood song after “First comes love, then comes marriage, next comes baby in a baby carriage.”  I decided that the next verse should have something about winning the lottery in it.

Caden’s Second Week
(Click the link and then slideshow in the top right corner)

The slideshow from his first week can still be accessed at the bottom of this post.


Brotherly Love

Posted by casey on March 12, 2010 in Caden, Puppy Palace, Snapshots

Don’t let the picture make you nervous, I swear it’s fine.


Bo could be the ultimate baby-sitter if CPS wouldn’t be called, he LOVES babies and always has to make sure they are fine and he approves of who is holding them.  He gets up with us at every feeding and goes to peek at him whenever he makes a sound.  He tickles him with his whiskers, gives kisses on his head (not mouth, again, don’t worry) and snuggles us when we are on the sofa.

I think we made Bo the happiest dog on Earth, and Caden doesn’t seem to mind one bit.

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