Thursday, February 8, 2018

Andromeda - Month 2!

Check this out - an on time post!  Andromeda started out the second month of her life while still in Florida.  Life was a lot of walks in the stroller with grandma and grandpa, gazing around on the play mat, getting reacquainted with her puppies once they got back from the dog trainer, trying out baby slings/carriers (she was very unfortunately not a fan...), starting to use a bottle (this one is kind of a crapshoot on whether she  likes it or not), and plenty more snuggles with family.  And the best part?  She started sleeping much longer stretches at night, much to my delight!  One night I got about 1.5 hours of sleep in 30 minute increments and the following night I somehow miraculously got 6 hours in a row - it was like a switch flipped and all of a sudden she was a champion sleeper!!
Not a huge fan of the boba wrap...

These two have a mutual girl crush

Some extra snuggles with Great Grandpa

Andromeda's first bottle from Daddy
Finally we loaded up the car and headed back to Houston in the middle of the month.  Andromeda did awesome on the ride home, she was eating more efficiently so our stops weren't as long and she even maintained her newly acquired excellent sleep habits in the hotel.
Scraping ice off of the car so we can go to Andi's 1 month dr. appointment
Upon returning home we were socked with our second snow/ice storm of the winter and so S got to stay home from work and hunker down with us.  We've been working on developing a loose schedule and establishing a new normal.  Andi's sleep habits have mostly improved - she usually goes to bed between 10-11 pm and wakes up sometime around 6-7 am to eat and then if it was closer to 6 am I try to get her back to sleep until 8ish.  She has been doing amazing with the sleeping thing for the most part, but of course we've hit some bumpy patches too.  She's gone through a few fussy/growth spurt periods where she won't go back to sleep after a 5 or 6 am wake up or where she wakes up throughout the night to feed.  We've gotten spoiled with the whole night sleep thing, so these blips are a little rough on us. Andromeda now also loves her mamaroo, prefers being held facing away from us so she can see all around her, and enjoys going on walks through the neighborhood with her puppies.
Andi loves the green frog on her play mat

Finally a fan of the mamaroo (which has been a lifesaver while I get washed up in the morning!)

Tummy time on mommy

Getting ready a walk with mommy, daddy, and her puppies
Andromeda's new skills this month include some pretty impressive beginning motor skills.  She has discovered her hands, of course she has mastered shoving said hands into her mouth, and at the end of the month she just started getting into grabbing.  She has successfully grabbed her toy keys a number of times, our fingers a few times, and these last few days the blankets that we cover her with in her car seat and rock and play.  Her neck and head control is getting way better and she is starting to make more noises too!
Making noises and "talking" with daddy

Daddy's plan is falling into place.  Step 1: grab keys. Complete! Step 2: drive!

Since getting home Andi has gotten to spend some more time with S's family.  She loves chilling with Uncle K when he comes to visit!  We've started trying to get social with our friends again too, but since Andromeda wants to eat about every 2 hours it somewhat limits us.  I've been trying to keep our outings close to home for now and they've been going well.  We've been to a housewarming party, two game nights, and two super bowl parties so far.  And we've also looked into daycare facilities for when I go back to work.  We're on the waitlist for the daycare at the space center, but until that opens up we needed a backup.  After looking at 5 different facilities we settled on one right around the corner from work with a large infant room.  She'll start going there in mid-March.
Chilling with Uncle K
Andromeda helping out at game night
Other than that, we're just enjoying our baby snuggles when she's actually willing to remain immobile (basically just when she's asleep...this kid likes to stay active!)
This was supposed to be tummy time, but wound up turning into nap time...
Sleeping in mommy's arms after staying up fussing all night.
Andi rounded our this month with a Dr. appointment where we learned she's just pushed past the 10 lb mark and has grown yet another inch!  Happy 2nd month Andromeda!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Andromeda's 1 Month Update

Yes, I'm nearly 2 weeks overdue posting this, but considering that I was a full year overdue posting anything from 2017, I feel like I'm actually doing pretty well...

Snow in front of our house

And in the hospital parking lot

First time holding Andi!

Getting inspected - you can kind of see the bruise on her noggin' due to her forehead first approach to life...
Andromeda had a super eventful 1st month.  She was born on Friday, December 8, 1.5 weeks late and the day after Houston's "big" snowstorm of 2017.  I didn't get to see any of the snow in person because I'd had an epidural and couldn't walk, but I got to see pictures of the pretty dusting of white covering the trees in front of our house and the cars in the hospital parking lot.  My directionally challenged daughter decided to make her entrance to the world forehead first, which caused some initial health concerns (she had to get an ultrasound of her head on Day 1 of life) and so I'm SO thankful that both my mom and S were there with me to provide encouragement and reassurance.  My parents had actually already been in town for 2 weeks, thinking they'd arrive before her due date in case she came early... she obviously didn't.  And they stuck around in Houston for the first week that we were home from the hospital too - it was incredibly helpful to have them around to help with the dogs, hold the baby while I napped, and cook dinners for us while we coped with the learning curve of caring for a newborn.  Andi had been sleeping like a champ in the hospital but promptly took up the new habit of only sleeping while being held as soon as we got home.  On the plus side, she was a fantastic eater and lets be honest, while sleep deprivation was a real thing the newborn snuggles are kind of amazing. 

So peaceful!

The grandmas!

Meeting my parents!

Three generations
And the dogs were so great with her!  Penny likes to check in every so often, give a kiss, and then go on her way.  But Pandora is OBSESSED with her baby!  She just loves being around her and gives her tons of kisses, sometimes too many.  Luckily Andromeda seems enamored with her puppies too and takes it all in stride.  Pandora's loud barks don't even phase her!
Pandora always wants to be around her baby!

Not so happy after her first bath
After just 2 weeks, we made the arguably crazy decision to drive to South Florida to see family with a newborn and 2 dogs.  Just as we were leaving, Andi and I started to come down with a cold.  We were barely 1 hour away from home and she was screaming and crying.  Wasn't hungry, didn't have a dirty diaper, our sweet little baby just felt cruddy and wanted some snuggles.  Poor little peanut.  Despite our less than stellar start, we managed to make it to my parents' house in just 2 days with stops about every 3 hours to feed the baby, and it wasn't that bad of a drive.  Upon arriving, Andromeda got to meet her great grandparents, cousin M, and her Uncle D, which was absolutely adorable and wonderful.
Meeting GG and Great Grandpa for the first time!

And her Uncle D!
We spent our first few days in Florida sick, and there are few things I have experienced in life that are worse than listening to your brand new infant sniffle and wheeze all day and night.  We hunkered down, got a humidifier, and slept a lot and a few days later were in better form.  Which was good, because we'd been somewhat sequestered as we didn't want to get anyone else sick, especially my little baby niece G who had arrived with my brother and sister-in-law only a couple of days after we got there.  It was so great when Andi was finally feeling better and we were able to introduce her to her cousin!  Although, admittedly, at 3 weeks and 4 months old respectively, the interaction at this point was somewhat minimal.  We can't wait until they get older and can be besties! 

Getting some playtime in on the activity mat
Andi also got to meet the rest of our family, including my aunts, uncles, and cousins.  She participated in her first girls' craft day (I do these every year with my girl cousins and their kids as an interactive holiday gift).  Grandma and grandpa took her on lots of walks around their neighborhood (she loves going on walks in her stroller!).  She went to her first brewery! And she finished up her first month with her first major developmental milestone, after which she was able to start focusing on people and even started smiling at us!
Family walk

All 5 great granddaughters!

Andi meeting Aunt D and V - her face in this picture cracks me up!

Snuggled up with mommy during first girls' craft day

Baby's first brewery trip...

Look at that smile!!!

That wraps up Andromeda's first month!   I'll do my best to be more timely with the post for month #2!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Lot Has Happened in a Year...

Yearly ski trip to Colorado
So I only posted once in 2017, which is absolutely abysmal.  A LOT happened in the past year, mine and S's lives have drastically changed.  And there is quite a bit to catch up on in the blog.  I never even posted the pictures from our belated honeymoon trip to Italy, and that was in October of 2016!  I will try to catch up on stuff this year, beginning with a quick recap of 2017.
Scott's sweet new ride
We started off the year with S's exciting new car purchase, a 2017 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport.  It is a super pretty car and one that he has had a lot of fun driving.  We also started taking Penny to dog training classes and I attended the Houston Women's March with my friend B.   I have to say it was such an inspiring event to participate in!  So many people from so many different backgrounds marching, chanting, and demanding change together!
Houston Women's March with B!

There was a huge turnout as we marched into the city
In February we went on our yearly ski trip up to Colorado with friends.  We convinced everyone to give Winter Park a try this year as it is a bit more affordable and also because it is at a lower altitude than Breckenridge, for those of us who had really bad altitude sickness the year before.  The weather was great!  We got in some good skiing as well as a fun snowmobiling excursion and S got to see some ice racing, which he is convinced he will participate in the next time we are up in the mountains.  I think it's terrifying!  Penny graduated from beginner dog training this month as well.  And February was also the month we had to deal with some difficult family news, including the passing of my parent's sweet, beloved dog Tashi and the unexpected end to my brother's marriage.
Snowmobiling excursion in Winter Park

Penny graduating from beginner training
My parent's sweet dog Tashi
We started off our very eventful March with a trip to the Houston Rodeo BBQ Cookoff, which I had been wanting to go to for years!  It was cold and rainy, so slightly less than optimal, and the number of people there was kind of unreal.  Food was great though!  S and I celebrated our first anniversary with a trip to Cuba (a dedicated post to this will be coming up - there was so much we did)!!  It was a once in a lifetime trip and I'm so glad we were able to go before the country starts to become more commercialized with the increase in tourism that they have seen in recent years. 
Rodeo BBQ cookoff with a great group of friends!

The main square in Havana

Havana Club Rum museum tour

Vintage car tour of Havana area
Shortly after returning from Cuba we learned that I was pregnant!  The next 2 months were filled with plenty of doctors appointments, "we're not ready for this" moments, and a realization that we would probably want to upgrade the size of our house before baby arrived.  We also chose not to find out the gender of the baby, which drove our friends and family crazy...
The little nugget that was Baby Chladek
In May we went to Cleveland to visit my bestie K and her family at their new home.  We announced our pregnancy to them only to learn that both she and her sister were also pregnant and due right around the same time as me!  It was pretty exciting!  We then spent the rest of the long weekend playing with their son R, exploring the Cleveland area, hiking in the woods, and letting the guys each drink for 2...
Sporting matching baby bumps!


Cooking for 7, drinking for 4...
After returning home we jumped back into intermediate training classes with Penny, started fixing up the kitchen in our house (ordering new counters, backsplash, sink, etc), going to more doctor appointments for baby, and in June flying out to Delaware to attend the baby shower for my brother J and sister-in-law J's baby shower.  Their baby girl was due 4 months before ours and we were so excited that the cousins would be close in age!
Andromeda in the womb at 5 months

Cousins in utero
When we returned both the kitchen mini-renovation began as well as some slightly more seriously house hunting.  We drove out to hill country for a weekend to visit with S's family and get in some summer swim time on the river.  And upon returning went house hunting some more and found our new home!  That kicked off a lot of time on phones and the internet filling out mortgage applications, title company forms, insurance requests, etc.
Kitchen demo work

Summer break in Hill Country with a bikini baby bump

New kitchen updates: counters, backsplash, sink, faucet, and cabinet hardware
August was a super eventful month.  My niece was born on August 11 and was such an adorable little peanut.  My brother J was such a proud daddy and my parents were ecstatic to finally become grandparents!  We closed on the house in the middle of August while we were still working hard to prep our old house for sale.  Just after we closed, Hurricane Harvey hit.  We were very lucky that both of our houses fared the storm well.  No flooding in our old neighborhood, just some minor roof leaks due to the large amount of rainfall.  There was street flooding in the new neighborhood, but it stopped just short of our new house, so the property was 100% okay.  We had to wade through knee high water that could not be traversed by car to reach the house, though, so it's good to know that we'd essentially be trapped on an island if we ever had another storm like Harvey and chose to ride it out.
My newborn niece snuggling with her daddy!

We moved into a new house!

Hurricane Harvey flooding in our new neighborhood
After the storm we moved into the new house.  We had been planning to spend about 1-2 months fixing up the old house in order to put it on the market, so we cracked down on getting those repairs in work.  In the meantime, a number of our friends and coworkers had been kicked out of their homes due to Harvey flooding, so we made the old house available to them as a place to stay for 2 months while they got their housing situation figured out.  A coworker and her family took us up on the offer and they stayed in the house until we managed to sell it.  The next few months were a frenzy of unpacking the new house, fixing up the old house, getting ready for baby, throwing our annual Oktoberfest Party, 2 baby showers, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.
S's first official daddy duty: building the crib.  The pups helped...

Believe it or not, this kegstand pic is from our baby shower...

To make the most of my new baby bump real estate, I was a super geeky "Mother Earth" for Halloween this year

Both sets of parents and S's brother and nephew joined us for a Thanksgiving at home this year
Our little bundle of joy Andromeda Corinne joined us 1.5 weeks after her due date on December 8 after a freak Houston snowstorm!  My doctor told me at my 41 week and 2 day appointment on December 7 that baby was not showing any signs of coming but my amniotic fluid was low and so we would have to induce.  Shortly after starting induction my body caught up with the times and I started going through natural labor.  The next afternoon Andromeda joined us!  She was a fairly easy newborn, generally a good eater, a good sleeper, though once we got home she would only sleep in my arms, and an expert snuggler. My parents were in town for the birth, my mom was actually in the delivery room when Andi arrived and my dad was a huge help in taking care of the pups for us. 
Welcome to the world Andromeda!

Some proud and exhausted parents wondering what we just got ourselves into...
2 weeks after she arrived we made the somewhat crazy decision to drive out to Florida with a newborn and 2 dogs.  The drive was actually better than we expected and Andi got to meet her Aunt and Uncles, cousin G, extended cousins, and her great grandparents!  While in Florida, S and I enrolled the dogs in a 2 week training class to fine tune some behaviors that we wanted to work on before baby arrived but never really had time to do because of the house move and such.  It was a much different Florida trip than I'm used to since we were operating on the schedule of a newborn and didn't get to see quite as much family or explore as much as we were used to.  But I'm glad that everyone was able to meet and snuggle the baby.

And that pretty much catches us up!  Coming soon - monthly baby updates, an Italy trip recap, and post about our Cuba trip!