Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to Caleb

We had occasion to celebrate Caleb's first birthday twice. The first celebration included his homies from church: 6 little boys all born within 2 1/2 weeks of each other. We got together for a group shindig and it was a riot.

Here are all da boys:
And here are all da mamas with da boys:
We played a trivia game where each big-headed baby earned stickers for various things (e.g. heaviest at birth, first to start crawling, etc.). Caleb won the prize for most exercised vocal cords in the first 7 weeks of life.
Each of the boys also made his own hand-print Christmas ornament (the casualties resulting from mom's in white shirts and 12 month old boys' hands covered in paint were nothing that a good bottle of bleach couldn't remedy)
Then each boy got his own cupcake to demolish. Caleb, however, was more interested in watching the other boys, so daddy had to eat his cupcake, what a sacrifice!
You'd think we were torturing the child by offering him a cupcake!
There was great food and great fun as the boys battled it out over toys:
My big boy: A week after the group party, it was time for our family celebration. The day was full of Caleb's favorite things: flipping all of the light switches in the house, playing with the dishes in the dishwasher, and hanging upside down:

We also took him to see Santa for the first time. No tears, but this look says it all:
Carrot cake was a MUCH bigger hit than the cupcake (thanks, Crystal):

I promise, he DID like it, he just sports his poker face in pictures:)

Then it was time to open his present. My skillful wrapping job made it virtually impossible to tell what it could be. Here's Mr. Poker Face again. I promise, he LOVED itHappy birthday to our little man!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Presenting: Caleb's birth story!!!

In honor of Caleb's 1 year birthday this week, I am FINALLY posting about his birth. So, ready or not, here it comes!
Here I am the night before I was scheduled to be induced feeling like the bun was definitely done cooking in the oven:

12/10/08 (Wednesday)
5am-David is off to work at the hospital. Here is our whiteboard interchange that day (some days this is the only type of communication we have)

10pm-David is on call at the hospital. I'm scheduled for induction at midnight, so I'm busy packing my hospital bag and getting ready to drive myself to the hospital
10:30pm-my water breaks during my hospital packing, "Oh, shoot," I think. "Now what do I do?"
10:32pm-I call David, "You'll never believe this, but my water just broke. Don't worry, I think I can still drive myself to the hospital in 10 minutes after I take a shower and shave my legs." He wisely tells me that's crazy, instructs me NOT to get in the shower, and calls a friend to arrange a ride.
10:33pm-I get in the shower anyway and set a world-record for fastest leg shave, getting dried off and dressed before my ride gets to the house.
10:36pm-I'm out of the shower and having my first contraction, "Ooo, that's uncomfortable," I think.
10:39pm-another contraction. "Um, that seems really close to the last one."
10:40pm-Our good friend Talana arrives and loads me and my well-packed suitcase into her van.
10:42pm-another contraction. Talana does a great job making conversation and trying to keep my mind off of my mounting discomfort level as she drives in the pouring rain at this late hour. David is calling me every 2 minutes to see where we are. He assures me he will be waiting at the hospital entrance when we arrive. Contractions are coming every 3 minutes with each one getting more painful.
10:55pm-We pull in to the hospital and see David standing there in his white coat waiting with an LSU double-wide wheelchair (apparently, the only kind they have). He helps me in to the wheelchair and I quickly realize that someone for whom the chair's width was designed must've used it and caused the seat to angle precariously downward. As an added bonus, the foot rests were broken (did I mention that I delivered in the ghetto?) so it was a fun ride to the labor and delivery unit as I tried to use my contracting abdominal muscles to elevate my feet off the floor while firmly gripping the armrests to keep from sliding out of the chair and onto the floor. This picture really doesn't do the wheelchair justice!

11:05pm-safely in my hospital bed and in a SIGNIFICANT amount of pain. I decide that delivering naturally is NOT my preferred method and ask the nurse how quickly I can get an epidural. She breaks the bad news that hospital protocol requires I go through 2 IV bags of fluid before I can get one. "Well, what the heck are you waiting for???" I ask, at which point she sticks me and hooks me up to the IV.
11:10pm-1am on 12/11/08 (Thursday)-I watch each drip from the IV bag with concerted effort as I empty the contents of my stomach and pray for fast-acting drugs. David is technically on call until 6am and his pager is going off every few minutes. He is running in and out of the room answering calls until I scream for him to get in the room so my fingernails can dig in to his supple flesh. He takes it like a man for each 60 second contraction then runs back out to take another call. He sees his co-resident, Jeff, in the hall and after hearing about the madness Jeff insists that David relinquish the pager to him, a HUGE favor!!! Here I am between contractions:

1:45am-I see the final drop from IV bag #2 and plead with the nurse to get the anesthesiologist. He arrives, and within minutes I am a different woman. Dilated 4cm at this point and they estimate another 12 hours before delivery.
2-6am-Heavenly bliss as I continue to dilate while NAPPING! Hooray for drugs! Before napping, however, I feel a sense of urgency to call my sister Tiffany who is 2 weeks away from her due date and planning a medication-free delivery. It is 12am Malibu time (2am Shreveport time) when I wake her up from a sound sleep and plead, "Tiff, DON'T do it, DON'T do it! It hurts SOOOOOOO bad!!!" She ignored my admonition and fared beautifully well...what a woman!
6:45am-The nurse comes in to check me and after lifting the sheet says with great urgency, "Um, whatever you do, DON'T push." As she hurries out of the room, I hear her say, "He's got a full head of hair." Dilated 10cm and he was ready to come. Our hands are showing "10" (just to clarify since it looks like we're doing spirit fingers):

6:52am-They transfer me to the delivery room, I push through 1-1/2 contractions.
6:59am-We hear the voice of our perfect little miracle for the first time (and then KEPT hearing it non-stop for the next 7 weeks, but that's a WHOLE separate story!)
Here's David cutting the umbilical cord:

Our little family (and David's stylish hat):

Sporting some nice Donald Trump hair:

Here we are a day after delivery feeling blessed to have Caleb in our life

Some of the residents stopped by to see the newest member of the ENT department.

Back in the double-wide before driving home:

The drive home from the hospital:

Showing Caleb his house for the first time:

And that's the story of how our family of two became year ago.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A November to Remember!

November week 1: Caleb and mommy escaped the unbearable arctic temperatures of Louisiana and spent a week basking in the UT sun. Caleb got to spend countless hours playing in Grandma Costley's kitchen sink and pointing Grandpa Costley in the right direction while they were out walking.

The reunion with cousins was the perfect opportunity for a nakie baby photo shoot and here are some of the resultant gems. Featured in these pictures are Caleb and Luke (2 weeks apart) and Donovan (6 months younger).

Week 1 also included a visit with the Draper Ludlows where puppy Lewis gave Caleb a crash course in how to not get your nose chewed off by a puppy. Fortunately, he passed!

November week 2: Caleb continued to inch ever-so-close to the milestone of taking his first un-aided steps (which is no small feat for a baby with a body in the 5th percentile, and a head circumference in the 75th percentile). In the meantime, he practiced with his baby walker.

November week 3: the first mommy/baby overnight separation when I headed to New Orleans for a conference leaving Caleb in the capable hands of Grandma Ludlow and his daddy. So while I was off strolling through the trees at Oak Valley Plantation and dining at 2 out of 3 of Emeril's N'Awlins restaurants....

Caleb was in Grandma heaven

November week 4: brought Thanksgiving and the perfect excuse to make another pilgrimage to Dallas to spend the holiday with my brother, Cory, and his family where there's never a shortage of laughs, love, and WRESTLE mania!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

The idea for this year's Halloween costumes began as a tiny seed exactly one year ago and has been sprouting ever so slowly for 364 days in the fertile soil of my brain. Not everything went exactly according to plan. For example, I envisioned David being "bald" and found what looked to be the perfect product:

But then David put it on and exclaimed, "I don't look bald AT ALL!!!" Talk about false advertising:

So we abandoned that detail, but managed to pull off the rest including forearms bulging with "muscle," a can of spinach, and a pipe (aka scoop from baby formula):

So thanks to my mom's willingness to give me telephone tutorials on how to make ruffles and operate my sewing machine, and an extremely indulgent husband, I present to you Popeye...

...Olive Oyl...

and the ever so sweet Sweet Pea.....

A Popeye family portrait:

After a great night of trunk-or-treating at the church, Sweet Pea was all tuckered out!

But David managed to stay in character all the way home:

With so much effort devoted to our church activity the night before Halloween (which won us the1st place prize for Most Creative, I'll have you know!) by Halloween night neither David nor I had the gumption to dress up again. However, we didn't want to rob Caleb of the chance to go door to door (translation: we wanted candy) so we borrowed a costume from a friend (thanks Katie!) and headed out for Halloween pillaging.
Here's our little guy BEFORE the pillaging (not too thrilled about being dressed up in a ridiculous, movement hindering costume):

But here he is AFTER the pillaging (starting to realize the benefits of wearing a ridiculous, movement hindering costume):

Mamma's little Tigger!

Now...what to be next year..........?????