Tales from the Hill's Country

Quips, stories and observations from our adventures in marriage and parenting (as told by Katie).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Maria reintroduces herself

Bradley briefly met his cousin, Maria, the day he was born. But she recently came back to Houston for a visit (with her parents) and got to reintroduce herself.

At first she wasn't too sure about him:
But once she got closer she remembered her new playmate!
I have a feeling these two are going to have some fun times!
(That's Maria's "it wasn't me" face.) We might need to keep a close eye on that one...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bradley at the Pumpkin Patch

Tis the season for city parents to take their children to the "pumpkin patch". We all just try to ignore the fact that the "patch" is a parking lot with pallets of pumpkins lined up...

Here's the best shot from day one (yes, I insisted that we go a second day):
And here's how day one ended:
Bradley, if you're going to be so dang cute, you need to learn to enjoy taking photos.

(Fun fact: Bradley is wearing his going home outfit here-- Chris used to wear it when he was a baby!)

Here's the best from day two:
Although this is a fun one too:
And although the day didn't end in tears, Bradley certainly let me know he was over it:
I have a feeling this isn't the last time I'm going to see an eye-roll from my son. I thought I had at least 13 more years before that started!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Old and Young

This is a photo of the oldest and youngest members of my family:
Bradley was less than a month old when this was taken and my grandpa was nearly 1176 months old. Two good looking fellows!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sleeping the Days Away

I wrote this post during Bradley's first month (while Chris was on paternity leave), but much it still pretty much applies!

With photos like these, you'd think all we're doing at the Hill House is sleeping!

However, the fact is that this is so rare, it becomes picture-worthy:
Many mornings, I wake up to find Chris and Bradley like this:
And one morning Chris brought Bradley into our room to wake me up... a plan which promptly backfired:
We don't get all eight hours at one time, but we're grabbing those zzzz's a few naps at a time!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bradley: Month Two

Bradley is two months old!

He started smiling at 5 weeks, 6 days and hasn't stopped! He especially loves to smile in the mornings. He has a coy grin (as seen above), but also a full on open-mouth smile when he's really excited about something. I love it!

Even with his numerous smiles, we still seem to have a serious baby on our hands. He's always observing the world and frequently furrows his brow:

In general he loves his serious poses!
And, yes, he is a baby... so there's some of this as well!
We're still working on a daytime schedule, but at night we are settling into a pretty good routine (started at 7 weeks). Bradley gets really fussy around 7pm or 8pm. At that point he's swaddled and eats, then goes to sleep in his crib. We don't see him again until 2am! That's great! Then he's usually up to eat again at 3:30, 5 and 7am. So that's a little annoying. I'd love to drop that 3:30 or 5am feeding!! But I won't complain. The 6 hours we get at the beginning of the night is wonderful!

Bradley's gradated to size 1 diapers and 0-3 month clothes (in Ralph Lauren he can wear up to 6months!). At last check he was 9lbs 12oz so we are VERY close to that 10lb mark! And he's grown to 22.25" long (that means only 17.75 inches to go until he can ride Space Mountain!). He's on the lower percentiles of things, but growing steadily, so we're happy!

He's back to liking the sound app on our iPhones, and still loves to be bounced and swaddled. My favorite time is still the mornings. Once I unswaddle him, he immediatly throws his arms up in the air and smiles. He loves to smile for Chris and I in the mornings especially (but really, as long as he's not hungry, he smiles a lot of the day!).

He doesn't like being hungry or being in the car when it's stopped. We'll be cruising along with no problem, but as soon as we hit a red light, it's fussy-faced Bradley! We're also noticing he gets cranky when he's tired. Which describes me as well.

Sleep is getting a little easier and in general he's getting more predictable. Life is good and we've LOVED learning more about our son during Month Two!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Advice for New Moms

"The first year goes by SO fast. It's important to enjoy every moment."

If I hear that one more time, someone's getting a crying baby thrown at them.

That photo does not depict enjoyment. And the time he cried all night long?? Well that didn't seem to go by very fast.

My advice to new moms is to simply survive.

Don't do anything that you don't have to (including entertaining guests who stop by or laundry). 

Use paper plates. All mothers understand how hard the first few months are, even Mother Earth-- she'll forgive you.

Utilize online ordering. There are days where leaving the house just isn't an option-- pay a little more to get those groceries delivered.

Use the mantra, "this won't last forever". Which I repeated to myself for two days straight during Bradley's last growth spurt (when he wanted to eat EVERY HOUR.)

And don't feel bad if you don't enjoy every moment. Does this really look enjoyable??
This doesn't mean that I don't enjoy many moments. In fact, I enjoy MOST moments.
But not everything is cute and cuddly in a house with a newborn. Maybe in a year I'll forget the late nights and I'll corner young moms in the grocery store and order them to love and cherish every SECOND with their little one. But hopefully I'll remember that not every moment is meant to be enjoyed. And maybe I'll just tell that new mom to enjoy the good times and survive through the rough times. It's not always easy, but "this too shall pass" (which Chris says is just a nice way to say, "suck it up!").

And thank God he designed them to be so cute, it helps when all you want is 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep!

Monday, October 15, 2012

How NOT to clean a Wub-a-Nub

Bradley LOVES his Wub-a-Nubs!

A Wub-a-Nub is basically a pacifier with a little animal attached to it. It's easier for him to keep the pacifier in his mouth this way. Which makes mom and dad very happy!

Being a new mom (and therefore petrified of all germs) I decided I needed to sterilize the Wub-a-Nubs. Since the pacifier is attached to the animal, you can't just throw them in the steamer. I googled how to clean them and read that I should dip the pacifier part in boiling water for 5 minutes.

It started well, but soon I smelled something burning.

See his little paw? Well that's not the worst of it!

Poor guy! So it's back to soap and water for our Wub-a-Nubs... boiling water clearly is NOT the answer!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ahoy from Bradley

My mom tried to take photos of me today:
She thinks my outfit is cute, even though my sailor hat is clearly to large:
Ug. Will she ever stop with the camera?
Putting me on my side doesn't change my dislike for these shenanigans, mom.

 Ok, that's it... I'm putting an end to this silliness!
I hope you've enjoyed these photos. I did not.

--Bradley Danger

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gordon and Bradley

We're changing things up a bit-- I've decided to only host Way Back When-sday on the first Wednesday of each month. So get excited for awkward family photos coming your way on November 7th! Until then, we'll have more fun stories from the Hill's Country!

Many friends have asked out Big Brother Gordon has adjusted to Bradley's arrival.

He's been great! Gordon is interested in Bradley enough to acknowledge their joint existence, but nothing more.
It's hard, but we're trying to still give Gordon lots of love.
And even though he's not the only little creature in our lives anymore, he's still enjoying some benefits from Bradley's arrival. Like this new pillow, that Gordon thinks is his!
Two things that would have gotten Gordon a one-way ticket to Papa T's house: any aggression towards Bradley (obviously) and waking up Bradley from a nap due to barking. The second one was pretty likely to happen, Gordon just can't help but defend our home against the suspicious mailman! But good for Gordon, Bradley is a heavy sleeper and doesn't even flinch when Gordon sounds the alarm. I'm glad, because our two buddies are too cute to separate!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bradley's Medical Adventure

Between Chris' adventure at MD Anderson and my adventure at the Women's Hospital of Texas... you'd think the Hill family would be all tuckered out. But little Bradley wanted an adventure of his own... so I got to know a third hospital this year... Texas Children's.

Actually, it wasn't so bad. Bradley's left kidney is a little large, so they wanted to do some tests. He was a little nervous about his ultra-sound, but Mimi assured him that it wouldn't hurt.
He was so good during the exam!
I told him that I'd had many ultra-sounds during the past nine months-- and not one of them was painful!

He did have to have another test a week later-- which was a bit more involved. But Bradley smiled through most of it (minus the part where they used a catheter... yikes) and snuggled up with mama when it was all over.
The diagnosis came back good: Bradley is a healthy, normal boy. His left kidney is a little bit of an over-achiever, but there is no cause for concern. Hopefully this is the last of the adventures for the Hill House... I think we've earned a year (or five) away from the Texas Medical Center!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bradley's First Outing

For our first outing with Bradley, Chris and I took him to the jewelry store:
Chris had gotten me a present that we were picking up and Bradley learned an important lesson about husband and wife gift-giving (the lesson, of course, being that husbands should give gifts to their wives!).

Afterwards, we all went to Antone's for a sandwich:
Bradley was a little too sleepy to enjoy his... maybe next time...

WBW: Brace Face

Like most teenagers, I wasn't a fan of having braces.

So the day I got them off was quite momentous. My shutterbug mom, of course documented the experience:
Outside the building (which, by the way, is still there!)

And after:
And in case you're wondering... I'm purposefully not commenting on my denim shirt. Hey, it was the 90's!

Want to share a fun photo from your past? It's easy!
Step One: grab a button and to put on your WBW post (that will send readers here):
The Hill's Country

Step Two: fill out this easy form and a link will pop up here to send readers to YOUR WBW story!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Adventures in Swaddling

Chris is a master swaddler.

Here he is with our little burrito:
When Chris swaddles Bradley, he looks like a mummy:
 In contrast, when I swaddle him... he looks... different:
I try hard... and think that I'm pulling everything tight... but somehow our little Houdini is able to wiggle out of my swaddles.
How did this even happen??

One things for sure, Bradley LOVES the swaddle! I just need a little more practice on getting our Wiggle Worm all tied up!