Monday, November 24, 2008


For months now Justin has been swearing up and down that my belly button was going to completely pop out of my belly and become an outtie. For a while I thought, hmmm he might be right, but I just wasn't sure my tiny little belly button really had the ability to do it. It was certainly undergoing a change, becoming softer and squishier by the day... like a little trampoline. Well, my belly button has finally decided that it wanted an identity all its own. It wasn't going to be an outtie like all of the others!

Last Friday, when Justin got home from work he pulled up my shirt to kiss Caden when he walked in the door like he normally does, except this time he said, "INSERT TOKEN," and pretended to put a token into my belly button before he allowed himself to kiss Caden. We both died laughing... it was hilarious. I didn't understand why he had done that, I hadn't really checked out my belly button that day. So I ran to the nearest mirror since I obviously have lost the ability to check out my own belly button without a little reflective help and low and behold it looked like an old school token machine! HA!

When I could actually see it, "insert token" became even funnier. We stood in front of the mirror together for a few more minutes laughing and inserting "tokens" in and out of my belly. Poor Caden must have thought we were nuts... the delirium of the week had certainly set in, but regardless our new game was pretty darn hilarious!

I am sorry you have to look at my big white belly, but we just HAD to let you experience the fun first-hand. I hope the "Insert Token" game provides you with as much laughter as it has us. And yes, you guessed it, now every time Justin wants something from me or from Caden he inserts his token. A dime fits perfectly! :)

Thanks for sharing a small "token" of your day with us! Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Parenting Mistake Turned Victorious!

Good afternoon, happy Sunday and GO COWBOYS!

I hope everyone has had a great weekend. This is the first weekend Justin and I have been at home this month, so we have thoroughly enjoyed the time to get a few things done around town and around the house. 

As many of you know and have seen from previous posts, Justin and I are already the parents of two labs named Maci (chocolate) and Max (yellow). They provide us with equal amounts of frustration, laughter and love on most days, but recently they have also decided to become quite the entertainers with their evening productions.

Every evening when we get home from work the pups come in from a long day in the dog run and are ready to relax on their pillows. They each have a special pillow that sits in the corner of our living room where they must lay in order to be in the house. This was something we did to start the "baby-training." We figured if we could give them their own spot this would help minimize on the chaos and confusion that often ensues when they are left to their own decisiveness. 

Here is a picture of both Maci and Max on their respective pillows. To make the learning curve a bit easier on the pups we added their names to the pillows and just in case reading wasn't quite their thing we also added colored lab patches to attach to each pillow. There should be no confusion right? It should be very clear, chocolate lab picture and M-A-C-I= Maci's pillow and yellow lab picture and M-A-X= Max's pillow. Well... Justin and I realized not long after we purchased these pillows that we had made a very critical parenting mistake... our first of many more to come I am sure...

WE BOUGHT DIFFERENT SIZE PILLOWS! We didn't give our children the SAME thing. We WERE NOT FAIR OR EQUAL... sigh! Because Maci is a good 35 lbs. smaller than Max, we bought a pillow for a dog that fit her weight range and same for Max.  I've told you before that Maci is the brains of the operation and Max the heart, so it didn't take long for Maci to realize that her YOUNGER brother, though bigger (not her fault he's a fat kid) has definitely received the better end of the deal. She's old, she's paid her dues, she wants a king-sized bed dang it! 

For months now, being the crafty dog that she is, after she and Max get all settled in Maci stands up and stretches off her pillow, takes a few steps forward as if she were continuing the "stretch." Max perks up and thinks she's about to be on the move. She takes a few more steps confirming Max's suspicions that she in fact was off to explore the great blue yonder. Max too steps off his pillow. Maci circles back behind him and plops down on his bed... Sucker! She nestles her way into the lap of luxury she so clearly deserves and tells poor Max to enjoy life "on the couch." Submissive and afraid to rock the ship, Max takes his place on Maci's pillow, curling up in the tiniest of balls and sighs himself to sleep. But don't fret...the story does not end here!

About three weeks ago, Max decided he had had it! He decided he would no longer fall for those tricks anymore, but again (poor thing) he's not the brightest so he does still occasionally get tricked, BUT instead of conceding to the other pillow he goes and plops himself right next to her in an attempt to reclaim his territory. And the stare-down begins... check out his determination!!
Max does not like confrontation nor does he like to upset ANYONE, especially not his older sister Mace, so this was no easy feat for him. He's our little Rosa Parks, refusing to give up what was rightfully his!  After the first night he tried this new tactic, he has become increasingly more confident in his decision to retain his domain. 

Just last night Maci squeaked by him and got on his pillow and he again sat down right next to her, almost on top of her. Justin was in the kitchen getting cookies out of the oven which would usually ensure that both dogs would be under his feet within minutes of hearing the oven door open, but not last night. Neither one of them would one was giving in! And along came the stare-down...

Lucky for Max, Maci is a typical girl and likes her "own space" so she eventually left the love-fest and retreated to her own pillow, leaving Max to his palace! VICTORY!!

I'll leave you with a 34 week-picture of Caden and I. Yesterday, Justin and I went to a baby shower and figured we'd capture a belly pic when I wasn't rolling off the couch after a nap! 

Not sure if we'll get another blog in before Thanksgiving, so if we don't we wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! We'll be sure to update you on our cross-Texas travels when we get home on Sunday!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Long Overdue...

Pardon the pun, the title has nothing to do with Caden or how long he's cooked. He certainly needs a bit longer, although with each new week comes another milestone. Praise God for 34 weeks!

It's the post that is long overdue... Caden and I have wanted to write this particular post for quite some time. It all started a few weeks ago...Caden and I were jammin' to our John Mayer radio station on Pandora (while working hard for our money) and happened to hear Lucky by Jason Mraz. The tune had a fun little rhythm and so we stopped and listened to the words. The chorus starts with "I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend..." and continues on. As I listened, I thought..."was he writing this song about me? I should have written this is SO true...I AM the luckiest girl in the world...I TOO am in love with my best friend."

And that was that, Caden and I decided that we needed to send our Dad and best friend a very special message via the world-wide-web and let him know just how lucky we felt! We decided the post would be much better if you too could listen to the song that inspired us, so without further adieu...


So this is my man of the moment, Justin Travis Cox, 26, Director of Purchasing for Jimmy Jacobs Homes, Round Rock, TX. He is MY best friend. I know everything about him and yet he continually surprises me! Watching him transform into a dad over the past few months has been one of the most rewarding experiences as his wife, and let's just say that Caden and I didn't make this transition very easy on him at first...

We were quite a handful... from telling him to go away every time he got near due to a horrible aversion I had to his breath, to spontaneous eruptions of tears that only mom could heal, to late naps and early bed times that left us as two ships passing in the night, he never wavered, he was always proud to be my husband and even prouder to be a dad. And for these reasons, our 'thanks for hangin' in there Dad' is certainly long overdue...

Dearest Justin,

I am so thankful for you! In the spirit of the season there seems to be nothing more appropriate than a public display of appreciation, the only kind of PDA I approve of! :) This Thanksgiving our family has MUCH to celebrate, but before we celebrate it ALL, I would like it, if for just one day, YOU take the spotlight! To you all thanksgiving goes!

THANK YOU for...

Kissing Caden on my bare belly EVERY day when you get home from work,

Helping me laugh at my growing belly, elastic waistbands and gi-normous undies,

Eating bean and cheese quesadillas for a solid month,

Praying with me, for me and over me each and every day,

Praying for Caden by name,

Taking your role as a man seriously and with such grace,

Making two cars fit into our garage,

Having an unshakable faith,

Joining the blog world,

Making my life-long dream of being a stay-at-home mom come true, 

Being a strong leader at home and in the workplace,

Loving my family as much as I do,

Setting goals and achieving them,

Being the best puppy-parent two dogs could ask for,

Working early mornings and late nights to provide for our growing family,

Wearing pants and using extra blankets to keep warm at night,

Knowing what I need before I do,

Appreciating and acknowledging my contributions to our family,

Depending on me as much as I depend on you,

Keeping our house a clean, organize and peaceful place to be,

Making me feel like I am the prettiest girl in the world,

Telling me that I am even prettier when I'm pregnant,

Listening to stories about my crazy dreams and not judging me because of them,

Giving me honest counsel and advice,

Loving me more than you love yourself,


Finding a time to laugh whether we're  in the midst a a joy, triumph or trial!

I love you,


Sunday, November 16, 2008

From the Space Needle to The Alamo...

Hellooooo blog world!  As Caden's dad, I decided it was about time I give this whole "blogging" thing a try.  I have watched Katie immerse herself into this new society the past couple of months and I'm ready for my attempt at it and to call myself a "blogger"!  I hope that my post and journeys the past couple of weeks live up to the excitement that Katie has brought into your here goes nothing...

So we begin in Seattle.  Last weekend I flew up to be apart of my life-long friend's (Brian "Beastland" Eastland) wedding.  I had never ventured up to that part of our country before and it's safe to say that this trip will not be my last.  Although I believe I would be miserable if I lived in a place where the sun only showed it's face 60 days a year, it was a beautiful place to visit for a few days.  Here are a few of the pics...

The Abbey where the ceremony and reception took place.  Check out the awesome leaves in front...they were all over the city.

Penland Hall #269 reunion.  2 of my best amigos...good times with these 2 guys!

Phi Chi reunion.  Jeff "Petey" Moss, yours truly, Wes "Wedding Singer" Longacre, Bito, Lynton

Petey and I cruised around the campus of UW, it was beautiful...and of course, had to check out the football stadium.
The famous Farmer's Market.  Maybe next time it will actually be open so I can see the fish soar through the air.

Next stop...San Antonio.  So last February I completed my first half-marathon here in Austin.  Although I really enjoyed the concept, the hills of Austin are way over-rated.  So when I saw SA's race advertising "fast and flat", I jumped all over it...anything to not have to run up the Enfield Hill that leads to the State Capital makes me a happy camper!  Of course this morning had to be the coldest morning for the year thus far...

Getting out of my car, about to load the shuttle that would take me to the starting line...yep, it says 38!

After completing the race...showing off my sweet medal.

Due to Katie's current state of being pregnant and not very mobile, she was not able to watch me this I gave her a glimpse of what her stallion looked like out on the course this morning...#1 in your hearts, not the rankings...

To wrap up the weekend, we decided it was time for an updated bump pic.

As I conclude my post, I want to thank those of you who took the time to read my virgin blog post.  I hope it meets your standards and that I do not get rejected from your society so that I may post again in the future.  Thank you for allowing me to share my highlights from the past couple of weeks.

Here's to hoping I get to blog again in the future....have a great week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back to School...

Happy Tuesday to everyone! I am getting a late start to my day today because Caden and I have a 9:45am doctor's appointment. We get to meet a new doctor today, one of the four in the practice we go to. So needless to say we have a little extra time to blog! 

Even though Justin was in Seattle for his best friend's wedding this weekend, Caden and I still managed to have a GREAT weekend in San Antonio... more to come on that front, and hopefully we'll get Justin to do his first post to the blog world about his trip to the west coast. That will be a work in progress I'm afraid.

For now I thought I'd share just a few glimpses into our first two, of five childbirthing classes!

Class #1: Breastfeeding 101

First thing that comes to mind is BOOBS... lots of them, all shapes, sizes, colors, you name it we saw it. To be clear these boobs were all on video... I have heard of classes where they actually make you whip out your boob right there in the middle of the circle, but thankfully our hospital prefers good old fashioned technology to the REAL DEAL. Unfortunately for Justin, he was only one of three guys seems that many of the hubbies and partners decided to skip out on this particular experience.

This class started off with all of us going around the room, answering the baby top five: due date, gender if you know, name if know, doctor, and number of this kiddo in your family line-up. Our nurse also wanted each of us to share one question about breastfeeding we hoped to have answered by the time we left and why we had made the commitment to breastfeed. 

A few of my favorites...

"I hear breastfeeding is the fastest way to lose weight, so I'm gonna try it!"

"Is it true that breastfeeding feels like someone slicing off your nipples with a razor blade?" 

Side note: Are you kidding? WHY would you say that? She won the Drama Queen award for the night... she had several classic statements... another one being, "One time my friend was walking around her living room when I was over there, and ALL OF THE SUDDEN her boob just started spraying EVERYWHERE, like a huge water hose, it took her a while to get it under control." Oh the mental picture is too much... I still laugh when I think about it! Needless to say, she made our class all the more exciting... 

"I'm not exactly sure about the whole breastfeeding thing. I just don't think I'll like the feeling." Her husband interjects, "It is kind of like being a cow!" 

When it got to me, dumbfounded and trying so hard to not to laugh hysterically at the cow comment I say, "I haven't really thought much about it, I'm just excited to be here!" Ha! 

Welcome to breastfeeding class Elle Woods,  you and Bruiser will be great parents! Geez... I am sure I could have come up with something better, but I really was clueless and really excited to learn! Luckily, I've never had these spectacular boobs, so I wasn't too worried about the permanent damage to my girls like so many others were. I have ALREADY started leaking colostrum (oh yah... I know you're jealous) so Justin is already adjusting to the "my wife is a cow-factor," so for me, it was a go... let's learn how to make this happen! Let's get ready to latch!!

Class #2: Childbirth (1 of 3)

Right on time, but not early because Justin HAD to have a milkshake (from Burger King of course), we walk into a very crowded room and sat ourselves in the few open seats left in the corner. Our pillows in tow we surveyed the room. 13 other couples were present for the first of three childbirth classes. Justin and I, both avid people-watchers were no doubt already beginning to make our first judgements on the others in our class.

"Check out the girl with the "No" face." 

"I recognize that guy... can't put my finger on it though."

"Woah, they can't be more than 16 and them, well they are definitely pushing 40."

"That girl has a cute bump..."

Time to start... the same nurse from our breastfeeding class a few nights before is also our teacher for the childbirthing class. Nice to see a familiar face.

We started just the same as the last class, baby top five, but THANKFULLY there was no prompting for a question, so Elle Woods remained locked up for the time being. That is until it was video time...

We watched this video about three different women, all undergoing natural childbirth. We watched their labors from beginning to end. We were learning about the three stages of labor and what we could expect, so what better a way than to learn than to watch three women go through the REAL thing. I loved it!

At one point in the video lady #3, a petite, Asian lady who still had a very heavy accent finally gave birth to her baby boy. After her final push the baby came out and began to cry. She was overjoyed with emotion and praise. She was crying and laughing... it was amazing! I put myself in the delivery room and imagined that same feeling when it was my turn to give birth to my little boy and what it would be like to hear his first cry and to share that special moment with Justin, so I started to tear up. Then they did a post-birth interview of her describing that moment... the tears kept coming. I could have listened to her tell that story over and over again. What great joy! 

In my moment of joy and celebration I hear a whisper in my ear, "Just so you know... out of thirteen other pregnant women in this room, you are the ONLY one crying right now." 

The tears instantly dry up and I look around the room... he's right, not one other woman is crying! 

"We are pregnant, we are SUPPOSED to cry, especially when we just watched the most AMAZING miracle on earth...come on ladies,  give a girl some love!"

Now Justin has proof that I in fact could be THE crazy pregnant lady! Sigh!

At the end of the night we wrapped-up with our first breathing exercise and got our homework for next class...

"Your homework for next week is to come up with a "touch signal" with your partner. You will use this throughout labor. This will be your signal to relax and breathe. Find something that is comfortable for you."

One husband raises his hand, "I have a question about the homework... I am sure I am not speaking from just my own experience, but I'm afraid we're all probably a little gun-shy. All we've heard for 8 months now is... NOT NOW, DON'T TOUCH ME, OUCH!"

All the guys remembering these similar experiences suddenly back off of their wives and start shaking their heads in agreement.

"Oh yah, that's normal and it will probably happen during labor, all I can say is, be prepared for it, don't cry about it, BE THERE to support your wives. You'll be so thankful that it's not you, you won't care what she says to you!" 

LONG LIVE THE LABOR AND DELIVERY NURSE!! She just told those boys to suck it up! :)

On that note, Caden and I better hit the showers! 

Monday, November 3, 2008

tweet, tweet! a baby boy, oh how sweet!

Sunday, Caden and I were showered with love by our closest friends and family. Now I know I am no where near the queen of baby showers, this only being number four or five in the small handful I have attended, but I am pretty sure this shower tops them all! It was the perfect day... while I am sure no words could do it justice, I will try to set the scene...

Texas Hill Country, the changing autumn leaves, crystal blue lake surrounded by white limestone cliffs, a warm Sunday morning, an occasional fall breeze, a house on a hilltop overlooking it all. Egg casserole, fruit salad, french toast and the tastiest quiche bites you've ever savored, topped off with coconut cupcakes and party punch. Friends, both new and old, smiling, laughing,, sharing, remembering, caring...truly a perfect day!

I could write an entire blog entry about each and every person that blessed us with their presence and presents yesterday. So many good friends, so many memories, I am so appreciate for each and every one of the relationships that were represented there yesterday. On my way home, I was talking to Justin on the phone and I was suddenly overwhelmed by the amount of love and support we have around us at all times. It is sad that it takes moments like yesterday to remind us how truly blessed we are. Yesterday was so special to me that I must have my chance to say my thanks to each of you... I don't care if it is a SUPER long post... it's my BLOG and I'll bore you if I want to! :) 

Steph, Paul, and Dylan: THANK YOU for our gorgeous setting yesterday and for all of your hard work in preparing for such a wonderful party! Steph, from bridesmaid to baby shower... can you believe we are both mommies? I love you so very much!

Melissa: We're having babies?! I have loved traveling this journey with you and am so excited for your big news tomorrow! Thank you for your continued encouragement, love and support! Love you to the moon and right back!

Cori and Trent: Sisters... sisters... you're my first! Caden is a lucky little guy to have an aunt that is going to let him eat his dessert first! :) We are so thankful for you and Trent! Y'all are the greatest... we love you!

Emily and Josh: Josh... you got a good one! Aunt Emmie you single-handedly kept me hydrated all day yesterday! You are Caden's number one fan... you have spoiled he and I ROTTEN! Thanks to you both for your love and excitement... lots of fun times ahead! Love y'all!

KK: Sweet KK! You've been my rock throughout this adventure into motherhood! You are the greatest example I could have and only hope Caden turns out half as great as me! :) Thank for being my mom and my best friend! I love you!

Nana: Sharla... can I just call you that? You will certainly keep Caden in the top percentile of any reading class he takes... we are so thankful for your continued interest and excitement in all things Caden! We can't wait to bring Caden to Waco to visit Nana and Paps!! We love you!

Grandmother: You came ALL the way from Abilene to celebrate with us! We are so thankful for your support and feel so blessed for Caden to get to have such a wonderful great-grandmother to know and love! I love you!

Gran: You are always excited! From the first time Justin brought me to your house, you have showered your love on our relationship. We are so glad that Caden will get to carry on the family name! We love you!

Emily and Bryce: Y'all are one of a kind! We are SO excited to have you a little closer to home...we'll be making lots of trips up and down I35! Thank you for coming yesterday... it is always GREAT to see y'all! What faithful friends you have always been to us! 

Julie and David: The newly-weds! I can't believe y'all came?! Justin and I felt so honored for you to delay your trip home to celebrate with us. You were certainly the icing on the cake... thank you!!

Aunt Rach: Our lone friend when we moved to this great city... and now you are an integrated part of the family! We can't wait to share our Caden memories with you. We are so thankful for your friendship... God has certainly had a hand in our story! We love you Rach!

Jennifer: We are so excited to have a preggo buddy to take all of our breast feeding and childbirth classes with... oh what fun we'll have this week! Thanks so much for coming yesterday, we'll be sure to repay the favor in just a few weeks!

Michelle, Frank, and Caroline: What blessings you have been to our family in so many different ways! Caden is so excited to meet this hot chick named Caroline he keeps hearing about. Thanks for celebrating with us yesterday, it meant so much!

 Thanks again to all of you who made this day such a special time for our family! 

And now for the good stuff... PICTURES!!!

Caden and I with the Cox/Ford family! 
Caden and I with Gram and KK... three generations... aren't we cute? 
Caden and I in action! Check out all of those gifts... we were spoiled ten times over yesterday! Caden has more Baylor stuff than any one child will ever need! Sic 'em! 
Me and my wonderful and beautiful hostesses! Shelly...we missed you! Cori, Steph, Meli, and Emily. Just four years ago, four of the five of my hostesses were in my wedding... and the only things that have changed are their last names. They are still the best friends a girl could ask for. We have also decided that had we known Emily in college, she'd have totally been a great addition! At least we've got her now! :) THANKS AGAIN for everything! I love y'all!!

Justin and I have had more fun playing with all of Caden's new loot and talking about all of the fun memories we have with each and every person who was there yesterday! We topped off our perfect day with a bedtime discussion of all of the great things yet to come! Here's to more memories!

Happy Monday!