Sunday, January 25, 2009


Well, we've made it a week!  Andy and I just celebrated Lathan's one-week birthday with a card and a picture out in the cold!  Darn that indoor lighting...if it were better we wouldn't have to brave the cold.
Baby likes the brisk air though--you can tell by the scowl he makes, ha!


We signed the card (we figured we could include the photo and write what the first week was like for him to open later in life) and both of us remarked how it was weird but cool to write "MOMMY" and "DADDY"  for the first time in this context.
There are so many little details like that that you just don't think about before parenthood--right other rents out there?

Lathan got to meet his Great-Aunt Fran & Great-Uncle Steve yesterday as well as Lynn Crimmins (you NCMA-er's know Lynn).  They all had a chance to greet the little one even though he slept through most of it.  Later Lathan met his Aunt Wendy and Uncle "B" (Benton) for the first time.  We tend to gauge how much he likes someone by how much he can sleep during their visit (just kidding).  He was pretty snoozy yesterday.  

Mom, Dad, Benton & Wendy came over last night and cooked us a great dinner along with some delicious cupcakes (we'll call that baby's first birthday cupcakes--thanks Nanni).  We're working on the grandparent names--if anyone has suggestions go ahead and put 'em out there.  We're trying Nanni on for size right now.  Grandfather Armstrong is giving "Poppy" a try on for size too.

Today we have Andy's parents (Anna & Papa or LouAnne & Phil) coming in for their first visit as well as my grandmother, Nana (the great-grandmother).  They all seem very excited to meet the golden headed child.  

Also, Mommy (that's me!) got her first trip out of the house solo this morning.  I went to Target where I got a latte from Starbucks and strolled around like I was on Rodeo drive.  It was so luxurious.  Also, it was fun to walk through the baby section and feel like I really belonged there now.  During my pregnancy I always felt like I was kind of sneaking into that area--like a 15 year old in a casino.  You know you're not a legitimate player yet, always trying to look like you belong, but also flying under the radar so you don't get kicked out.  This time I was a high-roller placing the big bets.  :)

Well, I started this around 11:30am and now it's 8:10pm.  Almost time for another feeding (for both me & Lathan) then some quick shut-eye (after watching the premiere episode of Lost--finally!)

Friday, January 23, 2009


Man, what a whirlwind so far!  I thought I was going to be able to give a Dick Vitale type play-by-play on this thing but it's a little hard to stay up to the minute when every one is filled with feeding, diapering, cooing, bouncing, running to appointments and the occasional hour or so of sleep BABY! (That's the Vitale "baby" in case any of you ACC fans were wondering).  We did actually catch a couple of games the other night though (that's why sports commentators are on the brain) while we were in between baby moments.
Well, here's what you've all been waiting for... photos!  We've taken a ton, as well as some videos (got to figure out how to upload those to the computer first!), so I'm having to edit down.  I'll post more tomorrow but here are some of our favs.

Andy has been amazing... everything from labor & delivery (you should hear him tell it from his perspective--"surreal" is a term he's used frequently when describing it) to all of the activity at home.  Lathan LOVES him to pieces.  It's amazing how wide he opens his eyes and how quickly he quiets down when held by daddy.  I've always told Andy that babies love him...I think this proves me right (somebody quick... put that down in the record books!!)  He's a natural at it too... it's awesome to watch...I can't believe how lucky Lathan and I are to have him  (ugh, I'm getting misty just thinking about it).
I mentioned to two different moms (my own and my friend Madeline) that I've been crazy hormonal since the pregnancy started and just about anything could make be start weeping (for instance, WALL-E, just glancing though a baby book, a killer face-melting dunk from Danny Green-sorry State fans, we watch a lot of UNC ball in the house lately). They both said that that doesn't change.  It's funny (strange funny) how when you're asked an arsenal of questions about how your feeling post-partum, no doubt to identify if you have any depression, if you've been crying at all.  H-E-double hockey sticks YEAH I've been crying (not excessively though)--how can you not be moved to tears when you're staring at something so beautiful & sweet.  Jeez I'm sappy... let's move on to poop. (Just kidding)

So, just for general update purposes...he's doing great but has had a little bit of jaundice so he's been kickin' it on top of a very rave-a-licious blue light mat (sounds like some freaky European club--"dude let's go to "GLOW"  and have some appletinis & lay on the blue light mats").  Apparently it's doing the trick as his results from the 2nd heel prick blood test said he was improving.  I can tell he's looking "pinker" too.  Ronnie-man, I can't wait for you to see this kid.  Andy and I crack up at how much he reminds us of you...golden-red hair and rosy cheeks (you know how you used to do "Sad Ronnie"?  Lathan has that down pat and he's never even met you!!)  Usually we get to see Sad Ronnie-Lathan face when there's a diaper prize awaiting :)   Anyhoo, he seems to be getting much better (yay).  It hasn't affected his demeanor at all though...very sweet, happy, lots of squeals & squeaks and of course, the occasional crying/screaming.  Nothing disturbing though (thank goodness).

We're having a great time with him but we also miss you all.  Can't wait to show him off to you soon.  We've had a few outings (Dr.'s office, hospital for labwork) but not much big...we may wait a bit to parade him around just to avoid any overwhelming moments for him.  It won't be long though.  If anyone is interested in coming by to see us just let us know and we'll try to set something up.  Our schedule is erratic to say the least but we've come to know when we can handle visitors for the little monkey (or minkey if you're a Peter Sellers fan).  You should see his little shoulders--they're crazy fuzzy and with his long arms and tight grip he really does come off like a monkey-boy.  Maybe we should've named him Tarzan.  I guess we'll save that for the next one :)

Oh yeah, we were being discharged from the hospital just after the inauguration of President Obama (we had the pleasure of watching it on CNN uninterrupted in our room-surprising for a hospital-all you moms & dads know what I'm talkin' 'bout)!  We commented on how cool it is that the country is making it's transition just as we are!   Historic.

Enjoy the photos. 
jennycakes, bossman & monkey-boy


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bun's done!!

Ding! That's the timer (although my natural belly button timer never officially popped out). It turns out the baking instructions were a little off and he was done a couple of weeks early!

I won't go into the gory details but here's the short version:
  1. water breaks (leaving work)
  2. went to hospital (friendly security guy who gave us the score of the UNC game)
  3. waded through non-medicated contractions for 4 hours (ouch)
  4. finally got epidural at 3:15am ( decision I've ever made regarding pain)
  5. tried to "nap" until about 9am (ha)
  6. started pushing at around 10:45
  7. bouncing baby boy with a great set of lungs at 11:25am!! YIPPIE!
Not bad for 16 hours and 40 minutes, huh?

He's absolutely beautiful...can't wait to share some photos once we get home from the hospital and can load up some shots for all of you!

Here are the stats:
Lathan Dean Hicks
(Lathan-Andy's Dad's middle name, Dean-Jennifer's Grandmother's maiden name)
Born January 18, 2009 (Capricorn for you horoscope buffs)
7lbs. 5oz.
20.5 inches long
Big feet! (Just like his folks)
Potentially red hair (hard to tell right now but it's likely!!)

Thanks for all the well wishes from everyone! Just wanted to let you all know how thrilled we are and that we're totally in love with the little guy. He's healthy and handsome...the best we could've wished for and lil'mama & daddychef Andy are doing great too.
The new "rents"

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Busy week

Well, it's been a busy week getting close to the big day...less than 3 weeks remaining.  WOW.
We attended our final childbirth class on Monday where we enjoyed pizza (thank you) & cookies (again, gracias) with our fellow classmates and learned about labor with pain medications.  It was also a very "arts and crafty" class including making paper-plate fans (yes, I know how juvenile that sounds) with encouraging words on them for labor.  It truly felt like a second grade project but somehow all of us got into it and "bedazzled" our dorky fans. Now I kind of want to have it with us at the hospital...I think it might give me a laugh.  We also made the "birth plan" this week which should probably be called "a list of demands that are unlikely to be met".  It's a wish-list for labor... assuming everything goes the way you want.  Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky.  I did try to make it very positive so the nurses won't think I'm some kind of control freak.  If anyone has suggestions on what kind of nurse-greasing goodies I should take don't hesitate to let me know.  I'm thinking double-chocolate cherry cookies or something of that nature.  Too bad we can't take them some filet mignon with one of Andy's killer sauces...that would have them feeding me grapes and fanning me with palm leaves, don't you think?

Also had an appointment on Tuesday where I'm told that everything is looking "perfect".  I got a verbal gold star from my midwife (although one of the nurses who weighed me said I must have had a "hungry couple of weeks" since my last checkup--how dare she).  We're feeling pretty good about the whole thing but I'm always looking forward to the next office visit.  He (baby) is 37cm right now (and I'm 37 weeks-right on target) and he's in the "head down" position.  For those of you who have given birth you're probably thinking..."nice--good boy".  For those of you who are wondering why that's better he be ready now to come out the right way rather than be in one of the "breech" positions--butt down, one leg down, sideways, etc.  You really learn a lot of interesting information when you're preggers.  

I've been working a decent amount this week but can definitely feel it once I get home.  Still, it's good to be around everyone.  I have gotten a few "what are you doing here" comments but I assure those who ask that they'll get a much needed break from me soon enough. :)

We've been narrowing in on names for the bambino--but we're still going to keep it hush-hush until he arrives.  
We're entertaining a bunch of family names, some cool names we've heard over the years and a couple of unusual ones.  We don't want it to be a nightmare in school with a weird name...although it's doubtful our kid will have the weirdest one.  I can't believe some of the names I've read online and in naming books. For example:  Moxie Crimefighter?   Seriously Penn Jillette (you know, Penn & Teller).  Could you handicap this kid a little more.  Oh, it's a girl too.  Actually, Moxie doesn't really bother me...I guess it's the whole package.
Or how about Matt Lauer's kid Thijs.  Granted, it's a Dutch name but who in the US is going to know to pronounce that "tice"?  Not I.

I did get turned onto a super-cool site (for you Obama fans) this week by a friend at work, Mary Blake, that I've been obsessed with for the last few days.  Here's a sample of the fun.  It's a site to create a "poster" inspired by Obama's pop-art campaign posters.  Check out the Obamicon site at  paste magazine.  I couldn't resist making this cute one of our baby-dog Mooshu.

Not much else to report... although I expect I'll be able to provide some more interesting content in the next couple of weeks.

I can tell you though that Andy has been hard at work on his killer potting shed and it's looking great.  Almost every afternoon he's been able to get out and complete a "row" of shingles (lovely scented cedar shake).  He's about halfway through at this point.  Once the roof is finished it's most likely onto the windows and the interior... he'll have to wait on the outside as the temp has to be more moderate for stucco.  We'll be sure to have a shed-warming event sometime in the late-spring or summer! 

Thanks to all who have sent gifties!!  They're all so adorable and I do have plans to send out some cute thank-you notes in case you were wondering.  Here's a parting photo of me when my aspiration was to be a comet spokes-model.  Funny how chubby knees & legs never go out of style.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Technology is Fun

Confirmation that "It's a Boy!"

Cute face and "melon belly"

My favorite scan--teeny-tiny baby feet (they pack a punch though!)

Now that the "nesting" urge is really kicking in I'm trying to wrap up some projects that have been lingering, one of which is scanning all of our ultrasound images into the computer.  I was surprised to find that they don't really need to do them after a certain point...the last one I had was way back in September!  Anyway, I thought I would include a couple of my favorite images (there are tons of them so I've tried to edit).

As for a baby update...he's been kicking and squirming well this week.  He's gained a new fondness for Ben & Jerry's Cake Batter Ice Cream (that is, when he can't convince me with jabs & punches to go to Cold Stone).  Andy has said all along he responds to sugar, and I'm sure he's right.  I'm sincerely trying to hold back on all the sugar but it is hard to resist when everyone's telling you "you have a great excuse".  Don't worry, we're getting our veggies & protein too.

We've been trying to get out to a UNC game since they're so awesome this season (Andy's chomping at the bit to see them) so hopefully we'll be able to hold out until NCSU-UNC game at state to which we have tickets on the 31st.  It's cutting it close but, who knows, maybe we'll get a great story out of it.

This week was also the start of PEDIATRICIAN QUEST '09.  The two that we visited were both really great.  There's one more to check next Wednesday then we're picking one.  Incidentally, at each of the first two offices we ran into a couple (different one each time) from our childbirth classes.  Small world.

I've been asked at lot when my maternity leave from work will start and I still don't really have an answer.  The plan is to limit my hours but still go in a few days a week.  I have an event this Saturday that's fairly sizable then there's really nothing I need to be around for until late February.  The one in February will be covered by Morgan but I'm going to make it turnkey so he doesn't have to deal.  It's a members "re"-opening of the American Gallery.  It's really just highlights of the collection but it should be a cool exhibition.  One thing they've planned to do for the gallery is use this one as a prototype for the new building meaning they're experimenting with different (minimal) labeling and an all-white layout.  Anyone who's been in the museum in the last 15 years knows that's not our usual M.O.  For the opening (which is titled "Made in the USA") I'm planning a sort of "Gangs of New York" kind of look...sort of early immigration-gritty victorian style.  It should be interesting.  Yesterday I went over to CE Rental to pick out some potential linens.  I'm treating this one like a costuming job--If you saw the movie you remember lots of weird combos.  Daniel Day Lewis has a combination of plaid, suspenders, velvet, brocade and of course that awesome top hat and mustache.  I wonder if I can get all of the waiters to wear mustaches...that would be awesome.  If they only knew the ideas I cook up for them...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rainbows & Babies

Doesn't that sound like the sticky-sweetest title?  Sorry to disappoint anyone who thought I might be having a sarcastic's really true.  That's what I've got for you today.
It's weird, this afternoon with all the freakish wind we're having & the occasional rain it's been making the sky look really cool.  I just happened to look out the window above the front door and saw some rainbow-licious light (you know--that freaky afternoon yellow sky when the clouds are dark behind you but the sun is streaming through somewhere).'s what we got--DOUBLE RAINBOW!  Love it.  It's actually over our neighbor's house (they just had a baby in November).  They were away at Christmas and didn't get any of our neighbor goodies (didn't want them to get all funky on their porch for a week) so we thought we would compile several photos of weather events behind their house (yes, there's been more than this one) along with some fresh cookies.  That's one of those things you rarely get...a photo of your house with a rainbow behind it...since when you're on the lookout for one you're likely standing in your front doorway.
In addition to the 'bow I searched through some of my archives and found several super cute old baby pics.  Here are just a few.
This one is baby Andy (his birthday is December 6th but he was apparently 18 days early according to Lou Anne!)  
He is appropriately staged as a gift though (awww).

This one is baby Alyce (my mom) on her first birthday.  Cool toy--very retro (ha).

This one is baby Bob (my dad).  This is one of his calmer moments as a kid--no windows were shattered or fires started in this photo to my knowledge :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tidying Up

Well, we took down the Christmas decorations today and it's full steam ahead with baby prep.  We've been researching video cameras today and I've been trying to get some tips on photographing babies (there's lots of good info online fortunately).  We want to be sure to capture as much of the cuteness as possible.  
So, I thought I would include some photos of the belly starting back in the summer so you can see how far we've come!  He's been kicking up a storm doubt in preparation for making diapering and swaddling challenging for the new "rents".  I got a great book from Jennifer Ussery, "Babi-gami" with lots of great wrap styles for swaddling (one of the tips I got from a co-worker---SWADDLE, SWADDLE, SWADDLE).  Can't wait to wrap him up like a burrito.
Went to the next-to-last baby prep class last night and learned all about pain medications for childbirth.  Still not sure which way we'll go...I'll just have to play it by ear.
Anyhoo, here are a few pictures of the belly from along the way.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Here we go!

Hi All,  
Here is the initial post to the new blog that will chronic-(what?)-cle (that's for you digital short fans) the new family developments for Andy and myself.  I've just entered the 9th month with about 5 weeks until the official due date of February 3rd.  We're both eager to meet the little one--it's so hard to wait but we've "rotated the pan and will continue to bake until GB&D" (for you kitchen-folk you know that normally means golden brown and this case let's go with grinning, bouncing & dapper).  
Just this past Saturday mom, Fran & Nana threw a fantastic shower for me & the bambino!  It was so much fun and great to see everyone.  Jennifer Ussery came the furthest...from Marshall in the mountains and back to Gastonia in one day (thanks Jen).  Jackyln Johnson did the reverse as she had another shower to get to up in Wilkesboro (there are babies growing all over the place right now!).  Thanks to all who attended --it was great to see you and I love all of the gifts for the baby!  
I've been "nesting" in the roost since Saturday including removing tags, organizing the bookshelf (which is rapidly filling with super cute books) and trying to figure out where all of those diapers are going to go (I know, ultimately they're going in the multitude of diaper pail liners that I'm sure to be purchasing soon).  There is certainly no lack of estimates on how many diapers are likely to be used in the first year of a baby's life.  Maybe we'll keep track of that for posterity (HA!!) 
Well, that's all I can muster for the first posting but I'll add a couple of photos of two familiar babies just for fun.
Happy New Year to everyone and stay tuned...