Touch this... just touch it!!!

So last night I pulled my lazy butt off the couch to make myself a cup of sleepytime tea (Glorious!) and felt this pressure in my abdomen. Not a pain persay, I certainly didn't yelp or shout, but a seriously strong pressure. I made my way to the kitchen and once there began to press (gently, of course) to see if it was tender to touch or was painful in anyway. Of course by now my blood pressure was rising and I was imagining only worst case scenarios all of which completely terrified me.

So I felt around a bit at this spot, located between my left hip and my lower abdomen about 2 inches or so below my belly button, and noticed that it felt hard, like a lump, but was very smooth. I made Steve touch it. He felt nothing. Perplexed I sat down with the encyclopedia of babydom - what to expect when you are expecting - and discovered that very slender gals might be able to feel the "baby cave" during their 4th month. I am still very full of myself as I now want to be referred to as a "slender gal," but am even more excited that I was able to not only feel and touch the spot where Cash is growing, but also pinpoint his/her location in my body.

There is an "alien" in my body. I instantly wanted to yell down to Cash, "umm hi, I know it is cramped in there, but this is still my body and that is still my abdomen, can you lay off so I can go to bed." But all of that went away when I made Steve try again and he felt itdeclaring this smooth hard lump "wierd" but in a "good way." =)

I verified with Nurse Kiki that all is well and normal and she concurred that it was likely the "baby cave" we were feeling. PHEW!

How INSANE is this --- we can almost feel Cash?! I suspect that in the next few weeks I might even begin to feel movement, being a "slender gal" and all, and I am so excited, and ok I admit it, a bit freaked out by the whole thing... Keep growing Cash!!!! I can take the pressure!

Bump Watch

Pulled from the headlines of US Weekly, we have our own Bump Watch, which lately is more like a "bloat watch."

There is still not a noticeable change in waistline, but some previously snug pants have reached a level of uncomfortable that makes mom-to-be cringe when she thinks about sitting behind her desk all day wearing them.

Today is my first day wearing my Bella Band.
(http://www.bellaband.com/)
Special thanks to Kerry and Erin for telling me about it!!!

I went to put on my most favorite old standby black pants this morning, which I am only slightly ashamed to admit were purchased at the end of my senior year of college, freshly cleaned and pressed. They went on easy, but when buttoned and zipped were quite uncomfortable. Thank the LORD for the Bella Band! I just put it on over the top of my pants and here I am sitting at my desk, pants unbuttoned, with no one the wiser. Since no one here in the office is aware that we have a cashew in our life, this is an even more wonderful thing. The longevity of my secret staying secret is somewhat questionable.

So here are a couple "bloat watch" shots. If nothing else they will serve as a reminder of what my waist previously looked like.













Let's not discuss my puny, bony, pointy elbow =) Why am I more bloated from this angle??

Cashew!?!


We're having a Cashew!!!!

...at least that is what we are calling the new little life due to to arrive in our (and your) life on February 3rd, 2007. The moniker is catching on and as as we debate names, it is becoming clear that "Cash" is not just catching on for now. This poor little guy/girl may very well be called Cash for a long time coming.

In all seriousness, Steve and I could not be more excited about this new part of our life together. I find that I drive more carefully, avoid jaywalking, and debate in my head whether I need that cookie, that scoop of ice cream, or any other deliciously empty-caloried snack. Steve is doing his part to keep me motivated to exercise (moderately of course) and being a great support system. Who else could deal with their spouse's eyes drooping each night at nine o'clock?

People seem to want to know how I am feeling. Overall, I have no complaints. I have been somewhat fatigued, but have not had any morning sickness and I hope that continues. I have gained between 1.5 and 2 pounds thus far, but my body is already changing a bit to accomodate Cash, who at this point is about the size of a lime. My mother did not really and truly "show" until about 6 months, so I am crossing my fingers for the same to be true of me.

This weekend we were at Humarock to celebrate Steve's Grandfather's 90th birthday. It was a great day, despite one powerful downpour, and the guest of honor seemed to have really enjoyed himself. Here are some photos from the day courtesy of Kiki.





Steve and the aunties-to-be sporting their "I heart Grampa" shirts for the 90th birthday celebration












The whole fam

The New 101 in 1001

Expires: March 5, 2013 - extended because I have two children and WORK full-time.

Visit Camden Yards
Start Composting
Adopt a puppy
Children’s Theatre Performance
See a movie at a drive-in
Plant a tree
Take the Fenway Park Tour
Spend the week on the Vineyard at Juju’s Pond
Have a Beach Bonfire and Movie Night
Shirley Temples and Rob Roys
Teach the kids how to skate
Watch the Neverending Story
Eat rainbow snowcones
Go on a hike
Storyland in NH
Teach the kids how to swim
Teach Caroline how to ride a bike
Watch the Sound of Music
Let Caroline pull Connor in the Radio Flyer
Have a snowball fight
Make an apple pie from scratch
Make dessert crepes
Visit Sesame Place
Handprints in cement at our house
Make Huevos Rancheros
Eat Dim Sum
Make at least 5 things from the Top Chef Quickfire Cookbook
Bring the kids to the Chocolate Bar at the Langham Hotel while they are still free
Eat an oyster
Introduce the kids to sushi
Make homemade donuts
Slip and Slide
Play Tag in the rain
Help serve or deliver food on Thanksgiving
Yarn Pom Pom
Pick Strawberries (maybe ones we GROW!)
Go Camping
Bring Caroline to see an amazing show/musical
Spa Day for the girls
Send Steve off to Cooperstown with his Dad
Top of the Empire State Building
Visit Blacksburg with the best tour guide ever
From scratch Lemon Meringue Pie
Connor and Steve go to a Boston Team Playoff Game
Meet Caroline’s first Best Friend
Get a Foosball Table
Play Battleship with the kids
Get Connor a library card
Castle Island
Robbins Farm/Skyline Park in Arlington
Jimmy Fund Scooperbowl
Drive them over the Zakim at night
Fresh baked Cookies at the Top of the Hub
Marshfield Fair
Run a Marathon (Steve says there is not a chance in hell I can do this)
Frog Pond or Christian Science Center Spray Fountain
IMAX Movie
Take a T ride
Mary Baker Eddy Mapparium
No more diapers!
West Coast Sox Game
Spring Training

Completed:

Connor naps on the beach (Summer 2010)
Read the kids The Little House (July 2010)
New England Aquarium Penguins (July 2010)
Bring the kids to Fenway (August 2010)
Apple picking (Fall 2010 with Marc and Kelly)
Get the kids an amazing playscape (Fall 2010 - thanks Kiki and Papa)
Move out of Kiki and Papa’s house (October 2010)
Buy a new house (October 2010)
Get Connor his matching family stocking (Winter 2010)
Bring Caroline to the Nutcracker LIVE (Christmas 2010)
Celebrate Connor’s Baptism (March 2011)
Make Beef Bourguignon (April 2011)
Start a blog for Caroline using the photos from her camera (Spring 2011)
Plant an herb garden (Spring 2011 - Basil and Parsley)
Plant Sunflowers (Spring 2011)
Teach Connor how to throw a ball (Spring 2011)
Roast marshmallows over an open fire (With Uncle Marc in Falmouth, July 2011)
Swim in the ocean with the kids (1/2 completed with Caroline July 2011)
Haircut for Connor (Summer 2011)
Read a chapter book or series bit by bit to them (Summer 2011 with Caroline)
Introduce Connor to lobster (August 2011)
Convince Caroline to hug Baldwin (Fall 2011 - high five counts)
Play at Mickey’s House (September 2011)
Listen to my daughter read me a bedtime story (January 2012)
Teach Caroline how to spell her last name (January 2012)
Teach the kids how to skate (1 down, 1 to go - Caroline winter 2011-12)
Help them raise money for something they care about (Dog Shelter Birthday, 2012)
Mini Golf (Myrtle Beach, 2012)
Explore the Boston Children’s Museum (Spring/Summer 2012)
Swim in the ocean with the kids (Summer 2012)
Make lemonade from real lemons (Summer 2012)
Paper airplanes (Fall 2012)
Bury the kids in the sand (Summer 2012)
Teach Caroline to tie her own shoes (Fall 2012)
Dual Santa Lap Sit (December 2012)
Start a tradition and spend the New Year in Boston (New tradition at home with friends! 2012)
Donate old toys to charity (December 2012)
Go Sledding (December 30, 2012)
Christmas Tree Lighting (December 9, 2012)

101 in 1001: Completion Date: June 8th, 2010

WAITING FOR COMPLETION

See a puppet show
Ride a pony
Hold a hockey stick
Newport Cliff Walk
Fancy Tea

IMPOSSIBLE

Go to Yankee Stadium - oh darn, we can't do this one
Go to Shea - seriously not going to happen
Visit the Bronx Zoo - wish this could have happened

CARRIED OVER TO NEW LIST 

Sesame Place - missed the window with Caroline
Donate old toys to charity - they are boxed up, we'll add this to the new list
Go skating- missed winter due to bedrest and new baby
Go Sledding - see above
Handprints in cement at our house - this will be MONUMENTAL
Shoe Tying 101 - she doesn't technically own any tie shoes! yet!

COMPLETED

Help her make a meal for Daddy (June 2010)
Tell her the story of how she was born (June 2010)
Give Mommy a Makeover (June 2010)
Bury her in the sand (feet only - May 2010)
Teach the words to Edelweiss (May 2010)
American Girl Place in NYC (OR NATICK!)
Fly a kite (May 2010)
Go to a petting zoo (May 2010)
Pottery Paint Place (with Auntie C, May 15, 2010)
Read Dick and Jane (May 2010 - Dick and Jane Fun Wherever We Are)
Staring contest (May 2010 and a complete and utter FAIL)
Jump Rope (May 2010)
Send an email (to Daddy May 2010)
Take her on a surprise trip (Swan Boats May 2010)
Boston Public Garden Swan Boats (With Kiki May 2010)
Watch the Nutcracker (ABT DVD May 2010)
Show her the Big Dipper (with Kiki at the beach "40,000 times")
Show her Orion (with Kiki at the beach "40,000 times")
Watch clouds (out her window in Medfield April 2010)
Find her Easter Basket (April 2010 - next to the piano)
Library Card (April 2010)
Build a sandcastle (April 2010 at Papa's Beach)
Give her a brother or sister (January 18, 2010)
Race (April 2010 at Kiki and Papa's House)
Attend Northeastern Hockey game (BC game instead with Daddy, Mommy, Marc and Kelly)
Snowman (with Mommy Winter 2009 in CT)
Snowball (with daddy Winter 2009 in CT)
Snow Angel (with daddy Winter 2009 in CT)
Teach somersault (Nana in CT on her birthday)
Let her read a bedtime story to us (Winter 2010)
Write a letter to Santa (XMAS 2009)
Hang her own stocking (XMAS 2009)
Go trick or treating (Fall 2009 at Sean and Courtney's House)
Compare our hands and feet (Fall 2009, laying together under a blanket on the couch)
Whisper secrets (September 2009 Under the covers hiding from Daddy)
Make a card for someone special (For Michelle Fall 2009)
Go apple picking (Pumpkin Picking - close enough - October 2009)
Take a hay ride (October 2009 with Ethan and Samantha)
Go to a movie theatre (October 2009 - Toy Story in 3D)
See a rainbow (June 2009 at the beach of course)
Search for sea glass (Summer 2009)
Roll down a hill (Easter 2009)
Shovel Snow (January 2009)
Play dress up (February 2009 - Thanks to the C3 Family's birthday gift!)
Catch snowflakes on our tongues (December 20, 2008 with Auntie C)
Decorate cupcakes (COOKIES - December 2008)
Put the tree topper on (December 2008)
Help decorate the Christmas Tree (December 2008)
Start a growth chart on the back of the kitchen door (November 2008)
Have hot cocoa (November 2008)
Teach her how to say her last name (October 2008)
Decorate a jack-o-latern (October 2008)
Martha's Vineyard (September 12, 2008)
Say I love you - (Sepember, 2008 "Ya Ya")
Mystic (August, 2008)
Catch a firefly (August 12, 2008)
Show her how to take a photo - August 2008
Spend the night with Nana and Granda (Completed July 2008)
Swim in the ocean (Completed July 2008)
Make cookies (Completed July 2008)
Read a book about important works of art (June 2008 Baby Einstein Windows Book)
Show her how to talk on the phone (May 2008)
Plant a tree or bush (June 2008 - container garden)
Dance (May 2008)
Eat Ice Cream (Completed May 2008)
Eat Lobster - (Completed Memorial Day 2008)
Toss her into the air (Completed May 2008)
Blow bubbles (Completed April 2008)
Hold hands (Completed April 2008)
Take a flight (Completed February 2007)
Philadelphia (Completed March 2008)
Push her on the swings (completed February 3, 2008)
Eat Cake (Completed Feb 2, 2008)
Show her my pointe shoes (January 27th, 2008)
Rockefeller "Holiday" Tree (Completed Dec 28, 2007)
Take a train (December 28th, 2007)
Get a piece of mail delivered to her (Birthday Presents! January 2008)
Give a present (Christmas 2007)
Pierce ears (Completed December 20, 2007)
Play catch (Completed December 2007)
Snuggle by a fire (Completed November 24, 2007)
Read The Night Before Christmas (November 24, with Kiki and Steve November 25th)
Spend the night with Kiki and Poppa (November 10, 2007)
Get dressed up for Halloween (2007- Fairy)
Sign up for Swim Class (Class Start Date November 3, 2007)
Open a present (completed 9/15/07 with Auntie C)

Photos

Caroline's First Month



Caroline's Second Month



Caroline Month 3



Caroline Month 4




Caroline Month 5



Caroline Month 6


Caroline Month 7




Caroline Month 8




Caroline Month 9


Caroline Month 10


Caroline Month 11




Caroline Month 12



Caroline First Birthday


Caroline Month 13



Puerto Vallarta - Choyfrocca



Caroline Month 14



Caroline Month 15


Caroline Month 16



July 3rd 08




Caroline Month Eighteen



Caroline Month 19


Caroline Month 20



Caroline Month 21




Caroline Month 21B




Caroline Month 22




Caroline Month 23




Caroline Month 24


Caroline Month 25

About Me

There is something daunting in starting an “About Me” page isn’t there? So I’ll answer via Who? What? Where? When? And Why?

Who?

Kerri, 30 31 32 33 (strike>34 35, McMomma to Caroline (2.2007). and Connor (1.2010). I work full time as a hospice social worker and spend evenings and weekends packing in as many Insanity Workouts, board games, puzzles, hockey games, Disney streaming movies on Netflix and brownie batches as possible with my kids. Married to Steve; rabid Boston College and Boston sports fan. Together we enjoy watching the Sox, renting Netflix movies for months at a time, and ice-cold beer on Friday Thursday nights.

What?

McCashew is a place we created to share our pregnancy with our family and friends. We nicknamed Caroline Cashew early and not because she resembled one on the ultrasound. No, no. That would make too much sense. Auntie k was so overwhelmed when we shared the news that she quoted Dane Cook’s “I’m a cashew, let’s do this!” The rest is history. Cashew became Cash and Cash became Caroline, but the moniker remains. We are the McCashews.

Where?

Our little piece of the McFam resides in the greater Boston area, far enough outside the city that I have from time to time found chipmunks inside our home. The spiders are also larger, but I hear the rodents are much much smaller, though I can't say that from personal experience. Both Steve and I share MA roots, on different sides of the state. We both attended college in Boston (BC for him, Northeastern for me) and met halfway through my senior year. The story goes that he saw in me an opportunity to experience Senior Week all over again and that opportunity was too good to pass up. We lived in Brighton not long after we met and eventually moved to the Boston burbs. We got hitched in 2004 and our honeymoon brought us home just in time to see the final game of the ALCS. Steve was relocated to CT in 2006, at pretty much the exact moment we learned a baby was on the way. We started a life down in CT with our new daughter, bought a house, and spent a great deal of time commuting up to Boston for football games, beach adventures and seeing family. CT never felt like home and when Connor was 5 days old we received word we were being relocated happily back to Boston. Steve's family took us in, allowing us to avoid a terrible commuting situation for Steve. 8 months later we bought a house in the town Steve grew up in and we are quite settled into our little life here, a family of four.

When?

McCashew was established in 2006 as a way to keep in touch with family and friends back home and document our little journey toward parenthood. I never expected that it would still be around today, or that it would have become such a large part of my life.

Why?


I’ve always enjoyed writing. Though I don't consider myself to be very talented, this space has really given me a chance to crack my writer knuckles a bit more. At one point in my life I wanted to be a high school English teacher. If you read here long enough you will see that my grammar would have been a major hurdle. I tend to think I am much funnier than I am in reality, but this place allows me the space to share the goings on, the ups and downs, and to document our little life. Someday I hope to share this with my kids. I hope they like what they see, and I hold out hope that it might in some way get us through the teenage years ahead.

Email McCashew

Have I delighted or offended you? I'd love to hear about it.

mccashews@gmail.com