Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Forgive the tardiness of this post, but pictures are finally available. More importantly, there’s finally a few minutes in the day (here and there) to write it. This Christmas was extra special in that almost everyone was here from both sides of the family. What a treat for Olivia’s first Christmas! Paula and Steve hosted a fabulous Christmas Eve dinner with delicious food and great company. Thank you for convincing us to have dinner at your house rather than the original plan of hosting with a new baby! What were we thinking? 🙂 The Yankee Swap was a huge success across the board, and the Jacob family was a good sport participating in the Danish tradition of rice pudding before the main meal.

Jacob Clan:

Cronin Clan:

Though we never made it to Fort Worth or Dallas to see the Christmas lights in the fancy neighborhoods, we did manage a few excursions with the family to help show Dane and Claire the sites during their first visit to Texas. The week included many firsts for Olivia as she ventured beyond the hospital, the doctor’s office and Grandma’s house. What a difference it is to try and do anything outside the house when you have a newborn in tow!

Christmas decorations in downtown Grapevine

Dec 21 exploration

Dec 21 exploration




Fort Worth Zoo

Awake for the gorillas but that's about it

Fort Worth Zoo December 22

Awake only for the gorillas. Oh well – it was a beautiful day to walk around the zoo and it wasn’t even crowded! The highlight was the baby rhino.

Downtown Dallas & Sonny Bryan’s

Texas BBQ for Olivia's first restaurant

Texas BBQ for Olivia’s first restaurant
Despite appearances this is a restaurant not a bar!

Despite appearances this is a restaurant not a bar!

The biggest adventure for all was a white Christmas. Though beautiful, it wreaked havoc on travel plans for the Cronin crew. While we spent Christmas afternoon with the Jacobs, our guests were dealing with DFW fiascoes. All ended up eventually back at our house on Christmas night after various travel nightmares of delayed and cancelled flights. Luckily for them they were able to escape our crazy household to return to their previous plans early the next morning. For some this meant heading in to work (Dad), for others it meant racing to catch a flight for the next vacation plan (Dane and Claire). After various reroutes, paying for extra flights on a different airline, and a good friend meeting them at the airport with passports in hand, Dane and Claire successfully made their flight to Vienna. It was a Christmas miracle.

In addition to having all our family together for the first time since our wedding, and having Mom here to help out the week prior to Christmas, the best present of all this year was little Miss Olivia. Christmas 2012 will certainly be hard to beat.

Click here to see more pictures from Christmas Eve, Christmas and the rest of the week.


Welcome Olivia!

Many have been asking how things are going after we welcomed Miss Olivia Harper Jacob into the world on Thursday, November 8th. The short version is that we have survived the so-called “2-week hazing period” more or less in tact. (Hazing is an apt term considering the hazy fog we’ve been living in as a result of sleep deprivation.)

The longer version of the story includes multiple doctor’s visits and a trip to the ER on Thanksgiving. Olivia dropped 12.5% of her birth weight in 4 days, raising red flags to the pediatrician. As a result we’ve been on a roller coaster ride of various feeding rituals and frequent weight checks at the doctor. Though still not back to her birth weight of 7 lbs 1 oz, she’s finally headed in the right direction with a combination of breast milk and formula supplementation. We continue to hold out hope to eliminate the formula supplementation but only time will tell if that’s possible.  In addition to feeding issues, we have also been dealing with early cord removal concerns.  At 11 days old as she was performing her crawling ritual up her daddy’s chest, she snagged her cord. Olivia may be too active for her own good! The pediatrician applied silver nitrate to dry out and disinfect the remaining cord, however, too much was applied and it spread beyond her belly button. As a result, Olivia spent her first Thanksgiving in the ER with a chemical burn. Luckily it is now looking better, but still not 100% healed.

It’s amazing how not until you are struggling with something do you learn how many people have been in the same situation (dealing with early losses, breastfeeding and sleeping difficulties, early cord removal etc). Thank you to all who have shared their stories and experiences to let us know that we aren’t alone. While these roadblocks are frustrating, we know that things could certainly be worse and are grateful that they are not.

Olivia already has a very strong personality and has us both wrapped around her little fingers, worrying about every tiny thing. Those of you who are parents are probably laughing since I’m sure you saw that coming from a mile away. We’ll keep chugging along doing the best we can and hope that is good enough. Maybe we’ll even get to the point where we won’t cater to her every cry, but for now she’s our baby and we can’t spoil her enough.

Click here for pictures of her first few weeks including hospital pictures, first time home, visiting with family, one week birthday pics, her first walk around the block, etc.


People keep asking if we are nesting yet. I suppose the answer would be yes, though what some people refer to as “nesting” I think of as everyday life of a person who’s now also trying to deal with restless legs and even more of a wandering mind at night. My parents instilled in me at an early age the sense of guilt and laziness for sleeping in too long and letting a day go to waste, especially when the weather is nice. Whether they intended to or not, this made me a morning person (poor Ben!). On the flip side, my brother somehow escaped that feeling and took the night owl gene enjoying the quiet solitude of dark rather than dawn, as does Ben. Our little girl seems to have combined both elements in the womb making sure to let me know that she’s awake with her rolls, kicks and punches taunting me: “Why are you lying here doing nothing? Get up!” We’re in trouble!


Has anyone else suffered from restless legs and racing minds in the last weeks of pregnancy? Any tips for relief? So far the only solutions I’ve found have been:

  • Get out of bed and be productive by organizing closets or responding to emails
  • Take a warm bath right before bed and hope the soothing effects last long enough to fall asleep
  • Get out of bed to stretch (unfortunately this only provides that enjoyable “good pain” while I’m in the act of stretching)
  • Try and ignore it and lay in bed running through mental lists of what to tackle the next day (does not solve anything but sometimes I am too stubborn to give up on sleep and my cozy bed … which ironically probably causes more of a problem than if I were to try something else)

While another solution to quell the wandering mind would be to reduce the list of worries racing through one’s head, it seems each time an item is crossed off the “to-do” list it is miraculously replaced by another topic in warp speed. Luckily the majority of the big-ticket items have been accomplished (in no particular order):

  1. Car seat obtained, installed, and inspected
  2. Strollers assembled and clean
  3. Maternity photos taken (waiting until 36 weeks was pushing it but they still turned out great! A big thanks to our brother-in-law Brian Brooks and Double B Photography.)
  4. All critical baby items obtained, cleaned, and put away (for the most part)
  5. Nursery and guest room closets organized (and reorganized again and again)
  6. Baby classes completed
  7. 4-door cars test driven (and maybe selection made if we’re willing to wait 6-8 weeks)
  8. Food stash in progress, including homemade pumpkin bread frozen in chunks (critical fall item!) Next up, chocolate chip cookies …
  9. Nursery increasingly put together with the understanding that it likely won’t be perfect before she arrives, but she’ll be in our room anyway so I should stop fretting, right?
  10. Name selected, hopefully it sticks 🙂


A sampling of the remaining to-do list:

  1. Pack hospital bag
  2. Get everything settled at work and STOP working to relax (wishful thinking)
  3. Finish nursery (includes selecting various photos for the wall which is always the hardest part)
  4. Bake more
  5. Begin baby book
  6. Clean and get all laundry done (this is partially on the completed list but it’s a never ending task!)
  7. etc, etc, etc ………..

As always, additional pictures can be found in the photo gallery.

almost 38 weeks



Baby Shower – TX

This weekend we celebrated Baby Jacob one more time with friends and family here in Texas. Thanks to all the hard work from the wonderful hostesses and their helpers, the shower couldn’t have been any more perfect. We enjoyed delicious food, wonderful company, and entertaining activities. I love you all! A sampling of photos are provided below, but click here for the full album (with captions for a change.) There were just so many good photos to choose from.

hands on the belly

Newton Ranch family IMG_7734.jpg

Beautiful set up including an amazing diaper wreath made by Megan:

diaper cake by Ashley - so pretty! diaper wreath made by Megan - gorgeous!

Onesie decorating station led to impressive results:

hard at work more onesies drying onesie station in progress

Guess the contents of the paper bag was a big hit, especially for Stefany who got them all right (way to go!)

IMG_7701.jpg IMG_7698.jpg what's in the bag?

Homemade vanilla cupcakes by Lisa to round off the morning – Yummy!

delicious vanilla cupcakes made by Lisa

A special thank you to Genny and Deirdre for making the trip down from Chicago and NYC respectively and adding Texas to your list of states visited. Hope you had a good time! Here are some favorite shots from our stroll in downtown Grapevine.

a natural cowgirl! IMG_7759.jpg stuck in the Grapevine jail

Month 8 Belly Pics: Third Trimester is Here

We’ve grown so accustomed to speaking in weeks that it hadn’t dawned on us we’re actually well into month 8 of our journey now and have been in the third trimester for a while. Of course now there are the increased potty breaks (really, when did they ever decrease?), feeling (and seeing) the stronger kicks that are reminiscent of the show Fringe where there’s an alien trying to escape the belly, and the growing pile of baby gear people have kindly bestowed upon us that is taking over our dining room table, but even with all that and more, the fact that in no time at all our lives will be permanently altered still seems a bit surreal.  The weekly sonograms where we see increasingly chubby cheeks, more defined features and a personality developing before our eyes haven’t exactly made it sink in (we made that little smiling face?), but they certainly don’t hurt.

August 20, 2012: Start of week 28. Hand under chin and a little smile at us in the bottom picture.


August 27, 2012: In the bottom picture of three she is pointing her finger up to say hello.


All the articles say the third trimester is when you are supposed to slow down and start taking things easy because you get tired more easily. I guess I missed that message somewhere between constant work travel, weekly yard work, baking, house chores, tennis tournaments, water aerobics and daily walks. Not to mention how much progress we’ve made the last month and a half on the nursery (post with full before and after pictures to come once we’re a bit farther along). Maybe that’s how the third trimester was able to sneak up on us. I’m sure it will continue to pass us by in a flash now that football and tennis season are both in full swing (she is learning to be a sport spectator at a very early age to support her daddy).  At least we finally made an appointment with a prospective pediatrician and will be able to report that progress to the doctor (he was not impressed with our nursery progress since “that is for you, not for the baby”).  Did anyone else find that their pregnancy went terrifyingly slow and then surprisingly fast, or are we the only ones in la-la land?

Updated photos of the ever expanding belly.

August 24, 2012: 28 wks 3 days

28wks 3 days.jpg 28wks 3 days - side.jpg belly shot 28 wks.jpg

September 6, 2012: 30 wks 2 days (Picture taken right before we went to our first baby class where we learned all sorts of baby care basic refreshers and new tips, more classes to look forward to in October!)

30wks 2 days.jpg 30wks 2 days side view.jpg belly shot 30 wks

September 9, 2012: Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! Did you know it would take 34 years to become grandparents, or have your first “face-time” chat? And happy birthday to Grandma Cronin who I know is smiling down on us from above. Love you!

Baby Shower – MA

Despite heat and humidity, last week’s baby shower was a fantastic celebration with friends and family. Thank you to those who were able to join us and all those who helped make it such a wonderful day both in person and in spirit! A sampling of pictures are below, but click here for the full collection from August 4.

Me _amp_ Kate.JPG ice bucket _amp_ smiles.jpg happy guests!.JPG flowers _amp_ favors.JPG outdoor picnic.JPG Marysia_ Ellen_ Sarah.JPG vanilla _amp_ chocolate cake.JPG Tawna _amp_ Mom.JPG

Last day home in MA until after baby’s arrival!

garden shot.JPG

Time flies!

It dawned on us that on Tuesday I will be 24 weeks pregnant, which when phrased as “6 months” sounds that much farther along. Time certainly seems to move at warp speed when you are in denial, or simply ignoring certain life changing events in favor of trying to keep up with daily life events: work, travel, exercise, yard and other chores, friends & family… this weekend we’re continuing our denial a while longer since thinking about the “to-do” list causes significant stress. Instead our attention will be focused on the Ft Worth Major Zone tennis tournament, with some water aerobics and family pool time in between matches to hide from the 106 degree temps.

Speaking of time flying by, it’s been about 5 weeks since the first post with belly shots. I figured it’s time to provide the next round of activity and photo highlights. Enjoy!

June 22, 2012: Walking the beach on Nantucket after some brisk swimming in the Atlantic. At 19 weeks, 3 days our baby girl got to enjoy the taste of freshly picked strawberries to start out the morning, then feel a drastic temperature change as we floated about the ocean to cool off in the afternoon.

IMG_7424.jpg IMG_7412.jpg

June 24, 2012: Annual dock photo our last day on the Cape, sporting my new Cowgirl-like hat from Nantucket, 19 weeks, 5 days:


July 5, 2012: Today’s anatomy sonogram was recorded for us to enjoy over the years and share with our daughter as she gets older. Our little wiggler is already weighing in at exactly 1 pound today and measuring right on track at 21 weeks, 2 days with a strong, steady heartbeat of 155. The top photo has a nice image of her hands above her head in a relaxed pose, while the bottom picture shows her little foot that is already waging a war with my ribs.

sonogram 7-5-2012.jpg IMG_7546.jpg IMG_7547.jpg

July 15, 2012: Baby was quite active after a pint of Phish food frozen yogurt, enough so for her daddy to feel her wiggling around that night for the first time. Perhaps she was saying thank you for finally beginning to make progress on her new bedroom, agreeing on the color after trying out our chosen paint samples and loving them … too bad that’s just the first step of many to actually finish the nursery.

July 16, 2012: Taking advantage of a black stretchy dress for work to hide the growing belly, 22 weeks, 6 days. Each day this week the “baby belly shelf” has become more and more prevalent, especially from my bird’s eye view, and apparently from my co-workers’ view as well as they constantly point to my belly before and after meetings and smirk. Not to mention the comment Thursday night from a new friend in the water aerobics class I have recently discovered: “wow, your belly is really starting to show now!” Gee, thanks?

IMG_7548.jpg 22 wks 6 days

July 21, 2012: Purchased the majority of the paint for the nursery … each little step counts!