Wednesday, May 30, 2012

So What! Wednesday

This week I'm saying So What! to:

  • if I know there is a chance we will leave our ultrasound on Monday and NOT know the sex of the baby. But you can bet your sweet bottom, I'm going to try my damnest to make Emma/Connor cooperate.
  • if I have boycotted going to the grocery store. I am just not interested in food these days. I'm eating, gaining weight even, but the idea of going grocery shopping is too much for me to handle.
  • if our wedding anniversary is on Tuesday and I have ZERO clue on a gift for Mister. Epic wife fail.
  • if I picked out and bought my own baby shower invitations. I loved them and they were on sale that day, plus I had a credit through Shutterfly! I had to get them. However, since my Mom is hosting my shower, she can address them and mail all 65 of them out.
  • if I plan on spending my Monday night baby shopping (hence the importance of knowing what we are having!). I will be 20 weeks and I haven't bought a single item. Momma needs to shop!
Now it's your turn to link up with Shannon and tell us what you are saying So What! to!

Monday, May 28, 2012

3 Day Weekends

3 day weekends. Oh, they are glorious! They don't come by often enough. But when they do, regardless of the occasion, I have to take full advantage of them. I sleep in, lounge around, surf the internet far too much and catch up with friends and family (housework not included).

As we celebrate Memorial Day weekend, I am reminded of the reason we have an extra day away from the office. Hundreds of thousands of men and women have made it their lifes ambition to keep our country free and safe. It's easy to think that it's just a job they took but in all reality it's because of their unselfish people, we can live in a country were each citizen has a right to live a life to the fullest extent. Some of these American heroes never get to hear the words "thank you" because they give the ultimate sacrifice for our pursuit of happiness.

In honor of all military, past, present and future, thank you for all you've given to the United States. Thank you for giving me the ability to live in a country that I can do as I please and live a truly free life. And thank you for keeping the U.S. of A safe for my children and my children's children.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Graduation

On Friday, I took a half day off work and drove 90 minutes to watch my niece, Cora, graduate from kindergarten. I can't believe my little Chickadee is now a first grader! She is such a bright, funny, charming little girl. I am really looking forward to watching her grow into her own person and succeed in life.

 She was so excited to see me - I told her I couldn't  make it and showed up to surprise her.

Her graduation certificate.

With her gifts. She was having such a good time being celebrated.

Cora and her Daddy (my little brother). 

Me, Cora and Baby Cox :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pregnancy Update #2

Ladies and gentleman, I give you the bump:

(Sorry for the creepy shadow)

How far along: 17 weeks and 4 days.
How big is your baby: Petite is the size of a onion (about 5 inches long and 6 ounces).
Total weight gain? At my last appointment, I had gained 6 pounds total, which according to my Dr. is right on track.
Maternity clothes: I'm wearing my maternity jeans and work pants but I gain still fit into most of my "regular" tops. I am sure in a few week this will not be the case.
Stretch marks: None so far - PRAISE THE LORD! I try to lotion up every day but sometimes, I forget.
Movement: I haven't felt anything yet. According to what I've read online, I will be feeling something around week 21-23.
Sleep: I'm not sleeping all that great at night, unless I'm dead tired. I wake up once to use the potty and toss and turn a lot. I still take lots of naps on the weekend. It's my favorite new hobby.
Best moment this week: I'm going for my 18 week appointment tomorrow and we will be scheduling the ultrasound that will HOPEFULLY tell us if we are having an Emma or a Connor.
Food cravings: I don't crave a lot of anything. I've drank more more milk in the last 17 weeks than I have in my entire 29 years but I just like how cold it is. Speaking of cold, I don't like foods that are served hot. I prefer most foods cold.
Labor signs: NONE! It will be a while before I get to report on this!
Belly button in or out: In. I don't ever want to have it out but odds are, I will. Boo! Hiss!
What I miss: Wearing pants/bottoms with a zipper and button!
What I'm looking forward to: Finding out what we are having! Once we know that, we can start working on the nursery and referring to the baby as Emma or Connor.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bathroom Remodel

Every couple has to do list and one of the tasks on our was to redo the bathroom. So much so that it was mentioned in my 30 Before 30 post. And finally, we got around to it. And when I say we, I mean James and my best friend's husband Mark. Let me just say that I hated our bathroom before. The worse part to me was the awful paint. We have the practice wife to thank for that. I hate purple. I always have, always will. While I was away in Oklahoma, the boys made it their goal to get the bathroom remodeled before we got back. Needless to say, it took a little longer than expected but I love the outcome!

Here are the before - not the best shots, James didn't know I was going to be doing a post about our new bathroom:

And here are the much better after pictures! We have new paint, a new sink, mirror and toilet. We added new tile (love it) and bead board/wainscoting (I insisted!). And the glass container filled with sand, that's all my handy work! HA! I love our new bathroom!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Budgets and Babies

Don't go together... not in my world. Not yet anyway.

As of right now, I won't be returning to work in the fall after we have the baby. I want to stay home with Petite badly (Coxy is behind me 100%) so we are beginning to budget for the loss of income.

When we found out I was pregnant in February, we instantly starting putting my paychecks into savings. This isn't a ton of money but it a) allows us to start living on one income and b) provide us with the opportunity for our child to have one parent stay at home with him/her at all times. Not using my check for bills and every day living is harder than we thought. I am constantly thinking "Stephanie, is this purchase really necessary?" and we have cut back on dining out and spending when we are out with friends. Also, a week after my first OB appointment I got a form detailing that I need to pay a pre-delivery fee (what the doctor makes off me having him/her deliver the baby) for a lovely total of $2950.00. I about came unglued. I didn't plan on this but it is what it is. This total has to be paid in full by August 15 (3 months from now) and we still need to be saving for baby supplies and for a cushion when I stop working. On top of that (yes, something else), the company I work for doesn't offer maternity leave so I will be using my short-term disability (which is an elective purchase with our benefits - thank God I had the whit to buy in when I did last year) while I'm off for 6 weeks, which will only pay 60% of my wages. And lastly, I have to pay for my own benefits for the 6 weeks I'm out using my short-term disability. This $900.00! This is all going through my mind on a daily basis and I can't help but feel a bit overwhelm at everything we need to think about, consider and plan for all before bringing Petite home from the hospital.

But as overwhelming as I can be, I know that I am going to be able to do something that many Moms can't - stay home with their child/children. I am lucky to have this opportunity and I am blessed beyond measure with a husband who supports my need to stay home. In the end, the job I have after leaving NH, the one that includes diapers, tears and restless nights is going to be my all time favorite.

Fellow bloggers, what have you done to help prepare financially for a baby? Any tips/tricks you could pass my way are very  much appreciated!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So What! Wednesday

IT'S WEDNESDAY! Which means my work week is almost over and it's time for a little So What! with Shannon.

  • So What! if I have yet to take a bump photo. I don't feel like I look pregnant. I just feel chubby. I am determined to have one before next week. I am thinking that if I don't, I will regret it! At 17 weeks, I should be documenting this pregnancy a little more.
  • So What! if I gave it and did the pregnancy pencil test and I'm excited about the results but feel like a ass clown believing a pencil. If I am to trust said pencil test, we are having a boy!
  • So What! if I have been using Head and Shoulders shampoo as face/body wash. I read online (and you should always trust the Internet) that it helps with breakouts. Thanks to Petite, I can't take/use my normal medicines for my skin and I've been breaking out. Well, what do you know? The Head and Shoulders is working.
  • So What! if I have been having Smart Ones for lunch. I like them, they are cheap and easy. And I am keeping it down and they are keeping me full.
  • So What! if James and I went to a movie last night, a Tuesday night. We saw the Raven (a pretty good movie) and I have came to the conclusion that I am going to see as many movies as possible before the baby gets here. Anyone up for Magic Mike?
  • So What! if I said to my husband "I want my boobs to stay big after I have the baby". This isn't normal Stephanie. This pregnancy is effecting my logical thinking. The real me doesn't want big boobs... ever!
Now, link up with Shannon and tell us what you are saying So What! to this week!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Momma To Be

If this year is any indication of how spoiled I will be on Mother's Day then bring it! I wasn't expecting anything whatsoever. I wanted to spend time with Momma and my family and just celebrate how great of a Mom me and the boys have. But I was pleasantly surprised with gifts, cards and flowers. I am one lucky lady!

I hope each of you had a Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

50 Shades

I was torn about reading this series: 50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades of Darker and 50 Shades of Freed. I've read other bloggers opinions (mostly, don't waste your time) and yet, it's all over the TV, radio and bookstores. I took a chance on this "Mommy Porn", read all 3 novels and I can honestly say...

I miss Christian.
A lot. There is just something about this man that left me wanting more. I hope and pray the movie that has been mentioned in Hollywood does the series justice.

Let me start off by saying that this book is not well written. It doesn't tug at your heart strings, your pant strings, maybe. It leaves a lot to be desired (no pun intended) but regardless of that, I read all 3 books in less than a week. I just couldn't walk away. I just NEEDED to know how this love story played out. Can the good girl win the heart of a self-loathing Dom?

If I were to rate this trilogy on a scale of 1-5, 5 being amazing, I would give it a 3. Clearly there had to be something redeeming about it since I was unable to give up on it so easy. Yes, I could have done without all the sex. Dear gosh was there a lot of sex but deep down, I like the underlying story. A man tortured by his horrible childhood decides to take over the corporate world and women, controlling both with a take no prisoners mindset stands to learn a thing or two from a 21 year virgin who knows that deep down, a good heart and a wonderful man is lying beneath the kinky f***ery.

In the end, both Ana and Christian get what they want. There are some bumps, issues and exes that muddy it up along the way but overall, love conquers all.

Happy reading!

50 Things

I came across this blog idea on a fellow bloggers page and thought, why not? Divulge a little!

  1. I am a hopeless romantic. Severely.
  2. I am slightly OCD when it comes to planning events and organization.
  3. I am obsessed with everything Jersey.
  4. I am extremely close to both of my parents.
  5. If a novel is turned into a movie, I have to see it. Even if I hated the book.
  6. My baby brothers will always be babies to me.
  7. Christmas is my favorite holiday.
  8. I celebrate my birthday for an entire week.
  9. I am super cheap. I hate paying full price for anything.
  10. I love a clean house. Although, I don't clean as often as I should.
  11. A perfect life would include monthly manis and pedis.
  12. I shop at 4 stores: Kroger, Kohl's, Target and Old Navy.
  13. My best friends are a 16 month old baby girl and my 6 year old niece.
  14. I want to be a homeowner, badly. Nudge, nudge Coxy.
  15. I am bookworm. I have a book with me 24/7.
  16. I would have loved to be a guidance counselor.
  17. I hate shoes and socks. I prefer to be barefooted.
  18. I wish I had a green thumb. My yard is pathetic.
  19. I want to visit each of the places Nicholas Sparks writes about in his books.
  20. I prefer the movie theater over the drive-in. I fall asleep every time we go to the drive-in.
  21. I only drink water. If you catch me with a Sprite, I'm having a bad day.
  22. James will take me to Europe one day. Please and thank you.
  23. I prefer many of my blog "friends" over my real life "friends"
  24. I hate when it rains. No matter what, it makes me what to stay in doors.
  25. I could spend an entire weekend doing nothing but watching TV and reading.
  26. I am the only member of my family that likes living in the city. I'm not made for the farm life.
  27. I could listen to James Taylor over and over again.
  28. I prefer to pay my bills right away. I don't like the idea that I could be late with a payment.
  29. I dress really modest all the time.
  30. I love to receive snail mail.
  31. I have a paper planner that I must have with me 24/7. I can't use the calendar on my phone to save my life.
  32. Fall is my favorite season.
  33. I plan on taking the most ridiculous photos of our child with holiday props.
  34. I start each Monday-Friday morning with Matt Lauer.
  35. I want to move from Ohio but fear being close to my loved ones.
  36. I prefer Carmex over any other chapstick.
  37. I could never be a teacher. Speaking in front of people every day would make me a nervous wreck.
  38. I can't stand the smell of fresh flowers.
  39. I have started a holiday party tradition with my girlfriends and I love it. It will be something we do till we are old and gray.
  40. I love walking.
  41. The facial expressions I make cause me to come across as a bitch. I'm not.
  42. I am someones life coach.
  43. I hold grudges.
  44. I have the best intentions about going to church but I keep failing. Miserably.
  45. I could spend an entire day with my Dad doing nothing and it would be perfect.
  46. Bonfires are the best way to spend a fall Saturday night.
  47. I am a total homebody.
  48. I love the beach and ocean. It's the perfect vacation spot for me.
  49. Comments on my blog make my world go round.
  50. I am blessed beyond measure.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

So What! Wednesday

It's Wednesday so that can only mean one thing! Time for me to say So What!...
  • if I'm going to share our baby name picks - I wasn't going to but I just can't help it. We will have either a Emma Ruth or a Connor Ross in 6 sweet months.
  • if I think the lady that help Meow get to 39 pounds should be charged with animal cruelty. Poor fella never had a chance. And I know she is 87 but it is what it is.
  • if I have finally embraced being pregnant and having a belly. It only took me 16 weeks.
  • if I can't wait for my baby brother to come home for the summer. I am going to monopolize his time.
  • if I started to clean out my closet and stopped to read 50 Shades of Grey. I know have a pile of clothes to take care of. Oh well.
  • if I get excited when my 3 old nephew called me on Friday. His voice is the sweetest.
  • if I can't wait for Mother's Day so I can give Momma her gift! It's my first homemade gift, ever!
Now, link up with Shannon and tell us what you are saying So What! to this week!

Monday, May 7, 2012


Had you told me 4 years ago that I would be married and expecting my first child before 30, I would have told you that you were cray cray and whacked you a good one in hopes of knocking some sense into you.

All my life, I said I was never going to get married. I was never going to be a Mom. I was going to be independent and take this world by storm. When I was 14, I asked my Mom if I could get a hysterectomy. Laugh all you like. I was dead serious. I sure the hell didn't have the desire to have a baby and I had no need for a man. Yes, I was just 14 but I was so sure that my life was going to be complete without a husband and child. 100% certain. I could take care of myself. Strong willed and detemined Stephanie was going to go solo.

That was until I meet James.

I know some people don't believe in soulmates. I was one of those people. But I've realize that soulmates do exsist and James is mine. James is everything I'm not. He balances me out. Really, he is my ying to his yang. We work, live, play in perfect harmony. He is smart, clever, witty and he has this amazing sense of humor. He can be sweet and sensitive and manly and bossy all at the same time. He gives 100% to the people he loves the most and puts in more time and effort than most when it comes to NH. He takes are of me and not in a sugar Daddy way. He makes sure I have want I need and what I want (within reason). He knows that telling me no isn't going to get either of us anywhere, but instead challenges me to see the pros and cons of every decision I make. He respects the fact that even as his wife, I need my independence, freedom. I've been like this since birth, he has accepted this trait, embraced it even. I am some what emotional and overly judgemental and James is always there to help calm me and point out that not everyone sees things my way. And when it cames down to it, he loves me. The me that is mean, rude and ugly along with the me that is humorous. generous and loving.

I have a perfect marriage and more importantly, a perfect husband. Yes, he is flawed and yes, we don't always see eye to eye but what we have, the love, the determination, the willpower, makes the bumps a little less bumpy.

I love my Mister. I thank God daily that I've been blessed with such an amazing man.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Hunger Games

Words can't express how excited I was to see this movie when it came to theaters in March. I'm a total bookworm and nothing warms my heart more than when a book I love makes the translation to film. I instantly become a book to film critic. If I've read the book, I have to see the movie to judge which was better. In my opinion, books are ALWAYS better. There has been one exception: THE HELP. Don't even get me started! But back to The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games is told from the point of view of 16 year old Katniss Everdeen who lives in the country of Panem (previously North America). Katniss lives in what I imagine as the West Virginia/Virginia area of what we know as the United States. The Capitol, now in the Rocky Mountain area, holds power and all control over the rest of the nation. Why you might ask? At one time 13 districts thought overpowering the government was a good idea. The lesson learned? The government wins every time, a district is destroyed, the surviving 12 loss their freedom and someone must pay. This power has left much of  Panem in a destitute state. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 from each of the remaining 12 districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle until only one person is left. Each child gets their name put into the lottery one time each for 6 years but can find themselves with the odds stacked against them if they take rations (food, water, medical supplies, etc.). The more rations you take the more often your name is entered into the lottery. What unfolds in the novel and movie, is a young girl's desire to protect her family and survive when the odds are against her. From love to loss to friendship to death to betrayal, the range of emotions is overwhelming. In the end, you don't know who is on whose side or what the government is hiding up their sleeves.

The movie was excellent!! However, I felt like the emotions weren't showcased as deeply and sincere as they were in the novel. I know it's impossible to get every bit and piece of a book into film but this is one book that I felt deserved the highest level creativity to do it justice.

Some people dare to question which series is better: Twilight or The Hunger Games. Let me give you my rational (which is right, remember that!). Twilight COULD NEVER HAPPEN. There is no way a human girl could love/marry/make a child with a vampire let alone have a werewolf as a best friend. It's 2012 folks, this just isn't likely! HOWEVER, The Hunger Games could totally happen. Attempting to overtake the United States government could only end in sanctions that would be miserable for those left to endure. For years, countries/governments have forced rules, regulation and restrictions on their people of their country when power has been tested.

I would suggest all my fellow bloggers read the book and see the move if you haven't already. The second and third book are just as good. My favorite of all 3 is the 2 novel.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

So What!

This week, I'm linking up with Shannon over at L.A.I.D to share what I'm saying So What! to this week...

  • if I have added another countdown to our lives! We have the days till Petite arrives (179), the days till our first wedding anniversary (33) and now the days till we go on our Babymoon!! 59 days until this Momma will be on the beach in oh so sunny Florida!
  •  if I took 2 naps this weekend totalling 7 hours, after sleeping a full 9 hours the night before. I'm not trying to win pregnant gal of the year over here, I need my sleep! And I tell myself that it's doing the baby just as much good as me!
  • if I think it's insane that Jessica Simpson a) gave birth to a 9 pound 13 ounce baby girl and b) named the poor thing Maxwell Drew. Little Miss is going to be mistaken for a boy the rest of her life... oh, they could always call her Maxie (total name fail).
  • if there are a few people I have to work with that drive me bonkers and to the point that I want to go cray cray on them and "blame" it on the hormones. I think I could get away with doing this a time or two.
  • if I celebrated my half birthday with a early bedtime. It's the little things in life. Happy 29 1/2 birthday to me!
  • if I am totally amazed that within the next 6 months, I'm going to be celebrating our first wedding anniversary, the birth of our first child and my 30th birthday. This is a big year, indeed! 
Now head over to Shannon's page and link-up!