Friday, August 30, 2013

FIVE on Friday

Hello Friday!!! Took you long enough to get here. 


Remember to link up for FIVE on Friday!

{one} This article made me second guess my love of Ohio for all of 15 seconds. 30 things are mentioned and I agree with just 12. That's just 40%. And can I please mention that numbers 7, 10 and 11 make absolutely ZERO sense to me? I was a Ohio resident for 30 years but I don't get those three.


{two} Now that I have one giveaway under my belt, I have 4 more in the works! I hope ya'll like FREE! Speaking of free, make sure you visit Suddenly Snowden for another chance to win a Raised In Cotton frame.

{three} My attempts to clean the house while Connor is awake are completely pointless and a waste of my time and effort. I learned this lesson all too well yesterday. When he went down at 9, I got more cleaning accomplished from 9-10:30 than I did all day.


{four} My parents, niece and nephew are coming to visit on Sunday and I'm so excited. I haven't seen them since May and Connor has changed so much since then, I can't wait for them to see him. In May he was starting the scooting part of crawling and now?? Oh boy! He has mastered crawling, standing and walking up and down any and every piece of furniture in the house.

{five} This starts this weekend. 'Nough said!



  I hope you have a great 3 day weekend! I'll be back Tuesday with Connor's 10 month blog post. 
*I may or may not be taking an extra day to write the post because
I can't wrap my head around the fact that someone is double digits this month.*

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Budget - Where do we begin?

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess that the word “budget” and I are similar to oil and water. 
As in we don't mix well. 

Throughout our relationship and marriage, I will mention to James we need to create a budget that allows us to be debt free. Completely. 100%. We would buckle down and create a budget that fit our needs/wants. The savings plan would be in place and we would do well for a few months and then, our budget would be blown out of the water... after say a tax free weekend full of shopping (damn you Texas) putting us back at square one. Less savings and a busted budget.

It occurred to me that one reason I resisted sticking to a budget is that it felt too much like dieting. And if you've been around here long enough, you know dieting isn't something I do well with. Whether we’re looking at the money spent or the calories consumed, what a budget fails to take into account is the fact that same days, a little retail therapy goes a long way for this full-time SAHM. Trips to Hobby Lobby and Target add up fast, not to mention grabbing a quick lunch while I'm out running errands. If I’m banned from shopping (and all mindless spending), I can almost guarantee that my mood will resemble that of a teething baby without his amber teething necklace. Get the picture?

On a daily basis the news or Internet drive home these facts regarding savings and the economy:
  • Jobs are much less secure
  • Those of you who work outside of the home encounter situations that reduce take-home pay such as wage restrictions and increases in what we pay for health insurance
  • Education and college costs for our children are growing larger and larger by the day
  • Saving for retirement is nearly impossible when you have more money going out then in and you are living paycheck to paycheck 
Obviously, as a SAHM we must be able to afford me being home or I'd be working. But just because the Mister brings in a nice income, doesn't mean we can afford to not be saving. If anything we need to save now more than every before. God forbid, James loses his job. The only saving grace we would have would be our savings. But what if we don't have that to fall back on? That's when shit would get bad. Quickly.

So where do we start? How do you go from being able to spend, with little restrictions, to being on a budget that gives you X amount of money to spend on this, that and the other. I've looked online and everything is so technical. Does your family have a budget in place? One that's easy to incorporate and manage? If so, please share with me. I want to put one in place by September 1st.

And speaking of saving! 
Nothing says savings like a FREE handmade, one of a kind frame. 
Thank you to everyone who entered to win my Raised in Cotton Frame giveaway. 
Congratulations to Katie!!
For those of you who didn't win but would like to get your own frame, Jes is offering a 20% discount on all purchases until September 17th. Just enter coupon code COXGIVEAWAY.
Also, make sure to hop over to Suddenly Snowden for her giveaway. I can promise you won't be disappointed in what Nicole's offering her readers! 

(Katie, I'll be in touch with you about your frame. Congrats lady!)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Colorado: Recap Post 1

Last week, the family took a short work/vacation trip to Colorado. While James was busy at the office, Connor and I played and spent the day discovering. If you follow me on Instragram (stephaniecox11), you know I confessed to loving Colorado over and over again while there. I have never seen such gorgeous landscape. Here is a few photos of our visit.

My boy & I
Look at that belly! Oh and the "tie" and "suspenders".
My heart is so full.

After this shot, he went right towards the water. He totally keeps us on our toes.
Next week, I'll share our day at the aquarium. Yup, another aquarium visit.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Guest Post - Parenting 2 Under 2

Meet Rachel, Mommy to 2 little boys under 2!
Being a one and done kind of Mom, I can't imagine what life with 2 little ones would be like.
However, Rach does it will class, style and ease! 

Hi Everyone! I'm Rachel from the blog Rachel and John (link to http://rae-and-johnny.blogspot.ca/). As you can guess I'm married to John and together we have the 2 sweetest boys: Henry (2 years old) and William (8.5 months old). Our boys are just a short 19 months apart and I've got to say it seems like a perfect age gap to us! Stephanie asked if I would share some tips on how we manage 2 small kids. I definitely don't have all the answers, that's for sure. But I'd love to give you a look at how we go about it.

1) Go with the flow
This might be an "easier said than done" thing. We were never hard core schedule people. Even when we just had Henry, we would go off his cues instead of a schedule. Some things were pretty solid. As a baby Henry napped 3 times a day, then moved to 2 and then to 1 as he got older. With William now, his number of naps change every day based on what's going on. This would have annoyed me to no end when I just had Henry. But with William it just works. He's a really happy baby no matter what, so maybe we just got lucky. If we are out and about in the morning William usually skips his morning nap. He makes up for it with a longer afternoon one. And instead of over thinking it, I just go with the flow. He'll sleep if he's tired. Same goes for feedings. I nursed Henry and I nurse William. But with Henry, I kept a record of when he nursed and for how long. I was on top of it. When he started solids, I made sure he ate 3 square meals a day even before he was one (age appropriate food!). With William I will sometimes catch myself wondering when the last time I nursed him was. And the number of solid food meals he gets changes daily based on if we are home for them or not (Food before 1 is just for fun, right?). I can tell when William is hungry and I always feed him then. So does it matter if I can recite all his meals every day? No. So instead of over thinking it, I just go with the flow.

2) Baby Wear
I know not every one likes to wear their babies, but with a 19 month old and a newborn I found that I really had no other choice. Good thing I love it! Newborns like to be held, and 19 month old like to run around and do dangerous things. I couldn't just sit on the couch all day snuggling my baby. I had to keep Henry out of trouble, and I wanted to hang out with him. So I just wore William. All the time. It made everything so much easier. We have a double stroller and I just used it for the first time last week. I wore William for 8 straight months. At home, at the park, at the grocery store, at the mall, at the library, at church. Everywhere!

3) Enjoy every moment.
I love every stage of Baby-hood and when William was born I definitely wanted to enjoy it, since I knew already how fast it would go. But the thing is, it goes even faster the second time. Partly because we are busier with 2 kiddos. But mostly because William has a shining example of what an older baby does, in his brother. So he rolled over earlier, he sat up earlier, he crawled earlier and now here he is at 8.5 months and is so very close to walking. I keep telling him to slow down! He's still a BABY! But he just wants to be like his brother Henry. He wants to join in on all the fun.


So that's a look into life with 2 littles. I took part in a blog series called Having 2 kids (link to: http://rae-and-johnny.blogspot.ca/search/label/2%20under%202) a while back. So if you would like to read some more about it. Click on over! Thanks to Stephanie for inviting me to guest post!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Raised in Cotton {GIVEAWAY}

Happy Monday!! Yes it's a HAPPY Monday because today you have the chance to win a one of a kind, handmade Raised In Cotton frame!

My dear friend Jessica from Raised In Cotton Frames is giving away a gorgeous, handmade frame to a one lucky Wife Mommy Me reader.

The winner will be able to choose their own custom color and pattern to make your frame one of a kind, just like you. Every frame is hand crafted using real hardwood and quality material. Each frame is hand cut, hand made and hand painted. You can expect a unique frame as no two frames are identical. Here are some examples of Jes' work.


Jes was kind enough to send me my own Raised In Cotton frame. I can't express how much I ADORE the frame she made for us. I sent her a sample of the the color I would like, trying to match our master bedroom curtains and the color couldn't be more dead on. I also asked for a pattern that didn't look too trendy (no polka dots or chevron) and the pattern she choose for me was just my style.






Now it's your turn to win your own 12x12 tabletop frame with a 5x7 photo glass. Good luck!

*Feel free to enter as many times as you would like. 
Winner will be announced on Thursday, August 29th*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five on Friday

I can't believe it's Friday! This week has flown by at lighting speed! 
I'm linking up again for another 5 on Friday.


{one} Being home from our mini vacation to Colorado is so welcoming. Although, it's hard to imagine Austin as home, it is and I'm so glad to be back.

{two} I might be excited to be home, but spending 4 days in this beautiful country is something I could get used to.


{three} Fall can't come soon enough! I am dying to wear some of my scarves. Here is the first style I plan to wear.


{four} The cashier at HEB totally judged me for buying alcohol at 9:30 a.m. on a Monday morning. I hosted a MNI Luau last night and picked up some fruity drinks. I don't think she believed me but oh well! It's always 5:00 somewhere, right?

{five} I love spending days discovering with this little guy.




Hope ya'll have a great weekend!
Make sure to check back on Monday for my first blog giveaway! 
-- Be sure to check out Katie's blog for her GOLDEN giveaway! --

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Guest Post: Perfectly Us

Let me introduce you to one of the sweetest Mommas and baby girl in the whole state of Texas, Katie and Jaqs. I've been in love with this two for so long now and I am so excited to share them with you.

When Stephanie asked me to guest post for her while she was away, I started racking my brain about what to write about, but for some reason I kept coming back to this post. It's a repost from, but it's one of my favorites simply because I remember SO VIVIDLY thinking I was going to be some sort of super-mom before Jaqs was born. I have some news for you, I'm not, and I never will be. BUT I have absolutely learned some things along the way, and I really feel like I'll be better equipped the next time around. Please, just no one tell Jaqs she was my "test" child, okay? Thanks ;)

All that being said, I am confident in the fact that every mother experiences motherhood in different ways, so please take my "advice" with a grain of salt if you'd like.

Advice for New Moms

  • Don't read too much into the experts. I read several books and many blogs while I was pregnant in an attempt to figure out what "type" of parent I wanted to be. I thought I had it all figured out, and of course, my baby would go right along with our plans. HA. Trust me when I say that no ONE book will nail down your baby. Each baby is unique, and unlikely, in my humble opinion, to be "text-book." I think it's so important to be prepared, and I certainly don't regret making plans, BUT you have to be willing to go with the flow of your child as well. It's okay if they're not on a schedule by the time they're "supposed" to be, or if they prefer to be rocked to sleep even if everyone advises you to put them to bed awake. The thing about babies? Everything is a phase!
  • Be the mom your baby needs. This goes along with the above. The most important thing you can do for your little one is to just be the mom they need. Don't worry about what anyone else is telling you you should be doing. Do what feels right to you, and the rest will sort itself out! Jaqs needed to be rocked to sleep for about the first 2-3 months, and then like magic, she started putting herself to sleep one night and has never looked back! I don't regret rocking her to sleep when she needed to be for a second even though I was worried about it at the time. She also napped on me for the longest time, and I'd pretty much pay money for her to do that now! Soak up those cuddles while you can.
  • Get OUT of the house. I know...it's hard to imagine when you have a newborn. There's the timing of the feedings, the showering, the packing of the diaper bag. It's difficult, but it's SO necessary for your sanity! Looking back, minus the exhaustion, being out and about was a little easier back then because I didn't have to wrangle a toddler into a shopping cart and shove snacks her way to keep her occupied! ;) She usually happily rode in her stroller or slept back then. It's the actual prep that makes it's so difficult in those early days, but you will feel better doing so!
  • Let people help you. If your friends want to bring dinners or come hold your baby so you can shower? LET THEM. Soon enough you will be responsible for all of it, so enjoy a helping hand while you can. I kind of had this sense that I had to have it all together from the minute I got home, but that's just plain silly. Trust me, you will have enough on your plate with your recovery, figuring out your milk, and getting to know your baby! We had dinners supplied to us for nearly 3 weeks, and it was a life-saver for me. The thought of going to the grocery store was overwhelming enough much less having to figure out a meal AND cooking it. If you don't have a food-train, maybe stock your freezer with meals you can just throw in the oven!
  • Don't be too hard on your {new} self. The best way I can describe a post-pregnancy body? Doughy. Do yourself a favor and continue to wear your maternity pants or stretchy pants for awhile! It will take some time for your body to go back to its normal, but it will. Just don't put too much pressure or strain on yourself to make it happen too soon!
  • Take time for yourself. Everyone will tell you this, and with good reason: it's vital. Seriously. It's easy to start feeling more like a machine than a human when you're caring for/feeding/nursing a newborn all day. Take some time for yourself whether it simply be a quiet time praying, going for a pedicure, strolling through Target alone, or just taking a long bath with a glass of wine. My husband's work schedule is kind of crazy, so my alone time is usually spent at home, and that's okay. The most important thing is to make yourself a priority every now and then!
  • Don't forget your baby-daddy. Along with taking time for yourself, be sure to make your hubby a priority, too! Remember, you two began long before the baby, and it's important to continue nurturing that relationship, too. This took a back-seat for us for awhile, and I think that's okay. We don't have family in town, and we don't exactly have room in the budget to hire babysitters, so we do "in-house" date nights pretty often. As long as you're connecting and communicating about things other than baby-baby-baby, that is what matters. Once your baby gets into a bedtime routine, this becomes much easier! Rob and I have a couple hours in the evenings together now, but this was not always the case. We were running to bed as soon as we got Jaqs down in the beginning!
  • If all else fails, call your mom (or dad, or aunt, or grandma). I remember calling my mom at 4 in the morning during week 2 of Jaqs' little life. She had been up crying most of the night (turned out she had reflux), and I was exhausted and at the end of my rope. Hormones and lack of sleep do crazy things to you! She calmed me down and made me feel better about things with just one conversation. You will likely have moments of "What the HECK did I get myself into?!," and you'll want to have someone you can call at those times. Preferably someone who is sleeping at night and, therefore, has their wits about them ;)
Being a mom is, without a doubt, one of the greatest blessings I could ever imagine. 
The love a mother has for her baby is all-consuming, so just enjoy that and RELISH in it. If you want to lay on the couch and cuddle with your little one all day? Do it! You only have the chance with this baby once, so soak it up and KNOW that you're an awesome mom! :)



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Guest Post: Macke Monologues

I would be lying if I said I didn't have a small crush on the following guest blogger's little boy, Marcus. Go check him out; his cheeks are to die for! Introducing Desiree...

Hi Wife Mommy Me readers!!

I'm Desiree over at the Macke Monologues! If you swing by my neck of the blogisphere you'll generally read up on my number one little man, Marcus, a recipe that our family loves, an occasional DIY, and in general, just a way to recap our lives. However, when Stephanie asked for me to guest post, more specifically on helpful hints and tips for runners, or aspiring runners, I was thrilled.

Let me begin by saying I'm no speed-demon. Far from it, actually. And, I'm no personal trainer or coach. However, what I am is in love with running.

For any novice, intermediate, or veteran runners, here are a few tips that I've found to be very helpful along my path to becoming a runner.

  • The road to becoming a runner starts with just one run. 
  • Set goals, big and small. My very first goal when I decided I wanted to get into running was complete a half marathon. I'd never run a 5k, let alone a half. But, I knew if I wanted to make running a lifelong habit I needed to go all out. After I set the big goal I set smaller goals while working toward the "big one" (progressively run faster 5ks each week, work on interval training, etc.)
  • Once you've achieved some of your goals be sure to set new ones! It's always more fun when you're challenging yourself.
  • Sign up for running events. It's a great way to stay motivated to keep on keepin' on!
  • Find inspiration through other runners, or aspiring runners. Here are a few ladies I follow that always motivate me: Meredith {My Own Little World}, Meredith {Is This Thing On?}, Taylor {Mama Tay LeMay Gets Rid of Her Gut}. 
  • Use a running app to track your miles, and see your progress. I favor the Nike+ app, it tracks your miles, your pace, and encourages you along your run. Love.
Photo Credit
  • Invest in some quality running shoes, running socks, and workout clothes. None of these has to be ultra fancy, or super pricey, but they DO have to be comfortable!
  • Lastly, have fun with it. Use running to release stress, hit goals and milestones, and see progress one run at a time!
Photo Credit

Monday, August 19, 2013

Guest Post - Mice In The Kitchen

Happy Monday! While I'm off being a complete tourist in Colorado, I have some amazing ladies filling in for me. First up, Laura over at Mice In The Kitchen. Mrs. Mouse is a fellow Texan, Mom of 4 (how in the world?) and one of my favorite bloggers. Thanks again Laura for guest blogging! I hope ya'll enjoy!

I am super excited to be your guest post today here at Wife Mommy Me!  Stephanie is someone who I have known and loved for a while and when she asked me to steal a day on her blog...well I jumped at it.  I normally blog over at Mice In The Kitchen which is my dumping ground for all things Me!  I tend to ramble on about my life as a mom of four, I do some fun reviews and my favorite by far is doing giveaways! So you might want to stop by sometime and see what is up for grabs and don't forget to look around and say hello! I would LOVE to have you.

It's been a super long time since I have been to a baby shower....or really a wedding shower too.  I suppose living over 600 miles from family tends to put an end to that.  I do however still get the invitations.  My brothers step son just had a baby..well HE didn't have the baby his girlfriend did....so one day when getting the mail I was greeted by a pink envelope which contained a invitation.  Inside was a little card for me to fill out and return.  It had a bunch of things such as ...I hope you have ______ eyes, I hope you have _______ nose...you get the picture here right?  But then it had a blank spot that said "advice for the parents to be".   Hmmmm...advice?  First I am not big on the word advice.  I picture being a kid again and sitting in a chair while my mother angrily stomps around telling me her "advice" to live through the years in her home.  I tend to steer clear of the word advice...it seems so condescending.  Kind of like some librarian with her glasses dangling on the end of her nose pointing her finger at me because my library book was late.  You get my point right?  But it was my duty to come up with some "advice" so darn it I was going to give some advice....and it was going to be good...NO ground breaking...the kind that they were so thankful they received my advice because it changed the whole parenting game!  So I started to list everything I could think of in my head. Sadly this was all I could think of:

1.  If you are holding your new baby and it's diaper explodes it is okay to clean yourself off first.  After all they are the one who can't use a potty yet.

2.  When returning the cart at the grocery store....make sure you remove the child before walking back to your car.  Once they start talking you will never have this problem...but by then you may be tempted to walk back to the car with them still in the cart anyway.

3.  Never ask your child "why did you do that" and expect a logical response.

4.  When having a tea party ALWAYS ask "where did this water come from".

5.  When potty training and your child runs up to you to announce they went potty...ask where first...before you congratulate them.

6. Getting a puppy DOES NOT get you ready for kids.  You can't leave your child in the backyard and ask a friend to stop by and let them in after a few hours.  Do you see my point here people?

7. There will be a time...mark my words...when hearing you child yell "mom"  sends chills up your spine.  Don't believe me...have four kids all between the ages of 6 - 13.  You'll know what I mean.

8. You will learn all your bad habits because they will pick up on every single last one.  Even better you wont know they did until you are out in public. My advice...look shocked and say "I have no idea where they learned that."   No one will believe it..but you have to at least try.

9.  If you have pets and one day you find your child pretending to be one of your pets...don't fight it...just go with it.  Trust me it will make for some great pictures and hilarious memories.

And finally....
10.  It's okay to loose your mind...that's when you have the most fun
Again, I want to thank Stephanie for letting me steal her blog today and thank you so much for hanging out with me on Monday!  Please feel free to stop by anytime at Mice In the Kitchen and say hello!

Friday, August 16, 2013

FIVE of Friday

I've stumbled across a few ladies taking part in a Friday blog link-up and decided to join the fun!


This fun link-up requires you to blog about 5 things..... things that you're loving, things that are on your mind, etc.
Really, just any 5 things. Easy enough! Feel free to visit Darci for me details.

{one} Wife Mommy Me got a new look this week and I love it. The process took a lot of time and even more patience on my end but overall, I love the results. Who knew I could do HTML??

{two} Story time with Connor. He loves getting out of the house, especially when that means he gets to sing, clap, dance and climb. It's pretty much baby boy heaven!


{three} Finding the perfect pair, in my size and length, skinny jeans at GAP Outlet. Nothing is better to a short gal then finding her favorite jeans at a discounted cost without paying for shipping!

{four} FREE toys! A neighbor was throwing this out and I snatch it up. It's not in perfect condition (there is a small crack, which I think is fixable with a bit of TLC) but it's great for Connor.


{five} Receiving birthday party supplies in the mail. As much as I want our baby to stay a baby, turning one is going to be lots of fun. To say I'm excited about Connor James 1st birthday is a complete understatement!


I hope ya'll have a great weekend! We will be in Denver the majority of next week so be on the lookout for some guest posts from a few of my favorite bloggers!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Curiosity

Connor is that stage where anything and EVERYTHING gets his attention. Especially if it's something he isn't used to, something he encounters on a daily basis.

A New Orleans hotel room gave this babe more fun than any of the toys I brought with him, the new movies I bought or even Momma and Papa.


Discovering your reflection is just about the coolest thing to a 9 month old.

This boy. He has my heart wrapped around his tiny chubby pinky.

Big boy business. He stands. At all times. Look at his foot. Ouch!

Making sure we are still close by.

"Mom! Did you see this?"

Gets me every time.