Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from C&H:

Captain Clayton and his first mate, Hudson!

He is simply delicious. I can't stand it!

Couldn't you eat these two up!? :]

Happy Halloween, everyone!

for my family's viewing pleasure:

Since we moved here, we've gone on a trip every single Saturday. Today was no exception, and we headed to Richmond. Again. For the second weekend in a row. Which reminds me -- I never posted the pictures from the Poe museum. I'll get right on that. Maybe.

Our first stop was Toys That Teach -- the cutest little toy store ever. I swear, there wasn't one ball of any kind in that store. Nope. And nothing really name-brand, like Transformers or Spiderman. Instead, the walls were lined with learning toys that were so delicious. Words can't even describe. I had my eye on a play kitchen that was cuter than you could even imagine.

But we weren't here for me. Well, maybe just a tad -- but I was in search of Christmas presents for my two nephews! It's really hard to shop for Hudson, just so you know.

Since I'm pretty sure that Clayton & Hudson don't read my blog, I'm going to show you what we got them. Mainly for my sister & parents, since it's really hard to describe a gift over the phone.

(Mom, Dad & Sis: These two sets are for C -- there was a ginormous pyramid that was SO TOTALLY COOL, but a ton of money. But still, this little hut of a thing is pretty big! It comes with some kind of dvd that teaches kids about the Egyptians. The second set (in the second picture) is just extra men and a horse. Playmobil was SO cool.. Holy guacamole, they have the coolest toys!)

(Mom, Dad & Sis: This is for Hudsie. I know he likes balls, but like I said.. they didn't sell balls here. The drill vibrates or something. Since he only has 4 teeth, maybe he'll suck on them for teething. Maybe. It says on the box 2+ years, so hopefully he will like it! :))

Oh, uh, we also bought this:

And, um, this:

Only, the blanket part is white, not red. It is so soft and so colorful. Delish, really. Here's a better view of the fabric side (which, is ALSO soft):

Then we ate at Chipotle.. yummo. It's definitely become one of our favorite restaurants. If you've been to Moe's, think: Moe's. Only, way better and way yummier. Or more yummy. Ok, just seriously yummy.

We are being pretty blah tonight and have absolutely no candy for trick-or-treaters. Oops. Normally, we would have participated. But candy is like really expensive this year, and I hate to buy candy just to.. give it away.. Once we have kids old enough to participate in Halloween, I'll be more apt to contribute back. Ha.

Which reminds me -- has anyone seen Jolly Ranchers lately? I've not seen them in.. well, years. I don't remember my trick-or-treating years too much, but I specifically remember one house. Yes, I remember exactly where it was in my old neighborhood (coincidentally, the same neighborhood in which Christine lives now. We were neighbors as kids!). I rang the doorbell, and they had a big bowl of Jolly Ranchers. And they let me pick which two I wanted. Naturally, I opted for the sour apple and watermelon. Because they're just the best, hands down! Chocolate isn't my favorite, but I really loved (and still do) Jolly Ranchers. And.. I haven't seen them lately.

Before I forget everything, I'd just like to say that Weebsworld is totally awesome. It's in Richmond, and it's fabulous. It's pretty small, but it has strollers literally hanging from the ceiling. It has all the cool brands. They even have a stroller path made of different materials (grass, concrete, gravel, a pot-hole road, etc.) that you can test drive strollers on. Ha, we didn't do this, since we aren't shopping for a stroller, but it looked very cool. They also had Svan high chair and the Stokke crib. If you don't know what those are, then don't worry. L, you know the green frog that you stick to your tub to store bath toys? They have it. They also have adorable utensils for feeding, and I loved them all! Too bad -- the next sale at Weebsworld isn't until July 17th. Sigh.

And now Mark and I are going to plan where we're going to hide out tonight to avoid trick-or-treaters. I'm feeling up for Barnes and Noble. That's always loads of fun!

Oh -- is anyone else re-reading New Moon in preparation for the movie!? Holy guacamole @ the new trailer. I just can't get enough.

Friday, October 30, 2009

How to Survive In Virgina

How to Survive in Virginia: 8 Tips to Make Your Transition A Lot Easier

1. Get a personalized license plate like everyone else: Yeah, your bland license plate that reads 593 DVU totally stands out, and you definitely aren't from Virginia. The cool thing around here is to think of some witty word or phrase that you can squeeze into 7 characters on a license plate. And, if you're really adventurous, get a license plate border that goes along with the word. Come on. Everyone's doing it. At least in Virginia, anyway.

2. Give up your love for foreign cuisine: Half the population is white, and half of it's black. And, like a measly 2% is "other." So if you're craving a chimichanga, you might want to settle on Taco Bell. Because yummo places like Kyoto and Puertos just don't exist over here. And if you're really craving Japanese food, just head to Trader Joe's and get a frozen bag of stir fry -- because the only Japanese places here are super expensive and your bill is at least $50.

3. Get in the right lane: Expect a ton of traffic. And by a ton, I mean.. a ton. Literally. If you know your destination is on the left side of the road, then by golly, you better get in the left lane. Because there WILL NOT be an opportunity to get in the left lane. Unless you stall traffic, put your signal on, and sit there until a nice person lets you over... and, well, good luck with that.

4. Keep your flip flops AND your boots out simultaneously: Don't go putting your summer clothes away. Not yet. It can be 50 degrees in the morning, but 75 by noon. On a daily basis, I wear sweaters in the morning and tank tops in the afternoon. I also wear scarves and flip flops on days back-to-back. It keeps me on my toes. My chipped orange nail polish toes.

5. Get used to the time zone change: I still have not figured out the time zone here. It's truly bizarre. Some shows here are aired a full hour before they are aired in Kentucky. For instance: in the morning, I watch things that have not aired in Kentucky. My mom hasn't seen it yet -- as she is an hour behind. But at night, things air at the same time, only it's an hour later on the east coast. Same goes for shows like Dr. Oz and The Doctors -- I will see it before you. It's extremely confusing, and I hate it. Many shows here don't come on until 10pm, and there's no way I'm sitting up until 11pm to watch a show. No sir.

6. Better have spare change: There are random toll booths in Virginia. As far as I can remember, there aren't any (maybe a FEW) toll booths in Kentucky. And I'm not talking about 30 cents -- I'm talking like $1.50 per booth. This past Saturday, we spent over $5 on tolls -- some of them back to back. Yes, we drove through two toll booths within 30 seconds of each other. What a rip off. On the way here, we had to be billed for the toll booths through our drivers licenses since we didn't have the $4 it cost to get here. So be sure you have a lot of pocket change.

7. Forget about helpfulness: If you have a problem, a concern, or a question, you're better off Googling it. Because no one here cares. No one here wants to help. They look out for #1 -- themselves. It's a sad reality. We came from a place where people were Southern, happy, and did their best to help you by giving you their time. Even the employees at our bank aren't nice. A generalized statement like "No one is nice" seems pretty harsh. But, guess what? No one is nice. The nicest people we've found are at our church, but I guess that's to be expected.

8. Obama comes around: Kinda weird to live in a place where Obama frequently comes to your town. I wouldn't be one to stand in line to meet him, or go to a rally of his, but I still think it's neat. He was just on our base last week, and Mark saw his plane. He came to Old Dominion a couple days ago. I guess the people here are used to it.

Note: All suggestions have been learned from first-hand experiences.


Today's weight: 132 (I lost a pound!)

Food Consumed:
Lean Cuisine fettuccine alfredo -- 6pts
2 little cookies -- 2pts
burrito -- a lot
Dr Pepper -- 5

Thursday, October 29, 2009

in the past

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. We shall call her L for blogging purposes. At 6 years old, L was super excited to become a big sister. She was so excited, in fact, that she gleefully put on a 3-quarter length pink shirt that read, "I'm the Big Sister!" It even came with a bear-looking creature on the front, dressed up in some sort of large outfit.

I'm really not sure.

But L was so excited - not only to be big sister - but also to become part time play mommy. I mean, really, what could be more fun than sticking your newborn sister in a buggy, dressing her in a blue sleeper (!?!?!?) and attaching your denim purse to the front of it? I'm pretty sure this is the epitome of darling, adorable fun.

PS. That baby dressed in blue is me, and that's MY big sis!

But that little babe grew up into a 5-year old. Playing house with baby dolls and fake kitchens was her most favorite thing. Washing dishes and placing them neatly in the storage bin to dry was fantastically fun (now why didn't this interest stick with me!? Somehow, dishes have lost their "fun appeal" over the years..). Sporting a Big Red sweatshirt with matching red & white pajama pants was all the rage. So were fros. Well, maybe not, but it was my signature statement. Unintentionally. Plus, this little girl loved to take pictures (Shown blow with play Fisher Price camera).

Nothing's changed, really.



Food Consumed:

6 inch buffalo chicken sub: 7pts
1/2 bag of baked Lays: 1.5pts
Dr Pepper: 3pts
2 soft shell homemade tacos: 6
Dr Pepper: 3
4 chicken nuggets: 3

= 23.5

Not too shabby, really. I actually have 20 flex points to use each week, so I'm not concerned about the 3 points that I went over.

Today's Weight: 133


Happy 1st Birthday, Stellan McKinney!

A year ago today, you looked like this:

Last week, you looked like this:

Yesterday, you looked like this:

In case you haven't heard/read, Stellan's back in the hospital with SVT. It's the worst case they've seen with him, and he isn't doing well at all. Take some time out of your day and pray for little Stellan. He has a big party planned with his big sis, Small Fry (she turned 2 last week!), and now he has to spend his first birthday in a hospital.

Food Consumed:

6 inch buffalo chicken sub: 7pts
1/2 bag of baked Lays: 1.5pts
Dr Pepper: 3pts

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

starting tomorrow:

As of tomorrow, I'm starting Weight Watchers. I won't be attending any meetings, but I'll be posting every bite of food that I eat on my blog.

Sounds a little extreme, doesn't it? Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. I haven't gained that much weight or anything, but I'd like to hold myself accountable for what I eat. And this is my blog, so I'm choosing to blog about this because it's important to me. No negative feedback, please. No one needs negative feedback or criticism when they're trying to watch what they eat.

Don't worry -- my blogs won't be all about food. I'll continue blogging as usual, but I'll include a list of foods eaten at the bottom of each post. Encourage me! It will be fun!

...I mean, as fun as snacking on grapes and eating frozen dinners can be. Which isn't very fun at all, in reality. I'll also weigh myself each morning and publicly announce my weight to the world.

Brave, aren't I?

Encourage me.

PS. This will only last a week. I'm betting that I can lose 5 pounds in 1 week if I stick to my guns. And my guns are big, so watch out. Bwhahahaha....

OH, and my current Body Mass Index is 22.8 -- smack dab in the middle of Average.

BMI Categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
Click HERE to find out YOUR BMI

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Christmas List

I know we are 56 days away from Christmas, which might seem like a while to some of you, but it's right around the corner! Plus, Christmas comes on December 10th for us this year!

So really I only have to wait 42 days. Lucky me!

In case you were wondering, Mark and I (well, hopefully Mark..) are going home early for Clayton's 5th birthday! He's having a big circus/carnival party, and I'm going to be in charge of the rubber ducky pond. Don't we all just love that game where you flip over a rubber ducky and claim your prize? There's, like, zero effort there -- so if you lack coordination, you can just play the duck game all day long and feel good about yourself.

At least that's how it was for me.

Mark really wants a bike. I think we look at bikes about.. ohhhh.. 8 times a week. We just stopped at two bike stores yesterday. He's dying for one.

As for me, I really really want this lens:

It's a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens. This lens basically makes bokeh (intentional blurring of backgrounds) a breeze. It produces sharp pictures with great light balance. It's only $95 on Amazon, and I have to have it.

I also really really want an iPhone 3Gs. Oddly enough, Mark and I came to each other at the exact same time and said we wanted an iPhone. Ha! My current phone is really great, but it resizes pictures into teeny little blurry things, and it's really annoying. I also can't send videos. There's no way to send videos on my Samsung Eternity. So I have all these adorable videos of C & H, and there's no way to share them.


Plus, those apps are just so darn cool. They're $199 right now. So, hopefully I can save up my Christmas money and buy one or both of these presents!

That's it! Short Christmas list, eh!?

Oh wait. Just one more thing. I'm thinking of having my blog redesigned by Once Upon A Blog. I've wanted it for a long time. And, quite frankly, I think my blog needs help. I've had the same layout for months on end, and it's bugging me. The same lady designs MckMama's blog, so you know she's good.

Ok. That is all. I'll post more later.

Monday, October 26, 2009

top 10 mommy must-haves: the new & revised edition!

Baby products. My most favorite thing in all the lands. The feeling of a soft blanket. The squeek of a new toy. The crisp turn of the wheels on a new stroller. The clean diaper bags that line the shelves. It's almost all too much. Sigh.

Remember my Top 10 Mommy Must Haves post from this summer? No? Well, review my first list, and sit back, grab a baby blanket, a Dr. Brown's bottle full of whole milk, and get ready to read my new and improved list:

1. The Ergo Baby Carrier: Supposedly one of the most comfortable baby carriers on the market. Although it's pricey (around $105 per carrier), it's worth its weight in gold. The Ergo carrier can be used with newborns and toddlers alike. It can be carried in the front or back, similar to a backpack style. Users have said it's so comfortable that they could wear it all day, and their babes love it too! And just when you thought the Ergo carrier couldn't get any better, they surprise you with even more goodies. The carrier even sports a sleeping hood so your baby can take a nap while sitting upright! Does it get any better than that? No. It doesn't.

2. Beaba Baby Cook: If you plan on cooking your own baby food, or at least some of it, then this is the appliance for you! This little thing steams, blends, warms, and defrosts fresh food for your little one. It starts by steam cooking vegetables, fruits, meat and fish in less than 15 minutes, preserving their vitamins and flavors, then purees or blends them to your desired consistency. You can also use it to quickly reheat or defrost precooked foods. It also contains no traceable amounts of BPA and allows you to be the one to make your child's food. Definitely a plus when you don't really know what those baby food companies are sneaking into their jars of processed purees! Better save up for this one -- it's about $150.

3. Peg Perego Aria OH stroller: The stroller Mark and I almost bought this past Saturday. This is the lightest stroller I have ever pushed. The special 5-point harness allows your kiddo to have maximum movement. It folds up super easy and it's pretty compact. Mark test-drove it down the aisles of the store, and we fell in love! Plus, can you resist the chocolate brown & bright orange exterior? I know I can't.

4. Peg Perego Carseat: Oh, but what is cuter than matching the adorable Peg Perego stroller with a matching car seat?! Nothing, my DBR*, nothing. This car seat varies from others because it has the best side impact head supports - and they grow with the child! It's light weight, the safest seat in its class, and beautiful.

5. UPPA Baby Vista Stroller: This travel system is really pricey: $669 for the combo. Actually, it's about the same price as the Peg Perego. It, too, is freakin adorable, and the seat is reversible -- so your baby can face you or face the world! The elevated seat is also a plus, so you can be closer to your child. A zip-in weather shield and a mesh bug shield are also included. In case you fancy pushing your baby in the rain.. or if you live in a bug-infested area (like we do..). It's a great buy, and, really.. is there anything cuter than that orange baby buggy? Nope. There isn't.

6. Tummy Tubs: Brittney first introduced these to me, and when I saw them for sale at our local mall, I kind of fell in love. Typical baby bath tubs leave newborns scared, bawling, and you're left with a mess on your hands. Plus a wet baby. And that just isn't a good combo. This tub actually feels like the mother's womb. It eases indigestion, gas, and soothes colic. Since it's smaller, the water stays warm longer, and it makes babies super comfy. While bathing a newborn, the mama should hold the baby's head up by placing a hand under the chin. But as the baby grows (and gains head support), this is no longer needed. These run at $45.

7. Phil & Teds Wriggle Wrapper: What a neat little invention. Instead of toting a big, bulky booster seat (or high chair) around town, you can simply tote this little wrap in your purse! The wrapper supports your child in a seated position and holds them securely in any grown-up chair. Perfect for your little baby who tries to escape a normal baby seat. The wriggle wrap sells for $50.

8. Skip Hop Palette Plate: This has got to be the cutest feeding tray I've laid eyes on. A healthy meal consists of protein, fruits, and veggies. Even if you have a child's tray with divided sections, juice tends to run everywhere. And, when you have little hands (and lots of fingers) in the plate, things get messy. And gross. And no one wants to eat a green bean that's been shoved in applesauce. Unless that's your thing. And, if so, let me say: ew. The bright colors are just to die for, and it's much easier to encourage a kid to eat "something from each section." You can find one on Amazon or only $28. Totally worth the cash!

9. gDiapers: Brittney also introduced me to these little miracle diapers, as well! They're the cutest cloth diapers on the market, hands down (or booty down?!). gDiapers, which stands for green diapers, consist of a washable, cotton outer little g pant and a plastic-free biodegradable gDiaper refill. They are made of breathable material just like sports clothing. So, babies stay dry and happy and are far less likely to get diaper rash.

To my knowledge, this is the only diaper that can be disposable or cloth. For disposable use, you just slip in a little liner and go about your day! When you have a dirty diaper, you stick it in the toilet, use your SwishStick (a little stick that you stick in the toilet and swirl it around - it automatically breaks down the insert and flushes like a charm). This won't save you any money if you go the disposable route. The little gPants run at $19 each, and each pack of refills is $15. The cloth inserts are $30, so you would save money if you consistently washed and reused. Plus, like with other cloth diapers, you can reuse them with your other children.

10. Crocheted newborn hats: There's really nothing else to say but "Oh my stars, that is SO cute!" Baby hats are so in, and they are so cute and they are so delish. Couldn't you just eat these babes with a spoon!? I know I could. Our future babes will spot yummy hats, such as these.. it just doesn't get any better.

What are your favorite baby products!? I have a few more up my sleeve, but they didn't make this list. Maybe next time!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

more on birth, because I know you love it

Oh, just when you thought the labor posts were over, I slam you with another. This time I'm solely focusing on Cesarean births. And, for your viewing pleasure, I first want to slam you with some statistics. Stay with me. It gets good.

US Cesarean Rates:

1970 - 5.5%

1975 - 10.4%

1980 - 16.5%

1985 - 22.7%

1990 - 22.7%

1994 - 21.2%

1995 - 20.8% ---> ACOG recommends VBAC for most women

1996 - 20.7% ---> New England Journal of Medicine says VBACs are dangerous

1997 - 20.8%

1998 - 21.2%

1999 - 22.0%

2000 - 22.9%

2001 - 24.4%

2002 - 26.1%

2003 - 27.6%

2004 - 29.1%

2005 - 30.2%

2006 - 31.1%

So if you walk into a hospital in the US, your chances of having a C-section are 1 in 3. Those aren't good odds. Not at all. Are the women of the 70s not the same women of 2009? Are the women of 2009 not the same women of 60 A.D.? The same uteruses that held babies and contracted in 800 B.C. are the same uteruses that we have today.

No, not the exact same. That would be gross. Ew.

I know. I sound a little bit crazy.

And while I do know that Cesarean births do save the lives of children and mothers (and thank goodness for that!), I do recognize that the United States has the 2nd highest infant mortality rate in the developed world. 70% of births in the world are led by midwives. In the US, it's more like 7%. We have learned to trust doctors with an iron fist and we've forgotten to think for ourselves. We are told things like, "You're too small to deliver your baby" or "Your baby isn't happy" or "Your baby is a 10-pounder, we have to get them out of there!"

And the percentages of C-sections in birth centers is about 4.5% - a huge difference from that of a hospital. So something is different there.

But sometimes your baby is breech. Sometimes your baby is transverse. Sometimes you're pregnant with multiples, and it's the safest way. Sometimes you just don't progress. Sometimes your baby becomes lodged. And when other tactics, such as getting in certain positions, moving, using birthing balls, and manually moving a baby don't work, a C-section is in order.

So you get dressed in your adorable little blue hat. They wheel you away and give you lots of anesthesia while your husband waits in the hallway for the go-ahead to come in. You're on your back, and you have a giant blue sheet draped in front of you. You feel pressure here and there, and your husband is telling you what's going on. Your newborn is pulled out of you, and they hold your babe above the curtain so you can get a look! They do major sucking because your baby didn't get a good massage from your vaginal wall on its way out, so there's extra fluid that must be removed. Your husband is peering over the curtain to get a better look, and you're stuck on your back. They finally bring you your baby burrito so you can give him a kiss and say hello. Then they stitch you back up and send you off to recovery from your major surgery.

And that's how it goes! Or, at least, that's how I've read and seen how it goes.

But have you ever heard of the Slow Cesarean? No? Neither had I, before I picked up this amazing book. It's another way of performing a C-section, and it pays close attention to details - and, guess what? It's slow.

-The drape that typically obscures a mom's view of her body is withdrawn as the baby emerges so she can see her baby being born

-At first, only the baby's head is removed from the uterus, allowing the baby to receive a few minutes of the benefit of a body massage as the uterus contracts

-Instead of quickly clamping and cutting the cord, the doctor leaves it intact and allows the baby to slowly acclimatize to the surroundings with support from the placenta's blood and oxygen

-As the baby seems to become more alert, the doctor hands the baby to the mom, who places her little newborn on her chest for skin-to-skin contact. This way bonding can begin. The baby awakens to the world hearing Mom's voice and smelling Mom's smell instead of being on a resuscitation table.

*Note: It's been proven that breast-feeding is easier to establish, and the baby is much more calm when a C-section is performed this way

There is another way! No one goes into pregnancy fantasizing a C-section as the end result. Well, scratch that. Some celebs (and average moms..) have been "picking" and "choosing" their baby's birthday by scheduling inductions for no reason other than it being a "good day" for them. I'm totally against this for a whole slew of reasons. Don't get me started. Or, please do, because this is my favorite topic.


The book also lists the World Health Organization Recommendations for the Best Birth. I find this to be very interesting, and I couldn't agree more:

-The well-being of the new mother must be ensured through free access of a chosen member of her family during birth and throughout the postnatal period. In addition, the health team must provide emotional support

- Women must participate in decisions about their birth experiences

- The healthy newborn must remain with the mother whenever possible***

- Immediate breast-feeding should be encouraged even before the mother leaves the delivery room. Unrestricted mother-infant contact after the delivery and unrestricted breast-feeding reduce breast-feeding failure

- There is no justification for a hospital to have a Cesarean section rate of higher than 10-15%. Vaginal deliveries after a Cesarean section should be encouraged

- Electronic fetal monitoring should not be routine

- There is no indication for shaving pubic hair before delivery

- There is no indication for routine enemas before delivery

- The dorsal lithotomy position during labor and delivery is not recommended. Women must decide which position to adopt for delivery

- Induction of labor should be reserved for specific medical indications

- The routine administration of analgesic or anesthetic drugs should be avoided

- Artificial early rupture of membranes, as a routine process, is not justifiable

- Enhanced social and psychological support from caregivers reduces negative outcomes. Leaving women unattended during labor should be abandoned

- Separating healthy mothers and babies routinely should be abandoned*****

- Repeating Cesarean section routinely after previous C-sections should be abandoned

- Restricted maternal position during labor and delivery should be abandoned. Upright versus recumbent position during first and second stage reduces negative outcomes

- Performing episiotomy routinely should be abandoned

- Inducing labor routinely at less than 42 weeks gestation should be abandoned

- Prescribing sedatives or tranquilizers routinely should be abandoned

I've bolded the statements that I feel strongly about. At the top of my list, probably, would be the idea that for a healthy mother and child, the baby should go straight to the mother's chest for skin-to-skin contact. Not weighed. Not measured. Not slapped with goop on the eyes to protect from from the Chlamydia and Gonorrhea that their mother doesn't have. On the mommy's chest for the best bonding moment of their lives.

The point is: there are lots of options out there, and your doctor probably won't tell you about them. Your doctor has a bunch of other patients, so you have to do your research to know what's best for your birth.

And, Note: I've never given birth, so I don't really know what I'm talking about! I'm just spreading the word of Ricki Lake, because I highly agree with her and think she's on to something...

Check out her book or buy it. I got ALL my information in this post from her book, Your Best Birth

Visit her website to learn more about how you can have your best birth!

get caught up!

On Friday, we ate at a hibachi Japanese restaurant. It was delicious, but Mark ended up eating 2/3 of my food. By nightfall, I was nauseous - and the nausea lasted until Saturday night. Let's just say that I probably lost a lot of weight, and I had severe abdominal pain all day Saturday. One word: Gastroenteritis. I ate the salad with our meal, and Mark did not. What a bummer. Leave it to lettuce to nearly be the death of me.

On Saturday, we went to another theater and saw Couples Retreat. It was amazing, hilarious, and I held Mark's hand the entire time. Well, apart from us snacking on nachos, BBQ, fries, wings, and another order of fries. Two guesses as to who ordered that much food. I highly recommend it - the movie and the food.

But earlier on Saturday, we took another adventurous trip and headed to Richmond. Mainly, we wanted to go to USA Baby, an amazing baby store. It was chuck full of furniture, bedding, strollers, and accessories. We test drove strollers and had a blast. We decided that we want a Peg Perego -- the most lightweight, awesome stroller that I have ever laid hands on. We almost bought it, and its chocolate brown and bright orange exterior was almost too much to pass up. Plus, it was over $275 off the retail price. Alas, we didn't buy it, and we already regret it. And, yes, it was my husband who sat in the mock car seat (supposedly for the testing of buckling in car seats for expecting mothers), and he was totally buckled in the seat as I pictured our little baby in it.. safely nestled in the 5-point harness with the side impact head protection. It was a dream.

And after that, we toured the Edgar Allan Poe museum, because I think he's neat. I have one word for the museum: Lame-o. The museum didn't tell anything about him or his life, other than his mother and wifey dying. Apart from a few artifacts from his family members and his personal work chair, the rest of the museum was dead. The coolest part had to have been the newspapers from the 1800s in mint condition, which really had nothing to do with Poe. I almost bought an Edgar Allan Poe doll, with an attached raven, to sit around our house. But I thought that might be weird. And now that I rethink it, I definitely believe that would have been weird.

Mark has to get up at 430am -- he's volunteering to serve breakfast burritos. Ew. Ew @ waking up at 430 and double ew @ the thought of a breakfast burrito. Double yuck.

I'll be posting pictures of the Poe museum later, but don't get excited. Please. Don't.

Isn't this Eric Carle lion just to die for!? We thought so too, which is why we bought it at the MacArthur Center this afternoon. There was also an amazingly cute hungry caterpillar and and an angry lady bug. Too cute, Mr. Carle. Too cute.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


me & my husband?


we really love each other

Friday, October 23, 2009

the movie that left me nauseous.

Tonight we planned on seeing Couples Retreat. But that didn't work out, and we ended up seeing Paranormal Activity.

And I walked out of the theater sweating, nearly hyperventilating, and nauseous with fear. Holy crap. Nothing really scares me. I laughed at The Exorcist, and I think most horror movies are pretty lame -- with the exception of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, because it's a true story.

DBR*, you have got to see this movie. I normally wouldn't beg you to spend $20 at a theater, but, seriously, you have got to see this movie.

It's a "documentary" following a young couple - Micah & Katie. She's been "haunted" since she was 8, and the same "demon" has been following her on and off ever since. The hauntings pick up again, and her hero boyfriend decides to video tape everything to analyze it and understand what's going on.

Little things start happening, like loud noises at night and things start moving. Eventually, super scary crap starts occurring, like the demon starts breathing on her, leaving footsteps, and then dragging her out of bed.

Like, there is nothing stupid about this movie. It is 100% realistic, as far as "realism" goes. I'm pretty sure I nearly squeezed Mark's head off***. Scary movies aren't my absolute favorite, but this one goes right to the top of my list of Favorite Scary Movies of All Time. If I had a list like that. Which I don't. But I'm just sayin.

The movie isn't really out to scare you.. because you're on an emotional roller coaster with Katie, the star of the movie. She is crying and upset and scared to death, and you're rooting for them to figure out how to get rid of the demon.

I really want to ruin the movie and tell you all what happens in the end, but that wouldn't be fair. Take your spouse to the theater ASAP and see it! It's a good excuse to cuddle squeeze your partner's hand off and grab their arm like it's your last hope.

I give this movie an A+. Now go see it. Kthx!

*Dear Bloggy Readers

***Edit: I didn't actually squeeze his head off, but.. rather, his HAND. Oops. Although I probably could have squeezed his head off if I had my hands around it. Yes, I was that scared.

the post that will make you say: awww!!


Mrs. Cox | MySpace Video

hair yo

Mrs. Cox | MySpace Video

C is 24 months in these videos -- just after his 2nd birthday. M was in Hawaii for Christmas, so we made videos for him.


C reading his high frequency words at 3 1/2 using homemade flash cards


I'm such a proud little aunt.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

top 10!

Ten Things On My Mind:

1. M comes home in 30 minutes! Better get spiffied up for my man!

2. We're going to the library when he gets home. I've got things that need to be returned and I'll be rechecking some books. I am such a book worm.

3. Piper has lost 3 teeth. She has two that are super wiggly. I secretly want to pull her teeth, but I'm not exactly a doggy dentist. And that would be weird.

4. Today I applied for grad school. It was expensive, and it's about to get even more expensive.

5. I wrote a little essay today. It's very weird to write an essay after being out of college for 5 months. Very weird. But I love to write, so it's all good.

6. I just got a little pedicure from my dog. Since she's teething, she's been licking my toes and feet. It feels pretty good, I'll admit. And I can't believe I just admitted that on my blog. (But, hey, this is my blog. See? Fort Cox. Yep, that's my last name!)

7. I found something I want for Christmas: a Canon EF 50mm lens. It sells for $97 on Amazon, and it's what MckMama uses. It makes great blurry backgrounds, and I must have it. Oh, I also decided that I want an iPhone and that's basically it! I don't ask for much, do I!?

8. I am majorly craving Kyoto and Puertos. A nice combo of hibachi steak with a chimichanga would really make my night. You don't even wanna know how pathetic the Japanese and Mexican restaurants are in these parts!

9. We're trying to decide where to go this weekend. I'm thinking Richmond, for a variety of reasons -- one of which is the Edgar Allan Poe museum. Holy smokes! Sounds like a good time to me!

10. My toothless little puppy really tries her darndest to protect me. It's adorable. I love her for it.


"Why allow Halloween to be a pagan holiday in commemoration of the powers of darkness? Fill the house or church with light; sing and celebrate the victory of Christ over darkness." -Richard Foster

What do you think about Halloween!? Read this interesting article about Christianity and Halloween!

Oh, and in a little over a week, my two nephews will be dressing up! Clayton will be a pirate captain of a ship, and Hudson is going as his "first mate!" I know you can't wait for the pictures of my Hudsie in his skivvies!