Sunday, September 26, 2010

my 37 week watermelon belly

just when you think I can't get any bigger...

Total weight gain/loss: I'm not telling. And you can't make me :)

Maternity clothes? I'll miss the stretchy pants, I'm not gonna lie!

Stretch marks? I'm sorry to say that they love me. They appeared around 31 weeks.

Sleep: I flip sides all night long (still!) from hip pain, but I sleep pretty soundly. I get up twice to use the bathroom, and I sleep with a pillow between my knees. It isn't ideal. I can't wait to sleep on my belly!

Best moment this week: I guess getting one step closer to having our house in top-notch order for her arrival.

Movement: She moves all day every day. Her head is so low that I can feel her turning her head deep down in my pelvis.

Food cravings: Nope. I've never had a "craving" this entire pregnancy. I just eat like usual!

Gender: Our sweet daughter.

Labor Signs: No signs of true labor, but I do have frequent contractions and cramping. She has definitely dropped, my body is preparing to feed her (ahem..), but that's about it.

Belly Button in or out? It's completely out. I'll have to be sure to take a photo before I deliver her!

Wedding rings on or off? Still on!!! Hopefully they can stay on for the remainder of the pregnancy, because I love my rings!

What I miss: a pain-free body. I'm pretty much in constant pain, but it's always manageable and no big deal. I can't imagine not being in pain, or not peeing all the time, or sleeping soundly through the night, or not feeling exhausted when I stand up for long periods of time. But I guarantee that I will miss pregnancy like crazy; it's the most amazing thing!

What I am looking forward to: going into labor and experiencing childbirth the way that God has designed for me to experience (since everyone is different!) I can't wait to have the feeling of "never feeling more alive!" than when I give birth to our baby and meet her for the first time. It's overwhelming to think about, and I can't begin to fathom the awesomeness of it all!

Weekly Wisdom: Enjoy every instant of your pregnancy and don't wish it away. Your baby's birth day has been planned since the beginning of time by God, so there's no sense in wishing it away. The last few days/weeks with your spouse are precious, so enjoy it to the fullest!

Milestones: She's "full term," although I don't really like that term :)


I've been a terrible, horrible, no-good blogger. I know! I've just had nothing to blog about, but truly I've had lots to blog about. I've just.. been preoccupied, I guess. We've yet to pack our bags for the hospital, but we're going to start packing tonight! Life is the same around the Cox household. Piper is currently demanding my attention -- she sits next to me on the couch and waves her paw at me to say, "Excuse me!! Please pet me!" It's the cutest thing ever - she waves like a human being! Speaking of Piper...




It has been much too long since Piper has made an appearance on our family blog, so there you go. You're welcome. And I know, she's absolutely delicious. I could eat her with a spoon. In fact, I think I will!

And as for me, I've just been cleaning the house with Mark and preparing everything for our little one. Yesterday, I got a haircut:


Because it just so happens that one of my good friends here (who also happens to be another AF wife) is a hair dresser! And as for the rest of the week, lots of laundry is calling my name, as well as a midwife appointment, a third trimester class, our final birthing class, and.. that's about it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

a new toy!

Our new video camera came today!

For my 23rd birthday, I decided that I needed a new video camera. For the baby, you know. And for Mark! It's smaller than an iPhone and we love it so much! It has an LCD flip-out screen that swivels and everything. And, of course, it's small enough to fit in the diaper bag and comes with an adorable little case! Now I will always be able to video tape Sharkie for my husband!

Ok, we actually have another video camera. But it's the normal big size, which is much too large to lug around in a diaper bag.. so this one will work perfectly! We just decided to test it out a few minutes ago, and I chose to record our firstborn (naturally!)

Piper has THE life, doesn't she? She just as docile as they come. We love her!

And we love our new camera.

Monday, September 20, 2010

being 36 weeks pregnant means that...

...each night, you turn into a fire-breathing dragon. The joys of heartburn!

...people suddenly like to make predictions on when you'll go into labor..

...the skin on your belly feels like it can't stretch another centimeter without ripping in half.

...your baby is now a pro at hiccuping, and you wish you could teach her the age-old methods of getting rid of them. Like holding your breath. Or swallowing your spit 10 times in a row really fast.'re actively preparing to breastfeed. If you know what I mean. (Ok. And have been for many weeks now!)

...when out in public, people look at your belly and then your face. And they dart out of your way like a big bus is coming through the aisle! this point, you wished you owned stock in toilet paper, because you go all the time..

...and before you do anything or go anywhere, you pee first.. just so you can comfortably move around.

...people start guesstimating the weight and size of your baby based on the size of your belly. PS. There's no correlation. Not really, anyway. start dreaming about labor, your child, and your husband every.single.night.

...some days you are so anxious and eager for your child to arrive. The next day, you're thankful that you still have time to prepare for their arrival.

...massages still make your world go round.

...most conversations with your spouse revolve around pregnancy and your unborn child. Just because it's fun. And you never get tired of making predictions about what they'll be like!

...watching your baby squirm around in your belly - and watching your belly roll - is your new favorite pastime.

The majority of the time, I can't wait to go into labor. And, if it were up to me, I'd have her at exactly 37 weeks.. just so we could spend more time as a family! But then.. really.. we only have 3-ish (??) weeks left as "just" us. Shouldn't I just cherish these moments? She'll come when she's good and ready - and when God gives her the little push to send me into labor! I really don't want to "rush" these last few weeks. I'm positive that I'll miss her being in my belly, feeling her little squirmies and hiccups and wiggles.

I can't even begin to imagine how our lives will change after her birth, but boy we are so excited! Mark is dying for her to come. Pronto! But I can promise you that we will be spending these last few weeks just enjoying one another. If you know us personally, you know that we are attached at the hip - and love it that way! Life couldn't be better!

my wild man from Borneo!

not much has changed!

My little Sprout at 14 weeks :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I'm 23 today!

What does one do on their twenty-third birthday?

Wake up and eat a bowl of Cocoa Fruity Pebbles in bed.
Go to Petco for Frontline, which is way over-priced.
Head to Williamsburg to buy my mother's birthday gift.
Fail to resist the long-sleeved body suits at Carter's for Sharkie.
Go home and decide I want Mexican food.
Eat an entire vat of guacamole!!
Tidy up the house and do laundry.
Watch Mark install the car seat in the car.
Help husband clip dog's toenails (success!)
Take a nap with your husband on the couch.
Eat a cookie for supper.

I've wanted to be 23 for as long as I can remember. I love odd numbers, and 23 just always seemed like the perfect age to be. So here I am! My nephews' cards came in the mail today.. and it's no understatement to say that I stood there and cried forever when I saw them.

Isn't that the cutest thing ever? I guess when you turn 23, you grow a neck. Since I clearly have a neck, and Clayton does not! :) I also look a little apprehensive about my claw fingers, don't I? It's the cutest thing I've ever seen, and it's on my refrigerator now!

So that's what this 23-year old did today!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

nothing to blog about :)

Oh me. I'm such a bad blogger these days. I don't have a single thing to blog about.. because, well, my days are now spent:

thinking about my baby
feeling my baby move
cleaning for the baby
organizing baby things
thinking about childbirth
and basically anything that has to do with baby

And, let's face it: that doesn't leave much room for blogging material. I'm really sorry. I'm positive that things will pick up once I actually birth her. And then my blog will get really interesting. :) :) :)

We're still tooting along in birthing class and only have about 2 sessions left! We still have to cover the stages of childbirth in serious depth, postpartum, and breastfeeding. Yahoo!

We mention fear in the majority of our birthing classes. About how our culture has conditioned us to fear birth, fear pain, and doubt our ability to do things. She encouraged us to say it out loud that we CAN do this and that God made our bodies to birth our babies. And, supposedly, our brains hear it and start to believe it. Or something. I don't fear labor at all. Or the pain. I just want her to be healthy and okay.

Yesterday, Mark came home from work and massaged my feet, grilled our supper, took me for a walk, and then studied the Bible. How did I get such a catch!?

My birthday is coming up in 2 days, and we don't really have plans. I might go to the outlet malls or something. I guess. We'll see.

Monday, September 13, 2010

annnnd she's...


34 and 35 weeks pregnant, respectively :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

the low down on 35 weeks

I've been MIA for two days in a row! We've been really busy - especially yesterday! Not too much is going on other than me moving into my 35th week of pregnancy! I had another appointment yesterday, and I'm thrilled to report that things are scooting along just fine with our babe! She seems to be completely "average" as far as size goes. And apparently I have a very short waist, which is why my stomach sticks out so much. Who knew!?

We're still going to birthing class! Discussing the stages of labor, the marked emotions that go along with *natural* childbirth (excited, acceptance, seriousness, out of control, etc.) as the stages progress. Going over different positions to get in during labor - like hands & knees if you have a posterior baby. Yesterday, we watched two videos in class, and Mark was a little shocked to see the delivery of multiple placentas. Too funny. He is too cute.

I'm feeling lots of pressure and can physically feel that she's dropped some. Braxton Hicks continue throughout the day, some of them more painful than others. Still nesting like an insane person -- my house will NEVER be clean enough!! And it's not just cleaning. It's a need to organize everything. My belly rolls in waves and it's a joy to watch her wiggle around. She's completely head down and in perfect position for labor. My next appointment is September 20th, and then I'll find out if I've progressed any!

I'm very, very excited :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 4: Chicken Casserole

I was a smidge weary of this recipe, because it's almost too simple.. if such a thing exists. I found this recipe in a family cookbook (written by my grandma, no less!), and my friend Amanda had been telling me about the exact same recipe! So I decided to give it a whirl!

It's so, so simple. A child could do it. If you allowed children to play with ovens. And raw chicken. Which you probably shouldn't!

a tray of chicken breasts/tenderloins/whatever
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8oz sour cream
box of Stove Top Stuffing

Cook your chicken [I boiled mine in just a few minutes]. Cut into bite-size pieces and put in a smallish Pyrex dish. Mix your chicken soup & sour cream and pour on top of the chicken. Prepare your Stove Top stuffing and put it on top. Pop it in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.


I know. It seems SO hard, right!? ;)

Oh, and this recipe appears on the back of the Stove Top box. So apparently this recipe is no secret to the rest of the world! It was pretty tasty though, I'll admit! Mark got seconds and already packed up the left overs for his lunch tomorrow, so it must be great!

I'll definitely be making this one again.. just because the ingredients are minimal and it tasted pretty darn good!

Monday, September 6, 2010

cocoa krispies and 34 weeks pregnant!

I didn't cook a homemade meal tonight. Awful, I know. But I have a good reason -- for lunch, we ate at Cheeseburger In Paradise, because I had a buy-one-get-one-free lunch coupon! We couldn't pass it up, and we both ordered the "Beach Burger" because it came with a huge pickle. And we love pickles.

Sidenote: In the middle of eating my pickle, Mark pretended to "steal" it away from me. But I didn't know he was joking. And I snapped back and gave him the stink eye like a rabid animal! He laughed so hard that the pickle that was in his mouth went up into his nose and burned his nose. Lesson: Don't try to take a pickle out of a pregnant woman's hand.
So about 15 minutes after my meal, I got really sick. I'll spare you the details, but it ended in a 2-hour nap and me feeling rotten for the rest of the day. I couldn't even think about cooked meat for supper, so I had Cocoa Krispies with a ton of milk. Mark had a frozen pizza. Fail!! :(

Urgent sidenote: Mark just saw 5 bats in our backyard. They're flying around. BATS?! How disgusting. This is why he takes her potty at night!! :)

But I'll take this opportunity to do my 34 week pregnancy update instead!


How far along? 34 weeks!

Maternity clothes? Hey, I got a new tank top (pictured above) this week!

Sleep: Okay some nights, awful the next. I have to sleep on my back for at least part of the night to give my hips a rest!

Best moment this week: Packing her diaper bag, which is all set!! We chose her outfits for the hospital & her going home outfit.. cannot wait!

Movement: Today after my nap (I never take naps. EVER.) I sat up, and she was in the weirdest position ever!! My stomach looked like an egg. She was *completely* in a ball in the front of my stomach. I should have gotten a picture! But she wiggles around all day!

Gender: our baby girl
Labor Signs: Oh sheesh. Yes. Huge cramps, Braxton Hicks times a million, nesting, milk, and the list continues.. She'd better stay in until 37 weeks though! :) I'm sure she will.

Belly Button in or out? Out :)

What I miss: Sleeping on my belly!
Weekly Wisdom: Embrace nesting - it's loads of fun! Get it? Loads? Like loads of laundry. Loads of organizing. Loads of cleaning. Loads of everything! :)

10 weeks ago:

Oh gosh! I can't believe how Adalyn (and I.. ) have grown!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 3: Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I made my very first homemade soup tonight! Besides chili, which isn't really a "soup" to me [though I guess it is, since I eat it with a spoon. But chili is chili, right?] I'd never had enough guts to attempt a soup.

But I finally found a fantastic recipe from THIS mommy blogger! This woman cooks pretty tasty-looking food, and it's all very easy to do. No weird ingredients, no difficult steps -- pretty simplistic! I have a serious love for potato soup, so I thought I'd give it a go!


My favorite part about this dinner is that it's cheap. The only meat involved is bacon, which will come in handy later this week when I make little smokies and even later on with french toast. I always have the other ingredients. And, boy, my husband L-O-V-E-D this recipe!

Stolen right from Mommy's Kitchen:

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

4 - baking potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
4 - cups milk
2 - cups chicken broth
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
12 - slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 - cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 - 8oz container sour cream

Bake potatoes in the oven or microwave. Scoop out the inside of the potato and set aside. Cook bacon in the oven while the potatoes bake at 350 degrees until crispy. Crumble and set aside. Melt butter in a large pot over medium low heat. Stir in flour to make a roux. Cook about one minute stirring constantly. Gradually pour in the chicken broth and milk while stirring. Turn the heat to medium and cook the soup until it starts to thicken. Add the potatoes, salt, pepper, bacon and cheese. Stir well and continue to heat for about 15 minutes allowing the flavors to blend. Mix in sour cream until well blended. Serve immediately. Garnish with green onions, additional bacon and shredded cheese.

oh me.


Two alterations: I only used 3 (smallish..) potatoes, because Mark misheard me and only put 3 in the oven instead of 4. I also didn't fully use 8oz of sour cream, because I was afraid it would be super creamy. Instead, I only used about 5oz. Or so. I kind of just scooped out as much as I wanted. In the end, I added more pepper and a smidge more salt. Oh, I also left out the onions, because our onions are suuuuper strong and I just didn't bother. And I also didn't use 12 slices of bacon. I used 5. Apparently I altered this recipe more than I thought - ha!

Guys, it's SO EASY. I was shocked. You basically just dump it in a pot and go to town! Who knew that soup was this easy!? Mark gave it a 10/10 and ate 3 (yes THREE!) bowls! I'm as happy as a clam, my belly is warm and full, and life couldn't be any more grand.

If you're interested in what's up later this week* in my kitchen...

Mon: chicken casserole
Tues: chili & grilled cheese
Weds: spaghetti
Thurs: eat out**
Fri: chicken fingers
Sat: french toast & bacon
Sun: chicken fingers
Mon: potluck with small group
Tues: pancakes, eggs, bacon

*Subject to change. I have a super huge aversion to spaghetti lately, so I might insist we change it to another beefy dinner, such has hamburgers. Or Hamburger Helper Enchilada.
**We're meeting a friend at the mall to eat. Which is totally breaking the rules for my "Two weeks of homecooking." Sigh.

Or, if I get the courage, I might replace the pancake night with vegetable soup. But I just don't have the guts..

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 2: Stuffed Green Peppers

Today is day 2 of "2 weeks of home-cooking," and I tried something brand new: stuffed bell peppers! I couldn't find a recipe I liked, so I called my mom and she helped me come up with a whole new recipe.


I thought it sounded pretty hard.. but once I got going, I realized that it's super easy! Here's what you need:

3 bell peppers
1 cup rice
two 8oz cans tomato sauce
chopped onion
1/2lb ground beef
a smidge of shredded cheese


I've never written my own recipe, so my steps might be a little fuzzy, but here's what I did:

1. Boil your green peppers in water for around 5-8 minutes. Then take them out of the water and place them in a dish (I used an 8x8 Pyrex dish).
2. Cook your rice -- I used 1 cup of rice to two cups of water.
3. Brown your ground beef, drain, add chopped onion (you choose how much), add 1 of the cans of tomato sauce.
4. Combine your rice & your beefy saucy mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and spices.
5. Fill up your green peppers with your mixture. Pour the second can of tomato sauce over the peppers and in the bottom of the Pyrex dish. Top with some shredded cheese.

I baked them for about 10-15 minutes at 375*, and that's that!


I thought it was super delicious. The green pepper definitely hit the spot. I swear, this child is making me even more domesticated than I've ever been! I have this new obsession with trying new recipes, making my house completely organized, and.. you know, being a mom. Although I totally paired the green peppers with Kraft Mac & Cheese -- so instead of being Martha Stewart, I'm more like "Semi-Homemade with Shannon Leigh"


Get it? Instead of Sandra Lee? Too funny.. just too funny! I really wish I had another green pepper right now, because I could totally go for seconds. Yum!

Oops! Forgot to mention that tomorrow is baked potato soup!

Friday, September 3, 2010

2 weeks of home cooking: Day 1

Day 1 of my home-cooking spree brings us Paula Deen's meatloaf.

Now, meatloaf isn't something I normally make. But when I do, I usually include sausage. This recipe only calls for ground beef and adds diced tomatoes -- something I'd never even heard of! But in all seriousness, meatloaf is the easiest thing in ALL the world to make. You just mix it all together and put it in a pan. It's that easy!


I will say that this meatloaf doesn't "hold together" as well as my usual recipe, but it was mighty delicious! The tomatoes really add something. And of course, the topping is outstanding! Pair it with some mashed potatoes & green beans, and you've got one happy husband!


I really didn't mean to focus on the food & blur Mark out. I really didn't. But I guess it fits for this post, huh? Ha!

Before eating, you'll have to drain all the grease out of the pan. Otherwise, you'll be eating a ton (a TON) of grease. But I give this recipe an 8.5 out of 10! It's so simple and quick - it just doesn't get any easier! Plus, I always have these ingredients, so it's a no-hassle meal!


Here's the recipe:


1 lb ground beef
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 ounces canned diced tomatoes (without juice)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Preheat to 375* and pop it in the oven for an hour.

Tomorrow, I'm making something I've never even attempted: stuffed bell peppers. Wish me luck!

Oh my stars -- I just have to add that right as I'm done writing this post, my husband went into the kitchen and got a second plate full of meatloaf! He's never, ever done this with any meal I've ever made!! :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

stream of consciousness :)

Hurricane Earl is headed our way, and we're "gearing up" for our first tropical storm! Mark was chosen to work night shift, so he had the day off & will be working tonight when the hurricane rolls in. It shouldn't be too bad - hopefully Piper and I survive the night!

Today was the Civil Engineering squadron picnic on base. I ended up eating a piece of watermelon and some pudding. Mark chowed down on hamburgers and hot dogs. And pudding!

I haven't felt very well for the past two days. Not sure why.

I've decided to have a daily "Eating With the Cox's" carnival on my blog. That's right - you'll join us at our dining room table every night. Except you won't really be eating with us. But I'll take pictures, give the recipe, and my thoughts on the meal. It's my attempt to force myself to cook and not eat out. Because we've eaten out practically every night this week. It's a bad habit that we're trying to break. Besides, cooking at home is healthier for all three of us. And budget-friendly, too!

I'm pretty excited about it, because I'm making 4 new meals, one new dessert recipe (two if you count last night's cookies), and one new potluck snack recipe. It should be great!

Tomorrow will be Paula Deen's meatloaf! I've never made meatloaf without sausage, so this will be a first! Hopefully it turns out great!