Monday, May 31, 2010

on this Memorial Day...

...I'm reposting something from last May: A letter from Clayton to Mark.

Mark was away for a total of 7 months, and we bought C his own set of ABUs to look just like his uncle, who was off fighting in the "Air Forrest." For a while, C insisted that he would join the Air Forrest to be like Uncle Mark. And so he could be near me. Now he talks of becoming a policeman :)

I remember this day like it was yesterday. Hard to believe it's already been a year:

Dear Uncle Mark,

I miss you so much. I can't wait for you to come home from the Air Forrest! Dressing up like you is so much fun. When Shannie tells me to "stand at attention," I do this:

Shannie laughs, but I'm not sure why. I think I look tough!

And here's a salute to you, my fellow Airman!

Thanks for the pins. They make me feel super cool.

I love my flash light.
It's best used as a sword. Try it out! It's fun!

I am patiently waiting until you come home.

I refuse to wear a t-shirt under my uniform.
I think that would look weird.
And I definitely prefer for my handsome chest to stick out a little.

I miss you, uncle.

Your nephew


Today we went to our favorite beach to relax! We packed a few snacks but ended up not eating anything -- we found a nice cool spot on the sea shore (is that what it's called?) where the water would splash up on our legs. We saw the cutest little girls splashing around in the ocean, and it makes us anxious and extremely excited for our little girl to get here!

Tomorrow we get another peek at her, and we can't wait.

Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Tale of the Trail -- by Piper

Ok guys, look. Today we decided to take Pi to the nature trail down the road -- one of her most favorite spots. There, she did the most shocking thing ever. To us, anyway. When we got home, she insisted on writing a poem on our blog. She yanked the laptop away with her little paws and there was no stopping her. What can I say? Except that she's insanely cute, witty, and super talented.

We feed her Iams dog food. Not sure if that has anything to do with her majesticness or not. Here ya go -- from the paws of Piper herself:

A Tale of the Trail

Sometimes when I'm bored,
I'll bark & wag my tail
Mama gets my hints..
and takes me to the nature trail!


I'm so excited, I can't stand it
I pull my leash so hard
the forest is so much cooler
than my pitiful backyard


We see pine cones & sticks,
poison ivy & poison oak.
I pull my leash so much
I almost make myself choke!


It's over eighty-five degrees
gosh, could it get any hotter?
I spotted the big lake..
so I went into the water!


I took a little sip
and then on a big whim..
I darted in the water
to go for a nice swim!



Mommy & Daddy were so shocked,
they shouted so loudly with glee!
I paddled around the lake
& said, "Hey guys, look at me!!"


And when I got out of the water
my hair was one big mess
& since I looked so bad
more dirt wouldn't hurt, I guess..



I scruffed around in the mud
boy, I was over the moon!
I hope Mom & Dad
take me back to the nature trail soon!!!!

-Piper Cox


the new Subway sandwich & rambles.

Did you know that Subway now has chicken salad? It does! We have a Subway in our Walmart. After shopping for groceries, I'm always starving (maybe because I'd also not eaten any lunch!), so I decided to give the new Orchard Chicken Salad a whirl!

And, of course, I'm here to share my experiences with you. The positive and the negative. I'm just helpful like that, I guess!

So one of my friends loved the sandwich, and one of them hated it. I was kind of weary to try it, but I did anyway. And I'm glad I did :) I couldn't find a good photo of it, but it looks pretty much like regular chicken salad. Ha.

It definitely is not too mayonnaise-y. It's got mixed apples in it and some type of dried cranberry (??) Not really sure. I don't think it had any grapes. No celery that I saw, and also no nuts that I can remember. I added tomatoes, green peppers, lettuce, and a *smidge* of mayonnaise. Only because it looked like it might be a little dry, and I hate dry sandwiches.

Overall, I'd give it a B+. It did seem like it was lacking something. If I could redo it, I'd add salt and pepper. I really recommend adding a little salt. And definitely add veggies. I'll probably add cucumbers and onions next time, as well. I really love a lot of veggies on my sandwiches from Subway -- especially since you're paying for them anyway, so you might as well load up!

I do think it's the perfect little lunch for a hot summer day. Sometimes I think I should be hired as a national spokesperson for Subway, because I can't say enough good things about this food establishment. Everything is just so good. Oh, and it's also a $5 footlong!! Definitely worth the try :)


5 days until I'm headed back home! Today has been full of grocery shopping -- mostly for snacky foods to keep Mark alive while I'm gone! Later, we will probably take Piper to the nature trail down the street. I think I've settled on Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers for our little girl. In fact, I'm 80% positive that's the brand I'm going with.

I can get 18 diapers for $323 OR 18 diapers with extras (travel tote, diaper pail liner, cloth wipes, detergent etc.) for $385. It really just seems like the best buy. The biggest selling point, to me, is that they have snaps. No velcro. And velcro is notorious for becoming un-sticky and becoming a big mess over time. Snaps last a lifetime. Plus, FuzziBunz adjust in the waist and in the leg holes. So if we have a chunky-thighed baby or a skinny-legged baby, they adjust to fit her. No matter what. And they're one size, so she'll wear them from 7lbs - 35lbs. It really just seems like the best buy.

If any of you out there have ever tried FuzziBunz, let me know how you liked them! They're one of the most popular diapers out there & get great reviews. I'm just having the hardest time ever deciding.

Yesterday, we stuck headphones on my stomach & let Punkin listen to Braham's Lullaby (not my favorite..), Spring by Vivaldi, and one of Mozart's piano concertos. She kicked up a storm and loved it. I'm already looking forward to the day when I take her to the music store for her to pick out her very first instrument. I wonder which one she'll choose! I'm hoping for cello already -- I'm totally partial. I'm so excited for her. And I'm excited to go home in 5 days. Hoping Sprout stays put this week.. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

19 weeks 5 days with a basketball belly

ok pause.

When I shrunk this photo for blogger, it created these lines in my shirt. These lines don't really exist at all. It's just a normal purple shirt. And now it looks like I have weird ridges all over my tank top. Ugh! How annoying! Anyway :)

How far along? 19 weeks 5 days. Let's just say 20.

Total weight gain: 9lbs.

Maternity clothes? Mostly just loose-fitting pre-pregnancy shirts.

Sleep: Doing much better! I flop from my left side to right side all night, but it's no big deal.

Best moment this week: Getting her nursery set up and ready to roll!

Movement: She's moving right now! This morning I felt her much higher than I've ever felt her, but right now she's back to being low.

Gender: Daddy's little girl!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? In!

What I miss: Not getting up to pee during the night :) I miss those days when I had a normal-sized bladder!

Weekly Wisdom: Um, drink lots of milk? I'm so bad at these weekly wisdom things.

Milestones: Being one day away from being HALFWAY THROUGH with this pregnancy!


This week, our little girl...
-Measures about 10 inches long
-Weighs about 10.5oz
-Is now producing meconium
-Is now familiar with my voice

I didn't realize how much my belly stuck out until I saw these photos. Woah! It looks like a little basketball under my shirt!

Last night I talked to C for about 30 minutes on the phone. We talked about everything, including Punkin. He says we should nickname her SpiderGirl and thought that was just hilarious. He still says he wants a little sister "so bad," and even told his mama (my sister) to "talk to God" about it.

He is so ready for me to come see him. He hast a list of things we have to do together:
-play Mario (the original version on the original Nintendo!)
-play a variety of games (Hungry Hungry Hippo, Don't Break the Ice, etc.)
-go to a couple softball games of his
-sleep in his bed with "hundreds" of stuffed animals
-go swimming

So so so so excited! Yet sad that I can't bring M with me. However, he gets a 4-day weekend this week (Military Family Day, the weekend, and Memorial Day) -- yippie skippie for military holidays!

Did I mention that I won a FuzziBunz cloth diaper from a local drawing and The Jesus Storybook Bible from MckMama? I did, and I can't wait to see them! We also tried a free trial of Netflix and promptly canceled it -- it wasn't too great for us. Tonight I tried a chicken-rice-mushroom soup casserole thing, and it was good. Got my bridesmaid dress for my friend's wedding. Working on a tan so I'm no longer pasty white. Wishing it would get steamy hot here, because I'm so ready for it.

The end :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

since being pregnant

Besides this bulging belly, there have been many new.. side effects to being pregnant. And really, who knew!? I've always read/heard about the crazy things that happen when you're pregnant. But no one really ever discussed it (that I knew). Well, I'm discussing it now.

Since being pregnant, I have this "pregnant nose." It drives me crazy. I can smell things from a mile away. Once a week, or so, I will smell this awful smell downstairs. Mark can't smell it. Naturally. I seriously go around the house sniffing everything trying to pinpoint its location. Mark is in awe of my smelling abilities and doesn't have a clue what I smell. And it isn't like anything is dirty, either!! It's really, really bizarre...

Since being pregnant, I had no idea that babies were so low. At least mine is. Our daughter is right where my bikini bottom would come to, yet my uterus is to my belly button (I can feel it). I had no idea that babies were so low! Who knew!? I guess I'd never felt my nephews kick my sister until she was further along and they were actually higher by then. And note: I have a doppler, so I know where she actually is because I can find her heartbeat down there still. Bizarre!

Since being pregnant, I've discovered what hunger is. All my life, I've apparently just had an appetite. Now? When I'm hungry, my stomach growls out loud. Really loud. So loud that Mark looks at me and says "Wow." And then I get these massive hunger pains!! I keep a granola bar in my purse for emergencies in case I suddenly get hungry. I'd always heard about how hungry pregnant women get.. but I had no idea. Well, now I do!

Since being pregnant, I've learned what back and hip pain really are :) I have no heartburn, constipation, or any other side effect. But I do have back pain. Oddly enough, if I keep walking or standing, it doesn't hurt! It only hurts when I sit for a while at church, the car, or anywhere else for an extended period of time. I'm not complaining, really! I just never knew what women meant when they said they had back pain. It's an entirely different pain than I've ever felt!!


us. 3 years ago. May 2007.


Monday, May 24, 2010

baby survey!

I found this survey on Baby Center, one of my favorite websites, and it was just too fun not to post! Besides, I love surveys!!

1. Are you going to have a natural birth? hope so!

2. Will you circumcise baby if you have a boy? I would, but she's a girl! :)

3. Will you be breastfeeding? yes!

4. Will you allow your baby to use a pacifier? absolutely.

5. How old will baby be when you take away the bottle? don't pediatricians recommend 1 year?

6. Will you allow your baby to watch tv before age 2? yes, but only certain shows

7. Will you have a tv in baby's room? no!

8. What will your baby wear for there first pic? she'll be naked!!

9. Are you going to have a crib? already do

10. What kind of toys are you going to have for baby? normal baby toys.. so far my favorite is her Sophie the Giraffe :)

11. Are you going to have a baby shower? yes yes

12. Do you plan to go back to work after baby is born. If yes, how long are you gonna wait before you go back? nope, SAHM!

13. Is baby taking daddy's last name or yours? his name

14. Will your baby be baptized? nope!

15. Do you have something from when you where a baby that you plan on using for your little one? (clothes, toys, etc.) I don't really have anything left from my childhood. Maybe a couple stuffed animals?

16. What is baby gonna wear for Halloween? I have no idea -- she'll be about 2 weeks old. Not sure what would look cute on a curled up newborn.

17. Have you thought about what will happen to baby if anything where to happen to mommy and daddy? yes, my sister would take her!

18. Where is the first trip you will take with baby? home for Thanksgiving to Kentucky! So excited that her first holiday will be Thanksgiving (my favorite!)

19. Do you plan on daycare? Nah, I'll be home!

20. When do you plan on letting baby drink soda? (age 2, 6, 10, etc.) Realistically, I let my nephew take sips of my drinks when he was 2. I'd like to say 10, but get real. I'd turn my back for one second, and he'd be stealing a sip ;]

That just reminds me of when I first met Mark, and we carved pumpkins together. Little Clayton was just teeny tiny, and he joined us in carving pumpkins:

What a twirp! I had no idea he was stealing a sip!! :D

I miss my little C :) Although he isn't so little anymore. Can you believe this is him?


Sunday, May 23, 2010

the complete nursery tour!

As promised, the nursery photos! Mark worked so hard putting everything together. He admitted today that he "always knew" we would have a girl. I knew it too. 21 weeks til she arrives!

Special thanks to my favorite (and only) big(ger)* sister, Lauren, for giving us this bedding! And to Hudsie, since it was his bedding - ha! She didn't find out the gender of Hudson, so she had to find gender neutral bedding. I helped her pick it out (well, approved it of officially being cute), and I loved it when I saw it!! We are not huge fans of tons of baby pink... so we really like the bright and bold colors in this bedding! I've eyed a bright orange changing pad cover at Buy Buy Baby :) Too cute!

Also note that we don't have a sheet on our mattress yet. The matching sheet is still in Kentucky, and we'll get more sheets later. But right now it's just a white mattress :)

daddy relieved that the crib wasn't too hard!

putting together the bookshelf.. with Pi's help..

If you look closely at the clothes pile..
you'll see a newborn onesie on top that reads:
Blog This
HA!! She'll def be wearing that one!

rocking chair & day bed



changing "table" & dresser
as you can see, I love Eric Carle..



the beginning of our cloth diaper stash

our favorite Sock Monkey blanket
we bought this for her last fall :)

The End!

*I said my sister was bigger (her words) because she is almost 38 weeks pregnant. And is very big with my 3rd adorable, precious, wonderful, amazing nephew. Yay!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

one oft the best days ever.

I'm not kidding when I say today was one of the best days ever. It was!

Amazing Thing 1: Mark fixed us breakfast this morning. It was great. And he even brought it to me in bed. A thin slice of paradise.

Amazing Thing 2: We headed off to Ikea in Woodbridge, which is 2.5 hours away. There was no traffic -- a rare occurrence. We ooh'd and ahh'd at everything in the store, as usual. Mark wanted everything for his "baby girl," and I had to insist that she actually didn't need a heart-shaped stuffed animal with arms.

he seriously wanted to get her this!

We got her crib, mattress, bookshelf, and dresser. Along with a kangaroo and a bead roller coaster. Ikea is SO much fun!! Sadly, there aren't many in the US. But if you're ever near one, go to one!

Amazing Thing 3: We went to Chipotle afterward. Seriously, nothing tastes better than their chicken tacos and guacamole with chips. We had to wait forever because everyone and their mom was at the Woodbridge Chipotle!!

Amazing Thing 4: We were able to visit Buy Buy Baby, the most amazing baby product store ever. I've never seen so many amazing products: an entire wall of Miracle Blankets. A wall of Sophie the Giraffes. Three huge walls (floor-to-ceiling) of every bottle/feeding item on the face of this earth. I've never seen so many brands of pacifiers in my life!! I was able to try on an Ergo, a Go GaGa diaper bag, and push $1,000 strollers. An even bigger slice of paradise.

They even sold gDiapers! This store is owned by the same folks at Bed Bath & Beyond. It's amazing, and we can't wait to go back later this summer!!

[pause for the not-so-amazing stand-still traffic on our way back home...]

Amazing Thing 5: We made a final decision on which bedroom Punkin would occupy, and everything fits! We're 75% done with her room -- we just need to put her dresser together. And by we, I mean Mark :)

This is about half of the nursery. The other wall has her daybed, her Ikea Poang chair (rocking chair), and the dresser will go next to her bookshelf. See that bead roller coaster? (That's what Ikea calls it -- is there a technical name for the beat toy on the bookshelf??) I put that toy together! And, okay, Mark did have to help me a smidge.

I so can't wait to get her bookcase filled with books! Piper, our sweet Big Sister, wanted to jump in the photo to pose for everyone.

Amazing Thing 6: We scraped together loose change (we have a lot of it for some reason) and went to Taco Bell tonight. And now we're watching Dogs 101 on Animal Planet. Could this night get any better?

..Well, maybe if my back pain would ease up, this day could get better. But besides that, this day ROCKED! I'm truly sorry if you live in South Central Kentucky and don't have the ease of going to Ikea and Buy Buy Baby. That's just the pits :[ It's too much fun.

And that concludes our awesome possum day. Tune in tomorrow for the full nursery tour. Cause you better bet your bottom dollar that we'll have it done by tomorrow night. I'm an eager beaver like that. Adios!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

stream of consciousness

Mark hasn't felt Punkin move since last Friday. I feel her all day long, but as soon as we put a hand on my lower stomach, she stops. What a stinker! I've been feeling much better.. except for the past two days. I've had a massive headache for over a day, and nothing seems to help it. No worries though -- just part of pregnancy and my blood volume increasing like crazy in the second trimester. It's expected. But it hurts.

Mark is studying at the dining room table. For you non-military people (half my readers): Airmen have these "test" things they have to do. They're called CDCs (Career Development Courses), and he has a book per month to work through and test on. Different jobs have different amounts of books. Mark's job has 8. Ew. He will be done by September... just in time to focus all his attention on Baby Girl :)

Our next ultrasound is scheduled for June 1. I'm beyond excited. I love love love our ultrasound technician -- she's just the sweetest little lady. And I talk her head off every time I see her. We get to bring a blank DVD to this u/s, and they'll record everything for us!

I'll be home in two weeks, and I'm getting all antsy. I feel pretty sad about leaving Mark and Piper here alone for so long. I'll be spending part of my time at my sister's house and the other part with my parents. The first half of my trip will be spent with C&H, and I'm sooo ready to love them to death. Sprout is actually due on June 10th, but he's been super low & head down for a long time now. So he may be coming a smidge early. Regardless, I can't wait to photograph him and hold him super tight.

I'm also pretty excited to see Hudsie's reaction to having a new baby brother. He has no idea what's about to hit him :)

I'm sipping blue Gatorade and watching Minute to Win It. What an entertaining show.