Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hello Due Date

So it is August 28th...that is 40 weeks of being pregnant with this little one.

This is the day no one thought we would make it to.  Bless their hearts - "You're too tiny to carry a baby to full term."

Obviously my body and baby didn't agree with everyone else.

We have been dealing with false labor for two weeks now.  I am getting to the point where I don't think he will ever come out and join the world.  Of course, I know he will and I am just being a crazy head dramatic, but it starts to do something to your brain when you hit the "due date"

From the beginning everyone at the hospital and doctors appointments have said that only a baby will know his or her birthday.  Was I being naive when I thought he would come early?  Or just super hopeful?

I want him healthy, of course.  But this mommy is ready to meet her little bundle of love.

Will he have my nose or his daddy's?
Will he have lots of hair or was all this heartburn for nothing?
Will he be tall and skinny like his daddy?  Or a little plumper like his mama?
We know he will have attached earlobes - something our FRAMLY is very obsessed with!
We assume he will have light eyes since both of us do.

So unless he decides to surprise us, which I am still hoping for, he will be born next week due to induction.

Please keep us all in your thoughts with positive thinking.  I will update the blog as much as possible until and when he makes his arrival.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DIY Canvas Print

So do you love canvas prints as much as me?  But hate to spend the money on them??

Well you are in luck!  Today I am bringing you an easy canvas DIY and it costs 1/3 the average price!

Items Needed:
Modge Podge
Foam Brushes
Blank Canvas
Printed Picture


  1. Make sure you line up the canvas and picture to fit each other
  2. Take some modge podge and coat the canvas with a generous amount
  3. Place the picture where you want it on the canvas.  Let sit for about 5-10 minutes
  4. Place coats of modge podge (as many as you like until desired texture is achieved) on top of the picture going in complete lines in the same direction so all strokes are even.  Wait 15-20 minutes between each coat.
  5. Let dry completely and hang!

I purchased the blank canvas at Hobby Lobby in a pack of 2 for $7.00.  The foam brushes I got from Walmart for $0.97.  The Modge Podge I got from Walmart for $4.47.  The picture I printed at Sam's Club and paid $2.97.  Total cost of this project if I had used all of the supplies = $11.91.

I still have over 2/3 of the Modge Podge left over, all of the brushes are reusable after washing, and one canvas left.

This project cost me a third of what it would have cost me to order it online and have it shipped to me.

I am so excited to hang this in Baby Hughes' nursery!

Do you have simple and cost efficient DIY projects?

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Top 8 Baby Shower Gifts

So I know that I haven't even posted about my baby shower yet, I know I am slacking, but we received a ton of great gifts.

I thought today, I would bring you my top 8 favorite gifts we received.

These are all items I was ecstatic about getting and I can't wait to use them all once Baby Hughes arrives.

  1. JJ Cole Canvas Satchel Bag
  2. 4moms Mamaroo
  3. Motorola MBP8 - 2 Plug and Play Audio Monitor with 2 Parent Units
  4. Summer Infant Newborn-to-Toddler Bath Center & Shower
  5. Safety 1st Advanced Solutions No Touch Temporal Thermometer
  6. Fisher-Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper
  7. Infantino Go Gaga Deluxe Twist & Fold Gym
  8. Baby Jogger City Select 4-Wheel Stroller
Do you have/use any of these items?  What were your favorite gifts to receive for your littles?

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Changing Table and Matching Shelves

So we did the Nursery Reveal yesterday.  Did you miss it?  Don't worry, you can catch it here.

So besides the bedding, my favorite part of his nursery is his changing table and matching shelves.

My in-laws got us the changing table from a garage sale for $20 and the shelves have been in my room since I was about 5 years old.

I loved having thrifted items, but they just didn't fit the look we were going for.

Let me show you what they looked like when we got them :)

These shelves have been spray painted different colors for the past 20 years.  I would say at least 10 different colors.

This is where 4 cans of spray paint came in and some sand paper :)

We went to our local hardware store and bought 600 grade sandpaper and 4 cans of Rust-oleum Colonial Red Satin Spray Paint.

My husband and father-in-law sanded the changing table down and sprayed it red.  The shelves didn't need sanding so I was going to do those, but the hubs said he would.

The finished products were perfect and matched his bedding perfectly.  I couldn't be happier with how they turned out!

Changing Table - $20
Shelves - Free
Sand Paper - $6.00
Spray Paint - $20
Total Cost: $46.00

Re purposing furniture to match what you have is way easier than buying brand new things that already match.

Do you love DIY???
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Nursery Reveal!

The nursery is finally completed!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Now all we are missing is the little boy who will live in it :)

We went with a western cowboy theme and couldn't be happier with how it all turned out.

I love every piece that is in here and can't wait to see him grow in this room.

Wall Color - Behr Coco Rum
Crib - Gifted from my co-worker
Changing Table - Thrifted from Ryan's parents
Dresser - Ryan's from his parents' house
Laundry Basket - Target
Diaper Genie - Gifted at our baby shower
Rocking Horse - Thrifted from Ryan's parents
Shelves - Mine from my childhood
Growth Chart - Hubby Homemade
Barn Decor - Mom bought in Illinois in my Grandma's hometown
Cowboy Decor - Hobby Lobby
Name Blanket - Gifted from my cousin
Changing Pad - Target
Changing Pad Cover - Target

He is such a lucky little boy!
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Friday, August 15, 2014

38 Week Bumpdate

So I am hoping that this will be my last Bumpdate.  I guess only the little boy inside of my tummy can determine that for sure though.

We went to the doctors on Tuesday and things are moving along nicely according to my doctor.

I was 1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced.  She stripped my membranes in hopes that it will help labor progress.

We are now in the home stretch and the definite, not so fun, part of the waiting game.

I have gained a total of 30 pounds now and am fine with that.  I assume I will end this pregnancy with a total weight gain of 35 pounds.

The doctor estimates that little boy is around 7 pounds right now which makes me the happiest mama ever!  I was so fearful that we would be looking at closer to a 9 pound baby.  I know things can change, but this positive estimate makes me thrilled - and my lady parts too!

At 38 weeks, Baby Hughes is the size of a celery bunch.  He is approximately 19 inches this week.  He is now breathing and urinating more often and has his meconium ready for his daddy! :)

We have the diaper bag packed and in the car ready to go.

The car seat is also installed.  I am determined that if you have any questions on how strong your marriage is, try installing a car seat and building a crib together.  We survived but it was tough. :)

His nursery is together and ready for him, although there are still a few projects to finish before I will post pictures of it.

We can't wait to meet our little boy.  Please send positive thoughts our way for his safe journey into this world - hopefully while you are reading this :)
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Super Easy - But Delicious - Banana Bread

Today I am bringing you one of the easiest recipes out there!  My cousin would send this to Ryan constantly while he was in Afghanistan and it is one of his favorites.  I asked her for her recipe and found out that it is so simple.  I have now made Ryan 3 batches in the past week. :)

No need for a mixer or a bread maker today!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

2-3 very ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork. Use a wooden spoon to stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes at 350°F, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Day In My Life - Maternity Leave Edition

So Maternity Leave has definitely been different than I expected, but in a totally amazing way.

5:00 AM - Hubs' alarm goes off and he gets ready for work.  Hanky and I toss and turn until he is done and goes out to the kitchen

5:30 - 6:00 AM - We send the Hubs off to work with a hug, kiss and a "Drive Safe, I love you!"

6:00 - 7:00 AM - Hank and I watch a show.

7:00 - 8:00 AM - I go for a walk and remember to feed Hank breakfast.  Feeding Hank has become something that slips my mind and I feel bad for my bubbas, but I always remember before 8 so he is fine.

8:00 AM - Eat breakfast

8:30 - 11:30 AM - Be productive around the house.  I have vacuumed every other day and worked on laundry, done the dishes and baby things.

11:30 AM - Lunch

12:00 - 3:00 PM - Watch shows

3:30 PM - Wait for the hubs to get home

4:00 - 5:30 PM - Hang out with the Hubs and chat about our days, watch the news and surf the interwebs

6:00 PM - Dinner

6:30 - 8:30 PM - Relax with each other and enjoy the evenings

9:00 PM - Bedtime

It sounds so boring at times and it is, honestly.  But I couldn't be happier.  I love being home and taking care of the house and Hank.  I can't wait until Baby Hughes is here to add to the list of things to take care of.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Find Myself Doubting My Choice...

August 1, 2014 was my last day of work as a pregnant woman.  I told my employer at 10 weeks that we were expecting so that they would have plenty of time to prepare for me to be out.  We talked about hiring temporary employees to fulfill my position while I was out every month from then on.

I interviewed a woman and we decided she was the one.  She started on July 1st and I trained her for 3 days that week.  Monday morning, after the wonderful 3-day weekend, I showed up and she had quit.  I was screwed.  I put feelers out and we found a replacement for her that day.  My new temp started on July 8th.  She was great.  My job is intense and overwhelming and not exactly as everyone would assume it would be for a desk job.  I trained her for 4 weeks and it was time for her to spread her wings and fulfill my position until Christmas when I would be returning to work.

So last Friday I was sitting there letting my newly painted toe nails dry and waiting to get my way past overdue nails trimmed and painted when I received a phone call stating that there is a rumor that the temp we hired to fill in for me while I have this baby put in her two weeks.

What the eff?!?  This can't be true!  I've only been off for 1 week exactly and I had talked to her 8 hours before this phone call and everything was fine!  I trained her for 4 weeks to do my job for me and while I understand that it is A LOT and overwhelming, how could she be quitting??  Before my due date even!

My mom was with me and I couldn't believe it and then I went into panic mode.  I, of course, then called the hubs and had to tell him.  I guess the added part of this story is that we know this woman on a personal level and now professional as well.  Hubs told me, as I knew he would, that I needed to text her myself and see if it was true or if it was just a rumor than to squash it because corporate rumor mills travel faster than the speed of light.

Long part of this portion of the story short, it is true.  She did put in her two weeks.  Her last day filling my position will be August 22nd!  Enter the most horrified look on anyways face here because I'm sure that's what I looked like.

So panic mode has once again set in.

I have to go back to work now and just work until I have this little boy.
I have to call them and offer to come back right away since there is no time to train anybody else and the job won't get done.
I have to figure out a way to let them let me work from home after he is born so that I don't have to jeopardize my time with him.
I have to fix this.

I find myself doubting my choices with my maternity leave.

Why am I a good person and feel guilty for the company?  Why do I feel as though this is my fault and I need to fix it?  Why am I even contemplating going back sooner than I want for them??

I don't have answers to these questions, but as I sit here writing this post I am still thinking about all of these things. 

I should go back as soon as I can because we could use the money.
I should go back to help them because without me it won't get done.
I should go back because I know that they are angry about this whole situation and are blaming me.
I should convince them to let me work from home for a few additional weeks so that I don't have to leave Caleb as soon.

And then I hear what my mom tells me:  "If you died they would have to come up with something, so you should just let them figure it out now and enjoy your leave with Caleb."

And that's true.  If something happened to me unexpectedly - not while pregnant and out on leave - they would have to figure it out.  I wouldn't be an option to come back earlier to help them.  I wouldn't be an option to train the next person before said accident happened.

As guilty as I feel, I know that this isn't my fault.  It isn't my temp's fault either.  They will have to figure it out and the company will survive without me for 17 weeks while I care for my baby boy.

Is it as simple as that though?

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Monday, August 11, 2014

5 Things I Would Do Differently Next Pregnancy

So I know it might sound weird that I already have a list of what I would do differently next time - if we get so lucky to have another, but I'm afraid that if I don't write them down, then I will forget and be right back in the same spot as I am now. :)

  1. Buy a sleeping pillow
    - So from the beginning my mom talked about buying me a sleeping pillow for the pregnancy.  I continuously told her no and that I was fine.  And honestly, I was, until 34 weeks.  I could now really go for one, but don't want to buy one with just a few weeks left.  So next time, this is a must!
  2. Walk the entire pregnancy
    - I talked about this constantly on here and tried to make it part of my monthly goals and everything, but it just didn't seem to happen.  I have been walking everyday since I have been on Maternity Leave though and I love it.  I can't wait until little man is here so that we can go on longer walks and get me back down to my pre-baby weight.  But with that, the next pregnancy, if we get so blessed, will be full of walks and exercise!

  3. Watch my sugar intake- Now I did really well with my diet and nutrition while pregnant I believe.  Of course, there is always room for more fruits and veggies, but for the most part I ate well-balanced meals and gave my baby the nutrients he needed to grow big and strong.  The one area I did give in to, that looking back I wish I hadn't, was soda.  I know that they say not to have soda during your pregnancy and for the first 21 weeks I didn't have a drop.  But once I found out it wasn't due to the amount of caffeine in a soda, but the sugar, I started drinking them.  Now I wouldn't have more than one a day or anything crazy like that, but it did get to the point, while I was still working, that I was drinking at least 5 sodas a week.  If we have another baby I will make it a point to cut that out and maybe just treat myself every once and a while to soda and stick to water for the majority of my fluids.
  4. Buy a maxi skirt
    - Seem silly?  Well I think I am the only pregnant gal who made it her entire pregnancy with a maxi skirt.  I don't know how or why, but it never happened.  I think it would have made outfits a lot easier to decide on and give a little more variety so in the future, this will be purchased.
  5. Take more classes
    - The hubs and I took the Early Pregnancy Class as recommended by our doctor.  We also took the Late Pregnancy Class as recommended.  We DID NOT take any other classes however, and looking back now, we probably should have.  Now I don't know if I will feel the need to take them if we have another baby, but I definitely feel as though we should have with Baby #1.  I don't feel prepared to know about contractions or breastfeeding.  I know that our hospital has great resources that will help us with everything, but I now wish we would have taken more of the classes offered to us.

Is there anything you would do differently with your pregnancy???

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mexican Steak and Potatoes

So today I am bringing you one of my favorite meals from my childhood.  This is my mom's recipe for Steak and Potatoes.

Now I know that it might seem silly to have a recipe for steak and potatoes, but the way we make it is so much different.

I'm not sure there is an official name for it, we have always just called it Steak and Potatoes.  When I describe it to others before I make it I just tell them it is a Mexican version of it.

So without further ado I bring you Mexican Steak and Potatoes per my mom's recipe.

Top Round Steak
4 - 5 Russet Potatoes
1T Garlic Powder
1T Onion Powder
1T Cilantro
1T Cumin
1tsp Salt
15 ounces tomato sauce
8 ounces water

Peel and cube potatoes
Cube Steak
Saute in an oiled pan with all spices
Once meat is browned, pour in tomato sauce and water
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender

I make rice and beans on the side and we eat them out of tortillas.  Top with cheese, sour cream and favorite hot sauce and you are good to go.

Super simple and so delicious!

Let me know if you try it out and love it just as much as our family does. :)
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life As Of Lately...

So I thought that it might be time for a little life update.

Obviously we are still preparing for our little boy to join this world and still working on making our new house a home.

We have had some hard weeks recently.  Most importantly is having to put our little girl down.

Abbie Lou Hughes has gone to heaven and although we are sad and heartbroken, we know that it is for the best.  You see, in April she started being a diva about her eating.  We tried changing the food, changing the routine, changing her environment.  Nothing worked and eventually it just got too bad.  She ended up all skin and bones and we knew that although she seemed happy and loving on the outside, that she was in pain on the inside.  I will never forget that little girl and how she became part of my family when I married Ryan.

Another thing that has recently happened, which is a happier note, is that my mom retired from the federal government last week.  My mom started working for the federal government when she was 18 years old in 1977.  It was her first "big kid" job and it was her last "big kid" job.  I couldn't be more proud of her and more envious.  I only hope that I can one day have such an effect on people as my mom does.

Lastly, I am officially on Mat-Leave!!!!  I couldn't be more excited because that means that we are that much closer to meeting our little boy!  :)  I can wait at least one more week, to enjoy this little bit of leave, but after that, I am ready for him to come.  I can't wait to see who he looks like or how he acts.  I have big plans for my Mat-Leave - in the home area - and hopefully I can't get most of that done too.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

August Goals - And A Failed Recap From July

Another month has come and gone.  Here is a recap on my June goals and my new goals for July :)

  1. Get car in garage
    So this didn't happen.  Once again, another month has passed where good ol' Tori the Taurus is still in the driveway at night.  :(
  2. Enjoy our anniversary weekend
    This definitely happened!  I talked all about our amazing time here and I can't wait to spend a million more anniversaries with my hubby!
  3. Put together Baby Hughes' nursery
    So this partially happened.  We got his furniture arranged how I want it and got all of his bedding washed.  We didn't get around to painting the changing table yet, but we still have a little time.
  4. Pack hospital bag
    Failed!  We haven't packed anything to go to the hospital.  I have my lists of what we need to pack all ready and the bags picked out, but the whole assembling them thing, not so much. 
  5. Wash all baby items
    We did this!  My mom came over and we washed the heck out of some baby clothes.  We washed every single item of his from blankets to bedding to sock and mittens.  We just received more items though so those now need to be washed, but the majority, done!
  6. Save more money
    This didn't happen this month.  It was a little rough for us this month in the savings department but with our anniversary we didn't want to punish ourselves.  
  7. Drink more water
    I have been doing so well on this.  I really can't stand it and I am so over water, but I know that it is what is best for the little so I am putting my best foot forward.
  8. Don't be such a hoarder
    So I haven't gone through anything in the garage yet, but I think I have been doing better about bringing things into the house.  I don't think I've added to the pile, so it is somewhat of a win in my book! 
  9. Print and hang maternity pictures
    Failed!  I am so sad about this!  I want pictures up in our house so badly!  I want to get crafty again!
  10. Work on Gallery Wall in living room
    This didn't get any attention this month either.  I have sat there staring at the wall everyday thinking about what I want where and it just hasn't happened.


  1. Get car in garage
    This needs to happen!  I don't want to be putting Baby Hughes in and out of the car when it is sitting in the sun in the driveway all day!  I need to make this happen this month!
  2. Paint Changing Table
    His nursery is so cute, but the clashing woods are too much for me to handle.  Solution?  Paint the changing table to match the accent colors from his bedding.  This will happen this month!
  3. Finish Baby Hughes' nursery
    We need to hang things on his walls and get him a laundry basket and then it is complete.  I can't wait to do a post on his room.  I love it so much!
  4. Pack hospital bag
    Obviously this has to happen this month.  It needs to happen this week in fact.  I have my lists ready and can't wait to write a post on what I chose.  Keep an eye out for that one :)
  5. Wash all baby items
    We have received more baby clothes and blankets so I have a little more laundry to do for Baby Hughes.
  6. Save more money
    As always.  With Baby Hughes coming this month, fingers crossed, we will need to start saving as much as possible.
    Starting today, we will be walking everyday as a family.  The hubs is on board and Hank loves being outside so I don't think he will complain.
  8. Don't be such a hoarder
    A constant goal of mine, but this month we are pulling a huge operation with the garage clean out so my hoarding will be put to the test.  I just need to throw the shit out.  I don't need a letter to some kid I don't remember from 3rd grade anymore.
  9. Print and hang maternity pictures
    Must get these done!
  10. Work on Gallery Wall in living room
    We are making our living room wall a complete gallery wall with all black and white photos and items.  I cannot wait to get this started/finished.  An obvious post will be coming to go along with this one :)
Good luck to you on your goals and have a fabulous August!!!
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Friday, August 1, 2014

36 Week Bumpdate

  • How far along are you? 36 Weeks and 1 Day
  • How I'm feeling: I am getting ready to pop this kid out.  I am getting so excited to meet him.  With only 4 weeks left it is feeling like Christmas or my birthday sort of :)
  • Total weight gain:  Went to the doctors on Tuesday and we weighed in at 27 over starting weight.  I am super proud of myself for only gaining 4 pounds in the last 4 weeks.  We are on the right track and I am super pleased with that.
  • How big is baby? He is the size of a coconut this week :)  I must say that I find all of these food analogies very was he the size of a pineapple a couple of weeks ago and now the size of a coconut?  Doesn't that seem backwards? 
  • This week baby: is around 18-19 inches, so they say, and weighs around 6 pounds.  He could come at any point now and survive in this crazy world.  Although I would like him to stay inside for at least 1 more week. :)
  • Maternity clothes: Yes
  • Sleep:  Sleep has hit the challenging point.  I tend to be the most comfy after the hubs gets out of bed in the morning because I can sprawl out but that is only getting me about 20 minutes these days.  I can't wait to relax from now until he is born.
  • Best moment this week: Today is my last day of work!!!!!!  :)  I am starting maternity leave tomorrow and I couldn't be more ready or excited for it.
  • Movement: He still moves like crazy.  He is head down, so that is really exciting, but his legs sure are a kicking my ribs more and more these days.
  • Food cravings: Nope. 
  • Food aversions: Nope.  
  • Belly button in or out:  STILL IN!!!!!!!! I think I will make it the entire pregnancy! :)
  • What I am thankful for: I am thankful that I get to go out on Maternity Leave 4 weeks before he is due.  I am thankful that I will have time to finish his nursery and get things organized around our house a little more before he makes his grand entrance.  I am thankful that I don't have to do this alone and that my son will be loved by so many wonderful people.
  • What I'm looking forward to: I am looking forward to nesting :)  I have so many plans for the next few weeks and hopefully pushing this kid out will delay some of those :)

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