Archive for the ‘The Hubs’ Category

Happy 33!

Today I want to take a moment to wish my hubby a very happy 33rd birthday. In honor of his birthday, I thought I’d share a few memorable photos with all of you.


Sept. 2004. This was the first photo we ever took together. And probably the only time I ever wore that hat.


2007 or 2008. Can’t remember but doesn’t my hubby look handsome?


2005 at a winery. We look like babies. Drunk babies.


Oct. 2006. Cardinals in the playoffs!

Now let’s look at some pics of his birthday over the last few years…


Sept. 26, 2008. His 28th birthday in Florence, Italy.


Sept. 26 2009. His 29th birthday in San Francisco. And yes, I am wearing the same jacket as in the Florence pic.


Sept 26 2010. 30th birthday in Charleston, SC.


Sept 26 2011. 31st birthday in NYC. Sensing a theme yet?

Last year was the first year in a while that we were actually in town for his birthday. It was far more low-key, but pretty enjoyable.


Last year. Birthday dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse.

But this year. This year, I feel like I let the ball drop a little. No fancy trips. No big party. I got him a gift, but a Michigan pullover (that looks almost identical to one he already has. Oops!) and some new socks aren’t exactly exciting gifts. We’ll have dinner with some friends tonight, at our house, and we’ll have a good time, sure. But I feel like I’ve just run out of creativity this year. Still, that doesn’t diminish the fact that he’s a spectacular dad and husband and D and I are both incredibly lucky to have him. So while we may not be celebrating in Florence this year, I still want to wish my hubby a very happy birthday! Love you to pieces, babe!

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Daddy’s Day

daddysdayMother’s Day and Father’s Day are quickly becoming two of my favorite holidays. Two entire days dedicated to honoring parents.

Last year was hubby’s first official Father’s Day, and the last Father’s Day we celebrated with my grandpa. In fact it was really the last time we had a meaningful conversation with him at all. I gave him a card with pictures of baby D. (What do you get a man who’s dying, can’t get out of bed, and can’t eat anything?) We talked about baseball and watched some of the Cardinals game, trying to avoid talking about the future. Less than two weeks later, he was gone.

So this year we were determined to keep things positive. I woke up a little before 8am, hubby and baby D snoozing beside me. Threw on some jeans and drove to our favorite local donut shop to grab a half dozen donuts.

I came home to find the boys already on the couch, baby D with his bottle. Oops. I made a pot of coffee and gave the hubs his presents – a book of “Awesome Dad Projects” and some personalized golf balls. The golf balls were a much bigger hit than the book. The card went over pretty well too, since it had a pic of a dog that looks like ours. That’s always a surefire win.

This weekend also happened to be free HBO weekend and Field of Dreams was playing, followed by a Rocky marathon. This meant the rest of the morning was spent on the couch. We each made some phone calls to family, put the baby down for a nap, took showers, and got ready for our activity of the day – Grant’s Farm. For those not from St. Louis, Grant’s Farm is a cross between a petting zoo (but bigger) and a real zoo (but smaller) with free beer. Actually the whole thing is free except for the $12 parking. Once you get there, you hop on a train tour to look at animals like wild mustangs, deer, buffalo, longhorns, ostriches, and mountain goats. Once the train drops you off, you walk through an area of goat, duck and chicken feeding, a giant carousel, and around the way, you can even see elephants, and another feeding opportunity, but for camels and llamas. Then, finally, you reach the beer garden where each over 21 adult is given 2 complimentary beers. Food can also be purchased (and it was) and there are a some stables with Clydesdales. It’s one of the better places for families in St. Louis to spend a few hours.

Baby D LOVED the goats and sqwaked at a couple of geese (who sqwaked at him first). We also stopped by the Clydesdale stables on the other end of the parking lot (there are two sets) and one of the horses even let us pet him.

On the way home, we picked up some BBQ ribs for dinner and spent time on the deck catching up with an old neighbor who stopped by the neighborhood to visit.

Then it was bath time, reading time, and bed time. But since we’re still struggling with some sleep issues, I ended up snuggling him in the rocking chair for a good half hour or so and then patting him on the back in his crib until he fell asleep.

And I didn’t mind one bit. 


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I SWEAR my baby said “mama” last night. It was just before his bedtime bottle and he was getting cranky. We were playing on the floor and he was whining, reaching for me wanting to be held. My mom was standing there talking to me but my eyes were on him and I saw his lips go into the “mmmm” sound, twice. The way a mouth moves when it says “mama”. I yelled with joy! “Did you see that?! Did you hear that? He said mama!!” My excitement startled him but also made him happy. My husband argued with me from upstairs, saying I made it up. A few minutes later, as he sat on his dad’s lap whining again, I stepped closer and he whined “mmmaaaa” while reaching for me. The hubs heard it this time too. Take that, “dada”!

Speaking of “mama”, my own mom has been staying with us for almost 2 weeks. I don’t care who you are but 2 weeks with someone that doesn’t share a bed with you is a long time. I love my mom, but she hasn’t been herself this last year. She’s depressed, lacks confidence, and is hyper-sensitive to anything anyone says or does. She helped out by letting us have one date night, although we put the baby to bed before we left and he didn’t wake up while we were gone. She also helped wash bottles and did some spring cleaning in the kitchen and living room with me last Saturday, but as someone once known for being the best cook in our family, she didn’t so much as fix one sandwich for us while she was visiting.  Not that I think she should have to but it’s just weird to see her like this.  Fortunately, my husband was a good sport these last two weeks. He may not have been the most social guy with her but I don’t know many guys who could handle a mother like mine and not really say anything.

And speaking of how awesome my husband is, he earned super duper double fudge and caramel brownie points by surprising me with a massage appointment on Saturday at my favorite spa salon. Happy Saturday to me! I should probably treat him to an afternoon of golfing or something, right? 

In other news, my bestie now works just a couple of blocks from me and we had our first Starbucks meetup during a work day in years. There will be many more in our future, I’m sure, and it makes me so happy to have her so close again!

The hubs and I purchased our first baby gate tonight. I can’t believe it’s already that time. Our house is so not baby friendly. And baby proofing is expensive. As were all of the 12 and 18 mos baby clothes I just purchased on an impulse outlet mall shopping spree. I can’t believe it’s already that time too. Before I know it, he’ll be in toddler sizes. And that makes me want to cry.

Know what else makes me want to cry? The thought of an upcoming work trip that will keep me away from my boys for three days/two nights. I’ll be at the BlissDom conference, which I know will be fun, but I just can’t get over the fact that I’ll have to be away for TWO WHOLE NIGHTS. Thank God for FaceTime. 

And now that this post is just all over the place, tell me what you’ve been doing lately?



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So, today was a pretty exciting day. For one thing, it’s the first of the month, which always excites me. There’s just something about the first day of a new month that makes me happy. Maybe it’s the new desk calendar photo. Or the idea that I can start all over with something. Although what that something is, I’m not so sure. But it just feels like a fresh, new start to something and I’ve got all month to look forward to.

But the real reason it was an exciting day is because my husband officially resigned from his job in order to pursue his own business full time. Which means that as of today, he is officially self-employed. I’m just so proud of him and excited to see his business grow. (Without getting too specific, he basically does web and mobile consulting for small to medium sized businesses.) It was a decision we’ve talked about for quite some time, and I was definitely pushing for him to take the leap, but he didn’t officially decide to do it until this past weekend.  Most importantly, being self-employed means he can set his own schedule. Which means he can watch D during the day until I get home from work. And you guys, I cannot tell you how over-the-moon I am about this. No daycare. No leaving him at a stranger’s house for 45 hours a week. No paying almost double my mortgage payment for a nanny. And neither one of us is giving up our careers, careers we love and have worked very hard at for years, to become stay-at-home parents. Basically, it’s the ideal situation for us and I feel very blessed that we’re able to do this. I know that eventually we may need to find part-time childcare as the hubs has to attend more meetings during the work day, but hopefully by then D will be a wee bit older and we’ll feel more comfortable leaving him with a non-relative for hours at a time.

Speaking of the little nugget, he’s really started cooing and “talking” a lot lately. Especially today. In fact, he gets so excited and worked up that he’ll try to make a noise and ends up coughing instead. I need to try to get some of this on video soon because it’s just the cutest thing to see him interacting with us. As a newborn, he was far more interested in inanimate objects than people. Unless of course he was hungry. But now, he looks around for us, smiles when he wakes up and sees us, and fusses when he’s tired because he wants to be held and cuddled. I love that he loves us!

I also finally got around to weighing him at home and according to my scale, he’s about 14lbs. The last few days he’s been eating A LOT and I noticed that his size 1 diapers were starting to get a little snug. By next week, I think we’ll be graduating to size 2’s and needing to retire some of his onesies already. I hate that because I feel like he’s only worn them a couple of times. Oh well. Guess I’ll just pack them away for possible baby #2 some day.

So lots of big changes in the S household these days. Exciting, awesome, changes.

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6 + 39

May 22 marked our 6 year wedding anniversary. It was also our 39 week appointment to check on Mr. Baby. I’ll start with the baby updates first:

I’m 2 cm dilated and about 50% effaced, which is good and means my cervix is doing its job right now, but the baby is still kind of floating because I have so much fluid. So until my water breaks or until my contractions get stronger, he’s not going anywhere. (Side note: previous exams to check dilation were uncomfortable but this one was downright painful – to the point where she had to remind me to breathe because I had stopped and was holding my breath through it. It took my body a few minutes to recover from it. Ouch!)

She also felt around on my belly and monitored his heartbeat for awhile. I guess she was just checking to see how responsive he was because she’d push on him a little and his heartbeat would go up and she’d smile, saying he was getting all excited by the movement. She also said she thinks he’s going to be about a 9lb baby (even though we were estimating 8lbs last week) but we didn’t talk c-section so I’m trying not to freak out about it.

So! With my due date a mere 4 days away, she scheduled me for an induction on May 31st. That way, she’s giving nature (and the baby) about 5 days of wiggle room from my due date to do this thing naturally. (Apparently most women have their babies within five days – before or after – their due date, so she wants to make sure I’m given that amount of time to go on my own.)

I mentioned losing my mucus plug on Saturday but her response – or lack of – indicated to me that it pretty much meant nothing. She was just like “Oh yeah, you’re going to lose a lot of mucus, and some falls out every time we check you.” And here I was all excited about it. Oh well.

I also asked about membrane stripping and if that would help. She said she tried to do that a bit while she was checking me, but there’s so much fluid that it was difficult to do all of it, or something like that.

Basically, when my water breaks, it’s going to be Niagara Falls.

After the appointment, hubs and I went to the Italian district of the city (aka The Hill) for a nice, celebratory dinner at Dominic’s. We were there so early that we joked about trying to get a senior special. For a place that normally requires reservations, we were the ONLY patrons. But it was kind of nice, having a fancy restaurant and multiple waiters dressed as butlers all to ourselves. We started with the calamari appetizer, and the hubs had a glass of chianti wine. I took a tiny sip – the first sip of wine I’ve had since finding out I was pregnant – and let me just say that it was one of the best things I’ve tasted in MONTHS! I’m craving a glass right now, just thinking about it.

They were featuring a veal and mushroom ravioli in a rich cream sauce so I ordered that (and it was amazing), while the hubs ordered lobster ravioli. Then they surprised us with a piece of Italian-style cake (chocolate with rum custard layers and something else, I don’t remember) with a candle and little “Happy Anniversary” card on the top. I only ate a few bites because I wanted to save room for the gelato place down the street. It’s hard to find good gelato in St. Louis but Gelato Di Riso on The Hill is fantastic. We were both too stuffed to eat anymore though, so we got a big container to go.

I know six years isn’t anything super fun or remarkable, and I was kind of sad we didn’t have a baby on our anniversary, but it was nice to spend some quiet time – just the two of us – before shit gets real around here. Sure, it wasn’t drinks on the beach in Maui at sunset like last year, but it was still a pretty good day and a reminder that I married the right man, and there’s no one else I’d rather be on this journey with.

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Not a Morning Baby

Happy February!

One of my favorite things about a new month is the feeling I get when I rip off the previous month’s calendar sheet, or flip to a new month on my wall calendar. I really, really love calendars and usually have a few. These days, it’s another timely reminder of how close we are until the baby arrives. As of right now, I’m exactly 23 weeks along, so just a week shy of 6 months. And considering my due date is May 30, I’m estimating that I have almost 4 months exactly until baby boy makes his arrival. Saying I’m 6 months along sounds a whole lot better than saying I have 4 months left, but until I got pregnant, I didn’t realize that at the time most women give birth, they are technically starting their 10 month of pregnancy. We’ve always been told that it takes 9 months to grow a baby. 40 weeks = 9 months. But what that means is that once you hit that ninth month, you still have another whole month to wait. Unless you have the baby early, of course. Maybe this is all common knowledge to you, but I had to stop and think about it a little.

So anyway. 23 weeks. Baby is about the size of a large mango. He can also hear things now, which I’m realizing to be true because the last two mornings, as soon as the alarm goes off, he starts kicking and punching up a storm.

The hubs and I often like to guess at what our little boy is going to look like when he’s born. Whose physical traits he’ll get, but also whose behavioral traits. The hubs is pretty athletic, so he likes to think his boy will be a sports superstar. I can’t even ride a bike, so I try to remind him that if this kid takes after me, he’s going to need a lot more practice on the field than your average boy. He’s still hopeful though, because I do have great eye-hand coordination and my cardio is pretty good. Good blood pressure, good endurance – for a non-athlete anyway.  So if he gets the best of both sides, he may end up athletic after all.

I already think this kid takes after the hubs though. For example, my husband is definitely NOT a morning person. It can take him an hour to fall asleep in bed at night, but only 2.3 seconds to fall back asleep after the alarm goes off in the morning. He will push getting out of bed to the very last minute. And heaven forbid I utter the words “Time to get up!” because it reminds him of his mom, yelling every morning at him to get up or he’d be late for school. Even as a child, he would sleep well past Saturday morning cartoons. In high school, he missed first period more often than not. Even as someone who grew up in the country, he’s never been hunting simply because he didn’t want to get up that early. See? Not a morning person.

As for the baby, it’s been obvious from the very first movements that he is also not a morning baby. For the last few weeks, the earliest I have felt him move (until aforementioned alarm) is 10am, but he’s been most active in the afternoon or at night. He really gets going around 3pm, and later, around 10pm. The alarm reaction is totally new though. I noticed it for the first time the other day, and now I’ve been paying closer attention to it. As soon as the alarm goes off, he starts moving with more force than usual. And not just a kick here or a punch there. Oh no. It’s kicking and punching all over the place for about two minutes. Then all is quiet. Until the alarm goes off again and the kicking and punching are back in full force. Baby has made it pretty clear: DO NOT LIKE ALARMS. Or mornings.

I got up and did my shower routine, but I was excited to share this latest baby development news with the hubs, so when I returned to the bedroom, he was sound asleep on my pillow when I said, “So I think this baby clearly takes after you. He does not like the alarm and has been kicking and punching me when it goes off. He is clearly not a morning baby.”

My husband’s response?

“Your pillow is so comfortable.” zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

My point exactly.

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The Thanksgiving holiday threw me off my daily blogging wagon, so I’m taking today – the last day in November – to wrap-up my thankful for list.

Day 23: Even though I spent most of the evening cleaning it, I’m thankful for our home. I remember when we first saw our house. It seemed so HUGE! I couldn’t believe we were going to be homeowners with our own appliances, a backyard, and yard tools! I couldn’t wait to get the keys and start painting the walls, moving in our things, purchasing more furniture, and making this house our home. Almost six years later and I still love it. Sure I wish I had a larger kitchen with an island and marble countertops, or a private master bathroom, or master walk-in closet, but I love that we have enough space to host our families when they come to visit. I love that our house is in good condition and doesn’t require a ton of maintenance or improvements. I love that we have such wonderful neighbors that look out for us. And most of all, I love the little family that we’ve built/will build in this home and all the memories we have so far.

Day 24: Thanksgiving Day. I’m thankful to still be sharing the holiday with my closest family members – my parents, my grandparents, my aunt and my cousin – and that everyone is still in relatively good health. I’m also thankful that the turkey still tasted pretty darn good, despite looking like something from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Day 25: Typically, my mom and I brave the Black Friday madness to score some good deals on gifts for family and friends. Or in some cases, good deals on things we want or need ourselves that we know other people won’t buy. This year wasn’t like that. In fact, we could barely think of anything to get anyone. And my own Xmas list is pretty bare too. The reason for this, I think, is because we’re all so blessed. It’s always hardest to buy for the person who has everything, and fortunately for us, it seems everyone in our immediate family already has everything they need to be happy. If that isn’t something to be thankful for, then I don’t know what is.

Day 26: I was thankful for the great weather we had on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday that allowed us (and by us, I mean the hubs) to put lights on the house and complete our Christmas decor both inside and out. There was plenty of blood, sweat, and cursing, but the tree is up, the lights on the house are twinkling, and the house is decorated.

Day 27: On Sunday morning, my parents headed back home so the hubs and I spent the day putting a dent in our Christmas shopping. I’m thankful we were able to get about 1/3 of it done.

Day 28: Monday was a vacation day and I’m thankful I was able to get some things accomplished around the house. As someone who works full-time, an occasional day away from the office does wonders for my mental health. Even though I spent the day doing laundry, wrapping presents, cleaning the kitchen, and making out Xmas cards, it was sooo therapeutic. Very thankful for days like that.

Day 29: Last year around this time, the hubs and I booked our 5 year anniversary trip to Maui. I can’t help but look back on that, and all of the trips we’ve taken together (Cabo, Bahamas, Napa Valley, Italy/Spain/France, Cancun, Kauai, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, New Orleans, Oahu, Myrtle Beach, New York, San Diego, Memphis, Chicago, Charleston, etc.) and feel truly blessed that we’ve been able to see the places we’ve seen. To eat the foods we’ve eaten. To experience other cultures. Traveling to new places is by far my favorite thing to do, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have done so much of it with the person I love most.

Which brings me to…

Day 30: The thing I’m most thankful for: My husband. (Excuse the schmoop that’s about to take place.) I do not know a more hard-working, honest, caring, thoughtful, intelligent, handsome, selfless, courageous, good-hearted, loving man. He is my rock, and the reason I have most of the things I’m thankful for. He’s my best friend, and without him, I’d be completely lost. He’s not perfect but he’s as close to it as they come, and I feel incredibly lucky that he’s mine. Cliche as all of this may sound, it’s the truth. No one could love me better than he does and I’ve got a feeling that this is only the beginning. I can’t wait to share the next 50+ years with him. Life is good, but only if he’s in it.

Now…onto December!


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Today, I’m thankful for my husband’s job. And let me explain why.

Throughout our engagement and marriage, my husband had a job that required him to travel about 9 months out of the year, sometimes more. I spent years’ worth of time alone on weeknights. And some weekends. It was pure hell. I know some people don’t mind their alone time, but I personally hate being alone. I hate eating alone, I hate sleeping alone, I hate watching TV alone. I simply hate being alone. I didn’t get married just to be permanently alone, except for some weekends.

There was a time when at one point, the traveling was too much and he took a step down at his former company in order to stay home. But my husband is a very driven and proud man and it wasn’t long before the allure of climbing the corporate ladder came calling him back and his bosses convinced him that he couldn’t enter management until he spent another year in the field.  So he did, and he gave them another 6 months after that before realizing it was all bullshit. A couple of job moves later and I’m happy to say that even though this isn’t his dream job, it’s comfortable for now and best of all, it means he’s home every night – usually even before me – and I could not be happier. Turns out I’m pretty fond of the guy.

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Even though it doesn’t feel like it, I’m thankful for that extra hour of sleep.  I still had a hard time waking up this morning since it was cold and raining outside, but I’m sure it would’ve been much worse if it would’ve also been pitch black dark outside, like it has been these last couple of weeks.

I really don’t mind the constant darkness during the holiday season. Christmas lights aren’t very pretty in the daylight and once the trees are naked and the grass is dead, there isn’t much to see anyway. Of course, this means I need to up my vitamin D intake and learn to get comfortable with a pasty-pale version of myself in the mirror, but the holidays usually do a pretty good job of distracting me from all of that anyway.

My husband, on the other hand, DESPISES daylight savings time. Actually, what he really despises is living so far away from the equator, but he’s only reminded of this during daylight savings time as winter makes its way to the Midwest and robs him of precious hours of sunlight. He protests – loudly I might add – every single year. It’s to the point now where I just nod and silently laugh to myself about how worked up he gets over it.  Maybe some day we’ll get that winter vacation home in Costa Rica. Only 35 more years until retirement!

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Tonight, the hubs and I celebrated seven years of togetherness. SEVEN. YEARS. It’s kind of crazy to think about actually. I mean, on one hand it feels like we’ve known each other forever, and on the other, it feels like just a couple of years ago that we met since I can still remember it so vividly. (See previous post here on HOW we met.)

Though we weren’t technically dating until a few days later, Sept. 8 is the day we met, and it’s the day we celebrate. We call it “meet day.” As in “Happy Meet Day!” Yep, we’re dorks. Please tell me we’re not the only couple that still celebrates those tiny special dates years after they’ve been married? Regardless, I still enjoy celebrating the day every year, even if our celebration just consists of a card and dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Some years we even go back to that fateful place, the basketball court of our old apartment complex, and try to remember all the tiny details. This year wasn’t one of those years. Between dropping and picking up my car from the shop, eating dinner, and cleaning the house before family shows up tomorrow, there just wasn’t time or desire. Instead, we indulged on smoked wings at one of our favorite restaurants called Loco’s and spent the rest of the evening de-cluttering the house and giving it a quick wipe down. We typically don’t do gifts, but I did manage to surprise the hubs with tickets to see his beloved Michigan Wolverines when they come to Illinois in November. We’ll likely make a weekend out of it with a trip to Chicago. Hopefully the city will be decked out for Xmas by then.


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