Posted by: steph774 | May 3, 2012

My Guy

Happy birthday Josh! I can’t believe he’s 6!!! I say that every birthday-I don’t think I’ll ever stop saying it.

I was in labor for 27 1/2 hours with Josh. 27 1/2 hours. I was induced. It started around late morning on May 2nd & didn’t end until the afternoon of May 3rd. I didn’t want a c-section & neither did my Doc, so he was giving me a good shot at a natural birth. I’d say that was a good shot! It was miserable. In the middle of it all, because I wasn’t dilating, they gave me a Foley Catheter. It forces your cervix open so you can dilate. THAT HURT! Up until that point I was feeling pretty good & didn’t need or want an epidural. Within a minute of the Dr. securing the catheter I demanded my epidural.

The night crept past. The next day, I still wasn’t dilated past 4 centimeters. I was swollen from my IV fluids, had nothing to drink or eat for over 24 hrs(except ice chips) had vomited a few times (it was stomach acid-niiiccee) & getting really fed up with it all. That afternoon, they finally told me they were going to have to do a c-section because I wasn’t progressing & it could start getting dangerous for Josh. I cried a little but knew I wanted it over & that was what was best.

Troy & I were so glad to finally hear his cry & hear that he was perfectly healthy in every way! HE WEIGHED NINE lbs & TEN oz. HE WAS TWENTY-ONE in. LONG. No, I wasn’t diabetic during pregnancy. I think we know why I wasn’t progressing during labor-he was too big for me. Literally, he couldn’t move through the canal. Some of his 1st pics:

Where am I?

I told you I was swollen. But, look how precious he is!

Proud Daddy!

Day 2. He was SO alert!

Sleeping with Daddy

He was a great baby! I didn’t really have any issues with breastfeeding or adjusting to life with him. He was a good sleeper & a good eater & a very content baby!

Time has flown. Here he is on his 1st birthday:

He’d just started to walk

He liked the cake but he did not like his hands getting messy

Skip-It has been with him since birth. He still loves him today

2nd birthday:

so cute

He loved his cake

3rd birthday:

it was so hot at his party. I was glad when it was over

4th birthday:

he loved riding a real helicopter in Panama City Beach!

It was a lot of fun!

5th birthday:

1st time trying crab. He only tried it so he could have the claw to play with

This was about when the lego obsession kicked into high gear!

First pic with his little sis..

He wanted nothing to do with her! Now, he gets mad if she won’t play with him

2nd pic with little sis..

so sweet

Here’s my favorite video of him…

I love you more & more every day Josh! You are brilliant, sweet (when you want to be), you’ve become such a good brother & you are so handsome. We love you, happy birthday!

Posted by: steph774 | April 30, 2012


Ok,’s my post on Hollywood Studios. I apologize, to those that care, for the long breaks. I’ve been consumed with a possible decision our family will have to make soon. We should know this week what our answer is! I can’t say anything much about it b/c Troy doesn’t want me to put anything on the blog about it. But, I know some of my readers know about it. It’s exciting πŸ™‚

So, I really liked Hollywood Studios! It was more crowded than the app on my phone said it was going to be, but we still had fun & did most everything to do there. We went directly to the Toy Story ride first to get our fast passes. UM-our fast pass time was 5:40pm! It was 10 am when we got them! We watched the Ariel show (pretty cool) next. Vivi really liked it. Troy & Josh rode the Tower of Terror-Josh was super scared! Then we kinda just walked around taking in the sights. We did the Great Movie Ride, that was cool, we liked it. The kids loved the Muppet 3D show, I never went in that one, I think it was when I was riding Star Tours. That is a great ride! Toward the end of the day, Troy & I rode the Aerosmith roller coaster! UM, never again! That was a crazy ride-super fast & twisty! I’ve never screamed so much in m life. Like i said, we rode everything there. We met some characters too:


Jake from The Neverland Pirates


Phineas & Ferb!


I was really proud of Josh for meeting them, he's usually too scared! But he loves that show, so it was easy! This was also around the time Vivian started to "pose" all the time in pics




"meeting" Lightening & Mater. Notice the pose?




FINALLY, it was time for us to ride Toy Story! It was SO worth it! It’s probably up there in my top 5 rides. The kids loved it, of course, too. After that, we headed out to the arena area where we were going to watch Fantasmic! It had been closed for awhile for maintenance but it re-opened the week we came. I couldn’t miss it, after reading such awesome reviews on it. It was cool that they had a snack bar in the arena so you could get stuff to eat-we hadn’t eaten dinner yet. I was wondering how we were going to pull off dinner when we were trying to get good seats to the show. Of course, Disney had us covered. So we ate hot dogs & popcorn waiting for the show to start. We sat near the front, not too close though(you can get wet if you sit too close), it was perfect. It was a great show we all loved it! I forgot what time it was when it ended but it was probably around 8:30. Much later than Vivi has ever been kept up! We drove back to Jax afterwards & the kids fellΒ  asleep in the car. We got home in about 2 1/2 hrs, I was worried about picking them up to move them to bed, but they were right back out once they hit their pillows πŸ™‚

It was a great trip! I can’t wait to go back in October to see all the new Fantasyland additions!



Posted by: steph774 | March 18, 2012

Been a Long Time

Wow! I cannot believe it’s been so long since my last post! That’s definitely the longest I’ve gone without writing an entry! I’ve just been busy with everyday life. Plus, I don’t feel the need to blog about every little thing that we do!If I’m bored typing it-you’ll be bored reading it.

I have a job now! It’s not your typical job-I handle the bookings for my In-laws’ two condos in Panama City Beach, FL! I started it back in November, but, with it just now getting to be Spring Break, things are really picking up. I answer inquiries by emailing & calling guests back & then have to call into reservations if they want to book. It’s time consuming but I’m liking it! I’m very grateful for a job that allows me to earn money but stay home doing it! I have the best In-laws ever!

If you are interested in checking the condos out here are their links:

Contact me if you want to go sometime πŸ™‚ They are beautiful! Check out the videos on those pages, too!


We went back to Disney the 1st weekend in March! We chose to go back to Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios! It was much more crowded that I thought & what the “crowd calendars” had projected, but we still got everything done we wanted to do! We stayed at the Radisson Lake Buena Vista. It was awesome! I chose it because the normal place we stay (parkway international) was full. The Radisson was a nice substitute and as long as they are running specials, we will stay there! It also came clean on the bedbug registry check.I never worried about those little pests until recently when I started reading about the increase in them & how hard they are to get rid of. They are a real problem & I will always check the registry, as well as do my own check, once I arrive in a hotel. We had a family suite-it was perfect! The kids had a bedroom & Troy & I had a bedroom. They shared a bed-that was a first! After pinching Josh a few times on the nose, Vivi settled down & they slept great!

Animal Kingdom was fun-we did the stuff we didn’t do last time. Like the Lion King show. It was a great show but the Nemo show at AK beats all the other shows I’ve seen in any Disney park. Anyway, it was great weather & we had loads of fun. Oh & I want to remind you that Josh is still scared of characters with masks. That’s why there aren’t any pics of him…

Vivi had the sun in her eyes-she wasn't pleased. That is Yot that Josh is holding. He had him for a school assignment πŸ™‚


Meeting Timon in Rafiki's Planet Watch.


Lion King show




Comparing necklaces with Pocahontas!


I think this is a beautiful picture πŸ™‚

I’ll do Hollywood Studios another time! Enjoy your day!


Posted by: steph774 | February 10, 2012

Kung-Fu Fighting

Here are a couple of things Josh has been up to lately:

As most of you know, Josh is obsessed with Legos. Well, now his favorite line of Legos is “Ninjago”. It’s all about Ninjas & dragons. They have even come out with a cartoon on it-it comes on Wednesday nights! He LOVES it!!! So, he’s been really into Ninjas. In that video, he’s obviously pretending to be one πŸ™‚ We have made it clear not to try any ninja moves on actual people! He will hate me one day for posting that.

I grew up swimming competitively & even swam some in high school! I think it is a great sport for my kids to be involved in. Josh is at the perfect age to start stroke lessons. So, we have! He’s going to start out in private lessons, then move into a group of 5 & 6 yr olds (his age group) for group lessons. At the rate he’s learning now, he won’t need private lessons for very long. He has had 2 lessons & can already do the freestyle & starting backstroke! He’s been swimming without flotation devices since before he was 2 (thanks, ISR!) so he loves swimming. He’s doing really well listening to the coach, too! I’m very proud of him. He is more excited to go to practice for swimming than for any other sport he’s done so far. My goal is to have him on summer swim league by late May! See him in action?


Good job, Buddy!



Posted by: steph774 | February 7, 2012


Hello! So, I know, it’s been forever. We went to Animal Kingdom back in the middle of January! It was awesome! What I loved most about it, was that it seemed much slower paced than Magic Kingdom. I didn’t feel like I needed to “conquer” it. There’s so much to do at M/K, that we try to do it all(which we have, now!) and that can get a little frenzied. But, with A/K we just took our time & enjoyed everything. It was not crowded and the weather was beautiful.

We went on the Safari first. it was only ok to me, I was expecting more to see. I’d ride it again only b/c you never know how the next ride will turn out. We saw this on our way to the next area:

Do you see her face? She was so cool!

Then we headed into Asia & rode Expedition Everest!! We took turns b/c Vivi is too small for that one. It was amazing! After the 4th time, though, I felt like I could throw up. The whole going backwards thing really threw me for a loop. I get motion sickness easy, so I wasn’t surprised. I’d probably ride it again!

Then we went to the dinosaur area & rode the triceratop spin. Of course, both kids liked it. We also rode “Dinosaur” in that section. It was cool-not particularly awesome, though. Josh was scared of the volume of the noises.Β  Still very cool, though. I mean, it’s Disney, how can it not be? After that, I waited to meet Goofy & Pluto with Vivi while Josh & Troy played in the boneyard. That was really cool looking & Troy said it was a lot of fun.

We actually didn’t get into the park until about 11 am and unfortunately they closed at 5 that day. So, after the dino area it was almost time for closing. We watched the last showing of the Nemo musical-it was soooo amazing! We all really loved that! The kids were mesmerized.Β  Then we headed out to our car & went to check into our hotel.

The next day we went to Downtown Disney to just walk around.

so cool!

Of course we went to the Lego store there-Josh was in Heaven.We also ate lunch at the Dinosaur themed restaurant, there. I cannot put into words how incredible that was. The scenery, how life-like the robotic animals looked, the attention to detail & they also had a “meteor shower” every 20 min or so. It was amazing & the food was good too! After walking around a little bit more, we headed on home!

We ended up getting the 3-day pass for Florida residents again, so we’re going back the 1st weekend in March! It is just too good of a deal to pass up. We are going back to Animal Kingdom for a day b/c there’s a whole other half we didn’t do and then going to Hollywood Studios the next day. I’m so excited! We all are-it’s an addiction!!

Some cute pics of the kids on the playground in the neighborhood-just because πŸ™‚

She posed all by herself

He is so CUTE! Those eyes are trouble

Posted by: steph774 | January 17, 2012

Ready to Run

On Friday, Josh participated in his school’s “Fun Run”. It was a fundraiser going towards gym equipment & he had to get pledges for the run! I didn’t think he would want to do it, but he was all about it! We use running laps as punishment sometimes & of course, he doesn’t want to do those so I thought it’d be the same with the Funrun. He was so excited, telling me he was going to run the fastest. The limit of laps they could do was 35 & the least was 25. He ran all 35 & could’ve gone for more. He was trucking it around the track. The guys handling the whole thing said if your child did 30 they ran a mile! I was proud to see him so excited about participating!

Ready to go with some of his team!


These 3 guys were emcees of the run. They played fun music & kept the kids motivated the whole time. They were great!


Where's Josh?


Maybe track or cross-country running in his future?


One sweet cheerleader giving the kids 5 as they ran by πŸ™‚


It was cold that day, in case you can’t tell! It was great, though! Way to go Josh!

Posted by: steph774 | January 3, 2012

Three Times a Lady







My sweet Vivi is a big three year-old girl! On her birthday, we went as a family to St. Augustine to spend the day. We played at a playground with a carousel, ate lunch & walked around the downtown area. It was perfect weather & we had a blast!

I obviously haven't mastered taking a pic of myself & someone else yet. This was the best, believe it or not


With Josh-she would not look at the camera!


Yummy popsicles from "The Hyppo"


Some things I’d like to remember about her at this age:

-She’s never been taught to use manners-she just naturally uses them! It’s amazing! We’re blown away by her politeness, she’s such a little lady

-She can count objects in spanish up to 10.

-She can count objects in english up to 15

-She can identify all of her letters. But, it’s kinda frustrating getting her to do it. I have to say “where is the letter A?”, for example. If I say “what letter is this?” she says she doesn’t know. Maybe she isn’t quite confident enough, yet?

-She is a major girly-girl but LOVES to get messy. She sits and digs in the dirt, getting herself & her nails all dirty. She is a messy eater & when she’s painting(which she loves) she will paint her arms up to her elbows! It dries me crazy b/c I don’t like to get dirty πŸ™‚ But I’m learning to let her be herself & that it’s ok to get messy!

-She is starting to really enjoy dressing up in all the Princess clothes she got for Christmas & her birthday. She identifies herself as a princess & the boys in the family are princes. Troy is her “prince” ,specifically.

-She’s always asking us “Don’t I look pretty?” which is super cute but I try & compliment her in other areas (kindness,smarts,manners,patience, etc.) a lot also, b/c I think it’s important for her to know there’s more to being just outwardly pretty.

-She loves her big brother & asks where he is when he’s at school. She loves playing with him, but is really starting to do little things to annoy him. Typical sibling behavior.

There’s more, I know. She is just a perfect angel & a perfect piece to our family! Love you Vivian!


Posted by: steph774 | January 2, 2012

With Their Eyes All Aglow

Today is the last day of Christmas Break. I will never stop being amazed at how time flies! It seems like we just started & now we have to get back to “normal” tomorrow. But, we do have something to look forward to-Animal Kingdom the weekend of Jan. 20th! Josh has that Friday off, so we’re heading down to AK.Β  Can’t wait-I know we’ll love it!!

We all enjoyed Christmas this year. Just being together on that day with nothing to do was great! We managed to stretch out present-opening throughout the entire day. That way, the kids actually played with the present they opened instead of casting it aside for the next one & forgetting about it. Like I said, they got so much, so I’ve put away some things under my bed to bring out when the newness has worn off from the other ones!

posing with brother & dollhouse Santa brought


Josh got Perfection! He didn't quite know what it was but he loved it once we played it. Vivi loves it too!

Excited to get puzzles! She's so good at them!

Vivi's present to Josh-He was so excited!!

Lego books a major favorite!

"Camilla the Cupcake Fairy" book-we read it every night

That’s not all their gifts-just the good pics. I took a lot of videos this time. Here are the kids opening their gifts from Aunt Debbie/Uncle Harry & Grandmom Hope. They love their gifts, guys! Debbie, yours are the 1st 2 videos πŸ™‚





We put away most of our Christmas stuff yesterday-the house looks weird because we had gotten so used to seeing all of it 😦 Let the countdown to Christmas begin πŸ˜‰


Posted by: steph774 | December 28, 2011

Gimme a Break

I thought I’d cleaned out the kids’ toys before the onslaught of Christmas gifts, but I was wrong! They got a LOT & there is sooo much more I can clean out. Now, if only someone would kick me in the butt & make me do it, we’d be good.

Last week for the 1st half of Christmas break, we went up to Atlanta. We celebrated Vivi’s birthday, Christmas with my family & Troy’s family.

The birthday party was a lot of fun! My mom had the house decorated super cute with princess stuff & had her a Princess Tiana cake. I brought my new favorite recipe for parties/get-togethers-jalapeno popper dip- which everyone LOVED! I promise you, it is so good & easy! LinkΒ  to it


Vivi got lots of great gifs. Including, lots of Princess dress-up clothes! She loves them!

Sleeping Beauty

She looked so funny! I love her πŸ™‚

Thanks for hosting the party, Mom & Dad!

We also got to finally go play in some snow!!! I have been wanting to go to “Snow Mountain” at Stone Mountain for a couple of years now. My kids will never see snow falling from the sky, any time soon, anyway. So, the next best thing is Snow Mountain. It is real snow! The kids had fun building snowmen, sliding down small hills on plastic sleds & throwing snowballs. For the bigger kids & adults, there are huge, long snow slides you slide down on tubes. Our daredevil, Josh, was not scared of them at all. So fun! It was a really pretty day to go,too. mid 60’s but when you were in the snow it felt wintry.

That was the last pretty day-it rained the rest of the time. That was ok, though, we went to the GA Aquarium!

Josh πŸ™‚

these are called "blubber jellies" the kids got a huge kick out of them & their name!

We think they're new to the exhibit, we don't remember seeing them before.

best i could get!

Something random happened right after this picture. There were a couple of young Japanese girls taking pictures, I could tell they were friends so I offered to take a pic of them together. I took the pic & then they asked if they could have Vivi in the pics with them because she was so cute! I said yes and they took like 5 pics with her, smiling & holding her up. I was flattered, but I know I’d never ask someone if I could do that. It also happened in Disney standing in line for Dumbo. These young Brazilian girls asked to have their pic made with her. Strange πŸ™‚

It was a good trip, seeing our families & taking it easy. I was SO happy to be on “break” I was looking forward to not getting up at 6am for 2 weeks! I’m relishing these last few days ofΒ  break, for sure. I’ll do a Christmas Day post soon!

Posted by: steph774 | December 9, 2011

All at Once

Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but I got into an accident last Friday. Vivian was in the car with me, we were on our way to pick Josh up from school. I was taking a left out of my neighborhood. I looked to my right, no cars. I looked to my left-one car coming that appeared to be going kinda slow but it had it’s right-hand blinker on. You know, as if he was going to turn into my neighborhood. He wasn’t. I started my turn & he plowed into my car. It missed my door & hit the front left tire area, instead. If you’ve seen my neighborhood, you know there’s nothing past the entrance for anyone to turn right into. There’s a bridge-so, obviously, he was cruising down the road with his blinker on. Like I said, nobody was hurt. Vivi wasn’t even really scared. She was for a second but once she saw Mommy was ok, she was fine.

In the car that hit me was an older couple. The man was driving. They were nice people, thank goodness. I called Troy, who came to get Josh from school. The school had him waiting in the office because I’d called them. We waited on the police. Of course, it was my fault because I had a stop-sign, but thankfully, the officer just gave me a warning. The driver of the other car wouldn’t admit he had his blinker on, but he didn’t deny it either. He said it was “possible”. I’m sorry, but, people driving with their blinkers on is one of my biggest driver peeves!Β  So, after all is said & done, the minivan isn’t totaled & will be back to us on the 14th. Luckily, we only have to pay the deductible!

So, on Tuesday we went and got a car! We have an old blazer we were getting ready to sell & we’ll be getting the minivan back. We got a Dodge Journey:

This isn’t our actual car. I’m too lazy to take a pic right now. This is very close to the color, though. It’s a 2009 but it only has 28,000 miles on it. I’m married to a finance guy-so he never buys new cars, he prefers to buy with cash so he doesn’t have any payments. We did have to get a loan this time, though.

I really like the new car! I’m also very thankful nobody was hurt in my accident & I hope the other guy has learned to turn off his turn signals when he doesn’t need them.


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