May 31, 2012

Blogger blues

I noticed over the last couple of weeks my right SIDEBAR started to show up at the very bottom of the page instead of the right.  So last night I decided to change the template and see if that helped, I even widened the width, but obviously I'm still having the same issue.  Last night on my laptop when I looked at my ABOUT ME and BABY JONES pages, the right sidebar showed up, but whenever I'm on my HOME page it's still at the bottom.  I got so fed up with it, I had to stop because I was getting angry.
Anyone have tips for this?

May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

Friday after work, we hopped in a car with Hardy's parents, his sister and two of her kids and headed to Scottsboro, AL.  I know you're probably thinking WHY did we go to Alabama...(there's actually a lot of cool places to visit there).  Specifically in Scottsboro is the Unclaimed Baggage center, one of the largest in the country, it's apparently been mentioned on The Today Show, Oprah, Fox News and a few others. 
Basically the company buys unclaimed baggage from airlines and then whatever is in decent condition they put up for sale in their warehouse.  It reminded me of a nicer version of Goodwill.  A lot of their clothes had never been worn and what had was at a lower price, but it was all gently used.  They also had electronics, musical instruments, cds, dvds, paintings/pictures, cameras, laptops, the list goes on.  None of us had ever been there so it was neat.  I ended up getting a pair of never worn maternity shorts (Motherhood brand) and a new top, Hardy got a case for his Kindle, two movies, two books and we bought a really cute painting for Persephone's room.  His sister walked away with an awesome deal on a Canon Rebel T3 for only $384.00.  Not every thing was an awesome deal, but a lot of their items were.  After 3hrs we went to get some lunch, then headed back to the store so we could return a couple things we bought the first go around.  Not every thing is returnable, but the items that are, they give you store credit or exchange it (store credit is valid for 9mos). 
Later that evening we had a DELICIOUS dinner at Buenavista Mexican Cantina.  It had a really cute atmosphere, but the food was sooo good for the price we paid and the portions were ginormous.
Sunday morning we got up and headed for home, but decided to make a pit stop in Chattanooga, TN since we were going right past it anyway.  First up was Ruby Falls (which I don't think I've actually ever done before...). 
There was a long line just to buy tickets, but we were in the shade so it wasn't a horrible wait.  If you've never been - you totally should!!  You travel 260ft BELOW ground into a cave and a tour guide leads you to an underground waterfall and back.  It felt so good down there, I think they said it stays around 60* year round.  While on your "hike" you see a lot of neat stalagmites and stalactites - I remember learning about those off an episode of Reading Rainbow.  Once you reach the waterfall, they have this neat light show that illuminates the room you're in and really shows off the beauty of the waterfall.  Our guide said at that point, you are deep enough into Lookout Mountain that the Empire State Building would fit inside.  We worked up an appetite and headed to Logan's Roadhouse for lunch - another delicious meal. 
Next we headed back towards Lookout Mountain to check out the Incline Railway - I realized I had never done this "attraction" either.  Well it was hot as hell outside, so Hardy's sister and parents took the car to the top of the mountain and said they would pick us up so we didn't have to wait in the heat for a round trip.  I was hoping this dang thing had A/C in it, but sure didn't.  There were a few windows that were propped open, but still the breeze wasn't comfortable enough.  I thought it was cool at first, but if you have a fear of heights - this probably ISN'T for you.  I normally LOVE roller coasters and other crazy rides, but this thing even though it was slow was freaking me out.  I kept thinking the cable was going to snap and we would go hurling back down the mountain.
After the Incline Railway we headed for home as we were all tired and accomplished so much in just two days.  We ended the weekend with a cookout at Hardy's sisters house on Monday.
How did you spend your Memorial Day Weekend?

May 25, 2012

Making me smile!

Disney KNOWS what they're doing and how to treat their guests! More reasons why we should always wanna go back :)

Not even a month since our trip and we get a Thank You card for visiting?!? I love you!

21 Weeks!!

Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along: 21 Weeks
Size of baby: She weighed 14oz last week, let's go with 14.5oz this week?? Using Babycenter's measurements, approx 10.5" long - the size of a carrot!
Total Weight Gain/Loss: 1lb
Maternity Clothes: Hardy's mom got me two tops from Goodwill - can't wait to wear em'!
Gender/Name: Persephone Layne Jones
Movement: I am 100% sure I felt a few kicks last night.  All this time it's pretty much been little flutters and occasionally I can feel her move around, but last night someone was knocking!  I think I had my hand glued to my stomach for a few minutes hoping it would happen again.  I did notice from my ultrasound photo that it looks like my placenta is anterior (on the front of uterus), so that's probably why most of the movement I do feel is on the sides, the placenta is acting as a cushion between baby and me.
Sleep: I am sleeping much better now that our A/C is fixed :)
Stretch Marks: None
Labor Signs: None
Wedding rings on/off: On
Belly button in/out: In
What I miss: Nothing, although I've actually wanted a beer on one or two occasions.  Looks as though whatever craving I have is towards not-for-baby related things.
Cravings: None
Symptoms: Losing my mind, lately I've been forgetting things - that is really unlike me.  Even at work, I realize two or three days later I had a deadline for something and obviously didn't do it - whoopsie.  Last weekend I thought I was dying, I had what I like to describe as a charlie horse in my groin.  Only unlike an actual charlie horse, it didn't necessarily go away when I stood up.  I called the doctor on Monday and they were certain it was just round ligament pain...whew
Best Moment this week: Still spreading the news that we're having a little girl :)
A comparison:
Obviously I couldn't get the EXACT same angle, but I tried...
How would you describe the way I'm carrying her?

May 24, 2012

Back in Business!

Ok after almost 4 entire days without A/C (and exhausting all my known troubleshooting efforts) I called someone..

Turns out our 'contactor' was bad, this relatively small piece of equipment. He replaced it within 5mins and now the A/C is puurrrring like a kitten! Very very nice, down to earth guy with more than reasonable pricing - so I will without a doubt recommend him!

He's based out of Lawrenceville, but traveled to Flowery Branch so I'm sure he does most of Gwinnett and obviously some into Hall co.

May 23, 2012

There's no A/C in Hell

I'm pretty sure there's no A/C in Hell
A year ago (in May ironically) we returned from a long weekend trip with my Mom to find our house was uncomfortably stuffy.  I checked the thermostat and it was supposed to be 76* inside, instead it was 83*.  Of course I was only a little uncomfortable to begin with, but after "seeing" the temperature I automatically felt warmer.  I was freaking out thinking our 2yr old A/C unit had died. 
The Problem:
The thermostat was set to 76*, but the temp inside was 83*.  I turned it OFF, then back ON..and nothing.  I had Hardy go stand outside on our patio to see if he heard the unit click and it never did.  I turned it OFF/ON about a million times to no avail.  Hardy and I know nothing about HVAC and we aren't handy by default, so generally when anything goes awry we call his Dad or my step dad for advice.  We have a Honeywell thermostat, so of course I jumped on their website to try and find the manual.  It said to take the thermostat off the wall for 5mins to allow it to re-set itself.  I did so, but still nothing.  All this time our actual A/C would not turn on, but the fan would still work (meaning air was coming out of the vents, but it wasn't cooled).  After an hour of research, I gave up and we went to bed.  Luckily we have electricity, so I could run my ceiling fan and box fan to help keep the bedroom semi-cool. 
The next morning I did a lot of GOOGLING and some websites said our compressor was shot, others said to take the thermostat off the wall, change the batteries and place it back on the wall (that should re-set the system), my step dad suggested ants in the outside unit and a guy that works on our A/C stuff at work said to check the drip pan in the attic for water, incase it had frozen.
The Solution:
So I checked for ants, I checked for puddled water and nothing...nada.  My last step was changing the batteries.  For what felt like the millionth time, I took the thermostat off the wall, replaced the batteries and snapped it back in place, then turned the A/C ON and VOILA!  The A/C turned on and you could hear our unit running outside...and cool air was coming through our vents.  I started laughing hysterically - really, NEW BATTERIES IS ALL THAT WAS NEEDED!?!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  So we called every one who had offered help and explained what we did, no one understood it...I can't blame them.  Even though I'm still not a licensed HVAC technician, I couldn't see how batteries in a thermostat could really cause the A/C not to come on, but whatever.
Now let's fast forward to last wasn't until about 7pm or so I noticed it was kind of toasty, I checked the thermostat and sure enough, it was supposed to be 76*, but the temp was reading 86* - AHHHHH!!! I thought I would be real slick and immediately changed the batteries.  Ha that was a joke, because this time it didn't work.  I resorted to turning it OFF/ON again and had Hardy stand outside to listen for the unit to 'click', no go.  This time too I noticed the COOL ON light was blinking and after about 5mins it stopped blinking and the fan would kick on.  I didn't want to go to bed pissed off, because I was already getting hot, so I just decided to leave it as is and hoped it would magically fix itself while we slept.  Of course Hardy thought this time he would "help" and when he came upstairs, he said he set it to 69* so that "When that bastard decides to turn on, it'll have to work hard"....umm ok Hardy, real smart.  I went downstairs and changed it back to 76*, trying to explain to him that it's already in the 80's and it's going to have to work to drop 10 degrees anyway, let's not over do it. 
I woke up this morning and kept thinking I heard the A/C turn on, but it was always just the fan - which is better than nothing...but it's not straight up COOL air, so it doesn't feel that great when you're trying to get ready for work.  I decided to leave our ceiling fans on (I always do anyway) so the cats won't suffocate and I turned the thermostat off when we left this morning, I'm hoping 8hrs of NOT working will help put it into working mode again...we shall see.

May 22, 2012

TV nerds

I posted a few weeks back about Amazon Prime - one of the main reasons we love it is that they offer a bunch of free streaming tv shows and movies.  About two weeks ago we decided to start LOST, neither of us had ever watched it when it was actually on air, so we thought we would give it a shot.  So far we're hooked!  We are almost finished with Season 1 - there are 25 episodes in that one season - crazy.  Some nights we go home and try to get through at least 2-3 episodes.  Since you don't have to sit through commercials, the show is really only about 40 minutes long and since Hardy and I are couch potato's that's no problem for
Anyway we love it - I'm kind of glad we didn't watch it on TV too, because there have been some cliff hanger episodes and it's nice to go to the next episode without waiting a week :)
Did any of you watch LOST?  Love it/Hate it?
One of our favorite TV series' ended last night - HOUSE.  We will watch the finale tonight, we got so caught up in LOST that we let the DVR record HOUSE.  I'm sad to see it end, but you can only have so many episodes of strange medical mysteries with people almost dying and then you figure out what's wrong in the last 5 minutes of the episode.  More than anything I think I'll miss Hugh Laurie playing HOUSE as a character.  Oh well, all good things eventually come to an end....right?

May 21, 2012

Everybody has an opinion

Who knew naming YOUR child would bring up so much controversy.  From a simple curl of the nose, to mis-pronouncing the name, giving us other suggestions and even worse...accusing us of picking something satanic.  I am baffled.  We didn't ask for your opinion on the name - we're telling you what our little girls name WILL BE and yet, people are still choosing to be rude and disrespectful.
What happened to people holding their tongue?  Funny, it's almost like OUR child isn't OUR child and she hasn't even arrived yet.  Parents choose names for their children in many, whether it be naming them after someone close, someone famous, a character from a book, movie or TV show or just because they like the name.  The name Hardy chose for our little girl happens to originate from Greek Mythology.  Does that mean we BELIEVE IN Greek Mythology?  No.  Does the fact that Greeks believed in multiple Gods & Goddesses mean we believe the same? No.
Our daughters name is Persephone (again pronounced per-sef-oney), in Greek Mythology she was known as the Goddess of the Underworld - but she wasn't BORN into this.  Her story is as follows: One day she's picking flowers in a field with other beautiful women, when suddenly she picks the wrong flower (which actually doesn't even bloom at that time so it should have been a red flag) and from the ground bursts Hades, God of the Underworld.  Persephone had been approached by many other men, but none were worthy enough of her love (according to her mother Demeter).  So Hades kidnaps her, brings her to the underworld and tries to impress her with all of the "fantastic" (insert irony here) things he has to offer.  She grows bored and home sick of course, not eating or sleeping.  Till one day, a little punk convinces her to eat some pomegranate seeds.  <You can relate the eating of these seeds to that of the THE GARDEN, yea the one Adam & Eve weren't supposed to eat from.>  By eating those seeds, she basically doomed herself into remaining in the underworld forever because she partook in the food.  Hades agreed to let her visit home, which meant ultimately she was only in the underworld for 1/3 of the year each year.  When she was home, this is when they experienced springtime - crops were harvested and flowers bloomed and every thing was beautiful. 
So what did you get from that short story?  Did you ONLY read that she was Goddess of the Underworld?  Did you ONLY read that she was snatched from her home and doomed to live with Hades? Or did you read that although she has a "dark" title - her life wasn't so bad and she's essentially responsible for the changing of the seasons and beauty?  Well if you're like Hardy's parents, then you likely only stopped at Underworld and are now automatically thinking we chose a satanic name.  That the Greeks were satanic because they believed in multiple gods and goddesses instead of the ONE God we know and believe in.  How could we pick a name so depressing with awful meaning behind it? 
If we picked Freddy because it was in Nightmare on Elm Street, would that make us satanic because it came from a horror movie?  Do you get where I'm going here?  Aside from WHERE the name originated, the fact is we love the name and that's what her name will be.  Don't associate it with Greek Mythology if you don't agree with it. 
So lets get past the name, now we're being berated with people asking what we'll call her.  Umm...what's wrong with calling her by her name? Persephone?  Why does there HAVE to be a nickname.  Of course I would rather you call my little girl a nickname derived from her full name - but still....why can't you say it?  It's as simple as Stephanie, in fact it's only 1 letter longer.  So if you can say Stephanie then you can certainly say Persephone.  Sure it's different and you may have never heard it, but it's not THAT hard to pronounce. 

May 20, 2012

A rough weekend

This is an extremely long post for me, but I felt the need to explain stuff.

As most of you know I have two cats, Tinker Bell and Flower. I got Tinker Bell as a kitten from a girl at work in April 2004. About a month later another co-worker of mine was going through a rough patch in her personal life and I offered to take the kitten she had too. I named her Kitty Kitty and she remained an outside cat. At the time I was living with Hardy and his parents in the boonies of Gillsville, GA.

About 10mos later I noticed Kitty Kitty was getting chubby and sure enough she was preggers. I felt bad for not spaying her, but promised myself I would as soon as she had the kittens. Every day after work I would rub her belly and make her feel loved.

May 2005 we had just returned from a weekend trip to visit my mom and Trevor in Columbia, SC and immediately noticed she was skinny again. While Hardy unloaded the car, I went searching through the yard for kittens. It didn't take me too long because I could hear them meowing. I found three adorable kittens, one all black, one gray tabby and one black with white paws and belly. I temporarily named them Blackie, Stripes and Socks (how juvenile right).

Just like I had done with their momma, I played with them every day to get them used to us and surprisingly she didn't mind. My Mom had shown interest in one after meeting Tinker Bell and seeing how much sassy personality she had. Cats and dogs really are polar opposites. They can have some similarities, but you certainly get different packages.

Anyway one weekend, she and Trevor drove out from SC and picked one out (the tabby). They took him home and named him
Lexy (since at the time they were living in Lexington, SC). A year later they ended up moving to Birmingham, AL and for a brief time Trevor went to live with his Dad. Lexy stayed behind with my mom, but Trevor wanted a cat at his dads house too, so they ended up taking Kitty Kitty since she had already been fixed.

About a month or so after Trevor went to stay with his Dad, Mom felt Lexy needed a pal since Trevor wasn't there to keep him I fixed up the black kitten (who I named Rambo) and took him to Birmingham for my Mom and Lexy. Eventually Trevor moved back to Mom's and in tow was Kitty Kitty!! So now my Mom had three cats and we had Tinker Bell and Flower (previously known as Socks).

This month the "boys" turned 7yrs old.

Two years ago we discovered Kitty Kitty and Rambo had a heart condition (cardiomyopathy) and that would eventually take its toll on them. Life has continued as normal until August of last year...Lexy wasn't acting himself and was becoming antisocial. Mom took him to the vet and they said he had elevated kidney levels which meant his kidneys weren't functioning properly. Of course we're all thinking - seriously!!? Can't any of our pets just be healthy?

Their immediate treatment was to change his food to a low protein diet so his kidneys didn't have to work as hard. This is when I did a lot of research on pet food in general and kidney issues.
I discovered that most ALL cat foods especially, don't even have real meat in their ingredients, it's all by products and meals. Scary! Cats are strict carnivores which means they get all of their nutrients from meat (that's also where they get the moisture form their diet).

Hardy and I took charge and changed our cats diets, we only buy dry food that has meat as the first ingredient and none of those fillers (rice, carrots, barley, corn...etc) and we added a can of wet food to their diet each day to help provide the moisture they need.

In January of this year we visited my Mom and noticed Lexy had dropped a lot of weight. She took him to the vet and nearly $1100 later we still didn't have a solid answer. The vet assumed it was hyperparathyroidism, which would mean a tumor was on Lexy's parathyroid gland and would need to be removed. He had one test he was waiting on results for to confirm his diagnosis. When the results were in we were back at square did not confirm hyperparathyroidism.

He ended up sharing Lexy's bloodwork with a friend of his in internal medicine and he believed there could possibly be a tumor in his kidneys since his kidney levels were bad.

After a week at the vet getting fluids and poked and prodded for testing, Lexy went home and he's been there since. If you google anything about cat kidneys you find that damage is like humans, irreversible. Mom was determined just to give him a happy he and hope for the best.

For the last couple of weeks he went back to being antisocial and was again peeing wherever (with kidney issues it's hard for them to tell when their bladder is full...etc). So they made the decision to send him to cat least I
like to believe there is one.

I don't even see Lexy on a regular basis, but remembering the kitten he once was and that he always loved and remembered me whenever we visited my Mom made my heart ache. I've shed tears for that cat over the last two days and I'm sure Trevor, Phillip and my Mom have too.

Rest in peace sweet Lexy

May 18, 2012

20 Weeks!

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 20 Weeks

Size of baby: According to yesterday's ultrasound SHE weighs 14oz :)  so I'm not sure if she's the size of a banana or not...but I'll use it anyway.  Her position was head down.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I gained 1lb this month

Maternity Clothes: Still the one pair of capri's, but I am showing off the three shirts I bought at Disney as often as possible.

Gender: Girl!  Ahh I'm so excited!

Name: Persephone Layne.  First name Persephone ((pronounced per-sef-oney)) - Hardy fell in love with this name over a year or two ago.  He's a fan of Greek mythology and other weird things.  He was actually reading the Percy Jackson series when he decided he liked it THIS much.  In Greek mythology she was the wife of Hades and Queen of the underworld. Layne was my mothers middle name and she passed it to me, so I knew I wanted to pass it on to my daughter if I ever had one (and now I will)!  AND GUESS WHAT - - He he he, we can still call her PJ ;)

Movement: Flutters every now and was WILD seeing that baby on the ultrasound move around, but not actually feel it.  She was sucking her thumb and stretching her legs!

Sleep: Better.  If I could get rid of this cough, it may actually be PERFECT.

Stretch Marks: None because of the pregnancy.
Labor Signs: No

Wedding rings on/off: On
Belly Button in/out: In

What I miss: Nothing
Cravings: None

Symptoms: No new ones

Best Moment this week: Umm totally the ultrasound.  Funny thing, when we went into the exam room and they used the doppler the heart rate was in the 140's.  Hardy and I looked at each other like - "well maybe it IS a boy" since the heart rate was always in the high 160's.  But when we went into the ultrasound room, the tech was 100% sure there was no weenie.  It's amazing to be able to call PJ a SHE. 

May 17, 2012

Sweet baby....


I can't believe it :) and she's already sucking that thumb, cutie!


A friend of ours showed us this video over a year ago.  This guy plays several different characters and videos them for YouTube, but our ALL TIME FAVORITE is Mumbles...and you'll see why.  If you don't laugh at this may have something stuck up your behind, because it's HILARIOUS.

Another oldie, but goodie...a cute video of Dad's changing diapers, this one made me tear up it's so funny

On Sunday our niece, Halie shared a video with us that I thought was pretty cute.  It's the Harvard Baseball team lipsynching "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.  They even have their own synchronized dance.  If you get bored, at least fast forward to ALMOST the end to see how many guys are actually in the van - crazy!

The next video is of two little british girls on Ellen - she saw a youtube video of them doing a Nicki Minaj song and had to invite them on the show (from what I've read).  This is a really cute clip of Ellen's interview with the two girls and their performance.

So not every one has the same sense of humor, but our other niece and nephew showed us this video on Sunday also.  It's pretty clever and catchy.  IF YOU DON'T WANT TO WATCH THE FIRST PART, please fast forward to 1:48 and watch from there...

May 16, 2012

The string test

So for fun a couple of co-workers and I decided to do the string test to guess the gender yesterday

You tie your wedding ring to a piece of string/thread and dangle it above your belly

...if it sways side to side it's one gender

...if it swings in a circle it's another gender.

I googled it and got conflicting statements, some people say circle is boy and others say circle means I DON'T KNOW, but I do know it will be one or the other, lol.

Anyway, the results of that test were without a doubt, circle

I know some of you patient mothers wish I would wait and surprise ourselves at the birth and I totally get that - - especially if I've waited 5mos, what's another 4, right?  Well I love surprises...but deep down, I fear what if something happens to any of my friends/family before the baby is born, but after the time I find out the sex.  If they were to go into a coma or worse case scenario die and they never knew what I was having - - I would feel bad (here I go worrying about others).

So it may sound silly to some, but that's my reason for wanting to find out - ya feel me?

Less than 24hrs :)

May 15, 2012

PJ Gender Guesses!

I hopped back to an old blog post of Emily's ( from November 2011.  She posted a lot of Q & A's regarding old wives tales and guessing your baby's gender.  I thought it would be fun to answer some of those Q's myself to get your feedback.  I'm just a few days away from being 20weeks - it's unbelievable time flew so fast...I mean holy crap!
Ok..let's get started:
1. Has pregnancy given you lots of headaches?  Actually to begin with it felt like I was having a never-ending headache, but luckily since about the 8th week until now, I've only had one or two and they weren't migraines.
2. Has pregnancy made you sleepy?  No, in fact I took more naps during the weekends when I wasn't pregnant than I have since finding out.
3. Stare in the mirror for at least one minute, but not more than three and see if your eyes dilate or not.  (A boy will cause them to dilate while a girl will not).  Mine did not dilate.
4.  Is your hair full of body and shine or thin and stringy? I wouldn't necessarily say there's an abundance of body or volume, but it's not thin and stringy (Girls are said to make you have fuller hair)
5. Is your leg hair growing faster than when you're not pregnant?  No it's the same.
6. Are your nails growing faster and stronger?  Definitely (Supposedly a boy strengthens your nails)
7. Do you have morning sickness or wake up feeling fine?  I may have only had a "sickly" morning once or twice and it never led me to the bathroom, just made me feel uneasy.  I wake up feeling fine. (Old wives tales say girls cause morning sickness and boys wait until they're born to upset you).
8. Are you craving sweets or sours?  If I had actual cravings I guess I could better answer this question. (A girl will make you crave sweets while a boy will be more sour).
9. Has your butt gotten bigger?  No
10.  Are your feet colder now or the same as always? They are cooler than normal
11. Is the baby's heart rate below 139 or higher than 140?  Every time we've seen the doctor it's been between 155-165bpm (The wives tale says girls typically have a faster heart rate of 140 or higher)
12. Do you crave orange juice more often?  I just picked it up
13. Are you carrying high or low?  Since I'm still just starting to show, I don't know if this will change - but for now it's high and all in the front.
14. Are you a watermelon belly or beach ball belly?  I see a watermelon as wide and beach ball as round...what I have right now is definitely beach ball.  It's almost like pregnancy has taken away my love handles...that's a nice touch!
15. Does the baby kick more often on the left or right?  Right
16. Is the baby kicking you high (in the ribs) or low (in the stomach)?  I don't think the baby is big enough yet to kick me in the ribs!
17. Has Daddy gained any weight along with Mommy?  I'm not honestly sure, I don't think he has, but I also lost 4lbs in the first three months of pregnancy.
18. Have you gained weight in your face?  As of now, no.
Maybe I should re-take this test in another 10-15 weeks, lol...see if any of these answers change.  Of course by then we'll know the sex (as long as PJ doesn't curl up in a ball and refuse to let us see!)