Working on a bloggerific makeover, y'all, so bear with me as things shift and change and disappear and reappear like magic.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

I Love Blocks

Afton and Rudy were building a tower of blocks on Afton's little red chair this morning.  It was super cute to watch, because Afton is extremely OCD about things being in perfect alignment, so she took her time to ensure she was placing each block exactly where it should be.


Afton placing a block on top of her block tower

Afton clapping after finishing building her tower

She was very excited to complete her tower, until Rudy knocked it down and she FLIPPED OUT.  She quit playing after that, just to spite Rudy.


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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Two Legs, One Hole

This is what happens when you try to get into your sister's toy unassisted.

Afton trapped in Delaney's bouncer


Feel the pain, man.  Feel the pain.  Of course, it was rather mean of me to laugh, get the camera, and take pictures, but I just couldn't help myself.  I mean, look at her!





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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Delaney at 6 Months

I had some fun today taking a few shots of Delaney as she was enveloped in our comforter.  It was like she was in a big, fluffy cloud.

Delaney smiling and reaching out


Delaney grinning and showing her two new teeth


Delaney looking like a somber angel




I love her two little teeth, they are just perfect.



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Flashback Friday: Differences

In November of 2008, I exploded.  OK, not literally.  I wouldn't be writing this if I had actually exploded.  But I sure did feel like I'd exploded.  I went from having a nice little Afton bump to having a huge, diabetes and preeclamptic induced body of d00m.  Yes, I do mean d00m.  It was evil.

Beginning of Nov. 2008

End of Nov. 2008 WTH!


Change is inevitable, but I do hope I don't explode with Baby #3.  Eh, what am I kidding, I exploded with Delaney too!


Ahhh, I'm dying!

Anyone wanna play with my medicine ball?  I was only 7mo. here!



And for the second part of my post, let's take a look at Afton one year ago and today:




She has hair now!  Wow!







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Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Days of Truth

Day 02  Something you love about yourself.

To me, this is an easy question to answer.  I love my adaptability.  I have been in so many situations in such a short amount of time, and I always manage to come out on top.  I'm not scared to try new things, or to take a leap into the unknown.  I go with the flow and never break a bone in the process (OK, except that one time where I actually DID cut off a finger, but that's a different story all together).  I may not always be Miss Sunshine and Rainbows about everything, but I know what I have to do and I do it.  Go skydiving and bungee jumping?  Hell yeah!  Jump an ocean and live with a stranger?  You bet!  Join the military and actually survive?  Awesome.  Live in hotels for a couple of months?  Been there.  How about someone else's fifth-wheel trailer?  Yup, that too.  Spend the night in a grungy bar with broken windows to protect the goods?  Did that too.  Escape two DWIs in a matter of five minutes?  I must be completely crazy.

Point is, between the good and the bad I always survive and I always improve.  I'm adaptable, I learn and I get better.

I'm awesome.









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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Looking for some HELP.

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies.

I am so in need of some help and opinions here.  What I am looking for, specifically, are those of you who have had a natural birth or c-section with an epidural or a spinal, and have subsequently been left with terrible back problems.

With my first c-section, which was an emergency c-section, I had zero problems with back recovery from both the epidural and the spinal.  But my scheduled c-section was a nightmare in that regard.  The resident could not, for the life of her, get my spinal inserted correctly.  She kept getting it into the tendons on the side of my spine instead.  After five separate attempts, the attending had to step in and insert the spinal, and even HE had problems with it.  And ever since then, I have had almost crippling back pain.

Now that I am going back to work, I have discovered that just a few hours on my feet without rest leaves me in such terrible pain I want to cry.  And I have no clue what I can do for it.  I cannot afford massages, nor physical therapy.  My husband does do adjustments on my back, but it's fairly rough going.

At this point I am considering asking my doctor for some cortisone shots until something better can be done.

So, for those of you who have had back problems from epidurals or spinals, what courses of action have you taken to alleviate the terrible pain?  I could use all the help I could get, but do keep in mind that I am currently three months pregnant.

Thank you so much for the input ladies, I appreciate it!








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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Photo Challenge!

This week's photo challenge over at The Paper Mama is: Eyes.
I love this one, because Afton has by the far the most beautiful big ol' eyes ever.

Biased much?  No, not me, I swear!
So here is my contribution:


My pretty baby girl, back in June 2009, playing her in teeny tiny little pool on Mom's deck in Minnesota.  This is by far one of my most favoritest photos of her, ever.


Go check out the other participants and show them some love!


The Paper Mama






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Friday, November 19, 2010

Taking the Challenge.

I have noticed many bloggers taking on the 30 Days of Truth challenge.  After waiting quite a long time, I have decided I might as well give it a try too.  Hopefully it will seem fresher for those who see the same question answered everyday, as I'm about an entire month behind, ha!  I may not answer a question every single day, but I will do my best to answer them all eventually.

Here are the Qs:
Day 01  Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02  Something you love about yourself.
Day 03  Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04  Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05  Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06  Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07  Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08  Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09  Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10  Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11  Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12  Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13  A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14  A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15  Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16  Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17  A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18  Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19  What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20  Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21  (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22  Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23  Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24  Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25  The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26  Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27  What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28  What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29  Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30  A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Day One is a tough start!  Something I hate about myself.
I could easily say I hate by body, Lord knows it has gone through a lot over the years.  But I don't hate my body.  It's a work in progress, something I can change.  Hate is so complex, is there really something that I hate that I cannot change?  Sure, there are many things in my past that make me cringe to think about, but I don't think it really causes me to hate something about myself.  No, wait, I'm wrong.  I hate my brain.  I can't fix the damage I caused to it from years of trying every narcotic known to man.  Some days my brain functions so poorly I'm rather convinced I've developed Alzheimer's.  And there is absolutely nothing I can do to fix it.  Sure, I had fun, I really did.  But was all that fun worth the time I now spend trying to remember what a wall is, or how old I am, or even how to keep my hands from shaking and my face from going numb? No, probably not.  But it was it is, and I have to accept it as such.  And of course, to teach my kids that drugs are bad, except for natural things that come from the ground, like marijuana and shrooms.  Those I don't have a problem with.





This photo was taken while I worked at the Eagle's Gulch in downtown San Antonio.  That bar was pretty much the drug capital of the whole damn city.  You could score any drug during any time of the day.  Some people would even trade bar tabs for drugs, which I would resell for profit.  But, I can't say I hate the place, or the people, because that was life back then.  And it also happens to be the place where I met my husband. We've come a long, long way since those days.  And no, he is not pictured here.

Some memories turn out to be so much different from when they first occurred, eh?





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Thinkin' Bout Thanksgivin'.

Thanksgiving is next week.  Holiday season is finally here.  What I hate about living in Phoenix is that it doesn't even remotely feel like the holidays have arrived.  How can one get into the Christmas Spirit when you're still wearing shorts, tees and the grass is still green?  I love snow.  Love it.  Without snow, it just doesn't feel right, and I think it actually makes me depressed!  Most people develop SAD because of lack of sunlight, but not me, oh no.  I have SAD because I have no snow.  It's seasonal, so I think it freaking counts.

The past few years we've kept Thanksgiving simple.  No big fat turkey with ten thousand sides and long naps with the football game blaring on TV.  Rudy would grill up some porterhouse steaks and huge bakers and that would be it.  I mean, seriously, what's more gourmet: a stupid turkey or the motherload of beefy goodness?

I am just so absolutely not in the mood for steak this year.  I am barely in the mood for anything whatsoever.  But! I want to get into the holiday spirit, so I need to dive into doing something a little more traditional.  Since we're going to be at Grandma's for Thanksgiving, we've decided to do the whole turkey bit.  I think I could handle turkey on my death-to-meat spectrum.  I've never cooked a turkey before, and I plan on keeping it that way, so Grandma is handling that one.  I, however, am the Queen of the Side Dish.  So I plan on tackling all the yummy things to decorate our plates with.

Perusing Delish.com is so much fun.  I am sick of the boring old traditional stuff, so I started surfing for something a little more gourmet.  There are so many recipes I am excited about, I have to share them.





Two different green bean dishes that sound soooooo good.  Click on the pictures to link to the recipes.  The first is made with shallots and the second with prosciutto.  I love green beans, and also, I love to watch Afton deconstruct them when they are on her plate.  I think I used to do the same thing as a kid.


Maple-ginger glazed carrots.  Awesome.  I have always been a fan of gingered cooked carrots, so this would be a fun recipe to try as just a slight variation from the original.



Golden mashed potatoes with fried onion and bacon.  I love all forms of bacon.  If I could only eat bacon and not die a grisly, swollen-heart death, I totally would only ever eat bacon.




Creamy corn.  Now, this one I am not too certain about.  Maybe if it was named something that didn't sound so much like creamed corn, I would jump all over it.  Creamed corn is disgusting on about fifty different levels.  But the picture looks yummy.  So maybe I will come up with my own not-so-gross name for it.



Sauteed apples with Thyme.  I love trying new apple recipes because apples are so versatile.  You can eat them with all sorts of cheese, with peanut butter, salads and a bazillion different things between.  So why not try another recipe.  I'm sure I will also be making some applesauce too.



And finally I reach the end with a Pear Gorgonzola salad.  The name says it all.  Delish!








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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wee Bit of Me Wednesdays



I missed three weeks of me!  So I just opted to give you all a mega-dose of me, so be prepared!

{one} what time do you normally wake up?
I have several wake-ups in the morning.  First one is usually between 6-630am, when Delaney wakes up.  I bring her to my bed and give her a bottle and I go back to sleep, kind of.  We hang out in bed until about 8am, when Afton generally wakes up.

{two} do you have a go-to song for karaoke?
Not really, and I've not done karaoke in years.

{three} if you could only see black and white except for one color, what color would you choose to see?
Yellow, it's bright and energetic, yet soothing.

{four} what color best matches your personality?
Orange.  A little bit of energy and a little bit of crazy.

{five} if you could choose one meal to cook better than anyone else, what would it be?
Pishaw, I don't need to cook better than anyone else when I can already bake better than everyone else!

{six} how many keys do you have on your key ring?
I think eight.  Six of which get used on a mostly daily basis.

{seven} do you give your pets birthday/christmas gifts?
We would give Peanut a nice toy back in the day, so I am sure the cats and Lucy will get something special too.

{eight} when your plate has different foods on it, do you mix or not?
Not a chance.  I even prefer my foods to not touch each other.  And I generally eat the sides first, then the main dish.  I'm weird.

{nine} if you could hire someone to do one thing for you all the time, what would it be?
Clean!  Just follow the kids around all day long, that would be AWESOME.

{ten} when flying, do you prefer the window or aisle seat?
As long as it's not the middle seat, I don't care.



{one} do you collect anything? if so, what and how long have you been collecting? Yeah, I collect crap.  Lots and lots of crap.  And children.  Ha!
{two} what is one cleaning tip that you swear by? Windex cleans everything.

{three} who would you call for bail money? Well, since I've been bailed out before...I'd have to go with Mom again.  Especially if she's drunk.
{four} what is one thing you miss about being a kid? Being impervious to hot and cold and playing outside for endless hours.

{five} name a few of your guilty pleasures. Frosting.  Loads and loads of delicious frosting.
{six} how early do you start your holiday shopping? It depends on the year and the amount of available funds for shopping!
{seven} what is a family tradition that you would like to pass on to your significant other/children? All things Christmas related.  The tree decorating, house decorating, the baking and the hours of Christmas music and stories!
{eight} what do you consider your greatest achievement? My kids, obviously.  Followed by making it through Basic Training.
{nine} what do you do to pamper yourself? I either get my hair done or get a mani/pedi.  Haven't done either in foreeeeeever.
{ten}
if you were to start your own restaurant, what would it be called? I am not sure what I would call it, because I have about ten thousand ideas for a restaurant.  My hubby and I would love to run one someday.



{one} do you still use a checkbook?
Nope.

{two} what size shoe do you wear?
9-10.  Pregnancy is giving me clown feet.

{three} scary movies or happy endings?
Don't we all love a "happy ending"?

{four} do you prefer spontaneity or stability?
A little bit of both in the right places.

{five} what is the most embarrassing cd that you own?
I am not embarrassed I own it, but I do possess a copy of Aqua's Aquarium.

{six} do you watch reality tv?
Not so long as my home contains sharp objects with which to kill myself.

{seven} what is your favorite home-made meal?
Mom's pot roast, Rudy's carne asada.

{eight} do you have any allergies?
I am allergic to damn near everything.  It's annoying.  However, I am not allergic to seafood, I just tell everyone I am so they stop pestering me when I say I don't eat seafood.

{nine} if you could open your own restaurant/store, what would it be?
I would open a super fresh bistro/bakery.  I love fresh foods and fresh recipes, simple concoctions.  And bakery because I rock at baking.

{ten} would you ever go skydiving (or have you been)?
On my honeymoon!  I even have a full-length video of the flight up and back down!







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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blended Photos.

The other day I saw an awesome tutorial on Paper Heart Camera for photo blending.  I thought it was super awesome because I have always wondered how it was done.  Turns out it is fairly simple, but a bit complex at the same time.

My first attempt was OK, there were many mistakes, including the fact that my camera shifted at some point.  Probably during the time Afton wiped out into the cupboard and started choking on a peanut.  That kid sometimes!  For this photo I was trying to show my progression into finding a snack, because I am always freaking hungry (in case you couldn't tell by the fact that I look seven days away from having a baby instead of seven months!).  I love sugar.


A few days later I tried to get some good shots of Rudy and Afton at the park, but I really only had the two good ones, with the third being blocked.  This one melded much better because the camera didn't shift.  I am amused by Rudy and Afton's stride, they are exactly the same.



This last one was a lot harder, but a helluva lot of fun to do.  It's obviously harder because I have so many pieces interconnected.  It was very easy to mess up, so I took my time and I'm really happy with my results.  Now if only I truly had that many arms.  Life would be soooooo much easier.



I thought for awhile and realized I had done something similar many many years ago.  So I searched around my sites and my external drive and found these following two photos.  For the life of me, before this tutorial, I would not have been able to even remotely explain how I did what I did with the two photos, because all I would do is just mess around and see what would happen, without really paying attention.



Lookit how small I was back then!  How annoying!  Stupid booze, drugs and babies ruining my body.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my fun little project.  Peace out.













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Ghetto Trauma

Living in the ghetto has its perks.  Oh wait, no it doesn't.  Some idiot, while attempting to do his own brand of wiring in an adjacent apartment, cut our fiber-optic lines, thus murdering our internet in foul spirit.

How do I live without internet?  Not very well.

It doesn't help that I have been completely unmotivated at life.  This also occurs when living in the ghetto with crappy insurance that forgets to mention that your policy has expired and now I can't afford the most essential of my medicines, Zoloft.  So now I am an angry monster beast most of the time, and I just cannot seem to help myself.

So I started writing this post a few days ago, but got distracted with other more pressing issues.  Now! however, I am sitting at Paradise Bakery & Cafe enjoying a most delicious chai tea latte with soy milk and lots of caffeine that I have been missing (my headaches, mostly) and a big, fat, cheesy bagel with cream cheese.  Yum yum chop.  Back to my story.

Have I mentioned yet that the ghetto sucks?  Well, it does.  The other night I was lying down to sleep when Rudy came rushing in, asking me if I'd heard the gunshots.  Of course I didn't hear them, the AC was on, my fan was on full-blast, and the baby monitor was hissing away because there was a fan running full-blast in their room as well.  If the sound of so much air can't put me to sleep, then I'd be doomed.  So anyway, no, I did not hear the gunshots.  Not that this was unusual, because we went a Chinese buffet a couple of weeks ago for lunch and gunshots occurred in the alleyway beside it.  In the middle of broad daylight.  I just laid my head back down, grunted and attempted to go back to sleep.

Needless to say, within fifteen minutes, Rudy was back in the room telling me to come check out the mass quantity of police running around the complex.  That is also nothing new.  We've seen them before, though without the accompanying whizzing bullets of doom.  This place sucks.

I must admit, though, that I have been extremely traumatized by an event that occurred at my neighborhood Safeway store.  The girls and I went there to do some quick shopping, and although I love being annoyed to death by my children, the trip went fairly smoothly, until we attempted to leave the store.

As soon as I pushed the cart out the door and hit the divets that lead to the parking lot, Delaney, in her carseat, flipped right out of the cart and onto the concrete.  Face first.

I can barely remember the incident it happened so quickly.  I was certain in that split-second that she was dead.  All I could see were her little arms sticking out of the side of the carseat.  My cart drifted off into the parking lot, and I don't even know what Afton's reaction was, because I was too busy shrieking.  I flipped the carseat over and Delaney started crying and I could see had a scrape on her head (the bar had been in the very back position as I couldn't see over it in the store, lending no protection whatsoever in the fall).  I pulled her out of the seat and clutched her like a broken ragdoll as I cried, completely mortified and terrified.  People were crowding all around me, and an older lady who was a nurse came and checked Delaney out.  She seemed to be remarkably OK.  So I slowly put her back in the seat and a nice, younger couple helped me to my van, which was a whopping three feet away from where the incident happened.

I cried all the way home I was so humiliated and upset.  I couldn't believe that had happened.  She was locked into the damn cart, after all, so how did the whole thing manage to flip out so easily?  I may never know.  Delaney developed a huge lump and redness on her forehead, plus marks that showed the divets on the concrete.  I had her sleep with me in my bed that night, because I was scared she would die in the night from a concussion or something.  But she did fine.  She got over the whole thing within ten minutes.  I'm still having nightmares.  I'll never go back to that store again.  Ugh.

Besides all the trauma, I am fairly certain I am living in an animal farm.  Between two kids shitting and pissing everywhere, and two cats shitting and pissing everywhere (OK, so it's just their box, but I have to clean it, just like those damnable diapers), we now have two dogs, shitting and pissing everywhere.  Literally.  I officially hate puppies.  We got them for free, and for a good reason which I am not at liberty to disclose, but still, all these animals in a barely 900sq ft living space is like hell on earth.  These dogs aren't little, either.  One a Shepard mix and the other a Lab mix.  The shepard, Shadow, is already quite large, and quite destructive.  He literally ATE Grandma's screen door, after ripping the frame out of its track.  Lucy, the lab, just can't seem to figure out how to use a puppy pad.  All those nasty animal odors are really getting to my super-smelling pregnant self.  Most of the time I can't eat because all I want to do is barf. 

Have I mentioned that I cannot wait to escape the ghetto?  Well I can't.  It cannot come soon enough!









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