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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Kitten Explosion!

Our babies aren't babies anymore!  They're Mamas!

Mama cats and kittens


The excitement started on Saturday, very early morning.  I woke up to a weird howl from one of the cats, but I only heard it once, so I didn't think much of it and went back to sleep.  When I woke up again, I heard purring directly beneath my head and assumed it was just Fizzle hanging out under the bed like she usually does.  I go about my morning routine and begin to notice that the only cat making an appearance is Fizzle, and she is definitely acting jittery and weird.  I ignored it for awhile and then it really hit me that Spaz was nowhere to be seen.  Then it hits me, Holy crap, it has to be Spaz under the bed, which means kittens! (because Spaz doesn't hang out under the bed, ever)

I huffed and puffed and managed to move my nightstand and pull the bed away from the wall to uncover Spaz with four all-black kittens suckling away.  Oh, total cuteness indeed!  I grabbed the kittening box we had prepared in the third bedroom and moved them on out of my bedroom, which was, of course, now gross with cat birthing fluids and stuff.  Ew.

A few hours later when the girls and I came home from errands, I decided to go check on Spaz, only to discover that she had birthed a fifth kitten!  So Spaz became a Mama to five all-black kittens!

Rudy and I wondered how long it would be before Fizzle went into labor, and decided to take evasive measures like closing our bedroom door, ha, and all other doors to places we didn't want Fizzle to decide to give birth in.  Monday morning rolled around for some reason the bedroom door was open and a cat was meowing rather loudly IN MY FACE.  Not liking being woken so early in that manner, I shooed the cat away and closed the door.  Well, that didn't seem to help, because the cat kept on meowing.  Next thing I knew, I opened the door to BOTH cats meowing at me.  Spaz was in front and Fizzle behind.  They followed me as I filled up my water glass and all the way back to the bedroom, where I closed the door on them.

Uh, hello, this should have wrung a big, fat bell in my head, but I was absolutely exhausted from the Suns/Mavs game the night before and my soaring blood sugar was not helping either.  So I ignored them and went back to sleep.

After I got up and showered, I realized it was extremely quiet in the house.  Too quiet.  Rudy and I both quickly started searching the house for the cats, because the kittening box contained only Spaz's kittens and nothing else.  We found Spaz and Fizzle behind the couch, and when we moved the couch Fizzle was in the middle of birthing her fourth kitten!  It was crazy!  Spaz was helping with everything; from detaching the kitten from Fizzle and cleaning it, to suckling the other newborns.  Coolest thing I ever saw.

Nine super cute, healthy kittens.  Spaz: Five, Fizzle: Four.  All of Fizzle's kittens have some form of white on them, except one which is all white.

Nine new kittens

Here they all are, in the kittening box we made for them, before Spaz and Fizzle decided to move them into a super tall moving box that had wooden bedframe slats inside it.  We think they did that to keep the terrorist twins away.  I don't blame them!

In the meantime, I love to check in on them and pet them and love on the Mamas so they know they are good Mamas.  But my allergies are already killing me, which is sad.





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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Funerals

If I wasn't waiting on my stupid Farmville crops to mature, I'd be asleep already.  But then I came to discover that the whole game system is down, and now I'm even more upset because I'm awake for nothing!  Stupid Farmville.

You see and learn some very interesting and often sad things while living in the ghetto.  I'm sure by now some of you guys think I'm kidding when I refer to my area of residence as "the ghetto", but I am not kidding.  Today I was driving around and just a few blocks away from home there was a group of people on the street corners holding big, green signs asking for money.  They weren't asking for money because they were homeless or hungry like the typical corner-dweller, but they were asking for money for a funeral.

A funeral.

This is the second time I've seen people standing on corners asking for donations for a funeral, and in all honesty I had never really thought about it.  A funeral.  People die all the time.  Every second.  But what do you do when you barely have enough money to pay rent and electricity and food and now suddenly you have to pay for a funeral?  What happens to those people?

I'm serious here, what happens to those people?  If those who stood on corners didn't collect enough in donations, what happens to that poor deceased person?  It really made me sad to try to wrap my mind around the possibilities, and at the same time I wrestled with the thought that these people could be lying about a dead friend or relative just to get enough money to go have fun on St. Patty's Day.  People lie about everything these days.  I even once watched a new report on professional beggers, who collected enough money standing on street corners to buy houses!  And here I am, just trying to make ends meet the old fashioned way.

Maybe pride isn't terrible in such a circumstance.  Too much pride to do something so foolishly evil.  I definitely believed the first group of people petitioning for donations because they provided info on the deceased, even pictures.  It was traceable.  Those I saw today, however, had no such info.

Living in the ghetto is something else, indeed.

And now, because I don't want to end this post on a sad note, here are a few pictures of the girls.  Ha!

Delaney and Afton Cheesin

Delaney chewing on her fingers














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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This is a long one, but worth it, I promise!

It has been a busy week around here!  I haven't been the best commenter, and for that I apologize, but I have been trying to keep up with at least reading or skimming through everyone's posts.  So what's been going on, you might ask?

Well to start, I've been having a massive amount of contractions, but after a thorough checkup and a fetal fibronectin test, we've determined that I am not presently trying to go into labor (woo).  Friday we will find out if my massive belly is due to a large baby or too much amniotic fluid.  Either way, my overly large belly is probably why I am having so many contractions.  My belly hates me.

Rudy and I have been working on finishing up this damn move (it's been what, a month already?), and had GG over a couple of times to help out as well as to just hang out.  We helped them buy a new TV since theirs decided to kick the bucket (we told them it would months ago, ha ha ha), and then helped them get it on the wall, which amazingly took two days to accomplish.  We also got our behemoth of a TV on the wall too.  It makes me very happy, because that damn thing was sitting on a tiny table and I was just waiting for it to fall on the girls, or me, or one of the cats.

We've also spent some time getting acquainted with the gym, which has been a blast.  I think I am going to greatly enjoy my time there, especially after Vivienne is born.

Oh!  And we will finally get a new clothes dryer tomorrow!  I am beyond excited about that.  It was taking over three hours for the old one to dry a normal load, which is ridiculous.  Drove me absolutely crazy.

So, now onto other things!
Delaney was sitting in the living room in the fading light tonight and she just looked...I can't even explain, but I had to take the opportunity to try the full manual mode on my D3000 again.  I had some fairly moderate success this time, much more so than the first time.

Delaney with cracker


I would have to say that the most processing was done using Noiseware Community Edition, because it was definitely a noisy photo to start.  I did do some tweaking in CS5 too, but mostly to brighten it up a bit and pop the eyes.  Progression, please?

Delaney cracker edit progression

The noise is a lot harder to see in such a small photo, but it's definitely there.


Also, it has been more than a week since I first posted my personal face challenge.  So, let us take a look, from Day One to Day Ten.

Day Ten:
My Face Day Ten

Comparison:
My face comparison
I am annoyed at how different the lighting appears in these photos, even though they were taken in the same spot at the same time of day under the same annoying bathroom lighting.  My skin is definitely 100x softer and smoother and I am starting to see some lightening of my dark spots.  I do have an annoyingly apparent blemish on my face, but it doesn't surprise me because it takes usually two-three weeks for the skin to push out all the junk after you've switched products.  I think my skin tone is looking a lot better, too.


And finally, I found this challenge on Mandy's blog, and decided I had to give it a try!  It's an Edit Me challenge offered by Ashley...plus three in which someone submits a photo and everyone gets to take a crack at editing it.  The person who submitted the original photo gets to choose the winner too, which is pretty freaking cool.  So here is the original photo:
Photo edit challenge
Photo Not Taken By Me!

And here is my edit!
Photo challenge personal edit

Go check out more edits!







Alrighty, I think that's all I've got for tonight!  Time to feed the heathens and put them to bed.



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Friday, March 11, 2011

Pregnancy Update

I am amused at the moment, because I am lying in bed with my legs propped up under piles of comforter and my computer sits perfectly against my legs and between them and my giant stomach, and my giant stomach makes a great spot to use my usb mouse.

My kid is already useful, who knew?

Today I had a fetal fibronectin test to hopefully determine that I am in no way going into preterm labor.  I have also been cleared to take Motrin for a few weeks too, which is happiness to my poor, pained body.  I did, however, finally submit to taking the 3-hour glucose test, and will do so next Friday, when I have another ultrasound to determine if my uterine size is due to an overly large child or an overabundance of amniotic fluid.  I had the same problem with Delaney, and suddenly I went from having a normal-sized-for-the-week uterus to a 40-week uterus at about 32 weeks.  It can potentially cause a lot of problems, so if it's discovered I am sure I will be ordered to weekly ultrasounds and bi-weekly non-stress tests.  I can tell that my diabetes is getting out-of-hand now because of my weak eyesight, extensive swelling, extreme thirst, rapid weight gain and the ensuing rib pain from the rapid uterine expansion.  Stupid rib.  It probably wouldn't hurt so much if it didn't get hit with a full, drive-by beer bottle and shatter into pained doom so many years ago.

If everything manages to stay stable, I will have my C-Section on the 21st of May, one day before my grandma's birthday, and one week after Delaney turns one.  Pretty flippin' crazy.  Rudy strongly believes that the baby will be born in April; he's even dreamed about it.  I try to not believe it will happen, but my husband has this weird ability to dream about things and then they happen.  He is the only psychic in the entire world I actually believe, ha.

So, uh, that's all that's going on with me.  Just trying to stay above the pain.  At least I'm finally no longer sick!





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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fun with Photo Time.

Right now I am so sad because we can't find Spaz and we don't know how she got out (if she truly got out).  She doesn't appear to be anywhere in the house, and she isn't responding to my calls outside and it just breaks my heart.  The damn cat is only a few weeks away from having a litter and I don't want her to get run over or hurt.  She is my snuggly nighttime buddy.  Fizzle seems upset by her absence too.  I hope she comes back, or I will cry.  Sad day.

In other news, I made a first attempt at using my manual settings on the D3000.  It was definitely trying, and I have a LOT of practice ahead of me.

Here is the SOOC:
SOOC flower

It took me a long time to get this shot, because every shot would come out super black or seemingly not at all, and I am still having trouble figuring out why.  I took this photo in CS5 and had some fun.  Here is the edit:

Flower edit

In the end I added a layer of texture to help mask the large amount of noise that was in this picture.  I'm fairly satisfied for a first ditch effort.  It makes me excited to keep learning!

On the same day that I took the above photo, I also got a lot of shots of the girls using the sports setting as well as the portrait setting.  Here is one the cutest photos that I caught of Delaney:

Delaney cute face

Her expression is pretty much priceless.  She was having a blast bouncing on her great-grandpa's legs, while Rudy, Grandma and I made silly faces at her.  For the edit on this photo, I used the lesson Ashley gave for Shoot and Edit: Week 7.  I really liked the way it turned out.  In fact, I tried it on another photo; one of Afton when she was upset for getting in trouble.

Afton Sad Face

So, actually, this was the first photo I tried the edit on, and had a blast with it.  I actually made a progression thinger to show the photo from start to finish.  Whoop whoop.

Photo edit progression


Tomorrow morning Rudy and I head over to Lifetime Fitness for our initial assessments as new members.  I am so super excited about the facilities and about working on getting into (and back into) shape.  And the fact that they have on-site daycare?  Uh, hell no brainer.  Afton had a blast in there while we toured, and Delaney did pretty well also.  The interaction will be good for them, and family swim time will be great.  Wish me luck!




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Friday, March 4, 2011

Photo Challenge!

This week's Photo Challenge over at The Paper Mama is Simple Beauty.  I love the theme, and for this challenge I chose a photo of Afton wearing her great-grandpa's straw hat.


Afton wearing Grandpa's hat


I just love everything about this shot: her tiny little curls, her big ol' eyes and of course the gigantic hat on her head!  I also love that she didn't catch me taking this photo, so it's more natural.  Afton in her element.

For more lovely photos of Simple Beauty, go check out The Paper Mama!


The Paper Mama




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My Real Face

I am obsessed with my skin.  I always have been.  When I was younger I was constantly complimented on how great my skin was; it was soft, smooth, had even tone and texture, and just generally was awesome.  Yes, I admit that I am pretty vain about how my skin used to look.

But, after all the alcohol and drugs and weight gain and kids, my skin has pretty much died.  And it's sad.  Every day I struggle with acne and dark scars and weird red patches on my skin.  It drives me crazy.

So I am going to document an experiment.  I sell Mary Kay, and when I started using the Time Wise Miracle Set I fell in love.  My skin finally started to respond and I was happy.  But for a few months I was out of product and out of money to get more, which turned me back into Sad Karly.  But no more!

Here is my list of products I will be using over the next month:
Mary Kay products and other cleansing items


1.  TimeWise Miracle Set
2.  Replenishing Serum +C
3.  Even Complexion Essence
4.  Even Complexion Mask
5.  Norwex Antibacterial Cloth
6.  AcneFree Terminator 10

Basically the process goes like this:
I cleanse with the Miracle Set 3-in-1 cleanser (for combo/oily skin).
If I'm having a breakout, I use the norwex cloth to gently cleanse the breakout area after using the cleanser.
Every three days I use the Even Complexion Mask at night.  When I'm not using the mask I go directly from cleansing to the Replenishing Serum +C.  It's meant to boost collagen production and infuse the skin with Vitamin C.  It smells awesome.
I follow the serum with the Even Complexion Essence.  The Even Complexion system is meant to even skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark spots/scars/etc.  I am super psyched about the Even Complexion system.
Now, if I'm having a bad breakout, I will use some of the Terminator, but very very sparingly because it dries the hell out of my skin and I hate flaky, dry skin.
Depending on the time of day, I will then use the Day Solution or Night Solution from the Miracle Set.  The Day Solution provides SPF protection and the Night Solution contains peptides to help rejuvenate and heal the skin.
Finally, at the very end of this seemingly forever-long process, I use the Miracle Set moisturizer for combo/oily skin.

Sure, I can tell you everything I am doing and what I think is happening with my skin, but the best way to see the results is to take a damn picture.  Ahhhh!  A completely un-retouched photo of my face...without makeup! Scary.

So here we go: Day One
Unretouched photo of my face without makeup

My chin is my biggest combat zone.  I will get you, chin!
And I wish there was a product that could make the ugly, gruesome vein in my forehead disappear.  I blame stress, and kids, for its appearance, ha ha ha.

OK!  Next week I will post an updated photo, and we will see if a difference begins to take shape.





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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oh no you didn't...

Oh yes I did, another vlog! This one is awesome because I sound like a giant sinus bubble of doom.

The questions come from Eighty MPH Mom and if you wanna know what those questions are, you'll just have to torture yourself and watch my vlog.

If you need a little coercion, though, I will tell you that both my kitties make an appearance. Who can resist such cuteness?





Also, it took me almost 20 minutes to figure out how to get to my stupid webcam on this computer, it's not so plainly listed like on my dead computer.  The things I go through for you people!

I'm kidding, I swear.


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