Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I know it's been a ridiculous amount of time since my last post, and for that I sincerely apologize. Life is busy these days!! Let me give you a small run-down of what my week looks like.

Mondays are my total house cleaning day. The last couple of Mondays haven't been very "clean" though because I've been ill.

Tuesdays are my mom's Bible Study. It starts at 8:30 in the morning, so Tay rides the bus these mornings.

Wednesdays are the days we go grocery shopping with my parents. We leave after some house cleaning and are gone until i have to pick Tay up from school.

Thursdays are my other Bible Study, that's at 10:00 but we get there early to socialize.

Every other Friday is my own grocery shopping day. My mom comes with us and again, it takes up all day.

Each day I try to discipline myself to do some cleaning or laundry so that on the weekend I don't have to worry about it.

I still have a lot of growth to do in that area, but I'm so much better than i used to be. The hardest part right now is getting back into a rhythm since I've been sick for a couple of weeks.

The rest of the time I'm either studying for the Bible study, playing with my boys, making a meal, or {I admit it, not often, but still, sometimes} sleeping.

Next week is going to be a busy week too, because I'll be packing for a drive to CALIFORNIA!! {cheering is okay} My mom and I are leaving with the kids next Friday, to arrive into L.A. Saturday afternoon. I'm trying to put together overly thorough lists of EVERYTHING that I need to bring. It's vital to not forget anything since I'm on a pretty strict budget while I'm out there.

By the way, packing for 3 kids is HARD!! Don't even get me started on trying to figure out how everything is going to be situated int eh car for easy access. Traveling with a baby means diaper bag must always be reachable. Always. Traveling with a 3 and a 5 year old means snacks must always be at the ready. Always. Movies too. Lots of movies.

We get the car next week sometime, so when it gets here I'll have a better idea on how to put things together.

Until then I'll keep modifying my lists and counting down the minutes!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

My ideal plans for California...

Everything Thanksgiving we trek out to California to spend the Holiday with my sister. She lives about 5 miles off the beach in beautiful Camarillo. We started a tradition last year of taking the kids to the beach Thanksgiving morning and I have every intention of continuing on with that tradition this year. Let me explain how this trip will go from start to finish. {in my head, that is}

We'll get all packed up on Thursday, take Tay to school on Friday, come back home and get everything put into the car, movies ready, ice chests packed and put into the car, then pick Tay up after lunch and head out. My mom will drive with me, and my dad will meet us out there on Monday {he's very important and needs to teach at the Church on Sunday, he'll be leaving after service}.

So we pick up Tay and we stop in Flagstaff for the night. We sleep, we wake up, we eat, we hit the road. We stop for eating and for diaper changes, and possibly just to let Ozzie hang out OUT of his carseat. We get into L.A. and stop at our old house to reminisce. We get to my sisters house and hang out, happy happy joy joy. Then we go to church with my sister Sunday morning, spend the rest of the day chillaxing and having fun. Monday I go to visit some friends, or I take the kids to the Science Museum {haven't decided yet} Tuesday we go to the mall to do some shopping as well as have a chaperoned visit with my MIL {kill two birds with one stone on that one}, then do our Holiday grocery shopping. Wednesday we set up for Thursday, go out to dinner at The Greek {one of my favorite places to eat, located in the Ventura Harbor} followed by a walk on the beach. Thursday we take previously mentioned traditional trip to the beach, then help prep for dinner. Eat. Laugh. Love. Sleep. Friday we all drive to Santa Barbara for a visit to the zoo. Saturday we start the trek back to Colorado, Sunday we arrive in Colorado and return to normal life!!

Sounds amazing, right?!

Now....if we can just make it happen!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Final Guest Blogger

Today is the last day of featured guest bloggers, and while that fact makes me sad, I'm at least thrilled with who the last blogger is. David Boreanaz and I have been friends for a couple of years. He's an average guy with an above average job, a sweet and genuine man and I consider him a dear friend. I was thrilled when he agreed to do this. I know there are BONES fans out there who are just screaming in glee right now. At the end of today's post is a link to the community forum for BONES, show your support to the show by signing up at Fox.com and being a part of the BONES fan community. If you have anything to say to David, leave a comment! {I'm sure he'll be checking in, and if not then I'll pass them on for you. }


1.      How many kids do you have and what are their names/ages?- I have two kids. Jaden is my oldest, he’s 8 and Bella, she’s 1 y/o.

2.      What do you love about being a dad?- The laughter and the love that I receive from my kids. They make my world a better place and give me a reason to keep on truckin’ even when life throws curve balls.

3.      Where is your favorite place to “chillax”?- At home, in front of the TV or with my family doing something together.

4.      What is the greatest thing about your job?- I’m able to express myself through a different manner.

5.      What did you want to be when you were a kid? – I wanted to be a Architect.

6.      If you could choose to have any profession {other than your current one}, what would it be?- Architect or maybe a Hockey player, or host the NHL games.

7.      What is your biggest fear?-To wake up one day and my life was all a dream.

8.      What is your favorite time of day?-Evenings.

9.      Where is our dream vacation?-On an island, Turtle Island to be exact.

10.  Which character was your favorite to portray?- I’d have to say, Angelus. He was fun to play, but also had a depth to him that allowed me to widen my horizon as an actor.

11.  Where would you like to be 30 years from now?-Let’s see, I’ll be 71 in 30 yrs, so I think I would like to be retired and enjoy life with grandkids all around.

12.  Who is your biggest role model?- My dad.

13.  Do you have a pet peeve? I hate when someone spells "a lot" as one word. That simply annoys me and drives me nuts.

14.  What are some of the challenges being a "celebrity"?- Privacy is the main player. Not being treated normally, I’m just a guy from Philly. I don’t see the point of treating me any different. People having too many POVs of me, when in reality… They no clue who I am. Side part, I hate the word “Celebrity.”

15.  Favorite indulgence?- Cheesecake. I make love to that puppy. Jack Daniels!

16.  Favorite sport and why?- Hockey! My first game I ever attended was with my dad, it was a Flyers game in Philly. Grateful Dead, my favorite band played at the opening.

17.  Do you turn the music down on the stereo when trying to find somewhere?-No

18.   What kind of movies do you most enjoy watching at a cinema??- Action packed or Thriller. I avoid the romantic movies.

What advice would you give to my readers??- Always remain true to yourself. Don’t ever let anyone every put you down and don’t sell yourself short. Life is too short to keep dwelling on the past, live it to the fullest and always keep a level head. Life is a tricky SOB, so play the game and you’ll come out a winner.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in my Guest Blogger event, and thanks to all of you have have visited to read!!

Don't forget to sign up on the BONES Community Forum

Monday, October 4, 2010

Homemade ketchup & laundry detergent

This morning started off a bit rough for me. When I went shopping on Friday I picked up some more laundry detergent, and I was so focused on finding one for an "HE" machine that I forgot to fin one that was fragrance free.....>sigh<

My mom is allergic to chemical fragrances so when we moved here, I had to give up my fresh smelling laundry. {something that I absolutely love}

I didn't realize I had brought home the wrong detergent until after I poured it into the machine, so Ozzie's diapers smell amazing, but my mom's throat was not feeling so amazing. This morning she told me that she was going to replace the new stuff for some fragrance free stuff.

This may seem like a simple matter, no big deal, but for some reason unknown to me, my heart felt broken. I miss that smell of fresh clothes when you pull them out of the drawer and all of a sudden I started thinking about all of the other things I miss.

Like going to the museums or zoos on the weekends, my friends from our home church in California, walking Hollywood Blvd., walking to Fudruckers or Marshalls and watching the kids play in the water fountain. I miss That Hat and In N Out, and I miss knowing that I had a job if I ever wanted to go back to work.

It seems so silly, but like I said, it just got me going.

So I went outside and helped unload some more fire wood and when that was done I cleaned my house and made it look amazing. I felt a little better, but still sorta bummed.

So I made ketchup!

Being allergic to salt, ketchup is something that I really can't indulge in very often, even though I looooove it, so I decided to make my own, that way I could control how much salt was used.

It turned out really good. Not as good as I was hoping because I misread a little and put in a tiny bit too much honey as a sweetener, but it'll be better next time, for sure.

I'm feeling even better now. Still a little bummed, but at least I'm not crying over the lack of fresh smelling t-shirts......so I don't have to feel like a total fool.

It's an improvement!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sleep? Me thinks not...

For the past two weeks, four out of seven members of our household have struggled with illness. Tay {who was sick a total of 13 days in her first three years} brought home a lovely cold, and since then, she, myself, my mom and my dad can't seem to get back up to 100%.

Of course, whenever one of the kids is sick, I'm up during the night to comfort and aid them as needed, and when I'm the one who's sick, I'm up all night because I'm allergic to two of the three main ingredients in cold and flu medicine.

Usually what I'll do is give Tay some cough and cold meds about an hour before she goes to bed, set up a vaporizer in her room, and put her to bed. That works fairly well, and she will go to sleep and have a decent night.

Not any more. This time I gave her the meds as per usual, but then she was throwing up in the middle of the night.....surprise!! Guess who now is allergic to cough medicine too!!!

So now I can't give her any good memmies, which means I'm up with her through the night trying to make her comfortable as she coughs and heaves a lung......Doing this night after night when you aren't feeling great yourself results in one of two things, if not both:

getting sicker
being so tired that when it comes time to wake up in the morning you resent the very thought of the sun.

I haven't gotten sicker, but I do think one of the reasons why I haven't been able to kick this bug is because I'm so stinking tired. I do resent the sun, though.

On a daily basis.

One thing I am glad for is that because I've been doing such a great job keeping my house clean {patting myself on the back} I don't have to freak out over a mess on top of it all.

All I really want to do is go back to bed and sleep for a few days. But alas, the duties of mom.ness call and thus I pry myself from between my lovely warm sheets.

Don't expect me to be rosey and lighthearted about it though.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Oi Vey

I feel so amazing, these days! Last Thursday, when I came home from Bible Study, I found my mom had cleaned my entire house for me. She is the master of organization and I openly proclaim that I am the furthest cry from organizationally gifted. {have I mentioned that my mom is the bestest in the whole wide world? No? Well, she is.}

Now I have a daily check list with just a few things to do, and I make sure to do them first thing in the morning before I start any other projects, and it's been over 1 week now, but my house still looks immaculate. I rock.

If you know me at all, this is a rather amazing achievement.

I also am feeling great now that Bible Study has started back up again. The daily time in The Word and meditation has made a huge difference. I am feeling hope again for my future, and it's exciting!! I try not to think about the dreams that I cannot achieve, but rather I focus on the things I CAN achieve. I don't know what God has in store for my future, but I know that I can help to make my "right now" more tolerable by giving Him praise in my every thought and action.

Things are looking up for me for the first time in a long time, and it feels so comforting. I still struggle with letting go of my own desires, but I'm working hard on learning how to desire what GOD wants for me.

Today I have a play date with a couple of my friends, and I may even build up the courage to see if a lady friend from Bible Study would like to work out an occasional play date as well.

I'm tired of sitting back and waiting for life to change. I have to take charge of my own life as much as I am able, and make something for myself. I may not ever be able to get my medical degree, but perhaps I can find something to be passionate about that's more attainable.

Here's to the hunt!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Why I've Been Absent

I know my posts have been few and far between for the last few weeks, but there really is a good reason.

To start with, once Tay started school, so much of my time has been filled up doing things!! I'm amazed at how busy I've been. I go out shopping with my mom twice a week (once for her, once for me), I have Bible Study on Thursday mornings, and the rest of the time, I'm playing with Vin or taking care of Oz!!

I have had this blog on my mind a lot, though. As much as I would LOVE to get on every day and post, the reality is I have way too much on my plate right now that requires my attention more than this. I'll still be around at least once a week, but other than that, I can't make any promises. I'm trying to take this time to train myself to be more diligent in my house keeping and general family duties.

I hope you understand and support this choice. I believe this is what will please God more than blogging every day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Guest Blogger!

This weeks guest blogger is Jason Marsden. You may recognize the name if you're a Munsters fan. Jason's wife was pregnant with a baby boy due on the same day as me, but little Clark was destined to greet the world early, and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow up via posts on their blog, Chronicles of Clark. Be sure to stop by and leave them some love!!
1. What is the greatest thing about being a dad?
Man, there are so many things! It's so new, so bright, so infinite, it's hard to pick the 'greatest' thing. It changes almost every day. How about some highlights instead?
Changing his diaper - greatest thing! Yeah, most parents would not agree, but Clark loves the whole process. I get the biggest smiles from him when I take off his diaper. It's 
either from extreme relief or he's an exhibitionist. We'll soon find out. 
His smile! So pure. So sincere. So infectious. - Greatest thing.
Feeling him melt into my chest or over my shoulder when he falls asleep - greatest thing.
Watching him eat! He cries for two reasons...fatigue...or hunger. The look of utmost satisfaction when we insert the bottle - greatest thing!
Showing him off to friends or strangers - greatest thing.
Dressing him up - greatest thing. If you think about it, and do it right, babies can be one helluva fashion accessory!
Singing, dancing for him! He's a rapt audience - greatest thing.
Watching him sleep - greatest thing!

2. What was the biggest challenge for you with Clark being born so premature?
Spending 89 days at the NICU and going home empty handed.

3. How has Clark effected your life?
I say this in jest (kinda), but you parents know what I mean: I never thought I could love anyone more than I love myself. 
Sleep...goes without saying.
All in all I'm surprised at how easy it is to acclimate him into our lives. I'm the kind of person who craves a schedule. Clark dictates. We follow.

4.What are some your favorite childhood memories that you wish Clark will be able to experience as well?
This is the toughest question for me, because I had such a unique childhood, being an actor. Unless Clark plans to follow in my footsteps, his
experiences will be quite different. I guess, I just always loved meeting new people and traveling to new places. I do remember driving cross
country from Rhode Island to California. It was such an uneventful trip...really. And long. But the excitement of it reminded me of being on
an adventure. I hope Clark sees things with such an open heart and mind like I did.

5.What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a rock star! Or in a musical (still do). There was always a bit of 'performer' in me.

6. What is your favorite past-time?
Dark theatre, popcorn, watching a (hopefully) fantastic movie! 
Live music at a dive bar. 
A killer yoga class.
Gatherings with friends.
and now...Father's Day!

7. What is your biggest fear?
Great question. My #1 answer to that, used to be, death. Now, it's weird, cuz now that Clark is in my life, I see him as my living legacy. I am totally at 
comfort knowing that a part of me will continue to live on through him, well long after I'm gone. My biggest fear has now turned into my greatest comfort.

8. Who is your role model?
My wife. Christy Hicks slammed into my life just when I thought all hope for love was gone. She has truly changed my life. Not just cuz she's the woman of my 
dreams and all that. I have seriously watched her overcome so many obstacles. This pure soul has had so much shit thrown at her (including, but not limited to,
the premature birth of our son) and she continues to somehow get herself to rise above. I've watched her grow in so many ways. She is my inspiration. 

9. What is your favorite thing to eat?
Random question...but okay...chocolate.

10. What was the first concert you went to?
Billy Joel.

11. Where is your favorite place to "chillax"?
The sanctuary of my living room. Preferably alone with myself for some Jason time.

12. Do you turn the stereo down in the car when you are trying to find someplace?
OMG I so do!

13. Favorite music?
I like so many kinds. Hip hop, grunge, rock, country, classical. For example, here's what's cycling on my iPod:
Weezer, Lady Gaga, U2, John Williams, Pharcyde, Adele, Gorillaz, Foo Fighters, White Stripes, the soundtrack
to Aladdin, and currently I'm addicted to Podcasts: Stuff You Should Know, Geeks On, The Moth, This American Life
and so forth.

14. Where would you like to be 20 years from now??
Bi-coastal. Keep my pad here in Los Angeles, perhaps a nice bit of land in Nashville, TN (where Christy's from).
You know a place to park the RV as we travel travel travel! Clark will be somewhere abroad, sending holographic
texts requesting we meet up with him in Amsterdam or India or China. Christy and I will jump at the chance, if
she's not busy doing some world peace event she started or if I'm not on-location on some feature film of course.

15. What bit of advice or testament would you like to give my readers?
If it's parenting advice, I have none. I'm doing the same thing you all are doing...the best I can, with the abundant
times infinity amount of love I have, pouring into my son. Communication, listening, kind words, kind actions,
these are ingredients to a happy and loving family life. Don't sweat the small stuff. Stay open. And for Goddess 
sake...turn off the lights when you leave the room!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guest Blogger!

This week's guest blogger is a long-time friend of the family. Her name is Katie Martin and she is the ultimate super-mom. I've known her family for about 15 years and I was so excited to share this with you. She doesn't blog, but I think you'll still be able to take something away from this post. If you'd like to send her a note, leave it as a comment and I'll forward it on to her.

1. How many kids do you have and what are their names/ages?
I have 4 kids with one due in Feb. My oldest, Jerry is 8, next Bethany just turned 7, Faith is 5 and Luke is 2 1/2

2. What are their disabilities?
Bethany has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy which usually doesn’t have seizures (which we are very thankful for) it affects her legs giving her low muscle tone making it hard to walk on her own. Faith has down syndrome which there can be many thing involved but for her, she had open heart surgery at 6 months of age, has had tubes put in her ears, she is also delayed in speech as well as mental delays. And the last thing we have dealt with is Leukemia.

3. What is the biggest challenge raising children with disabilities?
It can be quite lonely. It is hard to find kids that your kids can play with (that are willing to play with someone that can’t do everything they can do) as well as spend time with moms that know exactly how you feel. I don’t know if it is harder for me since I have two children that have totally different disabilities but I am sure most moms with special needs kids have this challenge especially as their child gets older and notices more.

4. What do you love the most about them?
Their personalities. How each one is different, and that they look after each other in a special way.

5. What are their favorite foods?
If they could have their way they would probably want mac n cheese everyday for a week and then the next pizza. But they are pretty good eaters with whatever we have.

6. Where do you draw your strength from?
I have to continually turn to God for strength. Sometimes He allows things in life to draw me closer to Him and other times I willing turn to Him.

7. What does your daily schedule look like?
Each day is different, though now that there is less therapies it is getting more manageable.
I home school my oldest two so the morning is usually filled with school stuff and three (a couple of years ago it was 5) days a week (two of which we take her) Bethany has physical therapy. Faith is going to a special needs preschool 3 days a week where she will get her therapy. Then it is just the everyday stuff involved with being a wife and mother and everything that goes with it.

8. What is the biggest lesson you have learned?
That God is always in control, no matter how uncontrolled our lives feel at the time and He will use circumstances in our life to draw us to Himself

9. What do you struggle with the most {personally}?
I struggle with fairness. I try not to think about it to much and compare how easy (at least I think it would be easier) life would be if my girls didn’t have special needs and all the therapies and doctors we go to and the things we “miss“ out on because my kids aren‘t able to do it. I want to be content in whatever God has for me, so I try to not think about the hard part just focus on the blessing that they bring and knowing it could be worse.

10. How does your family support you?
I am so thankful for my Mom as well as my Mother-in-Law. They watch the kids for me so I can run to the grocery store without 4 kids (one of which uses crutches) in tow. Or when I have to take one of the girls to their doctors appointments. As well as my Mother-in-law would stay at our house (sometimes for over a week) when Faith was admitted in the hospital so that I could stay with her.

11. What is one thing your husband does that you are most grateful for?
He is always there for me encouraging me to keep on keeping on. When he gets home from a long day at work he just steps right in and helps me get done whatever I haven’t gotten done that day. Plus he gives some great neck and shoulder rubs.

12. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a Mom. When I was a little older I figured I better have a plan b in case I never got married or had kids so I was going to become a teacher.

13. Who is your biggest role model?
I don’t know if I really have a role model. I just want to be a pleasing servant of God who at the end of my life hears. “ Well done good and faithful servant.”

14. What are you most afraid of?
That I would be an inadequate mother and wife.

15. What have your kids been able to teach you?
To never give up even when things are hard. It took Bethany till she was 6 to start walking on her own (she is still working on her balance so she usually uses crutches). To love unconditionally. I think the closes picture of God’s love to us I have seen is in those with down syndrome. They just demonstrate it so easily and effortlessly.

16. What advice would you give my readers?
1)To take nothing for granted. 
2)God will use things in your life that you probably wouldn’t have picked for yourself to show Himself to you. 
3) Lean on Him, trust in His infinite wisdom and grace. 
4) Reach out to a mother of a special needs child and let them know you care and get involved in their life.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I'm a crime solver!!

Case Detective: Mom. Crime Investigated: Massive diaper rash on 3-month old {today} baby boy.

For the past two weeks, sweet Ozzie Bear has had a wretched rash. I'm talking about the kind where the skin just sloughs off and the exposed raw skin gets stuck to the diapers. We have tried everything, liquid baby powder, ointment, prescription ointment, you name it we tried it. No success.

Finally I decided to buy a couple of cloth diapers to see how they would affect this issue. I chose to go with gDiapers. I have heard awe-mazing things about them and I loved the idea of flushable inserts. I looked up store locations and wuttaya know!! They are sold at a store in our little town!!

My mom and I stopped by yesterday and even though they don't sell the cloth inserts, we bought a pack of two gPants and some of the flushable inserts. I had regular cloth diapers at home that I could use until our shipment of gCloths came in.

Wunna know how they worked??

After just four hours of wearing it, Oz's rash practically disappeared. No joke, no exaggeration.  No oozy skin patches, no redness. The raw patches are starting to dry up and he can have a diaper change without screaming.

I'm in love. I can't wait for our box of more supplies to come on Wednesday and I am so happy that my baby once again has a happy bum!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Daddy's Girl

Today my dad came home with a small excavator to clear out the gravel that currently resides in our car park next to the house. We are going to clear out a section and fill it in with cement so that when the snow arrives {grumbles slightly under breath} my mom and I can use the snow blower to clear it out rather than shoveling. It will save us a lot of time and energy. Well, being the amazing daughter that I am I offered to get down and dirty and do whatever I could to help out. If you know me from childhood, you'll know that I LOVE to help my dad with projects. I'll never turn down an opportunity to take something apart with him, or help him build something. I joke that I'm the son my dad never had.

Anyways, so he would scoop up gravel and clay, then I would go in behind him and shovel out the shtuff that spilled over. Most of the time, whenever a project is happening, whether it be in a group for church, friends, or just Dom, if I offer to help, the automatic reaction is "no".

After all, I'm a 25 year old girl from the city. What could I possibly have to contribute? What people don't realize is that I watch. And I learn. And I am incredibly logical and intelligent. And I have some wicked good ideas.

Example: as my dad was digging the crap out of the car park, he was trying to figure out how close he was to the edge of the blacktop.....my suggestion was to use the pressure washer to wash away said crap from the edge in order to get a clear view of it.


I rock.

Not only was I delighted to see that my dad agreed that it was a great idea, but he {brace yourselves} asked me to get the pressure washer out of the garage....

Why, do you ask, is this such a big deal?? I'll tell you. My dad is a man like any other. his tools are his toys. Don't touch.

He's not crazy about it, I mean, he's not going to chase you into the house with a power saw if you get too close to something, but as any man, he's protective over his "things". I respect this 1000%, as any woman should. If I need to use the drill or a hammer, then that's fine, but if I need the snow blower, or table saw, or air pressure hose, then I ask him and HE is the one to do the doing if you know what I mean.

I felt like a kid when he said to grab the washer. I'm not exaggerating. I was thrilled. I tried to hide my smile as I wheeled that sucker out and screwed the hose into it. I swear to you the Heavens opened and God smiled at me. Not only did I feel great that he listened to my idea and liked it in the first place, but he let me touch his power washer!!!!

Chances are I'm taking this way further than it needs to be. He'll probably talk to me when he reads this and tell me a such a dork to think that he doesn't have so much care about his personal tools, but even so, that doesn't mean it wasn't freaking AWESOME.

I love my daddy. And I love that he listens to me and that even now, at 25, I can still assist in projects with him just like I did when I was 5.

Look-a-Like meters

So Dominick and I are constantly arguing over who the kids look more like. Now I have a final answer. MyHeritage.com has a fun thing that tells you which parent a child looks more like. No arguing now!!

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Free family tree - Vintage photographs

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

so he got one out of three, but only by a smidge!! Overall the kids are pretty evenly combined. {but more of me}

Guest Blogger

This week's featured blogger is my friend Laurie. I first "met" her almost three years ago on Baby Gaga when we were both pregnant and in the same Due Date group. She is an incredible lady and mom, and I am so glad to feature her. Read on and get to know her a little, then be sure to check out her blog about becoming healthier and happier.

{Simply Laurie}

1. What are you loving about life right now? Seeing my son grow into a full blown little boy, going for runs in the morning with my son, and spending some quiet time in the evenings with my hubby.

2. Who is your biggest idol or role model? My parents, God, and Jillian Michaels.

3. Where was your favorite vacation spot? Aruba

4. Are you a parent, and if yes, what is the greatest thing about it? Yes, and the greatest thing is seeing the joy in my son's eyes and hearing his laugh.

5. Who is your favorite actor or actress? Reese Witherspoon

6. What is currently playing on your iPod or in your CD player? Black Eyed Peas

7. What kind of books do you like to read? Books that better yourself as a person or that are about strength =).

8. What is your favorite adult beverage? Malibu Bay Breeze

9. What did you want to be when you were a kid? An Artist

10. What is your biggest phobia? dieing

11. What was your first job? a waitress at a country club

12. What is your biggest dream? to buy a house with a big yard for my son and watch him grow up, to become a fitness instructor of some type now and/or complete a triathalon =)

13. What inspires you? my family

14. How do you like running your own business? i LOVE it. i can do things on my own time since I am a SAHM and get things done when my son naps or has some down time.

15. How has your life changed after losing so much weight? I have a lot more energy most of the time, I run around a lot more with my son, I feel better and my self esteem is getting a lot better.

16. If you could give my readers one piece of advice in life, what would it be? live your life and be grateful for EACH and EVERYDAY God gives you. fight for what you want, understand you have more strength than you know, and love how you want to be loved ♥. 

If you would like to be a guest blogger, leave your email address in a comment and I will contact you!! I would love to get to know you better!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Kindergarten Accomplished...Bus Accomplished

Yesterday was Tay's first day of Kindergarten. She was so excited when she woke up even though it was only 6:30. The night before I helped her pack her backpack and put together her lunch and she laid out her clothes for the morning, so there was very little to do once she was dressed. I planned it that way so that I could take plenty of pictures but that didn't end up working out. After feeding the baby and getting the chiddles cereal, I was scrambling for time. {as usual}

Once we got to the school Tay put her backpack on her class line and stood next to me. I was surprised that she became so apprehensive. Thank goodness her teacher Mrs. Graham came over and gave her hug, then urged us to say our goodbyes. I could tell Tay still wasn't sure what to think, but she still grabbed Beth's hand and followed her out to the play yard. I was so proud of her!!

As I drove by on my way home, I saw her playing with another little girl and that's when i lost it. I was so proud to have kept my eyes dry while there with her, but once in my car, the water works came full forced.

I just can't believe how far she's come since she was that roly-poly baby that laughed like a billy goat.

She fell asleep on the way home, and when asked how it was, she said it was boring!! I imagine she'll change her mind when it's not just getting to know everyone and everything.

Today was her first time riding on a bus. Last night when we were talking about it I asked her if she would like for me to follow behind in the car and meet her at school, but she said "it's okay, mommy, I can handle it." So this morning {after a battle just to get her out of bed} she got so excited she couldn't sit still. We drove down the to bottom of the mountain and when the buses drove up, she squealed and flew out of the car, forgetting her backpack! She was totally fine until we got to the steps of the bus and she asked me "are you sure you don't want to follow me, mommy?"

I reassured her that she would be fine, and she was! Her friend Faith showed up and by the time the buses drove off, she didn't even wave goodbye because she was having fun with some other girls. {deep down I was sobbing inside}

It's going to be a long day today, waking up at 6 am and not getting home until 4 pm, but hopefully that means she'll go to bed at a decent time. Even though she "goes" to bed at 8, she usually doesn't fall asleep until 10-ish. I figure after a week or two of the 6-4 schedule her body will be crying for more rest. We'll see.

For now, I just fill up my days by cleaning {nearly nonstop, which is scary if you know me} and playing with Vin. Not bad, I suppose, but it's gonna take a while to get used to Tay not being here.

her super-cool backpack
playing with Oz before we go
the whole ensemble
with Mrs. Graham

at her class line

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Guest blogger!

Today's guest blogger is my friend Alysha from The Tarr Pit. I have never met her in person, but I knew her husband way back in the day, and she has always been super helpful to me. I call her my blogging guru. She is an amazing mom, a woman of God, and downright one of the sweetest people I've crossed paths with. Be sure to check out her blog after reading more about her here. It'll be worth the click, I promise!!

1. What are you loving about life right now?

I am loving the fact that the Lord has blessed us with another child! Besides the fact that im tired 24-7 chasing a toddler around and growing this life inside me, i couldnt be more thrilled for baby #2 to get here in March.

2. Who is your biggest idol or role model?

God. He is everything to me and everything i strive to be. :)

3. Where was your favorite vacation spot?

Big Bear Lake. That is where we went on our honeymoon and i would love to take the kids there someday. Just so much to do on the lake, the mountains, the water park and the hiking!! Options are endless :)

4. Are you a parent, and if yes, what is the greatest thing about it?

The best thing about being a parent is that no matter how hard the day, no matter how many poopy diapers or hair pulling screams, in the end, they love you unconditionally, and really, there is no love like a love between a mother and child. :)

5. Who is your favorite actor or actress?

Easy, Gerard butler... i mean come on?? ;) And Jennifer Aniston. I am a die hard Friends fan. haha

6. What is currently playing on your iPod or in your CD player?

wow nothing. I am just not a music person. I listen to country in the car if i can but its usually just kids tunes for Dawson.

7. What kind of books do you like to read?

I try to read the Bible daily and other than that I really dont have a lot of time to read. haha

8. What is your favorite adult beverage?
The best "adult drink" i have ever had was a "Tropical Paradise" down in Mexico. I still have no idea what was in it. But other than that, a tall glass of Sparkling wine with the hubs always helps me unwind.... when im not pregnant haha

9. What did you want to be when you were a kid?

I have always wanted to be a teacher. And technically I am, whenever I am done being a stay at home mom... which hopefully wont be for many many many years :)

10. What is your biggest phobia?

Spiders and going underwater. Weird I know but i dont even put my face under the water in the shower. I just hate the feeling of not being able to breathe.

11. What was your first job?

I was a bus girl at a small italian restaurant. The boss was a jerk and I ended up quitting after two months. Then my second job i was a cart girl and grocery bagger. LOVED that job for the next 3 years.

12. What is your biggest dream?

To be the best child of God, wife and mother that I can be. Other than that, everything else will just fall into place.

13. What inspires you?

A day outside in God's creation. Inspires me to love, to dream, to soak up everything that this world is.

14. If you could give my readers one piece of advice in life, what would it be?

Dont let blogging consume you. Do it for yourself. Dont do it to be "big" or to make money. Do it because you love to write and you love to share your story. Doing anything but that wont be real and it wont be worthwhile. 

If you would like to be a guest blogger, even if you don't follow me or know who I am, I would be excited to have you!! Just leave your email address in a comment and I'll send you the questionnaire. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Parenting by Fortune

Today is usually the day I feature a guest blogger, but this week's blogger is starting a giveaway today, so she asked to be bumped back to tomorrow so I'm moving Parenting by Fortune up a day.

This weeks fortune was A soft voice may be awfully persuasive . Boy was this one hitting home ALL week!! I never realized how much I yell at my kids until I focused more on being soft-voiced. Every time I got frustrated with the kids about something, right away I thought about this phrase, and changed my mentality. 

To my surprise, the kids responded so nicely!! Instead of crying and throwing a temper tantrum, they stayed calm. 

I'm not really sure what else to say about this fortune other than I've discovered that as a parent, I need to practice more patience with my kids. This is definitely a thought that needs to remain at the front of my mind every single moment of every single day. I have been humbled this week, for sure. I'm not a perfect parent, but I'm making some changes to be closer to perfect than I was a week ago.

The next fortune is Do not underestimate yourself, you have unlimited potential. This should be an interesting one for sure!! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

30 DS 2-week update

Today is exactly two weeks after I started my 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels. As promised, here are my current measurements

waist: 36
hips: 41
thigh: 25 1/2
upper arm: 12

Now, I must confess to you that including today, I've only worked out 5 times in the past two weeks. {hanging my head in shame} However, I have a really good reason why!!!

I got rid of the carpet in my downstairs, and using a towel as padding for my knees and back does not cut it. So the other day my dad walked in with a yoga mat for me and now I'm back at it!!

It is a bit easier now than it was even last week, so that's a good sign!! Hopefully I'll move up to level 2 here pretty soon.

If I've lost nearly 1 inch all around only doing the workout 5 times, imagine what I would have lost if I did it every day!! I'm excited to see how it goes the next two weeks. Keep tuned in to find out with me!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Product Review

Today's review is on the Frankincense Resin Burner, by Young Living.

My mom purchased this last week, and we use it several times a day upstairs. I have to share with you what I've experienced.

For the last several years I've suffered from a condition called Friedreich's Disease. It's a movement disorder that effects only the left side of my body. I've been having what we've labeled as night seizures on a regular basis for the past week or so. These episodes are annoying, can be painful, and downright exhausting. I have a stress ball on my nightstand to use so that I don't grab onto something {or someone} and hurt myself {or them}. When I was first diagnosed I was placed on anti-seizure meds to keep it under control {I was having episodes even during the day, and as a waitress, that meant dropping trays of food or drinks...not good}. I didn't do well with the meds, so I opted to go off of them, and deal with this thing on my own.

So far it's been fine, but as I said, this last week has been rough. So I started to go upstairs when the burner was on, and the weirdest things happened.

For the first few days, whenever the burner was on, I'd start to have tics. My muscles would tense up and twitch, like they do when an episode is going to start, but it never did....then last night came, and for the first time in over a week, no night seizures. Nothing. Not a twitch, a jerk, nothing. This morning I was up there with the burner on again, and I had a little bit of muscular tension, but not twitches.

We all know Frankincense from the three Wise men who visited Jesus in Jerusalem, but do you know what it was used for?? This is a piece of the article on Wikipedia about Frankincense's medicinal uses.

Standardized preparations of Indian frankincense from Boswellia serrata are being investigated in scientific studies as a treatment for chronic inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and osteoarthritis. Initial clinical study results indicate efficacy of incense preparations for Crohn's disease. For therapy trials in ulcerative colitis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis there are only isolated reports and pilot studies from which there is not yet sufficient evidence of safety and efficacy. Similarly, the long-term effects and side effects of taking frankincense has not yet been scientifically investigated. Boswelliac acid in vitro antiproliferative effects on various tumor cell lines (such as melanoma, glioblastomas, liver cancer) are based on induction of apoptosis. A positive effect has been found in the use of incense on the accompanying specimens of brain tumors, although in smaller clinical trials. Some scientists say the results are due to methodological flaws. The main active compound of Indian incense is viewed as being boswellic acid.
As of May 2008 FASEB Journal announced that Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have determined that frankincense smoke is a psychoactive drug that relieves depression and anxiety in mice. The researchers found that the chemical compound incensole  acitate is responsible for the effects.
In a different study, an enriched extract of "Indian Frankincense" (usually Boswellia serrata) was used in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study of patients with osteoarthristis. Patients receiving the extract showed significant improvement in their arthritis in as little as seven days. The compound caused no major adverse effects and, according to the study authors, is safe for human consumption and long-term use.
The study was funded by a company which produces frankincense extract, and that the results have not yet been duplicated by another study.
In a study published in March 2009 by the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center it was reported that "Frankincense oil appears to distinguish cancerous from normal bladder cells and suppress cancer cell viability."

I know of many different people who have used Frankincense oil topically for many varieties of reasons, and it has been helpful in more areas of health than this article talks about. I'm not saying that this is a miracle cure for every health problem out there, but one thing I know for sure is that since we started using it, my disease has been curbed, and that is HUGE for me.

For those who don't have any issues health wise, this also smells really nice. My mom says it smell like Arabia...{though she's never been} and I have to agree {no, I haven't been either, but I imagine Arabia smelling like this} I love it! Plus the burner is so neat looking. Here is a photo I took this morning of it.

If you are interested in purchasing this product, please contact Lauren Martin at lauren@casadelago.net. I promise it would be worth it!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

don't ask questions

The unknown resides opposite the strict plant.

don't ask questions, just accept and move on.

Parenting by Fortune

Welcome to the first installment of "Parenting by Fortune". The way this is going to work is like this: Every Wednesday I'll draw a fortune my list and apply if on a daily basis for the entire following week, then I'll bliggity about my experience. I encourage you to spread the word and participate on your bliggity, as well. I found it to be quite an interesting experience.

This weeks fortune was "Smile at someone you do not know, it will make you feel better" This was not overly difficult for me because I always try to make eye contact and smile at people as I walk by them, but this week I made sure take note of how they reacted and  how I felt afterwards. I know it doesn't directly apply to parenting, but read on to see what I did with it to make it all tie in.

Having grown up in L.A., making eye contact with people you don't know can prove to be a dangerous thing, after a while to believe that such a thing is personal space. If someone smiles at you while you walk down the street, immediately you start thinking "why is that person smiling at me?" You go through possible scenarios like your hair is messed up, your mascara is smeared, they don't like the shirt you're wearing, or even to the extreme of them wanting to hurt you. Plain and simple, you just don't make eye contact with strangers, trust no one.

When I moved out here I found it totally relieving that people not only make eye contact, but smile and say hello too!! That being said, this past week the County Fair was going on. I posted about it earlier and mentioned that we went two days in a row, which I found to be a great testing ground for this fortune.

I smiled at every single person I made eye contact with and here is what I found: Most smiled back, but the majority of them gave a sort of...confused smile. It wasn't tightened lips like we do when we're really just acknowledging the smile, it was real smile, only with lips closed and eyes wide. Out of all the people who I smiled at, you know how many gave me genuine smiles back?? Three. Three people out of I'd say close to one hundred smiled with teeth showing and eyes squinted.

Even here in the corner of nowhere, where people are far more trusting and open, there was still a wall up, but every time I smiled, I felt so good inside!! Like I was giving them a piece of my happiness. We were at the fair, riding rides, eating cotton candy, having a good time, and I shared that with each person through something as simple as a smile. It was truly fantastic.

here is another observance: When children smile at you, you ALWAYS smile back with a genuine smile, don't you? Why? Is it because we don't feel threatened by children? Is it because we feel that child's happiness and pure joy through their smile and that, in turn, makes us feel a little bit of it too?

As a mom, I know that often times I overlook some of the smiles my kids carry through the day, what if I took more notice of them and let them effect me more? What if I smiled at them more frequently to show them that I am happy? how would our days go if we smiled at each other more??

So far it's worked out pretty well. The last two days have been rough because Vin is growing and he is super cranky, but other than that, I've been making a better effort to smile at the kids more, and I don't know about them, but I can tell you that I feel a whole lot better when I do.

Next weeks fortune is "a soft voice may be awfully persuasive"  Apply this for one week, then tell us what you learned from it, and how it changed your every-day way of thinking. I think this should be a fun one!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A whole new look!!

Hey everyone! If you haven't noticed, I've made some pretty major changes around here!

We are now officially "Momentarily Climactic: Noteworthy Mom.Thoughts"

To go along with the new name, I gave the blog a makeover as well as adding a poll to the right.

So check it out and let me know what you think!!

Guest Blogger!

Hey everyone! Today is our first guest blogger! Please welcome Jennifer from "Family of Seven"
She is an absolutely amazing mom who homeschools her kids and I love keeping up on her blog! Be sure to check it out after you read today's post!

Family of Seven

1. What are you loving about life right now?
I love that I'm able to stay home with my family, and still work...I'm loving that I have such great children and that my family is so close...I love that I have a sweet, loving and caring man who loves me...

2. Who is your biggest idol or role model?
For me, this is a really hard question to answer. I'm not sure that I really have any idol or role model. My goal in life is to be the best person that I can, and always work hard to improve myself and my life.

3. Where was your favorite vacation spot?
So far, a little campground on Lake Corpus Christie...my first trip there was quite...memorable, shall we say? LOL But it is beautiful there, and we are looking forward to going back.

4. Are you a parent, and if yes, what is the greatest thing about it?
Yes; I have 5 children. Hmmmm...I'm not sure I'm able to pick out one thing that is greater than the rest about being a mom...one thing I absolutely love about being a mom is the pride I feel when I look at them. Another is the joy I feel, watching them learn and explore the world around them.

5. Who is your favorite actor or actress?
Matthew McConaughey, hands down...he just has that cute and sexy personality in every character I've seen him play.

6. What is currently playing on your iPod or in your CD player?
Actually, nothing...I am bowling on the wii with my husband (I'm losing in case you're wondering LOL).

7. What kind of books do you like to read?
I like a wide variety, and will usually try to read just about anything...I love Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts. I love historical romances, suspense novels (whether they have romance in them or not).

8. What is your favorite adult beverage?
Are we talking alcohol? I don't drink very often...but I love fruity margaritas and anything that is "milky". I had some kind of chocolate martini type of drink at The Melting Pot one time that was absolutely DELICIOUS!!

9. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Oddly enough, I always wanted to be a teacher...I read all of my books, make up questions on the books, then line up all of my stuffed animals so they could "take" the tests. I would then answer all of the questions I had passed out to them...now, all grown up, I'm homeschooling my own kids, so in a way, I did what I wanted!

10. What is your biggest phobia?
Spiders...and heights...losing another child...you name it, I'm scared of it. The older I get, the more freaked out over EVERYTHING I get...it's really annoying.

11. What was your first job?
Besides babysitting? My first job was at McDonald's. I did it all, from drive-thru service, to counter service to the grill area...greasiest job I ever had!

12. What is your biggest dream?
I would have to say that my biggest dream is to be independently wealthy...and if that doesn't work out, I want to have enough income where I can put all of my kids in whatever activities they want to take part in. I also want to take my entire family on a cruise...but, because of the size of our family, we actually need at least one more adult to go with us. Go figure!

13. What inspires you?
As cliched as this sounds, my kids are my inspiration. To quote Bryan Adams, Everything I do I do for them. I want to give them everything they deserve and more. I want to prepare them (as do most moms, I'm sure) for a successful future.

14. If you could give my readers one piece of advice in life, what would it be?
One piece of advice...hmmmm...I reckon I would have to say dream big, and go after your dreams. No one else in this world is going to give you a free pass, so if there's something you want, find the road and take it!

If you would like to be a guest blogger, then post your email in a comment and I'll send you a message!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A very full weekend!

This weekend was so busy!! I'm thanking my lucky stars that today has nothing major on the the schedule because I'm not sure if I could handle it! Today's post is pretty long, so bear with me, we did quite a bit!!

Friday afternoon my parents and I took the kids to our County Fair. It's seriously small {only 7 rides and 5 game booths} but the main reason we went was so Tay could go on the pony ride. We took her last year, and she rode a Flea-bitten grey named Ladybug. To all of our surprise, when we approached the walk-about, Tay squealed with delight "there's Ladybug!!" We couldn't believe that she not only remembered the pony's name, but that she recognized the pony as well!! To say the least, she was thrilled.
happy to be with Ladybug again
wishing Prince were a cow

Vin on the other hand, was so disappointed. He cried the whole time because he wanted to ride a cow, not a horse!! He soon forgot his sorrows, though, with the help of the cars he rode next. He rode in the Jeep {total man} and Tay rode the pink convertible Bug {total girl}.

After the cars, the kids rode the Ferris Wheel with my parents, Tay with Mia and Vin with Paka.
Tay and Mia
Vin and Paka

From there, Tay really wanted to go on the Shuttle ride. It's a large boat swinging like a pendulum. I went on that with her. The only way I can communicate how Tay handled it is by photo...
happy as we wait for it to start

hard to see her smile, but still happy as we rock
starting to feel a little nervous
very nervous now, grip much tighter
ready to be done, begging for it to stop

Vin rode the cars again as Tay did the Fun House

then we headed over to see the arts and crafts, and on to the animals!!

I didn't get any photos of the kids with the animals because it was super-crowded, but here's some of what we saw:

chicken hatching in an incubator
game birds
quail eggs hatching in another incubator
the largest chicken any of us had ever seen
a rabbit that weighed 16 pounds
a 1,600 pound cow named Bubbles up close and personal {This made Vin very happy}

Overall it was a very busy day with no naps, and on Saturday Dom and I took the kids back to ride the ponies again, and to see all the animals again too. We also let the kids pay 1 dollar to shoot off 10 large rubber bands from a gun made of a wooden dowel and a block of wood shaped like the butt of a shot gun. Tay made three or four shots {go baby!!} but Vin, Vin made 9 out of 10 shots!! BY HIMSELF!! He had people crowded around the booth cheering him on. Dom would load the rubber band, but Vin pointed to a target, took aim, and shot all on his own. I think we have a natural marksman!! Again, no naps on Saturday either.

Yesterday was my moms birthday, so we went out to lunch at T's, an amazing Louisianan BBQ place that has BBQ pulled pork that melts in your mouth....soooo good. By the time we got home yesterday afternoon, Vin was a wreck. He ended up falling asleep in my arms snuggling on my bed at 6 pm!

As for my 30 Day Shred workouts, they after needing to take two days off because I couldn't hardly move {I know, morbidly embarrassing} I have picked it back up, and it is now sooo much easier to get through it. I think I'll stick with level one for another week then attempt a dumbed down level two. We'll see. I've decided not to weight in or measure again until next week, I figure there should be more of a change then.

How was your weekend? What did you all do? What's your favorite thing to do at a County Fair??