Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New site...

Okay disregard the latest post.. I don't know how to redirect..

Here is the new, and hopefully final, site for theJAKAfiles:

You can google friend connect me here! So please do so :)  I will come back around and make sure I am still following you.

Thanks everyone! :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Moving to Wordpress

Personal choice has led me to Wordpress to fulfill my blogging fantasies.  Haha.

No, really though.  I am setting up my blog over at

Follow with me? :)

Please re-friend me on Google Friend Connect, as I don't think that will convert.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

My New Banner...

I created my banner using Photoshop. 

My first ever creation. 

Like, seriously, ever.

So far, I absolutely adore Photoshop, but it is going to take some getting used to.

I like to give credit where credit is due.  Therefore, I'd like to thank Rebecca's Scrapping Silliness for her Karmatic Impact freebie that I was able to download.  Not everything in my banner came from her freebie, but a good majority of it did.  Using a couple elements that were in my misc scrap folder, and some re-coloring in Photoshop, my banner was born!

In the coming days, I am hoping to re-do my button, and my contact info.  Maybe, eventually, I'll be able to make my very own layout.  Haha, okay maybe not. :)

3 year-olds.. Patience Testers

And if having a sick baby wasn't hard enough, I have this monster who is defying every single thing I say.

Truly, I love being a mommy.

He is testing my patience, though.

My remedy?  An early naptime for everyone.

Holy macaroni!

Vicks BabyRub Saves the Day!!

Sometimes, having an infant totally and completely stinks!

There's not much you can do for a sick baby.  The fever, sure.  They have fever reducer for infants.  That's great.  However, that does nothing for Ariana's cough.  The congestion.  The sheer misery (to her) of not being able to breathe out of her nose.  Everytime she coughs, she cries because her throat is so raw!

Poor thing is miserable.

The closest thing we can get to "help" for her is Vicks BabyRub, which is just like Vicks VapoRub but intended for babies ages 3months and up.  Either that, or let her be in the tub all day, which, by the way, she would love!!!

Last night, I didn't know what we were going to do.  She was crying and crying, and nothing I could do would comfort her.  I thought about the Vicks we had in the cupboard, but knew the adult version isn't good for babies.

Then it hit me - DUH!  I have the Vicks BabyRub in with the rest of her bath time lotions and body wash. 

I can't say that she slept like a baby, but she definitely slept better than the previous two nights.

This morning she is super congested, still, but it sounds like things are breaking up in her chest, and her cough sounds more productive than it has all week.  Perhaps it is a sign of good things to come!!

Do any of you have any other suggestions for a baby with a cough/congestion/stuffy nose?  I'd love to hear them!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Bought A Present For ME!!

Ever since I had Konnor, I have never been at the top of the priority list.  Purposely putting myself after others, I don't often have the newest clothes, the coolest phone, or other spiffy things.

Yesterday, I bought a laptop.  Four hundred dollars of something just for me!  After purchasing my new Toshiba, I am feeling the normal guilt that I feel after buying something for myself.

After battling with myself, "oh that $400 could have gone here or we could have done this," I took a step back.  No, really, this was a good investment.  With Justin on the computer as much as he is, I need this. 

What do I need a laptop for?

Well I really need it to keep up on JAKA365, which is my photo blog.  If you haven't seen it, check it out!

But I also need it to keep up with this blog.  If I have the desire to start reviews, the need for my own computer is pretty obvious.

More than anything, though, I wanted my own computer so that I could access the internet when I wanted to.  My phone's internet isn't fast nor reliable, and to be honest, typing with a Blackberry isn't fun.  Haha.

So here she is.  My new computer.  Nothing grand.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing to drop your jaw over.  Honestly, though, I don't need any of that.  Just something simple to blog and edit photos with. :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Friendships Lost After I Became "Mom"

Being a mother for almost four years teaches you a lot.

You learn the true meaning of life.

There is an overwhelming force that drives you to keep your child(ren) safe.

Unconditional love is no longer something you imagine, but something that you can feel.

You realize that priorities change. Life rearranges. The world no longer revolves around you.

The true meaning of friendship becomes apparent. Those without children can never understand what a parent feels.

Relationships change. Diminish. Disappear. It hurts - at first.

Then you realize. They aren't true friends if they let your bundle of joy get in between the two of you.

I remember the friends I had. The relationship that I lost. I was 19 when I had Konnor. Barely out of school. At first, I could pawn him off on my mom to watch while I had fun from time to time. Mostly at her house, while Konnor slept in my room.

Looking back, I sucked at being a mom. I thought I was hot shit, when in reality, there was nothing hot about my relationship with my son. Sure, he knew who his mommy was, and he loved everything about me, but I wasn't the best.

In almost four years, I have come so far. Honestly, I can say that I am proud of who I am. The mother I am. A woman. I have grown up.

Sometimes I find myself reminiscing about the times I could party, spend all my money on myself, and quite frankly, not give a shit. I have driven under the influence, spent most my money on booze, and am a recovering nicotine addict. Sadly enough, some of the people who I used to hang out with still do all these things, and some do more.

Which happened, I couldn't tell you, because it still stings when I think about the friendships I lost. Was it me pushing them away or was it the other way around? Looking out for the best interest of my baby, I started to stray away from those that were negative influences.

Supposing it was mutual, why? Apparently, our friendship wasn't strong enough to overcome the most adorable baby ever. Because I was no longer able to party when I wanted, hang out when I wanted, or spend lots of money on things that I didn't need, they split. Just like that, they dropped me.

Some friends, huh?

Since then, the only new friends I have made have been moms. The people who get me. Who understand where I am coming from, and respect the fact that I am unable to drop my kids off somewhere at the flick of a finger or leave them with an imaginary babysitter to go out to the bar on a Saturday night. They also respect the fact that I don't use my boyfriend as a live-in babysitter.

Having children has tough me a lot about my life. But my children have also helped me cut out a lot of people in my life that never really mattered.

Stay tuned, Part 2 of this is coming up.......

Valentine's Day 2010

Valentine's Day... A day for love, a day for appreciation, and a day for........ chocolate?



I love being spoiled just as much as the next girl, but who is to say that Valentine's Day has to be the only day to express your true feelings for someone?

This year, I made a vow to myself, and a silent vow to Justin (meaning he doesn't know) to never take him for granted, and to tell him just how much I love and appreciate him.

Yesterday, I spent my Valentine's Day with my love and my little loves - Justin, Konnor, and Ariana. We relaxed, we were lazy, and we enjoyed the company of one another.

Oh, of course Justin spoiled me (and himself a little) by going out and buying some goodies from Victoria's Secret and I spoiled him with his Christmas/Anniversary/Valentine's Day/Birthday gift by buying him a PS3. Yes, I know, I did it. Bought him the one gift I am going to kick myself in the ass for later. But hey, at least any game he plays on that thing can be put on pause, right?

In addition, we bought the kids each a cute little t-shirt, teddy bear, and some bubbles. Konnor and Ariana both adore bubbles, so we bought Konnor a bubble gun and Ariana a thing of bubbles. Hours of entertainment in the living room, and I can just vacuum that soapy goodness right up. Haha!

Besides going to Outback on Saturday night with Justin and Ariana, that was the extent of Valentine's Day, 2010. Simple, sweet, and NO chocolate (just how I wanted it).

What did you do for Valentine's Day? What did you receive? I want all the juicy details from my lovely readers!! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oregon, My Love....

There are many things in my life that I am proud of. Proud that I have the ability and mental capacity to raise two children: an infant and a toddler. Proud that I have a steady job that pays well (even if I don't always love it). Proud that there is a roof over my head, clothes on mine and my children's backs and food in our tummies.

I am also proud of where I live.

I was born in Portland, Oregon.

I was raised in Portland, Oregon.

My mom was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.

Oregon is my home. My place. Oregon is me. I am Oregon.

I am an Oregonian.

Growing up, I loved all the trees and the smell of freshly cut grass and birds chirping in the spring. To be honest, I have taken for granted all of those things. All my life I figured that this was normal for the entire world, when it clearly is not. Not all of the cities in the world have as many trees as we do. There isn't always grass to cut.

As my children grow and learn, I want them to appreciate the finer things this state has to offer. Beach trips are frequent, and while the water isn't as warm as Cali or Florida, the sweet simplicity of the waves crashing are enough to appreciate.

We have hippies and tree huggers and more bicycles then you can imagine. In fact, I think with all the new laws that have been put into effect over the years, bicyclists have more rights on the road than cars do.

Downtown is gorgeous, from a distance.  Some say downtown in general is beauty, but there is so much sadness walking down the streets, seeing those with no homes huddled under the stoops of buildings for warmth.  I, personally, don't frequent downtown for that reason.

No state is perfect. Oregon has her fair share of flaws. There are too many people without homes, and too many addicted to drugs. Oregon has an epidemic meth problem, with epidemic consequences. The highways haven't been expanded since I can remember, but the growth of Oregon is far beyond my stretch of mind. Soon, we may be faced with the same traffic problems like that of Los Angeles, Ca. (ok that may be a far-fetched statement, but you get the picture).

Despite all of the flaws, Oregon is amazing. No other word, really. This is my state, and I love it!

(Not to mention in Oregon people pump your gas for you and there is no sales tax!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

General Mills Reduces Sugar in Cereal

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

If I had a dime for everytime I have heard that line, I would be a millionaire.  Heck, we all would be.  There's truth behind it, though.  Studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast will enhance your performance throughout the day.  Not only will you be able to concentrate better at school or work, you will have more strength and energy for more physical aspects of your life.  Plus, you have seen the comercials - healthy breakfasts can lower your cholesterol!

In December it was announced that General Mills would be reducing sugar in their cereals ever more than they already had been.  They committed to reducing the sugar in their cereals to less than 10g per serving!  *goes to look in pantry*  Now, I can tell you that we have other brands of cereal (that are not General Mills) and not one of those cereals have less than 10g of sugar per serving.

Blog Search
I was provided 4 coupons for General Mills cereal from My Blog Spark to try out the new and improved cereal.  All I can say is "wow!"  These are cereals that I grew up with, prior to their commitments to our children of today.  Which means when I was eating these cereals, there were less vitamins and more sugar.  And while it could be that I am older, I don't find any difference in the taste I remember, to the taste of now!

Constantly looking at nutrition information, I want what is best for my kids.  I want them to grow up happy and healthy, and I was them to succeed in life.  My confidence for their breakfast needs is with General Mills.

For more information about the relationship between kids and cereal, visit General Mills' Health & Wellness page.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Business to Blogger - Gaining Exposure to Your Blog

Business 2 Blogger

As I am sure you are all aware, I am quite new to this whole blogging deal.  Well, maybe more so the more formal aspects of blogging as opposed to just blogging to keep track of memories I want preserved.

Wanting to make something more of my blog, I have become more technically in tune with what it takes to make a site more popular.  Traffic, right?  Being interesting and funny and leaving an impression with readers that makes them want to come back is probably most important.  But how do you get that?  Well, I have linked my website to my Facebook, Twitter, and even my YouTube accounts.  I have also made some new friends around the blogging community.

When my friend, Kristin, whose advise I trust when it comes to blogging among other things, wrote her blog post about Business2Blogger, I was curious.  Doing what any normal, curious, human being would do, I headed over to the site to investigate. 

The benefits for a small blogger, like me, is great.  They can provide you with opportunities for reviews at absolutely no cost!!! Yes, you heard me, for FREE!!!  Not to mention this website works with not only the blogging community but also businesses.  It's like a website that plays match-maker.

Sound like something you'd like to participate in? Then head on over and sign up here.  It's quick and easy and free to sign up.

And hey, did I mention that this is FREE?!

So click here for more information or to sign up.

Ariana saying "da-da"

So I was able to record the tail end of the conversation between Justin and Ariana.  I swear the girl senses the camera is on and just clams up!

Anyways, I forgot that I can't rotate video. LMAO.  So call me special, it's cool.  Here's the baby!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ariana Throws A Fit....

Oye, I am in for it, aren't I???

Monday, February 1, 2010

Look What She Does Now!!!

Seriously, I am not ready for my baby to be doing all these new things!! Crawling, sitting herself up, saying da-da (which I still haven't caught on camera) and now playing peek-a-boo with me!!

See for yourself.  Gah!!!

Yes, that is my very high-pitched voice.  Lol.  It isn't normally that bad, but you know.. Mommy thing, right???

Monday Mingle - 2/1/2010

Welcome back to The JAKA File's Monday Mingle!  I took a little break, but
I. Am. Back!!!

As always, you can visit 80 MPH Mom for more super awesome Monday Mingle's and to post your own as well. (you know you wanna!!)

Also, here is my photo blog for Project 365, as promised.  A little slice of my life, every single day, for an entire YEAR!!

Prepping For Relatives and Mobile Babies....

Ariana will meet her grandma for the first time in about four days.

Visiting from West Virginia, Justin's mom flies in on Thursday, February 4th, 2010.  She will stay with us until her flight leaves on Sunday.

The day she flies in Ariana will be 8 months old.  Where has the time gone?!?!  We are three quarters of the way to her first birthday.  Wowzers.

So this week I have to clean.  I don't just mean pick up the living room and kitchen and dining room.  We are talking a full, top to bottom, deep clean of my house.  The thought makes me sick to my stomach.  Having a little 2 bedroom apartment doesn't always mean just a little bit to clean.

Also on the agenda, while we are at it, is baby-proofing.  Don't get me wrong, I have been baby-proofing the house, but this will be an all out baby-proofing. 

That leads me to a question (or four).... How do you prep for visits from the in-laws?  What should I expect?  Oh my gosh, I have never done this before! YIKES!

Also, so I don't miss anything, give me a rundown of how you baby-proofed the house when your little ones decided to become mobile.  As much as I wish she wouldn't do this just yet, here we are.  Ariana is crawling and apparently climbing too!! HELP!!!!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bad Mommy Day!

Do you ever have those moments when you feel you just aren't cut out for parent hood?

I mean, I have two kids now.  I have been down the infant road.  This is the second journey, and all of a sudden, doubting myself is kicking in.

All these crazy outlandish things that my daughter has done to hurt herself only happens when I am alone.  With both kids.  After Ariana choked and we had to call 911, I was freaking out thinking that the children's hospital would call Child Protective Services on me for having objects small enough for her to swallow within her reach.  Thankfully, they didn't.

Today, everyone is having a nice little nap.  Sleeping peacefully.  Konnor in his bed, Ariana in her crib with me sleeping in my bed next to her.  Two hours worth of golden silence and pleasant dreams only to be ripped apart by a gigantic crash and an infant screaming at the top of her lungs.

I jumped out of bed and picked her up so fast I swear I didn't know what I was doing until we were both back in my bed.  Examining her for bumps, protruding bones, and blood, I came to the conclusion that there was no need to call 911 just yet.

How she fell out of her crib is almost a mystery, but maybe more so to my "i-can't-believe-she's-growing-so-fast" side as opposed to an outsider's view.  She gets on her hands and knees, she sits up, she crawls, and I suppose this was her showing me that she can, indeed, pull her self up on objects.  From what I can figure, she just pulled herself right up and over she went, which is surely a red flag. 

Time for mommy to lower the crib mattress to the next level.

Back to my original thought, however; this all makes me wonder if I am cut out for this baby thing.  I am seriously questioning my parental skills and instincts in which are used and needed to raise a child.  And, for that matter, there should be absolutely no need to question such skills, since they started maturing at the age of............ Oh when was my sister born?  Tenish. 

Does anyone else have these days where they feel nothing has been or can go right?  I am at a loss with myself, and while I'm sure I'm just having a bad day, this is sort of bothering me. 

Had I been awake, this couldn't have happened.  If I had lowered the crib when she started crawling, she wouldn't have fallen out.  What if she broke her neck?? What would I have told Justin and my family?!?!

Time to go lower the crib.  Like, yes, RIGHT NOW!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cards For Kayla

I remember growing up with my best friend, Becky.  In the back of my mind, we knew she would never grow old.  Never experience all of the wonderful things life had to offer.  I knew one day I would have to miss her like crazy. 

At the age of 10, all of these realizations came crashing down.  I lost her. 
Becky passed away June 28th, 1997 to Cystic Fibrosis

Thank you, Becky. For being there to guide me through all of life's challenges. I can feel you watching over me when I feel like this world is too much for me. You guide me. You lift me up when I'm feeling down. You are everything a best friend should ever be. Even if you aren't physically here on this earth with me.

She taught me to live life.  That good things come in small packages.  That life isn't always fair, but everything happens for a reason.

I met Kristin when we were both pregnant with our daughters on a mommy board on the internet almsot a year ago.  Later finding out we lived in the same city(ish), we cliqued.  Talked about our pregnancies, our babies, our lives.  Eventually, we will meet.

When I found out about her BFF, Sandra, and the struggles she was facing, I felt helpless.  Her young daughter, Kayla, has Leukemia.  She was diagnosed in December of 2008 and has been fighting since.  Recently, she has been hospitalized again. 

Kayla is six.  She is a fighter.  When I read about her, it's like reliving the battle with my best friend so many years ago.  Different battles, but much the same.

So what do I do to help?  She lives a state away, so I am limited.  Praying is a powerful thing, but personally, that doesn't satisfy me.  What I want to do is take the sickness from Kayla and make her better!  Let her live the life the a normal little girl should live.  Without her knowing, Kayla has a special place in my heart.  Right next to me inner child.

Well, practically, I am unable to take it all away and make her better.  As much as I wish I could, I can't.  So when I read Kristin's post, Cards For Cancer - Kayla, I knew it was something I could do.  Such a simple gesture to make the day of a child.  You better believe I have a card, addressed, labeled, and stamped.  All I need is to put that card in the mail!!

Want to send Kayla a card?  She would be thrilled!!!

Cards may be mailed to:

Kayla Gronley
P.O. Box 5634
Blue Jay, Ca 92317

To Contact Sandra (her mom) by email ~ sanderella192003{at}yahoo{dot}com

Thank you, Kristin, for bringing awareness and starting (you started it, right?) this awesome idea!!!

ETA::: you can also visit here for more information.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Today Is Friday.....

Friday excites me.  Friday means two days of not having to work. 

I like my job, don't get me wrong.  It frustrates the crap out of me sometimes, but overall the place I work is not bad at all.  It pays well, that's for sure.  And while I do wish that I was a stay at home mom, or rather a work at home mom, this job isn't so bad.

This weekend shall be fun.  Cleaning, sitting at home, watching the Jets fight for a chance to play in the Super Bowl sounds like fun, right?  Okay so my weekend doesn't have huge plans, but it does beat the alternative - work. 

Konnor will not be home this weekend.  That is good and bad.  I like to be able to have some toddler-free time, since he can be so rambunctious when confined in close quarters for an extended period of time, but I do tend to miss his royal cuteness.

I plan to finish mine and Justin's taxes this weekend.  That's fun, right??  With having Ariana this year, our returns will be hefty.  Which means I can pay people back and get my new camera!  Now THAT is exciting.  I think I have finalized my camera decision, which has changed a million times, so it will probably change again. 

Oh and I think my friend is having her birthday party this weekend.  Perhaps I should verify that so I don't miss it.  Haha.

Okay okay enough rambling from me for one post.  Notice I said post, not day. :P

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Meet My Other Half...

Everyone, meet Justin.

Justin is my boyfriend. Yes, boyfriend. (no he doesn't wear these glasses all the time.  they are mine) We are not married.  Marriage is but a piece of paper.  What he is the father of my daughter. The love of my life. 

I don't give him enough credit. When I talk about him on my Facebook or on my Twitter, it's generally when I'm angry. Or hurt. Or sad. Really, no one gets to hear about how wonderful Justin is.

He is my other half. The person I was meant to be with. Through thick and thin, we were meant to be. He is the one.

Though I have had reservations in the past, questions in my mind, those no longer exist. We have had good times, bad times, and times where we were on level ground. Despite all the times we have had, he has been there. When I was unable to work while pregnant with Ariana, he stayed. When he was laid off and looking for a job, I stayed. Through my depression this last holiday season, he was there. Holding my hand. And while he never said it, he was cheering me on, telling me it would all be okay.

Most don't know our story. When we first met, it was online. *gasp* I know. Say what you will, but this seems more and more common as time goes on. Love has no boundaries and sure doesn't grasp the concept of distance. So, while I was here in Oregon living my life, he was in West Virginia living his.

At first when we talked, it was casual. That time in my life was full of chaos and mayhem, and an ear was all he could offer me. I took it. I told him about life and the choices I was making and while he was mostly amused, you could also tell there was a bit of concern.

We stopped talking for years. Probably 5 or 6 to say the least. We both lived our different lives, on different sides of the United States. It wasn't until I logged into Yahoo! on my cell phone that we reconnected. He IM'ed me and after a few hours of IMing him while at work, we exchanged numbers.

From there IMing turned to text and text turned to a phone call. The phone call. All night long (and I mean 9pm to 6am) we talked on the phone about everything. You name it, we talked about it. Even before I knew what was happening, we were falling.

Most people are cautious about love. Often holding back, they miss out on some of life's greatest opportunities. Just getting out of my relationship with my son's father, I was a little hesitant. But Justin and I were so right for each other.

Regardless of the distance, we made things work. From playing silly Yahoo! games on the internet, to simultaneously watching The Notebook while on the phone, we were a unique pair. I would leave cute messages on his MySpace, and he would send sweet text messages.

To make this long, adorable story short, not three months after we had started talking, and after a mini vacation to the east coast to visit him, he decided to move out to Oregon so we could be together. I took a flight to Illinois where he met me, and we drove the country together, through torrential downpours in one state, to high winds and country roads in another.

February 7th, 2010 marks two years since we made ourselves official. February 1st marks two years since we reunited and started talking again. Today we have a beautiful daughter to share our journey in life, and are closer than ever. Konnor and Justin adore each other, almost as much as Ariana and Justin do.

He picks up the kids everyday after work. Gets up with Ariana some nights when she doesn't sleep through. He is a good sport about my crazy ideas and even though he is a picky eater, he will try new things that I cook.  Shopping isn't one of his favorite things to do, but he will do it.  We are a team.

I love his smile.  His sense of humor.  The way he dresses.  His eyes.  When he is happy, mad, sad, upset, or being a pain in my ass, I still love him. 

Despite all of my mood swings and questions with our relationship, he is here. Always. Hopefully forever.

I love him. With every part of me that is capable of love.  Our journey in life thus far has tested us in so many way, and we have made it out on top.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dancing Baby - Part 2

Just because I think she is so damn cute when she dances, here is another installment of MY dancing baby.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Dancing Baby!!

Ariana has learned something new.... Dancing... Or that's what I call it anyways.  It could be her rocking back and forth in an attempt to move where she wants to go.  However, when it is in conjuction with music, all bets are off - she dances.  See for yourself

Las Fotos Meme... Sibling Love

This blog challenge is brought to you from Kristin.  Here is how it works:

Want something to do over the weekend? I’d like to introduce you to LAS FOTOS a new photography blog meme here at Our Ordinary Life. Every week bloggers will be asked to post a picture and/or story about the week. Or month, year. Throughout the year I will add in special contests and prizes for bloggers who participate. Have fun with it!

I know my awesome followers want to try this out!! I am going to take on this project in addition to my daily photography challenge on my other blog, JAKA365.  Between this challenge and my Project365 challenge, I am going to be living, breathing, loving photography.  :)

For this challenge:  Sibling Love

I talk so much about Konnor and Ariana and the bond that they are sharing, but in recent days it has blossomed into the most amazing thing I have ever seen.

Today, for nap, Konnor wanted to "take a nap with baby sister."  I politely told him he couldn't sleep in her crib to which he cried for a minute, before falling asleep in his own bed.

He is constantly playing with her.  Between sharing his toys and hers, they are constantly occupied and together.  They make my heart melt and my knees weak.  The cutest little duo, they played Peek-a-boo last night for a good 20 minutes.  Here they are watching cartoons together after bath time. :o)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Potty Breaks? Not For This Mommy...

It has become painfully clear that Mommy is not aloud to go potty. 

Leave the kids alone for 30 seconds and something is bound to happen.  Ariana eats an apple or rolls under the coffee table.  This kid is so mobile, and Konnor finds more and more ways to get them into trouble. 

I am going to have my hands full, aren't I?

Deeply Inhaling...

Sometimes life sends us on weird, crazy, absolutely terrible paths that seem bumpy and completely impassable.
Truth be told I thought I wasn't going to be able to get through the holiday blues this year. As each minute drug into an hour which later became a day, I wanted to curl up and be DONE with it all. Things couldn't get worse. Struggling to get up each day, running away seemed to be my only getaway.
Waiting for the inevitable, I watched the depression blanket my heart. Konnor and Ariana no longer seemed to warm my heart, and I thought for sure I was going to give up. I could see them drifting further and further away. Writing, blogging, photographing were all chores not, not happiness.  No fight left in me, I waited for the storm to pass. Or engulf me into eternal sadness.
As I waited, however, I realized something. My name is Alexandra. The one that ran away as a Sophomore. The same girl that dealt with death, sadness, divorce. I have a mother who has been to hell and back in life, and raising me was far from easy. Emotional as I may be, I am stubborn and strong. Why in the hell am I sitting here, feeling sorry for myself? I have been in worse situations. Now I am a mother, and life has thrown me curves, but those two little faces mean more to me than this world could ever give me.
Standing up and brushing myself off, my determination to get through this darkness in my life started.
Between positive thoughts and a strong support system, I broke through. Knowing that two little smiles, four beautiful eyes, and voices as loud as my own, needed me was what really pulled me. You see, one's heart is not really able to be full of sadness when you are consumed by so much unconditional love.
Over the last month or so, I have learned that I need to slow down. Take it all in. Realize that I have come so far to get where I am today. Things don't always go how I want them to, but that is part of life. For a moment in time I forgot the saying I live by: everything happens for a reason. Fact.
And all of a sudden, the little things, which is most important to me, matter again. I have a new appreciation for the world around me. Again, I am happy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

He's Growing Up...

I love that Konnor is at the age that he can do more. No longer are we bound to the park (which is still fun) or playing around the house. We can broaden our horizons and do more fun and extravagant things.

Watching him at Chuck E Cheese on Sunday night made me realize something. My baby is growing up! As awesome as this is, it is sad all the same. I remember the little tiny baby that needed mommy for everything. The mini toddler that started to be independent but still held mommy's hand.

Now he is a big toddler. In preschool. Getting to the age where he can take on sports. Interacting with kids he doesn't know, and, as I saw at CEC, learning that money buys fun. Haha! He kept coming over for "monies" so he could play the ski ball game. At one point, I decided that it was probably a good idea to check on him, to which I found him ON the ski ball game. Oye!

His little buddy, Caleb, and his mom went with us as well. We figured the kids would play with each other, but that couldn't have been further from the truth. Caleb is a year younger than Konnor, so he doesn't get the games quite yet. He more so wanted to play on the structure than play the games. He did try, however.

They were cute. It was fun. Konnor definitely was worn out by the time we went home. It all just makes me realize that he is growing up and getting bigger. While I don't enjoy the thought of him getting older, because I love my little bug the way he is, time, and life, go on. I have no choice but to go with the flow, so flow I go!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ariana's Scary ER Story...

"Mommy, baby sister is throwing up."

That's how it all started.  Normally, this wouldn't cause much concern, since Ariana sometimes does throw up after eating.  Rarely, but it happens.  This time, however, was different, because she hadn't eaten in a couple hours. 

I walked over and it looked like she was kind of choking but she was definitely throwing up.  Thinking maybe her tummy was upset or she was sick, I sat on the floor, legs extended, and put her over them.  Patting her back, I got her to throw up a little more and then she seemed okay.

About that time, and great timing it was, my friend Kelly showed up with her little boy.  She sat on the couch, a couple feet from me when Ariana started to choke and throw up again.  I put her back over my legs and patted her back.  Gasping for air, she rolled herself over and was looking at me with this helpless little look. 

The time frames are so off, I'm sure.  It felt like this whole thing took hours when really it was mere minutes. 

She stopped gasping for air and started choking again.  Kind of throwing up.  But most definitely gagging.  She took one deep breath and that was it.  Something was stuck, because her face started turning purple as she started struggling to breath, and her lips turned blue.

I handed her to Kelly and dialed 9-1-1.  The scariest thing a mother has to do, and the feeling of helplessness was overwhelming for me.  Had Kelly not been there, I guarantee I would have been in hysterics.  She held Ariana while I talked to the dispatcher, and within minutes (again, felt like hours) paramedics were here.

By the time they got here, Ariana had stopped choking.  Whatever was blocking her airway either went down or came up.  We aren't sure.  Her breathing wasn't normal, but by the time we got to the children's hospital, it was.  I did opt to have the paramedics take us in the ambulance, only because I didn't want to run the risk of her choking again in the backseat of my car on the freeway.  No chances.  No way!

X-rays showed nothing.  Doctor's were pleased with her color and breathing when she arrived.  So we were told to watch her breathing for anything out of the normal, keep an eye out for a fever or other sign of infection, and check out any poopie diapers for the foreign object.

They did also say it could have been that she was choking on her vomit, which I suppose is possible.  Do I find that a likely cause for what terrified me so? No.  That doesn't seem accurate.  Konnor was playing with her about 10 minutes before it all happened, and I wonder if he brought one of his small toys to share with his baby sister.

So we are watching.  Waiting.  Hoping to find something in her stools to give answers to what caused such a heart-wrenching catastrophe.  I honestly believed that they were going to need a second ambulance for the heart attack I was about to have. 

Children are amazing.  I love mine to pieces.  You better believe after all has been said and done, there will be a more careful eye from this mommy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Siblings Much??

What do you guys think?  Do they look alike?

Besides my daughter's BUG EYES in this picture, I think the two of them look similar.  Both of my kiddos have more of their father's qualities (each having a different dad) but both have a Mommy resemblence that they share.  Or at least I like to think so. :o)

My Mommy....

Is following my blog now....


That is me and my momma on my 21st birthday

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

All I Want For My Birthday.....

So I have been shopping for a new digital camera for close to a year now. Never buying, I have been hunting my prey.

The reason why I'm writing about this is because I'm getting close to pouncing. Still waiting and watching very patiently, I have narrowed it down to which camera will be mine.

Originally, I wanted to stay true to my love for Pentax cameras. I grew up with the K1000 that my uncle had growing up. That camera will always hold a special place in my heart. He passed away when I was in 1st grade, so for my grandma to allow me to have it was extremely special.

However, as I have been reading through reviews, I have learned Pentax are things of the past. Nikon has really received the rave reviews, and the D5000 is in my price range (well, kind of) and decent for my taste. While my heart is really set on a camera that costs almost 3 times that of the D5000, I must settle.

Photography has been a passion of mine for a long time. I would say since Sophomore year of high school, when I took photography. Coincidently, that's when I had to borrow my uncle's camera, which was eventually just given to me.

Wouldn't you know I have been using that camera ever since? I mean I have a point and shoot camera that I use 90% of the time, but will pull out the ol' K1000 when the mood strikes me.

Using film is so inconvenient. I can never see what my pics are until they are developed, and tend to use a TON of film with any session with my camera. It's all worth it thou. Find a post of pictures on My Old Blog.

Anyways, back on par. My Project 365 blog could be getting a serious uplift in the picture department a quarter of the way through my journey/challenge. My plan is to use tax money/birthday money to get my future photography career on it's feet.

Here's to hoping. :D

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!! 2010

Last night we put a close to another year. For me it was a year full of ups and downs that have taught me so much.

Everything happens for a reason.

Some things to reflect on....

1. Where were you ten years ago?

At the age of 12, almost 13, i was experiencing the joys of my period for the first time ever. I was also babysitting for a house party. There were around 10 kids and i made $40.

2. What have you accomplished in the last 10 years?

Wow, I would have to say quite a bit. I mean, I have managed to pop out two kids, break my mother's heart and mend it again, have my heart broken upteen times, and come out on top, work in a place that i'm not always happy at (but it pays the bills), live on my own, and learn some life lessons i'm not soon to forget.


Overall, the last ten years have really changed me. I guess at such a young age, that really is inevitable. Maybe in 40 years, my decades will be a little less adventerous, and my stories not quite so grand, but so long as i have my children (and wrinkles forbid grandchildren), I will remain happy. There is so much to come in the next decade and the one after that, that looking on the past is so short compared to the future.

3. The last year.... what are the highlights?

Two things come to mind here. Konnor starting preschool and Ariana's birth. Such huge milestones in my life, and great accomplishments. My kids are my world, and there is nothing I enjoy more than watching them grow, explore, and the bond they have formed and continue to form with each other.
4.  What is(are) your New Year's Resolution?
  • lose this baby weight!
  • remove the people who don't feel as if I matter in their lives from mine.
  • make 2010 the year to remember!!
I have hopes.  I have dreams.  I have plans. 

Merry Christmas!!

After taking a couple weeks from blogging, I figured that I would write up a couple of posts.

My "enter" key is apparently not wanting to work, so this is aggravating. LOL.

Christmas was amazingly fun!  Ariana's first Christmas, and she really didn't give a crap about much of anything except for eating the wrapping paper.  Thankfully, her brother was there to open ALL of her presents, and even play with them for her, so the elves at the North Pole didn't slave away for nothing.

Nothing too exciting or fantastic, but here are some of the photos from our Christmases.  Christmas Day we went to my mom's and then on the Sunday following was the one at our house (because Justin worked Christmas day).