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!!!!!!