Danny’s Heartbreak

This is Danny.

Danny is quite the character. He’s got a sense of humor. He’s very creative, and the poor boy can break your heart when he’s sad.

Several months ago, while we were in Wasilla, I bought him these boots for skinny legs at Target. He absolutely loved them, and wore then constantly. The first week after we returned home, he refused to take them off, even at night. He would wear them constantly, even when he had footie pajamas on. You could not get him to take these shoes off.

These are his favorite shoes.

I didn’t mind his over-attachment to his new shoes. In fact, I thought it was cute that he was so in love with them. He always made sure to take good care of them, putting them in a safe place on the rare occasion that he wasn’t wearing them, and keeping them clean. There didn’t seem to be a problem until much later.

His feet grew.

I noticed that his shoes were getting a bit snug and were difficult to put on his feet. I did what any other parent would do. I took Danny to the store and helped him pick out a new pair in a bigger size. Of course, Maddi was super excited, but Danny sat in the cart, his lower lip trembling and tears brimming on his eyes. He wouldn’t talk to me or tell me what shoes he liked. He just hugged his too-small-but-favorite pair to his chest. I tried to explain to him that our store didn’t have those kind of shoes, but he just sobbed as though his heart was broken and the world was ending. Ultimately, I ended up picking out his new shoes.

After we bought Danny new shoes, he refused to wear them. They fit him right. They didn’t appear to be uncomfortable and they were his favorite color. Danny just wasn’t ready to accept the change and move forward in his life. He couldn’t accept the fact that he had grown, and therefore, he and his favorite shoes must part ways. We tried to hide his too-small shoes, but it was difficult to find a moment that they weren’t directly in his sight.. The few times we did manage to swipe his shoes, he realized it quickly, running around the house frantically, panicking and desperately searching for his favorite shoes.

I thought about buying him a new pair of the same shoes, but we don’t have a Target locally, and even if we did, the shoes had been on clearance when we bought them. The store wasn’t likely to still have those same shoes after this much time had passed.

No matter how many times we tried to explain to him that his shoes didn’t fit any more, he still wouldn’t wear his new ones. For weeks, he would spend nearly 15 minutes, forcing his feet into shoes that were too small for him. I told him countless times that if he wore them, his feet would hurt, but apparently the pain was worth it to him because he continued to wear them.

Yesterday, he tried to force his feet into these shoes, but for the first time, even after nearly thirty minutes of struggling, he couldn’t force his feet into his shoes. He started sobbing and trembling, visibly upset. His expression as I attempted to help him put his shoes on, mirrored that of a panicked family member, watching a loved one take their final breaths. I’m not a very emotional person on most days, but seeing my son so grief-stricken, I couldn’t help but feel myself choke up a little, watching his heart break in front of me.

I tried to explain to him that his feet were much too big for the shoes now, and that he couldn’t wear them any longer. He cried, hysterically, and ran to his room and sat in the closet, huddled against the wall, sobbing. I felt so bad for him. This poor, sweet little boy loved his shoes more than anything, and here they were, too small for him, completely useless for his much-too-large feet. All he wanted was to go back in time, to when his shoes still fit him, but try as he may, he just couldn’t make it happen.

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner, but I never thought to search for his shoes online. While he cried in his room, mourning the loss of his beloved shoes, I scoured the web, searching for his shoes in a large size and I found them. Two pairs, one was size 9, Danny’s current size, and one was size 11. I ordered the shoes immediately.

I can’t wait to give them to him. <3

Oh, how tastebuds change.

I made the most disgusting dessert to ever be seen on this planet.

Strawberry almond tapioca pudding.

Of course, the kids loved it. It was their idea in the first place. I had made normal tapioca and was making a second batch with almond milk for Ava and next thing I know, the kids are begging and pleading with me to add strawberry powder to it. So, I did, and it was absolutely disgusting.

And of course, I forgot a few ingredients in the cupboards. I am the most inefficient cook there is. I end up going to the same cupboard six times to get things out, rather than making one trip.

Because I used strawberry powder in the unsweetened almond milk, I went ahead and skipped the three tablespoons of sugar that you’re supposed to add to the pot.

And of course, I rand out of regular tapioca. At first I was just frustrated, but then I realized I had the giant boba tapioca pearls that my neighbor left at my house forever ago. I figured I could grind them with my Magic Bullet to about the right size and it might work.

I ground it up a little bit smaller than it looks like in this picture. Lucky enough for me, it worked! It turned out like normal tapioca, even using the big boba pearls. Just be sure to grind it all down pretty small, otherwise you might end up with undercooked tapioca and that’s just gross.

So, just like regular tapioca, I added the whipped egg and put it in the refrigerator to cool. Of course, Maddi and Danny had to ask me every five minutes “Is it cool yet? Can I have some yet? Is it done yet? I want some, mom!” I wanted to gag just imagining how it would taste.

Thankfully little kids think that all sorts of disgusting things taste great. I don’t remember what it was, but there was something I was all excited to eat because I used to love it when I was a kid… Then I took a bite and it was disgusting. Thankfully my kids aren’t picky and are apparently immune to bad cooking. They loved the tapioca. Maddi and Danny even asked for seconds.

My poor kids, having to put up with my cooking.

College, Hair, Work & Debt: Never A Dull Moment

Today was fun… Not really. It was long, boring and a waste of time.

Right now, we’re down to one car because Dan’s truck keeps having one problem after another. We could get it fixed. We have the money…  But at this point… We aren’t so sure the truck is even worth fixing. We also don’t know how much longer we’ll even be here if Dan’s interviews go well… So, for the time being, we’re working with just the one car. Which for me, means I have to work with Dan’s schedule. Today, it meant going to the college a couple hours early because he was helping his sister with programming homework. I really didn’t want to leave early, but at least I got some work done while we were there.

After I got home from class, we did Maddi’s hair. I have had her new hair extensions for a few days now, but she hadn’t earned them yet. She was having a hard time listening to mom and dad and keeping her room clean. But, today she really tried and I gave her some credit and we did her hair. I do have to admit, I like the quality of her new extensions better than the old ones. Maybe they’re just softer. I don’t know, but I really like them. I really like Jenns Haircare Blog, she has some really cool tips.

For my husband, Maddi’s dad, he took care of his beard. Putting it some bread butter to make it shiny and swag. However, these days he had a hard tome for his beard hair loss. That’s why I gave him this new Minoxidil Beard Growth , a minoxidil regime.

And of course, I tried to get a cute picture of her and all she would do is make faces and be a goof for the camera.

Miss Goofy loves her new hair
No idea what's going on here.
Oh god. The four-year-old is doing the duck face.
And, just for fun, all three of the kids.

And yes. Danny has a couple of extensions in too. The poor kid saw me doing Maddi’s extensions and wanted some too. Poor little guy doesn’t understand that it’s a girl thing… So I just let him have a couple of the ones I took out of Maddi’s hair. They just look like highlights on him. Of course, I cut them short to match his hair. He isn’t even three yet. He doesn’t understand that it’s a girly thing. Who am I to tell him no while he sits there and watches his sister get her hair done? He just felt left out.

I have been writing a lot lately.

I have been following a debt payoff plan similar to the Dave Ramsey method. The first step is done. I have $1,000 in savings. I paid off my first debt. I paid off my car. And now I’m working on debt number three out of four. I’ve made so much progress. It’s almost hard to believe that I have paid off so much in such a short period of time, but I really want to eliminate all of my credit cards and other debts. It’s a big deal to have that money freed up each month. That’s money that can be put toward other things, like savings, retirement or just fun. Hell, I’d love to go on a vacation camping with a tent from Survival Cooking. I’ve never been on a vacation.

That is why I have been writing so much. I made a goal to write three articles per day, every day for the month of march. I don’t have to write them every  day, but I have to have the equivalent of three every day. If I want to write six today, I can skip tomorrow. So far, I’ve done well and I’m even a day ahead on all of my articles.

I have been trying to think of it as a real job. No way do I spend eight hours a day on it, but I have been trying to treat it like a “real” job. I haveto finish my three articles every day. No excuses. It has to be done. If I want that debt to keep disappearing… I have to put in the work to make it keep disappearing. It felt so good when I finished the $1,000 savings. It felt even better when I paid off my first debt. It felt even more amazing when I paid off my car.

I have two debts left and my goal is to pay them both off by the end of summer. That is my goal. Sometimes I feel like it’s impossible and I’ll never be able to do it. Other times, I feel like it’s completely manageable and nothing can stop me from doing it. I go back and forth from motivated and determined to overwhelmed and defeated. Regardless of what state of mind I’m in… I do those three articles a day and slowly but surely it adds up. I am 12% of the way through debt #3.

I have been thinking about giving myself “treats” every $250 and $500. Smaller treats for $250 and bigger treats for $500. It might seem lame but I think the four-year-old is on to something with her reward charts! Maybe some new clothes or getting my hair dyed. I don’t know. I’m thinking a $50 treat for the $250 marks and a $100 treat when I hit the $500 mark, paid in cash of course, not credit! I am not using the credit cards as freely as I used to! Not going down that road again!

Anyway, that’s my life as of lately. Making money. Paying off debt. Playing with the kids. Having a grand old time. Never a dull moment.


So, I haven’t really been on here in a long time. I guess I’ve been busy… But with two kids, who isn’t?

So, where to start…?

First, I ended up going to see Dr. Elrod up in Wasilla and I love him! He’s the best doctor I’ve ever seen and I’m really confident that if my VBAC is possible (and it is) that it will happen without unnecessary force and pressure from a pushy intervention-happy doctor. I’m really happy with my choice and even though the drive sucks, it’s totally worth it.

Second, I took a semester off from school. I wanted to focus on some other things, so that’s what I did. In the meantime, I finished my certification as a childbirth educator. I’ve taught some private classes but have yet to set up a large group class. I want to, just waiting to hear back from people on space availability.

Third, I started writing freelance to earn up some money for a carseat for Maddi. I’ve earned enough for her carseat, and now I’m saving up for Danny’s carseat. Definitely a worthwhile purchase in my book. Just takes a little time. The carseats they have now work, but I want to keep them rearfacing longer and it won’t be long until they reach the limit on the seats we have currently. It’s a really neat program and I’ve enjoyed writing for them…especially considering that most of what I’ve wrote, I had to write eventually anyways; it just gave me a little motivation and incentive to do it sooner!

Fourth, I’ve been sewing… a lot. I’ve gotten pretty darn good at my diapers and have been experimenting with other styles, but I still love my pockets best. Lately, I’ve been making clothes a lot, I am getting inspiration from the best vintage t-shirts in my closet.

So as you can see, I’ve been getting pretty crafty. In the meantime, Dan’s been working on the bedroom trying to get that done before the new baby gets here.

So now it’s just a matter of getting drywall and then getting it in. I know how to mud, so that’s not a big deal but Dan has to do the drywall… I can’t lift the stuff. Hurts too much.

Fifth, Danny stopped nursing about two months ago, so he went to 16 months nursing! It’s most likely because of my milk supply tanking because of being pregnant. I’m glad he weaned himself though.

Sixth, Maddi started preschool in a special program for communication-delayed kids. She loves it and has so much fun!

And lastly, we found out that this baby is…


So, here name will be Averly and we’ll probably call her Ava or Avalee for a nickname.

Madison & Daniel’s Unnecesareans

I got pregnant with my daughter when I was 18. I knew a little bit about pregnancy from being the oldest of eight kids, but I really didn’t know as much as I should have. To me, having a baby was something people did everyday. It wasn’t something to worry about, let alone be anxious about.

I had a relatively easy pregnancy with my daughter aside from lots of morning sickness. I had Group B Strep, and had some borderline diabetic issues and dehydration a couple times, but for the most part, life was simple.

I went to 41 weeks, and it was at that point I asked my doctor about induction. I was “informed” about the risks associated with it, but I really don’t feel that I was made to understand the realness of those risks. I really regret the decision to induce.

Absolutely nothing happened, which isn’t surprising considering I was 0cm dilated and 0% effaced. I didn’t know that a bishop score should be done before an induction…

Needless to say, a cesarean was inevitable. I was terrified and the experience traumatized me. I suffered from severe post partum depression and had issues caring for and bonding with my baby.

I genuinely believe, had I been better informed, and better educated, and not rushed because I was “overdue” that I would not have had a cesarean.

I went into my second pregnancy more prepared than I had my first. I really wanted to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) but my faith in myself and my body waivered often. Still, I tried.

I had very little issues with my son’s pregnancy. I didn’t get sick at all, just felt nauseous in the beginning, and had the occasional headache. I had group B strep again, but out of the two pregnancies, this was the easier of the two.

I ended up travelling to Anchorage 4 days before my due date because my obstetrician was going on vacation, and I couldn’t trust the two or three other obstetricians at my hospital to let me try for a VBAC.

I was transferred to a doctor in Anchorage, and just hung around in a hotel until I was nine days overdue. I was persuaded into doing a “light induction” even though I knew that I shouldn’t use any induction drugs since I had a priod cesarean. I ended up having my waters broke for me too.

I remember I was frustrated and angry because I wanted to get up and move around but the nurses wouldn’t let me and kept telling me I needed to lay down because of the monitors. After 12 hours of hard labor, I ended up with “Fetal distress” again and was given a cesarean.

Unfortunately, I did not know until after the delivery that moving around during labor can decrease “fetal distress” and that electronic fetal monitoring has not been shown to improve outcomes in labor or reduce mortality rates.

So, I was forced to lay in bed, when I could have been moving around, for the sake of monitors that did nothing but let us know that the baby’s heart is beating, and yes, I’m contracting.

But I could have told them that.

Teething Bites!

Danny has been a non-stop fuss bucket for the last three days, and at first we couldn’t figure out why. I checked his mouth last night, and lo-and-behold, he’s got a tooth popped through on his top gum. Then, this morning, Dan tells me that he has THREE teeth coming through. I didn’t believe him, so I check, and he doesn’t have three teeth coming in, he has FOUR teeth coming in on top! No wonder my poor baby is miserable! He’s been really clingy, and just wanting to nurse all the time. He’ll nurse long enough, and hard enough, that I end up getting let-down three times in one nursing! He usually never nurses that strong! My poor little guy.

Blueberry is adjusting well. He does really great with the kids, although sometimes I wish he WOULD turn around and claw Maddi when she’s mean to him. Maybe then she’d understand he dosen’t like it, and she’d stop. But no, he’s too sweet. He lets her get away with it. He really likes Danny though, and curls up with him a lot. And Dan is his favorite. He curls up with Dan a lot, which is funny because Dan tries to tell me he dosen’t like cats, yet he plays with blueberry just as much, if not more than the rest of us!

School is going okay. I’m kind of losing my motivation. I just don’t enjoy my classes because they aren’t what I’m interested in, you know?

I got all of my coursework to begin my childbirth educator certification. Which, I am super excited about. I also got my breastfeeding counselor coursework, and birth and post partum doula coursework as well. I’m so excited for it!

Anways, just a short update!

Be sure to check out my review blog. I’ve got a few giveaways going on over there! We’re giving away a Medela freestyle breast pump, a woombie, a juppy baby walker, and a surprise giveaway for nursing moms!


Helping My Special Little Girl, Lexi Mae!

So, I was talking to one of the mamas I donate milk to, and her little girl got sick and was in the hospital with RSV. I know it sounds silly, but when I saw she was in the hospital, my heart jumped in my throat and I just about started crying! I know it sounds silly, but I feel like she’s my baby too! I think I feel that way about all of my milk babies, but especially Lexi. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I feel like I’ve gotten to know her and her mom really well. But, I was so worried about her! And luck has it, I had milk leftover from when Danny was recovering from RSV, so it might be able to better help her little girl fight it all off! Especially considering it should have the right antibodies to help combat it, since it was pumped right around the time Danny was getting over his RSV. Only problem was, I had it all in bottles, and not bags, and the bottles aren’t good for shipping.

Normally, I wouldn’t do this, because technically, you shouldn’t thaw and then refreeze breast milk, however, I’ve refrozen milk that was slushy before, and it was just fine, so I got the milk to that point, and then my sister and I started bagging it all! It took us about an hour just to bag it all! We had 78 bottles to bag. We ended up giving Danny three of the bottles, because he saw us bagging it and got these jealous puppy eyes. He was probably thinking, “What? What is she doing with MY milk?! That’s mine! I could be drinking that! Wait! What are you doing?! Give it back!!!” So, we warmed a couple bottles of it up for him and he was happy.

But, like I said, normally, I wouldn’t thaw and refreeze, but I was super careful about it, making sure the milk stayed cold/slushy the entire time. And since I’ve refrozen a couple bottles here and there that were at that point, I feel comfortable doing it. So, now we just need it to all refreeze completely by morning so I can ship it off to her.

It was definitely a task! I had to drive out to my step-dad’s to get the milk out of his freezer (he had been storing it for me), so I bet he’s glad that it’s gone and he has room! He was (jokingly) threatening that he was going to use it in his coffee if I didn’t come get it soon! But then we had to let it thaw out, and bag it. Tori helped me. We used the breast shields for my breast pump like a funnel and poured all the milk into the bags.

It’s mostly an economy issue. The bottles won’t fit in the cooler very well, and they take up a lot of extra weight. So, when you’re shipping 2nd day, and you’re paying a pretty penny for it, you want to be able to get the most out of it you can. If I had sent it in the bottle, I probably could have only fit 12-15 bottles in the cooler (30-37.5 ounces) but in the bags, I can fit around 18-22 bags in the cooler (108-132 ounces). So when you’re paying $50-100 just to ship it, you definitely want to get the most out of it that you can! Especially since you can’t be shipping it all the time!

But yeah. Miss Lexi is going to get some nummy-yummy good-for-her-tummy milk very soon! And I’m sure she’ll enjoy it! Last time, Courtney (her mom) told me that Lexi downed the bottle of breast milk faster than she ever downed a bottle of formula, so she must have enjoyed it! Can’t say I blame her! I’d rather a glass of drink breast milk over formula any day!

Anyways, I just had to share. This kind of stuff just gives me the happy-warm-fuzzy-feelings all over. Just makes me feel really good about being able to help such an amazing little girl in such an amazing way.

Tori and I had an assembly-line thing going on for the milk-bagging process!
Getting ready to set it all out flat in the freezer!
Organizing the milk so it freezes flat (it packs better that way).
Milky Goodness for Lexi-Mae!
Heh... Just another to add to the photos of my milk!
So maybe Dan isn't wrong when he says my breastmilk is taking over the freezer? The bags are milk, and so are the tubes with the yellow caps... lol! Breastmilk, Ice Cream, Burgers, Salmon and more breastmilk! What an awesome freezer!

The lazy, breastfeeding, mommy-machine.

So, I’m really BAD about updating lately. I guess it’s mostly because I just feel so darn lazy lately. I’m keeping up with school, and that’s about it. I guess we all go through these little funks at one point or another. Just my turn I suppose.

Things are going well. Danny is crawling like crazy. He’s acting kind of weird though, I guess it’s more normal that weird… But still. He FREAKS out like the world is about to end if I put him down. Heck, if I even grab underneath his armpits like I *might* put him down, he freaks out. He just wants held, ALL the time. And it’s just crazy to me! I can’t be holding a baby 24/7! My carriers have come in handy though, because I can pop him in there and just wear him while I do things, and he’s happy as a clam. It just gets annoying when he starts grabbing at my face… He’s got sharp little finger nails and he rips my lips open when he grabs them. I don’t like that.

Maddi is starting to talk more, which is cool, but sometimes annoying. Now that she’s figured out she can say things to get things, she automatically assumes that if she says it, then she’ll get it. Hah! I think not. No, Maddi. You can’t have soda, cookies, candy and ice cream for breakfast.

We also got Maddi’s big girl bed set up. My mom got it at the dump… But it was in great condition and was in the set aside pile… It just needed a couple of the rods bent back into shape. My grandpa did that, and now its great. We didn’t set it up for awhile, and just left it outside, but now its up. We still have the crib set up next to it, just to remind her that if she gets up out of bed and throws a fit, then she gets to sleep in the crib… Sometimes that reminder works, sometimes it dosen’t.

I started up a new website, all about breastfeeding and breast milk donation! If you’re a nursing mom or know a nursing mom, you should check it out. http://www.breastmilkdonation.com we’re having a breast pump giveaway, and there’s even a section on the site for free baby feeding supplies… Things like formula, bottles, nursing pads, etc.

I still have baby fever. Which I’m really bummed about. I don’t want another baby right now. The plan was when Danny was around two years old, but then we did our taxes and we got this home purchase credit, but in order to keep it, we have to stay in our home for three years… And Dan dosen’t want another baby until we’re out of this home and in a bigger one… Meaning, Danny will be around 3 1/2 before I get to have another baby. 🙁 I really didn’t want to wait that long. It feels like forever from now!

Anyways, that’s about all on my end.

Photos…Because I’ve Been Holding Out.

I haven’t treated you guys to any photos in a while. So, here’s some to get your fix.

Chelsea, Maddi & Danny the day she left. 🙁 We miss her!
I’m mentally challenged like that.
Where yo polar bears at?!?!
I love this photo.
Danny and chelsea, cuddled up!
Danny fell asleep on his Auntie Allie.
Danny Opening a Gift… or rather, just playing with the bow and drooling.
Aunt Tori helping Maddi open a present!
Danny’s idea of milk and cookies on christmas eve.
It was tough actually getting her to open any presents after the first! But she kept going after she got Gold Bracelets for women – New Smart Deals were amazing.
I made a hoodie for her. It’s supposed to have a deer applique…but it looks like a cat.
I made a funky retro skirt for allie. Had anti-drug slogans all over it!
Danny loves the boobs.

Maddi and Great-Grandma Marilyn opening a present!

Danny with Marlene’s Dad at the Christmas Party
My ABSOLUTE favorite photo of Danny.
Danny playing with one of Rex’s toys.

Daddy helping Danny with a present!

My neice, Kayleigh

Danny & Marlene. Danny was ENTRANCED by the guitar.

Taking a bath in the sink when the tub got clogged!
He can take her!!!

Staph, Strep, Weight, Adoption, Conception, Car, Debt, Oh my.

I’ve been kind of lazy about updating lately. Sorry. My bad.

Things are going better on this end. Danny is feeling MUCH better, which I am super thankful for. I was so worried about him. Turns out he had the staph AND a strep infection at the same time. Definitely not cool. I’m just glad he’s okay.

On a lighter note, my little guy has a tooth! It’s just a teensy weensy tiny little thing, but it’s still a tooth. You can’t really see it, because it’s just the tip, and its barely out of the gum, but its there! It’s exciting but it makes me sad at the same time. He’s almost nine months old. It’s about time he got some teethers going!

Maddi is speaking much better. She still has issues pronouncing things, and trying to use words (she prefers to whine and cry… which she doesn’t get away with anymore). She just has to stop being lazy. She dosen’t like using words, and it’s pretty obvious she’d rather just grunt and get what she wants… But that doesn’t float anymore, not that it did before, but we’ve become much more strict about the no-whining-and-grunting-policy.

I’m struggling with my weight again. I’ve been trying this master cleanse recipe and I have started to see a difference. I don’t really know what else to say on that subject, only that I read a diet pills don’t work – read the study guide and I think I’ll give it a try, I also had the opportunity to check out roids website and I found some information that I know will help me. I’m struggling and I feel like I’m huge. Regardless of what everyone says and what my husband thinks. I know I’m not fat, in my logical mind. But I also know everyone’s lying when they say I’m not fat. I hate these feelings. But I knew they’d be back eventually, and quite frankly, I’m tired of fighting it. I knew that as soon as danny needed me less for nourishment, that this is what would happen.

On a much happier note, Dan was working our taxes… and I’m freaking excited. We’re going to get enough back to pay off ALL of our debt, AND have some left over. Which is awesome. I’m excited. I can’t wait. We’ll be able to pay off EVERYTHING (except the house). So this means, credit cards, collections, and our car! I’m so flipping excited. This is going to make our lives MUCH easier. Maybe we can even start building up a savings.

On top of that, I’m thinking I might adopt our next child. I’ve been putting a great deal of thought into it. I haven’t decided for sure yet, but I’m thinking I will. I’d really like to. I may, I may not. We may decide to try for our own, or adopt. I know we’ll adopt eventually, but we may or may not adopt our next child. It depends on how much we’ve saved up, and whether we’re in a bigger house, or what not.

Anyways, that’s my blurb.