If you know me, you know I don’t wear makeup very much, and I paint my nails even less. It’s probably safe to say that I wear makeup maybe half a dozen times a year, at most. Even in high school, I didn’t wear makeup much, but I definitely wore it more then than I do now. Most of the time, I don’t feel pretty, or like I have a reason to look good. After all, I spend most of my day wiping snotty noses and changing diapers, and most of the time I’m lucky if I can even manage to snag a shower without all hell breaking loose in the living room.
I don’t like anything.
I don’t really have a reason for not wearing makeup, other than the fact I can never find anything I like. I wear browns and pinks only and I like shimmer and fine glitter (not chunks or globs). I won’t wear anything else. I can’t wear blue or green or anything wild. I just don’t like it. Sure, there’s plenty of browns and pinks (and maybe the occasional silver or white) in the cosmetic section at the store, but I’ve had bad experiences in that department. Nothing is more frustrating than spending an hour browsing through cosmetics, finally finding a few you think you’ll like, only to go home, try them and absolutely hate them after you spend $15 on a single eye shadow. Every time I even think of buying makeup at the store, I usually talk myself out of it. After all, it’s never ended well before so it isn’t likely to now so I may as well save myself the money, the frustration and the clutter in my bathroom from all the makeup I’ll never use.
I found the “Prince Charming” of eye shadow.
A couple years ago, right before I got pregnant with Averly, I was lucky enough to get some sample shadows from OverallBeauty. The samplers were pretty small, but for someone who wears makeup as little as I do, they were more than enough. I loved them though. In my entire life (and the hundreds of shadows I’ve seen and tried) I have never found one that I just loved. It just never happened for me. I never found my eyeshadow equivalent of Prince Charming. But then I found Elf Toes by Overall Beauty and it was love and first sight.
I started using the little sampler jar of it on a pretty regular basis… and then Maddi poured water into it while she was supposed to be in the bathroom going potty. I almost cried. It was my favorite shadow ever, and at the time, I just didn’t have the money to order a replacement. Shortly after this incident, I discovered I was pregnant with Version 3.0 (aka Averly) and I was too pukey to worry about looking pretty… Then after Ava was born and we discovered her medical issues and were fearful that she wouldn’t live. When your baby is wasting away on deaths door, everything else loses it’s importance, makeup, fun, friends, hobbies… Hell, even food loses it’s importance. It was a very dark time for us, but thankfully, that darkness has passed.
Like many parents, I was struggling with my two older children. Getting them to do a simple chore (like picking up toys, or putting their dirty towel in the laundry basket) was worse than pulling teeth. I was so stressed out over it. Getting them to clean their room was World War III and would take several days of nothing but non-stop helicopter supervision and micromanaging. Not to mention the fact that not only were the kids miserable and angry about it, but I was too. It was frustrating and stressful and no matter what approach we took, or what advice we followed, nothing worked. My kids are headstrong and they won’t give up in a battle of the wills.
My husband and I were watching a movie over a month ago and in the movie, there was a scene showing an Amish family. In this scene, there was a little boy, no more than three or four, collecting eggs, milking goats, and helping his father cut wheat. The Amish family wasn’t even a central focus of the movie, but it caught my attention. I couldn’t help but think, “If an Amish boy is collecting eggs, milking goats and cutting wheat, there’s no reason my kids can’t pick up their toys or set the table.”This revelation prompted discussion between my husband and I. Together, we developed a plan.
You have to earn your way in life.
The very next day, we started a new program with the kids. I wasn’t playing easy any more. My kids were going to start pulling their weight and contributing to the family unit. No one is entitled to anything, and we all have to earn the things we have. We developed a system in which the children were rewarded with a poker chip for each chore or task they completed. They could then spend their chips on snacks, movies or television shows, outings, activities, new toys, etc. They could also lose chips for being mean to each other, not cleaning up after themselves, throwing temper tantrums or getting into things they know they shouldn’t.
In just a weekend, we saw our two older make a complete transformation. They loved the new system and were eager to help around the house. They loved both earning and spending their chips. After just a week of following the program, I realized how much less stressed I was, as well as how much cleaner my house was. The kids seemed happier, and we had more time to spend together as a family because I wasn’t stuck slaving away over everyone else’s messes that they just left for me.
After a couple weeks, Maddi wanted to redeem some of the chips she had saved up. She told me that she wanted some purple nail polish, and unfortunately, I made the mistake of picking up a bottle at the store. I bought a bottle of purple glitter polish. The swatch looked great. It was a dark purple with glitter. It was beautiful and looked like it was exactly what Maddi would like.
It was garbage.
When we got home, Maddi wanted to paint her nails immediately with her new polish. I sat down with her to do it and was extremely disappointed. The polish was clear, with giant chunks of horrible looking glitter in it. There was no color to it, just giant chunks of purple glitter. It looked like crap… Like she licked her fingernails and dipped them in the dirt canister on the vacuum. The poor kid was so disappointed. I promised to make it up to her, and bought a bottle at a beauty supply store, but again, it looked nothinglike the swatch on the display rack, and again, she was disappointed.
At this point, I really didn’t know what to do. The beauty supply store had sold me a crappy product (even after I asked if the swatch was true to color), and I definitely didn’t trust the cosmetic section at the grocery store… I happened to get on Facebook at the exact right moment. I was scrolling through my newsfeed with Maddi right next to me, when we saw a picture of some gorgeous purple nail polish from OverallBeauty. Maddi pointed it out and asked for it and I decided to give it a shot, especially since the picture showed not only the color in the bottle, but on actual nails too. I had good experiences with OverallBeauty before, so I was hopeful that I would again.
I decided to let her pick out a couple other colors too, that way that we’d have them on hand for her to earn (rather than having to wait on the mail each time). I went to check out and saw that I was just a little bit away from getting free shipping on my order, so I splurged and bought a new container of Elf Toes and Pink Shimmer. Something came up with my order, so it took a tiny bit longer to get it, but I was thrilled to find a few extra goodies (including another sampler shadow) in my package, free of charge!
I love OverallBeauty. It isn’t a huge corporation. It’s run by an amazingly sweet woman who does her absolute best to meet and exceed her customers’ expectations. Her products are excellent and from here on out, it will be the only place I buy from. It’s just not worth risking it with department stores. Why waste money on something that is probably going to be crap when you could order something great?
Anyway, here’s a few photos from the fun we had with our OverallBeauty goodie bag.
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 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.
Averly , Danny , Maddi , My Children , photos
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
I haven’t treated you guys to any photos in a while. So, here’s some to get your fix.
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. Don’t really know what else to say on that subject. Except that 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.