Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A super sneaky mama I am!

Sometimes when people ask me how many kids I have, I go with the cliche joke of most wives (MY MOM) and say, "I have two- my son and my husband." I often do feel like my husband is just another kid in the house- I have to drag him out of bed in the morning and yell at him to go to sleep at night, I have to remind him to do his "chores" around the house, I have to schedule all his appointments and remind him to go to them, I have to make sure he takes his medicine, and one of the most difficult I've found: I have to make sure he gets in his daily nutrients. This is particularly difficult because I have one of the most pickiest eaters ever! He doesn't like vegetables, most fruit, only really likes beef or chicken or pork, won't eat any leftovers (he thinks they're gross), and wants to survive only off of candy, pop and chips, etc. So I am always trying to find ways to slip in the nutrients he needs. For example, last night I made vegetable and meat spaghetti. I had bought a bunch of vegetables at the beginning of the pay period, and they still hadn't been eaten. So I developed this awesome recipe that totally gets your "kids" their proper servings of vegetables, grains and meat. I'm not very good at writing recipes, so bear with me lol! :)


Vegetable and Meat Spaghetti

Ingredients:

Ground burger (I say this instead of beef, because we normally use hunted meat)
Spaghetti Noodles
Tomato paste
Onions
Tomato
Green Pepper
Zucchini
Carrots
Garlic Powder
Basil Leaves
Shredded Parmesan Cheese

1. Chop up all your vegetables in to small diced pieces. Slice your basil leaves into thin slices. Shred some Parmesan cheese (unless you buy yours pre-shredded, we sometimes like to do it ourselves). Mix all the vegetables together and put everything aside. Put a pot of water on to boil for the noodles.

2. Brown your burger in a skillet. Mix in garlic powder, basil leaves, and pepper while it browns. Drain all the grease and put the burger aside (with a paper towel on top and bottom of it, to absorb the last of the grease).

3. Mix can of tomato paste with water on stove. Put all your vegetables in the sauce and some more garlic powder. Keep sauce on low and continue stirring every few minutes until noodles are done.

4. At this point, the water should be boiling. Break your spaghetti noodles in half (Its easier for toddlers and young children to eat, without needing to cut their spaghetti!) and stick them in the water.

5. Once the noodles are fully cooked, put your meat in the sauce. I'm a weirdo who really likes to get ALL the grease out, so I like to put my meat in last. That way it has all the time it needs to absorb. :) Drain your noodles and serve.

My boys just chowed down this meal. And then after dinner, my husband asked me what all was in it lol. I told him "just meat and sauce and noodles" lmao! He hates carrots, onions and zucchini- I totally got him to still eat it though! Go me lol, sneakiest moms ever... Well one of them! :P

I have this renewed obsession with Daft Punk. I mean, I've loved the band since the nineties (Oh yeah baby, I was in totally junior high jamming out to "One More Time" all itty bitty like lol) but this week all I can listen to (or think about lol) is Daft Punk. Their music is revolutionary. I love their helmets. Their music videos are awesome. I recently saw one of their live performances on YouTube (my other addiction lol). Can I say WOWZERS?!?!?!??!?!?! They look so bad ass live! If you didn't know, I'm a total raver lol. I mean I LOOOOOOVE to dance and jam for hours upon hours. :D Festivals are my life, there's nothing better than feeling that music pound through your ears and body. <3 And oh my goodness, watching this video of them live makes me want to go dance all night long!!! I just have to see them live!! AHHHHHHHH! :D I'll post it so everyone can get the effect. Doesn't it just make you want stand up and start dancing? I can't stay seated. :)



I just looked at their website and though there is news that Daft Punk will be touring in 2011 and 2012, there are no dates yet. :( So I will just have to continue to love my DP from afar... Oh how I miss going to live concerts! Lon says that this summer Alan will be old enough to go to outdoor concerts with us though, I am super excited! Contemplating on taking him with us on our honeymoon when we go to a festival. But then it wouldn't make it a true honeymoon, so...

I was driving this afternoon and the weather was nice, so we had our windows down. I came up on a hill and once I got to the top, I was able to see past the city and spot the mountains off in the distance. This made my heart long for the mountains, the wilderness. The winters haven't been too good to us this year, and with Alan still only a toddler, we weren't able to get outside as much as I liked. I miss being outdoors so badly and even more so being in the wilderness. I wish to be outside, in the middle of the forest, away from all cities and humans. I long to feel the wind in my hair, the sun on my skin, and to run through the forest like wolves, the way we used to I was a child. I'm so gosh darn tired of people, and humanity, and everyday life lately. I just want to go live with the wolves. Anyone who'd like to can join me, there's only one rule: No unnatural negativity or conflict. I'm done with that for now.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Top Two Tuesdays! March 29, 2011

Can't wait for Alan's art class today at eleven! Its his last class of the month, and we are making paper bag puppets and doing a simple spring collage. Then at the end of class, we will have our art show for all Y members. Alan's been working on his colors and he'll impress all the girls at class lol, I just know it. :P And today is Lon's day off of work and my self proclaimed day off of blogging (even though I took a day off Sunday too lol). So please enjoy my Top 2 Tuesday and check out some archived blog posts today. I'm always adding new ones!





Top Two Celebrity Hairstyles

#1 Pixie Lott... Now I have honestly no idea who this celebrity is lol, but I always love the classic hippie braid headband look. :) I love how thick her braid is too! Love this hairstyle so much, and I haven't worn my hair like this for a while. Might wear it this way tomorrow. :)



(This photo thanks to http://www.sugarscape.com)


#2 Ashley Olson... Once again, its a braided do. But what can I say??? I'm a hippie lol, I'm a total sucker for braided hairdos. This one is just so elegant and medevil looking, I just love it. So pretty!



(This photo thanks to http://www.hairstyler.com)

Hope everyone has a great Tuesday! I'll talk to you all again on Wednesday! Peace! xoxo

Monday, March 28, 2011

Arbor Day Plans

Arbor Day is a month away from tomorrow (April 29). Every year, I like to go and plant a tree somewhere with friends and family. The last seven years I've been planting trees at my father's friend's land. I recently came across a website that shocked me. I didn't ever think that websites would have a carbon footprint, but logically it does. So this year, I wanted to plant a tree to reduce the carbon footprint my family's blog makes. Here are the facts, courtesy of Mach's gr√ľn the creators of My Blog is Carbon Neutral initiative-

Did you know??? According to a study by Alexander Wissner-Gross, PhD, an average website causes about 0.02g (0,0008oz.) of carbon dioxide for each visit. Assuming an average blog gets 15,000 visits a month, it has yearly carbon dioxide emissions of 3,6kg (8lb.). This can mainly be tracked back to the immense energy usage from (mainframe) computers, servers, and their cooling systems.

But last summer, my father's friend's land was sold. I currently have no where to plant my Arbor Day tree, but I am still planning to plant one. But the holiday is coming up and I am starting to think it might not happen this year. :\ I still continue to search (and would love and suggestions) and I was very pleased to read that as a part of the My Blog is Carbon Neutral Initiative the organization plants a tree in the Plumas National Forest, located in northern California. So I am content if I am not able to find a place this year, and will just vow to plant two next year, hopefully in our own backyard! :)

I urge you to please check out this site if you have a blog or website. ----------------->

co2 neutral with kaufDA.de - local offers and coupons

Everyone needs Motivational Mondays!



I still have yet to find my Dhammapadda and my Tao Te Ching is away helping a dear friend in Laurel Montana, but thank goodness for the internet and Google! I found a wonderful mantra from another version of the Dhammapadda about happiness that I'd like to share with you. Hope you enjoy it, happy Monday! Peace!

Happiness
Let us live happily then, not hating those who hate us! Let us live happily then, among men who hate us let us dwell free from hatred! Let us live happily then, free from ailments among the ailing! Let us live happily then, among men who are ailing let us dwell free from ailments! Let us live happily then, free from greed among the greedy! Let us live happily then, among men who are greedy let us dwell free from greed! Let us live happily then, though we call nothing our own! We shall be like the bright gods, feeding on happiness!

Victory breeds hatred, for the conquered is unhappy. He who has given up both victory and defeat, he, the contented, is happy. There is no fire like passion; there is no losing throw like hatred; there is no pain like this body; there is no happiness higher than rest. Hunger is the worst of diseases, the body the greatest of pains; if one knows this truly, that is Nirvana, the highest happiness. Health is the greatest of gifts, contentedness the best riches; trust is the best of relationships, Nirvana the highest happiness.

He who has tasted the sweetness of solitude and tranquility, is free from fear and free from sin, while he tastes the sweetness of drinking in the law. The sight of the elect (Arya) is good, to live with them is always happiness; if a man does not see fools, he will be truly happy. He who walks in the company of fools suffers a long way; company with fools, as with an enemy, is always painful; company with the wise is pleasure, like meeting with kinsfolk. Therefore, one ought to follow the wise, the intelligent, the learned, the much enduring, the dutiful, the elect; one ought to follow a good and wise man, as the moon follows the path of the stars. 

Thanks to http://www.asia-pictures.net/spiritual_journey/dhammapada_text.htm#2HCH0015 for sharing you Dhammapadda text with us!

Meet Me on Monday!! March 28, 2011

Hope everyone has a good Monday today! Today will not be busy for me, but this week I've got quite a lot of things to do. I work all week, have some last minute wedding planning to do with my maid of honor, I have to remember to sign Alan up for April art classes, we're going to try underwear on Alan, and I have a baby shower to go to on Saturday. Hopefully Saturday comes fast! :)

And now, for my first Monday blog hop- Meet Me on Monday!!




Crunchy or soft tacos?
It depends really. I mostly will go for crunchy tacos, but every once and a while I will go for a soft shell taco. I also tend to like chicken tacos in soft shells and beef in crunchy shells, but when it comes down to it I'm not really that picky. Food is food lol. :)

Do you scrapbook?
I do, when I have the time lol. Which I haven't lately, at all! :P But I started getting really into scrapbooking when Alan was a baby. He has a really detailed baby book that I scrapbooked for him. I've been trying to work on a toddler version for 12-24 months but have been way too busy to even make a single page.

Do you take any daily medications?
I do not. I am proud to say I have been Zoloft and medication free for nine months now. I do not believe in taking medicine, even the simplest OTC pill like Tylenol. A lot of ailments can be cured with rehydrating your body.



(This photo thanks to http://www.nutritionresolution.com)

What is your favorite sound?
Easy. My favorite sound is my son's laugh. :) Its so beautiful, so warming, so infectious. He will laugh and everyone else will join in with him eventually. His laugh warms my heart and my soul every time I hear it. <3

Where were you born?
In the good ol' Billings, Montana.


(This photo thanks to http://www.yellowmaps.com)

Love Montana with all of my heart, not sure how I feel about Billings though lol. After experiencing 21 and a half years here, I'm not sure if I belong in Billings. I think my family belongs more in towns like Red Lodge, Bozeman, Missoula, or even Townsend. Who knows though, only time will tell which city we settle our family down in. But it will always be in Montana. <3

Saturday, March 26, 2011

This one definitely qualifies for rambling...

Worked from 8 to 4 today... Don't wanna talk about it. Ugggh. Let's just say, its been a LOOOONG day and I'm having a beer while I write this post. It was one of those days lol. :) When I got off of work, I had to meet Lon to pick up Alan at the Village Inn. Because of a last minute birthday party for me to do at my work, Alan had to go with his daddy to work. Alan was hanging out with Daddy, Aunt Nikki, Grandma Amber and Great Grandpa Floyd when I arrived. Aunt Nikki had given him a homemade peanut butter chocolate chip cookie and we joked that she was spoiling him. :P Daddy and Alan even made me a pepperoni and cheese pizza (to share with Alan lol). So Alan and I headed home for some good ol' Mama and Son time. :D

We ate our pizza together and watched some Seasame Street DVDs. Alan kept saying, "Pizza?" and holding his slice up everytime Elmo would come on screen. Lol he normally shares his food with his friends at daycare, especially his bestie Korbin. :) So I think he was trying to offer Elmo some pizza! Lmao, my silly little boy! After lunch/dinner/my first meal of the day lol, I turned on some good tunes and we played cars and trucks. I swear, Alan loves cars so much. He thinks they are so cool, will almost always pick a car over any other toy, loves riding in them, and always points when a car drives past us when we're outside. This is why his big boy bedroom will be themed cars. Lucky for me, the new Cars movie comes out June 24, 2011 so there will be lots of cool Cars themed bedroom stuff out. Whoo! :) Haha yeah because I like the thrill of shopping for bedroom attire... The real truth? I actually can't wait to see the new Cars movie myself lol. :P




Tell me that doesn't totally look cool?!?!

After playing a bit, I put Alan in his highchair to color so that I could get some cleaning done. My goal was to get as much finished as possible, so that we wouldn't have to clean to much tomorrow, on our Family Sunday and my only day off. I surprisingly was able to get two loads of dishes hand washed, clean out the microwave, clean the bathroom and wipe down the whole kitchen. But that's not even the coolest part!! Wanna know the coolest part? Of course you do, you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't lol. :P The coolest part was that Alan said "Yellow" and "Red" when I asked him what color he had!!!! :D Now I know that it was probably just luck or something and he really didn't understand, but let me explain so you can share in my joy too: Everytime I hand Alan a crayon (like EVERYTIME, not just this coloring session) I tell him what color I've given him. And then I ask him if he wants to color with that color. Sometimes I get no, sometimes I get yes. But today, on two seperate occassions, I decided to ask him what color I had. And he got them both right! Go Alan!  He can also draw in circles, over and over in the same spot. :) Another thing I've discovered after coloring with Alan is that he tends to like warm colors more than cold colors. I think specifically his favorite color is orange. He will be given an orange crayon and he will not give it up until that whole paper is orange lol!

We've been continuing to potty train Alan every half an hour, but I feel like he's plateaued. He only pees in the potty every two or three times, and has only pooped once. Like tonight with me he took seven trips to the potty and only peed twice. Hmmm. Any advice? Of course, I'm probably only being silly because really the only thing I could do is just start putting him in underwear lol, so we'll probably just be doing that soon. I'm just grateful he still shows interest in using the potty, and acts like he understands when he learns things about the potty. So I have faith in him. It just might be time to try some underwear at home.

A show that I am currently obsessed with is Full Metal Brotherhood.





I bring this up because the newest episode is on in a half hour and I'm stoked to watch it! I've always liked the original- Full Metal Alchemist- but this version of the story is much, much darker. I remember throughout middle school and high school watching this show with such a light heart. It was fun, childish. Which is totally ironic if you think about it, considering the back story. But that's why this newer show is so much better, but so much more devastating at the same time. I mean, my heart eternally aches for the Elric brothers and what they had to go through. Alphonse with no body, only a soul in a suit of armor and Edward with his amputee automail. Their father out of their life, and the tradgedy that happened to their mother. That's only scratching the surface of the pain and suffering these boys go through. I think it affects me so much because I am a mother now. Because I look at those boys, and so much could have been done for them, and Winry too, to make their lives sooooo much better. They are children for goodness sakes!! Like if it was minus all the loss of body parts and stuff... Wait. What?

This beer is really starting to kick in, I'm finding myself having to go back and rewrite things, correcting myself. Lmao even that sentence doesn't make sense. :D And wow, I keep writing about the most odd things. What a weirdo I am! This is my cue to turn in, I'm no drunk blogger. (I think its already happened and I already am...) :P Though can you say, light weight lol??? Hope everyone's Saturday was good.Good night!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Positive thinking...

Today was considerably better than yesterday. I woke up before both of my boys this morning, and had a wonderful meditation and impromtu pilates session in the living room. By the time Alan and Lon had awoke, I was refreshed and had breakfast fully ready for them. It was a great way to start the day as a family, and Lon appreciated it so much he offered to clean up and do the dishes. My husband doing the dishes, not while at work lol? Wha??? Unheard of! :P It was a nice thing to do though lol.

Lon had to go to his therapy today instead of tomorrow, so Alan had to run wedding errands with me. I was slightly anxious about taking him around by myself (Alan can be quite the hassle in public, but will be an angel at home. Weird lol) but we had a little talk before we left about listening to mommy and what his reward would be-I was thinking of letting him play outside a bit today, because most of the snow had melted and the weather was decent. He acted like he understood me lol. And he actually didn't have too bad of a time going with me either! :) We went and paid the remainder off the flower bouquets, picked up my newly dyed shoes (they are my something blue), and bought the last of our wedding reception decorations. Alan held my hand and walked with me everywhere, and behaved himself while I spoke with the employees of each place. He even said "Hi" and "Bye" to each person, each time we went to a new place! I was so proud of his well behavior, I rewarded him with a DumDum sucker, a few extra outside playtime minutes, and lots of kisses. He was a very happy boy. :D

Then we did several potty training trips and Alan peed two out of the three times he went! Whoo hoo! :) He has not pooped in there yet but we are still hopeful! Lon and I aren't confident enough yet in Alan to use the potty at Child Watch, so we will be continuing with step one next week. Things are going great though and I am so proud of him! After all, he is doing so wonderful for only being eighteen months old! What a smart, young boy we have! <3

Work went well, it was slow and Alan played on the big kids side with his two friends. My teamleader and her son were back from vacation, so Alan also played (and had trouble sharing his cars lol) with him. I hung out with Alan for a little while, but then took my turn with calming down a fussy little girl on the baby side. I finally had gotten her to calm down and fall asleep, when her aunt showed up to pick her up. Typical. :) But because it was so slow and everyone else pretty much wanted to stay, I was able to get off at 6:30. My mother had picked up Alan at 6, so I ran to the store to get a phone card. And I am proud to say that after shopping at 2 different Albertsons I have a working cell phone! Hooray!

I went over to my parent's house to eat dinner with Alan and the family, and to do some much needed laundry. The whole family was home for dinner, even Aunt Merith. :) We had spaghetti with corn and garlic bread. It was just delicious! Alan ate a whole bowl of it, and had a bowl of applesauce for dessert. I got three loads of laundry done, and had some good laughs with the family. Wow we are so wild! Lol I feel like I say that every time we get together but its true! We are just such a wild, crazy and hyper family! :D And I love it so much!

Hope everyone else had a good Thursday as well. Unfortunately, we will not be having a Five Question Friday tomorrow as the creator of 5QF's daughter is in the hospital with appendcitis. She is doing well after her surgery and if you'd like to, you can read more about it here -------->


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not feeling very happy today, I'll keep my post short...

I have had a very hectic and stressful day today, and don't feel like writing all that much. But then I remember what my therapist always used to tell me, writing is therapeutic. So I will do my best to get as much vented out as possible, without sounding too much like a whiner lol. I don't like to be negative but sometimes it is necessary. So please bear with me everyone. :)

I was finally able to get my car from the mechanic's shop this morning. What a relief to have it back again! Snow has fallen and it would not be too much fun walking in this weather. But with the relief comes more financial stresses. As usual... :) We told the mechanic to only fix the mandatory thing, the brakes. And the mechanic followed my request, but had "bad news" for me. Grrrr. :\ According to him the power steering is leaking, my alignment is out, my oil is in desperate need of a change, and all four of my tires are bad. One I shouldn't even be driving on. He estimated the full cost of all the eventual work to be somewhere around a grand (and that's minus the oil change, he didn't want to overcharge me on that so he reccommended I go to Master Lube) ouch! The brake work itself was already $175 and I'm still paying the car off! I know it was a used car, but I'm starting to think maybe I got sucked in to buying a lemon... Grrr! :\ Oh well, at least it runs, FOR NOW.

Work has been very stressful for me lately also. I work five to seven hours a day, six days a week, year round. And in two of my departments I really have no chance to get time off. After all, I don't have any replacement subs for my art class. And let me tell you, working at a daycare is hard and hectic, like all the time. There will be days where I have gone the whole shift holding a screaming baby, or several screaming babies lol. I am sometimes jokinly known as the Multiple Baby Lady there, and often will juggle two (or even three once!) babies at once. At the end of the night, I come home and turn everything off in my house except for Alan's classical music, just for peace and quiet from the day. Still, I just have to bear through it and remind myself everytime it gets hard that this is the perfect job for me and my current situation. Alan can stay with me for three hours a day, for only twenty dollars a month (and that's for gym membership too!). I need this job and I have to work hard and just get through it. But its been hard on me lately... :\

I've also been really lonely lately. Between our work schedules and Lon's therapy, I barely get to see him for more than a few hours each day. I only ever see my family for a few minutes during the week and sometimes on the weekends, and I feel like I'm missing out on my siblings everday lives. I haven't gone out and done something with any of my friends in over a month, and haven't seen my best friend since we began my wedding planning in February. No one seems to call or text my phone anymore, unless it has something to do with work or Alan. And now my phone is broken, so that idea is gone out the window anyways... And when I do get a chance to finally tell someone about my stresses and anxiety, they simply tell me "Well that's just life" or "Welcome to adulthood." Uh thanks but no thanks? I'm telling you my stresses because I would like some emotional/mental support and telling me that doesn't help me. It just upsets me more. I don't need negativity right now, I need something positive.

*Sigh* I think my anxiety disorder is starting to creep back up into me. Maybe that's really just my whole problem. Its hard to take care of myself and keep tabs on my own mental disorder, when I'm being such a pillar for Lon and overcoming his Bipolar. I'm not complaining and I will always be there for him, I simply feel like lately I have been slipping into depression and losing all motivation to do anything way too much lately. Maybe its time for me to go talk to Lon's therapist and get a new perspective. *Sigh* I just wish that perspective wasn't $100 an hour... Anyone have any perspective for me that's free??? Please make it constructive, not rude please. Like I said previously in my post, I don't need any negativity.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top Two Tuesday! March 22, 2011

Hope everyone is having a good Tuesday. Today is my self-proclaimed day off of blogging lol, but I will be participating in the Top Two Tuesday from now on also. Here's an update on my morning still- Sleeting outside, no caffeine in the house, grumpy baby and grumpy daddy. Ugggggggh!!! Lol enjoy this post, and check out some archived posts too! :D Have an awesome day! 

Top Two Tuesday!!



My Top Two Dream Rooms!

#1 A studio room

This may seem weird to some people, but I am a multimedia artist in many ways lol- I draw, I paint, I sculpt, I photograph and I also dance and sing. In my dream home, I want a room for Lon and I that has wooden floors for dancing on, a desk for my laptop computer with a photot printer, some ballet bars all along the inside wall, a decent amount of space to dance on, big windows lining the outside wall for natural sunlight, a big theater system for dancing, and a big cabinet in the corner for holding all of my art supplies. I desire this room so much, and though I know I will probably have to do a lot of construction to make this room. But I can still can still dream right???





Something like this but of course smaller and with...
(This photo thanks to http://www.schoolofdanceart.biz)



...an art space like this! :D
(This photo thanks to http://www.jenniferyoung.com)

#2 Alan's bedroom

I would love to give Alan a bigger bedroom for him to play in, now that he is coming up on the age of two. And by the time we buy our new house, he will be about three so it would be definite time for him to get a big boy bedroom. Alan's favorite thing of all time (besides his parents haha) is cars! He just loves cars and driving them and his favorite toy of all time is a Matchbox garage that Great Grandma Audrey got him for Christmas. I think that we would decorate his room in cars. I would get gim one of those cliche car toddler beds, a big red racecar. And we'd put his toy shelf in there, maybe paint some decorative cars on the side of it. Then possibly some cute paintings done by Lon or I of cars and other things he likes would hang on his wall. The walls themselves would be either a light blue or maybe a green of some shade. And we'd hang either orange or red curtains on the windows. Otherwise, real easy and simple. He's a toddler, so the most he'd want is a lot of play space lol. :)



This bedroom is cute, but I always pictured him in a...
(This photo thanks to http://www.furnitureusa.com)



...toddler bed more like this, Lightning McQueen style! 
(This photo thanks to http://www.babycrib-toddlerbed.com)


Hope everyone has a great Tuesday! I'm looking forward to my two art classes, and one with Alan! Yeah hope he gets to see his little crush lol. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Make that Multitasking Mondays lol!

Because I've got another blog hop that I just got invited to! Whoo I'm so popular... Just kidding, pahahahahahaha! :D

Okay so tonight after I got off of work and had put Alan to bed, I decided to watch The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasuss on Starz because their wasn't much else on tv. And frankly, I really wanted to know what the eff was going on with this movie lol, because I had seen the previews and had been intrigued not only by the fact that it was an unreleased Heath Ledger movie, but by the sheer oddness of the commercial. And let me tell you, having just had finished it, I still have absolutely NO IDEA what happened lol. WTH???? :) I mean, I paid attention and got the idea of the Imaginarium and the Devil's contract and all that good stuff, but I still am super confused as to what really happened, when it was actually Heath Ledger and not Colin Ferrel or maybe even Johnny Depp? So confused!!! Anyone else feel this way after watching this movie? I really need some mental support with this, I have to say I'm quite stumped and I'm normally really open and understanding of these types of movies.

But without further ado, here's Meet Me on Monday!!!

Meet Me on Monday!!!






What jewelry do you wear 24/7?
My wedding ring and my peace sign necklace lol. That's about it, I'm a pretty simple gal. And if you really want to get technical, I don't even wear either of those jewelry 24/7, just from when I wake up til when I go to bed.


Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?
Let me clarify before I say this, I am Italian (well at least raised Italian by my step-grandfather lol) AND I'm a member of the well known Townsend, MT Welch family. That deadly combination makes me a messy, fast get-it-in-your-mouth-asap sort of eater. :P So I am a definite twirler and slurper of spaghetti, lmao! Who needs table manners if you eat on your lap lol??? Like a true redneck would say... :D

How many siblings do you have?
My husband and I both have six siblings. Weird huh? I love it! We also have three brothers between the two of us that are engaged and we can't wait to add more to the mix!  :D There's Darren + his finance Rachael and son Connor, Me, Natalie, Mary, April, and Kalvin on my side. And Cameron, Tyler + his finance Sam, Lon, Aaron + his finance Nikki, Chase and Ariel on Lon's side. I love that we both come from big families and that Alan has A TON of loving aunts and uncles to spoil him. And they do, all the time lol!

Were you named after anyone? 
Jillian... My parents joke that they named me after Jill the housewife from Home Improvement lol, but the fact is, they didn't. :) I was originally going to be named Gillian because my mother loved the name and they way it looked (as I do too really). But my father hated the spelling and he said that kids in elementary would make fun of me and call me Giligan lol. So thus the "J" spelling.


June... My middle name was actually named after someone, after my dear Great Grandma June on my mother's side of the family. I was able to meet her after my birth, and we got wonderful generation photos, which I have plans of having a collage of my generation photo and Alan's generation photos being made for a wall piece in our living room. I don't remember when she passed, but it was sometime very early in my life, hence the lack of a memory. I love my middle name so, and plan on passing it down to my first born daughter if I get the chance.


Coke or Pepsi?
Easy, Pepsi lol, what I am currently drinking. :) But I will give Coke this, I will only ever use Coke in my mix drinks lol. Pepsi just tastes too sweet while Coke has a similar biting taste like the alcohol. Not that I drink anymore really lol, I just remember my preferences. And long for them every once and a while, when life gets hella stressful... :)

Motivational Mondays!! March 21, 2011

Motivational Monday Blog Hop!!





Happy Monday everyone! This is my first time doing this, so enjoy! :D

"Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you're riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live!" Bob Marley

I really wanted to do a mantra from either the Dhammapadda or the Tao Te Ching, but I lent one of them to a good friend and have misplaced the other one, oddly enough. The next best thing I could think of was the always insightful Bob Marley. <3 This man is a genius in my eyes. He has pulled me out of some dark times in my life with his music and his everlasting love. <3 I will do a mantra next week though. I have the perfect one in mind! :D I hope everyone has a grand Monday! I can't wait to link up and read some new blogs! Peace!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunny Family Sundays

I love Sundays so much. Most weeks, its my only day off from work. This week was one of those weeks. And as most of you know, my family has a tradition known as Family Sundays. We simply spend our whole day together, doing fun family activities. :)

Today, Alan woke up and Lon brought him to our bed for our usual morning snuggle. We watched Jake and the Never Land Pirates (Alan's new second favorite show- only behind Seasame Street lol). Then we got up and I made eggs while Alan and Lon made us toast with jelly (Alan helped by spreading the jelly on with a spoon! We were so proud!). We ate breakfast together and then started potty training. In between our morning play sessions, Alan went to the potty eight times again and we're very happy to say he went pee twice! :D We will continue with the first "step" (going potty at home with diapers, goal nothing in diapers) next week and hopefully the last week of March we will be able to start trying out potty training at Child Watch!

Just before Alan went down for his nap, I convinced Lon to go on a short walk with Alan and I. We walked around the neighborhood a couple of blocks, and Alan loved being outside! Like he always does lol. :) We passed a few people walking dogs, and each time Alan squealed and clapped or yelled at the dog. He kept calling them all BuhBuh (Lon's parent's dog) lol, no matter how many times we explained to him where Buster was. Silly boy! But he really enjoyed the walk, and it was the perfect thing to wear him out for his nap! Score one for us parents lol! While Alan napped, Lon and I were able to finish what cleaning he wasn't able to get to yesterday. We have a clean house once again! :D Well see how long it lasts though lol!

Alan awoke around 3:30, ready to get out for the day! :) Since Lon had recently gotten paid and we had a little extra spending cash from his paycheck, we thought we'd try to make a trip to the new Sonic recently built in the Heights. We drove up there, and were bummed to discover that it was still RIDICULOUSLY PACKED... :\ We're planning on waking up early and going tomorrow at 10, hopefully it won't be super busy then. Cross your fingers for us! Lon and I love Sonic! :) Instead, we ate at the Dairy Queen up there because I had coupons. Yes lol! :) Lon had a chili cheese dog (he really wanted Sonic lol) and onion rings, I had a cheeseburger and french fries, and Alan had a kids meal with a hot dog and french fries. Yum!

We decided to go visit Grandma and Grandpa Andersen after our late lunch. We hoped to take Aunt Ariel to the park nearby their house, but she wasn't home when we got there. So instead, Alan and I played with Buster in the house and out in the backyard while Lon and his dad worked on his car some. Then Alan visited with Uncle Chase just before he left with friends. We missed Uncle Chase this last week, as he was in Bozeman with Uncle Tyler and Aunt Sam. Alan was very happy to see him. :) Then Alan harassed Grandma Amber, who was trying to do some spring cleaning. After that, I put him up at the table with his leftover hot dog, bun and fries. He chowed it down, and fed some to Buster before we caught him! Little turd! :P Then we had to head home for dinner.

For dinner, I made sloppy joes with tater tots and peas. We made Alan one and cut it up into tiny pieces, but he got upset about that and wouldn't touch it. Guess who got to eat that one lol??? You're reading her blog! :P So we made a second one for Alan and cut it into thirds, which he seemed to tolerate because he ate all three of them, plus a ton of tater tots and peas! Lon enjoyed dinner as well. While I was meditating after dinner, Alan and him made me peanut butter cookies as a thank you for dinner! :) They were also delicious! Thanks honey! We were also able to squeeze in two more potty training sessions before having to bathe Alan and put him to bed, and he peed once again! That makes three times today! We're definitely making some progress! :D Alan had a wonderful time in his bath, and went to bed peacefully without a fuss. Now that's what I call a Sunday night!

Lon went into the Village Inn to set up for Monday, so I'm gonna go take a shower and then possibly read some. Found a book I bought a while ago and must have misplaced. I might start it tonight. :) I also was able to upload some of my back logged blog posts from last year. Check out my archives if your interested! I will continue with more tomorrow! Have a great night everyone!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Whirlwind of a Day!

Today was an busy but good day for my family and I. :) Unfortunately, I had to get up early this morning for work lol. But it looked like a nice day outside so I decided to walk to work, rather than wake up my husband and son to take me three blocks lol (Yes, my car is still in the shop and probably will be until Tuesday or Wednesday. Great! Thankfully for me, its springtime!) because that would have just been mean! My husband has been dealing with a lot of tooth and eye pain lately and has thus been losing a ton of sleep. And like I said previously, its only like three blocks. The walk was pleasant too. It was a little chilly, surprisingly, but the birds were singing and that sun was just a shining. I love Big Sky mornings. :)

Today was Healthy Kids Day at the YMCA. This was a day that invites all children to come and participate in fun, healthy activities. They could take part in arts and crafts, hula hooping, carnival games, face painting, Despicable Me showing IN THE POOL, planting flowers or pumpkins, Simon Says, Family Zumba, Celebrity Basketball, and Rock, Tumble, Roll. I also had my Kindergarten art class. Healthy Kids Day was really fun for me, I was able to help out with the arts and crafts, carnival games, planting, and Rock, Tumble, Roll. And my art class was really successful also. We were learning about France today. I read them a fun little story about France and taught them a little about Vincent Van Gogh. Then after we finished our 3D shamrocks, we duplicated Van Gogh's "Starry Night" with watercolors and crayon, and made popsicle stick Effiel Towers. I only had two of my girls in class today, but both of them were very interested in the subject. They asked questions and paid attention and when their pictures were finished, they looked just beatiful!

After I got off work, I walked back home. Alan was in the middle of his nap and Lon was doing some much needed cleaning around the house. Love him! :) When I got home, Lon shared his news of how the potty training went (My cell phone's screen broke today so I was not able to text him at all) and everything went great! Alan went to the potty eight times and only really peed a little once. But that one time he went, it was only because Alan recognized he was peeing and pointed at his diaper, saying "Uh oh!" Lon ran him to the potty and when he put him on there, sure enough he peed a little! Big boy! :D I was a proud mama!

Alan woke up from his nap around 3:30 and we had my father pick us up to take us to Pioneer Park. Aunt April, Uncle Kalvin and my cousin Morgan came with us. We had the best time ever!! :) It was sunny and beautiful outside, and there were tons of people at the park (Alan's favorite thing- people lol). We even saw three kids from daycare! We let Alan walk wherever he wanted, as long as he was holding someone's hand. He immeadiately went to the playground and right to a swing lol. He's his mother's son. :D We swung him for probably fifteen minutes and he just loved it the whole time. Two twin baby boys were put in the swings next to Alan, and he got even more excited. Even though the boys couldn't have been older than five months, he pointed at them and talked to them like they were his age or older lmao! Their names were Harven and Henry- too stinking cute! Their mom was about my age and was really nice, we talked and pushed our kids on the swing for a good time! But then, Alan got restless and so we took him around the playground. He went down the slides all by himself (well mostly, I had a hand on him but he didn't want any help whatsoever) and walked all over the playground.

Uncle Kalvin wanted to go see the creek that runs through the park, so we packed up and went for a long walk around the park. About to the bridge over the creek, two ladies walking four poodles passed us. They started jumping the creek, trying to get their dogs to jump with them. The dogs started copying their owners right as we were crossing the bridge. Alan got so excited and watched the whole thing, laughing and yelling. It might as well have been the circus lol. He was so happy to watch those poodles jump back and forth. We continued off the bridge and even had to stop to continue watching them. :) A couple times the dogs looped around and ran close by us, Alan freaked out! He loves dogs so much and just couldn't handle how cool the whole thing was. Love my boy! :D We continued along the path and Alan started running a head of us. Aunt April and I caught up to him and while we waited for the other two, Aunt April tried to get Alan to jump. He did maybe once, but his little feet barely left the ground. Don't tell her that though, she insists that he jumped way high up! Lmao! My sister is such a hoot!

We had a wonderful time at the park, and I took some great photos on my cell phone. But I can't seem to figure out how to get them up here. Darn! Does anyone have any suggestions for me? That would be much appreciated. :D As for now, go to my FB page and look at the ones I have up.

Tonight since Lon had to work, Alan and I went out to dinner with my family. We went to our family's favorite Mexican restaurant that was downtown, in hopes that we wouldn't have to see all the high school prom goers (Its that time of year again, ladies and gents. Ugh thank goodness I don't work in a restaurant anymore!) and we actually got lucky! The place was empty and we were locals, so we got a nice, big, private table in the back. Now I have a big family- I have two brothers and three sisters, six of us kids in total- and we are LOUD! We didn't have my oldest brother and his family with us or my baby sister, but we had my cousin Morgan and Alan to compensate lol. :P All I have to say is, THANK GOODNESS there weren't any prom goers who bothered these people tonight, we probably bothered them enough on our own lmao! Alan got his own kids dish (chicken quesidilla with beans and rice) and he ate almost the whole thing, all by himself! He used a spoon and fed himself the beans (which he soon discovered that he loathes, they made him gag), rice and even the quesidilla lol! I was very proud of him, but because he fed himself he made a humongous mess everywhere! I felt so bad, I helped clean it up a little before we left and then chipped in a little extra so they could have a nice tip. Hey I used to be a waitress too! And it sucks sometimes! :)

Now I am at home blogging (no really lol??), just having finished meditating to sum up the whole day and I feel great! Today was a good day and I know tomorrow will only be better. Its Family Sunday of course! :) I predict we will spend it... Snuggling in bed, watching lots of Elmo and Seasame Street, playing outside, taking walks, visiting Lon's family, and maybe even trying out the new Sonic in the heights???? :D Only if its not crazy busy, like it has been since... it opened last week lol.

Hope everyone also had a great day, and I wish everyone's Sunday to be the best it can be! Goodnight! <3

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five Question Friday! March 18, 2011

Once again, I feel like the week just blew by! How does this continue to happen to me lol??? Oh wait, I know how... Because I'm a mom! :) My life has been crazy busy this week too. We've started potty training Alan, yesterday was Lon and I's anniversary, its that time of the month to pay bills, I had to go pick up my wedding dress and shoes from the steamer's, Lon's tooth is still hurting him so we had to take him back into the dentist, my car broke down so we're taking it to the shop and with all of that, I also have my art classes to teach and the rest of my job to work. Blah we are running around like crazy from dawn to dusk this week! That's okay though lol, at least it got us through the week fast and now I'm ready for the weekend! 

This weekend we hope to get Alan outside a bunch (he loves this warm weather!) and do some spring cleaning around the apartment. You can totally tell we've been stuck inside here all winter with cabin fever, its a pit lol! But for now, its time for my third Five Question Friday... Hooray!! :D

Five Question Friday!!! 




1. Have you ever testified in court? For what?
 Yep. My senior year of high school, my work was in a sexual harassment case against one of our employees. I had worked often with this person, and was asked to testify for my company. It was really boring and almost made me go over my ten days at school so I hated the whole thing, but yes I've had the experience lol.

2. Do you still have your wedding dress?
Ahahaha, of course I do lol. :D I actually just got it yesterday and let me tell you, its just BEEEEEAAAAAUUUUUTIFUL!!!! Darn I just love it so much, and I look so very good in it! I can't wait to get some pics of it up on here! :D

3. Is there a special place you like to go when you're happy, sad, stressed, etc.?
Yes, there is one place I love to go to think and sometimes meditate in the spring and summer. Those of you that know Billings, that place is the rims. <3 I love going to the rims and going right up to the edge of a cliff, and sitting on the edge to just ponder and think. Ooh its just so beautiful and peaceful up there, and if you find the right spot, you can have airplanes fly right over you to land. A lot of Billings folk underestimate the rims, but honestly if there is one place to find my family in the warm weather, it'd be up there. Lon enjoys climbing and hiking, Alan loves all the cacti and other cool plants, and me? I just love it all. Yes, the rims are definitely my special place. We would have gotten married up there except for the terrain wouldn't have allowed certain important guests (our grandparents). But its still my favorite!

4. If you have kids, do they sleep with you? If you don't have kids...will you let your kids sleep with you when/if you have them?
Alan only sleeps with us when he's teething or really sick. But I do not have any problem with co-sleeping, we did it until Alan was about four months old. After that point though, Alan became really conscious and proffered sleeping alone in his crib or in his swing. But still to this day, Alan comes to bed with me to snuggle until he falls asleep every night. Then I take him to his bed, were he sleeps through the night. We plan on co-sleeping with our next children too, as long as they want. I don't see the harm in it, as long as it ends before the child turns two.

5. Do you watch late night TV?
Oh yeah I'm a total late night TV watcher. :) My husband works til eleven or later every night but Sundays, so I stay up waiting for him. I watch Adult Swim, Conan, The Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and any movie I can find on tv lol. But its really the only time I get to watch tv and the only time I have to myself. So what can I say lol? :P

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! :D

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I hope you don't mind that I put down in words how wonderful life is while you're in the world.

And it is. <3

Today is our one year anniversary since Lon and I got married at the tax counter.  Yay! :D I am so happy right now and can't wait to enjoy a wonderful day with my beloved boys. Oh and happy Saint Patrick's Day to everyone also! :) We've been trying to teach Alan to say leprechaun today and so far haven't been successful lol. Maybe we should have started teaching him earlier??? :P

But I digress, I'm making this post all about my wonderfully amazing husband. So here we go go!! (Dr. Suess anyone? Sorry, back to Lon lmao!)

What can I say about you Lon??? There's so much to love... And so many words to express my love. Some that aren't all mine lol. Yes when I think of Lon, a lot of songs and lyrics come to mind. This is of course because music is such a big part of my life, even though I no longer create my own music. So I will probably just be throwing in random lyrics, and I will quotation them so no one is confused lol. :)

"I've been thinking its a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they're perfectly aligned."

I know we've been through a lot together, some good and some bad, but we've made it through and now here we are at the clearing. And how beautiful this clearing is. We're all healthy, we have a comfortable place to live, we both have jobs and cars, and we are okay financially. Not to mention about to have our real wedding too! :) That's way better than where we were at the beginning of the relationship. At the beginning of this we were both young lost kids who didn't know what to do with our lives. Now we have a lot to do! :D It makes me so happy.

"Cos maybe, you're gonna be the one that saves me. And afterall, you're my wonderwall."

Wow perfect lyric placement. This lyric is so very true to us. You are my number one supporter in life, and you have been since the day you met me. That unconditional love and support is so amazing, it just blows me away. You always know how to bring up my spirits and make me happy again, even if its just something stupid. You remember all the things that I like (even the little things) and will always think of me before yourself. We will always have so much to talk about and you know how to make me laugh. You seem to be the only one who really understands me and what I go through mentally with my PPAD. We seem to be perfect matches for each other, I support your flaws to make you stronger and you support mine as well. You really are my best friend, perfect parenting partner, and a wonderful husband.

"I need you to see this place, it might be the only way that I can show you how it feels to be inside of you! How do you do when you make me feel like I do? How do you do when its better than I ever knew?"

This may not be the best lyric to go before this, but I mean it figuritively of course. :) Ah Incubus and your sexual innuendos...

Anyways Lon, you are the best father to Alan. You are so sweet, gentle, understanding, loving, helpful and playful with him. I can tell he just adores you, you can see it in his eyes when he looks at you. He is going to grow up with the most love and respect for you, I can't wait. He'll probably even follow in your footsteps as an artist and an inventor. He'll be proud to call you his dad. :)

"Back and forth we sway like branches in a storm. Change the weather still together when it ends."

I really cannot wait to officailly marry you. I'll admit, the first time I met you, I didn't even think that we'd make it this far. I thought we'd just be friends like I was with your other brothers. But I've never been happier to have this family with you. I wouldn't want to have a family with anyone else and I wouldn't change it anyway. You and Alan are my life, completely fully and entirely. Ugh there are so many more things I want to say but I don't know how to... So I will leave it with this, Lon you are my life, my love and my everything. Happy first anniversary. <3

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Alan is continuing to wow us! Well of course!

Yesterday was uneventful for us except for Alan's art class. Lon doesn't work Tuesdays so he and Alan met me after my first class and we prepared for this next class together. I love that my husband is an artist because I can just give him directions and not have to worry about him. Which is good because I had about 25 shamrocks of various sizes to cut out in fifteen minutes lol. Oops! :P

Class went great! Everyone was there, and all the toddlers participated in all of the projects with their parents/grandparents. Alan loved being the only boy in class, besides his daddy. He got to sit in between two of the girls and he thoroughly enjoyed helping them get their crayons, glue sticks, pompoms, glitters, and colored noodles for their crafts. I think everyone enjoyed making the 3D shamrocks the best because of all the gluing. Or maybe the Saint Patrick's Day drawings because they were allowed to draw with pencils. Or even the shamrock rainbows because of the coloring and texture of the plate (who knew toddlers would love the ridges of a paper plater lol???). Its safe to say we all enjoyed class. :) Can't wait for next weeks class!

Potty training has also been going well for us. Yesterday, even with all the hubub of work and daycare and class, Alan made five trips to the potty and two of them were successful! And today, just before his nap (which is where he is currently of course), he made seven trips to the potty and one has been successful! We are so proud of our little man! Every time we set him down to go potty, we discuss what he is doing and calmly talk with him to keep him sitting. As of today, he has not tried to get up and escape naked. Yet. But we only have maybe two more potty trips before we go to daycare, so who knows? I hope we can keep him distracted enough, or that he continues to be as understanding about what we are doing. But I am confident of Alan and I know he will continue to wow us with his development. :)

Speaking of his development, Alan and his father were practicing throwing, sorry pitching the ball in our living room just before noon and lunchtime. Hmmm. Now I know that Lon has good intentions (he wants to get Alan in sports at four or five to help with the possible ADHD he may have) about teaching him to pitch, in case maybe Alan wants to try baseball or tee ball in the future, but really??? In the house? In the LIVING ROOM, where all of our pictures and my elephant collection currently dwell?? C'mon Lon! :) His excuse was that it was rainy outside, which I guess it had rained... previously this morning. :P But I couldn't gripe too much, because I saw how much Alan was enjoying it and how good he was getting at pitching. He was able to throw the ball all the way to by the window! What a proud mama I am! :D

Monday, March 14, 2011

Adventures in Potty Training...

So we've been kinda preparing Alan for potty training since Christmas. As gifts, he got an Elmo trainer potty, Elmo Goes Potty DVD, Elmo Potty books and a few other big boy toys. And everyday since then, Alan sits down to watch his DVD and then I will read the book and we talk about going potty. But now that its March and Alan's eighteen months, we have actually started potty training him. Today was first day and I was anticipating it not going over very well, but everything surprisingly went great! Thank goodness!

I've been researching the best way to potty train a toddler since December, and I think I've developed a fool proof way which combines a lot of what people have told me with what I've read in books. My biggest concern was not making it too scary or too forcing it on him, because my son is such a free spirit he tends to revolt a little if I force to do things. So everything I'm doing is not immediate and not too demanding of him (honestly if he doesn't actually use the potty for a week, we wouldn't care). I dunno if anyone is curious exactly what my plan is, but here it is:

We're starting out only using the potty at home, every half an hour. We ask him if he needs to go, take him to the potty, strip him down, and set him on it for about five minutes. Once he gets used to that (after a week or two) we'll try using the potty outside of the house, still wearing diapers though. And after a week or so of that, we will put him in underwear while we're at home, putting him on the potty now every fifteen to twenty minutes. Hopefully he will not want to wet his underwear, and he will start to tell us when he has to go potty. When he can recognize that he has to go potty, we will try wearing underwear to Child Watch first. This will allow us to try out using the potty with underwear outside of the house without having too much of a catastrophe lol. I'm so thankful I work there. :) And as soon as we accomplish wearing underwear for the whole three hours with no wetting, we will try wearing them for a whole day! :D I estimate this whole thing to take us only until late May, early June. How's that for a fast potty training? :)

Today went well for us too. Alan woke up at 8, and as soon as he was finished with breakfast we stuck him on the potty. He didn't mind sitting on it naked at first, then he got really angry when he realized that he wasn't allowed to leave the potty naked lol. Silly boy. :) The next few times went a lot better however, and he even peed a little one of the times! Then he went up for his lunch of turkey, carrots, peaches, cheese and apple juice. He did have a BM while he was up there, but he knew that he had and became uncomfortable! We had to change him in the middle of lunch! That's some progress! The last time we put him on the potty before he went down for his nap, he peed a whole bunch and it scared him lol! So adorable! :) All in all today, he sat on the potty nine times and peed pretty much twice! Go big boy, go!

I have a feeling that Alan will just breeze through my potty training plan, only because he is so smart! He amazes me everyday with everything new he learns! Tonight, when I got off work and went to my parent's to pick up Alan, I came in to find Uncle Kalvin and Alan tying up Grandpa Kevin, train robber style. :D Alan was actually helping Uncle Kalvin too, he wasn't just standing there! And he kept repeating everything Uncle Kalvin would say to Grandpa lol. What a funny little smart guy I have!! Tomorrow he has his second art class with Dad and me lol, I am so excited! We are learning about Ireland and St. Patrick's Day this week so we are making 3D shamrocks, shamrock rainbow pictures, and drawing leprechans. It should be lots of fun!!!

Hope everyone else had as good of a Monday as I did! :) I love my family and I love my life!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday is the day of rest? For who??? Not me!

This morning, Alan woke up early (well not too early, except that we lost that hour with DST so that made it early) with me and we had a nice breakfast of Kix, strawberry granola bar, a waffle, scrambled eggs, and milk to drink.  We listened to music and read books, colored and played with cars. Lon worked til midnight last night so he needed to sleep in. Plus I enjoyed my special Mama and Son morning together. :) Lon loved waking up to fresh breakfast made by me (Yes we saved him some lol!).

After we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. It looked absolutely gorgeous outside and the sunshine was calling us. So we put Alan in a light jacket and pants, and after some debate, I decided that the stroller would be best instead of putting Alan in boots so he could walk with us. So we put him in his baby stroller... And he hated it, somewhat. He fussed about being buckled in it, until we rolled him into the sunshine and outdoors! He thoroughly enjoyed walking down to Good Earth, our local organic store and strolling past the Moss Mansion. We then walked up and down some of the historical neighborhoods around our house. Alan pointed at birds and houses, and talked about people, dogs and passing cars. He had such a good time we think we might turn this into a regular Family Sunday activity, now that the weather is nice.

Then Lon made us his famous cheesy chicken nuggets (TOO DIE FOR!!!!) for lunch, along with french fries and carrot slices. Alan is currently mastering dunking things into sauces, so we put a tiny droplet of ketchup on his tray. And let me tell you, this boy has got it down! He will even dunk it in the ketchup and eat the food, instead of just licking off the ketchup as most children do (I did!). I am one proud mama! After lunch, we had quiet time and read some books before putting him down for his nap. Then Lon and I got some much needed cleaning done in the living room, our bedroom and kitchen. Only the bathroom, Alan's bedroom and some leftover dishes to do! :)

Once Alan was awake, we went to Grandma Amber and Grandpa Steve's house. Uncle Chase and Aunt Ariel were there, as well as Uncle Tyler, Aunt Sam, Uncle Aaron, and Aunt Nikki! Alan loved all the attention he got from everyone, and he loved having a piece of Grandma Amber's yellow cake with chocolate frosting. He got most of the chocolate on his cheeks and mouth but he had a ton of fun eating it. Then he ran around with Buster and jumped on him lol! All in all we had a good time there, and seeing almost the whole family was wonderful!

For dinner we had Hamburger Helper Double Cheeseburger Macaroni made with Elk burger. For those of you who don't know, my father is an avid hunter and he is the main provider of meat for my family. I love that he helps us and I love knowing where all our family's meat came from. But dinner was just divine! Even Alan liked it, he ate two of his toddler suction bowls worth of it! He also had applesauce and with those two foods he was covered head to toe by the time he was finished lol! So we gave him a bath.

Now Alan is weird with baths, he only likes them at certain times of the day. He will scream through the whole bath if you give him one in the daytime, but if its dark outside and its after dinner, he will gladly sit and play in a bath for however long he pleases. Tonight he played in the tub for twenty minutes! For bath toys he has Pacayo squirters and rubber ducks, and they are his favorite to play with. He doesn't even mind getting his hair rinsed. Big boy! :) After we got him out of the tub and got his hair dry, I had the challenge of combing his hair and brushing his teeth. Does anyone else's baby have dreads on the back of his head at the end of every day? Lol because my son does. Every day, it never fails... There's always a couple little perfect baby dreads that I will have to carefully comb out. And about brushing his teeth lol? Uggggggh... I have a toothbrush that just slips on your finger and man does it suck now! He bites my finger so hard everytime! I think its time to invest in a different time of toothbrush for him lol. :)

And now that he's in bed, I can sit here and reflect on my day before meditating. Today's Family Sunday went very well. Everyone, including Alan, had a great day. And it was wonderful to see almost all of the Andersen family! I hope everyone's Sunday and weekend were just as good as ours. :D

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Staying Strong Through Financial Woes

I am horribly stressed about finances right now. Amidst all this wedding planning and preparation, we find out that we make too much to receive food stamps anymore. Thus they have revoked what little a month they were giving us and now we are in the hole BIG TIME. Let me tell you, we do NOT make too much to NEED food stamps. Even though my husband and I have jobs and each work 35+ hours a week, we still struggle every single month to make enough to cover rent, utilities, my car payment, car insurance (which just went up HARDCORE), cell phone bills, Lon's dental bill, Lon's therapy bill, Lon's medication, my therapy bill that we are in debt for, my medication and to pay back Lon's parents (we set up loan agreement with them to avoid bank interest among other things). We have been on food stamps since Alan was born, and though we do not rely all of our grocery budget on food stamps, they have helped us out a lot. We are also on WIC, which is also beneficial. But now, only being on WIC is not gonna be enough for us.

I've been continuously racking my brain for things that we could do to solve this problem without turning back to food stamps. Because my only options there is quit my job or have another kid, neither of which I want to do right now. So I have a few other options to mull over:

-I have only $500 in savings for emergencies, but groceries doesn't seem enough of an emergency for us... At least not yet.

-We cannot just cancel the wedding at this point either, to save us some money. All the invitations are out, my dress is purchased, and its only six weeks away as of today.

-I don't think I could work a second job right now. Working in three different departments at my job is already stressful enough for me, somedays it feels like I'm working three jobs. 

-Same goes for Lon, he works seven days a week like six to eight hours a day. There's no way he could work somewhere else too, even if it was only part-time.

-There's nothing really that we could give up so that we'd save some money every month. My family are such simple, non-materialistic people that the only luxury we really have is satellite cable and even that is more for the educational aspect (our television is normally tuned to either the History Channel, PBS, TLC, Sprout, Nick Junior, the Discovery Channel or the Documentary Channel) and only costs us $25 a month anyways. Plus we are in the middle of a two year contract that would be more expensive to break than keep.

-Of course its a given that we will be cutting back on what little we do spend on non-grocery store food. In other words, restaurants and coffee shops and such. But once again, that's only like an extra $20 a month.

The Dhammapadda tells me not to worry over financial or material issues, and normally I don't because I know that as long as we are continuing to work, money will come. But what happens when we have more hands asking us for money than we have to give them??? I've been reading and reading and yet I find no answer to this. And so I continue to stress... The answer is of course to cut down the unnecessary, and so we will. We will pull through, I have faith in this family. We will just have to work extra hard and go without some luxuries. But that's life at some points. :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Five Question Friday!!! March 11, 2011

Wow, I totally cannot believe that Friday has come so fast. To me, it seemed like just yesterday it was Monday. I feel like I have no idea were the week has gone. Weird! :) Had quite a bit going on this week too- finished the last of my reception decoration shopping, Alan had his WIC appointment, Alan had his first art class, picked up my wedding dress and took it in for steaming, bought my wedding shoes (they're my something blue!), Alan had his doctor appointment, and I also worked all week. I'm glad that today I can spend it at home with my boys, before going in to the CW with Alan at three. Should be a good day! :D

Also, my heart goes out to all those affected by the earthquakes and tsunamis. <3 How horrible it is to watch the devastation on television, I cannot begin to imagine what its like to be there. I will be praying for everyone affected tonight.


Five Question Friday!!!




1. Do you know what your REAL hair color is?
Yes I do, I've actually only dyed my hair once. It was over four years ago and my hair has already fully grown it out. I will. never. dye. my. hair. again. Personal choice lol. My real hair color is a dark brunette. :)

2. Do you plan ahead for summer, or fly by the seat of your pants?
I try to plan at least one big trip each summer (this year Lon and I get to go on our honeymoon yay!) and we always plan to go camping at the Canyon Ferry Lake with my family for the fourth of July. Otherwise, we just live day to day. Life flows better that way I think.

3. What is your favorite meal to cook?
I just LOOOOOOOOOVE to cook spaghetti. Mostly I think its because it results in me eating it lol. But it is the one thing that I will never complain about having to make. Its really easy to cook and just deliciously divine!

4. Do you get offended by not receiving thank yous?
I don't get offended about not receiving actual thank you cards, I understand that everyone is busy with their own lives and don't expect them to be as crafty as me lol. But don't get me wrong, I do get offended if I don't get a thank you at all. A verbal thank you and hug will totally suffice but I need something lol. I'm also the type of person who always puts soooo much thought into just about every gift I give someone, so I really love to see people appreciate and enjoy my effort. Its not rude, just old fashioned. :)

5. How did you meet your best friend?
Ah my Jenelle Mehling... <3 We had my first ever college art class together. She seemed to like the same sort of things I did and we sat next to each other, so we started talking after a while. Found out that she knew my cousin Ashley and when I asked how, she told me she was dating her brother Garrett, also my cousin lol. What a small world!! They are no longer together but we're running strong. :) We've been best friends for almost four years now and she's also my maid of honor. I want her to eventually be Alan's godmother, but she's gotta marry first lol. :) So for now, she's Aunt J. <3 But I love her like a sister and I know she will always be in my family's life. Thank goodness! :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

18 Month Well Baby Checkup

We're at the doctor's office right now. Alan weighs 27 pounds exactly and is 32.5 inches tall. He loved seeing his doctor (they have a little friendship because she's known him since birth) and she once again said he was really advanced for his age. :) About the low iron count, she said that it should just be because he's a milk lover, and to cut down a sipper a day. No real concern needed (Phew!). Overall, Alan behaved really well, he only had a meltdown in the car on the way. Now my only concern is the shot. Hep A I hear is not a fun one. :( And this is my first time holding him for shots.

**UPDATE**
Alan's shot went okay. He only screamed about for a minute or two and now just is real fussy about his leg. I think he'll survive it and I'm glad I did too. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Still planning that wedding of ours lol.

Only six and a half weeks away from our wedding, and we are *almost* done planning for it lol. We have all our bridesmaids' and groomsmens' outfits picked out and ordered, and the last of them just came in yesterday. My dress and accessories are also picked out and ordered, and I get to go get my dress tomorrow after Alan's doctor appointment!! :D Our flower girls and ring bearers (plus their two chaperons lol) are almost all the way picked out (only Aunt Nikki has to pick out her dress). Even our mothers have their dresses picked out.

We ordered and now have our rings and I ordered all the flowers. I have our photographer scheduled (the one and only Bryson's Photo Studio) and the invitations are sent. Our venue is booked and we're praying to Mother Nature for good weather. All of our dates are scheduled- my bachelorette party, his bachelor party, my bridal shower, and the wedding reception. I've purchased almost all of the decorations and just need to get some purple streamers (that's the only color that the Dollar Tree doesn't carry! What???).

The only one who doesn't have something yet is my own husband lol! He was supposed to go get a tux this week, but has so far put it off. Grr! :P He's always the slacker though, so I'm used to it lol. But I can't call myself a hippie and then rag on him for his one hippie quality lol- Taking forever to do ANYTHING... <3

Like I said earlier in the post, tomorrow is Alan's eighteen month checkup. I am anxious as I will once again be taking him all by myself, which doesn't sound hard except its my wild man. :) I am also curious to see what his doctor says about his low iron. Let's hope its nothing but its still good to get a professional opinion, not that the WIC dietitians aren't professional lol. I've just trusted Alan's doctor with everything about him since he was born, she's my gal. :) I will post Alan's measurements asap tomorrow. Can't wait to see how much he weighs!

So Alan was cracking me up at daycare today, he and this other little boy were playing with a My Little Pony set and they started fighting over a hot pink pony lol. :) Ah children, how I love them so. Not trapped by such silly gender rules, they enjoy playing with suposed "girl" toys just because they are horses and fun. If only we could be like them and not judge other people when they don't follow gender rules, then this world would be a little bit of a happier place. Maybe we should learn from our children too, instead of just teaching them. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

This is what happens when an artist becomes a mother... **WITH UPDATE**

I am going to make this post a short one because my last two were so stinking long lol.
Tomorrow is my son's first ever art class with me!! :D That's right, Alan will be attending my Y Arts- Be Creative class this month, as he is eighteen months! I am so elated and excited for this, I have been imagining this day forever. That's an artist for ya though lol. He will be taking my Parent/Toddler class with his father. What a great bonding experience this will be for my boys! I promised to do my best to just play the part of "teacher" lol, but I will admit this will be hard for me. :) I am just so excited! Our lesson for tomorrow is African art- we are making African finger paint masks and drawing safari animals. I am anxious about Alan finger painting lol, but I know Daddy will help him draw those animals real good. :) I read somewhere that with lots of practice eighteen month old children can draw circles and shapes. I hope if we show him enough, he'll pick that up! That would be totally cool! :D I plan on making a scrapbook of all of his artwork from his classes, or maybe framing the bigger pieces and hanging them in his bedroom. Can you tell that I've put a lot of thought into this??? :P

Its just crazy to think that a year ago, Lon and I were sketching my sleeping baby boy and discussing what it'd be like when Alan started making his own art. And now its the eve of his first day of art class! Oh my goodness!! I am so giddy, it might as well be Christmas lol. :D Of course I will post an update tomorrow after class on how everything went. And if I can figure it out, I may even get up a couple of pictures from class up on here. Cos you know I'm gonna be taking pictures lol- I'm the classic always taking pictures mom!!

**UPDATE**

Alan and Lon had a pretty good time at art class, despite Alan running headlong into a table and bumping his poor little head. My poor boy, he now has a nice bruise on his right eyebrow. But it didn't slow him down too much. There were three other girls and their parents in his class (he was the only boy!) and Alan specifically connected with a cute blonde girl lol. He even jumped down from his chair to help her pick up some confetti pieces and popsicle sticks she had dropped! Of the three projects we did (we added a third simple cutting project to the class only because we had extra time), he only participated in one of them. But he worked on that one project almost the whole class! Lon also had a good time, and met another dad! :D And I enjoyed teaching all those bright young toddlers! I love my Parent/ Child classes!!

Here's a little picture from my mobile phone of Alan painting his mask. :D

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My dearest Alan, you are such a wonder...

Today was Family Sunday for my family. Ooh how I love Family Sundays. <3 We spent it reading books, coloring, shopping for wedding decorations, and having dinner with Lon's family. Family Sunday was such a good day, and I loved that we were able to see Uncle Tyrler and Aunt Sam before they went back to Bozeman! I am so blessed to be able to spend time with my son, he is such an amazingly intelligent young boy. :) He learns at least fifty new things a day and always remembers new faces and names. It hard to believe he's only a year and a half!

At eighteen months, Alan...

-Weighs at least 28 pounds and is around 35 inches tall (I will not know actual size until I take him to his well baby check up, which I haven't scheduled yet lol. Can you say procrastinator??).

-Is starting to learn to climb stairs on two feet, instead of both his hands and his feet. He has been walking now for nine months, and can run really well (unless he's really excited, then he loses all balance lol).

-Can now say, "Mama, Daddy, Nana (Grandma Melanie), Nonny (Grandma Amber), Papa (Grandpa Steve), Gampa (Grandpa Kevin), Nanny (Aunt Natalie), Apo (Aunt April), Borbin (Korbin), Buhbuh (Buster), Eat, Ball, Car, Dog, Milk, Up, No, Yeah, Nighnigh, Hi, Bye, Please, I Lub You, I Want Go, Potty, Read Me, Baby, Book, Pretty, Nice, and Cup." That's 35 words he knows! And I know that he understands even more words than that! Wow!

-Knows how to do all the hand actions to Patty Cake and Itzy Bitzy Spider. But he will only show you if he's not too shy lol.

-Can color with crayons and markers, all by himself! He also likes to paint, and play with play dough. He will be starting his first art class with me as his teacher this Tuesday! So excited! :D

-Can "dance" lol- he knows how to spin around, bounce up and down, kick his legs, wiggle his body, and clap his hands.

-Knows and can point out all his favorite characters in books and on the tv, like Elmo, Big Bird, Murray, Abby Cadabby, Grover, Handy Manny, Sid the Science Kid, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Muno, Broby, Phlex, DJ Lance, Oso, Diego, Dora, and Scooby-Doo.

-Is beginning to listen to me when I tell him simple commands, for example: wait, no touch please, this way, over here, follow me, hold on, let's go, come here please, and stay there. He will walk next to me and hold my hand, or when we're inside somewhere walk with me and not get into trouble. This I am very happy for, as he is waay past the carrying stage simply because of his size. He is as big as a two year old, so I am grateful he can walk with me like one.

-Enjoys looking at pictures and "reading by himself" lol, we keep several board books in his play area for constant access.

-Has a very active imagination. While playing Alan will drive cars, stack several blocks up and the knock them down, play with people in houses, take apart duplo blocks and put them back together, pretend to feed you, throw and kick balls, and pick up his toys afterwards.

-Knows where his mouth, head, nose, eyes, hair, ears and toes are.

-Can open and close doors. This is a problem when mom and dad want a minute or two of privacy lol. We put him in his play area and close our door and after only a few minutes of fussing, he opens our door and comes in lol. Darn! :)

-Has perfected his temper tantrum... Already??? Lol he practices it at least fifty times a day lol, screaming and throwing his head into the nearest hard thing lol, because he knows it makes me squirm. I've gotta learn to control my emotions lol, he's learning to read his mom and use it to his advantage.

-Is interested in potty training. We have been watching DVDs and reading books about it since Christmas, but now Alan is noticing when he poops or pees in his diaper and usually doesn't like it. We plan to start potty training this week (but that's a whole other post lol).

-Can feed himself applesauce, noodles and simple soups with a spoon or fork. He makes a mess doing it, but he gets better every time he tries. :)

-Is able to climb onto just about any medium height chair and turn around to sit in it. He loves that he can do this now, it makes him feel like such a big boy lol. We've gotten him two chairs and a toddler table and its his new favorite thing!

-Understands cause and effect... somewhat. :) If we give him an ultimatum (For example: if we sit and read this book, you can come up on the bed), he will find the loop hole in the ultimatum (For example: bringing the book up on the bed, but standing and running instead of sitting lol).

We have such a smart little man. I can't wait to watch him continue to grow into the beautiful adult he will become. <3

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Eighteen months ago... Alan's Birth Story

What a wonderful day today is! Today is the eighteen month anniversary with one of my beloved boys and the thirty month anniversary with my other beloved boy. <3 Two and a half years ago, my husband and I started our crazy relationship together. And a year and a half ago, my perfectly amazing son Alan Mikael was born. :D Its been a wonderful two and a half life-changing years, and I wouldn't change them for anything in the world! My son and my husband are the two most important people in the world and I love them both so very dearly. What a joyous day!! :D

In honor of my son's birth anniversary, I will share my birth story with you, fellow blog readers.
**DISCLAIMER**
Be wary though, this is a birth story. It will be somewhat graphic, its a birth story lol.

I started having contractions Thursday, September 3, 2009 around 10 pm. I was 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Right from the beginning, my contractions were decently painful and were only about fifteen minutes apart. Before midnight, my contractions were down to every ten minutes. I was pretty uncomfortable too- unable to sleep, no appetite, sensitive to light and sound, and not wanting to move at all. Lon called my mom and let her know my condition as she was my ride to the hospital. Then I spent the next five hours trying to sleep anywhere possible- the couch, our bed, the guest bed. No luck. Just before 6 am and with my contraction now five minutes apart, I finally decided it was time to go to the hospital.

That first time I went in, I was only a centimeter dilated and 50% effaced. The nurses had me walk the halls for an hour, which proved to be more difficult and way more painful than I had thought it would be. After that hour, there was no change so they discharged me to my mother's house. They at least wanted me to be closer than I would be at my old B.F.E. address (we lived in the Olympic Villages then, an apartment complex on the outskirts of town lol) but that still didn't make me feel confident I'd deliver him anytime soon.

I don't remember much about the next four hours, just lots of pain, pacing and worrying. Lon was working and couldn't be with me, so I did my best to breathe through the pain by myself or with my mother. I felt like I was about to deliver my son and my contractions were three to four minutes apart, but I wanted to wait a little longer to be sure, in fear that I'd just be sent back home. A little before noon, we went back in and the check up was sadly similar to the first one- only 2.5 centimeters and only 75% effaced, we walked for an hour with zero change resulting, and we were sent home.

The next three hours, I was a complete zombie. I didn't move, unless it was pacing to take my mind of the pain, and I still hadn't eaten or slept. My mom was absolutely frustrated with my lack of progress and with the hospital, so she took me back in and demanded I be given a room. They checked me again and I was only 3 centimeters (they admit you only after 4 centimeters) but at least 100% effaced. I wasn't able to walk the halls at all this time, as I was too weak from laboring for eighteen straight hours, so they gave me some morphine to "take the edge off" and had me sit with an IV drip for an hour, before feeding me a sandwich and sending me back home.

The morphine definitely took the edge off of me, and so much more lol. I was drunk with happiness about the upcoming birth of my son (instead of deathly nervous like I was before lol) and the minute we got home, I passed out for eight hours. The only unfortunate thing about the morphine was that it slowed my contractions waay down to every twenty to twenty-five minutes. But this allowed me to get a nice break before crunch time aka my due date. :D

The morning of September 5th came and with the medicine finally leaving my body, my contractions became around more closer around twenty minutes apart. I was able to eat a piece of toast and almost thought about not calling in sick to my 11 o'clock work shift at Chuck E Cheese, but then my contractions started increasing rapidly down to five minutes again. I did not want to get sent home a fourth time, so we called and they agreed to admit us no matter what. We went in around noon, and I was checked right away- 4.5 centimeters! They took us to my room and I gave them my birth plan- no epidural, intermittent monitoring, and no stress (I needed to stay in my meditative state to get through, which was already proving to be impossible). Then it was on and I was ready to have this baby!

I labored for another five or so hours, before the doctor came in and ruptured my membranes. This sped up my labor so that by 9 pm I was 9 centimeters dilated. And boy was I in pain! I remember having thrown out my meditative calm thoughts and had replaced them with screaming sessions every contraction. This was working for me (I was expressing a lot of negative, painful energy through my screams) but this was starting to scare some other patients in surrounding rooms, so the doctor came in and calmly suggested some Stadol or Fetanyl for the pain. After much pressuring from my family lol, I agreed.

After 2 shots of Fetanyl and 2 of Stadol plus another hour of agonizing labor, I was finally feeling like I was ready to push. The doctor measured me and I was only 9.5 centimeters dilated. But something was really starting to tell me that it was time. There was A LOT of downward pressure lol. I told the doctor that I couldn't wait, and she started preparing to deliver. As she was setting up, my son's heart beat starting dropping, quite rapidly. The doctor told me to start pushing and every time I pushed, his little heart beat would drop, and it wasn't coming up fast enough. I crowned him in only two pushes and my doctor started attempting to attach a scalp monitor. Meanwhile, his heart rate dropped still. I started pushing with the next contractions, and continued even though my doctor told me to wait. I delivered my son at 10:23 pm on September 5, 2009 in only five pushes. His heart rate was dropping for one simple reason- his cord was wrapped around his neck. Other than that, he was full term and completely healthy! <3

So I was gonna write more and tell y'all all the things Alan does know that he's eighteen months, but I don't wanna keep you too much longer. We'll save that for tomorrow's post. :) I'd like to once again say how blessed I am to have Lon and Alan in my life. <3 You boys are my everything, I love you forever. <3 <3