Monday, February 28, 2011

For Rare Disease Day, I'm supporting my Ava Grace

When I first started my blog, I posted the story of my daughter, Ava. It's pretty long, so if you want the cliffs notes version...

She was born with gastroschisis, a birth defect where her abdominal wall didn't close, so her intestines were on the outside. She spent 66 days in the NICU, and had a total of 6 surgeries (4 for the gastroschisis, and the other ones for a hiatal hernia and pyloric stenosis).

What helped me the most throughout it all was Avery's Angels. Avery's Angels is a support group for parents and survivors of gastroschisis. When you're dealing with a birth defect you've never even heard of, the most calming and helpful thing you can do is talk to someone who's been there. Doctors just give you the facts. Sometimes you just want to cry on the virtual shoulder of someone who's been where you are.

As some of you know, I'm a veteran mommy for Avery's Angels. My job as a veteran mommy is to offer support and information for new mommies on the board.

But there are more and more mommies on the board every day. You know why? The numbers are on the rise. What used to be a 1 in 5000 birth defect, is now a 1 in 2200. You know what else is scary? The causes of gastroschisis are still unknown. Did I mention that there is only a 90% survival rate? Do the math of 10% of 2200. Those aren't happy odds.

So today, Avery's Angels is participating in Rare Disease Day, which is today. By participating, they hope to raise awareness about gastroschisis.

Besides providing information and support, Avery's Angels also tries to send out care packages to gastro parents. But it's all done by donations and a lot of it is done out of pocket. AA is ALWAYS looking for button up onesies (preemie or newborn sized preferred) and mittens. Button ups are the easiest for gastro babies to wear, since they are always hooked to so many wires. Gastro babies also either have a repogle tube (which pulls secretions and bile from the stomach) or a feeding tube, and mittens help keep those silly fingers from pulling out their lines.

             We went from this...

  To this happy, 
   smiling girl...

I'm doing my part today by writing this post. Perhaps I've educated you about a birth defect that you've never heard of. Maybe you'll say a prayer for all of those scared pregnant mommies, or those precious babies in the NICU unit at THIS EXACT MINUTE. Or maybe you have some button up onesies or mittens (or even socks) that are taking up room in your attic that you are willing to donate.

Today you'll find me wearing green, which is the official color of gastroschisis awareness.

All in support of this precious, perfect little girl. 


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Stream of Consciousness- Operation: Better Wife

This is my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post hosted by all.things.fadra. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

    •    Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
    •    Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
    •    Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.

Five minutes. Got it. Ready, set, go.

So, I told Jake about a week ago that I was going to try and be a better wife. I'm not a "bad" wife. I couldn't cheat on him, ever. Hell, I wake up crying when I have dreams that I'm dating/married to another man, even if I'm not married to Jake in my dream, so there is no cheating involved. He knows when I wake up upset, that in my dream he's died and I've moved on. Or I never met him, something like that. So not dreams of actually cheating, he's just not there. Does that make sense? Thankfully he doesn't read into it and over analyze, he knows that a dream is a dream. 

But seriously, I would walk through fire for that man. 

I do all the stuff I'm "supposed" to. I take damn good care of Ava, to the point where sometimes I'm the only one who can comfort her. Anyone else can hold her and she'll still be fussing. hand her to Mommy and all is right in the world. 

And I take care of the house, most days. Jake is awesome about helping me with chores, but I try to get it done before he gets home from work. He works HARD. And he comes home and does freelance most nights. So I don't want him to have to work all day and then worry about laundry. He does the stuff he needs to, like taking out garbage, helping with Ava, doing homework with Arielle, reading stories to the girls before bedtime. 

But there are some days that I don't touch the house. At all. Glue gun on the counter, laundry all over the bedroom floor, the bathroom a mess, etc. He never complains though, as long as there is a hot meal on the table. And not hamburger helper, which is banned from the house, hubby says it's not "real" food, LOL. So I do cook every night. Stuffed bell peppers. Enchiladas. Salmon. Casseroles. "Real" food like that. 

But I've been lazy with myself, which equals not being the best wife that he deserves. Hair in a ponytail. No make up. The dreaded comfy pants. I think it's easy to be lazy with your appearance when you're a stay at home mom. I mean, who sees you all day? I can go most days and not see anyone besides Jasmin's bus driver. My husband sees me, that's who.
I did a make up post a few days ago, telling you my make up process. Seriously, it takes me all of 5 minutes. And it doesn't take me too long to do my hair. Or throw on a pair of jeans. Or put on a bra. But I don't do it, most days. 

And that's not fair to him. Why put on make up when I go to lunch with a girlfriend, but I can't even take 5 minutes to make myself look pretty for my husband? I know he loves me regardless, but he deserves as much attention to my appearance as my friends do. 

So I told him that "Operation: Better Wife" was in effect. And yes I called it that. I'm going to take the time to run a brush thru my hair and avoid the ponytail, regardless if Ava grabs those little baby hairs on the back of my neck and pulls them. I'm going to take 5 minutes to put on make up, even though Ava likes to suck on her fingers and then caress my cheek. I'm going to put on jeans, even though comfy pants, are well, comfy. 

He deserves that.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Last chance to enter the vintage sign giveaway, ends tonight!

My giveaway ends tonight at 6pm CST! And there are low low entries!  Winner gets to pick what it says (limited to 10 letters or less) and color scheme.

Go HERE to enter!

***DING DING DING**** And we have a winner!

I'm off to email you, chick!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Eff U Friday - Feb 25th

So, yeah. I'm all crafted out. So I'm participating in another link party. This one is hosted by Boobies, Babies and a Blog

It's basically a place to vent about all the stupid people and things that have ticked you off for the week. I admit it. I'm pretty blunt and honest in real life. May have even been called a bitch once or twice. In my blog, I usually try and be happy and chipper. But the gloves are off today.

1. To the "Anonymous" comments that I got last night, accusing me of being unoriginal, a thief, and that I copied an idea and didn't provide credit. 

First was my vintage sign. I provided a link to the tutorial I used. Am I supposed to comb the internet, searching for every single vintage sign someone might have ever done, and provide a link? Seriously? I provided a link to the one I used and have bookmarked, get over yourself. 

I can't possibly remember every single vintage sign I've seen. I did what I could. Bite me.

Second was my "Grandma" vinyl piece. Apparently I stole the idea. Yes, I stole the idea of ordering something from a well known website, buying something from a thrift store, and putting it on there and putting mod podge on top of it. Sorry, I didn't know you patented the idea. Forgive me for not linking to the 6.7 million mod podge projects out there. My bad.

 I believe you had the nerve to say "Shame on you." Again, bite me.

And third, apparently my button help post was crap and I don't know what I'm talking about. Sorry for sharing something on my blog that helped at least 2 other people. It's what works for me. 


I'm following all the rules of Blogland etiquette i.e. linking, credit, etc.  It's MY blog. If I want to post pictures of my feet and talk about a booger that I dug out, I can do that. Again, MY blog.

Oh, and my name is Jennifer. Am I unoriginal because you know someone else with the same name? There are no original ideas anymore. And "inspired" doesn't mean stolen. Especially when I post a link to my inspiration.

Don't like it? There is a little red X on the top corner of your webpage. Click it. And piss off while you're at it. I HATE keyboard commandos. And posting it under "Anonymous"? Really? Put your big girl panties on. There is a button at the bottom of the page where you can send me an email. It even has a really cute penguin on it. Might make you feel less bitter. 

So I changed my comment settings to where only registered users can comment. I've received hundreds six-ish comments from anonymous users that were nice. Sucks that one person has to ruin the bunch.

2.  To CSN. I hate you. I know, all bloggers are supposed to love CSN. I mean, you see all of these posts where people talk about how great they are, "wow, check out this great swingset!", blah blah blah. This isn't one of those posts. I've won two giveaways in the past couple of weeks. One for a $20 credit, one for a $25. And my blogging BFF Lesley gave me another code for $25. Yeah, so I'm thinking "woo-hoo, I have $70 to spend there!" But nah. nope! You can't use more than one code per order. Which I think is CRAP. But fine, whatever. I start looking for some new boots, figuring that I'll cover the difference. EVERY. SINGLE. PAIR that I like is out of stock. Seriously? One or two pairs, I understand. But all of them? And I'm talking 20 or 30 pairs that I would have bought. I finally was able to find a horse statue thingy, a finial, and a blanket that I liked, and it cost me $18 out of pocket. But I still hate you CSN. I won't be ordering from you. Ever. And I like to online shop. Why do you brag that you have over 200 stores? I'd rather you have 4 stores, and actually have shit in stock.

3. To my saliva. Yes, I said my saliva. Apparently it's on the acidic side, so regardless of how well I take care of my teeth, I always end up with cavities. Which make me feel dirty, like I've been brushing my teeth with sugar and gargling with soda. And yeah, that huge tax return that we just got? Going towards my dentist. I told hubby that I'd rather just get a new pair of shoes, but he wasn't having it.

4. To the little teeth coming thru Ava's gums. Yes, I'm sure you're adorable. And I understand your purpose. But you make my baby crabby and hate me and scream in my ear, regardless of anything I do to try and help. When hubby got home last night, I drank a margarita in your honor. Apparently

walking around while bouncing her and trying to entertain her 
her screaming for hours at me no matter what I did
a major headache
a strawberry margarita.

That's called Mommy math.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Engagement Day. Circa 2008

Have you entered my giveaway yet? Ends Saturday Night! Don't miss out, I can't wipe your tears thru the computer when you realize that you forgot to enter!

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

My hubby proposed to me three years ago today. And because he's awesome and my engagement story is rockin', I thought I'd share it with you. Be prepared for nausea inducing, uber sappy sugary sweetness. 

So that day started out with hubby waking me up at 4:45 am. Yes, I said AM. As in, before the butt crack of dawn, 4:45 am. The girls had stayed at my moms house the night prior. Turns out, she knew that he was going to propose so she was babysitting. 

He told me to get dressed in comfy clothes and to put on tennis shoes, and that was all the information I got. We drove an hour to McKinney TX where we met a man in a parking lot and we got into his van. I know, not sounding too romantic yet. Kinda sounding like the beginning to a BAD scary movie, right? Mind you, I still didn't know what was going on at this point.

Yeah, me at 6am = cranky. Forehead furrows and all.
The husband was driving the van, and his wife was his assistant. After a few minutes, the man turns to Jake and says "Well, do you want to tell her where we're going?". Jake turned to me and said "What have you always wanted to do?" I was pretty sure that swim with dolphins wasn't where this was leading, so it had to be the other option on my bucket list. Take a ride in a hot air balloon. And yeah, I was a lot happier afterward I had all the info. 

Us in the van, riding to the take off location. Me = happy.

So we end up in a big field, and after signing our lives away on a waiver, the man told us that we'd be helping them set up the balloon. I was L-O-V-I-N-G it. So much heat, the fire was gorgeous, and the balloon was so colorful and pretty. This thing was HUGE. And I was going to be riding in it. 

And then we had one final pic before take off.
Yeah, I do a lot of self portraits.

So the man's job was to control the balloon, and his wife's job was to stay on the ground with the van, and drive to meet up with us when we landed. And then we're off!

The balloon operator was awesome, and kept taking the camera from me to take pictures of us. We flew around up at 1000 feet. 

After a little while, hubby handed the operator the camera, and when he proposed, the operator video taped the whole thing. The next two pics are stills from the video.

My answer when he proposed? "Of course! Now, don't drop the ring over the side. We'll never find it."

We did have a pretty rough landing, the wind decided to pick up right as we were landing. Which means the balloon slammed landed on it's side. I was unhurt, but hubby took a wrench to the face that came lose from the toolbox. 

And then a few more pictures of the extremely happy fiancee with her husband to be.

The owners had mimosas (champagne and OJ) and mini muffins for us to celebrate our engagement. 

Afterwards, we went to a 5 star sushi restaurant and had yummy yummy sushi. 

And I know it sounds vomit-inducingly trite to say I fall more in love with him every day. But I do.

He still has a scar from losing that fight with the wrench.
I smile every time I see it.

Do you have a great engagement story? Great doesn't have to mean expensive. Or a huge ordeal. Love is love, in any shape or story. 


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

makeup + my mug = this post

Remember yesterday when I told you that I had found all of these super fun link parties? I'm joining another one called...

The rules are pretty simple. Post a pic of your bare face. Yes, I just said that. Post a picture of yourself, sans makeup, on the internet for all to see.

So here I am, fresh out of the shower, and my hair has air dried. I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. It's naturally wavy. But not beach, sexy waves. No, these are the "Oops, I forgot to brush my hair this morning" waves. But with that comes super thickness and a lot of body. Thick enough that I always have to have the hairdresser thin it out. A lot. I know women are supposed to want thick hair and lots of body. I spend my time trying to thin my out and flatten it down. Yes, you can hate me now.

So here, I am, in all my naked makeup glory.

So Tresemme heat tamer spray + chi straightening iron + bed head "Hard 2 Get" texturizing paste =

Now, I'm going to share my make up and make up application with you. I'll be honest, I don't have a damn clue on how to do my make up. I can't even get my eyebrows to be the same shape. And I've looked up a billion youtube tutorials, I've had my make up done by some of the best make up artists in Dallas and totally picked their brain, and still, I'm clueless. I'm half Korean, which means I have hooded eyes and no crease. So I just make it up as I go along, and blend the crap out of it.

And I have a lot of cheap inexpensive make up. I hate spending money on make up. And I don't know what I'm doing with it anyway. So most of my stuff is drugstore make up. I have a MAC eyeshadow brush that I love dearly, but it's so old that the numbers are worn off of it.

My first step? Eyelid primer and spot coverage. I used to use some white tube of eyelid primer, something I picked up from Ulta for $17ish. But a make up artist friend of mine told me that she uses Rimmel Hide The Blemish concealer as eyelid primer, which I happened to have in my stash.

So I use that on my eyelids, and to cover up any yucky blemishes. And I have a small scar on my upper lip that gets covered, even though hubby assures me that no one can see it. Our old cat decided it was a good idea to bite my face when I was 5 months pregnant and split open my upper lip. I mean, seriously split it. To where I had to get on antibiotics and have liquid stitches on it. So sadly, back to the shelter he went (we had him for a year). In our household, once you bite, you can't live here anymore. I have my kids to think about, and they come first.

Next, I'm going to get out my eye stuff. I know, the norm is to do foundation first, and then eyes, right? EVERY single make up artist that I've used does eyes first. You know why? So any eyeshadow that falls on your face can be brushed off of clean skin, and doesn't ruin the foundation job that you've already done. So first I'm going to be using my liquid eyeliner.

Yes, it's super cheap. Something I picked up from Walmart for a couple of bucks. But it does the trick. I use it to dot little dots at the base of my eye lashes, a trick I picked up in a magazine. Supposed to make your lashes look thicker. You can kinda see it in the pic.
Ha, I totally look like I'm looking at you. Better hope you're dressed!

Next, I'm going to get out my eyeshadows. I use three different ones. I use one color out of each pallette.

Hard Candy "break up" - green color used on outer 3rd of lid
Ulta brand eyeshadow quad - used for the brow highlight, color is silk
Maybelline Eyestudio "Green With Envy" -used for the second from the left color on lids and allover color, and under my lower lids

So I apply those with my old MAC brush and my fingers. Blend blend blend. And I'll use the last dark color of the Maybelline pallet on my lash line on top. Looks like I already used my mascara in the pic too.

So next is my lips. I use Covergirl Outlast "blush" as my lipliner, and Rimmel lipstick in Paradise. I have my Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil in the pic too, that's my last step.

I do line a bit outside of my natural lipline. No, not in the scary "brown lip liner, pale pink lipstick" way. But where the liner and lipstick match. And my favorite part? I HEART the Summer Vanilla Lemon collection at Bath and Body Works, I have the lotion, the body spray, AND the lip gloss. I put just a dot of lipgloss in the middle of my bottom lip, it's supposed to give the illusion of a fuller lip.

And then we'll finish off the the mineral veil to cover up my shiny spots. And voila!

Oh, and I'm going to let you in on a little secret

You know how bloggers are supposed to be fabulous super moms, and have immaculate houses? Kids named John and Sally with fresh churned butter in the icebox?

Yeah, I must have missed the memo that day. Here is my bathroom in a daily basis. Hubby asks why I can never shut a drawer. I tell him that it's the same reason that he never turns off the closet light. "Cause I'll go back in there eventually." Two guesses which side is mine, and which side belongs to my OCD husband.

 Don't tell anyone that I revealed that I'm a less than perfect blogger, or I'll get kicked out of the Blogger Cool Kids Club.

Are you going to join the party? Be brave!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What's on Jen's phone? 2-22-2011

Ummm, yeah. Have you entered my GIVEAWAY yet? No? Well, it's totally awesome and you totally should, mmmkay? 

So, I'm loving all these different link parties I've been finding in Blogland. My newest find? It's called "What's on (insert your name here)'s phone"

The guidelines.

1. spend the week looking for interesting, funny, cute, special, lovely, ugly, silly, crude (okay maybe not crude), or other worthy pictures. and by that it pretty much means anything.
2. when you find them, snap a shot with your phone.
3. then on tuesday, upload it into your blog!

Ava sits on Daddy's lap during dinner every night. Just within the past couple of weeks, she's noticed that there is something in front of Daddy. So now he has to push his plate back or she spends the whole time trying to grab it. See her plotting on how to get his glass?

We rented Shrek 4 for the girls. After seeing Rumplestilkskin's contract, Arielle wrote one for me, guaranteeing me "A day where your children listen to you". Don't you love her fake script handwriting?

Jasmin loves to read to her sister. This book is "Go Dog Go", which Grandpa just sent her in the mail. Jasmin told her "You aren't allowed to rip my pages anymore, okay?"

I took our eclectus parrot, Jack, to the vet for a check up and nail and beak trim. Yes, he's buckled up. Gotta wear that seat belt when you ride with me.

The girls played football with Grandpa. But their version involves tickling the person who has the ball until they drop on the ground in a fit of giggles and drops the ball.

 The girls went on a ghost killing spree. Don't be scared. You're safe if you're human.

Ava rocked a onesie that I made for her. Ava-tallica baby!

Hubby surprised me with a dremel, since I knew what all of my Valentine's day presents were. So he come home with this and said he wanted to get me something just from him. Major brownie points for the Mister!

We took the girls up to Celebration Station (think Chuck E Cheese meets Dave N Busters). Ava had a great time watching the girls beat Grandpa at air hockey.

Had fun with hubby at Celebration Station. It's fun to run around and act like a kid. And I heart seeing my girls be so happy. And I totally kicked my husband's ass at the batting cages. AND at air hockey. What's up now, sucka!

So that's my week in pictures. Are you going to join?