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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A much needed update

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I figured I'd take a moment to update you all about what's been going on. I'm doing this from my phone so please excuse any typos.

This past month or so has wreaked hell on me. I was sick almost non-stop save a few day's break here and there. Then, last Friday, the intense pain in my face started. It began just below my eye on my cheek bone. I thought it was a sinus infection since I had been so congested. It started getting worse though. It felt like Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked me on the left side of my face. I couldn't see straight, was seeing things, dizzy, nauseous, could barely open my mouth; bending over made my face hurt more, and coughing was a nightmare. Every time I coughed, I would start crying.

It was late by the time I wanted to go urgicare and dragging two tired kids and a toddler to the hospital for four hours was not something I wanted to put anyone through, so we waited until Sunday morning to go when we could get a babysitter. When I got to the hospital, they said it was TMJ.And they can't do much about it. They could do a CAT scan, but since I'm pregnant, the radiation poses too much a risk for the baby. Can't do surgery either...They sent me home with Tylenol 3's, which didn't do much. Still couldn't see, eat, or walk much.



I made a follow-up appointment with my midwife. She was concerned it was an abscessed tooth as well (she couldn't really tell though, because I couldn't open my mouth), and told me to make an appointment with a dentist at the biggest hospital in the area. By this point, I had developed a minor fever too, which didn't really surprise me considering my entire body ached. I tried, but they said for me to come in during their emergency hours. I was concerned it was an abscessed tooth since the other hospital barely did anything to check or rule anything out. I knew how things worked at the hospital, if there were too many people there when I went, I wouldn't be seen. I didn't want to risk anything (plus, my husband wouldn't be able to take me having worked 12 hours and then having to go back and work another 12), so we went to that hospital's emergency room.

Surprisingly, it only took about two hours in and out. I received the same diagnosis of TMJ, but at least they checked inside my mouth and checked the baby's heart rate. Went home with some penicillin and Vicodin. That's about all that can be done at this time.

I still don't feel much better. I can at least cough without screaming in pain, though, and I can do things around the house in small spurts. But, I still can't eat much. I've lost about three pounds already...not something you really wanna do when you're 26 weeks pregnant...I don't know what caused it, either. I know it wasn't from grinding my teeth, since I've been a mouth-breather as of late (It's not my fault!).

In other news, we got my eldest daughter's IEP back. They said she has PPD-NOS or Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD. She will never be able to be in a normal class if she went to a typical public school. I'm soooo thankful for Summit Academy...I've mentioned the school before, but in case you've missed it, it's a school that deals specifically with children with Asperger's, Autism, ADHD, and other such disorders. The teachers are specifically trained to deal with children with these challenges. They also lump two grades into one classroom in their elementary schools. Very nice for kids who are struggling or may be ahead of their grade. Back when she attended the public school in our old city, we frequently received calls about her emotional "instability". She's already made some wonderful improvements since attending Summit Academy. She still struggles greatly socially, but now with her IEP, we know what we need to focus on. Academically, she does amazing... Except in spelling; she's at about a kindergarten level there, but she can read at a third grade level.

I'm still struggling myself to fully understand her IEP report.  It's a lot to take in, and at times it makes me a little sad to know she will probably struggle in life. Especially knowing how much of an awesome kid she is.

In blog news, I have a giveaway coming up! I've been working on writing it up. It's taking longer than I'd like, but it's self-sponsored, so I can do that. ^_~ I just wish I'd feel better...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Scraptacular Freebie 6

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Here's this week's Scraptacular Freebie! Again, I won't be posting my own page because I'm in an immense amount of pain and having difficulty seeing properly. I hope to post an official update soon, but I need to start feeling better first. The baby is fine, though, so no worries there.




Don't forget, if you wish to purchase My Memories Suite, please use my code STMMMS7185 to get $10 off the software and $10 in free kits. This freebie can be used with other software, just so you know. 

Happy scrappin'!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scraptacular Freebie 5

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This past week has been...germ-y...The kids are sick again. I got sick again 5 days ago. Things got really bad three days ago (I almost went to the hospital)...and now I think I'm catching something else. Is that even possible? To be doubly sick?? All I know is it's totally different from what I had earlier. My ear and throat are now incredibly sore to the point where I can't really eat and it hurts to even drink. I'm fighting dehydration and my lips are annoyingly dry. You know, that tight, itchy feeling? Yuck.

So, this week, I'm only going to post the freebie. I'm sorry, but I just can't find the energy to create a page with these sweet little kits.



Download

This kit contains two quick pages, two digital papers, and two page elements. Keep in mind, that since these are .png files, you can use these with any software! However, if you wish to purchase My Memories Suite, please use my code STMMMS7185 to get $10 off the software and $10 in free kits!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Klauer Review: Snug and Tug~ ends 11/16 (11:59pm eastern)

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Sharing a giveaway I found. I'd write more, but I'm feeling lazy and my eldest is home sick.

The Klauer Review: Snug and Tug~ ends 11/16 (11:59pm eastern): Every baby is different. I have 4 boys and only my youngest loves to be swaddled. There are a lot of great reasons to swaddle a baby but ...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"I'm sorry" just doesn't feel like enough

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My dear son,

I have tried to write this countless times. Yet, each time I try to write, there are truly no words to express this profound guilt I carry with me. Each time, I'd maybe muster a few sentences, but it always fell short.

The words, "I'm sorry" simply do not feel like it's enough. I don't feel like there's anything I can say that will help make up for what I've done.

When you were born, you were perfect. Not that you're any less perfect now, there was just no true need for what we did. And after nearly losing you while pregnant, I can't believe I chose to put you at risk for losing you again.

I had chosen to have you circumcised. When I learned what it truly was when you were 9 months old, I cried the hardest I've cried in a long time. I cried every day for weeks. Three years later I still cry about it, but not as frequently. But there isn't a day that goes by where I don't hate myself for the decision I made.

Every day I live in fear that you will grow up to hate me for taking away your right to choose. It is your body. It was not my right to decide for you.

I am angry at myself. I wouldn't circumcise my daughters - I won't even pierce their ears. I don't like anyone else telling me what I should do with my body...Why would I be such a hypocrite?

As a mother, it is my duty to protect you, and I willingly let someone cut off a part of your body. I feel like I've failed you. I feel like I've failed as a mother. I am eternally sorry. 

From the time that you were 4 months old, you wouldn't allow anyone to clean you there. You would cry out in pain and writhe away, and I know this is my fault.

I should have done more research myself. I wish I wouldn't have let myself feel overwhelmed at all the info out there. I had hoped that the nurses would have been able to provide better information, considering...you know...they had seen it everyday. But she had minimized the procedure. I asked that they use some sort of anesthetic, but they brought you back screaming, and I knew they did not.

I was always unsure about it. I should have trusted my instinct.

And with the new baby on the way, a new fear has arisen. If it's a boy, I have already decided not to. I had made that decision a long time ago, actually. However, I worry that as the two of you grow, you will resent the fact that he was left intact and you were not.

I can only hope, that if you are upset with our decision, that you can forgive me.

Disclaimer: This was a very difficult post to write. I'd rather not have to deal with inconsiderate comments.

Linking this post up with Shell's P.Y.H.O. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Scraptacular Freebie 4

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Wait. What happened to number three?? Yeah. I forgot to hit publish last time. I only realized just now. My apologies. With the stress from my father in law's hospital stay and preggo brain while taking care of three kids on my own, I hadn't realized I never published the post. Don't worry though, I just published it!



You get two quick pages, two papers, and three embellishments; a total of five page elements since you can create shapes with the papers. When I saw this, I immediately thought it would go great with the Fall season, with the orange and brown accents, and great to use if you've got a girl in your family.



And if you haven't bought My Memories Suite, be sure to use my code!



I made this with MyMemories Suite, too



Scraptacular Freebie 3

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As I mentioned yesterday the other day , I was changing the days that I posted my Scraptacular freebies. Usually, I don't like doing this (hate it actually), but I want to give you more time to download the free kits. I have a horrible concept of time, what can I say?


As usual, this kit contains two quick pages, as well as five elements and two papers. I love the shape of the photo boxes in the second one (the one with the polka dot ribbon).




My first example is just one of the quick pages shown. I didn't add anything to this page, although there is plenty of space if you wish to.


The second page I made from scratch using the elements provided in the kit, as well as a knot embellishment that is provided in the stock embellishments in My Memories Suite. In the tag, I tried to make it look like the word was cut out of it by using the green background to color the word and then beveling it.

The Dia Fairy

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I'm participating again in the My Mempories weekly challenge. This week's theme is "No Faces Allowed". Again, I had many choices to choose from, but ultimately went with this one:


It's one of my favorite memories of her; buzzing around the yard and singing a silly little song, as loud as she could.


I had originally uploaded it to Google Video, but they've since done away with it. So, since I downloaded it from there, the quality has been considerably diminished. I still don't really know what she was singing about, other than "you are dead" (I think she was big into video games at the time) and "wind the guitar".

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I wish I knew what to say...

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Yesterday, my father in law (FIL) was taken by ambulance. He was diagnosed with HOCM a couple years back. He was recently sick and was complaining of feeling short of breath, heart palpitations, and chills. When he got to the hospital, they said he was close to having a heart attack and his heartrate was around 160 bpm and was also diagnosed with pneumonia. Today, they said he's got a blood clot somewhere and was at risk for having a stroke. So, they're putting him on blood thinners (he was already taking aspirin, but that apparently wasn't helping).

My MIL (mother in law) is a wreck, naturally. She's afraid that he's going to die any day. I honestly don't think he is, but I am worried.

She doesn't want us here. She never really did to begin with, but she thinks this is our doing. She thinks our living here has stressed him out so much and is causing all these problems, and wants us out as soon as possible. I wanted to tell her that it takes years of stress, their diet, his being sick, and his heart condition is what really caused it...but couldn't find it in my heart to do so. She needed to blame it on something, so I let her blame it on us. Even though, since we've been here, I've done the majority of the cooking, cleaning, and dishes... I've also been trying to keep the kids upstairs and out of the way as much as possible...and I honestly believe that his grandchildren and his wife's dependency on him is what's keeping him alive (she has vascular necrosis, vision problems to the point where she really shouldn't drive, missing an eye, horribly controlled Type II diabetes, the wrong sized artificial knee that prevents her from walking well, is in chronic pain even with a morphine pump, and the list goes on).

I don't even know what to say to her to help comfort her...I don't know her well enough to know what would help. Our religious preferences are completely different, so I doubt I could help there...I don't even know if she wants me being around right now...

P.Y.H.O. Facebook Idiots

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If my memory serves me correctly, I seem to remember seeing something about how most people are annoyed by their friends on Facebook.

I am often the annoyed, but usually I can just shrug it off. I actually left Facebook for a bit because I was so pregnantly hormonal and couldn't tolerate it. I felt like the idiots were taking over.

I've since returned and have gotten past my bitchiness. Well. Mostly. There's still one thing I cannot stand.

Parents who won't shut up about all the weed they smoked, alcohol they drank, and ass they scored. I find it...disturbing. They will literally go from one post touting their love for their kid(s) to five minutes later (or less) talking about one of the aforementioned subjects in gross detail. And usually, these sort of updates are daily...

Now, don't go thinking it's jealousy talking... I have had my fair share of fun, and still do. Frankly, I don't care what people do. But, I also don't care to hear constant updates about it. Nor do I think most people want to. You're really not that interesting. Not saying I'm that interesting either. I just feel like certain things should be kept separate from our kids. Whether they're going to read it or not. Kids and crassly discussing drugs/sex do not belong in close proximity to each other.

Just stating my opinion...


Monday, October 24, 2011

My X-Mess photo fiasco

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I decided to jump in on MyMemories weekly challenge for the first time. This week's challenge is titled "The *NOT* Picture Perfect Challenge".

Really, I could have chosen from hundreds, if not thousands, of photos, since my kids are damn near impossible to capture on a camera. Especially when I'm trying to take a photo of all three of them...and for some reason, it's easier to take a photo of them when they're babies. Why?? You wouldn't think so, but it is. Am I the only one with this "problem"?

Anyway, I immediately thought back to last Christmas. We were trying to get a few family photos to give to family as a present. A bit of a cheap cop-out, but it's the only time we get a photo of all of us together. Usually, I'm someone's behind the camera or someone's half nekkid.


Fifty-some photos - and a big ol' bag of stress on our end - later we finally got a picture of the three gremlins together.

Winner!

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A big congratulations to Amanda on winning the My Memories Suite giveaway!

I want to thank all of you who've entered! I had a lot of fun hosting my first giveaway and hope you did as well.

Be sure to keep checking back for the My Memories freebies, which I'll be changing the posting date to give you a little extra time to grab the second freebie.

Also, keep checking My Memories' Facebook page if you're still looking to win a copy of their software. They post giveaways frequently, so it's a good idea to keep an eye on their page!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Scraptacular Sunday, week 2

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Welcome to Scraptacular Sundays, where I'll offer you an exclusive and limited time freebie from My Memories! This will only be available for about a week so download it while you can! It comes with two quick pages as well as the papers and embellishments.

This week's freebie goes along quite nicely with last week's. I love the crumpled look of the paper!




The first one I did, I simply used nothing but a quick page. The second one I did from scratch and used only one photo. I think the second one is missing something, but I'm not quite sure what exactly. But I think I'm getting better at this scrapbooking thing...

If you wish to buy My Memories Suite, don't forget to use my code STMMMS7185 to get $10 off the software and $10 in free kits. That $10 can really go a long way in the design shop, especially in the dollar store and weekly deals sections of the shop.

If you want to download this kit, click the link below.


Also, this weekend only, all kits and templates are 30% off! I think even the Design Club is, but I could be wrong. I joined the Design Club this morning and got my five kits for the month. I also got 5% off the 30% sale. Sweet deals all around!



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Scraptacular Sunday

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I'm going to start my own weekly thing-thing here. Yes, my very own thing-thing...

Every Saturday I'm going to give you a freebie from My Memories that you can use with My Memories Suite. These will only be offered for a limited time though, so grab them up while you can!


This cute kit has two quick pages and nine page elements. In case you don't know what a quick page is, they're pre-made pages that can cut your scrapping time in half (or more if you're picky like me) or simply help provide you with some inspiration. You can choose to add more embellishments to the page if you wish, or leave it as is.

This is the one I made of my son in just a few minutes.


If you want to snag this free kit, simply follow this link and click "download". Remember, it will only be available for a week or two, so get it while you can!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fawk You Friday 10.14.11

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BWS tips button


Linking up with Boobies and My Mad Mind for another Fawk You Friday.

Fawk my food getting left behind in the move. I know, why should I care about some food getting left behind after my clothing fiasco? Because. That was approximately $50 left behind. Fifty dollars of three day old food, most of it never opened. A big ass bag of chicken breasts, two pounds of ground beef, brand new tub of cream cheese...Packed the four bags of bagels and the damn near empty tub of cream cheese, but left the full tub. Wtf am I going to do with all these bagels and no cream cheese?? I'm not mad at anyone, really. I do understand. Just annoyed that it happened like that.

My massive mirror got left behind too. Not the cheapo kind you can find anywhere. I'm talking about the kind that Grammas have in their houses, drilled into the wall. The big, solid, heavy ones. They don't make mirrors like that anymore. Again, I understand (moreso than the food)...Not so much a fawk you, but it does make me a little sad.

Fawk colds. Seriously. I just got over this shit.

Fawk teething. The youngest has been teething the last few days. She morphs into Bratosaurus when she's like this...She poops a million times a day and usually acid. Thankfully, she didn't develop a rash this time. But last night, I just looked at her for a second and you would have thought I told her she was ugly or something equally horrendous.  I've been toying with the idea of getting an amber bracelet for her, to help ease the symptoms, but my guess is, she'd still be a super-brat.

On the bright side, things have been pretty decent since we moved here with his parents. I'm tired since I'm constantly cleaning, but the kids have been pretty well-behaved. Even going to bed relatively easy. I say relatively, because it's still a big pain in the ass, but it's not hell. The other night, though, the eldest did scratch her brother's face. You can still see the scratches a bit, but it's fading.

And, my husband brought home a wireless router. Yayyy! I can get full use of the internets again! While my father-in-law does have a computer hooked up to the internet, it didn't work quite right. Some images or page elements wouldn't load properly and some links wouldn't open. Plus, he only has IE. Ew. And now, at night when we go upstairs at 8:00 (as requested by my MIL), I have something to do.

I know. I rely on the internet too much. Whatever.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday Confession

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Today is moving day. There is still some loose ends that need to be taken care of. On top of the normal anxiety of moving, my husband told me last night that he's throwing out all the bags of clothes that are in the basement as well as the garage. There's about eight large bags in the garage and eight large bags in the basement. I know, the number is grotesque. What's more embarrassing is there's also probably five more bags' worth floating around throughout the house upstairs. 

I am a hoarder. 

I specifically hoard clothes and personal care items. This is mostly a result of being homeless or so poor I've had to go without food so that my child and husband could eat. It doesn't help any that, since having kids, I haven't had more than five shirts at a time (usually three), up to two pairs of pants (usually one), and maybe a pair of shorts.

I've been able to mostly overcome my hoarding of personal care items. I've recently thrown out a bunch of stuff I've accumulated over the last few years. Shampoo, body wash, stuff like that. 

But I'm having a really hard time getting past throwing away all these clothes. I have come to terms with throwing away the clothes in the garage because my husband said they're destroyed. Even though there's a part of me saying, "Yeah, but he said that about the clothes at his parents' and he was wrong about that...found a bunch of shit you'd been looking for." I won't keep destroyed clothes and have gladly thrown stuff like that away. Well. Not gladly. There was usually a part of me that was a little sad about it. 


But my anxiety about the "house clothes" is so high, it's not fucking funny. I keep having panic attacks. These are clothes I've used recently. Within the last year. I know there's certain items I've been looking for in them. Keepsakes from my kids that my husband carelessly threw into bags. Clothes that I had put away that I know will still fit at least one of the kids this year. I'm so fucking mad at him for making me do this.

Maybe if he'd have helped me pack, I could have had time to go through them. 
Instead of hiding in the basement doing whatthefuckever he was doing the past couple weekends, he could have helped me. 
If only I could find this one particular sweater that, so far, each of my kids have worn maybe I could part with the rest...
Why doesn't he care what he's doing to me?
Why can't my hips work properly right now to allow me to look through them? (Last night, after all the work I've done in the house, I collapsed to my knees because of sharp pains in both hips. Usually, just one and usually, I can catch myself.)

I didn't realize it was this bad until now (this should be a Pour Your Heart Out post)... I couldn't sleep last night. It's also possibly why all these nightmares have been manifesting themselves. 

I need to try to reason with him...Work out some sort of deal. I've already been pushed to my limits. I really don't know if I can be pushed much further...Not without having a complete meltdown, which probably isn't good for the baby. None of it is, really...


Friday, October 7, 2011

Fawk You Friday - School transportation

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I survived another week, and I'm celebrating with Boobies and My Mad Mind by venting my ass off...otherwise, someone I might not make it through 'till next week.

BWS tips button


Rated PG-13 for language


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

P.Y.H.O. - "New" mom fears and random babble

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We're moving in four or five days. There's still so much work to be done, but I can't get much done with three kids. Or anything. In fact, I'm lucky to keep the house clean by the end of the day.

The youngest, I lovingly call Bratosaurus, wants attention constantly. And if she doesn't get it, she will let you know she's not happy. She's 15 months, going on three. She hasn't been sleeping well lately. I think, because of her teeth. She hasn't been falling asleep until between 10:00 and 12:00, and must fall asleep next to me. We have a couch pushed up next to our bed that she sleeps on, but insists on laying on top of me in order to fall asleep.

I'm really worried about how I'll fare on my own once the new baby comes. When she's in a good mood, she's the sweetest, cutest thing ever. But if not, she pulls hair, swats at you, throws things, and screams loud and high enough to break glass.Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I'm sure she's close to actually doing so. Nighttime is not the right time here. Trying to cook dinner, clean up, and get everyone in bed (and keep them there) has been very stressful here lately. She's usually very cranky by 8:00. And lately, she cries non-stop unless you're rocking her or laying down and constantly rubbing her belly, back, or forehead. But you have to find what she wants otherwise she'll keep crying.

She's a very determined baby. She takes after me too much. She even  says "oooh" when she's mad. I can't put a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs since the window goes into the stairwell about two and an half steps in. So I have two chairs laying on their side in an L-shape, a box, her wooden highchair, and a hamper full of clothes all Tetris-ized to barricade the way. Did it stop her? No. She squeezed her way in, pushed the hamper and high chair with her butt until she could sit down and use her legs to push herself and everything back. Pulled out each chair, and then climbed up the stairs to play with her brother and sister. It didn't take her long at all. Less than a minute. Should I have stopped her? Yes, but I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

She also likes to flop around, like a whale in water. Except, she's on land and on top of whoever. Or she'll crawl around all over me. I'm really worried about this once the new baby comes. I know there's going to be lots of breastfeeding (I'm hoping not, but my boobs don't work like they should), and she can't be doing that. I'm trying to stop all this, but like I said, she's a very determined child.

I know a sling a will come in handy once the baby's born, but I can't use it all the time. And I'm seeing her become extra clingy with all this packing, it's going to happen again once the baby arrives. I'm not too worried about her hurting the baby. Well, sort of. But I know she's super sweet in general...unless she wants something.

I am genuinely worried about my sanity. Still... Even this past weekend, while my husband was home, it was still pretty much all me taking care of the kids. Every Tuesday night I have broken down in tears. How on Earth am I going to manage four kids?? I will get some help while living with my in-laws, but I'm not sticking it all (or even a fourth) of it on them.

Don't be fooled by the cuteness!


I will be a "single" mom for as long as he works there. Because even with his time here, it's more like hired help. The only time I'll really get to see him is his one week vacation that he'll get in 2013. And if he decides to work Saturdays, he may as well not even exist. The pay will be really good, but I'm questioning is it all worth it? Now, I have to get my license, which is a whole other post itself...

My apologies for this post having little continuity...but it's a good example of how my mind's been lately. lol.











Brought to you courtesy of Shell.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Memories Suite review and giveaway

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If you know me, you wouldn't think I'd be one for scrapbooking. Truth is, I'm not. Not because it's not something that's never interested me, because it really has. In fact, a couple months ago, my mom gave me a basket full of scrapbooking supplies. But I haven't even touched it yet. I've wanted to get into scrapbooking for years, but have never been able to. It can be an expensive hobby to start, can take quite a while to start if you don't have the money, and it can eat a lot of space in your home. And if I know my kids, they are fascinated by it and can't keep their hands out of it... I've seen it happen with my knitting supplies. Knitting needles turned into swords are MIA and several balls of yarn horribly knotted. I didn't want my scrapbooking supplies to suffer the same fate. I even tried to sell them in our garage sale the other weekend, hoping they'd go to a good home.

Which is why I was super excited when I was contacted by My Memories to review their digital scrapbooking software. I could finally do something with all my old photos stashed away on our external hard drive. I can finally have a hobby that I don't have to worry about my kids destroying! And I could finally do something with that basket I attempted to sell.

It is soo easy to use My Memories Suite. Even someone who's never touched digital scrapbooking software (like me) can use this. I found it very easy to access my embellishments, papers, and media since there are a few ways to get to them. You can even add music and video to your albums. And with the pre-installed album kits, I was able to create a nice looking album of my eldest within just a few hours. There's tutorials on their blog, making it even easier to understand and use all the features of their software. It even has some photo editing tools, so you can add effects, crop, and mat your images.







My very fist scrapbook!



It would have taken me less time, but I selected each photo of my eldest individually and customize it, so I added some extra embellishments from different kits. It didn't help any that my pictures are stored in several different areas of my computer... It's also a very fast program. The menus were very fast to load, as were each individual page, even with a ton of elements added to it. I was a bit worried about it freezing up my computer, but it never did; even when I used the Fast Fill feature to automatically add several photos of my son into one of the albums I made.

It doesn't stop once you've created your digital scrapbook album, either. You can create calendars, photobooks, cards, and gifts like DVDs, interactive discs, and/or put it on your iPod. Alternatively, you can  send it somewhere like Shutterfly and make mugs, tote bags, notebooks, and more. Or you can simply print your digital scrapbook pages and add any embellishments you already have at home. I can't wait to send something to my family who live out of state. We are lucky if we get to see them once every few years, sometimes longer. I think this will be a nice way to keep them in each others' lives.


My Memories Suite is affordable. At only $39.97 for the program, you can go from having a scattering of unorganized photos, to something worth treasuring. They even offer free kits on their website, as well as the option to join their Design Club. At $5.99 a month, you get five new, exclusive kits along with several other perks. The digital scrapbook kits in their webstore are fairly priced with frequent sales.

I know there's other kinds of digital scrapbooking software out there, but My Memories is the most comprehensive, in my opinion. With some of the best features, most importing and sharing choices, and great support, it really helps MyMemories stand out above the rest. And their website and Facebook page only boosts the user experience since it's highly interactive with weekly challenges on each page (as well as the tutorials I mentioned above), adding to the fun. I haven't participated yet, but it seems like a really great way to improve your scrapbooking skills!

Overall, I highly recommend My Memories Suite. Even if you've only ever had an interest in scrapbooking, you would love it. There really is a lot you can do with this program. And it's really fun looking through your old photos and creatively putting them together.

Buy it!
If you use this code: STMMMS7185  for $10 off My Memories Suite v2.0 and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store

Win it!
The people of My Memories have been kind enough to offer one of my readers their own copy of My Memories Suite.

To enter, simply click "Read More" below. This giveaway is open worldwide. Please be aware that My Memories only ships to the U.S. and Canada and is only in English.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

P.Y.H.O. - Stressed and Scared

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Yesterday was not a good day. It started out decent enough, but things started to unravel about the time my husband left for work and my eldest came home (he leaves about 30 minutes before her bus gets here).

  • I tried to get dinner started at 4:00, but the stupid garlic bread was frozen together and I had to wait for it to thaw. 
  • I figured while we were waiting, the kids could help me clean the kitchen and do the dishes. They just made a mess of the water and wasted the soap. 
  • I messed up my spaghetti. How do I mess up my spaghetti?! I know I'm not a bad cook, yet for the last two nights, I've completely mucked up dinner. 
  • I tried giving all the kids a bath last night. Put the baby in first, then put the eldest in, told her to wash up and that included her hair, came back downstairs, went into the basement to get my eldest daughter some clothes. I forgot I left my plate out. The baby got into it. Washed the baby again.
  • Dia didn't wash her hair. Told her to get back in the tub. She washed her hair with the homemade bar soap. I got upset, because I know she knows how and what to wash her hair with. She says she's stupid. I stop to talk with her. 
  • I still need to wash clothes because some twat colored on Dia's school pants with a hot pink marker. The girl was a lot bigger than her, too, I guess. I'm pretty pissed off...
  • Gathered some laundry together. Came back upstairs, the baby got into the kids' spaghetti. I told them to take care of it earlier. By this point I'm beyond sick and tired of repeating myself. 
  • By 9:30ish I get the kids in bed. But of course, they can't get a long. Make several trips upstairs. 
  • Kids' DVD player in their TV broke. 
  • All I want to do is go to sleep, but can't because of the stupid laundry. Remind myself that the kids need clothes and my husband needs new work boots (even though we just bought him a pair) and some gel inserts.
  • Discover my bra is broke. You're kidding me?! I can't afford a new one right now! Break down crying. 
I'm scared. I don't know how I'm going to manage all this by myself. Every day. All day. Is every day going to be like this?

I know I just need to find a balance, but I've been working on that for over a year now. How am I going to manage four kids? A special needs child, a son who I'm pretty sure has ADHD, a toddler who's very attached to Mommy, and a baby...And I don't know how the baby's going to "turn out". I worry because it reminds me of my pregnancy with my eldest (the one with Asperger's).

Every night I hurt. I'm only 19 weeks and I feel like I'm about 30 weeks. My ribs feel like they're turning inside out, my pubic bone is incredibly sore by the end of the day, and throughout the day my hip just gives out whenever it feels like it. My kids just want to play and I'm getting to the point where I can't. Well, I can, I will just be hating life. 

And with Dia's teacher coming for a visit, I am struggling to get ahead with cleaning. And I still need to pack for the move. I'm scared we're not going to be ready. 

And I already miss my husband. I miss talking to him, even if it was about stuff I could care less about. I miss sleeping next to him. Sometimes, his snoring is what put me to sleep (as long as it wasn't loud). I'm already so lonely, it's not even silly. I'm not a needy person, but my husband is my best - and pretty much my only - friend. I don't drive, so it's not like I can go visit someone, or even go to the store. I'm scared this job driving my husband and I apart.

I'm scared of slipping into a depression I can't climb out of.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Super(points) Tuesday and blog hoppin'

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Connect with Posh on  a BudgetPhotobucketHop on the Tuesday Train with My Mad Mind, The House on the Corner, and The Survival Mama

Tuesday already? Yikes, where does the time go? My husband started his new job yesterday. He says he really likes it, even though the hours are long. Amazing what good co-workers can do for each other just by being pleasant and having a sense of humor. I know it's just day one, but I know it's better here than it has been at other factories. His other factory jobs didn't go well, which is what I was worried most about this place.

My eldest daughter's teacher called me. She wants to set up a home visit to see how she interacts here. I know this may sound weird and off-putting at a normal school, but this school is especially for those with Asperger's, ADHD, and other related issues. I won't deny though, that it does have me a bit concerned that they're trying to check in on me. I've never given them a reason to be concerned (at least, not that I'm aware of)...I've never sent her to school in dirty clothes. Ok, so they may have been  a tiny bit dirty from her eating breakfast. I don't even spank her. But she can be quite dramatic, and even my extended family thinks so. That last bit is what has me worried the most. I know once she comes here, and sees how I interact with my children, I will have nothing to worry about. But the state of my house still has me concerned. My husband is only awake for three, maybe four, hours a day. We move in about two weeks. I'm doing just about everything on my own now. I'm already experiencing some pretty uncomfortable hip and rib pain, and I'm just shy of halfway there (19 weeks). I haven't even given myself a chance to adjust when I unload this onto my plate.

What was I thinking??

My son's fourth birthday was yesterday, and I just about forgot. :shakes head: I wish we could have done something for him, but we're seriously strapped for cash right now (thank you, huband's ex-boss). I kept telling him happy birthday all day, and for a while there he was saying happy birthday back to me. When my daughter came home from school, and I reminded her it was his birthday, she asked why we didn't have a cake. My son got excited and squealed "Caaaake?!?!". I told him, we didn't have the money for one right now. He ran upstairs and grabbed some change from one of the bedrooms. He brought down 53 cents, and in his little squeaky voice said "Now we have money, Mommy." My heart melted and I felt bad... Same exact time last year we were moving into this place. We'll be doing something later, but it still doesn't help alleviate this Mommy Guilt #43754.


As a special thank you for stopping by, here are this week's Superpoints invites. Just click a link and sign up, you don't even have to be a follower of my blog. Thanks for reading!


Feel free to poke around my blog and leave a comment if you like. And be sure to stay tuned for my first review and giveaway coming up within the a week!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The good, the bad, and the Fawk You's

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The good...


My husband got a new job! He starts Monday. The pay is really good for entry level and, provided he can learn how to run the machines, it's something he can "hang his hat on". He was hired right on the spot by the head honcho.

My first review and giveaway is coming up. I'm really excited about it! I don't want to divulge too much info about it yet. So stay tuned.

The bad...


My husband is going to be working third shift and 12 hour days, 5 days a week. This means I have to get used to sleeping by myself...Even when he has insomnia, I'm waking up every couple of hours and making him lay down with me. This also means he's going to be pretty much non-existent during the week, and possibly on Saturdays. I honestly am worried about my sanity and how I'll manage with 3 (4) kids.

My father-in-law wants us to stay until spring.  I think, partially, it's because he wants us around, but mostly so we have plenty of money to fall back on. Which, is fine, I want that too. But I worry that we'll wear out our welcome. And I know that my kids can become a bit much and don't want to add any unnecessary strain on them. I was hoping to have my father and his family come up and stay with us shortly after the birth, but I doubt this will happen now. My in-laws are also heavy smokers. While I'm a smoker, I smoke outside or in my mom cave, and I'm not going to ask my ailing in-laws to smoke elsewhere in their own house.

My husband won't be able to take time off once the baby arrives. The factory he'll be working for does vacation time in this weird way to where he won't have any until 2013, I believe. This blows goats. He will maybe take a day (mayybe two) for the birth, but that's it.

Back the good for a second...


All of my husband's time away may actually do some good for us. While I'm not looking forward to being a theoretical single mother, it may improve our relationship.

The Fawk Yous 


We had posted my husband's huge collection of Magic the Gathering cards on Craigslist. Five thousand cards for $125. I have been bombarded with emails about what rare cards were in this lot. Would we take more pics? Will we take $50 for them? I have been conversing with this one nerd in particular all friggin' week.  At times, I was yelling at my computer screen because of his jackassery. Here is our conversation over the last week. I've omitted personal info, and what I wanted to write will be italicized.

Him: How huge a set of mtg.. Ill take them now.. U have any pix.. Or info..
     2nd email: I have cash in hand.. Just let me know..
Me:There's approximately 3000 cards. Including rares, uncommons, land...and commons, naturally. New and old editions. Would like $150, but price is negotiable.

If you have anymore questions, let me know. Thanks.  

~I attached some pictures which didn't send properly. The next several emails aren't of much importance. Just sending pics.

Him: Well the pix were clear.. But I have 5 of most of the rares and 20 lightning bolts.. So unless there are more rares that u can list.. Maybe 50-75  Well, good for you. But there's no way in hell you're getting these for $50. 

Me: Here's a pic of a number of rares. Don't know if you can see it, but there's a fatty stack of rares in there, too. There's still over 100 more. And I underestimated my original count of 3k, it's closer to 5k cards (counted a hundred rares. Used it for measuring). Won't take less than 100 for them, which is a great deal. I wish I catalogue things ffor you, but we're pressed for time. ~I attached another pic of more rares. At this point we were getting angry. We could tell he was trying to play games with us. But we continued to converse with him since he seemed interested. 

Him:  I can see most pretty clearly..well there are only 100 rares.. No, dummy...Can't you read??

Me: There's a hundred there. There's more that you can't see...I've got three kids to take care of, I can't go any lower. There's three other people looking at them, take it or leave it. Don't mistake my parenthood for weakness...This was just a nice way of telling you you're being an ass. 

Him: Guess 100 isn't too bad... Did u sell them already? No, it's not. There's 5,000 cards there.

Me: Yes they're still available, for now.

Him: Well.. How far off of [the highway] are u guys.. R u close to [the] mall?

Gave where abouts. 

Him a few days later: So did they sell in your yard sale? Or are they still available.. :blink blink: 

Me: No, we didn't put them out. I was going to post them on Craigslist. If you're still interested, the price is still $100.

Him: Oh.. Well that sucks...lol.. Good thing I didn't come out.. Well likd I said from the pix .. I have most oh the rares.. I could maybe do 50-75. For them all.. Don't give a shit how many of the rares you say you have. I said the price is $100. If you don't want the rares, sell them on Ebay. 

Me: He didn't put them out on purpose...Didn't want greasy hands just thumbing through them. We're not going to sell them for any less than $100. If you bought this at $100 you're getting each card for like 2 cents. If I go any lower, I might as well just give them away - and that's not happening. lol

Him: Well that's good u wanted to protect them.. Well maybe 75-100 somewere in there could work.. Did I stutter?? 

Me (very pissed off at this point): $90 is the lowest we'll go. That's it... Dickface...

Him: Well can u maybe take another pic of the other rares for me.. Ill c if I have any.. Then go from there..is that cool.. Well, can you kiss my ass? No it's not cool. I've done enough for you. Gone way lower than we wanted.  I didn't even reply, because nothing I wanted to say could be put nicely. At this point, he could offer $200 and we wouldn't take it. It's insulting. 

Him a few days late (this morning)r: So no pix? Fuck off. I don't think I'm going to reply to this one either. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

P.Y.H.O. - My source of strength

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As messed up and uncertain things may be at the moment, feeling these little baby kicks and seeing my children's smiling faces make it all better. Granted this is not what I want for them, but they're the reason why I continue on.

Ten years ago, I was the last person you'd imagine with 3 (4) kids and loving every minute of it. Well, most...not fond of cleaning up poop from the furniture. I was reckless. I was homeless. I didn't date due to a previous horrible relationship, and when I finally did, they'd maybe last three months. Even I didn't think I was going to have kids - and if so, just one.

Then I met my husband and it all changed.

Things have been rough for us for most of the time. I have struggled with depression since I was very, very young. I used to write, but no longer could. It's through these times when I've relied on my children as my source of strength.

In those dark moments when I'd allow my depression to take hold of me, I would think about my kids. I would think about how their life would be without me, and I found the strength to push through it.

I think about that sparkle in their eyes when they smile or laugh. I utterly adore their laugh.

I think about their tiny hands in mine, even if they're trying to squirm away.

I remember back to the day they were born. Even if I was terrified and unsure of how I'd fare as a mother...

I recall how my heart beamed at their first steps, first words, and first times they danced.

I love our silly conversations. I look forward to more.

I love discovering  and watching their interests grow. Even if I don't understand them or find them annoying.

I love the expressions they make and the silly things they do. I would rather watch them than tv.

I never imagined that someone so tiny could have such an impact on me.

Sure, I may be considered "boring" now. Sure, I may annoy you with how much I talk about my kids.  Yes, I do miss "me" and I'm struggling to find that person I once knew. But, my kids have literally saved my life. And when all hope seems gone, I look to them and know this is not true.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fawk You Friday

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If you wanna join in on all the Fawk You fun, head on over to Boobies, Babies, and a Blog and My Mad Mind and link up! If you haven't, you should. It's very therapeutic. 

In case you're just tuning in, you should really read these two posts as this post is mostly pertaining to them. Click here and here, please...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

P.Y.H.O - Finding the silver lining

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Having had some time to come to terms with yesterday's post (well, the other day now), we've found some good in my husband losing his job. Granted, this means we have to move while I'm pregnant, into my in-laws', and find a caretaker for our cat (I refuse to give her up). I'm concerned about my daughter being able to attend her school...I'm concerned if I will be able to give birth at the birthing center...but I think this will all turn out.

Contains mild language


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Super(points) Tuesday & Blog Hoppin'

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Still coming to terms with yesterday's events. So, I'm taking my mind off of things with the Tuesday Train (with My Mad Mind, The House on the Corner, & The Survival Mama) and Tuesday Google Friend Connect.


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I also want to share with you some Superpoints invites, just for stopping by. Happy hopping!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The very bad day...

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Last night, while the baby went to be relatively easily, I could not. I knew that I was going to regret it.  I knew today was going to be bad. Little did I know how bad...

Rated PG for some language


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reblog: Domino Pads: Red Eye - White Eye - do you know why it's important?

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Domino Pads: Red Eye - White Eye - do you know why it's important?

I just wanted to "reblog" this post I just read. If this type of cancer is caught early, it can be cured. You never know, you just may need this information (hopefully, not). I also would suggest in reading Sara's blog.

Cloth Diapering Tips Ep. 2 - Disposables

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I know...Why am I talking about using disposables when there's so many great things about cloth diapering?

Sometimes, you end up using them...

When I was pregnant with my youngest, I had intended on using cloth right from the beginning. Well, after the hospital...Meconium can be a pain to get out of cloth and we already had enough to pack and bring home from the hospital. I had bought a package of infant sized prefolds that said will fit babies 7 lbs. and up. They kept telling me she was going to be big based on her ultrasounds. Well, she wasn't. When we brought her home from the hospital, she weighed about 6 1/2 lbs and only 18 1/2 inches long.

Her diapers simply didn't fit. Her legs were too skinny and the prefolds gapped around her legs. Which isn't something you don't want unless you want poo and urine flowing outside and onto your covers., possibly leaking everywhere (although, with the right fit cloth diaper/cover, you'll have fewer blow-outs vs. disposables). It was also very bulky around her waist and it seemed to make her uncomfortable. Yes, she was a princess and Her Majesty was not pleased...


In fact, they didn't fit her for quite a while, not until about 8-10 weeks. Thankfully, people had given us a few packages of newborn diapers, even though I had asked that if they were buy diapers, I would prefer cloth. I'm glad they didn't listen.

Something tells me it shouldn't come down to her knees...

There have also been times when she had needed disposables. I didn't think that this would ever happen... Occasionally, she will develop a rash that is just as stubborn as she is. Calendula creams, GSE, and plenty of airing out just didn't solve it. The main culprit was due to her acidic teething poops. So, we would put her in disposables until it cleared up enough to put cloth diapers back on her.

Long car trips was another time when we've used disposables. Plenty of people don't, but we do. I can't smell a poopy cloth diaper as easily as a disposable. And if she's teething, we need to change it fast. If you're worried about what to do with poopy diapers, wrap it up in a plastic bag and then toss it in with the rest of the non-poopy cloth diapers.

Nighttime diapering was another time when disposables came in handy. While my daughter was fine in doubling up with a prefold and insert inside a fitted one-size diaper, my son was not. And I bed-shared with each of them. Nothing worse than waking up to a wet bed and a cranky, hungry baby. There are options for this too, but it was not in our budget at the time. You can try buying a nighttime diaper. Sometimes, you still need extra absorbency with these, but you may not - it's all trial and error. Hemp is also really good at being super-absorbent, as is a wool cover.

If it's in your budget, I would definitely suggest in buying some newborn sized diapers. Keep in mind though, that your baby will probably grow out of them pretty quickly. In the case of my daughter, she didn't though, and buying a newborn package probably would have been the smarter choice if we had to pay for the disposables (but we didn't, so we didn't). Plus, you can always sell them when your baby's outgrown them, or donate them.

In the case of a stubborn rash or while traveling, they do have disposable inserts that you can buy. Grovia and Flip each have their own inserts that are made from biodegradable materials that you can choose to throw away or compost. I have never tried them, but I have heard they have a tendency to leak faster than cloth. You can try using them if you're trying to clear up a rash since you'll be changing frequently anyways, but they are more expensive than disposables. Flip's inserts are cheaper than Grovia's, and I imagine that you can use them in any cover if you don't have theirs (although, I love both their shells). GDiapers also has disposable inserts that you can flush. Again, I've never tried these diapers, but it's still an option.


Kelly's closet carries both hybrid diapers if you're interested in them.

Ultimately, do what you can...If you find that you need to use disposables, do not feel bad, do not beat yourself up. What you're using is still a small amount compared to someone who chooses to use nothing but disposables. You're still contributing to keeping our earth a bit cleaner...If you find yourself needing disposables because you can't afford to try the alternatives, I would suggest in buying store brands like Parent's Choice or Target's or Dollar General (that's usually our go-to disposable). I've personally found that these seem to cause less problems for my kids than the big names like Huggies, Luvs, and Pampers. I also haven't had any problems with them being made poorly (although, the occasional tab may rip off if your husband's a Strong Man). 

If there's anything else anyone would like to add to this or if you have any questions, please leave a comment!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fawk You Friday - I shouldn't be, but I am...

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Brought to you by Boobies, Babies, and a Blog and My Mad Mind

This week hasn't been too bad....But Dan's been home all week with a sprained ankle, and I woke up cranky this morning. I shouldn't have...but I did.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Spy...

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I've been excited about this new meme with My Mad Mind, Names Will Not Be Changed, and Dazee Dreamer. I'm generally kinda weird about posting my own photos. Not because I'm overly private, but...well, I'm weird, I guess. This week's themes are "weathered" and "blogger's choice".

However, I just went to the site where all my photos were hosted, and 
they're all gone...I want to cry. While I have many photos on an external hard drive, I think my husband deleted them.

Weathered



 My husband pulled out all the day lilies (save two) from our flower bed that lined our patio. It rained heavily that year, and by the time the year was through, all that was left was dirt and a scattering of mulch. Every time it rained, dirt would splatter everywhere...All over the patio, on the windows, and all over the plants.










This was the closest to weathered as I had...
Ok...I cheated and "weathered" a photo...lol. Well, I edited it quite some time ago. This was back from when I shaved my head to raise money for children's cancer research. I believe I was 6 months along with Kyri at the time.

















Blogger's Choice

 I miss the days when she used to act like she loved her brother...She used to be so sweet with him. Now, they do nothing but argue.


P.Y.H.O. - Writing for Therapy

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I am not one who finds it easy to talk about my feelings. Not the superficials of health, music, etc. I'm talking about deep feelings. The things that have affected me profoundly; the things I'll probably carry with me for years or even the rest of my life. It just doesn't come natural to me. I will generally avoid it at all costs or minimalize it when forced to confront them. I'll shove it aside in an effort to placate what few relationships I have left.

Is it to save them? Us? Myself?

I haven't figured it out yet.

Instead, I write. I used to keep journals of these hidden feelings. Sometimes scrawled in rage and frequently tear-stained. Once I got married, I stopped for fear of my husband finding them. A lot of changes happened within the first two years of our relationship; we moved around a ton and our first child was born. Most of my notebooks are stashed away in a garage. The few I started up again frequently got commandeered by my children. Scribbles of trees and my children's names replaced the tear soaked feelings that quite often consumed my teen years.

I stopped writing. Almost all of my poems are gone. I used to be really good at it. I still struggle to get back that creativity I prized so much. It was my release...my therapy.

While I love looking back at my children's early drawings, I still miss mine.

Which is why I turned to blogging. I can finally start writing again without worry of Kool-Aid stains or it getting lost.But, I am still struggling to recapture my voice. I still cannot get that same feeling of release as I once did.

Which is why I'm thankful for your blogs and memes such as Pour You Heart Out (courtesy of Things I Can't Say). As you may or may not know, this pregnancy has had me hermitting myself away, isolating myself from what few relationships I have left. However, in my isolation, I have begun to confront feelings I thought had been resolved, but usually remained dormant. In one blog of note, Lost and Forgotten, I have made some profound breakthroughs (in the comments, I posted as Mea F (@Mme_Guillotine). I thought I had completely come to terms with things...Other blogs, like My Mad Mind and Names Will Not Be Changed to Protect the Innocent have helped mein ways I cannot begin to count. And others still, like Elohssanatahw and Boobies, Babies and a Blog (among countless others) have given me a good laugh when I've needed it.

Yet frequently, I will start to comment on your posts, but delete them for fear of it being misinterpreted in a multitude of ways (in meaning, in intention, etc.).

While we may never meet, nor will I ever be able to pick you out in a crowd, and you may or may not see this...Thank you. Even if I haven't mentioned you, or have yet to discover your blog, your writing has more influence than you know...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Train, GFC, and Superpoints

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Tuesday means it's time for the Tuesday Train with My Mad Mind, With Faith, Family, and Friends, The Survival Mama, and The House on the Corner. It's also time for Tuesday Friend Connect with Posh on a Budget! All lovely ladies with equally as lovely blogs. So join in and link up!


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 I know I haven't been blogging too much this past week. I'm still trying to catch up after after my bout of shingles and getting my daughter ready for her first day back to school. More to come on that once I can pry out more information from her. All I usually get in reply to my questions is "Maybe..." and "I dunno...". I remember doing the same to my mom, lol. This past weekend was also filled with friends and family. But that's how holidays are supposed to be.

But, in the meantime, here's some invite links for Superpoints. If you haven't checked out this site yet, it's similar to Swagbucks, except it's invite only. You work towards earning products or gift cards. I decided to check it out for myself.

Usually, I'm not too fond of sites like these because I start getting a bunch of random crap, with promises of points, yet only getting lucky if I qualify for their stupid surveys. I hate giving a bunch of information only to be told I don't "qualify"...I swear they get their info and run... Superpoints, however, I enjoy. It's been pretty easy for me to earn points by completing surveys and playing their Super Lucky Button. It's worth at least checking out.


So, as a thank you for stopping by, whether you choose to follow or not, here's the invites. They can only be used once, so if one's gone, try the next (although, it'd be nice of you to leave a comment saying it's gone...)



Hope you've had a good week!

How have I not gone completely crazy, yet?

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