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Friday, March 30, 2012

Searching for

I am searching for unused textbooks that people may have laying around, gathering dust. I need them for grades 5 thru 12. If you have some that you don't need, please consider emailing me and giving them a new home that will definitely continue to love them and use them =)

April Fools, Birthdays and Easter

 In our house we have most of the year covered in terms of Birthdays that mix with the Holidays. In April we have a total of six birthdays plus the holidays that fall in the month as well.

Here is our year broke down:

January 1- New Years Day
January 2- Liam's Birthday
January 7- My parent's Anniversary
January 15- Zach's Birthday (Daughter's boyfriend/fiance, whatever you want to call him)
February 14- Valentines Day
February 16- Brother inlaw's birthday
February 18/19- Twin BIL & SIL birthday
February 22- Dakota's birthday and My ex's wife's birthday, as well as the ex and his wife's Anniversary
March 5- Chenoa's Birthday
March 12- Brother's birthday
April 1- April Fool's Day
April 2- Shawnee's Birthday
April 7- My brother's birthday
April 11- Dinnah's birthday
April 19- My neice's birthday and the Anniversary of the OKC Bombing
April 23- G's birthday
April 26- My ex's birthday (kids father)
May 11- Kids Grandfather's Birthday
May 6- Bear's Birthday (My Best best Best Friend, male one), Pam's  birthday
May 12- Mother's Day
June 8- Hunter and Logan's Birthdays
June 28- Brittani's Birthday, Lorenzo's birthday
June 30- Father in law's birthday
July 4- Fourth of July
July 5- Cheyenne's Birthday
July 10- Mother in law's birthday
July 14- Tiffani's Birthday
July 20- Sebastian's birthday
August 18- Mare's Birthday
August 30- SIL's birthday
September- Labor Day
September 25- My Dad's Birthday
October 1- Kids aunt's Birthday
October 2- Kids Uncle's Birthday
October 3- Lilie's Birthday
October 7- My birthday
October 12- Daniel's Birthday
October 19- Niece's Birthday & Brian's birthday
October 24- Elizabethe-Ane's Birthday
October 25- Elizabethe-Ane's Death Anniversary per her death certificate (date it was actually signed)
November 6- My Mom's Birthday
November 9- My anniversary
November 24- Thanksgiving
December 19??- Nic's birthday
December 24- Christmas Eve
December 25- Christmas
December 30- Cherokee's birthday
December 31- New Year's Eve

So as you can see we have a pretty full year usually with Holidays and Birthdays. Toss in all the smaller Holidays and day's that we tend to observe such as President's Day etc and that makes for a never ending wave of holidays. We try to combine Chenoa, Shawnee and Dinnah's birthday as much as we can when it comes to planning a party. Generally we have a barbecue with cake and just family. This year it's been one thing after another in terms of getting things done. And I KNOW I am missing some Birthdays LOL

Friday, March 23, 2012

Things are calming down

 Things are starting to calm down around here. Finally. Thank you.  I still feel like I am losing my mind (like I ever had sanity to begin with right?) but I am sure that will even out eventually. We are starting to prepare the gardens for planting now. We went ahead and started a few of the seedlings in pots so that we can just transfer them to the gardens when they are ready. Time to get the tiller and plow up some ground. This year we are dealing with one large garden and two or so medium size gardens and several smaller gardens. My roses have started blooming. One of the Don Juan climbing roses has a beautiful big bloom on it. The Blue Girl hasn't started blooming just yet but it is on it's way to do so. We have some wildflowers that Cherokee wants to plant. I am still trying to find some more Asian Lilies, Black Calla Lilies, Stargazers, Tigers and some ground cover like Moss Pink, Rose "Happy Chappy", Creeping Thyme, Phlox or maybe some London Pride or Desert Pea ground cover. All of which are absolutely beautiful. I am a bit apprehensive on the Phlox for one reason though. Phlox is a fast spreading ground cover and can quickly get out of control and choke out any other plants it encounters. I am going to be doing my spearmint, peppermint and wintergreen plants in pots because they are fast spreading as well. I learned my lesson with those many years ago. They will quickly take over your flowerbed, yard, garden and kill everything in its path by smothering them. Our Butterfly tree is slowly recovering from the damage the boys did to it last year. I really thought it was going to die because of how extensive the damage was. Cherokee babied it and that paid off. It is green and starting to shoot back up taller and taller. Hopefully we can get it back to the 6-7 foot tall that it was. I could be wrong but it may have been about 8ft. I honestly don't remember. Cherokee has proven that she has a very green thumb when it comes to gardening, plants, trees, flowers, veggies etc. She took some pinto, kidney, and northern beans last year and turned them into about 50 or so plants last year. Hunter brought home a 50lb head of cabbage plant last year and that sucker got huge. It was about 5ft in diameter in terms of the plant itself. The head of cabbage I plucked from it was huge as well. I was able to make several cabbage stew type meals for over 2 weeks with that one head of cabbage. I need to get my tomato plants, herbs etc. Anyhow, I'll leave you guys in peace for now =)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hard times and super stressed. I need a money fairy =/

Hi hi hi my little stars and moons. I know I have been scarce as of late. I am so sorry about that. Things have gotten overwhelming and pretty stressful around here. As you know I was embroiled in a battle with the IRS over my refund. The short of it is that they took it without warning and I lost the fight. We were working with the Tax Advocate Offices and faxed them every single invoice and letter that they wanted. The deadline to have it turned in with the IRS was March 5th. Well, the TAO missed the deadline. Completely dropped the ball. I faxed everything to them on Feb. 28, 2012 and they called to confirm that they had indeed gotten the cover letter and all the attachments. She said she was looking at them right then and we talked about the particulars dealing with information that was in the faxes. So yes, she verified with her line of questioning that they had indeed gotten it all. Two weeks went by and I had heard not a peep from the TAO so I called them. That is when they informed me that they had missed the deadline. She started out apologetic and then it went to Hades fairly quick after that. The call ended with me losing my temper and telling her exactly what I thought of her dropping the ball. In the end we learned that because they missed the deadline, we were dead in the water in terms of seeing any money. Money that we desperately need. With Daniel being unemployed right now we have zero income coming in. The economy has all but halted my photography business, which has been non existent for the last year. We have an electric bill that is overdue and in danger of being shut off. We have a water bill that is also now overdue and in danger of being shut off. We called my parents to see if we could borrow the 600.00 that we need to get the bills paid and they just don't have it. Daniel asked his family and they don't have it either. So now, I feel like a total failure. With 8 kids I have to have electric and water. And right now things are looking pretty bleak in terms of having those two very important utilities. I have tried selling my wedding rings, necklaces, bracelets, and gotten nowhere. I have even looked into title loans and that has come up empty as well. The normal places that help with utilities around here, are tapped dry in terms of funding so they are just putting people on a 2-3 month waiting list. I honestly don't know what to do now. I debated heavily about putting this on my blog or not putting it on my blog. I realize I am putting myself out there and will likely receive some pretty harsh backlash on it. But seriously, my blog is my outlet for stress and frustrations. And right now I desperately need understanding, help and comfort. I just don't what else to do. I have exhausted all my options to be honest. If I don't smile and laugh, I cry. Give me the winning lottery numbers if you have them. And if you know someone who has money to waste or spend on a good cause, send em my way will ya. Just kidding there guys. Hopefully people can see the humor I am trying desperately to inject into the whole situation.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Creative Worlds

 Being an artist, writer and photographer means escaping to a private world that I have created for myself. From time to time those worlds are a refuge that is much needed. It is where I can take a moment and gather my thoughts and shed the insanity of daily life. I can shed the stresses that are present in the daily world that may send me over the edge from time to time. I have never been one that can handle extreme stress for long periods of time and I am far from being able to handle it with the grace and focus that those who surround me say I do. While it may look like I handle everything with such grace, I can truthfully say that under that grace and strength is a wall that is crumbling steadily.  Several years ago I started The Visions II Project. TVIIP has always been focused on teaching children about photography, art, writing, etc. In 2008 I put it on the back burner in order to focus on my clients and weeding through a very full schedule. In 2009 I was busy preparing for a wedding and a big move, thus it stayed on the back burner and I had all but forgotten about it. 2010 brought the big move in January of that year. After the move took place I spent 18 months becoming acclimated to my new surroundings. Since that time I have become acclimated to living in a tropical state.  I am now ready to haul my cameras, my lights, sketchbooks, pencils and other artistic tools and establish my business here. Now if I could get out of the creative funk that I have hit. =/

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Creative funk

 I am in a creative funk right now. My fellow artists, photographers and graphic designers know exactly what the creative funk is. I think it's time to grab my cameras, my equipment, the kids and do some mini sessions. Somehow I don't think the kids will be too thrilled about that.  I just know that I need to get myself out of this funk. I hate when I develop a creative block. It sucks every ounce of creativity out of me and I struggle to pull it back sometimes. Any suggestions or ideas for a theme?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

WoW junkie

  So it is no secret that I play several MMORPG's including World of Warcraft aka WoW. So the following is a very short conversation between me and my 18 yr old daughter, who also plays WoW.

Me: Hey Chy, give me a few Shadow Priest spells. Just name some please.
Chy: Flash Heal
Me: Seriously? Really? -face palm-
Chy: What? That's a Shadow Priest spell.
Me: Umm, NOT. I said SHADOW Priest Chy, not Heals. -bangs head on desk-
Chy: -looks around and smiles- You said priest.
Me: No Chy, I said SHADOW Priest. Seriously? Really?
Chy: ohhhhhhhhhhhhh SHADOW.
Me: -gnome punts Chy-

For what it's worth, I play a Shadow Priest in addition to my Arcane Mage, Beast Master hunter, Boomkin (Balance Druid) and Destruction/Affliction Warlock.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Beautiful weekend Memories

My son Liam with his sister Brooklyn and his father Ken.
Obviously you can tell who is who in this photograph =)
I had to be quick with the shots so I didn't have time to use my 50mm lens. And I was not able to use my ring flash but then I didn't really need it with all the beautiful natural light that day. The SOOC was color but I tweaked it to B&W given I am a huge B&W fan. -sigh- That's my weakness. Not thrilled with how Liam's eyes came out pretty dull compared to Brook's.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Chenoa is 12

 Yesterday my 31 week preemie turned 12 years old. It doesn't seem like it has been 12 years since she was the tiny 3lb newborn that she was. I can remember the moment my water broke. I remember hoping beyond all hope that I had just wet my pants. Yes I desperately was hoping that was what had happened. I recall crying and saying please please don't let this be my water. It's entirely too soon for this baby boy (I was told she was a he since week 15) to be born. I rushed to the hospital and was told that this was it. My water had definitely broken and the birth was imminent. I was not far enough along for the GBS test at that point so they immediately did one. I tested a high positive for GBS (Group B Strep) and they immediately tried to stall my labor long enough to get some antibiotics into my system. My OB came in with the perinatologist and they did an ultrasound right then. They said the baby was still a he and that they suspected he weighed 7lbs. I laughed and said no, SHE is going to weigh 3lbs and be 15 inches long. They looked at me and laughed. Said no we know what we are talking about. Chenoa was born just moments after midnight when I rolled over from 30 weeks to 31 weeks. She weighed 3lbs and was exactly 15 inches long. She didn't cry. She mewed like a weak little kitten. She was retracting with every breath she took and they rushed her to the NICU after they let me hold her for all of a minute. I was able to go down to the NICU after they got me cleaned up and settled. I watched as the NICU nurse took the suction syringe bulb (the snot sucker as I called it) and put it in the palm of her hand. She picked up Chenoa and laid her on her tummy across her arm. She patted her back with the hand that held the bulb syringe. I remember thinking my gosh it looks like they are patting her back really hard. The nurse was trying to get the fluid in her lungs to break up (per what I was told) and she was trying to get her to cry. She was never able to get anything beyond that weak kitten mew. The nurses told me to expect Chenoa to remain in the NICU until at least her due date. I was devastated. I didn't want to go home without her even though i lived just across the street from the hospital at the time. I stayed by her side for 3 solid days. The nurses tried in vain to get me to leave her to go shower and rest. I just couldn't do it. Finally the my doctor and the NICU doctor came in. They both told me to go shower and get some rest and then they wanted to talk to me. So I finally did. When I came back, I sat down with the doctors and was fully expecting them to tell me she would be staying for many weeks. Imagine my surprise when I was told that she could go home with very specific and strict restrictions. She was on a monitor and I had to bring her in every single day. I was told that the main reason they were letting me take her home was because she was doing very well and because I lived across the street from the hospital. They both were also aware that I had suffered 6 back to back miscarriages just before I got pregnant with Chenoa. The 6th one being exactly 6 months to the day when i found out I was pregnant with Chenoa. I named her Chenoa Kathryn-Lian. Chenoa means White Dove (Native American), Kathryn means Of God and Lian means Graceful Willow in Japanese and Lotus flower in Chinese. The name was one I chose after she was born and it fit her circumstances. The day I brought her home she set off the alarms on her monitor when she stopped breathing and turned blue. I called the hospital and the NICU doctor said strip her down and step outside for a moment. I was like are you kidding me? It was COLD, ice cold. He said it would shock her system into taking a breath and to step back in afterward. And that they would be sending someone to usher us to the hospital, across the street. Thankfully it DID work and she took a breath (still not sure why the cold air worked or why they didn't tell me to do CPR). That led to a few days in the hospital again. Eventually we were able to go back home and didn't have any repeats. Amazingly she did better than the doctors had hoped. They said her lungs were mature at birth which was a shock. The retracting was from the fast trip down the birth canal (at least that's what they said). She did remain on the monitor for the first year of her life and was on a modified growth chart due to her premature birth. But by the age of 3 she was caught up with other babies her age. Amazingly she had no other issues aside from being 95% deaf and a congenital birth defect that affected her hips and legs, which was correctable with surgery. When she was 6 she had surgery on her legs to correct the tibial torsion and femural torsion (both tibia and femur were twisted and had to be surgically "untwisted") and that should help the hip rotation she has. I am thankful that she has no other issues as a result of her premature birth. I am very lucky. Chenoa is a happy and beautiful 12 year old now. I am one lucky mama.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Nice weekend

It's been a pretty nice weekend around here. Illarian is laying eggs nicely as are the hens. The kids spent quite a bit of time outside since it has been pretty hot here lately. Ken and his wife Tiffany came in from out of state with their daughters to visit. Ken is my youngest son's biological father. It was good to see them. We got to meet Brooklyn (L's newest sibling) and she reminds me so much of L when he was that age. She looks just like L did. Right down to the chubby cheeks and the smiles that never stop. But I tell you, it cured me of the baby fever for now. I look at how life is now that my youngest are both 9 and I think yeah a baby between Daniel and I would be wonderful but, do we really want to have a newborn at this stage in our lives? I am going to be 38 this year and Daniel will be 32. I know we aren't old by any means but while we both would love to have a biological child between us, are we sure we want to start the baby phase over again? And then you have to remember that if we decided to have a child together, it would involved IVF and a gestational surrogate. I can't carry another child. After L was born I had to have an emergency hysterectomy but my OB left me an ovary because he knew I wasn't done having children. I am no stranger to IVF, IUI, fertility drugs and the like. Been there, done that. The biggest hurdle would be financial. We do have a surrogate lined up, just would need the IVF insurance and the financial means that comes with IVF. Which is pretty costly. The meds alone are outrageous in price and chances are the cost has gone up since I last had to deal with the meds.  I'm sure we will eventually decide one way or the other. Just one of the many things that has been on my mind lately.  I hope your weekend was as good as mine was =)
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