I found these two cuties a few weeks ago while cleaning out an old box in our garage.  I laughed out loud.  I bought these two when I was a junior in high school.  What feels like a lifetime ago.  How did I know then, that these two beauties would be a glimpse at my future?  Looking at them again after years in storage, I only had one thought... Caitlin and Mackenzie.  My daughters.  They look like this.  Check it out.

Ignore, yours truly.  Anyway, the two cuties got me thinking about my girls and differences.  That got me thinking about Caitlin and her discovery of all things brown.  There are no lessons to be learned or ideas to be spread here.  This is just a story of my little family and how very smart a four year old can be.  She is teaching me a thing or two...

Brown is kind of a thing in our house.  It is the color of some of my favorite things.  Chocolate.  Tea.  My worn in faux-Uggs.  It's also the color of my daughter, Caitlin.  She is brown.  Her hair, her eyes, and her skin.  I'm brown too, my hair and my eyes, by alas my skin pales in comparison.  From the moment she was born, the first comment is not how beautiful she is, or how kind she is, but how brown she is.  And that is ok.  I'm not alarmed or offended.  I've embraced it.  I love her color, but the truth is it is quite shocking.  Her father is white, I'm paler than the average mixed Mexican American, and Mac, well Mac is the fairest of us all. 
I'm used to brown.  My family is brown, and I was brown too, until about high school.  My father has very dark skin and is often asked if he is Native American.  So brown is a gift.  It's a testament to culture and bloodlines that should have faded by now.  I look at our little American family and often wonder how we got this little brown beauty.  I'm grateful.  It's a reminder of what is  behind my last name that is sometimes a betrayal of who I am, Mexican.  Mixed.  Brown. 
We often talk about Caitlin's brown-ness.  Family and perfect strangers.  It's very common for strangers in Target or the grocery store to comment on her beautiful hair and skin color.  Until recently I paid no mind.  I agreed that she is beautiful, but I'm biased as she is my beauty.  It's just been in the past few months that I now realize that Caitlin herself has picked up on her differences.  The difference in skin color between her and her sister.  The difference in hair color between her and others.  It's little comments that now have me worried... Have I drawn a line in the sand?  Have I put too much emphasis on color?  Maybe, but Caitlin surprised me with her own conclusions on her identity.
It all started with Selena Gomez.  She is beautiful, so beautiful in fact that she has bewitched the also adorable Justin Beiber.  It's no surprise to me.  What was a surprise was Caitlin's instant attraction and awe at her.  I remember the conversation:
Caitlin: "Mommy, who is that?". 
Me, busy as usual: "Oh that's Selena Gomez.  She's on that wizard show you like". 
Caitlin: "I like her because she is brown like me.  Do you think she's pretty?"
Me:  "She is beautiful just like you"
Caitlin:  "Yeah cuz she's brown"
Now to you as you read this, it may seem like just another conversation about the people on TV.  The newest teen sensation, the newest person to idolize.  To me this was a major breakthrough on many fronts.  This was a moment that my daughter was able to see herself, on TV, materialized.  She had in a sense found her first role model.  Maybe I'm jumping the gun, maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I remember the feeling.  Finding someone to idolize.
Maybe if Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez, or even Eva Longoria had been on the scene when I was in high school I'd feel differently about this situation.  They weren't.  I have vivid memories of the summer I was 15, and trying in vain to be Alicia Silverstone in that Aerosmith commercial.  I wanted to be blonde and skinny, with great abs, and I wanted to wear combat boots with a flannel shirt and jean cut-offs.  I did 100 sit ups a day for a month.  I was still fat, ok not fat, but not Alicia Silverstone.  She was the hottest thing that summer and it killed me to realize I was never going to look like that.  Not just the abs, but the blonde-ness as well.
I'd like to believe that if Jennifer Lopez was shaking what her momma gave her, and embracing her body, I would have too.  If Kim Kardashian (love her or hate her) was on the scene, a curvier body wouldn't have been so awful to have.  I was 15.  I was a long way from healthy body image.  TV, music and fashion was a long way from diverse.  That's why I'm so happy now.
My daughter in all her wisdom of 4 years, has found her self image through Selena Gomez and the Disney channel.  I love that she is equally excited about Rocky from Disney's "Shake it Up".  Caitlin will tell me that she likes Rocky because "She is brown like me".  Rocky also dances like a pro, wears super trendy clothes (without showing skin), and is the smartest kid in her class.  Now, if Disney can just keep her and Selena Gomez out of rehab I'll be happy.  On a serious note, I'm so thankful that they are there for Caitlin to idolize, and know that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. 
When I started writing this blog, I didn't intend for it to be a soapbox or love letter on race.  I'm sorry if it turned out that way.  I've never felt like race was an issue in my life.  I was just struck by the observations of my four year old daughter.  She really did notices those differences and paid attention to what others were saying.  Am I to blame?  Perhaps.  Maybe I shouldn't point it out the differences.  Somehow, it's really too late for that.
I've always tried to embrace all people in all walks of life.  Black, white, brown, gay, straight, other.  It's how I was raised.  How could it have been avoided?  My father is Mexican and my mom is white.  It's also a lesson I want to pass on to my girls.  You know, "Don't judge a book by its cover" and such.  I hope that I can do this lesson justice.  I want them to embrace differences and individuality, while being individuals themselves. 
Thankfully the lessons will be easy to teach.  I have been blessed with two girls who are as different as night and day.  From looks to personalities.  It's funny when you really think about life and love, having babies and creating beings.  When I look at John and myself, I think how in the world did we get so lucky.  These two girls who, at birth, had their own ideas about who they are, and who they are going to be.  Teaching acceptance should be a piece of cake.  As long as we start at home.  Embracing the differences that make us individuals.  Embracing the individuals that make us a family.
So I'm down with brown, and all the lessons it continues to teach.  It's also the color of chocolate, so theres that too...
Happy Blogging,


Long time NO Blog!!!

I feel like it's been a month since my last blog... It's been what like a week.  Anyway, I'm back and ready to party... Well blog anyway.  The biggest issue at this point is actually sitting down and writing.  Which is difficult since Mac is currently trying to crawl her way up my body and onto the desk. 

Since I was resting and laying on the couch feeling like I had the plague, I had lots of time on my hands (thanks to John and my mom) to think about my blog, surf the Internet on my iPhone, and watch regular TV that didn't involve talking animals.  So my list of things to blog about has grown.  So many ideas, my head is about to explode, but I'm working on it... Don't be surprised that once I get the ball rolling, I'll be posting a lot.  Translation:  Please don't "hide" me on Facebook, if the posting gets annoying. 

Here are some of the things that I have come to love since I was able to do nothing but look for things to be interested in...

Pinterest.  Am I late to this party?  I've been seeing lots of "pinning" on Facebook and the blogs I follow.  So I downloaded the app to my iPhone.  BIG MISTAKE.  I find that all I do, every 15 to 20 minutes is browse Pinterest.  It's so totally addicting, I'm surprised it doesn't serve lattes.  I'm super serious!  There are so many boards to choose from; Apparel, Fashion, People, Kids, Photography, DIY/Crafts... Endless possibilities.  I can't tell you how many DIY crafting projects I have liked, how many cupcake decorating ideas I've seen(that I will never be able to pull off, but dream big right?), how many super cute outfits I want to copy.  Pinterest has now pushed me into other obsessions, for example...

TOMS shoes.  Yes Toms.  I first fell in love with them after watching that short lived Shonda Rhimes attempt at a doctor show in the jungle.  The cutie doctors were all sporting Toms and I thought "I need those. NOW".  My interest has peaked again since on the apparel pins on Pinterest show lots of cute pictures of outfits that feature TOMS.  Sure they are a little "crunchy", they have a good message behind them, and they are super trendy.  I want them anyway.  Guess what is on my list to Santa???

Trendy clothes in trendy colors.  That I would not normally try.  Pinterest has made it look easy.  It seems that there are plenty of peeps "pinning" great outfits that highlight everything down to the accessory.  That means I have easy to follow instructions.  I have a great road map on the journey to find some style.  Plus colors like turquoise and eggplant and lime green.  Yeah, the pinning makes these look good. 

DIY Projects.  There are some awesome projects on Pinterest.  There are literally 101 things you can do with an old t-shirt.  No, literally, that's what the blog is called.  There are also a gazillion ways to frost a cupcake; layer brownie mixes, cookie mixes, and s'more fixin's in a mason jar; and decoupage just about everything including your cat (ok, not your cat).  I have found scarves to make out of old t-shirts, felt and ribbon roses to embellish t-shirts, and even a tutorial on how to make a cute blouse out of your man's old button down.  The best part?  It's all done with minimal sewing... I'm so serious!

Finally I found via Pinterest.  How do I explain BluntCard?  It's crass.  It's outspoken.  It knows no boundary.  It has a love for every curse word this side of the Mississippi.  And I've fallen hopelessly in love with it.  It's laugh out loud hilarity, on a card that you can email or post to your Facebook, Twitter account, or Pin board.  Please check it out.  It does not disappoint.  Well ok, if you don't like your days littered with a little foul language, then pass on it.  Otherwise enjoy.  You can thank me later. 
Here is a sample that won't easily offend, but will get the point across:

I have to confess that I have yet to actually pin to my Pinterest board.  I hate to repin some one's hard work, or treasure.  Eventually I will have something to pin I'm sure.  Until then I like just about everything I see, then go and stalk those pinners at their blogs.  So with my Pinterest obsession taking over my days, I'm on my way back to the land of blog.  Please stand by.  Oh, wait, my Pinterest app just updated...

Happy Blogging,

First Day!

Today was the first day of school!! 
And YES we were excited and happy!!! 

Here is a picture of the outfit that she picked out. 
She said it was "fashion".

I had been so worried about this day.  I had nightmares about it.  Caitlin is a mamma's girl.  Attached at my hip.  Always.  So I was worried that there would be tears and screams and clinging to Mommy.  I was so wrong.  We walked in and met her teacher.  Then after meeting her teacher, she walked off to play.  No good-byes, no kisses, no tears... So John and I called her over and said our good-byes, and walked out.  Stunned!!  I didn't cry, but I felt a little piece of my heart break.  The little piece that told me that Caitlin was no longer a baby, but now a big girl. 

And another reason I was so worried was because I have been so sick.  And tired.  I was worried that I would not make it to the first day of school.  Would I have to stay home parked on the couch?  Would I have to send John alone to get the school year started?  What if?  It would be a major let down for
both Caitlin and I.  I was super worried.

However, this morning I got up and put on my big girl panties.
I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "Let's do this MOM!".  And so we did.

I had been thinking for weeks that I wanted to do something special.  I wanted to start a tradition.  Something that the girls and I could enjoy every first day of school.  So I did what every mom, that is sick and tired and strung out on anti-nausea drugs does... 

I made these.

They are gluten free iced sugar cookies.  You can't tell from the pictures, but I put sprinkles in the batter too.  Guess what?  They are from the Betty Crocker GF Yellow Cake Mix.  It was my first attempt at trying to make cookies that I could possibly make GF Whoopie Pies out of one day.  It was super easy... Prepare the cake mix as directed, BUT omit the water and one of the eggs.  Then add 3 TBS of sprinkles (GF of course) and refrigerate at least 1 hour.  Bake at 375 for 8-10 min.  
Decorate as you fancy. 
Fast and easy...

When I picked her up she was happy and sweaty with pink cheeks.  She did great Mom, the teacher said.  I asked Caitlin how she liked school... I LOVE IT! was her response.  She then told me about her snack (a muffin), her trip to the potty, and her new friends.  Her new friends that are both boys, Matthew and Andrew.  Hmmm... Dad's not so sure about this... But all in all she had a great day.  Even better she is all set to go back tomorrow.  Hopefully the newness and excitement won't wear off too soon.  Hopefully the fun and friendship will be just as exciting everyday as it was today. 

I am a proud Mamma today folks.  A great first day for both of us. I'm sure at some point it will all sink in and I will feel that my nest is a little emptier.  I think next year will be harder.  KINDERGARTEN.

So today was a success on many levels.  I got my baby off to school.  I tried and successfully baked a GF creation.  She loved the cookies!  She was so excited.  I made it through the day to give Caitlin a first day of school to remember.  My hope is that she loves school and learning as much as I did.  That she makes lots of friends and learns lots of things.  I hope that this first day cookie tradition is something that we can share every year, with Mac too when she starts school.  I also hope that it doesn't go too fast... It seems that time is speeding full steam ahead.  

 Oh, and PS:  This is Caitlin's new backpack. 
She picked it out. 
Did you know Pandas in pink bows are awesome? 
Well now you do!

Happy Blogging,

Commercial Break

Since I'm sick, and pretty much anything I do makes me want to hurl (including writing this now), I've been spending lots of time parked on the couch.  Thanks to my fabulous mother, I've been able to watch adult programming, since the kiddos are being shipped out to play dates and such.  So with adult programming comes adult commercials.  It's been interesting.  I'm used to ads for ZhuZhu Babies, My Little Ponies, or whatever else normal sized thing decided to shit out miniatures that my four year old loses her mind over.

So while parked on the couch I got the luxury of viewing programming that wasn't mind numbing or had cute songs to help us learn how to clean up after ourselves.  It was during an episode of NCIS and The Closer, which I was viewing both at the same time, that I saw a commercial that made me laugh out loud.

Said commercial was for EPT pregnancy tests.  It was a short little bit on 2 different ladies looking at the little plastic dip stick and smiling wide as they called someone on the phone.  Husband perhaps?  Life Partner?  Best Friend?  I laughed because I want to see an EPT commercial we can all appreciate.  Like the one where the college student is peeing on the dip stick in her dorm bathroom, while her BF sets the timer on her iPhone while chugging a beer.  Then they both jump up and down doing cartwheels when the test says "Negative" and then they both chug beers.  Or how about a SAHM with food in her hair, pop tart on her boob, and her 2 kids kicking each others ass in the background?  Because that's real life.  Then they could show her jumping up and down while adding Bailey's to her morning coffee, with an image of the dipstick with a minus sign.

Apparently I'm no longer the demographic for pregnancy test commercials.  Because a commercial showing a woman rejoicing over a minus sign isn't good politics on TV.  Good.  But just once I'd like to see the truth in advertising. 

Time for me to go back to the couch.  Until next time....

Happy Blogging,

Incredibly GROSS!

It's not news to a lot of you out there that I am a sickly person.   I'm sick 90% of the time, which puts me in a really crappy mood.  Most of my friends know that if there is a rare and infections disease running rampant, I will become infected.  That is why I can't hack those end of the world plague movies.  It sucks, beyond words.  However since being diagnosed Celiac, I had been living really healthy.  It was a great run while it lasted. 
Now, I can honestly say that I haven't been well since I got preggo with Mackenzie.  That would be August 2009.  That's right, I have been a sick person for 2 whole years.  I was a very sick preggo person, then sick after I had her due to blood loss, and then just when I started to feel better I developed IBS.  AWESOME.  That unfortunately was just the beginning. 
This week I found out that I have H. Pylori.  What?  I know, I had no idea what it was either.  It's a bacterial infection that lives in the lining of my stomach.  What would appear to be simple acid reflux and severe upper abdominal pain is actually the grossest bacteria known to man.  Ok maybe not the grossest, but every time I start to think about it I get all grossed out.  It makes my skin crawl to know that there are actually things crawling in my stomach.  GROSS!
So how did I pick up these little friends?  My Dr. has told me that H. Pylori lives on produce and I most likely got it from salad.  Little does the doctor know that salad is one of the staples in my diet since I was diagnosed Celiac in 2002.  Since my diagnosis I can't look at salad or even imagine eating it.  My doctor also informed me that millions, MILLIONS of people live with H. Pylori in their bodies daily and it never effects them negatively.  Millions of people are able to be infected with H. Pylori and their own bodies get rid of it, before you can say "Cobb salad".  I'm just one of the lucky ones whose body has decided to invite this bacteria for an extended stay. 
It gets better.  That is my stab at sarcasm.  I now have to take what is called a "PrevPac" for the next 14 days.  It's basically the strongest antibiotics known to man and Prilosec to protect the stomach lining from further destruction.  Let's just say the side effects include... Well it's just plain gross.  What I will tell you is that the side effects for me mirror pregnancy.  DOUBLE AWESOME!  Yesterday I realized that I don't want to be pregnant EVER AGAIN.  I'm supposed to be taking them twice a day, but I have only been able to take them at night.  Even then the nausea wakes me, as I toss and turn trying to be still and let it pass.  I did find some left over Zofran from my last stint as a preggo and that helped.  Unfortunately I only have 8 pills, so until I get more, I'm sticking to the nighttime doses only.
And better yet, my kids probably have it too.  It's contagious!  Usually passed by saliva, which if you have kids then you know what you drink and eat, they drink and eat.  TRIPLE AWESOME.  Which would make perfect sense as to why Caitlin has been in pain and so sick as well.  The abdominal pain is really severe for me, so I can't imagine what it's like for a littler person.  So now comes my questions for the doctor, how do we test them?  I just took a simple blood test, so I'm assuming blood test.  Well we all know what happens when you assume... The doc reassures me that simple STOOL SAMPLES will let us know.  AWESOME TO INFINITY POWER!!!  MORE POOP!!!
Basically I'm blogging this to beg you to keep us in your prayers.  To pray for me to be able to survive the dreaded PREVPAC.  To pray that this unbelievable and incredibly gross H. Pylori takes a hike.  To pray that somehow it's spared my kiddos.  Also, if I don't post as much, it's because I'm trying to down every pill with every anti-nausea drug, and am probably laying flat on my back while my kids watch Yo Gabba Gabba on loop. 
I HAVE to get better.  I WILL get better.  Wish me luck. 
Happy Blogging,

17 years...A life time.

17.  It has been 17 years since I saw my cousin James.  Taken from this world just 10 days shy of his 14th birthday.  17 years is a life time.  Someone else's lifetime.  Unfortunately not his.

Today he would have been 31.  I still day dream about all of the things I wish he would have had.  A life lived to the fullest.  These days I wish he knew my girls and John.  Wish that he had his own family with little ones running and playing.    My heart is still broken, breaking at odd times.  Missing him more on the important days.  Like my college graduation.  My wedding day.  When my girls were born.  It's been 17 years, but it feels like yesterday.

Below is an essay I wrote in my first college class, English 1A - MWF- Fall 1996.  What you will find is a heartbroken 18 year old both naive and faithless.  Still searching for answers, still questioning "the plan".  I gather it was an essay about an influential person.  It begins with a poem James wrote himself.  I guess he had something to say too.  To me this essay is very green and rough, but also very raw and emotional.  And I was.  Still raw from a tragedy.  It's dated September 18th, 1996.  A life time ago.

Things He Left Behind
I am a nice tall tree on a hill
I am a fast and beautiful cheetah
I am a nice dark blue
I am Salinas a boring little town
I am sugar in everybody's coffee
I am sadness and loneliness
-James Eubanks

He was all this and more.  He was always more.  Never giving up, never content with second best.  So driven and full of life, he would have made it in the realities of life, but the Divine had other plans.  Placed here to show the riches of life, and taken home to teach the ability to heal.
He will never have a first day of high school, or college for that matter.  He will never play high school football like he had dreamed.  He will never go to his Senior Prom, Grad night at Disneyland, or Graduation.  I'll never get the chance to watch him grow into the handsome young man he was supposed to be.  All of these things are true because he was taken away.
His life was cut short, very short and while there are endless lists of what he will never do, there are more lists of what he did while he was alive.
August 1, 1994 will forever burn a hole in my mind.  This was the night he was suddenly jerked out of this world and gently placed into another.  This was the night that I would sit in a dark hospital waiting room and listen as family member after family member screamed in anguish and crumple like tissue paper onto the floor.  This was the late summer evening that I lost James, one of the most important and influential persons in my life.
Torn from my life like pages from a book.  So sudden and tragic, there was no explanation or justification.  When a car without headlights collides with a boy full of life, unknown in the new world he is about to endure.  The impact was enough to steal his last breath and breathe him into eternity.
Growing up there was never a time that he was absent.  We created a bond that bridged a gap between our two years.  He was my cousin, but the loneliness I felt being an only child, I turned him into a little brother.  I could always talk him into dropping football for tea parties, and he could always talk me into leaving Barbie dolls for G.I. Joe action figures.  From the beginning he was my cousin, my friend, my support.
He was my backbone no matter what mistakes I made, or what my faults happened to be.  He always helped me shape my decisions in important situations.  I always knew I had his support.  I always knew he would be there.
Having a huge part of my life and my being ripped out, at such an influential time, I changed in a number of ways.  I found that at sixteen there are some things that were not as important as I had previously thought.  In the months following his death I started to grow up and mature, but mostly  I felt myself growing away.   It was hard achieving goals and not being able to share them with the person who help my heart.  There were times when I felt like I wanted to join him in his afterlife to keep feeling his support.  On day though, I woke up and his presence was there.
I had a sense of being stronger and more alive.  I continued to think about him, but it no longer made me sad.  It made me believe and it gave me the courage I so desperately needed.  Like an extra dose of morale or a sudden push forward he was there.  Moving my feet, holding my hand, guiding me forward.  I didn't exactly know how many days had passed or if it had been months.  Suddenly my days got brighter and the sadness tapered.  I never forgot, I never stopped loving or thinking.  I just began to move.
I don't know how I got through the first year.  A lot of tears, of course, but there was something under the surface.  I began to realize just how precious and short life is.  I was forced to take into account my actions, actually my lack of actions.  I realized I had to grow up, and not away.  I had to get my life back on the right track.  I had to start to live again.
Lately it seems that I miss him more than usual.  I sometimes feel I need his support as I face new experiences and new emotions.  Moving to Clovis, last July, was one of the biggest changes I have ever met.  It was a new town, with a new school, and new strangers waiting to be met.  I wonder what he would have said when we finally moved.  Sometimes I wonder how many weekends he would have stayed baking in the valley heat.  He always loved warm weather.  He always loved life.
I remember him telling me that he couldn't wait for college life.  Most often it was my college life.  He frequently paired the words if and college together, but somehow he was sure I would go.  He dreamed about visiting me on the campus of my choice and attending football games and wild frat parties.  I assured him that he would always be welcomed, he would be there by my side.
Now when I'm at my worst, I feel his presence behind me pushing me.  When I'm stumped by the wonders of life, and I feel  like I want to quit and grovel, he is there.  I feel his love in my heart and his smile blazes in my mind.  Little memories play back to me like silent movie shorts to keep me focused.  Focused on my goals and on how important it is to maintain them.  This was a philosophy he practiced.  His main idea being: live life for you and to its fullest potential.  Maybe not in those words exactly, but this was his strong belief.  A philosophy carried by a fourteen year old, and yet a philosophy that most are beyond discovering within themselves.
He was put here by the Divine to teach me the richness of life.  He was taken by the Divine to teach me to heal.  To prove to me that healing is a long hard battle, but it is a survivable battle.  To show me that healing does not mean forgetting or hating, but that it means remembering, loving, and living.
He is still here in my heart, in my mind, and in my soul.  He is the heat of the sun and the cool morning breeze.  He is the storm and the rainbow after.  He comes out in my tears and in my laughter.  Mostly he is my love, shining through, just like he taught me. 
Happy Birthday James.  Today we celebrate your life.  We miss you and love you. 
Happy Blogging,

I stole this idea...Don't sue me

You ask and you shall receive.  I had some questions about the headband I made in my post last week.  Everyone was dying to know when I turned into such a crafty bi@$h!  Ok, it was more like 2 of the 12 people who read this crap.  Anyway I let them know, and gave all credit, to the incredible Little Miss Momma.  You can find her at  She will knock your socks off with her beauty, her talent, and her over all cheerfulness.  I'm nothing like her, but I want her in my circle of BFFs.  Although I think my sailor mouth will get me nowhere with her.  She is too sweet for the words in my vocabulary...

So I'm going to be a HUGE copycat, which I hate.  I'm totally stealing this from her, and I hate that too, so remember, as you are crafting your own head pompom thingy, ITS A LMM ORIGINAL!! 

Get out your glue guns ladies.  Do you realize that the glue gun is the BEST invention for the modern woman?  Who needs a needle and thread when you can burn off your fingerprints with hot glue?  I never knew glue guns were so gangster...

Headband Pompom Thingy courtesy of Little Miss Momma at


Fabric, glue gun, scissors, scrap felt, pen or pencil, headband

Find a circle to use as a template.  I used a hairspray lid.  Also good choices:  sippy cup, saucer, wine bottle

Use it to draw and cut 8 circles of fabric and one circle of felt.  I folded the fabric so I could cut four circles at a time.  Little Miss Momma suggested this because she is an efficient crafter.  I would have just cut 8 circles, one at a time like a dumbass.

Net grab a circle like I'm doing below:

Then hold it so the point is available to get shot with your very awesome glue gun.  Then place it on your felt circle like this, below:

Ok, then just repeat with all your fabric circles moving out from the middle until you run out.  If you run out of circles and there is still some of the felt showing you have 2 options.  1- cut more fabric circles and fill in or 2- cut the felt to fit the 8 circles you just slaved away on.  I cheated and just cut the felt.  When you are finished it should look something like this fabulous pompom:

Now cut a small strip of felt, like a small square like this:

And place your headband on top of it.  Now shoot it with your glue gun, and before it dries smoosh your fabulous pompom on top!

And you are done!!! 

Now go forth and pompom!  Pom it up.  Your kids, the dog, yourself.  You'll be the envy of all the other moms.  Why?  Because this *s* is homemade and handmade.  They will stare at you and wonder "How does she do it?".  And you can smile your "kiss my grits" smile, and say "Oh, that?  It was nothing" while you sip wine out of your Starbucks travel mug.

Happy Blogging (and crafting),

Paying It Forward

If anyone would have told me. 4 years ago, that in just a few short years I would be blogging the joys of motherhood, I would have called her a liar.  I would have said, first "what joys" and two "who the hell would read it?".  Somehow I'm here letting it all hang out.  I would have also called you a liar or crazy if you would have also suggested that another mother would actually ask for my opinion or expertise.  Well guess what?  Someone has asked.  A mom and fellow reader has actually asked for my advice.  I didn't believe it myself.

This mom sent me a message months ago that brought tears to my eyes.  She was thanking me for being honest and letting her know that sometimes motherhood was about as fun as a triple root canal.  She was in that place between selfless mommy and guilt ridden, run for the hills, where the hell is my former life mom.  I got it.  I had actually just blogged about it.  She thanked me for hating breast feeding, hating night time feedings, and hating fatigue.  She thanked me for opening a door she didn't know existed.  The "I love by baby, but this motherhood thing is a bitch" door.  She told me about her own feelings, her own fatigue and her own self loathing.  I just read her message and cried.

I cried because I knew exactly where she was.  I cried because I wanted her to know and understand that she was not alone.  I cried because she reminded me of me, four years prior.  Tears of gratitude that someone actually enjoyed and related to what I had felt and then written.  Tears of selfishness, I had a fan!

We messaged back and forth.  She said that she had been following the blog for awhile but was too afraid to comment.  I did my best to listen and respond to her fears and mothering aspirations.  I wanted her to feel comfortable and know that no matter her comment, her message or her post, this was a safe place. 

Time went on and recently she messaged me again.  This time for advice.  Advice?  ME?  Seriously?  What do I know about schedules and baby menus, and weaning from a bottle?  Really she just wanted to know my opinion.  So I told her.  I told her what a very wise mom told me four short years ago. 

YOU gotta do what works for YOU. 

So I let her know the lessons I had to learn the hard way.  That no one, NO ONE, knows your baby better than you do.  That it's ok to do your momma thing your way to make it easier on you.  That no one can tell your child sleeps with you unless they are there at bed time.  No one will know that your kid eats peanut butter cups for breakfast unless you tell them. 

I hoped that I had put her mind at ease a little.  I was happy to help.  Are you kidding, I just love to talk about this momma gig I got and what I do to make it work.  I swear it's like Tim Gunn's voice in my head, "Make it work Mommas, Make. It. Work".  Then when you think you're working it, you notice the snot on your sleeve.  Work it.

I mentioned this moment to my friend Krysten during one of our morning chats (more on those later).  Of course she knew the actual reason and meaning behind my moment with this mom.

It's like paying it forward.  You know, she is you 4 years ago.  I helped you get right with it and now you are helping her get right with it.  Full Circle.  You know?
- ok so this isn't a direct quote but you get the picture.

MIND.  BLOWN.  It was exactly like paying it forward.  DUH!  And I was so happy to have come full circle I wasn't even jealous that Krysten had the insight to notice. 

I asked this Mom if I could blog about her. She said yes and was excited.  I appreciated that, and was thankful for the chance to share our story.  One day I hope this mom will do me the honor and blog her story here.  Until then, I happy to have a new Momma in the club of Moms who really do love their children, but would sometimes trade them in for Starbucks.  And if you say "NEVER" then I have to call you a liar.  LIAR.

Happy Blogging,

Headbands? I'm trying...

So one of my favorite bloggers, Little Miss Momma at , put out a headband challenge on her blog.  She wanted to see if she could really rock some of those trendy headbands out there.  This was not your run of the mill "hippy" headband.  These were some real pieces of art and super cute.  More "hip and fab" than "hippy".

So I decided to go ahead and give it a whirl.  What did I have to lose?  So I tried, and I have to say, I didn't hate it.  I'm not so afraid or intimated anymore.  I'm just not sure I can rock this style... What do you think?

Does it look like I'm praying?  Well I am.  Praying that I can rock this headband and you all won't laugh at my amateur photography.  Seriously self portraits are for the birds!!

Here's the side view of my headband.  Guess what?  I made it!  Yep with fabric and a glue gun.  Am I crafty or what???  Oh, and I made it in my bedroom, with the glue gun plugged into the outlet in the bathroom, while Mac napped and Caitlin watched Shake It Up.  CRAFTY!!!

Here is where I get unsure... Can I rock this?  Will the checker at Vons think I fell down a rabbit hole?  Excuse me, but what exactly is that on your head???

However, it does make my choppy grown out wannabe shag look a little fab, don't ya think?  And I'm sure more peeps are gonna stare at this flower thing than my GREY HAIR!!!  Right?

Here I'm almost convinced I can do this...Please ignore the shower stuff in the back... It's been a long week and this Momma is just getting her bearings.  And instead of cleaning, I'm pretend modeling a headband.  So I can blog about it.  Of course I am.  So, I'm just about to embrace this look when this happens...

Ignore me in the background!!
Yeah, she blew me right out of the water!!  She makes this look good!!

So are you up for this challenge?  Check it out a Little Miss Momma!  LMM ROCKS!!  She will make you so jealous, because she is delish.  Her craft room is to die for, her blog is amazing, and she post tutorials on everything (including the headband I made!).  So give her some love, then click my link and give me some love on her blog. 

It's FRIDAY!!!  HAVE SOME FUN!!!  Even if you're not sure it's the right look for you.  I love this headband, and I'm gonna try to own it!!

Happy Blogging,

Pain, Pain Go AWAY!

The last week has been my biggest challenge (yet?) as a mother.
Bigger than my first year as a new mom.
Bigger than being sick for my entire pregnancy with Mac.
Bigger than delivering Mac then finding myself in an operating room.
Bigger than all my mothering challenges.

I was finally faced with something I couldn't fix. 
Something I couldn't take away. 
Something I couldn't help.


Never before have I wanted a magic wand, a magic pill, a magical answer. 
I have never wanted knowledge, patience and faith more.
I have never made so many promises and said so many prayers.

I could not answer her cries for help. 
To take it away.  To make the pain stop. 
She begged me and pleaded with me, much in the same way she begs for chocolate chip pancakes or new My Little Ponies.
This time her begging was followed my screams and tears and terror.

A little body rolling and thrashing the floor in pain.
A little body so taken over by pain, she wanted nothing. 
No food, no drink, no toy, no chocolate.
She only asked that I take it away.
She only asked me to fix it.

I had to tell her I couldn't.
I had to tell her I didn't know how.
I had to tell her that I would do everything I could to find out how to fix it.

I learned over the last week, just what mothers are capable of. 
Dad's too.
Brave faces and undying faith, that we will get answers.
That we can give it our best to fix it.

Today is a new day.
We are asking for things like waffles and iced tea again.
We want to play with our toys, and imagine we are zoo keepers.
We want to get dressed and watch Lemonade Mouth for the gazillionth time.

Pain is still hanging around.
We are managing him.
We are telling pain to take a hike.
I'm pretty sure we are on our way to making him listen.

Now the next challenge. 
For the lab reports.
For news on what's going on in her little body.
Waiting for answers on how to fix "it".

I'm exhausted but hopeful.  I have to believe that we will get answers.  I know there is an answer somewhere.  For now, I'm rejoicing in the little victories.  Wanting to eat (even if it's cookies). Wanting to drink (even if it is Pepsi).  Wanting to play (even if its with her very loud and annoying talking Pony).  Baby steps.  Her smile alone speaks volumes of the small victories. 

Pain, Pain go AWAY.  Don't come back.  We are so totally over you. 

Happy Blogging,