Wednesday, November 30, 2011

'Tis the Season

Tall pine trees, strands and strands of brightly colored lights hanging from the roof, the same songs played on the over head radio's in every retail establishment.

The time has come, its Christmas time again. Again. It feels like yesterday I was getting ready for the Little's first Christmas. I was busy buying up the PX with every various 6 month + toy I could find. I wanted it to be the most special thing for her, even though she would never remember.

For the longest time I wasn't a huge fan of Christmas. Not that I didn't love giving gifts, I loved sharing and creating joy. All I could ever see with the holiday was stress, money spending, and more stress. Even when I was in high school. Friends trying to out do each other by giving gifts, showing off their awesomeness.

In high school I worked at Chuck E Cheese. As any former CEC employee should be well aware, the segments that run on CEC TV are about 2 hours long. So in any 8 hour shift, a "cast member" (as we were so affectionately called) heard the same songs at least 4 times. "Silly Songs with Larry", various CEC covers of old hits like Elvis' "Return to Sender", and the old version of "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" played over and over every 2 hours. Like an unforgiving countdown for my shift.

Those I could handle, shoot after a while I began to bounce around a bit and bob my head to the beat. Then, shortly after I started working was Thanksgiving. The day after is when our CD switched from annoying bits of normal everyday, music to 2 hours of Christmas music. But it wasn't any Christmas music it was Veggie Tales sing Christmas songs, and covers of a few of the good songs done by the voices of Chuck E Cheese. (Please if you've been to CEC recently do that guys voice in your head. You know you can)

After about 3 days, I was massively over hearing a squeaky version of "Jingle Bells" and "All I Want for Christmas, is You". And we had to suffer, for over a month. 5 days a week, 25-30 hours a week.

Over and Over

By the end of the holiday season I was ready to toss the DVD in with Santa's sleigh and send it farther than the North Pole.

And so began my annoyance with Christmas music. I hated the end of October, (actually I still do) when stores start putting out their Christmas decorations early in hopes that some sappy person will come and buy up stuff before November peaks its head around the corner.

I grumbled with resentment every time major retailers began their Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. Even more than all of that, I rolled my eyes at the newest radio station to play Christmas music 24/7 until the fat man squeezes his "bowl full of jelly" down the tiniest of tiny chimneys.

I was this way for years. I wasn't a Scrooge or a grump about it all. I loved buying gifts I just didn't want it all to start so early. I wanted to enjoy each holiday, I didn't want to have to see a 9 foot pre-lit aspen tree in the store while I was shopping for my Halloween costume. Could it be that much to ask?

THEN insert my little bundle of joy. Suddenly Christmas took on an entirely different meaning. I forced Dennis out of bed the Saturday after Thanksgiving to go with me to look at new Christmas trees. Ours was falling apart and the previous year I had vowed that it would be our tree's last. I just couldn't fluff those dwindling branches up anymore than I had.

We got such a great deal on the tree that it opened us up to getting even more stuff for the Little for Christmas. Dennis and I spent hours in the PX messing with toys and saying, "Oh that one is nice." and "She'll love that." By the 15th of December not only had I bought all the Christmas presents that we were getting, but they were all wrapped and sitting nicely under the tree.

It helped that Dennis was gone for a few weeks and I had nothing better to do with my time but wrap. But I even sat there drinking my hot chocolate with my iTunes going with as many Christmas songs from Johnny Cash, Mariah Carey, and every other country star who has ever put out a Christmas album, that I could think of. I was beyond excited for this Christmas.

Once again, this year I find myself in more of the merry sorts. All of the Little's Christmas shopping is done. Even down to her stocking. I may pick up one or two more small things for it, but what she has for now will definitely do if I don't. Her "list" has been sent to Santa and she's been a very good girl this year. The only thing I really want to find is a Rascal's Christmas Ornament, so who knows that may be on my list for tomorrow. In any way, she's definitely done in the Christmas department.

I've been patiently trying to wait to wrap all her stuff, just because a lot of the boxes are bigger but tomorrow is the first day of December. Maybe I'll do it all tomorrow. :)

Looks like I've got my Little to thank once again for brightening my holiday spirit. I definitely need it.

Day 12 – A picture of something you love

Stuffed animals. When I was little I loved them. All of them, every softness, every texture. I couldn't get enough of them. They never let me down when I was sad and were with me when I was happy. My bed was flooded with them, most of the time I had to knock them out of the way to sleep.

They even had their own places on the bed, and they all were there. I had a big bunny rabbit that I had won in a raffle at a local diner, a big puppy that I had begged my grandmother for, and two little snuggle bears like the ones from the commercial.

Since then I've leveled out a bit, I do enjoy getting them but now they end up with Kaylin over me. I have to make a point to stay away from the stuffed animal aisle at any major store with toys. Otherwise I'd have nothing in my bank account!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 11 – A picture of something you hate

Guess what ya'll. I've got a phobia. Actually likely the majority of the population, WE have a phobia. I am Coulrophobic. I. HATE. CLOWNS.

I couldn't even bring myself to post a "real" clown. I had to settle for a drawing in pretty bright colors. Look, he's even got a creepy smile on his face.

I am also Masklophobic

It all started when I was younger, maybe about 7 or 8. My family was (and mostly still is) avid Colorado College Hockey fans. Typically we'd leave right after the game ended, once in a blue moon we'd stay and chat with a friend for a few minutes.

On this particular night, we had stayed longer than usual chatting with one of my family's many hockey buddies. CC has this mascot tiger that skates around. Remember, 7 or 8 years old. I didn't really think much of it, I knew he wasn't a real tiger but I never thought about who was under that crooked head and fake fur.

So there I stand with my family as the arena (then held at the Air Force Academy) emptied and workers began the slow process of sweeping up the piles of popcorn and spilled soda off the stands. I take it all in, I hadn't been at the arena this late, ever. I had never seen it so empty but so busy.

And then I saw it. Well more like him. The mascot. He was a college kid, probably a little bit younger than I am now. Brown hair dripping with sweat and he carried out the tiger head under his arm. He was in street clothes, jeans and a shirt, but the rest had to have been in the duffle bag he was carrying.

From that point on, I had a fear of mascots. I don't know who is under those layers of sweat, fake fur, and plaster. I'd love to believe that every mascot is a 17 year old kid working his way up the food chain at his local Burger King. But I just can't. There is something about those smiles, and can't talk attitudes that have me uneasy.

I'm going to say that's why I hate clowns as well. Even though they aren't encased in a plaster head and faux fur uniform, you don't know know who is under them. And a lot of creepy old guys seem to flock to clowns. *shudder*

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 10 – A picture of someone you do the craziest things with

So I'm bending the rules a little bit again today. But not in the way you're going to think. I'm posting more than one picture this time. Because every picture I have is a memory that I will never forget.

One of MANY black and white pictures
It was August 2008. I was in a rough part of my life. Things hadn't gone the way I had hoped for months. I had recently left Greeley, where I was pursuing a nursing degree to move back home to the Springs.

Erica and I had worked together years before at Chuck E Cheese. We weren't the best of friends, but I didn't hate her guts either.

When Erica found out I moved back to town, she messaged me her cell number and insisted we hang out. I wrote her back with my number and said that we'd have to plan something soon.

The button was a roll, that said..."This is how I roll"
Little did I know, that the promise of "soon" was going to lead to one of the most rewarding friendships I've ever had. I text her for the first time just after I had started school. (I only remember this from the self titled album on Facebook) She knew of a party we could go to, to celebrate our first weekend of the school year.

And from there it was on like Donkey Kong. We spent  every weekend day together, practically inseparable. If she wasn't with me, I was with her. My family became her second family, and to this day they still ask about her all the time. I'd get asked, "Where's Erica?" or "Are you going with Erica?" I knew the way to her house like the back of my hand. SHOOT, after almost 3 years of NOT being there I still managed to find the way and pop in for a Halloween surprise with my Little.

Her family became like my second family. To this day her mom, dad, and brother are "our" family. We spent Thanksgiving with her family, until the the wee hours of the morning. The inside jokes we have can't even be counted.

I honestly know that I would have never gotten through those 6 months without her. It hurt to have her leave for basic training, but I was honored to help her study so much for the ASVAB.

I love this girl, she can be miles away and I still feel like she's here with me. I miss her like crazy and I'm so glad she's happy. I can't wait to see her at Christmas time, I wonder what kind of trouble we'll all get in. :)

To my Erica right hand, the one I have to give so much credit to. I love you, you rock. Always. The only one who I know that can fall, flat on her face in the middle of a field for no apparent reason. <3

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 09 – A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most

My Aunt and Grandma

Okay, I am going to bend the rules just a little bit. :)

My aunt and grandma have always been there for me. When I've been dumped by an undeserving guy, they were there. When I found out I was pregnant, they were there (figuratively but still, there). When my heart was crushed and life wasn't the same, they were there.

It hasn't been easy, or pleasant some of the time but they love me. And I love the fact that I can call and talk to them any time I want to and don't feel like they are going to judge anything or tell me what I'm thinking is wrong.

And when I don't say it nearly enough, thanks. I love you both. <3

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dear Black Friday

I sorta hate your guts...I told Kristen this morning as I was leaving the house at o'dark 30, that I was going to write this.

I've never actually worked a traditional Black Friday in all my retail experience. I've done retail for years...I'm sure you're shocked too.

When I worked at Shoe Carnival I didn't end up working Black Friday. I'm sure I gave some lame excuse to them to avoid working 12+ hours in full shoe madness.

On my application for Walmart I told them I couldn't start work until AFTER Thanksgiving weekend. Dennis and I actually didn't even leave the house that day. Nothing I was going to buy for Christmas was worth the swarms of people, pushing, fighting, swearing, and the lines. No thank you.

After that it had been quite the time since I had worked retail. In Germany we went shopping on Black Friday last year, but more for an awesome deal on a Christmas tree. (Unfortunately the one we had, from my grandparents, was dwindling. It looked a bit like Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree) We ended up saving extra money (thanks to me...) and we were able to buy Kaylin more presents. Oh and I think Dennis got the super, mega, nerd edition of Avatar. *Insert eye roll here* I have noticed that my Christmas spirit started a bit early last year. I was so excited to have Kaylin's first Christmas that it was almost unbearable to make it until the 25th. I'm starting to get that way now too. I even find myself singing along to Christmas music and not minding it, BEFORE Thanksgiving was even over.

However this year I did not get the pleasure of dodging the Black Friday Bullet. My part-time gig at Kohl's led me to one of the longest shifts I've ever had. Midnight. Kohl's opened at MIDNIGHT. I was scheduled at 2 am, which meant even though I'd miss some of the crazies, they were still going to be flocking around destroying my departments.

When I got to work this morning, I was downing my coffee, smiling, greeting and hoping no one noticed that I had ABSOLUTELY no desire to be there. What so ever. I grumbled as I cleaned out dressing room after dressing room, hanging clothes, folding and re-folding jeans, and sorting them back for the floor. Yes, I am VERY thankful I have a job, one that allows me to work. But there is just something about the stress of Black Friday that I was not into at all.

Anyways, what is it about shopping? Kohls, Target, Old Navy, and Best Buy all opened their doors at Midnight. I can't vouch for the rest of the stores, or company for that matter but by 3:30 or 4 am, we were so slow. The midnight rush had died down considerably. I clocked out around 6, headed to Walmart to get Kaylin's presents and there was no one there. 6 am! They still had everything that I could want or think of needing, and had plenty of it.

When did our society become so money hungry? I know Kaylin and I went to bed at 8 last night so that I could get enough sleep to make it through what I thought was going to be the longest day ever. Even though Thanksgiving was dying down, I was still losing out on family time to get ready for this "big day". When did our stores starting caring more about profits and less about their associates spending time with family?

Day 08 – A picture of your most treasured item

Go ahead. Judge me.

Yes I love my daughter more than anything in this world. Anything you could possibly imagine. I'd give it all up if it meant that she would have clothes on her back and food in her stomach. Heck I'd even go hungry.

But this picture is not about a person. She is not an item. She's an extension of me.

This picture is supposed to be about an item. An item is something that you own.

My computer is by far a most treasured item, but not for the reason everyone is going to think. My computer not only contains nearly, EVERY picture I have of Kaylin, but memories I do not want to forget. Because of my pictures, it has to be my most prized possession.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 07 – A picture that makes you laugh

The Little's first experience with Oreo's

So I know I didn't post yesterday, but if you go here I hope you can forgive me.

This picture was taken at the Lake in Germany. Megan and I had taken our kiddos out on one of the only hot summer days this year. I'd been itching to get Kaylin into the cute little 1 piece and matching hat my mom had sent for her birthday.

Naturally it hadn't been very warm in the summer. The summer before the temperature peaked around 100 degrees in the middle of July. And, as any pregnant woman knows that kind of heat makes the mommy-to-be completely and udderly miserable. Especially when the country you live in doesn't really believe in air conditioning. It was the hottest summer in German history, in 100 years. And I was 9 months pregnant.

Our first summer in Germany was mild, I think I wore jeans and a t-shirt or tank top the entire time. Not massively hot, but not terribly cold either. Fast forward to our last summer and it was less than our first. It was gloomy, cold, and rainy the vast majority of the time. It hardly felt like summer. Any time the sun was out and the wind wasn't blowing the girls (and Logan) and I would make sure to get out of the house and walk somewhere.

So by the middle of July, I was dying to get Kaylin into an outdoor swimming pool. We hit a "hot streak" for a few days the weather got to be around 80. I couldn't wait, I made instant plans with Megan and to the beach/lake we went. As a treat I bought mini Oreo cookies for the kids to share. Kaylin took to them like a duck to water. She probably ate the equivalent to 4 normal Oreo cookies. I love that little Oreo face.

The Trifecta

Warning...this post may be graphic for some. :)

Being a mother I have experienced MANY  moments when I'd much rather pass off Mommy duty. Moments I go, "Bleghhh" and shake my head. Come on admit it, you've done it too.

Kaylin's got her 15 month well baby today, so a quick shower this morning and I get out. *sniff, sniff* What is that? Kaylin did you poop again? She laughs, walks away and I finish getting dressed.

Come here booger. I set her on the bed, grab my diaper changing gear, and grab her again as she attempts one of many escape attempts. Changing her diaper has gone from a minute long process to a five minute activity and by the end I'm sweating. Diarrhea. GREAT. Good thing she's headed to the doctor.

A little while later, after finishing my hair and make up, I look over to see Kaylin fast asleep in the bed. That never happens. Like her falling asleep, willingly, while I am in the room and its not dark...happens about as often as it snows in Nevada. Strange...poor baby. I head out to clean up the bathroom a bit and wait for her to wake up so we can run our errands.

The sleeping beauty arises around 11:30, which is only about 45 minutes after she fell asleep but hey its a nap right? She gets leftover pizza for lunch, while I eat some pizza and taqitos. After lunch, I grab our mail, the last gift card from her birthday, and once again *sniff, sniff*. REALLY? Again?? Insert 3rd entire wardrobe change of the day. Finally about 15 minutes later we head out the door to the post office.

I quickly mail off the coupons to Germany and decide since we have some spare time to kill that we'll look around at the PX before the doctors appointment. I wanted to look for the things that we'd decided on getting Kaylin for Christmas.

We pull into the parking lot, a little after 1. *sniff, sniff* Kaylin, you have GOT to be kidding me!!! Well we'll find the customer service area and get you cleaned up again. Into the cart she goes, along with the diaper bag and my purse. We mosey around the toy department looking for her Little People toys. Nada, I steer the cart over toward the baby department in hopes they'll have some over there. I notice Kaylin looks a little pale and ill. I kiss her forehead, and remind her we're going to the doctor today. Upon arrival in the Baby department I notice that they don't have any Little People toys there either, so off to find customer service.

Kaylin leans her head back in the cart and just lets it set there. You okay baby girl? She shakes her head no like she does to just about every question asked of her, I kiss her once again and steer to change her diaper. I see the sign that asks about no shopping carts in the bathrooms. Personally I hate that because now I have to put the diaper bag on the floor and do some awkward half reach to hold a squirming toddler while digging in the depths of despair for a diaper and wipes.

I wiggle her out of the front of the cart, worked the diaper bag up my shoulder and grabbed my purse. The bathroom was small and I couldn't find a changing table. Eff. Maybe there is a changing table by the entrance.

Out of the bathroom we head, we get 5 steps from the water fountains I look down and hear...BLEGH. Projectile vomiting. Naturally my instinct is to cup my hand in front of her mouth in a failed attempt to contain some of the puke. She heaves once again, and this time it goes all over her coat, my coat, into my purse, all over her diaper bag and sippy cup. This time instead of attempting to contain any of it, I yell at the girls at customer service, Can we get some help over here? They all look stunned, like this is in rare form or something. The girl just stands there looking at me, as I attempt to keep Kaylin calm, making sure she's not choking on pizza that was coming up. I get her into the bathroom, get her cleaned up and changed into her spare outfit I had thankfully brought with me. I grumble because now I smell like vomit, my purse is caked and the diaper bag is soaked. Joys of being a Mommy.

I head for the exit. It's close to Kaylin's appointment time and now I just feel nasty. We get over to the doctor's office, get checked in and get her weight. They have me keep her in a diaper for the check up. There she is sitting on my lap, blanket wrapped around her goose bump filled body. We started reading a book about Elmo going to the doctor for his check up. Naturally she's turning pages faster than I can read when the grumbles start again. Really Kaylin? AGAIN? I move the blanket.

UGHHHH. Frothy, green, smelly...all over my leg and shirt. The Trifecta. I have been pooped on, peed on, and vomited on all in one day by the same little person. I really believe it should be part of an exclusive club that every parent needs to earn rights to at some point in time.

Leaving the doctor today, I felt beyond gross. I've felt gross before...right after getting home from the hospital after having Kaylin (and not being allowed to shower for 3 days), after spending the morning as a CNA cleaning up after the elderly residents, after spending the day deep cleaning the house, after Kaylin puked all over my previous computer and myself, and after both the plane ride to Germany and from Germany. But I never had to walk around with baby puke, poop and pee all over me for 4 hours. I am a firm believer it seeps into your pores, and taunts you with the smell that only you can smell but feel like everyone else can pick up the stench too.

Showering for an extended period of time rarely feels as good as it did today.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 06 – A picture of a person you’d love to trade places with for a day

This one was definitely a challenge. I mean I bounced around from Oprah to Julia Roberts. I mean honestly who wouldn't want to be Oprah for a day? All the money and fame, but meh.

I wouldn't mind trading places with Angelina Jolie. Not like the totally overwhelmed, NATO volunteer, super mom but the Angelina right when her and Brad Pitt met. Like the Angie in Mr and Mrs Smith. She was super hot and had the best looking man in Hollywood. Who wouldn't want THAT Brad Pitt??

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 05 – A picture of your favorite memory

Seeing Kaylin for the first time
Never, as long as I live will I forget the moment when I saw my precious daughter for the first time. Unfortunately I didn't get to hold her right away, and after some benadryl it was a few hours before I got to lay my eyes on that precious bundle of joy.

I was so doped up from all the medicine they had given me by the time I got back to the labor and delivery room I was not in a state to attempt to even parent. I laid there in the hospital bed while my daughter was being checked out by NICU (everything was fine, take a deep breath and relax) completely and totally out of it. I knew she was here, and I knew I wasn't going to get to see her right away but it still didn't connect.

I called my family, who was all waiting anxiously to hear about her safe arrival. I explained what I could over the phone without scaring anyone, while I rubbed my face with my hand because it itched. I remember getting off the phone and repeating over and over, I'm itchy. The nurse finally gave me some benadryl which naturally made me go into a medically induced mini coma.

I woke up a few hours later, in the dark of my hospital room. I was sore from head to toe from the C-Section, but I had one thing on my mind.


[a few second later] Dennis...

[a few more seconds later] Oh for crying out loud! DENNIS!

[rustling] Huh? What? What?

I wanna see Kaylin.

What time is it?

I dunno. Go get the nurse. I want to see my daughter.

[grumbles] Ugh. Now?

Yes now. I haven't seen her yet. I want to hold her.

[gets out of the little cot thing he was sleeping in] Okay hold on.

I work myself into a sitting position while he heads down the hallway to get the nurse. He comes back in a few minutes later.

She'll be in, in a few minutes.

Thanks honey. I can't wait to see her.

A little while later the nurse comes in with a wheelchair and her and Dennis help me get into the wheel chair. I am wheeled to the NICU for the first time to see my precious little girl. The NICU nurse placed a pillow on my lap to help support Kaylin and keep her off my scar. Then she placed her in my arms. I felt her weight, and she finally felt real. My heart about jumped out of my chest. She was perfect, everything I could have ever hoped for.

Honestly, I can't wait to see what else our lives have in store for us. I love her with every beat of my heart, and though I'm not a super mommy I definitely would do anything for her a million times over.

I love you Little. You're everything.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 04 – A picture of yourself and a family member

Bella the Owl, Kaylin the Ladybug and Me, October 2011

My aunt and uncle are two of the best people on the face of this Earth. Honestly, hands down. I don't know of anyone else in my family I can just pick up the phone, text and say I'm coming over I need a glass of wine.

I'll never forget when my aunt and uncle set out to adopt a baby. After years of having no luck in the baby department, I remember when she proudly handed me their adoption portfolio. I opened the first page, it was seriously something straight out of Martha-Freaking-Stewart. Page after page, bright colors, all showing off my aunt and uncle's life, their beloved dogs, and my fantastic grandmother. The portfolio was going to be given to the adoption agent and birth parents could view it and chose if they want to place their child in that home.

I remember coming home from work at Shoe Carnival one afternoon, not long after the adoption process began, to a very excited aunt. She explained to me that there is a birth mother who just had her baby girl and she was considering my aunt and uncle for the adoption. I remember as my aunt explained how she and the birth mom had talked for hours and it felt like there was an instant connection.

Not long after that conversation, my aunt and uncle met Isabella for the first time. They held her, loved her, and the birth mom knew that Bella was theirs. I'll never forget how excited my aunt and uncle were to go buy all these baby items. Our friends and family came by the truck loads bringing gifts, toys, and other helpful items my aunt and uncle, the new parents, were going to need. I came home from work that night in a rush to meet her. I held her in my arms, the tiniest little thing and I instant fell in love. I felt so privileged to watch her grow for the next year. She went from this tiny little baby in preemie clothes, to this mobile little being with her own personality.

When we went to Germany she wasn't totally mobile yet. She'd cruise around the kitchen in her walker like nobody's business, but she wasn't quite crawling. I swear I remember to this day when I first saw the video of her crawling. I got so excited, she was getting so big.

Over the next two years I watched her grow from a little being, to a toddler, to a kid all via the wonderful Facebook (and various cards and presents from my aunt). And when Kaylin and I stepped off that plane and she saw her for the first time it was amazing. She truly loves this little girl, and she truly loves me.

I am so happy that my aunt and uncle finally got their little miracle. No one in this world deserves it more than they do. And I am so happy that I get to share in the joys with them. We love you!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 03 – A picture of the cast from your favorite show

I remember the day I bought the first season on DVD. I'd seen the show a few times on Fox but never really watched it. It was summer time and as anyone knows, all the good shows are all on hiatus. Man did I fall in love. At that point the show was about to start its 5th season, and I had to catch up. 

Bones is about a literal forensic anthropologist and her whitty, understanding FBI partner. Together they are solving crime when there isn't much evidence especially on the body. (Hence why its called, Bones) 

However it was definitely a hard choice. I also LOVE (and usually can't get enough of) Modern Family, CSI, CSI: NY, Criminal Minds, House, Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, and Dexter.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 02- A picture of the person you have been closest with longest

Steph and I, May 2006
Stephanie. The one person that I have known the longest and has stuck around through it all. No matter what I was doing, who I was with, or where my life was; she has always been there.

We met in 1998 when our families built houses a lot apart. It wasn't, by far, an instant connection but once the connection was made there it was. We hung out all the time, had sleep overs and enjoyed the same sort of things. Only difference was that she's a night owl, and then I was definitely a morning person. Many of our sleep overs consisted of me falling asleep and then waking her up early.

She's always been willing to listen as any good friend should. She's been there during the good and the bad. The times I've had my heart broken, and when the good times are out. We've shared a locker in high school, and drinks late at night. 

I remember calling her on evening from Germany after she wrote me complaining I didn't tell her that I was pregnant. *blush* I had tried but apparently wrote down her phone number wrong. I think we talked for 2 1/2 hours that night. I hadn't talked to her on the phone in months, but our friendship picked up like no time had gone by at all. Things were awesome, she was so excited and I even talked her in to visiting Germany after the baby was born. A few weeks later, I get a message on Facebook saying SHE can't come visit when we had planned (December 2010) because she was pregnant. Here we are 8,000 miles apart and only a few weeks apart in pregnancy. I stalked her Facecbook for weeks after Kaylin was born waiting to see pictures of Keaton. Now that I've met the little guy in person, he's the cutest thing ever!

To my best friend. The one who's always been there, even when we don't talk often. Here's to 13 wonderful years and MANY more to come. Thanks for being my best friend. <3

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zeit zum Bummeln

Erstens nicht lustig machen dieses. Seine mehr nur etwas Spaß, Jennifer mit necken. Mein Deutsch ist definitiv nicht so gut, so dass Sie wetten, ich bin mit einem Übersetzer. Also ich bin mir ziemlich sicher, dass ich einige Fehler haben (wenn nicht viele). Aber es macht Spaß. Ich kann dies öfter zu tun.

Im Moment mache ich eine Million Dinge auf einmal. Genau wie immer, ich kann nicht auf eine Aufgabe konzentrieren mehr als ein paar Minuten. Zwischen Streaming eines Films, dem Herunterladen eines Podcasts und Begradigung meine Haare Ich bin beschäftigt! Ich habe heute abend, die Schläge funktionieren, aber es ist wirklich nicht alles, was ich dagegen tun kann. Erhielt Geld verdienen irgendwie. Ich wünschte, ich könnte zu Hause sitzen und Geld verdienen, das wäre freaking awesome!
Hatten Sie jemals einer von denen, eff meinem Leben Momente? Weil ich ganz einfach eine gehabt. Die Bibel Brigade ist die Heimat, die einzige gute Sache, die ist von jenem, das jetzt Kaylin ist nicht in der Nähe des Gerätes schreit mich an ist. Sie ist in das Wohnzimmer zu weinen an ihnen.
Gut genug Spaß, ich habe ein echtes Blog zu veröffentlichen. Auf Wiedersehen!

Day 01 – A picture of yourself with fifteen facts

My Little and I, September 2011

I am terribly hard headed
I hate crawling into a cold bed
I have to sleep with the TV on
I'm a cuddler
At Christmas I have to watch National Lapoon's Christmas Vacation AND A Christmas Story
Ice cream fixes everything
I stick my tongue out, often
I love stuffed animals (it led to a Build-A-Bear addiction for a while)
I love candles
All time favorite soda...Dr Pepper
I'd rather work early in the morning, then late at night
I'm the most independent, dependent person
I enjoy taking pictures, especially of my Little
I love country music, but find myself putting on the local rock channels
I'm excited to get back to school, even if its going to suck for a while

100 Days of Photos

Day 02- A picture of the person you have been closest with longest
Day 03 – A picture of the cast from your favorite show
Day 04 – A picture of yourself and a family member
Day 05 – A picture of your favorite memory
Day 06 – A picture of a person you’d love to trade places with for a day
Day 07 – A picture that makes you laugh
Day 08 – A picture of your most treasured item
Day 09 – A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most
Day 10 – A picture of someone you do the craziest things with
Day 11 – A picture of something you hate
Day 12 – A picture of something you love
Day 13 – A picture of your favorite band or artist
Day 14 – A picture of your favorite store
Day 15 – A picture of something you want to do before you die
Day 16 – A picture of someone who inspires you
Day 17 – A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently
Day 18 – A picture of the sexiest Woman alive
Day 19- A picture of something you love to do
Day 20 – A picture of somewhere you’d love to travel
Day 21 – A picture of something you wish you could forget
Day 22 – A picture of something you never leave the house without
Day 23 – A picture of your favorite book
Day 24 – A picture of someone you miss
Day 25 – A picture of you from last year
Day 26 – A picture of something that means a lot to you
Day 27 – A picture of your favorite night
Day 28 – A picture of your favorite place in the world
Day 29 – A picture that can always make you smile
Day 30 – A picture of your favorite quote
Day 31 – A picture of food you made
Day 32 – A picture of what you did today
Day 33 – A picture of somewhere you went today
Day 34 – A picture of your favorite morning
Day 35 – A picture of your hometown
Day 36 – A picture of your pet
Day 37 – A picture taken at school
Day 38 – A picture of your favorite drink
Day 39 – A picture of your favorite food
Day 40 – A picture of your friends
Day 41 – A picture of your favorite weather
Day 42 – A picture of you listening to music
Day 43 – A picture of you celebrating
Day 44 – A picture that describes your life
Day 45 – A picture of your favorite cartoon character
Day 46 – A picture that you edited
Day 47 – A picture of your favorite animal
Day 48 – A picture of you more than 10 years ago
Day 49 – A picture of you and your best friend(s)
Day 50 – A picture of yourself
Day 51 – A picture of you wearing sunglasses
Day 52 – A picture of you dressed up
Day 53 – A picture of you in a car
Day 54 – A picture of you on your last vacation
Day 55 – A picture of you with a date
Day 56 – A picture of you all bundled up
Day 57 – A picture of you in your backyard
Day 58 – A picture of your hair all done
Day 59 – A picture of you at prom
Day 60 – A picture of you at a sports game
Day 61 – A picture of you in the fall
Day 62 – A picture of you on a ride
Day 63 – A picture of luggage
Day 64 – A picture of you at work
Day 65 – A picture of you at a park
Day 66 – A picture of you in the air
Day 66 – A picture of you doing something childish
Day 67 – A picture of you falling
Day 68 – A picture of you outside
Day 69 – A picture of a crazy night out
Day 70 – A picture of someone you don’t go a day without talking to
Day 71 – A picture of you with people you work with
Day 72 – A picture of you with unbelievable scenery
Day 73 – A picture of you somewhere warm
Day 74 – A picture taken professionally
Day 75 – A picture of you receiving a reward
Day 76 – A picture of you drinking something
Day 77 – A picture of you and friends making silly faces
Day 78 – A picture of you in the dark
Day 79 – A picture of you in the water
Day 80 – A picture of you and someone you love being silly
Day 81 – A picture of you with a character
Day 82 – A picture of someone you love asleep
Day 83 – A picture of you and a teammate
Day 84 – A picture of a school project
Day 85 – A picture of your favorite holiday
Day 86 – A picture of someone who helps you with school
Day 87 – A picture of someone you grew up with
Day 88 – A picture of your dream car
Day 89 – A picture of you at a hotel
Day 90 – A picture of you wearing your favorite color
Day 91 – A picture of you and your friends playing a game
Day 92 – A picture of your school
Day 93 – A picture of your favorite board game
Day 94 – A picture of you and your friends eating
Day 95 – A picture of you on a plane
Day 96 – A picture of your favorite movie
Day 97 – A picture of something you no longer have
Day 98 – A picture of you and your friends out somewhere
Day 99 – A picture that was first on your facebook.
Day 100 – A picture of you smiling

Totally stolen from my love Jennifer Lynn Yount

Day 13 & 14

Day 13:

Even though my little girl had a really rough night, I am thankful that I am able to hold her. Today I am thankful that she still wants to be held by Mommy even though its just when she's sick. After a long over night at work, I came home and together we slept for a few hours. Then she just let me hold her in the chair while we watched Gnomeo and Juliet. She pretty much sat there for the entire movie, while I slept. I'm just very thankful she's so well behaved.

Day 14:

Today I am thankful for my jobs. Yes, jobs. My work as a CNA is never predictable, but I'm thankful that they are flexible and have the ability to work with me. I am also thankful that Kohl's is willing to take me on. I really love being a CNA, I can't even describe it. Its hard work, its exhausting and most of the time the hours just drag on. But be there to make the difference in people's lives, even for a little while, is more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.

Day 11 & 12

Ugh, here's to being a few days late. A lot has gone on. ANYWAYS

Day 11:

Today I am thankful for our Military. Those who are currently on Active Duty status, those on Reserve status, and those who have become Veterans. All branches, all types, EVERYONE. Without these brave men and women I wouldn't be sitting here typing this out to you. In fact, chances are I wouldn't have an opinion at all. Thank you all for everything.

Day 12:

Today I am thankful that Kaylin feels a bit better. It makes running errands before work a lot more pleasant. Her fever is gone, but she's still a little stuffy. She ate a full waffle and a squeezy fruit for breakfast, chick-fil-a for lunch and then quite the dinner. Its nice to see her running around and playing rather than feeling crummy with me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 9 & 10

So I'm totally stealing this idea from many of my Facebook friends. But instead of putting it on Facebook, I'll put it on my blog. :)

And once again, I'm a few days late.

Day 9:

Today I am thankful for the bed I sleep on. Its a simple thing really and often taken advantage of. But then I think about all the people, even in the US who don't have a bed to sleep on. REALLY puts being thankful in its place. Even just today I saw a lady sitting on the street corner, in a decent part of town, holding a sign explaining that she sleeps in her car. I've always tried imagining what that would be like, how miserable that would be. But in the end I can't. I can't imagine because I've never had to experience that. I've always had a place to call "home". My parents busted their butts for me, so therefore tomorrow morning when I crawl into bed I am going to make sure I think of how grateful I truly am.

Day 10:

Once again, I have to be thankful for doctors. Kaylin's been battling her cold for a few days, fever off and on, fussy and clingy. With her still not feeling up to par, I did the right thing and made her another appointment at Carson. The doctor was awesome, she listened to all my concerns, including the rash that had made its way up her little abdomen and to the backs of her ears. Instead of feeling like she was in a hurry, I felt like she was really listening. I know those Army doctors, most of them aren't really all there. Sure physically but they really don't want to look at yet another snotty nosed, fussy, whiny baby and have to listen to baby's parents make a big deal out of nothing. I admit, I can be one of those parents every now and then. BUT this time, she was really there. She listened, looked at everything I made a note of, gave me clear instructions and sent us on our way. For once, someone who actually cared.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 7 & 8

So I'm totally stealing this idea from many of my Facebook friends. But instead of putting it on Facebook, I'll put it on my blog. :)

Day 7:

Today I am thankful for the people I have met in my short career. The residents, my fellow aides, and other random people. I enjoy going into a facility and looking forward to working. I get excited knowing that some people are on the same shift as me. I find myself starting to get attached to people at certain facilities. I can't wait to find a steady job, and I'm sorta keeping my fingers crossed its the one I've been working on for the last few weeks. ;-)

Day 8:

I am SO glad my daughter has healthcare insurance. She's been fighting a fever for 2 days now, nothing "serious" but 102.2 isn't anything to laugh off either. She was given a good few rounds of tylenol and motrin and I made her an appointment for this morning. Naturally I underestimated my quickness at getting ready and the Ft Carson traffic at 8:30 in the morning. We made it into the pediatric clinic with moments to spare before her appointment. We hung around a few minutes and we were finally seen by a nurse practitioner. Kaylin got her ears, eyes, nose, throat and abdomen checked. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to explain the fever. All I got was a script for Tylenol (not complaining there) and a "wait and see what develops" diagnosis. Not my goal but hey at least I know that I did the right thing. I can't imagine having her and not having any insurance for moments like that. Her fever sprang up on us while I was at work in just a matter of hours she was miserable and it was still climbing. Poor baby, poor mommy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 5 & 6

So I'm totally stealing this idea from many of my Facebook friends. But instead of putting it on Facebook, I'll put it on my blog. :)

Yeah I know, I'm a day late and a dollar short. You'll deal. I've worked 3, 8 hour shifts in the last 3 days and I am definitely not used to it. So I'm exhausted. ANYWAY....

DAY 5:

Today I'm thankful for my friends. The ones that have stuck by me through everything, listened to all my worries, laughed at the good times, and cried at the bad times. I have no idea where I'd be if I didn't have them. The ones that spend hours working their butts off to make me laugh, when the situation feels impossible, and the ones that notice I'm missing from church and basically say I'm coming for dinner and that is final. I'm thankful for the friends who I can call at all hours of the night just to hear that everything will be okay again one day. I'm thankful I even HAVE those friends. I'm thankful for the ones who stay up with me on over night shifts, just to keep me awake. I know sometimes I'm a shitty friend. I come off (at least to myself as a needy, whiny person) but my friends understand. I could name you all, or you can just feel it in your heart. Where it should be, because even if I'm not always in contact with you, I'm always there for you.

DAY 6:

Today I'm thankful for my health. I cannot begin to think of how I would do if I was sick. Especially now that Kaylin is sick, I'm not sure I could handle being sick and her being sick too.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

This is my job..

I work as a CNA, Certified Nurse's Assistant. Basically MY job is to do all the "dirty work" the nurses and LPN's don't want to do. Sorta like a nurse will do some of the dirty work of the doctor. Yeah its a hierarchy, same thing goes for nurses.

In my short career, I've only worked at 2 facilities. Both nursing facilities with assisted living and skilled living centers. Some of my residents were highly functioning, other residents were completely incontinent. A little background for those who don't know, people in assisted living are highly functioning. They can get up, get dressed, feed themselves, toilet themselves, basically like living on their own but under the care of people. (They may need meds or oxygen) Skilled nursing facilities have people who are incontinent, need mobility help, or can't even get out of bed without trained assistance.

My first shift ever was at a skilled nursing facility in Pueblo. Man I was rusty. I hadn't practiced ANY of my skills in 2 years, I'd been over the packet and the state testing requirements half a dozen times. But without actual people and things, I wasn't going to gain those skills back. Most jobs do an orientation or training, however with an agency there is no type of training. Its sink or swim. I never know when I'm going to get that call. The call that I am needed at a nursing center, hospital or home. THAT call can come at any time for any shift. I've gotten calls at 5:40 in the morning for a 6 am shift and I've gotten calls at 11:15 at night for a 10:30 pm shift. Anyway, I have to be thankful for Pueblo. I teamed up with another Agency (I work for a staffing agency) CNA and we just helped each other out. It was nice to get some of the skills back, even if I was a bit rusty and slow.

Now the rest of my shifts have been at a home here in town. I did some of my clinical hours for my CNA certification at the same home 2 1/2 years ago. Some of the residents I remember working with are still there, some are in worse shape and some have passed on. My days are spent getting residents out of bed for meals, helping them go to the restroom, and helping them in any way they may need. We get them dressed in the morning, change them after meals, and do miscellaneous tasks all day long.

In either case, I am thankful to have my life the way it is. Its not perfect, its not how I imagined everything but at the same time I can function in society, I am able to take care of myself and my daughter. I need to be more thankful. Its hard and sad to see some of our residents, who are sick and ailing that have barely any visitors. I'm sure that it takes its toll on the family to see someone they love so sick and helpless. But seeing how some of the residents just need someone to talk to, I feel sad.

Now I know my job isn't glamorous, it's far from it. I've compared it to parenting older people instead of children. And typically that is exactly what it is. However I have yet to come home from a shift and not feel like I made a difference in someone's life. Even if it is just to be there to sit and talk to for a few minutes. I smile when I enter a residents room and the resident remembers my name. It means I've made a difference, even if its just for a few minutes.

At first I was honestly sad. Some of the people at the facility are just waiting to die. Its hard to see, its hard to think like that. Its hard to think that it is a quality of life. Its sad to think that I could end up like that. I actually came home the first day saying that I never want to get old. Thankfully the nurse on shift that day, reminded me that this isn't how the majority of the elderly population lives. Which is definitely true.

Thankfully I love my job.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 3 & 4

So I'm totally stealing this idea from many of my Facebook friends. But instead of putting it on Facebook, I'll put it on my blog. :)

For the entire month of November I'll be blogging about what I am thankful for.

Day 3:

I am thankful for this beautiful weather we've been having. Ohmygosh, it's been bea-U-tiful! (Please remember to say that like Jim Carey in Bruce Almight, kay thanks) Not only did the summer royally have a massive amount of weather suckage in Germany, but we get to Colorado and were barely here a week and we got a "cold" spell. Okay for the rest of the state, that had temperatures in the 90's (I remember getting off the plane in Denver feeling like I was hit in the face by a sweaty, stale palm) it was cold. To us, it was normal. However even though the cool was a nice break from the 90 degree temps, it was chilly! Anyways, usually by this time we're always bundled in thick heavy jackets, snow boots and gloves. Shoot I got HOT taking Kaylin trick-or-treating. Long story short, even though we got like no summer to enjoy, I'm so glad that its been decent enough to enjoy the fall. :)

Day 4:

The laugh of my baby girl. I honestly don't now how I can get more thankful. Her laugh is so cheerful and happy. Its amazing that I lived so long without it. Her laughing can make me laugh, its honestly contagious. In just one laugh, she can make my day go from bad to amazing. I even notice other people around her laugh and smile when she does. See its not just me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 1 & 2

So I'm totally stealing this idea from many of my Facebook friends. But instead of putting it on Facebook, I'll put it on my blog. :)

November is typically the month of thanksgiving. I remember sitting around the table Thanksgiving day before we could eat we all had to say what we were thankful for. Like a Thanksgiving requirement or something.

Anyway, this year with everything that has gone on, I've decided to look at the bright side of things. So every day for the rest of November I am going to make a post about the things I am thankful for.

Today, since its the 2nd (and I've jumped on this bandwagon late) I'll post about 2 things and then start fresh tomorrow.

Day 1:

I am thankful for Kaylin. The little bundle of joy that I can't get enough of. Some days she tries my patience and I can not wait for her to either go lay down or bed time. But then I have work and she's all I think about and all I can seem to talk about. I love to talk about her and how much she's grown. I can't imagine my life without her. She is truly the biggest blessing that I could have ever had. She doesn't know it yet, but she is the reason I smile and get out of bed every day. 

Day 2:

I am very thankful for my family. The family that has stuck by me even when my choices weren't the best or what they would have chosen for me. Without them, I know for a fact that I would be lost. They are my rock, and words cannot even express how grateful for every single one of them. 

Mommy and the Little that makes my world

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ghosties, Goblins, and Ladybugs

I am going to be one of the first people to point out, I love Halloween. LOVE it. I remember my mom decorating the house every year, one year we even made head stones for our "grave yard". It was just always something we did in our house.

Today a friend and I were talking and she was saying how some women on one of her support forum's were talking about trick-or-treating. Yes, I went trick-or-treating. Yes, I will let my little one join in the tradition too. However they were talking about how old is too old to trick-or-treat, and how young is too young.

Personally too young is any baby who can't walk. Unless that baby has an older sibling, then heck yeah dress that baby up and go door to door begging for those delicious, sugar morsels of heaven. But let your older kiddo get the candy. There are plenty of Halloween's left for your younger child to enjoy. Now we definitely dressed up the Little for her first Halloween but there was no way I was going to take my 2 month old out in the cold German weather for free candy. Nah, I figured I'd wait. Even if she was like 9 months old, I still probably would have waited.

And get the "older" kids. The 17 year old's who go out as the kiddos are finishing their rounds attempting to snag up the free candy left. I've seen it happen. Its after 8, people have been passing out candy for hours and they just want the left overs gone so it doesn't add anymore pounds to that butt. Those kids make out better than the little guys that are around at first. 

Now this year, yes this year we definitely went out and about. Being back in the States and having normal trick-or-treating was helpful. Little was the cutest ladybug I'd ever seen. However I am so not going to let her out of the house as a teenager. Too old, is too old.

Cutest Ladybug EVER.
Photo by: Jennifer McCandless Photography