Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vital Rain Product Review

I was given the opportunity to review some products produced by Vital Rain. The thing that drew me to this company, other than the people who run it are amazing, is that their products are 100% plant derived and toxin free. You can read and pronounce every single ingredient on their products.

I'm sure that most people think, "They gave you free stuff, of course you'll say that you love it." That has never been the case in the past, nor will it ever be the case in the future. When I wrote my horse blog, there were a few times that I got products and was not that impressed. I did contact the company, told them my thoughts and did offer to NOT write about it. 

When we landed in Pennsylvania, the products were at my parents house waiting for us. I've used them daily since then on the Bug and myself. We were given the opportunity to try their Baby Shampoo and Body Wash, Tushie Ointment, Mineral and Dead Sea Bath Salts, and Quick Heal

The first product we used was the Tushie Ointment. In the middle of the night, right after we got home, Bug somehow got a rash on his leg. His jams came unbuttoned, and he had peed through is diaper. His little legs rubbed together and chaffed. I guess that's what happens when you have chubby little legs, not that I'd know. It was red and swollen and looked so painful. I first put some of the Quick Heal on it and then the Tushie Ointment. 

Poor Bug's leg
I decided to stick with the Tushie Cream since it had coconut oil in it, and was for a rash. The whole thing was cleared up by the next day! I was impressed. I did manage to use the Quick Heal for myself. If you know me in real life, you know I have weird allergies to weird things. I had used some cream for chapstick when we landed, and my lips became red and swollen and super dry. If they didn't hurt so bad, it would have been an awesome way to get some enhancement. I wasn't sure what to put on them since the last time this happened (because of course I'd try this same stupid trick twice) it took three of four days and they hurt the entire time. I figured the Quick Heal was for healing, right? Why not. I put it on three times and it cut my healing time in half. Within a day and a half they were no longer red and swollen. Good to know since I'm sure I'll do the same stupid thing again. 

I almost feel like I can't give the next two products a proper review. They are lavender scented, and I love the smell SO MUCH that they could have not worked at all and I'd still love them. I used the Shampoo on Bug and have to say that it lathers up much better than I expected, and even better than the shampoo I was using. The smell is divine and it left his squeaky clean. What more does a momma want? I love that I can read everything on the label and that it is tear free. Bug smelled so good after his bath that I didn't want to put him to bed. Poor kid. Doesn't like snuggles to begin with, and he had his momma sniffing his head for an extra ten minutes.

The last product that I reviewed, I used my own way. The directions on the container said to put it into your bath, or to use it on your hands by the sink.  I took it into the shower and used it as a scrub. O-M-G! My gross winter skin felt AMAZING after my own personal spa treatment. It was amazing. 

When I read reviews I always think somethings "up" when the entire thing is one big glowing recommendation. So I'll add this. I didn't realize that the label wasn't water proof, and it made me sad when I put it in the shower with me and ruined it! Opps. 

I love Vital Rain and will definitely be ordering more of it soon! 

Want a chance to try Vital Rain yourself? For followers of my blog, you can enter to win a Tushie Cream Ointment AND Shampoo! (I might enter myself!) The contest ends Sunday night at Midnight (and if the Seahawks lose, it might take a day or two for me to recover and hit the "select a winner button." ) There are 7 chances to enter! It's easy to enter. Click on each arrow and follow the directions. If you already follow the blog page, you still need to click on the arrows! Good Luck!! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

County Prison Tutoring #TBT

When I was a Junior in college I signed up for a class that seemed easy. I got three credits, and a grant paid for them, for tutoring inmates at the county jail. A friend of mine signed up to do this, and went to the prison for our first day.

The Warden took his job very seriously. You would have thought that I was there to sneak a man out in my bag. He went over what we were allowed to talk about and not talk about. When we walked back to the library (where we were tutoring) there were cells on both sides of the hallway. Keep in mind that this was a male prison...I'm 21....and probably the first girl they've seen in months. Talk about feeling loved (kidding.)

We went into the room and got out our supplies. We were going to help the guys get their GED. The guards told us not to put up with any crap, and they were across the hall. It went well. The guys were nice and told hilarious stories. We went every Monday for weeks. During that time the guys all told me what they had done to be in the jail. Most of them had done some form of burglary. One guy, we'll call him Big Ed, would not tell me what he did. I didn't press it.

A few more weeks, and my friend was sick. A few of the other guys were on lock down for mouthing off to the guards, so there was just Big Ed and me. We were working on some basic multiplication when he said, "I guess you really want to know, hu." I was confused as to what he was talking about. I thought he meant the answer to the math problem.

Me: "Hu?"

Big Ed: "What I did to get in here."

Me: "Only if you want to tell me."

Big Ed went on to tell me how he was at a bar drinking and ran out of money. He decided it was a good life choice to go in his truck to the nearest ATM. When he got there, he realized he did not have his card to get money out, but he did have a large chain. He took the chain and wrapped it around the machine and drove off with it.

Me: (Holding back tears from biting my cheeks to keep from laughing.) "Oh."

Big Ed: "That's why you don't drink beer out of pitchers."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sneaky Bug

When I came to Pennsylvania to visit family I brought our video monitor with me. I am glad that I did. The little bugger is getting too smart for his own good.

Since we started doing our own version of sleep training, he has been AWESOME (knock on wood) at going to bed and taking naps. He went from napping 20 minutes 3 times a day to taking two hour to two hour naps. He's not on a schedule, but I just do a better job of watching his cues.

ANYWAY. Sometimes, Bug is overtired. When he gets overtired, he WILL NOT SLEEP. He has figured out a sneaky way of getting out of a nap. Example: Today.

Today he was really grumpy and tired. I put him into his bed and tucked him in for his afternoon nap. He didn't make a peep. When he's over tired, usually he cries a little for a minute or two. Nope. Nothing. I walked out of the room and turned on the monitor.

There, on the screen was Bug staring at the door. Not saying a word. Next he grabbed his Mr. Frog (pacifier and played with that for a while) then he walked around his crib and knocked on the wall. He played with his Elmo, and after about 20 minutes he started to cry the cry he does when he wakes up from his nap.

Nice try Bug. Nice try. He did end up taking a nap.

He's getting smarter by the day. I'm in trouble.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


April 27, 2004 - January 21, 2014
I don't even have the words that he deserves.

On an August day in 2004, I became a first time mom. My new baby was a 4 month old golden retriever who desperately needed love and room to run. He was everything that I ever wanted in a dog. He was my first baby and the love of my life. At the time, my now husband and I had been dating for also 4 months. He has been around almost our entire relationship. I got the rights to name him on his papers, and named him Mojo Rising, aka Molson.

Molson, like any good Golden, was a puppy through and through. He loved babies (stuffed animals) and would tear them apart in 30 seconds flat. We'd take him for hikes and he'd run and run and run. When he was about 6 months old I signed him up for Puppy Class.

It started out bad. He wouldn't listen and as much as I tried after our first week he was WAY behind his classmates. The teacher pulled me aside and said "maybe he wasn't ready." Being the stubborn person that I am we kept going back and trying. I'd work with him outside of class, and we'd go back the next week. We were always a little behind.

At the end of class we had the option to take a certification test to see if we would be good candidates to be a therapy dog (visit nursing homes) and I signed him up. When we got there my boyfriend (now husband) was asked to sit in a chair. The dogs had to walk past him and ignore him. Molson, LOVED HIM. I knew there was no way that we were going to make it past him without Molson trying to go to him.

There was a variety of obstacles. Boyfriend was at the end of the course and I was sure that it wasn't going to go well. Well, when we got to him, I was suppose to stop, Molson was suppose to stop, and sit while looking at me. AND HE DID IT.

He was the best dog ever. When we decided to move to Seattle, I asked my dad to keep him for me. We were moving to a city, and had no idea where we were going to live and I didn't think it was fair that to take a 90 pound dog who was use to running on 5 acres.

For the past 7 years he has lived a wonderful life with my parents. I have missed him so much, and always looked forward to seeing him when we came home to visit. He really was the best dog ever. Even if he hadn't seen me for months, he'd step right back into my shadow and wouldn't leave my side.

Last summer, while we were home with Bug, Molson got a cough. We took him to the vet and found out that he had lung cancer. Never smoked a day in his life. The vet said he could have a day, a week, a month. By some miracle, he had 5 more months. He passed away peacefully in his sleep laying in his favorite spot in front of the wood burner. I'm glad that I was able to be here and to see him again. I'm sad that he passed away on his own, and I hope that he knows how much he was loved. I don't even remember if I told him I loved him today. He was so loved and will be so missed.

Owning a dog is a countdown to heartbreak.

Molson circ. 2004

Weekend Update

Yesterday, I spent 6 hours in the car driving my husband to the airport so he could fly back to Alaska and go to work. Stupid work. Bug stayed with my parents, and it was the longest he has ever been away from  me. Do you think he was excited to see me at all? NO. The kid just wanted his Grandpa. Nothing like feeling the love there.

In the middle of driving down and back from the airport, I stopped at the Outlet Mall to buy some clothes for Bug. I can't believe that he is in 12 month clothes already and almost into 18 depending on the brand. They need a "rent-an-outfit" business out there...It would be much cheaper in the long run!

This past weekend Bug was baptized. I thought for sure that he would throw a massive fit at some point. He had to get up early, and make it to the church (on time.) We tossed him into his adorable suit, which didn't fit around his little chubby neck. His nap was suppose to be at 10am, and it was closer to noon before we put him down. The good little guy went right (well, almost right) down for his nap.

So much craziness for one day, and he was so good.

In other news, today Bug is officially 9 months old. Sunday we were able to see our friend's newborn son. He is two weeks old and holding him makes Bug look like a toddler.  He's growing up so fast. On Saturday he said his first clear word, he's said Mamamama before, but on Saturday he said, "done."

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Confessions #insecurities

Sunday Confession is the brainchild of More Than Cheese and Beer.  Everyone is welcome to participate.  You can link your blog or post your confession in the comments section of her Sunday      Confession, or send anonymous confessions to her via Facebook or Twitter (@MKitchenWitch).

       When I saw this weeks #confession, I almost didn't write. I almost skipped it and made up an excuse as to why I wasn't going to write it. You see, I spent most of my life feeling insecure and that caused anxiety a lot. 

     I spent most of my life worrying that people didn't like me, and would go out of my way to do things for them to make sure that they did. THAT was stupid. I still worry, but not as much. I feel like it's hard to list my insecurities and I'm 99% sure if you look up the word my photo should be next to many of the definitions (and it's probably a bad photo.) 

     LUCKILY, I have an amazing husband, and while I always question why HE is with ME, reminds me that I am a good person. I still hate confrontation. I am passive aggressive and I HATE when people fight. You may find that funny, especially since I spent 8 years working with students with emotional/behavioral problems. They helped me to learn to accept confrontation the most and how to deal with fighting. You think that as a teacher, I would teach my students, and I did...and I personally think I was damn good at it (once in awhile.) My students though, taught me the most. That if I was myself (my sarcastic, sarcastic self) and told them how I felt that they liked me more. Honesty is the best policy, right? Between my husband and my students I have grown into a person that I am today. The anxiety monster still hangs out, but he is better behaved. 

     I still worry that people won't like me, and sometimes don't act like myself at first. I worry when I DO act like myself that they don't like me. So, lots of worrying...about everything. It's stupid. I worry that people won't like this blog. I remind myself that I didn't start this for you (but love that you read it.) I started this for myself, as a way to document Bug, life, and everything in between. Also, and it is equally stupid,  but when people "unlike" the FB page I get worried that I did something to piss them off...then I realize that not everyone wants to hear about moose and me rambling. 

     So in the words of Stewart, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." (At least I hope they do!!)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Traveling with a Baby

Or "My own personal hell."

This was the third time that I have traveled with Bug on a plane. The last time we flew to the East Coast it was out of Seattle, and also a red eye. I think that the reason(s) that it went so well was that 1. It was overnight and 2. Bug just wanted to be snuggled up next to me.

This time it was night also, which you'd "think" would pay into our favor. WRONG. Bug went down Tuesday night like normal. While we were finishing packing (or starting, I'm not discussing it) we lost power. That was not a good omen for the rest of the day.

When we woke Bug up at 10 pm to leave for the airport he started to scream (and scream, and scream.) We put him in his car seat, and pulled out of the garage. He eventually calmed down. We tried a bottle, changed his diaper (all before we left.) I blamed the damn teeth. We had gone to the doctors earlier in the day because he just didn't seem himself. He has two coming in at the same time. LUCKY KID.

Once we got on the road it was about 30 minutes to the airport. Bug, thankfully, fell back asleep and I hopped that the rest of the trip would be smooth.

Wrong. (BUT, it could always be worse.)

We got to the airport and put Bug and his car seat on the airport stroller (thing that turns your car seat into a stroller.) I thought, "Okay. He's still asleep. There is hope." WRONG. Right after we checked in, Bug woke up. Not only did he wake up, he woke up screaming. I ended picking him up, and his dad wheeled his carrier AND all of our stuff. We looked like such a hot mess, that the TSA sent us our own personal guy to help us go through security.

Once we got to the gate, we let Bug crawl around since he was WIDE AWAKE. Once we got on the plane, Bug was GRABBING EVERYTHING. The guy in front of us, the guy next to us, EVERYTHING. I offered earplugs (and in reality I should have offered liquor.) He started crying, and would.not.stop. The little guy was SO TIRED. His dad tried holding him, I tried holding him. NOTHING. Finally after about two hours in the air (so around 3:30 am) Bug FINALLY fell asleep, across his dad and me. We got about an hour of sleep.

Once we got to Seattle we grabbed breakfast and I wrestled Bug for a diaper change. Bug spent our layover flirting with everyone and managed to cut his finger.

By some miracle, we got into Business Class (whatever the leg room rows are called) and there was an empty seat in our row. It was SO MUCH BETTER. He was still into everything, but liked looking out the window. He fell asleep before we were even in the air, and I got to enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the sunrise over Mt. Rainer.

When we landed in Chicago, about 3 minutes after getting off the plane, Bug had the most epic of blow outs. POOP EVERYWHERE! I was so thankful that he decided to do that off the plane, because you could smell it EVERYWHERE.

The last flight wasn't too bad. It was only an hour (but they couldn't get the engine started, but made sure to tell us to not worry.) We gave Bug some more Tylenol, and he seemed pretty content.

Once we made it to Pittsburgh we had a 3 hour drive home. At this point Bug had had it. At one point even Tylenol wouldn't cut it. He just started screaming (it's okay buddy, I wanted to scream too.) My husband pulled off of the interstate, and into a parking lot of a farm store.

About 2 minutes after pulling into the parking lot, the state cops showed up. The cop pulled up to our window and asked us what we were doing. During this time, Bug was still screaming. The cop asked what we were doing, and over the screams my husband said, "teething baby." The cop wished us luck and drove off. I told my husband he was probably afraid we'd ask to turn him in. (No internet, we would never turn him in.)

Overall, LONGEST TRIP EVER. I'm thinking of driving back to Alaska. It sounds less torturous.

Also, if you're on Facebook, check out the FBX Adventure page for a giveaway.

Monday, January 13, 2014

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane....

I was 24 years old before I took my first airplane ride. I was a NERVOUS wreck (and that is an understatement.) I ONLY flew because my boyfriend (now husband) was working outside of Jackson Hole, WY at a snow machine lodge. He had limited use of a phone (satellite phone) and was there for three months. That and I missed him. Dumb Love.

Don't get me wrong. My parents TRIED to take me on a plane. When I was 10ish we were going to Florida. My poor mom and dad talked about flying down and I had a freak-out-meltdown. NO WAY, NO HOW was I flying. Instead of listening to me cry DAILY about how I wasn't going to be able to go to Disneyland, my wonderful momma and poppa bought a van and they drove us.

I would have left me at home. My parents are too good to me.

Anyway, why the rambling? We are getting ready to fly to Pennsylvania on Wednesday. Do you want to know HOW excited I am to fly with an 8 month old? ---> <--- that excited. Bug is 8 months old and has already flown twice. This will be his third time traveling by plane. I'm not TOO worried about him. It's all the things that can happen.

The first time was HORRIBLE! He was a rock star.

We left Seattle at 10pm, got delayed 9 times and had two flights cancelled. We ended up stranded in Chicago, and by some miracle, a wonderful United employee got me to Pittsburgh. It involved one more airport (D.C.) and a mad dash through the airport (with an 8 week old) to catch our flight that was taking off in 11 minutes.

Once we got to the plane (we were the last ones) we sat down and took a breath. Once the poor flight attendant moved people around. I guess they didn't notice the baby in lap, it was a small plane,and only one seat had an infant air mask. Bug was crying, I was crying, it was horrible. The pilot started the plane and it started to fill with smoke. We all had to exit the plane, and some wonderful guy grabbed my bags and told me to just worry about the baby.

I wanted to kiss him. I also wanted to cry.

It was nice to take a breather and hang out in the airport without running, with peeing, and let Bug lay on a blanket and stretch out.

We finally made it to Pittsburgh at 7pm, and to my parents house around 11pm (it's not THAT far, but we had a few stops on the way.)

Things that I learned while flying with an infant.

1. Breath. I was TERRIFIED of angry people. I was so worried about them being mean to me. Luckily, everyone was really nice. Bug also never said a single word the entire time. He cried out once while the first plane was taking off, but that popped his ears and he was fine then. On our second flight (of 4 total) the flight attendant gave him wings and said he was the best baby ever. Well, duh. At some point I know I will have an upset baby and an upset person near me.

2. Clothes. Bring at least an extra change of clothes for yourself and a few outfits for the baby. Nothing like baby puke at 30,000 feet. Also know that a lot of planes do not have a changing table.

3. Food! At the time that we flew, I was pumping for him because he couldn't suck. (Start sarcasum font) It was AWESOME (end sarcasm font.) Nothing like trying to find a place to pump in an airport. As a side note Seattle has awesome spots for momma's in the bathroom. Chicago had family bathrooms that you could lock yourself into. Anyway, Bug also was getting formula. LUCKILY I am a nut and packed enough for a week, but make sure you have enough food for the baby.

4. Diapers and wipes. Make sure that you have enough! You never know what will happen, and being stranded at an airport with a baby...nothing worse than not having clothes.

5. While the plane is taking off and landing, make sure your baby is sucking on something. It will help with the change in the ear pressure.

Those are pieces of advice that I got when I flew with Bug. They have been helpful each time we've flown. The plane is like a giant white noise machine. I hope that helps for Bug this time too. He is quickly needing entertained all the time, and I know that soon I will need more tricks in my book!

Do you have any advice for flying with a baby?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Confessions #ThingsIDoInTheShower

Sunday Confession is the brainchild of More Than Cheese and Beer.  Everyone is welcome to participate.  You can link your blog or post your confession in the comments section of her Sunday Confession, or send anonymous confessions to her via Facebook or Twitter (@MKitchenWitch).

When I first saw this prompt I thought of a MILLION ways that I could turn this inappropriate or funny. They'd all be lies. Funny/Inappropriate lies, but lies. The second thing I thought of was "Ha, what shower?" Since Bug was born the amount of time that I spend in the shower has been dramatically decreased. I use to sing in the shower. I AM NOT a good singer. Children cry, lemmings jump off cliffs, you get the idea. I still do it, but only when no one is around. I barely have time to think in the shower now, let alone sing.

Take one Bug and add to that our lack of water and you get Navy showers. What's a Navy shower you ask? You hop in the shower and "wet up" and then turn off the water. You scrub all things that you need to scrub. You shampoo your hair, wash your face and you turn the water on and then quickly rinse. 

Perhaps you are new to this blog and are wondering where the hell our water is.... We live in Alaska, and do not have a well, nor do we have city water. We have a holding tank. Once every 2-3 weeks on a Wednesday, Paul comes to our house with his handy-dandy water delivering truck and fills our 1500 gallon tank. Water is 10 cents a gallon, which is cheap, but when you spend $100-$150 on water every two weeks that ads up. 

So, what do I do in the shower? Not much! Every once in a while we need to use up XXX number of gallons of water before the truck comes, and when that happens, I hide in the shower! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Straw and Wine - Throwback Thursday

My life isn't "that" exciting, but yet, I still write.... (Sorry about that.)

There are so many stories that I tell people after the fact. Some are embarrassing, some are sad, some make you think what the !@#$. I will classify this one under embarrassing. I'll use Thursdays to tell random old stories...aren't YOU excited! Unless of course Bug does something EXTRA adorable. That trumps any crazy story I may have.

First let me start with that I have amazing friends. AMAZING. We go away a few times a year to  Girl's Weekend and what happens at Girl's Weekend, stays at Girl's Weekend. Since I apparently feel that it's my duty though to warn the world of certain dangers, I will tell you one part of one girls weekend.

Once upon a time my BGF (best girl friends) and I went to an island off of Seattle. We stayed at a friend's mom's summer home and all was right with the world. Like any good girls weekend an ample supply of wine was brought.

Pre-Wine, but I'm pretty sure there is booze in that bucket.

All was going right in the world, when I went to open a bottle of wine. It was a screw off, so should have been easy to open right? Wrong. I could not open it. I tried. My friends tried. Every.Single.Person tried. Instead of panicking I decided to do the next logical thing and use a wine opener in a metal top.

It worked! I was thrilled.

I then had the problem of a wine bottle with large metal shards sticking out of it. I didn't want to risk loosening the metal shards...what was I to do? Luckily I learned survival techniques from my husband. I found two straws and fashioned an extra long straw. It worked. Just call me MacGyver. It worked quickly, and somehow the whole bottle disappeared in a short order.

Not a great life choice.

So the moral of this story my friends, don't let your friends drink wine out of a bottle with a straw. I "may" have gone swimming in the Sound. I also may have taken a "nap" under the dining room table after trying to "help" make Sushi. I have great friends.

Also, Bug, if you're reading this remember this this story is fake. Definitely fake. I would NEVER do such crazy things. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Parenting Joys

Being a parent is HARD. Bug is only 8 months old, so I can ONLY imagine how much harder it gets. Totally worth it though, right?

Bug "was" a great sleeper. About a month and a half ago he decided that mom and dad were too exciting and he WOULD NOT go to bed. We didn't want him to cry, so I'd end up entertaining a baby at 10 pm. It wasn't good for my mental health to have zero time to do anything else (like shower...and eat.)

I started to read all the baby sleep books that I said I'd read before Bug was born. If you want to have kids someday, DO EVERYTHING before they come. That's the last "time" you will have. I am very, VERY lucky in that I have the world's most amazing husband. We sat down and discussed our goals, what was best for Bug, and what we could do to make sure we did the best thing for Bug. Being on the same page was so important.

One thing I learned in all those books was that Bug's bedtime was MUCH later than it should be. Opps. We would try getting him down around 8, 8:30. By then he was overtired and was WIRED.

Parenting is a learning curve.

So it's been a week and we've been doing Sleep Training. It's been gradual, and the first night was horrible (for us, not him) but the past couple of days he's been fine going into his bed. I have definitely cried a HELL of a lot more than he did. He still gets up at night, and I'm not willing to let him cry. He eats, gets changed and goes right back to sleep. Truthfully, I like our midnight snuggles. I'm hoping that with a schedule now (in bed around 7, passed out by 7:01 and up again at 7am) the night feeding will gradually go away.

I am NOT one for schedules. I can make them for other people, and all that fun stuff, but I like change and randomness. That was one of the main reasons I loved my job SO MUCH. It was always a different thing each day. Having to make a schedule and keep it...I'm not use to that.

Bug and I use to sleep on the couch until 9 am (he'd get up around 4, and we'd just sleep on the couch from then on...not great for getting him to sleep on his own.) This morning he was up at 7. His daddy got him a bottle and I stumbled out of the bedroom with my hoodie still pulled up over my head. I attempted to make coffee, but forgot to put a mug under the Keurig. Mornings are rough.

I know that if you as 10 people the same question, you'll get 900 answers. The best advice I got while pregnant was to listen to everyone, and make your own choices.

In other news, Martha the moose is back. She decided to sleep at my neighbor's house and then spent the day playing in her yard. Better her than me.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Not Moosing Around Here..

I joke about my fear of moose. It's because they get cranky (like me) and want to stomp you into the ground (like me.) Heck, maybe we should be friends. Anyway. Last night I was trying to put Bug down for his nap and as I walked past our front door I noticed a LARGE black object ON THE PORCH.


It scared the crap out of me, then I realized that it was a moose. ON MY PORCH. I turned the light on, but she didn't go very far. Apparently, the snow around our house is quite tasty. I tried scaring her off. She didn't give a damn. (Much like the Honeybadger.)

I called Adam to warn him, and told our tenant to be aware of the new friend nearby. I thought I'd open the front door to try to scare her off...nope, no fear. Adam had to honk his horn a few times to get her to move away from the house when he got home.

She really was pretty, and I was impressed with how clean she looked. Bug thought she was the coolest thing ever. He kept pounding on the window. (She didn't care.)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Baby Firsts - Haircut

Another blogger that I read writes, "Babies don't keep." She is 100% correct, and Bug is growing faster than I ever thought possible. How did THIS 
Photo credit to Jill

Go to an almost 9 month old!! HOW!? I do not know how this sweet little guy has grown into a little boy. They say time flies, but...well, I could go on and on about how big he is getting, and how sad it makes me. I won't. Well, I will, but I'll stop for now. 

Bug was born with long locks. At 10 days old a hairdresser offered to cut his hair. In my ideal world, I was planning on waiting until he was a year old, but that hasn't worked out. Bug's hair kept growing and growing. I trimmed it once, but didn't trust myself to do much more. 

Bug's dad had a haircut yesterday, so we figured we'd get Bug's first haircut. I thought he'd cry or something. Nope. He was so good. Lots of laughing and giggling. I was such a proud momma!

He wasn't really sure when she started.
I think the kid ate 9 combs. He kept dropping them and the lady cutting his hair
kept handing him a new, clean one. I loved her. 


Finish product! We miss the Muppet hair. 

Now, someone make time slowdown. Please!! When we got home tonight Bug was playing and crawling around. He fell, which he's done before, but this time he hit his gums and was bleeding. Poor guy. Life is hard when you're 8 months. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

S'Mores Cupcakes

I really like baking....and I really like taking pictures. I'm not very good at either, but practice makes perfect, right? While this blog is a place for family, friends, and others to read about our Alaskan adventures (and The Bug) it is also a place for me to keep tabs on things I do, and I bake...and bitch, but mostly a mix of both!

This was a month ago, but I never got around to posting pictures! I offered to make the cupcakes for a friend's baby shower. They were doing camping theme, and the one host sent me a few pictures of what she'd like. Overall, she was looking for the S'more's theme, so I went with the Trophy Cupcake's S'mores Cupcakes. I had a recipe and such, plus pictures. That makes it a million times easier. I stink at making anything that I do not have a photo to go off of! Not that creative!

They all had a graham cracker/butter base that baked first before batter went it.
I may of had to make two batches because it kept disappearing...

Here my friends is the recipe for the Toasted Marshmallow Smore's Cupcakes!

They ended up looking pretty good, tasted awesome (not my quote, people at the party) and it made me happy that someone thought a "professional" made them. I laughed really hard at that question. I still need to work on piping frosting. I had wrist surgery a few years ago, and my hand just isn't very strong.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

It is hard for me to believe that 2013 is over. It was right after the New Year last year that Adam was officially offered his job, and we committed to moving to Fairbanks. I soon started to freak out over having a baby, packing a house, packing a classroom, wrapping up loose ends (i.e., IEP's) at work before maternity leave, AND being in Alaska June 1st. Well, lots changed, but we made it! We have some pretty amazing friends who helped us out a lot getting the house packed. That's another story though.

It was beautiful in Fairbanks yesterday! For the first time in a while it was around 20 degrees (for those keeping track, me, that is 60 degrees warmer than a week or two ago.) It was the perfect weather to take the Bug outside (bundled up of course.) He loves outside, but when it's below 20 degrees we limit his time, if any. Today though, we decided to break out the sled! We've tried it a few times, but he usually screamed his head off. Today, he thought it was a grand idea!

I love this one.

I took these photos a little after noon. The lighting is so funny here. It makes everything so pretty. Sort of wish I knew what I was doing with my camera!  I also have a new lens on my wish list.

Happy Little Snowbug!

Don't be jealous of my hot outfit! 

After sled riding we had a post sledding jump in the snow. HE LOVED IT. Since we didn't want him to turn into a popsicle though, it was brief.

For the first time last night the Aurora was really out. It was a crystal clear sky, and beautiful colors. I decided to try out what I had learned in December at the photography class and take some photos. I got everything set up, but Nada. My camera would not register, which means that I had something set wrong. I looked over my notes, over my camera, everything. I gave up and decided to send my teacher an e-mail asking her, for future reference, what I did wrong. She wrote right back and told me to call her. Friends, it was 11pm. She was nice enough to talk me through my camera at 11 pm, AND IT WORKED! (For future freak outs Brooke, MANUAL FOCUS!)

Not great photos because my neighbors house is light up like some sort of compound, so the camera picks up their lights as well. The other problem I have is when I pointed my camera, I can't see anything. I set the camera up on the tripod, point, and shoot (30 second exposure time) and then see what was in the way of the camera.  BUT I got them! I'll keep practicing. The Aurora really is beautiful!

I'll title this one, "Grill in the foreground." 

See the compound lights? 
The photo above and the photo below were taken about 40 seconds apart. The only difference is I bumped the ISO up to 6400 for the last one. CRAZY what a camera picks up!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Resolutions - The Underwear Debacle

When I started this blog I handed the title out to EVERY.HUMAN.BEING.I.KNOW. Seriously. I think I'm making up for super secret blog (which now people know exist, so "semi-secret blog.") It's a fun way for grandparents to see the Bug and to question their son's choice in a wife. My own parents probably wonder JUST HOW HARD I hit my head when I fell down the stairs at the age of two. My brother just keeps praying he is adopted. It's all good.

Regardless, some of you know me in real life, AND thanks to the wonders of Facebook and my handy-dandy-Facebook page, some of you only know me in the cyber world (aka-the interwebz.) I am not that awesome. Hate to break it to you, but glad to have you!

One thing you might know about me is that I am extremely competitive. I don't know where that came from, but it definitely developed MUCH later in life...I'm thinking early 20's. Before then, I didn't really give a crap about anything. I didn't think I was good at anything, so why waste the effort trying? THEN I realized that I COULD DO STUFF. Like, if I studied in college I COULD GET GOOD GRADES. (Much to my mother's chagrin, I didn't realize that until AFTER my first year, but hey, I DID figure it out.) By Grad school, I was that obnoxious person at the professors door questioning WHY I didn't get a 4.0 (which, I almost ALWAYS got a 4.0.) That was me. ANNOYING. I know.

Sometimes things motivate me, and I push really hard. Other times things piss me off, I grab a coffee of wine and crawl on the couch to think about a come back strategy (usually the latter.)

At the start of 2012, I decided that I was fat enough and needed to lose a bazillion pounds. I was one of THOSE people who joined the gym after the New Year (go ahead, boo and hiss.) I decided to join Gold's Gym because it was close to our house. When I joined I also decided I would join in their Transformation Challenge ($50 to enter!) for a bit of motivation. When I showed up to sign in, I had to get photos taken. Like actual photos of me in my bra and underwear. I was mortified, but really didn't think much of it. The nice lady said that "if" I won, I would have to give them permission to use the photos. Okay, no problem.

So I joined a gym. What next? I also had some sessions with a personal trainer. He was 5' tall if anything and he kicked my ass on a daily basis. The more I hate something (and I don't like working out) the more sarcastic I get (if that is possible.) I was ridiculous during our hour sessions and I'm pretty sure he wanted to pierce his ears with a pencil. BUT,I lost weight, about 30 pounds. There were other girls there losing weight left and right and I didn't look "that" different. I joked the entire hour every session, about my 8X12 "bikini" photos being plastered at the gym.

The challenge ended, I weighed in and got photos taken with my same AWESOME hot pink undies. Everyone had to do it, so again. I didn't think much of it.

Another week went by, and my trainer called laughing. He told me that I won. Now, I had joked for 12 weeks that I was going to win, mostly while laying in a crumple the ground covered in sweat. About 3 weeks into it I had given up hopes of winning. I was excited.

...and then I went to the gym....

I was working out and I had a few people come up to me and tell me congratulations. "Weird," I thought, since I DID NOT give permission for my pale ass in pink undies to be displayed. DID NOT. I didn't think much of it. Maybe they just "assumed" that I won because I looked so great <Insert Sarcasm Font <---- there.>

About 20 minutes later I looked up while riding a bike and saw the picture of the guy who had won. Yep, he looked awesome. Then something drew my eyes, a gleam of pink and white......right next to this man who went from looking like a couch surfer, into a real surfer, WAS ME. I was mortified. I didn't even know what to say or do, so I did what any self-respecting gym goer does, I quit.

Well, I didn't quit right away, but I did run out of the gym faster than I've ever ran my entire life. AND, eventually I quit. Sure, I could have asked them to take it down, but that would require me acknowledging that it was in deed my photo. THAT wasn't happening. EVER.


So, as far as I know my photo spent the entire 2012 hanging up in the Gold's Gym in North Seattle.

AND That my friends is why you don't get your photo taken in your underwear.

In reality, I DO make New Years Resolutions. I try to make ones that I can keep. So, in order to keep myself honest, here they go.

1. Be the best mom to the Bug as I can.
2. "     "     "    wife  "    "   husband "  ". 
3. Stop taking short cuts (if you're laughing now, I love you.) 
4. Lose 25 pounds. Yes, yes, this is EVERY woman's resolution, but I'm going to Vegas in May people. I don't want to look like a whale. I've lost 40 since after Bug was born. I now weigh what I weighed when I got my photo taken in my undies. 
5. Be a better person. Spread random acts of kindness. 

Do you have any?