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  • Awesome Digital Scrapbooking site

    Digital Scrapbooking at Pixel Scrapper

Stuff is happening (durp)

Nothing too exciting, just school and work and family and blah. BUT I got straight A’s this semester which is not so Blah. Only two classes but they were pretty homework intensive classes so I’m counting it as a solid Win. The best class was my Concepts in Creativity class. Learned some great creativity exercises but the best part was being able to design fun stuff that wasn’t limited to a Corporate Color Scheme or business line. Also? My professor was really good and I told her as much when I picked up my final assignment and grade. Knowing that I’m ever the socially awkward gal, this is no small thing. It would’ve been easier to slip in, pick up my project then email her later. I really wanted to let her know that I appreciated her class and also find out what other courses she teaches so I can have her again. Guess what? She said I was a very good student (duh) and am very creative and very talented. SQUEAL! AND there was another student in the room picking up his project and I heard him say, “Yeah, you are.”

It’s one thing getting a good grade, it’s something else entirely hearing it from your professor and a fellow student. Call me whatever but I need reminders every now and then that I’m doing the right thing.

For now, I’m going to enjoy the summer off (of school, at least) and try not to dwell on the FOUR MORE FRICKEN YEARS OF SCHOOL I HAVE LEFT due to only being able to take two classes at a time and no graphic design courses being offered during the summer. At least I’ve got a couple birthday parties to design invitations and other party things for.

(check out the left column. See that little button/sticker/badge/rectangle thing? If you’re at all interested in digital scrapbooking, go there. It’s a great site. Trust me.)


Two months ago I was having some pretty bad Cramps. This was actually right around election time because I was watching the results come in and tweeting that my Cramps were pretty intense. Long time readers, or those who have dug through the archives, may remember that I have a Mirena IUD. This is important because I should not have been experiencing Cramps because I should not have been menstruating. However, sporadically I do have some light spotting and sometimes it’s accompanied by minor cramping.

This was different. It felt like a good ol’ fashioned period. “Odd,” I thought but went along my merry way for a couple days. The Thursday after the election I was in a sh*t ton of pain and decided I should go see my doctor. Long story short by Friday I was feeling better and after checking that the IUD was still where it should be, my OB declared it was probably a cyst and that they take care of themselves.

24 hours later I was in so much pain I couldn’t walk. I was light headed whenever I stood up. Matt took me to the ER where after an hour of writhing in pain in the waiting room they did a pregnancy test and an ultrasound. Turns out my Cramps were the result of an ectopic pregnancy in my left fallopian tube which had ruptured. The ultrasound tech, I was later told, had said she’d never seen so much blood in someone’s belly before.  I was rushed into emergency surgery where the tube was removed, the blood taken out of my belly and my life was, generally speaking, saved.

Recovery was a b*tch. Took a few weeks before I was walking normally and didn’t have to take a moment to plan my entering and exiting of the bed. Then one day I felt fine. Walking! Bending! Holding my son! Wearing pants that were of the yoga variety!

This past week I’ve been hurting again. Muscle ache in the right side of my abdomen. Not cramping, just aching. Why? I don’t know. I’m assuming maybe I went a little too crazy with the whole walking around like an adult human female and getting in and out of bed and chairs like one as well. At my 6 week post-surgery check the doctor reiterated that what happened to me was very rare and if it happens again I should buy a lottery ticket. (I kept my snappy come back, “If I survive another one, I’ll go do that.” To myself.).Going to the doctor to get it checked out this Friday morning. If there’s a sudden spike in the pain, I’ll go to urgent care. I’m afraid of it being something and afraid of it being nothing and overreacting. Clearly the latter is preferred.

Before making the doctor’s appointment this morning I decided to hop online and see if there were any results for a quick “recovery period after [insert medical term for removing an exploded fallopian tube]” search. And there were, of course, many non-helpful results. There was one article I read that went through the procedure itself and showed illustrations of the little embryo inside the tube. It…well it got in my head. Suddenly I found myself trying not to cry at my desk, mind flashing through memories of carrying both my kids and other illustrations of growing fetuses that I’ve seen.

During the whole thing at the hospital, even though they referred to it as an ectopic pregnancy, it didn’t click in my head what that meant: I had had a baby growing inside of me again. Not until my Astronomy professor told me in an email that she was sorry for our loss. Even after it finally came together that I was pregnant and now I’m not, my only real feeling has been of guilt that I wasn’t sorry for our loss.

We don’t want any more kids, of that I’m sure. Matt had a vasectomy two days before I started feeling the Cramping. We know it was the right decision.

A few weeks ago I did the math and figured the baby would’ve been born in July. Seeing the illustrations of embryos in fallopian tubes, I thought again about that almost due date.

I guess you could call what I’m going through now part of the grieving process. But how can I grieve something I didn’t want?

55 Things to Remember About Disney World 2012

  1. Matt’s excitement over going on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with his kids
  2. Jonas refusing to have any fun Monday morning until he saw Woody, went on the Toy Story ride, or got his Mr. Potato Head toy (none of which happened until later in the week)
  3. Jaden grinning at and hugging every character she met
  4. Maranda nearly crying when we entered Disney World, arrived at the resort, and during the Magic Kingdom opening ceremony
  5. Jonas passing out at the dinner table our first night
  6. Pressed penny collecting
  7. Looking for Magic Mickeys
  8. Jaden meeting Merida and Merida completely surpassing all expectations and saying Matt should be King Fergus for Halloween.
  9. Woody scolding Maranda for wearing an Evil Queen shirt
  10. Buzz trying to shoot his laser at Jonas’ shoes until Woody convinced him they were not laser shoes
  11. Kids laughing with glee and wonder during Sourin’, Star Tours, and Mickey’s Philharmagic.
  12. Amazing bus driver from Hollywood Studios
  13. Restful and beautiful resort: Port Orleans Riverside
  14. Matt’s persistence in making sure his kids got to go on the rides and see the attractions they wanted to
  15. Jonas having a 20 minute melt-down starting in the resort gift shop and ending in the bathtub because I hurt his feelings by not buying him a second Mr. Potato Head.
  16. Both kids fighting over the stroller
  17. Walking through Andy’s playroom on our way to the Toy Story Game
  18. Jaden suggesting having a special “Daddy Day” after Matt had a rough ride on the bus, starting with getting up early and surprising him with coffee in bed.
  19. Upper 80s and 60% humidity the entire time until the weather broke Saturday when we left.
  20. The special surprises left in the hotel room by the princesses: arranged stuffed animals, towel animals, recorded story books
  21. Seeing the Ewok Village; rather, Matt’s boyish glee at seeing the Ewok Village
  22. Maranda singing the Timmy Time song with the kids in line (“Aaay-ooh-ooh, we-er, we-er, we-er-er.”)
  23. Jaden and Matt’s Agent P Secret Missions in Epcot
  24. The completely lame Maelstrom Viking ride
  25. The morning safari in Animal Kingdom and the kids asking if they were real animals or robots like the Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom
  26. Jonas giving Jake one of the gold doubloons he got during the Disney Junior show.
  27. The Princesses at the Akershus Castle lunch:
    1. Snow White’s voice and blowing Jonas a kiss
    2. Cinderella admiring Jaden’s headband
    3. Ariel playing with her hair like Jaden
    4. Belle wishing us a happy anniversary and commenting on Matt’s “Beastly Beard.”
  28. “In the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room.”
  29. Both kids jumping in the pool and not being afraid to go under the water.
  30. Filling the Giant Mr. Potato Head with pieces
  31. Getting a sneak peak at the New Fantasy Land attractions: Beast’s Castle, Gaston’s Tavern and Fountain, The Little Mermaid Ride and meeting Ariel in her Grotto.
  32. Jaden helping Matt get breakfast for everyone every morning.
  33. Matt throwing drinking straw wrappers at the kids then laughing hysterically at my reaction.
  34. Jonas and I getting drenched on the Animal Kingdom Rapids ride neither of us wanted to go on
  35. Jaden making a deal with us to go on the Haunted Mansion, trying to back out of it, crying during the ride intro and then yelling at Matt afterwards. Jonas laughing at the ghosts.
  36. Playing in the resort arcade: digital bowling, skee ball, photo booth, crane game, Jonas playing the basketball toss, Matt playing off one credit on some carnival video game for 20 minutes and Jaden placing 9th in the motorcycle racing game.
  37. Seeing Captain Jack Sparrow give a pirate class.
  38. Four people in one day complimenting Matt’s Muppet shirt he bought at Hollywood Studios.
  39. Boat ride to Downtown Disney.
  40. Jonas fully embracing his four-ness, both good and bad.
  41. Jaden playing with the jumping fountain at Epcot and the mini-splash station in Downtown Disney
  42. Epcot fireworks show and Jaden not needing the ear plugs
  43. The electric parade at night and seeing Woody and Jessie in the Celebration parade.
  44. Our collection of desserts from all the meals we could not finish
  45. Lizards that moved like a blowing leaf all over the resort
  46. The kids surviving “It’s Tough for a Bug” and looking at real spiders  at Animal Kingdom without freaking out.
  47. Great seats for Finding Nemo the Musical. Got to see Dory and jellyfish up close.
  48. Getting the kids names embroidered onto their hats at a discounted rate. The embroidery ladies being impressed with Jonas’ eye-rolling skills.
  49. Tapes N Tapes hipsters. “That guy was wearing a Tapes N Tapes shirt!”
  50. Being able to get onto Splash Mountain with no wait time
  51. Turtle Talk with Crush
  52. The Festival of the Lion King
  53. Breaking the bus and needing to transfer coming back from Animal Kingdom, and in turn canceling our reservations at Downtown Disney
  54. Matt and Maranda lying next to each other every night discussing what fun we had that day.
  55. Laughing. Lots of laughing.


Let’s play catch-up, shall we? Well, the last week at least.


Guessing Game

A couple months ago I asked Jaden if she had any guesses as to where we were going on our Super-Secret-Special Trip. She guessed the Science Museum to which I replied, “Dream big, Jaden, dream big.” In my most encouraging tone, of course.

The other night at bedtime I asked her if she had any new guesses since we’re getting close to The Trip.


I busted out a, “HA!” and thought, “Well, I told her to dream big.” Now, I’d originally told her I wasn’t going to say “yes” or “no” to her guesses but that it’s still fun to guess. However, I really couldn’t let the girl think we’re going to Paris so I said, “Oh, Paris would be wonderful but it’s a little out of our price range.”


“Honey, we would love to take you kids to Hawaii but that’s in the same price range as Paris. Meaning: out of ours. One more guess?”


“Wow. Ok, no. We’re going to stay in the Continental U.S. So, in this country but not Hawaii or Alaska or Puerto Rico or any other U.S. territory not attached to the main bulk of the country.”

“Is Montana in the country?”

“Yes, Montana is.”

“What about Europe?”

“No, sweetie, that’s a whole different continent across the ocean and Paris is there. I think you’re done guessing for tonight.”

The next day Jonas guessed New York City and Jaden guessed Washington DC. Is it weird that neither of them has guessed Disney World yet?



Last week Jaden made the comment that she doesn’t get to wear her sandals anymore because it’s getting colder out. I gave her a clue about the Big Secret Trip: “You’ll be bringing your sandals with.”

The next day Matt called me while I was driving home and asked why Jaden and Jonas were digging through closets and bins of shoes looking for sandals and why Jaden was crying because they couldn’t find them.


Matt and I are having a hard time keeping this thing secret. Ok, mostly I. I’ve slipped a few times when the kids, luckily, weren’t listening.  I really want to tell them something. I thought I was alone in this until Monday when Matt tried again and again to give Jaden challenges to pass so we could tell them something:

1)     If she got another 20/20 on her spelling test.

  1. Matt couldn’t wait until Tuesday and he gave her a practice test. She got 19/20. So…

2)     At dinner he told her if she spelled “vacation” correctly.

  1. She was VERY close but forgot the “t.” I was willing to give it to her because seriously, English is so effed up, I’m surprised she got that much correct. Matt wasn’t quite as ready but gave her another shot. He spelled it out for her twice and asked her to repeat it but, again, she forgot the “t.” Then he got desperate.

3)     “If you can tell me one amazing thing that I’ve never heard before, we’ll tell you something.”

After a mere second or two of thought, Jaden said, “Today, I petted a unicorn.”

“Really?” I asked, genuinely interested, “Where did this happen?”

“At school,”she said simply, “There’s a petting zoo there with all kinds of animals that don’t exist. There are unicorns and pegasi and colored ponies.”

4)     At this point I looked at Matt and mouthed, “Pegasi?” and was (again) ready to give it to her right there for using an awesome plural form of Pegasus. Matt was not. However, he agreed that this was indeed an amazing thing he’d never heard and asked Jaden what’s the difference between a Pegasus and a unicorn.

“A Pegasus can fly and a unicorn has a horn.”

“OH,” Matt said, giving me a significant look, “So you’re saying Pegasus can fly? Hmmm… I wonder what else flies.”

Because god forbid Matt just come out and tell them plain. After some ideas from both kids, I finally stepped in, had them clean off the table and told them we were taking a plane.

They are both very excited.



Jonas has a blanket that he got for his 2nd Christmas when he was just a year old. It’s well-loved, to say the least, and Gramma has mended it several times. Finally it got to the point where we had to talk about replacing it. Jonas wanted another brown and white striped blanket. This is when I found out my mother –in-law, the same Gramma who mended the original blanket, can knit and I asked her to knit him a new brown and white striped blanket.

This morning, I told the kids to get their shoes and jackets on because it was chilly. Jonas did not want to wear his jacket. I held it out to him and said, “Here, just put this on, ok, buddy?” He dashed off to his room while I wasn’t exactly paying attention and came back with Old Brown Blankey. “I’ll bring this and I’ll be nice and cozy.”

I tried to explain to him that Old Brown Blankey is very fragile and suggested he bring New Brown Blankey. This did not go over well. Back and forth we went. I was standing my ground because this is why we have the New Blankey, to protect the Old Blankey. He did not see it this way. I took the blanket and showed him all the stitches that had been made to fix Old Blankey’s boo-boos. He stormed off to his room and faced his door with his arms crossed in front of him, not looking at me.

“Come on, bud, we gotta go. Please put your arm in,” I pleaded holding the jacket open for him.


“Jonas, honey, we’re late. Come on.”

There was a pause and then he turns to look at me with this look of triumph in his face and says with the smallest of smirks,

“I’ll put my jacket on if I can bring Old Brown Blankey.” The sentence was laced with threads of “I got you now, woman.”

Long story short, while I commended his efforts I came out ahead in the bargain by way of promising the last banana if he put his jacket on and took New Brown Blankey.

3 minutes later he tripped on my sister-in-law’s drive way and skinned his knee and was happy to have any blankey he could get his hands on.



Pandora is awesome for setting the mood for those intimate moments with your lover. Except for when an ad for Kraft Macaroni in Cheese Bowls comes on with the tag line, “Perfect for nights like tonight.”

5 Years

“Wood, representing strength and a solidified relationship, and silverware, representing connectedness, are the traditional and modern gifts associated with your fifth wedding anniversary. Here are more gift and celebration ideas for your fifth anniversary.” (marriage.about.com)

Not exactly the inspiring blurb with which to launch a sappy post about our enduring love. We’ve been wanting to tear down the ghetto deck for awhile…not sure what that says about the strength of our relationship. I guess if we were putting up a new deck…but we’re not; we’re putting in a patio. Hmmmm…As far as silverware goes, we’re good there. We got some as a wedding gift. Unless they mean REAL silver silverware in which case BWAHAHAHA! Yeah, right. I can barely put the fake silver silverware in the dishwasher let alone polish something every, what, 6 months?

Let’s see if I can find something else about 5 year anniversaries.

“…the 5th Wedding Anniversary which is a big year and shows a very good start to your journey together. The traditional 5th Year Wedding Anniversary gift is wood and here are some ideas.” (http://blog.theheartbandits.com)

Again with the wood! Although, here they suggest a wooden wine rack. Now THAT I could get behind. Except we usually drink boxed wine from Trader Joe’s…which is made out of cardboard which is paper which is made from trees which are wood! We totally win at 5 Year Anniversary gifts!

Oh, here’s something kind of sweet from the same site: “…get a picture frame that holds 5 pictures and select one from each year of your marriage.”









Ok, that’s nice. Also? New 5 year resolution: take more pictures of just the two of us in addition to all the great family shots.