Tuesday, December 17, 2013

More Elf On the Shelf Fun

Here are more photos that documented the fun we have had with Bernard this holiday season.

Elf On The Shelf Mischeifs And Fun

This year, we decided to do the Elf On The Shelf Tradition for our family. Our youngest is too young to understand but our 7 year old understands the concept and it is fun for the entire family.

We are 8 days away from Christmas so here are the photos that have documented our elf Bernard's journey this holiday season.

More Photos To Come! Keep an eye out for more Elf On the Shelf fun!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

How Will You Be Remembered?

This evening, I was asked by my ex-husband how I felt about him taking our son (only 7 years old) and moving to another state. This is all because he was offered a better position and better pay by his company that, he says, he can pretty much retire on. How do I feel? I feel like vomiting. I feel like crying. I feel like hitting something. I feel like I have officially lost any appetite I ever had for the rest of my life. I feel like a terrible mother. That is how I feel.
After going through the motions and going through the divorce decree to see exactly what it says about him moving our child out of state, I have come to think how will my son remember me. He won't see me every Thursday, or ever other weekend, every holiday, etc. If I am lucky, I will see him one month out of the year and that will be during the summer. My ex-husband states he will fly me out one weekend out of a month so I can see my son and then of course I have the summer.....but even still that isn't much time. I barely get any time as it is.
The last few weeks, my son has been misbehaving, he has been talking back, being EXTREMELY picky on what he eats saying he doesn't like something even though we know he likes it and he hasn't been listening. I have been giving him the cold shoulder at times, I have been letting my husband do some disciplining (if it is their issue, they need to work it out...I will not step in the middle), and I have been cutting back on video games and tv a lot. How will he remember me? Will he remember me as that?
Last night, we were watching tv and when I got up to change the baby's diaper, he, out of nowhere, stated that he no longer wanted to be here and wanted to go back to his daddy's. That really hurt. He didn't understand how bad that hurt. If we were not iced in from this Texas Winter Storm, I am sure the ex would have been here picking him up in a heart beat. Does he no longer want to be with me? Does he think I am that mean, that he wants to stay with his daddy?
I don't know what I did to deserve this.
Without repeating myself, I don't know how to continue this blog I am so confused, in shock and in a deeply terrible emotional state.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bacon Broccoli Pasta

Yes, I know the title doesn't seem all that appealing but trust me, your taste buds will think everything of this dish is just awesome. To tell you just how awesome, imagine an extremely picky 7 year old boy who is happy with just chicken nuggets, burgers and pizza eating 2 helpings of this yumminess!

The photo was taken by my husband before he devoured his second helping. The recipe is actually a tad bit more than I made but it makes for more helpings (as neither my father in law, myself or mother in law got a 2nd helping) and it will also be okay to eat as left overs.  Also to be honest, I was just cutting and dicing and not paying much attention.

Bacon Broccoli Pasta

1 small red onion---diced....again watch out this will make you cry
12-16 slices bacon cut in half, cooked and crumbled
6 Tbsp butter,
4 Tbsp cornstarch
2-3 cups milk (depending on how thick you want your sauce. If you want it a bit runny, add more milk)
Spaghetti noodles (I guesstimated on how much noodles to cook)
2-3 cups mushrooms ----diced
2 cups broccoli---diced
2 Tbsp olive oil (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Parmesan Cheese

Step One: Dice your onions, mushrooms, and broccoli.
Step Two: Start boiling your water for your pasta while you cook your bacon....you want it crispy so you can crumble it.
Step Three: When bacon is almost done cooking, put olive oil in a deep skillet and saute your red onions until transparent. Throw in your mushrooms and your broccoli. Cook for about 5 minutes. When bacon is done, crumble and throw into onion mixture.
Step Four: Add your pasta to pan of water if the water is boiling. Add your "cream" by mixing together your milk and cornstarch. Stir in to make a "paste" or sauce. This is where you will add in your butter as well.
Step Five: Drain your pasta but leave about a cup of water in case your sauce is too thick (or you can just add a bit more milk).
Step Six: Put pasta in onion mixture and toss to cover in sauce/paste.
Step Seven: Serve with some Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Little Chap

As a photographer with children, you bet I have to get out and take photos of my babies. We picked out an adorable "newspaper boy" outfit for my youngest for the holidays. I had no choice but to cure my itch of photos with him wearing the outfit by getting him out and taking his photos this past weekend. Even older brother joined in on the fun.
This baby is all breastfed (up until lately, we have been experimenting with baby foods) so I am in love with all his rolls and his chubby tummy hanging out of his suspenders. 
You can always check out more of his photos on my facebook page 


Loaded Baked Potato Soup -CrockPot Recipe

Who doesn't love a potato soup on a chilly fall night? I looked on Pinterest to find some new recipes but in the end I just threw it all together on my own. I let it cook in the crockpot for 6 hours

This photo was taken by my father in law after garnishing his 2nd bowl of soup. It was so great that everyone had a 2nd bowl.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

4 Russet Potatoes---I peeled and diced mine
2 Tbsp of minced garlic
1/2 medium white onion diced---WARNING: This will make you cry
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Can Cream of Mushroom
3 Can (14.5oz) Chicken Broth
8 slices of bacon---cooked and crumbled
Green Onions or Chives
Sour Cream
8 oz Cream Cheese
2 Cups Instant Potatoes (if your soup is still brothy/soupy)
Shredded Cheese

Step One: Dice your potatoes and your onion
Step Two: Put your potatoes, your garlic, your diced onion, cream of mushroom as well as the chicken broth in your crockpot.
Step Three: (Obviously by now, you would have turned on the crockpot...if not, turn your crockpot on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours) After letting it cook for 3 hours, add in your butter and any spices. (I added in a few shakes of thyme and oregano....shhh no one knew that but now you do!)
Step Four: After cooking for 4 1/2 hours, check consistency, if needed add in the instant potatoes. (I added only 2 cups---give or take---but you can add as much as you think it needs).
Step Five: Add in the cream cheese after 5 hours of cooking. At this point you probably want to start cooking your bacon. Get it crispy...you will need to crumble it.
Step Six: Prep any other toppings. If you have real chives, cut them now. (Those may make you cry too if you cut into the onion part!)
Step Seven: Serve and garnish and don't forget......ENJOY!

Monday, October 14, 2013


This past Thursday, Baby T got his 4 month vaccinations. I am proud to say I have a healthy baby weighing in at 17lbs 1.5oz and 26.5" long. Unfortunately, these shots are whooping his butt. He had a fever for several days, including last night and today; he also is congested and having bouts of diarrhea. Poor guy.
Today, I was to the point of not knowing what else to do...just like last night. He wasn't hungry as I had just fed him and he was spitting up curds of milk. He was extremely tired with no fever in sight. As I stood at his crib trying to get him to sleep, I was on the verge of tears. Standing there, staring at him, listening to his glow worm play music while his Mama Womb Bear made sounds from the womb. I was near tears because my oldest never got sick until he was in Kindergarten. I was near tears because I was able to rock my oldest to sleep or just hold him and he would fall asleep and Baby T seems to be fighting it all the time. I was near tears because, there I stood, staring Baby T in the eyes and reminiscing about when my oldest was his age.
This weekend, we had the oldest "A" and we took him to the local pumpkin patch with the in laws and my older sister's family (her fiance and son). We had a great time riding on the hay ride, bouncing in bounce houses, running obstacle courses, picking out pumpkins, taking photos in the field of pumpkins and with the cutout characters, and even enjoying disgusting corny dogs! It was a great day.

The fun ended when I had to take "A" back to his dads. Before leaving the pumpkin patch, I get a text message from my ex husband asking if we can drive all the way out there to drop "A" off. The hubs said that was okay and we proceeded our drive out there. It really isn't that long of a drive (25 minutes maybe at most) but it is a bit out of the way and we already drive out every other Friday to pick him from school. Hubby has been furious at the fact that the ex husband won't drive all the way out here once in a while to pick his son up. It is like throwing a brick at a large rubber ball....it will just bounce back. Or talking to the ex is like talking to a wall. There is no getting through to him. I got screwed out of a lot because of his lying and now I have to pay for it. Literally. 
When I got to the house to drop him off, the ex husband said (and I quote) "I appreciate you dropping him off. We just got back from the coast and I am exhausted." Seriously? I see you have people (including your girlfriend) over decorating the house for Halloween and then on top of that, you have multiple people in the garage while you have meat smoking in front of the garage. How long have you been back? I am sure you can step away from the house...leave the girlfriend there to watch everyone and the meat and come pick up your son. Talk about irresponsible....or at least having priorities screwed to the max. 
I was beyond upset after dropping off "A" that I had to fight back tears. Today, watching Baby T fight sleep and reminiscing of the times when "A" was a baby, I had to fight back tears yet again. All I want is for my family to be together and that means having my oldest with me all the time. I feel like a crap mother when I have to tell people I pay child support or when I have to tell my job or others that I can't do something because I have my oldest every other weekend but what they don't know is  how I got into that situation. 
This just puts more fire under my butt to do something about it but until I have the funds to do something about, nothing will ever get done. That makes me upset even more. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cutest Pumpkin In The Patch

October 1st, we took Baby T to his first pumpkin patch. He isn't quite sitting up yet so it was difficult to get some photos. This weekend, we will take both the boys together so big brother will be able to hold little brother for some of the photos we didn't get. Baby T was dressed in a pumpkin shirt for this occasion. It started out a bit chilly and got a bit warmer so walking through the pumpkin patch, we were undressing him as we went.

Nerd Convention aka Dallas Comic Con

Last year, my husband (boyfriend at the time) got me to go to the comic-con (convention) with him. I was slightly bored yet found it interesting. This year, for his birthday, we did the full 3 days. I had a blast, I have to admit. I met people I never thought I would meet, I saw some awesome cosplay and purchased a few cute things...including a comic!

Day 1 of the convention was on hubby's birthday. We dressed in our Power Ranger shirts ready to meet Jason David Frank who played the original Green Power Ranger, the White Power Ranger, the Red Power Ranger as well as the Black/Gold Ranger. It was a great experience. Most girls my age had him as their first crush. We even got to watch Batman propose to Catwoman after having JDF (Jason David Frank) autograph their items.

Day 2 consisted of us wearing our Batman shirts.

I took quite a bit more photos this day of the cosplayers as well as the celebrity guests. We stood in line for autographs from Ron Perlman, Steven Yeun as well as another from Jason David Frank. I was like a teenage girl when I met Ron Perlman. I could not stop giggling, talking and even shaking. Beauty and the Beast was my all time favorite of his and I made sure to tell him that. 


The cosplayers were excellent. We are planning on going in costume next year. 

 Day 3 was short and sweet. We didn't get any autographs this day but we did run into Anthony Daniels in the hallway. He played C3PO in all the Star Wars movies.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Remove the Toxins From Your LIfe

This blog post is not about doing a cleanse of your body but more of your mind. We all have that one family member (or more) that is a toxin in our lives. Remove them. Don't let them hinder your relationships with others or yourself any longer.

My older sister is getting married in May 2014 and I have been getting many questions as to why I am not in her wedding party. Truthfully, I asked myself that many times because my husband and I let her move in with us when she moved back to town. I also let her be a bridesmaid in my wedding. Okay, let is not the right word. I wanted her to be a part of it so I asked her to stand by my side on that special day.
I casually asked her as to what her decision was when it came to her wedding party. She replied, "I wanted both my sisters to be apart of it. But since y'all aren't getting along I didn't ask neither one of y'all so I didn't have the fighting to deal with that I asked one an not the other. So instead I asked the other people that are close to me. I want my day to go off without fighting. That's the only reason."
To be honest, if one can't suck it up for one day and just act like an adult then maybe there lies the problem. On a day dedicated to my mother, my younger sister (written about in previous post below) showed up but refused to be part of a family photo because my younger brother and I were present in the said photo. Oh well, get over it. Act like an adult, stand up with your family and smile for the camera. That was all that was asked of you. 

It seriously pains me knowing that because of her actions, I cannot be a part of my older sister's wedding. Well, except for being the photographer. Just what I always wanted to do. But, I will do it for her to make my sister happy.
My sisters and I together back in 2005 when all was fine between us

Just recently, I decided to remove my mother out of the equation as well. Yet, she doesn't seem to know why and is just making assumptions. She even recently told someone that instead of sitting down with me, she would rather just not see me or my sons ever again. That is really motherly of her. That goes to show that my mother, too, is a toxin in my life. 
This morning while I was feeding the baby, I ran across a blog that really struck me because it was my very situation. I am sharing with you all so you may also read it and realize that if your family relationship is toxic, you can move on. 
Please check out the blog Elephant-Dedicated to the Mindful Life

12 Ways to Deal With A Toxic Family/Family Member

Breaking up with a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend is one thing and there’s a lot of advice out there for doing it, but what about a family break-up?
Most of us are not in a position to “just leave” nor do we feel we want to, or that it’s the right thing to do. So what do we do when a toxic family member (or members) is literally ruining our lives? How do we deal with the feeling of obligation, guilt, confusion and heartache?
It is important to note that not everyone’s family is there for them to lean on, to call on or to go home to. Not every family is built on the premise of interconnectedness, support and stability. Sometimes family simply means that you share a bloodline. That’s all. Some families build you up and some suck your energy dry.
There are relationships and friendships that just aren’t fixable—this includes family. There are situations that you can endure for only so long before you’ve outgrown them. There may come a crucial a time when you have to separate yourself from your family in order to do what is best for you and possibly for them.

In many respects, the way we were treated by our family ends up being the same treatment we offer the world.

Often times the signal and energy we put out into the world is similar to or exactly what we have experienced by others. And for most of us, this influential force has been our family. Think about it. Think about just how much the interaction, or lack there of, from our family, sets the tone for the quality of energy we give off during our lifetime.

What is unacceptable treatment?

Rejection, abandonment, not taking the time to get to know you or to be in your life, making you feel unwelcome, someone being competitive or hypercritical of you, pressuring or forcing you to be someone you are not, blaming, ostracizing, manipulating, belittling, neglecting and abusing you…the list goes on and on and on. These types of experiences can make a deep imprint on our hearts and inhibit our ability to react without them being present in the back of our mind’s. Our reactions to life become skeptical, doubtful, fearful and we more often see the dark instead of the light in both people and situations.
These negative experiences can jade us for a lifetime, unless we learn to do whatever it takes to get ourselves into a positive nurturing environment and replace negatively influenced reactions with positive ones.

What are the signs indicating that you could use a break or change?

-Your own health and mental well-being is damaged
-You feel emotionally, physically and/or spiritually injured
-The relationships with your immediate family/spouse/partner is suffering
-There is violence, physical and/or emotional abuse
-There is substance abuse
-There are constant struggles for power
-There is unnecessary distrust and disrespect

What to do, how to get out…

1. Get group help. If it’s possible and your family/family member is up for it, get counseling.
2. If it’s possible move out. Move in with a friend, your partner, an extended family member. Get to a place where people want to be with you, try to move into a nurturing environment.
3. Accept your parents or family member’s limitations. Know that you don’t have to repeat their behavior. You are not them.
4. Allow yourself to get angry. Use it productively. Exercise. Do sports. Use art and creative expression. Write in a journal. Don’t withhold your emotions.
5. Seek guidance for yourself. Talk to someone, a counselor, a life coach, your yoga teacher—anyone who will listen, someone you feel comfortable with. Ask for help with change and with taking risks.
6. Limit your time. Do whatever it takes to limit the amount of time you have to spend with the toxic family/family member. Limit visits, holidays, do what you can to prevent as much conflict as possible.
7.  Set healthy boundaries. Try to not allow yourself to get sucked back in. You can love and wish them the best from a distance.
8.  Learn ways to protect yourself. Practice meditation. Learn to be patient with yourself and others.
9.  Become aware of yourself. Observe your reactions. Become more self-aware in order to break negative patterns as much as you can.
10. Practice doing good things for yourself. Do things that build self-esteem. Do things you enjoy. Invite others that love you along.
11. Create balance in your life. Take care of yourself physically and eat a balanced healthy diet. Be aware and be cautious of things you may do compulsively (eating, shopping, drinking, etc)
12. Take charge of your life and your happiness. Don’t wait for others to give it to you.

Is it wrong to hold grudges (is life too short)?

Letting go can prove to be more helpful (even life saving) than grasping at toxic strings, looking for what ifs or chasing disillusioned beliefs. At the end of the day, we are all certainly in this together, but each of us have an honest obligation to do what is best for ourselves. You can be a lantern of hope, you can lead my example but you can’t force anyone to change.