Monday, April 14, 2014

Scrapbooking Appreciation

I don't know about you guys- but literally no one ever looks at my scrapbooks.  I spend hours of time on these layouts and pretty much the only person that ever sees them or cares about them is YOU!  And of course I like them too haha.  So why do I keep making them?

I have a vision in my head that one day when Charlie is an adult he will be bored enough to look through all of his scrapbooks and not only enjoy seeing pictures of himself as a child but also enjoy the artistry of the layouts and the personal stories/journaling I wrote.  Considering Charlie is a boy with very boy-type interests that do NOT include scrapbooking this vision will probably never happen.  And that's okay.  I still like to scrapbook and I still have you guys to share my work with and vice versa.

However a few days ago there was a moment.  A perfect moment when I said "this is why! This moment right here is why I bother with scrapbooking!".

To start, I was photographing this layout for the Noel Mignon blog last week.  Robb is really busy at the moment doing a Lymphoma and Leukemia fundraiser, weddings, engagement sessions, etc so I can't get him to take pictures for me anymore.  This is why the quality of my photos has dropped a bit :/ Anyways, I used the Social Butterfly kit from Noel Mignon for this fun Birthday layout!

Eventually Charlie stopped playing with his cars for long enough to realize that I had the audacity to do something without including him.

But then- he noticed the layout!  He recognized the photo from his 2nd birthday (almost 2 years ago now!) and started talking about birthdays, balloons, presents, and pointing out all the different elements of the layout.  He remembered his birthday party and had fun touching the embellishments on the layout; at least until I screamed "don't touch don't touch don't touch!!!!" before he ruined it.

That was it!  But it made me happy :)

And then Charlie started doing this

(SN: I moved the chair because it was blocking the light and there was crap under it, which is what you see on the floor in the photo.  What's that? Your floors are spotless, even under the furniture? Well you, my friend, can shove it)

and that made me laugh and the layout was brought upstairs.  Filed away in a book, never to be seen again-- but maybe one day Charlie will ask to see it ;)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What's Been Going On!

Hi everyone! I've been totally MIA lately because I've had quite a lot going on, but I do have some posts lined up so hopefully I can get back in the swing of blogging now that life has calmed down a wee bit :) 

Here's a quick summary of life lately

A big sweaty smile after being able to play at the McDonalds playground for the first time in over a month!

1. Charlie is off of his IVs!  This has been a HUGE relief-- he wound up being on them for 22 days because his cough didn't go away until the very end of week 2.  I'm glad to have our first hospitalization over with, it will seem a little less scary moving forward.  The home IVs also aren't too difficult to do but actually doing them around the clock got to be very burdensome for us, especially my husband who did most of the late night ones.  Charlie is doing well right now and thrilled to be able to go to preschool and playscapes and basically get out of the house!  He recently started coughing again but they're dry coughs, most likely from his asthma triggered by activity.  I hope :/

2. I quit a CF mom facebook group, which felt pretty damn good.  I got frustrated because someone asked about vaccinating their CF child and while many mom's said to definitely do it there were a LOT of parents saying they would never vaccinate their CF child.  I honestly was shocked that it wasn't a widely accepted school of thought.  Most CF moms are knowledgeable and understand the vital importance of medical advancements quite well (seeing as it's the only reason our children make it past Middle School) yet here were a bunch of moms whose "good intentions" could cause huge health problems for their children (ya know that expression "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"?).  They weren't in the majority but even one CF mom with this mindset is too many in my opinion.

Since this is my blog I can say what I really think, which is that these people are idiots.  Their "holistic" approach to vaccines is seriously endangering the lives of their children.  I responded to some of those posts in what I thought was a reasonable way (I didn't call them idiots at least lol) and got in trouble with the admins for offending people so I said "F THIS S" and just left the group.  This anti- vaccine ridiculousness really gets my blood boiling.  I have a post about this coming up, but quite honestly I don't care if my frustration pissed off the admins and offended people. I think allowing some no-knowledge hack to run around on a website full of parents of chronically sick children espousing the mythical dangers of vaccines is fear mongering.  I'm not quite sure why it's allowed in the first place.  I wouldn't be able to go on that same group and spout off some dangerous lies about the benefits of contracting pseudomonas-- why can someone lie about the safety of vaccines? Vaccines aren't a personal opinion, their safety is a fact. I can't even imagine what would happen if some CF patient got whooping cough or measles or mumps, it would be so dangerous.  Why why why would you not vaccinate a child with an already overburdened immune system?  UGH!  I did read this article, 'Parents You Are Being Lied To', recently however and thought it was just wonderful- please read it yourself and share share share.

3. I started my new position as an Analyst in the Immunochemistry Department at my company (a transfer from Microbiology) and I'm very happy to no longer have to work with bacteria! Yay!

4. You might know that I have a degree in biology (Bachelors in Biology, minor in chemistry to be specific) based on the fact that I've worked as an analyst/scientist/researcher etc but you might not have known that I also went to graduate school at Brown for my Masters in Biology a few years back.  Unfortunately I was laid off from my job at Pfizer when I was only 3 classes away from graduating so I never fully completed the program.  I looked into finishing it myself but that program is only offered for Pfizer employees and if I went to finish my Masters in Biology in a different school only 2 of the classes I took would transfer.  So I'd have to basically start over from scratch.  So I said "F THIS S" again and decided to forgoe the Masters in Biology for the moment.  The plan was always to get my MBA eventually so I've just skipped ahead to that part :) I'm currently taking an online class towards my Masters in Business Administration! I'm only a few weeks away from finishing my first class and I have a 98 average- wahoo!

5. My book is still up for sale and I've gotten some really great feedback!  Thanks so much to everyone that purchased it :D If you haven't heard about it you can learn more and purchase a copy by going HERE.  It's titled "Make Ahead Meals: Freezer Meal Recipes that Make Dinner Quick and Easy" and it's all about healthy and clean freezer meal recipes! You can purchase the book from Amazon or from me personally as an e-Book :) 

6. I've been busy working out/eating well and I've lost 13lbs so far.  Of course that still puts me 7lbs away from my starting weight from a year ago.  Ugh. But at least the scale is moving in the right direction and I've started to be consistent with my eating and working out schedule.  Took a while to get accustomed to waking up at 530 again!  I'll post about this in a bit more detail in the weeks to come :)

7.  I'm still loving my scrapbooking and working with the newest Noel Mignon kit, Social Butterfly (more to come on this too!).  There are still two left (how?) so make sure to get yours!  On nights when I'm not completely exhausted I've been scrapbooking and watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix-- it's definitely my go-to relaxation activity.  I love the bright colors in this kit but the sneaks of the new one looks so pretty and soft too (check out the NM FB page for sneaks)! 

We're doing a blog hop  Bunny Hop next week for Easter and an Easter Egg "Hunt"; if you play along you could win the May kit (worth $64.99)!  That's a huge prize so do join us!

8. Speaking of Easter- I managed to get Charlie a really adorable Easter outfit-- I cannot WAIT to dress him up for our annual egg hunt in Grandma's garden!  I will of course completely overshare pictures :)

Alrighty- I think you're mostly caught up now haha!  I'll be back this week for more posts!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Asbestos Awareness Week

Hi friends! I recieved an email from a woman named Heather Von St James a few weeks back asking if I'd be interested in spreading the word about mesothelioma for Asbestos Awareness Week.  Of course I said yes, so here I am!

Heather's told me her story and it was heartbreaking.  As a little girl she loved to wear her Dad’s construction jacket when she went out into the cold South Dakota winters. She later realized that his jacket was covered in white dust, also known as asbestos. Eight years ago, at the age of only 36, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare and deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. She had just given birth to her daughter Lily, and was only given 15 months to live. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, she made it her life’s mission to educate people about this deadly disease and it’s cause.  Wow, what a story! 

Here are some facts about Mesothelioma:
  • Asbestos is still not banned in the US. Roughly 30 million pounds are still used each year.
  • Asbestos fibers are invisible to the naked eye.
  • Asbestos can still be found in many homes, schools, and commercial or industrial buildings.
  • Navy Veterans are at the greatest risk to develop mesothelioma as asbestos was widely used in Naval ships and shipyards.
  • No amount of exposure to asbestos is safe.
If you'd like to learn more about Heather or Mesothelioma or help spread the word please visit these links :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Make Ahead Meals for Little Eaters- Guest Post

Good morning everyone! Today I have a guest post from the awesome Thriving Home Blog.  Not only is this one of my favorite blogs for great healthy recipes, DIY, and parenting tips but the ladies that run it (Rachel and Polly) are the sweetest!  Today they've been kind enough to share some tips for Make Ahead Meals for Little Eaters- and these ideas are awesome!! I wish I had done this when Charlie was younger, it would have made life SO much easier.  Please enjoy the post Make Ahead Meals for Little Eaters and make sure to check out the wonderful original post on the Thriving Home blog!

ETA: Due to some unforeseen formatting errors please find the blog post below:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New Layouts to Share

Well in the last month I've only made 2 scrapbook layouts-- I wish it had been more but 2 is better than none I suppose :) I'm planning on making some more this afternoon with the awesome new kit, Social Butterfly, from Noel Mignon.  It's badass.  There's still some left, you can pick it up HERE.  You know you wanna.  The kit is HUGE, it's got so much fun stuff in it- you'll love it!

********SN: This FB Group I belong to for CF Mom's started this whole vaccine debate yesterday that pissed me off royally.  In response I wrote a pretty sweet blog post entitled "Why Do I Have To Be Nice to Assholes?" about vaccinations.  I think it's a good post, however it's kind of mean so I've been wavering on whether or not I should post it.  Any opinions, dear blog readers?********

OK anyways- on to the fun stuff!  Here are my 2 layouts from the last month.  Both are made using the Noel Mignon kit Study Hall (sold out! Sorry!)

This first layout is a St Patty's Day layout, all about getting' yer green on ;)

This next layout is the first one I've made using Charlie's preschool pictures.  Aren't they darling? I loved that I could match the colors in his shirt perfectly using this kit :)

In other news, Charlie is doing well-- but really misses preschool! He's been gone almost a full month :( He has his CF Clinic follow up appointment tomorrow and we're hoping they won't put us on another week of IVs.  Two weeks is plenty for us, thank you very much.  His cough is pretty much gone so we think there's a good chance!  Fingers crossed!