Saturday, June 25, 2011

Matthew's Big Birthday Campout 2011

For our friend Matt's birthday this year he had the fantastic idea to host a camp-out in our friend Cindy and Boyd's enormous backyard. 
Best idea EVER.

The night was full of drinking, yummy food, great company and the soothing sound of Matt's obnoxious generator to put us all to sleep.  The next morning was greeted by mimosas (made with Moet) and yummy banana bread before Adam and I rushed home to our Peanut. We missed her soo much! It was our first night away!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Anti-Tobacco Regulations

It’s well known to all of my friends or family that I am very anti-smoking, but I’m at odds with the new anti-tobacco tactics that are to be put into effect September of 2012.

In the most aggressive anti-tobacco effort since the surgeon general's warning became mandatory on cigarette packaging in 1965, the FDA said Tuesday it will begin requiring tobacco marketers to cover the top half of cigarette boxes and 20% of tobacco advertisements with nine bluntly graphic anti-smoking images.

Does the new requirement that all tobacco products display graphic and admittedly disturbing photos on their products go too far? We are a capitalist society; doesn’t big tobacco have a right to market and sell their product, however unhealthy?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a staunch supporter or banning smoking in public places, especially places near children, but I still think that the consumption of tobacco products is a personal choice, and that as long as it’s done away from me, my baby, and other non-smokers, it’s none of my business.

Imagine if the government mandated that Ben & Jerry’s started putting pictures of fat stomachs or butts on the packaging for ice cream? Or that Coca Cola products must now include a warning label that consumption may lead to obesity, and that the warning must cover 20% of the can? We are already bombarded with calorie counts on menus in restaurants and fast food joints- do we really need more reminders of the unhealthy choices we make? Don’t we all know by now that tobacco is bad for us, and that ice cream makes us fat? (Lord knows those calorie counts that ruined eating at the cheesecake factory for me forever…)
It’s a very slippery slope when the government regulations are allowed to run rampant in a free market society. I’m not sure this is the best route to reduce smoking; I much prefer banning smoking in public places, especially bars and restaurants, and hope that the trend reaches all 50 states. I couldn’t go out at ALL in Louisiana because the bars were so smoky.

The new labels are gnarly. I agree with their message, but I don’t think it’s constitutional for the government to mandate that they be placed on tobacco products.

Monday, June 20, 2011


This past weekend was packed full of birthday celebrations! 
Here is a quick photo recap! 
(click photos to make them larger!)

Friday night Adam, Nixon and I went to Melanie's house for a bonfire to celebrate her quarter-life-crisis:

Nixon and her Auntie Angie bonded

And Adam built the fire

Saturday we drove out to Joshua Tree for Ashley #2's daughter Kelsey's 2nd birthday.

Then we had to rush out to make it to Yard House @ the Tyler Galleria in Riverside for Azra's 27th Birthday.

All in all it was a great weekend. We are so lucky to have such great friends and we love spending time with them, especially for special occasions, even if it means some time in the car!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chocolate Milk Ban

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District (2nd largest district in the United States) decided that the schools it presides over (approximately 680,000 students in total) would not be allowed to serve chocolate or strawberry milk in the cafeterias as of July 1st.

In an attempt to lower obesity rates in children, the LAUSD decided to take out sugar/flavored milk and put in soy milk along with low-fat and no-fat milks.

I have mixed emotions about this; the libertarian side of my brain is disgusted that choices are being removed from young people, and the over-involved mother/ republican side counters that if you’re dead set on giving your kid chocolate milk just pack it in their lunch. Better yet, don’t rely on the school to feed your kid at all- making lunch for your child not only shows your little bundle of joy that you love them, but also provides a means to ensure they are properly fed a nutritious ad enjoyable meal.

Apparently some parents are concerned that children may stop drinking milk altogether because the only milk they liked was flavored.  Institutions such as the American Heart Association, the National Medical Association and the School Nutrition Association have argued that flavored milk has more pros than cons, and adding a little sugar to encourage consumption is justified.

Those who support the ban point out that chocolate and strawberry milk have ingredients such as colorings, flavorings, artificial sweeteners and high rates of sugar which don’t tend to be healthy. Their next targets are soda, chips and other unhealthy products as they continue to create healthier menus for schools.

Chocolate milk ban supporters also say that the presence of sugar makes the consumers develop a “drive” for sweetness, which tend to develop into bad diets.  I personally love chocolate milk. If it weren’t so loaded with fat and sugar I’d drink it all the time. That doesn’t mean Nixon is going to be pounding it when she’s older. Sweets are meant to be an occasional treat- not a daily accompaniment with meals.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

8 months Old!

Condoms or Diapers

Does the economy affect the way we think about growing our family? It should and, surprisingly, in a nation that is notorious for spending more than it makes, It does. 

I read an article today that suggests that Americans are not only tightening our belts, but we’re keeping our zippers up too. As our economy reels and struggles to revamp, that the average American family is spending more money on condoms and less on diapers.

It’s refreshing to see that other families like ours recognize that it is not prudent to expand their families when their income isn’t growing and may even be lower than usual.

Adam and I originally planned on having at least two but most likely three kids. Now, especially after all of the unexpected complications with Nix, we’re content with our family of three and don’t plan to have any more babies. I intend to stay home to raise Nixon, and without the extra income we’d take in from me working, it just wouldn’t be fair to Nixon or another baby to tack on the extra expenses a new baby entails.

In a few years, if we’re in a better place financially, Adam and I have discussed fostering or adopting another child, most likely an older brother for Nix that otherwise probably wouldn’t be able to find a family. We’ve been blessed, and Adam has had plenty of work coming in, but for now we’ll “follow the trend” of responsible families who are waiting out the recession before having more children.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Too Cute Not to Post

I know I've already posted today, but this was too cute not to share! 

OC Beer and BBQ Festival

The OC Beer and BBQ Festival? Yes Please.

The name alone should immediately inform our friends that we would be attending.

Adam heard about this on the radio (Go Country) and when he told me I was ready to go try some bbq!

Aside from being outrageously expensive, it was a great time.
We didn't get there until almost 4, so by then a lot of places had already sold out,
but We definitely had some great BBQ!
4 Que was our favorite. 

Here's the $$$ breakdown:

Parking: $5
Admission: $20 ($10 Per Person)
BBQ Tickets: $20 ($2.00 Each)
Beers: $30 ($10 Each)
6 BBQ Tickets I found on the ground: FREE
Grand total: $75

As much as I love bbq... I think we'll pass next year.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Without You (For My Husband)

I caught the end of the Ellen show today, and Keith Urban was preforming. Adam and I were fortunate enough to see him live at the House of Blues in LA a couple years ago, and he is a phenomenal guitar player!!! The lyrics in the song he sang today really touched me, and I decided to write out my reaction to them. This is for my Husband, who may not actually ready this at all LOL. 
*blue = song lyrics
*black = my thoughts

"Without You"
  By Keith Urban

I loved you since the very first day
When I caught you looking my way
I smiled and just knew it
And up until you came along
No one ever heard my song
Now it’s climbing with a bullet

The second time Adam and I hung out he told me I’d have his babies. Love at first sight!(Such a smart Hubby!)

It’s nice to have someone
so honestly devoted
But when it’s said and done,
girl I hope you know that

I don’t think I could ever have found a more loving or devoted husband.

The traveling, the singing, it don't mean nothing without you
The fast cars, the guitars, they are all just second to
this life this love that you and I've been dreaming of for so long
Would all be as good as gone without you

My husband is my happiness.
Without him I don’t know where I’d be.

Oh Without you yea yea

Along comes a baby girl
And suddenly my little world
Just got a whole lot bigger, yes it did

Our little girl changed the dynamic of our relationship in so many ways, but for the better. Every time I watch them interact it makes me love them both more! I couldn’t have been blessed with a more perfect family!

And people that I barely knew
They love me cause I’m part of you
Man it’s tough to figure
How two souls could be miles from one another
But still you and me somehow found each other

It still baffles me how our relationship started and where we are now.
All because I asked Adam to dance.
Now I don’t want to dance with anyone else.  
The traveling, the singing, it don't mean nothing without you
The fast cars, the guitars, they are all just second to this life
this love that you and I've been dreaming of for so long
Would all be as good as gone without you

Without you oh

Without you I’d survive
But I’d have to have the notion
That I could live this life
Just going through the motions

Without my hubby I would definitely just be going through the motions.
And they’d be lonely and depressing motions!

Thirsty Thursday

Nixon was a bottomless pit today. She had at least 30oz of milk, half a jar of peas, a full jar of pears, AND 3 or 4 tablespoons of cereal!

Her Grammy is trying to teach her to hold her bottle more often- She holds it, but she gets distracted after a few seconds. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spared Adjectives

In his book “Zen in the Art of Writing,” Ray Bradbury writes, "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."

The extent that this applies to me is uncanny. I always find solace in front of the keyboard, and nothing quells my frustrations better than watching my thoughts appear almost tangibly in front of me. Writing helps me organize the chaotic array of emotions that I find myself confronted with. By forcing me to put words to my emotions, writing helps me better understand exactly how I feel and why I feel that way.

Further, writing helps me express myself in a robust and meaningful way. Without fear of interruption, or the need to consider someone's feelings or rebuttals, my fingers are a vehicle for my mind and my heart, and it’s rare an occasion that I don’t feel more at ease after I allow my mind to take my fingers for a long drive.

And why should I care who agrees or disagrees with what I write? Am I not free to express myself? Are my thoughts not worth something? I attest that my thoughts are indeed valuable, and they will not be silenced to appease those that may feel rebuked by them; sometimes the truth hurts.

Anaïs Nin, a celebrated writer who filled journals long before blogging was even possible, wrote, “the role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” I couldn’t agree with her more, and consequently, I will continue to write about my life as I see fit. I will not filter my words to accommodate or spare anyone’s feelings, and I certainly will not remove any of the blogs that I have already posted.

To those who would like me to stop blogging I say this: Perhaps, if you wish to be spared my adjectives, you will reconsider the unnecessarily cruel fashion in which you treat me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ladies Brunch In Dana Point

This morning our close friends Melanie and Angelina called to invite me to meet them for brunch. 
Nixon was so peaceful that I just couldn't wake her up!
So I just packed her up in her pjs and we headed south!
Brunch was great; 
Yummy food, cold drinks, and great company!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Nixon's 1st Birthday & the CHOC Walk in the Park 10/16/2011

To celebrate Nixon's 1st birthday Adam and I decided we would like to give back to CHOC for all they did for us and our precious peanut. So, instead of a party (and presents) we're asking all of our friends and family to join Nixon's team and walk with us in the CHOC Walk in the Park. The walk is ON Nixon's actual birthday, and is for a great cause!

As of now the team name is Dumbo's Favorite Peanut (click the link to join or donate), but there is a poll going to see which name (out of two) everyone likes more, so PLEASE VOTE- the poll is on the right side of my blog. I'll finalize the team name at the end of august, so I can have the T-Shirts made.

The walk is VERY early in the morning, so we plan to host a little party with snacks and drinks after the walk. The location of the after-walk-party is unknown now, but I'll update everyone, and I'll be sending out invitations closer to the event!

Thanks so much for being a part of Nixon's Team!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Can I Forgive My Sister in Law???

After a few weeks of the “Life Apps” series at God’s House (our church), I’ve been struggling with a strong conviction that I should be a more forgiving person.  I have overcome a number of obstacles in my life, and I have, more often than not, forgiven people that I feel wronged me, once they’ve acknowledged their offense. Yet some wrongs, wrongs with lingering consequences, I find impossible to forgive. To me it is easier to rid my life of the people who commit such wrongs, rather than allow them to pollute my life further.The feud with my sister in law is the first example to come to mind.

Is my inability to forgive wrong? I never thought so until last week, when Pastor Eric differentiated between forgiveness and trust. He helped me to realize that just because I forgive someone doesn’t mean I have to trust them or allow them back into my life; I can forgive and still protect myself from further injury.

What a concept.

Pastor Eric’s message about forgiveness really touched me. It made me think about my problem forgiving in a completely different way. He helped me realize that how she harmed me shaped me. I am different now because of her actions and words. More importantly, I feel that my daughter is different now because of her actions and words, which is much worse and harder to let go of.

But Pastor Eric also asked how my response to the harm shaped me. Let me tell you, that question stung a little. He asked if grudges are guilty pleasure; do I fantasize about telling her off? He speculated that some of us reenact that moment where we get to confront the person who wronged us because we’ve been hurt, and we want to hurt them back. How true this was for me. For a while that very thought consumed me.

Next, he posed a different series of questions: Does holding a grudge work? Does it change the person? Does it change the situation? No, he answered for us; the harm remains unresolved. It manifests: it elevates blood pressure, pumps up adrenaline, and harbors resentment.

When Pastor Eric talked about blood pressure my jaw dropped and I felt like he was talking to me directly.  Maybe I am carrying an overpowering burden for nothing.

Forgiveness does not mean the harm doesn’t matter. Or that it’s okay to let someone harm you again. Forgiveness is not reconciliation or trust. It is choosing to remove an incident from our relationship.  Reconciliation is collaboration between two people. We don’t have to see eye to eye for me to forgive, and a reunion isn’t automatic.

And I certainly don’t have to trust her if I forgive her. Trust is earned, and in the same situation I believe she would do the same thing again, and I think that she meant it when she said that both she and her husband hate me, and that when I’m not around the family talks about me negatively. Her words still hurt, and I’m not naïve enough to think that my forgiveness will change any of that.

Jesus doesn’t say we have an obligation to trust, but we do have an obligation to forgive, because God forgives us. As Pastor Eric reminded us, forgiveness cannot just come to you; it has to go through you.  I don’t want to be a biter, angry, frustrated person. With God’s help, and some patience from my husband, I know I’ll be able to forgive.

I've included a link to the message Pastor Eric gave, in case any of my readers are interested:
God's House May 15, 2011: Forgiveness

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers