Saturday, August 30, 2014

Up, up and awaaaaaaaaay!!!

Saturday me and boys attended the 4th annual Arklatex Comic Convention. We're not fans of comic books or anything like that but we are fans of dressing up in costumes. Traditionally people attending cons dress up as their favorite comic book superhero or villain or favorite video game or sci-fi movie character but we don't keep up with that kind of stuff so we went a different route with our costumes.
For $26 total I dressed us all up as characters from the Disney/Pixar movie "Up". If you haven't seen Up here's a brief summary:
Carl Fredricksen is a retired 78-year-old balloon salesman. When Carl was a child, he met and eventually married a girl named Ellie who grew up in a small Midwestern town. Ellie always dreamed of visiting South America, but she died before she got a chance. Now, when developers threaten to move him into an assisted living home, Carl decides to fulfill his promise to Ellie. To accomplish this, he uses 10,000 balloons to make the house fly—but unwittingly takes a chubby eight-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell with him. The two opposites match up for thrilling adventures as they encounter wild terrain, unexpected foes, and all the terrifying creatures that wait in the Venezuelan jungle.
Here's a breakdown of our loooooow budget homemade costumes:
Husband as Carl Frederickson
All clothing and white hairspray - already owned
Glasses and balloons from Just A Dollar Store 
Total cost of costume= $7 
River as Russell the Wilderness Explorer
Hat, felt for DIY sash, tee shirt and scarf - Michael's Arts & Crafts
Shorts and other - already owned
Total cost of costume = $10
Me as Kevin the bird
Dress, tights, boots - already owned
Feathers - Micheal's Arts & Crafts
Total cost of costume - $9
This costume is now one of my favorites. I love the colors, the makeup was fun to do and the outfit was actually pretty comfortable.

At the con I handed out flyers for the faire -  but since we got there kind of late, the crowd had thinned out quite a bit. I set a personal marketing goal for myself to hand out 150 flyers but a few people from my crew were already there and had already beat me to the punch. So I set small stacks of flyers all over the place; in the bathroom, by the water fountains and on any surface that had people near it. I cheated!
 In the photo below: the guy to my left is the master of ceremonies of the faire - he's my right hand man and our unofficial mascot. To my right is our newest addition Belinda who is now in charge of the children's activities at the faire since I simply just don't have the time with the new babe coming.
"Lady Loki" in the upper left corner is also a part of my crew and the lady below her is her aunt and she's a huge supporter of the faire.
Overall the con was ok. Well,  it's really hard to judge since we're not comic nerds but it was a great excuse to get out, promote the faire and dress up.
Have you ever been to a comic convention?
Do you like to dress up in costumes?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

and now...

I am SO ready for autumn! I'm so excited about it my nerves are vibrating with anticipation. I'm ready for the weather, the layers, the smells, AH everything! But alas, autumn will not be here in Texas at least until November. It's been a rather "mild summer" here, averaging in the upper 90s but... ugh... that's plenty hot for me.
(Only 2 weeks left)
Saturday me and the husband went to have dinner with a nice couple from church at their home. Since it was hot AND I haven't shaved my legs in heaven knows how long, I had to reach for my trusty old maxi. Something nice and long to cover my gorilla legs.
 This dress was originally bought from Walmart for a wedding reception in NY and later worn for River's baptism. I liked it well enough when I bought it, but because of my watermelon belly I've been stuck wearing it a couple times a week as opposed to a couple times a month - so now I'm just plumb sick of it. Buuuuuut it's comfy and fits my huge boobies nicely so I can't complain too much about it.
  Dress: Walmart
Necklace: gift from belly dancer (ex)friend
Handbag: Merchant  from my renaissance faire last year
Bangles: ebay .99 each
So it turns out the wife from the couple we had dinner with Saturday is a bit of an eccentric and thrift shops for unique ethnic pieces like me. I honestly thought I was the only person that did that in this town and I RARELY have luck. I think I need to look a little closer and get out more often. Here are just a couple of items from her collection of goodies she's thrifted in the area. The shoes remind me a bit of trailer hitches but they're so unique!!! And a brass evening bag?? Um, YES!
 And then...

 The 4th annual Arklatex Comic Convention is this Saturday. I'm not a comic fan AT ALL but I loooove dressing up in costumes and comic nerds are often fans of renaissance faires so I like to use the opportunity to promote the faire. We didn't rent a table this year for the convention like we usually do. I don't think I'll be up to tending a table for eight hours in my current condition. Instead we're just going to take our time,  go to have fun, schmooze with the vendors and hand out faire flyers.
And here's my costume for the Con in the making. I'm not going to tell you what it is just yet. That's a surprise - but I will give you a hint. Feel free to guess if you want: It's a big bird from a Disney movie. If you keep up with Disney movies, then you've probably already guessed it. The costume is made from what used to be my all time favorite dress but after it's sixth washing (always air drying) it was time to retire the poor thing. The elastic fibers in the stretch lace are popping out all over, it's covered in fuzz balls that are entangled in the material and I've snagged the devil out of it a few times. But now it's getting new life as the most ridiculous costume I have ever made and boy, I can't wait to wear it!
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So what are your plans for this weekend???

Saturday, August 23, 2014

ok, here goes:

Thursday I went the the hospital to meet the doctor that will be doing my c-section in less than three weeks.
Me and River waited to be seen for an hour and a half. The appointment was set for 1:30pm. At 2:30pm I went to the front desk to ask if maybe I had my appointment time wrong (I've been known to do that).
Nope, they said. That's just how it is. Psshshh!! You know, you can only keep a one year old quiet and still for so long. He was at his breaking point and so was I.
 I finally saw the doc at 3:00pm and all she did was check the baby's heartbeat. That's it!! It took FIVE MINUTES!! She didn't introduce herself. She didn't even know the date of the surgery. She didn't go over the procedure or give me any info about anything. It was a waste of time and I wasn't a very happy camper. But as usual, I just smiled, thanked her and dashed the heck out of there before River turned into the Incredible Hulk.
So, as you can see I wasn't looking or feeling too glamorous that day. It was hot outside.... SO hot. My feet feet were so swollen they were pouring out over the sides of my sandals and I can't close my legs anymore when I sit. I look like an old bow legged cow and needless to say, I walk like one too.
I took this photo after leaving my appointment. A nice volunteer in a golf cart gave me and River a ride to my car. This is what I looked like after being outside for less than a minute in 98F weather. Yes! I sweat! A LOT!  I know you've all read gripes about my sweaty battle with summer but here's the proof. I hate summer and summer hates me. This is why my blog posts drop off so much during the summer. What am I supposed to blog about? What I didn't wear? How many times I have to change my sweaty underpants in one day? No seriously... you wanna hear about it?
Naaahhh... I'll save that one for later.
So tell me: how well do you handle summertime?

Monday, August 18, 2014

sssssssssizzle!

Sunday me and the boys took my mom out for a belated birthday lunch at a Chinese buffet. Oooh fancy right? Well, she lives in a pretty small town and Chinese is about as fancy as it gets there. Plus it's cheap, delicious and just what I had been craving so yay? Yay. 
 I completely forgot to get a good pic of my mom. She's 58 now and I think she looks pretty darn good. I think she's got some kind of anti-aging disease. I hope I catch it.
Tasty noobler time!
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Today for church I wore a Walmart dress I bought for Easter this year. Honestly, I hate it. I hate the color, I hate the cut,  I hate the stripes but it was the only thing I could find that would fit my growing belly at the last minute then. Now I'm 36 weeks pregnant and my clothing options are very slim so I gotta do what I gotta do. Would you believe me if I told you I started this blog as a maternity fashion blog? Ppshhh. I quickly learned that I've got neither the patience or the money for that.
I bet you didn't catch any of what I just said because you were too busy gawking at my necklace.
KRISTA MADE IT! KRISTA MADE IT! KRISTA MADE IT!!!
Yes, THE Krista from one of the best blogs EVAR, Peetee's Palace. She sent it to me a couple weeks ago and I am in LOVE with it! Lemme tell you, the tassels are super soft like a kitten's tummy. Every time I pick it up I brush the tassels on my lips and face. Is that weird? Yeah, I probably should have kept that part to myself. 
The handbag came from Salvation Army, the sunglasses from Romancing the Stone (Earthbound Trading Co.) clearance and the hair clip is from Etsy. I actually ordered it for my wedding a few years ago. We were going for a tropical punk rock theme but the cost of fresh tropical flowers was waaaaaaay beyond what we could afford so we had to change things up a bit.
I'm in my mom's backyard for these pics by the way. It used to be lush with fruit trees and muscadine but since my mom is extreeeeemely allergic to all fruits, there was no reason the tend the trees when she and my step-dad moved in so most of them died.
    Well, one tree is growing pears, but they're pretty much just ornamental fruit. Hard as rocks and super bitter.
While taking pics outside, River made a new buddy. 
The poor darlings were both pretty frustrated about being separated by that darn fence. Can't you tell?
Well that's it for now party people.
I'm linked up for the third time ever for Share-in-Style! WEEEE!! See ya there??


Friday, August 15, 2014

I've got a story too

So by now I'm sure you're all aware of the tragic suicide death of beloved American actor Robin Williams. Since his passing Monday, many people have become inspired to publicly open up about their own struggles with depression using social media sites as a powerful megaphone to reach out to all of their friends and family.
Well, I'm going to do that too. But before you freak out, please note that through the power of modern medicine, I am now mostly depression free. I'm merely sharing how things used to be for me. 
So briefly, here's my story. I'll try not to be too heavy - no one likes a party pooper.
When I was 14 years old,  I was a fairly "normal" teenage girl, but the symptoms of depression were definitely beginning to show. I began to feel sudden bouts of intense anger and frustration with everything. My mom began to notice but because this all came about when I got my first period, she brushed it off and said it was just hormones. My mother later discovered I had been cutting myself on my upper thigh with a pocket knife. Instead of talking to me to figure out this odd behavior, she beat me and told me that if I wanted to feel pain I should let her know and she'll take care of it for me.
I didn't stop cutting myself. I just got better at hiding it.
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When I was 18 I stayed in a constant state of extreme irritability. I carried in my body a physical tension that just wouldn't let go. The only time I felt relief from this awful tension was when I sneaked off somewhere to cut myself. I felt hopeless, guilty, ugly and just plain worthless. Soon I began to contemplate suicide. I wanted to be free from all of the negative feelings most desperately and with no one to turn to and a mother who still insisted it was merely PMS, death definitely seemed like a good way out. 
19 years old - I snapped.
My goody-two-shoes friend caught me smoking cigarettes whilst reading an erotic novel one afternoon. As this is very unacceptable behavior for a young Christian woman, she scolded me and made me feel like the worst person in the wold. Guilt stricken, I completely disintegrated. I went to the bathroom and took four sleeping pills. Of course I wasn't trying to kill myself with just four pills - I just wanted to relax and go to sleep - hit the restart button and talk it out with her in a few hours. But as I sat on the couch to wait for the sleepy feeling, I got up, went to the kitchen and slit my left wrist twice with a steak knife. That wasn't my plan though - it was almost as if I was under a spell. I knew I was doing it, but I couldn't do anything to stop myself. Oddly enough, I was very satisfied with what I had done. It felt great. I felt peaceful and giddy and contemplated working at it some more. Let's be sure to hit that vein this time.
I was out my head.
Instead of going for my other wrist I sat down and calmly called 911.
"I just slit my wrist. Hm? Yeah, I'm ok... but I think I need some help."
A single cop came, put me in handcuffs and put me in the back of his squad car and took me to the hospital.
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After spending just TWO DAYS in a behavioral health center the "doctors" concluded I had:
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Mild Depression
Sleep and Mood Disorder
How they managed to come up with all that after a thirty minute evaluation is beyond me.
I was given waaaaaay too much medication that I didn't need and couldn't afford.
22 years old, I couldn't make it in the "real world" and I had moved back in with my mom the previous year. I couldn't keep a job and I was worse than ever and still cutting myself. I felt I was fat and ugly and stupid and people like me are burdens to the world and don't deserve to live. During that time for several nights before I went to sleep, I would pray that God would take me in my sleep so I wouldn't have to burden the family with the drama of suicide. 
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The next year, I went to the State to be evaluated, to see if I was fit for the workforce or if I needed to be on disability. They told me that with a little help, I could most likely go to work. With no charge they sent me to a psychiatrist (who suuuuucked) but he put me on a medication that worked wonderfully. 
Slowly, the fog began to roll away. It was like finally waking up from a nightmare. The tension and negative thoughts began to disappear. I stopped cutting myself, I stopped dreaming of death and I began to feel more "normal". Now I'm 29 years old and I still take my pill. (Yes, even during pregnancy - the benefits FAR outweigh the risks).
Taking the medication is a very necessary part of my life. I don't feel that I can live without it and I don't want to experiment to see what it would be like without my meds.
I love not being suicidal and if I have to take a pill everyday for the rest of my life to stay that way, then so be it.
So that's my story and now that you've read this, please note that I don't want sympathy; I DO however, want a little bit of understanding, not just for myself, but for everyone who is suffering or has suffered from depression- so before I go I'd like to leave you a little bit of important info about depression and self harm based on my personal experience.
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#1. Depression isn't always the result of something bad that happened to you in the past or even the result of what's happening to you now.
I wasn't molested or abused in any way, shape or form growing up. My childhood was pretty decent and I'm not suppressing any kind of deep dark secret about something bad that I've experienced in the past. I just have a simple chemical imbalance in my brain that makes me FEEL just as horrible as the victims of such tragedies.

#2. You can't just will yourself out of it
If it was that easy, I would have "cured" myself a loooooooong time ago.

#3. Self harm isn't a cry for attention
When I was depressed I felt a constant aggravating buzzing sensation all throughout my body. When I was angered or saddened the sensation intensified and I became as tense as a brick. Cutting myself released something within me that relaxed me and made me feel more stable - it was like getting high and like all highs, it wears off.... so you have to go back and do it again and again and again. After several years of cutting myself, I became messy and no longer made much effort to cover my scars. It wasn't because I wanted everyone to see my struggle and dive in to save me - it was because cutting myself was just a  normal part of life and my scars were just a normal part of my body like a mole or a freckle.

#4. Overcoming depression doesn't make you a psychiatric guru
Whatever method you used to overcome your depression: medication, meditation, therapy, etc - doesn't mean you've found THE solution for all mankind. YOU found a solution for YOURSELF. Having said that, I dare not bring myself to advise anyone on how to conquer depression because what worked for me might not work for you and I don't want to be responsible for letting anyone down. All I can do is share my story to ensure you that I understand. I've been there before and there IS hope.

To help you better understand depression please check out this great article "7 Myths of Depression"


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