Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Nowvel Giveaway

How many photos do you have on your phone?

If you're anything like me... your answer is probably, "One billion."

Recently I had the pleasure of working with some great people behind the free app: "Nowvel."

They were all, "Mama....do you have one billion photos on your phone? Would you like us to get them off of there and put them into an adorable little book that you will want to strap to your forehead and show the world?"

And I was all: "I do! I do! I would! I would love to strap a book to my head!"

Okay, maybe that's not exactly how it went... but you get the idea.

Nowvel allows you to take pictures right off your phone, and create an automatic photo book on 20 pages of stiff, lay flat, eco-friendly paper stock.

The books are small-ish, at 8 inches; so they are just big enough to show off your photos, but still small enough to stash in your purse to show your girlfriends at the bar.

You know you hate looking at pictures on other people's phones. I do too, obviously.

Now, let me be real for a second here, and if you've been reading for a long time, you already know this: I hate technology.

Technology is Husband's department... he pays for the phone, and I keep it 10% charged... that's our deal in life.

So when I heard from a company about trying out their new app I was like... "Husband. I need help."

After the kids had gone to bed we snuggled up on the couch, and he showed me how to open my App Store... (you think I'm kidding).

We searched, "Nowvel," and downloaded the app and started to check it out together.

Within thirty seconds I realized that even someone as old school as me could figure this thing out, and I pushed Husband out of the way so I could pick and choose my photos on my own.

The app is super clean and organized looking, fun and easy on the eyes... definitely user friendly (thank goodness).

Nowvel organizes your photos into potential albums based on their dates, or let's you create your own.

For example, say you took 87 photos between April 14 and April 16... Nowvel knows that, puts all those photos together, and names the album, "The Weekend," for you... aren't they helpful??

Of course, you don't have to order that book, or ever even open it... it's just there as one of their billion possible options to get those photos off your phone... and into a book.

Tangible memories people! That's what it's all about!

They also organize your photos into things like, "Our Picks," "Just Faces," "Tagged Photos" and "All Photos".... I love that they give you possible albums to print, things that they think you might like.

I kept my book super clean looking with one photo per page because I like a simpler, more classic look... but if you wanted to, you could add up to 5 photos per page, for the same price!!

A book is 20 pages long... so you can actually pack 100 photos in this itty bitty book!!

I absolutely love the way it turned out.

I actually love it so much that I took a picture of almost every single page for you guys, because I couldn't choose just one or two! I love them all!


So nice, right?

The pages are harder than paperback... kind of like a kid's cardboard book... which you know I love because that means my maniac kids cant rip them to shreds.

The cover is also hard; not like, an encyclopedia... but harder than a paperback.

Those in the know call it a, "soft cover"... but I'd call it durable, meaning your kids wont be able to bend it.... and you know my shit is always getting broken, so you can trust me on that one.

Once I had all of my photos picked out, which took me forever because I hate commitment... I moved on to designing my cover.

They offer a slew of different designs... enough to suck you in for a good while.

You can also add your own font to the front and back covers...

The best part is, besides the great quality of my little book... it is super affordable... only $20... seriously, that's less than a buck a page...

Because shipping is INCLUDED!!! I KNOW.

AND... because Nowvel is awesome, they are offering coupon code: COTP just for Our Tiny Place readers... it'll save you five bananas!

And by bananas, I mean dollars... because who gives a crap about saving actual bananas, right?

So... you want to WIN one for yourself??

You want to unload some of those photos off your phone and into an adorable little book for your forehead don't you... I know you do!

Or maybe you want to make one of these bad boys for your Mom for Mother's day?

If you're furiously nodding yes to everything I am virtually asking you..... then your spouse probably thinks your weird as Hell...

So... now would be a great time to fill out the Rafflecopter below to be entered to win a Nowvel of your own... and if you don't win but still want to make your own cute little book, please use the coupon code above!

It is good for 30 days.... so open up your phone, (you know it has no freaking storage left on it)... and start selecting your photos!!!

Have fun!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 25, 2016

Moving Update



So... You might think that the above picture means that we listed our house, but we didn't... yet.

But we did start going to Open Houses, and these three little maniacs absolutely freaking love it.

They tear through the houses like: "This is my room! This is my office! Cool, can we keep this old fashioned TV??"

At one house they were all: "TAKE OUR PICTURE WITH THE SIGN!"... so... here it is world.

Me on the other hand.... well, Open Houses have proved to make me a hateful, angry woman.

Every house I go into has smaller rooms than ours, smaller kitchen.... weird layouts.

The realtors are like: "Oh! You are probably noticing that the floors are missing!" or... "The basement is this way.. outside... in the backyard... through this bomb shelter door."

Seriously, what the fuck is the rest of the world living in??

Some towns have no grocery store, or like, weird highways running through them... one house even had a neighbor that had a huge trailor in his yard that said: "TANDASCREWING".

Seriously. T and A Screwing. Like that was the name of their business.

Cant make this shit up folks.

So, we're getting an education, to say the least, and have knocked some towns off the list... added others in their place... basically we are just trying to figure out where the fuck we are going to live that will live up to our standards, at our budget.

Anyway it basically comes down to this: We are absolutely going to upgrade our town... and at our price range, we may have to downgrade from our current home..

And who the Hell wants to do that??


Friday, April 22, 2016

Dirty Looks & Door Handles

So we are driving home from Virginia... and we are at the three hour point, and everyone is getting kinda crazy and loud and annoying so we decide to stop in Delaware at a Wa-Wa.

If you're not familiar with the humongous gas stations that are called Wa-Wa... picture like 30 gas pumps and a grocery store attached to it... like huge.

So Husband is pumping gas, and Boyfriend is dumping his Gatorade bottle full of pee, and Girlfriend is putting her shoes on, and there is a man that stopped his car just to marvel at our circus, and the Baby's freaking shoes are lost in the abyss that is a road trip car....

Can you picture this? We were a hot mess.

So I'm sweating, digging through piles of coloring books and discarded clothes, because apparently we must strip on our road trips, and finally I give up and say to Husband, "You bring the Baby, I'll take the Big Kids."

So I grab Boyfriend and Girlfriend by their wrists, because like I said, we are at Wa-Wa and the place is a freaking mad house... so I'm walking all fast and purposeful, like a Mom on a Mission does, ya know... and I'm all:

"You get one snack, and don't sit on the toilet seat, and don't touch the walls, and don't peak under other people's stalls and don't stare at strangers..."

And my Girlfriend, of course, is not paying attention to me...

I let go of her hand to grab the door handle, and she walks over to the window to look at a poster.

And because this is my life, and we know it is ridiculous...

At the EXACT moment that I swing that door open... hard as fucking Hell... my Girlfriend turns around... and I nearly knock her head off.

I hit that kid in the head with the door so freaking hard, it is amazing it didn't knock her ass out.

This happened two weeks ago and I can still see her head swing backwards when I close my eyes... and it still makes me laugh.

I'm a terrible person.

(Side note: I googled "kid getting hit in the face with door" to try to find a video of what it looked like... and this video is pretty much exactly what happened to my Girlfriend... except with the door handle.)

So anyway, I duff my kid in the face with the door handle as hard as I fucking can, and she kinda blinks once or twice and shakes it off, like: "I'm fine, I'm fine."

And she was!

She is super resilient and tough...

And also?? She doesn't believe in wasting time being hurt when she could be picking out gas station snacks...she is my daughter after all.

SO...... we finally get into the bathroom, and because I hit her in the face with the door, I let her go pee first.

You get hurt, you pee first in my book.

Boyfriend, Girlfriend and myself are all piled into the handicapped / family stall and she sits, (on the toilet paper covered seat of course), and starts to pee and looks up at me.

It occurs to me at this moment that I hadn't really looked at her since I slammed her in the face with the door....

And I notice that she has a huge bruise going down the middle of her face.

Like a huge red raised bump, as wide as the door handle...  that goes from between her eyes, to the top of her forehead.

And at this moment... I just fucking cant.

I lose my mind laughing.

Remember, she's totally fine so don't judge me when I say that I was literally laughing in her face.

I'm not trying to be a mean girl, I just can't not laugh at this whole ordeal.

The stressful ride has officially turned me into a basket case and here I am... Laughing and pointing in my kid's face in a bathroom in Delaware.

So there I was, laughing so hard that I'm choking, when my body remembers that it has to pee...

And I'm like "Get up! Get up get up GET UP! I am going to pee in my pants!"

And I'm laughing so damn hard the kids are looking at me like... ".... the fuck?"

So I reach over,  and yank that kid mid-piss off the toilet and plop my ass down and she's like, "Heyyyyy!!! I peed on my legs because of you!!!"

She's staring at me with these big brown accusing eyes like:  "I will cut you lady. I just peed on myself and you are laughing like a damn hyena on the toilet at Wa-Wa. What is SO FUCKING FUNNY!"

Except she didn't say any of that of course... she just stared at me with her door handle egg head like I had lost my damn mind.

She is so damn beautiful and I shouldn't be laughing at her getting hurt but I just, cant, stop.



I just couldn't.... I couldn't even look at her without crying and laughing and thank God I was on that toilet because LORDDDD.

This is my favorite story in life right now because sometimes I'll just be doing the dishes, or making a bed, or folding laundry, yeh, probably folding laundry cause that's all the fuck I ever do.....and my mind will give me a little present, a little wrapped up gift in the shape of my daughter giving me a dirty look with her door handle bump and I just lose my shit all over again.

And I...... I miiight be a terrible person.... but that... was the funniest moment of my life.






Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This is 33.

Today, I turned thirty three.

I opened my eyes and heard Husband ask the kids what they had to say to me... and they were all: "What's for breakfast?"

And I thought to myself... "This is thirty three."

I walked to the bathroom and peered into the mirror...

I turned my face right, and left...

I pushed my wrinkles up, and down...

I pulled them side to side...

I yanked at the skin around my eyes, trying to remember what they looked like before all the crows feet set in.

I sighed, dropped my hands, and stared at my reflection in the mirror... she looked tired; she needed blush.

I spoke out loud to the older, more distinguished woman in the mirror: "I guess you're thirty three."

I got everyone fed, and dressed... on the bus and off to school.

There was no "Happy Birthday," sign on the chalkboard, no banners hanging in the hallway... no balloons taped to the walls....

I couldn't help it... I was sad.

I was sad that everyone else's birthday is a huge grand affair... celebration after celebration .... and mine... wasn't.

As if this birthday didn't feel totally mundane and unimportant enough... as luck would have it, we were completely out of toilet paper.

So I packed the Baby into the car and headed to the store.... buying toilet paper on my birthday....

This is definitely thirty three.

The baby started screaming as soon as we walked into the store...

Apparently, he hates toilet paper... and wanted everyone to know it.

He took a deep breath, wound up, and started howling from his perch in the cart:

"I HATE TOILET PAPER! I HATE IT! NO YIKE TOILET PAPER!"

I shook my head and laughed to myself, as I pulled out my camera and snapped a picture thinking... this is thirty three.

I'm buying toilet paper... with a toddler who doesn't wipe his own ass, but has serious anger issues towards toilet paper...

I'm so old that I think that this would be the perfect time for a photo op...



I look around me and despite all the toilet paper screaming, I realize that no one has even noticed us...

I am sad again.... this might be the least special moment of my whole life...

This must be thirty three.

I decide to buy balloons.

I got home and blew up the whole damn package, all 20 of 'em.

I'm tired as Hell after they are all blown up and I think... Shit... this must be thirty three.

I taped them everywhere and instantly felt better about myself and my endurance.

I stepped back, crossed my arms over my chest and smiled, thinking... "This.... is thirty three."

Those balloons were colorful bright beacons of happiness lighting up my life and filling me with pride... for myself.

Suddenly, I wasn't a wrinkly woman that was sad... I was a woman who knew herself well enough to know that if I wanted some damn balloons, I better just go get them.

A younger, more childish version of myself would have pouted about the balloons... but not this woman.

She is a woman who gets shit done.

She is thirty three.

I took my pride onto Facebook and caught sight of my Husband's adorable tribute to my birthday and you know what?

I usually give no shits about Public Displays of Affection and often find them cheesy... but not today... not on my birthday.

I read what that man wrote about me and beamed from ear to ear... having a man who is not afraid to tell the world that he still thinks his wife is hot... suddenly seemed like a very thirty-three year old thing to have.



I smiled at my bright balloon beacons and thought to myself... maybe birthdays aren't so bad... maybe my crows feet are laugh lines.

The doorbell rang and one of my nearest and dearest Girlfriends stood there, ready to make good on her birthday promise to help me with my garden.

Gardening... I thought to myself... on my birthday... THIS... is thirty three.

We moved three humongous plants, we used a saw, and a wheel barrel... things that I have literally never touched in my life... but I wanted the garden to look nice, and my friend offered to help me do it and so I was all... "bring on the saw! and the wheel barrel! and the hoes!" (Just kidding, that's someone else's birthday story).

Because as we learned with the balloons, if I want something done... I had better do it myself... or at least, with the help of one of my nearest and dearest Girlfriends.

And so... we dug and sweat and laughed and complained, about how when you're a woman, sometimes... your birthday isn't what you'd hoped for... sometimes no one hangs up balloons and you buy toilet paper.

I chuckled to myself as I wiped dirt on my clothes, watching my friend use a shovel in the name of friendship and thought.... This is thirty three.

Having a friend who knows you well enough to know that all you want is to not do a shitty job all by yourself on your birthday... is definitely something a thirty three year old would have.

At lunch time Husband came home with one dozen roses and a huge bouquet of balloons.

He is, after all, a man... and so though he always pulls through... it's usually not on time.

I smiled as he walked around the kitchen staring at the balloons that I had given myself.

I explained that they weren't there to make him feel bad, they were there to make me feel good.

He hugged me close and told me how very much my birthday meant to him... and I thought to myself...

This is thirty three... when someone loves you so much, that your birthday is important to them too.

This is thirty three... when your husband knows that your birthday is your favorite day of the whole year... and no matter what, he wont let you down.

This is thirty three... I thought to myself... knowing that you picked the right partner... even when the flowers show up late.

He brought me a deli sandwich for lunch, my favorite... and something that I never treat myself to.

That afternoon, I napped, and I went for a run...

I sat on the porch in the sunshine while my babies ate popsicles and ran in the yard.

I felt blessed to be able to do all of my favorite things, and be at a point in my life where my birthday can be relaxing and enjoyable.

I went to hibachi with the family and my sister .... Where, For the first time in my life, I caught the flying zucchini that the chef throws.

 AND... I ate it even though I hate mushy zucchini.

Because this is thirty three.

This is the adult thing to do... eat the food that someone just threw at your face and smile because for fuck's sake you finally caught it!

After dinner was dessert and singing and presents and when I leaned in to blow out my candles... three little heads leaned in with me...

And then...

As I was just getting my head wrapped around my wish... those three little heads blew out my candle and cheered for themselves and I laughed thinking....

This is thirty three.

When three someone else's blow out your candles and beam with pride and you don't even care because you know that life has been so, so kind to you.

Thirty three means rolling with the punches... and trying not to be so hard on myself.

Thirty three means being so grateful for every last inch of my wonderful life.

Thirty three means not being allowed to skimp on the water... and hoping that someday, my wrinkle cream will start to work.

Thirty three means continuing to worry about the size of my ass... even as I run on the treadmill and eat cucumbers (not at the same time of course).

Thirty three means praying that all of my body parts will somehow defy gravity and stay where God and Victoria's Secret intended for them to be.

Thirty three means knowing damn well who I am, and being proud as Hell of that woman and all that she has accomplished.

Thirty three means accepting that my accomplishments have not been in an office, or in a bank account... but in shaping the lives, hearts and minds of my children.

Thirty three means knowing that as we get older, birthdays kind of start to suck...

Thirty three means knowing that I have a choice in how I approach every situation... and understanding that those choices will be a direct reflection of my heart and mind.

Thirty three is old enough to know better... and old enough to do better.

Thirty three is looking around, and knowing that you are exactly where you were meant to be...



Bunny ears and all.


Monday, April 18, 2016

She Said...

Our washing machine shit the bed.

So I'm standing in Home Depot, watching Husband and the boys talk to the washing machine man,  while I hang out with the cart and my Girlfriend.

She's opening and closing all the different washing machines and telling me what she thinks.

Finally, she gets to the one that we are going to buy.

"This is it? This is the one we are going to buy?" she says.

"Yup," I tell her, "That's the one... do you like it?"

She looks from me, to the washing machine, and back again.

She opens it up, and peers inside... she is silently calculating something, but I have no idea what... I'm absolutely shocked at her interest in this washing machine.

I can not wait to hear what is about to come out of her mouth.

She takes a deep breath and says, "Well Mom, yes, I like it... but.... I think we are going to need a bigger cart."


Friday, April 15, 2016

Her Story: Someone Like You

"Her Story: Someone Like You," is a new weekly feature, designed to bring us all a little closer together. Please join me as I share stories of women from all over the world. It is my hope that you will see a little of yourself or someone you know in these stories... and that you will share them... making our great big world feel a little more like a neighborhood, where no one is alone. If you would like to be featured in Her Story, please email me at ourtinyplace@gmail.com.

Throughout my pregnancy I had the highest of hopes, like any mom does. I would be the best parent I could be, we would provide the best of everything, and nothing could stand in my way. We had tried for so long to get pregnant and now our daughter was almost here after all that time. I committed to myself that she would be breastfed at least until one, this was the plan and that was how it would work. I took breastfeeding classes and my sister is a lactation counselor so I felt like I had set myself up for success.

When Stella was first born nursing wasn’t easy but it was also worth it to me and we started to get the hang of it and I thought, “okay this is great, this is working, I am able to provide the best food for my baby”. Then when she was around six weeks the pain began.  Slowly, but surely, I started to develop pain in my right breast that became unbearable. I had a clogged duct, which is pretty common, but it would not go away. Finally at my wits end with the pain and frustration I visited my OB and was referred the breast center where I had my first (of many) aspirations to remove the build up from the clogged duct.  Except this wasn’t just a clogged duct, nor was it mastitis, which can be easily treated by antibiotics, no no I was feeling so much pain due to having an abscess in my breast. Don’t google it, I did, and was immediately horrified and terrified.

The relief from the aspiration was immediate, and they send off the sample to the lab to be tested, but the relief didn’t last long. It built up again and within 24 hours I was in the emergency room having another aspiration. With the sample results not back yet and the limited medications I could take while nursing, they started an antibiotic but were unsure if it would treat my exact infection. That night was the first time I had left my baby, who had never taken a bottle and wasn’t eating and the stress of it all was unbearable. She survived but I was scarred and still in incredible pain and wouldn’t give myself a break. I was adamant that I would continue nursing and that I wouldn’t take the “easy way out” and use formula.

Then the results came back, and the abscess was so persistent because it was MRSA positive. If you know anything about infections you know that MRSA is a particularly aggressive staph infection and it can be difficult to treat and dangerous for babies. I immediately started to cry and frantically called my pediatrician terrified that I had harmed my baby. They assured me I could keep nursing as she likely had already been exposed and to keep an eye out for symptoms. Despite their assurance I stopped nursing on that side and started to pump. I could not nurse from that side knowing how infected and contagious I was. Not getting much and needing yet another aspiration a few days later I started to loose all supply on that side. Trying to keep up with one side was killing me but I as going to do it!

The straw that finally broke the camels back was waking up covered head to toe in hives. I was allergic to the ONLY antibiotics that could treat MRSA orally and were safe for nursing. My options were to be admitted and take IV antibiotics and pump or stay home with my baby and stop nursing. Exhausted, overwhelmed, in pain, and terrified to leave my baby I chose the latter. I knew that I needed to be healthy for Stella, and in the end this is what I needed to do for her. The relief was legitimately immediate once we started to use formula. I had gone through three weeks of almost daily hospital visits, ER visits, six aspirations, multiple medications, excruciating pain, and it was finally over.

Emotionally I was so spent but I was also so relieved that I was no longer nursing. I mourned the loss of what I had hoped our nursing relationship would be, but I was finally able to enjoy my time with Stella. I was no longer dragging her to a doctor every day and exposing her to extra germs in the hospital. I was able to just BE with her. Feeding her from a bottle didn’t change our relationship for the worse, it ended up helping as I could be relaxed and enjoy my time with her.  Part of me regrets that I didn’t stop earlier, part of me regrets that I stopped at all. In the end my daughter is happy and healthy and this is what matters. The (literal) scars I have are a daily reminder of what we went through but we made it to the other side and this little face couldn’t be more worth it.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Car Quickie

So, when Boyfriend has to pee in the car, he gives us like, fifteen seconds notice before it's an Emergency.

Bless his Heart I know he is just trying to be a good boy and not bother anyone, but DUDE... there is not a public rest room within 15 seconds of our car at all times, ya know?

Anyway, a few times on our ride Boyfriend happened to have an empty bottle next to him, so he just peed in it..

I know what you're thinking and don't judge me.

He sits by himself in the way way back and who cares if he pees in a bottle? Not me.

So after two back to back 8 hour car rides... the kid is like an expert at peeing in bottles.

Except on the way home, all of a sudden he's like, "I gotta pee I gotta pee!"

I happened to have to pee at this exact moment too, and we were just about to get off the highway... now the exit wasn't within fifteen seconds, but it was close.

So I'm all: "Okay, Bud, I swear, the Exit is right there, you can see it... deep breaths and we will run in together, five minutes tops."

And he's like panicking, "No! I can't I cant!"

So I'm like, "Well did you finish your lemonade? We are about to get off it wont even be another minute, but if you really cant hold it, pee into your lemonade bottle."

And then I hear: "Uh Oh."

Followed by: "He peed on me!"

And then: "There's pee on the ceiling!"

"There's pee on my seat!"

And then from the Baby: "Pants. Wet."

Turns out, the kid had decided to pee into the paper cup that I had been using to pass back snacks.

Except, you can't just aim a fire hose into a paper cup, cause it'll bounce back and spray everywhere.

Like the ceiling.

And your sister's car seat.

And your brother's pants.

Lesson learned, empty bottles yes, paper cups no.



LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...