Monday, December 27, 2010

Too much to do!!

To answer your first question, yes I do realize that it has been 2 months since  I have posted. But I have a good excuse!! Carlos and I bought our first house!! Now granted, this has only been going on for the last month, but oh boy, has it been a busy month.

Carlos and I had been having our eye on a house out in the Sylmar/Lake View Terrace area since the end of August. The house wasn't being sold as a "traditional" sale, aka, seller lists house, buyer buys house and 30 days later, its now their house. This house was being sold as "probate". Now I don't have a full understanding of probate, but from what I get, it means that grandma died, and didn't leave the house to one particular person, so the house had to be sold and the profit had to be shared amongst all of the beneficiaries. Some probates have to have a court confirmation, and some don't. This one did have to have a court confirmation. Its just the courts way to making sure the house gets sold for a fair amount, and no one gets away with something they shouldn't be. When we first eyeballed this house, we discovered that someone else had already put in an offer on the house and it was waiting for court confirmation. We waited and waited and for a change of pace, we waited some more. We then discovered that the court date would be November 19, at 8:00 AM. We found this out about a month before the date, and oh boy, was that the longest month of my life. The day before we were suppose to go to court, my mom and dad called me and told me about this other house that they just found. It had only been on the market for 3 days. They wanted to take Carlos and myself out to see the house, and oh boy, was I mad. The house was right around the corner from the other house we had been looking at. Why would you be showing us other houses the night before we are suppose to go to court? I was so upset. Why cloud my dream house? But we went out and saw this other house. I liked the house, but it didn't have the backyard that "our" house had. It has a lot more space than the house we had been looking at, but it didn't have the same size back yard. It was a newer house and it didn't need as much work as the other one too. While we were in the house, there was 8 other couples going through it too. I didn't like that too much, because I felt like I was being starred at the entire time. Finally the day came, and we went down to court. Now, I don't know if you have ever been in a court room, and hopefully, I hope you never find yourself in one, but it is very very difficult to hear in one. People are shuffling papers, and the people who are talking are faced away from you, so you can barely hear anything. So, we waited for our case to be called, and finally it was, and without hearing anything, someone walked up, and then about a minute later walked out of the court room, and they called the next case. Um.... what just happened here?? My dad rushed out of the court room to find the attorney who was just in there. We find out that the family continued the case until December 20. Oh great, we have to wait another month. I was just beside myself. I wanted to be in a house before Christmas. I couldn't think of being another month in our little 800 sq. foot apartment. I couldn't think of spending another Christmas in our tiny apartment. So that morning, my dad and I decided to write up an offer for the house that we saw the day before. I didn't think that we were going to get the house, but I thought it would be something to keep us entertained while we waited for court the next month. The next day, my dad submitted the offer and we waited. The next day, the Realtor who was selling it, emailed all of the people who had submitted offers and stated for everyone to submit their "Best and Final" offer. So we submitted our best and final offer and waited again. The next day, we found out we got the house. Um... what? I was sitting in the middle of In N Out when my dad called and told me and I had to prevent myself from screaming my lungs out. I was so excited. I didn't realize at that moment that it would be the beginning of the craziness.

During that point in time, Thanksgiving happened. Oh man, Thanksgiving was a busy week for us. My oldest brother, Mike, and his girlfriend, Jackie, and her two boys, Parker and Preston, came to visit us for the holiday. It was a ton of fun. We went to Disneyland the day before Thanksgiving, which I do not recommend, unless you have a death wish. It was SOO busy. I didn't think it was going to be that busy, but oh boy, was I wrong. We took a family Christmas card picture on Thanksgiving

Mom and all of the kiddos.

Logan, Me, Carlos and Connor

Then played with Connor's stomp rocket. That was a lot of fun. We all took a turn launching the rocket up into the air, including my mom and dad. The kids got a kick watching all of the adults make themselves look like idiots!

Up up and away!!

Its good!!

After the craziness of Thanksgiving cleared, we had to get right back to packing and moving. But first, Ann and I went over to my moms house and help set up Christmas decorations. I love doing that. Its one of my favorite things to do. It took us an afternoon, but we got it all done. I set up the tree, put up the lights and hung all of the ornaments, while Ann set up the outside lights and set up the decorations in the other rooms.

Connor in front of the tree

Grandma show Connor and Logan where each of the ornaments came from

I was tired after I set up the tree!!

Grandma and her two Grandbabies. 

Connor asking when Santa is coming

A couple of days before Thanksgiving, when escrow was opened, I put my 30 day notice in at my apartment. That felt SOOO good. Knowing that I only had 30 days to be cramped up in that little apartment!! During that month, we packed a little, had Thanksgiving, and then packed a little more. We had a rough time packing, because we had no place to put the packed boxes. I didn't want to leave the packing to the last minute, but I didn't want to be sitting on boxes for the next month. Finally, we had access to the house, but we couldn't move in quite yet. We had to have the place tented, to remove all of the termites. That took a couple of days, and then moving day was here. Carlos and I had done a good job on moving most of the boxes of there on our own, but we still needed to move all of the furniture over there. We got all of the furniture over there, and thanks to my family for helping me unpack all of the stuff. We got most of the boxes unpacked the first day and our house was actually livable. It felt so good.

The kids LOVE the extra space. They actually have their own play room. The kids sleep and bathe upstairs and then play down stairs. This helps minimizes the toys around the house. Now keeping the kids in the play room is the difficult task. They like to run around the entire house, which usually doesn't bother me, but right now, since the house has no furniture, it echoes all of their screams. The kids have the backyard to be playing in too, but its was raining all last week, so we didn't get to use it all that much. This week, we have used it plenty. We brought the play structure from my parents back yard out this past week and they have had a lot of fun.

Logan is 14 months old now. He is my little smiley baby. He just loves when people play with him and run around with him. He especially loves his big brother. Him and Connor are inseparable. They love to be with each other all day long. Logan came to sleep with Carlos and I the other night, and when Connor woke up and noticed that Logan wasn't in his crib, Connor ran into our room, at 6:14AM, and screamed "LOGAN IS GONE!" Logan then poked his head up from under the sheets  and the fun ensued (at 6:14 in the morning...).

Connor is 3 and a half. Goodness..... Where did my baby go? He is into Star Wars big time. Carlos sat down with him a few months ago and watched the entire set of Star Wars movies. To this day, I still don't know how Carlos got him to sit there and watch all 6 movies. I can barely do that. He has to have all of the toys and such that go along with the movies. He does everything with those toys. They go with us to the store, they go in the bath, they go to school, they go to church, they go everywhere. He is going to preschool 2 days a week in the morning, and he loves it. He wishes he could go to preschool everyday with his friends.

Carlos is on winter break for 2 months. He likes the time off because it gives him the time that he wants to do things around the house. We have a lot of landscaping to do in the back yard, and by landscaping, I mean tearing out a bunch of plants. Carlos likes to tinker with things, and this gives him the time to do so. He will start back up his diet after the first of the year to finish losing that last 20 lbs. He has done well with keeping the 50 lbs he lost off, but struggles on not returning to his old eating habits. He weighs himself everyday and doesn't let himself get away with too much.

I have been keeping myself busying with a bunch of baking during the Holidays. I love to bake. I love to eat even more! We had our first official dinner party on Christmas Eve. We had Carlos' family over for dinner and it was fantastic (if I don't mind saying so myself). It was a lot of fun, and I look forward to having many  more dinner parties.

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and we are sending you Happy New Year wishes. Stay safe!!

I am hoping, now that the dust has settled, to return to posting on a regular basis, but no promises. I am trying to keep myself busying around here!!

Happy New Year!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Barnes and Noble Fundraiser for Connor's Preschool

Dear Friends and Family,

Connor's preschool fundraiser with Barnes and Noble is being held on Friday, October 29, 2010 at the Barnes and Noble store in our area and online at Barnes and Noble offers books, music, DVDs, educational toys and games, gift products and so much more.

For every eligible item that is purchased online at Barnes and Noble on behalf of Connor's school, Barnes and Noble contributes up to 12% of the purchase price to Connor's Preschool.  More details are available  on the website.

Please consider visiting the Barnes and Noble website and making a purchase on Connor's behalf. Click the link below to start shopping and please make sure you entire the school's bookfair ID (10311256) on the payment page to ensure we receive credit.

Thank you so much for all of your help!

Carrie & Connor

BOOK FAIR ID: 10311256

Note: The Bookfair ID is good until November 3, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Late on the news, I have been hearing a lot about bullying. There have been many teenagers that, unfortunately, taken their own life, due to  bullying. One of the more popular cases was the college student, whose sexual encounter with the same sex, ended up being video recorded and shared with others. He jumped off the George Washington bridge to end the pain. I don't blame him. I too, like most children, was severely bullied. Some of my earliest memories of school, are those days I was bullied. Back then, it wasn't as drastic as it is today. Back then, there wans't things like the internet (OH GOD IM OLD), or youtube/facebook/social networks. Like most children growing up, I was never comfortable in my own skin.

 There was group of girls at my elementary school, who I swore, their life goal was to make my life miserable. I was never good enough to hang out with them, and I tried my hardest to be part of their group. Looking back at it, I don't understand why, but back then, they were the beginning and the end. I just wanted to be a part of ANY group. These girls made it a point in their day to make me miserable and make sure that they made me feel like crap. My mom had some rules about modesty (which I thank her for now!). These girls would wear short skirts and tiny shirts, and, me wanting to be like them, I thought if I dressed that way, I would automatically be liked by them. Well, my mother put a stop to that. She wouldn't buy me the short dresses and the tiny shirts. I thought my mother hated me! I wore the knee length  dresses, and the modest tops and felt like a complete LOSER.  If these girls EVER found out that I liked a boy, they would get that boy to pretend that he liked me and then in the middle of the playground, he would tell me off.  I remember a specific boy who I had the hugest crush on. He "dated" (as much as elementary kids can date) one of the popular girls and she found out that I liked him. She pretended that they had "broken up". She played me like a fiddle. She had me go up to him and tell him I like him. Well, he sat there, and looked me in the eye and told me how ugly I was. Wow......I was crushed. I hated elementary school. I can remember just feeling so low and so down about myself. Now suicide never crossed my mind (at least that I can remember), but I know how much I dreaded going to school. 

In middle school, I was bullied for liking the band Hanson. No joke, I was actually beat up because I liked the band. I also tried out for cheerleading at Wilson, and some girl always use to call me "wanna-be-cheerleader". I never understood that, because at least I had the balls to go out and try. She was just a loser who sat there. I met a great group a friends in middle school who really helped me become who I am today. Thank goodness middle school was only two years, because I don't think I would have been able to take much more of it. Middle school is the time in life where boys and girls hit puberty. I remember this boy who I was kind of crushing over, came up to me and told me to look down. I was puzzled, so I looked down. He asked me what I saw, and I said my feet. He looked up at me and said "EXACTLY!". I was confused and then told me that I was the President of the "itty bitty titty committee" (A title that I am very proud of today!) I was always so upset that my boobs were big enough, my hair wasn't blonde enough, my eyes weren't blue enough and I wasn't perfect. I had a mousey brown hair, freckles and I was short and scrawny. I remember asking my mom if I could have my freckles lasered off, because I didn't want them anymore. She told me that by the time I was 16, they would go away (MOM, Im 25 and they are still there..... IM WAITING). I could have done everything that I thought would make me perfect, and for some reason, I think I would have still been an outcast. 

In high school, I tried SO hard to be someone who I wasn't. I would change my "style" everyday, to try to fit in with what the popular people were wearing and what they were doing. I don't know why I tried so hard, but I did. I just wanted to fit in, like EVERY OTHER kid in school. Finally, at the second semester of my senior year, I gave up. I remember the specific moment, where I sat at lunch, looking at every person in the school and thinking, who am I ever really going to see again? The people who I wanted to keep on contact with, I have, and every other person, I have never seen again (THANK GOODNESS). I am so thankful that I found that point in my life, when I could just give up. Not give up in a bad way, but give up in a good way. I was just so happy being ME. Yes, I am loud, obnoxious, funny, cute, LOUD, vivacious, stubborn and every other thing you can think of, but that is ME. 

We need to teach our children to be proud of who they are. They might not be the fastest athlete, or the smartest nerd, or the cutest on the playground, but there is something special about each and every one of them. I can only hope that I give my boys the confidence to be proud of who they are. Connor might be energetic and outgoing, but he is one of the sweetest kids I know. He is always ready to give someone a hug when they need it. Logan, well Logan is growing into a great person as we speak. He is here for a specific purpose, and I can't wait to see him grow up and be a good man. Lets stop these suicides of young children and young adults and give them confidence to scream at the top of the lungs. "I AM CARRIE. I AM PROUD OF WHO I AM!". To others, I might not always be right, or be perfect, but to me, I am perfect. I want each and every one of you to look in the mirror every morning and every night and say "I AM ME." We can't change who we are, we can only embrace it. It doesn't matter if you are gay, straight, bicurious, Blonde, Burnette, Redhead, blue eyed, brown eyed, short, tall, fat, skinny or all of the above. You are YOU and LOVE yourself. Lets teach this to our children.

 Lets also teach our children that everyone is different. If everyone was made the same, life would be pretty boring. I don't want to be like the next person. I kind of like who I am. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ok Ok....I know I know!!

Yes, I do know that it has been quite some time since I have posted. Life has been....well...LIFE. Obviously, a lot has happened in the last month or so. Connor started preschool (sniff sniff). He started at Our Children's Place in Burbank. The school is a co-op, which means, in exchange for lower tuition, I volunteer my time. Connor goes two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I voluteer two days a month. Not a bad deal. I can take Logan with me too, which is always a bonus. Connor absolutely LOVES it at "his school" and wishes he could go more often. I'm sorry...the school is not really a preschool, but a playschool. The kids are able to go and be kids for just a few short hours everyday. They can play on the playground equipment, they can do art projects, or they can just sit and talk to the sky if they want to. Its great for the kids.

Carlos has been doing FANTASTIC on his diet. He started on the first of August weighing 287. As of this morning, October 4, he not weights 238. Yes...that is correct. 238. He dedicated himself to losing the weight, and he did it. He lost 50 lbs. He looks FANTASTIC. He went from a size 42 to a size 38. Instead of paying for a gym membership, he talked to the principal at his school and asked if he could use the weight room there. The principal said as long as it didn't conflict with the afternoon sports, he could use it. After school everyday, he hits the weight room for 30 minutes to do some weight lifting. This guy has arms bigger than my head. When we went to buy him new shirts, he wanted to try on a large, instead of a 2XL, but was discouraged that the large didn't fit. We finally realized that it wasn't the waist of the shirt that was too small, it was the shoulders and the arms. Lets just say he was very relived. Carlos has a very particular style that he likes, and to try to find shirts that fit him in this style, we have started sewing him shirts.

RVCA Men's Country Plaid Woven Shirt
We have only partically got through one shirt, mostly because of the lack of equipment (and space!). We have had to borrow sewing machines to try to sew the shirt, but that is getting a little ackward! If you ever wanted to get Carlos a shirt like this, you can always find it on his wish list .  Or if you are feeling generous, here is my list . These are great lists, because if I want to get Carlos a gift, I know exactly what he wants.

I have been busy, trying to keep all of the balls in the air. I am on the board of Connor's preschool and I volunteer at Connor's preschool. Logan is walking now, so he is handfull. He likes to get into everything he shouldn't be getting into, which is typical of any baby at this age! He has such a cute personality. He is such a charmer, until he doesn't get what he wants, and then he lets you know (I wonder where he got that from?). He is starting to say certain words that I can recognize. He says Mama and baba mostly. This kid, unlike Connor, is such an eater. With Connor, we have to sit down and sit with him and basically force him to eat. Dinner usually takes us about 2 hours, just with sitting with Connor and making him eat, and usually ends in Connor going to bed early because he won't eat. Logan has never met a food he doesn't like. He will usually eat anything and everything (THANK GOODNESS!).

As we speak, I am trying to upload pictures, which for some reason, are taking FOREVER. I have so many cute pictures to share, and they are taking like two hours to upload. Great, Im paying for the faster speed on my internet, and my computer just won't deal with it...LOVELY. Well I guess I will post pictures later on. Humph...... Just when I get back into blogging.......

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Today, I was on facebook and I was reading a friends "status update". To give credit, I will copy the status word for word:

"OMG! There is a lady in the waiting room at toyota who just whipped out her boob and started to breast feed, NO COVERAGE! Really? Why would you do that?"

I was positively OUTRAGED when I read this. I went off on her status update. Seriously...are we really criticizing a mother for breastfeeding her child? Would you rather have her child sit there and scream at the top of his lungs? I was so upset when I read this. I was FURIOUS!! I was ready to scream out loud. I can't believe society today. A mother is doing her job, breastfeeding her child, and we are giving her a hard time because she decided not to cover up. Ummmmm....have you ever decided not to stare? I breastfeed Logan, out in the open with no cover. I can't cover up. He rather play with the cover than nurse. I don't pull my boob out and scream "HEY EVERYONE! GUESS WHAT? HERE IS MY BOOB!" I discretely pull out my boob, just enough so he can latch on, and continue on in my day. Society today has sexualized breasts so much that breastfeeding mothers are seen as perverts for not covering up. I later read on her status update that the manager of the Toyota dealership asked her to go into the restroom to feed her child. I want to know what Toyota dealership it is and ask the manager to go eat his lunch in the restroom. Not to mention, what he did was illegal. Mother's have the right to breastfeed their child whenever and WHEREVER we want to. What outraged me more was a response later on:

"Goodness... Why must you be so damn radical about it? Would it kill you to cover your damn tits while breast feeding? Not everyone wants to see a woman plop her breast out in public! And had it been me, I would have covered up! And if you're so fucking passionate about it, why don't you just go topless all the time then, since you don't seem to care about the whole world seeing your precious child-credit rack! You radical mothers... Yeah! Do your job! Breast feed your kids! But don't do it in a way where people who DON'T want to see it end up having to! Fuckin aye!"

Am I a radical mother? I don't think so. I think I am standing up for my rights and the rights of my child. My question to all of you is what is the difference between a woman discretely breastfeeding her child, or a woman walking around with no bra on? Or a woman walking around with a very revealing top on? Or a short skirt? I don't think there is much. I rather see a woman breastfeeding her child, than a woman trying to get laid by wearing a skirt so short that I can see her cooter. Disgusting....Yuck..... If you don't want to see me feeding my child, go find a magazine and stick your nose in it.

Now don't get me wrong. Breastfeeding is much more accepted today that it was in the 1980's. If I woman pulled out her breast in the 80's, that was just unheard of. It was the age of formula. Those who were born in the 80's, ask your mother. I bet a majority of you were formula fed. When Carlos was born in 1976 (yeah...I know he is OLD! LoL) his mother has clearly stated to me that it wasn't a trend during that time to breastfeed your child. I am proud to say that I am a breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, attachment parenting mother. I will always be that. Why am I like that? Not only does it benefit me, but it benefits my children. I could go on for pages talking about the benefits of all of the above, but its 10:15 at night and well, I am a mother of two. I am EXHAUSTED. 

There was recently an article in the news about a mother who was breastfeeding her child at a Johnny Rockets in Newport, Kentucky. Apparently, the manager had a problem with her breastfeeding her child and asked her to feed him/her in the bathroom. I would have told him to go take his lunch in the bathroom and eat it with me. Here is the article if you would like to read it. Just click on the link. 

And for those who are slightly confused on the breastfeeding laws in California, here they are:

Cal. Civil Code § 43.3 (1997) allows a mother to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present. (AB 157)
Cal. Civil Code § 210.5 (2000) allows the mother of a breastfed child to postpone jury duty for one year and specifically eliminates the need for the mother to appear in court to request the postponement. The law also provides that the one-year period may be extended upon written request of the mother. (Chap. 266; AB 1814)
Cal. Health and Safety Code § 1647 (1999) declares that the procurement, processing, distribution or use of human milk for the purpose of human consumption is considered to be a rendition of service rather than a sale of human milk. (Chap. 87; AB 532)
Cal. Health and Safety Code § 123360 and § 1257.9 require that the Department of Public Health include in its public service campaign the promotion of mothers breastfeeding their infants. The department shall also develop a training course of hospital policies and recommendations that promote exclusive breastfeeding and specify staff for whom this model training is appropriate.  The recommendation is targeted at hospitals with exclusive patient breastfeeding rates ranked in the lowest twenty-five percent of the state. (2007 Chapter 460, SB 22)
Cal. Labor Code § 1030 et seq. (2001) provides that employers need to allow a break and provide a room for a mother who desires to express milk in private.
Cal. Assembly Concurrent Resolution 155 (1998) encourages the state and employers to support and encourage the practice of breastfeeding by striving to accommodate the needs of employees, and by ensuring that employees are provided with adequate facilities for breastfeeding and expressing milk for their children. The resolution memorializes the governor to declare by executive order that all state employees be provided with adequate facilities for breast feeding and expressing milk.

I want everyone out there to do me a favor. Congratulate those mothers who breastfeed. They deserve a pat on the back. And I'm not sitting here saying formula is evil and those who formula feed their babies are abusing them. Not at all. Connor, my 3 year old, was a formula fed child, and he came out (kind of ) ok. Some people can't breastfeed for various reasons, and trust me, I understand most of them! Let me rephrase my previous statement. Congratulate all mothers. Think about it....without your mother, where would you be? I know that I would be a completely different person. Think about how your mother has shaped your life, made you the person you are today, and then give your mom a big hug, a kiss and say THANK YOU. Then those who are mothers, turn around and hug your children. You wouldn't be a mother without them. 

Good night cyber world!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I can see my name in lights!!

This week was, yet again, a very boring week. In an attempt to save some $$ for my family, I find myself staying VERY close to home. I am trying to keep the kids entertained, but its a little difficult.

I did have one very cool thing happen to me last week. I met some friends over at a park in Burbank, for some playing and a picnic. It happened to be a playdate for Connor's preschool. My friends and I were sitting on a blanket eating our lunches and the kids asked if they could go play on the swings. We looked over and all of the swings were being occupied by some adults. Kind of annoyed, we told the kids that they should go play somewhere else. They went and played and came back about 30 minutes later. Again, they asked if they could go play on the swings. By this time, the adults had finished playing on the swings, so we headed over that direction. We put the kids on the swings and directly in front of us, we noticed that there was a camera crew filming something. Living in Los Angeles, especially in parts of Burbank where the studios are, filming is a part of everyday life. You notice it and move on. As we were pushing the kids on the swing, I noticed WHO they were filming....

100_0107.jpg picture by CarrieHounsell

Thats right...GEORGE LOPEZ!!

Now regardless of what people who live outside of Los Angeles think, we don't see stars walking down the street all the time. Its actually quite rare that we see people (or at least it is for me!). My friends and I were awed at the star, and continued to push the kiddos on the swings. A few minutes later, my friend Lara walks up to me and says "They want us to be in the skit." Um...REALLY?!?!? How awesome is this!! The production assistant comes up and has us sign waivers for us and the kids. We sign the waivers, and she goes over how they are going to film the scene, and then LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION (not really, but I like to be dramatic!) My friend Sandy actually was the main actress in the scene (JEALOUS!). My friend Lara and I were just standing by, pushing the kids on the swing. Then they asked me to walk being George and look at him, which I did (I can't wait for my Oscar Nomination!). They were finished with us and as they were walking back to the car, I ran up to a production assistant and asked if I could have a picture with George, Unfortunately, he was already at his car. I was MAJORLY bummed. I mean MAJORLY. My family and I are HUGE fans of George Lopez. The guy, sensing my disappointment, offered to send me an autographed picture of George. I was like "yeah...sure ya will..." I was 100% doubtful that they would send me an autographed picture. I just kind of forgot about it, until a couple of days later, I received this in the mail....

IMG.jpg picture by CarrieHounsell

An AUTOGRAPHED Picture of George Lopez. 

I was really surprised. I had it made out to Carlos, so he could hang it in his classroom and the kids would think that he super cool. 

Carlos started a new diet yesterday. This is a really strict diet. For once, I think he is really dedicated to losing the weight. Starting at a good 285 lbs, he wants to lose between 120 and 130 lbs. I am surprised on how well he has been doing. Carlos has had a "more than friends" relationship with food for years, and like any addiction, it takes some dedicated to end his addiction. I thought he would be grumpy and complain, but to be honest, I haven't heard too much out of him. He was a little upset last night that he couldn't have cheese on his hamburger patty, but I think he dealt with that pretty well.  He has decided that the time he would usually spend eating, he is going to dedicate to his guitar playing. Carlos is an excellent guitar player, but he has always wanted to learn how to play CCR songs. As I am sitting here typing, he is sitting right next to me playing the guitar. Its nice, except when I am trying to sleep and he is playing to keep me away. I am 100% into supporting him. I am going to try to eat the same foods he eats, but more of them. I don't mind salads, but being a breastfeeding mother, I need extra calories. 

Speaking of breastfeeding....

(Click on the link to a VERY AWESOME article)

Remember, even if you aren't a breastfeeding mother, support those who are. BREAST IS BEST!

And to give you a great example of a mother, we celebrated my moms birthday last night at her house. Its fun when all of the kids get together and have a party. We giggle (usually about something inappropriate) and chat and generally have a good time. 

100_0270.jpg picture by CarrieHounsell
Happy Birthday Mom!

I just wanted to say how grateful I am for my mother. She has been my rock, my guide, my friend and my example for the past (nearly) 25 years. I am the mother I am today because of her. I couldn't have had a better example and I can only hope that I am half the mother she is. She has always been a dedicated, loving, compassionate and caring mother, who would do anything, including step in front of a moving car, to help her children. My world, and the world in general, is a better place because of her. I love you mom!!

This next week is probably more of the same. Just us hanging around the house. The good thing about Carlos being on this diet, is that will hinder us from eating out. We might hit up a Baja Fresh here and there, but nothing like what we usually do. Carlos is finishing up with summer school today and then he has tomorrow off and back to work Wednesday and Thursday and the new school year starts officially on Monday. His school is going to a year round schedule, so he will work three months and then have a month off. It works for our Disneyland schedule, so that always makes us happy!

I am also happy to announce that I won a $25 gift card today from an online referral. I am super happy about that. I will be able to get a couple of cloth diapers for that amount. On the other hand, somewhere in my house, I am missing 5 inserts. I know they are here, but the poltergeist has taken yet another thing. First my laundry quarters, and NOW my cloth diaper inserts....Damn him!! I have to go digging through all my stuff to try to find them. What I can't understand is if each diaper has 1 insert, and I put 20 diapers in the wash, wouldn't there be 20 inserts in there too? Apparently not.... I hate feeling like I am crazy, but yet again, I don't know anyone who likes the feeling of being crazy. 

Alrighty, that is enough out of me. Hopefully, I will see you guys back here sometime soon!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Its been a while!!

So my entire goal to post a new blog every couple of days has gone down the drain. Last week was both a boring and hectic week. (How can it be both!?!?) The kids and I mostly stayed home. We are trying to save money, so our only option is it stay at home most days. We can do little trips to the park here and there, but mostly we just party at the apartment.

I had a milestone yesterday (Monday, July 26). A year ago, I went into pre-term labor with Logan. It was the worst day of my entire life. In the morning, I had been having some regular contractions, more than Brackton Hicks. I knew that something wasn't right. At 26 weeks, you shouldn't be having contractions like that. I thought "Well, I will call my dr and they will tell me to either just let it go, or come in. I'm probably dehydrated, so they will give me a some I.V. liquid and send me home." I wasn't prepared for what really happened. I called my OB/GYN, who just happened to be on vacation that week. My luck.... I got the on-call dr and he told me to come into the hospital, just to make sure that everything was ok. I drove myself to the hospital, thinking that it was going to be a in and out kind of thing. At first, I wasn't sure if this was all in my head. I got to labor and delivery and they got me hooked up to the monitors and the look on their face didn't help. The nurses looked at me and said "You sure are in labor." Ummmm...what? Its too soon to be in labor. He is only 26 weeks gestation. TOO EARLY!! They gave me a shot of Toridol and for about 30 minutes, the contractions stopped. Phew...that was a close.....what....they didn't stop? Sure enough, after 30 minutes, the contractions started up again. Ok...lets try this again...another shot. (By the way, this stuff burns like a mo-fo and it makes you feel hyped up). Like the previous shot, 30 minutes went by with no contractions and then BAM, they started up again. The nurses called the dr and he came and paid me a visit. He looked at the monitor tape, and looked at me. The look on his face was one of confusion. He turned to me and said (And I will always remember these words...) "I don't know how to stop this labor. Just be prepared that we are going to have to do an emergency c-section and at 26 weeks, this baby is going to die." How can anyone "prepare" themselves for that? They started me on Magnesium Sulfate to stop the labor and told me to start signing. A consent for surgery....A consent for treatment of a infant.... What the hospital is suppose to do if I die.... WHAT! Magnesium Sulfate makes you feel like you are drunk and horribly depressed. I remember thinking to myself "I am not in a place to sign these. Where is Carlos?" Well Carlos was at home with Connor. I remember trying to call Carlos, but I couldn't. I had no reception in L&D, and I couldn't figure out how to contact him. Finally, I asked one of the nurses to call him, and she did. After making sure Connor was taken care of, Carlos came and helped me. They transferred me to a delivery room. I was up all night, with a thousand thoughts going through my head. I knew that Logan had to bake for 14 more weeks. I remember just laying there and praying for my little guy. I had my brother come give me a blessing, and to this day, I remember exactly what he said. He asked that I find comfort in the Lord's decision. Those words were divine. It wasn't "Save this baby" but rather, the Lord has a plan for the little guy, and we need to find comfort in his decision. After 6 days of being on Magnesium Sulfate (NOT A FUN DRUG), they were finally able to stop the labor. But the second that they would turn down the drug, labor would start again. They were talking about keeping me for 13 weeks. I couldn't do that. I was so torn. As a mother, I wanted to take care of both babies, but I just couldn't. I was angry that I couldn't be at home, but I knew that I had to be in the hospital to protect Logan.  I had a great support system, a great family, who helped take care of Connor. I was able to see him for about an hour every day. He always looked a little bigger every day he came in. After laying in that bed for 13 days, I was able to go home. Logan baked for another 13 weeks and is the most perfect baby you have ever met. He was born on October 19, 2009 at 2:12 PM. He weighed 5 lbs 15 oz, 19 inches long. My life has been blessed soooo much because of him. I can't thank the Lord enough for blessing my life with him. He puts a smile on my face every day. I am a stronger person today because of Logan.

On to a more up beat topic, I was able to get the classes I needed at Glendale College today! I am super excited to be able to go back to school. My ultimate plan is to become a midwife. I am going to start with my nursing degree, and then work my way to a CNM (Certified Nursing Mifwife) and then a full on midwife. I also want to become a certified lactation consultant.  I have great friends who have shown me the power of the female body and childbirth. I am really excited to start classes, but TERRIFIED of doing well. I wasn't 100% focused when I went to school the first time. I did ok, but not GREAT...To get into any nursing program, you need to be more than great.

That is about it. Like I said before, the kids and I haven't done much in the past week. Just chillax as I like to say. I should probably post some more recipes, just for fun!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 19, 2010

First recipe!!

These past couple of days have been difficult to cook. The highs have been over 100* and the thought of turning on a stove or an oven is just unappealing. Last night, when we were driving home, Carlos turned to me and asked what was for dinner. " out....again?" He kind of let out a sigh and went quite. Not a good sign. So I thought what I could cook that didn't require me to turn on a stove or an oven. Salad? (Yuck...)....hhmmm...what else? Finally, Carlos turned to me and asked if we could have ceviche. Ceviche is "citrus- marinated seafood" ( I thought about it for a second and thought that was a perfect "hot summer afternoon" dinner. I have also heard that its a good hang-over food, but I wouldn't know anything about that (or at least that I can remember!) So I thought that I would make ceviche my first recipe!!


1 cucumber 
1 onion
1 tomato
1 bunch of  fresh cilantro (CANNOT BE DRIED)
1 avocado
1 lb of medium size cooked, peeled and tail removed shirt
1 lb of imitation lobster, chunk style
Lemon Juice
Lime Juice
Tortilla Chips
OPTIONAL: 1 Jalapeno pepper

1 cutting boards
1 vegetable peelers
Sharp Knife
LARGE PLASTIC bowl (cannot be metal)

PREPARATION TIME: About 15 minutes
"COOKING" TIME: Between 1 and 4 hours
SERVING SIZE: Between 6 and 8 people

(I would have included some pictures, but my point and shoot camera FINALLY bit the dust. I won't turn on, no matter how much I charge the battery, hit the reset button, do everything I can. It's MUERTO)

Step 1: Peel and cut the cucumber into bite size piece. (Ceviche is chunky, so it doesn't have to be a super fine cut, but it should be a small bite size piece.) I also take the seeds out of my cucumbers. Just peel and cut the cucumber into 4th length wise. With the cucumber laying flat on the cutting board and one hand on the top of the cucumber, gently slide the knife down the cucumber, removing the seeds. Make sure to do this slowly, or you can really hurt yourself!!

Step 2: Cut the onion into small bite size piece. The key is consistency. You want all of the pieces of the different vegetables to be about the same size. 

Step 3: Cut the tomato. Again, CONSISTENCY!!
(Step 3.5: If you are adding the jalapeno, this would be the time to remove the ribs and seeds of the jalapeno and cut it up into fine pieces.)

Step 4: After you are finished adding all of the vegetables, mix everything together. 

Step 5: I bought precooked shrimp, and I peeled the tail off myself. Cut the shrimp into bite size pieces. I cut the medium size shrimp into thirds. 

Step 6: Add the imitation lobster. Make sure to break up the chunks. 

Step 7: Break the stems off of the bottom of the cilantro. Finely dice the cilantro. This you will want in small pieces because a large piece of cilantro doesn't taste too good!!

Step 8: Mix everything together. Then add about a half a cup of each lemon and lime juice. It should look like you added too much liquid. Then add about 1 tsp of salt and about 1/2 tsp of pepper. 

Step 9: You will need to refrigerate the mixture for between 1 and 4 hours. 

Step 10: If you are planning on eating all of the ceviche at one time, cut an avacado up into bite size pieces and add to the mixture. If you are not planning on eating all of it at one time, I would cut up enough avocado just to serve it on the side. 

This can be served on either a crunchy flat tostada with some lettuce or it can be served with tortilla chips as a dip.

This can be enjoyed for up to 3 days!

This is one of my favorite summer meals. I hope everyone enjoys!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I found "THE" Camera!!

While I was walking around cruise night tonight in Glendale, I realized I was looking more at the people with cameras than I was at the cars. I felt like Goldy locks, thinking that camera was too big, and that one was too small. And then...we met eyes/lens from across the street and I smiled. I knew it was THE camera. I walked over, and I just glanced at the camera. After all, I didn't want the guy to think I was going to knock him over the head and steal his camera (Ok...the though went through my mind....) . I wanted to know its name. I glanced, without giving too much away, and noticed it was a Kodak. Ok, I haven't heard GREAT reviews about these cameras, but all of a sudden, I felt the need to go home and check out this camera. We walked around for a few more minutes and then went home. Its all I could think about as I went home. Its flashy black case, with strap and lens. It made me all giddy inside. But I wasn't sure WHAT model of camera it was. All I knew it was a Kodak. I went home and I typed Kodak cameras in to the Google search and there it was.  It screamed at me saying "Carrie, buy me! I'm lonely". So I looked at it and I fell in love. Here is what I am looking at:

Kodak EasyShare Z981 14 MP Digital Camera Black 1020304

What I love about this camera, is its everything I want. The only thing that is holding me back its that it costs between $230 and $300. I went into the other room and flashed that special kind of smile at Carlos. The first words out of his mouth were "What do you want and how much does it cost?" I told him about the camera and he said we would have to "think" about it. Eh...I'm not too surprised. I'm hoping that I can get Carlos on my side sometime soon. He keeps bothering me that I'm not taking enough pictures of the boys, and I keep telling him I don't have a good camera to take some good pictures. What is better than this? A 14 mega-pixel camera AND an HD video camera!! Lets see how long it takes for me to get him on MY side! I'm going to go work my special type of magic. Lets hope I have mind control in my super powers!!

Well, I did it!!

As I left most of you yesterday, my apartment was in desperate need of being cleaned. I worked ALL day, but it got done. I thought I would PROVE this with pictures....

After taking these pictures, I realized that I am in desperate need of a new camera. The camera I have, I bought as a open box item a couple of years ago, and it has served me well, but now its doing some weird things. First off, if you hit it in one particular spot on the bottom, it turns off and it takes FOREVER for it to turn back on. Second off, I noticed that it has some spots of the pictures are focused, while other parts of the same picture aren't. This isn't a background/foreground thing. This is just a camera that is on its last legs. Also, there are halos on everything in my pictures. I know I am going to replace my camera, I just haven't decided on WHAT in particular I want to buy. I would L-O-V-E a digital SRL (Single reflex lens), but I'm not made of money, so that is pretty much out of the picture. I would love a step up from just a basic point and shoot. As of right now, Carlos is under the impression, because it's still taking pictures, it's still a functioning camera..... BOO

Ok...As most of you noticed, I have A.D.D. I can't seem to keep on a topic for more than two sentences!! NOW BACK TO PICTURES!! Here they are!!


DSC01682.jpg picture by CarrieHounsell

The Laundry was folded and put away


The kids clothes were put on hangers and hung up. I do this for a reason, and I will let you know a little bit later!!

As I was folding clothes, I have this feeling like someone is watching me. I'm not quite sure where this feeling is coming from until I see....


The "Fluff" (Cloth diapers and necessary items) were stuffed with liners and put away. 

I don't have a picture for it, but the dishes were done and the trash was emptied (GASP!!!!)

Carlos and I have been noticing lately that a lot of our plates and glasses have been breaking lately. We had a glass, a bowl and a plate break last week. I was cleaning, I noticed this...



In my opinion, we have a poltergeist in our house. He is taking things and hiding them for MONTHS (example: my Rockband guitar dongle that I lost and had to have replaced, and the DAY that I sent the guitar back, it ends up in the middle of my living room), and then returning them when you least need it. I believe he is the one who is breaking all of our "heavy duty" plates and glasses. But that is just my crazy opinion.
During this time, Logan woke up from his nap and Connor went down for his nap. Its hard to sleep during this heat, so  his nap didn't last too long. When he woke up, he was COVERED from head to toe in sweat.

He isn't in pain. That is him saying "Cheese". As you can see, his hair is DRENCHED in sweat.

To make a little extra money for our family,  I am a mystery shopper. I am usually a shopper for "Age Verification for the Sale of Alcohol". I'm just lucky to be pushing 25 and look like I'm about 16. It's a blessing and curse all at the same time. I love being a mystery shopper during the summer, because that is when most of the restaurants have shops. It's a great way for us to eat out on someone else's dime! So last night, our shop was Wahoo's fish tacos. One of my favorite places to eat, but not one of Carlos'. 

On the way out of our house, we met up with Ellie, the little girl who lives two doors down from us. She is the CUTEST, SWEETEST little girl you would ever meet. Connor and Ellie play almost every night together. I guess Connor has a thing for older women, because Ellie s 5 and Connor is 3. Well when Connor saw Ellie in the parking garage, all hell broke loose. Doing what 3 year olds do, he wanted to play, but we had to go. This threw Connor over the edge. He THREW himself on the ground and started to scream and kick (what a drama queen!!). After about 5 minutes of that, I picked him up and threw him in the car. His hands were dirty from the ground of the parking garage, and when he wiped his tears away it looked like....



Needless to say, this was pretty entertaining to me. I looked over at Logan while I was putting Connor in his car seat and he had the funniest look on his face....


"What the heck is his problem?"

So when I told you that Carlos and I love to eat, we L-O-V-E to eat. When we got to the restaurant, I ordered a fish taco and a carne asada taco. 

The food was ok? The fish taco was good, but the carne asada tasted like someone went a little heavy on the pepper. 

Carlos got some sort of burrito to eat.
Not what he was expecting. He hated it and complained for most of the evening that his stomach hurt.

Connor and Logan got a quesdilla to share. Connor wasn't too thrilled with it...

DSC01699.jpg picture by CarrieHounsell


Logan, on the other hand, couldn't get enough of it.

Well as I am sitting here, baking, I realize that I should probably get in the shower before this morning breakfast mystery shop. My favorite..... I'm not sure what the rest of the weekend holds for us, but I'm hoping there is a pool, or some air conditioning included in it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ummmm...I think its time to clean.... after walking around my apartment for a few minutes, I realized that, well, this place is a mess. I'm the ONLY one who cleans around here, so I am working an uphill battle. Not to mention that its 10:55AM and its 93* outside. Yes....that is correct, 93*. The high today is over 100* and well, I only have AC in one room of my apartment. I have tried to keep up with the cleaning, but when you have three kids (oops...did I say that? I mean two kids and a husband). Its hard for me because when Carlos gets home from teaching summer school, he wants to go party. So I spend all of the morning keeping the kids entertained and all of the afternoon keeping Carlos entertained. I thought I would give you guys a sample of HOW dirty this place is. WARNING: This isn't for the weak. If you have health condition of ANY kind, I recommend you proceed with caution....


Laundry, both clean and dirty that needs to be put away


Ok, this isn't my fault. Its Carlos' job to do the dishes, but needless to say, the dishes are dirty. Oh, and its his job to empty the trash. If he didn't do the dishes, what makes you think he took out the trash?


Random items that need to be put away


And I'm not going to name names, but it rhymes with Shonner ate some Cheeze-It's in my room while I wasn't looking, and my bed is COVERED in little pieces like this.

But Carrie, what are the kids going to do while you clean? Ah ha my friends, they are taken care of....


Logan is sleeping



Connor is playing Toy Story 3 on the Xbox 360.

Ok...I'm super mom, but its going to take all of my super powers to get this place clean. Lets see how fast this can get done. Pictures to follow of the *hopefully* clean apartment.


Sorry about the obnoxious title. It's the only thing that went through my mind when I started to type.

So after I realized I spend most of my day reading OTHER people's blogs, I thought it might be a good idea for me to *try* to start one of my own. When thinking about what type of blog I was going to start, several ideas went through my mind. First off, a blog about my kids. Most parents agree, that when you think of anything, regardless of what time it is, where you parked the park, or what is for dinner, your kids are usually the first thought that goes through your mind. Think of it like this:

Thought: "What time is it?"
Next thought: "Is it nap time yet?"

Thought: "Where did I park my car?"
Next thought: "Is it nap time yet?" Just kidding.... Usually the next thought is "I hope I remember where I park my car, so I don't have to walk around the parking lot with screaming children!"

Thought: "Whats for dinner?"
Next Thought: "What can I make, so the kids will eat it?"

See....Its simple. And it works for ANYTHING you can think of. So...back to my point. So I thought of starting a blog about my kids. Well thats fine and dandy, but it can only go so far. Example: "We spent today at home...again." So, that was not totally out the question, but I thought I should include other parts in my blog. Then the next thought was about how I consider myself a "semi-crunchy" mom. For those who don't know what crunchy moms are, they are moms who are breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, organic feeding moms, usually referred to as "hippies". Well that sounded like a good idea to me, so that part will definitely be included in my blog. I also thought I should include some of my hobbies in the blog, so every now and then I plan on posting recipes and other home fun ideas on here. I LOVE to cook (although with this heat right now, I have NO plans on turning on my oven!), I love crafts, and I love to bake. prepared for some great recipes. As a friend once told me, if you want to know where the good food is, follow the fat people. Where I don't consider myself fat, I am a fatty a heart. I LOVE food, and only by the grace of God, I don't weigh 500 lbs.

So...again, I digress. Ok...back to the point. So this blog is going to be about semi-crunchy momma, with two boys who do a lot of activities, and cooking. A little bit of everything for everyone out there!! And if you "like" my blog, please pass it on to your friends!! I hope everyone likes this!

Enjoy! :0)