Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ellie Nova Ottati - 8 Months!

Growing? She now has 8 teeth!

New and Exciting? She figured out how to crawl and loves going after the cat. She can also go from her belly to sitting.

Loves? For some reason she loves to flip her bottle around and suck on the bottom of it. Then she gets mad because no milk is coming out! Her favorite food is green beans or peas. She is very interested in the dog food, electrical cords and the sharp corners of tables. Basically anything dangerous.

Hates? She doesn't like fruits that much and still hates waking up from naps.

Looking Forward to? Getting baby gates! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Well guys, I've gotten 5 more bags of donations out the door and three bags of clothes that just had to be trashed. This time it was mostly uniforms from work that I DON'T NEED anymore!
I can't believe it! I've been looking forward to this moment. It seemed like all my Army stuff just took up sooooo much space. Green socks, white socks, green shirts, grey shirts, jackets, pants, boots, gloves, hats, and even brown hair elastics were all invading my space. I even had separate underwear I wore with my uniform. Yes, that's weird, but trust me, you don't want to be wearing a cute thong under those cargo pants. Just not comfy. Anyway, it's all gone now! I only kept one full uniform set that I need for Monday morning when I finish up the last of the paperwork.

Last weekend I spent a lot of time organizing and going through my craft stuff. I even spent a few hours winding up my embroidery thread and storing it by color, as you can see. I'm most definitely a Virgo. I had more than four big plastic totes full of craft supplies to organize and the first thing I did was to say, "Hey, these threads aren't organized by color, let me do that first..." Let's just say I didn't get though all the other craft stuff like I was supposed to, but I got a good chunk of it done.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Major Life Changes!!

I'm still in shock. In 10 days I will be out of the military.

10 days.


I've waited so long! That five year contract just seemed like forever. Like it would never end. Let me tell you, I never joined the Army because I really wanted to. I got the idea when I was living in Guam. Wanna hear the story? Of course you do!!

I had been dating this girl for a couple years who was/is an alcoholic (I'll call her "B") Everything was pretty tough. The consequences of B's drinking made it so we could never stay in one place for long. We jumped around from El Paso to Las Vegas and back to our stomping grounds in San Francisco. I was trying to leave for a while, and long story short, there was no way she was going to let me go in peace. I had to formulate some type of plan, which ended up being that I would move to Guam to work "temporarily" but in reality I wasn't planning on coming back.

While in Guam I started seeing another girl who was in the Navy. She seemed like she had her stuff together. Since I really didn't have an idea of what I wanted to do after I left Guam it kind of put a little bug in my ear. The military was an option I never really considered before.

Island life!
I had mentioned joining the Army to B as a way we could both get things back on track, since B had always talked about it I thought it might work. She would frequently tell people that she was in the Army so she could impress them, but as it turns out she wasn't interested in actually doing it so much as getting the unearned respect for it. When you have a drinking problem like that it gets difficult to keep jobs or have any "discipline" as the military would put it. I think deep down inside she knew she would be great at it, but the idea of not being able to go out to bars all the time kept her from commiting. Also, Don't Ask Don't Tell was still a thing back then, but whatever.

San Diego nights
So upon leaving Guam I decided to move down to San Diego so I could stay away from the problems in San Francisco. I had saved my money like crazy so that I could get back on my feet. Unfortunately this was 2009, the height of the recession, so things didn't really pan out. Everyday I would walk down University Avenue looking for a job without luck. The only place that would talk to me was a military recruiting station... so that was that. My savings started to run dry and so I signed the papers and moved back with my mom for a month before leaving for Basic Training.

Studying for the ASVAB
Basic was OK. No, it was horrible, but horrible in an interesting way. It was in Missouri and was 10 weeks. It was so exhausting that you didn't have time to think, let alone be depressed about it. I was pretty proud of myself when I graduated and could move on. 

Graduation day. That's me ^^^^^

After Basic I still had to go to AIT, an advanced training for my particular job. Since I got a great score on my ASVAB test I got a petty nice job that required a lot of training. Seven months of training to be specific.

This training was WAY worse and so boring and depressing and LONG. At least we got to go out on the weekends! We partied hard on the weekends, for sure. I have memories of drinking gin in a cheap motel room and going out to trashy country bars. By the end I was so tired of the lifestyle in the barracks I would get a hotel room by myself and just hibernate away from everyone so I could get some privacy. 

Getting ready for the weekend.
I specifically remember my last day in Missouri (or "Misery" as we called it.) I had gotten up super early to catch a ride to the bus station. I sat outside on my duffle bag and thought to myself that it was the best day of my life. I was so happy to get out of there. Leaving AIT will forever be in my top 5 best days of my life.

Then I moved to Alaska.
Oh Alaska.

The radio didn't actually work...
Gas chamber.
I'm not even gonna talk about Alaska. I slept in snow. Froze my ass off. Sometimes it was cool to be there, especially after I got a car and an apartment with Joe! Anchorage was a pretty cool place and Alaska has a lot to offer. Things started to look up towards the end of my three years there. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, at least.

I started blogging in Alaska as a way to keep my chin up and to look at the bright side of things. I covered our epic road trip, which has been a highlight of my life in the past few years. I've talked about pregnancy and little Ellie. Moving down to Louisiana has been really great. Sure, this town is small and boring, but things really came together here. I'm happy to be leaving but I'll always remember this place fondly.

Little family!
The Army helped me get my foot in the door for a possible career, or at least helped me get my resume going in a good direction instead of being all over the place. I can go to school again and have it paid for. Lots of great things are coming from it. It was a rough ride but worth it in the end.

I am SO EXCITED to find out what's next! TEN DAYS, GUYS!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Car Decals and Feminism

I feel like I should start this post off by saying, "you know what really grinds my gears?"
This is just a really glorified rant that I would normally post to Facebook because that's how people deal with frustration these days. But hey, that's the way this cookie is going to crumble today. 
A few weeks ago I saw something that really irked me and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I was on my way back from lunch to the office and a woman's car in front of me had a vanity plate that read "OILBOO"
I'm thinking, "WTF is an oilboo?"
Oh wait. Then I see the humongous decal on the back window. It was hot pink and read, "OIL FIELD WIFEY" and was surrounded by flowers or hearts or something. 
Oilboo as in "Oil-boo", like "boo" as a pet name you give your spouse. Okay then. So this woman is extremely proud that her husband is working in the oil fields.

Being in the military I see a lot of women with those stickers on their car saying how proud they are to be an "army wife" or something like that. I get it and I'm not trying to say they shouldn't put those stickers on their car or be proud of their spouse, but lets be real here. My husband doesn't have an "army husband" sticker on his car. They don't sell those stickers at the Exchange. They exist but I've never seen one on a car. EVER. 

You know why that is? It's certainly not for a lack of female service members! It's because we are taught that the husbands job is more important than the wife's job. We are taught that a woman is defined by her husbands career because she will never have a job as good or as important. 

It's normal to be proud of your spouse and their job. It's also much more of a "lifestyle" to be in the military, but it's really no different from most other jobs. There are tons of jobs where one spouse is gone for long periods. There are tons of jobs that require you to move every few years. There are tons of jobs that are dangerous and you could end up getting killed while doing it.

Until I see a sticker that says, "I'm proud of my SAHM" just as often as a "Proud Army Wife" sticker I will maintain that they are completely and totally sexist.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Capsule Wardrobe Progress Update

So guys, I lied. I like to you and I lied to myself.

Twice I have gone through my closet in an attempt to rid myself of anything I haven't worn so I can make space for new clothes. I've decided to give the "Capsule Wardrobe" a shot, which means going through everything and keeping only the things I love. The first time I thought I had done a good job. There were still some clothes in there that didn't fit the season. Still some maternity clothes that I might need later on. It wasn't good enough though, so I went through it again.

The second time I said, "Not joking around this time! No keeping any 'maybes' or things I sorta like. Get rid of it if I don't love it."

The second time I thought I really had it. I thought I had a fairly clean closet. Turns out that wasn't true. I woke up yesterday morning after a nice Thanksgiving-dinner-pumpkin-pie-induced snooze and looked at my closet, spilling out with clothes I could tell I wasn't planning on wearing again anytime soon. So while the rest of America went out to shop the sales and acquire new things, I stayed in a purged my closet for the third time. Wardrobe Clean Out Phase 3 commenced.

I filled donation bags with all those "maybes" and "kinda likes" and packed away anything I thought I might want next spring into space bags. I packed up my maternity clothes. I even separated out my lounge clothes and workout clothes so I could count the actual items that would be going into my capsule. I went deeper into the closet and pulled out out old duffle bags containing winter coats I don't wear anymore and even old bed sheets and other random things I had forgotten about. I went into the hall closet and took out shoes and old flip flops and threw them into the donation bags.

Six bags! Six donation bags full of stuff. This doesn't count the stuff I've sold on Ebay, things that went into the trash and things that are still lurking around. There is a box full of crap in the bedroom that has been there since we moved in (we don't have bedroom furniture yet so it kinda turned into a space to pile stuff on top of) and I still have a bunch of things I want to sell.

I feel so much better, guys! I feel like a burden has been lifted off of me. I no longer have a closet full of stuff I don't even like. Some of my keepers are honestly take-it-or-leave-it, but I can't get rid of everything or I'd be naked! Right now I have a total of 18 pieces of clothing for rotation.

1 grey cardigan sweater
2 pairs of skinny jeans, one dark and one light
1 pair of black leggings
2 blouses
1 dolmen sleeve hounds-tooth sweater
1 grey striped tank top
2 t-shirts, one grey and one black
2 fitted tees, one grey stripes and one grey leopard print
1 green winter coat
1 hooded cape
1 pair grey converse
1 pair black boots
1 pair moccasins
1 pair brown boots

My lounge clothes/pajamas have been sized down to a pair of boxers, yoga pants, pajama pants and a couple of tees and tanks that I can wear with them. My workout clothes are a minimal two tops, a workout hoodie and a pair of black capris. I have some sentimental items like a few pieces of my grandmothers clothes, a college t-shirt from my dad and my old sorority letters, but I think those will just get packed away for now.

This leaves me with a ton of room for new clothes! The max number I'm going for is 37 items.

This means I can shop for the following number of items:

5 pairs of shoes
2 jackets/coats
5 bottoms
7 tops

I plan on shopping in 6 month increments rather than the "seasonal" capsule like lots of people do. I don't have money for that and I don't see a big need to replace items when there isn't too big of a difference between fall/winter and spring/summer. All I have to do it layer up or down. Not to mention it's taken me practically a month just to start out my first capsule so by the time I finish it will be a new season already!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ellie Nova Ottati - 7 Months!

I totally fail this month because her monthly update is 9 days late. This week was a busy one. The following months are going to be pretty crazy around here so I'm hoping I can keep up!

Growing? She is 15 pounds and has 7 teeth! Four on top and three on the bottom.

New and Exciting? She can get up on her knees and rock back and fourth. I think she might start crawling backwards soon. She loves to roll all over the place and still likes to hold herself up with her arms most of the time. She can say "mama" now, though it's more like "mamamamamaaaaa" which I don't think qualifies as saying an actual word. Her dad is still jealous though.

Loves? She seems to enjoy her green beans and sitting in her high chair. She bangs her hand on the tray like a drum and throws things on the ground. For some reason she loves to roll under the bureau in the living room to kick it. It must be a blast because she is always going for it. She also loves my phone. She will do everything she can to grab it away from me, look at it, and then throw it on the ground. 

Hates? She hates getting her mouth wiped off while she eats her baby food. I don't know why but she starts crying every time. She must like getting messy! Obviously, as the picture illustrates, she does not like to stay in one place. 

Looking Forward to? When she learns to crawl. Or maybe I shouldn't be looking forward to that?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I Hate Clothes Shopping

I've been working on my 29 before 30 goals and one of them is to get myself a new wardrobe. I cleaned out my closet and started selling a bunch of stuff on Ebay, which takes a little time, but seems to be slowly building up a nice little fund for new clothes. I've been obsessively "window shopping" on the internet (or would you call it screen shopping? eh...) and I've come to the conclusion that I hate buying clothes.

Can I be considered a girl if I hate clothes shopping? Ok, so hate is a strong word. I mean, I don't despise clothes shopping. It's not like I would rather be at the dentist or something. It's always fun to buy yourself new clothes. It's just so stressful! I'm not a fashion person. I don't "style" my outfits or call individual clothing items "pieces." After clicking away and wish-listing things on a half a dozen websites I came to the conclusion that I'm only going to purchase things that are black, white, grey or shades of brown. This is because I can't for the life of me figure out how to combine colors in outfits. One minute I look in my cart and I've got three red things and I don't even like red that much. The next minute I've got burgundy socks, a yellow blouse and a black skirt which I KNOW aren't going to go together. This doesn't even take into account jackets and purses and shoes that all have to match. 

Oh yeah, and then there is money. Clothes are expensive, people! I don't want to buy junk from Forever 21 anymore just to save money and have them fall apart in a couple months. I'm too old for that shit. When I spend my money on clothes I need to make it count.

OH YEAH, and another thing: time. When I'm back to being civilian and going to school again (I got accepted to my school by the way!) I'm going to have to wake up early to get Ellie to daycare.
Daycare starts at 7.
So theoretically I'm going to be waking up around 5 to get ready, eat breakfast and get the baby ready by 6:30 so I can make the half hour drive. This doesn't count snow removal time from the car or defrosting-the-window times. Am I really going to wake up and put together a multi-layered outfit with a skirt, tights, knee socks, boots, a blouse, a cardigan, a scarf, a fashionable jacket and a hat? 
I can tell you with certainty that will not happen. 
What will happen will look like this: I wake up at 5. I am tired a cranky and cold. I will put on skinny jeans and the first decent looking t-shirt I can find. I will put on makeup and my hair in a bun if it hasn't been straightened already the night before. I will put on the warmest coat I own (aka: Not fashionable. Because being warm means looking like a marshmallow.) That will be that.

So what the heck do I do with all this?
My fashion idols are the likes of The Clothes Horse and The Dainty Squid. But this will never be my fashion destiny. So I've switched gears and tried to take some inspiration from Caroline's blog Un-fancy and her "Capsule Wardrobe" idea. 
Holy moley, guys. There is even a downloadable Wardrobe Planner. I don't consider myself  big "planner" but I AM a Virgo and Virgos like to have things organized. This might be my saving grace. She may become my clothing sensei and I will be that little grasshopper kid.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

6 Month Essentials!

I took a look at my 1 month baby essentials post and realized how much things have changed in six months! So many things I needed back then are almost all irrelevant these days, so thought I would do a little updated  baby essentials list now that Ellie is six months old (Ok, she's actually almost 7 months, but that's beside the point.)

1. Blames Ikea High Chair - This high chair is awesome. It looks great and blends in with the rest of the decor without looking like "baby furniture"

2. Pyttig Padding for High Chair - This is a pad for the high chair that you put in if the baby can't sit up by themselves yet. I love the stripes! It was hard to blow up but so inexpensive and looks great.

3. Plufsig Folding Gym Mat - This was a life saver! We had a big puzzle floor mat out before for Ellie to play on and it looked horrible. It wasn't easy to clean and the puzzle pieces fell out of place all the time when I tried to move it. This mat is amazing. The ombre colors look great, it's easy to clean and folds up super fast. This way we can have our living room back when Ellie isn't playing and we don't have to walk around a big ugly puzzle piece mat.

4. Comotomo Bottle - If you've never seen this bottle before, just know it's very squishy! It's got a wide mouth that's easy to clean (no more shoving a bottle brush in) and you don't have to buy those drop-in liners because the bottle itself is made of soft silicone that "deflates" as the baby sucks the milk out. Is that the right word? "Deflate"?

5. Little Owls Night Book - This is the cutest book! We haven't gotten a bedtime story time down yet but we hope to soon. There just aren't enough hours in the day, you know?

6. 4moms Rock-a-Roo - Nap time central. When she is cranky and tired just a few minutes in this baby and she is out! I love the toy mobile that she can pull down to play with. I haven't used the speakers in it very often but it's nice to have if your baby likes white noise or music to sleep to. She's actually getting a little big for this now since she can climb out of it when she isn't sleepy, but when she's tired it's our #1 life saver.

7. Best Bottoms Covers - After trying out six different brands of diaper covers we found the Best Bottoms are the best. They never get soaked through and we can use them for up to two days sometimes! The hedgehog print is adorable too :) I've got my eye on the tie dye one too.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Adventures

We had a fun Halloween in Lake Charles. One of my bosses who volunteers there watched Ellie for us while we went through a haunted ship. It was pretty scary! I screamed ALOT. Joe and I were in a group with three others, two were 13 or so, and they begged us to go first because they were scared. My reaction? NO WAY. 
It makes me wonder what my reaction would be if there were a zombie apocalypse and two young teenagers needed me to kill a zombie to save them... NOPE! Sorry kids, you're on your own! 

Joe was Buckethead. Creepy, huh?

I went as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark! Ellie was my black kitty.

We had a fun night!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Grey is My Favorite Color - Etsy Goodies

One of my 29 before 30 goals was to get rid of anything I don't wear and acquire a new wardrobe. I can't go into my thirties without having some semblance of personal style! I know it's not the most important thing in the world, but I consider myself to be a creative person and creative people have to look creative! Plus it's fun. Well guys, I'm proud to say that I've accomplished emptying out my closet. Unfortunately this means I have almost nothing left. No joke! I have two, yes, TWO blouses that I like and all the rest are just t-shirts. A few are pretty good "casual weekend outing" tees but the rest are basically only pajama worthy. Last weekend I went to pick up a couple new pairs of jeans because I literally had no pants. I've pretty much spiraled out of control in the fashion department. Not to be dramatic or anything.

Now I'm on a quest for new clothes. The problem with shopping online and even in stores is that I always get caught up in "the brand" because I don't have a secure idea about how I like to dress. For example, I'll be in Express. I'll be looking at all the business casual clothes and the suit jackets and get all these ideas about how to dress in that style, but then the next day I'm in American Eagle thinking about living the California dream in faded jean shorts and flannel shirts. Then I go online to Modcloth and see all the adorable twee dresses and I get all excited about wearing cute tights. I have fashion multiple personality disorder.

I decided to try out browsing Etsy and saving anything I loved in my favorites so I could get a clearer picture of what kind of things I like to wear. I may not have a clear picture yet but I did notice something: I love grey. Whenever I shop for clothes I inevitably choose nothing but grey things. It's weird because this is the exact opposite of my taste in interior decor, where I love bold patterns and bright colors. Now I've got that Counting Crows song, "Mr. Jones" playing in my head... (You know grey is my favorite color, I felt so symbolic yesterday..." Am I showing my age yet?

Monday, October 27, 2014

How do you do Halloween?

If I were an excellent blogger I would have already done a photoshoot of a coordinated family costume, all made by hand of course, with thrifted items and things from my closet. I would never have gone to the Halloween store and purchased costumes from a bag or shake-and-go wig! What kind of person would I be??

I should have a display area in my home where I have stylishly placed hand painted pumpkins, Halloween related artwork and a bowl of caramels made from scratch. I should have shared hot cider recipes and pumpkin-flavored-everything recipes! What would you think of me if I told you I haven't touched a can of pumpkin puree or even considered roasting a pumpkin this year?

What I AM doing to get in the spirit is listening to a nice gothic themed playlist (lots of The Cure) and watching Halloween movies (including American Horror Story!! This season is pretty good so far, am I right?)

Last weekend we dove an hour to the closest town with a costume store and picked up some stuff. My dream Halloween costume for the family was to be characters from Labyrinth. I would be Sarah, Ellie would be Toby and Joe wanted to be Ludo (there is an awesome DIY Ludo costume on Insructables here... I just don't have the time to make it!) 

Instead of Labyrinth costumes we are going to be separate characters. I'm going as Elvira and Ellie will be my black cat. Joe is going as Buckethead, the guitarist. I would have put a lot more effort into costumes if I knew we would have a party to go to or an event to be at. The problem with moving around so much is that you never have friends who throw parties! We will be going to a skate competition and maybe a haunted ship in the town over from us. 

Halloween is one of those holidays I LOVE, but it can get so expensive and become so time consuming to do it right. Then sometimes you spend all that time on a costume and you have nowhere to go in it! I've never been a hostess type, but I would love to one day throw a Halloween party.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Home Movies

I don't think I ever posted links to Ellie's home movies! I put together some iPhone videos that I took during the past 6 months and put them together to make a little progress video. It seems like a waste to take so many little videos and not have a good way to watch them all. I put them together every three months. 
I'm not a video editing expert at all, but it makes me happy to see all the little moments we had. Anyone have any tips?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

29 Before 30

Two years ago I did "27 before 28" and I feel like I did a good job with that one, so here it is: 29 things I will do before I turn the big 3-0 (or "dirty thirty" as I prefer to call it.)
Since 29 is like, a SUPER big number and all, I divided my list up into categories so your eyes don't explode or just glaze over. I guess when I reach 30 I'll have to break out the file folders!

  1. Pay off my smaller school loan.
  2. Snowball that payment onto my car loan and pay it off early.
  3. Find a work study job to help move things along and make a dent in my bigger school loan.
  4. Looking over my list, much of it requires money! I'll have to budget carefully and make sure I still put money into savings and retirement while allocating for things that I want.
  5. Spend as little as possible on groceries while still being able to enjoy interesting food. I'm not going to eat Ramen everyday, but I'd like to spend less than we are now.

  1. Start university (again.) I've applied and hopefully I'll hear back soon!
  2. Maintain at least a 3.75 GPA
  3. Put EVERYTHING I've got into whatever math course I have to take. It's going to be tough!

  1. Purchase a nice bed set - the grown-up kind. None of this box-spring-on-the-floor business. This must include a sweet mattress.
  2. While I'm thinking about furniture, we need a dining table as well. 
  3. Build Ellie a play kitchen from our old bed side tables.
  4. Go through my closet a second time and really get rid of things I don't wear. I went through once and got rid of a lot, but of course there are still a bunch of "I might fit this later" and "I think I might wear it again" which you and I know is total BS.
  5. Grow my collection of horribly tacky cat figurines. I kinda stopped collecting after we moved out of Anchorage. Alaska had the BEST thrift stores for tacky cat stuff and Louisiana has nothing!
  6. Create a weekly shopping list that follows a weekly meal plan... Yes. I'm going there. I'm going to be one of those people! It will help with the cost of groceries more than anything as well as cut out the annoyance of having no idea what to make for dinner and then just eating pasta.
  7. On that note, I want to have a set day every month where I make a big batch of freezer meals. I do frozen pizza dough and veggie broth but I know there is so much more I can freeze for an easy dinner. I made a bunch of these before Ellie was born so we wouldn't have to eat cereal for dinner while taking care of a newborn. I want to branch out and make soups, garlic breads, waffles, pot pies and chimichangas. 
  8. Start a vegetable garden. Last time I made a list I said I would grow herbs, which I did, but they didn't really thrive indoors. Since we are moving to the country I'd like to plant some vegetables that are easy to grow. This one may not actually happen but I'll try.

  1. Start a "Beauty Fund" in a little mason jar.
  2. With this fund I'll make sure I get myself regular manicures, haircuts, and tanning. Alaska made me more pale than I care to be and I haven't recovered from it yet. 
  3. Make it a habit to have a weekly "pampering day." I'll do a cute nail design for the week, take a nice bath, have a glass of wine and use all my beauty products that sadly get left in cabinets most of the time.
  4. Do something interesting with my hair. I'm not sure what, yet, but I've got to do something different.
  5. New wardrobe! Let's face it, I need it. Most of my clothes are really old and lots don't fit anymore. I should invest in quality pieces that I love and wear all the time. In the long run it will save money.

  1. Learn to play my new ukulele. 
  2. Give Ellie a really cute and simple birthday party, Pinterest worthy. That's right, buntings made from Instagram photos are in the future!
  3. Set up a schedule for blogging. Once I'm in school and staying home with Ellie I should have a little more blogging time available (HA, yeah right...)
  4. Learn more about my cameras settings. 
  5. Get some inexpensive lighting equipment for indoor photos.
  6. Sew at least one more dress.

  1. Keep as much negativity out of my personal bubble as possible. I'm usually pretty good at separating myself from toxicity, but at the same time I'm very sensitive and even the small amount I let in can ruin my day or week. I think it will always do me well to continuously assess my situation and relationships and put a boundary on how much negativity I will take in.
  2. I want to try to be less anxious. This year is a big one and I'm constantly looking forward to what will happen in the next few days, weeks and months. The countdowns are just dragging along it seems, like they will never end and the closer the end gets the slower it goes. Unless, of course, it is something I don't want to happen and then time just speeds up! I have to remind myself more often that the time will pass and I will get where I need to be in no time. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Uncle Will

Last weekend my brother came to Louisiana meet Ellie. The last time I saw my brother was Christmas last year in California during our road trip. Has it really been almost a year since then?

Ellie was pretty happy to meet her uncle. She cried a little bit first, like she usually does with new people, but after a couple minutes she was just fine! I was hoping to take him out to get some good Cajun food or see a bayou or something, but it didn't really work out. It was so rainy and we ended up playing board games and watching Halloween movies instead. I made some creamsicle Jell-O shots for the occasion and they turned out pretty good, as far as Jell-O shots go.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Just an Existential Fashion Crisis.

I don't know about everyone else, but I never really get that "spring cleaning" itch around springtime. It happens randomly. All the sudden I wake up and think, "I NEED to clean out my closet! Like, NOW." Then I sit and think about all the stuff I never wear and what I should do with it and how to decide what to replace everything with once I empty everything out... and then I'm too mentally exhausted to actually do anything about it.

I really don't get fashion. I suppose I read as many fashion blogs as the next person, but they aren't on the top of my list. I know there are certain styles that aren't for me. I can look at someone else's outfit and love it, but as far as recreating it I'm at a loss. Anytime I try to put together a "look," as they call it, I sort of throw on a bunch of stuff and end up looking like one of those sad hobo clowns. How do you wear shorts and tights and make it cute? How do you pick a silhouette? Which one is right for me and defines MY life? Who really cares anyway?? I'm not going anywhere interesting where I feel like impressing anyone. If I lived in New York City or something I might care since most everyone there looks fashionable or at least has their own style. Rural Louisiana is pretty much a fashion desert anyway. So that's how it goes. I throw on a pair of shorts and a tee shirt and that's that.

Last years "fashion-y" boots? Who knows.

Do you know I don't even own a pair of jeans anymore?

How can a twenty something have neglected her own wardrobe for so long that she no longer owns a single pair of jeans? This isn't normal, guys. This is how you know you are getting old. This is on the cusp of "frumpy mom."

No. I refuse.

I refuse to be a frumpy Walmart-clothing mom. It doesn't help that Walmart is the only place to shop within a 60 mile radius, either.

Since I'm on the verge of going back to college I think that now is the time to make a change. I don't want to feel like the "old one" in class. I want to be the "intimidatingly experienced one" in class. Having a non-frumpy wardrobe is probably a step in the right direction, don't you think? Clothes certainly aren't the most important thing in life but they say so much about you that it's a shame to ignore it completely.

It's purging time guys!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ellie Nova Ottati - 6 Months!

Growing? She weighs about 15 pounds.

New and Exciting? She can stand up if we hold her hands for balance and she got her top two teeth in! Her uncle Will is here to visit her and he can make her laugh and smile.

Loves? Her feet and hands are extremely interesting. She loves her bananas and carrots. She also loves to scream as loud as she can when the dog or cat are playing or running around. 

Hates? She hates waking up from naps, just like her mom. 

Looking Forward to? Going back to New York so she can see the snow. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014


It is cooling down here, making it finally good enough to go out for a walk in the park! It's much easier putting Ellie in a wrap or sling in cooler weather. We had a great time on the swings and playing in the grass!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekend Updates

It was surprisingly cool this weekend, making it a perfect time to take Murray to the dog park. We walked out of the house and I was completely shocked at the temperature. It's been at least 90 every day and all the sudden it was 75-ish. Does that mean summer is truly over? I'm just not ready for that! Ellie has been giggling and babbling a lot more and was going absolutely crazy watching all the dogs. I could tell she really wanted to play with them.

Lots of exciting things are going on. I ordered a brand new laptop, a present from my family, which should be here in a few weeks. I've been using my 2009 Toshiba for 5 years and it's a little slow nowadays. I also applied for the upcoming spring semester of university, so I'm going to need a new laptop to use for class. If all goes well I will be out of the army in 3 months, 3 weeks and 4 days... Oh the countdown. I've been counting down for 5 years and I can't believe it's almost over! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ellie Nova Ottati - 5 Months!

Growing? At her 4 month check up she was 12 lbs, so I bet she's gotten bigger since then.  

New and Exciting? Her doctor was surprised that she's been turning over from her back to her front for a month now. She's been rolling around to get her toys and spinning in all directions to try to get to Murray and Kitty. Last night she figured out how to put her foot in her mouth.

Loves? People say toddlers are like little drunk people. I think babies are like little people tripping on mushrooms. She will be holding her toy, intently trying to put it in her mouth, then all the sudden drops it to stare at her hand for five minutes.

Hates? She wasn't a big fan of eating rice cereal out of a spoon, though she didn't mind it from the bottle. She also gets upset that she hasn't figured out crawling yet and will fuss about it when she can't move.

Looking Forward to? Giving her a lemon slice to try.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


My birthday gift from Joe finally arrived!
Back in 2009 I had three ukuleles, but lost them all because of moving around so much. I learned a little bit back then and even took a lesson in Guam, but never got really good. I got this idea in my head a few weeks ago that I wanted to try playing uke again, maybe because it's a kid-friendly instrument, and requested one for my birthday.
Joe is the type of person who will spend hours researching something before buying it, so he picked a really good one for our price range. It's a Mahalo soprano ukulele made from mahogany and koa. It came in an adorable gig bag with little sea turtle zipper pulls.

I'm happy to say that I don't totally suck at it and I remember quite a few chords. Too bad there is no way to make an electric guitar and ukulele band. But hey, if Japan can invent "Babymetal," maybe anything is possible! Island-metal maybe?
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