Wonderful birthday today. As wonderful as it gets anyway. At least right now.

The girls are kinda behaving after a bad night of sleep problems for Kathleen.

Had a good birthday weekend tho. Shea and I went out to eat and saw the Dark Knight and came home to no kids. They stayed the night with their grandparents and went to church the next morning.

I didn't get as much sleep as I would have liked but I got a good amount of rest. Though I'm still paying for Kitkat's sleepless nights. I am use to the up and down but not the stay up for hours fighting with her to go back to bed. We've not found any one thing that seems to be working. All I know is we have to do something I can't keep doing this as they fustrate me more and more everyday that I'm this tired.

Fun fun. But a good day it has been.

This coming up Monday I am going to tray a different tactic with Kathleen in the potty training department.

I have printed out four "potty train" charts. They are litteraly a train on tracks, to put stickers on. We won't be using stickers next week, maybe the following week I'll pick some up I didn't think about it today when I went out.

I think I'm going to try several different successes, some little some big so that she will have some small rewards and a large reward at the end.

The chart has 24 or 25 squares to put on stars. When she finishes a whole page of the chart I will let her choose from a set of cards with princess' and cars on them - two of her favorite things. She will be able to collect all 12 of them or duplicate if she wants to but the idea is they are disposable and will only cost me ink to print them out on (and the paper). This chart will record the times she actually goes potty in the potty.

The next chart I think I will use to represent the days that she stays dry all day long with no diapers (except at bed time). This will be tracked in two different ways, one to see how many days in a row she does it and how many times she does it (as there will be mistakes I'm sure).

A thrid chart will be used for actually pooping in the potty, we have yet to get this to happen at all yet, so it'll be our biggest hurdle.

A final chart will be a monthly calendar that will keep track of the days in a row she goes to the potty in with out making a mess. I have yet to decide on what a big prize will be, but I want something that she will want, a DVD maybe or something. But I have to talk with Shea about this. When she has stayed dry, pooped and peed in the potty for 4 weeks straight during the day we will reward her this big prize. And hope that it keeps up, we will continue the charting until she's doing it willingly.

It may not take that long but she's stubborn and I need to do something diapers are getting expensive. I don't think I have enough panties to last a week, but I should have enough to last at least two days. I have to find them all though.

As if potty training wasn't enough to deal with Kathleen's sleeping habits are becoming difficult on me. Currently she requires me to stay with her until she falls asleep, and since she shares a room with Sammi it makes things rather difficult to just let her cry herself to sleep, not to mention the fact that she can open the door to get out of her room. There are two options - one move Kathleen to her own room and two put a TV in their room. While the first is the cheapest for now it is not the best solution. If I do this Kathleen will be moved into the play room, which currently has no door on it but it has the tv already set up with dvd player. A bit of work would need to be done, the windows would need to be tinted (we have the stuff already), the room would need to be cleaned and the toys sorted out between Sammi's and Kitkat's so that they could be put in separate rooms.

BUT the biggest issue with that solution is that it's all the way across the other side of the house the farthest you could get from us. This is not ideal. But I think it's the best solution.

Though I think we will try the tv in their bedroom first. We have a DVD player we could use in there provided that we don't mount it to the wall like the one in the playroom. But that will set us back money we don't really have to spend.

I dunno what we are going to do but we need to do something.

I have been off of the pill for about 6 to 7 months since it doesn't fit into our monthly budget. We are "protecting" our selves in other less expensive ways. Insurance didn't cover it and it may cover it now, with a prior approval, though I don't know I could try and see if it's covered or not with my current Rx but I dunno. I'm not prepared to pay 31 bucks a month for it.

But the tend I've been noticing is that my cycle is getting longer and longer and longer as time goes one. This is probably EXACTLY how it happened and I never noticed when I was younger. This is highly annoying. I've been tracking the past four cycles to keep track of things and see if this is just fluctuation or something else going on. May's AF was 30 days after April's, 33 days for June, 37 days for July and I'm currently at 38 days for August.

I think I feel cramps which is usually the first sign it's right there, but I feel them for like weeks before now. This is not a good sign of anything to come. I really don't want to be on the pill all my life just to keep my body in sync. Because with the delays in the hormonal cycle my skin and hair are out of shots, skin is breaking out all over, hair is falling out excessively. I don't think this. After this cycle hits I really need to see the OB/GYN, but that costs money to go do and time which neither are in excess supply right now. As it is this Friday is going to be a killer day, our driver's licenses expire and we need to go deal with that stupid line with the girls since both of ours are expired this month. Yay, fun!

I hate when you really want to play a video game and you can't because your PC isn't up to par.

My PC doesn't have a supported Vid card for Warhammer Online. And the PC shea is currently on isn't fast enough and doesn't have a supported vid card. Shea's real pc is out of commission. I just spent the last hour or so with tech support trying to figure out the problem. It seems that the network card is fried, so now we have to send it in for them to repair it. So that means we MIGHT be able to play beta on one PC. But we have to wait till we either get birthday money to buy the new vid card for me, but that money has mostly been delegated to a portable dual screen DVD play for the van so we can have something to travel with to entertain the girls. I have have to take christmas money out and buy it.

I really hate that we have to keep upgrading or buying new pcs just to play games *sighs* this totally sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's a look at it in wordpress:

Spaghetti Press

Kathleen hasn't been feeling well the past two nights. Her stomach and the resulting diaper rash are making her antsy at night, so we spend several hours trying to figure out what's wrong and get her back to bed. When I say we I mean me, and she wakes up Shea in the process but he goes back to bed as long as Kitkat isn't in our bedroom.

Thankfully she fell asleep on the couch after Shea went to work so I was able to catch a few unrestful hours of sleep with her out there. Now Sammi is awake so must I be.

So my lack of sleep has been a major deterent on the A Dark Journey front. I hope to start picking it back up next week, if I don't get to it Friday or Saturday at all. I may be able to since I'll be starting the download for the Warhammer Online beta on Friday!

Here is a working mock up of the design I showed earlier:

Spagetti Mock Up for lack of a better name atm.

Relaxing Doesn’t Make Babies » How many cracks before you crumble?.

Please keep Natalie and Denis in your thoughts. We love you hun.

This is a mock up of a wordpress them I hope to make for the Lunar pages contest.

This weekend has been a busy one. Friday morning Shea got up and started working on the shop roof. His dad came around 7am, and then his oldest brother came by and started showing them both how to start the roof. Shea never really got it, but the shop is just a simple peak roof so they did it all themselves.

It got too hot Friday afternoon so they called it quits and started at 7am Saturday morning. Shea's little brother showed up to help on Saturday along with their father. They finished it.

So, now we only have to take down the sheet rock in the shop that is nasty and clean it up and it'll be usable again. We've only got little things left in the house, molding, ceiling fans etc, but all little stuff.

It's been what, 3 years since Katrina and we are just now finished with all the major projects. And it's the middle of hurricane season again. Watch all the work we just did go to waste!

While they were working on the roof the girls and I spent most of that time outside in the backyard with them. The girls played with the bubbles, sidewalk chalk, the kiddie pool and their swings, and bothered their Pawpaw lol. But all in all it was a very gorgeous day outside. 90 degrees with low humidity and low dew poin, absolutely gorgeous!!! For all you northern friends, you'd still think it was hot, but really for this time of year it was beautiful for us. We loved it. If Shea hadn't been so tired I would have wanted to take the girls to the park, but he was tired and sore.

I have seen a remarkable improvement in Diamond in both appearance and attitude. Diamond actually comes out of the room now, and will play with the girls for a few miniutes. She tires of them quickly still and retreats to the safety of our room but she is doing much better.

I made a connection yesterday that may be why Diamond has lost so much weight and it might not be anything wrong with her other than what she does or doesn't eat. Diamond has eaten beniful for most of her life and when we switched I think it wasn't providing the same nutrients she needed or she just wasn't plain eating it well enough. I've been adding half a can of canned dog food to her dry food this past week and both Shea and I can see an improvement in her weight and look of her. So instead of going to the straight dry food but more expensive dog food I'm going to stick with the purina brand that is cheaper and add in half a can of canned dogfood mixed in. Price wise it comes out a little better or around the same, but it also insures she eats most of her food when I give it to her instead of it sitting around all day for the girls to play in thus making my kitchen a bigger disaster area.

I'm going to give Diamond another week or two on this new diet to see if she bulks back up and if she does then I won't buy the dewormer but if we still see an issue I probably will. I think I have found one that I don't need an Rx for and is relatively easy to give to her.

Gonna try this one tonight cause I have no white cheese on hand.

White Pizza Sauce

6 tbs. butter
6 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. white wine
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. basil
2 garlic cloves, minced

Sauté garlic in butter and olive oil. Add all other ingredients and simmer for
15 minutes.

Pizza Blanca Sauce (White Pizza Sauce)

This sauce does double duty on fettuccini for a quick Alfredo, or combine it
with mariner sauce for a "rosa" or mellow, creamy pasta topping.

2 tbs. margarine or butter
3 tbs. flour
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup parmesan cheese or shredded havarti

Heat margarine and stir in flour. Mix up to slightly cook flour. Slowly
whisk in milk, adding gradually to make a sauce. Stir in spices and cheese.

One of my clients has sent me an email telling me about a project she's been working on. It's a comic book called Stellar Arcana.

Here is an excerpt from the site:

Carpenter Kane, the renowned adventurer and anthropologist, is searching for lost alien civilizations. He travels from planet to planet seeking out clues to the great mystery of why humans seem to be alone in the galaxy.

The year is 2307. Humanity has spread throughout the cosmos, and has settled on many planets; some of which have evidence of prior civilizations, but no sign of present life. Carpenter Kane is exploring these ruins in hopes that he will unlock the mysteries they hold inside, to learn about these former cultures, and to find out how humanity might avoid the same fate they met.

To accomplish this, he will have to use his knowledge of the ancient civilizations to avoid traps left by them, creatures that still live on the planets, and fellow human beings, such as corporate barons who want to build on top of the ruins, and secret organizations that want to steal the technologies left by these more advanced races for their own gains.

Carpenter has help from his stout friend Little Jo Jo, who has a dark past as a criminal in one of the most infamous gangs in the galaxy. His connections in the underworld, and his skills with a gun, equal Carpenter’s historical knowledge, and get them through many scrapes.

Each comic book issue will introduce a mystery to be solved both by Carpenter and you, the reader. Each riddle will take you one step closer to the great answer of what happened to all of the other civilizations in the galaxy, and whether humanity is next to vanish.

The types of mysteries will vary as Carpenter collects these treasures and studies them to help in his future quests. He will require occasional help from his ex-wife Mika, an archeology professor who gave up the life of an adventurer, and wishes Carpenter would, too.

Carpenter’s adventures will take him deep into underground caves, over treacherous mountains, through forgotten woods, and into the depths of space. He will explore unseen planets, and rediscover forgotten ones as he searches for the treasures and the answers of lost civilizations.

Stellar Arcana has a unique design for a comic book because it includes live characters merged with illustration, 3D models and/or live backgrounds and props. Steller Arcana has received good reviews from the distributers and the comic book store owners and a few fans while at Comic Con.

Keep an Eye on this!

A Dark Journey.

I have started a new journal. This one is dedicated to the diary of one Character I love to death. This will chronicle her daily life as well as all the events that have happened to it over the past ten years. Matalina aka Cari is by far my most indepth character and I love her.

I am enjoying writing for her as a Trainee, seeing how naive she once was. Soon that will change and you will get to see those changes first hand. You will get a glimpse into the life that only few knew and get some details that have not been shared before.

I hope you enjoy the story as it unfolds. If you knew Matalina as a character with your character at Dragonmount and want a piece of the pie so to speak I'm sure we can work something out. Some have already made an appearance and others will show up as time goes on. To name a few familiar faces. Yveva Sedai, Tarishima Sedai, Ben T-Gaidin and Reikan Souvan. Many more will follow.

She has had a stomach bug for most of the weekend. He started feeling better early yesterday afternoon. Today Kitkat woke up and has not left my lap except for a breif period of time. I knew something was wrong. Ear ache, stomach upset were two things that I was leaning towards based on her reactions. She came to me telling me something hurt, while doing so she was holding her ear. But I think that was a comforting thing, cause a few mins later she came to me holding her tummy.

As soon as I picked her up out it came. I tried getting her to get sick in the toilet but that didn't work. I've tried giving her a tums but she wouldn't take it. I don't think I could get her a liquid either. She got sick again a few mins ago but is now sleeping in my lap while I type. As long as Sammi is sleeping this will work but when I have to go get her things will be much more difficult. Kitkat doesn't take well to being sick to her stomach not that I blame her much.

You may be wondering why I've decided to start calling my blog "Raising the Herd". The biggest reason is because that is what Shea calls us. Every evening after work we all follow him into the bedroom and we all catch up. The girls run and hug Daddy and Shea and I kiss and we tend to all the requests for "up". Samantha's second word other than the usual (mama, dada, bye-bye, ni ni - her first was done).

He started calling us the herd when he was on the phone talking to his friends and his parents. And sometimes it's like moving a herd to get us all going when we need to leave the house. It fit the family perfectly. This is my life, my family, my journal.

I will probably stick with this theme for a long while. I really like how it turned out. The foreground content stuff might change but the background graphics are here to stay for a while I'm sure.

The family picture was taken last November while Shea's son was in town. The girls were almost 23 months and 9 months and those pictures were H-E-double hockey stick to take neither of the girls cooperated. This is by far the best picture. Here is one that is my computer wallpaper.

I am still working on it but I have a pretty good start, but it's easier to write the code on my live blog than it is on my home set up so you'll have a few quirks here and there an might mess up totally as you go from page to page.

My parents left a few days ago from their visit with us. We accomplished alot of things and still did nothing. My mother is a workaholic so she never sat still for long. Thankfully she mostly played with the girls, but she did keep my house clean and we got all the icky spots out of the office carpet, thanks to my mother. I love her to death but wish she wouldn't work so hard on her vacation.

We also got Diamond bathed and some flea preventative on her so hopefully we'll see an uptick in Diamond's health. I'm worried about her, but she does seem to be doing much better. Still thin as a rail, but we'll deal with that one step at a time. I still wonder if half of it's because she's scrtached off her fur, but hopefully that will all grow back now. Oh yah, more shedding.

While I am glad that things have gotten back to normal, I do miss my parents greatly. We are still looking to move, and one of the locations is of course by my parents. Basically I've a very broad web design search going - Pascagoula, Mobile, Pensacola and Utica. To get a job down here would require a decent enough pay for us to put the girls in daycare AND pay for gas on top of adding funds to the budget. To move to Utica area it requries some assistance with moving as well as good enough pay for travel until we find a house near the job. It also means we have to sell this house, which is going to be a slow process. Either which way there are a lot of variables while the girls are not in school.

While my parents were here we talked about two different vactions. When the girls are 4/5 years old we want to take them to Disney World. My parents said they had thought about that and maybe even inviting us (meaning Shea and I, the girls were the reason they were going lol). We also talked about going to Colorado. It has been 17 years since I've been to Colorado. I didn't get to go to when my dad and Mig went back to get our things when we moved up here. I didn't get to go when there was a wedding or a funeral (think it was a wedding) because I was in college and classes had already started, Mig got to go. I've not been back there since we moved. Though I have seen Grandma three times - our first Christmas she came out, my graduation and Mig's wedding. I've seen Aunt Vicki once at Mig's wedding but I hear from her on a semi-monthly basis which is cool. Mom and I talked about things like we had to go into the mountains, it's a given to see Dad's cousin, we were close with them, but I really just want to show Shea what a real mountain looks like, he thinks the hills of Edmeston are mountains lol.

Maybe one day we'll get to do both. Right now funds don't allow it but maybe someday soon. I really need a job to help with this but the daycare and the gas prices right now really don't cater to that. I'd have to make as much money or more than Shea to actually afford it. So we pray for a good job until then we struggle, at least we are making it now though. I worry less during the month but the end of the month always brings in those omg feelings.

I just went looking for my eldest and I couldn't find her so I looked in her bedroom, she was asleep with a bottle in her bed snoring. Now this is just plain weird. She usually struggles to go to bed, to go to bed on her own.. WOW!!

Granted it's a bit late for a nap but still, I can deal with that.

Kathleen has been having UTI's alot lately and last Friday she went in for a test that checked for urine reflux. Today I called the doctor and everything was normal!

So yay for that but now we still don't know why she's been getting them alot lately, it must have something to do with the pullups and/or potty training methods. So we are going to continue using diapers and try another method of potty training instead of the disposable pullups.

Hopefully we can get her potty trained soon. But as in most things she really has no interest in it. It's not a mystery to her so she could care less.

We got cable back today. TV is wonderful!!!!

lol, 30 mins ago firefox tried to start a record setting number of downloads in one day. Well now their site isn't working. I'm sure that this is going to cut into their numbers. It's more than likely down because of the number of ppl hitting the site right now, but you'd have thunk they'd have been prepared a little better if they knew they were going to get hit hard.

Since I want 3.0 I will have to download it when the site gets back up hopefully it'll be today lol.

With the fact that we only get like 5 channels and only a few of them actually come in clear Kathleen has fallen in love with some of our Disney DVDs. Right now we flop back and forth between Finding Nemo and Cars. Or Fish and Cars as they are called in our house right now. Sometimes she watches Little Mermaid or Aristocats, the Lion King and a few others she's liked like Toy Story and Whinne the Pooh.

Anyway, we watch Cars alot, and one of the scenes is when Mater and Lightning McQueen go Tractor Tipping. Kathleen will come up to me and say Silly on. She giggles at the tractors falling over and even more when Lightning gets them all to tip over. She's so funny.

She's getting so many words under her belt now. She's starting to copy what we say, this is not good, thankfully Shea's not gamming right now so the swear words are limited around the house.

Shea's been working overtime since cable's been turned off. We are pretty sure as long as he continues to work overtime at least one day a month (we hope more than that) that we can afford to put cable tv and the internet back in the house.

So with in the next few weeks to maximum of a month, we should have cable back. But before you say oh yeah she'll be around more, that won't necessarily be the case. There are things that I will not be returning to full time. To name a few is DM, AoD, TV.net and getting on icq or msn. I will check like I have been lately, do some rping, but it won't be like I was. My girls are far more important and my house being in some kind of order as well.

I may or may not start back up my freelancing on a local/personal basis. I know I've a few things I need to do once I can get back on the net from my PC. And I know one client is looking for some changes so I will probably go ahead with that.

So hopefully soon we'll be back to some degree. The TV will be the biggest plus, to have real tv again!!