Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wendy Davis, Woman Warrior

"A filibuster is a type of parliamentary procedure where debate is extended, allowing one or more members to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a given proposal. It is sometimes referred to as talking out a bill,[1] and characterized as a form of obstruction in a legislature or other decision-making body."

"Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.[1] "

History has been made in Texas for the sake of women all over the country. A new precedent has been set. On the morning of June 25, 2013, Senator Wendy Davis (D) of Texas took a stand. A stand that lasted 11 hours. A stand that means that the welfare of the women of Texas remains intact.

Senate bill 5 proposed that all abortion clinics include a mandatory ambulatory surgery center, and banned most abortions past 20 weeks. While my views on the cap of a gestational age for abortion differ, I vehemently decry the attempt to take away the rights of women who want or need something that disagrees with my personal view. Senate bill 5 would have closed most of the abortion clinics in Texas. Senate bill 5 would have, in all likeliness, driven women to drastic, dangerous methods of termination, especially in rural areas where access to abortion as it is currently is extremely limited.

Pink sneakers. While that is not the most memorable part of the 11 hour ordeal, Senator Davis' pink sneakers stand out. She wore them in preparation for a 13 hour ordeal, in an attempt to stay comfortable during the filibuster where she would not be allowed food or drink, to lean, to sit, or to ask for help in any way. At one point, she requested assistance of another senator in putting on a back brace in order to remain standing. The senate angrily voted that this was in violation, and the motion was upheld. That was her second of three allowable warnings before the senate could vote to end the filibuster as a result of straying off topic. The senate failed.

There were many remarkable words spoken last night. Leticia Van De Putte's statement of "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?" and  chants of "Let Her Speak!" from the gallery, crowded with spectators, echo over and over in the media and in our hearts and heads.

Senator Davis' filibuster was muddled in the last few hours due to an unclear ruling on a third warning and subsequent confusing and possibly illegal tactics by the Senate, but in what is being called a "People's Filibuster," the spectating crowd erupted into such a roar of chaos that the vote was delayed long enough to kill the bill and kill the potentially deadly consequences it would carry.

Senator Davis did it. She took a literal stand for the women of Texas, and with the nationwide support, she set a precedent not only for her own state, but for all states as well.

She set a precedent that clearly states that women deserve the right to safety and choice. She set a precedent that will follow us today to our daughters tomorrow, and to our granddaughters after them. As long as women like Wendy Davis and Leticia Van De Putte and you and I continue to fight, to continue to stand our ground, we will keep our sisters and our daughters and their daughters after them safe. We will continue to ensure that they have the RIGHT to safe medical procedures without oppressive , superfluous stipulations that cause undue duress to the woman seeking the procedure, which include things such as repeated sonograms during which the patient must observe the screen prior to the procedure, and laws that require the patient to observe the fetal heartbeat before the procedure begins. We will continue to prevent laws that ban medical abortions in favor of surgical ones, and vice versa. Laws that state that women pregnant only due to rape or incest are allowed abortions, and worse laws that state that no woman, including those pregnant due to rape and incest, are allowed abortions.

Senator Wendy Davis proved last night that we, as a united front of sisters, are done fucking around. Get your laws off of our bodies and out of our uteri.

Please take a moment to let the enormity of this win sink in. Once it has, call Wendy.  Call her with your story, call her with your thanks. Call her to let her know that you stood with her last night, and that she was not alone.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ninette Swann's latest work, Direct Contact -- a review!

It is NO. JOKE. that we here at Accidentally Mommy are big fans of Ninette Swann. Her latest work, however, has obliterated everything else she's written to date. Combining sci-fi with romance is a recipe for awesomeness, in this reviewer's opinion.

"Julie Gladwell has a secret. Acting as chief attendant for the New Government’s procreation program, she rears girls to carry the emperor’s heir. Only a few are chosen for the program, called “The Special Ones,” and they are given no names, only numbers. They see no one but authorized personnel until their twenty-first birthday. Which is usually when they die. Direct contact is forbidden. As she cares for these girls, no one ever suspects who she actually is.

Scientist Malcolm Odin hated his job and hated himself. Put in charge of the entire human engineering program, the experiments and suffering he witnessed made him sick. Still, it paid the bills and kept him living comfortably in Terrecina. He knew of far too many who’d fallen through the cracks, living on the earth below. The Level People, they were called.

When he confides his unease to Julie, she lets him in on her secret and into her heart. What starts as fancy ends in revolution, but how will they choose between their fellow man and each other?"

Now, Sci-fi is, without a doubt, my cup of tea. Echoing with faint tones of Heinlein mixed with the cult-classic television and movie dramas "Firefly" and Serenity," it blends a desperately dystopian future with the timeless ray of hope -- love.

Characters Malcolm and Julie are well developed, with a depth that none of Swann's characters have seen thus far. The plot is well paced and engaging, and Swann's imagination really took off with the details of this new, bleak society.

Here, read for yourself one of my favorite excerpts:

"We've been ignoring these people for a long time," he said, after they'd passed the remnants of a body on the side of the road.

"Let's hope they're glad to see us, eh?" He laughed, the mirthless sound carrying over the pavement and echoing through the tunnel they'd finally reached.

He was about to utter a few words of warning before they entered the dark confines of the tunnel when a thin but strong arm reached from behind an old highway streetlight pole and wrestled him off the road.

He shouted in surprise, and Julie and Anna ran to his side.

Julie raised her hand to strike the attacker when a woman's voice rang out in an urgent whisper. "Stop!" she said, still holding Malcolm. "I'm here to help you!"

As you can see from the excerpt above, the novel is rich in suspense and surprises. It still manages to find time to be shirt-off steamy, though, so don't despair.

I fully believe that you should pick up this book, even if you're not strictly into romance or sci-fi. It may be the one that changes your sway from one side to the other.

Want to know a little bit more about the author?

Ninette Swann is a journalist turned novelist who writes her books from sunny Florida in between parenting, freelancing, editing and going to grad school. She writes all genre of romance, including contemporary, thriller, suspense, and dystopian. Her books include Hit and Stay, Body Combat, Finding Home, Just the Messenger and Direct Combat. You can reach her through her pages at: http://ninetteswann.com, and @ninetteswann

Oh, and there's a giveaway!!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Psychic Pots!!!

I figured it was time I get back into makeup. I know these posts have been pretty sparse lately. I have been running the idea of a beginner friendly, quick and easy neutral look over in my brain for a while now, and what better time to bring it to you than today?!?

First, you're going to gather your tools and products.

Brushes! I know this looks like a lot of brushes, but I promise - each one has a purpose. Don't be intimidated.

Products: Top to bottom: NYX eyeshadow base in white; Brazen brow powder in Clara; MSC Psychic Paper, Dirty Chai, Fresh Pots!, and Snuffy; UD 24/7 liner in Rockstar; IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes! mascara, MSC shadow primer, "Optimus Primer.

Start out with a clean face. If you're not fresh out of the shower, do a quick wash, or a once-over with  a cosmetic or baby wipe. Be sure to gently clean your eyelids, as they can get grimy and oily, too.

Once your face is clean, apply your Optimus Primer. Do that from lid to browbone. They apply a *very light* amount of shadow base. You want just the barest trace of it, as shown above. Shadow bases can be applied with fingers or a brush; I use my finger.

Next, using your UD 24/7 liner in Rockstar, line your lower waterline and lash line. Now, if you're like me, your waterline never lines quite evenly. That's alright. Do the best you can. You'll be going over the liner later anyway. Rockstar is kind of a purpley-brown; don't worry about that. It works, I promise.

Grab your Bdellium 777 brush and Dirty Chai. If you don't have Bdellium brushes, use a small to mid-sized soft shadow brush.

Apply Dirty Chai using fluid strokes to your entire lid.

With your Bdellium 781 (can be subbed with a medium, semi-stiff crease brush,) pick up some Snuffy. 

Use your brush to "draw in" a cut crease and the outer 1/3rd of your lid. It's going to look like a hot mess right now. Don't worry. You'll fix it in the next step.

Now grab a short, dense, fluffy round brush. This is a Sonia Kashuk for Target brush. Best $6 I've ever spent.

Using your fluffy brush, blend Snuffy down and in to your Dirty Chai. Snuffy goes on very coppery, but has an almost pressure-sensitive quality to it in that it rubs down to a darker, more mellow warm brown.

With your Bdellium 716 (can be subbed with a medium-stiff well pointed pencil brush,) pick up some Fresh Pots!

Using that crisp point, line your upper lash line with Fresh Pots!

Once you've lined your upper lash line, use the same brush to set your 24/7 liner on your lower lash line and water line. To do that, just lightly pack the shadow on top of the liner.

Now, using a mid-sized medium stiff shadow brush (This one is by ELF Studio,) pick up some Psychic Paper. Psychic Paper is a matte, while the rest of your pigments thus far have been either satin or glitter. That's alright. It meshes well because MSC mattes go on and blend like buttah.

Swipe Psychic Paper from your duct, up your arch and to your brow, being careful not to overlap too much onto Snuffy.

A closer shot of Psychic Paper. It's a very subtle highlight color, but oh-so-pretty!

Using the brush you used to apply Psychic Paper, blend ever so slightly down into Snuffy and Dirty Chai. You just want to eliminate the line of demarcation, you don't want to further dilute your colors.

Fill in your brows and add some mascara!

Bam! An easy, somewhat smokey day neutral in just a couple of short steps. This look is perfect for the gal (or the mom) who is on the run and pressed for time and patience. 

As always, stay Madd, darlings!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Feminism in my life.

"Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.[1][2] This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment." -Wikipedia

I think feminism may have been bred into me. I was born to a single, 20 year old woman, who was determined to make her way through college and make a life for us. She did that. She struggled through school with a toddler to get her Bachelor's in science, and then she went out into the world and made a name for herself. She now has two Master's degrees and is the head of a nationally recognized biotechnology program at a local college.

This post isn't about my mother, though.

This post is about me, and how being a feminist affects every single decision I make in life. This post is about how I've bred feminism into my own children, both my daughter and my son. This post is about what feminism means to me.

As a rebellious teenager, I defined feminism as being able to run around and do what I wished, date however many men I wanted, and have my world on a plate with no social repercussions. I bought myself birth control, and I worked a job where my co-workers were predominantly male. The misogynists I knew called me an undisciplined slut. I disagreed. I still disagree. 

As I've matured, so have my views on feminism. Sure, I still believe all those things above, but I also believe that I don't have to be the bra-burning rebel I was back then. I can be a feminist and create change in much more subtle ways.

When pregnant with my daughter, I was convinced originally that I would have an abortion. It felt like having her would be untrue to my feminist roots. Then I made the choice to keep her. For a long time I felt guilty about that, like I had let down all the other feminists in the world by not exercising my right to an abortion. Then I had the epiphany that I did just the opposite - I used my power of choice. The day that dawned on me, many other things became clear. Things like the fact that I could also make the choice to be a stay-at-home mom, or a part time work-out-of-home mom without feeling like I was betraying my fellow women.

Like I said, these days I'm a bit more subtle. I don't attend as many rallies as I used to, but I donate to NOW and other women's rights organizations. I fight against female genital mutilation in countries and religions where it's still practiced. I do what I can to help support the ending of the sex trade and domestic abuse. I teach my children that women are people too. My daughter has a firm grasp on the fact that she can and will be whatever and whomever she wants and I'll stand by her 100%. My son, while only three, nurtures his baby dolls, enjoys having his nails painted, and is unafraid to play dress-up. I will continue to teach him that women are his equals, in all ways.

Feminism to me means that I'm unafraid to reach for the stars, and I'm unafraid to instill that in my children, as well. Feminism means that I'm a whole person.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kermit Gosnell, from a pro-choice perspective.

I know that many of my readers are here for my pretty makeup, my updates on my kids, information and camaraderie for those of us with special needs children, and the social/political pieces I do once in a while.  You're not going to find that today.  Today you're going to find the nitty-gritty and controversial. Today you're going to find outrage.

I am staunchly pro-choice. I'm liberal, I'm feminist, I'm pro-choice. I believe abortion should be legal and safe for every woman who may need one.

I'm conservative only in my belief that there should be an early cap on the gestational age of the fetus being aborted.

A human embryo becomes a fetus at approximately nine weeks of gestational age, and remains labeled so until approximately 20 weeks of gestational age, or when the fetus may be viable outside the womb. It is estimated that a fetus can feel pain as early as 18 weeks of gestational age.

Personally, I feel that abortions performed past 14 weeks of gestational age are too late.

Kermit Gosnell and his staff disagreed.

Dr. Gosnell, if we can refer to him as a physician (because he certainly didn't uphold the Hippocratic oath,) performed abortions as late as 26 weeks confirmed, with abortions as late as 30 weeks a strong possibility.

I'm not going to go into gory details. I'm not going to post public photos of the terminated infants, or tell you HOW he terminated them once they were delivered. (I use the term infants, because many of the bodies recovered were of viable babies, had they been delivered in a hospital setting with neonatal support services.) I'm not going to go into the details of his "trophies," his "disposal" methods, or his clinic conditions.

I am, however, going to tell you that as a pro-choice, liberal feminist, I am horrified.

I am horrified that he was able to convince his employees that this was alright. I am horrified that he made jokes about the infants he euthanized. Because really, that's what it came down to.  It was not abortion in most cases. It was cold-blooded euthanasia. Infanticide. Serial murder, complete with trophies from his victims.

The trial against this man, this monster, commenced on my birthday. In addition to being horrified by the events that led to this trial, I am horrified by the accusations being hurled regarding the lack of media coverage. Glen Beck asserts that the "liberal media" refused to cover the trial because they didn't feel that there was any wrong done. He referred to this monstrosity as "Margaret Sanger's dream come true."

None of that is correct. This is not what Margaret Sanger envisioned when she fought to make birth control available to all women who needed it. This is not what the supporters of Roe vs. Wade envisioned when they fought to have the legality of abortions upheld. This is not what any pro-choice, or even pro-abortion advocate envisioned. This is a crime against humanity.

I postulate that the media has been notably silent due to the complex nature of this atrocity. How does one approach such a thing rapidly with the aplomb required by a media outlet? The emotions evoked in anyone who has knowledge of this case does not lead to self-assured, unbiased reporting.

I know *I* have been silent for those reasons. Even formulating coherency in this post has taken me hours, and taken me through an exhaustive range of emotions. I cannot imagine how reporters who are dedicated to bringing the truth in a manner devoid of emotion are coping, especially now that there is public outcry over their inaction until this point.

Like I said, this is a human rights violation. This is a serial killer we're talking about. About the only thing that could have made this entire scenario more abhorrent would be charges of cannibalism on top of it all.

So no, I don't fault the media for being silent, any more than I fault myself for not having chosen to speak up until now.

I place the blame where it belongs, on the man who committed these sins, these evils. I blame him for shocking us into silence, into heartache, into an impotent rage over the injustice done to these women and these babies.

Remember, this is not a case of choice, this is a case of murder.

Monday, April 15, 2013


I started out this blog post saying I had no words. And then I realized I do.

I have words for the assholes like Alex Jones:

(Thanks Wonkette for the tweets.)

Those words include "You're a prick" and "You have lost the point completely" and "How dare you?"

There are no "buts" in this scenario. There is only "our hearts go out to."

This is a tragedy that did not just affect Boston, MA. This is a human tragedy. This is Columbine, this is 9/11, this is Newtown, this is all of us. This is our friends and our family. This is our neighbors, this is you and me.

Don't argue with me that there were "only" two dead, and there were "only" ~100 injuries (that are currently reported, anyway.) This was done with extreme malice and vitriole, this was done with hatred and evil, as were all the events I listed above, and then some.

I think the venerable George Takei put it best when he said "When tragedies strike, heroes rise to meet the challenge: the first responders seen sprinting toward the blast site, the runners who changed course to run to local hospitals to donate blood, and the fine citizens of Boston who at once opened their homes to marathoners in need of a place to stay. When we come together, we cannot be brought down."

So FUCK YOU, Alex Jones, and those who are on your heels with similar sentiments. You may stand apart, but the rest of us will stand together, and together we'll heal from this.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bug update

For those of you new to the blog, my son Riley, AKA Bug, has Neurofibromatosis type 1. (Also known as NF1.)

In short, Neurofibromatosis type 1 is a genetic disorder characterized by symptoms such as multiple large cafe au lait spots and axial/inguinal (armpit and groin,) freckling on the skin, tumors (called "fibromas,") on the skin, in the muscles, on the nerves, along the spine, and in the brain, vision problems, macrocephaly, cognitive delays and learning disorders, epilepsy, scoliosis, and fine and gross motor development delays.

It has manifested in Bug in that he has the cafe au lait spots, axial and inguinal freckling, one dermal fibroma (small skin tumor,) speech and motor delays, and macrocephaly, or a large head. Thus far, there have been no vision issues, signs of epilepsy, scoliosis, or severe tumors.

Today we met with his geneticist for his one-year follow-up exam. Over the course of the appointment, we discussed things such as Riley's first fibroma (on his lower back on the right,) his previous brain MRI, the course of treatment thus far, and predicted outcomes for the future.

His brain MRI showed no signs of tumors on the optic nerve (called optic glioma,) only some UBOs (Unidentified Bright Objects,) in his cerebellum, which are nothing to be concerned about and quite normal for a NF1 patient.

Doc said that he was unconcerned with the fibroma, and that there will undoubtedly be more that develop. Most "disfiguring" fibromas (Large ones on the skin, or ones deep within the muscle/running along multiple nerves,) would have already presented by now, so he feels we're "out of the woods" in that regard.

So far the course of treatment is to just sit back and monitor his development as he grows. The disease's progress is relatively chartable with his symptoms right now, as he is a "classic" case. His physician feels that he will definitely gain speech and articulation, but it may take time. (This was something that was great to hear, as his neurologist had left things very wide open, saying that he might speak, he might speak in a limited capacity, or he might never speak. Not very comforting there.) As far as the hypotonia and hyper-extension, that is something that will probably be a lifelong struggle. Having him in OT is a good thing, and letting him ride once a week is even better.

Overall, it was a good visit. It put some fears to rest and clarified a few points that we had been flailing around. (Mainly, "does he need a full-body MRI?" and "Does he really need another MRI in six months?")

I'm especially pleased to hear that there is confidence that he will begin talking. That is something that greatly stresses me out, something that I worry over almost irrationally.

So all in all, a good day!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Equality for all.

Equality. Say it out loud. Seriously, don't just read it in your head. Say it out loud. Let it roll off your tongue slowly, almost sensuously. Equality.

It's an intoxicating notion, to be sure. The idea that we're all given the respect and the rights we deserve. A Utopian society where every citizen is granted the same base human rights as their neighbor. It's intoxicating, and completely and utterly fantastic. But right now, it's just that- a fantasy.

We have the power to change that, though.

This struggle is about more than just marriage rights for LGBQT individuals. It goes beyond me wanting to be able to marry the woman of my dreams. It goes beyond watching my best friend, who came out at the tender age of 11, be able to be with his partner and be granted every right his straight friends and family have. It goes beyond my aunt having been able to make inclusive retirement and life plan with her then-partner of decades.

It boils down to the ineffable right that every citizen should have to be happy, to be free to plan comfortably for the future, to be able to love whom they choose and create the family they so deeply desire.

Gay marriage will not rend the pillars of society asunder; quite the contrary, it will reinforce them and build them up. We as a people became stronger when we abolished slavery. We as a people became stronger when we abolished segregation. We the people became stronger when we encouraged both a woman and a black man to run for president. We the people became stronger when we abolished the don't ask, don't tell policy in our armed forces.

We the people will become stronger when we grant the LGBQT community the same rights that their heterosexual loved ones have, because we will be empowering our citizens. Our government will be saying "Here, have this. Live this. Live your lives the way you please, which is the philosophy our country was founded on."

By "radically" changing the definitions of a legal family, we will be simply returning to our basic roots as a people.

We need this advancement. It's just the reform that our country needs. A reminder that the roots we come from are the ever-lasting search for the ability to reach for the stars, or in some cases, the bouquets.

The kids ride!

EDIT: I AM AN IDIOT. It's Ella's spring break, and I got my days all confused. I guess I'm on Australia time?

I missed wordless Wednesday because I was all wordy with the epilepsy post. So, I'm going to do a things-that-are-awesome Thursday!

My dear friend Maggie invited us out for some much needed catching up and pony time. While all I did was love on the horse(s), the kids got to ride! Ella got a lesson (more are coming in the near future,) and Riley was ponied around, without a spotter and he was a CHAMP!

Check out our pictures!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In honor of Global Epilepsy Awareness Day

Living with epilepsy, a mother's view.

Epilepsy is:

  • Hesitating to let your child go out to play, for fear of a head injury either causing or sustained by a seizure.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to check on your child, multiple times a night, because her seizures often occur when she's asleep.
  • Always having an inkling of fear when she's at school, wondering if the teachers and nurses would actually do the correct thing in the event of a seizure, or if they'd end up injuring her instead.
  • Having to say "No" to sleepovers, including summer camp and birthdays of friends due to needing to send meds, and fear of embarrassment on her part because during seizures she wets the bed. 
  • Having to say "No" to sleepovers hosted here, due to fear of embarrassment on her part because during seizures she wets the bed.
  • Monitoring every single thing eaten, because certain ingredients are typically seizure triggers. Aspartame and Splenda specifically.
  • Disgusting-tasting meds that make her gag, twice a day, every day. 
  • Not KNOWING all of your child's seizure triggers, making things like long car rides akin to rolling dice.
  • Watching your child be confused and frightened after a seizure, sometimes for hours, sometimes for more than a day.
  • Knowing every day that that is the day your child could die, because every seizure has the potential to be fatal.
Epilepsy is not:
  • Your child being possessed.
  • Your child acting out or misbehaving. 
  • A failure on your part.
  • Something you can prevent.
  • Something you can protect against.
  • Something you, or anyone else, can cure.

THAT is Epilepsy.

Monday, March 18, 2013

We are all victims of Steubenville.

There have been many things floating through my mind since the first images and videos of the Steubenville rape emerged.

My loathing of the misogyny of asserting that we're all someone's sister or daughter, that we're just related to men and that's why it's wrong. My anger at the rape culture and rape apology. The shameful, disgraceful attitude of "woe is them" around the world towards these boys that committed the rape.

I want to discuss another aspect of it, though.  I want to tell the world that all women are victims of the Steubenville rape.

RAINN reports that every two minutes in the United States, a sexual assault occurs. I am a double survivor of those assaults.

When I was not much younger than the girl who has survived the Steubenville event, I was date raped. Too afraid to tell anyone, I suffered in silence for a decade. I survived a violent sexual assault that ten years later, and that's when I admitted everything. No longer could I keep silent.

Because of the apologist and accepting attitude of our communities, every woman is potentially forced to endure their torment in silence.

Because of the apologist and accepting attitude of our communities, every woman is a sympathetic survivor of that rape, because it could have been or will be her at any time, on any day.

"Slut" shaming is not an excuse.

Getting drunk is not an excuse.

Wearing a short skirt or a low cut shirt is not an excuse.

There IS NO excuse.

So why is the collective we still commenting on how brave those boys must be for enduring the fact that they'll be labeled sexual offenders for the rest of their lives? The collective we would not be so forgiving if they had assaulted an eight year old. So what if she was 16? She's still a child. Granted, they were children themselves, but THAT DOES NOT MAKE THIS OKAY.

I hope when you look in the mirror, look at your best friend, at your sister, your daughter, your partner, your boss, your co-worker, I hope you remember that we are all victims too, and I hope you do your part to change the culture that makes it all okay.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Writing runs in the family!

I've recently taken a real-life job as an editor for a small publishing house, but it's kept me pretty 24/7 busy. Kinder Major asked if I would do an edit for her if she wrote a story. Just for her.

Not gonna lie, ya'll. I have tears of pride. I added punctuation, paragraph breaks, and a few caps. The rest is allll my baby.

Lonely kidnap

One late spring day in butterfly woods, there were some apartments. One of the apartments was very special because two kids named jack and Annie were very nice to all the people. That’s what made the two kids great. One day in march they went to the store to buy some stuff for Easter, and on their way to the store- boom- they were kidnapped by a criminal.

The criminal thought that if he took the kids he could get the thing he really wants. He cant get it because it is surrounded by lasers so he thought the kids could do their puppy eyes on the owner of the thing, so he forced Jack and Annie to do the puppy eyes on the owner. The puppy eyes did not work, so he tried jumping over the lasers but when he tried that it did not work because he was caught so he had to go to jail for 20 years.

Jack and Annie told the police that they were forced to do their puppy eyes on the owner of the great thing, so Jack and Annie and their family did not get in trouble with the police because they told the truth. They had the best rest of their lives together.

The lesson for kids and adults is that if you tell the truth you will not get in trouble. So has that ever happened to you? If it has not, just go with your kids everywhere they go until they are 17, because it might happen some day, so be careful ok? This story was made by Ella Jane. By the way, Ella Jane is 8 years old.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Well check for Bug

Today was Riley's well-check, NOT March 13th like I originally thought. Oops! That's what confirmation phone calls are for, right?

Anyway, we got away vaccine free (until next year, dun dun dunnnnn...) and I'm happy to report that his growth is off the charts. No more failure to thrive for him!

We mutually agreed, though, that we think he has his first fibroma. It rose up fast and large, and I'll be doing serial photos with scale to see if it keeps growing. He also has a spot on his cheek that we're keeping an eye on.

Because she couldn't determine the nature of the possible fibroma (dermal vs. plexiform,) we're both researching when he needs a full-body MRI, and who refers for that, so that we can check for fibromas on the inside in his muscles, on his nerves, and on his spine.

He has some mild tibial bowing, but nothing that she feels needs to be seen by ortho.

I came home and cried.  I'm not going to lie to you. To have my fear confirmed, to know that the disease is progressing and so must we, is humbling. I thought we'd skate by, just dealing with the learning delays and the minor cosmetic issues.  To know that this is developing into MORE, that there is more room for it to all grow and become worse... well, it's something I already knew, but had been able to bury my head in the sand until today.

Still, though, he remains happy and healthy for the time being, and that's all that matters.  My fears cannot govern our day to day life; instead we must continue on in our pleasant existence and hope for the best.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lucky Brew

Hello again, Madd Cats! What on EARTH is this, three posts in three weeks? You'd almost think I'm back on my game or something.

Today's tutorial features not only the "Luck Potion" from the "Love Potions" collection over at Madd Style, but it also features my new Bdellium green bamboo smokey eye brushes!

Products used: IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes mascara, UD 24/7 in Perversion, NYX shadow base in white, MSC Optimus Primer, Witch's Brew, Steampunk, Acid Bath, and Luck Potion.

Bdellium green bamboo smokey eye brushes, numbers 777, 769, and 781

Prime, prep, and line your eye.

Pick up some Acid Bath on your 781 brush.

Apply to duct.

With your 769 angled contour brush, pick up some Witch's Brew. I love this colors, it's so many colors in one. Forest green, golden yellow, deep gray... it's MAGIC.

Apply to inner 2/3rd's of the lid.

Back to the 781 with your Steampunk.

Hit up that outer 1/3rd and cut your crease with the Steampunk.

Now, with your 777 brush, pick up some Luck Potion.

Dust that over your brow, and gently blend down into the rest of the eye.

Here you can see how it has an almost teal shift to it.

Lime green sparkles on the inner brow.

The entire look together.  Perfect night look when you want something that will really stand out in the crowd.

Stay Madd, Darlings!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Neurofibromatosis on national television!

I have to tell you guys, I almost pee'd with the knowledge that the very popular Fox TV show "Bones" was going to be adding scenes that addressed NF!

Show writer Michael Peterson wrote the content in from a very personal place, as his young daughter is also affected by NF.

There is a full interview here, but there was one answer that struck home for me:

As we say in the episode, NF, there is no cure, there is no treatment. We want to not only spread awareness, but we want to find a cure in our daughter’s lifetime. So that’s what we’re dedicated to: first to tell people what it is, and then we want to do whatever is necessary to help people out. So that’s our number one thing. We are blessed to have this opportunity to reach out and tell an audience of 10 million people, “Here’s this thing you may not have heard of.” 

Thank you, Mr. Peterson.  Thank you for spotlighting this common but potentially devastating disease, and raising awareness.

For those in need of an update on Bug: Speech and Occupational therapy are slow going, but we're getting there. Riley has finally mastered walking on his toes (though not walking backwards,) and is gravitating more and more towards silverware and "real" cups and plates.

His vocabulary has expanded already in the three short months we've been working with the therapists, including now being able to say his cousin's name, "Hi," "Bye," and, much to my chagrin, "Bitch" if he hears someone else say it.

His cafe-au-lait spots are growing, and his last MRI confirmed lesions on his brain, but we're not worried.  We have a well-check coming up in March, where I will raise some concerns about mast cell overactivation and the itchies he gets sometimes, as well as the growth of his legs.

All in all, we're progressing forward in a positive way.  Thank you to all of you who continue to follow our journey with NF1. Your support is invaluable, and I promise - I'll post more often!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Curious Soul

I've been trying desperately to get out of my makeupless funk lately, so I decided to ask some of the fabulous Madd Style fans for color suggestions for my latest tutorial.  Soul Dust was number one on the list.

Here I'll pair it with Curiouser and Curiouser from the Alice in Wonderland collection, as well as Giggleberry.

Assemble your brushes. Top to bottom: fluffy shadow brush, tapered crease brush, angled shadow brush, fluffy blending brush.

Assemble your products! Top to bottom: IT Cosmetics "Hello Lashes" mascara, UD Psychadelic Sister liner, UD Perversion liner, MSC Optimus Primer, Curiouser & Curiouser, Soul Dust, Giggle Berry, and NYX shadow base in white.

Apply your primer and base to a nice clean eye.  Remember, if it's been a bit since you've washed your face, a wet wipe is a good way to just touch up and remove the oil that may have accumulated since your shower in the morning.

Tight line your lower lashline with Psychadelic Sister.

Grab your Soul Dust. This is such an awesome color. As you can tell, it's a lovely blue with a red color shift and red sparkle. It's hard to capture on camera, but trust me, it's amazeballs.

Apply with your fluffy shadow brush by patting it on to the inner 3/4th of your lid. You can kind of see the red shift of the Soul Dust in this photo.

Grab that tapered crease brush! Grab that Curiouser & Curiouser! Curiouser & Curiouser is a lovely plummy purple with aqua sparkles. Also, I love this brush, it's so incredibly versatile and it's synthetic, too!

Pat C&C on the outer corner of your eye, and cut that crease with it. If you enlarge this photo, you can see the aqua sparks.

Use your fluffy blender to gently, gently blend C&C into Soul Dust.

With your tapered shadow brush, you want to apply Giggle Berry with a gentle sweeping motion from your tear duct to your brow as a highlight. Don't blend it down into C&C much at all.

You'll notice that after blending, the aqua in C&C really plays off the Soul Dust, and the pink in Giggle Berry brings out the red. 

You're also going to put a little bit of Perversion over the Psychadelic Sister at this point, just to tone it down a bit. 

Add your mascara...

Glance over at the dog...

And Voila! An awesome multi-dimensional look with some kick ass colors!