Feature Friday – This Loud House

Feature Friday – This Loud House

Welcome back to Feature Friday! I love the bio I got from Marianne and I hope you do too! You can find her at  www.thisloudhouse.com

Hi, I’m Marianne. I’m 36. I have 5 kids ages 11-10months. 3 girls and 2 boys. I’ve been married 12 years to my polar opposite, but truly my soulmate, Drew.
I never wanted to have 5 kids starting out. I said I was “one and done!” But you know how it goes!
And I’ve done both working mommy with full-time childcare to now homeschooling stay at home mom. It’s all crazy hard and rewarding all at the same moment.
I mow my own yard, cook my own food, play the Black Keys on my Amazon Alexa when the kids are whining too much, and just gave up my beloved SUV for a minivan.
More than anything in the world I love spending time with my husband and little people doing a whole lot of nothing together, but at the end of an insane day there is Cabernet and lots of dairy free dark chocolate.
  1. What made you want to start blogging?
    My son Wit had an anaphylactic reaction to milk protein in the formula at 8 weeks old. We almost lost him. His airway closed and he was life flighted to the closet children’s hospital. Thankfully after 2 days under sedation and on all kinds of steroids and meds him airways opened again. This was only the beginning of a total life change for me and my husband and our 2 daughters. My son has 9 anaphylactic allergies and every day is a fight to keep him safe. I started my blog soon after his first episode as a way to release stress and anxiety. It’s been so much for me than a blog! It’s my therapy!
  2. What is your favorite book/movie of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
    I’m a total sci-fi geek! I’m reading the Bone Season series now and love it!
  3. What did you want to do growing up and are you doing it now?
    An actress….um no not even close, but I know I was chosen to be the mother for my 5 kids for a purpose and a reason. It’s damn hard, yet amazing all in one day!
  4. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done and would you do it again?
    In college, I jumped a 60 ft cliff into the lake below. Seemed like a good idea until I hit the water butt first instead of feet first. The back of my legs was purple for days. Dumb my friends! Dumb!
  5. Do you consider yourself a feminist?
    Absolutely!
  6. Why or why not?
    Women have the power to change everything! Even as a stay at home mom I am not just a snot wiper or dinner maker. I am raising the next generation of powerful leaders. Leaders who could change the world. As women, we do the hard stuff. Stuff no man could ever do!
  7. What was the best phase of your life?
    Right now. It’s hard as hell. I’m exhausted. I cry. But I know it’s in the beautiful chaos of raising these 5 kids and loving my husband that true happiness lies.
  8. What was the worst phase of your life?
    Going through my son Wit’s first year of life! It was sooo hard! But I made it! If I can do that I can do anything! Seriously.

Me Too. And Her. And Him. And Them.

Me Too. And Her. And Him. And Them.

Saw this on a friend’s facebook and loved it. I don’t know who the original author is but thank you.
“Me too” is about carrying pepper spray, holding your keys between your fingers, checking your back seats before getting into your car, faking or actually making a phone call as you walk… just in case something happens.
“Me too” is about “boys will be boys” and “he’s only mean because he likes you”.
“Me too” is about little girls constantly being told how pretty they are by strangers, but those strangers never engaging their personality or intellect.
“Me too” is about “Call me when you’re 18” “jokes”.
“Me too” is about “Well what were you wearing?” and “What signals did you send?”
“Me too” is about being told to smile or being asked why you are angry if you don’t outwardly appear happy at all times.
“Me too” is about starting a new job and being warned of the “creepy” co-workers or clients to avoid.
“Me too” is about employees asking their employer to install more lighting outside the building because they can’t feel safe working after hours when the sun goes down.
“Me too” is about wondering if your experiences are valid enough to claim “me too” because you’ve been “fortunate” enough to only experience verbal harassment.
“Me too” is about those who feel they can’t claim “me too” because the physical assault they experienced isn’t “as bad” as what others have gone through.
“Me too” is about the oneness being placed on victims and about those victims having to relive those experiences just to get some people to listen and take action.
“Me too” is about the flood of jokes and mocking that occurs when people claim “me too”.
“Me too” is about how much money the perpetrator has; how much they have going for them; how much of a nice person they’ve outwardly appeared to be in the past. And it’s detrimentally about the victim’s class standing, their race, their religion, their gender, or their sexuality.
“Me too” is about the rampant, pervasive rape culture that underlies every aspect of our society – from our media to our consumerism, to our jokes, to our entire environment that is bred and fed via toxic masculinity and the almighty dollar.
So yeah, “me too”. And her. And him. And them. Because whether you realize it or not, sexual harassment and assault affect us all.

Week 7 Picks

Week 7 Picks

I only got 5 out of 14 correct this week. That is the last time I ask Alo for help picking my teams. ahahaha I am going to give one more person a chance to help me pick my teams for the week. This week I got Carl’s input. Let’s see how he does this week….

Chiefs vs Raiders

Bengals vs Steelers

Ravens vs Vikings

Saints vs Packers

Jets vs Dolphins

Panthers vs Bears

Cardinals vs Rams

Buccaneers vs Bills

Jaguars vs Colts

Titans vs Browns

Cowboys vs 49ers

Seahawks vs Giants

Broncos vs Chargers

Falcons vs Patriots

Redskins vs Eagles

Me Too.

Me Too.

I am reblogging a post from a friend of mine from The Shitty Housewife.

I am not ready to share my experiences, but I appreciate other men and women who are willing to share. I love how open Jan is about her experiences and her way with words. I completely agree with her when she says, “If you have felt violated, victimized or unsafe, YOU ARE NOT ALONE and YOU NEVER EVER NEED TO APOLOGIZE.” So to any men or women who

So to any men or women who did not feel safe sharing their stories, posting “me too,” or opening up at all, it’s okay. I believe you. I am here for you. You are a survivor.

 

I had totally planned to publish something else today, something funny. Something silly. Something shitty. But then the me too movement began and I find entirely too important to not speak up.

And please, to all my readers who do not feel comfortable speaking up…..I applaud you. Your experiences are most likely far worse than I could ever imagine, and even if they aren’t, YOU SURVIVED. And you never have to re-live it.

I honestly would be shocked to hear of a woman who has NOT been sexually harassed, abused, embarrassed or scared in their life. We have all had some type of sexual harassment, and whether big or little it is all very effective. Sadly, I have had several run-ins. Today I will share a few.

The first time was in my early twenties. I had been on a date with this guy a couple times. I was not very sexually experienced and he didn’t seem like he was in any rush. We had great talks, great outings, just started having a great time. I was very open that I didn’t want to have sex right away. And again, he was totally cool about it. One night we went to a party a mutual friend was having. We ended back at his house listening to music. Then somehow in his room. After some making out, he got up, locked the door, rushed over to me and pushed my head to his crotch demanding oral sex. Of course I freaked. My heart was beating so fast (it is still right now as I write this.) I managed to get out of his grasped. He began yelling at me, telling me I was a cunt if I didn’t do this. Told me he would tell everyone I was bad in bed. Told me all sorts of horrible things as I tried to get out. I pushed him off of me, unlocked the door and ran to my house. Literally RAN…no car, no uber, just an insane amount of adrenaline that was carrying me to safety. I told only a few close friends, one of which told me it was no big deal. Guys expect certain things when dating. I for real thought I had fucked up. I was young, vunrable and influenced by the outside world too much. I flet unsafe and I though I had fucked up.

Years later I was at a bar with some friends. This is a basic story probably all females (sadly) have encountered. We are out, dressed cute, having drinks….so we are asking for it right?! I was dancing and the next thing you know some man is all over me, hands everywhere they shouldn’t and when I screamed for help, he screams that I’m a slut. Why am I dressed in a mini skirt if I don’t want hands up it. That I was asking for it being out dancing. Thank god for an audience and my girls for being my safety net. He walked away unscathed. I walked into the bathroom, tried to pull my mini down as far as I could, threw on a jacket and apologized for disrupting the fun. Because that is what normally happens when a woman is harassed…..she apologizes.

A couple of months ago I joined my husband, his brother and two of his males cousins for a night out in Nashville. We were meeting up with a group of guys I had never met. We all met at an Airbnb for drinks then out for the night. It was me and about 10 dudes……literally, a sausage fest. We were having a great time. We ended up at this bar that was playing some great dance music. Of course I made my way onto the dance floor. Suddenly, this wasted man has me cornered. He was one of the guys we were out with. I reminded him that he was out with me and my husband and that he needed to back off. He just got closer and closer. His hands were pulling me into him when Matt’s cousin spotted what was happening. A slew of O’Shaughnessy men came running over getting dude out of my space. All 4 of these grown men, getting one dude away from a girl. He was just staring at me in this drunked, gross, violating gaze. We ended up leaving the bar, and I did not sleep at the AirBnb that night. I don’t know what happen to that dude that night. I did hear how drunk he was and that he didn’t know what was going on. I blew it off…..I felt like I had too. One because my husband probably would have ended up in jail and because I didn’t want to feel like a nuisance to all these guys and ruin their night.

Yep, I said it. I am a 38 year old woman who was scared of an overpowering drunk man who had me cornered and I felt like a nuisance. Doesn’t seem right, huh.

This is the norm.

We apologize. We hide. We lie. We don’t speak up. We feel like it is our fault. We are used to this behavior being normal.

It is not.

So….. me too. And my scenarios weren’t even that bad…..which is so sad. That there is even a scale on what is bad and what is horrible. They all are awful and should not be the norm.  If you have never felt violated, or victimized, or unsafe  you are truly one of a female kind.

If you have felt violated, victimized or unsafe, YOU ARE NOT ALONE and YOU NEVER EVER NEED TO APOLOGIZE.

I will start apologizing only to myself for not allowing myself time to process these events, because these events are not normal. And thankfully I have had a million more beautiful, sweet, kind and respectful experiences than these horrible few.

But in the end….

Me too.

xoxo

Jan O

The Shitty Housewife

 

Disgusting

I am at a loss for words after watching this //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“>video….

These are 5 young women (cheerleaders) from my high school (Weber High) in Northern Utah. Kudos to the young man that saw this on their Instagram and posted it to his twitter saying “thought people were better than this especially my so-called “friends””

I just don’t understand why they felt this was okay. It is completely disgusting that they did this, were laughing about it, thought it would be funny, and thought it was okay.

A friend of mine, Colton Webb, emailed the superintendent and the response he got was that “they’re still investigating, but they’ve confirmed that the girls in the video knew what they were saying and knew they were using a reverse video app. The app apparently lets you type a phrase and it’ll reverse it so you can say it without actually saying it.” I wasn’t exactly sure what a reverse app was so Colton had to explain it to me:

“Yeah, apparently the defense initially was that one of the girls got everyone to say it, with them not knowing what they were saying, but it turns out the app plays the video in reverse, so they all knew what they were saying, without actually saying it. So basically, the girls put fuck niggers in backward to say sreggin kcuf and then yelled that, so it would say fuck niggers in a reversed video”

No matter what the reason or excuse is/was, it was uncalled for. Unfortunately, this will have to be a hard growing moment for these 5 young women.

 

 

A First Hand Look At IVF

A First Hand Look At IVF

I have had a lot of positive feedback from friends and strangers about me sharing my postpartum journey so I wanted to share other journeys. A very close friend of mine and her husband went through IVF to have their three beautiful children. We both agreed it was something not talked about and it needed someone to be completely honest and open about it.

I didn’t know very much about the IVF process, I wanted to know her story and the advice she had for others going through this process, as well as her husband’s thoughts on the whole thing. So I sat down with each of them and got down to the nitty-gritty. They opened their hearts and lives to me, and you. ❤

What was your experience trying to get pregnant before you started IVF?

Tiffany told me, with a smile, “it was fun and frustrating.” She did mention it was expensive to buy all the ovulation tests and pregnancy tests every month, which makes it more frustrating. I think most anyone trying to get pregnant can agree that you almost get obsessive over it; when to have sex, when to take the tests, etc. Tiffany and her husband Billy tried for almost a year before they made the decision to start the IVF process. When they initially went to the doctor he told them IUI (Intrauterine insemination) wouldn’t work because she was too small; Tiffany is 5’1″. She physically cannot carry 3-5 kids at one time. IVF is more controlled and you can decide how many fertilized eggs you put in each time. Unfortunately, after the tests they went through the doctors said there was nothing wrong with Tiffany or Billy. It was undetermined why they couldn’t get pregnant, which you can imagine would be incredibly frustrating.

What prompted you to start investigating the IVF option? Can you tell me about what you did before choosing IVF?

Tiffany said her boss encouraged her, “she knew I was frustrated and gave me the name of a doctor. She told me not to waste any more time and just go see someone.” So they made an appointment and started the process of talking to a doctor about getting help.

Before choosing IVF Tiffany took Chlomed for 2 cycles but because of how crazy it made her feel she stopped. She said she could see the words coming out of her mouth to Bill and she didn’t care what she was saying. She would feel terrible after and she knew she was ‘crazy’ but she just couldn’t stop the words at the time. She laughed at the memory as she was telling me this, and because we are close friends I could picture these events happening. I’m sure it was incredibly hard, for both of them, to deal with at the time, however, now that so much time has passed they can both joke and laugh about it now. She did make the comment “It’s insane how much your hormones affect your moods, your words, your reactions, how you deal with people, etc.” and I couldn’t agree more with that statement.

Can you tell me about the process as you started IVF? What are the steps you have to take, tests you have to take, etc?

“You get excited to start, but you have to wait until you start your period. Then you have to go on the pill for a month so you can get regulated. After that month you start the hormone therapies which includes shots every day. You start with shots in the stomach (those don’t hurt) and then move to shots in your upper glute (those hurt really really bad). You have to take these shots for an entire menstrual cycle.”

Tiffany let me know it’s a lot more than just shots. While you’re going through these shots you get a schedule from your doctor’s office that lets you know you have blood tests on certain days and vaginal ultrasounds to check follicles and if you are growing eggs. When they say it’s ready you go in, they put you under general anesthesia, and extract the eggs. Once all of this is done your husband gives a sample and they fertilize each egg individually.

In their situation, she had 17 eggs extracted and then had to wait 5 days to see if any become fertilized. Out of those 17, she had 6 eggs that fertilized. She had 2 of the 6 embryos inserted and froze the other 4 in 2007.

Unfortunately, Tiffany got pregnant and then miscarried a few weeks in. “Once you get that positive and you’ve been doing this all you can think about is that you are finally pregnant and it’s absolutely mortifying if you lose that child/children.” They decided to let a few months go by and then did what is called a frozen cycle. They defrosted 2 of the 4 remaining embryos and transferred them, but they didn’t take at all.

Keep in mind, all of this is being paid for out of pocket. They decided to do a fresh cycle (not frozen embryos) because her medical insurance changed their policy and allotted $30,000 per employee for infertility expenses. Doing a fresh cycle meant they had to start all over again with the cycle on the pill, the cycle with the shots, and all the appointments. This time around they only got 2 embryos, transferred them both, and got pregnant with their son, Preston. Preston was born on October 16, 2009, with Tiffany was 33. Because of the insurance kick in she calls Preston her “free baby.”

Tiffany always had in the back of her mind that she had the 2 frozen embryos still from back in 2007. Billy would joke about selling them or donating them, but she didn’t like either of those options. A few years after they had Preston they decided to put them in. Tiffany didn’t think they would work anyway, but low and behold she became pregnant with her twin daughters, Sydney and Sloan. They were born on December 13, 2013.

Tiffany gave me a slight mind fuck when she informed me that technically Sydney and Sloan are older than Preston because they were the frozen embryos from 2007 and Preston was a fresh embryo from 2009. ***Mind Blown***

How was the first time different than the second time? Or was it any different?

Per Tiffany, “It’s all miserable. You’re full of hope and the letdown is incredible. However, once you finally have your baby, if you’re doing it again you have the comfort in knowing you have one.”

When I was pregnant one of the first things I asked was how many heartbeats and had some hopes and let downs regarding the sex. So, I had to know how she felt about being pregnant with twins and then finding out they were both girls. When she had her ultrasound and found out they were having twins she sat up, looked at Billy and said “shit.” They went to lunch after the ultrasound where she had a glass of wine and Billy had a bottle of wine, which sounds about what I would do.

When she found out they were having twin girls her response was, “fuck.” Tiffany said the nurse was looking at her like she was insane. She deals with people all the time that are getting the bad news that they aren’t pregnant and here’s Tiffany saying fuck. I was literally laughing out loud as we discussed this because it fits with Tiffany’s personality and I think I would react the same way.

What are pros of IVF?

“Other than the pros of having a child you get hope. That’s it.” She did say that going through it as a couple definitely makes you stronger. “It’s no walk in the park.”

What are the cons of IVF?

“IVF,” she says as she laughs. She said she was very frustrated about being undiagnosed, which is completely understandable, and the hormones you’re injecting into your body affects you, but it’s all worth it. She also said the financial impact is insane if your insurance doesn’t cover it. Which made me wonder how much an average cycle cost so I looked it up. Per Google, “nationally, a “fresh” IVF cycle costs $12,000, before medications, which typically run another $3,000 to $5,000.” I don’t know many people that could just shell out $15,000 to $17,000 or more for IVF without some sort of help.

How did going through this process affect your mental state?

Other than the pregnancy part: it fucks with you. You’re obsessed. Constantly looking at the schedule to see what you need to do tomorrow, what medicine you’re supposed to take today.
How am I going to do a shot at the time I’m supposed to do it on the airplane? It’s all-consuming. It’s your world.”

Anyone that has had difficulties, even just for a few months, trying to have a baby feels a small part of this. Honestly, anyone who’s ever been pregnant feels a part of this, trying to have a child and being pregnant is consuming. I can’t even imagine how stressful this whole process is and I commend anyone who goes through this and comes out with some sort of sanity intact.

I know having a difficult time getting pregnant can put a strain on even strong relationships. Did going through the IVF process put a strain on your relationship with Billy?

Tiffany feels it did put a strain on their relationship but it made them stronger in the end. She recalls a moment after she miscarried where she was in tears, looked at him and asked “What if I can’t have children? [She says that’s always going through your mind.] Are you going to leave me because I can’t have babies and you want one?” Of course, he said no, but she says there are always constant worries.

She did tell me that you must have a good sense of humor throughout the whole thing if you’re going to make it out alive!

Would you ever do it again?

Her immediate response when I asked this questions was “Fuck no.” Her honesty is one of the things I absolutely love about her! She did clarify what she meant, though. If she knew then what she knows now she would still do it. She would do it to get her three babies. She will never do it again now that she has her kids though.

What is something you would say to women who are contemplating going through the IVF process or are currently in the IVF process?

“Talk to other women about it. Talk to other women who have gone through it. Talk to other couples who have gone through it because you need that support system. You can feel very alone because everyone else is having “free” babies and not going through this extra stress and just knowing you aren’t alone is very helpful.”

Tiffany talked to someone who had experienced it while she was in this process and she also had a therapist. I asked how she found her therapist or if it was someone she was already seeing and she said her doctor’s office recommended therapists who dealt with the topic.

Another big piece of advice she had for anyone reading this is to not discount what your spouse is going through. She made this mistake and can see that now.

What did Billy go through?

He’s glad they did it, they are more than grateful to have their family, but in that moment, she felt it was all about her. When she miscarried, it was her loss and her failure. Not even thinking about the fact that when she was crying he was crying but not showing her. She felt most guilty about that after everything was said and done.

Did you ever consider adoption?
She said they never got to that point. Their journey wasn’t done when it came to their trying but she would have if it came to that. They thought about what if this process didn’t work out in the end, and they would have adopted if that were the case. To them, adoption was more hypothetical and it wasn’t a serious conversation yet.

And if you didn’t catch on already, today is Preston’s 8th birthday! So happy birthday Bubba!! I’m so lucky to have met you and your family! ❤

Best Halloween Costume Ideas for 2017

Best Halloween Costume Ideas for 2017

I have another guest post for you guys today and I’m loving it!!! She has so many great ideas for Halloween! I can not wait to take the boys and look for costumes!

Even though it’s still a few weeks away, if you want to go to a Halloween party and be breathtakingly stunning, you should be planning your costume. If you don’t have an idea, don’t panic, because we bring you this year’s best ideas for a Halloween costume. Searching the web, you’ll bump into a ton of ideas whose number is constantly on the increase, and according to what people pin the most on Pinterest, the most popular costumes are those inspired by pop-culture. I’ve compiled a list of some of the best costumes out there, and even if you don’t find anything you like, I hope it will inspire you to be creative and think of something on your own.

Wonder Woman

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Wonder Woman has dominated the box office this summer, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she’ll dominate this year’s Halloween parties as well. If you visit Pinterest, you’ll find more than 200,000 Wonder Woman costume ideas. Looks like everybody loves that girl power, so if you’re a fan, dress up as this Amazon warrior with a dynamic dress, shield, sword, and knee-high boots.

Pennywise the Clown

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The latest adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 classic is another big-time movie hit, which is why fans of horror movies want to transform into Pennywise the Clown. When you manage to freak out everyone at the party, you’ll see that spending time in the makeup chair was totally worth it. As for the costume, it’s a simple clown suit that you can make from a white, ruffled dress and leggings with red pom-poms. The bone-chilling makeup has to be perfect, as it’s the most important for the scary clown appearance.

Taylor Swift the undead

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In the late August, Taylor Swift launched a new video for “Look What You Made Me Do”, so there’s no point in being a regular Taylor Swift this Halloween. In the video, Taylor is a zombie, so you can replace the red lipstick and blonde curls with a creepy makeup, blue dress, and plenty of mud. If that’s too much, you can go for her goth look – find a gothic dress online with quality craft, black fishnet stockings, black knee-high boots, and some good goth makeup.

Belle (Beauty and the Beast)

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The fans of the “tale as old as time” are in search of yellow dresses. There’s even a reported leap in online search traffic for gowns like the one worn by Emma Watson in this year’s Disney adaptation of the Beauty and the Beast. For this costume, you need a lemon yellow, buttercup or saffron frock. Don’t try going with a corset, because you need to be flexible and able to dance. After all, it is a 21st century Halloween party, not a 19th-century ball.

A Game of Thrones character

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There’s a global frenzy for Grecian and simple light blue gowns like those worn by Daenerys Targaryen (thank you Emilia Clarke’s costume designer). The Khaleesi-inspired look is very popular, with an increase of 91% in Pinterest saves on the “Khaleesi” look. If you’re going with your significant other, you want to dress up together, and you are A Game of Thrones fans, then look no further than Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow (with his shaggy fur look that is also a popular Halloween costume).

Giraffe

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The leopard, black cat, and lion costumes are so last year’s choice. This Halloween, there’s a new king of the jungle – the giraffe. The saves for giraffe costume and makeup on Pinterest are up to almost 1200% since June last year. So, if you want to go with the giraffe costume, you’ll be making a great choice. A fluffy giraffe costume probably won’t be good for a whole night of partying, but you can find a lighter giraffe combination (try Amazon.com), and complement it with a giraffe Halloween makeup.

This year’s Halloween will be inspired by record-breaking blockbusters, TV shows (such as the Game of Thrones series), and pop-cultural obsessions. Using my passion for Halloween, I’ve created a list of the best costume ideas for this October.

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Mia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for http://www.highstylife.com. She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on the lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips.
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