DIY: The Dotted Sea Turtle

Hello!

Since we are only (as far as I know!) going once to visit with family, I managed to kill two birds with one stone. and I created some DIY birthday projects. You’ve already seen my nana’s present, so it is officially time to unleash the dotted sea turtle I did for my aunt and uncle!

This is how the sea turtle came in the packaging; I mentioned in my last post that I was thoroughly surprised that both canvases came together as I don’t believe they were made by the same brand or company. On the left of the photo, there is a peek of this wooden square that they were laying on while in the thin box. We thought it was a strange addition, but we believe it was brought in to make sure the cutouts weren’t damaged in the mail. I will probably use it as a safeguard for my future projects.


What you will need:

  • Canvas – You can search for various types of turtles, but my aunt specifically adores sea turtles, and this was the only one I enjoyed on my hunt.
  • Acrylic paint – I used DecoArt bottles of gold, navy blue, green, and purple.
  • Dotting tools – You can use various household appliances that have a flat surface, but if you’d like to get your own “professional” tools, they are available at Wal-Mart, Amazon and Etsy.
  • Pencil with a good eraser
  • Ruler
  • Damp towels or baby wipes

LINKS:

Sea Turtle Wooden Cutout Style 3 | Dotting tools | Paints: Spun Gold, Navy Blue, Leaf Green, and Regal Purple


Originally, I wanted the sea turtle to be somewhat similar to the pig canvas, so that it wouldn’t be such a difficult process to paint, but I couldn’t find any cutouts of medium sized turtles to fit my vision, so I had my mom help me find another and we agreed on this one. Honestly, the perk of this design was the ridges on the sides, they allowed me to have a better understanding of how big the shell itself would be to the turtle’s face and fins.

I wanted for the turtle to be lifelike but with a mystic flair to him. I actually had two ways I saw this guy in my mind; the first was the turtle mentioned on the film Finding Nemo. I wanted to create him with bits of yellow and brown to make him look the part, but I also wanted to add some shimmer like in “The Rainbow Fish” books without taking it too far. My mother won’t allow me to have any glitter inside the house–much less my room–because of the weird impulse to create a mess! It’s a fair trade as long as I can continue to do more projects in my room! Anyways, I decided to add both green and purple to draw out a bit of color to him to make him unique to other turtles out there.

To start, I needed to map out the shell, and I used both a regular pencil and a standard sized ruler to make sure everything was even on all sides, and I made the lines across the edges of where the shell would cover on each fin and made an even longer line so I could have enough space on his head. Once I was sure of each section, I moved on to figure out how I wanted to design the shell. I was really torn with how I wanted this dude to look, so I needed to see if I wanted to include separate areas like normal turtles have on their shells. They tend to have individual spots all around the outer edges and have a larger section in the middle and this can be on the top and bottom of their shell. So, I made three tiny circles with the ruler going horizontally and by the end, I even had my dad impressed with my little hack!

After I got everything planned out, I began to add the first stage of the dots.

I decided to go with the “bottom” layer first with my medium sized tool in the color blue and instead of using my light-yellow shade like I was going to use; I went with my new gold paint. Something you should consider while purchasing some acrylic paints, they tend to dry lighter than their original hue, so, even though the gold looks nice and shiny when it’s wet, the sheen kind of faded as it dried on the surface, so you might want to consider looking into a metallic gold just in case you end up hating the final result. Personally, I loved the color and I thought it worked really well with the surface of the wood. I only went around the outer part once – I debated whether or not I wanted to continue to the circle I created in the middle of the shell, and I ended up using a smaller dotting tool to cover the middle of the shell in gold.

After I finished the gold part of the shell, I decided to move on with the navy blue. A part of me wanted to add a small group of dots along the face and fins but I didn’t know how it would turn out with the dullness of the gold, I did put some gold in certain areas but for the most part kept it only for the shell itself. Anyways, when I started adding more colors, my initial thought process went right out of the window, and I began to experiment with the larger tools, they are thicker in width, I have some difficulty gripping them, so I tend to back away from them, but for this I wanted to have some fun and gave the turtle fairly obnoxious spots all over his back and even went so far as added them to the rest of him….

When you’re doing these types of projects, accept your impulses because they’re going to win at some point.

If I had any space left over, I just covered it with the green so that it looked like he had algae on him as real sea turtles can have a mixture of algae and barnacles all over their bodies! I didn’t intend for the purple to reflect the barnacles; it was actually a personally choice. My aunt and uncle love the color purple and it stands as an important hue for them so that’s actually my reason for using it but hey, if they want to include that little bit of knowledge to their guests, they can!

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When I was finally done with it, I began to think of names for him. It was to come up with nana’s pig because I couldn’t get it out of my mind–my mom was pretty sold on “Hattie” it was the middle name that we couldn’t agree on! However, I decided to play a little game on my aunt and uncle, since they sort of knew about nana’s gift, I sent a message to them on Facebook, basically explaining I was working on another story, and I needed a name for my main character. This actually worked out better for me because they did not realize what they were doing until we brought it out for them.

I was inspired by a lot of pop culture like Pokémon and The Big Bang Theory with Squirtle and Sheldon, but I also remembered about the Galapagos tortoises, which made me think of Alex Trebeck and his love of the Galapagos Islands, so I made sure to pick out some names that were given to some different types of turtles that are (and were) located on the vast islands, like Rothschild, Duncan, and Fernand. They ultimately went with Nitro, as it is the name of one of their cars!

Well, that’s it!

I know this post wasn’t a proper “How-To” but it wasn’t that kind of project. If it had came in the same design like the pig, it would have been, because there were a lot of lines involved with it. For this, I was able to do whatever I wanted to do with it, and I think that’s the reason why I wasn’t so hard on myself for creating those huge dots on the shell, I was able to free-foot it, get it? If you ever get a canvas like this, I think you should look at it as your sign to be even more creative with everything.

What did you think of my DIY project of “Nitro”? What other designs and/or shapes do you think I should consider doing next?

snowflake

DIY: The Dotted Piggy!

Hello!

Since discovering dot art back in 2019, I’ve felt like my journey with art in general is on another level. I absolutely love the feeling of creating something new and being at peace with the imperfections that come with it. After I finished with my Christmas projects, I wondered how long I would last until I had the itch again, and if you are wondering, it was only three months.

We have three chances a year to go up north to visit with my family, the first is around my nana’s birthday and I tried looking for little figurines or plush stuffed pigs on Amazon and Wal-Mart, and I just couldn’t find anything that stood out the most and I searched for a fairly long time and became frustrated that there were more things for guinea pig lovers than the pink ones… I don’t remember what pushed me into creating something for her, but once I had the thought, I just went crazy with the number of ideas to do with them.

I found this unfinished wooden cut out of a pig face on Wal-Mart’s website and I just thought the whole thing had enough sass to it that I knew everyone would love too. While I was went looking for the pig, I ended up finding a sea turtle design and thought it could be a great idea to do for my Aunt Laurie and Uncle Mike because they love beach themes, but my aunt really loves turtles too. I worked on the projects at the same time, but I will not be sharing my thoughts on it until the end of June, which is my aunt and uncle’s birthday month.


What you will need:

  • Canvas – you can use whatever you can find, whether it’s wood or ceramic.
  • Acrylic paint – I use DecoArt paints and the colors I used were pink, red, black, and white.
  • Dotting tools – you can purchase a set of tools online, but you could use anything in various sizes like a pencil, Q-Tip, toothpick, etc.
  • Paintbrushes – this is totally an option, as I only used it for the base coat and the tongue, but you can definitely dot these spaces or leave it out entirely.
  • Damp towel or baby wipes to was wash your hands/feet and anything else that has accidently paint on it…

Links:

Unfinished wooden pig (similar) | Dotting tools of various sizes | DecoArt Acrylic Paints: Black, Royal Fuchsia, and White


One of the main reasons I adored this pig was because of the outline around the ears, eyes, mouth and nose. I was worried that once I started doing the first layer of paint, they would disappear but for the most part, they stayed visible for me to do the black dots, but we are getting a heard of ourselves, so let’s rewind a bit.

The canvas itself was the perfect size, as it wasn’t too big or too small, one that even the big bad wolf would probably enjoy. I started off painting on the floor of my room and I went with a very light shade of pink; since I didn’t have the right color in my collection, I had to make it with my neon pink and white acrylic bottles. I put the pink in two slots in my palette and added the white as I heard (and tested it!) this worked better to blend and create the right hue of the paint and it covered the entire thing, but my thought process for the overall design was to add dimension between the cutout and dots. I actually went back and forth on the base coat because I thought it was too much but I’m very glad I decided to do it because it added an extra oomph to the whole thing!

The next day, I finally got started on how I gave her some personality, and again I was so sure how this part was going to turn out at first. I am still learning how to follow a line while making my dots. I made simple small designs for when I did the Christmas tree and Rudolph ornaments but since I only had to follow the slits of its features, I figured it would be easy enough for me, and thankfully it was and to make things even better for me, I used one of my smaller tools, they are really great with details, especially tiny ones and I have realized through doing this project, I am definitely confident creating each section. At first, I was going somewhat outside the lines so that I could still see everything but then as I went on, I managed to cover up most of them with the black paint.

I hadn’t even completed the mouth before I was falling in love with the overall result. The black really set a tone to the plain pink base coat and you could see we were both loving the magic coming to her. I tried to not get so confident that I would be taking risks and messing up the whole project, but I also couldn’t hide my excitement either!

Once I finished the outlines, I left it to dry for about a day. I gave myself time in between each layer so I wasn’t choosing over the comfort of my body and what I wanted else I could do to the pig. I was also in a brand-new position as I wasn’t on the floor anymore, I decided to use my new little table I got for Christmas, and I was really unsure how my body would react and definitely didn’t want to overdo anything either so once I started experiencing some pain in my lower back and eventually my knees, I knew I would need to stop at some point. Whenever this happens, of course I become upset with having to stop in the middle of a project but knowing my body’s limits is a very important. If I continued to push myself, I could possibly make mistakes and would be frustrated with myself about that as well.

When I went back to it, I was conflicted about how much I really wanted to use the dots. I really love the contrast between a regular painted section and a very populated dot area, and I knew it even before I did the ears of how cool that effect would be to the overall design. So, I decided to paint the tongue red. It would be another smaller part so as long as I didn’t go off my original idea. After I completed it, I went forward with doing a dotty inside of the mouth, and I am still not 100% happy with how it turned out, but I think adding the hot pink larger dots on the rest of the pig helped because the color contrast between the lighter pink of the background and a milder shade of the same paint really made it pop. Once I went around the chin with those big dots, I literally couldn’t contain my excitement for how cute she was becoming and I had to show her off quite a bit to my folks but also had to shield her away from my family–especially my nana, because she knows that anything pig worthy goes to her automatically! A part of me wanted to show her but I knew how important it was to reveal it face-to-face, so I kept a very big secret for at least a week and a half, which is impressive to my standards!

When I finally finished with everything, our plan was to glue or tape down a cute pink bow around its hairs, it had three little semi-sharp “hairs” poking out on the top of its head and decided to include some dots on them, in case we didn’t have time to put it on her, but in the end, it turned out we didn’t have a way of making sure it stuck there forever so I’m very glad I put dots around that section anyways!

As of right now, they haven’t found a way to put it up in my nana’s room. She has a big room, but she has a lot of decor, photos, and posters all over her walls, so finding the right placement for it is going to be a little bit tricky. While we were up there, I was even trying to find a spot for it and I had a difficult time with it, so good luck Mike!

I hope you enjoyed this “little” how to do post. The second post will be going out in June, so we have some time to find more projects in the meantime!

snowflake

The Goodreads Challenge | Hopes for 2022

Hello!

This year I am doing something completely different on my Goodreads Challenge. If you don’t know what this is, Goodreads is an app that allows you to find books. You can make up lists or shelves as they call them to categorize all of the books, like fiction and nonfiction. At the start of a new year, they give you a spot to choose a number of books you want to read in the 12 months. I’ve tried to make one in the last five years I’ve had it. Since 2019, I’ve been trying to up the number of the previous year, and even though I did get to 40 books in December, I decided to go for it in 2022.

I like the Goodreads Challenge a lot. I’m not one to make any big goals for the year anyways, so being able to set a somewhat large number of books for one year can be thrilling as a whole. I am always so pumped to start on a new one, but this time I decided to change it up a bit. I had the though back in September of splitting it up to focus on books that have been turned into movies. I love movies, and last year I learned how much I missed making time for them so I thought I could connect the two and hope I could make room for both loves. At the moment, I’ve only done one but I have been very distracted lately so I hope I can up my game a bit as the year goes on.

There is one drawback about this. I am not sharing my thoughts about these books and their film adaptions on my blog. I actually have a separate idea for that, but don’t worry I have two books that I am getting ready to publish–one might be coming out this Friday! I couldn’t just stop creating my book reviews though. I like being able to talk about thoughts on certain books and it just seemed silly to quit on all fronts, so I will continue doing those posts every month.


Now you’re probably wondering I am doing with the books on my other list. I do have something really cool to share with you today.

Around the same time, I came up with first idea, I was watching a lot of videos on YouTube about these reading journals. I was puzzled by them at first, but then I started watching like 10 a week and I knew I was hooked on the idea of creating a different space away from my blog to talk about my books. I was a bit hesitant at first, but I am always looking for something to be more creative and I thought this would be pretty cool to try out.

I ended up talking about it a lot with my mom and she agreed that it would be a good idea to try something new. Once I found out about monthly trackers, I was pretty much sealed on the deal and basically asked for a brand-new journal, calligraphy markers and pens, and more books that were being turned into movies this year on my Christmas list. I did receive the dotted notebook I asked for and it’s been a learning curve for me so far! I have the markers and pens as well, but I haven’t really used them that much. And out of all the books on my Christmas list, I got one book and it was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

In the videos I’ve seen of these reading journals, everyone comes up with a different theme and I decided on Harry Potter, and I hoped to capture a bit of the Wizarding World and place it throughout the different spreads, but I’ve had a rough time just making simple banners, so it is a bit plain in some areas, but I am getting better at it. I also have the standard bookshelves but I totally forgot to include the House colors for the various types of reading, because I want to explore them as well, so, gray is for Kindle while pink is for Audiobook and Print is in the color turquoise. I don’t include the titles on the spines because I write too large to do that and I just want to see which way wins.

One thing I have learned in the past two years is that I am obsessed with words. Every time I found one that seemed unique, or it was used in another way than we normally say it, I wanted to collect it for later, so when I got my journal, I decided I would make a section just for my words and it’s been a fun thing to keep track of, and even my parents have enjoyed them too!

Here were the words I was obsessed with in January, and I have to apologize if any of the words are misspelled as well.

Words included are: synapes. candytuff, cur, filgree, ells, hewed, crux, tedium, signews, skein, bishopric, morose, trounced, brocade, whetstones, alight, coffer, chignon, commencement, gythia, truncated, primsigned, saccade, demesne, vehemence, daub, architaves, granary, manses, crux, hinterland, and picaresque

The last spread I made in my green journal was my end-of-the-month-stats. I want to keep track of everything like how many books, days, pages, and words I would make it to every month. I have these long rectangles going vertically on two pages (I actually have three because I made the boxes too big to include November and December!) and I assign different colors for each one and it’s easily my second favorite thing in the journal.

After hearing me complain about it in the beginning, my mom found a little book called “My Reading Life” by Anne Bogel on one of the people she follows on Instagram and we looked at it because despite my best efforts, I knew I needed some help, so I got it around the second week of January, and the main thing I use in it is the monthly tracker. I really love those pages, because it is so easy, but you have to be really careful because you only get little diamond shapes in each block, and you can feel lost once you get into the thick of a month.

I only have one book written in there already, and it was Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I like to start a new year with disability themes. I just like to get them out of the way honestly! I found this book featured on Kindle Unlimited and it was a great read but I’m so thankful I’ve only watched the film once since it came out in like 2016. There were some changes made throughout, I really like Julienne Moore and Kristen Stewart for both Alice and her daughter Lydia. My second book will be 12 Years A Slave for Black History Month and I have always wanted to watch the film and luckily HBOMAX played it all month long, so I have that to look forward once I’m finished. And yes, I have decided on my March read but I’m keeping it a secret for now.

I am reading rather slowly, and I don’t know why I’m doing this because I’ve always read multiple books with opposite genres at once, but I think it has something to do with the fact I hadn’t published this post out for January and I wasn’t able to relax in between the two areas, so let’s hope I zip right through the incoming books and their respectful movies too!

How many books do you hope to read in 2022? Do you have an app to help you keep track of your books like Goodreads or are you one to use a reading (bullet) journal instead?

snowflake

Meet Our New Puppy!

Hello!

This year has been a little bittersweet for my family as in late March, we lost our beloved dog ChiChi, three days before we left to visit some family up north. For those of you who never had a chance to meet ChiChi, she was a feisty little thing! She barked at literally everything, people, dogs, the cats, and even poor Nolan… We were happy that she had turned her tune of him in the last two months before her passing, but if he was outside and she was sunbathing in front of the screen door she would bark and bark at him for trespassing on her property.

Her death was hard on all of us, but it probably affected my dad the most as they were best buds, although I clearly remember him almost keeping her away from him when we first brought her home. I remember coming home from school and hearing my mom tell me about how they went to Walmart and dad was so worried about her getting stuck in the couch and being like that for a couple of hours, so they ended up taking her with them. Apparently she was stuffed inside mom’s purse because at that time she had a big purse and she told me, it was like Bruiser bobbing his head out of Elle’s bag at the end of Legally Blonde, she was so alert and curious of everything, but this was also before she learned how to be a guard dog too!

When my mom goes to work, it was just the three of us. Dad, ChiChi and I hanging out and fighting against sleeping the whole afternoon. ChiChi would sleep a lot. She was as bad as the cats sometimes! However, when she was awake, dad would cuddle and play with her, until he would venture outside and it was just me and the dog. Once he would leave, it was hard to resist making her sing while inside her blankets in the living room. She loved to howl (sing) to the theme songs of Cops, The Golden Girls, SpongeBob SquarePants, and the operatic J.G. Wentworth commercial. After she died, I have heard that commercial five times and my parents do not watch Cops anymore because that was one of her absolute favorites!


Since she’s been gone, we’ve had three chances to get a new dog.

I think the main reason why it took so long was because my dad was very committed to the possibility whereas my mom wasn’t feeling the idea at all. I actually remained pretty neutral about it. I understood why dad wanted another dog but also get my mom’s reasons behind it too. I tried my best to talk them into letting my cat Stormy inside instead but neither one thought it was a good idea since he sheds quite a bit and he has never spent a lot of time indoors either.

It wasn’t until late July that my folks were on the same wavelength and decided to search for another dog. They were mainly searching into German Shepherds since they are mom’s favorite breed. I wanted another pittie and I almost got dad to follow along with me until they stumbled upon a couple of Belgian Milionis puppies. They are one of my dad’s favorite breeds, and I think what got his attention is that the guy who was saling them was a police officer or something like that and the father of the pups was his K-9. The guy was also looking for $800 but got him to go down on the price by half and that’s how we ended up with Rumer.

She was born around Memorial Day weekend so she is around 13 weeks (I think) by the time this post goes out, and she has finished with her final shot, and I’m happy to say as the vet was not ChiChi’s favorite person, Rumor loved him! Technically, dad and I spell her name with a “U” instead of an “E” so don’t be surprised if you see some mistakes on here and my social medias!

One of the things that the breeder told my parents was she likes to bite feet… And for the record, she does in fact enjoy this hobby, but the only time she bites me is whenever I try to play with her. For the most part, she would rather lick my feet instead and we are very grateful for it. She is actually incredibly adorable and is already showing off how she will protect you or me in this case. If you want to get close to me, you have to get through her first. She doesn’t quite know the deal about my wheelchair, much less how I go to the bathroom. If dad is helping me, she barks at us. I think she thinks I’m hurting him because she is ALWAYS around dad, but when mom takes me, she barks at her.

She has figured out how to jump into my bed, but not the couch, and I’m sure dad is hoping that day comes soon because she continues to eat like our cats, which is all the time. Speaking of the cats, her welcoming present from Bootsie was a big wack on the head when she went over to sniff at her. Two days later Grumpy got ahold of her as they walking outside for a bathroom break. Rumor is very curious of our cats though, and thanks to our back deck, they are able to see each other and watch the other’s movements. According to my mom, Felix did let her smell him the other day without any attacks so there is hope that maybe some will become friends with her one day.

Lastly, we kept ChiChi’s bed (although she mostly used it as a toy box than a bed!) and since she’s still small, she fits perfectly in it. Unfortunately, she’s ripped a hole in it and now she only has her blanket to lay on but I think she’s better with it, everytime she gets a toy or dental bone she’ll put everything on the blanket. My parents purchased a medium size cage for her and that’s where her food bowl is located but she hates being in it obviously. The other day Nolan came over and we had to put her in it and she actually did better than she had earlier this month.

When you have lost a family pet, how long did you wait until you brought home another animal? Are you familiar with the breed: Belgian Milionis? Do you have any advice on training or anything else for my family? Please share down in the comments.

Life | Love, Death & Sickness

WARNING: I don’t usually do this, but I felt the need to include this little warning for anyone who can be triggered by the events that have happened recently. It involves a death of a beloved pet.

Hello!

This past month has been a freaking roller coaster! There were so many random things happen that were bad and good that they’re starting to blend together. For today’s post, we are going to go back to the very beginning of the chaos and weed out the special things that happened.

We start at the last day of March. It was a bittersweet kind of day for my whole family. I was able to get on the floor early in the day to go outside and visit with the cats, and after I came back inside I decided to hang out with my mom and ChiChi The last few days, Chichi had been feeling like crap. She was having issues breathing and my dad had noticed her heart was running a lot faster than normally, to the point where my mom was having to monitor with her nursing equipment. Anyways, while I was in the living room and actually leaning up against her “step” onto the couch and as I was doing it, the little dog decided to scare the crap out of me by coming out behind me and licking half of my face until she was ready to get down on the floor again.

She was enjoying lying on her blanket basking in the sun by the front door. I had been told to not play with her because of how she’d been feeling the past couple of days, so I gave her some of her toys and we enjoyed looking at our neighborhood for a little bit. After a few minutes, she decided that it was too hot and she curled up next to mom on the couch. After a few minutes I asked my mom to help me back on top of my bed, and then all hell broke loose. Chichi had collapsed at the bottom of her step and had a seizure, which resulted in my parents taking her to the vet immediately where they made the ultimate decision to put her to sleep so she didn’t have to suffer anymore.

The best thing about this story though was what happened when they arrived at the vet’s office. He was just about to close for the day and was probably looking forward to going home, but ChiChi wanted to make sure she left this world on her own terms. She tried to bite the bastard, so they had to put her in a muzzle but I have to say, I hope when it’s my time to go, I want the same amount of spunk in my veins to do something like that!

We are still healing after her loss. The house is definitely quieter without her high-pitched barks at the poor neighbors that enter the house or yard. I’ve had the operatic J. G. Wentworth commercial eight times and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to ask my parents where ChiChi is, and I know she can’t be anywhere on the couch because my mom doesn’t keep a blanket out for her. The food bowls and pee towels are put up and her step has been fixed to match with the rest of the couch. The only thing that is still out are her toys and none of us have dared to move them yet. I actually sleep with her blanket she used to soak up the sun to cover my feet at night.

Two days later, we left home to start our road trip to visit my mom’s side up north. We hadn’t seen anybody since late September I think. The drive went pretty good, we were unable to visit our favorite Starbucks in Martinsville because they were working on the road and GPS took us on another route that really messed with us. My brother-in-law Brandon was driving and I sat in the passenger seat with limited space for my legs and feet but as we reached Indy, Brandon and I were more than uncomfortable at that point. I had to literally remind the both of us to be patient as we attempted to shift positions in our seats. Our destination couldn’t arrive fast enough for us!

Once we got there, I heard Brandon’s back pop like four times. After my sister opened my door and removed the pillows that were shoved underneath my feet for the whole ride; I was so happy to bend my legs again and they were somewhat sore for like an hour later. As we went into my aunt and uncle’s house and hugged everyone, I was busy observing my nephew have an absolute blast with my Aunt Laurie and nana. He showed them his cars and played with Myla a couple of times too. It wasn’t long before we ate pizza and had even more family come over for the evening. My cousin Amy and her wife Danielle and their kids came over. Nolan had playmates and was thoroughly enjoying himself! He was a flirt and a mooch at the same time.

However, once we began nighttime, either we were delirious after the long day with driving, playing and talking our heads off, Nolan wanted nothing to do with sleeping and he became a complete goofball. We all slept in the living room and Nolan is used to having a fan and nightlight, and as we were inching towards sleep, he wanted to argue who he wanted to sleep with and at that point, we had the lights off but one cell phone light that shone brightly on the wall and Nolan was like Peter Pan and found his shadow and we just erupted with laughter! Suddenly everything he did in those couple of minutes were hilarious and I mean, I had tears coming out of my eyes and I knew I wasn’t the only one! Thankfully, he figured out the best position was in between his mom and dad and we all drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, Laurie and Mike made breakfast of both cinnamon and orange rolls! It has become a great traditional and is the only time I get to have my favorite orange rolls because neither one of my parents like them!

On the agenda for that Saturday, once Uncle Rick came over the younger kids were going to hunt eggs all along the front yard and it was so precious to watch all three of them search for the eggs. Amy and Danielle had made Nolan special eggs and they were full of different goodies like candy (he likes gummies the most!) and little toys, but the most popular were the confetti eggs! He had so much fun and was sweet enough to share his treasures with his mommy, mimi, and his favorite bestie: Danielle.

After the eggs, we went back inside to have some lunch and I wasn’t able to eat very much but I figured it was because of the rolls I had a few hours ago. Now there was something very different about this visit, because Easter finally landed on my nana’s birthday. So, once most of the guests were finishing with their plates, the cake was brought out and it was so good! My Aunt Laurie made array of cupcakes in both carrot cake and vanilla batters. I had a vanilla cupcake and it was really good, but my eyes were still glued to my nana’s as it much larger than anyone else’s and I knew she would make it last for a while as she has her own freezer for this exact purpose! She’s smart like that but really, she just has a bad sweet tooth!

The next thing we did was make our way into the garage to paint Easter and spring-y scenes. My nana and I each had a different thing, she had this beautiful bumblebee windmill that she did very well on and I got this beautiful sign that is of a mason jar of flowers with the words “Hello Spring” at the bottom. I took my time on it, because I was working with something I don’t usually do and I am still shocked how good I was able to do the lettering, because I was going to have my sister do that part because she can do various things with this sort of thing but Danielle and I were the last ones to finish our masterpieces. I was thoroughly impressed with what I was able to do with it!

Unfortunately, I don’t remember a lot that happened after that. My uncle David made a late appearance and I remember seeing him and enjoying his voice and laughter again, and then I wanted to go on the couch and Nolan also went to lay down on the lounge chair on the opposite side of the living room, and we both passed out. I’ve been known to crash early but usually I show symptoms of it like crankiness or just being uncomfortable and since I was just painting and having a great time like not even 15 minutes before this, it was a bit of a shock for everyone. The next day I felt fine again but I just thought it was from the pain I had and took medicine for while in the garage that afternoon. We didn’t leave Sunday until probably noon but we hugged everyone and I made sure I had enough for any movement in my seat because I refused to be stuck in the same place for a 4 hour drive back home!

Sunday night, I felt pretty good overall. I allowed myself to relax and watch some TV, but honestly all I did was binge watch Criminal Minds on Netflix and had a good sleep that night. As far Monday, it was absolutely beautiful! I was able to go outside with my current Harry Potter book, journal, and camera to hang out with the cats on the deck. We have found out that sitting on a rug helps my bottom a lot especially for multiple hours! It has been somewhat odd to sit like on the wood without being in my wheelchair mainly because I am up close with our cats again and they are clearly loving this just as much as I am and really hope I get to continue to do this as we go into summertime!

And then, everything changed and time seemed to go faster than any other time, including the three day visit I just did basically, because the same day I have a steady knowledge of was the 7th of April 2021, after that, everything is a blur. In the matter of two days, I came down with the stomach flu. I hadn’t had it since possibly late 2008 or early 2009. In the thick of it though was probably the worst because I was so depressed as I was sick. I despise being sick in any form but stomach flu has to be the worst in my opinion because I was basically attached to my commode for 72 hours at best. I wouldn’t eat anything other than applesauce, popsicles, and ice cubes. I drank Gatorade and water like they were nothing and tried so many pills to make everything stop flowing out of my body. I was having to call my mom every 20 minutes or less and would have to call her in the middle of the night for the same reasons. It was so much and I just wanted out of there emotionally and mentally, and then as suddenly as it came into our house, it went away.

I have been extremely lucky at avoiding different sicknesses, except for what happened at the start of 2020. Other than that, I have not experienced anything else and I do not understand how it came about because we only had two other members come down with similar things but nothing was hardcore as mine. The first three days I started getting better, I was so hungry and would literally ask my mom if she was going to the store to look for this , this, and that. I would wake up in the middle of the night wanting food but as my body began to center again, the cravings subsided and I am not as worried about how much movement I do that could produce bad consequences for everyone!

Okay, I think I am finally done talking about everything. I hope everyone else was able to enjoy their Easter weekend and to anyone who has the stomach bug or who had it recently, I really hope you start to feel better sooner rather than later.