Our Journey Through Life, Laughter, and the Adventures in Parenthood.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

We Have No Gas

Sometimes I feel like we can never accomplish anything without something getting in our way. As I have mentioned one or two times Quinten is such an outside kid (which I totally don't mind). It comes in handy because our tiny little house has a yard that is quite possibly bigger than our home! We've worked hard on keeping our grass plush and green, we've planted veggies every year. We have toys and decorations. So with the onset of Quinten's birthday (and party yay!), and us bringing in his gift from us (custom "boy cave" playhouse built by dad!), we decided to do a little remodeling of sorts outside. We wanted to move the trelace we installed last year over the grass, and build a circle table around the one post thats in the yard. We moved the swings onto the back/side of the yard, and weeded through his outside stuff. This was our plan for Saturday. My parents came down so my dad and Shannon could do the constructing, while my mom and I did the cleaning, and entertaining the almost 3 year old who wants to help with everything. Shannon and I went out early to do what we could before my folks got here and were greeted with face full of gas! Hoping it would dissipate we continued on. But damn that stuff wreaks!! (for obvious reasons I know).  It took about 10 minutes of grossing out before I was on the phone with the gas co. Funny how you call to report a gas leak, they put you on hold, and tell you they'll be out "sometime today." Ya, ok, don't light a match right? So 3 hours later, an almost complete yard, and ya I BBQ'd lunch, and the gas guy finally shows up.  He smelled it and detected it pretty quick. Although we never smelled gas in the house, and it was pretty obvious where it was coming from, he watched the meter while having my husband shut off every single gas appliance in the house to make sure it wasn't one of those. And of course it wasn't, the meter kept spinning even with the entire house shut off. Crap. It's between us and the meter, which you know what that means? The gas co. isn't responsible, its the homeowner, our landlord. The gas guy said its one of the worst leaks he's seen, and we're lucky we caught it when we did, shut it off, red tagged it and locked it. Its somewhere under our walkway or yard, yes the yard we have worked so hard to keep nice. And of course its Saturday and the plumber said most likely it will be more cost effective to just lay a new line, then try and track down the leak on this old property. Annnd he can't get to the parts yard until Monday when it opens. Thanks. So here we sat, with the little bit of hot water left in our tank, the half dried clothes in the dryer, and glad we have a propane bbq outside. So now its Sunday, we've used all our hot water, and I'm dreading the cold shower I get to endure tonight. We will hear from the plumber in the morning as to our time line. And then I guess this week they will be destroying our beautiful yard to lay a new line.  I'm glad we're all safe, I'm glad we found it, I'm glad my parents are only a half hour away if this process is going to take long enough we have to get outta dodge. But c'mon! We have a birthday party in 2 weeks HERE. And this just blows. How was your Saturday?


Friday, August 24, 2012

Cowan Catch Up

What have we been up to lately? Summer stuff I guess! My little pollywog has spent probably 85% of this summer in some sort of water. Be it Grandma, and Grandpa's pool, our blow up pool(s), sprinklers, the beach, you name it. It's about the only thing that will keep him preoccupied for more than 10 minutes. He's growing so much, so fast. He will be 3 on September 10th, and I know it will be here before I know it. Here's a photo catch up on the last few.

An awesome chicken...

Our 4th of July was a casual but nice day. We started with a hike on a nearby trail. And ended at my folks' house. We swam, bbq'd and did the whole fireworks thing. Quinten had a blast with his cousins. I had a couple margaritas. It was a pretty typical Central Coast 4th of July.

Quinten got to ride his first horse! Our friends have a few horses, and were nice enough to let us come out to the stables to check them out. Quinten had the most serious look on his face the whole time, but he really had a blast! And yes, he requested I join him for a bit. It was so much fun, and we can't wait to go back!

We started our birthday marathon. It begins early July with Shannon's birthday. He wanted to lay low so we don't really have any photos of that one. Then its my mom (pictured below). We did a grown up night out at the wonderful Old Port restaurant in Avila. The food was incredible, and it was nice to dine sans child, because honestly that never happens.  We checked out the sea lions, and walked around the pier. My husband teased that I looked like a tourist in my own town. It was great. We then had the nieces back to back celebrations, a neighbor, a friend, and now a few weeks down time before mine and Quinten's celebrations begin!

The whales came to town! We went to the beach one day with the cousins, and had no idea what the ocean had in store for us that day! I couldn't figure out why there were people lining the road with huge telephoto lenses on their cameras staring into the bay. I figured it was all the birds? Weirdos. But not long after we settled in my sister in law gasps "was that a whale!?" Why yes it was! OHHH thats why all those people are here! We were there for a couple of hours and got quite a show! I wish I had my longer lens that day!

Its big enough news I've seen it all over Yahoo! We're famous! 

Life other than that, is moving right along. Quinten is still an amazing little boy who has developed quite an opinion. Quite a voice. And quite a little attitude. He's a wonderful story teller, and never forgets anything.  He wants to know what I'm doing ALL the time. He is rocking it on his bike! We've started talking about getting him into preschool this spring (what?!). Suddenly we have this little boy roaming our house. Its kinda freaking me out. 
Our frames are coming along. Slowly but surely. 
And me? Well its been a better few months. Back here, I was struggling. After seeing the doctor and getting some adjustments done, I started feeling better. Still some ups and downs, but getting there. More on this in another post. 
So, there ya have it. Life with the Cowan's, I'm tired, I'm happy, I'm excited. AND I'm almost 29. When did I become a grown up? Approaching my 30s? What the crap. Life is crazy. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Friendship 28 To 90

I was so excited to get an email from a long time friend that her Grandma was turning 90! AND that I was going to have the honor of taking photos to document the celebration! Kim and I have been friends since early high school ehem nearly 15 years ago.  I was so excited to see her, and her family. We chatted, we giggled, we cheered a little champagne. I took A LOT of pictures.  It was a great day. And I must say what an honor to watch them celebrate 90 years. NINETY years!! I can't help but picture myself at ninety (if I'm lucky enough to make it that far).  Watching her grandma with her friends, I had this quick flash to me and my girlfriends sitting around a table, grey and wrinkled. Chuckling about 'the old days' guzzling down some sort of futuristic wine. It's a crazy thought. What will life be like 61 years from now!? The things these men and women have seen! I think my heart did a little jig watching all the smiles and hugs that day. I love celebrations. I love family. And I love my friends. I love that no matter how long we go without talking we can just pick up where we left off. And I love that no matter if you're 28 going on 29 or 90 going on 91, friendship is friendship. **sigh**

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I, like many people these days do my best to eat healthy. I'm not perfect by any means. As I polish off a handful of Starburst Jelly beans, seriously though have you tried them?! Oh ma God! They're delicious.
But back to healthy. Lunch isn't always the easiest meal of the day. On days when Quinten is delightfully playing it's pretty easy, other days, I'd like to roll up some turkey and cheese and forget that lunch exists. I love salads, but they aren't always the quickest meal to just throw together. So here's a tip; make a giant salad on Monday (or Thursday or Saturday) Throw together everything that can sit well together in a covered bowl. This yummy creation has mixed greens, corn and peas (left over from Monday's dinner) cucumber, olives, and carrots. {Cover and refrigerate} Then when lunch comes around add some tomatoes, cut up ham, and some feta, dress and... 

Viola! Delishness at its best! 

And another plus... its the one meal I get ALL to myself because while he'd eat the rest of it, my son wont come within 15 feet of lettuce! BONUS! :) Hope you enjoy! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

we the PEOPLE

I don't normally talk politics. In fact I don't think I ever do. It's complicated, its confusing, and it's a good way to start a fight. But with all the talk that has come about with this healthcare stuff I can't help but think. I honestly don't know what this is all about, and I really don't think anyone really does. They write it just so, so that no one can distinguish A from B, here from there. Kinda like a magician. You know -look over here-- while I do this over -there-. Good or bad, right or wrong, I can't help but dream. The more I hear, the more broken and hopeless I feel. What ever happened to 'we the people.' One nation built on dreams, on hopes, on morals. A nation that pulls together. A government that cared about it's people, because that is what we are, a nation filled with people.. I think its about that time, time for us to stand back and really look at what we are doing. We are not a nation united, we are a nation separated. No one caring for their neighbor. Its an everyone for themselves world, and I don't like it.  We have forgotten the little things. Smiles, waves, how ya doins? We are a culture of high speed, obliviousness. Anyways, back to my point. I wish, I hope and pray that we can go back to the basics. I want a president who cares, truly cares about his people. We are not a business, we are not a company, we are a country filled with people. People trying to make it, make something of themselves, leave a mark. Trying to enjoy what little time we have on this earth. But good Lord, how are we supposed to do this?  Too many people these days are working too damn hard, and for what? To support who? Their families are struggling, their hopes are dwindling. Its just sad. America the great is fading. The real Americans are suffering. Something has to change. We need to come together and say enough is enough. Lets get back to what this country was founded on. I don't want a celebrity, I don't want a promiser. I want a person who is going to get the job done. Focus on the problems at hand and make it better. I know it's all easier said that done, but we are supposed to be the land of opportunity. The land of the {free}. Nothing is supposed to be impossible. So c'mon lets stand up and say "I want my dream back" I want the house, the car, the dog, and that picket fence. And I don't think thats too much to ask! Lets lift each other up, support one another, encourage one another. We aren't helping anything, so shut up and lets change this place! OK. There thats probably the only political talk you'll hear from for some time!

Monday, June 25, 2012


I've got to sort out my thoughts. I've got to figure this out. Its really time to sit down and deal with my struggles with panic. According to all the research online I have 'panic disorder.' There. I said it. I have it. I have had more panic attacks in the last few months than no one person should have their whole life. If you don't know what a panic attack is... take a moment to thank the good Lord above, and read more here. They pretty much are the worst feeling you will ever feel, ever. I have dealt with, had, and gotten through attacks since I was a kid. Some say it can be a chemical imbalance, some say its your body over/under producing adrenaline, that your body doesn't metabolize the adrenaline as quickly as others. Really no one knows for sure.  I was always told I had an over-active imagination as a kid, my mind is always going, the mind is pretty powerful. Usually onsets of "flare ups" are brought on by something major changing in my life. Like when I quit dance after nearly 15 years. Or friends moving, while relationships end. They come on, I take some time to deal, and they soon fade away. This time though is different. I guess the last 3 years or so have been nothing but big life changes and challenges, no breaks, no rest, no resolution. I guess I should time-line it out huh? Shannon and I got engaged in '08, things were going great. We both had great jobs (yes at the same place, my families business), we were excited, in love, and planning a wedding. Then, it happened, the economy crashed, and our field of work (manufactured housing) was the first to take a hit. Just months before the big day the company began to struggle, and our pocket books began to shrink. We got married in October, and it was magical. Everything I had ever dreamed of. Soon though, it was back to reality, and let me tell you, sometimes reality sucks.  Just 2 short months after wedding bells rang the company shut down. Yup, hello un-employment. It was devastating. Not just for us, but it was heart breaking watching my dad, see everything he had worked so hard for come crashing down. Life change number one. Not long after that, did we find out we were pregnant. Say WHAT? I've always wanted to be a mom, I was looking forward to it, and we were planning for it. In.the.future. But things happen, and hello baby. I just always thought it would be, "ok lets have a baby" not "oh my God we're having a baby." That day we found out will forever be embedded in my brain, what a crazy mix of emotions. Life change number two.  As we began to prep for baby my dad, brother, and husband began to pick up the pieces from the old company and started to rebuild. My pregnancy went great, I was very lucky. You think you are preparing and prepping, and are so ready for that baby. And then September came, I went into labor and 32+ hours later bam your a parent. I get to take him home? Ok which one of you nurses is coming with me? That first day home was a trip, settling in, and realizing we left as 2, and came home as 3. whoa. Life change number three.  The first few months was kinda a blur. Because work was still so slow I was lucky enough to have Shannon home quite a bit. It was great for both of us, and something I wish our country supported more, you know, families? It was and is amazing to see the bond he and Quinten built those first few weeks.  But work started to come in and he started to leave more and more. I know, I know, totally normal, every mom does it yada yada yada. But I wonder how many of us had these feeling of AAAAHH, and just never said anything? We don't want to feel embarrassed or unequipped. Hey we're moms now, we can do it all. But in the end we're only human. Settling into stay at home mom life wasn't easy. I went from 'free bird' to what felt like 'jail bird.' You're busy all.the.time. But a lot of the business isn't mind busy. And when my mind isn't busy, things can go haywire. Oh ya and living on a single income isn't stressful at.all. When Quinten was about 5 or 6 months old, I guess the build up had reached it's explosion point, and they came back. Full speed ahead. I had almost forgot what they felt like. Something I never wanted to remember. But now it was so much different, I had a little person to worry about. I had to be there for him. And so began the emotional roller coaster of dealing with panic disorder, and being a mom. The guilt, the frustrations, the exhaustion. Pushing myself harder then I have ever pushed myself, hiding things I never thought I could hide. Quiten will be 3 this September, and I still don't have it all figured out. I am so lucky to have a supportive family. One that at the drop of hat, or ring of a phone, will drop everything to be by my side. I hate it, I really do. I guess I could call myself an over achiever, a perfectionist an all or nothing kind of girl. I want to do it all, be it all, all by myself. It took nearly 3 years for me to accept I had to take medicine to help me. My dad would get SO MAD. I just didn't want to be one of those people that had to rely on medicine ya know?  I should be able to handle it on my own. But I can't. Accepting my human qualities is something I'm still trying to do. I guess sometimes, although my family and friends accept me for who I am. I don't. I love me, but hate this. This is the one factor about me I have the hardest time accepting. But I'm trying, and I'm getting there. And once I can accept that this is a part of me, I can start to deal, and move on. We want to get our business up and running, which will also be a huge help for my busy mind, we would like to move, and eventually add another little munchkin to our family. I know we can get there. I have started this no bull attitude. Trying to just get stuff done. No excuses. Its works, sometimes. I remind myself; that worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but gets you no where. Except queasy, dizzy and a little crazy.  I don't know why I've all of the sudden decided to share this. Maybe in hopes that getting it on "paper" will help sort my feelings out. I have found that as I have been talking about it more, I'm more quickly figuring things out.  Maybe so 6 months or a year from now I can look back and see how far I've come.  Maybe in hopes that if someone else is dealing with something similar they will read this and not feel so alone. Because in the midst of all this, you do feel very alone. Its so comforting to know you aren't crazy, that other people deal with this. And it can be controlled. Or maybe its just so people will understand me, a little bit more. If you or someone you know is dealing with this, take heart and know you aren't alone, there are people out there ready and willing to help you. We'll come out on top!
"Telling someone with panic not to worry, or to think of something else, is like telling someone with turrets not to tick"

So there you have it. This is me. I do think I will be writing more about this. It does feel good to get it out. Get it down. I hope I can help even just one person smile a little more today. Because laughter really is the best medicine.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Then There was FIVE

Well I officially have 5 wall hangings at CarMa Designs. They range from $30 to $40 bucks and have their very own spot in the store! Yay! These were the last 2 I dropped off today. Complete with Swarovski crystals! Life has been a little up and down lately.  A lot going on, nothing Blog worthy though. Amazon screwed up my order so finally tomorrow we should have our tools to finish our frames and get those over to the store as well! Can't wait to get the Etsy shop up, and see how they do! So what do you think?