We went to Yellowstone!

Well our vacation is officially over. My family and I went to Yellowstone and the Grand Teton! We stayed in Island Park, Idaho for 10 days, and traveled up to the West Yellowstone entrance less than 30 minutes away. We had fun in the snow (yes winter hit early), and we had fun sight seeing!

This was my first trip up north to those states as well. I had never been to Idaho, Montana or Wyoming. We drove from our home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was a 900 mile drive – which took roughly two days while traveling with an 11 year old, a 21 month old, and a dog.

Scroll through the photos above to see some highlights from our trip! I took over 1000 photos but obviously I cannot post them all here. I will eventually post more to my flickr page – when I finish converting all of my photos from RAW format to JPEG. Flickr won’t let me upload RAW photos, sadly.

And I take LOTS…

Oh well…but let me tell you about our trip. First of all – no offense UTAH – but you suck. I started to feel sick in Utah after having the wind blast us there. I was sick for the first 5 days I was on vacation. Eventually I started to feel better but the rest of my family caught what ever was going on eventually.

We went up to Idaho, which was a lot nicer than Utah but by the time we got up to Island Park, ID there were very few STORES. We had some tiny grocery stores which did not sell any gluten free options for my toddler. She did end up getting sick from something and we ended up going to a lovely little pharmacy in West Yellowstone, called Silver Tip Pharmacy. They ordered some probiotics for my daughter’s stomach issues. My daughter has food allergies and food sensitivities so we ran into a few issues while we were traveling.

We usually are very strict about the brands we try with her and we had to try a few new brands and we found out she cannot have paprika while we were traveling. So that was a thing, but we did not have any acute FPIES reactions, thankfully.

Now that we are home, with all of her safe foods, she is MUCH better.

Other than the lack of food my daughter could eat – we did have a lovely time. I just had to feed her the same foods over and over again – lots of eggs, cheese and chicken. *rolls eyes* she was so tired of it by the end of the trip and I don’t blame her.

Thankfully no one else in my family has food allergies, so I was able to buy what ever else they wanted. Though many of the grocery stores we hit up had very few vegetable options. I think we just went to all the wrong stores. I am used to walmart and target, where I have more than one row of veggie and fruit options, where these small towns had a very small section each.

Enough complaining… that was honestly one of my only issues while traveling.

Yellowstone was lovely – it was not too busy. But it did snow a few times. Thankfully we were prepared and had other plans for those days. We went to the Grand Teton, and went to a local dam in Island Park. It was lovely. Once I get some of my photos transferred over I would like to make a post about a few of my favorite places.

Obviously we saw Old Faithful (twice), but there are other geysers like “Lone Star Geyser” which are just as beautiful, and LESS packed. You do have to walk 2.5 miles on an old road to get there, and 2.5 miles back, but its easy to access and not very hard at all.

We saw the Grand Prismatic Springs twice, as well as the Artist paint pots, the biscuit basin, mammoth hot springs, the Roosevelt Arch, and we went through 3 of the 5 entrances to Yellowstone (West, North, South) we missed both East and North East entrances due to weather and time.

I actually really enjoyed the Teton’s scenic drive the most! I loved all the stops – the changes of the trees from green to golden yellow. And I loved seeing the animals along the way!

Again – I will make a detailed blog of my top 10 spots soon. I just wanted to let you all know I am back! So sorry for not posting! I wanted to post – but then I just got so busy! I was outside in the snow a bit with the kids and my dog. And yes…we took our dog on this trip!

She had so much fun

That is me above – I took a selfie once my DSLR’s battery died on my trip. I had other batteries – but they were in the car. I quickly started carrying my extra batteries in my pocket after that!

Keep an eye out – I will work on getting some more Yellowstone stuff up soon! ❤

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We got our signed Rick Riordan books tonight!

Tonight’s event at UNM with Rick Riordan – the author of Percy Jackson, and many more books, was fantastic! Not only did he answer a few questions from the audience, he also introduced us to a few local author that are published by Rick Riordan Presents – Disney Hyperion Publishing.

The two local authors that were at this event were – J.C. Cervantes & Rebecca Roanhorse. Both had stories my son would LOVE to read.

Now at tonight’s event there were about 900 or more people there ! So when we left the event, my son wanted to buy some books from the other authors but honestly it was just crazy in the lobby. So we are going to buy these two authors online instead. I would have loved to get him a book from the book shop here- if their tables were a bit further from the exit doors. It just seemed like poor planning, but that’s fine. I may try to buy the books online from their shop, if its an option.

Anyways – we love Rick Riordan’s books! I am very happy I got to take my son to this event, to get a signed book and listen to Rick talk. It was entertaining and it was nice to get out off the house. Even if I had to chase a toddler around the event room for an hour, HA.

Since every ticket got a signed book- I got 3 books total. My son is keeping one for himself, and the others have been spoken for and will be mailed out tomorrow! I am glad they will be in loving homes with people who appreciate the books 🙂 If you went to the event and didn’t want ALL the books- they would donate them to the local schools instead. Which is also a very nice option.

If I didn’t have mine spoken for, I would have put them in a little free library to spread the love.

Taking a break from depression – sort of

I can’t choose when I am depressed, but I can decide how I handle the times when I am not depressed.

This week has been fairly nice – less depressed. I think my brain is just preoccupied with our upcoming trip to Yellowstone. I am very excited and nervous about this trip. For one, I have never traveled with a dog before. So I get anxious about the hotels rejecting us, even though we paid the fees and confirmed they accept pets her size and weight.

The likely hood of a hotel turning us away is very slim. I just have anxiety.

I can’t wait though – to be away from everything.

I love to travel – especially by car. I love to drive. We decided to take my car on the trip so far. I am planning everything we are packing – from the first aid kit, to the toddler’s food. I have to make sure to stay in check as well with my own nutrition since I am still on my diet.

In the meantime, I have been checking out the current weather of the house we will be staying at and apparently we might get some snow! I am a bit excited and nervous because I have never been to this state before… tomorrow I need to set up anything that needs to be charged – Cameras…tablets…etc.

I am still deciding which camera to bring. I have 3 main cameras right now…. honestly its the 2 DSLRs I am having trouble deciding between. I may just bring both …they both take photos well – but because they are different models, they work differently enough.

I hope to post photos from our trip on here and maybe get some artsy shots if I have time. I haven’t used my cameras seriously since …before I had my daughter.

I took photos at my nephew’s wedding maybe 2 months before I had my daughter.

Updates! My daughter was discharged from Occupational Therapy! She will no longer receive weekly or monthly visits! We are still receiving Music Therapy though, which is fine. And the coordinator will be coming over tomorrow to talk about stuff.

So that is exciting – I actually estimated that Lily would walk in July 2019 – and she started walking in August. I was so close. But that was the main thing we were working on – walking. And now she is doing great with it!

I haven’t really had time this week to hang out with the new neighbor – I still don’t know her work hours, so I may text her when we get back in town after our trip and see what kinda hours she works to maybe hang out occasionally. She seems nice enough and told me to just “come on over” when ever I wanted to hang out. But, social anxiety kills me – so I need to know her hours so I am not a bother.

In the mean time – I need to call the hospital up – I received news from my Dr about a referral they put in for me to fix the “embarrassing” issue I have. I say embarrassing because it involves butts.

I need to call the ‘surgery’ department to schedule a procedure… but I had to make sure with my MIL and my mother that someone would be available to watch my kids, because they probably can’t come with me to have my embarrassing procedure.. I honestly am not embarrassed about it but I understand you all may not want to hear about EVERYTHING my body fucks up… (don’t worry I am not dying… I just need to have something removed from my body that they found on a CT scan… but it’s not urgent…so I will get it done after my trip.)

Oh well – I can’t wait to update you all on our travels. My best friend will be watching my house for me, thankfully. So I don’t have to worry about my cat. I have good friend(s). Even though some may not be local – *winks* – You are always there for me.

I will update soon enough! If anyone has any travel tips for car rides with dogs, let me know! I am hoping the dog enjoys the ride!

The new neighbor

Our neighborhood is changing…

Earlier this year, both of my neighbors had life altering events… One passed away, so her house went up for sale. And my other neighbor had dementia and was moved to a safer place of living. The first house sold to a lovely woman and her two children. The other house is being redone – to be rented out eventually.

In the meantime, the house across the street was sold… and is being redone as well. So many new changes… three houses down there is another house for sale and a few months ago another neighbor 2 houses down was rented out to another family…

The new next door neighbor with the kids, is nice! I met her the other day and her children quickly asked if my son wanted to hang out with them. So yesterday he went to their house and hung out. Today he was re-invited to hang out- and I eventually went over to say hello to the mother myself.

I was invited in – and only expected to stay a few minutes.

Fast forward 2 hours later….

Above is my husband’s text to me… after I went missing LOL

She’s legit a very nice / cool person. I ended up chatting with her for 2 hours, getting to know her. I think I may legit have a new friend. We seem similar in a few ways. And her boys get along with my children!

I am going to try to make an effort to hang out with her more soon – I need good friends. I need people in my life that are positive.

I am actually very excited to have finally met this new neighbor. I don’t get to meet many new people in person, being a SAHM and a WAHM, kind of limits my options on friends. I sort of just took what I got … but it’s nice to find someone so close that wants to hang out. I hope we do become good friends. I haven’t made a new friend in like 6 years.

Now we need to keep our fingers crossed that who ever rents the house next to us on the other side- will be nice as well.

Just a weekly blog

This past week has been a roller coaster… but not like you would expect it to be.

I had kidney stones at the end of last week and had to visit the ER for pain relief and a CT to make sure it was indeed kidney stones causing my pain. The ER was a mess – I didn’t get pain relief for about 3 hours, and was vomiting in pain.

Kidney stones have a very specific pain. And they are not fun, at all.

I dealt with my son’s music teacher, she was causing some scheduling issues and she broke a few strings on my son’s guitar, after I paid $30 for them to be replaced earlier that week. I was pissed, so I taught myself how to change the strings and got an app to help me tune it. I know it seems like something small, but I wear hearing aids, so I don’t trust my tuning anymore.

Anyways, we switched our home school curriculum a few weeks ago and we are doing AMAZING using it. There is less stress… my son really loves the coding program, and I am getting used to the program finally. School isn’t so hard anymore… and I think we can do this.

I struggle with they way I think…. am I doing the right thing for my child? Should I put him back in public school? And then I get reminded how horrible our experience was, and how little support we actually got. Yes we had meetings but things were not followed through… he was being left behind.

I know I am doing the right thing, I just need to remind myself of this.

In the mean time, I am going to order some pre-K materials for next year. I have decided to do pre-K at home for my daughter when she turns 2, she’s bright. And we can do home learning with her until kindergarten and then we can decide if we will home school her or not.

In the mean time – I met my new neighbor, BOTH of them. The one who lives directly next door to us has kids near my son’s age. So they may actually hang out! I am excited!

In the mean time, I have been working on things with my husband and I. For a while, with all the stresses going on, we were just stressing. But I feel like there has been a door opened between us.. just these last few months have been really eye opening. I have been trying to figure stuff out with my medication for my depression to help me out in my own mind…

I still have depression pretty bad – it keeps me up at night. But that’s life.

I have not really seen any of my friends lately IRL ,and my online ones seem distant at times but I feel okay about it because the changes in my life in general feel positive. I have actually had the urge to organize things in my house – and I am trying to make time between home schooling and taking care of a toddler to do that.

Our dog is better behaved and now she has gotten used to our neighbors dogs and barks less at them. She hasn’t caused any chaos this week.

I am trying to complete the planning for our vacation – just need to plan the itinerary.

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