KKHome ShopFamily ShopAdult AboutUs FAQs ContactUs Gallery Blog Affiliates <$BlogRSDUrl$>

The Most Important Blog I've Ever Written

Monday, September 24, 2007
So Joe and I hadn't really discussed his surgery much up until tonight. The word "surgery" scares the shit out of me, but deep down I figured it was no big deal. I mean.. it's just an ankle, right? Basically, all I knew is that they were going in his ankle, shortening some ligaments and some other medical stuff that I don't understand. But apparently, it's much bigger than that.. and that's the reason I'm still up at it's 3am.

Joe informed me tonight that they are putting him under. That terrifies me. I was under the impression that he'd get a local anesthetic.. maybe some laughing gas or something. I had no idea they would completely knock him out and put him under, or that he would have his leg open for three hours.

And then it occurred to me that today may have been my last full day with my husband. Sometimes, people don't wake up from that shit. I don't know how common it is or isn't.. and frankly, I don't care. A .01% chance is high enough for me and really threw a lot into perspective. For the past three nights, I've been yelling at Joe to stop snoring.. when I may never hear that snoring again. And maybe we should have spent today doing something special. We didn't.. and I can never get today back. That made me realize that I should treat every day as if it's special.. because it may be the last one we ever get.

So then Joe starts talking about how he doesn't have a living will - which made it all the more real to me that this is really going to happen and it's serious enough that he really should have a living will written out and that something could very well go very wrong. He wouldn't have even made mention of needing one if he didn't think it might be necessary.

And then I thought of Hailey, and watching her play with her daddy and how much I love watching them play and hearing her squeals of laughter.. and how Monday night may be my last chance to ever hear that again. And she loves her daddy SO much and I know he loves her - even if he sometimes has a hard time showing it.

I feel like I have a knife in my heart and someone is just twisting, stabbing and wrenching it repeatedly. I feel sick.. and dinner is in the toilet. I don't know what to think or do. I've never experienced this sort of thing before and will have no time to cope or prepare before Tuesday. I mean, I wish I'd known all of this sooner, although I doubt that would have done any good. How does one prepare for this sort of thing!?

I have no idea how I'm going to make it through Tuesday. I keep playing scenarios through my head and just bawling my eyes out. My mind is racing. I just don't know how I'm supposed to get through a day in a hospital with a near 10 month old and knowing that they are going to put my husband into a sleep he may never wake up from. I'd apologize for being dramatic.. but this is serious shit.

Great.. and now he's mad at me for being upset. Of course I'm upset! Why wouldn't I be upset!? I've never been SO worried about anything in my entire life. I'm afraid of having to wake up without him. I'm afraid of being 22 years old and having to bury my 26 year old husband. OF COURSE I'M FUCKING UPSET!!! Why in the world would I not be? He told me "don't worry about me". Uhh, too late!

And Hailey is having a bad night I guess. She's up for the fourth time. This isn't like her at all. She's so crabby tonight. I let her dance in her bed a while when she got upset. She wore herself out and went back to sleep. But now she's up again and crying. *sigh* I'm sure it could be worse... but I wish she hadn't picked tonight and I wish Joe had told me all of this shit sooner - although I don't know what difference it would have made.

Usually my blogs make me feel better. Not tonight. I'm gonna try to go sleep, although I doubt that's gonna happen. :(

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 24, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Prepping for Surgery

Sunday, September 23, 2007
I haven't blogged in a few days. My mind seems to be swimming lately and my ADHD is driving me insane. I try so hard to control it, but I'm having a horrible time concentrating on anything. Stress plays a major factor... and with my husband's ankle surgery coming up, I have plenty of that!

I don't even know what time the surgery is for. That's the Army for ya...give you a place and date, but no time! We won't know until tomorrow - which means getting a babysitter is completely out of the question. I have no idea how well Hailey will handle the hospital. I just don't feel right dropping Joe off and telling him to call me when they are ready to send him home. :( But at the same time, I can't spend the whole day at the hospital with her. That's not going to go well at all and will just make the whole situation more stressful.

I think Joe will come home Thursday at the latest. I'm not 100% sure. I just know that he's supposed to stay at least overnight. I'm gonna miss him SO much. Geez.. we've only really been apart for a couple of weeks total - and that was when we first started dating.

We have a lot to do, but Joe is pretty into sleeping and lounging around. I can understand that.. because he must be nervous. Hell..I'm nervous and I'm not getting my ankle cut into. I wanna get downstairs more living friendly. Joe will be sleeping on the pull out bed/couch for a while and I have no idea how in the world we're getting him upstairs to shower. He'll need to shower at least once a dang week or I may need to evict his stinky self. lol

I'll be doing a lot of driving and bill paying myself. Scary. I never pay our bills. Joe always does it. But there is no way he can go out and do those things in a cast. I'm not even sure how long he'll have the cast...but he'll have leave from work for six weeks so he can heal and learn how to walk again.

I was hoping we could borrow some money from someone and simply pay all of the bills way ahead of time so it would be covered, but I guess that isn't going to happen. At least most of them can be paid online.. which helps a bit.

Anyways.. please keep our family in your thoughts on Tuesday. This is the first of what will probably be many surgeries for my husband!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, September 23, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm always looking for more ways to network and get the word out about my store. I came across Yuwie.com about a month ago, but didn't really look into it much. I'm not sure how much I'll use it since I'm such a MySpace addict, but it looks promising!

Basically, it's like MySpace, but you get paid for referring people as well as for using the site. I'll be honest... yes, if you join, I'm going to make money. But hey.. you'll make money if a friend joins under you too! You can listen to the little guy chat about all of this by going HERE. He explains everything, from payment to when you get paid..what for and everything you need to know.

I'm excited about it.. and you should be too dangit! I'm always looking for ways to make even a little bit of money. Who knows.. maybe you only make $10/month but it's $10 ya didn't have, right? lol So Sign Up and then tell your friends. Who knows.. we may all make some decent money together. :)

What can you do with Yuwie? Well like I said.. it's pretty much just like MySpace. You have a profile, pictures, blogs and even groups too (although I'll be honest and say that I prefer MySpace for groups, but that's just personal preference). You can leave comments for friends, chat with people through mail, join clubs, etc. You can customize your profile and everything too!

You can check out my Yuwie profile at www.yuwie.com/kimiskustoms if you are interested.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

What Makes a Parent

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I'm member to so many parenting groups on MySpace (not to mention, I moderate six of them). But one that I'm most active of is a group called "Young Parents" - which is basically what it sounds like. The ladies in there are as young as 15 and as old as 30 (the 30 year olds are either there to be bitches and judge, or they were once a young parent as well). The group has a few trolls - people who use fake profiles simply to come in and stir trouble, but for the most part is a rather productive group.

We've had our share of stupid people in the group. I have been a member for two years now and I've certainly seen my share. But what came up last night, takes the cake for me.

There is a 19 year old girl in the group (we'll call her Bri) who has no children, has never had children, and will not be having any children in the near to distant future. She works in a day care, and actually believes that working in a day care makes her qualified to give advice to people about kids. She's made this claim before, and the mod asked her to leave the group a whole year ago (she didn't ban her..in case she ever did have children).

But last night, things got "worse" if you will. Bri actually suggested that she is raising the children she watches at work a few hours per day. You're joking..right? Let's examine her first thought...

"I have to say that there are some jobs out there that are harder than taking care of a child. I'm not saying taking care of a child isn't hard, it is. I care for alot of children everyday. The nice thing about not working outside of your home, is you get to work in the comfort of your own home. There are children annoying me all day. LOTS of children. If I am alone w/o help, I can't pee whenever I need to. You can at home though..."

First off, there is NO harder job in this world than raising a child. There just isn't. Not only is physically demanding, but it's mentally and emotionally demanding as well. We are shaping people...REAL PEOPLE. We are teaching right from wrong and literally raising the future of this world. There is no harder job, and there is no job more important either. Being a parent is the most fulfilling job I have ever known and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

We don't get to just pee whenever we need to. Either someone is trying to stick their little fingers under the door to wave at us, tries to go in the bathroom with us to "help" or they sit outside the door screaming while you just take 2 minutes to yourself to do your business. Before you are a parent, you don't even realize how precious alone time in the bathroom - even for a couple of minutes, really is.

So then, this girl starts ragging on stay at home mothers as well, basically suggesting that we have it the easiest of all. Oh, how very little she knows.

"I am sure I could handle being a stay at home mom and I still wouldn't call it a harder job than someone else's. It depends on the job. Yeah, it's a hard job, but once you get the hang of it, it gets easier and you adjust."

Oh really? I don't recall it getting any easier. Being at home all day with our children means not paying someone else to take them for even a couple of hours each day. We have them ALL day, which means very little time for ourselves. Don't get me wrong..I adore being a SAHM, but it doesn't just get easier. It gets harder, because the children grow up and the job is always changing. It's not like working at McDonald's where every day in the same and you simply get used to the routine. No..children make every day completely different from the last!

The next issue will make you laugh. A woman told her that raising children is a lot different than taking care of children like day care workers do and her response was just hilarious.

"We do raise these children. We teach them everything. We teach them how to walk, talk, use the potty, etc. It's more than just taking care of a child. This isn't babysitting for a couple of hours where you sit on a couch and throw some toys on the living room floor until the parent(s) come home."

Well, I don't know what kind of babysitting she's been doing, but I sure as hell never sat on the couch and simply threw the kids a few toys, waiting for the kid's parents to come home. That part of her comment makes me wonder what she really thinks of being a parent, and if that's what she thinks we really do all day.

As for "raising" the kids in day care. Um..I don't think so! You are NOT raising those children!!! That's what they have parents for! You are simply paid to watch over them, change them, feed them and keep them safe while their parents are out earning money to be able to support their faimilies. Watching a kid a few hours each day is not raising them. Oh boo hoo, you had to change a diaper or clean up spilled juice. That is not parenting!

Here is what it means to be a parent (Thanks to Lindsay for a few of these).

You know more about medicine than most doctors.

You discover your parents were right, damn it.

You find yourself doing and saying things your parents did and said to you despite your childhood vows to the contrary.

8:30pm seems like an ungodly hour but 5am does not.

There is a three letter word that beats sex: bed.

You can hold a conversation, monitor 360 degrees around you, eat, hold a baby and think it all normal.

You can spot another parent without speaking or even knowing them.

The idea of a good night is no phone calls, all errands done and everyone in bed before 8pm.

You miss hangovers.

The sight of vomit/blood/poo/pish/drool and any other bodily fluids have no impact on you whatsoever.

You can video, take a photo with a separate camera, sing happy birthday and blow out the candles at the same time.

You can patronize your single and childless friends with "just wait until you have kids"

You realize what non-returnable really means.

Adult interaction consists of reading emails...including spam.

The thought of watching kids sing old songs out of tune for an hour fills you with excitement and pride.

Juggling looks easy.

You can actually be not two but three places at once.

You can hand out advice like this.

You can watch your kids make and do all the same stupid things you did.

You can listen to your kids going through the same with their kids as you went through with them...and laugh about it.

You can sing the theme songs and know the characters of 72 different kids shows and movies.

Your TV is permanently set on the cartoon channel.

When you have to drive 30 minutes to go get a teddy bear you forgot because your 3 year old WILL NOT sleep without it at 2 am, then you are a mom.

When you HAVE to buy an extra ice cream because Billy (the imaginary friend) needs one too.... and you do it because it's just easier, then you are a mom.

When you are playing "ariplane" and laughing because your precious little child is laughing too and all of a sudden you have a mouth full of baby vomit without warning, then you are a mom.

When you are up until 1 am with a sick baby and you finally get them to sleep... 10 minutes later you go in to check and the diaper has exploded 5 different shades of brown and green shit ALL over the place... Now you are washing sheets until 3 am because they won't sleep without their favorite blankie, then you are a mom.

When you just finished mopping the kitchen floor and your lovely child drops the gallon of grape juice and watches it spread like wildfire under the table, fridge and stove... then says "Ohhh pretty purple!", then you're a mom.

When you wake up to giggling in the kitchen to find your child has 18 eggs cracked all over the table, chairs and floor (don't worry, one is on the plate) and the eggs are mixed with chocolate syrup... you're little chef looks at you proudly and says "Mommy I made breakfast for you" and you just smile, then you are a mom.

When your kid puts the cat in the toilet because they need to wash the marker off before you find out, and now you are kissing kitty scratch boo boo's covered in toilet water JUST to stop the crying, then you are a mom.

Until then... you are NOT a parent. And you have no idea what being a parent is.

And this is one of my favorite little stories about C.A.A.D.D.


Recently, I was diagnosed with C. A. A. D. D. - Child Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests:

I decide to do the laundry. As I start toward the
basement, I notice that there are cheerios all over
the floor and my car keys are in the cereal bowl.

I decide to pick up the cheerios before I do the
laundry. I lay my car keys down on the counter, put
the cheerios in the trash can under the counter,
and notice that the trash can is full. So, I decide to
take out the trash.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the
mailbox when I take out the trash I may as well pay
the bills first. I take my checkbook off the
table, and see that there is only one check left, my extra
checks are in my desk in the office/playroom, so I
go to my desk where I find a sippy cup full of
juice. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I
decide I should put the sippy cup in the
refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the sippy cup a
vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye --
they need to be watered. I set the sippy cup on the
counter, and I discover baby wipes that I've been
searching for all morning. I decide I better put
them back in the bathroom, but first I'm going to
water the flowers.

I set the wipes back down, fill a container with
water and suddenly I spot the TV remote, one of the
kids left it on the kitchen table. I realize that
after school when they go to watch TV, I will be
looking for the remote as they fight over who lost
it, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen
table, so I decide to put it back in the den where
it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
I splash some water on the flowers, but most of it
spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back
down, get some paper towels and wipe up the spill.
Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I
was planning to do.
At the end of the day: the laundry isn't washed,
the bills aren't paid, there is a warm cup of juice
sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered,
there is still only one check in my checkbook, I
can't find the remote, I can't find the wipes, and
I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done
today, I'm really baffled because I know I was
busy all day long, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try
to get some help for it, but first I'll check my

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Christmas Is Coming!

Monday, September 17, 2007
Can you believe that there are less than 100 days until Christmas!? Geez. This year will mark my daughter's real "first". I mean.. she was SO little last year (she was less than a month old). I doubt she'll get really, really into it, but I'm sure once all of her gifts are open, she'll have a blast!

We're supposed to go up to Connecticut for Christmas to spend it with my husband's family. We couldn't last year - Hailey was so small and Joe was working a weird schedule that couldn't allow for more time off from work (especially after taking 3 weeks paternity leave for the birth of Hailey). We spent it with my parents instead.

Unfortunately, this will be the first time anyone in Joe's family actually gets to see Hailey (aside from Joe's mom, dad and step dad). She'll already be over a year old by then. That makes me sad. Joe's family deserves to get to see her, but it's just impossible to get up there any sooner (although Joe joked about going up there while he's on compensation leave from his ankle surgery.. but I really don't think that's a good idea lol).

I'm really looking forward to going tho. I could use the vacation. I know, I know.. I don't really work - at least not outside of the home. But it's nice to get out and go out of town and have fun for a little while. Plus, I'm totally excited to see SNOW! Oh boy.. do I ever miss snow! And I can't wait to toss Hailey in it and watch her make baby snow angels!

We have so much to buy before our trip there - mostly winter clothes for Hailey and for myself. But we also are wanting to buy one of those storage bin things for the top of our car. I'm sure Hailey will get lots of gifts being the baby of the family (actually..she's the last Tewksbury [as of now anyways lol] so she's definitely the baby!). I know we'll probably stay at least a week, so that's a lot of clothes for the three of us to pack, plus Hailey's toys, bathroom essentials, pack n' play and the like. We have a Subaru Impreza - the hatchback version, and I just don't know how we're going to fit it all! So we definitely need one of those storage bin thingies!

I have no idea what to get her for Christmas. I know she'll get lots of toys from Joe's family... and that's a pretty darn big family. lol So, I know I can't go too overboard because she's already going to end up with enough to play with. lol As silly as it sounds, I'm definitely buying her a few shirts from my own store that I have made up for her. Clothes make a good gift anyways! lol I know I'm getting her the Definitely Nice shirt from my store. I LOVE it and might get myself the Definitely Naughty one to "match". I think that would be so cute!

Speaking of Christmas...

I had intended to write a sort of Family Christmas Letter and send it along with a Christmas card. I suppose we still could for family we may not see this year. But, I know the majority of Joe's family will be around come Christmas so it seems almost redundant since I really could just sit and talk to them. I'm still going to give cards of course. I'd love to buy everyone something, but I don't think I could afford it. :( Bleh.. Maybe I'll just write the letter and everyone can read it anyways, so I don't have to tell the same year long story 100 times! HaHa!

Well, get your lists ready folks. Christmas is coming up FAST! Living on a pretty strict budget, it's something I need to think about and plan for now while I still can!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 17, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink


My husband was given his crutches today for his surgery next Tuesday. Now, I've never had surgery before (except the eye surgery when I was 2 weeks old) and I've never broken anything before.. but it seemed sort of odd that they give him his crutches a week in advance. I don't know what he's supposed to do with them until then. I assumed they would give them to him in the hospital to go home with.

So I guess now, we have to get a almost 10 month old, my broken husband AND his crutches to the hospital and back. Bleh. I don't think this is going to be a pleasant experience.. although I guess that's why it's surgery and not vacation.

It'll be nice to have him home, but it also made me realize how much more I will have to take on around here since he'll be unable to walk. I don't mind really, it's just that in addition to normal house stuff, I will have to drive him to the doctor and whatnot for a while. He won't really be able to get on the floor to play with the baby or anything. :(

Yeah.. I'm pretty sure that this is going to suck.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, September 17, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Removed The CBox

I removed the CBox. The drama is absolutely ridiculous and far from warranted. I don't even know the woman who was posting the derogatory comments. I had never been to her store prior to her little messages. I'm not sure what she thinks I did to her, nor do I really care since I obviously don't know her or have anything to do with her.

If someone has an issue with my store, my email is up for grabs. Go for it. You can spam my email box all day if you'd like. I'd much rather a person do that than go to the length of even trying to IMPERSONATE me in my own store and make snotty comments using the name "Kimi" to try to make me look bad.

Grow up.. seriously. I am 22 years old and far, far from the high school setting. I'm a wife and mother...not some 15 year old girl who stole your boyfriend. I run a business - one that I take seriously and to heart. I'm in no way looking to compete with anyone. I stick to my store, I do my own thing and I make good sales.

There are only TWO military shirts I have ever sold from my store. One of them is seen in the gallery, the other is a shirt no one else in the marketplace has. I know this for a fact. And if anyone has it now, it's because they copied me. Do I care? Not really. I hope they sell just as many of them as I do. My store is far more than military, yet it's the military niche stores that have such an issue with me. Maybe if y'all spent less time digging through each other's stores to see who has what and what might be a knock off of your own stuff, you'd have more time to devote to making new stuff and you might sell more.

I've learned that having a CafePress store doesn't mean competing with other shops. It doesn't mean that at all. It's about marketing and getting your name and brand out there. That's the key to this sort of business. So spend more time worrying about yourselves and less time worrying about what I'm doing today. And stop coming to my store every hour...I have 3 different traffic meters and I see you digging around constantly. Get over yourself.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 17, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

New Store: Kimi's Kustoms - ADULT

How bizarre that I haven't really announced this "officially" yet, and already people are flocking to our new store - Kimi's Kustoms - ADULT

I know what you're thinking... "But Kimi, I thought you weren't going to open that until next year?" Well, I wasn't. But through some poking, prodding, encouragement and some down right begging, I finally caved and said "Oh well..why not?" So, the adult store is open and has gained popularity through very little work.

But what I can't figure out is how search engines have it indexed already. I mean, that usually takes at least a few days, if not longer. I did upload my items to Froogle, but I don't know how people are finding my store so easily. I thought I was looking at the wrong traffic report, but I triple checked (I thought I was losing my mind) and I'm not.

Either way, I'm excited for this stores overnight popularity (wouldn't it have been funny if I managed a sale already? lol). It was much easier to set up than Kimi's Kustoms - FAMILY. Maybe it was because I had a very specific niche in mind that took me ages to figure out with the Family store. Or maybe it's simply because I know what I'm doing this time.

My next step is to somehow integrate the new store into my stand alone site www.kimiskustoms.com although how, I'm not real sure yet. I went in last night and at least linked the two stores together as sister sites, but the main website and blog both need some sort of integrated look. I'm thinking of making a Shop Family / Shop Adult button for my website. I dunno.. we'll see. It'll happen today - and that's all I know!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 17, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

They Really Are Nosey!

Sunday, September 16, 2007
Didn't I write a post just the other day about store owners being nosey and not minding their own business? Apparently it's more true than I thought.

I use a little box in my store called a "CBox" that's basically a small chat box where I can post updates and people can ask questions. Things were GREAT with it and I had no problem until recently. I won't name names.. but their is a store (it's ALWAYS a military niche store..go figure) who won't stay off of my CBox.

First she wrote a snotty comment on it about how you could "find my Christmas cards at Walmart". I deleted the message because it was snotty and negative. Next she wrote about how she was "so glad my stuff my original and couldn't be found at the local dollar store" and was quite negative and sarcastic. It was the SAME IP address and I simply deleted it yet again.

Now today, she has used her REAL name, using the name of her store and making negative comments and even using MY name (I use "Kimi" when making posts in my CBox) basically talking crap as if I'm being rude to her. Come on! Seriously.. STOP. If you have a problem with my store, email me directly. It's SO easy to get hold of me. There is no need to be so damn immature.

No, you can't find my cards in Walmart. I wish.. because I'd be making a heck of a lot more money. No, my layout isn't someone else's. I made it myself - obviously. If you took the time to go through every page - including my own website, you'd see it all matches and I coded it all myself. And the girl in question shouldn't even dare ask such a thing... she and FIVE other military niche stores are using the SAME layout!!! Get over yourself.

Why is it always the military niche stores that give me problems? I don't know you and in all likely hood, I don't like you. I don't have a military store. I'm absolutely no competition for you. I haven't gone digging in your store or left snotty comments towards you or your stuff. I've never spoken to you. I've never said anything bad about you or to you. So why then have you targeted my store and why are you leaving me rotten comments daily and even trying to impersonate me!? It's childish and stupid. Leave me and my store alone.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, September 16, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Darn Store Price Changer!

Saturday, September 15, 2007
For the past two days, the feature on CafePress that lets a shop keeper change their prices store wide, has been broken. This is driving me bonkers. I know they are working on it, but it doesn't look good on my end.

My prices haven't been "sticking" for a week or so now. Instead, I've been putting in the new designs and products and simply hiding the sections until I got the prices fixed - by using the store wide price changer. With that broken, I now have a bunch of hidden sections in my store because the prices are all wrong and it would take me years to change all of that to the correct prices. Bleh.

So now, it seems like I haven't added anything new in the past few days - when I really have. I usually add new stuff every week..at least one new design. I'm trying to finish gearing up for Christmas and have several designs just sitting and waiting to be put on my virtual shelves. And waiting is costing me time..and money. Poo on you CafePress store wide changer thingy ma bob! lol

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, September 15, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Happy Birthday, Love MySpace

I'm not sure why. I'm not sure how. But.. MySpace gave me my account back. Well.. they gave me my personal account back - not the other one. And I'm not in the least bit concerned over the old one. I mean, it didn't have 9 months of my daughter's life in blogs on it and this one did.

It started around 3pm yesterday (the 14th) when a friend of mine said "Um.. one of your groups is suddenly working?" and sure enough...every one of the groups I moderated was back and people were posting in them. All of my forum posts were back and everything. The kicker was.. my blogs weren't, I couldn't view my profile and I couldn't post with it anywhere. But okay.. it's a start. It took them quite a while to fully delete the other profile and figured it would take them a while to fully restore the account since that's what it seemed like they were doing.

I'm not sure when they got through fixing it... but it's ALL back - down to the very last blog. Yes, I realize my excitement is a tad bit pathetic.. but seriously, these blogs mean a lot to me. Compare it to owning a journal for years, filling it up and having to start a new one... only for it to get stolen. Well, now it's been returned to me, and just in time for it to be one of the best birthday presents I've ever gotten. lol

Labels: , ,

Saturday, September 15, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Cafe Press Community Forums

Friday, September 14, 2007
In my short time at CafePress (well, short in comparison to many shop keepers), I've learned a few things exceptionally vital to running and maintaining an online store.

One of the most important things was to really listen to the veteran shop keepers, read the community forums and keep an open mind to changing things to make them work best for your potential customers. I've done all of this, and it has helped me so much and is honestly the secret to my success thus far. But, is there a time when you need to simply walk away for a while and do your own thing?

I wonder this, because being apart of the community seems to leave you open for criticism you didn't ask for. It's one thing to go in the New Design / Shop Feedback forum and ask for it.. but to be given it on a near daily basis gets old. Being told that you aren't doing something "right" or another shop keeper telling you that a design would "look so much better if you did..." just gets old. Well maybe my customers prefer it my way...and in any case, I'm not selling it to you anyways.

Another issue I've come across is that half of the community is extremely nosey. I've never really had the desire to check up on other shops to see what they had or what they may be doing. I don't have that kind of time! My time is better spent making new designs and getting them up in my store. But yet, every day when I check my counters for traffic, a good portion of my visits come directly from the Cafe Press Community Forums. Why? I mean, I understand affiliates looking for stuff...and I can usually tell it's affiliates by what pages they looked at. But why all those other people?

Yet another issue in direct link to the forums are shop keepers desperate to find another shopkeeper with a similar design so they can get upset. I've seen it far too many times. One week, I had complaints about a pink journal with the word "LOVE" and dog tags on it. This week, it's my Dare to be Different shirt with the penguins on it. Come on! Give it a break people. Six billion people in this world.. more than one is bound to run across the same idea at some point. If the colors, pictures and everything about it physically are different and only the concept remains, then why get upset over it!? Other shop keepers have stuff recently made that looks like mine and I really don't care! I'm more worried about what I am doing...

I've also seen quite a few shop owners get upset over customer criticism. Um..they are purchasing stuff from you. If they don't like your stuff or it comes out badly, they have the right to their opinions and can say so. If someone likes Shop Owner A's shirt better than Shop Owner B's shirt, then oh well. Better luck next time!

Now don't get me wrong.. I've really enjoyed the forums for the most part. There are some very nice people there with tons of useful information! It's been a great place to chat with people who have common goals and interests. But I wonder if there is a time when you need to simply walk away for a while and do your own thing and be original - maybe offer up something that not every single shop has done 101 times over.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, September 14, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Why Men Make Terrible Mothers

Deep down, my husband is a loving, caring Father who would do anything for his wife and daughter. But on a day to day basis, he's seriously lacking in the parenting department. Now, I'm not speaking for all men, because I realize there are some wonderful single fathers out there. But my husband has absolutely no common sense when it comes to our child.

My pregnancy was spent with the normal belly hugs, tummy rubs and excitement of becoming parents. My husband constantly told me how excited he was for the arrival of our daughter, and told stories of everything he would do with her - from playing in the park, to watching Sunday morning cartoons together. But something happened when my daughter came into this world... My husband suddenly lost all common sense and clearly has no idea what parenting is about.

Fast forward to today. Today was supposed to be a day for me, and Joe was going to watch our daughter Hailey all day until he had to go to work this afternoon. This included everything - from diaper changes to feeding and playing with her. Little did I know that in the 9 1/2 months our daughter has been in this world, that my husband had paid no attention and hasn't the first clue when it comes to providing for her...not even for just a day. That scares me of course. I mean, I'd like to know that if I croaked tomorrow, my husband could keep our child alive. I honestly don't see that happening.

Here is how the conversation went today when it was time for Hailey's breakfast:

Joe: So um, where's her food?
(I hand him some apple sauce for her to have with some cereal for breakfast)
Joe: Oh, She eats THAT?
Me: No Joseph.. I've been eating it for her.
Joe: Well doesn't she eat formula for like a few more months?
Me: Yes, but not as entire meals any more...and hasn't for a couple of months now.
Joe: So like, do I put it in a bowl...or.....
Me: Good Lord.. just give it to me!

Don't get me wrong, I WANT him to learn! That's why instead of making Hailey wait longer for breakfast, I took and prepared her meal (with him watching) and went to go feed her. He was supposed to pay attention and watch..but of course did not.

I wager that bath time tonight is going to be quite interesting. I'd like to give my husband more credit, but I feel that I will have to stand close by to watch to make sure he doesn't accidentally drown the poor kid.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, September 14, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Happy Birthday To Me

Thursday, September 13, 2007
Okay, so my birthday isn't actually until tomorrow, but here's my birthday present anyways! It's SO pretty! It's pink and white sapphires set in a white gold heart. I love it! :)

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 13, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

My Sticker Arrived!

My sticker finally came in! Yay! It was hiding in the mailbox this afternoon and my husband retrieved it on his way home. So here are a few pictures.. and I must say, the sticker looks FABULOUS. Even if you aren't looking to buy a Kimi's Kustoms Bumper Sticker, definitely look into getting a sticker from CafePress of some sort (especially from me..lol). It looks great!

Here is the package before I opened it (sorry y'all..I know you want badly to stalk me, but I edited out our address).

Of course my husband had to be annoying, take the camera and snap a picture of me opening it. Bleh.

Here is the sticker itself!!!

And here is the sticker again, Sorry it's on our living room floor. The sticker is slightly glossy to protect the print (it's a bumper sticker after all). So, it's a little hard to take a picture of.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, September 13, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Still Waiting On My Sticker

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed in both UPS and USPS. My bumper sticker was shipped out on Saturday, September 8th and I have yet to receive it. I realize that mail doesn't run on Sunday, but my sticker has been sitting in Atlanta, GA for two days now - according to the package tracking anyways. Atlanta is literally 2 hours from here. I could have driven there and picked up the sticker myself by now - and at least used it on the car and gained a bit of "publicity" on the way home.

Since the tracking claimed the sticker was in Atlanta on September 10th, I half expected it to arrive yesterday afternoon. When it did not, I assumed yet again that it would surely come today. Nope. Here I sit... bumper stickerless.

It's in no way CafePress' fault. I realize once it's out of their hands..then it's out of their hands. But the shipping set up they have, to be frank...blows. I'm not sure if this works for all packaging from them, but they hand the package to UPS who in turn, hands it to USPS. I'm not sure why that is, as UPS delivers directly to my home - has been in the year and a half I've lived here.

I had really hoped to update y'all with pictures of the packaging, and to report a better experience...but so much for that. This isn't necessarily a negative experience..I was just hoping for something a little better. Oh well - ya can't win them all. Tomorrow I will hopefully give an update!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Deployment Inspired Maternity Clothes!

This design has been by far, my most popular sell (which is rather ironic, since we are not necessarily a Military niche store). I sell this item at least once a week, if not more often. And even if it weren't my most popular, I'm pretty sure it would be my favorite anyways! I'm sure you all will enjoy them as well! Buy them for yourself, a friend or a family member!

Since that design has been so popular, I decided it was time to branch out and include Korea, Rest & Relaxation as well as general Deployment. As usual, you can get these designs on many different shirt styles...these are just for show! Each comes in three colors - pink, blue and green. You can buy it to match your child's gender or just your preference. Click on the pictures below to be taken to a page to choose a color, then view all of the shirts featuring this design!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Being a World of Warcraft Widow

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I started playing World of Warcraft in early 2005 with an ex boyfriend of mine. I played for a few months before the boyfriend and I broke up, and he took my account with him.

Fast forward to 2006, my husband bought me World of Warcraft to play in order to preoccupy myself. It wasn't long after we got married that I conceived our daughter and I was going to be staying home with nothing to do.

At first, my husband said that World of Warcraft was "stupid" and that he "didn't understand why anyone would play it". But that didn't take long. I'd been playing for about two weeks when my husband decided to give it a go. A week later, I lost my account to him as he'd begun to completely take over.

A long time friend of mine suggested we switch servers to play with him, and since we were still pretty new to the game, it was easy enough to just start over fresh on a different server. That's how we ended up on Thunderhorn. A few more friends I'd known over the years on another game called the Realm Online decided to make the switch to WoW and came to play with us. Because of that, I decided to start our own little guild called Divine Illusion (yeah, yeah...it was many months later that I discovered that Divine Illusion is actually another RPG oops!).

The guild was started as a place for us to just talk, keep in touch easier, level and have a good time. But my husband and I were still sharing an account and it became harder and harder to get any play time because of it. He was easily sucked in and would come home from work at 6pm and play until 2-3 in the morning! Needless to say, we've had many talks about his gaming habits. I eventually gave up on playing and let him have it. It wasn't worth arguing over.

The guild quickly grew in his control and morphed into one of the largest, casual guilds on the server (which is quite impressive since Thunderhorn was quite a large server to begin with). We purchased an account for myself and I began playing again when the guild was about six months old. But Thunderhorn was such a large server that queue times had grown unbearable and in anticipation of the Burning Crusade expansion, free transfers to new realms were offered.

We were hesitant, and didn't take the first offer to move to the newly created Ravencrest server. But once threats of simply moving accounts themselves was brought up by Blizzard, we decided to take our chances and moved the guild to the newly made Zangarmarsh. A good portion of our guild came with us - most of the officers and long time loyal members.

After the move, we instantly began to recruit to pick up any stranglers. Several servers were offered free transfers to ours - including the very large Whisperwind server (ironically, the server I had started out on back in 2005 with my ex). Things were great and our numbers were growing! We quickly became one of the stronger guilds on the server.

Today we stand at over 200 individual accounts - and that's a mighty lot of people. Of course, running a guild of that size takes A LOT of personal time - which is how I became a World of Warcraft Widow.

My husband has spent the majority of our marriage working 12 hour shifts at work - not including the hours spent on commuting, PT, extra duty, Platoon meetings and doctor's appointments. Needless to say, we don't always get a lot of time together. We get even less time because of World of Warcraft!

Don't get me wrong... I love the game and have enjoyed it. But it's always been more of a pastime and extra hobby for me rather than a responsibility. Running a guild is work..but I never wanted it to become a full time job. Heck, between being a wife, mother and running my online store - I've already got three of those!

It's no surprise that I tend to not log in very often. It's usually every few days. It's become hard to even play the game because as soon as I log in, I have to work - instead of just taking my character to wherever I want and actually playing. It should come as no surprise that my character is still three levels shy of the level cap and that's only because my husband took a couple of hours and blasted me through a bunch of quests.

My husband on the other hand, has been level 70 for quite some time now and has spent countless hours grinding reputation for whatever faction suits his fancy. This week, he's big into leveling up his fishing skill and is already up to 375. In fact, for his birthday, he purchased a set of WoW Trading cards so he could have the code for a fishing chair in the game. *Sigh* Way to spend money in a useless manner dear. Oh well, happy birthday!

My husband often comes home and talks to me for a few minutes, but the moment I step out of the room, he quickly logs into the game. I have to be prepared when he comes home to try to keep him occupied more than five minutes, or that's it.. he'll get on the game and I won't really see him again until the next day when we repeat the process.

Don't get me wrong... we spend time together. It just feels like it's few and far between these days. I blame the game...while he tells me it has nothing to do with it. I don't think he even realizes just how much time he spends on it. He'll come to bed at 3am when he has to get up at 6am for work. He'll sit there and play for 12 hours straight, without noticing. He's forgotten to wake me up from naps on many occasions because of it.

My birthday is coming up.. and part of his gift to me is supposed to be a World of Warcraft free birthday. We'll see how that goes...

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Google Is Starting To Like Us!

Thanks to some halfway decent search engine optimization on my part, and some excellent website crawling by the beloved Google, the store has finally climbed up in the search ranks! This excites me! I finally feel like I did something right and that my hard work is starting to pay off.

This makes me REALLY excited for the coming months when the holiday sales begin to pick up, and shoppers go out in search of that perfect gift for the person who has everything. Let's face it.. the person who has everything, probably doesn't have one of my shirts yet!

I'd like to thank the viewers who have been searching for World of Warcraft shirts recently. You brought this wonderful news to my attention (well, you and Google Analytics). This inspires me to create more WoW inspired designs!

world of warcraft baby onesies and shirts
wow epic cloth shirt

Those two searches have helped bring us to the top of the lists! And we're excited to be there! Help keep us there by telling your friends and family about us! Blog about us..write emails, tell people on MySpace..anything you can! We'll be forever grateful! :)

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Kevin Cosgrove

I've seen a lot of 9-11 videos, but honestly, this is one I've never seen, nor do I ever want to watch again. I'm warning you that while it is not visually graphic, it will rip your heart straight out of you.

If you know of any family affected in ANY way by 9-11, hug them today, call them, email them..let them know you appreciate them and their families. Too many have given the ultimate sacrifice and too many more will put their lives on the line for the sake of your safety and freedom.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Freedom's Price

So it's officially September 11th where I live. I have to admit, I feel a bit compelled to say something in respect for those fallen and those left behind. Today marks one of the most tragic days in American history and it seems only right to continue to acknowledge it. A lot of people think we should stop talking about it. A lot of people believe that we're just giving the terrorists what they want, by giving this subject attention. Well, I'm not one of those people.

My heart and thoughts go out today to the families of the lost. I will never, ever pretend as if I know what you are feeling or what you have gone through. My husband is in the military, and events such as these make me so happy that his time will be up soon and he will be getting out. I worry about him every day.

My husband joined the military prior to September 11th - something that not many soldiers can say these days. A lot of people joined immediately after in pure outrage. While I respect those men and women, I have to say that I respect men and women like my husband, who wanted to defend our freedom at ALL times - not just during a national emergency.

My husband was apart of 1st Cav back then. His unit received deployment orders in March 2003 to reposition forces as required to support the President Bush's global war against terrorism...but those orders were quickly canceled at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. July 23, 2003 the 1st Cavalry Division was identified as a unit that would deploy in 2004 as part of the Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 rotation. That's right.. my husband was apart of the second round of soldiers to deploy to Iraq.

My husband served a 14 month tour in OIF. He was sent home with a permanent injury and continues to suffer nerve damage in his right leg. He was immediately sent from Iraq to a military hospital in Atlanta, GA for treatment. Since being released, he was sent back to Fort Hood, and later to Fort Gordon - where he has been ever since.

Freedom isn't free...and my family continues to pay the price. My husband will never get his strength back. He will go through life in pain and misery until the day he dies. I know that sounds exaggerated, but it's true. My husband's time served in OIF was the starting cause of all of the problems he's facing now - and that includes his upcoming surgery to try to fix one of his ankles. He'll also need several surgeries on his back, more surgeries on his leg, his hands, his shoulder and his other ankle. He spends most days in excruciating pain - something we hope to fix by getting these surgeries. He has hurt himself on more than one occasion, lifting our 9 month old daughter. If that alone isn't payment enough to this country..then I don't know what is.

There is a saying that goes "If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a Soldier." Well I say, if you are sitting down at your desk, sipping your mocha latte whatevers or eating your bagels...thank a Soldier. You are doing something that many of them would give anything in the world to be doing right now. But instead, they are in other countries - away from their family, friends and loved ones. They defend your right to sit at home. They defend your right to free speech. They defend your right to LIVE. A lot of them won't come back...they will die for a cause that they may want no part of. But they do it, for YOU and for our COUNTRY.

So, if you think we shouldn't talk about it.. and you think it's all behind us.. and you think it's done and over with - you're wrong. There are so many families affected by the tragedy and many families continue to suffer injuries and mourn the loss of their families. Keep those people in your thoughts, hearts and prayers today, remembering that they paid the ultimate price for you.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Britney's Less Than Awesome Performance

Monday, September 10, 2007
I'm sure this is the big buzz all over. I honestly didn't catch this last night. I so rarely watch TV that doesn't involve Elmo, Blue Clues or Peter Pan these days. I didn't even know the VMAs were on (wow I'm behind).

So this morning, I caught the video of Britney's performance and I have to say..she sucked. If you missed this, take the time to watch it. Check it out HERE.

No one will deny that Britney has changed drastically over the years. I remember being 12 years old (wow.. was that already 10 years ago!?) and my dad buying me her CD "Baby One More Time". Britney's lyrics and dance moves were both energetic and fresh. She was the idol for many, many prepubescent girls. We all wanted to be like her. We all wanted to dance like her. We all wanted to look that cute in a sports bra and piggy tails!

Fast forward to 2007... I've got better dance moves than Britney and I sure as heck can lip sync better than that! What happened? I'll admit, for having two kids, she looked fabulous (minus the fact that she's a mom, prancing around in her underwear on stage). But Britney walked around the stage, slowly moving her mouth. She did a couple of little wiggles and that was about it. Was she afraid of losing her wig?

Does she just no longer care? She got millions of loyal fans who probably wouldn't care if she just sat still on stage breathing for an hour, so long as they got to see her. But come on..at least pretend like you care about your fans and give them a show worth seeing.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Why Women Are Crabby

We started to "bud" in our blouses at 9 or 10 years old only to find that anything that came in contact with those tender, blooming buds hurt so bad it brought us to tears. So came the ridiculously uncomfortable training bra contraption that the boys in school would snap until we had calluses on our backs.

Next, we get our periods in our early to mid-teens (or sooner). Along with those budding boobs, we bloated, we cramped, we got the hormone crankies, had to wear little mattresses between our legs or insert tubular, packed cotton rods in places we didn't even know we had.

Our next little rite of passage (premarital or not) was having sex for the first time which was about as much fun as having a ramrod push your uterus through your nostrils (IF he did it right and didn't end up with his little cart before his horse), leaving us to wonder what all the fuss was about.

Then it was off to Motherhood where we learned to live on dry crackers and water for a few months so we didn't spend the entire day leaning over Brother John. Of course, amazing creatures that we are (and we are), we learned to live with the growing little angels inside us steadily kicking our innards night and day making us wonder if we were preparing to have Rosemary's Baby.

Our once flat bellies looked like we swallowed a watermelon whole and we pee'd our pants every time we sneezed. When the big moment arrived, the dam in our blessed Nether Regions invariably burst right in the middle of the mall and we had to waddle, with our big cartoon feet, moaning in pain all the way to the ER.

Then it was huff and puff and beg to die while the OB says, "Please stop screaming, Mrs. Hearmeroar. Calm down and push. Just one more good push (more like 10)," warranting a strong, well-deserved impulse to punch the %*!* (and hubby) square in the nose for making us cram a wiggling, mushroom-headed 10lb bowling ball through a keyhole.

After that, it was time to raise those angels only to find that when all that "cute" wears off, the beautiful little darlings morphed into walking, jabbering, wet, gooey, snot-blowing, life-sucking little poop machines.

Then come their "Teen Years." Need I say more?

When the kids are almost grown, we women hit our voracious sexual prime in our early 40's - while hubby had his somewhere around his 18th birthday.

So we progress into the grand finale: "The Menopause," the Grandmother of all womanhood. It's either take heart and chance cancer in those now seasoned "buds" or the aforementioned Nether Regions, or, sweat like a hog in July, wash your sheets and pillowcases daily and bite the head off anything that moves.

Now, you ask WHY women seem to be more spiteful than men, when men get off so easy, INCLUDING the icing on life's cake: Being able to pee in the woods without soaking their socks...

So, while I love being a woman, "Womanhood" would make the Great Gandhi a tad crabby. Women are the "weaker sex"? Yeah right. Bite me.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Surgery Date Set

My husband just received a phone call, letting him know of the date for his ankle surgery. It's on September 25th. Wow..I really didn't think it would happen that soon. I've hard had time to mentally prepare for this, and I'm sure my husband is in worse shape.

I don't know why in the world I'm so scared about him getting this surgery. I don't think they are going to put him under or anything like that (but who knows.. I'm no doctor lol). But just the word surgery, scares the heck out of me.

He'll get between 21 and 36 days of compensation leave from work after the surgery. It'll be very nice to have him home, but I'm sure his Commander is going to be none too thrilled. I don't think anyone is real happy with him right now. My husband is classified as overweight - which the Army HATES. And to top that off, he's not allowed to do PT anymore - which pisses them off even more. Now, he'll be off work for quite a while so he can heal and learn to use his foot again. Just wait until he takes a week off for Christmas........oh boy, heads are gonna spin! lol But compensation leave doesn't count against his normal leave.. so oh well.

So, one surgery down and who knows how many to go. Before being medically discharged, they have to "fix" everything they broke (well, sorta.. since he will never be back to 100% and certain things will always be weak).

I hope it goes well and I really hope it takes the pain away for him.

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

The Switch To Blogger

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, but I have switched from WordPress, back to Blogger.

I started out on Blogger, but was unimpressed with their scrawny templates (and still am). I made the switch to WordPress because I liked their templates better as they had a wider range of styles and colors...and I was able to choose a template that mimicked my store's theme. However, when it came time that I wanted to change the layout to look exactly like the store and fully integrate everything, WordPress fell short as it costs money to be able to edit style sheets. No thanks. I am not paying money to do work! lol

I took the time to copy all of the blogs I have written since the temporary switch and posted them. The dates are all wrong, but at least they are there. It took me ages, but I finally changed this blog to look almost exactly like my website www.kimiskustoms.com although it'll never be perfect. I'm quite happy..and now it's easier than ever to go from my blogs, straight to my store - making it easier on you as a potential customer and better for me as a saleswoman. WinX2!

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Losing One's Identity

MySpace, a place for dramaAfter the whole fiasco of having my MySpace accounts deleted, I decided to buck up and simply start over (which I haven't fully). I lost six groups that I actively moderated..and they were GREAT groups too. I started up again the one that meant the most to me and we've gone from there.

Problem is.. I feel very disconnected from my fellow MySpace friends since it happened. I almost feel as if I'm not the same identity anymore, having used that account my daughter's entire life thus far. And it's funny..because it's really just a web page with a few graphics, words and pictures on it, yet it's simply not the same. I feel like a lost a huge part of my online identity - something that's important to me since I really don't get out much.

Maybe I wouldn't feel this way if I weren't apart of a large community of parents and military wives...most of which know what happened and why. It sort of feels like everyone is staring at me, whispering to one another "Oooo..ya know that Kimi girl got her MySpace deleted..such a shame". Unfortunately, I'm probably right. I can just imagine how many of the women have emailed one another to chit chat about it.

If I really wanted to, I could work my way towards what I had. But is it worth it? Am I just working towards an empty goal? MySpace reserves the right to delete whoever they want, whenever they want....and without notice. That's how I lost my daughter's entire life in writing. Losing every blog I'd ever written about her and the comments on every picture I've ever posted of her, really stung. A lot of time, work, love and dedication went into that...and it's all gone.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

I'm Turning 22.

My birthday is coming up and I'm hitting the big ol' 22. Just five more days and we're there It's funny.. because when I was eleven years old, 22 seemed so ancient! And here I am, double that age now.

My birthday is throwing a lot into perspective for me. Staying at home with a child, running my CafePress store and being married, aren't exactly things I expected to be doing right now. Don't get me wrong..I LOVE my life. This just isn't what I saw myself doing.

I had plans. They are very different from my plans now..but I did have some. I imagine if life hadn't lead me down a new path four years ago, I'd still be in college working towards law school. Yikes. I shudder to even think of that. Law school is FAR from any plans or ideas I have for my life. Why in the world did I ever want to go to law school!?

What are the new plans? Well, I'm following a 5 year goal (it's more of a set of goals to accomplish in the coming years..not really a plan lol). Well, actually it's a 4 year plan since my husband and I came up with it a year ago. A lot of the plans hang in the balance. I have goals...I just have to wait for them. That's what makes being a military spouse so frustrating! The hurry up and wait is annoying. I want out of Georgia. I want my husband out of the military - two things that WILL happen.....it's just going to take a lot of time, surgeries, paper work, patience (something I have less and less of these days) and what have you in order to get there. I don't know if it'll happen in three months from now, or a year from now!

1. I want to go back to school. I don't even really need a degree. I don't care about that right now. I think that's why I wasn't very successful with college the first time. It was boring and I dreaded going. If I'm going to spend a fortune on education, I want to spend time learning what I want to learn. Right now, that's graphic and website design. Everything I know, I learned by tinkering around for the past 3 years. No one taught me any of that. If I can learn all that I know by trial and error the past few years, just imagine what I can learn in a class!

2. I want my own home - something that's probably at least a year away. I know I have to wait until my husband is out of the Army. That's a given. I know that we will immediately move up to Connecticut where he's from. We'll probably stay with some of his family for a little while until we're settled back into the state and he gets a job. I don't think we're going to bother with renting again. We've been renting our current town home for a year and a half...and it has definitely taught me the ups and downs of renting vs owning (owning coming out very much on top too).

3. We want more children. Actually, we tried to conceive for a little while, but some some physical issues weren't allowing for it (and still aren't). I'm not sure if we should even try for a while. I feel like this is a bad time..although really, is there a good one? I don't know when Joe's med board will be complete or when we'll be moving. Will I be pregnant then? Will I be waddling around 8 or 9 months along? lol What will Hailey think? If I were pregnant tomorrow, she'd be about 19 months old. Would she be ready then to take on the role of big sister? Would I be ready to take on the role of mommy to toddler AND baby? lol

All of these.... and I'm about to turn 22. lol Like I said.. not even close to the plan I thought I'd be following right now. Four years ago, I would have been content to just not be living under my parent's roof! haha I imagined I'd be living in my own apartment with a room mate or something right now. Well, I guess I kind of am..except I'm married to one of my room mates and the other one drools a lot.

I wonder what's to come for our family in the coming years. I wonder what my goals will be when I hit 25. Yikes!...25!? lol

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Best CafePress Shop?

Do you like our designs, but maybe can't afford to buy anything and support us? Are you looking for a way to help out, and don't know how? That's GREAT, and I have the solution(s) for you!

Here is a list of possible ways to help promote Kimi's Kustoms:

1. Post a link to our website (http://www.kimiskustoms.com) or our store (http://www.cafepress.com/kimiskustoms) on your personal website. You can use Squidoo, LiveJournal, Blogger, MySpace, your own website and more! *Note that when using MySpace, you must use http://www.kimiskustoms.com and you do so at your own risk. Please read the MySpace Terms of Use for more details on advertising.*

2. You can simply post a banner with our store URL on it! You can create your own, or you can use our newest banner. *Please do not hot link! Save it to your computer and host it yourself so that everyone can enjoy the use of the banner!

3. Purchase a Kimi's Kustoms Bumper Sticker for your car!

4. Blog about us! You can include us in any of your blogs. You can even link your favorite designs / products to show off to your friends!

5. Email your family and friends about us!

6. Vote for us Every Day at the following sites:

Best CafePress Shops Directory - Top CafePress Shops -

Living Moments Toplist


Free TopSite

7. Check out our Affiliates page in order to learn how to make money supporting our store!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink


Squidoo.com LogoI've been a hardcore blogger for about three years now. I love writing everything down, but cannot stand actually writing! My blogs are all mushed together about different subjects in my life. I usually write about me, my daughter, my husband or my store..so they are all pretty personalized, instead of the whole blog sticking to one subject (What can I say? I'm a diverse person!)

It didn't take long being a CafePress shopkeeper to find out about Squidoo Lenses. It's sort of like a blog, but each topic is called a Lens. In each Lens, you generally talk about one thing (although I suppose you could treat it like a blog if you really wanted to). On top of discussing a subject or telling a story, you can use different modules / widgets to sell items from places like CafePress, EBay, Amazon, etc. And the best part? You can get PAID doing this! How awesome is that!?

I wish I had more time to devote to them. I have a few at the moment and will be writing many more of them. My most popular Squidoo Lens right now is the one I wrote about getting my nipples pierced. Yes, you read that right! You can check that one out here if you are interested Squidoo Lens: Nipple Piercings. Don't open with little eyes around (especially little eyes that can read).

Interested in making a Lens of your own? Great! You can sign up here: Join Squidoo! I promise it's worth your time, and it's fun!

If you would like to check out all of our Lenses, you can go here: Kimi's Kustoms Squidoo Lenses. If you sign up and check these out, please be sure to leave us some comments on your favorite Lenses, and throw us some rating stars! We hope you come to love Squidoo as much as we do!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Can You Stand It?

I love my daughter dearly, but she's driving me nuts with her standing! LOL The past two days, she's gotten a lot more into the pulling up to stand thing. The problem is, she doesn't know how to sit back down! Of course, I've tried to show her how, but she just gets mad. She's stubborn...like me. She doesn't want anyone to show her how to do it..but she gets upset if she's been standing too long and can't get back down.

I thought I was going to be smart. I moved the toy she kept using to pull herself up with, thinking she would stop doing it. I'm not trying to discourage her from pulling up onto things, but wish she'd at least use something she can't really get hurt on. But apparently, moving the toy didn't help. Instead, she simply used the wall. I don't think I could pull myself up palming the wall with my hands..so I don't know how she did it.

Kids do some amazing things... like the time I went downstairs to get Hailey's clothes from the dryer, only to come back to her crawled onto the bottom shelf of her changing table. Not a clue how she did it.. but it sure was funny. Note the devilish grin on her face. That's not the typical, sweet, angelic Hailey smile... lol

Hailey inside her changing table.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Christmas Cards!

Wow.. can you believe we're gearing up for Christmas already!? Well, I have to start now, or other stores are going to leave me in the dust this holiday season! As of today, there are only 108 days until Christmas! Yikes!

I've slowly been adding Christmas cards to the store. You can find them here in the Winter Cards Section. We don't just have Christmas - we have Hanukkah and even some more general winter cards as well! Here are some of my favorites!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

More From The Sippy Cup Adventures!

It's official..Hailey can drink from a sippy cup, hold it herself, bring it to her mouth and drink. Woohoo! I'm super excited. I know a lot of parents have a hard time getting their children to take a sippy cup. I feel fortunate!

I put mostly water in the cup with some 100% white grape juice. She seems to like it. I had a hard time showing her how to do it. She's an extremely independent child (and only 9 months! lol). She doesn't really like being shown how to do stuff - she'd rather play with things and figure them out on her own. Yup..she's her mom!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Bumper Sticker

I'm always looking for another way to advertise my store. There seem to be only so many ways to do so without spamming. Another shopkeeper on the CafePress forums, suggested a bumper sticker. I mean, that's what they are for right? My husband isn't real into the idea. I don't think he wants my website URL all over his car. Well, tough noogies. lol

I made a bumper sticker tonight - finally. I like it, and am anxious to get it in the mail. I've yet to order anything from myself, so this will be a learning experience for me. If it looks as good in print as it does on my computer, I'm thinking of buying a few for family members and seeing if I can convince them to stick it on their cars. Heehee

Anywhoooo if anyone reading this is interested, the bumper sticker can be found Here!

Kimis Kustoms Bumper Sticker

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Ankle Surgery

My husband had an appointment today (yes, on his 26th birthday) to talk to his doctor about his ankle. He's been having problems with it for years now.

His last MRI showed an 11x10x5 MM chunk missing in his ankle. The tissue is gone and the bone is simply rubbing up against each other every time he moves it. One of the bones is also pulling something else in his foot when he takes a step (sorry, I'm not a doctor and don't know the proper terminology for that lol). His doctor said "There are only 3 reasons why a person would need this surgery...and you have them all". <- Fabulous.

On Monday, Joe has to make an appointment for the actual surgery. The doctor said that it would be "sometime in the next month". After the surgery is done, he will have 21-36 days for recovery - it depends on how much they give him. He now has a 3 month profile, forbidding him from doing anything in PT that requires walking (which is funny, since walking was pretty much the only thing he had left that he was allowed to do).

It scares me that my husband is 26 years old and already beginning to undergo surgeries. He has a lot of physical issues - a lot of which are simply genetic and others are from wear and tear being in the Army for six years. But what's going to happen when he's 30? 40? 50!? :(

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Stand Alone Site - Completed!

Finally, after hours upon hours of hard work, I have completed the stand alone site www.kimiskustoms.com! It was an amazing amount of work. I've never done a full website before and I have to say, all of the FTP, SQL, SOB, SHOL, Blah Blah Blah was incredibly confusing for me. I've never gone to school for this sort of thing so the acronyms and terminology really threw me off. Like my friend Chris says, nerds like to use big words and flashy acronyms to look cool and smart. Well, they certainly got me stumped for a while.

It feels really good to have all of it done, and I think it looks pretty nice. I tried to incorporate the design into both the store and the stand alone site so people don't even realize they are going from one place to another. I think it flows well. Of course, my opinion doesn't really matter. We'll have to see what the customers (and Google!) think of it. Ha!

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Hello, Hello, Hello, Goodbye

Thursday, September 6, 2007
After giving it a lot of thought, crying, being mad, being upset, feeling hurt and feeling rather sassy, I'm bouncing back into MySpace. Now, I'm even more goal oriented than ever! Instead of getting upset, I'm getting even.

I have now started up a brand new page which you can find here: www.myspace.com/kimiskustomslayouts. I am working hard to get all of my old graphic freebies back up, as well as the old layouts and some new ones. At least I know better now to save all of this stuff! Argh. It's taking a lot of time.

I've only added my friends to it for now, so they can still chat with me. I want the site FULL of graphics and layouts before I get into the hard core adding and rebuilding. Bleh. So much work. Feel free to add it if you'd like. I don't mind at all.
Thursday, September 06, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Goodbye MySpace

Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Earlier in the week, one of my MySpace accounts was deleted - specifically, the one I use to make FREE layouts, FREE graphics, chat in a few groups (related to parenting, military wives, etc). Needless to say, I was not amused. I put a lot of work into that account and a lot of people were subscribed to the blogs, stayed informed on my personal life, as well as the store stuff. It was working out great, and I wasn't doing anything different from many other CafePress stores out there.

After it was deleted, I came to Blogger and began blogging. This is really a better source anyways. Google prefers it's own stuff, right? No big deal. It's just a MySpace and I'll live.

This afternoon, one of my personal accounts was deleted. This time, for making a post in a group, joking about how I had someone's phone number. I got the phone number because the girl had posted it all over the internet - in blogs as well as bulletins. Anyone could have seen it as both her account as well as blogs were set to public. But I was reported, and the group it was in even got deleted.

I lost blogs about my daughter's entire life. I had started that account when she wasn't even three weeks old. I'd deserted my old account, frustrated with my mom calling me to complain about things I'd said when my profile and blog were friend only. But that's neither here no there. I've been a down right religious blogger since I started using MySpace in December 2004. My entire life existed on two accounts. My "old" account had everything about my life in the past that I probably don't want to remember. It also had my entire life since I met my husband as well as my pregnancy with Hailey.

I feel like I lost my daughter's entire life. I know, that's really silly. But I had hoped to print a lot of it out one day and keep a collection of it. So much for that idea and so much for what could have been the most awesome keepsake ever.

And while this isn't as important to me.. I also ran SIX different MySpace groups ranging from baby wearing, to tattooed parents and stay at home moms. Those are all gone now. While some were more active than others, I've already started to get lots of emails, upset that the groups so many people enjoyed are gone.

I'm a bit flustered. There is a huge part of me that wants to jump back in and rebuild because I am apart of a large parenting community on MySpace that I have been apart of for almost 3 years now. I feel a little bit lost without it honestly. But I'm very frustrated and rather wary of even trying. It seems like anything I do lately lands me deleted - from asking friends to check out my store, to joking around with friends in groups.

I literally cried earlier. I know.. it's MySpace and not worth crying over. But the blogs...all of the pictures set up of my daughter throughout her life. Some of those pictures, I don't even have anymore because they got lost, but I still had them on my MySpace. They are lost for good now.

I'm instead using Zooped.com since it specifically allows business accounts. It's just like MySpace, only it's kinda slow because it's still sorta new. We'll see how that pans out.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

My Favorite Halloween Shirts!

With Halloween coming up soon, I've put together my favorite Halloween T-Shirts and Gifts from some of my favorite CafePress stores. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Click on any picture below to check out that design on many different products!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Store Views & Halloween

The store was, for lack of better terms... NUTS last night! I have never had so many people in the store at once. It was unbelievable, and incredibly exciting! I'm not sure what drove them all there since it seemed like everyone was on a different page in the store - Halloween, Internet Humor, and the Kids & Babies sections, seemed to be the most popular.

Speaking of Halloween and Kids.. I am SO excited that Halloween is coming up. This will be my daughter's very first! She's still way too young to really do anything and we won't be going out Trick or Treating. I'm pretty sure we'll be staying home and handing out candy to the other neighborhood children. I'll definitely dress Hailey up tho! She's going to be a little lady bug (we call her Hailey Bug all the time).

If this is your child's first Halloween and you don't want to go the costume route, you should check out my Halloween shirt for the kids.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Potty Like a Rock Star!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007
This actually started out as an asked for design, but has already gained tons of popularity! I cannot believe how well people have already taken to this shirt. It's a Potty Training shirt and would probably make a GREAT reward for your kids. Check it out Potty Like a Rock Star.

It comes in two colors: pink and blue, but here is a sneak peak at the blue version!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, September 04, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Female Bloggers!

So I made a new section today called Internet Humor. Some of the designs in that section are for Male and Female Bloggers. They are MEGA cute and I actually plan on buying one (I know, how vain!).

I've customized one of my very own and am showing this one as an example of what yours could look like too!

Front View:

Back View:

You can find this design on more of our products here:
Female Bloggers 08

Tuesday, September 04, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Cute Dress!

Monday, September 3, 2007
So I decided last night that Hailey needed some new clothes. Well, actually her growth spurts decided this for me. She's 9 months old, and her 6-9 month clothes are beginning to get rather tight.

My husband took us all to Sears and I picked up some more fall/winter clothes for her. We spent about $50, which wasn't too bad considering we got her a pair of cute jeans, little khakis, socks, a 3 piece outfit (shirt, skirt and bloomers), a little pjammies set and probably the most adorable dress I've ever seen!

I'm so excited over this dress. It's actually more of a chocolate brown. My camera was apparently being rather funky last night when I took the picture. Anyways...It's size 12 months. She could probably wear it now, but it's definitely more of a fall/winter dress. I'm hoping to put some cute little white tights on her and have her wear it for her birthday pictures in a couple of months. :D She's going to look SO cute!

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, September 03, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Hailey's Sippy Cup Adventures

I'd really like to have my daughter weaned from bottles completely a few months after her first birthday - at the latest. I'm trying to introduce sippy cups now to get her used to the idea.

We started off with a regular Nuby sippy cup - the kind with the very soft spout. She seemed to drink from it okay, but unable to hold it well. Hailey has never really been into holding objects like bottles, so I suppose it should come as no surprise that she's not really into holding a sippy cup.

I had no idea that Nuby made the same sippy cup with handles. Had I known, I would have gotten one of those to begin with. They caught my eye last night in Walmart, and Hailey ended up with one. I decided to test it out on her this morning, using some very water-diluted apple juice.

She still seems to think the idea is weird - and that's probably because we don't do much of juice. Even the most watered down juice seems to give her horrible diaper rash (the only thing in fact, that she's had any sort of reaction to as far as food and beverages is concerned). She tried holding the cup, but was more interested in poking the spout with her little finger and examining the cup itself. She'll probably do that for a few days before she takes to it. She did the same thing after weaning from breast feeding and starting solids.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, September 03, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

Store Affiliates

I'm super excited to see how many other CafePress stores are suddenly linking my products. I use Google Analytics and have been noticing a little more traffic lately. Upon digging through my reports, I notice that there are a few stores linking to my stuff (BIG stores, who I never thought would use my designs for affiliate linking). I'm not sure why they chose me, but that's great! I hope we both make money off of it. :)

If you are interested in become a Kimi's Kustoms Affiliate, follow these steps!


1. Bookmark Kimi's Kustoms so you can find your way back easily.

2. Follow this link and review the agreement terms --> Publisher Sign Up.

3. Fill Out the online application.

4. Wait for Commission Junction to send you a confirmation email.

5. Head to www.cj.com and log in (the log in area is to you top right.

6. Click on "Account" then "Web site Settings" and copy your PID number for your website. (it will be located beneath "name")

7. If there are no listed websites, click 'Add A New Web Site', fill out the information for the site that will be displaying the banner advertising (such as your personal website). A New PID number will be issued to you. Once you retreive the PID number write it down somwhere some you won't lose it.

8. Come back to Kimi's Kustoms and select your favorite banner to place wherever you'd like where advertising is allowed! Note: Replace the “XXXXXXX” with your pid number.

9. Enjoy your commission!

Choose a Banner Style:

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, September 03, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink

An Introduction

I suppose since this is my first post, it's only fitting to give a nice introduction.

My name is Kimberly Tewksbury, but I prefer to be called Kimi. I'm 21 years old (although, I've got a birthday coming up on September 14th). I currently live in the Fort Gordon area of Georgia. Yes, I'm an Army wife and exceptionally proud.

I grew up in a small area just outside of New Orleans - more specifically, St. Bernard Parish. No, I didn't escape "the flood" and fortunately, no, I didn't lose any family in "the flood". I've lived in four states so far: Louisiana, Colorado, South Carolina and Georgia. I'm hoping to make it a fifth state in 2008 (Connecticut).

I've been married for about a year and a half to Joe, a man who has been my hero in so many different ways. We got married sort of on a whim. We hadn't picked an exact date, planned on getting married and picked up the marriage license - and ended up married that same day by a Justice of the Peace.

Joe is 25 (although, he too has a birthday coming up on September 7th). He's been in the Army for just under 6 years (October marks his 6th and hopefully final year in the military). He grew up in Orange, CT. He's spent time living in Connecticut, Arizona, Texas, a 14 month tour of Iraq and Georgia since he was sent "home" injured in 2005.

Together, Joe and I have a darling baby girl named Hailey Renee. She was actually conceived on our honeymoon (if you can call it that). She was born on November 29, 2006 - 11 days overdue! She was quite the stubborn little girl (still is some days). She's currently crawling, pulling herself to stand (and trying desperately to take some first steps). She babbles up a storm, but doesn't really have any words yet - just some mega cute noises.

I'm a work at home mom. My husband and I decided long ago that we would much rather me be home raising our children instead of sending our children to baby sitters and day cares (not that there is anything wrong with those). We would end up spending the majority of another pay check on gas and paying for those things anyways..so I may as well be at home.

But living on one income can be tough sometimes. We do alright, but could use the extra "umph". So, I started Kimi's Kustoms - a CafePress store geared towards clothing for everyone in the family. It's going rather well considering I just opened the store June 30, 2007. You'll probably see updates on the store in this blog, some of my favorite designs, products, etc from my store (and others too!).

Our lives are a bit up in the air at the moment, so the extra income will be a big help down the road. My husband is currently going through the med board process. I'm hoping that's all over by next summer (one can hope and dream).

Joe and I are World of Warcraft players...him more so than I! We run a guild together on the Zangarmarsh server called Divine Illusion. I tend to let Joe handle doing all of that. He tends to have more time to play than I do since I'm usually the one tending to our daughter.

Well, I suppose that's about it. Stay tuned for more blogs!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, September 03, 2007 :: ::

Kimi :: permalink