Getting my blog "out there"

So many link-ups today!

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/308961_10100252625149279_30800316_46816978_1387496932_n.jpgFor those of you that are jumping over from Neely's blog discovery link-up, WELCOME to Point Me to the Sky Above! (and by the way, you rock if you know where I got the title of my blog from =) )

I'm RAY J, as they know me in Blogland. 
I can also be found on Twitter - @RAYJ829.

I've kept a diary of sorts off and on growing up, blogging online for almost a decade - I first started out on Diaryland, switching soon after to Livejournal during the heyday of my college years to using the blog function the now deceased Myspace to eventually making my current home here just over 2 years ago. While I do enjoy seeing my number of followers increase and getting comments is nice and assures me that people are reading what I write, I really just blog to get out my thoughts and opinions and to document things in my life (especially milestones with Jay!) as well as hope that someone may stumble upon my writings and benefit from what I've gone through in regards to certain things.

Speaking of Jay, Jaydran is my recently turned 1 year old baby toddler boy. He was born on February 4th, 2011.

He's had a bit of a rough start in life - 3 weeks after he was born he was diagnosed with Failure to Thrive and spent a week on the pediatric unit of our preferred local hospital hooked up to a feeding tube as he wasn't eating enough to grow. We learned later that they noticed a knot in his umbilical cord after he was delivered which we believe played a part in this problem, as at 28 weeks gestation he was measuring big, yet somewhere between weeks 30 and 35 his growth had significantly decreased and they had me deliver him via induction at 37 weeks, 5 days as they were concerned he had stopped growing. We think his stomach never reached its full size, therefore he was used to eating very little - just enough to survive - and never knew the feeling of being full. The week on the feeding tube stretched his stomach out though, and now, almost a year later, you would never know he had any eating problems as the kid eats like a champ! I can't even sneak a cracker without the kid toddling over, wanting some too! Did I mention the kiddo LOVES Goldfish crackers as well as applesauce? We buy both in bulk, lol...

At 35 weeks gestation they also discovered he had an enlarged left kidney, which continued to be enlarged post-birth. He was diagnosed with hydronephrosis - which I guess is pretty common among baby babies - and after some further testing it was discovered that his blockage is actually a UVJ obstruction, meaning his ureter tube is pinched shut at the bladder and not up at the kidney (which is more common). We were planning on him having to have surgery to unblock it around his 2nd birthday, however at his check-up last week, the fluid in his kidney has significantly decreased, meaning that it appears the blockage might have opened up on its own! His pediatric urology specialist in Milwaukee would like to monitor it a few more times, making sure this isn't just a fluke, before doing further testing to confirm the blockage has opened up on its own (which is very rare!).

Anyways, other than that, Jay's quite an active little guy, making messes of toys all over the house and tormenting our kitty. He's a typical little boy in the sense that he likes Elmo, Thomas the Train and Super Why - a boy superhero that teaches reading. He also likes playing with toy cars that zoom across the floor. He has a Super Mario Bros themed room and had an Elmo and Sesame Street Friends themed 1st birthday party. He was also the cutest little Ewok you've ever seen for his 1st Halloween!

I mentioned Jay likes to "play" with our kitty - Tiger is our almost 3 and a half year old domestic bronze Egyptian Mau that hubby gave me for our 1st Christmas as a married couple. In college, my long-term roommate had gotten a kitty shortly after we moved in our apartment, so for the previous 3 years I was used to having a furball around. When hubby and I got our own place around the time we got married, it was a bit lonely at night, with him working 3rd shift, so he gave in and surprised me with a kitty of my own! Tiger's mellowed out a lot, especially since we got her fixed last summer. She likes tormenting Jay as much as he likes tormenting her though - we have a gate blocking off the open stairs to our basement, she likes to hid on the steps and "encourage" Jay to throw toys at her, jumping out of the way. Jay thinks it's hilarious! She also likes to make him chase her, only to eventually jump over the gate and down the stairs or up somewhere high where he can't get to her!

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/5772_676902769569_30800316_38834512_311971_n.jpgRounding out our family is hubby. As I mentioned last week in the Our Love Story link-up, hubby and I have known each other since 8th grade, going back to December 1997. He usually sat behind me in our small 2nd hour Sunday School class (I was 1 of 2 girls that regularly showed up), and he stopped me afterwards one morning, handing me a folded up piece of paper before quickly running off. I wouldn't have known his name had it not been signed at the end of the love poem he had written me! We eventually became friends over the years, him becoming one of my close friends in college (and one of the few from high school who bothered to keep in touch with me during those years) and eventually 9 years after that 1st introduction the timing was finally right and I gave the guy a chance. Yes, I made him wait 9 years to date me - oops! We got engaged shortly after our 1 year anniversary and got married 8 months later on September 13, 2008. We've had our ups and downs (more so than some couples do, or so it seems), but we try to put the past screw ups and mistakes behind us, focusing on the future instead. It is hard though and marriage takes communicate, that's for sure! Hubby's a hard worker, doing his best to provide for us as he currently works 2 jobs - part-time as a supervisor for UPS (although he's in training to go full-time in the near future) and then full-time as Inventory and Purchasing Manager for a growing, local authorized Verizon Wireless retailer (and yes, we're an Android family - since paying off my $2000 fruity paperweight, the only i-Products that still work in our home are old iPods - feel free to read why I'll never waste money on another i-Laptop again). He is also an aspiring author sticking to the sci-fi and fantasy genres, hoping to have his first major novel published in the near future.

Our recent family photo for our 2011 Christmas card.
Some things about me...
  • I'm a full-time mommy (if you didn't already pick-up on that).
  • I'm from the Northern Illinois area, not too far from Chicago though, and have lived in this area most of my life.
  • I went to good ol' Northern Illinois University and have a bachelor's degree in Art (with an emphasis on Graphic Design). A lot of my art is showcased here.
  • Despite a graphic design background (specifically with print layout, design, and graphics) the economy kinda sucks and my job doing that is kinda defunct at the moment, so I work part-time several days a week for a great national children's clothing retail chain at our mall - as you can imagine, with a constantly growing little guy, my discount comes in handy!
  • I am a Christian, and while I'm nowhere near perfect, I do try my best to set a good example and outwardly reflect Christ in me.
  • Hubby and I are both big Dallas Cowboys fans since we were both kids, despite never living down south. We did take a trek down to Dallas in fall of 2010 though and witnessed in person the Monday Night division rival game against the New York Giants at awesome Cowboys Stadium!
  • I have 2 tattoos.
  • I take part in various swaps around Blogland here, despite getting stuck with the occasional crummy partner.
  • I've regularly been linking up with Savannah and friends for the Monday Phone Photo Fun posts and Neely and Ashley for Boob Tube Babble.
  • I regularly watch Once Upon a Time, The Walking Dead, Glee, New Girl, Community, The Office, Game of Thrones, True Blood, Conan, and a lot of TBS. Sometimes we watch Spike or Comedy Central. We also have PBSkids or Sprout (the 24hr PBSkids channel) on during the day as well.
  • While I do enjoy a GOOD chick flick here and there, I prefer comedies or awesome action movies (Jason Statham = yummy!)
  • As far as music goes, I'm definitely more into rock, metal and industrial, but I also enjoy electronica and techno/dance. Some pop stuff isn't too bad either. I used to go to a lot of rock shows in my high school and college days - Static-X and Powerman5000 are 2 bands I've seen live the most. My 25th birthday was spent in Chicago seeing Nine Inch Nails' last show ever in Chicago - it was pretty epic!
  • I also enjoy reading - usually sticking to the fantasy genre but I do branch out. Right now I'm on book 2 of The Hunger Games trilogy, squeezing it in before the movie comes out. I'm also working on the Game of Thrones books and waiting on Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest to come out in trade paperback format at the end of the month so I can finish that series. I also enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse books as well as the Harry Potter books. I'm sucker for the Chicken Soup for the... Soul books too!
  • And I'm a bit of a gamer. I grew up playing Nintendo and Atari since the age of 4, owning a Sega Genesis, a Playstation, a PS2, a Wii and a PS3. I also got sucked into World of Warcraft during it's early days and continued to play for most of 5 years. I quit playing shortly after Jay was born though, as I didn't login enough to make the $16/month worth it. I have recently started playing Fable: The Lost Chapters though for PC, having briefly tried the original Xbox version back in college and enjoying it. I'd love to play the new Star Wars MMO, however until I can commit to playing a game regularly, I think I'll stick to non-MMOs for now as I can't afford to be paying for something I rarely have time to play.
  • Oh and in case you couldn't tell, I have a bad habit of rambling - oops!

Are you visiting from the link-up
If so, lemme know in the comments below and share a link to your blog so I make sure not to miss it!
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What's your thoughts?