the post that is not a post

I cannot concentrate on bloggy things tonight.

This is a just going to be a mishmash and I apologize.  I started a post about showing affection, and abandoned it.  Maybe you will get that some day, maybe not.  It’s not ready to come out of my head yet.

Then I was going to try to be all soft and lovely about Eddie.  And then Cort.  But I have a horrible headache.

And then I was distracted by other bloggy obligations and a twitter chat.

So then I am allowing myself to be completely overwhelmed by my four email inboxes AND my facebook inbox and I realize two things:  I have to get on this permission to take grad classes thing for a writing thingy I am doing this summer that I would like to receive credit for AND I just realized I need business cards for this blogging conference I am attending this weekend.

And then my head exploded.

And then Cort swooped in and tried to make me some and they were pretty good, but I really want a tag line on there and I don’t have a tag line for Sluiter Nation.

So of course I start scouring all the blogs I love and end up with a mad case of Tag Line Envy.

And sometime around lunch today I was informed by my body that I am NOT pregnant this month.

I have Tag Line Envy and Lady Times.

And the only way to make this post more random, but possibly save it from being a complete whiney pile of crap is this:

Aw man! Look, mom!

weeeeee!

At least it’s spring and we can play outside.

And there are only 9 more days with students until summer break.

At least there is that.

Do you have a suggestion for a tagline for Sluiter Nation?  I need help.

you said it, kid.

Dear Eddie,

I just put you down for your last nap of our spring break together, and I am sad about it.

No really, I am.

You might think I am a horrible mother for saying this, but I dreaded spring break.

Oh, I needed the break from work badly, but the idea of staying home alone with you every day and not having a break gave me so much anxiety.

When you were born, the two of us were home alone together for almost three months.

It did not go well.

Daddy got laid off when you were four months old and stayed home with you for 17 months.

The days or hours that you and I had alone together were few.  This semester we have had Monday and Wednesday evenings.  They are usually hit and miss in the “going well” department.

So like I said, with spring break approaching?  I was terrified of you.

And as I suspected, we started out sort of rocky, but as the break progressed?  Something happened.

We found a flow.

Mornings became our favorite time together (yes, mom, you read that correctly).

Between 7:00 and 8:00 am every day, I would slowly wake to your chatter in the other room.

Even though I wanted to stay sleeping, knowing that you would have a big smile was a bigger pull than my pillow.

As I could hear you counting, I would wake the house up by starting coffee, opening blinds, and finding Handy Manny on Disney.

By the time I was spitting my toothpaste into the sink you would be calling, “Daaaeeee”.  I would smirk knowing you forgot that it was not Daddy getting you up.

You would smile and point at all the items you had tossed from the crib.

You would chatter on about things only you knew as I turned off your nightlight and humidifier.

As the coffee percolated, you and I would mesh into each other on the couch for some Disney channel until you were ready to explore the world.

Sometime midweek, I taught you to finally say, “maaa maa!” although I had my doubts that you associated it with me and were not just mimicking what I was saying.

We had construction crews in and out this week.  We had playdates.  We had fun.

Our mornings were filled with books and trucks and Little People villages and trains.

And then this morning, after reading Where is the Green Sheep for the third time, I asked you “where is Eddie?”

You pointed at your chest and nodded while carefully pronouncing, “Eh-ee”.

I beamed with pride all the way from the tips of my toes, “That’s right!!!  And I love Eddie!  More than all the green sheep in the world!”

Then I cautiously asked, “And were is momma?”

You scrunched up that nose into your mischievous smile and pointed at me.

I was about to praise you for getting it right when you nodded with each syllable saying, “maa maa”.

Oh Eddie.

I couldn’t contain myself.

I grabbed you and hugged you so hard you said, “noooooo”.

So I tickled you instead.

We both shouted “MAA MAA, EH-EE!”” together over and over.

And fell over in a fit of ridiculous giggles.

I think Daddy is right.  You and I?  Are a lot alike.

That makes me happy.

Now I have a Goofball in Crime.

I love you to the moon and back.

With a drum on my head.

Love,

Maa Maa

Secret Mommyhood Confessions Saturday

My kid is a window-licker.

I know babies put everything in their mouth because it is a way of exploring.  They see, they smell, they touch, they hear, and of course, they taste.

I also know that baby drool, like dog drool, helps babies recognize things.

I also am aware the baby drool has certain germ-killing things in it (it really does!  I learned this from Eddie’s ped AND babycenter, so you know it’s GOT to be true!)

But as Eddie grew, so did his pension for relentlessly sucking on every last thing in our house.

Oh, he still puts things in his mouth from time to time, but it’s more to bite at stuff than to explore.  He doesn’t suck on lamby anymore (thank GOODNESS), but he will still put the head of superman in his mouth and bite at the pointy hair.  You know, toddler stuff.

However recently Cort and I have started noticed some, uh, licking.

Cort watched as Eddie pressed his face on our sliding door.  They giggled as Eddie’s face smooshed.  And then?  The lounge came out.  As Eddie slid his face, his tongue slid along on the glass.  Ew.

About a week ago Eddie and I were home together in the evening.  He walked up to a shelf we have with a lamp on it and started licking the shelving unit and then biting at the screws.  As he licked he watched me…smiling.

My child seriously watched me as he ran his tongue over the enter shelving thing.  Like he expected me to be all sorts of proud of him.

Um, what?

Yesterday our daycare provider, Miss Amy had a question for Cort during pick-up.  Did he know that Eddie licks windows?

Sigh…

Yes.  We know.

Does your toddler do this?  Is it normal?  And maybe the most important question…WHY is he doing this?

Don’t forget to enter my birthday giveaways!  You have less than 24 hours to get in on the goodness!

——-

And while you are feeling the love of Sluiter Nation, will you please vote for me in the Mom Central Grant Contest?  We have slipped to 5th place, and I would love to stay in the Top Five.  Please?

repeated forgiveness

In the almost six years that Cort and I have been married, the following dialogue has happened so many times, it doesn’t matter who is saying what anymore.

We have both been wronged.

We have both begged forgiveness.

And, unfortunately, because of who we are?  I am sure that this will happen many, many more times.

It is always bed time.

It is always way too late…past when we should be sleeping.

Maybe this is why it happens.

Just as we say goodnight…

“Babe.  I am really sorry about this…”

And then it happens.

Sometimes it thunders through the room shaking the windows and the bed frame.

Other times it silently warms us under the blanket and seeps into the room.

Either way it is everywhere.

And we are gagging.

“OH. MY. GOD!  Babe!  What did you eat?  For the love….”

This is when the giggling begins.

“I’m SORRY.  I can’t help it.  My tummy hurts.”

And now both of us are laughing because it is still hanging in the room.  It’s like someone smeared it right under our noses.

“I can’t get away from it!”

“Me either!  I am SORRY!”

At this point the laughing has taken over. Every time we think we are done, we lift our faces from our pillows, breathe in the funk, and dissolve into tears and giggles all over again.

“Oh no.”

“‘oh no,” what?”

There is a silent pause.

And then the air is filled with a new batch of stench.

“BABE!”

“I’m SORRY!  I can’t help it!”

“YES YOU CAN!”

“No, I can’t!”

gagging mixed with laughing combined with coughing ensues.

“Seriously, babe.  Next time, you need to take that to the bathroom.”

“Why?  You never do!”

“Well this is BAD.”

“Yours are bad too.”

“Ok, I think I can breathe again.  Wait…don’t point that thing at me.”

“Now you’re just being mean.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Me too.”

And then it happens again.

Luckily, by morning the air has cleared and the gruesome events of the night before have been forgiven.

We are a happy couple again.

Until the next time late night flatulence hits.

This week’s prompt asked us to write about a time of forgiveness.

The Yelling Contest

Five people around one table.

A meat, a veggie, a starch, and a fruit.

No utensils in the dishes…no passing…fend for yourself.

brothers on one side, me and mom on the other, dad at the head.

The kitchen is warm–so warm that the large front windows behind my brothers are foggy with steam.

There is the usual grumbling of what we each see that we are not a fan of.

There is the usual reassurance by my mom that we do, indeed, like those things.

“How was school?  What did you do? How was your math test?”

grumble grumble grumble grumble.

Discussion becomes just between Mom and Dad.  Work.  Boring.

Bored siblings start in on each other.

“Did you wear that shirt again?”

“Yeah, what’s it to you?”

“It’s stretched out.”

“So is your face.”

giggles.  “So is your MOM’S face.”

milk out of someone’s nose.

“you’re so stupid.”

“you are.  loser.”

“kids…that is not nice.  That is NOT how we talk to each other.”

“But mom, he wears that shirt every. single. day.  And he wipes his nose on it.”

“I’ll wipe my nose on YOU!” He flares his nostrils of doom at me.

“THAT’S IT!  YOU KIDS WILL EAT YOUR DINNERS AND QUIT BEING SO MEAN TO EACH OTHER!”

“Gross dad, food came out of your mouth.”

“I MEAN IT.”

Everything is quiet except for the scraping of silverware on plates.

“I need the butter.”

“your MOM needs the butter.”

giggles.

“oh guess what!  We did chair tryouts today and I moved up to 6th trumpet…from 10th, but I’ll probably still sit at 9th because Holly is still 10th”

“that is dumb”

“you’re dumb”

“that is great, honey”

And suddenly everyone is talking.  One louder than the other.  Competing for their space and recognition.

At the time?  I hated being forced to sit down five nights a week at five o’clock in the evening with no TV for dinner with my annoying family.

Now as adults?  My brothers and I beg my mom to have family dinners.  We miss the times together.

Are we any different than we were 20 years ago?  Not at all.  The same tired insults and come-backs fly from our mouths.

We still laugh at the ridiculousness of each other.

We still pick on each other.

My brother still makes jabs about how my mom makes a salad (but he eats it anyway…and I suspect she keeps making it that way because otherwise what would he bitch about?)

My mom jokes that it is hard for her to believe that we are all adults because dinner time?  Has not changed at all.

Dinner with my parents and my brothers make me happy in a way no one can really understand.

To an outsider–we are yelling and hating on each other.  Just ask Cort about the first time he sat down for dinner with my family.

But now when my brothers bug him about cutting up all his meat into little, bite-sized pieces before eating?  He slings the mud right back at them.

And we all laugh.

I hope to give this to my children.

I hope family dinner time is something we can keep up.

Because sitting face to face with your family and knowing what is going on in each other’s lives builds something.  It builds family.  It builds trust.  It builds togetherness.

Even when you’re busy picking on your brother’s weird nostril flare.

 MommyofaMonster This post was featured!

this is not about the Olive Garden

This weekend Cortney and I went out for a much needed date.

In fact I am pretty sure the last date we went on was for his birthday.  At the beginning of December. So to say this was much needed?  Is really kind of an understatement.

ANYWAY…

For Christmas two alumi of mine gave Cort and I gift cards to the Olive Garden–one of our favorite chain restaurants–and we figured it’s the weekend before Valentine’s Day, we should go out.

Now considering we were going to the Olive Garden, I didn’t feel the need to put on a dress and strappy sandals and make an appointment to get my hair and nails done, but I did put in extra effort.

I took a shower AND dried my hair with a hairdryer AND curled it.

And for effect?  I stuck a cute flower in my hair.

See?

oh hey!

We both wore our nice, dark wash jeans.  Cort wore a button down that I gave him for Christmas, and I wore a cute sweater from the Gap.

Nothing super fancy, but not my yoga pants.

I figured this is what people do when they go out for dinner to any place that has a hostess and serves wine.

I would be wrong.

People?  I am not saying that you need to wear your Sunday Best to a chain restaurant, but I did think that clean clothing was sort of a given.

Again, I would be wrong.

When we arrived at The Olive Garden, there was a 40-50 minute wait.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  And we were out for the night, so regardless of if we were sitting at a table or sitting in the lobby, we were still playing on our phones enjoying being alone together.

A 40-50 minute wait will give you a lot of people watching opportunities.

For instance, did you know that apparently wearing an old valour sweat suit with worn out patches at the knees and elbows is totally proper attire for dining at The Olive Garden?

Or that it is completely acceptable to wear tights (not leggings, people.  TIGHTS) as pants with a “dress” (um, SHIRT), is so short your cheeks are not covered…to the Olive Garden?

Perhaps you were aware that wearing hats (ball hats, stocking hats, cowboy hats…) are ok to wear INSIDE the Olive Garden…while you eat.

I was clearly ignorant of the fact that I could have come to the Olive Garden in my pajamas…slippers and all…for this dining experience because a couple times Cort had to give the shush and and tell me to get my jaw off the ground and quit staring.

When our little disc light up happily announcing it was our turn to be seated, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Maybe we would be put into a nice little romantic corner.  Away from…the fashion police rejects.

Or we would be eating at that table right there that is within reach of the lobby.

No problem.  I will sit with my back to them.  Cort is more tolerant.  He can stare at that herd.

We decide to sample a Riesling.

I settle into my chair.

Only to observe the table over Cort’s shoulder.

A mom wearing the largest pair of mom-jeans I have ever seen on such a skinny body tucked into the biggest moon boots ever topped with a massively huge Bon Jovi T-shirt.  Across from her was a dad with those dude jeans that are all tight around the ankles, but all “loose fit” everywhere else and a GIANT Red Wings jersey.  And a hat.

Their two kids?  Were totally cute.

I understand just wanting to get out of the house with clothes on.  Especially when you have two itty bitty kids.

But shouldn’t your look reflect where you are?

Or am I a snob?  Is it wrong that I was visually offended at the “going out” clothing people deem acceptable these days?

I mean I GET the “come as you are” at McDonalds or Wal-Mart or even Target.  I’ve been that girl getting groceries in my yoga pants and a hoodie.

But I feel like I’ve seen enough episodes of What Not To Wear to know that you need to dress for the occasion.

Yoga pants for home?  Ok.

But at the Olive Garden?

Really?

Or is that joint not as classy as I thought?

belly laughs

I was prepared for the pain.

Four years earlier, Cortney had abdominal surgery to remove his appendix.  I remembered him holding his tummy as he shuffled around the house.

I wasn’t surprised that having a C-section made me look similar to his old man pose.

What did surprise me was how painful it was just to twist my torso to see Eddie in his little baby “aquarium” thing.  Or how much effort it would be to get out of bed, shuffle across the room, and lower myself onto the toilet to pee. And then getting back UP from the toilet?

I was tired a lot.

One of the first times I got up from my hospital bed and shuffled to the bathroom all by myself, the only people in the room to witness my triumph were Cort and Eddie, and to be honest?  Eddie did not cheer and hoot like I felt he should. Cort was only slightly more encouraging.

Anyway.  I had made it to the bathroom.  I had finished peeing. And I was just sitting there mustering up the energy to lift myself up to standing when I heard it.

A long, loud drawn out bit o flatulence.

And then?  laughter.

As I sat there in my gown with the mesh undies around my ankles, I put my hands up to my face and groaned.

Really, Cortney?

And he was STILL laughing.  And there may have been heavy breathing and then more laughing.

Ok, really?  Was his fart REALLY that funny?

I took a deep breath, grabbed the mesh undies with one hand and the grab bar in the other and slowly stood up.  I cradled my soft belly in one hand and adjusted my undergarments with the other.

He was still laughing.  It sounded almost painful.  Really?

I hunched over the sink washing my hands and looking at my greasy hair and pale skin.

He continued to laugh.

Finally, I opened the door and saw him.

He was sitting on the couch, our wee one in his arms, head thrown back, tears streaming down his face…laughing.

“Cort.  It was a fart.  It’s not THAT funny.  It’s sort of gross.”

He shook his head as his body erupted with deep laughter and tears all over again.

I shuffled to the bed.

“Seriously, babe.  Not that funny.”

He wiped the tears from his eyes while shifting our little burrito to his other arm.

“No, Kate…it wasn’t me.”

And the laughter started again as he threw his head back onto the window ledge.

“Wait…what?”

And then I got it.  He was pointing at Eddie.

“OH MY…” and the laughter started somewhere deep within me.  I tried to stop it, knowing how a belly laugh would tear at my wound, but I couldn’t stop it.

Tears streamed down my face–both from pain and from joy.

“That was such a…such a…,” I gasped, “MAN FART!”

And we both lost it all over again.

“No…stop…,” I begged, “I can’t….it hurts…ohhh!!!”

Finally our laughter gave way to heavy sighs and the wiping of tears.

Every now and then a chuckle would escape our lips and we would stifle it…trying not to hurt me again with a full on attack.

This little man….

Turned into this little man…

And his toots?  Are just as loud and ridiculous.

And they have not stopped being funny either.

How Sluiter Nation Has a Snow Day

Much of the country was hit with a “weather event” the past couple days, and for once this winter, Michigan was not left out.

Our weather guys and gals were able to jump around and flail their arms in front of weather maps covered in blue and green and pink blobs of snow and blizzard warnings.

One meteorologist even admitted to bringing his sleeping bag to the studio last night.

There was excitement.

My students talked ALL DAMN DAY about how we were going to have a snow day today:

“Mrs. Sluiter?  Do you think we’re going to have a snow day?”

“Oh we are for sure going to have a snow day, don’t you think, Mrs. Sluiter?”

“What are you going to do with your snow day, Mrs. Sluiter?  Grade my test?”

To be honest, until I got home and turned on the news?  I wasn’t sold on this whole snow day business.  I mean, our weather people REALLY enjoy getting worked up and they may tend to exaggerate what actually happens.  a lot.

But once the wind picked up and it started to snow, I started begging Cort not to drive to bowling.  And that is when I realized:  we were going to have a snow day!

Yes, today my school is canceled and Cort’s evening class is canceled.  Sluiter Nation officially has a snow day.

So how do we DO a family snow day?  Well, there are a few things that are necessary (no, I did not go out and buy “storm meat” like @thenextmartha did).  Here is how WE do a snow day:

First we open the front door to see that yes, we are snowed in.  There is no walkway to the house anymore.

oh, and no driveway either.  Well then.  Yes.  Snowed in.

Our deck. More proof that this "Blizzard of 2011" happened.

the drift in front of our downstairs front window. again, it snowed like "whoa" last night.

Now that we have it established that I am not making the snow up, this is how we readied ourselves…

First?  make sure the internet connection is working.  Because otherwise?  I may as well be at work.

I kid, I kid.

Or do I?  ahem,

Stock up on provisions.

Cort went to Target yesterday for a few things and since a storm was coming he stocked up on the necessities junk food to keep his wifey and boy happy while they are trapped together for a whole day.

Like I said…provisions.

Momma and Dad-do need their caffiene.

Jammies.

Yes, I am writing this around noon and all three of us are still in our jammies.  And I am pretty sure there are no plans to change that.

slippers.  because my tootsies need to stay warm when it’s so brrrrr outside!

A good book.

You know, in case I pull myself away from the interwebs today.

Someone to cuddle with.

(please disregard lack of make up…it’s a snow day.  remember?)

Now if you will excuse me, I have everything I need to have a successful snow day.  I must now proceed to enjoy the doing of nothing.

While I do that?  You can check out how I actually DID go to Blissdom…sort of.  Go here and here.  Then report back.

And happy weather event day to you.

we have friends…

we have friends…

whom we have known for about 20 years…

that we went to middle school, high school, and college with…

who were with us at our first concerts…

who searched high and low for the rare concert “bootleg” cd in all the record stores…

who now live all over the country from west to east to north to south…

who have seen us cry…

who have been in our wedding…

whom we can be silly with…

who have held and loved our child…

who have held and loved us…

whom we have visited…

who come to visit us…

thanks for covering up my new mom boobs.

whom we only see once or twice a year instead of every single day like in the good old days…

who we miss before we even leave them…

damn, i love these girls.

i am so lucky we were able to be together this Thanksgiving.

Wacky Wednesday

Ok, so I usually try to do Wordless Wednesday, but my week has been all wacky so far.  Good things, weird things…just wacky.

Here is a brief rundown…

My brother got engaged!  Yay!  This is HUGE, people.  He and his fiance have a 5 and a half year old together.  This story is long, complicated and beautiful.  I will have to share this story with you, if they give me permission.

We had some VERY bizarre weather yesterday.  We woke up to tornado watches, storm and wind warnings, all out madness.  Many schools closed due to the watches; not ours.  We braved those wild winds and pursued education in spite of the crazy weather.  And in turn, we were rewarded with tornado sirens going off at the beginning of fourth hour driving us into the hallway to take cover.  For most of the hour.  Then, just as we were released back to class?  Four minutes later they re-issued the warning, forcing us back into the hallway into lunch.  To say yesterday was messed up is an understatement.

My son is addicted to Sesame Street.  More specifically he is addicted to sitting on my lap and watching song videos from Sesame Street on my computer.  If he sees me get anywhere NEAR my laptop, he whines and pulls at me until I put him on my lap and youtube his favorites.

In fact, this is the one he likes best.  I like it too because it helps me remember that I can make it through the hard stuff.  That’s right.  I get inspired by Sesame Street on the daily.  What of it?

Oh and also?  I am over at Not Super…Just Mom helping my girl Miranda wrap up and super long, tough month that she has dubbed Hellmonth.  I depart from my usual PG rating, so beware, but go read.  I don’t want to be lonely over there!

Here is hoping for a calmer second half to the week!

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