the cue

ahhhhh GO!

He runs full speed down the hallway in just a diaper.  His run is more of a prance and his blond curls bounce in rhythm to his quick trot.

Smack!  He gets to the end and both hands slap the wall.

When he turns he is all smiles and eye twinkles.

He backs up straight and tall with his back and palms flat against the wall, and pauses to make sure I am ready.

This is my cue.

I snap my arms and legs open toward him.

This is his cue.

MA MA!  GO!

He leans forward and with complete trust, rushes down the hall toward me.

His giggle melts me.

I can’t wait for him to get to my embrace.

His curls blow back from his face revealing the gleam of joy in his eye.

He doesn’t slow his pace as he approaches, flinging himself with all his force into me.

There is no fear of hurt.

He trusts me completely.

And in an instant, we are one person.

I wrap him up in me, close my eyes, and fall backwards.

We are one like we were in the beginning.

Our hilarity and tears and mischief are the same.

Time stops, but our merriment does not.

He has buried his face in my neck and wrapped his arms around me.

He is gasping for breath through giggles.

I am filing these feelings away into my heart.

His hair will not always be this soft and silky and blond.

His fingers will not always have the little dimples instead of knuckles.

His feet will not always be round and smooth.

He will not always smell of baby lotion and graham crackers.

He will not always trust me so freely.

Running into his mom’s arms will not always be his first choice.

I lie on my back and release him.

He scoots down and takes my hand and instructs me in his gibberish to sit back up.

Once I am up, he decides to lean in one more time before starting the game again.

Awww Ma Ma!

He hugs me and bends in to touch his nose to mine.

And with a snap, he turns to run back down the hall.

Ahhhh GO!

A blur of giggles, curls, and baby skin goes running from me.

My smile twitches.

And my heart makes a promise to that boy.

I will always be here for you to run back to.  My arms will always snap open for you.  Just give me the cue.

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

Frecklebox Freakout

A couple weeks ago, I pounced on happened upon a giveaway post by my lovely friend (and BlogHer roomie!  Squee!), Natalie.  It was for Frecklebox.

Have you heard of Frecklebox?  It’s the cutest kid stuff all personalized for YOUR kid.

You know how hard it can be to find the name of your little Sacajawea or Moses?  Or how about Cortney (yeah, he never had ANYTHING store-bought with his name on it.  Yes, he may still be bitter)?

This is no longer a problem!

Frecklebox has everything from personalized growth charts to books!

So of course I entered Natalie’s giveaway.  Having your name plastered all over things?  That is a no-brainer to me.  It is AWESOME.

I tweeted about it.

I crossed my fingers.

I may have done some lucky rituals (flush ice down the toilet?)  that may or may not have brought snow instead of Frecklebox winnings.

I was not the big winner.

I almost cried.

And then?  The Frecklebox Gods Mark from Frecklebox caught wind of my sadness.

And all of a sudden?

 

Cutest. Place mat. EVER.

People?  This place mat rocks my face off.

First, it’s got a DJ monkey on it that reminds all of us of Captain Huggy Face on WordGirl.  But not in a creepy way, of course.

Second, it says, “Eddie” and that?  Is awesome.

Besides being all aesthetically pleasing it is way easy to wipe up also.

It’s been time to move Eddie from the high chair to the table for some time now.  The high chair has become a platform for throwing things.  Plus it has WAY too many cracks and crevices to clean out.

This is much better…

He loves it.  Plus he loves pointing out the letters in his name and making monkey noises before his plate is put in front of him.  It is AWESOME.

But wait!  We have more!

oh yes we did!

 

I know, I know, my child is way too young to need a lunch box…even if it DOES have his name on it.

But you guys?  He LOVES this thing.

First he loves to “count” the monsters by either going “un, un, un, UN!” or “rawr!  rawr!  rawr!”  It doesn’t get much cuter than that.

 

oh look! the letters stick to it!

Eddie is also into putting things in other things, closing said things, and saying, “ba ba!” to us, waving, and walking around the island.

 

perfect for traveling toys

And lately?  He acts as if snacks are fleeting things.  We may take them away at any minute.  So he stock-piles.

 

no one will find my teddy grahams in here!

oops. missed a few!

 

Eddie and his sneaky side LOVE his new things.

And maybe, because of the whole personalized thing, his narcissistic side is happy too.

Ok, maybe that’s just me.

Where did THIS come from?

Why yes, I think we will be shopping at Frecklebox again in the future.  They DO have personalized books, and I DO love a book with my boy’s name in it!

——————————
The fine print: The Frecklebox Gods Mark from Frecklebox provided Sluiter Nation with the place mat and the lunch box, but the opinions are totally mine.  You can buy my happiness, but you can’t buy my opinion.

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?

Secret Mommy-hood Confession Saturday

My child is determined to make me look like an idiot.

It all started when he was quite wee.

He would cry and scream and carry on in his colicky way.  I would cry and scream and pull my hair out.

And then we would go out in public or to one of our friend’s houses or to see our family.

And the boy would sleep or coo the entire time.  People would pass his little burrito-ed self around and sniff his head and tickle his toes and he would be the most content thing you ever met.

Everyone would say, “I don’t know what you are talking about!  He is always so GOOD!”

I was sure this was coincidence.  I mean, and infant cannot have a diabolical scheme against his parents, right?

The boy grew and changed. This is when the tantrums and the meltdowns started.   We would say, “no no, Eddie” and he would fling himself to the floor or hit the chair or the cat or us and scream.  Oh did he scream.

We go out?  And he is all smiles and dancing and wonderful.  He is a different child.

This is when I started giving him the side-eye.  I was pretty sure he had an agenda to make the world believe this his parents?  Were lying imbeciles who just liked to complain about how hard parenting is.

This week, he convinced me of his plotting.

Let me preface this by saying last week he hurt his ankle (or foot…hard to tell with a 20 month old) by falling over a friend (yes, he is as graceful as his mother).  It bothered him for less than 24 hours.  The weekend was totally fine.

Tuesday night?  Things got NOT FINE very fast.

All night long Eddie was up clutching his foot (or ankle, who knows).  Every 30-45 minutes he would SCREAM out from his bed, and we would find him holding his foot or waving it in the air at us.

This was a long night.

Somewhere around 4am, I asked Cort if he wanted me to take Eddie to the doctor that day.  I knew he couldn’t take our little man; Wednesday was his first day of his new job.  They tend to frown on people taking off their first day.

We agreed that I should stay home.  This was obviously painful to him and his little foot was warm and a bit swollen.

So I groggily put in for a sub and typed up some last minute lesson plans.

Fast-forward to our appointment later that morning.

Not only does Eddie totally walk into the appointment all cheery (like he really got more sleep than I did?  no.), but he dances…DANCES…around the exam room with the toys.

At this point I feel like his doctor is going to shoo us away with a nice pat on the head for the crazy worried mommy, but no.  She thinks that to be safe, he should have an X-ray done.

So I get Eddie’s socks and shoes back on, we check out at the pediatrician’s office, and head downstairs to take the corridor to the hospital to get the X-rays.

And yes, Eddie runs through the corridor like a crazy person because there is so much space.

I struggle to keep him somewhat not annoying to others in the lobby, then fight with him to stay on my lap in the little check-in room, and then finally let him play with the toys while we wait for the X-ray tech to call us back.

When the tech finally comes for us, Eddie is clearly done with this trip.  He does NOT want to leave the toys.

Enter: meltdown.

I calmly hold his hand and drag guide him to where we need to go.

And of course, the X-ray tech says, “hey, I thought he couldn’t walk on it.”

Yeah, thanks.  That was when he originally hurt it.  Now?  Apparently he is ready for Cabaret.

So they do the X-rays, we get back home, have our lunch and both take naps.

My nap is interrupted by a phone call from the pediatrician’s office.

“X-rays came back normal.  No fractures.”

Just like I figured.  He probably pulled something that was throbbing a bit in the night.  But he is fine now.

And while this conversation is going on?  My students are treating my sub like crap, my monitor at work dies, and my son?

He is sleeping and dreaming of his next plot to make me look like a lying crazy lady.

Click to vote every 24 hours for Sluiter Nation to win the Mom Central grant!

And don’t forget to shop my Thirty-One party! Ends this week! (go to “my events” and shop my party–Katie Sluiter).


uncomplicated love

The big brown chair.

When it was purchased there was no emotional expectation.  No one foresaw any moments to be had in the chair except lazy ones that matched the couch.

But the lack of expectations was a mistake.

That brown chair has become ours.  Mine and Eddie’s.

We melt into each other in that chair just minutes before bedtime.

He has his little yellow and green pipy and his well-worn lamby.

I am squished to one side in my fleece bathrobe while he is in a little ball on a pillow next to me.

My head rests ever so close to his soft, blond curls.

He is busy watching Wheel of Fortune and rubbing one of lamby’s ears across his nose.

He suddenly stops and turns to look at me.

Our faces are so close his little button nose is almost touching mine.

I can smell the lilac night time lotion on his skin.

A smile spreads suddenly under his pipey, and he quickly grabs the pacifier out of his mouth and leans in, mouth open.

His small, warm mouth covers mine quickly.

He giggles and whispers, “pssfff psssfff psssfff.”

His hand touches my check and he giggles again.

And just like that he pops the pipey back in his mouth and snuggles down under my chin.

But for me it is not over.  I sit their smiling and glowing from within.

My baby boy loves me.

Most people would stop here and say, “of course he does.”

But it hasn’t always been so evident to me.  That is the curse of PPD.

Those few minutes in the chair are ones that I will pack away in my heart and keep for always.

I wish Eddie could somehow also keep those moments in his heart.

Someday when he is a grumpy, angsty teen.

Someday when everything I do is wrong.

Someday when I am not there.

I wish he could see us like this.

Because it pains me to think he would forget these fleeting moments.

That he would forget the love between the two of us.

Completely unconditional with no complications.

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.

snow much fun

I have not been feeling well today.  Not at all.

So I am not feeling very scribe-ish or posty this evening.

Instead, I will just give you some pictures of my boys.

We live in Michigan..West Michigan.  So we get lots of lake effect snow, however compared with the rest of the country, this has been a fairly mild winter for us.

This weekend we finally got “play-able” snow.  After nap on Sunday, I got Eddie all geared up, Cort got himself geared up, and my matching men went out to play.

do these pants make my boo-tay look big?

the snow is THIS way!

come ON, dad!

Let's go explore, my little mini-me!

I need a shovel for the clubhouse!

exploring the winter wonderland.

We tried to get him outside with out the pipey in his mouth, but it is his saftey lovey when he is nervous…and the snow made him nervous (which I can TOTALLY relate to, little bud!)

They probably were only outside for 20 minutes, but it wore the little guy out…slept like a log that night.

Now I can’t wait for Cort to take him on the sled so I can sit inside alone and sip hot cocoa!  Yay!  Such fun Michigan winters bring!

psssst!  Today?  Wednesday?  Is your LAST CHANCE to enter to win a copy of Show Me How! It’s a great book with zillions of activities to keep the little ones busy when you DON’T want to gear up and play outside!  Enter now! Giveaway ends Wednesday, 8pm Eastern time.

Superfudge and other Christmas Miracles

I polled the audience and it seems that you would all like to see my ridiculousness try to make fudge.

And of course I had to name this post “Superfudge” because Lisa told me to, and she and I share a love of Judy Blume, She-ra, and side ponytails (which I am rocking in this vlog, by the way).

So.  Here is my vlog on my attempt at making my dad’s fudge.

Oh…wait.  first I should set it up for you.

This was what happened last year (in case you forgot):

fudgey turd pile

in years before that?  It hasn’t even set up.  We have used it as chocolate syrup for ice cream.  Last year?  It overly set up.  Sigh…

On to this year! Ok, first I prepped everything:

gathered my supplies

propped up my camera precariously on popcorn tin, Eddie's blocks, and Sandra Boynton books

and then?  the vlog:

Eddie and me sampling the goods

yeah, it actually turned out.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was containing my excitement about this on camera for fear I would look even sillier, but I was way excited.

Also?  This post is titled “and other Christmas Miracles” because guess what…BONUS VIDEO FOR YOU!

If my fudge turning out for the first time in EVER wasn’t the best thing?  We got a package today from one Miranda.  It had a cute Christmas card and a little something she just “whipped” up to give Eddie from her Joshua.

What a great day!!!  Fudge and crayons!!!  Seriously…how does it get better than this?

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