a camper i am not

We went camping this weekend.

I really don’t enjoy the act of camping, but I love my in-laws a LOT and they always manage to make it a good time, so we go on this trip every year.  I think this is our third year going out of the four-year tradition (we skipped 2009 when Eddie was born because I still had a fresh C-section scar).

We always go up Friday night to a campground on the Muskeegon River about an hour north of where we live.  Saturday we canoe all day and then we return Sunday morning.

Did I mention we tent camp?  I’ve blogged about our previous trips here (2008) (with more pics from that trip here) and here (2010).

I’ll have pictures of the trip after I get my canoe camera developed, but here are the things that I learned from this year’s trip…

1.  I have zero camping abilities.  I can’t set up a tent, blow up an air mattress, or enjoy dirt.

2. College kids have not changed at all since I was one.  They are still loud, drunk, and completely oblivious to the fact that there are other people in the campground.  Yeah, I’m looking at you, Rental Camper with the country and rap music.  Oh and you, Band of Douchebags behind the trees setting off illegal fireworks.  And no, I would never forget you, King Douche, for encouraging “Rage Paige” to vomit while sitting disturbingly close to our tent.

3. I can do my teacher voice in the summer.  Just ask the morons who tried to cut through our campsite to get to the “party” one site over.  The proof is the very wide berth they all made from then on.  They didn’t get quieter, but they didn’t come through our campsite either.

4. A sunburned face is indeed not better than a greasy one with more zits due to sunblock.

5. If you throw a football amongst four canoes going down a river?  Someone will lose their balance and fall out.  (he he…Liz).

6. My step-father-in-law will touch what he believes to be bear shit.

7. If told to be careful when picking up the incense stick thingys that keep the mosquitoes away?  Caution should be headed.  (stupid burn welts from ash).

8. Drunk girls will pull a Brittney and use public restrooms barefoot.

9. Prenatal vitamins require bringing a razor along on a weekend camping trip.  Unless of course it was my goal to blend with the woodland creatures. (Hint:  it was not).

10. An air mattress, no matter how firmly inflated, is no substitute for my own bed.

11. I can canoe for six hours without tipping us over.

12. After living on hobo pies and hot dogs, leftover anything from our fridge tastes great.

13. It is odd to not have a two year old around doing a running commentary on what vehicles are in your vicinity.

14.  Campground showers do not get you clean so much as make room for a new layer of filth.

15. My husband has a tough guy voice when it comes to drunk college kids.

16. Two people paddling a canoe is much faster than just one.  But not as relaxing.

17. Personal coolers at either end of the canoe is so much better than a shared cooler out of both of our reach.

18. College kids never miss an opportunity to point out a fart they just heard from a tent…even if they are in the middle of trying to pick up a drunk chick.

19.  It can be too hot to nap.

20. I can have fun camping…but I am glad we only do it once a year. (Thanks, Mom and Ray, for taking us along again this year!)

So…do you camp?  Do you like it?  Or are you like me and would MUCH rather vacation in a nice, air-conditioned hotel with a  big comfy bed?

**we also found out this weekend that we are becoming an aunt and uncle for the first time on Cort’s side of the family!  His sister, MacKenzie and her husband David, have been in the adoption process for about 15 months, and they just found out Thursday that they are the proud parents of twin boys!  Read all about it on their adoption blog, Stepping Stones, and maybe leave them a little Sluiter Nation love.

baby i got yer money…or not

Yesterday I talked about me not having money.

I realize now that it’s hard to read stuff about me needing money after I just post pictures of our basement remodel and after I spend and hour tweeting about what I am watching on cable and talking about my favorite satellite radio channel.

Because that might make you read my post about a donation button and go, “whaaaa???”

And I tried to explain to some people, but really?  It’s too much for a 140-character tweet or a comment.

That is when the Budget Post was born. (Thanks, Emily for the idea…even if that is not really what you meant to happen at ALL).

My parents taught me to be VERY budgeted with my money.

And then I went to college and was offered a credit card and I was all like, “weeeeeeeee FREE MONEY!!!!”

Ahem.  I blame the alcohol.

Anyway, after college but when I was living alone pre-Cortney, I had a simple budget:  Do what I have to do to get by and pay for my stupid debt that I accrued by being a moron with plastic without having to sign up for surgery to sell innards.

It was stressful.

I lived on Doritos and diet coke.

I had NO internet connection for a LONG time.

I did not have a cell phone because I refused to pay for one.

My only splurge was cable TV.

Did I mention it was stressful?

When Cort and I got engaged, part of our pre-wedding/marriage stuff with our minister was talking about budget.

Lucky for us, Cort was just as much of an idiot carefree with his little pieces of plastic as I was.  Plus he had college loans to colleges he didn’t graduate from.

We had a wee bit of the debt.

We were told to sit down with a veteran married couple to talk about how they budget.

So we sat down with my mom, the accountant, and asked her how in Hades they have so little debt she and my dad work their budgeting.

And from that minute on, it has pretty much been the way we budget…for the past seven years.  Even through 17 months of unemployment it has never failed us.

Here are the basics:

  • money coming in is OURS. There is NO room to get prideful and possessive. For a LONG time Cort made more than I did.  Even though I had two degrees and he had none.  And then I made more than he did because he was unemployed.  Money in is money in.
  • We have a separate checking for our mortgage.  And we have more than 2 payments in there at all times.  In case of emergency.

 

The "General Fund" checkbook.

 

 

  • We have a “General Fund” checking account.  All other bills, groceries, gas, etc. get paid out of this.  The general fund is not for personal use…only household things.

 

The blue basket where the bills and reciepts go and wait for Bill Day.

 

  • We each get a “Personal Allowance” each week. And yes, they are equal.  It doesn’t matter who makes more, money in is money in.  We each get the same amount and we each have chosen to open checking accounts for our Allowances.  We use these for things that are for just us:  golf, shopping, bowling, hair cuts, magazine subscriptions, new laptops, blogging stuff, fun tech gadgets, fantasy sports team leagues, dinner/drinks with a friend, gifts to each other, etc.  Allowances are the first things cut when we are short on cash.

 

My "allowance" checkbook. My "fun" money, if you will.

 

  • Eddie has a college fund that is deposit only.
  • We have a savings account for vacations.  We put a tiny bit in each month with hopes that in a couple years we will be able to start taking family vacations in the summer when Cort has vacation time at his new job.
  • We have a “general” savings account for emergencies and house projects.  This is where we saved for six years to finish the two rooms in the basement.  We were able to pay for it with cash.
  • Cort pays bills once a week.  Once a week we think about money.  Once a week is enough.
  • Cort is in charge of all money except my allowance.  We like it this way.

 

Two debit cards are the only plastic I have now: General Fund and My Allowance. and yes, the one with a "K"? My Allowance

 

  • We have monthly Sluiter Nation Money Meetings where I get filled in on that stuff I hate our money.

But most importantly?

We discuss what is worth it to us to spend money on.

For instance, Cort’s cousin cleans our house once a week.  We could save that money and clean it ourselves, but in the precious time we have together as a family, we don’t want to be cleaning.  I stress out about my house being a wreck, this calms my anxiety which makes us all happier.  We also keep our cable because, while we are not home much during the day?  We are home during prime time and Cort and I enjoy watching Pawn Stars or Human Planet as we discuss our days together in bed.

We weigh what we could save by going without with what our happiness level would be.  How whiny and stabby we would feel.  For instance we downgraded our internet and cable…but we didn’t get RID of them altogether.

And we don’t do much spending unless we have a good deal.  I mean, we aren’t sporting gator boots or pimped out gucci suits over here.  Unless we have a wicked good groupon, that is.

 

Organization? Yeah, daddy, we ’bout dat.

 

Because of our turbo organization and Cort’s mad skills at getting us deals (buy a Droid2, get ANY other phone for FREE!) and keeping us on budget without stressing me out, we not only did not go further into debt while he was out of work, but we kept making headway on our current debt, kept putting money in ALL of our savings accounts (even if it was just a little), and still managed to keep some of the “fun” stuff that we had previously decided were important to our happiness.

Like Tivo.  And someone to clean up our filth.

Anyway, my point is this:  BlogHer comes out of my own personal allowance.  When Cort was laid off, we needed to save and since we both enjoy watching crappy cable too much together, we cut out of our allowance–or bought things for the family out of our allowances.

So it is on me to pay for BlogHer.  That isn’t coming out of any accounts except my allowance.

Which is exactly how I want it.  I don’t feel like my family has to sacrifice their wants OR needs in order to send me to something that is all about me.

Cuz money ain’t a thang…or at least I wish it wasn’t.

Ok spill…How do you handle budgeting?

 

How Do You Explain a Week?

It’s time again for me to introduce you to my newest Sluiter Nation Recruit.  Don’t know what a Recruit is?  Check it out here.
I am excited to have Natalie from Mommy of a Monster and Twins here today!

I have been reading Natalie’s blog for so long, I don’t even know how I found her.  I love her honesty, her sense of humor, and her lovely heart.

She is the mom to a three-year old son and twin toddler daughters.  She writes a lot.  She is super busy.  I have no idea how she does it.

She must be driven by The Business.

Natalie is a great friend AND she is going to be one of my roomies at BlogHer in August.  I am super excited that she is my Recruit today.

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I have never felt so not smart as I have since my 3-year-old started in with the who-what-where-when-why questions. Seriously people, I consider myself a pretty intelligent person. But explaining things to a three-year-old? Not so much.

How do you explain a week to a pre-schooler? Or an hour? A minute for that matter? The concept of time is so foreign to a kid and it is SO hard to explain!

Tater: Mom, when is the Easter Bunny coming?

Me: In two more days.

Tater: When is that?

Me: After you go to sleep at night two more times.

Tater: But we haven’t had dinner or a bath yet. It’s not time to go to sleep.

Another thing that I get asked a lot is how things work.

Tater: Mom, where does the water go when we flush the toilet?

Me: It goes down the drain and into the big pipes to the sewer.

Tater: Where is the sewer?

Me: Under the street?

Tater: Where does it go then?

Me: ???

The thing hardest to explain though? Death. My husband Jason’s parents have both passed away, and we try to have the kids understand who they are and that they are in Heaven…not easy for a 3-year-old to understand. Our one-year-old twins have no idea yet, but I already know the questions that will come.

We also tell Tater that if he is mean to his sisters, he can hurt them so badly that they will “go to sleep and never wake up and we won’t be able to ever see them again”.

Tater: Does that mean they will die?

Me: If you sit on their chest or their face they can’t breathe. And then, yes, they could die.

Tater: Why can’t they breathe?

Me: Because they can’t get any air.

Tater: Why do they need air?

Me: Air makes our bodies work and we have to breathe it in to get it inside of us.

Tater: Can’t they just go outside?

Me: Well no, not if you squish them they can’t.

Tater: Why?

The never ending circle of questions that always, ALWAYS ends with Tater asking “Why?”

We had a recent conversation about Blue, my mom and dad’s cat that recently had to be put to sleep.

Tater: Mom, Blue died, huh?

Me: Yes. Blue was old and sick and he died. He’s in Heaven now.

Tater: How did he get to Heaven?

Me: God came and picked him up and took him way up in the sky past the clouds. That’s where Heaven is.

Tater: But how did God get him?

Me: God has wings like an angel and he uses them to fly.

Tater: Mom! People don’t have wings only birds do!

These conversations are enough to make me feel like I’m the biggest moron on the planet, and one who cannot adequately explain things well enough for even a child to understand.

Please tell me I’m not the only one out there that feels this way! If you’ve already been through this with your kids, that means you survived it…and I need to know how?

I want to thank Katie for inviting me over here and I consider it an honor to be one of the first Sluiter Nation alumni! And I’m serious about the request for advice on how to answer all these questions!

*************

Natalie’s blog is the place to BE, people!  She has a guest series on Mondays called Monster Mommy Moments that is brilliant. And I am not just saying that because she asked me to participate, but because it truly is a time to not feel alone in this thing called Mothering.

Other posts you will love by Natalie…

I relate so much to Sweet Memory because my own baby boy is growing into a little boy before my eyes.

To Respond or Not To Respond, That is the Question is a post that gave me release from trying to comment on every single comment that comes to my blog.

And Feeling Trapped was so beautiful that I rejoiced with Natalie when BlogHer decided to syndicate it.

Thank you, Natalie, for being part of The Nation!

Now You Tell Me

When I graduated from college, I last less than four months living back home when my parents and I looked at each other and said,

THIS ISN’T WORKING!

I needed to NOT live with them in order to get along with them.

My dad immediately begged and convinced sweet-talked my grandparents to let me fix-up and rent the little house they owned next door to their house.

The house was tiny–one bedroom, a living area, a kitchen, and half-bathroom, and a utility room that we added a shower stall to so I could be clean.

I know, I know.  This sounds so quaint and lovey for a young bachelorette.

In reality, while I was steam-cleaning the carpets, painting over the cigarette stains, and wiping out all remnants of old lady stink  (yes, a larger old lady with cats and a penchant for the nicotine lived there for a million years before me), I was told that the house was over 100 years old and actually started as two chicken coops that had been pushed together because an aunt was moving to the farm.

Excuse me, what?

From then on?  My living space was known as “The Chicken Coop.”

Anyway, I was 22 and living on my own.

And completely clueless.

I ate a lot of fast food.

I called Grandpa whenever something didn’t work.

I pushed furniture in front of things I thought were ugly.

Four years later, I got married and moved into a new build.  But I was not any smarter at planning meals, fixing stuff around the house, or just domestic things in general.

And now, seven years after that…after having a child and failing at these home-ec type things….NOW YOU TELL ME THERE IS HELP???

Where in the holy moses was this book when I was moving into The Chicken Coop?

Ok, yes, this book is all sorts of useful.  It will help you clean stuff you thought you couldn’t possible clean.  It will give you quick fix-it tips, and (my favorite), it has a meal-planning-for-dummies chapter.

It is like the Bible of all things Living On Your Own.

It should be handed out at college HIGH SCHOOL graduations.  It is that useful.

So now that we established that yes, it is totally useful?  I must tell you the best part.

IT IS HILARIOUS!

Seriously.  Author Heather Solos not only walks the reader through things, but she cracks jokes the whole way.

It’s like having your best friend show you how to make chicken stock.  You learn, you are appreciative, and yet…you feel that someone is laughing at you just a bit.

It’s awesome.

Everyone needs this book.  Everyone.  So go buy it here.

Disclosure Stuff:  One2One Network provided me with a download of Home-Ec 101 for review, but my opinions are my own. And yes, the book link is an associated link.  I will get a teeny tiny small kickback if you purchase through that link.

Top Ten Tuesdays: Wears

So this week I was racking my brain for what in tar-nation I was going to count off for my Top Ten this week.  And then I got into a conversation on twitter about how I  never get to link up with Harper’s Happenings for Stepping Out Saturday.

Because I never go out on the weekends.  I spend most of my weekends in yoga pants or jammies–not getting all cute.  I use up all my cute clothes for work.

And then it dawned on me…

I would count down the Top Ten things that are in rotation out of my closet and onto ME!  Be gentle.  These pictures were taken before I went to work in the morning…around 6:30am.

10. cargo pants and a sweater

I wear this look at LEAST once a week.  It’s acceptable to teach in and it’s comfy.

pants and sweater = old navy

cami = gap outlet

headband = New York and Co

Earrings = silpada (I think)

#9 khakis and a sweater

Admittedly, this sweater also goes nicely with a grey pencil skirt and black tights I have, but khakis are more comfy

khakis and sweater = Gap Outlet

necklace and earrings = The Vintage Pearl

#8 More Khakis and a jacket

I may REALLY love khaki pants (and this is the “I didn’t wash my hair, but this headband detracts from that fact” look)

pants = New York and Co

tank = GAP

jacket = Old Navy

headband = Twenty Five Design

#7 Sometimes I wear a skirt

I could have stood up a little taller…and hands in the pockets aren’t helping width, but yes, I like to wear a skirt sometimes

skirt, tank, and cardi = old navy

tights = target

boots = shoe carnival

headband = new york and co

earrings = montana silver

#6 cargo pants…and a different sweater.

I told you these were in heavy rotation.  Seriously.  They are comfy.  I don’t know about style….

pants = old navy

sweater and button down = new york and co

hair = still wet.  no time to dry.  ugg.

#5 khakis…again.

There are my fave khakis again!  woot!

pants = still from Gap Outlet

sweater = Gap

cami = Gap

headband = Twenty Five Design

Necklace = Kay Jewelers…yes, even though they have the WORST commercials ever.

#4 Casual Fridays…the hoodie

Oh Lord, I can’t believe I am showing you this…but yes, this is me on a Friday…for work

jeans = Gap

Hoodie = Champion (bought at WMU bookstore)

T-shirt = i don’t remember…probably just some old, comfy t-shirt

headband = something I found in the bottom of the drawer

hair = not washed, again.

#3 Going out…but also has been seen at school on Fridays

This is what I wore out on Sunday for my date with Cort, but I have also been seen wearing this for casual Friday…when I am not channeling my inner bum.

jeans, sweater, and cami = Gap Outlet

flower in my hair = Tie a Little Ribbon

#2 What you will see me in if you catch me at home…almost ever

I bought this sweat outfit before Eddie was born thinking I would be cute when people came to visit us.  I am still putting this on daily…even though it is a bit too big and it has stains.  HOT.

sweat suit = Gap Body

#1 A glimpse at my shoes

yeah.  just…yeah.

and this isn’t all of them.  just a glimpse.

I might have a problem.

especially since not pictured are the pair of boots I wear almost every day…everywhere.

huh.

There…I did it.  I shared the things that are in the most heavy rotation out of my closet.  I have learned from this little post that I love my khakis…maybe too much.

And that I need to wash my hair more.  ugg.

And that I may be keeping Gap Outlet in business just by my shopping alone.

Anyway…what is in YOUR regular rotation?

pssst.  if you like to use a fancy button on your post?  I have one to the right!  Feel free to grab it!

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oh and psst.  in case you didn’t catch my excitement?  I was syndicated on BlogHer TWICE in two days!

Here and here.

Scoot on over and say hi!  Or at least sparkle me.

And if you did already?  You = awesome.  Really.

Top Ten Tuesdays: Things I Could Do Without

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesdays!!!  We’ve had quite a varied array of topics here (if you want to visit some of our previous Top Ten Tuesdays, check them out here)–sometimes things are happy, sometimes not.

This week, I am using Top Ten Tuesdays to get some venting out.  This week?  I am telling you the Top Ten things I could do without.

10. Depression-induced ANYTHING-I probably would have saved this one for number one, but it’s the first one that stumbled out of my brain.  I could really do without the second-guessing, the anxiety, the jealously, the questioning, the paranoia, etc that my stupid depression fosters in my brain.

9. Sid The Science Kid- I really dislike Sid.  Like really, really.  He is so obnoxious.  I know, I know…many of you like him because he makes science fun and he loves his mom.  But really?  He is a tool.  I do NOT want Eddie to act like that.

8. Dust- I can’t remember the last time I dusted.  And it shows.  I hate dust.  The house can be vacuumed and picked up, but that stupid dust makes everything feel…grimy.  and it’s not just on furniture.  It’s on my kitchen appliances (getting all sticky the way kitchen dust gets); it’s on my washer and dryer; it’s even in the bathroom.

7. Whining – I realize as mothers there is a certain amount of whining to be expected.  I get it.  But after a whole day of whining teenagers, the last…I mean the LAST thing I want to deal with is a whiny toddler.  It’s just whining-overload.  And then I log on to my computer and there are adults being whiny.  Really?  I need about 2/3 of the whine to be cut out and I could cope without pulling my hair out.

6. clean diaper poops- Ok moms.  You know what I am talking about.  Twelve seconds after you get a dry diaper on y our child, he/she takes a giant dump.  Really?  You couldn’t have done that in the wet diaper?  Now I have to change you AGAIN.  Diapers cost money, son.  You really aren’t being cost effective with your poo schedule.

5. Almost every single reality program on TV- I used to really love TV.  Ok, who am I kidding.  I still love TV.  But I get crabby when I can’t find a non-reality TV show…even on my once favorite channels like the History Channel.  I really miss when I could snuggle down on the couch on a Sunday and watch hours of documentaries.  Now?  I get hours of Ax Men.  How in the HECK is that History Channel material?

4. More snow – Ok, we had our big dump of snow for the year.  It gave us two days off from school (which were VERY needed), but I am ready to be done now.  No more snow.  It can stay cold for awhile (until March 1, thank you), but how about no more snow.  I think the 18 inches we have outside is good.

3. The crying at bed time- I love doing the bedtime routine.  I do.  It’s my thing and I am usually way good at it.  But lately?  Eddie just can’t figure it out.  He wants to go to bed, but as soon as he is there out goes his lamby and pipey and blankets and the screaming commences.  We rock him, put him back.  Usually we have to go in at LEAST one more time.  It makes me tired.  And I hate that he goes to sleep with me crabby at him.

2. The sleepiness in my morning commute – When people hear that I have a 35-40 minute one-way commute (on a good, non-snowy, trafficky day), they ask me why I don’t look for something closer to home.  I really don’t mind my commute.  most of the time.  In the evening it’s not bad because that is when I get most of my thinking/brainstorming done.  But in the morning?  Lately?  I get a serious case of the drowsies.  Not the “man, I am tired” kind of drowsies, but the “holy crap my eyes won’t focus and I am seeing double of things and was that me that just hit the rumble strips?  crap.”  yeah…those.  I could do without those.

1. Wal-Mart- I don’t think I need to explain this again.

There it is!  See…I REALLY think my life would be thousands of times better without those 10 little things, don’t you?  So tell me…what are the things YOU could do without?  Link up or leave a comment…but I want to know!

The Process

Eight years ago…

He held my hand  while we sat close to each other on the couch watching TV.

He just reached over and took my hand.

I lay my head on his shoulder and fell asleep.  It was the first time in months that I easily drifted to sleep.

The next day I received an email apologizing for his forward behavior.

Fourteen years ago…

He cried and asked me if I believed in marriage.

He wondered if his long-term relationship meant anything anymore.

He had confusion.

He had anger.

I told him I believed.

Seven years ago…

He bent on one knee and asked for my forever.

I said yes.

Twelve years ago…

His heart was broken and his questions started again.

I told him I still believed.

Why?

I just do.  Some people last.

One year ago…

My communication skills failed me.

He tried to make me happy.

I threw things and raged at him.

I told him he must hate me.

He didn’t argue with that.

I asked if he wanted a life without me.

He did not.

Six years ago…

We stood in front of a packed church.

He wrote me a poem.

We laughed at how far we’d come.

We had no idea where we were going.

We promised forever.

Twenty-six years ago…

I rode the bus to and from school.

He walked to the yellow house on the corner.

I saw him from the bus window.

This year…

He bought me flowers from our son after hearing my day was rough.

He hugs me so hard, our boy can’t help himself but join in.

thirteen years ago…

We sat on the steps of the dorm.

He smoked.  I talked.

He reassured me.

He walked me to my dorm so I would be safe.

Six years ago…

I laughed harder than I have ever laughed in my life.

He felt like he had disappointed me with his choice for our honeymoon.

We dreamed of our future.

Today…

He cleaned the bathroom, taking special cares to even get the little things that matter to me.

He patted me on the behind.

He let our son and me snuggle-pile him on the couch.

We dreamed again of our future.

We will fall asleep holding hands.

Just like writing, life is not about the product.

It’s about the process.

Its ups and its downs.

all of it.

Top Ten Tuesdays…Show Me Yours

I don’t think any of my Top Ten lists have been easy for me to write.

Sometimes it is hard to come up with TEN of something.

And sometimes it’s hard to LIMIT it to ten of something.

This is one of those times when it’s hard to choose…it’s hard to pick what I want to share with you.

But here it is.  My Top Ten Favorite Posts that I have written…

10. Letter to my Former Self: Go ahead.  Click that link.  Yes, there are awkward pictures.  I like this post because it prompted me to look back into the eyes of that younger version…to be the wise one.

9. Welcome Home: I had been thinking a lot about what it meant to feel “at home” when I wrote this.  My bedroom has ALWAYS been my place of refuge.

8. A Letter at 18: I have read other blogs where mommas write letters to their little ones.  I wanted to try.  I love what I wrote about here and hope to continue writing “love letters” to my little boy.

7. Another Year: I wrote this in August of 2007…way back when I was first starting this journey of blogging.  It is NOT my best writing…but it’s evidence that I have stories to tell…

6. The Big News…in case you haven’t heard: This was my most joyous post of 2008.  Again, this was when the only audience for my blog was my family and a few friends. Going back and reading it, I realize how much differently I write now.

5. Happy Anniversary to Us: This post makes me smile because it was just days before we became parents…and life would change forever.

4. My NEW Favorite Thing: This still brings tears to my eyes.  Again…we had no idea.

3. What it’s Not: My list (which was featured on Post-Postpartum Progress) of what PPD isn’t…to me.  My friends and family had a bit of a hard time understanding and relating to me having a mental disorder.  Some still do.

2. White Walls: my take on what it feels like to be thrown into something HUGE and traumatic…and how lonely it is.

1. until the next break: This is one of my newer posts.  I wrote it right before coming back to work after Christmas break this year.  After so much trouble bonding with my son…so many problems FEELING like a mom…I realize my son and I?  We have something special.

I can’t lie…there are many, MANY more posts that I love or that are very special to me (I have a whole other blog of memories that I haven’t included here), but this is Top Ten.

What are you favorite posts?  What have you written that is dear to you?  I want to know!  Share with me…I will read!
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Top Ten Tuesdays: Eddie’s Christmas List

And just like that…it’s Tuesday again!  Time for another Top Ten!

Last week I dazzled everyone with all the things I have found on the internet that I am drooling over hoping to get for Christmas.  This week, I thought I would put the focus on my wee little man.

This week’s Top Ten is…Things on my Wee One’s Christmas List (in no particular order, of course):

10. Cricket Stepper

Clearly with “Eddie” on it instead of “Ernie”.  And I actually already bought this cute piece for Eddie already!  I got it from Baby Butterfly Boutique…my new favorite shop for all things toddler/baby.  This little stool will be perfect for lots of things in his life…getting into a big boy bed someday, standing by the sink to brush his teeth, standing by the toilet to go potty.  I can’t WAIT to get this!  (Oh, and I also bought him this hat as a stocking stuffer).

9. An Activity Table

It doesn’t have to be this one exactly, but I would like one that has chairs and a bin or bins for storage (since storage is scarce ’round these parts).  My idea would be that this table (or one similar) would start out in our basement in the family room and find it’s way to Eddie’s big boy room…once it exists.

8. A play tool bench

Eddie really likes to “help” around the house right now, and he is big into putting things where they go, or copying Cort when he wipes something down or adjusts furniture.  It’s really cute.  I would love if he had his own place to “fix” things.

7. Baby Dino Bib

This little lovely from Bird E Studios would be a great stocking stuffer for the little guy!  I always love for him to look cute when we are out somewhere for a meal, and this little Dino bib would be perfect for when his guitar bib is dirty.

6. Rocking Chair

I searched Etsy and found this lovely little vintage shop and fell in love with this little rocking chair. It would be perfect in our living room and even more perfect for Eddie’s little booty cakes as he watches his morning cartoons.

5. Clothes

Rock on with yo' bad self

Eddie always needs new clothes because I like him to be the most stylish toddler ever presentable when he is in public.  There are tons of clothes he would look quite handsome in from here or here, but he really does need a new Pearl Jam Tshirt.  His baby onsies just don’t fit him anymore.

4. Toy Food/Grocery Cart

For as much as Eddie loves to load up the laundry basket and push it around the house, I know he would fall over and love this cart.  He also really likes to imitate me when I am in the kitchen.  His new thing is to take every. single. baking tool I have, load it into the laundry basket, and movie it around the room.  It’s like his very own food trailer.  A very ghetto food trailer.

3.Sesame Street

Ok, I realize we can’t give the boy ALL things Sesame street, but he REALLY likes it. He doesn’t need stuffed animals or that sort of thing…instead he loves the music.  He LOVES the music on Sesame Street.  I think he would love some of the old seasons of the show or some CDs of the music.

2. Boots/Winterwear

This is Eddie’s second winter and the first that he will be able to go out and enjoy.  The thing is, to do that?  He needs proper outerwear.  His cousin Jack has passed down a couple winter jackets, but he needs snow pants and boots if he is going to use the sled Santa brought him last year!

1. Anything cute and handmade

I found this ridiculously cute little handmade toolbox on etsy in a little shop called Zoogits.  If Eddie doesn’t get a full sized tool bench, getting a set of tools and this little “box” would be almost better.  It’s so cute…and it’s handmade!  I love to support the handmade goods!

There you have it!  The Top Ten Things on Eddie’s Christmas List!  So what items are on your child(ren)’s list?

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Guess where we went…

It was Eddie’s first time (since he got all rained out last year)…

it was hard to get a shot of him standing still.  it was like there was so much to touch and not nearly enough time!

I think we picked some great ones this year!

This is part of Wordless Wednesday hosted by…

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