Mommy Pants, Vis a Vis Markers, and a Basement Project

Getting my Mommy Pants was a nightmare.

People have been telling me since I got married that I would look GREAT in a pair of Mommy Pants, but I was reluctant to get myself a pair.

Yes, I had watched other people wear them—my own mother had a pair that was so perfect for her, I could have sworn she was born in them.  Many of my friends also had the latest, greatest Mommy Pants style, and sometimes I found myself envious of them.  They looked so comfortable, so much fun.  They seemed so “in”.

And then one day in February of 2007, I got a shipping notice that my Mommy Pants would be arriving around Thanksgiving of that year.

Wait.  What?  I hadn’t ordered any Mommy Pants. Or I didn’t think I did.

I was stunned.

Suddenly, I did not want anything to do with Mommy Pants. I wasn’t in the market for them and I certainly didn’t think they fit my style at that time.  They looked great on some people, but not on me.

to read the rest of this post, head over to Mommy Pants, where Cheryl (one of my partner’s in crime at The Red Dress Club) has invited me to share about my Mommy Pants moment.


I am also mocking reviewing Vis a Vis overhead markers over at This Blogger Makes Fun of Stuff.  If you have ever used an overhead, or been witness to one being used?  You really need to weigh in on how I feel about these markers.


Back here in Sluiter Nation?  We are working on our basement.

I don’t have much to say about it except that it sucks and it’s awesome at the same time.

Pictures?  Ok…


first they found mold. black mold. no good, I tell you.

but they put the tub in anyway! Score!

then they ran electrical and plumbing and fixed the mold. win.

then dry wall was hung and a layer of dust fell over the Nation

primer was applied by the fabulous Mr. Sluiter

we bought paint

we painted. that shirt, by the way, has been worn to paint every room in our house.

this will be Eddie's room hopefully within the next year!

that's right...I painted the bathroom orange. BOOM!

This has been the past two weeks here in Sluiter Nation:  a constant state of construction.

Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited that this is finally happening.  We have been saving and saving and planning for six years.  It was time.

But I don’t do well living in a state of limbo.

So I may be hard to live with lately.



I have a new book review and a GIVEAWAY going on at Katie’s Bookcase!  Just in case you weren’t sick of me sending you all over the internets today.

Secret Mommy-hood Confessions Saturday

I really like that Kim does Secret Mommy-hood Confessions Saturdays.  I helps me vent out things that have been weighing on me all week.

So here is today’s:

I’m tired.

I know that is not a juicy one.  In fact, now you’re bored and will probably just move on, and that’s ok.

But I’m going to plunge ahead anyway, Ok?

This week totally exhausted me.  So much so that after getting out of bed this morning at 10:00 (thank you, Cort!), I played with Eddie for an hour and then passed out on the couch for THREE HOURS.

This week was hard on me even though it really wasn’t a bad week.  Ever have one of those?

I am tired of picking up after teenagers.

I am tired of students leaving things behind and then freaking out WEEKS later.

I am tired of having to say, “get back to work,” “let’s focus,” “talk while you work…WHILE you work,” among other things.

I am tired of giving a thousand chances to maybe get a D- instead of an F.

I”m tired of having to hound 18 year olds about graduation requirements.

I”m tired of doing more for less.

I also learned some exhausting lessons this week.

students never hear you the first time (this should not be knew, but in light of the week, it was frustrating).

adults can act every bit as immature as a 14 year old can.

adults can back stab you if they think it will get them in good with someone.

not many people can keep a secret.

massive week-long blog events that include a gazillion giveaways are incredibly rewarding…and exhausting.

I need to toot my own horn when I want to be recognized for something I am proud of.  Maybe others will pick up their horns for me too, but maybe not.  So I have to play LOUD–for myself.

It’s exhausting to be proud of yourself.  Many positive things happened to me this week–mostly in the blogging world–and keeping up with them left my head spinning.

But I will end this tired ramble with the things I am proud of, that I hope you will take the time to check out.

The first is huge.  HUGE.  I have a new button on my blog.  It looks like this:
I was syndicated on

That’s right!  I am on BlogHer with my post My Mother’s Hands.  Because of tons of encouragement from this lady, this lady, and of course this lady, AND with Cort rooting me on, I shoved all my fear of rejection down and submitted five of my babies posts to BlogHer.

Knowing the talent that they usually pick up, I really wasn’t expecting to hear back (I know, I know…lame of me), but when that email landed in my inbox?  I FREAKED OUT!

Cort was gone to class and I just scooped Eddie up and danced and cried with him.  He thought his momma had finally lost it.

So anyway, please go read my post over there…and leave me some love and sparkles if you like it.

I have also been adding this little guy to a couple of my posts lately:

 MommyofaMonster This post was featured!

That’s right, the sweet and talented Natalie has taken notice of me lately (which makes me blush), and has featured me two weeks in a ROW on her Monster Likes weekend round up of her fave posts.  This week my writing tips made the cut.  Go check out who else she likes this week (always good reads, by the way).

Third, in case you hadn’t heard, I am now on the team at The Red Dress Club

I am all sorts of honored and still blown away that Nichole and Cheryl–two writers I hugely look up to–would even consider me to be part of their team, let alone ask me!  To me, this is exactly the thing that has been missing from my writing life.  It pushes me to read more, contact other writers, and think outside of my own writing box.  I love it.

Speaking of The Red Dress Club, some of you may or may not know that I have this blog:

this is where I do my creative writing.  Right now there is a piece of fiction I just posted–and I almost never write fiction–that I feel pretty good about.  I’d love for you to give it a read and tell me what you think.  It’s called White Agony.

Since I am listing things I am proud of here, I also still have Katie’s Bookcase:

I haven’t posted here in a while since I am in the middle of reading books…as are many of my contributors.  If you have read a book that you would like to submit a review for, contact me, and we will set something up!

Lastly, if you haven’t entered all of mine and Miranda’s giveaways?   You can find a list of all the links here.

More than one person asked me this week asked how I do it all.  Even my therapist wanted to know.

And I just shake my head.

I don’t know.  I really don’t.  I all I can say is, if you really, REALLY love something, you will do it.  If something brings joy to you in spite of the challenges it causes, you will do it.

Or at least I will.

But?  It will still tire me out.

Secret Mommyhood Confession

Ok…it’s not Saturday, but I am giving you my confession anyway…

This is not how I expected life as a family to be.

I know, lame confession, right?  I mean…who DOES expect what they get (ok, some of you probably have exactly what you thought was coming. I am not that prophetic).

Anyway…what is going on around me?  Not what I pictured.

Not in a whiney way…but not in a totally super way either.

It’s just…different.

Growing up, I had a mom who was supermom.  She won’t admit that, but now that I am a mom?  I know she was.

As a kid, I figured that was what being a mom would be.

She stayed home for the first part of our childhood.  She was (um…IS) an excellent cook–a homemade meal was on the table 5 days a week.

Our house was ALWAYS clean.  I don’t ever remember toy messes lasting long.  When we were done with one thing, I got picked up and put away.  At the time we were done.  Not minutes before bed.  And certainly NEVER EVER left out over night.

She did a full house clean every Saturday.  FULL HOUSE CLEAN.  dusting, vacuuming, floor scrubbing (on hands and knees), bathroom cleaning, sheet changes on every bed every other Saturday, and windows in nice weather.

She did laundry EVERY DAY.

Then she went back to school and back to work.

And nothing changed at home.  At least to me?  As a kid?  Nothing changed.

As I got older, I knew I wanted to be a mom, but I knew I would be a working mom.

I assumed my husband would also be working.

But somehow?  I figured the house would get cleaned and picked up and a good family meal would be served each night.

I did not expect…

My kid to see that I had no idea what I was doing…and distrust me for it.

To be so tired after work that I would rather eat McDonald’s that put for the effort to put a meal on the table.

My husband to be laid off from work…and then be out of work for over a year (thanks, stupid economy).

My husband to be back in school.

To be the main bread winner for the family.

To be battling depression and anxiety.

To have such a cute, lovable little boy that sometimes it makes me cry.

To be so damn unsure of myself in every. single. area of my life.


the destruction that is our living room

the danger zone that is my kitchen floor

The mess that is my island

Every. Single. Surface has been hit by hurricane Ed

...Or Hurricane Life

I didn’t expect this either:

the working mom Suzy Homemaker

after a long day of work, I throw on my apron (thanks, Tonya!!) and mix up some corn muffins to go with the meal that has been plupping away in the crock pot.

I didn’t expect to rely on my husband so much to get household chores done and to get the groceries and to be the primary caretaker.

This was not what I imagined.

But in most ways?  I wouldn’t change it either.

This is how we are.  It’s how we are getting through life.

And if that means Cort is changing poopy pantses and I am making corn muffins in a skirt and boots?

Well, then that is how it is for Sluiter Nation right now.

Tune in Tuesday for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday:  The Top Ten favorite blog posts…of my own!  I encourage you to participate and link up…it is like giving a little tour of your blog to people..and I am excited to read what your favorite posts are of your own.

Also?  There is a SWEET GIVEAWAY going on at my book blog, Katie’s Bookcase!  It’s a book to help keep the little ones busy…which is a MUST HAVE this time of year!  Please join in!

Stepping Out Saturday

I know, I know…today is supposed to be McFatty Monday and/or Meal Planning Monday.

But I am just not feeling it.

Last week was ridiculous and my choices were out of survival more than being health-conscious.  I worked full-time as usual and taught Monday and Wednesday nights as usual–which by itself has been a struggle for me with making healthy choices AND with keeping my mental health in tact.  But also this week?  I had parent/teacher conferences Tuesday and Thursday nights.

I hardly saw Cort, and I only saw Eddie maybe 4 hours in 4 days.

So I don’t want to talk about my McFatty-ness.

Instead, I thought I would hook up with Harper’s Happenings for Stepping out Saturday…because guess what…I totally went on a DATE WITH CORT Saturday night!

This is probably our first date in three months!  It was so fun (thanks to Cody and Liz for babysitting!)!

not the best shot, but it's hard to get a toddler to pose!

Eddie and I posed for a picture before we packed him up to take to his auntie and uncle’s house.

On Eddie:

overalls and onsie: Osh Gosh

shoes: Target

On me:

Jeans and tank: Gap Outlet

jacket: Old Navy

shoes: Target (Mudd brand)

headband: New York and Co

Earrings: a gift for being a bridesmaid; they are real Montana silver

bracelet: I THINK that is a premier bracelet (can’t remember)

After dropping Eddie off at Cody and Liz’s house, Cortney and I hit Old Navy (I needed another pair of pants for the work rotation), Bed, Bath, & Beyond (we needed a new candle for the kitchen), Barnes & Noble (Cort needed something new to read.  He got Hunger Games), and then the Verizon store (we got new phones!  Buy a Droid, get any other phone FREE!!!).

Once our shopping was done, we hit Logan’s for dinner and drinks.  It felt so darn good to be out with my husband on a DATE!  We got to chat and laugh and enjoy our meals and drinks without having to be on Eddie’s eating schedule.

And when we picked Eddie up, he was all cozy in his jammies and ready for bed!

It was a glorious evening!  The kind that I totally took for granted before having Eddie.  I miss the alone time with Cort and I hope we can swing another evening away again sometime soon!

i am again flailing

Welcome to another Monday.

Last week Monday I skipped McFatty because, well, I couldn’t post due to the move of the blog to wordpress.

And then I didn’t have time for many other posts last week either because every darn day was a busy one.

So here we are…back to McFatty.

The good news is that I have lost a pound.  I am now at 192.

This is good news even though it was over the course of two weeks because for one, I have had a rough couple weeks and may have been eating my feelings.

Also, I am a lady and that thing that happens to ladies happened.  Enough said about that.

So, to be a pound down after all of that?  That is good.

I also think that there was sure to be some weight gain except for five hours on Thursday I was doing this:

Now, that is clearly not me (I was behind the lens of the camera), but my students (along with a bunch of other classes) learned some Latin dancing for Hispanic Heritage month.

There were conga lines and salsa and cha-cha and mambo and meringue and much more!

And although I sneaked away each class period to take some photos?  I was so totally out there getting my groove on.  I even got a skirt for the occasion…see?

Oh yes, I was shaking my groove thing…salsa style!  By the end of the day I was walking like I was 180 years old.  EVERYTHING was sore!  It totally reminded me of how much I miss going to group fitness things at the gym.

I also shook what my mama gave me this weekend at my cousin Kelli’s wedding.

So I am pretty sure that is where that one pound went.  I danced it away!

The bad news?  The reason I am still flailing?

Work is still tough for me. I haven’t found a balance yet that allows me to get done all that I need to.  It just isn’t happening.  As I type this, I have stacks of grading to do.  For all seven of my classes.

I shouldn’t be blogging.  I shouldn’t sit and read a book. I shouldn’t just hang out.

I should be working whenever I am not, well, working.

But I can’t do that to myself.

So I flail.

But I only flail for nine more weeks.  And then the night classes end.  And I try to breath.

The Ramblings that I Can String Together Right Now

There is a storm outside.

Why does this seem to happen every time I have a storm in my head?  It’s like the universe wants to smack me with obvious literary irony.  Like I need that.

Ahem.  Anyway.

This morning I was just thinking about how much I love my schedule.  Remember when I was upset and sad and scared and confused about why I had been given full time Spanish instead of full time English?  This morning, I felt peaceful about it.  I have four sections of Spanish I and one section of Spanish II.  My prep hour is third hour, which is the perfect time for a breather and a mid-morning snack.

Long story short, I ruined it.

I picked up a ninth grade English class.  ON MY PREP.

So now I will have no prep time.

I will teach six hours.

Mondays and Wednesdays I will still be teaching at the community college.

My therapist tells me it is Ok to say no to extra money if it means sacrificing my mental health.  But what I have figured out is that it’s not just saying no to extra money.  It FEELS like I am saying no to my family.  Like I am saying, “I could do this to help, but I am not going to.”  It FEELS like I am saying no to those ninth graders who need a teacher.  It FEELS like I am putting myself first.  And that?  feels wrong.

Before picking this class up?  I was hanging by a shred when it came to sleep and time management.  I was spending more time than I really had in the social media world in the evenings instead of just going to bed.

Why do I do this to myself?  Why don’t I just unplug and go to bed?

I guess you could call it addiction.  I mean, those of us in the social media world jokingly call it an addiction.  Those outside it, don’t get the real connections and seriously call it an addiction.

I would say it’s more of an attachment.

Which made made me start thinking about this blog.

What am I doing here?

I looked back at a few of my most recent posts.  And there were very few that I was proud of.

I love all the guest posts.  but those aren’t my writing.

Where is my writing?  What do I want this space to be?

It used to be an update place so my family and friends “in real life” would know what is going on.

Then it changed to something else.  I feel like I am struggling to find my place in this blogging world.  And just as this struggle is going on?  I am taking on more and more at work.  I am putting in 14-16 hour days.  I am staying up way too late.

Something is going to totally give.  And I am afraid for now?  It’s my blogging schedule.

I don’t mean to quit completely, but I just can’t keep up the pace of posting every day.

Even with two guest posts a week?  I am having trouble keeping up.  Well, keeping up and actually saying something real.

This is scary to me.  I love you all.  You are my attachments, not my addictions.  Everyone here lifts me up.  Encourages my good choices and my writing.  I haven’t had any rude comments (yet).

I am afraid of losing that.  You all have become my support net.  When I feel like the world has taken a dump on me…when there is a storm swirling in my head…I can come here, pound it out on my keyboard, hit publish, and you all somehow find the perfect words, the perfect comments to fill my heart with hope.

So this self-imposed “backing off” period?  Scary.  I am going to let my guest posters (who are AWESOME) keep filling in.  I hope you will love on them, because loving on them makes me happy since I love them so much.

And I hope you won’t leave Sluiter Nation.  You are a part of this.  An important part.