Sluiter Nation Takes Indy

I promised to share our trip to Indianapolis, so I need to make good on that.  So here is our story…

Last week Monday, our little family packed up and headed south.

 Before having Eddie, four hours in the car for a road trip would have been no big deal for Cort and me.  We love road trips together! But with a 13-month old?  By hour three?  Eddie was done.  D.O.N.E. done. I had to start singing to him to get him to applaud and smile and not scream his face off.

Also on that four-hour tour, Eddie also had his first McDonald’s visit.  I didn’t even think to take my camera in, but there he sat…in a highchair, with a chicken nugget and apple slice happy meal, smiling.  And in that McDonalds somewhere in northern Indiana?  My baby learned to drink out of a straw.  Sigh…

Anyway, we arrived in Indianapolis around 5:00 or so.  Eddie LOVED the hotel room!

The chair and the air conditioner and the window overlooking a bazillion school buses were his favorite parts.

That evening Emily invited us over for pizza and relaxing on the back deck while the kids played.  It was a lovely way to start our visit!  Before we left, we agreed to head out to the Indianapolis Zoo with Emily and her crew in the morning.

Emily has a membership pass so we got in for nothing at all!  You can’t beat that deal with a stick!

Emily’s oldest, PK, was our tour guide for the day.  Now you must know, PK and I bonded over that fact that we both love princesses, and I knew each one of her Polly Pockets princess’s names.  Yup, we are now BFF’s.  Anyway, I believe it was because of this bond that we got such a thorough tour from her.

One of the first places she took us was to see the sharks.  Very cool.  However, did you know you can PET these sharks?  Um…I am a little skeptical of this.

But clearly it is safe because I don’t think Emily would let her sweet little girls touch a man eater.  I don’t THINK.

So of course Cort had his brave pants on that day and cozied up to a shark.  This is the same guy who picked up a horseshoe crab and pet a sting ray in Myrtle Beach.  Show off.

So I leaned in and pet one too.  It was icky, but at least I did it.  Notice my two-finger technique.  That is me all following directions.

We stopped to see the penguins.  Birdie liked the penguins.  I liked Birdie’s pigtails.  It’s a fair trade.

Eddie enjoyed the dolphin dome.  It WAS pretty neat to feel like you are underwater.  And it’s very echo-y in there.  Also a favorite of Eddie’s.

Meerkats, anyone?
Polar Bear butt dwarfing Emily’s girls.
The crew: Emily, Gage, Birdie, PK, Cort, and Eddie
elephant family
Cort’s new BFF, Gage the Rage
It may have been over a hundred degrees.  And some of us may have been crabby about that.
Lucky for us there is a splash pad at the zoo.  Eddie and I put our piggies in to cool off!
Ah!  that’s better!
Right before we left, we met these gibbons.  They were loud.  They were a fan favorite.  Coincidence?
Oh, and in case you are wondering, Eddie got a penguin to add to his collection from this zoo!
We may have had McDonalds again.  This time I had my camera ready.  See?  He’s like an adult with that thing.  Sigh…
Tuesday night was the super fun Blogger BBQ at Emily’s.  It was fun.  It was needed.  I wish I could do it ALL THE TIME!
Wednesday morning we decided we needed some indoor, air-conditioned fun, so on the recommendation of all the Indy natives, Sluiter Nation went to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
It was four floors of exploring, investigating, learning, and playing.  Eddie really liked it.  I may have loved it.
Eddie learned about watersheds (just for you Erin. Maybe he can explain them to me).
He played in a log.
He built things with blocks.
He rode a carousel with dad-do.
We saw dinosaurs. (Eddie applauded this guy).
Eddie explored sand.
and learned about magnets.
he picked flowers.
and played in the Baby Scapes.
I posed on the Barbie runway. 
And stopped for a photo op with my childhood friend.  Girlfriend needs to eat a cheeseburger, though.  She’s making me look bad!
Before lunch (where Eddie drank from yes, ANOTHER juice box), we found his favorite exhibit!
There were rock star cars like this one from Van Halen.
And this trailer o stereo from KISS
we even saw Cheap Trick’s custom John Deere!
We even let Eddie try out a “hog”.  He liked it.  Sort of a lot.  Don’t tell Grandma.
After lunch, it was time to get back in the truck and head north for home.  Eddie and I both slept for part of the trip. We were exhausted from all the fun we had.  It was the perfect minivacation for our first family vacation.  Eddie slept pretty well in the hotel (even if he didn’t nap on Tuesday because the room was just too interesting), and we had a TON of fun with old and new friends!
We look forward to visiting Indy again and maybe hitting the State Fair next time!

I’m a Bloggy Mom!

Today Eddie is at daycare.  Yes, two of us are home this summer and in order to get the house cleaned and get any REAL stuff done around here, we still send Eddie to Miss Amy.  He loves it because he loves Miss Amy and he loves his friends.  They are more fun than we are, apparently.

Anyway, Cort and I will be cleaning and organizing and finding stuff for our BIG garage sale that we are having on August 14 to help bring Eddie’s cousin(s) home from Ethiopia.

I will also be making a lemon cake for a get together tonight.  I am being all kinds of domestic today.

Anyway, while I am all busy, you can go read a post I wrote for a Back to School series on Tiffany’s blog, A Bloggy Mom.  Lots of my twitter friends helped me decide what to write about…and I think they will like the results.  At least I hope so.

So, you go read.  Let me know what you think.  I am going to go get elbow-deep in lemon curd.

Also, please don’t forget that tomorrow night at 6pm EST, the online auction to support my sister-in-law and brother-in-law’s adoption goes live here.  There are LOTS of great items to bid on!  You’ll want to check it out!

Welcome Home

So yesterday, I was reading Nicole’s blog, In These Small Moments, and she had Kris from Pretty All True guest posting.  Kris wrote about how as a child she never really wanted to go home, but now, as an adult with a family of her own, it’s always great to go home (you should go read her post.  My summery is suck-o compared to her beautiful prose).  It got me thinking about how much I love our home.  So I thought I would take you on a tour of my home one room at a time.  Sort of a series every now and then.

 Today, I figured I would start where few people start their home tours.  With our bedroom. Now don’t be scared.  We are coming in through the bathroom door and the first thing you see is our laundry.  It’s early in the week, so the pile is still small.

Ahh…there is the rest of the room!  When I was a kid, my bedroom was MY place.  I spent a ton of time there.  I read, listened to music, read, played with my toys, read, talked on the phone to boys, read, talked on the phone with my friends, read, did homework, read, and slept there. It was where I could go to be alone.

I wanted to create that happy, comfy feeling here when Cort and I bought this house.  Everyone thought I was nuts painting the walls such a dark blue, but I needed it to be warm and dark at night.  At the same time, I wanted it to be bright and cheery during the day, so we got light wood furniture, white trim, and bright primary colored accents. The room isn’t big, but it’s comfy and cheery–even when I’m home sick in bed.

Our bedroom has also become a gallery of pictures.  We have had what feels like a kazillion photo shoots in the past year or so (Thank you, Missy!!!), and I can’t ever take old pictures down, so I just keep adding. So what used to be our nice, clean vanity, has turned into a showcase of family photos.

I love to have images around me that make me happy.  Next to our bed we have our engagement picture (taken in 2004) our wedding invitation, our wedding picture (taken in 2005), and our most recent picture of Eddie (taken in 2010 on the bridge where Cortney proposed to me in 2004).

Many times when I was battling anxiety and depression I would come home from work, drop my stuff, and go straight to bed.  Sometimes with my coat and shoes still on.  Lying in our comfy bed staring at the walls was all I had the energy to do.  And these were the things I needed to be around me:  photographs.  Cort and I together.  Eddie.  A note from my BFF reminding me of all the great times we’ve had.  This is my nightstand.

But of course the room is not just mine–although I think I seek it’s refuge more than Cort does.  But Cort does have space here too.  He has his stacks of hats and tech-geek stuff.  He has his drawers with socks and undies too.  And he has his Eddie on his nightstand reminding him that he IS the #1 dad!

This room is ours.  We both lived in our own bedrooms for many, many years and have only shared this one for five years.  But it is the place where we have our most serious discussions.  It’s where I have laughed harder than I have anywhere else in my life.  We have cried over lost loved ones and lost opportunities here.  This place?  It is our place.

Riemersmas Always Get the Best Pictures

Over the past almost 31 years of being part of the Riemersma Family, I have noticed something…we are willing to get our picture taken by almost anything…and don’t really feel embarrassed very easily. This is probably why, of all the pictures I took this week, I think this one is my favorite:

Saturday my parents took Cort and me along with Chris and Jack to Byron Center for chicken. We have gone a number of times (my parents have probably been there hundreds of times), but since I am a picture taking fool lately, trying to capture every day of our lives with some sort of photograph, I asked my mom if she wanted to stand by the giant chicken with me. She didn’t even consider it weird, she just hopped in the picture.

We probably looked like tourists or something, but we didn’t care. This was how I wanted to represent our fun night out with my parents, brother, and nephew. Who cares what people think of us standing for a picture by a giant chicken in 20 degree weather.

The chicken, by the way, was as delicious as ever!

Even kids know violence isn’t always the answer…

So today my mom called to find out if Cortney and I would like to go out for lunch with her, Chris, and Jack. We haven’t seen Jack in weeks, so we agreed. In the car, Jack had these robot toys he had found in the basement at my parents’ house. He politely handed me one and informed me that we would be playing “rome-bod”. I accepted this invitation.

He started the game by making his “rome-bod” say in a deep voice, “LET’S FIGHT!”

Me, being more of a pacifist than a fighter made my “rome-bod” respond with a high-pitched, “no, let’s talk about our problems instead.”

My mom chuckled at this and we both expected Jack to try to demolish me anyway. We were surprised and highly amused when he, without missing a beat, changed his voice to high-pitched and said, “Ok, let’s talk about your problems.”

So, seeing the game was going to continue, I quickly answered, “I’ve been having headaches lately and they make me grumpy.”

His rome-bod helpfully told mine, “maybe you should see a doctor.”

I asked him for a referral. He looked at my mom and she asked him if he knew any names of any doctors and he immediately told me, “yes, Dr. Rome-bod will help you.”

At this point it was time to leave the rome-bods in the car and eat a happy meal, but I was amused that my 3-year old nephew was so smart and caring…even with his creepy looking “rome-bod.”

Revisiting The ‘Stache…

Ok, so I know I already did a post totally embarrassing Cortney about his 10 minute mustache, but recently we were given some pictures that made me wonder if this unfortunate facial hair might just be in the genes. Below is the picture I originally posted of Cortney and his fuzzy little lip-worm.Now, below is a picture Trisha and Leone gave us of Cort’s dad, Steve during a mustache phase of his own…apparently lasting longer than 10 minutes. I think there might be a bit of a resemblance, don’t you? I probably don’t have to tell you who Cort’s dad is (from left to right: Bob Phinney, Steve Sluiter, Dan Maida, Chris Swanberg)…I think you can pick him out.
Now I am not going to say a ‘stache can’t work on anyone, but I feel that the Sluiter men are more handsome sans lip fur. Unless Cody wants to give it a try? I will post a new comparison if he tries it…but if I was you, I wouldn’t hold my breath!

Mustache, anyone?

Yes, this is what it looks like. After much prodding on my part, Cortney decided to see what he would look like with a mustache. Although short-lived (he shaved it after about 3 minutes), we spent the life of his mustache laughing so hard we could hardly breathe. We took a break just long enough to take this picture to share with the dedicated readers of Sluiter Nation. Don’t worry, he shaved it all off shortly after the picture was taken.

The ‘Fro Cut

In August, Cortney decided to quit getting his hair cut for awhile. As you can see, the ‘fro grew in very nicely. Anyone who has ever wondered why we call him “Curly”, need not wonder anymore!
Today was hair cut day. I almost didn’t recognize my own husband! Doesn’t his head look little?
See that post-it on the wall? Yeah, that’s where his ‘fro measured last night. Not so much today. He lost about 2 inches of heighth today.
Will Cort grow out the ‘fro again? Who knows…who even knows what EITHER of us will do next! Stay tuned!

Just to Clear Things Up…

My husband’s name doesn’t have a “u” in it…well, unless you call him “Curly” – then it does.

Waiting for Santa

The Saturday after Thanksgiving I decided it was time to put up all the Christmas decorations – including the cute snowman blanket I have. As soon as I put it on the back of the couch, Louis made himself comfortable…and he hasn’t moved since. He literally spends about 20 hours of his day perched here. Maybe he thinks this is the best spot to catch a glimpse of Santa.