Saturday, October 27, 2012

23rd Month

Dear Sullivan,

You, my little one, are 23 months today.  And oh what a difference a month has made!

You turned from Mr. No into Mr. Yeah.

You are eating food!

You have turned into a copy cat, repeating everything we say.  I guess we should stop swearing around you now.

You love hot dogs, juice, "that milk" (chocolate milk), Chex, hats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Nemo, Gnomeo and Juliet, Spongebob, football, dancing, music, jumping, turning lights on and off, snuggling with Mama, scolding Turbo, babies (younger women), Harper, "B's" (blankies), playing chase games, playing hide and seek, brushing your own teeth, books, books and more books.

I see your hands and feet grow right before my eyes.  I see you connect meaning to objects.  I feel how painful you are (jumping on me) but also how kind you are (getting other kids sippys for them).  And I am really loving the person you are growing into.  Don't ever change.  Keep being "so Sully."


Friday, October 26, 2012


Depression does not care.

It does not care if you are happily married.  It does not care if you have a job you kind of like and have a working schedule you love.  It does not care if you have a perfect, healthy, beautiful child who depends on you.  It does not care what is or what isn't in your bank account.  It does not care if you are healthy or sick.  It doesn't care how old you are or if you are a boy or a girl.  It does not care if you have a loving, supportive family.  It does not care what you have going on in your life right now.  It does not care if it is your favorite season!

Depression is not picky.

Any time, any place, any person will do.  It does not need a major catastrophe or terrible trauma to let it in the door, stuff all your energy and will into a duffel bag and throw it out the window.  And while it is there, it will punch you in the gut and sit on your chest, making it nearly impossible to just breathe.  It might even pack a second duffel bag with your appetite and crafting plans and ideas for this wonderful season and then stash it in a super secret spot so you are sure not to find it any time soon.

Unfortunately, I am all too familiar with its antics and I still never see it coming.  There is no way to prepare.  I don't have time to bolt down the parts of me that I don't want to lose.  It is just gone.  For how long, no one knows.

I have been battling with this for more years of my life than I haven't.  And in that time, I have learned much about it and myself.

I have learned that it is not something to be ashamed of, its not my fault.  I have learned that talking about it helps to expose it and decreases its power over me.  I have learned I am ok with it sometimes, I appreciate the unique perspective it gives me.

Its ok, seriously.  I don't need a pep talk.  It will get better, it always does, it never hasn't.  But maybe this will help understand what it is like or maybe you will find comfort in knowing you are not alone.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I was in need of some change around here.  I totally get it from my mom.  Every few months, she would rearrange the furniture in the dining room, living room, front porch, where ever.  Not all at once of course.  It was great because it gave you the opportunity to find things you have lost, vacuum under the furniture and clean out the cobwebs in the corners.  Afterward, you have what seemed like a brand new room and you didn't even have to buy anything!  Brilliant!

So on this rainy stay-at-home mom Monday, I chose the boy's room for a transformation.  I have been gathering some things for a more sophisticated, bigger boy room.  Something with a more worldly feel and darker colors.

Silly me, I didn't take a pic before I starting ripping things apart, tearing decals off walls, moving furniture like I was an Olympic weight-lifter.  But I did find these pics from last winter.

I realize this is only one corner of the room but this is the corner I took a picture of after the redo today.

He still sleeps in his crib so that is in the corner of the room that is to the right of this pic.  Also, I think the hubs would literally stand paralyzed in the room from not knowing were to change and dress the boy so the changing table had to stay in the room for now.  I guess this will have to be done in stages as he slowly does not need his baby things anymore.  I don't have a great picture of the headboard, but it was a St Vinny's find for only $7.50!  I love it because it can hold books, a lamp and also allow me to decorate the top- perfect!  I can just imagine all the nights of laying down and reading books before bedtime!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

No Magic

There is no such thing as magic.  It took me a long time to realize this.  As a child, I believed in it and looked for it everywhere.  Under rocks, in small containers and satchels, behind doors, in the woods.  But I never found any.  It only exists in books and movies.  And sometimes in our own heads.

This realization goes along with being an adult.  I think once you turn 30, you need to stop thinking you will find some.  I seriously believe this is essential.

The absence of a magical crutch will force one to take some responsibility.  Put some work forth.

Everyday at work, I see example after example of people holding out for some magic.  If they would just be prescribed that perfect drug or the right ointment, their problem will be solved.  If only they could find thee provider that is the smartest, most up-to-date.  Why can't some one just help them already??

I am here to tell you, stop.  Stop looking, stop making it some one else's job to fix you.  Stop looking for that cause/effect relationship that does not exist.

I know that is hard.  Human nature does not allow this to happen easily.  There always needs to be some one, some thing, to blame.  It is some one else's fault.  Not mine.

It is an epidemic.  I see it all the time.

But sometimes, things just happen.  Sometimes people who have never smoked a cigarette get lung cancer.  Sometimes men get breast cancer.  Freak accidents happen everyday.

Sometimes it is no one's fault.  There is nothing to take the blame.  It just is.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

'Round here

Down, set, hut!

Yeah, this is what we do on weekends.  The kid seriously has endless energy.

Remember Harper?

She is doing fantastic!  Today, Sul and I will be participating in the Step up for Down Syndrome buddy walk.  It is put on by the Madison Area Down Syndrome Society.  Basically this group raises awareness about Ds and provides families with information and resources regarding Ds.  We will be walking for Harper's Heartbreakers.  If you feel moved, please consider donating to the cause.  You might even win a prize.  I did!  Not sure what is it yet but I was told it was too big to economically mail so I am guessing it is a car.

Happy Saturday!  Go Badgers!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I am dying over this Nemo costume I have been making for the Sul for Halloween.  I felt a bit guilty for buying his frog costume from Savers last year, not even trying to make him one.  I had to make up for it this year.

He has a little obsession with Nemo going right now so I thought I would take advantage of it.  I mean, I could totally see me slaving over making a cute costume and then him refusing to even put it on.  I knew he would want to be Nemo.

I bought 2 blaze orange t-shirts from Savers, 1/2 yard of white fleece fabric and a small sheet of black felt.  I already had some black netting, quilting batting and some wooden skewers.

First I made the fins starting with the batting and skewers:

Then I did a bunch of other steps and this is what I have now:

I LOVE it from the back.  The front is not the greatest though and I have to tack down the front fins a bit more as they flop around a little too much.  Dying.from.cuteness.

PS if you want to know more about the steps, just ask!

Monday, October 8, 2012

In the picture...

There is a great article that has been going around lately.  And maybe, like me, it spoke volumes to you and made you tear up a bit.

Becoming and being a mother has changed me more than I anticipated it would.  It has taught me to love deeper, slow down, take joy in the small things, laugh louder, give more hugs and kisses, get dirty, allow messiness, enjoy "home", appreciate my own parents more, etc, etc.  I could literally go on and on.

So much energy and love constantly being poured into our child(ren).  It is a lot of work.  But it is good work.  And I honestly don't know one single person that is not doing a phenomenal job parenting.

But lets see it.

I know Sully will always feel it.  But I want to leave him lots to see.  I want him to see what it looked like when he was almost 2.  And beyond.

I don't want to wait until we can be wearing the perfectly coordinating clothes with our hair done just right and the lighting optimal.  No.  Life is not perfect.  It is messy and sometimes very unorganized.  There are leaves in the sand box and sand in diapers.

There is dirt on my butt and melasma on my face.

My hair is often frizzy and I have a roll on my belly.

There are tears and tantrums and sticky hands.

But there is also so much love.

And I don't want to miss documenting that.  Not for me and not for him.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

I am starting to come to the unfortunate realization that the Sul just hates pumpkin patches:(

This is what happened last year...

I was hoping it was just a fluke.  Maybe we just scheduled it too close to nap time.

So this year, we made sure he had a good 1 to 1 1/2 hour nap before we left.  Unfortunately, it was a bit of a cool day with a very cool breeze which probably didn't help.  I (Mother of the Year) forgot mittens!

Things were ok at first.  We also brought our nephew, Sean, with us.

 Cold boys.

 Refusing to wear his hat.

 Trying really hard to pick up a "stuck" pumpkin.

Then Harper and family arrived.

Cutest penguin.

Andy, aka animal whisperer...

It was after the goats that Sully lost his marbles.

 Sean not sure about it.

There would be brief flashes of giggly Sully...

But they would always be short lived and he would turn back into Mr Mad.



At this point, we had a crowd around us, laughing at Mr Mad and his parents.  Shortly after this, we decided to call it quits.

Everyone was happier once we got home, warmed up and ate some snacks.

Especially Harper...

And later, there was lots of cousin giggles...

In the end, I just don't care that he doesn't like pumpkin patches.  We are going again next year.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I was freaking out about my mums the past few days.  This was the first year I actually bought mums which is really ridiculous since they are "the flower" of fall and I love mums and fall.

Well, maybe its not that ridiculous since I hate plants.  I have had a few in my life so I think I am a fair judge of them and just how demanding they can be.  Needing sunlight, but not too much.  Needing water, but not too much.

The watering was always my downfall.  I tend to overdo things to a fault, so if some water is good, isn't more water better?  I think every single plant I have ever owned was fatally over watered at some point.

So this time, I was determined to get it right.  I bought this beautiful yellow potted mum from Home Depot on 8/31/12 or 9/1/12.

I took this picture about 9/21/12.  Looking pretty darn good for me owning it for 3 weeks, right?

Well about a week ago, I started noticing some wilting and browning.  No way was I going to let this plant die.  I set it outside in the sun because I thought maybe it wasn't getting enough sun.  Nope, it looked even worse after 3 hours outside.  I thought maybe it needed sun but it was too cold outside.  So I set it in a windowsill.  Nope, still looks terrible.  I paid extra close attention to how damp the soil was and was very careful not to over water it.  I even read the little card it came with to ensure I was caring for it properly.

This is far more than I have ever done for any other plant in my life...and it still looks like this.

Clearly, it is dying.  So I did some Google research and found out that this is pretty normal for this particular store-bought mum.  Apparently there is a certain life cycle and it is near over.

I gave up tonight and moved it into the garage.  I just can't stomach looking at it anymore, it is too depressing.  I just keep thinking I did something terribly wrong to this plant.  I think I am done with plants for life.

Monday, October 1, 2012


I feel like I got first place today.  I don't mean to toot my own horn but I kind of deserve it today.

I had one of the most productive stay-at-home-mom Mondays that I have had in a long time.

I could make a nice bulleted list for you of all the great things I got accomplished today but I don't think you care all that much.

Instead, I will just tell you what would have been #1 on my bullet list: I got the boy to eat two bowlfuls of red grapes and a bowlful of spaghetti for dinner tonight.  No lie, that kid went to bed with a full belly for probably the first time in his life and the fruit/veggie of the meal did not include a juice box or a fruit squeezie. (So what if he had a 3/4 of a hot dog and 1/2 of a fruit squeezie for lunch)

I just couldn't be happier with myself.  I might have Mother of the Year all wrapped up after today.

For all of you people who have no idea why this is such a big deal, you just wait until you have a toddler that hates food.  You will see.

As a special treat, just to remind me that I was able to get him to eat a good helping of real fruit, the Sul stashed one of the grapes in the front of his diaper so I saw it when I took it off to give him a bath.  After the initial panic of "Oh my God, is that blood?!?" wore off, I was again filled with pride in myself.  (Not sure what the diaper stashing is all about, the hubs found a crayon in his diaper yesterday)

Ok, I will share #2 with you too.

We had lots of quality giggle time today.

Happy Monday!