It’s a Tastic Christmas

Part One: Bag-Tastic

So, I don’t usually endorse products on my blog, besides my beloved Pooper Scooper, but this year I found some really awesome bags and purses that were so awesome they well…made me want to write about them!

Back in the day, before we had kids (goooosh it seems like I am writing that a lot lately), I used to be really into purses.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I was and never will be a purse snob, only sporting Gucci, Coach or whatever else brand is really cool now (and since I can’t even think of a third brand name, how cool does that make me?).

I live in rural Michigan.  Coach is not required.

But, when I used to work in an office and get up early to take an entire hour to get myself ready for work, I always had a coordinating purse.  Now I grab the one nearest the door with the most diapers and snacks left inside…and that includes snacks for me.

When I put on my Cyber Monday Queen hat and Christmas shopped for all the lovelies on my list, I added myself as a lovely.  It’s been a while since I have bought myself anything and well, the temptation was just too great for me.  I bought myself this super cute, functional and fun mommy tote.  It is seriously the most-clever-idea-for-a-mom-with-a-toddler-and-a-babe. Ever.  Like ever-ever.

The Mother Child Tote in blue

The little babe is most-always attached to my hip.  So, I hold this bag on the other shoulder and our toddler holds onto the handle.  HOW.CUTE.IS.THAT?  And, our toddler loves it!  It’s also ginormous, which is great because I look like a total fool carrying small bags.  I am vertically blessed…remember?

The most awesome part about this was that it was only $20.  What a deal!

This bag must have been really popular because they don’t even have it listed at my second favorite online shopping site where I bought it just a few weeks ago, uncommongoods.com.  But, luckily…if you’re interested in it, they have it at my first favorite online shopping site, amazon.com.

The other Bag-Tastic find is from a great nonprofit group at plywoodpeople.com.  I went to college with one of the founders.  They do this amazing project to help legal refugees who were forced to flee their countries because of conflict.  The material used for their ‘billboard bags’ is upcycled from billboards on the streets.   Proceeds from the bags (or wallets, laptop cases, etc.) provide English classes every Friday and restores dignity for the workers.

The bags are not only unique, but carry your stuff…and a story (hey, I should take up marketing).

Back of my billboard bags.

Front of my billboard bags.

Message tag on the billboard bags.

I ordered two billboard satchels, not knowing who I would give them to, and now I am trying to decide if I should give them away or keep them.  You can designate any specific colors you want, but I didn’t and thought I would just see what I got.  I happen to get leopard and grey.  Grey?  That is SO my second favorite color (first being black).  They will both match everything I own.

Tough decisions here.  Tough decisions.

Stay tuned for a Tastic Christmas Part Two: Craft-Tastic!

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Code Brown

I guess if you’re a mommy and a blogger then this subject will come up sooner-than-later.  Since this is only my sixth post I guess you can say it came up sooner for me.

I’m not sure what you call explosions of the rear-end kind at your house, but in the Burde nest we call them Code Browns.  And if a Code Brown is called, it means back-up is needed.  It’s no joke.

I can’t remember the last time I called a Code Brown.  Honestly, I don’t know if I have ever personally called a Code Brown.  Maybe once.  I am pretty good at handling any kind of explosion that comes at me.  Armed with a box full of wipes and sincere love for my babies, I can usually get through anything.  Tonight was a different story.

Two little girlies taking a nice bath together tonight ended with mom throwing up in her mouth several times.  Our oldest was being so cute with the babe, talking to her and even singing, ‘This little piggy’ while touching her toes.  Suddenly our oldest looked over and said, ‘mom…what’s this?’

‘I don’t know, honey.  Where did that come from?’  Then I realized the answer to that question.

You can guess where the story goes from here.

As I urgently persuaded our toddler to get out of the tub like she’s chasing the ice cream man, I scooped up the babe and got her onto a nice clean towel.  So, why the Code Brown?  The tub was only the first victim.  The action continued and I was stuck in the bathroom assessing the situation. 

  • Two wet kids
  • One wriggly baby
  • Two Code Brown sites
  • And the clincher…no wipes.

If I have ever complained about Verizon I will never again.  My cell phone worked and I was able to call my husband who was upstairs.  And I said it.  Code Brown.

What does Brown do for me? Well, it makes me dry-heave for one.

10 Things I Never Thought I’d Say to (or about) My Dog

Rewind about 10 years ago and you’d find me volunteering at our local animal shelter, walking all the dogs there in a day and crying all the way home, ‘waaaaaa…if I can’t come back tomorrow…who will walk them?…waaaaaa!’ I was like the primo-super-duper dog lover. My husband and I – before kids – even fostered several dogs and for one term I was actually the president of the humane society. Who was that person?

When I was pregnant with our first, who is now three, someone told me that I would not smother, love, cuddle and otherwise obsess about our dogs (we had two at the time) like I did. Whatever lady, that was so not going to be me.

Ten weeks into my first pregnancy something terrible happened. Our beloved, wonderful, amazing, human-like Great Dane passed away suddenly. We were crushed. For many years Duke was like my child when we couldn’t have any. He actually thought he was a human, so it worked out well for the both of us as I had motherly instincts and nowhere to direct them. He was my baby. My 180 pound baby. And I do still miss him to this day. It was a great time in our lives, full of funny memories of all the crazy things this dog did. Everyone loved Duke.

After Duke passed we still had his brother from another mother, our Bloodhound, Tucker. Tucker was THE laziest dog in the history of the world. The total opposite of Duke, he would lie on the couch all day, sometimes only lifting his head and grumbling when we got home from work. He was more like a cat, needing his space, hiding in rooms we weren’t in to assure he got his 23 hours of sleep in a day. He was actually a perfect dog to have when our oldest was born because he just wasn’t needy and steered clear of the baby girl, maybe only sniffing her once a day. But, once the little babe got mobile, we had to keep a pretty good eye on their interactions together. Tucker was eight at the time she was born and had never been around kids. He would have preferred it stayed that way.

Just after his ninth birthday he developed a very fast-moving form of cancer. Still a little doggy crazy, we took him the cancer center at Michigan State University and discussed a lot of options for him. But, the cancer moved too fast and took over his liver before MSU even got the final results of a tumor that was removed. He was so tired, even more than usual, and we put him to rest as we laid with him at our local vet office.

So, now we have Moose. The Moose. The Big Dufus, Lugnut and my very large, brown and furry shadow. We got him from the local shelter when he was about a year old and our oldest was about one and a half. Now that we have two kids I don’t have much time for him. Plus, he is always in my way, or tucked behind my rear, getting as close to me as he possibly can no matter where I go. The only time he isn’t connected to my behind is when he is very anxiously awaiting my next move and gone to the next spot he thinks I’m going to (and he’s usually right). I also have a toddler who does the same thing so guess who gets priority? Not Moose.

He’s kind of like Duke when I think about it. He has to be in the mix and by my side all.day.long. But now that I have kids it’s frankly quite annoying. He is spectacular (I don’t use that word often) with the kids; a perfect pet to have in a family. But, I tell you what…sometimes I want to open the door and just let him run, hoping he won’t return. BTW that has happened on accident before. He always comes back to me.

I digress…but that’s the background to lead into The Top 10 Things I Never Thought I’d Say to (or about) My Dog. You’re earned it by your patience…here they are.

  1. Moose, go jump in the river. (We live on one.)
  2. Oh, you like this dog? He’s yours.
  3. How much is that doggie Prozac? Are you kidding me? How can they charge that much? We’ll take a year’s worth.
  4. Oh, it’s OK that you let him outside Charter repair man…he’ll come back. And if he doesn’t, that’s fine too. 
  5. Don’t look at him, raise your voice even a half-octave or even think about him. It gets him too excited. 
  6. Oh look, Moose was so excited he peed on you. 
  7. Moose if you don’t get out of my way I’m going to slam my head into the refrigerator.
  8. Hurry, run out the door before Moose sees that we’re leaving!
  9. Moose, can I please have five inches of personal space?

And my personal favorite…

  10.  Moose, get out of my butt.

Disclaimer: Don’t call animal control on me. We do love the big Lugnut, feed him, pet him and make sure he is otherwise happy. And, I do cuddle up with him. It’s just when no one is looking.

Self-Awareness – Toddler Style

Let’s face it.  Kids are smart. And, the more time I spend with our three-year-old I realize how smart she is. Unfortunately it also makes me realize how smart I’m not (for the sake of not writing ‘dumb’).

I forget just about everything.  In fact, I had to read the paragraph above to remember what the heck this post was about.  And there, I read it again. 

I forget to put coffee grounds into the coffee pot.  I forget to take my bra off when showering (read blog dated 10/13/11). I have even forgotten where my cell phone was while talking on it… ‘mom, I’m going to have to call you back; I can’t find my phone anywhere!’  Self awareness can be depressing if you can’t laugh at yourself (or use it as blog material so others can laugh at you).

I blame my lack of self-awareness, and awareness of anything really, to the many daily tasks I complete – all at once – to run a business, raise two children, attempt to discipline the dog and keep the house clean and the family fed.  Our toddler doesn’t have all of that to do, so that’s why she remembers everything. And I mean everything.

‘Momma, did you remember my dance bag?’ NOPE!…as I do a u-turn in the bank to head back towards home.

‘Momma, is this an envelope you were supposed to give to the mailman?’ YES…as I put it in my purse and head towards the post office.

‘Momma, is this cheese supposed to be in the freezer?’  NO…as I realize instead of putting it in the fridge I put it in the freezer.  Yes, I did that.  I have also found many things in the cupboard that should have been put back in the freezer.

You get the point.

The other morning while getting breakfast around she said to me, ‘Momma, why are you walking around in circles?’  Good question little miss.  Why am I walking around in circles?  Is it just what mothers do?  Or, am I creating this daily to-do list all in my mind about things I think need to be done?  A better question is: What happened to the calmer version of me who took time and care in cleaning, laundry (OK, that’s a lie I never took extra care in doing laundry) and cooking?  Would that calmer version of me be able to get all these things done?

I don’t have an answer to these questions.  Maybe I’ll ask the kid.

It Feels Good to be Loved

Oh, the life of a mom. If I could have only one dollar for each time our three-year-old says,  Momma…(insert any random question here….) I could easily quit my job (although I like it and it is part-time…and I am my own boss…and I do work in pajamas…here is where I digress). And I certainly know if our six-month old could talk she would rack up at least another $500 per day in Mommas. I can dream.

And then there is Moose.  AKA Lugnut, The Big Lug or my personal favorite Dufus (also termed Dufey when I think he’s being kind of a cute Dufus).  He has been medically diagnosed with separation anxiety.  We actually spent some of our hard-earned money on ‘doggie prozac’ for him and let me tell you it was worth every penny!  (I do wish I could pay for it with ‘Mommas,’ but back to reality I go.)  When we recently rebudgeted we cut the prozac so now I am doing what I know best to keep his anxiety at bay and get at least two feet away from him without him following me.  I yell at him. Not like yell at the top of my lungs or anything, but more like a whiney yell, ‘Moose…geeeeeeeeze, leave me alone!’

But, what would I do without my various leeches?  Well, apart from sleeping in, eating chocolate without sharing and simply walking from room-to-room without a shadow, I really don’t know what I would do.  Because honestly, it feels good to be loved.

I love that our toddler asks me every single question that pops into her mind including, ‘Momma…what is that face you’re making?…’ and ‘Momma…why did God call it a time-out when you have to sit in a chair and do nothing?’  I certainly love when our baby’s eyes light up when she sees me and I am the best at getting her to snuggle in for a nap and make her happy when she is a little cranky (she only gets a liiiiiiitle cranky).  I also love (kind of – this one is a stretch here) that Moose whines at the window if I’m outside even if there is a house full of people and that he has almost broken my legs to get out of the door with me if I am leaving (an attempt to breaks legs can be love to a dog ya know).  And I know my husband loves that he has never ironed a shirt in our ten years of marriage and that they magically appear in his closet each week.  I do not (let me repeat DO NOT) love ironing, but I love that he doesn’t have to do it.

So, if your house is full of people and animals that are sticking to you ‘cuz you’re made out of glue.  Just admit it.  You enjoy it.  Why?  Because it feels good to be loved.