Category Archives: Life

THE Most Important Things to Bring Camping with a Toddler

This isn’t going to be one of those fancy-shmancy checklists where I dish out all the camping basics like bring lots of clothes (no duh!), bring sunscreen, bring bug spray, yadda yadda.  I think we’re all competent enough to remember the basics of camping with a toddler or infant in tow, right?  I mean, it’s just like any other day just this time you’re in a tent (that leaks like an ‘effing sieve). 

This is THE MOST Important Things to Bring Camping with a Toddler or you’ll kick yourself in the ass kinda list.

Mmm, bacon.

Other kids.  Preferably other kids your toddler is ubber comfortable with.  Need to run to the outhouse or port-a-potty while the hubs is busy?  Free and instant toddler entertainment!  Want to lounge around the campsite with a book for a hot minute?  The kids are probably busy playing with bubbles, so, go for it!  We brought our two nieces this weekend when we went camping and J was just beaming about it all weekend.  She had so many people to “tiggle tiggle tiggle“, run around and have fun with, plus, I got a much needed break from time to time while still being connected.

Me & J's bed.

A huge umbrella and extra blankets. Because when your tent starts raining on the inside as much as it’s raining on the outside you need to keep your toddler warm and dry while your husband sets up the reserve tent.  We didn’t have a reserve, sadly, so I camped out at the end of our bed holding my daughter as she nursed back to sleep at 3am all while holding our giant umbrella over us to keep us dry.  I was able to keep her asleep until right around 5am, luckily.

Weeee!!!!

Tissues.  Because you never know when and if you’re going to tear up because your kid has grown up so quick that you say “Ok, but be really REALLY cautious, please!” as your husband straps your 18 month old into “The World’s Fastest Go-Karts”.  J giggled and said “weeeee” the whole time while using her own little steering wheel.  I cried, I’m not gonna lie.

So, these are the most important things I need to remember to bring camping with my toddler – don’t leave without them on your next camping trip! 

Have you been camping with your little?  What did you forget to bring?

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Filed under Life, Natural Parenting, Uncategorized

Getting Un-stuck by Taking Action

A lot of people would (and do) call me crazy for making this action step I’m about to take.  I’m about to take a leap of faith into the unknown and figure things out as we go.  I have plans but I don’t like to make them set in stone.  I have back up (a bit, only, kinda) to help make this transition easier and I have a support group making this all a little easier.

Friday, May 20th, I will be giving my formal resignation letter and my two-week notice to my full time employer.  The scariest thing about the whole plan is that I do need income to supplement my husband’s so we can actually afford to eat but it’s not like my plan is to sit around staying at J all day.  Oh no, not at all.

I want to wake up rested and see that cute little squishy face smiling up at me instead of getting jostled awake by my husband while my daughter is having her early morning nursing at 6am.  Being told over and over I need to shower, stop, get in the shower, Sara WAKE UP.  I won’t miss the way I start my mornings as they are now, that’s for sure.

I can't believe how big she is - I feel like I've missed a lot.I will start my day with a list of to-dos for household, time with J, meals, business and family fun.  I’ll spend my day completing tasks by priority of importance and not just what I can cram in at the end of a busy work day when we pull in the drive at 6:30pm.  All while being more present to one of my favorite (and missed) people in the world; my daughter, J.

I will take action and start living a life for tomorrow instead of just living day to day. 

It’s scary to go into the unknown but when I look back… back to when she was 2 months old and I really made the decision to go back to work I remember why I went back.  It was the worry.  The worry that we needed more, we needed a house, we needed our cars, we needed more “stuff” and we worried about paying our bills, worried about having fun doing what we love and making more time for everything.  Do you know where we are today?  Still worrying… still living day to day and worrying about all that crap.  You know what we haven’t done?  Taken action to pursue what truly will bring balance and happiness to our lives.

Some will call me crazy, some will call me stupid and some will think that I’m brilliant.  I know my daughter will, I know my husband is supporting this decision and I know I have friends and family that have my back.  So, here I go.  I’m taking that step to getting un-stuck.  I firmly proclaim that from this day forth I will live with intention, take action with abandon and use my skills to their fullest potential instead of feeling trapped in a job and resenting it.

What action steps have you taken lately or are you planning on taking?  Are you scared (but, a good scared), like me?

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Filed under Life, Working

April Showers Bring Renewed Senses

I had to take a break.  I have so many projects, hopes, dreams, realities and commitments that something had to give.  I kind of simplified to an extreme to stretch, grow and renew; boy does it feel good.

I still have a million projects but I feel like I can manage more since I’ve reconnected with myself and my family.  I’ve made a major life decision to pursue a change – a pretty drastic one.  I’ll hint that I plan to work for myself, my family and my passions instead of “the man”.  But, more on this to come as it all unfolds.

With the coming of spring I’ve started to chisel away at one of my most important goals for myself this year.  That goal was to simplify our lives.  Physically de-cluttering for 15 minutes a day in one room has changed my life drastically.  As boxes get unpacked (yes, nearly a year after we moved into our home), items get recycled/donated, while others get priced out for a large family yard sale I’m coordinating I can feel the heaviness lifting little by little.

We’ve finally started to jive into a solid family routine so I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it’s not so much on me anymore.  My husband always did try to be helpful and was/is a wonderful dad and husband BUT we butt heads a lot.  I know I suffered from the elusive “mommy burnout” from time to time here and we’ve been working on creating a more balanced household and life.

So, that’s my short and sweet little update on me.  How are you these days?  Are you simplifying your life in any way and how has it impacted your life?

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Wordless Wednesday: My Daughter, In Heaven

Heaven.....I'm in Heaven....

 

Photo taken by Kristy Garceau Photography located in the Chicago-land area.  Checkout her wonderful giveaway ending Friday – hurry up and enter!

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Wordless Wednesday: Car Cart & Balloon

Hi Mr. Balloon...

 

Where'd you go, Mr. Balloon?

 

Get him, get him, get him!

 

Thanks Mom 🙂

J couldn’t get enough of that cart… I wish they had them at the grocery store!

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The Epic Battles: Balance and Laundry

 

Finding life balance is a constant struggle we all face.  Everyday we’re told [by someone, maybe ourselves] that we need to accomplish more, consume less, keep up with the Jones’, be all we can be, parent more, stop helicopter-parenting, keep a clean home, stop wasting time cleaning, simplify our lives, buy the newest gadget, take care of ourselves, give selflessly, do more more more more more more….but remember, do less less less less less.

Exhausting.

Some days I feel like I have my world under control.  I feel accomplished, loved, loving, and helpful and that generally my life is the way it was meant to be.  On these wondrous days I usually have 0-2 loads of laundry in the queue waiting to get loaded into the machine. 

The other days I feel like I can never get ahead, never be good enough, never be myself, never take care of myself let alone my family and my laundry is in piles throughout the house taunting me.  Coincidence?

Most people will say to take time for yourself and you will find the balance that you need to preserver; I’m telling you that most people are full of it.  People dish this out but putting it into practice takes effort, something that a lot of us struggle with.

To help myself find balance I’ve decided to make a shift and make a plan of action.  I need to discover why I’m unhappy with myself.  Being unhappy is a hard thing to admit and own up to, actually.  I’m not unhappy because I’m not skinny enough, not the best wife, not the best mother; although, sure, being better and skinny might be nice.

I challenged myself to discover myself alone.  I am a mother, I am a wife, I am a worker, I am all of these things but they do not define me.  They are simply part of who I became due to my situations in life and because I lacked a plan.  I realize now that when I became a wife and thereafter a mother I didn’t know what I truly wanted out of life and therefore who I am right now often feels forced. 

Oh, cry me a river, right? 

Sometimes I don’t understand why I can’t be happy and I feel like my life is all out of wack because I know I have it pretty good.  But, I feel so stale because I never let myself out.  I never took the time to really discover what makes me who I am, what makes me tick, what keeps me going.  My kid does, my husband does, and these are fantastic parts of who I’ve become but really, who am I?

Today I’m just trying to catch up on my laundry, keep the loads balanced like my life, while reminding myself to be true.  Even though I have responsibilities, duties and I’m expected to do certain things I still need to remember who I am aside from it all.

Who are you?  How do you define yourself?  How do you balance your life and laundry?

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Filed under Life

Snow, snow, snow, snow.

Ok, so I’ve been slacking on the blogging front after that awesome giveaway I had. Sometimes life just gets crazy, other things take priority, and I get lazy! But, this past week has been H-E-C-T-I-C. My main job is as a buyer for the SE region of the states but I’m located up in Wisconsin, for those of you not in the know. Did you hear about The Snowcopalypse that came barreling through here!? It was insane.

But, since we knew it was coming Monday & Tuesday I had to go into hyperdrive trying to get caught up on work to leave early Tuesday and then have Wednesday off for our impeeding doom. Here’s what it looked like for those of you that didn’t experience the most amazing snowfall I’ve EVER SEEN.

My husband poucing his way to our garage...

Our house... we have a garage under our house on the left hand side that is MIA.

My husband bringing the neighbor some gas so he can snowblow himself out the rest of the way.

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