The Saturday Spruce-Up: The Kid Emergency Bag

Okay, so this bag I keep in my van isn’t for actual emergencies, but more for normal “kid” emergencies. We were at a local indoor playground recently (Going Bonkers) and my newly potty trained two-year-old wet her pants. I frantically searched the diaper bag for anything that would fit her, then ran out to the van while my little girl cried quietly because she still wanted to play.

Out in the van, the only thing I could find was a pair of gym shorts (and it was below freezing out) that my four-year-old hadn’t quite grown into yet. Why did I have shorts in my van in the middle of January? Because sometimes I can be a bit way too unorganized, and this pair happened to fall out of a bag of hand-me-downs we had received from another family.

I brought the shorts, thinking we were just going to have to make them work, when a good Samaritan–another mom I barely know–offered her son’s extra pair of sweat pants without a second thought. All I could do was keep saying, “Thank you! Thank you so much!” And thinking to myself, “I wish I was her right now. I wish I was smart enough to have extra clothes for my kids. Why am I NOT a type-A personality?!”

Then I discovered that it doesn’t take a type-A personality to put together a kid emergency bag. Here’s what’s in mine:

The Van Emergency Bag for Kids

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Extra set of clothes for each kid, including socks and underwear
  • Jacket or sweater for each kid
  • Jammies for the baby

I just put it all in a bag, and it stays in the trunk of my van. Easy as pie! (I never understood this saying… it’s not really that easy to make pie.)

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

I also found a car emergency kit placed in an adorably decorated plastic wipes case on the blog Rips in My Jeans (found via Pinterest, of course!). So I decided to make my own. Since I know I’ll never make the time to actually cover the box in cute fabrics, I’m just using Tupperware. Here’s what’s in my box:

The Van Emergency Box

I like that the Tupperware is clear so I can see everything inside without taking off the lid. This piece is a square #2 Modular Mate with a blue lid.

  • grocery bag for trash
  • hand sanitizer
  • Wet Ones
  • ibuprofen
  • lotion
  • white petroleum jelly (good to use for diaper rash cream or lip balm or for small cuts)
  • tissues
  • a safety pin
  • a small amount of cash & change
  • non-perishable snacks (I have Craisins)
  • a hair tie
  • a pen
  • bubbles (my maniacs go absolutely nuts for bubbles)
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Now I can feel like one of those actually-making-Pinterest-projects, wore-her-skinny-jeans-home-from-the-hospital, super-organized-tidy-house b moms… even though I’m really not.

March 24, 2012 at 8:10 am 2 comments

Funny Friday – The Round-Up Kid

Last Friday my four-year-old son TT and I went to Kindergarten Round-Up. He’ll be attending our parish’s Catholic school, and he was pretty excited about the whole thing. My favorite quote: “Mom, you promised it was going to be so fun, and it was!” So now, even though I know I’ll be sad once August gets here, I know in my heart he’ll be well taken care of and happy when he’s at school ALL DAY next year.

Here are some shots of him after we got home from Kindergarten Round-Up:

My soon-to-be kindergartener with his new hat, handkerchief, necklace, and badge from the "Round-Up". Giddy-up partner!

Gram watched the girls while TT and I went to Kindergarten Round-Up, so she deserved a picture with the new cowboy hat.

TT sure loves his Gram. He cried when we figured out she was babysitting his sisters, but not him.

Me and V. She's still bald, but she ain't a baby. At 15 months, she's running all over the place and still cute as a button.

Okay, so this wasn’t the classic hilarious funny Friday, but a girl’s gotta show off her kids sometimes… right? 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

March 23, 2012 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

The Saturday Spruce-Up – Trading “Luck of the Irish” for Faith

Today’s Saturday Spruce-Up is a quick fix in attitude and outlook on the wonderful holiday of St. Patrick’s Day. Jeff Cavins, a reputable Catholic author and speaker, posted this on Facebook today (with my highlights in bold).

Today we are giving up the “Luck of the Irish” for the “Faith of the Irish”.Photo courtesy of Jeff Cavins' facebook page

How many times have you discussed with your spouse or colleague what you would do if you won the Powerball? You can get lost in that dream world of “what if.”

Projecting out into the future what life would be like if you had the winning numbers, creates an illusion that more than likely will never come true. Instead of putting your hope in the lottery, put your hope in the same God that St. Patrick put his hope in.
Today for Lent, let’s emphasize that we are not dependent upon luck, such as Powerball and pulltabs but the providence of God and His faithfulness. 

Jeremiah the prophet said, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
There are things in life that are more important than material things. Jeremiah goes on to say, “There is hope for your future, says the LORD, and your children shall come back to their own country (Jeremiah 31:17).

Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).

Just to show you how serious I am about this, I’m not even eating Lucky Charms for breakfast today.

PS: The Irish have a longstanding history of spreading the Catholic faith around the world. We need to pray for our Catholic brothers and sisters in Ireland today.

My own plans fall through all the time, but I trust in God that He knows what He’s doing, and He’ll take care of me. Why Catholic? this year is focused on prayer. Last week and the next few weeks, we are focusing on the “Our Father”. Although many of us can recite it without even thinking about it, the challenge is to really think about each line and what it means. Pray with me (and think about each line!)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen. 

“Thy will be done” is the phrase I’m focusing on this week. Which parts of the “Our Father” are the most challenging to you? Which parts comfort you?

March 17, 2012 at 9:32 am Leave a comment

Funny Friday – Awesome Advertising

DollarShaveClub.com just launched last week, and their video (which only cost about $4500 to produce) is pure advertising genius. It’s absolutely perfect for their target market.

WARNING: This video contains a bleeped out f-bomb, as well as a few other more mild cuss words. So don’t blame me if your kids repeat anything… Enjoy.

March 16, 2012 at 8:11 am 3 comments

Funny Friday: Helpful Hints when Caring for Baby

I just discovered these graphics at CoolStuff.com. Parents and non-parents alike, enjoy. Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. Uncle Connor, I’m talking to you.

March 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm 3 comments

Back to Blogging: My Ketchup Day

My honey and I were on vacation for 8 days in the Caribbean (aaahhhh) without cell phone service or internet access, so I feel like I’ve been off the radar for ages. Our cruise was just what we needed–to reconnect, to relax, to spend some time in the sun in the middle of winter. Pure bliss.

Anyway, this week I’ve been running around at 100 mph getting back into the kids’ routines and making sure my part is done for my brother-in-law’s wedding this weekend. Thursday is our jammie day, our go-nowhere day, my “ketchup” day. Get it? Catch up/ketchup? Oh, who knew I was so clever? 🙂

So that’s what I’ve been doing–catching up on my blog, on emails, on work, phone calls, etc. I am still not quite finished with my blog post for Catholic Mothers Online, which was due March 1 (sorry Angie!), but hopefully by the end of the day that’ll be on my done list as well.

Here is what I (and maybe you!) missed while I was gone:

1. Brett Miller is recovering at home after his brain surgery on February 24th. This is not the official website that his family updates. For the most up-to-date news on Brett’s condition, please visit his CaringBridge website.

2. A QND alum passed away this weekend. Brian Nuessen (who I remember as one of the “big kids” in the neighborhood) was a good friend to all who knew him and will be greatly missed. One great story about Brian that I’d like to share is about my older sister. She and Brian were in the same class in 5th grade, and one Saturday evening he called and asked her to go to a movie with him. My dad told her to tell him, “Sure, in about six years.” (We weren’t allowed to date till we were 16) I don’t know if they ever did go to a movie together, but what a stud to ask a girl out at 10 years old! 🙂
I’m praying for his family as they say goodbye, share memories, and lay him to rest today.

3. Kony 2012 is sweeping the nation! This 30 minute long video will change your outlook on what our military does in countries where fear, death, and sadness are the norm. I hope and pray that Kony is found and sent to prison for life for the atrocities he committed against children. Please watch the video here and if nothing else, pray.

March 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

Keep Praying – All 3,500 of You

Wow! I am in awe of our community, its faith, and the outpouring of love showed to Brett by praying for him while reading my post yesterday. I usually get between 50-100 hits on my blog per day, and my daily record was 206 hits in one day. Yesterday, the post requesting prayers for Brett Miller received over 3,500 hits. Thank you for all your prayers.

Here is what Brett posted on his CaringBridge webpagethis morning:

Brett, Lydia, and Malena. Photo from Brett's CaringBridge website

It is 5:53 A.M. and I thought being the day of my surgery and a long prayer chain about to begin that I would kick it off by saying a prayer for all of you involved in making this a reality. Also I hope God is giving special power and strength on this day to the surgeon team that they have the strength and wisdom to perform at their best!

God has truly blessed me thru 29 years of my life and I am thankful to all my family, friends, co-workers, students, aquaintances and anyone else who has had me in their thoughts and prayers thru this past week! I wasn’t aware how many people whose lives I have touched in so many ways that they have gone above and beyond asking for God to watch over me, simply stunning guys, simply stunning! Please God give me the strength and courage to display my gratitude at some point towards all of you who have helped lift me up to levels of strength I never imagined I had. It is simply proof that God does amazing things and thru the past week he has kept my spirits as high as ever, and often times I had forgotten that anything was wrong with me to begin with. Having Lydia, Malena, both sets of parents, Lindsay, and all the calls, texts, and messages from everyone rolling in has just had me as happy as ever, on cloud nine, experiencing a small taste of what I imagine heaven would be like. I may not be the luckiest man in the world, but surely I am pretty close, maybe even in the top 5% or so. 

Reality is beginning to set in some as I know I am T-minus 3 hours from check in at the hospital and not sure if I fully understand the whole process yet. How much will this hurt, how long will I be out of it, will the pain go away shortly after? I know I am a strong person both physically and mentally but even I am scared with what I am facing. It is hard to believe the restrictions I will be facing such as not lifting more than 10 pounds for six weeks! I can’t even hold my precious baby Malena and walk her around, maybe I can push her in the laundry basket still when we get back home. It sounds like I will have someone set up to monitor me 24/7 for a few days b/c those of you who know me can only imagine I’ll have a hard time being able to sit still and not do the things I know I can. I will get to walk for my exercise within a couple days so at least I won’t be completely inactive, but no running or weight training will be hard on me. By the time I get back to weight training class most of my students will have passed me up by then. So those of you who enjoy working out, get an extra lap or set in on occasion for me if possible. 

I am thankful for Laura (my sister-in-law) for keeping updates for everyone on this site. My sister Lindsay who is here with me does a great job relaying the news for her to post. I sit and take it all in but could never explain the whole thing the way they do. Thought I would make one thing clear about all the talk about how awesome these 2 different surgeons we have met with, it is very true. Both Dr. Ball and Vangumpel are awesome, very gifted surgeons from hearing them speak.The whole part about being so good-looking (Mcdreamy) or whatever those thoughts never once entered my mind. Don’t get me wrong they are no bus station skanks, but they are no Adam Wainwright either, LOL! So good news about the surgery procedure that I was able to gather is they should be able to remove 90% of this tumor, and it is a big tumor (grapefruit size). I am glad I have a big head and hopefully there will still be plenty of brain left for me to utilize afterwards. Percentages of affecting memory and speech post surgery are real low, so that is encouraging for me. It is scary the thought of radiation and chemo that will likely have to follow up, but I am willing to do anything and everything it takes to fully recover and dominate this tumor! 

Well it is closing in on hour 1 of my prayer chain and the energy and power is flowing thru me like never before! Keep up the great work everyone it is truly amazing! Keep in mind I would do this for any and all of you if the roles were reversed. As I wind down a few thoughts for the day. Sleep has been hard to come by this past week, but never has it weakened my spirits or had me in soaking in pain. I should be in for a long afternoon/evening nap throughout this long procedure so that might get me caught up some. My mind will be wandering thinking of all my friends and family who mean so much to me and I have had opportunities to speak with throughout the week. Thoughts are also with the Liberty and QND boys basketball teams tonight in regional championship action! Here is to big W’s for both and health for all players from participating teams involved! I will be cheering from my recovery room (if I make it there by then). This whole week I have had a Tim McGraw song in my head that has constantly been there. Someday I hope you get the chance to Live like you were dying! I never have thought for one second that I am dying but just the experiences, talks with friends and family all throughout have made me realize just how precious these moments have been for me. I get a new perspective on life and really soak up every moment I have, it is an amazing feeling to have! May God bless all of you and watch over you and give you strength to be at your best all day long, stay strong and smile, say I love you to all those who mean the world to you, and remember God will do the rest! 

Thanks again for everything, you all are truly wonderful and have been a great blessing for my family and I this past week! Now some time to play with Malena and visit with my family before check in! Love you all! Boo-yah!

God is great. Even in the difficult times–especially in the difficult times–He shows His glory by bringing all of you who are praying for Brett closer to Him. Please visit Brett’s CaringBridge page to follow his progress and continue to pray!

Also–I recently found out that another QND graduate is going through a very similar situation. Shawn Wagner, who graduated in 2002, had brain surgery on Monday. I have no other details about his situation, but God knows what’s going on, so please pray for him too.

February 24, 2012 at 7:44 am 2 comments

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