Saturday, December 31, 2011

should auld acquaintance be forgot

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

As with many old poems and literature, I am sure there are many translations of the Scottish verse that is traditionally used to ring in the New Year. For me, it is a reminder to not only look forward to the promise of hope and happiness that the New Year has to offer, but to also never forget your previous years and the people who have come and gone throughout your life.

Every person, every experience, has helped shape me into the person I am at this very moment. And I would not be the same if there was even one tiny thing that was different. And because of that, I am thankful for every experience that I have had. I am thankful for every person who has held a piece of my heart. Whether you are living or deceased, currently in my life or a friend of the have changed me. And I have to thank you all for that. Every single one of you.

And with the birth of our first child this year, I am finding that the future for us is so bright. It's so amazing to me that an 18 pound little person has me so wrapped around his little tiny fingers. And I honestly never knew these feelings existed. We are all so in love with him! Every smile, every yawn, every new inch grown, every intellectual stride, every ounce of his being...all have me so excited for everything this new year has to offer us. I only hope that it doesn't go by TOO quickly so that I have time to breathe it all in and not miss a second of it.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being a part of me. And may you look towards the wonderful things 2012 has in store for you with as much happiness and anticipation as we are. It will be a glorious year, and I can't wait for all of the new people and experiences that lie ahead.

To you and yours, I wish you a very...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Camp Trailer Idea

Theresa has graciously allowed me to post my random musings here, and this is the first one. We love camping. We like anything that allows us to get out there more, quicker, and easier. We are building a teardrop... S L O W L Y. Having one unfinished project doesn't stop me from daydreaming about a million other ideas involving camping trailers. I saw an article in 4 Wheel Drive Magazine recently about building an off-road trailer on a's the article.

I love the idea but at first I scoffed at his idea of "budget". Seriously a brand new ARE truck cap for $1800? Professional paint job for $400? Professionally applied Rhino Lining for $375? Why not get a DIY bedliner kit and apply it yourself for around $100? While your at it, why not rattle-can the thing yourself for under $100? Search Craigslist and similar sites and I know you could find a used truck cap a LOT cheaper. That's how I originally thought I would do it if I were in his shoes. Upon further consideration I came up with a new plan of how I would do it:

First, my truck bed trailer would use a utility bed, like this one:

All those cabinets on the outside would be great for storage, and generally the utility beds are tougher than normal pick up truck beds.

Next up...the cap. And for that I'd use a Flip-pac truck topper like this:

With the Flip-pac you can now stand in your truck bed trailer, you could cook in there, and you'd have a lot more storage space inside while getting there. With the "budget" trailer you'd have to stack all your gear on top of you mattress. Ever had a grease trap on a Coleman stove leak out, I have and I definitely wouldn't want it on my sleeping area (think dirt and attracting animals).

After that, you could do any number of other neat little touches like matching the axle under the trailer to your rear axle on your tow vehicle so that you always have a spare axle and parts in case you break way out in the middle of nowhere. Also you'd have two spare tires if needed, just swap out the flat on your tow vehicle with one of the trailer wheels, leave the trailer, drive back to civilization to get the flat tire fixed, and go back for the trailer... beats walking miles back to a repair shop! Also there has to be a way to use the spinning yoke on the trailer axle to do something. Maybe it could be used to generate electricity? I'd also drop the original gas tank and replace it with a water tank, and utilize the gas filler door to fill the water tank. You could have x# of gallons of water for drinking, showering, washing dishes, etc. You could have one of the cabinets on the utility bed flip down into a table for cooking. You could mount electric RV jacks at each of the four corners to level the trailer, you could mount a retractable awning to the flip-pac to provide shade, you could make (or buy) sliding drawers in the bed of the truck to hold even more stuff like this:

...the possibilities are endless.

So there's my latest idea for a camping trailer, feel free to use any or all of it, but if you do please send me some pics and info!

Friday, December 16, 2011

14 things the baby books don't tell you

You don't realize this until you look back at your pregnancy, but those books you read (you know the ones) just really don't tell you everything they should. For example, here is a list of 14 things the baby books fail to emphasize.

Buckle up.

14. You will not lose all the weight you gained during pregnancy right away.
In fact, if you're like me, you will not even lose it after 4 months! So seriously...don't expect to fit in those skinny jeans again anytime soon. Wait...I don't even have skinny jeans. So no problem! :-) But all in all, don't expect to lose that baby weight overnight. You may lose a little at first, but it might plateau. It might take awhile. Your belly will probably feel like a saggy pillow. So don't be sad. I feel that way, too.

13. You will sweat like a pig on a spit.
If you are one of the lucky ones (like me), you will gain a lot of excess water weight and will bloat so much you will look like the Michelin man. Your feet probably look like hot air balloons. Your face like a basketball. One of the things you don't realize, though, is that after you give birth, that water has to go somewhere...and not just through your pee. You will sweat it out...everywhere. You will sweat while moving, while breastfeeding, while sitting still. You will sweat during the day. And, mostly, you will sweat at night and probably wake up with a wet pillow. Sexy, huh?

12. You really do need to sleep while the baby is sleeping.
This is one thing I seriously wish I did more of - sleeping while the baby is sleeping. You're not going to miss anything. The laundry and dishes are not going anywhere. So just sleep while you can. Because before you know it, the week/weekend/month/month(s)/etc will be over and you will wish you would have taken even just one more nap. So take that nap. TAKE IT NOW!

11. You will learn to eat faster than a ninja.
Once the baby is born, you will learn to eat your meals so quickly that you'll actually wonder if you even ate at all. You will inhale things so quickly just because you know that at any second you will be interrupted and may not be able to finish your dinner. And,'s quite impressive how quickly you learn to scarf down your meals and you don't even get sick!

10. Sitting will hurt for weeks.
This is something that is obvious, when you think about it. But it's something I never even thought about. If you give birth vaginally, it will hurt to sit for weeks. It will be so uncomfortable that it would make you wish you had pregnancy hemorrhoids again. The pain and discomfort obviously goes away, but for some reason I was not prepared for that at all.

9. You will lose all inhibition.
If you are in the hospital for two days, five days (like myself), or longer (hopefully not), you will have SO many doctors and nurses coming in and switching shifts at all times. And because of that, you will have so many different people coming in to check out your nether regions. The first day it will be a little awkward to have different people coming in to check you out. But you will learn quickly to just get ready for it the second you hear the door open. And once that door opens? Yep, you guessed it. Your inhibition sneaks out through the opening. Bye, bye. Gone forever.

8. You will have conversations that you never would have imagined having.
You will talk about your birth story. You will talk about breastfeeding. You will talk about your baby's bowel movements. Your baby's lack of bowel movements. You will talk about other bodily functions. You will talk about everything. All someone needs to do is ask and you will tell them. After all, you have no inhibition anymore. Remember?

7. You will feel like you live in a permanent pig sty.
Cleaning will be at the very bottom of your to-do list once you have a baby. During my maternity leave, I felt constantly out of sorts because our place was always a mess. And it actually still needs a good cleaning and makeover. But when it comes down to it, clean what you need to, but don't make it a top priority. When all is said and done, I can guarantee that you won't look back and say "Man...I wish I would have cleaned more."

6. There will be days when you get home from work and realize you never even brushed your teeth yet.
Because you have what seems like a million things to do, personal hygiene sometimes flies out the window. When I wake up in the morning, I have to not only get myself ready, but I have to get my baby ready to go - get him cleaned, changed, fed, burped, bottles ready, changed again, etc. I have to also get the dog ready for the day - fed, taken out, etc. So by the time it comes to leave, brushing my teeth sometimes doesn't even cross my mind. I hate to admit it, but I probably do this twice a week. Don't worry, though...I always brush them as soon as I can.

5. You will pee whenever you sneeze.
Get used to it.

4. You need to discuss having a budget.
Whether a single parent or a two-parent family, you will need to seriously think about a budget. We didn't, and it's been pretty stressful actually. Because I was out of work for 3 months (2 of which were unpaid), we obviously had a lot less money than usual. And, as most first time parents can probably agree, the last thing you want to do every day is cook a home-cooked meal. So you get takeout. A lot. And you spend more money than you should. And you get behind. It can get messy. 2012 is budget year for us...but it's something that the baby books don't stress enough. Work out a budget ahead of time. Just do it. It's then one less thing to worry about.

3. You will feel inferior.
Let's face it. When you have a baby, all of a sudden it seems like EVERYONE AROUND YOU is having a baby, too. And you think to yourself that it's actually kind of ridiculous that so many people are having babies. But then...once everyone has those babies, you will start to notice that a lot of people tend to brag about their babies like you wouldn't believe. You will hear things like "My baby started rolling over after one week" and "My baby started sleeping through the night after 2 weeks" and "My baby started to crawl after 2 months" and "My baby started to talk after I gave birth." Okay...maybe not that last one. But you get the picture. Be prepared for mothers to start spouting off all the amazing and shocking and wonderful things their children can do. It's not a terrible thing. In fact, it shows how proud they are about their babies. But be prepared. It will make you feel inferior...especially if your baby didn't roll over after week 1 or sleep through the night after the second week or crawl during month 2 or talk after exiting your hoohah.

2. Breastfeeding is weird.
It's amazing. But weird. Especially the part when you realize that your breastmilk not only comes from out of the center of your nipples, but it comes from dozens of other parts of your nipples...and shoots in different directions. Yeah. Freakin' weird.

1. You will fall.
Fall. Not Fail. F-A-L-L. Fall. In love. With your baby. It might not happen right away. But at some point, it will hit you hard. You will be so in love, more than you ever thought possible. Every look, smell, sound. Every smile, every cry, every coo, every whine, every yawn. Baby hugs. Baby farts. Baby breath. You will fall in love with it all. You will not be able to get enough of your baby. You will be so very much in love.

And the baby books just don't tell you all of that.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

a worthy cause

There are so many charities out there. So many causes to support. It's so difficult to even think about choosing only one to support because there are so many that pull at each different heart-string.

But here are a few of the causes that I support the most.

Take a look and these phenomenal organizations!

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