Thursday, September 30, 2010

Plastic is Offensive??

I have a friend who, like me, has recently returned to work and is pumping. She, like me, is only pumping once a day as she only works part time. She e-mailed me yesterday to let me know that she was in shock. She was told by her boss that some of her co-workers were offended or uptight about her pump parts sitting exposed in her cubical. She keeps them separated on a paper towel to dry and since she leaves the office before they are 100% dry, they generally stay that way. Again, in her cubical, not in the break room or even in the pumping room, her own private cubical. So, she was asked to put them away in a drawer or cover them with a box, so others would not be offended.

I am offended for my friend! There is so much to be upset about here!! First, that people (or a person) would even feel offended by little pieces of plastic is somewhat amazing to me. In order to be offended, one would have to look at the pieces of plastic and know what they were used for, then in thinking about what they are used for, thoughts turn to boobies and boobies are bad!!! Boobies are not for feeding and nourishing a child, but for sex and sex is bad!!! By this same logic, people may become offended that she has pictures of her child hanging in her cubical, because the way she got those pictures was to have a child and to have a child, she had to have had... OMG!!! SEX!!! Oh the horror!!!

Then there is the fact that now, she told me she is looking at all her co-workers in a new light - who is hiding behind their smile and their "Good Morning" who was so offended by plastic that they felt the need to complain about it and not even have the courage to talk to my friend directly, but to make her boss talk to her about it. Add to that, the fact that the powers that be, felt it was enough of a complaint that they would rather my friend be offended, than tell this person that they were being silly and totally ridiculous!!

My friend told me that she is offended by clutter and she would like to complain about the people who leave their desks cluttered all the time! She is also offended by the half-naked men on the calendar one women has in her cubical and she is totally offended by the religious sayings and artifacts in another cubical. We laughed about this as it is totally unprofessional to antagonize the situation by stooping to that silly level, but it is crazy to be offended by plastic!

OK, now you may want to stop reading here and not scroll down any further, because I am going to paste in a picture of my friend's pump parts, all assembled and all taken apart so you can judge for yourself how offensive they look. Beware, again, if you scroll down, you are going to see plastic and it is going to make you think about boobies!!!

OK, Last warning!! I mean it!!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recipes and Getting Back on the Horse

I spent the day working on laundry and going through the stack of papers containing all the recipes that I have collected over the years. I tossed out the duplicates and ones that I don't use anymore or have never used. I have this stack of papers now that I want to turn into a nice recipe book. The thing is, I can't figure out the best way to do this. They are all different sizes from full sheets to multiple pages to little index cards of varying sizes. I think that I am going to have to type up each one in Word and then print them out. The upside to this is that I can create a table of contents and always be able to find what I am looking for as well as having it saved electronically so I can reprint a page if it gets stained to torn. The downside is the time consuming task of typing them all up!! Any thoughts or ideas??

This recipe project is the last major thing that needs to be organized in the main living area of my house. All the closets and drawers and everything have been gone through and are in order. I just need to maintain them and keep everything clean going forward.

The downstairs is another story and still needs a ton of work, both construction and organization and while I am looking forward to having it done, it is daunting! It's just nice right now to feel like something major is almost complete!

In other news, my sweet daughter seems unfazed by her fall the other day. She was pulling up and walking herself around furniture all day, stretching to reach and getting right back up every time she hit the floor. I love that she is so determined to get where she wants to go and she is not scared to fall and have to try again.

Yesterday a friend came to visit and when Smug-Baby heard the door open, she grabbed my hands and walked really quickly to the stairs to see who was there. She is just such a joy to watch as she learns and tries and grows. I give thanks everyday for having her in my life and being so blessed!

Take a moment today to think about all that you have and all the blessings in your own life. There is so much wonderful out there!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reviews and Falling

I watched The Killers yesterday and I was really hoping it would be good. I was pretty much wrong. The trailer showed some cute and funny stuff, but it seems that those clips were about the only cute and funny parts. The storyline was crap and while Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher had some decent chemistry on screen, their relationship wasn't well developed and so you didn't really feel anything for them and even the side people were kind of silly. The story is basically about this guy and girl who meet and fall in love. He is a government agent who kills people, but when he meets the girl, he decides that he doesn't want to kill anymore and wants to settle down. Jump to three years later and he hears from his old boss and suddenly everyone in his life starts trying to kill him. All their friends and neighbors and co-workers - everyone!! They jump from one life and death fight to another, with Katherine Heigl screaming and not knowing how to hold a gun and not able to follow simple instructions. In one scene, she is using the bathroom (to take a pregnancy test) and the water and a radio are both on. Ashton is fighting for his life on the other side of the bathroom door and she is in there, calling out to him, but fails to turn off the water or the radio - stupid! I wouldn't waste your time watching this movie!

The other thing I did yesterday was look at a few assisted living facilities here locally for my grandfather. He will be coming here from Florida. The first one I looked at was really nice, with a cute outdoor area, and smiling residents. A bunch of them gathered around to make faces and Smug-Baby and she graced them each with a smile. The place seemed clean and they offered lots of activities including, Wii-bowling, readings of the newspaper, movies and popcorn on Saturday's, bingo, Sunday football and daily exercise. The rooms are like a hotel room, with a large living area and a good sized bathroom.

The second place I went to look at, had a distinct smell that hit me as soon as I walked in, like chemical cleaner and flowers. I didn't care for it. Then the women I talked to said that she would not be able to let me take a tour until later in the week, because the lady that did the tours was off that day. This also put me off - there isn't one person in the building who could show me around?? A nurse? A cleaning staff member? No one?? I am talking about giving your company three to five thousand dollars a month, want to show me a little love??? Then I drove around the outside and there is no outdoor space, no flower, benches, fountain, nothing. So, I crossed them off my list.

The last place I went was a small 20-25 resident facility and while there was a small amount of charm due to the ancient age of the building, I was shocked at how bad it was!! The place was cooled by window AC units, the dining room consisted of 4 tables with chipped Formica, the TV rooms had large TV's and old couches in which the stuff was held inside by duct tape. The rooms were large enough for a twin bed and maybe a night table. This facility had a shower room, where all the residents are bathed, I got the feeling like they rounded them all up and hosed them down. it was really disgusting.

By the time I left Smug-Baby had had it with me and cried until we got home. I nursed her while I watched the movie and then she played on the floor. She is pulling herself up on everything now and is walking herself around all the furniture in the room. It is equally amazing and scary to watch her get to the edge of a table or something and reach out with her fingertips for the next surface. I was watching her reach, when her grip slipped and she fell over and bumped her hard against the front of the TV cabinet. I grabbed her and she cried and cried, a red bump forming on the side of her forehead. I got some ice for her bump and nursed her and she soon calmed and soon after that slept. I just held her in my arms while she slept. I felt so guilty about letting her fall, like I should have been watching her most closely. I worried that the bump was bad, causing brain damage. I tried to forgive myself, babies fall and I don't want to be one of those mothers who never lets their baby explore because getting hurt is possible, but my baby was in pain, with a bump on her head and it happened on my watch. Smug-Hub says that he understands and does not blame me, but is still sorry it happened. I know that I would be pissed at him if he let her fall even though I know that I didn't watch her fall or push her or anything. I just feel conflicted. I know I can't protect her from everything and she has to be free to push her limits and fall and get back up and try again, but I want her to always be safe and happy and never in pain. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rough Week

Last week was supposed to be the kick off for my getting in shape and eating better. Well, we both ate slightly better than we have been, but both Smug-Baby and Smug-Hub were sick. My poor baby girl was not feeling like being put down and just needed to be rocked in the glider for hours on end. While I am totally happy to be and do what ever she needs, it was hard to watch the week go by and working out not happen, food prep not happen and the house work not happen.

She seems to have gotten mostly better over the weekend and my  hope is that I can get myself back on track today for the rest of the week. I have decided to give Southern Living Mama's advice a try and follow the Home-Ec 101 weekly chore schedule this week and see if it would work for me. I got to thinking about how, when the baby is not feeling up to it, getting 3-4 hours of housework done is impossible, but doing one or two things each of those days when she was napping would have been better for me. So, I'm going to give it a shot. I am also going to make a daily chore list for Smug-Hub that he can try to do in the mornings when he is at home and I'm working. This should help him pick up after himself and create less work for me!

The whole month of September has been fairly mild. There have been several days where we have turned off the AC and opened the windows as fall seemed to be in the air. Then this last week, while my poor baby was feeling so sick, the weather turned super hot and humid again. It was 93 one day and 95 the next and wouldn't you know, the AC stopped working! It got up to 87 one day and 89 the next, in my house - even with all the windows open and the fan blowing.

Smug-Baby and I just sat in the hot house, sweating and lethargic. She was feeling bad and just wanted to be held and you hot sticky little body against mine made me even hotter. The AC guy came on Friday afternoon to fix it and it took several hours for the house to cool back down, also its going to be a hefty bill, but I am sure glad to have it fixed and be sleeping in comfort again!!

So, all in all, I did what I had to do last week to help my sweet girl feel better and survive the heat. This week, I am getting back on track and focusing on small items each day, rather than trying to do everything all at once. This is seeming to result in nothing getting done properly!

Today, I will focus on the laundry, preparing food for the week, a wipe down of the kitchen and making the list for Smug-Hub. I also got The Killers from Netflix and I would like to relax some and watch that - mixing the work with the fun - I like it!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Smug-Baby at 7 Months

My sweet and darling girl is now fully 7 months old and I can't believe how the time has flown by. She is such a joy to spend my days with and I love her more than I even thought it was possible to love someone.

At 7 months she has begun to say "da da da da" which Smug-Hub takes to mean Daddy and is thrilled! When I make "ma ma ma ma" sounds at her she only smiles and laughs and does not care to repeat my words.

She has learned to play pat-a-cake (or as we say it "patty-cake") by clapping her hands together and will even sometimes make a "take take" sound. I am convinced that while the "da da da" and the "how" sounds are like words to us, this "take" sound is the first sound that she is associating with an action. She knows that this sound goes with this action. It is very cool to watch.

She is commando crawling all over the house. She was in the living room the other day and I was washing dishes. I looked around to check on her and she was in the dining room, then for a few minutes she was in the kitchen before heading down the hall to explore her bedroom. It is funny, the two bedrooms are right across from each other, but she chooses her bedroom (which she has never slept in or even taken a nap in). It is brighter and gets more sun than our bedroom. Yesterday, she crawled into her bedroom, rolled onto her back and entertained herself for a while by clapping her hands together and making cute noises (talking to herself).

She watches us eat very closely. She watches us pick up a bite, follows it to our mouths, watching us chew and swallow and follows the fork back to the plate. She is also very intensely watching us when we brush our teeth, we are not sure why this is so interesting but to her it is.

I have started to wipe her mouth with a cold wet cloth at night to "brush" her teeth too as she now has her two front bottom teeth. they are so cute and still really small. I have been unable to get a picture of them because every time I pull her chin down to open her mouth and get a look at them, she sticks out her tongue!

I started watching Eureka on the SyFy and she totally loves the opening theme music. No matter what she is doing, when that music starts she stops and looks at the TV until the song is over. She actually really likes the Warehouse 13 music too, so I wonder if they are composed by the same person (people).

She still loves the ice water glass and has taken to sticking her face in the glass at the top and will even drink some of the water and eat some of the ice. We make sure that the ice is very, very small so she won't choke and/or it would melt before causing harm.

She still gets excited when her Daddy gets home. She will hear the garage door open and close, then she will look expectantly at the stairs, craning her neck in an effort to see him coming. She makes this throaty noise when she sees him that is part laugh and part excited howl and if he doesn't come directly to her and hold her, she will cry with bitter disappointment. Smug-Hub has taken to taking off his badge, sunglasses and shoes before alerting her to his presence so he can get right to the holding!

She seems to love it most when all three of us are together. When we are all able to hang out in bed, like on a weekend, she wakes giggling, turning from first one of us to the other, touching our faces and giving wet kisses! She reaches out for me when Daddy is holding her and then reaches right back for him, so we have started standing really close together, so she is, in effect, in both of our arms at the same time and she loves that! 

The biggest development is walking. That's right, she is walking. She started pulling herself up on our hands and then on furniture and just in the last week or so has been able to get herself up without help. Last night, she pulled herself up on the overturned laundry basket and, holding on, moved herself to the entertainment center and then moved herself across the front of that to her little toy box, where she dropped to her knees and started pulling out and playing with toys. She walks while holding on to things, but she has balanced on her own two feet for a few seconds at a time too. Smug-Hub feels like she will be walking on her own in no time!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How I Celebrated My Anniversary

I didn't. Well, we decided to wait until Friday or Saturday to celebrate because Smug-Hub is suffering from allergies or a head cold and was feeling lousy. I was also feeling slightly sick to my stomach and it was raining, so we decided to stay home and have some play time as a family and make it an early night. We will celebrate later.

Smug-Baby is also suffering, she started sneezing over and over yesterday afternoon and by the evening had developed a runny nose. She woke up about midnight screaming and screaming and I was not able to get her to latch on, so Smug-Hub took her to the rocking chair until she calmed down and fell back asleep. She woke screaming and coughing again at 2 and I took my turn at the rocking chair and she finally did nurse and fall back asleep.

I feel a bit zombie-like this morning, but mostly I am concerned about my sweet girl. She is only 7 months old and she has never been sick before and I don't know what I can do to help ease her symptoms. I know that kids cold medicines have been recalled as of late and I don't know what would be safe, add to that the fact that we get sick because our bodies are fighting to rid itself of something bad and taking something for the symptoms can sometimes lead to a longer illness or more problems in the long run.

I was reading online about a humidifier and VICKS chest rub for babies, so I may stop and get something along those lines to try to help her. She does not feel feverish to me, so I hope that her steady diet of breastmilk will inoculate her enough that this "cold" or whatever will pass quickly.

I spent most of the day yesterday thinking about what I was doing 3 years ago. I looked at the clock at 1:45 and thought back to how I was waiting in the little room in the back of the church for everything to start and I heard my future husband's voice as he greeted our guests and got ready to take his place. I remember breathing easy knowing that he was there and sounded happy and excited.

We have had our rough moments over the last 3 years and the 4 years of dating before that, but it has been just that - moments. We have never fought for longer than a few moments, been angry for longer than a few hours, or held onto something for longer than a day. We know that we love each other and will do anything and everything to make this marriage work and last. We pick our battles and never stop loving each other.

I married my best friend and the greatest man in the universe. I picked the best father for my sweet girl and the best husband ever. We aren't perfect but we are perfect for each other.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sleep Deprivation

I have been in a haze of exhaustion for the better part of this month and it finally has caught up to me. I feel like yesterday was the worst day and I finally broke. I had a long talk with Smug-Hub about our sleeping habits and arrangements even bringing up the big "D" word. I feel like I was just so crazy from lack of rest that I was talking like a nut job.

Smug-Baby has been forced off her routine for most of this month, starting with the death in my family and the two weeks my MIL was here and she is teething on top of everything else. She is normally a happy and contented baby and this week especially she has not been sleeping well at night and does not want to be put down during the day.

I have tried the wraps and slings to try to get some things done at the house, but she will have none of it. She wants to be held and nursed all day. So, I comply. She needs extra TLC, extra comfort, then it is my job as her mama to make that happen for her.

That being said, the diet and exercise plan has totally gone out the window. She is not happy to play at my feet while I follow an exercise video and doing the video with her in a wrap or sling throws off my balance and I would like to see you try to so squats with an extra 20 pounds strapped to your chest or crunches with a baby tied to your back!!! I haven't had the time or energy to prep the meals like I planned and have been mostly eating cereal all day, because Smug-Baby cries as if her heart is breaking when I put her down to make something to eat or use the bathroom.

I know that she has just taken all that she can take and I need to stop for a moment and focus on nothing but her until she is back on track and feeling better and I am more than totally OK with that, but it is sad to put off my plan for getting in shape again.

I told Smug-Hub about everything that has been going on sleep wise for a while now and I think that he finally heard me, really understood, what I have been dealing with and is going to help make the effort to do his part in helping both the baby and I to sleep better.

So, last night I slept. I woke a few times when Smug-Baby wanted to latch on and switched sides once, but overall I slept. I woke up feeling more human than I have in a long time. I am still tired and still deprived of the amount of sleep that I really need, but for the first time in weeks or maybe even months, I woke up feeling like I was going to live and thrive and be able to be a good mommy and not a zombie!

Here is to tonight being a repeat!! God, I hope tonight is a repeat!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lovely Weekend

I think that I have convinced Smug-Hub to join me on this diet and exercise plan. His request was that we start on Monday so that we could take full advantage of the Greek Festival this weekend and I hardily agreed! I also think that we will start out with this being a week day diet, giving us the weekend to look forward to having a treat of some kind if we are "good" all week long. That way, we kind of ease into it and don't spend the whole week thinking about all the foods that we "will never eat again"!!

I did spend several hours Friday getting the house super clean (OK, not super clean, but pretty clean) and started out the weekend feeling really happy and at peace. I feel so much better about life and everything when the house is in order. I checked out the website that Southern Living Mama recommended, called Home-EC 101 and while I love their plan for getting everything clean and keeping it that way, I really enjoy having the whole house clean at the same time. Also, right now, we only have the one baby so maybe if we have more babies and some dogs in the future, it will make more sense to split up the work. As it stands now, I was able to strap the baby to my back and get the whole house cleaned in about 3 hours. Then I had the rest of the weekend free to play with Smug-Baby and Smug-Hub!

We had a lovely weekend beginning with Smug-Baby and I taking a bike ride with my dad Saturday morning. Turned out the tires were almost flat on both my bike and the trailer that Smug-Baby rides in and that made the ride really difficult and I was shaky and sore at the end of it. Then we met up with some out-of-town family for breakfast before heading home to work on the laundry.

Later, we met up with my girlfriend and her baby boy, and we all trooped out to the Greek Festival and ate ourselves silly! Man oh man, how I love this yearly treat! The food is so good and I love listening to the music and watching the kids dance and always run into everyone I've ever met there!! Jenna and I were both wearing our babies and people openly stared and pointed and made comments as they tried to lug their heavy strollers through the crowd. We felt cool and smart! We also noticed that a lot of the strollers being pushed around were empty as the children were so unhappy to be in them that they were freed and were running around in the grass playing.

Sunday was totally relaxed. My dad and I took Smug-Baby to the pool and she again loved it! She really thinks she can swim! Kicking her legs and smacking the water with her arms and hands. She loved watching all the other people and just being in the water. I am thinking that she might have to go into competitive swimming instead of soccer, but don't tell her daddy that!

I have some plans for little projects to complete this week, but the main focus is going to be on exercising and getting the baby back on her normal schedule. I think that she may be having a growth spurt. The last two nights, she has nursed more than she slept. She keeps latching on, sucking for a few minutes, then rolling over and sleeping on her other side. This repeats about every 10 minutes and I am awake for most of it, because by the time I am falling back asleep, she is rolling back over to latch on again. I hope that it calms down soon, I like it when she sleeps most of the night, waking only once or twice to nurse.

I want to finally start getting some pictures up on the walls in our house. We have lived here for more than three years and we have only a mirror, one picture and one painting on the walls. I have cool frames that I want to put wedding pictures in and I want to get some baby pictures up too. That is one of the projects for this week, start picking out which pictures should go in each frame and get them ordered. I also REALLY need to spend an hour or so getting all the paperwork filed. Things are starting to fall off my desk I have put it off so long! I have some toys that I need to steam clean so Smug-Baby can play with them and wipe the dust and crud off the washer and dryer. Those are my little goals for this week - totally doable I think!!

I am looking forward to this week, being home and back on the schedule that I love so much. I miss my MIL and I think Smug-Baby does too, and Smug-Hub is beside himself with missing his family, so it is bittersweet. I love having my house and routine back, but at what price...

Friday, September 17, 2010

13 Million Ought To Cover It

I lay awake last night for a bit, thinking about how good I'm going to look and feel once I put my get healthy plan into action. I thought about all the new clothes I'm going to need and how much more energy I'm going to have. I thought about how certain people I know will be jealous of how great I look when I get healthy. Then I thought about how, once I'm thinner and healthier, I will suddenly have more money and be able to do all the projects around the house that I want to get done.

Then I decided that it would be better to get the money by winning the lotto or finding some long lost artifact, like a missing collection of Thomas Jefferson's books, to sell for a couple million.

Then I thought that a collection of Thomas Jefferson's books would sell for a lot, because all the museums would be trying to outbid each other and I think that we could probably get about 13 million for these books and that since we would have to pay taxes on that money, we would probably only end up with about 8 million.

Then I decided that I need to figure out what to do with all that money. It is a truly staggering amount after all and I wouldn't want to nickel and dime it all away.

So, I would pay off the house and student loan. I would build an addition onto my house so that we could live there forever and never run out of space. I would finish all the little projects and get all hew appliances. I would pay off the car and get Smug-Hub the land rover about which he has been dreaming. I would pay off my sister's house and buy her a new one (closer to me, since the 12 minutes away that she lives now is just too much in my opinion). I would then pay off all my dad's debt (house, cars, boat, etc.) and set up a trust fund for my brother (cause he would probably blow the whole wad on tattoos) and make sure that my mom had money each month for the rest of her life. Lastly, I would give $500,000 to each of my in-laws. The rest of the money would be invested in both high and low risk investments and a fund set up for Smug-Baby's college, wedding, first house, etc.

That would about cover it! I would still work and I think that Smug-Hub would want to still work too. I have never wanted to be rich, just stable enough not to have to worry!

So, see what getting healthy can do? I'm sure that once I start eating better consistently and working out everyday, I will very soon stumble across the long lost collection of Thomas Jefferson's books and all my financial problems will be over :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cleaning House

I know that a post with a title like "cleaning house" should be philosophical about cleaning our one's head of negativity or doing a body cleansing or something like that. However, this post is not about anything like that. It's about cleaning my house.

It has been 13 days since I cleaned my  house because we have had family in town for the last 12 days and spent last weekend out of town. The house is starting to be really, really gross!! The toilet has that nasty dirt film and I am noticing that Smug-Baby is picking up more grime than not when she is rolling and crawling around the floor. There is a thick layer of dust on everything and there is more clutter than I know what to do with.

I never used to worry to much about having a really clean house, but since my daughter has started moving around on her own steam and I spend much of my time at floor level, I see all the dirt, grime and clutter from her perspective and it is disgusting!

So, I have made a list of each thing that needs to be cleaned and sanitized and deodorized and as soon as my MIL gets on the plane for home, I am putting the plan into action!! It will take me until the end of Friday to get everything done, but then it will be clean and I will feel so much better about life!

I do, you know, feel better about everything in my life when the house is clean. I feel like I can do anything and get everything done when the house around me is clean. There is nothing better than falling asleep on clean sheets after bathing in the clean shower and walking around on clean carpet and eating in a clean dining room and cooking in a clean kitchen!!

Starting Saturday, I am putting my weight loss, and get healthy plan into action!! Once my house is clean and I have cleaned any remaining junk food from the fridge and cabinets, I will be all set up for success! I will start Saturday with a nice long bike ride and plan for a hike on Sunday and I have good videos to follow during the week! One of the "to do's" for today is to make the menus and grocery list for the coming two weeks, so I am just going to spend the next few days getting all cleaned up and ready to start the "Get Smug Gorgeous Plan"!!

What do you know, this post did kind of turn philosophical after all :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Love Ya Tomorrow...

I have been focusing on the negative the last few days and have decided that I have to stop. I have this really great life and to spend my time worrying about the future or complaining about things not going my way does nothing. I want to be a positive person and it's time that I start to focus on all the wonderful things that I have in my life and all the great things that my future holds.

I have this amazing husband who totally gets me! He loves me and cares about me, he calls me on my bullshit and forgives me when I say something insensitive. I could not have asked for anything more in a father for my daughter. He is great with her and loves her with his whole being. He is even more protective of her than I am and she loves him right back.

I have a great home that is perfect for my family. While there are projects that I would like to do around the house to make it better and I sometimes complain (OK, I complain a lot) about them not getting done, my house is great and I love it! It is newer so we don't have to worry about roof repair, furnace, water heater or heat pump crapping out anytime soon. I love the layout and the wall colors and everything about it!

I have a wonderful job that allows me to bring in some income and still spend most of my day being a mother. I have been with my company over 9 years and it is like my home and the people that work here are my family. I have no interest in leaving or finding another job. I honestly believe that I would still work here even if I won the lotto and didn't need the money anymore. Someone asked me if after having earned my MBA I was disappointed to me working as a mail clerk/file clerk, and while my job does involve more than just that, my answer is no, I am not disappointed. This is my dream job, a job that allows me to be a mother. It's not running a company or making six figures, but it is my dream job all the same.

I also have an amazing family. My mom and sister are my best friends and Smug-Hub and I hang out more with my dad and step-mom than we do any other couple. My daughter has 5, count'um 5 uncles! Smug-Hub's brothers, all three of them, are just as amazing as he is and they will all make great husbands and fathers. Smug-Sister's husband is great with my daughter, nephews and my new baby niece and makes my sister happy. My brother will try to tell you that he never wants to marry and have children, but loves kids all the same and has proposed to all three of women he has seriously dated. He too will make a great father one day.

My MIL and extended family are full of so much love and support that its hard to believe they are real! I know that I complain about the crap I get from people about not starting solids, or having natural childbirth, or any of the other things that I am doing differently, but none of that criticism comes from my family. I hear horror stories about people whose MIL's will give the baby formula behind the parents backs or be super critical and none of that is true in the case of my MIL or my extended family.

So, remind me of this post the next time I get upset that someone got the photos in the photo album out of order or forgot to put the toilet seat back down. I have a great life and I totally know it!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Good Morning!

I spent a lot of the day yesterday looking for my sunglasses. I knew that I had them on my face when we got home from the Williamsburg trip, and I knew that I normally place them at the top of the stairs, so that I will always be able to find them. Well, since I have been off my routine, anything is possible and I could not find them yesterday morning when I needed to leave for work. I looked around, but needed to leave so thought I would find them later.

I straightened up the whole house, checked under the couch and the bed, searched the car. I started cleaning up all the clutter of mail and dirty dishes and toys until the house is just about as clean as not dusting or running the vacuum can make it. Then I had a thought.

A few months ago, I lost my sunglasses and it turned out that my step-mother had picked them up by accident when she had been visiting as they look similar to hers. So, I remembered this incident and realized that she had been here Sunday night for the Cowboy/Redskins game (yeah, we took it, we won, we rule!!). So, I called her and left a message explaining that I really hoped she had them because I had torn the house apart and they were no where to be found.

She arrived on my doorstep, my sunglasses in hand about an hour later. She said that when she had gotten my message she had been a little insulted that I would think her capable of taking sunglasses not her own again. Then she went to her car and found both pairs. She said she was very sorry she kept stealing from me and we all had a good laugh.

I am dehydrated. I spent most of the day yesterday with my clingy baby. I loved it really, she just wanted her mama and no one else would do. She would cry out if I left her sight and it took a crazy amount of time to unlatch her when she fell asleep nursing so that I could get up and do something else for a bit. Her naps where short all day and when she awoke she only wanted me. I think that these last few weeks of being out of sync are catching up with her... that and her teeth probably are hurting.

She nursed a lot, which was great and nursed or stayed latched on most of last night. When I first started nursing her as an infant I noticed that when my milk let down, I would get really, really thirsty. Like going to die thirsty. Like mouth full of sawdust thirsty. That hasn't happened in a while, but I was really thirsty all day yesterday, all night and thus far this morning.

I think that the fact that I haven't been drinking as much water as I normally do could have something to do with this very dry feeling. Again, being off the routine has messed with everything, even my ability to remember to have water close at hand. I normally have this big cup with a lid and straw they gave me in the hospital and I keep it full all day. I haven't filled it in almost two weeks.

I also feel emotionally dehydrated. I feel as clingy to my baby as she is to me. I know that I talked in my last post about how having my MIL is wearing on me and I will be glad to get my routine back once she leaves. However, I feel like having gotten all that stuff off my chest in yesterday's post, I am able to be more objective and more gracious. I also think that just being home and holding onto Smug-Baby has much as I did helped ease some of that frustration. Now, I just feel drained. I don't feel angry at Smug-Hub anymore, or resentful of my MIL's presence in the house. Like I said before, she is a totally lovely person and I truly love her deeply and getting all that stuff out in a post yesterday really helped.

I am also really looking forward to starting my diet and exercise plan on Friday. I have been making a list of everything that I want to do on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This includes working out and getting the house clean, along with shopping for healthy foods and doing some cooking and prep work to make sticking to a new clean eating plan easier.

I have been visualizing how thin and healthy I will be in a few months. I have also been visualizing how all our financial worries will be a thing of the past too, but winning the lotto is probably not going to happen since I never buy a ticket :) I am excited to start feeling better and looking better and to have my jeans fall down because they truly are too big for me and not because they are stretched out due to being worn too many times before a washing :)

So, here is to a clean house, a clean body and a clean mind!! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Benign Post Becomes a Tangent

I've been visiting Williamsburg and Jamestown last week, thus the lack of posting, but I'm home now and enjoying the thought of being in my own home and in my own bed! Having so much time with my MIL is great and hard at the same time. She is the most wonderful lady and I love her dearly, but having the routine that Smug-Baby and I worked so hard to establish disrupted for so long is really hard on both of us. Not to mention, I am a creature of habit, I like routine and schedule and my husband and his family are not routine or schedule people, so I am feeling stressed a bit. I know that I will be sad to see her leave at the end of this week, but it will be good for my family to get back to our lives.

Visiting the first permanent colony in America was pretty cool and to visit it on the anniversary of 9/11 brought everything together in some way and we were touched. We felt like we stepped back into another place and time and really felt the impact that the day these colonists landed and the very shores we stood upon, had on the whole world and how 9/11 had done the same thing. We were forever changed that day and we will never be able to see that date on a calendar without remembering where we were and what we were doing. I know now how my grandfather feels about the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, it changed him forever and that date is burned into his consciousness in way that just isn't for me. Smug-Baby will know about 9/11, but it will never be a major event in her life, because she wasn't there, didn't live through it.

We drove home today and Smug-Baby slept the whole way! Poor girl is so off of her routine that she has not been sleeping well at night, not getting her diaper changed on her normal schedule and not nursing as well as she does normally. She get so distracted by everything these days that she forgets she is hungry and then is up all night nursing to play catch up. I am getting concerned about my milk supply and now that we are home, I am going to put my foot down on doing anymore drives or day trips. I want to stay home and nurse every 2-3 hours! Even if she is not hungry, I want to at least make the effort to try to get her nursing. She is fine, its not like she is losing weight or anything, but I want to keep my natural birth control (read: no period) in tact as well as make sure I keep producing enough milk to fulfill her needs!

Lastly, I have been talking more and more with Smug-Hub about having another baby and bottom line, I don't think that we are going to have any more. We are unable to come to an agreement on one issue. There is a 50% chance that we would have a boy child and I am unwilling to mutilate his penis and my husband is unwilling to leave him intact. Since we cannot come to a compromise on this issue (I suggested waiting and having it done if and when it became an issue for our boy) and Smug-Hub does not care that there is no medical reason to have it done, I can't take the chance on having another baby.

I am having a really hard time thinking that I have had the only pregnancy I will ever have, the only birth, the only, the only, the only... I keep thinking that he will come around and he may, but there is so much opposition to leaving a boy child intact, especially in our little town that I have a hard time believing he will suddenly have a change of heart. I really felt that he would see that causing unnecessary pain and suffering to our child was unacceptable once we had Smug-Baby, but he remains unmoved. He cites not wanting the baby to look different than daddy, which is the oddest argument I have ever heard! What if his hair is a different color than daddy's? He cites not wanting our son to be made fun of by other kids. So if he has big ears we'll cut them off? If he has a odd shaped nose, we will get him a nose job?

My daughter looks nothing like me. She is the mirror image of my husband. He has dark hair and eyes, while I am blond and have blue eyes. So, I really don't want her to have a hard time because she doesn't look like her mommy, so I think that we should start coloring her hair and get her some colored contacts...

I would consider having it done if there was  ONE medical reason out there to have it done. Just ONE!! There isn't ANY good medical reason out there today. NOT ONE!!!!! Parents used to be told that it was a hygienic thing, that the penis could not be properly cleaned unless it was done and parents were told that if it was left intact they needed to do all this major cleaning stuff, which was totally wrong and ended up causing infections that led to having to have it done later in childhood or adulthood. People use this as a reason now that it should be done.

Here are the facts! God made us perfect! God doesn't screw up! Leave the penis alone, and it will be just fine!! An uncircumcised penis does not need to be cleaned on the inside, leave it alone!!   

OK, so yeah, I'm having a hard time with this "decision" and maybe we will someday come to a resolution on this issue, but for now I am very sad to think that I have had my first and last child and dealing with that on top of having someone in my home a bit too long is having the effect of a perpetual bad mood... I'm sure that once my home is my own and cleaned and we are all back on our routines, I will feel better and I don't need to tackle the new baby topic for a while, so I choose to try to enjoy the last several days of MIL's visit and not think about it!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I feel judged by people about my parenting choices. I have chosen what I feel or what I have learned through research is best for my daughter and somehow this offends people who may have made different choices.

I want to feel free to chose how I want to parent without having to defend those choices. When I was pregnant and planning a drug-free natural childbirth, people kept telling me how I would take the drugs as soon as they were offered. They would smile at me like they were indulging a child and how they knew better. Well, I had my drug-free childbirth and while it was not the most fun I've had in a day, it really wasn't so bad and I felt like such a super hero when I delivered my girl!

Then I decided to cloth diaper for reasons previously stated (money and the environment mostly), and got the same looks, the same comments about how that wouldn't last long and how silly my choice was. Well, again, cloth diapering has turned out to be really super great! I am totally converted and feel really good that I am not contributing human waste to our landfill system! Smug-Baby has never had diaper rash (besides a little thrush in the beginning) and we are saving a ton of money!

Now that I have decided to put off starting solids a bit longer, I am getting new looks. Looks of concern, like perhaps I have decided to starve my baby! When people start to question this choice and start pointing out that after 6 months, a baby really NEEDS solids, I just point to Smug-Baby's fat thighs which are hard pressed to fit into 9 and 12 month sized pants and just smile!

All that being said, I am finding that I am becoming judgmental too. I find that when I hear about someone starting their 3 or 4 month old on cereal, I am compelled to tell them all the reasons that this is so wrong. When I hear a truly appalling reason for not breastfeeding, like you don't want your boobs to get any bigger or to be saggy, it is all I can do to walk away without telling them that they are obviously not ready to be a parent, if they are putting perky before what is best for their child!!!

So, I guess I need to be less harsh on those who judge my choices. I need to recognize that they made the best choices of their babies with the best information they had available at the time. I also need to respect that others may make different choices than I when it comes to having their babies...

Even if they are totally wrong!! :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I have been having issues. I mean, I think that I may have mental issues! I have been trying to figure it out in my head and the only thing I can come up with is that I have major issues. Here's what I'm talking about...

Smug-Hub's family is in town for a visit. This is the first time his brother has met Smug-Baby and I have no issues what so ever with him or his visiting us. My Mother-in-Law has not seen the baby since she was two weeks old and here is where the issues come into play. I couldn't stop thinking about the NICU and what a rough start Smug-Baby had. I have had dreams about it and been thinking about it all day long while getting ready for my MIL's visit.

It is like I am associating her with that terrible time in our life and somehow thinking about her being here brings all those memories back. Like she is responsible or something. She isn't of course, she was here with us, helping us, helping me through that horrible time. She cooked for us and drove me to the hospital every morning (I was not cleared to drive for two weeks due to my hemorrhaging after delivery). She was supportive and sweet and wonderful! As much as I know she wanted to hold and cuddle and kiss her first grandchild after we finally got home from the hospital, she never pushed me to let her when I was trying to bond and establish nursing. She did everything right and was amazing!! Why then, was I feeling this way? Feeling like she's somehow the bad guy?

As I struggled to think this through, I came to me that it must just be that she was there. She was part of that terrible memory and having her back for a visit, is like bringing back that horrible time. So, I have not been looking forward to her visit. It's terrible to say, but I wasn't. I didn't want to share my baby or have my routine disrupted. I just wanted to think of that NICU time as a bad dream that never really happened.

Here is the thing, now that she is here, everything is totally fine! Smug-Baby has really taken to her uncle and grandma and I haven't thought about the NICU but a few times during this visit. We are making new memories and further burying the old ones. It's not totally gone by any means, and I still get twinges of odd feelings, but for the most part I am totally fine with her being here and not plagued with bad feelings.

This is really a great thing, because I totally won the in-law lottery! My MIL is sweet and kind and loving and I could not have asked for better. To feel like I didn't want her around because she brought back bad memories was/is silly and was hard for me to deal with that as her visit got closer. I knew my feelings had no basis, but they were there. I have these amazing brothers-in-law, who are all just as sweet as their mother. They are fun and kind and variations on Smug-Hub and I love them dearly!

I still think that I have some issues to work through regarding spending two weeks watching my baby struggle to breathe, and my MIL was a big part of that. But, for the most part, I am now able to see my feelings for what they are and not have them directed at a totally innocent person!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Many Babies

I have a large family. I have a really large, loving, crazy family! My sister and I had baby girls 6 months apart, but we have a cousin who's wife had a baby almost 3 months ago as well as another cousin who is due in December and yet another cousin who's girlfriend gave birth to a girl just about a year ago. There is a definite family baby boom!

We were all gathered Wednesday and Thursday for our cousin's funeral and it was odd to see all the people that I played with as a child playing and wrestling and wrangling their own children. I remember us being the ones running up and down the halls, playing hide and seek, sneaking food from the refreshments table and otherwise being a kid.

I would like to think that Tammy is up there, watching all of us gathered in her honor, holding on to each other and loving each other. I hope that she is able to send some comfort to those taking her loss the hardest and I hope that she is at peace and no longer fighting her demons.

I hope that she is looking down at the next generation of our family and bathing them in love and light. All these babies, all this love. It warms my heart!   

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Cotton Babies is having a seconds sale! This is where some of their cloth diapers are sold for much less than normal and I tell you, I can't find anything wrong with the diapers once they arrive. I ordered 5 more Bum Genus in white and think that those 5 will be the last ones I need to purchase. I have been using the Bum Genus exclusively for a while now, after giving Econobums, Flips, and Gro-Baby's all a try. While all the ones I tried are great, I like the Bum Genus the best - of course, they are the most expensive too so the seconds sales really help! 

I wash diapers on Tuesdays and Saturdays and I generally am really rushing to get them finished before I need to change the baby, so having a few more will really help ease the pressure to get them all washed before a poo happens!

When I was first considering using cloth, it was mostly a money issue and I suppose still is for the most part. I knew that I was going to be working part time and that money would be tight. I set out to find the most cost effective way to have a baby and found it in cloth diapers, cloth wipes, breastfeeding and hand-me-down clothing and equipment.

1) Cloth diapers: I did the research and even with the increased cost of water, energy used by the washing machine and the cost of soap. The average person will save close to $3,000 during the diaper-wearing years and that cost increases with multiple children, since the same cloth diapers can be used for additional kids. We are saving about $70 a month by not purchasing disposable diapers and our water bill has only increased $6.00 a month and the electric bill by about $4.00. Not to mention the environmental impact of all those diapers! The Bum Genus are just as easy to use as disposables, Smug-Baby has never had a blow out in them and they are so absorbent that she can stay in one all night and not need to be changed!

2) Cloth wipes are nice, I wash them with the diapers twice a week and put the clean ones in a solution of baby was, olive oil and water, with a little orange oil for a nice scent, roll them up and stick them in a wipe warmer. Every diaper change involves a nice warm soft (chemical free) wipe. Smug-Baby likes the warm feeling and will often smile at me while getting her diaper changed. The cost savings is huge. We got the warmer as a baby gift and it included some wipes and I purchased more for $18. Disposable wipes run about $20 a box and you have to keep buying them over and over. Not to mention (again) the chemicals on your little baby's perfect butt, or the environmental impact!!

3) Breastfeeding: This is natures perfect baby food (as I have gone into detail on before) and it is totally free. I haven't even looked at what formula costs, or the price of increased doctor visits or the lifelong health benefits of breastfeeding, I just know that if God provided me a free way to feed my child, it would be downright silly to refuse!

4) My family is large and there are several of us cousins who are having children all around the same time frame. Smug-Cuz's daughter is about 3 now and she saved all her baby clothes and equipment for me. It took two large cars packed to bursting to bring it all home!! I had rockers and swings and blankets and clothes and toys and everything you could imagine! Besides that and shower gifts, I have only purchased two new outfits for my daughter. Everything else was given to me!! Smug-Sister is now getting everything, as her baby is the newest addition to the family. Once she is finished with it, Smug-Cuz's second baby will be about due and Smug-Sister can pass everything back to her!

I know that there are lots of costs to having a baby, both monetary and other ways, but those costs can be minimized by being smart, doing the research and keeping in mind that motto "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" The baby is better off, your wallet is better off and the planet is better off!!!