Friday, October 29, 2010


Everyone is gearing up for Halloween. I have a cute costume for my sweet Smug-Baby and was reading all about Becky’s plans and the costumes for her kids over at Life Out of Focus and I got to thinking about Halloween and how it has changed from when it was first celebrated (at least when we first know it was happening).

Halloween was a pagan holiday and was the day of Autumn Equinox. It was a day to celebrate the harvest and honor those loved ones who had passed on. It was said that on "All Hallows Eve" the line between the living at the dead is very thin and one may be able to communicate with someone who had passed. People would prepare food so their loved ones would have nourishment along their journey back and forth between the worlds. The custom was that everyone dressed up so that the dead wouldn’t be recognized as such and would feel comfortable moving among the living. Then everyone would travel to everyone else’s door eating the prepared food. This would better the chances that one would make contact with a loved one since all the living and the dead were both behaving the same way.

When Christianity came along, and the church was attempting to convert the masses it was common to incorporate some of the parts of the local religious customs and turn them into something Christian. It was a way of helping people assimilate to the new religion. If you think about how most people see God. When you picture what he might look like, most people that I asked, said that God was a man, with a long white beard. Well, think about the images portraying Zeus, the Greek god – man with a long white beard. So All Hallows Eve became All Saints Day, and the Winter Equinox, became Christmas…

It wasn't until much much later, when the church was attempting to gain power over, well over everything, that the pagan customs and rituals were demonized; Halloween was suddenly evil and became associated with witches, ghosts and goblins.

BTW - did you know that the term pagan actually just means country folk? Generally, it was those living outside the towns and villages that resisted the “new” Christian religion and kept their native beliefs, thus the term pagan became associated with non-believers. Interesting…

The same can be said about witches. People that were termed witches were those, mostly women, who kept to the old ways of healing instead of bowing to new, mostly male, doctors. The church leaders, again all male, were against anything they couldn’t control and everything they couldn’t understand. They particularly seemed to hate the fact that woman could give birth, create life, which is something God does. So, there is tons of stuff in our history about the abuse women suffered (and still do suffer) in regards to childbirth (and sex). But that’s a post for another time.

Most of what we know about pre-Christian beliefs has been passed down in stories and fables and by word of mouth, so we can’t be 100% sure of anything. After all, history is written by the winners and Christianity certainly won. However, I find it amazing to look at the customs of the current traditions and see how similar they actually are to the old ways.

Halloween is about dressing up, gathering candy door-to-door, witches and ghosts.

Now, I am a practicing Catholic; God and I are truly tight. But no matter which way you look at it, Christianity has had a long and bloody history and there were times (and still are I guess) when evil people hid behind religion and committed horrible atrocities against others. People tend to fear what they don’t understand and try to destroy what they fear. This does not mean that all Christians are evil or that Christ wasn’t an amazing man who left a huge mark of influence on our world. It just means that we have to do better about following what the man had to say. Jesus told us to love each other, forgive each other and not judge each other. That’s really a tall order, but we have to try!    

Thursday, October 28, 2010


So, I normally read Jennslvania on a daily basis. I think that Jen Lancaster is funny and silly and I love reading her work, both in book and blog form. So yesterday, I pull up her blog to find this post. Which links to this article in Marie Clare.

Basically Jen post is a response to the article in Marie Clare. The article is about the new show Mike and Molly on CBS. The show is about two people who meet and fall in love. The thing that makes this show different is that the two people are quite large. Now, I must state that I have only seen the first two episodes of this show, because it conflicts with something else I watch on Monday nights and also because I am trying really hard not to pick up anything new as my TV watching schedule is really full already.

The show seems to center around the fact that these two people are so fat, with fat jokes and them dieting and attending over eaters anonymous meetings. But also there are general funny sitcom-like moments that would be funny even if they were happening to a skinny person. I personally liked that these two actors, one of which is Melissa McCarthy, who I have loved since Gilmore Girls, were getting staring roles in a world that seems to only value the super skinny.

Now there is this article in Marie Clare, which was written after the author saw something on CNN about how gross it is to have fat people kissing on TV. The article is the opinions of the author and she is welcome to them, however this women is perpetuating the belief that in order to be a valuable person, one should be skinny. She talks about how is it disgusting to watch fat people do anything, like even walking around a room.

This poor woman is probably, like Jen said, obsessed with her weight and attaches her self worth to her weight. I feel sorry for her on that account, but she makes it sound like it is easy to be thin if only one would try hard enough.

Well, I am fat. Not huge, but enough that I am uncomfortable and enough that I know its unhealthy. I struggle with my food choices everyday and trying to find time to workout with a baby crawling underfoot is downright impossible. BTW - the last time I tried to workout, I was doing leg lifts and kicked my baby in the head when she crawled up behind me. Granted it wasn't hard, she didn't even cry, but I am don't want to workout unless she is sleeping.

I just don't know what the answer is here. I see this woman's point, that it is as unhealthy to be super fat as it is to be super skinny. I do think that cutting the processed foods and adding exercise to your life is a great thing. But, it's not easy and people do make comments about your weight in your presence and it hurts. Its hard to get motivated, to get moving, to make changes and the show (the bit that I have seen) seems to address that.

There is a scene where Mike is trying to shop for clothes for his first date with Molly and goes to the big and tall store. I know what it feels like to go into a store and start looking around and realize that this store doesn't carry sizes that will come anywhere close to covering your ass!

There is a scene where Molly is working out on her StairMaster and her super skinny mother and sister are sitting on the couch, (right beside Molly's machine) eating cake and talking about how the heavy cream and extra sugar have the made the cake so much better. Molly is tortured by the sight, smell and sounds of having this cake nearby and frustrated by the lack of support by her family. I too know what it's like to live with someone who is happy to eat whatever and encourages me to eat out and to have dessert.

Being fat is not healthy, we all know this. We are going to have issues as a society until shows like Mike and Molly are just about two people and not about two fat people. The show needs to balance the real life existence of being fat with the need to have the show be about more than just being fat - did that make sense?

I think that being fat is really hard. Its hard to feel tired all the time due to the extra weight. Its hard to see everything around you telling you that you should be thin. It's hard to pass by fast food when you are so hungry and time is short. It's hard to find time to workout, knowing that it will be hard and you will be sore after. It's hard to notice that guys don't give you a second look anymore. It's hard to look at yourself in the mirror and know that you had the power to change the way you look and chose to eat a cookie instead. It's hard to feel like you have blown Monday, so the rest of the week is a bust and you might as well eat another cookie.

I resolve everyday that this will be the day that I will eat well all day and this will be the day that I will find time to do that workout video. And every night as I get ready for bed, I look at myself in the mirror and reflect on how I did not eat as well as I should have and how I once again did not workout.

Crap, now I'm sad. Where are those damn cookies???

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I never gave much thought to the kind of daughter, friend, sister, wife or employee I wanted to be. It never really crossed my mind. I think that I have turned out to be pretty decent in all those areas, but not because I put a lot of thought and planning into it or worked hard to become what I wanted to become.

When it came to parenting, I am full of expectations for myself. I want to be the very best parent I can be and always try to do the right thing when it comes to my precious baby girl. I did tons of reading before I even started thinking about seriously getting pregnant and read even more while pregnant and continue to read now that she is here. I want to know all the latest and greatest research and make informed decisions about how to raise my girl.

When I set out on this adventure I decided several things; set expectations for how I wanted things to be, knowing full well that life often has other plans, and perhaps I would have to go with the flow. But I got thinking about it last night, what did I expect for motherhood? How did I have it all laid out? And lastly, how is it all really working?

I decided early on that I wanted to practice attachment parenting. I wanted to have my baby with me, on me, as much as possible. To that end I purchased a Sleepy Wrap and located some baby wearing resources. So, what happened? I wore and still wear my baby as much as possible. In the beginning I wore her all the time and now I wear her less as she really wants to be playing and moving on her own. I still use my carriers and wraps all the time and I think that the money I spent was very well worth it. Smug-Baby and I bonded so deeply during her early months and that bond continues to deepen and I feel that my wearing her was instrumental in establishing that bond.

I also knew, without a doubt that I would breastfed my baby. Having been raised by a Lactation Consultant (LC) I knew more than the average bear when it came to nursing. I took a breastfeeding class as I neared the end of my pregnancy and enlisted the help of the LC's on staff at the hospital. Even knowing all that I knew and having my mom as a resource I still needed the help and support of others to get nursing established. Breastfeeding is natural but its not an instinct for either mom or baby. We don't "just know" we need help and love and support. I worried in the beginning because of Smug-Baby's rough start in the NICU, but within a few days of getting her home, she was nursing like a champ. Now that she is older, if she wants to nurse, she tends to just butt her head into my chest or pull on my shirt. When I lay her down in the bed and get myself exposed and ready for her, she giggles and reaches up to take the breast in both hands. She sometimes even rolls her eyes when she first latches on, because she is in such feeding heaven!! Breastfeeding is probably the single best thing I could have done/am doing for my baby as it will set her up for a lifetime of health and it created a very strong bond between us. She looks deeply into my eyes as she nurses and it's like she is looking into my soul and imprinting me in hers. I can't even describe the love and connection that nursing has forged.

Co-sleeping was something that always thought made sense, especially with nursing. I am basically a lazy person and I did not relish the idea of getting up several times in the night to nurse and be sleep deprived all the time. I heard people talking about how you never sleep well again after a baby is born and I didn't want that for myself. Smug-Hub was less than thrilled about co-sleeping, thinking that he might roll on her and squish her! So, we decided that we would use a co-sleeper bassinet, which fits right up to the bed and the baby is right there with you and yet not in the same bed. Well, Smug-Baby never once spent any time in the co-sleeper. When we got her home from the hospital, I spent the next 48 full hours in bed, trying to establish nursing, every 2 hours, all day and night. I was so worried that the bottles of breast milk she had been given in the hospital would make her not want to nurse directly from the source. After those first days, we were so comfortable with her being between us, that she just stayed there. She has slept through the night, waking only for moments to latch on and nurse, since about day 4. I am sleeping less soundly than perhaps I did before, but I am not sleep deprived. I function all day without issue and am not a zombie in the slightest.

Another thought on co-sleeping. The SIDS thing. Doctors are now saying that babies need to be sleeping on their backs with no bumper pad in the crib and no pillows, blankets, toys, anything to reduce the chance of SIDS. Here are the facts - there hasn't been 1, NOT 1, case of SIDS in a breastfeeding, co-sleeping situation where drugs or alcohol were not involved. That means that the safest place for a baby is in her mother's bed, nursing and the mother and father are not taking anything (even Advil PM) that would effect their state of sleeping. Now that Smug-Baby is older SIDS is no longer really of any concern, but it was something I thought a lot about and read a lot about before she was born.

I knew that I was having a baby because I wanted to raise her myself. I did not want to have a baby just to hand her over to a daycare to take care of her. I was, after all, having a baby because I wanted to HAVE a baby. People offer all the time to watch her so Smug-Hub and I can go out, but the bottom line is this – we like her, we like spending time with her. We both have hours and hours that we are away from her all week long, we don’t need more time than that without her.

I also knew that money was going to be very tight if I was not bringing in a full time income, so I knew that corners would have to be cut and having her needed to not be a costly investment. I knew that other people were spending close to $100 a month of disposable diapers and wipes. In order to avoid that cost, I chose to cloth diaper and use cloth wipes. People shook their heads at me, thinking I was nuts, but I figured that if it didn’t work for us, we could re-evaluate. However, I am 100% totally converted and I don’t know why everyone isn’t doing cloth!! They are just as easy as disposables and no problem to wash and they have already saved us close to $1,000 since she was born!!! I expected that our household expenses would increase slightly with the addition of a new person to our family, but I was wrong! Our expenses have stayed almost exactly the same. The water bill has gone up by $6 a month and that is it! Having a baby is not nearly as expensive as everyone claims!

I also didn't want having a baby to totally change my ability to do things. I still wanted to go hiking and biking. I still wanted to see friends and go shopping and do everything that I always did before I had a baby. People told me that this was a crazy expectation and that I probably wouldn't leave the house for months. The truth is that I do stay home more now than I did before, but that has more to do with my not working full time than anything to do with Smug-Baby. I have taken her with me to the movies and to the grocery store. She comes with me when I run errands and when I visit friends and family. I put her in the carrier and go hiking, and put her in the trailer and go biking. I still do everything I normally did before she came along; I just do it with her now.

My expectations of how I wanted to be with my baby have manifested for the most part. What I never expected was to be blown away by how much love I feel for her and how strong my emotions are. I thought I would love her, I thought it would be strong, but I had no idea how much, how strong and even now I can't put it into words!

For the future, I expect that I will continue to put solids on the back burner. I expect that I will do more reading to her. I expect that I will start turning the TV off more. I expect that I will love her more today than I did yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

So, this will be Smug-Baby's first Halloween so we thought it was a perfect time to go out to a local pumpkin patch and pick out a nice pumpkin. First of all we had a super great time and will totally go again next year, but WOW it was freakin' expensive!! $20 to get in, another $25 spent on food (OK junk food, but kettle corn, funnel cakes and potato ribbons are hard to resist - and I did resist the deep fried oreos - can you tell we are in the south??), then another $20 for the pumpkins and some apples. Regardless, we had loads of fun.

We went with my sister and her family and her two boys had a blast. They played the rubber ducky race, slide down the "mine shaft" slide, rode on the cow train and shot the pumpkin blaster.

 I was almost eaten by a horse
 Smug-Sister and a sleeping Smug-Niece
 Smug-Baby didn't really know what to make of the tire horse

 Picking out a nice pumpkin - I see pies in our future!!

OK, what's this??

 Had enough fun, it's totally time to go home now!!

 It was a really great day and first Halloween / pumpkin patch trip to remember!!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Do you give a lot of thought to what your dreams mean? I don't normally. I figure its just your subconscious working through stuff and you don't really need to be too concerned about it. After all, you can't control what you dream and can't really make changes in your life based on a dream.

Last night, I dreamt that Smug-Hub had decided to give the baby gum. His thinking was that if he gave her a big enough wad, she wouldn't be able to choke on it. When I noticed that her lips seemed to be turning red, and realized what he had done, I pulled this huge wet and slimy hunk of gum out of her mouth. I screamed at him about how all that sugar and red die #5 was bad for babies and how he needed to think before just giving her stuff.

I grabbed the baby and headed off and suddenly I was at a party on a boat and I was looking for my mom to see if I should do anything to counteract the horrible effects of the red die #5 and ran into Vince Neil. I asked him how the recent tour was going and he was very blah about it, saying something like "oh fine, you know". It was a bit awkward so I left him to once again pick up my quest to make sure that Smug-Baby would be OK after having ingested all that red die #5!! Then I woke up.

Now, my husband is a very good father, but sometimes he doesn't think things through. I caught him giving Smug-Baby the cellophane used to keep the can of peanuts fresh. He thought she could chew on it and would like the crackling sound. When I explained that it was small enough that she could inhale it and choke, he thought I was being silly. Then I explained that peanuts are a very high allergen and eating even peanut dust was a bad idea at her young age. Only then, did he realize that I was right and take the wrapper away from her.

The thing is, she has plenty of toys, both toys that were built to be toys and items in our house that have become toys, like the chip clips. She is not hurting for something to play with and yet he gives her stuff that is harmful to her.

One day we were at Olive Garden and he was letting her chew on the little cardboard coaster. In my mind there are a couple of reasons not to let her do this. First, we don't know where that coaster has been, who has touched it or anything. Secondly, it is printed and that ink is made of who knows what, it could be toxic for all we know. Lastly, it is paper, stuck in her mouth it will disintegrate!! When I pointed out this last point to him, he assured me that it would be fine and to illustrate his point he pulled it out of her mouth to reveal a large chunk missing. He tried to feel around in her mouth for the pieces with his huge fingers, but in the end I had to get in there and pull out the several pieces.

The point is this: Why doesn't he listen to me? Why does he argue that something is fine for her to play with and then have to concede that it's not? Why not just listen to me from the start?

So, my thinking is that my dream must be my sub-conscious trying to work though or process how I feel about my husband giving the baby things that are not good for her. We decided before she was born that she would not be a vegetarian (like me), but as the compromise, she would only eat meat at home, that we prepared and we would only buy local, free range stuff. Now he is making noises about how they are going to go to this local sushi place when she gets bigger or how much she is probably going to love eating at the Greek festival. Since she is only 8 months old and not on any solids yet, I didn't feel the need to fight this battle yet, but again, I wonder how he can love her so much and be willing to put bad things into her body.

It's our job as parents to do right by our children and really try to give them the best as much as is possible.

I am philosophically opposed to eating animals, and my husband is opposed to not eating them. I am willing to compromise, but he is going to have to compromise too. Maybe it is time to talk about it again...

Friday, October 22, 2010

One Tired Mama

I went to bed promptly at 9:30 last night and awoke to the grunts and wheezes that are my husbands snores. It was about 1am and he had forgotten to put his CPAP mask on again and was snoring as if his life depended on it.

Smug-Baby looked over at me and grinned. She too had been awoken to the sounds her daddy was making and now she decided it was time to play.

I poked Smug-Hub and he set about getting his mask on while I attempted to nurse Smug-Baby. She nursed a good while, but never closed her eyes. Once she had her fill, she thought it was high time daddy joined the party, so she pulled herself into a standing position using his mountain of a back and proceeded to smack him in the face until he gave in and took off his mask and smiled at her. She giggled and smacked him in the face a few more times for good measure.

After a few moments he determined, like I had, that she was up and had no interest in sleeping. He offered to take her to the living room to play and perhaps fall back asleep while I tried to get more sleep (since I did have to get up at 4:30 and it was now 2am).

They rocked in the rocking chair for a bit and I tried to go back to sleep, but having been awake for the last hour, it wasn't happening quickly. When I heard her crying to nurse again, I got up and took over. We nursed and rocked and rocked and nursed and finally at about 3:15 she was tired and fell asleep with her head on my heart.

I carefully got up and cautiously crept to the bedroom, opened the door as softly as I could. Smug-Baby's eyes flew open as the sounds of raucous snoring hit us full on. Daddy had fallen asleep, mask on and in place, on his back and the snores they were a flying!!

Warning Bad Words Below!!!

I kicked his leg and staged whispered "Roll on your God Damn Motherfucking back you Fucking Asshole!!!!"

His response was "What?" and he rolled over.

Smug-Baby is giggling again by this time and back out to the rocking chair we go. She did fall back asleep for good about 4 and I fell back asleep, hitting the snooze a few times until 4:45.

Given that I have been dealing with a terrible head cold since last Thursday with only marginal improvement to date, I feel OK this morning as I get ready to head into work. I feel kinda like a zombie, but once my 4 hours are done, I can find time for a little nap and perhaps I will feel even better tomorrow. Perhaps, tonight, I will put duct tape over the nose and mouth of my darling husband and finally Smug-Baby and I will sleep through the night....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

8 Months

My sweet baby girl is 8 months old today and while I am not sure how it is possible, I love her more and more each day. I watch as she discovers her world and it makes me see the everything in a new light. She is pure joy!!

Smug-Baby is starting to explore her home. She is walking around holding onto furniture to get everywhere she can and has even walked her along the wall when there isn't something else to hold onto. She will sometimes get to the end of the circle of furniture and will stand there, holding onto the end table and "cry" to let me know that she is there and can go no further in her quest to get to me in the kitchen.

She is also lowering herself down now. She will be standing, holding or walking with the furniture and decide to sit back down and rather than plop down hard, she lowers herself into a sitting position, wiggling her butt ever so slightly until she feels the floor beneath her and only then will she let go of the table or couch.

Only once or twice now have I seen her go from laying on her belly into a sitting position, but she is getting there.

She has also started rocking back and forth on her hands and knees, but true crawling still eludes her. She still commando crawls and has even started to back herself up, so I feel like crawling is really close.

She is waving. She waves to everyone and even to herself. It really is the cutest thing!

She claps her hands together a lot. It started with trying to learn Pat-a-cake, and now she just claps. She claps when she is excited or happy and even sometimes when she is sleeping! That's right, sleeping. She was restless one night, so I got up to move her to the other side so I could nurse her on the full boob and she, with eyes tightly shut, whined a little and then clapped her hands three times before latching on and going right back to a deep sleep. It was too cute!

She has tried a few tastes of grown up food. First thing was a lemon, which she pulled off the table and a restaurant and loved! So, we tried watermelon and sweet potato and neither she liked much. I am thinking that maybe if I mash the sweet potato and mix it with from breast milk it might be more appetizing to her.

She loves it when mommy sings to her (I can't imagine why, I really can't sing), but it will stop her from crying when she is waking from a nap or unhappy about being in her car seat. I sing "You are my sunshine" I sing "Mary had a little lamb" and I sing "My Girl" most often. I have sang the Spongebob theme and Little Bunny Foo Foo on occasion as well as whatever happens to be stuck in my head from the radio. She seems to just like my voice and I just love that!!

She has times when she prefers daddy and other times when she only has eyes for me. In the mornings, if she wakes up before I leave for work, she wants to watch everything I am doing to get ready and daddy just won't do. Its sad because its like she knows that I'm leaving and wants me more. When daddy comes home from work, she wiggles and giggles and squirms until he gets up the stairs and she practically jumps into his arms.

She is my true love and the greatest thing that I will ever do with my life. I am once again so blessed and so honored that she chose me!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I am sick. I have been sick for almost a week now and I am getting sick of it :)

It started with a little raw feeling in my throat and then two one side of my nose feeling stuffed and has developed into my voice being raspy and strange, really sore throat, both sides of my nose stuffed up and head/body aching.

It does seem like as the day gets going the symptoms lesson and I feel like I am getting better, but the mornings (which start at 4:30 mind you) and the evenings are horrible. I am not sleeping well at all and thus am dragging through the day. It's not like I can just crawl into bed for a day or two, I have this amazing baby and I want to spend my days with her, not sleeping. So, we have spent the majority of the week in the rocking chair together, chilling with some Spongebob and nursing a lot. It's not really so bad, except at 4:30 in the morning, when I feel like I might be dying :)

So, in an effort to perk myself up, I thought I would post some cute pictures of my baby girl!!

Dogs are the best!!
Climbing Down Mount Daddy
I Love My Daddy

Watching Glee

Naked Baby!!


My cousin's ear is really cool!!

My sweet loving girl!!!

There I feel better!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Comfort and Style

For my birthday last weekend, my sister gave me a gift certificate to NY & Co. and this weekend she went with me to spend it. I found myself looking at each lovely item and judging if I would be able to nurse in it or how it would look with spit up on it or how it would fare if it stayed in the washing machine or dryer overnight.

I ended up deciding on a couple pairs of stretchy pants, a jacket to match and another jacket that felt kind of like suede. They are all comfortable and (I think) fairly flattering to my post-baby body. However, I hate that I still have weight to lose and until I do, anything beyond stretchy clothes are going to be tight, uncomfortable and unflattering.

Next we went to Motherhood Maternity and they were having a bra sale. I have been searching for a couple good (cheap) nursing bras. I currently have two that I have been wearing since before Smug-Baby was born and I alternate them with a few sports bras (that are way too tight) and some nursing tanks (also, tight and uncomfortable). I do like these nursing bras for the most part, but they really offer no support (I tried to do a dance aerobics video last week and OMG the bouncing was unbearable). So, I had the lady at Motherhood do a bra fitting and I tried on several bras. I found a sports bra and three "sexy" bras that I liked and seemed to be comfortable. I loved the way that my chest was finally where it was supposed to be and not hanging like udders at my waist, so I got all four (the sale was buy 3 get one free).

Granted I am sick with a particularly nasty head cold at the moment, but both yesterday and today I wore my new bras and again, love the way they look under my top, but it is a horrible torture device! The boning in the side is digging into my skin constantly and its so low cut that one girl or the other is always sort of falling out the middle and then it looks like I have four boobs!!

So, why did I think they were comfortable in the store? I should have worn them with the tags on so I could return them!!

Why the hell can't someone invent a bra that fits well, offers support AND comfort! Why must I sacrifice my comfort and be miserable to look decent? Why must I look at a chump to be comfortable?

Why can't I just wake up and be thin tomorrow and rich too would be nice!!

I can't wait to get home and take this horrible thing off and put back on my old unsupportive bra and try not to do any jogging or anything.

Monday, October 18, 2010


What makes people friends? What makes friendships last and what makes them end?

I have had one friend (besides my sister and mom, who I consider my closest friends) since I was about 4 years old. She and I met and bonded over forbidden cheese crackers and have been best friends ever since. That means we have been friends for about 30 years now and we are as close as ever. We often will go weeks without e-mailing, months without a phone call and years without seeing each other (we live many states apart now), but when we do talk or see each other, it is like no time has past. We are totally ourselves and completely comfortable with each other. I know that she is my forever friend.

Other than this lifetime friendship, I have had a rocky road with friends. I seem to cycle through friends; they come and go, come and go and I always hate to see it when a friendship falls away. I don't tend to have blowup fights that end these friendships, they just fade away. My mother once said that people come into your life for as long as you need them and when you don't need them anymore they will move on. She was referring to romantic love at the time, but maybe that applies here too.

That being said, I am cautious when it comes to putting myself out there and trying to be friends with someone. If friendships are a give and take (like any good relationship should be), I find myself to most often be the giver and less of the receiver and I don't really mind that because I love to help others and am most happy when I am able to help or be of use or am making someone else happy.

The problem with this is that once the friend no longer is in need of what I can offer, or when I determine I can no longer provide what they need, the friendship is over. So, I am scared to reach out, and thus have very few people I can call on when I need help or when I need to talk or when I want to grab a coffee with someone.

So, here are my friends, the oldest of which I have already told you about.

Now I have Lou, who had the misfortune of dating my brother, but in the process gained two sister friends and we have been able, for the most part, to remain friends after their relationship ended. Lou had a rough time when she and Smug-Bro split and lost her way for a while. I had to step back and let her find her path again and once she did, we have fallen back into a good, solid friendship. I value her. She is smart and funny and did I mention smart and beautiful and did I say smart already? I love her dearly.

Then I have Kelly who became my friend during school and who I was there for at the end of her marriage and who was there for me at the beginning of mine. However, we have moved onto very different paths now. She is living the care-free single life, bar hopping and late nights while I have settled into poopy diapers and early nights with not a drink in sight. I was hurt when she was not there for my baby shower or to support me while my daughter fought for strength in the hospital, and she has only seen my sweet smug-baby twice in the 8 months she has been in this world. However, she is busy and I have no doubt that she loves me. I don't know if this friendship will fade or if our paths may once again be in sync, but I love her dearly as well.

I recently met Lynn when we discovered our babies were due on the same day and, as it happened, we both ended up going more than a week over our due dates and had our babies within a day of each other AND were in the same delivery room (just a day apart). Unfortunately, our symbiosis didn't end there and her baby too was in the NICU for a while. We are very like minded when it comes to parenting and we talk a lot about the other people we encounter and what decisions we are currently wrestling with. Our friendship is very young and only time will tell if it will stand the test of time, but I do hope that our babies will be able to grow up together - after all they seemed to want to be together all along!

Now, this is the current source of my pain and the main reason for this post. Bee is godmother to my daughter and I am godmother to her son. We bonded when we first met and our husbands also bonded and I would say that I am almost as much friends with her husband as I am with her. I lover her son with all my heart and we had the honor of keeping him for several days about a year ago and I loved the routine of taking him to school, picking him up, doing homework and having dinner all together. Bee owns her own business and I believe so much in what she is doing that I wanted to help and spent many hours on data entry, brainstorming ideas to increase business and the like.

The problem is that I have been trying to get together with her for about 3 months now and all my phone messages, e-mails and texts have gone unanswered. Smug-Hub has been in contact with her husband and he tells us that they are so busy with work that they hardly have time to eat or sleep and that Bee has been often sick with one head cold after another. So, do I take it on faith that she is not trying to move on from this friendship? Or, do I stop calling, take the hint and let her go? It would hurt me deeply for this friendship to end, but how can you make someone be your friend? I find it hard to believe that I have done something to offend her, and just as hard to believe that she is so busy that a text message letting me know she is alive is too much.

My heart hurts...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Super Model in Training

So my sweet baby girl fancies herself a super model! I'll tell you why!

My sister and I decided to take our girls to have their photo taken together at Sears because we had a coupon and thought that pictures of the girls together would make good Christmas gifts.

We decided that we would do a couple of outfit changes including their holloween costumes

My sweet smug-baby was such a ham and loved the attention of being in front of the camera

She didn't even mind sharing the spotlight with her little cousin

 She made faces at the women taking her picture and cracked them up

The babies really seemed to like being together and didn't cry and Smug-Baby didn't smack her cousin in the face at all!

Finally, the babies were getting hot and we decided that some cute shots of them in their Bum Genus diapers would be a great way to end the day

Then we tossed the coupon and bought everything :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Love and Money

While my mother was out of town recently, I recorded several episodes of Oprah for her. I don't watch Oprah, but mom loves her and I guess this is the final season of her talk show and mom claims that every episode is "sacred", anyway mom came over yesterday to watch some of the like 15 shows on my DVR and one of the episodes featured Jenny McCarthy who I have always liked since I first saw her on that MTV game show thing way back in the day. She is beautiful yes, but she is also really funny and silly and super smart and enlightened. So, I stopped what I was doing and joined mom on the couch to watch.

Jenny was promoting her new book, Love, Lust & Faking It: The Naked Truth About Sex, Lies, and True Romance and she talked about her split from Jim Carrey and her son and how she got started with Playboy. She was very funny throughout, but also she talked about how women can manipulate without even recognizing they are doing it. Like the silent treatment, we all do this one, and yet it can be very manipulating. I know that Smug-Hub and I both are fans of giving each other the silent treatment at times and we both hate it.

I haven't read the book and may or may not get around to it, but I was struck by one thing that she said. She said that people aren't honest when a relationship begins and that can lead to major problems later. When a man asks you if you like Soccer, and you say "oh yeah, I love Soccer" and then later down the road, throw a fit when he wants to attend another tournament of games that span a long weekend, you can't be surprised that he will not have a clear understanding of the problem. When he asks if you like Soccer, say "no and I hate pizza and I don't care for your mother either" only then will you have an even playing field for the relationship.

The other thing that she said was that people come into your life to teach you and once you learn the lesson, they may no longer need to be in your life. So, that begs the question, are relationships supposed to last? Are marriage's supposed to be for life? I personally hope so. I love my husband so much that I can't breathe when I think about not being with him anymore. If he is only in my life to teach me a lesson, I hope its one I never learn. I need him, I love him. He is a biggest supporter, my friend, my lover and my sounding board. He sees the real and true me and loves me anyway!

One of the biggest reasons that I hear of couples falling apart is money. Lack of money, too much money, one person making more money than the other, etc. I hate money. I wish that I had a bit more of it, so that I didn't have to worry about it as often, but I truly hate money. I believe that it is evil. Money makes the politicians untrustworthy. Money tears families apart. Money makes CEO's approve bad products. Money makes judges and cops dirty.

I hope for a day when I have enough money to make my ends meet, but I never want to have more than I need. I never want to be rich, to raise a rich spoiled brat of a child or to become one of those women who talk about their possessions in brand names (for example: Honey, bring me my Gucci bag! Instead of "hand me my purse").

I used to work for a man who had been raised by wealthy parents and who raised his children with money. He was spoiled and wanted what he wanted when he wanted it, so much so that he ran is company into the ground. His wife had a business from which she drew a salary, plus he gave her $2,000 a month as her "allowance" and she used the joint credit cards for gas and groceries. All the household bills were paid from the joint checking account, including the cleaning lady and the gardener. I have no idea what she did with two grand a month on top of her salary, but she was always talking about needing more. His children were sent money every month on top of the money they made working whatever job they had at the time. They sent him their bills for everything from new rugs to clothing. 

I don't want that for myself or my family. I want only to be comfortable with what we have. I don't want to be woken in the night worrying about how one bill or another is going to be paid. I want to have just enough and never more than that...  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Scream for Ice Cream

My daughter appears to be sensitive to ice cream. I can eat a bit of dairy here and there, but ice cream seems to be her nemesis. I made this Pampered Chef recipe for cobbler last night and I had gotten some Haagen-Dazs free with a coupon at the grocery store and so I partook. I had a nice big scoop of cobbler and a small scoop of ice cream for dessert last night.

My poor baby woke up crying and gassy about 2 am. She kept falling back asleep, but restlessly as I rubbed her belly for about 45 minutes until she finally settled back into a good sleep. I do feel the need to mention that Smug-Hub only rolled over and pulled the covers up, but never woke to her pitiful cries.

I have to keep dairy to a minimum and no more ice cream until she is finished nursing. It’s hard to think about never eating ice cream again, but seeing her uncomfortable breaks my heart and no food item is worth her being in pain.

I am determined to be a great parent, not just a good parent or an ok parent. I want to be great and letting her suffer so I can eat something delicious is just stupid. That being said, I really like ice cream and I was really hoping that she would not have a problem with it and I would still be able to eat it (insert whining voice).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I used to be jealous of my sister because she got to be my nephew’s mommy. He is such a great, smart and super sweet kid and I love him so much. I used to think how she didn't know how lucky she was and I envied her to a large degree. I am not jealous anymore because now I get to be Smug-Baby's mama AND I get to be an important person in my nephew's life too!


I left my phone in the shopping cart at the grocery store this weekend and had to go back for it. Thank goodness someone had turned it in so no harm done. However, I did not tell Smug-Hub about it because then I would not be able to tease him about leaving his things all over town.


I don't like judgmental people, but I myself am judgmental! I hate it when others try to tell me their version of the right thing to do, when I know good and well that I am the one with the right answer...


I love my child so much that I might eat her! I want badly to nibble on her chin and chew on her cheeks. I want to take bites of her legs and have her toes as a snack. I love every inch of her body and soul and I love how she smiles when she sees me, hates when I leave her sight and if I lay on the floor, anywhere in the house, no matter what she is doing, she drops and makes a beeline for me and crawls all over me. She lights up when her daddy is around, but her favorite thing in the world seems to be, waking up on a weekend morning when both her parents are beside her smiling and full of kisses.


What do you have to confess? Come on, get it off your chest, you will feel better!!

Monday, October 11, 2010


I had an opportunity to observe parents with their children at an event this weekend and I was astounded by what I saw. I was standing in a very long, very slow checkout line and saw this one woman, about two people behind me. At her feet sat her child who was maybe 5 years old or a bit younger. He was playing with a toy fire engine complete with extending ladder; also at her feet were her large tote bag purse and a huge shopping bag full of what she was purchasing. The child was extending the ladder, rolling the truck along the floor and otherwise just being a kid playing happily on his own. The problem with this was that this place was packed to bursting and people trying to angle themselves around the line of people waiting to checkout to do their own shopping kept tripping over the truck and/or its ladder.

The mother's answer to this problem was to repeat "Sterling, Sterling Darling, you need to move, you are in people's way, you are going to trip someone. Sterling? Do you hear mommy?" Once the child actually did acknowledge his mother by looking up at her and shouting "WHAT?!?!?" she backed down and didn't say anything to him for a while, until he tripped another person and the cycle started again. Never once did she get down on his level and make eye contact. Never did she physically touch his hand to get his attention, or take the toy away from him.

Don't even get me started on why she brought him to this event in the first place. As I said it was packed!! There was hardly room to look at the items for sale, the aisles were backed up with those waiting to check out and the racks so full you couldn't really see the condition of an item unless you pulled it off the rack and then, god help you, if needed to put it back! I took Smug-Baby and put her on my back in the Mei Tei wrap until Smug-Hub got off work and then he came and got her and took her home. It worked out great because she was getting restless by the time he arrived. I would never have taken a child I could not keep tied to me in such mayhem!

Next, I turned to the women in the cash only line, she was a bit in front of me and her children, a boy and girl of about 7 or 8, were also playing with each other at her feet. They had a few toys between them, but mostly were laughing and playing with each other. I believe there was a bit of a game of tag going on, except there wasn't much room to move, so it was kind of a dodging around in a small space trying not to be tagged. This mother threatened not to purchase the toys, telling Randolph and Sydney to stop messing around, that she really meant it and did she have to take them to the car without buying anything?? Again, she never followed through to put the toys back on the shelf or put down her purchases and took the children home. They never once even acknowledged her voice.

I was amazed by the lack of any concern these children had for the words their mothers spoke. They were totally unfazed by their threats. There were no consequences that I could see (perhaps after they got home, there were all beaten soundly, but I doubt it).

What has happened to parenting? When did the parents learn to fear their children? When did children learn it was ok to ignore their parents? And most importantly, how do I keep from falling into the same trap???

I know this is going to sound totally off, but I blame the women's liberation movement of the 1960's for this problem. In the 50's, everyone knew their place, their role. The husbands and fathers went to work, handled the lawn care and serviced their own cars. The wives and mothers cleaned the homes, raised the children and cooked the meals. Then came women's lib and women started working outside the home. This was all well and good, but they also continued to be responsible for the care of the home and most meal prep.

This introduced more processed convenience foods which have seemingly led to childhood obesity, ADHD and other food related problems. They also started to shortchange their children, TV became a babysitter and more and more children were raised by their daycare first and then by their public school system.

Now we have an entire generation of parents who themselves were raised in the daycare/public school system and have had no strong parenting role model. They are having children with no idea at all of how to be an effective parent. We decided as a society that spanking was a really bad idea, but we took it another level, equating not spanking or beating on your kids with not having any form of discipline at all.

I was raised by a stay-at-home mother, I can count the times I was spanked on a few fingers, but I knew that when my mother spoke, it was time to listen. She followed through on her threats and believe me, there were times when I wished for a spanking because it was quick and over fast. A typical punishment may involve taking every item out of a given room, washing the walls, baseboards, light fixtures and doors. Then putting everything back in the room in a organized, wiped down, cleaned up way! It could take the whole day!!!!

When I think about raising my own child I fear falling into the trap so many others have. The trap where their children don't respect them, don't listen and run wild. I want Smug-Baby to grow up to be strong, confident and smart. I don't want her to fear her father or I, but to know that we mean what we say and that we have her best interest at heart. I know that we won't be perfect parents and that we will take some missteps along the way, but if you ever hear me telling her to do something, waving my hand ineffectually at her, please take my hand, look me in the eye and tell me to suck it up and be the parent!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Starting Solids

Last weekend Smug-Baby grabbed a lemon slice from the table at Olive Garden and immediately stuck it in her mouth. She loved it, so we grabbed the camera and took some pictures of her first taste of food beyond mama's milk.

So, after that I figured that we might as well start letting her try stuff, and I got a little watermelon at the store this week. I gave her a few big pieces to play with and while she loved watching the red fruit slide around the tray, she didn't really care for it when she stuck a piece in her mouth. She did that shudder you do when something tastes bitter or sour.

Last night we tried a bit of mashed sweet potato along with some chucks she could just play with. She shuddered again and gagged and spit it out with vigor! She does not seem to care for food as anything more than a play toy.

This personally is fine with me. I love nursing her and don't love the idea of moving beyond it to the next stage. I don't think that I will nurse until she is 7 or anything, but I'm sure not in a rush and if she wants to still be nursing at 2 or so, I think that I will be fine with that.

That brings me to my next topic.

I watched a pretty awful movie this week called "The Back Up Plan" with Jennifer Lopez and the thing that made it horrible was that the story was undeveloped and disjointed and it was hard to like the characters when you didn't really get to know them.

The movie is about a woman who decides to have artificial insemination because she is getting older and has not found "the one" yet. On the day she has the procedure she meets Stan, and they connect and have a date or two before she tells him that she is pregnant. He decides she is worth it and they (I guess) move in together. (All this happens in about 12 minutes of screen time). They appear to move in together after one date and a strange weekend getaway where they have sex, she says "I'm pregnant" and he sleeps on the couch. They have the scripted ups and downs and she kicks him out only to discover she loves him just as she goes into labor. The End.

The thing that I found most distasteful about the movie is the scene where they attend a friend's home birth. The filmmakers felt the need to make this group of people appear as crazy as possible. There is the mother nursing her 3 year old, the water bath pool, and the hippie banging on a drum during the labor and delivery and of course, the nut job giving birth in a pool. She makes crazy faces and noises and demands that J.Lo not move because she is "my focal point"

Here is the thing, maybe this is funny for those never having been through the birth process, but I found it offensive. I have been in labor, had natural childbirth and subscribe to several of the philosophy’s they make fun of. I think that water birth would be wonderful and would have had one if the hospital in my area was the least bit progressive.

Everyone labors differently and to make this woman look so strange (when of course during her own labor and delivery scene, J.Lo looks lovely with a sexy sheen of sweet to denote the work she is doing) has the effect of making me (perhaps others) feel self conscious about labor not to mention an unrealistic picture of what natural childbirth or home birth is and isn't.

I had a wonderful birth experience and I feel like Hollywood has the chance to really influence people's thinking and change the way things are viewed and they choose to make birth feel like this hippie dippy crap and that is just sad.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Baby Wearing

I was reading a post from Let's Talk Babies yesterday and learned that there is a lot going on in the Baby Wearing world. There has been a  lot of talk over the last year or so about the safety of wearing your baby and safety standards committees being put together and the big THEY out there recommending not wearing your baby until he/she is like 4-6 months old and stuff like that.

So, I personally don't really remember when I decided that I wanted to wear my baby, but well before she was born because I received a Sleepy Time wrap as a baby shower gift. As soon as I got Smug-Baby home I started wearing her all the time. She loved it. She was close to me, listening to my breathing, my voice, my heartbeat and she was warm and felt safe and secure (I am assuming since she didn't actually tell me so). I had a few worries in the back of my mind on if I was wrapping her correctly and safely, but for the most part, I trusted my instincts, as I have done and still do on anything when it comes to parenting.

After a while I started attending a baby wearing support group, which kind of turned into a parenting support group as we talked about baby wearing along with everything else that new mothers feel and are confronted with and it was great support. I purchased a ring sling and a Mei Tei and expanded my carry's so that Smug-Baby was happy as she grew more interested in the world around her and wanted to see what was going on. We own a Baby Bjoen which my husband likes, but causes me back pain and we have a back pack style which is great for hiking trips and I have even warn around the house while cleaning.

My baby wearing experience has been wonderful thus far and I plan on wearing her for a long time in the future. I wear her less now as she really loves crawling around the house and playing with her toys, but she still likes to be in the sling or wrap when we go shopping or for walks and I always wear her when I do my weekly house cleaning since she hates the noise of the vacuum cleaner so much and being close to be seems to ease that for her.

I feel like wearing my baby allows me to function both when she was new and now that she is bigger. I never felt that trapped feeling that some mothers feel because they are tied down at home all the time with a new baby. I carried on with my life much as I had before, I cleaned the house, folded laundry, ran errands and met up with friends, all with my baby happy, safe and secure attached to me. Bottom line, people told me all the horror stories of giving up your whole life once a baby comes along and while my life has changed, because I am able to wear my baby, I still do anything and everything I want to do.

I also feel like wearing helped her become the secure baby that she is now. She has no fear, she explores her home, she does not fear strangers or even loud noises (sometimes). I feel that this is because she knows that her needs will be met, she trusts me and her daddy to take care of her and never put her in harms way or force her into something she doesn't want to do (except the car seat, she doesn't care much for that and lets us know!) It was important to me to raise my baby with great self esteem and great confidence from day one and I feel like baby wearing helped me create that foundation.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Baby's World

My daughter cracks me up! Seriously she is so funny to watch as she discovers life. The strangest things strike her as hilarious; for example, the slapping sound an open book makes when it is shut firmly is about the funniest thing she has ever seen/heard. She laughs every time, waiting intently for you to slam the book closed again. Also, the measuring tape when it is pulled out and the let go to thwack back into its case. She giggles and looks at you until you pull the tape out again and let it go.

She has total confidence in her surroundings, she has no fear when it comes to exploring her home. She commando crawls all over the house, checking out the cracks in the baseboards and that tiny piece of paper torn from an envelope. She has found things I never would have noticed, like that ever so small pebble brought into the house on someones shoe.

I know this may sound bad, but I like to watch her get frustrated. I like to watch as she gets herself somewhere, like under a dining room chair and then can't move forward and can't move back. I like to watch her try and try, turning this way and that, until she finally admits defeat and calls out to me to come save her. This will sound even worse, but I love her face when it is all screwed up crying pitifully at me. Her two little bottom teeth are shown off and since she rarely cries, it is kind of a different face for her. I love all her faces and I know that when she looks at me with those teary eyes and crunched up little face, she is looking up to the one person who she knows will help her. Even if it takes me a try or two to figure out what the problem is, she knows that I'm trying and will not cry unless I am really screwing it up :)

She has started to notice details, like in the last couple of days she has become fascinated by my eyelashes and will play with them, one fingered, until I pull away. She will play with the edge of a rug or the design in the blanket or someones shirt. She notices the difference between one color or texture and feel the need to investigate. I just love every second of watching her learn all about her world. She is so precious to me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Settling In

I spent the weekend getting my Grandpa's stuff moved in and set up in his new room at the assisted living community. I was very nervous because the decision was made on this particular facility by him and my mother, on my recommendation alone. They were both in Florida and I went and toured the facilities. I thought this one would be the best; I liked the staff and thought the room was pretty large and the outdoor area was really nice.

Mom packed up all his stuff, loaded it on a truck and Smug-Sister and I (along with our babies and husbands) put his room together. We unpacked everything, put together and made his bed, put pictures on the walls, everything. We wanted him to get off the plane and come right to his room with his familiar items and feel at home as much as possible.

I had this overwhelming fear that he would hate it, or that mom would look at me and ask how I could possibly think that this was a suitable place for him to live. I was scared that he would hate the set up or mom would be upset about the way we had unpacked things. This was such a huge move for him; life changing in a major way! This will probably be his last home and what if he hated it!?!?!

When they arrived, I watched their faces nervously as they looked around. Grandpa exclaimed about seeing his high school diploma on the wall and oh look there is the picture of the plane I flew on in WWII. He said a couple of times that he really loved the way the room was set up. Mom also seemed pleased and told me that I had made a good choice and she loved the view from his room and they way everything was set up.

He did not care much for his dinner, he said that their wasn't much of it and it was bland, but the director told him that she would make note that he needed a larger portion tomorrow. He did not care for the gentlemen he sat with at dinner and the director said that after meeting him, there were some ladies she wanted to introduce him to and would move his table assignment tomorrow. He said that he tried to talk to a nurse (who was just moving around the facility, not the nurse assigned to him) about his medications and she said that she didn't know anything about his pills. The director told him that she had all his medications and would speak to his specific nurse to make sure that he got everything he needed.

I was glad that they spoke to him like a person and not like a fuddy duddy old man and answered his questions and addressed his concerns. He is funny because he must not see himself as an old guy, he made a couple of comments about how everyone in the facility was old and had white hair (he has gray/white hair too) and also how he wished the women were younger as the ones he'd met were too old for him.

It was an exhausting weekend and hard day but everything turned out good. Once I relaxed a bit knowing he liked everything, I felt like I hit a wall and was almost too tired to get ready for bed!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beginnings and Endings

I have been witnessing both new life and the end of life recently. My new baby is such a joy and I try to absorb everything about her and everything that she is doing and learning. I watch her discover new and exciting things and learn and grow.

My grandfather is nearing the end of his life and as time has passed he has had to left go of most of the control over his life. He had to give control of his finances over to someone else, he had to give control of his medication administration over to someone else, he had to give over the keys to his car to someone else and now has given over most of his possessions to others in order to downsize his belongings to a one room assisted living facility.

As I have been involved watching all this unfold, I am struck by how much the beginning of life is like the end of life. A baby has very little control and is dependent on others to do for her. She is forced to go along even if she doesn't want to and relies on others for all her needs. My grandfather is in much the same position. He is very dependent on others to do for him and has to rely on others and trust that his needs will be met.

The difference is, Smug-Baby has never known anything different and she is not able to express in words how she feels about her life (although the crying she does lets me know a lot). My grandfather on the other hand, knows what his life was like before. He knows what it is like to be in charge, to be the one taking care of everyone else and to watch piece by piece his control being taken away has to really suck ass!!

Also, his mind has starting slipping, just enough that he knows it's happening. It's not all the time, but we have to trust that what we think is real and to know that your mind is playing tricks on you has got to be really scary.

Smug-Sister and I spent the day unpacking his belongings into his room at the assisted living community where he will now be living and I was again struck. When you get your first apartment, you have very little. You have mismatched furniture and hand me down appliances and then has you start to settle into adulthood, you amass more material belongings and nicer things. Then as you get even older, your kids are grown or whatever, you start downsizing until all you have left fits into one small room.

I suppose that one may be ready for all this when the time comes, but I just feel like this would have to be the hardest time in life. Watching everything that you worked so hard for (physical strength, mental stability, possessions, etc.) stripped away. Maybe it's supposed to be that way, so you welcome death as a new stage, a new adventure.

Welcome to our city Grandpa, I hope that you will be happy in your new home and happy here with us.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I think that it is once again time to give thanks for all the wonderful things that I have in my life. I was feeling so tired and whiny yesterday, it was like everything was going wrong, from banging my head on the car door to forgetting to pay a bill. My daughter was overtired and cranky and I was just feeling down and frustrated.

Then my sweet baby girl, climbed her way up my leg and "asked" to be picked up. Then she curled her little arms around my neck, buried her face in my shoulder, giggled and sighed. That was when I remembered that I have a great life and just because this day had been kind of sucky, that little moment when she snuggled into me made everything better.

I got to thinking about all the wonderful things that my life offers me and how it is so easy to take it all for granted. I remember my mom telling me that when she and my dad were first married and had purchased their home, they were so tight on money that by the time pay day rolled around, they were splitting the last can of tomato soup for lunch that day. They were hard up and didn't have enough a lot of the time and they put all their own desires aside to raise my siblings and myself in the best way they could.

I have TV and lots of food in the pantry. I have a washer and dryer for our clothes and don't have to use the Laundromat. I have a dependable car that has never once left me stranded on the side of the road. My parents didn't have any of these things when they were new parents. I have a lot to be thankful for and I need to remember that more often.

That being said, my sweet baby did not sleep well last night and was up wanting to play about 1:30 and did not go back to sleep until 2:30 or so and as I write this before heading into work, my head is killing me and I am not sure that my neck is strong enough to hold up my huge aching head!!! However, I am grateful that I have a job to go to and a car that will get me there!! I am so thankful!!