Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Thanksgiving Weekend

Wednesday I flew around the house getting everything packed, food prepared and the car loaded. Smug-Baby and I headed out and got gas on the way to pick up Smug-Hub from work. He was supposed to get off work at 6, but he got a last minute phone call that ended up keeping him until close to 6:30 and Smug-Baby was way unhappy about it. We made a quick stop for a sandwich and got on the road. We started out the drive with Smug-Hub in the back seat playing with the baby and me driving, but after about an hour it was clear that Smug-Baby was tired and hungry, so we switched and I nursed her to sleep leaning over her car seat and then she slept the rest of the drive, Smug-Hub drove and I dictated the directions according to my iPhone (my new iPhone that I had purchased that afternoon after my old phone fell out of my pocket during an unfortunate toilet flushing incident).

We arrived about 9:30pm and the whole house was buzzing with family energy, running children and the smell of pizza and Thanksgiving day food prep. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins all chatting, eating, laughing and watching movies. Since Smug-Baby had just had a 2 hour nap she was totally ready to rock and roll and quickly became the hit of the party with her shy, flirty smile to everyone who tried to hold her. We finally got her to settle down about midnight and off to bed we went. The problem was that most everyone else was still up and since we were in a new place, with new sounds and a new bed, every sound, squeak, or movement woke my sweet baby. It was a rough night for mommy :(

She was up for good about 7am and I was able to take a short shower before others started getting up. The day was spent talking to my family, catching up on every ones lives and helping get the food on the table. We ate ourselves silly and only had one incident where Smug-Hub forgot that we were keeping Smug-Baby away from dairy and gave her a tiny bite of mashed potatoes. When I reminded him, it ended up making me look like the bad guy since my family isn't reading the same research that I am when it comes to introducing solids. Smug-Hub and I talked about it later and while he understands that he didn't handle it well, I know that I could have handled it better myself.

I just don't compromise when it comes to her health and well-being. I would rather my family think that I might be nuts or militant about something than risk my baby girl on anything! I think that sometimes people just follow the advice of parents or grandparents without doing their own research or do their own research 30 years ago and did the best with that information. I am just doing the same thing, following the most resent research and trying to do what is best for my child.

I had a short conversation about circumcision with my cousin's wife when she questioned why we may not have any more children. She told me that her husband (my cousin) had problems and had to be circumcised at 25 and because of that she was totally for circumcision. I totally understand that and to each his own, however, it has only been in the last 10 years or so that doctors have realized that their old recommendations that an uncircumcised penis must be pulled back and cleaned to prevent infection was actually causing infections.  If you leave the penis alone, like God intended, 99.9% of boys will be totally fine!! I am constantly amazed that people have absolutely no faith in God and totally assume that He screwed up!! How arrogant is that???

Anyway! Back to the holiday! The food was amazing and then we did a small baby shower for one of my cousins who is expecting her baby boy at the end of December. Smug-Hub and I decided that we should stay the night and just leave super early Friday morning to get him to work. Smug-Baby fell asleep about 9:30, for which I was totally grateful because I had slept so poorly the night before. But alas, she was up and down again all night due to the unfamiliar noises and the alarm at 5am was almost welcome because it meant that I could stop trying to get any rest.

We quietly showered, packed and loaded the car (which Smug-Baby totally slept through by the way - go figure) and got on the road by 6am. Smug-Baby again slept most of the way and we made good time, getting Smug-Hub to work about 30 minutes early! Smug-Baby and I went home and we crawled into bed and slept until noon! I felt a lot better, but I totally could have slept a few more hours and if the UPS guy hadn't rung the bell, I might still be sleeping :)

After our nap, we decided to do some Christmas shopping, so we picked up Smug-Grandma and headed to Toys-R-Us to get gifts for all the kids that I wanted to buy for and had a nice time. I was expecting huge lines and crowds, but it was fairly slow and we got in and out. After dropping Smug-Grandma home I went to see my Grandpa and we talked and caught up for about an hour or so.

Upon leaving his place, I got a call from my sister that my dad's dog had died very suddenly and my step-mother was taking it very hard, so Smug-Baby I drove straight to their house to offer comfort and hugs and spent some time talking with them before it was time to go home and get the baby ready for bed.

It had been a long day and I hoped that she would sleep, and she went down just like normal, but was awake and ready to play at 4am!! So I played and rocked and nursed her until she went back to sleep about 6, but by then I was totally awake and I just stayed up hoping to nap with her later.

That afternoon, Smug-Hub started feeling sick to his stomach and barely touched his dinner. He ended up with a high fever and chills, running to the bathroom to throw up and telling me about all the pills all over the house that Smug-Baby was playing with and how it was so cold in the house he could see his breath! By this time, I too was feeling sick to my stomach and after getting him and the baby to bed, I threw up and got the shakes and spent the night in that half-sleep restlessness of illness.

By Sunday morning, I was fine aside from being truly exhausted beyond anything I've ever felt. Smug-Hub was better but very weak and still pretty sick. I tried to take care of everything/everyone throughout the day and did lay down when Smug-Baby napped for 2 hours, but was never able to fall asleep. I think that I was too tired to sleep - you know that feeling??

Sunday night, Smug-Baby was not able to keep her eyes open another moment past 7:45 and frankly I was happy to go to bed that early, because I was desperate for some quality sleep. However, she was up and ready to play at 11:30. Smug-Hub said that he was feeling OK and he would play with her and give me a chance to sleep, but was back to get me at midnight. He had over-estimated his strength, so I took over and she finally fell back asleep about 2. I got up at 4 to get ready for work.

UPDATE: Monday was fine, I took a long walk with the baby's and spent a huge amount of energy keeping Smug-Baby awake until 9:30 and we were both in bed by 10. While she did wake a few times to nurse, she slept mostly through the night and I feel a bit more rested this morning!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Have It!!

So I have it in my hot little hands! I purchased the Canon T1i Rebel I got a bundle so it came with two lenses, a camera bag, a filter and an extra battery. I had a $10 coupon and they price matched the camera bag so it was even less. I also charged it on their store credit card so there is no interest for 24 months!! I was very pleased with my purchase!

Since I got it Wednesday afternoon just hours before heading out of town for the holiday, I have only had about 23 minutes with the manual, so I have only learned how to get the memory card and battery installed and how to use the auto mode. But I plan on spending some quality time with the manual this week.

So the following are a few of the over 300 pictures I took over the holiday!

 Mama and her baby girl (taken by Grandpa)
 The sweetest face ever
 Having fun with Grandpa
 My favorate of all her smiles
 Loving on daddy
 Big hand, Little hand
 Checking out her uncle's teeth
 My Smug-Sister - Lovely!
 Caught the smile! Never would have happened with the old camera
 Looking at daddy with love in her eyes!
 Catching action is my favorite part of this new camera
 Tell us how you really feel!!
 Playing with Grandma
 Learning to walk
 Quality Control!
 Helping her cousin fall asleep
 Hanging with Smug-Grandma

Keep in mind that these are all with the auto mode and I don't know anything out editing yet either, but I'll get there!!

Tomorrow will be a recap of the Thanksgiving holiday and the weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Thanksgiving is really my favorite holiday of the whole year. I love the traditions that my family has established and I love all the food. Last year, Smug-Hub and I got home from our family's big dinner and went to the store and purchased everything needed to make a whole other Thanksgiving dinner and made it and ate Thanksgiving leftovers all week long!

I like that I get to see all my aunts, uncles and cousins. I love seeing all the new babies, new husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends and animals that have come into the family since we all last got together. My dad's side of the family is very large and we all try to get together for Thanksgiving and Easter. Easter tends to be a lot smaller, but everyone makes the effort to come together for Thanksgiving! In the last year we have had a wedding, three births and one pregnancy (any time now and the new little man will be with us). We have welcomed home our solders and said goodbye to one of us.

Our family is strong in love and we are closer than a lot of other extended families (from what I understand). We stand by each other and welcome all with open arms. I am looking forward to once again being embraced by the fold of all that love.

I know that there are members of my family that my not think that everything that I am doing with Mary is the correct thing or the right way, but they are totally and completely supportive anyway and what more can you ask for really??

I am looking forward to making memories of Smug-Baby's first Thanksgiving (and wishing that I had my new camera and knew how to use it). I am looking forward to seeing how much my cousin's children have grown and catch up on everyone's life. Did I mention all the food??

I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday!! Be thankful, be happy, be loved!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The dictionary defines obsession as: the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.

I am officially obsessed with this whole camera thing. To the point my darling husband asked me very nicely to "shut the hell up about the damn camera already" I think about it all the time. I dream about camera's (and vampires, but that could be because I have been watching the first season of Vampire Diaries on DVD).

I spend a lot of time online looking at the reviews and prices and deals and reviews and prices and deals over and over. I want to make sure that I have chosen the best camera for me and am not going to spend too much. Most of all, I just want the damn thing already!!! I want to know how to use it too, it is going to be hard to get the camera and not have it make wonderful pictures right out of the box. I know it is going to take some time to learn how to change the settings around to make what I see in my minds eye come out in print.

I see it, you know, all the time I see things happening in my life and I see what an amazing shot that would be, if only I had the camera and if only I knew how to set the camera to capture what I want to capture.

I am going to get the camera this weekend. If I get a really great Black Friday sale wonderful and if I end up getting it at the current sale price and the price goes down closer to or right after Christmas - Best Buy says that they will honor the lower price and refund me the difference. Best Buy is also offering no interest on their card (which I have) for 24 months, so as long as I pay it off within 2 years (and let's face it, that is totally doable), then I really am getting the best deal possible.

I figure if I get it on Black Friday or over that weekend, then that will give me almost a month to learn as much as I can about the camera and how to use it before Christmas and I really want to capture some really wonderful memories of Smug-Baby's first Christmas. That sounds fair right? Now, if I could just stop obsessing and give my poor family a break from the constant discussion!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

9 Months

My baby girl is 9 months old. This means that she has been on this side of the world as long as she was growing within me. Somehow this is truly huge for me. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. I remember feeling like the time I was pregnant flew by, but also feeling like I was pregnant for a really long time.

I also feel like Smug-Baby was always here. I have times when I think about something Smug-Hub and I did or a place we went, and think "where was Smug-Baby?" and then I have to catch myself that she was wasn't here yet.

I am amazed by how much she has changed, how smart she is, and how much she is learning everyday. So, what's new this month?

She is full on crawling now. She still prefers to walk, but if she gets to the end of the furniture, she will drop down and crawl where she wants to go. She is not doing the commando crawl anymore at all. She is also going from standing to sitting, sitting to crawling, crawling to sitting, and sitting to standing. She's got the full cycle down!

She has been letting go of the furniture without realizing she is doing it. She will balance for a few seconds and either grab onto something or drop down. Or, she will realize that she is not holding onto anything and get scared and make a scared noise and grab for me.

She will mimic you now sometimes. If you make a noise, she will try to make the same noise. She is however too smart and if I say "mama" she just smiles at me. When she sees a dog, she will say "da" and wiggle her feet and then she will make a "woa" sound like mimicking the doggy's bark.

"da da" seems to be her go to word for everyone she is happy to see. She says "da da" when her daddy gets home from work, when Smug-Grandma comes over, when Smug-Sister comes down the stairs, or when she sees her Grandpa.

She knows what Binky's are. When I ask her if she would like some Binky's she will giggle and pull at my shirt. When I start getting myself ready for nursing she makes this happy, excited, hurry up noise that I just love.

Her word for me is "ba ba". I think that this might be a cross between "mama" and "Binky" but she seems to only use it when she is upset, scared, or hungry.

She has started pinching me when she is nursing and it is downright painful! She grabs little pieces of skin on the Binky, my arm or neck and rolls it tightly between her little fingers. I can suffer through it unless her nails are long and then OMG!!!

Speaking of nails, cutting them is horrible. She hates it and cries as though her heart is breaking with real tears and runny nose and it kills me. Smug-Hub can't listen, he has to leave the house, escaping to the garage until it's over. It really is horrible and if she weren't pinching me or grabbing her cousin's face a lot, I would probably just let them grow. I cry through the whole thing. I have tried to do it while she sleeps, but the snap of the clipper as it cuts through the nail wakes her every time.

She hates covers. She kicks them off every night and when I put them back over her, she proceeds to kick them off again. Since she sleeps in the middle, this results in Smug-Hub and I often without covers as well. She also likes sleep with her face pressed right up against one of us. I guess she likes the warmth and the smell of her parents. It is really sweet actually.

On the food front, she is still only nursing except for the occasional taste of something. I am trying to keep everything harmful away from her for as long as possible. No wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, sugar - you know, all the crap that we eat everyday without thinking :) She has had some broth from vegetable soup and she likes that and I even picked up a few jars of organic baby food and she has had a few bites of carrots. She seems to be getting used to the texture, but she is not overly excited about food yet, so Binky's are still number 1!!

I love her more everyday and I noticed today how much like a child she is becoming. She doesn't seem to have that little baby quality anymore. Her little personality is starting to come through. As excited as I am for the coming stages of her growth, I am sad to see her changing so fast. It would be fine with me if she could stay a baby for a little while longer.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Filling the Cup

Yesterday I didn't go to Smug-Sister's house. Her husband was off work so he was able to care for the baby and had a day "off". I went and got the oil changed in my car and then headed home. I stayed home all day. I didn't clean the kitchen, do laundry or even straighten up the clutter. I played with my daughter.

I held her and rocked her and nursed her and played with her all day long. The TV played all my recorded shows in the background, but we played!!

She would take off around the coffee table and I would chase her.

She would crawl down the hall and I would chase her, pulling at her feet until finally pulling her back to me and covering her in kisses.

She would bang on this little keyboard and it would respond with "music" then she would look up at me and grin and I would clap.

She hides behind the large chair in the living room, then peeks out at me and when we make eye contact, she giggles and ducks back behind the chair.

She would tilt her face up to me and I would cover her cheeks with kisses, then pull her onto my lap and she would cover my face with wet, open mouth "kisses" of her own.

I would lay her down on the floor and blow bubbles on her belly and she would giggle, when I stop she would look up at me expectantly and I would repeat.

My house is cluttered, the dishes are stacking up, the laundry is everywhere, I'm running out of clean diapers, and and the trash is starting to overflow. But... my daughter is loved and happy and her little cup is overflowing too. She needed this time with her mama and her mama needed this time with her. Everything else can wait!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today is Going to Rock!!

I watched my baby girl have her first encounter with stairs yesterday. She didn't actually climb them, but was starting to explore them and toy with the idea of how to get where she wanted to go. She was actually very enamored with her uncle yesterday and he was painting in the stairway, so she was inspired to think about ways to get closer to him.

As she moved about Smug-Sister's house yesterday I took several pictures with my iPhone and used different applications to make them look fun. It made me realize that more than ever I need to get a really good camera, because I love shooting her, capturing her little faces and movements and I am missing so much with crap cameras that can't keep up with her ever moving, ever changing little self.

On that front, I talked to my friends who are photographers and they use Canon's in their work and mentioned that Nikon's sometimes have issues of not working or not lasting but not enough that they would recommend not purchasing a Nikon. They also warned about purchasing too much camera for what I need. A shutter speed of 3.7 vs 3 isn't going to make that much difference for the kind of shooting I will be doing. Also, I talked to some people at the local Photo USA and they said that unless I plan on printing poster size images (and I doubt that I will, even though my baby girl is lovely enough for many posters), then the megapixels don't need to be huge either and can end up having a diminishing return since the more megapixels, the larger the image and the harder it is to e-mail, upload, etc.

So, I am back to looking at all the options. I want to make sure that if I am going to spend this kind of money, that I am making the best choice possible. I want something that will grow with me as my knowledge increases, but not be too much camera for me or be hard to learn how to use.

I also checked online for local classes and the only one that I can find is through the community college and is $400!!! Yikes! I think that I'll take my chances with a couple library books first :)

Today is my day "off" Smug-Sister doesn't need me and Grandpa is out of town, so after I leave the office I am going to get my oil changed and maybe take a drive to HH Gregg and see if they have a couple of these camera's on display that I can mess around with. After that it is home to clean up the house, sync my iPhone, catch up on holding my baby in the rocking chair and maybe some laundry!! Today is going to rock!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


My mother will hereto forth be referred to as Smug-Grandma. She informed me yesterday that she didn't have a Smug name on this blog, everyone else had a Smug name, but not her and she was totally right. I didn't lump her in with all the other Smug people in my life, because she is in a class all her own!!

My Mom is my hero, my confidant, my teacher and my friend. She looks out for me, is always there for me, loves deeply and always helps when she can. She has taken on the role of grandma with relish and I watch her relationship with my nephew and how they are buddies and they have their "things" and I love that! For example, every year since my nephew was a baby almost, they have made gingerbread boys together at Christmas. I overheard them talking yesterday about how it was almost time again and how they had lots of work to do because he wanted to make one for his teacher and each of his classmates at school.

I never had that kind of close relationship with my grandparents. I loved them and was happy when they visited, but most of the time they brought a gift, so that might have also played into the affection I felt. I never stayed with them overnight without my parents there (both sets lived out of town). We never read together, played together, went to plays or shows, nothing like that. Smug-Grandma does all those things with both my nephews and I know that she will do all those things with Smug-Baby and Smug-Niece!! I wish that I had gotten to know my grandmothers in that way and now they have both moved on so forming something as an adult is not possible.

Anyway, here's a toast to Smug-Grandma. You are official, you now have your blogger name!! Welcome!! I love you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Getting Wet

So, yesterday mom and I decided to take a walk with the babies. It was a little cloudy and a bit cold, but we bundled them up and tucked blankets around them and off we went. I needed to get TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein - a meat like substitute) and since ALL our local Kroger's have all discontinued it, the only local place to purchase it is the Natural Foods Co-op. This is fine because my sister lives about 15 blocks or so from the Co-op, so we headed off in that direction.

Just as we completed the last block before getting to the store, I felt a rain drop. Mom suggested we hurry to get the TVP and back on the road before the rain hit. I rushed to the bulk food section and looked for the bin containing the TVP. After scanning all the bins a couple of times, I made myself slow down and start looking at each one. I was missing it. After reading about half the bins an employee passed and I asked her. She pointed out the bin - EMPTY!! Oh god, it was empty!!! I asked her if there was any prepackaged or any bulk in the back and off she went to check. Turns out, they are completely sold out!! No prepackaged, no bulk, no delivery until AT LEAST Thursday!!!

We walked all that way for nothing!!! Well, not nothing. I am slowly trying to collect all the speciality ingredients I need for some of the delicious looking recipes in my new BabyCakes cookbook, so I purchased some brown rice flour, because I was determined for the trip not to be a waste, and mom purchased a Tofurky roast which was on sale and we headed out the door. Only to find it was full on raining!!

We decided that since it was just a light drizzle we would just walk really, really fast and get home. About 5 blocks into our home trip, the rain started coming down harder and got even harder about 2 blocks later and we were officially soaked to the skin. The babies were mostly covered by coats, blankets and the cover to the stroller, but they were still getting wetter than I would have liked. Smug-Niece slept through the whole thing and Smug-Baby kept looking around and enjoying being outside, the rain didn't seem to bother her at all. Smug-Sister called and told us she was on her way to get us. We told her we were fine, but she insisted and a few moments later she pulled up. We made a dash of getting the babies, carrier and stroller into the car and drove home.

I feel badly that I got everyone wet because I wanted to make a meatloaf recipe this week. I feel even worse that we all get soaked to the skin and didn't even come away with the damn TVP!!

Besides that little adventure, Monday was pretty good. I did wake up this morning thinking it had to be at least Thursday because no way was yesterday just Monday!!!

This week is going to be good though - tonight we are having dinner with my cousin and his girlfriend and tomorrow we are having our pictures made for our Christmas card. Then it will be Thursday and Thursday is nice because the next day is Friday and then it will be Friday and then it will be the weekend again!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Week Wrap Up and Snakes

So last week was my first full week of watching Smug-Niece and doing my Grandpa's meds full time. Overall, it was doable and got easier as the week went on. I think that Smug-Baby is getting used to being at my sister's house and Smug-Niece is getting to know me a bit better too.

I am anxious to see how today goes, since we had the whole weekend at our house and Smug-Baby fell right back into her old nap routine. I am interested to see if she will nap today at her mostly normal times even if she is not in her own house and her own bed. I am interested to see if Smug-Niece remembers that I can give her comfort and she can be happy with me when her mama is not available.

This weekend I was able to get my house clean and most of the laundry completed, food shopping done and a big pot of soup made, I spent some quality time with my family too, so all in all it was a good weekend. I didn't wake this morning feeling dread or like "oh god, here we go again" so that's good!

Smug-Baby was really tried so she and I went to bed at 8:15 last night which would have been fine, but she woke up to nurse about midnight and started pinching my chest while sucking. This little fingers with a tiny amount of skin between them and she would roll and twist the skin and cause the most horrible pinching pain. When I took her little fingers and tried to hold them (which I have almost always done), this stopped the pinching and man, did she take offence!! She burst into tears and cried and cried.

By then she was totally awake and Smug-Hub took her to the living room so I could try and sleep. But, these allergies or whatever it is that is making me cough, started up and I kept coughing. These dry unproductive coughs that kept me awake and the noise kept Smug-Baby awake. I tried a Halls but didn't seem to do anything. It feels like I have a heavy cat sitting on my chest, but it's only at night and in the early morning.

She finally did fall back asleep about 1:30 and they both came back to bed and I was able to sleep again too.

The other issue last night was I dreamed of snakes. I am petrified of snakes. Unreasonably petrified of snakes! I know someone who is looking at purchasing a house and there is a family of garter snakes that live in one of the basement windowsills and although I haven't seen the snakes myself, I still dreamed they got into the house when it got cold and there were little baby snakes everywhere. In every drawer, in the bed sheets, under every toy. In the dream, I grabbed my purse and ran to my car to come home and when I got here, my purse was full of snakes and they got out and went all through my house.

I remember seeing them disappear into my kitchen floor, like they were sinking into the floor or becoming the same color as the floor, like chameleons and I knew that I would never find them all and I knew that I wouldn't be able to live in my house anymore. Even after I woke from the dream, I couldn't seem to separate from it, I couldn't stretch out my legs in the bed, I just knew that I would feel a snake down there. I couldn't get up and go pee, because I didn't want to step on any snakes or lift the lid to see one swimming in the bowl.

I know logically, that some snakes are really good. They eat insects and mice and other pests and I have never had a traumatic experience with snakes in my life, but I am really scared of them. I have bad dreams if I even see one of TV, let alone know of some in real life that are in a place that I may someday visit. I keep my phone lit every morning when I go out to my car because I am scared that I will step on one. I am scared that Smug-Hub will leave his car window cracked and one will get into the car and I won't know about it until it is crawling all over me while I am driving - totally irrational, I know!!

I don't know how to get over my fear. Smug-Hub says that I need to go somewhere and let them poor a bucket or two of snakes over me and that would do it, but I think that I would die of a heart attack before the buckets even got close. I need therapy!! If my friend buys this house, I may not ever be able to visit her :(

Friday, November 12, 2010

Proper Wrong Number Etiquette

When you dial up a friend and someone with a strange voice answers there a few things you should do and a few you should not do.

Yesterday evening my phone rang and it was a number that I didn't recognize, but I answered anyway. I said Hello and heard "Who Dis?"
To which I replied "Excuse me?"
"Where be John?"
"I'm sorry, but I think that you have dialed the wrong number"

Now, I know that it can be embarrassing to call a stranger accidentally, but an apology for disturbing them isn't really too much to ask for in my opinion (there I go with my lofty opinions again...)

At 11:34 last night, I was deeply sleeping when my phone rang. I first smacked the snooze button and them fumbled for the phone. I glanced at the number and noticed that while it was not one I knew, it was local and my heart lept as I thought about who could be calling. It could be about my grandfather or something else horrible and since everyone I know understands that I'm in bed by about 9pm, no one would call this late unless it was a real emergency.

I answered and heard "Hey"
"Yeah, who is this"
Me: "Hello?"

Now I was pissed!!! If I hadn't been half asleep I would have called her back and demanded to know why she had called and why she had hung up without even an apology for waking me or acknowledging that she had dialed a wrong number. I was really tempted to call her up this morning when I got up at 4:15 to see how she liked being awoken from a dead sleep.

So here are a few tips for making phone calls.

1) check the number carefully to make sure that you are dialing correctly.
2) When a voice you don't know answers, ask for the person you are looking for
3) When you are told that you have reached a wrong number, apologize for the inconvenience and ask if you can verify the number that you meant to call versus the number you actually called. This will allow you to know if you simply mis-dialed or if the number you have is incorrect.
4) Thank the person for their time and apologize again for disturbing them.
5) Say good-bye before ending the call

Even if the person you called is dead asleep, they will appreciate your sincerity and will rest easy knowing that you will not call back using the same incorrect number thinking that you simply dialed it in wrong.

I think that some of you readers will find this a bit obvious and silly - common sense should dictate that these rules be followed, but they are not.

One final wrong number story.

One afternoon a few years ago, my husband and I were having dinner at a restaurant when my phone rang. I picked it up and the lady on the other end asked when I would be home.
"excuse me?"
"when will you be home? You were supposed to be home 2 hours ago"
"I'm sorry, you must have dialed the wrong number"
"Don't you sass me girl, I think I know my own granddaughter's phone number, now you need to get your butt home"
"Ma'am I'm not your granddaughter, I'm a 30 year old women and my phone number is XXX-XXXX. You have simply dialed the wrong number"
"I'm not playing these games with you"

Then I gave up and hung up. The phone rang again a few moments later and I asked Smug-Hub to answer.

"Who is this? Put Sara back on the phone"
"Ma'am, this is not Sara's phone, but my wife's phone and I need you to stop calling this number"
"Put Sara back on the phone"
"Ma'am I'm hanging up now, please stop harassing my wife"

Then he hung up. The phone rang again about 30 minutes later and he again took the call.

"Listen, this is not your granddaughter's phone"
"I just called to apologize for bothering you and for not believing you. Sara just got home and told me that I had been calling the wrong number. I had mixed up the last two digits and since she is kind of a problem child I just thought she was messing with me. I am so sorry about bothering you and your wife. Please let her know how sorry  I am"
"No problem, you have a nice day"
"You too. Bye now"

Now, I was totally pissed at her until she had the grace to call back and apologize for her mistake. Now it's just a funny story.

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Letting Yourself off the Hook

Please remember that what follows are my thoughts and feelings and not a judgement on anyone else's life choices. I am certainly not so arrogant to believe that my opinions are the only correct ones. Also, I apologize for how disjointed this post is, but my thoughts aren't coming in a readable order!

My friend Simple Peace Mama is struggling and her post on the compromises she has been making when it comes to her child was heartfelt and pure. However, I was shocked at the comments she received telling her that it was OK to compromise and that her baby would be fine if she decided to give him grains, let him cry it out, use disposable diapers and the like.

Perhaps these well-meaning commenter's sought only to ease my friends suffering and allow her to feel OK about making changes and that it totally fine with me, but it doesn't seem helpful to me to let someone off the hook as it were for making a choice they know to be wrong. Simple Peace Mama is very clear on what she believes to be the right way of doing things, but she is struggling. How about telling her that she can do it, help her find the strength to do the right thing?!??!?!?

Who decides that a baby is OK with something? I once had a friend who smoked all through her pregnancy and when she became pregnant again, I asked her if she planned on quiting smoking. She said that since her first baby was totally fine, she didn't really believe that smoking was damaging. Here is the thing, her child was born with all the right parts in all the right places. No two heads or anything, but she developed asthma when she was about 4 and had ear infections almost constantly as a baby. Now, I don't know if there is a correlation between those illnesses and her mother's smoking during pregnancy, but it sure seems like there is one to me!

My point is this, we have huge numbers of ADHD in our children in this country and almost every child I know has some kind of allergy to food or something else. We have children that are bullies and children that get bullied. We have kids taking guns into their school and shooting up the place. These problems start somewhere!!!

We have a tendency to think of babies as something separate and not little humans with feelings, thoughts, and nerve endings. People say that it doesn't hurt a baby to cry it out - how would they determine that?? A baby left to cry it out doesn't grow two heads, so he or she must be fine with it?!?!?!?

People in this world have issues! Some of them are obvious like they were beaten as children and others are more subtle, like issues of self esteem. Low self worth comes from somewhere - did a person with low self esteem cry out for his or her mama as a baby and no one cared enough to come?? Does the woman who lets her boyfriend walk all over her not feel loved by her parents from birth??

So, instead of telling my friend that her baby will probably be fine if she goes against everything (or some things) that she feels strongly about is not helping her, not empowering her. I say, no! it is not OK to do something you are against. You are the adult and your child is totally dependent on you, so you have to suck it up and make the tough choices to do the very best you can.

It's time we as parents, as adults stopped thinking about all that other stuff, and focus only on what is best for our children. Babies don't come into our lives by their choice, it's by ours. We owe it to them to do the very best we can. That means different things to different people and it doesn't mean that you should be miserable and never compromise on anything, but it does mean that if something is important to you, like breastfeeding, you should move heaven and earth to make it happen. The compromise should be on something that is about you and not about the baby. For example, another friend and her husband had loads and loads saved for retirement when they had their baby. They decided that they didn't want to put the baby in daycare and made a conscious choice for her to stay home with the baby and use that retirement savings to pay for day to day needs. She will have to go back to work when the kids are grown. They know that they will be working well past 65 to build back their retirement, but the sacrifice was on their end and not on that of their children.

When my husband and I decided we wanted to have a baby we talked a lot about what kind of parents we wanted to be and what areas we differed in, such as him being a meat eater and me a vegetarian. We determined what we would not compromise on (breastfeeding) and what we would feel a little give on (cloth vs. disposable). I sat down with our finances and we worked to pay off debt and determined what we could live without in order to allow me to work part time.

We don't contribute to our IRA's anymore - the 401(k) through work yes, but not the IRA's. We don't eat out anymore, we cut the Internet service down to the lowest speed plan. We purchased our home with it in mind that we needed to be able to afford the payments on one and a half incomes. We don't have a lot of stuff and it is going to take me a while to save for the camera I'm lusting after, but we get to be parents and that is better than anything else in the world.

Someone once said that we are never able to be in reality the parents we dreamed of being, but I am (so far) and I am proud of that. I wanted to do spend the first year of my daughters life a certain way and I am doing that - but I believe that I had realistic expectations and the things that I have given up are so worth it to me.

My husband hates working until 7pm every night and I hate getting up at 4 every morning, but those sacrifices allow us to connect with our baby and really be there for her in every way. We are sacrificing our needs not hers and that's the difference.

Bottom line - You can do this Simple Peace Mama!! You can make the tough choices, you can do the best for your child, you can take a hard look at what is not working in your life and see clearly where the changes need to be made. I have faith in you and your love for your child. I empower you. I send you love and strength. Follow your heart and don't let anyone let you off the hook!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It Just Keeps Getting Better

Yesterday was much better than Monday. I did not get caught in construction between leaving work and getting to Grandpa's. Smug-Baby slept the whole way there, so she was not hungry or crying or anything. We got in and out quickly at Grandpa's and I made it to my sister's house by 10:47. Smug-Niece was pretty good all day and I took both girls for an hour long walk on the greenway (thus the sore throat seems to be back - oh well) and they both slept a bit.

I took an alternate route to Grandpa's after leaving Smug-Sister's place at 5 and made it there with about 3 minutes to spare before he was heading down to dinner, so that made it a fast visit too. Everyone in the retirement community starts to swarm about Smug-Baby as soon as I walk in and they all love my ring sling and since almost her whole body is contained within, there is less touching of her hands and face. I also think that with her so close and almost like she is part of my chest, people are less inclined to get too close. But the attention is nice and it is helping Grandpa to stand out a bit. People remember that the cute baby comes to see him I guess.

I got about 5:45 and watched 2 1/2 Men while Smug-Baby tried to wake up (she napped again on the 15 minute drive home) then I started making pasta sauce and washed a load of Grandpa's clothes. I cooked the pasta and some french bread and had everything ready when Smug-Hub arrived. We ate dinner and they played while I got most of it cleaned up and packed my diaper bag for the next day and stuff. Then we all rolled around on the floor and tickled and laughed and were a happy family until about 8:15. Smug-Hub had to take a fishing rod to a friend and I got Smug-Baby and I ready for bed. She wasn't really interested in sleeping at first, and my throat had started feeling raw again (it was fine all day, but started feeling bad again as soon as the sun went down), so I had a cup of hot tea and she played. Finally at 9:30 she fell asleep in my arms and off to bed we went.

She woke at midnight and I switched sides, then she woke at 2 and I switched sides again. Then she woke at 2:30 and I had to pee like no tomorrow, so I jumped up to run really fast to the bathroom and she began to scream. Smug-Hub woke up and took her out of bed and bounced her while I tried to make my full bladder empty faster (not possible BTW). When I got back to her, she was too awake and unhappy to sleep.

I asked my darling husband to take her to the rocking chair, but he just looked at me until she was again so upset that I just got up with her. We went to the rocking chair and she nursed and fell back asleep. When I went back into the bedroom, the love of my life had fallen asleep wrapped in all the blankets, with no CPAP machine one, directly in the middle of the bed. I kicked him in the head.

We woke up, but so did Smug-Baby. So I told him to get his ass on his side of the bed, get his machine on and I would be back. We did the rocking chair thing again and by about 3:30 she was finally deeply asleep. I went back to bed, and his ass was still in the middle of the bed. At least the machine was on and we wasn't hogging all the covers. I managed to get Smug-Baby in the bed and us covered and than the jerk had the nerve to rub his feet on me (he likes this as it is kind of a mini foot rub while falling asleep), I kicked him and then for good measure I pinched his arm. He jerked and knocked Smug-Baby in the head with his elbow - so Karma got me on that one - it must not have been hard because she didn't stir, but I felt badly anyway.

I figured that I wouldn't fall back asleep, I would just lay there for a bit and then get up and maybe start a load of diapers or something. The next thing I know the alarm is blaring in my ear. I feel angry at my husband, because he is still sleeping and I am all ready to leave for work. It's not like I can nap during the day with Smug-Baby anymore, he knows this and still let me get up with her while he slept. I want to cause him physical harm when he does this kind of stuff.

However, today should be good. Smug-Sister is bringing the baby over to my place so I can wash diapers and Smug-Baby can have some time in her own home with her own toys and hopefully her regular nap schedule. Keep your fingers crossed that it all works out and today is an improvement over yesterday which was a great improvement over Monday, and tomorrow will be an improvement over today!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My New Normal

This week is my sister's first full week back at work and my first full week of taking care of her daughter. I am also taking on my grandfather's blood sugar testing and medication distribution. So, in addition to the 4 hours I have at my first job in the mornings, now I am hauling ass over to Grandpa's retirement home to check his blood sugar and give him his morning pills and then racing over to Smug-Sister's place to take care of the baby. I stay at her place until 5 or 6 and then go back to Grandpa's to do evening blood sugar testing and evening medication.

Yesterday was the first day and I was way stressed out by it all. First thing is my own child. I nurse her before I leave for work and then she has decided that she would rather wait for me than take a bottle of pumped milk, so she is pretty hungry by the time I meet Smug-Hub in the parking lot and get her. However, she gets really distracted by new surroundings and will not nurse well in the car, so I have been racing home and just nursing her there. Now, I have to make the morning stop at Grandpa's and then get to my sister's place all before she can nurse. Yesterday, I got stopped by some construction so that made it close to 6 hours between nursings for her and she was really upset about it.

Grandpa wasn't feeling great and I could tell that he was a bit lonely as he kept asking if I wanted an apple or to sit down for a bit, but I knew that my sister was trying to work and care for her baby at the same time, treading water until I got there.

Once there, I was able to nurse and get settled in and it was a nice day. Mom came by and we each took a stroller and took the babies for a walk on the green way for about an hour. It was great and I felt wonderful after being in the sun and fresh air (although, now I'm not sure if it was a good idea or not - more on that later) and the babies loved it and both napped.

This is the other thing, my daughter is an only child and she is at that curious age where every new creak and bang, bump or noise of any kind distracts her. Normally, she takes 2-3 hour long naps a day. Yesterday, she only napped once for less than 1 hour. She dozed in the car on the way to Grandpa's both times, but nothing that could be counted as a nap. She also fell asleep for about 10 minutes before mom arrived in the middle of the day, but the door opening and floor creaking woke her. Last night, after I got home from all my jobs was horrible! It was too late for me to let her nap and still hope that she would sleep during the night and she was fussy and kept tripping over her feet and getting frustrated and didn't want to me to put her down at all. It was better once Smug-Hub arrived home as she had another playmate and I was able to feed myself, but all in all it was a really tough night for us.

Right before I was going to bed last night, I noticed that I felt like I needed to clear my throat and couldn't seem to manage it. I sucked on a halls and figured that all the singing I had done to keep Smug-Niece happy and later to soothe my over-tired baby girl had caught up with me. When I woke this morning, I discovered that I had no voice! After a shower and some throat clearing I am once again vocal, however my throat is feeling raw and I wonder if being outside in the cold weather and wind may have had something to do with it.

So, I was standing in the shower, feeling despair wash over me thinking about doing it all over again today and tomorrow and for the rest of the week, month, year and a thought occurred to me. The first few days of having my wonderful baby girl at home were hard. It was hard to get to know each other and establish routines. It was hard to learn what she liked and didn't like and what I needed to do to help her sleep or whatever. It stands to reason that this week is going to be really hard, but today should be better than yesterday and tomorrow will be easier than today. Next week will be even easier and so on. Routines will get established and my sweet girl will adapt. If she doesn't, I'll quit!

The other thing is that the stuff with Grandpa may be short term. He is seeing new doctors all this week and who knows what they will say or if his blood sugar will need to be tested twice daily or what meds will need to be taken when. It may be that I will only need to go there once a day, or it may be that his needs are so time specific that I will not be able to do it and mom will have to take over. So, no sense getting all worked up about it until I know more.

My family really NEEDS the money that this extra work will provide (especially if there is going to be a camera in my future) and as torn as I am between the need for financial help and smug-baby's needs, I do feel like this will get better if I give it a chance. Either it will get better, or I will cut all ties with everyone I've ever known, take my girl and move to a hut in the forest :)

Monday, November 8, 2010


I am going out of my mind with desire. I have big lust that cannot be quenched. I need it, I have to have it, I can't live without it...

The Canon EOS Rebel - what did you think I was talking about??? I want this camera so much!!! I look at the pictures that I am taking with  my point and shoot and am so sad at how they are turning out. My baby girl's first year is passing by and I have hundreds and hundreds of pictures and only a handful are what I would consider good. My current camera has such a slow shutter speed, that whatever cute moment is happening has long past by the time the picture is taken. I'm serious, you press the button to take the picture and a good 3-5 seconds passes before the picture actually takes. It sucks :(

I even tried to convince my husband to apply for a Best Buy credit card in his name alone so that he could build his credit. This is actually true, he doesn't have any credit in his name alone and needs to, but if I'm honest, my reasoning is truly selfish.

The thing that makes it hard to swallow about purchasing a camera that is the better part of $1,000 is that I know next to nothing about photography. I fell in love with my photographers who did my wedding, pregnancy pictures and are doing baby pictures for me, so I know that I love their work, but that is about the extent of my knowledge - liking pictures! I have been looking at books on photography, but most of them need you to actually have a camera before you can apply the lessons.

I would be happy with a refurbished one I think, but I don't know of any reputable dealers online and don't know of dealers locally, so I'm researching on that too. I am also thinking that I will look for a local class on photography, but again, I sort of need to have a camera before I can attend.

I was hoping to maybe ask for cash for Christmas and be able to get it then, but I don't want Smug-Baby's first Christmas to pass with crap pictures!! I want to get it now, have a bit of time to learn how to use it and then be a full on pro by Christmas! A bit ambitious you say?? Well, that's why I need to get it NOW!!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Way Too Early

My baby girl is sleeping. Now... We all went to bed last night about 9:30, cause we were all tired and still getting over being sick. My sweet baby girl nursed all night long and switched sides like four times (normally, she wakes once about 3 and I switch then). Finally, about 2:30 this morning she was done with sleep and was ready to play.

Since I had to get up in a few hours Smug-Hub took her into the living room so I could sleep. About 10 minutes later he brought her back to bed where she promptly woke right back up. We decided that since he was still coming out of being sick and I probably wouldn't be able to fall back asleep anyway I would take over and let him get some more sleep.

She and I played with her toys and she nursed some more and then she climbed up into my lap in the rocking chair and fell asleep. Now it wasn’t a deep sleep, so I kept rocking and singing softly to her and finally I was able to lay her down in the bed. It was 4:15, exactly 15 minutes before I needed to get into the shower. I was totally sleepy and her warm, soft body was so nice in my arms, it was really hard to leave her sleeping and go get into the shower, but I knew that if I lay down with her, I would never get back up and go to work.

That is the worst thing about working; leaving her in the mornings when she is all soft and cuddly and happy. I love the weekends when we all wake up together and she smiles at first daddy and then me, like she is so happy to see us both and she keeps looking from one to the other like she can’t believe her luck to have us both there to play with.

I look forward now to the day, because in a few hours I will be back home and have her back in my arms and because tomorrow we will all wake up together!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Crazy Continues

So, Sunday night Smug-Baby was restless and nursing a lot. Then suddenly she threw up about a gallon all over herself, me, the bed - everything! I got her up and in the shower to clean us off while Smug-Hub changed the sheets and we all went back to bed. I felt dread thinking that perhaps we had picked up the bug that my poor friend had been struck with on Friday and every time Smug-Baby moved or made a sound the rest of the night I was awake. Needless to say, when morning rolled around and I had not slept any I decided not to go to work. By this time I was feeling queasy and was worried that I too was coming down with the bug.

Smug-Baby however seemed fine and was her normal self. I was supposed to start my new job, which is that I am going to be caring for my 12 week old niece while Smug-Sister goes back to work. I called and explained the situation and Smug-Sister said that if I felt up to it she wanted to take the chance and still have me come over. I did and it was really hard to keep both babies happy. Smug-Baby is not used to my sister’s house or sharing her mama and Smug-Niece wanted her mama and not me. I did end up taking them for a long walk, Smug-Niece in the wrap and Smug-Baby in the stroller and they napped and I got some exercise.

Smug-Sister was only working a half day and after she was finished, I went home and Smug-Baby and I slept some more. By the end of the day, I was feeling more normal and Monday night we all slept fine.

Tuesday morning I went into work for my 4 hours and then to my sisters to watch the babies again. Tuesday was much better, Smug-Baby seemed to be getting used to being around the other baby and not having her own toys and such to play with. I again, took them for a walk, but noticed that I was really tired and the walk was super hard. I thought that this might has been because I was wearing my shape up shoes, and because it was also kind of windy, cut the walk short.

After Smug-Sister finished with her half day, Smug-Baby and I went home and she went down for a nap and I had some lunch. After I ate, I started feeling really sick. I know it wasn't the food since it was pasta that I had just made the night before. I decided to lie down, but almost immediately had to get up and use the bathroom. It was then that I knew I was sick. I called Smug-Hub, but got no answer. I called my mom and she headed over. Then I got a text from my husband and could only text "sick" back to him before I started throwing up.

I was worried that Smug-Baby would be upset to see her mama in distress, but with each heave, she would laugh so I guess she wasn't all that traumatized! It wasn't until after when I was trying to clean myself up that she seemed to pick up on my distress and cried and cried. I was too weak to pick her up and so I just lay on the bathroom floor and tried to nurse her and calm her as best as I could.

When my mom arrived, she and Smug-Baby played while I brushed my teeth and went to the bathroom again and again. When Smug-Hub arrived home with Ginger Ale in tow, he put me to bed and took over with the baby. It was a restless night by all and all day Wednesday I was weak and kept having to use the bathroom, but I didn't throw up again which was nice.

Now it is Thursday morning and I am up and on my way to work. I feel like a normal person who was just beaten up with a bat. I am just really weak and sore, but I know that the virus has left my system and I am on the mend.

Now, Smug-Hub is complaining of cold and soreness and feeling weak. The good news is that by this weekend, we should all be threw it and be feeling better :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wild and Wacky Weekend

My weekend started with a phone call from my friend. She has in the hospital with dehydration from a stomach bug and needed help with her son, who is a few days younger than Smug-Baby. I drove over to the hospital and picked the little guy up and got them both home and upstairs, but then T-Man started to be really upset. My guess is that he doesn't know me very well and he knew something was up with his mama. I finally got him happy with some apple sauce and when Smug-Hub got home from work, he took on the task of getting T-Man to sleep. I took Smug-Baby and got her ready bed and by about 10 both babies were sleeping soundly.

It was decided that my friend and her husband should stay with us upon her release rather than get the baby up and into the car at 1am, but that involved running around at midnight getting fresh sheets on the guest bed and finding clean towels and something for them to sleep in. In the process, T-Man woke up and Smug-Hub rocked and bounced the little guy for a couple of hours until he was finally back to a deep sleep. His parents arrived about 2 and everyone finally got to bed.

Saturday morning, we left the poor sickly family sleeping to went out to visit with some friends who were in town for a visit and had a nice lunch. I loved all the men playing video games, talking and playing with all the kids, while us women folk sat around and talked about our birth experiences and child rearing. I have been wanting to be part of these talks for about a thousand years!

Saturday night, my parents and my aunt and uncle came over and I made the Pioneer Woman's Braised Short Ribs and they were a huge hit! It was nice to be with family, but the sleep deprivation of Friday night caught up to me and I went to bed with Smug-Baby about 10!

Sunday morning we went to the local armory to await my cousin's arrival. He has been in Afghanistan for the last 6-7 months and recently was injured (concussion), so the whole family has been on pins and needles to get him home. My aunt and uncle drove in, my parents were there, his girlfriend was there along with her parents and Smug-Baby, Smug-Hub and I made up the welcoming party.

He was the first off the bus and made a beeline for his girl, picked her up and swung her around is a tight hug. It was like in the movies and a really powerful moment. I hadn't realized just how much I had worried about him until I finally was able to see him in person and get my own hug. I am so proud of him and so happy that he is home and safe and in one piece!! I am also really really happy that he is not going to have to go back!!

That evening was Smug-Baby's first Halloween and we got her dressed up and went door-to-door with her cousins. She seemed beat by all the excitement and we went home and got her to bed early!!

It was a great weekend all in all. I am sorry that my friend is still feeling badly, but I am so happy that my cousin is home and it was a perfect first Halloween!!