Friday, December 30, 2011

Choices and Judgment

My ideas on parenting are not wrong, they are not “way out in left-field” and I am not the only one applying my same ideas in their own parenting styles. I am however, one of only a few people that I know who parent like I do. I feel frustrated when my husband receives outdated advice and outright judgment about how we are raising our child. He comes to me all concerned that we are doing something wrong. Besides, these people have healthy, fairly well-adjusted children, so why shouldn’t their advice be followed?

I think that it is natural to second guess yourself when it comes to parenting. I think that it is natural to think that others are doing something wrong if they choose a different path than you took. I think it is normal to feel a little guilty about a choice that you made and wondering if you perhaps didn’t make the right one. The thing that I believe most firmly is that there isn’t any ONE right path for parents to follow. Every child is different, every parent is different – even my own children will have very different parents. My daughter has been raised thus far by first time parents, while our second child will be raised by second-time parents. Our daughter will be raised the first born and our second child will be raised with a big sister.

People are questioning my continued nursing of Smug-Baby as she nears two years old. I firmly believe that even though she isn’t nursing very often (once or twice a day, nursing to sleep for her nap and bedtime, and maybe once during the night) she is still getting the benefits of the antibodies nursing provides. She is still getting the comfort she needs when she is hurt, tired, or feeling vulnerable. She is a healthy, strong, secure, happy child and I believe that my decisions in parenting have led to that. I am not condemning another person’s choice to parent differently or saying that if you parent differently from my way, that your child will not be as healthy, secure or happy. I am simply saying that my way has worked the way I wanted it to for my daughter. My choice to do something differently than another parent is not a dig at their parenting style or a judgment that they have parented wrongly.  

That being said, I think that we all decide how to parent based on looking at the parenting styles of others, along with reading research from experts and taking and applying what resonates with us and discarding what doesn’t. So, it is a kind of judgment about a parenting style when I choose to co-sleep and someone else chooses a cry-it-out sleep training method. I don’t think that anyone would really take offence to a difference in parenting style, except in cases where a parent has turned their back on their instincts and perhaps parented in a way in which they did not feel totally comfortable. In these cases, that parent may feel some guilt about letting someone else sway them from parenting in a way that felt right to them. They may feel guilty that they may have done something detrimental to their child by not following their gut and letting someone else convince them to do something they didn’t want to do. It is normal for a person feeling a lot of guilt to lash out in strong defense of their “choice” and to find they take a lot of offence when someone else takes a different path.

I can’t help but feel that my parenting choices are the best ones and I can’t help but feel like those who are trying to convince me that they are wrong are also those people feeling guilty about their own choices and are trying to make themselves feel better by trying to convince me like they were convinced.

I can’t make a person feel less guilty about their choice, but I can say that it is probably all going to be fine. If your child feels loved and knows that you made the best choices you could for them given the information you had at the time, then it’s all going to be OK. That isn’t to say that you wouldn’t perhaps have made different choices if you could go back, its just to say that beating yourself up, or worse beating up on another parent, about things in the past doesn’t serve any greater purpose!  Forgive yourself for any perceived mistakes and try to live and let live!

I will not condemn you for vaccinating your child even though I chose not to take that path. There is nothing wrong with your choice. There is nothing wrong with my choice.
I will not condemn you for bottle-feeding your child, or that you may have stopped breast-feeding before I am. There is nothing wrong with your choice, it just isn't my choice and there is nothing wrong with that either!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


How was your holiday break? Mine was, overall, lovely! There was the small matter of hurting my back (while I slept no less - now that is talent!!) and feeling slightly sick to my stomach the whole time, but those were small and didn't keep me from enjoying the time with my family.

Christmas Eve was the big family celebration and I think that it came off without any problems. Smug-Baby and Smug-Niece played nicely together and no one except one of my nephews was body slammed by my crazy child!! My step-mother got marshmallow guns for Smug-Hub, my dad and my brother-in-law and they spent the evening shooting each other with mini marshmallows. Let's just say that I am still picking up the little white puffs from all over my house and probably will be for years!!

The food was really good, even if I didn't really feel up to eating much. I think that I covered pretty well with the family. I didn't want people feeling sorry for me or doting on me. I just wanted to enjoy everyone and everything without that black cloud of feeling lousy hanging over my head.

After everything was over and the kitchen was cleaned and the house back into some semblance of order, we got Smug-Baby to go to sleep and then Santa set to work! I was really feeling horrible, tired and sick by the time I went to bed, but I was so excited about Christmas morning that I didn't sleep well and kept tossing and turning. I kept waking Smug-Baby so she nursed a lot all night, and that is probably how I hurt my back.

Regardless, at about 7 Christmas morning, we were awake and alert enough to head out to the living room to see if Santa had come and he HAD!!! Smug-Baby was a little shell-shocked by all the stuff! The big play kitchen, the big tent along with dozens of wrapped gifts and a full stocking. It took her all day to open everything and while I think that she liked everything, I am going to set a few things aside until she starts getting bored and then I can bring out the new stuff!

We had a nice Christmas breakfast with some unexpected guests! My dad, step-mom, and step-brother arrived in their pajamas, robes and slippers! My step-brother became Smug-Baby's favorite person in the whole world within moments and watching them play together was really sweet. We spent most of the day in our PJ's and about 2:30 or so, Smug-Baby was bored and tired and over-stimulated I think - basically, she was really cranky!! I called my sister and asked if we could come by; get out of the house and let the girls play for a bit. She was feeling sick, but said we could come by for a short visit. That was nice, time to have some laid back conversation in between saving Smug-Niece from Smug-Baby's attacks! After the second time-out, we decided to leave!!

On the way home, Smug-Hub decided that since my dad and his brood had shown up without warning, we should return the favor, my back was killing me and I figured that I could let Grandpa and Grandma chase the girl and I could lay on the couch, so I was all for it :) We stayed there until just before it was time to get Smug-Baby ready for bed. We knew she was tired and being with her grandparents helped keep her awake. They only live about 90 seconds from our house, so we knew she wouldn't have time to fall asleep on the drive home! Score! She was ready for bed and asleep within 30 minutes of getting home and I followed soon after! Smug-Hub was nice and rubbed my back, but it didn't really help. I pulled out the heating pad and laid on that for a bit before falling asleep and when I got up the next morning, I felt slightly better!

The day after Christmas was laid back too. We were off work and Smug-Hub had learned that one of his friends had died of a massive stroke on Christmas day, so he took off to gather with other friends to grieve together. I took Smug-Baby and went to the after Christmas sale at Target, but it was kind of a bust. We came home and she had a nap and laid on the heating pad some more. When Smug-Hub got home we ran out for a quick dinner that turned into a long dinner (the kitchen forgot to cook our order!!) and then came home to prepare to return to work.

It was everything a holiday should be! Time with family, time with friends, time to relax and be a bum! I am very sorry for Smug-Hub's friend and his family, but like I said, overall it was a really nice holiday.

I hope that yours was just as lovely and Santa brought you some wonderful loot! Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Good Days

Today has been a really good day. I still was struggling a little with feeling "off" and Smug-Baby was still having teething issues; bursting into tears at the drop of the hat. She even passed out from crying so hard she wasn't breathing at one point - I think she either bit her tongue or just bit down on the chip wrong and was in pain. She started that crying thing, where her face is contorted and her mouth is open but no sound is coming out. She finally collapsed in my arms, like she was asleep, but came around in about 2 seconds and blinked and looked around seemingly a little confused. I know that this passing out thing is fairly normal for kids and the doctor told me that it won't hurt her as long as she doesn't hit her head when she falls or something, but it is really scary to watch her child pass out!!

Anyway, after she had a nice nap, during which I was able to make wipes, sort laundry and get a couple loads working, we had a nice lunch of pasta salad and played on the floor together. I was the horse and she the rider! I managed to bake some pumpkin bars for my boss's Christmas gift and finish all the laundry (except the sheets, they still need to be folded, but everything else is clean and put away). I called Dad to see if he had parmesan cheese and a cucumber and invite him to dinner and he was free! Then Smug-Sister called to see if I wanted to meet her somewhere for dinner so I invited her to come over too. Between her bringing the cheese and the cucumber along with French bread, and dad bringing bean sprouts, tomatoes, salad dressing and this chocolate trifle for dessert, we had a really fabulous meal!! The girls played together and we all talked and worked around the kitchen putting everything together.

After Dad and Smug-Sister had to leave, I cleaned up the kitchen while Smug-Hub had some dinner and took out the trash and recycling (which was the only task that I needed to get done today that I hadn't managed to do). After all that, Smug-Baby, Smug-Hub and I all played on the floor, rolling around with the girl and catching up on our respective days. It was nice.

Now it is time to get ready for bed and make up my to-do list for tomorrow. It is my last day of work until after Christmas and I am stoked to have all that time off and even more stoked that Christmas is just a few days away!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Dishes Need to be Washed... Again...

Do you ever feel like you are just living the same day over and over? Every day the meals need to be made and the dishes cleaned up. The bed made and house straightened. Each week there is more laundry, more diapers, the bathroom looks scuzzy again and the dust piles up.

I get frustrated that my day is filled with all these tasks that I just have to keep repeating over and over and I am never finished. I don't want my life to be dishes and laundry. I want my life to be more than that and yet, I don't know what that "more" would be. What do I love doing more than all else?

Well, that would be taking care of my family of course! I love it when the house is clean and there is a hot meal on the table. I love when my husband is able to wear is favorite shirt and my daughter has access to her most comfy pajamas. I love the way the house smells when it is freshly cleaned or when I have been baking all day.

So, what exactly am I am complaining about? I love doing all the mundane daily and weekly tasks that keep my home and family running smoothly. I think that I am currently frustrated by these tasks because I am still not feeling 100% and I am tired a lot still and everything weighs on me. I feel horrible that my bathroom hasn't been really clean in a month! I hate that the dust is getting so thick that Smug-Baby can practice her drawing technique. I hate that I am struggling to do the very basic tasks to get by and can't manage to keep up on things.

Today, I haven't felt well at all and I threw up my lunch and Smug-Baby isn't feeling well and she has been crying and clingy all day. I got exactly nothing done today and when Smug-Hub got home from his 10 hours at work, he made dinner for Smug-Baby and I. It was all I could do to get myself ready for bed!

They are reading a bedtime story while I write this and I am listening to the happy sounds of baby and daddy in the other room and I am just sad that I once again feel too bad to be part of things. I just want to be left alone to sleep.

I am going to go to bed, secure in the knowledge that the "morning" (ha) sickness really IS getting better and perhaps tomorrow will be a better day for both Smug-Baby and I and if all else fails... Christmas is just a few days away!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011


I was catching up on my Google Reader this morning and was struck when I read on Daily Garnish how sad Emily is not to have any family close to watch Cullen grow and change on a daily basis. I got thinking about how close my family is and how they have been able to watch Smug-Baby as she has changed over the almost two years.

I can't imagine not having the help and love and support of my family. I see some member of my family almost every day and Smug-Baby knows everyone and it is her routine to ask about what they are doing each morning when she wakes up and she needs to hear that "Pa" is sleeping and "Flo-f" is sleeping before she herself will settle into her nighttime rest. She asks who of the people she loves we are going to see whenever we leave the house and asks about them periodically throughout the day. She knows and loves my family and is so excited to see them when someone drops by the house.

As for me, my Mother was there to help me with nursing in the beginning and helps guide me in areas of nursing, nutrition and illness. My sister is my go-to on parenting since she had my nephew 9 years ago, she has been through most things and since she is currently dealing with almost the same developmental issues with Smug-Niece we talk daily on how best to parent our little ones. My dad and step-mom live the closest and we have become more friends than parent/child and we hang out with them weekly if not more. Since they only live 2 minutes away, dropping by for a quick 10 minute visit to get some hugs happens a lot. Smug-Baby is very close to them and runs like the wind when they come up the stairs and cries when they leave.

What if we didn't have that? What would her life, our lives, be without such wonderful, loving and supportive family close by? Smug-Hub's family lives very far away and they don't get to have the same kind of relationship with Smug-Baby as mine does. They visit for short periods of time, infrequently and it breaks my heart that in a time where air travel is possible, the cost really does keep families apart! I hate the the price of a plane ticket is the only thing that keeps Smug-Baby's other family from seeing her more!

I checked into tickets to fly to see them around the first of the year (not even for Christmas) and they are over $600 each!!! After February, when Smug-Baby is two, the airlines require her to have her own ticket - that will be $1,800 to fly to see family!! When Little-Smug arrives, it will just be too hard for us to travel, so that will mean that family will have to come to us. Smug-Hub has 3 brothers and his mother, so they are looking at a combined expense of $2,400 to come to see us!! I don't know anyone who has that kind of money and can just fly here to see us more than once every few years!!

I am broken-hearted that Smug-Baby and Little-Smug will not have the same kind of relationship with that side her family as she has with those close by, but I am beyond grateful that she has the chance to have a close relationship with the ones she can. I never was close to either set of my grandparents and while I loved them, I didn't really know them and I feel sorry that Smug-Baby and Little-Smug may feel like that about her other Grandmother and her Uncles. I have to get them a web-cam! That's all there is too it!!! Childhood is too short...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Breaking Through

Smug-Baby is cutting a molar. She has been chewing on her fingers, drooling and having some wonderful diaper contents over the last week and last night she finally let me stick my finger in her mouth to see what was going on. The bottom left molar is just about to break the surface! I am really excited about having teething behind us - and yes, I know that with Little-Smug on the way, we will be starting all over again!

Teething has been a constant in our lives almost from the moment Smug-Baby was born! I am ready for her to be pain free frankly! I will say that she is handling these molars like a champ - she has burst into tears for "no reason" a few times recently and has done just a bit of tossing and turning during the night, but overall, she hasn't seemed too affected by the pain of huge teeth pushing their way into her mouth and I am really proud of her!

I wish there was a way for her to tell me when she is hurting. Sometimes I notice her rubbing her head, and the chewing on her fingers is a dead give away, but I feel like if I could explain to her and she to me what was going on, it would be some much less frustrating for her.

I feel that way about a lot of things as she is getting older. Yesterday we worked through her first full on, honest to God, tantrum. I opened the back door to set the pan of cookies out there to cool and she wanted to play on the deck. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but it was too cold for her to go out there without shoes and socks, not to mention the last splinter she got was impossible to get out! I told her that we needed to get dressed before going outside, but she just understood no. She burst into hysterics and threw herself onto the floor and kicked and screamed and tried to hit me. I guess she really wanted to go outside! It was loads of fun!! At that point, I couldn't take her outside even I managed to get her shoes and socks on, because that would have reinforced the idea that screaming and throwing a fit gets her what she wants. I took her into her bedroom and lay on her bed with her and did end up nursing some after she calmed down a bit, but she screamed for almost 15 minutes!!

After she was calm I made a game of my feet "falling" off the edge of the bed and she started to giggle and was totally fine after that. I never did let her play on the deck, but she didn't ask to go out there again. The point is, if she had understood that I wasn't saying no, I was saying that she needed shoes and socks, she would have been totally fine with waiting until she was dressed and then playing happily on the deck. She understands a lot, but just missed the boat on this one and there was this huge mess over it.

When she is trying to tell me what she wants and I get it right, she gets the happiest grin on her face and giggles with delight that she has been able to communicate effectively. I love those moments where we are in sync and she gets what I am telling her and I get what she is telling me.

I guess I understand why they call it the terrible two's, not because kids are horrible, but because communication is so hit or miss at that age. They understand some things and not others. They get frustrated because they want so badly to understand what you are telling them and to make you understand what they need to tell you. It's going to be a tough time getting the basics of communication down, and I just have to try to focus on the fact that Smug-Baby is doing the best she can to adapt to the world and I have to play my part in helping her get there.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let's Talk About Food Baby!!

Now that I am starting to come out of this funk that I have been living in for what seems like forever, I am actually starting to crave food again, not just something that I have to choke down! I have been looking back at what I have been eating since the morning sickness started and I start feeling sick all over again! How can a baby grow big and strong on frozen pizza, cereal and chocolate?!?!?

I want to get back to eating how I should and while I know that Christmas baking and gatherings will involve eating some of the things that I probably shouldn't, I feel like as long as I am getting 90% of my food from really good things, then the splurges won't cause a problem - besides, if I have been eating this crappy for the last few months and I am still functioning a few cookies and a pound or two of fudge won't hurt me :)

Breakfast - I want to get away from all the sweets for breakfast. I have been having a piece of fruit (honey crisp apple) and then either Kashi Go Lean Crunch or oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins. Sometimes I even have a cup of decaf with some delicious creamer. I want instead to get back in the habit of making my scrambled tofu, which consists of a block of tofu, crumbled up and cooked with a variety of veggies - green pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, squash, carrots, etc. and a bit of soy sauce, red pepper flakes and nutritional yeast. This is amazing along with a thick slice of whole grain toast and an apple and makes enough to eat for breakfast the whole week! This is a true complete meal, full of protein and veggies and whole grains and fruit!

Lunch - I have gone a few times recently to this wonderful restaurant where they have an unlimited soup and salad bar for lunch every day of the week and let me tell you, if I had $7.50 to spend on lunch every day, this is where I would go!! Everything is fresh and local and the best part is that all the salad fixings are cut up into bite-sized pieces! I have never understood the point of whole baby carrots or long strips of green pepper, you still have to cut up your salad before you can eat it! Anyway, I digress...

What I would like to do is to get all the normal salad ingredients and cut them up myself. I can store them in individual containers and then have my own little salad bar when I want to eat. I also found a recipe for a lentil and kale soup that looks really good. So I will be able to create my own soup and salad bar at home and have a Hugh Jass salad each day!!

For dinner, I would like to go back to making simple one dish meals that provide Smug-Hub with leftovers for his lunch the following day. I think that the evenings are still going to be hard for me from an energy standpoint, so I want to find things that don't take too long to make or I can stick in the crock pot earlier in the day. The evenings have been really tough so far, I am tired and that is when the nausea seems to come back, so I don't want then to be when I am having to put something fancy together. Peas and Thank You had been my go-to cookbook before I got feeling so lousy, so I think that I will just dig it out and start making some of Sara's amazing meals again. I have so many cookbooks and I want to use them and not just dust them weekly (OK, so I haven't dusted in a month, so sue me!!) so I hope to find some great, simple meals that Smug-Hub and Smug-Baby will also eat.

Last night I made a tofu loaf for Smug-Baby and I and had picked up a steak that Smug-Hub grilled and then I heated up a package of frozen green beans and boiled some new potatoes for a fairly complete meal. I won't talk about how Smug-Baby spit out the tofu loaf and then tossed her entire plate of food on the floor...

So, now I just need to rob a bank so I can afford to purchase all these good, quality food items that I want to eat...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I believe that choice is important in life. I never like to feel like I have no options, but that is exactly how I was starting to feel about having this new baby. As we worked through the "options" they were whittled down to none and I started feeling panic about having no alternatives to what I was seeing as a negative situation.

Now, to clarify, I am really starting to find peace with the birth that we are planning now, but that doesn't mean that it is ideal or exactly what I want. What I wanted was to have this specific practice of midwives assist us with a home birth. I wanted to give birth in my own house with my daughter close by and my husband to catch the baby. When this group was already booked and wasn't able to accept us as clients I started looking at alternatives. I knew that the last thing I wanted was to give birth in the same hospital, in the room that looked just the same as where I gave birth before. I was sure that I wouldn't be able to relax and deliver in that environment.

We considered traveling to another, more mother-friendly hospital. The nearest ones are about 2 hours away in several directions, so the chances of giving birth on the side of the road are higher. Also, if the whole point of having the baby in the hospital is so that the NICU is there in case something goes wrong, none of the other hospitals have NICU's, so the baby would have to be transported to the hospital here anyway. That scenario would mean that the baby was in one hospital and I would be in another, several hours away. Also, Smug-Baby would be hours away and less able to visit and be part of things. So, traveling to a better hospital that would let me labor in the tub or whatever, isn't really a good option.

We considered using another midwife, but Smug-Hub was so uneasy about the whole idea of a home birth at all, that trying to get him to interview and get comfortable with another midwife wasn't really going to happen. He was really only comfortable giving it a shot because the team we wanted consisted of a midwife with over 30 years of experience and a midwife who had worked in the hospital and was a nurse for 15 years. It was the perfect combination of experience and medical training that helped him feel like this might be doable. So, hiring another midwife and having a home birth wasn't going to be a good option either.

Once we determined that a home birth wasn't going to happen, I felt really lost. My doctor had told us that he and his partner was sharing doctors with another practice so that would mean that the doctor who would deliver my baby would be any one of 14 doctors and would be whomever happened to be on call. I talked to him about my fears and my need to build a repore of trust with the person who would be assisting me in the delivery, but while he was sympathetic and understanding, he wasn't willing to be on call for me. I talked to other mothers and the leader at the La Lache League meeting, along with a couple of midwives about any other doctors in the area who would actually commit to being MY doctor but none exist.

All the doctors are moving to these large practices with lots of doctors on staff and while I understand that this allows for them to have a life and not be awake every night of the month delivering babies, it is just horrible for patient care. No one seems to give a shit about the patient! It doesn't matter to these doctors that a laboring woman needs to feel safe and protected and to have a bond of trust with the people that are going to help her deliver the baby, they just want to have some time off.

The doctor that we used with Smug-Baby was wonderful! He had an amazing bedside manner and he committed to his patients and was on-call for them. He has moved to another hospital that is about 45 minutes away from my house and this hospital has a really terrible reputation besides, again, not having a NICU. I think that he was hoping to change all that and I wish him luck, but it isn't a good place to have a baby at this time. Not to mention, things went to shit at the end of Smug-Baby's delivery and I need to create something as different as possible and thinking that I could trust this doctor not to make, what I believe to be, mistakes again is just crazy! So, there really isn't a point to changing the doctor that I have now. There isn't anyone else who would treat me any better in my  area, so why bother?

The hospital we are going to use (given the lack of viable options elsewhere) doesn't allow laboring or delivery in a pool or tub. Water was very soothing to me when I was in labor before and I expect that it will be again, so I really wanted to give birth in the water. That isn't an option in my area, but just two hours away, there is a hospital that will let you labor in the birthing pool, but you have to get out to push. Another hospital about two hours away will not only let you labor in the birthing pool, you can deliver there and they even encourage you to reach down and bring your baby up to your chest yourself - like deliver your own baby! How can things be so different, just a few hours down the road?!?!? The hospital that I am stuck with claims to be state of the art and the best technology around, yadda, yadda, yadda, and yet a little town down the way has better patient care??

It is really frustrating to see all the options whittled away until you are left with a doctor that probably won't be helping with the delivery and a hospital that doesn't allow a laboring woman to labor where/how she feels most comfortable.

All that being said, I really did have a good labor with Smug-Baby and I have no complaints about the nurses who attended me during the labor. I also feel like this baby is going to come super fast, because there isn't any blockage within me to cause him/her issues. I probably wouldn't even have time to get a birthing pool set up!! A midwife and family friend has offered to act as Doula for me at the hospital and I feel a lot of trust in her. She will be providing me with that level of prenatal care that I need and the doctor will not do for me. She will be meeting with Smug-Hub and I monthly to get to know the baby, to work with us on creating a birth plan and bonding with Smug-Hub so that they can work together to create that peaceful, trusting environment that I will need to labor effectively.

Whomever the doctor happens to be who comes to help with the delivery will be a professional and we already have discussed that Smug-Hub will take him or her aside and explain the fears and triggers that I will be struggling with during labor. I really do believe that doctors and nurses want to help and aren't in the back room thinking up ways to make labor and delivery harder or more uncomfortable and if we can go in there with an open attitude and maybe some home-baked chocolate chip cookies, then we will be met with good people who want to help bring our baby into the world our way.

I still wish there were better options though...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Can't Wait!

My brother graduated from college this past weekend and I went up there to celebrate with him and the rest of my family. I ended up missing the actual graduation because Smug-Baby was napping right when we needed to leave and I needed her to be rested, so I stayed at the house. It worked out well actually, because by the time everyone arrived back home, I had the BBQ heated and all the trays of food laid out so everyone could start eating as soon as they walked through the door. It was a good party and I am glad that I could be part of it, however, it was exhausting chasing Smug-Baby all over a non-baby-proofed house all weekend!!

While I was there, I was able to have a nice conversation with my cousin. Normally, I see my extended family twice a year, Easter and Thanksgiving and while I love the visits they consist of a lot of running around trying to visit with everyone and no real deep conversations, so this was nice to have an hour just to talk about stuff. We talked about relationships and communication and stuff like that. I am not sure how we got talking about it, but I told her all about my birth with Smug-Baby.

Not the after-effects of the NICU or anything like that, but the actual labor and delivery. I realized that I am very proud of having given birth to my daughter! I realized that I am looking forward to delivering Little-Smug just as much! I realized that I have been so focused on feeling afraid of what could happen and how the doctor could mess things up, that I have not focused on what an amazing thing it is to bring a child into the world!

I have no fear of labor, no fear that I will not be up to the task. I know that my body is designed for giving birth and that I labor very well. I know that Smug-Baby paved the way for her little brother or sister to slide easily into the world and I know that if something goes wrong it will not be because I was frozen by fear!

I am looking so forward to my labor and my delivery this time. I know what to expect and I know what it will feel like and I am looking forward to embracing the sensations that will bring my child to my arms! I am looking forward to that incredible high that comes after delivering your child naturally! Those hormones released and I felt like a super-hero! I could have leapt tall buildings in a single bound after giving birth and I can't wait to do it again!!

When I was pregnant with Smug-Baby so many people told me how labor was so horrible and how I would take the drugs when the time came and how I was silly to think that I could handle the pain. I wanted to try. I felt like there was some kind of feminine power that came from giving birth and I wanted to connect to that power, to feel all the women of generations past lifting me up and carrying me through. I still feel like there is something to be said for connecting to your female power by giving birth, but when the time came, I wasn't thinking about connecting to my heritage, I was counting and working and thinking about meeting my daughter, and I have to say, it really wasn't all that big a deal. It wasn't the most fun I've had in my life, but the pain was totally doable and I never felt like I couldn't do it, or that I needed something to help with the pain, it just wasn't bad!

But the high when it was all over!!!!! Man of man was that amazing!!! I want it to be different this time, because I think that having all those super-hero hormones washing over you while actually holding the child you just delivered would make the high even higher!!! I can't wait to give birth and meet this new little person who has chosen to come be part of our family!!

OK, moving on :)

Becks turned me on to a new app for my iPhone, called Big Lens! Here are a few pictures that I took using it and it is really cool!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

OK, NOW you can celebrate the Christmas season! There are 12 days before Christmas Eve and I like the idea of spending those 12 days doing something festive. Visit with Friends, attend holiday parties, decorate the house and tree, baking, singing Christmas carols and all the other festive things that put one in the holiday frame of mind. I hated seeing Christmas shopping commercials in October, but 12 days of Christmas is a perfectly acceptable length of time to celebrate!

That being said, I have finished all the shopping for Christmas that I needed to do and everyone has something that I am happy about and Santa is all hooked up for the big night. Also, we decorated our tree last night so we are getting a bit of a head start on everything J I have all the ingredients (except one spice that I need to get from the co-op, because I am not spending $12 for a whole jar when I need ½ a teaspoon!!) for all the baked gifts that I am doing. I will still need to get the food for the actual Christmas dinner, but that has to wait a bit longer – I don’t think people will want to eat a two week old turkey!! But, the major shopping, ordering and buying are all finished.

I like having that part out of the way. Now, I need to think about packing up and mailing the items for those who live far away. I need to bake for my friends and deliver delicious goodies to everyone. I need to wrap things and put some things together. I need to mail the Christmas cards (if they would EVER arrive already!) I still need to get the outside of the house decorated and I need to work on the Christmas Dinner menu and food assignments for those joining us. All these things are smallish and not really headache inducing so I will really be spending the 12 days of Christmas doing fun, festive things to get ready for the holiday, without stressing and without worry and most of all, without dread!!

Bring on the Christmas music!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Getting Back on the Horse

It is time. I have been wallowing in morning, noon and night sickness for a hundred years now and it is time to take back my life! OK, so while I am still having some days where I feel really horrible, it seems to have settled down a bit into a more manageable level of just feeling kind of lousy most of the time.

I want my house back in order! I want my child to do something other than watch TV while her mommy lies around all day! I want my routine back! My schedules and my to do lists and my workouts and my walks outside!!!

I will be starting from scratch and I know it will take some time to get back into a routine and some time until I feel more like normal and not so lousy, so I am just going to start slow, take it one day at a time.

I know that December will be extra busy with Christmas stuff, but I want to get back into walking each day as soon as Christmas is over.

I want to try to incorporate any extra Christmas daily activities with my scheduled daily tasks. Since I am not working for Smug-Sister anymore, this should be doable and not too overwhelming.

Once Christmas is over and I have established my daily routines again, then I will start with the deep cleaning and organizing of each room, like I did earlier this year. Every room has gotten totally out of control again because I haven't been up to keeping things in order and it is time to get them back in line! I want to have this completed by the end of my second trimester. That's the goal!

Also, once all the Christmas food and baking and parties and such are over, I am going to get back to eating mostly vegan and getting a lot more veggies into my body! I feel like I haven't been taking very good care of this new baby the last few months. I have been focused on surviving the morning sickness while trying to remember to feed my daughter and maybe change her diaper a time or two! Beyond that, I haven't been much good to anyone! I was eating a nice salad the other day and realized that I couldn't remember the last time I had eaten a vegetable! I have been living on frozen pizza, cereal, pancakes and oatmeal - quick foods that don't take long and don't require much effort! It is high time to get back to eating right!! I know that it will be hard to stay diary free over the holiday's so I am just letting that go. I will focus on getting as much good food in me as possible and be at peace with the junk food that I know I will joyfully consume over Christmas! After all 2012 is another year!

So, with any luck as I enter the last three months of pregnancy, I should have my house organized, my routines established, my workouts and walks going strong and my diet really clean and healthy. I figure that it will be at about that time that the leg swelling will start and I'll need to slow down again and get ready to bring a new little-smug into the family!!

Here is to getting back on track (once again...) and to moving forward!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Do Not Open Until June 2012!

Well, I can officially tell you (all 1 reader of you!!) that Smug-Baby is going to be a big sister!! It has been really hard not to blog about this pregnancy so far. We wanted to tell our family in person at Thanksgiving and we wanted to keep it a bit quiet until the end of the first trimester. But since I blog about my daily life it was like I couldn't blog! I couldn't talk about other stuff, because there isn't really anything in my life that isn't affected by this new baby!

Now the news is out there and I can start keeping a detailed record of this pregnancy! Mostly, the only major thing that I have to report is the morning sickness!! It is terrible and horrible and never-ending!!

I don’t remember it being this hard. Morning sickness was a big problem when I was pregnant with Smug-Baby, but as long as I ate every 2 hours on the dot I felt pretty decent. With this baby, I feel horrible all the time, before I eat, after I eat, in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. The evening is actually the worst and morning, before I eat or drink, the best – Go figure! I am currently 13 weeks along and I am hoping and praying that the morning sickness is on the way out!

I have been dealing with a lot of turmoil regarding the birth of this new Little-Smug. I initially really wanted to have Little-Smug at home, but factors outside my control have made that no longer an option and I will talk more about those in coming posts. For now we are planning to bring this baby into the world in the same hospital where Smug-Baby was born, but with a different doctor and a different doula for support. I felt really trapped in the beginning. Trapped because my city has so few options for birthing women and I am still upset about that, however, I really trust the woman who is going to act as my doula and I feel stronger with her by my side. Also, the many discussions I have had with Smug-Hub over the last 3 months have really brought us closer and I feel like he will support me and protect me and help make sure that things are done to our specifications.

I am really sad that Smug-Baby will not be able to be part of her baby brother or baby sister’s birth, but she can come into the delivery room the second Little-Smug is born and bond with us all together, so that is helping me cope. I also really trust in my baby and my body and I have a strong feeling that this baby is going to come really fast and I will not have a long labor that will keep Smug-Baby away from me for a long time. Babies have plans for their births and I have to trust that this baby has his or her own plan too. Let go and let God! Easier said than done and we will see how my calm holds up as I connect more deeply to this baby and my mama bear comes out toward the end. I hope that I will still be able to let go and trust that all will be as it should be!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Getting Excited About Christmas

So, it was Black Friday and all through the house, no was heading to the mall cause we ain't stupid!!!

I waited to do my shopping until Cyber Monday and then I went a little nuts! I took care of Smug-Baby for the most part as well as the few last minute items that I needed. I got free shipping on everything I ordered and saved tons because everything I ordered was on sale!!

I even found the diaper bag that I have been lusting over on eBay, used for totally cheap and a replacement wipe warmer on Craigslist! The wipe warmer has to be replaced because Smug-Baby climbed up into her changing table and threw the current wipe warmer off the edge, causing the plug to separate itself from the warmer and the cord in a way that was not designed by the manufacturers!

I also created a new 2012 family calendar on Shutterfly and ordered a little something for Smug-Hub too, because I had a $10 off coupon and of course, free shipping!

I still need to get something for my step-brother and my brother-in-law, but I know what I want to get them and it is just a matter of driving over to the stores as soon as I have some money again. I also wanted to get one thing from Toys-r-us for Smug-Baby, but they are only offering free shipping on orders over $50 and it is a $10 item, so I will drive out there one random afternoon soon and pick that up and try to escape the mall area without killing or being killed!

Also, I still need to do the baking for the neighbors and other friends that I do each year, but that will wait until closer to actual Christmas time. It is kind of sneaking up fast though!

We are having Christmas pictures taken this Sunday at Sears (I have a Groupon!) and I will turn those into our Christmas cards and get those mailed out in a few weeks.

We are kind of putting off decorating the house and putting up the tree. I think that as much as I love the tree, it is big and kind of in the way and I get irritated if it is up too long, so I am toying with the idea of waiting until the weekend before Christmas. Smug-Hub has to work a lot of the upcoming weekends, but should be off the 19th/20th and we could make a day of it. We will see!

Yesterday, I cooked a turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, mac and cheese, stuffing, corn pudding, Watergate salad, cranberries, green bean casserole, rolls and apple pie for dinner. Smug-Hub was in heaven! It was great, because it was all our favorite and now we have tons of leftovers to last us the rest of the week and into the weekend. It really felt festive and we both went to sleep feeling overly full and happy!!

I am excited about all that the new year holds and thankful for all that this past year has given me. I am so thankful for the love of my family and friends and looking forward to a really fun holiday season!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I am so excited about Thanksgiving this year. I am always excited about seeing my family and eating all that wonderful food, but this year I am also excited because Smug-Baby is just so full of personality now! The last time the family was together was at Easter and she was still pretty clingy wants only Smug-Hub and I and didn't have much fun with the other kids.

Now she is starting to feel more confident in herself and her world. I think that it will take her some time to warm up to everyone (because my family is large and loud and it is probably overwhelming for a tiny person), but I think that this year, she will be running around with the other kids and getting into stuff and having a fun time.

I am also really excited about all the food! Oh, I mentioned that already did I? Well, I like food and I like eating and I like cooking, so its a trifecta of awesome!!

Today after I leave the office I am going home to make a pound cake, cranberry salad and a sweet potato casserole! The pound cake is from Paula Dean, and I made it last week too and it is OMG awesome!!! The cranberries are a recipe that I got from the Grandmother of an old boyfriend a 100 years ago and everyone loves it. You know if it came from a grandma it is going to be good! The sweet potatoes are going to be vegan! Everyone in my family is a huge meat eater and always turns their noses up at my "strange" eating habits, but they all love my sweet potatoes and they are totally vegan! I make it with Silk Creamer and Earth Balance, they are creamer and wonderful and everyone loves them! I don't have the heart to tell them that they are eating something "strange"!

I may spill the beans this year, because my cousin recently watched Food, Inc. and has decided that my "Strange" eating habits might be something she wants to partake in too! I think that she is cutting out all animal products completely, while I am less hardcore when it comes to holiday's! I like the traditional favorites and I try to eat really decently the rest of the year, so I give myself a break around the holiday's.

I am really looking forward to being with all these people that I love so much! I want to hang out and talk and catch up with what everyone has been doing and I squeeze the babies and see how much the kids have grown! There are a couple pregnant belly's to be kissed and some football to be watched. I want to relax and let others entertain my child for a bit and just be with people who love me, even if I eat "Strangely"!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jinxing Myself

I know that by typing this out I am jinxing myself and will be kicking myself tomorrow, but…

We have had three really good nights in a row!! This week, so far, has been really good in the sleeping department! Smug-Baby has gone down for a restful sleep at about 9pm each night and only nursed once or twice during the night. I have woken a few times to roll over or whatever, but basically have gotten 5-6 hours of solid sleep before Smug-Baby wants to nurse sometime around 2am.

She is actually not nursing much during the day this week either and I wonder if she is starting to wean herself a bit. She still nurses for comfort and to fall asleep at night and I am really happy about the developments. I like that she is still nursing and I love the bonding, but I am getting tired of her trying to nurse and “dance” at the same time and causing me pain J I guess this is the natural evolution of things and I am OK with it.

Getting some decent sleep during the evenings has allowed me to function better during the day and I have been getting a lot done. This is the last week that I will be caring for Smug-Niece and I feel like I am doing a better job of being there for both girls now that I am not feeling so tired that I can’t move. I am really looking forward to next week when it is just Smug-Baby and I and my normal “to do” list. I want to get naps established first thing and get my house back into shape, but I am really looking forward to a more relaxed schedule and lots of time to play with my girl!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


There are some things changing in my life that I will be able to talk about here soon, but one that I can discuss is that Smug-Sister and I are changing our childcare arrangement in that I will no longer be keeping Smug-Niece on a daily basis.

There are a couple of reasons for this, one of which is the thing that I can't talk about yet. One of the other reasons is simply that it is getting too hard for my sister to give her child good care in the mornings while waiting for my arrival. She works from home, but that means that she has to work! Lead meetings and take notes and talk to people and she can't do that and care for a toddler who wants to play outside or get into everything on the desk or what have you. She has had times where she has needed to put Smug-Niece in the crib and walk away for a short time to get some meeting underway and she feels horrible about that.

Another reason is that I need to get some good routines established for Smug-Baby. She is still not sleeping well at night and I wonder if that is due in part to napping in her car seat every day. Her naps are dictated a lot by having another baby in the car who may keep her from falling asleep or wake her before she is ready. As Smug-Sister said, our first priority needs to be to our families and what is best for them.

So Smug-Sister has started the process of finding alternative childcare options and will be interviewing people over the next few weeks and we will start transitioning Smug-Niece into a new situation soon.

My goal is to make sure that Smug-Niece adjusts well to the new situation. Smug-Baby and I have been with her since she was 3 months old - every day! We are her day! She runs up for hugs when we get there and she and Smug-Baby kiss and hug each other. They are very close and I don't want to lose that.

On the other hand, my heart sings at the thought of getting off work and having the rest of the whole day to spend at home with my girl! She can nap in her own bed! I could perhaps attend an LLL meeting or a baby wearing meeting; get Smug-Baby into Melody Makers or another kind of group setting where she can make some friends. She is very used to being able to just grab things from Smug-Niece or push her over when Smug-Baby gets frustrated and I want her to be around all kinds of other kids too and learn that others will push back and take toys from her.

I will not feel such pressure to get stuff done around the house. I can still use my weekly breakdown to get everything done, but I won't feel like I have to stick Smug-Baby in front of the TV while I rush around to get laundry going or clean the bathroom.

Financially, this change will be hard on us both. Smug-Sister is going to have to pay someone else more than she has been paying me and I will have to adjust to less money coming in each month, but I am very excited about the thought of having some of my life back and I am willing to cut off the cable TV to make ends meet if necessary :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finished... At Least for a While

Well, I am finished with the big room! Yes, the movies are still not in alphabetical order and the books aren't arranged by subject and yes, the paperwork still needs to be gone through and filed away, but the room looks nice and is clean and ready for company.

This is a really good thing, because my MIL will be here in three short days and I need to clean her bathroom, vacuum all my floors and wash, dry, fold and put away this mountain of dirty clothing that has amassed itself in my laundry room! I don't know how three people can dirty so many clothes!!

Well, yes I do! Smug-Baby is going through at least two outfits a day and sometimes three. This is because of her new obsession with washing dishes. She pulls me into the kitchen points at the sink and then to the dining room chair and repeats "dish dish" over and over until I move the chair in place, remove all the breakable or sharp items from her reach and turn on a small trickle of water. She will stand up there and play for a really long time, which is nice because it allowed me to clean the bathroom one day and upload some pictures to Facebook another.

The result of this is though that she ends up getting water all over herself and the floor and the chair. Which really is fine with me, because she is happy and I am able to get other stuff done. So I clean up the chair and floor and then change her outfit and she plays at something else until it is time for me to make dinner and then suddenly the "dish dish" needs to be done again :)

So, yes, a mountain of laundry to work on today, a bathroom to clean tomorrow and a house to make sure is picked up and looks like I am not a total slob of a wife and mother on Wednesday before I trek off to the airport to get her and my daughter can finally have time her her other grandmother!!

I am so grateful that my family is close and Smug-Baby has a close relationship with them. When we leave her with my Dad and Step-Mom she is happy and doesn't cry out for us. When she spends time with my Mom, she is happy and safe and secure! I want Smug-Hub's Mom to have a close relationship with Smug-Baby too, but she is so far away that she has only seen Smug-Baby three times. That being said, they warmed up to each other super fast, like within 30-45 minutes and were great buddies the whole visit. But then they are separated again for long periods of time and that breaks my heart. I know that as Smug-Baby gets older she will remember her other Grandmother more, but I am going to buy my MIL a web cam so we can have weekly Skype sessions!! There has to be a way for them to stay more connected!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Big Room

I got almost the whole bed cleaned off today in my quest to get the big room livable for my MIL's visit next week. I packed into totes toys that Smug-Baby isn't playing with right now (the thinking is that I will pull these out and pack up what she is playing with now once she is acting like she is done with them). I sucked all the air out of my off season clothes and got them on the shelf. I really should have just taken them all to the goodwill and been done with it, but oh well...

I gathered up lots of trash and got that out of the room too. Smug-Hub still needs to fix the top part of the shelving the books are on, so I wasn't able to unpack the last box of books or the totes of photo albums, but that will come.

All that is really left to tackle is the desk and office stuff. I need to find a place to stash my growing collection of Christmas gifts, move the TV and VCR on top of the dresser to get it off the floor, and take the new microwave upstairs so Smug-Hub and my BIL can install it this weekend. After that stuff, the room will need to be vacuumed and dusted, but then it will be finished!! Not perfect, but totally livable and I can work on a list of stuff to work on when this room comes around in the rotation again, like putting the books on the shelves by subject, sending some of those clothes to goodwill, putting the movies in alphabetical order, stuff like that!

I love that I am getting so close to getting the room livable! I just hope that I can work to keep it that way! I need to set aside some time weekly to keep up on filing and other office stuff so the desk doesn't get out of hand, but I should be able to keep the rest of the room in decent order now. I have been really impressed with how I have been able to keep up with the organization in the rest of the house and how nice it is to know where everything is and everything has a home! Now, if Smug-Hub would just stop messing things up that I have to keep going back over and fixing.... I know, get used to it :)

Now, I just need to get our finances as organized!!

Monday, October 10, 2011


My Mother-In-Law is coming for a visit and will be here in 9 days. I have 9 days to finish my downstairs project and get the room ready for her to stay there. Which I know, basically means that she needs access to at least past of the bed, but I would like to give her the whole bed and some where on the floor to walk around too!

Smug-hub has been very helpful the last two weekends moving furniture and setting up shelving so I have some room to maneuver now. So, today, the plan is to unpack the last box of books onto the shelf, put up the pictures upstairs that have been packed up for the last, umm, 4 1/2 years, and put the out of season clothing into space saver bags and suck all the air out of them!

The over-the-range microwave we got at a yard sale still need to be carried upstairs and installed (my BIL said he would help Smug-Hub maybe one evening this week). I would like to actually organize the CD's and DVD's into alphabetical order and the books by subject, but that isn't imperative. What is, I'm afraid to say is the desk area! It is piled high with papers and cards, bills and Christmas gifts, magazines and mail and leftover newspapers! it needs some dedicated attention!! If I get the books, clothes and pictures squared away today, then I will have the majority of the week to work on the desk/office stuff!

I kinda wish that I had taken some "before" pictures, but the biggest reason that I didn't is because I really don't want to remember how bad it looked or to let any of my readers out there know what a horrible slob I had become!! I will probably take some pictures when it is finished, so you will just have to picture piles of junk to the ceiling on your own!!

In addition to the room tasks, I have several loads of laundry to work on, but that shouldn't be an issue and I have a lovely curry stew planned for dinner! I feel like my plans are working and my weeks are becoming less difficult and the house is staying nicer and things are staying more organized and clean. After this downstairs room is complete, the whole house will have been deeply cleaned and organized and I can start over, spending a little time in each room each week to keep up on the progress I have made without killing myself! I'm excited!

I am also really looking forward to my MIL's visit. I am ashamed to admit that I am really selfish when it comes to Smug-Baby and I always felt like my MIL was taking away MY time with my baby that I waited so long for and wanted so much! I knew it was a wrong feeling and totally nothing really to do with my MIL, but there you have it. This time will be different! I have to work on this quarterly project and her visit will encompass the whole project. This will give me someone who really loves Smug-Baby to watch her, someone that she really connects with to hang out with her, give my MIL some concentrated time with Smug-Baby, and not make me feel left out of my own child's day! It should be a win-win!! Plus, she will probably cook some amazing food while she is here and food is always a winner in my book!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I know that all things happen in the time in which they are supposed to happen, but I am not very good at letting go and letting God handle it. I like to plan and I like checklists and spreadsheets and to-do lists. Tell me how to make something happen, give me a deadline and watch me beat it every time!!

Except when it comes to having babies. A few months ago, a girlfriend and I were discussing her desire to get pregnant and I said that I felt it was important to make sure that you want to have a baby more than you want air before you have one, because pregnancy is hard, labor is hard, being a parent is hard. You have to want it more than anything or you will suck at it!

A few weeks later, she found out she was pregnant and is currently in the depths of morning sickness and wondering what she has gotten herself into. When she told me she was pregnant, that little twinge that had been niggling at me since I heard that another girlfriend was pregnant, got stronger. A few weeks after that, I heard about a woman from my birthing class was pregnant again, and a woman who's blog I read is also pregnant again. That little twinge became a full on throb!!

Smug-Hub and I had already discussed having another baby and have been trying for a last few months. We didn't want to put off trying because it did take us so long to get Smug-Baby, but we were half-hearted about it. The fears of starting over with pregnancy, nursing, teething, etc. was really hard. But, we knew that we wanted another baby and if we were going to do it, now was about perfect.

So, now it has been a few months and I am feeling that same old feeling like I did when I was trying with Smug-Baby. Like everyone around me is pregnant and other people seem to get pregnant so easily! By accident! Like, not trying!! Why is it so hard for me? I want to realize that I haven't started in like 3 months and just be surprised. But, that's not me. I'm am tracking my ovulation and cycle and keeping track of the best possible days and waiting. Waiting and waiting and waiting. The two week wait each month is SOOOO LOOONNNNGGGG!!! It's like the first two weeks go by in a snap and I spend the next hundred years waiting for a chance to pee on a stick.

I just want to be pregnant again. I want to look at my sweet daughter and know that I get to do it all over again!! Just a few more days and I can take the test! Of course, I am feeling a little PMS-y today, so...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Scared of Clothes

All of a sudden Smug-Baby is hating having her clothes put on, diaper put on, diaper changed, clothing taken off, shoes put on or taken off. I don't know what the deal is, but she screams and cries as though I am killing her when I get her dressed in the mornings or attempt to clean the poo off her butt!

She is getting so much better (and I am too I guess) at getting her point across and letting me know what she needs. She is also getting tons better at understanding what I am trying to tell her too, but we don't understand each other when it comes to this clothing thing. I win, I mean she is always wearing clothes, and I don't let her stay in a poo filled diaper, but it is a real challenge!

She used to love her bath time, then she screamed and cried throughout bath time, then all of a sudden she liked the bath again and now that she is having this aversion to changing her state of dress or undress, she is crying though bath time again. I suppose that she will come out of this stage too and all I can do is make sure that she is clean and dry and warm and ride it out.

Other than that she is lots of fun. She wants to play with me and hands me blocks to stack or twirls around my legs in a fun game of lets-get-dizzy! She likes to push the stool up to the bathroom sink and watch me while I am getting ready for bed. She also looks at herself in the mirror and practices her facial expressions - it really is too cute!!

So, you know how Smug-Hub is a die-hard Dallas Cowboy fan and I am a die-hard Washington Redskins fan? Well, these two teams met on Monday night and my team lost by a tiny 2 points. Well, this morning Smug-Hub dressed Smug-Baby in a Cowboy's shirt!!! Well, Smug-Sister decided Smug-Baby wouldn't be allowed into the house with "that Cowboy crap on"

Lucky for Smug-Baby, Smug-Sister had something she could wear

Smug-Hub was so NOT happy :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Win

So, I had this really long list of things to get done over the weekend. And, I didn't do any of it. Not one thing on the to do list is marked off. However, I did mark off some very, super, major important things that weren't on the list:

1) Spend time with a sweet and squishy baby.

2) Spend time with family

3) Have a nice meal out with husband and baby

4) Sleep in just a bit

So, no I didn't vacuum the house, finish organizing the kitchen, do laundry or go grocery shopping. But I did take full advantage when my daughter wanted to cuddle. I played along when she wanted to stack blocks. I participated when she made Lego margrarita (I let her play with the plastic margarita glasses I discovered when working on the kitchen and she filled them with Lego's and then presented them to me for "drinking"). We watched Finding Nemo together with her all snuggled in my lap.

Why in the world would I pass up time to snuggle and cuddle with my baby, who is all too quickly growing up, just to vacuum?!?!?

I hope everyone had a great weekend and took some time to stop and smell the roses too!! I sure did!!

Friday, September 23, 2011


The whole point of killing myself throughout the week is so I can spend the entire weekend with my family, doing fun things and not worrying about all the stuff that I have to get done. I don't want to spend the weekend cleaning, grocery shopping, doing laundry and all that there stuff!! I want to go to brunch with a friend, meet up with Dad for a bike ride, stay in bed late and tickle Smug-Baby and Smug-Hub and have coffee and a late breakfast. I don't want to kill myself working and waste my family time.

I want to make sure that I have a good balance of getting my house in order and keeping it that way, of getting my body ready to grow a new human life, of feeding my family really great food, of spending enough time playing with my child. To do that, every moment needs to be thought out. I spend the majority of my day during the week busting my ass to get all the house stuff done, so I have the weekend free for family (although I do make sure to spend at least an hour each day in concentrated baby play time with Smug-Baby). I refuse to spend my weekends working on the house and stuff. That is my family time!

That is, until this weekend. Smug-Hub is going to be out of town on business (although, I don't know how you really count a company fishing trip as business but oh well...) So, Smug-Baby and I will be on our own this weekend. I have run into a complication in my ability to get everything done today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday). Friday, I have a dentist appointment and an appointment to have a tear in the back seat of the Jeep fixed. These errands are going to take most of the day, so the chances of getting the house cleaning done are slim to none. As for today, I was concentrating so hard on working on the deep cleaning in the kitchen, that I forgot to clean the bathrooms (today's daily task), so that has to get pushed off.

So, I have this whole weekend stretching out in front of me. I will be with Smug-Baby but it won't be the fun-filled family time without Smug-Hub, so I am planning on using this weekend to catch up on the things that I haven't been able to get done and get a bit ahead on next week. So, here is my "to do" list for the weekend:

1) Dust
2) Sweep and mop the kitchen, entry way, and both bathroom floors
3) Clean both bathrooms
4) Vacuum the house
5) Complete the deep cleaning in the kitchen - 1 more upper and 4 lower cabinets
6) Grocery Shopping - fill in week, shouldn't take too long
7) Workout

Now, I know it takes about 30 minutes to clean both bathrooms. It also takes about 90 minutes to do the dusting, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming. Grocery shopping will include a trip to the co-op as well as the normal grocery store, so about 90 minutes there. Working out will only take 10 minutes each day. Finishing the kitchen should take about another 60-90 minutes. So I need to devote about 6 total hours during the whole weekend to my tasks! That should be doable and still allow me time for a bike ride, time to take Smug-Baby to the park, catch up on all those shows on the DVR and maybe even start some laundry!!

Without the "distraction" of Smug-Hub I shouldn't have any trouble getting this all done and getting all ready for the coming week. Since I will have finished the upstairs deep cleaning project, I will be able to start on downstairs, a little at a time next week. It will be my second week of working out daily, so the soreness (which is already a lot better) shouldn't slow me down. I have high hopes for next week.

I am well on my way to creating balance within my home and my family!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Plugging Away

Today is day three, yet it feels like I have been working out and juggling all my tasks for a whole lot longer. I have stuck to my plans come hell or high water and gotten most of what I needed to get done completed on the days it needed to get done.

Monday, the only thing that didn't get done was cleaning out the kitchen drawers. I cleaned them on Tuesday, but that meant that I didn't get to clean off the tops of the fridge and pantry, but everything else for Tuesday got finished. Today, I cleaned the tops and the dish cabinet, the glasses cabinet, made wipes, and washed diapers. I didn't clean out the Gladware cabinet or fold the washed diapers, so that moves to tomorrow. Overall, the stuff that I needed to push off to the next day was small, so I am still feeling like this is doable and I am proud of myself for accomplishing so much.

Smug-Baby is on a short fuse as I think she is teething. She did better today, playing on top of me while I attempted to do my workout moves. Smug-Niece on the other hand seemed less happy to be there. She didn't want to play, have something to eat, or watch Elmo. She would play for something for a few moments, then cry and want to be held, but almost as soon as I picked her up, she wanted down again. I think she was tired, because they didn't nap long and they both fell asleep again on the way to take Smug-Niece home, so maybe that was all it was.

Tonight, we worked on leftovers and played on the floor with Smug-Baby for a while, but then Smug-Hub took off to hang with a friend he hasn't seen in a while with the promise that he would return by 9:30 and we would all go to bed together. We have this plan to keep Smug-Baby up a bit later in the hopes that she will sleep more soundly in the mornings when I am trying to sneak out. The last few mornings she has been up when I left and it is terrible!! Notice, that I am typing this and it is almost 10 though so...

While he has been gone, Smug-Baby and I have gotten all ready for bed with a bath for her and a face washing for me. We both brushed our teeth and put on our PJ's - we are set! She is running circles around the living room with a bucket on her head at the moment!

Smug-Hub has to be out of town this weekend and I have big plans to knock out the rest of the cleaning in the kitchen and start on the downstairs. I also want to catch up on uploading all my pictures to Facebook and order prints from Shutterfly. I want to get caught up on all the season premieres that are currently on the DVR and basically spend the weekend at home, doing home stuff!! It will be nice I think!

I hear the truck pulling up - 10:15! I'm gonna strangle him one of these days!!! Good night all!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just Started This Workout Program and Man Am I Sore!!

So, I feel like I may be dying! Everything hurts and just seems to be getting worse. I do keep adding to the muscle strain each day, so that sorta makes since, but still... I do know that pushing through the first week or two is the only way to help ease the level or soreness, so I am committed to getting though it and getting stronger, but I am so sore!! And Tired!!

I am still trying to do everything on my "to do" list daily and keep both the girls happy and I have added a layer with the workout program. It is going to take some time to adjust to the new pace of my days. I used to be busy, but now I have to be busy on a more structured schedule and at a faster pace than before. It will take some time to get comfortable.

I am looking forward to getting the first round of deep cleaning and organizing done in the house. I feel like that will free up a lot of time during the week, since upkeep will involve less time than the first overhaul has. The plan is to work on the kitchen some each day and have it finished this weekend so I can start on the downstairs next week. If I do a little something down there each day too, then it should take about two weeks and then the house will be done! Of course, then it will be time to start over...

I have cooked dinner each evening this week so far, OK so it's only Tuesday, but I have cooked dinner the last three nights! I have made snacks for the following day, so I wouldn't be tempted to grab take-out and that seems to have worked pretty well. Also, I am motivated not to undo totally the workouts that I have been doing by eating junk! I have been dairy free, except for the leftover desserts from the Greek Festival that I ate yesterday, so that has been good.

Overall the week has been going well as far as my goals and aspirations are concerned. Smug-Baby on the other hand is having a rough week. It seems that she may be working on her two year molars and they are really hurting her. She just bursts into tears while playing happily and grabs her mouth. She is living on the baby Advil now and won't let me brush her back teeth at night. She isn't sleeping well/deeply/long either at night or during naps. It is really hard to watch her in pain and not be able to do much about it.

I hate to admit this, but it is also really hard to be slammed busy and so sore you can't bend over to pick up your shoes and have a baby crying and pulling at you every 90 seconds and then as soon as you sit down to hold her, it passes and she is off back playing. So, you get up (no small feat, since your ass is sore) and get back to work and then the next wave of pain hits. It wears a persons patience! I hope that they break through soon or stop growing for a while, one of the two! She and I both need a break from them!!

Until Wednesday folks!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 1 of Goals and Aspirations

Today is Monday. Monday is always a new beginning. I know that people say that Tomorrow is also always a new beginning but for me, if Monday is a bad day, the rest of the week just goes downhill from there. If I don't get things done on Monday, then those missed things get pushed to Tuesday, which means I will get less of Tuesday's things done and push off more to Wednesday and so on. So, Monday is an important day.

The plan for the day was to leave the office, hit the bank, drive to Smug-Sister's and nurse Smug-Baby talk with her for a bit and then take the girls out for a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood. Then I would come back and make lunch (A wonderful lasagna from Peas and Thank You), then change everyone’s diapers and head out for nap time, ending back at my house to do a 20 minute workout video, fold the last load of laundry, put it away and work on organizing the drawers in the kitchen (all 5 of them), then I would take Smug-Niece home and come back to my place to do another 10 minute workout video, make dinner and get us all ready for bed.

In reality, I actually did everything except the kitchen drawers! I ended up taking Smug-Niece home right after her nap because Smug-Sister had some free time and wanted to be able to hang with her daughter, so we just played outside on the swing set until about 4 when I headed home. I ended up doing both the 20 and the 10 minute videos back to back and am already feeling sore – welcome to starting from scratch again! But, it is a good feeling all in all. It was hard to do jumping squats and jumping jacks with a small child holding her arms up to you, saying “dance, dance” so the workout was modified a little to make it a team effort J

I made dinner and finished the laundry while Smug-Baby ate a nice Cauliflower Cacciatore (again from Peas and Thank You) and watched Elmo. I got the kitchen cleaned up and bath time going, and got us all ready for bed. The kitchen drawers pushed onto tomorrow’s to do list. Now Smug-Hub is reading to Smug-Baby and she is looking like she is heading for sleep soon.

Tomorrow is another day, but having Monday be such a success, I have a feeling that Tuesday is going to be great!

UPDATE: Smug-Baby went to sleep at 8:30 and I followed her at 9 with my aching legs and butt. She woke to nurse at midnight and never really woke up but never really settled down either. She was up for good at 3:45 so I haven’t slept much as I get ready to walk into the office. I am confident that I can still get my list done today. Today is supposed to be grocery shopping day, but I did it on Friday, so I am just going to focus on the organizing in the Kitchen and watching the season premiere’s of Castle and How I Met Your Mother!!

Monday, September 19, 2011


I am aspiring...

I aspire to be a vegan. I have made the switch to vegan milk and vegan butter in the house and vegan cheese in recipes. However, I still sometimes have "real" cheese on things like eggs, when the cheese is a big part of taste factor. I am not vegan when eating out, mostly because in my small-ish city, finding vegetarian food is often hard enough! So, I have some goals to help me get where I want to be:

     1) Limit the cheese that I eat at home to once a week
     2) Limit eating out to twice a week (that includes meals with family, husband, and/or meals on the go)

I aspire to be organized. I am working on deep cleaning and organizing my house and it is really hard to keep working on one little thing each week and not get overwhelmed at what is left to do. It is also hard not to keep going back over the rooms already completed. My thinking is to have the house on a rotation, once I get finished with the whole house, start back at the beginning. The plan is that with each rotation, the time spent on the room will get shorter and the cleaning more complete, because there will be less to do, just maintenance. Goals here are:

     1) Don't get hung up on how the bathroom drawers are already looking junked up again. Keep in mind that they look great compared to how they looked before and how in a few weeks it will be there turn again.
     2) Don't look around at all that is left to do; focus only on the task for this week and not at the week's laid out in front of you. Take time to enjoy all that you are finished so far!

I aspire to fitness. I want to be thinner and stronger and committed to my personal health and fitness. I want to be around for my child (possibly children) and be able to take them to the park and keep up with them and roll around on the floor with them. It takes health and fitness to do that. However, as much as I want that, finding the time, energy and, let's face it, motivation to put the video into the DVD player is hard. I wish for a buddy to workout with, but Mom and I walk and bike and I blow her off every chance I get! I brought the Tracy Anderson stuff, but she is so hard core that it is impossible to keep up with the hugeness of daily life and workout for 2 hours without stopping. Also, I don't need perfection, I just need better.

     1) I found a couple of DVD programs at yard sales and online. Both claim to compress the moves so that you will get a full body and cardio workout in one short burst. I will do a ten minute workout each day.
     2) The other DVD program is something that Smug-Sister and I both want to do, so I will do that ten minute workout each day too. Using her as my buddy and my support and offering my support to her.  That's only 20 minutes of working out each day and they can be split up into an afternoon and evening burst, when Smug-Baby is eating dinner or playing with Smug-Niece. I only need 10 minutes. I WILL FIND IT!!
     3) Daily walking with Mom. We are planning on walking with the babies in the mornings just after I leave work, before lunch and the rest of the day. We won't be able to do it every week day, but most and we will support each other.

I aspire to make healthy meals for my family. I make menus and plan dinners each week. I have been leaving a few nights open for take-out, family get togethers, or leftovers. I haven't planned lunches, thinking to have the previous night’s leftovers and I have never planned snacks. We end up eating pasta or peanut butter some nights and I find myself tired and burned out from my day and not cooking when I should and leaving Smug-Hub to scrounge up something for himself at the last minute.

     1) Cook nightly. Now that I have found Peas and Thank You, I have quick, healthy, easy to put together, meals that call for ingredients that I already have or aren't too expensive. Mama Pea has never asked me to buy crazy one note ingredients that I will never use again.
     2) Plan for snacks during the day to cut down on getting overly hungry while out and about with the girls. It leads to too many trips to Chipotle!!

OK, so that is the plan for action. I have been working on my weekly cleaning plan for a while and it has been working out well. I have been getting better about the menu planning over the last two weeks and cooking dinner more regularly. Now, I just need to add the workout routines and keep up on everything. I can do this. I WILL DO THIS!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011


I feel like I have been floundering lately. Ever since we got back from the beach the sleeping stuff hasn't been good and I haven't worked on the deep cleaning projects in the house and have slid back into unhealthy eating habits. You know that I have put back on 10 of the 25 pounds that I lost? That's insane!! I have been feeling depressed about not getting pregnant last month and at the same time wondering if I am totally nuts for thinking about trying to add another life and another level of stress to my already sinking ship.

Then it was like something flipped in me and I spent this week getting back on track. I did a power walk three days this week with mom and while walking we brain-stormed about some ways to help each other and Smug-Sister better while still getting our own needs met. I did each of my daily tasks on their assigned day. I made delicious meals from Peas and Thank You (which is my only cookbook anymore as far as I am concerned - I actually made something from another vegan cookbook this week too and it wasn't eatable!! Even Smug-Baby who eats almost anything threw this glop into the floor!

I haven't been totally great though. I still haven't started my 10 minute workout DVD's yet, and yesterday I had a chocolate milkshake from Arby's and the day before a couple of tacos from Taco Bell, so I am sure that all the junk offset the good done by the walking, but it was a better week overall than I have had in a while.

I have all the rooms upstairs completed as far as organizing and deep cleaning except for the kitchen. I asked Smug-Hub to complete the pantry shelving as my birthday gift and he seems like he might actually do it. That would give us so much more space in the kitchen!! I am going to try to tackle a few cabinets each day with the hope of getting it finished by the end of next week so I can start on the downstairs.

We don't "live" downstairs, but the room has to function as a guest room, an office, a fly tying room, and a place to store things that we use, but don't use often. It's going to be tough! My thinking is that the upstairs is where we live so the things that we use all the time, every day should be up there. The downstairs should store stuff that we don't use on a daily basis, but use enough that we don't want it boxed up and stuck in the attic or garage. The garage storage should be for stuff that doesn't get used but a few times a year, like the Christmas stuff, off-season clothes and old baby equipment.

I am going to check out Craigslist for a cheap out building for the back yard. Then the mower, lawn tools, wagon and bikes could live out there, freeing up more space within the garage! After Smug-Hub gets the pantry shelving done, I am going to start nagging in earnest about the built-in bookshelves in the downstairs room. Getting my books out will make me happy and will free up more space in the garage!

In the meantime, I am going to pack up everything I can and move it all to Smug-Grandma's attic until some of these things come together, because while I have the ideas, I don't have any money, so....

The sleeping stuff is hit or miss. Smug-Baby got sick this week and had a stuffed up nose that affected her sleep and Smug-Hub is still having a hard time coming to bed, but we are coping.

I am actually excited about getting the last few "to do's" finished today and having a nice weekend with my family. I actually am having a haircut and massage on Saturday using the last of my birthday and Christmas gift certificates so that will be great and the Greek Festival is this weekend which is always wonderful! Also, Smug-Hub and I are taking Smug-Baby with us out to a super nice place for dinner on Sunday to celebrate our 4 year anniversary. It is going to be a great weekend!!

I already have the menus and grocery list for next week completed as well as the new "to do" list for next week that includes exercise! I am looking forward to being back on track and getting my home, body and mind in shape!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Beach

We have returned from our week trip to the beach. Well, it was less than a full week because of Hurricane Irene who's visit forced us to put off traveling to the Outer Banks until Monday. But arrive we did!

I haven't been on a vacation like this as an adult, most of my time off has been to go visit family or long weekends to get something done around the house or whatever. This was my very first vacation! I was looking forward to it with mixed emotions. On one hand, I was excited, but I was worried about the amount of work involved in packing up everything (and I do mean everything) we would need for a week in a beach house. On another hand, I was feeling like I was expecting too much and it couldn't possibly live up to my hopes and dreams. On yet another hand, I was concerned about money and concerned about how Smug-Baby would do being off her routine and in a new place.

Basically, everything I was worried about happened. We spent too much money (mostly because when you plan on cooking at the house to save money you forget that you have to purchase everything that you normally already have on hand at home, like oil and salt and sugar and spices and...). We had to take everything, like sheets and towels and toilet paper and paper towels and everything for the beach and everything for the bathroom and kitchen towels and dish soap and, and, and... it was massive and it was a ton of work to get together and I was exhausted by the time I finished the list, let alone got everything into bags and suitcases. The car was jam packed full, so I couldn't have climbed into the backseat to hang with Smug-Baby should she have needed it. It was tight!!

Smug-Baby didn't sleep well and really hasn't slept well since we have been back either as I think she is cutting the 2 year molars at long last. The lack of decent sleep at night caused her to be cranky all day. She loved running around in the surf, however when a wave sprayed some water into her face she decided she was done with the ocean for the rest of the week. She liked playing in the sand until she noticed that her hands were dirty and then she decided she was done with sand castles for the week too. I spent the majority of the week back in the beach house trying to get her to nap.

I did, however spend just enough time on the beach to end up with splotchy sunburn and no nice tan at all.

Did I mention that I spent the week in the deep throes of PMS? I seriously told my husband that he needed to anticipate what I needed and just do it (read: read my mind) I was serious about it at the time, although now I see that I was being ridiculous! Sort of...

I didn't know it was PMS at the time, because I spent the week trying to talk myself out of taking a pregnancy test too soon. I was trying to get my head around being pregnant again and then I started my period and was crushed. I was sure that it would happen faster this time around and while two months of trying isn't anything like the two years of trying we had with Smug-Baby, I was still hoping for faster this time.

I know that by reading this you will think that I had a horrible time but I really didn't. I just didn't have an amazing time. I didn't feel rested and ready to face down the world and that was what I had expected from a week away from my life. I wanted to feel rejuvenated and I don't feel like it was all that different from normal life. You still had to make and clean up meals, make the beds, etc. The only difference was that you got to go sit on the beach for an hour or so in the afternoon before the baby needed a nap.

I think that my expectations were unrealistic. I was thinking that with my parents going with us and my sister's family going too, that I would have lots of help with Smug-Baby and I would be free to do some things on my own, like read a book or get a tan. In reality, Smug-Baby prefers me when she is uncomfortable and she was out of her element and teething so no one but mommy would do. And really, how can you complain about being number one!! She also started calling me "mum muma" over the week, so my heart was bursting with love!

We went shopping at the outlet mall one evening and I found some really cute outfits for her and she picked out a pair of shoes that she loves. She picked them out and handed them to me to put on her feet, then she ran around the store laughing and showing her feet to random shoppers. It was too cute, so I had to buy them. Then every time I told her to go get her shoes, she would find those and bring them to me. I love watching her little personality come through.

She actually did super great on the drive both there and back, sleeping most of the time and playing with her toys quietly the rest of the time. She did get really cranky about 90 minutes from home on the way back and we stopped and she nursed and ran around for a bit before driving the last hour home. That last hour was hard for her too, but she played with various toys and we sang songs and she made it without too much drama. I was really proud of her overall. Considering her teeth hurt, it could have been a lot worse.

She got sick and threw up all over the bed the last night we were there so that was fun. I think her stomach was upset from all the food that she isn't normally allowed to have (and since she is still nursing, all the food that I don't normally have either). She was fine after that and fine the next day, but I have re-committed myself to eating better and getting myself into healthy routines.

This first week back was nice, because we got home Saturday evening and had both Sunday and Monday off (Labor Day) so we had time to get things unpacked and laundry done and so on before the work week. It is also a short week, so I just need to get through today (Thursday) with both girls and tomorrow with Smug-Baby and all these appointments before the weekend will be here again and maybe, just maybe I will be able to get some rest :)