Monday, June 27, 2011

Fresh Start

I had 1 cup of cereal this morning. That is one serving. That is also about three times less the amount of cereal I would normally have at breakfast. I also cup the amount of soy creamer in my decaf in half. My breakfast totaled just under 300 calories. I actually think that is a pretty good amount of calories for breakfast and my goal was to “take the edge off” of my hungry, but not be, what I would consider, full. I have done that and I feel ok about it.

While I would have enjoyed a whole lot more food, it doesn’t seem that my body actually NEEDS a whole lot more food. I think that my biggest problem with my eating isn’t so much what I am eating, but is more about how much. My eyes are just as big as my stomach and I can just keep packing it away long after the hunger pains have gone away. I need to focus again on portion sizes like I did back when I was trying to lost weight to get pregnant. I still have a good eye for amounts, as in I know what a cup of cereal looks like, but I choose to ignore it. I also sometimes don’t have a good idea of how much a serving of any given item might be. Like everyone knows that a cup of cereal is about 1 serving, but how much cooked pasta? How much ice cream? How much yogurt? I need to watch the labels better than I have been and only eat when I am truly hungry and only eat until the hunger pains go away. This is actually going to be harder than it sounds, but I am going to make the effort!!

As far as exercise, the issue remains the same. I am going to try to get the girls out for a walk a few times a week, bike on the weekend and try to bounce on the mini trampoline and do my Tracy Anderson videos as much as possible. If I were able to do the cardio DVD and the muscle structure DVD every day (1 hour total), and walk and bike, then I think that I would be in really good shape (pun intended!), but life is so full as it is, finding the time and space and freedom remains a huge challenge!

Today is going to the be first day of my plan to bring the girls back to my house and see if I can get a little something checked off my list. Right now, I would like to use this time to do something that needs to get done, but that I haven’t been able to due thus far. So, today I am going to clean the upstairs bathroom and clean out all of the winter and too-small clothes from Smug-Baby’s closet and dresser. The bathroom is the only thing that didn’t get cleaned this weekend, so I need to do that to stay on track, but the clothing is the “special” project for the day.

My hope is to get to Smug-Sister’s house about 11 (Smug-Hub is off work today, so I have to go home and get the baby before heading to her place) and make lunch (leftover veggie kabobs and mashed potatoes with a side salad) before getting them in the car about 1pm. Take a drive to let them nap and I’ll end up at my house. I plan on sitting in the car with them and read until they wake up (I probably could leave them in the car in the garage, but I am not really comfortable with that, and I like having some time to read!!), then I will get them settled with toys and do my projects. If they are really unhappy, all cleaning will be abandoned and if they stay happy longer, then I will tackle the spice cabinet!

It is the start of a good week, I can feel it! I am back in track and pulling myself and my home out of this slump!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

That Was Fast

Well, if you had asked me if I was ready to have a second baby two weeks ago, I would have laughed in your face and said "hell no!!" However that was two weeks ago and today if you asked me the same question the answer would be more along the lines of  "maybe". What is odd to me is that when the desire to have another baby hit me, it hit really hard and now its almost all I think about. Smug-Hub and I have had a few conversations about birth plans, circumcision, and the financial impact and we are not really at odds. He seems to be a lot closer to being ready too.

I still think that for Smug-Baby's sake I would still like to wait to start trying until she is about 2 years old. That way, she will be more able to play on her own while I deal with morning sickness and she will be closer to 3 before the new baby is born. I think that is good spacing, but the desire to get pregnant right away is getting stronger, so who knows :)

I have decided to occupy myself in the meantime with focusing on getting myself ready to be pregnant again. That means losing a bit more weight and trying to establish some healthy habits again before my body needs to work on growing another human.

This means:
1 - Getting back off dairy in large part - although I am thinking about adding small amounts of good quality dairy, like stuff from the co-op a few times a week, but not eating it when out as a compromise.

2 - Establishing some kind of exercise plan that I can stick to. We have been biking and swimming this spring/summer, but nothing consistent. I need to get back into my Tracy Anderson videos and back to walking a lot. This will help me (hopefully) lose a bit more weight, but also, once pregnant the exercise will help with the back pain, knee pain and was also helpful with morning sickness last time. Not to mention, having a strong heart and good stamina is a must for labor and delivery!!

3 - Organization of my home and life! As I talked about last post, everything is kind of falling apart at my house. Every room needs major cleaning and organizing and with trying to keep all the balls in the air, it has been impossible to give my home the attention it deserves. I spoke with Smug-Sister about my idea of bringing the girls back to my house for a few hours each day and she was not only agreeable but eager to help! I hope to start that next week and get into a routine of getting a little something done everyday until the house is in good order.

4 - The finances need some work. We have needed to use the credit cards to get buy a bit in the last few months due to some unexpected expenses, so we need to get back to the point where we are living on what we bring in and not relying on the cards to make the ends meet. We also need to sock money away to help cover the expenses while I'm on maternity leave with a new baby. We really haven't totally recovered from when I was off with Smug-Baby (which is understandable, since I went from full time to part time). Regardless, there is some work to be done there!

5 - Smug-Hub and I were both traumatized by what happened after Smug-Baby was born but we have different prospectives on how to go forward. Smug-Hub feels like when things went wrong, the hospital staff was right there to save my life and Smug-Baby's life, while I feel like the problems that happened came about because of the hospital interventions. I would like to consider the possibility of having a home birth, while Smug-Hub is more scared of what could happen if we are not in a hospital. We have talked about interviewing some local midwives and seeing how we feel after we research some statistics and talk with some people and not get so attached to one idea or another that we end up trapped.

So, that is the plan for now. Work on getting my mind and body and home ready for a new baby and get our finances in a good place. Then, we can work on the actually trying to get pregnant without other worries!!

Friday, June 17, 2011


My life is completely unorganized and in disarray in every aspect. I have not exercised or even made any semblance of an attempt to exercise in weeks! I have gone back to eating dairy at lease once a day and now Smug-Baby's nose is running again. I haven't cleaned my house beyond the superficial in over a month! All my plans for getting areas of the house organized have fallen away. I am floundering.

I need to get my house cleaned, really cleaned. I need to get in a good hike or exercise class or something. I need to carve out some time during my day to get the downstairs organized again. I need to plan out a dairy and sugar detox and get this addictive crap out of my system and get back to losing weight and feeling decent about myself.

I feel like when one area of my life is a mess, then it spills over into all the other areas of my life. When I work all week for Smug-Sister and am not getting home until 5:30 or 6 in the evening, there isn't time for anything beyond giving my daughter the attention and one-on-one time that she so desperately needs before it is time to try to tackle sleeping. There isn't time for an organizing project, there is hardly time to make dinner.

When I get into a slump like this, it is really hard to pull myself out. I look around and see so much that needs to get done and I really don't have any help. Smug-Hub really needs me to tell him what I need him to do and then he may or may not do it. I learned a long time ago that the only person I could count on was myself and I don't ask for help easily, so it is doubly hard for me to ask him for help and then him not do what I asked, or throw me an attitude like he is so put upon! So, I end up not getting everything done and feeling badly about it.

I wish that I didn't need the money that comes in from working for Smug-Sister. Because I really loved being home all the time. I was really knocking out projects right and left, my house was clean all the time, things were organized, I had time to take Smug-Baby to mommy groups or swimming class, I had time to make lovely meals for my family and still had time to read while she napped or played. Now, I just rush from one thing to the next, doing the bare minimum and feeling pulled in all these directions.

Not that I blame my sister for this in anyway and I am not really complaining, because I love spending time with my sister and Smug-Niece and I love watching the girls play together and grow together! I really do!! I guess I just wish that the hours were shorter or it were for less days or something to give me time to be a wife and mother to my own family - does that make sense?

Beyond winning the lotto, which is made even harder by the fact that we don't buy tickets, our financial situation isn't going to change anytime soon and my thinking about having another baby throws another set of concerns into the mix, so I have to find a way to achieve balance in my life without quitting work for my company or my sister and without letting my house fall down around my ears.

I need to communicate all this to my husband and impress upon him how hard things are for me to keep up on and maybe we can come up with a list of tasks that are just his to handle. Like now, all the yard care and maintenance is his job. Maybe he can take over cleaning the bathrooms weekly and cleaning the kitchen daily or something.

When I put everything down on paper, it really feels like I should be able to handle everything that I need to take care of, but I can't and I need to find a better way... or start playing the lotto :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011


My girlfriend and I have been discussing the possibilities of having second babies. The pros and cons; how a new baby would change our lives and if we would welcome that change now or in the future or ever. Then I didn’t start my period until 4 days late. During those 4 days of waiting for Aunt Flo, I got to thinking about being pregnant and if I was, would I be happy about it. At first, all I could think about were the negatives; morning sickness, swollen legs, back pain, heartburn. Then I thought about the fact that I am hardly getting any sleep now, if we had another baby I might not sleep ever again! I thought about how hard it was taking all the kids grocery shopping the other day and how hard it would be to corral Smug-Baby while trying to manage another little, tiny baby! I thought about money, how would I continue getting up for work at 4:30 in the morning? How would I take care of a brand new baby, Smug-Baby AND Smug-Niece, not to mention what would Smug-Sister do for childcare while I was on “maternity leave”?

Then, I saw the blood on the tissue and at first I felt shock. I had been trying to get my head around maybe being pregnant and here was proof that I wasn’t. Then I felt relieved, I didn’t want to be pregnant right now and I don’t want to have the choice taken away from Smug-Hub and I in regards to expanding our family. I want to know that a new baby was totally wanted and needed and not in any way a mistake! Then, I was overwhelmed with sadness. I do want to be pregnant again. I am even willing to go though morning sickness again. I want, no, I deserve to have the birth experience that I’ve always dreamed of, where the baby is placed on my chest and takes his/her first breaths in tandem with mine and his/her first sight upon opening his/her eyes is my face and Smug-Hub’s face and now Smug-Baby’s face too. I want to try for a home birth and have a calm, peaceful labor and birth! I deserve that!

All that being said, I stand by my original thought; until you need a baby as much as you need air, you shouldn’t have one, babies are hard work and having two very small children at the same time is just too much for me right now. Most days I am barely keeping my head above water, and I need to get to a place where I am desperate to take on all that a new baby requires. I think I’m close, but not just yet. Ask me again in a month J

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stop the Whistling!

I can’t concentrate on anything today. I feel like I am rolling around in a fog. Today is the third morning in a row following a bad night’s sleep. Sunday night Smug-Baby fell asleep about 10pm and all was well until about midnight. It was when Smug-Hub was snoring that she first woke. It was when I gently pulled on his ear to wake him enough to put on his CPAP mask and he yelled “WHAT??” at me that she woke up fully and was totally ready to play. Smug-Hub realized that this was most likely his fault and took her into the living room, which lasted about 4 seconds until she wanted to come back into the bedroom. From then until 3:15, he slept while she played and rolled around the bed, nursing on and off and finally fell asleep with about 75 minutes left before the alarm made me get up and go to work.

I ended up having an unexpectedly free day and was able to get the house cleaning done and laundry done. I also made menus and a grocery list and clipped a ton of coupons. I made a nice dinner and spent lots of quality time playing and the floor with a sweet baby girl! Notice, that I didn’t mention a nap anywhere in there. I meant to, really, it just didn’t happen. So, Monday night, Smug-Baby slept like a champ! Smug-Hub wore his mask all night! Should have been a good night right? Well, the mask is new and he doesn’t quite have all the settings right so that it fits correctly, and all night the mask whistled. A high pitched whistle that sets your teeth on edge people! I do remember having to pull my tightly gripping fingers away from his throat at one point, so I was not handling the noise well. Smug-Baby slept right through it! Goody for her L

Tuesday, I took Smug-Baby, Smug-Niece AND one of my nephews (really should come up with a good name for him…) with me to both CVS and Kroger while I did my shopping and used my coupons. It took several hours and I had Smug-Baby in the back carrier and Smug-Niece in the cart and my nephew walking along side the cart pointing out all the things that he really wished he could have, and all the things that he has always wanted. By the time I headed for checkout both babies were letting me know that they had had enough! They fell asleep almost as soon as I got them in the car. I took all my purchases home and then went to pick up Smug-Grandma and took her to the store to get a new computer. I hated doing that because she looks to me to help her make the right decision and I know nothing about current computer specs and what is a good deal or anything! I worked in the IT department for 4 years about 6 years ago and I think that she feels like that makes me an expert in all things technological, but it doesn’t. I know that I can figure some stuff out for her, but not everything and I am terrified that I am going to mess stuff up or lose her files or whatever and she is simply going to kill me! Anyway, we spent a good hour or more at the store before I was finally able to take Smug-Niece home to her mama.

After the babies got some Binky’s it was off again, back to Smug-Grandma’s to set up the new computer. It took forever and it was after 6pm when I finally got home. Smug-Baby was in major need of cup filling but was so tired from not having a good nap that everything made her cranky! I finally just did her bath early and she was asleep by 8pm. I had some food and cleaned up the kitchen and spoke with my husband about the plans for today for a few minutes and then I was in bed by 9. Finally, I thought, tonight is the night! I will finally get some good, restful sleep!!

Smug-Hub is off today, so I think that he thought that entitled him to his Friday/Saturday respite from coming to bed “early” (11:30 is not early to me, but whatever!) so, Smug-Baby started rolling around restlessly about 12:30. Not too bad, just on and off and not settling down but it meant that I was awake. She nursed some, but her little fingers kept pinching me or trying to bend my fingernails backward, so not really soundly asleep either. This went on for a while, and about 2:30, Smug-Hub came to bed. Then the whistling began again and the restless baby rolled around some more and then the alarm went off.

I dragged myself into the shower, thinking that at least the hot water would relax all the tension in my neck and shoulders and make the start of my long day a little better. I turned on the shower and the water pressure wasn’t quite right and then suddenly, the shower head started sending forth this loud, high-pitched whine (not unlike the CPAP whistle I had been listening to for the last 2 hours). This has happened a few times before and always goes away after a few seconds. I adjusted the water temperature to see if that would help and while I did get various pitch levels, the whine didn’t go away. It stayed on throughout my whole (now hurried) shower. It was horrible and I was really concerned that it would wake the baby. I got out, feeling tenser and more stressed than when I got in. I finished getting ready for work and got out the door. On the drive into the office, I was wondering why my face felt funny. I realized that I had forgotten to put on moisturizer which when led to the realization that I hadn’t put on any make up. I did remember to brush my hair, so I guess that is a good thing.

Lord, help me through today, which is going to be spent at the pool (weather and baby attitudes permitting), so that should be fun and I plan to spend some time in the hot tub. Perhaps the jets can work out some of these aches. Provided there isn’t any odd whistling going on!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Couponing Results!!

So, I have been out shopping and am very pleased with my results! I took 3 coupons into CVS and printed another from the machine inside the door. I needed to get eyeliner, mouthwash, allergy medication, shampoo and (because I had a coupon) a toothbrush. It broke down like this:

Pantene - Full price $6.97, Sale Buy one Get one - so $3.49 each and earns $2.00 in extra bucks.

Crest Pro Health Rinse (mouthwash) - Full price $7.49, sale price $4.50, $2.00 coupon and $2.50 in extra bucks.

Oral B Toothbrush - Full price $6.89, sale price $6.00, $2.00 coupon and $3.00 in extra bucks.

Revlon Eye Pencil - full price $10.99, not on sale, but coupon worth $3.00 and earned $4.00 in extra bucks.

Allegra - Full price $15.79, not on sale, but had a coupon for $2.00 off and Smug-Hub really, really needed it!!!

OK, so I would have spent $55.10 if I had paid full price for everything.

I would have spent $44.25 had I just bought them at the sale price.

I saved another $9.00 with the coupons and earned $11.50 in extra bucks and lets face it, that is like cash in hand! So I saved a total of $31.35 after taxes!! Its like paying $23.75 for $55.10 worth of products! I'd say that is worth the 90 minutes I spent cutting coupons and compiling my list!!

As for Kroger, I will not break down each item, cause, well, I don't have that kind of time!! However, I didn't purchase anything that wasn't on sale and my total was $99.78 before the plus card or the few coupons. I walked out having only paid $60.19!!! That is a savings of over $39.00!!! That is a combination of sale prices, eCoupons loaded on my plus card and paper coupons!!

That doesn't even include the fuel points - 146 so far this month and that will translate to $0.10 off each gallon of gas the next time I fill up!

So, what did I come home with???

Here is $100 worth of groceries!

The eggs were free!

 While I am trying to limit dairy, Smug-Hub isn't, so these are for him and since they don't expire until late September, he's got time to enjoy them!
Cheerios are kind of a guilty pleasure for me and Smug-Baby likes them too!

Good for washing all those cloth diapers

Sorry SPM, we still use paper towels, although we use the cloth towels too, so we are getting better!!

Smug-Hub loves to have yogurt and fruit or toast with breakfast, so this will last us a week!

Now that we are grilling out more with the summer-like weather, these will get put to great use right away!!

Again, not for me! OK, maybe just a little for me :) 
This is one of those big expense items that I just hate, but this was regularly priced at $10.99, on sale for $7.50 and I had a $2.00 coupon! Can't beat it!

Got one for me at CVS, so I got one for Smug-Hub too! I'm nice like that!

I didn't have coupons for the produce, but everything was on sale!

I did have a coupon for these mushrooms and I plan on eating them reallly soon cause I love mushrooms!!

All these frozen veggies! There are $1.00 each, but I had a couple of coupons worth $0.40 off two bags and that coupon doubled, so I thought it was a good deal!

All in all, it was a productive shopping trip, except for Smug-Baby getting hungry toward the end and pulling at the front of my shirt to let me know she needed the Binky's! I have enough food to make some nice, healthy meals this week and a few household items to have on hand when needed.

While I didn't get a huge rush at checkout like the extreme coupon people, I am pretty pleased with myself!


Last weekend Smug-Hub and I came across the show Extreme Couponing and became entranced!! Smug-Hub got very excited and told me that I needed to start doing what these people were doing to get free groceries and household items.

Most of the people on the show buy huge quantities of items and spend 30-60 hours each week working on their shopping list and compiling their coupons. Well, I don't have that kind of time nor the inclination to fill up the garage with 400 bottles of Tide!!

Not to mention, that most of the items that I see coupons for (and see these people buying) are for junk food items! I don't want to eat a ton of prepackaged crap just because it was $0.12!! (although, it does make me a bit bitter when I spend $6.00 on some green peppers for God's sake!!!)

However, my grocery store sends me coupons that are customized to my shopping habits and include produce items and yet I have often let them expire! I should be using them! They are for products that I generally buy anyway, so it is like throwing away money when I don't use the coupons!

Also, If I could use coupons and discounts to create a "stockpile" of things like shampoo, dish washing liquid, laundry soap and the like and not have those high cost items be a drain on our budget, then shouldn't I make the effort to do that too?

So this week, I bought a news paper and I got on Coupon Mom's website to see her free list of deals and made a list of things that I have coupons for and worked to create the weekly menu around those food items. I also printed a list of items that are on sale and I have coupons for at CVS, so I can get started collecting some of those household items that tend to put a strain on the monthly grocery bill when they become a "need" item.

I haven't yet figured out how much I will actually spend, or the dollars saved, but I will do that before I head to the stores tomorrow after work, just to make sure that I'm not overdoing it.

I am excited to be taking a proactive role in saving where I can without compromising my family's goal to eat healthy. Perhaps my couponing will allow us to purchase those more expensive, healthy items without shuddering at the price, because we are saving on other items.

Wish me luck and if you have any thoughts, tips, ideas, etc. PLEASE pass it along!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

April 6, 1923 - June 1, 2011

I am without any Grandparents. Richard Braithwaite "Dick" Knisely passed away, quietly with his family around him a little after 3am on Wednesday June 1. He was 88 years old. He was the head of his family. He was the pillar of strength for us all. I loved him deeply.

When my first Grandmother died I hurt so much. I couldn't imagine going through that pain three more times. I have dealt with the pain of loss as each of them passed on to whatever lays beyond this world and I kept thinking that it would get easier; that I would get used to losing people I love. It doesn't get easier.

KNISELY Richard "Dick" Braithwaite Richard "Dick" Braithwaite Knisely, 88, died June 1st, 2011 in Roanoke, Virginia. He was born to the late Richard C. and Florence Knisely, April 6, 1923, in Toledo, Ohio. After graduating from Scott High School in 1942 he worked as a merchant marine on the Great Lakes. Believing his duty lie in defending his country he soon enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. For three years he bravely served in World War II as a B-24 ball turret gunner, completing fifty-two missions. Upon returning to Toledo he married his cherished bride, Suzanne Compton. He later earned a Bachelor of Arts, and a Master's degree in Education from the University of Toledo. He had a long and distinguished career with the Toledo Public School System as a teacher and head football coach at his alma mater Scott High, then at Bowsher High School where he was a teacher and head basketball coach. He finished his career as the Director of Transportation for the Toledo Public Schools. Richard was a husband, brother, and father to four children. In 1978 he retired to Pomona Park, Florida with his wife of sixty-four years. He and his wife enjoyed nearly three decades at their lake house, creating treasured memories for their children and grandchildren. Surviving to embrace his memory are three of his four children, daughters, Linda (Daryl) Henry, Kyle Knisely, and son, David (Sharron) Knisely; his grandchildren, Michelle Terrell, Kurt Henry, Ryan (Chris) Michalski, Ashleigh (Cory) Lutz, Kelsey Shumate, Emily (Corey Thayer) and Abbey Knisely, and five great grandchildren, Nicole Clark, Cyrus Terrell, Will Fisher, Mary Michalski, and Molly Lutz. He is preceded in death by his parents; his son, Ricky Knisely; his brother, Wade Knisely; his wife, Suzanne Knisely, and his grandson, Matthew Hammer Knisely. Richard will be remembered by those who loved him as an award winning fisherman with a jovial spirit and witty humor who was always eager to entertain.
Published in Toledo Blade on June 5, 2011
The following is a poem that I have always found myself thinking of when I lose someone important to me. I know that I will adjust, I will find a place in my soul for this new permanent ache, but I will never not feel his loss or the loss of those who left me before him.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
By: W.H. Auden
Rest in Peace Gramps knowing that you were loved and you leave behind an amazing family who all strive to make you proud. I love you.