Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gentle Discipline

I have been reading (as much reading as I can do with a 110% full life) about gentle discipline and I really think that the concepts make a lot of sense, however I had been struggling with the execution. A lot of the ideas that I have come across are for older children and not a two-year old. The basic point is to do away with the punitive consequences without becoming permissive of "bad" behavior.

It was a lot harder when I was keeping my niece, because I think I was simply way outnumbered and Smug-Baby had to share me with everyone. It has been easier since I am down to just one child in addition to my own. I think that doing away with all the time-outs has really helped and I'm not really sure why. Also, trying to take some deep breath's and remember that I am the adult and she is the child and if she is having a meltdown, then there is something going on in her little world.

I haven't had a screaming meltdown of my own in a long time :)

I have been trying to read a chapter each evening just to help keep the principles and ideals fresh in my head. I have found that by asking Smug-Baby how she is feeling helps her to calm down. Sometimes, she can't put it into words and responds when I try to help her by telling her that she is feeling frustrated or sad or disappointed.

The whole basis of gentle discipline is kindness and firmness. Being firm in what I expect of her but done in a kind way. As an example, the other afternoon, she woke from her nap and told me she was hungry. I gave her a few options for lunch and she choose a scrambled egg. By the time I had the egg on the plate for her, she had decided that she wanted french toast instead. I explained that I had made her the egg like she had asked and she needed to eat that. She cried and threw the plate on the floor. Without getting angry (and I really wasn't mad, I didn't need to hide my anger) I told her that I was sorry that she had changed her mind, but she had to eat the eggs and I picked them up on and put them back on the plate for her. I would have made her pick them up, but she was hysterical and I didn't think it was the time for that lesson. Over the next several hours, she would come to me asking for food and I would give her the eggs.

At one point, she was crying but said she would eat the eggs, however, as she started to eat them, she started gagging and choking and spitting them all over the floor along with her water cup. I did give her the dish towel and had her clean up the water, while I picked up the spit out eggs and tossed them. I cuddled her until she finished crying and was calm, then I put her in front of the eggs again. She refused to eat them.

Finally, as I was prepping dinner, she climbed up to the table and ate most of the eggs. Without comment, without crying. While she was eating them, I heated up french toast (she had been asking for them all day) and as she finished the eggs, I laid the toast in front of her and she ate that too. I hugged her and kissed her and told her I was proud of her for eating the eggs and thanked her for not wasting food.

I never got mad, yelled, jerked her around or anything like that. And, I really wasn't mad, it wasn't like I needed to count to 10 or anything, I was totally calm and in control the whole time. It was like I knew that this was a pivotal lesson for her and my whole job was to make sure that she learned it the way I wanted her to. I didn't want to let her think that she was getting to me, or that she could get her way with enough crying, and that really helped in keeping myself calm. It was stressful and a long, unhappy afternoon and I wouldn't want to do it every day, but it was a success in the end.

My children need to trust me and know that I mean what I say. They need to trust me, and if they can't trust me to not lie to them about little things and that I will follow through when I say something, how will they trust me with the big things that they will face in their lives? That kind of trust starts now, when they are very small.

I try never to yell at Smug-Baby, because I want her to know that a yell from me is very serious, like don't run out into the road serious. I don't want her to learn to tune me out because I yell all the time. I want her to know that there are rules that must be followed, so I have to follow them myself. So, now, I only eat on the couch when she is sleeping :)

My children are not just children, they are future adults and they need to know how to behave, how to treat others and most importantly what is acceptable treatment for them to receive from others. That's my job!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Flying Low

Maybe it's just that people with small children aren't supposed to have sparkling clean homes, but I have really been feeling discouraged this week. I am kept jumping almost all day long just to keep up with the daily "have to do's" and I am not anywhere closer to fitting in even one 15 minutes zone cleaning session each day or anything physical each day.

When I set the timer and start trying to organize something like my bathroom drawers, Smug-Baby wants to "help" and ends up dumping out everything I have just gotten straight, or she has a mental melt-down and I have to hold and rock her until she is feeling herself again, or Little-Smug wants to nurse or is tired of playing in his swing or is unhappy being worn because I'm not moving around enough.

I downloaded some workout videos, abs, butt, and chest, to my phone, each one takes less than 10 minutes and isn't too complex. Except, when I start doing push-ups, Smug-Baby climbs onto my back. When I start doing bridge lifts (for the butt) she lies across my chest and when I start doing crunches, she starts to cry and needs me to hold her hand. Its almost like she can sense that I am going to do something for myself and since that would make me happy, she has to put an end to it.

The treadmill is downstairs and the only time that I have to run or walk is in the early mornings before Smug-Hub leaves for work. This means getting up before everyone else after not getting a good nights sleep because Little-Smug is waking to nurse 10+ times in the night, Smug-Baby comes into our room at some point and that wakes me up and Smug-Hub stays up late and when he comes to bed, that wakes me up too. Not to mention, Smug-Baby kicks sometimes and Smug-Hub snores!!

OK, so I have to get up early, by 6:00am at least, say I do that, I still have to get downstairs without waking anyone. Currently, Little-Smug doesn't like to sleep unless my boob is smashed into his face, so within 15 minutes of my getting out of bed, he's up. This would be fine, except that Smug-Hub sleeps like the dead and wouldn't wake up if the poor boy were crying! The crying would, however, wake Smug-Baby and then she would be in a crap-tastic mood all morning!

I actually speak from experience on this! Smug-Hub would have to get up (and stay up, which is the bigger issue) to be available for the kids and he doesn't seem capable of this.

Now, for the bright side; in about 18 short months, my son will be to the stage my daughter is now. She is currently playing on her own for longer stretches that allow me time for tasks not focused completely on her. When my son also reaches this stage in his development, and my daughter is even more self-sufficient, then I will have a lot more time to devote to my home and myself.

18 months isn't that long a time and do I really want to spend this very short, little baby time in my son's life on a cleaning routine? The dirt will still be there waiting for me when he is a bit older. My body will still have the ability to get back into shape.

Other good news? I am really getting comfortable with my morning, afternoon and evening routines that keep the clutter at bay and the cockroaches out of my kitchen. The house looks mostly decent, if not deeply clean, we have clean clothes, clean dishes and a clean place to bathe.

So, I am still flying, I am still going to keep up with my daily tasks and keep my house clutter free (mostly) and fairly clean. I am still going to keep my eyes and mind open to any spaces of free time that present themselves to dig into a deeper task that needs doing. But the change comes in my mindset. I choose to have a less than pristine home. I choose to have a flabby body. I choose to spend this amazing, fleeting time while my children are very small soaking up their newness, bathing in their development and floating in their love.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Son

When Smug-Baby was born, I posted almost daily about her progress and monthly updates of what she was doing and any milestones for that month. Here it is, the day before my son turns 5 months old and I haven't posted even one month about him and how he is doing and growing.

I'm ashamed! I swore I wouldn't be the typical parent who takes thousands of pictures of the first child and none of the second. I wouldn't be the mom who filled up the baby book for the first and didn't even buy one for the second. But that is just what I have become. I'm too busy and too tired and all the other excuses... That being said,

My son is one super amazing kid! He asks so little of me, hardly ever cries and sits happily while I get stuff down around the house. He is currently fighting some mucus and is coughing a bit and has a slightly runny nose. He is also being very fussy the last few days, drooling and chewing on everything, so I feel like teething may be upon us.

He is still sleeping really well at night, waking only to latch on and never is even really awake, just eyes closed, searching for the breast. He rolled over for the first time on September 8th and has started pushing himself around the floor by a mixture of rolling and scooting on his head!

He is such a happy baby and smiles at everyone. He does this little shy guy thing, where he will look at someone, smile and then turn his head into my shoulder like he is shy and flirty. It's totally cute!

He will reach up and grab my face when I lean in for kisses and suck on my cheeks or nose, whatever he can angle into his mouth. When he gets really hungry and I get him latched on to nurse, he will always suck really hard for a few seconds and then pull off to smile at me with love and appreciation. This often results in him getting a face full of squirting milk, but he doesn't care :)


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Learning to Fly

Well, I have been working on my routines and creating my control journal for the last few weeks and its coming along nicely. By that, I mean that I am getting myself in the habit of things and working on my "hot spots" (areas that tend to collect clutter and/or are especially getting on my nerves). I have been working on adding one or two new items to the morning, afternoon or even routines to help incorporate that item into my daily life and help make it a habit.

The biggest thing that I was nervous about was trying to jump in with both feet and then getting burned out. It doesn't sound like much to do 15 minutes a day in some area of your house, but add to that a morning routine that includes scrubbing the shower walls and cleaning the toilet and an afternoon routine that includes a clutter check (running around the house picking up toys and other items out of place) and an after dinner routine that includes sweeping the kitchen floor and running the swiffer in the bathroom floor and it gets to be a bit overwhelming. So, I started with the evening routine first, creating just what I wanted to include and did only that for a week. Once it seemed like it was working OK (it did require some tweaking to get it to fit into our lives just right), I moved on to the morning routine and created that just the way I wanted it and did that for a week or so.

Then, I started putting things down on paper and started typing up my checklists and working on a daily plan. I created Zones for my house (they are different than the way FlyLady set up her zones, but my zones work for my house and my plans). These are the different areas of the house that I will focus on during a given week. For example, Zone 6 is the car and the garage and will include cleaning out the trash from the car and washing the car and cleaning the junk out of the garage and hopefully purging unneeded items and so on. This means that every 6th week, my car and garage will be getting clean. This 6 week rotation means that every area of my house will be getting a deeper cleaning and organizing every 6 weeks. The goal is that after a few rotations, the areas will be/stay organized and the time spent on the area will get shorter.

The goal is to have a home that is mostly always clean and organized as well as having routines in place that make it like your home almost cleans itself. For example, my bathroom. I am never going to clean my bathroom again. This is because, as part of my morning routine, I scrub the shower walls while I am letting conditioner soak into my hair. It takes about 90 seconds. After I get out of the shower, I wipe down the sink and counter. After I am dressed, I wipe down the outside of the toilet and put cleaner into the bowl. All this takes about 2 minutes. As part of the evening routine, I scrub out the tub, this is because Smug-Baby hates hair and all things "yucky" in her bath, so this cleans the tub daily and removes any hair and whatnot from Smug-Hub's and my showers that morning. While she is in the bath I run the swiffer vacuum over the bathroom floor. Scrubbing the tub takes 45 seconds and another 60 seconds on the floor and my bathroom has been totally cleaned and is clean each day and build up never happens. Noe, on Monday's I have as my daily task to clean the mirror (45 seconds) and wipe the base of the toilet (30 seconds). That's it, a matter of a few seconds daily and I never have to clean my bathroom!

My daily breakdown includes time to work on my daily task (something that has to get done that particular day, like collecting the trash on Tuesday's or washing diapers on Wednesday's) as well as two 15 minute slots to work on that week's zone. I have my day broken down into a loose routine for various sections of the day; example: 9:30-11:30, spend 15 minutes on daily task, spend 15 minutes on the weekly zone, snack for the kids, clean up snack, change diapers before nap time. It certainly doesn't take 2 solid hours to complete these thing, but my life needs a lot of open time to spend playing with and cuddling the children in my life.

My goal for this week has been to add water back into my day. I realized that I have only been going pee once or twice during the day and given that I am a nursing mother, I need a whole lot more water than a sip here and there. So, I set alarms on my phone to remind me to drink water several times during the day. The hope is that this too will become habit.

I have a few more things to add into my life. I haven't started working on my zones yet. I have them worked out and the checklists created, but haven't started them That starts next week, now that I have the other routines under my belt. I also need to get back into a workout plan. I had been walking the treadmill in the mornings, but then the treadmill got covered with junk :)

The goal this weekend is to get the downstairs room clean enough that the treadmill is usable and start walking daily next week.

Once I incorporate the zone cleaning and the working out, my plan of action will be complete!

The nice thing about this plan is that, if I have to skip a day on wiping down the bathroom sink for example, I just pick up again the next day without it causing a huge backlog or making me totally behind. The zones are designed to be worked on in repeat. As in, if you don't complete everything on the checklist for that zone by the end of the week, you just pick up where you left off the next time that zone comes around.

A plan like this is very forgiving and if you fall off one day or week, just pick back up where you left off. Eventually, you will get to everything and get where you want to be. Give it time!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Control Journal

One of the things that FlyLady suggests, that I am currently working on, is to create a Control Journal. This should contain a calender, the detailed cleaning check sheets for the various "Zones", morning and before bed routines (and other routines that you find helpful), a daily schedule checklist, and anything else that you find helpful to have at your fingertips. I am going to include my 25 meal dinner rotation, breakfast and lunch rotations, a master grocery list and the bedtime routines for the kids. FlyLady suggests keeping a list of important birthdays, addresses and inspirational quotes in the control journal too. I also think that I am going to create a personal care checklist too, to make sure that I'm getting enough greens, fruit, water and take my vitamins. A workout checklist would make a good addition too.

I have a three-ring binder and I think that once I get my hand-written routines and checklists ironed out and just the way I want them, I'll type everything up and have the pages laminated so I check things off with a dry erase marker and re-use them over and over.

As for getting myself started, I am still making sure that the sink is shinny before I go to bed! I am working on trying out the various routines and schedules and seeing what works and what doesn't to make sure that I am setting realistic goals and tasks for myself.

I feel so much more productive just working on a plan of action! I'm excited about getting this house back into an organized and clean place. I think that with having all the kids here during the day make it hard to get things done or keep things cleaned up. Having small sections of time (only 15 minutes at a go) set aside for the housework is helpful as I don't feel like I'm neglecting either my house or the children.

We are going to visit Smug-Hub's family soon, and I hope to have my routines and checklists ironed out so when we get back I can jump in with both feet and really make a dent in this dirty house! I hope to enlist Smug-Hub's help to give the house a good once over cleaning this weekend so I can work on the deeper stuff and keeping up with the new routines when we get back.

On the sleeping front with Smug-Baby, she is going to sleep better than she was. I'm not sure why, but I have been trying to get her outside some each day to let her run off energy and I'm also putting her down for a nap later and bedtime later than I had been. Also, since I'm not sick anymore I have a lot more patience than I had a week or so ago. Maybe all these things are combining to help her sleep better.

I want to get some soft classical music CD's and play music for her while we read night time books and she falls asleep. I think that this will help not only relax her some for sleep, it will also create a noise barrier so she won't jerk wide awake at every household noise.

I'm not feeling like I'm 100% yet, but it feels good to have an action plan and be feeling like there a light at the end of this recent tunnel of feeling overwhelmed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

FLYing - Day 1

I was visiting with my friend this weekend and she mentioned I had never heard about this site, but when it was described to me, I knew I had to look into it further! Basically, its a get organized plan, but breaks thing down into small manageable tasks and you start off with one new habit a day for the first month. The first day is simply to shine your sink. But it is way more than just shining your sink, its a small step toward starting fresh! You take a good long time to clean out the sink, soak it with bleach and scrub it out, but then it really does shine and you are filled with this desire to keep it looking that way!

Yesterday morning, I shined my sink! I cleaned up the kitchen and strove to keep it clean all day. By the time I went to bed last night, the whole kitchen was clean, the dishwasher was running and the pots and overflow dishes washed and put away,the stove and counter tops wiped, the sink was shiny and the floor swept. I felt such a sense of accomplishment!! It has been a long time since I really felt like I was on the path to getting things together and into a workable routine!

I also spent some time working on several "to do" lists for various routines throughout the day. For example, a morning routine, an after dinner routine and a before bed routine. I also started working out a more strict routine for Smug-Baby's bedtime. It a start!

I have been feeling really dejected lately with the state of the house and the lack of routines in our house. It has caused me to feel depressed and like I am under a huge weight that I can't get out from under. I also feel like most of what I do try to get done is a waste because as soon as I, say, clean under the dining room table, some small person needs to eat again and under the table is covered in crumbs again. Why even bother?

Today's new habit is to continue to keep the kitchen sink shiny as well as to get dressed fully, down to shoes. The thinking behind this habit is to make you feel ready for the day! I am excited to get back on the path of organization and running my home!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Life as I know it

So, life has gotten a bit complex and I am still adjusting to all the new aspects and struggling with my schedule, but overall it has been working pretty well! I am keeping both my niece and my neighbor's son during the day now and keeping them all happy and fed and getting naps and so on with an infant in tow is sometimes so hard I don't know if I will make it minute to minute. I am trying to get into a regimented schedule so that everyone learns the routine and doesn't fight me on it.

I am trying to find balance between face time with the kids, quality time with Smug-Baby, time for Little-Smug to be out of the carrier and having his own quality time, and still keep the house from falling down around my ears.

I set it up so that I have one or two housework things to do each day. I make sure that when the older kids are napping, I have Little-Smug out of the carrier and he has some naked butt time and some coo and talk with mama time. He also gets this when Smug-Baby has her nightly bath too. My neighbor's son naps between 10 and 10:30 and sleeps a really long time, like until 1!! I get the girls down around 11:30-12:00 and they sleep until about 1. After everyone is up, we all have lunch and play inside or out. The little man is picked up about 2 and Smug-Niece isn't picked up until much later, so I try to use the time with just the two of them to play and tickle and chase them around the house or take them outside to the swing set. Then, I get started on dinner. I try to get Smug-Baby's dinner finished and her into the bath by about 6:45 and then we settle down in her room and read books until Smug-Hub gets home. He takes over with Little-Smug and I turn off the lights and lay with Smug-Baby until she is asleep. The goal is to have her asleep by 8. This gives Smug-Hub and I a few hours to be together and hang out with Little-Smug and I try to get into bed by about 10, provided Little-Smug is sleeping by then :)

I was talking with several other moms and reading about what works and doesn't work for others so I thought that I would post my weekly schedule in the hopes that some of what I have found to work will work for others.

I try to start the day with a walk on the treadmill for about 30 minutes, I generally only do 2-3 times a week because depending on the way the night went, if I need the extra sleep I want to be allowed to take it. After my walk, I shower and get myself dressed. Then I work on getting the kids up and dressed for the day and start on breakfast. My sister is generally here before I have breakfast on the table and we chat for a bit before she heads out and my neighbor's son arrives. I try to front load the mornings and get my daily "chores" out of the way early. This way, if things kind of fall apart, I have the whole day to play catch up.

Monday - this is laundry day, I wash all the sheets and towels weekly and the rugs monthly. I also wash the kitchen washcloths and towels and drying pads. As a side note, I also run a load during the week whenever a basket gets full to help keep from spending the day doing 8-10 loads!! Monday is also the day I work on putting up the food from the CSA we got over the weekend. I cut and steam and otherwise prep the veggies and put them in freezer bags. I also spend some time working with the menus for the week, getting the veggies we are eating that week ready. Like chopping carrots and measuring out what I need for a recipe and so on. Monday is my biggest day of the week.

Tuesday - This is trash day (well, its Wednesday, but has to be taken down Tuesday evening). I collect all the cans from all over the house and I take out the weekly recycling. This is also the day I clean out anything spoiled from the fridge and go through paperwork and mail that I may not have gotten to so I have as much of the clutter and trash picked up and taken out.

Wednesday - I wash  diapers and make up wipes on Wednesday. I use cloth diapers and wipes and the wipes live in a nice wipe warmer. I make up a solution of olive oil, baby wash and hot water. Then I soak the wipes in the solution and fill the warmer. I wash the cloth diapers, by running them through a cold rinse, than a hot wash and lastly a hot rinse before drying and then putting all the inserts into the pockets and putting everything away.

Thursday - I clean the bathrooms on Thursday. We have two, but the guest bath I only really clean monthly because it isn't used much at all. This involves, the toilet, the tub, sink and mirror. I don't clean the floor because I do all the floors on Friday. This is a hard day, because I don't want the kids part of cleaning since there are chemicals, but I don't want to do it during the naps because 1) this is my only time each day for fun play time with my son and to eat my own lunch and 2) the bathroom is right between the bedrooms where everyone is sleeping and I worry that it would wake them.

Friday - I clean the floors which involves vacuuming the carpets and sweeping and mopping the kitchen and bathroom floors. I also dust everything. This is kind of the big house cleaning day, even though it doesn't take long. I do try to run the sweeper in the kitchen every evening and will vacuum if something is really looking bad and I know that I should be vacuuming more often with all the kids, but time is valuable and some days it just doesn't happen, but Friday is the day and everything gets cleaned. This is also my frustrating day, because within about 9 seconds of mopping the kitchen, someone has gotten crumbs all over the place and within about 2.3 seconds of vacuuming the dining room (BTW - who's messed up idea was it to put carpet in the dining room of this house?!?!?!?) someone has dropped potato salad!

This allows to to spend most of the weekend having quality time with my family and not doing house work. I still grocery shop on the weekends and do another load of diapers and wipes, but my biggest goal for the weekend if fun family time all together. We can get together with the grandparents or go on a day trip or just sit around and watch cartoons!

I'm tired just reading through all that! I have a lot of frustration with this stuff sometimes and I have a breakdown and do some crying just about every week, but I try to remember that the trying times will pass and I am able to be home with my children and raise them just how I want to and with that comes challenges. I don't always keep my cool with my daughter as she seems to know just what to do to send me into orbit, but I always try. I'm not perfect and I know I do some stuff totally wrong. I can only try and remember that this hard moment will pass and I will make it though.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I have been cleared by the doctor and my son is officially 6 weeks old so I can resume normal activities including exercise! I plan on getting the treadmill over here in the next few days (since my MIL is still here and the treadmill is going to take up a lot of "her" room, I don't want to get it until she leaves) and I have a line on a free mom and kid fitness class at a local park on Thursday's. I also want to plan on getting outside in the evenings with the kids for an after dinner walk or something.

I have also been giving a lot of thought to meal and snack planning and daily activities. I really like the idea of getting back to my daily and weekly task lists and I want to start incorporating some learning activities for Smug-Baby too. I would like to have some scheduled time to work on letters and numbers and colors along with some music (both dancing to and playing some instruments) and some cooking. She is getting old enough to help in the kitchen!

I am also going to keep Smug-Niece this coming week as a trial and may be keeping her long term so I want to have some activities to stimulate their little minds and keep them out of trouble :) I am also in talks to maybe keep my neighbor's son in the fall and if I end up keeping both, I will need to have some structure in place to keep things running smoothly.

I am also thinking about how to make my family's meals way more healthy without spending hours in the kitchen or having to purchase oddball, expensive ingredients! I would love to get Smug-Baby helping make her afternoon snack each day and have it be something I can be proud to have her eat! I have to find some time to get myself organized and set up for success, but I have all these wonderful ideas of how to sneak veggies into meals and snacks as well as using my CSA food for better applications.

In an ideal world, my day will look something like this:

6-8am Treadmill, Yoga, Feed Little-Smug, shower and get dressed
8-9am Make, eat and clean up breakfast (brush teeth and take vitamins)
9-9:30 Collect, sort and start laundry
9:30-10 Do number sheets (coloring, counting songs, etc.)
10-11 Play together and work on laundry
11-12 Make, eat and clean up lunch
12-1 Get children down for naps
1-2 Mommy free time (blog, catch up on reader, pay bills, make phone calls, etc.)
2-3 Make a snack together for the kids
3-4 Play music (dancing and playing instruments)
4-5 Finish laundry and put everything away
5-6 Make, eat and clean up dinner
6-7 Straighten up the house and finish anything still outstanding
7-8 Bath, brush teeth and get everyone ready for bed
8-9 Reading books and other calm activities before bed
9-10 Everyone to sleep!

Breakfast - Steal Cut Oats, fruit, and toast
Lunch - leftovers for me, PB and banana, applesauce and cucumbers for the kids
Dinner - Indian Shepard's Pie (with carrot and beet puree), Salad
Dessert - Raspberry Oat Bars (with squash puree)

The goal is to complete something educational and physical for the kids, make and eat healthy, low junk meals with a large variety of veggies, complete a household cleaning task to keep the house clean and straight, and include some structured exercise for me each day. I think that seems fairly doable and well rounded as well as providing ample time to complete tasks. 

Like I said, I need to put some time and energy into creating menus and "lesson" plans and the like, but I am so excited to be fully able to do whatever I want!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Aching for Exercise

I have a few more weeks until I can be cleared to be fully normal and recovered from the birth of Little-Smug and I am chomping at the bit to be able to incorporate exercise back into my daily schedule. I want to take daily walks with mom and the kids, I want to bike some, I want to start running on the treadmill and I want to try out the weekly mom's exercise group!!

I normally don't care much for exercise, but I think that not being allowed to do it makes me want to do it all the more! Also, I have gotten sick. I have had a nasty sore throat and horrible headache for several days and have now developed a runny nose and cough. I know that it is stress and lack of sleep and the overarching adjustment of new life that has lowered my immunity. I know that getting through the next few weeks and being cleared for normal activity will help me immensely.

My husband's mother is here visiting for the next several weeks and while she is a great help with both the stuff around the house and with the children, Smug-Baby's behavior has gotten a lot worse since MIL's arrival. I remember my mother complaining when I was a child that when we had company, us kids always took that opportunity to act up and act out and were just terrible and she lamented that people must believe that she was raising horribly behaved children when we were normally such good kids who were polite, helpful and nice to each other. I feel like Smug-Baby's behavior is about the same thing, she is testing me and Grandma to see what she can get away with. She is also working on her last molar and that has been horrible.

Little-Smug is VERY sensitive to dairy. I had some cheese on my eggs on Sunday and within a few hours he crying a lot, spitting up more and just very fussy. A few days later and he is still fussy and has developed a stuffed up nose and goopy eye. He may also be sensitive to soy, so I am working on making sure that I am cutting dairy out completely and soy as much as I can. I hate that he is feeling badly because I wasn't strong enough to say no to some cheese!!

We are heading out of town this weekend and it will be Little-Smug's first long trip but I hope that it will be worth it. It will be the first time the family will meet him and I am really looking forward to showing him off! My MIL will come with us and I know that everyone will love to see her and she will enjoy the colorful ways of my family!!

When we get back we will have about a week more of my MIL's visit and then once she has gone home and I am cleared for exercise, I will work on a daily and weekly schedule and start getting myself into a routine that makes me happy!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stay at Home Mom

This is the 4th week of being the mother of two children and I finally feel like I am starting to get into a routine and things are settling down a bit. The days are still tough but more manageable. I am still feeling a little cooped up but getting out for story time, Melody Makers and a mommy's group this week have helped and I think that having things to do has given me more of a feeling of purpose. It has helped me to be more productive at home too.

Now that I have almost a month of post-natal recovery under my belt I feel more comfortable pushing myself a little bit and doing a little bit more. That has helped with my frustration level, which in turn has helped my level of patience with Smug-Baby.

Speaking of Smug-Baby, today she was playing in the tub and suddenly she grabbed her face and started screaming. I grabbed her and asked her to use my finger to show me where it hurt. She pointed to her cheek and I surmised that her last two-year molar is finally starting to cut through. She has done this, grabbing her face and screaming thing several times today and I feel so badly for her. I gave her some medicine to help and she is now napping. I wonder if this pain is why she hasn't been sleeping well and been so cranky.

Little-Smug is just amazing! He is so calm, rarely cries and has never had a total meltdown or scream-fest. He doesn't seem to mind that Smug-Baby covers him in kisses! He nurses well and sleeps well and even rides in his car seat well most of the time. I never thought Smug-Baby was a high-needs or difficult baby, but Little-Smug is SO much less work!! Nothing bothers this kid!!

As for me, I'm anxious to get back to full strength and full energy. I want to put together a workout plan, start walking with mom, biking with dad and maybe even starting a running regimen. Dad has a treadmill that is collecting dust in the garage and I think that I will ask about borrowing it for a while. I want to get into shape! I know that I have been struggling to do that all my life but I now have aches and pains I didn't have before, and I have two really small children that I need to keep up with, so I really need to get to a place physically where I can do that!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Birth of my Son

I can't believe that it has been so long since I have posted, but a lot has happened and I have been under water trying to adjust. First things first, I had a baby!!

It was the morning of June 2 and at 4:14am I got up to pee. When I came back to bed and laid down, I felt a contraction. It was rather strong and more on the painful side than the other Braxton Hicks contractions had been and after it passed I felt sick to my stomach. I thought to myself that perhaps the pizza I had for dinner the night before wasn't agreeing with me. I headed back to the bathroom and even heaved a bit although nothing came up. I had two more of these nausea inducing contractions and by this time it was about 4:45. Smug-Baby woke up and came to sit on my lap (while I was still on the toilet mind you) and her moving around brought on another contraction. I pulled out my phone and timed them and I had two that were close to 10 minutes between them and then 4 minutes and then 7 minutes - sporadic to say the least. It was now 5am and I decided to get into the shower and see if that helped and I noticed bloody discharge. I called to Smug-Hub and asked him to call the midwife. He asked if I was sure I was in labor and I told him no. I got into the shower but almost immediately got out so I could talk to the midwife myself.

We decided that we should go on into the hospital and meet the midwife there since I knew I needed to be there at least 4 hours to get the antibiotics required because I tested positive for Group B. I called my Dad and told him to come over to watch Smug-Baby and then I got myself dressed, all the while it felt like the contractions were coming harder and closer together. I was still worried that I wasn't really in labor and just having a reaction to being sick to my stomach. Dad and my step-mom arrived just before 6am and Smug-Hub and I kissed Smug-Baby and headed to the hospital. By the time we were off the driveway I was sure I was in labor and Smug-Hub made the 7 minute drive in about 4 minutes, needing to run only one red light.

We called the midwife when we got off our drive way and it was 6:01, she was at the hospital and said she would let them know we were on the way. When we got there I limped myself to the desk and asked to use the bathroom. The midwife asked me why I thought I needed a bathroom and I told her that I felt like I was going to poop. She replied that the baby was coming and I remember thinking that I realized I was in labor but I still needed to poop!!

Someone brought a wheelchair and I laid myself sideways into it and tried to breathe through the now constant and very strong contractions. I couldn't seem to get ahead of them in order to focus my breathing and counting. They wheeled me into the elevator and I heard the midwife ask if they were able to deliver in the triage area, then I noticed I was being wheeled into a labor and delivery room instead. A nurse told me to get onto the bed so she could check me and she helped me with my shorts and laid down on my side again. Someone started an IV and I heard someone say "no cervix, bulging bag" I wondered if that meant she couldn't check dilation for some reason. Suddenly, my water broke and I remember feeling the gush of warm fluid and thinking that it as cool that I got to know what that felt like since I never remember my water breaking with Smug-Baby. Then I felt a burning, tightness and I started to scoot away from the doctor who I just knew was touching me and hurting me. She told me not to move away and it was only then I realized that my son's head was already coming out. I heard them say that the cord was wrapped twice, and I looked up to see her looping it over his head. Then my midwife told me to tuck my chin to my chest and push, I was still a little in shock that it was happening so fast because it took me a moment to comply. I guess I felt like they couldn't be serious or something. I only remember pushing once, maybe twice and then he was born!

The doctor suctioned him and he made a few little noises and then he was in my arms. I couldn't believe he was there and it was over! It was 6:19am!! He came so fast that he had a little bruising on his face, but wonder of wonders, I didn't tear at all! He was 9 pounds, 2 ounces!!

A nurse told me that my mom was there and could she come in, I said yes and when mom walked into the room, thinking that I was in labor, she say me holding my son and it was like a cartoon, her eyes bugged out and her jaw hit the floor. Smug-Hub got on the phone to ask Dad to bring Smug-Baby and got about the same reaction - after all we had just left the house less than 20 minutes earlier!!

We spent two days in the hospital because I had not had the time to receive the antibiotics and I spent the time nursing and bonding with my son. Smug-Hub spent most of that time with Smug-Baby making sure she was happy and had some one-on-one love too. Once home, we spent the first week bonding as a family. It was just what I had wanted, not a lot of visitors or company, just us getting to know each other.

Smug-Baby is head over heals in love with her brother and spends most of her days kissing him and holding him and talking or singing to him.

My days since getting home have been trying to rest and follow all the restrictions that I need to in order to recover fully and completely. It has been very hard since I don't really feel like I just had a baby! I feel totally fine!

It's been three weeks and I have three more to go until I can consider myself healed and able to resume doing everything I want to do and I am going to do my best not to push myself before then.

I am anxious to get into new routines and schedules and start adjusting fully to my new life as a mother of two.

As for my son, he is frickin' amazing! He is so calm and totally laid back. He rarely cries and seems to have a long fuse before getting upset. He sleeps well, nurses well and doesn't blink an eye when Smug-Baby has a meltdown and in crying and screaming right in his face. He has these amazing "wise" eyes and his jaw actually makes cracking sounds when he yawns. His hair is lighter than Smug-Baby's was when she was born and we can't tell what color his eyes are, they seem to be a hazel or lighter brown, not the deep chocolate like Smug-Baby. He is a totally different baby than she was and so relaxed it is just so cool!

I can hear him grunting a bit in his sleep now and that means he will be awake and wanting to poop and nurse and poop some more soon, so I will sign off. I will try to post more soon, but I'm not promising anything :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Feeling Fed Up

I have been fuming for the past few days over a few things that have happened this week. I kept thinking that it was pregnancy hormones that were causing me to have such a reaction to things that I normally stay out of but since I haven't calmed down much, I guess I need to vent a little!

Firstly, Amendment 1 actually passed in North Carolina!!! WTF?!?!? I can't even believe it!! I think of NC as being a fairly progressive state and I think of people has being generally evolved when it comes to basic human rights. I was wrong apparently and even though I don't live in NC, it just galls me to think that this horrible thing actually got enough votes to pass.

Next, President Obama did an interview and stated his opinion that he is in favor of same-sex marriage. I personally feel like this wasn't a politically motivated move since our country appears to be very divided on the subject. However, as the news is sometimes on in my house, I hear that he is being called a flip-flopper since his views on the subject seem to have evolved over time or that this was done as a political move to help garner more votes in November or how the vice-president forced his hand with a "flub" where he said that he was in support of gay marriage and how he has just cost Obama his re-election.

I feel like anyone who is threatened by same-sex marriage must simply be mis-informed. How does it effect anyone if a gay couple gets married? How will my life change or be effected if a man and another man get married? Will my taxes go up? Will I lose any benefits at work? Will my children be harmed in ANY way? No to all the above! Love and marriage isn't owned by the Christian faith and since marriage began as a contract made by a man and a woman's father, it doesn't seem like keeping marriage to its original intent is something we should really strive for!! Marriage today is supposed to be about two people who love each other and want a public commitment and contact protecting them and their children. That is what marriage is and I really don't give a crap if it is a man and a woman, a man and another man or a woman and another woman - love is love people!!!

Lastly, have you seen the new cover of Time magazine? It shows a woman nursing her toddler who is somewhere between 3 and 4 years old. The picture shows the side of the woman's breast and other than that she is covered. There is talk that sellers of Time will have to cover the cover to protect people from seeing the side of a breast. There is talk that parents will have to explain this cover to their children. There is talk of how inappropriate is it to nurse an older child. All this talk stems from the sexualizing of breasts in our society. Now, I will grant you that breasts are lovely, I certainly have on occasion worn something to reveal and enhance my breasts to get some attention, but sex is not what a woman's breasts are for (neither is the whole woman for that matter!) they are on our bodies to feed and nourish our children. Period!!

I am simply amazed at all the Facebook comments condemning a woman for feeding her child. Comments about how nursing shouldn't be done in public (because nursing is somehow a sex act?), how nursing should be discontinued when the child has teeth, or reaches a certain age, or my favorite - can "ask" for it. I think that this one is the most ignorant of them all. Babies know that they want/need to nurse from the moment of birth!!! They can scoot and root and find the breast all on the own when placed on a mother's belly immediately following birth. They "ask" for it when they cry, whimper, root around and nozzle. As they get older, they will begin to "ask" for it, by pointing or touching and as verbal skills improve they will come up with a word or sound that lets their mother's know that they are "asking" to nurse. So, when exactly, are these people suggesting that nursing cease??

I seem to have unknowingly surrounded myself with people who are fairly open minded and evolved so I was really shocked to see how many people are still so ignorant about children and their proper development!

Look around at the world, full of people who have anxiety disorders, eating disorders, relationship issues, obesity and all the other problems that plague our world. You don't think that how they were treated in infancy has anything to do with these issues? How can the first lesson you learned in life about how not to trust your parents because when you cried, they left you alone and scared, not effect your life?

Babies are not little aliens, they are human beings that will grow into adults. Why are they given any less consideration than anyone else? You can't raise a person who has good feelings of self worth when you treat them like their feelings aren't important. You can't raise a woman to know that it is never OK for her husband to beat on her when her own parents instilled in her as a child that there was a time and place when getting hit was OK!! You can't raise a person who feels strongly about equal human rights, when they as a child had none!!

OK, I am done ranting!! I just needed to get all that off my chest!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Life At Home

I don't have this staying home stuff figured out yet and it is bugging me. When I was working I had this whole routine and everything got done, but now I feel like I am floundering a bit. It should be like a regular day once 10am rolls around and since I am sleeping until 7 or 8 in the mornings and by the time showers and breakfast are done it is 10, but I find myself thinking about things that need to get done when I am say, laying in bed the night before and then not thinking about them again until the next night as I am going to bed.

I am not remembering to drink my water as regularly, I am not remembering that I wanted to work on say diapers today until its too late. I need to do things that I normally did before but I somehow forget about them, like I was blogging at night and posting first thing in the morning, now I am blogging and posting in the middle of the day while Smug-Baby is napping, but I forget to catch up on my reader at the same time. It should be routine right? Blog and reader at the same time, just like before, but I forget!

I have found the time to watch most of what is on the DVR and other than that my days are just kind of floating along. I have things that I need to do, places I need to go, but I just don't feel like doing any of it or I simply forget that I need to do whatever it is.

It has been super hot in my house the last few days and I finally broke down and turned on the AC yesterday and it took until this morning for the house to cool down. Perhaps I am feeling so lethargic because I have been dripping sweat constantly for the last few days! Maybe now that the house is feeling more comfortable, I will get myself back into the right frame of mind and get some things done!!

Maybe this is a normal part of adjusting to not having a job, maybe it is normal to spend some time decompressing from one chapter in life before fully starting another.

 Maybe I am just huge and doing anything, like something as simply as picking up ant traps from Lowes seems like a major ordeal!

The weekend is going to full of fun things and I am looking forward to the Girl's Night Out with friends on Friday, so maybe I just need to give myself this week to veg out a bit and work on creating a new schedule for next week! Maybe I should just have some pizza and ice cream and watch soap opera's today and leave the washing of diapers until next week :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Divine Order

I have been struggling with something as this pregnancy draws ever closer to being complete. I truly believe that everything that happens in life happens for a reason and even the "bad" things that happen happen to bring a person to a better place. Meaning that even bad stuff happens for good reasons and if you look for it you can see the reason, the good in what happened.

I have been thinking a lot about Smug-Baby's birth and all the fear and pain and struggles we went through t get her home. I have fears that something bad will happen surrounding Little-Smug's birth too. I feel like I can't find the good in what happened with her birth and I don't look back at it and say "I learned..." or that by going through that with her made Smug-Hub and I stronger or that we appreciate her more than we would have.

I am afraid that perhaps I didn't learn what I should have learned for her situation and therefore I still have that lesson to learn and will be given an opportunity to learn it again by something bad happening with my son's birth.

I talked all this over with mom and she said that if nothing else, I learned that I could do hard. I had this horrible thing happen in my life, to my precious child, and I survived... we all did. We lived and we made good, strong decisions for our child and she not only got better, she thrives and is super strong and amazingly smart with no lasting effects (as far as we can tell) from having gone through what she did.

I don't want something to go wrong with my son's birth and I want his birth to be perfect, but if something does go wrong and we are thrust into another horrible situation, we will survive it and we will be stronger because if it.

I believe in divine order and that everything in life happens for a reason and I trust in that.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Life of Leisure!

So, here I am! A stay at home mom without a care in the world! A "kept-woman"! Living a life of leisure! OK, so totally NOT!!!!

I am sitting here blogging while Smug-Baby is napping. Blogging you say? Not napping myself? What is up?!?!? Well, I have been sleeping tell about 6:30 or 7 in the mornings so I am not nearly as beat by noon as I once was and I have less need for a nap. I spent yesterday's nap filing out all the online unemployment stuff and boy was that complicated! I hope that I don't screw it up!

I also spent my first day of unemployment doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, working on diapers (finally finished refreshing all of them, so I just need to strip and wash them really well and they will be all ready for the little man). I also made a nice dinner and had the house looking all straight by the time we all went to bed.

Today, we have been to story time at the library and I have finished up some computer work and am blogging before lunch and a walk before the rain hits.

I only need to collect the trash and recycling and make dinner the rest of the day. I feel pretty good about things!

While I still have lots to do to get ready for the baby, I feel like by not getting up so early and going to work that I will have the energy to tackle them. It is very strange to me that something as small as just sleeping an hour or two more in the morning has already made such a difference in my energy level.

OK, I have to get back to eating bon bon's and watching trashy TV - just kidding :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Last Day

Smug-Baby woke up at 2am this morning and came into our bed. We snuggled down for sleep, but she was restless and finally just before 3, she told me she needed to poop. I took her to the potty and for over 45 minutes we sat there while she pooped. She has finally fallen back asleep and I am afraid to do anymore sleeping myself for fear of oversleeping on my last day of work.

Yes, today is the day. I have been thinking about this day for a long time. Since my bosses told me it would be coming several months ago and while I am certainly in a better place than I was in the beginning, I am still dealing with mixed emotions.

I feel thrown away. I feel like I have given my heart and soul and time and energy to this company. They are my family and I feel like I've been asked not to come to Christmas dinner!! I feel irritated. I feel like I have worked in so many areas of the company that there just has to be someone in this building who needs 4 hours of help a day and it sticks in my throat thinking that no one wants me. I feel relief. I feel like this couldn't have come at a better time, as my knees hurt more and my belly hurts more and I need more and more rest and more and more trouble getting the daily things done. I feel excited. I feel like this is a new adventure with all kinds of possibilities and I feel open to trying new things. I feel nervous about money, but OK about the action plan Smug-Hub and I have in place. While all the pieces still need to fall into place, I feel like this is a realistic plan and not something far fetched. I feel like if this wasn't the right thing for me and my family that I would feel something akin to panic and be working harder to find something else or another plan of action for the future, but I'm not, I feeling OK about everything and looking forward to sleeping later than 4am on a regular basis.

So, yeah, a little mixed on the ole' feelings!!

Part of me wants to skip going in at all and just go to my exit interview at 9:30 and not work at all. Part of me wants to hide in my cube until time to leave and sneak out. Part of me wants to spend the work day saying good-bye to everyone. So, a little mixed on how to handle the day too. I don't want to spend this day crying and I'm crying as I type this, so saying good-bye to people's faces may prove just too hard for me.

I really am looking forward to less stress during these last few weeks of pregnancy and I feel like once my little man is in my arms everything will feel perfect. I hope :)

Got to go into work now. My last day. Oh dear!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


As I read more and more about parenting techniques and the science behind the long lasting and far reaching consequences of how we raise our children. I am more and more committed to being as conscious a parent as I can be.

I have always felt like putting my child first was best. I have always felt strongly about breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping and more, but I never really felt like I knew why these things were important to me. Now, reading The Attachment Parenting Book by Dr. William Sears, I realize that my instinctual desires to do these things have a scientific basis and are backed up by countless personal stories of parenting successes.

How we treat our infants DOES effect them and the kind of person they will turn out to be. I believe that putting myself in my children's place and asking myself how I would like to be treated in a given situation helps me to handle something better than if I were to just assume that my child will be fine if he or she cries for a bit, sleeps alone, or learns not to count on me for comfort. How would I feel, if I were left alone in a dark room full of strange shadows, unfamiliar sights and scary sounds and when I called for help and comfort no one came to my aid? How would I feel if I was just learning to be able to do things for myself and someone came along and took away my chance to prove to myself and everyone else that I could do it? How would I feel if I was learning about my emotions and someone else kept telling me how I was feeling; that I wasn't really hurt?

I believe that most parents really do want to do the very best for their children and raise them to be strong, healthy, responsible, independent members of our society and everyone has to come to their own conclusions about how that is accomplished, but I also believe that people tend to do what their parents did, or what their parents are telling them to do now without being conscious about why they are making the choices they are making.

I am certainly guilty of that myself. I have been raising my daughter the way that I was raised and since I turned out pretty awesome :) I figured that was a cool way to raise a child. I have followed my mother's advice when I was at a loss about how to handle something with my daughter and gone to my sister and others for advice as well. I never thought about why I was doing what I was doing, I was just doing it. I was following my instincts and the path laid out by the way I was raised.

There isn't really anything wrong with this, because I really am doing all the right things (ha ha ha - can't even type that with a straight face), no, seriously - I am doing all these things that I believe in so strongly, but now I am finding out why they are important and why I want to continue and what other techniques I want to start doing/using. I am becoming a more conscious parent.

I am no longer blindly following my mother's advice (although her advice and that of others is still of great value to me) and I am no longer feeling like I am flying blindly in the wind doing whatever feels right at the time (although following my instincts is generally still my best resource), now I am learning about why I feel the need to handle a situation with my daughter in a particular way. When I am tense and tired and frustrated, I feel like I have more tools at my disposal and I feel like I am more likely to handle things better. I am learning techniques to help me parent her, and soon my son, in a way that will help them feel strong and healthy and responsible and loved and comforted and respected from birth through their adulthood.

How I treat my daughter now and I how I care for my son when he is born WILL effect them for the rest of their lives and my job as their mother is to make as much of an effort to do the vary best by them as is humanly possible. That isn't to say that I won't and haven't made some mistakes or that I don't carry guilt for something I have said or done or handled in a way that I feel isn't right. But it is my deepest hope and prayer that because I work so hard at being the best parent I can be, that my failings will be fewer and have a smaller impact due to the strong foundation I provide 99% of the time.

I want to be conscious in my parenting and even though I will still seek advice from others and even though I will follow my instincts I will still try to keep learning more about the kind of parent I want to be and put my full focus on this job that I have undertaken. A job that carries more responsibility and more rewards than any other job in the whole world! GULP!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Not Pre-Term Labor

The last few weeks I have been having some cramping. It feels like I am going to start my period and if I weren't pregnant I would have been running to check every few minutes, they have been that strong and that constant. I asked the midwife about them and she wasn't overly concerned just told me to take it easy and not strain anything.

Well, I of course didn't listen and have kept up almost all of my normal pre-pregnancy activities just like I have been doing this whole pregnancy and last week it finally caught up to me.

I laid down for a nap on Friday when Smug-Baby was sleeping (I should add that I didn't want to nap, I had things to do but I was making an effort to slow down some) I napped for about an hour and woke feeling pretty good. Smug-Baby had also awoken and climbed into bed with me for a cuddle and a snuggle. The cramps have almost always been low on the left side, but as we cuddled, I could feel them in the right side too. "Crap" I thought!

I got up to take Smug-Baby to the potty and call my sister to let her know that we were going to come over and hang out with her since she had the day off work. I couldn't shake these painful cramps and they were starting to really escalate into a more painful stabbing feeling across my whole low belly. After we finished in the bathroom, Smug-Baby was upset about having to wear clothes :) and I was feeling horrible. This was really painful!! We went into the living room and I let her play for about 20 minutes while I tried to breathe and relax through this constant stabbing pain.

It wasn't like contractions at all, this was constant and really painful!! Contractions for me with Smug-Baby were intense and uncomfortable, but came and went with more pressure and this was a stabbing pain, like when you go running after a big meal and get a stitch in your side. This was lower but the same kind of pain. I felt like I couldn't stand up straight and whenever I moved the pain would double. It was horrible and I was in tears as I called the midwife.

She told me that she didn't think it was labor, but I should go into the doctor's office and get checked out to be sure. I called the doctor and they said to head on in. Smug-Baby had on one shoe and was hold half a banana (I hadn't had the ability to feed her lunch) when we walked into the office. I called Smug-Hub on the way and told him to leave work and come help with Smug-Baby. The doctor did an exam and checked the baby; we also did a sonogram to make sure that I wasn't in labor and the baby was still doing great. Everything checked out and he determined that I have pulled or strained some tendons or ligaments and that was what was causing the pain.

While I am glad that it wasn't anything more serious, like pre-term labor, it stinks that I just have to deal with the pain while the ligaments or tendons heal and I have to adjust my activities for the rest of the pregnancy so I don't strain them again or keep them from healing.

The prescription is lots of water (no problem, I drink tons of water all day every day) and more rest (harder to do when your toddler wants to have a dance party in the kitchen), getting my feet up and no more lifting of anything (again, how is this possible with a toddler?!?!?)

I think that this really scared Smug-Hub and he spent the weekend yelling at me to get back in bed and threatening to withhold back rubs unless I rested. I love that he is willing to help out, but I have a feeling that it won't last long! Doing his full time job and coming home to take over care of Smug-Baby and myself is going to get old really fast!!

So, I spent the weekend resting and working on ways of getting around picking up my child. I still sometimes have to pick her up and sometimes I simply forget that I am not supposed to, but I am working on being more conscious of it. I am also being conscious of how I feel and if I my back starts aching a bit, I stop what I am doing and go sit down. If I start feeling those stabbing pains, I will just have to call mom and she will have to drop what she is doing to come help me, because at that point I will have to go to bed I think!

I want to be smart about this and not over do or spend my energy working on something not important. Today I cleaned the toilet (just the toilet, not the rest of the bathroom) and I sorted laundry, but I didn't carry it down to the machine, I left it for Smug-Hub to carry. I can wash, dry and fold it downstairs tomorrow and he can carry it back up for me. I made a quick pasta and sauce for dinner instead of something more labor intensive and I got the bath and bedtime routine started at about 6 instead of 8.

Smug-Baby went to sleep about 9:15 and I am blogging before reading a few pages in my book and going to bed!

Tomorrow I need to work on the laundry or we will all be without clean anything and I need to collect the trash. However, Smug-Hub can take it to the road for me and can carry the baskets of clean laundry up the stairs. I plan on napping and making something else simple for dinner. I liked the early bath thing, so we may do that again too. I just need to have myself ready to relax when Smug-Hub gets home without overdoing it all day. I feel great in the mornings and then less and less great as the day wears on, so I need to get more done early so I can rest when the evening rolls around and the aching or pain starts acting up again.

It's only a few more weeks until Little-Smug arrives and then I will have a whole new life to figure out. I am going to do nothing to stand in the way of his perfect entry in his own time into this side of the world. Even if it gives my OCD tendencies a fit :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby Shower

This weekend was my baby shower and it was amazing and wonderful!!

The day started with a leisurely breakfast with my aunts. Smug-Hub cooked for everyone and I sat on my butt! Food was lovely and it was nice to spend some time chatting with my aunts who had come so far to attend my shower.

After we got home I needed to shower and Smug-Baby got in with me. Before I stepped in the shower I plugged in the curling iron. I placed it behind the sink with the cord way up so Smug-Baby wouldn't be able to reach it. I haven't curled my hair since before she was born, so I was worried about her getting burned. Smug-Hub pulled her out of the shower and as we were all drying off, he stood her up on the counter. I pointed out the curling iron to let him know that it was hot and to be careful.

He was putting lotion on her when she reached down, wrapped her fingers and hand around the hot end of the curling iron and picked it up! I grabbed for her and it about the same time she did and pulled it from her so she only had it about 2 seconds if that. I grabbed her and ran her hand under cold water, Smug-Hub ran to get ice and the aloe gel. I sat with her sobbing little self for a good 30 minutes while she cried and waved her hand around trying to cool the burn. I felt so guilty!! Smug-Hub was too. He blamed me for plugging it in at all and I blamed him for setting her on the counter where it was within reach. In truth we both were to blame and I know these things happen, but I feel sick about it!!

After she was calm and had fallen asleep I finished getting ready and had completely lost interest in trying to curl my hair! I was running late as it was so I just dressed and left. It was pouring rain and the drive seemed to take forever.

Once I arrived at the party, I tried to let go of my guilt and I had a great time! The food was amazing, a carrot, pineapple and raisin salad, egg salad sandwiches, cheese spread sandwich's, capri sandwiches with pesto and strawberries with chocolate. Everything was delicious!! After eating, a woman who does belly art started to decorate my belly and then each of the guests drew or wrote something on my belly. It was very cool!!

The end effect was really cool and I only wish that it had lasted longer. It washed off in my shower tonight. I am going to talk to her about doing a henna design closer to my due date that will last longer. I think it would totally freak out the hospital staff and that would make me laugh!!

After the belly painting we had cake. Cake that makes me drool to think about!! It was my sister's lemon coconut cake and it was beyond amazing and I have to get the recipe from her and make it every day!! There wasn't even crumbs left!!

Then came the gifts and everything was so thoughtful and wonderful! My little man has a ton of new adorable outfits along with handmade cloth wipes, some cloth diapering accessories, teething accessories, books, bibs, and a new baby carrier just to name a few! I wasn't sure I would be able to get everything home, but my brother-in-law used to work for a moving company and managed to get everything into the cab of the truck for the ride home.

My friend who came all the way from North Carolina came back to the house with me and I got to play with her little 9 week old baby girl and Smug-Baby really fell in love with her! She kept bringing my friend burp cloths and toys for the baby and pointed out all the baby's body parts. I hope that this is good sign that she will be happy to have her little brother around when he arrives.

I made a nice soup for dinner but that was the extent of my workload for the day, I kept my feet up a lot and let others do for me whenever possible. It was actually hard to remember not to do everything myself, but it paid off because I wasn't feeling much pain when I started getting ready for bed.

Now, I am blogging and Smug-Baby is watching Elmo in the arms of her daddy, getting sleepy. I think that I'll slip off to bed myself!! Happy Baby Shower day to me!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Being Crunchy

I find myself leaning into new ideas that have my poor husband giving me sidelong glances and wondering what he signed up for when he said “I do”!

Firstly, I am working to become more “green” – I have been clearing out my old chemical household cleaners and working on new greener, non-toxic alternatives. He is pretty much on board with this since he can see the cost savings and knows that every dollar matters with my being out of work soon. But he still has a hard time believing that I can get the house clean without the use of bleach, which is his favorite cleaning product of all time! It doesn’t help that I haven’t had the energy for much cleaning lately and things are starting to look really grody! I am going to have to spend some time working on the house after the lay off happens next week.

Next, I am trying to incorporate more veggies into Smug-Baby’s diet and to do this I have been sneaking them in via purées and new recipes that are all delicious but not food combinations that my husband is used to. I am also trying to limit, if not completely eliminate animal products from mine and Smug-Baby’s diet. I think that she is sensitive to them and since I have cut way back on the diary she eats all the little dry patches on her skin have cleared up and her nose isn’t running anymore. I know that most babies are sensitive so I need to get my system and my breastmilk clear of dairy before Little-Smug arrives. So most of the dishes I am trying out these days are hard for my darling Smug-Hub to accept. He does try to roll with it and often will just prepare some meat item on the side for himself or top whatever I have made with some shredded cheddar.

I have been reading about attachment parenting techniques and would love for him to read the same stuff that I am reading so we can be on the same page when it comes to things with Smug-Baby. Discipline is of the most concern to me right now; because that is the area we are setting the ground work for in her life. I gave him an easy book to read, but he is stuck on the home birth chapter and is feeling like maybe I am still trying to convince him to have Little-Smug at home. I told him to get through that chapter and on to the rest of the information, but it is hard for him to read something he isn’t really interested in so he puts it off. 

When I talk about trying Elimination Communication he just gives me a look and walks away J He is fully on board with nursing, delaying solids, baby wearing and many of the other attachment concepts, but EC is hard to get your mind around and really, I’m not sure that I’m there either!!

The latest thing to cause my husband a deep issue is my idea of bringing home the placenta. What I would like to do is plant it in the soil with a tree in honor of our son. It will compost and fertilize the tree and it seems like a nice way to use something that nourished my son for the better part of a year.  I know that some people keep the placenta attached to the baby until the cord detaches from the belly button naturally and some women actually ingest their placenta and frankly both those ideas seem really pretty gross to me. However, it does seem a little wrong to toss it into the trash with other waste, so I like the idea of using it in some way. Smug-Hub gags at the thought and while he says that as long as he doesn’t have to deal with it, see it, help me bury it, then he’s fine, he really is having a super hard time with it. To me, it’s just a maybe-would-be-nice kind of thing so if he really has an issue or the hospital doesn’t want to let me take it home, then its really OK. However, I don’t think that it is gross just to plant it – eat it? Oh yeah, but just to bury it? Nah, not gross.

I worry that one of these days I will want to do something or try something and my poor husband will simply wash his hands of my strange ways and have me committed J I just think that everyone has to do what seems right to them and judging each other for those choices just seems like a waste of energy. Smug-Hub however is very concerned that people will think that he married a total wack-a-do! Maybe he did! He married a home-schooled vegetarian who is now a weirdo who doesn’t eat cheese, cleans with baking soda, wants to potty train our infant and to bury her placenta!! The poor man! I need to do something really mainstream to make him feel better, like maybe give birth in a hospital – oh wait…

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I have had two really bad nights in a row and it has made me realize that I haven't had many bad nights lately. Smug-Baby has gotten into a good habit of waking at about 3, crawling into bed with us and going right back to sleep. I haven't had to get up to pee as often as I had been either, so I have been sleeping better. The last two nights haven't gone well at all!!

Night before last, I kept having to go to the bathroom; feeling sick to my stomach. In addition, Smug-Hub's mask kept squealing all night so that made it hard to get back to sleep each time I had to get up. I decided not to go to work and give myself time to sleep in, but I didn't really get back to sleep after about 5am anyway, but it was probably a good thing that I stayed home.

Last night, Smug-Baby woke at 1:24 and never really went back to sleep until just after 4am. She tossed and turned and played with my hand and was in this kind of half sleep that wasn't really a "real" sleep and I couldn't fall back asleep because she was moving around so much. Then I had to pee and she became fully awake and wanted to get up. She tried asking for water and asking to pee but I didn't get out of bed. She hit me in the face a few times to try to get me to wake up and that resulted in a pissed off, exhausted mama trying not to hit back! Finally just after 4, she fell into that nice deep sleep and I was able to get out of bed and get ready for work. I was afraid to let myself fall back asleep because I might not have let myself hear the alarm or the alarm would have reawakened Smug-Baby, so I just got up.

I think that I will have to make myself take a nap today. I really need to use her nap time to get these diapers worked on so Mom can sew them and we can finally be finished with all the refreshing. That is the last really big "to do" on my list and it is weighing heavily on my mind.

I think that next Friday is going to be my last day of work and then all these bad nights, early mornings will be behind me. Sleeping in will be a daily event :) OK, maybe not sleeping in really, but sleeping until 7 or 8? That would be amazing and I think I really need it!!

For today, I am ready for work and about to leave for the office and I am so tired I can't think straight, but it is only for a few hours and only for a few more days. We have a wonderful weekend planned and then my last week of work followed by another wonderful weekend followed by no more work!! I can do this!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I don't generally spend a lot of time looking back at events in my life, good or bad. They happened, I learned something (hopefully) and moved on. Spending time regretting what happened in the past or wishing things had been different or that I had gone left instead of right, doesn't really change anything. Thinking about what might have been or trying to re-write the past also doesn't fix anything and just makes for an unhappy present.

All I can do with the past is try to learn from my mistakes, carry the good memories and think before I make a similar mistake in the present.

Looking to the future also really has little value. Yes, one must think about where you are going and how you want to get there, but thinking too much about getting someplace else, results in missing the right here and right now.

The future is important, I have to think about the meals for the whole week when shopping and not just what I feel like eating at this very moment, but taking the time to enjoy and savor the food that is currently in my mouth also has a great deal of importance.

Smug-Baby is currently in her last months as an only child. Her whole world is going to change and while I am excited for all the changes our family will see in the future, I want to hold on to her as she is RIGHT. THIS. MOMENT.

I want to savor the times she pulls my face to hers with both hands to kiss me. I want to watch her climb on something new for the first time. I want to spend my here and now taking it all in and recording all the memories of her as she is right now. I want to hold her and kiss her and read to her and play with her.

I look forward to the changes that Little-Smug will bring into our family and I don't look back and wish that I had done things differently with Smug-Baby, because she is right here, right now and I want all my energy to be put into loving her so much and so hard and so deep that she never looks back and feels like I wasn't full of love for her at all times.

I send out this challenge to you, take a moment today and just be. Don't think about what's left on the "to do" list, don't think about how you should have gotten gas while you were out this morning. Instead, sit quietly and look around at your family. Observe what they are all doing right now, think about how wonderful they are and how much you love them. Then get up and go join them in whatever they may be up to. Spend a few minutes (or a few hours!!) just being in the moment with your loved ones, loving them and being close.

Yesterday is over, tomorrow will be here soon enough, today is right now. Enjoy it!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Slowing Down

Man, am I really starting to slow down! Today, Sunday, I took myself out for a manicure that turned into getting acrylic nails (hey, they were only $5 more and now my nails look amazing and I feel pretty and since that was the whole point...) at the urging of my husband who knew that I was feeling large and puffy and frumpy and uncomfortable and for that I thank him! He knows me so well and is so sweet and encouraging and $25.00 is a small price to pay for feeling like a woman again!

After lunch, while Smug-Baby napped, we made up a grocery list and clipped coupons and got everything together for grocery shopping so that when she woke up we could take off and get all that done. Smug-Hub had a coupon for a free haircut so he went one way and Smug-Baby and I headed off to CVS, Fresh Market, Kroger and to get gas. While I was focused and driven and got things done in record time, Smug-Baby was still really over it all by the time we finished and headed home. All in all it was a fine outing and she did great, but I was beat and had done something to my back by the time I got home and while I tried to straighten up and get laundry going, I was really hurting so I sat down.

That was hard for me. To see all that needs to get done and know that it isn't going to get done if I sit down and also knowing that I will really regret emptying the dishwasher if it causes something to go wrong with my little man.

We had a prenatal appointment with the midwife this weekend and she told me very gently that I needed to slow it down and stop trying to do everything myself. I have been having more and more BH contractions and she wants me to be aware of them and go get checked at the hospital if they start to turn into anything more than they have been. She reminded me to be sure to get off my feet during the day, to nap if possible and to not overdo.

There are some things that I can't just stop doing, like taking care of Smug-Baby, so that has to be the top priority, followed by feeding us and the dishes, followed by cleaning our clothes if possible. Then everything else, cleaning the bathroom's, straightening up, running errands and all those other non-essentials will have to fall on Smug-Hub for the next few months. He says that he is fine with it and I know that he will do whatever needs to be done, but he does have this habit of complaining and throwing little fits when things aren't going his way. I just have to remember to approach him with the pregnancy stuff first - "Honey, I am having some cramping, will you take over making dinner tonight?" Instead of "hey, I need you to do dinner tonight while I lay on the couch"

He is totally excited and focused on his baby boy so he doesn't have an issue doing whatever to help out, but sometimes he gets frustrated (and rightly so) that he works all day and comes home to a messy house and no food and a pile of work to be done. I have always felt that in order for our married life to be as fair as possible, I needed to pick up the slack and do everything I could do at home to make up for my not bringing in as much (and soon much less) money. It's just going to be the last few months of the pregnancy where he is going to have to do more than his normal share, and I am going to have to work on not feeling guilty about laying on the couch with my feet up while he tries to get dinner on the table while Smug-Baby wants him to be a jungle-gym for her to climb on!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mama Work?

As I left the house for work yesterday morning, moving as quietly about the house as possible, I heard my daughter wake. I froze listening to her moving around and her little sounds. I hear her get up and go into the big bed, then she says "mama work?" cries a second or two, and cuddles into Smug-Hub's arms and goes back to sleep.

It broke my heart to leave her then, even though I know that she finds comfort in his arms and was back sleeping. I felt like I should have gone to her, even though she thought I had already left and she was ASLEEP! I know that she loves her daddy and is so excited to see him and asks about him throughout the day. So I know that she finds comfort in his arms when I am not there, however, he is still second best and she finds more comfort from me. She prefers mama and he is just a substitute that she accepts when I am not there for her.

I'm not saying that he isn't good enough, he is, but he is just that - good enough, when I am the best! I don't say this to gloat, I say it because it makes me sad. I am reading all this stuff about child psychology and how important it is to meet the needs of the very young child to help them establish a foundation of trust and love and understanding that they are important and deserve to have their needs met. Here I am hiding in the living room, knowing that my daughter needs my arms to soothe her and yet, I know that I have to go to work and if I went in there, she would be fully awake and be more unhappy when I did have to leave.

I guess the bottom line is, I am really feeling ready for this lay-off to happen so I can stay in bed with her until she is ready to get up. I am ready to stay in bed until I am ready to get up. I am ready for breakfast as a family. I am ready for play time as a family in the morning. I am ready to feel rested during the day and have the patience that I struggle with due to exhaustion. I am ready for the new chapter of our family life. I am ready to meet my son.

I have 2-3 weeks left at work and I am really grateful to have them. We need as many weeks of full paychecks as possible and to spread the severance pay out as long as is possible. I know that 2-3 more weeks is nothing when I have been doing this for years now, but I am still looking forward to being home full time.

I am not really looking forward to my last day with my company though. I am still feeling really sad about not coming back here. This building has been my home for the last almost 11 years and not to come here just doesn't feel right. I will miss all my co-workers so much and having some adult interaction and a way to use my brain a little bit each day. There is a lot about my job that I love and I will miss it terribly.

I do feel like this is for the best and I am ready to be open to the changes that life will bring, but it doesn't mean that change isn't hard. I just keep thinking forward to the morning when Smug-Baby comes into the bedroom and climbs into the bed and cuddles up to me and doesn't have to ask "mama work?" anymore.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Smug-Baby has been doing this hitting thing and I don't know what to do about it. She isn't angry or frustrated, just more excited and sometimes not even that, she is just sitting there and all of a sudden will smack me in the face.

I smacked her back once very lightly, but she still cried. I kissed her face and told her that people are not for hitting and she didn't like it when mommy hit her and mommy doesn't like it when she gets hit either. I thought she got it, but about 10 minutes later she smacked me in the face again. This time, I pretended to cry, covering my boo-boo with my hand, crying, asking for kisses and asking why she hit her mama when people are not for hitting. She seemed to take pause with that and even get a little upset on my behalf, but didn't comfort me and kiss me or anything.

I have used that approach the few other times since when she has hit me, and while she doesn't seem to be increasing the frequency of the hitting, it doesn't seem to really be stopping it either. Maybe it just takes some time... I don't know.

I could kind of understand hitting if she was frustrated and feeling like she wasn't able to express herself or get her point across. Sometimes she has snacked Smug-Hub when he has gotten up in her face for kisses or to tickle her and she isn't in the mood and I that I can kind of understand too. Not to say that in those situations it's OK for her to hit, just that I understand where the behavior is coming from and feel more confident on how to deal with it. This hitting while playing or just reading a book or watching TV doesn't seem to have a trigger and I am not sure of the best way to proceed with helping her learn that it isn't OK.

I find that I hit Smug-Hub a lot too and I need to work on that behavior in myself. I play smack him all the time. I whack him on the arm if he isn't paying attention when I'm talking or arguing with me about something dumb. I wonder if Smug-Baby is seeing that as playful and just acting it out in her own way. Regardless, I need to stop hitting my husband :)

Not sure what to do, keep on keeping on I guess...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

GCB - Review

There is a new show on ABC called GCB, which I think stands for Good Christian Bitches, but I'm not for sure on that.

I thought it looked like it might be funny and I read that it was made by the same people who put together Sex and the City, so I wanted to give it a chance.

We are several episodes into the series now and I have to say that I have mixed feelings about it!

The show is about Amanda, who has recently lost her husband (who died in a car accident while making an attempt to flee as the authorities were about to arrest him for fraud. Also in the car is Amanda's best friend who causes the accident by trying to "entertain" the man while he was driving). The Marshall's seize everything and Amanda is left with no options except moving home to Dallas and in with her mother. She seems to have left Texas with her high school boyfriend (the now dead husband) when she got pregnant as a teenager and hasn't seen her mother since. Amanda was apparently a horrible, mean bitch in high school and everyone in Dallas is still holding a major grudge.

There is Cricket, who is in a happy marriage with her gay husband. They have a deep friendship and a great partnership. Cricket hates Amanda for stealing a high school boyfriend (again, the now dead husband) and even though she is happy and successful now, is holding on to all the past hate.

There is Sharon who is a slightly overweight (normal to you and I, overweight to everyone else on the show) housewife, who is stagnating in her life. Always trying to please everyone all the time. I think she hates Amanda because everyone else does and she needs to belong and be friends with these women.

There is Heather who is still single and comes around to see that Amanda is not the same person she was in high school pretty quickly. She is also the butt of jokes and ridicule from the other women because she has yet to "find a man she can hold on to."

Lastly, there is Carlene, played by Kristin Chenoweth who I started loving when she was on Glee. She has an amazing voice and was the main reason this show caught my eye. Carlene is Christian is all the ways that give Christan's a bad name. She quotes scripture at every turn to prove that her mean, vindictive, hateful behavior is fully justifiable. She was the butt of many of Amanda's pranks in high school, but is now happily married, rich and, thanks to plastic surgery, beautiful. But, again, hates Amanda with passion.

These women are heavily involved in the church, much to the pastor's dismay and often run off on tangents that don't follow any real christian principles. They are insecure despite their beauty, wealth, happy marriages, children and careers.

So what do I think of this show?

Good: It's funny! There are some laugh out loud scenes and some chuckle scenes and overall I enjoy watching it.

Bad: There doesn't seem to be any overarching plot. Each episode is fairly self contained. There is the theme that everyone seems to dislike Amanda, but other than that... It also seems to be more about making fun of Texas and these women than anything else. While funny, I can't imagine this is a fair representation of people living in Dallas. However, I have never been to Texas, so I guess I could be wrong on that. I would be interested to know what people living in Dallas think of the show. I also have a feeling that Christan's will take offense to the representation of their "people" in this unflattering light, but I personally think its great to highlight some of the hypocritical behavior that people often do using their religion to hide behind.

Perhaps that is the point of this show. To bring our attention to the ways in which we judge and hold grudges and hurt people all while thinking that we are being true to our faith. That phrase "what would Jesus do?" is something that I think more people, myself included, need to think before they act or speak more often!

I can't really make up my mind about this show. On the one hand, it is enjoyable and funny but I keep looking for the deeper plot. The dead husband to resurface. One of the husband's to pursue Amanda. Something!! Perhaps that will come later, but right now it just is what it is... Christan's being horrible to each other...