Friday, March 30, 2012

Food Issues

My sweet and happy Smug-Baby is starting to be more and more picky about what she eats and I am starting to think about how to get her to eat more of the food items that I think she should be eating and less of the foods that she likes best but don't carry much nutritional punch.

She loves cream of wheat, crackers with peanut butter, dried apples and potatoes. These are things that she will eat over and over. She also likes pancakes and eggs and will eat most of the items on the Indian food buffet (which I love because that food is full of beans and veggies - things she won't eat at home). The problem is that she used to eat everything, if I gave her little pieces of green pepper she would eat them up and ask for more! The same with cucumbers, veggie burgers, corn on the cob and everything else! Now IF she will try something, she spits it out more often than not.

She doesn't often get things like cookies (she currently thinks that the granola I made is cookies and that is totally fine with me) or goldfish or other "snack" foods from a box and we make sure that she sits with us at the table for dinner and has her own plate of whatever Smug-Hub and I are eating. We don't discourage her from having bites of food from our plates since we are all eating the same thing, however if she doesn't like the look of it she won't even try it and once she tries and decides she doesn't like it, it's over and she won't try it again.

I have been giving some thought to ways to help her eat more completely and I really like the idea of sneaking foods into other dishes that she already likes to help boost her nutritional intake, but I am kind of feeling lost about how to go about it. I read in Kiwi today about pureeing spinach and adding it to scrambled eggs and since Smug-Baby loves eggs, this might be a good trick to get her to eat some green veggies.

I have Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook, and I need to pull it out and see about adapting some of the recipes. She has a new book out too that I may want to try to get and see if I can get some more ideas. I think that as Smug-Baby gets older I can entice her with food displayed in fun ways like Mama Pea did in this post, but for now she is more focused on eating whatever food it is that she is craving at the moment and not interested in much else. Once she decides something is yucky, she remembers that it was yucky and for the most part will not give it another chance, so I want to be careful about how I go about sneaking more veggies into her diet. I am thinking about things like adding a squash puree into pancake batter and adding blueberries to double the punch or putting veggie purees into pasta sauce and stuff like that, but there is another issue to consider.

If I always sneak her veggies into her food, will she ever learn to like veggies on their own? I remember seeing an interview with someone famous (of course now I can't remember who) who said that she hid the nutritious foods in her kids meals, but always had a side of veggies that she encouraged them to try. This way, even if she wasn't able to get them to eat the veggies, they were still eating some without knowing about it and yet knew that veggies were going to be part of every meal. Again, I am just not sure Smug-Baby is old enough try that with and frankly, I don't have the money to serve veggies that are going to be thrown onto the floor!!

I guess, bottom line is that I need to start finding ways to get more veggies into her diet and take it day by day, week by week as to how to proceed with trying to get her interested in eating some of these wonderful foods in their natural form. If anyone out there has any great tips or tricks, please pass them along!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Someone posted an article about mothers helping other mothers get over their fears about childbirth. It was an interesting article but one I am not really able to relate to. I have never had any fear of childbirth in and of itself. I have no fear that my baby or my body will not be up to the task of giving birth. I know that my body was designed with giving birth in mind and that my body knows what it is doing even if I do not.

When I went into labor with Smug-Baby, there wasn't, at any point during the labor or delivery, where I felt fear. I felt the intensity of the contractions, I felt excitement that I was going to meet my daughter finally, I felt fully in the moment of working though the contractions, but no fear. I had perfect faith in my body's ability and it never wavered. I never looked at my husband and said (or thought) that I wasn't up to the task.

I feel the exact same way about Little-Smug's birth, I am not afraid that I will fail at this, because my body knows what to do and all I have to do is turn everything over to my body and let it happen. Granted, I know that letting go of the control doesn't sound like something I would be able to do since I am not able to do it much in other areas of my life, but in this case it wasn't and isn't an issue.

However, while I have no fear of the pain of childbirth, the contractions, the pushing, I do have fears of a different sort all together.

When Smug-Baby was born, she never showed any distress on the monitors, never were the hospital staff expressing concern. Yet, when she was born, she wasn't responding. She had gunk in her lungs and her blood pH was out of whack. In my heart of hearts, I believe that both these problems resulted from the doctor choosing to cut the cord from around her neck rather than unwrap it. This had the effect of cutting off her oxygen supply which may have caused her to try to breathe before she was ready and inhale the meconium. It may have also caused her blood to have issues since she no longer had her life support system. The added issues were that they ripped the placenta from my body since the cord was already cut and I started to bleed out. All these issues may have been avoided had the cord been allowed to stay intact.

As I prepare for my labor and delivery with Little-Smug, I go over and over what happened with Smug-Baby and think about all the ways I can help ensure that this birth doesn't have the same issues. I have surrounded myself with a highly skilled midwife who will act as Doula and help guide Smug-Hub and I during the labor. She is well aware of my fear that the doctor will start to do something that is against what we want and will be able to step in and help Smug-Hub and I make sure that our wishes are followed.

Smug-Hub and I have had a thousand conversations about my fears (reasonable or unreasonable) and he knows to look to our Doula for guidance in making decisions while I am deep in labor land and not able to think clearly.

I have spoken with my doctor's office regarding my fears, although they don't seemed concerned and since there is little chance that they will be involved in my delivery...

We are working on a typed up list of birth preferences for the doctors and nurses who will be attending us during the labor. This will include things like not taking the baby away from me, no eye drops and breastfeeding only as well as delaying the cutting of the cord and other birth desires. Our Doula has said that she can try to have a conversation (or help Smug-Hub to have a conversation) with the doctor on call about my fears so that everyone involved can tread lightly and I can feel safe.

They still creep in though, those little day dreams of being violated in some way, having my fears and desires ignored and having another traumatic ordeal. I think about what I will say if the doctor is an asshole and really I am totally fine leaving the hospital and giving birth in the parking lot if he or she isn't willing to work WITH me.

I am a controlling person, I like and need control and yet when it comes to labor, you have to let go and let it happen and you have to be in a place and with people who make you feel safe. You have to give up control and my fear has to do with being in a place of no control and having things done to me against my wishes. We seem to have this idea that nurses and doctors do things in the heat of the moment to help save lives and that their ends justify the means. However I will be giving birth, not dying, I am not suffering from an illness, I am having a baby and I don't want people doing things to me all willy nilly!! I am the customer, I am the one paying for their services and I want to give consent!!

You know something? Even though things with Smug-Baby went downhill during the last few seconds of her birth and the following two weeks before we got her home were horrible, I consider myself as having had a positive labor and birth experience. This is because my body and my baby worked together just has God intended and I handled labor without issue. The hospital screwed up - not me! So, I will go into this new labor and birth experience with the same faith in my body and with all my layers of protection and I will work to have faith that this birth will be different.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Day

As you know I have been working on organizing various areas of my house, cleaning things out and making sure all that misc. clutter finds a home. Well, today I finished in the kitchen! This means two things: First, that the largest project in the upstairs is complete now and second, I only have the bathroom drawers to finish tomorrow and then everything I wanted to do upstairs is finished. I actually think that I may be able to finish the downstairs over Thursday and Friday too and then all these little clutter projects will be complete and I will only need to work to maintain. I am really pleased with the progress I have been making!

I even made a salad, corn chowder and granola today too so I feel really productive! I still have some phone calls and e-mails that I need to get caught up on but that isn't going to happen today. Smug-Baby has been as patient with my working as she is going to be and now it is time to get down on the floor and play with dolls and bears and read some books.

Tomorrow is the Spring Party at the library so I think that I will take her there and try to wear her out before nap time and while she is sleeping, I'll knock out those bathroom drawers and work on a diaper or two (I am still trying to refresh all my cloth diapers before Little-Smug arrives and it is a really slow process).

The salad and chowder turned out well and the granola is tasty, however I intended them to be granola bars and they are not staying together at all, so it may be more like trail mix granola instead. I got a craving while I was cleaning out the pantry and re-discovered all these nuts and seeds and things like coconut, wheat germ, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews and pecans. I also used up the dates and apricots that I had on hand, and the result is really good. Smug-Baby likes it too!

I sometimes dream about the days when I am not getting up so early to go to work and the routines with the new baby and Smug-Baby have settled into a rythem and I can spend time baking bread and trying new recipes. I remember making granola with my mom along with bagels and donuts and everything else under the sun. I have actually made my own bagels before and they were really good, and since I normally have everything I need to make them, it will be cheaper than buying them. I love being in the kitchen and I want to get back to that someday. I have no illiusions that it will really be anytime soon, but with not working on my horizon I feel like I may actually do it someday!

I got several of the ingrediants for making my own household cleaners in the mail today and I am looking forward to making up some batches of stuff and seeing how they work. I still have some of the conventional stuff, but I think that I would really like to give it away or sell it or something. As I have read more and more about the reasons to make your own, I am feeling aprehensive about continuing to use all these chemicals and I would really just like to get them out of the house and away from Smug-Baby's increasingly dextarious fingers!! I certainlly don't need to be inhaling them either!! I don't really want to throw them away, but maybe I can find someone who would like them...

My boy is kicking me and Elmo is over, so I am going to go drink a big glass of water and lay on the floor while my child climbs me :) Have a nice evening everyone!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Jumping Bean

This little man is so much more active than Smug-Baby ever was. I am worried that he will leap from my womb and never stop running around!!! :)

He tends to get very active at night when I am laying down. He appears to love kicking (punching?) his sister when she is pressed up against my belly falling asleep. It doesn't seem to keep her awake, so I am not worried about it, however I do wonder if he is just getting a head start on the sibling rivalry or just likes being close to her and can only show it with kicking.

He seems to totally stop moving whenever I call Smug-Hub over to watch or feel this little man's acrobatic routine. I wonder if this means that he is being still listening for his papa or if he doesn't want daddy to get an idea of just how active he is going be.

I am getting so excited about meeting him and I can hardly wait to see what he looks like and kiss his little face. Things are so different this time around, somehow its like knowing what Smug-Baby is and how we feel about her, makes this little guy feel so much more real. I know that this is really odd for me to say since until recently I kept forgetting I was pregnant and was worried because I wasn't feeling the bond with this baby. We have been back and forth over his name whereas with Smug-Baby we knew her name before we even conceived.

I have had a hard time picking out clothes for him or even working to prepare space for his things, like his arrival isn't imminent, then all of a sudden I connected and now I can't stop thinking about him and rubbing my belly and talking to him and thinking about all that I should do before he arrives!

I know that I have plenty of time left (11 weeks or so) and I don't have that much to do, but I am already feeling that nesting urgency to mark things off the to do list and pack the hospital bag. I know I am on the OCD side of things, and I was the same way during the last trimester with Smug-Baby, but it makes me happy to have connected and be feeling really strongly about this baby because I didn't for so much of this pregnancy.

What will he be like? Will he take to nursing as well as Smug-Baby did? Will he like the sleepy wrap as much as she did? Will he hate baths in the beginning like she did? How will they be similar? How will they be different? I know that every child is different and I am not expecting that he will behave the same way Smug-Baby has, however his arrival isn't quite as daunting to think about having been there before. Wait, maybe it is actually more daunting having been there before...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Finding Balance

One of the principles of attachment theory that I really like and yet struggle with is that we should be treating our children with respect. I feel strongly that my children are not little aliens but rather future adults with nerve endings, feelings, thoughts, opinions and the like. To this end, I really try to be as truthful and open with Smug-Baby as is possible. I really try to give her explanations about why she should be doing this, or more likely, why she shouldn't be doing that. However, detailed explanations to a two-year old aren't always going to work!

When she is calm and focused on me I can explain things to her and I can see her mind taking in the words and understanding a lot of what I say. However, when she is really focused on doing whatever it is that she wants to do and frustrated with me for not allowing her access to whatever it is, she doesn't take any of my words to heart (at least on the surface as in my words have no effect on her actions at the moment) and she just struggles against me.

In these moments when she is playing with, say, a light socket, I have to react by physically removing her from the danger, that is my instinct and the immediate need to keep her from being shocked overrules my desire to make her understand why she shouldn't play with light socket. The issue is then she is very upset at having her little self moved without her permission and she feels overpowered, helpless and frustrated, so she isn't able to focus on my words explaining that the light socket can give her a boo-boo or that the light socket isn't for touching. She is too upset by my overruling of her to take in any of it.

Now, when we are playing or reading, it is the perfect time to explain to her things because she is open and receptive to new information, however it makes absolutely no sense to her to try to explain why she shouldn't touch the light socket when there is no light socket in view and nothing to help her even see the appeal of touching the light socket. It has no impact.

I have come to this conclusion and will be trying to implement this as much as possible going forward, without feeling guilty for times when it doesn't work. I will not let her play with a light socket or anything else dangerous while I attempt to explain why she shouldn't play with said item, I will physically remove her from the situation and while I am calming her frustration I will try to say words and use a tone that can convey to her that I understand her frustration and I love her and I am sorry and I understand how she feels. Once she is calmer I will try to explain why the situation was dangerous and why she can't play/do whatever it was. I can only hope that my words will sink in and have an effect on her, so that the next time she plays with the light socket, my saying "not for touching" will result in her remembering that I had to move her last time and remember some of my explanation.

I don't want to be one of those parents (we have all seen them) who let their children run over them. They never listen, they are rude and rowdy and have no respect for other people's things. They do what they want and the parents have no control and everyone feels awkward. Just as badly though, I don't want to be one of these parents (we have seen these guys too) who treat their children like little adults who are expected to be polite all the time and have an adults comprehension of situations and know how they should behave. These children stand against walls and mumble insincere "I'm Sorry's" and we all feel uncomfortable.

I want to find a balance between these two all or nothing parenting styles (and yes, I know that most families fall somewhere in the middle) I want to raise a child who says that they are sorry because they actually feel sorry about what they may have done. I want to raise a child who says please because they hear their parents and other people saying please, not because we withhold a bite of cake until they say it! I want my daughter to respect me and other adults and listen when I tell her not to do something, but I want her to know that I am not being arbitrary about it and that there is a reason and know that it will be explained to her.

I want her to feel loved and respected and I want to show her how to treat others and how others should (and shouldn't) treat her. I want her to know that it isn't OK for a boyfriend to belittle her, so why would it be OK for me to treat her disrespectfully? We wonder why there are women out there who go back to abusive husbands, or stay with a boyfriend who lies and cheats. Well... Maybe it started when their parents taught them it was OK.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Holding Hands

My daughter doesn't like to hold my hand. She wishes to be free to go where she wants, when she wants and decide how fast or slow she gets there. This is very troubling to a mother because I need her not to decide she wants to go into the middle of a busy street!! So, Smug-Baby often gets a choice, she can be carried or she can walk holding my hand. 99% of the time, she chooses to hold my hand, but she very often tries to press her luck and pull away and we have to repeat her choices again.

Why does she do this? Most children I have seen tend to stick close to their mother's when in an unfamiliar place or situation and get very concerned when they lose sight of their mother or see strangers approaching.  Why does my child feel totally comfortable letting go of me and exploring?

Well, because she knows that I am always right there and she always feels safe and secure. She is confident that her needs will be met and so she feels free letting go and trying new things and testing the boundaries. This is the way I want her to be in her life. I want her to feel out her world and seek new experiences rather than me forcing her into playing with new kids or going into a new room or getting into the swimming pool. I want her to feel safe trying new things and know that I will always be there to give her a little boost if she needs it.

This is the basis behind attachment parenting. The theory is that if you meet your baby's needs when they are just hours old and continue to meet their needs as much as you possibly can throughout their babyhood, you create a child who feels safe and loved and secure and is ready and able to take on the world.

As I read more and more about parenting philosophy and the misconceptions about attachment parents, I find that there are some who feel like attachment parents either never discipline their children and let them run free and run amuck all over everyone or they keep their children so close all the time that the children never learn to leave the nest.

My own personal experiences with attachment parenting are somewhat different. I was raised by an attachment parenting mother who kept us close and we did almost everything as a family. From housecleaning to rollerskating, from cooking to reading. Someone mentioned recently that I moved out of my mother's house as soon as it was legal for me to do so. They made this comment to illustrate that my mother was in some way smothering me or controlling me and I just had to get the hell out of there. This couldn't be further from reality, I moved out because I was ready. I had a job and could (barely) support myself and I was emotionally ready to move into being an adult. Of course, I wasn't perfect and made some mistakes and such with that first apartment and first roommate, but I was ready to try. I didn't leave my mother's home because she was driving me crazy, I left because it was time for me to find my wings.

Now, with my own child I am already seeing her finding her wings. She is fearless!! Just push her in the swing and watch as she flies through the air holding tightly to the ropes and then suddenly lets go for a few seconds to feel that adrenaline rush of not holding on and to test herself.

Her feeling comfortable enough with her world to let go of my hand and want to walk herself and not be led around also is a testament to her growing confidence, but that is not to say that I allow her to walk around without holding my hand. She has rules and she has to follow them, but I make sure to try to respect her growing self-confidence by giving her the choice. The choice is no skin off my nose! I just want her to stay safe, so I don't care if she is carried or if she walks while holding my hand. I make sure that I give her choices where the results of either choice still get me the outcome I am looking for:

Do you want mama to lift onto the changing table or would you like to climb up yourself?
Would you like to eat your yogurt sitting in the highchair or the booster seat?
Would you like to sit on the pink potty or mama's potty right now?

The results are the same, she gets onto the changing table, she eats her food, she uses the potty, but she feels some control over her life and her world at the same time. I am the parent and I know what needs to happen to keep her clean and safe and well-fed and she doesn't run all over me, throw tantrums to get her way or fail to listen to me (most of the time). I am in charge, but she is also a person with feelings and a need to be important too and it is my job to make sure that she grows up knowing that she can fly!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Getting There

I am ready to start making my own cleaning products and I ordered some of the items that I need from and I will get the rest locally. By next week I should have everything I need to start putting some of these recipes together and start cleaning my home in a cheaper, non-toxic way.

I am really excited to put some of these homemade cleaning products to the test and I am getting excited about cleaning!! That is odd isn't it? Excited about cleaning?Who does that?

I spent more time today working on the various projects around the house, but I didn't get much really completed. I have been having more round ligament pain and spent a lot of they day on the couch in pain. Those bastard ligaments suck!! Smug-Hub got home and has taken Smug-Baby to the park to give me a break. I took a hot shower and did some of the yoga stretches that my teacher showed me and I feel slightly better. Of course, it is hard to tell if I feel better from the yoga or because a two-year old isn't climbing all over me!!

I still need to work on the kitchen (cleaning off the top of the fridge and pantry cabinet and organizing the bulk food items) and organize the bathroom drawers, but then the projects upstairs will be complete. I have just been kind of dumping stuff downstairs thinking that once I get to that room I will do all the cleaning and organizing there at one time. It looks horrible at the moment, but with the upstairs looking better I feel like I can handle it.

I made a list of the items I want to take to the hospital for the birth and a list of food items to make and freeze. I also worked on the birth preferences document and made a few phone calls. I am excited to report that I have a massage scheduled for the end of the month and a facial for the first weekend in April!! I am really looking forward to those! I still have other calls to make, but at least I made a dent!

Tomorrow afternoon there is a child safety seat installation at the local fire station, so I will get Little-Smug's car seat installed. I also hope to get the upstairs finished tomorrow, but I will have to see if this pain goes away first!

I think that maybe I am entering third trimester land. You know that place where you start to no longer have all the energy for the stuff that suddenly is really important to get done before the baby comes!!

OK, I only have a small window of non-child time, so I am going to go watch something on TV that Smug-Baby isn't allowed to watch and rest these frickin' ligaments before I become a jungle-gym again!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don't Try, Do!!

In getting myself prepared for having an infant again, I have been thinking a lot of nursing. I have a friend who struggled in the beginning with breastfeeding with both her children, but never considered giving up and after the rough start, found that it became easier.

I never struggled with nursing Smug-Baby, not really. I was very worried about it in the beginning because she was two weeks old before I got her home and was able to really work at establishing nursing and then she was a sleepy baby (my how times have changed) and would only nurse a few minutes before going back to sleep.

I had rough patches, like a breast infection and some engorgement in the very early days and another breast infection caused by a plugged duct a few months in and a bout of thrush, but really that was the extent of my issues. I am grateful that I didn't have major supply problems or a string of infections or thrush I couldn't get rid of and I have high hopes that my nursing experience with Little-Smug will be just as wonderful and I will love it as much as I did with Smug-Baby.

However, I do know that it isn't easy for many women. I am very lucky to have 24/7 support for nursing from my mother, who is a retired lactation consultant. I was also not shy about asking for help when it came to the issues I did experience. I called mom in the middle of the night, I called the LC's at the hospital for a second opinion, I called my doula and my friend who is a midwife. They all have their areas of strength and I wanted all the thoughts, opinions and options anyone and everyone with knowledge could think of so I would have the best chance of hitting upon something that worked.

I hear women all the time say that they would like to "try" breastfeeding, like there is an option (I do know that there is a <1% chance that a woman will be unable to nurse due to a very uncommon birth defect that causes her milk ducts not to have developed, but since that is extremely rare I am not dealing with it in this post). In my mind, there was never an option to give Smug-Baby formula. If you were stranded on a dessert island, you would find a way to feed your baby without formula and that was the approach I took toward breastfeeding. It was the ONLY option and so I needed to make sure that it worked and worked well!

I would encourage pregnant women to stop thinking about "trying" and start thinking about "doing". We don't try to take our prenatal vitamins, we do it because we know that it is important for our baby's development. We don't try to stay away from tuna, we don't eat it because we know the high concentrations of mercury can harm our growing baby! Why then would we "try" to feed our baby the very best, most complete, totally perfect food possible??

If you commit to something fully, like becoming a vegetarian, running a marathon, or getting an advanced degree, you would research completely what you are getting ready to undertake. You would set up your support system and have as much knowledge and support at your fingertips as possible before you start. You certainly wouldn't just show up to run a 10K after sitting on the couch for the last 5 years, you would start by talking to others who run, you would maybe meet up with a trainer or a running support group who could help you set up a plan for success.

Nursing is the same way, you commit to it and then you set up your support system. You go to LLL meetings, you set up a consultation with the LC's on staff at the hospital where you will deliver, when in labor your birth plan tells the nurses helping you to set up a consult with the LC as soon as the baby is born, you call the LC's and LLL leaders for help and support as soon as you get home to help catch issues before they become huge and you lean on other nursing mothers that you know for support!! Success in breastfeeding is like success in anything else. It is a mindset of failure not being an option and getting yourself the help you need as soon as you need it!!

Don't try breastfeeding, do it!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Son

I am starting to really get excited about meeting my son in a few months. I think that realizing that I have begun the third trimester really served to wake me up about this pregnancy. I have spent most of this pregnancy thinking about Smug-Baby and living my life and in the back of my mind was the only place left for this little man. I have been busy and overwhelmed with the basics of life and have had trouble connecting with this baby from the start.

When I started my weekly yoga classes it helped to give me some focused time to think just about this baby, but that was about it. An hour every week to think about this little life growing inside me!

But now he is moving around a lot more and making his presence known! I am feeling more and more pregnant and large and huge and tired and all that stuff now, but I am also thinking about him more and more. I am imagining his birth, his first few days of life, nursing him and holding him and looking into his eyes. That is one of my most treasured things in my life - looking into Smug-Baby's eyes. Connecting with her and focused totally on her. I have done it since I first held her and I do it every day now. I want to connect with her soul to soul and looking into her eyes seems to do that. Just smiling at each other makes me feel totally connected to her and I am looking forward to forging that connection with my new Little-Smug!

I have made a list of all the stuff around the house that I want to get done before he arrives and made a small dent in it today and have high hopes for tomorrow. I think that if I can knock out two small things each day, I can have the list completed by the end of the weekend. Then I need to focus on the last few things that I want to do, like putting food in the freezer, baking cookies for my nurses and packing the hospital bag. I am getting ready and I am looking so forward to being his mom and I am so excited to see what Smug-Baby thinks of him!

June better hurry up and get here, this mama is getting excited!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Slowing Down

I can feel it slowly happening. I am getting bigger. I am more tired. I am moving slower and getting less done with more discomfort. It must be the third trimester!! While I am really happy that June is fast approaching and I will soon meet my son face to face, it is hard to see all these things that I want to get accomplished before his arrival and not have the energy or will power to make myself do them. None of the projects are huge in and of themselves and doing one each day is really not outside my ability, and yet I find days passing with nothing getting done. I feel like I am settling somehow. I am doing what I have to do during the day, but mostly I just want to be reading and sitting on the couch with Smug-Baby and not doing much at all.

This weekend was lovely and Smug-Hub and I worked together to get the house cleaned (finally, its been like weeks and weeks!!) and grocery shop. I would like to keep the momentum going and try to get a few small things done tomorrow (Monday) to get started on these projects! I have a feeling that as these last 12 weeks (or so) pass, I feel up to doing even less, so it's kind of now or never!

I mentioned this lethargic feeling to my yoga teacher at Friday's class and she said that Mercury is in retro-grade and that is making everyone feel overwhelmed and lethargic. Good to know there is a logical reason :) I heave heard other people taking about feeling like time as sped up and days are shorter and hours are shorter so maybe there is something to it.

I want to do the following this week:
1) install the new baby's car seat
2) clean up the downstairs room (again)
3) finish the laundry
4) clean off the tops of the fridge and cabinets in the kitchen
5) organize Smug-Baby's white shelf
6) make batches of most used household cleaners for use in the coming weeks
7) make appointments for body treatments that I have gift cards for (why in the world would someone put that off?!?!?)
8) pack up most of the long-sleeved maternity clothes (and sweaters and other really heavy stuff)
9) make up a grocery list for the items I need to make the freezer meals
10) take a load of junk from the garage to the dump

That's not that big of a list and two items per day will finish it before the weekend!! Monday will tackle the laundry and the downstairs room and I will get things done!! I will keep on a schedule!! Unless I get too tired of course...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Greening Up

As the end of my employment draws ever closer I am constantly looking for ways to cut our spending. The plan is to try to refinance the car with a chunk of my 401(k) and use the rest to work on settlement deals with our credit card companies to pay off those. I will also apply for and use unemployment for as long as possible and apply for WIC and food stamps if we quality. We are hoping to tread water until after Little-Smug is born and I have my recovery period. Once the summer is over, my hope is to watch a few children after school to bring in the money we need to cover our monthly expenses.

With this possible plan in place (yes, I know there are a lot of "ifs" to fall into place, but I believe that my plans are doable), my attention is turning to other ways to cut the amount of funds we spend each month. If the car payment were lower and the credit card payments gone, that will be wonderful, but why spend money on something that we don't need to?

My mom is going to be giving us a portion of her CSA order each week throughout the summer, so we will have lots of fresh fruit and veggies without having to purchase them at the regular grocery store. However, I have a lot of concerns about not being able to consume everything before it goes bad, so I have been thinking about ways to preserve food items for use later. I think that I need to get some books on canning and preserving from the library and learn about the best way to can and freeze items so we don't waste anything!!

I am also increasingly interested in making my own household cleaners and laundry detergent. I have read that it is pretty simple and can save tons of money! I have ordered some books from the library and printed some "recipes" online and I would like to give some of these homemade items a try. I have reservations on this because I am not interested in adding a whole lot of work to my life and if making these cleaning products takes a lot of energy and/or don't clean as well as a conventional cleaner, I may be tempted to switch back, however there is another side to this make your own thing.

The environment! All these cleaners currently residing in my home are toxic to my family if ingested and toxic to the earth just by being manufactured not to even mention as I rinse them down our drain!! I have wanted to be more "green" but not to the extent that it makes my life so hard that it isn't worth it. That is the biggest reason that I haven't given much thought to some of this stuff in the past. I am busy and stressed and I don't want to spend 30 minutes scrubbing the tub when the scrubbing bubbles will do most of the work for me. Again, though I am no longer going to be getting up at 4am to go to work and then rushing around all day trying to get everything else done. My life will be simpler even with the addition of a second baby.

Now, don't get me wrong! I know that adjusting to having two children to care for is going to take some time and I don't have any illusions that just because I am home full time that it will be easy, but adjust I will and find a new normal I will and that new normal needs to include all of those things that I dreamed I would do if I were a stay-at-home mom!!

I want to clean with natural cleaning products, I want to compost, I want to have a small garden and I really like Smug-Hub's idea of having our own chickens as a lot of people are doing more and more. I want to bake bread and make my own granola. I want to spend my days teaching my children by example how to live with this earth, sharing its resources rather than taking and taking and taking.

I think that my pre-conceived notions about living more green were perhaps off a bit. I had this idea that to live green, one had to be free of all chemical products, go without deodorant, pee outside and so on. As I have become more educated in my "old" age, I find that nothing in life has to be all or nothing and I can be more green and reduce my family's impact on the environment without going whole hog and living a life that I am not comfortable with.

I started with recycling a number of years ago and now it is second nature to me. I am going to start making and using my own natural cleaning products and soon that will become second nature too. Then I will add something else to help green up our lives and I have a feeling that with every step my family takes in this greener direction, the better we will feel about taking the next step!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Smug-Hub and I took Smug-Baby to the park this evening. It was about 80 degrees out during the day and the park was full of parents and their running, playing, laughing children. Smug-Baby had a blast!! She ran around with the big kids and for the most part they allowed her to be part of their reindeer games. She climbed up and down every area of the playground, no fear, preferring to attempt to do things herself before reaching for one of our hands to help her.

She is so adventurous! She wanted to try everything the bigger kids were doing and we did our best to help her do just that. One little boy even took her hand and helped her get settled and sliding on the biggest slide and another girl slid down the slide with Smug-Baby on her lap. I was really pleased to see that none of these kids was so focused on their own play that they pushed her over or knocked her down. I was also pleased to see that they were not irritated by her lack of skill or speed and helped her rather than pushing past her.

After a time, I rested and let Smug-Hub take over playing with her and the other kids for a while. I sat on a bench and watched the play unfolding and how most of these kids played so well together and were helpful with my little one. I also watched the other parents, taking to each other and yelling the occasional encouragement to their little ones.

Then, suddenly someone was crying, yelling to her mother that another girl had hit her. The mother walked over to assess the situation and because both girls were intent of getting their side across, I could hear every word. The crying little one said that her big sister had hit her. The big sister defended her decision to hit her little sister by saying that little sister had hit her first. Little sister responded that this was true, but big sister had hit her really hard. I couldn't hear the mother's replies, but I imagine it had something to do with hitting never being OK and there was never a good reason for hitting and within moments the girls had run off together, once again playing happily.

Another incident involved a boy pushing another boy down the slide. They probably would have worked it out among themselves, however the mother of the pushed boy witnessed what happened and stood yelling to the other boy's mother "You kidding me? Get your kid away from my son!!!" The pushed boy began to cry and yell that he was hurt from the other boy pushing him and his mother ran to his side glaring at the boy who did the pushing and his mother all the while. The mother of the boy who pushed, asked her son to say that he was sorry, but he was tight-lipped (probably from fear as the other mother was kind of scary what with all the running over and yelling). It was over as quickly as it started and the boys played on opposite sides of the playground for a while before once again mingling with everyone.

All this got me thinking about parenting styles and how our children learn to feed off of what we as their parents put out there. As I said, most of the children were playing together wonderfully well and including this much smaller person (Smug-Baby) without prompting by us or their own parents. This tells me that somewhere in their lives they have been taught to help care for people smaller than themselves and to help those who are unable to do for themselves. Perhaps they learned this by being part of a larger family of brothers and sisters, or part of a closer extended family of cousins. Perhaps this was conscious lesson by their parents.

The women who's daughter's were hitting each other, never raised her voice, never smacked one or the other of the girls and didn't appear to force them to play together. She addressed their concerns/issues in a way that diffused the situation and allowed the girls to go on playing together.

The mother who yelled as soon as her son was involved in a situation seemed (in my opinion) to make the situation worse. She startled both boys and the other mother and jumped into the middle of what could have been nothing serious and the boys could have, perhaps, worked out for themselves.

There isn't anything really wrong with stepping in to protect your child and God help any little kid who would have pushed Smug-Baby!! But there is something to be said to watching a situation unfold and see how your child handles themselves. Giving him/her a chance to work it out, deal with a bully, or whatever I would think would be a good thing. You can't always be there to watch out for your child and they should learn how to confront others. Now, of course, I am talking about these boys who were 7 or 8 years old and not an infant or even a two-year old for the most part.

As I think more and more about the kind of parent I want to be, I am focused on watching how others parent and what things they do that resonate with me. What techniques do I want to stick away in my memory to pull out later? How is someone treating their child that I want to be sure that I never do? Smug-Hub and I have a really huge responsibility to our children. God gave them to us, trusting us to do our very best and with that comes the realization that while following our instincts is our best parenting resource, we can't stumble along parenting without consciousness.We need to make sure that everything (OK most things) we do with regard to our children follows our own personal parenting philosophy.

I want to be a conscious parent connected to my children and making decisions to the best of my ability that honor them as people who have feelings and nerve endings, fears and hopes and dreams. I want to foster closeness that never fades as they get older. I want them to feel confident and strong in their lives. I want them to feel connected to the earth and all who live here. I want them to be conscious parents themselves one day. I hope that I am up to this great challenge! It is a big responsibility!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I have a headache. By headache I really mean that I feel horrible. I feel sick all over and am having a hard time functioning. If I didn't have a two-year old, I would be in bed with this headache. Migraine? Maybe.

In addition to the headache, I have this low back pain that makes going from sitting to standing really difficult  and painful, sometimes it almost knocks me off my feet when it "twinges". It gets better if I walk around and if I avoid getting up and down, but since potty training requires that I get up and down a lot, (not to mention that long walks, far away from a potty are impossible right now) I end up pretty much staying in pain. It was recommended that I try swimming, but not only do I not have easy access to a pool, what would I do with my child while I am swimming? I have some gift cards for massage, so I may try to schedule one of those soon and see if that helps.

Lastly on my list of current ailments, I have been having some night time leg cramping and it is causing my calves to ache throughout the day. I feel like I am limping along, in pain all day and there isn't anything I can do about it. I can't stop being a parent! There isn't anyone to take my girl for the day so I can just stay in bed and frankly I wouldn't really even want that. She is my responsibility and I love my time with her and I don't want to waste a moment of the one-on-one days we have left!

So where does that leave my complaining, whiny butt?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Monday was overall a really good day. I decided that skip Melody Makers thinking that since Smug-Baby had suffered a setback on Sunday it would do us good to spend more time at home concentrating on getting to the potty.

When we got home, I suggested that she try to use the potty and she did! She carried the pot to the toilet and emptied it, flushed and loudly waved bye-bye to the pee-pee's!! It was wonderful! About 15 minutes later, she peed on the floor :(

I took her pants off and just tried to suggest that she use the potty about every 30 minutes. This worked really well, because I have to pee about every 20-30 minutes anyway, so I would just tell her that I was going to try to get the pee-pee's out and she should too. Almost every time she would pee in the potty and we would repeat the flushing and waving procedure! It was wonderful!!

She did wet while she was napping and that was upsetting to us both as she has stayed dry during her naps before, but that was fine. We cleaned up and she peed a few more times on the potty. We went to visit my dad and step-mom (she just had hip replacement surgery) and twice Smug-Baby grabbed herself, said potty and was able to hold it until I got her upstairs to the bathroom and her pants and underwear pulled down. I was so proud!!

Once home, she did pee on the kitchen floor and didn't even tell me about it. I actually saw it later after she was off playing in the living room, so I don't know what that was about. She peed the rest of the evening in the potty, there were even a few times throughout the day when she went potty without my prompting her, so I think that she is really starting to get the concepts!

When daddy got home he asked her about going poopy and she said no, but while I was helping him wash dishes in the kitchen, in she comes carrying the pot full of pee and poop!!! She got a cookie on that one!!! Daddy was so pleased and her face just lights up with pride when we make a fuss over her!!

In the middle of the night, she woke twice. Smug-Hub took her both times, the second time he got me up as she had soaked through her diaper. He told me that when she woke the first time she had said "potty" but wasn't really awake enough for him to take her and he had just soothed her back to sleep. This is something I was thinking about, sometimes she is awake during the night, just her normal sleep issues, but we don't let her get out of bed, saying that she has to stay in bed until it is light out. We felt like this would keep her from waking up and wanting to go play and thus establishing a habit of night waking, but if she is waking because her bladder is telling her to go to the potty, how can we keep her from getting up and going? I guess it is just something that we will have to play with over time to see what works.

After we changed her diaper and put on clean PJ's, I just brought her into bed with us. It was already after 3 and I had to get up for work soon and really, I love having her in bed with us. I love the closeness and cuddles and I feel better leaving her in her daddy's arms rather than all alone across the hall. Especially since with his CPAP mask on, he can't hear her when she wakes.

Now, I am up and ready for work with a few moments to spare! I think that we will try story time today since it is shorter and the bathroom is in the same room where we meet and see how it goes. Wish us luck!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Potty Training Weekend

Friday - Day 1:
We started out the morning by bringing the potty into the kitchen and having Smug-Baby practice pulling her new big girl underwear up and down and sitting on the potty. Right away, I was concerned because the book says to keep the child sitting for a long period of time, like 15 minutes and I was lucky if Smug-Baby would sit on the potty for 15 seconds! Also, the books says to give her tons of fluids, but she would have a sip or two and refuse anything else. I tried full strength juice (normally we water it down for her) and drinking out of "mommy's" cup to entice her, but she wasn't really interested. I wanted her first pee to be in the potty, but alas, the first several were on the floor! The whole day, I got increasingly frustrated as she didn't want to sit on the potty and seemed not to realize that she needed to pee until she was already peeing!!

I was concerned that I had miss-interpreted her readiness and by the last afternoon, she was in tears when I made her sit on the potty and I had a bashed pinky toe (from trying to get her to the potty when a pee flow had started and slammed it into the door frame) and was sore from all the sitting on the floor and the getting up and down so much. I let her take a short nap (she had napped early and since Smug-Grandma was coming to watch her for my yoga class, I didn't want her to be cranky and tired) and when I woke her up, I held her close and sat her on the potty. Within a few moments, she had peed AND POOPED!!! I was so happy! Mom and I gave her cookies and clapped and danced around!! She was so pleased with herself too!! She was squealing and clapping and it was wonderful.

Mom told me that she peed in the potty two more times while I was at my yoga class and she had popped up and said "pee-pees" and ran to the potty both times like she had been doing it all her life! I was so happy! I knew that if she just got the concept of what she was supposed to do and had that "gotta go" feeling a few times she would have it down!

That night, I put her into a diaper for night time and she slept through the night (without waking once) from 10pm until almost 8am!

Saturday - Day 2:
I woke her up about 8am. Normally I would have let her sleep, but I wanted to try to catch the first morning's pee to start the day off on the right foot and I knew she had been asleep since 10 the night before!

I woke her up and cuddled her close and took her right into the bathroom.  I pulled off her PJ's and diaper and set her on the potty, all the while holding her close (just as I had done the afternoon before when I woke her from her nap). She cried a bit as she really wanted to go back to sleep, but as soon as I heard the pee hitting the potty, she perked up and as Smug-Hub and I clapped and danced around, she started to get excited!

The whole day was spent holding her on the couch and watch Shrek over and over and asking her to use the potty every few minutes. She spent some time just sitting on the potty watching the movie or reading books and I was able to straighten up the house and get laundry started. Smug-Hub was working all day, so it was really hard not to have any relief or help. I felt like if she wasn't sitting on the potty, then I couldn't take my eyes off her. She ended the day, with all put 2 pees in the potty and a poop in the potty as well!! I couldn't have been happier!! We followed the same diapering at night as the night before.

Sunday - Day 3:
She woke up at 1, 2:30 and 3:45. Finally at 3:45 I pulled her into bed with us. I was tired! Smug-Hub had fallen asleep without his mask and that kept waking me and after waking three more times with Smug-Baby I was beat! She never went back into a full deep sleep and kept crying out for me, reaching for me and cuddling close. I wonder if she somehow knows that most mornings I leave for work and she was feeling like since she had already had two mornings with me that I was probably going to leave her and she was feeling vulnerable. Regardless, we dozed and cuddled until about 8 (which felt like 7 due to daylight savings time) and then got up and tried going to the potty. She wasn't interested. I let her go naked and a few minutes later, she peed - on the floor. Then she peed on the floor again a few minutes later while I was trying to make her breakfast! It was like she totally forgot everything from the days before!!

Smug-Hub was in a terrible mood as he had hurt his back somehow (he says from sleeping  - what??) and was just totally no fun to be around. I made us all breakfast and tried to get Smug-Baby back on track. I needed to go to the consignment sale as it was the final day and everything was 75% off. I also really wanted to leave Smug-Hub in charge with her and let them work together on the potty training since he was gone for the first two days and he will be with her during the mornings. So off I went!

I found some amazing deals and left with more items than I could carry and spent $45!! I was stoked!! I picked up take out on the way home and when I got there for a potty report, Smug-Hub told me that she had peed three more times on the floor and once in her bed during her nap (she had stayed dry during her naps the previous days).

She seemed totally adverse to sitting on the potty and ended up peeing several more times all over the house. I would ask her to sit on the potty for a few minutes and she would refuse and just start peeing! It was like a total setback!! Smug-Hub was still in his lousy mood, saying that watching her closely was impossible and then turning his attention back to his phone or the TV. He laid on the couch with a heating pad and barked orders at us most of the afternoon - I could have stabbed him in the neck with a fork!!!

Finally, in the evening, she peed a few more times and had her poop in the potty. Once she even popped up from watching TV, said "pee-pees" and ran to the potty. Every time she pees successfully, she carries the potty bowl to the toilet, dumps it (God help you if you try to help her) and flushes, waving bye-bye to the pee-pee's! Its actually very cute! So, I know that she is getting it, but I worry about Smug-Hub's ability to focus totally on her when they are alone together. At one point, I asked him to keep an eye on her while I changed into my pajamas and she climbed onto the coffee table, squatted and peed. I came into the room to see her smacking the pee with her hands while he sat less than a foot away, reading something on his phone! Again with the fork stabbing!!! How could he not have heard her! Maybe not the pee hitting the table, but at least the sound of wet smacking should have alerted him to something being amiss!!!

It took over an hour to get her to sleep tonight and I pray for a nice night where CPAP machines are used and babies sleep peacefully for a few hours!! I have to go back to work and real life tomorrow and I need some sleep!! Remember, I didn't get a nap after last night's short sleep!!

Overall, I am pleased with her progress and I know that it is going to take some time and this time next week may be a totally different story!! I know that Smug-Hub's back will feel better and he will go back to being a good husband and father and I will no longer wish him dead. I know that Smug-Baby will get more and more pees into the potty and I will not have to watch her as closely. I know that it will all happen, but right now, I am exhausted!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Night Time Cuddles

I am finding myself struggling this morning with why I was so interested in getting Smug-Baby to sleep in her own room at night. I think that I was concerned that her night waking was caused by Smug-Hub coming to bed so late and waking her, or his CPAP machine waking her. I also think that I was feeling like having two babies in bed with us at night was going to be pushing it. However, as I lay with my sweet girl wrapped up in my arms this morning, I just couldn’t remember why any of those reasons were all that valid.

Last night, Smug-Baby went to sleep about 9:45 and fell asleep quite quickly. I went on to bed and Smug-Hub was up for a while longer. I woke to hear her crying about 1 and Smug-Hub going in to her room. I got up to pee, resisted the urge to go check on them and went back to bed. He was out of her room, with her sleeping within a few moments and we all went to sleep. She woke crying again about 3:30 and was on her way to our room when I met her in the hall and carried her into our bed. She nestled into the crook of arm, took my pinky finger in one hand and stuck her thumb of the other hand into her mouth and fell right back asleep.

I too went right back to sleep waking a few minutes before the alarm was to go off. I spent those few moments, kissing her head and smelling her hair. I squeezed her close and felt her snuggle more closely. She fits perfectly into the curve of my body, like she was made to fit there, like she was home. I thought about how I was her home for so long and how it is totally natural for her to feel safest when she is wrapped around me. Why am I banishing her to another room again??

I do want her to sleep soundly through the night and I do feel like Smug-Hub’s bedtime habits are disturbing to her and my need to pee all night is disturbing to her, but I am really not feeling overly concerned that she isn’t sleeping all night in her own space. I think that if she wants to come into our bed for a while as she gets used to her new space, then she should and I will try really hard to cherish the moments of sweet baby breathing and tight snuggles, because I have a feeling that all too soon I will be looking back with sadness that these times have past and she is more independent.

Why would anyone want their baby, and lets face it, two years old is still a baby, to be independent and not to need them anymore?? Maybe I am being an emotional pregnant woman but I am not ready for her to spend all night without me, or maybe I am not ready to spend my whole night without her…

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gaining Confidence

I am feeling much more ready to tackle potty training. I have been reading everything I can manage to get my hands on and we went shopping for big girl underpants! Smug-Baby picked out princesses and ponies. She actually wanted to get all of the different kinds, in all of the different sizes but we finally decided on princesses and ponies. We also picked out several packages of stickers and I have printed out a potty training chart and attached it to a sheet of cardboard. The plan for that is that she will get a sticker for each thing she does correctly (pull her pants down, sit on the potty, use the potty, pull her pants back up). I may just give her the stickers to play with as she seems to like that, but I want to have the chart on-hand if she responds to that.

In addition, we have been practicing pulling her pants down and back up. I want her to start getting the concepts even though she has a hard time getting her pants over the diaper at this point. We have also watched a couple of videos about going to the potty and I plan on playing those whenever she has TV time the rest of the week so she gets the point there too and she has potty thoughts in her head all day.

We have talked about how on Friday she won’t be wearing diapers anymore and on Friday she will be a big girl who uses the potty. I plan on continuing that talk and trying to get her excited for training day. I have juice on-hand and a loose plan of action for training day.

I was feeling really nervous about making this leap, but I feel a lot more prepared now and I am gaining some confidence in the process, her readiness and my ability to training her successfully.

Update on the sleeping situation: Smug-Baby is still napping her in own bed and own room without issue. She is sleeping about the same amount of time as she was when she was in our bed and when she was in her bed in our room. Night time is a bit harder. We decided last night to let her stay up until she showed true signs of being tired and I think she went down in about 6 minutes with Smug-Hub (he let me go on to sleep) about 10:30. The hope being that she would be more tired and ready for a longer sleep; I slept until 3am without interruption as Smug-Hub took care of her need until then (thank you, thank you, thank you!!). When he came to bed he said that she had been restless most of the night and not in a deep sleep, seeming to whimper and cry out as soon as he left the room all night. She cried out again about 3:45 and I laid with her for a while until she seemed back in a deep sleep. When I got up at 5 (deciding to skip a shower since I had showered the night before), she was still sleeping soundly. In an attempt to keep things really quiet, I took my stuff to the downstairs bathroom to get ready for work. I was dressed and just brushing my teeth when I heard her crying. By the time I got upstairs to her, she had gotten out of bed and turned on her bedroom light and was coming out of her room. I scooped her up but there was no way she was going back to sleep at that point.

Poor Smug-Hub had only been asleep about 2 hours when I had to wake him again to be with her while I left for work. Its days like this when being laid off sounds like a blessing!!

I wonder how much of this night-time restlessness has to do with being in her own room (very little I think) and how much has to do with something else going on with her. Maybe her teeth are bothering her, maybe her belly is hurting, maybe she is having a growth spurt! Who knows!! I just have to keep moving forward and know that everything is a process and will take time for her to adjust.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Drum Roll Please...

We are going to potty train this weekend!! I am really nervous about it, but I think I just need to bite the bullet and do it. I really feel like Smug-Baby is ready as she hates being wet or dirty and at the same time really hates having the diaper changed.

I feel like maybe I'm not ready. I don't feel like I know what I'm doing and have been reading a few books and articles like a mad woman trying to feel more confident about the process. I still need to purchase her some real, big girl underpants and some kind of mattress protector for her big girl bed. I plan on still putting her in a diaper at night until she wakes up dry consistantly, but for naps she will be diaper free.

The plan is to take Friday off work and spend a full three days concentrating on drinking lots of juice and water and getting lots of practice on the potty. Smug-Grandma is coming over Friday evening to watch Smug-Baby while I have my yoga class and we have tentative plans for a trip to the park on Saturday afternoon, but we will have to see how the training goes. Daddy will take over the training some on Sunday as I do need to make a run to the 75% off day at the consignment sale, but other than those minor interruptions, we will be training full time.

The books say to have the TV and radio off and not to answer the phone. Your full attention needs to be on concentrated instruction; having her pull down her pants, sit on the potty, go, wipe, pull up her pants and empty the potty. You basically do this over and over and over, like every 15 minutes the first day and gradually get longer and longer intervals between when you prompt her to go to the potty. Once she goes to the potty unprompted for the first time, you can be fairly sure that she has gotten the concept and start spreading out the prompts even further, like before leaving the house, before meals, after meals, and so on, letting her remember to go when she needs to on her own.

That should all happen the first day or so and then the subsequent days are spent reinforcing the concepts. After that, you just have to make sure that your whole world revolves around where the various potty's are where ever you happen to be. I think that getting this done before Little-Smug comes along is going to be a good thing on many levels. It will further separate Smug-Baby as the big girl and Little-Smug as the baby. It will give me a chance to get all the diapers refreshed and stripped and ready for Little-Smug and it will be one less thing to tackle with an infant in arms.

So, I just need to put in that time off request and make a Wal-Mart run before Friday. I also have a potty princess DVD from the library so I think that I'll get Smug-Baby watching that daily until Friday too and talk it up a bit for her. Oh... and finish all these books so I actually know what to do on training day... YIKES!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Big Girl Sleeping

Friday night - Night 1: I had spent the day talking to Smug-Baby about how that evening we were going to sleep in her big girl room all night long. I told her that mommy was going to sleep with her and she wouldn't be scared. I got her to help me move the mattress from the floor of our room into her room and help me lay out the blankets and get the futon mattress set up for mommy to sleep on. Well, it was about 8:45 when we laid down and she flopped around a bit, sticking her feet into the slats on the converted crib and pretending that they were stuck and she needed help to get them out! All in all though, she settled down and fell asleep fairly quickly.

I tried to get comfortable and did sleep on and off, but I was on the freaking floor! It was hard and my hips were screaming by midnight. Smug-Baby stayed asleep except for a few mumbles and she kept trying to fall off the bed. I was so awake and aware that I was able to just move her back onto the bed without her ever waking up. By 4am, I had had enough and headed back to my own bed. Smug-Hub was so warm and comfortable that I was sure that I was fall asleep within seconds. No such luck! I never did fall back asleep!

Smug-Baby on the other hand, slept until 8:15!!!! When she did wake, she cried out for me and I scooped her up and we all had some cuddle time in the big bed and we told her over and over how very proud of her we were!!

Saturday night - Night 2: We had a busy and fun day on Saturday and Smug-Baby took her 90 minute nap in her own bed in her own room without issue. Saturday night, however she had a harder time falling asleep and it was after 10 before I was finally able to make my escape. Smug-Hub and I had decided that my sleeping on the floor again wasn't a good idea, so I put up the bed rail that we used on our bed when she was a baby. It is too big really and I need to get one designed for a toddler bed so she can get out of the bed easily if she needs to, but I wasn't able to find on locally and don't have the funds to purchase one right now anyway, so this will have to do for the time being. Anyway, we also decided that he would be in charge of soothing her if/when she woke up before he came to bed and after he was asleep I would take over.

She must have woken about 11:30, because he was in the process of coming to bed and I woke to see him scurrying out of the bedroom to her side, but I fell back asleep before I really knew what was happening. The next thing I heard was her call to me about 1am, I ran in her room took her hand and said that mommy was here. She was back asleep within seconds and slept until 7am!

Sunday night - Night 3: She again napped for about 90 minutes during the day on Sunday and woke in a happy mood. We have kept telling her how proud of her we were that she is such a big girl! Sunday night, she again took a good while to fall asleep, but was sleeping by 9. I don't recall what time she woke up, but I heard her crying and Smug-Hub soothing her. She woke again about 1:30 and it took me until 2 to get her deeply enough asleep to leave. She was up again at 2:45 calling to me and again it took some time to get her back to sleep. When she woke again at 3:45 I took her into our bed, hoping that she would sleep, but at the very least I would be more comfortable than is realistic when half my body is wrapped around a bed-rail and the other half is on the floor. She never went back into a deep sleep and neither did I. She was fully awake and waving good-bye to me from daddy's arms as I drove off to work this morning.

I could be discouraged that the first two nights seemed to go so well and the one night where getting some sleep was really important to me she was up a lot, but I know that this will be a process and she does have these nights where she isn't able to sleep well and I think that being in her own room didn't really have anything to do with that. Those nights seem to be getting more and more infrequent, but she still has them. Today will be a challenge, but we will get through it and perhaps she will sleep more soundly tonight.

I think that it is a good sign that she was able to sleep as well as she did the first two nights. I think that perhaps my getting up to pee and Smug-Hub coming to bed late and his CPAP machine noise really were disruptive and having her own space is nice for her. I hope that last night was kind of a fluke and she will have more and more nights of sleeping soundly in her own room.

I find it wonderful that she is OK with all this. I think that it says something about how secure she is and how safe she feels. She knows that we will be there for her if she calls and she isn't banned from our bed. She isn't left to feel scared and alone when she wakes feeling vulnerable in the night. I think that we waited until she was ready for this change instead of insisting on it when it was convenient for us. Of course, we are only 3 nights in, so I may be singing a different tune in a week :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Details of Life

I read an article on Facebook that detailed this man's story of how he wanted to divorce his wife as he had found love with another woman. His wife asked him for a month of living as normally as possible for their son's sake and to carry her every day from their bedroom to the front door of their home just has he had carried her into their home on their wedding day. As the month progressed he realized that they were gaining back some of the intimacy they had lost over their 10 year marriage and at the end of the month he broke things off with the other woman and raced home with flowers for his wife. He found that she had passed away that very day from cancer. She had been fighting it for months and had been so caught up with his mistress he failed to notice. She left him a letter explaining that she knew her time was coming and she wanted to save him the backlash that their son would have if his father had left his dying mother for another woman.

I have no idea if the story is true or if parts of it might be, but it struck me that sometimes we get so consumed with work and school and routines and schedules and lists and the constant to-do's that we let things slide. We don't spend time just looking into our partner's eyes. We don't take the time to stop what we are doing to hug and kiss when we see each other at the end of the work day.

I feel like my marriage is really solid and strong, but that doesn't mean that it could withstand years of neglect! I don't want to get to the point where we NEED marriage counseling or we turn to someone else to fulfill the needs we are no longer getting from each other. I want to be proactive in my marriage and make the effort now to keep us strong and solid!

I expressed all this to Smug-Hub and he agrees. The issue now, is that I don't really know what we should be doing to stay connected! Our lives are really consumed with our children! Smug-Baby and soon Little-Smug will take a lot of time and energy and focus!!

I guess I just want to stay aware of how our marriage is going, where there is tension building and work to resolve it in the moment rather than suppressing our feelings and waking up one day hating each other! I don't know of anyone who says that they actively watched their marriage crash and burn without lifting a finger! Most people realize one day that everything has changed and have no idea how it happened! I don't want to be like that!!!

My husband and I both watched our parents divorce and I think we are both sensitive to how much we don't want to end up like that. We dissect their relationships and work toward not falling into their patterns, so I think that we are on the right track, but we just have to stay there! Stay alert to road blocks and pitfalls and keep working through issues as they arise and perhaps we will look back on our life together as a truly happy and fulfilled one!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sick Day

I took a sick day today. I wasn't sick and neither was Smug-Baby but my instincts told me that something was off and she needed me today. I can't really put my finger on why and what was going on with her, but she took a 3 hour nap which is almost unheard of and she spent the day pretty much curled up in my arms, so I know that my mothering instincts were dead on and I was right to stay home with her.

When she woke up this morning and saw me still in bed with her, her whole face lit up and she giggled before cuddling in close for morning hugs and kisses. Then we got up and make pancakes! I made them with Bisquick like normal, but then I added some cooked Cream of Wheat that I sweetened with some sugar and vanilla. This gave the pancakes a creamy texture and Smug-Hub said that he liked them better than the normal way. Smug-Baby liked them too as she stuffed all of her nicely cut pieces into her mouth at once and asked for more :)

After breakfast, I got her dressed and we waved good-bye to daddy as he headed off to work. After that we spent the morning on the couch watching Sesame Street and cuddling. Every once and a while she would pop off the couch to get something to play with or her water, but it was always short lived and she would climb back into my lap for more cuddles. I meant to do a few things around the house - fold the sheets, wash diapers, straighten up a bit - but I didn't I just stayed on the couch with her.

At noon I laid her down for her nap and was again going to get some stuff done, but instead I laid down myself and napped for a bit. Then I had some lunch and watched some TV. I don't know how long Smug-Baby would have slept, but at 3 she was awoken by the doorbell. Someone was there asking me to sign for the delivery on my phone book. Since I have access to the Internet, I don't have need of a phone book and I turned her away, but the damage was done and Smug-Baby was awake.

She woke up happy and ready for more cuddling. Smug-Grandma called and we decided to try to get in a walk before the thunderstorm so I finally got myself dressed and Smug-Baby and I found our shoes and headed to the Greenway. We walked for about 45 minutes and while it wasn't sunny it was nicely warm. However, Smug-Baby kept curling her body up and to the side in her stroller and closing her eyes - another indicator that something wasn't quite on spot with her.

After the walk, Smug-Grandma went with us to the library. I had a few items to pick up and Smug-Baby loves to play in the children's area. Today however, she sat on my lap most of the time and only warmed up to playing with the blocks and trains after about 30-40 minutes. Since we are there a few times a week and she doesn't normally need a warm up period, I am taking this as another sign that she wasn't feeling 100%. Added to all this was that she didn't want to walk, but to be carried around and would lay her head on my shoulder and curl her body into me. Yeah, something was just off a bit with her.

When we got home, I started dinner and Smug-Hub arrived home. We all ate together and Smug-Baby finished her meal with some Yo-Soy Yogurt which she really liked while Smug-Hub and I split the last Snickers Ice Cream bar behind her back! Then we got all of us ready for bed and I am blogging while Smug-Baby jumps all over her daddy and he feigns pain and suffering!!

It was a really good day overall and I enjoyed being able to drop everything and just hold her all day because it seemed like that was what she needed and I want to always give her what she needs. Tomorrow is going to be busy both at work getting caught up but at home too making up for my day of playing hooky, but it was worth it to get in all those cuddles! I have a feeling that she won't want to spend a whole day in my arms much longer!!