Thursday, June 27, 2013


Everyone has several titles that are assigned to them in life. I am wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin and granddaughter. I have realized that it is difficult to explain that Grandma is also Mommy to Uncle Smug-Bro to my very inquisitive Smug-Baby! I am also realizing that titles aren't as cut and dry as I once believed them to be.

I used to get somewhat offended when my sister would use the term "Aunt" when referring to a close family friend. That was MY title and it was special just for me!!! So I stopped using the "Aunt" at all with my nephew, because if it wasn't going to be special and anyone could be "Aunt So-in-so" then I would just be me. I was OK with that, but it still hurt that the title was given out willy-nilly.

Last weekend, we had a family wedding in town and all my family was here and we had a big cookout and pool party at my sister's place. I was surrounded with my aunts and uncles and cousins when it hit me. My cousin's have children now and they are also cousins. Try explaining that to several 2-5 year olds!!

My cousins, sister and myself came to the conclusion, that, in the eyes of the children, adults would be aunts and uncles and the kids were cousins. It didn't matter if the title didn't match the technical definition because it was something the little kids could understand.

That is when I started thinking maybe I had been wrong to feel slighted in regards to my "title" Family is family and it doesn't really matter the title that one has, because "family" is the only title that matters. My family is very close and my cousins are like brothers and sisters and my aunts and uncles are like parents!

When it comes to small children, they need simple explanations for life and calling someone "Aunt" tells the child, without having to explain it, that this person is special and is a adult to be listened to and is someone who loves them very much.

It would be very cumbersome to try to keep track of who was my great-aunt and I certainly don't call her "Great Aunt G"!! I don't call my cousin's child "Second Cousin P" for goodness sake! Family is family and an aunt is a loved adult and a cousin is a loved child. That is all it needs to be!!

As I have gotten older, I realized that the closeness of my family is not something that everyone has. I got some odd looks when putting in for time off to go to my cousin's funerals. These people were not some distant related person, these were children I grew up with and knew well and felt close to. Their passing was not a small blip on my radar, but a life altering change! Not everyone has that kind of closeness with their "extended family" and I can't help but feel for those people because they are missing out!

This weekend we stayed up talking until after 2am, my cousins and myself. We have done that many times, but this time was the first for me since I've had children. I normally go to bed when the kids do, because I know I'll be up with them in the night. But this time, I threw caution to the wind and had a margarita and some laughs! I noticed how much has changed, we all have children now and the talk was more family focused than when I was a kid. But, I also noticed how little things had changed too. My comedic cousin is still just as funny and I am still the goody-goody who doesn't break the rules and thinks everything through.

My daughter is so close with Smug-Niece that she has started to refer to her as "sister" I had been correcting her until I realized that it too didn't matter! She feels the love of a sister for this person and has decided that this is the title deserved. Who am I to say different?!?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hello Monday

Today is the day! It is Monday and it is the start of getting my shit together! I am going to do everything on my "to do" list today! I am going to take my vitamins and drink my water and exercise! I am going to get all the laundry washed, folded AND put away! I am going to end the day with the house in order and the kitchen cleaned! I will not forget anything major!!

The weekend was very nice. My cousin got married to a really lovely girl. They got married in her hometown, so we all made the trip to the wedding. I think that overall I am very glad that we all went, Smug-Baby and Little-Smug both had a lot of fun and it was a really beautiful wedding. However, the traveling is never easy with the children and I think Smug-Baby was sick.

It was really strange. I thought she was getting pinkeye on Thursday so I treated it aggressively all day Thursday and Friday and she seemed 100% by Friday afternoon. Then, suddenly Sunday morning, her eyes were all goopy again and she felt warm! She was incredibly fussy and melting down over everything. She slept most of the drive home and slept over 13 hours last night! She has woken up seemingly fine and has been eating and playing like she is totally normal so I hope that whatever it was has passed. I am going to keep her home today and doing mellow things until she is fever free for 24 hours just in case.

Little-Smug has been a true joy! So excited about playing in the dirt at the wedding and proudly showing his dirt covered fingers to all passersby. Everyone commented how sweet he was and on his wonderful curls! Today, he is full of adventure, climbing up on everything he can and trying to follow Smug-Baby and do everything she can do.

I have already had the first of my 3 waters, taken vitamins and had a healthy breakfast of chocolate oatmeal (oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder in it) and I have gotten all the trip stuff unpacked and put away. I have made the bed and cleaned up the breakfast dishes. I still need to wash diapers, make up wipes and do several loads of laundry. I would like to get the bathroom cleaned and the kitchen floor swept and workout! Wish me luck! Happy Monday!

Monday, June 10, 2013


My mom used to make lists. Like, a LOT of lists. Lists for the year, the month, the week, the day, schoolwork, meals, groceries, errands - you name it! If it was part of life, it had a list. I hated these constant lists when I was growing up. I vowed that I would never make a list beyond one for grocery's (and frankly, even that was pushing it) and I would not be ruled by lists so help me God!!!

Little by little I started allowing lists into my life and before I knew what was happening I was making lists of New Year's Resolutions and a list of the exercises I wanted to do at the gym. It was list that grocery list was a gateway drug into a world of constant list making.

Now, I am finding that I am floundering without a list to go by. So I surrender to the disease that I come by naturally and I have decided to embrace my list making gene!

I have made lists of the stuff around the house that I would like to get done, stuff that needs to get done soon, upkeep items, daily tasks, Smug-Baby's activities, and personal stuff (exercising and drinking water) to keep me on track.

I think that what I failed to understand when my mother was making all her dreaded lists, was that once you have so many balls in the air (house, kids, bills, etc.) the brain simply can't keep up with all of them. So, it has become a necessary evil.

I always find that I can accomplish a whole lot more when I have a list than I can when I am winging it. I have fallen off the list wagon in recent weeks and I am drowning in a sea of things that need to be done that I can't find the time to do. I was talking about all this with a friend and she was commenting about the same thing and I mentioned that sometimes I tell myself I am just going to clean the kitchen for the 3 minutes it takes my lunch to heat in the microwave and I am shocked that I am actually able to get it all cleaned up in that amount of time and I wonder why I put it off all day!

The lists that I have been working on, make it totally doable to get most of the things done that I want to get done and still have time for the park and play dates and rolling around on the floor with the kids.

I have typed up most of the reoccurring lists and on the advice of a friend, will put them into clear sleeves so I can use a dry erase marker to check off things as they are complete and then wipe the sheet clean to have it ready for tomorrow! I am excited to get back into my routines and stop wallowing in this self pity that I have been allowing myself to be consumed with lately. Its time to get back to being the true, list making me!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

1 Year Old

My dearest Little-Smug,

Today you are turning 1 year old. I can't believe how this last year has flown and yet, I can't believe it has only been a year since you made our lives complete. There was a time when your daddy and I considered only having 1 child and now how silly that seems. You have brought us so much love and happiness and we can't imagine not having you.

Your sister loved you from the first moment she learned that you were going to be coming to live with us. She hurts you sometimes because she is loving on you so much! She wants to play, but plays too rough and you want to play and can't keep up. If she is climbing on it, you want to be climbing on it too!

You took your first wobbly steps at 8 months and by 9 months were fully walking everywhere. By 10 months you were able to stand up on your own without pulling up on something. You now only crawl if you fall over while Smug-Baby or daddy is chasing you and don't feel like you have the time to get yourself standing again before getting caught!
You have 7 teeth at the moment, but number 8 is just on the verge of poking through. You cut the first 6 all within a month and then had a nice long break. The most recent tooth just popped up about a week ago. You have been a champ with the whole teething process thus far. You wear your amber necklace so you don't deal with a lot of drooling, but you are more fussy (which means, you are fussy at all, since you hardly ever cry), you have green poo, your nose runs a little and you rub your little face a bit.

You like to try to eat everything we are eating and love green Kefer smoothies, avocado, potatoes and almond milk. You hate baby food! We have been getting WIC to help us out some while mama looks for a job and they provided us with about 10,000 jars of baby food and you can't stand it! I can't blame you!! I tried to put it into smoothies, pancakes and anything else I could think of, but you were right, its horrible!!

You love to share! You love to squish some food around in your mouth and then lovingly stuff it into mine! You love to hand me the phone or the remote or other toy. You clap, you laugh and you love playing games.

You love pat-a-cake. You love chasing your sister and being chased in return. You love climbing back to where the electronics are and pulling the wi-fi plugs. You love turning on the cable box and love even more turning it off while we are all watching something!

You hate having your diaper changed and don't like getting dressed. You love water and taking a bath.

We have adjusted nicely to having you as part of our family and you make waking up each day a beautiful thing. You wake up, your eyes open and turn to find me. Our eyes meet and you grin at me with so much love I fear it will expand my heart to the bursting point. Then you sit up and search the bed for Smug-Baby and Daddy. You climb on top of them and with open-mouth kisses and babbles of happiness, you wake them up.

 Happy first birthday to my son, my light, my love and the sweetest boy I have ever laid eyes on. My hope for today is that you feel all the love from my heart, bask in the love from your daddy and glow in the love from your sister. I hope that you can feel all the birthday wishes and love from your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and everyone else!