January 31, 2013

Hey, I like you. February.



STARTIN small

okay for a while there I was doing so great with working out, losing weight...but it didn't quite make it past the middle of january there, so here I am, starting over, and excited about it.



sometimes I don't do Yoga because the time committment seems daunting. With the above video, I have no excuse. And Freddie totally did it with me today. Love that kid. I also joined a gym!!! BLAST! Fitness!!! It's brand new and about a block away and they have Zumba classes and free child care, WOO!! I've been sick the past week so I'll start up hopefully Monday.

January 30, 2013

About to sleep and I hear the awful shrieks of animals fighting outside. I go out to the main room; my kitties are alert, terrified. I go the balcony window and search: on my mind is how much I'm disliking these homeless, wondering creatures, how they worry my cats, come onto our porch, tear up the trash. Then I flick the porch light: on; off; on. One, smaller black kitty, jumps away scared; he'd been hiding out from the scuffle. He looks back at me; our eyes meet for a second before he runs away. Then all I can do is feel so sad and guilty for being mad at this creation of God's who has never known love, and pray he makes it somewhere safely.

There are so many animals today without a home, food or water. Get your pets neutered or spayed, please. It is affordable at the Humane Society (Arizona) & (DC) and there are even free options.


Downton Abbey tonight.....spoiler alert...

...man that was horrible. It's hard to think of a time when a cesarean wasn't the norm. There has got to be a balance between not using unnecessary interventions in child birth, and using technology to save lives. Natalie, I see what you were saying about anxiety. I want to just trust and go with the flow and know it will happen when it's the right time.

These things must happen:
Yoga
Hypnobirthing for naps
Peace in my home
Focusing on being the best mother I can be to Frederick, my son

I thought i had escaped the sicknesses going around but Sunday I woke up puking my guts out (good bye 7-year no-vomit streak...grrr...I'll beat you one day, Jerry Seinfeld) and I've felt awful since. Frederick is just fine. He's had an incredible immune system! Breast milk...it's amazing!! Today was spent in bed but tomorrow we go out. Good night. And I leave you with this little dance number.

January 25, 2013

this that this



Playing at the park...throwing all the leaves away...why do we have just 3 months of cold weather and it's more like fall than winter? Phx is cra...


 

Frederick, these are our songs (so far)

Edelweiss (from Sound of Music)

Spiraling (Antony and the Johnsons)

My Boy (My Girl) (the Temptations)

I Lived in Heaven (Children's Hymnbook)

La La Loo (Lady and the Tramp)

January 24, 2013

sommmmebody turned ONE!

Charlie girl turned ONE YEAR OLD! I love that these two are EXACTLY 4 months apart, that they love to play and that I love Charlie's mom, Emily, SOOOOO much. She has been a wonderful friend to me, ever inspiring and encouraging. Well, you and Micah have done an amazing job on your sweet darling little doll, so far. Keep it up, dudes. We love you all so much. Bruno, too. 



January 23, 2013

Brunch for Bride

Happy wedding shower Erin! This was 2 weeks ago. Collin watched Freddie and I got to go have brunch, make my own mimosas (mine had sparkling cider), play games with cute panties, just be girly and gush with one of my dearest friends since 7th grade about her up owning wedding. I loved it. The downside besides missing Fred: not having his diaper bag and totally losing when we played that get points for having tons of awesome crap in your bag game. Oh well! I was light! Congratulations to the gorgeous bride!!

















Frederick goes to the Dentist!!

Fredrick had his first trip to the dentist this month. I'd been told to take him when he got his first teeth and since he had 13 (and now 15!!!) I figured it was about time. The office, Phoenix Pediatric Dental, was so cute; the staff so friendly!! Frederick was so good. They put super little ones in their own room in case they scream bloody murder but Fred didn't need it. He didn't even shed a tear! The technician and dentist were both so sweet and gentle with him and let me hold him while they checked his teeth. After just a few minutes he felt super comfortable being his happy silly self. The verdict: his teeth look amazing and very healthy! We are going to continue to brush every day! Something else I loved about the place: the dentist was a huge advocate for breastfeeding! When told that Fred was still nursing he said that is great and to continue it for as long as we desire. There are natural sugars present in breast milk, but they aren't potentially harmful to teeth until combined with other foods (which didn't start till 6 months) and then if he nurses to sleep I can just take a little wet cloth and wipe off the upper front teeth. Got it, D!! See you in 6 months!

Oh yeah! And if you go there, tell them I referred you and ill get a free movie pass!! ;)


After holiday-Holiday

After we got back from the Holidays, we felt like we hadn't seen lots of friends in forever!!! We had a fun swimming day catching up with the Dyers at a hotel they'd been staying at Fred was happy to be reunited with his love, Charlie. The water was heated and luxurious. Then we ate at Los Reyes de la Torta, a for REAL hole in the wall with the MOST AMAZING FOOD EVER!!!! Please go there!! ;



I'm going there someday...

Right after Christmas, while my brothers were here, we wanted to go to the temple together as a family. Collin and I love to go, but have had a harder time getting there with Collin's work schedule and leaving Fred with a sitter...NO EXCUSE!! A young lady in my moms ward (whom I used to babysit) would come and watch Fred in the visitors center while went in. The date was set and of course that day was full of stresses and disappointments, almost enough to keep me from going. But we made it there! And then after a few more crazy things we didn't actually make it to a session....but we made it TO the temple and I felt peace and love from my Heavenly Father because of it.




 



January 18, 2013

Update Ouelessebougou

I'm trying to find out more about how things are going in Ouelessebougoo (way-less-eh-boo-goo), Mali. As far as I can tell, things are not in a state of crisis there. It's in the North, where the Christian cities and relics are located.

Yeah Samake's website is continuing to be updated. It looks as though the elections are on for April 2013.

Here is the blog of Yeah Samake's wife.

I'm hoping the French and Aftican troops are successful in getting al Quaeda out. Here is an update.



January 17, 2013

Mali

All I can do is pray. al Queda has been occupying Northern Mali since the coup there in March 2012. They were about to have a clean Presidential Election. Our good friend, Yeah Samake, was in the running. But everything was put to a stop and very strict Sharian law is being enforced. Things have gotten worse. Children have been bought/kidnapped and forced to join the terrorist army. Women are being gang raped, married, sold, bought. Those who rebel are murdered or amputated. My stomach is sick. My whole body hurts. The tears are real. How can this happen to those sweet amazing strong people? I know God loves the people of Mali. He is aware of each of them. I have faith that he will relieve their suffering

I pray for the French and African troops fighting against the Taliban.

I'm looking for news from Ouelessebougou and our friends there at the O/Utah Alliance, where Collin and I worked in 2009. They are further down south and west of Bamako and the Northern Christian cities, but I am very worried.





Read Collin's post here.

January 16, 2013

Mongolia

Here is a beautiful and interesting article about a mother's experience breastfeeding in Mongolia.

Breastfeeding in the land of Genghis Khan

It helped remind me that what my instincts are telling me is a normal thing. I loved the part on westerners' views of independence.

I don't understand why breastfeeding is such an uncomfortable thing for people. (Myself included! Before I had Freddie I had a friend say she was going to nurse her daughter till at least two and I was, I'm saddened to say, weirded out!!! I only hope and pray that I didn't discourage her or make her feel alienated in any way.) I was recently told that breastfeeding in public is not modest and that I should be aware of the religious consequences it would bring. But if God created me and created my breasts to fill with milk to sustain my baby's life, and if being a mother is my divine roll and the most important thing I will ever do, all things I believe with my whole heart, then what's the problem if I nurse my child in public, while living my life, making it easier on me, my child, family, friends? It raises my mental health by keeping me surrounded by people, allowing me to be out and about, helping me feel less lonely and strange, something most mothers experience after having a child. What's the problem if you see a little boob while a sweet mother, doing her best, tries to latch her baby or keep the interest of her hungry, yet distracted toddler? It's just a boob!!!!!!! Really!!!!!! I don't understand why it's considered not keeping private. Im feeding a human being!!!!! It is normal!!!! When breasts are used in pornography, or even just regular tv these days, to promote sex, then yes, that is inappropriate! that is degrading! It has the potential to break up families. And in some instances, that is considered okay, hot, praised. Geeez, what a backwards world we live it. Happily, I think our world is becoming more open and people becoming more educated and understanding that their way is not the only way (once again, including me! I do not think my way of parenting is the only way....it's the best way I know how for me and my son and my family; and it's my life, to try, learn, and grow. And I respect others to do as they feel is the best way.)
I think many people are much more open to possibilities and differences these days. Honestly, in public I've gotten nothing but Love from other moms/dads offering help or encouragement, sharing a story of their breastfeeding days. Its only on Facebook, behind the computer screen that people feel the need, (nay, the duty!) to put me in my place. Ha, oh well; that is their prerogative! I'm just an advocate for the breast, and the right to feed in public and not feel embarrassed or ashamed or alone, and also for the invigoration of doing what you need to do, what you were made to do, without a thought, anywhere you are, while satisfying a fundamental need and sustaining life.

January 15, 2013

SPOT IT

Spot it. It's one of the best games I've ever played! It's sooo simple yet very challenging. It's quick; it's exciting! I recommend you pick it up today.





January 13, 2013

Little clothes

Pulled out a large bin of tiny clothes from the past 16 months. Checking the size, folding, smelling, smiling, remembering a tiny squishy babe. How could he have ever fit in these? And I find myself wishing I could do it over, just to experience it again and not take anything for granted.
I want another baby now. I'm ready when God is ready. But I will never again have only one tiny newborn, who I can give all of myself to. I start missing Baby Frederick so badly, but wait! He's in the other room, sleeping! And he needs me more than ever--right now!!


***Disclaimer****
Frederick is not potty-trained, and is not being potty-train. The above scene was a funny time when Fred peed on the floor and Collin sat him on the toilet. It was so funny that I took a picture.

January 11, 2013

Together again; together forever

Collin spent most of this week in Las Vegas at the amazing humongous CES conference. (More about that here.)
While I know he missed us and we missed him like nutballs, I'm so glad he got the awesome opportunity to see some sweet technology, meet great contacts and cool cats and eat at Fleur by Hubert Keller. (lucky dog.)
We kept busy by visiting family and playing outside a ton in the gorgeous foggy overcast weather.
Now I'm just glad CS is home and my boys are snoring next to me. I love those dudes. They had the best reunion ever!!!!! Fred just got giddy as if he were "tickled pink," and then started laughing hysterically like a madman and hugging and kissing commenced.
Then...playing in Fred's room and telling every single intricate detail of each of our weeks (which I loved)...having dinner...(trying to) play guitar hero (w a toddler) is impossible but still fun...watching the Bachelor (I LOVE THIS SHOW SO MUCH!) and eating grilled cheese and tomato soup.



Marriage.

Marriage is hard. No one is perfect and I do not have the solutions or answers for anyone. There is an ideal. And I believe that we should promote and strive to that ideal despite the fact that every single one of us comes short of it.
I have close friends and family for whom marriages have ended. But that is not the end of their story or their striving. I love them and look up to them for what they are accomplishing and teaching me.
As I watch marriage in the popular culture there seems to be strong messages that I find really negative. I was watching Grey's Anatomy and they are like, "Marriage is a cage." The only way the characters can be happy is to get a divorce. They sign the papers and suddenly they are free from hurting each other. Lack of commitment has taken off all the pressure, and they can be in love.
Then in Nashville, a couple is not happy in their marriage; they don't want to hurt their children though, who have no idea what's going on, so they come up with this elaborate plan of how to keep up appearances but not have to see each other or work at anything.
I believe in marriage. I believe it is challenging and scary at times but that its that most amazing and wonderfully rewarding thing ever. It's terrifying to put oneself out there. My spouse has seen me at my worst and best. He's seen me be fired from a job, something so utterly humiliating. He's seen me graduate from collage. He has witnessed me pushing a baby out of my body, something he still says was the most incredible but also the craziest thing he's ever seen! Ha!
He has put up with my crazy moods and wacko thoughts. He has to listen to me go on and on...telling intricate details or venting or getting passionate about nursing or child birth or animals or whatever!
It's scary for me to let someone in that much. He could get fed up and leave me at any moment. But I feel that that is marriage: commitment, true trust, and putting yourself out there, even if it doesn't work out. I'm not naive. And I'm very sensitive to the fact that people try so hard and things aren't as they planned. No one but Collin and I and God know what we have been through in our marriage. We have been low, and somehow through the atonement of Christ and the grace of God, climbed out of our pit, together. I hope I am not hurting anyone by saying these things because I am not judgmental of anyone.
I truly believe in marriage. I truly have faith in it. I don't think it's a cage, I think it opens up a million possibilities.


January 10, 2013

Everybody's happy in California

Getting back after the Holidays. We spent Christmas in Monterey, CA, with my husband's sister, her husband, and Collin's mother and father. The house was cozy, the jam sessions relaxing and the games competitive. We did so much and these were my favorites:

-went to a wonderful service at church in Kendra's ward
-celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas and attended a beautiful Catholic mass.
-visited the Monterey Aquarium (this was Fred's favorite!!!!!)
-went on a drive up the coast and saw multi-million dollar homes and unleaded gas for $5.99/gallon!
-went to the pier and walked through romantic gardens and saw boats and water
-had hot dogs and s'mores (with crackers instead of Graham's) on the beautiful beach
-saw the movie, Les Mis, and loved it and haven't talked talking about it and crying and being inspired by it (a whole other blog post coming)
-got away for a romantic breakfast with Collin and Fred and eavesdropped on all the hilarious conversations and happened upon the cutest and coolest thrift shop
-visited the oldest functioning church in California
I understand why their area was voted most romantic.

Frederick loved everything we did out doors. He did so well with flying. He's just a really happy guy.






January 8, 2013

Bluegrass and teeth

Fred and I have been listening to bluegrass music for two days. We love it so much.
Oh! And guess who is having his first ever dentist trip today???!!! He just grew his 13th tooth while we were in Monterey for Christmas (his first canine!) I love these milestones.
Wish us both luck!!!!



January 7, 2013

No. No. Nooo no no noo no Noooooo no no no no. No. No.

This is what I hear all day long and I really love that little voice and little personality saying, I'm my own person, mom!



January 4, 2013

Go/stay?

Baby time at the library:
It's in a hour and I have to leave in 15 minutes to make it to the bus to get there.
It's at a horrible time: 9:30am when there's always a morning nap happening, sometimes just me.
But Freddie loves it and needs to get out and have interaction with other kids. It's fun to go on outings with him!
But it's so soon and I'm so tired and cramping and not feeling well..got my period, bummer.
We will finishing nursing and do zumba and go to the park later.


It's decided.

January 2, 2013

Goals!!!!!!! Dreams!!!!!!!! 2013!!!!!!!

New Years!!!! I want this year to be awesome!!!! I WANT TO HAVE A BETTER ATTITUDE.
I want to have another baby or get pregnant.
I want to move...into a house with a yard so Fred and I can play out there all the time.
I want to HELP COLLIN REACH HIS GOALS AND DREAMS.
I want to read my scriptures daily and finish the Doctrine and Covenants. I want to read scriptures with Frederick. I WANT TO HAVE FAMILY HOME EVENING EVERY WEEK.
I want to be happy. I want to improve my marriage. It is wonderful now but we had lots of challenges in general this year and I want Collin to KNOW HE IS MY #1.
I want to stop yelling.
I WANT TO DO ZUMBA EVERY OTHER DAY AND YOGA THE DAYS IN BETWEEN.
I want to continue my video chat book club.
I want to write letters regularly again.
AND STARTING NOW Collin and I have a life goal of watching ALL the James Bond films! (I know, I know..."there are some that are really boring"...) we still want to do it!
This year feels good. I feel it in my heart and bones. I want to do good things with all the good things that have been given to me. Happy New Year!!

Happy 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(by the way....crazy that its 2013, huh?!)

remember...
2012 resolutions
Smith 2011 top 12
2011 party in DC