Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer 2011

How is it that summer is almost over already? I don't know what I'm going to do when Emery starts school - it seems like their breaks just get shorter and shorter. Two months off is just not enough. In Alaska, we always got out end of May/early June, but didn't go back until after Labor Day, or at the very earliest the week before. I mean who wants to go stand in the bus line in August in Mississippi? That alone should be a deterrent to starting back so early!!

Ok I digress, moving on. First off, our trip to Hawaii was fantastic, even with a one year old in tow. Now that we're back, I can brag about what a world class traveler she was. I could have saved a lot of stress worrying about those LONG plane rides because she was amazing. Oh she had a moment here and there, don't get me wrong, but never more than a few seconds. And there were always other babies on the plane, so that took a lot of the pressure off. She slept a lot - much more than I thought she would. I gave her benadryl on our first long flight from Memphis to Phoenix, but didn't have to pull it out again after that. And I gave it to her as a precaution before we even left the airport, just to be safe. She probably would have been fine without it. That first overnight in Phoenix was a little rough, but that was my own fault. I didn't want to pay for a pack and play so kept Emery in bed with me, which has never happened before. So it took awhile for her to settle down in the bed (and stop trying to kiss me and lick my face). And even then I didn't sleep well because I was so worried she'd fall out of the bed. But we made it, and didn't miss our flight the next morning, thank goodness. We arrived in KONA around 3pm the next afternoon, an hour before my cousin. Thank goodness we didn't come in on an earlier flight. I love airports, and didn't think it would be a big deal to fly in early and hang out until my cousin arrived, but the Kona airport is tiny, minuscule really (they have one baggage belt). And it's all outside. So I'm very glad we didn't try to fly in earlier. The hour we had to wait was boring enough!

Hawaii itself was amazing - something out of a dream. Perfect weather (high 70s most days, even a little chilly at times), lush landscapes, great food. My cousin-in-law Creighton is Hawaiian, so we had the inside scoop on places to eat and visit. We stayed in an older but very spacious condo right on the ocean and woke up every morning to pounding waves. As mild as the weather was in Hawaii, the buildings do heat up during the day, and we had a mild freak out moment when we first got to the condo and didn't think it had AC (apparently a lot of houses there don't). But thankfully our unit had one, we just had to pay $15 a day to have it turned out, which we gladly did. Even though Emery was in our room, the closet was big enough to put her pack and play in and close the door, so we weren't waking each other up all night. We spent a lot of time touring the island - visiting beaches, waterfalls, the volcano, several markets, a luau etc. I rediscovered how much I love shaved ice (over there they put ice cream in the middle - yumm!) and beef teriyaki. I don't think I had a single vegetable the entire trip. Hawaiians eat lots of rice and meat, but very few veggies. I came home addicted to rice, and even invested in a rice maker so we can make perfect rice everytime! And like I said before, Emery was a champ. She slept all night every night, and took decent naps most days. She had a few drama moments, but considering we dragged her across four time zones and she cut two teeth in the process, I think she was amazing. We went swimming almost everyday, and although she was not crazy about the water because it was chilly, she tolerated it. She loved swimming in Arizona though, where the pool was at least 90 degrees. We came back a day earlier than my cousin, because I wanted the entire weekend to recoup. And this is where traveling across four time zones has some advantages - our first day home Emery slept until 11am, the next day 10am and the third day until 9am. It's been 630/7am ever since, but those three days of rest were heavenly! And in our overnight in Phoenix on the way home she slept from midnight to 10am. Needless to say, I felt almost completely recovered by the time I started back to work July 5th, which was a huge blessing. As wonderful as Hawaii was, to me the best part about the trip was getting to spend 11 days straight with my family. I've always enjoyed traveling with Jeff, and having Emery just adds to the fun. I love those guys!!

Emery turned one the weekend after we got back from Hawaii but I waited until the next weekend to have her little party. I used pictures and pink paper and fabric to decorate, which is great when you're decorating on a budget. Emery loved having all of her friends there, but did not enjoy her cupcake, much to my disappointment. My child loves water and is not crazy about sweets - how did that happen??? Anyways, it was a lovely afternoon with family and friends - just like I like it! And although the porch was not finished, Jeff's dad had come in for the weekend and helped us get the fans installed, so the big kids had fun playing out there.

Emery is now a big girl one year old, I can't even believe it. She started taking a few steps before her birthday, but has really been cruising the past several weeks. It took me a week to get her to wear shoes, but that hasn't been an issue lately. She says a few words - dada, dog, uh oh and all done. She still doesn't say mama, which is frustrating but not uncommon, or so I've heard. I think her comprehension level is pretty high - she seems to understand most commands (Stay on the carpet, sit down, etc) and can answer basic questions (where is your head, what does a cow say). She moved up to the one year old room at daycare last week, and seems to be enjoying it. They nap on mats on the floor, which I was worried about, but so far shes done okay with it. I think she really enjoys playing with other kids all day, and her teachers adore her. It's hard for me during the week because she goes to bed so early (between 6/630 most days), so I treasure my fridays off with her. Unless she is teething, or tired, she is a happy little girl who enjoys playing with her toys and reading books. I discovered about a month ago that she can't have real milk - it hurts her stomach, so we're on rice and almond milk for the time being.

We had her baby dedication at church last month, and she was the cutest one (of course:)! When the pastor said her name, she clapped her hands and said "yeah!" I promise I did not coach her to do that, but might next time around because it was super cute.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Random Thoughts

My pet peeves this week (and pretty much all the time):

1. People talking on their phone in the bathroom. I have seriously considered buying some sort of machine that makes loud, obnoxious bathroom sounds so I can turn it on when I encounter these sorts. Drives me nuts!!

2. People who back in an out of a parking space (and hold up a line of traffic) when there is an entire empty row waiting for them 3 spaces down. We have a big parking lot - I mean a really big parking lot. So unless it's after 8am, and spaces are truly scarce, MOVE ON DOWN. I assure you walking an extra 100 feet is not going to kill you this or any other morning. '

Embarrassing moment

1. For the first time in my life I wore two different shoes to work last month. And they weren't similar looking shoes either - one was a mary jane and the other was a plain flat. The only common denominator was that they were both black. But you know what the really sad part is, I didn't even notice they were different shoes until I was trying on some new pants after work that day. Sad and a little scary.

Other thoughts

1. I paid someone to clean my house for the first time last week in preparation for the family reunion we hosted last weekend. IT. WAS. FANTASTIC. Why have I not had this done before? I don't care if I have to mow lawns to pay for it, I will figure out a way to work this into the budget at least once a month. On another note - it took her 4.5 hours to clean our house. Does that mean she's really good, or we're really dirty?

2. We are leaving for Hawaii in 15 days. I can't wait, although I'm a little nervous about traveling with a very busy one year old.

3. Emery took 2 steps at daycare earlier this week. I am still in denial. Where has my baby gone??? I am supposed to be planning her first birthday party too, and am in denial about that as well.

4. Did anyone else acquire insomnia during their pregnancy that just never went away? Will I have to take Tylenol PM for the rest of my life in order to sleep at night??

5. Today is Thursday, which is technically my Friday. I love a 4 day workweek. In fact, I don't even remember what it was like to work on Fridays anymore, and most weeks I forget that everyone else is still at work while I'm at home. Don't hate me - just being honest.

6. I was in bed by 7:45 and asleep by 8:30 last night. That has got to be a world record!

That's all for now - have a lovely weekend!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Past 2 Months

I believe this is the longest I've gone without blogging since I started this thing. Several reasons for that, but the main one is that it takes FOREVER to load and format pictures on blogger now. I don't know what they did, but I dread posting pictures because of it. So for the two people that actually read this thing, I'm sorry. But I honestly don't know how much longer I'll keep it up regardless. Time is precious these days. (I typed this paragraph before I loaded my pictures, and I will have to say it was better this time. Maybe they fixed it...)

So what's been going on in our lives over the past three months you ask? Here's a summary.

1. We've been on two unsuccessful dates this year so far - the first ended with Jeff puking from the stomach flu (and me later that weekend) and the 2nd ended with him puking in the Emergency Room from a kidney stone. I have NEVER seen my husband in that much pain, nor do I want to again. I brought him to my hospital because I know people there, but was regretting that decision after he walked in cursing like a sailor and stumbling around like a drug addict. Thankfully they understood the situation:) Needless to say, we haven't been on a "real" date since (although we've had plenty of fun!)!

2. I finally got a smartphone, though only out of necessity. I lost my older phone in a hurricaine force toilet at the hospital. It fell out of my pocket as the toilet was flushing and dissapeared before I knew what had happened. I had no loyalty the the phone, but it had so many cute pictures of Emery on it that I hated losing. Plus getting all my numbers again - no fun. If you haven't heard from me in awhile, I probably still don't have your number re-entered, so send me a text if you have a chance.

3. We took a long weekend trip to Atlanta to visit our peeps in March. It was a great visit - just went by too fast. Emery was a trooper, especially considering her eyes were swollen shut most of the time from allergies.

4. We are tackling another screen porch project (I know, when will we learn??). We do have a deadline on this porch - three weeks to be exact. I'm trying to be optimistic, but we'll see. It's turned into a much bigger project than we anticipated (fancy that). Let's just say it took 100+ 80lb bags of concrete to pour the pad. Once again, our porch will be the safest room in the house in the event of a hurricaine. The picture above is when we were pouring the pad. And yes, I did help with the first 30 bags or so even though I could hardly pick them up. When we started, Jeff was telling me not to pick them up at all. But by bag 15, he changed his tune to "well do you think you can at least get it in the wheelbarrow?" He was BEAT. Thank goodness for my brother showing up, or I don't know what we would have done. CL was throwing those bags around like they were pillows!

5. We are going to Hawaii end of June with Shasta, Creighton and Baby Caleb. I am so excited, but absolutly dreading the plane ride with a one year old. Any airplane tips from fellow mommy's?

6. And finally, sweet Emery. LOVE her and cannot believe she is already 10.5 months old. She is crawling full force these days, and babbling up a storm. She goes to bed early and likes to get up early too (although I refuse to get her out of bed until 7am). She says a few words - dog, dada - no mama yet. She can wave, clap her hands and dance. She loves people, just like her daddy, and pretty much eats anything these days. She gets gassy easily though, so I still have to give her gas drops almost everyday. We went swimming for the first time last week. The water was FREEZING! She didn't cry, but had me in a vise grip the whole time. She still just has 4 teeth (although I think she's working on another one) and very little hair save her curl on the top of her head. But she is just perfect to us!

Okay that's all for now. Pictures above are from late April/Easter, the porch and our trip to Atlanta.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Yes, that pretty much sums up 2011 for the Smiths to date. Jeff came down with a nasty bronchitis virus in January - it lasted 4 weeks. I caught said virus mid January - it lasted 5 weeks, and during 3 of those weeks I was unable to taste a single thing. How often we take for granted simple things like our ability to taste and smell. That was by far the WORST part of this whole ordeal. Forget sleepless, coughless nights, stuffy noses and endless boxes of kleenexes - not being able to taste food for almost an entire month - TORTURE. As they always say - how often we don't appreciate things until they're gone. And for those of you thinking why didn't you just go to the doctor - well Jeff did. Two times in fact, for 3 rounds of antibiotics. And what did they tell him - it was a virus, which means the drugs did him no good, they just kept him from getting any sicker. So when I started coming down with the same symptoms, I avoided the $150 doctor visit and had a ZPAC called in just to be safe. I did end up staying sick a week longer than Jeff, but I think that was more a result of being a rundown mom than anything. Babygirl decided to cut 2 teeth during this sickfest, which made for a week or two of very little sleep. But the story doesn't end here. After a month and a half of the bronchitis virus, the stomach bug hit our house this past weekend. Babygirl and daddy came down with it Friday night, and I thought I was free and clear (despite being puked on several times) until my stomach started rolling Monday night. Thankfully I still had some phenergan left from my early pregnancy issues, so after I had sufficiently emptied my stomach, I took my pill, threw up once more an hour later and was finished. I will have to say, however, that being pregnant and very sick for three months really puts a 24 hour stomach bug in perspective. This was even noted by my husband, who commented that I was oddly cheerful considering the nature of my illness. What can I say - when you throw up 3-6 times a day for 3 months, a 12 hour stint really isn't that bad. And since the stomach bug does appear to be going around these days, take it from the vomit veteran, don't drink water, drink sprite or gingerale (I go through about 2 liters everytime I get sick). I won't go into details, but trust me, it helps a lot. And get some phenergan if you can.

Much to my delight, my taste buds returned in full force on Valentine's Day, just in time to enjoy a lovely chilled glass of wine alongside my husband's fabulous gourmet meal. That is my standing request for all Valentine's and Anniversary holidays - a home cooked meal from hubby. He loves to watch cooking shows and always comes up with some really tasty dishes. This year it was a portabello mushroom appetizer, spinach, candied walnut and blue cheese salad with a homeade balsamic vinagrette dressing, penne pasta with chicken in a tomato sauce served with baked artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes, and ice cream for dessert. Just perfect! Although Jeff would love you to think he cooked every bit of that himself, in actuality he was running late and got several things premade (thus it only took 30 minutes to throw everything together). But as always, he doctored each of the dishes up with his signature flair.

We also enjoyed our first fine dining date since baby at my favorite restaurant, Bravos. I have been craving Bravos since before Emery was born - we actually went there the night of her due date, but they were closed. It a lovely meal (despite the fact that Jeff started getting sick there and couldn't touch his entree), but Brooke you will be very dissapointed to know they no longer have your shitake mushroom and chicken pasta dish. In fact, they really don't have any good chicken pasta dishes, which is what I really wanted. They had a beef and portabello mushroom dish, but I wasn't in the mood for beef. I ended up getting a cajun pasta dish, and it was just OK- did not have a whole lot of flavor in my opinion. I think my cajun jumbapasta dish is much tasiter. Thankfully our calamari, spincach salad and my all time favorite creme brulee definitely made up for the less than stellar entree. And thanks to my sweet sister who watched baby girl while we went out - and ended up getting puked on herself because I didn't know she was sick. I am just praying she doesn't get sick too!

Despite being sick for months, we've still managed to get out and enjoy the fabulous weather this past week. Hubby and I LOVE a good long spring stroll, and so does baby girl. And as for sweet baby girl - she is growing like a weed these days. Big news for this month - she is now on formula. Long story short - nursing had become a less than pleasant experience since about 6.5 months. I've always felt that my milk irritated her stomach no matter what I did or didn't eat, but it had gotten to the point where she would only drink an ounce or two at a time, and would not take any more without a huge fight. I felt like I was torturing her trying to get her to eat. After 3 weeks of this (really just on the weekends because Mon - Thurs she got bottles) I decided enough was enough, and started to tranisition to formula. She didn't like it at first, but after a week decided she liked it better than mom's milk. In fact, for the first time ever she is actually drinking all of her 5oz bottles at daycare. It was a hard decision to transition, especially since I still have plenty of milk and feasibly could have kept pumping for another several months, but since my milk seems to cause her distress, didn't see the point in that. So this is week 2 of the great dry up, and I will have to say things have not gone as quickly as I'd hoped. I was hoping the stomach bug would do a major number for me in that area, but no such luck. If anyone has any suggestions, please send them on! On a positive note, last week was the first time in 5.5 months I haven't had to drag my pump to the office. I thought I would be elated, but I was actually kind of sad about it. Kind of the end of an era I guess. But as much as I never thought I'd ever say this - I am looking forward to being able to start running again. Wow - those hormones must have really done a number on me! Ok back to baby girl - forget baby food the girls love the real thing. She does eat babyfood at daycare for convenience sake, but at home it's whatever mom can put together that seems healthy. She's had waffles, eggs, chicken, cheese, pizza crust, bananas, peaches, bread, pasta, rice, beans - and loves it all so far. I've pretty much thrown all of the rulebooks on introducing foods out the window and adopted more the anything goes approach. She is cutting 2 more teeth as we speak (for a total of 4), and although is not crawling or scooting yet, is rolling everywhere. She is also going through some major separation anxiety at the house - we can't step out of the room for a second without a meltdown. This could also be due to the fact that she is teething and doesn't feel good, but it makes it challenging to get things done at times. The funny thing is she doesn't cry when we leave her with other people, like at daycare or the nursery, just at home when we leave the room. Crazy girl! She is still such a joy though, and we love her to pieces even when she is screaming.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


After 3 (almost 4) weeks of bronchitis and colds, the Smiths are finally on the mend. It started with Jeff and a nasty case of bronchitis - which took 2 rounds of antibiotics to beat. Then I got it and finally started feeling better this week after 2 weeks of misery . Baby girl just had a runny nose, thank goodness. But she also cut her first tooth in the middle of this sick fest, so between that and waking up all hours of the night because of one of us was coughing, Monday was the first full night of sleep I've had in over a month! Man that felt good!

Emery has been talking up a storm these days. She was kind of clingy over the weekend, and we're hoping it was just her first tooth coming in but could very well be the start of separation anxiety, as she's right at the age where it starts. She's been eating a lot the past couple of weeks. She still doesn't really get the whole feed herself thing yet (gets the food to her mouth then drops her hand like she's forgotten it's there), but she still loves to eat. I have to be very careful about what I feed her for dinner because of overnight stomach issues (see previous post). For the past week she's had mashed banana, avacado and cereal for dinner, which seem to work well. Monday night she seemed exceptionally hungry so I gave her some peas in addition to her main fare, and she woke up in the middle of the night again. So we were back to the usual last night. I hate to feed her the same thing every night, but until her stomach evens out I don't see that we have much of a choice. I haven't found anything she doesn't like yet, although I'm sure that's coming. I haven't really been good about introducing things slowly either, but aside from the rash on her face from oatmeal and a different type of cereal, shes tolerated everything else pretty well.

Emery loves it when we kiss her, and lately she's started putting her slobbery mouth on my cheek to give me a kiss. It is the cutest thing. I ask her to "Give mommy a kiss" and she slobbers all over my cheek, then I of course cover her cheeks with kisses in return. It's probably the cutest thing she's done so far, in my opinion. It's amazing to me how quickly they learn - I had no idea she would even know what a kiss meant at this age. They are little sponges, thats for sure. She also goes "mmmmm, mmmmm" the entire time she is eating. I realized this is because that is what I do when I feed her - I'm always saying "mmmmm, this is good." So she says it back to me now. It's so cute.

I mentioned earlier that she cut her first tooth over the weekend. We are still nursing, but I'm waiting to see if she starts biting or not before I decide if we're going to keep going for a few more months.

I have not been able to taste a single thing for the past 2 weeks, and as a result have finally dropped a few pounds for the first time in five months. I feel so sorry for anyone who has no sense of taste or smell - you don't realize how much those senses affect you until they are gone. I have no desire to eat anything I can't taste, so have essentially been eating just enough to keep my stomach from shriveling up.

That's all for now!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Holidays 2010

My favorite time of year has come and gone yet again. As eager as I was to get the tree up this year, I was equally as eager to get it down the day after we returned from our holiday trip to LA.

We've had way too much going on the past few months to catch up with, so I'll try to hit the high points.

Emery attended her first NBA game in New Orleans in December, thanks to Uncle Creighton. Ironic that we now have the ultimate sports hook-up at our fingertips, and neither Jeff nor I care a lick about sports. However, I will have to say watching the game from the VIP suite was awesome. Admittedly I didn't watch much of the game, but I certainly enjoyed all of the free food. And Creighton moved Jeff and my grandfather courtside for the last half of the game, which was awesome for them.

Christmas was lovely. Everyone kept asking us if we were so excited about Emery's first Christmas. Well I love Christmas, but she had no idea what was going on. We enjoyed her on Christmas as much as we do every other day, and tried to keep her from eating too much wrapping paper. We kept it pretty low key for her present wise, since we knew she would get a lot from the families.

Christmas day night we drove to LA for a week with Jeff's family, and it was probably one of the best visits we've had there. Emery was a doll, aside from crying out several times a night and waking up mom. Thankfully we didn't continue the trend once we arrived back home.

During the month of December, my grandparents from Atlanta sold their house and bought a new one in MS. They've been in Atlanta thirty something years, and are now here with us. I know they miss their house and friends in Atlanta, but we are sure happy to have them here!!

Jeff hit the new year running with his new job, and I've been busy making up all the hours I took off for the holiday. I'm looking forward to vegging with my girl this weekend, after we get through hosting family night tonight. Baby girl is growing like a weed. We recently started solids, which I'm not too sure about because I swear she sleeps worse on nights she gets food. So far she's had cereal, squash, steamed carrots and a mashed banana. She loves everything so far, but I think the squash gave her a little rash on her cheeks. We went through a three or four night earlier this week where she had a hard time going down at night (which she never does) and woke up 2-3 times a night. She could be teething, but it seemed more like she was uncomfortable with her stomach. The child also pees like nothing I've ever seen, and since she is a stomach sleeper fills up her diaper by midnight. We're still trying to figure that one out, because I think that was one reason she was waking up. The good news is she has been taking longer naps - although I had to break down and swaddle her again to get her to do so. If I don't she just rolls around the crib and plays - I've watched her on the monitor for 45 minutes before. She's been sleeping between 12-13 hours a night, with a feed in there sometime between 5-6am. That works for me right now because I get to see her before I go to work. Right now daddy is in charge of morning duty - he gets her up, fed, dressed and to daycare. Emery LOVES her daddy - it is so cute to watch them together. She is still such a joy, and we feel so blessed to have her in our lives. What a gift!

I hope everyone had a wonderful christmas and happy new year!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ho Ho Ho

I cannot believe the holidays are here already. We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving at our house with my parents, sister and family, grandfather and cousin Shasta and her family. Shasta and I grew up down the street from each other in Alaska and spent most of our holidays together growing up, but this is the first time we've been together over the holidays in eight years. She and her family just moved from CA to New Orleans for a few years, so we are making the most of our time together while we can!

Dinner was fabulous with way too much food, as always. The table in the picture above was just appetizers and desserts. In true MS style, it was about 80 degrees on Thanksgiving Day, so we were all in tank tops and shorts. Miss Emery enjoyed her first Thanksgiving very much. She spent most of the meal in my lap gnawing on my napkin. She is defintitely starting to notice food, and will try to snag a spoon or fork when she can. I still plan to wait until 6 months to introduce solids a. Because she is not suffering AT ALL in the weight department and b. because I am in no hurry for my baby to grow up! I can't believe she will be six months old in January!! For those of you who have been through the baby food transition before - I am really wanting to try pureeing things we eat to give to her once we get past the initial introduction of solids. Has anyone done that, and if so when did you start?

Shasta and I braved the crowds the day after thanksgiving for our very first Black Friday venture. I'll have to say I was a little dissapointed. Of course neither of us were ready to get out at 5am, we waited until almost 7am. Shopping with my cousin was fun, but the sales were just not that great, although we did score some adorable hats for the kids. We also took the kids for their very first pictures with Santa. Emery was a champ, and even smiled for hers.

I have a confession to make - I've become a little obssessed with HSN and QVC. I believe if I had the $$ and stayed at home, I'd probably never venture out of my house to shop. I started out watching it when I was feeding her because it's low key and not loud, but they actually have some really neat stuff and good deals. Now if only they had a Home Shopping Outlet - then I'd really be in trouble. I have a hard time paying full price, even half price, for anything these days, since I know I can almost always find it at a better price at the outlets or Hudson's.

Life is very good right now - we both feel tremendously blessed this holiday season. Jeff has been busy busy with his new job. We finally caved and got internet at the house, so he's busy loading loan applications in the evenings after Emery does to bed. I'm loving this cooler weather and coming home to a house filled with christmas lights - this is my absolute favorite time of year!!