Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring and thunk-funnies

Ok this has been the coldest beginning of Spring ever! I was so excited for that warm spurt we got but it didn't last, and poor Nevaeh keeps looking out the window and then at me :-( Landon's going stir crazy, he's got so much energy packed in that tiny body that I try really hard not to get mad at him for running around the house like there's a firecracker in his big boy underwear!!
Speaking of big boy underwear...

I don't know why it's taken me this long to realize this, but Landon learns the best when it's something funny. Negative re-enforcement is used when he does something bad, like hit (we put him in the corner, smack his hand etc). And that works for that, but when it comes to learning things (potty, getting dressed) Positive re-enforcement only takes us so far, he usually just gets frustrated and storms off or makes us do it for him.

He learned to blow his nose when he was 2 (I think it took me a week to teach him) I'd hold the tissue up to his nose and then I'd sniff like a dog. He thought this was the funniest thing! Within a week he was cracking up and huffing out of his nose, which inevidably shot out boogers!
We taught him to wash himself in the bathtub by tickling him with his washcloth. Now he tickles himself and gets squeaky clean!
This latest task learned is by far my favorite. We've been potty training about 8 months now, We started a little before he turned 2 because we wanted to have a little progress by the time his sister was born (now 7 months old). He's got pee down pretty good, still some accidents but only wears a diaper during naps and at night. Poop was another story. He thought it was funny to either poop in his big boy underwear and fling it across the room, or hide in a corner and poop on the floor, or poop on his brother's bed at his mom's house (ok...that one is a little funny haha!)
So last night I got frustrated at yet another huge poop dumping into his underwear, so I took them and I tossed the poop in the toilet. Landon thought the THUNK noise of the poop hitting the water was absolutely hysterical, and completely lost it when he flushed it down the toilet and said see ya later!
This morning, TA-DAAAAA!!!!! He said he had to go potty while I was fixing lunch, and he knows how to take himself so I didn't think about it.
Then...the house started to stink. Like realllly bad. I turn around and out of the bathroom comes running this stinky half naked two year old screeching "Beebee BEEBEE!!" Woooooo!! He pooped in the potty!! YAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! I picked him up under his arms and twirled him around and ran around the house screeching and shouting hoorayyyyy!!!! Then I realized his bum was covered in poop hahaha so cleaned him up, watched him flush the toilet, get dressed and wash his hands, then discreetly cleaned the poop that got onto the seat while he went and played :-)

Humor!! Such a great idea. I don't know why I didn't think of this way back at the beginning of his potty training!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Mommy without a Mommy

When I was in high school, in the course of those four years I had 6 classmates lose their father. It became a gruesome joke that our school was cursed and the dads were doomed. Every time someone lost their dad I would think "I can't even imagine what they're going through." And then I would thank God it hadn't happened to me. Don't get me wrong, I definitely appreciated that I still had both of my parents, but I had that naive belief that they would be around forever. Or at least until I was old and gray.
March of 2009 my mom got sick. We didn't know what it was and honestly, most of us thought it was in her head so we took her to see a psychologist to try and get to the root of why she couldn't keep anything down. She had an exploratory surgery done in Indianapolis, and the doctor said she was perfectly healthy and to "enjoy being 50." He even wrote that on her chart. "Enjoy being 50." We are from Ohio, so me and my brother and sister did not see her often around this time. Me and my sister made a trip to Indiana to see her shortly after her surgery, and we saw how thin and frail she had gotten. So that night we packed all her bags (she was temporarily living with her best friend until she found a house there) and moved her back home. She stayed with me for a while, then her health steadily got worse. Doctors kept saying "you're fine you're fine you're fine, nothing's wrong you're fine."
Her health continued to deteriorate so they scheduled another exploratory surgery on July 1. I went to work like normal. My phone rang three times in my pocket but I was a server at a restaurant so could not answer. I went back to the breakroom. A voicemail. "Bethany, this is your Aunt Debbie. Honey I need you to call me as soon as you get this ok? I love you, Bye." I remember that voicemail word for word. I remember seeing movies where when someone got bad news, the space around them closed in. Totally real effect...I couldn't hear anything except the blood pounding in my ears. My first thought? Something went wrong, my mom is dead. I called my aunt and she told me i needed to come to the hospital. I asked why, she said "Honey you just need to come to the hospital now." I hung up. I lost it. A coworker found me sobbing and got a manager, and I choked out between sobs that something was wrong, handed her my swipe card and order book and bolted out the door past worried faces of the people I had worked with for over a year.
Stage 4 cancer..........
Stage 4 cancer? I didn't understand.
Stage 4 cancer..........
How do you have stage 4 cancer and NOBODY SEES IT! Exploratory surgery, x-rays MRIs consultations doctors doctors doctors. Enjoy being 50. Stage 4 cancer. HOW do so many people miss a tumor that covered my mother's entire abdomen?
I remember calling my boyfriend at work. No answer no answer. I called his actual work, they told me to call back later. I told them it was an emergency, they didn't care. The doctors sent us all home because my mom wouldn't wake up from the aenesthetic until morning. Me, my brother and my sister came back early the next morning.
Have you ever had to tell your mother she was dying? There was nothing anyone could do? Enjoy being 50, you're dying. You don't get to see your kids finish growing up. You don't get to meet the first grandchild that's growing inside your daughter-in-law. You don't get to see either of your daughter's get married. You don't get to be 51. You don't get anything. You get nothing. Enjoy being 50.
She was angry. She was broken. She was hurt, devastated, angry. Chemo would only prolong it, and would make her more miserable in the end.
They set up Hospice at my aunt's house. She was going to stay with me but I couldn't afford to not work and she needed someone with her at all times. So she stayed with my aunt and I was there whenever I wasn't working. Sometimes I'd stay the night but usually I'd go home to my boyfriend and collapse in his arms and he'd hold me until I'd cried myself to sleep every night. My brother and sister both lived an hour away. Family came from across the country to "pay their respects". How do you pay respects to somebody who isn't even dead yet?
August 7, 2009. 2:30 pm. It was Friday. I took my stepson Landon home to his mom. My boyfriend was golfing. Got to my stepson's mom's house. I locked my keys in the car. Called AAA, it would be an hour. I was frantic, I felt a weight on my heart that was out of place. My phone rang "Bethany, I think you should come back to Debbie's house." Flipping out.
AAA gets there and I went biserk on him for taking so long. I screamed out that he need to unlock my goddamn car right now!! Car gets unlocked and I zoom down the highway, take the exit...and there is a train. for 45 minutes I sat in the same spot, blocked in all directions so I couldn't turn around and take another route. 45 minutes.
4:45 I get back. My boyfriend's phone is dead. I call his sister and she goes to the golf course and hunts him down, and brings him back.
9:25pm, we are all at my aunt's house, gathered around my mother who had become incoherant the day before. My boyfriend loved my mother, and was having a hard time seeing her that way, so we went into the next room and watched TV.
9:27pm, my sister went to the bathroom.
9:29pm, my aunt went into the kitchen to get some Tylenol.
9:30pm, while we three were out of the room, my mom's heart stopped beating.

Fast forward. September 14, 2009 my boyfriend whisked me away to Hocking Hills for a much needed vacation. He proposed. He told me he had talked to my mom a week before she died, and she gave her blessing.
December 14, 2009. I felt weird. I took a pregnancy test. I was pregnant.
August 25, 2010. I had my daughter, Nevaeh Christine Smith. Heaven Heaven.

I often cry, missing my mom....whenever I have a parenting question, I don't know who to go to. I have aunts, friends who are moms, my sister in law, the internet. It's not the same though. My mom was supposed to be here for this...She was supposed to stay with me for a week after each of my children was born and "teach me the ropes". She was supposed to tell me how proud she was of me, and how great of a mother I was becoming.

I was not supposed to lose my mother at 19. Have my baby when I was 20 without my mother there. Get married in February of 2010 to the man of my dreams, without my mother there to tell me how beautiful I looked in my dress.

I'm not ready to talk to God yet. I talk to my mom all the time. But how do I talk to the one who decided to take my mother? my best friend? She was my everything, we were so close. She knew me better than anyone. I am a Christian but I still can't step foot in a church. My mother was a deep Christian. I'm just not ready yet. I don't know if I ever will be. I am not angry...I'm defeated.
I never imagined I'd be a mommy without my mommy. I tell Nevaeh about her grandma all the time. I tell her my mom sent her down from Heaven because she was the orneriest one. I tell her she helped me heal from losing her Grandma. that's why we named her Heaven. I tell her she was 2 weeks overdue cause Grandma Patti couldn't get enough of her! Nevaeh knows who her Grandma is. Or at least the idea of her. I talk about her a lot, and she is all grins whenever I do.

I just never thought I'd be raising my children without my mom to call when I needed advice.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Beauty Products

Ok I'm in a blogging mood lately! On my Mommy Community website (, amaaaazing website when you're pregnant and a mom!) We recently started a forum called the Baby-Free Zone (what the heck is that?! haha) and my favorite discussion on there so far is Beauty :-) sooo in light of that, I decided to make a blog about my favorite beauty products!

SkinID moisturizer and spot treatment. I wasn’t a fan of the face wash. You go on their website and it’s personalized for your skin type. I think I spent around $30 for these 2 plus the face wash (which I won’t re-buy)

Mary Kay lip mask and moisturizer. I always laugh when I do the mask (once a week) cause it’s white and makes me look like I’ve been doing coke or something haha. Leave it on 2 minutes, then put on the moisturizer. Super soft lips! You can use the moisturizer daily, but I use Burt’s Bee’s chapstick for that

Dead Sea is a great company. Really expensive and I don’t know that I’ll re-buy once these run out, but they really do work great! I think I can make something similar because they mostly use natural products. This is a mud mask and a peel, both of which I do once a month. I have their scrub which makes my skin impossibly soft, and their lotion and nail kit (Christmas lol, otherwise I couldn’t afford it)

Baby Orajel Naturals…obviously for Nevaeh. I like it better than the regular, it’s more organic. Seems to work better than the regular too

Baby Rub. I’ll use this before I resort to medicine. She has yet to ever be sick (knock on wood, say a prayer) but sometimes she’ll get a little stuffy or congested, so I’ll swab a little of this on her chest and she’ll clear right up.

Love this mascara! I have dark eyelashes but they’re thin so I need mascara that thickens them and makes them look longer. I like the brush too, it’s rubber (I think) so doesn’t get all nasty

Bare Minerals, bought from Sephora (love their makeup). I’m Fairly Medium and this goes on great, it’s very light and doesn’t clog my pores, but still covers any blemishes and evens out my skin tone (My skin can get a little shiny)

Envia. Natural hairspray, holds great!

Melaleuca. Swear by their products! They are super environmentally friendly. They make everything from laundry detergent to hand soap, cleaning products, etc. I love this hand soap, softens my hands and has a mint smell that’s not overwhelming. My mom used to sell Melaleuca so I don’t know where I’ll get it after I run out L

Almay makeup remover. Feels great on my skin, doesn’t have a ton of alcohol. The wipes are larger than I need though so I usually cut it in half. And Yes To (cucumbers) is my new favorite thing! Totally natural, it uses something from cucumbers as a soothing gel for your eyes. I started getting dry patches around my eyes from where my fingers pull my eyes to put on eyeliner/shadow, and this works great to moisturize it. Nice cool feeling!

Took me a long time to find the right hair product! Started using Aussie last year and switched to Aussie Moist shampoo/conditioner and my hair feels ahhh-maaa-ziiiing! Smells great, too

Burt’s Bees Pure Refining Scrub. Love it, it makes my face feel smooth and soft without that moist feeling. I like my face to feel clear and dry, and Burt’s Bees is a natural brand also (can you tell I like natural products? Lol!)

I discovered Epsom Salt after giving birth. I put some in a warm bath and it did wonders at soothing my…ahem…I use it in a foot bath too, my feet get dry patches especially in the summer because I’m always going around barefoot, and this acts as a scrub for that. I’m not sure how “natural” it is, but it’s salt so it can’t be too bad!

And lastly…honey! I use this once a month, either instead of the Dead Sea mask or just at another time. Leave it on for like 10 minutes then wash off with warm water. Makes me want to eat my face hahaha!

Baby Did You Know?

1. You cannot swim with mammals. A little common sense but still made me go, huh?? Chris and I got married in Florida February 19th of 2010, and I was 2-3 months pregnant at the time. We had put swimming with dolphins on our list, but when I called to put our name down, the lady asked if I was pregnant and then said I wasn't able to :-( Dolphins have a sonar ability, which allows them to see a human like an ultrasound. They know when a woman is pregnant and their paternal instincts kick in. They are so excited by this new life, and can be protective of the pregnant mother, which, since dolphins are at least 500 pounds, can be a bad thing. If I were to get in the water with them and with another human, and that human got close to me the dolphin could feel protective and put itself between me and the "threat." How sweet is that!! Definitely a downer though, that would have been an amazing honeymoon experience!

2. Fewer than 10% of babies are born on their exact due date, 50% are born within one week of the due date, and 90% are born within two weeks of the date. My stubborn little girl was due August 12, 2010. I walked, I jogged, I bounced on an exercise ball, I took warm baths, I drank castor oil TWICE!! I ate two whole pineapples. You name it, I probably tried it to get that kid out! I was finally induced on August 24th at 9am, and delivered Nevaeh at 12:19am August 25th :-) She's definitely a strong willed Virgo, that's for sure! A friend of mine was due on December 25th 2010 and that's when her daughter was born. Right on time!

3. While not all pregnant women will crave pickles and ice cream specifically, pregnancy cravings are rooted in the body’s extra need for minerals and comfort-inducing serotonin. Hmmm what does A1-sauce have to do with serotonin?! That's what I craved the whole time, I had A1 on everythingggg. I'd even get my food to go just so I could take it home and dump A1 sauce on it. I should have just carried the bottle around with me! I also was really lovin' eggs, and now I can't eat scrambled eggs because I made the terrible choice to put castor oil in scrambled eggs when trying to naturally induce. Terrible TERRIBLE idea!! If I ever do castor again I'll just suck it up and do it shot-style.

4. Pregnant women must eat for two, and must gain at least 25 pounds. Uhh, totally false! Americans already eat for two without even being pregnant. Portion control is non-existant in restaurants so whatever they're giving you on your plate is way too much! I gained 20 pounds during my pregnancy, all in the belly. I had some water swelling at the very end but it didn't add any weight. My daughter was born 9lbs7oz and the rest of the "junk" to come out was another 10lbs. I lost 19 of my gained weight just from giving birth! There is no set weight a woman has to gain, just so long as the baby is healthy and gaining weight. I hated having people tell me I needed to eat more. I snack all day, I don't like big meals.

5. Sympathetic pregnancy is REAL. My husband gained 10 pounds, craved the same things as me, and became much more emotional during the pregnancy. He was very in tune with me and it was definitely a great bonding experience for us! He'll deny it up and down but he totally teared up when we found out we were having a girl :-)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Subtle as a Boulder

So far in my post-delivery life, I have yet to regain my confidence in my body. I am not ashamed of the flub on my belly, or the stretch marks. I am proud of the beauty it signifies, and every time I look at my daughter I am that much more proud.
That being said, it does not mean I feel sexy. When my husband and I have our...ahem...time together, I tend to keep my shirt on. I used to be "plump and firm" in all the right areas, small and flat in the perfect places. I was sexy! Now everything has switched places, I'm lumpy and squishy and round. My husband...God bless a complete man. He does not get subtle hints, and it's even difficult for him to catch on if I hold a blow horn with a neon sign that screams ROMANCE YA DUMMY!!!! He tells me I'm still sexy and beautiful, but that's the extent of that. I believe he does think I'm sexy and beautiful, he just really has no clue how to show it! I need candles and a nice dinner and some pretty music. Hell even a spontaneous putt-putt trip would work! and I want all of these things without having to TELL him. Because even before when I told him, I'd have to give him step by step instructions, which kills half the mood right off the bat!
I love him to death, I really do. and I'm not mad that he's a manly man. and he is in touch with some parts of his feminine side. Maybe I should slip him an estrogen pill hahaha!

Making Vae's food is tedious. I don't mind doing it, but I feel like I'm feeding her the same things over and over. I can't wait until she can chew better and eat the same food as me! Instead of just apples, sweet potatoes, chicken, etc.

This weather is amazing! Unfortunately though, it's just making me want out of Dayton even more. I seriously need a change of scenery!! Hopefully Chris finds out something about Sherwin Williams soon, or finds something else. Until then, Vae and I spend a lot of our days outside :-) Just sitting on the porch feels great! I am excited for the grass to grow back so I can put her in the yard to play. Right now it's dead and brown, too prickly for her sensitive skin! Ohhh, and when it gets plenty warm we can put out the baby pool :-) It's large enough for me to recline in, I did that a lot when I was pregnant. So I'll be able to sit out there with her, getting her used to the water.

Speaking of water! I took a pause on this blog to give her a bath. Funniest thing! She loves to splash, and at one point she got so into it that she lost her balance and flew backwards, going completely under water. I pulled her out immediately and what does she do? Peels of laughter! I mean this kid was cracking up, and started flailing all of her limbs as if she were trying to dunk under water again! Little Daredevil <3 Needless to say I kept my hands a little closer to her lol, but I did still let her do her thang.

Dirty dishes are calling me now, so I'll cut this short. Maybe I'll get some romance tonight....BAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Army Style

Oh heels :-) How I am a slave to thee! Especially these, my newest splurge for my husband and I's anniversary! When I say splurge..I still mean thrifty. Payless, baby! 15 dollas. I don't pay full price for things. I also don't go for the mega heels that have my hiding painful winces with every step. Nope! I dig and find the super cute, super affordable and super comfy heels. No pain for this beauty!

Move your toosh!
Nevaeh has abandoned the slow scoot and ventured for the full throttle under-the-wire army crawl.
Case in point: Little Miss decided she wanted to find mommy. Not only did she scramble clear across the house, but of the four doors in the hallway she chose the right one to peek through to find me! Clearly, by the picture, even she was surprised :-) *I heard her coming and had my camera ready haha*

Emailed Chris' resume to one of the hot shots of Sherwin Williams. He'll turn it into HR and hopefully something great happens from there! No matter what, we're moving in June. Whether it's back to Lima or to wherever SW wants him. I can't wait to find out where the road is traveling next! I love change, and tell myself to keep a positive attitude no matter the change that is occuring. This one will be good no matter what!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Welcome my child
The words I await to whisper over the months of dreaming about your face
And here I lay, legs spread wide, cursing the man who loves you just as much as I do
Invasion of privacy, temptations of a miraculous needle that would allow me to relax and enjoy the ride
I deny that temptation, and feel the tug and pull and yank of a squirmy something
Breathe in, breathe out, out and out. Breathe in, breathe out, out and out
Count to ten, heave ho!
I love you my child, I squish my eyes as tight as they’ll go and picture yours
Whirs of machines and voices and how are you honey’s from the man who loves you just as much as I do
Count to ten, heave ho! Breathe in, breathe out, out and out.
Selflessness, undying devotion, unbelievable emotion and unbearable pain
Legs spread wider than humanly possible, freshly cut nails digging ten red moons into nearby flesh
Count to ten, heave ho! Breathe in, breathe...oh my God!
The stretch and pull of my skin as it hugs the delicate contours of your head
All hands on deck, tug and shift and heave and push
One more! Count to ten, really heave ho!
The unmistakable woosh of a slippery body breaking free of a soft, warm bed
Suck and wipe and rub. First breath of life
Skin to skin, heart to heart. I love you I love you I love you
Welcome my child

Opportunities Galore

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never
      come to an end; they are new every morning. .  .
                                                                              - Lamentations 3:22-23

Where will the road take us?! Probably the biggest question in Chris and I's life right now. Besides what Landon wants for lunch of course ;-)
It's hard to even organize the thoughts of everything maybe and everything hopefully. It's a big pile of hmm and I can't wait to find out!
Chris graduates with his Associates in Mechanical Engineering at the end of May/beginning of June. Right now he works at Sherwin Williams as a Sales Associate, and would love to continue with the company at one of their factories. He's getting in touch with one of the "Big Guys" to see what's possible. Anything with the company would require a move, ranging from an hour down 75 in Cinncinatti to Effingham Illinois, to Orlando FL or Waco TX. We'll roll with anything! Our plan is still to move back to Lima. We have to plan for something, but it's only a tentative plan because obviously if an opportunity arises that takes us elsewhere, we'll jump at the chance!

Speaking of jumping at chances...I have the opportunity of a lifetime (ok, maybe not so dramatic) but it highly depends on finding some help...I have been planning on going into Medical Coding so I can work from home and still be with Nevaeh but also bring in some income (and some pretty nice income!) with Medical Coding I can work anywhere, so a move wouldn't interrupt it. There is a class down in Moraine starting on March 15...yes, 2 weeks away! 3 days a week, 4 hour class, 12 week program. I would graduate the same time Chris did. HOW perfect would that be?? If I can't do this then I'll have to wait until we move to (input destination) and get settled, etc. Two obstacles...the class is $2500, and it's too late to get financial aide. So unless I can qualify for WIA, or if Chris and I decide we can dig out the money, that'll hinder it. Also, I need someone to watch Nevaeh, and aside from Amber being available one of the days, I don't have anybody near that can help. Well, that I know of yet. I need to do some puppy eyes and pleading and see if I can find someone to help! This really would be perfect. And even more so because if Chris can't find a job before he graduates, we'll be going back to Lima and he'll be transferring to the store there, still as a Sales Associate, so I would have to work. And if I could work from home it would be perfect!!

UGH so exciting and nerve-wracking :-) I'm excited because our life is finally falling into the place it's supposed to be. I hate this in-between waiting time, where our lives have started but not really taken off. I'm not expecting it to be some leap and bound fantastic adventure full of adrenaline. But just to be settled into a house, with a career and we don't have to figure so many things out and improvise our lives...ohh I can't wait for that!!

Thank you God for guiding my family and I to our futures! Please continue to do so in the coming months and for the rest of our lives while you're at it!